Why we started the development of openLCA


Jutta Hildenbrand, Michael Srocka, Andreas Ciroth, 2005


The idea

The idea for the openLCA project and software emerged in 2006, in discussions with Andreas Ciroth, Michael Srocka, and Jutta Hildenbrand. It was quite simple, and basically three-fold:

  • Design and build a fast, reliable, high-performance, modular framework for sustainability assessment & life cycle modelling, that allows visually attractive and flexible modelling, for sophisticated and simple models, in a standard programming language, using only widely available Open Source software.
  • Create a contributing programming community.
  • Build modules for the framework, and enable users to build their own modules.

Idea was that a freely available software for Life Cycle Assessment and related approaches will open many different, new application fields in science, education, training, and peer-review. Moreover, publishing the source code will allow in-depth comparison of calculation procedures. It will demand high quality coding from us and, not the least, it will enable any user to implement any additional module as required or modify the source code where needed.


Since its beginning, and so far, the project is “run” and managed exclusively by GreenDelta in Berlin, with a core openLCA development team working at GreenDelta. There has always been a high public interest, and a broad external testing community. There has also been external support, from an initial “funding consortium” and from different research and industry projects.

Recently, the project is expanding into a true network of partners, contributors, supporters, and a user community. Please check the network page for details.

Licence concept

The openLCA framework and the openLCA format converter are open source software, made publicly available under the Mozilla Public Licence, MPL 2.0. More details are explained on a dedicated page, here.

We are aware that the license concept is (usually!) one of the most obfuscated aspects of an open source project; don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Stay informed

To keep up-to-date with openLCA developments, you can join our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter or visit our YouTube channel: