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Scientist, Consultant, CEO: The Sustainability Journey behind Delterra
July 10, 2023

In the latest episode of The Sustainability Journey podcast, host Samuele Tini speaks with our President and CEO, Dr. Shannon Bouton. Samuele brought insightful questions about the increasingly pressing problem of waste on an unbalanced planet and Delterra’s approach to tackling material circularity.

The episode also dives into Shannon’s own personal journey in sustainability – from starting as a conservation biologist, to developing the sustainability practice inside McKinsey & Company, through to where she is today, leading a thriving nonprofit organization taking on some of the world’s most complex environmental challenges!

From scientist, to consultant, to CEO, it’s fair to say her passion for environmentalism has never waned and this podcast does a great job of shining light on how diverse roles all play an important part in fostering positive change for a better tomorrow.

The world is producing 5.5 million tons of solid waste every day. That’s a figure that has increased 10 times over the last century and is still growing rapidly. Landfills are overflowing and methane emissions from organic waste are dangerously accelerating climate change.

If that weren’t thought-provoking enough, add the fact that 11 million tons of plastic that enter the world’s oceans every year, largely from the world’s transitioning economies, where over two billion people have no access to waste management. This in turn leads to public health and social inclusion challenges, in addition to the far-reaching environmental impact.

Our mission at Delterra is to redesign human systems for the good of people and the planet by developing innovative and scalable solutions. “If you think about it, waste is a fantastic human system to start with, with huge potential for impact at scale. It’s not rocket science – we know essentially what needs to happen here. But somebody needs to be orchestrating an integrated transformation across that entire ecosystem, which is the challenge Delterra is taking on!”

Listen to the podcast here or by searching The Sustainability Journey wherever you get your podcasts.


On the Sustainability Journey podcast, host and creator Samuele Tini connects a diverse range of experts, changemakers and innovators working in environmental conservation and developmental efforts to help restore ecosystems and improve the lives of those living below the poverty line. He has worked for over sixteen years in grassroots efforts across five African countries to craft, fund, and implement sustainability projects.

On the podcast he is joined by great minds behind sustainability action like UN Climate and UNEP, INSEAD and Yale as well as investment firms, startups and other changemakers stepping up to one of the greatest challenges of our time.