The award recognises the sustainability credentials solely of those solar modules manufactured at the company’s F8 plant in Dresden throughout their entire lifecycle – from material procurement to recycling.
The prestigious accolade demonstrates that Solarwatt is responding to the growing interest in sustainable solar modules in Europe.
“It is important to us not only that our modules not only deliver clean energy but that they are also manufactured sustainably,” said Solarwatt managing director Detlef Neuhaus.
“Solarwatt has established its production processes accordingly in recent years and uses 100 per cent green electricity. We initiated this demanding certification process to make this commitment visible to our customers.”
Solarwatt modules achieve the highest level of sustainability
‘Cradle to Cradle’ certification is a globally recognised, holistic product quality standard that evaluates products of all kinds, based on their environmental and social performance.
“Unlike solely environmental standards, it also assesses the company’s social responsibility, for example, using the UN Global Compact Self-Assessment Tool,” said Annika Beck, corporate social responsibility manager at Solarwatt.
Assessment in five categories
The categories assessed are material health, recyclability of materials, energy management and CO2emissions, water management and social responsibility.
Certification is provided in basic, bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. A high rating requires equal scores in all categories. The lowest level achieved in each type determines the overall certification (e.g., a basic in one category means a basic overall rating).
The certification is awarded by the independent Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Solarwatt glass-glass modules were evaluated by the accredited agency EPEA Worldwide. Solarwatt is the first German module manufacturer to receive the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certification, with only two other photovoltaic manufacturers currently holding the accreditation.
The Dresden-based manufacturer’s modules were rated gold in energy management & CO2 emissions and water management and silver in the other categories, ultimately resulting in the overall silver rating.
“We are proud to have achieved this holistic and demanding certification to such a good level,” says Annika Beck.
“This is a big step towards our goal of consistently operating our company and sustainably producing our product range.”