The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) Annual LCA Awards honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in advancing LCA and life cycle thinking. The annual awards program is an opportunity to recognize those leaders at all levels, in all areas that have shown powerful support and a clear vision for the implementation and application of LCA.

ACLCA Awards includes the following three categories to recognize organizations and individuals for leadership, career achievements, and best practices that have advanced the field.

Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award (individual award)
Through the Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award (individual award), we seek to identify a leader whose long-term active engagement in our community has had a significant, impact on the field and profession of LCA and life cycle thinking.  A Lifetime Achievement Award winner is a successful leader in an organization, industry, and in our community. Further, the Lifetime Award allows us to recognize a true pillar who will teach future generations by example. This award recognizes contributions over the entirety of a career, rather than, or in addition to, a single contribution.

Rising Star Award (individual award)
The LCA Rising Star award is intended to recognize an emerging leader in LCA and life cycle thinking who reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession and increased levels of leadership and responsibility. Successful candidates will have not yet reached a senior-level position, but their track-record should reflect a strong potential for continued growth towards the highest levels of the profession.

LCA Leadership Awards  - Corporate, Government, Education, Student (individual or organization)
ACLCA Leadership Awards recognize the role of perceptive and forward-thinking individuals or organizations that have been instrumental in the advancement and application of LCA and life cycle thinking.


2020 ACLCA Awards Committee

Peter Arbuckle, USDA

Sasha Drumm, Kohler

Bill Flanagan, Aspire Sustainability

Connie Hensler, Interface

Carrie Person, 3M


LCA Award recipients for 2020 include:

Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award: Sangwon Suh, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Sangwon Suh is a Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He directs the CLiCC Program, an Industry-University partnership on life cycle assessment (LCA) of chemicals. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ajou University in South Korea and Ph.D., with distinction, from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Over the last two decades, Dr. Suh devoted his professional career to the advancement of LCA in science and practice.

As a scholar, Dr. Suh contributed primarily to the methodological foundations of LCA. His contribution encompasses various areas of LCA including solving an LCI problem, allocation, uncertainty characterization, consequential LCA, and hybridization between process and input-output approaches. The mathematical algorithms and analytical approaches that he presented through his books and articles have been adopted by various commercial LCA software tools and databases. He authored and co-authored three books, 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, several dozens of book chapters, and editorials on LCA. His works have been cited over 24,000 times according to Google Scholar. The impact of his research was recognized with the ‘Highly Cited Researcher’ designation by Thomson-Reuters, which is given to the top 1% of researchers in the world based on field-weighted citation records.

Dr. Suh has been at the forefront of the international science-policy interfaces advocating life-cycle thinking. As a Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he co-led the Drivers and Trend chapter of the Assessment Report 5, where life-cycle-based metrics appeared for the first time in the history of IPCC’s Assessment Reports. He served the UNEP International Resource Panel as a member, where he led several global assessments that use LCA.

As an educator, Dr. Suh developed and taught LCA and carbon footprint courses at various universities including Carnegie Mellon University, University of Minnesota, UC Santa Barbara, Seoul National University, Hong Kong City University, and Harvard University. He mentored 17 Ph.D. students, 9 postdoctoral scholars, and dozens of master students on LCA.

As a citizen of the LCA community, Dr. Suh is a proud member of the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). He also serves its board and education committee. He worked for the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment and the Journal of Industrial Ecology as an Associate Editor, and he is leading a new journal, “Frontiers in Sustainability” as the Editor-in-Chief.

Corporate LCA Leadership Award: Carrie Pearson, Sustainability Manager, 3M Sustainability
The 3M LCA team is part of 3M Sustainability, which is at the heart of the organization working to set aggressive goals, build Sustainability into every new 3M product, and use science to change the world and make it more sustainable for future generations. The team primarily supports the Science for Circular and Science for Climate pillars of 3M’s Strategic Sustainability Framework, helping customers and product development teams ‘design solutions that do more with less material, advancing a global circular economy,’ and ‘innovate to decarbonize industry, accelerate global climate solutions and improve our environmental footprint.’

Carrie Pearson, who has been part of the LCA team since it was formed in 2009, manages the small team that supports all four of 3M’s business groups, working on projects ranging from health care to safety and industrial; transportation and electronics, to the consumer.  Carrie is, among other things, a member of the ACLCA Board and the co-chair of the ACLCA PCR Committee, serves on the External Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan and is the current chair of the US ISO TAG 207 ST5, the US technical advisory group involved in the development of ISO LCA standards, including ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. development.

Government Leadership in LCA Award: Wesley W. Ingwersen, Ph.D., Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development
Dr. Wesley Ingwersen has served as an Environmental Engineer in the US EPA's Office of Research and Development since 2010, developing methods, models, and tools for life cycle assessment and materials management.

Dr. Ingwersen co-led an international guidance document on product category rules. He has led the development of a standard elementary flow list and EPA's data quality guidance for LCA. He has conceptualized and directed advancements in LCA software including in openLCA and through the creation of an open-source tool ecosystem for LCA. Since 2015 he has led the development of the economy-wide LCA model USEEIO. Dr. Ingwersen helped establish the Technical Working Group for the Federal LCA Commons initiative and the Global Network of LCA databases. He has served as a technical expert on LCA for the US State Department's Director of Environmental Policy, the EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs, and the US Green Building Council. Dr. Ingwersen earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida.

Education LCA Leadership Award: Bhavik R. Bakshi, Morrow Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University
Bhavik Bakshi is the Richard M. Morrow Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University. He is also on the Faculty Advisory Board of OSU's Sustainability Institute and has a courtesy appointment in Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering.

His research is developing systematic methods to ensure that engineering solutions make positive contributions to sustainable development without causing unintended harm. Such solutions should enhance human well-being, be socially desirable, and respect ecological limits. Developing such solutions requires interaction across disciplines such as process systems engineering, systems ecology, environmental economics, energy policy, and applied statistics. Specific areas of expertise include Sustainable product, process, value chain design, Life cycle assessment, Circular economy, and Ecosystem services.

In addition to many papers and invited talks, his contributions include a textbook on sustainable engineering, user-friendly software for life cycle assessment, editorial board memberships of several multidisciplinary journals, and short courses taught across the world at institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.

Prof. Bakshi received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, MS in Chemical Engineering Practice and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in Technology and Environmental Policy through courses and research conducted at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Rising Star Award: Brandon Kuczenski, Associate Researcher, University of California, Santa Barbara

Brandon Kuczenski is an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studies industrial ecology.
After receiving a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in mechanical engineering, he pivoted to sustainability research and studied waste management and recycling systems in the state of California.  His current research objectives include improving the reusability and reproducibility of life cycle assessment studies and data, and protection of data privacy in the publication of LCA models and results.  Recently, he has begun applying life cycle thinking to marine conservation research and fisheries management.

Dr. Kuczenski is also a principal at Scope 3 Consulting, where he is working to improve the accessibility and value of sustainability assessments for small scale and public users.

Press Release ACLCA Announces 2020 Award Winners


Past Awardees

Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award

2020 Sangwon Suh, University of California, Santa Barbara

2019 Jim Fava, Anthesis Group

2018 Rich Helling, DOW

2017 Lise Laurin, EarthShift Global

2016 Tom Gloria, Industrial Ecology Consultants 

2015 Rita Schenck, IERE

2014 Bill Flanagan, GE Ecoassessment Center of Excellence

Rising Star Award

2020 Brandon Kuczenski, University of California, Santa Barbara

2019 Hongyue Jin, University of Arizona

2018 Russ Balzer, The Phoenix Group

LCA Leadership Awards - Corporate, Government, Education, Student


Carrie Pearson, 3M - Corporate LCA Leadership Award

Wesley Ingwersen, US EPA  -  Government Leadership in LCA Award

Bhavik Bhakshi, The Ohio State University - Education LCA Leadership Award


Abdelhadi Sahnoune, ExxonMobil - Corporate LCA Leadership Award

Timothy Skone, DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory -  Government Leadership in LCA Award

Nathan Pelletier, Food System PRISM Lab - Education LCA Leadership Award


Kohler Co.  - Corporate LCA Leadership Award

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)  -  Government Leadership in LCA Award

Ben Amor, University of Sherbrooke - Education LCA Leadership Award

Shaobin Li, PhD student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Student LCA Leadership Award


GE Ecoassessment Center of Excellence  - Corporate LCA Leadership Award

Federal Commons -  Government LCA Leadership Award


American Chemistry Council - Corporate LCA Leadership Award

Laurie Wright, Solent University - Education LCA Leadership Award


University of British Columbia - Academic LCA Leadership Award

City of Vancouver - Government LCA Leadership Awards

Dow - Corporate LCA Leadership Awards