Brightway2 logo

Advanced life cycle assessment framework


Brightway2 is a open source framework for life cycle assessment (LCA). It doesn’t try to replace software like SimaPro or OpenLCA, but rather to offer new possibilities to those who want to break the limits of conventional LCA. So it's not for everyone, and you will need to invest some time learning about Python to use Brightway2. Basically, this is the framework for you if your project lies at the intersection of LCA and your imagination.


  • More than 100 Monte Carlo iterations/second
  • Use with Jupyter notebooks
  • Downstream and upstream supply chain traversal
  • Multiple database backends
  • Graphs in Python (Matplotlib) or Javascript (D3.js)


  • Open. All code in Brightway2 is open source, and made available under the BSD license.
  • Agile. The simplicity of the data format and calculation engine make it easy to adapt the code or add new functionality.
  • Freedom. A inventory dataset is a document with a few required fields, and can be adapted to your particular model or problem domain.
  • Modular. Each set of functions is split into a package, with its own tests and documentation.


In [1]: from brightway2 import *

In [2]: def do_lca():
   ...:     lca = LCA(
   ...:         demand={Database("ecoinvent 2.2").random(): 1},
   ...:         method=methods.random()
   ...:     )
   ...:     lca.lci()
   ...:     lca.lcia()
   ...:     return lca.score

In [3]: %timeit do_lca()
1 loops, best of 3: 1.12 s per loop


Brightway2 has many authors, and was created by Chris Mutel during his postdoctoral work at the group for Ecological Systems Design, led by Professor Stefanie Hellweg, and was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, ETH Zürich, and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

This webpage by Chris Mutel is licensed Creative Commons License.