Operationalising Life Cycle Assessment of Pesticides (OLCA-Pest)

Involved QSA researchers: Peter Fantke | Carlos Melero

DTU-share file repository (project-internal use only)


Project Results

[Project results not listed below are currently in preparation for submission as scientific articles]
Title Description
OLCA-Pest FAQ Summary and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) of the OLCA-Pest project methods and results
Public report Summary of OLCA-Pest project results and main recommendations
LCI results Default life cycle inventory (LCI) pesticide initial emission distribution fractions from the OLCA-Pest project
LCIA results Additional life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) characterization factors from the OLCA-Pest project
Deliverable 1.1 Guidance document on how OLCA-Pest and other international efforts can be aligned
Deliverable 1.3 Stakeholder workshops on Catalan wine, Swiss crops, French viticulture, and on stakeholder acceptance
Deliverable 1.4 Scientific publications, conference presentations, and public flyer to disseminate results
Deliverable 2.1 Guidelines for harmonization and scrutinizing pesticide LCI/LCIA data
Deliverable 2.2 Relevant substitutive/other products/metabolites to be considered
Deliverable 2.3 Inventory of LCI/LCIA data structure and metadata description
Deliverable 3.1 Set of improved and documented pesticide emission models for use in LCA and guidance on fate modelling
Deliverable 3.3 Documentation of emission modelling in PestLCI Consensus model (PestLCI-web Documentation)
Deliverable 4.1 Method and documentation of harmonized plant uptake modelling of organic and inorganic pesticides
Deliverable 4.2 Status, next steps and documentation of groundwater ecotoxicity characterization
Deliverable 4.3 Status, next steps and documentation of terrestrial ecotoxicity characterization
Deliverable 5.1 Web based system, documentation, user guide for organic and inorganic pesticides (PestLCI-web Manual)
Deliverable 6.1 Case study selection criteria and overall case study methodology white paper
Deliverable 6.4 Evaluation of models by comparison with selected measured data or non-LCA models
Interview (French) FAQ 'Le point sur l'évaluation des pesticides dans les Analyses de Cycle de Vie (ACV)'


Stakeholder Workshop

The OLCA-Pest team organized a Stakeholder Workshop "Quantifying emissions and environmental impacts of pesticides in life cycle assessment: Building on the pesticide consensus effort" back-to-back with the LCAFood 2020 conference in Berlin on 13-October-2020.

Date and time: 13-October-2020, 12:30-3:30pm CEST
Venue: Virtual, from Berlin, Germany



The main objective of the OLCA-Pest project is to build on current advances in life cycle inventory and life cycle impact assessment to operationalise and harmonize the emission quantification and impact characterization of pesticides in life cycle assessment (LCA) and product environmental footprinting. In current LCA practice, quantifying pesticide emissions from agricultural fields is not aligned with characterising related potential toxicological impacts on humans and different types of ecosystems. Furthermore, the pathways from pesticide application via emissions to environmental media and treated field crops to toxicity impacts are currently only partly and inconsistently covered and many relevant pesticides are currently not included. This leads to LCA results that are incomplete and often misleading and hard to interpret and this makes it impossible to assess and compare the environmental performance profiles of different pest management systems and practices.


Vision and project structure

It is the vision of the OLCA-Pest project to overcome currently existing limitations and challenges when addressing pesticides in LCA. Expertise and capacity will be brought together by (a) connecting researchers and LCA practitioners from academia, industry, and regulation in the OLCA-Pest consortium including Associate Partners (JRC and INRA) and by (b) ensuring a research effort that is aligned with current efforts on global pesticide consensus for estimating pesticide emissions for LCA and on the Agribalyse project series. The research conducted in the OLCA-Pest project will systematically confront and provide guidance to overcome several current issues and challenges of consistently addressing pesticides in LCA. The OLCA-Pest project will contribute to go beyond state-of-the-art assumptions by improving LCI and LCIA data and models for comparing different products and systems that involve the use of agricultural pesticides, specifically comparing different pesticide application, pest management and agricultural practices in LCA.


Case Studies

A consistent set of selected realistic case studies covering different soil, climate and crop archetypes will be define and execute to test and evaluate data and models for pesticides in LCA against selected monitoring data or other models, also from non-LCA communities, to demonstrate that we are able to perform reliable human and ecotoxicity assessments.


Pesticide consensus in LCA

The OLCA-Pest project builds on recommendations from a global Pesticide Consensus in LCA effort. Details about the process and findings of this effort are found HERE.


Publications (scientific output)


Period and main contact

Jun 2017 - Dec 2020. Main contact for this project is Peter Fantke.

Main contact of DTU and partner institutions

Peter Fantke
Professor, DTU Management
Vincent Colomb
Philippe Roux
Assumpció Antón
Thomas Nemecek
Christel Renaud-Gentié
Claudine Basset-Mens
Pierre Naviaux
Serenella Sala
Joel Aubin