MEMPHIS, TENN – [June 29, 2021] – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomes the UK’s leading retailer, Tesco, as a member of the system that brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to more sustainable cotton production. Tesco joins the Trust Protocol as part of its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.
Tesco’s membership marks a significant step in its ambitious sustainability programme which sets out its plan for climate action, its approach to protecting important ecosystems such as forests and marine environments, and its work on promoting sustainable agricultural practices that protect soil health and biodiversity.
Tesco also wants to continue to provide transparency throughout its clothing supply chain. a key reason for sourcing more sustainable materials through the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol for both its home and clothing ranges in store.
Dr. Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol said: “Tesco is committed to playing a leading role in sustainable solutions for consumers across the world/ UK, and we are proud to be supporting them in this ambition. Collaboration is key, as with each member that joins, we have greater resources to help provide tools and knowledge to not only help U.S. growers improve their sustainability practices but to also give more brands and retailers the supply chain confidence they need.”
The Trust Protocol is a new initiative that provides fashion brands and retailers with the critical assurances they need to show the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more responsibly grown. It works by providing member brands such as Gap Inc., Gildan, Next and Byford access to the Protocol Credit Management System to validate consumption of cotton and associated credit; and to aggregate year-over-year data in six sustainability areas: water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss, and land use efficiency.
Joe Little, Head of Technical & Sustainability, Tesco said: “We want to offer our customers great quality affordable fashion while at the same time reducing our environmental impact. Our customers trust that we source and produce all of our products in a responsible and ethical way, and becoming a member of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol gives us access to more sustainably grown cotton. Working with the Trust Protocol will allow us to further our sustainability ambitions as we work towards our goal of 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.”
The Trust Protocol is governed by a board of directors, including Joe Little at Tesco. It is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040, and Cotton Up initiatives.
About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
In a period of ever-greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of responsibly grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.