ELCD, the European life cycle database

The European reference Life Cycle Database (ELCD) is a database established by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and integrated in the SimaPro LCA Software.

The European reference Life Cycle Database

The JRC started the European Platform on Life Cycle Assessment (EPLCA) with the aim to increase the availability of quality-assured life-cycle data, methods and assessments.

The EPLCA develops both the ELCD database and the International reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook, a series of technical guidance documents that provide guidelines for good practice in LCA  in business and government.

The JRC has started the process of reviewing the quality of the ELCD database entries against the ILCD Handbook’s Entry-Level requirements, to ensure consistency and reliability of the data. Several fully reviewed datasets have been made available in version 3, and the process of reviewing is ongoing.

Working with the database

The ELCD is suitable for cradle-to-grave LCA studies. The database also supports Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) standards, making it relevant for users who want to conduct PEF/OEF-compliant studies.

Why ELCD?

  • All datasets are carefully selected, of high quality and in line with ISO 14040 and 14044.
  • The ELCD database emphasizes consistency and quality. The requirements for data follow the guidelines from the ILCD handbook.
  • The datasets are implemented in SimaPro and can be used free of charge by SimaPro users.

Database content

The ELCD v3 database contains 440 datasets with data from industries such as the chemical and metal industry. It also includes data on energy production, transport and end-of-life processes. The datasets are provided and approved by their respective industry associations.

About the developers

The database was developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. Data is provided by PE International and industry associations such as World Steel and Plastics Europe.

 

"At Steelcase, we have been using SimaPro since we started to perform LCAs, about ten years ago. We use SimaPro both to support our eco-design strategy and to create our Environmental Products Declarations (EPDs). Especially both its robustness, its flexibility and the support provided by the developer, PRé Sustainability, are the reasons why SimaPro is the best option for us. We have never been disappointed."

Sébastien Zinck - Manager, Eco-design and Life-Cycle Assessment at Steelcase

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