Ashden Awards 2019: Celebrating ten of the best sustainable energy organizations worldwide
Since 2001, the UK-based charity Ashden has recognized more than 200 organizations that are leading the way to a decarbonized world. This year, the Ashden Awards Ceremony was a flagship event during the London Climate Action Week, with ten sustainable energy trailblazers from around the world receiving the prestigious award.
“The outstanding organizations that make up our roster of 2019 winners are truly inspirational, bringing much-needed solutions to the table,” said Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb. “Their practical but clever and economically feasible innovations are just what we need to address the climate emergency. People are feeling overwhelmed by the scale of the emergency but these organizations have all shown the face of the possible. Now we need to get behind them, scale up the solutions and make them the new norm.”
Greening and cooling Medellin
One of the ten awards, the Cooling by Nature Award, was supported by SEforALL and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (K-CEP). This award underscores the vital role trees and vegetation play in regulating temperature and in reducing dangerous levels of heat in cities.
SEforALL’s Director of Policy and Programs Glenn Pearce-Oroz served as one of the judges for the award, which went to the Colombian city of Medellin’s Green Corridors Project. The green corridors have already been effective in decreasing temperatures by two or three degrees Celsius, with bigger reductions expected in the future. They also create other benefits while projecting shades for cyclists and pedestrians, cooling built-up areas and cleaning the air along busy roads. “We chose the Medellin project because of the leadership shown by city authorities to address the new threat of rising temperatures”, said Pearce-Oroz.
Providing reliable energy for health care
Another member of SEforALL's policy team, Jem Porcaro who leads SEforALL’s work on energy and health, served as a judge for the award on Sustainable Energy and Health Care. This year’s winner, India’s Karuna Trust, enables the delivery of more effective health care using solar power and energy-efficient buildings and equipment in areas that suffer up to eight hours of power cuts every day. “The trust’s holistic, integrated and community-driven approach to powering health facilities is really commendable and is a huge reason for its success,” said Porcaro.
Innovators from Mexico, the UK, China, India and Zambia
Sistema.bio from Mexico won the award for Clean Cooking for its simple, affordable biogas system that turns animal waste into cooking fuels and fertilizer. SMV Green from India won the award for Sustainable Mobility for providing electric rickshaws and reliable contracts for India’s first women rickshaw drivers. EQuota Energy from China won the Sustainable Cities and Buildings award for its smart energy management software. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia received the Innovative Finance award by reducing the risk for businesses to enter the country’s off-grid energy market. Resham Sutra from India received the Powering Business award for its affordable electric reeling machines used for silk production. The other 2019 Ashden Award winners included three companies from the UK: Highview Power won the Energy Innovation award for ground-breaking battery technology, the London Borough of Waltham Forest won the award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities for its ambitious clean air project, and Energiesprong UK won the UK Sustainable Buildings award for its solution to retrofit homes to cut carbon emissions.
The Seven for 7 celebration of leadership and innovation
On the evening of 24 September on the sidelines of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, SEforALL will host Seven for 7 to celebrate those who are making a significant contribution towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7). The event will also feature some of the Ashden Award winners.