Delivering on our purpose during an extraordinary year

Without question, 2020 was an extraordinary year for everyone—our colleagues, our clients, and the people and communities we seek to help, all over the world.

For us at McKinsey, what came through was how our 34,000-plus colleagues joined together through acts big and small to deliver on our purpose, which is to help create positive, enduring change in the world. Our annual Social Responsibility Report shares stories about the ways we did that, from supporting our colleagues to work on the frontlines of medical care to supporting leaders across public, private, and social sectors through timely advice and insights on how to adapt to the realities of the pandemic and plan for recovery. Our social impact in 2020 was defined by how we showed up for each other, for our clients, and for the future of our planet.

Helping to safeguard lives and livelihoods

Our COVID-related work helped clients across sectors respond to many complex challenges presented by the pandemic, from keeping employees safe and businesses running to working with education systems on learning continuity, especially for vulnerable students. From Asia to Europe to North America, we deepened our financial and pro bono support to organizations helping communities and individuals most affected by the pandemic on issues like food insecurity, underemployment, and unemployment. Closer to home, we helped our employees adjust to our changed working lives by offering more flexible working arrangements and back-up childcare and eldercare services. 

2020 Social Responsibility Report

Learn how we are helping create positive, enduring change in the world

We created the COVID Response Center, an online hub for practical resources, tools, and data to help leaders, organizations, and communities respond to and recover from the changing conditions of the pandemic. The government leaders we supported through client work represent approximately 1.8 billion people. And some of our most ambitious social investments—like Generation and Rethinking Recycling, nonprofits we helped create and continue to support—were able to direct resources and services towards COVID-19 relief.

Working toward racial and social equity

McKinsey has a deep and longstanding commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in business, in society, and within our firm. The events of 2020, however, highlighted how much more work we all must do to make real progress. As we reflected on the events unfolding in our communities and listened to the diverse voices of our colleagues advocating for greater racial and social equity, McKinsey publicly committed to 10 Actions to promote anti-racism and social equity with our clients, in our communities, and within our firm.

We recognize that much work lies ahead  and that concrete actions need to take root before progress happens. In 2020, our actions included training more than 7,000 executives from more than 350 organizations through our Black Leadership Academy, provided at no cost to participants. And, we organized a day of service dedicated to understanding racial inequity and giving back to more than 360 organizations focused on addressing equity challenges.

Charting a net-zero future to protect the planet

McKinsey has made tremendous progress over the last few years in reducing our carbon footprint and helping ourselves and our clients take measurable steps towards greater sustainability. Most recently, we stepped up our efforts to support clients on their sustainability journeys by launching McKinsey Sustainability, a dedicated client practice area to help public, private, and social-sector clients drive innovation and advance sustainability in areas related to environmental conservation and climate change.

Volunteers from McKinsey.
McKinsey volunteers during a November 2020 service day working in Beijing to raise awareness of effective recycling of clothes to support migrant workers and migrant children’s education.
Volunteers from McKinsey.

In 2020, we published over 100 thought pieces on sustainability challenges and the role of climate action to transition to the next normal, and hosted our eighth annual Global Sustainability Summit, convening (virtually) more than 600 leaders from the private, public, and social sectors.  In 2020, we set even more ambitious targets by committing to reaching net-zero climate impact as a firm by 2030, with validated science-based targets for 2025 in line with a 1.5-degree pathway.

Looking ahead to the future

While we made important progress last year, we know that delivering on our purpose is an ongoing journey, one that involves our colleagues, our clients, and other stakeholders. To that end, we have committed to providing $2 billion in cash and in-kind support towards social responsibility efforts by 2030. In the next decade, we will share the results and stories generated from these commitments. We invite you to explore our 2020 Social Responsibility Report to learn more about how we are helping create positive, enduring change in the world.

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