For QIAGEN, sustainability means long-term economic success combined with respect for the natural environment and healthy, high-performance workplaces, with the aim to make improvements in life possible as a good corporate citizen.
Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond formal regulations. As a market and innovation leader in life sciences and molecular diagnostics, we believe there is room for innovation in driving sustainable development in our industry, and we are resolved to continue moving forward.
In order to continuously address, monitor, and manage sustainability topics, QIAGEN has implemented a global function within our operations structure in 2019. This function will head QIAGEN’s global environmental, health and security topics. This position has responsibility and oversight for sustainability at QIAGEN and reports to the Head of Global Operations, which is part of QIAGEN’s Executive Board.
We pledge to continually evaluate the potential environmental impact of our business, saving energy and reducing negative environmental impacts of our operations. We look after the welfare of our employees, taking care of their developmental needs and supporting them in every way to become and remain committed and responsible. We extend our commitment to sustainability into the supply chain, committing our business partners to sign up to our environmental, social and human-rights related standards.
We recognize that ongoing success for QIAGEN also depends on the sustainability of society’s resources. This is why we engage in dialogue with our various stakeholders – employees, customers, patients, suppliers, shareholders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and communities – to gain a better understanding of our operating environment, including market developments and cultural dynamics through approaches ranging from standard questionnaires to one-on-one conversations. Our employee-led volunteer sustainability committees drive progress by identifying areas for environmental improvement at all levels of the company, initiating projects, and providing input on environmental topics.
Please find information about our business model, organizational structure, products, customers, business strategy, as well as main trends and issues pertaining to the reporting year, in our Management Report.
For guidance on materiality and non-financial disclosure, we base our non-financial reporting on the Sustainability Reporting Standards (SRS) of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards 2016 as well as on relevant sustainability accounting standards as issued by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
In the reporting period, we reviewed the materiality analysis first conducted in 2017. As a first step, a long list of potentially relevant topics was drawn up, based on relevant sustainability frameworks, rating requirements and a competitive analysis. The five non-financial aspects prescribed in the European Commission’s CSR Directive 2014/95/EU (environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery) were also taken into account. In a second step, the topics were consolidated into a list of 17 topics and evaluated in an online survey of QIAGEN representatives with regard to their business relevance and their impact on the non-financial aspects. In a joint workshop with representatives from our different departments, the results of the survey were discussed and the various perspectives assessed. The final materiality matrix was validated by our senior management and resulted in the following material topics:
At QIAGEN, we aim to save energy and reduce the environmental impact of our operations by driving long-term economic success with healthy, high performance workplaces and make improvements in life possible as a good corporate citizen. Reducing our environmental impact is a key corporate goal for 2020 and beyond that all employees are actively engaged in working towards.
As an international pioneer in our industry when it comes to eliminating harmful substances and waste products in laboratories, we have seen the value of environmentally responsible solutions as a source of competitive advantage, as well as an act of corporate citizenship.
To support this commitment a new Global Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) function was initiated in 2019 to drive the implementation of international environmental management systems in our production and research and development facilitates, to set goals and objectives to set limits to reduce the consumption of energy and water and to reduce the amount of plastic used in our packaging, during transportation. With these efforts, we aim to operate in the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.
QIAGEN recognizes risks resulting from climate change such as extreme weather events, changes in regulation or customer behavior. Operations could for example be negatively impacted by volatility in the cost of raw materials, components, freight and energy. New laws or regulations adopted in response to climate change could increase energy costs, the costs of certain raw materials, components, packaging and transportation.
To proactively minimize our contribution to climate change, QIAGEN has committed to reducing emissions in line with a 1.5 degree Celsius climate target. Our 2019 carbon footprint, which was calculated with market-based emissions factors, will serve as the base year. By the year 2022, QIAGEN will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 12.6% and business travel emissions by 3.7% below the base year. QIAGEN will achieve these reductions by establishing an energy efficiency task force that will identify areas for energy efficiency across the company and through purchasing green energy attributed certificates and high-quality carbon credits.
To increase transparency regarding our own global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, QIAGEN has extended the coverage of the energy consumption data by the integration of a centralized data collection process management for all production sites, research centers and major offices.
The expansion in the collection of our energy data enabled us to calculate our corporate carbon footprint (CCF) for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions more accurately in the reporting year and report it following a location-based and market-based approach for our scope 2 emissions. Scope 1 covers direct greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions) from combustion of fossil fuels on our own premises; scope 2 are indirect emissions originating from external generation of electricity for our operations. A location-based calculation method for scope 2 emissions reflects the average emissions intensity of grids on which energy consumption occurs; a market-based method reflects emissions calculated with the particular energy source mix used by each QIAGEN site.
As of 2018, all relevant scope 1 and 2 emissions are included following a location-based approach. The additional calculation using a market-based approach for scope 2 emissions was introduced for 2019 as part of our climate strategy. Accordingly, we will report our KPIs for GHG emissions using the market-based approach from next reporting year on. In addition, we have started to collect data for calculating GHG emissions in scope 3. These emissions occur along our value chain, for example through transport services, suppliers or the use of our products. As a first Scope 3 category, we have integrated emissions resulting from business travel into our CCF for 2019.
In addition to our energy and climate management activities, we collect data regarding fresh water consumption and waste for all our production sites. The table below lists figures from 2019 and 2018, and expresses our consolidated environmental data in relation to our production volume sold to establish a basis for a long-term monitoring system.
|20191||KPI 2019||2018||KPI 2018|
|GHG emissions Scope 1 + 2
(in tCO2; location-based)
|Freshwater use (in m3)||474,335||104||l/unit||119,621||34||l/unit|
|Total waste (in t)||1,155||253||g/unit||633||182||g/unit|
|Hazardous waste (in t)||330||72.3||g/unit||250||71.7||g/unit|
(1) Extension of the scope in 2019: All sites reported energy and emissions data. 25 sites reported water consumption data.
Our global data collection coverage of energy and emissions was increased from 30% in 2017 to 100 % in 2019. In 2019, we achieved a decrease of 0.3 GWh in our total energy consumption to 86.2 GWh compared to 86.5 GWh in 2018 as detailed in the table below.
|Energy consumption by source (in kWh)||2019||2018|
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)||50,179||72,702|
|Electricity procurement from conventional tariffs||36,130,248||30,346,347|
|Electricity procurement from green tariffs||1,142,240||1,238,345|
|Consumption from district heating, district cooling and steam||223,000||193,000|
|Total energy consumption||86,157,765||86,549,066|
|Emission category (in tCO2)||Location-based||Market-based|
|Scope 1: Direct emissions||10,808||10,808|
|Scope 2: Indirect emissions||18,540||10,870|
|Scope 3: Business travel||19,431||19,431|
With the help of these key performance indicators (KPIs), we are able to create reduction targets for energy and CO2-emissions. We are furthermore working towards creating targets for fresh water and waste.
QIAGEN conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) for one of its best-selling – and therefore representative – products, the QIAamp DNA Mini Kit. The studied product is part of the portfolio category “consumables & bioinformatics”, which about 90% of QIAGEN’s sales (by turnover) are filed under. At about 2.5 kg, the kit is marginally heavier than an “average” QIAGEN kit.
The scope of the study has been the full life cycle of the product, including extraction and processing of raw materials, transport to the customer, energy and material input required when using the product, as well as transport to the disposal facility and incineration of remaining materials. These system boundary settings are called “cradle to grave”. The assessment was carried out in accordance to ISO 14040/14044 but has not been certified by an independent third party.
The results of the LCA show that the largest relative impacts result from the production of plastic, transport and electricity during production and use. Furthermore, cardboard and paper production play a role, as well as the incineration of plastics and the evaporation of alcohol during use.
A very relevant issue is ecotoxicity impacts to marine aquatic systems due to the production of polypropylene as well as electricity generation. The depletion of fossil resources is rated second in relevance since plastics have multifold impacts being made from fossil resources and depleting a large amount of fossil resources for meeting the energy demand during their production. Transport and electricity generation both use large amounts of fossil resources for fuel as well. Global Warming Potential is rated third in relevance and similarly is closely linked to energy demand due to transport, plastics and electricity production. Plastics also have multi-fold impacts here, since their embodied carbon is released to the atmosphere during incineration. Different assumptions regarding disposal could significantly change the overall impacts of the product system, ranging from recycling (likely to have beneficial impact) to landfilling (likely to have adverse impact). Although open dumps and landfills are the most prevalent form of solid waste disposal globally, incineration at the end of life is deemed an accepted and reasonably conservative approach for this product.
|Toxic effects on marine water systems (MAETP)||941||kg DCB eq.||Polypropylene||44%|
|Depletion of fossil resources (ADP fossil)||289,0||MJ||Polypropylene||44%|
|Global warming potential, excluding biogenic carbon (GWPe)||21,7||kg CO2 eq.||Transport||30%|
|Photochemical creation of ozone ("summer smog") (POCP)||0,00638||kg Ethene eq.||Polypropylene||37%|
|Acidification of soil and water bodies (AP)||0,0549||kg SO2 eq.||Polypropylene||43%|
|Toxic effect on humans (HTP inf)||0,643||kg DCB eq.||Electricity||34%|
|Depletion of abiotic resources, e.g. minerals (ADP elements)||1,69E-06||kg Sb eq.||Electricity||57%|
|Eutrophication (over-enrichment of nutrients in water bodies) (EP)||0,00744||kg Phosphate eq.||Transport||54%|
|Toxicity to freshwater ecosystems (FAETP)||0,0731||kg DCB eq.||Transport||41%|
|Depletion of ozone (i.e. the ozone layer) (ODP)||8,37E-11||kg R11 eq.||Paper||94%|
|Toxic effects on terrestric systems, i.e. soil (TETP)||0,00563||kg DCB eq.||Electricity||52%|
*Relevance is calculated as the share of weights and normalized impact of the respective category.
The detailed report on the LCA results can be found on QIAGEN's website in the Sustainability section.
The environmental impact of plastic materials is increasingly becoming a major concern for customers. QIAGEN currently uses plastics in many of its products and production support materials, as well as for transport and packaging purposes. This year, QIAGEN has set the goal of reducing Plastic Transportation Packaging Material by 3% vs 2019 for 2020. The reduction of plastic materials presents us and our industry with a number of challenges: Due to the use of our products in laboratory or medical applications, these products are subject to strict functional and legal requirements so in many cases other materials cannot simply be substituted for plastics. In the case of packaging materials, we must ensure that appropriate safety and hygiene standards are met.
In 2018, we set up a global cross-departmental Plastic Footprint Reduction focus team for “Plastic Footprint Reduction” to analyze the use of plastics and specifically identify reduction potential for QIAGEN. Our approach is to completely avoid unnecessary materials, develop more environmentally-friendly alternative materials, and where possible, optimize recyclability. Completed initiatives include reducing the thickness of blister film in packaging from 10 ml to 8 ml (reduction of 2.8 tonnes/year), reducing the number of gel packs used in cold shipment of our products (reduction of 33.4 tonnes/year), reducing the size of polystyrene foam boxes by optimizing how the contents are structured, and developing a digital recycling card that explains to customers how to properly dispose of packaging components.
To identify starting points within our supply chain, we have initiated a query with suppliers about their use of plastic materials. We are still in the process of exploring a “box cycle” where supplies are packaged directly by our suppliers and the packaging material is returned to them, with results expected in 2020. In addition, we are in discussions with suppliers in order to achieve a better recyclability of their products. Scrap plastics produced as part of the component production process are already recycled at major supplier sites.
QIAGEN’s long-term success and growth are shaped decisively by the knowledge, skill and passion of our employees. Focusing on human capital therefore drives our economic performance and considerably influences the sustainability of our operations. We are convinced that the professional and personal development of our employees is an integral factor in creating value for our customers, patients, colleagues, partners and shareholders. Being the industry’s employer of choice by attracting and developing top talent is one of our global goals. To achieve that, QIAGEN creates a work environment that empowers and involves employees at all levels.
As a company headquartered in the European Union, freedom of association and collective bargaining are cornerstones of the good relationship between management and representatives of employees. We don’t have significant operations (more than 100 employees) in countries with severe legal limitations to freedom of association and collective bargaining. In all regions where we operate, we respect local laws and regulations concerning labor relations.
Among all QIAGEN guidelines, the following policies aim to incorporate QIAGEN’s culture and values into all of our internal and external relationships. These are available internally for all employees.
Our Ethical Standards Policy: QIAGEN’s cultural norms and values are defined in the “3I’s: Identity, Inspire, Impact.” Our values form the basis of our business success and every employee is expected to treat everyone in an open, honest, and respectful manner.
All our employees in the various regions of the world are covered by the relevant local laws or by our voluntary corporate guidelines to the greatest possible extent, which guarantee freedom of association and/or collective bargaining mechanisms.
Depending on local law and custom, there are different types of employment ranging from long-term fixed contracts to temporary positions, also including flexible time and programs for parents returning from childcare. In 2019, we employed 3.03% part-time employees (2018: 5.57%) and 1.24 % temporary employees with QIAGEN contract / fixed-term work contract (2018: 1.26%).
As a fast-growing technology and knowledge-based company, we consider high-quality training and career development to be an integral part of our success. The QIAGEN Academy provides the possibility to either use our global e-learning portfolio or to participate in personal trainings usually offered in a blended format. The focus is on job-specific skills, competencies and leadership development.
In 2019, we ran a mix of internal instructor-led, virtual instructor-led and e-learning courses attended by 3,951 of 4,193 employees. 12% of these courses were attended by management level employees. In addition, 46 employees participated in our advanced leadership development programs.
As part of our talent and succession management, we have established transparent career paths with the QIAGEN Profile Navigator (QPN). It defines jobs, core competencies and approaches to advancement across the global organization.
In addition, QIAGEN’s global Performance Enhancement System (PES) creates a clear framework of regular, one-on-one review sessions for each employee and their manager to discuss career development. These include discussions of goals and achievement levels, assessment of relevant competencies, as well as training needs and career planning steps.
The supervisor feedback process provides the opportunity for employees to provide anonymized feedback to their supervisors. For 2019, as in previous years, employees provided overall very positive feedback.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Philosophy: At QIAGEN, we are committed to creating an environment rich in diversity. Diverse teams strengthen our organization through the variety of ideas of opinions. In addition, teams outperform and succeed when they are composed of individuals with the widest possible range of personalities, backgrounds and traits. Therefore, one of our goals is to maintain an environment where all individuals have the opportunity to grow and contribute to our progress.
We are committed to providing an environment where all individuals have the equal opportunity to grow and contribute to our progress; regardless of their age, educational background, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), nationality, veteran status, physical abilities, neurotype, race, ethnic background, or religion. Strategic consideration of diversity not only makes QIAGEN a better place to work. We also consider it to be a key success factor on the path to achieving our mission and goals.
As in 2018, the gender split across the whole company remained at 51% men and 49% women. The participation of women in leadership roles was at 29% (2018: 28%). We aim to achieve 30% women in leadership roles in 2020. Specific information about the diversity policy for the composition of the Managing Board and the Supervisory Board can be found in the Corporate Governance Report.
In 2019, we launched the QIAGEN Executive Council of Equal Opportunity, made up of senior representatives from different sectors across the company. The committee works closely with the Diversity Ambassador program, that was set up in 2018 and includes more than 20 employees from across the world to champion diversity in the sites and countries they are based in. Training has been developed to help address unconscious bias, including an online assessment, and is aimed at all managers of people. QIAGEN remains committed to diversity, and we continue to develop and implement additional programs to promote awareness and are working to implement additional procedures to enable improvements in measurement and monitoring of diversity in future periods. In 2019, this included an update to our parental leave in the United States, which was a direct result of the diversity forums led by our ambassadors in conjunction with the executive committee members.
Recognizing that QIAGEN’s employees are the key to our success, we seek to be a great place to work. QIAGEN offers opportunities to work on exciting tasks and projects in an engaging work environment. Employees join QIAGEN and stay with QIAGEN because they can see how their work makes a difference to people`s life everywhere in the world. Internal and external ratings have improved significantly and show QIAGEN’s reputation and preferred position in the global working environment.
A prudent work-life balance is an important measure to create and maintain employee satisfaction. We provide services to help employees balance their personal lives with the company’s dynamic work environment, including in-house childcare, sabbatical programs, and flexible working hours.
QIAGEN has implemented frameworks for performance-based compensation, equity-based compensation, and incentive programs for new ideas and innovation. These programs aim to ensure fair and attractive compensation and to encourage each employee to work for the company’s long-term benefit.
An essential component of QIAGEN’s efforts to maintain a high level of satisfaction at work is our corporate health and safety management. We offer a wide range of measures and tools, from annual “health days” with free counseling, screening and medical check-ups to sports opportunities in the form of in-house gyms, on-site soccer fields and beach volleyball courts.
QIAGEN’s commitment to being an employer of choice is also reflected in the high number of applications for open positions, which exceeded 27,000 applications in 2019 (2018: > 40,000). At the same time, the average voluntary annual turnover rate has decreased year over year.
QIAGEN recognizes its responsibilities with respect to health and occupational safety in all our operations and meets all applicable regulatory requirements. In the third quarter of 2019, a leading position for EHS (environment, health, safety) was appointed to provide direction and implementation of a global health and safety management system compliant with ISO45001, which will be implemented within the manufacturing facilities, research and development as well as business service centers over the next three years. All QIAGEN facilities operate health and safety procedures at local level, which include accident reporting, risk assessments and hazard analyses, and occupational safety and health audits, which lead to the implementation of improvement measures. All employees of the company are required to adhere to local health and safety procedures and practices. Safety, orderliness and cleanliness are demanded by management as a key success factor.
QIAGEN committed to an all company goal to reduce the number of lost days due to injuries by 10% vs 2019 over 2020, to drive and encourage initiatives to improve the safety culture in QIAGEN.
The table below table shows the total number of recordable incidents, (recordable accidents include lost workdays, restricted work, and medical treatment beyond first aid) and lost workdays for 2019, 2018 and 2017. The data is obtained from key QIAGEN manufacturing sites in Germany, US, China, Sweden and Tokyo. It also includes the research and development site in Manchester UK and the large business service center located in Poland. Thus data is equates to 60% of the total average number of employees. There were no reported fatalities for 2019 at any of the QIAGEN sites.
|Total Recordable Incidents||Days Lost due to Injuries|
|Europe / Middle East / Africa||17||28||21||121||261||52|
|Asia-Pacific / Japan||0||0||0||0||0||0|
QIAGEN believes that the respect for human rights is an essential component of promoting sustainability in our global business. As a publicly listed company with international operations, we regard ourselves as a responsible corporate citizen in all the countries and regions where we do business. This role includes rights and obligations governed by international and national law, with human rights as one of the foundations of international law.
In this sense, we acknowledge and endorse the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the business-related Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and its application in National Actions Plans of our relevant jurisdictions.
In 2019, QIAGEN adopted a new Human Rights Policy, which is designed to provide guidance on all human rights issues in our sphere of influence such as in our relationship with customers, on the employee level, and in our supply chain. For more information on our due diligence processes with regard to human rights in our supply chain, please refer to the "Sustainable supply chain management" section.
QIAGEN strives to ensure that its quality standards, compliance with laws and regulations as well as environmental and social standards are maintained along the entire value chain of suppliers and partners. We demand the same from our business partners. Our procurement policy includes specific requirements for corporate governance, environmental and social standards, which we expect from our suppliers as minimum standards. Among other issues, it includes the obligations to reduce the use of substances of concern, to ensure collective bargaining and freedom of association among employees, fair wages, and regulations concerning maximum working time. The policy is publicly available on the QIAGEN Website.
In alignment with QIAGEN’s Compliance Program (especially QIAGEN’s Corporate Code of Conduct and Ethics), every QIAGEN employee must conduct themselves honestly, fairly, and objectively in all business relationships with suppliers and all others with whom QIAGEN maintains business relationships. Regular online training in the QIA-Academy ensures that employees in the procurement organization understand our guidelines and comply with them.
QIAGEN operates in over 35 locations worldwide. Our sites are supported by a global supplier network that includes approximately 9,000 suppliers in over 60 countries, supplying resources such as chemicals and bioreagents, plastics, packaging materials, as well as other materials and services essential to our business. In 2019, 83% of our overall purchasing volume came from OECD countries.
|Region of origin||%|
In order to minimize compliance, environmental and social risks in our supply chain, we apply a multi-stage vendor selection process. Suppliers are subjected to a risk analysis with regard to environmental and social criteria based on their geographic location. These criteria were supported by information from the MVO Nederlands platform financed by the Dutch Foreign Ministry as well as the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Sustainable Development Goals Index. As a result, 70 suppliers were identified for whom potential risks exist due to geographic location and sales to QIAGEN.
In 2019 all identified suppliers have signed QIAGEN’s procurement policy. All new suppliers will need to sign the policy as part of the contracting process. The policy contains requirements with regard to legal compliance, bribery and corruption, labor rights, non-discrimination and fair treatment, health and safety as well as environmental protection and conservation. QIAGEN provides a whistleblower hotline which can be used by all employees. The contact details can be found on QIAGEN’s website within the section Corporate Code of Conduct and Ethics.In addition, first-tier suppliers must confirm REACH, RoHS and SEC compliance as appropriate.
As part of our supplier selection process, we additionally assess the suppliers’ policy with a perspective on QIAGEN's requirements. Supplier audits are conducted if non-compliance is suspected. Audits are conducted on-site, at least every three years for all “A”-categorized direct suppliers. Audits are documented and results are being shared with audited suppliers. To our knowledge, there were no violations regarding corporate governance, environmental and social standards in the reporting period.
The sourcing of certain minerals (known as “conflict minerals”) has been linked with human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") and other conflict zones. QIAGEN has performed an extensive inquiry into the company’s supply chain to confirm that the products supplied to us are either DRC conflict-free or that the suppliers are not aware of any non-compliance in their supply base. QIAGEN has no indication that any conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries are used in the company’s laboratory instruments.
Our products consist of sample and assay kits, known as consumables, and automated instrumentation systems. We do not believe that any conflict minerals are necessary to the production or functionality of any of our consumable products. We conduct due diligence measures annually to determine the presence of conflict minerals in our instrumentation products and the source of any such conflict Minerals. Because we do not purchase conflict minerals directly from smelters or refineries, we rely on our suppliers to specify to us their Conflict Minerals sources and declare their conflict minerals status. We disclosed our conflict minerals findings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for the calendar year ending December 31, 2019, on Form SD on March 27, 2020, and will provide updated disclosure to the SEC annually.
As the external threat landscape continues to evolve, managing cyber security risk is a priority for QIAGEN. The company continues to make investments in its capabilities to enhance cyber resilience of our organization, products, services and preserve the trust of our customers, partners and employees.
In 2019, QIAGEN further improved cyber security governance by establishing a dedicated cyber security function with global responsibilities and leadership. Building on our Information Security Framework, QIAGEN's cyber security program continues to ensure that security governance efforts and initiatives reflect evolving business requirements, regulatory guidance, and emerging threats. Our membership in private and public cyber security organizations (such as Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center, BSI Alliance for Cyber Security) facilitates close collaboration with peer organizations and government authorities to share industry-relevant best practices and threat information.
For QIAGEN, conducting business in a responsible way includes looking beyond our day-to-day business operations into the ethical foundations of our company. This means, in particular, the respect for human rights and legally compliant business behavior.
QIAGEN occasionally received grants for specified development activities from governments to support research and development activities. These grants are further discussed in section 3.7 Government Grants of Note 3 "Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, Estimates and Judgments" of the 2019 IFRS Annual Report.
We pay income tax related to the value added by QIAGEN's operational activities to the governments in the global regions of operations as follows:
|Year ended December 31,|
|($ in thousands)||2019||2018||2017|
|Europe / Middle East / Africa||$ 18,186||$ 14,120||$ 19,595|
|Asia-Pacific / Japan||12,942||11,172||9,137|
|Total income taxes paid, net||$ 41,474||$ 29,317||$ 40,499|
Income taxes paid exclude government incentives due to favorable tax regulations in the U.S., Spain and the U.K. relating to research and development expense.
We conduct business globally and, as a result, file numerous consolidated and separate income tax returns in the Netherlands, Germany, and the U.S. federal jurisdiction, as well as in various other states and foreign jurisdictions.
Governments and public institutions do not hold any major shares in QIAGEN.
For additional information on the Group’s income taxes please refer to Note 17 Income Tax.
As a publicly listed company with international operations, QIAGEN is subject to regulation in various jurisdictions. Unethical behavior and non-compliance with laws and regulations have the potential to seriously harm our business, our reputation and our shareholders and to expose our employees to personal liability. QIAGEN has established a comprehensive Compliance Program, which translates legal and regulatory requirements as well as our fundamental values into clear, precise and understandable guidelines in our Corporate Code of Conduct and Ethics and supplementing specific policies for our employees. The policies include, but are not limited to, aspects as conflicts of interest, insider trading, revenue recognition, interactions with healthcare professionals, confidentiality and social media. QIAGEN does not make any payments to political parties or political action committees.
Special attention is paid to antitrust and anti-corruption laws (see http://financialreport.qiagen.com/management-report/opportunities-and-risks). Our specific antitrust and anti-corruption policies set forth our commitment to ensure that QIAGEN and its subsidiaries abide by the antitrust and anti-corruption laws of the countries in which we operate.
We extend our Compliance Program not only to our management and employees, but also to third-party intermediaries as distributors or agents. Third-party due diligence lies in the remit of the Sales Compliance Manager. This contains the following five elements:
All our policies are available to employees through the company’s Compliance@QIAGEN intranet pages. Compliance awareness of our employees in all areas of the world is increased by regular trainings, which are held by external as well as inhouse legal and regulatory experts. In addition, QIAGEN has entered into a long-term online training program focusing on topics such as antitrust and competition, bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest, data protection, gifts and entertainment, harassment, insider trading, reporting as well as respectful communication. Online training reaches all employees in local language, supported by multiple communication resources. New employees are required to take online training on our Corporate Code of Conduct and Ethics at a minimum. Additional trainings which are customized to the specific area of responsibility are mandatory. Employees in Sales and Marketing as well as Upper Management are required to take training on anti-corruption and antitrust laws. These basic trainings are followed by refresher courses on a regular basis. In 2019, our employees completed more than 10,000 online training modules. In addition, employees are informed through the company’s Compliance@QIAGEN intranet page and regular updates on compliance topics via the company’s internal communication platform Yammer.
We have established a hotline for reporting accounting-related concerns on an anonymous basis in good faith. In accordance with the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the listing standards of NYSE, QIAGEN follows as strict non-retaliation policy. QIAGEN will diligently investigate all such complaints and will protect the anonymity of the complainant. We also offer a direct e-mail and telephone hotline for employees to address questions or make suggestions for our Compliance Program.
Our Compliance Program is overseen by the Compliance Committee under the leadership of the Head of Global Legal Affairs and Compliance, who reports in this function directly to the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board. The Compliance Committee consists of managers from Legal, Internal Audit, Human Resources, Commercial Operations, Trade Compliance and Regulatory functions.
In the reporting period, QIAGEN had no legal actions pending or completed with regard to antitrust or corruption.
QIAGEN’s mission is to make improvements in life possible by enabling our customers to achieve outstanding success and breakthroughs in life sciences, applied testing, pharma and molecular diagnostics. We are committed to customers and their patients to deliver innovative solutions that unlock new insights for scientific research, forensics, food safety or better treatment decisions. We understand and live up to our responsibility to customers and patients who depend on us for reliable, efficient and safe workflows.
Customer satisfaction is an integral part of the QIAGEN mission of making improvements in life possible, which is therefore the direct responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer. Our customers have high expectations on reliability, safety and the environment-friendly manufacturing of our products. We develop our products and services in close contact with our customers and incorporate their feedback into our processes.
Our commitment is to continually improve the customer experience, taking into account their evolving needs and expectations. QIAGEN has established a global systematic approach to measure customer experience in the form of an aggregated Customer Experience Indicator (CEI). The CEI is measured on a monthly basis through a set of internal KPIs (product and delivery performance, phone support, etc.) and external customer feedback that are directly linked to customer experience in our transactions. Thus, we are able to identify quickly and systematically areas for improvement while staying closely connected with our customers. Departmental and employee contribution to the CEI performance is embedded into our annual goal setting process. After a reworking of the CEI logic and KPI definitions in 2018 and the launch of a revised CEI 2.0 in January 2019, a Full Year score of 96.331 points (out of a maximum 100 points) was achieved. This corresponds to 1,517 points with the former CEI logic (2018 score was 1,515 points out of 2,000 maximum). It is a testimony to our continued efforts to increase customer satisfaction.
QIAGEN stands for quality. Since QIAGEN’s founding 30 years ago, we have always been committed to the highest quality, and we always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations. QIAGEN’s reputation as a quality supplier is best-in-class in our industry and the foundation of our loyal global customer base. Therefore, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee to all our customers. It means that if our customers are not entirely satisfied with the performance of a QIAGEN product we will exchange or refund it free of charge for the customer.
To achieve and maintain our quality standards, we established Total Quality Management (TQM) systems in all of our manufacturing facilities around the globe. These assure constant high quality as well as safe and effective medical devices. QIAGEN’s TQM systems are certified according ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 18385, as well as 21 CFR 820 and all other applicable medical device standards around the globe (see section “Government Regulations” in the Management Report).
QIAGEN products and their components are safe to use by customers as well by our employees in Research and Development (R&D). We use a list of qualified substances (the “MDx Toolbox”), specifically excluding any substances of concern. Our transparent and responsible product and development policy also includes the communication and marketing of products. As with all companies in the medical device/in vitro diagnostics industry, product claims and product properties are verified and validated during development and approved by regulatory bodies around the world as part of the product submission process.
QIAGEN, like other companies, is exposed to the financial implications of potential recalls and other adverse events due to equipment failures, manufacturing defects, design flaws, or inadequate disclosure of product-related risks. In the event of a recall, QIAGEN has established global procedures applicable to all QIAGEN sites that aim at avoiding the further use of the product and at guaranteeing cost-neutral procedures for our customers. Processes, responsibilities and improvement programs are defined as required by regulating authorities to avoid the reoccurrence of recalls. There is full traceability of each product to the final customer; therefore, any recalls are executed by direct customer notifications. Due to QIAGEN’s stringent quality management, recalls rarely occur: 2019 (3), 2018 (4), 2017 (0), 2016 (3), 2015 (1). The percentage of affected product is low as well: 2019 (15%), 2018 (0.09%), 2017 (0%), 2016 (0.21%), 2015 (0.022%). In past recalls, 90% to 100% of customers have been reached and confirmed recall notification.
QIAGEN is aware of the importance of providing access to healthcare and research products around the world. In developing countries with scarce resources, new ways are needed to ensure access to affordable diagnostics that play a critical role in helping to prevent and treat diseases. In particular, infectious diseases and various malignancies can be treated much more cost-effectively through early and precise detection – and with improved patient outcomes. However, many emerging countries lack properly trained lab personnel and technical infrastructure to utilize the latest molecular testing technologies.
For QIAGEN, a strategic approach to providing access to diagnostic technologies can yield opportunities for growth, innovation and unique public-private partnerships. To support our growth strategy in emerging markets, we are expanding our presence in these markets and adapting our products to local needs, where necessary.
One example is our global effort to advance diagnostics for tuberculosis (TB) in low-resource, high disease burden countries. Based on a five-year memorandum of understanding signed in 2015, QIAGEN is cooperating with FIND, an NGO, to develop innovative and affordable tests to detect people with latent TB infections who are at risk of developing active TB. In October 2019, we also announced the addition of QuantiFERON TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) to the diagnostic catalogue of the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF). The GDF facilitates access and helps match demand for TB diagnostics and drugs with funding from donors, governments and NGOs on a global scale. The acceptance of QFT-Plus to the GDF catalogue advances our strategy to help expand screening with modern blood-based assays for latent TB infection in regions with high disease burden but limited resources.
To reach the highest risk populations needing TB testing, QIAGEN is building upon our high-volume state-of-the-art QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus assay with the development QuantiFERON-TB Access, a field-friendly test with ultrasensitive digital detection on a portable device. Launching in 2020, this public health solution has already gained recognition by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.
A further example is the development of careHPV as an adaptation of our gold standard digene HC2 test for detection of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been shown to be the primary cause of cervical cancer. In cooperation with PATH, an NGO, and support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, QIAGEN developed this dedicated testing system for use in regions with limited healthcare resources. The main advantages of decentralized HPV testing are:
Our careHPV Test is currently available in more than 25 countries worldwide. Since its launch through the end of 2019, more than 3 million tests have been distributed.