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Wool from Norilia – a good choice for health and the environment

Photo: Grethe Ringdal

Scoured wool from Norilia is accredited the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. Transparancy throughout the value chain and low usage of chemicals are two important reasons making this possible. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is yet another confirmation that Norwegian wool is a good choice for health and the environment.

A transparent value chain

Norwegian agriculture is well organized. There are requirements and systems for traceability. The way that Norway has organized its wool production ensures traceability from sheep farmers to grading station and onward until the wool is scoured. This provides a good overview of where and how the wool has been produced, and our wool can be traced from when it leaves the grading station, through the scouring process and is sent to our customers.

Little use of chemicals

There are very low levels of pesticides in our Norwegian wool. The use of pesticides in Norwegian agriculture is in general low. Also, Norwegian sheep farming is based on grazing on land where pesticides are not much used. Studies show that only 6% of all meadows and pastureland is treated with pesticides on an annual basis. Besides, in summer, 85% of all sheep graze in the outfields, on uncultivated vegetation in forests and mountains, where pesticides are not used at all.

Treatment of parasites such as lice, ticks, and flees is only done in geographical areas and under conditions where these parasites are causing problems for the sheep. Treatment is mainly done in the spring, when the sheep go out to graze in the spring pastures. Follow-up treatment may occur when sheep go to the summer grazing areas. There is normally no need for further treatment in the autumn.

An eco-friendly scouring process

Norilia cooperates with our sister company Haworth Scouring Company (HSC) in Bradford, UK, with regards to scouring of wool. HSC has modern and up-to-date equipment, including a state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant. Wool scoured at HSC provides customers, all the way through to retailers, with eco-friendly and green credentials for their products, including the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, on wool from Norilia.

Scouring of Norilia’s Norwegian wool at Haworth Scouring Company (HSC)

The following processes support the Nordic Swan Ecolabel certification for Norwegian wool from Norilia:

  • 100% of rinse water is recycled
  • Typical water discharge is well below 4 liters per kilogram of wool processed
  • Energy is largely recycled using a comprehensive heat capture system
  • HSC ONLY uses biodegradable detergents that are not poisonous to aquatic life
  • HSC does NOT use chlorine-based bleaching agents
  • HSC ensures at least 20% of incoming wool grease from the process is recovered
  • HSC ensures that dry solid wastes from the wool fiber and sludges produced by the effluent treatment system are collected and used
  • All metals, plastic packaging materials, cardboard, and hessian packaging materials are collected for recycling and re-use
  • COD in effluent is maintained at levels below 8,000mg/liter (this is extremely low)

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel makes it easy to choose what's good for the environment

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel was established by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989, as a response to the report from the Brundtland committee on sustainable development. The label is administered by the Ecolabelling Norway, which has been established by the Ministry of Children and Equality.

Products with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel have the most environmentally friendly journey – all the way.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel
The Nordic Swan Ecolabel

The purpose of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel is to have more products and services that are better for the environment. Generally speaking, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the more environmentally friendly choice. The entire journey of the product or service is important for the label, and all potential problems for the environment are evaluated. This means that consumers can be ensured that when they choose a product or service with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, it has gone through the most environmentally friendly journey possible.



Marion Tviland

Director Wool