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Interview with Dr. Gavin Schmid, Head of Environment, Safety & Health

Interview with Dr. Gavin Schmid, Head of Environment, Safety & Health

2022 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report

Thursday, 13 July 2023

Interview with Dr. Gavin Schmid, Head of Environment, Safety & Health

At CARBOGEN AMCIS we are committed to minimizing our environmental impact. Our recently issued Corporate Social Responsibility report evaluates our 2022 environmental impact and sustainability performance across our four Switzerland sites, including aspects on labour practices and ethics. Dr. Gavin Schmid, CARBOGEN AMCIS’ Head of Environment, Safety & Health, reflects on the organization’s progress and provides a flavour of our plans for the coming years.

The CSR report extract can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. Click here. 

1. Please explain the aim of CARBOGEN AMCIS’ CSR report.

CARBOGEN AMCIS’ 2022 CSR report demonstrates our progress towards declared sustainability aspirations across the following sites: Bubendorf (our HQ), Aarau, Neuland and Vionnaz. These aspirations include common industrial assessment standards, which are aligned with our sustainability priorities.

We have spent a lot of time and effort laying the foundations of our sustainability strategy and now have robust data on our KPIs. The annual report is our main vehicle to monitor progress on sustainability. Each year we set or update our targets, which we use to track progress against as part of the annual report. The process of setting meaningful targets is something we take very seriously here at CARBOGEN AMCIS.

The report sets out key achievements and areas of excellence, as well as a benchmark from which to identify future targets that support our ambition to continuously improve. Put simply, it shows us where we are now and where we want to go.


2. What are the report’s key findings?

The report provides important evidence of our sustainability progress in 2022. Key findings include:

  • Zero impact on soil
  • Marginal impact on air (within legal requirements)
  • 100% renewable electricity (scope 2 emissions)
  • Zero incidents with environmental impact
  • Zero non-compliance situations
  • 73% renewable energy
  • Zero impact on water (100% incineration of chemical process waste)
  • 15% solvent recycling
  • Zero underground landfill of hazardous chemicals (100% incineration of chemical process waste)


3. Which aspect of the report are you most proud of?  

There are three things that I am most proud of: our zero scope 2 omissions, our zero direct impact on the environment and our use of renewable electricity.

In Switzerland, our use of 100% renewable electricity is truly industry-leading. We are well ahead of the curve in terms of harnessing hydropower, solar and wind to provide our specialist services.


4. What are CARBOGEN AMCIS’ sustainability plans for next year? 

We have several new targets for the coming years to allow us to continue to achieve our sustainability aspirations, including:

  • Increase Supplier Sustainability Tracking to > 90% by weight of raw materials
  • Increase use of renewable energy – from 73% to 75%
  • Explore our options to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Explore our options to reduce energy consumption
  • Explore our options to reduce water consumption
  • Explore our options to promote public transport for our employees
  • Increase solvent recycling – from 15% to 20%
  • Explore our options to reduce overall solvent consumption


We also set ourselves the goal of joining the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, which is a voluntary initiative based on our CEO’s commitment to implement universal sustainability principles at CARBOGEN AMCIS and to undertake partnerships in support of UN goals. We are delighted to already be on track with this.


5. How does CARBOGEN AMCIS' ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental sustainability benefit your customers?

We are finding that more and more customers are looking for contract manufacturers to show commitment and leadership on sustainability issues. As well as bringing our customers’ science to life, we also help them to achieve their own sustainability goals, being part of their scope 3 emissions (emissions within the supply chain). Ultimately, our CSR report enables them to put a number on their ecological footprint.

While chemical production is inherently challenging for the environment, we are working hand-in-hand with our customers to change processes through the systematic application of ‘Green Chemistry’ principles. These are recognised worldwide in the chemical industry as the leading guideline for the development of ecologically sustainable chemical processes, which aim to minimize the direct and indirect impact on the environment.

This means that whenever a new project is accepted, the project managers endeavour to offer and implement process development according to the 12 Green Chemistry principles. For example, one of the principles is: ‘It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created’. In practice, this can mean we select the shortest synthesis route, optimize process volume efficiency and/or recycle waste streams.


6. Do you have any final reflections?

CARBOGEN AMCIS is committed to a culture of continuous improvement in our sustainability performance. We know that sustainability can be a challenge in our industry. Tracking our KPIs and the use of achievable and meaningful targets helps us to improve performance year-to-year and supports our mission to provide exceptional services and products to our customers that focus on finding innovative, safe, economically and environmentally optimal solutions.


Biography: Dr. Gavin Schmid, Head of Environment, Safety and Health, CARBOGEN AMCIS

Dr. Gavin Schmid started working for CARBOGEN AMCIS in 2002 and has been Head of ESH for our Swiss sites for over 12 years. He is a chemist by background, with a doctorate and post-doctorate degree in organic chemistry, as well as being a European Registered Toxicologist. His daily role is focused on keeping people and the environment safe.


Find out more about our achievements and next goals by downloading the CSR report extract.