The Life Cycle Assessment Commons (LCA Commons) is a data repository hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Library (NAL). It is a repository dedicated to access and long-term preservation of life cycle assessment (LCA) data, tools, and resources. We support LCA researchers by collecting, curating, archiving, publishing, and preserving LCA data sets related to agriculture.


The LCA Commons serves as a central point of access for LCA resources developed primarily through federal funding from across government, industry, and academia. The repository is a collection of data sets specifically formatted for use in openLCA modeling software and related tools and resources. The LCA Commons contains three primary modules: Life Cycle Inventory Data; Agricultural Data and Tools; and the Federal LCA Commons.


The Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Data module supports data transparency, reuse, and collaboration among researchers by providing a open source LCA data model and consistent documentation standard. The data model and documentation standard are based on the openLCA framework for life cycle modeling and visualization. openLCA provides a database platform, metadata schema, and format converters which are designed to be interoperable with the most common LCA formats.


The Agricultural Data and Tools module is a catalog and archive of data and tools related to agricultural LCA. This catalog is not a single, consistent data product, model, or linked database. Instead, it contains life cycle assessment research models and their outputs which support assertions found in policy, academic literature, and industrial decision making.


Finally, the Federal LCA Commons module is currently a placeholder for a planned LCA repository containing research from multiple Federal entities.

Created and maintained by USDA-ARS-National Agricultural Library