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