Carnegie Mellon University

Information for Researchers and LCA Practitioners

The EIO-LCA method is one option for performing input-output life cycle assessment.  Unlike process-based LCA methods which focus on examining a single process in detail, input-output-based LCA methods consider an entire economy - all activities of all industry sectors.  In that way, the boundary for input-output life cycle analyses are very broad.  The trade-off is that input-ouput-based LCA methods are based on industry sectors and thus lacks the specificity of process-based models.  

The Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment method uses economic input-output tables as the basis for analysis.  These tables, typically produced by national governments, quantifiy the economic purchases between different industry sectors.  In addition, national-level data on material or energy resources consumed by industry sectors, and data on industry releases to the environment are used to estimated life cycle impacts.  

References for the EIO-LCA method and applications of the method

Theory and mathematical derivation of the EIO-LCA method 

Assumptions, uncertainty and other considerations with the EIO-LCA method

Creating hybrid LCA models with EIO-LCA and process-based LCA methods

EIO-LCA models available via

Citing results from