Ashden Award FAQs

Got a question about your Ashden Award application? Here are the answers to our most commonly asked:

How much does it cost to apply for an Ashden Award?

There is no fee to apply for an award. All you will need to do is make time to complete the form, 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 (beginning of July 2020, also London Climate Action Week) to take part in Awards Week events in London, UK.

What’s the deadline for applications?

Applications for the 2020 Ashden Awards will close on 11 Dec 2019. 

How do I apply for an Ashden Award?

All applications must be completed and submitted via our online application website:

What types of organisation can apply for an Ashden Award?

In general, our awards are open to any type of organisation, including businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits and public sector. Specific awards may have individual limitations – please check the information provided in the Information for applicants document.

Can I apply for planned or future 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.

Is there someone I can talk to about my application?

We’ll be happy to help with any enquiries you might have. Just call our Awards Coordinator

on +44 (0) 20 7410 7023 or email

Can I make more than one application?

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.

How do I know which category of award to apply for?

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.

Who will see information that I submit as part of my application?

All information submitted may be seen by the Ashden team (including judges and assessors – please see our website for more information). All our judges and assessors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement before viewing any application materials.

For applicants that do not win, we generally retain their application materials for up to three years. This is to enable ‘fast-track’ re-applications 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.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Ashden Awards?

To be shortlisted and win an award, the applicant must: 

To be shortlisted and win an Award, all applicants must satisfy these eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must have products, services or programmes currently available for customers, clients or beneficiaries.
  • The applicant must show an innovative approach to sustainable energy. Many award winners use established technologies, but there must be innovative aspects to the work as a whole. These could include innovative approaches to marketing and distribution; improved financing mechanisms, a new way of sharing training and skills; introducing a technology to a country or region; or employing an innovative business model.
  • The applicant must be putting forward innovation with the potential to create significant impact. This might be achieved by their growth as a business or organisation, or the replication of their innovation around the world. Applicants must be willing to work with Ashden and others to achieve this goal. ‘Significant’ impact could be a large reduction in emissions, a mitigation action that addresses a serious threat to people’s well-being, or a transformation in people’s quality of life – particularly the most marginalised.
  • The applicant must show good governance and management. We are looking for efficient use of funds and a strong plan to generate further income, whether from sales, grants or any other source. Organisations can be for profit or not-for-profit. Winners must have sustainability embedded in their values and practices.

Eligible applications will be judged against the following general criteria, and any additional criteria specified in the application form:

  • Radical decarbonisation: The applicant is contributing or has the potential to contribute to radically reducing carbon emissions before 2030, while recognising people’s right to a good quality of life.
  • Reducing inequality: The applicant is contributing to a fair transition to a sustainable society, where nobody is left behind, and inequality is reduced.
  • Participation and democratisation: The applicant’s work is participatory and inclusive, for example involving or consulting with the community, customers or beneficiaries. Where possible, democratic principles are applied in ownership, decision making and distribution of benefits.
  • Resilience: The applicant’s work builds resilience to climate change impacts and economic shocks and is appropriate to the context it operates in.
  • Additional benefits: The applicant’s work brings other benefits alongside decarbonisation, such as positive health and well-being outcomes, improved air quality, community cohesion or new and better jobs.

What happens once my application is submitted?

We carry out an initial review of applications to check eligibility and select a longlist (January 2020)

We carry out a detailed assessment of long-listed applications (include requesting further information from applicants) 

Judging panels meet to select shortlist (late January/early February 2020).

Assessment visits to shortlisted applicants (February/March 2020).

Judging panels meet to select winners (April 2020).

When will I hear if my application is successful?

You will hear in January 2020 if you have made it through to the longlist. The first judging meetings are then held in February, after which you will hear if you have made it through to the shortlist. You will find out if you will be a winner or a runner up in April, but winners are not publicly announced until shortly before the Awards Ceremony in July.

What will happen if I am longlisted?

If your organisation is longlisted, we will get in touch in January to ask for the following, to better understand your work and assure ourselves of your financial viability:

Answers to some additional questions about your work.

A copy of your published accounts for the past two years.

A copy of your draft accounts for the current financial year.

We will also follow up the referees you have given us, and will publish a list of longlisted organisations in January 2020. Please do not publicise the fact that you have been longlisted before the list is published.

All applicants that reach the longlist are offered one free ticket to the join the audience of the Ashden Awards Ceremony in London on 2 July 2020. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover any travel expenses. Applicants that progress to later stages will get additional tickets.

What will happen if I am shortlisted?

If you are shortlisted we will get in touch to arrange a visit to assess your work.

If you are shortlisted but ultimately not selected to be an Ashden Award winner, you will be credited as a runner-up. You will also be offered an additional free ticket (two in total) to the Ashden Awards Ceremony in London on 2 July 2020. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover any travel expenses.

What will happen at the judging visit?

For applicants based in the UK or Europe, the judging visit usually lasts most of a 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 or two assessors from the Ashden team. 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/clients.

What will happen if you win an Award

As an Ashden Award winner, you will:

Travel to London at Ashden’s expense to take part in the Awards Week events between 31 June and 4 July (1-2 July for UK-based applicants). Winning an Ashden Award is contingent on taking part in the Awards Week activities.

Receive a visit from our video producer and in some cases a photographer.

Be expected to participate in media interviews that we may be able to arrange.

Agree with Ashden what you will spend the prize fund on and any business support you may receive.

Provide monitoring data about the progress of your work after one year, two years and three years.

We also invite you to join our global alumni network.

What publicity will there be about my application?

It is a condition of your entry to the 2020 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 specific dates. 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 comms team will work closely with you on this.

Will I receive feedback if my application is not successful?

We are a small team and receive a lot of applications, so unfortunately do not have the capacity to provide feedback to any applicants who do not reach the longlist. Where possible, we will try to provide some basic feedback to longlisted applicants who do not reach the shortlist stage and to shortlisted applicants who do not win an Ashden Award.

Who are the judges and assessors?

Details of the judging panels are on the Ashden website. The assessment teams include Ashden staff, representatives from funders and knowledge partners, and freelance specialists in specific sectors.

How will my application be judged?

Your application will be judged against the published criteria for the awards.

Which countries are eligible?

The eligible countries for an applicant’s work to be based in vary from one award to another. 

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