Big companies slap on latest eco-label: WindMade

Would you prefer products made via renewable energy? A new certification aims to harness consumer purchasing power for companies who harness the wind, from big banks to building blocks.

As the holiday shopping season looms ahead, a new eco-label surfaces to point consumers in the direction of wind energy. Similar to Fair Trade or Energy Star certifications, WindMade aims to support renewable power through consumer purchasing power. After about a year in the making , it’s ready to launch.

On Friday, the Brussels-based organization named the first 15 companies to don its renewable energy branding.

Each company acquires—or pledges to soon acquire—at least 25 percent of its electricity needs from wind energy. For signatories, this can mean generating wind power with their own turbines (no problem for turbine manufacturer Vestas), having power purchase agreements with wind farms that last for at least 5 years, or buying renewable energy certificates from WindMade-approved programs. Each label will state the exact percentage of wind power used in the companies’ operations. In some cases, it will detail a potpourri of allowable power sources that include solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, sustainable hydropower and sustainable biomass.

The idea is to fuel demand for renewable power by rewarding companies that use it with the promise of greater customer appeal. WindMade plans to expand its label to individual products early next year. Morten Albaek, senior vice president of Global Marketing at Vestas Wind Systems, says in a statement:

Consumers are ready to act. 67 percent of 31,000 consumers globally have told us they would favor WindMade products, even at a premium.

On average, wind power is more expensive than fossil-fuel based electricity. So WindMade products could likely be pricier, too, as is often the case with certified organic foods. A report released earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggested electric costs from onshore wind farms could drop 12 percent by 2016. (Bloomberg is one of the 15 WindMade signees listed below.)  Until then, if you like wind power and are the type to spend a little more in business models you believe in, add WindMade to the list of logos worth memorizing.

Motorola Mobility
Deutsche Bank
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.)
Better Place
G24 Innovation
Vestas Wind Systems
LEGO Group

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Images: Vestas, WindMade, Flickr_Kentfield, Flickr_Dieter Drescher

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