First sustainable supply chain of sugarcane

Argos Energies is a key player in the Western European fuel market. NSG aims for responsible and sustainable reduction of CO2 emissions, and mainly focuses on biodiesel from waste and best in class ethanol from sugarcane. Argos worked with Solidaridad on the first large-scale sustainable supply chain of sugarcane ethanol from Brazil to the Netherlands.

Target

Development of a guaranteed sustainable supply chain of sugarcane ethanol that will accelerate enhancement of social and environmental conduct in Brazilian sugarcane business.

Reason

Argos Energies is mandated by government policies to blend large quantities of ethanol into its gasoline. This ethanol is also sourced from sugarcane mills in Brazil. It leads to the highest possible reduction of greenhouse gases of any biofuel.

Sugarcane cutting provides a lot of work in Brazil. Due to mechanized harvesting, an increasing number of cane cutters lose their job. As they are poorly educated, they have few alternatives. Solidaridad helps to introduce better social and environmental practices in cane farming and supports efforts by mill owners and the Brazilian government to retrain redundant cane cutters.

Activities

  • Training of farmers in best social and environmental practices.
  • Solidaridad supports efforts by mill owners and the Brazilian government to retrain redundant cane cutters
  • Solidaridad assists in the sustainability certification and traceability of sugarcane ethanol.
  • Raising awareness in the Dutch consumer market about sustainable ethanol.

Results

  • Solidaridad and Argos set up a pilot scale supply chain of verified ethanol from Brazil to the Netherlands on the market.
  • Cane cutters who risk to lose their job due to mechanization are re-trained.
  • Bonsucro Standards for sugarcane is promoted and adopted by farmers, millers and buyers.
  • Study on the potential for enhanced ethanol production (by NEBR)

Facts

Location: São Paulo State - Brazil, Northeast Brazil.
Duration: 3 years
Budget: € 1,006,351
Partners: North Sea Group, WWF Brazil, UTZ Certified, Utrecht University

Recommendation

Bart-Willem ten Cate, Biofuels Director Argos Energies: 'Solidaridad thinks in solutions, without making concessions to its philosophy.'