Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: Although food and commodity consumption is a leading contributor to individuals’ emissions, limited attention has been given to green information systems (IS) initiatives in this crucial context. Persisting behavioral patterns, along with diverse personal values underlying consumers’ consumption choices and perceptions of sustainability, further complicate efforts to align sustainability initiatives with consumers’ values and goals. This study takes a novel approach to investigating how digital solutions may be utilized to represent sustainability and its related challenges to consumers and how such efforts are perceived by individual users in the food and commodity sector.

Method: Using a service-dominant logic lens, we explored the potential of digital services to co-create and co-destroy sustainability value. Our approach involved a qualitative case study incorporating in-depth interviews with case company representatives and a critical incident technique survey with customers. Using a thematic analysis, we dissect customers’ experiences of value co-creation and co-destruction regarding the value propositions of the case company’s digital sustainability initiatives.

Results: Our findings showcase emergent linkages and misalignments between the retailer’s value propositions and consumers’ experiences. We propose a nuanced framework capturing value co-creation and co-destruction across four dimensions, ranging from digital services in physical stores to omnichannel and ubiquitous services. The findings showcase the subjective and context-dependent nature of consumers’ interpretations of value, underscoring the importance of tailoring digital interventions to individuals’ goals, needs, and contexts.

Conclusion: Emphasizing the need to align digital services with consumers’ sustainability goals, we propose approaches for physical and online store augmentation to support this alignment and encourage sustainable choices. However, a fine line is acknowledged between promoting sustainable behaviors and encouraging excessive consumption with green IS. We contribute to an understanding of digital services’ potential impact on sustainable consumption and extend the knowledge of value co-creation and co-destruction in digital sustainability initiatives.