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Including second order effects in environmental assessments of ICT
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1688-7905
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0218-9746
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
2014 (English)In: Environmental Modelling & Software, ISSN 1364-8152, E-ISSN 1873-6726, Vol. 56, 105-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can have both negative and positive impacts on the environment. Immediate negative environmental impacts arise due to the production, use and disposal of ICT products, while positive effects can arise because ICT products and services replace other products. Other, more indirect consequences of introducing new technologies include e.g. that money saved by reducing costs due to ICT-induced energy efficiency, is being used in consumption of other goods and services that also need energy in their production. Such effects are examined within different disciplines under headings such as rebound effects, indirect effects, second order effects and ripple effects. This paper presents a review and discussion of different second order effects that can be linked to ICT usage in general, using e-commerce as an example. This is a first necessary step in developing methods which include second order effects when analysing the environmental impacts of ICT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 56, 105-115 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT, Environment, Second order effects, Indirect effects, First order effects, Rebound effects, E-commerce
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143642DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.02.005ISI: 000337555500011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84901489244OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-143642DiVA: diva2:708125
Funder
Vinnova
Note

QC 20140812

Available from: 2014-03-26 Created: 2014-03-26 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Practice makes perfect?: Sustainable practices with ICT and daily travel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Practice makes perfect?: Sustainable practices with ICT and daily travel
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis shows how practice theory can be applied in different ways when exploring how daily life can be supported to become more environmentally sustainable. Ultimately the thesis aims to contribute to new knowledge on how to design policies and interventions that aim at facilitating environmentally sustainable practices.  This thesis argues that practice theory is useful in the field of sustainability research since it offers as point of departure a perspective on human everyday life which decentres focus from individual behaviour and instead looks at how social practices are constructed by integrating and combining material, bodily and mental elements.

The thesis discusses the following questions: i) How can the role of ICT in everyday life be conceptualized from a practice perspective?, ii) How can practice theory be used in order to describe and assess second order environmental effects? and iii) What are the key considerations from a practice perspective when designing social/physical interventions for sustainable mobility?

The papers in this thesis all use practice theory as point of departure but with different outcomes. Practice theory is thus used conceptually, methodologically and analytically. The main conclusions of the thesis are:  Changes in practices due to ICT usage will inevitably have environmental impacts, both negative and positive, and for policy-makers it is imperative to take this into consideration when planning for the future and actively support and facilitate sustainable social practices. Looking at changes in practices due to new ICT usage can be one way to include second order effects in environmental assessments, in this way contributing to a discussion of potential environmental impacts from implementing a new product, application or service.

Interventions, such as a cargo bike pool or restrictive work travel policies, have the potential to change existing practices. However, the potential of these changes, depend on a variety of different factors which are more or less difficult to influence for the individual practitioner such as work location, time schedules, availability of transportation means and modes. Further, it is difficult to foresee exactly how such changes will look and if they sustain in the long run. Finally, it is not necessarily so that an intervention will have the desired outcome that was intended, the outcome might be something else, consequently this means that interventions need to be analysed and assessed from other perspectives, one being a practice perspective.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling visar hur praktikteori (practice theory) kan tillämpas på olika sätt när man ska utforska hur det dagliga livet kan bli mer miljömässigt hållbart. Ytterst syftar avhandlingen till att bidra till ny kunskap om hur man kan utforma strategier och åtgärder som syftar till att stödja miljömässigt hållbara praktiker. Denna avhandling hävdar att praktikteori är användbart inom hållbarhetsforskning eftersom den utgår från de vardagliga praktikerna. Detta ger ett perspektiv på människors vardagsliv som lyfter fokus upp från individens beteende och istället undersöker hur praktiker skapas och omskapas genom de element (material, färdigheter och symbolisk innebörd) som utgör en social praktik.

Avhandlingen behandlar följande frågor: i) Hur kan IKT: s roll i det dagliga livet begreppsliggöras?, ii) Hur kan praktikteori användas för att beskriva och andra ordningens miljöeffekter i miljöbedömningar? och iii) Vilka är de viktigaste överväganden utifrån ett praktikteoriperspektiv vid utformningen av sociala och/eller fysiska åtgärder för hållbar mobilitet?

Artiklarna i denna avhandling utgår från praktikteori, men det teoretiska ramverket används på ett konceptuellt, metodologiskt eller analytiskt vis i de olika artiklarna. De viktigaste slutsatserna i avhandlingen är: Förändringar i till följd av IKT-användning kommer oundvikligen ha miljöpåverkan som kan vara både negativ och positiv.  För beslutsfattare är det viktigt att ta hänsyn till detta när man planerar för framtiden och aktivt stödja och underlätta för hållbara sociala praktiker. Miljöbedömningar behöver kunna hantera och inkludera så kallade effekter av andra ordningen för att kunna bedöma potentiell miljöpåverkan som en ny produkt, program eller en tjänst kan ha. Ett sätt att inkludera andra ordningens effekter i miljöbedömningar kan vara att titta på förändringar i vardagliga praktiker som uppstår vid användning av IKT.

Interventioner och andra typer av åtgärder har potential att förändra befintliga mobilitetspraktiker. Men dessa potentiella förändringar, beror på en rad olika faktorer som är mer eller mindre svårt att påverka för den enskilde utövaren så som arbetsplatsens lokalisering, scheman, tillgång till transportmedel och transportsätt. Vidare är det svårt att förutse exakt hur sådana förändringar kommer att se ut och om de håller i sig i det långa loppet. Slutligen är det inte nödvändigtvis så att en intervention eller annan åtgärd kommer att ha det önskade resultatet som avsågs, utan resultatet kan snarare vara något annat. Detta innebär att insatser och åtgärder måste analyseras och bedömas ur andra perspektiv, till exempel ett praktikteoretiskt perspektiv.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 36 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-LIC, 2015:02
Keyword
Social practice theory, sustainable practices, ICT, mobility, second order effects, cargo bikes, mediated meetings
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175753 (URN)978-91-7595-735-7 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-11-11, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 14:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

QC 20151023

Available from: 2015-10-23 Created: 2015-10-20 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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