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Business and Society

Business and the ecological impact of certain a digital service

Written by Johannes Danielmeyer

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Term Paper






Term Paper: The following article aims to provide readers with insights on the following topics: the ecological impact of specific digital services and possible business applications when combining the concept of creating shared value and active stakeholder management in a specific example. The digital service that this article will focus on is the communication tool email. In order to be clarified, all the theories must first be explained, and then the ecological issues of using certain digital services (e-mail) will be explained. After explaining the theory and problems, practical suggestions are given. 2. Theoretical background The concept of creating shared value represents the connection between social and economic processes. It promotes the company's growth and innovation, and at the same time brings benefits to society (Porter & Kramer 2011). Summary Shared value applies to behaviors that serve not only economic purposes but also social purposes. This shared added value can be created in three ways. The first way to create social and economic benefits is to supply unserved consumers and markets (products needed by society). The second way to create shared value is to redefine the value chain to achieve sustainability (for example, using solar panels to produce own electricity in a cost-effective way). The third way to archive shared value is to promote local growth (for example, to support local farmers through education and sufficient wages to develop the company's internal capabilities and quality certainty). Overall, this approach has the potential not only to drive a wave of innovation, promote global economic growth, and (re)legitimate business, but it may also reshape capitalism (Porter & Kramer 2011). These are all tempting results, but they are more focused on economic goals, and the tension between society and economic goals is ignored. To be truly valuable, the method must make significant progress on the social level (Crane, Palazzo, Spence & Matten 2014). There are four ways to manage stakeholders. Passive, reactive, interactive, and finally active. Active stakeholder management means that a company takes action before the customer needs it. This method is generally more effective than the passive and inactive methods of stakeholder management (Eskerod & Jepsen 2013). Companies can proactively manage their stakeholders in different ways. The main activities involve demand forecasting, continuous information outflow related to project progress and strategic positioning (Eskerod & Jepson 2013). The two concepts related to the social aspect are part of another concept called Active CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). In this concept, companies voluntarily adopt practices, go beyond regulatory requirements, and move towards a more sustainable and socially responsible approach (Torugsa, O'Donohue & Hecker 2013). In this way, a USP (Unique Selling Point) can be created. 3. The relevance of the subject. Digital services seem to be very environmentally friendly at first glance. They can reduce the paper waist and increase the efficiency of capacity usage, for example. Sharing economy. But what seems to be forgotten is that they also explain carbon dioxide emissions. Data centers are using electricity and must produce equipment to use services. The overall energy consumption of data centers accounts for 3% of global electricity consumption (Stolz & Junnblut 2019). The energy consumption of the data center is expected to double every four years. (Danilak2017) In conclusion, it can be said that this issue is developing further, and awareness must be established in society. Many digital services can be analyzed for their energy efficiency. This article will focus on email because it has the most users overall and the technology used is quite outdated. 4. Take e-mail as an example. E-mail is a rather outdated technology because they store the messages sent to each recipient via e-mail on a server supported by a data center, instead of storing it only once. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by emails depends on the amount of content. Calculations show that an email emits an average of 4 grams of carbon dioxide, and an email with attachments may even emit 50 grams of carbon dioxide. (Berners-Lee 2010) In addition to the electricity and materials needed to build and maintain the data center, equipment is also needed to access the email provider. The equipment is necessary to use digital services, and the energy consumption efficiency of the data center can be improved. By reducing the energy consumption of the data center, CO2 emissions can be reduced in three ways. The first method is to develop a more effective method to cool the data center, the second method is to reuse waist heat, and the last method is to use green energy to power the data center (Stolz & Junnblut 2019). 5. Possible business applications Actually, a company that is not engaged in data storage center maintenance cannot directly reduce its energy efficiency. But it can set internal rules and how to handle communication in a more effective way. First, it can start using newer technologies in which only one copy is stored (for example, Slack for communication and WeTransfer for data transfer). In addition, it can implement clear rules on how to delete, address, and purpose emails. The use of spam as a marketing tool has great potential for improvement. A company should abandon this marketing technique altogether and instead develop a strategic approach that focuses on inbound marketing (for example, attracting new customers through content on social media). If a company successfully implements these rules, it can track savings Carbon dioxide emissions (for example, compared with recent years or competitors) have this increase. The results can then be presented in a positive way (through the activities described earlier) through communication with stakeholders. Read Less