How technology can become Earth’s greatest ally

Earth Day serves as a poignant reminder that stakes from climate change and decarbonization have never been higher—and decarbonization has never been more critical. But decarbonizing the global economy to reach net zero is no simple feat: our research indicates the transition could require an additional $3.5 trillion in annual average spending on physical assets through 2050. Achieving this target requires urgent and decisive action, and organizations can play a pivotal role in the large-scale capital reallocation likely needed to reach net zero—in addition to managing their own risks and opportunities. Technology can help them get there.

Take, for instance, the potential impact of cloud-powered technologies on decarbonization efforts in the transportation sector. More than 50 decarbonization initiatives from among 455 use cases identified could play a role in abating up to 2.8 GtCO2e by 2050, write McKinsey’s Fan Gao, Eric Hannon, Cindy Levy, and coauthors. Top initiatives include optimizing loads and routes, charging networks, and real-time warehouses.

Check out these insights for more on the vital role technology can play in protecting our planet, and visit Catalyst Zero to learn how your organization can accelerate its journey to a low-carbon future.

Cloud-powered technologies for sustainability

Using digital and AI to meet the energy sector’s net-zero challenge

Beyond the hype: New opportunities for gen AI in energy and materials

Logistics disrupters’ data-driven insights for greener shipping

A new way to decarbonize buildings can lower emissions—profitably

Exploring new regions: The greenfield opportunity in semiconductors

Beyond the fab: Decarbonizing Scope 3 upstream emissions

Making software and data architectures more sustainable


How a global components manufacturer built an ambitious carbon reduction roadmap

McKinsey and Microsoft join forces to accelerate decarbonization transformations

Driving climate action and growth

Beyond the hype: Let’s unlock tech’s full potential