A MISSION OF SUSTAINABILITY
A key element of our environmental responsibility is how we manage and reduce environmental impacts in our manufacturing. First Solar has received the following certifications at all of its manufacturing facilities. ISO 14001:2004 environmental management systems certification, ISO 9001:2008 quality management systems certification, and OHSAS 18001:2007 certification for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. Our factories work towards minimizing and recycling manufacturing waste. Recycling facilities are operational in all our global manufacturing plants.
First Solar's environmental responsibility is part of a mission of sustainability; sustainability of the environment and our natural resources, sustainability of the communities in which we operate, and sustainability of business operations, ensuring solid, long-term relationships with our business stakeholders.
A self-contained manufacturing environment assures that air is cleaned before being released into the environment. All areas employing semiconductor materials and other metals are filtered with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These processes are monitored and tested to assure that the air is clean and well below regulated standards.
The residual water from the manufacturing process is treated through multiple processes in order to remove contaminants from production related activities. It is then released to a local municipal system or directly to the environment. Water quality is routinely tested, monitored, and documented by First Solar.
Solid Waste Collection
Module manufacturing scrap is centrally collected and processed for recycling. Substantially all module components, including the glass and the encapsulated semiconductor materials and metals, are recovered through a series of processes for reuse in new modules or other products.
"Safety First" is a core value at First Solar. The company's manufacturing processes include comprehensive environmental health and safety (EHS) protocols and processes. First Solar uses state of the art engineering controls, operational procedures, housekeeping methods, and personal protective equipment to ensure the health and safety of our associates, as well as the communities in which we operate. A systems approach to health and safety programs, and a comprehensive routine air monitoring plan ensure the safety of our associates and the manufacturing environment. In addition, independent environmental auditing is done on a regular basis to ensure the safety and compliance of the First Solar manufacturing process.