Product and process databases
Ecoinvent database was created by the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories. Ecoinvent is the World’s leading LCI database containing over 18.000 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. Nowadays, Ecoinvent is widely considered as the largest, most consistent and most transparent database on the market.
Ecoinvent has been continuously expanded since 2003. Ecoinvent v3.6, currently available in Ecochain and Mobius apps, contains 18121 datasets. Version 3.6 was released in 2019. The ecoinvent data landscape includes 2,200 new and 2,500 updated datasets, 247 more products, and greatly expands its geographical coverage on numerous countries and regions, such as Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Peru and South Africa.
New datasets were added regarding Agriculture, Building & Construction, Chemicals, Textile and several other sectors. Especially textiles received a major update and now offers new data on the production of an expanded range of natural and synthetic fibres, such as organic cotton, silk, linen and polyester. Specifically, the sector now includes datasets that cover the following: production of cotton, linen, jute, kenaf, and mulberry data; silkworm rearing (sericulture); yarn manufacturing of all types of fibre; weaving and knitting of textiles; and dyeing and finishing processes.
More information can be found on the Ecoinvent website.
Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) database
The European Commission proposed the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method as a common way of measuring environmental performance (Commission Recommendations 2013/179/EU ). The PEF is the EU recommended Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based method to quantify the environmental impacts of products (goods or services).
The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, has been leading the EF project. The project officially began in 2013 and it has been divided into 2 phases: Pilot phase (2013-2018) and Transition phase (2019-ongoing).
During the pilot phase PEF/OEF methods were tested by 27 different industry sectors and about 20 Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) and Organisation Environmental Footprint Sectoral Rules (OEFSRs) were developed. To apply these sets of rules for the calculation of the PEF/OEF profile of a product/organisation, the processes used require both primary (company-specific) and secondary (background) data.
Whilst the primary data are to be produced by the organisation applying the PEFCR/OEFSR (or one of their suppliers as specified in the PEFCR/OEFSR), the secondary datasets are to be available to the final user through the PEF database. The development of the PEF database has been one of the main deliverables of the pilot phase. This database being the result of a collaboration between the JRC and several knowledge institutions, such as: Ecoinvent, Cycleco, FEFAC, Quantis and Sphera. The access to the PEF database is granted for free (with or without registration) for users that develops PEF/OEF studies within the existing PEFCRs/OEFSRs.
PEF database v2.0, currently in Mobius, was released in 2019. This version is compatible with EF v2.0 method. The JRC is currently working on updating to PEF database v3.0, which will among other updates be compatible with the latest Life Cycle Inventory (LCIA) method available, EF v3.0 method.
⚠️ Please note the European Commission states you may use the Environmental Footprint database 2.0 free of charge if you are conducting PEF or OEF studies exclusively under the approved product groups and sectors, which have been approved during the EF pilot phase and as defined in the PEFCRs and OEFSRs listed, and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the EULAs of all data providers exclusively until 31st December 2021 (permitted use).
More information is available on this website.
Nationale Milieudatabase (NMD)
The NMD database is an LCI database developed by the Dutch National Environmental Database Foundation. This database was created in order to be able to make an unambiguous calculation of the environmental performance of construction works in the Dutch context. The database covers a wide range of building materials and construction-related services.
NMD v3.3, currently available in Mobius and Ecochain app, was released in 2021. This new version uses Ecoinvent v3.6 as background information source.
More information is available on this website.
ELCD (European reference Life Cycle Database)
Since its first release in 2006, the ELCD (European reference Life Cycle Database) comprises Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data from EU-level business associations and other sources for key materials, energy carriers, transport, and waste management. The respective data sets are officially provided and approved by the named industry association.
Currently, ELCD v3.2 is available in Mobius.
2. LCIA Methods
SBK Bepalingsmethode (Dutch construction sector)
The Bepalingsmethode is a uniform measurement method for calculating the environmental performance of construction works unambiguously, verifiably and reproducibly. This creates a level playing field for all parties involved. The environmental performance of various building designs can be compared, with the aim of reducing the ultimate environmental impact of a building.
The basis for the Determination Method is the European standard EN 15804. The EN 15804 sets methodical requirements for European Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), an official document that demonstrates the environmental impact of a product. An EPD is based on a life cycle assessment (LCA), a method that calculates the environmental impact of a product over the entire life cycle. For the preparation and use of EPDs for the environmental performance of construction works in the Dutch context, the EN15804 has been incorporated and supplemented with scenarios applicable to the Netherlands in the Determination Method.
EN15804+A1 (EU construction sector)
The EN15804 standard initiated by the EU in 2012, defines how- especially construction- companies should create their Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The standard is important as it makes sure that the EPD’s in the construction sector are all transparent and comparable- in turn making the construction sector more fair and transparent. In the Netherlands, the EN15804 is the foundation for the SBK Bepalingsmethode.
En15804 is a norm that allows the assessment of the sustainability of construction works. The norm is formally known as the EN15804 +A1 “Sustainability of construction works -Environmental product declarations – Core rules for the product category of construction products”.
EN15804+A2 (EU construction sector)
On June 2019, the EN15804 was revised and accepted by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). The revised version of the EN15804 makes the EPD’s more aligned with the European Commission’s ‘Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)’. The PEF is a new methodology and standard, initiated by the EU, that will steer organizations to perform more reliable environmental measurements and aims at creating a level-playing field for all EU country members. Which also means that the construction sectors from all EU members need to become more aligned.
ReCiPe Midpoint was developed in 2008 by RIVM, CML, PRé Consultants and the Radboud University Nijmegen on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. It translates emissions and resource extractions into environmental impact scores (CFs). The method provides normalization factors for three scenarios (I), (H) and (E). Midpoint and endpoint indicators are available.
ReCiPe 2016 v1.1 midpoint method, Hierarchist version. This is the default ReCiPe midpoint method. The ReCiPe 2016 method is a new version of ReCiPe 2008 and it was created by RIVM, Radboud University, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and PRé Consultants. Due to significant methodological differences, the results of ReCiPe 2008 and ReCipe 2016 cannot and should not be compared. In ReCiPe you can choose to use midpoint indicators or endpoint indicators. Each method has been created for three different perspectives. The method includes global normalisation factors for reference year 2010. Please mind that the factors in Global warming differ from the 100a time horizon in IPCC 2013 because climate-carbon feedback for non-CO2 GHGs is included.
EF method is the impact assessment method of Environmental Footprint initiative. The implementation is based on EF method v3.0. The Environmental Footprint initiative was led by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. The project officially began in 2013 and it has been divided into 2 phases: Pilot phase (2013-2018) and Transition phase (2019-ongoing).
Environmental Prices is a method developed by CE Delft for expressing environmental impacts in monetary unit. This implementation is based on midpoint-level environmental prices, meaning that the values of environmental themes are used as weighting set (as opposed to implementing the factors for individual substances). The characterisation step is based on ReCiPe (2008) Midpoint, hierarchist perspective, with an exception of Climate change (based on IPCC 2013) as prescribed by the developers. The environmental prices are not available for the following impact categories: Natural land transformation, Water, Metal and Fossil depletion.
PLEASE NOTE! Dutch Environmental Prices are average prices for average emissions in the Netherlands in 2015 and European Environmental Prices are based on EU28 emissions in 2015. They should not be used in other contexts.
Here you can see which product database versions are available, their compatibility with the different LCIA methods.