Kites, Camera, Action! Celebrating Global Wind Day
Here’s to hoping that Mother Nature doesn’t let the children down on June 15, annual Global Wind Day. Scientists, researchers and sustainability activists can all agree that there is way more to celebrate on this day than just some false promise of flying a kite in a field. Organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Global Wind Day aims to celebrate and promote the discovery and possibilities that result from wind power, the least expensive form of alternative energy.
So what’s so special about wind that it gets honored with its very own day? For starters, wind is a renewable resource that is beneficial to sustaining the environment. Many businesses have been able to reap the benefits of wind turbines, which became a pivotal point for Green activists because it produces a cheap alternative to oil. Since the launching of Wind Day, (named Global Wind Day in 2009), countries all around the world participate by hosting events to educate society on the benefits and advantages of using wind power.
Regardless of the industry, one thing remains true across the board: companies want to be recognized for their efforts, especially when it pertains to the environment. They want their customers to know that they are making positive strides in energy conservation and that “going green” isn’t just some trendy topic to be tossed around in politics. WindMade is the first global initiative to recognize organizations and products that use wind power in their operations or production. In order to adopt the WindMade label, companies must use at least 25% of wind energy. According to WindMade, the goal is to “provide credible and transparent information quantifying the consumption of electricity generated from wind energy and other renewable sources.” This is exactly where businesses go head to head to sustainably compete with each other and prove to the rest of the world who is doing their fair share.
Utilizing wind power energy is a strategic business move. A recent study found that in 2012 the industry would support 78,000 jobs, thanks to a federal stimulus package that promises to provide investment incentives for the industry. For businesses, choosing wind energy is both the cost effective and green efficient method to choose. Business expenses, such as electricity dramatically decrease with wind power energy. While the advantages are numerous and have been preached about for years, let’s take a moment to reflect and highlight some of the companies (and buildings!) that have pledged to incorporate wind power energy into their businesses and how it has transformed their companies into sustainably practicing organizations.
- Widex, a Danish hearing aid manufacturer, surpasses the WindMade label by having an astonishing 95% of its energy needs covered by wind power. The company is a proud contributor to the prevention of climate change and to the promotion of resource efficiency and energy security.
- In 2011, Fox News reported that Motorola Mobility promised to acquire at least 25% of its energy from wind energy. This shift has encouraged healthy rivalry among competitors to beat out others’ energy efficiency rates, thus creating a more sustainable environment for all.
- The iconic Empire State Building is the largest commercial buyer of green energy in the state of New York. Building officials announced the landmark tower now uses 100% wind power as a source of electricity, reducing energy by 40%. USAToday claims that, “the CO2 reduction is the equivalent of nearly every house in New York state turning off their lights for a week or planting nearly 150,000 trees -- more than six times the number in Central Park.”
- In 2007, WalMart launched a three-year effort to transform itself into a more sustainable business by using wind to power hundreds of its stores. The Washington Post reported in 2008 that “the purchase will result in the reduction of about 139,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of what 25,000 cars would emit.”
- Other companies that have made commitments to renewable energy and are WindMade certified include LEGO Group, TTTech, Deutsche Bank and Bloomberg. These initiatives have kept these businesses at the forefront of sustainable technology for their category.
The Environmental Protection Agency published a list of “100% Green Power Users” in April 2012 that acknowledges the organizations that meet 100% of the U.S. organization-wide electricity use. According to the EPA, “the combined green power use of these organizations amounts to more than 6.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 579,000 average American households each year.”
So on June 15, drive around town with your convertible tops down, fly a kite in a field and celebrate the beauty of wind! Take this day to appreciate the discoveries wind has implemented on the environment and the sustainable transformations it’s made for businesses.