Sustainable Practices

You are here


Recognising the importance of communicating the sustainability of the wool fibre, IWTO established the Sustainable Practices Working Group in May 2011. The Sustainable Practices Working Group advises the IWTO Executive Committee, and is an international IWTO member forum for oversighting development of strategic and operational plans for the global wool industry in the area of wool’s environmental and ethical attributes. 

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing technical processes, including preparation of reviews, conduct of scientific forums such as Technical Advisory Groups, and IWTO-funded research projects
  • Development of research and communication strategies

Chairman: Geoff Kingwill
Vice Chair: Angus Ireland
Secretary: IWTO



The Wool LCA Technical Advisory Group (TAG) brings together experts in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) from across the world to provide a technical advisory resource for IWTO’s Sustainable Practices Working Group. In order for the environmental credentials of wool to be accurately and consistently reported, the Wool LCA TAG seeks to resolve several priority issues:

  • Allocation of environmental impacts between co-products in sheep production systems, e.g., what proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions or water used on-farm should be attributed to wool and how much to other products such as meat, milk and skins;
  • Collating the best available data and identifying any gaps to allow for more accurate LCA results;
  • Developing an agreed set of guidelines so that wool LCAs are based on consistent methods;
  • Building regional capacity so that key wool producing areas have better data and LCA expertise;
  • Engaging with industry, NGOs and scientific researchers to share technical improvements and LCA results.

The work of the Wool LCA TAG was initiated with a meeting in Australia in April 2013, and research has begun on these priorities.

TAG Chair: Stephen Wiedemann


The work of the Sustainable Practices Working Group is funded by the following IWTO members:

American Wool Council division of American Sheep Industry, Australian Wool Innovation, Cape Wools South Africa, National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests Inc., and Südwolle Group.

The Wool LCA TAG is kindly funded by Australian Wool Innovation.