Empowering Paragon's clients in their journey to Net Zero


The client

Paragon UK, Ireland and Luxembourg (UKIL) provides an extensive range of business-critical products and services to help their clients to enhance their business performance. Paragon’s expertise is delivered via seven business lines: consulting and agency, customer communications, lead supply, business process outsourcing, workplace solutions, fulfilment solutions and print solutions.

Paragon is one of the UK’s largest business services providers.

  • £462M Revenue
  • 28 Sites across UK, Ireland and Luxembourg
  • 2,169 Active clients
  • 1.7BN Physical packs produced annualy
  • 800M+ Digital coms sent each year
  • 3,200 Colleagues

The Global Net Zero Strategy

On 12 December 2015, world leaders reached a breakthrough in the fight to address the impact of climate change: the historic Paris Agreement, which marked the beginning of a shift towards net-zero emissions. In 2021, the UK Government released their own Net Zero Strategy, outlining the steps to reduce emissions and decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy.

The Challenge

Paragon set out to design, develop and launch a Carbon Calculator that would help its clients minimise their own carbon footprint and provide greater transparency of the carbon emissions associated with the products and services they purchase from Paragon.

This data would enable Paragon’s clients to make more informed, responsible decisions that align with their business goals and compulsory carbon neutrality targets. It would also provide a means of tracking progress, as both Paragon and its clients work towards becoming carbon net zero.

Business objectives

Improve market relevancy by positioning Paragon as a leader in decarbonisation

To make the Carbon Calculator truly competitive on the market, the Paragon team knew it needed to offer something that other third-party tools did not. A competitive analysis revealed that most existing carbon calculators took a revenue based calculation using industry average metrics and conversion rates. Paragon’s Carbon Calculator, on the other hand, collects and analyses quantifiable data at a product level for every product or solution they deliver for their clients.

Bring more value to existing Paragon clients with additional services

Providing clients with transparency and giving them the carbon footprint associated with Paragon’s products are the first steps towards increased awareness and carbon reduction. Paragon aimed to empower clients to take the next step in decarbonisation by offering additional carbon consultancy services to help them decrease or offset their footprint. The Carbon Calculator is a valuable data source and the basis for Paragon’s carbon consultancy services.

Unicef development program
Unicef development program
Unicef development program
Unicef development program

The Solution

The Carbon Calculator is a custom-developed platform that automates carbon footprint calculation across all of the products and services offered by Paragon. Users can enter the data for each campaign, together with the respective location, service item, products, specs, volume and timeframe, and receive an aggregated amount of carbon emissions for each data input.

Main features

  • Advanced calculation formulas

A key challenge for the project was creating a comprehensive set of properties for each product type, and incorporating a formula that calculates each input. For example, if the user chooses ‘Mail/Fulfillment pack’, they are then prompted to enter the pack type (such as letter, leaflet, envelope, packaging, etc), as well as size, weight and production material (plastic, polyester, wood, etc.). This ensures accurate calculations, and each product property calculates emissions based on a specific formula.

  • Powerful Analytics

Through a powerful analytics dashboard, clients can create custom-built reports, filtering by product type, timeframe and product stage. Clients can also export reports to communicate and analyse carbon emissions with different stakeholder groups, empowering them to shape new strategies to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Campaign bundling

The Carbon Calculator also offers campaign bundling of products, ensuring the carbon footprint of a whole campaign is visible. For example, if a client has used various products in different volumes and materials for their Christmas campaign, they can see the overall campaign impact and the carbon emission of each product type, which enables them to make informed decisions and plan for future campaigns.

  • ERP system integration

The Carbon Calculator has been integrated with Paragon's ERP system so all orders created in the system get an automated carbon footprint calculation.

Unicef development program
Unicef development program
Unicef development program

The Tech

  • AWS
  • Docker
  • PHP/Symfony + REST
  • React
  • Typescript
  • Linux
  • Ant Design
  • Jotai
  • EasyAdmin
  • Playwright


The Carbon Calculator will help Paragon to hit their ambitious Net Zero Target of 2035. It will also help their clients to hit their own targets, providing accurate data and progress measurement across the scope 3 carbon emission attribute to the services provided by Paragon.

Despark role in the project

We designed and developed an initial MVP, followed by the creation of the first product version. Since then, we've been consistently adding new features and enhancements. This partnership is now three years old and continues to evolve.

Despark went beyond our expectations and has become a true member of our team, bringing ideas, product suggestions and directions to the table. From native development to backend services, to UI/UX and marketing, they delivered awesome results.

Ashley McIntosh, Head of Product & Services at Paragon Customer Communications