As you begin to immerse yourself further into the world of solar, you may begin to notice something. To put it bluntly, not all solar panels – or HVAC and hot water systems, for that matter – are created equal. This is true not only from the perspective of quality, sustainability and efficiency, but also from the perspective of ethics.
In this article, we take a deep-dive into the wide range of factors affecting just how ethical (or unethical) your solar options can be, as well as the key things to look out for when making decisions about incorporating a solar system into your home. But first, what exactly are ESGs – and why should you be taking notice of them?
What are ESGs or ESG Investing?
ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. When you see the expression “ESGs”, this is referring to the range of factors, influences and/or principles that set standards for how socially-conscious investors or customers make decisions about engaging with a company. A company’s ESG-related goals often take the form of particular principles, guidelines and KPIs that govern the practices and business-related decisions of the company, making sure they align with broader ESG-adjacent operations.
To put it simply, in the contemporary economy, ESGs are now more likely than ever before to influence customer behaviours around investment, purchasing and the maintenance of relationships with a retailer. A number of different consumer and interest groups are known to take ESGs into account when deciding about which products, services of businesses to invest in.
- General consumers
- Businesses deciding whether or not to partner with another business
- Both public companies and private enterprise
- Mutual funds
- Brokerage firms
- Mining companies
- Energy providers, and
- Solar companies
That’s right. In fact, ESGs are now becoming more central than ever before to the overall integrity and sustainability of the solar industry – because what’s the point of compromising on ethics in one area of your solar system if the point, in the first place, is to operate more safely and sustainably for all?
How do ESGs relate to the solar industry?
As our world enters a make-or-break period of social, economic and environmental responsibility related to a changing climate, ESG-aligned practices continue to grow in both size and relative level of influence. This is particularly important as businesses across a wide range of industries move to make positive change with regards to their impact on the environment.
These days, more and more businesses are finding that switching to solar is a simple, efficient and cost-effective way to contribute to their ESG goals. It’s not only businesses that are turning their minds to ESGs, however. Individuals, home-owners and families are three key consumer groups that are also increasing their attention to the ways in which their daily, monthly and annual consumption affects the world around them. Perhaps this is you too!
There are three broad ways that going solar can be an effective solution to ESG-minded decision-making:
- Immediately reducing the impact of your energy consumption
- Promoting economic return from ethical energy production
- If you choose the right panels, using products and services that are ethically sound
But how do solar companies take these factors into account? One particularly important case study to observe is the ways in which SunPower, G Store’s panel supplier of choice, ensures its products remain as ethical as they are safe, clean and efficient.
Which solar panels are ethical?
Like their industry-leading 40-year warranty (yes, you read correctly – 40 years), SunPower also leads the way in producing ESG-friendly products – including their exemplary solar panels and comprehensive solar systems for both home and business.
Let’s look at three key ways in which SunPower panels live up to both consumers’ and the contemporary market’s significant ESG-related goals:
- SunPower panels have a long warranty
Choosing SunPower panels gets you access to the company’s industry-best 40-year warranty, helping you avoid the inconvenience (at best) and carbon footprint (at worst) of replacing poorly-made alternatives.
- SunPower is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Developed in 2015 and intended to be achieved by 2030, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals conceptualised to be a ‘“shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, not and into the future”.
Consistent with their defined purpose of “powering positive change”, SunPower’s products, services and activities are explicitly aligned with four of the UN SDGs including Affordable and Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption and Production, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Reduced Inequalities.
- SunPower is committed to anti-forced labour
Unfortunately, in recent times, the solar industry has seen unfortunate allegations surface regarding forced labour in the global solar supply chain. Unlike other solar companies, Sunpower is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative reinforcing its commitment to “humanist principles including labour rights, environmental and anti-corruption concerns and societal goals”.
- SunPower produces an annual sustainability report
On June 30th, 2022, SunPower published its 2021 Sustainability Report, prepared in accordance with the leading international sustainability standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”), Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”), and the Singapore Exchange’s (“SGX”) Sustainability Reporting requirement.
Are you looking to create a home that’s just as ethical as it is sustainable? Don’t compromise – with such impressive rebates available, now is the time to go (ethically) solar!