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Special Issue "Operations and Innovations for the Environment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Victor Shi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L3C5, Canada
Interests: supply chain management; management science; green operations; innovation
Dr. Yong He
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Economics and Management, Department of Logistics Management Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Interests: supply chain management; logistics management; inventory/production control; marketing/OM interfaces; agriculture and food systems
Dr. Shilei Yang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There have been various major environmental problems in the world, including pollution, climate change, and natural resource depletion. For example, the CO2 concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere have risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) 200 years ago to about 400 ppm today. There are currently about 5.25 trillion pieces of floating plastic debris in the oceans.

Operations are the transformation processes from various inputs (e.g., raw materials and energy) into goods and services to meet consumer needs. Operational decisions include operations strategy, product design, process design, quality management, capacity, facilities planning, production planning and inventory control, and recycling and remanufacturing, and supply chain management to work with upstream suppliers and downstream customers. To solve these environmental problems, it is crucial for organizations, big or small, to improve and innovate their operations. Through operations improvement and innovation, organizations can procure raw materials that are from renewable resources, design products with more environmental qualities, manufacture products using renewable energy more efficiently, use biodegradable or compostable packaging, recycle and remanufacture from used products, among other things. For example, two Australians designed an innovative product called seabin, a submersible garbage bin that siphons and captures floating debris in the oceans; they teamed up with Poralu Marine, a French company, for manufacturing.

This Special Issue welcomes theoretical and empirical contributions to the broad issue related to operations and innovations for the environment. Topics include, but are not limited to, green strategy, product design for the environment, process improvement, recycling, remanufacturing, waste management, green supply chains, and innovating for the environment. All papers selected for this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.

Prof. Dr. Victor Shi
Dr. Yong He
Dr. Shilei Yang
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2300 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.

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Article
Employees’ Environmental Protection and Charitable Donation and Ethical Leadership: An Empirical Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16132282 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1150
Abstract
The sustainable development of the environment and society depends not only on firms’ social responsibility initiatives, but also on employees’ socially responsible behavior during their daily work life. Hence, it is important to study why and how employees go about the socially responsible [...] Read more.
The sustainable development of the environment and society depends not only on firms’ social responsibility initiatives, but also on employees’ socially responsible behavior during their daily work life. Hence, it is important to study why and how employees go about the socially responsible behaviors (SRB), such as environmental protection and charitable donations. Although research has been done on the antecedents of employees’ SRB from personal, contextual and leadership perspectives, little is known about the mechanism through which they affect these behaviors. Moreover, compared with the other two perspectives, research from the leadership perspective is relatively scarce. In this paper, we aim to fill these research gaps. Based on 936 respondents from 109 corporations, we empirically test the cross-level direct effect of ethical leadership on employees’ SRB and the cross-level mediating effect of perceived organizational virtuousness. In our empirical analyses, we adopt statistical methodologies such as hierarchical linear modeling and multilevel mediation analysis. Our results show that perceived organizational virtuousness partly mediates the influence of ethical leadership on employees’ environmental protection and charitable donation. In other words, ethical leadership enables employees to form the perception of organizational virtuousness, and therefore employees are more engaged in environmental protection and charitable donations. This research provides important insights for firms and their employees to become more socially and environmentally responsible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
PM2.5 Cooperative Control with Fuzzy Cost and Fuzzy Coalitions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1271; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16071271 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
Haze control cost is hard to value by a crisp number because it is often affected by various factors such as regional uncertain meteorological conditions and topographical features. Furthermore, regions may be involved in different coalitions for haze control with different levels of [...] Read more.
Haze control cost is hard to value by a crisp number because it is often affected by various factors such as regional uncertain meteorological conditions and topographical features. Furthermore, regions may be involved in different coalitions for haze control with different levels of effort. In this paper, we propose a PM2.5 cooperative control model with fuzzy cost and crisp coalitions or fuzzy coalitions based on the uncertain cross-border transmission factor. We focus on the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei regions of China and obtain the following major findings. In the case of haze control in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei regions of China, local governments in the global crisp coalition can achieve their emission reduction targets with the lowest aggregated cost. However, Hebei fails to satisfy its individual rationality if there is no cost sharing. Therefore, the Hukuhara–Shapley value is used to allocate the aggregated cost among these regions so that the grand coalition is stable. However, the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei regions cannot achieve their emission reduction targets in the global fuzzy coalition without government subsidies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
Article
How Does CEO’s Environmental Awareness Affect Technological Innovation?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 261; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16020261 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
In this paper, we conduct an empirical study on the impact of CEOs’ environmental awareness on technological innovation. To this end, we obtain a large sample with 7615 observations from Chinese A-share listed firms between the years of 2003 and 2014. Our empirical [...] Read more.
In this paper, we conduct an empirical study on the impact of CEOs’ environmental awareness on technological innovation. To this end, we obtain a large sample with 7615 observations from Chinese A-share listed firms between the years of 2003 and 2014. Our empirical results show that a CEO’s environmental awareness has a significant positive impact on technological innovation of his/her enterprise. Environmentally conscious CEOs will invest more in R&D and obtain more patents. This will help their enterprises achieve higher efficiency of technological innovation. Furthermore, the environmental awareness of a CEO has a more significant impact on technological innovation if his/her enterprise is subject to a higher level of monitoring. We also conduct robustness check of our findings and provide managerial insights and proactive government policies to raise the environmental awareness of CEOs and improve the innovation vitality of enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
Article
Building Sustainable Supply Chains for Organizations Based on QFD: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2834; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15122834 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Environmental protection has been increasingly emphasized by stakeholders, including social organizations, the government, and the public. As a result, building a sustainable supply chain has now become a part of social corporate responsibility as well as a challenge for firms, including small and [...] Read more.
Environmental protection has been increasingly emphasized by stakeholders, including social organizations, the government, and the public. As a result, building a sustainable supply chain has now become a part of social corporate responsibility as well as a challenge for firms, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Taking a chemical enterprise (called enterprise C, in this paper) as an example, this paper uses quality function deployment (QFD) techniques and sets up a house of quality (HOQ) to investigate how a SME can achieve sustainable supply chain management. Specifically, in this paper we build a performance measurement system focusing on economic performance, environmental performance, and social performance. These three types of performance measure, in turn, include fifty-nine secondary indicators. Furthermore, an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) has been adopted to calculate the weight of each indicator. Benchmarking has also been used, to determine how much the enterprise should improve on each indicator. Based on the HOQ model, we conclude that avoiding waste, recycling resources, and sustainable exploitation are most important internal abilities of enterprise C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
Incentive Strategies for Low-Carbon Supply Chains with Asymmetric Information of Carbon Reduction Efficiency
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2736; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15122736 - 04 Dec 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Information concerning carbon reduction efficiency is of great significance to supply chain operations. Considering the impact of information asymmetry on the performance of low-carbon supply chain, we therefore analyze a chain system with a single product designer and a single manufacturer. The manufacturer [...] Read more.
Information concerning carbon reduction efficiency is of great significance to supply chain operations. Considering the impact of information asymmetry on the performance of low-carbon supply chain, we therefore analyze a chain system with a single product designer and a single manufacturer. The manufacturer owns information on carbon reduction efficiency, whereas the product designer only knows that the carbon reduction efficiency of the manufacturer is either high or low. To induce the manufacturer to reveal his true private information of carbon-reduction efficiency to the product designer, we devise the pooling and separating equilibrium models to compare the impacts of these two models on supply chain performance, respectively. We find that the high-efficiency manufacturer gets his first-best choice at the equilibrium decision in the separating model, and obtains the information rent in the pooling model. The information rent increases in the efficiency difference between the two emission-reduction types. Additionally, we examine how the probability of the high (or low)-efficiency manufacturer being chosen impacts on both the profits of chain members and carbon-reduction levels. The research provides a reference for companies about how to cooperate with partner who possess private information of carbon emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
Social Network Analysis of Factors Influencing Green Building Development in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15122684 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Green buildings have been viewed as one of the most effective solutions to the negative environmental impacts of construction activities. For the sustainable development of the economy and the environment, many governments in the world have launched a variety of policies to encourage [...] Read more.
Green buildings have been viewed as one of the most effective solutions to the negative environmental impacts of construction activities. For the sustainable development of the economy and the environment, many governments in the world have launched a variety of policies to encourage the development of green buildings. However, green targets achieved during the operational stage of green buildings are far below the expectations from the design stage. In addition, the development of green buildings is unevenly distributed in different cities. To help resolve these issues, this paper identifies 28 green building influencing factors from two perspectives, the life cycle and stakeholders. Then, a social network analysis is used to analyse their interactions and identify the critical factors. Our results show that government supervision, incremental cost, property management experience, and the awareness of environmental protection in green buildings are the critical influencing factors in promoting green building development. However, some factors related to contractors, designers and suppliers are not as important as perceived. Finally, some policy recommendations are proposed to promote green buildings in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
Impacts of Dynamic Agglomeration Externalities on Eco-Efficiency: Empirical Evidence from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102304 - 19 Oct 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1637
Abstract
Ecological efficiency (eco-efficiency) reflects the synergetic degree of the development of resource, economic, and environmental systems. This paper measures urban eco-efficiency based on a nonconvex metafrontier data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach using data from 191 cities in China during the years of 2003 [...] Read more.
Ecological efficiency (eco-efficiency) reflects the synergetic degree of the development of resource, economic, and environmental systems. This paper measures urban eco-efficiency based on a nonconvex metafrontier data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach using data from 191 cities in China during the years of 2003 to 2013. In particular, the impacts of dynamic agglomeration externalities on urban eco-efficiency are investigated. Our empirical results show that eco-efficiency decreased from 2003 to 2013, and its spatial distribution demonstrates significant regional heterogeneity. Additionally, there exists an inverted U-shape relationship between dynamic externalities, including Marshall-Arrow-Romer (MAR), Jacobs and Porter externalities, and eco-efficiency. We also find that eco-efficiency can be enhanced by strengthening environmental regulations, optimizing industrial structures, and improving technological capacity. These findings are robust to alternative eco-efficiency measures, model specifications, and estimation approaches. Furthermore, we discuss related policy implications of our research results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
Green Procurement Relationships Development under Carbon Emissions Regulations: A Bi-Level Programming Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15102183 - 06 Oct 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
A multi-period Stackelberg game is adopted to study a green procurement relationship between manufacturers and suppliers in a supply chain. The manufacturers are considered as leaders, while the suppliers are modelled as followers in this Stackelberg game. Accordingly, a mixed binary linear bi-level [...] Read more.
A multi-period Stackelberg game is adopted to study a green procurement relationship between manufacturers and suppliers in a supply chain. The manufacturers are considered as leaders, while the suppliers are modelled as followers in this Stackelberg game. Accordingly, a mixed binary linear bi-level programming model is developed to elaborate the game in consideration of carbon tax scheme. The upper level (the leader) aims at selecting a proper number of suitable suppliers to provide heterogeneous raw materials at the lowest operational cost. The objective of the lower level (the follower) is to find optimal purchasing quantities of raw materials. In addition, two lemmas are introduced to transform the mixed linear bi-level programming model into a single level linear programming model. The numerical example illustrates that: (1) the manufacturer prefers to adopt the multiple sourcing strategy due to the flexibility; (2) keeping stable supplies and large order volumes could effectively reduce carbon emissions for the suppliers and make the supply chain greener. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
Multi-Depot Open Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows Based on Carbon Trading
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2025; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092025 - 17 Sep 2018
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 2883
Abstract
In order to cut the costs of third-party logistics companies and respond to the Chinese government’s low-carbon economy plans, this paper studies the more practical and complex open vehicle routing problem, which considers low-carbon trading policies. A low-carbon multi-depot open vehicle routing problem [...] Read more.
In order to cut the costs of third-party logistics companies and respond to the Chinese government’s low-carbon economy plans, this paper studies the more practical and complex open vehicle routing problem, which considers low-carbon trading policies. A low-carbon multi-depot open vehicle routing problem with time windows (MDOVRPTW) model is constructed with minimum total costs, which include the driver’s salary, penalty costs, fuel costs and carbon emissions trading costs. Then, a two-phase algorithm is proposed to handle the model. In the first phase, the initial local solution is obtained with particle swarm optimization (PSO); in the second phase, we can obtain a global optimal solution through a further tabu search (TS). Experiments proved that the proposed algorithm is more suitable for small-scale cases. Furthermore, a series of experiments with different values of carbon prices and carbon quotas are conducted. The results of the study indicate that, as carbon trading prices and carbon quotas change, total costs, carbon emission trading costs and carbon emissions are affected accordingly. Based on these academic results, this paper presents some effective proposals for the government’s carbon trading policy-making and also for logistics companies to have better route planning under carbon emission constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
An Improved Shapley Value Method for a Green Supply Chain Income Distribution Mechanism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1976; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15091976 - 10 Sep 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
Low-carbon development and environmental remediation are key factors for green resource-based supply chains in China. With this aim in mind, by applying game theory under uncertain market demand, this paper incorporates low-carbon development and environmental remediation into a resource-based supply chain coordination model [...] Read more.
Low-carbon development and environmental remediation are key factors for green resource-based supply chains in China. With this aim in mind, by applying game theory under uncertain market demand, this paper incorporates low-carbon development and environmental remediation into a resource-based supply chain coordination model for decentralized and centralized markets. The results show that a centralized market can lead to improvement in total profit. Furthermore, based on an improved Shapley value method, a theoretical model for the centralized market income distribution mechanism is developed that incorporates three corrective risk factors, ecological investment, and technological level. Finally, a numerical analysis is conducted using a MATLAB simulation to obtain intuitive results, which, in turn, show the validity of incentive income distribution mechanisms for green supply chain development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
How Would Economic Development Influence Carbon Productivity? A Case from Hubei in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1730; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15081730 - 12 Aug 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Carbon productivity, defined as the gross domestic product (GDP) per unit of CO2 emissions, has been used by provincial governments in China as in indicator for effort and effect in addressing climate-change problems. The aggregate impact of economic growth on carbon productivity [...] Read more.
Carbon productivity, defined as the gross domestic product (GDP) per unit of CO2 emissions, has been used by provincial governments in China as in indicator for effort and effect in addressing climate-change problems. The aggregate impact of economic growth on carbon productivity is complex and worthy of extensive investigation to design effective environmental and economic policies. Based on a novel combination of the smooth transition regression model and the Markov regime-switching regression model, this paper analyzes time series data on carbon productivity and economic growth from Hubei Province in China. The results show that the influence of economic growth on carbon productivity is highly nonlinear. In general, economic growth has a positive impact on improving carbon productivity. From a longitudinal perspective, this nonlinear positive impact is further divided into three stages, transiting from a high regime to a low regime and then back to a high regime. The high regime stage, in which economic growth has stronger positive influence on enhancing carbon productivity, is expected to last for considerably longer time than the low regime stage. It is more probable for a low regime stage to transit to a high regime. Once the relation of carbon productivity and economic growth enters the high regime status it becomes relatively stable there. If the government aims to achieve higher carbon productivity, it is helpful to encourage stronger economic development. However, simply enhancing carbon productivity is not enough for curbing carbon emissions, especially for fast growing economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
An OWA Distance-Based, Single-Valued Neutrosophic Linguistic TOPSIS Approach for Green Supplier Evaluation and Selection in Low-Carbon Supply Chains
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1439; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15071439 - 08 Jul 2018
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
This paper presents a technique based on the ordered weighted averaging (OWA) distance for the single-valued neutrosophic linguistic (SVNL) technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS). First, the inadequacies of the existing SVNL TOPSIS are analyzed in detail. Second, [...] Read more.
This paper presents a technique based on the ordered weighted averaging (OWA) distance for the single-valued neutrosophic linguistic (SVNL) technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS). First, the inadequacies of the existing SVNL TOPSIS are analyzed in detail. Second, a SVNL OWA distance (SVNLOWAD) measure is presented, and based on this, a modified TOPSIS, termed the SVNLOWAD-TOPSIS, is developed for multiple attribute decision-making problems with SVNL information. Third, a revised relative coefficient is proposed to rank potential alternatives. Finally, a numerical example concerning green supplier selection in low-carbon supply chains is introduced to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
Article
Upstream-Downstream Joint Carbon Reduction Strategies Based on Low-Carbon Promotion
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1351; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15071351 - 27 Jun 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
A differential game model is established to analyze the impact of emissions reduction efforts and low-carbon product promotion on the reduction strategies of low-carbon product manufacturers (subsequently referred to as manufacturers) and the retailers of such products in a dynamic environment. Based on [...] Read more.
A differential game model is established to analyze the impact of emissions reduction efforts and low-carbon product promotion on the reduction strategies of low-carbon product manufacturers (subsequently referred to as manufacturers) and the retailers of such products in a dynamic environment. Based on this model, changes in emissions reduction efforts and promotional efforts are comparatively analyzed under three scenarios (retailers bearing the promotional cost, manufacturers bearing the promotional cost, and centralized decision-making). The results are as follows: (1) the trajectory of carbon emissions reduction per product unit is the highest when the supply chain is under centralized decision-making, followed by when manufacturers bear the promotional cost, and lastly when retailers bear the cost; (2) when manufacturers bear the promotional cost, the market demand, emissions reduction effort, and promotional effort are higher, although the unit retail price is higher than when retailers bear the promotional cost; and (3) under centralized decision-making, the unit retail price is the lowest; however, sales volume, the emissions reduction effort, and the promotional effort are all higher than those in the other scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
An Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Programs Using the AHP-Entropy Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1317; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15071317 - 23 Jun 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2600
Abstract
The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this [...] Read more.
The accelerating process of urbanization in China has led to considerable opportunities for the development of construction projects, however, environmental issues have become an important constraint on the implementation of these projects. To quantitatively describe the environmental management capabilities of such projects, this paper proposes a 2-dimensional Environmental Management Maturity Model of Construction Program (EMMMCP) based on an analysis of existing projects, group management theory and a management maturity model. In this model, a synergetic process was included to compensate for the lack of consideration of synergies in previous studies, and it was involved in the construction of the first dimension, i.e., the environmental management index system. The second dimension, i.e., the maturity level of environment management, was then constructed by redefining the hierarchical characteristics of construction program (CP) environmental management maturity. Additionally, a mathematical solution to this proposed model was derived via the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-entropy approach. To verify the effectiveness and feasibility of this proposed model, a computational experiment was conducted, and the results show that this approach could not only measure the individual levels of different processes, but also achieve the most important objective of providing a reference for stakeholders when making decisions on the environmental management of construction program, which reflects this model is reasonable for evaluating the level of environmental management maturity in CP. To our knowledge, this paper is the first study to evaluate the environmental management maturity levels of CP, which would fill the gap between project program management and environmental management and provide a reference for relevant management personnel to enhance their environmental management capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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Article
An Economic Model of Human Cooperation Based on Indirect Reciprocity and Its Implication on Environmental Protection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15071303 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
There has been an urgent challenge for environmental protection due to issues like population increase, climate change, and pollution. To address this challenge, sustained human cooperation is critical. However, how cooperation in human beings evolves is one of the 125 most challenging scientific [...] Read more.
There has been an urgent challenge for environmental protection due to issues like population increase, climate change, and pollution. To address this challenge, sustained human cooperation is critical. However, how cooperation in human beings evolves is one of the 125 most challenging scientific questions, as announced by Science in its 125th anniversary. In this paper, we contribute to answering this question by building an economic game model based on indirect reciprocity and altruism behavior. In our model, there are three types of participants: cooperator, defector, and discriminator. In every round of the game, the cooperator chooses cooperation, the defector chooses non-cooperation, and the choice of the discriminator depends on the choice of his partner in the last round. Our analysis and main result shows that there is no stable evolution equilibrium in this game, which implies that the proportions of different types of players will keep changing instead of reaching a stable equilibrium. In other words, there is no guarantee that cooperation will be dominant in this game. An implication of this result is that to achieve cooperation and protect the environment more effectively, cooperators and discriminators in our society should be provided with incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operations and Innovations for the Environment)
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