February 2021

PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. is our framework to build on this and make us a global leader in sustainable production.

Sustainability for the Australian cotton industry means running profitable and efficient businesses while creating environmental, economic and social value. It also means being accountable to stakeholders for the industry’s actions and impacts.

The Australian cotton industry has been actively working to do this for over 30 years. In many ways, ‘sustainability’ is just good business practice.

It’s important this existing work is coordinated and communicated in a way that is familiar to stakeholders wanting more evidence of sustainability performance. To do this, an Australian cotton sustainability framework called PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. has been created to guide work to:

  • Set targets in the areas most important to industry and stakeholders

  • Coordinate a whole-of-industry strategy to achieve these targets

  • Engage effectively with stakeholders on actions and progress.

PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. is not a compulsory standard or a brand. It is a framework that recognises sustainability is an integral part of doing business, and provides a path for the entire industry to benefit from continually improving sustainability performance.

Sustainability is normally described in environmental, social and economic topics. So through a process of consultation and review, nine environmental (PLANET), social (PEOPLE) and economic (PADDOCK) topics have been assessed as being most important to customers, cotton growers, industry organisations, regional communities and other stakeholders.

What does this mean for growers?

The industry has outstanding research from CRDC, it has created the world-leading myBMP cotton certification standard to establish best practice, and developed the CottonInfo program to drive grower adoption of research.

PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. does not add a new layer to this proven structure. These existing channels will remain the path for researchers to connect with growers to adopt change. Growers are asked to continue to use these critical programs, and if needed, to rise to the challenge of improving performance in areas to benefit them and the entire industry.

PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. strategy:

The strategy to implement PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. has three pillars:

  1. Engaging internal and external stakeholders regularly and transparently to seek feedback on what the industry is doing and to identify emerging opportunities or risks

  2. Evidence based decision-making, drawing on industry data to inform what is managed and to assess impacts

  3. Embedding sustainability management systems and a sustainability culture across the industry.

PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. governance:

The Australian cotton industry has formed a Sustainability Working Group (SWG) to coordinate its work to become a global leader in sustainable cotton production. The SWG is comprised of representatives from Cotton Australia, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC), myBMP, CottonInfo, the Australian Cotton Shippers Association and growers.

The SWG reports to the Boards of Cotton Australia and CRDC.

This blog is part of a year long program from CottonInfo, with the themes aligned with the 2021 CottonInfo cotton calendar and the cotton industry’s PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK sustainability framework.