Interview with Ditlev Engel, CEO and President of Vestas
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Vestas, Lego and others have now formally introduced their new consumer label, WindMade (See previous post). According to WindMade.org, the new label will tell consumers when products have been manufactured with the use of wind energy.
Here is a short interview by Reuters with CEO and President of Vestas, Ditlev Engel.
The interview is worth watching because it marks the efforts by Vestas to change its business model — or at least to expand on it.
The fact that Engel as much as opens his mouth to speak about the new label is a clear signal that it’s more than just a well-meant green initiative — it is business strategy. Engel does, after all, receive about $2.000.000 annually in wages.
In a Vestas press release, the windmill company said the new label is hoped to circumvent a political process that has come to a standstill.
“The purpose of the new initiative is to create a shortcut that can prevent a situation where a political process that many feel is without prospects ends up blocking necessary initiatives,” the press release said (Danish.)
By allowing consumers to support “green” products and industries, Vestas seeks to raise demands for wind energy from bottom-up. The company, in other words, wishes to cater to consumers rather than depend on governments.
Time will tell whether the label can endure. First and foremost, I believe, WindMade will provide an interesting litmus test for the ability of markets to drive changes toward clean energy.