Most US consumers recognize the Energy Star name and logo – it’s a seal of approval issued by the US government that is used to identify electrical efficiency in appliances ranging from computers and TVs to refrigerators and stoves.
The new WindMade eco-label, unveiled by business leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum, introduces a new standard for renewable products. Manufacturers can label their products with information on the percentage of energy used to create the product that is derived from wind power. This will enable energy conscious consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Read (or listen to) NPR’s coverage at:
And you can visit the WindMade web site at:
http://www.windmade.org/ which informs us that:
The WindMade™ label will provide qualifying companies the ability to effectively communicate to consumers a commitment to wind energy that differentiates their brand, and signals a strong commitment to renewable energy.
Good idea? Yes. But are we going to see a spate of brands indicating “commitment to” other renewable energy sources (e.g., SolarMade, WaveMade)? Needless to say, the list of “partners” launching the WindMade brand includes several wind turbine manufacturers such as Vestas Wind Systems. Lining up 1,000 manufacturers to buy into a new brand is no small task, but from the point of view of the consumer it would make far more sense to launch a generic brand to identify commitment to any renewable energy source. Products qualifying to use this brand would indicate that a certain percentage of energy used to manufacture the product was derived from wind, solar, wave, geothermal, etc., or even some combination of these.
The WindMade PR is confusing: note how “renewable” is interchangeable with “wind power”. I suspect that we will witness changes in this strategy over time; perhaps WindMade will be integrated into an über-brand that will meet consumer need to support companies that are committed to using any source of green energy. In the meantime, Vestas should be lauded for its marketing savvy.
Post written by Peter Bloch