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 (1) 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 energy 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.