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July 11, 2013

WindMade: A New Way to Buy

Consumer labels exist so we as purchasers can make a more informed choice about the products we buy. For example, fair trade labels allow us to choose products that don't harm the people who make them. Organic labels allow us to buy foods free of chemicals and pesticides. And now, a new label will allow us to buy products made from clean, renewable energy.

Last month, WindMade launched as the first global product label for renewable energy. Certification is granted to products and services where a minimum of 75% of their production's total electricity footprint comes from renewable energy, primarily wind power. But they’re not only looking at the manufacturing process. The criteria to receive a WindMade label includes a look at total power consumption, for all components of a product, across the production process: from the extraction of the raw materials all the way to the product leaving the factory gate.

It's clear that buying products powered by renewable energy is important for people around the world. A recent global consumer study (PDF) showed that 73 percent of consumers would have a more positive perception of a brand if it used wind power as their primary energy source. This study is good news for companies that already use wind power, and is a good reason to explore renewable energy for those companies that don't.

The Sierra Club is excited to be supporting WindMade as they work to broaden the reach of this new label. We'll be playing an active role in the development of a new, broader label for companies and organisations that use all types of renewable energy (including wind, solar, and geothermal) in their operations and for manufacturing their products. We'll also sit on the WindMade Technical Committee to help shape the technical requirements for this new label.

The WindMade label is a win for consumers and businesses alike. More transparency into a product's manufacturing and production process creates more accountability for businesses while also allowing families to vote with their money. Some companies that have already joined the WindMade program include LEGO, Motorola Mobility and Deutsche Bank.

Learn more about WindMade on Twitter or Facebook, and you can join their "Show You Care" campaign to share what products you want to be WindMade. We look forward to helping the WindMade label grow and we hope to see many more companies seek WindMade certification in the years to come. Which products would you like to be WindMade?

-- Jodie Van Horn, Sierra Club Director of Strategic Relations


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