Class 9: Data and sustainability

Provided by Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Copenhagen Business School

Major Topics: Why should organizations pay interest in datafication as more than a technical question? What practices lend themselves to quantification?


Podcast: The internet’s Co2 Footprint by Nanna Bonde Thysrup, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Core readings

Velkova, Julia. “Data That Warms: Waste Heat, Infrastructural Convergence and the Computation Traffic Commodity.” Big Data & Society, (December 2016). doi:10.1177/2053951716684144.

Bruno Basalisco. 2018. European data centres. How Google’s digital infrastructure investment is supporting sustainable growth in Europe. Copenhagen Economics.

Post-lecture portfolio assignment

Contrast and compare:  

Read Julia Velkova’s text and Bruno Basalisco’s report on data centers and sustainability. Explain what Velkova means by computation traffic commodity and describe how the notion can be used to critically interrogate the findings and arguments made in Basalisco’s report. Discuss how computation traffic commodities can be interpreted as a new theme within the overarching theme of the challenges and opportunities of datafication. (400-500 words).

Additional material


James Glanz and Kenn Brill. 2012. Power, Pollution and the Internet. New York times

Greenpeace. 2019. Green Netflix.


Jennifer Gabrys, 2016. Practicing, materialising and contesting environmental data. Big Data & Society. 

Culture Machine. 2018. The Nature of Data Centers. Special Issue.

Greenpeace. 2017. Click Clean.

Orit Halpern. 2017. Hopeful Resilience. E-flux magazine.

Jason Farman. 2017. Repair and Software: Updates, Obsolescence, and Mobile Culture’s Operating Systems. Continent.