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Supply chain transparency on the rise – Where is the solar industry?

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Why are supply chain transparency and sustainability important? Are there tangible business advantages? Our upcoming pv magazine Webinar seeks to address these questions, by hearing from experts in both solar and the electronics industry, to understand what solar companies can do to ensure supply chain best practice.

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Discussion participants

Sarah Albert, Director of Sustainability, Nextracker
Evelyn M. Butler, Vice President of Technical Services, SEIA
Thierry Dardeau, Procurement Category Manager - Renewable Energy, ENGIE
Craig Murphy, Sr. Director Global Procurement Solutions, Analytics, and Product Compliance, Micron Technology

Moderators

Becky Beetz, Head of Content, pv magazine

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Supply Chain Transparency on the Rise – Where is the solar industry?

Why are supply chain transparency and sustainability important? Are there tangible business advantages? Our upcoming pv magazine Webinar seeks to address these questions, by hearing from experts in both solar and the electronics industry, to understand what solar companies can do to ensure supply chain best practice.

The past year has seen supply chain transparency and sustainability rise up the business agenda. While the issue is not new, several factors are conspiring to hold companies more accountable for how and where products are manufactured and by whom. For instance, draft legislation was submitted to the European Commission last September to enforce mandatory supply chain due diligence for all companies selling products and services within the European Union, even if their headquarters are elsewhere. Hopes are the legislation will be adopted this year.

At the same time, following claims of forced labor in Xinjiang, China, discussions are taking place in the U.S. and elsewhere to ensure the ethical provenance of manufactured components. The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), for example, has recently released a Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol and Solar Buyers’ Guide on Traceability this April to help establish supply chain best practice.

The fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed pre-existing problems, including social justice issues, while changing investor and consumer demands – environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting, for example – are pushing for more supply chain transparency.

These factors demonstrate just how critical resilience and reliability, in terms of environmental protection and human rights, are for business success. Arguably, the renewable energy industry needs to take these more seriously than most.

pv magazine Webinar initiative partner Nextracker Inc. is one company already making strides in this area. As director of sustainability, Sarah Albert wrote, “We believe that responsible procurement is more than just a Nextracker issue … We hope to begin a conversation with other tracker and solar component companies that leads to broad agreement on best practices for sustainable procurement.” In this upcoming webinar, Albert will discuss improving supply chain transparency with a particular focus on the importance of being on the ground, working closely with suppliers to meet sustainability goals, and establishing a code of conduct.

Joining her will be Evelyn Butler, Vice President of Technical Services at SEIA, who will outline the association’s newly published solar supply chain documents; Craig Murphy, Sr. Director Global Procurement Solutions, Analytics, and Product Compliance at Micron Technology who, in discussing the electronic manufacturer’s supply chain risk management, strategy, and processes, will provide insight on what lessons can be transferred to solar; and Thierry Dardeau, Procurement Category Manager – Renewable Energy at ENGIE, a customer of Nextracker, who will share the company’s responsible procurement strategy, including new supplier onboarding, exiting supplier management, integrated audit approaches and the overall importance of supply chain transparency.

pv magazine Webinar content

  • How to approach responsible procurement, focusing on code of conducts, ethics, workers’ rights on the ground, and environmental issues
  • Investor management/stakeholder engagement for supply chain transparency
  • Strategies, tools, and software to establish supply chain best practice and identify risks
  • Learnings from the electronics industry

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar via a chat window.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.

Speakers

Sarah Albert | Director of Sustainability, Nextracker

Originally from Austria, 2011 Sarah Albert chose China as her destination to drive Sustainability on the ground. Worked in flex for 10 years, as Sustainability Director and later for the global D&I team, Sarah joined Nextracker in November 2020 to develop the sustainability program as well as initiate responsible procurement, hand in hand with the leading function team members. Completed three studies and various trainings, Sarah is currently preparing for her HSK III (Chinese language) test and trying hard to catch up with her 4-year-old daughter and her being fluent in the Shanghai dialect.

Evelyn M. Butler | Vice President of Technical Services, SEIA

Evelyn leads SEIA’s work on technical support and advocacy that must be solved to facilitate the solar industry’s continued rapid growth and deployment and to mitigate business risks for its members. Evelyn manages SEIA’s workforce development initiatives to ensure the industry will have an adequate supply of skilled workers, can make solar a rewarding career, and can advance SEIA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice goals. She leads the industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability efforts to ensure socially and environmentally responsible supply chains and sustainable end-of-life strategies for solar and storage hardware.

Thierry Dardeau, Procurement Category Manager - Renewable Energy, ENGIE

Thierry Dardeau is based in Engie Group Procurement Department, in Paris. Global Category Manager in charge of Solar and Storage equipment, he leads a team of buyers and technical experts across Engie Group, all involved in the procurement decisions of Solar projects. More than 20 years in energy business, in marketing, risk management and procurement functions.

Craig Murphy, Sr. Director Global Procurement Solutions, Analytics, and Product Compliance, Micron Technology

Craig Murphy is a Solutions-focused Global Operations, Safety, Sustainability & Program Management professional with 20+ years of experience. Broad knowledge and experience in global multi-site operations and facilities management, program/project management, strategic planning, procurement automation, responsible sourcing, financial analysis, contract negotiation, sustainability, and environmental safety &health program implementation in the US, Asia, and Europe.

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