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At present time the overall technological development seems to be intrinsic and nearly independent from other than economic considerations. The ICT industry for instance has an enormous potential for making the world more sustainable by using their technological know how to reduce environmental burdens, fostering education and participation through applications of advanced technological products. However, the current development of electronics and information and communication technology reflects no considerations of ethical or sustainability values. This paper presents one example on how technological development and product manufacturing might be changed in the near future due to the growing recognition of sustainable development within the ICT industry. Taking the mobile communication industry, with its network provider, system technology and handheld device manufacturer, expanding markets and global supply chains, as an example, it is discussed how this branch might change their technological development and management praxis to more sustainability in a sense of a global value that focus on a well balanced ecological, economical and social development as well as equal opportunities for present and future generations. It is briefly discussed what sustainability means in the context of mobile communication technology. Then a close look is taken at the growing sustainability initiatives in the field of mobile communication and the 3G Greenbook Initiative of T-Mobile Germany in particular. With regards to environmentally benign and sustainable technology development and production socio-ethical standards for procurement and supply chain management are an important issue within the 3G Greenbook. As more and more companies are implementing environmental management systems, e.g. EAMS or ISO 14001, starting environmental and sustainability reporting, e.g. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), green procurement requirements are flourishing.
Date of Conference: 19-22 May 2003