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January 12, 2022

US Cotton Trust Protocol published in ITC Standards Map

The US Cotton Trust Protocol has been recognised and published in the standard mapping process by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in a move it says gives brands and retailers greater choice when it comes to sourcing sustainably grown cotton.

By Fi Forrest

The US Cotton Trust Protocol says the ITC Standards Map is the world’s largest database for sustainability standards offering users access to comprehensive, verified, and transparent information.

It contains more than 300 standards for environmental protection and  worker and labour rights as well as economic development, quality, food safety, and business ethics.

To be included in the Standards Map, an organisation must address at least one pillar of sustainable development such as economics or environment, or focus on ethics or quality management.  

The US Cotton Trust Protocol, which is voluntary for US cotton producers, reports on six key sustainability metrics from the farm-level to deliver against science-based targets and improve performance. 

The six key metrics to validate sustainability performance are: 

  • Land use 
  • Soil conservation 
  • Energy use 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Soil carbon 
  • Irrigated water use

The addition of the Trust Protocol in the Standards Map provides brands and retailers a unique perspective from the US cotton industry, it says. Through the collective work of its members, the Trust Protocol will measure sustainability progress and collaborate on research, identifying and mitigating industry challenges. Joining the US Cotton Trust Protocol means members can now be sure they are sourcing responsibly produced, quality fibre, and reducing environmental and social risk in their supply chain. 

New standards for sustainably grown cotton

“The Trust Protocol aims to set a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton that provides brands and retailers the critical assurances that the cotton fibre used in their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk,” notes Dr Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. “Inclusion in the ITC Standards Map signals to businesses and consumers that a trusted independent organisation has verified this information.” 

Mathieu Lamolle, senior advisor at ITC, adds: “During a time of increased supply chain scrutiny, brands and retailers face challenges in keeping track of sustainability initiatives and meeting requirements. We appreciate that organisations such as the Trust Protocol voluntarily submit their sustainability metrics for verification and mapping in our Standards Map database, so that companies can make better-informed decisions about certification and involvement in sustainable production of their raw materials.” 

The US Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognised by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives.   

It released its first annual report titled ‘Setting a New Standard in Sustainability,’  in November.

 

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