San Francisco, CA – May 10, 2012 – The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) today announced the release of its 2012 Solar Scorecard that ranks manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules according to a range of environmental, sustainability, and social justice factors.
“In this competitive solar market, top-tier panel makers are distinguishing themselves from environmental laggards by responding to SVTC’s survey and posting environmental data on their websites,” said Sheila Davis, Executive Director of SVTC.
The highest scores this year went to China’s Trina (94), the USA’s SunPower (93), and Germany’s SolarWorld (91).
The 2012 Solar Scorecard represents 51.1% of the PV market share.
Key findings from the Scorecard include:
• 13 of the 14 companies surveyed said they would publicly support Extended Producer Responsibility (taking back and recycling their products), up from 6 of 14 companies in 2010.
• 100% of the companies that responded reported they do not use prison labor and eight of the companies have written policies forbidding this practice.
Companies were scored in the following categories: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); workers’ rights, health, and safety; disclosure of chemical use and emissions; supply chain monitoring; sustainability practices; and use of life cycle analysis.
The 2012 survey took a deeper look at corporate transparency and the type of information being provided to the public.
• 4 companies post hazardous waste reduction targets on their websites or annual/sustainability reports.
• 8 of 14 PV module manufacturers post greenhouse gas emission information on their websites or annual/sustainability reports.
“Photovoltaic manufacturers are increasingly reporting health, safety, and sustainability metrics on their websites and within annual reports. However, too many solar manufacturers are still unwilling to share their emissions information,” said SVTC Research Scientist Dustin Mulvaney, who contributed to the Scorecard survey. “Part of a solar manufacturer’s value proposition to its customers is its environmental credentials. Those who are transparent and make a genuine investment will be rewarded with consumer confidence.”
“Transparency is crucial to all green businesses,” said Ms. Davis, “This year companies that did not respond were scored based on the information on their websites. In SVTC’s third year of releasing the Scorecard, we’ve come to realize that companies that do not respond seem to have little positive news to report.”
The investment companies that support SVTC’s Solar Scorecard include Boston Common Asset Management, PaxWorld Management LLC, and Walden Asset Management.
“Boston Common Asset Management is very pleased to have supported the Solar Scorecard for a third year,” said Steven Heim, Managing Director. “The results show the importance of social and environmental issues and how they are increasingly becoming recognized by the industry. We are encouraged by 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.