The Ashden Blog

Ashden news
Fourteen trailblazing sustainable energy enterprises from the UK, France, Belgium, Africa, India and Southeast Asia have been announced today (22 May) as winners of this year’s Ashden Awards, the world’s leading green energy awards. Winners were announced at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Julia Hawkins
By Julia Hawkins, Ashden PR and Digital Media Manager
In exactly one week's time it'll all be kicking off again – in the best possible way of course. Ashden Award finalists from as far afield as Myanmar, Cambodia, Tanzania and, er, Didcot, will be descending on London to join our annual celebration of the most exciting sustainable energy programmes and companies we’ve unearthed this year.
Ed Dean
By Ed Dean, Head of Development
Storm clouds were marching towards Aldershot last Friday, so I was glad to be safe in the shelter of First Wessex’s interactive sustainable home. The interactive home was part of the housing association’s impressive Heronwood retrofit project – 20 flats that have been upgraded with external wall insulation, condensing boilers, draft proofing, heat recovery ventilation and solar PV panels.
Mike Pepler
By Mike Pepler, Ashden UK Awards Manager
At Ashden, we’re always interested in data, whether it’s the number of UK cavity wall insulations completed in the past year, how many people are using improved cookstoves in East Africa or how much energy a school has saved through a behaviour change campaign. It’s only by capturing and analysing data that you know whether your work is delivering the desired results or not, and it’s something we always look for in applicants for the Ashden Awards.
Mike Pepler
By Mike Pepler, Ashden UK Awards Manager
More than a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, so it’s vital to make sure that new buildings are efficient. But construction itself also causes emissions, so it is important that building materials have low ‘embodied’ emissions, as well as reducing emissions in use.
Julia Hawkins
By Julia Hawkins, Ashden PR and Digital Media Manager
You might have seen some our 'Behind the scenes' blog posts with our judges. Now it's the turn of one of our Award funders to share their experiences of being involved with Ashden. Ian Simm is Chief Executive of Impax Asset Management, which is supporting the Ashden Awards for the second year running. I talked to Ian about the challenges of financing sustainable energy, Impax's involvement with Ashden, and his thoughts on the future of renewable energy and Paris 2015.
Simon Brammer
By Simon Brammer, Ashden UK Programme Manager
As a child who loved sci-fi and had a very active imagination, I dreamed of a future world of individual jet packs, trains that travelled at the speed of sound, hovercraft on the streets and with a bit of luck, a Star Trek-style transporter - all of it powered by some miraculous super-clean energy source not yet discovered.
Emma-Louise Frost
By Emma-Louise Frost, Ashden Communications Officer
Happy Earth Day 2014! All over the world people are getting involved with projects and activities to promote the need for environmental protection and demonstrate their support for a healthy future for our children and their planet.
Anne Wheldon
By Anne Wheldon, Ashden Knowledge and Research Adviser
On Sunday the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a summary of its latest review of global scientific research. This time it was on the mitigation of climate change – taking action to reduce the emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate warming, or removing them from the atmosphere after they have been emitted.
Simon Brammer
By Simon Brammer, Ashden UK Programme Manager
“I can’t afford to make any big investments in refurbishing my own home, so as soon as I heard about the opportunity to invest in OVESCO I knew it was something I just had to be a part of", says Lewes resident Sarah Hitchins.
Ashden news
Today we have announced the four finalists for the 2014 Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel. Living Streets, Ecotricity, Stad Mechelen in Belgium and Tisséo in Toulouse, France, have each moved a step closer to winning a share of a £30,000 prize fund. Two winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony in London on 22 May 2014.
Emma-Louise Frost
By Emma-Louise Frost, Ashden Communications Officer
Following on from the ‘Behind the scenes…’ interviews we have featured with a couple of our external assessors, it’s now the turn of Anne Wheldon, our Knowledge and Research Adviser. I asked her about her trip to Burkina Faso to visit Kéré Architecture, which has designed and built naturally ventilated schools that give children a comfortable environment to study in.
Ashden news
We are excited to announce the finalists for the 14th Ashden Awards, which will shine a light on sustainable energy trailblazers from the UK and across the globe that are tackling climate change and transforming people’s lives.
Guest blogger
By Victoria Flynn, Fundraising and UK research assistant
The best bit about Ashden has to be our winners. So filling a room full of them makes for a pretty exciting and inspiring day.
Anne Wheldon
By Anne Wheldon, Ashden Knowledge and Research Adviser
Early yesterday morning the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the ‘Summary for policymakers’ of its latest review of global research. It looks at the impacts of climate change to date, the potential future impacts, and the possibilities for ‘adaptation’ – changing the way that we do things in order to live within these impacts.
Emma-Louise Frost
By Emma-Louise Frost, Ashden Communications Officer
We caught up with David Fulford, a ten-year veteran of assessing Ashden Awards applicants, to find out what he has encountered on his many assessment trips, and why they continue to be both surprising and moving.
Ashden news
With the help of a grant from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we're expanding our low-energy sustainable schools programme, which is designed to help schools save money on their fuel bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
Emma-Louise Frost
By Emma-Louise Frost, Ashden Communications Officer
On International Women's Day we thought it important to remember the role of clean energy access in acting as  a catalyst for change in the prospects of women and girls around the world. Aside from having financial, health and social benefits, it offers new opportunities to develop skills and careers in the energy sector.
Julia Hawkins
By Julia Hawkins, Ashden PR and Digital Media Manager
How optimistic are you about the future of the planet? Earlier this week Ashden Trustee Solitaire Townsend asked a roomful of Ashden friends, funders and partners to indicate their feelings with a show of hands at the launch of this year's Ashden Friends scheme.
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