Net-Zero Manufacturing Lessons Learned: Building sustainability into operations

McKinsey & Company
November 28, 2022
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McKinsey & Company share insights from manufacturing companies that have made their operations carbon neutral. They share important lessons for any business pursuing the dual mission of profitability and sustainability.

the 2000s may mark the beginning of a fundamental shift for corporations: from pure profit maximization to a new approach to growth—one that gives due weight to the health of society and the planet. As organizations embrace this dual mission of profitability and sustainability, efforts to mitigate climate change are at the top of the agenda.

Sustainability has already become an integral part of business decision making: consumers and corporate purchasers increasingly consider carbon footprints when they make buying and investment decisions. That gives companies significant market opportunities to differentiate themselves through low- or zero-carbon offerings.

Discrete manufacturing at the forefront

Today, manufacturers of physical products find themselves on the front lines of sustainability. In part, that’s because their customers demand cleaner, lower-carbon products right now. In the high-tech sector, for example, Apple’s targets for reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions far exceed the minimum requirements of the Science Based Target Initiative’s (SBTi) 1.5° pathway, and the company is committed to achieving Scope 3 carbon neutrality by 2030. The electric carmaker Polestar has established a “striving for net zero” mission that aims to create a truly climate-neutral car by 2030 through intense collaboration with suppliers, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

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McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm. We are the trusted advisor to the world's leading businesses, governments, and institutions. We work with leading organizations across the private, public and social sectors. Our scale, scope, and knowledge allow us to address problems that no one else can. We have deep functional and industry expertise as well as breadth of geographical reach. We are passionate about taking on immense challenges that matter to our clients and, often, to the world. We work with our clients as we do with our colleagues. We build their capabilities and leadership skills at every level and every opportunity. We do this to help build internal support, get to real issues, and reach practical recommendations. We bring out the capabilities of clients to fully participate in the process and lead the ongoing work.

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