Charity scoops top prize at global green energy awards

The National Trust have won a top prize at the prestigious Ashden Awards ceremony, recognising achievements in green energy.

The pioneering work of the charity in Wales in almost halving energy use and CO2 emissions in just two years was recognised as the most outstanding achievement in green energy throughout the UK in the event at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Judges of the Ashden Awards were impressed by the conservation charity’s dynamic, common sense approach to saving energy, improving energy efficiency, and producing green energy in their continued drive to make the National Trust in Wales energy self sufficient by 2020.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Ashden Founder-Director, said: “The National Trust’s work stood out for its strategic vision, its thorough approach, its expertise, and for getting everyone on board, from cleaners through to senior management.

“Most impressive of all, it has shown that if huge energy savings can be made in historic listed buildings, they can be made in any building”.

Now in their 12th year, the Ashden Awards champion practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, boost economies and improve people’s lives in the UK and developing world.

Keith Jones, National Trust Wales Environmental Adviser, said: “Winning the Ashden award is a fantastic achievement and recognition of the Fit For The Future energy work and approach of the National Trust in Wales.

“The charity exists to preserve cultural and natural heritage, so the money saved through greater energy efficiency and through producing our own energy from renewable sources can be channelled towards this vital work.

“The award and support from Ashden is assisting us to now look at the possibility of setting up a company to help others save energy and look at appropriate renewable technologies on older buildings.”

The reductions in energy use are now saving the charity £280,000 a year, and have cut its annual CO2 emissions by 1,700 tonnes.  Over the last two years more than one hundred Trust properties in Wales have been insulated, and numerous solar, hydro and ground source heat pump power systems have been installed generating over 700MWh a year.

The National Trust is to reduce its use of fossil fuels across England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 50 per cent by 2020. The move will cut the Trust’s carbon emissions from energy use for heat and electricity by 45 per cent.

Kevin McCloud of Channel Four’s Grand Designs and presenting the £20,000 Ashden Gold Award to the National Trust said: “Among all the weapons in our armoury in the fight against climate change, the Ashden Awards is a powerful one.

“By celebrating human change – in how we live, how we travel, how we build and maintain our homes, how we invest – it shows us what’s possible for us all to achieve.”

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