McDonough: “Green Guru Gone Wrong”

In the cover story of November’s Fast Company, author Danielle Sacks argues that Bill McDonough is the biggest obstacle to his own success, and he’s pulling the sustainability movement down with him. The Charlottesville architect is the world’s most celebrated eco-architect, and many people (including me) regard him as a visionary. His trouble is that he’s been repeatedly presented with the choice between making a difference and making money, gone for the latter, and wound up with neither. Most recently he’s butted heads with Charlottesville non-profit industrial eco-designers GreenBlue, an organization that he founded, but now he wants them to license the use of the term “cradle to cradle,” though he didn’t even coin the phrase. As Sacks presents it, McDonough is great at the vision thing, but not so great at the doing stuff thing.

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