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Sustainability at Tecan

Scaling healthcare innovation globally

Tecan was founded in Switzerland in 1980 and has pursued responsible business practices since the company’s earliest days. Tecan’s corporate purpose is to improve people’s lives and health, and we do this by empowering our customers to scale healthcare innovation globally from life science to the clinic.

Underpinning Tecan’s purpose and embedded into our group strategy is our sustainability promise: Our products add value to society, our business practices do, too.

Tecan values transparent communications and has published a sustainability report as part of our Annual Report since 2007.

Tecan’s current Sustainability Report is drafted to GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) standards. In this report, you’ll find a statement from our CEO as well as an overview of our sustainability strategy, detailed environmental and social data, and a closer look at our sustainability initiatives.

Below are some sustainability program highlights and useful links.

United Nations Global Compact

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 and on Tecan.com.

Sustainability initiatives

Sustainability at Tecan is guided by our Sustainability Committee , chaired by our CEO. Related targets are linked to the variable pay of Tecan’s senior managers. Initiatives are organized around our material topics, key focus areas that have been identified with input from our customers, investors, industry association peers and colleagues:

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

Actions: Tecan has committed to the Science Based Targets initiative and Business Ambition for 1.5°C. Tecan’s targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative:

  • Overall Net Zero Target: Tecan Group Ltd. commits to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 2050.
  • Near-Term Targets: Tecan Group Ltd. commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2022 base year. Tecan also commits to increase active annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 34% in 2022 to 100% by 2025, and to continue active annual sourcing of 100% renewable electricity through 2030. Tecan finally commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2022 base year.
  • Long-Term Targets: Tecan Group Ltd. commits to reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2050 from a 2022 base year.

In addition to working to reduce the emissions resulting from our business activities, Tecan has completed Product Carbon Footprints of Fluent® and Spark® products and based on these funds climate action via Gold Standard certified carbon credits that increase the use of sustainable energy in India.

Focus: 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.

Actions: Tecan is working on initiatives including the development of lighter products and use of more sustainable materials. Eco-design principles are considered in the R&D process: read about the eco-design features of our flagship Fluent® workstation here.

Tecan supports customers with information on how to recycle consumable products, find out more here.

Focus: Our customers and partners are at the core of all our business activities. Tecan strives to ensure high customer satisfaction and a prompt response to customer requests.

Actions: Continuing to manage our well-established program as described in the Sustainability Report.

Focus: Demonstrably providing equality of opportunity in business practices including hiring, training and promotions.

Actions: Tecan’s engagement survey results have shown particularly high scores on questions related to diversity and inclusion. Initiatives to advance DEI are described in Tecan’s Annual Report and include flexible working arrangements, mentoring, and dedicated Employee Resource Groups.

Focus: Promoting employee health and safety, wellbeing, talent development, and a positive workplace culture.

Actions: Tecan has been certified a Great Place to Work™ in Switzerland and recognized as one of Switzerland’s best large workplaces. The initiatives that have supported this are pursued globally and are described in Tecan’s Annual Report and in the Careers section of tecan.com.

Focus: Ensuring the health and safety of Tecan’s employees.

Actions: Tecan’s sites in Switzerland are ISO 45001 certified. A global program is being rolled out, building on existing local practices, to implement Health and Safety best practices in all locations.

Focus: Tecan’s products are highly regulated, yet it is important to Tecan to go beyond compliance with legal requirements and strive for excellence in product quality and safety, and customer satisfaction.

Actions: Tecan’s Quality and Regulatory Solutions brochure highlights the expertise that enables Tecan to build regulatory requirements into a product order and ensure optimal product quality. We are pleased to work with customers to explore eco-design options, and to support our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments. As sustainability practices increasingly become regulated, this becomes another area in which Tecan goes beyond the legal minimum requirements and invests in long-term success.

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

Actions: 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. Tecan’s commitment to Human Rights and Responsible Business practices includes links to related policies, some of which are supplemented with internal documents available to all Tecan employees, such as our Environmental Management System manual and Employee Handbook.

Focus: A cybersecure environment for every aspect of Tecan’s business.

Actions: Working to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data (e.g., customer and employee data), and protecting this data from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure, in alignment with standards such as ISO 27001.

Focus: Growing Tecan’s business through product and service innovation

Actions: Working to provide an enabling environment for product and service innovation, from improvements to disruptive or breakthrough innovations.

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

Actions: Tecan works to ensure responsible business practices throughout the value chain, beginning with supplier commitment to our Supplier Code of Conduct. Working with EcoVadis, Tecan identifies and addresses related risks through the steps described in our Responsible Sourcing policy.

Funding climate action

Tecan has greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative

Tecan has committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as well as the SBTi’s related Business Ambition for 1.5°C, and our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and plan have been validated by the SBTi. More than 90% of Tecan’s GHG emissions are attributable to the products and services we buy, the emissions generated by use of our products, and the shipping and logistics stages of our products’ lifecycle. Our emissions reduction plan includes addressing our direct emissions, such as by sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2025, sourcing sustainable materials so far as possible, and working with business partners that prioritize use of energy from renewable sources.

Eco-design is integrated into Tecan’s R&D process

Tecan has also integrated sustainability considerations into the research and design process, ensuring alignment with our sustainability strategy. Fluent®, our flagship liquid handling platform, has a number of eco-design features such as 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-oriented control protocol increases the efficiency of the 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. Spark® products also have the energy-saving standby mode, with an immediate ‘wake up’ reflex when starting a measurement.

Read more

Tecan is funding projects with positive social and environmental impact

Product Carbon Footprint calculations have been carried out in the past for Fluent® and Spark® products and based on these Tecan has funded climate action via high quality carbon credits that contribute to developing renewable energy capacity. In 2024, again through purchase of Gold Standard® carbon credits, Tecan is funding the installation of biogas systems in Central and Northeast India which provide a sustainable energy source as an alternative to firewood. As well as the positive social impact of reducing the need to collect wood, reducing exposure to woodsmoke, and creating employment opportunities, the biogas systems provide a means to dispose of livestock waste and represent a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Customer impact

Ocular tissue engineering

The Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Lions Eye Institute in Perth, Australia has established a world-class disease modeling and gene therapy screening pipeline. Here, skin cells collected from patients with inherited diseases can be reprogrammed to produce their own retinal tissues in the lab.

These patient-derived retinal tissues represent the ideal cellular model for pre-clinical evaluation of potential therapies for incurable retinal diseases.

A customized solution from Tecan – based on a Fluent® liquid handling automation platform and a Spark® Cyto live-cell imager – is now helping the Lions Eye institute scale their research and find new treatments for previously incurable diseases. With funding coming from charitable donations, Tecan’s technology is being used to help people who will lose their sight – improving the lives of patients not just in Western Australia but around the world.

Read more

Reducing Greenhouse gas emissions with alternative to meat

Meat production causes vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions in a number of ways, including deforestation and other land use change to produce animal feed and provide space for grazing, emissions from the animals themselves, and management of manure. A plant-based diet is one solution; cell-based meat is another. Cell-based meat is the focus of a number of start-up enterprises. In December 2020, Singapore spearheaded the industry, becoming the first country in the world to approve cell-cultured chicken. More recently, research and development in cell-based seafood products made from cultured fish or crustacean cell lines research has intensified.

Companies are focused on the flavors, texture, and optimizing the cell culture media and condition to drive mass production at a competitive market price. Culture conditions such as temperature, pH and osmolality differ from typical mammalian cells as the fish and crustacean cells are cultured at lower temperatures within the range of 25–30°C.

Tecan’s Spark Multifunctional Plate reader with Te-cool module allows growth analysis assays and monitoring to be conducted at consistent temperatures between 18 and 25°C in both kinetic and endpoint measurement. It circumvented the problem of the temperature deviation which could be up to +4 °C over ambient, due to the prolonged runs in kinetic assays and the heat emitted from the electronics within. As research in this area only grows, Tecan is delighted to enable the development of options that could lead to significant reductions in the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Transforming the petroleum-based industry into a sustainable bioeconomy

To facilitate the transformation of the petroleum-based industry into a sustainable bioeconomy, genetically modified microbes are needed for the production of various bulk and fine chemicals. The AutoBiotech team at Forschungszentrum Jülich uses lab automation in combination with standardized molecular cloning workflows to accelerate the rational strain development. Robotic systems are used to automate the entire strain building process – from #plasmid design and assembly to transformation and propagation steps, isolation of enriched plasmids, and microbial phenotyping.

Thanks to Tecan's Fluent® automation workstation, the liquid and plate handling eliminates all the tedious daily pipetting tasks, while Macherey-Nagel's automation-friendly plasmid purification solutions are integrated into the cloning and plasmid construction workflows. Together, the team has achieved great work in developing novel microbial cell factories.

Read more

Transparent communications

In addition to publishing our Sustainability Report, Tecan participates in a number of external assessments including:

Survey 2022/23 Rating
EcoVadis Silver, 63/100
ISS (Governance) 1/10 (lowest risk)
My Green Lab Silver
S&P CSA 45/100
Sustainalytics 13.8 (low ESG risk)
WDI 80/100

ISO certification related to Tecan’s business practices can be found here.
Tecan's Corporate Policies can be found here.
Tecan’s anonymous, third-party managed whistleblower hotline is accessible at this link.
Information on how to recycle consumable products, find out more here.
For more information about sustainability at Tecan please find our Sustainability Report in the Tecan Annual Report (pdf) starting page 34.