McKinsey buys Swedish sustainability consultancy Material Economics

14 December 2021 3 min. read

In its third sustainability-focused deal this year, McKinsey & Company has acquired Material Economics, a Swedish consultancy dedicated to sustainability and climate transition.

For the founder of Material Economics, Per-Anders Enkvist, and co-partners Per Klevnäs and Robert Westerdahl, the joining of forces with McKinsey & Company is a homecoming. The trio are all McKinsey alumni, and under their leadership Material Economics has over the past five years grown into a leading sustainability consultancy in Sweden (30 consultants) and the region.

Within the sustainability domain, Material Economics specialises in climate change and circular transformations across advanced industries, basic materials, consumer, and other sectors. “We help companies develop sustainable strategies, design operational processes, develop recycled materials sourcing strategies, and with the delivery of complete sustainability transformation programs,” explained Enkvist.

McKinsey & Company acquires Material Economics

Enkvist previously spent 15 years with McKinsey in Stockholm, out of which the last 7 years as a partner. He was one of the global leaders of McKinsey’s Sustainability practice, and led the firm’s work on greenhouse gas abatement cost curves (one of the most used and quoted tools for thinking quantitatively about the economic, business, and social implications of mitigating climate change).

“We are really excited to join forces with McKinsey to have even more positive impact from the expertise and knowledge we have built up,” he said of the joining of forces. Meanwhile, for McKinsey, the bolt-on is part of the firm’s agenda to expand its in-demand Sustainability practice.

“The transition to a sustainable future is the biggest challenge of our time and has in recent years become a priority issue for many, if not all, of our clients. Assignments related to sustainability are today one of our largest business areas and we are now seeing how the transition is gaining momentum in large companies, among investors, and in start-up companies,” said Sebastian Sjöberg, who leads McKinsey in Sweden.

“Through the acquisition of Material Economics, which has impressively established itself as the leading expert in sustainability and circular conversion in the market, we are taking a big step and accelerating our work further.”

Tomas Nauclér, co-leader of McKinsey’s Sustainability practice added: “By combining Material Economics’ capabilities and assets with McKinsey’s extensive network, we can broaden and deepen our sustainability offerings, and accelerate our ambition to create a global engine for sustainability operating from the region.”

Building on Sweden’s frontrunning role in the sustainability transition, McKinsey plans to make its Swedish team “a global hub and center for the green transition.” Nauclér: “Many countries see Sweden as a leader in the field, which means that our Swedish team has a mature offering. With the acquisition, McKinsey Sweden will become our knowledge center for sustainability consulting.”

Globally, McKinsey’s Sustainability practice has over 1,500 consultants across 50+ offices worldwide. Earlier this year, the practice welcomed acquisitions Vivid Economics and Planetrics to its ranks.