Ashden Awards 2010: World’s leading green energy awards announce UK winners
Tonight (1st July) at the Royal Geographical Society, low carbon energy champions from all over the globe were recognised at the 10th annual Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, the world’s leading green energy awards. Businesses, schools, local authorities and charities were among the UK winners, all of whom have made significant carbon savings through the use of renewable energy or energy efficiency measures. The overall UK Gold Award winner is the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust for their outstanding achievements in cutting energy consumption and devising a unique electricity capping system, dramatically reducing household carbon emissions by nearly 50 percent.
The Ashden Awards champion and reward life-changing ideas: from smokeless stoves in Ethiopia, to green schools in the UK, to solar powered education in Bangladesh. Six UK and six international projects were chosen as winners and received their awards from internationally renowned natural history filmmaker Sir David Attenborough. Award winners received £10,000 or £20,000 to invest in future sustainable energy work.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards, said: “Our UK winners demonstrate how local sustainable energy can not only help save the planet, but also transform communities across the UK by creating jobs, regenerating communities, tackling fuel poverty and educating our future citizens to live sustainably”.
David Attenborough said: “These award-winners are champions at delivering practical ways of protecting our planet and its precious biodiversity through the use of sustainable energy. They are reducing carbon emissions and protecting local eco-systems, whilst improving the lives of the people they touch. They deserve to be celebrated for their important role in tackling both climate change and poverty. ”
Six UK organisations won the awards following a rigorous judging process by nine leading experts in the field:
UK Gold Award winner: The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Scotland
This is an island community that has embraced self sufficiency and a radical green lifestyle by carefully managing its energy use, actively encouraging energy-saving in everyone’s daily life and generating 90 percent of its electricity through renewable energy. Using hydro, wind and solar energy, the island’s system is unique, as is their electricity capping scheme that ensures households and businesses keep a constant watch on energy consumption.
Northwards Housing, Manchester
A scheme that has given 70 percent of North Manchester’s social housing a top-to-toe energy efficiency overhaul, bringing tenants real comfort and lower fuel bills, and resulting in serious carbon reductions. The scheme has gone further than most, and beyond the government’s ‘decent home’ standards, particularly impressive for its work on hard-to-treat properties, where CO2 emissions have fallen by up to 60 percent.
Suffolk County Council, Ipswich
This forward-looking Council is making big strides towards sustainability by helping local schools switch their oil-fired boilers to greener wood-fired boilers and boosting Suffolk’s supply chain for biomass fuel through sustainable forestry. The County Council is creating local jobs in recession-hit times, and boosting the potential for biomass in the region.
Willis Renewable Energy Systems, Belfast
The Solasyphon is a plumbing innovation that speeds up and simplifies the retro-fitting of solar water heating in existing homes, saving the cost of buying a new water tank. 2,500 have been sold, with installations going ahead in many overseas markets as well as the UK.
Okehampton College, Okehampton, Devon
Students, staff and governors of this dynamic secondary school in Devon are heading towards carbon neutrality with an exciting array of energy-saving activities both inside and outside the college gates, while inspiring and supporting their eleven feeder primary schools to follow suit.
St Columb Minor, Newquay, Cornwall
The Eco Team and staff at this primary school are taking a practical but fun-packed approach to driving energy use down by making eco pledges in class and at home, generating energy with wind and solar, and giving their building a green overhaul with £120,000-worth of funding.