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What is ecoinvent? – Meet the LCI Database

Ecoinvent is the World’s leading LCI database containing over 18.000 unique datasets. So, why is it so important?

Footprinting & LCA


Ecoinvent is the World’s leading LCI database containing over 17.000 unique datasets. The datasets in ecoinvent cover a wide array of products, services and processes, from building materials to food and from resource extraction to waste management. Ecoinvent is widely considered as the largest, most consistent and most transparent database on the market.

How does it work?

When carrying out an LCA, accessing data regarding a complete supply chain is required. Gathering such data by hand is practically impossible, but databases like ecoinvent allow LCA practitioners to focus on foreground data (in- and outputs of the system under study) while using datasets for background data (supply chain data). As such, the LCA practitioner can focus on the main hotspots in their system and its supply chain, without having to spend extensive amounts of time uncovering details of the supply chain.

The greatest benefit of ecoinvent is its completeness and transparency.

When using data from ecoinvent, the LCA practitioner can be assured that all relevant aspects within the supply chain have been taken into account. All datasets are linked to each other and set-up in a transparent manner, allowing LCA practitioners to gain insight into the datasets and their supply chain, and even adapt them to fit the specific situation of the product system.

Ecoinvent is the most extensive, transparent, and versatile LCA database available. Their extensive quality control measures ensure the reliability of the data. The flexibility of the database allows us to use and adapt the datasets for any type of LCA question.

Luc Hillege – Product Manager at Ecochain

What’s the current version in Ecochain’s LCA software?

In Ecochain Mobius – Ecoinvent versions: 3.5, 3.6 and 3.8 are included in the software subscription.

In Ecochain Helix – Ecoinvent versions: 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.8 are included.

Information regarding datasets is available for LCA practitioners, including descriptions of the individual dataset. Detailed background reports are not available to Ecochain LCA software users, due to the UELA between Ecoinvent and Ecochain.

Who created ecoinvent?

Ecoinvent is built by a not-for-profit association based in Switzerland. The project of creating a LCI database started in 2003.

What is the coverage of this LCI database?

Ecoinvent has been continuously expanded since 2003 and currently contains over 17.000 unique datasets. It also contains a wide array of stressors (emissions & extractions), which can be translated into environmental impacts with all impact assessment methods available.

Some useful links:

Author image Luc  Hillege
Luc Hillege

Hi! I'm Luc - Product Manager at Ecochain. I ensure the development of our software solutions is aligned with the needs and requirements of our customers. My main objective: to deliver valuable technology that allows our customers to measure their Product's Environmental Footprint (LCA).

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