Technology helps green shift

Becta is showing its commitment to the government's Zero Carbon Taskforce by working closely with schools to ensure their ICT usage is managed efficiently.

Becta said that it recognises the potential environmental impact when using ICT in schools, and has developed a range of guidelines and initiatives to allow schools to cut their carbon emissions and encourage sustainable ICT.

Becta has developed the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) to improve the management of ICT services in education.  Professional qualifications for ICT technicians are now also available and include a process for energy conservation, which helps trained technicians cut the amount of power used by school ICT.

In addition, Becta has developed and is disseminating tools which encourage the better use of computer power to help schools to monitor their usage.  For example, Becta's ICT carbon footprint comparison tool compares the electricity used by different ICT products allowing schools to increase efficiency. 

Becta is also embedding environmental criteria in its new procurement arrangements. This will ensure that schools can buy, implement and manage energy-efficient products more effectively.

Stephen Lucey, Becta’s executive director strategic technologies, said: "Becta is committed to supporting the government taskforce to get schools on the 'Road to Zero Carbon'. We are working with local authorities, schools, governors, heads and teachers to advise them on small changes that they can make to reduce their carbon footprint. The saving of just one watt of power all day every day from each school computer would equate to about £1.8 million, or almost 9,400 tonnes’ CO2, savings across England."

Throughout 2010 and beyond, Becta will work with the ICT industry to take better advantage of the benefits of broadband, energy meters and innovative technologies to reduce overall consumption and emissions.