The eight winners of the 2023 Ashden Awards have been announced. These trailblazers are driving radical progress in tackling the biggest climate challenges.
Winners are taking on the need to make 21 million UK homes more energy efficient – and to transform British farming, responsible for 12% of the UK’s territorial greenhouse gas emissions. They are also bringing clean energy to some of the 765 million people worldwide who go without power, creating new jobs and improving lives.
Winners range from businesses to non-profits and local authorities. They were honoured in a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday 14 November. Ashden Award winners receive grants, global publicity, and connection to funders, investors and partners that can help them create even more impact.
The eight Winners include:
Ashden Award for Powering Futures in Clean Energy
– Building the workforce to energise the Global South
Supported by LinkedIn
Burasolutions Solar Academy, Nigeria
Burasolutions Solar Academy in Nigeria boosts skills and pathways to work for women and marginalised people, with support for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Ashden Award for Integrated Energy Africa
– Boosting the continent’s clean energy pioneers
Supported by Integrate to Zero
Power for All – Uganda
In Uganda, Power For All’s Utilities 2.0 Twaake project unites centralized and decentralized renewable energy companies to achieve faster and cheaper electrification, boost rural livelihoods, and end energy poverty.
Husk Power – Nigeria (Runner up and Outstanding Achievement Award)
Through its Nigeria Sunshot initiative, Husk Power is building at least 500 clean energy minigrids by 2026 – supporting businesses, schools and hospitals, benefiting more than 2 million people, and displacing an average of 25,000 diesel generators.
Ashden Award for Powering Refugees and Displaced People
– Taking on the humanitarian energy crisis
Award delivered in partnership with Global Refugee Network. Supported by NextEnergy Foundation, The Linbury Trust, JAC Trust, The Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund.
USAFI Green – Kenya
USAFI Green manufactures and supplies affordable, low-carbon cookstoves in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp – creating work and improving health for displaced people and host communities.
Ashden Award for Powering Agriculture
– Tackling hunger and poverty in the Global South
Supported by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
CInI helps women in India’s Central Tribal Belt use clean energy to raise their incomes – and become leaders in their communities.
Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions
– Defending and empowering Indigenous communities
Supported by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
CERAF-NORD supports communities around Benue National Park, and in the north of Cameroon, to restore degraded land through agroforestry.
Ashden Award for Energy Innovation
– Accelerating the UK’s net zero journey
Supported by Impax Asset Management
The Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust is originating carbon credits to unlock funds to support UK homes in need of retrofitting.
Ashden Award for Local Nature Recoverers
– Celebrating inclusive, community-focused adaptation initiatives
Supported by the Lund Trust, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin
Working with local residents, this collaboration has restored rivers and created new ponds, woods and wetlands to build climate resilience in north London.
Ashden Award for Future Farmers
– Developing skills and training for sustainable land management
Supported by Garfield Weston Foundation
FarmED is a Cotswolds not for profit showing regenerative agriculture in action, and working to transform attitudes to food and farming.
The Ashden Awards honour work supporting marginalised communities, and those at greatest risk from the climate crisis. So winners include an organisation bringing affordable clean energy to a Kenyan refugee camp, and another boosting the rights and resilience of Indigenous rainforest communities in Cameroon.
The importance of jobs and skills is recognised too – with one award winner helping more women in the Nigeria join the clean energy workforce, and another supporting volunteers in North London to restore nature, as a way of protecting communities from extreme weather.
“Brilliant solutions need backing”
Ashden CEO Ashok Sinha said: “Our winners prove that people are passionate about creating practical solutions to the climate emergency – whether giving their time to restore rivers in the UK, or using clean energy to power up a thriving business in Uganda. And just look what happens as a result: higher incomes, better health, stronger communities and the creation of new jobs.
“But these brilliant solutions need serious backing from policymakers and investors. For example, this year’s winners include innovation that could unlock millions of pounds to create warm, energy efficient homes across the UK – surely that’s a scheme worth supporting?
“Meanwhile, the Global South is still waiting for promised climate finance. Our international winners are powering up farms and refugee camps, creating jobs for a clean energy future, and protecting threatened rainforests. It’s vital that increased funding reaches these climate heroes.”
Full list of 2023 Ashden Award winners and runner up
Call for green schools in the UK, and energy access across Africa
Speakers at the awards ceremony included Solitaire Townsend, a renowned sustainability expert who works with some of the world’s most influential organisations to activate social justice and environmental restoration. She was joined in conversation by youth climate justice organizer Tori Tsui.
The event also highlighted key Ashden initiatives beyond its annual awards. These included the fast-growing Let’s Go Zero campaign, supporting UK schools to become zero carbon by 2030, and Power Up – the coalition campaign supporting climate adaptation in Africa through improved energy access.
2024 applications open November 15.
Applications for the 2024 Ashden Awards will open online on November 15. Returning award categories include powering refugees and displaced people, powering futures in clean energy, UK energy innovation, and natural climate solutions in the UK and Global South.
Next year’s categories will also include a Global South energy innovation award, and a new people’s energy award – celebrating community-focused initiatives in the UK. Next year’s winners will be announced in June.