Message from the CEO
DR. ACHIM VON LEOPRECHTING
Chief Executive Officer
At Tecan we are driven to improve people’s lives and health. We do this by empowering our customers to scale healthcare innovation globally from life science to the clinic. In 2021, Tecan grew significantly as a business, organically as well as through the acquisition of Paramit Corporation and its affiliates. 2021 was also the year we took management of our social and environmental impacts to the next level, with the goal that we can rightly say “our products add value to society, our business practices too”.
Tecan was founded in Switzerland on the principles of strong governance practices, an appreciation of the natural environment, and a culture of trust and respect between employers and employees. Tecan has pursued responsible business practices since its earliest days, and has specifically described these in the annual sustainability report since 2007. However, we know that more needs to be done to secure a resilient, equitable future. To ensure we play our part, in 2021 Tecan stepped up its sustainability efforts, putting in place a Sustainability Committee, hiring subject-matter experts, increasing the structure and activities that make up our sustainability programs and mapping out a journey that will enable Tecan to directly contribute to a sustainable future.
In our previous sustainability reports we have described how our activities support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), and these long-term goals still provide the blueprint for the more sustainable future we are working towards. We now also set our own sustainability targets and joined the Science Based Targets Initiative, committing to develop within 24 months a “net zero” emissions reduction target and to set out how this will be achieved.
Tecan’s main business activities are the design and development of innovative instruments, software, reagents and consumables for research, diagnostics and medical use and the execution of global sales and service activities. For our instruments and components, we focus on the final assembly, testing and packaging of these in our production sites. These activities have a relatively low environmental impact. Nevertheless, we have previously taken steps to improve our environmental impact, including offsetting all the emissions attributable to our Männedorf headquarters in 2020 and again in 2021, as well as completing a product footprint calculation of our industry leading Fluent™ workstation and offsetting the related emissions, subsequently offering our customers a certified climate neutral product. In 2021 we continued these efforts, calculating the footprint of another family of products as well as beginning the process of calculating our total global greenhouse gas emissions footprint. This ongoing work will enable us to pinpoint the greatest sources of our emissions and take steps to address these, as we undertake our decarbonization journey.
Globally, humanity consumes more resources than the Earth can regenerate: measured annually, a year’s worth of resources are estimated to have been consumed before August of each year, a situation inherently unsustainable and something we must all work to change. In 2021, Tecan increased efforts to reduce waste and to source a higher percentage of recycled content for our products and packaging. In our highly regulated field, even packaging is subject to strict requirements and changes often require testing and approvals that take time. We will continue these efforts in 2022 and see opportunities to improve our impact in this regard in both the short and medium term.
Tecan joined the UN Global Compact in 2018 and incorporates the Ten Principles of the UNGC into our strategies, policies and procedures. In 2021, this was particularly evident when we updated our , and 2022 will see an increase in our efforts to ensure that this Code is respected, as well as in our transparent reporting regarding these efforts.
We know that sustainability is important to our customers, investors and colleagues around the world, and we engage in customer questionnaires and ratings agencies’ surveys with full transparency. With our EcoVadis Bronze rating, we are able to quickly indicate to our customers that we are managing our impacts and will continue to strengthen these efforts. Our conversations with our colleagues about sustainability have been given new platforms in 2021, with a dedicated email@example.com email address created, along with a company sustainability social media group open to all employees. Videos, podcasts, an employee newsletter and a focus on sustainability as one of four key topics at our annual Global Leadership Conference round out the ongoing dialogue, and it’s been inspiring to learn about the number and quality of sustainability solutions and improvement ideas generated within Tecan.
Being the “Employer of choice” is a material topic for Tecan, as it’s through the dedication of our global team that we are able to fulfill our purpose and live up to our customer promise, “Always there for you.” We also recognize our responsibility as an employer to be aware of our impact on society, and to ensure we make a positive contribution not just through our products but in the way we enable our employees to develop and thrive, providing a healthy, supportive workplace culture that provides everyone with an equal opportunity to reach their full potential. With inequality increasing in many parts of the world and political dialogue too often inflammatory and divisive, we accept our role in driving towards the equitable future envisaged in the UN SDGs. Our employee engagement survey continues to be a defining measurement of our employees’ motivation and satisfaction, and despite the potential for isolation, disconnect and additional stress brought by the various phases of the pandemic we were delighted to see both higher participation rates and an improved “Trust Index™” score in 2021, compared to our first Great Place to Work® survey in 2020. As a company with around 3,200 employees and a network of global suppliers and business partners, we strive to set a good example, recognizing that bringing about a more equal society takes conscious effort.
In 2020, Tecan celebrated 40 years since our founding by initiating the “Tecan Gives Back” program, harnessing the energy of our employees as they ran, walked, jogged or hiked. We matched the distance covered by each Tecan Gives Back team with a donation to one of four charities selected by employees. The initiative was such a success we repeated it in 2021, broadening the activities that would generate a donation to include community volunteering, low-impact sports, and cultural and wellness activities such as playing music, creative work and meditation. Many stories and pictures were shared throughout October as teams made up of colleagues from across Tecan’s sites globally as well as some of our external business partners rose to the challenge, the combined efforts raising CHF 60,000 for the four new charities chosen. Community engagement and health and wellness of our employees are themes we’ll explore further again in 2022.
Our 2021 Sustainability report sets out in more detail the topics touched on in this summary, reviewing our journey so far and providing the framework for our ongoing efforts. The targets set out in the report will provide a checkpoint, enabling us to show progress, and in 2022 we’ll carry out the data collection and validation needed to set further measurable goals. But our sustainability activities aren’t limited to areas that can be quantified – rather, our approach to managing our impacts is a mindset, ensuring the long-term consequences of our day-to-day choices are considered and evaluated as part of making sound business decisions. We invite your input on our progress, through our regular dialogue or via our dedicated sustainability email address, and we appreciate your continued interest in this integral aspect of our work.