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Meet Ankita Vijayvergiya- LinkedIn Top Voice and Climate Entrepreneur

Ankita Vijayvergiya (Pilani, ’06) is the co-founder of BillionCarbon and NatureHealers. She was named among ‘LinkedIn Top Voices 2022’ which encourages people to switch to sustainable living. Read about her journey of sustainable living, being a LinkedIn influencer, and climate startups.

How did Entrepreneurship happen for you?

When COVID hit, it was a moment of stark realization for all the things I was spending my time and energy on. That was when I decided to move on from my corporate job and switch to a climate career. I started looking out for a few projects that I wanted to be associated with but found major gaps in climate solutions being implemented. My brother (also a BITSian) and I started off building programs to help people move to a sustainable lifestyle, and realized a lot of people were interested in our initiatives – both as users and as team members! And before we knew it, we’d become a startup. That was NatureHealers, and now we are building BillionCarbon with a much larger dream than we earlier started off our climate journey with. That’s how entrepreneurship happened to me - it was not planned, but not unintended either.

India Climate startup ecosystem

I am a strong believer of two things:

  1. To keep global warming within 1.5 degrees C, we need to make climate action profitable for the capitalist economy. And for that, it is imperative for entrepreneurs like us to find innovative business models.
  2. All climate solutions we need currently exist – we don’t need any new innovation. What we need as entrepreneurs is to pick the right technology, put the right business model on top of it, and then take it to scale within this decade.

Climate startups can span a variety of areas such as water, mobility, agriculture, carbon sinks, etc. In this decade, a lot of current jobs will transform to become climate jobs. For example, solar and wind have become mainstream in terms of energy growth, and there is an increasing demand for technicians from the regular electrician and mechanical jobs who will learn new skills to get better jobs in the renewable energy sector. 

At BillionCarbon, our dream is to empower the mitigation of 1 Billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and to empower 100,000 climate jobs by 2030.

Sustainable Living, High Thinking

A few years ago, I discovered what chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics are doing to our health.

That was when I made a conscious choice and firstly adopted all things only organic for me and my family. Whatever we eat has to be organic because what we are putting into our bodies these days is the leading cause of all our auto-immune diseases like Cancer, Diabetes, Thyroid, etc.

The second is removing single-use plastic from our everyday lives - the use of which I have tried to make as minimal as possible. Plastics is not just really bad for the environment, it is also really bad for our health. Microplastics have now been found in our food, water, the air we breathe, and even in the placenta of unborn children. Research suggests that this leads to civilization-wide fertility problems and much more.

Another very personal but huge change was when I was introduced to menstrual cups. Commercial sanitary napkins are 90% plastic. They cause itching, rashes, and infections in women very frequently, and take 500 years to disintegrate. Making the change to menstrual cups was the biggest lifestyle change I made, of which I am a big evangelist.

These three major lifestyle changes are the ways in which I have started living a sustainable life. All of us can make big and small changes in our lives to lead a healthier life – because what is healthy for us is also healthy for the planet.