Sustainability cases McKinsey

Cases frameworks mckinsey Mck mckinsey 1st round interview
Edited on Oct 13, 2022
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Oct 02, 2022

Hello all,

I hear that a lot of candidates got cases about sustainability in their McKinsey interviews. Can someone share some sustainability insights or topics or maybe some cases about emission reduction? What’s the best way to approach them?



Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 13, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

This is an ever-increasing theme! That said, please be careful with your approach. You're saying “Mckinsey cases in x, therefore I need to prepare x”. But, remember, you can get any case. You are going down the classic route of trying to be prepared for everything (impossible), rather than training yourself to be prepared for anything.

Here's a case I've just completed on Sustainability:

I suggest you read this here:

That said, If you want sustainability topics/cases, read BCG Insights and McK Insights! they have entire sustainability sections…they're literally cases.

Some examples:

  • O&G company moving into renewables
  • Tech company aiming to be net carbon neutral
  • Large firm looking to increase female representation in exec roles
  • A retail company looking to ensure their supply chain is flexible/adaptable in face of climate change
  • Food producer looking to minimize deforestation
  • Food producer looking to minimize water use

If you'd like to work through the frameworks for any of the above (and dozens of other prompts/frameworks I've created), feel free to reach out!

Every single one needs its own approach/framework.


Was this answer helpful?
CoachingPlus Expert
updated an answer on Oct 02, 2022
Former McK interviewer, PhD who successfully transitioned from Academia, received offers from McK/BCG/Bain/LEK

Good observation - it also reflects topics increasingly present in the client work. While at McK, I used to give cases related to sustainability - I can't reveal any details here but in terms of preparations, I would familiarize myself with topics such as: energy (incl. various sources, conversion, storage, improving energy efficiency), raw materials (sourcing, recycling), use and pollution of air, water land.

Try to take a holistic view - without going too deep into technology but also including infrastructural, geopolitical and behavioral/social aspects. There are many publicly available resources available but to get more into consulting mindset you can try reading through some reports prepared by McK and other firms (e.g. on decarbonization).

I'm happy to work 1-on-1 on these topics if someone feels like they would like to address them more specifically.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Interview cases always reflect the engagement experience of the respective interviewers. Since we are now seeing many projects with an ESG component, more and more cases are also centered around that theme.  Five years ago the main theme was digitization…

What this means for you is two things:

  1. Read recent McKinsey publications as they cover all these topics in detail (you learn about these issues) from a McKinsey perspective (you learn how McKinsey approaches these topics, thinks about them, and what lingo they are using)
  2. Focus on learning how to approach McKinsey cases rather than acquiring domain knowledge. McKinsey interviews test how you think, not what you know and candidates preparing for specific cases rather than learning how to think as a McKinsey consultant would fail significantly more often

For the latter, have a look at the article I wrote on the topic to learn more about McKinsey case interviews:



Was this answer helpful?
replied on Oct 04, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach


Looks like you got some great resources here already! My additional two cents would be to remember that case interviews are designed to test your analytical thinking, not your industry knowledge. While it could be helpful to read a few insights on sustainability topics, you should be applying the same tools to a sustainability case as you would to other cases. Of course, always make your frameworks and approach specific to the case at hand, but you shouldn't be approaching sustainability cases in any radically different way.

Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
Q&A Upvotes
99 Reviews