I joined Ashden as CEO in May 2019, taking responsibility for developing and implementing the organisation’s ambitious new strategy to tackle climate change.
I have been CEO at peacebuilding organisation International Alert and spent 15 years leading Fairtrade in the UK and globally. I have always worked for NGOs with a focus on international development, peace and the environment. I worked in the UK on refugee and low pay issues, and lived in India for six years. My book Fighting the Banana Wars and Other Fairtrade Battles was published in 2008, and I was appointed CBE in 2006. I am a cycling obsessive who loves gardening and walking my dog.
I have been at Ashden since 2005 and oversee the promotion of Ashden and Ashden winners to a wide audience. I am a member of the Executive Management team with particular responsibility for HR. In my time at Ashden I have overseen the smooth delivery of 12 Ashden Awards ceremonies with speakers including former US Vice President Al Gore, Sir David Attenborough and Ashden’s Patron HRH The Prince of Wales.
I lead on securing the income that Ashden needs to fund each of our Awards and to develop our UK and International programme work. Success for me is much more than what the balance sheet looks like; it’s about building relationship with individuals and organisations that share our mission to bring sustainable energy to all.
Before Ashden, I was first the Head of Energy, then Director of Programmes at Forum for the Future with responsibility for our work in the energy and food systems. I found my way to Forum via an earlier career as an environmental law specialist. My first degree was a BSc in Geography and I have written a thesis on the impact of UK fiscal policies on the project financing of onshore renewables during a Masters degree in Energy Policy and Sustainability. When not thinking about energy, innovation and system change, I can be found walking my retired greyhound (Bonnie) or surfing or kitesurfing somewhere on the UK coast.
I am responsible for the stewardship of Ashden’s corporate partners and fostering new relationships, both in the UK and internationally. At its heart this means the development of partnerships that are mutually beneficial and based on a shared commitment to sustainability.
I assist the development team in securing funding to run and develop our Ashden Awards and programme work. This involves research into funding prospects, writing persuasive proposals, reporting to current funders, maintaining stewardship and developing relationships with individuals interested in sustainability and taking action against climate change.
As part of the communications team, I’m involved with everything from writing blog posts, looking after our social media channels and managing the website, to helping promote our events and fantastic winners. I was new to the sustainable energy sector before Ashden, and I learn something new from the team every day.
I make sure Ashden's voice is powerful and passionate. As well as thinking about the climate stories we want to tell, I write and edit articles, pieces, reports, video scripts and more.
I manage Ashden’s International Awards and Business Support programmes. This involves overseeing the application and judging processes and helping find our new cohort of winners as well as providing them with the support they need to grow and scale their work. I also manage Ashden’s relationship with the Ashden India Collective.
I work on all aspects of the international awards process, including carrying out assessment visits to shortlisted applicants. I work with our alumni of winners on business support and monitoring and evaluation. I also oversee Ashden’s international research work, which is currently focusing on clean energy for women and girls.
I lead our schools programme, LESS CO2, which supports schools to become zero carbon. We work directly with schools through our peer-to-peer mentoring scheme, as well as engaging with government and sector stakeholders to campaign for change. I also project manage the Ashden Awards – overseeing and bringing together our awards call for entries, judging and assessment processes.
I manage the Liveable Cities awards process, from researching themes for the awards and designing application forms to planning the judging process and visiting the applicants. With my background in engineering, research and computing, I also get involved in technical aspects of almost all the team’s work at some point in the year.
I head up our cities programme that aims to create liveable, sustainable cities. At the heart of our approach is a network that brings together the UK metro mayor regions. Using our winners to demonstrate the possibilities, we are showing policymakers that by tackling climate change you can simultaneously address a multitude of other challenges. Challenges such as cleaning up toxic air, providing affordable warm homes or creating new, fairly paid jobs. We want a just transition.
I work with Simon Brammer to support our UK Award winners, helping them to share best practice and showcase their work to influential audiences including policymakers. I also work with Mike Pepler on the UK Awards process, including researching potential applicants and undertaking visits of shortlisted applicants. I’ve been involved in community energy for several years, and appreciate the impact of promoting innovators in sustainable energy.
I am part of the Ashden Cities Team but embedded within the North of Tyne Combined Authority in the North East of England.
I work with the North of Tyne Combined Authority and policy makers along with a broad range of stakeholders to identify, discover and share models of good practice to support the delivery of their climate action plans by embedding a holistic co benefits approach into policy development.
Previous to this role I have spent the last 12 years of my career building complex partnerships and producing and delivering a wide range of large scale events and projects in the North East.
I take care of the whole awards process – setting up the application forms, helping applicants, arranging judging meetings and visits, looking after our winners during awards week and everything in between.
I provide executive level support to the CEO, Harriet Lamb, PA support to the Director of Communications & People, Jo Walton and Chair of Trustees, Sarah Butler-Sloss. I am responsible for the meeting administration of the quarterly Trustee meetings, the weekly Executive Management Team and monthly Leadership Group meetings which I attend and take minutes.
As well as providing general administrative support to the team, I organise the workshops that are part of our LESS CO2 programme, liaising with our school mentors and the participating schools. I am also PA to our directors of programmes and development.
Sarah Butler-Sloss has been internationally recognised for her work in the field of green energy over the past 20 years, best known for founding the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy in 2001. She led Ashden as Founder Director from 2001 to 2019. Sarah is a regular contributor to UK and global policy debates in the field of sustainable energy and an active member of the UN’s International Sustainable Energy for All practitioner network. Sarah is also the founder and trustee of the Ashden Trust and a trustee of ClientEarth.
Richard is co-founder of Mlinda, which helps people rural India access renewable energy. Richard created Mlinda's vision and approves strategy. His ambition for a scalable and replicable business able to influence production and consumption defines Mlinda's approach to rural electrification. His strengths in business advisory and finance guide Mlinda's strategy. Richard is also active in asset management and sustainable investments.
Emma is a social entrepreneur and international development professional. She leads the Energy Markets portfolio at Practical Action, where she heads up the Global Distributors Collective, and is a co-founder of Pollinate Energy, a multi-award winning social enterprise in India that brings clean energy products to urban slum communities. Emma has also worked with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), focusing on development finance and innovation.
Harish Hande is a renewable energy entrepreneur with over 24 years of grassroots experience in understanding, developing and deploying sustainable energy solutions for underserved communities. Born in rural Karnataka, Harish went on to pursue his graduation from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a PhD from University of Massachusetts. He founded SELCO.
Caroline joined We Mean Business as the Communications Director following a spell as an independent consultant on sustainability content and strategy for a range of clients including Unilever, The Crowd and Bloomberg. Prior to that she was head of content globally for Guardian Sustainable Business, which she helped launch in the UK and US. She was the site editor and also held responsibility for delivering content partnerships, events and strategy.
Nick is Chief Executive and a founder director of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism). In addition to his management role, Nick leads E3G’s work on European climate change policy, climate diplomacy and foreign policy, and the security implications of climate change. Nick was previously a senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit leading work on national and international policy areas. Before he joined government Nick was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK. He came to WWF from research at London Business School on the economics of climate change, which he published as the book ‘Argument in the Greenhouse’.
Agamemnon is a co-founding director of Energy Garden, Repowering and marine transport infrastructure company, Hydra. He co-founded industry advocacy body Community Energy England and advised UK government on community energy policy. In 2014 he was made a London Leader, in 2016 he was awarded an MBE for services to community energy and in 2017 was named one of the 51 Most Impactful Green Leaders globally by CSR Congress.
Andrew’s 43-year career has been in finance, private equity and development finance and investment. He joined CDC in 1999 and was Head of Infrastructure there and later at Actis, where the bulk of investments were in the electricity sector in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He advised the founders, invested and joined the investment committee of Berkeley Energy, a leading developer and operator of renewable energy plants in Africa and Asia. Since 2010, Andrew’s family have been active business angel investors in energy access in Africa.
Stay up to date