Special Issue "Environmental Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Laura Piedra-Muñoz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Business, Mediterranean Research Center of Economics and Sustainable Development (CIMEDES), University of Almería (Agrifood Campus of International Excellence, ceiA3), 04120 Almería, Spain
Interests: environmental economics; agricultural economics; sustainable development; public economics; international agri-food trade; sustainable supply chains; eco-innovation; bioeconomy
Prof. Dr. Emilio Galdeano-Gómez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Business, Mediterranean Research Center of Economics and Sustainable Development (CIMEDES), University of Almería (Agrifood Campus of International Excellence, ceiA3), 04120 Almería, Spain
Interests: environmental economics; agricultural economics; sustainable development; international agri-food trade; sustainable supply chains; eco-innovation, bioeconomy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit contributions to the Special Issue of IJERPH entitled “Environmental Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector”.

Environmental innovation, also known as eco-innovation, ecological innovation, green innovation, or sustainable innovation, can be defined as the introduction of new products or significantly increasing product/service’s value, improving processes, and creating organizational changes and new marketing solutions that can minimize the use of natural resources (including material, energy, water, and soil), as well as reduce the release of dangerous substances throughout a product life cycle.

The heightened awareness of environmental problems, the limitation of natural resources, and the increasing world population highlight the need to discover new ways of using natural resources more efficiently in order to achieve a balance between consumption requirements and environmental sustainability. In this context, new environmentally friendly production methods, as well as ecological improvements in product characteristics, organizational capabilities, and marketing practices are required to achieve greater respect for the environment. This objective can be reached by encouraging firms and countries to implement green innovations, especially in sectors with considerable environmental impacts in terms of pollution and water and energy consumption, such as agri-food production and commercialization, where, on the contrary, it has been less studied.

This Special Issue will collect theoretical or empirical manuscripts that can add knowledge and experiences in the field of addressing eco-innovation in the agri-food sector in order to reduce the use of natural resources, decrease the release of harmful substances, and improve an agri-food firm´s environmental performance. Covered topics include the definition of the concept of environmental innovation in farming and agri-food commercialization activities, the identification and evaluation of factors fostering eco-innovation, measurement tools for assessing eco-innovation implementation, organizational barriers, added value in farmers because of green innovations, new challenges to become more eco-innovative, among others. We will give priority to papers with a multidimensional approach to the analysis of environmental innovation in the agri-food sector.

Prof. Laura Piedra-Muñoz
Prof. Emilio Galdeano Gómez
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.

Keywords

  • eco-innovation
  • agri-food sector
  • sustainability
  • multidimensional
  • drivers
  • implementation
  • environmental performance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Mechanized and Optimized Configuration Pattern of Crop-Mulberry Systems for Controlling Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution on Sloping Farmland in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3599; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103599 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
High-intensity utilization of sloping farmland causes serious soil erosion and agricultural non-point source pollution (AGNSP) in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA). Crop-mulberry systems are important agroforestry systems for controlling soil, water, and nutrient losses. However, there are many different mulberry hedgerow planting [...] Read more.
High-intensity utilization of sloping farmland causes serious soil erosion and agricultural non-point source pollution (AGNSP) in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA). Crop-mulberry systems are important agroforestry systems for controlling soil, water, and nutrient losses. However, there are many different mulberry hedgerow planting patterns in the TGRA. In this study, soil structure, nutrient buildup, and runoff nutrient loss were observed in field runoff plots with five configurations: P1 (two longitudinal mulberry hedgerows), P2 (two mulberry contour hedgerows), P3 (three mulberry contour hedgerows), P4 (mulberry hedgerow border), and P5 (mulberry hedgerow border and one mulberry contour hedgerow), as well as a control (CT; no mulberry hedgerows). P1 had the smallest percentage of aggregate destruction (18.8%) and largest mean weight diameter (4.48 mm). P5 led to the greatest accumulation of ammonium nitrogen (NH4+–N) and total phosphorus (TP) (13.4 kg ha−1 and 1444.5 kg ha−1 on average, respectively), while P4 led to the greatest accumulation of available phosphorus (AP), nitrate nitrogen (NO3–N), and total nitrogen (TN) (114.0, 14.9, and 1694.1 kg ha−1, respectively). P5 was best at preventing soil erosion, with the smallest average annual runoff and sediment loss of 112.2 m3 ha−1 and 0.06 t ha−1, respectively, which were over 72.4% and 87.4% lower than those in CT, respectively. P5 and P4 intercepted the most N in runoff, with average NH4+–N, NO3–N, particulate N, and TN losses of approximately 0.09, 0.07, 0.41, and 0.58 kg ha−1, respectively, which were 49.7%, 76.2%, 71.3%, and 69.9% lower than those in CT, respectively. P5 intercepted the most P in runoff, with average TP and total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) losses of 0.09 and 0.04 kg ha−1, respectively, which were 77.5% and 70.4% lower than those in CT, respectively. Therefore, the pattern with one mulberry hedgerow border and one mulberry contour hedgerow (P5) best controlled AGNSP, followed by that with only a mulberry hedgerow border (P4). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector)
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Article
Cooperation as the Secret Ingredient in the Recipe to Foster Internal Technological Eco-Innovation in the Agri-Food Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2588; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072588 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
Although eco-innovation in the agri-food sector is receiving increasing amounts of attention, there is a lack of information about the specific conditions that encourage firms to develop eco-innovation strategies internally. Our empirical method relies on the data of Spanish firms operating in the [...] Read more.
Although eco-innovation in the agri-food sector is receiving increasing amounts of attention, there is a lack of information about the specific conditions that encourage firms to develop eco-innovation strategies internally. Our empirical method relies on the data of Spanish firms operating in the agri-food sector, and uses the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). Specifically, we identify the recipes of antecedent conditions that effectively foster the internal development of technological eco-innovation, and then we analyze whether differences exist in the internal development of product and process eco-innovations. The results show that different combinations of conditions can yield internally developed eco-innovation, but all of them indicate that cooperation with stakeholders is the key to fostering technological eco-innovation in this industry. This conclusion encourages the creation of policies and incentives to promote cooperation in order to improve the sustainability of the sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector)
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Article
Multidimensional Assessment of Eco-Innovation Implementation: Evidence from Spanish Agri-Food Sector
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1432; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041432 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
Understanding eco-innovation is an essential endeavor to achieve global sustainable development. In this sense, further research on implementation is needed to expand knowledge beyond current boundaries. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by conducting an original multidimensional analysis [...] Read more.
Understanding eco-innovation is an essential endeavor to achieve global sustainable development. In this sense, further research on implementation is needed to expand knowledge beyond current boundaries. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by conducting an original multidimensional analysis using Spanish agri-food sector data. The empirical methodology applies a combination of descriptive statistics, cluster analysis and the chi-squared test. Two groups of well-differentiated eco-innovative firms are identified, those with high and low eco-innovation implementation levels. Quality certifications, environmental consulting and cooperation with stakeholders are the variables that contribute most to distinguishing these two groups. The results also reveal that operating income volume, number of employees and commercialization volume are key factors to become more eco-innovative. In this sense, larger firms are found to have a higher level of eco-innovation implementation than small- and medium-sized enterprises. The main contributions of this work are fourfold. Firstly, it presents a comprehensive framework of eco-innovation implementation in its four dimensions (product, process, organizational and marketing). Secondly, it fills existing gaps in the literature by analyzing green organizational and marketing eco-practices. Thirdly, it expands the sectorial scope of eco-innovation research primarily focused on high-tech sectors. Finally, this study makes it possible to design certain policies for public and private decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector)
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