WE.3.B || SDG Corporate Responsibility

Lakanen, Laura; Grönman, Kaisa; Kasurinen, Heli; Vatanen, Saija; Pajula, Tiina; Behm, Katri; Soukka, Risto

The need to reveal positive environmental consequences of offerings has risen rapidly as more and urgent climate actions are needed from the companies. The environmental handprint approach was developed to indicate positive environmental impacts of a solution offered to a client. The environmental handprint approach builds upon the previously published carbon handprint approach (Grönman et al. 2019 & Pajula et al. 2018). The approach follows the guidelines of ISO LCA-standards for the most part but complements them with instructions for calculating positive environmental impacts. This presentation shows the general framework for conducting the handprint assessment for several different environmental impact categories. Climate impacts, impacts to air quality and resources as well as quantity and quality aspects of both nutrient and water use can be studied by applying this approach. The approach can be applied to goods and services or to product or service portfolio of companies as well as to projects that aim to improve the state of the environment. Case studies were done to support methodology development. They represented several Finnish companies with different offerings from varying industrial sectors. The framework consists of four main stages: 1. Handprint requirements, 2. LCA requirements, 3. Quantification, 4. Communication. All the stages mentioned contain many steps which guide in quantifying and communicating the handprint more precisely. The handprint approach provides an important addition to life cycle studies. Handprints can be used by organizations to communicate the environmental benefits of their products, services and technologies. They also serve as an aid to identify improvement potential throughout the life cycle of an offering, thus supporting product development and decision making. Handprints provide a science-based approach to companies to show their social responsibility through their offerings.