The best sustainability podcasts for 2023, recommended by sustainability thought-leaders

Are you looking to learn more about sustainable living and get to the heart of the climate crisis? Are you looking for thought-provoking, inspirational or insightful sustainability podcasts to help you navigate these confusing and often crazy times? You’ve come to the right place.

Sustainability is becoming a hot topic. But, there is a lot of noise to cut through. So, finding a great podcast – one that informs you, moves you, and inspires you about the issues we face in today’s climate – is no easy feat.

To save you the hassle of endlessly searching through Spotify, we asked the thought-leaders, pioneers and experts in the sustainable space for their podcast recommendations.

Below are their favourite podcasts you should tune in to in 2023…

Sustainability podcasts: The Climate Crisis

1. Burn Wild

What it’s about:

Leah Sottile presents a story of two fugitive environmentalists, an eco-terrorist cell and a burning question: How far is too far to go to save the planet?

Why you should listen to it: 

“I have been listening to the podcast Burn Wild in BBC Iplayer over the last few weeks which is all about various types of eco activism and what is considered to be reasonable and unreasonable action in trying to action change on the climate crisis. It’s interesting to see how hard it is to effect any change even to the most screamingly clear issues when large amounts of profit are in the reckoning.” 

Rachel, Buttress & Snatch

Recommended by Rachel Kenyon, founder of Buttress & Snatch, an independent Hackney-based artisanal lingerie specialist.

Where you can listen:

BBC Sounds, Apple Podcasts, Spotify

2. Outrage + Optimism

What it’s about:

Outrage + Optimism is co-hosted by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac who oversaw the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, and founder of the world’s largest environmental data disclosure system, CPD, Paul Dickinson.

“We explore the stories behind the headlines on climate change, talking to the change-makers turning challenges into opportunities. We delight in progress, question greenwash and get to grips with the difficult issues – sharing it all with our listeners along the way.”

Why you should listen to it: 

“A weekly update on all things climate, sharing best practise and reasons to be both outraged and optimistic.”  

Gilly Ridley Whittle, CEO and founder of Peachaus

Recommended by Gilly Ridley Whittle, the CEO and Founder of Peachaus, an ethical and sustainable women’s lifestyle brand that sells everyday leisurewear, sleepwear and underwear.

Where you can listen:

outrageandoptimism.org, Apple Podcasts, Spotify 

3. Jon Richardson and The Futurenauts

What it’s about: 

Comedian and professional worrier Jon Richardson doesn’t sleep much at night. The questions he is asking himself in the small, dark hours see to that. Are we going to run out of food? Is it already too late to stop climate change? Should I start learning Mandarin? Are killer death robots from the future already among us? 

Playing on his own paranoia Jon will discuss his fears with sustainability experts, insultants and guarded optimists Ed Gillespie and Mark Stevenson aka ‘The Futurenauts’.

Why you should listen to it: 

“This podcast seeks to answer two questions: How f*cked are we? How do we unf*ck ourselves.

Despite the name, this is a podcast grounded in the reality of the crises we find ourselves in today. If you’re looking to understand how we got to this point, why we’re so slow to change and you  like straight-talking and dry humour this is the podcast for you.” 

Lizzie Rivera, Chief Purpose Officer of Live Frankly
Where you can listen:

Spotify, Apple Podcasts

4. The Mongabay Newscast

What it’s about: 

The Mongabay Newscast delivers news and inspiration from nature’s frontline. It features inspiring guests and analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the Mongabay.com team, from climate change to biodiversity, animal and wildlife discoveries, ecology and more.

Why you should listen to it: 

“Research and discoveries from the natural world with focus on forests and tropical regions, always interesting and very well produced. Been listening to it for years, very reliable.”

Ed Ayton, Abel & Cole

Recommended by Ed Ayton, the Sustainability & Communications Officer for organic food delivery company Abel & Cole. Everything Abel & Cole sell matches its sustainable, local and seasonal ethos.

Where you can listen:

news.mongabay.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify

5. Sustainability Defined 

What it’s about:

This the podcast that defines sustainability, one topic (and one bad joke) at a time.

Sustainability is ambiguous. Each episode of this podcast focuses on a single topic, ranging from solar financing to sustainable beauty. They explain each topic with the help of an experienced pro and help listeners natigate sustainability, episode by episode.

Why you should listen to it: 

“This is a great podcast for those who are looking to remove the ambiguity that surrounds many sustainability topics. Easy to understand and informative.”

Mitch Thorne

Recommended by Mitch Thorne, Marketing Executive at Eversfield Organic, an award-winning family-run farm on the edge of Dartmoor delivering fresh, organic groceries across the UK. 

Where you can listen:

sustaianbilitydefined.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify

6. The Big Green Money Show

What it’s about: 

Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden talks to some of the world’s biggest business names about the biggest problem facing the planet: climate change.

Why you should listen to it: 

“The podcast, hosted by Deborah Meaden and BBC Work & Money Presenter Felicity Hannah, lifts the lid on lots of different industries and their journey to Net Zero. Some of them are surprisingly interesting eg. the construction industry, and also the pair’s visit to a recycling plant. It’s fantastically informative and also leaves me feeling optimistic about our collective efforts towards a more sustainable world.”

Lucy Todd, founder of My Little Green Wardrobe

Recommended by Lucy Todd, the owner and founder of My Little Green Wardrobe (MLGW), the website that exclusively features pre-vetted ethical and sustainable children’s clothing brands.

Where you can listen:

BBC, Apple Podcasts, Spotify

7. How They Made us Doubt Everything

What it’s about: 

How some of the world’s most powerful interests made us doubt the connection between smoking and cancer, and then how the same tactics were used to make us doubt climate change.

Why you should listen to it: 

“It’s all about how the fossil fuel industry used tactics from the Big Tobacco playbook to delay climate action. A must listen!”

Sean Buchan, Campaigner & Climate Communications Researcher
Where you can listen:

BBC, Spotify

Sustainability podcasts: Fashion

8. Conscious Style Podcast

What it’s about: 

What will it really take to create a more sustainable and equitable future for fashion?

Each week, host Elizabeth Joy interviews fashion changemakers — from labour activists to slow fashion entrepreneurs — to explore this very question. Hear about topics like greenwashing, garment worker rights, consumer psychology, secondhand fashion, making the most of your closet, and more.

Why you should listen to it:

“A great podcast to learn more about all facets of the fashion industry and the ethical fashion movement.”

Noor Veenhoven, co-founder of Project Cece

Recommended by Noor Veenhoven, one of the three all-female founders of Project Cece. It’s the largest online marketplace for stylish and ethical clothing in Europe, featuring 100 brands – and growing.

Where you can listen:

Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Sustainability podcasts: Sustainability and business

9. Building Better Business

What it’s about:

We all want a healthier planet and fairer future to look forward to. Building Better Business explores how business has a huge impact – and how, as informed customers, we can become part of a positive movement for change through our consumer choice.

The podcast features straight talking conversations with global thought leaders and professionals, asking: ‘What are businesses doing to protect our future and what more can be done?’

It brings both purpose-driven organisations, such as Riverford Organic Farmers, Solidaridad Network, Oxfam, and big profit-driven companies including Unilever, Nestlé and Tesco, together to explore the role of business in today’s world.

Hosted by John Steel, CEO of popular British ethical pioneer coffee brand Cafédirect.

Why you should listen to it: 

“If you’re questioning how we achieve transformative change without undermining the efforts of people doing what they can – under the constraints of the current business structures we’re all working within, this podcast is for you.” 

Lizzie Rivera, Chief Purpose Officer of Live Frankly

Recommended by Live Frankly.

Where you can listen:

Apple Podcasts, Spotify

10. Sustainability Solved

What it’s about:

Sustainable business (predominantly), but it also has episodes about sustainable travel and even sustainable dog ownership…

If you’re wondering where the hell to start with trying to green your business, this is the podcast for you. There are almost 175 episodes to choose from, each an interview with business owners or sustainability experts who are very honestly talking about the sustainability challenges they have faced or are facing or – the dream – have solved.

Why you should listen to it: 

“At around half-an-hour each they give you just the right amount of practical information and motivation to get started.” 

Lizzie Rivera, Chief Purpose Officer of Live Frankly

Recommended by Live Frankly.

Where you can listen:

greenelement.co.uk , Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Sustainability podcasts: Lifestyle

11. Age of Plastic

What it’s about:

An environmental podcast with tips on how to live plastic free! Host Andrea Fox tackles big ethical issues with knowledgeable guests, all in the hope of overcoming the climate change overwhelm and battling the single-use plastic guilt.

Why you should listen to it: 

“Age of Plastic is an accessible and wide-spanning podcast with a great range of interviewees and a host genuinely passionate about being more sustainable.”

Susanna Wen, co-founder/designer of Birdsong

Recommended by Susanna Wen, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of cult feminist fashion brand Birdsong. Birdsong’s mantra is one we couldn’t be more on board with: ‘Dress in Protest.’ This means no sweatshops, no Photoshop.

Where you can listen:

Apple Podcasts or Spotify

12. Local Futures 

What it’s about: 

Tracking the rise of the local economy movement and related ideas from around the world.

The Local Futures Podcast features conversations with big-picture thinkers and leaders of localization efforts from around the world.

Why you should listen to it: 

“Local Futures examines how we reached the point of globally dominated, fast capitalism, unethical and unsustainable food systems.”

Caroline Bennett, Sole of Discretion

Recommended by Caroline Bennett, the founder of Sole of Discretion, a fish delivery service that goes above and beyond to make sure of its fish and seafood is sourced sustainably. Caroline is also the owner of the UK’s first Japanese-style conveyor belt sushi-joint Moshi Moshi.

Where you can listen: 

localfutures.org, Spotify

Main image: photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

About the author

Francesca Carpani

Francesca Carpani

Francesca Carpani has a First-Class Joint Honours Degree in English and American Studies. Particular areas of interest are socio-political topics including feminism, racism, multiculturalism, immigration, and media representation. She cares strongly about creating a fairer, more sustainable world and is passionate about spreading positivity.

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