Largest sugar-ethanol plant in the world becomes Bonsucro certified

28th March 2022

Usina São Martinho in Pradópolis Brazil – the largest sugar-ethanol plant in operation in the world – has achieved Bonsucro certification. Founded in 1948, the mill has an approximate crush capacity of 10 million tonnes of sugarcane each harvest. The mill produces sugar and ethanol, and generates electricity from burning the sugarcane bagasse. Usina São Martinho is one of four plants which comprise  São Martinho S.A., one of the world’s largest sugar-energy groups.

The certification of Usina São Martinho was an integral part of São Martinho’s overarching sustainability plan, with the mill becoming its third Bonsucro certified unit, after Iracema and Santa Cruz units in São Paulo. Oscar Francisco Tribst Paulino, General Sustainability Manager, told us how the group embarked on this journey towards Bonsucro certification due to its “commitment to sustainability, the possibility of serving new markets, and the opportunity for new partnerships.”

In order to achieve the Bonsucro Production Standard, Usina São Martinho established a robust work plan and appointed a multi-disciplinary team to oversee the process. This involved high level engagement with all employees, both in the agro-industrial and administrative areas of the organisation. To sustain this achievement, the mill has designated teams who are responsible for maintaining the policies and procedures that are required to achieve certification.

Through Bonsucro certification, Oscar told us how the mill has seen its socio-environmental culture notably strengthen, due to systems improving, and through supporting its projects for the natural environment. For example, the mill’s environmental education centre, which helps to raise awareness of environmental issues for students and the wider community.

Next steps for Usina São Martinho

São Martinho is committed to the Environmental, Social and Governance practices that will improve the mill’s socio-environmental operations. Oscar explained how the organisation’s next objective is to complete the Bonsucro certification of all of its production units, with next and final the certification of Usina Boa Vista in Quirinópolis, Goiás, planned for the end of 2023.