International Wool Textile Organisation

The International Wool Textile Organisation is a global organisation with members from all over the world, including growers, exporters, brokers, early-stage processors, spinners, weavers, market-support bodies, wool testing authorities and research organisations.  It is the central office for the co-ordination of standards, codes of practice and interaction between all wool/textile industry segments.

IWTO Guidelines Aim for Consistency, Comparability in Wool LCAs

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, 27 February 2017 – The International Wool Textile Organisation has released a set of guidelines designed specifically for conducting life cycle assessments on wool products.

Designed for use by life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners, the Guidelines for Conducting a Life Cycle Assessment of the Environmental Performance of Wool Textiles provide clear direction for those interested in using LCA to understand environmental impacts across the wool supply chain.

“This is a small, specific audience, but important in promoting a consistent, best practice procedure to conducting wool LCAs,” said Angus Ireland, Deputy Chair of IWTO’s Sustainable Practices Working Group, which oversaw the production of the Guidelines.

“These Guidelines will be relevant to any organisationundertaking an LCA of wool products.”

The Guidelines are freely available on the IWTO website,

The most commonly used tool for assessing a product’s effect on the environment, LCA models the use of resources and emissions to air, land or water that occur from the production, processing and manufacturing of products, the use of these products and their end-of-life recycling or disposal.

Like all models, LCA is a simplification of the world, and while the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets out a structure for the four main phases of a LCA study, without further specific guidance different LCA practitioners may get very different results for the same product.

To reduce these inconsistencies, specific guidelines have been developed for many product types – and now, for wool textiles.

“Providing these guidelines to LCA researchers aims to create a step change improvement in the application of LCA to wool supply chains,” explained Stephen Wiedemann, Chair of IWTO’s LCA Technical Advisory Group.

“This method will improve the scientific veracity and comparability of studies that apply it, providing better information to decision makers and consumers of wool products.”

To download a copy of the Guidelines visit the IWTO website,

Want to learn more? We'll be discussing sustainability through wool textiles at the next IWTO Congress, 3-5 May in Harrogate, United Kingdom. Visit the IWTO website for details and to register.

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IWTO look forward to seeing you in Harrogate, UK for the 86th Annual IWTO Congress, 3-5 May 2017.

Working groups and other Specialty Meetings will be scheduled on 2 May.

A must-attend event for the wool textile professionals from all parts of the supply chain, the annual Congress offers a broad programme covering market trends, trade issues, education initiatives and more, along with a lively social agenda and partners programme.

Our Young Professionals Programme makes it easy for young wool professionals to attend as well.

This year the Congress explores the theme "Wool in a Digital Age". From farm gate to retail, e-commerce and digitalisation effects every aspect of the wool business and presents us with an interesting challenge: How does an industry that is proudly steeped in tradition convey a message of quality, provenance and sustainabiliy in a world of instant communication and product availability?

Registration: follow this link:

Accommodation & Travel: We are holding block bookings for accommodation in Harrogate and you will be able to book your hotel once you have registered. Full details can be found in the section on Hotel and Travel.

Urgent questions: For any urgent matters, contact

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