The independent audit has verified and certified the factory to the globally recognised ISO 14064-1:2006 standard covering the scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. It means the Solar Works 1 factory in Kassel is the world’s largest zero carbon solar PV inverter manufacturing facility to this scope and boundary. SMA is the world’s largest inverter manufacturer. Its inverters, which convert solar PV systems’ direct current into alternating current and conduct important grid management functions, are used in millions of PV systems around the world.
Jan van Laethem, General Manager SMA Solar UK Ltd., said: “SMA’s inverter technology already makes a significant contribution to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Our inverters are at the heart of solar PV systems around the world which produce clean renewable energy for householders and businesses. “Now with news that our manufacturing facility in Germany has been officially declared zero scope 2 carbon we can safely say our products are manufactured in a verified facility.” Jan adds: “We believe it’s not enough for solar PV systems to simply produce zero carbon energy. Manufacturers of all PV system components need to go one step further and demonstrate their commitment to lowering CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process as well.
“At SMA we have demonstrated that it is possible to manufacture solar PV technology without negatively impacting on the environment. This is crucial if the solar industry is to convince its customers of the green credentials of its products.”
The Solar Works 1 factory took 18 months to build and was opened in 2009. At full capacity, around 4,000 units can be produced every dayin the 18,000 m2 facility at Solar Works 1. Its high levels of energy efficiency start with the building envelope which complies with the German Low Energy Building Standard. The factory’s design maximises natural lighting and employs smart ventilation systems to keep the building cool. The factory features an onsite 1 GW solar PV system. A combined heat and power plant produces carbon-neutral power and heat from, amongst others, biogas from two regional plants. Heating is also drawn from a nearby renewable waste incineration plant. Additional renewable energy is bought to cover the complete power consumption.
CICS carried out a rigorous assessment of the Solar Works 1 factory’s data reporting on CO2 emissions, as well as its operating procedures, during a site visit in April this year2. Key personnel involved in greenhouse gas data management were interviewed and the quality of the factory’s data management systems and procedures was subjected to a comprehensive review and assessment.
Based in the UK and USA, CICS operate in 30 countries and is an established leading verification and certification body which holds international accreditations and verified over 104 million tonnes of CO2 in 2012.
Ann-Marie Cornall, Sales Consultant of CICS said: “Many companies and organisations now measure their carbon footprint as part of their overall sustainability and corporate social responsibility policy. Companies at the cutting edge of sustainability reporting now have the opportunity to have the carbon footprint exercise externally verified by a third party body. Independent verification adds credibility to the emissions statement and provides confidence to shareholders, investors and the public. That is exactly what SMA Solar have achieved with this exercise.”
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2012 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented internationally in 21 countries. The Group employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all plant sizes. The product range includes both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. SMA is therefore able to provide ideal technical inverter solutions for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and achieved first place in the nationwide “Great Place to Work®” competition in 2011 and 2012 and fourth place in 2013.
Notes to editors
1. The verification assessment carried out by CICS covered the factory building 60’s ‘Scope 2’ greenhouse gas emissions - i.e. those generated by the building and its manufacturing/production processes. It did not cover Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions such as vehicle emissions from the transport of products or raw materials.
2. The CICS accredited verification carried out a detailed and rigorous examination of the emissions inventory and GHG Assertion for the manufacturing facility building 60 of SMA Solar Technology AG at its headquarters in Kassel in Germany. The verification assessment covered emissions for the period 2011 & 2012 against the standard ISO14064-1: Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
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