Based in London, Ashden is a charity working in the field of sustainable energy and developments. Its work entails the annual Ashden Awards, and mentoring and providing support for award winners.
Entries are open for the 2023 Ashden Awards. The awards will supercharge climate innovation creating a fairer future, particularly widening access to clean energy.
The Ashden Awards are seeking trailblazing, empowering initiatives, including from India – organisations working in clean energy innovation or on supporting off-grid farmers and indigenous local communities on restoring and protecting their territories. There are five awards open to organisations in low-income countries.
Winning innovation will tackle inequality as well as the causes and effects of global heating. More than 200 businesses, charities and public sector projects have been boosted by an Ashden Award since the prizes were launched in 2001.
pplications close on 8 March, with winners announced this autumn after a rigorous judging process. Entry is free, and winners receive a package of benefits, including up to £25,000 prize plus valuable long-term business and fundraising connections to support the organisations to expand in order to respond at speed to the climate crisis.
Four international awards will boost efforts to widen access to clean energy. In low-income countries, 43% of people lack access to electricity.
They includes awards for organisations supporting smallholder farmers by energising agriculture, helping refugees and displaced people boost their incomes through clean energy, and giving people the skills and opportunities to enter the clean energy workforce.
A relatively new international award now in its third year, is for natural climate solutions. This recognises work strengthening the incomes, wellbeing and security of Indigenous peoples and local communities – allowing them to act as guardians and restorers of their land.
Calling all trailblazers
Dr Stephen Hall, Ashden Head of Awards, said: “The communities least responsible for the climate crisis are often those in greatest danger. But we know many of these communities are also home to extraordinary innovation – projects that are ready to grow, and to create even greater impact.
“We are particularly keen to reward solutions that put power in the hands of the most marginalised and disadvantaged – and we know that India is a hub of low carbon innovation and are excited to see the applications come in for this year’s Ashden Awards.
“We promise to do all we can to raise the profile of our winners on the global stage, and connect them with opportunities for funding and investment. So if you’re a trailblazer creating a fairer zero carbon future, or you know someone who is, please spread the word or apply to the 2023 Ashden Awards.”
Winners earn major donations and global publicity
Since 2009, 40 Indian low carbon innovators have won Ashden Awards, and many more reached longlist and finalist stages.
Resham Sutra in Odisha, India won the Ashden Award for Powering Business in 2019. Resham Sutra designs, manufactures and commercialises machines for silk yarn and fabric production, with solar-powered machines using 10% of the power of a standard motorised machine with associated reduction in costs.
Kunal Vaid, Founder and CEO of Resham Sutra said: “The Ashden award helped us gain better visibility and led to our selection for other programmes and funding. The award money helped us to accelerate expansion of operations to complete value chain activities from just equipment manufacturing.”
Other past Ashden Award winners include S4S Technologies which went on to win the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the food category in 2020. Bharatiya Vikas Trust (BVT) won the award in 2021 for its work upskilling bank staff and managers – giving them the knowledge and confidence to lend to renewable energy enterprises and Mahila Housing Trust for its work helping women in urban areas in India tackle heat stress in their homes through low-cost, sustainable home cooling systems.
How can organisations apply?
Organisations should visit the Ashden website to find application forms, detailed descriptions of each award and the award process, and award criteria. The website also features more about past winners and the benefits of winning an award.
2023 Award categories (low-income countries):
- The Ashden Award for Skills Powering Energy Access will boost organisations bringing training to marginalised people in low-income countries, recognising the importance of skills in all areas of the energy access sector.
- The Ashden Award for Energising Agriculture will reward those helping off-grid communities grow, store, process and sell their crops.
- The Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions will support the work of Indigenous people and local communities restoring and protecting their territories.
- The Ashden Award for Energising Refugees and Displaced People will accelerate clean energy solutions helping refugees raise their incomes – and so look forward to a more secure life and brighter future.