Earth Day 2023
Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer
Green is always in, but on April 22, people from across the world will come together and demonstrate their commitment to our planet by cleaning up local parks and beaches, planting trees, or perhaps ditching their wheels and walking to wherever they need to be.
It’s a particularly significant time for Maxeon too. Earth Day is aligned to our company purpose of Powering Positive Change and is a moment for us to bring our purpose to life, both with our people and the world.
Celebrating Earth Day
The goal of Earth Day is twofold: to raise awareness about the pressing environmental issues facing our planet and to inspire individuals, communities, and governments to take concrete steps to address these challenges. At Maxeon we are working to address both challenges, but we also understand that certain moments in time offer us an opportunity to really showcase our commitment to our planet.
In previous years we have held several events and celebrations for our employees. Last year, every employee was granted a day’s leave for Earth Day, and we encouraged our teams to donate their time and engage in an activity focused on sustainability. It was really encouraging and inspiring to see posts and photographs shared amongst our staff around the world. Our Legal and ESG team in Singapore came together to organise a beach clean-up, collecting a total of more than 14kg of trash! Demonstrating the positive result our team can achieve together in just one morning, though also how much more work remains to be done!
As we approach Earth Day this year and are again encouraging our employees to take a day to volunteer in their communities, I wanted to take this moment to highlight some of the key initiatives Maxeon is taking to boost our circular economy practices.
Investing in our Planet
With this year’s Earth Day theme being ‘investing in our planet’, I am reminded of how Maxeon is committed to the protection of the environment through a circular economy approach. At Maxeon, we aim to deliver panels as clean as the energy they produce; from the manufacturing of new materials to ensuring panels at the end of their lives are not discarded into landfill.
This year, I have been proud to witness the journey that has brought us one step closer to achieving our Long-Term Targets for waste, energy usage, water management and a circular economy that we announced at the end of 2021 and published in our Sustainability Report. Our commitment to being at the forefront of creating a circular economy in the solar industry means that at every stage we are using renewable, re-usable and non-toxic resources in the most efficient way wherever possible. Alongside this we are also encouraging our stakeholders throughout our supply chain to do the same.
The circular economy is a concept that closely aligns with our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12; Responsible Consumption and Production. This relates to the efficient use of national resources, ensuring waste is repurposed to result in a closed-loop system. We believe the key to successful product life cycle management is to minimise effort and maximise benefit to the environment from sourcing to recycling and all the in-between.
Panels that Stand the Test of Time
It has probably happened to all of us, that feeling of discontent when a tool or appliance we bought breaks long before we expect it to. But more importantly, design and quality of a product also has a fundamental impact on the environment.
At Maxeon we understand the importance of a durable product which is why our SunPower Maxeon panel line is backed by the solar industry’s best-in-class warranty of 40 years, the longest available by 15 years.
Maxeon’s continued investment in high efficiency, high yield panels, coupled with the industry’s longest warranty of 40 years, reduces demand for new materials, results in less waste and lower carbon emissions.
Sustainable Supply Chain
As we develop a Maxeon product, we work with suppliers that are not only best in class in quality and competitive in price, but also suppliers that match our values. We have incorporated ESG factors into the selection process for suppliers of our products, such as:
E - Environmental factors such as carbon footprint and packaging;
S - Commitment to international fair labor and human rights standards; and
G - Adherence to Maxeon standards on anti-corruption and other governance measures
An example of Maxeon’s commitment includes a recent pilot of a supplier sustainability monitoring program with Singapore-based, ESG fintech Hashstacs Pte Ltd (STACS) that is backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and aims to be a global standard for supply chain due diligence. Maxeon and STACS embarked on the project to leverage holistic ESG data and digital tools on ESGpedia for monitoring the sustainability performance of suppliers in Maxeon’s end-to-end supply chain.
A Fresh Start for our Recycled Panels
While our solar panels will have a long and productive life, lighting up homes and businesses across the world, it’s also important to recognise the life after operation. That’s why we have released a new circular economy policy document ‘Powering a Circular Economy: Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling’ which outlines Maxeon’s responsible sourcing programs, lean manufacturing and packaging reduction, and how Maxeon approaches recycling for panels that need to be retired.
Overall, it is my hope that our Powering a Circular Economy policy will be a standard-bearer for the industry, both demonstrating to our customers that they have found the right solar supplier for a sustainable planet, and also encouraging other participants in the industry to up their game.
Earth Day may be a reminder for many of the progress we have yet to make in achieving a pollution-free, carbon-neutral planet, but investing in a circular economy is an important way to contribute to a cleaner future. The notion of a circular economy – where almost everything is reused and little is discarded – once seemed out of reach but is now very much possible with a collective shift toward more sustainable and circular practices embraced by Maxeon.
On a day when we are called to invest in our planet, I am encouraged by our commitment to Powering Positive Change across the world.