Bruce Bodio : “If the Pharma wants to targets the goal fixed by the Paris Agreement, it needs to reduce it’s emissions by 59% come 2025″
Our guest Bruce Bodio is the founder& CEO of BioViron, which is known for its leading role in offering businesses and industries 100% Compostable and Biodegradable materials and packagings for the pharmaceutical and medical sectors…but not only.
In a few words, can you describe BioViron™? How does it target and benefit the pharmaceutical and medical sectors?
BioViron™ offers industries and businesses 100% plant-based compostable materials, Composta™ film, foam, and form for packaging and protection. A zero-plastic solution to modern-day material and packaging needs. Designed to help businesses meet carbon footprint and zero-waste objectives. What are the environmental benefits of your products? At what range or percentage, your product can be recycled? (Ex : using less material in terms of weight as well as from not using PVC). We are working to get all our processes to be carbon net zero. When we manufacture our materials, we use 68% less energy and 76% less greenhouse gas emissions than comparable amounts of polyethylene. Our materials are home compostable or Industrial compostable. So, when companies send direct to consumers, we try to get the company to use home compostable materials. With Business to Business, they are usually happy with industrial compostable materials.
What has driven you to create BioViron™? How did the adventure start ?
The journey started over 25 years ago when we were in the toy industry. We were at the New York toy fair where we saw a toy product made from corn starch. We developed a relationship with the US company and as they developed cornstarch board, we worked with them to develop the product. We decided that we needed to form a separate company to look after the Compostable materials and that was when BioViron™ International was born. BioViron™ was formed in 2005 and Incorporated on 29th June 2007. Over the years we have developed other materials under the Composta™ Brand, so we now have Composta™ Foam, CompostaFilm™, Composta™ sheet, and Composta™ Block.
How did BioViron™ deal with the covid-19 pandemic ? Have you been facing challenges in terms of supply chain, collaborators, etc ?
Unfortunately, some of our major customers were really affected and had to furlough staff and, in some cases, make them redundant. This impacted us as we lost over 50% of our regular sales. BioViron International was able to consolidate and look at our business and strengthen it by launching our new web site www.bioviron.com we looked at our IP and trademarks and restructured how we would engage with customers. We feel a lot stronger coming out of lockdown. The interest in our products has increase dramatically. We feel that we will get back the lost business and grow beyond that by the end of 2021 and 2022 is looking very promising with regards growth. Our supply chain is also looking good. We know this pandemic has raised awareness on numerous industries and their environmental impact. If the Pharma wants to targets the goal fixed by the Paris Agreement, it needs to reduce it’s emissions by 59% come 2025.
In your opinion, what are in the coming years, the next opportunities and innovations in your sector ? Do you think the pharmaceutical industry has achieved a real breakthrough in terms of sustainability ?
A lot of pharma and medical companies make a lot of interesting claims on their sustainability declarations, but some do not have a sustainable policy in writing. If you actually talk to them, they are actively looking to implement a sustainable program but, in my opinion, it is still not at the top of their agenda. There is a long way to go to achieve the targets and goals fixed by the Paris agreement.
In terms of recruitment, What are the most common challenges one would face in your sector? Is it easy to find collaborators in a field as technical and innovative as yours?
We outsource some of our projects when we need specialist assistance. Recruiting was challenging in the past but today we receive a number of people contacting us with qualifications we need in the business through our web site and direct e-mails. Challenging areas are machine engineers and extruder operators as we are based in a rural area. We are looking at different ways in which to overcome these situations as the company grows and we expand the manufacturing operation.
Since the pandemic, have you noticed some changes or new demands from potential candidates? Have you been receiving requests to work remotely for example?
Since the Pandemic we have not needed to recruit new people, so this has not been a problem Covid-19 disrupted labor markets globally forcing people to work from home as offices closed.
And what do you think about working remotely?
We have not found this to be a problem as we are a compact team. We work from home if we must but as we manufacture and supply materials we need to be at the office and factory to dispatch the goods this is understood by the team. I am not against working from home if the job can be done correctly, we like to be flexible and support our team.
As a CEO, what do you aim for today? And what are your goals for the future?
To grow our business and educate people, companies and Governments that there are alternatives to plastics and polluting industries and that recycling will help but is not the only answer to reducing carbon emissions. For companies to understand that compostable materials can benefit their bottom line, get them incremental business as well as helping reduce their carbon footprint to achieving carbon neutral and this in turn will help the Environment.
Last but not least, if you were to give 3 advices to future entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Do your research. Make sure you plan for all eventualities. From day one, build a sustainable business with a team of like minded professionals and have fun enjoy what you are doing.