Compared to other forms of energy generation in China, the photovoltaic industry enjoys a squeaky clean image.

So it might seem surprising that China’s PV sector feels the need to create an evaluation system to prove how green it is. 

Called the  Clean Production Evaluation Index System of the Photovoltaic Industry, it aims to encourage  manufacturers to promote cleaner production methods — PV cell manufacturing involves toxic chemicals — and less energy intensive processes.

The index is organised  by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and compiled by China’s National Institute of Standardisation.

The evaluation index will be used to evaluate how “clean and green” China’s PV manufacturers are and will likely become a necessary requirement for domestic PV project bids and presumably will figure in  CSR reporting.

Interestingly, the World Wildlife Fund has lent its support to the initiative.

Yingli Green Energy, one of the leading Chinese PV manufacturers,  has come out strongly in favour of the initiative and claims it is the first PV manufacturer to join the WWF Climate Savers Programme, a global platform designed to engage business and industry to fight climate change.

This latest move joins a growing lists of  CSR initiatives by Yingli, which includes installing PV panels for  low-income households in California or providing free panels to schools in disadvantaged areas of the US.