Today on International Human Rights Day, the solar industry is launching a proactive campaign to ensure the solar supply chain does not include abhorrent forced labor practices. The effort, led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), features a pledge that companies can sign to oppose forced labor and raise awareness on this important issue.
“Unethical labor practices run against everything we stand for as an industry and are counter to our values,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “It’s on us to be vigilant and take steps to ensure the solar industry is free of forced labor practices. Dozens of companies have already stepped up to sign our pledge and we’re calling on the entire industry to join us.”
In addition to the pledge, SEIA is developing a supply chain traceability protocol for the materials used to produce solar modules. This tool will enable companies to track the source of key inputs, thereby helping to improve transparency and ensure the solar supply chain remains free of forced labor.
The effort comes as credible reports of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China continue to surface. While current evidence does not directly tie the solar industry to use of forced labor, SEIA is taking a proactive stance and is strongly encouraging member companies to move their supply chains out of Xinjiang.
Over the next few months, SEIA will also be working with its members on a comprehensive update to the Solar Commitment, which defines common practices and expectations for the solar industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, subcontractors and customers in the solar value chain.
News item from SEIA