SolarWorld tops SVTC solar scorecard rankings

The solar scorecard ranks global photovoltaic module manufactures on a range of environmental, sustainability and social justice factors. These encompass: product take back and recycling; worker health and safety issues at PV facilities and in the supply chain; chemical use and lifecycle analysis; and company disclosure statements.

With a score of 91, German manufacturer SolarWorld topped the rankings. Trina Solar came in a close second, with a score of 89. Abound Solar, First Solar and REC were all ranked third, with 87 points each.

Last year, Calyxo topped the 2010 SVTC scorecard, with 90 points (2011: 82). Meanwhile, SolarWorld received 88; Trina zero, Abound 63 and First Solar 67.

Of the top 10 manufacturers worldwide, Canadian Solar and Hanwa SolarOne received a score of zero, or "Rainy" this year, which means, says SVTC, that they "did not respond to the survey and are not transparent; it’s not clear if they are committed to sustainability and social justice."

Sharp and Suntech also received a score of zero, or "Rainy". In a note, SVTC says that they did contact the coalition and "worked to have a constructive dialogue, but did not complete the survey."

Key findings from the scorecard include:

  • Fifteen photovoltaic manufacturing companies that responded to the survey represent 46.6 percent of the industry market share, based on module shipment statistics for 2009.
  • Eleven PV manufacturers reported that they would publicly support a law requiring mandatory take back and recycling.
  • Only two of the 15 photovoltaic manufacturers report that their products contain no cadmium or lead.

"Solar power is key to helping solve the world’s climate crisis," said Sheila Davis, executive director of SVTC. "However, the solar industry still faces serious environmental challenges that need to be addressed before it can be considered a truly ‘clean and green’ industry."

Click here to download the full report.