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U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Being Developed to Measure Sustainability Goals

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol – an integrated data collection, measurement and verification procedure that will document U.S. cotton production practices and their environmental impact – will become a key component in how the U.S. cotton industry intends to meet its 2025 sustainability goals.
 
Introduced by Cotton Council International President Ted Schneider at the Cotton Sourcing USA Summit in Scottsdale, AZ, data generated by the Protocol is intended to benchmark farmers’ gains towards the industry goals and will provide the global textile supply chain additional assurances that U.S. cotton is produced in a responsible manner.
 
The U.S. cotton national sustainability goals, announced last year, aim for the following by 2025:
  • 13% Increase in productivity, i.e. reduced land use per pound of fiber
  • 18% Increase in irrigation efficiency
  • 39% Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 15% Reduction in energy expenditures
  • 50% Reduction in soil loss
  • 30% Increase in soil carbon.
“I would argue that U.S. cotton is already among the most sustainably produced in the world,” Schneider said. As evidence, he cited the comprehensive regulatory environment in the United States, the close connection of U.S. growers to their land, the high adoption rates of precision agricultural techniques by U.S. cotton growers, and a near-40-year track record of environmental improvement.
 
“We know that U.S. cotton growers continue to embrace new technologies and management techniques that reduce impact and increase yield, but today’s textile industry needs more than just our word,” Schneider explained. “The Trust Protocol is meant to address that need with a tangible and transparent snapshot of U.S. cotton growing practices and the gains resulting from them.”
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