ASR Group recently celebrated its fifth ProTerra recertification for social responsibility and environmental sustainability for its Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) operations in Belize. This widely recognized international standard focuses on key areas including compliance with law, respecting human rights and good labor and agricultural practices, protection of biodiversity and the environment.
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, ASR Group’s operations in Belize achieved recertification for the fifth time.
The audit includes document and operations reviews as well as employee interviews and plant and field assessment visits.
The successful certification five years in a row speaks volumes about the programs and management systems ASR Group has 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 effective environmental management.
ProTerra also regards local laws and regulations as equally important. ASR Group has 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 their environmental social responsibility and compliance.
ASR Group and ProTerra would like to recognize everyone who contributes each year to the successful recertification. The support from Site leaders and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability teams contribute greatly to this success. This re-certification confirms ASR Group’s ongoing commitment to ensure the raw sugar that arrives in its refineries globally comes from suppliers who uphold their values and create a positive impact. ASR Group is engaged to look for the best and most responsible practices, to ensure continuous improvement with each year of re-certification.