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Exploring the Real-World Impacts of Green IT
When you think of the phrase "industrial ecology," the latest in information technology is probably not a synonym that comes to mind. But a recent issue of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE) puts that misconception to the test.
Stemming from the widespread applications of ICT in everything from farming to government, JIE set aside an entire issue to looking at how technology and industrial systems can interact. The entire issue, as well as subsequent related articles, is free to the public; below is a short overview of some of the most noteworthy articles from the issue.
In the introduction to the issue, Eric Masanet and H. Scott Matthews write:
Because of its emphasis on the use of system perspectives, industrial ecology is well suited to analysis of both the benefits and impacts of ICT. As a field that seeks to understand -- and pursue -- sustainable production and consumption, often by examining materials and energy flows at different scales, industrial ecology has produced significant research on the intersection of ICT and the environment. This special issue presents research that uses and speaks to several aspects of the field -- life cycle assessment (LCA), ecodesign, industrial symbiosis, and eco-efficiency.