Integration of Green IT-risks into IT risk management

Integration of Green IT-risks into IT risk management
Internal advisor: Prof. Dr. Klaus Turowski, Robert Pannicke

All globally active companies use IT devices: desktop computers, notebook computers, monitors, keyboards, computer-mice, and printers are used by office employees and therefore need electrical energy through which carbon dioxide is emitted. The whole information and communication technology records rising carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas and belongs to the main drivers of climate change.

Several companies attempt to counteract the rising carbon dioxide emissions by means of Green IT initiatives. As a consequence, the acquired solutions are often not only ecologically "better" than the initial state, but can also improve social and economical factors and can thus lead to an improvement of the sustainability of the IT branch. Other companies, however, consciously or unconsciously spare arrangements that might improve the IT sustainability. It is not known to which risks those companies expose themselves and how those risks should be evaluated regarding damages to finances and reputation. In this context, the risk management tool that has been established in a number of companies is applied to implement a risk analysis for the topic area Green IT or sustainable IT. Weak spots of IT in office environments are identified and related risks are derived. Those risks are evaluated according to their probability of occurence, potential damage, and further factors that need to be defined. Based on this evaluation, risk management strategies are developed and corrective actions are acquired.

The scientific benefit of this project is the establishment of a link between the research areas "Green IT" and "IT Risk Management". In this regard, possibilities for the integration of sustainability risks into IT risk management are developed. Thereby a new approach is created to illustrate the importance of Green IT and to thus allow for the long-term integration of Green-IT into the IT strategies of enterprises.