The WindMade label is the newest label to enter the overcrowded green certificates and labels field. However, as the name implies, this label is geared towards acknowledging corporations that power their business with wind. In addition, the label is backed by quantifiable standards and accounting methods to insure consumer transparency. To see a brief overview of the label, see the video below.
Overview of the WindMade Standards
Currently, the standards are open to public comments until August 15, 2011. In the current state, there are two different labels: Label 1 is for companies who wish to show that their energy is generated from wind power. The second label, Label type 2, is for companies who wish to display the label to show their procurement of electricity generated from a mix of renewable energy.
Note, in the Label 2 scenario, wind must be the predominate renewable source. As seen below, the label will identify the percentage of wind and other renewable energy use.
In both cases, 25% or more of the company’s electrical use must be procured or generated by wind. Annual audits are required and must be third party verified in order to display the label.
Methods for Sourcing Wind Energy
There are several methods a company can source wind energy.
- Generated from a company’s facility;
- Purchase Power Agreements;
- Buying green credentials from an approved renewable electricity certification (REC) program, or
- Green Credentials with donation supporting additional renewable energy. The size of the donation is not determined yet; however, it will be paid to the WindMade Fund to support additional wind power facilities.
Cost for the WindMade Label:
Annual membership in the WindMade organization is required in order for a determination of qualification for the label. An amount has not been determined; however, I was advised by a spokesperson that the fees would be in line with other similar labeling programs. Fees are estimated to vary depending on the annual income of the company but shouldn’t exceed $10,000-$15,000 per year.
In addition to the annual fees, companies are required to provide annual reporting which has to be third party certified. When I asked about this estimated cost, a spokesperson replied it depends on the number of locations the company has and the quality of their electrical data collection. For smaller companies who have good controls, the cost should be less than the annual fees.
I further asked if the WindMade label was going to move to residential projects similar to LEED for Home. The spokesperson replied
“The concept of households becoming WindMade is an interesting idea – and in fact something that the WindMade partners have touched upon as a potential avenue to explore further down the road.”
Although I am all for additional investment in wind energy, I still had questions.
- How many labels can a company have?
- Would the public jump on the bandwagon and buy wind/renewable energy made? Or are they more inclined to look for tried and true labels that focus on toxicity, fair trade, or recyclable content?
- Would the costs associates with the annual fees and third party verification excludes the smaller companies?
So, I thought I would do some random sampling myself and posed a polling question through Skinny Scoop about would people spend a little bit more to buy a wind made product? Skinny Scoop has access to a wide range of readers and the poll will appear on various sites. I probably won’t be able to gather the results for some time, but stay tuned.
Join the Conversation:
- What do you think of the WindMade label?
- Will it change buying habits with consumers?
- Will consumer get label blind?
- Will Corporate America embrace this concept?
- Will the little guy be excluded due to cost?