About the RSA

Background information about the RSA


For over 250 years the RSA has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for environmental, human and social progress. Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical action. We encourage public discourse and critical debate by providing platforms for leading experts to share new ideas on contemporary issues. Our projects generate new models for tackling social challenges and our work is supported by a 27,000 strong Fellowship.

In 1770, the Society began its long-standing interest in environmental issues with awards to industry for reducing smoke emissions. This trend would continued into the 19th century when Fellows suggested ideas to eliminate the smoking house chimney, and in the 1950s the RSA saw lectures on 'Cities Without Smoke' and the pollution problems of detergents.

The Society's interest in such issues continues today within the Arts and Ecology Centre and through the RSA Environment Awards Forum.

Fellows of the Society set up the Forum ten years ago as a response to calls for greater information about how different sectors of the UK were responding to environmental pressures through awards.

Now well established, the Forum consists of NGOs, government agencies, award schemes, media partners and consultants, many of whom are RSA Fellows.

The Forum researched, developed and produced www.EnvironmentAwards.net, an online database of over 400 environmental and sustainable development awards.

EnvironmentAwards.net is a powerful resource providing a searchable on-line database of over 400 environmental awards. Awards have long been recognised as a means by which we can bring to light examples of innovation and celebrate the achievements of these pioneers. They act as a mechanism to encourage others to strive towards best practice and help to drive forward the sustainability agenda.

The Forum is drawn from a wide cross section of interested parties and chaired by John Bowman FRSA. It is supported from DEFRA.

For more information on the work of the RSA, visit: www.theRSA.org