Demonstrating continued sustainability leadership, SunPower announced today that its E-Series and X-Series Solar Panels manufactured at the company's facilities in France are Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Silver. Last year, SunPower® solar panels manufactured in Mexico earned Cradle to Cradle certification, making the company the first and only in the world to offer customers Cradle to Cradle Certified solar panels. With today's announcement, 75 percent of SunPower's solar panels now carry the Cradle to Cradle Certified mark.
Administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Cradle to Cradle certification demonstrates a product's quality level based on rankings in five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness. With Cradle to Cradle product certification growing in popularity, an increased number of third-party organizations acknowledge and reward the use of certified products. For example, through the U.S. Green Building Council's global LEED program which recognizes excellence in green buildings, a conventional solar power system contributes five points to the 40 points required for Basic LEED Certification. But by using SunPower solar panels with the Cradle to Cradle designation and reducing construction waste, commercial customers can acquire an additional nine LEED points for a total of 14.
"With three SunPower facilities now manufacturing Cradle to Cradle Certified solar panels, we continue to help residential and commercial customers reach their long-term sustainability goals, whether by achieving LEED certification or having a positive impact on society and the environment," said Marty Neese, SunPower COO. "We are committed to making all of our solar panels more sustainable, in line with our dedicated focus to supporting the transition towards a circular economy that is restorative and regenerative by design."
The solar panels at SunPower's manufacturing plants in De Vernejoul and Toulouse, France, were assessed using the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard by the product design and optimization firm McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), one of 13 companies around the world authorized to conduct product analysis for the Institute. Product certification is available at five levels (Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum), with each higher level imposing a more rigorous set of requirements.
"Environmental and social sustainability are at the core of SunPower's business, affecting every design, manufacturing and sourcing decision the company makes," said Bridgett Luther, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. "This comprehensive, innovative approach is unmatched in the solar industry, and is deserving of Cradle to Cradle Certified recognition. We look forward to SunPower's continued success in offering sustainable and socially responsible solar products."
To date, more than 2,600 products from various manufacturers have Cradle to Cradle certification. A full list can be found online in the Product Registry at C2CCertified.org.