WindMade – new consumer label for firms using wind energy

20 Jan 2011

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LEGO Group, Vestas Wind Systems and PricewaterhouseCoopers have teamed up with The Global Wind Energy Council and the WWF to support the creation of the world’s first consumer label identifying products made using wind energy.

Other entities involved in the WindMade initiative include the UN Global Compact and Bloomberg (the data provider to WindMade). The group came together in response to increasing consumer demand for sustainable products.

“Governments are dragging their feet, but consumers want to see change now. The private sector needs to step up to provide the solutions we need to respond to the global energy and climate crises. With WindMade, we want to facilitate the change that the public demands,” said Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the Global Wind Energy Council, and interim CEO of WindMade, at the announcement earlier this week.

WindMade

The WindMade label will be managed through a non-profit organisation that aims to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by improving corporations’ ability to communicate their wind-energy investments to their stakeholders. It will strive to achieve this by increasing transparency of corporate investments in wind energy, by educating people on the implications of using different energy sources and by empowering consumers to favour corporations who make a real contribution to delivering new wind energy.

Transparency

“We want to build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to clean energy, and give consumers the option to choose more sustainable products. We hope that this will create a strong element of consumer pull which will accelerate the pace of wind energy development globally,” said Ditlev Engel, CEO and president for Vestas Wind Systems, who pioneered the WindMade initiative. “We strongly encourage forward-looking companies to join us in this effort.”

The WindMade consortium also hopes to attract leading consumer brands as members. To use the WindMade label for their communications or products, WindMade members will undergo a certification process to verify their wind energy procurement. The standard for certification is being developed by a technical expert group.

A standard for corporations

"It is crucial that the WindMade criteria live up to the high standards necessary for the label to serve consumers’ desire to make tangible impact and boost clean renewables. We believe that voluntary certification is one key to raising the bar for mainstream performance. We hope to see WindMade develop into a good example of a standard for corporations to close the gap between ambition and reality in the important area of renewable energy,” said James Leape, director-general of WWF.

“This is the first time we can connect to consumers, something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Georg Kell, executive director of UN Global Compact.

The WindMade initiative will be presented in more detail at a high-level gathering of the founding partners during the World Economic Forum in Davos on 28 January. A public consultation will be held from March 2011 to inform the development of the certification standard.

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Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com