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About Us

Aarthi Ananthanarayanan

Aarthi Ananthanarayanan

Climate and Plastics Initiative Director
Washington, D.C.

Areas of Expertise

  • Climate impacts of the plastics crisis
  • Climate-related financial disclosures
  • Plastic lifecycle emissions – scopes 1, 2 and 3
  • Corporate climate and plastic commitments
  • Fossil fuel subsidies

Aarthi Ananthanarayanan, Director of Ocean Conservancy’s Climate and Plastics Initiative, designs and promotes solutions that address two existential, interconnected threats to the ocean and coastal communities: climate change and plastic pollution. Aarthi is an expert on the climate, community and ocean impacts of the petrochemicals industry and opportunities for decarbonization. She leads Ocean Conservancy’s advocacy influencing public and corporate policies that create incentives for plastic production, such as fossil fuel subsidy reform, financial disclosures and corporate climate commitments. An accomplished speaker, presenter and moderator, Aarthi has spoken on these topics before the U.S. Senate Climate Change Task Force and at COP27, COP28 and TEDxPortland.

Before launching the Climate and Plastics Initiative, Aarthi was Ocean Conservancy’s POSEIDON Project Director, leading an interdisciplinary team of international researchers to develop policy simulation models for fisheries. She also supported the launch of two of Ocean Conservancy’s international plastics initiatives: Urban Ocean and our Vietnam Plastics Initiative. Prior to joining Ocean Conservancy, she was a Senior Associate with California Environmental Associates. In that role, she worked with top environmental and philanthropic organizations to develop new climate, energy, land and water protection and biodiversity conservation initiatives, led consulting engagements to conduct foundational analysis and develop client business plans and co-founded a recruiting practice to attract environmental professionals in the United States, India, China and Europe. Aarthi began her career working for the Chemical Strategies Partnership, a trade organization working to reduce chemical use, waste, risks and cost by transforming the chemical supply chain.


  • B.A., International Relations with a focus on Environmental Studies, Tufts University, 2007

My Favorite Thing About the Ocean

I didn’t grow up spending much time by the ocean, but I remember the first time it really touched me. I was working on a project out in San Francisco and learned about upwelling, a chemical, physical process occurring along the West Coast of the United States each year that drives the migration of whales and creates the cold summers and fog that the city is known for. I also learned that the Indonesian archipelago slows the rotation of the earth about an hour because of the resistance of the currents and winds as they flow around the islands. The ocean is this wild, powerful system that is driven by simple processes that I learned about in high school chemistry class. It makes me feel at once completely insignificant and closely connected to the major planetary systems that shape our lives.

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