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Lower water usage make CmiA cotton more sustainable: Study
Nov '14
As per a study, ‘Cotton made in Africa’ (CmiA) has less impact on the environment compared to conventional and irrigated cotton.

“The low amount of efficiently used resources and production facilities make it possible to minimize greenhouse gas emissions that result from cotton production. Thanks to rain fed agriculture, a tremendous amount of water can also be saved," the study informs.

The study was conducted by Ulrike Bos from Fraunhofer Institute and Dr. Susanne Neubert from the Centre for Rural Development (SLE), which concluded that cultivation of CmiA cotton has less impact on the environment compared to conventional and irrigated cotton.

“Their review confirms the results of Cotton made in Africa's (CmiA) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), conducted by PE International according to the ISO 14040 standard”, the Aid by Trade Foundation, which is promoting CmiA cotton, says.

CmiA cotton has shown to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases as CmiA cotton emits up to 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions per kilo of cotton fiber than conventional cotton.

According to the study results, CmiA emits only a 1.04 kg CO2 equivalent level in comparison to 1.8 kg CO2/kg for conventional cotton and since it is cultivated with rainwater, CmiA saves more than 2,100 liters of water per kilogram of cotton fiber, compared to the global average.

"The second life cycle assessment of CmiA is our response to the growing interest among consumers and businesses in the environmental impacts of the production of goods such as textiles," explains Tina Stridde, MD of the Aid by Trade Foundation.

The foundation commissioned the world-renowned sustainability and software company PE International to review all the relevant production steps involved in CmiA cotton, from cultivation to ginning in the factory, in accordance with standardized methods of life cycle assessments.

"This study enables us to provide manufacturers and consumers with useful facts with which the environmental impacts of Cotton made in Africa with cotton from other sources and other materials can be compared," Stridde adds.

The result of the Life Cycle Assessment substantiates the ecological added value of CmiA cotton and confirms the positive LCA from the study on the ecological footprint conducted by Systain Consulting in 2013.

For this second study, PE INTERNATIONAL used two climatically representative growing regions; Côte d'Ivoire in western Africa and Zambia in southern Africa. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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