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A green label for wind energy, can it work?

Would you use a ‘wind made’ label on your products?

Vestas Wind Systems, The Global Wind Energy Council, WWF, UN Global Compact, The LEGO Group, PwC, and Bloomberg would like you to.

They’ve come up with the latest green badge so that companies buying wind energy can show off their green credentials.

I’m in two minds about this. One the one hand it’s good to have a way to show you are using renewable energy. On the other, it’s easy to see the devil will be in the detail.

And one might argue yet another green label, rushed out with just a few companies behind it, and only one NGO, may simply serve to confuse matters.

What proportion of power generated by wind will a company need to utilise, for example, to get the badge? That is not yet clear.

WWF are involved, which adds a light green sheen of credibility.

You can see it’s a great marketing idea for Vestas, PwC and Bloomberg if it takes off.

But the picture on eco-labels continues to be very mixed. Research last year by Ethical Corporation found that:

“In a recent survey by GMA and Deloitte of 6,400 US shoppers, 95% said they were open to buying ethical products. In practice, only 67% looked for them, while less than half – 47% – found them. In total, only 22% parted with their cash.”

We also found that:

Among UK consumers surveyed in 2009:

25% have bought because of an established link to a charitable organisation (cause marketing) (28% in 2008).
19% buy products because of a company’s ethical reputation (22% in 2008).
19% actively boycott products (17% in 2008).

Source: Ipsos Mori, August 2009

We’ve seen that carbon labeling, like sustainability reporting, is more of an exercise for companies to work out their footprints rather than a way to assure, convince or credibly inform consumers.

I wonder if this wind mark may slide into the same trap of confusion and apathy that many past labeling initiatives have. I hope not.

For the full Ethical Branding briefing, go to this page on Ethicalcorp.com

For more on the latest in wind energy, take a look at this free site from our sister company, windenergyupdate.com.

1 Comment

  1. WWF is in there for the money, I believe. Which isn't bad, but puts things into perspective.

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