Carbon handprint:

From EurekAlert!

Public Release: 19-Dec-2018

New environmental indicator for evaluating the positive climate impacts of products

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT and LUT University alongside with Finnish companies have developed a method and guidelines for evaluating and communicating on the carbon handprint of products. The carbon handprint describes the positive climate impacts of a product.

Environmental impacts are often expressed through footprint indicators describing a negative impact, as in the familiar carbon and water footprints. Until now, companies have lacked the means to present positive effects.

Since the handprint is a new and evolving environmental indicator, Finnish companies have the chance to profile themselves as pioneers by communicating positive environmental effects. The use of the handprint clearly looks set to increase. For example, the carbon handprint can be used for marketing and communication purposes, and to make product development more climate-friendly.

The idea behind the carbon handprint is that the company develops products and services that allow its customers to reduce their carbon footprint. The calculation gives the size of handprint caused by the company’s product: the bigger the handprint, the better. When a customer starts using the product, its own footprint decreases.

Actions such as improving energy efficiency, reducing the use of materials, making climate-friendly choices of raw material, developing product recyclability, reducing the amount of waste material, lengthening product lifespans and improving product usability can have an impact on a product’s carbon handprint.

“The Carbon handprint project has been highly useful from Nokia’s perspective, since it has provided us with tangible assistance in evaluating the environmental impact of our products. VTT’s calculation methods have made it easy to demonstrate reductions in carbon footprints due to new products in particular. Cooperation with VTT and other companies involved in the project has been smooth and helped us to understand the challenges faced in other industrial sectors,” says Pia Tanskanen, Head of Environment, Nokia.

“The carbon handprint appears to be a useful tool for highlighting the climate benefits of lower-emission products, such as fuel made from renewable raw materials. Hopefully, highlighting positive carbon handprints will help consumers to make decisions and guide them in choosing more responsible products and services,” says Asta Soininen, Sustainability Researcher, Neste, who was involved in the project.

The initiative for the development of a carbon handprint came from Finnish companies. It is based on existing, standardised life cycle assessment methodologies, such as the carbon footprint. The guide on calculating carbon handprints will provide companies with step-by-step instructions on carrying out evaluations.


The carbon handprint method and guide were completed between 2016 and 2018 on the basis of funding from Business Finland, VTT, LUT University and companies. The following organisations were involved in the development work: Nokia, Neste, KONE, Paptic, Gasum, Biolan, AO allover, AM Finland, Metallinjalostajat and Sitra.

VTT and LUT University will continue developing handprint methodologies alongside 16 companies, by expanding the carbon handprint approach to company and project level and to other environmental impacts, such as water, nutrients, air quality and resource efficiency.

Carbon handprint guidelines online:

Further information:

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Saija Vatanen, Senior Scientist
Tel. +358 (0)405408601

Tiina Pajula, Principal Scientist
Tel. +358 (0)40 5899013

Further information on VTT:

Paula Bergqvist
Specialist, External Communications
+358 20 722 5161

VTT Ltd is one of Europe’s leading research, development and innovation organisations. We help our customers and society to grow and renew through applied research. The business sector and society in general benefit most from VTT when we solve challenges requiring world-class know-how together, and convert them into business opportunities. VTT in social media: Twitter @VTTFinland, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. For photos and videos, please visit our Image Bank.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
December 24, 2018 10:12 pm

Amazing how many people have been propagandized into believing that CO2 – vital gas for all life on Earth – needs to be reduced. Absolutely amazing!!!

Reply to  tomwys
December 24, 2018 10:59 pm

Preventing water evaporating is the real challenge.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 24, 2018 11:42 pm

Poor light oil into the ocean. It will form a film on the surface which will prevent evaporation. But soap will destroy the film so also ban soap.

Bryan A
Reply to  DHR
December 25, 2018 9:06 am

If the carbon handprint is all about the benefits of a product in reducing the Carbon Footprint, then it NEEDS to be applied to CO2 as well as it has vast societal benefits from specific atmospheric concentrations.
That or other are simply attempting to make us all hand walkers again

Reply to  tomwys
December 25, 2018 6:45 am

Reminds me of those “George Foreman Grills” that were a fad 20 years ago–to cook meat discarding the fat due to the simplistic and wrong saturated fat=heart blockage theory. Any cave man knew you were throwing away the most nutritious part!
Fat and CO2–both GOOD! Kale and leftists and bum science, BAD!

Reply to  Goldrider
December 25, 2018 2:11 pm

Kale – in moderation – is fine.
Like any vegetable except sprouts, which are the Devil’s Vegetable and are banned in my household.
Each winter, I make one or two soups, with kale amongst many other ingredients used from time to time.


Reply to  tomwys
December 25, 2018 7:31 am

More CO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial to humanity and the environment.

So use this tool to preferentially buy the product with the GREATER carbon handprint.

Steve Reddish
December 25, 2018 8:52 am

As I understand it, carbon footprint is a measure of the quantity of “carbon” released into the environment, and carbon handprint is a measure of the reduction of carbon footprint.

As you (and I) advocate increased CO2 emission, carbon handprint is going the wrong way.


Jim Whelan
December 25, 2018 9:07 am

When I first saw the “handprint” = positive impact. I thought that’s what it meant. Telling people how the CO2 released would increase plant growth.

December 25, 2018 4:38 pm

Carbon dioxide is the basis of Life and this is yet another attempt to demonize it. These people hate the very trees.

They have cost the economy trillions of dollars, but the cost to the biosphere of warrying about who is RIGHT on temperatures–that is beyond words.

We need to WIN. Not on “the science” or temperatures or even the economy, but on how MONSTROUS it is to attack the basis of life.

C Earl Jantzi
Reply to  tomwys
December 25, 2018 5:28 pm

As Burt Rutan describes it in his “An Engineers Critique of AGW”, it is a “bad joke on the uninformed”, and that category includes ALL these “scientists” who belong to the cult of Glow Bull warming.

nicholas tesdorf
December 24, 2018 10:19 pm

The VTT and LUT University developed “Carbon” Handprint looks more like a Marketing opportunity than a serious scientific tool. It is something to be waved about in the Board Room, not used practically in the field.

Tom Halla
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 24, 2018 10:40 pm

I agree. It looks like a green imprimatur, or approval by a board rating the adherence to an arbitrary but irrelevant standard.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 25, 2018 2:16 pm

+ Lots.
Exactly spot on.
Various other similar make-work schemes proliferate.
OCIMF’s TMSA springs to mind, although it has (had??) some practical value . . . .
Not sure this does, if it equates cutting plant food with ‘good’.


Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 24, 2018 11:16 pm

Looks to me like a “label” that is the equivalent of “organic” or “grass-fed” or “free range” – a way to convince the virtue signalers to pay three times as much for an inferior product.

Sigh, yet another one to check for and avoid buying.

Reply to  Writing Observer
December 25, 2018 6:34 am

I had the same thought. I already avoid “organic” and “free-range” (unless it’s a markdown item the store is selling at or below cost), non-GMO (as a diabetic, I won’t buy from people that want me dead) and “sustainable”. Now, “carbon hand print”. I am going to save so much money as I buy less and less stuff. Thanks, Finland.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 25, 2018 4:54 am

All they had to say was look for a “made in China” label

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Latitude
December 25, 2018 11:13 am


mike the morlock
December 24, 2018 10:26 pm

Winter in Finland. Hand prints hmmm, winter, cold nothing to do. Now where pray tell are are all of these hand prints being ah, placed. I will leave it to your imagination. People are going to have fun with this.


Reply to  mike the morlock
December 25, 2018 2:22 am

Probably in a cave somewhere waiting for a future generation after the ice age to discover. !!!

Phillip Bratby
December 24, 2018 10:35 pm

I love my CO2. I try to maximise my CO2 output, but it isn’t easy.

Greg Woods
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 25, 2018 1:55 am

Breathe deeply, and often…

December 24, 2018 10:39 pm

“The carbon handprint describes the positive climate impacts of a product”

Footprints and handprints tell us how much the emissions were but not how much the climate impact was.

Buon Natale Tutti

Eugene S Conlin
Reply to  Chaamjamal
December 25, 2018 7:02 am

A Nadolig llawen i chi hefyd.

December 24, 2018 11:57 pm

The greens are now demanding that we learn to walk in a vertically inverted orientation. link

John V. Wright
December 25, 2018 12:34 am

Interesting. I am developing a new human-based tool to enable appropriate responses from members of the community to be deployed when confronted with ‘advances’ of this nature. It’s called the carbon middle finger. Here, let me show you how it works…

James R Clarke
Reply to  John V. Wright
December 25, 2018 8:46 am

Appropriately inappropriate! Thanks, John!

Reply to  John V. Wright
December 25, 2018 6:59 pm

So what are they going to put on products that help prevent constipation or passing methane?

December 25, 2018 12:58 am

Finland has a large forest based industry. Marketing forest and wood based products, or derived from forest based energy, as eco-friendly and recycle-able makes sense, and even more so when you in addition may please the religion of CO2 reduction. Minus is that if successful, forests will grow slower):

Reply to  Nutty
December 26, 2018 12:33 pm

No, the forests will grow slower if you don’t log them according to their growth potential.

The amount of wood (logging potential) has been going up decades and decades in Finland. That is because much of the not-growing forest is logged and replanted. More thinning and logging shoud be done in order to maximize growth.

December 25, 2018 12:58 am

I‘m sometimes frustrated by all the meaningless comments and complains! The black and white thinking!
What we see in front of our eyes is a fight for the future of our lives, between people who have their ideologically driven agenda and people who rely on honesty and common sense. In between are the various shapes of grey for or against the two poles (it is an oversimplification, I know), with their own ideas and approaches toward reality.
I welcome everybody who is coming up with ideas to put sand into the machinery of the ideologically driven „green“ movement. Theirfore I see the „Carbon handprint“ as a positive and helpful approach

Reply to  Klaus
December 25, 2018 1:23 am

When I saw the intro “New environmental indicator for evaluating the positive climate impacts of products” I thought it was going to be something positive, like for example, this “product helps plants grow by producing CO2”. but actually it just seems to be another marketing tool for enriching the few at the expense of the many.

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 25, 2018 1:20 am

My carbon hand print seems to have a unique signature. The middle finger is extended while the rest are curled inwards. I’m not sure why that is…

Roger Knights
December 25, 2018 2:05 am

Here’s how to reduce electricity consumption from air conditioner use. Install a sprinkler systems along houses’ ridglinglines, emitting timed sprinkles in temperatures above a certain number.

guido LaMoto
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 25, 2018 6:57 am

Good idea, but I think the Romans already have a 2000 yr old patent on that.

December 25, 2018 2:14 am

Now anything that emits CO2 has both a carbon footprint and a carbon handprint.
Which one is bigger?

Edward Hurst
December 25, 2018 2:37 am

I see no harm in a more positive approach to promoting and demonstrating a responsible attitude towards resource use. The description ‘carbon footprint’ has negative imagery (humanity stomping around on nature), whereas ‘carbon handprint’ is more positive and friendly (caring and considerate of nature). Like a friendly wave it is perhaps a refreshing swing away from the doom and gloom of human impact. Regardless of whether the ‘carbon’ aspect is relevant or not it is in the language everyone now understands. I would say this is a refreshing change. 🙂🍃

Kaiser Derden
Reply to  Edward Hurst
December 25, 2018 5:46 am

Its a lie … But a refreshing one for virtue signalers like you 😳

Edward Hurst
Reply to  Kaiser Derden
December 25, 2018 10:04 pm

Mr.Derden, Please read my comment more carefully. As I suggested, the truth or otherwise of ‘carbon’ is not the issue. What they, not me, are doing is indeed virtue signalling to promote their products in a culture where the majority are taken in by environmental alarmism. If they sell more products by doing this then they may well become a more successful company. My main point is that the approach is a pleasant change from the incessant hypocritical damnation of human activity. It is more carrot than stick and I prefer carrot.

Reply to  Edward Hurst
December 25, 2018 7:21 am

Carbon being foundational to life, “carbon footprint” suggests strength and stability to support life.

Karl-Johan Lehtinen
December 25, 2018 3:53 am

It’s amazing how many sides of the same coin can be found when it comes to find taxable channels to reduce a gas that does not need to be reduced

Coeur de Lion
December 25, 2018 4:10 am

I am terribly proud of my zero carbon footprint. Oh, sorry, I use a pencil to solve my Soduku puzzles

December 25, 2018 4:45 am

Insert picture of Captain Picard facepalming here.

Otto Støver
December 25, 2018 4:56 am

I am not surprised at all that the CO2 fraud continues. I Cancun the delegates were in favour of a worldwide ban on water. It was called dihydridmonoksid, and was said to be one of the main elements in acid rain. This show the lack of knowledge on the delegates. No wonder that the more complex science in CO2 can go on.

Kaiser Derden
December 25, 2018 5:46 am

Its a lie … But a refreshing one for virtue signalers like you 😳

michael hart
December 25, 2018 7:05 am

“For example, the carbon handprint can be used for marketing and communication purposes, and to make product development more climate-friendly.”

In a nutshell, there you have it. They don’t even know how to define what they are calculating, much less actually do it in a meaningful way.
But people who write down a quick garbage formula, and write a computer program to do it, now have a ‘product’ that can can sell to gullible individuals and gullible corporations. If nobody actually wants to buy it then that is where the gullible politicians come in handy: they make laws telling people and corporations that they need to do something based on calculating this worthless thing. And you, as the creator of this useless program, are now in pole position to profit handsomely. Steve Mosher knows all this.

To be fair, similar things happen in fields other than climate and global-warming. I think it may possibly be exacerbated by the fact that we are barely one generation in to the experience of people believing that something coming out of a computer necessarily carries more credibility than something that comes out of another person’s mouth. Got a stupid idea to express?-Just code it into a computer program and lots of apparently sensible people will now think it is not so stupid.

December 25, 2018 7:24 am

I’m more concerned about the thumbprint of those pushing the scales of Alarmist misinformation and deception.

December 25, 2018 7:33 am

Seriously, on the positive side, anything that recognizes or promotes the positive side of an increase in atmospheric CO2 is, er, positive.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  JohnWho
December 25, 2018 9:03 am

Carbon handprint doesn’t promote the positive side of an increase on atmospheric CO2, it promotes products reducing carbon footprint. This just another anti-CO2 scam.

Michael Jankowski
December 25, 2018 9:30 am

This is so nonsensical (which is par for the course, I guess). Footprint=bad but handprint=good? Let’s not forget that “fingerprint” is used all of the time to suggest negative human impacts on weather events and climate.

December 25, 2018 10:59 am

Carbon sequestration, including selective-child, has a wicked, yet positive, climate impact.

John in Oz
December 25, 2018 11:04 am

Human nature will work against reducing footprints if they can be offset by handprints.

I offer Al Gore as a prime example. His larger than average footprint via his several houses and international jet-setting lifestyle is offset (not reduced) by carbon indulgences through his other companies.

“Vice President Gore leads a carbon neutral life by purchasing green energy, reducing carbon impacts and offsetting any emissions that cannot be avoided, all within the constraints of an economy that still relies too heavily on dirty fossil fuels,” McManus said.

December 25, 2018 11:28 am

Why do we have to introduce an anatomical structure into the description?

Why not simply call it a “carbon benefit“?

“Handprint” is obscure without explanation. Most people immediately understand the word, “benefit” — the mind does not have to do gymnastics or ask questions about the relationship of a hand to a carbon effect.

“Benefit” — what’s so wrong with straightforward wording? Benefit. Simple — a carbon benefit is the thing to talk about.

“Carbon handprint” adds to the confusion — it is very easy to confuse with “carbon footprint”.

Now “carbon assprint” might have a useful application — it relates to the severity with which CO2 has been promoted as a crappy gas. We could, for example, speak of the “carbon assprints” of organizations like NASA, NOAA, and certain university academic programs.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 25, 2018 3:13 pm

But “Carbon Handprint” sounds soooo much more ominous, more foreboding a “black imprint” on the mind’s eye! And, after all, did not the Black Hand of carbon kill and cause the Great War? Was not the Black Hand of the Costra Nostra the infamous Death Sentence across Italy and southern Europe?

December 25, 2018 4:25 pm

Note the similar wording, the Christian faith is run by the “Guilt “facto, ” so is the Greens message. We are all Sinners so only they can “Save us”.

So note, buy the less bad product. True it s a advertising thing, but its still all about “We must not sin, its against the Green faith”.


December 25, 2018 9:48 pm

So heating my home is not a “benefit?”

With liberal carbon-smashers already soo utterly confused, I see no point to further obfuscation.

December 26, 2018 3:21 am

Carbon handprint is still just a propaganda tool based on the flawed assumption of AGW. Therefore it promotes AGW just the same.

%d bloggers like this: