Special Issue "Sustainable Industrial Engineering along Product-Service Life Cycle/Supply Chain"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

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

Special Issue Editors

Prof. João Carlos de Oliveira Matias
E-Mail
Guest Editor
GOVCOPP Research Unit; Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Tel. +351 234 370 361 (ext: 23623)
Interests: sustainability; industrial engineering and management; sustainable energy systems; sustainable management systems (quality, maintenance, occupational health and safety); sustainable and lean production; circular economy; technological Innovation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Susana Garrido Azevedo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CEFAGE Research Unit; Department of Management and Economics, University of Beira Interior, Marquês de Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Tel. +351275319700
Interests: circular economy, sustainability, supply chain, lean, green, and logistics management
Dr. Carina Pimentel
E-Mail
Guest Editor
GOVCOPP and UNIDEMI Research Units; Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism (DEGEIT), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: mainly focused in the supply chain management, operations management and operational research areas; some topics of interest include: lean manufacturing, urban logistics, production planning and control and supply chain strategies development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To try to answer the challenge of developing sustainable societies, supply chains are compelled to reinvent their processes and practices by continuously incorporating sustainability guidelines in their decisions. The International Institute for Sustainable Development defines sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To tackle this challenge supply chains and the society in general must respond effectively to today's environmental, economic and social challenges.

Industrial engineering is concerned with value creation, building a bridge between technology and management. Development of new technologies can only take place if technologists and engineers have a good understanding of the needs of those who will be affected by the new technologies. Engineering innovations need to respond to social demand while taking ecological and economic principles into account. The design, operation, and assessment of such sustainable manufacturing systems within the limitations of renewable resource generation, and social compatibility, are the major challenges of the 21st century. This concern contributes to enhance the importance of controlling the product-service along its lifecycle using the methodology of sustainability life cycle assessment for assessing the economic, environmental, and social performance of a product-service from cradle to cradle. Cleaner production is also a concern of sustainable industrial engineering systems aiming at making a more efficient use of natural resources and reduce the generation of wastes and emissions at the source, through the implementation of some practices, such as technology modification, sustainable operations, reduce, recycling and reuse, and product modification. Cleaner production strategies, industrial symbiosis, and eco-efficiency strategies, are amongst some tools of sustainable industrial engineering which can help to the achievement of sustainable engineering solutions. These sustainable industrial engineering practices along the supply chain help to reverse the adverse effects of the industry, and the use of environmentally-friendly and socially beneficial practices may help to improve businesses profitability.

Sustainable industrial engineering addresses the issue of sustainability of industry from an economic, an environmental and a social and societal point of view. Its application fields are the whole value chain and lifecycle of products/services, from the development, to the end of life stages. This Special Issue focuses on how sustainable industrial engineering can contribute to supply chains become more sustainable. Researchers are encouraged to submit research or applied papers to explore the several aspects of sustainable industrial engineering along the supply chain.

Topics

  • Sustainability industrial engineering issues along the supply chain;
  • Sustainability linkages with strategic, tactical and operational supply chain management decision making;
  • Industrial engineering role in business sustainability and in economic growth;
  • Sustainable industrial engineering and supply chain performance;
  • Design and engineering of dynamic business models for industrial product-service systems;
  • Innovative business models for sustainable supply chain management;
  • Product-service life cycle assessment;
  • Sustainability function deployment;
  • Sustainable Design;
  • Product Service System;
  • Product-Service Footprint;
  • Sustainable Operations Management;
  • Sustainable technologies and equipment development along the supply chain;
  • Reverse logistics and closed loop supply chains;
  • Green supply chain management;
  • Clean production strategies and sustainable engineering solutions;
  • Industrial symbiosis and circular economy;
  • Energy eco-efficiency.

Prof. Dr. João Carlos de Oliveira Matias
Prof. Dr. Susana Azevedo
Prof. Dr. Carina Pimentel
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

  • sustainability
  • industrial engineering
  • industrial product-service systems
  • sustainable technologies and equipment
  • sustainable engineering solutions

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
The Potential of Industrial Symbiosis: Case Analysis and Main Drivers and Barriers to Its Implementation
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7095; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247095 - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
Industrial symbiosis, which is characterised mainly by the reuse of waste from one company as raw material by another, has been applied worldwide with recognised environmental, economic, and social benefits. However, the potential for industrial symbiosis is not exhausted in existing cases, and [...] Read more.
Industrial symbiosis, which is characterised mainly by the reuse of waste from one company as raw material by another, has been applied worldwide with recognised environmental, economic, and social benefits. However, the potential for industrial symbiosis is not exhausted in existing cases, and there is still a wide range of opportunities for its application. Through a comprehensive literature review, this article aims to compile and analyse studies that focus on potential industrial symbiosis in real contexts, to highlight the margin of optimisation that is not being used. The cases reported in the publications identified here were characterised and analysed according to geographic location, type of economic activity, waste/by-products, main benefits, and the methods employed in the studies. From this analysis, we conclude that there is great potential for applications involving industrial symbiosis throughout the world, and especially in Europe, corresponding to 53% of the total cases analysed. Manufacturing stood out as the sector with the highest potential for establishing symbiosis relationships, and the most common types of waste streams in potential networks were organic, plastic and rubber, wood, and metallic materials. This article also discusses the main drivers and barriers to realising the potential of industrial symbiosis. The diversity of industries, geographical proximity, facilitating entities and legislation, plans, and policies are shown to be the main drivers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Sustainable Recycling Investment Framework Considering Uncertain Demand and Nonlinear Recycling Cost
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143891 - 17 Jul 2019
Abstract
This paper presents a more active and efficient recycling investment strategy that considers the balances among the current production constraints, manufacturing profits, and recycling investments for a sustainable circular economy as compared to the current methods. While existing production planning has numerous uncertainties [...] Read more.
This paper presents a more active and efficient recycling investment strategy that considers the balances among the current production constraints, manufacturing profits, and recycling investments for a sustainable circular economy as compared to the current methods. While existing production planning has numerous uncertainties and nonlinear characteristics, the circular economy-based production planning constitutes more complex uncertainties and nonlinear characteristics that result from an uncertain return rate, demand uncertainties, and nonlinear return on investment costs. This paper suggests a stochastic nonlinear programming model-based active recycling investment framework so as to generate a more effective process plan to handle these characteristics. In the proposed framework, recycling investment strategies are quantitatively analyzed when considering uncertain demand and unclear production conditions. In addition, the effective solving techniques for the circular economy based production framework are obtained while using Monte-Carlo based sample average approximation and memetic algorithm. To prove the effectiveness of the proposed framework, it is implemented for a given system and the numerical analyses that were conducted for the various sustainable manufacturing scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Additive Manufacturing: Exploring the Social Changes and Impacts
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143757 - 10 Jul 2019
Abstract
Despite the myriad of possibilities and applications of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, knowledge about the social impacts of this technology is very scarce and very limited in some areas. This paper explores how factors generated by the development of AM technology may create [...] Read more.
Despite the myriad of possibilities and applications of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, knowledge about the social impacts of this technology is very scarce and very limited in some areas. This paper explores how factors generated by the development of AM technology may create social impacts, affecting the health and social well-being of people, quality of life, working conditions, and the creation of wealth. This paper presents the results of an exploratory multiple case study conducted among four Portuguese organizations that use AM technology, aiming to determine their perceptions regarding the social impacts of AM, its effects, and causes. The results confirm that AM technology is mainly seen to create positive impacts on health and safety (regarding physical hazards), on expectations for the future, on leisure and recreation, on low disruption with the local economy, on economic prosperity, on the professional status, and on innovative employment types. Nevertheless, a negative impact was also found on health and safety (concerning hazardous substances), as well as several mixed and null impacts. The main limitations of the research arise from the use of a case study methodology, since the results can be influenced by contextual factors, such as the size of the organizations in the sample, and/or social, cultural, technological, political, economic, and ecological factors. This study gives an up-to-date contribution to the topic of AM social impacts and social changes, an area which is still little-explored in the literature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Considering Product Life Cycle Cost Purchasing Strategy for Solving Vendor Selection Problems
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3739; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133739 - 09 Jul 2019
Abstract
The framework of product life cycle (PLC) cost analysis is one of the most important evaluation tools for a contemporary high-tech company in an increasingly competitive market environment. The PLC-purchasing strategy provides the framework for a procurement plan and examines the sourcing strategy [...] Read more.
The framework of product life cycle (PLC) cost analysis is one of the most important evaluation tools for a contemporary high-tech company in an increasingly competitive market environment. The PLC-purchasing strategy provides the framework for a procurement plan and examines the sourcing strategy of a firm. The marketing literature emphasizes that ongoing technological change and shortened life cycles are important elements in commercial organizations. From a strategic viewpoint, the vendor has an important position between supplier, buyer and manufacturer. The buyer seeks to procure the products from a set of vendors to take advantage of economies of scale and to exploit opportunities for strategic relationships. However, previous studies have seldom considered vendor selection (VS) based on PLC cost (VSPLCC) analysis. The purpose of this paper is to solve the VSPLCC problems considering the situation of a single buyer–multiple supplier. For this issue, a new VSPLCC procurement model and solution procedure are derived in this paper to minimize net cost, rejection rate, late delivery and PLC cost subject to vendor capacities and budget constraints. Moreover, a real case in Taiwan is provided to show how to solve the VSPLCC procurement problem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits of Adoption of Pyrolysis Process of Tires: A Feasible and Ecofriendly Mode to Reduce the Impacts of Scrap Tires in Brazil
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072076 - 08 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study addressed the development of a pilot plant for pyrolysis of scrap tires to obtain carbon black and other byproducts. The work was motivated by the goal of contributing to the development and dissemination of knowledge about existing technologies that allow modern [...] Read more.
This study addressed the development of a pilot plant for pyrolysis of scrap tires to obtain carbon black and other byproducts. The work was motivated by the goal of contributing to the development and dissemination of knowledge about existing technologies that allow modern economies to transform waste into valuable products, by documenting and discussing an empirical application in Brazil. Thispaper describes the development of a market for steel scrap, pyrolytic oil and carbon black products obtained from a vacuum pyrolysis process. The research work was conducted in Brazil, and was guided by the twofold purpose of reducing the environmental impacts, while gaining economical sustainability. Modern economies increasingly need to devise strategies to address energy generation while preserving natural ecosystems. These strategies include leveraging the use of renewable energy sources. Acknowledging that scrap tires hold an enormous potential as a sustainable energy option, this study aimed to contribute to the development and maturity of eco-friendly processing approaches to realize its full potential. The work involved a preliminary phase concerned with the operation of vacuum pyrolysis of scrap tires at a laboratorial scale, followed by the design of the pilot plant that operated for 10 years, at the time of the study, with a 100 kg/h batch flow. Results show that the yield of the pyrolysis process was 41% pyrolytic oil, 38% carbon black, 12% gas, and 8.9% steel scrap, with a calorific value of 36 MJ/kg per tire. The carbon black was composed of 90% carbon, and the pyrolytic oil was composed of 66% gasoline and 33% other oils, which have higher quality and can be commercialized with a potential profit over 3 million dollars/year. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Human Factors and Lean Techniques on Just in Time Benefits
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071864 - 28 Mar 2019
Abstract
A successful Just in Time (JIT) implementation is based on human resources integration (managers, operators and suppliers) and other lean manufacturing techniques applied in the production process. However, the relationship between these variables is not easily quantified. This paper reports a structural equation [...] Read more.
A successful Just in Time (JIT) implementation is based on human resources integration (managers, operators and suppliers) and other lean manufacturing techniques applied in the production process. However, the relationship between these variables is not easily quantified. This paper reports a structural equation model that integrates variables associated with JIT implementation: management commitment, human resources integration, suppliers and production tools and technique, which affect the benefits gained, and are integrated into nine hypotheses or relationships among then. The model is evaluated with information from 352 responses to a questionnaire applied to manufacturing industry, and partial least squares technique is used to evaluate it. The direct effects, sum of indirect effects, and total effects are quantified, and a sensitivity analysis based on conditional probabilities is reported to know scenarios associated with low and high levels in variables’ execution and how they impact the benefits obtained. Findings indicate that managerial commitment is the most important variable in the JIT implementation process, since managers are the ones that determine the relationships with suppliers, integrate human resources, and approve the lean manufacturing techniques and tools that support the JIT. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Proposed Index of the Implementation and Maturity of Circular Economy Practices—The Case of the Pulp and Paper Industries of Portugal and Spain
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061722 - 21 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
High industrial development, new consumption habits, and population growth have led to a discussion, in the various sectors of society, about resource scarcity, pollutant emissions, and waste generation. As a result, and in opposition to the linear economic model in which products are [...] Read more.
High industrial development, new consumption habits, and population growth have led to a discussion, in the various sectors of society, about resource scarcity, pollutant emissions, and waste generation. As a result, and in opposition to the linear economic model in which products are eliminated after production and consumption, a new business model emerged, called the “The Circular Economy”. This model is based on reuse, recovery, recycling, and repairing during the design and use cycle of a product. This research intends to make a study of the circular economy in the pulp and paper industries of Portugal and Spain. This sector was chosen because, in addition to representing about 2.5% of Portugal’s industrial production, it has made significant efforts to promote environmentally sustainable development. Therefore, this research intends to present the situation of the pulp and paper sector within the circular economy, making an Iberian comparison between the years 2011 and 2015. This comparison is made through the development of a comparative index based on the results of some environmental indicators. According to the research carried out, the pulp and paper sector in Portugal was about 26% higher in the implementation of the circular economy than the same sector in Spain in 2015, with the peculiarity that this difference has been decreasing in the last five years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Optimization Method and Software for Optimizing Global Supply Chains for Increased Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061610 - 17 Mar 2019
Abstract
Presently, an increasing human population, customer consumption, and global market competition result in the reduction of natural resources and growing environmental damage. Therefore, the current practice in the use of resources is not sustainable. The production companies have to focus not only on [...] Read more.
Presently, an increasing human population, customer consumption, and global market competition result in the reduction of natural resources and growing environmental damage. Therefore, the current practice in the use of resources is not sustainable. The production companies have to focus not only on cost-effective and profitable operation, but at the same time environmentally friendly and sustainable production in order to increase competitiveness. New innovative technologies are required, improving the efficiency of the processes and the optimization of global supply chains (GSC) in order to establish sustainability in environmental, social, and economic aspects. The aim of the study is the GSCs’ optimization, which means forming the optimal combination of the chain members (suppliers, final assemblers, service providers) to achieve cost-effective, time-effective, and sustainable operation. This study introduces an elaborated single- and multi-objective optimization method, including the objective functions (cost, lead time) and design constraints (production and service capacities; volume of inventories; flexibility and sustainability of the chain members). Based on the elaborated method, software has been developed for the optimization of sustainable GSCs. The significance and novelty of the developed method and software is that the chain members have been required to fulfill the sustainability design constraint built into the software. A real case study is introduced, for the optimal design of a sustainable GSC, to confirm that our developed optimization method and software can be applied effectively in practice for the optimization of both profitable and sustainable GSCs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Relation between Lean Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1439; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051439 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nowadays, Lean Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and Sustainability are important concerns for the companies and in a general way for the society, principally, the influence of the two production philosophies, Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, in the three main pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, Lean Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and Sustainability are important concerns for the companies and in a general way for the society, principally, the influence of the two production philosophies, Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, in the three main pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. According to the literature review done in this work, these relations are not well known and are dispersed by different sustainability’s criteria. To address this gap, this research proposes a structural equation model, with six hypotheses, to quantitatively measure the effects of Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, in Sustainability. To statistically validate such hypotheses, we collected 252 valid questionnaires from industrial companies of Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). Results show that: (1) it is not conclusive that Lean Manufacturing is correlated with any of the sustainability pillars; and (2) Industry 4.0 shows a strong correlation with the three sustainability pillars. These results can contribute as an important decision support for the industrial companies and its stakeholders, even because not all the results are in line with other opinions and studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Joint Production and Emissions Reduction Strategies Considering Consumers’ Environmental Preferences: A Manufacturer’s Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020474 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Carbon cap-and-trade mechanism is a government-mandated, market-based scheme to reduce emissions, which has a significant effect on manufacturers’ operation decisions. Based on the cap-and-trade mechanism, this paper studies the joint production and emission reduction problem of a manufacturer. The manufacturer faces emissions-sensitive demand [...] Read more.
Carbon cap-and-trade mechanism is a government-mandated, market-based scheme to reduce emissions, which has a significant effect on manufacturers’ operation decisions. Based on the cap-and-trade mechanism, this paper studies the joint production and emission reduction problem of a manufacturer. The manufacturer faces emissions-sensitive demand impacted by consumers’ environmental preferences (CEP). An extended newsvendor model is used to find the optimal production quantity and emissions reduction quantity. We explore the impacts of market price of carbon credits, emission reduction investment coefficient and CEP on the optimal strategies. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the theoretical results and orthogonal experimental design technique was applied to find robust system parameters. It is concluded that among all parameters, emissions cap has the greater impact on the expected profit, which is followed by than the market price of carbon credits. This means that the government plays a major role in economic development. The total carbon emissions are mainly affected by the carbon trading price and the product’s sale price, which indicates the carbon trading market and product market play a larger role in controlling environmental benefits. Several valuable managerial insights on helping governments and industries understand how market conditions change and make better long-term decisions are further concluded. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Circular Economy Approach to Military Munitions: Valorization of Energetic Material from Ammunition Disposal through Incorporation in Civil Explosives
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010255 - 07 Jan 2019
Abstract
Ammunition that has reached its end of life or become obsolete is considered hazardous waste due to the energetic material content that must be decommissioned. One of the technologies to dispose of ammunition involves the use of incinerators with sophisticated gas treatment systems; [...] Read more.
Ammunition that has reached its end of life or become obsolete is considered hazardous waste due to the energetic material content that must be decommissioned. One of the technologies to dispose of ammunition involves the use of incinerators with sophisticated gas treatment systems; however, this disposal process has important limitations in terms of incinerator capacity, energy requirements and high costs. This article assesses the potential primary energy avoided and environmental benefits arising from the valorization of energetic material from military ammunition by incorporating it into civil emulsion explosives, as an alternative to destructive disposal. This approach follows the circular economy principle, as articulated inter alia in BS 8001:2007, by giving a new service to a residue through its incorporation into a new product. A prospective life-cycle model is implemented based on primary data from previous studies on the conventional disposal process and on the production of emulsion explosive. The model applies system expansion to calculate the environmental burdens avoided when energetic material from ammunition is incorporated into civil explosives. The results show that re-using ammunition through valorization of energetic material greatly reduces the environmental impacts in all categories compared to the conventional disposal process. The benefits arise mainly from avoiding the incineration and flue gas treatment processes in ammunition disposal, and displacing production of civil explosive components with the energetic material from ammunition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Evolution Mechanism and Optimal Reward-Penalty Mechanism for Collection Strategies in Reverse Supply Chains: The Case of Waste Mobile Phones in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4744; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124744 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to discuss the coopetition (cooperative competition) relationship between a manufacturer and a collector in the collection of waste mobile phones (WMPs) and examine the evolution mechanism and the internal reward-penalty mechanism (RPM) for their collection strategies. A [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the coopetition (cooperative competition) relationship between a manufacturer and a collector in the collection of waste mobile phones (WMPs) and examine the evolution mechanism and the internal reward-penalty mechanism (RPM) for their collection strategies. A coopetition evolutionary game model based on evolutionary game theory was developed to obtain their common and evolutional collection strategies. The pure-strategy Nash equilibriums of this model were obtained which showed their collection strategy choices of perfect competition or cooperation. The mixed strategy Nash equilibrium was obtained which revealed evolution trends and laws. In addition, the optimal RPM was obtained in the sensitivity analysis of related parameters. The example of WMPs in China was taken to examine the simulation of the RPM. Results show that (i) although the manufacturer and the collector may change their strategies of cooperation and competition over time, cooperation is their best choice to increase payoffs; (ii) the optimal RPM is beneficial to propel their cooperation tendency and then to increase their payoffs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pricing and Collaboration in Last Mile Delivery Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124560 - 03 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recently, last mile delivery has emerged as an essential process that greatly affects the opportunity of obtaining delivery service market share due to the rapid increase in the business-to-consumer (B2C) service market. Express delivery companies are investing to expand the capacity of hub [...] Read more.
Recently, last mile delivery has emerged as an essential process that greatly affects the opportunity of obtaining delivery service market share due to the rapid increase in the business-to-consumer (B2C) service market. Express delivery companies are investing to expand the capacity of hub terminals to handle increasing delivery volume. As for securing massive delivery quantity by investment, companies must examine the profitability between increasing delivery quantity and price. This study proposes two strategies for a company’s decision making regarding the adjustment of market density and price by developing a pricing and collaboration model based on the delivery time of the last mile process. A last mile delivery time function of market density is first derived from genetic algorithm (GA)-based simulation results of traveling salesman problem regarding the market density. The pricing model develops a procedure to determine the optimal price, maximizing the profit based on last mile delivery time function. In addition, a collaboration model, where a multi-objective integer programming problem is developed, is proposed to sustain long-term survival for small and medium-sized companies. In this paper, sensitivity analysis demonstrates the effect of delivery environment on the optimal price and profit. Also, a numerical example presents four different scenarios of the collaboration model to determine the applicability and efficiency of the model. These two proposed models present managerial insights for express delivery companies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bayesian Methods for Reliability Demonstration Test for Finite Population Using Lot and Sequential Sampling
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3671; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103671 - 14 Oct 2018
Abstract
The work proposed a reliability demonstration test (RDT) process, which can be employed to determine whether a finite population is accepted or rejected. Bayesian and non-Bayesian approaches were compared in the proposed RDT process, as were lot and sequential sampling. One-shot devices, such [...] Read more.
The work proposed a reliability demonstration test (RDT) process, which can be employed to determine whether a finite population is accepted or rejected. Bayesian and non-Bayesian approaches were compared in the proposed RDT process, as were lot and sequential sampling. One-shot devices, such as bullets, fire extinguishers, and grenades, were used as test targets, with their functioning state expressible as a binary model. A hypergeometric distribution was adopted as the likelihood function for a finite population consisting of binary items. It was demonstrated that a beta-binomial distribution was the conjugate prior of the hypergeometric likelihood function. According to the Bayesian approach, the posterior beta-binomial distribution is used to decide on the acceptance or rejection of the population in the RDT. The proposed method in this work could be used to select item providers in a supply chain, who guarantee a predetermined reliability target and confidence level. Numerical examples show that a Bayesian approach with sequential sampling has the advantage of only requiring a small sample size to determine the acceptance of a finite population. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Blockchain Practices, Potentials, and Perspectives in Greening Supply Chains
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103652 - 12 Oct 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
Blockchain technology is an inchoate technology whose current popularity is peaking. Some of the most pervasive blockchain technology use cases exist for supply chains. Sustainable, and especially green, supply chains can benefit from blockchain technology, but there are also caveats. The sustainability and [...] Read more.
Blockchain technology is an inchoate technology whose current popularity is peaking. Some of the most pervasive blockchain technology use cases exist for supply chains. Sustainable, and especially green, supply chains can benefit from blockchain technology, but there are also caveats. The sustainability and environmental management research and academic literature is only starting to investigate this emergent field. This paper seeks to help advance the discussion and motivate additional practice and research related to green supply chains and blockchain technology. This viewpoint paper provides insight into some of the main dimensions of blockchain technology, an overview of the use cases and issues, and some general research areas for further investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rework Quantification and Influence of Rework on Duration and Cost of Equipment Development Task
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103590 - 09 Oct 2018
Abstract
Rework is a sub-task within equipment development tasks that is revised after initial completion to meet task requirements. Some sub-tasks require multiple rework iterations due to their uncertainty and complexity, or the technology and process needs of the overall task, resulting in inefficient [...] Read more.
Rework is a sub-task within equipment development tasks that is revised after initial completion to meet task requirements. Some sub-tasks require multiple rework iterations due to their uncertainty and complexity, or the technology and process needs of the overall task, resulting in inefficient task implementation and resource wastage. Therefore, studying the impact of rework iterations on the duration and cost of development tasks is worthwhile. This study divides rework into foreseeable and hidden types and uses several methods to express and quantify their parameters. The main influencing factors in rework iterations—the uncertainty and complexity of the development task—are quantitatively analyzed. Then, mathematical and mapping models of the dependence between sub-tasks, uncertainty, complexity, and rework parameters are established. The impacts of rework type and rework parameters on the duration and cost of equipment development tasks are analyzed via simulation based on the design structure matrix (DSM). Finally, an example is used to illustrate the influence of different rework types and rework parameters on development tasks’ duration and cost. The results show that the duration and cost of development tasks are greater, their volatility range is wider, and the distribution is more dispersed when both foreseeable and hidden rework are considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Education and Energy Intensity: Simple Economic Modelling and Preliminary Empirical Results
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2625; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082625 - 26 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The ratio of energy use to Gross Domestic Product (defined as energy intensity) is a major determinant of environmental hazard and an indicator of eco-efficiency. This paper explains why education can have an effect in reducing the energy intensity thus affecting eco-efficiency. We [...] Read more.
The ratio of energy use to Gross Domestic Product (defined as energy intensity) is a major determinant of environmental hazard and an indicator of eco-efficiency. This paper explains why education can have an effect in reducing the energy intensity thus affecting eco-efficiency. We devise a stylized economic model with simple and widely accepted assumptions that highlights the role of education in decreasing energy intensity worldwide. In an empirical application that is robust to the features of the data, we show that primary schooling contributes to a decrease in energy intensity which has a very significant effect, even accounting for the other well-known determinants of energy intensity. Additionally, when schooling is taken into account, income is no longer a negative determinant of energy intensity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Sustainable Supplier Selection Approach Based on Hybrid Information Aggregation
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2543; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072543 - 19 Jul 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
With a great emphasis on both social and environmental responsibilities, sustainable supply chain management has gradually been adopted and promoted as an innovative business model. In sustainable supply chain practice, the choice of sustainable suppliers relates to the long-term development of a company. [...] Read more.
With a great emphasis on both social and environmental responsibilities, sustainable supply chain management has gradually been adopted and promoted as an innovative business model. In sustainable supply chain practice, the choice of sustainable suppliers relates to the long-term development of a company. While the environmental performance of suppliers has been commonly considered, the social dimension has not yet received enough attention. This paper first proposes a novel criteria system for evaluating sustainable suppliers from three aspects and six dimensions, and then introduces an integrated evaluation model with a novel hybrid information aggregation. To verify the applicability and effectiveness of the proposed method, a real case of a large supermarket is introduced and analyzed. The research results show that (1) the indicator system based on Triple Bottom Line theory can serve as a framework of sustainable supplier selection for manufacturing and circulation enterprises; (2) the introduction of hybrid information aggregation can effectively handle the uncertainties of indicator scores under the realistic fuzzy environment and objectively reflect the intentions of the scorers; and (3) in comparison with the TOPSIS algorithm, the priority order finally obtained is consistent, but the proposed model shows more robustness in the sensitivity test. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Game Theoretic Approach for Improving Environmental and Economic Performance in a Dual-Channel Green Supply Chain
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061918 - 08 Jun 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate economic performance and environmental performance of a dual-channel green supply chain (GSC). Given that most relevant literature still focus on the descriptive aspect of GSC, we adopt game theoretic approach rather than qualitative analysis method to address the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate economic performance and environmental performance of a dual-channel green supply chain (GSC). Given that most relevant literature still focus on the descriptive aspect of GSC, we adopt game theoretic approach rather than qualitative analysis method to address the following problems: (1) How can the integration of environmental and economic sustainability goals be achieved in GSC? (2) What is the impact of customer environmental awareness on the green level and profitability of the GSC? (3) How does the market demand changes in the presence of the online direct channel in addition to the traditional one? We establish four game models, which are decentralized scenario, centralized scenario, retailer-led revenue-sharing scenario and bargaining revenue-sharing scenario. In the decentralized scenario, participants in a GSC make individual decisions based on their specific interests. In the centralized scenario, the GSC is regarded as a whole and the participants make collective decisions to maximize the overall profit of the GSC. In addition, in the two revenue-sharing scenarios, revenue-sharing contracts as the important profit coordination systems are set up and the revenue-sharing ratio is determined either by the retailer or through bargaining. Moreover, the cost of green product research and development, customer environmental awareness and price sensitivity are also taken into account in the four scenarios. By comparing and analyzing the four game models, we recommend the two revenue-sharing scenarios as the optimum choice and improving green awareness as a feasible strategy to achieve the integration of economic and environmental goals of the GSC. Additionally, we find that online sales has become a major distribution channel of the GSC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Information and Communication Technology in Green Supply Chain Implementation and Companies’ Performance
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061793 - 30 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The aim of this study is to quantify the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) and its technological updates on the success of the green supply chain (GSC) implementation, as well as the benefits this affords. This research is applied to the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to quantify the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) and its technological updates on the success of the green supply chain (GSC) implementation, as well as the benefits this affords. This research is applied to the Mexican maquiladora export industry. A model of structural equations is presented to know the importance of the integration of ICT, combined with the implementation of GSC and the generation of benefits with the use of ICT. The results indicate that there is a direct, positive effect (PE) and significant among the four latent variables (LTV) analyzed but the most noteworthy is the indirect effect that the variable updating the ICT has on the benefits of GSC, through the variable mediators’ implementation of a GSC, since the direct effect of updating the ICT on the benefits of the implementation of GSC does not become significant. Whereby, it is recommended that the industry integrates and updates its ICT since, using the integrated and updated ICT and the implementation of a GSC, a series of economic, productive and environmental benefits will be created. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Analysis of Evaluation Methods of Sustainable Supply Chain Management in Production Engineering Journals with High Impact
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010270 - 29 Dec 2019
Abstract
Nowadays, scholars need to know the trends for specific themes and how the main methods are applied to solve the gaps. The research problem for this work is the assessment of methods used in the sustainable supply chain, published in journals with a [...] Read more.
Nowadays, scholars need to know the trends for specific themes and how the main methods are applied to solve the gaps. The research problem for this work is the assessment of methods used in the sustainable supply chain, published in journals with a high impact factor and especially in the production engineering field. The methodology utilized was an adapted version of the “Methodi Ordinatio”, in structured stages to select a limited class of papers of high scientific relevance, to show how the methods are being used. The search steps included the filtering of journals in the research field with relevant impact factors and selecting databases and keywords; reading titles and abstracts; classifying the number of citations; and critical reading of all papers listed in the bibliographic portfolio. The research results and analysis of frequency of papers in the portfolio were used to identify and describe the most commonly used evaluation methods, the correlated theories, advantages, and disadvantages of each researched work. Full article
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