An introduction to what you need to know about ICT and sustainability in the education sector

ICT and Sustainability

Technology changes frequently, and trying to spot the next big thing can be very frustrating. It can feel even worse when the next big thing does come along, and we aren’t as prepared as we could be, and our response can feel rushed and not thought through well enough. For ICT in Education, one of the biggest changes coming is the move to more sustainable solutions. It’s an inevitability given the Government’s climate change targets as we need to find ways of cutting our energy consumption and moving to renewable sources. We also need to consider the carbon footprint of the things we consume and use – technology included.

So why is sustainability so important for ICT, and why, particularly in the context of Education? ICT usage has grown vastly over the last 10 to 15 years, and technology is now an intrinsic part of a school’s ability to deliver. At the same time, energy consumption for ICT within schools has grown and, on average, now accounts for 40 to 45 percent of all electric usage. This makes ICT one of the biggest consumers of electricity, and for many of the systems in use, they will be consuming power even when there are no pupils in the building. In fact, nearly 30 per cent of the electricity consumed by ICT in the average school is consumed out of hours – either at night, at weekends, or during the holidays.


ICT is now being refreshed at a shorter point in its lifecycle than even five years ago, as technology changes rapidly, which means that the overall carbon footprint of ICT in schools is also increasing. It may well feel like technology is at odds with the sustainability agenda, but it doesn’t have to be if sustainability is considered during the ICT procurement process. Solutions are beginning to emerge that can help reduce both the energy consumption and the carbon footprint of ICT solutions in schools. Manufacturers and suppliers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of developing, delivering, and supplying sustainable ICT solutions to the education sector.


enFrame has been working with a broad range of suppliers, schools, trusts, and government agencies for some years to understand how sustainability can be integrated into the ICT procurement lifecycle. As a result, we have now launched our own ICT framework, which is geared towards schools and has sustainable solutions at its heart. Over the next few months, we will be publishing a range of blogs that look deeper into the challenges of sustainability and ICT in schools and the various solutions that are being developed and trialled now. We will also look deeper into the procurement lifecycle for ICT in schools to understand how you could change your approach to buying and delivering ICT and how the new enFrame ICT framework can help you to move towards more sustainable ICT in school.

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