Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Eco-Visualization

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A paper by Tiffany Holmes of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago argues that visualizing energy use may be a powerful untapped method for promoting conservation.

What is “eco-visualization”?

…creative visualizations of real time energy consumption. ….Eco-visualization also functions as a kind of social data exchange that promotes environmental stewardship; this emerging field has the potential to provide new strategies to increase our ability to conserve valuable resources like electricity and water.

Why this type of motivation and not monetary incentives?

Dynamic feedback can decrease energy consumption in the workplace but does not necessarily alter attitudes toward conservation. A study by environmental behaviorists Siero, Bakker, Dekker, and Van den Burg showed that employees that received comparative feedback about their energy consumption day to day saved more energy than employees who received information six months later [56]

The connection with information technology is that many of these visualizations can be done using computer media and updated in real time, such as this public art piece (but why not an Apple widget?):

7000 oaks and counting

The paper has a design perspective, but these ideas are quite applicable to the business context.

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

5 thoughts on “Eco-Visualization

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