Transparent and Connected Life-Cycle Data to make a difference, be recognized, and get paid.
Let’s make product sustainability mainstream by connecting the world’s LCA data.
We believe any product’s environmental or health profile should be commonly available. Regrettably, today that’s not the case. Consider that there are around ~12.000 physical product categories, but there are no more than 3000 product models in any of the many LCA data repositories. It’s not for the lack of hard work: The global community creates thousands of assessments and datasets, every year. However, they are often confined behind paywalls or firewalls, spreadsheets or siloed databases. That leads to a patchwork of data that eventually becomes obsolete or redundant. A lack of disclosure and poor documentation means that data cannot be extended nor improved upon by the community. Yet the LCA method itself depends on connected industrial process chains that require connected data. Add lack of transparency and poor rewards to that fragmentation, and everyone is held back.
We think it’s time for a better way.
Makersite.net is a Know-How network that connects Product Makers with Experts over data. Its technology excels in connecting and computing LCA data. So we tested it’s use for calculating product environmental impacts. The results were astonishing:
- The computation and visualization of supply chains across thousands of data points takes sub-seconds.
- Connecting data is a result multiplier: Aggregated LCIA results were created for existing unit processes, netting over 15.000 LCIA impacts not previously available as open data.
- Makersite automatically establishes connections between unit process data and other data, such as regulatory, chemical, material or cost information. This allows Makers to use LCA data not only for environmental impacts, but also to analyze other properties (there are over 80m chemicals in Makersite).
- By default, impacts of existing databases were calculated the way they were designed. But because they’re all in Makersite, users can now make connections manually. This is how we can connect chains across today’s disparate databases.
- There is full transparency of models. Like Wikipedia, data models can be extended and improved upon by the community through robust, integrated publishing workflows that help ensure data quality.
- How do updates and derived data work? First step: create the data in your own account. When ready to share, create a pull request. Next: experts decide. Experts are the people who created the original dataset. Once you contribute, you become one of those experts. There is no obscure “selection committee”. If you don’t like a connection, simply fork it, update it and submit for peer review.
- We built Makersite to include anyone’s data, commercial or open, public or private. The inability to accommodate different commercial terms prevents collaboration in the community today. While Makersite is open by default, whatever data is confidential will remain so.
Makersite effectively offers a unified background model that anyone can built on. Anyone can keep this data up to date, and receive recognition and reward for their contributions. We pay royalties to those who provided data, based on usage. We think that’s a win-win for all.
Let us know what you think.
Neil & Christoph
- per the UNSPSC classification ↑
- We used data from multiple, fragmented sources such as Agribalyse, Bioenergiedat, NEEDS, ProBas and USDA. The data contains the material and energy product flows on input and output, selected process metadata, such as original authors. All data sets support the LCIA methods CML, Traci 2.1 and USeTox, 2.01 for the entire supply chain of the processes. To assure the quality of the data, the datasets were created with both automated scripts and expert assessment. ↑