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Special Issue "Sustainable Agribusiness Decision making model in Belt and Road Green Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Ming-Lang Tseng

Department of Business Administration, Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability; green production
Guest Editor
Dr. Kuo-Jui Wu

School of Business, Dalian University of Technology, Panjin, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: industrial management; sustainable supply chain management; multi-criteria decision making
Guest Editor
Prof. Anthony S.F. Chiu

Department of Industrial Engineering, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines
Website | E-Mail
Interests: industrial ecology; sustainable consumption and production; environmental management
Guest Editor
Prof. Ming K. Lim

Supply Chain and Operations Management, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: multi-agent theory; sustainable supply chain management; corporate sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reduce, Reuse and Recycling (3Rs) practices in promoting corporate sustainability in business development, alongside with the imported/exported resources, are crucial to support sustainable agribusiness within a specified geographic boundary (i.e., in this special issue, Belt and Road – B&R) in the extended supply chains. It is, therefore, necessary to have an overview of the status, trends, and alternative setting of local and regional resources use. The sustainable agribusiness focuses on different subsets of agribusiness activities within geography and supply chain, such as consumption, production and infrastructure use, which inform different policies and planning solutions in this business industry.

The contributors of this special issue are encouraged to provide examples at different measures to showcase the systems approach, specifically through the lens of 3Rs to shape the impact of interests to the Untied Nation sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to be used to support decisions-making policies. This Special Issue was specifically proposed to include resources versus operational utilization in promoting sustainable agribusiness in B&R green development.

Prof. Ming-Lang Tseng
Dr. Kuo-Jui Wu
Prof. Anthony S.F. Chiu
Prof. Ming K. Lim
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. Sustainability 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 1400 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.

Keywords

  • corporate sustainability
  • reduce, reuse and recycling
  • decision making model
  • sustainable agribusiness
  • supply chain management

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Strategic Knowledge Management Approach to Circular Agribusiness
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072389
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 30 June 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we construct a theoretical model for strategic knowledge management in the circular agribusiness industry. Previous studies lack an analysis of strategic knowledge management and sets of measures. Hence, this study applies the fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity
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In this study, we construct a theoretical model for strategic knowledge management in the circular agribusiness industry. Previous studies lack an analysis of strategic knowledge management and sets of measures. Hence, this study applies the fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (known as fuzzy TOPSIS), and utilizes the interrelationship weights as a parameter to justify the weights and address important attributes. The results demonstrate that strategic knowledge management improves a firm’s competitive advantages through high-level management support. The theoretical and managerial implications are that high-level management support, firm performance, and knowledge management process cycles are the most important strategic knowledge management aspects for improving a firm’s performance in circular agribusiness. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Decisive Risks of Green Development Projects by Adopting Social Network Analysis under Stakeholder Theory
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062104
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 17 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
The Belt and Road initiatives related to green development projects are being increasingly considered globally. However, such projects face several risks resulting from stakeholder diversity. Although previous studies attempted to identify the risks caused by stakeholders, they found it difficult to provide a
[...] Read more.
The Belt and Road initiatives related to green development projects are being increasingly considered globally. However, such projects face several risks resulting from stakeholder diversity. Although previous studies attempted to identify the risks caused by stakeholders, they found it difficult to provide a precise boundary to separate the risks attributable to a single stakeholder. This study adopts social network analysis to explore the decisive risks attributed to each stakeholder by considering a project’s stage. The results reveal that contractors take on the most risk and, thus, require real-time monitoring. Furthermore, all stakeholders need to collaborate with one another during the implementation stage of a project to mitigate the occurrence of risk. This study makes three contributions: it (1) provides a theoretical basis for enhancing the understanding of stakeholder theory; (2) offers specific guidelines for monitoring risks; and (3) enables stakeholders to understand their duties in controlling risks. Detailed discussions are provided in the remainder of the manuscript. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design of Green Cold Chain Networks for Imported Fresh Agri-Products in Belt and Road Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051572
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract
The development of Belt and Road has seen a boom of imported fresh agri-products in China. This stimulates the growth of refrigerated transport, which accounts for much more carbon emissions than traditional transport. Designing a sustainable cold chain network is of vital importance
[...] Read more.
The development of Belt and Road has seen a boom of imported fresh agri-products in China. This stimulates the growth of refrigerated transport, which accounts for much more carbon emissions than traditional transport. Designing a sustainable cold chain network is of vital importance from both financial and environmental perspectives. In this research, a multi-objective linear programming model is proposed for green cold chain design for multiple imported fresh agri-products in China to balance between the two competing goals—the total cost and carbon emissions. The effect of the outdoor air temperature on the carbon emissions of transportation and maintaining distribution centers is considered. By applying the ε-constraint method, the multi-objective model is solved. Numerical examples derived from the scenario of imported fresh-agri products in China are conducted to shed light on green cold chain design under Belt and Road development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Harvest and Distribution Scheduling with Time Windows of Perishable Agri-Products in One-Belt and One-Road Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051570
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract
The unique characteristics of perishable agri-products are a short lifespan and rapid quality deterioration. This establishes the need to significantly reduce the time from harvest to distribution. These features require reducing the processing time from harvest to distribution to being as short as
[...] Read more.
The unique characteristics of perishable agri-products are a short lifespan and rapid quality deterioration. This establishes the need to significantly reduce the time from harvest to distribution. These features require reducing the processing time from harvest to distribution to being as short as possible. In this study, we focus on an integrated perishable agri-products scheduling problem that combines harvest and distribution simultaneously, with the purpose of reducing processing time and quality decay. We propose this problem as a mixed integer nonlinear programming model (MINLP) to optimize the harvest time and the vehicle routing to consumers, and this MINIP is formulated as a vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW). We introduce a big M method to transform the nonlinear model into a linear model, then apply CPLEX to solve the transformed model. Numerical experiments and sensitive analysis are conducted to verify the efficiency of the proposed model and to provide managerial insights. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fairtrade and Sustainability: Motivations for Fairtrade Certification among Smallholder Coffee Growers in Tanzania
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1551; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051551
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Drawing on a survey of 148 Fairtrade-certified smallholder coffee farmers in the Kagera region of Tanzania, a quantitative investigation was performed on the farmers’ motivations for Fairtrade certification. A factor analysis approach was used to analyze the importance of economic, social, and environmental
[...] Read more.
Drawing on a survey of 148 Fairtrade-certified smallholder coffee farmers in the Kagera region of Tanzania, a quantitative investigation was performed on the farmers’ motivations for Fairtrade certification. A factor analysis approach was used to analyze the importance of economic, social, and environmental motivations in farmers’ decision-making on Fairtrade-labeled coffee certification. Moreover, three ordered logit models were estimated to assess the determinants of motivational behavior for Fairtrade certification among different socioeconomic groups in the survey sample. Overall, the results indicate that Fairtrade certification is predominantly economically motivated. Particularly, farmers are relatively less environmentally motivated to adopt the Fairtrade system. However, female coffee farmers are significantly more environmentally driven to adopt Fairtrade certification. Surprisingly, the results suggest that farmers’ level of education has no significant influence on their motivation for Fairtrade certification. Moreover, lower-income and smaller-scale coffee farmers are less economically and environmentally motivated for Fairtrade certification. In light of these findings, we suggest that efforts to promote Fairtrade certification among smallholder growers should be designed in ways that balance economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Furthermore, the findings call for targeted measures to strengthen Fairtrade’s commitment to empowering disadvantaged smallholder farmers, including women, to achieve sustainable development goals in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Purchase Intentions for Sustainable Wild Salmon in the Chinese Market and Implications for Agribusiness Decisions
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051377
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable food consumption and production play an increasingly important role in improving food security and quality in the food system worldwide. Consumers’ food consumption patterns in China, a rapidly emerging economy with the largest population and one of the largest consumer markets in
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Sustainable food consumption and production play an increasingly important role in improving food security and quality in the food system worldwide. Consumers’ food consumption patterns in China, a rapidly emerging economy with the largest population and one of the largest consumer markets in the world, significantly influence the structure of global trade flows and the sustainable ecosystem and environment. In this paper, we assess the emerging demand for imported wild and sustainable Alaskan salmon fillet and varietal parts in China’s market through consumers’ stated purchase intentions for the products. We use an ordered logit model to link consumers’ purchase intentions with potential influencing factors and identify important factors, including consumers’ consumption habits, perceptions, and social demographic characteristics. Due to differences between western and Chinese consumers on how different parts of fish are consumed, seemingly low-value salmon heads and bones may carry significant value if being imported and sold to Chinese consumers. We believe that our study is an important step in helping to build a sustainable business model, thereby creating a win-win situation for both the importing and exporting countries in order to allocate resources efficiently, feed people with healthy food, avoid food waste, and fulfill the economic value of products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Total Economic Value of Sport Tourism in Belt and Road Development—An Environmental Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041191
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 15 April 2018
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Abstract
The development of the belt and road region leads cities to significantly increase the amount of public expenditure on the new construction of facilities and infrastructure. Mass construction not only relies on many environmental resources, but might also destroy the local natural environment.
[...] Read more.
The development of the belt and road region leads cities to significantly increase the amount of public expenditure on the new construction of facilities and infrastructure. Mass construction not only relies on many environmental resources, but might also destroy the local natural environment. In order to reveal the importance of the natural environment, this study explores the economic value of the natural landscape for sport tourism in Taiwan. While the concept of total economic value (TEV) is applied to the Sun–Moon Lake Swimming Carnival Event, the travel cost method (TCM) is adopted to estimate the use value for participants, and the double-bounded dichotomous contingent valuation method (CVM) and survival analysis are performed to evaluate the non-use value for the residents. The use value is on average NT$ 5668 for one participant. The median willingness to pay for the option value, existence value and bequest value of every resident is NT$433, NT$411 and NT$274, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Innovation in Circular Agri-Business
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041140
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study constructs a theory of eco-innovation in circular agri-business. Although previous studies have discussed eco-innovation in circular agri-business, they did not address eco-innovation from the perspective of a closed-loop sustainable supply chain. Hence, this study applied the fuzzy TOPSIS method to conduct
[...] Read more.
This study constructs a theory of eco-innovation in circular agri-business. Although previous studies have discussed eco-innovation in circular agri-business, they did not address eco-innovation from the perspective of a closed-loop sustainable supply chain. Hence, this study applied the fuzzy TOPSIS method to conduct the analysis and determine the interrelationship between eco-innovation and the closed-loop concept. The results are consistent with the theory and a significant improvement in terms of the decisive attributes. The findings suggest that improving water management, relationships with suppliers, knowledge sharing, environmental management systems, and new product and service development are the most effective and efficient ways to build eco-innovation in circular agri-business. The managerial and theoretical implications are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Hybrid of Multi-Objective Optimization and System Dynamics Simulation for Straw-to-Electricity Supply Chain Management under the Belt and Road Initiatives
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030868
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides immense opportunities for agro-waste utilization among countries situated along the routes. However, there is a lack of design of motivational mechanisms to put it into managerial practice. This study uses agro-straw as the typical agro-waste to
[...] Read more.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides immense opportunities for agro-waste utilization among countries situated along the routes. However, there is a lack of design of motivational mechanisms to put it into managerial practice. This study uses agro-straw as the typical agro-waste to structure a hybrid of multi-objective optimization and system dynamics simulation for optimizing the structure of straw-to-electricity supply chain and designing motivational mechanisms to enhance its sustainability. Since existing studies on the design of motivation mechanisms mainly stressed static motivation, two different dynamic subsidy mechanisms are devised in this study to facilitate the stable collaboration among stakeholders involved in the supply chain. A case study is provided to demonstrate the hybrid method. Discussion about the limitations of the study lays the foundation for further improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Consumer Behavior of Intention to Purchase Green Products in Belt and Road Countries: An Empirical Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030854
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explored the consumer behavior of intention to purchase green products based on a decision-making model that integrates cognitive attributes, affective attributes, and behavioral intentions in Belt and Road countries. The questionnaires were collected from customers who previously purchased green products; this
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This study explored the consumer behavior of intention to purchase green products based on a decision-making model that integrates cognitive attributes, affective attributes, and behavioral intentions in Belt and Road countries. The questionnaires were collected from customers who previously purchased green products; this study distributed the questionnaires at the appliance section of the department stores and collected 227 valid responses. Environmental attitude, product attitude, social influence, and perceived monetary value positively affected purchase intention; among these attributes, product attitude most substantially affected purchase intention. Cognitive values (collective and individual) significantly and positively affected environmental and product attitudes. Regarding individual environmental literacy, objective knowledge did not significantly affect environmental attitude, whereas subjective knowledge positively and significantly affected product attitude. In addition, both environmental awareness and government role (extrinsic motivating attributes) significantly and positively affected environmental and product attitudes for sustainable consumption. Media exposure also exerted a significant positive effect on environmental attitude for reducing, reusing and recycling emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing Eco-Efficiency of Agro-Products’ Closed-Loop Supply Chain under the Belt and Road Initiatives: A System Dynamics Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030668
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study redesigns the supply chain of agricultural products in southwest China under the Belt and Road Initiative to improve its eco-efficiency by considering the associated agro-wastes flowing into bioenergy enterprise for energy production. Two scenarios are created, in which the first assumes
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This study redesigns the supply chain of agricultural products in southwest China under the Belt and Road Initiative to improve its eco-efficiency by considering the associated agro-wastes flowing into bioenergy enterprise for energy production. Two scenarios are created, in which the first assumes that all waste flows into the enterprise, whereas the second only considers the inflow of agro-waste produced by farmers and the wholesale market. A system dynamics simulation is conducted by using carbon emissions per product as an indicator to obtain the optimal scenario for managerial practice and design an incentivizing mechanism to drive supply chain operations. A case study is provided to demonstrate application of the system dynamics. Finally, the limitations of the study are discussed to lay the foundation for further improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Approach to Explore the Risk Dependency Structure among Agribusiness Firms
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020533
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
Although the risk management of agricultural firms is important, studies on the extreme risk dependence among agribusiness firms are minimal due to the diversity and complexity of the risks faced by agricultural firms. In this study, we developed a hybrid approach to analyse
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Although the risk management of agricultural firms is important, studies on the extreme risk dependence among agribusiness firms are minimal due to the diversity and complexity of the risks faced by agricultural firms. In this study, we developed a hybrid approach to analyse and uncover the potential risk dependence among agricultural firms. We examined thirty-two agricultural companies to study their dependence structure for risk losses. Three primary findings emerged. First, risk dependence is strong with an average value of 0.96. Second, the dependence structure is hierarchical and includes two network communities. Third, some key agricultural firms were identified in the dependence structure. These key firms are critical for the transmission of negative impacts across agricultural firms. Correspondingly, we suggest measures and strategies (such as improving the level of technological innovation and joint risk resistance capability) to reduce the impact of risk dependence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Constructing a Hierarchical Agribusiness Framework in Chinese Belt and Road Initiatives under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010251
Received: 16 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a result of China launching its belt and road initiatives, an increasing number of firms are searching for an approach to developing sustainability. In particular, agribusinesses are encountering difficulties exploring decisive practices for sustainable food in a context involving diverse stakeholders. To
[...] Read more.
As a result of China launching its belt and road initiatives, an increasing number of firms are searching for an approach to developing sustainability. In particular, agribusinesses are encountering difficulties exploring decisive practices for sustainable food in a context involving diverse stakeholders. To clarify these differences in expectations between agribusinesses and their stakeholders, this study employs vague sets associated with interpretive structural modelling to develop a framework for agribusinesses and their customers. A comparison of these two frameworks reveals that the government still plays a key role in motivating sustainable food development in terms of establishing the relevant regulations and processes. Moreover, the customer is the final stakeholder that must be taken into account by agribusiness. Both agribusinesses and customers are concerned about health and safety considerations in sustainable food. Further details related to this context are addressed in the present study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Green Suppliers Performance Evaluation in Belt and Road Using Fuzzy Weighted Average with Social Media Information
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010005
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
A decision model for selecting a suitable supplier is a key to reducing the environmental impact in green supply chain management for high-tech companies. Traditional fuzzy weight average (FWA) adopts linguistic variable to determine weight by experts. However, the weights of FWA have
[...] Read more.
A decision model for selecting a suitable supplier is a key to reducing the environmental impact in green supply chain management for high-tech companies. Traditional fuzzy weight average (FWA) adopts linguistic variable to determine weight by experts. However, the weights of FWA have not considered the public voice, meaning the viewpoints of consumers in green supply chain management. This paper focuses on developing a novel decision model for green supplier selection in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative through a fuzzy weighted average approach with social media. The proposed decision model uses the membership grade of the criteria and sub-criteria and its relative weights, which consider the volume of social media, to establish an analysis matrix of green supplier selection. Then, the proposed fuzzy weighted average approach is considered as an aggregating tool to calculate a synthetic score for each green supplier in the Belt and Road initiative. The final score of the green supplier is ordered by a non-fuzzy performance value ranking method to help the consumer make a decision. A case of green supplier selection in the light-emitting diode (LED) industry is used to demonstrate the proposed decision model. The findings demonstrate (1) the consumer’s main concerns are the “Quality” and “Green products” in LED industry, hence, the ranking of suitable supplier in FWA with social media information model obtained the difference result with tradition FWA; (2) OBOR in the LED industry is not fervently discussed in searches of Google and Twitter; and (3) the FWA with social media information could objectively analyze the green supplier selection because the novel model considers the viewpoints of the consumer. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Disposal in the Belt and Road Initiative: A Preliminary Proposal for Chengdu City
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041147
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
The Chinese green Belt and Road initiative is promoted. This study takes Chengdu as a key hub under the Belt and Road initiative. The municipal solid waste disposal is the point to control pollution and move toward sustainability. Hence, sustainable municipal solid waste
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The Chinese green Belt and Road initiative is promoted. This study takes Chengdu as a key hub under the Belt and Road initiative. The municipal solid waste disposal is the point to control pollution and move toward sustainability. Hence, sustainable municipal solid waste disposal needs to be studied. The prior studies are absent in the planning scenarios analysis. This study proposes a case study to propose three planning scenarios for waste disposal to enhance its sustainability. Scenario 1 represents the current waste disposal mode in Chengdu; Scenario 2 considers all the wastes being incinerated; and Scenario 3 focuses on the incorporation of three disposal methods, i.e., anaerobic digestion, incineration, and landfilling. These three scenarios are assessed based on their greenhouse gas emissions, costs, and public acceptance, to determine the optimality for future managerial practice. Results indicated that Scenario 3 has the highest overall efficiency, yet is challenging in terms of economic feasibility. The limitations of the study are also discussed. Full article
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