To provide the solar industry guidance on how to ensure supply chain transparency for importing PV modules to the USA, SEIA released the first Solar Supply Chain Traceability Protocol in the industry on April 29, co-authored by STS.
The protocol launch was followed by a dedicated discussion webinar on April 30. Frédéric Dross from STS presented the Protocol and answered some of the most common questions about it. For instance, here are two questions that were asked during this webinar, as well as an edited transcript.
John Smirnow: Setting the region of Xingjiang aside, as an auditor, were you able to conduct independent audits in other areas of China?
Frédéric Dross: Yes, we have actually conducted a handful of supply chain audits. Besides, we have been contracted by approximately 20 developers to perform similar audits. (…) Generally, we see a good cooperation from the manufacturers.
John Smirnow: For some companies which are new to implementing traceability or some other types of traceability protocol, what do you recommend for them to start with?
Frédéric Dross: The traceability protocol has been designed to follow the structure of ISO9001, which is probably the most common quality standard use in manufacturing. (…) Robust quality management processes are key to provide confidence that the manufacturer is able to trace all components of the modules.