Data Provider

How to Submit Data

The new data submission process makes submitting data to the ecoinvent database a straightforward process.

Submission Procedure
Dataset Format
Transfer of Rights

Submission Procedure

Would you like to play a part in enriching the world's most consistent and transparent Life Cycle Inventory database? There are four simple steps leading to your data being successfully submitted!

1. Contact ecoinvent


If you have data which you would like to submit to ecoinvent you'd best get in contact with us first at stating your name, organisation and what type of datasets you would like to submit.

You will then be asked to provide more detailed information on the dataset which you intend to submit.

We will initate the discussion between you and the appropriate editor on how your data may best fit in with the ones that are already part of the ecoinvent database.

2. Create a Submission File


As a data provider you are required gather the necessary data, consisting of process inputs, outputs and emissions. Ecoinvent datasets should be consistent, transparent and available on a unit process level.

As an author of a dataset you can then download the free ecoEditor software from the ecoinvent website to create the submission file.

The data collection process needs to be documented and literature sources referenced in the dataset documentation. You can find more about the "right" way to document a dataset in a short manual.

During this process you are supported by the online documentation (available in the support section), a dataset documentation manual, the data quality guidelines and ecoinvent editors.

The ecoEditor can then be directly used to submit the dataset to ecoinvent. Copyright remains with the author, data are only submitted with the non-exclusive right to use.

3. Free Editorial Process


The dataset is first reviewed by an independent expert in the corresponding field to ensure the quality and check for errors or inconsistencies within the dataset.


Subsequently a minimum of two cross-cutting editors review the dataset for consistency with the rest of the database. For example, there are editors for certain data fields, emission types and different countries and regions.


Comments and requests for corrections are directly loaded in the author's ecoEditor where they can be viewed and answered case by case.


Once all editors are satisfied the dataset is accepted for publication.



4. After Acceptance


The dataset will be included in the next release of the ecoinvent database where it will be used by thousands of sustainability experts.


You will be visible as the author in the dataset and have the option to remain an "active author" meaning that interested users may contact you with questions or suggestions.

Dataset Format

The main objective of the ecoinvent database is to be a reliable and transparent source of background Life Cycle Inventory data. To fulfil these requirements all submissions should be a description of a unit process, usually understood to be an independent process or activity that transforms a given input into an output of products or services. Unit processes are, for example, the growing of crops from seeds, transporting a good from one place to another, synthesising a chemical from different inputs, constructing a building or treating waste water.

As the ecoinvent database is primarily used as a background database, submissions should usually aim to be an average technology descriptions of activities for a given area – e.g. copper production in a certain country – instead of representing only a single production site. Note that single site conditions may sometimes be used to approximate the average situation if that is judged to be acceptable.

Transfer of Rights

During the submission process submitters will be asked to grant ecoinvent the non-exclusive right to use the dataset. All copyrights to the submitted data remain with the authors of the dataset. The exact text of this agreement follows:


"I confirm to hold the copyright to the uploaded data and to be entitled to dispose of these copyrights. I hereby transfer the non-exclusive right of use of the uploaded data to the ecoinvent for publication in the ecoinvent database, including but not limited to the right to publish, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, modify, change, complete and otherwise use the contributed dataset in electronic and print form and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages, and to license or permit others to do so. This transfer of non-exclusive right of use cannot be withdrawn without a full payment of compensation to the ecoinvent to cover damages or a replacement of the withdrawn data. I maintain the right to use the transferred data for my own scientific work as well as to use it with third parties on a non-exclusive basis, including for commercial purposes."