SunPower's Mexicali fab earns Landfill-Free verification

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U.S. vertically integrated solar power company SunPower has announced that its PV module production facility in Mexicali, Mexico, has been verified as Landfill-Free by NSF Sustainability – a division of the independent non-profit public health organization NSF International.

The verification was awarded after SunPower was able to demonstrate that 99% of the waste from its Mexicali fab is diverted from landfill sites. SunPower works with Northstar Recycling to identify zero-waste-the-landfill opportunities, and has implemented such a scheme in Mexicali whereby the majority of all waste generated at the solar panel facility is either recycled, repurposed or reused.

The same facility also produces SunPower’s Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver solar panels, which are produced in the most sustainable manner possible.

"With Landfill-Free verification and Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver solar panel production, our Mexicali site is a sustainability model for SunPower manufacturing facilities worldwide," said SunPower COO Marty Neese. "As an industry leader providing customers with reliable, high efficiency solar energy solutions, it is SunPower’s responsibility to operate with minimal impact to the environment. This is why we innovate relentlessly to create clean solar products and develop more sustainable manufacturing practices."

The Mexicali facility employs a closed-loop composting system onsite, and also has a vertical outdoor garden that is hydrated by the greywater gathered from carport solar panel washing. The waste management efforts at the site were recognized by NSF Sustainability, which awarded the Landfill-Free verification after examining the facility’s processes.

"Diverting waste from landfills is a significant environmental issue and achieving Landfill-Free Verification from NSF is a huge accomplishment for a company in any industry," said NSF International Sustainability Division general manager Jenny Oorbeck. "We congratulate SunPower for going above and beyond to ensure its Mexicali site is more sustainable in its operations."