Principles for re-designing information systems for environmental sustainability
Baskerville, Richard, Pries-Heje, Jan, & Recker, Jan C. (2016) Principles for re-designing information systems for environmental sustainability. In Mata, Francisco J. & Pont, Ana (Eds.) ICT for Promoting Human Development and Protecting the Environment, Springer, San Jose, Costa Rica, pp. 14-25.
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Many information systems claim to be “green”, meaning in support of environmental sustainability. But at closer look we find that these claims are often unsubstantiated; in other words, many green systems are not making any environment more sustainable. We identify three main root causes. First, the ‘environment’ is often ill-defined. Second, systems often overlook that ‘sustainability’ is a targeted function dependent on the goals of some stakeholders, which may include designers, users, organizations, policy makers, society or the planet as a whole. Third, we find that research on green information systems often overlooks conceptualizations such as ecology, environment or sustainability that originate in the sciences of the system, i.e., the basis on which information systems are built. To address these issues we present eight new design principles unique to the development of Green Information Systems that can act as prescriptive coherent design theory for developing information systems that improve environmental sustainability.
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