Sustainable Transformation of Global Information, Communications and Electronics Industries
Jacob Park, University of Maryland, USA; and Nigel Roome, Erasmus University, Netherlands
May 2002 283 pp 234 x 156 mm
hardback ISBN 978-1-874719-47-2 £40.00
"Offers opportunities, challenges and perspectives in the relationship of ICCE with ecology and economy. Tremendously stimulating; touching a multitude of issues which are under hot debate in the industry. Will ICCE simply happen or is there a choice? Stirring, intriguing and helpful!"
Professor Ab Stevels
A 'revolution' is taking place in the development of global information and communications technologies. In slightly more than a decade, the World Wide Web has gone from the idea of an obscure English scientist to a consumer- oriented technology system with an expected one billion users by 2005. The technologies that enable this to happen are advancing rapidly, which is leading to both an unprecedented number of start-up companies and a host of innovative new alliances between companies.
The growth has been so rapid and unexpected that little research and analysis has yet been done on what impact this transformation has had or will have on the ability of companies to meet the global sustainability challenge.
As environmental strategy has traditionally been portrayed in terms of risk cutting and resource efficiency, there is a danger that critical business issues such as information technology, R&D and e-commerce development are examined in isolation from the wider sustainable business perspective.
An important objective of the book is to explore, document and raise awareness of sustainability concerns arising from the emerging global information economy. The information economy is defined in the broadest sense possible, including software, hardware, telecommunication - traditional and wireless - and advanced communication technologies.
Some of the key issues and questions that are examined include:
- Case studies on how and to what degree sustainability concerns are being integrated into the business model of electronic, telecommunication and dot.com firms
- The relationship between the diffusion of information and communication technologies and the energy and resource intensity of companies
- The role of information and communication technologies in the shaping of policies for sustainability, its impacts on sustainable or unsustainable lifestyles and its implications for the interaction between companies and other actors
- Corporations and the global digital divide
Ecology of the New Economy will be of interest to academics, governments, businesses, and non-governmental groups who are trying to understand the linkages and relationship between the two of our greatest global challenges: the information revolution and environmental sustainability.
We need to understand better how information and
communication technologies can help us vector the three great waves of
globalisation — markets, information and civil society — to a sustainable path.
This book will help point the way.
Jonathan Lash, President, The World Resources Institute
Technological change is an too-often-neglected issue in policies and thinking
directed at sustainable development, while new technologies will be crucial and
have to be put in the centre. Park and Roome’s book takes up this challenge and
explores lucidly many important aspects and ideas. It is imperative that leaders
and policy-makers join this exploration.
Johan Schot, Co-Founder of the Greening of Industry Network and Director of the Foundation for the History of Technology
...a wealth of information! This books offers opportunities, challenges and
perspectives in the relation of ICCE with ecology and economy. Tremendously
stimulating; touching a multitude of issues which are under hot debate in the
industry. Will ICCE simply happen or is there a choice? Stirring, intriguing and
Professor Ab Stevels, Senior Advisor, Environmental Competence Centre, Philips Consumer Electronics
It is hard for a general reader to see how the complex issues of
sustainability, globalisation and ICCE technologies relate to each other. This
book helps enormously to disentangle and then reassemble them in a digestible
order — a very useful contribution indeed.
Christine Loh, CEO of an independent, non-profit public policy think-tank, Civic Exchange, and a former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council
The Ecology of the New Economy provides the most thoughtful,
balanced perspective yet on the environmental impacts of the information
revolution. This book will be tremendously valuable to regulators, corporate
decision-makers, investors and non-government organisations interested in
Bruce Paton, Director, The Silicon Valley Center for Innovation and Sustainability
This book is an informative read and well recommended. It
provides the reader with current information and diverse analyses from the
worlds of research, business and government/policy makers on this increasingly
topical issue. Further it provides some inspirational thoughts for integrating
sustainability into the digital economy.
Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Wow! This book will convince even the most hard-nosed
bean counter ... that environmental stewardship, green thinking and sustainable
development have a place in the global arena of communication, dot.com,
e-commerce and information technology. All the sections make extensive use of
case studies and examples which help to give a reality perspective which is
crucial for the skeptic and the conservative.
The volume provides an excellent snapshot of the dot-com
era and its long-term effects on corporate citizenship theory and practice ...
The authors clearly believe that understanding the evolution and importance of
the digital economy requires macro- and microanalysis along natural, digital and
competitive domains. Sustainable e-business practice demands a competent grasp
of the interdependencies among these realms.
The Journal of Corporate Citizenship
... the doomsayers predict ICCE technologies will fuel
further need for electricity, whereas the optimists project net savings. The
scholarship encompassed by The Ecology of the New Economy suggests the
truth is probably somewhere in between and is largly dependent on how these new
technologies are deployed and whether their deployment is guided by sustainable
development considerations... The Ecology of the New Economy is an
important work in beginning that debate.
The Journal of Industrial Ecology
Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute
Introduction. Atom to bits: e-sustainability in the global economy
Jacob Park, University of Maryland, USA, and Nigel Roome, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
1. Sustainable business strategies in the Internet economy
Klaus Fichter, Borderstep: Institution for Innovation and Sustainability, Germany
2. E-logistics and the natural environment
Joseph Sarkis, Clark University, USA, Laura Meade, University of Dallas, USA, and Srinivas Talluri, Michigan State University, USA
3. Greening the digitised supply net
Michael Totten, Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, Conservation International, USA
4. Dot.com ethics: e-business and sustainability
James Wilsdon, Demos, UK
5. Practising corporate citizenship in a global information economy
Duane Windsor, Rice University, USA
6. The Internet and sustainability reporting: improving communication with stakeholders
William B. Weil and Barbara Winter-Watson, Environmental Resources Management, USA
7. Is e-commerce sustainable? Lessons from Webvan
Chris Galea, St Francis Xavier University, Canada; Steve Walton, Emory University, USA
8. Information technology, sustainable development and developing nations
James R. Sheats, Hewlett-Packard Co., USA
9. The environmental impact of the new economy: Deutsche Telekom, telecommunications services and the sustainable future
Markus Reichling and Tim Otto, Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany
10. Environmental impacts of telecommunications services: two life-cycle analysis studies
Manfred Zurkirch, Swisscom Ltd, Switzerland, and Inge Reichart, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research
11. Exploring the global–local axis: telecommunications and environmental sustainability in Japan
Brendan Barrett, United Nations University/Institute of Advanced Studies, Japan, and Ichiro Yamada, NTT Lifestyle and Environmental Technology Laboratories, Japan
12. Product-oriented environmental management: the case of Xerox Europe
Frank de Bakker, Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands, and David Foley, Xerox Europe, UK
13. Information and communications technologies: boon or bane to sustainable development?
Josephine Chinying Lang, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
14. Information and communications technologies and business travel: environmental possibilities, problems and implications
Peter Arnfalk, Lund University, Sweden
15. How fabulous fablessness? Environmental challenges of economic restructuring in the semiconductor industry
Jan Mazurek, Progressive Policy Institute, USA
16. Micropower: electrifying the digital economy
Seth Dunn, Worldwatch Institute, USA
17. Extended producer responsibility and the European electronics industry
Lassi Linnanen, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
18. Sustainable trade in electronics: the case of the Indian components sector
Mohammad Saqib, Yashika Singh and Ritu Kumar, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, India
Jacob Park is a research scholar in the Harrison Program on the Future Global Agenda, University of Maryland, USA, and a senior research consultant specialising in Japanese and Asian equities for corporate governance and socially responsible investment, Friends Ivory & Sime. A fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, a working interim group member of the Greening of Industry Network and a member of Center for Environmental Citizenship’s board of directors, he will become an assistant professor in the business and economic department at Green Mountain College (Vermont, USA) in the fall of 2002.
Nigel Roome is the Head of Department and Chair of Sustainable Enterprise and Transformation, Erasmus Centre for Sustainable Development and Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is also the Chair of the Information and Communication Technologies Project, Industrial Transformation Programme, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environment Change.