Our world is changing, and we need to change with it.

More extreme weather events, rising temperatures and ongoing emissions require collective effort from all of us. The next generation demands action– and schools are on the frontline in driving real, lasting change.

At Education Horizons we take this mission seriously and we are working hard to support schools to make sustainability front and centre of their communities. As part of this work, schools are increasingly exploring how our category leading software products and services can help them reduce waste, become more efficient and help shape the next generation of climate warriors.

In this blog we outline four key ways our software can help your school become more sustainable for today and for the future!

1. Free yourself – and the world – from paper!

Imagine a world where every person in your school has all the information they need to do their job, without ever touching a filing cabinet, a piece of paper or a wastepaper basket.

Imagine up to date information on every student, every class, every activity and every payment – in the hands of the right person at the right time, at the click of a button.

This is the dream of great education technology. And guess what? The dream is already here!

“Our shift to a paperless environment has made a big difference. With no more physical diaries, letters, weekly newsletters, etc we rely on Engage’s digital tools for improved communication and collaboration, ensuring a sustainable and environmentally conscious future”
Patricia Echessa-Kariuki, Head Teacher, Rusinga Schools

Our software solutions, including our Engage School Management Information System, provide unparalleled flexibility to create and automate workflows across School operations, Teaching and Finance – all in one system and all without a scrap of paper.

Whether its admissions, timetables, academic progress tracking, pupil wellbeing or parent fees and payments – Engage lets you build and automate workflows to connect every member of your school community.

For schools this means… less paper!

“All the steps involved in creating paper including wood extraction, processing, production, transportation, use, and disposal have significant impacts on the environment. Reducing paper use is the most effective way to lessen these impacts.”
Going Paperless in the Workplace – Sustainability – University of Queensland (uq.edu.au)

Do your bit for sustainability and become a paper-less school with Education Horizons and Engage, today!

2. Energy efficient software? Yes!

“How can software be energy efficient?”

Let us explain…

Every piece of software in the world relies on hardware to run – servers, air conditioners, buildings etc. For many schools, this hardware runs on-site and has to be available at a moment’s notice to deal with peak pressure on the system – think booking times for parent’s evening and activities or think about academic reporting time. These systems require energy input and temperature control to maintain performance under all conditions, making them a continuous drag on the energy grid.

More and more schools around the world have already moved their software to the cloud – where systems are run in huge data-centres built, operated and secured by some of the world’s leading companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

These companies are able to use their scale to invest huge amounts in the design and construction of their data centres – making them inherently more energy efficient and easier to cool. Likewise, they use this scale to invest in the most sophisticated analytic technology to efficiently manage operation and power load to meet need as it’s required.

Overall this means huge energy efficiency gains by working together to host school software in the cloud.

“Our scale allows us to achieve higher resource utilization and energy efficiency than the typical on-premise data center. Multiple studies conducted by 451 Research found that moving on-premises workloads to AWS can lower customers’ workload carbon footprint by nearly 80% and up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy. Our infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed U.S. enterprise data centers and up to 5 times more energy efficient than the average European enterprise data center”
The Carbon Reduction Opportunity of Moving to AWS by 451 Research

Education Horizons has formed a strategic partnership with AWS to provide cloud-hosting options for all of our products – including our third-generation cloud-native platform Zunia.

By making this transition, schools can capture all of the benefits of the Cloud including better security, lower total costs, convenience, reliability and accessibility – and all while shifting away from the costs and energy inefficiency of on-premise hosting.

3. Sustainable buildings and grounds

How well do you really understand the energy efficiency of your school? Does your power company provide an emissions report with your bill? Great – but what comes next? Turning off lights and energy-using devices when you can is a great first step. But what about the buildings and grounds and services you use every day?

Increasingly schools are understanding that the materials and systems they use to build and run their classrooms, offices and other buildings have a significant impact on energy use. Selecting the most energy efficient materials, designs and systems is vital when it comes to new buildings. But existing buildings often use materials from an earlier time.

For schools wanting to seriously manage their energy efficiency and sustainability, this begins with creating a digital twin of your current buildings, grounds and assets to provide visibility in one place of the different materials and systems your school is made of. Once you have this digital twin in place, here are some critical sustainability steps you can take:

  • Use your digital twin to identify and record the relative energy efficiency and even energy use of different buildings, structures and systems to see where you are using the most energy
  • Overlay your master plan on your digital twin to ensure your future building schedule is addressing efficiency priorities as much as possible
  • Use your digital twin to design an asset maintenance program that systematically and efficiently delivers a whole of life asset management plan
  • Build a schedule for upgrading to energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling as part of your ongoing school maintenance plan

“One of the things our school believes is that the environment is the second teacher. We strive to make sure the environment is at a standard that nurtures and promotes student wellbeing. We appreciate AssetWhere FM, it truly makes a difference because it gives us the power to manage and maintain our school environment for our students.”
Jesie Montgomery, Property Manager Assistant, Beaconhills College

Education Horizons’ AssetWhere and AssetWhere Facilities Management software are designed to give schools visibility over their buildings, grounds, assets, systems and maintenance work schedules. By creating a digital twin of your school’s property and assets in AssetWhere, you will be able to visualise and plan for your school’s long-term sustainability in one place.

Together with AssetWhere Facilities Management you will be able to design and execute a seamless maintenance schedule, coordinating and recording outside contractor works and budgets, to achieve the full life of every part of your school’s physical environment.

“Renovation and new school construction materials should be selected for their durability and their potential reuse/recycling. Roofing material can be selected that is environmentally friendly and durable. Materials that have longer life expectancy minimize the volume of waste entering landfills.”
Background and Overview – Sustainable School Buildings – LibGuides at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Transparency and visibility are often the first steps in any change journey.

By creating and managing a digital twin of your school’s grounds, buildings, assets and systems, you can use this visibility to begin the important work of creating a truly energy efficient and sustainable school for your community.

4. Teaching the next generation

The United Nations released their sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. In that time this powerful document has helped bring governments, companies and communities around the world together to focus on the most impactful steps we can all take to make a more sustainable world.

In many places individual schools have taken up this challenge with gusto! Today schools around the world are aligning their operations and their curriculum to the SDGs, ensuring students are becoming aware of our shared mission and how they can work to achieve it.

In parallel with this work, a growing number of school systems, jurisdictions and countries around the world have incorporated the SDGs into their standard curriculum.

“To contain global warming before it reaches catastrophic levels means addressing environmental, social and economic issues in a holistic way. UNESCO’s ESD for 2030 education programme aims to bring about the personal and societal transformation that is necessary to change course. ”
Education for sustainable development | UNESCO

Education Horizons’ Engage SMIS and SEQTA Learning and Wellbeing system are purpose-built to give schools flexibility to design their curriculum.

The flexibility in Engage’s curriculum management, and the power of SEQTA’s collaborative planning and curriculum design tools, mean many Education Horizons schools are already incorporating the SDGs into their curriculum.

At the more innovative end of the spectrum, our Teaching and Learning specialist Kim Edwards has worked with many learning leaders around the world to explore how they can use the SDGs as cross-curriculum learning that connects different traditional learning subjects and domains.

With the right technology, schools can take the SDGs and turn them into a learning framework to engage pupils and build the next generation of climate leaders.

School sustainability through Ed-Tech

These are just four of the ways you can use the right education technology tools to improve your school’s sustainability.

By partnering with Education Horizons, you can elevate your school’s sustainability mission and prepare the next generate to create a truly sustainable world.

Reach out to one of our team to learn more!

Contact Us

Optimise your school with Education Horizons Edtech solutions. Talk to our experts about how we can help you today. Call +61 1800 498 642 or +44 193 540 3020 or email sales@educationhorizons.com