Press Release: 04.05.11

For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2011

For more information:
408.287.6707, x 302

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition Releases 2011 Solar Scorecard Rankings on the
Environmental and Social Performance of Solar PV Module Manufacturers

San Jose, CA – April 5, 2011 – The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) today announced the release of its 2011 Solar Company Scorecard that ranks manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules according to a range of environmental, sustainability and social justice factors.

The top score was earned by German manufacturer SolarWorld, with China’s Trina Solar as the runner up. There was a three-way tie for third place among two U.S.-based companies, Abound and First Solar and REC from Norway. Silicon Valley’s SunPower followed close behind.

“Solar power is key to helping solve the world’s climate crisis,” said Sheila Davis, executive director of SVTC. “However, the solar industry still faces serious environmental challenges that need to be addressed before it can be considered a truly ‘clean and green’ industry.”

Companies that participated in the survey were scored based on their responses to practices in the following areas: extended producer responsibility (EPR); supply chain monitoring and green jobs; chemical-use and lifecycle analysis; and disclosure.

Key findings from the scorecard include:

  • Fifteen PV manufacturing companies that responded represent 46.6 percent of the industry market share, based on solar PV module shipment statistics for 2009.
  • Eleven PV manufacturers reported that they would publicly support a law requiring mandatory takeback and recycling.
  • Only two of the fifteen PV manufacturers report that their products contain no cadmium or lead.

The investment companies that supported SVTC’s work in this area include: Henderson Global Investors, Boston Common Asset Management, Aviva Investors, PaxWorld Management LLC and Walden Asset Management.

“Henderson is very pleased to have supported the Solar Scorecard for the second year,” said Seb Beloe, head of Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) research at Henderson Global Investors, a second year-sponsor of the scorecard. “The results show the importance of social and environmental issues and how they are increasingly becoming recognized by the industry as being central to its long-term license to operate. Exciting as solar power is, the industry will only get the public’s buy-in once it proves that it’s a sustainable solar power.”

“The solar industry is starting to learn from other industries that have adopted responsible social, environmental and supply chain standards in order to prevent future problems,” said Steven Heim, managing director for Boston Common Asset Management, another second year-sponsor. “We are encouraged by the new companies sharing their practices with the public and investors via SVTC’s Solar Scorecard.”

For more information, go to www.solarscorecard.com.

About Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is a non-profit organization engaged in research, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry. For more information, go to www.svtc.org.