We recognize that our people are our most valuable asset. Our corporate culture is based on striving for excellence, innovation and quality in everything we do. It is a policy of LDK Solar that all of our facilities worldwide provide excellent working conditions. By providing clean, safe and well-lit work areas, LDK Solar meets and exceeds the highest international standards. To maintain our high standards, LDK Solar's in-house Environmental Health & Safety Team developed a behavior-based training program that ensures all our people understand and adhere to LDK Solar's stringent approach to workplace safety and environmental protection. This program is implemented in our production sites worldwide. We also established LDK Solar College to educate and train more than 10,000 employees in solar energy technology, products and manufacturing.
Operational safety is our highest priority. Workplace, plant and transport safety have always been the top priority at LDK Solar. They form the basis for uninterrupted production. Systematic work safety at the company includes the regular evaluation of hazards and work-area monitoring. We conduct extensive safety and risk analyses from the design stage to commissioning to ensure our plants' safety. In matters of safety, we attach great importance to the basic and advanced training of employees. We regularly hold seminars on plant safety, accident prevention and employee protection.
As we execute our business plan, LDK Solar also strives to increase awareness of environmental issues outside the company. We have installed anti-pollution equipment in our facilities to reduce, treat and where feasible, recycle the waste generated in our manufacturing process. We built special facilities to filter and treat waste water generated in our production process and recycle the water back into our production process. Our operations are subject to regulation and periodic inspection by local environmental protection authorities.
Our manufacturing practices are certified with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. In addition, LDK Solar is a proactive advocate and supporter of numerous internal and external environmental policy and awareness issues. In 2010, LDK Solar became a member of the European PV-CYCLE association, an organization which established a voluntary take-back and recycling program for end-of-life PV modules.
World-class quality control focuses on ensuring unbeatable product integrity for customers. LDK Solar has a team of 600 dedicated quality control specialists who conduct stringent tests at every step of the production process from silicon, ingots, wafers, and cell to module production to ensure that our products meet or exceed performance requirements. Our global procurement department places the same strict demands on our suppliers as LDK Solar does on its own processes. We have received many international quality, safety and performance certifications which demonstrate our technological capabilities and instill customer confidence.
Developing the best-of-class technology has always been a key driver behind LDK Solar's success and is central to our future. Our Research and Development (R&D) efforts span the entire vertical integration value chain. We engage in extensive research and development efforts to recycle more polysilicon, produce bigger ingots, manufacture thinner but larger wafers, improve cell efficiency and module quality, enhance our products and reduce manufacturing cost and complexity. Our R&D organization works closely with our manufacturing facilities, our equipment, raw materials, product component suppliers and our customers to improve our silicon and wafer quality, new high efficiency cell technology and module reliability.
We have a team of 300 dedicated solar scientists and engineers working at our in-house R&D centers. Additionally, LDK's long-term investment in innovation and technology requires strong collaboration with external research institutes. We have established joint R&D labs with universities and collaborate with Shanghai Jiaotong University and Nanchang University and other well known technical universities in China.
As of June 30th,2010 , We have a total of 10 patents approved and 43 patents pending approval from Chinese, International, United States, Japan, Germany and European authorities.