and Michael Braungart 1992
- Insist on rights of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy,
supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
- Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with
and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications
at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even
- Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects
of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry and trade
in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and
- Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon
human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to
- Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future
generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant
administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of
products, processes or standards.
- Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full
life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural
systems, in which there is no waste.
- Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living
world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income.
Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
- Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever
and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan
should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a
model and mentor, not as an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
- Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct
and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and
users to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical
responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between
natural processes and human activity.
The Hannover Principles should be seen as a living document committed to the
transformation and growth in the understanding of our interdependence with
nature, so that they may adapt as our knowledge of the world evolves.
copyright © 1992 William McDonough Architects
The Hannover Principles, 1992 http://policyworks.gov/org/main/mp/gsa/sd2.html
Developed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, the Hannover
Principles were among the first to comprehensively address the fundamental ideas
of sustainability and the built environment, recognizing our interdependence
with nature and proposing a new relationship that includes our responsibilities
to protect it. The Principles encourage all of us - you, your organization, your
suppliers and customers - to link long term sustainable considerations with
ethical responsibility, and to re-establish the integral relationship between
natural processes and human activity. When you make decisions in your
organization, remember these essential Principles:
- Recognize interdependence. Simply put: everything you do personally, in
your organization and through your work interacts with and depends
upon the natural world, at every scale, both locally and across the
- Eliminate the concept of waste. Are you considering the full,
life-cycle consequences of what you create or buy?
- Understand the limitations of design. Treat nature as a model, not as
an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled
Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things
A Centennial Sermon delivered by William McDonough at The Cathedral of
St. John the Divine in New York City on 7 February 1993.
Definitions used in Hannover Principles
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