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Use eco-friendly resources

Replace underlying resources with eco-friendly alternatives

How can we reduce the environmental impact of a process without altering the original process structure?

Nowak, A., Leymann, F., Schleicher, D., Schumm, D., & Wagner, S. (2011, October 21). Green business process patterns. Proceedings of the 18th Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs. PLoP 11: Pattern Languages of Programs Conference 2011.

perspective: resource


Organizations are using a multitude of resources for the operation of their business and the corresponding business processes. These resources need to be selected based on both the strategic business and ecological objectives the organization wants to achieve.


A resource is usually chosen by its functional capabilities. Selecting resources based on their environmental impact, however, can significantly influence the corresponding result. Additionally, proper metrics need to be defined and set-up in order to determine the different metric values of each resource.


Exchange the underlying resources of certain activities


Organizations will decrease their environmental impact by exchanging resources used by certain activities. The exchange of underlying resources usually does not affect the process structure. Thus, the process is performed as before, however, possibly with ecological-positive side-effects.


Resources are used or consumed in many cases. A company could, for example, decide to use green electricity instead of a conventional one. They may also decide to use different raw materials like non-plastic packaging for packaging their goods. Another example would be the use of cloud computing. This decreases the number of machines that an organization needs to hold available (e.g. for rare peak situations) and allows a demand-dependent use of these resources. Variations: Some resources display a different ecological impact based on other environmental factors, such as the form of available energy. A supplier of electric energy, for example, may provide greener electricity the windier it is at the location of his wind energy plant. This type of resource does not have to be exchanged but it is merely ensured that the same resource is used during certain time-slots in which its environmental impact is reduced.

Relations to other Patterns

Depending on the type of business process it may also be feasible to use Green Features. This pattern, however, may focus more on the appearance of a service or product rather than on an in-depth green process optimization.

Performance considerations


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Foundational free Patterns

Deploy extra resources

If capacity is insufficient, consider increasing the available number of resources

Apply Integral technology

Elevate physical constraints by applying new technology

Establish standardized interfaces

Consider a standardized interface with customers and partners

Minimize numerical involvement

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Resequence activities

Move activities to more appropriate places

Offer temporal flexibility

Let customers interact with your organization whenever they want to.

Generalize your process

Explore whether a process can easily be used for additional products or services

Task delegation

Reassign tasks along the organisational hierarchy

Quality-based task assignment

Allocate task based on past feedback or quality metrics


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Connected to

Green Feature

Let products appear greener

Shift Workload

Execute tasks when the grid is powered by renewable energy

Human Process Performance

Consider whether it is eco-friendly to let humans work over machines

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