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Why Better Cotton Linked With Clinton Global Initiative

Better Cotton on Tuesday announced its involvement with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to urgent global challenges.

As part of this initiative, Better Cotton is working with smallholder farmers to pioneer an insetting mechanism to promote and incentivize sustainable agricultural practices. The organization commits to developing a cotton-specific carbon insetting accounting framework to be integrated into the Better Cotton traceability platform.

Better Cotton’s traceability system is due to be launched in 2023 and will provide the backbone for the insetting mechanism. Once implemented, it will enable retailers and brands to know who grew their more sustainable cotton, and allow them to incentivize farmers directly with credits.

Until now, it has been virtually impossible to build a carbon-insetting mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the cotton supply chain at scale, Better Cotton noted. Farmer centricity is a key pillar of Better Cotton’s work and this solution ties into its “2030 Strategy” that lays the foundation for a strong response to climate threats within the cotton value chain and mobilizes action for change with farmers, field partners and members.

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To launch Better Cotton’s “Commitment to Action,” Better Cotton chief operating officer, Lena Staafgard, attended the CGI meeting on Monday. The event showcased the initiatives of organizations working toward climate resiliency and featured a video of Alia Malik, senior director of data and traceability at Better Cotton, introducing Better Cotton’s innovative solution.

“We are pleased to be a part of the CGI community,” Better Cotton CEO Alan McClay said. “This will amplify our work with smallholder farmers and ultimately help us achieve our goals of enabling farmers to profit from implementing more sustainable practices in cotton growing. It will also allow us to further build the business case for traceability up and down the supply chain, and enable brands to have more insight [into] who grows the cotton in their products.”

Better Cotton is the world’s largest cotton sustainability program, helping cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment. Through its network of field-level partners, it has trained more than 2.5 million farmers in 23 countries in more sustainable farming practices. A quarter of the world’s cotton is now grown under the Better Cotton Standard.

Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate and develop Commitments to Action–new, specific and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.