Born and brought up in Tanzania and Kenya, Tanja has witnessed first hand the impact of unsustainable land use on local communities and the environment. Her passion for developing sustainable solutions has driven her career, starting with a degree in Tropical Environmental Science (University of Aberdeen) and two masters, in Applied Environmental Economics (Imperial College London) and Environmental Law & Policy (University of Kent, Canterbury).
Tanja has over a decade of experience with advising, developing and investing in the land use, water and energy nexus. Her experience led to a number of publications and presentations, including for the Commission on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and the Terrestrial Carbon Group project.
Straight after her studies, she co-founded a successful consulting company whose clients included the African Parks Foundation and the World Bank. Tanja then went on to join the then largest private investment company dedicated to environmental markets, Climate Change Capital (CCC). At CCC Tanja worked on the M&A advisory team and on the investments team. Among her achievements, she helped develop the first version of the first carbon credit standards established to tackle emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU): the Voluntary Carbon Standard (now the Verified Carbon Standard, VCS).
Subsequently, Tanja became the Managing Director, responsible for deal origination, evaluation and management for a sustainable forestry investment fund (which didn’t attract enough investors during the 2008 financial crisis). Tanja also advised various Governments and Multilateral institutions on finance and investment issues with the Terrestrial Carbon Group Project at the John H. Heinz III Centre for Science, Economics and the Environment.
Strong demand from high-net worth individuals and investors interested in sustainable initiatives, as well as a proprietary portfolio of projects and companies looking for funding, convinced Tanja to establish her current company, BeyondCarbon GmbH, in May 2010. The advisory business is dedicated to catalysing profitable, environmentally and socially viable projects. Her business has provided services to private investors, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Customers include NGOs, e.g. the BirdLife Group (RSPB), CARE International, WWF International and the World Economic Forum, government agencies and multilaterals such as the Ministry of Planning of Indonesia, German development organization (GIZ), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the East African Community (EAC). Examples of current mandates include (i) on-going origination, project development and management support to a private Swiss development and Investment Company and (ii) advisory services to EBG Capital, a private Swiss advisory and asset management company. Tanja is also a board member of World Markets AG, a green investment company listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which has an investment in a carbon forestry project.
Tanja has been, and continues to be involved with projects in many countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Ukraine.