I’m a huge podcast fan. I listen to them when I’m walking the dog, in the car, cooking dinner and travelling about. I always have a tonne of episodes downloaded and ready to go. It is important to say that I enjoy non-podcast time too, allowing my brain to relax and enjoy the present.
But if you’re looking for some fantastic podcast recommendations related to climate change, ESG and sustainability, we’ve got the list for you. Let’s get straight into it.
Best Climate Podcasts for Business
I’m sure I don’t need to preach to you about the importance of the climate crisis we’re going through. It’s a man-made disaster, and unless we get to grips with our impacts fast, it will cause even more disarray for societies, nature, and wildlife. This also means it’s going to impact business across the world.
So, if you want to learn more about the subject, here are my go-to climate podcasts.
Climate Rising by Harvard Business School
Produced by Harvard Business School, the Climate Rising podcast focuses on the impact of climate change on business.
The podcast is hosted by Mike Toffel, a business professor at HBS, who speaks to business leaders, entrepreneurs and policy advisors about what they’re doing, can and should do about climate change.
In recent episodes, Professor Toffel has spoken to Paul Bodnar, a Director at Bezos Earth and former Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, to discuss an investor's perspective on corporate climate action. Another great episode was with Microsoft's former Chief Environmental Officer on going carbon-negative.
There’s a new episode roughly twice a month, but you can also access an excellent back catalogue dating back to 2019 to catch up on.
Outrage & Optimism
Outrage & Optimism is a superb climate change podcast that dives into issues and the politics surrounding the climate crisis. The aim is to tackle issues head-on (outrage) and inspire you and businesses to take action (optimism).
It’s a slick podcast co-hosted by a high-profile panel. You have Christiana Figueres (former UN Executive Secretary on Climate Change), Tom Rivett-Carnac (former strategist who played a pivotal role in the Paris Agreement) and Paul Dickinson, founder of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), who provide an exceptional combination of expert knowledge and experience in the climate change field.
The podcast features interviews with prominent change-makers and thought leaders from various sectors, such as former US Vice President Al Gore. Alongside the knowledgeable hosts, these conversations provide valuable insights and perspectives on the ongoing climate crisis, inspiring you to take action.
Big Green Money Show by BBC and Deborah Meaden
The Big Green Money Show is an excellent and accessible climate-focused podcast from BBC Radio 5 Live. The show brings together discussions on sustainability, environmental issues and business, making it a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the impact of climate change on the corporate world.
It’s hosted by Deborah Meaden, the renowned entrepreneur and investor known for her Dragon's Den role and as the acclaimed ‘Queen of Green’. If you’ve ever watched Dragon’s Den before (I’m a big fan), you’ll know that Deborah grills anyone who claims to have an eco-friendly product. She gets into the nitty gritty in this podcast alongside journalist Felicity Hannah.
The Big Green Money Show covers a range of topics, from nature-based conversations to green investments and the financing of polluting companies. This is done with a focus on the financial and ethical implications of climate change for businesses. The podcast started in April 2022, and there are plenty of good episodes to tune into. Well worth a listen.
As the name suggests, ESG Insider digs into the various issues around environmental, social and governance in business. It’s a podcast run by the financial information behemoth S&P Global.
With a new episode once a week, ESG Insider makes it easy for those in the business world to stay updated on important ESG topics and trends. Each podcast is only around 30 minutes. They could go into more detail on each episode, but I like the shorter format to get bitesize info.
The pod is hosted by Lindsey Hall and Esther Whieldon, both from the S&P Global Sustainable1 team, who interview ESG experts to share their knowledge and experience in the field of sustainability and business. From discussing the global ESG recruiting landscape to examining greenwashing in Asia, the ESG Insider podcast covers a wide variety of topics.
Sustainability Solved is a sustainable business podcast aiming to empower organisations and companies to do better with their impacts. The podcast is the audio arm of the Green Element Group, a UK-based environmental consultancy. It is hosted by Will Richardson, the founder and CEO of Green Element.
Each month, Sustainability Solved meets with inspirational people at the cutting edge of the sustainable movement within business. I like this podcast as it covers a range of interesting topics to make it truly accessible for the everyday business owner - like me. From holidays, music and dog ownership to supply chain management, green innovation and SMEs.
By looking at approaches and methodologies to drive successful sustainability efforts, this podcast is a handy resource for those seeking to integrate more environmentally- friendly practices into their business. There are almost 200 episodes in the back catalogue to get to grips with here.
Edie Sustainability Uncovered
Sustainability Uncovered is a long-running podcast brought to you by edie. This business media brand supports sustainability, energy and environmental professionals. I remember edie well from my time in sustainability consultancy.
Sustainability Uncovered highlights inspiring and insightful sustainability stories and climate action across the world. It features different types of episodes to keep things fresh, such as the #SustyTalk short-format interviews, round-ups, listener quizzes and multi-part specials.
Edie’s Sustainability Uncovered do well in breaking down complex climate issues into easy-to-understand segments. It’s a good resource for businesses keen to stay informed.
The only thing I don’t like about this podcast is that it’s hosted in partnership with Lloyds Bank. A bit of greenwashing here from Lloyds who aren’t a particularly ethical or climate friendly bank. In fact, Lloyds have funnelled $15 billion into the fossil fuel industry in the last six years.
Sustainability Matters is a podcast by Ernst and Young, who fully recognise that sustainability is a business issue. However, many still don’t.
The podcast offers valuable insights and practical advice around environmental, social and governance matters affecting businesses today, as well as the opportunities that are also there.
As a huge company, EY likes discussing impact and risk from a corporate perspective. For the average person, this may be dry. Still, they cover important ground if sustainability disclosures, circular economy, and decarbonisation are your interest points. If so, these episodes are valuable resources for businesses seeking to navigate the complexities of sustainability and ESG matters in their respective industries.
Sustainability Matters is hosted by Bruno Sarda, a Principal Consultant at EY specialising in climate change and sustainability.
Finishing off with another ‘matters’ podcast, this time ESG Matters. And it does. This podcast is produced by global law firm Ashurst. A law firm may seem a little strange for a climate podcast. Still, they cover all sorts of areas, including infrastructure, real estate, capital and other significant areas. They seem to have a slant towards looking at the future with a focus on sustainability.
The podcast is hosted by Anna-Marie Slot, the Global Sustainability and ESG Partner at Ashurst. They’ve been running a series for the past couple of years titled ‘30 for Net Zero 30’. Typically wordy for a law firm, this series has taken a look at 30 changemakers across the globe on actions they’re putting in place now to hit 2030 goals.
The ESG Matters podcast does hit key business areas and, like the EY podcast, it’s fairly corporate in its delivery. That’s not to say the content isn’t valuable. So, if you’re in the thick of the corporate world, add ESG Matters to your podcast list.
Other ways to learn about the climate crisis
And there you have it. If you have any great climate podcasts you think should be added to the list, drop us a message.
If you would like to learn more, check out my list of the best books about climate change for business leaders.