Next Generation CEMIS

Environmental management systems support environmental conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency within companies, requiring a multitude of heterogeneous data for planning and controlling of their tasks. This data must be kept ready by corporate environmental management information systems (CEMIS) for goal-oriented processing. Contemporary systems are not capable to cope with requirements from the sustainability discussion. But, IT plays an important role in the sustainability development of a company. CEMIS must already apply at product development stage with environmental friendly production and strategic decision support. At the time of reporting environmental performance indicators for reaching legal compliance, it is far too late to set the right course. Vitally important is an early identification of cause and effect in order to anticipate the environmental impacts of one’s own decisions (even across company bounds) and especially for timely intervention. Otherwise, the potential for prophylaxis would remain unemployed.

A resource-friendly design of business processes and their energy- and material-efficient controlling additionally demands for sustainability oriented organizational structures as well as for incentives for all involved parties. A multitude of variables and their interdependencies has to be considered. In addition, a methodical view is often neglected, i.e. design methods and rules, maturity degree models, holistic incentive systems and models for cause-and-effect chains of economic, social and ecological indicators are still missing for advocating energy efficient and sustainable attitudes of stakeholders, decision makers and users. Innovative solutions are in demand.

This versatile task may not be accomplished by science alone. For this reason, the European research and transfer network for environmental management information systems (ertemis) has been set up in order to bring together experts from all necessary fields as an innovative community. Within the project IT-for-Green this community furthers the development of next generation CEMIS. This system will integrate three modules which map the whole product life cycle starting out from input (measuring energy efficiency), going on with transformation processes (production and green logistics) and ranging up to the output side (company communication and sustainability reporting). Namely these three building blocks are:

    • Module 1: Green IT
    • Module 2: Green Production & Logistics
    • Module 3: Sustainability Reporting & Dialog

The architecture will comprise of a collection of “green web services”. In the future, these services will found the basis of a cloud computing platform (green service mall) and thus be easily accessible to interested companies. In this way, companies may connect complete software modules and interconnected, software aides services tailored to suit their own needs and software environment. Therefore, next generation CEMIS will aim at integrating the IT of a company to a resource controlling entity in order to realize a strategic corporate environmental management for an increased company value. In this way, a chance and risk efficient, strategic environmental management will be realized and sustainable added value will be generated for the companies.

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