The Sustainability Imperative in Information Systems Research

Stefan Seidel, University of Liechtenstein
Pratyush Bharati, University of Massachusetts Boston
Richard T. Watson, University of Georgia
Marie Claude Maric Boudreau, Åbo Akademi University
Leona Chandra Kruse, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Helena Karsten, Victoria University of Wellington
Nigel Melville, University of Bayreuth
Janet Toland, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT
Gilbert Fridgen, University College Cork
Abdullah Albizri, Trident University
Tom Butler, Brunel University
Indira Guzman, University Northern Colorado
Habin Lee, Questrom School of Business
Daniel Rush, University Northern Colorado
Stephanie Watts, Boston University


This paper reports on a panel discussion at the pre-ICIS 2015 Workshop on Green Information Systems on the current state and future perspectives of SIGGreen-the Association of Information Systems’ special interest group on green information systems-and of green information systems (green IS) research in general. Over the past years, IS scholars have made important contributions advancing our knowledge about how information systems can contribute to solving problems associated with the degradation of the natural environment. However, it would appear that many view green IS as just another research topic in the IS field and not a very important one at that. This is questionable because sustainability is too important to be relegated as a footnote in the greater scheme of things. We suggest that the IS community should embrace sustainability as a core research imperative and integrate sustainability-related dimensions to research in theory and method, in rigor and relevance, and in the areas one chooses to research. We provide some actionable recommendations on how we as IS researchers and, indeed, how the IS field could help society and business interests make the transition to a sustainable world.