ecoinvent v3 | What is new in the ecoinvent database?

In May of 2013, the Centre released the latest version of its life cycle inventory database: ecoinvent v3. With over 10,000 of LCI datasets in the areas of agriculture, energy supply, transport, biofuels and biomaterials, bulk and speciality chemicals, construction materials, packaging materials, basic and precious metals, metals processing, ICT and electronics as well as waste treatment, ecoinvent offers one of the most comprehensive international LCI databases.


True to its core values, the Centre has created a consistent and transparent database, which we are proud to make available in the SimaPro 8 LCA software package. This version of the ecoinvent database doesn’t just contain more high-quality data; it contains entirely new datasets and models.


New and Updated Datasets Increase the Scope of LCA

ecoinvent v3 contains:

  • new country-specific electricity mixes and production data that cover 90% of the global electricity production
  • new types of biofuel
  • over 80 new chemicals
  • new fruits and vegetables
  • updated cement datasets
  • updated and extended aluminium production datasets
  • updated road passenger transport data, including e-mobility
  • new data on recycling and waste treatment activities


Database-Wide Updates for More Accurate Data and Analysis

  • Transport distances: The data for transportation is now systematically included in the market processes.
  • Properties: All products with a mass now contain six mandatory properties: fossil carbon content, non-fossil carbon content, dry mass, wet mass, water in wet mass, and water content.
  • Prices: Prices were added for many products, allowing economic allocation in multi-output datasets. (The price update is not included in SimaPro 8.)
  • Production volumes: For a substantial number of products, annual production volumes were added.
  • New water flows: Consistent modelling of water inputs and outputs was added to most parts of the database. This enables impact assessment of water use and consumption. For an overview on how to use the water flows feature, check out this presentation.


Consequential Modelling for More Comprehensive LCA

Previous versions of the ecoinvent LCI database already supported attributional modelling, which aims to describe the environmental impacts of a life cycle and its subsystems. ecoinvent v3 is now the only major database that also supports consequential modelling, which goes beyond attributional modelling. Consequential modelling describes not only the environmental impacts of a product’s life cycle, but also how this product changes environmental impacts of other life cycles. For more information on how to link processes and markets, please watch this video.


New Global Supply Chains for a Global Perspective

The new version of the ecoinvent database contains global supply chains for many products. This allows you to create a more realistic perspective on products and processes.


About the ecoinvent Center

In the past decade, ecoinvent – The Centre for Life Cycle Inventories – has established itself as global leader in creating life cycle inventory databases. Their databases help companies manufacture their products more in harmony with the environment, policy makers implement new policies, and consumers adopt more environmentally friendly behavior.


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