Roadmap for national LCA database development: guidance and recommendations from around the world

New publication to support countries in the development of LCA databases; providing them with guidance and recommendations from all around the world. Final version now available for download, in both English and Spanish.

The goal of this publication is to support countries in developing and implementing roadmaps and action plans to establishing national LCA databases. Such roadmaps are a practical tool to raise and align the support and multi-stakeholder efforts required to generate, structure, and disseminate LCA data while pursuing interoperability with other data sources.

LCA sets the foundation for measuring resource efficiency, environmental impacts and ultimately circularity in our products and economies. But even though it is widely recognized that adopting a life cycle approach is key, the access to locally relevant LCA datasets (the building blocks of LCA studies), and the lack of capacity to generate them, are often a constraint in developing countries and emerging economies. The demand for environmental information on products is increasing, and thus the ability to generate, provide access to and apply such knowledge becomes a matter of competitiveness for exporting economies.

Overall, the development of a national LCA database can help increase the availability of regionalized data, build local capacity in LCA, and increase the practical application of LCA in the country. The main elements of the roadmap for national LCA Databases are the following:

1. Define vision and goals:
2. Agree on the governance and management structure
3. Securing a source of funding
4. Define the human resources needed
5. Database hosting considerations
6. The intended uses and scope of the database
7. The data quality requirements and review procedure
8. The roadmap should consider which data exchange formats

The intended audience of this document are individuals and entities aspiring to drive national LCA database development in their respective countries or regions. It is assumed that readers and users of this document possess a good knowledge of LCA methodology and are generally familiar with the LCA database concept.

Download the report in English and Spanish