WindMade appoints first CEO

Henrik Kuffner has been appointed as the first CEO of the newly created WindMade organisation. He took up his position on 1 June 2011 and will lead the creation of a global consumer label for companies and products using wind power.

From 2002 to 2011, Mr. Kuffner served as Director General of the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO), where he was instrumental in promoting the global wool sector. He closely cooperated with the The Woolmark Company, the worldwide marketing arm of the wool sector, and owner of the Woolmark consumer label. In this position, Henrik represented the sector to stakeholders, companies and consumers around the world.

“We are delighted to have found Henrik for this important position,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General and Chairman of the WindMade board. “Henrik brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the labelling field, and his broad background in international marketing and global markets make him the perfect candidate for this role.”

“I believe that WindMade has the potential to develop into a truly global movement, with consumers around the world demanding transparency on the companies and products they choose. WindMade can make a real difference in driving consumer demand for sustainable products, and I am excited to be given the opportunity to spearhead this groundbreaking initiative,” said Kuffner.

First initiated by Vestas, WindMade was founded by some of the leading international organisations in the field of wind power, environmental conservation, certification and consumer products. The founding members include the Global Wind Energy Council, WWF, Bloomberg, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the UN Global Compact and the LEGO Group, in addition to Vestas.

“It is essential for us to have handed over the WindMade initiative to an independent body, and we are very excited to see that with Henrik’s recruitment, WindMade is taking on an identity of its own,” said Morten Albaek, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Vestas Wind Systems.

Since its first announcement at the World Economic Forum Davos in January, the WindMade project has made substantial progress. A technical committee comprised of leading experts has developed the first technical standard which specifies the requirements for companies to qualify for the WindMade label.

This proposed standard will be presented to the public for consultation at a media briefing on 15 June 2011 (Global Wind Day) in New York City, at an event hosted by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Wind Energy Foundation.

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.

GWEC 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 the Official Verification Partner for WindMade. 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. “Developing a global standard for corporations’ investments in wind energy is a truly novel and ambitious undertaking and we at PwC are happy to lend our expertise as the leading advisor to the technical committee developing the WindMade standard”, says Dennis Nally, Global Chairman of PwC.

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 energy 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.

Bloomberg is the Official Data Provider to WindMade. In 1981 Bloomberg started out with one core belief: that bringing transparency to capital markets through access to information could increase capital flows, produce economic growth and jobs, and significantly reduce the cost of doing business. Today’s Bloomberg builds on that foundation – everything Bloomberg does connects decision makers in business, finance and government to a broad and dynamic network of information, news, people and ideas that enables faster, more effective decisions.

“The willingness of corporations to disclose the sources of energy going into their products will be required by investors, who are increasingly looking for ‘extra financial’ information. As the Official Data Provider to WindMade, Bloomberg believes that consumer standards and increased transparency of corporations’ investments in wind energy will accelerate global adoption,” said Curtis Ravanel, Global Director, Sustainability .