Bioeconomy, Energy, Logistics, Environmental Issues and Sustainable Resource Management

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 27994

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, West University of Timisoara, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: labor economics; international economics; environmental economics; econometric modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Craiova, 200585 Craiova, Dolj, Romania
Interests: banking; insurance; private pension funds; economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural resources are extremely important in a globalized modern economy, and even more nowadays in these challenging pandemic and post-pandemic times. Starting with the industrial revolution, the global economy has consistently relied on natural resources, especially fossil fuels for industrial use. At the same time, two major problems have arisen with regard to the use of natural resources: the diminution of these resources in nature, which leads to the problem of ensuring their sustainability; the contribution of fossil fuel consumption (combustion) to the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which has caused enormous environmental implications. In this background, the bioeconomy, with its manifold sectors, has emerged as a solution that can meet these needs, as a fundamental pillar of sustainable economic development. Hence, despite the significance of bioeconomy and the importance of natural resources around the globe, the research on these relevant topics should be strenghtened in order to provide an integrative strategic framework in the bioeconomy field targeting sustainable development in terms of environmental and social objectives. This Special Issue undertakes several important aspects related to bioeconomy, energy, logistics, environment and sustainable resource management, and enhances advanced instruments and methods for optimal innovations in this scientific field. It particularly welcomes submissions that configure original high-quality theoretical and empirical studies, as well as policy-oriented research papers, that disseminate the latest knowledge, clear-cut findings and progress in supporting the credentials of the circular economy.

Prof. Dr. Eleftherios Thalassinos
Prof. Dr. Noja Grațiela Georgiana
Prof. Dr. Mirela Cristea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Resources is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1600 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

  • Natural resources
  • Renewable energies
  • Resource management
  • Biomass
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy efficiency
  • Circular economy
  • Environmental performance
  • Logistics
  • Sustainable development

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2127 KiB  
Article
To What Extent Does Indigenous Local Knowledge Support the Social–Ecological System? A Case Study of the Ammatoa Community, Indonesia
by D. Daniel, S. Satriani, Sefriyani Lea Zudi and Anjana Ekka
Resources 2022, 11(12), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11120106 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Recognition of multiple knowledge systems is essential to facilitate collaboration and mutual learning between different actors, integration across social and ecological systems, and sustainable development goals. This study aims to identify how local knowledge from the indigenous people in developing countries contributes toward [...] Read more.
Recognition of multiple knowledge systems is essential to facilitate collaboration and mutual learning between different actors, integration across social and ecological systems, and sustainable development goals. This study aims to identify how local knowledge from the indigenous people in developing countries contributes toward supporting the social–ecological system. We use a case study of the Ammatoa community, one of the indigenous communities in South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. This study shows how their social and ecological practices are combined to develop their customary area and how the Ammatoa’s customary values contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 15 and 12 of the United Nations, i.e., leveraging local resources for livelihood and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Examples of practices elaborated in this paper are protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, halting biodiversity loss, and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Furthermore, the Ammatoa’s customary values form a sustainable system that not only affects their social aspects, but also their economy and surrounding environment. This research can be used to develop relevant environmental-related interventions related to SDGs 15 and 12 from indigenous peoples’ perspectives. Full article
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27 pages, 2488 KiB  
Article
A Tool for the Selection of Food Waste Management Approaches for the Hospitality and Food Service Sector in the UK
by Spyridoula Gerassimidou, Manoj Dora and Eleni Iacovidou
Resources 2022, 11(10), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11100080 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2897
Abstract
The UK government has been calling for action in tackling food waste (FW) generation, to which the Hospitality and Food Services (HaFS) sector contributes substantially. Decision-making tools that inform the selection of appropriate FW management (FWM) processes in the HaFS sector are lacking. [...] Read more.
The UK government has been calling for action in tackling food waste (FW) generation, to which the Hospitality and Food Services (HaFS) sector contributes substantially. Decision-making tools that inform the selection of appropriate FW management (FWM) processes in the HaFS sector are lacking. This study fills this gap by offering a conceptual decision-making tool that supports selecting appropriate and commercially available FW processing techniques for the HaFS sector. The study initially conducted an exploratory analysis of on-site and off-site FWM options commercially available in the UK to inform the development of a two-tier decision-making framework. A set of steering criteria was developed and refined via stakeholder consultations to create flowcharts that guide the selection of FWM options, i.e., Tier 1 of the framework. Tier 2 refines the FWM process selection using a comparative sustainability scorecard of FWM options performance developed through a rapid systematic evidence mapping. The main outcome of this study is a flexible decision-making tool that allows stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process and facilitate the selection of tailored-based FWM processes that better suit their circumstances and needs. This approach to decision-making is more likely to enable solutions that facilitate the sustainable management of wasted resources and promote circularity. Full article
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23 pages, 1090 KiB  
Article
Corporate Social Responsibility in the Telecommunication Industry—Driver of Entrepreneurship
by Lukman Raimi, Mirela Panait, Adriana Grigorescu and Valentina Vasile
Resources 2022, 11(9), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11090079 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6397
Abstract
Beyond the conventional understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a voluntary obligation for promoting triple-bottom-line CSR, development-oriented CSR is emerging and requires empirical investigation. This organisation-level research fills this gap by exploring development-oriented CSR as a driver of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Arising [...] Read more.
Beyond the conventional understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a voluntary obligation for promoting triple-bottom-line CSR, development-oriented CSR is emerging and requires empirical investigation. This organisation-level research fills this gap by exploring development-oriented CSR as a driver of entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Arising from the review of the literature, human capital theory and stakeholder theory provided theoretical groundings for the study. The empirical study provides an enhanced understanding of development-oriented CSR that incorporates entrepreneurship into the extant literature. The target comprised multiple stakeholders in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, from which a sample of 369 responses were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The five tested hypotheses showed mixed results. The stakeholder management and economic dimensions of development-oriented CSR were found to have significant positive effects on entrepreneurship. However, the environmental, national, and social dimensions do not have significant positive effects on entrepreneurship. Overall, it was found that development-oriented CSR is a potential driver of entrepreneurship in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, but the predictability is weak (15%). The study concludes with practical implications and recommendations for further research in this multidisciplinary field. Full article
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12 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Environmental, Social and Governance Credentials of Agricultural Companies—The Interplay with Company Size
by Mirela Cristea, Graţiela Georgiana Noja, Eleftherios Thalassinos, Daniel Cîrciumaru, Constantin Ștefan Ponea and Carmen Claudia Durău
Resources 2022, 11(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources11030030 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4402
Abstract
Based on the significance of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, respectively, the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) measures, for companies’ advancement in the fields of agriculture, the purpose of our study is to appraise how the ESG measures influence the size of [...] Read more.
Based on the significance of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, respectively, the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) measures, for companies’ advancement in the fields of agriculture, the purpose of our study is to appraise how the ESG measures influence the size of public companies from the agricultural sectors, with particular attention on the environmental pillar. The research methodology consists in applying two econometric procedures to assess the direct effects of the ESG activities on the size of public agricultural firms by models of robust regression (RREG) and to appraise global implications of ESG measures on companies’ dimension by models of structural equations (SEM). Data encloses the ESG indicators, focusing on environmental indicators and agricultural companies’ size (proxied by total assets), extracted from the Thomson Reuters Refinitiv Eikon database for the fiscal year 2020. Main results reveal that several components of the ESG measures, especially the environmental ones, may influence the size of the agricultural companies, given the significant companies’ strengths in implementing CSR actions to ensure sustainable resource management. We propose adequate strategies for companies to provide robust resource management and proper integration of the environmental credentials. Full article
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15 pages, 682 KiB  
Article
Modern Trends in the Field of Solving Transboundary Problems in Groundwater Extraction
by Ekaterina Golovina and Karina Karennik
Resources 2021, 10(10), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10100107 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2203
Abstract
The intensive exploitation of water resources negatively affects the ecological situation in many international water objects. The problem of a shortage of drinking water is aggravating, water bodies are subject to pollution by domestic and industrial wastewater, and the water quality in the [...] Read more.
The intensive exploitation of water resources negatively affects the ecological situation in many international water objects. The problem of a shortage of drinking water is aggravating, water bodies are subject to pollution by domestic and industrial wastewater, and the water quality in the basins of international water courses continues to deteriorate. This situation primarily requires legal regulation. Until recently, despite a significant number of existing international treaties on the use of transboundary waters, there was no universal international legal act to systematize the basic principles and norms of behavior of the states in this area. The most important direction for improving public administration in the field of use and protection of transboundary groundwater bodies is the development and expansion of international cooperation and the legal consolidation of the rights and obligations of states through the adoption of legislative acts on various levels. Modern international policy in the field of transboundary groundwater resources management is undergoing significant changes. The very concept of a transboundary territory in relation to groundwater extraction was adopted both in Russia and in Europe in the early 2000s. However, the main criteria for the definition of a transboundary territory have not yet been formulated anywhere. This gives rise to the need to define a transboundary aquifer in international legislation, as well as to limit the size of this aquifer. This paper is devoted to the analysis of approaches to the definition of “transboundary aquifer”, emerging problems in this area, the legal framework, and conflicts in the field of transboundary regulation of groundwater. The zone of responsibility in groundwater extraction at the transboundary territory of neighboring states is defined. Full article
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24 pages, 2043 KiB  
Article
Addressing Stakeholder Concerns Regarding the Effective Use of Bio-Based and Biodegradable Plastics
by Carly A. Fletcher, Karolina Niemenoja, Rhiannon Hunt, Jill Adams, Alan Dempsey and Craig E. Banks
Resources 2021, 10(10), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10100095 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4002
Abstract
Bio-based and biodegradable materials have the potential to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics across a range of products and contribute to a more circular economy. However, the uptake of these materials will not succeed unless consumers, manufacturers, and regulators are convinced of their efficacy. [...] Read more.
Bio-based and biodegradable materials have the potential to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics across a range of products and contribute to a more circular economy. However, the uptake of these materials will not succeed unless consumers, manufacturers, and regulators are convinced of their efficacy. Investigating performance and safety concerns put forward by academic and non-academic communities, this paper assesses whether these concerns are being adequately addressed by current policy and regulation. In addition, measures to overcome significant concerns are developed through a series of stakeholder engagement events, informed by the Prospex-CQI-and STIR methodology. Discussions across the stakeholder engagement events have highlighted several concerns that create barriers to market up-take of bio-based and biodegradable plastic products, including the continued confusion regarding terminology and resultant communication, difficulties in navigating the plethora of documents related to safety, the appropriateness of safety documents when applied to new products, and the overall suitability and sustainability of such materials as an alternative to traditional plastics. To overcome these concerns, a series of recommendations for research, policy, and practice are made with respect to the following key areas of concern: regulation and legislative instruments, material quality and performance, market penetration and availability, waste management infrastructure, sourcing and supply chain, communication and information provision, and material health and safety. Full article
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26 pages, 4039 KiB  
Article
Integration of Regression Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation for Probabilistic Energy Policy Guidelines in Pakistan
by Zaman Sajid, Asma Javaid, Muhammad Kashif Khan, Hamad Sadiq and Usman Hamid
Resources 2021, 10(9), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10090088 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3102
Abstract
Forecasting energy demand and supply is the most crucial concern for energy policymakers. However, forecasting may introduce uncertainty in the energy model, and an energy policy based on an uncertain model could be misleading. Without certainty in energy data, investors cannot quantify risk [...] Read more.
Forecasting energy demand and supply is the most crucial concern for energy policymakers. However, forecasting may introduce uncertainty in the energy model, and an energy policy based on an uncertain model could be misleading. Without certainty in energy data, investors cannot quantify risk and trade-offs, which are compulsory for investments in energy projects. In this work, the energy policies of Pakistan are taken as a case study, and flaws in its energy policymaking are identified. A novel probabilistic model integrated with curve fitting methods was proposed and was applied to 17 different energy demand and supply variables. Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) was performed to develop probabilistic energy profiles for each year from 2017 to 2050. Results show that the forecasted energy supply of Pakistan in the years 2025 and 2050 would be 70.69 MTOE and 131.65 MTOE, respectively. The probabilistic analysis showed that there is 14% and 6% uncertainty in achieving these targets. The research shows the expected energy consumption of 70.33 MTOE and 189.48 MTOE in 2025 and 2050, respectively, indicating uncertainties of 65% and 31%. Based on the results, eight energy policy guidelines and recommendations are provided for sustainable energy resource management. This study recommends developing a robust and sustainable energy policy for Pakistan with the help of transparent governance. Full article
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21 pages, 2638 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Survival: Resource Management Strategy in Micro and Small Enterprises in the Rubber Products Market in Poland during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Katarzyna Czainska, Aleksandra Sus and Eleftherios I. Thalassinos
Resources 2021, 10(8), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10080085 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4042
Abstract
The COVID-19 epidemic surprised economic operators around the world. The very existence of many businesses, and thus jobs, was at stake. However, one year after the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, contrary to the pessimistic forecasts of business analysts, some industries did [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 epidemic surprised economic operators around the world. The very existence of many businesses, and thus jobs, was at stake. However, one year after the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, contrary to the pessimistic forecasts of business analysts, some industries did not experience the predicted negative effects of the crisis. This article presents the results of a pilot study on micro and small enterprises in the rubber products industry in Poland during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of analyzing the phenomenon of sustainable resource management that led not only to the survival of these enterprises but also to a significant increase in their turnover. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to analyze the key success factors of the indicated economic entities, with particular emphasis on the perspective of sustainable resource management and relationship management. On the basis of best research practices, a triangulation of research methods was applied (integrative literature review, computer-assisted telephone interviewing, and individual in-depth interview). A relationship was observed between the sustainable management of resources and the structure of the relationship network and the strength of its connections. In micro and small enterprises in the rubber products sector in Poland, sustainable resource management is related to the structure of the network of relations and the strength of connections in the network (relations/networking), as enterprises form a group of entities with a high level of loyalty, especially between the suppliers and buyers of raw materials. The formulated conclusions will become the basis for further in-depth research that can be conducted (a) in the same group of respondents, but using a representative research group, (b) in the same industry among a group of large enterprises, and (c) in a group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from other industries. Full article
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23 pages, 1919 KiB  
Article
Interlinkages between Government Resources Management, Environmental Support, and Good Public Governance. Advanced Insights from the European Union
by Gratiela Georgiana Noja, Mirela Cristea, Eleftherios Thalassinos and Marta Kadłubek
Resources 2021, 10(5), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10050041 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Good governance requires efficiency and effectiveness in public sector management, a sound legal framework, enhanced coordination, credibility, and transparency of the actions that support financial stability. Connecting these actions, there are significant interlinkages between government spending management and economic development. The research conducted [...] Read more.
Good governance requires efficiency and effectiveness in public sector management, a sound legal framework, enhanced coordination, credibility, and transparency of the actions that support financial stability. Connecting these actions, there are significant interlinkages between government spending management and economic development. The research conducted within this paper is set to assess the overall relationships within general government spending management, with a keen focus on government support for environmental protection and good public governance at the European Union (EU) level. The study investigates the cumulative effects of good public governance dimensions on economic welfare and poverty lessening. The dataset covers the period 1995–2017, and the methodological credentials are based on the structural equation modelling technique. The main results indicate that not only does government expenditure (including environmental support) shape good public governance, but the enhancements in good governance dimensions also have important spillovers on government spending regarding significant bidirectional connections. As for the overall implications, the estimations show that only general government expenditure has induced welfare increases, while environmental support does not generate the same positive effects. Ultimately, the all-embracing impact of considered governance dimensions is beneficial, leading to a downsizing of poverty within the EU. Full article
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