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Sustainability

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.

PRODUCT RANGE AND COMPLIANCE ­ WITH THE SUSTAINABILITY GOALS 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 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 Pacific, for example. The individual end markets and areas of application as well as the fundamental trends and the Company's strategic orientation are described in more detail in the "Markets and Strategy" section (p. 20). 

 

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.

 

However, 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 Tecan's 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 Tecan instruments are not specifically designed for research using embryonic stem cells, human fetal tissue or cell lines, customers could adapt and use them 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.

CLIENT FOCUS

For Tecan, client focus is the most important guiding principle and the basis for a sustainably successful business model. Tecan is synonymous with innovation and a high level of reliability. Every day around the world, Tecan products are used in life science labs, as well as in daily operations in diagnostic labs that carry out investigations that are critical for human lives.

 

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 measure whether the customer promise is also met at company level beyond individual examples, Tecan regularly carries out comprehensive, international customer surveys. In these major surveys, existing customers who have bought Tecan products in the past few years are asked about their satisfaction levels and other aspects of the collaboration in the different business areas and regions. The surveys show that the vast majority of customers are satisfied with Tecan’s products and services, with most describing themselves as “very satisfied” or even “completely satisfied”. A large proportion of customers would also recommend Tecan to someone else – both within and outside of their own organization. 

 

Open communication and implementation of continual improvements are essential in order to guarantee high satisfaction levels over the long term which also boosts loyalty to Tecan. Customer feedback forms an important basis in this regard. Further measures were taken or already implemented in the year under review that should help continue to improve the overall customer experience. Customer satisfaction is also continually measured as an additional important pillar in the customer satisfaction program and to consolidate customer focus. Since 2018, customers have also been surveyed directly after transactions, service interventions or at set intervals. This feedback also forms the basis for ongoing improvements.

 

BRAND MANAGEMENT

Tecan is a leading brand in laboratory automation. It stands for the highest standards, quality, reliability and innovation. These are decisive success factors for building up and strengthening a brand in this sector on a long-term basis. A carefully selected and nurtured portfolio of several brands is of prime importance to Tecan and is a necessity if it is to differentiate itself from its competitors. The Company’s most important brand is the Tecan umbrella brand, followed by various brand names for product platforms.

 

With the "Every Lab. Every day. Empowered.” vision, Tecan aims to maintain a global presence with outstanding technologies, products and support. Clear positioning, consistent communication and a convincing profile in electronic media as well as at traditional trade fairs are important components of successful brand management.

 

Tecan also has a clearly identifiable visual signature, including a five-color barcode. The red dot reinforces the design of the Tecan corporate logo; it appears as a unique sign-off at the end of headlines and after the product name on instruments.

 

PATENTS AND PROTECTION OF ­INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Tecan is a pioneer and has been the market leader in laboratory automation for 40 years. Tecan’s success is based on core competencies that the Company has systematically acquired and expanded over the years. Tecan makes above-average investments in research and development to maintain and reinforce its position as market leader. Protecting its intellectual property is also of major importance in ensuring that the development of new products and technologies gives the Company a sustainable advantage in the market. Tecan registers patents on relevant developments for the most important markets in a timely manner. The Company has several hundred patents in various patent families. Once again, numerous new patents were granted in the year under review. 

 

Patents strengthen Tecan’s competitive position in a variety of productsand applications. Numerous patents were also registered for the Fluent liquid handling platform and the Spark reader platform, many of which have already been granted. These patent registrations relate to a variety of basic inventions in the fields of both hardware and software that were made during the development of the platforms. 

 

An overview of the various patents has been published on Tecan’s website. The overall strategy to protect intellectual property includes patents, trademark registrations of the names of product platforms, registering designs to protect Tecan products from copycat products and protecting individual graphic software elements by means of design rights and trademark rights. Tecan also arranged for key branding elements of the new design to be protected and applied for brand registration.

 

BUSINESS PROCESSES

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 many 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 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 to 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.

 

A continual improvement process is also being implemented in areas other than production. For example, sales, service or support processes are continually optimized, including on the basis of customer surveys. Driven by the strong growth of the past few years, greater significance will be given to standardizing processes in future.

 

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/

Staff restaurant promoting ­sustainability?

Little noticed areas often make an important contribution towards a company’s overall sustainability too. Some also symbolically stand for the basic approach to this issue. 

 

Climate protection, health, Fairtrade and ­animal welfare

Food production is responsible for a large part of the overall global emission of greenhouse gases. With a staff restaurant, acompany can make an important contribution towards climate protection while at the same time promoting the health and performance of its employees, standing up for animal welfare and supporting smallholders in developing nations. At Tecan, we made a conscious decision to work together with an operator bound by these sustainable principles.

 

Many years ago, Tecan found such a partner in SV Schweiz for its staff restaurant at its headquarters and largest site. SV Schweiz’s ONE TWO WE sustainability program contains various measures for climate-friendly catering and more. 

 

ONE TWO WE aims to protect the climate and promote animal welfare. Optimized supply chains with short transport channels plus seasonal and vegetarian food reduce CO2 emissions. Very few air-freighted goods are used. The company also aims to reduce meat consumption by offering attractive vegetarian food. Half of the menu does not feature any meat or fish. Only high-quality meat sourced almost exclusively from Switzerland is offered. The proportion of meat from animal-­friendly sources (BTS and RAUS guidelines) is around 75% in the Tecan restaurant, with the proportion of fish caught using environmentally friendly fishing practices even higher (MSC and ASC label).

 

To be able to offer climate-friendly vegetables even in the winter, various types of vegetables and salads are sourced from greenhouses not heated with fossil fuels. 

 

Not every ingredient can be sourced locally, but exotic products bear the Max Havelaar Fairtrade label. This way, smallholders are supported in developing nations.

 

The sustainability program implemented in the Tecan staff restaurant contributes to the sustainability goals defined by the United Nations (SDGs) 2, 3,12, 13, 14, 15 and 17.

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 andis reporting directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. In the year under review, the Audit Committee and Head of Internal Audit also held several 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 as a company 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% and 80% of Tecan’s purchase volume is 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 sphereof 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 laborv
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.

 

At the end of 2019 Tecan submitted – and published on its website – the annual Communication on Progress, which is a summary of the various activities in relation to the UN Global Compact.

 

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 a central Quality & Regulatory organization at Group level to ensure ongoing improvements in the high quality standards worldwide.

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 2019, 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. The production site for immunoassays in Hamburg (Germany) was already successfully certified for the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP). 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, 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. Furthermore, Tecan is building up strong, regulatory partnerships in order to guarantee successful marketing beyond market launch during the entire 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. The quality systems at acquired companies are also being transitioned to the Tecan standard. For example, the now renamed Tecan SP in California, which was acquired in the fall of 2016, was already certified to ISO 13485:2016 with no observations in 2018. 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, Groupwide 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 fiveyear transition time frame, Tecan 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 of 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. The Company 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.

 

ENVIRONMENT

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 online, 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. 

 

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 of instruments – 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 neither emit CO2, methane nor other greenhouse gases (Scope 1 emissions) during the actual 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). On a comparable basis, these were further reduced by 4.3% in the year under review thanks to additional saving measures. Despite the significant growth, total emissions (direct and indirect) also fell by 4.3%, which corresponds to a reduction of more than 45 tons of CO2 equivalents (t CO2-eq). The emissions table also includes total emissions, including those of Tecan Genomics (formerly NuGen Technologies) which was acquired in fall 2018. 

 

Overall, Tecan is committed to taking responsibility for climate protection and to making a contribution. Concrete quantitative reduction targets for CO2 emissions have therefore also been set for the first time. In an initial step, Tecan is looking to reduce by at least one third the absolute direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1+2 on a comparable basis to 2019 in t CO2-eq) in the next three years (2020-2022).

 

As a reduction target, for example, Tecan also plans to install new photovoltaic panels on the roof of the main building of company headquarters in 2020; this should help to cover around 10% of the annual electricity consumption on site ourselves in future. The remaining electricity consumption will also be gradually converted to renewable energies at the various locations.

 

The manufacturing process itself 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), Hamburg (Germany), Baldwin Park (USA) and for the first time Redwood City (USA). Due to changes in the reporting scope, these values are therefore not directly comparable to the previous years.

 

Some activities that are necessary for business operations, such as flying or freight transport, also generate greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3). Tecan is also working on these areas to reduce emissions. The Company began to compensate for the climate-damaging effect of the remaining emissions in the year under review.

 

As a company, Tecan is aiming to become climate-neutral over the medium term. To do this,Tecan is working on a series of measures and evaluating whether, how and when the Company can achieve and implement this aim.

 

Tecan aims to be transparent and trustworthy regarding the Company’s emissions and therefore has participated in the annual Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for several years, also allowing its results to be made publicly available.

 

FOCUS ON ENERGY REDUCTION

Overall energy consumption on a comparable basis only increased marginally at 3.2% in the year under review despite the much higher production output and increased business activities. By contrast, the energy intensity, which is the total energy consumption in relation to sales, decreased by 3.7%.

 

Based on an energy consumption analysis, Tecan has replaced conventional lighting with energy-efficient LED technology. At its largest site in Männedorf (Switzerland), about 2,800 new LED lights were installed which should help save between 160,000 and 180,000 kilowatt hours on an annualized basis. At the development and production site in Austria, new LED lighting saves about 29,000 kilowatt hours every year. The San Jose (USA) site also switched over to LED lighting in the year under review. On a comparable basis, energy consumption rose by 3.9% due to the much higher production output.

 

Tecan continuously invests in measures aimed at further increasing energy efficiency. The Company already implemented various energy-­saving measures such as the installation of new cold-water pumps, 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 public 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 staff 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 and the increased use of steam humidifiers. Per capita consumption increased from 6.8 to 7.6 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.

 

The areas used at the production sites consist exclusively of offices and rooms for assembling products, all of which 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. The net floor area was unchanged compared with the previous year. Due to the acquisition of Tecan Genomics, formerly NuGen Technologies, the overall net floor area rose by 6.2%.

 

Paper consumption compared to the previous year rose by 15.0%, which is roughly equivalent to the 2017 figure. Certain fluctuations on an annual comparative basis are also caused by greater inventory restocking at locations and not necessarily by the Company's own consumption.

 

Despite higher production output, total waste fell by 8.7% on a comparable basis. Of the total waste, recyclable waste and refuse again accounted for around 97%. 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. 

Environmental performance

 

Unit

2017

2018

20191

20192

Net floor area 

m2

28,249

31,409

31,409

33,357

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy consumption

 

 

 

 

 

  Total energy consumption

Gigajoules

18,905.7

19,315.7

19,941.9

23,107.7

  Total direct energy consumption

Gigajoules

3,908.8

3,598.9

3,449.0

4,609.0

    Total fuel consumption

Gigajoules

0

0

0

0

    Fuel consumption/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0

0

0

0

    Total natural gas consumption

Gigajoules

3,908.8

3,598.9

3,449.0

4,609.0

    Natural gas consumption/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

Total indirect energy consumption

Gigajoules

14,996.9

15,716.8

16,492.9

18,498.7

    Total consumption of electricity

Gigajoules

10,949.2

11,742.3

12,196.9

14,202.6

    Consumption of electricity/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

    Total heating energy 

Gigajoules

2,092.1

2,195.9

2,774.8

2,774.8

    Heating energy/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

    Total cooling energy 

Gigajoules

1,955.6

1,778.6

1,521.3

1,521.3

    Cooling energy/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

    Total steam consumption

Gigajoules

0

0

0

0

    Steam consumption/m2

Gigajoules/m2

0

0

0

0

  Energy intensity (total energy/turnover)

Gigajoules/CHF million

34.5

32.5

n.a.

36.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water consumption

 

 

 

 

 

  Total water consumption

m3

6,576.2

9,133.4

10,336.9

10,925.3

  Water consumption per head

m3/head

6.1

6.8

7.6

7.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper consumption

 

 

 

 

 

  Total paper consumption 

kg

25,484.0

22,535.4

25,919.5

26,391.2

  Paper consumption per head

kg/head

23.6

16.8

19.1

18.7

  Percentage of recycled paper

Percentage

68.8

67.8

71.4

71.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waste consumption

 

 

 

 

 

  Total waste

Ton

178.4

272.6

249.0

264.8

    Normal waste

Ton

79.3

159.5

144.2

152.1

    Recyclable waste

Ton

96.7

108.9

98.4

106.3

    Hazardous waste

Ton

2.4

4.2

6.3

6.4

  1. Without Tecan Genomics (NuGen Technologies)
  2. Including Tecan Genomics (NuGen Technologies)

 

BUSINESS-RELATED TRAVEL

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, manage global air travel as well as a smaller share of its railway travel activities and thereby help contain overall business travel spending. The greenhouse gas emissions shown in the table arising from business flights and rail journeys for the year under review and in the prior year period were calculated by the external travel management company using the available booking data. They contain all greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. methane and nitrous oxide as well as carbon dioxide. Total emissions are calculated based on the recognized GHG conversion factors of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, GB) in tons of CO2 equivalents (t CO2-eq). Booking class is also taken into account as well as the actual kilometers flown.

 

In 2019, the CO2 emissions from business flights and rail journeys booked through this provider were 2,501 t CO2-eq. Compared to the prior year, the emissions were stable, despite the increased business activities with a higher number of employees (2018: 2,528 t CO2-eq). Three regions together contributed with more than 90% of those travel-related emissions: about 50% originated from Tecan employees in Switzerland, 29% from employees in the US and another 12% from employees in China. The CO2 emission intensity of business travel (expressed in t CO2-eq/CHF million turnover decreased to 3.9 (from 4.3 in 2018). 

 

As business air travel cannot be avoided, Tecan began to compensate for the overall climate effect of all long-haul flights in the year under review. All long-haul flights originated in Switzerland in 2019 were compensated for the first time (about half of all emissions). By doing so, not only was the direct effect of burning fuel during flights compensated, but also the intensifying effect produced by other gases and by the reflection of rising heat on the cirrus clouds produced (RFI or Radiative Forcing Index=2.7). More information on this and the projects selected for 2019 can be found on p. 56 and 57.

 

Tecan encourages the use of information and communication technologies, such as modern video conference systems to reduce the need for air travel. To do so, the technical infrastructure was improved in dedicated conference rooms in the year under review in order to increase acceptance. 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 administrative 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 own workforce while endorsing environmentally friendly mobility.

 

Tecan also supports employees at the Männedorf location in their use of electric vehicles. The Company therefore significantly expanded its provision of separate parking spaces with charging stations that can still be used for free. The new charging stations came into use in December 2019. Now more than 10% of all parking spaces are equipped with charging stations. With increasing demand, we have already made technical provision for expansion. However, most employees use public transport to get to work.

 

Greenhouse gas emissions

 

Unit

2017

2018*

20191

20192

Total direct CO2 emissions (scope 1)

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

198.92

184.1

176.43

235.77

  Emissions via fuel consumption

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

0

0

0

0

  Emissions via natural gas consumption

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

198.92

184.1

176.43

235.77

Total direct emissions of other greenhouse gases**

Ton

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total indirect CO2 emissions via 
  energy procurement (scope 2)

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

615.24

877.37

839.59

1,108.69

  Emissions via electricity procurement

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 405.06

822.7

 780.8

 1,049.90

  Emissions via heating energy

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

205.7

49.26

53.26

53.26

  Emissions via cooling energy

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

4.48

5.42

5.54

5.54

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Emission intensity (emissions/turnover)

Ton (CO2 equivalents)/CHF million

1.48

1.79

n.a.

1.60

* Excluding NuGEN Technologies (now Tecan Genomics)

**Methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, nitrogen trifluoride

1 Without Tecan Genomics (NuGen Technologies)

2 Including Tecan Genomics (NuGen Technologies)

 

Unit

2017

2018

2019

Indirect CO2 emissions via business travel (scope 3) 

 

 

 

 

  Total emissions according to DEFRA3

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

2'334.1

2'527.6

2'500.6

  Emission intensity (emissions/turnover)

Ton (CO2 equivalents)/CHF million

4.25

4.26

3.93

 

 

 

 

 

CO2 emissions from flights originating in Switzerland

 

 

 

 

  According to VDR1

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 

 

1'289

  According to GRI/GHG Protocol2

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 

 

1'622

  According to DEFRA3

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 

 

1'243

  According to ICAO4

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 

 

1'165

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation of emissions from flights originating

  in Switzerland

 

 

 

 

  Compensation of CO2 emissions + RFI 2.7

Ton (CO2 equivalents)

 

 

3'678

1 Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V.

2 The Global Reporting Initiative, The Greenhouse Gas Protocol

3 The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

4 The International Civil Aviation Organization

 

FREIGHT

In addition to business travel, the freight transport division also represents another source of Scope 3 emissions. This applies to both the transportation of unfinished materials and components of supplier companies to Tecan as well as to the conveyance of finished products to customers. In the year under review, Tecan also began to offset the emissions generated for a proportion of all transport. The program currently only covers a small proportion of all transport, but it will be continually expanded. More information can be found in the separate article on p. 56 and 57 of this report.

 

MATERIALS AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF PRODUCTS

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 Chinese 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. 

 

The products manufactured by Tecan are used in laboratories for life science research, in applied markets and in clinical diagnostics. The largest product group here comprises laboratory instruments for the automation of different repetitive work steps. These automationplatforms handle durable capital goods that can be used by customersover many years. The Tecan platforms can be very flexibly configured, which makes them highly durable, as they can be adapted to various requirements over time. This not only secures customers' investments, but also makes a contribution towards the sustainable use of resources.

 

Tecan customers mostly work in laboratories with biological agents, such as blood or possibly pathogens, and with chemical substances. This means that a circulatory system of material flows through recycling materials, as established in many industries, is only very limited or not possible at all. Depending on local legislation and the laboratory's biological protection level, i.e. hazard classification of biological agents, various disposal processes must be followed. Before leaving the protected area, the equipment must be fully decontaminated whenever possible. Tecan's customers often engage an external specialist company to do this and for ultimate special disposal.

 

Special consumables are also increasingly used for numerous work steps as part of automation. Even for applications involving genomics, many customers, for example, prefer to use disposable pipette tips for liquid transfers in order to avoid cross-contamination with other samples. Tecan also offers a broad portfolio of various consumables, such as disposable pipette tips, for differing volumes and areas of application. However, Tecan is one of the few suppliers to leave it up to the customer, depending on the application, as to whether steelneedles are used for pipette steps. To do so, Tecan has two completelydifferent technologies for liquid transfers. For applications where the risk of cross-contamination is only very minimal or even non-existent, it also makes sense to use steel needles for reasons of sustainability. The relevant areas of application are also the popular ELISA technology or immunoassays used in research and in diagnostics. A major OEM customer in the partnering business, market leader in immunohematology, also uses steel needles for determining blood groups and other important blood parameters.

 

After using disposable plastic pipette tips, laboratories are subject to the same fundamental guidelines as for the disposal of laboratory equipment. Depending on the application, they have to be decontaminated and properly disposed of. This means that recycling the plastic is only possible on a very limited basis and is sometimes impossible.

 

Tecan therefore focuses on the production process and on reducing material quantities, especially secondary packaging. In the year under review, a new packaging was introduced for certain pipette tips which contains 45% less plastic compared to the previous one. As well as reducing the amount of plastic, the new boxes also take up less room, making transport more economical and environmentally friendly. 

 

In general, Tecan also takes account of sustainability aspects in product design. For example, a lighter and more compact design of laboratory instruments means that CO2 emissions arising from their transportation can be reduced. The use of LED lamps also allows a great deal of energy to be saved in comparison with predecessor technologies. Electricity consumption is also taken into account for the operation of instruments. For instance, the Fluent automation platforms go into standby mode if idle for more than five minutes.

 

Customer service staff use tools that enable completely paper-free processes. The operating instructions of equipment are also availableelectronically rather than in paper form with several hundred pages. The continual expansion of remote customer services and visualization of instruments in the customer laboratory by augmented reality increasingly replace some customer visits or transportation of instruments, which thus helps cut down on emissions.

Offsetting climate-damaging ­effects

Some of the activities required for Tecan’s operations, such as business travel or freight transport, also generate greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3). In these instances, it is impossible to reduce completely, but the company intends to at least offset the climate-damaging effects. 

 

Offsetting business travel

Business travel is unavoidable for Tecan’s operations which feature production sites, direct sales units and distribution relationships on six continents. In 2019, we offset for the first time the overall climate effect of all long-haul flights undertaken. In doing so, the aim was not only to compensate for the direct effect of burning fuel during flights, but also the intensifying effect produced by other gases and by the reflection of rising heat on the cirrus clouds produced (RFI or Radiative Forcing Index). To do this, Tecan sought a partner that develops and runs its own climate protection projects, guarantees the sustainable use of resources and meets the highest quality and transparency standards. The Company's partner atmosfair’s two climate protection projects selected for the business year tangibly reduce emissions and bring great additional benefits for the population in the project country (e.g. fighting poverty,health protection, equality, jobs). They also offer crucial benefits compared to voluntary COcompensation through funded forest projects. atmosfair has its climate protection projects certified both by the United Nations (CDM) and by the Gold Standard. This ensures that sustainable COsavings are verified by independent external inspectors who guarantee every certified ton of CO2. Both projects are supported by Tecan in equal measure. 

 

COUPLE PREPARING A FIRE WITH COOK STOVE IN RWANDA

Project 1: Energy-efficient cook stoves for families in Rwanda

In poor countries such as Rwanda, many people still cook on an open fire. As a result, a great deal of heat is lost and the burning process is poorly ventilated. It also uses a great deal of wood and produces high levels of smoke through the incomplete burning of firewood. People in Rwanda mainly eat maize and beans, which take a long time to cook. In turn, this increases the demand for firewood. This high demand combined with inefficient usage contributes towards deforestation and rural poverty in Rwanda.

 

Through CO2 offset, Tecan subsidizes the sale of highly efficient Save80 cook stoves, which means that poor households can afford them. These stoves use up to 80 percent less wood than the traditional three-stone fire. The project thus plays a key role in reducing deforestation problems in Rwanda. 

 

If a coal stove is replaced by a Save80 cook stove, the wood savings are even greater, as nine kilos of wood are required to produce one kilo of coal. Rwanda’s households can therefore make substantial savings, as charcoal prices have continually risen through strong demand, increased transport and higher production costs. These savings enable households to cover other financial outgoings. At the same time, potential conflicts for wood resources between refugees and neighboring communes are minimized. 

 

The stove’s optimum ventilation also ensures that smoke from open fires is largely avoided. According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), 4.3 million people die every year from indoor air pollution (IAP) because they are exposed to smoke from an open fire.

 

The project contributes to the sustainability goals defined by the United Nations (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15 and 17.

 

 

FARMER USING BIOGAS UNIT IN NEPAL

Project 2: Domestic biogas units for families in Nepal

A second project in Nepal has a very similar aim to the project in Rwanda, but takes local conditions there into account. Rather than cook stoves, the focus here is on the construction of biogas units and is aimed at households that currently use firewood for cooking. The small biogas units are installed in households that own at least two head of cattle, buffalo or similar livestock. This ensures that enough dung is produced to operate the unit. The animal dung, together with fecal matter from latrines, is mixed with water and collected in a septic tank. Gas produced from anaerobic fermentation accumulates in the upper part of the unit and is fed to gas cookersthrough pipes. As a result, families with a biogas unit no longer need firewood to cook – this significantly reduces CO2 emissions and protects the surrounding forests against deforestation. A biogas unit supplies enough gas for cooking for a family of five and on average, saves three tons of CO2 per annum compared to using an open three-stone fire.

 

The project contributes to the sustainability goals defined by the United Nations (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,11, 13, 15 and 17.

 

Offsetting freight transport logistics

Freight transport logistics covers both the transport of unfinished materials and components of supplier companies to Tecan as well as the conveyance of finished products to customers. Since October 2019, transport emissions have been offset at a logistics company used for global transport. All types of transport are included in this, i.e. sea, air, rail and road transport. This program currently only covers a small proportion of all transport, but it will be continually expanded.

 

The methodology used to calculate the logistics company’s emissions was verified by the multinational inspection company SGS SA. Furthermore, the Natural Capital Partners organization has verified that the methodology used is consistent with its published CarbonNeutral Protocol.

 

EMPLOYEES

Tecan is very aware of the enormous responsibility it bears for its employees. They are the foundation of a company’s successful development, and each day they contribute to progress in life science research and diagnostics. This contribution, providing a positive influence on people’s well-being and health is an important part of Tecan’s corporate culture. The Company has grown strongly in recent years and wishes to continue growing in the coming years. This means that the number of employees will continue to rise significantly in the coming years. The changes in society resulting from demographics with a shortage of talent and specialists make an active personnel policy a focal point of corporate practices. In the year under review therefore, we initiated a new program to invest more specifically in development opportunities for our employees. 

 

Employees by Region
Employees by Activity
COMPLIANCE WITH FUNDAMENTAL LABOR RIGHTS

The basis for working with Tecan is an open, diverse and integrated culture that focuses on dealing with one another respectfully, with the same rights and opportunities for all employees. To guarantee this, strict personnel policies were established that are binding at all 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.

 

GROWING INTERNATIONAL WORKFORCE

Tecan has a very cosmopolitan workforce comprising employees from 50 countries, and is increasingly present in all global regions. In 2019, the total number of employees increased by 10.4% on a comparable basis. Including the supplier's workforce that Tecan took on in the year under review, the total number of employees rose by 20.9% to 1,932 full-time equivalents. 

 

 

Unit

2017

20181

20192

20193

Number of employees

 

 

 

 

 

  Employees

Number FTE

1,482

1,598

1,932

1,764

  New positions created

Number FTE

69

116

334

166

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employees by activity

 

 

 

 

 

  Manufacturing and logistics

Number FTE

404

415

583

 

  Sales and marketing

Number FTE

381

398

466

 

  Customer service

Number FTE

256

280

314

 

  Research and development

Number FTE

273

329

361

 

  General and administration

Number FTE

168

176

208

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employees by region

 

 

 

 

 

  Switzerland

Number FTE

516

556

601

 

  Other Europe

Number FTE

453

484

501

 

  North America

Number FTE

371

408

555

 

  Asia-Pacific

Number FTE

142

150

275

 

1 Excluding Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies) 

2 Including an acquisition from 2019

3 Excluding an acquisition from 2019

 

LONG-TERM EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS AND STAFF RETENTION

Tecan’s success is based on core competencies that the Company has systematically acquired and expanded over many years. This expertise and the competency of employees should be retained in the Company. The type of employment relationships therefore plays a role in this. At around 96%, the largest proportion of the workforce by far are permanent employees; those employed on a temporary and fixed-term basis account for only 3% of the workforce, which is insignificant. Tecan offers flexible working hours with options for full-time or part-time jobs to differing degrees in order to accommodate the various needs and private circumstances of its employees. The average number of years of service was unchanged at 7.4 years. At less than 10%, the rate of voluntary fluctuation remainedat a healthy level in the year under review.

 

Contract Types (2019)

 

Employment Contract

Share in %

Fix employees

95.7%

Temporary and limited in time employees 

3.1%

Apprentices, trainees, students

1.2%

 

Employment

 

Unit

2017

20181

20192

Full-time

in % of all ­employees

88.7%

88.9%

89.0%

Part-time

in % of all ­employees

11.3%

11.1%

11.0%

  1. Without Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies)
  2. Without the acquisition from 2019
    1.   

Flexible Work Options (2019)

 

Gender

Share in %

Men

 

  Full-time

93.6%

  Part-time

6.4%

Women

 

  Full-time

79.9%

  Part-time

20.1%

 

Age Group1

Share in %

under 30 years old

 

  Full-time

90.2%

  Part-time

9.8%

30-50 years old

 

  Full-time

86.3%

  Part-time

13.7%

over 50 years old

 

  Full-time

80.7%

  Part-time

19.3%

  1. Without USA
 

Regions

Share in %

Switzerland

 

  Full-time

81.4%

  Part-time

18.6%

Other Europe

 

  Full-time

85.9%

  Part-time

14.1%

North America

 

  Full-time

98.7%

  Part-time

1.3%

Asia-Pacific

 

  Full-time

98.8%

  Part-time

1.2%

 

Staff Turnover and Retention

 

 

Unit

2017

20181

20192

Turnover rate (total)

 

10.7%

13.8%

11.3%

Turnover rate 
(voluntary)

 

n.a.

n.a.

8.7%

Average number of years of service3

Years

7.7

7.4

7.4

  1. Without Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies) 
  2. Without the acquisition from 2019
  3. Data for Switzerlnd only

 

Staff Turnover Rate (2019)

 

Region

Staff Turnover Rate (total)

Staff Turnover Rate (voluntary)

Switzerland

7.9%

6.0%

Other Europe

9.7%

7.8%

North America

15.3%

11.6%

Asia-Pacific

17.0%

12.6%

 

 

 

Total

11.3%

8.7%

 

GENDER DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION OF ALL EMPLOYEES

Tecan openly supports diversity and equal opportunities. The respective origin, gender, religion or personal ideology, age or sexual orientation play no role in our recruitment process and in careers in the Company. The Company also supports chronically ill employees and those with a disability, taking efforts to ensure they remain integrated in the workplace as far as possible.

 

The proportion of women in the workforce increased again to 35.7% (2018: 33.8%). The proportion of female managers also increased to 25.5% in the year under review (2018: 22.4%). Two of seven positions on the Board of Directors continue to be occupied by women. 

 

Gender diversity

 

 

Unit

2017

20181

20192

Women

in % of all employees

33.0%

33.8%

35.7%

Men

in % of all employees

67.0%

66.2%

64.3%

Women in management positions

in % of all managers

22.8%

22.4%

25.5%

Women in the Board of Directors

No.

2

2

2

Women in the Board of Directors

in % of all members

28.6%

28.6%

28.6%

  1. Without Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies)
  2. Without the acquisition from 2019

 

Management per Category (2019)

 

Management by Gender

Share of ­Employees in %

Men

 

  Employee

64.7%

  Management

35.3%

Women

 

  Employee

77.8%

  Management

22.2%

 

Management by Gender and Region

Share of ­Employees in %

Switzerland

 

  Men

72.2%

    Employee

48.7%

    Management

51.3%

  Women

27.8%

    Employee

60.9%

    Management

39.1%

Other Europe

 

  Men

60.4%

    Employee

77.6%

    Management

22.4%

  Women

39.6%

    Employee

87.7%

    Management

12.3%

North America

 

  Men

57.7%

    Employee

77.5%

    Management

22.5%

  Women

42.3%

    Employee

81.4%

    Management

18.6%

Asia-Pacific

 

  Men

67.1%

    Employee

65.7%

    Management

34.3%

  Women

32.9%

    Employee

81.1%

    Management

18.9%

 

Age Groups (2019)

 

Age Group

Share in %1

under 30 years old

12.5%

30-50 years old

64.2%

over 50 years old

23.3%

Age Group

Share in %1

Men

 

  under 30 years old

11.3%

  30-50 years old

62.3%

  over 50 years old

26.4%

Women

 

  under 30 years old

15.1%

  30-50 years old

67.3%

  over 50 years old

17.6%

  1. Without USA
 
New Hires

Tecan is an appealing employer. The Company offers solutions that help contribute to people's well-being. The end markets benefit from structural growth drivers, the Company is established globally, is of a good size and therefore offers excellent career prospects. The number of employees increased sharply in the past few years, by at least 20% overall in the year under review. This includes the expansion of the workforce through the acquisition of a company with locations in the USA and Vietnam. Most employees in 2019 were employed in North America and Europe, but employee growth was still at least 15% in Asia. More than 40% of new hires were women, which means that the proportion of women in the workforce will continue to expand.

 

Continued strong growth is also expected in the next few years, which is why the topics of employee recruitment and development as well as employer branding will continue to gain in importance.

 

New Hire Report (2019)

 

By Age Group

New Hires in %1

under 30 years old

30.1%

30-50 years old

65.1%

over 50 years old

4.8%

  1. Without USA
 

By Regions

New Hires in %

Switzerland

21.9%

Other Europe

31.9%

North America

30.6%

Asia-Pacific

15.6%

 

By Gender

New Hires in %

Men

59.5%

Women

40.5%

 

WELL-BEING AND HEALTH

Tecan concentrates in its production on the final assembly of laboratory instruments and sub-components for equipment. The risk of accidents is extremely low through this type of production. Additional preventive measures on occupational safety reduce the risk further. This also applies to the production processes for both reagents and consumables. Major accidents are therefore an absolute exception. So far there have been no work-related deaths. Most employees do not work in production, but in sales, customer service and various office functions. 

 

The absenteeism rate was also below 3% again in the year under review. This includes days lost through all accidents, i.e. also non-­work-related, as well as all absences due to illness. 

 

Tecan also offers a wide range of healthcare initiatives for its employees, including medical courses and vaccinations. For physical complaints, suitably equipped work stations are provided, such as height-adjustable desks. There is also a wide range of sporting opportunities on offer at various locations.

 

Employee Well-Being (2019)2

 

Absence

Days per Employee

Absence rate

Accidents

1.1

0.4%

Sickness

6.1

2.4%

Grand Total

7.2

2.8%

 

Type of Accidents

Days per Employee

Absence rate

Accidents 
(not work-related)

1.0

0.4%

Accidents 
(work-related)

0.1

0.0%

Grand Total

1.1

0.4%

  1. Data for Switzerland only

 

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 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.

 

EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION

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 results also form the basis for further cultural development activities. In previous surveys, 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.

 

CAREER DEVELOPMENT, BASIC AND ­­CONTINUING TRAINING

At Tecan, ongoing professional and external basic and continuing training is a key requirement critical to business. Due to strict industry-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 current 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.

 

In the year under review, Tecan invested further in development opportunities for employees, specifically by training its managers. The range of internal and external professional training measures was expanded and restructured. Strong leadership is indispensable if the Company is to generate sustainable 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 situational 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.

 

Tecan also started a global talent management program for the first time entitled NextGen Tecan. The first next-generation managers of this one-year program will come through in 2020.

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 experiences 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.

 

Investments in basic and continuing training

 

 

Unit

2017

20181

20191

Investments in basic and continuing ­training1

CHF 

481,694

574,971

642,109

Investments in basic and continuing ­training1

CHF per employee

981

1,083

1,095

  1. Data for Switzerland only
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