With version 3, we introduce consumption mixes for all products. These represent the average available mix of a product from multiple sources in a given region. They also give you an easy access to the product at the consumer location, i.e. with transport and transport losses already included. Ecoinvent version 2 included such mixes for electricity for example, and they have been very useful. We now use them for the internal linking of the database, and as a user they are a new option for you that help you in the choice of your inputs. You will see them with the activity name "market for ...". All individual producing activities of a product are still available for you as well within the database and you can choose to use either the market dataset or individual producing activities in your work.
With the market datasets, we have also made a significant improvement in the way transport of materials and products is modelled. The new transport standard inputs are based on international data, are sector-specific and have been adapted for individual products as well. We believe these values can provide a better insight into the role of transportation in product life cycles where no primary data were available. When you choose to use a product from the market, the data for transportation are already included, so you don't have to calculate transport distances, making your work easier.