Abundance wins gold at Ashden

Lord Nicholas Stern opening Ashden Awards 2014. Photo credit: Andrew Aitchison/Ashden.
 By Anders Lorenzen
The world renowned climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, famous for his 2006 report on climate economics ‘The Stern Report’, opened this year’s Ashden Awards taking place last week at the Royal Geographic Society.

The yearly sustainability awards handed out recognises success both locally and globally and in total 14 awards were given.

In the UK category all eyes were placed on successful crowdfunding platform Abundance Generation, who are on a high having just picked up the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014. Abundance Generation are revolutionising and democratising renewable investment in the UK, and allows you to invest as little as £5. So far, 1000 people have invested £5 million in renewable energy projects across the UK.

And they did not disappoint, picking up the Ashden UK Gold Award and the 2014 Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation.
Karl Harder from Abundance receives the Ashden UK Gold Award. Photo credit: Andrew Aitchison/Ashden.
 The Ashden judges explained: “As the UK’s first ever FCA-regulated crowdfunding platform, this is a ground-breaking company with huge potential to boost the renewable energy sector. As well as plugging the big gap in the availability of finance for small renewable energy developments, it’s also giving people a fantastic opportunity to do good and make money at the same time.”
Commenting on the award Karl Harder, Managing Director at Abundance said:
“Winning an award is always a buzz, but an Ashden Award is something quite special. Our vision is to see a democratic and sustainable economy within our generation, where everyone can share in the benefits of clean energy production. This is something Ashden have been championing for many years. Having raised over £5 million in two years for seven renewable energy projects, our aim is to raise £500m by 2020. We see very real demand for positive investments in renewable energy, as people realise making a return doesn’t mean compromising their children’s future.”

In the International category Infosys from India won the International Gold Award. Ashden said the IT giant are leading the way in creating sustainable growth. They have decreased their electricity usage by 44% per staff on all their campuses. Part of this has been achieved by cutting edge new design on their buildings and it has shaved $80 off their energy bills. The company also adopted behavioral changes by banning cars on all their campus sites and encouraged cycling.

St Faith’s school in Cambridge were one two winners in the school category. Not only has the school invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy, but they’re involving the students in the process. Implementing how solar panels work and adopting and installing energy efficiency methods in the school have been part of the education.

The full list of winners can be found here.

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton 

Related news:
Ashden: sustainable energy for women should be top priority

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