Waste & Air Pollutants

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SolarWorld AG
Martin-Luther-King-Str. 24
53175 Bonn


Waste and air pollutants

Reduce pollution

With its sustainable group strategy, SolarWorld pays particular attention to its production of waste and pollutants. With the aid of the latest technology, and thanks to ongoing production process optimization, waste volume is not only continuously reduced, but the environmental pollution caused as a result is also kept as low as possible. It is our aim to reduce the share of hazardous waste on an ongoing basis.

Measures to date:

  • Silicon reprocessing
  • Recycle-At-Work
  • Reusable packaging in production
  • Waste guide Freiberg (March edition Sunday, “Waste guide provides orientation - Katja Weiße created the guide for labeling and disposal” - more information can be found here)
  • Hazardous substance management implemented in full: Approval processes, all hazardous substances with medium, high and very high hazard levels are subject to a substitution test
  • Start of the introduction of the water soluble flux in module production
  • Reduction of the use of slurry in wafering
  • Reduction of the use of chemicals in cell production by optimizing the production process

Goals for 2020:

  • Reduction of waste volume (in t/MWp) by 10% [2012: 26.9 t/MWp]

With a SolarWorld system, you are making an active contribution to protecting the environment

support a company which makes a conscious use of resources and reduces waste and pollutant emissions

How much waste is generated at SolarWorld?

The absolute amount of waste increased in 2016 due to higher production volumes. The specific volume of waste lies at 28.0 t/MWp in 2016.

How is the recycling of used modules organized?

You can find information on our recycling of used modules here.

How does SolarWorld influence air quality?

In addition to our impact on climate change, we also consider air pollution. Even with state-of-the-art production facilities, air emissions can never be entirely avoided. Because we report on our environmental impact transparently and completely, we disclose this data, too. Due to differing local regulations, air emissions are not measured everywhere to the same extent. Data in some cases is calculated based on the substances used or the respective annual figures are extrapolated from a multi-year measurement cycle. Solar- World does not use or release any nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) or other perfluorocarbons during the production process.

Our German production sites are subject to the German Federal Immission Control Act (Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz, BImSchG) as well as local regulations on the construction, operation and monitoring of facilities that may have a detrimental environmental impact. When these facilities are commissioned, a comprehensive assessment of all relevant environmental effects is carried out, for example also those of emissions from process exhaust. Based on this assessment, a voluntary inspection program is put in place to conduct measurements during production. Our facilities are built to the latest standards and have collecting devices and exhaust air scrubbers, where necessary, to reduce emissions to a minimum. If a problem occurs in the system, an automatic shutdown of the respective production facility is triggered. In this way, we make sure that no relevant hazardous substances can escape. At our production site in Hillsboro, too, we are subject to strict regional legislation. Our manufacturing facilities here are also equipped with exhaust air scrubbers. Here too, emission measurements are carried out regularly. Thanks to a process change, we have reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at Hillsboro.