Better Cotton launches new 2030 Impact Targets

The Impact Targets form part of Better Cotton’s 2030 Strategy and will help drive environmental and social improvements at the field level for millions of farmers and farm workers

Better Cotton fields

Better Cotton is living up to its name. The world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative has announced four new ‘Impact Targets’, “ambitious new metrics” that form part of its ongoing ‘2030 Strategy’ “to galvanise change at the field level in key areas”.

The quartet covers Soil Heath, to ensure 100% of Better Cotton farmers have improved the health of their soil; Women’s Empowerment, to reach one million women in cotton with programmes and resources that promote equal farm decision-making, build climate; Sustainable Livelihoods, to sustainably increase the net income and resilience of two million cotton farmers and workers; and Pecdicides, to reduce the use and risk of synthetic pesticides applied by Better Cotton farmers and workers by at least 50%.

They sit alongside the first commitment outlined in the organisation’s strategy – related to Climate Change Mitigation – which sets out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% per tonne of Better Cotton lint produced by the decade’s end.

“With more than 22 million tonnes produced annually, cotton is one of the world’s most important renewable resources and exists in diverse landscapes. The sector’s development has the potential to reduce poverty whilst promoting sustainability and equality which is why four Impact Targets were developed in conjunction with leading civil society organisations and industry experts”, the body said.

Alan McClay, CEO of Better Cotton, added: “Driving impact at the field level is imperative for Better Cotton’s ambitions in a defining decade for our planet. “Our new Impact Targets will allow us to continue taking measurable steps to support more sustainable cotton production. Pushing further towards regenerative and climate-smart agriculture, we can ensure cotton farmers and farm workers are equipped to address their environmental impact, future-proof their operations and adapt to the often unpredictable effects of global warming.”