The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Cordova, TN/USA, has published its 2nd
annual report, detailing the results for the 2021-22 period (August 1, 2021-July 31, 2022). The farm-level, science-based sustainability program reports significant improvements in the sustainability metrics measured, an increase in membership across the value chain, the completion of 9 successful pilot projects and its growing international recognition by independent and government bodies.
In the 2021-22 period, farm-level data reporting showed significant improvements:
• 13% increase in land use efficiency,
• 14% increase in water use efficiency,
• 25% reduction in energy use,
• 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,
• 78% reduction in soil loss,
and a positive Soil Conservation Index for 70% of growers.
Membership across the program has grown solidly both domestically in the USA and internationally. Enrolled areas of US cotton production have doubled since the program’s pilot year to 1.1 million acres (445,000 ha), with all 17 US cotton-producing states are now represented. Mill-and-manufacturer membership has increased significantly and counts 820 companies from 30 countries.
The Trust Protocol has been piloting, testing and scaling the technology solutions that record and track the movement of US Cotton and Protocol Cotton through brand and retailer member’s supply chains to their finished products. This allows for tracking cotton through complex supply chains in a way that has not been possible at scale before. 9 pilot projects have been completed involving global brands and retailers with nearly 150 mills. A further 15 pilots are confirmed to be initiated with 125 additional mills.
In 2022 the Trust Protocol received international recognition from 2 major evaluation bodies. In May 2022 the Trust Protocol was approved by Siegelklarheit. An initiative of the German federal government Siegelklarheit (‘seal clarity’) is a transparent, independent and comprehensive evaluation system that informs consumers about credible seals to allow them to make more sustainable purchasing decisions.
Furthermore, the Trust Protocol was accepted as an ISEAL Community Member in June 2022. ISEAL supports ambitious sustainability systems and their partners to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges by, among other things, defining credible practice for sustainability systems based on emerging global consensus.