Ashden's strategy

Working in the UK and Global South, Ashden’s mission is to accelerate transformative climate solutions and build a more just world.

To reach this goal, we are putting climate solutions that boost green jobs, skills and livelihoods at the heart of our work. Backing these solutions supports more inclusive and regenerative economies and societies, which create better lives as well as lower emissions.

We use a range of tools to spark change, with the annual Ashden Awards central to all that we do.

How do we drive change?

Our values

  • We are collaborative
  • We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion
  • We are authentic
  • We put people and planet first.

Our focus on jobs, skills and livelihoods

The creation of good green jobs will trigger global support for climate action – from citizens, politicians, businesses and civil society. Research from EY suggests planned clean energy projects alone could help develop 10 million jobs in 50 countries, adding US$60 billion to their combined GDP. In nations facing high unemployment as well as energy poverty, the benefits will be enormous.

But there are also huge challenges to tackle – including skills shortages. In the UK, the workforce to make the country’s homes energy efficient is just 17% of that required. Ashden’s approach can elevate solutions and boost progress towards green and inclusive economies.

Our impact areas in 2022-25

Clean energy for all

We are boosting initiatives bringing clean, affordable energy to communities and groups in the Global South living without it. We hold a particular focus on skills issues and energy in humanitarian settings, and on drawing finance into the energy access sector.

We aim to shift systems as well as elevating single organisations. So awards will be complemented by innovation programmes that help groundbreaking organisations access funding and work together.

Power Up – a coalition campaign launched by Ashden in 2022 – will create global change, empowering frontline organisations especially in Africa to call for investment from international and national fundersand policymakers.

UK councils and communities

In the UK we are supporting more sustainable towns and cities through networks, resources and campaigns empowering local authorities. Sharing learning and best practice is central to our approach.
We support councils and their partners to embed climate action in policy development and delivery.

Key areas include work with colleges and employers on green skills. And in line with our focus on ground-up change, we are creating new UK-wide networks supporting communities to take effective climate action.

Zero carbon schools

Let’s Go Zero is the Ashden-led coalition campaign calling for all UK schools to be zero carbon by 2030. The campaign unites, supports and inspires schools, while also working with government to unlock policy change.
By 2025 the campaign aims to recruit 5,000 schools, and secure binding commitment from government that all schools and colleges will be zero carbon by the end of the decade – with funding committed to make this ambition a reality.

We are strengthening our position as a trusted advisor to government on this issue, deepening the advice and support we offer to individual schools.

Natural climate solutions

We recognise the growing momentum behind climate solutions that enable communities to deepen, protect or transform their relationship with nature. So this will be of increasing importance to Ashden in the future.
Internationally, we are building our support for initiatives that empower Indigenous Peoples to act as guardians of rainforests and other natural precious resources.

In the UK, we are developing new awards such as for training in regenerative agriculture and community nature adaptation, as well as new learning networks.

Storytelling for impact

We use powerful communications tools – from short films to policy briefings – to inspire and activate key audiences including funders, investors and policymakers. Storytelling plays an important role in all our work, including our visibility at ‘milestone moments’ such as the COP summits.

Our outputs range from short films on sustainable cooling to policy briefings on creating energy efficient homes in the UK.

We are committed to continuing to grow the presence of marginalised voices in our communications – ensuring those most affected by the climate crisis are given new platforms and opportunities.

Our financial future

We are capitalising on the growing funder interest in accelerating climate solutions, with an offer that is distinctive and compelling. We are developing long-term and strategic partnerships with philanthropy, corporates and government who share our mission and values. We are seeking funding at scale that will lead to big impacts. But of course, all donations will help provide vital resources to Ashden winners and our programmatic work.

In the coming years we will seek develop more consultancy income, and step up fundraising for campaigns and communications – recognising our power as climate storytellers.

For information about partnering with Ashden, contact Ed Dean, Director of Business Development.

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