Developing game-changing sustainability solutions

Jessica on top of roof
Jessica on top of roof

After graduating with a degree in discrete maths, I joined an investment bank, but I found it unfulfilling. I moved on to a small consultancy, where I was conducting data analytics and visualization. Later I joined QuantumBlack, which is the advanced analytics arm of McKinsey, where I honed my skills working on analytics products.

About a year ago, I rotated into the sustainability practice. Now, I split my time delivering transformations for clients and developing firm IP around sustainability.

Shifting to the sustainability group

There was always a part of me who wanted to do something more aligned with the bigger picture. However, I became highly conscious of the growing climate crisis because of a global environmental movement group in the UK, which has been focused on building public awareness and putting pressure on the government to act. At one point, the group was protesting outside of my office for months, and the experience was a tipping point for me. I realized I wanted to do something in the sustainability space, AND I needed to do it sooner than later.

When the option to move into sustainability at McKinsey opened, I decided to rotate practices because of the type of work we do and the clients we support. I know if I stay here, I will be able to have an outsized impact.

How I drive sustainability efforts

I help organizations decarbonize their products and operations. I collaborate with experts to understand the industry-specific technologies companies can use to decarbonize, along with the price of doing so and the capabilities needed to transition.

I then build the team, technical components of a model, and process for deploying the model. Then I work with clients to deploy the solution. I also help to develop McKinsey sustainability IP which can be used across all our clients.

Jessica on top of mountain overlooking Machu Picchu
Jessica on top of mountain overlooking Machu Picchu

Building tools that address specific environmental problems

Right now, I am working with a large manufacturer that makes mechanical and electronic equipment for industry. We're helping them create low carbon products, by adjusting the raw materials they purchase and optimizing their designs to reduce emissions. Manufacturing organizations are constantly working to optimize their processes and products to make them cheaper and easier to produce. We’re coming in and adding the emissions angle and helping them optimize for both cost and emissions.

The project is multifaceted, covering product design, procurement, training people, and capability building. We are also developing a digital platform, which is helping to create independence for them to do this at scale. It's a true sustainability transformation project, which is very cool to be part of.

What keeps me excited about the work we do here

The nature of the work we do is super technical, and we have a strong focus on engineering, data science, and design. We’re using cutting-edge machine learning and deep learning techniques to understand this data and optimize complex processes. It’s not just consulting; we're delivering software that will solve problems and help combat the climate crisis on a global scale.
I am excited about the intersection of artificial intelligence/machine learning and sustainability. I am passionate about bringing the two worlds together.

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