Skip navigation

Handprint: A New Unit for Measuring Impact



Business decisions impact people and the planet in countless and profound ways. Some impacts are routinely measured and reported—such as pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and lapses in social responsibility.  Yet there are many more impacts that we don’t address—because they are either difficult to measure, or are not yet integrated into business and sustainability decisions.

The Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE) is moving quickly to quantify all the ways in which companies impact our world, because we manage what we measure, and neglect what we don’t. Our ability to minimize the harm we do—and maximize the good—matters deeply to the health of present and future generations.

A New Unit of Measurement: The Handprint

Many companies are already changing the world for the better—by greening their products, launching programs for sustainability in their communities, or improving the lives of employees and their families. Each of these initiatives is a positive business impact—what we call a “handprint.” We compare a company’s handprint to its footprint, and when its handprint is larger than its footprint, the company becomes a NetPositive Enterprise.

Learn More About Handprinting:

Photo courtesy of