Frequently Asked Questions

Is GLAD an LCA database?

GLAD itself is not an LCA database and it does not store datasets. It is a directory of various LCA datasets which are offered by data providers from around the globe, for free or against a commercial license fee. Think of it as a search engine for LCA datasets. The data remains with the individual data provider and once you find on GLAD the dataset that you need, you will be redirected to the data provider website where you can download it. Therefore, GLAD supports LCA data accessibility, by being the largest directory of LCA data sources from around the world.

Who is connected to GLAD?

To date, you can find most of the commonly known LCI databases connected to GLAD. You might recognize many of them.


Which data formats can be converted with GLAD? 

GLAD supports conversions between ecoSpold1, ecoSpold2, ILCD and JSON-LD in any combination.

Are the datasets, that can be automatically converted and downloaded, stored in an intermediate repository?

All data is downloaded directly from the data provider, GLAD itself does not store datasets, only the metadata.

Does the conversion service of GLAD transfer the data to another nomenclature, or does it only convert the data format?

The GLAD conversion service has a built-in facility to map the nomenclature (flows) between different nomenclature systems, which provides basic support for ILCD Entry Level (EL) and ecoinvent data. Soon, the mapping files developed by the GLAD Nomenclature WG will be incorporated, providing the possibility to transfer data to another nomenclature.

Dataset Users

What are the benefits of creating an account in GLAD? 

As a registered and logged in user, you'll be able to download any dataset available for download. This, however, does not correspond to all data that is available free of charge in GLAD, as not all data providers are offering a direct download option. 

By logging in through your GLAD user account you will also be able to use the GLAD API, which requires authentication. 

An account is also required to register data as a data provider. 

Dataset Providers

How do I add my datasets to GLAD?

It’s rather simple. To connect your dataset to GLAD you must share your metadata with the GLAD team, and after you answer a set of questions (see the Get involved page), we can add your dataset directly to the GLAD index. It’s important that your metadata are documented (see the metadata descriptors document).

Please see the Get involved page for more details on how to activate your connection to GLAD.

Do I need to necessarily connect many datasets at once?

You can start by connecting a small set of datasets - as few as one dataset.

Does GLAD require data to be in a specific data format?    

No, in principle, data in any format can be registered in GLAD. To facilitate data interoperability, we encourage the use of one of the data formats supported by GLAD converter function (ecoSpold1, ecoSpold2, ILCD, JSON-LD).

What are the requirements for data to be accepted in GLAD, apart from providing metadata?

The minimum data requirement to register data in GLAD is that the metadata fields for each dataset that a dataset provider wishes to connect to GLAD must be documented and accessible for free (see the metadata descriptors document). For additional details on the requirements and commitments needed from dataset providers (nodes), please consult the Get involved page. GLAD reserves the right to restrict access to providers not participating in good faith according to the GLAD principles.

Can I submit a dataset to GLAD that depends on data from another database in GLAD (e.g., ecoinvent)?

Yes, this is possible. Simply document the version of the background data and modelling software, but please do not submit those background data if they are proprietary.

LCA practitioners

Does GLAD introduce a new data format?     

GLAD does not introduce a new data format, but has its own set of internationally agreed metadata descriptors, which have been developed by the GLAD Metadata Working Group based on the most commonly used metadata for LCA datasets. See also the answer to the question "Does GLAD require data to be in a specific data format?".

Is a mapping between different nomenclatures provided?

Yes, a basic automated mapping is provided when converting between formats. The nomenclature working group developed a more sophisticated mapping, which will be incorporated in GLAD soon.

What procedures are in place to ensure data quality? Are the LCIs reviewed on their accuracy, completeness, representativeness, etc.? 

GLAD does not assess the data quality. It is up to the users to judge the fitness of the data for their specific purpose. GLAD focuses on making the necessary metadata descriptors available for the user so they can make this decision.

I find little data available for a specific category, will any data be added in the future?

The data providers determine what data sets are offered through GLAD. A global directory such as GLAD will enable the user to identify data gaps.

Does GLAD encourage transparent gate-to-gate datasets versus fully aggregated datasets?

GLAD does not promote any particular database. It acts as a directory where users can search and choose the dataset that better suits their needs.

Will there be a way to easily import a dataset from GLAD to a particular LCA software like Simapro or GaBi?

This is a long-term goal and part of the vision of GLAD. However, it is not the case at the moment. Eventually, GLAD should be interoperable with LCA software, perhaps even with access to GLAD integrated into LCA software tools.


If you have any questions that are not answered in the FAQ section, please get in touch with Ms. Claudia Giacovelli [] or Mr. Llorenç Milà i Canals [].