McKinsey Sustainability

Innovating to net zero

We aspire to be our profession’s preeminent impact partner and advisor on sustainability, climate, energy transition, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG)—from the board room to the engine room. We are working with clients to lead a wave of innovation and economic growth that safeguards our planet and advances sustainability.

We are “in the arena” with our clients, and want to be a leading catalyst for global decarbonization. We’re working to help all industry sectors transform to reach net zero by 2050, balanced with other sustainability goals and tailored to regional contexts. We do this by leveraging our thought leadership, innovative tools and solutions, top talent, and a vibrant ecosystem of industry associations and knowledge platforms focused on innovating to net zero.

HOW WE HELP CLIENTS

Net Zero & ESG Strategy

Helping leaders and organizations rewrite the climate math equation

Green Business Building

Empowering businesses focused on creating a sustainable future

Decarbonization Transformation

Finding and removing carbon across the business system

Net-Zero Financial Institutions

Helping banks, asset managers, and insurers decarbonize their portfolios

Sustainable Investing

Steering investment capital to the areas of greatest promise

Featured event

McKinsey at COP26

Watch event replays, read recaps, and see highlights from our sessions during the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to explore how we can all work together to build a net-zero future.

COP26 made net zero a core principle for business. Here’s how leaders can act

Momentum has shifted: net-zero commitments are the norm. But demand for solutions and systems to meet them outstrips the supply. To respond, businesses should focus on five fundamentals.

New at McKinsey Blog

Launching McKinsey Sustainability: Our new platform for helping clients innovate to net zero

– To help every industry get to “net zero” by 2050, McKinsey Sustainability will serve clients on sustainable corporate strategy, green business building, sustainable investing, and more.

McKinsey acquires Vivid Economics and Planetrics to help clients navigate climate change

– The acquisition underscores our commitment to sustainability and helps us bring significant additional analytical capabilities, expertise, and experience to our clients.

 

>1,700

projects in the past 3 years

>600

clients served across ~70 countries

>1,000

colleagues with deep expertise and diverse backgrounds

Examples of our work

McKinsey has extensive experience in helping businesses, governments, and nongovernmental organizations across sectors define and realize their sustainability goals.

Finding alternatives to plastic packaging

For a multinational food company, we identified $240 million in annual savings from the switch to more sustainable materials, focusing on the sustainability, cost, supply-and-demand dynamics, and recycling potential of alternatives to plastics.

Shifting from fossil fuels to green energy

We helped a major energy provider dramatically reduce carbon emissions, including an 82 percent reduction in CO2, while increasing operating profit. To do this, we defined a strategy and execution plan to reduce the carbon intensity of scope 1 and 2 emissions to zero by 2025.

Partnering with a private equity climate fund

We are supporting the climate-related fund of a top private equity firm by advising fund managers and LPs on emerging sustainability strategies and technologies, identifying investment opportunities, providing detailed diligence, and working with portfolio companies to deliver post-acquisition growth.

Decarbonizing a major vehicle manufacturer

We worked with a major automobile manufacturer to decarbonize their products, from supply chain to drive train. We worked across the organization—strategy, R&D, supply chain—to find a pathway that will reduce carbon footprint by 70 to 90 percent by 2030.

Featured Insights

Article

Protecting people from a changing climate: The case for resilience

– Our new study lays bare the potential impact of climate risks for people across the globe—and underscores the need to protect the most vulnerable and build resilience.
Interview

Author Talks: There is no vaccine for climate change

– What’s the most important thing we can do to address climate change? Talk about it.
Article

Aligning portfolios with climate goals: A new approach for financial institutions

– Portfolio-alignment tools will help financial institutions chart more scientifically robust, realistic, and profitable climate... strategies.
Article

Innovating to net zero: An executive’s guide to climate technology

– Advanced technologies are critical to stopping climate change—and the drive to develop and scale them is accelerating. Here... are five themes that could attract $2 trillion of annual investment by 2025.
Report

Curbing methane emissions: How five industries can counter a major climate threat

– Methane accounts for about one-third of global warming. New McKinsey research shows how five industries can cut emissions with... proven technologies and at a reasonable cost.

Related Insights

Time is running out for business leaders who don’t have a ‘net zero’ strategy

– If your company doesn’t have a plan for competing and winning in a net-zero economy, it’s time to make one.

Featured capabilities

Energy Insights

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

ACRE

Data-driven decision making across the agriculture and food value chains

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.

World Economic Forum (WEF)

We have partnered with WEF on scaling sustainability solutions across a number of sectors, including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and mobility. In a recent collaboration for the report “Nature and Net Zero,” we explore the role that natural climate solutions can play in helping to address climate change and the destruction of nature.

Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM)

TSVCM was launched by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for COP26, and is sponsored by the Institute of International Finance with knowledge and advisory support from McKinsey. In a recent report, the taskforce examines what it would take to strengthen voluntary carbon markets so they can support climate action and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees on a large scale.

COP26 Portfolio Alignment Team

Launched by the COP26 Private Finance Hub at the direction of Mark Carney, we supported this consortium of 11 leading financial institutions in creating a report that details emerging best practice in the development of tools to measure the alignment of financial portfolios with climate goals.

World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

McKinsey provided analytical insights and support to WBCSD’s Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder: a new initiative dedicated to enabling widespread exchange of primary carbon emissions data. This effort is focused on developing an infrastructure to decarbonize industry through data transparency for scope 3 emissions.

Mission Possible Partnership

As a lead partner of the Mission Possible Partnership, we’re addressing one of sustainability’s toughest challenges: decarbonizing the world’s hardest-to-abate sectors (heavy-duty road transport, aviation, shipping, steel, aluminum, cement, and chemicals).

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.

Connect with McKinsey Sustainability