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Green Development of Industries and Sustainable Use of Resources in the Industrial Sector

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 18602

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Interests: circular economy; municipal solid waste disposal and recycling; industrial carbon emission reduction system engineering; environmental internet of things and big data
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor Assistant
School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: circular economy; solid waste management; environmental systematic analysis; energy policy; industrial carbon dioxide control; environmental policy; industrial symbiosis; smart environmental management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid development of the industrial sector has caused a substantial surge in energy consumption, pollutant emission and waste generation, which has, in turn, triggered severe environmental repercussions—ranging from natural resource depletion to climate change. In a bid to mitigate these environmental issues, Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction (ECER) policies have been implemented in many industries. However, most ECER policies are oriented towards a somewhat linear economy approach, where the focus is placed on promoting energy efficiency and pollutant abatement technologies in a single industrial sector. The ECER potential under such policies is narrowing as the application of these technologies in a single industrial sector is reaching saturation. Under such circumstances, Circular Economy (CE) approaches, such as promoting Industrial Symbiosis (IS), can enable the utilization of wastes and by-products from one industry as alternative input raw materials or fuels for another. This not only alleviates strict industrial ECER pressures but also significantly reduces the operational cost of industrial plants and saves resources. Thus, CE-based ECER approaches simultaneously optimize the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and societal benefits.

This Special Issue will explore the industrial ECER potential in a bottom-up CE approach, by proposing the following generic topics to develop: the green development of industries and sustainable use of resources in the industrial sector. This will supplement the existing literature focusing on traditional linear industrial ECER management by providing policy suggestions to promote CE-based ECER management approaches in cross-industrial sectors.

Prof. Dr. Zongguo Wen
Guest Editor

Mr. Christian Doh Dinga
Guest Editor Assistant

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • environmental management
  • circular economy
  • industrial symbiosis
  • bottom-up models
  • energy conservation
  • emission reduction
  • multiobjective optimization
  • multicriteria decision making
  • life cycle assessment
  • material flow analysis

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 2004 KiB  
Article
Research on Green Innovation Performance of Manufacturing Industry and Its Improvement Path in China
by Haochang Yang and Xuan Zhu
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 8000; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138000 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2495
Abstract
Green innovation, which combines “innovation-driven” and “green development,” is one of the most powerful ways to overcome resource and environmental constraints and enhance manufacturing industry sustainability. Based on the innovation value chain perspective, the green innovation process of manufacturing industry is decomposed into [...] Read more.
Green innovation, which combines “innovation-driven” and “green development,” is one of the most powerful ways to overcome resource and environmental constraints and enhance manufacturing industry sustainability. Based on the innovation value chain perspective, the green innovation process of manufacturing industry is decomposed into two stages: green scientific and technological R&D and achievement transformation. Then, using the three-stage DEA and Malmquist index model to measure the green innovation performance of China’s manufacturing industry, and compare its regional heterogeneity from the dual perspectives of static efficiency and dynamic productivity. In addition, this paper further discusses the improvement path of green innovation performance of China’s manufacturing industry. The findings are as follows: (1) The green innovation efficiency of manufacturing industry in China is at a comparatively low degree and has great potential for improvement. Moreover, it shows apparent regional heterogeneity: The green innovation efficiency in the eastern region is higher than that in the western region, and both are higher than that in the center region, confirming the phenomenon of “central collapse”. (2) The green innovation productivity of China’s manufacturing industry shows a “W-type” dynamic evolution tendency, with green technological progress as the key driving factor, while the green technical efficiency does not clearly exhibit a “catch-up effect”. Additionally, it shows significant regional heterogeneity: green innovation productivity in the western region is higher than that in the central and eastern regions, indicating a potential “backwardness advantage”. (3) The eastern region of China is located in combination IV, which indicates that it has a high rate of green innovation efficiency but a low rate of green innovation productivity; the central region is located in combination III, which indicates that it has a low rate of both green innovation efficiency and productivity; and the western region is located in combination II, which indicates that it has a low rate of green innovation efficiency but a high rate of green innovation productivity. Last but not least, this paper puts forward three kinds of paths for the improvement of the green innovation performance of China’s manufacturing industry: unilateral breakthrough, step-by-step and stimulating jumping type. Full article
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15 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Firm Heterogeneity and External Factor Change on Innovation: Evidence from the Vehicle Industry Sector
by Danlei Feng, Mingzhao Hu, Lingdi Zhao and Sha Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116507 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
We explore the connection between firms’ technological innovation capabilities and their internal and external factors. To empirically test this relationship, we use panel data for new energy vehicle (NEV) firms and traditional fuel vehicle firms in China from 2010 to 2020. Our findings [...] Read more.
We explore the connection between firms’ technological innovation capabilities and their internal and external factors. To empirically test this relationship, we use panel data for new energy vehicle (NEV) firms and traditional fuel vehicle firms in China from 2010 to 2020. Our findings show that public subsidies do have a positive impact on firms’ technology innovation capability, and there are consistent findings for both NEV and traditional fuel vehicle firms. Firms have a supportive effect on their innovative ability when they satisfy conditions of high profitability, low leverage, high equity concentration, and highly educated employees. The inability to maximize the effectiveness of public subsidies is due to an imbalance in the internal and external factors of firms. Therefore, we innovatively analyze the internal and external factors of NEV firms as an integrated system, taking into account the high correlation between them, rather than discussing them separately. The paper is not only of academic significance to the development of NEV firms to improve their technological innovation capability and the transformation of traditional fuel vehicle firms, but also of practical significance to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the achievement of the “double carbon” goal. Full article
14 pages, 2376 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impact Assessment of an Ignition Pencil Coil by a Combination of Carbon Footprint and Environmental Priority Strategies Methodology
by Chih-Ming Chen and Huey-Ling Chang
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084783 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
This study presents a combined carbon footprint (CF) and environment damage assessment with a cradle-to-gate approach for an ignition coil. The process considers a data flow of product as the phases: raw materials preparation, part processing, final-product finishing, and packaging. The assessment was [...] Read more.
This study presents a combined carbon footprint (CF) and environment damage assessment with a cradle-to-gate approach for an ignition coil. The process considers a data flow of product as the phases: raw materials preparation, part processing, final-product finishing, and packaging. The assessment was performed to explore an automotive ignition pencil coil during its developing phase. This study illustrated that a green product problem could be evaluated as a carbon footprint and environmental hazard. By using the conceptual flow to set up the assessment procedure, a product can be decomposed into several material ingredients to specify the input parameters in a Life Cycle Assessment. A total CF of an ignition coil can be investigated individually by each of the materials. The total CF of an ignition pencil coil equal to 0.5254 kgCO2eq was calculated. The insulated filling and copper winding of an ignition coil generated the two most impacting processes in terms of CF (21.83% and 17.50%, respectively). EPS (Environmental Priority Strategies) methodology evaluates the environmental damage of the product in the product design process. As a result, the metal material has a seriously damaging impact on human health and inanimate resources, especially inanimate resources. The total CF generated by the newly devised ignition coil is over 39~62 percent less than a general type one that exists in the current market. The new ignition pencil coil also uses fewer raw materials and therefore reduces environmental damage to the Earth. Full article
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32 pages, 4108 KiB  
Article
Does Government-Led Publicity Enhance Corporate Green Behavior? Empirical Evidence from Green Xuanguan in China
by Yuan Wu, Jin Zhang, Shoulin Liu and Lianrui Ma
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3181; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063181 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1631
Abstract
Promoting green behavior among corporations is essential to the green transition of industrial sectors in China. There is a unique government-led green publicity institution, ‘Xuanguan‘, that expects to accelerate the green idea and policy spread top-down in the economic system in [...] Read more.
Promoting green behavior among corporations is essential to the green transition of industrial sectors in China. There is a unique government-led green publicity institution, ‘Xuanguan‘, that expects to accelerate the green idea and policy spread top-down in the economic system in China. However, few studies discussed its role in formulating corporate green behavior. By constructing an integrated model of Government-led publicity-Internal and external perception-Corporate green behavior, this paper explored the effect of government-led green publicity on corporate green behavior, based on the survey data of 199 industrial manufacturing corporations in Henan Province, China. A structural equation model (SEM) was adopted to detect the influence and influential path. The results found that government-led green publicity could positively enhance green behavior via improving the corporate internal perception of risk and opportunity and improving the corporate perception of external environment actors. The heterogeneity tests showed that type of publicity channels, corporate ownership, and corporate scale made different effects on the results. Further analysis proved that government-led publicity could enhance the function of formal environmental regulation. It implies that government-led publicity can be a good compensation for formal regulations and stimulate green behavior. This paper demonstrates a new factor of enhancing corporate behavior and contributed new evidence of China’s green development story. Full article
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22 pages, 3968 KiB  
Article
Approaches and Policies to Promote Zero-Waste City Construction: China’s Practices and Lessons
by Mingfu Meng, Zongguo Wen, Weijun Luo and Shijie Wang
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13537; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413537 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4577
Abstract
The rapidly growing output of solid waste has brought tremendous pressure to urban development. China launched an action plan known as “Zero-waste city” (ZWC), that refers to an urban development model aimed at reducing the generation of and enhancing the recycling of solid [...] Read more.
The rapidly growing output of solid waste has brought tremendous pressure to urban development. China launched an action plan known as “Zero-waste city” (ZWC), that refers to an urban development model aimed at reducing the generation of and enhancing the recycling of solid waste, in order to alleviate environmental impacts. Eleven cities and five special zones achieved positive results of solid waste management were selected as pilot areas for exploring empirical methods until 2019. The practices and lessons of the pilot cities need to be deeply analyzed and summarized, so as to promote successful models, learn lessons and better implement the policy comprehensively for other cities. This study presents a review of China’s ZWC policies and practices with constructive suggestions for further development. Based on the policy objective of ZWC and the field investigation of solid waste flow, five crucial approaches to developing ZWC are proposed, namely, solid waste reduction throughout the industrial chain, collaborative treatment of classified municipal solid waste (MSW), efficient utilization of agricultural waste with multiple purposes, safety control of hazardous waste flow, and optimization of market mechanisms. The case study demonstrates that the five paths are appropriate to Xuzhou city. However, deficiencies in MSW classification, pesticide packaging waste collection systems, solid waste product application, management, and policymaking, have emerged. Regulatory prohibitions, extended producer responsibility and market vitality should be adopted to improve the collection, transportation, and utilization of solid waste. Key findings from this research are to summarize crucial paths toward fulfiling ZWC goal, and to reveal some successful practices of, and lessons from ZWC construction by case studies. This study provides a method to further implement zero solid waste management in a targeted manner. The recommendations drawn from the study, which include law, market and institutional measures, may contribute to the achievement of developing sustainable cities. Full article
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29 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
Fresh Food Dual-Channel Supply Chain Considering Consumers’ Low-Carbon and Freshness Preferences
by Jingci Xie, Jianjian Liu, Xin Huo, Qingchun Meng and Mengyu Chu
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6445; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116445 - 06 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3395
Abstract
Due to growing concerns for environmental problems and food quality, consumers pay more attention to the carbon emission and freshness of fresh food. The booming e-commerce also accelerates the development of the dual-channel supply chain. In the dual-channel supply chain of fresh food, [...] Read more.
Due to growing concerns for environmental problems and food quality, consumers pay more attention to the carbon emission and freshness of fresh food. The booming e-commerce also accelerates the development of the dual-channel supply chain. In the dual-channel supply chain of fresh food, the carbon emission and freshness of fresh food are becoming important factors affecting consumers’ purchase demand. This paper focuses on the optimal decision of carbon emission reduction and pricing, which is investigated by a Stackelberg game-theoretic approach in three dual-channel supply chain sales models (retailer dual channel, producer dual channel, and mixed dual channel). A two-stage fresh food supply chain system composed of a producer and a retailer is explored. The sensitivity analysis and the comparison of three dual-channel models are carried out. The results show the following: (1) the sales price, carbon emission reduction, market demand, producer’s profit, retailer’s profit, and supply chain’s profit of fresh food under the three dual-channel supply chains show the same change on different levels of consumers’ low-carbon preference coefficient and freshness level, respectively; (2) the optimal decision of carbon emission reduction and pricing, demand, and profit of the three dual-channel models need to be determined according to the value of consumers’ purchasing preferences for the retailer’s offline channel. The paper gives some enlightenment to the decision-making members in the fresh dual-channel supply chain. Full article
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