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August 18, 2022

The 1500X hybrid container achieves outstanding CO2 emissions reduction

The 1500X – SkyCell’s next generation of hybrid container – continues to steer the industry in reaching new levels of performance in sustainability and efficiency. The container raises the bar for protecting pharma shipments at +2°C to +8°C or +15°C to +25°C and ensures protection for an unbroken cold chain.

An independent study by myclimate reports that the 1500X has achieved significant milestones in reducing CO2 emissions for customers in pharma logistics.

  • A life cycle assessment determined the 1500X has the top environmental performance when compared with active and passive solutions
  • The 1500X reduces CO2 emissions by 25% compared to predecessor containers in the 1500 series
myclimate logo with tagline shape our future


“With the new model, the 1500X, SkyCell has demonstrated that improvements in design and construction can permanently lead to less greenhouse gas emissions.”

The 1500X outperforms active and passive solutions

Analysts at myclimate calculated the commonly used pharma lane from Frankfurt to Toronto, as seen in the graph below. They included all life cycle stages from production, preconditioning, transport, and end of life and concluded that transport is responsible for more than 99% of the total emissions of the 1500X. This outperforms one-way systems where manufacturing and end-of-life emissions account for almost 10% of the total carbon footprint.

Comparing the total emissions per shipment (m3) from Frankfurt to Toronto, the 1500X performs substantially better (6.24 tCO2e) on CO2 emissions. In comparison to active RKN, 1500X delivers a saving of 7.34 tCO2e. In comparison to a typical passive one-way system the saving is 8.26 tCO2e.

Graph comparing overall carbon emissions of hybrid, active and passive containers over FRA-YYZ lane

These trends can also be seen on other common pharma lanes, such as Singapore to Brussels (SIN-BRU), Chicago to Dubai (ORD-DXB) and New York to Sao Paulo (JFK-GRU). On each of these lanes the CO2eq/m3 savings were more than 50% across the entire life cycle when using the 1500X compared to the passive solution.

Graph comparing carbon emissions per life cycle or hybrid, active and passive containers over three lanes

Understanding what these reductions in CO2 emissions mean in reality can sometimes be difficult when only presented with the figures. Using the Singapore to Brussels lane as an example, switching from the passive one-way solution to the 1500X can save the CO2 equivalent of 30 barrels of oil or the total energy consumed by two average households in a single year. These CO2 emissions when calculated at scale present significant progress for the pharma industry in reducing its carbon footprint.

Comparison of carbon emission savings 1500X vs. passive to 30 barrels of oil consumed, 2,8 gasoline powered passenger vehicles driven for one year, and 2 homes' energy use for one year
*CO2 emissions calculated by SkyCell and compared to standard US greenhouse gas emissions (US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator)

All round optimisation

The 1500X builds on years of design and manufacturing innovation that has led SkyCell’s containers to have a verified temperature excursion rate of less than 0.1 percent and a product loss rate of 0.0 percent. Manufactured with a die-cast frame using the same technique in the construction of aeroplane parts, the 1500X is 120kg lighter than its predecessor but still maintains a payload capacity of up to 1,000kg. The new internal height of 1.3 meters – creating 7.8 percent more internal volume – allows customers to transport more in each individual container and reduces costs and CO2 emissions even further. The 1500X continues to feature SkyCell’s exclusively licensed double-door system to prevent humidity changes and provide added security during transit.

The myclimate analysts calculated that the 1500X also reduces CO2 emissions by 25% compared to the previous version, the 1500C/CRT. A previous study by myclimate in 2018 concluded that to reach sustainability targets, pharma containers need to optimize all of their available space and utilize weight-saving construction. We are proud at SkyCell to have achieved this goal with the 1500X.

Nico Ros
Nico Ros, CTO of SkyCell

“With the 1500X, we have proven that we understand how to optimize pharma containers to reduce the environmental footprint of the industry. Our years of engineering work have paid off both in terms of quality and in sustainability. The 1500X shows how technology is a key enabler for pharma supply chains to go green, while securing pharma products from production to distributors.”

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