Shaping a trajectory toward sustainability in Dubai

We sat down with Joelle who joined McKinsey two years ago and is a consultant in our Dubai office. Joelle is also a leader of our Dubai Green Team. As part of McKinsey’s commitment to environmental sustainability, colleagues are improving our environmental practices in 80+ offices.

What impact has the Green Team in Dubai achieved?

There are cultural and societal challenges to sustainability in the Middle East, where attitudes toward generosity and abundance often contradict conservation. In practical terms, for example, many offices and residences don’t have recycling bins. That said, our efforts to Go Green in the Dubai office, our largest in the Middle East, have been broadly and enthusiastically welcomed. We installed filtered water systems and eliminated our reliance on plastic bottles. We’ve heard our efforts have inspired our colleagues to adopt recycling, energy conservation, and the elimination of single–use plastics in their homes.


How does your work on the Dubai Green Team extend to your client work?

Climate change has long been a personal and professional interest, especially at the policy level. I serve clients on topics related to energy transition, energy policy, climate change, clean/renewable energy, energy efficiency, and new energy technologies.


I contribute to McKinsey’s knowledge development in this space, including our Global Energy Perspective 2019 report, which looks at rapid transitions of energy systems around the world. The continuation and acceleration of these shifts will bring important changes to the way we fuel cars, heat homes, and power industries in the coming decades. It is exciting to see the shift to renewables like solar and wind generation continue to impact the global energy mix.

Increasingly, our clients are interested in understanding questions like when energy demand will peak or what their share of renewables in the power mix will be in the future. The sustainability work we do in the Green Teams across McKinsey offices not only helps our organization be more energy efficient, it reinforces and informs ways we can help our clients with similar aims.

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