The Ashden Awards accelerate climate innovation, helping businesses, charities, governments and others power up their impact in the UK and low-income nations. We back organisations that advance social justice while lowering emissions.
Winners and finalists enjoy grants, publicity and priceless new connections – as well as endorsement from globally-recognised climate experts.
Applications for the 2022 Ashden Awards are now closed.
As we move towards a low-carbon future, everyone’s work will be affected by the huge changes, and challenges, that lie ahead.
This year, we’re supporting innovators and entrepreneurs transforming the world of work – those delivering roles and skills for the UK’s low-carbon transition and the spread of clean energy around the world.
Winning an Ashden Award brings a prize of up to £25,000 as well as ongoing development support, from professional mentoring to pro-bono legal help.
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’ll create a promotional film about your work and tell your 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.
As an award winner, your views, needs and insights will be 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 15 March 2022.
By then, you will need to have registered your interest and completed the full application form that follows.
Winners will be announced in Autumn 2022 (date tbc).
Apply in English using our online application portal here. The application portal includes the option gives you the option to answer some of the questions by recording a video message rather than filling in a form.
To apply in French, Spanish or Portuguese, email email@example.com and ask for a form in the relevant language.
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation in the UK
Award prize: £10,000
The UK’s industries and energy sector must radically lower their emissions in order to meet the country’s carbon targets. Action by governments and citizens alone is not enough to see off the climate crisis. High-impact innovation can lower emissions but also drive wider social change – particularly by creating a fair and sustainable green economy with rewarding jobs for all.
This award will seek out innovation in sustainable energy generation, improved energy efficiency, or reducing the energy used to make products and materials. It will highlight organisations that are creating new and better jobs in green industries or enabling the decarbonisation of existing carbon-intensive industries such as construction. The award will focus on companies and organisations set to deliver or spark significant impact by 2030.
Ashden Award for Low Carbon Skills
Award prize: £10,000
Innovation in skills and training is urgently needed to power up the sectors pioneering the UK’s low carbon journey. The government has declared an ambition to support 440,000 jobs across net zero industries by 2030, and the promise of new and better work can help unite society behind climate action.
But creating these jobs demands new ways of training and re-training the UK workforce. This award will focus on organisations building skills in three key areas: making homes more energy efficient, restoring nature, and fostering reuse, recycling and repair across society.
It will look particularly closely at work boosting the skills and resources of disadvantaged people and communities, helping to create a fairer and more inclusive economy as well as reduced emissions.
Ashden Award for Greening All Work
Ashden Award for Greening All Work
By greening what they do and how they do it, all UK businesses, charities and public sector organisations can help create a sustainable society. Beyond lowering emissions, the benefits of taking action include lower overheads, happier staff and greater support from local communities.
This award will seek out organisations, particularly small or medium-sized enterprises, helping employees develop skills for zero carbon work. These could include sustainable design, lifecycle analysis and energy efficiency, or broader skills such as resilience and the ability to work flexibly. The award will also consider work greening supply chains and encouraging suppliers to cut carbon.
Alongside this, applicants might be reducing the carbon intensity of the services or products they offer, redesigning their business model to remove high-carbon practices, or changing the workplace culture to make carbon reduction and sustainability an integral part of doing business. The award will also look for activity that is greening jobs for marginalised groups, communities and regions.
Ashden Award for Energising Refugee Livelihoods
Ashden Award for Energising Refugee Livelihoods
Award prize: £25,000
Refugees and displaced people face a battle to access clean energy, and the safety and dignity it brings. About 80% of people living in refugee camps are thought to have minimal access to clean fuels for cooking and heating, and about 90% have no regular access to electricity.
This badly damages their ability to earn a living. Activities like cooking, tailoring, phone-charging, and running small shops can all bring refugees and displaced people a vital income – but are hard or impossible without reliable and affordable energy.
This challenge often affects refugees’ neighbours too. Countries that account for just 1.3% of global wealth host 40% of all refugees – often in communities and regions with little or no energy access.
Entrants for this award could be creating economic opportunities for refugees through access to clean energy, or boosting skills and training in this area. The award will seek out innovation in systems, technologies and local partnerships that create powerful change for displaced people and host communities in low-income countries.
Ashden Award for Energy Access Skills
About 800 million people worldwide go without electricity, and three times that many cook on polluting stoves and fires. Investment in training is urgently needed to unlock universal access to clean, affordable energy.
Universal energy access could create 4.5 million new jobs by 2030 in the off-grid renewables sector alone, with five times as many jobs potentially created in communities receiving clean and modern energy for the first time. Other benefits of taking action include setting countries on the path to a low-carbon future – and creating new opportunities for women and marginalised groups.
This award will uncover and boost innovation in training in the energy access sector that could be repeated or replicated around the world. We are particularly seeking applicants closing the gap between the education sector and employers, accelerating jobs and skills through innovative partnerships or overcoming barriers to training for excluded groups such as women and rural communities.
The award will recognise the need for technical and soft skills, and the wide range of roles in the sector – from engineers to managers, sales agents, and IT experts. Work that raises the skills of enablers such as policymakers, financiers and suppliers is also eligible.
Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions
Rural local and indigenous communities are leading the way with ideas and solutions for nature-based sustainable development.
This award looks for replicable initiatives reducing poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, supporting communities to be effective stewards of forests and protect biodiversity.
Work eligible for the award includes inclusive and sustainable business models, finance initiatives supporting community forest enterprises, agroforestry and permaculture programmes, market creation activities for sustainable forest products, and collaborations between the food, forest-product and conservation sectors.
Dysmus Kisulu, Founder: “The Ashden Award had a tremendous impact on the work that we do at Solar Freeze, it put a spotlight on both the solution - which is access to refrigeration and cooling for the healthcare sector in the Humanitarian Energy space – and most importantly it made our beneficiaries be seen and recognised. People living in the remote Kakuma refugee camp are now part of the global story in providing climate smart solutions that will help make the world a better place.”
Natural Climate Solutions
Cooling in Informal Settlements Award
UK Climate Innovation Award
Humanitarian Energy Award
UK Green Skills Award
Energy Access Innovation Award
Regenerative Agriculture Award
Energy Access Skills Award
UK Green Communities Award
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.
The following three awards are for work carried out in the UK:
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation (UK)
Ashden Award for Skills in Low Carbon Sectors (UK)
Ashden Award for Greening Work (UK)
The following three awards are for work in this list of eligible countries:
Ashden Award for Energising Agriculture
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 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 , email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a form in the relevant language.
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 2022 Ashden Awards will close on Tuesday 15 March 2022, 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 2022, 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 2022.
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 2022 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 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 longlist, shortlist and winners on. If you reach the longlisting/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, and any additional criteria specified in the application form:
. The assessment teams include Ashden staff, representatives from funders and knowledge partners, and freelance specialists in specific sectors
If your organisation is longlisted, 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 shortlisted, 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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