Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S plans to produce zero-waste wind turbines by 2040, it said on Jan. 20.
As the first manufacturer to make such a commitment, Vestas will work toward the goal by developing and implementing a new waste management strategy, and introducing a circular economy approach in different phases of the company's value chain. It said that it expects to present a strategy within the next two years.
Accumulated waste generated from turbine blades is estimated to be around 43 million tonnes by 2050, posing a risk to environmental ecosystems and to global health.
Vestas wind turbines are on average 85% recyclable — however, wind turbine blades currently comprise non-recyclable composite materials. Therefore, the company has set incremental targets to increase the recyclability rate of its blades from 44% today to 50% by 2025, and 55% by 2030.
"If we are to spearhead the energy transition, we must be an example for doing so in the most sustainable way, and this involves making sustainability part of everything we do," Anders Vedel, executive vice president of Vestas Power Solutions, said.
Vestas recently announced that it is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030 with a series of new sustainability commitments.