Building capacity, driving development & connecting the LCA Community


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.

Award recipients will be announced during the 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner to be held on Wednesday, September 23rd during the LCA XIX conference in Tucson, Arizona.

Nominations for the 2019 LCA awards are closed. 

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.


2019 ACLCA Awards Committee

Peter Arbuckle, USDA

Sasha Drumm, Kohler

Bill Flanagan, Aspire Sustainability

Connie Hensler, Interface

Carrie Person, 3M


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. 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.

Past Awardees

Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award

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

2018 Russ Balzer, The Phoenix Group

LCA Leadership Awards - Corporate, Government, Education, Student


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