In the transition to the new version, we are moving ecoinvent closer to our goal of providing a true reflection of global supply chains. Given our origins as a Swiss national database, international data, especially non-European data, were relatively scarce in the older versions. This did not reflect the global trade situation well and made using the database difficult for our non-European users.
In version 3, we have laid the technical groundwork to develop ecoinvent into a more global database. First of all, we have added many hundreds of non-European datasets, for example on electricity production in countries all over the world. We have also expanded our database by adding global background data for all activities. Often, this is only an extrapolation from local data of a given region with increased uncertainty information though, so please do check the dataset documentation when using these. On the database level, we have greatly improved our capabilities for regionalization of data and version 3 is ready to support regionalized impact assessment.
What are global background activities and where do they come from?