The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust was ahead of its time, winning an Ashden Award in 2010, presented to them by Sir David Attenborough. (by Andy Aitchison)

AS Scotland prepares to host the world’s biggest climate summit in November, COP26, one of the UK’s leading climate solutions charities, Ashden, is calling for Scottish climate innovators to apply for this year’s prestigious Ashden Awards which will be hosted in Glasgow for the first time.

Scottish businesses, charities, and public sector bodies can earn global recognition by entering the Ashden Awards – which reward innovation in sustainability and climate action and in building greener communities. The deadline for entry is 3 March.

Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb said: “The planet is crying out for proven climate action and clean energy solutions in this crucial climate decade.  The Ashden Awards are coming to Scotland for the first time to coincide with the COP26 climate summit and we are calling on Scottish low carbon initiatives to enter for the Awards and showcase their pioneering work.”

This year’s UK awards  include prizes for:

  • Green Skills – highlighting organisations developing badly needed skills for retrofit and low carbon heat. Applicants could be upskilling existing contractors, retraining workers new to the low carbon sector, or providing initial training for those new to the job market. 
  • Green Communities – recognising initiatives that makes climate action relevant to the everyday lives of citizens and the things they care about, with particular attention on engaging beyond typical ‘green audiences’. It will seek to reward work that demonstrates how climate action can cut carbon and tackle social issues (such as poor mental or physical health) at the same time.
  • Climate Innovation – targeting organisations with the potential to unlock significant carbon savings – advances in energy systems (particularly heating), the built environment, and industrial innovation supporting a circular economy. 

Ms Lamb continues: “COP26 will be a pivotal moment in our response to the climate emergency. With the eyes of the world on Glasgow, Scottish innovators can show that solutions to the crisis already exist – which also help build a fairer, better society. You may be working with an organisation protecting the landscape, be part of a local businesses or council training your workforce in green skills, or building up a low carbon businesses in renewable energy, nature conservation or construction – whatever it is, we want to hear from you.”

Many of the solutions to climate change already exist, but too often big conferences fail to spotlight these practical innovations with the power to help realise the shift to a low-carbon world.  Ashden gets behind these breakthroughs and helps them go to scale through providing long-term support to the climate champions who become finalists at the Awards.

Ashden Awards are open for low carbon innovators in Scotland, such as this previous winner, Smarter Grid Solutions which worked with the University of Strathclyde to improve electricity network management distribution around the UK, increasing the cost efficiency and usage of renewable energy: by Andy Aitchison.

For 20 years Ashden has showcased innovation from the UK and abroad to investors, funders, the media and global decisions makers such as the UN. An Ashden Award is a globally-recognised mark of quality that helps innovators boost their impact.

Award winners in the UK receive £10,000 and business support, as well as chances to engage with local, regional and national policymakers. 

Past UK winners have included low carbon innovations among businesses, councils and community organisations – from multinational companies to tech start-ups and local voluntary groups. The Ashden network of organisations spreads across the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. International Awards are also given.