Carbon Market Exchange Ltd
“Helping People Thrive”
Shenna Fortner, CEO, Carbon Market Exchange Ltd. has a track record of crossing cultural and socio-economic barriers to resolve environmental problems and advocate for marginalized people. This innate ability to marry compassion and empathy with legal and business experience skills has resulted in a potent force for addressing complex problems holistically. Harnessing some creative thinking, she, along with her team, initiated the company’s first nature-based carbon offset project held in perpetuity that created the most significant preservation of land north of the Amazon. “I think as a woman we are often juggling so many very different things, and that can give us an edge when it comes to creating new solutions. Bringing these ideas to the business has certainly helped us navigate some challenging situations.”
Like many women, Shenna struggled against herself first and the ingrained narrative that made her second-guess things. Overcoming this meant no longer presenting a diminutive self or questioning her ability but realizing that she has the tools to make a difference in this world and building the confidence to charge forward with that. “Barriers then became opportunities of growth, and the way we approach those barriers is everything and speaks to the strength of that newly-won growth.”
Shenna participates in Industry Women Empowered events and collaborations because she particularly enjoys working with creative, empowered women who see the complex and intricate ecosystems and still move forward to make the world a better place.
As women increasingly break into male-dominated spheres, it is essential to support each other and give someone else encouragement or help when it is possible. “I am always happy to listen to other women who may be going through something I have experienced and offer what advice I may have,” she says. “We all remember the people throughout our lives who have taken the time to shine a light on trying things we may have been facing, and I think it is a great honor to be able to do that for someone else.”
She encourages her team members to continue learning, share their knowledge and empower them to succeed. “One thing I have found that is a central pillar of building a great team that not only functions in the present moment, but also is endowed with the tools to carry successes forward, is in fostering an environment where all thoughts and ideas are welcome and up for discussion,” explains the steadfast leader. “This has been particularly interesting in the case of our company because we all came from established positions in other industries and so had a wide array of experience and many different ways of looking at things.” This has reminded Shenna of the great possibilities that become available when one allows people the space to be vulnerable and test theories without fear, leading to some of the best innovations and problem-solving.
At 40 years old, Shenna has concluded that success is a matter of the mind. Her conversations around reaching success are essential that she had to choose to succeed and follow through. Once she decided wholeheartedly on her idea of success, serendipitous events occurred to help her get there, which may have been contacts that she needed, or team members who would help grow the business and opportunities presented themselves. “Success happens well before it appears; it is in the planning, the preparation, and the permission to oneself to do whatever it takes to reach those goals.” Armed with such a unique ideology, Shenna takes the company to new heights.
Carbon Market Exchange Ltd. has revolutionized the standards of nature-based carbon offsets and created a diverse portfolio aggregating over millions of credits. Their nature-backed offsets preserve hectares of standing native forest, protect critically endangered biodiversity, provide a fair and equitable exchange of carbon rights, promote cultural exchange, and empower land stewardship. When the global political and business communities are looking towards combating climate change more seriously than ever, Carbon Market Exchange Ltd. is proud to be offering solutions that form a part of the much-needed attention on this significant issue. “It means a lot to us and energizes our work that we can contribute to these internationally-held goals.” WL
Carbon Market Exchange Ltd
Carbon Market Exchange Ltd (Carbon) was established in 2021 from the efforts of a small group of environmentalists and finance executives. We have bases of operations in North Carolina and Michigan, USA as well as in Belize. Our goal is to bring together the financial industry and climate action in a way that makes meeting international climate targets more accessible for companies and more supportive for conservationists.