Innovation and sustainability consulting firm Forethinking has launched a study on the environmental impact of flexible solar panels on behalf of photovoltaic company Solbian. The goal of the collaboration is to design devices that can be disposed of or reused without causing negative effects on the ecosystem.
The project was born from a meeting between Gennaro Durante, CEO of Forethinking, and Giovanni Soldini, co-founder of Solbian and renowned Italian skipper. Their shared vision is to create solar installations that not only generate clean energy but also minimize their environmental impact throughout their lifecycle, from manufacturing to disposal.
The study will commence with a comprehensive analysis of the solar panels' footprint at each stage of their life cycle, encompassing their usage, reuse possibilities, and material choices. This analysis aims to accelerate research in the field of Circular Economy.
“The program” - comments Gennaro Durante - “is a real 'trajectory project' for a clear positioning of 'inspired companies' in terms of sustainability and growth and development policies, in line with the global Green Deal, an example for Made in Italy companies.”
At the core of the project lies an analytical methodology tailored to evaluate the environmental footprint of the product throughout its entire life cycle. Subsequently, a parametric model was developed to drive research and innovation activities, aiming to significantly improve the ecological impact of products and processes based on scientific data.
"The company has equipped itself with an innovative tool," explains Solbian CEO Luca Bonci, "that allows data simulation and analysis of the effectiveness of re-design actions in terms of reducing environmental impact. At the same time, chemical screening of materials and reporting of metrics related to critical environmental aspects has enabled new sustainable procurement procedures for all supply chain actors."
From the first report produced, it is clear that there are two main challenges to be addressed in the next stages of analysis: further reducing the impact of materials, which is already lower than with traditional panels, and designing new systems for panel reuse or material recovery in a Solbian-branded circuit.