William McDonough Shares Insights on Carbon in the Circular Economy at CNBC’s Sustainable Returns Event

William McDonough, a pioneer of the Circular Economy and CEO of McDonough Innovation, recently participated in CNBC’s Sustainable Returns event on April 19. The event aimed to explore how business leaders and investors can integrate sustainability into their strategies for profit and the greater good.

The event, which comprised several segments, took place from 11am to 1:30pm ET and featured 24 speakers from diverse industries and investors who discussed the long-term benefits and profitability of sustainability in business. Topics ranged from agriculture and talent management to investing and Circular Economy principles.

In his interview, titled “Down-to-Earth Design: Rethinking Carbon in a Circular Economy,” McDonough shared his vision for intergenerational stewardship and emphasized the importance of using earth’s sources sustainably without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs. McDonough also highlighted the significance of the regenerative biosphere and circular technosphere, critical components of the Circular Economy.

Key points that McDonough mentioned included design as the first signal of human intention and the regenerative biosphere and circular technosphere, naming Ralph Lauren’s Cradle to Cradle Certified® cashmere sweater and takeback program, and C&A’s Cradle to Cradle Certified® jeans as examples. McDonough also emphasized the importance of language and differentiating between ‘consumer products’ and ‘products as a service’, which is essential to implement proper systems for recycling and reuse. Lastly, McDonough touched on what it would take to build an ideal city, stating that it starts with intention, with the goal of turning sources into resources, “be more like trees,” and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, emit oxygen, and purify water.