ACLCA Announces 2018 LCA Award Winners

Debbie Steckel, ACLCA or 202.660.0337

Washington, DC.-September 26, 2018 The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) honored individuals and companies advancing the application of life cycle assessment and innovation in environmental sustainability at LCA XVIII during the Annual Awards Dinner in Fort Collins, Colorado on September, 26th.

This year’s winners are Richard Helling, Dow Chemical Company; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; Russell Balzer, World Auto Steel; Ben Amor, University Sherbrooke; Shaobin Li, University of Nebraska; and Kohler.

“We are excited to honor those who work to advance life cycle assessment,” said Debbie Steckel, Executive Director of ACLCA. "I would like to personally congratulate all the LCA Award winners – individuals and organizations, that have gone the extra mile to advance the use of LCA through best practices and leadership," said Steckel.

LCA Award recipients for 2018 include:

Rich Helling, Director of Sustainable Chemistry for The Dow Chemical Company received the 2018 Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award.  Dr. Helling is the Director of Sustainable Chemistry at The Dow Chemical Company (Dow). He has led dozens of LCA projects, including many that have been published and presented externally.  He has been an innovator of, and advocate for, the use of simple tools to apply life cycle thinking to goals, strategies and decisions within Dow.  He is the lead LCA expert at Dow, and the mentor of and teacher to the LCA community at Dow.  Dr. Helling has also been active in the LCA community and has lectured on LCA and sustainability at the University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Louisiana State University, Wayne State University and Harvey Mudd College.  He looks forward to continued opportunities to practice and promote LCA.

Kohler Co. received the 2018 Corporate LCA Leadership Award.
Kohler Co. uses life cycle assessment to inform its Design for Environment (DfE) program and to provide environmental impact transparency through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). DfE, as part of the product development process, helps Kohler provide customers with more sustainable choices every day.  With a team of in-house product sustainability experts, the sustainability insights provided by LCA may be directly applied to Kohler products and services.  Certified EPDs are built in-house, offering environmental impact transparency for thousands of individual product models on demand.  The team, led by Jeff Zeman, manager – product sustainability engineering, support the use of EPDs to allow for more informed decision-making for both Kohler designers as part of the product development process and customers.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received the 2018 Government Leadership in LCA Award.
David Allaway, Peter Canepa and Minal Mistry have been true champions for the Oregon DEQ's LCA and Materials Management program.  The Oregon DEQ is leveraging the power of LCA to inform prioritization of materials and industries and build capacity and services in the state.  They have also been actively collaborating on sustainability challenges and initiatives in the areas of circular economy, waste prevention, and green building using LCA as the credible, transparent foundation for outreach.

Russ Balzer received the 2018 Rising Star in LCA Award. Russ Balzer is a Technical Director for The Phoenix Group, and leads engineering and environmental studies for WorldAutoSteel, the automotive steel consortium representing 22 American and global steel suppliers. In this role, Russ leads efforts for the conversion of global automotive emissions regulations from tailpipe measurement to regulations that embrace Life Cycle thinking as the avenue to more comprehensive transport emissions mitigation. Russ has conducted many comparative analyses of automotive components and vehicles to fully assess comprehensive vehicle environmental performance. As Technical Director for WorldAutoSteel, Russ works with the Technical University of Berlin to develop options for including LCA in vehicle regulations, which are being reviewed by regulatory agencies.

Ben Amor, University of Sherbrooke, received the 2018 Education LCA Leadership Award. Ben Amor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Laval University in Quebec. Ben holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal. He’s the head of the Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on Sustainable Engineering and Ecodesign (LIRIDE) and recently become the Building Engineering Undergraduate Program Director. Ben's research and teaching activities are focused on sustainable engineering, LCA and circular economy

Shaobin Li, PhD student, University of Nebraska, received the Student LCA Leadership Award. Shaobin is pioneering the development of sustainability assessment techniques to apply in the meat packing industry by developing an innovative framework of sustainability assessment. This includes integrating LCA with food safety to evaluate antimicrobial systems of the beef packing industry and incorporating LCA to evaluate human health from environmental risks with occupational and foodborne risks. This summer, he had a paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production related to an LCA comparison of three common microbial intervention processes used in the beef packing industry. He is also engaged in several projects examining the sustainability assessment of small wastewater treatment systems.



The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) is a nonprofit membership organization providing education, awareness, advocacy and communications to build capacity and knowledge of environmental LCA. ACLCA membership consists of industry, academia, government, consulting, and NGOs. Visit



The LCA XVIII Conference brings together more than 250 leaders from government, industry, academia and NGOs to share knowledge, expertise and advance the science and application of LCA to achieve environmental sustainability.