For some solar manufacturers, simply building solar modules is the beginning and end of their role in building a more sustainable world. For Trina Solar, though, that’s just one aspect of the company’s overall commitment to sustainability. From the initial materials procurement stage to the modules’ end of life stages, Trina Solar has remained dedicated to ensuring its manufacturing processes incorporate sustainable development.
This focus on sustainable manufacturing has helped Trina Solar reduce its carbon footprint and industrial waste, all while delivering high quality solar products.
How Has Trina Solar Maintained Sustainable Practices?
As part of a strong commitment to sustainability, Trina Solar has released its 8th annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report (CSR). The 2018 CSR Report, released in September of 2019, is based on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, outlines the steps and successes Trina employed all of last year.
Download the 2018 CSR report, here.
Some of the key findings from the CSR report include:
Implementing water-saving projects: Trina Solar reduced water consumption by 31.6 percent per MW module production from 2014 levels, saving a total of 3.52 million tons of water. Additionally, Trina Solar reused 9.2 million tons of recycled water.
Improving energy efficiency: Trina Solar works tirelessly to optimize energy-saving projects. This has led to a 38.8 percent decrease in electricity consumption between 2014 and 2018, saving 19,480 MWh of electricity and lowering carbon dioxide emissions by 16,316 tons.
- Achieving “zero” carbon emissions: Trina Solar’s focus on energy efficiency has translated into “zero” carbon emissions for both manufacturing and R&D activities in China.
Sustainable Solar PV Module Disposal
With an average lifespan of around 25 years, many of the modules installed in the 1990s are heading for retirement. As the manufacturer of hundreds of thousands of high-tech solar PV modules, Trina Solar understands its responsibility for sustainable module disposal. To meet this goal, Trina Solar actively maintains compliance with e-waste management laws and regulations wherever their solar modules operate.
Due to these practices, by August 2018, Trina Solar managed to reach 80 percent scrapped PV module recycling rates. Meanwhile, its reuse rate reached 75 percent. But that’s not the end, as the company continues to strive for higher recycling and reuse rates each year.
In fact, Trina Solar’s Head of Products and Marketing in the Americas, Ryan Simpson, will be discussing new advances in recycling technology or refurbishment, the policy landscape, and how to build a more robust network geared toward reuse and recycling on the panel, The PV Afterlife, at Solar Power International (SPI) on 9/26/19 from 10-11 AM.
If you’re attending SPI and want to attend PV Afterlife, click here for more information.
Where Trina Solar’s Sustainability Efforts Rank
It is important to also recognize what all these numbers mean within the context of the industry overall.
The accomplishments in Trina Solar’s CSR were good enough that several industry organizations recognized Trina Solar’s efforts with awards. Some of these include:
The 11th China CSR Report International Conference awarding Trina Solar the “Golden Bee 2018 Excellent CSR Report - Growth Enterprise Award” in December 2018.
Ecovadis CSR assessing Trina Solar with a Global Corporate Social Responsibility Gold Award. This marks the second consecutive year Trina Solar earned this award.
- Obtaining a high score of 97 on an audit from China’s Quality Certification Center (CQC).
Trina Solar takes environmental stewardship extremely seriously, and the work to continuously improve never stops. Trina Solar works to make big strides in maintaining sustainable corporate practices in every aspect of its business model, both in the US and globally.
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