OpenLCA is a software application that is both publicly accessible and open source, specifically developed to facilitate the execution of Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analyses. This program incorporates a variety of noteworthy characteristics, which may be enumerated as follows:

  • Efficient and dependable computation of Sustainability Assessment and/or Life Cycle Assessment
  • A thorough evaluation and interpretation of the results obtained by computational and analytical processes. The identification of main variables that exert influence on different phases of the life cycle may be seen. These variables can be classified according to their impact, progression, or mechanism. The results of this research may be visually depicted using graphical representations and geographical mapping, offering a visual representation of the findings.
  • The ability to engage in the importation and exportation of commodities and services. The facilitation of model sharing is a handy practice.
  • The seamless integration of Life Cycle Costing and social evaluation inside the life cycle model.
  • The user interface has been intentionally intended to prioritize ease of navigation and accessibility for users, incorporating multilingual support. The ongoing development of the repository and collaboration feature is distinguished by its advanced and effective characteristics.
  • Continuous improvement and implementation of new features.




Scale of implementation

The implementation of this software is global, initially in Europe and later especially in the U.S.


Since its beginning, openLCA is an open  source software, according to the standards of the open  source initiative.


Phase of solution

OpenLCA is the solution to collect, analyze and monitor the sustainability performance data of products and services. The software can be used for various applications: sustainability reporting, carbon and water footprinting, product design, generating environmental product declarations and determining key performance indicators.


Target audience

OpenLCA demonstrates a high degree of versatility, rendering it suitable for a diverse range of user groups, including but not limited to industry, consultancy, education, and research.

Key features-functionality

  1. Utilizing OpenLCA in industrial settings offers several advantages, including a reduced total cost of ownership, simplified installation and user-friendly interface, as well as advanced functionalities for professional modeling and enhanced communication within teams.

  2. The utilization of OpenLCA in consultancy is comparable to its application in industry. When coupled with extensive datasets accessible for life cycle assessment (LCA), OpenLCA emerges as a suitable option for conducting LCA and footprint analyses in consultation settings.

  3. OpenLCA is widely utilized in academic settings, namely in university courses throughout the globe, where it is also integrated into research endeavors. The selection of openLCA for student work and teaching classes may be justified based on several factors, including its user-friendly installation process, the availability of low or free faculty licenses supplied by numerous databases, and the extensive range of modeling choices it provides.

  4. Using OpenLCA in research is advantageous due to its unique features and capabilities that are not found in other life cycle assessment (LCA) software. Additionally, OpenLCA may be customized and expanded to accommodate certain novel methodologies. 

References & Sources for Further Reading