SEMI’s Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Advocacy program has been helping the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain collectively address common challenges for over 20 years. Now, as national and regional governments worldwide increasingly weigh legislation that could impact the industry, SEMI continues to ensure that microelectronics industry understands the potential impact and provides an effective platform for taking collective member-led action.
Olivier Corvez recently joined SEMI to focus exclusively on shaping SEMI’s EHS Advocacy program to meet escalating demands on the industry. He recently sat down with SEMI’s communications team to discuss SEMI's evolving EHS Advocacy program.
SEMI Communications: As senior manager of EHS Advocacy, based at SEMI’s Milpitas, California, headquarters, what do you see as the major issues impacting EHS Advocacy for electronics manufacturing worldwide?
Corvez: EHS is a vast topic that cuts across many different types of issues such as regulatory compliance obligations, management systems performances, as well as sustainability related public disclosures. SEMI’s global members are engaged on all these fronts, while creating advanced materials, sophisticated tools and managing a complicated and extensive supply chain.
On the regulatory side, there has been exponential growth in the number of EHS laws considered and adopted by legislatures worldwide. Often these new regulations generate shockwaves across the globe as member companies are required to adapt to new requirements that spread across the entire manufacturing supply chain.
Many new regulations are originating from Europe and demand much of my attention. We are paying especially close attention to the Stockholm Convention on eliminating persistent organic pollutants. A chemical called PFOA has been a subject of much effort at SEMI for years now and we are heartened by the reception of our position by the European Commission.
SEMI Communications: What do you find most interesting about operating the EHS Advocacy program at SEMI?
Corvez: The first word that comes to mind is “variety.” This role involves a blend of strategy, regulatory interpretation skills, project management, communication and even accounting. There is always something new to learn and positions and strategies to develop.
SEMI, as a member-driven, collaborative platform, needs a high level of knowledge sharing and communications. I am working to establish a workspace where members can share previously-created analyses and minimize “recreating the wheel.” We have ambitious plans to deploy additional tools and a redesigned website that will improve our knowledge-sharing capabilities and best serve our members.
We also plan to renew collaboration with other industry associations such as SIA and SESHA. Partnering with other associations means our voice is stronger, our messaging is reinforced, and our efforts are coordinated.
Last but not least, I believe that maintaining a sense of geographical proximity for SEMI’s worldwide efforts is important. SEMI’s local advocacy efforts are facilitated by SEMI regional staff and I look forward to collaborating with them as they maintain ongoing dialogue with our local members and their local, state and national governments.
SEMI Communications: What is the most challenging part of your role?
Corvez: The most challenging aspect will be to reinvigorate participation in all of our EHS activities and find ways to create a state of fruitful collaboration among members worldwide. Secondly, establishing a new EHS governance structure is a significant challenge, but it is incredibly important to have a strong leadership group and decision-making mechanism that will efficiently help define our vision and priorities.
Our new direction will require members to lead our activities at all levels. We believe there is a strong ROI for companies to dedicate resources to address the issues or topics we need to pursue to keep them and their products, accepted, profitable and the industry to grow. While SEMI provides the platform for collaboration, we must supplement our efforts with members providing the manpower to ensure our activities are a success.
SEMI Communications: Tell us about your background.
Corvez: I bring 20 years of diverse experience as a consultant, auditor and corporate EHS program management across most economic sectors on a global scale. Recently, I managed an EHS team distributed across 10 countries, dedicated to providing EHS compliance support to Cisco facilities worldwide.
In addition to compliance experience, I have worked on implementing EHS Management systems at ABB or Total while in France (primarily) in the late 1990s. While at KPMG in Paris I was involved in over 400 due diligence projects for transactions services for electronics, chemicals, auto industry, aeronautics, etc.
On the sustainability reporting side, I was lucky to be involved with large corporations and spent five years verifying EHS and social performances disclosed in sustainability annual reports.
I received my formal training and received a Masters of Science in Environmental Sciences from Universite de Rouen, France, and my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Geology from Northeastern University in Boston. I also trained as an ISO 14001 auditor at DNV Sweden.
All of these experiences have led me to this current position at SEMI, where I look forward to making effective and meaningful impact.
Heidi Hoffman is senior director of Technology Communities Marketing at SEMI.