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Demanding action, finding solutions

Sierra helped start the green initiative our San Francisco office. Now she’s coaching Green Teams around the world to make a big difference to our planet.

Meet Sierra. Two years ago, she and others started the San Francisco office’s green initiative and launched a series of sustainability programs influencing McKinsey offices around the world.

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What does your role involve?

I’m part of the environmental sustainability team. I spend about 25% of my time building Green Teams for McKinsey. These groups are made up of colleagues who are passionate about making their offices more sustainable.

Why is this the best time to become involved?

There has never been a time of greater need. The world is in a state of climate emergency. Nearly every part of the planet is under tremendous pressure from the climate crisis. Urgent action is needed to prevent environmental collapse.

At the same time, there’s never been a more hopeful time. The technology to help solve the crisis – such as renewable energy – has been growing exponentially while the cost has been plummeting. People, particularly young people, around the world are engaged on this issue like never before, organizing and demanding climate action. We have the data, and we know what needs to be done. It’s going to take all of us pitching in, making different and better choices, and thinking creatively to solve this problem. No matter who you are, you can make a difference.

What is McKinsey doing now?

In 2018, we achieved climate neutral company status by taking the following measures: 1) setting targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, 2) purchasing 100% renewable electricity, and 3) investing in high–quality carbon–reduction projects.

The whole of McKinsey is part of this commitment. There are now more than 70 Green Teams worldwide and 600+ Green Team members.

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We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com

What impact are your internal green programs having?

With 30k+ employees around the world, small changes in our offices make a significant difference. Many local offices eliminated water bottles and installed filtered water systems. The Brussels office eliminated 85,000 plastic water bottles in just one year. In Poznan, Poland switching to dishwashers in the cafeteria eliminated 14,000 paper plates and cutlery in a single month. The Chennai office reduced energy consumption by 25% by installing led lights and sun control films on windows. In San Francisco, beside working to eliminate single–use plastics and reduce waste, we regularly get together outside the office to plant trees in the community, pick up trash from beaches, and restore wetlands. Our Green Teams are having tremendous impact.

McKinsey’s impact goes beyond McKinsey offices. Globally, we’ve invested in land conservation projects to protect ecosystems in the Amazon basin, rehabilitate boreholes in Rwanda so people can access clean water, and restored tropical forests in Colombia devastated by gold mining and cattle grazing. Read more about our environment sustainability work in our Social Responsibility Report 2018.

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