Environmental improvements and safer working conditions from Bonsucro certification

16th December 2021

Bonsucro has published its latest annual Outcome Report. Despite challenging circumstances from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bonsucro and its members achieved some very positive outcomes.

Each year, the secretariat analyses data from the Bonsucro calculator to evaluate and report on the impact of Bonsucro certification in mills and farms.

Key highlights from this year’s report include:

  • CO2eq emissions reduced by 18% over five years of certification
  • Average wages are 19% higher than the national minimums on certified farms
  • Sales of certified sugar increased by 1.83 million tonnes
  • Water use reduces by 50% after six years of certification
  • 13 new mills certified

The data shows that certification against the Production Standard leads to significant environmental improvements and safer working conditions on farms and at mills. The positive outcomes are down to the hard work and investments made by Bonsucro certified members across the world.

The report demonstrates the value in adopting sustainable practices in sugarcane production and obtaining Bonsucro certification. This is reflected in the fact there was an increase in certification across the year. A total of 13 new mills achieved certification against the Production Standard and 19 organisations achieved a Chain of Custody certification.


In 2020 there was also an increase in membership. New organisations joined Bonsucro from countries which were not previously represented in the membership, such as Barbados, Ecuador, and the United Arab Emirates. In total, membership grew by 13.5% across all membership classes and regions.

Improving fundamental frameworks

Bonsucro has improved governance and accountability amongst members. .  During 2020, Bonsucro launched a new Code of Conduct, Grievance Mechanism and due diligence procedure for members. The work is underpinned by alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD guidelines

Case studies

Bonsucro’s work extend beyond certification It also covers research, impact projects, and partnerships with members and wider stakeholders. The Outcome Report delves into some of this work. For example, in 2020, Bonsucro undertook a study on payment for environmental services in sugarcane in Brazil. It also collaborated with Stronger Together to prevent worker exploitation in South Africa. Bonsucro also developed a project with a coalition of partners including PepsiCo, GAM and One Peterson to improve the sustainability of sugarcane in Mexico, especially with smallholder farmers

Looking ahead

Bonsucro will use the certification data to inform work in the future. It reveals where members need support and can help shape future impact projects. The data also helps to understand trends and the longer-term view which is useful for actors across the whole supply chain.

Download the report