Better Cotton, the world’s largest certifier of cotton, has announced its goal to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions of its cotton per ton by 50 percent.
Since its inception in 2009, Better Cotton has worked to make cotton production more sustainable globally. It has trained around 2.5 million farmers globally, and raised 99 million euros since 2010 - a number predicted to grow to 125 million euros by the 2021-22 season.
A recent study found that Better Cotton production had 19 percent lower GHG emissions intensity per ton of lint, compared to the production in China, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey.
With the target’s deadline set for 2030, from a 2017 baseline, Better Cotton is expecting to announce four additional targets in 2022. They cover soil health, pesticide use, smallholder livelihoods and women’s empowerment.
“This is a pledge for Better Cotton farmers and a stake in the ground for the global cotton sector,” said CEO of Better Cotton, Alan McClay. “Nearly a quarter of the world’s cotton is currently produced under the Better Cotton Standard. We aim to at least double that by 2030.”
Better Cotton employed farmers in India during the 2019-2020 season. The season saw farmers in India achieve 9 percent higher yields and 18 percent higher profits, compared to farmers not growing Better Cotton.
They also used 10 percent less water, 13 percent fewer synthetic fertilisers, 23 percent fewer pesticides, and 7 percent more organic fertiliser in comparison to the other farmers.
“We - together with Better Cotton members and partners - want to see real, measurable change on the ground in line with the 2030 sustainable development goals,” said McClay. “We encourage continuous improvement at farm level, wherever cotton farmers are on their sustainability journey.”