Silfab's journey toward sustainability
A MESSAGE FROM:
The President & CEO, and the Chair of Silfab Solar Inc.
We are pleased to be presenting to the world Silfab’s journey toward sustainability. Throughout our 2022 Impact Report, you will see the areas of focus for Silfab on our ESG journey, data validating our targets and focus areas, and aspirational statements regarding future ambitions on sustainability for our company as well as the solar industry overall.
We are driven to create more clean energy with every solar panel we make. This positive energy creates a sustainable contribution to our world and climate. We are committed to upholding our core values in our business processes: providing a safe and equitable workplace for our employees, treating our partners and communities with respect, and adhering to the highest ethical operating and business standards.
SOLAR LEADS THE WORLDWIDE ENERGY TRANSFORMATION
As early as 2027, cumulative solar generating capacity could surpass that of hydropower, natural gas, and coal—an incredible advancement.
OUR ESG COMMITMENT
Sustainability has been embedded in our corporate purpose and values since the company’s inception. Our North American-based facilities are focused on strong environmental and social responsibility as well as performance, backed by rigorous accountability and governance systems.
We are committed to reducing our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and being net zero by 2040.
Silfab solar: defining Leadership in ESG
As North America’s leading solar manufacturer, Silfab is committed to advancing best practices for sustainability and driving the industry forward with excellent products made in a responsible manner.
Silfab aligns its sustainability leadership priorities with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that guide the world to a better future.
Silfab Solar: Creating a Clean Economy
Investing in renewable energy sources contributes to growing a clean economy with benefits to customers, communities, and investors. In the electricity sector, solar can create the most jobs per watt of any energy source.
A SILFAB SOLAR PANEL made with a low-carbon footprint is a sustainable one
Manufacturing in North America enables access to cleaner electricity grids, which allows our solar panels to have a lower embodied carbon footprint than those made in other regions.
With Rooftop installations, Silfab Solar will HELP THE WORLD get to net zero faster
Rooftop solar installations offer an optimal combination of factors that, when put together, supercharge the benefits of solar energy.
The energy is produced close to where the demand is—a house or commercial building. This avoids transmission losses and the need for added infrastructure to carry the electricity to market.
As our solar panels are installed on existing rooftops, there is no need to disturb the surrounding land. Plus, when using rooftops for solar, space efficiency for energy production is maximized.
Installation is done much more quickly. The solar panels will be producing clean energy shortly after a customer decides to install them.
Silfab panels are designed and engineered to lasT
A priority for Silfab has been to produce durable, long-lasting solar panels, which, in our view, needs to be a pillar of sustainability for the solar industry.
A long-lasting panel means that its original manufacturing environmental impact shrinks as a result of being amortized over a longer period of clean energy production. Plus, it is less likely to end up in a landfill with all those precious elements that went into making it going to waste. Given the advancements, we are now pushing on panel recycling. Our panels will continue to produce free, clean energy well past the year that the customer has paid for their original investment.
A sustainable solar panel is one that performs well under a wide variety of conditions and can be validated as high-performing by accredited expert third parties. Silfab solar panels have received awards from two industry leaders, PVEL and RETC. showing customers they are getting a great product with enhanced sustainability.
Sustainability is about action, not just words. A focus on good governance helps ensure those actions are achieved.
Good Governance and Business Ethics
We have built our business operations on fostering a culture based on professionalism, adaptability commitment, excellence, and reliability with our employees, suppliers, and customers.
Silfab Solar is proud to operate a business built on strong ethics and accountability, driven by robust governance processes. These practices ensure our solar panels are as sustainable as possible and that our employees, customers, suppliers, and communities are treated with respect.
Good Governance and Best Practices
Code of Ethics
All employees operate under our Code of Ethics outlined in the Silfab Solar Employee Handbook, and the expectation is that all employees within the company conduct business operations at the highest level of ethical standards.
Silfab has made a commitment to establish corporate ESG KPIs by implementing scorecard systems and reviews. These KPIs are linked to performance-based compensation and will demonstrate strong integration of sustainability and accountability throughout the company.
We maintain a vigilant, continuous monitoring system to ensure the security and stability of our digital infrastructure. Through these efforts, we strive to uphold ethical governance practices and are committed to attaining the highest levels of security standards.
Silfab’s manufacturing facilities feature fully automated production lines and ISO 9001:2015-accredited Quality Management Systems. These systems ensure the execution of standard processes, with performance measured against set targets. Processes are continually evaluated for risks and opportunities of improvement and optimization, to reduce environmental waste.
Standard Work Instructions were revised in 2022 for easier trainability and improved utilization by all levels of management and operators and, in 2023, plans are underway to implement workplace organizational methods such as 5S, and Lean and Six Sigma management systems.
SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
Silfab’s Supplier Code of Conduct embodies Silfab’s commitment to internationally recognized standards, and all relevant and applicable statutory requirements concerning environmental protection, minimum wages, child labor, anti-bribery, anti-corruption, health, and safety and is applicable to all supplier’s and their supply chains.
INVESTORS AND ESG Commitments
Silfab Solar is supported by a number of different institutional investors, all of whom have strong ESG commitments for their own operations and investments.
For each of them, having a North American solar energy manufacturer in their portfolio helps to demonstrate how they are investing in the clean energy transition.
ARC Financial Corp. has been a significant backer of Silfab Solar since 2021. Investing in the solar sector is part of the private equity firm’s clean energy transition-focused funds. ARC expects all of the companies it invests in to produce ESG information and data for its review and benchmarking. In addition, ARC prepares its own ESG Sustainability Report for public release.
Putting people first is a priority for Silfab, with a focus on employees, the communities in which we operate and serve with our products, and the supply chains that support our success.
LOCAL NORTH AMERICAN MANUFACTURER
For Silfab Solar, being a locally headquartered manufacturer is a priority. This is important for our company, as we see great value in being close to our customers and being good neighbors in the communities where our employees live.
Clean Energy Jobs / D&I
Silfab offers high-quality, clean energy jobs in the communities where our facilities are located. We know the positive impact diverse and inclusive teams have on our employees, customers, and communities around the world and works proactively to ensure our practices are authentic and are adopted across the organization.
Health & Safety
It is in the best interest of all stakeholders to practice Health and Safety as an integral part of life. We pledge to take all the necessary actions to ensure the safety of all those who work for or with Silfab Solar.
international and domestic initiatives
Silfab Solar currently works with a select group of international and domestic charities and not-for-profit organizations to provide sustainable energy resources to enhance the well-being of international and local communities.
For the past two years, Silfab has donated solar panels to the Semper Cares Foundation, a charity organized by one of our key installation partners, to give back to deserving US veterans.
Sehome High School, WA
In Bellingham, WA, Silfab Solar donated 325 solar panels to Sehome High School to create a sustainable environment to promote global citizenship and environmental awareness. Along with other community donations, the solar panels were connected to a utility grid and can produce nearly 100 kW of power.
Silfab has partnered with World Vision for many years to help the world’s most vulnerable children and their communities by donating solar panels to power medical clinics, schools, airports, and clean water filtration systems.
In 2020, Silfab Solar partnered with GivePower, Congo Power, and Google to improve access to clean energy and sustainability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Silfab donated panels to power over 1,000 households and businesses on the border
of Garamba National Park.
For Silfab, a solar panel’s environmental performance is focused on high-efficiency clean energy generation, the lowest embodied carbon footprint from its manufacturing, lasting for decades backed by a long warranty, and can be recycled once it is no longer producing energy.
our primary environmental objective is to produce a solar panel with the lowest carbon footprint
With solar’s emergence as the dominant low-cost renewable energy option across the world, Silfab believes it’s important to continuously improve solar’s own environmental footprint. We are striving to help the industry redefine what sustainable solar energy needs to be now and into the future.
Silfab’s manufacturing facilities are located close to where the demand is. Locally made solar has a lower carbon footprint due to North America’s cleaner electricity grid and strong environmental regulations.
Significant scientific research is going into determining low-carbon supply chains for solar, and we are using that peer research to help navigate our manufacturing processes and establish reliable benchmarks. Silfab, guided by newly established low-carbon solar standards such as EPEAT and GES, is focused on pairing a low-carbon pathway with our business strategy for manufacturing in North American jurisdictions with clean electricity grids.
R&D – SUSTAINABILITY
Silfab’s R&D efforts are focused on not only creating a high-performance, long-lasting solar panel but also one that has sustainability considerations built into it by efforts to make our panels out of the most environmentally friendly materials as possible. Silfab focuses its manufacturing on crystalline silicon solar panels, vs. thin film solar, which is used primarily in utility-scale projects. Polysilicon technology allows us to avoid the use of cadmium or tellurium, contain no fluorinated polymers and only trace amounts of lead.
silfab solar ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING
CARBON & ENERGY
Silfab’s carbon emissions are primarily the result of the electricity consumption associated with manufacturing our solar panels. The electricity grids in our two main locations, Washington State and Ontario, have relatively low carbon intensity. We consume a small amount of natural gas for domestic heating purposes at each of our facilities and it is included in our energy and carbon data.
Solar panel manufacturing creates waste associated with both the packaging we receive our materials in as well as the manufacturing process. Silfab works with our suppliers to reduce packaging waste where possible. Our manufacturing waste is minimized wherever possible, and we prioritize recycling.
Solar panel manufacturing does not require direct water consumption. Any water consumed by Silfab is for conventional domestic water needs amongst employees at our offices and facilities. As Silfab began the process in 2022 of planning for additional vertical integration of solar manufacturing processes with a focus on cell production, the company developed a broader view of water sustainability at future sites. Cell production requires water inputs into manufacturing; however, if managed responsibly, that water resource can be treated properly on site and returned to municipal systems without any quality concerns. The data presented in the water consumption table for 2022 only covers panel manufacturing for Silfab.
FUTURE ESG OBJECTIVES
Silfab Solar is establishing forward-moving ESG objectives that will be documented in our 2023 ESG Impact Report.
The objectives will cover the following areas:
Corporate ESG KPIs
Net Zero Objectives: Additional Interim Targets
Supply Chain Low-Carbon Emissions Data and Reduction Initiatives
Health & Safety Targets
Employee Engagement Data and Objectives
Scope 3 – Expanded Carbon Inventory
Six Sigma and Lean implementation
Expanded ISO Registrations