Environmental Leader, a trade publication focussed on sustainability, named SunPower’s Cradle to Cradle Certified E-Series and X-Series solar panels as one of its Products of the Year. The solar panels are not only producing clean energy, but are designed so that at the end of their useful life they can be entirely recycled.
“Each year since the inception of the Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards program, the range and quality of the entries has risen. With the bar set high, the pool of 2016 entrants did not disappoint,” said Peter Bussey, research analyst with LNS Research and the judging coordinator for the Product & Project Awards. “The community of providers continues to address the rising demand for cost-effective solutions to address complex environmental, sustainability, and energy management challenges.”
"SunPower's manufacturing facilities and employees around the world operate with environmental sustainability and social responsibility at their core," said Marty Neese, SunPower chief operating officer. "Customers can trust that we make our solar panels as sustainably as the clean energy they produce, helping them reach long-term sustainability goals like achieving LEED certification for a building or reducing a home's carbon footprint."
The SunPower panels were one of 30 companies recognized for their products. The panels also were the only solar devices to receive an award. Among other things SunPower’s panels were recognized by one judge as the only provider who has achieved the Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver designation.
It appears that SunPower is looking farther ahead with the technology. A report out earlier this week from IRENA showed the potential revenue from recycling solar panels—like SunPower’s Cradle to Cradle panels—could be worth $15 billion by 2050.
SunPower was first recognized by Cradle to Cradle in 2014. At that time Bridgett Luther, president at the organization, observed: “SunPower is the first and only solar company to achieve Cradle to Cradle product certifications, and we applaud their leadership in energy and material health. SunPower’s dedication to making the world better through their technology positions them as a leader among leaders, and their commitment to innovation deserves this recognition.”
SunPower also stated that in March of 2016 all of its direct current solar products were certified as meeting the Cradle to Cradle standards. The DC solar panels include microinverters, making them easier to connect and to optimize for small systems like rooftop solar systems.
SunPower said its facilities in Mexico, France and the Philippines are producing the Cradle to Cradle certified panels. “These same SunPower manufacturing sites are on a path to becoming "triple certified" to add landfill-free verification and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to their list of sustainability achievements,” the company stated.Tweet