Saving energy, being economical, making production processes more efficient and less harmful - for Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, these principles of sustainability as we understand them today do not sound particularly attractive, nor are they target-oriented. His vision is a different one: He wants to develop products and production processes so that waste is no longer a problem. They should be completely harmless to people and nature. Even more: man should be useful for other material cycles with what he does. His products should function in material cycles so that there is no useless waste, but only useful raw materials. That this can work is demonstrated by several hundred products in the world that have been developed according to this principle. It is called the Cradle to Cradle design concept ("From Cradle to Cradle"), and Michael Braungart developed it together with the American architect William McDonough.
Thus, while the traditional strategies of "eco-efficient" approaches seek to reduce and minimize the unintended negative consequences of production and consumption processes from a quantitative point of view, Braungart's eco-effective approach is a quality approach based on improving the industry's capabilities in such a way that nature- and environment-friendly products and processes become possible. The functioning interactions between natural systems suggest that the establishment of sustainable systems of production and consumption is not a question of reducing the size of our "ecological footprint", but rather the challenge is how to establish this "footprint" as a never-ending source of support for natural systems.
Professor Dr. Michael Braungart is the founder and scientific CEO of BRAUNGART EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH, an international environmental research, and consulting institute headquartered in Hamburg. He is also the co-founder 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 (photo: braungart.com).
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 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. For more information see also www.braungart.com
Have you as a company decided on the path to increased environmental friendliness and a circular economy? And the Cradle to Cradle design concept inspires you?
Now it is time to put your vision into practice in a sustainable way. In cooperation with Professor Dr. Michael Braugart, Colourful Excellence will accompany you in the implementation. Colourful Excellence focuses on the sustainable integration (Change- & Transition-Mangement) of Cradle to Cradle into your corporate strategy and values. Your employees will be enthusiastic about it and your customers will appreciate you even more in the future.
For the consultants in the Colourful Excellence network, change management means the individual company modelling of change processes. Colourful Excellence gives you a framework for action that supports you in achieving your set goal effectively and efficiently. All planned measures should lead from the initial state to the strategic target state. Managers and all other employees should understand the necessity of the planned change and stand behind it with full force. In most cases, the changes even extend into the company values. It is important to manifest the changes and also the change process internally and externally in a sustainable and credible way.
1. Assessment (Status Quo Screening)
3. Goal defintion & concept development (design thinking)