The Project: Our aim is to significantly improve energy and material flow data availability necessary to perform economic and environmental analyses. One of the key challenges, for example to analyse the effects of high oil prices on individual products, is the absence of easily accessible data at a sufficient level of detail. The constraint is that data compiled in life cycle and other commonly used databases is too aggregated and cumbersome to access for use in supply chain, economic, and environmental analyses.
The type of analyses are required to obtain an understanding of how changes in material flows and their cost, both economic and environmental, affect our societies. Without them we are blind to the influences of commodity price changes across different sectors, to the material intensity of produced goods and their reliance on scarce materials, and to the impact of supply chain disruptions in one single country to the globalized world to which it is connected.
We want to overcome current data constraints by creating a new reference standard data inventory of individual processes across industries, sectors, and countries, wherein all the available information is compiled in an Open Source environment. These individual processes can then be integrated to a desired end-to-end boundary level by the user of said inventory.
The data will include:
• A complete inventory of conversion processes for the production of raw, intermediary and finished goods and services;
• Quantitative data of inputs and outputs of the processes including energy and mass flows, human labour contributions, and associated greenhouse gas emissions;
Output: The data will become available in an online database, to be made accessible through a graphical user interface with flow diagram outputs to improve usability. Simply put, open access is given to both individual data-points and complete supply chains at any level of boundary conditions. A user can enter any specific good or process, and combine it with a starting and ending point for previous and successive processes, to obtain energy and resource flows within these boundaries.
By making such data available this project will contribute to future analyses which:
• Identify the effects of rising energy and material costs on individual sectors and industries;
• Create an understanding for non-integrated companies to the composition of their total supply chain;
• Demonstrate the effects of production and consumption on environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions and other wastes;
• Analyse long term material availability based on input requirement and cost to benefit analysis;
• Create an understanding of the consequences of short term supply disruptions of imports on economic activity.
Current status: The project has been split up in a number of phases starting with the outline of the database to the final on-line website. Currently we are in the process of assembling the majority of publicly available data on mass- and energy flows, and putting it in the first version of the database.
After the data gathering the next phase is to integrate the data with semantic process maps we have created. Together with inserting Boolean logic this allows for the creation of an integrated supply chain at any end-to-end boundary level.
Contact: Any inquiries or expressions of interest related to this specific project can be made through our contact form. Please include in the subject of the message “Online Process Data Warehouse"