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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: 31 January 2020

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assist. Prof. Athanasios P. Vavatsikos

Laboratory of Financial Engineering, Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: decision support systems, decision modeling, multicriteria decision analysis, geographical information systems, capital investments evaluation, project management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dimitrios E. Koulouriotis

Industrial Production and Logistics Lab, Department of Production and Management Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Website | E-Mail
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
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Ioannis Nikolaou

Business and Environmental Technology Economics Lab, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: circular economy; corporate environmental management; corporate sustainability; green consumerism; corporte social responsibility; intellectual capital-based theory
Guest Editor
Prof. Konstantinos P. Tsagarakis

Business and Environmental Technology Economics Lab, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Website | E-Mail
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 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 1700 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 (1 paper)

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Research

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
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
PDF Full-text (3585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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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