Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Solar Scorecard's "Sunny" Products

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Consumer, Industrial

Info on this product category: Solar Photovoltaic Modules & Inverters

Why Go Green

Anything with solar panels, such as phone chargers, lamps, and panels on your roof or land can have toxic materials like lead that can leach out, cadmium telluride (CdTe), or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).

Solar panels (modules) and chargers (inverters) on this page are less-toxic, more energy-efficient, longer-lasting and recyclable. 

 

Tips

Products should meet the highest tier in as many of these three criteria as possible:

  • EPEAT’s highest level is Gold. EPEAT is a life-cycle based, third party validated ecolabel. Unlike some ecolabels, you can see which optional EPEAT criteria each product meets.
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified’s (C2CC) highest level is Platinum. Unlike some ecolabels, C2C doesn’t certify products with toxic cadmium telluride. 
  • Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC)'s Solar Scorecard lists greenest manufacturers as “sunny.” Unlike some ecolabels, SVTC scores manufacturers on whether they take back their products for free and recycle them. You can tell by SVTC’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) score. Like EPEAT and C2CC, SVTC also asks manufacturers about emissions reductions, worker rights, energy and water use, conflict minerals and material toxicity and recycled content.

Criteria for Solar Photovoltaic Modules & Inverters

Criteria for Suggested products:

Products should meet the highest tier in as many of these three criteria as possible:

  • EPEAT registered
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified 
  • Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) Solar Scorecard 

Last updated

Last updated: 
January 15, 2021

Guide for City Staff

Recycling Instructions

Recycle them at Recology, which contracts with certified e-Stewards recyclers.

Citywide Contract

Guide for Small Businesses & Homes

If you’re a tenant, you can save 5-10% off of your annual electricity costs by subscribing to local solar farms, such as through EnergySage’s Community Solar Marketplace. EnergySage is a platform powered by the U.S. Department of Energy.  If you own property, you might be able to lease or own solar panels with no money down.  San Francisco Bay Area residents can also sign up for SunShares solar and install battery storage discounts.

In some states, it’s illegal to send electronics like solar panels to the landfill.  Ask the manufacturer or current waste hauler for your building if they use an e-Stewards certified recycler that recycles solar. Unlike R2 which also certifies electronics recyclers, e-Stewards has more data security requirements, limits prison labor, and requires air monitoring for worker health in risky processes.

Guide for Large Organizations

In some states, it’s illegal to send electronics like solar panels to the landfill.  Ask the manufacturer or current waste hauler for your building if they use an e-Stewards certified recycler that recycles solar. Unlike R2 which also certifies electronics recyclers, e-Stewards has more data security requirements, limits prison labor, and requires air monitoring for worker health in risky processes.

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