Dedicated to continuous improvement
Our program supports cotton production practices that are good for growers, businesses, communities, consumers – and, of course, our world. We believe in not only doing the right thing – but always improving how we do it.
These are the on-farm improvements, the science and the systems that Cotton LEADSTM partners support. This is how – together – we lead the world in sustainable cotton production.
The Australian and U.S. cotton industries – the joint founders of the Cotton LEADS program – have long led the world in best practices, research and innovation. Each country has developed sustainability goals and objectives to guide continuous, national-scale improvement over time.
Improvements in six tactical level targets over the next decade will push the industry to innovate and stay at the forefront of changing technologies and continuing environmental challenges.Learn about our 10-year U.S. industry goals
Through a process of whole-of-industry environmental auditing, the Australian cotton industry has been setting and achieving sustainability goals for over 30 years. The industry is currently producing a set of specific industry-wide sustainability targets to focus effort over the next decade. These align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and include water, biodiversity, carbon footprint and social targets.Read our Third Environmental Assessment Report
Environmental Impact Areas
The Cotton LEADS program promotes and measures efforts to address cotton’s environmental impacts.
Growers actively steward this precious resource through new irrigation types, no-till practices, in-field measurements and new crop varieties that allow them to use water efficiently and protect water quality.See our progress – Australia See our progress – U.S.
Land & Soil
By not only preventing erosion and compaction but increasing soil health, cotton growers have substantially increased yields while reducing their inputs.See our progress – Australia See our progress – U.S.
Australian and U.S. growers are at the forefront of integrated pest management. They’ve significantly reduced synthetic pesticide applications.See our progress – Australia See our progress – U.S.
Australian and U.S. growers use many techniques to reduce energy consumption. The energy required for cotton production is less than the energy stored in cottonseed, so cottonseed biodiesel even allows cotton farming to be energy positive.See our progress – Australia See our progress – U.S.
Cotton’s already small carbon footprint is shrinking thanks to a variety of innovative practices, including reduced tillage and efficient fertilizer use.See our progress – Australia See our progress – U.S.
Accountability Down the Chain
Our program is grounded in the belief that national efforts create large-scale opportunities for sustainable cotton production. That’s the Cotton LEADS difference. We promote and measure national improvements through on-farm practices and industry-wide oversight and R&D investment. Together, they provide accountability and assurance that the Cotton LEADS supply is sustainably produced.
Regulation and Compliance
Government and industry oversight is the backbone for an agricultural system that protects the natural environment and people.Learn more about the U.S. Learn more about Australia
Growers in Australia and the U.S. have a history of environmental progress. Now, thanks to leading research efforts, new technologies and new measurement tools, they can achieve even more.Learn more about the U.S. Learn more about Australia
Comprehensive tracking and identification systems in both the U.S. and Australia lead the world's efforts in providing traceable, transparent cotton production.Learn more about the U.S. Learn more about Australia
Cotton LEADS cottons are 100% biobased certified by the United States Department of Agriculture. Our cottons can be organic or conventional.Learn more
Life Cycle Assessment
An up-to-date, cradle-to-grave examination of cotton’s global environmental impacts directs our efforts and helps our partners better understand how they can improve their environmental footprint.Learn more