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Sustainable City Awards 2014-15

The City of London Sustainable City Awards 2014-15 are now accepting entries from organisations. There are twelve awards available spanning the economy, society and the environment; last year's award winners included Carbon Voyage, Zoological Society of London (double winner) and Abundance Energy.

This year two new categories have been added - Sustainable Places and Health & Wellbeing. The full list is below. Entries close on 14 November 2014 and judging takes place December 2014-end February 2015 with the awards cermony on 23 March 2015 at Mansion House. Entry is free and open across the UK and, in the case of The Farsight Award, worldwide. More information can be found on the website.

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2014 Ashden Awards

Ashden Sustainability InitiativeFirst published on the Cleantech Investor website, 22 May 2014

The 2014 Ashden Awards winners were announced this evening in a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London which included a speech from Lord Stern.

In total, fourteen sustainable energy enterprises from the UK, Europe, Africa, India and Southeast Asia were recognised at the ceremony for tackling climate change and transforming lives, each receiving a prize of up to £40,000.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Founder Director, speaking at the ceremony, identified four key trends in sustainable energy, all of which were reflected in the businesses of the awards winners. The first three are: cheaper solar, sustainable buildings and communications. The fourth reflects the theme of this year's Ashden conference which took place earlier this week, Sustainable Energy for Women and Girls - and has been encapsulated in the Twitter hashtag #volts4women, which has featured in a social media campaign backed by development agencies including DfID and USAID (both sponsors this year).

The UK 'gold' award went to UK company Abundance Generation, which has a crowd funding site for investment in renewable energy and which was the winner of the award for Energy Innovation. The international 'gold' award was won by Infosys, India - which also won the award for Sustainable Buildings.

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Cleantech companies in Sunday Times Tech Track 100

First published 16 September 2013

Cleantech companies have featured prominently amongst this year’s Sunday Times Tech Track 100, which ranks the top 100 UK technology companies by sales growth. Although none made it to the top ten (which seems to be dominated by online finance and marketing solutions), some familiar names were to be found just outside – notably E-Leather at 12 (sales growth 180.8% to £7 million) and AlertMe at 13 (sales growth 169.5% to £13.6 million). Both companies have featured in the GP Bullhound Cleantech Connect Awards in recent years so it’s good to see them in a general award as well – and great to see that there are some cleantech companies growing faster than Wonga.com! E-Leather supplies low cost, light weight, eco friendly coverings for airline seats and other applications. AlertMe is a Smart Home company (see our interviews with their respective CEOs, Chris McBean of ELeather and Mary Turner of AlertMe).

Featuring just outside the top 20, ranking 21 (with 127.6% growth in sales to £9.3 million) was Bowman Power, which has developed a heat recovery system for diesel engines. Fuel cell company Intelligent Energy ranked 27 (with 112.9% growth in sales to £43.9 million).

Also in the top 50 were Evance Wind Turbines (sales growth of 73.8% to £8.6 million), a small wind turbine manufacturer which ranks 47 – and CamSemi, which makes power-saving chips – at 48 (sales growth 69.9% to £9.7 million).

Further down the list, other cleantech companies included Cygnet Group, at 82 (sales growth of 46.5% to £22.8 million), a manufacturer of machinery for lightweight carbon fibre manufacturing; and ECO Plastics, at 98 (sales growth 41.9% to £3.5%), which recycles PET bottles.

The full list is available online at the following link: Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

 

Sustainable Energy Academy / United House scoop Ashden Award!

21 June 2013

United HouseThis year's Ashden UK Gold Award was the Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA), for its parternship with social housing contractor and developer United House to offer a measurement and installation process allowing solid-walled properties to be rapidly insulated. The process, which uses laser scanning and other standard building trade technologies in a novel way, reduces costs by at least a fifth and can potentially cut fuel bills by up to 40%. If the process was rolled out to all 7.8 million of the UK’s hard-to-treat homes, it has been estimated that it could £3 billion pounds and 14 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

According to the Ashden Judges:

"This could play a major role in reducing fuel poverty by keeping homes warm while radically cutting fuel bills. This successful business partnership could revolutionise the home insulation sector, as well as providing new opportunities for employment in the green economy.”

The 2013 Ashden Award winners were announced at an event at the Royal Geographical Society in London last night. The UK Ashden Award winners were: Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) in Cornwall; cleantech innovators Monodraught Ltd and the national fuel poverty charity National Energy Action. Runners up for the UK Awards were: OVESCO, Breathing Buildings and KiWi Power.

Sustrans, whcih is extending the National Cycle Network, received the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel. Runners up for Ashden Eurostar Awards for Sustainable Travel were: Metro and Stagecoach. Hollybush Primary School in Derry, Northern Ireland and South Farnborough Infants School in Hampshire won Ashden School Awards. Runners up for the Ashden School Awards were: Thomas A Becket Middle School, Worthing and Cockermouth School, West Cumbria.

Four International Awards and two Awards for Small Island Developing States were also presented at the ceremony. Solar lantern charity SolarAid received the International Gold Award – worth £40,000 – for its work to distribute simple study lanterns to people in rural East Africa. The charity, which has sold over 500,000 lamps since 2010, is now the largest distributor of solar lights in Africa. The three other international winners were Impact Carbon, WWF DRC and Azuri Technologies. Runners up for the International Awards were: MicroEnergy Credits, OMC Power, and Cookswell Jikos. Runners up for the UK Awards were: OVESCO, Breathing Buildings and KiWi Power.

The World Bank Ashden Awards for Small Island Developing States were won by Cape Verde’s Cabeólica and D&E Green Enterprises of Haiti. Runners up for the Awards for Small Island Developing States were: Green Power and the National Development Bank of Palau.

 

 

No “nuclear winter” in cleantech (Winners of the National Business Plan Competition)

14 June 2013

by Andrew Mitchell of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

SiNode

Venture Capital is broken – at least according to a report last year by the Kauffman Foundation. This was certainly a talking point in Washington DC at the US Department of Energy’s National Business Plan Competition on 12 June 2013. Indeed, someone even dared to mention a “cleantech nuclear winter”. The facts are that in all sectors since 1997 less cash has been returned to investors than they originally invested – which makes negative interest rates from the European Central Bank seem not so insane!

But go figure. If I had a big enough bag of money I would invest in each one of the six finalists pitching at the US Department of Energy’s National Business Plan Competition. With absolute confidence that at least one of them would return all the money back, and more. Add to this the confidence from Andrew Chung at Khosla Ventures that corporate venturing is going to save cleantech, there is no nuclear winter and, as David Danielson said, the world has passed the 400ppm CO2 milestone, so we have to make this work.

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