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OETI: 55 years of testing, certifying, accreditation and notification

As an accredited testing and certification body, the “OETI – Institut fuer Oekologie, Technik und Innovation GmbH“ (OETI for short) has been successfully responding to prevailing market requirements for 55 years and, in the process, has made a name for itself worldwide.

To mark its anniversary, this international centre of excellence with its origins in Austria is taking a look back at the most important milestones in its history as well as providing interesting insights into future developments.

As renowned flooring manufacturers founded the Austrian Carpet Institute on 25th of September 1967, no one could have imagined how successful the company would become. But even back then, one thing was clear to the experts: the need to establish a carpet research and testing centre in the form of an association. And its success proved them right.

Today, over five decades later, OETI is a testing and certification services provider for OEKO-TEX® certificates and labels, textiles, leather, due diligence along the textile and leather supply chain as well as for personal protective equipment (PPE), flooring technology, furnishings and indoor air quality.

And innovation as well as high-quality standards were also important criteria behind the institute’s continuous market development and constant competitiveness right from the start, explains Managing Director Robert Löcker: “We work together with our customers to bring new ideas for product developments to life and award products, services, production processes and production facilities the “INSPECTED QUALITY” label. We also test and certify indoor air quality in line with the CLEANAIR standard, which is based on stringent national and international guidelines.”

Picture info: CR Wolfang Thaler - OETI Headquarters 2021
Picture info: CR Wolfang Thaler – OETI Headquarters 2021

Milestones on the road to success

In 1992, OETI was a founding member of the ‘International OEKO-TEX® Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology’ with independent certifications and product labels. Ever since, OEKO-TEX® has enabled companies along the textile and leather supply chain and every consumer to make responsible decisions for safe, environmentally friendly and fairly manufactured products.

Another pioneering step occurred in 1994: OETI was one of the first Austrian institutes to be accredited under the new Accreditation Act in accordance with EN 45001, a major and important milestone for future collaborations and the domestic market.

In line with its focus on sustainability, OETI and its Swiss parent company, TESTEX AG, wanted to build the new OETI headquarters using low energy construction techniques and ensure its carbon-neutral operation. To achieve these goals, the highest possible thermal insulation and energy optimisation standards were applied, while the carbon-neutral power supply is generated by its in-house photovoltaics system as well as domestic renewable energy.

The new headquarters, which the company moved into in 2021, provides space for 75 employees over 2,500m2 and boasts bright and perfectly equipped office areas. The laboratory areas, the analytical/chemical laboratory and the physical / fire laboratory were also designed based on the latest methods and technologies. This makes OETI, alongside its Swiss parent company TESTEX, the second fully fledged laboratory site in the entire, global TESTEX Group.

Head of the Institute and founder of the carpet institute – Prof. Cert. Engl. Wilhelm Herzog
Head of the Institute and founder of the carpet institute – Prof. Cert. Engl. Wilhelm Herzog

Driving internationalisation

From 1967 through to the present, OETI has been constantly changing. An important cornerstone of this adaptability is the establishment of international subsidiaries and a consistent internationalisation strategy. This led to the foundation of subsidiaries in Egypt, the Czech Republic and Ukraine between 2007 and 2010. And further sales offices were regularly added from 2014: Turkey, Moldova, Italy, Iran, Morocco, Israel, North-Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Managing Director, Robert Löcker, adds: “We know that the market for our services will change dramatically in the coming decades due to technological and social factors. In order to successfully celebrate our 100th anniversary as well, OETI will be very flexible with those services that will continue to help both consumers and industry in the future, locally and regionally, wherever they are needed.” Specific plans include a renewed focus on internationalisation and market expansion to the Indian subcontinent, with the addition of two new sites in India and Bangladesh in 2022. “We also want to extensively expand our portfolio and comprehensive consulting service, as well as accelerate our growth through corporate acquisitions in the future,” says the Managing Director.

 

THE international centre of excellence you can trust

Since 1967, OETI – Institut fuer Oekologie, Technik und Innovation (OETI – Institute for Ecology, Technology and Innovation) has made a name for itself all over the world as an accredited and notified centre of excellence. With decades of experience as a service provider, the company specialises in testing and certification of textiles, leather, personal protective equipment (PPE), floor coverings and interior furnishings. It also assesses indoor air quality. As a founding member of the International OEKO-TEX® Association and official OEKO-TEX® testing institute, OETI also comprises the entire OEKO-TEX® product portfolio.

As a reliable and internationally recognised partner, OETI supports companies along the entire supply chain. It handles all the necessary tests and certifications to ensure that companies can market their products even more efficiently and retain their competitive edge.

Another distinguishing hallmark of the centre of excellence is the assessment of sustainability, recycling as one aspect of closed-loop economy as well as transparent and fair disclosure of the carbon and water footprint.

Between its own international branches and the branches of Swiss parent company TESTEX AG, OETI’s network of locations spans several continents.

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