Vestas aims to reach zero-waste turbines by 2040

Sustainable energy

Denmark Vestas, the global leader in sustainable energy solutions, has released a new circularity roadmap outlining a comprehensive set of commitments to be applied across its value chain in order to expedite the journey to zero-waste turbines by 2040.

Vestas intends to set a new standard for the wind industry in terms of circularity and waste reduction through the roadmap, as the first wind industry leader to apply a wide circularity approach. Vestas wants to produce the first fully circular wind turbine, capable of maintaining turbine materials in circulation across the value chain for longer than ever before by maturing our circularity plan.

The roadmap builds on Vestas’ previously declared goal of producing zero-waste turbines by 2040, which was unveiled as part of the company’s global sustainability strategy, dubbed “Sustainability in Everything We Do.” It includes more detailed and ambitious pledges, as well as organizational governance to carry them out. The strategy also establishes circularity paths for Vestas’ entire value chain by establishing new goals in three critical areas: design, operations, and material recovery.

The roadmap, in design, raises the ambition level from last year’s release by adding objectives to boost material efficiency by 90%, achieve 100% rotor recyclability, and cut supply chain waste by 50% by 2030. Vestas is dedicated to expanding efforts to refurbish and reuse turbine components across its businesses, while regionalizing its repair and refurbishment infrastructure where practical.

While the principal components of a turbine are currently substantially refurbished, the roadmap commits Vestas to achieving a 55 percent total refurbished component utilisation by 2030 and a 75 percent total refurbished component utilisation by 2040, largely by building additional repair loops for minor components. This will result in even more waste reduction, as well as lower carbon emissions and increased local job generation.

Vestas has committed to reducing the amount of production waste that ends up in landfill to less than 1% and to recycling more than 94 percent of manufacturing materials by 2030. This represents a huge increase from the current rate of 52 percent.

In a shifting global energy market context, the new circularity roadmap will ensure that Vestas can continue to deliver competitive and innovative solutions that give business case certainty for clients. Waste reduction is becoming an increasingly important factor in market dynamics across the European energy landscape, with sustainability metrics increasingly being integrated into the sales tender process and regulation around waste management and circularity practices tightening in certain markets such as France and the Netherlands.

Vestas aspires to drive industry-wide adoption of circularity practices through our continuous circularity journey by encouraging close collaboration with all stakeholders across our value chain and leveraging our industry-leading scale and large supply chain network.