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The UWME Design for Environment Lab promotes Sustainability and Design for Environment (DFE) through the advancement of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Industrial Ecology (IE).

Life Cycle Assessment Data

Accessibility to LCA data, e.g., for Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), is improving in large part due to national database development efforts.

USDA LCA Digital Commons

Open source data, like that in the USDA LCA Digital Commons, promise more transparency for LCAs. Features include data parameterization and extended meta data.

Design for Environment Courses

In ME515 Life Cycle Assessment, Beren Landaas Wells McKay presented this photo as part of his LCA of photography.  Visit the "Salmon Waves" sculpture at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

themed object

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington


get in touch

Life Cycle Assessment Database Projects

complied and maintained by the UWME DFE Lab


 USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Commons

The goal of the LCA Digital Commons Project at the National Agricultural Library is to develop a database and tool set intended to provide data for use in LCAs of food, biofuels, and a variety of other bioproducts. Current data cover US field crop production (corn, cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, soybeans, and durum, other spring, and winter wheat in USDA Program States from 1996-2009).  Irrigation, manure management, and farm equipment operation unit process data are in peer review or under development.  Crosswalks to ecoinvent, ELCD, and the US LCI Database datasets; crosswalks to a wide range of impact characterization factors; and unit process data representing mineral and organic fertilizer production;  herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide production; crop storage; transport will follow.

Additional information is here

Access at; Cost = free


United States Database Project

The US Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory and its partners created the U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database to help life-cycle assessment (LCA) experts answer their questions about environmental impact. This database provides a cradle-to-grave accounting of the energy and material flows into and out of the environment that are associated with producing a material, component, or assembly. It's an online storeroom of data collected on commonly used materials, products, and processes. 

A database roadmap is at

Access at; Cost = free


National Energy Technology Laboratory Unit Process Library

This unit process library includes datasets representing various aspects of the energy production life cycles for coal, biomass, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, and solar systems.  Each NETL unit process contains a DS and DF file. The DS file (Detailed Spreadsheet Documentation) is an Excel file that contains all of the parameters, inputs, and outputs for a given system as well as background data, calculations and quality scores. The DF file (Process Documentation File) is a PDF document that contains major assumptions and data sources that are the basis for each unit process.

Access at;  Cost = free


Gate-to-Gate Life Cycle Inventory Data

This site contains life cycle inventory data on several materials used in wind turbine manufacturing (i.e., related to the life cycles of aluminum, carbon fiber reinforced epoxy, glass fiber reinforced plastic, and steel).  Unit process data are provided in pdf format.

Access at; Cost = free


Manufacturing Unit Process Life Cycle Inventory Heuristics

This site contains raw data and formulas (as heuristics) that can be used to develop transformation unit process data.   A life cycle heuristic is to establish representative estimates of the energy and mass loss from a unit process in the context of manufacturing operations for products. The unit process life cycle inventory (uplci) profile is for a high production manufacturing operation, defined as the use of processes that generally have high automation and are at the medium to high throughput production compared to all other machines/equipment that perform a similar operation. This is consistent with the life cycle goal of estimating energy use and mass losses representative of efficient product manufacturing.

Access at; Cost = free


Canadian Raw Materials Database

The Canadian Raw Materials Database (CRMD) is a voluntary project involving a cross-section of Canadian materials industries to develop a database profiling the environmental inputs and outputs associated with the production of Canadian commodity materials. The database uses the techniques of life-cycle inventory (LCI), consistent with the method of life-cycle assessment (LCA).  Industry associations are participating on a voluntary basis with Environment Canada as chair. Materials industries participating are: aluminum, glass, plastics, steel and wood. ✓The database methodology was developed, completed and published by the Canadian Standards Association as CSA PLUS 1116. Data collection by each of the five active industry groups using the methodology was completed in early 1998 and subsequently submitted for critical review. A Critical Review Report was submitted to Environment Canada in November 2000.

Access at; Cost = free


The European Union’s European Reference Life Cycle Data System ELCD

The database comprises - next to other sources - LCI data sets of the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER), The Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (PlasticsEurope, former APME), The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), Groupement Ondulé (GO), and the European Container Board Organisation (ECO). The data sets to be provided by the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the European Copper Institute (ECI) will be added to the ELCD database only by August 2006 due to the need for further quality assurance from side of the respective association. All these data sets are officially provided and approved by the named association for publication in the Commission's ELCD core database. We wish to thank these associations for this important voluntary support to LCA practitioners in Europe and beyond, towards a system of high quality and harmonised LCI data.

Access at  ; Cost = free


Swiss National LCI Database EcoInvent

The Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories was founded in 2000 and currently includes institutes and departments of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Zürich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL), of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa), and of the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (Agroscope FAL Reckenholz). The Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories funded the development and programming of the ecoinvent database and its current operation. Its members were in charge with LCI data compilation and updating within the project ecoinvent 2000. ✓The ecoinvent database system is a dedicated software system that allows central compilation, management, calculation and access to life cycle inventory data via the Internet. The ecoinvent data contain harmonised generic LCA data covering the following sectors: energy, transport, waste treatment, buildings, chemicals, detergents, graphical papers and agriculture. The geographic scope comprises the supply situation in Switzerland and in Western Europe.

Access at; Cost = see the website for current pricing


LCA-National Project in Japan

The LCA National Project in Japan funded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) since 1998 has been completed at the end of March 2003, in which (1) LCA methodologies, especially the LCIA method and the practical LCI method for recycling, (2) LCA database for Japan and (3) a network system to show the results of (1)&(2) have been developed. In the Inventory Study Committee, the LCI data for approximately 200 products were collected based on the sub-system, i.e. from Gate to Gate, by 22 industrial associations joined to the project officially, and by around 30 industrial associations contributed to the project unofficially. The inventory data such as resource exploitation and oversea transportation were prepared by the survey of the literatures. These LCI data were deployed into the system together with the LCIA characterization and weighting factors, which was developed to be operated easily at the website by users. (from

Article: Narita (2004); Cost = ? (also could not find access point)


AusLCI Portal

The AusLCI portal is the one-stop-shop for Australian life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle assessment  (LCA) information. Methodologies, guidelines and protocols developed by AusLCI for collection and quality of data are available for download, along with specific sector product LCI datasets.  Data sets cover plastics and electricity.

Access at; Cost = free


LCA Food Database- Denmark

The present database is a result of the project "Lifecycle Assessment of Basic Food" (2000 to 2003) by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Højmarkslaboratoriet, Danish Research Institute of Food Economics, Danish Technological Institute, and 2.-0 LCA Consultants.  The site is hosted by Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences. Data are also available in the LCA tool SimaPro. Click here to see how to access data in SimaPro. Text in process data sheets is arranged with bookmarks following the nomenclature of ISO/DTS 14048 and data can be exported automatically to databases applying the ISO format.

Access:; Cost= free, provided that proper reference to the source is given.


CPM LCA Database

The CPM LCA Database is a result of the continuous work within CPM to establish transparent and quality reviewed LCA data. It contains LCI datasets and LCIA models based on the SPINE data format. ✓Process data represent Activities of households and employers; Agriculture; Air transport; Arts and entertainment activities; Biological; Chemicals and chemical products; Construction; Consumer goods; Crop and animal production, hunting, etc.; Crude oil and natural gas extraction; Energyware; Food products and beverages; Forestry; Fuel; Goods and services for households; Grid electricity and district heat; Land transport; Machinery and equipment; Manufacturing; Materials and components; Metal and mineral mining; Other mining; Paper and paper products; Sea transport; Sector; Transport; Waste handling and processing; and Wood and wooden products excluding furniture.

Access at; Cost = As of year 2008 the data is accessible free of charge online.


Korea National LCI Database

Korea National Cleaner Production Center (KNCPC) is constructing an LCI database for Korean industries with the support of Ministry of Commerce Industry and Energy. The database is based on the request from industries through series of surveys and it is accessible through KNCPC website.

Described at; Cost = ? (also could not find access point)

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