SMC Solar Ltd recognises that the construction and specialised contractors industries contribute significantly to the environmental footprint of development and redevelopment projects in the building and associated trades. SMC is informed in mitigating its contribution to this impact by the ‘three-R’s’ principle:
This policy area is one in which SMC recognises rapid and significant progress may be made. Our policy documents are presented in this area more as a narrative, framing and informing and challenging our behaviour.
We will keep our policy up-dated with emergent practice and reflecting opportunities which
will arise further to mitigate the impact of our work programmes.
We will review our Environmental Impact Policy quarterly and advise contractees of substantive versioning amendments to it during the course of any contract. No changes made to the policy will be deleterious to the terms of any contract held by SMC without negotiation with the contractee.
Reduce :: Re-use :: Recycle
In its operations, SMC has taken steps to ensure that its administration systems make minimal environmental impact.
We have installed our own generating capacity at our main business address which to date has contributed over 3000kWhr electricity, representing an estimated [30%] of the electricity used at this address for the purposes of carrying on our business. We back our business with our actions.
We will make an annual assessment of the %ge of our business power we generate ourselves and strive to increase this share on an annual basis. This will be achieved by monitoring the performance of our generating capacity; and by further challenging our behaviours and energy-use patterns.
In its procurement decisions, SMC has been able to combine geographic proximity for supply of standardised ‘call-off’ fixing components; and an analytic approach to reducing the embodied carbon for the supply of PV panels.
In a schedule to this policy there is a table showing the carbon cost of bringing PV panels from UK, near-European and far-Eastern manufacturing.
We have partnered with the UK distributor of a German roof-fixing engineering system, whose distribution centre is located within an hour’s drive of our business.
We have made enquiries up the supply-chain for our roof fixings to establish a monitoring system for the proportion of recovered/recycled material entering the feedstock of their aluminium and steel fabrication.
Reduce :: Re-use :: Recycle
In its waste management, SMC has been able to become signatories to the wrap ‘Halving Waste to Landfill’ waste-reduction strategy. The website supporting this programme may be accessed at www.wrap.org.uk
We will operate segregated waste stream operations on site.
End of life
SMC recognises the need to manage out end-of-service-life (EOSL) equipment sensitively and with regard to the embedded value and hazards as may be present.
There is already an emergent industry organisation dealing with disposal of PV panels, and SMC will adapt its processes to ensure that awareness of disposal capacity for EOSL PV panels is heightened. We note that manufacturers are increasingly aware of opportunities for differentiation / emergent obligation: from a major far-Eastern manufacturer’s website:
‘In May 2009, we became the first China-based company and the 40th member to join PV CYCLE, an organization based in Brussels, Belgium, that promotes voluntary take-back and recycling of end-of-life PV modules. As a member, we will participate in PV CYCLE working groups aiming to define collection and recycling targets for the PV industry, develop voluntary agreements among members, and hone PV CYCLE’s business model and outreach strategy.’
Yingli website: www.yinglisolar.com