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“Integrating sustainability into everything we do is part of our vision to become the global leader in sustainable energy solutions.”

Lisa Ekstrand
Senior Director and Head of Sustainability at Vestas

Discover more about our sustainability strategy in this video  

The Vestas Sustainability Strategy 

Sustainability Goal #1

Carbon neutrality by 2030 without carbon offsets

On our journey towards becoming carbon neutral, we will reduce our CO2 emissions by 55 per cent by 2025, with the goal of reaching 100 per cent by 2030.

As Vestas is committed to leading the transition to a world entirely powered by sustainable energy, we will not use carbon offsets to help us achieve carbon neutrality. Instead, we will deliver CO2 reductions through our own actions.

Taking the first steps in 2020, we will transition to electric vehicles for our company cars, start replacing our global service fleet with vehicles powered by renewable energy and explore further steps to reduce heating and transport-related CO2 emissions from our operations.

We are also committing to reduce the CO2 emissions from our supply chain by 45 per cent per MWh generated by 2030. We have chosen this specific target because it incentivises sustainability partnerships with suppliers that reduce CO2 emissions, and allows for the continued growth of the global renewable energy sector. These commitments are based on recommendations from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Sustainability Goal #2

Zero-waste wind turbines by 2040

Today, Vestas wind turbines are on average 85 percent recyclable. However, our wind turbine rotors (blades and hubs) are currently comprised of non-recyclable composite materials.

As a first step, therefore, we will focus on improving the recyclability of all turbine blades. We will introduce incremental targets to increase the recyclability rate of these components from 44 percent to 50 percent by 2025, and to 55 percent by 2030. We will then implement several initiatives designed to address the handling of existing blades after decommissioning.

Committing to zero-waste turbines means we are aiming to create a value chain that generates no waste materials. Therefore – within two years, we will develop and implement a new waste management strategy. This strategy will take a circular economy approach to different phases of the Vestas value chain (production, service and end-of-life).

Sustainability Goal #3

The safest, most inclusive and socially-responsible workplace in the energy industry

To be sustainable in everything we do, we must work even harder to ensure safety, inclusivity and social responsibility are a core part of everything we do at Vestas.

We are introducing medium-term and long-term targets for reducing the total recordable injury rate (TRIR) at Vestas to 1.5 by 2025 and 0.6 by 2030 - ensuring a 15 percent reduction in TRIR year-on-year.

Several new safety initiatives will be introduced in 2020. For more details about these initiatives please download our sustainability report linked to below.

A diverse workforce is comprised of a variety of social identities:
This includes diversity in gender, age, culture, ethnicity, physical abilities, political and religious beliefs, sexual orientation and other attributes. Our full Diversity and Inclusion Policy is available here.

As a first step, we are focusing on increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions in the company to 25 percent by 2025, and to 30 percent by 2030. Whilst we acknowledge that gender is only one form of social identity, we also believe it is a measurable and fair indication. Unconscious bias training, an external audit and review of our recruitment procedures include some of the initiatives we will be launching in 2020 to achieve these goals. The Vestas Sustainability Report 2019 linked to below contains more details.

Sustainability Goal #4

Leading the transition to a world powered by sustainable energy

This goal marks our commitment to take a leadership role in driving decarbonisation and electrification beyond the power sector.  

Energy accounts for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions, making it the main contributor to the climate crisis. This also reveals that decarbonising the power sector is just the first step towards curbing the climate crisis. If to limit carbon emissions at a necessary scale to meet the parameters of the Paris Agreement, we must also work to decarbonise the other economic sectors that are contributing to carbon emissions, such as heating and transport. At Vestas, we believe we are well-positioned to address this need.

The opportunities for Power to X are a great example of how we can help propel the energy transition forward. We are therefore ramping up our work in Power to X, where we hope to apply our research within hydrogen and e-fuels to drive electrification in sectors where it has traditionally been difficult to achieve. Initiatives like these are key; as through them, we can replace high CO2-emitting fuels with clean alternatives.

The coming years will also see Vestas pursuing more partnerships with both global and local stakeholders that can help us to amplify this agenda, and continue to expand our impact beyond electricity production. This work has already begun, with Vestas joining the Getting to Zero Coalition in 2019, an initiative to reduce CO2 emission in the shipping sector. For more details read an interview with Vestas colleagues explaining more about the coalition and our motivation for joining.

Another example is our partnership with Mercedes-Benz in the Formula E Championship, a platform well-positioned to drive electrification in the transport sector, uniting the power of sport with the power of sustainable energy.

Report 2019

Download our sustainability report to find out what we did in 2019 to make Vestas - and the world, more sustainable.

Read the report now

Powering sustainability

The use of energy is growing rapidly and the resources of our planet are already under great pressure. We need to change the way we produce our energy. We need to produce more renewable energy, and the most promising source of energy is the power of wind.

At Vestas, we believe energy to be an important catalyst for founding a better quality of life. A stable energy supply is an essential part of the infrastructure for a developed society. Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it jobs, security, climate change or food production - access to sustainable energy is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems, reducing poverty and achieving equity.

Vestas | Powering sustainability

    Safety first

    It is recognized that working with wind turbines is not hazard-free. Large heavy components, dizzying heights, remote locations and demanding processes, to name but a few, present a challenging work environment. Vestas’ unprecedented experience in the wind industry ensures these risks are identified early and where achievable eliminated by design. Unavoidable residual risks are meticulously assessed and mitigated to the lowest levels possible.

    In 2018, Vestas again achieved a record low number of total recordable injuries. Significant improvement was seen across the sales and manufacturing segments with an approximate 25% decrease, further proving that Vestas ambitious goal of zero injuries is achievable. Vestas Behavioural Change (VBC) program and My Team My Responsibility (MTMR) were a main contributor once again to this success, however there is still more to be done.

    Vestas’ close collaboration and work to drive and improve overall industry safety performance continues. The contractor and supply networks are often shared across the industry and improving our work partners performance on safety is considered extremely important. In 2018 Vestas delivered Safety workshops for contractors in Europe, China, USA, India and Australia. These workshops were very positively received and attended by the main contractors of the region and in some areas introducing and establishing the MTMR behavioral safety program to further instill alignment of safety mindset for all partner companies to work safely with and alongside each other. Regional Key account customers were also invited to deliver presentations and actively attend the sessions further strengthening the bond and prioritizing safety. The workshops once again clearly delivered and outlined the expected Safety standards required to work for and with Vestas, reiterating the clear statement “If you can’t work Safely you can’t work for Vestas”.

    Vestas has again throughout 2018 continued to support the Global Wind Organization (GWO), providing resource competency, support and market insight to enable the development of Industry Safety related training courses.  This standardization of safety training ensures a minimum standard of competence is achieved by the applicable Vestas employees or contractors prior to any work onsite taking place. Having a recognized set standard also contributes to the efficiency and associated costs by preventing duplication of training for the industry. In addition to training and to further mitigate risks associated with the increasing multiband activities the GWO has established a communications platform to enable fast and efficient sharing of any potential OEM Safety Alerts. A GWO OEM Technical safety forum has also been created.

    It is essential that safety culture is embedded in the DNA of the global Vestas organization. This culture must be driven and cascaded down through the business by senior management and leaders. Accountability for safety is embedded and delegated throughout each level of management, however each and every employee must accept their personal responsibility for their own and their colleagues’ safety. Working safely is a condition of employment at Vestas, every employee’s behaviour is critical to the safety effort and ultimately achieving our goal of zero injuries.

    In Vestas, we continually raise awareness to the dangers of complacency. The life-saving Rules were introduced and are now firmly embedded in the foundations of safety at Vestas. These seven Rules act as a permanent reminder to employees that non-compliance or complacency could result in a serious injury or fatality. 

    Life saving rules

    The road to zero injuries

    Near miss reporting and hazardous observations

    Vestas has seen significant improvements in relation to reducing the number of injuries and we proactively act to close out any significant gaps with identified remedial action plans. To further mature we are now placing equivalent focus on the incidents with high potential for injury/fatality. Studies have identified that in industry approx. 20% of all incidents, company employees could be exposed to a life-threatening situation.

    In 2018, Vestas implemented an initiative called Life Incidents with Fatal Exposure LIFE. This process filter uses the now well-established lifesaving rules to identify any reports with potential exposure to a life-threatening situation. The process filter goes through each life-saving rule individually to identify if the incident was related or a contravention to that rule. Any LIFE incident identified must be prioritized and immediately acted upon to ensure any potential risk to life is eliminated.  Also ensuring that control mechanisms are reinforced or created, to ensure the LIFE incident will not reoccur. The collection and analysis of 2018 LIFE case data depicts a clear indication of exposure to potential risk in each country, Manufacturing segment factory or work activity.  Appropriate action plans, safety campaigns focused on those highlighted risks can then be implemented.

    In 2019 we will be introducing a Progressive Safety tool which is designed to monitor the closure of the High Potential LIFE cases to identify where in the Hierarchy of safety the remedial action lies. The intent remains to eliminate the risk where practicable. This tool will monitor that performance.

    Occupational health

    Vestas has an ambition that when employees leave or retire from employment with Vestas that they should be able to reflect on their career and consider that their physical and mental wellbeing has been enhanced due to the conscientious focus Vestas place on occupational health and safety.

    In 2017, a project on occupational health and safety was launched, this project has continued throughout 2018. Working on the data and information initially collected, two main work streams were identified and prioritized; Potential Exposure Chemical and Ergonomic Hazards. Mitigating measures for each area of these important topics are currently being implemented. 

    Incidence of injuries
    Per one million working hours
    Incidence of injuries

    Safety awareness

    Fostering a safety culture through awareness

    Being aware of the safety hazards are key to managing and preventing them. Since 2007, Vestas has deployed a Safety Awareness Program for employees and managers to raise the awareness of safety with the ultimate objective of eliminating all lost time injuries. All operational managers and team leaders in factories, service, construction sites and offices attend courses to strengthen the safety culture throughout Vestas and instil safe behaviour.

    Through safety awareness, recognition programs and safe behaviour programs Vestas is moving towards establishing a team-based responsibility for safety. Top management’s commitment to keep all employee’s safe and emphasize safe behaviour is being expressed through their participation in safety awareness programs and their completion of Safety Walks.

    A Safety Walk is an opportunity for managers in production, construction, service or administration areas to have a constructive dialogue and discuss safe behaviour identifying ways of improving safety with employees in their actual job function. The program has been successfully running since 2007 with consistently more managers participating every year. In 2018, 21,000 Safety Walks were conducted whereby the ambition of an average of twelve Safety Walks per manager was achieved once again.

    Focusing on behaviour

    Behaviour is identified as the main root cause in an incident or injury in the workplace. The My Team My Responsibility (MTMR) program builds on a foundation of engagement of all employees and will once again be the primary safety behavioural program implemented in 2019. The MTMR framework encourages agreement to which safe behaviours we want to see more of, which will inevitably lead to employees at all levels in the organisation working safer. Front line managers and supervisors work with their teams to select the behaviours they want to improve together. They take ownership as a team and drive the change led by the supervisor. A full review of the initial behaviours identified by Manufacturing and Sales areas will take place in 2019 and new behavioural areas of improvement identified.

    Vestas Behavioural Change (VBC) program is an employee led safety observation program. It actively encourages employees to observe each other’s behaviour while carrying out specific work-related tasks. Safe behaviours are encouraged, recognized and rewarded, whereas any identified at risk behaviours are stopped assessed and improved to remove the risk. The program encourages safety dialogue and taking collective responsibility for safety.

    Units, functions and areas that have adopted and implemented the Vestas Behavioural Change program (VBC) have dramatically reduced the number of reportable injuries. Vestas will continue to implement and encourage these programs to eventually reach the overall ambition of zero injuries.

    Climate change

    Climate change poses one of the most serious challenges for mankind. The predicted effects could be both devastating and irreversible. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the effects of climate change will be broad-ranging, affecting water supplies, ecosystems, food availability, health and the economy, and will devastate coastal regions. It is crucial that greenhouse gas emissions are limited, that low carbon energy generation technologies take over, and that they provide power to more sectors through electrification.

    Fossil fuel-based power generation causes poor air quality, contributes to global climate change and consumes significant amounts of water. As water becomes more scarce in many regions (a tendency that may be amplified by climate change), existing water supplies will not be sufficient in many countries to support the installation of new water-intensive power plants – putting economic growth at risk.

    To mitigate climate change, power generation must globally become low-carbon, more sectors such as transport and heating need to use this low carbon electricity as a power source, and wherever water locally is or is expected to become scarce, power generation must become low-water. During operation, wind power plants do not consume water nor do they emit climate-changing greenhouse gases. Wind power is among the solutions to the challenges our world is facing today.

    Leading the way

    Even though wind energy’s lifecycle carbon footprint is extremely low when compared to other sources such as oil and gas, Vestas continuously strives to improve the environmental performance of its production and operations in order to match the performance of our products.

    Carbon footprint

    Since 2010, Vestas has reported product improvement being measured as grams CO2 per kWh. However, with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2030, going forward, Vestas will instead report annually on the CO2 reductions of its entire operations and supply chain. Furthermore, Vestas will report annually on the performance of the new target of reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain by 45 percent per MWh generated by 2030, using 2019 as baseline year. The performance is calculated based on the MW turbines produced and shipped in the calendar year.

    Product target for 2016-20

    In 2019, Vestas met and exceeded its newest 2020 target of a 10 percent reduction in product carbon footprint from a 2017 baseline, with the LCAs of the 4 MW platform documenting a 27 percent reduction*. The reduction was achieved through increased power production and optimisation of the turbines to reduce material requirements per kWh delivered.

    The target for reduction in product carbon footprint of 5 percent by 2020 from a 2015 baseline was met in 2017. Carbon footprint was reduced by 7.1 percent on wind turbines on the 4 MW platform. This was primarily due to significantly increased energy production in all wind classes and optimized wind turbine design, leading to lower material requirement per kWh.

    * Results are based on the ISO LCA reports published in November 2019 for the V117-4.2 MW, V136-4.2 MW and V150-4.2 MW

    Product achievements for 2011-15

    Results released in Q3 2015, which have been externally reviewed, confirm that the turbine’s environmental performance has improved significantly; where the carbon footprint of the V112-3.3 MW turbine has reduced by over 15% to 5.9 grams of CO2 per kWh.

    The reasons for improvements are firstly due to environmentally-led initiatives. Secondly, the wind turbine has undergone significant design improvements which have had a great impact on performance, for example, through implementing. an increased generator rating that has increased from 3.0 MW to 3.3 MW, leading to increased energy production of the wind turbine, as well as the design optimisation giving reduced material requirements, particularly in relation to the turbine tower and foundations.

    Quick facts

    Target for 2030: 

    Carbon neutral company - without using carbon offsets

    Renewable energy

    As a company, Vestas aims to decrease our overall use of energy, increase our use of renewable energy, and use less carbon-intensive energy forms.

    Vestas has a commitment to source renewable electricity where available, which is primarily done through local renewable power purchase agreements. The consumption of non-renewable electricity is compensated for with Vestas-owned wind power plants. Vestas’ share of renewable electricity is today 100% and the objective is to stay at this level.

    With focus on transforming the global energy market, Vestas joined RE100 in 2017. RE100 is a group of global companies dedicated to increasing demand for renewable energy and committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity. The committment to this collaborative initiative of influential businesses underlines Vestas’ dedication to a future powered by renewable energy and our joint efforts to make renewable energy an easy choice for companies. Vestas already gets 100 per cent of its electricity supply from renewable energy, and commits to stay at this level even as our operations and electricity consumption grow.

    Sustainable Energy for All

    More than 1 billion people across the globe still lack access to affordable and reliable electricity – with dramatic consequences for human health, education and economic well-being. These numbers show us that there is still much work to be done to ensure a sustainable global energy supply.

    Vestas actively supports partnerships and collaborative efforts intended to advance the sustainability agenda. One of our most notable partnerships is with the UN as members of the Global Compact.

    Looking into the coming years ahead, there is no doubt that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a key driver for the transition towards a sustainable and clean energy economy. The SDGs offer a universal plan to address economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

    Quick facts

    100% renewable electricity 


    Our business partners play an important role in Vestas’ drive to reach our sustainability goals and in promoting wind energy as a beneficial solution for society as a whole.

    In order to improve the sustainability of our products, Vestas works closely with sub-suppliers of components and raw materials, which today account for more than 80 per cent of the energy consumed in the product manufacturing process.

    In order to ensure the health and safety of all persons involved, customers and sub-suppliers must be both aware of – and follow – the Vestas safety rules and procedures, during all stages of the turbine installation process through to service.

    In order to support this partnership, Vestas has prepared a Business Partner Code of Conduct in accordance with the UN Global Compact, the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization conventions. Vestas works diligently to ensure that partners also respect the Code of Conduct, and, to the greatest extent possible, will prioritise working with business partners who are dedicated to and support Vestas' view on sustainability.

    A wind turbine consists of several thousand components each with its own sub-suppliers. We also have to consider construction sites in several countries worldwide. Thus, Vestas' supply chain is broad and complex. In total, there are thousands of partners worldwide.

    Responsible Supplier Management

    Vestas is devoted to the principle of Responsible Supplier Management.
    Purchase agreements with our suppliers today include our policies regarding human rights and environment, as well as a commitment to work with our suppliers on initiatives relating to sustainability going forward.

    With 94 percent of our signed purchase agreements based on Vestas templates, and with all of these including either directly or by reference the above principles, we believe we are well on the way.

    Vestas also takes action to ensure that suppliers comply with our polices by screening significant suppliers on sustainability issues, including human rights and labour standards using the supplier qualification and selection process. 

    In 2019, 157 new suppliers were assessed on site globally by Vestas. Of these, 117 were approved, 5 were rejected, and 35 are under approval.

    When so-called red flags are identified – that is when suppliers are not living up to the Vestas standards - the suppliers are requested to take corrective action. 

    Vestas has a formal target on sustainability, which monitored on monthly basis: Suppliers safety and sustainability maturity is reported on frequent basis throughout the year for more than 100 suppliers using a standard to track the development  

    Business ethics

    Vestas has been a signatory to the business-driven global anti-corruption initiative Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) within the World Economic Forum since 2010. As a signatory to PACI, Vestas firmly believes that corruption cannot be countered without leadership and commitment from the top management.

    The Vestas Code of Conduct has a zero tolerance towards any form of bribery and any form of corruption. Vestas works actively to assess the company’s exposure to risk of bribery and corruption and establish robust preventive procedures based on these assessments. Vestas continuously strengthens its supporting business ethics guidelines and procedures to enable Vestas to abide by anti-corruption laws and regulations applicable to the company. The aim of Vestas’ due diligence program for its business partners is to ensure that Vestas’ business partners hold at least a similar business ethics standard to that of Vestas.

    All salaried employees are required to complete a Code of Conduct e-learning training as part of their induction. Face to face business ethics training is provided to employees in high risk countries or in high risk business areas. 

    Human rights and labour

    Vestas recognises its responsibility to respect human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and according to the framework outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This commitment, which includes our expectations for Vestas’ business partners, is described in the Vestas Human Rights Policy and implemented across the organisation globally.

    The Human Rights Policy is communicated to internal and external stakeholders on Vestas’s intranet and website. In case of any complaints by employees or business partners on breaches of the Policy these can be submitted to the Vestas EthicsLine.

    Vestas Human Rights Policy is also supported by our Employee Code of Conduct and Business Partner Code of Conduct.

    Due diligence

    To support Vestas’ emerging markets entry strategy, Vestas has developed a Social Due Diligence (SDD) methodology. The SDD is targeted at ensuring that social risks and impacts are identified, prevented and mitigated in Vestas wind power plant projects. For projects in scope, Vestas conducts an assessment of the project and the affected local communities.  

    The results from the SDD include mitigation actions, which are integrated into project plans to ensure integrity in the project execution. The SDD is based on the International Finance Corporation’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards and the World Bank Group’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Wind Energy, ensuring that, regardless of where the customer obtains financing from, Vestas supports the project’s execution according to accepted international standards.

    As a wind turbine supplier, Vestas strives to work closely with its customers to assist them in securing and maintain the social license to operate during construction and operation, according to international standards.


    Vestas | Committed to an array of global initiatives

    Vestas is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative. These commitments support our intent to power sustainability, both within the organisation and beyond.

    Vestas commitments are reflected in the Code of Conduct and supporting policies, guidelines and procedures.

    Vestas is committed to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs).  The SDGs are integrated into our sustainability approach, which allows us to identify the goals where we can add most value. We have identified six SDGs which support  development for Vestas, our stakeholders and the many communities where we play a role. The six SDG’s are:  Affordable and clean energy (7); Climate action (13); Decent work and economic growth (8); Quality education (4); Responsible consumption & production (12); and Partnerships for the goals (17).


      Code of Conduct

      At Vestas, we act with integrity in everything we do. This means making the right decisions when faced with difficult situations, and ensuring that our actions match our values of Accountability, Collaboration and Simplicity. For us, a global company of more than 23,000 employees operating in over 40 countries, our Code of Conduct embodies this commitment and is supported by top management. 

      In 2016 we revised our Code of Conduct, splitting it into two: Employee Code of Conduct and Business Partner Code of Conduct. To read more about how we work with our Business Partner Code of Conduct, click here. Our Employee Code of Conduct is a set of rules and principles for how Vestas employees are to act and behave as part of a global company. The Employee Code of Conduct goes beyond national borders, cultures and local traditions, and sets the global standard for all employees in Vestas. 

      All white collar employees were required to sign off on the Vestas Employee Code of Conduct in 2017. By signing off the document, all employees acknowledged that they have familiarised themselves with and understand all the topics covered in the Vestas Employee Code of Conduct. The sign off is a part of the effort at Vestas to ensure that all employees live up to the Code of Conduct rules and principles in their daily work – no matter location or position.


      Vestas’ whistleblower system, EthicsLine, was introduced in 2007

      Vestas is committed to securing an ethical environment in our company, and Vestas' EthicsLine has been established to ensure that inappropriate behavior or incidents are brought forward and handled in a fair and timely manner.

      The purpose of the EthicsLine is first to ensure that Vestas employees, business partners or anyone associated with Vestas have a place to report inappropriate behavior or practices which may be experienced within the Vestas workplace. Secondly, the EthicsLine provides guidance when in doubt about ethical issues.

      Vestas' EthicsLine can be used to:

      • report misconduct that has been observed or is suspected;
      • ask questions about Vestas policies, or difficult issues of behaviour or ethics, when the answers cannot be found elsewhere

      Vestas' EthicsLine is operated by an independent company. Except where specifically prohibited by local law, anyone using Vestas' EthicsLine may remain anonymous. Subject to applicable laws, all matters reported through Vestas' EthicsLine will be investigated. Everyone involved will be treated fairly. Vestas will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who files a report in good faith, regardless of whether or not the claim can be substantiated.

      UN Global Compact

      Vestas committed to the United Nations Global Compact in 2009. The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

      With the participation in United Nations Global Compact, Vestas commits to report and publish its progress on implementing these principles in the organisation on an annual basis. The implementation of these requirements in the organisation is an integral part of the Vestas Management System.

      Local networks

      At Vestas, we have made an effort to demonstrate our sustainability leadership locally by joining the United Nations Global Compact Nordic Network. Vestas considers this as an opportunity to promote stronger sustainability efforts for businesses in their local context. 


      Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) 
      World Economic Forum 
      Global Green Growth Forum (3GF)
      Member of 20 national wind associations around the World

      Sustainable products

      A single Vestas wind turbine will generate around 25 to 50 times more energy than it uses in its entire lifecycle and return this back to society. And, a single Vestas wind turbine only emits around one percent of carbon dioxide when compared to a coal power plant. However, it’s important that we acknowledge that when producing solutions to harness wind energy a small negative impact on the environment is made. Vestas is committed to reducing this impact to the extent possible together with our suppliers and customers. This is achieved through a range of initiatives and programs that simultaneously reduce stress on the environment and improve business case certainty for our customers.

      Vestas | Sustainable products

        Life cycle assessment

        Vestas strives continually to improve people’s lives through having a responsible interaction with the environment, respect for society and a productive economy. To make that goal a reality Vestas works with Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) to develop increasingly energy-efficient products and production whilst  mitigating the environmental impacts throughout the turbine's lifetime.

        Transparency, in all instances, and especially in regards to the environmental impacts and benefits of wind power, is vital to affirm Vestas’ product performance and financial competitiveness when stating the Cost of Energy.

        Since 1999, Vestas has been developing Life Cycle Assessments of wind power to give a ‘cradle to grave’ evaluation of the environmental impacts of Vestas’ products and activities. These concentrate on two key actions:

        • Document the environmental performance of Vestas wind turbines
        • Analyse the results to improve or develop wind turbines with less environmental impact

        The studies assess a wind turbine’s entire bill-of-materials accounting for the approximately 25,000 parts that make up a wind turbine. In a Life Cycle Assessment, a complete wind power plant is assessed up to the point of the electricity grid, including the wind turbine itself, foundation, site cabling and the transformer station.

        Life cycle assessment scope

        Life Cycle Assessment scope

        Available reports

        Current Portfolio

        V90-1.8/2.0 MW Yes (2011)
        V100-2.0 MW Yes (2015) 
        V110-2.0 MW Yes (2015) 
        V116-2.0 MW  Yes (2018)
        V120-2.0 MW  Yes (2018) 
        V90-3.0 MW  Yes (2013) 
        V105-3.45 MW
        Yes (2017)
        V112-3.45 MW
        Yes (2017)
        V117-3.45 MW
        Yes (2017)
        V126-3.45 MW  Yes (2017) 
        V136-3.45 MW
        Yes (2017) 
        V117-4.2 MW  Yes (2019) 
        V136-4.2 MW  Yes (2019) 
        V150-4.2 MW  Yes (2019) 


        V80-2.0 MW Yes (2011)
        V82-1.65 MW  Yes (2007)
        V100-1.8 MW/2.0 MW
        Yes (2011)  
        V100-2.6 MW  Yes (2013) 
        V112-3.0 MW  Yes (2011) 
        V105-3.3 MW  Yes (2014) 
        V112-3.3 MW  Yes (2015) 
        V117-3.3 MW  Yes (2014) 
        V126-3.3 MW  Yes (2014) 

        Benchmark performance

        Vestas’ wind turbines are designed to meet different functional requirements for both onshore and offshore environments, as well as the wind class for which they are designed to operate. The wind class determines which turbine is suitable for a particular site, and influences the total electricity output of the wind power plant.

        When benchmarking an array of wind turbine’s performance it is important that it’s done on an equivalent functional basis, so they can be compared within similar wind classes. There are three wind classes for wind turbines which are defined by an International Electrotechnical Commission standard (IEC), corresponding to high (IEC I), medium (IEC II) and low (IEC III) wind.

        The various Vestas wind turbines have been designed to operate under high, medium or low wind conditions. For each study the specific wind conditions have been selected to evaluate the turbines environmental performance.

        Vestas | Benchmark performance


        Vestas offers customers the opportunity to acquire a customised Life Cycle Assessment, called Vestas SiteLCA™, of their own wind power plant. This determines key indicators of environmental performance and takes into consideration the wind turbine type, site specific conditions and the production supply chain.

        The environmental performance of a wind power plant is site and layout specific and varies across the globe according to local site performance and manufacturing supply chain. SiteLCA™ provides customers or project developers with transparent environmental facts (such as carbon footprint, return on-energy, water-use or environmental benefits, etc) of a specific wind plant. These fact-based indicators increase business case certainty by supporting the customer’s energy strategy (energy case, power plant benefits, index ratings, etc) and supporting the project planning / permitting process (e.g. decommissioning plan, public acceptance, consultation and response).

        By identifying key environmental indicators early in the project, customers are well-placed for successful and trustworthy external communications of power plant performance and to inform their energy strategy utilising fact-based information. SiteLCA™ may also quantify the power plant's key environmental benefits (such as turbine recycling or repowering options at end-of-life) and identify potential management risks of the plant, such as providing material breakdown for decommissioning plans or identifying potential key environmental impacts.

        Vestas Site LCA™ is delivered by experienced experts and builds upon a long track-record of disclosing turbine environmental performance data since 1999. The service utilises advanced turbine models developed in-house by Vestas, complying with international ISO standards and third party review, which have been critically acknowledged as state-of-the-art analysis of wind power1.

        1  Garrett, P., Rønde, K., (2012). Life cycle assessment of wind power: comprehensive results from a state-of-the-art approach. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment (DOI) 10.1007/s11367-012-0445-4

        Energy payback

        Comparing energy payback

        The long-term impact on the environment for a wind turbine’s life cycle of 20 years is minimal when compared to that from average European electricity production by other means.

        The energy balance of a wind power plant shows the relationship between the energy requirement over the whole life cycle of the power plant (i.e. to manufacture, operate, service and dispose) versus the energy generated by the wind power plant. This energy payback period is measured in 'months to achieve payback', where the energy requirement for the life cycle of the power plant equals the energy it has produced. Alternatively, energy payback may be measured by 'number of times payback', where this shows the number of times more energy the wind plant generates over its lifetime versus the amount consumed during its lifetime.

        For Vestas wind turbines, the breakeven period generally ranges from around five to 12 months. For instance a V112-3.3 MW wind power plant has a payback period of 6½ months for medium wind conditions. While over the life cycle of a V112-3.3 MW wind power plant it will return 38 times more energy back to society than it consumed. So when 1 kWh is invested in a wind energy solution you get 38 kWh in return. Whereas if you invest 1kWh in coal you typically get 0.28 kWh in return1.

        Vestas | Energy payback

        1. World Coal Association. Coal & the Environment - Coal Use & the Environment - Improving Efficiencies.
        2. The Offshore Valuation: A valuation of the UK’s offshore renewable energy resource. Published in the United Kingdom 2010 by the Public Interest Research Centre. ISBN 978-0-9503648-8-9.
        3. PE International (2012). PE International - GaBi 6 databases 2011, LBP, University of Stuttgart and PE INTERNATIONAL GmbH
        4. PE International (2011) Life cycle assessment of electricity production from a V112-3.0 MW wind plant - February 2011, PE International, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany.
        5. Vestas, (2015).  Life Cycle Assessment of Electricity Production from an onshore V112-3.3 MW Wind Plant – 21 September 2015, Version 2.1.  Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Hedeager 42, Aarhus N, 8200, Denmark

        Material use

        By knowing how Vestas’ products and materials contribute to the environmental performance of the wind plant it is possible to make fact-based and informed decisions that will minimise overall environmental impacts. Life Cycle Assessment is used to provide the detailed knowledge regarding the material composition of the wind plant from a life cycle perspective. The figure shows a typical material breakdown of Vestas turbines.  Typically, for example, a V136-3.45 MW turbine which is composed of around 89% metals (e.g. steel, iron, copper and aluminium), 8% polymers and composite materials, and the remainder a mixture of electronics/electrical items, lubricants and fluids, etc. A brochure of material use can be downloaded here for all turbines.

        Rare Earth Elements from a Life Cycle Assessment perspective

        Rare earths elements are naturally-occurring elements that, once mined and processed, can be used in a variety of industrial applications such as permanent magnets  in wind turbines, hybrid car motors, components for military hardware and other high-tech applications.
        In Vestas, rare earth elements are used in the magnets found in the towers of all new models of Vestas turbines, whereas rare earth elements used in permanent-magnet generators are used in the older GridStreamer™ turbine models (i.e. the V112-3.0 MW and the 2.0 MW GridStreamer™ platform) and are used in the EnVentus platform. Compared to older permanent-magnet generators, the EnVentus generator uses less light rare-earth material per MW and has eliminated use of heavy rare earth materials altogether. The rare earths elements are used to improve the performance of turbines by making the generators more efficient and more grid-compatible. This allows Vestas to reduce the overall size of the generator and powertrain therefore using fewer other resources (such as steel and structural materials, etc.) which creates a smaller carbon footprint.
        It is also important to understand the difference between different types of turbine designs and how each design uses rare earths elements. There are two types of turbine drive train concepts using rare earth elements: conventional geared drive train and direct-drive (without a gearbox). The amount of rare earths elements used in direct-drive turbines is substantially higher – up to 10 times as much as a generator in a conventional drive train. Today, all Vestas turbines are based on proven technology using conventional drive trains.
        The contribution of rare earth elements used in the turbine generator magnets, and also in the magnets used in the tower, make a negligible contribution to total resource depletion, contributing below 0.1% of total life cycle impacts1.

        End-of-life solutions

        Constantly and simultaneously lowering the Cost of Energy for wind and the environmental impact of wind power is the focus of end-of-life solutions. Through research and application on how best to recover and recycle the various components and materials in a wind turbine, after its power production ceases, the end-of-life phase enhances the overall environmental performance seen from a lifecycle perspective.
        The studies also supplement knowledge on how best to design the next generation of wind turbines from an environmental perspective, as well as, how to gain the most value at end-of-life from both existing turbines and new turbines being developed.

                      Material breakdown of a Vestas turbine

        Material use

        1Vestas, (2014). Life Cycle Assessment of Electricity Production from an onshore V112-3.3 MW Wind Plant – 6 June 2014, Version 1.0. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Hedeager 42, Aarhus N, 8200, Denmark.

        Product waste

        Product target for 2016-20

        In 2016 the target for recyclability was replaced with a measure for the amount of product waste per kWh.  It indicates the materials or components not recycled or reused at end-of-life.  

        Vestas’ target for product waste was met and significantly exceeded in 2017, achieving an improvement of 12.5 percent, compared to a target of at least 3 percent versus a 2015 baseline. This was primarily driven by advanced blade design and construction increasing wind turbine energy production without increasing product waste in all wind classes.

        As Vestas had met and significantly exceeded its original 2020 target already in 2017, a new target was set of a 7 percent reduction versus a baseline in 2017. Although improvement was achieved by the end of 2019, Vestas did not meet this new ambitious target, however achieved a 4.5 percent reduction. 

        On the road to achieving 100 percent recyclability, the composite materials of the blades comprise the largest component yet to be made recyclable. To address this issue, Vestas continues to work in the DreamWind project (Designing Recyclable Advanced Materials for Wind Energy) that aims at developing new sustainable composite materials for blades; a project initiated in 2016.

        In 2013 Vestas joined the GenVind Innovation Consortium to develop enabling technologies for a sustainable recycling of plastic composites and demonstrate the reuse of composite waste.

        In 2011/12, Vestas carried out a complete dismantling of a wind turbine nacelle to trace additional possibilities for increasing the recyclability rate of Vestas’ wind turbines. 

        Quick facts

        Target for 2040: 

        Producing zero-waste wind turbines

        Product responsibility

        Vestas’ wind turbines, options and service offerings are the result of not only a thorough development process but also comprehensive analysis of market forecasts. The top-level Vestas process which allows us to fulfill our customer requests is known as the Vestas product market strategy. The product market strategy is the result of a complex series of analyses including market forecasts, customer trends, competition, technical predictions and grid requirements. Macro-economic factors such as national government targets for renewable energy are also studied. Based on this input, a series of strategic decisions are made regarding which products, technologies, configurations and service offerings to make available in which markets and when. By involving relevant stakeholders in the development process, requirements can be built into the design of the products at an early stage.

        By knowing how Vestas’ products and materials contribute to the environmental performance, it is possible to make fact-based and informed decisions at an early stage in the product design and development phases.  Life Cycle Assessment is used to provide in-depth knowledge regarding the environmental ‘hot spots’ of the wind plant life cycle i.e. from raw material production, through to manufacturing, operation, servicing and plant decommissioning.

        When designing our products, sustainability requirements are taken into consideration and ensured through Vestas' development process, the 'Vestas Way to Market.'

        Vestas Way to Market

        Vestas' Way to Market is Vestas’ global framework for planning, managing and executing technology and product development projects and actively involving the whole value chain in our company. As such, we strive to ensure that these projects start and end with customer requirements in focus.

        The core of Vestas Way to Market is the stage-gate process consisting of seven stages and seven gates with a group of gatekeepers at each stage. The gatekeepers decide whether to let the project move on to next stage, whether to rethink some aspects or stop the project. This process ensures, amongst other things, that the specification requirements are met. The specifications are based on internal Vestas commitments such as Vestas’ chemical black list, international legislation such as the European directives, and internationally recognised codes and standards such as the ASMA, ISO and IEC.

        In order to ensure regulatory compliance, it’s our ambition to share knowledge of how regulatory requirements, including transportation and HSE requirements and grid codes requirements as well as standards and certification should be complied with in the respective departments in Vestas. The purpose is to strengthen Vestas’ product regulatory compliance to ensure market access.

        It is vital to identify business risks early in the development process in order to ensure that the project will not have a negative impact on Vestas’ business and strategy, reputation etc. as well as on our customers’ business. Risk management is a continuous process throughout the entire project, and a business risk overview is presented and reviewed at each gate meeting. It is the project manager’s responsibility to identify and assess key risks and present mitigation actions. The risk analysis must include input regarding health and safety aspects, product and commercial issues, process risk analyses as well as an investigation into the IPR issues.

        Continuous Improvement

        Part of Vestas’ business approach is to constantly develop new and better technical solutions that can improve the performance of our current operating fleet or the safety connected to operating the products.

        Use of new technical solutions will very often have a positive influence on the Lost Production Factor (LPF) for a given wind farm. The LPF is the share of the potential energy from the wind not harvested by the turbines. The LPF has been substantially reduced in recent years. The average LPF has been below two percent since 2012.

        Impact assessment

        When establishing a wind farm, an important part of planning should be an assessment of the proposed location and how the proposed wind farm could potentially impact the surrounding environment. In many countries, environmental impact assessment is required by law, or is part of the environmental requirements of international financial institutions which support infrastructure projects.

        In most cases Vestas’ main business partner – our customers – have the primary responsibility for undertaking the environmental assessment and for developing the environmental management system for the wind plant. Vestas seeks to work closely together with our customers throughout the project life.

        The environmental aspects of such an environmental assessment typically take into account direct and indirect impacts, including, for instance:

        • Landscape and visual impressions
        • Flora
        • Fauna (e.g. birds and bats)
        • Noise
        • Shadows

        Managing sustainability

        To encourage a company-wide sustainability culture, Vestas invests in nurturing and developing knowledge and skills of our employees, so everyone is empowered to work towards a shared vision of sustainability. At every level of the organisation awareness is raised to minimize sustainability risks. Decisions should always take into consideration not only the financial impacts, but also the ecological and social consequences.

        Vestas | Managing sustainability

          Stakeholder engagement

          As a global company, Vestas has many stakeholders who are interested in our sustainability performance.
          We understand that our sustainability performance is an important determinant of our relationship with stakeholders. We proactively engage with stakeholders to understand their needs and concerns, and in return  we address these in our decision making process.

          Transparency is a fundamental concept in our engagement strategy and this underpins our different engagement efforts. We publicly disclose key sustainability information in our annual report and on whilst also entering into more detailed dialogues with key stakeholders.

          We actively collaborate with stakeholders to positively influence not only our own sustainability performance but also that of the wider communities we operate in. For example, Vestas took a leading role in the Global Wind Organisation, developing a standard for Basic Safety Training within the framework of the organisation. Vestas has been a driving force in establishing the Sustainability forum in the WindEurope association for consolidating best practice in the wind power industry and driving improvements. As a first outcome, two public papers were published in spring 2017 consolidating insights on “Blade waste” and “Circular economy”.

          Vestas, at the Group level, has both categorised and prioritised stakeholders in an effort to rationalise and focus engagement efforts. Initially stakeholders are categorised based on their relationship with Vestas, for example, customers, NGOs and policy makers. Subsequently, each stakeholder is considered in the context of a number of criteria to determine how relevant Vestas’ sustainability performance is to them and conversely how important they are to Vestas’ sustainability performance. Engagement can range from forming active partnerships to address common sustainability issues to a more passive engagement through, for example, the publication of the annual report. The priority given to a stakeholder is used to determine the most appropriate approach to engagement.

          Our ambition to build closer partnerships and support our stakeholders is reflected in Vestas' materiality analysis.

          Main stakeholders

          Our main stakeholder groups

          Here at Vestas, we have many different stakeholder groups with whom we interact. These include customers, shareholders, employees, policy makers, suppliers and sub-suppliers, non-governmental organisations, local communities and the media.

          1. Customers

          We prioritise customers as our number one stakeholder group, and to ensure an open and honest dialogue we have implemented a Customer Loyalty survey. Vestas is working with customers on an on-going basis to address sustainability issues.

          2. Shareholders

          Transparency is at the heart of our outreach to the investment community. The stock market experts look at Social, Economic, Environmental and Health & Safety initiatives to rate listed industrial companies.

          3. Employees

          Employees are Vestas’ most important asset and we have a range of offerings aimed at them to ensure continuous learning and development as well as competitive benefits.
          We reach out to employees through different channels to ensure that they are engaged and committed to Sustainability issues. One channel is Vestas’ Safety Walks. A Safety Walk is an opportunity for managers in production, service or administration to discuss safe behavior and ways of improving safety with employees in their actual job function. We also use our Employee Survey to measure the employees’ perception of their working environment. The survey is followed up by the drafting of action plans in all departments in order to act on the feedback we receive.

          To ensure that employees can report malpractice or ask questions they may need an answer to if faced with ethical dilemmas at work; a Whistle-blower system, named EthicsLine is available. Except where specifically prohibited by local law anyone filing a report may remain anonymous.

          4. Policy makers

          At Vestas, we work closely with political stakeholders to drive the market for wind energy. As the energy industry is a regulated industry, we are naturally in dialogue with governments, political leaders, civil servants, interest groups and non-governmental organizations all over the world. We offer advice and information about the benefits and potential of wind power and continuously engage with policy makers in the regions and countries where we operate advocating reforms and providing best practice experience.

          5. Local communities

          The acceptance and trust from local communities where the wind farms are erected are important elements to obtain and maintain the social license to operate. Obtaining and maintaining the social license requires, for example, timely and effective communication, meaningful dialogue, sensitivity to local cultural norms, creating realistic expectations, and developing fair grievance mechanisms.

          Vestas works together with our customers to gain and maintain the social license. We do this as a part of our Social Due Diligence. Activities related to obtaining and maintaining the social license can differ depending on the local context and the project set-up. In order to identify and prioritise activities, Vestas primarily focuses on education, training and job possibilities (linked to SDGs 4 and 8) in the local area.

          Material issues

          Understanding our stakeholders’ opinions and priorities enables us to make better decisions and ensure that we are both a successful company and a responsible member of the community. We have therefore engaged with internal and external stakeholders to define what matters most to them and in doing so have identified what the material sustainability issues are for Vestas.

          A materiality analysis is mapping topics and indicators that reflect the organization’s significant economic, environmental, and social impacts. By identifying material issues we can focus our sustainability-related programs on the areas that are most important to Vestas and our stakeholders. The materiality analysis also influences how we report on sustainability issues. For example, we comment on the most material issues in the annual report and provide additional information and updates on

          The identification of material issues is performed through an internal stakeholder consultation involving many parts of the organization. To prioritise issues, we use internal knowledge of stakeholder expectations, Vestas surveys, external stakeholder sustainability reports, consultant input and global sustainability studies.

          The materiality analysis is enhanced by consulting directly with external stakeholders such as customers and investors. Doing so gives us additional insight into their priorities and provides a useful platform for meaningful dialogue.

          In 2016, the Vestas materiality analysis has identified a range of sustainability issues. Amongst these, Business Performance, Innovation, Health & Safety, Product Environmental Performance and Local Community Development are understood to be some of the most important sustainability issues.

          Management systems

          At Vestas, all employees must work according to Vestas Management System, which sets the standards for the environment and occupational health and safety.

          Vestas has established, documented and implemented Vestas Management System (VMS) as an integrated management system. The VMS is maintained and continually improved to support the business strategy, the quality, environment and health & safety policy, Code of Conduct and CSR policies by setting objectives, analysing audit results, performance data, corrective actions, risks and opportunities and performing management review.

          The Vestas Management System serves to put all external and internal Vestas sustainability requirements systematically, efficient and effectively into practice. It is Vestas’ intent to make sustainability an integral component of all business processes.

          In order to ensure continual improvements for sustainability performance in each area, our daily working practices are governed processes and supported by various tools – including databases and IT systems.

          For example, in order to enhance communication we insist on regular internal reporting on all significant environmental aspects and reporting of health, safety and environmental incidents through our Incident Management System. This helps us identify and investigate the most relevant issues to be addressed. The solutions implemented to these issues help to continuously improve the overall Vestas sustainability performance throughout the organisation.


          Vestas is fully covered by an umbrella certificate for the management system standards OHSAS 18001:2007, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015.

          Organising sustainability

          To take sustainability at Vestas to the next level, a Sustainability Committee with cross-functional participation has been established. The role of the Sustainability Committee is to oversee, prioritise, and coordinate cross-functional sustainability initiatives in Vestas and ensure sustained conformity according to UN Global Compact. The committee reports to the Executive Management and has met nine times in 2019, with a planned meeting frequency of nine times a year going forward.

          Responsibility for sustainability performance lies in the line organisation. To support the line organisation the following departments are responsible for global policies, procedures, and overall guidance related to sustainability: Health, Safety and the Environmental is managed by the Global Quality, Safety & Environment (QSE) department, CSR and the Business Ethics function are managed by the Legal & Compliance department.

          Board committees

          Vestas board committees oversee Vestas’ focus on sustainability. In 2019, the Board of Directors held five Audit Committee meetings, six Nomination & Compensation Committee meetings, and four Technology & Manufacturing Committee meetings.

          The Audit Committee evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of Vestas' ethics and anti-corruption programme pursuant to Vestas' Code of Conduct and the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). The cases filed in Vestas whistle blower system, Vestas Ethics Line, are reported here.

          The Nomination & Compensation Committee supports the Board of Directors in overall staff-related topics, including diversity. The Technology & Manufacturing Committee evaluates sustainability performance.

          Safety standards

          Customers and employees expect a unified approach to safety regardless of region or country. Vestas agrees. That’s why we have developed a wide variety of global processes, such as:

          Incident management

          A sustained effort to increase the flow of knowledge in regards to corrective and preventive actions against safety is a priority. Global knowledge sharing on a monthly basis enables proactive learning to establish best practices for reducing the number of injuries.

          Contractor safety

          As Vestas’ own safety performance has improved strongly over the years, the performance of contractors has become increasingly important to protect both Vestas’ and its contractors’ employees from potential harm as well as to live up to customer expectations of safe operations. Measures implemented so far to improve the performance of contractors include pre-qualifications, standardisation of safety requirements and intensified tracking of safety performance.

          Safety Induction programmes

          A safety induction programme for managers and employees is part of the induction programme for new employees. We do this as employees must know what to expect - and what is expected of them - as soon as they arrive.

          Electrical safety

          Global standards on “Electrical Safety” and “Control of Hazardous Energy” have been developed in order to eradicate electrical injuries. A range of Master Instructors cascade their knowledge into the business.

          Risk and opportunities

          As part of Vestas’ strive for continuous improvements, its processes of assessing risks and opportunities accommodate a growing demand for alignment across areas of sustainability. The processes will ensure that all sustainability-related risks and opportunities are systematically and effectively identified, quantified, mitigated and monitored in an aligned way throughout the organisation.

          Chemical management

          Being in control of the chemicals and hazardous substances used in development, manufacturing and service of the turbines is part of our management system and essential for a sustainable company.
          Only when actively working on finding safer and more environmentally friendly products does Vestas ensure a healthy workplace for our employees and minimum impact to the environment.

          Chemical management at Vestas includes global procedures for approval of new chemicals, local instructions for handling, transporting and storing chemicals and a global chemical database for sharing knowledge from suppliers.

          Vestas has, in cooperation with a global provider of chemical, regulatory and compliance information services, implemented a global chemical management system. This includes an online system where all employees can enter and obtain essential information about the chemicals and hazardous substances used in Vestas. Some of the essential information which is available to the employees in the database includes Safety datasheets (SDS’s) and information about dangerous goods facilitating safe handling, usage, transport and disposal.

          In order to adapt to continuously changing chemical legislation globally like GHS/CLP and REACH, Vestas has updated our criteria. Two lists apply; a Material and Chemical Blacklist which identifies substances that are prohibited by law and a Material Restricted list which aims to phase out substances in our product and manufacturing and service processes. The restricted list is based on the decision by Vestas management to limit the use of the most hazardous substances.

          Vestas requires our suppliers to fulfill the requirements on the Chemical and Material Blacklist for all products delivered to Vestas. Vestas cannot buy products containing substances that are prohibited. If the product contains chemicals or materials restricted according to the Vestas Material Restricted list, an HSE evaluation must be performed by the supplier to ensure correct use of the chemicals and materials. Furthermore it is expected that the supplier creates an action plan for phasing out these restricted substances and finding alternatives. In parallel, Vestas needs to assess if a time bound dispensation can be signed off and/or if the product can be substituted.


          Employees are crucial to staying competitive and providing customers with the best service. The company’s People Pipeline – employee lifecycle – ensures that the right people are in the right functions throughout the organisation. It enables Vestas to attract, employ, reward, develop and retain the best.

          Vestas attempts to foster an inclusive and diverse environment to attract employees of different nationalities. We are also dedicated to continuous improvement of competences. We do that through a variety of internal learning possibilities as well as career development. Vestas has among other things developed three leadership tracks and attractive benefits.

          Being a global business entails employing people of different nationalities and cultures. The business must be ‘in the region, for the region.'


          Vestas is active in over 80 countries and is constantly seeking opportunities to expand into new markets. We always seek to hire the best-suited candidates for vacant positions, based on qualification, experience and competencies. We do thorough assessments of both external and internal candidates, so as to offer the best talent the right opportunity.


          In 2019, a total of 1,959,457 hours of training were registered resulting in an average of 81 hours of training per FTE. Trainings are focused on continuous improvement of the individual, team and department’s performance and it starts from the day the employee starts with the organisation. In Vestas we believe that training blended with the work brings in positive impact to the individual and the organization. Hence trainings are integrated into the employee’s development programme. 


          The Continuous Performance and Development process (CPD) and People Review are two of our key tools within the area of employee development.

          The People Review aims to create insight into the performance and potential of our employees, and to have a structured and proactive approach to performance management, competency development, talent identification and management, and succession planning. All employees at our corporate leadership levels are mandatorily in review, and many business units choose to review all employees.

          Continuous Performance & Development is about performance management, employee development and especially the continuous, real-time feedback culture supporting our leaders and employees in their everyday work life. CPD is about ensuring that all employees receive feedback on their performance and behaviour for the year, and that performance objectives are set for the coming 12 months. Development objectives focuses on ensuring the right competencies with the right people. CPD check-ins are recommended as minimum once per month aims at following-up on performance and adjusting where necessary, building manager and employee relationship, focusing on work/life balance and ensuring real-time feedback both from stakeholders and from the immediate manager. 

          Each year, Vestas conducts an employee engagement/ satisfaction survey. In 2019, 93 percent of Vestas’ employees responded, and the result of the overall satisfaction and motivation index was 71, unchanged from 2018.

          Compensation & Reward

          Vestas aims to ensure all employees a fair pay commensurate to their performance, expertise, and market value. Vestas is a responsible employer that recognises the need to maintain the value of salary levels with the market by having one global approach to salary and benefits and supports managers in making pay decisions aligned to local market practices. Vestas regularly assess and evaluate the compensation levels including auditing gender inequality and other undesirable tendencies.


          All employees leaving Vestas, regardless of the reason for their departure, are offered an interview as part of the exit process. This way, the company learns more about why the employee has chosen to leave Vestas, and can devise new methods for making the company more likely to attract and retain talent in the future.

          When having to lay-off employees in large numbers, Vestas always ensures negotiations are conducted as quickly as possible and result in decent severance packages for all those affected. In such incidences, Vestas offers laid-off employees support for further education and outplacements.


          Vestas | Reporting

          At Vestas we believe in being open about the way we operate with regard to the sustainability aspects of our business. To demonstrate this, we report and document the facts using readily accessible tools.

          The annual report describes our overriding objective for our work in the context of sustainability. It also contains statistics on key indicators, as well as expectations for the future. Vestas’ Communication on Progress to UN Global Compact consists of the Annual Report combined with additional information about Vestas’  sustainability initiatives at A pfd is prepared of the additional information on the web and both documents are uploaded to UN Global Compact.

          Quarterly reporting gives detailed data on significant environmental and health and safety aspects.


            Reports and ratings

            Communication on Progress

            Vestas signed up to the United Nations Global Compact in 2009. We report on our implementation of the ten Global Compact Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

            Vestas is implementing the UN Global Compact Advanced Programme. See Vestas’ status on realizing the UN Global Compact Advanced.

            Anti-slavery statement

            Pursuant to the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015), and to support greater transparency in this area, Vestas has prepared a Statement. The Statement addresses the steps Vestas has taken to ensure that there is no modern slavery in our own business and our supply chain.

            Vestas recognises that Modern Slavery (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking) is an emerging global issue, which we need to be alert to and prepared to take action on. As part of our commitment to respect human rights, stated in our Human Rights Policy, Vestas is continuously working to ensure that human rights are respected in our own operations and by our business partners in relation to our value chain. Ensuring that employees are free from forced labour and human trafficking is a key aspect to upholding our commitment to respect human rights.  

            We will continue to work towards understanding where the risks in our business and supply chain lie, and will prioritise actions addressing the high risk areas. Vestas appreciates that this work is an evolving process, and will be reporting on this annually.