I’m on a webinar about the new WindMade label and its newly proposed technical standards right now. Below are some of the key points and some thoughts of my own….
First of all, though, we covered the WindMade concept previously just after it was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2011, but if you missed that, this is the “first global consumer label for companies using wind energy.” The founding partners behind this label are the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), United Nations Global Compact, the LEGO Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers (as official Verification Partner), Vestas Wind Systems, and Bloomberg (official Data Provider).
What’s the Point of WindMade?
If you’re wondering what the point of this label is, think LEED (for wind). It is to show off that a company is green (or windy white) and to encourage 1) others to be green and 2) people to buy that company’s products. It is also, of course, to make it easier for people to identify and buy products made from clean, wind power. And, more generally, it will help to educate the public about wind power and promote this clean alternative to coal- or gas-fired electricity.
WindMade Technical Standards
The technical standards proposed today are going to be reviewed over the course of a 2-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 WindMade news release states.
As you can see in the image above, corporations will have the opportunity to have a product, a manufacturing location, or the entire company certified as WindMade. Additionally, it can achieve 25% or greater wind power use from direct ownership, sourcing of green power, or certain certificates. And then, once certified, it can declare the percentage of its electricity it receives from wind power.
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.
“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.”
As you can see above, some of the biggest wind power players (organizations and companies) are involved in this, as well as some notable companies. It looks like a promising program. My own 2 cents on it is that:
- it’s a great program that will help increase the already fast growth of wind power in the U.S. and around the globe (one founding member mentioned on the webinar that people in non-Western countries seem even more interested and excited about wind power and this label than people in the U.S. and other developed countries, which he conjectured was because of the more immediate threat from and awareness of climate change in those regions);
- while I am sure these founding members are trying to choose the % requirement that will drive wind power the most, I would lean towards a slightly higher percentage (i.e. 35%), but I could be overly ambitious on what I think companies would be willing to pursue to obtain this label and will trust their judgement.
New WindMade CEO Announced
In addition to the above, CEO Henrik Kuffner was announced as WindMade’s CEO.
“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.
I agree, and hope the process continues to go smoothly.
“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.”