The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) announces that it is releasing a new tool to increase supply chain visibility and ensure that all solar components across the solar value chain are ethically produced.
The Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol is a set of guidelines designed to help solar companies meet compliance obligations and reassure customers that their solar products are free from unethical labor practices.
“Solar customers expect their products to be ethically manufactured, and this protocol helps ensure that solar products that enter the US are not made using forced labor,” said John Smirnow, vice president of marketing strategy at SEIA. “Solar is one of the cleanest and most reliable technologies in our network today. We hope this tool will give customers confidence at a time when solar power increasingly supports our need to stimulate economic growth and tackle the climate crisis. “
When manufacturers use the traceability protocol, it is regularly reviewed and updated to improve its usability and effectiveness. It is important to note that the protocol itself does not eradicate forced labor. Companies must go through the steps set out in the protocol.
In addition to the new traceability protocol, SEIA has completed an update of its Solar Commitment, which defines common occupational, health and safety, environmental and ethical standards and expectations for solar companies. The update modernizes the standard to cover an extensive list of topics, including guidelines on safety at work and ethical work practices.
The standard now includes best practices for recycling and remediation, information on tracking energy usage, procedures companies can follow to avoid the use of conflict minerals in solar products, and additional guidelines companies can follow to keep their suppliers complying with all of these standards to keep.
SEIA notes that it also publishes a Solar Buyers' Guide on Traceability summarizing the log and including key questions customers, developers, financiers and other stakeholders should ask suppliers about products in the Solar + Storage value chain.
On April 30th, SEIA will host a webinar to discuss the new resources and how solar companies can put them into practice. The webinar is free and open to the public.