Researchers at Goldsmiths College, London, are to spearhead a Pounds 300,000 project to encourage staff and students on design and engineering courses to make environmentally friendly designs.
The project is backed by the funding councils as part of the Teaching and Learning Technology Programme, which funds researchers to develop novel teaching and learning materials and resources for degree programmes.
Martin Woolley, head of design studies, said that the project would lead to the production of IT packages and a website offering help in eco-design and examples of best practice.
The Design Council, Royal Society of Arts and Brighton University are also involved in the project and the Open University might join the team.
Professor Woolley said that creating a more sustainable environment was one of the biggest challenges of the new millennium. Awareness of sustainable design varied hugely across courses in the United Kingdom, he said.
A recent government survey found that of 104 design faculties, fewer than half have a policy on teaching sustainability.