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Peer-Review Record

Pricing Decisions of CSR Closed-Loop Supply Chains with Carbon Emission Constraints

Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4430; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124430
Reviewer 1: Kathleen M. Wilburn
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4430; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124430
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 25 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The research study produces very useful data to connect the how CSR effects pricing in a closed loop supply chain that have carbon emissions constraints.  The results would be directly useful to any closed loop supply chain that was considering adopting a CSR strategy."

Literature review is comprehensive to support study.  However, I note that there are no references from supply chain journals such as the International Journal of Supply Chain Management or Supply Chain Management.  There are papers like Jonas C.P. Yu's "Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility in A Closed-loop Supply Chain: A Conceptual Approach" in the first one and Wells' "Business models and closed-loop supply chains: a typology" in the second that could be addressed.

The tables and charts are very useful for understanding the results, and allow the study to be used by businesses. In this regard, it might be useful to identify to what sized companies or loops the manufacturing model might be applied directly.

Paper needs to be proofread one more time for unclear complex sentences, such as.

Line 207 "With the increasing severity of global climate change, researchers integrate natural environment into discussions of the strategy and operation and concern the operations strategies of low-carbon enterprises, investigating the role of carbon emission policy in managing supply chains."

Line 612 "The manufacturer has corporate social responsibility, and takes recycling as the embodiment of CSR." The word "takes" does not indicate part of strategy, and it is not shown that the manufacturers only focus on recycling.

Line 370 "denotes the three case of non-CSR, CSR and maximizing social welfare respectively." Should this be "cases" rather than "case"?


Author Response

Thank you very much for your insightful comments on our manuscript, and we have incorporated all the reviewer’s comments into the revision of our paper. We have marked the revised lines in red in the text. Below are the main corrections in the paper and the responses to the reviewer’s comments.

 

Comments:

(1)  There are no references from supply chain journals such as the International Journal of Supply Chain Management or Supply Chain Management. 

(2)  Paper needs to be proofread one more time for unclear complex sentences.

 

Responses to Reviewer 1:

(1) In response to the reviewer who says that our references do not have literature from supply chain journals, we have added some literature from supply chain journals to the literature review based on the recommendation of the reviewer. The reviewer can see it in Lines 301-307.

(2) We have changed Lines 207, 370 and 612 according to your suggestion. In addition, we have made a double check and proofread this manuscript, correcting the spelling and grammatical errors in the manuscript. For some unclear sentences, we have deleted or rewritten them.


Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper seems interesting, however, before uploading a paper to a high quality journal, the authors must read the " Instructions for Authors" document: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/instructions

Properly following these instructions makes the review process easier for the reviewer.

The authors have clearly not read this document, as the paper currently has the format of another journal.:

- Abstract is too long (>200 words)

- All the references are wrongly cited in the text

- All the references are not described as required by the journal

- Figure are not properly numbered

- "Sustainability has no restrictions on the length of manuscripts, provided that the text is concise and comprehensive."  17000 words is not concise. Some of the not relevant information should be provided as supplementary materials.

- All the equations must be properly numbered

-Figure quality should be improved to enhance readibility

Author Response

Thank you very much for your insightful comments on our manuscript, and we have incorporated the reviewer’s comments into the revision of our paper. We have marked the revised lines in red in the text. Below are the main corrections in the paper and the responses to the reviewer’s comments.


Comments:

(1) Abstract is too long (>200 words).

(2) All the references are wrongly cited in the text.

(3) All the references are not described as required by the journal.

(4) Figures are not properly numbered.

(5) "Sustainability has no restrictions on the length of manuscripts, provided that the text is concise and comprehensive." 17000 words is not concise. Some of the not relevant information should be provided as supplementary materials.

(6) All the equations must be properly numbered.

(7) Figure quality should be improved to enhance readability.

 

Responses to Reviewer 2:

We have incorporated all your comments into the revision of the article. Below are a list of changes.

(1)      We have revised the abstract.

(2)      We have cited the references according to the document.

(3)      We have described all the references as required in the document.

(4)      We have renumbered the figures as required in the document.

(5)      We have streamlined and revised the article accordingly. We have deleted some repetitive and redundant statements in the manuscript, and some unimportant charts or analyses.

(6)      We have renumbered all the equations.

(7)      We have remade the chart and adjusted its size for readability.


Reviewer 3 Report

I think that authors positioned and differentiated the work very nice in literature. The analytical results are also quite solid. However, the presentation of the results need to be improved a lot. 


(1) Authors' typesetting in mathematical equations and expressions need to be improved significantly. It is a good idea to use LaTex. Mathematical notations also need to be more clearly presented.


(2) Descriptions of tables and figures are inconsistent with each other.


(3) Please add more explanation for the analytical results and mathematical expressions and equations.


(4) Please clarify the (technical) differences between the research models.


(5) Please describe Propositions 1 and 2 more rigorously including their proofs. It is a good idea to rearrange the analytical results, which are scattered around in the manuscript. Propositions 3 through 10 looks more discussions or interpretations of the results. Please describe them differently. It looks quite strange.

Author Response

Thank you very much for your insightful comments on our manuscript, and we have incorporated the reviewer’s comments into the revision of our paper. We have marked the revised lines in red in the text. Below are the main corrections in the paper and the responses to the reviewer’s comments.


Comment:

(1) Authors' typesetting in mathematical equations and expressions need to be improved significantly. It is a good idea to use LaTex. Mathematical notations also need to be more clearly presented.

(2) Descriptions of tables and figures are inconsistent with each other.

(3) Please add more explanation for the analytical results and mathematical expressions and equations.

(4) Please clarify the (technical) differences between the research models.

(5) Please describe Propositions 1 and 2 more rigorously including their proofs. It is a good idea to rearrange the analytical results, which are scattered around in the manuscript. Propositions 3 through 10 looks more discussions or interpretations of the results. Please describe them differently. It looks quite strange.

 

Responses to Reviewer 3:

(1)      We have improved our typesetting in mathematical equations and expressions. We have adjusted their sizes and descriptions. The mathematical notations are also described in greater detail.

(2)      We have examined the description of figures and tables. We have renamed the figures and kept the descriptions consistent with each other.

(3)      We have added more explanation for the mathematical expressions and equations and improved the analyses of the results according to the reviewer’s suggestion.

(4)      This manuscript involves three models: benchmark model (non-CSR model), manufacturer's total profits maximization model (CSR model) and social welfare maximization model. We have used Matlab to solve their optimal values in all the three models. The technical differences between them are as follows:

1) Compared with the other two models, the benchmark model does not involve the intensity of corporate social responsibility.

2) In the model of maximizing manufacturer's total profits, we not only solve the optimal value, but also solve the derivative of the optimal value to the parameters of government reward-penalty coefficient, remanufacturing emission reduction coefficient and corporate social responsibility intensity, so as to analyze the influence of these parameters on the optimal decision-making.

3) Both the benchmark model and the manufacturer's total profits model contain two profit functions, namely the retailer's and manufacturer's profit functions, while the social welfare maximization model only involves one function, that is, the social welfare function.

(5)   Based on the reviewers' comments, we have rewritten Propositions 1 and 2. They are more clearly demonstrated in greater detail. We have rearranged Propositions 3-10, in which Propositions 3-7 have been replaced with analytical methods, and Propositions 8-10 have been deleted. We have presented Propositions 8-10 in a summary after the paragraph, instead of propositions.


Reviewer 4 Report

I would like to thank you for the possibility to evaluate this impressive paper. I have read it with high interest and found it as the well written according to the academic standards, using proper structure and logic information flow.

I suggest authors to consider: do they really want to merge CSR with close loop supply chain or they should present sustainable close loop supply chain ? I am not sure of that.

The introduction present useful background to further consideration with interesting study questions. Literature review is wide and relating to important sources in this area. However in my opinion the part on Corporate Social Responsibility can be exchanged/supplemented with Sustainable Supply Chain literature review as it is more important in this topic.

Model assumptions as model construction seem to be suitable for real circumstances.

The formulas and figures are well commented.

The results discussion in relation to previous studies are very narrow and it must be improved as well as should be moved from conclusion to separate section.

 

 


Author Response

Thank you very much for your insightful comments on our manuscript, and we have incorporated the reviewer’s comments into the revision of our paper. We have marked the revised lines in red in the text. Below are the main corrections in the paper and the responses to the reviewer’s comments.


Comments:

(1)      I suggest authors to consider: do they really want to merge CSR with close loop supply chain or they should present sustainable close loop supply chain ?

(2)      the part on Corporate Social Responsibility can be exchanged/supplemented with Sustainable Supply Chain literature review as it is more important in this topic.

(3)      Model assumptions as model construction seem to be suitable for real circumstances.

(4)      The results discussion in relation to previous studies are very narrow and it must be improved as well as should be moved from conclusion to separate section.

 

Responses to Reviewer 4:

(1)      This manuscript considers the optimal decision-making of CSR closed-loop supply chain under carbon emission constraints. We have discussed the impact of carbon emission constraint and corporate social responsibility on closed-loop supply chains. Indeed, this is also the content of a sustainable supply chain. However, the theme of sustainable supply chain is too large to cover in detail here. It may involve social responsibility, carbon emissions, green logistics (warehousing, transportation) and other aspects. Therefore, we prefer to start from the point of corporate social responsibility. Nevertheless, this is not in conflict with sustainability, due to the fact that carbon emission constraints and social responsibility are also a reflection of sustainable supply chains.

(2)      We have added some sustainable supply chain literature to the section of “literature review” of CSR. This part of the literature and CSR literature complement each other.

(3)      We have changed the model assumptions to model construction in the light of the recommendation of the reviewer.

(4)      We have rewritten the analyses of the proposition. We have rearranged our analytical ideas and improved the results. At the same time, we have moved the analyses from the “conclusion” to a separate section.

   

We tried our best to improve the manuscript and made some changes in the manuscript.  These changes will not influence the content and framework of the paper. And here we did not list the changes but marked in red in revised paper.

We appreciate for Editors/Reviewers’ work earnestly, and hope that the correction will meet with approval.

Once again, thank you very much for your comments and suggestions.


Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper has been significantly improved. However, some minor issues should still be solved:


- All the equations/mathematical expressions should be numbered. In my opinion, this would improve the format of the paper, as some pages are now not easy to read (pages 11-15, mainly)

Author Response

    We have numbered all the equations and mathematical expressions in this manuscript to make them neat and formal.

    We have tried our best to improve the manuscript and made some changes in the manuscript.  These changes will not influence the content and framework of the paper. And here we did not list the changes but marked in red in the revised paper.

    We appreciate the Editors/Reviewers’ warm work earnestly, and thanks for your time and efforts.


Reviewer 3 Report

This version seems to be improved compared with the previous version, but I feel that there are still some more issues before being accepted.


(1) Although I like this paper and potential contributions in literature, the most serious problem is that the way of presentation is really poor. Specifically, mathematical notations and expressions do not look like a clean-cut modeling work. Even, some notations are just copied and pasted. In addition, the composition of the paper is also very bad.


(2) For Propositions 1 and 2, please describe any economic explanations, implications and insights much more in detail for the necessary conditions, core results and the differences between cases 1 and 2. I also highly suggest the analytical results in section 5 (model of maximizing social welfare) as Proposition 3 in the way similar to what I mentioned for Propositions 1 and 2.


(3) Please do not make any analytical results in subsections 4.3 and 4.4 as Propositions because they can be derived from Propositions 1 and 2 without any further analytical contributions. Rather than, it is better to represent them as "Discussions" or "Observations."


(4) It seems that authors obtain their analytical results as closed-form optimal solutions. So, I do not think that very tedious numerical results are quite redundant. Thus, I highly recommend moving the part (lines 668-748) into section 6. After then, please shorten the whole section 6 significantly. The additional contributions from such long numerical results are very minimal.


(5) My suggestion for the composition of the paper is as follows. Sections 1-3 are good. Then, please organize section 4 with old subsections 4.1, 4.2 and the analytical parts of old section 5. Next, please organize section 5 with old subsections 4.3 and 4.4, the numerical parts of old section 5 and old section 6.

Author Response

We have incorporated all the comments into the revision of this paper.

(1)  The mathematical notations and expressions in this article are edited by Mathtype. We have made uniform adjustments to the size and format of mathematical symbols and expressions. At the same time, we have adjusted the composition of the article.

(2)  We have moved the analytical part in Section 5 to Section 4, taking it as Proposition 3. Then we have explained and analyzed the economic implications, main results and differences of Propositions 1, 2 and 3.

(3)  We have changed subsections 4.3 and 4.4 as "Discussions" in Section 5.

(4)  We have moved the numerical example analysis of Section 5 (in the previous version) to Section 6, and then made a substantial reduction in Section 6.

(5)  We have reorganized Sections 4, 5, and 6. We have reorganized Sections 4.1, 4.2 and 5 (in the previous version) into a new Section 4. We have changed Sections 4.3 and 4.4 (in the previous version) into Section 5. And we have merged the numerical example in Section 5 with the Section 6 in the previous version. Then we have shortened and re-written Section 6. 

 

We have tried our best to improve the manuscript and made some changes in the manuscript.  These changes will not influence the content and framework of the paper. And here we did not list the changes but marked in red in the revised paper.

We appreciate the Editors/Reviewers’ warm work earnestly, and thanks for your time and efforts.


Reviewer 4 Report

I am satisfied of the improvements. I think it can be accepted. 

Author Response

We have tried our best to improve the manuscript and made some changes in the manuscript.  These changes will not influence the content and framework of the paper. And here we did not list the changes but marked in red in the revised paper.

We appreciate the Editors/Reviewers’ warm work earnestly, and thanks for your time and efforts.


Round 3

Reviewer 3 Report

(1) Mathematical notations, equations and expressions should be presented more nicely. For example, in Table 2, it seems that authors copied and pasted some Greek letters and equations somewhere else. On the overall, authors' presentation for mathematical expressions still need to be improved.


(2) Please add some limitations and further extension line more clearly in Conclusion.


(3) The length of the work is too long, I guess. By removing some unnecessary redundancies, the manuscript can be resented in a more compact way..

Author Response

Thank you very much for your constructive comments on our manuscript, and we have incorporated these comments into the revision of this paper.

(1)      The mathematical symbols and Greek letters in the paper are all edited with Mathtype, and we did not copy and paste them from other places. We have made uniform adjustments to the size and format of mathematical symbols and expressions again to make the manuscript look more formal and neat.

(2)      In response to the reviewer's suggestions, we have added a more detailed supplement and description of the limitations of and future research directions in the conclusion.

(3)      In order to shorten the length of the paper and highlight the key results, we have deleted some unnecessary contents and graphics to make this article look concise.


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