The Handprint Approach: A More Holistic Take on Sustainability Impact

Unlike the widely known carbon footprint, which measures the negative impact individuals or organisations have on the environment, the handprint assessment follows a more holistic approach. By capturing the amount of savings on greenhouse gas emissions that a product or service can offer, the handprint also takes into account important social and economic dimensions and promotes biodiversity, ecological health, and increased social wellbeing.

In 2015, the CSCP, together with the Centre for Sustainability Management of the Leuphana University Lüneburg, the University of Hohenheim, and the Center for Sustainable Leadership of the University of Witten/Herdecke embarked on a research journey on the handprint method.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project concluded with a comprehensive methodology for the handprint assessment, which was implemented in three case studies in the sectors of consumer goods, food, and construction. You can find out more about the project here.

Over the years, the CSCP has been approached by organisations and field experts to apply the methodology in different contexts, from engaging young children at school to changing infrastructure in cities. The CSCP has also put the Handprint methodology in use in projects at product value chain and region levels.

Looking to address the need for practical tools that focus on capturing and enhancing the positive contributions toward sustainability, in 2024, the CSCP joined hands with ELFIN Consulting, a consulting company committed to driving sustainable business.

Together, we aim to explore new collaboration pathways that inspire and support companies and other organisations to increase the positive impact of their products and services. As a first step, the handprint report, which was previously only available in German, has now also been translated into English.

The Handprint report includes all relevant research findings on increasing the positive impact of products and services, such as, quality of life, sustainability awareness, ecosystem equality, social gains, and others.

The report is available in German and in English.

To engage with us on how to employ the Handprint method toward enhanced sustainability, please contact Cristina Fedato.