BONSAI is organised as a not-for-profit association, with the aim that all data, software and algorithms to produce “product footprints” are maintained as open source. Funding is based on commitments from governments, industries and charities, and supplemented by crowd-funding.

While having a central secretariat, much of the development work is performed in independent projects that contribute specific parts of the overall system. And like Wikipedia, BONSAI cannot work without the involvement of a large number of voluntary contributors organised via social media technology.

As part of the business plan and implementation of the organisation we formulate technical and managerial policies, targets and procedures in an open and collaborative process. Reliability of data storage, performance of data access, and preservation of data into the future, are important objectives that are maintained via distributed data storage. Modelled after Wikipedia, the history of data and algorithm changes are maintained for retrieval and re-construction.

The roles of contributors, domain experts and system experts, and the necessary support, communication, motivation and dispute resolution systems, will build on experience from the Wikipedia project.


The statute of the BONSAI non-profit association and a presentation of the current board are available here: Download statutes, BONSAI Board Presentation 2020.

The BONSAI network stretches beyond the non-profit organization. If you want to read more about the members and the activities of the BONSAI network check our BONSAI GitHub page.