The carbon handprint concept gains significant momentum at COP27


Finland’s roadmapped commitment to carbon neutrality by 2035 and the determination of Finnish companies to increase their carbon handprint while reducing their carbon footprint have received significant attention at the COP27 climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The key learnings from Finnish experience in government-business collaboration and the carbon handprint concept were presented on 17 November at an event organised by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the business climate network Climate Leadership Coalition

Carbon handprint, the concept developed by Finnish VTT Technical Research Centre and LUT University, which refers to the positive climate impact that using a new product or service has compared to other products or services in the same category, has gained significant momentum during the conference. The concept responds to the need for a method detailing a country’s or company’s ability to create value chain-wide emission reductions.

“Carbon handprint can help us to see and measure the benefits of developing new, green solutions. However, it is crucial that positive handprint must always mean also reducing one’s own footprint at the same time. That is how we create win-win solutions for both companies and climate”, says Maria Ohisalo, Finland’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

It was suggested during the event that with the lead of Finland, interested parties should be invited to discuss on how to best utilize carbon handprint in accelerating climate actions.

“On top of heavily reducing footprints, we need emission reductions in value chains. Finnish and Nordic industries are creating solutions that help downstream value chain actors and consumers to reduce their emissions. Carbon handprint methodology is developed to track these downstream emissions reductions in a comprehensive and reliable manner,” says Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition.

“At Huhtamäki we are committed to 100% carbon neutral production by 2030. We are also working towards ensuring that our innovative sustainable packaging solutions have a net positive impact through the food system value chain. The carbon handprint concept is clear and proactive, and importantly it also provides a platform to drive understanding among our customers on how they can have a positive impact on climate change by making more sustainable product choices”, says Thomasine Kamerling, Executive Vice-President, Sustainability and Communications, Huhtamäki Group.

“Finnish businesses are strongly committed to the targets of the Paris Agreement and are reducing their emissions across sectors as depicted in sectoral low-carbon roadmaps that offer a strong contribution to the national carbon-neutrality target for 2035. Finnish businesses offer a wide range of low-carbon solutions that enable clients globally to achieve significant climate benefits. This handprint of Finnish companies has the potential to be Finland’s most significant contribution to cutting emissions globally”, says Janne Peljo, Senior Policy Advisor, Confederation of the Finnish Industries.

“Hundreds of technical solutions exist that are economically viable to decarbonise all the sectors. What we need now is to modernise the legislation in order to create a nececessity to use them and pull them to the market”, says Bertrand Piccard, Founder and President, Solar Impulse Foundation.