ecoinvent Key Materials Indicators

What is it? Key materials indicators and background information from ecoinvent, enabling the environmental impacts of materials, chemicals, and processes to be assessed and compared in Granta software
What is in it? Four environmental impact indicators (addressing embodied energy, carbon footprint, water usage, and resource consumption) together with background information for each material or process, as provided by the ecoinvent v2.2 database from the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories.
What is it used for? Reference for measuring and comparing eco data and for material and process selection based on environmental impacts.
Where does it come from? Data is supplied by world's leading life cycle inventory database provider, Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories. High-quality generic datasets are based on industrial data and have been compiled by internationally renowned research institutes and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) consultants.
How can I access it? Within GRANTA MI or CES Selector as a stand-alone data module, giving access to these key environmental indicators alongside Granta's other environmental and restricted substance data.


The ecoinvent environmental impact indicators, supplied by the Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, are renowned as the world's leading quality-assured life cycle inventory (LCI) datasets. LCIs quantify the inputs and outputs of the product system (e.g., the production of a material), including: energy inputs, material inputs, and emissions to air, water, and soil. Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) converts these LCIs into potential environmental impact categories.

Viewing the data module within the GRANTA MI system. The user is browsing the available coatings
Viewing the data module within GRANTA MI, here showing a packaging glass record.
The inset shows how a user can browse through the categories and records

Key indicators for a range of materials, chemicals, and processes are now available through GRANTA MI and CES Selector, together with the ecoinvent background information.

Cumulative energy demand: material production embodied energy
Investigates the energy used throughout the life cycle of a good or a service. This includes the direct uses as well as the indirect or grey consumption of energy due to the use of, e.g., construction materials or raw materials.

Global warming potential: 100yrs IPCC 2007 (CO2-eq.)
Contribution to atmospheric absorption of infrared radiation leading to increase in global temperature. The impact methodology has been developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is based on a 100 year scenario and reported as Carbon Dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq.).

Abiotic depletion potential: CML 2001 (antimony-eq.)
Extraction of non-renewable raw materials such as ores. The impact methodology has been developed by the Centre for Environmental Science of Leiden University (CML) and is reported as antimony equivalents (antimony-eq.)

Water (resource consumption): selected life cycle inventory results
This summation of water usage includes all water extractions (rivers, lakes, ocean, sole, from wells) except for the water used for cooling and used in turbines in hydroelectric power production.

Making this leading environmental data available in GRANTA MI means that it is quick and easy to browse, search, and apply. Environmental managers/consultants or materials engineers, who want to look up the environmental impacts and profiles of materials or processes, can rapidly find the the information they need in GRANTA MI's web browser user interface. CES Selector's graphical selection tools (pictured) support the selection of chemicals, materials (including packaging and construction materials), or processes with a lower environmental impact.

Viewing the data module within the GRANTA MI system. The user is browsing the available coatings

Viewing the data graphically within the CES Selector.
Here, abiotic depletion potential is being compared to cumulative energy demand for a number of key materials.


Clift, R. (1995) Clean Technology and Industrial Ecology. In: Pollution: Causes, Effects and Control, 4th Edition. Ed: Harrison, R.M. Royal Society of Chemistry.

ecoinvent v2.2 supporting documentation (free registration required),