As we work toward our vision of being the most sustainable and ethical sugarcane company and achieve net zero carbon as fast as we can, for now and for generations to come, we are proud to celebrate our fifth ProTerra recertification for social responsibility and environmental sustainability for our operations in Belize. This widely recognized international standard focuses on key areas including respecting human rights and good labor and agricultural practices, protection of biodiversity and non-GMO requirements.
Every year, an independent auditor carries out the external audit, against the most updated version of the ProTerra Standard . For a company to be ProTerra certified, it must comply with 80% of all indicators, including all core indicators. In 2023, our company Belize Sugar Industries’ (BSI) operations achieved recertification with no non-conformities.
The audit includes document and operations reviews as well as employee interviews and plant and field assessment visits.
Our successful certification five years in a row speaks volumes about the programs and management systems we have in place.
“We have that consistency,” said Sustainability Manager Rebecca Bobadilla. “It’s a cross-functional team that is involved in this process. Everyone has a different role to play to ensure that we are socially and environmentally responsible.”
ProTerra’s main focus areas are:
Human rights and good labor practices, such as workplace safety, equal opportunities, and no child and forced labor.
Good agricultural practices, regarding soil fertility, water management and efforts to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Review of biodiversity, land conservation and special focus on non-GMO requirements.
ProTerra also regards local laws and regulations as equally important. We have made significant capital investments in Belize to ensure that the Company operates within national limits for effluent water temperature and suspended particulate matter to continuously improve our environmental social responsibility and compliance.
We would like to recognize everyone who contributes each year to our recertification. The support from our site leaders and Corporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) team contributes greatly to this success. This re-certification confirms our ongoing commitment to ensure the raw sugar that arrives in our refineries globally comes from suppliers who uphold our values, and we create a positive impact. We will continue to look for the best and most responsible practices, to ensure continuous improvement with each year of re-certification.