Our successes

We were formed in 1984 by environmentalists Dave Currey, Jennifer Lonsdale and Allan Thornton, immediately sparking an international outcry after documenting the slaughter of pilot whale in the Faroe Islands.

From such a strong start, we went from strength to strength as it pioneered a new kind of activism, using undercover investigations with hidden filming, false front companies and detective work to expose environmental crimes and abuses of the natural world.

It’s a ground-breaking tradition still leading the field to this day, with committed investigators working in often dangerous circumstances to bring back the evidence to put before key decision-makers and legal bodies, successfully campaigning for changes in international law and the policy of governments.

Listed below are just a few examples in which our work led to tangible outcomes


  • Report exposes the industrial scale of Vietnam’s theft of timber from Cambodia (2018)
  • EU Timber import system strengthened following illegal trade exposed (2017)
  • Steep decline in timber smuggling from Myanmar to China (2016)
  • CITES conference agrees to protect Siamese rosewood (2013)
  • Ten-year endeavour leads to adoption of EU Timber Regulation (2013)
  • Report names China as world’s largest consumer of stolen timber (2012)
  • Report sparks unprecedented illegal logging clampdown in Indonesia (2005)


  • First ever UK retailers survey reveals full extent of UK supermarkets’ plastic footprint (2018)
  • Report brings key evidence to the International Whaling Commission to foil Japan’s efforts to overturn the global whaling moratorium (2018)
  • Helps secure UK plastic microbeads ban (2017)
  • Pressures Rakuten to end all whale and dolphin meat sales (2014)
  • Pressures Google to ban all ads for whale and ivory products (2013)
  • Pressures Amazon to end all whale and dolphin meat sales (2012)
  • Our first investigation into pilot whale hunting (1984)


  • Investigation finds outlawed CFC-11 widely used to manufacture insulation foams in China (2018)
  • Global agreement to phase-down climate changing HFC gases (2016)
  • EU agrees to curb use of HFC super greenhouse gases (2014)
  • Fraudulent HFC carbon credits banned by EU (2011)
  • Illegal e-waste investigation leads to seizure and arrest (2011)
  • Investigation into smuggling CFCs prompts global regulation (1997)


  • Report exposes key players of Vietnamese criminal syndicates trafficking elephant ivory (2018)
  • Public consultation leads to UK Government shut down of domestic ivory market (2018)
  • Chinese-run criminal empire put on US Treasury blacklist (2018)
  • China confirms the closure of its domestic ivory market (2018)
  • Investigation prompts enforcement action against ivory smugglers (2017)
  • Major illegal wildlife trade hub in resort complex revealed (2015)
  • Decline in elephant poaching following ivory smuggling expose (2014)
  • Exposes trans-Himalayan big cat trafficking routes at CITES (2004)
  • Pressures Government to ban domestic rhino horn trade (1992)
  • Pivotal role in securing global ivory trade ban at CITES (1989)