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About this practice

Learn how we help clients tackle resource risks and enhance their performance through higher resource productivity and a lower environmental footprint.

The world has entered an era of unprecedented natural resource challenges and opportunities that will require businesses and economies to make fundamental shifts in the way they operate.

We support private and public sector clients in tackling resource risks and enhancing their performance through higher resource productivity and a lower environmental footprint. We advise companies on how to capture emerging opportunities in energy, water, waste, and land use and how to harness the potential of clean technologies to create smarter systems, new jobs, and competitive advantage. We help governments to incorporate sustainability into their long-term economic growth plans, supporting the welfare and prosperity of their people and protecting the natural environment.

Our clients include:

  • Basic materials and energy companies. We work with mining companies, oil companies, chemicals producers, and utilities to reshape business models, enhance regulatory strategies, introduce more resource-efficient new technologies, manage environmental liabilities, and make step-change improvements in operational resource productivity.
  • High-tech engineering companies. We support engineering companies in building clean technology businesses, optimizing R&D portfolios, shaping regulatory strategies, developing financing arms, and introducing energy- and resource-efficient production processes.
  • Consumer companies. We help consumer goods producers develop new green products and implement transformation programs to increase resource productivity and sustainability throughout their supply chains.
  • Financial institutions. We advise banks, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, and private equity firms on investment opportunities in sustainable businesses and clean technologies. We also help clients analyze their exposure to resource risk, including regulatory and carbon risk.
  • Multilateral organizations. We serve the UN, development banks, and other multilateral bodies on issues ranging from low-emissions growth to energy access and clean technology to international financing mechanisms.
  • Philanthropic organizations. We work with many of the world's most eminent philanthropic organizations to address global challenges such as promoting sustainable agriculture and fishing, reducing deforestation, and responding to climate change.
  • Cities. We have worked with over 50 cities to plan and implement programs covering infrastructure, transport, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste and water.
  • Countries. We have supported more than 30 governments in developing national strategies to reduce emissions, pursue green growth, address land use and food supply challenges, adapt to climate change, and transform water supplies.

Our work draws on more than 1,000 consultants and experts from McKinsey offices across the world with academic backgrounds in fields such as development and environmental economics, chemical engineering, oceanography, weather modeling, waste engineering, and international affairs. We combine this expertise with deep industry insights developed through decades of advising companies in sectors from energy, mining, and forest products to consumer goods, infrastructure, and logistics.

Advancing knowledge

To contribute to the global debate about how institutions can adapt to growing pressure on resource systems and increasing environmental risk, we invest heavily in developing knowledge, insights, tools, and methods. Over the past five years our detailed cost curves for greenhouse gases, water, and land use have helped established a fact base, shared language, and methodology for exploring the potential value and cost of a wide range of supply and demand measures. We have now created an integrated resource productivity cost curve to identify opportunities to meet the demands of the next 3 billion middle-income consumers.

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