From intern to expert in McKinsey Sustainability

Starting out

During my teen years, I lived in Ghana and South Africa. My dad’s work took us there. Seeing how people lived inspired me to do something to generate value for the world rather than just making companies richer.

I went to Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. During that time, I focused on social enterprise internships until someone recommended McKinsey for access to meaningful, international projects that could be a good foundation for international development work.

Joining McKinsey

My first project at McKinsey was assigned a five-month-long green growth strategy in Ethiopia. As a summer associate, I worked directly with the Prime Minister, doing the kind of work I wanted to do. So, when the firm extended an offer, I took it.

Initially, I focused more on economic and sustainable agriculture development, but recently, I am spending more of my time on energy transition, specifically hydrogen’s role.

Driving change from multiple angles

I'm now an expert in McKinsey Sustainability, which is growing rapidly. Fortunately, we are starting to see organizations commit to sustainability because they know they must to succeed long term, specifically in terms of competitiveness and customer acquisitions.

In my role, I typically conduct diagnostics for clients using different tools, such as spatial analytics, to figure out where the issues and gaps are and outline an ambitious roadmap for change. My clients range from private sector organizations to financial services to government bodies.

For example, I’ve helped private companies plan strategic investments in renewable energy or other sustainability practices to reduce their carbon footprint while enabling them to maintain or boost profitability. Some of my favorite projects have been developing one of the first-ever green steel plants, helping to establish a global green shipping fuel company, and helping scale one of the first green fertilizer businesses, which provides entirely decarbonized fertilizer.

I’ve also helped governments undergo sustainability transformations. For example, I’ve drafted energy transition plans with guidance on adopting hydrogen and suggested interventions to improve the local value chains of crops or livestock.

Most recently, I’ve been working on one of the largest renewable projects in the world, more than ten times the size of any renewable project to date. These ground-breaking projects will have a large-scale impact on global sustainability efforts.


Work that has a global impact

McKinsey is full of people who have a large appetite to change the world for the better; our whole purpose is to “create enduring positive change in the world.” We are given the freedom, support, and resources to make a difference. I am excited about the work we’re doing, driving energy transition across whole countries and entire power chains and helping clients plan how to be more resilient to future climatic changes.

More about Maurits

Maurits lives in Belgium with his wife and two beautiful daughters who keep him joyfully busy. He loves scuba diving, hiking, and hitting the pub with a few good friends.

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