This is a profile image of Dickon Pinner

Dickon Pinner

Senior Partner, Bay Area

As global leader of McKinsey Sustainability, helps transform companies’ product, service, and asset portfolios to capture the opportunities and mitigate the risks posed by climate change and other sustainability issues


Dickon is based in McKinsey’s San Francisco office where he co-founded and leads McKinsey’s global work in clean technologies and serves as the global co-leader of the firm’s Sustainability Practice. Dickon helps companies address the resource-productivity challenges the world will face in terms of energy sources, transportation, food, land, water, and basic materials. He serves investors (venture capital, private equity, pension funds, sovereign-wealth funds), large energy and industrial incumbents (oil and gas companies, industrial original-equipment manufacturers, utilities, automotive original-equipment manufacturers), technology start-ups, and policy makers/influencers (government agencies, nongovernment organizations, regulators).

Dickon also helps clients who manufacture or use highly engineered products for companies in aerospace and defense, power generation, and oil and gas industries. Functionally, he focuses on increasing engineering productivity and transforming their product development systems, deploying techniques such as design to value, increased modularity, and increased automation. His experience extends to high tech as well; he previously was a leader in McKinsey’s Global Semiconductor Practice where he served many of the world’s leading semiconductor companies on strategy, capital productivity, and operational turnarounds.

He received a masters in science in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Fulbright scholar, as well as a PhD in physics at Cambridge University. Dickon is a prolific author and frequent speaker at industry forums, including, most recently, at the Clean Tech Investor Summit.

Published work

How climate action can help deliver EU energy security,” McKinsey & Company, August 2022

The net-zero transition in the wake of the war in Ukraine: A detour, a derailment, or a different path?,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2022

Quantum computing just might save the planet,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Navigating America’s net-zero frontier: A guide for business leaders,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022

COP26 made net zero a core principle for business. Here’s how leaders can act,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Aligning portfolios with climate goals: A new approach for financial institutions,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Solving the net-zero equation: Nine requirements for a more orderly transition,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

It’s time for philanthropy to step up the fight against climate change,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

How negative emissions can help organizations meet their climate goals,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Net zero or bust: Beating the abatement cost curve for growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

America 2021: Renewing the nation’s commitment to climate action,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

A blueprint for scaling voluntary carbon markets to meet the climate challenge,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Why investing in nature is key to climate mitigation,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Responding to climate risk: Actions for US state and local leaders,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

How the European Union could achieve net-zero emissions at net-zero cost,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

Climate risk and response in Asia,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2020

Climate change and P&C insurance: The threat and opportunity,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Scaling voluntary carbon markets to help meet climate goals,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Optimizing water treatment with online sensing and advanced analytics,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Will infrastructure bend or break under climate stress?,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Could climate become the weak link in your supply chain?,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Reduced dividends on natural capital?,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2020

A Mediterranean basin without a Mediterranean climate?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

How will African farmers adjust to changing patterns of precipitation?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

Will the world’s breadbaskets become less reliable?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

Confronting climate risk,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2020

Climate math: What a 1.5-degree pathway would take,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2020

Will mortgages and markets stay afloat in Florida?,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2020

Can coastal cities turn the tide on rising flood risk?,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2020

The case for committing to greener telecom networks,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2020

The future of mobility is at our doorstep,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

Earth to CEO: Your company is already at risk from climate change,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

Reimagining mobility: A CEO’s guide,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2019

Reserve a seat—the future of mobility is arriving early,” McKinsey & Company, December 2018

How industry can move toward a low-carbon future,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

How solar energy can (finally) create value,” McKinsey & Company, March 2016

Solar power comes of age: How harnessing the sun got cheap and practical,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2015 (registration required)

Brave new world: Myths and realities of clean technologies,” McKinsey & Company, August 2014

Unconventional Wisdom: Fracturing enters a new era,” McKinsey & Company, August 2014

The disruptive potential of solar power,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2014

Past experience

Shell Oil, the Netherlands
Reservoir engineer


Cambridge University
PhD, physics of organic semiconductor devices

University of California, Berkeley
MS, physics

Cambridge University
Bachelor of arts, physics (Double first-class honours)