Professor Dr. Michael Braungart is the founder and scientific CEO of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, an international environmental research, and consulting institute headquartered in Hamburg. He is also the co-founder and scientific director of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), co-founder and scientific manager of Hamburger Umweltinstitut (HUI) (a non-profit research center) as well as director of Braungart Consulting in Hamburg.
Braungart studied Chemistry and Process Engineering, among others at Konstanz, Darmstadt, Hannover, and Zurich Universities. In the 1980s, he dedicated his work to the environmental organization Greenpeace and beginning in 1982 helped to establish the chemistry section of Greenpeace International, which he took over in 1985. In the same year he received his Ph.D. from the University of Hannover's chemistry department. In order to develop solutions for complex environmental problems, EPEA was established by Greenpeace in 1987. Ever since, Braungart has been involved with research and consultancy for eco-effective products i.e. products and production processes in a loop, not only harmless to man or nature, but beneficial.
In 1994, Michael Braungart became professor of Process Engineering at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany) and now holds the chair for Cradle to Cradle & Eco-Efficacy. Since the fall of 2008 he also lectures at Erasmus University Rotterdam: he initially held the Cradle to Cradle chair position at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), but from 2011 to 2017 he holds the newly-created academic chair for Cradle to Cradle Innovation & Quality at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), where he is still a visiting professor today. Furthermore, Braungart was professor at the chair for Cradle to Cradle Design at the University of Twente in Enschede (Netherlands). After previously (e.g. 1994-98) working at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), the Darden Business School in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), the Bauhaus-University in Weimar (Germany) and the University of Wales in Cardiff (UK), he is currently a visiting professor of Building Technology at TU Delft in the Netherlands.
Braungart is co-author with William McDonough of the "Hannover Principles of Design: Design for Sustainability", which served as development guidelines for the World's Fair in Hannover in 2000. In 2002, he also co-authored "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things", with William McDonough which was translated into numerous languages. Building on that, "The Next Industrial Revolution: The Cradle-to-Cradle-Community" was published in 2008. For his scientific achievements Michael Braungart has received a number of awards. Between 1989 and 1991, he developed the Cradle to Cradle concept under the name "Intelligent Products System" (IPS) in the context of a research-project by the former Swiss chemical company Ciba-Geigy. At the moment, Braungart's work focuses on his professorship in Lüneburg.
• Goldene Blume von Rheydt, 2019
• WorldGBC David Gottfried Global Green Building Entrepreneurship Award, 2017
• Urban Mining Award, 2015
• Impose Award, 2015
• Doctor Honoris Causa, Faculty of Engineering Techonology, Hasselt University, May 28, 2013
• SEA of Excellence Award, Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award, 2013
• TIME Magazine, Hero of the Planet Award, 2007
• World Technology Award for Design and Fellow, The World Technology Network, October 8th, 2004
• Environmental Trailblazer, Interior & Sources Magazine, 2004
• Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award U.S. Environment Protection Agency, 2003
• Design Sense Award for Climatex©Lifecycle™, Design Museum, London, 2000
• Environmental Award for Sustainability in Germany, German Environmental Management
Association (BAUM e.V.), 1999
• Heinz Endowment Recipient, 1995 – 1999
• Utne Visionary Award, 1995
• Tox Center, Munich, Environmental Award, 1994
• W. Alton Jones Foundation Fellow, 1993
• Océ-van der Grinten Award, 1993
• Research Award for Ecological Economics, Schweisfurth Foundation, 1992
• John J. McCloy Fellowship, 1988
• German Marshall Fund Scholarship, 1987
• Unilever Research Fellowship, 1980