The publicly available GFLI database is a collection of feed ingredient datasets collected using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. LCA is a method to evaluate the use of resources and emission of pollutants during the life cycle of a feed ingredient. The database contains various types of products, each with a product-specific system boundary:
- Products “at farm”: the environmental impact of cultivated feed products until farm gate. Environmental impacts include inputs for cultivation (e.g. energy, fertilizer, lime, pesticides, etc.) and emissions on the farm (e.g. fertilizer use, pesticides, etc.).
- Products “at plant”: the environmental impact of processed feed materials until processing gate. Environmental impact of processed products includes the impact of cultivation of raw materials, sourcing from different countries, energy and auxiliary material use at processing and waste.
The database has three allocation options: Economic (preferred method in Feed PEFCR), mass, and energy allocation. The full life cycle inventory assessment (LCIA) is the final product in its aggregated form of all the primary unit process data and activity data.
A data quality rating (DQR) is included, which is a semi-quantitative assessment based on the representativeness of the data in technological, geographical, time-related aspects. The scoring of the DQR is determined based on a rating system derived from the DQR system applied in the PEF Method. The score is adjusted annually to reflect the time-related aspect. For example, a dataset that from 2015 will not be as representative of the product by 2020, and will thusly receive a higher, less favorable DQR score. This is a quality measurement to keep in mind when using data.