As more solar electricity lights up homes and businesses across the country, it also spotlights a growing, thorny issue: how do you recycle discarded solar panels safely? And should solar companies follow a set of sustainable practices similar to those in the electronics industry?
That debate could grow louder with the release of the latest Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) “solar scorecard” Tuesday. The scorecard, based on survey responses and publicly available information, ranks 37 solar manufacturers’ actions and commitments to practices such as reporting emissions, using water and energy efficiently, avoiding the use of conflict materials and promoting workers’ health and safety.
For companies that also develop and build solar power plants, the coalition looks at how they incorporate wildlife conservation into their projects.