Investor relations

corporate responsibility

The environment

Our product

The Group is a producer of multicrystalline silicon wafers for the production of solar cells. These cells are processed into solar systems used for the generation of renewable electricity with a lifetime in excess of 25 years, providing electricity for a known starting cost and with minimal maintenance. Depending on the system’s location, it has been estimated that the total energy used in the production of a silicon solar system will be recovered within a period of two to three years.

Our processes

It is the Group’s policy to:

  • seek to eliminate and, where this is not practicable, to minimise negative environmental impacts from the pursuit of all business interests while continuing to produce high quality products which meet customer requirements;
  • comply with all statutory environmental legislation as a minimum, and aim to improve upon the standards set by the local regulatory authorities; and
  • foster an informed and responsible approach to all environmental concerns and encourage the involvement of employees, customers and suppliers. Regulatory authorities are consulted and informed at all appropriate times.

Waste and recycling

The Group has effective environmental management and health and safety systems in place, in support of, and to complement, its quality assurance systems. Across all its sites in the United Kingdom and Germany a proactive approach is taken to the pre-treatment of waste as required by the EU Landfill Directive. The purpose of this treatment requirement is to reduce the impact of waste sent to landfill and to increase the amount of waste that is recycled.

Environmental management systems

We recognise the need to establish, formalise and apply an environmental management system at each of our manufacturing sites. Therefore, in order to enhance further its already effective environmental and health and safety management systems:

  • Crystalox in the United Kingdom continued on its programme to achieve environment and health and safety accreditations during 2017 until manufacturing operations ceased at the end of August 2017; and
  • the site in Erfurt, Germany, has been carrying out an environmental audit for more than ten years, focusing on the consumption of water, electricity and on the emission of waste materials.

These high standards complement and consolidate Crystalox and the Erfurt operation’s EN ISO 9001 status; further fulfilling our responsibility to the environment and health and safety.

Our staff

The Group’s policy is to provide equal opportunities to all existing and prospective employees. The Group recognises that its operation and reputation depends upon the skills and effectiveness of its employees and is committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all and to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, nationality or ethnic origin.

It is the Group’s policy to give sympathetic consideration to the recruitment, continuing employment, training, career development and promotion of disabled persons. In the event that a person became disabled he or she would continue to be employed, wherever possible, in the same job. If the degree of disablement made this impractical, every effort would be made to find suitable alternative employment and to give any appropriate training. The Group’s policy on training and career progression applies equally to everyone within the Group whether or not disabled.

The Group communicates its performance to its employees following the release of the preliminary and interim results each year. In Germany there is a workers’ council and in the United Kingdom there is an employee forum at which factors affecting workers’ employment is discussed.

Training and health and safety

The Group recognises that a key factor in its successful operations is its personnel. At all sites management’s top priority has been to provide a safe and secure work environment for all. To this end, health and safety training has been of paramount importance.

Initial in-house health and safety induction training for all personnel joining is supported by external specialist trainers for occupation specific training. During 2017 fire safety awareness training was undertaken by selected staff at each site as well as first aid training and manual handling training.

A voluntary health management programme was run for all staff in Erfurt in 2017.

The Group is committed to the ongoing training and development of its personnel. Particular skills-based training is provided to individuals when identified and seen as beneficial to the overall operation of the Group. The introduction of new technologies and new and efficient working methods has resulted in personnel being trained to both develop and hone their knowledge and skills. A flexible work environment has meant that personnel are given the chance to work in different departments, thereby helping them maximise their potential and sense of fulfilment.

Gender diversity

The following table sets out a breakdown by gender showing at 31 December 2017 (i) the number of persons who were directors of the Company; (ii) the number of persons who were senior managers of the Group (other than persons falling within sub-paragraph (i)); and (iii) the number of persons who were employees of the Group.

Number
of men

%

Number
of women

%

Directors

3

100.0%

0

0%

Senior managers

5

100.0%

0

0%

Other employees

56

60.9%

36

39.1%

In Germany, the Group has been running an apprenticeship programme for a number of years and in the UK we enrolled our first apprentice during 2014. Currently, there are eight young people in Erfurt enrolled in technical and administrative jobs. The intention of the programme was that after a three-year period these apprentices would have the chance to become permanent members of staff. For some of the apprentices the programme enables them to continue with their studies to obtain a degree in engineering.

The Group recognises its responsibilities under health and safety legislation in each country of operation to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all its employees. Group policy is to take all reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and dangerous occurrences and for the creation of working conditions which safeguard employees. The Group attaches the greatest importance to health and safety, considering this to be a management responsibility. To this end the Group will allocate the necessary resources and enlist the active support of all employees upon whom duties are also imposed by health and safety legislation. The Group regards the standards set by the various relevant statutory provisions as the minimum standards which must be achieved and endeavours to improve upon these where reasonably practicable.

In the United Kingdom health and safety management was supported by the appointment of health and safety representatives from key departments as well as the Health and Safety Steering Committee which met at monthly intervals throughout the year, until the cessation of manufacturing activities, to monitor performance and promote a safe working environment within the business. In Erfurt five safety representatives are appointed onto the Health and Safety Committee which met for four quarterly meetings in 2017.

Human rights

We confirm our commitment to the human rights of our employees across all of our businesses.

We will include a statement concerning slavery and human trafficking on our website, www.pvcrystalox.com, as is required by the Modern Slavery Act.

PV Crystalox Solar greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

This greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions report is in line with UK mandatory reporting requirements as set out under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic and Directors’ Reports) Regulations 2013.

The Group’s emissions have been calculated based on the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidance. Emissions reported correspond with our financial year. We are reporting the direct emissions from combustion of fuel in PV Crystalox Solar facilities (Scope 1) and indirect emissions resulting from electricity purchased by PV Crystalox Solar (Scope 2). These emissions cover the operation of ingot production, block production and head office activities in the UK and the wafer production activities in Germany.

Emissions are predominantly from gas and oil combustion and electricity use at our manufacturing facilities. We have used conversion factors provided in the “UK Government conversion factors for company reporting” for UK emissions and have taken into account the local electricity mix for the conversion factor for our German operations.

We have used tonnes of CO2 per MW of wafer shipments as an intensity measurement.

2017 (tonnes

CO2 equivalent)

2016 (tonnes

CO2 equivalent)

Scope 1

Direct emissions from combustion of fuel in PV Crystalox Solar facilities

194

234

Scope 2

Indirect emissions resulting from electricity purchased by
PV Crystalox Solar

5,365

10,384

Scope 1 and Scope 2

5,559

10,618

Intensity measurement
Tonnes CO2/MW of wafer shipments*

38.1

92.3

* It should also be noted that using the revenue figure from the financial statements would include sales of surplus polysilicon in addition to wafer shipments. The management team will continue to monitor and review the appropriateness of the intensity ratio.

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