Special Issue "Sustainable Ecosystem Efficiency"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Corrado lo Storto
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: innovation economics; engineering economics; applied economics; efficiency analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a growing social concern about the negative externalities associated with the industrial progress, urbanization, and traditional economic activities due to environment deterioration and resource depletion. Thus, achieving sustainable development and implementing business activities which create value with less environmental impact, such as pollution prevention, waste reduction, material recycling, closed-loop supply chain management, and adoption of environmental management systems, have become important goals for many countries in the world. Transforming the traditional model of economic growth into a new model based on the circular economy and resource conservation paradigms, which is more ecological efficient, is the main challenge to overcome for the coming years.

Coordination between industrial activities, technology progress, urbanization development, resource usage, and environment preservation represent important elements in the pursuit of sustainable development. Recently, the concept of ecological efficiency has received significant attention in the literature on sustainable development as it provides an indicator to assess to what extent such coordination among economic needs, resource availability, and environmental concerns is effective.

Originally developed to push manufacturing companies to adopt more environmentally sustainable competitive strategies, the ecological efficiency concept refers to the need to create more goods and services (more value), utilizing a lower amount of resources and having a lower environmental impact (i.e., generating less waste and pollution).

While the ecological efficiency concept has been developed as a useful tool for the manufacturing industry to create greater business value with a smaller environmental impact and resource consumption, its implementation has been expanded beyond the manufacturing side to the economy-wide level, providing local and national governments with a practical tool to support their journey toward the sustainable growth of the society, helping them to design more effective socioeconomic policies that meet environmental goals.

Particularly, ecological efficiency indicators can be used to measure and benchmark the ecological efficiency of different industries, compare the ecological efficiency of the economic growth patterns of countries, identify policy areas that should be improved to gain economic benefit, monitor trends in the ecological efficiency improvement strategies over time, etc.

These indicators have been used to measure the ecological efficiency of manufacturing processes or plants, companies, industries, cities, regions or countries. Although many approaches and methods have been proposed to construct indicators capable of assessing ecological efficiency, such as single indicators or sets of indicators jointly used to measure the environment cost to economic activity ratio, nonparametric frontier methods, and parametric frontier methods, their measurement is still a subject of research, and there are still no standard indicators and measurement methods for measuring the economic and environmental components, as well as the overall eco-efficiency value.

This Special Issue will collect empirical and theoretical papers whose aim is to shed light on the measurement of ecological efficiency, contributing to an increase in understanding about current approaches, methods, practice, and policies related to its evaluation and utilization. Scholars from different fields, such as economics, management, engineering, psychology, social sciences, political science, etc., are invited to submit their studies.

Prof. Dr. Corrado lo Storto
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. 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 1800 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.


  • Conceptualization and measurement of the ecological efficiency at different levels (i.e., product or service, process, company, region, country)
  • Calculation of the ecological efficiency optimal value
  • Methods and techniques to measure the ecological efficiency
  • Ecological efficiency and long-term business sustainability
  • Critical factors affecting the ecological efficiency measurement
  • Utilization of the ecological efficiency indicator as a benchmarking tool
  • Trade-offs among environmental impact, resource usage, business goals, and societal needs and ecological efficiency
  • Effect of market structure, regulation intensity, and competition on ecological efficiency

Published Papers (1 paper)

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


Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Ecological Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability of the Minjiang-Source in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114783 - 11 Jun 2020
Ecological sustainability is treated as a main reflection of the synergy among social development, economic growth and environmental protection, while ecological efficiency is an index used to reflect the sustainable development of the ecological environment. The super efficiency model with undesirable outputs (SE-SBM) [...] Read more.
Ecological sustainability is treated as a main reflection of the synergy among social development, economic growth and environmental protection, while ecological efficiency is an index used to reflect the sustainable development of the ecological environment. The super efficiency model with undesirable outputs (SE-SBM) model was applied to measure the eco-efficiency of the 12 counties in the Minjiang-Source, China, in 2005–2017. The spatial and temporal evolution and spatial differentiation of the eco-efficiency were analyzed. The results showed that the eco-efficiency of 67.7% of the 12 counties remains at a low level but with an increasing trend. A typical spatial aggregation effect was found with the characteristics of “high in the east and low in the west”. The Malmquist-Luenberger index shows a trend of fluctuation with the same trend between scale efficiency and technical efficiency changes. The results proved the positive effect of technological progress on local eco-efficiency. Environmental regulation has a positive impact on eco-efficiency in the short term and an inhibition effect in the long run. Hence, technological innovation and industrial adjustment will be an effective way to improve the eco-efficiency of the Minjiang-Source and promote its sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystem Efficiency)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop