William McDonough Leads Multiple Sessions at CERAWeek 2023 to Address ‘A New Language for Carbon’ and the Circular Carbon Economy

William McDonough, Chief Executive of McDonough Innovation and a renowned pioneer in the field of Circular Economy, as well as the newly emerging Circular Carbon Economy, was a distinguished attendee at CERAWeek 2023 held in Houston, Texas. Throughout the week, he engaged in several sessions, furthering the conversation on how we can reimagine our approach toward carbon management and utilization.

In a 2016 Nature article titled ‘Carbon is Not the Enemy,’ McDonough proposed a groundbreaking ‘New Language for Carbon.’ This paradigm shift introduced a classification of carbon into three distinct categories: living, durable, and fugitive. By redefining carbon in this way, McDonough opened up new possibilities for safe, productive, and profitable use of carbon, thereby transforming our approach to carbon management. 

Below is McDonough’s recap of sessions at CERAWeek: 

Monday 3/6:

Voices of Innovation

Antonia Bullard, Senior Associate of S&P Global, interviewed William McDonough, exploring his remarkable career in sustainability and innovation. The conversation delved into several key topics, ranging from the pioneering Cradle to Cradle Design™ framework and Circular Economy to his latest area of focus, the Circular Carbon Economy.

Tuesday 3/7:

Building Resilient Cities: Infrastructure and Technology Advancements 

  • Beth Evans, Head of News, S&P Global
  • William McDonough, Chief Executive, McDonough Innovation
  • Rt. Hon. Basil Zempilas, Lord Mayor, City of Perth
  • Bruce Raw, Chief Strategy Office, GreenCape

William McDonough was a featured panelist, contributing his insights on building resilient and sustainable urban infrastructure in the face of growing climate change risks. He emphasized the importance of adopting a self-reliant approach, taking into account the principles of the regenerative biosphere and circular technosphere. He also stressed the idea that all sustainability efforts must be rooted in local considerations.”

Why Carbon is Not the Enemy

  • Atul Arya, Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist, S&P Global Commodity Insights
  • William McDonough, Chief Executive, McDonough Innovation
  • Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer, LanzaTech

William McDonough anchored this panel alongside Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, and moderated by Atul Arya, Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist of S&P Global Commodity Insights. Together, they explored the notion that carbon is not the enemy, but a powerful tool that can be used to optimize the Circular Carbon Economy through proper use of living and durable carbon, and by reducing and eliminating fugitive carbon emissions.”

Wednesday 3/8: 

Net Positive: Waging Peace Through Commerce by Design

Building upon the groundbreaking concepts introduced in his influential book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, William McDonough shared his inspiring vision for driving triple top-line growth in the Circular Economy. He underscored the vital role of the Circular Carbon Economy in realizing this ambitious goal.