27 Jun | News
Women at the forefront of clean energy – International Women’s Day 2018
As I was
finishing up my semester at University last spring and professors and peers began
to ask about my summer internship, I found that explaining Ashden to others was
quite straightforward. “Well, I’ll be working for an organisation that awards
sustainable energy projects,” I’d respond. Once I arrived at Ashden however, I
soon discovered it was not quite so simple.
months ago when I arrived at Ashden, I’d heard all about the excitement surrounding
Awards week and with 14 years of Awards, it was clear that for anyone working
in the sustainability sector, winning one of these was a big deal. What I didn’t
realise was the full extent of the work Ashden did beyond just providing recognition
and prize money.
The first thing
I discovered was that the Awards Ceremony is only one piece, out of a much
larger body of work shaping the impact of the sustainable energy sector itself.
The entire Awards
week is not only designed to spotlight the innovative ways these organisations
are tackling climate change, but also to promote a specific agenda.
This year, the annual Ashden Conference addressed the ongoing challenge of accelerating
investment in organisations like Ashden’s winners. Barriers to financing
sustainable energy systems, especially decentralised solutions, are the reason over
1.2 billion people lack access to modern forms of electricity. Representatives
from from Bloomberg, Acumen and more joined the discussion to determine what measures
must be taken within the finance sector to change this reality. Throughout the
rest of the week, these organisations had the chance to attend investor events,
meet with journalists and learn from hundreds of other organisations about their
previous successes. For Ashden’s international winners, it’s an introduction to a global platform they can then access to scale their work.
that week however, it’s not as though everything comes grinding to a halt. The
UK-based organisations go on to join an active alumni network. They are brought
together regularly for professional development seminars and events like Ashden
After Work to discuss industry trends and issues on the national agenda alongside
policy makers, investors and energy experts. Thanks to the relationships that Ashden
fosters among all these companies, they develop new partnerships, learn how to deliver
better services and discuss new solutions and innovations to bring us closer to
a low-carbon future.