wind turbines


Protecting the environment, health and safety has always been a priority for QIAGEN.

We encourage our employees to continually look for ways in which we can help to eliminate harmful substances and waste from our products. We track our energy, emissions, water, waste, and transportation in order to introduce initiatives that reduce our impact on the environment.  

Portrait of Barthold Piening
“We are continuously working on innovative ways to further reduce our plastics footprint and CO2 emissions and have set targets to measure our progress.”
Dr. Barthold Piening, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Operations
Carbon Emissions Reduction

QIAGEN views climate change as one of the most pressing global challenges. To accurately calculate our emissions, we set up a centralized data collection process for sustainability data in 2018. Each year, we have increased the scope and accuracy of our reporting.

Group of scientist standing together where one of them is pointing towards something inside of the lab
QIAGEN has committed to reducing carbon emissions in line with a 1.5 degree Celsius climate target.

In 2020, we achieved a reduction in our scope 1 (direct) and scope 2 (indirect) emissions of 9.1% below the base year of 2019, exceeding our goal of 4.2%. Our business travel emissions also saw a decrease of 82.8% below the base year.

These reductions were mainly achieved through the implementation of energy efficiency measures as well as the overall effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Other QIAGEN initiatives to reduce emissions include promoting less carbon-intensive commuting for our employees, switching to green energy moving shipments from air to sea freight where possible.

QIAGEN is currently reviewing its climate targets and will make an announcement on its revised climate goal against science-based targets later in the year.

a person picking up an empty plastic bottle at a beach
Plastic Reduction

The environmental impact of plastic materials is becoming a major concern for customers. QIAGEN uses plastics in many of its products and production support materials, as well as for transport and packaging. We and our industry face a number of challenges in reducing plastic materials due to safety, hygiene, and regulatory concerns; however, we recognize that we must work to eliminate plastics where possible.

In 2018, we set up a global cross-departmental Plastic Footprint Reduction focus team 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.

This year, QIAGEN has set the goal of reducing plastic transportation packaging material by 9% vs 2020.

As a first step, we have been working to reduce the plastic footprint of our transportation packaging. Recent measures include replacing expanded polystyrene boxes used in cooled shipments with recyclable alternatives in the U.S. and Europe, and revising the number of gel packs used in cold room shipments in the E.U.

In 2020, QIAGEN reduced its plastic transportation packaging material by 42 tons, equating a 17% decrease. Our goal for 2021 is to reduce plastic transport packaging by a further 9% below 2020 levels.

As well as reducing the plastic in our products, we are also committed to helping our customers manage their laboratory waste. In 2020, we released digital recycling cards, detailing the composition of common components in our kits and providing information necessary to make an informed decision about recyclability.

Download our Kit Recycling Card

Download our QIAsymphony

Product life cycle assessment

QIAGEN conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) for one of its best-selling products, the QIAamp DNA Mini 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. The results of the LCA show that the largest relative impacts result from the production of plastic, transport and electricity during production and use.

Read the full lifecycle analysis

QIAamp DNA Mini Kit
Hilden Sustainability Committee
The Hilden Volunteer Sustainability Committee
Employee Engagement

QIAGEN’s volunteer sustainability committees are grassroots, employee-led groups at sites across the world. Committees primarily focus on their own region, but often collaborate with each other to share ideas and experience. They introduce new operating procedures to reduce our environmental footprint, create education campaigns, and organize volunteer events.

To support and drive these initiatives at a local and global level QIAGEN has appointed a Lead for Global Sustainability within the Global EHS department. Please send questions or requests for further information on QIAGEN’s sustainability activities to

Sustainability Initiatives
Find a full account of our sustainability initiatives in our annual non-financial statement.
All photos taken prior to COVID-19
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