Introducing BONSAI – The Big Open Network for Sustainability Assessment Information

bonsai-logo-940x286The aim of BONSAI is to make reliable, unbiased sustainability information on products – “product footprints” – readily and freely available whenever and wherever it is needed to support product comparisons and decisions.

BONSAI is a not-for-profit association under the leadership of the LCA expert Bo Weidema. Its aim is that all data, software and algorithms to determine product footprints are maintained as open source. Funding is based on commitments from governments, industries and charities, and supplemented by crowdfunding.

BONSAI’s core database consists of a multi-regional input-output table that is disaggregated using detailed process information. The BONSAI group will develop open source algorithms and software for estimating missing data, reconciling conflicts between data, and for data access and evaluation. Social and environmental satellite accounts will allow users to determine a wide spectrum of impact indicators of their consumption choices.


The database will be open for additions and annual updates of national supply-use tables, trade data, as well as user-supplied flow and activity data. The requirements on data format will be kept as low as possible to encourage data supply. Quality of the data will ensured during an expert review after submission.

Within the coming months a prototype database will be set up by the BONSAI team, and a public beta-version will be put online next year.

Interested in the idea? Maybe even wanting to join the network? More info on https://bonsai.uno/

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