U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol report shows increased acreage, improved environmental performance for 2021-22

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol has published its second annual report, detailing the results for the 2021-22 period—Aug. 1, 2021, to 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 nine successful pilots; and its growing international recognition by independent and government bodies.

Growing sustainable results

In the 2021-22 period the trust protocol was able to provide farm-level data reporting showing significant improvements with grower members having demonstrated tangible results across six key metrics. Using peer-to-peer data sharing and aggregated sustainability data provided by the trust protocol, its 2021-22 grower members have recorded:

• A 13% increase in land use efficiency and a 14% increase in water use efficiency;

• A 25% reduction in energy use;

• A 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;

• A 78% reduction in soil loss, and

• Positive Soil Conservation Index for 70% of growers.

Membership growth across the value chain

Membership across the program has grown solidly both domestically in the U.S. and internationally.

• Enrolled areas of U.S. cotton production have doubled since the program’s pilot year to 1.1 million acres (445k ha). All 17 U.S. cotton-producing states are now represented.

• Mill and manufacturer membership has increased significantly and counts 820 companies from 30 countries with an increase of more than 50% in past year.

• Total number of brand-and-retail members has grown to 40, including global brand and retailer giants such as Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, Tesco, Levi Strauss & Co., GAP and Old Navy.

Scaling solutions

The Trust Protocol has been piloting, testing, and scaling the technology solutions that record and track the movement of U.S. 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.

• Nine completed pilots involving global brands and retailers with nearly 150 mills.

• A further 15 pilots are confirmed to be initiated with 125 additional mills.

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