10 Must Watch Documentaries On Sustainability and Social Good

10 Must Watch Documentaries On Sustainability and Social Good

Earlier this week, I shared my thoughts on Our Planet: Our Business, a film I watched at the University of Sussex Business School as part of Circular Cities Week that is inspired by the Our Planet Netflix series. This got me thinking about other Netflix documentaries I’ve watched on the topics of sustainability and social good.

Listed below are ten documentaries on sustainability and social good that are on the top of my watch list. I’ve included the trailers so you can get a better idea of what each film is about.


This Emmy award winning David Attenborough documentary celebrates the amazing variety and beauty of the natural world. Filmed over five years and across 64 different countries, each of the eleven episodes features a global overview of a different biome or habitat. It’s a classic for a reason!

THE 11TH HOUR (2007)

Awarded the Earthwatch Environmental Film Award at National Geographic, this film explores how humanity has arrived at the 11th hour – the last possible moment that change is possible for our planet and its ecosystems. Featuring dialogues with experts including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, and sustainable design expert William McDonough, “The 11th Hour” delivers a stark message


Based on the book, “No Impact Man,” this film follows Colin Beavin and his family during their year-long experiment to have zero impact on the environment. Beavin swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, bought local and started riding his bicycle exclusively for an entire year. The film takes place mainly in New York City.


“If bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would have just four years left to live,” predicted Albert Einstein. Over the past 15 years, numerous colonies of bees have been decimated across the world, but the causes of this disaster remain unknown.  In “More Than Honey,” Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof explores why bees are facing worldwide extinction.


Inspired by the Rana Plaza catastrophe in April 2013, The True Cost explores the impact of fashion on people and the planet, unravelling the grim, gritty, global supply chain of fast fashion.


“Minimalism” explores how our lives might be better by taking viewers inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life. Minimalism looks at the bigger picture, exploring the waste that consumerism produces, and the adverse effects it has on us as people.


New science and technology allowed the BBC Earth team to journey even deeper into the ocean at the most crucial time in its history to make this highly acclaimed series. The final episode took an unflinching look at the impact of people on marine life, and delivered a powerful, rallying call to reduce plastic waste and do more to protect the environment.


Seven Worlds, One Planet is the latest natural history landmark from the BBC’s Natural History Unit, and is narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The series showcases the rich diversity of Earth’s seven continents and what makes each one unique.


Netflix’s first foray into nature programming, Our Planet takes a different landscape every episode and fills the screen with incredible scenes. Where Our Planet differs from BBC shows is in no longer ignoring or minimising the threats facing all the environments and animals on display, placing a clear emphasis on the fragility and interconnectedness of the species and eco-systems on display, and on the huge impact humanity has had on them in such a short space of time.


This short film combines stunning wildlife footage with the voices of leading scientists, business and world leaders and the natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, to explain how time is running out to save our planet. The film’s central contention is that business must step up to meet this challenge and take a leading role in the innovation, recovery, and restoration needed to avoid environmental collapse. 


Question: Which of these films have you watched? Are there any you recommend I add to the list? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share how you’re going to use this in the comments box below.


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