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,


IWTO Publications


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Update in progress

to be released at upcoming

IWTO Congress in Harrogate


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