In the world of zero waste, the circular economy, and sustainable design, few people can match William McDonough’s accomplishments. We are proud to announce he will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 edition of Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference.
Renowned as an architect, advisor, designer, and author, McDonough is widely considered one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic of sustainability. Along with Michael Braungart, McDonough created the Cradle to Cradle product certification program in 2002, recognized globally as an effective framework for assessing the environmental impact of consumer products. In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. He is currently serving as the Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Circular Economy.
McDonough’s sustainable architectural design work includes NASA’s Sustainability Base, the Ford Rouge truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan, the Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and most recently, the LEED Platinum Hero Motorcycles ‘garden’ factory in India.
NASA’s Sustainability Base
He is the co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance (both with Michael Braungart) and promotes the cradle to cradle approach to a global audience ranging from TED talks to the political business leaders of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.
In a wide-ranging interview from 2014 with the online design journal Inhabit, McDonough explains how Cradle to Cradle works:
“Cradle to Cradle products Certification goes beyond the definition of a rating system or a binary pass/fail seal of approval. Cradle to Cradle is a process for managing the total quality of a product and an engine for business innovation, taking into consideration not only environmental impact but also safety, health and social responsibility. The certification is a continuous and rigorous process, and participating companies hope to move their Basic (CCPC certification level) products toward the achievement of Gold, Silver, or Platinum (levels). No single company product has yet achieved Platinum. Certification takes into account five dimensions: materials as nutrients for safe continuous cycling; development of systems to safely close the loop on our biological and technical nutrients; power all operations with 100% renewable energy; regard water as a precious resource; and finally respect for all people and natural systems.”
This holistic and ambitious approach to zero waste principles is a big reason why McDonough is in high demand to help governments and industry improve their environmental performance. His participation in the 2015 Zero Waste Conference promises to inspire and educate. If you are interested in understanding where we need to go and how to get there – to realize the potential for a truly circular economy and a thriving planet, you don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to hear William McDonough speak about his vision for an abundant, healthy world.
Stay up to date with all the speaker announcements and ZWC 2015 news by subscribing to our blog (top right corner). As we lead up to the conference we’ll keep you up-to-date as the program and participants are finalized.