There is multiple paths through which data can find their way into the ecoinvent database; in all cases, ecoinvent obtains the right to non-exclusively publish the data, but the data creator remain the data owner.
The largest part of our inventory datasets is generated in data collection projects dedicated to specific economic sectors and countries or regions. To realize these projects, we commonly collaborate with external partners around the globe who have the local, sectorial and methodological expertise, such as research institutes, academia, consultancies or industry associations. Our team also supports individual researchers or companies who directly approach us with data they would like to publish in ecoinvent. Finally, some projects are carried out internally by our small team of LCA experts.
Accordingly, also the sources our data relies on are diverse. Where possible, our external partners will provide primary data for example from field visits or interviews. Secondary data are preferably sourced from publicly available statistics, peer-reviewed scientific literature and databases complemented with other public (industry) data such as company reports, emission registers etc.
Regardless the type of data collection, all datasets undergo a thorough review from both internal and independent external experts to ensure they fulfill ecoinvent quality and transparency requirements, before they are published in the database.