How to Use ecoinvent 3 online

Searching for Datasets

Once you have logged into the database section, you can search the database for different activities and products. To do this, click on Database Search. You will find a search window and a selection of system models. The first is called Undefined, this is the raw source data of the ecoinvent database. Here you can see the datasets as they are originally, before linking and allocation. To understand the physical process described by an activity, it is often helpful to look at the dataset in the unlinked state. Afterwards, you will see the linked system models. You need to select one system model before you search for an activity or reference product name.


After you have entered a full or partial name in the search field and pressed the search button, you will see a list of results.

Viewing Datasets in Three Forms


You can use the search field within the search results to filter your results for certain activity names, products or even locations, time periods or synonyms. Using the checkboxes, you can add files to the download basket to later download a selection of datasets at the same time.


On the right side of the search results you will see the View column. Here you can select to view the dataset in three forms (the undefined datasets are only available on the UPR level):


  • As Unit Process datasets (UPR): In this form, the dataset contains the linked, allocated input and output exchanges with both the technosphere and the biosphere. Therefore, these datasets are useful to analyse the process, but they do not directly allow an insight into the Life Cycle Impacts of the product based on either elementary exchanges or LCIA results. They however allow you to assess the environmental impacts within the specific activity through an analysis of the direct resource uses and emissions of the activity.


  • As aggregated Life Cycle Inventories (LCI): Through a calculation of all resource uses and emissions of the activity throughout the whole life cycle, this view type serves as a complete list of all environmental flows related to the provision of the functional unit of the product. This is therefore a list of all resource uses and emissions for the product over the whole life cycle. These data can be used to work with your own LCIA methods.


  • As calculated LCIA results (LCIA): This view type provides you with LCI A results for many dozens of LCIA categories, including many major methods such as IPCC Global Warming Potential, Ecological Scarcity 2006, Impact2002+, CML2001, ReCiPe, Eco-Indicator 99, and others. By combining LCIA results for different inputs, you can perform simple screening LCAs directly on a simple spreadsheet using the data from the ecoinvent homepage.

Viewing Datasets


In the dataset view, you can view the datasets in the three different view types UPR, LCI and LCIA. In all view types, at the top of the dataset display you will see 2 buttons.


One is labeled Go to Undefined UPR and lets you view the corresponding dataset in the undefined view, i.e. before linking and allocation. The other is labeled Add item to basket and allows you to add the dataset to your download basket.


In allocation-based system models, the UPR datasets will additionally display a button labeled Show Pre Allocation Dataset. This button allows you to see the dataset after linking but before allocation.


Below, you will see a "Link to:" line, where you can directly jump to different sections of the dataset.