What is SHINE?

The Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE) at MIT is a research center dedicated to improving the scientific basis by which NetPositive is assessed at all of these levels: products, activities, companies, economic sectors, individuals, and groups of people. NetPositive means “giving more than you take” or “doing more good than harm”. Living in such a manner contributes to the sustainability and health of people and the planet. The concept is conceptually simple, but actually evaluating the good and the harm, the giving and the taking, rigorously and credibly in ways that can be compared and communicated, is a complex challenge.

The concept includes the quantitative evaluation of footprints, which represents the taking side of the equation. These are conducted using the science, data, and methodologies of life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA method also provides the basis for estimating the giving side of NetPositive, which are called handprints. Handprints are created through the creation and spread of innovations, such as novel products, materials, activities and processes that function with greater efficiency, provide increased benefits and reduce wastes and adverse effects.

The SHINE research center at MIT is a collaborative effort between researchers at MIT and a consortium of members from industry and other sectors who seek to apply NetPositive methods as a means of making their handprints larger than their footprints.

We invite additional consortium members to join the SHINE research effort as partners.