Cotton 2040 accelerates the movement towards aligned impact measurement and reporting


In an increasingly climate disrupted world, it is clear that consistent, credible and comparable impact data across the wide range of sustainable cotton standards, programmes and codes is critically important. For the cotton system to contribute positively to environmental, social and economic challenges and serve the cotton growing communities, a common measurement framework is key to map the impact and to encourage more businesses to make the switch to sustainable cotton and a sustainable future. 

During 2019 and 2020, Laudes Foundation has been supporting the ‘Cotton 2040 Impacts Alignment Working Group’ to work with sustainable cotton standards, programmes and codes to align sustainability impact indicators and metrics for cotton farming systems. The working group included: The Better Cotton Initiative; Cotton Connect; Cotton Made in Africa; Fairtrade; MyBMP; the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Textile Exchange, with advisory input from ICAC and the ISEAL Alliance.  

The two-year process was facilitated by international sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future as part of the Cotton 2040 Initiative, working in close collaboration with the Delta Project. All partners in this initiative have a shared ambition to harness the benefits from more aligned impact data measurement and reporting: more credible data, with reduced time, costs, and duplication of efforts for all partners across the cotton sector.     

They have contributed to the Delta Framework - a core set of indicators addressing key social, economic, and environmental issues which are relevant to sustainable cotton. The Delta Framework is voluntary and intended to apply worldwide to any cotton and coffee farming system, with the potential to be expanded to other agricultural commodities over time. Ultimately this common indicator set will help brands and retailers to confidently track the impact of their sustainable cotton sourcing decisions; support upgrading of farmer services to encourage continuous improvement at farm level; and facilitate increasing transparency and communication with consumers. 

Laudes Foundation is pleased to announce that Cotton 2040 working group has jointly-signed a Memorandum of Understanding - “The Sustainable Cotton Aligned Impacts Measurement and Reporting Joint Commitment”. This sets out the intention that the Delta Framework will become a credible and shared framework to guide impact measurement and reporting of core sustainability issues of relevance to the cotton sector.  Anita Chester, Head of Materials says, “this MoU is an important milestone and will pave the way for action. This alignment in impact indicators across standards will help bring the resilient yet fragmented cotton sector together with a demonstration of the actual positive impacts of these efforts on nature and communities around the world. I look forward to these impact indicators becoming the norm in the sector and being actively implemented sooner than later. Later is a luxury we can’t afford. 

We now encourage all organisations with interests in sustainable cotton to engage with the Delta Project as it moves forward. The draft indicators are publicly available for review and testing. Wider participation across the sector will help to accelerate progress towards alignment, supporting the transition to a sustainable cotton sector. The final indicator framework, including reporting guidance, will be available in 2021. 


To receive future updates about this work please contact:  

Delta Project: Eliane Augareils  

Cotton 2040: Farinoz Daneshpay  

To know more about the Delta Framework, please click here 

Read the commitment statement here 


About Cotton 2040 

Cotton 2040 is a platform which aims to accelerate progress and maximise the impact of existing sustainable cotton initiatives, bringing together leading international brands and retailers, sustainable cotton standards, and other stakeholders across the value chain. Facilitated by Forum for the Future, with support from Laudes Foundation, Acclimatise, Anthesis and the World Resources Institute (WRI), Cotton 2040 envisages a sustainable global cotton industry, which is resilient in a changing climate; which uses business models that support sustainable production and livelihoods; and where sustainably produced cotton is the norm.  

About the Delta Project 

The Delta Project is a joint effort of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), and it is supported by the ISEAL Innovation Fund. It is seeking to create a common language on sustainability performance across a range of agriculture commodities, starting with cotton and coffee, for measuring, monitoring and reporting progress