Theory of Change

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol’s Theory of Change is grounded on science-based measurement and feedback. The initiative’s mission is to bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production including land use, soil loss, water reduction, soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

In an age of increasing supply chain scrutiny, the Trust Protocol’s vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement to improve our environmental footprint is the central goal.

At the same time, the program will not lose sight of its core values with a commitment to U.S. cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity.

Our aim is to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton production

  • In the fields: Our program will engage the 16,000 growers in the United States on the positive impact of responsible growing practices – environmental, social and economic and collectively lead the way for sustainable cotton production – protecting and preserving the fields and farms for generations to come
  • Along the supply chain: As an established leader in technology and innovation, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol aims to act as a catalyst in the transformation of the sector, towards full supply chain transparency and trackability
  • With customers: Stakes are high. It’s no longer enough to talk about being responsible. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will share the data behind our cotton so that brands and retailers can evidence against their sustainability commitments confidently
  • With the general public: Choice is everywhere. Consumers want to do the right thing, but they are unsure where to look. We want them to understand that they can make a more sustainable, quality choice when they shop

Deepika Mishra

Standards and Data Lead (consultant)

Deepika Mishra is the Standards and Data Lead for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, acting as a consultant for the program. As an accomplished scientist and data analytics specialist, Deepika leads on analysis of the Trust Protocol’s environmental metrics. She collaborates extensively with agricultural research institutions, conservation groups, and food and trade organizations, playing a vital role in the establishment of sustainability and social standards within the industry.

Deepika earned her Ph.D. in plant and soil science from Texas Tech University, specializing in cotton breeding and genetics. With over a decade of experience, she has spearheaded diverse agricultural projects in both India and the United States, covering crops like cotton, cowpeas, castor, sesame, guar, guayule, tomato, and field pennycress (cover crop). Her contributions also include the development and release of multiple cowpea varieties in India during her M.S. studies in vegetable breeding and genetics.