Data Submission

The ecoinvent database includes data that originate from different sources. Including companies, industrial associations, and research institutes.

  • Benefits
  • Step by step
  • Requirements

Benefits of submitting data

Broad Acceptance

Your data will become part of the most used transparent Life Cycle Inventory databases worldwide.

Free Review

ecoinvent provides the review process for free as well as coordinating and assisting data collection efforts. Through the independent review procedure carried out by the ecoinvent editorial board, we ensure that all data meets our high-quality standards and in turn your data gains credibility.

Environmental Commitment

Providing data to an organization such as ecoinvent demonstrates the environmental commitment of a company and it makes future inquiries about the sustainability standards of a company much simpler.

Trustworthy LCIA Results

ecoinvent is a transparent and not-for-profit database making it a trustworthy source of LCI and LCIA results. By following the ecoinvent Data Quality Guidelines, companies gain easy access to Life Cycle Assessments of their products and supply chains.

Academic Recognition

If you provide data to the ecoinvent database your name and contact information will be displayed in the dataset you submitted to the database. You are giving us the right to publish your data in the database. You are still remaining the owner of your data and can publish it anywhere else (e.g., in scientific journal, public LCA study, PhD thesis, etc.).

Data submission process: step by step

1 - Contact Us

To submit data for the ecoinvent database, first contact our technical team, stating your name, organization, and information about the type of datasets for submission.

An exchange with one of our technical team members regarding detailed information about the datasets will follow. Once this discussion occurs, the ecoinvent team member initiates a conversation between the data provider and the appropriate editor to define the appropriate place of the new datasets in the ecoinvent database.

2 - Create Submission File

Data providers must then gather the necessary data, including process inputs, outputs, and emissions. ecoinvent datasets should be consistent, transparent, and available on a unit process level.

As an author of a dataset, data providers can then download the free ecoEditor Software from the ecoinvent website to create the submission file.

The data collection process needs to be documented. The dataset documentation is required to include all literature sources.

During this process, you are supported by the online documentation (which is available on our Knowledge Base): a Dataset Documentation Manual, the Data Quality Guidelines , and ecoinvent editors.

The ecoEditor can be directly used to submit the dataset to the ecoinvent database. Copyright remains with the author; data are only submitted with the non-exclusive right to use.

3 - Free Editorial Process

The dataset is first reviewed by an independent expert in the corresponding field to ensure the quality and check for errors or inconsistencies within the dataset.

Subsequently, at least two cross-cutting editors will review the dataset for consistency with the rest of the database. For example, there are editors for specific data fields, emission types, and countries and regions.

Comments and requests for corrections are directly loaded in the author’s ecoEditor, where they can be viewed and answered case by case.

Once all editors are satisfied, the dataset is accepted for publication.

4 - Post-Acceptance

The dataset will be included in the next release of the ecoinvent database, where it will be used by thousands of sustainability experts.

You will be visible as the author in the dataset and can remain an “active author,” meaning that interested users may contact you with questions or suggestions.

Detailed information about our data submission process can be found on our Knowledge Base.

Learn more

Dataset Requirements

The main objective of the ecoinvent database is to be a reliable and transparent source of background Life Cycle Inventory data.


To fulfill these requirements, all submissions should include a description of a unit process, usually understood to be an independent process or activity that transforms a given input into an output of products or services. Unit processes are, for example, the growing of crops from seeds, transporting a good from one place to another, synthesizing a chemical from different inputs, constructing a building, or treating wastewater.


As the ecoinvent database is primarily used as a background database, submissions should usually aim to be average technology descriptions of activities for a given area – e.g., copper production in a certain country – instead of representing only a single production site. Note that single-site conditions may sometimes be used to approximate the average situation if that is judged to be acceptable.

Transfer of Rights

Submitters will be asked to grant ecoinvent the non-exclusive right to use the dataset during the submission process. All copyrights to the submitted data remain with the authors of the dataset.


The exact text of this agreement follows:


“I confirm to hold the copyright to the uploaded data and to be entitled to dispose of these copyrights. I hereby transfer the non-exclusive right of use of the uploaded data to the ecoinvent for publication in the ecoinvent database, including but not limited to the right to publish, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, modify, change, complete, and otherwise use the contributed dataset in electronic and print form and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages, and to license or permit others to do so. This transfer of non-exclusive right of use cannot be withdrawn without a full payment of compensation to the ecoinvent to cover damages or a replacement of the withdrawn data. I maintain the right to use the transferred data for my own scientific work as well as to use it with third parties on a non-exclusive basis, including for commercial purposes.”