WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released a Solar Industry Commitment to Environmental and Social Responsibility (Solar Commitment), a document that promotes the implementation of environmental and social responsibility standards throughout the solar industry.
"Solar is the cleanest, safest source of energy and the solar industry is committed to ensuring social and environmental responsibility for our supply chain," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "The release of SEIA's Solar Commitment marks an important, proactive step toward a sustainable future for solar."
The Solar Commitment is based upon the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition's Code of Conduct, with the addition of solar-specific provisions and designed to evolve as the industry grows. SEIA is urging companies throughout the solar supply chain to adopt the sustainability provisions on a voluntary basis. It covers company and supplier requirements in the areas of labor, ethics, health and safety, environmental responsibility, human rights, and management systems.
"The Solar Commitment received unanimous support from SEIA's Board of Directors to promote the industry's continued environmental and social responsibility," said Julie Blunden, Chair of SEIA's Environment, Health and Safety Committee, Vice Chair of SEIA's board and SVP at SunPower. "We applaud the founding particpant companies, including my own, that have already endorsed the Solar Commitment and are actively working to develop a governance model and accountability mechanisms."
Founding Participants include Dow Solar, SunPower, Suntech, Trina Solar, and Yingli Solar.
The groundwork for the Solar Commitment began in 2010, with the creation of the SEIA Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Committee, comprised of more than 40 industry representatives from almost every part of the global solar value chain, including both U.S. and foreign-based companies and organizations. The EHS Committee addresses a wide range of topics, including PV recycling, installer safety, fire safety, building codes, and product standards.
SEIA is now in the process of establishing an independent Advisory Group who will work with SEIA's EHS Committee and Founding Participants to develop accountability mechanisms and governance structures designed to support transparency among participants and guide implementation of the Solar Commitment.
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,100 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org.