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Richard L Clarke.jpg
Richard Clarke, MSc BSc
Managing Director
Laura A McLean.jpg
Laura McLean, DVM MRCVS BA
Finance Director

The founder of Highland Carbon, Richard Clarke, is a zoologist with experience in international conservation.  His conservation experience spans orangutan breeding programmes, wolf conservation, establishment of marine protected areas, conservation of rare freshwater habitats in the Great Lakes region, marine mammal conservation, provision of wildlife veterinary medicine in East Africa, provision of veterinary medicine in the Arctic and the restoration of the Scottish Highlands.

Richard's inspiration to found Highland Carbon in 2017 was to apply principles of biodiversity net gain and landscape conservation to carbon offsetting projects here in the UK.

Our Founder has given talks and interviews about the inspirational vision and bold work of Highland Carbon to a range of organisations including:

  • The BBC

  • Sky News, The Climate Show

  • The Scotsman newspaper

  • Carbon Pulse magazine

  • Association of Sustainability Professionals - UK

  • Forestry Dept, University of the Highlands and Islands

  • Network magazine, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

  • Business Bulletin, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

  • United Nations COP26 in Glasgow, Net Zero Scotland

  • United Nations, Global Partnerships Forum, NYC, USA

  • The Global List Podcast, with David Bassiouni, New York City

  • Aberdeen Science Centre, Nature-Based Solutions Webinar

  • North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Zoominar

  • UNESCO's Wester Ross Biosphere Project, Zoominar

Over the years Richard has worked significantly in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, the City of London (financial district), Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands.

Prior to founding Highland Carbon in 2017, the Managing Director, Richard Clarke, undertook roles working in the corporate partnerships and philanthropy arenas for the following organisations:

  • The Woodland Trust, London, UK.  The charity established the Woodland Carbon Code standard for afforestation offsetting projects in the United Kingdom.  Richard led his team’s pitches as Corporate Partnerships Manager.  He worked primarily in London to recruit and support partnerships with blue chip companies.

  • The Nature Conservancy, Washington DC, USA.  TNC established the worldwide carbon sequestration framework for tropical forest protection alongside World Wildlife Fund.  As Development Officer, Richard recruited Fortune 500 partners including major manufacturers.

  • Environmental Defense Fund, New York City, USA.  EDF established the global ‘cap and trade’ framework for carbon offsetting working in partnership with blue chip companies.  Richard worked as Regional Director for Fundraising to support both regulatory and company collaboration frameworks in relation to sustainable fishing, sustainable farming, energy efficient vehicles and more.

  • Mercy Ships, London, UK.  As Corporate Partnerships Manager, Richard recruited and supported partnerships in the medical, transport, shipping, travel and leisure sectors.  He supported FTSE 100 company partners in their ESG and CSR reporting.

  • Michigan State University, E Lansing, USA.  A BIG10 University.  Raised funds for the construction of new facilities, scientific research, scholarship and teaching endowments at the College of Veterinary Medicine.


  • Primate House, Chester Zoo, Cheshire, England.  Animal care and animal husbandry.

Richard has thirty-three years of experience recruiting more than one hundred blue-chip corporate partnerships most notably in the manufacturing, food & drink, media, technology, banking, finance, transport, retail, grocery, construction, energy, medical, pharmaceutical, legal, consumables, travel, leisure and fashion sectors. 

Richard has actively supported the carbon offsetting, ESG reporting, public relations, employee engagement, customer relations and the cause-related marketing needs and aspirations of his company clients. 

Dr Laura McLean's ancestors hail from the Scottish Highlands and Islands.  Her family holds reunions at the McLean hunting lodge on the Isle of Mull located off the West Coast of Scotland.

Prior to undertaking her veterinary degree, Dr McLean completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance.  She worked at Senate Finance and then in banking in the USA.  Her childhood dream had been to become a veterinarian.  She started over in University, taking a biology (pre-vet) curriculum then attending Michigan State University - College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Dr McLean has twenty-three years experience as a veterinarian working in both the USA and UK.  She is the Clinical Director for Pinfold House Veterinary Clinic in Misterton, Nottinghamshire, UK.  At Pinfold House, her role includes chief responsibility for business strategy, financial performance, personnel management and clinical excellence. 


Laura regularly undertakes professional development conferences in London and New York.  In her spare time Dr McLean has volunteered in wildlife rehabilitation and has provided free surgeries to animal rescue centres.  She provides Pro Bono veterinary care to the local hedgehog rescue centre.  It is very common for her to be rehabilitating a wild animal at home at any moment: hedgehogs, rabbits, collared doves, pigeons, thrushes, crows and jackdaws. 

Laura volunteered on a committee that saved the old trees in her village from being arbitrarily felled by a Council subcontractor as they had been in the many thousands in nearby Sheffield.

During summers whilst in university in the States, Dr McLean worked for the NGO, Clean Water Action.  She has a passion for wild places, rare species conservation, habitat restoration and mitigating climate change.

Laura is a keen equestrian and enjoys riding her horses, Russia and Shallani, in the countryside having competed in dressage and show jumping in her youth.

Highland Carbon is a family business.  Richard and Laura are a married couple.  The two met when they were teenagers and have been together ever since.

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