Protecting Human Rights Around the World
Maxeon reaffirmed its commitment to manufacture products as clean as the energy they produce in our inaugural Sustainability Report, published in June 2021. The company works with suppliers to ensure the supply chain is aligned with all laws and international best practices with regards not only to forced labour, but across all Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities.
Maxeon’s Global Human Rights Policy is an industry standard-bearer and clearly establishes expectations for business conduct related to human rights and labour for employees, suppliers and any other business partners. The policy was developed in accordance with global human rights best practices and standards such as the the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the UN Global Compact (UNGC), which Maxeon joined in December 2020.
The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative and requires its signatories to demonstrate commitment to all humanist principles including labour rights, environmental and anti-corruption concerns and societal goals.
Maxeon’s policy in particular prohibits its employees and supply chain partners from inhumane treatment of workers and any form of indentured or involuntary labour, rejects limitations on free speech, expression, thought, consciousness and religion, among other human rights protections.
What does our supply chain look like?
Manufacturing solar panels is a complex process involving many suppliers of materials as well as labour. The work involves not only manufacturing but logistics, services and a robust supply chain of goods and materials that go into solar panels and affiliated products.
How We Assess Our Supply Chain
Maxeon considers its supply chain partners an extension of the company and regularly assesses their performance. All material suppliers are required to certify their commitment to Maxeon’s Global Human Rights Policy and attend supplier trainings annually. Nonattendance is not an option, and suppliers who do not attend may be terminated.
Every supplier’s Master Service Agreement as well as Maxeon’s Supplier Sustainability Guidelines require suppliers to acknowledge their responsibility to adhere to our Human Rights Policy and Code of Conduct. Suppliers must track any information related to their human rights compliance and provide updates upon request as well as annual assessments and compliance certifications.
In addition, Maxeon actively seeks to protect the rights of its workers by posting our Human Rights Policy in local languages throughout our facilities and supplier locations and broadly communicating Maxeon’s Compliance and Ethics Helpline.
Recognizing the complexity of the solar supply chain, the company recently rolled out an additional program to track traceability of its raw materials in partnership with our suppliers.
How are we doing?
Violations of human rights are considered a breach of contract at Maxeon. As stated in the stakeholder letter:
When issues have arisen in the past, we conducted a formal investigation and suppliers have been terminated. Currently, there are zero current cases of non-compliance with regards to human rights and fair labour issues, both within our internal operations as well as within our supply chain.
In addition to having a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of human and labour rights, we continue to monitor current and emerging regulations and industry best practices. We will continue to enhance our internal policies and controls and work with suppliers to ensure continued compliance with any relevant laws, protocols and best practices as circumstances may require.
For any high-risk countries identified in the future, we will work across our value chain to mitigate risks through our multi-step risk assessment methodology and if necessary, engage specialists, both internal and external, to aid in risk assessment and remediation measures, should issues arise.
Employees, contractors and suppliers at Maxeon are encouraged to join the fight for human rights. A Compliance and Ethics Helpline is available 24/7 for internal and external stakeholders to anonymously report any concerns or infractions.
For more information on Maxeon’s Human Rights Policy and overall ESG strategy, check out our recently published Sustainability Report.