Special Issue "Industrial Ecology and Innovation"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Raffaella Taddeo
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
Interests: Industrial Ecology, Industrial Symbiosis, Cleaner Production, Lean and Cleaner Production, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Industrial Ecology (IE) is as a broad and interdisciplinary field of research, focused on environmental, economic and social improvements in production and consumption activities. It proposes theoretical approaches, organization and management strategies, and government policies aimed to ensure environmental safeguards and quality of life. Innovation studies concern the nature and dynamics of changes that characterize the economic world, focusing on the capacities and limitations of innovations to achieve socio-economic transformations.

It is now recognized that the two concepts are intrinsically related. As early as 2008, Green and Randles, in their book entitled “Industrial Ecology and Spaces of Innovation” [1] brought to light such a close proximity and the potential arising from their joint investigation. According to the authors, innovation studies should consider how innovations transform socio-economic systems (including those changes involving natural environment), while IE should shape socio-economic systems “metaphorically” as ecological systems, through a set of concepts and techniques that include technological and organisational innovations. They also acknowledge that, despite innovation is central to achieving sustainable production and consumption, studies on innovation were not systematically engaged in the IE community at that time.

Ten years later, important progresses have been made and IE and Innovation can offer very powerful opportunities to design a new paradigm of sustainability, especially in the recent framework of Circular Economy, considering both the origins (from individual initiatives, to companies and sectors, up to systems of innovation), the applicative contexts (from products to processes, supply chains and the whole economic system) and the conceptual declinations (eco-innovation, systemic innovations, etc.) of the phenomenon.

All submissions will be free of charge once accepted.

Reference

1. Green, K.; Randles, S. At the interface of innovation studies and industrial ecology. In Industrial Ecology and Spaces of Innovation; Green, K., Randles, S., Eds.; Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, 2002.

Dr. Raffaella Taddeo
Guest Editor

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. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. 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

  • Circular Economy
  • Green Economy
  • Eco-Innovation
  • Technological Innovation for Industrial Ecology
  • Social Innovation for Industrial Ecology
  • Systemic Innovation
  • Eco-Industrial Development
  • Industrial Symbiosis

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
From Trash to Cash: How Blockchain and Multi-Sensor-Driven Artificial Intelligence Can Transform Circular Economy of Plastic Waste?
Adm. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci10020023 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
Virgin polymers based on petrochemical feedstock are mainly preferred by most plastic goods manufacturers instead of recycled plastic feedstock. Major reason for this is the lack of reliable information about the quality, suitability, and availability of recycled plastics, which is partly due to [...] Read more.
Virgin polymers based on petrochemical feedstock are mainly preferred by most plastic goods manufacturers instead of recycled plastic feedstock. Major reason for this is the lack of reliable information about the quality, suitability, and availability of recycled plastics, which is partly due to lack of proper segregation techniques. In this paper, we present our ongoing efforts to segregate plastics based on its types and improve the reliability of information about recycled plastics using the first-of-its-kind blockchain smart contracts powered by multi-sensor data-fusion algorithms using artificial intelligence. We have demonstrated how different data-fusion modes can be employed to retrieve various physico-chemical parameters of plastic waste for accurate segregation. We have discussed how these smart tools help in efficiently segregating commingled plastics and can be reliably used in the circular economy of plastic. Using these tools, segregators, recyclers, and manufacturers can reliably share data, plan the supply chain, execute purchase orders, and hence, finally increase the use of recycled plastic feedstock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Performance Indicators and Non-Financial Information Reporting. Evidence from the Italian Case
Adm. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci10010013 - 26 Feb 2020
Abstract
Non-financial reporting is a growing topic, and the adoption of the EU Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial information (NFI) is increasing the use of this reporting. One of the most distinctive elements of guidelines and standards that are widely used to draw-up reports on [...] Read more.
Non-financial reporting is a growing topic, and the adoption of the EU Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial information (NFI) is increasing the use of this reporting. One of the most distinctive elements of guidelines and standards that are widely used to draw-up reports on NFI is sustainability performance indicators (SPIs). SPIs can provide a significant value-added to non-financial corporate communication, and they are useful tools to support internal decision-making processes. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects produced on SPIs disclosure by the entry into force of the Italian Decree implementing the Directive on NFI. Content analysis method is used to analyze indicators disclosed by Italian companies before and after the adoption of the Decree. Findings show that each category of SPIs was largely used by the companies of our 2012 sample, but a reduction of the quantity of indicators disclosed was documented in 2017. Therefore, after the introduction of mandatory disclosure of NFI, companies seem to focus only on indicators considered more “relevant” according to the Directive. This research represents one of the preliminary analysis on the adoption of the Directive in Italy and on its first effects on NFI reporting practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Requirements Engineering for an Industrial Symbiosis Tool for Industrial Parks Covering System Analysis, Transformation Simulation and Goal Setting
Adm. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci10010010 - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collaborative cross-sectoral approach to connect the resource supply and demand of various industries in order to optimize the resource use through exchange of materials, energy, water and human resources across different companies, while generating ecological, technical, social and [...] Read more.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a collaborative cross-sectoral approach to connect the resource supply and demand of various industries in order to optimize the resource use through exchange of materials, energy, water and human resources across different companies, while generating ecological, technical, social and economic benefits. One of the main goals of IS is the set-up of advanced circular/cascading systems, in which the energy and material flows are prolonged for multiple utilization within industrial systems in order to increase resource productivity and efficiency, while reducing the environmental load. Many Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools have been developed to facilitate IS, but they predominantly focus on the as-is analysis of the IS system, and do not consider the development of a common desired target vision or corresponding possible future scenarios as well as conceivable transformation paths from the actual to the defined (sustainability) target state. This gap shall be addressed in this paper, presenting the software requirements engineering results for a holistic IT-supported IS tool covering system analysis, transformation simulation and goal-setting. This new approach goes beyond system analysis and includes the use of expert systems, system dynamics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, which turn the IT-supported IS tool to be developed into a comprehensive and holistic instrument with which future scenarios and transformation paths can be simulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Tracking Sustainability Targets with Quantitative Indicator Systems for Performance Measurement of Industrial Symbiosis in Industrial Parks
Adm. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci10010003 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a systematic and collective (business) approach to optimizing the use of materials and energy among cross-sectoral industries in order to initiate and exhaust extended cascading systems; it is associated with (synergistic) environmental, technical, social, and economic benefits. For monitoring [...] Read more.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a systematic and collective (business) approach to optimizing the use of materials and energy among cross-sectoral industries in order to initiate and exhaust extended cascading systems; it is associated with (synergistic) environmental, technical, social, and economic benefits. For monitoring and controlling the development and progress of an IS system, an indicator system must be set up to standardize and assess the IS (sustainability) performance. This study aims to present a quantitative indicator system to enable the tracking of set sustainability targets of an IS system in Industrial Parks (IPs) for goal-directed IS management. The presented guiding framework encourages IP members in IS systems to set sustainability objectives and to evaluate and track their performance over time with a quantitative indicator system. In particular, established and (partly) internationally standardized methods—such as Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA), Social Network Analysis (SNA), and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)—are used in order to place the indicator system on a solid and robust foundation and to adequately meet the multi-faceted sustainability perspectives in the form of a combinatorial application for deriving suitable quantitative indicators for all three (environmental, economic, social) dimensions of sustainability. The indicator system, once embedded in an Information Technology (IT)-supported IS tool, contributes crucially to the technology-enabled environment of IS systems, driving sustainability trajectories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Approaches for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Organizations: Defining the State of the Art
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9040094 - 10 Dec 2019
Abstract
Organizations play a key role in reducing anthropogenic pressure on the natural environment. The first step towards improving their sustainability performances is the implementation of methodologies that take into consideration multiple environmental impact categories, as well as the entire value chain. The attention [...] Read more.
Organizations play a key role in reducing anthropogenic pressure on the natural environment. The first step towards improving their sustainability performances is the implementation of methodologies that take into consideration multiple environmental impact categories, as well as the entire value chain. The attention of scholars and practitioners was initially addressed to the analysis of products and processes, yet in a few cases in which they were addressed, the approaches used for organizations had a limited scope and range of use. Only in recent years have they been framed in a life cycle perspective. This article analyzes two recent life cycle-based methodologies that have their focus on the organization, namely Organization Environmental Footprint (OEF) and Organizational Life Cycle Assessment (O-LCA). The goal is to define the state of the art of their methodological and current application developments and consider the relevance that these methodologies can have, both in terms of internal and external commitment (e.g., for the supply chain actors) and of reporting and communication requirements. The research was carried out starting from scientific databases, integrating technical legislation and secondary literature. The results obtained allowed tracing the first evolutionary trends, identifying the main authors and scientific journals and highlighting the relevant issues according to the researchers. A content and bibliometric analysis was performed that included all the contributions published so far. Projects and case studies that practically applied the two methodologies were also identified and analyzed. Finally, the main differences between the two methodologies were highlighted and future developments were hypothesized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
A Call to Integrate Economic, Social and Environmental Motives into Guidance for Business Support for the Transition to a Circular Economy
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9040092 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A broad range of organizations, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large multi-nationals, are interested in adopting circular economy practices. A circular economy can help companies make better use of materials by minimizing the input of natural resources, reducing waste, and optimizing the [...] Read more.
A broad range of organizations, from small and medium-sized enterprises to large multi-nationals, are interested in adopting circular economy practices. A circular economy can help companies make better use of materials by minimizing the input of natural resources, reducing waste, and optimizing the economic, social, technical and environmental costs and benefits of materials and products throughout their lifecycle. Despite the interest of companies in a circular economy, only 9% of material flows in the global economy are circular. There is formal guidance for those offering business support with the aim to expedite the transition to a circular economy. However, support measures narrowly confine the role of companies and the motivations of business managers to the economic realms, assuming that companies are solely driven by monetary factors. Conversely, pluralist economic views emphasize the broader role of companies in society: for example, in respect of the well-being of their staff and the communities in which they reside. Indeed, our practical experiences of business support have brought alternative motivations to explore a circular economy to the fore. We argue that business support should stem from a broader conception of the role of business in society. The diverse motivations and willingness of business managers to engage in a circular economy should be investigated further with results feeding into broader and more inclusive business support guidelines in the future to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Open AccessArticle
Unraveling Green Information Technology Systems as a Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Game-Changer
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9020043 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Green information technology systems (Green ITS) are proposed as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and other environmental impacts while supporting ecological sustainable development. The Green ITS concept combines both Green information technology (IT) and Green information system (IS) applications. The [...] Read more.
Green information technology systems (Green ITS) are proposed as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions and other environmental impacts while supporting ecological sustainable development. The Green ITS concept combines both Green information technology (IT) and Green information system (IS) applications. The Green ITS concept has the potential to combat the carbon emission problem globally, beyond simply Green IT, because it combines management, organizational, and technology dimensions of climate change mitigation and adaptation, especially if supported by global policy. Examples include life cycle assessment software for measuring GHG emissions, and software for monitoring GHG emissions. Previous studies on environmental burdens such as GHGs, water and air pollution, energy losses and other forms of waste alongside socio-economic dependent variables including renewable resources and climate change policies are reviewed and synthesized. The research analysis conjointly points to the usage of renewable resources such as solar and wind as a critical strategy to scale back GHG emissions and enhance green growth. Empirical evidence shows that developed countries can reduce their carbon emissions while developing countries can utilize carbon emission-free technologies as they aspire to achieve development. The two significant benefits of the Green ITS strategy are first, to provide the environmental benefits of reducing greenhouse emissions and other environmental impacts and second, to enhance global green growth, which supports achievement of ecological sustainable development. Green ITS tools support achievement of the UN SDG 7, 13 and 15, which emphasize clean energy, climate action and ecological sustainable development, respectively. Future research directions include the formulation of a strategy to combat GHGs and design of a system to monitor carbon emissions and other waste remotely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment of Honey: Considering the Pollination Service
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9010027 - 26 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been increasingly used for the improvement of the environmental performance of products and services, including food systems. Amongst them, however, honey appears to have been rarely analysed. Furthermore, the pollination by honeybees can be regarded as one of [...] Read more.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been increasingly used for the improvement of the environmental performance of products and services, including food systems. Amongst them, however, honey appears to have been rarely analysed. Furthermore, the pollination by honeybees can be regarded as one of the functions of an apiculture system and is of utmost importance both for natural ecosystems and agriculture. When implementing an LCA of an apiculture system, the pollination service can and should be considered as one of the functions of a multifunctional system and the issue of how to deal with this multifunctionality in the modelling of that system should be considered carefully. The aim of this paper is to explore the economic value of pollination as a potential basis for managing multifunctionality in LCA modelling as well as its implementation in a case study. Economic allocation was performed between the pollination service and honey production. The results demonstrated that the production phase is the most impactful one for most of the environmental categories (due to the use of glass for the honey jars and electricity consumption during the storage of supers in refrigerator rooms), followed by the distribution phase. Finally, the most affected environmental impact category appeared to be natural land transformation, followed by marine ecotoxicity, freshwater eutrophication and human toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Commitment of Packaging Industry in the Framework of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9010018 - 17 Feb 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
European Commission is strongly committed into issues related to plastic materials production and plastic waste management. While the Circular Economy Package has set targets generally referred to recycling rates, the European Strategy for plastics in a circular economy (and related action plan), fosters [...] Read more.
European Commission is strongly committed into issues related to plastic materials production and plastic waste management. While the Circular Economy Package has set targets generally referred to recycling rates, the European Strategy for plastics in a circular economy (and related action plan), fosters sustainability along the entire plastic value chain: from primary producers to converters, brand owners and retailers to waste collectors and recyclers. The Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (more commonly known as Directive on Single-Use-Plastics, waiting for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union) rules targets on ten plastic products most often found as littering on global beaches, directly affecting plastic industry and, consequently, market. Policy makers and industrial stakeholders are called upon to collaborate. The article aims to illustrate interactions between European Commission and all plastic value chain stakeholders on implementing measures to reach ambitious targets pursued by the recent European policy. The study shows how European Commission has robustly worked to regulate production and consumption patterns on plastic carrier bags and packaging (including food packaging) thus facilitating the achievement of specific targets provided by the recent Directive. However, additional provisions concerning market restriction have been introduced; industrial stakeholders carried on a prompt response by promoting the creation of alliances, join venture and association, as well as a more integrated plastic value chain. On the base of this purpose, a virtuous example of a closed supply chain is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Ecology and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop