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Jinko Solar’s Renewable Pledge: Spearheading the Solar Industry Toward Sustainability

Jinko Solar remains steadfast in its industry-leading commitment to using 100% renewable energy.

As a global leader in the supply and production of solar panels — which generate some of the cleanest and most abundant energy on Earth — it should come as no surprise that Jinko Solar is committed to a sustainable future. Founded in 2006, Jinko Solar is a longtime trusted supplier of solar modules and has deployed over 165 gigawatts in 160 countries globally.

In 2019 Jinko Solar made history as the first solar module manufacturer to sign the RE100 pledge, a global initiative of industry leaders committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2025     . As a company with average production rates increasing 40% to 50% year over year, Jinko Solar’s pledge is a massive undertaking that’s already resulted in 32,800 tonnes of reduced CO2 emissions.

“At Jinko Solar, we care as much about the sustainability of our products as we do the way we build them,” said a Jinko Solar spokesperson in a 2019 press release about the pledge. “Going green is our business, from the inside out, and we’re thrilled to be the world’s first solar manufacturer to be a member of RE100 and EP100 [energy productivity pledge] simultaneously. It makes business sense to save energy and switch to renewables. Being a responsible corporate citizen is more than just good business practice — it helps make society more sustainable and healthy.”

Jinko Solar’s Road Toward Renewables

Jinko Solar continues to make strides toward its pledge thanks to a detailed, 13-step road map that will guide the company until 2030. Among the 13 steps to lower its emissions in manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, China, Vietnam, and Malaysia, Jinko Solar has notably already started building new factories in or near areas where renewable energy can be readily sourced, invested in high-power, energy-efficient solar products to reduce energy consumption, and adopted an integrated cradle-to-cradle method of production.

Earlier this year, Jinko Solar announced plans to build a $7.87 billion vertically integrated factory in Shanxi, China, that will take advantage of the province’s robust renewable resources to allow for net-zero carbon operations. Construction of this factory will be done over four phases with an operational opening expected in 2024 and full-capacity operations expected by 2025.

This factory represents one of the largest investments in the history of the solar industry and reinforces Jinko Solar’s pledge to go 100% renewable by 2025.

“Our new vertical-integrated manufacturing base in Shanxi will allow more work simultaneously at the same location, meaning we can build more panels at lower cost and with a much smaller carbon footprint,” said Jinko Solar Vice President Dany Qian in a press release. “Shanxi’s renewable power resources and supply have been shaped. We will be able to draw on these long-standing green power infrastructures to implement our RE100 goal.”

Investments in Efficiency

As of 2022, Jinko Solar had transitioned 12 of its manufacturing facilities to run on a mix of renewable energies including hydro, solar, and wind. In addition to procuring renewable energy from local grid systems, Jinko Solar has equipped several of its facilities with onsite rooftop solar installations, totaling 102.07 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power generation systems on the roofs of its factories.

While it’s often challenging to procure renewable sources that meet the high-capacity energy required for large-scale factory operations, three of Jinko Solar’s facilities, such as one in Penang, Malaysia which serves the U.S. market are run completely on green energy. To harden its commitment to renewable energy, Jinko Solar has also convinced its suppliers and partners to sign a 100% renewable energy pledge for the portion of their business relating to Jinko Solar’s products.

Cradle-to-Cradle Production

As the first-ever Chinese company and one of only two photovoltaic manufacturers to be Cradle to Cradle Certified from leading testing, inspection, and certification company SGS, Jinko Solar continues to set a sustainable standard for companies around the globe.

Cradle-to-cradle is a production method based on the philosophy that all aspects of a product are reusable or recyclable indefinitely without a loss in quality. Cradle to Cradle Certification measures five categories of a product’s quality — material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness — and rates a product’s achievement level from basic to bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. For a product to be Cradle to Cradle Certified it must be made from recyclable materials that are safe for both humans and the environment.

Jinko Solar received a silver rating in November 2017 for its Eagle module solar panels, meaning they reach a high level of environmental, health, and safety standards. This certification isn’t only a testament to Jinko Solar’s environmental stewardship, but also reinforces the company’s vision of being the most trusted supplier of solar equipment in North America.

The Next 5: Jinko Solar’s RE100 Pledge Progress

Since signing the RE100 pledge four years ago, Jinko Solar has already passed the 50% mark for renewable generated power and is on track to reach 60% by the end of 2023, making substantial progress toward its 2025 goal.

Jinko Solar is not only dedicated to achieving 100% renewables, but also plans to produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. With all of the company’s recent energy transitions, Jinko Solar has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 32,800 tonnes, equivalent to the emissions of 36,741,033 pounds of coal.

For its extensive efforts toward sustainability, Jinko Solar was recognized as the Sustainability Awards 2022 Outstanding Company of the Year by Ernst & Young. This award was granted after a comprehensive assessment of the company’s corporate innovation, carbon emission reduction, ecological and environmental protection, social responsibility performance, governance enhancement, demonstration promotion, investment, and financing system.

As the leading manufacturer of solar modules, Jinko Solar continues to be at the forefront of industry sustainability. Jinko Solar’s Qian put it best in stating, “Jinko Solar is committed to contributing to sustainable development, driven by PV, by re-examining its business and operating models from an [environmental, social, and governance] perspective, to provide green, affordable and equitable solar energy for everyone, and to create a sustainable future.”