WindMade will develop first global consumer label for companies using wind energy

The Global Wind Energy Council, WWF, the LEGO Group, the UN Global Compact, Vestas Wind Systems, PricewaterhouseCoopers (the Official WindMade Verification Partner) and Bloomberg (the Official Data Provider to WindMade) announced their support for the development the first global consumer label identifying corporations and products made with wind energy.

The WindMade initiative is a direct response to increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, some of the world’s leading corporations and non-profit organisations announced today.

“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.

A global survey of more than 25,000 consumers across 20 markets shows that 92 percent of respondents believe that renewable energy is a good solution to mitigating climate change, and that if presented with a choice, most of them would prefer products made with wind energy, even at a premium.

However, while many companies have already made bold statements about their commitment to renewable energy, consumers have to date no way of verifying the source of the energy used. WindMade will offer them the transparency they require for making informed choices.

“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 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 power procurement. The standard for certification is currently being developed by a technical expert group. The aim will be to drive the development of new wind power plants, over and above what would be developed anyway.

“"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. “As a market-based solution supportive of the Global Compact’s mission, WindMade has the potential to be a strong force in advancing the use of renewable energy by business everywhere.”

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 February. This event will be attended by senior executives of leading brands, as well as other interested parties. A public consultation will be held from March 2011 to inform the development of the certification standard.

The WindMade label will be managed through a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of renewable energy by improving corporations’ ability to communicate their wind energy investments to their stakeholders. WindMade will strive to achieve this by increasing transparency of corporate investments in wind energy, by educating citizens 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.

The Global Wind Energy Council is the global wind industry trade association, providing a credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at the international level. GWEC’s mission is to ensure that wind power establishes itself as one of the world’s leading energy sources, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits.

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. It is an independent foundation registered under Swiss law. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies around the world to align their strategies and operations with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of broader UN goals. Through the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible corporate policies and practices, business can help ensure that markets advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere. The Global Compact is not a regulatory body, but a voluntary leadership platform for dialogue and learning. With more than 8,900 signatories in over 135 countries, it is the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative.

Founded in 1932, the LEGO Group is one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers. LEGO® products are sold all over the globe. The LEGO Group is committed to supporting the improvement of issues that concern its stakeholders and has set ambitious renewable energy targets as part of its ‘Environment, Social and Governance’ agenda.

“A global standard will help create transparency of our and other corporations’ activities within the area of renewable energy. We are supporting this initiative because we believe that it will contribute to increasing the global demand of renewable energy in corporations”, says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO of the LEGO Group.

PwC is one of the world’s largest providers of assurance, tax, and business consulting services. Every day, 161,000 PwC people in 154 countries work hard to build strong relationships with others and understand the issues and aspirations that drive them. PwC measures success by an ability to create the value that clients, people and the wider investing public are looking for. PwC is the Official Verification Partner.

“Developing a global standard for corporations’ investments in wind energy is a novel and ambitious undertaking. PwC is happy to lend the expertise of its global network to serve as the leading advisor to the technical committee developing the WindMade standard”, says Dennis M. Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International.

Vestas Wind Systems: Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the prevention of climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 40,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by more than 40 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence.

Vestas is the global market leader in the wind power sector and operates in 65 countries with 30 years of experience as the only global pure-play wind power plant producer and industry pioneer. Vestas’ 20,000+ employees are relentlessly committed to wind energy and WindMade is an excellent example of Vestas’ dedication to renewable energy globally.