By pursuing sustainable corporate practices, Tecan is looking to secure the long-term expansion and prosperity of the Company for the benefit of all interested parties. Tecan sees sustainable corporate practices as more than just a series of individual measures. Instead, they are a basic mindset that shapes all corporate processes and unites economic, regulatory, ecological and social aspects. Tecan’s business principle is to treat partners – including employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, government agencies and stakeholders – professionally, fairly and with high ethical standards. In 2018, Tecan became a signatory of the UN Global Compact, fully endorsing its ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
Compliance with the sustainability targets of the United Nations
In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a sustainability summit convened as a meeting of the General Assembly. The agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target fundamental improvements in the living standards of people alive today as well as of future generations. They also comprise objectives aimed at protecting Planet Earth.
Tecan not only supports the Sustainable Development Goals, but the Company’s activities and products allow its customers to have a direct beneficial impact to help reach these sustainability goals. For instance, nearly all the Group’s sales are generated in areas that are defined in the individual SDGs. Tecan develops and sells flexible automation solutions that are deployed in a wide area of applications, from drug discovery to the sustainable management of fish stocks in the Atlantic, for example.
Also, some of Tecan’s products have a direct beneficial environmental impact. For examples, automated workstations support research into the potential of plant-and microbial-based renewable resources.
By far the largest share of Tecan’s Group sales is attributable to SDG 3, which aims to promote good health and well-being for people of all ages. The majority of end-users come from the diagnostics market, accounting for around 60% of total sales. In the various defined sub-goals of SDG 3, Tecan supports both research applications and processes in routine laboratories and helps researchers to discover novel medicines. The use of Tecan products also promotes other UN SDGs, including 2, 6, 14 and 15. Examples of how Tecan products are used in these areas of application are available at www.tecan.com/tecan-journal. Searching for keywords such as “crop”, “environment”, “food”, “fish”, “water”, “marine” or “animal” will provide specific examples of how customers use Tecan products.
In the search of novel therapies, for example to treat a number of neuromuscular diseases, some researchers use stem cells that can differentiate into other types of cells. Many researchers are doing differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated directly from adult cells. Some also use embryonic stem cells that were for example excluded as part of preimplantation genetic screening. Tecan’s products are used in laboratories around the World for a variety of applications in life science research and diagnostics. Although not specifically designed for research using embryonic stem cells, human fetal tissue or cell lines, customers could adapt and use Tecan instruments for such purposes, e.g. in pre-clinical predictive toxicity testing to discover novel drugs. However, Tecan estimates that overall only a very small number of customers could possibly use its instruments for such applications. Tecan does not perform or has not performed any own research nor has it contracted out such research using embryonic stem cells, human fetal tissue or cell lines. Tecan also does not participate in, or knowingly fund, any external studies that use embryonic stem cells, fetal tissue or cell lines.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)*
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
* Source: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
At Tecan, prudent corporate activity is an integral component of the daily routine of both employees and management. This requires clearly structured, transparent business processes. It is important that Tecan employees are familiar with globally binding internal corporate guidelines, business processes, and country-specific laws and regulations. Employees can access the most up-to-date version of these documents at any time in the Tecan Management System (TMS). The documents also convey intangible values that form the guiding principles of the corporate culture. The TMS is rated as a model tool by customers and external partners alike. Tecan develops the TMS on a continuous basis.
Tecan has had a continual improvement process (CIP) in place for a number of years. Employees in all areas of the Company should identify potential improvements at a day-to-day level, put forward solutions and contribute to their rapid implementation. The aim of the CIP is to enhance efficiency as well as quality and occupational safety, improve internal collaboration and finally increase the Company’s profitability. Where possible, the success of the CIP is measured by examining key performance indicators. For example, in production this is done by looking at productivity, throughput time and inventories.
Tecan developed and installed the production and logistics system PULS specifically for continual process improvements as part of just-in-time manufacturing. This integrated system enables Tecan to identify opportunities and to better achieve the required, ever-stricter quality standards. The sustainability of the improvements is ensured by means of an audit system, which covers the relevant areas from occupational safety and environmental protection through management and collaboration. One of the guiding principles of PULS is to avoid waste caused, for example, by overproduction, standby time, excessive inventories and defective units.
As part of the existing lean production, a consistent one-piece flow approach – an “employee-linked workflow” – was adopted in the production system. The employees accompany the instrument along the entire production path to completion, with no interruptions between the various work steps. Not only does this production process shorten production times and further improve quality, it should also further increase employees’ motivation levels.
At the Männedorf site, all employees have clearly defined responsibilities in the manufacturing process of the various product lines, and each product line is overseen by a production manager. Responsibility for the timely execution of orders, the procurement of materials and the observance of the agreed objectives is clearly allocated to individuals. Performance reviews are undertaken on the basis of KPIs (key performance indicators). Each morning, the production manager discusses the next steps to be undertaken with the entire team before production gets underway.
To ensure sustainable corporate growth, it is crucial that any risks that could compromise this growth be recognized early on, assessed in terms of likelihood and consequences, and mitigated through an appropriate plan of measures. Tecan has a well-established global risk management process for this purpose. The process encompasses, among other factors, strategic risks, environmental and product risks, market and customer risks as well as occupational safety risks. It also focuses on political and economic developments as well as the possible impacts certain events may have on external partners such as customers or suppliers. Tecan continuously adjusts its risk management system in line with changes to the environment and takes current events into account in its risk assessment. Under the business continuity plan, for example, in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding, direct suppliers in the affected region are examined, and information gathered on their subcontractors. The aim is to ensure Tecan’s ability to supply, even in this type of exceptional situation. The Board of Directors reviews annually whether the risk assessment of business activities is appropriate and whether it takes into account both internal and external changes. Where necessary, new measures to mitigate risk are implemented. Tecan’s risk management system is also regularly audited by a key insurer, who attests to the instrument’s high standard, enabling a premium reduction. Some of the Company’s employees hold risk management certification. Tecan attaches great importance to the fact that this high level of qualification is internally available and that the Company does not have to depend exclusively on external experts, as is often the case at other companies. With Tecan's industry- and end-market exposure, product offering, location of production sites, no significant risks with the potential to have a substantive financial or strategic impact on the business are expected to result from regulatory requirements on climate change or directly from climate change.
In the 21st century, many business risks are centered around the use of information technologies and systems.
Tecan has a solid SAP-based infrastructure for business processes which integrates sales, customer service, production and the entire financial area in one platform and harmonizes processes. This platform also forms the basis for a “business intelligence reporting suite” with integrated planning modules, for instance for human resources or the budget process. Annual updates ensure that Tecan always has the latest software versions, thus limiting outages and helping avoid large-scale, expensive update processes with long test phases.
All IT services offered by the Group worldwide are outsourced to servers of an external service provider. The data is backed up redundantly, and the data centers are physically separated from one another and from the production sites. This enables Tecan to minimize the risk of critical data loss and increase data security. Global round-the-clock IT support is also available to Group companies, thereby reducing outages. In 2018, Tecan carried out an audit regarding cybersecurity with an external specialist. The goal of the audit was to determine the security level, derive a risk level, develop counter measures and compare the security level to other companies. Overall, Tecan reached high security levels and scored above industry benchmarks, especially regarding external security.
Tecan is committed to handling all information (including personal, technical and commercial information) which employees, customers and other stakeholders entrust to it with due care, in compliance with applicable laws and solely for the purposes for which the information was provided or generated. When processing personal information, Tecan pays particular attention to the principles of transparency, lawfulness, proportionality and accountability.
This translates into ongoing efforts which Tecan puts into to safeguarding the safety and integrity of the information it holds both on its premises and its IT infrastructure. Some noteworthy examples of those efforts are:
- Dedicated staff (including a Chief IT Security Officer) and technical and organizational measures to ensure state of the art IT security;
- A Data Protection Governance Structure which comprises a certified Group Data Protection Officer which directly reports to Tecan’s Management Board and Board of Directors;
- An online and easily accessible Data Subject Request Portal through which data subjects can invoke the rights they enjoy under applicable data protection laws;
- An advanced and reputable tool for maintaining a registry of all of Tecan’s processing activities;
- Ongoing training of Tecan staff in the fields of IT security.
Tecan also uses an IT-based control system in the financial area. This automatically recognizes and flags potential areas of conflict with regard to employees entrusted with a range of duties, which when combined could result in a risk of manipulation. The system is an integral part of the IT audit by the auditors. In this process, Tecan provided evidence that the access control system is working well.
In the financial area, Tecan uses an internal, self-managed treasury system and in doing so is taking a pioneering role. Tecan executes all money transfers for all Group companies centrally, and manages their cash reserves. This has enabled Tecan to optimize the number of banks it uses in connection with its business activities, and transfer cash reserves to banks at lower risk of failure. The treasury system has also improved short-term financial planning and ensured an interest rate benefit compared with decentralized management.
Since 2018, Tecan is a
signatory of the United
Nations Global Compact, a
voluntary initiative for
companies wanting to align
strategies and operations
with principles of human
rights, labor, environment
CORRECT AND ETHICAL CORPORATE BEHAVIOR
Tecan has established several organizational control mechanisms with the aim of ensuring correct corporate behavior. In particular, the Internal Audit department has the task of periodically assessing the effectiveness of the internal control system.
The internal control system consists of all organizational measures taken by the Company in order to maintain the effectiveness of its operations, protect the corporate resources, appropriately manage the risks and ensure compliance with laws and regulations, while always keeping a strong focus on the trustworthiness of the financial reporting.
In this perspective, the Internal Audit has the power to check and verify processes, systems, management activities, projects and contracts, acting as a supervisory body independent from operations and is reporting directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. In 2018, the Audit Committee and Head of Internal Audit had three meetings.
The Head of Internal Audit is a certified member of the Institute of Internal Auditors of Switzerland (SVIR) and the department is subject to the international standards for internal auditing.
Tecan has a formalized Code of Conduct that is binding for all employees, managers and Board members. In this Code, Tecan undertakes to maintain the highest standards in its business activities and to respect ethical values. The document is available to the public on the Company’s website. With the Code, Tecan aims to document internally and externally that the Company is a credible and reliable business partner and employer in all situations. The Code of Conduct also brings together in a comprehensible form the key guidelines that are already included in other tools, such as the employment regulations or the Tecan Management System. It helps employees understand the Company structure, and to seek further information or support in cases of doubt. The Code promotes compliance with standards on occupational health, safety and the environment. It provides instructions on ensuring data protection and handling confidential information, and requires accurate and timely communication of information and careful logging of relevant meetings and processes by Tecan staff. The Code also stipulates compliance with competition law as well as national and international trade law for the import and export of products. It guarantees anonymity for whistleblowers. Although Tecan only generates a smaller portion of its sales in countries with an increased risk of corruption according to the criteria of the organization Transparency International, the Code of Conduct has a zero-tolerance policy toward bribery and corruption. Line managers are responsible for ensuring that all their staff know and understand the content of the Code of Conduct. All employees must attend and successfully complete a training course on the Code.
The Code is established worldwide and the relevant employees have been given training on it. Tecan conducted the training for some employees in the form of e-learning courses. People exposed to higher business risks in their function, such as sales or procurement staff, also had to attend training courses in person. The Code is available in English and German as well as other languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. By providing these different language versions, Tecan wishes to ensure that this important document is understood by employees all around the world.
Due to the broad product portfolio and long life cycles of its products with ongoing spare parts support, Tecan manages a total of more than 500 suppliers at its different production sites. These suppliers are mainly high-tech design and component makers in Europe, North America and Asia, that supply parts or modules to the Company for final assembly. In spending terms between 60 – 80% of Tecan’s purchase volume are typically sourced in the same region of the production site to balance cost efficiency, inventory needs, just-in-time delivery, freight cost, experience of suppliers and quality aspects.
Direct suppliers are subject to an audit program and Tecan’s most important suppliers are provided with a dedicated version of the Tecan Code of Conduct, to which they must commit. This document, the “Tecan Supplier Code of Conduct”, defines the minimum requirements by which all suppliers must abide. These refer to internationally recognized ethical standards relating to labor and the environment, as well as business practices.
In order to prevent violations of the Company’s Code of Conduct, for employees and for suppliers, the Internal Audit department is in charge to provide assurance that the intended ethical standards are applied and takes the responsibility of the investigations in case events of non-compliance are reported. The Head of Internal Audit is a certified member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Since 2018, Tecan is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative for companies wanting to align strategies and operations with principles of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. In the framework of the UN Global Compact, Tecan is committed to supporting and implementing, within its sphere of influence, the ten fundamental principles relating to human rights, labor standards, the environment and the fight against corruption:
i. Protection of human rights
ii. No complicity in abuse of human rights
iii. Recognition of freedom of association and collective bargaining
iv. No forced or compulsory labor
v. No child labor
vi. No discrimination
vii. Precautions against environmental challenges
viii. Promotion of environmental responsibility
ix. Promotion of environment-friendly technologies
x. Fight against corruption.
Tecan also carries out regular detailed screening of its distributors, and has established a separate process with a TMS directive (Distributors and Intermediaries Anti Bribery Due Diligence) for this purpose. The screening is carried out with the assistance of an external specialist service provider who draws up a due diligence report. This process is supplemented by Internet research and a database analysis as to whether companies or individuals related to Tecan appear in connection with corruption, bribery or other behavior which is not tolerated. In particular, the TMS directive requires that all Tecan distribution partners and their owners, directors and employees refrain from bribing representatives of governments or state-owned or private enterprises, or from taking bribes. It does not matter whether bribery is prohibited, tolerated or allowed in the countries in which business is being done. Bribes are prohibited irrespective of whether a bribe is connected to a specific act or omission or is granted or received with a general view to the future execution of duties. Bribes do not only involve cash payments but also mean, for instance, lavish gifts, hospitality and entertainment. Distributors and intermediaries need to ensure that their representatives and their sales force are trained and adhere to Tecan’s standards on doing business. In this perspective, the representatives of the Company’s distribution partners are required to give evidence of their understanding and acceptance of the Tecan Code of Conduct by answering an online questionnaire.
In individual cases, the screening has led to Tecan terminating relationships with intermediaries. The process is also applied during the selection of new distributors.
SAFETY AND REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
Tecan has established processes Group-wide and at its individual business locations to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations as well as with internal guidelines on safety and environmental protection. The Company invests substantial amounts each year in pursuit of further improvement. Tecan cooperates closely with public authorities and standard-setting bodies around the world to recognize new trends in regulation, occupational safety and environmental protection as early as possible and to integrate them in its corporate processes. The Company actively shapes these developments in significant economic regions by participating in key industry associations.
Internal and external experts regularly inspect whether Tecan’s locations comply with country-specific regulations and the Company’s internal standards for product and occupational safety as well as health and environmental protection. These inspections also cover measures that Tecan has to implement if it fails to meet any requirements. Each year, the locations are subject to a number of audits conducted by regulatory authorities, testing, monitoring and certification agencies, customers, and Tecan’s own specialist teams. As part of a continual improvement process, gap analyses are performed and improvement measures implemented. In 2018, Tecan was again subject to a number of sometimes extensive audits by customers at its production sites. These included leading diagnostics companies that Tecan supplies with instruments through its OEM business in the Partnering Business, or will supply in the future. The audits covered areas including processes, quality management systems, product design, validation and documentation. The customers again attested a high standard at Tecan with regard to the relevant requirements. Tecan is also subject to regular extensive audits by international authorities at its production sites. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, inspected Tecan’s main production sites for instruments in Männedorf (Switzerland), Grödig (Austria) and San Jose (USA) between 2014 and 2016. All audits were successfully concluded with zero formal observations. During 2018, Tecan US, the importer and sales and service arm for the Americas, was inspected by FDA with zero observations. At the production site for immunoassays in Hamburg (Germany), after successfully completing the initial certification for the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) in 2017, their first surveillance audit was completed with no major observations in the year under review. The MDSAP is a catalog of requirements for manufacturers of medical products drawn up by a number of participating countries. It aims to ensure that audits are performed in a standard and thus simplified manner. Thus, manufacturers of medical products can gain access to several markets by means of a single audit. Countries currently participating in the MSDAP are the USA, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Australia. Health Canada has mandated transition to MDSAP program in order to market and obtain device licenses for Class 2, 3 and 4 devices as of January 1, 2019. As part of the Company’s continuous improvement efforts for 2019, additional Tecan production sites will enroll in the MDSAP program.
Another focal point in Tecan’s regulatory efforts is the supporting of customers in the Partnering Business, with Tecan making key documentation available for authorization applications for new diagnostic instruments as well as forging a strong regulatory partnership to enable successful commercialization, not just at launch but throughout the product life cycle.
To ensure these efforts were compliant with the relevant regulations, they were based on various ISO standards. Tecan put together an ISO 14971-certified product risk management process for medical devices that covers the entire lifespan of a product and evaluates all possible risks, especially those pertinent to patients and users. The Tecan parent company, all production sites and almost all sales subsidiaries have now transitioned to the latest ISO 13485:2016-certification well ahead of the required transition date. During the year under review, Tecan’s facility at Tecan SP in California, US, which was acquired in the fall of 2016 transitioned to the Tecan Quality System and became certified to ISO 13485:2016 with no observations. The most important difference versus prior versions of ISO 13485 lies in the greater focus on risk management. As part of the risk assessment, processes are analyzed, for example during the development phase of a product, to determine whether the processes can influence product quality. At the same time as transitioning to the latest ISO 13485 standard, Tecan has completed transition to the current ISO 9001:2015 standard for its production sites.
As part of its ISO certification strategy, Tecan obtained a full, Group-wide matrix certificate based on ISO 13485. The Company wants to ensure that all units worldwide work according to the same processes and strive together to continuously improve their products and services. The matrix certificate also accommodates the current and future Group structure with an increasing number of subsidiaries. In Europe, the sales subsidiary in Germany was awarded the main certificate, while subsidiaries in other countries received sub-certificates. This new method of coordinated certification has benefits for customers and Tecan alike: greater transparency; the possibility to systematically monitor processes worldwide; and harmonized, standardized systems that also accommodate differences in the markets. The matrix certificate results in considerable simplifications and increased safety compared to individual certificates. The certifying body verifies the certification annually with sample checks at different subsidiaries. Tecan products must also satisfy the following important requirements, among many others: US QSR (Quality System Regulation)/21 CFR 820, Canadian Medical Device Regulations SOR/98-282, PMD Act (Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act) and CCC (Chinese Compulsory Certification). New opportunities are developing for Tecan in emerging markets, which will place additional requirements on the Company.
Regulatory requirements are increasing around the world. To ensure that the current versions of these are understood and satisfied everywhere, Tecan is in constant contact with local organizations and authorities. As an example, the Tecan Global Regulatory team is actively working on implementation of the new EU IVDR regulations across the Company’s facilities. Although companies have a five year transition time frame, Tecan has launched a global regulatory project during 2018 to ensure readiness and implementation of IVDR by the May 2022 deadline.
Tecan has a central Quality & Regulatory organization at Group level to ensure ongoing improvements in the high quality standards worldwide. In Europe, all the quality systems of the national subsidiaries and organizations have been harmonized and processes standardized, including sales, service and complaint processes. Tecan operates a Central Complaint Unit for customer complaints. Tecan performs a global management review every year in which relevant data from all Group companies are reviewed centrally. The process assesses whether quality management is still optimized to the legal requirements and regulations for the products and services supplied by Tecan. Tecan undertakes this review with regard to the individual national markets as well as from a Group-level perspective.
Tecan’s approach to product development is also characterized by an awareness of quality and regulatory requirements. Specialists collaborate from an early stage, supporting the process in a series of structured stages that span the product’s entire life up to the point where it is withdrawn from the market.
The Company attaches great importance to acting responsibly and in an environmentally friendly manner in the development, manufacture and global distribution of Tecan products as well as in all services it provides. In a Policy Statement for Product Environmental Compliance published on the corporate website, Tecan expresses its commitment to provide customers with safe, high-quality, and environmentally friendly products and to comply with all relevant product environmental legislations. The Company strives to continually identify and realize opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint of its products during product design, manufacture, use and disposal.
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR
decreased by 11.6%
compared with the prior
year period as more
employees use tools
provided by the Company
that enable completely
All Tecan production sites and the majority of suppliers are located in stringently regulated markets. Direct suppliers are subject to an audit program in order to ensure sustainable business.
In the production process – unlike, for example, the mass production of consumer goods – Tecan focuses on the final assembly of a relatively small number of items of laboratory equipment. In comparison with companies with extensive production processes, Tecan therefore emits only very low levels of pollutants. Tecan implemented numerous controls as part of the ISO 13485 certification, which applies to all production sites and sales subsidiaries. ISO 14001 certification, which provides guidelines for the establishment or improvement of an environmental management system, has not been applied for, as the production sites do not emit CO2, methane or other greenhouse gases (scope 1 emissions) during the production process. Also, the ISO 14001 standard shares many common traits with ISO 9000, the international standard of quality management, which serves as a model for the ISO 14001 internal structure. Tecan has established the current ISO 9001 standard for its production sites. Two production sites produce direct emissions exclusively from the combustion of natural gas for heating purposes. Indirect emissions arise from energy purchased (scope 2 emissions). In the year under review, indirect emissions were further reduced by 7.4% thanks to additional saving measures. Including acquired Tecan SP (formerly SPEware Inc.), total indirect emissions increased by 38.8% for the Group. Total (direct and indirect) emissions excluding Tecan SP fell by 5.9%, which corresponds to a reduction of 39 tons of CO2 Equivalents (t CO2 eq). Overall, the manufacturing process is less energy-intensive and is limited to the final assembly. Energy costs therefore make up less than 1% of all operating costs. For the year under review, the table shows the values of the production sites in Männedorf (Switzerland), Grödig (Austria), San Jose (USA) and Hamburg (Germany) and for the first time Baldwin Park (USA). Due to changes in the reporting scope, these values are not directly comparable to the previous years.
Tecan aims to be transparent and trustworthy regarding the Company’s emissions and therefore participates in the annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for several years, also allowing its results to be made publicly available.
The areas used at the production sites consist exclusively of offices and rooms for assembling products and are located in already developed commercial and industrial zones. Environmental considerations such as the impact on protected areas and biodiversity are therefore not relevant in the current circumstances. Through the expanded scope (addition of Tecan SP), the net floor area increased by 11.2%.
FOCUS ON ENERGY REDUCTION
Total energy consumption for the year under review increased by 2.1%, including the energy consumption from acquired Tecan SP for the first time. Excluding Tecan SP, the total energy consumption dropped by 6.2%, despite the higher production output and increased business activities. The energy intensity, which is the total energy consumption in relation to sales, decreased by 5.8%, due to energy savings measures.
Based on an energy consumption analysis conducted in 2017, Tecan continued to replace conventional lighting with energy efficient LED technology. At its largest site in Männedorf, Switzerland, about 2,800 new LED lights were installed in the year under review, already helping to save about 100,000 kilowatt hours in 2018. On an annualized basis savings between 160,000 – 180,000 kilowatt hours are expected. At the development and production site in Austria, new LED lighting already saved about 29,000 kilowatt hours in the year under review. Excluding Tecan SP, consumption of electricity dropped by 7.2% despite the increased output.
Tecan continuously invests in measures aimed at further increasing energy efficiency. Energy-saving measures already concluded in 2016 and 2017 include the installation of new cold-water pumps and better insulation of the cooling distribution system as well as the acquisition of a new refrigeration system with a significantly better energy rating in the production facility in Männedorf.
Tecan takes care to ensure that modern, energy-efficient technology is also used in the infrastructure of its buildings. For example, hot and cold water lines in the ceiling are the sole source of heating and cooling at the headquarters in Männedorf. Processed wastewater from the Männedorf wastewater treatment plant supplies the heat pumps with energy.
Tecan uses water provided by utilities primarily for sanitary services and in the kitchen for the employee restaurants. No significant amounts of water are used as a production factor in the assembly and testing process or during development. As Tecan’s water requirements are met entirely by the communal water utilities they do not influence any water resources in protected areas. Overall consumption increased compared to the previous year mainly due to a higher number of employees. Per capita consumption increased from 6.0 to 6.8 m3/head. Tecan returns water to the sewage system without contamination and has experienced no spills from operating processes or other instances of water contamination.
Paper consumption decreased by 11.6% compared with the prior-year period as more employees use tools provided by the Company that enable completely paper-free processes.
Total amounts of waste increased, also without the inclusion of Tecan SP. The increase is mainly a result of the increased production output as well as renovation work at the Männedorf site. Of the total waste, recyclable waste and refuse accounted for more than 98%. Only a small portion of it was hazardous waste, which includes materials, solvents and chemicals contaminated through the automation of biological processes, for example. Tecan complies with legal requirements to transport and dispose hazardous waste solely through authorized disposal agents.
Tecan operates on a global basis and business-related travel is essential to conduct business and run its operations with production sites, direct selling units and distribution relationships on six continents. Tecan has engaged a leading travel management company to efficiently book and manage the global air as well as a smaller share of its railway travel activities and thereby help contain overall business travel spending. Tecan is reporting for the first time the estimated carbon emissions from business-related air and train travel activities for the year under review and the prior-year period. These values were estimated by the third party travel management company. In 2018, the carbon emissions from business-related air and rail travel activities booked through this provider were 2,528 t CO2 eq, an increase of 8.3% compared to 2017. This increase is attributable to the overall increased business activities with a higher number of employees. Three regions contributed with more than 90% of those travel-related emissions: about 48% originated from Tecan employees in Switzerland, 28% from employees in the US and another 15% from employees in China.
The carbon emission intensity of business travels (expressed as t CO2 eq/million CHF sales) stayed constant at 4.3.
Tecan encourages the use of information and communication technologies, for example the use of modern video conference systems to reduce the need for air travel. The Company also incentivizes the use of public transportation where possible, as its availability differs in the various countries. At Tecan’s site in Switzerland, its largest site for development, production and office functions, the Company offers its employees a personal yearly travelcard at a significantly reduced rate which is valid in all zones of the Zurich Transport Network. With this contribution, Tecan wants to support its workforce while endorsing environmentally friendly mobility.
Tecan also supports employees at the Männedorf location in their use of electric vehicles. The Company provides separate parking spaces equipped with charging stations that can be used free of charge.
Tecan attaches great importance to using the most environmentally friendly materials and ecologically efficient processes possible. The Policy Statement for Product Environmental Compliance specifically describes the Company’s commitment to comply with the following laws and regulations:
- The European Union (EU) Directive on “Restriction of use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment”, 2011/65/EU (RoHS2 Directive)
- The Management Methods for Restricted Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products (China RoHS)
- The European Union (EU) Regulation EC 1907/2006 on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH Regulation),
- The European Union (EU) Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, 2012/19/EU (WEEE Directive)
Employees receive regular training and are familiar with the latest developments in this area.
In addition to environmental aspects, such as avoiding toxic substances that are not readily biodegradable in electrical and electronic devices, there are also ethical aspects related to rare earth elements and mining conflict minerals. Tecan’s ultimate goal is to prevent the use of conflict minerals (gold, tin, tantalum, or tungsten) that originate from sources whose profits support armed groups and human rights abuses, yet support the use of materials from legitimate sources. The US Dodd Frank Act (section 1502) from 2010, addressing US publicly listed companies, is the first legislation that tackles this problem. Even if not affected directly, Tecan is committed to support its customers to comply with this legislation and adheres to the applicable elements of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas.
Tecan is working together with suppliers on these areas and requires a Declaration of Conformity that human rights are respected as part of supply agreements.
Through the reliable, robust and sustainable design of its products, Tecan continuously targets progress in their environmental sustainability. The PULS program set up by the Company also includes targets and measures to avoid wasting materials and energy.
Tecan is very aware of the enormous responsibility it bears for its employees, which is reflected in its personnel policies that are binding at all of its companies around the globe. National hiring rules ensure compliance with laws on, for example, gender equality and non-discrimination. Both Tecan managers and employees are also held to strict ethical guidelines. These ethical guidelines are firmly established in the Code of Conduct and form part of the training requirements for all employees. As part of fundamental labor rights, Tecan is also committed to observing international labor and social standards that are based on the defined standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The globally applicable minimum standards are intended to ensure workplace rights and thus decent work. The four basic principles of the ILO are freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labor, the abolition of child labor and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. Also by signing the UN Global Compact, Tecan committed to the principles relating to human rights and labor standards.
Tecan has a very cosmopolitan workforce comprising employees from 52 countries. The average age of Tecan employees is 42 years. With the incorporation of the Tecan Genomics (formerly NuGEN Technologies) employees, the total number of employees increased by 12.1%, excluding the new colleagues, the personnel count grew by 7.8% The proportion of women in the workforce increased again to 33.8% (2017: 33.0%). The proportion of female managers was virtually unchanged at 22.4%. Two of seven positions on the Board of Directors continue to be occupied by women.
Overview of personnel figures
in % of all employees
in % of all employees
New positions created
in % of all employees
in % of all employees
Women in management positions
in % of all managers
Women in the Board of Directors
Women in the Board of Directors
in % of all members
Basic and continuing training**
Investments in basic and continuing training
Investments in basic and continuing training
CHF per employee
Staff turnover rate
Average number of years of service**
* Excluding NuGEN Technologies (now Tecan Genomics)
** Data for Switzerland only
Net floor area
Total energy consumption
Total direct energy consumption
Total fuel consumption
Total natural gas consumption
Natural gas consumption/m2
Total indirect energy consumption
Total consumption of electricity
Consumption of electricity/m2
Total heating energy
Total cooling energy
Total steam consumption
Energy intensity (total energy/turnover)
Total water consumption
Water consumption per head
Total paper consumption
Paper consumption per head
Percentage of recycled paper
* Excluding NuGEN Technologies (now Tecan Genomics)
Greenhouse gas emissions
Total direct CO2 emissions (scope 1)
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emissions via fuel consumption
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emissions via natural gas consumption
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Total direct emissions of other greenhouse gases**
Total indirect CO2 emissions via
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emissions via electricity procurement
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emissions via heating energy
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emissions via cooling energy
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Total indirect CO2 emissions via
Ton (CO2 equivalents)
Emission intensity (emissions/turnover)
Ton (CO2 equivalents)/CHF million
VISION AND VALUES
Tecan’s management considers it of key importance to instill the Company’s vision and common values in all its employees and ensure they are put into practice. As a common basis for collaboration, it has great importance in Tecan’s corporate culture.
Tecan drafted comprehensive guidelines, common values and principles of conduct for employees, to which the image of the Company is linked as well. The result of this link is the Tecan brand – a key factor for the Company’s success. The building blocks of the Tecan brand are graphically visualized in the “brand house”: the unique selling points for the Company’s positioning in the market, as well as its promise to its customers and the elements of its visual image are built on the foundations of the three core values – trust, highest standards and ambition. Tecan’s inner strength is made up of reliability, highest performance standards for the products and ambitious goals for innovations and process improvements. Through its vision “Every lab. Every day. Empowered.”, Tecan aims to maintain a global presence with outstanding technologies, products and support. The Company wants to actively shape the future of automated workflows in life sciences and clinical diagnostics by facilitating key innovations and empowering those involved to achieve. When it comes to its unique selling points, Tecan sets particular store by the characteristic “leading”. Throughout its corporate history, Tecan has launched many pioneering projects and has played a decisive role in the laboratory automation industry. In future, Tecan wishes to increase its focus on these traditional strengths and, on that basis, further strengthen its leading, formative role in the industry.
The vision and values have been implemented in the Company by means of an intensive program, with events again held at various sites during the year under review to increase and renew awareness. The elements of the Tecan brand are comprehensively described in the brand book, which is available on the intranet and is given to new employees on their first day with the Company.
The brand house has firmly established itself in Tecan’s day-to-day routine, with the various elements having been integrated into, for example, year-end process and employee meetings as part of their performance review.
Tecan measures and analyzes the satisfaction of its employees on a regular basis by means of an anonymous, Internet-based survey. Regular surveys enable Tecan to ascertain whether its business parameters, processes and structures are appropriate and gauge how motivated and committed its staff are. In this way, Tecan can ensure that it is employing the right staff in the best possible way. The results also help management gain a better understanding of what constitutes employee satisfaction and how staff can be motivated. The survey that was conducted in the year under review was focused on the impact of the Tecan “brand house”, for example the defined values. The goal of the survey was to measure the influence and impact the “brand house” has had on Tecan employees since its introduction in 2015. The survey results will also form the basis for further cultural development activities. Overall, identification of employees with what Tecan stands for was high and the “brand house” well known. Particular high scores were achieved in areas focused around putting in practice the Tecan values and its customer promise.
Tecan’s central customer promise is “Always There For You” – all of the Company’s activities are geared toward its customers. This promise is put into practice in an exemplary manner by numerous Tecan employees across the world in their daily dealings with customers and colleagues. To honor these sometimes extraordinary efforts and special commitment, Tecan created the “Always There For You Award” during the year under review. Employees can nominate colleagues for this prize on the intranet. The winners will be announced to the entire Group and receive a special financial bonus.
* Excluding NuGEN Technologies (now Tecan Genomics)
**Methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexa uoride, nitrogen tri uoride
Employees by Region*
Employees by Activity*
BASIC AND CONTINUING TRAINING
At Tecan, ongoing professional and external basic and continuing training is a key requirement critical to business. Due to strict indus- try-specific requirements, Tecan has high training expenditure: The Company must comply with requirements and guidelines set forth by various supervisory authorities and must also demonstrate that its employees possess the required knowledge. In the year under review, Tecan again invested heavily in basic and continuing training. Aided by an SAP-based system, Tecan ensures that training processes are carried out to a sufficient standard throughout the Company. Each individual employee receives a personalized training profile. This enables employees and line managers to check and update the cur- rent training status. It also ensures that information on training levels is available electronically at all times for audits. Tecan is working continuously to develop and improve this learning system. It should provide an effective performance record and offer employees the best possible training opportunities.
Tecan is increasing investments in management training. Strong leadership is indispensable if the Company is to generate sustain- able value. Employees can choose the right offer for them from a wide range of seminars and training opportunities. Specific four- part seminars, for example, provide managers from all levels with practical guidance for developing their leadership skills, motivating employees and raising the Company's productivity.
These seminars have become a standard and are very popular. All the seminars include written individual and group exercises as well as larger group projects, including case studies and simulations of challenging business situations. A new two-part project management seminar is a further training focus: First, a common basis is ensured using e-learning, then the participants take part in a two-day situa- tional training session. Through this seminar, Tecan is building up important knowledge, establishing an internal Company standard and providing training on uniform methods and terminology. This seminar is compulsory for all project managers, subproject managers and project staff.
Tecan also holds a financial seminar for novices. This is aimed at employees without in-depth financial training who require advanced knowledge for their budget processes, project planning or business analyses.
The Te-Wiki is a tool available to Tecan employees for the purpose of exchanging information and experience. This platform includes general information describing Tecan products, as well as expe- riences of employees in sales and customer services from direct contact with customers. All Tecan employees can also benefit from the knowledge of their colleagues by asking questions or outlining issues via “tickets.”
In countries employing a dual education system, Tecan instructs trainees from various vocational and professional groups.