Meet Karen K. Ho, the voice behind our new biweekly newsletter, Insider Sustainability

Meet Karen K. Ho, the voice behind our new biweekly newsletter, Insider Sustainability
Karen K. Ho hopes to give readers a sense of agency and a path forward as Insider's new senior sustainability reporter.Kristin Foster Photography

  • Senior reporter Karen K. Ho will helm Insider's sustainability newsletter, presented by Deloitte.
  • She hopes to cover topics such as transportation, systemic issues, and alternative insect protein.
  • This is her introduction to readers, as told to Insider editor Brea Cubit.

Karen K. Ho is Insider's new senior sustainability reporter at the helm of this newsletter. She was previously a global finance and business reporter for Quartz, and she has covered cultural topics for Time, the Columbia Journalism Review, FiveThirtyEight, and other publications. This is her introduction to readers, as told to Insider editor Brea Cubit.

When I think about sustainability, I think about my experience in the north. I grew up in Toronto, and I remember as a kid that it would snow enough to where you could build not an igloo but a sort of hill with a hole carved out. The idea of that happening now is impossible because there isn't enough snowfall. That's only within 30 years, which is astonishing.

I've been in business journalism my entire reporting career, and it's interesting to see how sustainability is no longer a niche topic but a C-suite role at a lot of companies. I'm interested in exploring which industries will incorporate sustainability as a business imperative, and not just a side project where you put a garden on your roof.

Talking about sustainability requires a multipronged approach. Fundamentally, being sustainable means we have to alter things - how we cook, bathe, travel, commute, and use office space. It's about recognizing that the way businesses have been operating for decades needs to drastically change.


I'm really excited about this newsletter on Insider's platform. I'm excited to continue talking about things like transportation. When I was in the Northwest Territories, I learned about the diamond-mining industry and how every year an ice road is built to transport supplies. But if the world continues to warm, the season for that ice road is going to get shorter. That's fundamental in terms of how sustainability is closely tied to an industry's economic output.

I want to focus on what happens when sustainability isn't prioritized and how the failure to enforce EPA standards regarding emissions can have serious effects on Indigenous communities and communities of color. Sustainability is a systemic issue, so this beat will not only focus on business and individual responsibility but government policy as well.

I don't want this to just be an "eat your vegetables" kind of newsletter. I want it to be funny at times and teach people funny things, like trying to eat the cicadas that are about to come out of the ground after 17 years and using that as a way to talk about alternative insect protein and the business of sustainable proteins. Maybe I can write about baking insects into banana bread and serving it to my friends - like, "Surprise!"

I'm excited about the prospect of changing people's minds about what constitutes sustainability and providing solutions and practical advice to make it more approachable. That's important, because it gives people a sense of agency and offers a path forward. Figuring out a way to do that in a newsletter is going to be a great challenge.