Vestas has set a course to produce zero-waste wind turbines by 2040, starting with a focus to improve the recyclability of blades.

The Danish manufacturer will introduce incremental targets for recyclable blades from 44% today to 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030.

Further initiatives will be launched to address the handling of the components after decommissioning.

Waste generated from blades, currently comprised of largely non-recyclable composite materials, is estimated to be around 43 million tonnes accumulated by 2050, said Vestas.

“These will cover new recycling technologies that are optimal for composite waste, such as glass fiber recycling and plastic parts recovery,” said the company.

“Vestas will also be implementing a new process around blade decommissioning, providing support to customers on how to decrease the amount of waste material being sent to landfill.”

The manufacturer will also develop a new waste-management strategy, introducing a circular economy approach in the different phases of the value chain including design, production, service and end-of-life. The strategy will be presented within the next two years.

The move means the company’s ‘value chain’ will create no waste materials.

“Establishing such an ambitious goal for waste reduction is paramount to ensuring a better world for future generations,” said Vestas executive vice president Anders Vedel.

“Leading the wind industry is not enough to combat the global challenges we face today. 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”.

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