Keywords: environmental sustainability, information systems, operational strategy, operational research
The environmental sustainability of information systems: considering the impact of operational strategies and practices
Organisations have never been more global, technology-driven and information rich, nor more damaging to the natural environment. This paper presents the results of a study investigating the environmental sustainability of implementing Information Systems (IS). In addition to indicating how information systems can have positive and/or negative impacts on environmental sustainability, results also highlighted gaps between system design and deployment by users, where the efficiency, effectiveness and environmental impact of the IS are affected by operational practices. The study makes two notable contributions. First, by demonstrating a multi-disciplinary approach to designing and deploying information systems. Second, by qualifying and quantifying the impact of IS on environmental sustainability. Finally, by discussing the results in relation to the operational research literature, this paper demonstrates a role for operational research techniques in bringing the implementation of IS and positive environmental sustainability outcomes closer together.