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Responsible Sourcing Guidance

One of Solar Energy UK’s top priorities is to help ensure a sustainable and ethical solar supply chain globally. The UK solar industry is taking proactive steps to promote environmental and social responsibility within the industry.

We have formed the Responsible Sourcing Task Group to work with key stakeholders and unravel the complexity of the sector’s supply chain, engaging with suppliers and business partners to implement a responsible sourcing programme in the coming months.

While we work with experts to develop and implement a comprehensive programme, there are several simple steps members can take individually to support sustainable and ethical sourcing practices.

At a minimum, we recommend and encourage all Solar Energy UK members to follow the guidance below in their procurement processes:

  1. Adopt an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standard and require suppliers and business partners to abide by them. Where possible require compliance via contractual obligations as part of the tender process.
  2. Implement a supplier qualification process which includes specific ESG requirements such as abiding to your standards and encouraging them to engage and share results of audits.
  3. Perform due diligence on suppliers’ ESG commitment to implement international standards on environmental, health and safety, and labour issues; assess their capacity to manage ESG risks and require evidence of their acting upon findings.
  4. Track suppliers’ responses and improvements over time, in particular following your due diligence and engagement.
  5. Track your own actions against any potential issues or non-compliance identified from engagement, follow up on due diligence or disengagement.
  6. Report to stakeholders on any action you have taken against any issues identified as part of your supplier qualification process.

Solar Energy UK has also developed a more detailed Responsible Sourcing Toolkit that is available for members. Please reach out to our policy team for more information.

For further guidance on ESG best practices, we would also recommended reviewing the Solar Sustainability Best Practices Benchmark.