Building environmentally sustainable information services: A green is research agenda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



  • Gobinda Chowdhury


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-647
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change has become a major area of concern over the past few years and consequently many governments, international bodies, businesses, and institutions are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint. However, to date very little research has taken place on information and sustainable development in general, and on the environmental impact of information services in particular. Based on the data collected from various research papers and reports, this review article shows that information systems and services for the higher education and research sector currently generate massive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and it is argued that there is an urgent need for developing a green information service, or green IS in short, that should be based on minimum GHG emissions throughout its lifecycle, from content creation to distribution, access, use, and disposal. Based on an analysis of the current research on green information technology (IT), it is proposed that a green IS should be based on the model of cloud computing. Finally, a research agenda is proposed that will pave the way for building and managing green ISs to support education and research/scholarly activities.