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Thomas Koch Blank



  • Shine
  • Sunshine for Mines

Thomas is an engineer by education, trained in operations and drilled in business acumen at McKinsey & Company. He built the very first ‘McKinsey Marginal Abatement Cost Curve’ in 2005 and spent following 8 years building what would become a full scale Practice (business area) around Sustainability and Resource Productivity. Thomas brings broad cross-sector insight in Energy and Climate related opportunities and extensive experience from on-site work with industrial facilities to improve productivity of energy, carbon and other resources, through 100+ site visits globally.


Prior to joining RMI, I have spent the majority of professional career at McKinsey & Company, where I have launched and built up the Sustainability Practice together with a small core leadership team, through entrepreneurial leadership and by spearheading new methodologies and developing expertise. My expertise has been built together with clients, applied to specific industrial facilities. The primary focus of my work has been on energy intensive industry, metal processing and mining in particular.

Examples of relevant projects:

  • Metal processing clean sheet redesign – Europe
  • Integrated Energy Strategy program (sourcing, operations, system design) – Europe
  • Yield optimization of chemical plant – Middle East
  • Big Data-based optimization of mineral processing plant – Central Africa
  • Establishment of annual sustainability conference for 10 top global mining companies
  • Numerous on-site energy efficiency diagnostics of industrial manufacturing sites (e.g., steel, cement, chemicals and pharma, dairy)
  • Selected roles as senior advisor to large sustainability strategies:
    • Sustainability Strategy for Kazakhstan
    • Energy Strategy for Singapore

MSc in Engineering Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (2003)
Russian Language and Culture, State University of St Petersburg (2001)
L3 qualifications in Resource Productive Operations at McKinsey & Company




Boulder, CO

Authored Blog Posts

Solar Embrace

More than a year ago, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced its Shine Program would focus on community-scale solar. We claimed that community-scale solar could be procured at costs close to utility-scale solar, unlocking a 5–30 GW market by 2020. However, we could not have predicted the success of our initial…

The World Needs a Radical Change in Both Supply and Demand to Reach Paris Agreement

The climate agreement reached in Paris was an unprecedented global achievement. Unfortunately, the climate action plans submitted by the signatory countries fall far short of the energy shift the world needs. Recently released reports by the Energy Transitions Commission highlight what needs to be done to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C and elaborate on pathways for how to go about doing it.