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The practice of implementing sustainable ICT practices: The case of the Green IT Audit
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2015 (Swedish)In: Proceedings of the 23rd NORDIC ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT conference, Copenhagen, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For several decades, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been used by individuals and within organizations in order to increase efficiency. Traditionally, the increased efficiency enabled by ICTs has primarily affected factors such as profitability and time. In recent years, however, ICT has been promoted as an important tool for increasing ecological efficiency, i.e. for sustainability. Although there are several environmental implications related to the ICT sector to take into account, such as the production of electronic waste (e-waste), the extraction of rare earth elements (REEs) and the hazardous production of ICT equipment, the discourse has increasingly shifted towards discussing the positive sides of ICT for sustainability (Author et al., 2014). According to recent reports, the potential of using ICT in order to increase the ecological sustainability of our society is huge. According to GeSI, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, we will be able to decrease the annual GHG emissions by 9,1 GtCO2e worldwide, as well as creating 29,5 million jobs by using smart solutions enabled by ICT (GeSI, 2008). Some examples of these solutions are digitalization and dematerialization, system integration and process optimization (ibid.) However, as the full potential of smart ICT solutions hinges on that it is implemented and used correctly, we have yet to see the benefits of ICT for ecological sustainability surpass its negative effects (Rattle, 2010).

By following one initiative for implementing smart ICT solutions in organizations in Sweden, namely the Green IT Audit, we have investigated how the implementation of these sustainable ICT practices takes place in practice (Author, 2013). The Green IT Audit is a consultancy model, developed by TCO Development, which is used to improve the usage of and implement sustainable ICT solutions in organizations. By drawing on practice theory (Schatzki, 1996), this paper explores new ways of explaining how the implementation of sustainable ICT practices could occur. A practice is described by Reckwitz as a “routinised type of behaviour which consists of several elements, interconnected to one another: ... bodily activities, ... mental activities, ‘things’ and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge” (2002; p. 249). The routinized way of performing a Green IT Audit in organizations is also constituted by these elements and can thus be declared a practice. Ijab & Molla (2011) suggests that a practice approach provides a “useful lens to garner deeper and holistic understanding of the information systems that organisations develop, deploy, use and integrate for eco-sustainability” (p. 2). What the consultant do and his or her understanding of sustainable ICT will thus affect the way Green IT is explained to the client. In turn, the understanding of the client and their material infrastructure will also affect how the model is implemented in the organization. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen, 2015.
Keyword [en]
Practice theory, NFF, Nordic Academy of Management, Green IT, Sustainable ICT, Sustainability and ICT, Green IT Audit, IT and Environment
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267635OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267635DiVA: diva2:873825
23rd NORDIC ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE NFF 2015 - BUSINESS IN SOCIETY, 12-14 August 2015, Copenhagen Business School
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2015-12-18Bibliographically approved

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