Intelligent Energy

WindMade: Another green label to hit shelves

Posting in Energy

Would you be more likely to buy a product made via wind energy? A coalition of corporations and environmental groups think so.

Keeping certification labels straight can be tricky. There's one for almost everything you can care (or not care) about--forests, fish, people, bunny rabbits, your teeth. Here's one more: WindMade, for those inclined to support wind energy through their personal purchasing power.

In the hopes it will fuel demand for wind power, a group of companies and green groups—WWF, the UN Global Compact, wind manufacturer Vestas, the toy company LEGO Group and others—are founding the new label, expected to launch by summer. Hmm, I suspect my new LEGO towns and airports might run on wind energy.

Wind power, however, is more expensive than fossil-fuel based energy (and one of the reasons a boost in demand would help). So WindMade products are likely to be pricier, too, as is often the case with certified organic foods. You pay more, but you feel better about yourself and maybe the world (which, let's face it, is what shopping's often about). Still, consumer-driven social change does send a pretty clear message.

WindMade CEO Steve Sawyer, who is also secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, in a statement:

Governments are dragging their feet, but consumers want to see change now. 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.

Of course, there a plenty of people who dislike wind energy—whether for noise, unsightliness, land use, or associated bird and bat deaths. They, too, can voice their opinion through their shopping, or in this case, non-shopping.

Bloomberg will provide information to WindMade, while PricewaterhouseCoopers verifies company claims. The WindMade coalition will present more information on the label later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As for the first wind-certified companies, they will be announced on June 15th, which is Global Wind Day. Who knew!

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Melissa Mahony

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Melissa Mahony has written for Scientific American Mind, Audubon Magazine, Plenty Magazine and LiveScience. Formerly, she was an editor at Wildlife Conservation magazine. She holds degrees from Boston College and New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure