Methodology of ecoinvent 2


ecoSpold is a common data exchange format used for life cycle inventory data and life cycle impact assessment methods. 

All leading LCA software tools implemented the ecoSpold1 data format interface to enable easy importing and partly also editing and exporting of ecoSpold1 datasets.


The ecoSpold1 Data Exchange Format

Features of the ecoSpold1 Access

Installing of the ecoSpold1 Access

Download the ecoSpold1 Access

ecoSpold1 Supporting Files

The ecoSpold1 Data Exchange Format

It is based on XML (extended markup Language) and related technologies (XSL, XSLT, Schema).


The data format was developed as part of the ecoinvent projects. In the meantime it has become the most widely used, complete and working LCI data exchange format worldwide.

The ecoSpold1 format was used in ecoinvent version 2 internal applications as well. The administration tool, the editor tool and the server tool used this format for the exchange of data, both amongst each other as well as with other applications.


The online platform of the ecoinvent version 2 database and ecoSpoldAccess both support and use ecoSpold1.

The data exchange format lists all data fields available for the documentation of a single data set (LCI raw data and meta information of a unit process) and specifies the expected content.


It takes pattern from the international SPOLD 99 data exchange format and has been adapted to the ISO Technical Specification ISO 14048.


ecoSpold1 Data Exchange Format

Features of the ecoSpold1 Access Macros

The ecoSpoldAccess macro allows you to open ecoSpold1 files in Microsoft Excel, edit them in a limited way and to export them back from Microsoft Excel format to the ecoSpold1 format. The ecoSpoldAccess add-in was developed for Windows XP and Excel 97.


However, due to the migration to ecoSpold2, the ecoSpoldAccess add-in is no longer maintained and is not compatible with more recent versions of Microsoft Excel.


Please note that the conversion from Microsoft Excel to ecoSpold1 of results files may take some time (around 10 to 20 minutes) depending on the Excel version used and its settings. If you encounter problems and you would need the Microsoft Excel files for LCA calculations, please contact us at


If you just want to look at the files, please visit the ecoinvent version 2 database then simply login to the online platform of the database.

Installing the ecoSpold1 Access Macros

Below are two links to access the ecoSpoldAccess macro and the corresponding licence agreement. Choose the link which best fits your operating system and version of Microsoft Excel. 


To install the ecoSpoldAccess macro on your computer download the file EcoSpoldSetup to your computer and run the executable.



The installation will add the button bar "ecoSpoldAccess" in Microsoft Excel.


To convert spold1 files downloaded from the ecoinvent database, run Excel and click on the button "ecoSpold2Excel".

Deinstall Older Versions


In case you are using an older versions of the ecoSpold software make sure to deinstall all old versions before installing the new one.


The procedure to deinstall previous versions is described in the ecoSpold documentation.

System Requirements


Please make sure that your system meets the following requirements to install the ecoSpoldAccess.


If your system does not meet the operating system requirements you can manually install the Microsoft xml Parser Version 6. It can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft websites (Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0).

Download the ecoSpold1 Access Macros

EcoSpold Access for Excel 2003


  • Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista


  • Microsoft Excel: Version 2003


Download ecoSpoldSetup 1.9.17

EcoSpold Access for Excel XP Only


  • Operating system: Windows XP Service Pack 3 (not Vist or later!)


  • Microsoft Excel: Version XP (only!)


Download ecoSpold 1.9.10


Please be aware that this version is no longer supported and will not work on Microsoft Vista and may contain out of date data.

ecoSpold1 Supporting Files

Further information is included in a documentation file which can be found in the subdirectory "ecospold\Doc" of the installation directory you selected or on this page.


The ecoSpold1 directory also contains the XML-Schema and a description of the ecoSpold1 data format along with sample files.


Please note that the sample files only contain fabricated, fictitious data.

R. Heijungs developed a software that facilitates the conversion steps between CMLCA and ecoSpold1 of representations of the four statistical distributions uniform, triangular, normal and lognormal.


Licence Agreement ecoSpold1


Documentation ecoSpold1


Open hearing for ecoSpold1 revision