McKinsey Sustainability

Innovating to net zero

McKinsey aspires 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.

McKinsey is “in the arena” with our clients, and wants 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.

COP27

McKinsey Sustainability will convene CEOs, experts, and thought leaders who all share a commitment to accelerating the transition to net-zero to help inform the global conversation. Join us for a live virtual event series.

HOW WE HELP CLIENTS

ESG & Net-Zero 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

McKinsey Platform for Climate Technologies

We launched the McKinsey Platform for Climate Technologies (MPCT) to help clients plan, execute, and scale the implementation of critical climate technologies. We focus on the most critical technologies: those with the potential to transform our sources of energy for every industry, region, and community.

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.

Featured Video

From urgency to action

“Net zero is becoming the organizing principle for business and it’s going to trigger the largest reallocation of capital in history,” explains Dickon Pinner, senior partner and global co-lead for McKinsey Sustainability.
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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.

 

>1,700

projects in the past 3 years

>600

clients served across ~70 countries

>1,000

colleagues with deep expertise and diverse backgrounds

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.

Frontier

Frontier is a $925 million advance market commitment (AMC) to purchase permanent carbon removal before 2030, by McKinsey Sustainability in partnership with fellow founders Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify and Meta. Frontier aims to accelerate the development of permanent carbon removal technologies and expand the global supply of carbon removal.

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.

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).

Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES) Council

As a knowledge partner of the LDES Council, we are creating a series of new insights and reports to help accelerate the path to net-zero energy systems, from decarbonizing the grid with 24/7 clean power purchase agreements to long-duration energy storage for a renewable grid, and net-zero heat.

World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

As a knowledge partner to WBCSD, we’re collaborating on many fronts, from helping to drive transparency of Scope 3 emissions to assessing strategic resilience through the climate transition.

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.

Featured capabilities

ACRE

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

Catalyst Zero

Accelerating decarbonization transformations at scale

Energy Insights

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

Planetrics

Helping financial institutions assess climate risk and opportunity

Featured Blogs

McKinsey partners with Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, and Meta on $925 million carbon removal commitment

– We are pleased to announce today that McKinsey Sustainability will be partnering with Alphabet, Shopify, Meta and Stripe in an... eight-year $925 million commitment to accelerate the development of permanent carbon removal technologies by guaranteeing future demand.

McKinsey launches new climate technology effort to accelerate decarbonization

– The McKinsey Platform for Climate Technologies will help clients plan, deploy, and scale new decarbonization solutions around... the world.

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 Material Economics, experts in sustainability and circularity

– The Sweden-based sustainability consultancy firm adds capabilities in circular systems and strengthens our ability to help clients... create sustainable and inclusive growth.

Featured Insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Does ESG really matter—and why?

– Although valid questions have been raised about ESG, the need for companies to understand and address their externalities is likely to become essential to maintaining their social license.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The net-zero transition in the wake of the war in Ukraine: A detour, a derailment, or a different path?

– The invasion of Ukraine will, at least initially, complicate the transition path to a net-zero economy, but this tragic development... could still prove to be a turning point in accelerating progress in the medium run.
Article

Accelerating toward net zero: The green business building opportunity

– Surging demand for zero-carbon technologies, materials, and services gives companies opportunities to build new green businesses.... Leaders that move quickly could see exponential growth.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

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.
Collection

The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring

– This McKinsey report offers a detailed look at the economic and societal impact of the transition to net-zero carbon emissions... by 2050.

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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 Initiative

Global Decarbonization Hub

Accelerating the path to economic development and decarbonization

Connect with McKinsey Sustainability