The oldest German environmental protection prize, the "Goldene Blume von Rheydt" (Golden Flower of Rheydt), this year goes to the German chemist Professor Michael Braungart. He receives the prestigious award for his work in the field of ecology and sustainability, especially for his research and performance in the context of the "Cradle to Cradle" principle. The aim is to keep all materials as nutrients in closed cycles. This is possible with eco-effective things and processes. Braungart coined the term eco-effectiveness together with the US architect William McDonough. This means that waste becomes a nutrient and flows back into a cycle. On the one hand, for example, metals and plastics can be designed to be returned to the technosphere and on the other hand, wearing objects such as brake pads, tyres, shoe soles etc. become nutrients for the biosphere.
Such a circulation principle should encourage a rethink. An example: It is not only a matter of reducing the fuel consumption of cars, as would be the case with pure thinking on the basis of a life cycle assessment, but also of being able to use emissions from consumption for other purposes. For example, to be able to use them in such a way that fuel is produced from them again. Products and production processes should be designed in such a way that they are not only less harmful, but also more useful for people and nature. The principle of waste would no longer exist in this sense, because something new is "born" out of everything, hence the principle "cradle to cradle".
After studying chemistry and process engineering in Constance and at Darmstadt Technical University, Braungart received his doctorate in 1985 from the Department of Chemistry at Hanover University. At the same time, he has been involved in setting up the chemistry department of Greenpeace Germany since 1982, which he headed from 1985 to 1988. Braungart founded the EPEA Institute in 1987. Together with US architect and designer William McDonough, he is also founder of the design and development company McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in Charlottesville (Virginia). Braungart is Professor of Cradle to Cradle Design, Ecodesign and Eco-Effectiveness at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. From 2009 to 2017 he held the Chair of Cradle to Cradle at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He has also accepted a visiting professorship at the University of Virginia. He is also the founder and scientific director of the Hamburg Environmental Institute (HUI). Since 1994, Braungart has lectured and published on the topics of realising "intelligent products" that are fit for the future, developing and implementing environmental protection concepts, environmentally compatible production processes and ecological balances for complex consumer goods.
He will be awarded the Goldene Blume on 14 September 2019 at 5 pm. during a ceremony at the Mönchengladbach Theatre. This will be done by Dr. Karl Hans Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Directors "Kuratorium für die Verleihung der Goldenen Blume von Rheydt e.V.". The Goldene Blume von Rheydt has been awarded a total of 26 times since 1967, most recently to Bettina Gräfin Bernadotte af Wisborg (Mainau Island) in 2017.
Free tickets can be ordered via MGMG at +492161 - 25 52401.
Prof Dr Michael Braungart gave an interview on the subject of microplastics on 23-10-2018 in the ZDF news programme heute+. Car tyres are the main cause of the microplasty discovered in the human intestine, says environmental expert Michael Braungart. The main problem is the harmful pollution.
Michael Braungart & William McDonough win prestigious WorldGBC David Gottfried Award
Dr. Michael Braungart and William McDonough have been awarded the prestigious WorldGBC David Gottfried Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award for their unique, innovative and entrepreneurial contribution to the global green building movement.
Tai Lee Siang, WorldGBC’s Chairman, honoured the two individuals at a special ceremony in Jaipur, India. The WorldGBC’s David Gottfried Award recognises individuals whose contributions have been particularly pioneering, displaying an entrepreneurism that has helped to transform or advance the green building mission. Braungart and McDonough were chosen as this year’s winners for their unique approach to a business-led green building strategy. In particular, the pair were praised for their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which strongly advocated for Cradle to Cradle approaches within businesses to design products which eliminate the concept of waste, use clean energy, value clean water and healthy ecosystems. About the green building movement Dr. Braungart said: "We need an architecture that celebrates the human footprint, buildings in which the air is better than outside and which clean the water and the air, just like trees."
"The need for true innovation has never been more profound then now. We are capable of creating high-quality circular alternatives which are beneficial for humans and nature. If the future can be positive, why choose differently?"