The carbon footprint of Guatemalan Sugar is one of the lowest internationally

The carbon footprint of Guatemalan Sugar is one of the lowest internationally

The Guatemalan Sugar Industry, committed to the sustainable management of the environment and the mitigation of climate change, has made efforts in its production processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; as a result, the carbon footprint of Guatemalan Sugar is one of the lowest internationally.

The carbon footprint of Guatemalan Sugar for the 2019-2020 harvest was estimated at 0.33kg of CO2eq for each kilogram of sugar produced, which is among the lowest in relation to others worldwide, according to the Emissions Inventory Study of Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Footprint of Guatemalan Sugar by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research -ICC-.

ICC experts carried out an inventory of emissions generated by the burning of sugarcane biomass in the field, use of nitrogen fertilizers and other fertilizers and agricultural inputs, change of use and land cover, use of fuels for agricultural and transport activities, generation of electricity for internal consumption, consumption of electrical energy from the national interconnected system, inputs for industrial processes and industrial wastewater.

The result of this balance, between what we emit, fix, and avoid is the carbon footprint. Guatemalan Sugar has a footprint of “0.33kg CO2eq / kg sugar” (0.33 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of sugar), it is a very small footprint compared to other foods and to other sugar-producing countries in the world.

For example, our carbon footprint is lower than that of producers in the United States, the European Union, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, among others. This means that the Guatemalan Sugar production process is more environmentally friendly.

Guatemalan Sugar gallery forests

It is important to mention that there are activities that generate emissions, but there are also activities that reduce or avoid them; for example, when cane grows, it absorbs or stores CO2 from the environment, which it needs to grow. The Guatemalan Sugar Industry also has natural forests that store 1,415,638 tons of CO2 equivalent.

Likewise, the generation of energy with the bagasse or biomass of the cane prevents up to 4 million tons of CO2 from reaching the environment per year, since it uses a renewable resource and not fossil fuels such as mineral coal. In the Zafra season, the Sugar Industry supplies around 30% of the energy that the country uses, this renewable energy.

The cane produced in Guatemala uses an average of 47% less water than that produced in the rest of the world

water footprint

As part of the commitment to the rational use of water, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry has adopted several measures that allow them to be more efficient and sustainable with the environment, as a result, each ton of cane produced in Guatemala uses 47% less water than the cane produced at world level.

The water footprint of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry is 47% lower than the global average, according to a study prepared by the Private Institute for Climate Change Research -ICC-.

According to this study, the country’s meteorological conditions have made it possible for rain to contribute 73% of the water footprint of the crop during the 2019-2020 harvest, and the irrigation water used represented only 21% of the water footprint.

In addition, Cengicaña experts have developed a mobile application to optimize the use of irrigation water in sugar cane called Cengiriegos, which allows only the water it needs to be applied to the plant.

Likewise, in the industrial process, the Sugar Industry has also invested to optimize the use of the vital liquid, an example of this is that the water used in the sugar manufacturing process is reused repeatedly and for this there are specialized towers that receive the water used to make sugar, cool it and then return it to the factory, in a recirculation process.

cooling systems