+1 vote

Good morning everybody,


Thank you for this forum. I just started working with Open LCA 1.7 in a project on packaging materials using ecoinvent 3.5.


The project objective is to make an assessment for replacing plastic with paper packaging.


My challenge is to compare, calculate and monetize the externalities of these two packaging options e. g. what are the CO2-emissions and emissions to air, soil and water and their related costs (in dollar/euro). 


My questions about Open LCA are the following:

- How can I monetize externalities with Open LCA 1.7?

- Are there any assessment methods, Plugins or Databases that would help calculating the costs in Open LCA 1.7?


I would be grateful if someone has experience with monetizing in Open LCA and could provide some help.  


Many thanks in advance,



PS: If any also of you know a suitable paper that could help me with this task, I would be very grateful for hints.

in openLCA by (130 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
by (38.6k points)
Hi Marina,

first, maybe you should switch to openLCA 1.9; for externalities, the older EPS method applies a cost assessment for impacts, otherwise (I am afraid) you will need to build a method on your own, maybe using/starting from EPS. ecoinvent contains prices for products, but these are a bit estimated and also attempt to reflect market prices, not external costs. For externalities, there are of course a number of reports from various EU projects, in 6th and 7th FP typically, see e.g. here: http://www.externe.info/externe_d7/?q=node/56.

Hth, Andreas
by (140 points)
edited by
removed the comment to a regular reply in the thread.
0 votes
by (140 points)

Hi Andreas,

thanks for your reply (I'm working on the same project). I have 2 questions regarding the EPS LCIA for OpenLCA.
1) EPS got updated in 2015 and is included in the openLCA LCIA package v2.0.4. Unfortunately there are no monetary values used anymore (ELU) and no single endpoint indicator. The homepage from EPS still lists the ELU values for their updated version (https://www.ivl.se/english/startpage/pages/our-focus-areas/environmental-engineering-and-sustainable-production/lca/eps.html).
Is there an openLCA/ecoinvent compatible version of EPS2015dx that uses ELU? I could only do my own LCIA based on the EPS2015dx excel sheet manually, which would take ages.

2) In the old EPS2000 version there are impact factors for single categories like abiotic stock resources and emssions to air in ELU and a summation ("total") of each category. The problem now is, that the factors for the total indicator are always twice as high as the factors for the specific categories. example:

emissions to air:
carbon dioxide, fossil - 0.108 ELU/kg

carbon dioxide, fossil - 0.216 ELU/kg

is there a reason for it or should i just add the single categories myself (as the 0.108 is the correct value) and forget about the "total"-indicator?

Thank you in advance.