There is an increasing consensus that information systems (IS) design needs to consider effects related to environmental sustainability. While information technology (IT) can help solving environmental problems, it also causes environmental problems through emissions, wastage, and the consumption of renewable and nonrenewable resources throughout its lifecycle. Against this background, the notions of Green IT and Green IS have evolved. While the former primarily relates to the energy efficiency and equipment utilization of IT, the latter pertains to the design and implementation of information systems that contribute to sustainable business processes. In this paper, we explore how environmental sustainability can be considered in design science research. While traditionally design science research has focused on the utility of artifacts, we propose to also consider a design artifact’s environmental impact. We discuss how the design goal of sustainability relates to artifact utility and suggest a framework that describes two dimensions of design artifact environmental impact, namely direct and indirect environmental impacts. While the first pertains to effects of the physical existence of an IT artifact through its production, use, and disposal, the latter relates to the potential of the artifact to contribute to sustainable business processes.
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- Environmental Sustainability in Design Science Research: Direct and Indirect Effects of Design Artifacts
Jan vom Brocke
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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