In order to allow open and transparent exchange of LCA data the Ecoinvent Centre has developed an open source data format - EcoSpold. This has become one of the standard data exchange formats for LCI data, and is used within many or most of the current LCA or eco-design software tools. EcoSpold was originally released in 2000 (version 1) and is currently at version 2 (ecospold-v2).

The structure of each EcoSpold file is shown below:

Meta information


  • Reference Function - defines the product or service output to which all emissions and requirements are referred
  • Time Period - defines the temporal validity of the dataset
  • Geography - defines the geographical validity of the dataset
  • Technology - describes the technology(ies) of the process
  • Data Set Information - defines the kind of product or process system, and the version number of the dataset

Modelling and validation

  • Representativeness - defines the representativeness of the data used
  • Sources - lists the literature and publications used
  • Validations - lists the reviewers and their comments

Administrative information

  • Data Entry By - documents the person in charge of implementing the dataset in the database
  • Data Generator and Publication - documents the originator and the published source of the dataset
  • Persons - lists complete address of all persons mentioned in a dataset

Flow data


  • Quantifies all flows from technical systems and nature to the process and from the process to nature and to other technical systems


  • Describes allocation procedures and quantifies allocation factors, required for multi-function processes

For further information on the EcoSpold format, please see the ecoinvent website

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Name: Ecospold
Full path: /documentation/Ecospold
Parent Category: Documentation