Top 10 podcasts to help you understand sustainability

By Charlie Steer-Stephenson
Sustainability Magazine investigates the top 10 podcasts which will help you understand what you can do to be more sustainable

With the rising interest in global issues, like human rights activism and climate change action, more people are turning to podcasts as a quick and easy source of information. Here, we explore our top 10 podcasts that will help you understand the topic of sustainability a bit better - whether that’s from an individual, company or societal perspective.

From activism to diversity to mental health and wellbeing, these podcasts offer a wide scope of different perspectives on the sustainability movement and how we can each get involved. Give them a try when you’re out for your daily walk or run, or even just in the background as you cook food or take a bath. There’s plenty more to learn about sustainability for all of us.

10. A Sustainable Mind

This podcast is perfect for anyone interested in contributing to the sustainability movement. Each week, host Marjorie Alexander interviews environmental trailblazers to raise awareness of their campaigns and promote actionable advice and resources to listeners. The most recent episode interviewed Corinna Bellizzi, pioneer of Nordic Naturals and founder of Orlo Nutrition, on how algae-sourced omega-3 has benefits for us and the planet.

9. The Sustainability Agenda

The Sustainability Agenda hosted by Fergal Byrne addresses the week’s most prominent sustainability questions. The podcast gives leading thinkers a platform to share their ideas on what’s working (and what’s not) in the sustainability movement. With guests like Sir Ronald Cohen and Professor Daniel Aldrich discussing an array of topics from impact investment to community resilience, The Sustainability Agenda covers a range of hot topics for the eco-curious.

8. Ecosia

Predominantly known as the search engine that plants trees, Ecosia also has a podcast that educates listeners about their reforestation projects around the world. Only 11 episodes have been released so far, but they’re a great source of information on a variety of sustainability topics. Episode 7, ‘How to stay sane in the age of climate change’, will be a welcome listen to anyone who has experienced eco-anxiety in the face of constant reminders of the climate crisis.

7. Sustainability Defined

Sustainability Defined does exactly that: it explains what sustainability is, one topic at a time. With the aim of eradicating the ambiguity around sustainability, hosts Jay Seigel and Scott Breen dissect a different sustainability matter with a special guest each week. Whether it’s ‘Racism and the Modern Environmental Movement with Faith Briggs’ or ‘Carbon Pricing with Dr Marc Hafstead’, this podcast offers a lot of new information for expert and non-expert listeners alike.

6. The Impact Report

In The Impact Report, students and alumni of Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability Program discuss sustainability with business and social enterprise leaders from around the world. From ‘Growing the Future Through Smart Digital Technology’ with Research Scientist Molly Brown to ‘The Clear Choice for Solar’ with Ubiquitous Energy’s Vice President of Strategy Veeral Hardev, The Impact Report provides a space to explore the professional side of sustainability.

5. Green Dreamer  

Writer and sustainability activist Kamea Chayne started the Green Dreamer podcast to try to make a difference. With nearly 400 episodes, Chayne has interviewed many leading thinkers on the different ways we can become more sustainable as a global community, including discussions with black feminist eco-critic Chelsea Mikael Frazier and environmental historian and historical geographer Jason W. Moore. Green Dreamer provides a platform for eco-conscious and eco-curious individuals to explore various aspects of the ‘green dream’.

4. How to Save a Planet

If you’re looking for advice on How to Save a Planet, this Spotify-exclusive podcast is worth a listen. Journalist Alex Blumberg and his ‘crew of climate nerds’ give their perspective on what we can each do to save our planet’s future. From interviewing ‘The Influencer Who Wants You To Buy LESS Stuff’ to questioning ‘Are My Retirement Savings Invested in Fossil Fuels?’, Blumberg and special guests provide useful tips for individuals to address climate change themselves.

3. GreenBiz 350

The GreenBiz 350 podcast offers a well-rounded perspective of sustainability in business and technology.. Hosts Joel Makower and Heather Clancy interview individuals whose companies are contributing to the drive for sustainability, whether that’s through green finance, clean technologies or the circular economy. Their latest episode on electrification as the ‘green premium’ includes input from CEO of Pacific, Gas and Electric (PG&E) Patti Poppe, the US Department of Energy’s Jigar Shah, and scientific inventor Saul Griffith

2. Outrage + Optimism

Outrage + Optimism promises to cover the latest news on climate change in a more engaging and truthful way than the media. While environmental and sustainability issues are a seemingly ever-growing weight on the world’s shoulders, this podcast shows people that they have the power to make change – the crisis isn’t over, and we still have time to save the planet. Each week, hosts Christiana Figueres (founder of Global Optimism and former UN Chief), Tom Rivett-Carnac (co-founder of Global Optimism) and Paul Dickinson (Chair of the non-profit charity CDP) interview special guests who share their wisdom on finding the balance between outrage and optimism. Their most popular interviewees so far have been David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Richard Curtis, but the podcast has also given the spotlight to less well-known environmentalist figures like Manish Bapna and Vanessa Nakate.

1. Sustainable Business Covered - The edie podcast

Created by business media brand edie in 2016, in at number one is the bi-weekly Sustainable Business Covered podcast spreads the word about people and companies that are transforming the future of business through sustainability projects. There’s no question that we all have a part to play, but edie believes that achieving a sustainable (low-carbon and resource-efficient) future depends on collaboration and innovation. In each episode, hosts Luke Nicholls, Matt Mace and Sarah George interview individuals to celebrate the sustainable achievements made by themselves and their companies. For example, investigating ‘How do we make the circular economy a reality?’, the team interview Upcircle Beauty Co-founder Anna Brightman, Allbirds’ Director of Material Innovation Romesh Patel, and Cisco’s Director of Circular Economy Katie Schindall. The edie podcast covers a variety of topics in a way that introduces listeners to niche areas of sustainability in business (like fashion, catering, or law) they otherwise may never discover.

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