William McDonough

William McDonough

Chief Executive
McDonough Innovation

William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design and development. He co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002), widely recognized as a seminal text of both the sustainability and the Circular Economy design movements.

McDonough advises leaders on ESG, sustainability, Circular Economy, and design of products and facilities through McDonough Innovation. He has worked with CEOs from companies such as Ford Motor Company, Gap, Google, Herman Miller, Hero MotoCorp, Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Unilever and Walmart.

He is also an architect with William McDonough + Partners, a firm known for having designed many notable landmark buildings of the sustainable architecture movement. Through McDonough’s third firm, MBDC, he created the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program. Cradle to Cradle Certified® is an independent, science-based, third-party, multi-attribute product standard recognized by the world’s leading retailers, including Amazon, Home Depot, Walgreens and Walmart.

He has been active with the World Economic Forum for 25 years and served as the inaugural chair of their Meta-Council on the Circular Economy. He has co-founded not-for-profit organizations, including GreenBlue, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and Fashion for Good, a joint-industry initiative aiming to transform the global apparel chain into a force for good.

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.”