Our impact on the areas of sustainability
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In the year 2023, McKinsey & Company embarked on a path to create an independent, nonprofit, McKinsey.org, and started to look into areas in which it could make a significant impact on the global challenges like the recycling and waste challenges faced by cities all over the world. This time, McKinsey.org leaped to help make this vision a reality by launching local pilot programs in its initial project Rethinking Recycling.
With the help of top nonprofits, government agencies, and corporate and nonprofit partners, Rethinking Recycling is working in Bali, Indonesia, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, to develop and test solutions that make all waste effective use for the benefit of both communities and the environment. The world produces 3.5 million tonnes of garbage daily, which has risen ten times in the past century and is rapidly growing. Rethinking Recycling is a project to demonstrate the environmental, economic and social advantages of Recycling to ensure that they are applied across the globe and improve the lives of people exposed to the impacts of pollution to the air and climate change.
In its inaugural year, the Rethinking Recycling Argentina program has established the first recycling program that is officially recognized within Buenos Aires’ Barrio 31, which is working with around five thousand households. The program also trained more than 120 employees from different cooperatives. By focusing on human factors for changing behavior,, the program increased from zero to 30 percent acceptance of Recycling among household members of the community. Rethinking Recycling also created the first community-run sorting facility run by the local community for dry recyclables such as glass, paper, and plastic and also established the first residential composting facility within the City of Buenos Aires.
For the past six months in Bali, Rethinking Recycling has collaborated with a local community in the capital city of Denpasar to show the benefits of recycling centers that can have environmental and economic benefits. The program run by the community has been financially successful for over a year, as well as ensuring that workers are paid decent wages and secure working conditions. However, this includes access to medical treatment,, which is still an issue for these centers. The program also has achieved promising levels of waste separated from the source, with up to 90 percent of households adhering to the 11 percent Bali average and diverting 50% of the trash from landfills. This center has been praised for its economic as well as environmental achievements. We are constructing an Academy to increase its impact and build capacity for similar programs within the Indonesian waste area.
As an impactful, exciting year winds down, McKinsey.org is immeasurably grateful for its partners such as eco Bali, Almado, Civic Response Team, Waste Concern as well as PRAISE along with PRAISE and the City of Buenos Aires Secretariat for Social and Urban Integration and have collaborated with its teams, assisting in creating a zero-waste society in which every community can develop eco-friendly, inclusive and economically viable recycling systems.
For Indonesia, McKinsey.org has partnered with a group of six top CPG players known as PRAISE: Danone, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Tetra Pak, and Indofood and ecoBali – the local recycling company ecoBali to provide the complete Rethinking Recycling program, which ranges from educational outreach to recycling operations to establishing solutions to boost the market demand for recycled products.
The Rethinking Recycling Bali program, also known as Desa Kedas or “clean village” in the local language, has successfully launched a behavior change and education program to encourage households to separate their waste, with numbers that exceed 90 percent of households complying. The focus of the program is developing local youth and community leaders to carry out the campaign to ensure the initiative’s longevity.
To show the program’s scalability, we’ve focused on creating efficient and lean operations that guarantee the center is at break even and even earning an occasional profit per month while ensuring that every worker receives decent wages and secure working conditions.
Desa Kedas has received a lot of media attention. Local and national government officials hailed it as Bali’s finest waste management facility. It has also been included in numerous new media outlets, including national news channel Metro TV and other news channels in S.E.Asia.
By co-creating in collaboration with community members, McKinsey.org has developed low-cost innovations that greatly influence behavior, such as QR code-labeled hooks to hang well-separated trash.