One hundred and seventy-five solar companies, including some of the largest solar manufacturers in the world, have signed a pledge opposing forced labor in the solar supply chain.
The pledge is part of an industry-wide effort led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) that supports the development of a supply chain traceability protocol and a comprehensive update to SEIA’s Solar Commitment, which defines common practices and expectations for the solar industry. By signing the pledge, companies are stating their commitment to help prevent these practices and ensure that the products they are using do not have links to forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China – or anywhere else in the world.
“We’re proud to stand with these companies to vehemently oppose the use of forced labor in the solar supply chain,” says John Smirnow, vice president of market strategy for SEIA. “Forced labor will not be tolerated in our industry. Given reports of labor abuses in Xinjiang and the inability to conduct independent audits there, solar companies should immediately move their supply chains out of the region. We’ve been calling on this for several months now and expect that most of the major suppliers should be out by June, at the latest. We will continue to work with lawmakers, customs officials, the Biden administration and our international partners to make sure solar imports are proven to be free of forced labor.”
The pledge remains open for signatures and all companies and organizations operating in the solar industry can join SEIA’s effort. SEIA says it will continue to expand its coalition and build on this important work over the next several months.