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Even greener IT Bringing green theory and “green IT” together, or why concern about greenhouse gasses is only a starting point

Even greener IT Bringing green theory and “green IT” together, or why concern about greenhouse... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look at current practices and associated consumption patterns in information technology (IT), looking at how impacts of IT, for good and ill, will be evaluated by green theory. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing together literatures from a variety of fields, including green theory, information systems, green economics, computing, energy studies, cultural studies, waste management, and transport research. Findings – Feedback effects that cause early replacement of software and hardware form a complex, environmentally harmful, vicious circle that can appropriately be called “the upgrade treadmill”. Considering wider impacts of IT suggests that imperatives to renovate, rather than replace, hardware are stronger than narrower considerations of “green IT” would suggest, and there is a responsibility on those involved in the academic disciplines associated with training future IT professionals to try to work against the “upgrade treadmill”. Originality/value – This paper is novel in exposing green IT to green theory. In doing so, it seeks to move consideration of green IT onto a more rounded basis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Emerald Publishing

Even greener IT Bringing green theory and “green IT” together, or why concern about greenhouse gasses is only a starting point

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-996X
DOI
10.1108/14779961111158702
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look at current practices and associated consumption patterns in information technology (IT), looking at how impacts of IT, for good and ill, will be evaluated by green theory. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing together literatures from a variety of fields, including green theory, information systems, green economics, computing, energy studies, cultural studies, waste management, and transport research. Findings – Feedback effects that cause early replacement of software and hardware form a complex, environmentally harmful, vicious circle that can appropriately be called “the upgrade treadmill”. Considering wider impacts of IT suggests that imperatives to renovate, rather than replace, hardware are stronger than narrower considerations of “green IT” would suggest, and there is a responsibility on those involved in the academic disciplines associated with training future IT professionals to try to work against the “upgrade treadmill”. Originality/value – This paper is novel in exposing green IT to green theory. In doing so, it seeks to move consideration of green IT onto a more rounded basis.

Journal

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in SocietyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2011

Keywords: Communication technologies; Global warming; Consumer behaviour

References