Action Sustainability launches practical procurement guidance

Solar Pv

Action Sustainability has released new guidance, highlighting how to address modern slavery and labour exploitation risks in the solar photovoltaic (PV) supply chain.

With the effects of climate change becoming apparent in all corners of the world, the transition to a low-carbon economy is more urgent than ever. Solar PV technology is vital in enabling this transition, as it captures solar energy efficiently, producing low-carbon electricity and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

However, recent reports such as the Global Slavery Index 2023 and Sheffield Hallam University’s ‘In Broad Daylight: Uyghur Forced Labour and Global Supply Chains’ have exposed how the solar PV industry is vulnerable to forced labour.

The company’s new ‘Addressing Modern Slavery and Labour Exploitation in Solar PV Supply Chains Procurement Guidance’ explores the modern slavery and labour exploitation risks and impacts in the solar PV supply chain and the critical steps to take to address these issues.

Key features of the guide:

  • Outlines pragmatic steps to address these risks throughout the commercial lifecycle
  • Valuable insights into effective solar PV procurement due diligence
  • Practical tips and guidance for implementing best practices for solar PV procurement
  • Signposts to existing tools, resources and collaborative initiatives to help organisations improve their approaches

While the guidance focuses on solar PV, its content is transferable to responsible sourcing strategies for other renewable energy technologies, allowing organisations to reduce reputational risk, meet client requirements, gain competitive advantage, increase investor confidence, and develop more resilient supply chains.

Helen Carter, Lead Consultant at Action Sustainability and Co-Author of the report, says, “Human rights abuses such as modern slavery, forced labour and labour exploitation are embedded in the history of our energy journey. We’re in the process of changing the energy mix and moving to a more sustainable model, yet the technologies we’re relying on are entrenched with human rights issues. We wanted to produce this guide to help organisations of all shapes and sizes take a responsible approach to this transition – we hope it goes some way to doing that.”

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