Process-Oriented Basic Data for Environmental Management Systems (ProBas)

As acting sustainably in corporate environments gains importance, companies are increasingly required to structure data for environmental management. That can only be done when considering the company´s eco balance holistically and having access to a valid and reliable database. How can you establish such a database to measure processes’ environmental impact?


Overview of a ProBas dataset

Overview of a ProBas dataset

Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency provides free access to data related to environmental management, eco balances, and material flow analysis in their database ProBas. The database is subdivided into various categories such as energy, materials & products, transport, and disposal. Beneath this thematic groups, the process data is structured in accordance to the NACE¹ classification. Aside from providing general-purpose information, datasets particularly offer details on resources, air emissions and waste water. Noteworthy is that for some ProBas datasets there is the calculation of cumulative raw material costs that allows you to display all incoming raw materials in your system, including all production stages and transport chains.

To establish an extensive database for life cycle data, multiple free-of-charge sources of data are integrated into ProBas. Targeted filtering allows for scanning over 15,000 datasets at a time. The process details provide detailed information about the environmental impact, resource consumption and other aggregated indicators for example of resources, air emissions or waste material. Also, information can easily be exported to PDF or XML files.

ProBas in cii

For our sustainability management software cii – collect – integrate – improve, we access, aside from other databases, the ProBas database. ProBas’ advantages become apparent when considering a practical example.

ProBas Chart for Diesel

ProBas Chart for Diesel

For one of our customers, we are developing a holistic concept for managing sustainability. A first step in the development was to monitor their fleet’s CO2 emissions per kilometer for all business districts. Using cii in connection with the ProBas database allowed us to display the CO2 balance of all fleet vehicles over time, for each business district or fuel type.

The responsible manager gets the data of the fleets CO2 emissions for the various business districts or the complete company by just one look at his dashboard and can, if required, react immediately.

ProBas Presentation in cii

ProBas Workflow in cii

This counts as only one illustration of how to use the ProBas database. Its’ size and high level of detail offer many other areas of applications and further possibilities of analysis.

More information on the ProBas database you can find on the ProBas website of the Federal Environmental Agency.


Picture of Simone Baerthele

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Logo of the Umweltbundesamt ProBas

¹) Nomenclature statistique des Activités Économiques dans la Communauté Européenne (NACE) – The Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community; in ProBas implemented as nomenclatur.