An outstanding attribute of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is its speed and crosscutting aspect. However, about a few decades before postal deliveries, landline telephone, and television broadcasting were the key mediators in the information transmission, but transmission occurred in only a single direction. “Sustainability” is a thing, which states that the various interest groups find valuable. The concept defines the way society thinks its affairs must be utilized in the best interest of the environment, and that the world for the next generation should be healthy and as far as the one inherited. The human impact on the environment is more often at its largest and most destructive on non-renewable resources, habitats and species. It is re-examining the previous work, the places where the work and how human beings get there, are significant aspects of working more sustainably. This goes alongside other activities by concentrating on waste reduction, recycling and finding more environment-friendly components for products (El Bilali & Allahyari, 2018).
How can ICT promote sustainable working?
The primary manner of working of ICT by contributing with sustainability is that working “down the wire”, and the e-delivery of services, hold out the importance of both moving things and people. The primary areas of online activity that could have energy/traffic minimization effects are:
- telecommuting (i.e. mitigating the commute trip at least some days per week by working at or nearer to home)
- other forms of teleworking (mitigating trips by teleworking between sites – whether fixed, mobile or from client sites)
- online shopping
- online financial services such as home banking
- online learning
- online entertainment services
All of the principles are capable of minimizing the requirement to travel. Trends already indicate an increase in these types of activities or work. However, they create efficiencies or develop a new market; business is well advised to consider moving into them. Advantages of the environment are one of the significant things to welcome spin-off from the business benefits, where, it can also be used to boost the reputation and image of the organization as being both environmentally and technologically progressive. Some studies have formulated the impact of services and online working on traffic. The most optimistic among the studies project a possible minimization of 38% in car journeys per person per week. This formulated figure includes a reduction of 43% in the number of work trips per person per week (Joyce, Finnveden, Håkansson & Wood, 2019).
Sustainability – the way forward with ICT
Usage of ICT does not provide some magic wand to create all business processes sustainable, instead, it makes them more efficient. Though, there is a definite proof that ICT can be used to make consumer and organization behaviour more sustainable. However, to accomplish this, there has to be aware at the outset in introducing new ways of online delivery and working of products and services (Pattinson, 2017). The sustainability effects can also be developed into business plans to persuade investors, employers or partners of the worth of a project. However, it needs to be carried out to raise awareness of the possibilities and issues between employees and employers and between policy makers and planners. Many infrastructures for online activities will be developed and broadcasted through telecoms industries. Local resources can be employed by creating partnerships for developing local networks (Lee, Park & Lee, 2019). Developing in sustainability as an objective will help to widen the partnerships’ scope and may help to attract investment. Particularly, the challenges will be in extending the infrastructure into areas, which the telecom organizations will regard as less attractive. In these areas, the initiative will decrease the development provision from public bodies. Within a community and organization, the targets of sustainability can be implemented. More often, the outcomes and milestone of a sustainability project are yet more reports. These following targets must take some practical forms, such as:
- Minimising work trips by the next few years, or reducing in-work travel by some percentage per year.
- Analyzing the number of workers who could work from home, for how much time, and set targets for the phased introduction of new ways of working in the organization.
- Setting goals for moving towards the "paperless office," i.e. of paper transactions to become electronic in the next few years (Klimova et al., 2016).
El Bilali, H., & Allahyari, M. (2018). The transition towards sustainability in agriculture and food systems: Role of information and communication technologies. Information Processing In Agriculture, 5(4), 456-464. doi: 10.1016/j.inpa.2018.06.006
Joyce, P., Finnveden, G., Håkansson, C., & Wood, R. (2019). A multi-impact analysis of changing ICT consumption patterns for Sweden and the EU: Indirect rebound effects and evidence of decoupling. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 211, 1154-1161. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.11.207
Klimova, A., Rondeau, E., Andersson, K., Porras, J., Rybin, A., & Zaslavsky, A. (2016). An international Master's program in green ICT as a contribution to sustainable development. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 135, 223-239. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.032
Lee, T., Park, H., & Lee, J. (2019). Collaborative accountability for sustainable public health: A Korean perspective on the effective use of ICT-based health risk communication. Government Information Quarterly. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2018.12.008
Pattinson, C. (2017). ICT and Green Sustainability Research and Teaching. IFAC-Papersonline, 50(1), 12938-12943. doi: 10.1016/j.ifacol.2017.08.1794