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St Mary's Alumna, Mina Hoti, on Environmental Science, global carbon emissions and sustainable ways of living

St Mary's Alumna, Mina Hoti, on Environmental Science, global carbon emissions and sustainable ways of living

Mina Hoti, St Mary's alumna, talks about her work on environmental science, global carbon emissions and sustainable ways of living in this new blog.

"While working as a Management Consultant at North Highland I founded our internal ESG & Sustainability team. As a small cross-Atlantic team, we researched the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, taught ourselves the fundamentals of calculating carbon emissions, built a convincing business case for leadership, and wrote a new firm-wide position statement on ESG. 

" Although I really enjoyed the challenge of this experience, the root of my interest lies in climate injustice and how we can leverage policy and economics concepts like behavioral science to change mindsets and cultural habits around sustainable ways of living. This is why I am very excited to start an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in May 2023. This STEM Programme provides students with an understanding of the scientific, environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Before my course starts, I am keen to gain more experience in sustainability, particularly in social enterprise or research."

Mina spent 6 weeks learning about sustainable agriculture and ways of living and then followed up with this article:-

"With agriculture contributing to 20% of global carbon emissions, eight times more than the aviation industry, I was keen to answer the question; can we farm more sustainably without causing a global food crisis?

"I have spent the last two months travelling in France and Costa Rica learning about sustainable alternatives to agricultural methods. I learnt how to make and use organic bio-controllers as a substitute for artificial pesticides (some of which can stay in the atmosphere for 116 years), methods to improve the soils fertility and make the vegetables we eat more nutritious, beekeeping, and agroforestry, the practice of growing trees over crops to restore soil nitrogen fertility and provide shade. It was wonderful stepping outside of my busy life in London and learning that a more sustainable lifestyle is possible.

"I was inspired to focus my career on sustainability while I was working as a management consultant in London. Here, I took the initiative to improve the firm’s sustainability practices. Over two years a small team of us built out a new firm-wide position statement on ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance), created a carbon calculator and gathered data to estimate the firms carbon emissions, became accredited, and launched an official sustainability team across our offices globally.

"I will be studying a master’s in environmental science and policy at Columbia University in New York next summer where I am excited to learn more about the science behind climate change, and the policies that can help us tackle it. I’m keen to tie together my learnings and play a role in implementing change towards a more sustainable future.

"In a world where we’re expected to play predefined roles, St Mary’s created an environment where I could create, explore, and choose who I wanted to be. I am grateful to St Mary’s for instilling the idea that an individual can have lasting impact, a vital mentality for tackling climate change."