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Sustainability

Sustainability

We help clients solve the equation of growth and sustainability

Our approach

Tying sustainability to value creation

Accelerating the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable-growth economy is one of the most pressing challenges facing businesses and governments today—and handled in the right way, it can also create significant opportunities for growth and innovation. We draw on decades of global consulting experience to help clients focus on the sustainability issues that matter most to them and deliver economic value as well as better environmental and social outcomes.

Providing performance improvements for new players and incumbents

Rapid technological innovation, shifting policy priorities, and evolving expectations from citizens can cause significant business and economic disruptions. New players offering novel technologies, products, and services and incumbents who provide essential energy, infrastructure, and goods need to develop innovative business models, products, and investment strategies to improve their performance and build a more sustainable future.

Offering an integrated cross-sector perspective

Our teams of consultants and experts bring global experience across industries from energy and transport to agriculture and consumer goods and business functions from strategy and risk to operations and digital technology. The integrated, system-level perspective we offer helps clients address sustainability systematically across their organizations.

Bringing distinctive knowledge and digital tools

We invest in proprietary research and tech-enabled tools to create cutting-edge insights, techniques, and methods that we use in our work with clients. We also build clients’ capabilities at scale to ensure that projects continue to deliver benefits long after our involvement has come to an end.

Examples of our work

270K

tCO2 equivalent reduced

in the supply chain of a major retailer, while reducing $40M in costs

$225M

in annual savings

for a food company by using sustainable materials

1

GtCO2 reduction

by 2030 through carbon capture by supplier of industrial gas

Pathways to a low-carbon Europe

Developing feasible routes for decarbonizing the European economy.

Developing a green growth strategy for a diversified conglomerate

Creating strategies to reduce carbon emissions while positioning the group for long-term growth.

How a city paved the way to a new low-carbon economy

An environmentally aware city tackles the next frontier of carbon abatement opportunities.

More from this practice

McKinsey Center for Future Mobility

Brings together cross-functional expertise to deliver leading-edge insight to help shape the future of mobility-related industries and the public sector. We are passionate and curious about the emerging opportunities in mobility.

Featured Solutions

Energy Insights

A source of analytics, market insights, and performance benchmarking to help businesses and investors manage uncertainty and make effective decisions

Resource-efficiency deployment engine (RedE)

A tool for large companies with multiple facilities and complex supply chains to identify which processes could be more efficient and where cost and emissions savings opportunities are greatest.

Knowledge partnerships

McKinsey works with leading institutions to develop distinctive thought leadership and convene partnerships that tackle problems that any one institution alone could not. We bring the best of our firm’s knowledge, expertise, and analysis to identify innovative solutions.

Building a circular economy with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

For several years, McKinsey has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to build a fact base on the economic and environmental benefits of a circular economy. This work has resulted in three recent publications: The circular economy opportunity for urban and industrial innovation in China, “A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future,” and The new plastics economy: Rethinking the future of plastics.

Establishing a framework for fostering effective energy transitions with the World Economic Forum

During a three-year knowledge partnership with the World Economic Forum, that included groundbreaking work on energy industry standards, diversity, and game changers, McKinsey analyzed 114 countries’ energy systems’ performance and their readiness for a transition to a lower-carbon future. The frequently quoted work resulted in a new methodology, an open access tool and in the report Fostering effective energy transition: A fact-based framework to support decision-making.

Featured Insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Redefining the power industry

– Quick takes on the pressures posed by climate change—and potential responses.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Five ways that ESG creates value

– Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.
Collection

Sustainability at a tipping point

Climate impacts over the next decade are largely locked in, but future impacts depend on decarbonization action over the next two decades. Tackling the challenge will present new opportunities for growth, innovation, and resilience investment—here are five action areas that can push sustainability in the right direction.
Issue

The future of food: Meatless?

– Plant-based “meat” is all the rage. But is it just a fad? In this edition, The Next Normal peers into the future of meat and protein consumption.
Commentary

Earth to CEO: Your company is already at risk from climate change

– The next decade is decisive. Acting now to prepare your enterprise for climate change will pay off.
Article

Agriculture plays a critical role in limiting the impact of climate change

– As a major contributor to methane and nitrous oxide emissions, agriculture is key to fighting global warming. But policy makers are largely ignoring it.
Interactive - McKinsey Quarterly

Five Fifty: Slow burn

– It’s axiomatic that as economies grow, energy demand increases at a similar rate. But renewables may finally break the connection.
Article

Expanding electric-vehicle adoption despite early growing pains

– The latest analysis of our Electric Vehicle Index shows the global electric-light-vehicle industry continues to make solid progress. To accelerate growth further, several hurdles need to be overcome.