After studying for her degree in Politics, Charlotte went on to work for an ethical manufacturer in Kenya. It was here that she laid the foundation for her new carbon credit subscription service, Nula Carbon.
MA (Hons) in Politics
|Year of graduation||2015|
At the moment
I have not been able to get back out to Kenya because of Covid-19 so I am now in London and have just launched the website for my new business, Nula Carbon.
At the moment most of my time is trying to keep on top of all the different aspects involved in running a business.
Your time at the University
Edinburgh has to be one of my favourite cities in the world and I feel incredibly lucky to have spent four years at university there. Coming from London, the proximity to the sea and mountains was a real win and has definitely played a part in my career choices further down the line (although I did not realise it at the time).
One of the real highlights of studying at Edinburgh was the flexibility that the course offered. I spent a year learning Spanish from scratch and whilst I am a bit out of practise these days, it was a really wonderful addition to my learning experience. My last year was spent studying political psychology, which turned out to be a defining feature of my university career, setting me up for my conversion Masters and an interest in mental health that continues to guide my life choices today.
Your experiences since leaving the University
It's fair to say that I did not take a direct path to environmental entrepreneurship. After leaving Edinburgh, I set about completing my conversion Masters in Psychology, fully intending to progress further into mental health. However, after a year of working in London at a mental health hospital, I knew that I wanted a change. With a brief period at a women's charity and multiple job applications in between, I managed to secure a role in south eastern Kenya.
When I first moved out to Kenya, the manufacturer that I was working for, called SOKO Kenya, was based within a forest protection project run by a company called Wildlife Works. Up until that point I had not heard given much thought to carbon offsetting. It was an afterthought when booking a flight with complex jargon that left me completely disengaged with the topic. However, after spending almost three years living on the project, getting to know the people, and witnessing first hand how effective efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) can be, I can wholeheartedly say that I am a complete convert.
I hope that we can bring offsetting into the mainstream and shift the narrative from offsetting guilt into investing in people to protect the planet.
I set up Nula Carbon to create a connection between consumers and forest protection projects with tangible positive results. Forest carbon credits deliver so much more than carbon avoidance. We believe the project delivers at least triple the impact, including broader community development as well as protection of biodiversity and the ecosystems that rely on the forest. Our credits are available for both individuals and businesses, using consumption based data for an individual subscription model. I hope that we can bring offsetting into the mainstream and shift the narrative from offsetting guilt into investing in people to protect the planet. Nula just launched this week [September 2020], so who knows where it is going to go but I'm hoping that people are starting to ask questions and want to make a change, even if they don't know how right now. All my efforts are now focused on trying to persuade and engage people, so if you are interested, please do get in touch.
Life during Covid-19
My Covid-19 experience meant being stuck in the UK, having come back for a two-week break, only to find myself almost seven months on with my stuff still in Kenya. However, I have been incredibly lucky and as a result of the furlough scheme, I have received invaluable support from individuals signed up to Furlonteer. Their support has meant the world and has opened up avenues that I didn't think were possible when I first started Nula Carbon on my own.
Don't panic if you are leaving university and don't know what to do. Say yes to the experiences that you had not originally thought of, you never know where they may take you!
Nula Carbon website (external link)
Nula Carbon on Instagram @nulanotes (external link)