IO and Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment

This 2.5 day course gives a thorough background for understanding both monetary and physical input-output models, and how the quality of an IO-table depends on the way it is made. The course gives an introduction to the most advanced and detailed hybrid IO-database: Exiobase v4 hybrid version – and how it is used for LCA studies.

The course


Supply-use tables, environmentally extended input-output (IO) models, multi-regional models and trade linking. Integrating process LCA and IO-analysis via hybrid LCA, tiered and embedded.

The course includes lectures, discussions and hands-on exercises on how to perform LCA and IO analysis as well as on the construction of IO models based on supply-use tables obtained from national statistics. Advantages and disadvantages of IO data relative to LCA based on process-data will be discussed. Further, lectures will be given on how to integrate process-data and IO-data in hybrid modelling to obtain the advantages of both the IO and the LCA approaches (both tiered and embedded approaches). The course will provide the background for understanding IO and hybrid modelling, including trade-linking in multi-regional models, and how the quality of the model depends on how it is constructed. The course will introduce to the practical use of the Exiobase v4 hybrid database.

Course outline (lectures and exercises on):

  • The basic math of LCA-modelling and parallels between input-output modelling and process-based modelling. Monetary balancing and life cycle costing.
  • Monetary supply and use tables and how they are constructed from raw data. Time series and currency conversion. How to handle and model basic prices and purchaser’s prices. Valuation tables and markets.
  • Creating a physical mirror of economy: Physical supply use tables, focusing on fundamental balancing requirements.
  • Integrating final consumption into the core supply-use table.
  • Integrating fixed capital formation and use into the core supply-use table.
  • Different models for creating IO-models – and their pros and cons. Consequential and attributional modelling in the IO-framework.
  • What does “hybrid” mean? IO-tables in hybrid units? Hybrids between consequential and attributional models? Linking LCA data with IO-data? Or?
  • Tiered and embedded approaches for hybridization: Combining external data sources with the IO framework. Reducing uncertainty in LCA.
  • Disaggregating/detailing supply-use tables and IO models.
  • Dealing with imports and exports. Closed-country models versus trade-linking of IO tables for different countries/regions, i.e. creating multi-regional IO models. Attributional and consequential trade-linking.
  • Databases: Differences within and across IO and LCI databases. Description of EXIOBASE monetary and hybrid, with environmental, social, and economic extensions.
  • Modelling of waste treatment and by-product utilization in the supply-use framework.
  • Different activity and product classifications and how data are converted between them.
  • Applying fixed or flexible activity detail across countries/regions. Advantages and challenges.
  • Examples of using disaggregations in and from more detailed Supply-Use Tables.
  • Implementing indirect land use change in the supply-use framework.
  • Regional disaggregation.

Form and academic recognition:

Form: 12 hours lectures, 8 hours workshops/exercises.
Academic recognition: 1,5 ECTS points. This includes reading a mandatory list of literature.

Learning outcomes:

  • Ability to extract information from national accounts and input-output models. Understanding the limitations and ability to avoid pit-falls.
  • Understanding of the difference between different modelling approaches and their implications for the results.
  • Ability to use existing input-output models for LCA purposes and IO analysis, and to be critical towards the interpretation of the results.