A carbon handprint calculation method developed in Finland helps businesses to demonstrate the climate benefits of their products and services. The model was developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) and LUT University with funding from Business Finland.
Businesses come under climate-related market pressure from many different directions. Consumers, financiers and corporate buyers place increasing demands on companies’ climate performance.
“Global demand is high for solutions that help achieve actual GHG emission reductions. However, it is difficult to find clear and reliable data to support purchasing and financing decisions. The carbon handprint method provides a reliable, scientifically robust way for forerunners to stand out from the competition,” says Kaisa Hernberg, Director, Cleantech and Circular Economy programs at Business Finland.
A carbon footprint refers to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by a product, an activity or a service over its life cycle.A carbon handprint refers to greenhouse gas reductions that a product or a service enables compared to the average equivalent product or service. A carbon handprint enables companies to help their customers reduce their own carbon footprint.
Companies can improve their carbon handprint by, for example, improving energy and material efficiency, switching to climate-friendly materials, making their products more widely recyclable, reducing waste, lengthening the durability of their products and increasing their usability.
“The carbon handprint method is based on internationally standardized carbon footprint calculations. Carbon handprint figures are useful not just in marketing but also in improving product design. Companies can identify the most GHG-intensive stages in product life-cycles as well as their best uses”, explains Principal Scientist Tiina Pajula from VTT.
Business Finland, VTT and the Climate Leadership Coalition co-hosted a webinar on 4 September 2020 focusing on the carbon handprint model and its significance as a competitive factor. The topic of the webinar was clearly popular, as more than 200 people in Finland and around the world took part.
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