With solar PV on the verge of reaching the Terawatt era, the solar industry is seeking to further improve sustainability performance in relation to environmental, social, and corporate governance features. Today, during the SolarPower Summit, SolarPower Europe released the Solar Sustainability Best Practices Benchmark, produced collaboratively by many solar industry experts active in SolarPower Europe’s Sustainability Workstream.
The report aims to provide guidance and encourage solar companies to show leadership in sustainability, in a context of increased attention to sustainability matters across the European Union and beyond. Current European developments considered in these guidelines include the ongoing discussions on legislative proposals such as Ecodesign and Energy Labeling requirements for solar PV products. In light of this momentum, the report takes a closer look at different sustainability areas that are identified as relevant for the sector, taking into account a range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in the solar value chain.
The report also sheds light on how the European and international solar industry is addressing sustainability issues, presenting state-of-the-art practices that can be used as benchmarks to advance the entire solar sector’s sustainability performance, driving overall sustainable change.
Andreas Wade, Chair of SolarPower Europe’s Sustainability Workstream, commented: “The solar industry is approaching a critical inflection point, growing as a major pillar of decarbonisation, with Terawatt scale deployment expected over the next few years. With that role comes greater responsibility and accountability for fair and sustainable approaches along the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the technology. This report presents a deeper view into currently established practices and should motivate value chain partners to benchmark themselves, with a view to improve and ensure responsibility, transparency and accountability for the sustainability performance of solar technology.”
Aurélie Beauvais, Deputy CEO and Policy Director of SolarPower Europe, added: “For the solar sector, sustainability considerations need to be made at all levels of the value chain. Considerations must address a variety of areas, spanning from ecosystem preservation and biodiversity impacts, to evaluating decent working conditions, social inclusiveness, and gender equality levels. With this first report on Solar Sustainability we hope to actively contribute to further positioning the European solar sector as a sustainability leader, and supporting the transition of European solar companies and businesses towards state-of-the art sustainability best practices.”
Download the full report here
Photo credit: (c) Christine Kees