BPM and Sustainability

1st International Workshop on Business Process Management and Sustainability (SusBPM’10)

Workshop Proceedings

As process-oriented organizations have traditionally focused on time, cost, and quality of their processes, one issue has largely dropped off the agenda: the ecological and social consequences. With the growing awareness for global crises such as rapid climate change and the social divide, individuals, organizations, and governments increasingly recognize the need for sustainable development. As a consequence, the notion of sustainability has evolved around economical, social, and ecological issues.

MIT’s Peter Senge, for example, calls for the “necessary revolution” – one that is not only political but implies a paradigmatic shift towards a sustainable economy. Obviously, challenges at a global level cannot be solved by rather reactive solutions that target the mere symptoms rather than the underlying imbalances and potential misbelieves. What is needed is a fundamental, paradigmatic shift. Organizations are hence forced to also recognize the environmental implications of resource consumption and social cost caused by their processes (the processes’ ecological and social footprint).

While the past years have seen a shift towards incremental process improvements, as opposed to radical re-design, one may argue that existent processes and their mere variations will not provide ample responses to the challenge of creating socially and environmentally sustainable business processes. In many cases, organizations are required to innovate in order to realize the shift towards sustainable processes. It is our belief that the IS discipline in general, and the field of business process management (BPM) in particular, can meaningfully contribute to this important field of research.

The aim of this workshop is to contribute to the discussion of the role and relevance of business processes and business process management in the context of economical, social, and ecological sustainability. In particular, it is intended to provide thought leaders with a forum, where they can develop and discuss a research agenda for this beyond doubt important area.


Rick Watson

Rick Watson, University of Georgia

Creating a Sustainable Society: An Information Systems Strategy
Rick Watson
Professor, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Richard Watson is the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He has published nearly 150 journal articles, written books on electronic commerce and data management, and given invited presentations in more than 30 countries. His most recent research focuses on Energy Informatics and IS leadership. He is a consulting editor for John Wiley & Sons, a former President of the Association for Information Systems, a visiting professor at the University of Agder in Norway, co-leader of the Global Text Project, the International Coordinator for the PhD in Information Systems at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, and the Research Director for the Advanced Practices Council of the Society of Information Management, an exclusive forum for senior IS executives.


  • Towards Green BPM – Sustainability and Resource Efficiency through Business Process Management
    Constantin Houy, Markus Reiter, Peter Fettke and Peter Loos.

  • What is Sustainability in Business Process Management? A Theoretical Framework and its Application in the Public Sector of Ethiopia
    Getachew Hailemariam and Jan vom Brocke

  • Process Performance Management as a Basic Concept for Sustainable Business Process Management – Empirical Investigation and Research Agenda
    Anne Cleven, Felix Wortmann and Robert Winter

  • Controlling of dynamic enterprises by indicators – a foundational approach
    Nicole Zeise, Marco Link and Erich Ortner.

  • Measuring the Carbon Footprint of Business Processes
    Jan Recker, Michael Rosemann and Ehsan Roohi Gohar.

  • Sustainability Performance Measurement – The Case of Ethiopian Airlines
    Wube Alemayehu and Jan vom Brocke