- SEIA has come out with a set of recommended policies and procedures to determine the source of a solar product coming into the US
- It will help trace the movement of raw material from the source thereby ensuring supply chain transparency, according to the association
- The 41-page document is targeted to be used by equipment manufacturers and US importers
Amid reports of forced labor in the world’s polysilicon center in China’s Xinjiang province, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has come out with what it terms as a new tool to increase supply chain transparency. Following the tool is a way to ensure all solar components are made ethically throughout the solar value chain.
Solar customers expect their products to be ethically-produced, and this protocol helps ensure that solar products coming into the United States are not made using forced labor,” said SEIA’s Vice President of Market Strategy, John Smirnow. “Solar is one of the cleanest and most reliable technologies on our grid today, and we hope this tool will give American buyers and leaders confidence at a time when solar energy increasingly supports our need to fuel economic growth and tackle the climate crisis.”
The Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol 1.0 Industry Guidance is a 41-page document that details a set of recommended policies and procedures to identify the source of a product’s material inputs, and trace the movement of these inputs throughout the supply chain.
The association mainly targets it to be used by equipment manufacturers and US importers, and through its use, SEIA explained, manufacturers can assure customers that their products are free of unethical labor practices.
The document is divided into 3 segments:
- Principles of transparency in the supply chain:
- Integration if transparency into management systems, and
- Integration of transparency into operational processes
It also has a case study of how to apply the protocol to the solar module supply chain.
SEIA stresses that as manufacturers start using the traceability protocol, which needs to be actually applied by companies for it to be effective, it will be regularly reviewed and updated.
There is also an audit mechanism mentioned that measures a company’s implementation and compliance with the protocol.
In February 2021, 175 solar companies signed a pledge opposing forced labor in the solar supply chain, and the list included names as LONGi, Engie, JinkoSolar, Juwi, Lightsource bp, Trina Solar, JA Solar, SunPower, among others.
On April 13, 2021 the virtual conference of TaiyangNews on Solar Trackers had Roth Capital Partners Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst Philip Shen saying that he expects human rights violation concerns at Chinese polysilicon production hub at Xinjiang to gain traction in the times to come, and will be key to polysilicon prices (see TaiyangNews Virtual Conference On Solar Trackers).