Environment

17. 05. 03
Last Updated: 13 July 2017
Fence Cane Mtn

Sunshine Sugar is committed to implementing programs that improve our environmental performance and the sustainability of the NSW Sugar Industry.

 

Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy establishes guiding principles and other commitments, including;

Complying with all relevant environmental legislation, policies and codes of practice
Setting objectives and targets and measuring our performance
Maximising the use and reuse of resources, wastes and energy
Implementing measures that reduce pollution and impacts on the environment and community

 

Energy from Sugarcane 

Consistent with our policy objectives more than 95% of the energy consumed by mills to process sugar cane is generated from bagasse, a fibrous waste by-product of the sugar cane crushing process. Considered a carbon neutral renewable source of energy it is fed into a biomass boiler to produce steam and electricity.

 

Sustainability and Bonsucro

Being 100% Australian owned, Sunshine Sugar is very proud to be the first refined sugar producer in the world to be awarded Bonsucro® certification. Bonsucro® promotes a global standard for improving the social, environmental and economic sustainability of sugar cane production and processing in order to contribute to a more sustainable future. We are also the only sugar milling and refining company 100% certified which means even farming practices of growers are certified encouraging sustainable farming and communities.

For more information visit www.bonsucro.com

  

Cane Burning

NSW is unique in that much of the cane (up to 75%) is cut at two years old. Due to our temperate climate, the two-year-old cane is high yielding, carries a significant trash load and is usually sprawled or fallen over.   When these heavy crops are harvested green the very thick trash blanket left on the soil surface has been proven to having a significant negative impact on productivity because soil temperatures are lowered which inhibits re-growth (ratooning) of the cane crop.

Burning of cane prior to harvest remains the only viable option in NSW. It is one of the most onerous tasks that cane farmers have to do - it is dirty, dangerous work that usually has to be done late at night or very early in the morning.

Cane farmers have the legal right to burn cane.  Burning of cane falls under the provisions of the Rural Fires Act 1997 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

For more information on why is sugarcane burnt prior to harvest Burning-Question.pdf

 

Mill Mud and Boiler Waste Resource Recovery

The boiler ash and mill mud produced from sugar cane by-products are recycled by incorporating them back into agricultural soils to provide valuable nutrients and improve the structure of soils.

They are also used to make compost. Waste Resource Recovery Approvals have been obtained from the NSW EPA to permit the reuse of these by-products. 

The conditions under an exemption applies to consumers and the sugar mills have to comply with the order. Copies of these are available below.

For further information on benefits from use of these products and recommended rates of application go the agricultural section or click here.

 

Mill Mud and Ash Land Application Use Approvals

http://www.sunshinesugar.com.au/images/nswsugarDocs/files/Mill_mud/Mill_Mud_and_Ash_Resource_Use_Approvals.pdf

 

Grate Gravel Approvals for Use as Fill

http://www.sunshinesugar.com.au/images/nswsugarDocs/files/Mill_mud/Boiler_Grate_gravel_exemption__order.pdf

 

Environmental Monitoring

Environmental sampling and analysis is regularly carried out by the mills and refinery under environmental protection licences and reports are regularly updated and published here to comply with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1999.

For access to these reports click on the relevant link.

Condong Sugar Mill

Monitoring Report - Condong July 2017

 

Broadwater Sugar Mill

Monitoring Report - Broadwater July 2017

 

Harwood Sugar Mill and Refinery

Monitoring Report - Harwood Mill & Refinery July 2017

 

Pollution Incident Response Management

Each licenced site has a Pollution Incident Response Management Plan to assist in minimising the potential for harm in the event of a significant incident.

For access to details of this plan click here.

http://www.sunshinesugar.com.au/images/nswsugarDocs/files/Environmental_Reports_-_Latest/Sunshine_Sugar_PIRMP_Public.pdf

 

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