Goulburn Wool Scour

Environmental Audit and Introduction of Multiple Cleaner Production Measures: Goulburn Wool Scour


Courtesy of Goulburn Wool Scour

 Amid the recession of the late 1980s, Goulburn Wool Scour achieved industry leadership by adopting a management philosophy based on the three R’s - reduce, reuse and recycle. Cleaner production measures, including a pre-treatment process that allows the recovery of waste products for sale or use in the property, have improved product quality, cut costs and changed the plant from an environmental problem into a business and environmental standard bearer. The measures have had a typical payback period of less than two years.
Goulburn Wool Scour was so successful that it was chosen to scour the golden fleece, the most expensive bale of wool ever produced. GWS is showing that Australia doesn’t have to become a dumping ground for environmentally dubious factories in order to attract investment in this value-adding industry. Rather, it has shown that Australia can compete by playing to its natural advantages in wool production, and by being better at adding value than the competition. GWS is a model for internationally competitive industry in rural Australia.


In the 1980, European companies began to move wool scouring capacity to Australia due to environmental and land constraints in Europe. A French company, CIL (Compagnie D'Importation De Laines), was part of this trend, purchasing the Goulburn Wool Scour (GWS) in 1988. But it soon found that it had bought a plant with environmental problems of its own.
GWS responded by turning these problems into business solutions. It sought cleaner production through improved efficiencies. It undertook a program of research and development using technology adapted from the mining, food and steel making industries. It set a target payback period of two years for every measure to be adopted, reflecting the recession in the industry.

At peak production, the GWS plant processes around 50 tonnes of wool per day on two lines covering all grades of wool. Staffing operates on a basis of three shifts per day, five days per week.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Environmental Audit and Introduction of Multiple Cleaner Production Measures: Goulburn Wool Scour. Be the first to comment!