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Story 31 March 2023

EIC Green Cases – Diapath: Developing sustainable anatomic pathology instruments & equipment for medical uses


The European Innovation Council (EIC) supported EIC beneficiaries in assessing their company’s carbon footprint through the GHG Tool. This tool, created within the framework of the EIC Greenhouse Gas Programme (GHG) that ran from January 2021 until December 2022, proposed mitigation measures and practices compatible with EU objectives. Italian-based company Diapath, which develops anatomic pathology instruments & equipment for medical labs, hospitals, and research centres, was one of the EIC beneficiaries that joined the GHG Tool initiative. We met with Nadia Casatta, Researcher at Diapath, to discuss her participation, so keep reading to see what she had to say! 


Can you briefly describe your role in Diapath? 


I am a biotechnologist, Researcher of Diapath, a leading Italian SME in the Anatomic Pathology field. Together with my colleagues from the Innovation Department, we are involved in the conception and development of innovative projects. Diapath's Innovation Department, led by Dr Carmelo Lupo, was established in 2019 inspired by the principles of innovation professed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. A multidisciplinary team of professionals works for it, developing ideas and projects with an experimental approach based on scientific research. In this context, we are starting to give an increasingly prominent place to environmental issues.    


Could you describe your innovation and its positive contributions?   


Diapath is an Italian-based company, that successfully provides high-quality solutions for Pathologists, Lab Scientists and Lab Professionals, all around the World. As one of the most innovative brands in Anatomic Pathology, Diapath improves the lives of people involved in the diagnostic process, such as Pathologists, Lab Professionals, and patients.  

Diapath innovates to contribute to a better diagnosis, evolving existing technologies or redesigning current processes and solutions in a completely original way, contributing to the best diagnosis for patients, offering our customers a complete range of the best solutions for usability, reliability, safety, and respect for the environment. About 8% of the turnover is invested in R&D yearly: as a result of this effort, Diapath counts on 20 Patents and 7 Registered Trademarks.  


Tell us how participating in the EIC GHG Programme has strategically helped Diapath so far.   


So far, even with a constant look at environmental issues in the past, Diapath had not yet undertaken any specific and structured path regarding environmental issues. The possibility that we have been offered to join this Programme paved the way to start a structured path of awareness of our real impact on the environment.   


Did the EIC GHG Tool help you increase your awareness of the amount of GHG emissions generated by Diapath? If yes, could you elaborate?   


Diapath markets instruments and reagents for Anatomic Pathology worldwide. However, since these are chemical reagents in contact with biological material, international regulations are very stringent in the requests for disposal as special waste. We, therefore, work in a delicate sector, where it is not so obvious to take actions that can have a positive impact on the environment. However, participation in this program has allowed us to become fully aware of our impact in terms of CO2 emissions.   


What is the status of your participation (regarding the Badges & CO2 Neutral Label/GHG Tool initiative)?   


After reaching the first objective of the CO2 calculation, Diapath also obtained the second badge, defining the strategic projects that can have the greatest impact on the footprint that Diapath has on the planet. We, therefore, signed the letter of commitment for the reduction of our emissions in the coming years.  


Did the input received from the GHG experts contribute further towards the green transition journey?   


The support obtained from the team of experts who developed the tool was fundamental. To frame the company structure and the type of products purchased and marketed by Diapath, the advice received and the suggestions from the EIC GHG tool team were essential. Only thanks to the skills that have been transferred to us, we have been able to considerably increase our environmental awareness in a short time and to plan those strategic actions that will lead us to improve our impact in the future.  


What measures did you implement or wish to implement?   


Diapath is a fast-growing company, so the goal of reducing our impact in the coming years is not so obvious. From a structural point of view, we are installing solar panels for the production of electricity for internal use, to contribute to more than 50% of our energy needs. In parallel, we are working on development projects for some innovative products that allow us to reduce the impact of the transport of our reagents and the consumption of the equipment we install for our customers. Diapath is also going to apply measures to make our packaging recyclable.  


How did the measures you implemented affected positively your return on investment (economically, environmentally, socially, etc.)?   


Diapath set a range of actions setting targets to reduce our carbon emissions. These initiatives include many different aspects and commodities such as packaging, technology, people’s work, and mobility.  


These are tangible measures that affect many aspects of the company’s life:  

  • The internal team is strongly engaged and motivated.  

  • Reduction in energy costs, which are so far remarkable, is significant.  

  • External validation of the results will help lend credibility to your process and enable stakeholders at all levels to better evaluate the outcomes reported.   

  • This project can serve to facilitate third parties’ verification of the reliability of the analysis.  

  • Other advantages include communicating with whom Diapath speaks (stakeholders) and how the company affects or informs the decision-making process.   


What are the most interesting elements provided by the GHG tool compared to other similar tools?   


For us, it is hard to have a comparison since we have not had in the past other similar and so complete experiences. Surely the science-based approach has given us a solid foundation for further steps to reduce our environmental impact. The ideas are many and the ideas provided by the tool will surely guide us and influence our choices in the future at all levels of the company organisation, from the design of new products to the management of the structure in which we work every day.   


Are there any other aspects you wish to highlight?   


Diapath appreciates the transparency in all aspects of the accounting process. This includes tracking and communicating the methodologies used to determine metrics, collection processes, analyses conducted, etc. 

Another important issue is that the medical field is by far one of the slowest sectors in achieving sustainability, achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. While the mission is long, challenging and often with obstacles, the medical sector must embrace sustainability due to the enormity of its carbon footprint and its core commitment to health and healing. We wish our Company can be a best practice in this. 


More information 

If you are an EIC-funded company worried about the climate and want to reduce your CO2 emissions, you can still use the EIC GHG Tool by accessing the following link.

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