Open IO-Canada : Open source Input-output LCA model and tool to estimate life cycle impacts of products and services

The model:

Open IO-Canada is a Canadian environmentally extended input-output (IO) model (also known as IO-LCA model). It is based on Canadian economic input-output tables from the year 2009, which document what the different Canadian industries produce and purchase from one another, and augmented with environmental data from various sources. It was initiated by the CIRAIG with funding from the Québec Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques as part of the Quebec Life Cycle Inventory Database Project.

It can provide insights into the potential life cycle impacts of the production and consumption of commodities in Canada, taking into account the entire supply chain of purchased commodities, throughout the Canadian economy.

As such, it is similar to a Life Cycle Inventory database (such as the Quebec LCI database), except that products are specified in terms of generic commodities and industry output and quantified in Canadian dollars rather than in physical units.

The online tool:

A free online implementation of the Open IO-Canada model is found here. One can use the tool to:

It is possible to export results to Excel. Online visualisation tools are under development.

Use Open IO-Canada

Why “open”?

  1. They are thoroughly transparent. All data sources, assumptions and calculations are documented and supplied. Other than generally increase trust in the model, this transparency provides reproducibility and allows third parties (you?) to audit and hopefully improve the model. The methodology used to construct the model is found here.
  2. It is published under a Creative Commons license. This allows any party to use, adapt, and implement the model for any purpose. Visit our licence page for more information.

All files used in the generation of the model and the source code for the online tool are downloadable in the Documentation section.

Known limitation

The model is only as good as the assumptions and the data that are used to create it. Known limitations are transparently reported here. Be sure to read these limitations before making important decisions based on the results of this model.

Collaboration opportunities to improve the model

The model is presently at version 1.0, and it is expected to continue development through CIRAIG work and outside contributions.

Criticism of the model and its assumptions are very warmly welcome. Solutions make us happier. Active contributions to the model make us positively giddy.

If you have expertise in input-output, know better sources of environmental data, or like to develop in html/php and can think of ways to improve the online tool, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you would like to be informed when the model undergoes improvements or updates, please please write us.