Sustainability in Information Technology: An analysis of the aspects considered in the model Cobit

Marcia Cristina Machado, Flavio Hourneaux Junior, Fernanda Aparecida Sobral


Parallel to the development of technology in its different fronts and particularly about the various applications of Information Technology (IT), another trend that has been consolidated in organizations is the search for sustainability. There are initiatives such as Green IT, Sustainable IT, and Green software that combine these two elements (IT and sustainability). In this context, this study aims to identify the presence of sustainability aspects in the COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies) model of IT management. Thus, this article seeks to verify if and how versions 4.1 and 5 of the COBIT model—which guide IT managers in the alignment of technical activities with the organization's strategy—are related to sustainability, through the use of sustainability indicators defined by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as a representative proxy of sustainability aspects necessary for the user organization of the model. This exploratory research makes use of documental research and presents the following main results: (1) partial alignment of the COBIT model with the generic categories of the GRI, especially the governance category; and (2) it highlights the small relation of this model with broader environmental and social aspects in the same way that it presents relationship limitations with economic aspects evaluated by the GRI.


Information technology (IT); Sustainable IT; COBIT maturity models; sustainability indicators; Global Reporting Initiative

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