Management and mitigation of impacts

Our direct and indirect operations may impact biodiversity and ecosystem services. The company employs a set of metrics to assess such impacts in order to mitigate them and optimize management of natural resources. This is backed by the company's biodiversity policy, which sets forth its positioning in relation to this question.

 

Land Use and Biodiversity Policy

Bunge has a specific policy to guide company assessment processes related to biodiversity and land use. This policy has been undergoing continuous modification since 2010, orienting work in progress and action plans. It has been consulted by stakeholders in Brazil and in other countries.

The principles of the Bunge Land Use and Biodiversity Policy are:

  1. Improve assessments and applicability

Bunge is aware of its responsibility for the impacts on biodiversity caused by land use and the origination. The company supports the efficient use of natural resources in order to supply a sufficient quantity of quality products to meet global food demand. 

This Report shows that a growing number of producers are adopting the company's origination standards, as well as engaging in work aimed at improving them.

  1. Ensuring products suitable for the market

The company is focused on adopting acceptable forestry use standards that ensure the availability of land for agriculture in compliance with local legislation and the references adopted.

In this context, the company is engaged in the transition of the Soy Moratorium, which was in force during 2014 and will be in a transition phase until May 2016. Customers and suppliers are members of the working group that ensures that the products are suitable for the markets they serve. At the end of 2015, Bunge published its new Non Deforestation Policy, whose objectives include the commitment to eliminating deforestation from the Bunge agricultural supply chain globally. Further information available at Promoting sustainable agriculture.

  1. Ensuring strategic readiness to adopt standards

The company will be ready to adopt market certification standards at the request of its customers. Bunge works with the 2BSvs seal for soy destined for the European biodiesel market and the Bonsucro seal for the global ethanol and sugar market. The company also has EPA and CARB certification for all its ethanol production aimed at the North American market.

  1. Promoting best practices

Bunge believes that identifying and communicating best practices among its suppliers, including the recorvery of degraded land, is a key element in promoting sustainability.

Bunge supports the Soja Plus program organized by the Brazilian vegetable oil industry association Abiove. The program, which disseminates best agricultural and labor practices, is being adopted by a growing number of producers in the Cerrado region. The company has also maintained its partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a non-governmental organization, to promote best agricultural and environmental development practices in more sensitive regions.

  1. Wide reaching solutions and local communities

Bunge encourages the execution of ecosystem services that drive social and environmental improvements in the communities in which it operates. The company recognizes the rights of smallholders and indigenous peoples to proper livelihoods and supports their participation in the business, promoting social responsibility and compliance with best practices approved by competent authorities.

The company does not have supply contract agreements for sugarcane grown on land in which the ownership is in dispute with indigenous communities.

Regarding demands of local communities related to stable flies, during 2015 we informed the communities that the Ouroeste mill applies vinasse to its sugarcane plantations in accordance with an implementation plan authorized by CETESB, the pertinent environmental authority. The company adopts control measures to avoid any problems caused by this application, including monitoring the insects and areas where they proliferate. It should be noted that the work done on monitoring and reducing the incidence of these insects is done in partnership with livestock breeders, given that the fly infests stables and other livestock facilities.

G4-HR8

  1. Biotechnology and biofuels

Bunge supports the research and the adoption of technologies that promote sustainable agricultural practices. The company believes that when applied properly biotechnology can improve production while decreasing the use of scarce natural resources, such as water, land and nutrients. Bunge advocates the development of a global biofuel industry based on the principles of sustainable production and consumption, balancing the demand for food, feed, fuel and fibers. The products derived from biotechnology are labeled in accordance with Brazilian law. There are trade agreements between Brazil and the importing countries, which ensure that controls are effective. As the leading agribusiness exporter in Brazil, Bunge plays an important role in guaranteeing this control, respecting the needs of its customers in the domestic and overseas markets.

Regarding the technological development of ethanol, Bunge is a shareholder of the Sugar Cane Technology Center, CTC. Founded more than 40 years ago, CTC is responsible for the genetic evolution of sugarcane and Brazil's leading role in the production of sugar and ethanol. A Brazilian company that is a world reference in the development of a product that highlights our country as a major producer of a renewable and clean source of energy.

Promoting best agricultural practices (TNC and Soja Plus)

With the goal of driving the development of sustainable agriculture in Brazil, at the end of 2012, we established a partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a leading environmental conservation NGO. Under this initiative, Bunge agreed to invest US$ 4 million over a five-year period to enable grain producers in municipalities in the north central region of Mato Grosso and the west of Bahia to receive technical support from TNC so that they may fully comply with the new Brazilian Forestry Code and adopt best sustainable agricultural practices.

Both in Mato Grosso and Bahia, the target is to substantially boost adoption of CAR rural environmental registration in the company's supply chain, ensuring that Bunge producers regularize their operations before the deadline established by law. This initiative also increases the capacity of public authorities to plan and monitor land occupation, an essential factor in environmental conservation.

Working responsibly and in compliance with the country's new environmental legislation is fundamental in order to meet the growing demand for logistics investments that drive productivity and improve transportation for grain production.

In the region of the BR-163 highway logistics corridor and municipalities in Mato Grosso, the partnership has a positive impact on the development of sustainable agricultural land, as well as improving the protection of remaining forest fragments. The objective is to develop a land use plan and a monitoring system for the region under the influence of the Miritituba grain transshipment terminal in Pará and for the regions in which agricultural expansion is underway in Mato Grosso.

Moreover, planning and monitoring systems are being implanted in the municipalities around the Mirituba transshipment terminal to assess the possibility of local governance of forestry assets and deforestation control.

In 2015, the following stages had been undertaken:

Pará

  • Monitoring of the area under the influence of the Miritituba transshipment terminal;
  • Assessment of the history and trends in deforestation in conservation units and in indigenous lands;
  • Development of the Municipal Environmental Portal to be deployed in the municipalities of Itaituba (which includes Miritituba) and Trairão;
  • Organization of workshops to foster the regularization of rural properties under the CAR registration process in the Tapajós River region;
  • Constitution of the Anti Illegal Deforestation Pact Committee in the municipality of Itaituba, with support from the project;
  • Signature of the Environmental Regularization and Sustainable Production Pact in the municipality of Trairão, with support from the project.

Mato Grosso

  • Identification of areas appropriate for the intensification of growing activities in line the concept of sustainable agriculture promoted by the FAO;
  • Training of environmental technicians from seven local governments to include CAR registration data in the federal system.

Bahia

  • Conclusion of a cartographic survey of the municipality of Luís Eduardo Magalhães;
  • Analysis of the potential to implement policies for the payment of environmental services in the west of Bahia;
  • Study on water availability in the Western Bahia region.
  • Workshop on best agricultural and water management practices in Western Bahia.


Support for sustainable development in agriculture

To protect biodiversity, Bunge also supports the Soja Plus Program, developed by ABIOVE, which promotes best agricultural, economic, social and environmental management practices among producers. In the program, field supervisors (forestry engineers and agronomists) train farmers and employees, providing individual instruction, workshops, courses, field days and tools to improve management of their properties. The goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to reconcile agricultural production with the conservation of natural resources, as well as improving occupational health and safety for farm workers.

The Soja Plus program was created five years ago and is currently in place in Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia and Minas Gerais. The overall objective is to improve farm management to meet market demand for sustainable products.

In 2015, field supervisors provided individual technical assistance based on an assessment of 180 social and environmental indicators in 780 farms in the four states. The program also organized six seminars, one workshop and nine field days. The farms benefiting plant 2.2 million hectares of soy, with a total production of 6.6 million metric tons.

The routine of visits and assistance is more developed in the state of Mato Grosso, reaching producers responsible for approximately 1.3 million hectares of soy, the equivalent of 15% of the planted area in the state. Since 2011, 29 workshops and field days have been organized, focusing on compliance with Brazil's strict social legislation. These were attended by 4,630 farmers. In the same period, 16-hour occupational health and safety courses have been given to 1,329 producers and managers, emphasizing quality of life for agricultural laborers. A series of supporting materials such as handbooks and pamphlets were produced for the training program.

The program does not impose obligations on the farmers. It is inclusive, transparent and free of charge. It is different from certification programs. These which create expectations of reward for production, which is not always the case in the commodities markets.

Further information on the program is available at www.sojaplus.org.br

The Soy Moratorium²

Bunge is a participant in the Soy Moratorium, a voluntary commitment created in 2006 to restrict soy production in the Brazilian Amazon biome.

In 2014, the Soy Moratorium entered a transition period which ends on May 31, 2016, with the expectation of the implementation of the new environmental legislation legal frameworks (Forestry Code and the Rural Environmental Registration). The Soy Working Group, comprising companies, buyer associations, as well as end consumers, NGOs, government representatives and financial agents, agreed on a new commitment for this transitional phase, which includes:

  • Not selling, acquiring or financing soy from any areas in the Amazon biome deforested after July 2008, as well as those listed as embargoed by Ibama due to deforestation and/or blacklisted by the Ministry of Labor because of slave labor.
  • The civil organizations involved in the Soy Working Group are committed to a): supplying information and specialized assistance regarding the proper and effective implementation of the agreement; and defending internally and externally the incentive mechanisms to remunerate the provision of environmental and forestry preservation services on the properties covered by the terms of the commitment.
  • The Ministry of the Environment is committed to a) supporting the implementation of the CAR and the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA), prioritizing soy producing municipalities in the Amazon Biome in close cooperation with state environmental agencies; b) in cooperation with other government agencies, advocating programs to recognize sustainable Brazilian soybean production in domestic and international forums; providing incentives for producers to adopt forestry protection programs on their own farms, as well as initiatives to reclaim permanent preservation areas and legal reserves. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment, through Ibama, to inspect and regulate soy planted in areas deforested after July 2008.

Only 0.79% of the area planted with soy in the Amazon is not compliant with the Moratorium

Mapping of the deforested areas in the Amazon biome showed that in the 8th year of the Soy Moratorium (2014/2015 crop year) 28,768 hectares were planted with the oilseed. Bunge did not acquire grain from these plantations.

 According to the monitoring data, the 28,768 hectares of soy not complying with the moratorium correspond to 0.79% of the area in which the oilseed is grown in this biome. The transition is aimed at developing more effective tools to ensure the sustainability of the system.

 

2 In May 2016, Soy MOratorium has been renewed for an undetermined period.

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