Professor Ray Hackney gave an invited talk at the prestigious University of New South Wales, Australian Business School, Sydney early this month, just ahead of the G20 summit where climate change was a major agenda item. The Australian Abbott Government, who were elected in 2013 by promising to scrap the carbon tax, have yet to state their post-2020 emission targets.
Professor Hackney presented results of a European study about the impact of ‘Green ICT’ citing evidence that ‘ICT is quickly surpassing air transportation in terms of its carbon footprint’.
Across the developed world, public sector information and communication technologies (ICT) are responsible for approximately 35% of total ICT-related Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
The United Kingdom (UK) government is widely perceived as leading the way in applying Green ICT to make the organizational field of the UK public sector environmentally sustainable.
Taking the Greening Government ICT Strategy as the unit of analysis, a series of qualitative case studies were conducted of the transformative impact of Green ICT in order to identify and elaborate the institutional and organizational mechanisms responsible for delivering direct, enabling, and systemic effects.
The study is therefore unique in its application of Institutional Theory, scope and impact, as indicated by its critical implications for research and practice.
Most significantly, the findings provide valuable insights into how government-led Green ICT-based initiatives can successfully bring about institutional and organizational change towards environmental sustainability and, in particular, reducing ICT-related GHG emissions across both public and private sectors.
The findings have recently been submitted (co-authored with Tom Butler, University College Cork, Ireland) to the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS).
Professor Ray Hackney is the Chair in Business Systems for Brunel Business School.