Solarwatt obtains ‘cradle-to-cradle’ certification for its glass-glass solar modules


From pv magazine Germany

German PV module manufacturer Solarwatt has obtained a “cradle-to-cradle” silver certification for its glass-glass solar modules produced at its facility in Dresden.

The panels are said to be particularly sustainable over the entire cycle and the entire manufacturing process – from material procurement to recycling – is evaluated for certification. Solarwatt claims to be the first German module manufacturer to receive this certification, which responds to the growing demand for products that are sustainably produced in Europe.

“It is important to us that our modules not only deliver clean energy, but are also produced sustainably,” Solarwatt Managing Director Detlef Neuhaus said. “Solarwatt has already set up its production accordingly in recent years and uses 100 percent green electricity. We now wanted to make this commitment visible to our customers and have initiated the demanding certification process.”

The “cradle-to-cradle” certification is considered a globally recognized holistic product quality standard. The assessment is made for five categories: material health, recyclability of materials, energy management and CO2 emissions, water management, and social responsibility.

In addition to ecological aspects, social performance is also evaluated. “In contrast to pure environmental standards, the company's social responsibility is also considered, for example using the UN Global Compact Self Assessment Tool,” said Annika Beck, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Solarwatt.

The certification values the production according to five different evaluation degrees: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Solarwatt achieved gold in the Energy Management & CO2 Emissions and Water Management categories, and silver in the rest. Ultimately, the lowest certification level achieved in an individual category is decisive for the overall rating.

The certification is awarded by the independent Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. The accredited agency EPEA assessed Solarwatt's glass-glass solar modules.

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