William McDonough

CEO, McDonough Innovation and Co-Founder, Sustainable Packaging Coalition

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design and development. He has written and lectured extensively on design as the first signal of human intention. He co-authored The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability (1991), Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance (2013).

He advises global leaders through McDonough Innovation, is an architect with William McDonough + Partners and consults through MBDC, the creators of the framework for Cradle to Cradle Certified™ products. He is active with the World Economic Forum, served as the inaugural chair of their Meta-Council on the Circular Economy and now on their Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-economy.

McDonough co-founded the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and currently works with companies, such as Unilever and Walmart, on reusable, recyclable, compostable and recoverable packaging. In 2016 he co-founded and launched Fashion for Good, a joint-apparel initiative based in Amsterdam, which articulates and supports McDonough’s Five Goods based on Cradle to Cradle Design™.

McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003), the National Design Award (2004) and the Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership (2017). Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world,” and in 2019 Fortune magazine named him one of the World’s Greatest Leaders.