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Develop lower-carbon products

Catalyst Zero Product

With Catalyst Zero Product, companies can reduce the carbon footprint of their products where the potential is the greatest—before they ever land in users’ hands.
The transition to a sustainable economy requires products that are designed differently, made differently, and used differently. Our research shows that up to 80 percent of a product’s footprint arises from choices encountered in design and manufacturing. This means that the next frontier for decarbonization lies in these two vital stages—ones that have traditionally been not only difficult to assess, but also to capture.

Experience Catalyst Zero Product

Leaders are asking how they can reduce the carbon footprint of their products to reduce risk, capture new opportunities, and support their customers in achieving their own climate goals. See how we use Catalyst Zero Product to find and remove carbon from your product portfolio, at unprecedented speed and scale.

How we help clients

Catalyst Zero Product identifies opportunities to reduce carbon while optimizing cost and value across your product’s footprint—from design to selection and sourcing of materials, all the way through to production.

Our proprietary tools assess the costs and carbon emissions of your products at the same time, so you can quickly understand trade-offs and identify the most effective, highest-return abatement opportunities.

And because identifying opportunities is just the first step, we bring our decades of experience in transformation to help you turn these opportunities into reality at a pace many leaders never thought possible.



carbon footprints modeled across regions, materials, and production technologies


products analyzed, from cars to bottles to medical devices


common materials and their footprints fully mapped

Access the latest emissions factors

Quickly map Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions across the full supply chain of a product or portfolio of products

Run decarbonization scenarios

Compare different design, manufacturing, and supply-chain options simultaneously

Re-envision procurement processes

Decrease emissions from purchased materials, as well as logistics and other parts of the supply chain

Track progress

Develop a centralized product catalog and track progress through McKinsey’s proven WAVE offering, optimized for Catalyst Zero

Examples of our impact

Extending Danfoss’ climate ambitions to its products

For a leading industrial components manufacturer seeking to tackle its sizable Scope 3 emissions across its product portfolio, we deployed Catalyst Zero to uncover abatement opportunities across five critical products, identifying a pathway to 90 percent emissions reductions with negligible incremental costs.

Paving the way to a zero-carbon truck and new approach to decarbonization

We supported a commercial vehicle manufacturer in its ambition to be a global sustainability champion and to decarbonize across an entire product lifecycle. Using Catalyst Zero, we identified opportunities to reduce upstream emissions by more than 60 percent by 2030, and more than 95 percent by 2040.

Making the business case for green steel

For a new green steel producer, we used Catalyst Zero to demonstrate and position the vital role that green steel can play in decarbonizing industrial sectors, including in automotive, construction, yellow and white goods. The findings shaped the client’s outreach strategy to investors and prospective customers alike.

Related Expertise

McKinsey Sustainability

Learn how we work with private- and public-sector institutions on challenges created by growing pressure on resource systems and increasing environmental risk.

Sustainable Materials Hub

McKinsey’s Sustainable Materials Hub empowers organizations to solve the sustainable materials challenge and achieve carbon reduction commitments through the production and sourcing of low-carbon materials.

Resource Cleansheet

Resource Cleansheet maps a product or service’s cost and CO2 footprint along its entire value stream and life cycle.

Featured insights

The zero-carbon car: Abating material emissions is next on the agenda

– The automotive industry could abate 66 percent of emissions from their material production at no extra cost by 2030—if industry participants work together and start now.

Playing offense to create value in the net-zero transition

– Decarbonization will reshape the economy, opening new markets and imperiling others. Now is the moment for companies to spot green growth opportunities and move boldly to take advantage.

How a ‘materials transition’ can support the net-zero agenda

– As the energy transition continues, advances toward low-emissions materials and the circular economy can also speed progress to net zero. Research on Europe shows the value in such a materials transition.

Product sustainability: Back to the drawing board

– Up to four-fifths of a product’s lifetime emissions are determined by decisions made at the design stage. By building on proven cost-optimization techniques, companies can get those choices right.

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