Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

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

New Fujitsu Report: Low Use of IT to Enable Sustainability Across the Enterprise

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A new global survey (August 2010) of more than 600 IT leaders in 4 countries and 8 sectors by Fujitsu ranks firms by “green IT” performance.

David Bicknell of Computerweekly summarizes the findings and underscores the poor use of IT as an enabler across the enterprise (“least mature” as the report puts it):

The use of IT to improve performance and reduce the carbon footprint outside of the IT function rated very low, indicating the inward focus of many Green IT initiatives. There is significant potential by harnessing IT for wider sustainability activities.

So did metrics, as shown below (incidentally, without standard deviations provided, it’s difficult to know whether these differences in means are statistically significant).

David goes on to say that:

Yes, OK. Another¬†report that says IT has to step up. How? Ideas? Suggestions? How do we move this on so that another maturity report in say, 6 months time, doesn’t also simply just wring its hands?

Here are a few that I’d propose:

  1. Environmental sustainability boot camp sessions tailored to IT professionals.
  2. Improved messaging & teaching about core value of IT to sustainability in MBA and other business education domains.
  3. Development of business case studies demonstrating the whys, how tos, risks, etc.
  4. Sustainability-focused speakers at IT professional & academic conferences

I’m working a bit on #2 and #3….Perhaps others can weigh in on similar or other ideas?


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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