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, it shapes all corporate processes and unites economic, regulatory, ecological and social aspects. Today, this holistic approach is often structured in the three dimensions – Environmental, Social and Governance, or short ESG. Sustainability in this context is a mindset that must be deeply embedded in the business, its structures and procedures – in other words, in the corporate culture. This is the case at Tecan.


Tecan is a pioneer and global leader in laboratory automation. Founded in Switzerland in 1980, the company has more than 3,000 employees, with manufacturing, research and development sites in Europe, North America and Asia, and maintains a sales and service network in over 70 countries. Tecan Group Ltd. is the parent company, and is a limited corporation incorporated in Switzerland, whose shares are publicly traded. Tecan Group Ltd.’s registered office is at Seestrasse 103, 8708 Männedorf, Switzerland. The entities included in Tecan’s sustainability report are indicated here.


Tecan’s main business activities are the design and development of innovative instruments, instrument components and modules, software, reagents and consumables for research, diagnostics and medical use and the execution of global sales and service activities. Tecan does not conduct animal testing, or participate in, or knowingly fund, any external studies that use embryonic stem cells, fetal tissue or cell lines. Clients include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and in-vitro diagnostic companies, university research departments, and diagnostics and other laboratories. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Tecan also develops and manufactures OEM instruments and components that are then distributed by partner companies. Tecan’s value chain also includes the distributor network and supply chain, which are described in this report.


Tecan acquired leading OEM developer and manufacturer of medical devices and life sciences instruments Paramit Corporation and its affiliates in August, 2021,and will include Paramit in the 2022 Sustainability Report. With the acquisition of Paramit, Tecan grew from approximately 2,000 employees to more than 3,000 employees, and at time of writing, integration is ongoing. A full overview of Tecan’s employee profile is included in the social impact section of this report.



In 2021 Tecan created a sustainability committee, chaired by the CEO and made up of Management Board (MB) members responsible for specific ESG (environment, social and governance) areas, as well as Tecan’s CFO, MB sustainability lead, and two subject matter experts who joined Tecan in Q3, 2021. The sustainability committee meets quarterly and sets Tecan’s sustainability strategy and priorities, which are taken to the full MB for approval. Tecan’s Board of Directors is briefed on developments by the CEO and MB sustainability lead during their regular meetings, as described in the more detailed overview of our Board in the Corporate Governance section of Tecan’s Annual Report. There is no separate committee at Board level for sustainability, activities are reviewed by the full Board, and management of social and environmental risks and impacts has been delegated by the Board to Tecan’s Management and is integrated into Tecan’s overall strategy. Sustainability topics are included in Tecan’s regular annual strategy development and review process, and annual risk management process. Board members have varying levels of sustainability expertise, gained in their previous roles as CEOs or senior executives of companies with sustainability programs and in the case of one Board member, through actively working on a potential replacement for fossil fuels. A well-rounded understanding of business impacts is one of many criteria looked for in potential Board members; the opportunity to increase the visible diversity of Tecan’s Board is also one of the many factors considered. 


As management of sustainability topics is led by Tecan’s CEO, it is the CEO and sustainability committee members that review Sustainability Report content. Sustainability targets are included in the short-term variable pay compensation criteria of all Management Board members, and all Tecan colleagues who have a variable pay component to their compensation (see also Compensation Report ). 


Throughout Tecan, management of social and environmental impacts is integrated into daily work. In addition, specific initiatives with a strong sustainability focus are tracked by Tecan’s sustainability committee, as reflected in the “sustainability governance structure” pyramid. Current workstreams include working towards ISO 14001 certification of Headquarters, systematically increasing the assessment of suppliers’ environmental and social impacts, and evaluating options to reduce the environmental impact of various products. Sustainability committee members are responsible for updating the sustainability committee on the progress of workstreams within their area, and the Management Board (MB) sustainability lead presents a summary to the MB after each committee meeting, along with any committee proposals that need MB approval. 


Tecan’s Sustainability Committee members:
  • Committee Chair: Achim von Leoprechting, CEO
  • Management Board Sustainability Lead: Martin Braendle, Senior VP Corporate Communications & IR
  • Sustainability Committee Secretary: Sarah Vowles, Associate Director Corporate Communications & Sustainability
  • Marco Felicioni, Head of Environment, Health & Safety Office
  • Ulrich Kanter, Head of Operations and IT
  • Tania Micki, Chief Financial Officer
  • Erik Nordström, Head of Corporate Development
  • Inkrid Pürgstaller, Chief People Officer
  • Andreas Wilhelm, General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Tecan Group Ltd.
Tecan’s sustainability strategy

Tecan’s corporate purpose is to improve people’s lives and health. This is achieved by empowering customers to scale healthcare innovation globally from life science to the clinic. Tecan’s sustainability strategy supports the Company’s purpose: developed by the sustainability committee in 2021, the sustainability strategy is now being integrated into Tecan’s annual strategy development and review process, for presentation to the Board of Directors later in 2022. This strategy enables Tecan to say, “Our products add value to society, our business practices too”. Both a description of how Tecan operates today and an aspiration indicating the areas in which Tecan will strengthen processes on an ongoing basis, the strategy states: 


From design through production to end-of-life, we maximize the positive impact of our products and business practices. Tecan’s products enable innovative healthcare, consider eco-design, and are produced with responsibly sourced materials. Our sites are carefully managed to minimize negative environmental impacts and implement opportunities to have a positive environmental impact. We consistently demonstrate excellence in product quality and safety, governance, and risk management, and have a measurable positive impact as an employer and in our communities. 


Implementation of this strategy is further described in the EnvironmentSocial Impact and Governance sections of this sustainability report. 


Support for the United Nations Global Compact and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

Tecan joined the UN Global Compact (UNGC) in 2018, and in doing so committed to a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, along with key social impact and good governance principles derived from UN instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Adherence to these principles is tracked by Tecan’s sustainability Group Function and reported on annually via the UNGC reporting platform. In 2022, timing of this reporting is anticipated to change to align with the timing of Tecan’s sustainability report publication. 


Tecan’s sustainability Group Function is made up of the sustainability Management Board lead and his direct report, Tecan’s sustainability lead. Tecan’s sustainability lead is the sustainability committee secretary, responsible for preparing the committee meetings and driving the sustainability agenda. 


Tecan supports the blueprint for a better future set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and aligns in particular with goals 3, 5, 8 and 12.

SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages: Tecan’s products and business purpose – improve people’s lives and health, by empowering our customers to scale healthcare innovation globally from life science to the clinic – directly support this sustainable development goal. See our customer stories for an overview of the range of activities undertaken. 

SDG 5 Gender Equality. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls: As an employer, Tecan works to advance equal opportunities for women, and to ensure equal treatment in the workplace. Efforts in this regard are outlined in the social impact section of this report. 

SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all: Through ethical business practices and with an emphasis on creating a diverse, inclusive, positive work culture Tecan supports this Goal.

SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns: Tecan works to support UN SDG 12 by adopting sustainable practices and continuing to integrate sustainability information into the reporting cycle, as set out in this report. 

Additional SDGs are supported through the work of Tecan’s customers, and through research projects supported by Tecan. The majority of Tecan’s customers focus on activities intended to ultimately benefit human health. Notable exceptions include: 


Training an enzyme to break down plastic

At the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Scientists, researchers have been working to boost the power of enzymes that can break down plastic. In 2016, Japanese researchers discovered in the soil at a plastic recycling plant in Osaka a protein that could break down PET. In a lab in Wädenswil, Switzerland, Rebecca Buller leads a team working to increase the abilities of PETase enzymes, applying the process of “directed evolution” to train the enzymes to break down larger volumes of PET. By mimicking natural evolution in a laboratory setting, selected enzyme properties can be improved. The ZHAW team is the first to incorporate an innovative robot and machine learning into this process, using a platform custom-made by Tecan, automating work that was previously done by hand and speeding up the processing of variants approximately tenfold. Artificial intelligence is used for enzyme development, with algorithms suggesting how the structure of the enzymes can be optimized. Ultimately the enzymes could be used to treat drinking water by breaking down microplastics, or even in the management of PET waste.


Enabling continuous emission monitoring systems

To ensure compliance with environmental regulations governing pollution, many companies use continuous emission monitoring systems. Inspire Analytical Systems (IAS) is a German manufacturer of calibration gas generators for analyzers and sensors that offer highly precise and continuous monitoring of gas emissions. Robust automated pumps have been a key focus for IAS when developing devices, and in this area Tecan was able to offer an excellent solution. A partnership with IAS resulted in the ability to achieve higher precision for a broader range of volumes, using Tecan’s Cavro Centris pump. This enables companies to calibrate emissions to stay within acceptable ranges, promoting better air quality and the associated benefits to the health of populations and ecosystems.


Algae to solve the Climate crisis

Could algae solve the challenges of food, water and fuel shortages, all whilst also reducing CO2 in the atmosphere? Research teams at the Centre for Solar Biotechnology, which is based at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland, Australia, are exploring a range of algae-based solutions in these areas. Together with various industry partners, 30 teams across the world are working on different aspects of algae, including collection and characterization of new species, development of novel strains and products using synthetic biology and gene editing technology, optimization of production and downstream processes, and techno-economic feasibility studies that are essential for successful scale-up and commercialization of algal products. Tecan systems have been adapted to enable steps such as exposing algae to different illumination settings and atmospheric conditions, and through automation vast amounts of data can be gathered in just a few days. Data sets can be investigated and analyzed to a degree that would have been impossible with manual screens, with Tecan’s instruments a key factor in a collaborative process that could lead to some planet-changing developments.


Stakeholder Engagement

Tecan’s stakeholders include customers, investors and employees. Customer satisfaction is a priority for Tecan, as described in more detail in the ‘Customer focus’ section of this report.  Customer surveys enable a structured engagement process, and complement the ongoing dialogue that can form between Tecan and customers based on the long life of Tecan products and associated service of products. Tecan has regular dialogue with investors as described in the ‘Information policy’ section of this report. Tecan regularly responds to requests for information from customers and ratings agencies, and through these and the other interactions is able to assess what topics are of most importance to these stakeholders. Tecan’s engagement with employees is described in the ‘Social impact’ section of this report.  Stakeholder engagement enables Tecan to calibrate its business decisions to ensure an optimum outcome. 


Tecan is a member of associations including: 

  • ALDA (Analytical, Life Science & Diagnostics Association), a “non-profit industry trade association for global companies that develop and market products and services used in life science research, drug discovery, QA/QC and food testing, and clinical and molecular diagnostics”
  • MedTech Europe, an industry association with the mission to “make innovative medical technology available to more people, while helping healthcare systems move towards a sustainable path”
  • The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), which is based in the US and is “the largest global organization of and for those involved with the regulation of healthcare and related products,” including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biologics and nutritional products.”
  • Swiss MedTech, “the association of Swiss medical technology”, which represents approximately 700 companies, and is a member of the umbrella group MedTech Europe

  • The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), an initiative based on CEO commitments to sustainability principles, and to supporting United Nations’ goals
  • WeAdvance, “the leading business association for gender equality in Switzerland” as described here
Sustainability focus areas

Tecan set out its material topics in 2021 with input from stakeholders gained via customer surveys and queries, ratings agencies’ questionnaires, participation in industry and other associations, and conversations with investors. Input from Tecan colleagues was also gathered through structured opportunities such as breakout sessions during Tecan’s annual Global Leadership Conference, as well as through internal communications channels such as the sustainability Yammer group, dedicated sustainability email address, and team meetings. Stakeholders recognize that Tecan’s business activities have a relatively small environmental impact and are at low risk of violating human rights. Material topics reflect areas in which Tecan’s impacts are greatest, and in which Tecan works to have a positive impact. 


Material topics:

Climate impact: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our business activities, including energy consumption, integrating eco-design principles into product research and development. 

Circular Economy: Transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economy, e.g. by optimizing the percentage of recycled content in our products and packaging, optimizing product lifespan, integrating eco-design principles into product research and development, and reducing waste. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Demonstrating equality of opportunity in business practices including hiring, training and promotions. 

Being the employer of choice: Promoting employee health and safety, wellbeing, talent development, and a positive workplace culture. 

Community engagement: Corporate volunteering and philanthropy in line with our business purpose. 

Product quality and safety: Tecan strives to achieve the highest standards in product quality and safety, customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance. 

Governance and ethics: Consistently demonstrating good business practices, including in areas such as anti-bribery and anti-corruption, data privacy and tax principles. 

Responsible sourcing: Managing the social, governance and environmental impacts of our procurement activities. 


Management of each material topic is described in the EnvironmentSocial Impact and Governance sections of this report.


Tecan’s main business activities are the design and development of innovative instruments, instrument components and modules, software, reagents and consumables for research, diagnostics and medical use and the execution of global sales and service activities. For instruments and components, the largest source of revenue contribution, focus is on the final assembly, testing and packaging. These activities have a relatively low environmental impact. Nevertheless, Tecan aims to minimize any negative environmental impacts of its business activities and implement opportunities to have a positive environmental impact. Several steps have already been taken in this regard, and described in our previous sustainability reports, including:

  • Installing solar panels on the roof of our Männedorf headquarters, which is powered by renewable energy
  • Redesigning packaging of one line of consumables (disposable pipette tips) to use approximately half as much packaging material, thereby also reducing emissions from shipping and logistics
  • Completing a product footprint calculation of our flagship Fluent™ automation workstation and offsetting the emissions to create a certified climate neutral product

    In 2021, cradle-to-grave carbon footprint calculations of an additional Tecan product family were completed, with the aim of pinpointing opportunities to reduce emissions and offsetting the remaining emissions, thereby offering additional certified climate neutral products. 


Tecan has reported environmental impact data in its Annual Report since 2007, and also participates in CDP reporting, recognizing the importance of transparency. 2021 data covers the same scope as that reported in the 2020 sustainability report, combined in one table. In 2021, Tecan began calculating its total global emissions footprint and expects this effort to be completed in mid-2022, to be reported in the 2022 sustainability report. As the reports of the International Panel on Climate Change make clear, rapid decarbonization is needed to keep global temperature raises below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. To demonstrate that Tecan takes seriously the responsibility we all have in this regard, in early 2022 Tecan signed the commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative, and will set a Net Zero emissions reduction target within the next 24 months. Previously, Tecan set the goal of, by 2022 and using a 2019 baseline, reducing by at least one third absolute direct and indirect emissions. The Company had reduced the emissions in scope by 31% by the end of 2021. The path to reaching the science based target will be described in future sustainability reports and on 


Tecan’s motivation to responsibly manage the impact of its business activities aligns with input received from customers, investors and colleagues about the clear need for climate impact action. Responsibility within Tecan for managing climate impact falls within many different scopes, including those of:

  • Site Managers, who are part of a global network managed by the Head of the Environment, Health & Safety Office, part of Global Operations 
  • Shipping and logistics managers: Tecan’s Switzerland-based logistics lead has taken a number of steps to reduce the emissions from shipping, including working with suppliers that offer lower emissions options, and participating in suppliers’ own offsetting schemes 
  • Service: The service team has developed remote service technologies and trainings that greatly reduce emissions previously generated by travel. 

In 2022, the data gained by calculating Tecan’s total global footprint will enable an identification of sources of high emissions and will facilitate the setting of emissions reductions targets related to specific activities, within the overall framework of meeting a science based target. It is anticipated that the global footprint data will show that Tecan’s greatest sources of emissions are “scope 3” emissions in the accounting framework provided by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol i.e. generated through business activities such as the goods and services Tecan purchases. 


Climate impact efforts are monitored overall by Tecan’s sustainability Group Function, which also sponsors and coordinates the overall effort related to the Science Based Target commitment. Tecan’s Head of the Environment, Health & Safety Office and Tecan’s Head Global Operations are both members of Tecan’s sustainability committee, as are the two members of Tecan’s sustainability Group Function. All are responsible for keeping the sustainability committee informed of progress regarding managing Tecan’s climate impact. The sustainability Management Board lead, who heads the sustainability Group Function, is also responsible for updating the Management Board and, together with Tecan’s CEO, the Board of Directors, on this and all other sustainability topics.


2021 Environmental Data





Change 2021 to 2020






Scope 1: Direct energy use per primary source










Stationary combustion (KWh)





Natural gas





Mobile combustion (Liters)















Refrigerants (Kg)










Scope 2: Indirect energy use per primary source










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Heating (KWh)





District heating





Emission intensity (scope 1 + 2 emissions in tCO2e/turnover in CHF millions)










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Scope 3: Other indirect emissions










Business travel (all sites) (pkm)





Flights (all sites)





Purchased goods and services





Water (cubic meters)















Paper (tonnes)




















Employee commuting and teleworking (only Männedorf)





Public transport (pkm)





Car (pkm)





Teleworking (days WFH)





Waste generated in operations (tonnes)





General waste










Paper and cardboard















Hazardous waste



































Fuel and energy related activities





Diesel (liters)





Grid Electricity (KWh)





Renewable Electricity (KWh)





Heating (KWh)





Gas (KWh)





Petrol (liters)










TOTAL Scope 1+2+3 (tCO2e)





Data covers all sites marked "P" here except PMAS and as indicated


Tecan’s energy consumption increased in 2021, with emissions also increasing, although an increase in renewable energy purchased resulted in reduced scope 2 emissions. Scope 3 emissions increased slightly, but a difference in emissions factors used in 2020 and 2021 hinders direct comparison. Tecan is currently conducting total global footprint calculations with the same service provider and GHG protocol methodology used for the 2021 calculations. This will enable the identification of emissions reductions opportunities, and make year-on-year comparisons easier in future. 


Tecan CO2 emission target 2020-2022

“Reduce by at least one third the absolute direct and indirect emissions in the next three years from 2020 to 2022 (Scope 1+2 on a comparable basis to 2019 in t CO2-eq, i.e. same group of production sites).”






Scope 1





Scope 2















DCPM not included in 2019 calculatio

Company cars not included in 2019 calculation


Tecan’s scope 1 emissions increased between 2019 – 2021, but the decrease in scope 2 emissions was such that overall, emissions fell by almost one third. A reduction of one third by 2022 was Tecan’s original goal. Tecan is now a participant in the Science Based Targets initiative, and will set a net zero emissions reduction target and long-term science based target accordingly.


Eco-design provides Tecan with further opportunities to reduce its environmental impact. Tecan’s Fluent™ Automation Workstation incorporated a number of eco-design features, including stand-by mode, which saves power when the system is not in use but allows it to be activated immediately, and “Zero-G”, which reduces power to the motors when the system is on pause or within a run whenever an arm is not in use. The Fluent is an unusually quiet workstation, reflecting its efficient design: the field-orientated control protocol increases the efficiency stepper motors by up to 80%. Waste segregation features allow for the separation and so optimal disposal of contaminated waste (plates and tips) versus clean waste (tip wafers and boxes), and efficient fixed tip washing protocols help to minimize the use of disposable tips. 


Considering energy efficiency, waste and the opportunity to have a positive environmental impact is part of Tecan’s structured research and development process, and will be highlighted more in future. 


Tecan’s headquarters and site management

Tecan’s Männedorf headquarters was an early example of a “green building”, built with environmental impact in mind. It has a “living roof” which naturally reduces building energy consumption, as well as rooftop solar panels that generate around 10% of the building’s electricity needs. LED lighting and automatic sunshades also reduce energy usage, and low-flow water systems ensure efficient water use. Charging stations powered by renewable energy are available free of charge for employees who have electric vehicles, and a subsidy for employees who commute using public transit also reduces overall environmental impact. For employees who need to travel between Tecan buildings or otherwise locally from Tecan’s headquarters, hybrid vehicles are available. Impact is also managed at the employee canteen, which serves meals made from seasonal, local ingredients, always with a vegetarian option, and consciously avoids generating food waste. In 2020, the total carbon footprint of Tecan’s headquarters was measured and offset through projects managed by Climate Partner, and this has been repeated in 2021. Water use and waste data specific to Tecan’s headquarters is disclosed with emissions data in this report: Tecan’s business activities are not water intensive, in any location – most water use is in Tecan’s canteens, and bathrooms. 


Ensuring facilities management best practices are shared among Tecan sites around the world is a priority for the short and mid-term. Tecan’s Environment, Health & Safety Office is reviewing the related site-specific management systems already in place, and will implement a global EHS Management System in all Tecan entities by 2023. This will be certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards. The current systems have enabled Tecan to uphold its strict Product Environmental Compliance policy, and are also reflected in Tecan’s Code of Conduct, both of which are publicly available. The Product Environmental Compliance policy and facilities management systems and ambitions reflect Tecan’s support of UN SDG 12.4, to “achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle…” and UN SDG 12.5, to “substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.” 



Even though the overall business only emits low levels of pollutants, Tecan attaches great importance to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As it is impossible to avoid or reduce them completely, the company has started in 2019 to support high quality carbon offsetting projects. Carbon offset projects help other people in this world to enjoy better living conditions. Since they also demonstrably prevent greenhouse gas emissions, they protect the climate. It is also commonly believed that without offsetting carbon, the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change will not be achievable.


To help calculate the carbon emissions described below and offset them via recognized carbon offset projects, Tecan mandated ClimatePartner, a leading provider offering companies climate action solutions.


Tecan has calculated the Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) for its headquarters and largest development and manufacturing site in Männedorf, Switzerland. It was calculated based on the standards defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (GHG Protocol).


The Corporate Carbon Footprint is an important component for the development of a climate protection strategy. By analyzing the carbon footprint, it is possible to identify reduction potentials, develop appropriate measures and define climate protection goals.


Offset Project: Cookstoves for healthy people and forests in Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southwestern corner of Rwanda is the biggest mountain rain forest on this side of the African continent and the country's most important site for biodiversity. However, the growing population in areas around the park and their increasing use of firewood for cooking is putting more and more pressure on the unique rainforest ecosystem.


This project enables households to reduce their wood consumption. Traditionally, families here cook over an open three-stone fire. This is inefficient and also a serious threat to health due to the heavy smoke pollution. The project will introduce efficient cooking stoves made of local clay and sand. The so-called Canarumwe model is produced by a local cooperative and consumes two thirds less fuel than the three-stone fire. The stoves are offered at a subsidized price so that low-income households can afford them. Since women are usually responsible for the fire, they and their children benefit particularly from the project.


How do cookstoves help fight global warming?

In many of the world's poorer regions, families cook their meals over an open fire, often in enclosed spaces. This method of cooking is however not energy efficient, as large amounts of heat go to waste. Clean cooking stoves are often simple devices made from metal or clay that use energy more efficiently. Families can thus save fuel and cut down on carbon emissions. Sometimes the stoves are even used in small businesses.

How health and climate benefit from microcredits


Offset Project: Social Impact, Nationwide, India

Over 700 million people in India cook over open fire. However, the smoke produced by this method of cooking has serious health implications. Our carbon offset project aims to counteract this problem: By granting microcredits, consumers are enabled to purchase efficient cookstoves and solar lights.


Families buy the products locally at market price - a best practice from the microfinance sector, as giving products away for free would hit the local economy and lower the value of the products. Buying the products locally strengthens small businesses, with the project additionally supporting suppliers with training and start-up capital. And the climate benefits: Using the efficient products saves an average of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.


How does climate action with social impact projects work?

Social Impact projects include one or more technologies that create direct social added value in addition to climate action. Such projects involve the distribution of efficient cooking stoves, solar-powered light sources or drinking water purification:


Efficient cooking stoves make better use of the energy supplied and reduce the smoke produced when cooking over an open fire. A similar problem exists when households do not have access to clean drinking water, as the water must be boiled over an open fire first before it can be used without hesitation. Remedies include the provision of drinking water treatment aids, such as filters, or access to groundwater from wells. In addition, solar lights help to illuminate the rooms and replace expensive paraffin lamps, which are a frequent cause of fire accidents.

Fossil-fuel phase-out in a coal paradise


Biomass, Soacha, Colombia

Soacha is a fast-growing suburb in the metropolitan area of Bogotá. Young people from rural areas try their luck there; others had to leave their villages during the civil war. Countless simple mudbrick houses are being built, and brick kilns make a good living. Since coal is cheaply available in Colombia, nearly all of the region's 40 brickworks use it to fire their kilns.


Except for the Santander brickyard, that is. Its owner, Miguel Diaz, has converted his business so that it operates modern, energy-efficient kilns – and he also runs them with up to 80 percent renewable biomass. This way, the brickyard saves 18,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.


This exclusive ClimatePartner carbon offset project was the first project in Colombia to receive Gold Standard certification.


How do biomass projects help fight global warming?

Biomass projects involve energy being created from renewable biomass, which could be coconut shells, sawdust, wood chips, the residue of sugar cane processing, bamboo or wood from sustainable sources. No trees are felled, or fossil fuels burned, so no CO2 is emitted. As an additional greenhouse gas reduction measure, such projects mostly involve preventing biomass from rotting in the open air, so that no methane (CH4) is released.

The Factory in the Forest

The acquisition of Paramit Corporation and its affiliates in August 2021 brought an exceptionally green building into Tecan’s portfolio, the award-winning “Factory in the Forest”. Consciously designed to connect the building’s occupants to nature, the factory optimizes use of indigenous plant life to create a unique workplace that also maximizes energy efficiency, water efficiency and use of natural light. With trees surrounding and even inside the building, the greenery provides protection from the sun, and roof gardens as well as a courtyard linking the office and production areas enable employees to directly access this environment. As the building’s architects have noted, “Forests, critical for both macro and micro-climates, are also vital for our psychological well-being”, a concept further explored in a book about the building. Building technology includes an innovative chilled-water radiant floor cooling system that is twice as energy efficient as conventional air conditioning, and dimmable daylight-responsive LED lighting as well as individual task lighting, which complement the diffused natural light to ensure an evenly lit work environment. A louver canopy provides shade and reduces energy consumption, and rainwater is collected and used for landscape irrigation. The “Factory in the Forest” is certified to the ISO 14001 standard. 


Circular economy

circular economic model is one in which the creation of waste is avoided, in contrast to the linear “take-make-dispose” pattern of resource use seen more often today. Circular economy principles can be built into the design of products, as well as considered in their materials. The transition to renewable energy and materials underpins the approach. The need to transition to a circular economy is clear: every year, humanity uses more resources than the planet can regenerate, threatening the very ecosystems that enable life to flourish.


Tecan’s business activities do not depend on the consumption of large amounts of natural resources or result in significant land use change. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to reduce Tecan’s use of resources, for example by including a higher percentage of recycled content in the housing of some products, and in packaging. Tecan’s products are highly regulated, which restricts what changes can be made to the content of products and can also restrict how these changes are made. These restrictions often apply also to the packaging that touches the product. There are also restrictions regarding product disposal, for example, plastics that have come into contact with certain medical samples are incinerated rather than recycled. In 2022, Tecan will increase work already underway to identify changes that can be made that would have a beneficial environmental impact, with the goal of setting a measurable target in this regard. These efforts support UN SDG 12.2, to “move towards a circular business model.” 


Tecan offers a broad portfolio of products including disposable pipette tips. However, Tecan is one of the few suppliers to leave it up to the customer, depending on the application, to decide whether steel needles are used for pipette steps. To do so, Tecan has two completely different technologies for liquid transfers. For applications where the risk of cross-contamination is only very minimal or even non-existent, it can make sense to use steel needles for reasons of sustainability, and some major customers choose to do this. 


Ongoing efforts regarding new or alternative materials that could improve Tecan’s environmental impact are led by a taskforce made up of colleagues from Research and Development, Operations, the Life Sciences Business, and the Corporate Development team. Tecan’s sustainability Group Function advises and monitors the company’s adoption of circular economy practices and assists in identifying further opportunities to pursue these. Tecan’s sustainability Group Function and the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development are members of Tecan’s sustainability committee, and update Committee members on progress, challenges and opportunities in the area of circular economy. 


Tecan is very aware of the enormous responsibility it bears for its employees, who are the foundation of the company’s successful development. 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 ensure this, personnel policies are binding at all Tecan sites 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 United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO). 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. By signing the UN Global Compact, Tecan committed to these as well as to principles relating to human rights, business ethics and environmental responsibility. Tecan employees and external stakeholders are able to report potential events of misconduct over an independent, third party managed whistleblowing platform, which ensures the highest standards of confidentiality and anonymity. 


In 2021, Tecan included social impact and governance targets in Management Board short-term variable cash compensation, as described in the Compensation Report. In 2022, social impact targets are again included, with ESG (environment, social and governance) targets linked directly to a total of 20% of the Management Board’s short-term variable pay.


Tecan’s employees

Tecan’s employee demographics are shown in the charts and tables below.


As described, Tecan is working to increase the representation of women in management, and to evaluate additional opportunities to collect diversity data. Additional data on training, and occupational health and safety, is also anticipated in future reports. Turnover data reflects the competitive environment and is being closely monitored. In the reporting period, turnover is higher in commercial functions in select regions, and lower in core competencies such as R&D.









Number of employees








Number FTE





2 155,45

New positions created

Number FTE













Employees by activity







Manufacturing and logistics

Number FTE






Sales and marketing

Number FTE






Customer service

Number FTE






Research and development

Number FTE






General and administration

Number FTE













Employees by region








Number FTE






Other Europe

Number FTE






North America

Number FTE







Number FTE






1  Excluding Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies) 

2  Including an acquisition from 2019

3  Excluding an acquisition from 2019

4  Excluding an acquisition from 2021

Investment in education (2021)







Investments in basic and continuing ­training1






Investments in basic and continuing ­training1

CHF per employee





1  Data for Switzerland only

2  Excluding NGT costs (Next Gen Tecan)

Contract Types (2021)

Employment Contract

Share in %

Fix employees


Temporary and limited in time employees 


Apprentices, trainees, students










in % of all ­employees






in % of all ­employees





1 Without Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies) 

2 Without the acquisition from 2019

Flexible Work Options (2021)


Share in %













Age Group1

Share in %

under 30 years old






30-50 years old






over 50 years old







Share in %







Other Europe






North America












Staff Turnover and Retention







Turnover rate (total)






Turnover rate






Average number of years of service3






Average age






1 Without Tecan Genomics (previously NuGEN Technologies) 

2 Including the acquisition from 2019

3 Without the acquisition from 2019

4 Without the acquisition from 2021

Staff Turnover Rate (2021)


Staff Turnover Rate (total)

Staff Turnover Rate (voluntary)




Other Europe



North America












Management per Category (2021)

Management by Gender

Share of ­Employees in %













Management by 
Gender and Region

Share of ­
Employees in %


Management by 
Gender and Region

Share of ­
Employees in %

North America






































Other Europe
































Age Groups (2021)

Age Group

Share in %1

under 30 years old


30-50 years old


over 50 years old


Age Group

Share in %1



under 30 years old


30-50 years old


over 50 years old




under 30 years old


30-50 years old


over 50 years old


1 Without USA

New Hire Report (2021)

By Age Group

New Hires in %1

under 30 years old


30-50 years old


over 50 years old


1 Without USA

By Regions

New Hires in %



Other Europe


North America




By Gender

New Hires in %





Employee Well-Being (2021)*


Days per Employee

Absence rate







Grand Total



Type of Accidents

Days per Employee

Absence rate

(not work-related)






Grand Total



* Data for Switzerland only


Employees by Region
Employees by activity
Diversity, equity and inclusion

Tecan conducted employee engagement surveys in 2020 and 2021 and attained particularly high scores on questions related to diversity and inclusion: over 90% of employees said that people at Tecan are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or their gender. Employee feedback provided the welcome confirmation that Tecan is succeeding in its aim to offer a positive culture and a workplace free from discrimination, in which each employee has equal opportunity to reach their full potential. However, there are entrenched inequalities and biases in society that influence us all, and that Tecan as an employer can play an active role in combating.


Operating in Europe, North America and Asia, Tecan’s businesses span many different legal jurisdictions, with varying rules governing the collection and use of employee data. For this reason, there is no single approach to diversity data within Tecan, and of the many aspects that can be included in diversity data, only the gender and age of employees are currently reported. In 2022, Tecan will evaluate what additional opportunities there are to collect data that could demonstrate Tecan’s equal opportunity hiring practices and the journey employees take as they move through the company. This data might also be used to set internal or public DEI targets.

Tecan aims for greater diversity in senior management, and in recent years initiatives have been introduced that are known to increase gender equality in this regard, including:

  • Flex time, allowing employees wherever possible and subject to local law, to choose when their required worktime is completed
  • Support of part time work, which encourages equal sharing of caregiver responsibilities
  • Diversity mentoring, a global program designed to embrace, support and empower diversity by matching selected candidates with members of senior management who receive training for this program.

Tecan joined WeAdvance in 2020, and is therefore able to offer employees access to the WeAdvance cross-company exchange and mentoring program as well as to research and events offered by the association. The goal of WeAdvance is to “reach a sustainable minimum of 30% female representation at all management levels across all member companies by 2030.”


An equal pay audit conducted in 2021 and verified by an independent third party auditor showed no gender-based inequality in pay at Tecan in Switzerland, and it is anticipated that the same audit will be carried out in additional Tecan locations.


In Tecan US, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide new employees with welcoming communities of colleagues with shared interests and experiences, and these groups also highlight diversity within Tecan. Te-CAAP (Tecan Committee of African American Professionals), an ERG formed in 2020, grew in 2021 to 18 colleagues, even going global with the link made to colleagues in Switzerland. Te-CAAP’s mission is “to champion a positive and inclusive environment for all African diaspora employees, and to foster education, discussion and dialogue among colleagues, inspiring awareness and growth within the company.” Outreach and support for local communities is also an aim, as well as strengthening bonds and providing a change of pace through social events.


In 2021, Te-CAAP organized a Day of Service and a food bank drive in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day, and throughout February noted Black History Month with a weekly awareness campaign highlighting in turn Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, James Weldon Johnson, Marshall Walter Major, and Henrietta Lacks. Juneteenth was also recognized, with a guest speaker providing an insightful perspective on the significance of this day, now a company holiday within Tecan US. “Journey to the Caribbean” combined a Caribbean-themed social event with the chance to learn about the contribution Caribbean Americans have made to the US since its founding, and the “On the Same Page” book club, launched jointly with the ERG Women Empowering Women, continues this dual approach.


WEW (Women Empowering Women) was founded as an ERG in 2021, and has 20 US-based members. A monthly newsletter highlights “The Women of Tecan,” and events organized by WEW have included a financial skills workshop, chair yoga, and recognizing Women’s Equality Day with an interactive session built around Shonda Rhime’s “Year of Yes” Ted Talk. As with Te-CAAP, WEW events are open to all Tecan colleagues and are playing a significant part in creating the positive workplace culture Tecan strives to uphold.


Tecan’s efforts as an employer support UN SDG 5.1, to “End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere” and contribute to UN SDG 5.5, “to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life”. They also support UN SDG 8.5, “to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.”


Being the employer of choice

Tecan goes beyond the ethical behavior expected of good employers, offering a range of benefits, trainings and development globally. Appreciation of Tecan’s efforts to nurture an inclusive, positive workplace culture have been reflected in the 2020 and 2021 employee survey results, and Tecan’s certification as a Great Place to Work™ in Switzerland. The certification follows independent Trust Index™ surveys of all employees that provide a clear and accurate picture of the workplace culture. The survey responses are anonymous and response rates to these surveys have been exceptionally high, reaching 86% in 2021, compared to 78% in 2020. Overall, 77% of all respondents said Tecan is a great place to work, a very good score and above the benchmark of other Swiss companies, and an increase from a score of 75% in 2020. Following the 2020 survey, improvement actions were identified and carried out, and this was reflected in the improved overall Trust Index™ score, which increased from 69% in 2020 to 73% in 2021. Tecan scored particularly well in areas related to people feeling safe in the workplace – a validation of the Company’s response to the pandemic – and as noted in the DEI section of this report, also on questions related to fair treatment regardless of race, disability, or sexual orientation, with more than 90% of employees giving positive responses to these questions, indicating ‘high’ and “very high” levels of satisfaction. In 2022, Tecan will extend the survey process to include Paramit colleagues, with the aim of establishing a baseline and then holding global surveys every two years. The related target has been set: By 2025, have increased engagement survey participation and trust level scores, compared to the 2022 baseline. This target is sponsored by Tecan’s Chief People Officer. 


Tecan promotes innovation and creativity, and encourages colleagues to propose improvement ideas through “Time-boxed Innovations”, a grassroots initiative managed by the Research and Development team. Ideas are submitted via a dedicated ‘innovation@’ email address to a panel that meets regularly. Proposals that meet evaluation criteria including the clarity of the goal and clear ownership are approved for ‘solution finding’ and the rapid prototype and testing phase. Initiatives are driven by the colleagues that propose them, and often trigger technology developments, patent filings or features for future products. Formed in 2014, more than 80 Time-boxed innovations have been successfully pursued or are still ongoing, covering areas such as liquid handling, sensors, mechanical design, software and process control. 


Employees’ health and wellbeing is important to Tecan, and is supported in a variety of ways including offering free fresh fruit daily at the Männedorf headquarters, and making available free of charge standup paddleboards for use on Lake Zurich. Männedorf office space has height-adjustable ergonomic workstations and abundant natural light. Globally, a program to help colleagues strengthen resilience in difficult times was added to Tecan’s online learning portal in 2021, and has been undertaken by teams as well as individuals.


Transparent communication is valued at Tecan, and promoted through the leadership principles ‘curiosity,’ ‘courage’ and ‘respect and brutal honesty.’ Senior leader podcasts discussing these principles were held in 2021, and ‘leadership chats’ in every region not only provided a chance to discuss positive behaviors but also brought regions closer, especially in Asia where holding the sessions regionally rather than only in individual countries enabled a strong regional bond to develop. Communications are also facilitated with monthly video messages from Tecan’s CEO, and follow-up discussion on the internal social media platform. Senior management team members are approachable and accessible, and teams’ best practices, learnings and successes are shared regularly through channels from newsletters to internal conferences. Tecan employees describe their experience working at Tecan on the career pages.


Training and development

Tecan’s strategy is centered around people. One of the strategic initiatives is to build, empower and strengthen people in order to achieve their maximum potential. Via the Learning@Tecan program Tecan offers a wide range of trainings built upon its values of trust, highest standards and ambition. Trainings are offered both internally or externally and they are conducted in various forms such as instructor-led, virtual, self-learning, bite-sized learning and many more. 


Employees may choose from a variety of courses around topics like Leadership, Culture and Diversity, Technical Skills, Selling & Negotiating and IT tools. In total, 62 different types of trainings were offered in 2021, a number that has been increasing from year to year. The Learning@Tecan Program constantly evolves to meet the changing needs of employees and the organization. It is also adapted to the local needs across the different sites and organizations around the globe.


In addition, Tecan focuses on developing its top talent and future leaders through the global talent management program Next Gen Tecan, initiated in 2020. The aim of this 18-month long program is to offer nominated employees a broad experience within Tecan. In addition to workshops focused on different aspects of personal and professional development, it comprises a personal mentoring from one of the Management Board members. The second phase provides an opportunity to get to know Tecan better, including deep dives in different departments, sites and regions. The third phase focuses on concrete projects, each sponsored by members of the Management Board. Ten colleagues have completed this program, and another 11 enrolled later in 2021. The first ten participants worked together to successfully complete three projects, and some have since undertaken new roles within Tecan, including follow-on work to the successfully delivered projects. 


To foster personal growth and career development, Tecan maintains a mentoring program that is available to all employees. In addition to the general program, special programs such as diversity mentoring are offered. The mentoring program can also help employees in meeting their career goals, get practical advice, encouragement or support and develop further own capabilities and personal skills. Overall, it supports networking within the company and has a positive impact, improving leadership and social competencies.


All employees participate in an annual performance review, and line managers are encouraged to seek employee input and provide regular feedback regarding performance and performance management.


Tecan operates in highly regulated markets like the diagnostic sector. Therefore ongoing professional and continuing training is a key requirement critical to business. Due to strict industry-specific requirements, Tecan must comply with requirements and guidelines set forth by various supervisory authorities and must also demonstrate that its employees possess the required knowledge. In 2021, Tecan again invested significantly in related 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, enabling 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 is intended to provide an effective performance record and offer employees the best possible training opportunities.


Tecan participates in providing high quality apprenticeships, to train future generations. There were 15 people enrolled in Tecan’s Swiss apprenticeship program in 2021, contributing to UN SDG 8.6, to “substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.”


Community engagement

As part of Tecan’s 40th anniversary celebrations in 2020, the company created the “Tecan Gives Back” campaign, sponsoring employees as they ran, walked, jogged or hiked throughout the month of September, and donating the funds raised to four charities chosen by Tecan employees. Based on employee feedback this campaign was repeated in October 2021 and broadened to include additional fitness and wellness activities such as tennis, yoga and meditation, as well as time spent volunteering and on restorative activities such as creative work, reading and playing a musical instrument. Business partners were also invited to participate, and the teams created linked Tecan employees with their new Paramit colleagues. Kilometers covered were tracked or were assigned to time spent, and the related app recorded some fierce competition as well as many fabulous snapshots from activities around the world. In total, CHF 60,000 was donated to the four charities highlighted here. 


“Tecan Gives Back” combines several factors important to the company: support for charities, engagement with local communities, promotion of the health and well-being of Tecan colleagues, and promoting the opportunity for employees to engage with colleagues beyond their usual day to day network. The campaign will continue in 2022, as part of a growing focus on community engagement, health and well-being over the mid-term.


Community engagement is monitored by Tecan’s sustainability Group Function, which reports to the sustainability committee on developments as needed. “Tecan Gives Back” is managed by Tecan’s Communications and Marketing team, and local community engagement initiatives are managed by local teams. In 2021, for example, Tecan US’s Te- CAAP (Tecan Committee of African American Professionals) Employee Resource Group facilitated a variety of ways to mark Martin Luther King Day as a day of service, encouraging colleagues to contribute to Ronald McDonald House, donate food or provide service at shelters, participate in a community clean-up, and bring joy by writing letters to seniors. A book drive was also organized, and a virtual food bank drive raised more than USD 2,000 for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Te-CAAP’s efforts were repeated in 2022, with similar success.

The four charities supported with a total amount of CHF 60,000 in the “Tecan Gives Back” campaign are aligned with Tecan’s own business purpose. Each charity provides a short description of its mission here:

Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research

The Lustgarten Foundation funds the world’s preeminent pancreatic cancer researchers, driving the pursuit of bold and innovative science toward earlier detection, better treatments and transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease. Our mission is rooted in the belief that research is fundamental, in fact, it is the only way to produce real results.

Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993 by Mike Milken, PCF has raised more than USD 865 million in support of cutting-edge research including more than 2,200 research projects at 220 leading cancer centers in 22 countries around the world.


Parkinson’s UK

Anyone can get Parkinson’s, young or old. In the UK, around 145,000 people are already living with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s gets worse over time and there’s no cure yet. But we know we’re close to major breakthroughs. By funding the right research into the most promising treatments, we get closer to a cure every day. Until then, we're here for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.


The Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Switzerland

Childhood Cancer is different. Even today only 4 of 5 children with cancer survive. The Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Switzerland focuses on raising funds for the research and development of innovative and promising new treatments for children with cancer.




Tecan’s products are highly regulated, yet it is important to Tecan to go beyond legal requirements and strive for excellence in product quality and safety. This has been one of Tecan’s core competencies since the company’s founding, more than 40 years ago. The Company’s values: ambition, trust and highest standards, are embodied by Tecan’s central Quality and Regulatory organization (QARA). Tecan’s approach to product development is characterized by a deep understanding of quality and regulatory requirements globally. QARA colleagues collaborate from an early stage, supporting the process in a series of structured stages that span the product’s entire lifecycle, up to the point where it is withdrawn from the market. Tecan’s commitment to quality is described at, with the Quality and Regulatory Solutions brochure at this link setting out the expertise that enables Tecan to build regulatory requirements into a product order and ensure optimal product quality. 


Each year, Tecan facilities are subject to a number of audits conducted by regulatory authorities, testing, monitoring and certification agencies, customers, and Tecan’s own specialist teams. These experts inspect whether Tecan’s facilities 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. Audits by customers cover areas including quality management systems processes, product design, validation documentation and post market product support. Customers recognize the high standards at Tecan with regard to the relevant requirements. Tecan is also subject to regular extensive audits by international authorities at its production sites. In the past seven years the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), inspected Tecan’s main production sites for instruments in Männedorf (Switzerland), Grödig (Austria) and San Jose (USA), as well as Tecan US, the Company’s importer and sales and service arm for the Americas. All of these audits were successfully concluded with zero formal observations. In 2021, Tecan’s newly acquired Paramit Corporation received an FDA pre-approval inspection for manufacturing activities for a Class 3 medical device; this was the first time Paramit had been audited by the FDA. This audit was also successfully concluded with zero formal observations. FDA audit findings are publicly available via the FDA’s compliance database webpage.


Tecan participates in the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP), which sets out a catalog of requirements for manufacturers of medical devices, drawn up by a number of participating countries. MDSAP aims to ensure that audits are performed in a standardized manner, in addition to covering all country-specific regulatory requirements. Thus, manufacturers of medical devices 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. Tecan’s production site for immunoassays in Hamburg (Germany) was successfully certified through the MDSAP program in 2017. By 2021, Tecan’s production sites in Switzerland and Austria were also successfully certified, representing all Tecan production sites eligible to participate in MDSAP. 


Regulatory requirements are increasing around the world. To ensure that the current versions of these are understood and implemented everywhere, Tecan maintains a robust program of regulatory intelligence monitoring. Through this program Tecan identifies new and upcoming drafts of regulations, participates in industry forums and on regulatory committees, and is an early adopter of new regulatory requirements affecting Tecan product lines. An example is the readiness and implementation of a new regulation in the EU: at the beginning of 2021, Tecan became one of the first companies to meet the requirements of the European Union’s In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR) 2017/746 (Annex IX, Chapter I and III), successfully completing certification of its IBL International DHEA Saliva ELISA diagnostic assay kit through BSI Notified Body 2797. Prior to this, through a global project team Tecan internal experts translated and implemented the extensive requirements into the quality system fabric and as a result during early 2020, Tecan’s IBL Hamburg facility successfully gained an IVDR quality system certificate well ahead of the required 2022 implementation date. This allowed IBL to begin submission and transfer of their IVD immunoassay reagent portfolio to the new IVDR regulatory certification standard. The valuable insights gained from this process are now applied to the registration of Tecan’s complete portfolio of specialty IVD and instrument products, as well as to facilitate its OEM partners to ensure they are ‘IVDR ready’, ahead of the original May 2022 transition deadline. The new EU IVDR is intended to increase the safety of IVD products, including all innovations developed over the past decades. It represents a major regulatory overhaul, requiring reclassification and certification of all EU-registered IVD assays and devices. Introduced in 2017, it extends the scope of the outgoing IVDD to cover more devices and technologies – as well as supply chain and lifecycle management – and signifies a shift from a primarily “self-certification” model to an ongoing requirement for notified body oversight over the entire product lifecycle.


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. 


A major challenge post market is maintaining the product to current standards. Tecan continues to be an early adopter of new or revised standards to ensure not only its own product lines but those through our OEM partners remain compliant and current. As an example, Tecan’s product risk management standards meet the requirements of the internationally accepted ISO 14971 for medical devices. This standard has been revised multiple times over the past 20 years to reflect current risk management practices and regulatory expectations. Recently, the standard was revised in 2019 requiring review and update to legacy product lines to reflect new requirements covering the lifespan of a product. Tecan implemented and released new procedures to incorporate a 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 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 quality system certification strategy, Tecan obtained a matrix certificate based on ISO 13485 for Tecan sales and service entities. The Company wants to ensure that all market 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. Tecan products must also satisfy the following important quality system regulations, 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. 


Tecan’s QARA team is organized at Group level to ensure ongoing improvements based on changes in regulations worldwide and monitoring of product quality, and for addressing any 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. 


Business processes

Business processes are an essential element in the organizational structure, and they are employed to understand, manage and coordinate business activities and form the basis of a successful development of the company. 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.


In the production process, 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 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. 


Customer focus

For Tecan, client focus is the basis for a sustainably successful business model. 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 surveys, existing customers in different business areas and regions who have bought Tecan products in the past few years are asked about what matters most to them in the partnership, and their satisfaction levels. The surveys show that the vast majority of customers are satisfied with Tecan’s products and services, with the majority describing themselves as “very satisfied” or even “completely satisfied”. 


Understanding what matters most to build trusted partnerships and driving long-term improvements is essential in order to guarantee high satisfaction levels over the long run, which also boosts loyalty to Tecan. Critical improvements have been identified through these surveys, and measures taken in 2021 as well as those previously implemented are expected to help continue to improve the overall customer experience. In addition to these comprehensive surveys, customer satisfaction is also continually measured as part of the broader customer satisfaction program, and to consolidate customer focus. Customers are also surveyed directly after transaction or at set intervals, with this feedback also providing the basis for continuous improvements.


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 products and 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. 


Governance and ethics

It is important to Tecan to consistently demonstrate good business practices, with ‘Governance and ethics’ being a material topic reflected in policies such as Tecan’s Code of Conduct. Tecan’s Code of Conduct 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. 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 promotes compliance with standards on occupational health, safety and the environment, 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 whistle-blowers. 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. Tecan has assessed all operations for risk related to corruption, and identified no significant risks. 


Line managers are responsible for ensuring that all their staff know and understand the content of the Code of Conduct. The Code is available in English and German as well as seven 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. All employees globally must attend and successfully complete a training course on the Code when joining Tecan, and then every two years following. For more advice and guidance on the Code of Conduct employees are encouraged to discuss with their line manager, and concerns can be raised anonymously via the whistleblower hotline.


Tecan has established several organizational control mechanisms with the aim of ensuring adherence to this Code, and consistently correct corporate behavior. 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. 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 the year under review, the Audit Committee and Head of Internal Audit 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.


As in previous years, Tecan has not been involved in any significant instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations during the reporting period, including legal cases, rulings or other events related to corruption, bribery, anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, or monopoly practices. 


Whistleblower hotline

Tecan employees (and third parties) who may possibly report events of misconduct are able to do so via a third party-managed whistleblower hotline, implemented in 2021. This dedicated mailbox and multi-language telephone hotline is run by EQS, a specialized provider of compliance solutions. Reports can be filed anonymously if preferred and all complaints are reviewed by Internal Audit, discussed with top management and addressed as necessary. The EQS platform ensures the highest standards of confidentiality and anonymity as well as a secure communication between the whistleblower and the members of the Internal Audit department of Tecan in charge of investigating the issues reported. Tecan updated internal procedures and training modules in order to take into account opportunities and obligations related to the whistleblowing reports delivered over the EQS tool.


Tecan received 20 reports via the whistleblower platform in 2021, which corresponded to three cases. One case is still under investigation. Of the two resolved cases, in one, an independent Third Party contracted by Tecan concluded that no breach of Tecan’s Code of Conduct was identified. The other revealed a breach of the provision in the Code of Conduct regarding Tecan’s workplace culture of respect and non-discrimination, and to affirm Tecan’s “zero-tolerance” attitude towards harassment and discrimination, Tecan took appropriate measures.



Tecan 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. 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. Internal Audit closely monitors the compliance of the business run through dealers and distributors. In particular, activity is focused on ensuring that all third party intermediaries explicitly commit to our Code of Conduct, demonstrate a sufficient understanding of it and pass background checks without issues of concerns (legal disputes, criminal investigations etc.) These steps are automated through the ethiXbase platform, implemented in 2021. The ethiXbase platform ensures a solid audit track of the checks performed and allows a “real time” detection of unethical behaviors which may potentially have been reported regarding our dealers and distributors in the press or in the dedicated data banks. 


Risk Management

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. Business continuity planning is designed to ensure Tecan’s ability to withstand supply chain interruptions. 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, so the Company does not have to depend exclusively on external experts. 


Climate Risk

Consequences and dangers that could be linked to climate change are part of risk management. For example, the consequences of flooding, fire, storms or other extreme weather conditions are evaluated. With Tecan's industry- and end-market exposure, product offering, and 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 climate change itself or from regulatory requirements regarding climate change. In the medium term, Tecan plans to conduct scenario analyses to further test this assessment. In terms of climate change, new business opportunities are not expected to arise that could make a relevant contribution to business growth.


IT and Cybersecurity

In the 21st century, many business risks are centered around the use of information technologies and systems. Tecan has a solid SAP-based application landscape for its core 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. Continuous 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. 


In the financial area, an IT-based control system 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. Tecan also uses an internal, self-managed treasury system, 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. 


All main IT infrastructure 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 IT support is also available for Tecan sites in all regions, thereby reducing outages. 


Tecan carries out regular cybersecurity audits, and related training is mandatory for all Tecan employees, with employees in key roles or demonstrating need receiving additional training. 


Cybersecurity is key focus in relation to select Tecan products, as well as company operations. As the importance and benefits of global connectivity and open digital ecosystems become more widely appreciated, Tecan recognizes the cybersecurity vulnerabilities these initiatives inevitably introduce. At Tecan, end-to-end cybersecurity is factored in from the outset of system development, using a ‘zero trust’ approach to ensure strict verification protocols are in place. The approach is extended all the way through to deployment and maintenance, with continual risk assessment and monitoring for all live software. With breaches a potential risk in any industry, Tecan focuses on ensuring appropriate controls are in place to protect the confidentiality and integrity of customers’ data.


Data privacy

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. Tecan’s Data Protection Governance Structure includes a certified Group Data Protection Officer who directly reports to Tecan’s Management Board. Data protection is also supported by an online, easily accessible Data Subject Request Portal through which data subjects can invoke the rights they enjoy under applicable data protection laws. 


Tax Policy

Tecan’s strict adherence to the Company’s ethical code, respect for the environment, and full compliance to applicable laws and regulations in all the jurisdictions where Tecan operates applies also to the Company’s approach to taxation. This is set out in the Tax Principles, available at The Tax Principles are owned by Tecan’s CFO, who is a member of Tecan’s Sustainability Committee.


Responsible sourcing

Tecan’s main business activities are the research, design and development of our products, the final assembly of these at our production sites, and the sales and service activities that enable us to live up to our customer promise, “Always there for you”. The products manufactured by Tecan are used in laboratories for life science research, in applied markets and in clinical diagnostics. The largest product group comprises laboratory instruments and instrument components for the automation of different repetitive work steps. Tecan products tend to be associated with specific Tecan production sites, and the sourcing for those sites is led by the site manager. 


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% and 80% of Tecan’s purchase volume is typically sourced in the same region as the production site. As well as keeping Tecan close to its suppliers, this proximity enables Tecan to better manage cost efficiency, inventory needs, just-in-time delivery, freight cost, and quality aspects. 


Direct suppliers are subject to an audit program and required to commit to the “Tecan Supplier Code of Conduct”, which reflects the principles in Tecan’s employee Code of Conduct and defines the minimum requirements by which all suppliers must abide. These refer to internationally recognized ethical standards relating to human rights, labor and the environment, as well as business practices. Tecan’s Supplier Code of Conduct was updated in 2021, and is available on In 2022, Tecan will increase monitoring of adherence to this Code of Conduct, paying particular attention to any suppliers associated with a higher risk of a potential breach of the Code, whether because of their location or the goods being supplied. 


It is important to Tecan to prevent the use of conflict minerals (gold, tin, tantalum, or tungsten) that are linked to human rights abuses, while supporting the necessary use of materials from legitimate sources. Although not within scope of the US Dodd Frank Act, which addresses the issue of conflict minerals, Tecan is committed to supporting its customers in complying with this legislation and adheres to the applicable elements of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible sourcing 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, as noted in the policy statement on


In 2022, Tecan has set the target of completing an ESG (environment, social and governance) assessment of critical suppliers. The target “number of major or critical Suppliers screened, as a % per manufacturing site” is one of four ESG targets linked directly to a total of 20% of the Management Board’s short-term variable pay. Overall, management of Tecan’s supply chain is the responsibility of the Executive Vice President, Operations and IT, who is a member of Tecan’s Sustainability Committee and informs the committee of developments in this area. Compliance with legal requirements is monitored by Tecan’s General Counsel, and both these Sustainability Committee members sponsor the 2022 responsible sourcing target.



Tecan has pursued responsible business practices since its earliest days, and has specifically described these in the annual sustainability report since 2007. This annual sustainability report covers the calendar year 2021 except where stated otherwise, and contains no restatements of information. Currently, the sustainability report does not receive external assurance, and is reviewed . 


In 2022 Tecan will increase systematic data collection, enabling further tracking of impacts and of the effect of improvement actions, for material topics. Tecan values transparency, and shares sustainability information via CDP reporting, EcoVadis, and UNGC reporting as well as through ratings agencies such as ISS, MSCI, Sustainalytics and more. Tecan is working towards GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) reporting standards, and so provides a GRI Index to the extent currently possible. For further information contact or

2021 Sustainability Report

Overview Reported GRI Disclosures






Organizational details



Entities included in the organization’s sustainability reporting



Reporting period, frequency and contact point



Restatements of information



External assurance



Activities, value chain and other business relationships






Governance structure and composition



Nomination and selection of the highest governance body



Chair of the highest governance body



Role of the highest governance body in overseeing the management of impacts



Delegation of responsibility for managing impacts



Role of the highest governance body in sustainability reporting



Remuneration policies 

93 on


Process to determine remuneration

93 on


Statement on sustainable development strategy



Policy commitments



Mechanisms for seeking advice and raising concerns



Compliance with laws and regulations



Membership associations



Approach to stakeholder engagement



Operations assessed for risks related to corruption



Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken



Approach to tax



Process to determine material topics

51, 52


List of material topics



Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions

54, 55


Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions

54, 55


Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions



GHG emissions intensity



Reduction of GHG emissions