LONDON – Better Cotton says it is aiming to increase the share of Better Cotton globally from 25 per cent in 2020 to 65 per cent by 2030. The non-profit has launched a new 2030 Strategy in which it says it aims to grow its field-level investment five-fold over the next decade, compared with its first decade of operation. The main driver for this, it says, will be Better Cotton’s Growth & Innovation Fund, alongside a “parallel drive for impact investor and partner contributions” to bring – in theory – cumulative total investment of €1bn by 2030. It will also seek to grow membership fees alongside this.
The Better Cotton Growth & Innovation Fund (GIF) has been the primary vehicle through which Better Cotton funds its capacity building and other field-level activities with farmers, with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative being the official fund manager.
Better Cotton has also set a climate change mitigation target to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of Better Cotton produced by 50 per cent by 2030. This is the first of five targets to be set, with the remaining four expected to be released by the end of 2022.
In terms of how it will hit this target – which seems extraordinarily ambitious in an industry of so many variables – Better Cotton says it has identified five impact areas to act as the “public-facing drivers of change.”
These are climate change mitigation, soil health, pesticide use, smallholder livelihoods and women’s empowerment. Says Better Cotton: “These have been selected through an extensive process involving desk research on global sustainability targets and a global hotspot analysis looking at key areas of concern for each Better Cotton country. In these five areas we are setting ambitious targets for the change to be delivered through Better Cotton production.”
Better Cotton says each impact area will have a 2030 target and will be accompanied by one or more associated indicators to monitor and measure progress. The indicator and target for the climate change impact area has already been developed while the rest are still works in progress.
It adds: “We will publish the remaining targets and indicators before the end of 2022. Within the ten-year strategy timeframe, we will continue to review the targets as scientific, technological and regulatory advances could enable more rapid or deeper sustainability improvements to take place and/or lead to the prioritisation of newly defined improvement areas.”