C2C Timeline

1992 – Commissioned by The City of Hannover, Germany in preparation for the World’s Fair, EXPO 2000, William McDonough &Dr. Michael Braungart developed a set of principles inherent in sustainable design. The Hannover Principles are intended to inspire individuals involved in design at all levels – products, buildings, communities – to “meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of the planet to sustain an equally important future – and lay down the foundation for the Cradle to Cradle design framework.

1995  – MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) was started to help clients eliminate the concept of waste through innovative design. The company was launched when the founders worked together to design a compostable textile, Climatex Lifecycle, for Swiss firm Rohner. (Read more about the development of Climatex Lifecycle.)

C2C_BookCover2002 – The book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things was released. William McDonough and Michael Braungart co-wrote this design manifesto in 2002. The book calls for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Through case studies of their work, McDonough and Braungart outline their design paradigm and the vision for the Next Industrial Revolution.

CradletoCradleCertified-NoLevel2005 – The Cradle to Cradle Certified program for products was developed by MBDC to recognize products that had been designed and manufactured using Cradle to Cradle principles. It was one of the first multi-attribute eco-labels available for products in almost any category.


c2c_logo_stack_2C2010 – The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) was formed by McDonough & Braungart to independently manage the Cradle to Cradle Certified program. The launch of the organization occurred at Google Headquarters with the support of California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Upcycle Book: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance2012– 20th Anniversary of the Hannover Principles and 10th Anniversary of Cradle to Cradle book.  C2CPII begins issuing certificates for the Cradle to Cradle Certified program.

2013Version 3 of the Cradle to Cradle Certified program went into effect as a third-party standard.  Wiliam McDonough & Michael Braungart release their second bookThe Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance, on Earth Day 2013.