What is Ecoinvent? – Meet the LCI Database

Ecoinvent is the World’s leading LCI database containing over 16.000 unique datasets. So, why is it so important?
Updated on:
November 16, 2021

Ecoinvent is the World’s leading LCI database containing over 16.000 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, access to the 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.

Extensive literature is available for LCA practitioners, including descriptions of the individual dataset and detailed reports (these are not available to Ecochain users, only to Ecochain employees).

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.

Roel Drost – Environmental Specialist at Ecochain

Who created it?

Ecoinvent is a not-for-profit association based in Switzerland. The project started in 2003.

How big is it?

Ecoinvent has been continuously expanded since 2003 and currently contains over 16.000 unique datasets (Ecoinvent 3.5 contains 16.412 datasets). It also contains a wide array of stressors (emissions & extractions), which can be translated into environmental impacts with all impact assessment methods available.

What’s the current version in Ecochain?

Version 3.4

Some useful links:



Zazala Quist

Zazala Quist

Hi, I'm Zazala - content writer and manager at Ecochain. I studied corporate communications & sustainable change management - and am glad to continue my passion for sustainability at Ecochain. My goal: make difficult sustainability concepts - understandable to all.

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