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Created 15.4.2024
Updated 15.4.2024

LUT University is increasingly paying attention to its positive environmental handprint and has created a new project funding model to enhance its climate actions. 

LUT funds projects that either reduce the university’s own carbon footprint or help other organisations to reduce their carbon footprint – and thereby increase LUT’s carbon handprint. LUT opened an internal call for applications in January 2024, and now, a total of 250,000 euros has been allocated to six selected projects.

“The selected projects can considerably improve the calculation of LUT’s carbon footprint and enhance cooperation with various stakeholders. Most of the projects focus on LUT’s carbon footprint, but they also involve other parties with whom we do climate work. Campus food services and business travel are significant sources of emissions that require actions,” says Sustainability Manager Hanna-Leena Ottelin.

Focus on reducing indirect emissions and helping others

Projects focusing on LUT’s carbon footprint will particularly address the challenge of reducing the university’s indirect emissions (GHG Protocol, scope 3). In projects focusing on the carbon handprint, LUT will have a significant role in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of another organisation.

“Regarding the handprint, one of the selected research projects focuses on the capture of carbon dioxide with the help of microalgae. Carbon capture and utilisation are major global questions to which the project aims to find answers in collaboration with local partners. The projects will be completed during the years 2024–2025. The university aims to continue funding new projects annually, so we will have concrete ways to achieve carbon-neutrality and continually grow our handprint,” says Ottelin.

The handprint methodologies have been developed jointly by LUT and VTT in the Carbon Handprint (2016–2018) and Environmental Handprint (2018–2021) projects. The handprint approach is built on the principle that reducing one’s own footprint does not amount to a handprint. Instead, a carbon handprint is achieved by improving the performance of another actor – by reducing their carbon footprint. The environmental handprint also has other positive environmental impacts. The methodologies are in line with standardised life cycle assessment and footprint methods.

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