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An Approach to Assess Indirect Environmental Effects of Digitalization Based on a Time-Use Perspective


Bieser, Jan; Hilty, Lorenz (2018). An Approach to Assess Indirect Environmental Effects of Digitalization Based on a Time-Use Perspective. In: Bungartz, Hans-Joachim; Kranzlmüller, Dieter; Weinberg, Volker; Weismüller, Jens; Wohlgemuth, Volker. Advances and New Trends in Environmental Informatics. Cham: Springer (Bücher), 67-78.

Abstract

The digital transformation has direct and indirect effects on the environment. Direct effects are caused by the production, use and disposal of information and communication technology (ICT) hardware. Indirect effects include the changes to patterns of production and consumption enabled by ICT in other domains. Studies of indirect environmental effects of ICT often focus on individual applications domains and their use cases, which implies that these studies cannot capture systemic effects of ICT adoption. We argue that interaction among ICT use cases is crucial to explain systemic environmental effects of ICT. In order to capture these interactions, we suggest focusing on ICT impacts on individual lifestyles, in particular time use, because (i) time is a limited resource for everyone, a fact which makes time budget constraints a central link among different activities and (ii) many ICT use cases relax time and space constraints of individuals, thus changing time allocation. With this approach, we take into account that individual lifestyles are a major determinant of the overall environmental impact and that ICT diffusion changes individual time-use patterns and therefore lifestyles. Based on these considerations, we propose a conceptual framework that describes the causal mechanisms between ICT use, time-use patterns and environmental impacts.

Abstract

The digital transformation has direct and indirect effects on the environment. Direct effects are caused by the production, use and disposal of information and communication technology (ICT) hardware. Indirect effects include the changes to patterns of production and consumption enabled by ICT in other domains. Studies of indirect environmental effects of ICT often focus on individual applications domains and their use cases, which implies that these studies cannot capture systemic effects of ICT adoption. We argue that interaction among ICT use cases is crucial to explain systemic environmental effects of ICT. In order to capture these interactions, we suggest focusing on ICT impacts on individual lifestyles, in particular time use, because (i) time is a limited resource for everyone, a fact which makes time budget constraints a central link among different activities and (ii) many ICT use cases relax time and space constraints of individuals, thus changing time allocation. With this approach, we take into account that individual lifestyles are a major determinant of the overall environmental impact and that ICT diffusion changes individual time-use patterns and therefore lifestyles. Based on these considerations, we propose a conceptual framework that describes the causal mechanisms between ICT use, time-use patterns and environmental impacts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:27 Nov 2018 15:32
Last Modified:19 Dec 2018 07:02
Publisher:Springer (Bücher)
Series Name:Progress in IS
Number:43
ISSN:2196-8705
ISBN:978-3-319-99653-0
Additional Information:978-3-319-99653-0 (P) 978-3-319-99654-7 (E)
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99654-7_5
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:16983

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