What does Ashden do?
We uncover ground-breaking sustainable energy solutions in the UK and developing world and inspire others to follow. We do this by celebrating leading sustainable energy enterprises and programmes through our annual Awards scheme, them helping them realise their potential. We share the insights and know-how of our winners widely, and push for the changes needed to build a low-carbon future.
What is sustainable energy?
Sustainable energy includes both energy efficiency measures, such as installing insulation or low-energy light bulbs in buildings; and renewable energy that’s generated close to the point of use, so local communities benefit. Crucially, it also includes changing our behaviour – little things like switching off lights, or cycling instead of driving, all make a big difference.
How does sustainable energy help tackling climate change?
Using sustainable energy is vital to reducing carbon emissions, which will help slow climate change. But it also transforms lives and helps boost economies. For example, in developing countries, access to clean, safe energy means that after sunset, children can do their homework and parents can earn more money. In the UK, insulating homes helps lift people out of fuel poverty, and energy efficiency measures help businesses slash their energy bills.
Who founded Ashden and why?
Sarah Butler-Sloss founded the Ashden Awards in 2001 to raise awareness of the life-changing benefits of sustainable energy and, by championing the most exciting sustainable energy trailblazers, to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. In December 2011 we re-branded as Ashden, to reflect the range of work we do year-round.
How are you funded?
Ashden is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. We are funded by a variety of trusts, foundations and corporations. We also run an Ashden Friends Scheme for both companies and individuals, which every year helps fund two of our Awards. We are extremely grateful for the support of all our funders, both large and small.
Who are your Trustees?
Our Trustees are:
Sarah Butler-Sloss (Founder Director)
Jonathon Porritt (Acting Chair)
How many organisations have won an Ashden Award?
Since 2001 we have rewarded over 170 sustainable energy champions which are collectively saving more than 5 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Winning an Ashden Award provides vital exposure and credibility for sustainable energy businesses and organisations, enabling them to reach millions more people: so far, over 37 million lives have been improved by our winners.
How do I apply for an Award?
We accept applications from summer until the autumn, but if you’ve missed the application window you can still register your interest for the following year’s Awards. You can find out more here.
Can I nominate an organisation for an Award?
We don’t accept nominations, but we’d be delighted to receive recommendations of any organisations you think might be eligible for an Ashden Award. Just send an email to email@example.com with a short description of the organisation, contact details of a person who works there, and why you think they’re award-worthy.
Do you provide solar lanterns or any other clean energy products?
We do not sell or provide any solar lamps, kerosene stoves, energy audits, or any other of the products or services offered by our winners. The winners’ pages on our website include their contact information if you are interested in finding out more about, or purchasing, any of their products or services.
What does it take to win an Ashden Award?
To win an Ashden Award you must be breaking new ground in sustainable energy. This might include developing new technologies to generate or save energy, increasing access to existing technologies, encouraging low-carbon living or more sustainable travel. With the exception of our awards for innovation, the work submitted must have been running for at least a year. All work submitted must have the potential to grow and be easily replicable.
Who is on the judging panel?
All our judges are eminent experts in sustainable energy, selected for their in-depth technical knowledge and impartiality. We have different judging panels for each Award category. You can read about our judges here.
What happens during Awards Week?
Our Awards Week, which is in either May or June, is an exhilarating rollercoaster of events organised to ensure our winners get the very best out of their time in London. As well as the Awards Ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society, we hold targeted workshops, networking events, media training and conferences or seminars.
What else does Ashden do?
Ashden is much more than an awards scheme. Once they’ve won an Ashden Award, we help our winners grow by opening up new opportunities and connections for them to achieve even more. We also showcase their solutions through high-profile events, and host regular roundtables so they can learn from each other and work together to influence policy. You can find out more about our Programmes here.
What work do you do with schools?
Our award-winning schools have galvanised thousands of youngsters to be active guardians of their future and we want many more schools to follow. In 2010 we established the LESS CO2 Programme to provide practical, hands-on mentoring to help them make the changes they need to reduce their energy bills and to help build a low-carbon future.
How are you linked to the Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective?
India is a hotbed of sustainable energy ideas and businesses. With more than 20 of our winners coming from India, we helped establish the Ashden India Renewable Energy Collective in 2010 to act as a unified voice for the country’s thriving sustainable energy sector, and to provide a forum for members to share experiences. We continue to support the Collective: as well as being represented on its Board of Directors, Ashden owns 26% of its shares.
Do you work with other organisations?
Working with other organisations is key to achieving our goal of one billion more people whose lives are transformed by sustainable energy. First, we have partnerships to help us deliver our support programme and support our winners in a variety of ways. We are also proud members of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Practitioner Network and the practitioner working group of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
What organisations do you work with in the UK?
We work with organisations like Forum for the Future, ecoConnect, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and others to ensure our winners’ learning is shared as widely as possible and to lobby for better conditions for local sustainable energy in the UK.
Do you have materials I can use to promote local sustainable energy?
We have an extensive library of photographs and films along with case studies about all our winners, all of which you can download for free from this website. If you want to use our photos or films please contact us first (email firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can let you know who to credit and can record how they are being used.
Do you make grants?
We are not a grant-making organisation. Sometimes we give small grants to organisations that are unsuccessful in their application for an Award, but whose work would benefit from a small amount of money to help move them forward.
Are you part of the Ashden Trust?
No, we are a separate organisation, with completely separate governance structures. The Ashden Trust was founded in 1989 by Sarah Butler-Sloss and Robert Butler-Sloss to support programmes focusing on climate change and sustainable development.