Computers and the Environment: Understanding and Managing their Impacts

  • Ruediger Kuehr
  • Eric Williams

Part of the Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science book series (ECOE, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Ruediger Kuehr, German T. Velasquez, Eric Williams
    Pages 1-15
  3. H. Scott Matthews, Deanna H. Matthews
    Pages 17-39
  4. Reinhard Höhn, Anne Brinkley
    Pages 87-98
  5. Danielle Cole
    Pages 131-159
  6. Mohamed Saied, German T. Velasquez
    Pages 161-181
  7. Eric Williams, Ruediger Kuehr
    Pages 197-209
  8. Stefan Klatt
    Pages 211-229
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 279-285

About this book


Personal computers have made life convenient in many ways, but what about their impacts on the environment due to production, use and disposal? Manufacturing computers requires prodigious quantities of fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and water. Rapid improvements in performance mean we often buy a new machine every 1-3 years, which adds up to mountains of waste computers. How should societies respond to manage these environmental impacts?
This volume addresses the environmental impacts and management of computers through a set of analyses on issues ranging from environmental assessment, technologies for recycling, consumer behaviour, strategies of computer manufacturing firms, and government policies. One conclusion is that extending the lifespan of computers (e.g. through reselling) is an environmentally and economically effective strategy that deserves more attention from governments, firms and the general public.


Environmental Management Information Technology (IT) Recycling computer environment management performance production technology

Editors and affiliations

  • Ruediger Kuehr
    • 1
  • Eric Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Zero Emissions ForumUnited Nations UniversityHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Environmental and Sustainable Development ProgrammeUnited Nations UniversityTokyoJapan

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers and United Nations University 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-1680-6
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-0033-8
  • Series Print ISSN 1389-6970
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences