Members of the the UK solar energy industry have come together to back the development of a supply chain transparency protocol in response to reports of alleged forced labour in the production of solar PV manufacturing materials.
Members of the UK solar industry have rallied behind plans to develop a supply-chain transparency protocol in response to concerns that have emerged in recent weeks around alleged forced labour in the production of feed stock materials such as polysilicon, which is used in the manufacture of solar PV panels.
Solar energy companies have placed on the record their opposition to and condemnation of any human rights abuses taking place anywhere in the global solar energy supply chain.
The full statement reads as follows: “We, members of the UK solar energy industry, condemn and oppose any abuse of human rights, including forced labour, anywhere in the global supply chain. We support applying the highest possible levels of transparency and sustainability throughout the value chain, and commit to the development of an industry-led traceability protocol to help to ensure our supply chain is free of human rights abuses.”
The statement was developed in consultation with industry members as part of Solar Energy UK’s ongoing supply chain sustainability workstream. The association has been in continuous engagement with international associations including the Global Solar Council, SolarPower Europe and the Solar Energy Industries Association in the U.S on improving global supply chain transparency.
Chris Hewett, chief executive, Solar Energy UK said: “This is a matter that UK solar energy industry members are treating with the utmost seriousness. The industry continuously reviews its supply chain protocols, and as the UK’s trade association we seek to ensure practices are in line with internationally recognised standards.
“The matter of making global supply chains as transparent and sustainable as possible brings a significant degree of complexity. In response to the allegations of forced labour related to the production of polysilicon in Xinjiang we are working with international trade bodies to develop an industry-led traceability protocol to ensure the global solar energy supply chain is free of human rights abuses.”
A full list of signatories, which includes Lightsource bp, Centrica Business Solutions and Octopus Renewables, can be found here.