Michael Braungart holds the Academic Chair Cradle-to-Cradle for Innovation and Quality at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. The role combines education and research in design, architecture, and engineering with business and innovation.
He is the founder and scientific CEO of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung, an international environmental research and consulting institute headquartered in Hamburg; and is also Professor of Process Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule Nordostniedersachsen) in Suderburg, Germany.
He is a chemist who advocates that humanity can make a positive instead of a negative environmental impact by redesigning industrial production, ultimately claiming that human activities should not generate waste. He is also the co-founder and scientific director of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), co-founder and scientific manager of Hamburger Umweltinstitut (HUI) (a non-profit research center) as well as director of Braungart Consulting in Hamburg.
Michael Braungart is Professor of Eco Design at the Institut für Ethik und Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung (IETSR) Lüneberg University (since 1994), Visiting Professor in Building Design Technology at Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft (since 2011); and Visiting Professor of Industrial Design Engineering at Faculty of Engineering Technology (CTW), at University of Twente (since 2010).
He studied chemistry and process engineering at Konstanz, Darmstadt, Hannover, and Zurich Universities. In the 1980s, he dedicated his work to the environmental organization Greenpeace and beginning in 1982 helped to establish the chemistry section of Greenpeace International, which he took over in 1985.
He co-authored Cradle to Cradle with William McDonough, and has lectured at numerous universities in Europe, America and Asia. He developed the Cradle to Cradle concept under the name “Intelligent Products System” (IPS) and his expertise has been published in numerous international magazines and journals.
He was presented with the LafargeHolcim Foundation Catalyst Award – a recognition for experts who have made a substantial, outstanding, and lasting contribution to the advancement of sustainable development and truly living up to his dictum that “being less bad is simply not good enough.” The Award was presented by Jan Jenisch, CEO of LafargeHolcim at the 6th LafargeHolcim Forum in Cairo, Egypt (2019).
He presented “A building like a tree, a city like a forest” at the inaugural Holcim Roundtable held at MIT Endicott House, Boston, MA, USA in 2014 and also attended the 2nd Holcim Roundtable held in Einsiedeln, Switzerland (2015).