The LCA+U Challenge


Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, ESW and Sustainable Minds have run the life-cycle assessment plus universities (LCA+U) challenge. LCA+U has students work with campus staff and sustainability life-cycle assessment software to identify solutions or improvements to campus operations that have quantifiably lower environmental impacts.

LCA+U provides a way to engage students and staff on campus and arm them with tools to investigate whether popular options will be what has the most potential environmental impact. If you're interested in learning more about the challenge, contact Erin Lennox at


2014 Projects

University of Pittsburgh: Hydration Stations

This project team will evaluate the life cycle impacts of alternative solutions for providing students with drinking water on campus. There are a lot of different options, from bottled water to disinfecting and filtering boxes, with many things in between. The results will help clarify impacts of a technology increasingly found on college campuses.


University of California - Berkeley: Paperless Collaboration

In collaboration with a graduate research group, the Next Digital Research Team will be evaluating software solutions for student and faculty project collaboration to reduce the use of paper on campus.


University of Pittsburgh: Market Central Composting

he team will be assessing the current composting solution in the universities main dining hall as well as assessing other composting options for managing food waste generated by tens of thousands of meals each day, for guidance in the future of several university dining facilities.


2013 Project Details