To calculate the life cycle environmental impacts of U.S. materials and processes, public, private, and academic institutions need access to the latest transparent and representative data. In 2001, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory launched the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory (USLCI) to enable these institutions to both submit and access publicly available life cycle datasets. Since the USLCI’s inception, many organizations (including ERG) have helped build the database by submitting data. However, to be useful, the database also requires continual data curation to screen and verify data submissions on an ongoing basis prior to publication and to align those data with federal LCA standards and software requirements. In 2022, NREL asked ERG to serve as curator for the USLCI database.
ERG proudly serves as the USLCI data curator. In this role, our team screens data submissions, updates and improves the database on a quarterly basis, identifies and makes improvements to the database, and works with organizations across the nation to release new data. This ongoing work helps ensure that the database is as useful, comprehensive, and up to date as possible for life cycle assessment practitioners, researchers, and the public who access the data to better understand and analyze the environmental impact of different supply chains.