In 2021, CLC started a development project for cities and regions to define and describe how cities and regions can develop their carbon handprint whilst simultaneously promoting sustainable growth. Carbon handprint refers to the positive climate impact of using a product or service compared to other products or services in the same category

Cities have set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to become carbon neutral. By cutting emissions, cities have concentrated on reducing their own carbon footprints; however, there are possibilities for more widespread emission reductions through novel and innovative climate leadership initiatives, which also reduce the carbon footprints of others. In this project, the carbon handprint approach developed by LUT and VTT was applied and modified for cities and regions in order to create an indicator for community-level assessments of positive climate actions. 

With the carbon handprint approach, positive climate impacts enabled for a client or a beneficiary of a novel product, service, or project, can be quantified and communicated when compared to a business-as-usual solution. In the case of cities and regions, the carbon handprint aims to acknowledge the city’s climate leadership initiatives in order to maximise their positive impact both within and outside the city. Principally, cities can achieve a carbon handprint through three main mechanism categories: ownership, operating environment, and projects. Additionally, the mechanism category related to companies within the city can be identified, but should be reported separately. 

The Carbon Handprint Manual for Cities and Regions provides a tool for strategic planning beyond a city’s carbon neutrality goals, whilst also serving as a communication tool for marketing and branding to attract new activities, businesses, and residents to the area. With systematic strategy work, cities can continue to maximise their carbon handprint potential in years to come.

The developed concept was completed by LUT University and it is now available for cities and regions. This project was funded by Uusimaa Regional Council.


More information: Jouni Keronen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition, +358 50 453 4881 and Senni Raunio, Specialist, Climate Leadership Coalition, +358 50 3512390

AT THE CROSSROADS – leadership in the age of climate change

by Jouni Keronen and Mari Pantsar

“If we fail to mitigate the climate change on time, billions of people will suffer, having devastating effects on our economies and social peace. The book opens up the reasons for the climate change and  the way we can mitigate it. The urgency and the massive volume of needed actions – especially in ramping up investment, will challenge our governance models. There are ways for effective mitigation, but are we able to take them into use?

Dr. Jouni Keronen is the CEO of Climate Leadership Coalition, Europe’s largest climate business network. Dr. Mari Pantsar is the Director of Sustainability solutions at the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

Forbes reviewed the “At the Crossroads” report on September 3, 2021. George Kell states in his review: “At The Crossroads has great educational value. It is available free of charge and it is to be hoped that policymakers, business leaders, educators and laypeople will read it and absorb its message, as climate leadership has to be everybody’s concern.” View the full Forbes review here:

At the Crossroads is downloadable for free. Authors request readers consider donating to the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation’s Climate Fund for Children and Youth:

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC) or its members. CLC has published views on some topics addressed in the book and they can be found here:

At the Crossroads is the updated English version of Mari Pantsar’s and Jouni Keronen’s book Tienhaarassa, published in Finland by Docendo in 2019.

For more information, please contact: 

Jouni Keronen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition,, tel. +358 50 4534881

Mari Pantsar, Director, Sitra,, tel. +358 294 618210

Press release: