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Special Issue "Operations and Innovations for the Environment"

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Victor Shi

Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, N2L3C5, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: supply chain management, management science, green operations, innovation
Guest Editor
Dr. Yong He

School of Economics and Management, Department of Logistics Management Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Dr. Shilei Yang

School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There have been various major environmental problems in the world, including pollution, climate change, and natural resource depletion. For example, the CO2 concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere have risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) 200 years ago to about 400 ppm today. There are currently about 5.25 trillion pieces of floating plastic debris in the oceans.

Operations are the transformation processes from various inputs (e.g., raw materials and energy) into goods and services to meet consumer needs. Operational decisions include operations strategy, product design, process design, quality management, capacity, facilities planning, production planning and inventory control, and recycling and remanufacturing, and supply chain management to work with upstream suppliers and downstream customers. To solve these environmental problems, it is crucial for organizations, big or small, to improve and innovate their operations. Through operations improvement and innovation, organizations can procure raw materials that are from renewable resources, design products with more environmental qualities, manufacture products using renewable energy more efficiently, use biodegradable or compostable packaging, recycle and remanufacture from used products, among other things. For example, two Australians designed an innovative product called seabin, a submersible garbage bin that siphons and captures floating debris in the oceans; they teamed up with Poralu Marine, a French company, for manufacturing.

This Special Issue welcomes theoretical and empirical contributions to the broad issue related to operations and innovations for the environment. Topics include, but are not limited to, green strategy, product design for the environment, process improvement, recycling, remanufacturing, waste management, green supply chains, and innovating for the environment. All papers selected for this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.

Prof. Dr. Victor Shi
Dr. Yong He
Dr. Shilei Yang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Multi-Depot Open Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows Based on Carbon Trading
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092025
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
In order to cut the costs of third-party logistics companies and respond to the Chinese government’s low-carbon economy plans, this paper studies the more practical and complex open vehicle routing problem, which considers low-carbon trading policies. A low-carbon multi-depot open vehicle routing problem
[...] Read more.
In order to cut the costs of third-party logistics companies and respond to the Chinese government’s low-carbon economy plans, this paper studies the more practical and complex open vehicle routing problem, which considers low-carbon trading policies. A low-carbon multi-depot open vehicle routing problem with time windows (MDOVRPTW) model is constructed with minimum total costs, which include the driver’s salary, penalty costs, fuel costs and carbon emissions trading costs. Then, a two-phase algorithm is proposed to handle the model. In the first phase, the initial local solution is obtained with particle swarm optimization (PSO); in the second phase, we can obtain a global optimal solution through a further tabu search (TS). Experiments proved that the proposed algorithm is more suitable for small-scale cases. Furthermore, a series of experiments with different values of carbon prices and carbon quotas are conducted. The results of the study indicate that, as carbon trading prices and carbon quotas change, total costs, carbon emission trading costs and carbon emissions are affected accordingly. Based on these academic results, this paper presents some effective proposals for the government’s carbon trading policy-making and also for logistics companies to have better route planning under carbon emission constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle An Improved Shapley Value Method for a Green Supply Chain Income Distribution Mechanism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091976
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Low-carbon development and environmental remediation are key factors for green resource-based supply chains in China. With this aim in mind, by applying game theory under uncertain market demand, this paper incorporates low-carbon development and environmental remediation into a resource-based supply chain coordination model
[...] Read more.
Low-carbon development and environmental remediation are key factors for green resource-based supply chains in China. With this aim in mind, by applying game theory under uncertain market demand, this paper incorporates low-carbon development and environmental remediation into a resource-based supply chain coordination model for decentralized and centralized markets. The results show that a centralized market can lead to improvement in total profit. Furthermore, based on an improved Shapley value method, a theoretical model for the centralized market income distribution mechanism is developed that incorporates three corrective risk factors, ecological investment, and technological level. Finally, a numerical analysis is conducted using a MATLAB simulation to obtain intuitive results, which, in turn, show the validity of incentive income distribution mechanisms for green supply chain development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle How Would Economic Development Influence Carbon Productivity? A Case from Hubei in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081730
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
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Abstract
Carbon productivity, defined as the gross domestic product (GDP) per unit of CO2 emissions, has been used by provincial governments in China as in indicator for effort and effect in addressing climate-change problems. The aggregate impact of economic growth on carbon productivity
[...] Read more.
Carbon productivity, defined as the gross domestic product (GDP) per unit of CO2 emissions, has been used by provincial governments in China as in indicator for effort and effect in addressing climate-change problems. The aggregate impact of economic growth on carbon productivity is complex and worthy of extensive investigation to design effective environmental and economic policies. Based on a novel combination of the smooth transition regression model and the Markov regime-switching regression model, this paper analyzes time series data on carbon productivity and economic growth from Hubei Province in China. The results show that the influence of economic growth on carbon productivity is highly nonlinear. In general, economic growth has a positive impact on improving carbon productivity. From a longitudinal perspective, this nonlinear positive impact is further divided into three stages, transiting from a high regime to a low regime and then back to a high regime. The high regime stage, in which economic growth has stronger positive influence on enhancing carbon productivity, is expected to last for considerably longer time than the low regime stage. It is more probable for a low regime stage to transit to a high regime. Once the relation of carbon productivity and economic growth enters the high regime status it becomes relatively stable there. If the government aims to achieve higher carbon productivity, it is helpful to encourage stronger economic development. However, simply enhancing carbon productivity is not enough for curbing carbon emissions, especially for fast growing economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle An OWA Distance-Based, Single-Valued Neutrosophic Linguistic TOPSIS Approach for Green Supplier Evaluation and Selection in Low-Carbon Supply Chains
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071439
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents a technique based on the ordered weighted averaging (OWA) distance for the single-valued neutrosophic linguistic (SVNL) technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS). First, the inadequacies of the existing SVNL TOPSIS are analyzed in detail. Second,
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a technique based on the ordered weighted averaging (OWA) distance for the single-valued neutrosophic linguistic (SVNL) technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS). First, the inadequacies of the existing SVNL TOPSIS are analyzed in detail. Second, a SVNL OWA distance (SVNLOWAD) measure is presented, and based on this, a modified TOPSIS, termed the SVNLOWAD-TOPSIS, is developed for multiple attribute decision-making problems with SVNL information. Third, a revised relative coefficient is proposed to rank potential alternatives. Finally, a numerical example concerning green supplier selection in low-carbon supply chains is introduced to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
Open AccessArticle Upstream-Downstream Joint Carbon Reduction Strategies Based on Low-Carbon Promotion
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071351
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
A differential game model is established to analyze the impact of emissions reduction efforts and low-carbon product promotion on the reduction strategies of low-carbon product manufacturers (subsequently referred to as manufacturers) and the retailers of such products in a dynamic environment. Based on
[...] Read more.
A differential game model is established to analyze the impact of emissions reduction efforts and low-carbon product promotion on the reduction strategies of low-carbon product manufacturers (subsequently referred to as manufacturers) and the retailers of such products in a dynamic environment. Based on this model, changes in emissions reduction efforts and promotional efforts are comparatively analyzed under three scenarios (retailers bearing the promotional cost, manufacturers bearing the promotional cost, and centralized decision-making). The results are as follows: (1) the trajectory of carbon emissions reduction per product unit is the highest when the supply chain is under centralized decision-making, followed by when manufacturers bear the promotional cost, and lastly when retailers bear the cost; (2) when manufacturers bear the promotional cost, the market demand, emissions reduction effort, and promotional effort are higher, although the unit retail price is higher than when retailers bear the promotional cost; and (3) under centralized decision-making, the unit retail price is the lowest; however, sales volume, the emissions reduction effort, and the promotional effort are all higher than those in the other scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle An Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Programs Using the AHP-Entropy Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071317
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this
[...] Read more.
The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this paper proposes a 2-dimensional Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Program (EMMMCP) based on an analysis of existing projects, group management theory and a management maturity model. In this model, a synergetic process was included to compensate for the lack of consideration of synergies in previous studies, and it was involved in the construction of the first dimension, i.e., the environmental management index system. The second dimension, i.e., the maturity level of environment management, was then constructed by redefining the hierarchical characteristics of construction program (CP) environmental management maturity. Additionally, a mathematical solution to this proposed model was derived via the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-entropy approach. To verify the effectiveness and feasibility of this proposed model, a computational experiment was conducted, and the results show that this approach could not only measure the individual levels of different processes, but also achieve the most important objective of providing a reference for stakeholders when making decisions on the environmental management of construction program, which reflects this model is reasonable for evaluating the level of environmental management maturity in CP. To our knowledge, this paper is the first study to evaluate the environmental management maturity levels of CP, which would fill the gap between project program management and environmental management and provide a reference for relevant management personnel to enhance their environmental management capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle An Economic Model of Human Cooperation Based on Indirect Reciprocity and Its Implication on Environmental Protection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071303
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
There has been an urgent challenge for environmental protection due to issues like population increase, climate change, and pollution. To address this challenge, sustained human cooperation is critical. However, how cooperation in human beings evolves is one of the 125 most challenging scientific
[...] Read more.
There has been an urgent challenge for environmental protection due to issues like population increase, climate change, and pollution. To address this challenge, sustained human cooperation is critical. However, how cooperation in human beings evolves is one of the 125 most challenging scientific questions, as announced by Science in its 125th anniversary. In this paper, we contribute to answering this question by building an economic game model based on indirect reciprocity and altruism behavior. In our model, there are three types of participants: cooperator, defector, and discriminator. In every round of the game, the cooperator chooses cooperation, the defector chooses non-cooperation, and the choice of the discriminator depends on the choice of his partner in the last round. Our analysis and main result shows that there is no stable evolution equilibrium in this game, which implies that the proportions of different types of players will keep changing instead of reaching a stable equilibrium. In other words, there is no guarantee that cooperation will be dominant in this game. An implication of this result is that to achieve cooperation and protect the environment more effectively, cooperators and discriminators in our society should be provided with incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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