Berlinger Sustainability | USA

Sustainability - A Success Story

The Pharmaceutical Industry Revolutionized

SmartSystem: Pioneering Berlinger Sustainability Agenda

Climate crisis needs urgent action. Especially now, given the recent turn of global events. The world is still reeling and recovering from an unprepared pandemic, as nothing of this magnitude had been seen in over a century. The prolonged global crisis resulted in shortages of raw material, specifically for us in the temperature monitoring industry, the electronic components, and semi-conductors. Disruption to the global supply chain also led to highest ever inflation rates in many countries. And these are just some of the factors that have added urgency to the Sustainability agenda.

The pharma sector is a major contributor to global GHG emissions, with emission intensity being approximately 55% higher than that of the automotive sector.
Global leaders in the pharmaceutical industry are prioritizing the elimination of harmful greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature to the 1.5-degree rise, as proposed in the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015

At Berlinger, we have turned the challenge of high emissions in cold chain logistics into an opportunity for innovation. The company has developed an entirely new smart monitoring ecosystem.

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Sustainability – A Welcome Challenge

A Commitment to the Future

  • The pharmaceutical sector is a major contributor to global GHG emissions. Whether through its R&D activities, production, transport, logistics or other supply chain operations, there are many stages at which carbon emissions are generated.
  • A study by the Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology, McMaster University, in 2019, showed that emission intensity in the pharmaceutical industry is approximately 55% higher than that of the automotive sector.
  • The World Health Organisation calculates that more than half of vaccines are wasted worldwide, while the UN claims that better cold chain management could have helped save approximately a billion vaccines during the pandemic. 
  • According to Supply Chain Dive, a whopping $34bn is wasted annually due to temperature excursions.

From Ambition to Action

  • A 2021 GlobalData poll done by Pharmaceutical Technology revealed that 43% of respondents agreed environmental issues were the most important aspect of ESG that pharma companies needed to address.
  • It is promising to see ambition within the pharma sector to deliver on climate goals. However, there is room for improvement and the need for more focused action.
  • Decades of innovation have prepared Berlinger to challenge the high emissions in cold chain logistics into an opportunity to further innovate. This propelled Berlinger to develop a new smart monitoring ecosystem for the sector.

The company’s own ambition provides the much-needed impetus for change. It is vital for suppliers and partners to be actively collaborate in this drive for sustainability.

The Berlinger Sustainability Process

  • At Berlinger, we are committed to addressing climate change.
  • Starting with a thorough examination and assessment of sustainability of the existing product portfolio, we identified emission hot spots and innovated solutions to reduce impact. 
  • This resulted in the creation of a new type of monitoring platform that reduces both costs and emissions for customers.
  • Where emissions remain unavoidable, Berlinger partnered with South Pole, a global sustainability consultancy, to decide on climate action. Berlinger invested in a biodiversity project in Borneo, Indonesia. This resulted in Berlinger's new cold chain monitoring equipment, SmartSystem certified as a climate neutral product.


  • Berlinger’s product development is driven by a singular ambition to help clients reduce emissions. Our pioneering new products and platforms contribute to reducing carbon emissions. We put sustainability at the heart of innovation and system design process to achieve the goal of SmartSystem.
  • An essential part of emissions reduction was to reduce the overall number of real-time devices, as they are way more carbon intensive. The use of modular real-time reporting has meant that SmartSystem is able to achieve the same degree of customer data visibility with fewer devices, hence dramatically scaling back the emissions for each shipment. The reduction of real-time monitoring devices leads to a reduced carbon footprint.

More about Berlinger SmartMonitor

Success Story

  • A company’s own ambitions will only provide part of the impetus for change. The involvement of suppliers and partners in the drive for sustainability is key. Swiss company Berlinger has positioned itself as a primary enabler of pharma companies and their supply chain partners in rethinking the cold chain.
  • Berlinger's SmartSystem has major advantages for Berlinger’s customers - who will see their shipping costs reduce, while being able to enjoy 100% real-time coverage and reduce carbon emissions. 
  • With SmartMonitor, the carbon footprint decreases by almost 70% compared to the CLM Doc L based on redesign, reuse and refurbishment, a result of SmartSystem’s systems approach and business model.
Innovation and Sustainability agenda

Berlinger, future ready to foster a collaborative ecosystem

Through its cycle of innovation, Berlinger has proven that increasing the visibility of the supply chain with Modular Real-Time, reducing CO2 emissions and lowering costs are not mutually exclusive. Through creative thinking, Berlinger has brought all three goals together in a platform that has been awarded the Climate Neutral Product label from South Pole.”  – Linda Schwär, VP Marketing, Berlinger & Co. AG

Berlinger’s most recent development, SmartSystem, is the first climate neutral product available for cold chain monitoring of pharmaceutical products.

As more customers switch to the new SmartSystem, the company will see its environmental and sustainability impact expand. In addition, Berlinger will also learn from these customer experiences and continue to measure and monitor the footprint of customer shipments. While the products are rolled out to more customers and cover more shipments, there will be an increase in the amount of recycled and reused products and the positive impact of SmartSystem will continue to increase exponentially.

Save millions with modular real-time.

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We look forward to assisting you in the crucial task of managing your cold chain. Let us know what you hope to achieve and how we can support you. The Berlinger Team is looking forward to getting in touch with you!