McKinsey & Company releases 2022 ESG report

14 June 2023 3 min. read
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McKinsey & Company on Tuesday released its 2022 environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report – tracking the management consultancy’s progress on goals in decarbonization and building inclusive economies, institutions, and workforces.

“As a proudly global firm, we feel a deep responsibility to the societies where we work and live," said Bob Sternfels, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company. "While the events of 2022 challenged governments, businesses, and citizens alike, we remain resolute in our long-term aspiration to accelerate sustainable and inclusive growth.”

According to the report, more than 3,500 McKinsey employees worked on 1,600+ sustainability engagements with 600+ clients. The firm also said that 100% of its air travel was subject to an internal carbon fee to support its net-zero by 2030 target.

In terms of “inclusive growth,” McKinsey has since 2020 given $620 million in cash and in-kind support to social responsibility efforts as part of its $2-billion target for 2030. The firm gave approximately $275 million in 2022.

McKinsey's global workforce was 48% women, and 52% of client-serving colleagues in the US were from racial or ethnic minority groups.

McKinsey & Company releases 2022 ESG report

McKinsey in 2022 contributed $28 million to Ukraine war relief, including $18 million in donations from colleagues and the firm, and $10 million in pro bono support. The firm pulled out of Russia last year, alongside many other major consultancies.

McKinsey worked with Rostec, a large Russian defense conglomerate, even after Russia illegally invaded Ukraine in 2014. After Russia launched a larger offensive seeking to conquer its neighbor in February 2022, McKinsey announced it would cease work with the Russian government, but stopped short of axing lucrative contracts with state-owned and partially state-owned entities in the country.

A groundswell of criticism – including from McKinsey’s Ukraine managing partner – was followed by a decision to suspend all client work in Russia once active projects ended.

McKinsey is often chastised for taking on projects from any entity willing to pay its high fees. That includes authoritarian governments and US geopolitical rivals (Russia and China), and their state-owned or partially state-owned companies. McKinsey has fulfilled these contracts while concurrently advising the DoD, though the firm says it institutes various firewalls and measures to block security risks and conflicts of interest.

The firm’s lingering black eye is its high-profile marketing work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers, which was used to turbocharge sales and contributed to America’s ongoing opioid crisis. McKinsey in 2021 settled with 49 states for nearly $600 million while admitting no wrongdoing.

The firm says it now has an industry-leading CITIO (Country, Institution, Topic, Individual, and Operational) client service framework, which guides the firm's approach to engagements. All new clients in 2022 were vetted against the framework.