Russian Carbon Fund

Russian Carbon Fund: Turn-key sustainability solutions provider

Moscow, RussiaMoscow, Russia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our mission - unite society, science, business and state for sustainable development and environmental conservation. Together with leading science experts we develop and implement turnkey solutions to reduce environmental and social risks regionally, nationally and worldwide.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if Russia could efficiently use its environmental, intellectual and economic potential for the benefit of the Planet?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

According to official estimates climate change is happening 2.5 times faster in Russia jeopardizing its human and environmental systems. At the same time Russian economy so far heavily depends on fossil fuel extraction. Innovative infrastructure is poorly developed. Major part of society and elite is not aware of environmental and institutional issues that should be immediately addressed for the benefit of the country and Planet.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We intend to foster the transition to low carbon economy by elaboration of innovative programs and projects based on scientific knowledge and international standards. In other words we help business and state actors reduce environmental and social risks for everybody's benefit. Our approach implies three consecutive stages: 1. Footprinting - Environmental and social risk assessment 2. Mapping - using assessment data to develop sustainability strategies 3. Implementation - deployment of low carbon solution and projects from green marketing to renewable energy and carbon offsetting. Please see our 2014 report and "Business to forest" carbon reforestation project report


Grateful letter from the organizing committee of Sochi 2014 Olympics, in november 2015 Russian Global Compact Network officially invited us to join and take part in their environmental strategy development
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Since 2011 our efforts have helped leading business (Such as Alcoa, Unilever, Bloomberg, Bureau Veritas, Pepsico, Bayer, Gazprom, Sochi 2014 Olimpics etc) and even entire regions of Russia successfully establish and implement sustainability strategies related to risk assessment, transparency, public engagement, efficient resource management, clean tech, internal and external sustainability communications. Russian Carbon Fund is one of the few organizations that actively participate in the origination of institutional basis of transition to low carbon economy in Russia. Our experts constantly participate in working groups and round tables on local and federal level promoting low carbon development tools and strategies.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Current impact: - Under climate reforestation project "Business to forest" we have planted more than 70 000 trees reducing 5000 tons of CO2 emissions. More than 1000 volunteers participated in tree plantings. - Thousands of people discovered our recycled art exhibition and zero waste principles on Sochi 2014 Olimpics. - "Sustainable universities for clean future 2015" conference engaged more than 10 000 students across Russia. - newsroom will become central platform to share climate, technological, intellectual and environmental potential of Russia with interested people across the globe. Future impact: - Transforming national economy to low carbon development model, eliminating oil dependence - Changing attitude of Russian citizens on global issues - Educating future sustainability leaders - Making sustainability common strategy for Russian business

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Within 5 to 10 years we plan to: - Implement regional and national carbon markets, state and business low carbon development tools and strategies related to climate finance, renewable energy, efficient resource use, clean technologies, smart infrastructure. - Raise awareness and improve environmental education of Russian citizens by establishment of nation wide university and school education programs - Help Russian business understand benefits of sustainable development approach by showing successful examples of sustainability strategy implementation - Promote clean tech startups globally

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

From the very first day we relied on providing business services that make up 95% of our income. This principle kept us independent from grants and state support. We will continue to improve quality and number of our business solutions. While doing this we will seek opportunities of international cooperation and entering neighbor countries markets. We will also try to focus more on clean tech startups commercialization and act as seed fund.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The big four auditors also offer consultancy services in terms of sustainability risks assessment, reporting and strategy development. Our solutions differ because they are cost - effective, involve multiple stakeholder groups, rely on Russian science institutions and what is most important - they engage volunteers and students. There are also some other environmental NGOs operating in Russia but in most cases they are funded by international organizations or government structures. We are the only independent NGO in terms of sustainability that offer turn-key 360 solutions.

Founding Story

I had been undergoing summer practice in international commodities trading company in Geneva and was ready to continue working in this field when someone showed me presentation about European Emissions Trading Scheme. "It is future"- they said and I immediately got very interested! A little bit later I discovered the Kyoto protocol, its mechanisms and then its root - climate change threat. Something changed within me on that time: I realized that the biggest threat could be turned into the biggest opportunity for development. After graduation from Moscow State Institute of International Relations together with my university friend we established Russian Carbon Fund.


Full time: - Alexey Shadrin, Founder, board member, CEO. Masters degree in strategic management and bachelors degree in international economics at MGIMO International Institute of energy policy and diplomacy. - Elizaveta Romanova, board member since 2011, event program coordinator. - Anton Chupilko, board member, sustainability director, more than 15 years of building innovations in Russia - Albert Ibliaminov - board member, IT coordinator. - Elena Kotova, media manager - Violetta Haneneva, content manager, - Ekaterina Reshetnikova climate finance program, coordinator. Certified climate finance expert by World Bank, 10+ experience in finance and ecology compliance Part time: - Vlad Starovoitov - Phd in energy, clean tech program coordinator, 7+ experience in engineering and procurement - Natalya Shadrina, accountant It should be said that we adhere to modern project management structure and invite best niche experts to participate in certain projects and programs. Next year we want to bring our team to a whole new level! We will search for skilled media specialists to enlarge our social impact and promote our activities. We also will expand our clean tech team in order to help more startups attract financing and international recognition.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:


Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder and CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Russian Carbon Fund is my first organization which was established right after my graduation from University.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

As we aim at uniting society, science, business and state for sustainable development we closely work with with major stakeholders – universities and research centers, leading business structures, federal and local governments, financial institutions, NGOs.

The first group that should be mentioned is Russian science. From the very first day we realized that we should rely on Russian universities and science centers in all our projects. Our first project "Business to forest" was established in partnership with State Forestry University and professor Dr of biological Sciences. S.I. Chumachenko who helped us with environmental assessment of the project.

Later on we established cooperation with Anton Chupilko, who is well known evangelist and sustainable development technologies expert with more than 20 years of experience in implementing them in Russia.

Our strategic partner is Moscow State Institute of International relations (MGIMO) where we constantly run educational activities. Together with MGIMO students and staff we have developed first university sustainability strategy in Russia and organized "Sustainable universities for clean future conference" which became the first ISO 20121 certified event in Russia.

Our main partner on economic and institutional issues is Anton Galenovich - executive secretary of the Ministry of Economy and «Business Russia» joint working group on GHG emission regulation issues. We also take part in the operation of this working group since 2014.

We also partner with international organizations such as UNDP (joint projects, support of newsroom), FSC Russia (participation in FSC friday), WWF (expert involvement), UNEP (information partnership). This november we received and invitation to join Russian Global Compact network and take part in strategic development of their environmental program.

From the government side we maintain established relations with all national and regional structures including The State Duma, Federal Forestry agency, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, The ministry on environmental resources, Moscow State Government and other parties involved into economical regulation and legislation process. We are proud that presidential

We are always open for partnerships as we consider cooperation as the basis principle of sustainable development. And that is also why we don't see any competitors on the market. We see them as our partners!