Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

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

Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition Pilots Carbon Reporting System

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In 2009, the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) decided to pilot test a “carbon reporting” system for its electronics industry participants. EICC observed that Scope 3 emissions are critical in the electronics supply chain, but “supply chains lacked a proven, practical and standardized approach.” Here are the results from the pilot test:

Of those suppliers contacted, 26 percent responded. Analysis of the responses revealed several key takeaways:

  • There are large gaps in supplier data sets
  • Repeated requests for a supplier’s data increase the likelihood of a response
  • Emissions and energy data needs qualitative explanation; numbers alone do not paint a clear picture
  • Emissions and energy data needs to be reported in both absolute and  normalized terms

The pilot also uncovered several challenges. Participant feedback following the pilot indicated that:

  • The System’s online interface was not intuitive, too complicated, and was a barrier to responding.
  • Multilingual interface and support is critical to increasing the response rate, since the majority of suppliers contacted were located in non-English speaking countries
  • Additional training is needed to increase supplier knowledge and awareness of how to measure GHG emissions

These challenges are not surprising: a new information system that gathers new types of data resulting in high levels of complexity.

The reporting system was reloaded in 2011. More on this in-process effort soon.

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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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