Reducing solar’s environmental impact through ecolabels

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Increasing use of renewable energy, especially solar, offers a tremendous benefit to society. But this can only be realized if the solar panels and other vital components are produced sustainably. No longer can the negative environmental impact of an energy source be decoupled from its societal benefit. The Green Electronics Council (GEC) worked with NSF International, a leading standards development organization, to develop criteria for sustainable PV modules and inverters. GEC was driven by the desire not to repeat the energy mistakes of the past.GEC has been in existence for over a decade as a non-profit that leverages large-scale purchasing power, both public and private sector, as a demand driver for more sustainable technology. It understands that by deciding to buy sustainable technology, institutional purchasers can really “move the needle” toward a more sustainable world. But there is little gain in stimulating demand if there is no product to meet it. GEC also helps manufacturers understand technology specific sustainability impacts, commit to addressing those impacts, and act to change operational, supply chain and procurement behaviors.EPEAT, the ecolabel managed by GEC, is used by more large-scale purchasers of technology products than any other ecolabel globally. An ecolabel is one …

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