Entries now open
Applications close Wednesday 8 March
The annual Ashden Awards are free to enter, and benefits for winners include a cash grant, access to funders, and a promotional film about their work. All finalists receive publicity and opportunities as part of the Ashden network. Find out more about the Ashden Awards here.
This year, the Awards will help power up inclusive innovation creating a fairer low carbon world – tackling inequality and empowering communities on the frontline of the climate crisis through jobs, skills and training. Ashden winners come in all shapes and sizes. We don’t reward the biggest organisations or slickest marketing pitches – we’re looking for passion, potential and commitment to our values. We’ve put winners on stage at the COP climate talks and in global media.
Where could an Ashden Award take your organisation this year?
Winning an Ashden Award brings a prize of up to £25,000 as well as ongoing development support.
We put winners in front of funders, investors, policymakers, journalists and others who know the unique value of an Ashden Award and the strength of our rigorous assessment process.
We create promotional films about your winners’ work and tell their story in mainstream and specialist media, and through our growing digital channels. We’ve helped previous winners gain coverage at Sky News, The Telegraph, Times of India, Al Jazeera, New Scientist and other leading platforms.
Award winners’, views, needs and insights are at the heart of our influential reports, toolkits and events – which shape the views of key climate decision makers.
All winners join the Ashden network – giving them the chance to connect with new partners through masterclasses, investor pitching events and introductions to influential policy makers.
Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, social enterprises and community groups are all eligible. Work must be currently available to clients, customers or beneficiaries.
For more detail on our eligibility criteria, visit our FAQs below.
The work submitted for an award should must be innovative. It might feature new technology, new approaches to marketing and distribution, or a new way of sharing training and skills. It might involve improved financing mechanisms or an innovative business model.
Work should also have the potential to create significant impact. This impact might be a large drop in greenhouse gas emissions, raised incomes, better health, reduced inequality, or a combination of positive outcomes. Impact might be achieved by the growth of the organisation applying, or by the spread of their ideas to other organisations.
Initiatives should boost resilience and be as participatory and democratic as possible – designed and run with input from the people they support, particularly marginalised groups. Applicants should also show good governance and management.
For a full list of our judging criteria, visit our FAQs below.
The deadline for applications is 8 March 2023.
There are two stages to the application process – both need to be completed by the closing date of Wednesday 8 March 2023.
Please read this carefully and ensure you give yourself sufficient time to complete both stages before the closing date.
1. Register your interest using our initial Expression of Interest form.
We will then review your form and invite you to submit a full application form if you meet all of the award criteria.
2. If you are invited to do so, please complete the full application form.
Note that the deadline for submission of both the registration of interest AND the full application form is Wednesday 8 March 2023.
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation in the UK
Award prize: £10,000
Decarbonising the UK’s energy sector and other industries is essential to our shared zero carbon future. The Ashden Award for Energy Innovation will boost organisations ready to create major impact with a trailblazing technology, service or business model.
The winning organisation’s energy innovation could be reducing emissions from manufacturing, lowering the carbon impact of heating our homes, or speeding the rollout of smart energy systems.
The winner of our energy innovation award will need to demonstrate that their solution has the potential to scale up and deliver big carbon savings. And it should be creating a more equal low carbon future – by creating opportunities and benefits for marginalised groups.
Find out more about this award
Ashden Award for Skills in Sustainable Land Management
Award prize: £10,000
Smarter ways of managing land can help us grow food sustainably, boost ecosystem restoration and protect biodiversity. But this will only happen if people have the skills to put regenerative approaches into action.
The Ashden Award for Skills in Sustainable Land Management will boost colleges, charities, businesses and others driving alternatives to extractive farming, waterways management and land use in the UK. Systems that restore ecosystems, instead of damaging them. The winner will need to show the impact of their work, both on learners and the climate.
Changes to land use could deliver up to 30% of emissions reductions needed for the UK’s 2050 net zero target. Skills trailblazers can make this ambition a reality, while helping people access jobs and opportunities.
Ashden Award for Community Nature Adaptation
Nature is a powerful tool helping us adapt to the impacts of climate change. Plants and trees can protect us from extreme heat, while natural drainage systems lower the risk from flooding. When communities help design and deliver solutions, there are even more benefits – as people come together, improve their health, and enjoy getting closer to nature.
The Ashden Award for Community Nature Adaptation will boost innovative and inclusive schemes tackling the dangers of flooding, heat stress and water scarcity. These could feature tree planting, creating wetlands or restoring natural resources. They might involve local voluntary groups, national charities or councils and public bodies. The best examples will embrace the priorities and diversity of local communities.
Ashden Award for Integrated Energy Africa
Award prize: £25,000
Africa is bursting with new and exciting clean energy innovation. But the continent faces a major challenge – connecting diverse systems to make sure clean energy is accessible and affordable for everyone.
The Ashden Award for Integrated Energy Africa is open to energy companies, finance and technology providers, and other businesses creating integrated clean energy solutions in and around the continent’s towns and cities. Their work should bring together multiple energy services to power up transport, homes or enterprises, in harmony with wider national energy systems.
Community involvement is key – the winning solution will be designed and delivered with input from people facing energy poverty, and bring change in areas of greatest need.
Ashden Award for Skills Powering Energy Access
Clean energy can bring change across communities – including the creation of 25 million new jobs worldwide by the end of the decade. But marginalised and excluded groups, such as women, young people and those with little money, often lack the skills and opportunities to join the clean energy workforce.
The Ashden Award for Skills Powering Energy Access will boost organisations bringing skills to marginalised people in low-income countries. The training could be in any part of the clean energy sector and could boost financial, technical, management and soft skills.
As well as focusing on excluded groups, the winner will be pioneering an innovative approach and tackling the transition from training to paid employment.
Ashden Award for Energising Agriculture
Clean power could be game-changing for millions of small-scale farmers in low-income countries. Access to it can bring everything from solar-powered irrigation that boosts crop yields, to milling, processing and temperature control to help prevent food loss. But in villages most threatened by the climate crisis, reliable and affordable energy is limited or non-existent.
The Ashden Award for Energising Agriculture will reward trailblazers helping off-grid communities grow, store and process their crops. We are looking for holistic solutions that are improving farmers’ lives and livelihoods, for example. by providing training, market connections and financing solutions. This award is open to entrepreneurs and innovators seeking agriculture funding for accessible solutions that raise incomes, improve nutrition and create resilience in the face of rising temperatures and extreme weather.
Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions
Around the world, land stewards, indigenous peoples and local communities hold a unique power to protect and restore essential ecosystems. From forests to wetlands, these ecosystems are a key defence against climate change. Indigenous people safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity but face daily threats to their way of life. So when local people are threatened – or denied the chance to make a sustainable living – our climate is threatened too.
The Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions will boost the work of Indigenous peoples and local communities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia carrying out their vision of ecological restoration and the protection of their territories, as well as strengthening the incomes, wellbeing and security of their communities, enabling them to act as guardians and restorers of their lands.
The winner could be turning palm or soy plantation areas into sustainable productive land, helping communities restore degraded or desertified ecosystems, or supporting community agroforestry enterprises. The winner’s work will be centred on the needs, priorities and knowledge of indigenous people and local communities.
Ashden Award for Energising Refugees and Displaced People
In refugee camps, 94% of people have no access to electricity. Whether they live in camps or elsewhere, energy poverty makes it harder for displaced people to make a living.
This award will accelerate clean energy solutions helping displaced people raise their incomes – and so look forward to a more secure life and brighter future. The winning organisation will be chosen in partnership with the Global Refugee-led Network, drawing on the knowledge and priorities of displaced people themselves.
This award will boost solutions delivered hand-in-hand with affected communities, and bringing change where it is needed most.
Businesses, NGOs, government organisations, and social enterprises (both for-profit and not-for-profit, including community groups) are all eligible. Each award is limited to work in certain parts of the world. See below for a list of countries eligible for each award.
Energy Innovation: UK
Skills in Sustainable Land Management: UK
Community Nature Adaptation: UK
Integrated Energy Africa: Africa
Energising Agriculture: International (ODA recipients)
Natural Climate Solutions: International (ODA recipients)
Powering Refugees and Displaced People: International (ODA recipients)
Skills Powering Energy Access: International (ODA recipients)
To be shortlisted and win an award, all applicants must satisfy these eligibility criteria:
Applications made in English must be completed and submitted via our online application system. Start by registering your interest, using the link near the top of this page. We will review your registration of interest, and let you know whether you are invited to submit a full application form.
If you would like a preview of the application form, there is a copy here. Note that not all of the questions you see in this copy will appear when you complete the actual form online, as some are shown or hidden based on your answers to earlier questions. The copy of the form is for reference only – the form must be completed online for your application to be considered.
To apply in French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic, follow the relevant link below to download a form to register your interest. Send the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you decide not to complete your application for any reason then you may withdraw by contacting us at email@example.com
If you would like to discuss whether your work is relevant to the Ashden Awards, or have questions about the application process, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7410 7023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for the 2023 Ashden Awards will close on Wednesday 8 March 2023, 23:59 GMT. Both the registration of interest AND the full application form need to be submitted by this date. So don’t leave your registration of interest to the last minute as you will have to complete the next stage by the deadline as well.
See awards list above.
In 2023, we will be awarding work that fits into the themes listed above and meets the criteria listed in our FAQS. Please refer to these themes and criteria when considering your application as eligibility for the different awards is based on the type of work you are engaged in and the country where that work is carried out.
When completing your application, please indicate the specific theme/themes you feel are most relevant to your work. We will consider your application in themes other than the ones you have indicated if we feel they fit your work more closely. If you feel you work doesn’t fit into any of the themes listed below, please contact email@example.com to discuss your eligibility.
Yes – you can make more than one application, providing they are for different programmes or businesses, if you are involved with more than one. Please do not submit two applications for the same work.
No – for all our Awards, the work submitted for the Award must be currently available to customers, clients or beneficiaries. The more evidence that you can present for the impact of your work, the better your chance of meeting the award criteria.
There is no fee to apply for an award. All you will need to do is make time to complete the registration of interest and full application form before the deadline, and then answer any questions we might ask you after you have submitted your form.
If you are shortlisted, you will also need to set aside time for preparing and hosting a judging visit from Ashden assessors. If you win, you will need to set aside up to one week to take part in Awards Week events. The location and timing of these events is to be confirmed, but may be in London, UK during November 2023.
All information submitted may be seen by the Ashden team (including judges and assessors). All our judges and assessors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing any application materials.
We generally retain their application materials of applicants that do not win for up to three years. by those applicants during this period. However, this is optional – there is a question in the form which asks for permission to do this. If permission is not given and you wish to reapply within the next three years, you will need to fill the application form in again.
If your application covers different work to that covered in your earlier submission, then you need to fill the application forms in as normal. If you’re reapplying for the same work, then a ‘fast-track’ application may be possible, if the following conditions are met:
If you think you might be eligible for a fast-track application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a condition of your entry to the 2023 Ashden Awards that Ashden has the right to publicise your involvement through its communications channels (including but not limited to its website, social media platforms and ceremony programme). All shortlisted applicants, finalists and particularly winners may be required by Ashden to participate in publicity opportunities such as media interviews.
To maximise the impact of our Awards, we announce our shortlist, finalist and winners on. If you reach the shortlisting stage, or win an Ashden Award, we ask you not to publicise this fact until the date set by us. Our communications team will work closely with you on this.
Eligible applications will be judged against the following general criteria:
Details of the judging panel will be released on our website. The assessment teams include Ashden staff, representatives from funders and knowledge partners, and freelance specialists in specific sectors
If your organisation is shortlisted, we will get in touch in early April to ask for the following, to better understand your work and assure ourselves of your financial viability:
If you are selected as a finalist, we will get in touch to arrange a visit to assess your work. For applicants based in the UK, the judging visit usually takes a whole day, and involves one or two people from Ashden and sometimes a representative from the funder of the award.
For applicants with work based in other countries, the visit usually lasts one to three days, and involves one assessor, who could be from the Ashden team or could be someone more local to your work who is a member of the Ashden network. We often also carry out interviews via Zoom in addition to a physical visit by an assessor.
The visit will include meetings with key staff such as your chief executive, financial officer, the person in charge of the work submitted for an Award, and other employees. It will also include seeing the work submitted in operation, usually through site visits, and meeting customers or clients. Applicants that are chosen to be visited will be credited as runners-up if they do not become winners. We require you not to share news of your longlisting, shortlisting or award win until a certain date.
As an Ashden Award winner, we ask you to:
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