Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

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

MIS Quarterly Special Issue on IS & Sustainability

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MIS Quarterly has just announced a special issue on “Information Systems and Environmental Sustainability,” for which I’m serving as a Guest Editor, along with my colleagues Arvind Malhotra from the University of North Carolina and Richard T. Watson of the University of Georgia.

 From the call:

This call for papers aims to contribute significantly to a first wave of rigorous and relevant research that demonstrates the role that IS—which has been labeled “green IS” (Watson et al. 2008)—plays in the areas of environmental, economic, and societal sustainability issues. This special issue seeks to highlight research that reports developments and analyses that provide solutions to global warming; that explicates theories and frameworks to guide future research in the area of IS and sustainability; and that comprises rigorous empirical analysis of the role of information systems—responsive as well as strategic green IS—in enabling sustainability through efforts like:

  • Reducing transportation costs 
  • Supporting team work and meetings of globally distributed employees to limit their air travel
  • Tracking environmental information (such as toxicity, energy used, water used, air pollution) 
  • Monitoring emissions and waste production 
  • Providing information to encourage green choices by consumers 
  • Improving decision making by executives by highlighting sustainability issues 
  • Reducing energy consumption 
  • Supporting the generation and distribution of renewable energy 
  • Limiting carbon and other emissions 
  • Identifying the role of IS in energy policy 

Such research might be multi-disciplinary such that it includes economics, sociology, psychology, design, engineering, or other perspectives and could employ multiple methods. It should serve to set the foundation for a continuing program of research on sustainability in not only the IS community but the business research community in general.

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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.

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