Organisations tackling the UK cost of living crisis, providing the skills for green jobs and those calling for finance for low-income countries to adapt to climate change were recognised at this year’s Ashden Awards.
Eight winners from around the world collected their awards in front of a packed audience at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The event, also streamed online, was hosted by broadcast meteorologist, Laura Tobin. Musician, producer and climate action advocate Brian Eno took part in an on-stage conversation with Ashden’s CEO Harriet Lamb. He talked about finding new ways to fight climate change and founding EarthPercent, which encourages people in the music industry to donate to climate change organisations.
The 2022 UK winners and runners up
Amongst those collecting awards were Vectar Sets who won in the Greening All Work category. They manufacture reusable and recyclable cardboard sets for the film and TV industry, including Coronation Street who are trialling the sets, slashing emissions and cutting waste.
Energy innovation winner Renewable Parts Ltd are the first business in the global wind turbine industry to refurbish components so they can be used again. Based in Argyll, Scotland, they are decarbonising the supply chain and have stopped over 100 tonnes of waste going to scrap.
Winners in the Low Carbon Skills category, B4Box provide retrofit training to disadvantaged people, upgrading homes so they are more energy-efficient, produce less emissions and are less costly to heat in a part of Manchester badly affected by fuel poverty.
Alongside prize money that supports their vital work, Ashden uses its global network to raise awareness of their innovative solutions and brokers connections with funders, investors, policymakers and others.
Harriet Lamb, Ashden CEO, said:
“The Ashden Awards celebrate and provide a global platform for all these amazing global climate champions who are rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. They all offer scalable climate solutions that showcase effective ways we can make homes warmer, reduce energy bills, create green jobs, slash emissions and deliver hope of a brighter future for those most in need.”
Runners up in the UK included Oxfordshire’s FarmEd who are shaping the future of the UK’s agricultural sector by raising awareness of regenerative farming that enriches the soil whilst removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Academy provide local people with the green skills and a range of qualifications needed to retrofit homes and carry out other energy efficiency measures. And in the north and east of England, Connected Energy are the only organisation in the UK to repurpose second-life electric vehicle batteries for use in commercial scale energy storage projects.
The 2022 international winners and runners up
Internationally, Kakuma Ventures won the Energising Refugee Livelihoods award for providing internet access to people in a Kenyan refugee camp using solar power, creating jobs and boosting education. In the Energising Agriculture category, SokoFresh were rewarded for their work helping farmers reduce post-harvest losses through solar powered cold storage and market linkages.
Harriet Lamb added:
“All our worthy winners show how a zero carbon world is within reach but to reach it in time, and create the just transition that really delivers, we need to see commitments from world leaders at the upcoming COP27 in Egypt.
“Funding from the global North to finance the affordable, green energy access for those threatened by the climate crisis must be high on the agenda at this African COP. This is the message we’ll be taking to world leaders as part of our Power Up coalition campaign.”
Power Up is a unifying campaign boosting African efforts to seek greater climate adaptation funding from the Global North to finance affordable, green energy access for those threatened by the climate crisis.
Ashden Awards winners and runners up:
Ashden Award for Energising Refugee Livelihoods, supported by The Linbury Trust, the Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund, JAC Trust, Ashden Trust and a public appeal.
Kakuma Ventures, Kenya – creating clean energy, internet connections and new jobs for refugee camp residents.
- RUNNER UP
Imece Initiative, Turkey – training refugee and migrant women for a future as solar engineers.
Ashden Award for Energising Agriculture, supported by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
SokoFresh, Kenya – sustainable cold storage for smallholders, matched with help getting products to market.
- RUNNER UP
Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CINI), India – Community-led production hubs in tribal areas.
Ashden Award for Energy Access Skills, supported by LinkedIn.
Energy Generation, Togo – a ground-breaking training centre empowering entrepreneurs to create solutions for Africans by Africans – sparking opportunities for women.
Zonful Energy, Zimbabwe – training in the solar sector for rural young people, through collaboration with colleges and NGOs, alongside connections to jobs.
Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions, supported by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
ASRI, Indonesia – Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) works with indigenous communities, replanting trees in deforested areas and promoting sustainable forms of income to reverse illegal logging.
- RUNNER UP
Eca-Amarakaeri, Peru – Indigenous communities work with government officials to sustainably manage and patrol rainforest threatened by gold mining and illegal logging.
Ashden Award for Greening All Work, supported by LinkedIn.
VECTAR Sets, Greater Manchester – helping the film and TV industry go green, with flat-pack film sets made from sustainable paper and cardboard.
- RUNNER UP
FarmEd, Oxfordshire – inspiring and educating for a greener farming future.
Ashden Award for Low Carbon Skills, supported by Garfield Weston Foundation
B4Box, Stockport – training disadvantaged people and creating warm, energy-efficient homes.
- RUNNER UP
Low Carbon Academy, Greater Manchester – ambitious partnership from the North West Skills Academy, upgrading thousands of homes for a carbon neutral future.
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation, supported by Impax Asset Management
Renewable Parts, Argyll – refurbishing wind turbine parts – cutting waste and boosting the green economy.
- RUNNER UP
Connected Energy Newcastle Upon Tyne/Norfolk – a new life for electric vehicle batteries.