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In March of 2012 As You Sow released Clean & Green: Best Practices in Photovoltaics, a new report that presents the processes of manufacturing photovoltaic panels in non-scientific language and highlights practices and policies companies use to mitigate the risks from hazardous compounds, reduce environmental impact, and responsibly manage their supply chains.
In writing the report, As You Sow Research Director and author Amy Galland, PhD surveyed over 100 solar manufacturers around the world to learn about their manufacturing processes.
Best practices were determined via consultation with scientists, engineers, academics, national laboratories, and industry consultants.
Our research found that solar companies are beating standards set for emissions, reducing water use, and are participating in voluntary international programs related to worker safety.
Several companies also are using safer materials, relying on renewable energy to power their processes, reducing waste, recovering materials for reuse, and improving relations with workers and communities throughout their supply chains. Thus, not only are they creating a product that produces electricity with zero emissions, they are also doing it in a responsible way.
Clean & Green: Best Practices in Photovoltaics is the first project in As You Sow's new Cleantech initiative. As people realize that fossil fuel-based energy sources like coal and natural gas damage our health and the environment, this new initiative will highlight the most responsible paths along the inevitable transition to sustainable energy.
The Cleantech initiative grew out of As You Sow's work in fossil-based energy and electricity generating sources and the issues inherent in the product development and manufacturing of electronic products.
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