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SunPower’s PV Panel Manufacturing Site in Mexico Verified Landfill-free

published: 2015-08-18 18:29

SunPower’s solar panel manufacturing site in Mexicali, Mexico has earned the Landfill-Free Verification from NSF Sustainability, a division of the global nonprofit public health organization NSF International. The same facility’s solar panels were also Cradle-to-Cradle Certifified™ Silver. The verification and certification show SunPower’s commitment to be sustainable.

By demonstrating that 99% of the waste generated is diverted from landfills, SunPowe’s Mexican facility was verified landfill-free. The facility is also the first of any industry in Mexico to be third-party verified as landfill-free.

"With Landfill-Free Verification and Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ Silver solar panel production, our Mexicali site is a sustainability model for SunPower manufacturing facilities worldwide," said Marty Neese, SunPower COO. "As an industry leader providing customers with reliable, high efficiency solar energy solutions, it is SunPower's responsibility to operate with minimal impact to the environment. This is why we innovate relentlessly to create clean solar products and develop more sustainable manufacturing practices." 

NSF Sustainability is a trusted independent organization that verifies landfill-free programs for companies around the world. To earn verification, organizations must demonstrate that no more than 1% of waste generated at a single site goes to the landfill. Additional criteria include documentation and implementation of waste sorting and management processes, active employee training programs, and routine audits to ensure compliance.

SunPower has partnered with Northstar Recycling to identify zero-waste-to-landfill improvement opportunities and implement solutions at the facility in Mexicali. Through initiatives developed with Northstar Recycling and SunPower employees, nearly all waste generated onsite is now reused, recycled, or repurposed. Other sustainable innovations include a vertical outdoor garden hydrated with greywater from carport solar panel washing, as well as functional notepads made from interleaf paper that separates and protects solar cells during shipping. Going forward, SunPower will continue to track progress and explore even more sustainable waste-management practices in preparation for NSF Sustainability's annual reassessment audits.

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