William Mcdonough
Founding Partner


William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design and development through his work as an architect with William McDonough + Partners, an advisor to global leaders through McDonough Innovation, and consultant through MBDC, the creators of the framework of Cradle to Cradle Certified™ products. McDonough co-authored Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and its follow up, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance (2013).


He co-founded and launched Fashion for Good, a joint-apparel initiative which articulates and supports McDonough’s Five Goods based on Cradle to Cradle Design™. As part of that initiative, he collaborated with C&A and C&A Foundation to create the world’s first Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold compostable T-shirt and circular denim jeans. He also co-founded and launched the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in 2009 and currently works with companies on reusable, recyclable, compostable and recoverable packaging.


He has been teaching at Stanford University since 2004 and was the A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (1999-2004) and Dean of the School of Architecture and the Edward E. Elson Endowed Chair at the University of Virginia (1994-1999).


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.” Fortune Magazine named him one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2019, noting his role in taking green architecture mainstream as well as defining and advancing the Circular Economy.