Visionary environmental thinker Michael Braungart was honored at the LafargeHolcim Forum 2019 with the first ever Catalyst Award for Sustainable Construction in recognition for his thought leadership on sustainability. The award was presented by LafargeHolcim CEO Jan Jenisch at the LafargeHolcim Forum in Cairo – a conference focused on “Re-materializing Construction” to foreground material stocks and flows in order to further the objectives of sustainable construction.
His inspiration keynote at the Forum focused on shifting the focus from minimizing the level of human impact towards creating systems with a positive contribution: such as carbon positive buildings and material banks. “Let’s escape the efficiency paradigm of the past and move from a focus on doing less damage to focusing on effectively generating positive outcomes,” he said.
Michael Braungart is a chemist and founder of EPEA International Umweltforschung in Hamburg, Germany, and Cradle-to-Cradle Chair at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He co-authored Cradle to Cradle with William McDonough and spear-headed the concept that humans can make a positive instead of a negative environmental impact by redesigning industrial production and remaking material cycles. “If you simply work to perfect the wrong design – all you end up with is a design that is perfectly wrong,” he said.
As part of its role to promote thought leadership in sustainability, the LafargeHolcim Foundation conducts a series of conferences on the topic of sustainable that take place every three years. More than 350 leading thinkers from 55 countries representing the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and the construction industry attended the 6th Forum that was hosted by The American University in Cairo in April 2019.