There are three different ‘background’ datasets (‘scope 2 and 3’):
- The scope 3 Idemat dataset, with some scope 2 data for heat and electricity, is based on a set of carefully selected LCIs from peer reviewed literature and scientific databases of universities. The latest version is
(the version Idemat 2022RevA.xlsx is still available).
The Idemat datasets contain Simapro output on eco-costs, carbon footprint, ReCiPe points, CED and EF.
- The special scope 2 dataset for electricity is Idemat 2021 Global Electricity . It includes worldwide electricity data of 218 countries plus the 26 electricity regions in the US, 44 provinces in India, 13 provinces of Canada and 31 provinces in China
Note 1: the emission data of the EU, USA, and Canada are more recent and accurate than the LCIs of Ecoinvent and Gabi, see for an explanation Electricity in LCA
Note 2: the original calculation of the Idemat 2021 Global Electricity applies data from 2019. For 2020 and 2021 data were not stable because of covid-19. For 2022 data are not stable because of the war in the Ukraine. We will wait for 2023 data to make new calculations.
- the Scope 2 and 3 Ecoinvent dataset with eco-costs (EI V3-8 with eco-costs.xlsx) is available behind password
Note. Because of license restrictions, the Ecoinvent data sets are only available for students of the Delft University of Technology, with a net id, https://software.tudelft.nl/413/
Both datasets have more or less the same structure of LCI lines, so it is easy for students to check the differences. However, both datasets have differences in special areas:
Ecoinvent has more data on chemicals and chemical processes, Idemat is stronger in the field of product design and engineering. Both datasets are strong in types of electricity in different countries.
Specific features of Idemat are:
- extra LCIs of alloys (frequently used by designers and engineers)
- a correction of the “market mix” data of metals
- extra LCIs of wood types (softwood types as well as hardwood types)
- LCIs for electricity that are more up-to-date than Ecoinvent
- newer data on sea and road transport
- extra LCIs of End of Life (combustion, waste incineration, recycling)
- the Agrifoodprint data on food
Simapro users can download an Import file of Idemat free of charge.
Open LCA commercial users pay a low fee for Idemat (but the software is free). For Academic users, Idemat in Open LCA is free.
The Idemat excel file is CCBY open access . It is the basis for the Idemat App for Materials Selection on IOS and Android, as well as the IdematLightLCA App.
Previous versions (to check old reports, theses, and papers) are available on request.
- Excel files with eco-costs
- Download of databases
- Idemat calculation rules
- Ashby Charts (eco-costs / quality charts)
- Tools for quick excel calculations
- Idemat & IdematLightLCA app
- App background info
Eco-costs midpoint tables on ‘foreground’ processes (‘scope 1’)
For calculations on “foreground processes” the eco-costs 2023 V1.0 data on emissions (over 58.000 substances) and resource depletion can be found in the table below (open access at the internet).
Ecocosts2023_V1-0_midpoint_tables.xlsx excel file (0.8 MB)
Previous versions are available on request
For calculations on social-eco-costs the eco-costs 2012 V3.3 data (which are applied in Simapro) can be found in:
s-eco-costs 2012 V3.3 data in Simapro.xlsx excel file (0,8 MB) (for s-eco-costs of other countries see OSH data)
SSIM has no liability in respect of use
Sustainability data are subject to assumptions and uncertainties. It is the intention of SSIM to maintain the quality of the data, and keep the data as up-to-date as possible. The data are CCBY.
Liability claims against the SSIM and/or Joost Vogtländer relating to material or immaterial damage caused by the use of the eco-costs system and the Idemat data, or caused by incorrect use or incomplete data, are excluded.
The use of information of this Site is at the User’s sole risk. SSIM is not liable for use of the content, or the content of any linked site. SSIM provides these links only as a convenience, and the inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by SSIM.
Idemat is intended to support LCA studies to optimize innovation of products and services, to support corporate product portfolio strategies, and to support monitoring of corporate sustainability (CSRD). When it is used for comparative LCA assertions that are intended to be disclosed to the public, third party verification is required as described in ISO 14040 and 14044 under “critical review”.
Recommendations to avoid greenwashing
It is illegal for a business in the EU to advertise false, inaccurate, or exaggerated claims about its environmental achievements or commitments (https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/unfair-treatment/unfair-commercial-practices/index_en.htm ).
There are 4 common manipulations in LCA that lead to greenwasching: (1) false claims of sustainable electricity (2) allocation of eco-burden to low value by-products like waste (3) underestimation of use of energy and water for natural products from agri-waste and wood-waste (4) biased midpoint selection
- For electricity, the country mix of production is to be applied. Sustainable electricity can be claimed when it is own production. Guarantees of Origin (GOs) and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are not allowed to claim sustainable electricity, unless they are “bundled” with electricity of the same provider (so called Power Purchasing Agreements), to be verified and documented in a letter by an independent accounting firm. See ‘GOs and RECs in LCA‘.
Note: Carbon Offsets (i.e. tradable “rights” or certificates linked to activities that lower the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere) are not allowed in LCA, since there is no physical relationship with the production system.
- In the case of co-products and by-products of a production facility, economic allocation must be applied on the basis of the relative financial turnover of each product, To be verified and documented in a letter by an independent accounting firm. See ‘Idemat calculation rules‘. Note that allocation on the basis of mass normally shifts eco-burden to byproducts (like waste with a small value/mass ratio)
- The eco-costs and carbon footprint of products that are made from agricultural waste or wood waste, must be derived from the amount energy and water that is required for production. To be verified and documented in a letter by an independent accounting firm. The minimum resulting score that can be accepted is the score of molded paper.
- A type of implicit greenwashing by companies is the selection of a specific set of midpoints that favors the green claim of a product, i.e. the midpoints that are unfavorable for the product are left out (NGOs do often the opposite). This is the reason that endpoint systems or single indicator systems should be preferred. See also the explanation on the choice of midpoints, endpoints and single score indicators at the eco-costs page.
Note. These recommendations of SSIM are more specific than the requirements of the draft Green Claims Directive of the EU (see Section 3.2 and 6.2), but must be taken into account when using SSIM data.