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IT for green and green IT: A proposed typology of eco-innovation


  • Faucheux, S.
  • Nicolaï, I.


This article is in support of the development of an ecological economic framework. It discusses, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the increasing use of green IT and their applications (IT for green). IT and sustainable development have had a concomitant rise and reach. The future world emerging from their respective interpretations enables, in both cases, a shift from today's questionable industrial capitalism towards post-industrial capitalism. This paper addresses the following questions: What is known about green IT and IT for green? Are smart solutions (buildings, energy grids, transport) always beneficial to an ecological economy? And, if so, in what ways? In the first part of this article, we analyse the economic, social and environmental impact of IT and argue for the need for green applications of green IT in order to achieve sustainable outcomes. The second part focuses on the managerial dimension of eco-innovation theory and presents one of the distinctive features of green applications of green IT: the collective organisation of innovation. A typology of eco-innovation aimed at reconciling IT development and green growth is then proposed explicitly addressing four kinds of changes towards sustainable development: technological, social, institutional and organisational innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Faucheux, S. & Nicolaï, I., 2011. "IT for green and green IT: A proposed typology of eco-innovation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2020-2027, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:2020-2027

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Rennings, Klaus & Zwick, Thomas, 2001. "The employment impact of cleaner production on the firm level: empirical evidence from a survey in five European countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-08, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cai, Shun & Chen, Xi & Bose, Indranil, 2013. "Exploring the role of IT for environmental sustainability in China: An empirical analysis," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 491-500.
    2. Kusi-Sarpong, Simonov & Sarkis, Joseph & Wang, Xuping, 2016. "Assessing green supply chain practices in the Ghanaian mining industry: A framework and evaluation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(PB), pages 325-341.
    3. Kusi-Sarpong, Simonov & Bai, Chunguang & Sarkis, Joseph & Wang, Xuping, 2015. "Green supply chain practices evaluation in the mining industry using a joint rough sets and fuzzy TOPSIS methodology," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P1), pages 86-100.
    4. Niesten, Eva & Alkemade, Floortje, 2016. "How is value created and captured in smart grids? A review of the literature and an analysis of pilot projects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 629-638.
    5. Leoncini, Riccardo & Montresor, Sandro & Rentocchini, Francesco, 2016. "CO2-reducing innovations and outsourcing: Evidence from photovoltaics and green construction in North-East Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1649-1659.
    6. Sylvie Faucheux & Isabelle Nicolaï, 2017. "Les enjeux de la smart city pour le développement durable. Le cas du Maroc," Post-Print hal-01533448, HAL.
    7. Stefan Hack & Christian Berg, 2014. "The Potential of IT for Corporate Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(7), pages 1-18, July.
    8. Zhang, Jing & Liang, Xiong-jian, 2012. "Promoting green ICT in China: A framework based on innovation system approaches," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 997-1013.
    9. Silvana Trimi & Sang-Hyun Park, 2013. "Green IT: practices of leading firms and NGOs," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 7(3), pages 363-379, September.
    10. Cecere, Grazia & Corrocher, Nicoletta & Gossart, Cédric & Ozman, Muge, 2014. "Technological pervasiveness and variety of innovators in Green ICT: A patent-based analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1827-1839.
    11. Cecere, Grazia & Rexhäuser, Sascha & Schulte, Patrick, 2015. "From less promising to green? Technological opportunities and their role in (green) ICT innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-091, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Fleiter, Tobias & Hirzel, Simon & Worrell, Ernst, 2012. "The characteristics of energy-efficiency measures – a neglected dimension," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 502-513.
    13. Wu, Kuo-Jui & Liao, Ching-Jong & Chen, Chih-Cheng & Lin, Yuanhsu & Tsai, Chuck F.M., 2016. "Exploring eco-innovation in dynamic organizational capability under incomplete information in the Taiwanese lighting industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(PB), pages 419-440.
    14. Salahuddin, Mohammad & Alam, Khorshed & Ozturk, Ilhan, 2016. "The effects of Internet usage and economic growth on CO2 emissions in OECD countries: A panel investigation," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1226-1235.


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