Barriers to Participation in the Scottish Carbon and Energy Management Project and the UK SUSTE-TECH Project

By Nicola Hogan, Carlos Jimenez-Bescos and Ian Frame.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 14, 2015 $US5.00

This paper examines the outcomes of two sustainable ICT projects that ran concurrently from 2008 until 2012. Both projects, (the Scotland Energy and Carbon Management Project and the UK SUSTE-TECH Project) were designed to examine the energy demand of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in universities and colleges. The projects also had an additional purpose; implementing sustainable initiatives that would result in energy and cost savings. This paper also includes information on the use of ICT in further and higher education institutions (FHE’s) and the integral role ICT plays in education and research. Using an inductive positivistic methodology and a mixed method approach, with both qualitative and quantitative methods of research, this paper examines 7 key factors that may have affected institutions ability to participate fully in those projects. Those key factors were; lacking managers, disjointed stakeholder engagement, institutional culture, government organisations as weak drivers, budget holders collective action in buying ICT equipment, poorly performing sustainable technology and cuts in funding to institutions. From those 7 factors, 5 of them are identified as being key barriers to participation in sustainable ICT projects. For some institutions, it was a combination of more than one factor, for others just one and for some it was none. Essentially, the findings of this paper highlighted the inability of institutions to participate fully in their respective sustainable (or green) ICT projects and thereby fail to achieve their anticipated cost and carbon savings. Findings also included the fact that both projects produced similar outcomes despite being run in different parts of the UK. This paper concludes that there is considerable overlap between each of the 7 factors with one of the factors (cuts in funding) appearing to underpin most of the others. Some of the factors are interconnected and may, when coupled with one or more factor, be considered a more significant barrier. Alternatively, while some barriers appear to be connected, others appear to be isolated and bear no relation or have any connection to any of the other factors.

Keywords: Sustainable ICT, Barriers, Cost Savings, Higher Education.

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 10, Issue 3-4, September 2015, pp.1-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 14, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 758.024KB)).

Nicola Hogan

Professional Doctorate Researcher, Department of Engineering and the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, London, UK

Dr. Carlos Jimenez-Bescos

Senior Lecturer, Engineering and the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Dr. Ian Frame

Reader, Engineering and the Built Environment, Anglia Ruskin University, UK