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SEAF Portfolios Report No Exposure to First Solar Malaysian Solar Panels

SEAF Portfolios Report No Exposure to First Solar Malaysian Solar Panels

Washington, D.C. (August 23, 2023) – As part of its mission to create development in underserved communities by investing in SMEs, the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) seeks to ensure that all portfolio companies and investees engage in responsible sourcing with a particular emphasis on zero tolerance for forced labor, any forms of slavery, human trafficking and other negative environmental and social impacts.

SEAF continues to work with portfolio companies in the solar industry to help them diversify their supply chains to reduce the current dependency on Chinese panel manufacturers, given widespread concerns over ongoing human rights violations in Xinjiang.

We are aware of the recent third-party RBA VAP audit of First Solar, Inc., which found that the company’s solar manufacturing plants in Malaysia had used service providers to recruit foreign migrant workers subjected to improper treatment, including the payment of recruitment fees in their home countries, passport retention, and the unlawful retention of wages.  SEAF does not condone or permit any of these practices, and we applaud First Solar’s self-disclosure of the issues and the company’s commitment to correct the conditions.

Following the disclosure, SEAF immediately reached out to all of our portfolio companies operating within the solar value chain (including solar leasing and financing) to confirm that none are or have been using panels or assemblies manufactured by First Solar, nor are they using panels or assemblies manufactured by other companies in Malaysia which might be involved with similar service providers.

SEAF will continue to assist our portfolio companies with measures designed to achieve and maintain the highest standards of responsible operation both for themselves and in their supply chains.

Press Contact:

Nokuthula Nkhoma

+1 202-993-4063 |