Better Cotton, the world's largest cotton certifier, has set a new climate change mitigation goal of lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of cotton produced by 50% by 2030, compared to a 2017 baseline.
By the end of 2022, four more targets covering soil health, pesticide use, smallholder livelihoods, and women's empowerment are expected, with impact indicators providing strong metrics for tracking and evaluating against the baseline.
Better Cotton has had a substantial impact on the global sustainability of cotton production since its inception in 2009. Better Cotton production had 19 percent lower GHG emissions intensity per tonne of lint than comparator production throughout China, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkey, according to a new study analyzing data from three seasons (2015-16 to 2017-18).
When compared to farmers in the same regions who operate outside of Better Cotton, Better Cotton farmers in India – where the majority of farmers are licensed to grow Better Cotton – used 10% less water, 13% fewer synthetic fertilizers, 23% fewer pesticides, and 7% more organic fertilizer during the 2019-20 season. Better Cotton farmers in India, on the other hand, had 9% greater yields and 18% more profits in the same season than comparison farmers.
Better Cotton and its partners have also taught over 2.5 million farmers in 25 countries, raising €99 million for capacity building and other field-level operations since 2010. By the 2021- 22 season, this is expected to have risen to slightly over €125 million.
CEO Alan McClay said that this is a pledge for Better Cotton farmers and a stake in the ground for the global cotton business. The Better Cotton Standard is being used to produce over a quarter of the world's cotton. By 2030, they want to have at least doubled it.
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