The Tools Pole of Excellence aims to create life cycle assessment (LCA) software tools specifically tailored to the needs of clients, to operationalize LCA research in computational tools and to develop a suite of open-source modules that can be assembled to create cutting-edge LCA software tools when combined.
In addition to LCA, the Tools group also uses Input-Output models. The Input-Output (IO) model is one of the core tools of Industrial Ecology alongside LCA. Both methods share common purposes and mathematical backgrounds. IO is a top-down approach while LCA is a bottom-up approach, however. As such, IO offers opportunities that LCA cannot achieve, e.g., a realistic representation of the economy. IO is therefore a much-needed tool when it comes to modeling complete systems and the associated impacts on the environment of these systems.