Why openLCA

Five key advantages:

  1. openLCA is easy to use, powerful and quick, allowing the building of simple or complicated models as needed.  The software offers superior network and flow visualization tools, a high performance database management system on a local server, and easy import and export to important LCA data formats.
  2. The software is available free of charge. You are thus able to make an LCA model in a project and give it together with the software to your clients.  You are also free to give customized databases and models to colleagues with the software for the LCA study peer-review process and sharing of LCA techniques.  This will enable reviewers to check your model directly and suggests improvements.  This translates to additional benefit for you and your clients.
  3. The source code is completely open for those developers who want to improve it or supplement it.  Anyone can inspect the code and criticize the framework or calculations used.  We will provide all associated documentation upon request to enable transparency and validate the calculation assumptions used.  Additionally, Triangle Life Cycle Assessment has installed a feedback mechanism for the openLCA software on our website to ensure that any critique and proposal reaches us and the software is continually improved.
  4. A powerful plug-in structure of the software allows for easy extensions and modifications. In sustainability assessment, there are myriad tools and methods available, sometimes competing and often contradicting.  The openLCA software framework is therefore designed to cope with that fact.  Two plug-ins will be implemented initially.  Users can add their own modules, and we plan to implement future modules based on user feedback and own ideas.  Since the software is open source, and implemented in a modern, standard software language (Java), you should have no difficulty in implementing necessary additions.
  5. Transparent calculation procedures for inventory and impact assessment; these will ease discussion about advantages and differences of different methods, and help to put them on a rational basis, e.g. because intermediate results are easily accessible. It will thus foster scientific discussions about advantages and shortcomings of methods. It will also increase the credibility of methods, and of any model that you build with the software.

You can become a part of the open source LCA collaboration by using and improving the openLCA software, suggesting methods of improvement by contacting us, and by funding the openLCA project.  If you would like to help fund further development of the openLCA software please visit the openLCA organization webpage.  If you are interested in participating, please send us a note using the contact form below.

Your support of this open source effort is greatly appreciated.