The Union of Latin American Sugar Producers -UNALA- held its annual meeting on May 2nd at the United Nations building in New York, in which the presentation of its Strategic Sustainability Plan took place.
“The basis of the sustainability strategy that we present today is a sign of our commitment to a sustainable future and the need to work together to achieve it. We are committed to implementing sustainable practices in all our operations, reducing our environmental impact, and contributing to the social and economic development of the communities in which we operate,” said Alfredo Vila, president of UNALA and the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association -Asazgua-.
Similarly, Luis Miguel Paiz, general manager of Asazgua, who oversaw presenting the basis of the strategic plan for sustainable development, highlighted that the actions promoted by UNALA contribute to the fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as other global agendas such as Climate Change and Biodiversity.
He added that sustainable production is carried out through the efficient use of resources and the development of renewable energies that help reduce the environmental impact and that UNALA, in its Sustainable Development plan, works to improve local communities and promote actions to mitigate deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
“The sugar industry contributes to the economic growth of the region, allowing not only new opportunities for its workers, but also the development of the countries. It also ensures the social development of its areas of action”, expressed Paiz.
He indicated that the Latin American sugar sector is not only efficient, but also environmentally responsible, and that the sustainable development of the sugar industry is key to reducing environmental impact, reducing greenhouse gases, and protecting biodiversity. Therefore, the Latin American sugar industry is much more than sugar, it is energy for sustainable development.
In this regard, the president of UNALA, Alfredo Vila, indicated that the adoption of sustainable practices in the industry represents important benefits for society in general, such as the reduction of poverty, the generation of employment, as well as the preservation of the environment.
“We are strongly committed to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by generating development opportunities, producing almost 6.5 million jobs, and producing renewable energy, such as ethanol and the cogeneration of electrical energy from sugarcane bagasse”, Vila said.
Juan Antonio Bernard Estrada, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. the permanent mission of Guatemala to the United Nations Organization; Alfredo Vila, president of UNALA; Luis Miguel Paiz, general manager of Asazgua; Minoru Takada, Energy team leader in the Sustainable Development Goals Division, Nadine Salame of the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network. Directors and representatives of the 12 organizations that make up UNALA were also present.