The Big Green Challenge was NESTA’s £1 million challenge prize designed to stimulate and support community-led responses to climate change.
Through the Big Green Challenge, we aimed to uncover what support these communities needed to transform their bright ideas into viable solutions that will improve all of our lives.
In early 2008, 355 groups came forward with a wide range of imaginative and practical ideas for reducing CO2 emissions in their communities.
We selected 100 of the most promising groups, who received support from the Big Green Challenge team to develop their ideas into detailed plans. From this group, we shortlisted ten finalists who then put their ideas into practice to compete for the £1 million prize.
They had until October 2009 to reduce CO2 emissions in their community, and after evaluating their success, a panel of judges chose the winners and they were announced in Februrary 2010.
The finalists reduced CO2 emissions in their communities by between 10–46% in the Big Green Challenge delivery year.
Find out more about all of the Big Green Challenge finalists and their stories here.
The winners of the Big Green Challenge, each receiving £300,000 to develop further their community-based carbon reduction schemes, are:
There was also one runner-up, receiving £100,000
To find out more watch the Big Green Challenge video.
Read the latest Big Green Challenge evaluation report here.
If you'd like a fuller version of the report, please contact Alice Casey.
The Big Green Challenge showcased some extra-ordinary examples of people and groups working in communities to tackle climate change.
At a time when action on climate change is ever more urgent and there are calls from government for communities to take more of a lead in civil society, there is an increasing demand to understand how these extra-ordinary communities can contribute to galvanising further action in other communities; turning 'dormant' communities into 'working' communities.
Building on the some of what we learned about community-led innovation with our Big Green Challenge, we are exploring how to achieve scale, replication and growth in community projects. How do communities diffuse their ideas across to other communities and what support can be given to rapidly accelerate this process?
Based on the lessons we've learnt from running the Big Green Challenge, we've written a guide on how to use social prize challenges to promote what we're calling "people-powered public services".
Following on from the Big Green Challenge, the Big Green Diffusion project sets out to explore ways of encouraging the take-up of green initiatives at scale.
The winners, each receiving £300,000 to develop further their community-based carbon reduction schemes, are:
- The Green Valleys, Brecon
- Isle of Eigg, Green island
- Household Energy Service,
The runner-up, receiving £100,000, is: - Low Carbon West Oxford
To find out more about the Big Green Challenge, watch the movie or the event video.
Read the latest evluation report.