The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) believes that we still have time to ensure that the PV sector is safe for the environment, workers, and communities. We need to take action now to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in PV, develop responsible recycling systems, and protect workers throughout the global PV supply chain.
SVTC envisions a safe and sustainable solar PV industry that:
1. Takes responsibility for the environmental and health impacts of its products throughout their lifecycles, including adherence to a mandatory policy for responsible recycling.
2. Implements and monitors equitable environmental and labor standards throughout product supply chains.
3. Pursues innovative approaches to reducing toxic chemicals in PV module manufacturing.
For over three decades, SVTC has been a leader in encouraging electronics manufacturers to take lifecycle responsibility for their products. This includes protecting workers from toxic exposure and preventing hazardous e-waste dumping in developing countries like India, Ghana, and China that lack adequate systems to protect worker health and safety. SVTC also seeks to stop the practice of sending e-waste to U.S. prisons for dismantling, which results in toxic exposure to inmates.
We now have a limited window of opportunity to ensure that solar PV does not follow the electronics industry’s toxic and unsustainable path.
The Scorecard is a resource for consumers, institutional purchasers, investors, and anyone who wants to purchase PV modules from responsible product stewards. The Scorecard reveals how companies perform on SVTC’s sustainability and social justice benchmarks to ensure that the PV manufacturers protect workers, communities, and the environment. The PV industry’s rapid growth makes it critical to take action now to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, develop responsible recycling systems, and protect workers throughout global PV supply chains. Many PV companies want to produce truly clean and green energy systems and are taking steps to implement more sustainable practices. SVTC is committed to helping these companies achieve that goal. At the same time, we need to create and enforce policies that ensure the safety and improve environmental performance of the entire sector.