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By 2050, around 80 million metric tons of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules will reach the end of their life globally (according to NREL). 10 million metric tons will be in the United States. But this is not an issue for a far-off future. As we transition to renewable energy, we create a massive volume of waste just from manufacturing and transporting batteries and solar panels. So, what can we do to improve this process now, rather than in 25 years? 

Kelly Weger, the Director of Sustainability for North America at Qcells takes us through their plan to reduce embodied carbon across the entire supply chain—from manufacturing to end-of-life recycling. 

Expect to learn:

  • How Qcells is reducing embodied carbon throughout their supply chain, from material sourcing to end-of-life recycling.
  • The strategy behind Qcells and SolarCycle’s circular economy superhero partnership.
  • What it will take to create a true circular economy in solar, a vision Qcells is actively working towards.
  • How certification standards like EPEAT validate a company’s sustainability claims. 
  • How much Qcells has invested in their wafer manufacturing facility in Georgia (it’s a massive number). 

This conversation lays out the proactive steps any organization can take to mitigate environmental impacts. A circular economy is not a far-off pipe dream, but to get there, we’ll need to be far more intentional with how we build.

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