WindMade? label standard presented to US wind power market

The WindMade™ initiative took shape as the proposed WindMade™ technical standard enters a two-month public consultation period. The proposed standard requires participating companies to source a minimum of 25 per cent of their electricity demand from wind power. This level is set to strike a balance between an ambitious target and an achievable goal for progressive companies striving to make a tangible impact.

The development of the WindMade™ label has progressed swiftly since its introduction at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2011, with the standard for companies and organisations presented today. Work on the more multifaceted WindMade™ standard for products is scheduled to begin later this year.

"The initiative is backed by the wind power industry, and we believe that the label will build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to clean energy," said Steve Sawyer, Chairman of the WindMade™ Board and Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. "We hope to see widespread participation in the public consultation and strongly encourage interested parties to review and comment on the standard."

"I am extremely pleased to see how far WindMade has come since the presentation in Davos in January," said Ditlev Engel, President and CEO, Vestas Wind Systems. "Vestas is very proud to be a member of this impressive group of WindMade’s founding partners and I look forward to the day in the near future when consumers can power change and choose products made with wind energy".

The public consultation period was launched today at an event in New York City, which also saw the introduction of WindMade’s™ newly appointed CEO Henrik Kuffner. "I firmly believe that today’s launch is the beginning of a movement that will make a real difference to investments in wind power around the world, and I am very excited to be given the opportunity to spearhead this effort" he said. "On behalf of WindMade™, we would like to thank the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Wind Energy Foundation for hosting the official U.S. launch of WindMade in New York City today."

The proposed WindMade™ standard was developed by a Technical Committee, consisting of experts from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), AWEA, LEGO, Climate Friendly, Gold Standard, and Vestas, with Öko-Institut and PricewaterhouseCoopers acting as advisors. In addition, the first draft of the standard has been reviewed by a Sounding Board, which is comprised of representatives from international companies and organisations including Walmart, 3Degrees, Better Place, Dong Energy and others.

"As one of the founding partners, WWF was deeply involved in developing the WindMade™ standard. We believe that the criteria as proposed today live up to the high standards necessary for the label to serve consumers’ desire to make tangible impact and boost clean renewables," said Samantha Smith, Leader Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF.

"Market-driven solutions like WindMade will increase voluntary purchasing of renewable energy, and complement the national and state standards that create the market," said Elizabeth Salerno, Chief Economist for the American Wind Energy Association, and a member of the Technical Committee for WindMade™.

Pioneered by Vestas Wind Systems, the WindMade™ initiative was founded as a cooperation between the GWEC, WWF, Vestas, LEGO, the UN Global Compact, PwC (as official Verification Partner), and Bloomberg (official Data Provider).

Following contributions from the public consultation, which will close on 15 August 2011, the final WindMade™ standard for companies is expected to be presented in September. This will mark the starting point for companies to officially begin applying for WindMade™ membership and to undergo the certification process. Details of product certification and labelling will follow later in the year.

The WindMade label will be managed through a non-profit organisation 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 companies who make a real contribution to delivering new wind energy.