The US Cotton Trust Protocol has selected Contol Union Certifications North America (CUC) to verify the Trust Protocol annual data that will highlight key sustainability metrics including water management, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.

CUC was chosen as the first independent, third-party verification partner from six applicants ahead of the June launch of the Trust Protocol, which aims to set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton.

Overseen by a multi-stakeholder board of directors, the US Cotton Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals to the issue of sustainable cotton production. Becoming a member will give brands and retailers the data that provides "critical assurances" they need that the cotton fibre element of their supply chain is more sustainable and free from both environmental and social risk.

Data about Trust Protocol cotton is proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator, and now will be verified by CUC. 

CUC has certified more than 150 programmes worldwide, including working as a key partner in the early development and piloting phases of Field to Market's Impact Claim Verification Protocol. CUC has also worked with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on its third-party verification programmes in multiple countries.

US cotton growers will complete a self-assessment of farming practices and share their field data through Field to Market's Fieldprint Platform. The CUC will verify the Trust Protocol annual data that will highlight key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.

"Control Union's agriculture standards, experience, and impeccable reputation will provide brands, retailers and consumers assurance that the cotton fibre sourced through the Trust Protocol is continually improving," says Ken Burton, executive director of the Trust Protocol.

Ahead of the June launch date, the Trust Protocol was recently added to Textile Exchange's list of preferred fibres and materials.

Click here to read Burton's views on why it is so important that sustainability activity is not left behind as companies are impacted by coronavirus.