Special Issue "Decision Support Systems and Knowledge Management for Sustainable Engineering"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Assist. Prof. Athanasios P. Vavatsikos
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Financial Engineering, Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Interests: decision support systems, decision modeling, multicriteria decision analysis, geographical information systems, capital investments evaluation, project management
Prof. Dimitrios E. Koulouriotis
Website
Guest Editor
Industrial Production and Logistics Lab, Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Interests: intelligent systems, data and knowledge engineering, decision support systems, production and logistics management, engineering and project management, safety and reliability, TQM and BE, innovation and technology management
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ioannis Nikolaou
Website
Guest Editor
Business and Environmental Technology Economics Lab, Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Interests: corporate environmental management; corporate sustainability; corporate social responsibility; business circular economy models; environmental economics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos P. Tsagarakis
Website
Guest Editor
Business and Environmental Technology Economics Lab, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Interests: technical–economic project evaluation; environmental and energy economics; public health economics; environmental and energy behavior; big data; online behavior; environmental performance of firms; quantitative methods
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern engineering approaches focus on the design and operation of systems and products in a way that allows for the sustainable use of resources. Sustainable engineering aims to provide frameworks that ensure development without compromising the quality of the natural environment and the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In that context, decision making processes must be enriched by approaches and tools that allow decision makers to consider a wide range of sustainable options.

Since the publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) many international and national organizations have published strategies for achieving sustainability, some of which have already been implemented. Meanwhile, also the international standardization bodies, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), and ITU (International Telecommunication Union) have published strategy papers or even videos on their efforts to meet the SDGs. For example, IEC work directly impacts 12 of the 17 SDGs. For each goal ISO has identified the standards that make the most significant contribution. Moreover, according to ITU information and communication technologies (ICTs) are the main enablers that will accelerate the achievement of all SDGs. However, the academic and scientific debate on the contribution of standardization to sustainability is still in its infancy. So far, it focuses particularly on the role of standardization for life cycle assessment and in supply chains. New developments, like digitalization and artificial intelligence, require both standards, but might also have a strong impact on sustainability. However, the scientific community has not yet addressed these complex interactions in-depth. For a more critical assessment of the strategies of the international standardization bodies, but also to provide a sound scientific base to derive recommendations for their improvement, research and evidence-based insights are needed. Here, big data and new data sources provided by the Internet and social media networks, like those investigated within the European Horizon 2020 project EURITO, might help to provide the data base to investigate the new challenging questions about the relationship between sustainability and standardization.

Recently, great progress is taking place in the fields of operation research and management science, where intelligent quantitative analysis, statistics, and prediction analytics are employed in a variety of interdisciplinary research areas, aiming to assist policy makers and managers with the consideration of a variety of sustainable options. 

This Special Issue welcomes contributions on theory, methods, and applications, as well as case studies coming from cross-discipline aspects of sustainable engineering, economics, production, energy, and the environment. The Special Issue will be a reference for the way in which a variety of quantitative approaches can assist the design, planning, and evaluation of candidate sustainable options and strategies.

Assist. Prof. Athanasios P. Vavatsikos
Prof. Dimitrios E. Koulouriotis
Assoc. Prof. Ioannis Nikolaou
Prof. Konstantinos P. Tsagarakis
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 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.

Keywords

  • Capital investments—project financial evaluation
  • Circular economy, green entrepreneurship, and consumption
  • Corporate social responsibility and business ethics
  • Energy engineering and management
  • Environmental marketing and management
  • Green intellectual capital and business management
  • Green logistics
  • Industrial ecology
  • Knowledge management
  • Operations research methods and applications
  • Project economics and risk management
  • Sustainable engineering innovation and entrepreneurship

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Joint Stochastic/Deterministic Process with Multi-Objective Decision Making Risk-Assessment Framework for Sustainable Constructions Engineering Projects—A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104280 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
This study, on the one hand, developsa newfangled risk assessment and analysis (RAA) methodological approach (the MCDM-STO/DET one) for sustainable engineering projects by the amalgamation of a multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) process with the joint-collaboration of a deterministic (DET) and a stochastic (STO) process.On [...] Read more.
This study, on the one hand, developsa newfangled risk assessment and analysis (RAA) methodological approach (the MCDM-STO/DET one) for sustainable engineering projects by the amalgamation of a multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) process with the joint-collaboration of a deterministic (DET) and a stochastic (STO) process.On the other hand, proceeds tothe application of MCDM-STO/DET at the workplaces of the Greek construction sector and also of the fixed-telecommunications technical projects of OTE SA (that is, the Greek Telecommunications Organization S.A.) by means of real accidentdata coming from two official Statedatabases, namely of “SEPE” (Labor Inspectorate, Hellenic Ministry of Employment) and of “IKA” (Social Insurance Institution, Hellenic Ministry of Health), all the way through the period of the years2009–2016.Consequently, the article’s objectives are the following: (i) The implementation and execution of the joint MCDM-STO/DET framework, and (ii) to make known that the proposed MCDM-STO/DETalgorithmcan be a precious method for safety managers (and/or decision-makers) to ameliorate occupational safety and health (OSH) and to endorsethe sustainable operation of technical or engineering projects as well. Mainly, we mingle two different configurations of the MCDM method, initially the Analytical Hierarchy-Process (the typical-AHP), and afterwards the Fuzzy-Extended AHP (the FEAHP) one, along with the Proportional Risk Assessment Technique (PRAT) and the analysis of Time-Series Processes (TSP), and finally with the Fault-Tree Analysis (FTA). Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Methods and Techniques of Strategic Environmental Assessment. Comparative Evaluation of Greek and International Experience
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083310 - 18 Apr 2020
Abstract
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process used for the evaluation of environmental impacts at a higher level of decision-making than that of each individual project, i.e., during the preparation and implementation of policies, programs, and plans, with the objective of incorporating the [...] Read more.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a process used for the evaluation of environmental impacts at a higher level of decision-making than that of each individual project, i.e., during the preparation and implementation of policies, programs, and plans, with the objective of incorporating the aspect of sustainable development in the early stages of planning. However, the “strategic” nature of SEA is the cause of frequent confusion among the responsible competent institutions and professionals regarding the selection of the most appropriate methods and techniques for each individual situation. At the international level, current research indicates a certain ambiguity in the use of methods and techniques in every step of SEA processes. In Greece, despite the implementation of SEA procedures in the preparation of a number of plans and programs after the transposal of the SEA Directive, to date, no attempt has been made to systematize the current experience and practice from the utilization of methods and techniques. The objective of the present study is to analyze and provide a comparative evaluation of the Greek and international experience, on the one hand with the systematic examination of Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments, and on the other with primary research, through questionnaires addressed to Greek practitioners. An important observation is that, both in Greece and abroad, there are inadequacies in the existence and/or the use of guidance manuals for the selection of the most appropriate methods and techniques, and only a limited range of methods and techniques are used in comparison with those catalogued in international literature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An AHP-SWOT-Fuzzy TOPSIS Approach for Achieving a Cross-Border RES Cooperation
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2886; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072886 - 04 Apr 2020
Abstract
The emerging need to tackle climate change and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has led to the consolidation of interest in renewable energy sources (RES) setting specific targets in the European area. To achieve the ambitious targets set, Member States are given the opportunity [...] Read more.
The emerging need to tackle climate change and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has led to the consolidation of interest in renewable energy sources (RES) setting specific targets in the European area. To achieve the ambitious targets set, Member States are given the opportunity to cooperate with one or more of their developing neighboring countries. The aim of this paper is to develop a methodological framework based on the combination of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (Fuzzy TOPSIS) methods for adopting the most appropriate strategic plan, in order to establish a successful energy cooperation that will create beneficial conditions for all the involved parties. The results could be important in facilitating decision makers to assess the role and design of this cooperation mechanism. Key insights will also emerge with regards to opportunities for energy strategy cooperation between Europe and its neighboring countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of a Knowledge Management Questionnaire for Hospitals and Other Healthcare Organizations
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2730; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072730 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
Sustainable societies need to consider the connection between knowledge management (KM) and healthcare as a critical issue for social development. They need to investigate how to create knowledge and identify possible predictors of knowledge-sharing behavior that can support a hospital’s sustainable knowledge-management strategy. [...] Read more.
Sustainable societies need to consider the connection between knowledge management (KM) and healthcare as a critical issue for social development. They need to investigate how to create knowledge and identify possible predictors of knowledge-sharing behavior that can support a hospital’s sustainable knowledge-management strategy. KM strategies could help managers to increase the performance of hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The purpose of this paper is to present a valid and reliable questionnaire about KM in healthcare organizations. We develop a new knowledge-management questionnaire based on the use of an extensive literature review and health professionals’ consensus. The Applied Knowledge Management Instrument (AKMI) questionnaire was pilot tested and retested on a small group of employees of healthcare organizations (n = 31). After the pilot process, a larger group of health professionals (n = 261) completed the questionnaire. Further investigation resulted in item reduction and verification of the dimensions of AKMI. Finally, we explore the psychometric properties of the developed tool. The developed questionnaire seems to be reliable, valid, and suitable to be used for studying the suggested nine dimensions of KM: perceptions of KM, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, knowledge synthesis and sharing, cooperation, leadership, organizational culture, and barriers. The developed questionnaire can help policymakers and hospital administrators collect information about KM processes in healthcare organizations and this can result in higher performance of health organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Spatial Entities with Anthropogenic Activities-Evaluation of Existing Methods
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2680; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072680 - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study is to evaluate the existing available methods that can potentially be applied to anthropogenic spatial entities to access their environmental sustainability. The paper offers an overview of existing sustainability assessment methods, discusses their adequacy, and evaluates their efficiency [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the existing available methods that can potentially be applied to anthropogenic spatial entities to access their environmental sustainability. The paper offers an overview of existing sustainability assessment methods, discusses their adequacy, and evaluates their efficiency to assess the environmental sustainability of anthropogenic spatial entities. From a list of sixty-one (61) sustainability assessment methods for spatial entities with anthropogenic activities that had been identified and examined, thirteen (13) methods were selected to be assessed based on specific exclusion criteria set. The thirteen methods were further classified into four categories, namely, (1) Indicators/Indices, (2) Resource Availability Assessment, (3) Material and Energy Flow Analysis, and (4) Life-Cycle Assessment, and then these methods were evaluated using specific evaluation criteria. The “Resource Availability Assessment” category, and particularly the “Ecological Footprint” method, was indicated as the most appropriate method to assess the environmental sustainability of anthropogenic spatial entities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Conceptual Framework to Evaluate the Environmental Sustainability Performance of Mining Industrial Facilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052135 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study is to strengthen the capacity of mining industries to assess and improve their environmental sustainability performance through the introduction of a relevant framework. Specific assessment categories and respective indicators were selected according to predefined steps. Sustainability threshold values [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to strengthen the capacity of mining industries to assess and improve their environmental sustainability performance through the introduction of a relevant framework. Specific assessment categories and respective indicators were selected according to predefined steps. Sustainability threshold values were identified for each indicator to enable the comparison of the facility’s performance with a sustainability reference value. The application of the framework results in the extraction of an Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Mining Industries Index (IESAMI). The framework was applied to evaluate a mining facility in Greece, with a view to improve its applicability in parallel. The final score of environmental sustainability for the examined facility was 3.0 points (IESAMI = 3.0 points), indicating significant room for improvement where the company should aim to further enhance its sustainability performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A HAZOP with MCDM Based Risk-Assessment Approach: Focusing on the Deviations with Economic/Health/Environmental Impacts in a Process Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030993 - 30 Jan 2020
Abstract
A joint-analysis by the use of (i) the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) technique of Typical-Analytical-Hierarchy-Process (T_AHP) and Fuzzy-Analytical-Hierarchy-Process (F_AHP) with (ii) the Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) method respectively, was conducted in a sour-crude-oil process industry (SCOPI), focusing on the deviations with economic/health/environmental impact. Consequently, [...] Read more.
A joint-analysis by the use of (i) the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) technique of Typical-Analytical-Hierarchy-Process (T_AHP) and Fuzzy-Analytical-Hierarchy-Process (F_AHP) with (ii) the Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) method respectively, was conducted in a sour-crude-oil process industry (SCOPI), focusing on the deviations with economic/health/environmental impact. Consequently, the intention of this paper is dual; that means the first one is the presentation and application of the traditional HAZOP method on a SCOPI, and the second one the illustration and usage of the combined HAZOP_TAHP/FAHP framework in the previous referred industry, via the resulted hazards with economical, health and also environmental impacts, unveiling the sustainable dimension of this approach. The choice of the particular SCOPI for executing the HAZOP process is greatly powerful for the implementation of this approach, due to the plentiful hazards that the process includes, and due to its sophisticated design, as well. Originally, the conventional HAZOP study was carried out for finding out the potential destructive causes of abnormal circumstances in the SCOPI’s establishment. Subsequently, the defined (by HAZOP) hazards with particular economic, health and environmental impacts were elaborated by the T_AHP and F_AHP techniques in order to broaden the HAZOP results and prioritize the risks in the worksite of the SCOPI. It is worthwhile mentioning that this joint-analysis can afford a reliable base to enhance procedure safety and upgrade the occupational health safety’s level (OHS). Likewise, it might be a constructive means for the decision-makers to: (i) evaluate the urgent situation of the restricted resources’ investment, in measures of preventing particular deviations (like the ones with economical, health and environmental consequences), and (ii) to endorse the sustainable growth of this industry, taking into account that a significant part of literature utilized the issue of sustainability as a frame for the development of OHS RAA techniques. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Decision-Making in Road Development: Analysis of Road Preservation Policies
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030872 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Road infrastructure in appropriate conditions is a requirement for the development of any country. The formulation of policies oriented to preserve road networks responds to political, socio-economic, and environmental interests. Through a hybrid methodology that integrates system dynamics (SD) and analytic hierarchical process [...] Read more.
Road infrastructure in appropriate conditions is a requirement for the development of any country. The formulation of policies oriented to preserve road networks responds to political, socio-economic, and environmental interests. Through a hybrid methodology that integrates system dynamics (SD) and analytic hierarchical process (AHP) approaches, this paper compares some strategies employed in the development of sustainable road maintenance policies in Colombia. Using a hypothetical case study of a national road network, a set of maintenance policy alternatives are evaluated through the SD model in order to analyze the evolution of road conditions, and quantify costs and emissions. Then, a multi-criteria evaluation is performed applying the AHP methodology. Results show that in the Colombian context, decision-making processes regarding maintenance policies are highly influenced by economic factors, which lead to short-term strategies such as performing corrective maintenance over predictive maintenance. However, further analysis demonstrates that predictive maintenance allows the road network to remain in good conditions. Simultaneously, roadways in adequate conditions contribute to mitigate the environmental impact, because CO2 emissions are directly related to the interventions performed to preserve these roads. The proposed methodology can be used as a support tool to formulate maintenance policies that consider the long-term effects at the technical, environmental, and economic levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Corporate Sustainability Strategies and Decision Support Methods: A Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020521 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Sustainability is becoming an increasing issue for decision-makers and scholars worldwide and many managers understand the significance of the strategic approach of corporate sustainability. However, they face difficulties in aligning sustainable development and strategic management as well as to implement it in practice. [...] Read more.
Sustainability is becoming an increasing issue for decision-makers and scholars worldwide and many managers understand the significance of the strategic approach of corporate sustainability. However, they face difficulties in aligning sustainable development and strategic management as well as to implement it in practice. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to conduct a bibliometric analysis exploring the integration of strategic management, decision-making and corporate sustainability, providing a framework of interrelated issues according to the current literature in this area. 72 peer-reviewed papers were analyzed based on Webster’s and Watson’s (2002) methodology. The results of this review revealed that the number of publications in this domain has increased in the last decade, and there is a need to foster research (especially empirical) in this field because managers should find out ways to implement, in action, corporate sustainability strategies and integrate their action plans with their business strategy. This review concludes with a framework that includes the most commonly addressed issues of this topic and provides opportunities and challenges for further research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Fuzzy Estimators for the Construction of a Prediction Model Concerning an Environmental Ecosystem
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5039; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185039 - 15 Sep 2019
Abstract
As a variable system, the Lake of Kastoria is a good example regarding the pattern of the Mediterranean shallow lakes. The focus of this study is on the investigation of this lake’s eutrophication, analyzing the relation of the basic factors that affect this [...] Read more.
As a variable system, the Lake of Kastoria is a good example regarding the pattern of the Mediterranean shallow lakes. The focus of this study is on the investigation of this lake’s eutrophication, analyzing the relation of the basic factors that affect this phenomenon using fuzzy logic. In the method we suggest, while there are many fuzzy implications that can be used since the proposition can take values in the close interval [0,1], we investigate the most appropriate implication for the studied water body. We propose a method evaluating fuzzy implications by constructing triangular non-asymptotic fuzzy numbers for each of the studied parameters coming from experimental data. This is achieved with the use of fuzzy estimators and fuzzy linear regression. In this way, we achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms and functions that regulate this ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stochastic Analysis of Embodied Carbon Dioxide Emissions Considering Variability of Construction Sites
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154215 - 04 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The current method of estimating CO2 emissions during the construction phase does not consider the variability that can occur in actual work. Therefore, this study aims at probabilistic CO2 estimation dealing with the statistical characteristics in activity data of building construction [...] Read more.
The current method of estimating CO2 emissions during the construction phase does not consider the variability that can occur in actual work. Therefore, this study aims at probabilistic CO2 estimation dealing with the statistical characteristics in activity data of building construction work, focused on concrete pouring work and based on field data. The probabilistically estimated CO2 emissions have some differences from CO2 emissions measured by current deterministic methods. The results revealed that the minimum difference was 11.4%, and the maximum difference was 132.7%. This study also used Monte Carlo simulations to derive information on a probability model of CO2 emissions. Results of the analysis revealed that there is a risk of underestimating emissions because the amount of emissions was estimated at a level that exceeds the 95% confidence interval of the simulation results. In addition, the probability that CO2 emissions using the measured activities data were less than the estimated CO2 emissions using the bill of quantity was 73.2% in the probability distribution model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Lifecycle Assessment in Building Construction Projects: Focusing on Embodied Emissions
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133724 - 08 Jul 2019
Abstract
Understanding the structure and behavior of emissions in building systems is the first step toward improving the reliability of the environmental impact assessment of buildings. The shortcomings of current building lifecycle assessment (LCA) research is the lack of understanding of embodied emissions and [...] Read more.
Understanding the structure and behavior of emissions in building systems is the first step toward improving the reliability of the environmental impact assessment of buildings. The shortcomings of current building lifecycle assessment (LCA) research is the lack of understanding of embodied emissions and static analysis. This study presents a methodology for the dynamic LCA of buildings, combined with the system dynamics technique. Dynamic factors related to recurrent embodied emissions are explored through a literature review. Applying the dynamic factors based on the review, a causal map and stock-flow diagram are invented. Collecting the field data and establishing the assumptions based on the literature, a case study is performed for the proposed model. As a result, through dynamic analysis, it was found that recurrent embodied emissions have a considerably different behavior from static ones during their whole life. Additionally, it was found that the environmental impacts changed by more than 10%, according to the variation of the users’ required performance level in sensitivity analysis. This result thoroughly addressed the necessity and appropriateness of dynamic LCA. The dynamic LCA model developed in this study can contribute to the long-term behavioral understanding of the embodied environmental impacts of building LCA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of a Balanced Scorecard, DEMATEL, and ANP for Measuring the Performance of a Sustainable Healthcare Supply Chain
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3626; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133626 - 02 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to develop a sustainable healthcare supply chain performance measurement (SHSCPM) model, which simultaneously considers intangible characteristics and sustainability aspects to ensure customer and/or stakeholder satisfaction. This model combines a balanced scorecard (BSC) with a decision-making trial [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to develop a sustainable healthcare supply chain performance measurement (SHSCPM) model, which simultaneously considers intangible characteristics and sustainability aspects to ensure customer and/or stakeholder satisfaction. This model combines a balanced scorecard (BSC) with a decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and analytical network process (ANP). After the arrangement and classification of perspectives and indicators from a literature review, the strategy map of the BSC is designed with DEMATEL. Furthermore, this study used a survey with in-depth interviews of seven expert respondents to make a pair-wise comparison between perspectives and indicators in order to determine the weights of indicators, perspectives, and sustainability aspects on ANP. The study finds the following. First, the innovation and learning perspective that reflects intangible assets has the most influence on the others but is not important, while the customer perspective has the most importance for SHSC performance. Second, the economic aspect has the greatest weight, followed by social and environmental aspects. Finally, indicators of the financial and customer perspectives as drivers of SHSC performance consist of profit, quality of service, revenue, customer satisfaction, and stakeholder satisfaction. Further, indicators of the economic aspect of sustainability have the most effect on SHSC performance, followed by social and environmental aspects. Furthermore, human resources, as an intangible asset and key factor in social aspects, are main factor in improving SHSC performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Approach for Modeling Ontology-Based Task Knowledge on an Incident Command System
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123484 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents the TTIPP methodology, an integration of task analysis, task ontology, integration definition function modeling (IDEF0), Petri net, and Petri net mark language (PNML), to organize and model the task knowledge in the form of natural language expressions acquired during the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the TTIPP methodology, an integration of task analysis, task ontology, integration definition function modeling (IDEF0), Petri net, and Petri net mark language (PNML), to organize and model the task knowledge in the form of natural language expressions acquired during the knowledge-acquisition process. The goal of the methodology is to make the tasks more useful, accessible, and sharable through the web for a variety of stakeholders interested in solving a problem which is expressed mostly in linguistic form, and to shed light on the nature of problem-solving knowledge. This study provides a core epistemology for the knowledge engineer while developing the task ontology for a generic task. The proposed model overcomes the drawbacks of IDEF0, which are its static nature and Petri net which has no concept of hierarchy. A good number of countries lie on the typhoon and earthquake belts, which make them vulnerable to natural calamities. However, a practical incident command system (ICS) that provides a common framework to allow emergency responders of different backgrounds to work together effectively for standardized, on-the-scene, incident management has yet to be developed. There is a strong need to explicitly share, copy, and reuse the existing problem-solving knowledge in a complex ICS. As an example, the TTIPP model is applied to the task of emergency response for debris-flow during a typhoon as a part of an ICS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inter-University Sustainability Benchmarking for Canadian Higher Education Institutions: Water, Energy, and Carbon Flows for Technical-Level Decision-Making
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2599; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092599 - 06 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The education sector is one of the major contributors to the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, i.e., 16% of total emissions among 11 sectors. Canadian higher education institutions (HEIs) consume around 60% of the total energy fed to the educational sector. [...] Read more.
The education sector is one of the major contributors to the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada, i.e., 16% of total emissions among 11 sectors. Canadian higher education institutions (HEIs) consume around 60% of the total energy fed to the educational sector. Existing tools holistically cover a wide array of functions to assess the sustainability of HEIs. The infrastructure (engineered) systems are the pivotal units responsible for the majority of energy and water consumption and may have been built, retrofitted, or replaced at different times using different materials and technologies. Consequently, infrastructures have varying efficiency, designs, building envelopes, and environmental impacts. For technical-level decision making for improving the engineered systems, HEIs need to be benchmarked on the basis of their water, energy, and carbon flows. A methodology is developed for sustainability assessment of 34 Canadian HEIs that are classified into small, medium, and large sizes based on their number of full-time equivalent students (FTE). Energy, water consumption, number of students, and floor area is measured in different units and are, thus, normalized. The study revealed that the energy source was the primary factor affecting the sustainability performance of an institution. The analysis also revealed that small-sized institutions outperformed medium-to-large-sized institutions. Full article
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