The SSI is seeking to receive comments on and suggestions for improvements to the SSI Code and regarding the SSI Governance and Assurance System through a public consultation process that runs from 17 May 2023 to 12 July 2023.
The consultation process is being conducted in accordance with the internationally recognised ISEAL Standard Setting Code.
CONSULTATION VERSION OF THE CODE
The documents on which stakeholders are invited to provide feedback during the SSI Code public consultation can be accessed here:
How to Provide Comments
Stakeholders are invited to learn more about the SSI Code and share feedback through the public consultation form.
Public Consultation Form
SolarPower Europe will produce a summary of the received comments, provide a response to that summary, and make this publicly available on the SSI website.
Comments and suggestions for improvement to the SSI Code will be considered for inclusion and, where appropriate, incorporated into the final first version of the SSI Code, expected to be published in November 2023.
Learning from the implementation of SSI Code version one in 2024, the SSI is planning to have another review of the Code in 2025.
Watch the Public Consultation Webinar
The Solar Stewardship Initiative (SSI) was set in motion by SolarPower Europe and Solar Energy UK in March 2021, building on SolarPower Europe’s Sustainability Workstream established in 2015 to further develop and promote a responsible, transparent, and sustainable solar value chain. The official launch of the SSI in October 2022 marked a critical milestone for the solar industry. The roadmap and plans for the SSI can be found on the SSI website.
The Solar Stewardship Initiative is currently collaborating with over 60 organisations in the solar value chain to foster responsible production, sourcing, and investment, including manufacturers, developers, installers, purchasers, investors and international finance institutions, such as the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.
Throughout the initial launch period the Solar Stewardship Initiative is working towards its establishment as a multi-stakeholder initiative with representatives on its governing bodies from industry at different phases of the solar value chain, as well as other stakeholders including civil society, financial institutions, think tanks and independent experts on ESG and standard setting.
The Solar Stewardship Initiative is a mechanism to gather and verify information on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance of operators in the solar value chain. The central instrument is the SSI Code, an ESG standard designed specifically for the solar value chain.
The Solar Stewardship Initiative has developed a consultation draft of the SSI Code, which outlines a set of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements relevant to the solar value chain. The SSI Code is intended to be comprehensive in its coverage of ESG topics, applied to operating sites, and will be assured by qualified independent assurers.
The SSI Code has been written to align with internationally recognised standards, certifications, and guidelines, including:
- The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs)
- United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct
- International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas
- WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol
- ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management systems
- ISO 14044:2006 Life cycle assessment
By adopting this Code, companies in the solar value chain demonstrate a clear commitment to ethical and transparent practices.
Compliance with the Code will be evaluated through a rating system with a progressive approach.
The SSI Assurance System will recognise existing credible and equivalent third-party standards systems, reporting frameworks, and certifications in order to avoid redundancy, audit fatigue, and to promote the use of such programmes for the sites which would like to be assessed against the SSI Code.
*Transparency Disclaimer: Developed in partnership with DNV, acting as a technical advisor, and STS acting as a traceability expert.