Centre for Research in Computer Science and Applications

Smart and pervasive technologies for environmental sustainability 

Changing policy and practice, improving performance and promoting sustainability across a number of sectors.

Smart and pervasive technologies for environmental sustainability 

The challenge

The European Green Deal is a climate action that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through research and innovation so that by 2050, the EU could attain climate-neutrality. According to the Smarter2030 report (by Gesi), smart and pervasive technologies is a central pillar in the response to climate change. The key targets for EU 2030 are at least: 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels); 32% share of renewable energy; 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency.

Leeds Beckett Sustainable IT research team is active in the following research:

  • Data centre
  • ICT infrastructure and devices
  • Energy monitoring
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy storage and smart energy management systems

The Approach


PERCCOM is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) in Pervasive Computing and Communications for Sustainable Development. Transnational education provision through PERCCOM effects knowledge transfer through sharing of technology amongst 13 universities from 10 different countries, six industrial partners and two NGOs. EMJMD GENIAL is PERCCOM’s successor and its main focus is also Green IT and through this project, approximately 100 IT professionals or engineers are expected to be trained from 2020-2025.

  • Data centre energy efficiency

Our research on data centre energy efficiency is supported by the project entitled ‘Measuring Data Centre Efficiency’ funded through JISC Greening ICT initiative (2010). This research encompasses deployment of varying levels of granularity for the measurement of energy use for individual and aggregated devices in a physical data centre. It also provides real experimental data for the calculation of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), trends and comparative analysis of the data centreenergy efficiency.

  • Grid integrated PV-battery energy system

Grid integrated PV-battery energy-related research conducted at LBU encompasses the modelling of combined PV arrays and multiple storage solutions (such as battery and hydrogen reservoir with electrolyser-fuel cells) and hybrid energy storage system (such as battery, thermal storage heaters, and water cylinder). Modelling includes the grid feature where energy drawn from the grid is stored in the energy storage devices when demand, price and carbon intensity of grid electricity is low.

The impact

Leeds Beckett University sustainability research has contributed to impact in three areas:

  • Impact on public bodies

Data centre energy efficiency research work conducted with ENEA through PERCCOM results in the impact of changes in job scheduling for processing applications at the operational level policy. The impact of the job scheduler algorithm would affect an estimated 7-15% energy savings (due to a better managed and efficient cooling system with 25% of the cooling machines being shut down) for the use case data centre. A conclusion that could be drawn is a corresponding reduction of 7-15% on carbon emissions.

  • Impact on IT professionals and engineers

Interviews with seven PERCCOM students / alumni reveals changed lives (social, cultural outlook, sustainability and green IT awareness, and technological skills). A total of 88 students from 39 different countries across the globe have been trained in pervasive computing and communication with embedded green IT skills. A survey conducted on PERCCOM alumni reveals that more than 75% of them have acknowledged the importance of green ICT in the industry, 44% are in academia (including PhD study), 40% in specialist IT jobs and 16% in non-IT jobs.

  • Impact on local authorities and housing associations

This involved the installation of low-carbon technologies in 100 social homes (in the UK, Ireland and France) to reduce carbon emissions by 215 tonnes/year. This contributes to social housing policy impact that aims to enhance quality of life and green strategy (for example, Neolia, France; Carbery Housing Association, Ireland; Oldham City Council, First Choice Homes, Wakefield District Housing Association, UK). The underlying research is photovoltaic array combined with multiple hybrid energy storage system.

PERCCOM Master Program Stuents from the PERCCOM Masters programme talk about what it means to them

  • Engineering, computing and sustainability
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