Rita Schenck Lifetime Individual LCA Leadership Award Recipient
Mike Levy, CLE is a Senior Associate with environmental consulting firm First Environment, Inc (First Environment). At the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) 2021 Annual Conference, Mr. Levy was honored with the LCA Lifetime Individual Leadership Award. This prestigious award identifies a true pillar that educates future generations by example. Mike dedicated this award to all the first timers that attended this conference with a message … “pay it forward” – you are the future, and the future is now. We look to you to spur others to use this knowledge to make the kind of informed decisions to lower the overall footprint we all leave on this planet for the next generation.”
Mr. Levy was a guest speaker and presented on the challenges of communicating LCA results where he provided two public case studies on advanced recycling LCA studies during the ACLCA conference.
At First Environment Mr. Levy leads a team conducting ISO conformant external peer reviews of life cycle assessment (LCA) studies, as well as sustainability and circular economy related programs and advice for clients. Mike’s expertise includes active participation in ISO global standards for life cycle, greenhouse gas (GHG) climate issues, and circular economy. He is also an accomplished chemical and plastics industry executive and life cycle expert with over 30 years’ experience working in and advising Fortune 500 companies, governments and trade organizations.
Mike’s career goes well beyond the world of life cycle assessment, and spans government, industry trade association, and consulting experience. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and early in his career began working in state government in New York.
As a civil engineer with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), Mike administered a junior civil engineering training program for over 30 new college graduates in the Albany, NY regional office; and was appointed highway design squad leader for major portion of I-88 (Schenectady, NY to Binghamton, NY interstate highway).
Following his master’s degree part-time from RPI, Mike then began his environmental career, moving to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). He (a) administered NYSDEC’s first wastewater treatment plant operators training course to 74 municipal and industrial treatment plant staff in a 14-country region in central and western New York; (b) performed flood disaster surveys with EPA during Hurricane Agnes in the southern tier of NY State; and (c )served as senior air pollution control engineer responsible for permitting, enforcement, and compliance activities of over 1000 industries in the DEC Region 8 (Rochester, NY) 11 county and area.
Mike received his professional engineers (P.E.) license from New York, then left the government and began his career in the chemical and plastics industry.
Mike first joined Allied Chemical Company’s headquarters in Morristown, NJ, where he coordinated and developed environmental compliance activities as Division Environmental Engineer for Allied’s four by-product coke plants, three coal mines, and four tar plants in seven states.
Most of you know Mike from his experience in the plastics and chemical industry, and that began with Mike joining Mobil Chemical Company — first in the Plastic Division in Macedon (Rochester), NY — and then moving to Princeton, NJ and ultimately Fairfax, VA for the company. Mike held a number of positions at Mobil and was responsible for all legislative and regulatory affairs issues for six divisions of Mobil Chemical Company, including petrochemicals (polyethylene, polystyrene), plastics (OPP Films, polyethylene film and bags, polystyrene foodservice products, stretch film, shrink wrap); mines and minerals; consumer products; paint and coatings, and R&D.
Mike entered the world of consulting with Franklin Associates, Ltd, and established a Washington, D.C. office and served as Vice President and Principal of this Kansas-based Environmental Management Consulting Firm. Mike speaks highly of being able to learn and work with Bill and Marge Franklin, who are considered one of the early founders of the “resource and environmental profile analysis” life cycle methodology.
Industry Trade Associations
Mike began a trade association career spanning over 20 years with the industry groups representing the plastics and chemical industry sector, including the: (a) Society of Plastics Industry; (b) Polystyrene Packaging Council; (c) American Plastics Council; (d) Council for Solid Waste Solutions; (e) Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group, which became part of (f) American Chemistry Council’s Plastic Division.
Mike is recognized globally as an industry and organization leader, influencer, advocate, and trusted advisor on the circular economy across the supply chain. He is an innovative problem solver with business sustainability and advocacy expertise working with legislators and regulators developing solutions to key environmental, safety and health issues facing key industries. Mike is a frequent speaker and organizer of global industry sustainability summits and conferences and author of notable publications. His leadership roles include board member and co-chair of the Policy Committee for the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) and elected co-chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group now developing the International Standard Association (ISO) TC 323 standards for circular economy.
On a personal note, Mike advocates for middle and high school students who are interested in science and engineering. He served as the environmental category chair for at the annual Fairfax County, Virginia high school science and engineering fair .
Read more on the 2021 LCA Award recipients.