Climate charity Ashden has revealed the finalists for its 2023 awards – the pioneers who are delivering an inclusive, sustainable future.
Three of eight award categories focus on the UK. Finalists from London to Liverpool are changing our relationship with nature and delivering the new technologies and funding models essential for reaching net zero.
The Ashden Award for Future Farmers backs pioneers developing skills for sustainable land management.
Agriculture is responsible for 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, but a growing number of consumers are interested in how their food is produced.
New rules are to set to channel government subsidies to farmers who work more sustainably.
The two finalists are Black Mountains College in Wales and FarmEd in the Cotswolds (see details below).
The Ashden Award for Energy Innovation will reward an organisation with the potential to create large-scale impact.
The key drivers of UK energy use include our homes; 19 million properties need upgrading to become more energy efficient by 2035.
Taking on this challenge will create work, tackle fuel poverty and social inequality.
The two finalists are The Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) in London and tepeo in Reading.
Finally, the Ashden Award for Nature Recoverers celebrates inclusive, community-focused adaptation initiatives.
Restoring and protecting waterways and green spaces will lessen the impact of extreme weather – such as the record-breaking heat of 2022.
Projects delivered with local people also boost health and wellbeing, and can be a gateway for more of us to get involved in climate action.
The two finalists in this category are Liverpool City Council’s Urban GreenUP project and Thames 21/Enfield Council in London.
‘Our finalists are boundary-pushing pioneers cutting emissions and restoring nature. Crucially, they show how green jobs and community projects can drive a just transition and more equal society.
‘This blows apart the ridiculous idea that net zero will make us all worse off. Politicians should put our finalists and other trailblazers at the heart of inclusive, ambitious plans for a sustainable future.
‘They are taking on urgent national challenges, like upgrading homes and changing our relationship with the environment. But they can’t do it alone – investment and sympathetic policies are absolutely essential.’
DR STEPHEN HALL
Head of Awards at Ashden
The 2023 Ashden Awards also feature five categories focused on energy access and natural climate solutions in the Global South.
ASHDEN AWARD FOR ENERGY INNOVATION
Accelerating the UK’s net zero journey
The Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust, London: originating carbon credits to unlock funds to support UK homes in need of retrofitting.
tepeo, Reading: tepeo’s Zero Emission Boiler (ZEB®) is a plug-n-play replacement for existing fossil fuel boilers, that works with a hot water tank to deliver low carbon and low cost home heating in the UK.
ASHDEN AWARD FOR LOCAL NATURE RECOVERERS
Celebrating inclusive, community-focused adaptation initiatives
Liverpool City Council, Liverpool: 40 URBAN GreenUP projects range from green walls and rain gardens to mobile forests – with 120,000 residents benefiting from the work.
Thames 21/Enfield Council, London: 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
Black Mountain College, Wales: supports climate action and adaptation. Vocational courses teach regenerative approaches to land and woodland management, and are taught in nature, with a focus on creating positive change in the region.
FarmED – Cotswolds: not for profit showing regenerative agriculture in action, and working to transform attitudes to food and farming.
The winners of the Ashden Awards will be announced on 14 November ahead of the COP28 climate summit.