Call for proposals: Development of National LCA Database Roadmaps, including further development of the Technical Helpdesk for National LCA Databases

Desired final outcomeThe desired final outcome is to develop 3 national LCA database roadmaps in different countries and to further develop the Technical Helpdesk for National LCA Databases for this purpose.
Who can applyAcademia (Research Institutes and Universities), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Not-for-Profit Organisations (NPOs)
Project budgetThe maximum available budget for this project is $ 90,000. The amount will be adjusted based on the project proposal. In-kind contributions from the applicant are expected.
Project durationThe project implementation period is from 1 September 2018 until 31 July 2019.
How to apply

Please send your project proposal using the template attached, addressed to Kristina Bowers, Programme Officer, UN Environment
Submission deadline14 August 2018

This project is implemented with the financial support of the European Commission


While governments are increasingly pressured to achieve more Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns, the interlinkages between different pathways and between impact dimensions are highly complex and as such difficult to be taken into account in decision-making processes. In order for governments to be able to make the best decision in terms of environmental, social and economic impacts, the right tools and data allowing for a consideration of all life cycle aspects need to be available. The availably of and access to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data is thus a cornerstone of Sustainable Production and Consumption.

Application template

The information in this webpage as well as the application template are available for download.

However, in many countries the availability of data is limited or non-existing and the assessment of impacts from policies and product choices are difficult to estimate by governments, businesses and individuals. It is therefore crucial that LCA data is developed such that decision-making by private and public entities can be based on Life Cycle Thinking in order to minimize environmental, social and economic impacts from such decisions.

The project Resource Efficiency through Application of Life cycle thinking (REAL) is part of the UN Environment hosted Life Cycle Initiative and funded by the European Commission. The overall goal of the REAL project is to integrate resource efficiency in global value chains by using life cycle data on environmental impacts. The REAL project aims to develop global capacities for Life Cycle Thinking while demonstrating value from the approach.

One of the components of the project is aimed at supporting the development of life cycle databases, enhancing access to databases as well as furthering their interoperability.


In order to support decision-making based on Life Cycle Thinking by public and private entities, the enabling conditions for the availability of LCA data will be enhanced through roadmapping exercises.

The objective of this project is to develop 3 national LCA database roadmaps in different countries. In addition, the objective is to further develop the Technical Helpdesk for National LCA Databases for this purpose. Further information on the Technical Helpdesk is available in Annex 1.

Expected activities

1. Developing three national LCA database roadmaps through:

a. Identification of candidate countries. Key target countries where LCA databases can advance significantly in the next years are:

  • Countries at early stage of database development, possibly requiring an initial roadmap: Ecuador, Indonesia, Argentina, China, Morocco, Vietnam, Lebanon, Tunisia.
  • Countries at a more advanced stage with already existing roadmaps and/or initial databases and where activities would focus on implementing actual database development and, if possible, establishing connection with GLAD : Malaysia, Thailand, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey.

The 3 selected countries will be from different regions of the world.

b. Identification of relevant national stakeholders and facilitating the national consensus through a stakeholders engagement process.

c. Database roadmap development and/or concrete database development, depending on the country’s stage, in 3 countries through stakeholder engagement, training workshops and other required activities. The ultimate results of this exercise will be 3 roadmap and/or implementation reports, including budget needs and funding options, timeline, governance, concrete steps and responsibilities for database development in each country. The database roadmapping and/or development will take into account that the databases should eventually be connected to GLAD. In this regard, aspects of dataset interoperability through metadata descriptors and nomenclature will be included in the roadmapping exercises.

2. Further developing the Technical Helpdesk for National LCA Databases for the purpose of LCA database roadmapping exercises as well as for providing support on database development and management to national stakeholders. For this purpose, a plan will be developed and implemented to effectively increase user and expert interaction on the helpdesk, e.g. by recruiting experts through the UN Volunteer system.

Qualification of the project proposal

Project proposals are sought which meet the following criteria:

  • Proposals with clear objectives and a feasible implementation plan within the budget and time available.
  • Proposals with a strong methodological and technical focus.
  • Proposals with a practical plan to engage stakeholders and develop the roadmaps.
  • Proposals that are format-neutral, i.e. that allow for roadmapping and development of all database formats, provided these formats allow for interoperability within GLAD. In general, decisions on specific data exchange formats should be left to the selected countries (provided that data formats are in line with GLAD interoperability requirements).
  • Proposals that demonstrate a sound understanding of the benefits and possibilities of applying life cycle approaches in governmental and business decision-making.
  • Proposals that have organizational co-financing and additional support.
  • Track record of the applicant, specifically including experience in national LCA database roadmapping

Who can apply?

Applications are sought from Academia (Research Institutes, Universities), Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Not-for-Profit Organisations (NPOs). The applying institution shall have a good track record of:

  • Possessing a sound understanding of topics related to Life Cycle Thinking and Approaches.
  • Proven expertise and experience in the development of national LCA database roadmaps and supporting LCA database development.
  • Technical and human resources capacity to carry out the project.
  • Fluency in written English.
  • A consortium of partner organizations are acceptable. In that case, a main applying organization should be identified. The main applying organization will be contracting partner of UN Environment and should therefore fulfil the criteria of being a Not for Profit organization.
  • UN Environment may decide to select more than one implementing partner (or consortium) in which case the total available budget will be split up among those.

How to apply?

Applicants should submit an application, using the attached template, to the project coordinators listed in the application template. Please also email us for any inquiries.

Application template:

Call for proposal on “Development of National LCA Database Roadmaps, including further development of the Technical Helpdesk for National LCA Databases