A holistic approach including the handprint and the footprint as well as ecological, economic and social impacts

It is in the nature of the handprint that it won´t always be easy to measure. Nevertheless a development towards an objective evaluation is possible and necessary. An example of the necessity to consider positive as well as negative assessment criteria is the cultivation of organic cotton or grain: Due to lower yields in ecological agriculture more land is needed (footprint). In contrast ecological agriculture in general goes along with more humus formation, more micro-bacterial activity and an increased biodiversity (handprint).

Furthermore the handprint enables the inclusion of social factors in the framework of the sustainability assessment of a product, e.g. increased customer satisfaction, the enhancement of social wellbeing or educational effects. The handprint covers the whole product lifecycle. The final methodology of the assessment, measurement and communication will be determined during the project. A focus lies on key figures or indicators of the sustainability of a product, considering both the handprint and the footprint.

The approach goes along with more transparency of a product´s sustainability impacts and can therefore support economic actors to meet the requirements of society. In this context the handprint can play a key role regarding to the communication of the sustainability performance.