How do I get access to the GFLI database?

The database in the format aggregated lifecycle inventory (LCI) and aggregated lifecycle impact assessment (LCIA) can be found under the header ‘GFLI Database’ on the website. After reading and accepting the End User License agreement (EULA), the files are accessible on the page behind ‘check out’.  The Aggregated lifecycle inventory (LCI) files require LCA software for optimal functionality. The full life cycle inventory assessment (LCIA) file is available in Excel format.

Which impact assessment method should I use (ReCiPe, EF)?

The GFLI offers both methods as they are commonly used in the feed LCA industry, but makes no distinction which should be used. More information about the two methods:
–       EF3.0 is the PEF-compliant and recommended methodological approach for quantifying environmental performance by the European Commission. EF3.0 includes 19 impact categories: climate change, ozone depletion, ionizing radiation, photochemical ozone formation, respiratory inorganics, non-cancer human health effects, cancer human health effects, acidification, freshwater-, marine-, and terrestrial eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, land use, water scarcity, resource use energy carriers, resource use (minerals and metals), fossil and biogenic climate change, and land use and transformation climate change.
–       ReCiPe 2016 midpoint (H)(.csv files) originated as the first harmonized methodological approach for quantifying environmental performances by experts in the Netherlands, and is still commonly used within Europe. ReCiPe includes 16 impact categories: global warming (incl. and excl. LUC), stratospheric ozone depletion, ionizing radiation, ozone formation (human health), fine particulate matter formation, ozone formation (terrestrial ecosystems), terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial ecotoxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity, marine ecotoxicity, human carcinogenic toxicity, human non-carcinogenic toxicity, land use, mineral resource scarcity, fossil resource scarcity, and water consumption.

Which allocation method should I apply?

The chosen allocation is up to the user and what is most relevant in their case. Allocation distributes the emissions according to the chosen form. Economic allocation distributes it according to economic relevancy (price per kg product), particularly interesting with by-products that typically don’t hold a high economic value. Mass is for dry matter per kg product so more of a weight related allocation. Energy allocation focuses on energy/ calorie content (nutritional value of the feed taken into account).

I cannot find the feed ingredient I need in the GFLI database, what should I use instead? When will the missing data be available?

Feed ingredients that have not been sourced on a national level yet, often have a global average (GLO) or European average (RER) in the database. When the feed ingredient you are looking for is missing completely, please use the averages per feed ingredient category (e.g. Total minerals, additives, vitamins, at plant/RER Economic S). The GFLI database is dependent on data-in providers for the increase of datasets in the GFLI database. If you are interested in bringing data in the GFLI database please contact [email protected]

What can I use the publicly available database for?

The GFLI database is accessible for all interested conducting environmental footprint calculations of products and meaningful comparisons based on a harmonized methodology.

What is the scope of the feed ingredients in the GFLI database? What emissions are included and excluded?

the LCA datasets collected and implemented in the GFLI database are data that refer to the operational primary production, processing and transport processes of producing feed ingredients. Details for each product can also be found in ‘process description’ sheet in the LCIA (Excel) database file found here. Excluded are the emissions of activities related to the transport from the processing plant to the feed manufacturer (inbound transport), the activities related to processing in the feed manufacturer and the outbound transport (activities related to the transport from the feed manufacturer to a farmer).

How is transport calculated into the datasets?

Transport is calculated in the specific products, usually from gate to farm or plant gate. This would include transport to processing plant for processed products or transport for field management practices for crops. Details for each product can also be found in ‘process description’ sheet in the LCIA database found here. Transport emissions to the allocated country, livestock farms etc are to be calculated by own ways.

Is it possible to convert life cycle inventory data from other databases into the GFLI format?

This is possible, but might require additional modelling and is subject to the procedures of a ‘data-in project’. This means the data requires an internal review, (re)modelling, and an external review according to the GFLI methodology. More information is available in the GFLI procedures document.

Are there ways to adapt processes in the database (e.g., upstream inputs of more limited animal by-product inputs like blood meal)?

The aggregated database does not allow insight on the emissions related to the specific processes. The unit process level is disaggregated and allows for every step in the process to be visible if the data-in providers have agreed upon sharing this data. The unit process data will be available in the first quarter of 2022. However, with this insight processes cannot be adapted in the database itself; as that would constitute for a new dataset if the processes vary (and therefore create a different impact assessment).

How does the GFLI database differ from other databases?

GFLI distinguishes itself from other databases through:
1)     Free to download and worldwide accessibility
2)     Developed by an independent and non-profit Institute
3)     Its goal to have global coverage and be globally recognized as the reference for feed LCA
4)     Broadly applicable methodology that is aligned with the FAO-LEAP guidelines and de EU PEF category rules.
5)     Independent quality compliance through external review of the data and a Scientific Advisory Council with external experts.
Please realize that incorporating data from different databases to calculate a footprint is not possible due to the methodological differences of each database.

I am interested in conducting a GFLI data-in project, what do I have to do?

The GFLI encourages data-in projects to increase the data generation for the database and increase the usefulness of the database for users. Firstly, knowing which datasets you’d like to contribute should be figured out. The GFLI has sectoral and regional data-in projects. Details of the procedures for a data-in project can be found in the GFLI procedures document. Data-in projects regarding company specific ‘branded’ data is currently under review through a pilot phase that’ll run from 2022 until the first quarter of 2023. For more contact of either data-in projects, contact the GFLI Secretariat through: [email protected]

What are the costs related to a data-in project?

The costs or a data-in project vary based on the work necessary by our database manager for assessment and integration of the data into the database. More dataset entries require more work, as well as the compliance to the GFLI methodology.

When am I able to use the GFLI database in my own calculations/tools?

The GFLI database is free to use for non-commercial purposes. Under commercial use falls incorporating the data into software tools accessed by third party users or by the company providing consults based on their calculations for their customers. The GFLI database may be used by tools only used for inhouse calculations. More information can be found here.

How do I acquire the access to the license agreement for commercial use of the database?

Please reach out to the GFLI Secretariat through [email protected] where the conditions can be discussed. Upon validation of the license agreement, the licensee receives access to all data available and updates during the period the contract runs for. The start of the contract date is up to the licensee.

Do you have questions that are not represented in this FAQ? Use the contact form or e-mail us directly on [email protected]

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