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GaBi LCA Databases - Upgrade 2021 Edition (February 2021)

In the scope of the GaBi Databases 2021 Edition upgrade, this year we are also providing you with a wide range of additions and improvements. Please find the details below:

We have fully refreshed all GaBi datasets included in the GaBi Databases 2021 Edition with the most current, consistent energy data and the latest available technological information, giving you the peace of mind that you can continue to work with the best LCI data available on the market. We have also enriched the content with well over 300 new datasets—a free, voluntary bonus for all clients with an annual maintenance contract or subscription license. Also, a new LCIA Method (WAVE+) has been added and two established LCIA Methodologies (CML and UseTox) have been updated to the latest versions.

The total number of plans and processes amounts to about above 13,000, making the GaBi Databases by far the largest, most consistent high quality LCA database, worldwide. Additionally, more than 2,000 datasets are available as data-on-demand-only content, making it a total of more than 15,000 readily available process and model (plan) datasets.

Since the 2017 Edition, we have stepwise included regionalized water and land use data throughout the GaBi Databases, which you can use with your own regional water consumption information. We have further advanced the compliance and standardization for ISO 14040 /14044 / 14025, EN 15804, ILCD, EF (PEF/OEF), and the internal dataset documentation is more detailed than in previous versions. For example, we have added details in the national/regional electricity datasets using Sankey diagrams.

Please read on for more information:

1. Fully refreshed database content

We have fully refreshed all datasets in the 2021 Edition to represent the latest energy and technology information, legislation and supply chains. With GaBi Data, you can rest assured that you are using the most up-to-date data available.

This includes, among other things:

  1. Global energy mix and production data updates
  2. Update of the treatment plant models/parameters
  3. Updated global supply chains / mixes
  4. Further expanded regionalization of land use and water consumption elementary flows
  5. Energy update: All energy-related datasets, such as electricity, thermal energy, fuels and the like, have been upgraded in line with the latest available, consistent international energy trade and technology data. Please see Chapters 3.7 and 3.8 in the "Upgrades and improvements" document for more information on energy and the reminder of that document for all other changes, additions and corrections.

We have further extended and improved documentation at the LCI level for many datasets, giving you efficient and structured access to all details about what each data set represents, how it was modelled, data sources, achieved data quality (with a set of data quality indicators), review information and compliance (e.g., with ISO 14040 and 14044 for all our own datasets and ILCD data network entry-level for a large share).

Did you know that you can also browse the entire documentation of all readily available datasets online?

You can find all changes we made in the important "Upgrades and improvements" document. It provides you with information on relevantly affected datasets or groups of datasets, the extent of changes in terms of changed impact results (for most cases) and reasons for the changes. Glance through the report to check for any changes that might affect your models to stay on top of your results and analyses.

2. We have added well more than 300 new LCI datasets, including:

Professional database:

111 new processes - DE: Carbon black, US: Aluminium can sheet rolling and US: can manufacturing, US, hardwood veneer, EU-28: diverse wastewater treatment plants, RNA: diverse steel, modules C4 for End of life of building equipment, …

Extension databases:

II “Energy”: 35 new processes - Natural gas mix for several countries, DE: Electricity grid mix (2019), EU-28: Green electricity grid mix (average power plants) (production mix), DE: Green electricity grid mix (production mix) (2019), …

V: “Non-ferrous metals”: 1 new process - GLO: Manganese

VII “Plastics”: 1 new process - DE: Chloroprene rubber (Neoprene)

IXa “End of life”: 11 new processes - Diverse cut-off municipal wastewater treatment plant datasets for EU-28 and DE

IXb “End of life parametrised models”: 28 new processes/plan models - Diverse wastewater treatment plant models for Germany

XIV “Construction materials”: 84 new processes - Four different EPDs, cements with economically allocated binders and burden free binders, many modules C4 for End of life of building equipment

XVII “Full US”: 31 new processes - Association datasets for steel from AISI, municipal wastewater treatment plants (cut-off), EPD for spray polyurethane foam insulation, Carbon black, …

XX “Food and feed”: 2 new processes - BR: Sugar (from sugar cane) (45% burning, energy surplus allocated), US: Sugar (from BR sugar cane) (45% burning, energy surplus looped back to production)

XXI “India”: 45 new processes - Various materials, such as paints, ferro manganese, steel, viscose fibre, titanium dioxide and rail transport


3. LCIA Methodologies

Added WAVE+ water scarcity assessment method. The WAVE+ (Water Accounting and Vulnerability Evaluation) model is used for assessing local impacts of water consumption and focusses on blue water consumption only.

For the CML 2001 Method a new version “August 2016” has now been made available. For USEtox, the latest version 2.12 has been added. Former versions of the methods are still available.

Recommendation on less robust impact categories/methods: We recommend caution when drawing conclusions based on the impact results. This applies in principle to all impact categories - with impact methods of different quality, completeness and application experience being available – this more often applies to the resource depletion (minerals and metals) as well as the toxicity assessment methods (i.e. various human toxicity and eco-toxicity methods) , and - to a certain extent - water use/scarcity and land use. Individual methods might not be robust and proficient enough, and/or are overly strongly dependent on method choices (and/or are lacking application experience with widely used LCI databases) for making important decisions based on the results calculated with those impact assessment methods. Please refer to the respective method documentation by the method developer to understand the robustness and possible limitation of the individual method.

Technical note on conformity of some elementary flows (unchanged from February 2020): Following the revised EN 15804+A2:2019 (same as under the Environmental Footprint 2.0 and 3.0 rules), non-ILCD/EF compliant flows should never be characterized, even if there is a technical equivalence in an LCA context. This affects particularly ore resource flows of specific metal content (e.g., "Lead - zinc ore (4.6% - 0.6%”), "Iron ore”, …) and all minerals that are not included in the ILCD/EF flow list. Some datasets from industry associations and older EPD datasets—that Sphera is republishing unchanged—still make use of these flows. Therefore, those datasets may calculate relevantly lower impacts in "Resource depletion, minerals and metals” than they would if those flows were replaced by ILCD/EF compliant flows (e.g., in the above case "Zinc [Non-renewable elements]”, "Lead [Non-renewable elements]”, "Iron [Non-renewable elements]”). We therefore recommend caution when using such datasets in models intended to apply the impact methods/quantities of EN 15804+A2:2019, EF 2.0 and EF 3.0.

In addition, please note that for all LCIA methodologies in GaBi, we provide the characterization factors exclusively for elementary flows that are actively used anywhere in the GaBi databases (and in any other data licensed to GaBi clients, such as e.g. the ecoinvent database). This is to avoid flooding users with unused elementary flows that would counteract efficient inventory work. If you ever require an elementary flow, that is not available in GaBi, please be aware that when creating that flow, you will potentially need to add the characterization factor of the LCIA Methodology that you foresee using.


4. Standards/compliance support and updates (Examples)

  • All GaBi datasets conform to ISO 14040 and 14044, similar is claimed by the developers of all other datasets from third parties that we distribute.
  • The water flows and land use flows of all GaBi relevant processes are regionalized, allowing you to apply the new EF-compliant AWaRe method and the WAVE+ method for water scarcity and the EF-compliant land use method LANCA, e.g., in the context of studies on the Environmental Footprint (PEF / OEF).
  • All existing datasets in the “Construction” extension database continue to be available in the modular structure of EN 15804, ensuring you can model and develop EPDs in compliance with this essential European construction standard, which is also the basis for most private EPD schemes, such as IBU or the International EPD Scheme. GaBi databases is the only major LCI database in full support of EN 15804+A2, including modularity of LCI datasets, completeness of elementary flow and impact coverage, full documentation by the user in GaBi software and export/import from/to the mandatory ILCD data format and EF 3.0 flow list, plus having the EN 15804+A2 LCIA methods implemented. Moreover, with the February 2021 release, the end of life datasets for building equipment have been harmonized. They are now correctly split in C3 and C4. C3 has the impact of the incineration, while C4 gives the impact of the landfill. The user is advised to check his/her model. New datasets for the module C4 are now available. Depending on end of life treatment of the components, impact can decrease or increase. E.g. if incineration was used, C3 will increase, while C4 will decrease. If no incineration is used (only landfill), C3 will have no impact.

Note that construction materials in the ''Full US'' extension database do not implement the European EN 15804, to better support their use in the US.

  • GaBi Databases and Software support EF (PEF/OEF)-compliant studies and modern data exchange, with full ILCD documentation functionality for your own data sets, with full import and export functionalities from / to ILCD, including mapping of flows, flow properties and units according to the current reference list of ILCD / EF from November 2018 (EF 2.0)LUC (land use change) update in February 2021: Emissions from direct land use change are calculated with the  approach “weighted average” (as required for compliance with the ENVIFOOD protocol; and can be applied for compliance with WRI GHG Protocol) based on the approach from PAS 2050-1:2012 and WRI GHG protocol.

Environmental Footprint – Important Note! (unchanged compared to February 2020 release)

Working with EF Data provided in GaBi

With the release of the GaBi Database 2019 Edition, we provided you with the official EF 2.0 characterization factors and the mapping to the official units and official elementary flows from the ILCD export/import function.

The EF 2.0 version is the only version that can be used to generate PEF/OEF results under pilot phase PEFCRs/OEFSRs and to create EF data as an ILCD export file.

Do not use previous versions of EF characterization factors and ILCD zip archives anymore!

Earlier versions of EF/ILCD LCIA methods and flow lists have no official status and datasets developed with those earlier versions may not be EF compliant.

In case you have been using a previous version of the EF characterization factors, please update any created datasets with re-export. Similarly, recalculate the results using the EF 2.0 in GaBi, double checking the datasets created by users against recent official EF documents, before claiming compliance.

If you need assistance, please contact: gabi-data spamgeschützt @ spamgeschützt sphera.com

EF 3.0 is available online on the EC website since April 2019. You can only use this version for developing PEFCRs/OEFSRs during the transition phase and for any other PEF/OEF studies where a PEFCR/OEFSR is not available. The EF 3.0 LCIA methodologies are now available in GaBi, since the 25 June 2019 midyear update (Service Pack 39). For data exchange, considering that there are no use cases yet for import or export of EF 3.0 data sets, such interfaces will be made available in GaBi, later.

Benefits of GaBi Databases 2021 Edition

Work with the world's most comprehensive, current and most extensively documented high quality product sustainability data, annually upgraded, with in-depths quality assurance.

Base your decisions on the latest and most relevant LCIA methods on the market.

With over 13,000 plans and processes in the regular databases plus more than 2,000 data-on-demand datasets it is easy to find the right data for your specific requirements. You also have the assurance that this is the most accurate and up-to-date information of its kind, reflecting industrial realities and not derived from energetic assumptions, simplified stoichiometric models or academic studies, as is often the case.

Environmental footprint (PEF / OEF) support — stay up-to-date with your projects by getting the latest information and changes on this European market and policy-driven development, access the complete GaBi-based and third-party provided EF 2.0 LCI data in GaBi for free and for fee-based use cases (please see here and contact us for more information).

Build EPDs and Life Cycle Assessments for entire buildings quickly and easily, compliant with EN 15804+A1 and EN 15804+A2. This saves your valuable time and helps you maintain your competitive advantage.

What do I need to do to get my upgrade on GaBi Databases 2021 Edition?

Nothing - we’ll deliver it straight to you!

On the date of release all clients with an active maintenance contract or subscription license receive an automatic upgrade of their GaBi Software and Databases.

Note: After that date, if you don’t receive the message that a new version is available, or when you check your GaBi software under “Help/Check for updates on thinkstep,” please contact your local GaBi sales representative. Your license may have expired.

Find out more GaBi Databases 2021 Edition

List of datasets

GaBi Database upgrade guide

Details and Reasons for Changes


If you have any urgent questions regarding your GaBi upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact your local GaBi sales representative.

 

 

 


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