A Passion for Sustainability

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Today’s guest on Sustainable: The Podcast is Joe Farthing, Communications Manager in the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at University of Edinburgh

At the start of the show Joe shares a bit more how he got started in the field of sustainability, how he wouldn’t have described himself as an environmentalist and where his passion for the topic comes from.

There are currently seven or eight key sustainable projects that Edinburgh University is working on.  Two of these Joe considers hugely important.

The first is energy as the university’s energy costs are around £17 million a year, which has a huge carbon impact.  As a way of reducing this there are four combined heat and power (CHP) centres at the university.

The second is supporting staff and students to help make the university more sustainable.  The labs in the university are quite energy intensive and they have worked on empowering staff to monitor each other’s energy usage.

Joe talks about the people’s motivations towards sustainability and how you need to take these into consideration when engaging them to work together towards sustainable goals.

He also highlights the importance of an evidence-based approach to sustainability, how this can help you make the best decisions, have the greatest impact in helping your business to be more sustainable and ways to go about implementing an evidence-based approach into your sustainability practices.

Joe most admires:

Ben Goldacre

Joe’s favourite resources:

The Man in Seat 61 – Putting the romance and interest back into travel without breaking the bank

Carbon Conversations – Exploring the complexities of moving towards a more sustainable, low-carbon society

Be Sustainable Guide – Information and tools to guide the University community to act more sustainably within University structures


The way in which science is reported and explained is often very wrong, and sometimes the truth is so much more interesting.Joe Farthing
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