Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers about GLAD have been inspired by the questions received from the audience at the GLAD launch event. If you have any additional questions, please get in touch by email with Mr. Llorenç Milà i Canals [].

Is GLAD an LCA database?

GLAD itself is not an LCA database. It is rather a directory for various LCA data which is offered by data providers from all over the globe, with both free and commercial data available. Think of it like a search engine for LCA datasets. The data remains with the individual data providers and is downloaded from there/has to be purchased directly from them.


I am a data provider and do not see my data listed in GLAD. How do I get it in?    

There are different options, please see the page Get involved for more details.


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

No, in principle, data in any format can be registered in GLAD. In order to achieve best interoperability results for users, one of the data formats supported by GLAD (ecoSpold, ILCD, JSON-LD) should be used, though.


Does GLAD introduce yet another data format?      

GLAD does not impose its own data format, but has its own set of metadata descriptors, which have been developed by the Metadata WG 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?".


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

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


Which data formats can the GLAD converter handle from & to?     

Currently, it supports conversions between ecoSpold, ILCD and JSON-LD in any combination. Support for ecoSpold2 will be added shortly.


The conversion service of GLAD only converts the data format, it does not transfer to another nomenclature, right?    

There is a built-in facility to map the nomenclature (flows) between different nomenclature systems, which provides basic support for ILCD Entry Level (EL) and ecoinvent.

However it does not yet use the mapping files developed in the GLAD Nomenclature WG. Developing tools to incorporate these mapping files are now being planned.


Is a mapping between different nomenclatures provided? 

Yes, a basic automated mapping is provided when converting between formats. The nomenclature working group is currently working on a more sophisticated mapping.


Regarding data quality, what procedures are in place to review the LCIs for their accuracy, completeness, representativeness, etc.?   

That's currently outside of the scope of GLAD, it is up to the users to judge the fitness for their individual purpose. GLAD, however, strive to provide the transparency that's necessary for users to make this decision.


How will consensus be reached on the quality of data from different nodes? Will data quality be self-declared, or will there be a central body that certifies it, or some other approach?    

There is no specific data quality check before datasets are registered in GLAD. GLAD focuses on making the necessary metadata descriptors available for the user so they can judge whether the dataset is fit for their specific purpose.


I find very little data available for , will any such data be added in the future?

That depends entirely on the data providers. One interesting secondary effect of a global directory will certainly be that it will be easier to identify data gaps.


Fully aggregated datasets are not very desirable. Is there a push/promotion to encourage transparent gate-to-gate datasets? 

GLAD doesn't promote any particular database. It acts as a directory where users can search and choose the dataset that better suits their need.


How can consistency be ensured when offering terminated systems datasets which adhere to different protocols? 

At present, GLAD itself does not offer a consistent model. It is a metadata catalog designed to increase access to data sets from distributed sources. The user must evaluate a data set's fitness for their purpose and either ensure consistency or reflect inconsistency in documentation or data quality assessment.


Are the datasets in GLAD really over 80000 unique datasets?         

Yes, but in some databases there are multiple datasets for each activity with different modelling (attributional, consequential, etc.). We determined that roughly 16000 distinct products and services are covered by these 80000 datasets.


What if I submit a dataset to GLAD, but it depends on data of one of the other databases in GLAD (e.g. ecoinvent)?

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


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

There are no minimum data requirements per se in order to register data in GLAD, only that the required metadata fields are documented (see the metadata descriptors document).


Will there be a way to easily import a dataset from GLAD to a particular LCA software like Simapro or GaBi? in other words, will GLAD be interoperable with LCA software, because some software do not have all the available databases from around the world?

That is definitely the long term goal and part of the vision of GLAD! The next steps will involve further improving the conversion and motivate data providers to make their data available online (be it free or for a charge). Eventually, we could have a world in which software vendors eventually even integrate the access to data via GLAD into their software tools.