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Colourful confetti falling over a turquoise backgroun in celebration of Change Agents UK Sustainability Education and Sustainability Recruitment Specialists being a charity for over 25 years

25 Years of Sustainability 

What has happened in the last 25 years?

Change Agents UK was founded in 1996 and a lot has changed in the world since then. This timeline plans to document some of the big and small events that have impacted the world of sustainability in the last 25 years.


This is a working project, if you think there is anything ‘sustainability’ that we should include on our timeline, pop us a message, we’d be delighted to hear from you!

1997 - 2021

Founding of Change Agents UK

  • Millennium Summit & Millennium Development Goals​

  • First offshore windfarm, Northumberland coast

Millennium Summit & Millennium Development Goals

Millenium Development Goals.png

GreenHouse PR launched

Since lauching in 2004, GreenHouse PR has successfully delivered numerous communication and social campaigns to support sustainable movements involving zero emissions, biodiversity, education, food, people and lifestyle. They have also launched the world's first electric forecourt (2020) and the first urban airport for flying EV taxis (2021)


Green Tomato Cars have been providing private hire taxi services since 2006, with the goal of zero emissions. They have reached 10,000 journeys every week with 178 different countries serviced by their national and international partner network.

  • Climate Change Act ​

  • Boeing converts 2-seater plane to run on hydrogen fuel cell​

  • Client Earth: UK now does environmental assessment before approving coal plants

  • UK Feed-in tariff introduced​

  • Airbus create their first fully electric aircraft​

  • Over 400  UK communities registered as official Transition Towns​

  • The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 was predominantly created to legally protect people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. 


Equality Advisory and Support Service  was launched to assist and support individuals with issues relating to equality and human rights within the UK: helping to promote quality of life and bring justice to those who have been treated unfairly by organisations.

  • Scottish government announces that beavers are to remain as protected species in Scotland​

  • Government introduced 'National Living Wage' for over 25 year olds 

  • Greta's first Fridays For Future school strike​

  • River Frome is considered for legal personhood​

  • Nature prescriptions successfully rolled out to 10 GP practices in Shetland

New sites to test how connecting people with nature can improve mental health, with £5.5m to research how nature can be used to improve mental health and wellbeing. This includes: 

  • Walking 

  • Cycling 

  • Community gardening 

  • Food growing projects 

  • Practical conservation tasks such as tree planting 

  • Supported visits to local green spaces, waterways, and the coast 

  • 'Drastic on plastic', 61 festivals pledged to eliminate single use plastic in the UK​

  • Nature Recovery Network launched to restore nature in England​

  • £5.5m to research how nature can improve mental health 


Kyoto Protocol & Sustainable Development conference​


Sustrans: began work designing livable neighborhoods for walkers/cyclists​

  • Local currency Eko launched in Moray, Scotland - still active​

  • Igloo Regeneration launched​

  • Johannesburg’s Conference on Sustainable Development ​

  • Global Reporting Initiative

Igloo Regeneration - Igloo is a leading responsible real estate business working with sustainable investors, local authorities and landowners who want to make the world better. Launching in 2002, with the goal of reaching zero waste, Igloo has £1.2 billion completed and pipeline projects, 1.8 mil sq ft completed and pipeline workspace, 5000 completed and pipeline homes, 413 hotel beds, 40 communities, 12 cities, 7 public squares, 3 public markets and 2 independent cinemas since opening.

  • The Campaign Against Climate Change march​

  • New York Summit on Sustainable Development

  • Kyoto becomes international law​

  • Fairtrade began

With the goal of combating poverty and promoting fairer trading conditions, Fairtrade have become well known for their ability to bring together farmers and workers from developing countries with consumers and businesses across the world to change trade and empower them to combat poverty and strengthen their positions in industry.

  • First zero waste shop opened in London​

  • The first Tranistion Town, Totnes, England.​

  • Certified B Corps was created 

Created in 2007, Certified B Corporation provides organisations a label of accountability for businesses that meet the highest standard of sustainable performance and encourages sustainable behaviour within businesses and organisations

  • UK becomes global leader in offshore windpower​

  • Johan Rockstrom's paper introducing 'Planetary Boundaries' published​

  • Beavers reintroduced in Scotland​

  • Worn Again Technologies and Pavegen launched

Worn Again Technologies was created to replace virgin resources by recapturing raw materials from non-reusable products, and has been very successful in supporting the circular economy and providing customers with good quality sustainable clothing.

Created in 2009, Pavegen is a well known orgsanisation that  provides a sustainable and smart flooring system that produces clean off grid electricity through the power of a footprint.

  • Soil Association: Not in my Banger campaign to stop a new pig mega-farm in Derbyshire ​

  • Real Living Wage launched

The Real Living Wage was implemented to provide a higher wage to employees within the UK. Almost 9,000 UK businesses have voluntarily introduced this and believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs.


Action Research for Sustainability (Reflections on Transition Management in Practice)


The Wales Well-being of Future Generations Act was created in 2015. It requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.

  • Feed-in tariff application closed​

  • Morrisons the first supermarket to ban fruit and veg plastic packaging​

  • The Elusive Green Consumer paper published ​

  • UN Convention on Disability Rights

UN Convention Rights of Disabled Persons was adopted to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities.  It took the movement to a new height: from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.

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