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15 Aug 2023

Renewable Energy News

First Solar reveals third-party factory audits

First Solar has published details of onsite third-party social audits conducted across its global manufacturing footprint, in what it believes is an industry first.

On the release of its 2023 Sustainability Report, the US thin-film solar module maker has established an industry benchmark for transparency by making public details of onsite third-party social audits across its factories.

First Solar said its integrated manufacturing process helps eliminate risks and traceability challenges associated with outsourcing.

First Solar, a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), conducted three onsite third-party RBA Validated Assessment Program (VAP) audits at its manufacturing facilities in the United States, Malaysia and Vietnam.

While the company’s US and Vietnam operations achieved platinum status, the highest possible rating, the audits uncovered the fact that four service providers at its Malaysia facility fell short of First Solar’s standards.

Details of the findings and First Solar’s corrective actions are included in the company’s 2023 Sustainability Report.

The Malaysia facility is expected to have its VAP closure audit in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The purpose of proven third-party social audits like the RBA VAP social audits is not to rubber-stamp compliance but to identify and remedy existing and potential issues to help improve the lives of workers across the supply chain...