U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database

NREL and its partners created the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory (USLCI) Database to help life cycle assessment practitioners answer questions about environmental impact.

The USLCI database provides individual gate-to-gate, cradle-to-gate, and cradle-to-grave accounting of the energy and material flows into and out of the environment that are associated with producing a material, component, or assembly in the U.S.

U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database


The goals of the USLCI Database project are to:

  • Maintain data quality and transparency
  • Cover commonly used materials, products, and processes in the U.S. with up-to-date, critically reviewed life cycle inventory data
  • Support the expanded use of life cycle assessment as an environmental decision-making tool
  • Maintain compatibility with international life cycle inventory databases
  • Provide exceptional data accessibility
  • Be fully and sustainably supported
  • Support U.S. industry competitiveness.

Federal Life Cycle Assessment Commons

The Federal LCA Commons (FLCAC) is an interagency community of practice for life cycle assessment research methods. The FLCAC collaborates to share expertise and methods to move toward common federal data modeling conventions and make federal data sets freely available through a web-based data repository.

The goals of the FLCAC and its value to the public and the federal government are to:

  • Advance FLCAC data, research, and information systems by leveraging multi-agency resources and expertise
  • Improve consistency in life cycle assessment methods developed by each agency to develop results for decision-making and public disclosure
  • Enhance public and agency access to FLCAC data in a standardized searchable format from a common repository.

The FLCAC has been formalized through a memorandum of understanding to establish a formal agreement to coordinate LCA data, research, and information systems between the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency.


For video tutorials on how to use the database, view the NREL U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database Quick Help Series.

The USLCI database provides supporting information on GitHub, with links to many resources related to submission of data and end-use of the USLCI Database, including:

USLCI Data Submission Handbook (including metadata guidance)

USLCI Database Archives (past release versions in various file formats)

USLCI Release Change Log

USLCI Update Press Release.

How To Reference the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database

When referencing the USLCI Database, please use the following format: "U.S. Life Cycle Inventory Database." (2012). National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2012: https://www.lcacommons.gov/nrel/search


For questions about the USLCI, contact lci@nrel.gov

Alberta Carpenter

Environmental Engineer, Life Cycle Analysis