Measuring The Environmental Impact Of Ict Hardware

Krumay, Barbara and Brandtweiner, Roman (2016) Measuring The Environmental Impact Of Ict Hardware. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 11 (6). pp. 1064-1076. ISSN 1743-761X


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Society needs information and communication technology (ICT) hardware to produce, process and store highly valuable information. This hardware, of course, affects the environment throughout its whole life cycle, starting with manufacturing, where the necessary scarce and precious resources (e.g. rare earth metals) are often mined under miserable environmental conditions. This leads to pollution of soil, water and air in the present as well as for the future. During the use phase of ICT hardware, energy consumption impacts the environment. At the end of life of ICT hardware, recycling, disposing as e-waste in landfills or disassembling are additional impacts that affect the environment. More and more producers and users, especially companies, want to measure these impacts, which is a complex task. However, approaches to measure the impacts are at hand, either as single indicators, measuring one specific impact, or as composed indicators, combining different single indicators into one "summarizing" indicator. However, collection of data, measurement, assessment and interpretation are challenging. Unfortunately, guidelines for those who want to measure the impact of ICT hardware are rare. With our research, we aim to shed light on the various approaches to measure impacts of ICT hardware as well as their application in practice. Based on a literature review, we identified different indicators and them to the attention of experts from companies to assess these approaches in terms of practicability, significance and value for practice. The results show that research investigates and proposes a variety of different more or less complex indicators. However, business prefers single indicators, which are easy to measure and understand.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is Open Access and free to download. Users are not required to register an account or log in to access these papers. This paper is part of the Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environmental and Economic Impact on Sustainable Development (Environmental Impact 2016) .
Keywords: impact of ICT hardware, measurement, performance indicators
Divisions: Departments > Informationsverarbeitung u Prozessmanag. > Information Management and Control
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 12:56
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2017 13:19
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