The carbon handprint provides the company with fact-based information to support decision-making and the opportunity to communicate the positive climate impact of its own products and services.
Whenever I mention carbon handprint at occasions or customer meetings, the listeners are intrigued. This is not surprising, as companies are constantly looking for new ways to communicate the excellence of their own products and services.
The carbon handprint is a positive indicator that can be used to compare your own low-emission product or activity with, for example, a market leader or your own conventional solution. Measuring a carbon handprint is simultaneously measuring the carbon footprint. For each carbon handprint, two carbon footprints must be calculated and compared: one for the handprint solution and one for the reference point.
The carbon footprint of a product or service is fixed, while the size of the carbon footprint may vary depending on the reference point. For example, the same handprint product may replace different products in different markets or the climate impact of the energy it uses may vary in different countries. The aim for the carbon footprint is to get it as close to zero as possible, while the aim for the carbon handprint is to be as big as possible.
When a company is planning a new, more climate-friendly business, the carbon handprint is an excellent tool. The carbon handprint offers the company at least the following benefits:
If carbon footprint reduction was compared to gardening, it would be like weeding, which is undeniably useful, but does not actually create anything new. Growing a carbon handprint, in turn, could be compared to planting new plants – it requires more planning and background research, but the reward is growing prosperity.
*) Finland is a pioneer in the development of carbon handprint calculation methods. In 2018, VTT and LUT University published the first carbon handprint guide, which described a carbon handprint calculation method based on life cycle analysis (LCA). The updated Carbon Handprint Guide V 2.0 was published in spring 2021 and now the calculation method can be used not only for product-specific calculations but also for company- and project-specific calculations and for determining the environmental footprint.
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