Michael Braungart

Prof. Braungart set up the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA) Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, which works with clients worldwide to apply the Cradle to Cradle®-methodology to the design of new processes, products and services.

Founder of EPEA International Environmental Research GmbH

After completing his studies in Process Engineering in Darmstadt, Germany, Michael Braungart went on to explore the chemical processes of industrial production techniques with the Chemistry Department at Konstanz, Germany. He subsequently spearheaded the formation of the Chemistry Section of Greenpeace International. By the time he completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Hannover in 1985, he had assumed leadership of Greenpeace Chemistry.

Michael Braungart is currently professor of Process Engineering at Leuphana University Lüneburg  and guest professor at the Darden Business School in Charlottesville, Virginia as well as at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

In 1987, Professor Braungart founded the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg. At the heart of EPEA is the "Intelligent Products System" (IPS), which creates products oriented toward a life-cycle economy and earned the Océ-van der Grinten Award in 1993. 

In addition to his achievements within the EPEA, Michael Braungart also serves as Scientific Manager of the Hamburg Environmental Institute, the non-profit research center which edits the "Top 50 Study", a ranking of the environmentally quality of companies of the chemical industry.

The wisdom of designing cradle to cradle

Working in concert with the designer and dean William McDonough in their product design and development firm, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

Michael Braungart wrote together with William McDonough the impressive book: 'Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things'. They set up an example how businesses can be transformed through intelligent design for “triple top line” results; a profitable synthesis of economic, ecological and social value. Instead of trying to be less bad, Cradle to Cradle asks how to do the best. They addressed in the book: “Eliminating the concept of waste means designing things – products, packaging, and systems – with an understanding that waste does not exist.”

Professor Michael Braungart currently concentrates his efforts at McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry and EPEA International Environmental Research by working with major industrial producers, such as Nike, Aveda and Interface on issues of materials assessment, waste and energy balances, lifecycle design, and designing for disassembly. He is also actively designing new products, and was contributing in the creation of the compostable fabric line Climatex®Lifecycle™ with William McDonough.

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