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Solar Industry’s Commitment To Sustainability Remains Strong

Wednesday, Aug 21 2013

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Solar power is one of the cleanest, safest, and most abundant domestic energy sources available. In addition to helping power our homes, schools, and businesses, the U.S. solar industry strives to be a leader in sustainability among energy producers by ensuring environmental and social responsibility along the entire solar supply chain.

We take this responsibility very seriously. SEIA-member companies have made an ongoing commitment to the principles of environmental and social responsibility.

In 2010, SEIA established the Environment, Health & Safety Committee (EHS Committee), comprised of more than 40 solar industry representatives from nearly every aspect of the global solar value chain, including both U.S. and foreign-based organizations. In 2011, the EHS Committee began developing a set of solar industry guidelines to promote environmental and social responsibility.

This work led to the creation of the Solar Industry Commitment to Environmental and Social Responsibility, or Solar Commitment. The Solar Commitment established a set of solar-specific and general best practice provisions regarding the environment, labor, ethics, health and safety, and company management practices. The Solar Commitment has been adopted by companies throughout the solar supply chain, and companies that sign on must provide an annual report on several key performance indicators.

The Commitment was drafted with significant input from the solar industry, as well as external environmental regulation, labor and ethics experts. SEIA also partnered with a leading Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) firm to assist with the development of the Commitment.

SEIA Environment, Health & Safety Initiatives include:

Today, there are more than 8,500 megawatts (MW) of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the U.S. – enough to power more than 1.3 million American homes. These EHS standards help to ensure America is provided with clean, reliable, and sustainable energy. With nearly 120,000 people working at 5,600 solar companies and small businesses around the nation, the solar industry strives for continuous improvement of worker safety.

Whether it’s through sustainable PV collection and recycling practices, protecting workers on the job, or improving codes and standards, SEIA will continue to uphold the strong standards and principles put in place by the Solar Commitment.

John Smirnow, SEIA Vice President of Trade and Competitiveness

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