Let me answer three questions about this blog for newcomers.
Q1: What are we about to learn?
How new IT innovations, like social media and special software for tracking corporate carbon emissions, are having a profound impact on the practice of sustainability in organizations. It’s a potential $ billion market in the next few years.
Q2: What’s the core argument?
1. With the transition to a carbon constrained economy, organizations will need to measure, monitor, and report new types of metrics.
2. To do this, they will need innovative applications of information systems.
3. But about half of all IT projects do not meet their objectives, i.e., fail in some way (cost overruns, deadlines pushed out, etc.)
4. This means they will have to learn from the mistakes of the past (I don’t have much evidence to support the case that this is indeed happening.)
5. Finally, to do all the above effectively and leverage modern business practices, organizations will need to harness social media to engage stakeholders, develop communities of interest, and nurture effective change.
Q3: Why do we care?
Business risks posed by energy resource scarcity, climate change, etc. are increasing. Corporations can be a significant part of the solution by framing it as an opportunity. But #3 above is a clear and present danger to those opportunities. So organizations need to understand how to effectively apply innovative information systems for carbon management – repeating the mistakes of the past will be financially and environmentally costly.