Eight projects helping to reduce our carbon footprint

On Earth Day this year, we’re sharing stories about carbon-reduction projects we’re supporting, from restoring rainforests in Colombia to providing solar stoves in rural China.

Alongside our efforts to reduce our emissions, these projects help us fulfill our commitment to running our firm in a way that is environmentally sustainable. They also have positive impacts for the environment and communities where they take place.

One such project supports communities around Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba. Frequent droughts and lack of productive land have forced residents to clear ever larger swaths of the surrounding woodlands to farm. Over time, practices such as this have reduced Zimbabwe’s forests by more than a third.

Explore our global carbon offset projects

Explore our global carbon offset projects

The Kariba Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) project is helping households adopt conservation-farming practices such as mulching, composting, and crop rotation, which allow them to maintain the same plots year after year where they grow maize, sorghum, and vegetables.

How our carbon offset projects are helping to support sustainable development
Residents around Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba have adopted conservation-farming practices and established new community gardens, so they can get food crops throughout the year.
How our carbon offset projects are helping to support sustainable development

“Even when the rains were poor one year, my crops managed to yield a surplus,” says Julia Choocha, who lives on the south shore of Lake Kariba. “I sold some of that harvest and could buy clothes for my children.”

The project is helping to preserve 785,000 hectares of biodiverse forest, home to numerous vulnerable species such as elephants and black rhinos. Since 2011, this has prevented more than 18 million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

It is one of eight carbon reductions projects supported by McKinsey together with our partner South Pole. The projects are independently verified to ensure they are effective and environmentally sound. They primarily focus on forestry and land use, the issue selected by our firm members in an internal poll.

How our carbon offset projects are helping to support sustainable development
The Kariba REDD+ project is preserving 785,000 hectares of forest on the shores of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.
How our carbon offset projects are helping to support sustainable development

“Our firm’s activities lead to the emission of around 780,000 tons of greenhouse gases, annually, much of which comes from air travel to our clients’ sites. But we’re committed to being carbon neutral,” explains Jop Weterings, our firm’s head of environmental sustainability.

“There are two ways we can address our carbon footprint: reducing emissions and offsetting the emissions through contributions to carbon-reduction projects,” he says, “We need to do both.”

Our emissions reduction initiatives include transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity for all offices by 2025, improving energy efficiency in our offices, and switching from air to rail travel when possible.

Learn more about Kariba and the seven other projects we are supporting in this interactive guide.

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