- Developing water-management programs. We help local and national governments assemble a fact base for decision making, craft strategies for stakeholder management, identify least-cost solutions through tailored cost curves, assess barriers and payback times, and produce practical implementation plans. For one country facing acute scarcity, we identified demand-management solutions that would cover four-fifths of its supply gap at no cost and helped rethink its agricultural strategy to build a water-efficient economy.
- Transforming water and waste utilities. We help utilities transform their operations along the entire value chain of water, waste, and wastewater by optimizing elements such as network and pump-station maintenance, pump energy efficiency, sludge treatment, waste asset configuration, aeration control, and support functions. With our assistance, a water utility recently identified savings worth 25 percent of operating costs at one of its treatment plants.
- Digital water. Digital has become one of the most important issues in the water industry, with the potential to completely alter market dynamics. We support clients in understanding the strategic imperatives of the municipal water market and developing a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape. We helped one client, at the cutting edge of the water sector, use digital storyboards to identify growth opportunities that would enable it to lead the smart-water-digitization market.
- Optimizing industrial operations. We work with industrial companies to manage the costs and risks of water consumption and find solutions to water challenges beyond their own four walls. We have helped companies identify double-digit potential savings in indirect water costs and supported industrial operators attempting to secure reliable and sustainable water supplies. For companies striving to eliminate waste from their operations, we advise on identifying pain points, saving resources in the supply chain, and adapting product design to reduce materials requirements in manufacture.
- Identifying profitable investment strategies. Although the $500 billion water market is growing fast and presents many opportunities for investment, profitable and addressable niches are hard to find. We help conduct technology and target scans for investors and entrants from adjacent businesses and offer guidance on developing entry strategies, capturing opportunities, and building scale. For one client we recently designed a road map to implement a strategy that put it on a double-digit growth path. We offer similar services to investors interested in extracting value from waste.
- Capturing the potential of waste-services provision. We provide insights into the performance and costs of existing and emerging waste technologies and help public-sector organizations develop and refine integrated waste-management strategies. We also help national and local governments assess how recycled materials might contribute to resource-management strategies and economic-development targets.
- Revolutionizing products and systems. Most production and consumption systems in industrialized economies rely on the one-time use of resources. Only 20 out of 60 metals, for example, have an end-of-life recycling rate of 25 percent or more. We help companies devise product strategies and business models that capitalize on the enormous advantages offered by “closed loop” production and consumption systems, such as secure long-term access to resources.
We help private- and public-sector clients manage water and waste to capture economic and social benefits, reduce cost, and minimize risk.
What we do
Stefan Helmcke is co-leader of McKinsey’s global Sustainability Practice. He is responsible for sustainability strategy as well...
Specializes in the long-term evolution of the energy markets and technologies as the head of our integrated power markets modeling,...