Head of the Institute and founder of the carpet institute – Prof. Cert. Engl. Wilhelm Herzog, (Source: OETI)
As an accredited testing and certification body, OETI 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 center 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.
When renowned flooring manufacturers founded the Austrian Carpet Institute on September 25, 1967, the need to establish a carpet research and testing center in the form of an association was already clear. Today, over 5 decades later, the OETI - Institut für Oekologie, Technik und Innovation GmbH (OETI - Institute for Ecology, Technology and Innovation), Vienna/Austria, 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.
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. The institute works together with customers to bring new ideas for product developments to life and award products, services, production processes and production facilities the “Inspected Quality” label. It also tests and certifies indoor air quality in line with the Cleanair standard, which is based on stringent national and international guidelines.
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.
Furthermore, 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. High thermal insulation and energy optimization standards were applied, while the carbon-neutral power supply is generated by its in-house photovoltaics system as well as domestic renewable energy.
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 internationalization 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.
Specific plans for the future include a renewed focus on internationalization and market expansion to the Indian subcontinent, with the addition of 2 new sites in India and Bangladesh in 2022. The institute also wants to extensively expand its portfolio and comprehensive consulting service, as well as accelerate growth through corporate acquisitions.
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