The objective of this research is to analyze the influence of direct foreign investment and of the productive capacity in the adoption of sustainable certifications in Brazilian sugarcane sector. The data survey was done from a sample comprised by 100 mills, which represent 58% of the companies operating in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. The data were analyzed with the multivariate binomial logistic regression model. The results do not support the hypothesis that direct foreign investment has positive relation with sustainable certifications. The hypothesis that productive capacity is positively related to the adoption of sustainable certification was statistically significant. The results suggest that the positive impact of direct foreign investment on the sustainability of the local country depends on the occurrence of strong governmental institutions and of the quality of corporate conduct supervision, as well as the absorption and learning capacity that organizations must present in view of the flow of foreign investment. Regarding the relationship of productive capacity - milling – with the search for certifications, it can be seen that the larger mills export their products to specialized and more demanding markets, with certification being a prerequisite for buying and selling. Thus, this study contributes to the existing literature by advancing in themes of whicg relation is understudied, especially in this sector.