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GaBi LCA Databases - Upgrade 2020 Edition (February 20, 2020 - SP 40)

In the scope of the GaBi Databases 2020 Edition upgrade (Service Pack 40), we provide you with well over 300 new LCI datasets and 2 new versions of LCIA methodologies. Please find here the overview with more details to follow further below:

1. Process LCI datasets:

In the GaBi Professional Database:

  • 52 new datasets, some of these from industry associations and companies, others on various chemicals and other products, with regional scopes of China, the EU and other countries/regions
  • 1 new and 46 updated steel datasets from Worldsteel

In the GaBi Extension Database Ia Organic intermediates:

  • 21 new processes with some focus on production in France.

In the GaBi Extension Database Ib Inorganic intermediates:

  • 35 new processes of key inorganic chemicals such as nitrogen, sodium hydroxide and sulphuric acid, as produced in several countries.

In the GaBi Extension Database II Energy:

  • 122 new processes, particularly future energy mix forecasts, as well as new crude consumption mixes and heavy fuel oil based thermal energy datasets for specific countries, and others.

In the GaBi Extension Database IV, Aluminium:

  • 12 new processes, on different Germany-produced ingots, profiles and sheets.

In the GaBi Extension Database IXa, End of Life and VII Plastics:

  • each 1 new process.

In the GaBi Extension Database XI, Electronics:

  • 4 new processes, one transistor and three ICs.

In the GaBi Extension Database XIV, Construction materials:

  • 25 new processes, with several EPD-based datasets, and important construction materials produced in different countries.

In the GaBi Extension Database XVII, Full US:

  • 10 new processes, on different bio-based, fossil plastic and metal materials/products.


In the GaBi Extension Database XX Food and Feed:

  • 2 new processes of corn products for China and Germany, in allocation variants.

In the GaBi Extension Database XXI India:

  • 52 new processes on a range of key construction and engineering materials, sub-national grid mixes

2. LCIA Methodologies

Updated AwaRe water scarcity impact assessment method and updated LANCA land use characterization factors.

For any of the impact assessment methodologies, we recommend caution when drawing conclusions based on the results for the toxicity assessment methods (i.e., human toxicity cancer, human toxicity non-cancer, and freshwater eco-toxicity, and similar) as well as resource depletion (minerals and metals). The methodologies 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.

A technical note: 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 thinkstep 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. In case you ever would need an elementary flow that is not available in GaBi, please be hence aware that when creating that flow, you need to potentially add the characterization factor of the LCIA Methodology that you foresee to use.

GaBi Databases 2020 Edition

We have fully refreshed all GaBi datasets included in the GaBi Databases 2020 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 enriched the content also at this release with more than 330 new datasets—a free, voluntary bonus for all clients with an annual maintenance contract or subscription license..

The total number of plans and processes amounts to about 12,700, making the GaBi Databases by far the largest, consistent LCA database of high quality, worldwide. Another more than 2,000 datasets are available as data-on-demand-only content, making it a total of even 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. Continue reading below to learn more about these and other features and improvements in this year’s content upgrade.

Environmental Footprint – Important Note!

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

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.

Features GaBi Databases 2020 Edition

Fully refreshed database content

We have fully refreshed all datasets in the 2020 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:

Energy mix and production data updates, globally.
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 2.6 and 2.7 in the "Upgrades and improvements" document for more information.

  6. HMDA from adipic acid route replaced by butadiene route: HMDA, respectively its precursor material adiponitrile can be produced in different ways. It is mainly used as a precursor for polyamide production. Common is the production via the butadiene and acrylonitrile route. As result of phasing out the adipic acid route is no longer used. As the technology has changed, polyamide data, which used the adipic acid route was updated by replacing the HDMA. The HMDA datasets based on this route will no longer be updated. The change to the butadiene route generally decreases the impact in CML GWP, AP and EP for polyamide between 20% to 40%.

  7. By-product SO2/H2SO4 in cobalt and nickel production allocation replaced by credit: The common method for treatment of sulphuric acid produced in the metal production applied by the industry is system expansion. For the smelter plans in the nickel, cobalt and PGM production routes, the economic allocation was hence removed and replaced by system expansion giving credit for sulphuric acid. This increases the impact of palladium when looking at CML Acidification Potential by about 30%. GWP does not relevantly change.

  8. Update EU-28 methanol mix: The EU-28 methanol mix was updated with the latest data from Eurostat and UN comtrade. The main producers and importers are now Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. As methanol is used as precursor for several production processes, changes will also occur there (such as formaldehyde). For the EU-28 methanol mix, CML GWP increases by about 24%, AP and EP by about 200%.

  9. Harmonized utilisation rate for trucks and ships in database: throughout the databases, the utilization rate of trucks and ships are now harmonized according to their specified range. This typically leads to small increases across impacts. However, as transport is typically not very relevant, these increases will in most cases not be visible.

  10. Nitric acid production update: N2O values were updated based on the National Inventory Report 2018 (reference year 2016): Due to the update of the laughing gas as well as nitrous oxide emissions, a reduction of around 40% in GWP and around 37% to 80% in EP are seen in the nitric acid datasets. All downstream products using nitric acid (such as ammonium nitrate) are also affected by this change, of course.

  11. DDGS (dried distillers’ grain) update: The by-product DDGS is mainly used as animal feed. For the German and European bioethanol from wheat production, the allocation of DDGS was hence changed from energetic allocation (to reflect incineration to produce heat and electricity) to economic allocation. Main affected potential impact category is POCP (CML), it decreases by about 50% for Europe and 13% for Germany, however the absolute values are very small (1E-4 to 1E-5 kg Ethene eq. per kg).

  12. Updated infrastructure for geothermal energy: The geothermal plants now have updated infrastructure.

  13. Further regionalization of Chinese datasets: Datasets of the region China were further regionalized and – where available – precursor and consumables production updated to Chinese conditions.

  14. Update of primary aluminium ingot for India: The electricity consumption of the electrolysis (prebaked) was corrected (it was by a factor 100 too low). Due to this, the impact of the ingot increases, the one of GWP by about 140%. This also affects all products using aluminium, such as sheets or profiles

  15. Update nuclear fuel supply: Using several information sources (such as publicly available company reports), the nuclear energy production was updated (nuclear recycling process, Russian enrichment process and creation of the MOX production process). The effects on the electricity datasets are however small.

  16. BF Steel water balance: The topic of water assessment in LCA generally made a significant step toward better definition and standardization of inventory methods and characterization. Therefore, the water balance of more BF steel datasets could be improved, beyond what has been done already in the 2019 edition. To close the water balance of the blast furnace steel route, rainwater was added, to correct for LCI method inconsistency, as well as the blue water consumption was double checked and adjusted to the most recent water elementary flows. In the previous version, more water was being emitted to water bodies than was entering production. This has now been corrected. This change leads to an improvement with a correct water balance and blue water consumption (for some steel sheet and steep pipe datasets, the blue water consumption changed from negative to positive values, e.g. from about -0.7 kg to 1.4 kg per kg of product).

  17. Railway tracks: The railway tracks datasets were corrected; a wrong scaling factor was reduced (was factor 73000 too high). This change leads to a very large change in impact results. On average, the potential impact decreases by a factor 1E5 for each impact category. As the dataset is not used in background of other GaBi datasets, no other datasets are affected.

  18. Electricity from biomass (solid): Eucalyptus is used as biomass for electricity production. The water usage for Eucalyptus plantations was identified to be considerably too high and was decreased. As the irrigation water contains nitrate, the nitrogen balance was also affected. Therefore, after correction EP increases now by between 34% to 100% for Region Asia, China, Indonesia, India and Malaysia. The blue water consumption decreases in contrast by about -95% for Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Russia, Region Asia and Region South America.

  19. Energies from biogas: Biogas from sewage sludge and biogas from landfill, which are used for the energy conversion, were updated and corrected. In average, electricity from biogas and process steam from biogas the total primary energy increases between 35% to 60%. For datasets of Great Britain and Ireland the increase for the primary energy total is about 6500% for electricity from biogas and process steam from biogas, as the previous value was incorrect due to a factor mistake. Blue water consumption increases by 90% to 280%. Electricity from biogas, process steam from biogas and thermal energy from biogas for The Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland now have a correct, positive water balance
  • We have moreover 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 selection).
    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.

We have added more than 330 new LCI datasets, including:
Professional Database: 52 new processes, such as several third-party industry datasets, CN: nitrogen, CN: Oxygen, EU-28: Nitrogen, EU-28: Oxygen, DE: Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene Granulate (ABS), CN: diverse tap water, EU-28: Hexamethylenediamine (HMDA), etc.

Extension Database Ia, Organic intermediates: 21 new processes, with a French focus, such as FR: Acetone, acrylic acid, benzene, propene, hexamethylenediamine (HMDA), etc.

Extension Database Ib, Inorganic intermediates: 35 new processes, such as nitrogen for various countries, oxygen for various countries, sodium hydroxide for various countries, sulphuric acid for various countries, etc.

Extension Database II, Energy: 122 new processes, such as crude oil mix for various countries, future electricity grid mixes (2025, 2030, 2040) for several countries/regions, thermal energy from heavy fuel oil for various countries, etc.

Extension Database IV, Aluminium: 12 new processes, such as DE: Aluminium ingot (AlMgSi0,5), DE: Aluminium extrusion profile (AlMg0.5Si), DE: Aluminium sheet (AlSi1.2Mg0.4), etc.

Extension database IXa, End of Life and VII, Plastics: each 1 new dataset.

Extension database XI, Electronics: 4 new processes, one transistor and three ICs: GLO: Transistor signal SOT-883 (SC-101/XQFN3) (0.855 mg) 1.0 x 0.6 x 0.48, GLO:IC DFN 10 (22.3 mg) 3x3 mm CMOS logic (14 nm node), etc.

Extension Database XIV, Construction materials: 25 new processes, such as DE: Lucofin 1410M, 1411M, 1412M, 1455M (EPD) - Lucobit AG (A1-A3), DE: Photovoltaic system 1000 kWh/m2*a (A1-A3), DE: Lucobit 1233 - Lucobit AG (A1-A3) (EPD), UA: Lime (CaO; quicklime lumpy), NL: Lime (CaO; quicklime lumpy), BR: Gypsum (CaSO4 alpha hemihydrate from FGD gypsum), etc.

Extension database XVII, full US

10 new processes, such as US: Butanediol from propylene oxide (PO chlorohydrin), RNA: Copper tube, US: Bioethanol from corn, at plant, US: Polyethylene high density granulate (HDPE/PE-HD) secondary, etc.

Extension database XX, Food and feed: 12 new processes, 10 Chinese and 2 German corn/maize processing (co)-products, each economically and mass allocated: corn bran, corn oil, corn steep liquor, gluten feed, gluten meal, etc.

Extension database XXI, India: 52 new processes, such as IN: Diammonium phosphate granular fertilizer (DAP), IN: Landfill of plastic waste, IN: Concrete pipe, reinforced, IN: Polybutylene Terephthalate Granulate (PBT), IN: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Granulate (ABS), IN: Ethene (ethylene), IN: Electricity grid mix - North (production mix), etc.

Standards/compliance support (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 ts relevant processes are regionalized, allowing you to apply the new EF-compliant AWaRe 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. 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)

LCIA Update


  • Updated AWaRe water scarcity impact assessment method, with the latest version 1.2C.
  • Updated LANCA land use characterization factors, of version 2.5.

Benefits GaBi Databases 2020 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.

The high number of about 12,700 plans and processes in total makes it even easier 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 just derived from energetic assumptions, simplified stoichiometric models or academic studies, as is often the case.

EF (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. 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 2020 Edition?

Nothing - we’ll deliver it straight to you!

On the date of release all our clients with an active maintenance contract or subscription license receive an automatical 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 2020 Edition

List of datasets: >> click here to view/download

GaBi Database upgrade guide:
>> click here to view/download

Details and Reasons for Changes:
>> click here to view/download

Change log GaBi Service Packs:
>> click here to view/download

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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