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Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Rebecca Zuker, HBA '23 Candidate

Akshanta Ajay: Transforming passion into profession - An Ivey alum's path in climate and investment

Jun 12, 2023

Akshanta Ajay Banner Photo (1) (1)

Akshanta Ajay's upbringing has significantly influenced her commitment to leading a sustainable life. Her career bolsters this commitment.  

For Akshanta Ajay, HBA '19 and Global Economics dual-degree graduate, her upbringing had great influence on her career choices.  

Akshanta’s father made a career in the renewable energy sector, so she was raised with a backdrop of sustainability. This built her deep appreciation for the outdoors and the environment, and the importance of using her work to make an impact.  

Full Circle Moments  

By the time Akshanta entered the HBA program, she was eager to seek out opportunities involving sustainability, including by pursuing the Sustainability Certificate and by serving as a VP of the Ivey Social Impact Club. As part of the Sustainability Certificate, she took the Impact Assessment course, which was a pivotal experience in her development. Through this course, Akshanta completed a pro-bono consulting project that assisted a London farm with their impact assessment and emissions measurement. Today, in her role at RBC, she takes pride in the fact that RBC is now supporting the same farm as they transition into the next phase of sustainable innovation – carbon sequestration and carbon credits.  

The Switch to Sustainability  

After graduation, Akshanta worked in a number of different investment focused roles at CPPIB, but kept the principles of sustainability at the forefront. While working as a Private Equity Associate at CPPIB, Akshanta was also Co-Lead of an internal climate strategy group which aimed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and aggregate resources for employees wanting to integrate sustainability into company operations.  

Eager to focus more on sustainability and impact in her work, Akshanta then joined RBC. She is currently a Senior Manager of Climate Strategy & Investments at RBC, helping to execute on and achieve RBC’s four pillars in its Climate Blueprint.  From climate-focused investing to supporting climate entrepreneurs, Akshanta is proud of the progress RBC has made and is looking forward to keeping the momentum going.  

Akshanta knows that collaboration among climate professionals will be essential for a global transition to net zero.  She sees great opportunities to work in climate emerging as climate strategy becomes a necessity to organizations.  

"It feels like we are at a key inflection point. We have seen momentum pick up in the last few years and that progress is present in both the public and private sectors. I think the biggest thing is that in the future, climate and sustainability will not be a niche - every job will be a climate job." 

Akshanta believes this transition to a climate job can be made at any time, even if your career is already well underway. She believes that unconventional paths can lead to the most interest-driven and impactful careers. 

To connect with fellow alumni, join Ivey's LinkedIn Sustainability Community.