July 2015
Launch of the SolarPower Europe Sustainability Workstream
Solar PowerEurope Contribution to the publication of the NSF 457 Sustainability standard
SolarPower Europe Contribution to JRC Preparatory Study on PV product sustainability measures (incl. Ecodesign, Energy, Label)
September 2019
Launch of Sustainability Facts Series 
February 2021
SolarPower Europe Statement condemning Forced Labour
March 2021
SolarPower Summit: Driving Sustainable Change
April 2021
Solar Energy UK statement condemning Forced Labour
May 2021
Launch of SolarPower Europe Sustainability Best Practices Benchmark
July 2021
SolarPower Europe Supply Chain Working Group Launch
August 2021
Solar Energy UK responsible sourcing guidance published
September 2021
SolarPower Europe and Solar Energy UK launch joint sustainability Working Group to coordinate Solar Stewardship Initiative
September 2021
Launch of Sustainability Champions podcast
July 2022
Draft assurance protocol and pre-consultation code of conduct are finalized within the working group
August 2022
Solar Energy UK reflects the work of the SSI within the Association's 11 membership commitments to ensure responsible project development
October 2022
Solar Stewardship Initiative Launched
October 2022
Pilot launch

Assurance protocol and code are tested at various sites, participating sites are selected and assessments against the Code and traceability readiness assessments are conducted by independent auditors.

March 2023
Pilot end

Anonymised summary of pilot results are shared with SSI community, assurance protocol and code are revised based on pilot results

April 2023
Multistakeholder consultation launch

Stakeholders are invited to submit feedback on consultation draft of the code of conduct

July 2023
Multistakeholder consultation end

Code is revised based on stakeholders' feedback and finalized and new version of the Code is published

September 2023
Governance and Grievance mechanism in place
November 2023
Publication of the final Code of Conduct and Launch of Assurance System
December 2023
Full roll-out of SSI Assurance Scheme begins

Our journey began in 2015 with the launch of SolarPower Europe’s Sustainability Workstream, when Europe’s solar fleet total capacity was only around 86 GW. With European solar having almost doubled capacity, SolarPower Europe, in partnership with Solar Energy UK, began work on making the Solar Stewardship Initiative (SSI) into a reality in March 2021.

The first key step towards this end has been to define the standards that our industry should hold itself to, building on SolarPower Europe’s Solar Sustainability Best Practices Benchmark, launched in May 2021.

This was followed by the launch of a Supply Chain Working Group in July 2021, as well as wider activity platforming and promoting sustainability best practices. The first presentation of the Solar Sustainability Award came in March 2021, at the annual SolarPower Summit. September 2021 brought the first of the Sustainability Champions Podcast series. 

After a year of development, bringing together over 50 solar organisations, independent ESG experts, and supply chain consultants, the solar sector launched the beginning of the Solar Stewardship Initiative in September 2022. 

This Roadmap shows how far we have come on the journey to lay the foundations for change. This is only the beginning of the important work that lies ahead.

Our Pilot Programme will launch in October 2022 as a means to ensure the SSI Code and assurance system are practical before their full rollout in 2023.

Following the successful completion of the Pilot Programme in March 2023, a multi-stakeholder consultation on the Code will be held in April 2023. 

This will enable our Governance structure and Grievance Mechanism to be put in place by September 2023, the Assurance System to launch in December 2023, and first assessments to be made against the Code in January 2024.

Follow the Solar Stewardship Initiative’s Progress