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

2015 Challenge Information

For 2015, we are pleased to offer LCA+U as both a team-based project and an online short course. Every two weeks, starting on January 14th, all participants (teams and individuals) will work through four sessions on the basics of LCA, scoping and software usage, interpreting results, and making decisions with LCA results. Teams will receive full access to the software and additional mentorship, be eligible for poster presentation and implementation grants at the 2015 Annual Conference, and are expected to produce a polished final report. Individuals will receive a robust education in the practical use of LCA and personal attention, a certificate of completion, and lots of small-group digital discussion. 

Registration & Proposals

Students interested in registering as a team should submit a brief proposal to Erin Lennox at with their team size, affiliation, and proposed project topic of interest.  You don't have to be part of an ESW chapter to participate in LCA+U, and a maximum 10 teams will be allowed to participate. Read the full proposal requirements and program description here

Individuals can register here for the course - registration is free for all ESW members, and $25 for non-members. You can register as a member here. All teams should register for the course as well as submitting a proposal. 

Previous Years' Results

2014 Project Details

2013 Project Details