Sustainable innovation is about creating social, environmental, and economic value for all stakeholders involved. The sustainable innovation lens offers an extension of the prevailing discourse on Green IT/IS and renders a three-fold approach that encompasses social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability. Moreover, sustainable innovation entails a proactive approach that focuses on developing creative solutions to environmental and social challenges rather than merely on reducing the IT footprint by waste management and regulation compliance. Building on a longitudinal analysis of sustainable innovation in the automotive industry, we gained a number of relevant insights that can be applied to the information technology domain. First, our results illustrate that a sustainable innovation approach can serve as a source of creativity and innovation that enables firms to aim for generating bigger wins for businesses, the environment, and society overall. Second, our results suggest that sustainable innovation requires a concerted effort of all stakeholders to reshape existing norms and values, formulate new standards, and reconfigure work systems vis-à-vis the social and environmental vistas of sustainable value. Building on our study, we provide further recommendations for IT research and practice.


Green IT Green IS Sustainability Innovation 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wietske van Osch
    • 1
  • Michel Avital
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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