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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview and to discuss the following issues: most often, discussions about Information and communication technology (ICT

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview and to discuss the following issues: most often, discussions about Information and communication technology (ICT) sustainability focus on environmental issues; however, there are other aspects referring to ICT internal sustainability and to its role as a tool in managing general sustainability issues. The way to handle ICT sustainability issues is also significant.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses and investigates various aspects of ICT sustainability, and of methods to handle these issues and make decisions.

Findings

Classical philosophy and psychological empirical research on decision-making demonstrate the way to take care of ICT sustainability issues. This way is philosophizing, which has to be trained and supported for people and organizations involved to acquire the necessary skills and to use suitable methods.

Originality/value

The paper highlights other significant aspects of ICT sustainability rather than the environmental impact alone. It also proposes focus on the way ICT sustainability issues are handled rather than focus on normative or ideological aspects of it.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2017

Lorenz M. Hilty and Patrizia Huber

Sustainable development (SD) does not usually form part of the curriculum of ICT-related study programs such as Computer Science, Information Technology, Information…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable development (SD) does not usually form part of the curriculum of ICT-related study programs such as Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Systems, and Informatics. However, many topics form a bridge between SD and ICT and could potentially be integrated into ICT-related study programs. This paper reports the findings of a study into which specific topics in the field of SD have the greatest potential to motivate students on ICT-related study programs to engage with the topic of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

In this exploratory study, the authors evaluated Bachelor’s and Master’s courses that introduced the topic of SD to students on ICT-related study programs. The evaluation focuses on the insights that the students gained into sustainability and the extent to which their motivation to engage with the subject was increased. The evaluation combines qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Findings

The authors identify five thematic clusters with the greatest potential to motivate students to engage with the topic of sustainability: A conceptual model of the positive and negative impacts of ICT; Reports on the recycling of ICT hardware; Examples of using ICT to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on the substitution of virtual for physical presence; Statistical data on post-industrial seemingly dematerialized economies and the contradiction with regard to the total material demand of such economies; Evidence for rebound effects that lead to increasing demand for goods or services that are produced with less energy input or can be consumed faster.

Originality/value

ICT is a transformational and to a certain extent disruptive technology. It is therefore important to discuss the development of ICT and its applications in the context of SD. Several authors have pointed out the need to integrate the topic of sustainability into ICT courses at universities and similar, but few have discussed how this can be done in practice. Our study is the first to explore which topics have the greatest potential to motivate students on ICT-related programs to engage with the area of SD.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2018

Ewa Ziemba

The purpose of this paper is to advance the information society research by examining and better understanding the impact of the adoption information and communication…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance the information society research by examining and better understanding the impact of the adoption information and communication technologies (ICT) within households on improving sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey questionnaire was used and data collected from 679 Polish households were statistically analyzed to understand the phenomena of ICT adoption and sustainability as well as identify correlations between them.

Findings

The research findings reveal that the ICT adoption is well described by the ICT outlay, information culture, ICT management and ICT quality, whereas sustainability is composed of ecological, economic, socio-cultural and political sustainability. Furthermore, the ICT quality, ICT management and information culture have a significant impact on sustainability, whereas the ICT outlay does not have such an impact.

Research limitations/implications

The research sample included Polish households only. Researchers may use the proposed approach and methodology to do similar analyses with different sample groups in other countries.

Practical implications

Households may find the results appealing and useful in enhancing the adoption of ICT, experiencing the full potential of ICT and deriving various benefits from the ICT adoption. The findings can help governments develop sound ICT adoption plans for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Originality/value

The paper provides and verifies a new theoretical model of sustainable information society to depict various dimensions shaping the ICT adoption and their impact on different types of sustainability in the context of households.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Per Fors and Jolanda van Rooijen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of information and communication technology (ICT) for promoting environmental sustainability in a changing society…

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1762

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of information and communication technology (ICT) for promoting environmental sustainability in a changing society. Isolated studies exist, but few take a holistic view. Derived from a Marxian tradition, the authors propose Ecological World Systems Theory (WST) as a holistic framework to assess the environmental impact of ICT. The theory is adapted responding to theoretical critiques of absence of change, namely state-centrism and structuralism.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical study. Empirical examples derived from already published literature.

Findings

Ecological WST focuses on the unequal distribution of environmental degradation, sees technological development as a zero-sum game rather than cornucopia and holds that technology is often seen as a fetish in today ' s society. The findings are that popular discourses on ICT and sustainability are since the 1990s becoming increasingly cornucopian, while conditions in the ICT value chain are less cornucopian.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical contributions to Marxian critiques of ICT, with more environmental focus than earlier Marxian critiques, for example Fuchs’ work. Develop a theoretical framework for ICT and sustainability which could be compared with works of e.g. Hilty, Patrignani and Whitehouse. The work is mostly based on existing empirical studies, which is a limitation.

Practical implications

This theoretical framework implies that unequal environmental degradation in different parts of the world should be taken into account when assessing environmental impact, for example by means of LCA.

Social implications

The framework brings together questions of environmental effects of ICT and global justice.

Originality/value

The authors apply a rarely discussed theoretical framework to ICT and environmental sustainability. By doing this the authors suggest how the discourses and the value chain of ICT is intrinsically tied to the world system.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Kirti Nayal, Rakesh Raut, Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour, Balkrishna Eknath Narkhede and Vidyadhar V. Gedam

This article sheds light on the missing links concerning the study of using integrated enabling technologies toward sustainable and circular agriculture supply chains by…

Abstract

Purpose

This article sheds light on the missing links concerning the study of using integrated enabling technologies toward sustainable and circular agriculture supply chains by examining the available literature and proposing future research possibilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The relevant literature was researched through online databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, Emerald, IEEE Xplore, Science Direct, World Scientific Net and Springer-Link Journals, covering a period from 1999 to 2020. A systematic literature review based on 75 papers analyzed the integration of the concepts of enabling technologies, sustainability, circular economy and supply chain performance in agriculture supply chains.

Findings

It was identified that enabling technologies and agriculture supply chains alone have been explored further than integrated enabling technologies, sustainability, circular economy, supply chain performance and agriculture supply chains. Enabling technologies and agriculture supply chains' main findings are: enabling technologies have been studied to improve food safety, food quality and traceability in agriculture supply chains. The main results regarding integrated enabling technologies, sustainability, circular economy, supply chain performance and agriculture supply chains are: Internet of Things and information communication technology play an important role in addressing food security, traceability and food quality, which help achieve sustainable development goals.

Originality/value

This review study provides 13 research questions to underpin future trends regarding integrated technologies' application in agriculture supply chains for circular and sustainable growth.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2007

Simon Forge

The paper aims to examine the contribution of information and communication technology (ICT) to climate change, the origins of ICT unsustainability and explores some

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2201

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the contribution of information and communication technology (ICT) to climate change, the origins of ICT unsustainability and explores some possible remedies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a variety of sources to survey the many problems of sustainable ICTs; their energy consumption trends; planned obsolescence; hazardous materials and hazardous disposal; and analyses the way forward.

Findings

Highlights the unsustainability of many ICT trends, e.g. power consumption in data centers, and the extent to which ICT affects progress towards an economy's environmental sustainability.

Originality/value

This paper provides a novel approach to ICT sustainability, highlighting unsustainability of current software technology and related hardware trends, especially the threat of operating systems to planetary sustainability, as well as the growing power consumption trends in data centers.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2017

Margarita Angelidou, Artemis Psaltoglou, Nicos Komninos, Christina Kakderi, Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos and Anastasia Panori

This paper investigates the potential contribution of smart city approaches and tools to sustainable urban development in the environment domain. Recent research has…

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2868

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the potential contribution of smart city approaches and tools to sustainable urban development in the environment domain. Recent research has highlighted the need to explore the relation of smart and sustainable cities more systematically, focusing on practical applications that could enable a deeper understanding of the included domains, typologies and design concepts, and this paper aims to address this research gap. At the same time, it tries to identify whether these applications could contribute to the “zero vision” strategy, an extremely ambitious challenge within the field of smart cities.

Design/methodology/approach

This objective is pursued through an in-depth investigation of available open source and proprietary smart city applications related to environmental sustainability in urban environments. A total of 32 applications were detected through the Intelligent/Smart Cities Open Source (ICOS) community, a meta-repository for smart cities solutions. The applications are analyzed comparatively regarding (i) the environmental issue addressed, (ii) the associated mitigation strategies, (iii) the included innovation mechanism, (iv) the role of information and communication technologies and (v) the overall outcome.

Findings

The findings suggest that the smart and sustainable city landscape is extremely fragmented both on the policy and the technical levels. There is a host of unexplored opportunities toward smart sustainable development, many of which are still unknown. Similar findings are reached for all categories of environmental challenges in cities. Research limitations pertain to the analysis of a relatively small number of applications. The results can be used to inform policy making toward becoming more proactive and impactful both locally and globally. Given that smart city application market niches are also identified, they are also of special interest to developers, user communities and digital entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

The value added by this paper is two-fold. At the theoretical level, it offers a neat conceptual bridge between smart and sustainable cities debate. At the practical level, it identifies under-researched and under-exploited fields of smart city applications that could be opportunities to attain the “zero vision” objective.

Details

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-4620

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Mirghani Mohamed, Arthur Murray and Mona Mohamed

The purpose of this paper is to aim to quantitatively evaluate the importance of ICTs for sustainable development. A hypothesis about the criticality of ICTs to

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7282

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to aim to quantitatively evaluate the importance of ICTs for sustainable development. A hypothesis about the criticality of ICTs to sustainable development has been tested. The consequences of other ICT elements on knowledge management also have been evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is carried out using surveys and interviews among members of the KM/ICT sustainable development community.

Findings

It has been found that ICT is critical for sustainable development. In effect, many respondents agreed that due to the geographical separation and multifaceted nature of international sustainable development, it cannot be carried out without ICT's support. However, for ICT infrastructure to be translated into worthwhile returns, the organization must adopt knowledge‐oriented ICT infrastructure. This is substantiated by ICT's role in decision quality, knowledge sharing, inter‐organizational links, and the contribution to the resolution of the implicit conflict between sustainability and economic growth.

Research limitations/implications

There was a imited amount of data subjected to statistical analysis. This may skew some of the results, and inflate the experimental error. However, the limited data is ascribable to the restricted nature of the targeted population itself.

Originality/value

The results in this paper address major issues surrounding the role of ICTs in sustainable development. The tackling of these issues is essential to the success of ICT in the sustainable development realm. The understanding and extrapolation of these results form a valuable guidance to the KM practitioners in supporting sustainable development.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2021

Mouna Amari, Khaireddine Mouakhar and Anis Jarboui

This paper aims to study the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) readiness, use, and intensity and environmental sustainability factors in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) readiness, use, and intensity and environmental sustainability factors in the lower and middle lower-income countries from 2012 to 2018.

Design/methodology/approach

ICT readiness, use and intensity are measured with the impact of ICT on access to basic services, phone penetration and Internet penetration, while CO2 emissions per capita, fossil fuel energy consumption and methane emissions are used as indicators for air pollution. To achieve this goal, a two-step generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation was performed which thresholds are computed contingent on the validity of tested hypotheses.

Findings

The results demonstrate that increasing ICT readiness, use and intensity in lower and lower-middle-income countries enhance environmental sustainability by decreasing CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of this study is that the conclusions and policy recommendations do not take into account the specificities of each country. Indeed there are some differences in the growth pattern of ICT in the lower and middle-lower-income countries. Taken together, the authors conclude that increasing ICT has a positive net effect on CO2 and methane emissions per capita, while increasing the impact of ICT access in basic services has a net negative effect on CO2 fossil fuel energy consumption and methane emissions.

Practical implications

The world needs immediate emissions reduction to avoid the long-term danger of climate change. Second, government authorities should give additional efforts in the more pollutant sector such as transport and industry to monitor their energy consumption.

Originality/value

To explore this issue further, the negative net effects suggest that ICT needs to be further developed beyond the determined thresholds, to attain the required negative net effect on fossil fuel energy consumption.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are…

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1293

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the term Slow Tech as a way of describing information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair. These are technologies that are human centred, environmentally sustainable and socially desirable.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's approach is based on a qualitative discourse that justifies the introduction of Slow Tech as a new design paradigm.

Findings

The limits of the human body, and the need to take into account human wellbeing, the limits of the planet and stakeholders' interests in decision making, all suggest the need for a new paradigm, Slow Tech, in the design of ICT and ICT systems. Three scenarios are described as case studies.

Practical implications

In order to prepare the next generation of researchers and computer professionals, many different actions need to be taken. Universities and colleges need to redesign education programmes for computer scientists and engineers by introducing subjects related to the social and ethical implications of computing (currently, only few countries, like the UK, have already done this), and computer professionals' associations need to introduce a code of ethics or ethical analysis into their members' career development. As a result, future computer professionals who are familiar with the Slow Tech approach will be able to collaborate much more easily across the kind of cross disciplinary teams suited to design human centred, sustainable and desirable technologies.

Social implications

Rather than simply focusing on the role of computer professionals, all members of society are called to play a new role in the design of future ICT scenarios. Starting a societal dialogue that involves computer professionals, users, researchers, designers, ICT industrialists, and policy makers is very much needed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is in its call for reflection followed by action. Based on an holistic approach to the design of new ICT systems, the paper advocates a new starting point for systems design: it should be based on a long-term view of the desirability and social importance of technologies, their environmental impact and sustainability, and the fairness and equity of the conditions of workers involved in the computing manufacturing processes.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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