The application process for the 2020 Ashden Awards is now closed

Register your interest for the 2021 Ashden Awards here.

Why enter?

  • Prize money of up to £20,000 per Award
  • National media exposure
  • Access to policy makers and investors
  • Ongoing tailored support to help you expand your work
  • Year round speaking opportunities and networking events

FAQs: Answers to all the most common questions around the Awards can be found here.Eligible countries: See a list of eligible countries here.

Apply in:

If using one of the translated application forms above, please send completed forms to apply@ashden.org.

Detailed information for applicants. 



What are we looking for?

The Ashden Awards reward organisations that deliver sustainable energy at the local level, and through this bring social, economic and environmental benefits. In 2020 we will make up to four UK Awards, each of which comes with a prize of up to £20,000:

  • Sustainable Built Environments (UK): We are looking for organisations responding to the climate emergency by retrofitting and developing zero carbon buildings, infrastructure and public spaces. The award will look holistically at the built environment, considering how elements such as green walls, natural landscaping, rainwater management and food growing can be used alongside low-carbon retrofit and construction techniques to bring both embodied and operational CO2 emissions to net-zero and increase resilience to climate change. It will also highlight the integration of buildings with local mobility, such as providing improved walking and cycling routes, space for cycle storage, public transport access and electric vehicle charging. 
  • Energy Innovation (UK): We would like to receive applications from organisations that have developed innovative technologies, products, services or programmes to deliver sustainable energy. These must be on the market, have the potential to scale up and result in significant net reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, for example by decarbonising heat, reducing energy consumption or increasing renewable energy generation. 
  • Clean Air in Towns and Cities (UK): We are looking for applications from organisations, projects or programmes cutting air pollution in urban areas by making transport more sustainable, while providing social and economic benefits to residents and businesses. The winner will have the potential to scale up to work across wide areas, and/or to be replicated in other towns and cities. All sustainable forms of mobility and goods transport are eligible, as are policies put in place by local authorities. Innovation could range from technical developments and infrastructure improvements to behavioural change and Apps that encourage active travel or public transport use. We are particularly interested in work that encourages walking and cycling as well as work that reduces the need for transport, for example through planning policies. 
  • Sustainable Built Environment (Global): We are looking for organisations working in the built environment that are responding to the climate emergency and the lack of housing of a good standard, through retrofitting existing buildings and the development of zero carbon buildings, infrastructure and public spaces. This award will look holistically at the built environment, considering how elements such as green walls, natural landscaping, rainwater management and food growing can be used alongside low-carbon retrofit and construction techniques to bring both embodied and operational CO2 emissions to net-zero, and increase resilience to climate change. It will also highlight the integration of buildings with local mobility, such as providing improved walking and cycling routes, space for cycle storage, public transport access and electric vehicle charging.   
  • Sustainable Mobility (Global): This award recognises innovative enterprises or programmes that are improving access to sustainable transport and mobility services for those who currently have inadequate access allowing better participation in the economy and in education, whilst having a measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution or congestion. All forms of sustainable mobility are eligible, but we particularly welcome applicants who are promoting walking and cycling. Winners could come from the private, public or third sector, and innovation could range from technical developments and infrastructure improvements to behavioural change and provision of travel information (or the application of digital, AI, big data and communications technologies). The award will recognise the need for an integrated transport system, where the private car is not prioritised and ease of using and switching between more sustainable transport modes is promoted. Urban planning initiatives that discourage car use, e.g. through land use policies or transit-oriented development, are also eligible. We are particularly interested in work that improves more inclusive access to sustainable mobility for groups such as families/caregivers with young children, the elderly and people with disabilities – this could be through technological innovation and/or policy e.g. fare structures. 
  • Cool Cities (Global): This award focuses on how cities can adapt to rising temperatures by using passive cooling approaches as part of the built environment. It will look for passive ways to reduce the demand on air conditioning and protect human health by making indoor and outdoor environments safer and more comfortable. We are especially seeking initiatives which are protecting people most vulnerable to dangerous heat stress, such as those in informal settlements and who work outdoors. 

We are interested in several areas, including: 

- work that is reducing temperatures at a street or district level, for example through planting, shading, evaporative cooling or maximising cooling from wind and water.

- Passive measures to reduce temperatures in and around buildings, such as shading, insulation and ventilation.

- Heat action plans or other policy instruments, to preserve life during heatwaves, the creation of ‘cool zones’ in cities for those with no access to cooling at home, and other adaptation measures.

- Innovation, whether technical, financial or behavioural, that increases the rate of installation of sustainable cooling measures.

We have a particular focus on the cooling solutions for existing cities, although new developments that reduce heat stress and demand for air conditioning are also of interest, as is any work to overcome barriers such as political will, finance, competing uses for public space and incentivising the private sector to take action. 

From attending the Ashden Award events in 2011 and hoping for eligibility to applying in 2016 and meeting the astute judging panel, preparing for the presentation with the other winners, to the distinguished guests on the night, it’s been a great journey.

Agamemnon Otero, CEO, Repowering London, 2016 Award Winner