The ecological transparency of the information society

Sirkka Heinonen (Corresponding Author), Pekka Jokinen, Jari Kaivo-oja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A de-linking of pollution from economic growth and de-materialisation can probably be seen as the most important single characteristic of sustainable development. With regard to this, ecological transparency means understanding all human activities, processes and patterns that have an impact on the potential for sustainable development. Closely linked with this is the idea that the ecological footprint of the information society should be concerned with the environmental implications of its generations, applications and the disposability of information and communication technologies (ICTs). This paper aims at developing scenarios, and a set of criteria, plus indicators as tools for identifying various environmental impacts inherent in the information society. Furthermore, it aims for the successful unification of the positive factors of the information society with ecologically sustainable development. It is concluded that policy plans for the information society would benefit from the enhanced level of ecological transparency the information society can provide, as presented via the indicators mentioned later in the text. Further, it is suggested that prerequisites should be created for evaluating the implications of the information society and for the application of related information society technologies. Such an approach could be labelled an Information Society Assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-337
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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