McKinsey launches Catalyst Zero to help clients find and remove carbon across their businesses

Companies around the world are eager to remove carbon from their operations and value chain, but most say they still need better tools to be able to do so at scale and at pace. Having better data transparency, insights into potential decarbonization levers, and the ability to create a comprehensive plan and track progress against it are all fundamental elements to enable leaders to decide where to begin—and know which moves will pay off.

Recognizing this issue, McKinsey has sought to deliver a distinctive digital solution to drive change. Today we’re pleased to announce the official launch of Catalyst Zero, our end-to-end decarbonization solution that helps clients find and remove carbon from their business operations.

“Catalyst Zero brings together McKinsey’s sustainability expertise, sector-specific technical knowledge, and proven transformation experience,” says McKinsey senior partner Tolga Oguz. “We work with companies across all sectors, and at all stages of maturity, to accelerate their sustainability journey.”

Catalyst Zero combines our firm’s proven business-transformation approach with advanced technology to help clients establish their carbon footprint, evaluate their decarbonization options, set ambitious targets, and manage execution progress while tracking impact of their actions. Through a digital platform that pairs decarbonization decisions with broader business goals, we give leaders a powerful new way to compare side by side the expected monetary and emission reduction impacts of various interventions—and choose what’s best for them.

Catalyst Zero uses an end-to-end digital user interface, industry leading data, and the best of McKinsey’s deep decarbonization knowledge. It allows users to create an accurate and comprehensive view of emissions and match emissions to decarbonization levers through our AI-driven mapping engine. By doing so Catalyst Zero can quickly give management the ability to create a comprehensive plan to meet their company’s decarbonization goals.

“This solution can help companies remove carbon at the company, product, and value-chain levels,” says McKinsey senior partner Dr. Ruth Heuss. “Our technology helps clients clearly see the key drivers of emission and our people help them create decarbonization plans that are tailored to their organizations.”

Catalyst Zero is one of our most powerful tools for shaping clients’ decarbonization transformations

Thomas Hundertmark, McKinsey senior partner

Companies that have used Catalyst Zero are already seeing impact. One global company, for example, used Catalyst Zero to determine which of its nearly 300 manufacturing sites emit the most CO2. This has enabled them to create a plan to rapidly reduce emissions by 27 percent. In another case, Catalyst Zero helped a global retailer working with more than 800 suppliers reduce both costs and emissions by 200 million metric tons of CO2.

“To transition towards a sustainable future, businesses need to reset their strategy, asset allocation, and operating models over time,” says McKinsey senior partner Thomas Hundertmark. “They need transparency on available benchmarks and levers. And they need a performance engine to track progress. Catalyst Zero is one of our most powerful tools for shaping clients’ decarbonization transformations.”


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