- The company will reuse, repurpose, recycle or recover all the excess materials from manufacturing of blades, giving up on landfilling and incineration as waste management solutions.
- It will also partner with its suppliers to prevent waste in blade manufacturing, which today accounts for nearly one third of LM Wind Power’s operational carbon footprint.
- Zero waste blades represent a significant step forward on the industry’s circularity ambitions.
Copenhagen, Denmark: 23 November 2021 - LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, announces today that it will produce zero waste blades by 2030, a significant milestone for the industry as it seeks to reduce the carbon footprint of its products. The commitment represents a step forward in the company’s sustainability journey after becoming the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry already in 2018.
LM Wind Power will play a central role in supporting its customers to develop fully circular wind turbines that generate less waste during their production. In practice, LM Wind Power’s vision of zero waste blades means the company aims to send no excess manufacturing materials and packaging to landfill and incineration without energy recovery by 2030.
Waste from manufacturing represents one of the biggest challenges faced by many industries as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint. At LM Wind Power, nearly one third of its operational carbon footprint comes from waste disposal.
In the wind industry, around 20-25% of the materials purchased by wind turbine blade manufacturers do not go into the final product, and research indicates that blade manufacturing waste volumes are expected to be larger than decommissioned blade volumes during the coming decade.
“We have a track-record of working with our partners to address our most pressing challenges. Our technology has played a crucial role in making wind power one of the most competitive sources of electricity,” states Olivier Fontan, CEO of LM Wind Power. “Now the focus has evolved from making wind power not only competitive, but also making the industry sustainable. It is not one or the other but both. We are determined to work with our partners to reduce the carbon footprint of wind turbines; together we can be the example of how an industry transforms its value chain to support the green transition and the critical move to a circular economy. Zero waste blades are our contribution to this industry mission.”
For wind turbine and blade manufacturers alike, the key to reducing the product carbon footprint lies in the supply chain. In the blade life cycle, around 75% of CO2 emissions occur in the supply chain.
“This is a call to action for suppliers to the wind industry: join us in designing out waste from our value chain,” says Hanif Mashal, LM Wind Power Vice President, Engineering and Technology. “Engagement with our supply chain on waste prevention will increase over the coming years; in partnerships we will also explore how we can ultimately deliver waste back to suppliers, for recycling into new materials that will be supplied to the wind industry or other sectors.”
While blade manufacturing waste prevention and recycling will be a major focus for the company, LM Wind Power is also working with partners to establish sustainable, large-scale solutions to recycle decommissioned blades through the DecomBlades project. The company is also working on the development of next generation blades that can be more easily recycled through the ZEBRA (Zero Waste Blade Research) project.
About LM Wind Power
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy Business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Poland, Spain, France, Turkey and the United States. The company has produced more than 241,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 121 GW installed capacity and global savings of 251 million metric tons of CO2 annually. In 2018, LM Wind Power became the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry.
Follow us at www.lmwindpower.com or on twitter @lmwindpower
About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $16 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.
Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy, on www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy, or on www.twitter.com/GErenewables
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