Achieving net zero: An interview with Intelsius sales director Lisa Karabedian

Published: 10-Nov-2022

Our goal isn’t just to achieve net zero but to become a market leader in designing and manufacturing sustainable supply chain packaging solutions



In this interview, Intelsius Sales Director and Green Mission lead Lisa Karabedian speaks about how Intelsius are getting to grips with their carbon footprint and how they plan to tackle their carbon emissions through new initiatives and schemes.

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in the cold chain logistics sector and has seen first-hand the impact of a shift towards more sustainable logistics solutions.

Intelsius are a leading designer and manufacturer of temperature-controlled packaging solutions and serve some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical organisations with its packaging solutions.

What inspired the creation of Intelsius’ Green Mission project?

It’s seven years since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. We’ve seen a considerable shift in customer expectations around sustainable packaging solutions in that period. As a result, most of the tenders we complete now include comprehensive questions about our carbon output, sustainability, and how we can help customers deliver sustainable supply chains.

After internal consultations about how we can tackle our carbon output and offer more sustainable solutions to our customers, we set up the Green Team. The Green Team is an internal group that aims to identify opportunities for delivering more sustainable packaging solutions and working practices. We not only want to meet the demand for sustainable supply chain solutions but become a market leader that can help customers achieve their own carbon reduction goals.

Before calculating your carbon emissions, what measures were in place to help become a greener business?

The Green Team has already had a big impact on how we operate as a business, helping to implement a total commitment to cardboard recycling, the implementation of LED lighting, solar panels, electric car charge points, and investment in more sustainable packaging solutions such as ORCA Multi-Use temperature-controlled packaging and ORCA Rental services that keep materials in the supply chain for longer.

We’ve also partnered with two fantastic environmentally driven charities: One Tree Planted and The ORCA Charity. By partnering with these organisations we’ve been able to contribute to the ongoing regeneration of our natural habitat, and part offset our own industrial activities in the process.

How did you calculate your carbon emissions?

We looked at both options for carbon emission calculation: purchasing a tool to use in house or working with a third party. After conducting through research, we decided to work with carbon emissions calculation experts, Climate Partner.

Climate Partner offer expert, one-on-one account management, walking you through each step of the process, ensuring you come to the most accurate conclusions. After providing all the relevant data, Climate Partner generated our comprehensive climate report, outlining our total Comprehensive Climate Factor.

What did the Intelsius climate report say/what were the results?

Using data spanning January 2021 to December 2021 for Intelsius’ York-based UK site, Climate Partner calculated a total Comprehensive Climate Factor (CCF) of 207.94 t CO2. That annual carbon output is broken down into three scopes/areas:

Achieving net zero: An interview with Intelsius sales director Lisa Karabedian

Looking at data in more detail, we could see that our top 5 carbon emissions drivers as defined by the Climate Report are:

Achieving net zero: An interview with Intelsius sales director Lisa Karabedian

This data gave us a clear insight into what we needed to do as a company to move closer to, and eventually achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

You can read the full climate report here:

How do Intelsius plan to tackle their carbon emissions?

Calculating our carbon emissions was the first step in our Net Zero Strategy. Now that we properly understand our carbon performance, we are able to plan and work strategically towards net zero emissions. We break that strategy down into three core areas:

  1. Offsetting

Offsetting emissions is an established and important part of how we reduce our carbon output. We have an existing relationship with two fantastic environmental charities: One Tree Planted, and The ORCA Charity. Our regular donations to these causes have allowed us to give back to our natural environment in a way that effects real change. But we need to do more.

Working with Climate Partner wasn’t just about calculating carbon emissions but working together to identify accredited offsetting projects that align with our business. Over the coming months we will be upscaling our offsetting partnerships, ensuring that we’re giving back to the environment in a way that effects real and lasting impact.

  1. Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Multiple use packaging and rental packaging solutions have been a big part of our portfolio for a while, and we plan to keep offering these solutions to customers, and where possible and beneficial, move existing customers away from single use packaging and packaging ownership.

The core benefit of multi-use systems is that their shelf life far exceeds that of single use systems, keeping the materials in use for longer (at least 2 years, and potentially up to 5+), and crucially, out of landfill. Rental systems enable customers to access high quality packaging as and when they need it. This reduces required space for held stock and allows us to refurbish packaging and reuse it with the next customer. This is our version of a circular economy. You can read our article on circular economy in supply chain logistics here.

At present we offer a range of packaging that is a mix of recyclable and non-recyclable materials. We are working hard to develop a fully recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging solution that provides the same level of protection and value for money as our existing range. This development will be an area of intense focus over the coming months and years as we aim to offer real alternatives to customers looking to reduce their carbon footprint. You can read about the materials we use and how to dispose of them in our helpful guide, here.

  1. Sustainable Work Environments

A big part of achieving net-zero is implementing even greener working practices and making our work environments as sustainable as possible. This commitment is nothing new however, with LED lighting and solar panels in place since 2017, fully renewable energy powered fridges and freezers at our German HQ, and 100% recycling of waste carboard at all sites.

Commuter travel was one of the biggest contributors to our carbon emission total, and we’ve already taken steps to affect this by installing electric car charging points in our York car park, and company cars are hybrid or fully electric vehicles.

Reducing energy consumption will remain a core commitment, and it is something that is under constant review.

Intelsius Sustainable Packaging Solutions

We offer both multi-use and rental packaging solutions that can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’d like to find out more about these environmentally friendly packaging solutions, contact us at

Or reach out to me directly at


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