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MADE-BY partners with BCI to develop a performance monitoring protocol

Established in 2009, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a multi-stakeholder group with a mission to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it and for the environment it grows in. BCI and its members are working to drive change in the global cotton supply and aim to reach 5 million farmers by 2020. The initiative currently has 356 members, including civil society organisations, producers, suppliers, retailers and brands. Members include: Nike, adidas group, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ramatex as well as Solidaridad, WWF and MADE-BY.
With a rapidly growing membership, BCI decided to streamline member management and develop cost-efficient processes to review applications and monitor member performance. The ultimate aim was to ensure a high-per forming and credible membership base in a reality with double digit growth.

To build on the success of its holistic monitoring mechanism for Better Cotton farmers, BCI sought to roll out a similar scheme across the rest of its membership, promoting measureable and continued improvement. In 2013, MADE-BY partnered with BCI to identify ways of ensuring continuous improvement amongst its membership groups. As well, MADE-BY supported BCI to develop processes to communicate this progress with transparency and integrity. This accumulated in the development of a performance monitoring protocol framework for its retailers and brands, suppliers, producers, civil society organisations and associate member groups. The protocol was designed to encourage members to improve their performance and communicate this progress, whilst at the same time safeguarding the credibility and long term success of BCI and Better Cotton itself.

To make sure that each membership group’s views were embedded in the research, MADE-BY conducted an extensive consultation period with a diverse array of BCI members. This research fed into discussions with the BCI team when identifying and developing the protocol’s performance indicators for the differing membership groups.
With the performance indicators created,MADE-BY developed a specialised scoring system for the member retailers and brands to communicate their progress.The protocol will provide BCI members with a system to easily and transparently report on their compliance and commitment towards the initiative.

Through cooperation and knowledge sharing, the protocol will spur member groups to further drive change in the global cotton industry, transforming
Better Cotton into a mainstream commodity.

“MADE-BY’s experience developing progress assessment tools and supporting brands to report their sustainability actions in a verified way was a key reason why we chose to partner with MADE-BY on this programme. With MADE-BY’s support we have been able to create a robust improvement monitoring system, ensuring that our members are rewarded for their commitment to continuous progress, whilst making sure that this progress is reported transparently and credibly.”

– Lilly Milligan Gilbert,
Membership manager,
Better Cotton Initiative