Meet Rethinking Recycling team members who are making environmentally sustainable choices in their personal lives

Happy #PlasticFreeJuly everyone! This month commemorates the growing global movement where individuals are challenged to reduce their everyday consumption of single-use plastic. As you know, our team members help manage recyclable and organic waste as part of our Rethinking Recycling programs every day of the year, however, this month, instead of focusing on their professional work, we are choosing to highlight and celebrate their personal life choices to live a waste conscious lifestyle. 

We acknowledge that plastic is useful, and it is indispensable for certain applications. Especially with Covid-19, where in some cases single-use plastic is the only viable option to maintain the levels of safety and hygiene required, however, we hope that together we can all be more mindful of our consumption habits. Each small action can make a difference for our planet.

For Larissa Sakamoto, McKinsey.org’s GIRO Argentina Program Manager, her journey to living more sustainably started when she started living in a camper van and fell in love with a more minimalist lifestyle. When she returned home, she looked around her apartment and realized she had many things she no longer needed and could let go of. Thinking about her waste footprint followed naturally. Over the course of a year, she worked toward living a zero-waste and plastic conscious lifestyle, as much as possible. Larissa believes picking more sustainable products is better not only for the environment but also her health.

In my life I want to help the planet by leaving behind as little a footprint as possible. In my professional life, I help by running our recycling program in Olavarria. And in my personal life, I help by being more conscious of what I consume and how.” – Larissa Sakamoto 

A planet-wide challenge

Every year, 11 million tons of plastic enter the world’s ocean. That works out to be more than a full dump truck of plastic, every minute of every day, which matters because plastic sticks around in the environment for so long. Plastic bags for example, take 500 (or more) years to degrade in a landfill, while plastic toothbrushes could take up to 1000 years to degrade.

Recycling is an important part of the solution, but it begins with being conscious of the products you are buying and choosing recycled and recyclable packaging. And recycling cannot solve the problem alone. Producing less waste overall is also critical.  This can take the form of carrying a water bottle instead of drinking bottled water which requires up to 2,000 times the energy used to produce tap water and a bottle that must then be disposed of. It can take the form of making sure you buy what you need and minimizing your food waste which, when it ends up in a landfill produces methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

There is no single-solution to manage the waste challenge, but we are proud of our team members that make efforts in their daily lives to limit their plastic usage and waste production.

Creating a behavior change ripple effect 

When we spoke with members of our team about ways in which they are reducing plastic and being more waste conscious in their lives, we heard different answers: reusable bags and water bottles, biodegradable toothbrushes, recycled packaging,  natural beauty products with sustainable packaging and  the list goes on. 

There is no silver-bullet, it’s all about experimentation and trying different things and figuring out what works best for your lifestyle and circumstances from moment to moment.” –  Larissa Sakamoto

Not unlike other journeys, the journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle starts with motivation. For some members of our team, including Clara Dankert, a big part of their motivation came from their work on our Rethinking Recycling program.

“A friend of mine lent me a book about zero waste and that is when I started my journey. However, it is with my work with Rethinking Recycling, that I realized the full extent of the situation at hand and became much more aware of my personal footprint.” – Clara Dankert

Clara and her sustainable products like a bamboo toothbrush and reusable razor.

Clara, who is also a psychologist, says it’s important that her friends see the small actions she is taking like carrying her shopping in reusable bags, so they can see it is doable. The behavior change ripple effect is important to help generate awareness.  Other members of the team, including Ariane Desrosiers, our intern, and Tomi Kencana from our Indonesia team make sustainable product choices to help promote a low-waste lifestyle.

I use my consumer power to support sustainable alternatives. I believe changing personal behavior goes a long way in tackling the challenge and also helps others feel inspired and motivated.” – Ariane DesRosiers 

In Bali, we use banana leaves to wrap our takeout food. You could say that it is an age-old practice, but also something that is very current, given the need of the hour” – Tomi Kencana 

Tomi shows how they use banana leaves to wrap food in Bali.
Ariane and some of her favorite sustainable products

Some solutions like banana leaves are culturally unique and not available to all of us, but what matters is being conscious of the waste we produce and continuing to encourage more innovative ideas in this space.

Seven ways to start your own zero-waste journey:

  1. Try to avoid single-use plastics: When possible, refuse that plastic straw, carry your own coffee cup, and don’t forget to carry your reusable grocery bag.  
  2. Recycle: Check with your local municipality and make sure you are recycling everything you can and not polluting the recycling stream with things that your community cannot recycle.
  3. Review your cosmetics and toiletries: Use up what you already have. Switch to products with more sustainable packaging and ingredients when possible. Check labels and buy packaging that is locally recyclable and that has recycled content.
  4. Just a few products from your pantry can cover a lot of needs: Larissa from our team says she uses about 5 items for various things from cleaning her house to washing her hair. Some of her must-haves include baking soda, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. 
  5. Use reusable containers for take-away: Our Argentina staff often takes reusable containers to local restaurants to get food to-go instead of relying on the restaurants to provide disposable plastic containers. In Bali, our team is currently in lockdown, and they suggest cooking more at home to avoid ordering food in take away containers. 
  6. Try sustainable options for food wrapping at home: Our team uses reusable silicone covers & beeswax cloths and say they can easily be found online or at your local farmers’ market. 
  7. Make sure to invest in reusable masks like cloth-based masks. And don’t forget to take your mask with you every time you step out to avoid having to buy throw away masks.

Lastly, be kind to yourself

As we started to talk about tips and tricks, we realized that living a more sustainable lifestyle is not easy and instantaneous, instead it is a journey – and all of us are at different milestones given the contexts and lifestyles we find ourselves in. Many members of our team including Clara reiterated to remember to be kind to yourself.

Be patient with yourself. Sometimes you can get a little obsessed with reaching the final goal, at least it happened to me. But be kind to yourself. It’s a nice journey to start. It will help you in many different ways. Try and enjoy it. – Clara Dankert

Larissa also admits that she does not have it all figured out and encourages those attempting a minimalist or waste conscious lifestyle to figure out what works best for them and not to stress about being perfect. Alternatives are not always realistic, inexpensive or available. She wishes you luck on your journey.

INTENT OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS

We are requesting proposals from interested parties to support with our Public Relations (PR) efforts as our organization scales and transforms.

BACKGROUND

McKinsey.org is an independent non-profit founded in 2018 by McKinsey & Company to address the world’s most complex social and environmental challenges by partnering across sectors to create lasting and substantial impact. 

McKinsey.org is an independent non-profit founded in 2018 by McKinsey & Company to address the world’s most complex social and environmental challenges by partnering across sectors to create lasting and substantial impact.
Rethinking Recycling – our flagship program – aims to dramatically improve recycling systems in cities around the world so that they are truly economically sustainable, socially inclusive, and environmentally beneficial – thus accelerating the transition to a zero-waste, circular economy. We focus particularly on plastics and organics (food and garden waste) in the post- consumer waste stream, which together drive much of the waste pollution crisis and its contribution to climate change.

Rethinking Recycling has three major components, aimed at overcoming the vicious cycle of poor supply and inadequate demand for recycled material that plagues most cities today:

  • We improve supply of recyclable waste at the source through better design of collection systems and behavioral nudges.
  • We build community recycling systems that drive cost efficiency and ethical operations in sorting, logistics, and processing of recyclable waste.
  • We work to stabilize recycling demand and unlock better pricing by streamlining and bringing transparency to the full recycling value chain.

Our goal is to create a rapidly replicable model for managing waste that cities around the world will adopt. We currently have programs in three locations: Buenos Aires and Olavarria in Argentina and Bali in Indonesia. Read more about our work on our current website.

In the future, McKinsey.org has ambitions to diversify to other causes and programs.

OBJECTIVE AND SCOPE

We are looking for a PR firm to develop and execute a comprehensive integrated PR strategy as our organization scales and transforms. Our primary objectives are fundraising, building strategic partnerships with likeminded organizations, establishing our reputation in thought leadership, generating brand awareness, and attracting talent.

To this effect, we are open to receiving proposals for a retainer-based consultancy for up to 6 months. Our per month budget is maximum $10k/month, however, proposals with lower cost base will be favorably evaluated. Also, please note that while the usual billing model for a PR agency is retainership, we are open to proposals with other billing modes that address our requirements.

STATEMENT OF WORK

The selected PR firm will help develop and execute an integrated PR strategy to meet the objectives listed above through tasks such as, but not limited to:

  • Creating an overall narrative, key messages, and FAQ documents with focus on human- and impact-centred storytelling
  • Securing opportunities and developing content for mainstream media coverage including: Press releases, press coverage, feature/op-ed articles, and TV interviews. (Our focus markets are primarily US/Europe/global media, with secondary focus on local media in Argentina and Indonesia)
  • Supporting activities to secure and develop content for event speaking opportunities
  • Supporting the creation, hosting and amplification of McKinsey.org events, webinars, podcasts and/or knowledge-series, as required
  • Supporting the writing and amplification of thought-leadership reports
  • Working closely with the communications/PR agency counterparts at our partner or funder organizations to co-create and cross amplify initiatives and content, as required
  • Vetting and servicing any in-bound PR opportunities, as these become available
  • Supporting and managing any crisis communication, as required
  • Tracking and sharing of communications/PR results on a campaign/ monthly basis; typical results could include items such as PR value generated, placements garnered, number of readers/audiences reached etc.

Proposals also offering below additional services (in order of priority) will be favorably explored:

  • Developing a strategy for social media that aligns with the PR strategy
  • Developing content and tracking results for social media, blog posts etc.
  • Building a public profile for our top 2-3 senior executives (social media, thought leadership through events etc.)
  • Supporting the writing and amplification of external newsletters
  • Supporting with content creation for key documents such as pitch decks and fundraising materials

If your fee structures do not fit within our budget’s ceiling, we are open to receiving best- efforts proposals that address a prioritized portion of the Statement of Work, based on your assessment of which initiatives will help move the needle furthest on our objectives.

EXPECTED KPIs FOR KEY ITEMS

  • Overarching Public Relations strategy and calendar of activities
  • Garnering participation in 3-5 medium-big banner events (e.g., The Economist APAC World Ocean Summit; Global Summit Consumer Goods Forum; Green Biz events)
  • Deliver a total of ~10 quality media placements in US, Europe, global traditional media outlets over the course of 6 months
  • For additional items such as social media/blogs,
    • Grow our organic social media follower base from current ~10k to ~15k in the next 6 months (this is mostly in line with the current growth we are witnessing)
    • Deliver 2-3 established public profiles for our organization’s senior executives including revamped social media presence (~2-3 posts/week/executive), though-leadership posts (1-2/executive during the 6 months period) and events presence (1 event/executive during the 6 months period)
    • Grow impressions and engagement by 30% compared to 2021 H1 baseline figures for our organization’s social media handles (this is mostly in line with the current growth we are witnessing)
    • Publish 2-3 blogs over 6 months with ideally organic visits of ~1-2k/blog and average time spent 1.5+ minutes (this is mostly in line with the current results we are experiencing)

Kindly note these KPIs are, by no means, cast in stone, but they are very much our north- star; these results are ideally something we would like to land as close to as possible at the other end of this 6-month period.

WAY OF WORKING

McKinsey.org is committed to working in a collaborative way that allows for upfront strategic alignment, frequent sharing of feedback and iterative manner of working. In turn, we expect high quality draft outputs to react to and provide feedback on.

The selected firm will be available for regularly scheduled weekly or periodical programmed phone calls and as needed with the rest of the team to ensure consistent communication and alignment on active tasks and deliverables. The firm will also provide activity reports on an agreed upon schedule.

TIMELINE

We are looking for the PR agency to kick-start at the earliest possible in the next month or two, no later than mid-August.

IP OWNERSHIP

McKinsey.org retains the rights to all content and documents created.

PROPOSAL FORMAT & CONTENT

Proposals should be concise and limited to information requested, no longer than 8 ppt/pdf pages for the main body and not more than 10 pages for appendix. Each proposal shall include the following information. In the main body, besides an introduction to your organisation and its work, please make sure to include the following:

  • Work plan: Provide a plan for delivering the features outlined in the Statement of Work, including your approach, timelines, deliverables, and expected results.
  • Costs: Submit a detailed line-by-line cost proposal to deliver the Statement of Work. State preferred payment terms, specifying share of upfront payment expected. Cost proposals must include all costs that will be incurred including any projected additional reimbursable costs. Please use the attached budget template to submit the cost estimates. In the event that you can not access the budget template, please visit our website which has the RFP and the budget template.
  • Schedule: Provide a schedule outlining key milestones related to the scope of work and estimated date of completion.
  • Team: Include a list of proposed personnel who will work on the project, allocations of time each person will work with us and the corresponding hourly or daily rates.

In the Appendix please include,

  • Qualifications: Provide resumes of the key personnel to be assigned and list their portfolio within the last three years.
  • Regional links: Please also mention support staff fluency in Spanish and/or Bahasa as that is considered a plus (English required); please also mention any press networks in the two regions of Indonesia and Argentina
  • Case examples or samples: Provide examples of relevant experience. Experience in PR and content writing for the nonprofit sector a plus
  • Location: Physical presence in North America, Australia, SE Asia and/or South America a plus
  • Additional services (optional): Include any related and recommended services not specified in this RFP which may be considered essential or beneficial by the firm. These services should be priced separately.
  • References: Provide 3 professional references including name and daytime contact information

An electronic version of the proposal must be submitted to Aishwarya Sharma at aishwarya@mckinsey.org 

RFP PROCESS

Bidders can submit questions in one sending to Aishwarya Sharma by 7 July 2021 at aishwarya@mckinsey.org. By submitting questions, bidder acknowledges that their questions will be collated into a document of all questions and answers, to be posted for viewing by all bidders.

  • Answers will be provided within 72 hours, excluding weekends/holidays.
  • All proposals must be received by 16 July 2021 by 5pm EST
  • The criteria for evaluation is how well a proposal addresses the various sections of this RFP i.e. Statement of work, cost, prior relevant experience, robustness of work plan, timelines etc. These criteria will be used by the McKinsey.org Team to determine, in its sole judgement, the most qualified firm.
  • It is the responsibility of the firm submitting a proposal to ensure that the proposal is delivered on time. Any proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • The Project Team reserves the right to reject any or all proposals with or without cause.

SELECTION PROCESS

The selection of a firm will be made based on experience and qualifications; ability of proposed approach to meet the needs of the organization; and cost effectiveness. The finalist agencies will be notified by 23 July 2021 and will be asked to respond to final negotiation requests and questions based on the review provided by the team. The selected company will commence work on 9 August unless otherwise negotiated. McKinsey.org reserves the right to push back any of the above dates as per its discretion.

Questions? Checkout our Q&A document.

INTENT OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) FOR BUILDING A NEW WEBSITE

We are requesting proposals from interested parties to create a website for a brand with an established brand narrative and a brand style guide.

BACKGROUND

McKinsey.org is an independent non-profit founded in 2018 by McKinsey & Company to address the world’s most complex social and environmental challenges by partnering across sectors to create lasting and substantial impact. 

Rethinking Recycling – our flagship program – aims to dramatically improve recycling systems in cities around the world so that they are truly economically sustainable, socially inclusive, and environmentally beneficial – thus accelerating the transition to a zero-waste, circular economy. We focus particularly on plastics and organics (food and garden waste) in the post-consumer waste stream, which together drive much of the waste pollution crisis and its contribution to climate change.

 Rethinking Recycling has three major components, aimed at overcoming the vicious cycle of poor supply and inadequate demand for recycled material that plagues most cities today:

  • We improve supply of recyclable waste at the source through better design of collection systems and behavioral nudges.
  • We build community recycling systems that drive cost efficiency and ethical operations in sorting, logistics, and processing of recyclable waste.
  • We work to stabilize recycling demand and unlock better pricing by streamlining and bringing transparency to the full recycling value chain.

Our goal is to create a rapidly replicable model for managing waste that cities around the world will adopt.  We currently have programs in three locations: Buenos Aires and Olavarria in Argentina and Bali in Indonesia. Read more about our work on our current website.

In the future, McKinsey.org has ambitions to diversify to other causes and programs. 

STATEMENT OF WORK

  • An entirely new website with complete UX, UI, front-end and backend build, leveraging an established brand narrative and a brand style guide
  • Detailed benchmark and best practices review of our top 5-7 peer organisations’ websites to inform our website concept development
  • Deliver 3-4 concept designs and online visual identities to iterate over 2-3 rounds with the McKinsey.org team before initiating development of wireframes and site architecture
  • Develop wireframes and site architecture to show content strategy, placement with 2-3 rounds of revisions 
  • Develop user design archetype and user journeys, especially for fundraising with 2-3 rounds of revisions
  • High quality copywriting of the end-to-end website content, leveraging existing materials, to simplify hard to grasp ideas, with 2-3 rounds for content and placement revisions
  • Launch of website, incl. testing before and after launch
  • Training of relevant McKinsey.org team members on website content, navigation and media updates and routine maintenance
  • After project completion, handover of source code, master files and hosting credentials

TECHNICAL DESIGN REQUIREMENTS

  • Fully responsive layout to fit mobile, tablet, desktop and other leading device types
  • Default geo-specific language functionality; additional toggle functionality between at least English, Bahasa and Spanish with options to add additional languages in the future. 
  • 5-6 core sections and content pages
  • Additional functionalities must include at least: ability to add/edit our list of funders/partners; ability to publish blogs; ability to add multiple types of pages including landing pages; add multimedia to pages; fundraising and payment functionality; contact us form; sign-up for newsletter functionality; live-feed of content from select social media handles
  • High performance across KPIs of responsiveness, speed of loading etc. (i.e., top quartile against industry and peer websites)
  • SEO optimized website and content, incl. having Google analytics installed and   configured
  • Meets at least WCAG2.1 AA accessibility guidelines
  • Complies with all relevant laws and regulations around GDPR and data privacy
  • Built in a manner so that the McKinsey.org team can easily update all pages including homepage in the future
  • Given that in the future, McKinsey.org has ambitions to diversify to other causes and programs, the website should be built with that expansion in mind. 

WAY OF WORKING

McKinsey.org is committed to working in a collaborative way that allows for upfront strategic alignment, frequent sharing of feedback and iterative manner of working. In turn, we expect high quality draft outputs to react to and provide feedback on.

The selected firm will be available for regularly scheduled weekly or periodical programmed phone calls and as needed with the rest of the team to ensure consistent communication and alignment on active tasks and deliverables. The firm will also provide activity reports on an agreed upon schedule (usually on a weekly basis).

TIMELINE

End-to-end Statement of Work to be completed in no more than 6-8 weeks. 

IP OWNERSHIP

McKinsey.org retains the rights to all customer data and personally identifiable information (PII) entered into the website

PROPOSAL FORMAT & CONTENT

Proposals should be concise and limited to information requested, no longer than 8 ppt pages for the main body and not more than 15 pages for appendix. Each proposal shall include the following information. In the main body, besides an introduction to your organisation and its work, please make sure to include the following:

  • Work plan: Provide a plan for delivering the features outlined in the Statement of Work, including timelines, deliverables, and expected results.
  • Costs: Submit a detailed line-by-line cost proposal to deliver the Statement of Work. Include any purchasing of plug-ins and stock photos as part of the proposal. Include platform hosting costs as a distinct line item. State preferred payment terms, specifying share of upfront payment expected.  Cost proposals must include all costs that will be incurred including any projected additional reimbursable costs. Please use the attached budget template to submit the cost estimates. In the event that you can not access the budget template, please visit our website which has the RFP and the budget template. 
  • Schedule: Provide a schedule outlining key milestones related to the scope of work and estimated date of completion.
  • Team: Include a list of proposed personnel who will work on the project, allocations of time each person will work on the project and the corresponding hourly or daily rates.

In the Appendix please include,

  • Qualifications: Provide resumes of the key personnel to be assigned to the project and list their portfolio within the last three years.
  • Language: Please also mention support staff fluency in Spanish and/or Bahasa as that is considered a plus (English required) 
  • Case examples or samples: Provide examples or visual samples of relevant project experience. Experience in website development and content writing for the nonprofit sector a plus
  • Location: Physical presence in North America, Australia, SE Asia and/or South America a plus
  • Additional services (optional): Include any related and recommended services not specified in this RFP which may be considered essential or beneficial by the firm. These services should be priced separately.
  • References: Provide 3 professional references including name and daytime contact information

An electronic version of the proposal must be submitted to Aishwarya Sharma at aishwarya@mckinsey.org 

RFP PROCESS

Bidders can submit questions in one sending to Aishwarya Sharma by 05 April 2021 at aishwarya@mckinsey.org. By submitting questions, bidder acknowledges that their questions will be collated into a document of all questions and answers, to be posted for viewing by all bidders.

  • Answers will be provided within 72 hours.
  • All proposals must be received by 09 April 2021 by 5pm EST
  • The criteria for evaluation is how well a proposal addresses the various sections of this RFP i.e. Statement of work, technical requirements, cost, prior relevant experience, robustness of work plan, timelines etc. These criteria will be used by the Project Team to determine, in its sole judgement, the most qualified firm.
  • It is the responsibility of the firm submitting a proposal to ensure that the proposal is delivered on time. Any proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • The Project Team reserves the right to reject any or all proposals with or without cause.

SELECTION PROCESS

The selection of a firm will be made based on experience and qualifications; ability of proposed approach to meet the needs of the organization; and cost effectiveness. The finalist agencies will be notified by 23 April 2021 and will be asked to respond to final negotiation requests and questions based on the review provided by the team. The selected company will commence work on 10 May 2021 unless otherwise negotiated. McKinsey.org reserves the right to push back any of the above dates as per its discretion. 

View the budget template

Rethinking Recycling Academy and Plastic Smart Cities Initiative, partner to transform waste management system in Ubung Kaja, Bali

Denpasar, Indonesia (25/3) – Rethinking Recycling Academy, a recently-launched capacity building program of McKinsey.org, has partnered with Plastic Smart Cities Initiative to transform the waste management ecosystem in the village of Ubung Kaja in Bali, Indonesia. Plastic Smart Cities (PSC) is a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative working with cities worldwide to keep plastic out of nature.

Ubung Kaja is a village of over 20,000 people, located in central Denpasar, the capital of Bali. “Since I was a child, there has been a lot of change. When I was in elementary school there was no pollution. We didn’t even wear shoes to walk around the village.” said I Wayan Astika, the Head of Ubung Kaja village. “After 30 years, it has all changed. It is extraordinary and very sad to see such a change.” 

Troubled by the conditions in his village, Astika was ready to take action when the Rethinking Recycling Academy approached him with the opportunity to join its first cohort. “I saw the [issues in my village] that the Academy was trying to solve. By joining the Academy [I wanted to see]… how can we return the environment to be safe and clean. How can we teach our children and grandchildren so that they are not exposed to trash and pollution.”

In partnership with PSC, the Rethinking Recycling Academy aims to empower Ubung Kaja to build a green, inclusive and economic recycling ecosystem. Ella Flaye, McKinsey.org’s Regional Director for Asia explains the key tenets of the Rethinking Recycling Academy, “The Rethinking Recycling Academy aims to provide a holistic solution that sets communities up for success. Our program works directly with communities to provide training and capability building programs to transform the waste and recycling systems right at their front door. Where we see challenges, we look to build solutions!” 

When Ubung Kaja joined the Academy, its material recovery facility (MRF), locally known as a TPS3R, was barely functioning, covering only 80 out of the 20,000 people living in the village. Since September 2020, the Rethinking Recycling Academy has worked with the village leadership, community leaders, operational managers and waste workers to transform operations at their TPS3R including community education and improving working conditions. 

“Waste produced by the community does not need to become garbage… Waste that is created can be turned into an asset,” said Astika. “Not all waste is dirty, some waste can become a commodity… and at the same time it becomes our income for the organizers, the village, and the environment.” Since the start of the transformation, Ubung Kaja has taken its first steps to economic sustainability by reorganizing their organics recycling operations to start processing and selling compost, returning this once wasted organic material into productive use.

“PSC Initiative aims to reduce plastic waste going into the environment by addressing major leakage points at city level and its urban surrounding,” said Aditya Bayunanda, Head of Footprint and Market Transformation, Yayasan WWF Indonesia. “By supporting a model of sustainable TPS 3R in Ubung Kaja Village, the community will directly contribute to the reduction of plastic marine debris coming from this area. It also serves as a model that can become a blueprint that will guide city-wide actions to improve waste management policies and infrastructure.” 

The Rethinking Recycling Academy and PSC began the partnership by supporting this iconic tourism destination that is threatened by plastic pollution. We are excited to walk hand-in-hand as partners to continue Ubung Kaja’s transformation and to drive meaningful environmental and social impact.

About Rethinking Recycling  
Rethinking Recycling is the flagship program of McKinsey.org, whose goal is to drive lasting and substantial impact on some of the World’s most complex social challenges. The organization partners with leaders from the private, public and social sectors to accelerate systemic change. Rethinking Recycling is tackling the waste crisis by mobilizing every player in the system – from waste workers to multinational companies, from village leaders to National Ministers. The Rethinking Recycling Academy, launched its first cohort in September 2020 training six communities in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, where only a small fraction of the population recycles their waste today.

www.rethinkingrecycling.org | www.mckinsey.orgLinkedIn  I  Facebook  I  Twitter  I  YouTube I  Instagram 

About Plastic Smart Cities
Plastic Smart Cities is a WWF initiative working with cities worldwide to keep plastic out of nature. Since 2018, the initiative supports cities and coastal centres that are taking bold action to stop plastic pollution. WWF is working with 25 pilot cities to achieve a 30% reduction in plastic leakage by 2025, through better waste management and advancing circular economy. Together, we aim to achieve 1000 plastic-smart cities globally to join this movement by 2030. For more information, visit plasticsmartcities.org.

About Yayasan WWF Indonesia
Yayasan WWF Indonesia is a civil society organization with local legal entity and global network, supported by more than 100,000 supporters. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

www.wwf.id I  Facebook  I  Twitter  I  YouTube I  Instagram | Line Friends WWF Indonesia

Reimagining Community Education in Bali to drive better Recycling behaviors

Why we need better recycling behaviors  

Recycling in Indonesia is broken. Use of single-use plastic is surging and landfills are overflowing into surrounding communities, causing widespread environmental, economic and social damage. In Bali over 80% of waste is unsorted and items like glass, paper and plastic, which could be easily recycled, end up in landfills or leak into the oceans and the environment. 

Rethinking Recycling believes that behavior change is critical to solving the waste crisis and fixing the broken recycling value chain. Households are the critical first step in the value chain where the fate of waste is decided, whether it will be recycled and put back into productive use or sent to landfill. By instilling waste sorting into the culture of a community and the habits of its residents, Rethinking Recycling believes that it can significantly reduce the amount of productive waste sent to landfill. 

The Rethinking Recycling program not only focuses on improving source separation rates, but also the quality of the separation. Oftentimes, even if waste is sorted, it is done inaccurately leading to contamination and rendering the separated waste unrecyclable and therefore sent to landfill. Rethinking Recycling focuses its education on how to properly separate waste into the three waste categories (Recyclables, Organics, and Waste Residue) and provides secondary sorting at its partner Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to ensure a high quality of sorted recyclables is achieved. By facilitating behavior change education, we are able to improve source separation quality at the very beginning of the value chain, therefore not only decreasing the amount of waste that is going to landfill, but also increasing efficiencies by reducing the amount of unnecessary tertiary sorting activities required along the remainder of the recycling value chain.

Rethinking Recycling’s initiatives

In March 2021, the Rethinking Recycling Academy launched its behavior change program in two communities in Bali, Kesiman Kertalangu and Tegal Kertha. Working off of our pilot program, Desa Kedas in Sanur Kauh, the Rethinking Recycling Academy has developed 3 initiatives fundamental to the success of our behavior change program. Through the introduction of scheduled collection, separation bins and a newly developed AI powered chatbot on Whatsapp that answers questions on source separation, the Rethinking Recycling Academy is beginning to transform the recycling habits of over 100,000 residents across Bali that will meaningfully transform the recycling value chain.

Prior to the transformation, all waste streams (Recyclables, Residue and Organics) were collected every day, resulting in residents having little to no reason to separate their waste at home. With the introduction of scheduled collection the different waste streams are only picked up on certain days of the week, creating not only an educational moment for the community but also a structural incentive for residents to separate their waste.

 “We have seen through our pilots that scheduled collection drives higher rates of participation in source separation. By creating a structural change, scheduled collection allows a consistent and stronger message to the community: their sorted wastes will not be mixed again after the collection process.” said Violy Purnamasari, Rethinking Recycling’s Behavior Change team lead.

Working in tandem with scheduled collection changes, the Rethinking Recycling Academy provides each household with colored separation bins for the different waste streams. The colored separation bins – green for organics, yellow for recyclables and red for waste residue – are intended to lower the financial and psychological barriers of recycling by providing residents with all the necessary equipment and in-home reminders to be a successful recycler.

Isabel Alison, a Rethinking Recycling Fellow noticed, “In other pilot villages that we have studied, like Kedonganan, we have seen that the most successful villages are those that have provided separation bins for their community. Without the bins, it’s difficult to standardize sorting quality and motivate community members to separate.”

In addition to the on-the-ground interventions, Rethinking Recycling has also launched a chatbot to help answer residents’ questions on recycling and source separation. The chatbot, named Ami (short for “Let’s Separate!” in Bahasa), is able to answer questions on recycling infrastructure, collection schedule and which waste categories different items belong to.

  “Ami is the first step for the Rethinking Recycling Academy to digitize our behavior change program and initiatives. Building off of Ami, we hope to build out a scalable, digital solution that can help us track communities progress on their behavior change journey,’’ said Barry Saunders, Rethinking Recycling’s Director of Digital innovation.

With firm conviction in the value of behavior change, the Rethinking Recycling Academy is excited to continue expanding its educational reach.  As we grow the number of communities in our program we plan to design more scalable and innovative digital solutions and produce shareable educational content. Together, with our communities and strategic partners, we will continue to create programs that inspire residents to believe that their personal contribution to recycling makes a difference and that our collective impact will contribute to solving the waste crisis.

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Co-designing with the community, for the community in Argentina

A behind the scenes look at the launch of GIRO’s first pilot in Olavarría

This week our Argentina team launched their first pilot of the GIRO recycling program in Olavarría. For Mariela Pascua, a member of our Rethinking Recycling Argentina team and a long time resident of Olavarría, the excitement is palpable.

“I am very excited to launch and to see how the community responds. Our city was chosen among many cities, and I am very proud that we were chosen. For a city like Olavarría that has been working on modernization for a long time, starting to rethink the way we consume and manage our waste is a fundamental step to achieve this transformation”.

GIRO Olavarría marks our largest program to-date at Rethinking Recycling and builds on the success of our Barrio 31, Buenos Aires program in Argentina. Like all our programs, our team is working closely with the community, including the Municipality of Olavarría, local business, cooperatives and residents, to co-create the program. Additionally, we are glad to report that we have partnered with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Amcor to support the program delivery. These partnerships are enabling our ability to drive grass-root impact. As we like to say – it takes a village to make change and every player is an important part of the puzzle.

Co-designing with the community 

“The strength of this program is in how we are co-designing with the community.” says program manager Larissa Sakamoto. The program started with gaining a better understanding of what the community wants and needs, and listening to residents about the strengths and weaknesses of Olavarría’s current waste management and recycling systems. 

To construct a deep understanding of residents’ current waste experience we conducted dozens of interviews, launched surveys within the community and hosted both focus groups and walking interviews.

“Throughout our research we learned that residents believe the community prides itself on being a clean, well-maintained and modern city that is healthy and vivacious,” says Brian McGough who is part of the behavior change team. 

We also heard about areas where residents thought the program could improve like a desire for more streamlined information and education and for a more integrated recycling program. 

Overall residents are excited about more accessible recycling solutions, and we are working hand-in-hand with the community to design new solutions for the city with a focus on recycling in mind. 

Empowering Waste Workers 

Local cooperatives and waste workers are central to this effort. Waste workers face challenging conditions in their work, and are also experts in day to day waste management. Paz Porres from our team is leading the social inclusion plan and is working closely with waste workers, to ensure their voices are heard and their livelihoods are improved through the program. 

Paz says, “what I am passionate about is inclusion and working with waste pickers, who are the most vulnerable in society. As the program grows we want to ensure that their basic needs are covered, and then add more value, such as educational and health benefits that improve their lives and those of their families.” 

Looking toward the future 

We are embarking on a path towards the development of an inclusive and sustainable recycling system in Olavarría, where each person plays a key role. 

These changes are coming at the right time for the community as Emilia Díaz from the Olavarría Municipality reminds us “We have a great challenge ahead of us, to work and dream together in the city we want: more sustainable, inclusive and modern. It will not be easy but I think that we Olavarrienses are ready to begin with this much-needed cultural change.”

Together with the communities across the globe, our Rethinking Recycling team continues to build green, inclusive and economic recycling ecosystems. Follow along on social media to learn more about our programs as they scale. 

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Press Release: CLOCC partners with the Rethinking Recycling Academy to develop digital training materials for recycling and waste management systems in Indonesia

Denpasar, Indonesia / Oslo, Norway, February 17, 2021 – Clean Oceans through Clean Communities (CLOCC), owned by Avfall Norge has partnered with the Rethinking Recycling Academy, the recently-launched capacity building program of McKinsey.org to transform local waste management systems in Bali, Indonesia.

Rethinking Recycling is the flagship program of McKinsey.org, an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to create lasting and substantial impact on complex social challenges. Rethinking Recycling aims to empower every community to build green, inclusive and economic recycling systems. The Rethinking Recycling Academy launched in September 2020 with support of local partners including the national Ministries and has trained its first cohort through an intensive online capability building program which supports communities to transform their waste management systems into community-led, green and financially sustainable ecosystems.

The participants in the cohort are from six villages in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, where only a small proportion of the population sorts their waste regularly. The village leadership, community leaders, operational managers and waste workers participate in the Academy through a hybrid of online and offline delivery. The online Academy sessions which take place on a weekly basis are coupled with the support of the on-the-ground transformation team.

Ella Flaye, McKinsey.org’s Regional Director for Asia explained how the Academy became a highly scalable digitally-enabled waste management solution, “Like many organizations, COVID-19 made us reimagine solutions for the communities we serve. What was once destined to be an interactive on the ground program has evolved into a highly digitized remote learning academy through the sponsorship of Avfall Norge and our ed-tech partnership with Quipper.”

The partnership of CLOCC and the Rethinking Recycling Academy includes funding the development of scalable teaching materials. Enrolled communities access the curriculum online via the learning management platform of Quipper, a digital learning partner. Alongside the digital curriculum, Avfall Norge funds the delivery of training sessions to the initial Academy cohorts.

“We have found there are a lot of synergies between CLOCC and Rethinking Recycling’s focus and projects,” said Sigve Ånderå, Project manager for CLOCC. “CLOCC’s focus is mainly on waste management and master planning on a strategic level with regencies. Rethinking Recycling Academy focuses more on operational capacity and skills training. There are a lot of synergies between the two approaches, so together we can achieve more through complementing each other’s work.”

Funding from Avfall Norge is helping to power the development of the digital platform that future cohorts will use as the program expands across Indonesia and beyond. The partnership with CLOCC and the Rethinking Recycling Academy demonstrates how strong alignment between the organizations can drive sustainable and long-lasting environmental, financial and social impact in close collaboration with local communities.

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About Rethinking Recycling

Rethinking Recycling is the flagship program of, McKinsey.org, whose goal is to have lasting and substantial impact on complex social challenges. The organization works by partnering with leaders from the private, public and social sectors. Rethinking Recycling is tackling the waste crisis by mobilizing every player in the process – from waste workers to global multinational companies, from village leaders to Ministers.

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About CLOCC

Clean Oceans through Clean Communities (CLOCC) is an initiative by Avfall Norge, with ISWA as implementing partner. CLOCC is supported by Norad,and is a part of the Norwegian government’s development programme to reduce marine plastic pollution and microplastics. CLOCC ‘s objective is to reduce marine plastic pollution through improving waste management on land.

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Blog: Celebrating Women in Science That are Tackling Today’s Global Challenges

Follow Shannon Bouton on Instagram and Twitter.

At McKinsey.org, part of our mission and approach to problem solving is “developing, testing and scaling solutions”, so it’s no wonder that our President & CEO, Shannon Bouton, is a scientist herself. “Being a scientist defines how I tackle problems that I am presented with and has thus helped to shape how our organization seeks to find answers” Shannon told us, when we recently spoke with her about her background in science.

For International Day of Women and Girls in Science – we sat down with Shannon to learn more about her background in science, her accomplishments in Biology and why it’s important we close the gender gap in science.

Shannon’s unique background has taken her to some incredible places around the world, studying biology and ecology and most noteworthy the environmental impacts on birds and wildlife. Now Shannon is using her background in science to tackle issues like reimagining waste management systems to help tackle our global waste problem.

Q&A

Q: When and why did you first start getting interested in science? Was there a specific teacher, project or mentor you encountered along your way?

I lived in London from age 8 to 18 and went through the British school system. I gravitated early toward the sciences because I loved learning about the world and how it worked and eventually chose to do A’Levels in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. If I’m honest, part of my love for science came from two special teachers, Ms. Ross my physics teacher and Mrs. Mason my Chemistry teacher. I enjoyed their humor and the way they challenged me and my classmates to think for ourselves.

When I entered college, I decided to focus on Biology and Environmental Sustainability, because I was concerned about what I saw happening in our natural world. In grad school I found more strong women role models including my PhD advisor, Bobbi Low, who taught me to appreciate the fascinating complexities of animal behavior from birds to humans

Q: Tell us about your journey and background in science, beginning with college and through your work post college as a professional.

I have B.S. with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science, a Master’s in wildlife, Ecology and Conservation, and a PhD in Natural Resources and the Environment. In between each degree, I worked on different projects that shaped my next step. After undergrad, I looked for a way to get myself to Brazil. I was born in Brazil, but only lived there for a few years and was eager to return after being raised as an expat. I wanted to understand what it meant to be Brazilian.

I got a job in Mato Grosso Brazil, working in the Brazilian Pantanal looking at whether we could use wading bird colonies as biological indicators of ecosystem health. That led me to my Masters work at the University of Florida, working with Dr.s Peter Frederick and John Ogden who had written about this same approach for the Everglades. During my degree I started looking at specific stressors including methyl mercury and tourist disturbance to understand the impact on wading birds.

After that, I went back to work in Brazil with a non-profit in the Pantanal, then applied to PhD programs to continue my work on stressors. My PhD work looked at the effects of multiple combined stressors on the development of nestling birds, this time in Cliff Swallows in Nebraska. I loved field work, but I didn’t want to be an academic – I thought I wanted to work for a conservation non-profit. Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that having an MBA would be helpful, so I joined McKinsey & Company after defending my dissertation to get the business training. There I helped to start the sustainability practice and now I am proud to be leading our efforts here at Mckinsey.org as we tackle some of the most complex environmental challenges.

Q: McKinsey.org is working on global complex challenges, specifically within circularity and building innovative waste management systems. Does your background in science play a role in how you approach these issues?

Absolutely. We take an experimental approach to many of the questions we tackle – comparing one solution against another to see which delivers the most impact. More than that, science has taught me how to disaggregate complex problems into small units that can be tackled without losing sight of the whole. Being a scientist defines how I tackle problems that I am presented with and has thus helped to shape how our organization seeks to find answers.

Q: What are some ways we can encourage women to embrace science early on? How important is representation in science?

Many studies of diversity and inclusion have shown that diverse teams are more creative, make better decisions, and draw more insightful conclusions. The same has been shown to be true in science, where having women on research teams often leads to new ideas and perspectives. Everyone approaches problem solving with their own biases. Ensuring the biases of a research team are not all the same, leads to more creative hypotheses, experimental approaches and thinking upfront and more robust interpretation of results.

Closing the gender gap has to start with keeping young girls excited about doing science. In middle school science, girls perform on par with boys and enroll in advanced science and math courses at equal rates. But then they move into high school, and there is a drop in girls participation. We need to find ways to encourage and excite girls who show promise or interest, looking at the ways we teach to make sure we are engaging them, and ensuring they don’t feel alone when they choose to pursue science in high school or college. I’m not an educator, but science applies to all aspects of life and it seems to me there are creative ways to make sure that textbooks, science classes and challenges are designed with the interests of teenage girls in mind.

My hope for the future is that we will have parity of women in all sciences across all levels of education. Quite simply, this leads to better science being done. The earliest signs of this will be a generation of teenage girls excited about pursuing careers in science leading to parity in the numbers of boys and girls doing science and math in high-school and beyond. We are getting closer but there is more work to do.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Both my Masters and PhD research, and most of the work I did in between, focused on understanding the effect of human disturbance on birds. I am particularly proud of my master’s work in the Brazilian Pantanal, where I worked with local fishermen, tour guides, cattle ranchers, and nonprofits to understand the economic benefits to the community of nesting colonies of wading birds (Wood Storks, Egrets, Spoonbills), and how to manage those biologically diverse sites so that the local people and tourists could benefit from them without disrupting the breeding birds. The final chapter of my thesis laid out in bullet form critical management recommendations for sustainable tourism in nesting colonies – not a usual format for a thesis chapter.

After graduation, I translated my thesis into Portuguese and took copies back to the communities where I had worked to share the insights hopeful of having some practical impact. But the real realization of the impact of my work came several years later when I visited a wading bird colony on a farm outside of Poconé in the Northern Pantanal as a tourist. Impressed by the sensitivity of our guides, the ranch “cowboys”, to not disturbing the birds we were viewing, I shared my pleasure with the farmer’s wife that evening at dinner. Proudly she told me about a set of guidelines she followed for how to manage tourism in nesting colonies, then pulled out a dog-eared copy of my thesis. It was the greatest validation I could hope for my work – to see it put into practice in a colony I had never before visited in a remote corner of the Pantanal. The State of Mato Grosso has since turned my thesis into a manual, distributed all over the region.

At McKinsey.org, there have been many accomplishments I’m proud of but most recently it was leveraging our programs to support the communities we work with during the COVID19 pandemic. Waste workers are essential workers so those in our programs have continued working through quarantines. To ensure the safety of workers, we gathered best practices from across the world to develop multiple trainings on how to safely operate waste management with an ongoing contagion threat. To date, we have trained 450 workers across our two locations, and provided support for four national ministries including the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Village to share global health and safety best practices with over 600 waste management facilities across Indonesia.

In addition to access to PPE, we have supported waste workers and vulnerable communities in accessing food and health care. In Indonesia, we distributed over 4,000 meals to waste worker families along with full PPE provision and worked to ensure all of our workers are registered for national healthcare. In Argentina, we have provided tactical support to the local municipal government to distribute ~85,000 meals to residents in the informal settlement of Barrio 31. We have leveraged our communication channels, developed to drive recycling behavior, to help the government distribute health and safety information to residents of Barrio 31. And, we have been working with the local government, the International Red Cross (IRC) and Doctors Without Borders to establish a cohort of mobile diagnostic clinics across the Barrio to identify cases (e.g., taking temperatures of residents) and drive containment and quarantine efforts. The success of this last effort has led to the City of Buenos Aires to roll it out across all informal settlements in the city.


COVID’s Hidden Frontline in Indonesia

By: Ella Flaye, Regional Director – Asia

2020 has been an extraordinary year for all us – a year which feels like the world paused whilst it grapples with a global pandemic and the unknown. For many of us that means retreating back to the safety of our homes and waiting for the world to reopen, but for some that isn’t an option. For essential workers, including waste workers, their work must continue. Throughout our work in Indonesia, one thing is clear: waste workers are a hidden frontline to our COVID-19 pandemic. 

Waste workers in developing economies like Indonesia are often from highly marginalised social groups, where every day’s wage counts. Throughout Indonesia’s pandemic, we saw waste workers on the streets of the capital handling waste with their bare hands, no masks or goggles to be seen and no one to support them. Society takes little time to appreciate what they do for us and how they keep our homes and streets clean, but without them there would be chaos and widespread disease, not to mention the irreversible degradation to our environment. 

This is where we at Rethinking Recycling saw an opportunity to support the communities we work with by supporting and protecting their waste workers through these difficult times. With our partners, we rallied to provide head to toe protection, health and safety guidance and even the provision of meals to waste workers and their families hit hard by the crisis. 

During the height of the crisis this meant all workers at our pilot sites, as well as other neighboring sites, had ample supplies of helmets, goggles, masks, overalls and boots, and access to running water, soap and hand sanitizer to keep them protected every day.

Providing essential protection & economic relief for Waste Workers

At Rethinking Recycling we have a deep passion for education and capability building so we grasped this opportunity to deliver trainings and widely publicize materials to ensure everyone understood the importance of PPE, sanitation and social distancing for waste workers. Our guidance and training materials were picked up by our partners at the ministries of the environment, public works and villages and disseminated to over 70,000 villages across Indonesia. 

COVID-19 decimated Bali’s economy leaving many families, including waste workers, without a means to put food on the table. We provided over 4 thousand meals to waste workers, waste pickers and their families during the first lockdown in an attempt to make their lives just a little bit easier through those dark days. Through the Rethinking Recycling program we brought all wages up to minimum wage – a near 200% increase and we ensured access to healthcare and provided on the ground training and coaching. 

Our programs are not successful unless our workers are respected and proud of their work!

Establishing the Rethinking Recycling Academy

In September 2020 we launched our Rethinking Recycling Academy in Denpasar Bali. The program empowers communities with all the skills and tools they need to run a successful recycling program including access to funding, operational and financial management and very importantly worker’s wellbeing. As for many others, COVID has impacted our program – what was once destined to be an interactive on the ground program has evolved into a highly digitized remote learning academy through an ed-tech partnership with Quipper. Through training our first Academy cohort we hope to improve the livelihoods and create good green jobs for over 300 workers across Denpasar. Every waste worker counts. 

Together we can create a resilient, sustainable waste management ecosystem in Bali and beyond.