A framework proposal for sustainability assessment of sugarcane in Brazil

Turetta, Ana Paula Dias; Kuijper, Thomas; Malheiros, Tadeu Fabrício; Luiz da Costa Coutinho, Heitor


In many countries, the biofuels sector was encouraged to expand its activities supported by public policies incentives, especially to achieve improvements in energy security and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. The Brazilian government followed these initiatives and undertook some responsibilities against the international scenario related to climate change. One of the theses commitments concerning actions to reduce the GEE emissions by some 37% by 2020. The Sugarcane Agroecology Zoning provides technical subside to policy makers to direct sugarcane expansion to permitted areas and a sustainable production in Brazil and is considered a guideline to sustainable sugarcane production in Brazil. However, although aiming at a sustainable production, the zoning only considered natural aspects of the country, as soils and climate and an approach that consider all the dimensions of the sustainability is still missing. Hence, this paper aims to propose a framework to evaluate biofuel sustainability to support public policies, especially concerning improvements in Brazilian decision-supporting tools.