Editor’s Note: In 2020, SunPower announced the completion of the strategic spin-off of its manufacturing division into a separate business named Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. As a result, SunPower has expanded its offerings to drive future growth. The SunPower Equinox® system now offers multiple panel options, including front- and back-contact panels, all of which are responsibly and rigorously quality tested to provide the best energy solution for your home.
Bettering our environment and the world in which we operate has been part of SunPower’s core values since our founding days; these ideas are built into our DNA. We committed to bringing the world better, cleaner energy before this idea was a popular one, and even as many told us that pursuit would never be viable or profitable. Now, more than 363,000 homeowners and thousands of respected companies are powering their homes and businesses with SunPower systems.
Following are examples of how we are living our purpose and values, catalyzing innovation and prioritizing our people through an unwavering commitment to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG).
Legacy of sustainability leadership
With over 35 years of industry-leading innovation and experience, SunPower is the longest-standing solar company in the United States. Our work facilitates the country’s transition to clean, renewable solar energy, with every dollar spent, employee hired, and product developed with the goal of addressing the environmental challenges facing the United States and the world. Beyond our goal to make renewable energy accessible to all Americans, we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations through a constant process of reflection and refinement. Now that we’ve split-off manufacturing operations, this proven legacy of sustainability leadership will continue with our focus on all-in-one solar + storage solutions and industry-leading energy services.
By generating electricity from solar instead of fossil fuels, SunPower’s products have offset approximately 80 million metric tons of CO2 since 2005. In 2020 alone, installed SunPower® products offset an estimated 15 million tons of CO2.
The offset CO2 is equivalent to negating greenhouse gas emissions fromCO2e calculations based on EPA GHG calculator:
18 Million passenger vehicles driven for one year.
15 Million homes’ electricity use for one year.
89 billion pounds of coal burned.
9 billion Gallons of gasoline consumed.
Waste reduction and recycling
SunPower has established environmentally responsible disposal of waste as a core objective of our business. To this end, we maintain a national network of innovative, approved recyclers for our electrical, mechanical and solar panel waste streams. We test, reuse, or resell components that have remaining life and ship unusable inventory to specialized recyclers with robust downstream partners for the circular use of extracted raw materials and precious metal recovery. For new products such as SunVault® Storage, we are developing end-of-life partnerships for responsible battery handling, disposal, and recycling. Additionally, we have taken steps to minimize the freight mileage for our waste streams by using direct shipments to lower the carbon footprint of reverse logistics.
Our ability to effect change extends beyond our employee base to include our vendors and partners. We have committed to creating an evaluation process to track minority-owned vendors and partners, and we have adopted a policy of proactively including minority-owned businesses in our requests for proposals.
We are proactively reaching out to small business and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned enterprises to support local economic development in communities around the world. In the United States, we conduct extensive outreach to identify diverse businesses interested in working with SunPower. We also work with industry trade associations, independent business development councils, and national diverse supplier databases to develop a more diverse network of suppliers.
Human rights and forced labor
Human trafficking and forced labor continue to be relevant and pressing challenges in many areas of the world. SunPower prohibits the practice of forced labor, child labor, bonded labor, or any exploitative labor practice throughout our workforce, and we demand the same from our suppliers and business partners. SunPower respects the human rights and national laws of the countries in which we operate, including all employees and contingent workers within our company. We prohibit recruited employees from paying fees during recruitment, deterring the potential for forced labor.
SunPower encourages employees to give their time and money to the causes that matter to them, and the SunPower Foundation matches employee donations. Since 2015, employee donations and SunPower matching funds together provided approximately $1.4M, and more than 26,000 volunteer hours, to nonprofit organizations.
Our Commitment is to do the right thing and actively participate in the environmental justice movement to create a world in which race, class and political influence do not dictate whether one has access to clean energy jobs, affordable clean energy, and a place to live with healthy environmental conditions.
SunPower and Project Lead the Way
SunPower partners with Project Lead the Way, a non-profit organization that develops education curricula and provides transformative learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers. Since 2013 SunPower has supported 61 schools in California and New Mexico through funding Project Lead the Way grants which delivers activity-, project-, and problem-based comprehensive curriculum aligned with relevant national standards in the areas of engineering, biomedical and computer science. To date, SunPower has funded $1.15M grants and has committed another $500,000 for future school grants.
To read SunPower’s full ESG report, visit our sustainability page.