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Article

“We Started Building Green IT Back in the 1970s”: Making Sense of Sustainable ICT through Organizational History

Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden
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Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082668
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Sustainability)
Traditionally, research related to Sustainable Information and Communication Technology (Sustainable ICT) has focused on the technological aspects, but there is an emerging stream of research, which looks at Sustainable ICT from the viewpoint of the social sciences. In this paper, we build on and contribute to this research by emphasizing the role of history in the shaping of Sustainable ICT. Rather than seeing the importance of history as pure technological determinism or path dependency, we draw on the historical turn in organizational studies to highlight the idea that history is malleable. This implies that organizational actors can reshape their past from the present, thus creating new conditions for the future. To highlight the importance of this theoretical conceptualization of history, we present a case study of the Nordic ICT company Tieto, where the heat recovery system of the Älvsjö data center (finished in 1978) was reconceptualized as “green” following the Green Information Technology (Green IT) trend in 2007. This way of theorizing organizational history could be used more widely within research into Sustainable ICT in order to understand why Sustainable ICT has become what it is, which also implies that we can re-interpret this history to shape the future of Sustainable ICT. View Full-Text
Keywords: organizational history; identity; Sustainable ICT; Green IT; sustainable data center organizational history; identity; Sustainable ICT; Green IT; sustainable data center
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fors, P.; Lennerfors, T.T. “We Started Building Green IT Back in the 1970s”: Making Sense of Sustainable ICT through Organizational History. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082668

AMA Style

Fors P, Lennerfors TT. “We Started Building Green IT Back in the 1970s”: Making Sense of Sustainable ICT through Organizational History. Sustainability. 2018; 10(8):2668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082668

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fors, Per, and Thomas T. Lennerfors. 2018. "“We Started Building Green IT Back in the 1970s”: Making Sense of Sustainable ICT through Organizational History" Sustainability 10, no. 8: 2668. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082668

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