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thinkstep node on the Life Cycle Data Network

Node content overview:

1) Environmental Footprint (EF) secondary data sets version EF 2.0

2) Free-of-charge GaBi datasets (LCA starter package)

1): This node hosts the official, EF-compliant Environmental Footprint (EF) secondary data sets version EF 2.0 on energy, transport, metals & minerals, packaging, plastics non-packaging, electrical and electronics, end-of-life treatment (i.e. recycling, waste-to-energy, landfilling), as well as supplementary proxy datasets, all provided by thinkstep. These datasets are use restricted and for free-of-charge use exclusively for official PEF/OEF studies under any of the European Commission coordinated PEFCRs/OEFSRs of the EF pilot phase. For technical need-to-knows and use restrictions (updated in September 2019) please see more below. Access to the datasets (via the right top menu) requires registration (at the bottom left corner of this page). If you are a GaBi user and wish to use the EF 2.0 datasets, please contact thinkstep and we will provide you directly with a respective database that also includes the datasets from all other EF 2.0 data providers - you should not import the datasets from this node, to ensure GaBi databases integrity.

Need support with the Environmental Footprint? :https://pef.thinkstep.com/support

2): This node also hosts almost 2000 free-of-charge, yet high quality GaBi datasets on a range of energy carriers, transport processes, various materials and parts, as well as end-of-life treatments. If you are a GaBi user: These data sets are already included in the GaBi Professional database and are provided exclusively for non-GaBi Software users, must NOT be downloaded from this page and not be imported into GaBi, to ensure GaBi databases integrity; for details, please see more below.

For further information on thinkstep, GaBi Databases and the GaBi Software suite, please see at the end of this page.


Node content details: EF 2.0 datasets - please note that the datasets are use restricted:
before downloading the datasets, please make sure the intended usage is covered by this EULA (End User License Agreement);
the EULA has been updated in September 2019 in agreement with the European Commission:



The intention of the following paragraphs is to clarify a couple of issues where during the Environmental Footprint pilot phase , questions from practitioners arose that can be better addressed uniformly in a short text for all datasets of the node, rather than adding specific documentation to each dataset on the node.

Documentation of recycled content (R1 of the Circular Footprint Formula)

The recycled content of a product is documented in the field "further quantitative information". This documentation field is part of the "long name" of the dataset and an integral part of the dataset name, thereby avoiding unpractically long "short names" of the datasets according to the nomenclature rules of EF. Please make sure in the settings of the LCA modelling software you are using that the long names are visible. In GaBi, for example, this can be done by setting the "view" to "show object details". In the "further quantitative information" field, the recycled content is given as the "R1" value that is used within the Circular Footprint Formula. Please note that all those datasets that do not carry information about the R1 value in this documentation field, do not have a relevant content of recycled material. The Value for R1 value for these datasets is zero.

"Point of substitution" for generated recycled materials (R2 of the Circular Footprint Formula)

Please note that the Environmental Footprint guidance definition of the recycling value (R2) is not at the same point in the supply chain as the energy recovery value (R3) and the respective resulting value of landfill (1-R2-R3): Material recycling R2 is defined at the output side of the recycling process, whereas R3 and landfill (1-R2-R3) are defined at the input side of the incineration and the landfill, respectively. If losses are accounted for in collection, sorting and recycling, R2 at the output of the recycling process is not the same as R2* at the input. Therefore, when using the Circular Footprint Formula of the EF guidance, the amounts of wastes generated in collection, sorting and recycling are unintendedly modelled as being landfilled, as the value of landfill is calculated from R2 (and not R2*). In special cases, where these wastes are NOT landfilled, the practitioner needs to model the waste treatment of the wastes stemming from collection, sorting and recycling as they are in the special case and to calculate from the virtual R2 to the real R2* (using the amounts of input and outputs specified in the datasets of collection, sorting and recycling) in order to calculate the landfill as 1-R2*-R3.

Circular Footprint EoL Formula applied

During the time of the dataset generation, the EoL formula from the Annex V of the original EF guide of 2013 was to be used. In the datasets on this node, consistently the EoL formula from the Annex V of the original EF guide is hence used. Some additional datasets are however developed with the newest EoL formula, the CFF (Circular Footprint Formula). These datasets are marked as "closed loop" or "CFF" in the long name, documentation field "treatment, standards, routes". They are however to be used without additional adjustments.

Documentation of water and carbon content

The water content and biogenic carbon content of a product are documented in the fields "further quantitative information" or "technology description". Please note that all datasets that do not carry information about the water or biogenic carbon content in this documentation field do not have a relevant content. The content for these datasets is zero.

Gate-to-gate processes

Some of the "aggregated" datasets on this node are not cradle-to-gate (i.e. aggregated, LCI results) but, gate-to-gate datasets (i.e. technically "unit process, black box" or "partly terminated system" processes). This is done by design and according to the requirements set in the EF data project contracts and also the requirements of the Technical Secretariats that have developed the PEFCRs and OEFSRs that use these datasets. These gate-to-gate processes need to be complemented with other processes when modelling, to ensure complete results.

( These gate-to-gate datasets are not to be confused with versions of datasets that are partly aggregated for adaptability reasons, according to the Data Needs Matrix in chapter 7.19.4 of PEFCR/OEFSR guidance 6.3. These data sets - each one for any of the currently provided EF 2.0 datasets on this node - will be published, after the European Commission has approved all datasets from the various providers.)

The gate-to-gate processes are default datasets according to EF and can be used in a flexible way to model specific production. Typically, the gate-to-gate processes are material processing datasets, where different materials can be processed by the same production procedure, e.g. injection moulding, where different polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene can be processed on the same machine and with (almost) the same environmental profile of that processing step. The cradle-to-gate production inventories of these materials (or, in other cases, the end-of-life treatment of not included wastes) are not included in the gate-to-gate dataset. Gate-to-gate datasets do not carry specific complementing processes in their documentation since there are no fixed processes that need to be connected, but instead the modelling practitioner can connect to different datasets according to the technical requirements of the product model. Please watch out for open, unconnected input or output product or waste flows in the dataset inventories, when modelling, to make sure that no connection to a gate-to-gate process was forgotten.

The amount of e.g. energy and materials to be connected are clearly visible from the inventories of the datasets. The practitioner needs to make sure in his/her LCA modelling software that the matching processes are connected to the open inputs and outputs of valuable substances or wastes. Not connecting the processes will lead to incomplete or even in some cases to negative results.

In case of recycling, where waste/scrap material both enters and leaves the process, the following suggestions may be followed by the practitioner:

Loop back the scrap in cases where internal recycling is done in the same production site as the production process. Do not forget to model the burdens for the recycling/conditioning process, if any. In cases where the amounts of used and generated waste/scrap do not match, the amount that cannot be looped back shall be treated using the Circular Footprint Formula. Here not only the recycling burdens themselves but also additional transports shall be accounted for.

Use the Circular Footprint Formula to account for recycling that is not done in-house/on-site, i.e. where the waste/scrap leaves the production site. Here not only the recycling burdens themselves but also additional transports shall be accounted for.

Transportation processes

The lorry/truck transport datasets consider a transport distance of 1000km for 1kg which equals 1000kgkm which equals 1tkm, per default.

About the official PEF/OEF EF 2.0 data on this ILCDN node

thinkstep, supported by various industry associations for a number of datasets with data and information, provides a large number of its high quality GaBi core datasets, methodologically adjusted, for free use by companies that implement official Product and Organisation Environmental Footprint (PEF/OEF) studies under any of the finalised 18 PEFCRs or 2 OEFSRs that have been developed during the pilot phase 2013-2018 under the Single Market for Green Products initiative by the European Commission (see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/smgp/PEFCR_OEFSR_en.htm). This free use of these mandatory-to-use EF 2.0 datasets is granted for this specific purpose by the European Commission under contracts ENV.A.1/SER/2015/0049vl (Energy and transport), ENV.A.1/SER/2016/0037vl (Metals and minerals), ENV.B.1/SER/2016/0048vl (Packaging), ENV.B.1/SER/2016/0051vl (Incineration), ENV.B.1/SER/2016/0054vl (Plastics (non-packaging)), ENV.B.1/SER/2016/0056vl (End-of-Life (excluding incineration) and Recycling), ENV.B.1/SER/2016/0053vl (Electrical and electronics). Jointly they make up more than half of the official EF 2.0 datasets.

The LCI datasets of the "EF2_0_official_data" data stock can be used by any person or entity for implementing official Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) studies and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) studies exclusively under the aforementioned 20 PEFCRs/OEFSRs and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the revised End User License Agreement (EULA) provided with each dataset and here: http://www.gabi-software.com/fileadmin/gabi/EULA_European_Commission_-_use_of_thinkstep_LCI_data.pdf (updated September 2019). The datasets can be reproduced and adapted for all media and using any channels and methods. The granting of rights is valid for the entire world and till 31st December 2021 (formerly only until end of 2020), free of any charge.

The datasets quantify the environmental pressures, such as specific emissions and consumption of resources, of the production chains of a wide range of energy carriers, materials, parts/assemblies, product systems, as well as transport systems. The datasets are EF-compliant regarding LCI method, with ILCD Nomenclature & EF 2.0 Flow list, and ILCD Format & Documentation. This has been verified for all datasets by a dedicated Independent External Panel Review that has also determined the final Data Quality Ratings (DQR) of each dataset, based on the official EF DQR scheme.

To access and download the datasets, please register as user on this page, via the link on the bottom of this page to the left. We recommend to also subscribe to the free information mailing list with the registration. This mailing list will inform you about any repair or replacement of datasets or other relevant information in PEF/OEF context. After you have received the confirmation of your registration and a login and password, you can select and access the relevant data stock "EF2_0_official_data" in the menu on the top right side of this page. For any other use of the datasets or for PEF/OEF studies on other product groups or sectors, please contact us under pef-oef-requests@sphera.com for a quotation on license fees.

If you are a GaBi Software user, and foresee to use the datasets in GaBi, please contact pef-oef-requests@sphera.com to receive them already inside GaBi, what has several advantages over importing them yourself. Next to database integrity, thinkstep will provide you with a complete database of all official EF 2.0 secondary data sets, also from the other data providers. In order to browse through them here online, you are welcome to nevertheless follow the above registration steps.


For questions relating to the published PEF data, please contact us at pef-oef-requests@sphera.com

About the "free GaBi LCI datasets" on this LCDN node

Furthermore and since 2015, thinkstep provides around 2000 of its high quality core datasets for free public use under a Creative Commons license via this node of the LCDN. The datasets quantify the environmental pressures, such as emissions and consumption of resources, of different types of energy carriers and energy generation, transport systems, a range of materials and parts, and various end-of-life processes. The datasets are modeled with the GaBi modeling principles and in line with ISO 14040 and 14044. The energy data are representing many countries and regions worldwide. The parameterized "unit processes" datasets of the most widely used transportation means on road, water and air allow the modelling of most transport processes. This is complemented by datasets for key materials and parts production (cradle-togate) and for recycling, energy-recovery and waste disposal for a wide range of waste materials. Many of the datasets have been developed in cooperation with businesses and industry associations and benefit from an ISO-compliant and documented quality-assurance process audited by DEKRA. To access this data, please select the data stock "Free_Gabi_data" on the top right side of this page.

If you are a GaBi user: These free datasets are already included in the GaBi Professional database and are provided exclusively for non-GaBi Software users. They are not technically compatible with the latest service pack and the GaBi-internal flow lists, and should hence NOT be downloaded by you from this page and not be imported into GaBi.

About GaBi Databases

GaBi Databases ( http://www.gabi-software.com/international/databases/gabi-databases/ ) are the globally largest internally consistent and annually updated LCA database system on the market today and contain currently over 13,000 ready-to-use high quality Life Cycle Inventory profiles, built from several times as many underlying unit process datasets. GaBi Databases are a subset of thinkstep's master data repository, the Global Industrial Process and Impact Database. Various other databases have been created as variants of this master repository: these include prominently some 500+ data sets of the European Commission's ELCD database ((http://eplca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ELCD3/)3000+ datasets contributing more than half of the official PEF/OEF EF 2.0 database, and the ca. 2000 "free GaBi LCI data sets" (both accessible via THIS data node of the Life Cycle Data Network (LCDN) of the European Commission). Furthermore, the German Network on Life Cycle Inventory Data on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the important Oekobaudat created on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, as well as substantial contributions to various National LCI database projects, foremost of France (ADEME), Brazil (INMETRO and IBICT), Malaysia (SIRIM).

Over 40 international industry associations have selected GaBi LCI data to represent the background data in their own LCI creation processes. Furthermore, multiple PLM and CAD systems integrate thinkstep's GaBi data for use in the early design stage. thinkstep also offers a unique data-on-demand service for customized datasets and for the around 2000 datasets, which are not part of the publicly available datasets. For more information visit http://www.gabi-software.com/international/databases/gabi-databases/

About GaBi Software

The worldwide leading, professional life cycle assessment (LCA) software suite GaBi is used throughout industries worldwide to help analysing and improving product sustainability performance. It comprises different solutions: GaBi ts, GaBi Dfx, GaBi syndication server, GaBi Envision - for more information please visit http://www.gabi-software.com/international/databases/gabi-software/

About thinkstep

thinkstep AG - a Sphera company (formerly known as PE INTERNATIONAL AG) enables organisations worldwide to succeed sustainably. thinkstep's industry-leading software, data and services help businesses drive operational excellence, product innovation, brand value and regulatory compliance. With a global presence in 19 countries thinkstep serves more than 2,000 companies, including 40 percent of the Fortune 500, such as BASF, Hewlett-Packard, Interface, Siemens, Unilever and Volkswagen. For more information visit https://www.thinkstep.com/