Maximizing your Handprint: How to Set “Net Positive” Sustainability Goals

Maximizing your Handprint: How to Set “Net Positive” Sustainability Goals

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Today’s sustainability commitments typically focus on calculating one’s negative environmental “footprint” and taking actions to reduce it. While this is a critical first step, it leaves out of the equation all our positive impacts, or “Handprints.” Instead of aiming for zero environmental impact, which is almost never feasible, Dr. Greg Norris, Chief Scientist for the International Living Future Institute, will explore how the Handprint framework allows individuals or organizations to set a more inspiring goal to be Net Positive, where your Handprints are greater than your footprints. Greg will review existing Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) tools and discuss how they can be adapted to evaluate Handprints. Claire Castleman, Sustainability Analyst from Eaton, will then talk about the business case for Handprinting at Eaton and how they are integrating the framework into their strategy to create a culture of positive good. While incredibly valuable to manufacturers of building products, this event’s content will be relevant to all manufacturers, architects, designers, building owners and sustainability professionals. For more information, view the event flyer here.

This is the second workshop in our three-part series, The Building Blocks of Living Products, hosted by the Pittsburgh Living Product Hub, established in partnership between ILFI and the Green Building Alliance to accelerate the Pittsburgh region’s transformation into a center for sustainable manufacturing.


The educational portion of this program will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 P.M, with a happy hour following at 5:00 P.M., hosted by Pittsburgh’s Living Future Collaborative. The Collaborative serves as a group of advocates who help inspire local projects and advise on educational content while advancing the missions of Green Building Alliance and the International Living Future Institute.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn about free, publicly available Life Cycle Analysis tools to quantify your negative environmental “footprint”
  2. Understand the variety of green product and building programs that require LCA data, including LEED v4, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and the Living Product Challenge (LPC)
  3. Explore the concept of Handprinting, in relation to footprinting
  4. Hear about how organizations are using Handprinting ideas for employee engagement and innovation


Gregory NorrisChief Scientist, International Living Future Institute

Dr. Gregory Norris is an internationally acclaimed Life Cycle Analysis expert. In addition to serving as the Institute’s Chief Scientist, Gregory is the co-director of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise within the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has taught Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) at HSPH since the late 1990s. Gregory is also the founder of New Earth, a non-profit institute developing technologies that enable people across the globe to drive sustainable development “from the bottom up.” Its projects include Earthster, an open source platform for product-level sustainability assessment, Handprinter, which helps people take actions at home and work that more than compensate for their environmental and social “footprints,” and the Social Hot Spots Database, a transparent data source on supply chain impacts and opportunities for improving human rights, working conditions, community and other social impacts.


Claire Castleman | Sustainability Analyst, Eaton

Claire Castleman is the Sustainability Technical Leader at Eaton Corporation. In this role, she helps set the sustainability strategy of the organization, focused on environmental footprint reduction, sustainability communication and reporting, employee engagement, and increasing the handprint of Eaton’s product portfolio. She also leverages the expertise of internal functional leads to integrate Eaton’s diverse sustainability activities and initiatives within the organization’s corporate strategy. Prior to this role, Claire worked as a Project Manager and Design Engineer as part of Eaton’s Engineering & Technology Leadership Development Program. Claire has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and serves on the Board of the Cleveland Climate Action Fund and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.


Benson GablerPittsburgh Living Product Hub Director, International Living Future Institute

Benson manages the Pittsburgh Living Product Hub, which ILFI launched in April 2017 to support the region’s growth of green manufacturing and regenerative product design. A Pittsburgh native, Benson is excited to build ILFI’s presence in the region and work with local manufacturers to pursue the Declare and Living Product Challenge programs.

Benson has spent the past twelve years studying and implementing different approaches to environmental management, including the past eight years directing the corporate sustainability program for The PNC Financial Services Group. In this entrepreneurial role, he championed an enterprise-wide sustainability program to reduce the bank’s operational footprint, mitigate environmental risk within its lending portfolio, and seek out financing opportunities to support a low-carbon economy. Prior to PNC, he worked on sustainable product design for Stonyfield Farm and the GreenBlue Institute.

Benson is a LEED Accredited Professional, who holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Yale University. He volunteers in the community as a board member of Construction Junction, a non-profit building material reuse center.

This event is approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • 2 LFA
  • 2 AIA LU|HSW