The Team


Professor Dr. Michael Braungart


Michael Braungart is founder of EPEA International Umweltforschung GmbH and co-founder of MBDC McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Braungart's work has been published in numerous journals on science, public affairs, design and environment in Europe and the US.

After completing his studies in Process Engineering in Darmstadt, Germany, Dr. Braungart went on to explore the chemical processes of industrial production techniques with the Chemistry Department at Konstanz, Germany. He subsequently spearheaded the formation of the Chemistry Section of Greenpeace International. By the time he completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Hannover in 1985, he had assumed leadership of Greenpeace Chemistry. Dr. Braungart is currently a professor of Process Engineering at the Technical University of Northeast Lower Saxony (Fachhochschule Nordostniedersachsen), and is also a popular lecturer in waste management amongst graduate students in engineering and the natural sciences.

In 1987, Professor Dr. Braungart founded the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg. At the heart of EPEA is the "Intelligent Products System" (IPS), which creates products oriented toward a life-cycle economy. Dr. Braungart earned the Océ-van der Grinten Award in 1993. In addition to his achievements within the EPEA, Dr. Braungart also serves as Scientific Manager of the Hamburg Environmental Institute, the non-profit research center that produces the "Top 50 Study", which ranks the quality of environmentally-sound production of companies within the chemical industry.

Working together with designer William A. McDonough in their product design and development firm, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, Dr. Braungart's work addresses topics from particles to policy. He has initiated worldwide scholarly and scientific inquiry into the adverse environmental and physiological impacts of industrially-produced consumer goods. In addition, Braungart's EPEA co-authored the "Hannover Principles of Design: Design for Sustainability," which served as development guidelines for the World's Fair in Hannover, 2000. Professor Dr. Braungart currently concentrates his efforts at McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry and EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung by working with major industrial producers, such as Nike and Desso on issues of materials assessment, waste and energy balances, life-cycle design, and designing for disassembly. He is also active in designing new products, and was instrumental in the creation of the compostable fabric line Climatex®Lifecycle with William McDonough.