Sustainability – what is it?
Against the backdrop of an increasing world population and dwindling resources such as oil, water and soil, the issue of sustainability and the search for solutions is attracting ever greater attention.
People like to quote from the report of the International Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission): “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Those who actively strive for sustainable development permanently follow the goal of reconciling ecological with social and economic aspects on an equal footing in the manufacture of products.
There is not one Sustainability
This is also true for the cotton sector. Sustainability is a vague concept that leaves a lot of room for different definitions. Sustainable production processes cannot be viewed statically. They are in an ongoing state of change and are the results of daily practice, the experience gained from it, and a striving for permanent improvements based on intensive research and development.
Cotton belongs to the group of natural fibers and, unlike synthetic fibers, is a renewable raw material. Sustainability is therefore inherent in the cotton fiber. In addition, the fiber is completely biodegradable, an increasingly important aspect.
Cotton is therefore natural, a renewable raw material and at the same time biodegradable. Its production employs around 150 million people worldwide, mainly in developing countries. In total, we are talking about 80 countries in the world and thus numerous different political and religious systems, agricultural standards. The interpretation of “sustainability” always gains new aspects depending on which country you are in.
Overall, in the cultivation of cotton, the balance of economic, environmental and social aspects is of great relevance. The discussion about pesticides, water consumption, biodiversity, human rights, climate change and many other aspects has been going on for decades among experts, farmers, researchers, politicians – with visible results.
Let’s talk about it!
Questions about sustainability will be answered by:
Elke Hortmeyer, Director Communication and International Relations
Tel.: +49-421-3397016 | E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org