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

February 15, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST

The Living Product Challenge is an aspirational framework for manufacturers to make healthy products that give back more than they take from the environment and society. The Building Blocks of Living Products is a three-part education series that will explore key components of the Living Product framework: transparent material health, net positive life cycle impacts, and social equity.


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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. For more information, view the event flyer here.

This session will be valuable for organizations that are being asked to demonstrate their social and environmental impact, but the content will be relevant to all manufacturers, architects, designers, building owners and sustainability professionals. This is the second workshop in our three-part series, The Building Blocks of Living Products, which is also exploring ingredient transparency and social equity.

About the Pittsburgh Living Product Hub
In partnership with Green Building Alliance, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) established the Pittsburgh Living Product Hub in April 2017 to accelerate the region’s transformation into a center for sustainable manufacturing. The Hub serves as a center of education and outreach, connecting innovative products and manufacturers, buildings and communities to the ILFI’s vision, programs and network.

About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is a non-profit dedicated to inspiring the transformation of products, buildings and communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. Through its visionary programs and partnerships with local communities, ILFI’s goals are to reconcile humanity’s relationship with the natural world and offer global strategies for lasting sustainability that are grounded and relevant.



Gregory Norris, Chief 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 T.H. Chan 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.



Benson Gabler, Pittsburgh Living Product Hub Manager, 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. Benson spent the past eight years directing the corporate sustainability program for The PNC Financial Services Group, where 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.




Claire Castleman, Sustainability Technical Leader, Eaton Corporation
In her 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.





The educational portion of this program will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., with a happy hour following at 5:00, 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.



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


This event is pending approval for 2.0 GBCI CEUs, approved for 2.0 AIA LU/HSW hours, and approved for 2.0 LFA hours.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits.  Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


February 15, 2018
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Leslie Montgomery


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
611 William Penn Place, Suite 1300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 United States
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(412) 765-3890