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SPINE@CPM - the operational prototype for industrial LCA databases

Raul Carlson, project manager and developer of the database:
The SPINE@CPM LCA database was established to facilitate any type of industrial LCA studies of products and business activities. The LCI-part of the database holds well-documented data that describes resource use and emissions from different industrial production processes, plants and supply-chains. The impact assessment (LCIA) part holds the three LCIA methods EPS 2000, EDIP and Eco-indicator 1999. Hence, SPINE@CPM was built as an operational prototype for how to build industrially useful, transparent and general LCA databases.

To match the needs of the broad CPM industrial group SPINE@CPM was established with focus on being an operative platform where different industrial companies and sectors can share LCA data. To facilitate data use and review, it was decided that each data set in SPINE@CPM should be well-documented and manually reviewed with focus on transparency, consistency and understandability. The database is based on the SPINE format, an open data format designed to be independent of specific LCA software, industrial sectors or industrial companies. SPINE was based on methodo-logical analysis of LCA, its applications and expected future, with emphasis on generality. For example, SPINE makes no distinction between transport process or other production processes, between individual processes or systems of processes, and not between flows that are emissions, products or resources. By leaving such distinctions to the user SPINE was quickly spread to many different industries. SPINE also introduced generality into LCIA by identifying the key general concepts of category indicator, characterization and weighting in a clear structure.

Many of the principles of SPINE are acquired in LCI documentation formats like ISO/TS 14048, ELCD and the SPOLD format. Dissemination of an international understanding of the LCIA format of SPINE is in 2008 yet to come.

Original documentation in pdf:
Strategy for the Work on CPM:s LCA Database
Carlson R, CPM-rapport 1997:4

Establishment of CPM's LCA Database
Carlson R, Pålsson A-C, CPM Report 1998:3

Documentation of environmental impact assessment, compatible with SPINE and ISO/TS 14048
Carlson R, Pålsson A-C, IMI-report 2002:1


EPS - navigating through facts and opinions

Bengt Steen, author of the impact assessment method EPS:
The EPS system (Environmental Priority Strategies in product design) was developed as an aid in product development.
The system is basically a set of hierarchic principle require-ments, such as working with aggregated impact indices, with transparency more...

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