30 Years in Biotech: What has been Society's Biggest Changes?

Biological Preparations has witnesses some of the biggest societal changes humanity has faced. Although we have been in biotech for 30 years, we have officially been Biological Preparations for 15 years. And in theses past of 15 years, the world has experienced transformations that have reshaped the many different corners of society. 

Looking back to 2009, when Biological Preparations was first established, what was the social norm at that time, was vastly different to what we see and expect today. Social media platforms were just starting to grow and become popular. The mainstream news was still where the public sort out information. Technology was still seen as a nicety, rather than a necessity. The workplace was still confined to fixed office spaces. And many businesses were still passive in their approach to environmental policy.  

Now, in 2024, those societal norms seem strange and out-of-date. But as we have recently just celebrated our 15th anniversary, we thought to explore some of the biggest changes we, at Biological Preparations have seen and appreciated. This glimpse back to 2009 can help us all see how quickly many areas of society have changed, so we can all continue forward into further positive progression.  

Green Planet 

Looking back 15 years to when we first started, being a 'green' business wasn't as pressing of an issue as it is today. This is where our core value of 'Courage' stems from. When we initially launched, showing concern for the environment, and taking action to address these matters, this wasn't the standard business practice that we are used to seeing today. Before the concept of 'net zero,' we had the Millennium goals, which we actively participated in. We consistently strived for environmental protection in a business landscape that didn't prioritise it. At that time, businesses were drawn to our products because of their unique characteristics, rather than thinking of being 'Lean, Green, and Clean.' 

However, with the rise of information, education, and transparency, consumers began to focus more on safeguarding our planet. These initial thoughts evolved into outrage, concern, and concrete actions, especially after the release of Blue Planet 2. This documentary offered the public an eye-opening view of the environmental destruction happening around our world. From plastic pollution to overfishing, Blue Planet fuelled public campaigns and ignited passions for change. As a result, some businesses began to adopt greener practices, seeking alternatives to plastic, scrutinising their supply chains, and actively reporting on their Scope emissions. They genuinely pursued environmental protection. 

Unfortunately, others viewed this emerging market as an opportunity for 'greenwashing,' attempting to expand their consumer base without genuine commitment to environmental causes. This discrepancy led to confusion, as many businesses created their own carbon emissions goals and environmental awards, some even resorting to green accreditations to capitalise on the market. Consequently, while this societal shift significantly changed people's attitudes and urgency regarding environmental issues, it resulted in disarray due to the lack of regulation, policy, and transparency. 

As a business committed to making a positive impact, we appreciate and support the efforts of those businesses genuinely joining the climate movement with concern and meaningful actions. However, those who continue to greenwash or exploit a global crisis harm the collective efforts of others. While some legislation has been enacted to address certain aspects of these challenges, the next steps should include the establishment of more quantifiable measures, standardised procedures, and enhanced education. 

The Digital Revolution

One of the most profound catalysts for societal change has been the relentless growth and development of technology. The digital revolution has touched every facet of our lives, altering not only how we work but also where we work. Technology has provided various communities and individuals with a global platform, accelerating our innate human tendencies to learn, communicate, and share our values and stories. We now carry an endless source of knowledge in our pockets via our mobile phones. 

The impact of the digital era extends far beyond personal convenience. Social media has emerged as a powerful tool, enabling the public to witness unfiltered news and stories, and offering unprecedented transparency on global issues. Additionally, social media serves as a thriving space for businesses to adapt, evolve, and gain valuable insights into their customers' preferences and concerns. 

In this digital age, we have witnessed a society that craves greater transparency and accountability from businesses. It empowers individuals to stay informed and engaged on various matters. Even in the case of Blue Planet, which played a pivotal role in the environmental movement, technology played a significant part to its success. The ability to catch up on episodes, watch clips, and engage with the show on various platforms amplified its impact. Blue Planet sparked conversations among people who may not have typically been involved in environmental discussions. It trended across social media, creating a massive 'watercooler moment' that snowballed. 

This momentum gave rise to online campaigns, with more people initiating and sharing e-petitions. The digital age provided the tools necessary for individuals to engage, break out of their echo chambers, conduct comprehensive research, and discover more than traditional news outlets could offer. This digital revolution has also enabled us at Biological Preparations to stay true and enhance our values of speed, innovation, and communications. 

People understanding their power

In 2009, the minimum wage in the UK was a mere £5.80. Until 2016, individuals under 25 didn't have a set minimum wage, forcing workers across various industries to navigate the challenge of making ends meet with little thought given to increasing their pay. This reflected an outdated mindset, where employees were perceived as driving success for a business and their owners, rather than the business respecting and showing value back to their employees.  

As societal awareness grew, with more people openly sharing their work experiences and shedding light on the hardships faced by households, a grassroots campaign advocating for a National Living Wage gained momentum. By 2016, this movement had transitioned into parliament, challenging the old minimum wage system that failed to consider the actual cost of living and neglected the needs of the younger population. Today, around 14,000 businesses are official living wage employers, and an increasing number are striving to foster a culture of inclusivity, recognising and valuing their workforce to ensure their well-being. 

This shift in perspective made businesses have a crucial realisation: people are the key to their success, not merely cogs in a machine. 

Activism has emerged as another powerful tool for individuals to wield their influence. In an era of transparency, people understand that if they disagree with a business's values or actions, they have the power to act. While the 1970s saw a surge in protests and boycotts, today's digitally interconnected world enables individuals to share their views instantly and garner widespread support. Voting with their wallets, people can prompt businesses to react and even influence government changes. 

The evolving culture surrounding people has empowered the public and the workforce to recognise their power to drive societal change. As businesses navigate a landscape of increased transparency, with much of their operations online, the understanding that workers are an indispensable part of their success has become a key conversation in many board rooms. This realisation has reshaped the relationship between businesses, their consumers, and their employees, emphasising the importance of a two-way dialogue between each party.  


In the span of just 15 years, we have witnessed and actively participated in monumental changes that have reshaped society in profound ways. As a business that has grown through these giant societal movements, it's humbling to reflect on the passion and drive behind these shifts. 

These changes have changed the one one-way flow of communication and given a platform for the public to be heard and seen. It’s opened the world, and all of issues that we face, allowing a window view into global events – creating a society that wants to elicit change through unified efforts. 

While 15 years may appear small in comparison to the face of history, with how much change and growth that has happened, we are excited about what change the next 15 years will bring. With how society has been propelled into once, unseen heights, the opportunity for further growth, development and opportunities is still vital in our journey of success.