Changes ecoSpold1 to ecoSpold2

The ecoSpold format 2 replaces the ecoSpold format 1 for the new version 3 of the ecoinvent database released in May 2013. 

Structural Change


In ecoSpold1 the three types of datasets (elementary flow, process, and impact category) were all handled within the same dataset structure. In ecoSpold2, separate dataset definitions are applied for these three. "Process" is called "Activity". "Elementary flows" are called "Exchanges with environment". A master lists are available for "Elementary flows" as well as for "Products and Wastes" and "Locations". The references to entries in these master lists will be made through UUIDs. Note: The impact category dataset definition has not yet been fully determined and will be tackled by the working group at a later stage in the format development.

Facilitating Database Maintenance & Extension


  • Option for parent-child relationships between activity datasets
  • Option for expressing geographical information using GIS coordinates
  • Option to use formulas and variables in numerical fields
  • Use of UUIDs for internal references in datasets
  • New field to declare macro-economic scenario for forecasted activities

Alternative Modelling & Data Exchange with ILCD


Better support for alternative modelling options and data exchange with the ILCD format is provided:


  • Option to declare the market model (attributional, consequential) used for an activity
  • The direct linking of an activity (process) name and single product output name has become obsolete.
  • Reduction of the number of required fields
  • New field to declare technology level for activities (new, modern, current, old, outdated)
  • New field to declare an activity as a market activity
  • Addition of joker elements to enable simpler extension of the format

Support for Mass, Energy & Monetary Balances


  • The category/subcategory concept for processes/activities has been dropped. Instead, options have been introduced to declare multiple classification schemes, tags, and multiple properties of exchanges, e.g. price, dry mass, water content, energy content, elementary or substance composition


  • New field to declare annual production volume


  • New output type: "addition to capital goods"


  • New field to declare product transfer coefficients (outputs relative to inputs)

Support for language versions


You now have the option to add language versions for all text fields.

Support for Better Documentation


  • Option to add images
  • Option to add more than one validator
  • Fields for uncertainty information made more general and adding numerical fields for the pedigree matrix