China module manufacturer tops SVTC solar scorecard

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In the SVTC’s 2012 solar scorecard, Trina moved from second place, to rank number one for its environmental and social performance with a score of 94 points. Following Trina, SunPower ranked second with 93 points, and SolarWorld third with 91 points, Yingli fourth with 88 points and REC fifth, with 87 points.

With a score of 91, German manufacturer SolarWorld topped the rankings in 2011. Trina Solar came in a close second, with a score of 89. Meanwhile, Abound Solar, First Solar and REC were all ranked third, with 87 points each.

The SVTC says that 51.1 percent of the industry market share, based on module shipment statistics in 2011, responded to this year’s survey.

Key findings from the scorecard include:

  • 13 out of 14 companies support public policies for Extended Producer Responsibility
  • 12 out of 14 companies display recycling information on their websites
  • None of the surveyed companies use “prison labor”
  • Four companies disclose their air pollution emissions
  • 12 of the 14 companies have a code of conduct with their suppliers regarding working conditions
  • None of the surveyed companies could verify that their supply chains do not contain conflict minerals based on the due diligence guidelines set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Companies are scored on the areas of product take-back and recycling, worker health and safety issues at PV facilities and in the supply chain, chemical use and life cycle analysis, and company disclosure statements. Its purpose is to help interested parties to responsibly purchase photovoltaic modules.

SVTC is a non-profit organization, which is sponsored by Boston Common and Paxworld, receives ‘in-kind support’ from Henderson Global SRIs, and is funded through both donations, and supporters like the As You Sow Foundation and California Wellness Foundation.

In 2009, it created a solar scorecard, which ranks global module manufacturers on a host of environmental, sustainability and social justice factors. The aim, as executive director, Sheila Davis, told pv magazine last year, is to get the solar industry to develop "sustainability goals in a sustainability framework." She added that the scorecard was launched in response to concerns raised over the environmental impact of solar, and targets consumers, investors and other interested parties.