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A Review of Bonsucro v5.2 – Part 2

In this Bonsucro v5.2 review – Part 2, Let us discuss in some detail the structure of the Bonsucro Production Standard (BPS, in its acronym in English), and some of its criteria and main indicators.

Resuming, O BPS has five (5) Principles, twenty (20) criteria and sixty-nine (69) indicators. Each principle has its specific criteria.

  • PRINCIPLE 1 – Assess and manage environmental risks, social and human rights

Criterion 1.1 – Leadership demonstrated through the development and implementation of a Sustainability Management Plan

Criterion 1.2 – Risks and impacts are systematically assessed

Criterion 1.3 – The implementation of the Sustainability Management Plan is systematic and risk-based

Criterion 1.4 – Monitoring and Evaluation Systems (M&A) and Complaints are implemented

  • PRINCIPLE 2 – Respect labor rights and occupational health and safety standards

Criterion 2.1 – Provide a safe and healthy work environment at operations sites

Criterion 2.2 – Provide all workers (including migrant workers, seasonal and other types of hired labor) benefits and wages sufficient to achieve an adequate standard of living

Criterion 2.3 – Respect workers’ right to favorable working conditions

Criterion 2.4 – Safeguard respect for labor rights through established social dialogue mechanisms

Criterion 2.5 – The use of land and water resources does not diminish legal rights, customary or used by indigenous peoples and local communities

  • PRINCIPLE 3 – Manage input efficiencies, production and processing to improve sustainability

Criterion 3.1 – Monitor production and process efficiency; measure the impacts of production and processing so that improvements are made over time

Criterion 3.2 – Monitor global warming emissions with the aim of minimizing the impacts of climate change

  • PRINCIPLE 4 – Actively manage biodiversity and ecosystem services

Criterion 4.1 – Protect and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as maintain and improve strokes

Criterion 4.2 – A Soil Management Plan is established to prevent erosion and maintain and improve soil health

Criterion 4.3 – A Water Management Plan is established

Criterion 4.4 – Pest Management Plans, Diseases and Weeds are established and implemented

Criterion 4.5 – Ensure that hazardous chemicals and materials do not negatively impact biodiversity and ecosystem services

  • PRINCIPLE 5 – Continuously improve other essential areas of the business

Criterion 5.1 – Promote economic and social sustainability

Criterion 5.2 – Reduce emissions and effluents and promote recycling of waste streams where practical

Criterion 5.3 – Train workers in all areas of their activity and develop their general skills

Criterion 5.4 – Continuous improvement of workers' well-being


Indicators are the measurable state that allows evaluating whether a certain criterion has been met or not. Each indicator includes:

• Indicator: consisting of a reference number and a title.

• Scope: indicates to area in which the indicator should be applied. They are:

▪ Without. Refers to grinding facilities.

▪ Agriculture. Refers to the agricultural unit.

            ▪ Area outside the certification unit (only for indicators 1.2.3 e 1.2.4). Refers to the sugarcane supply base not included in the certification unit. May include areas owned or leased by the plant, production areas of external suppliers, small farmers etc.

The certification unit is the basis of the BPS certification scope. It is defined by the certificate holder and refers to the area where the BPS is applied, which also corresponds to the area that is audited and certified by the certification body. The certification unit could it be:

• Only the you don't have (no supply area included in scope).

The plant and its sugarcane supply area, an independent farm or group of farmers.

• Only the farm or agricultural unit, It can be an independent farm or a group of farms.

For more information, see the latest version of the Bonsucro Certification Protocol.

Criticality level: indicates the level of compliance required by Bonsucro. It can also be understood as the ‘type of indicator’. There are three levels to ensure baseline sustainability and drive continuous improvement:

            ▪ Essential indicators: must be met to obtain certification. These are identified with the term ‘essential’ in the column ‘Criticality level’ across the pattern.

            ▪ Non-core indicators: must be met in accordance with the timelines defined in the Bonsucro Certification Protocol.

            ▪ Aspirational indicator: compliance with this indicator is voluntary. Compliance with this indicator results in additional visibility to highlight operators that go beyond minimum compliance. When the indicator is not implemented, does not need to be included in the audit and does not result in non-compliance.

 • Compliance measurement: This checker indicates the data or information for conformity assessment. It is always pass/fail. As a results-based standard, a pre-determined threshold will be defined based on which measurements and reports must be made. In some cases, the value will be a binary yes/no (approved disapproved).

Full indicator text: provides detailed information about the requirements to implement the indicator. The assessment of whether the operator meets the indicator is based on the complete description of the indicator.

Some relevant indicators

Here we will cite some examples of notable indicators towards certification, although there are others as important as, These are the indicators that can be more difficult (even because they are younger) and end up impacting an audit. We will not mention non-essential indicators here, although in many cases they are being discussed, like the indicator 5.4.1.

Indicator 1.1.1 – The operator develops and implements a Sustainability Management Plan to comply with the Bonsucro Production Standard.

  • Sustainability Management Plan: The operator must develop and implement a plan that includes objectives and targets to meet the Bonsucro Production Standard.
  • Sustainability policies: The operator must establish policies to respect human rights, labor, environmental and other relevant aspects of sustainability.
  • Risk and impact assessment: The operator must identify and assess environmental risks and impacts, social and human rights issues related to its operations and supply chain.
  • Monitoring and reporting: The operator must monitor and report performance and progress against sustainability plan objectives and targets.

Indicator 3.2.1 – The operator performs a climate risk assessment and ensures that a Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Plan is established and implemented.

objective: Conduct a climate risk assessment and ensure a Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Plan is established and implemented.

Required actions:

  • Conduct a climate risk assessment.
  • Define a Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Plan with achievable actions and objectives, monitoring activities, agreed responsibilities, allocated deadlines and resources.
  • Define baseline emissions and absolute GHG reduction targets.
  • Implement the Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience Plan, including monitoring applicable climate change impacts and assessing how they will affect operations and workers over time.
  • Review the plan at least every three years or sooner, in accordance with company procedures.

Indicator 4.1.3 – The operator guarantees that areas of legally protected natural ecosystems (nationally or internationally), or areas classified as HCV, were not converted to sugarcane cultivation as of January 1, 2008.

The operator must conduct a land use change analysis of the certification unit, to determine whether land classified as a legally protected natural ecosystem (nationally or internationally), or classified as stroke, was not converted into sugar cane on or after January 1, 2008.

To learn more about this certification, clique on here and also in official channels.