The growing public hunger for more sustainable products took a unique path earlier this week with news that some of world’s leading companies and non-profit organisations are supporting the development of the first global consumer label identifying products made with wind energy.
In announcing the WindMade initiative, Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said an international survey of more than 25,000 consumers shows 92% of respondents believe renewable energy is a good solution to mitigating climate change, and most of them would prefer products made with wind energy, even at a premium.
“Governments are dragging their feet, but consumers want to see change now,” said Sawyer, who is also the interim CEO of WindMade. “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.”
Ditlev Engel, CEO and President for Vestas Wind Systems who pioneered the WindMade initiative, strongly encouraged forward-looking companies to join the group.
“We want to build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to clean energy, and give consumers the option to choose more sustainable products,” Engel said. “We hope that this will create a strong element of consumer pull which will accelerate the pace of wind energy development globally.”
Also supporting the WindMade initiative are WWF, the LEGO Group, the UN Global Compact, PricewaterhouseCoopers (the Official WindMade Verification Partner) and Bloomberg (the Official Data Provider to WindMade).
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) also strongly endorses this new initiative as an excellent way of giving consumers choice, and making people more aware of wind energy: the fact that it might also impact positively on policy makers is an added bonus.
EWEA believes WindMade has great potential to be successful as governments struggle to reach an international agreement on cutting emissions and more and more organisations and citizens are looking towards renewable energy as a solution to our toxic, expensive addiction to oil and coal.
EWEA is are also pleased that WWF is involved with WindMade as they have had considerable success in helping to develop FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) labels.
Establishing an effective consumer label is a lengthy enterprise but EWEA is keen to support GWEC, Vestas and the others as they begin this exciting new journey.
According to a press release, companies wanting to use the WindMade label for their communications or products 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 WindMade initiative will be presented in more detail during the World Economic Forum in Davos on 28 February. For more information visit www.windmade.org.