We are creating 21st-century value chains and advancing environmental performance in our own operations.

Environmental stresses such as freshwater limits and climate unpredictability have intensified, making it necessary for agribusiness and food companies to better manage environmental performance within their operations and supply chains.

We measure environmental performance in our factories and production centers. Silos and ports, whose impact is marginal, are not included.

In addition to adhering to our Environmental Policy, Bunge has been proactively advancing our management of water, emissions, energy use and waste, exceeding three of our four goals in these areas in 2015, ahead of schedule. Adding new targets, our Environmental Working Group is developing more ambitious goals for these environmental priorities for 2017 and beyond.

We measure environmental performance in our factories and production centers. Silos and ports, whose impact is marginal, are not included. This year, we are reporting on the progress made against our 2014–2016 environmental goals and setting the stage for our expanded efforts over the coming decade.

Bunge has assessed important data related to savings and innovation that have helped us to reduce emissions and water use and improve waste management. When measured in financial terms, our sustainability efforts since 2013 have resulted in savings of over US$18 million for the global Agribusiness and Food & Ingredients segments.

2015 Savings (vs. 2013) from Reductions in Water Use, GHG Emissions and Waste
(in USD, for global operations)
Agribusiness (soy, rape, sunflower operations) $15,315,127
Food & Ingredients $2,697,376
Total cost savings $18,012,503


Because water plays a central role in the growing of food and in production processes, and because access to safe, clean water is a UN-recognized human right, managing the limited availability of freshwater around the world is a central concern for the agribusiness and food sector. The supply of groundwater is decreasing overall, and new variations in rainfall are affecting agricultural production and markets. Meanwhile, agriculture is generally considered to be using roughly 70 percent of the world’s available freshwater.

The direct use of freshwater in Bunge’s operations occurs mainly during our production processes, including heating and cooling, and in some secondary industrial contexts. As the world plans to grow more crop to meet growing demand, Bunge is preparing to further reduce our freshwater use, manage our risk in water-stressed locations and support water availability for local communities. Soybeans, Bunge’s largest commodity by revenue, are a rain-fed crop in the majority of areas from which we source them.

In 2015, Bunge saved 4 million cubic meters of water as compared to 2014. This is equal to the amount of water consumed by 7,237 people in the U.S. annually (based on an average daily use of 400 gallons, as calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey).

Assessing and Managing Water Risk

Using the CEO Water Mandate’s definitions for key water stewardship terms, Bunge assesses water stress and water risk in watersheds or other areas where we have facilities using:

  • Internal company knowledge
  • Regional government databases
  • The WBCSD Global Water Tool® (GWT)

Some Bunge facilities are located in river basins considered at risk, though their exposure to this risk is minor at present owing to the nature of the facilities’ operations. In addition, Bunge operates some facilities in 20 separate river basins around the world classified as being at “high” or “extremely high” baseline water stress, as defined by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct tool embedded in the GWT. We also have facilities in 19 separate river basins that will be below sufficient projected annual renewable water supply per person in 2025, according to a World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 2016 update.

Of all of the above locations, the risk of potential financial impact from climate change, drought, increased water scarcity or stress, flooding, extreme weather, and pollution of water sources is considered medium-to-high only in the Parana River basin (South America) and low-to-medium or low in the remaining basins.

9% reduction in freshwater use per metric ton of production since 2013
Progress, Disclosure and Partnerships

We have made strides in water conservation within our operations, having already reduced our freshwater use per metric ton of production by 9 percent since 2013, tripling our goal of a 3 percent reduction by year-end 2016. We have accomplished this by making our operational processes increasingly efficient, by closing loops, and by either installing new or improving existing cooling towers.

2015 marked our fourth year of disclosure to the CDP Water program and our first as an endorser of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate.

“Bunge is making good progress with regard to environmental responsibility. Since 2008, the Company has become aligned, and we have achieved great results. Our Productivity, Quality, Safety and Environment (PQSE) function, and particularly the PQSE Environmental Working Group, has played a key role in leading and supporting our efforts and driving our results.” —Rafael Llamas, Environmental Director

Water as a Human Right

Bunge recently became a signatory to the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, a global coalition of more than 130 companies’ business leaders to advance water stewardship, sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals.

For several years, Bunge has been engaged in dialogue with the National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility (NJCIR) and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility regarding water security and the human right to water.

The NJCIR stated about Bunge in its 2015 Annual Review that it had seen “through our dialogues and the company’s actions continuous progress in the critical issue of responsible water stewardship and sustainable sourcing.” In particular, the NJCIR called out initiatives that solidified our commitment to addressing issues of water sustainability in 2015 as signing on to the CEO Water Mandate and creating a board-level Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee.

In 2015, Bunge endorsed the CEO Water Mandate, an international movement of more than 130 companies committed to implementing a strategic framework for water management and reporting.

Looking Ahead

Given the need for expedient yet sustainable action, Bunge is creating more ambitious and broader goals for reducing our use of freshwater over the coming decade. And we will continue to promote sustainable practices among growers. Ultimately, we aim to be at the forefront of the effort to safeguard freshwater within our industry.

"We have seen, through our dialogues and the company’s actions, continuous progress in the critical issue of responsible water stewardship and sustainable sourcing"

—National Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility, 2015 Annual Review

Energy Use, Emissions and Climate

Carbon emissions and deforestation may contribute to the warming of the atmosphere, which further destabilizes climate patterns and places food supplies and livelihoods at risk.

As an agribusiness and food company, Bunge seeks to support mitigation of and adaptation and resilience to climate change in our operations and supply chain by managing the location and diversity of crops; reducing energy use and emissions in both our facilities and our fleet; and protecting forests.

Managing Climate Change Risks

Climate change poses acknowledged risks for Bunge. First, future additional regulations or taxation of GHG emissions, or policies related to national emission-reduction plans, could affect costs for our business. And second, adverse weather, including as a result of climate change, could affect the availability of agricultural commodities and products as well as our operations and results.

These same possibilities could also create opportunities for our business, in that they could result in a greater demand for our crops grown in unaffected regions, as well as in opportunities to leverage our global asset network to meet demand in times of shortages.

570043 MWh exported by our Sugar & Bioenergy division in 2015 to the Brazilian national grid (SIN)

59 percent of the energy Bunge uses to power its operations comes from renewable sources, including seed hulls and sugarcane bagasse. In Brazil, our sugarcane mills produce carbon–neutral electricity for the national grid.

In 2015, our Sugar & Bioenergy division exported 570,043 MWh to the Brazilian national grid (SIN), an increase of 8.03 percent over the previous year and enough energy to meet the annual power needs of approximately 300,000 households.

Public Policy Advocacy

We seek to influence public policy on bioenergy through direct engagement with policy makers and participation in the trade associations of FEDIOL, ABIOVE and UNICA, in whose governance we are also active, and we report avoided emissions to the CDP Climate Change program for our low-carbon products: ethanol, biofuel, biomass and bioelectricity.

Energy-Use Reductions in 2015

In 2015, Bunge made good progress in reducing our nonrenewable energy use and emissions and in forest protections, and we are on track to accelerate our efforts in these areas. All of our major industrial facilities are located in the U.S., Argentina and Brazil; 2015 emissions reported to the CDP Climate Change program originated at approximately 100 processing plants, mills, refineries, packaging facilities and fertilizer production facilities.

4% decrease in energy use since 2013

Although it takes a great deal of energy to produce and deliver safe, quality products, we have decreased our energy use by 4 percent since 2013, surpassing our goal of a 3 percent reduction by year-end 2016. We’ve accomplished this through a variety of energy-efficiency programs across our operating companies and by varying energy sources. We also use renewable energy, including sunflower husks and biomass, when possible, and our sugarcane mills in Brazil run on and produce renewable energy.

2.8% reduction in carbon- and energy-intensity since 2013
Progress, Disclosure and Partnerships

In emissions reductions, we are closing in on our target of a 3 percent reduction in carbon and energy intensity by year-end 2016, reaching 2.8 percent thus far. Following the global call for a cleaner-energy economy, we are reducing emissions in our facilities and our fleet, partly through our membership in the Sustainable Shipping Initiative. Bunge also participates in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme, complying with regional legislation and purchasing carbon credits in 2015 for projects verified to the Clean Development Mechanism.

10.5 million gigajoules are equivalent to the energy needed to light 216,000 U.S. homes for one year. (Data based on the U.S. EPA’s GHG Equivalencies Calculator.)

In 2015, we also became a member of The Forest Trust, a partnership through which we are implementing our policy to protect forests. We are committed and on track to eliminate deforestation from all of our agricultural supply chains worldwide, and are now developing implementation plans for necessary crop- and region-specific solutions. In addition, we disclosed to the CDP Forests program for the first time in early 2016, as part of our recent policy dedicated to the mitigation of deforestation in our supply chains.

“We are pleased to announce that Bunge Limited has become a TFT member, committing to taking further action on No Deforestation and No Exploitation in its palm oil supply chain…. With their responsible palm policy and a commitment to collaborate with TFT on long–term transformation in palm oil, Bunge has placed itself among the leaders within its industry.” —The Forest Trust

98% of the energy Bunge uses in Brazil comes from renewable sources
Looking Ahead

We will work to identify opportunities to further reduce emissions based on our internal benchmarks and by making additional specific investments, such as accessing alternative energy sources in China, a growing market. We intend to continue to increase our energy efficiency and use of renewables, aided by our more ambitious emissions reduction goals for the next 10 years.


Landfills are a major public health and environmental concern for several reasons, including that compacted organic material in landfills releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and that toxins in discarded waste can leach into soil and groundwater. Bunge is committed to a future of zero waste sent to landfills as well as to reaching a 100 percent waste-recycling rate at our factories.

Bunge’s biggest achievement in the environmental space in 2015 was our 11 percent reduction in waste sent to landfill since 2013, more than double our target of a 5 percent reduction by year-end 2016. We also reduced the generation of solid waste in the majority of our operating companies in 2015, and are in the process of preparing for a landfill-free future.

As part of our new environmental goals for 2017 and beyond, we have approved new waste-reduction and -recycling targets and are developing programs to back them up.

11% reduction in waste sent to landfill since 2013

In 2016, Bunge’s Soya Recicla program, considered the largest voluntary collecting network for used cooking oil in Brazil, will complete its 10th year. Focused on the correct disposal of post-consumer waste, the program comprises more than 2,000 collecting hotspots and has collected more than 3,000 metric tons of used cooking oil in this 10-year period.

Environmental Data

Total 2014 2015
Total water withdrawal 101 million cubic meters 97 million cubic meters
Total freshwater withdrawal 72 million cubic meters 68 million cubic meters
Sea water 22,887,426 megaliters/year
City 9,550,514 megaliters/year
Well 13,623,537 megaliters/year
Surface 45,284,317 megaliters/year
Total 97,345,794 megaliters/year