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Advances in Sustainability Research from Poznan University of Technology

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 January 2024) | Viewed by 14685

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Engineering Management, Poznan University of Technology, 61-704 Poznan, Poland
Interests: manufacturing engineering; maintenance technologies; maintenance management; multi-criteria decision-making methods; sustainability performance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Hanna Włodarkiewicz-Klimek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering Management, Poznan University of Technology, 61-704 Poznan, Poland
Interests: human capital; knowledge management; agile enterprise; enterprise of the future; sustainable development
Faculty of Civil and Transport Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, 61-704 Poznan, Poland
Interests: recycling; end-of-life vehicles; sustainable transport systems; mobility plans
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, 61-704 Poznan, Poland
Interests: eco-design; decentralized artificial intelligence; agent technology; application of artificial intelligence in the enterprise; recycling; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable development assumes that economic growth and development are socially acceptable and environmentally safe and can reduce poverty and build prosperity for the present populations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability challenges are interrelated and systemic. To address this, one has to consider resource needs, economic, cultural and social development, environmental impacts, and technological development, among others. A deep understanding of mentioned challenges helps to understand how people interact and relate to them.

This Special Issue focuses on progress in sustainable development in its broadest sense. The research presented were conducted at Poznan University of Technology (PUT), and they are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main goal of the joint presentation is to publicize and promote the results of the research by employees of the PUT on the implementation of the SDGs. The second goal is to explore the theoretical and practical experiences related to the implementation of the SDGs.

This Special Issue is open to all potential authors working at the Poznan University of Technology and to their co-authors from other institutions.

Dr. Malgorzata Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek
Dr. Hanna Włodarkiewicz-Klimek
Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Merkisz-Guranowska
Dr. Ewa Dostatni
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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 management
  • corporate social responsibility
  • sustainable manufacturing
  • sustainable logistics
  • sustainable urban transport
  • sustainable workplace
  • sustainable life cycle assessment
  • sustainability in construction and civil engineering
  • eco-logistics and logistics 4.0
  • Industry 4.0 technologies for sustainability
  • quality for sustainability

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2752 KiB  
Article
On-Machine Measurement as a Factor Affecting the Sustainability of the Machining Process
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 2093; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16052093 (registering DOI) - 02 Mar 2024
Viewed by 148
Abstract
One of the key aspects of the automation of machining processes is the elimination of manual measurements. This is crucial in the production of precision parts, where the absence of in-process control can lead to an increased number of non-compliant parts, resulting in [...] Read more.
One of the key aspects of the automation of machining processes is the elimination of manual measurements. This is crucial in the production of precision parts, where the absence of in-process control can lead to an increased number of non-compliant parts, resulting in financial losses for the company. In addition to economic considerations, environmental care is a fundamental requirement for manufacturing companies. While many efforts focus on finding environmentally friendly coolants or reducing machining time, researchers often overlook the impact of the measurement method on the balanced development of machining. The conditions inside CNC machines are quite demanding in terms of maintaining measurement stability. For this reason, this paper presents a comparative study of two types of machine inspection probes. The influence of the measurement axis and the effect of returning the probe to the magazine on the accuracy of the measurement were examined. This study revealed that the probe with a kinematic resistive design has a higher measurement uncertainty (2.7 µm) than a probe based on strain gauges (0.6 µm). This paper emphasizes the positive impact of the conducted activity on the sustainability of machining, highlighting benefits such as resource savings, energy savings, and positive effects on the health and safety of operators. Full article
20 pages, 5835 KiB  
Article
Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ash in Cement-Bound Mixtures
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051865 - 24 Feb 2024
Viewed by 327
Abstract
In order to protect the natural resources, it is beneficial for the environment when materials that are not valuable, such as waste or recycled materials, are used in engineering. This article presents laboratory studies on the use of mixtures of incineration bottom ash [...] Read more.
In order to protect the natural resources, it is beneficial for the environment when materials that are not valuable, such as waste or recycled materials, are used in engineering. This article presents laboratory studies on the use of mixtures of incineration bottom ash (IBA) from municipal waste incinerators with natural, fine grain and uniform aggregate in cement-bound layers. The mechanical and engineering properties of aggregates were studied, their usefulness was assessed and possible applications are indicated. The chemical composition of the material was found to be consistent with typical IBA from other incineration plants, and leachability studies were carried out, confirming lack of any environmental impact. The authors’ own mixtures were prepared based on optimal water content and maximal dry densities of solid particles, and the compressive strength was calculated after 7 and 28 days of hardening. The results indicate that replacing natural aggregates with IBA permits an increase in the compressive values for the specimens using the same amount of CEM I 42.5R while improving the frost resistance of cement–aggregate mixtures. Full article
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17 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
The Efficiency of Economic Growth for Sustainable Development—A Grey System Theory Approach in the Eurozone and Other European Countries
Sustainability 2024, 16(5), 1839; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16051839 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 260
Abstract
This article builds upon the authors’ previous work on the Synthetic Efficiency Indicator for Economic Growth (SEI-EG), demonstrating the process of transforming economic-growth-related inputs into sustainable development outcomes. This innovative application of the SEI-EG provides a fresh perspective on the effects of eurozone [...] Read more.
This article builds upon the authors’ previous work on the Synthetic Efficiency Indicator for Economic Growth (SEI-EG), demonstrating the process of transforming economic-growth-related inputs into sustainable development outcomes. This innovative application of the SEI-EG provides a fresh perspective on the effects of eurozone membership on the sustainability efficiency of EU countries, thereby enriching the discourse on economic integration and sustainability efforts within the European Union. By integrating the economic dynamics of the euro area with environmental efficiency metrics, this study offers novel insights into the potential influence of currency union membership on achieving sustainable development goals. Covering the entire European Union, categorized by euro area and non-euro area membership, this study navigates through the risks to sustainability posed by global crises and the ongoing debate over the euro’s integration success and setbacks. Conducted from 2019 to 2021 using grey system theory, this research incorporates a revised set of seven indicators in the domain of industry, innovation, and infrastructure as recommended by the Europe 2020 project. The findings confirm the initial hypothesis that countries outside the euro area tend to exhibit higher efficiency as measured by the SEI-EG indicator. This article is composed of five parts. The first two parts present characteristic features of economies in the euro area and non-euro area, along with a critical trend in the latest literature on the benefits and risks of economic integration. The subsequent sections introduce the methodology for determining the indicator and the authors’ own corrections to it as well as the results of the research and a discussion. Full article
12 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
System for Monitoring the Safety and Movement Mechanics of Users of Bicycles and Electric Scooters in Real Conditions in the Context of Social Sustainability
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1684; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041684 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Sustainable development means taking care of the environment, which also means promoting green transport, which involves the systematic development of personal transport in its broadest sense. The positive aspects associated with cheap and convenient electric transport are intertwined with the problem of collisions [...] Read more.
Sustainable development means taking care of the environment, which also means promoting green transport, which involves the systematic development of personal transport in its broadest sense. The positive aspects associated with cheap and convenient electric transport are intertwined with the problem of collisions and accidents. While developing road infrastructure for electric vehicles such as scooters, bicycles, and others, research should be conducted in parallel to ensure the highest possible level of safety for users. There is also an increase in the number of people using bicycles and electric scooters, which develop significant speeds. The problem of accidents among users of classic and electric bicycles and scooters is evident, and post-accident injuries pose a serious challenge to medical practitioners. The literature is rich in statistical analyses of accidents among users of scooters and bicycles, but there are no studies where the behaviour of users of bicycles, scooters, etc. is analysed. The authors of this study set out to develop a measurement system to assess the traffic safety of people using bicycles and scooters. The device uses LIDAR to record the speed of the vehicle and a camera, the images of which are processed by an algorithm in order to classify the user as being on a bicycle or scooter and using or not using head protection with a helmet. It is also possible to analyse the behaviour of the vehicle users under study. The article describes the built measurement device and presents the results of the initial measurements made by the device. Full article
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17 pages, 592 KiB  
Article
The Safety Management and Organizational Resilience System Maturity of Aviation Organizations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Comparison of Two Approaches to Achieving Safety
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041682 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 442
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic crisis highlighted the critical importance of comprehensive safety management for all organizations. Safety management literature delineates two approaches to achieving safety, characterized as safety management through centralized control, known as the safety management system (SMS), and safety management through guided [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic crisis highlighted the critical importance of comprehensive safety management for all organizations. Safety management literature delineates two approaches to achieving safety, characterized as safety management through centralized control, known as the safety management system (SMS), and safety management through guided adaptability, known as organizational resilience (OR). Each of these approaches plays a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the safety and sustainability of an organization. This paper aimed to compare the maturity of SMS with the maturity of OR, identifying the relationship between aspects of SMS and OR in the context of the crisis of the pandemic. Based on a literature review, the author presents adopted concepts of SMS and OR, as well as a customized maturity model for both. The survey methodology involved two questionnaires on SMS and OR, consisting of 26 and 18 questions, respectively. The survey was conducted in three approved training organizations (ATOs) in the Greater Poland voivodeship. When comparing key aspects of both approaches to safety management (SMS vs. OR), significant differences in ratings were observed. Additionally, a moderate correlation was found between aspects of SMS and OR. This discrepancy was reflected in the maturity models. According to the survey results, SMS achieved the fourth level of maturity, labeled proactive safety management, while OR attained the third level of maturity, termed a fairly agile organization. Furthermore, the results showed that while the guided adaptability approach is more difficult to achieve in an organization, the centralized control approach is insufficient. Therefore, both components are necessary to ensure the comprehensive safety of the organization. Full article
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14 pages, 4850 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Rheological Properties of Polymer-Modified Asphalt Binders and Mastics with Organic Additive—Imidazoline
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041434 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 366
Abstract
The article presents the results of testing the asphalt binder modified with SBS copolymer (5%) and its mixture with mineral fillers called asphalt mastics. The aim of the research and analysis was to check the possibility of using an organic additive in the [...] Read more.
The article presents the results of testing the asphalt binder modified with SBS copolymer (5%) and its mixture with mineral fillers called asphalt mastics. The aim of the research and analysis was to check the possibility of using an organic additive in the form of imidazolines and to assess their impact on the viscoelastic properties of the obtained asphalt mastics. The main advantage of using imidazoline is the increased resistance of asphalt mixtures to low-temperature cracking at the top of the road route and reducing its maintenance costs. Based on the examination of the adhesion of the binder with the addition of various imidazolines to the aggregate, a selection was made from six analyzed subtypes. One of them was selected for further research. The tests were carried out in a dynamic shear rheometer in a wide temperature range from −36 °C to 82 °C, determining the most important parameters of the tested materials, i.e., dynamic shear modulus (|G*|), phase angle (δ) and the non-recoverable creep compliance (Jnr). The test results and their analysis confirmed the beneficial effect of imidazoline on the viscoelastic properties of mastics in the low-temperature range, even at the lowest content of 0.2%. Based on the results of the determination of Jnr and |G*|/sinδ in the range of high operating temperatures, no significant deterioration in permanent deformation parameters was observed. Moreover, the use of imidazoline reduces technological temperatures during the production of HMA used in the pavement and, therefore, reduces CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Full article
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13 pages, 8036 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Composites Containing Post-Production Wood Waste as a Key Element of the Circular Economy: Processing and Physicochemical Properties
Sustainability 2024, 16(4), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16041370 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
This paper develops a technology for manufacturing a biocomposite using post-production wood waste as filler, but also as an alternative material that can substitute traditional composites. Three types of post-production wood waste, i.e., ash wood chips, oak chips and medium-density wood fiberboard (MDF), [...] Read more.
This paper develops a technology for manufacturing a biocomposite using post-production wood waste as filler, but also as an alternative material that can substitute traditional composites. Three types of post-production wood waste, i.e., ash wood chips, oak chips and medium-density wood fiberboard (MDF), were used in this study. Three different biocomposites were produced for each of these materials, differing in the content of waste to polymer. The biodegradable and compostable bioplastic Mater-Bi (CF05S) was obtained using the pioneering proprietary technologies of Novamont company using starches, cellulose, vegetable oils and their combinations. Mater-Bi was used as the matrix of the composite, which, due to its chemical composition, allows the production of fully biodegradable composites. The physicochemical properties, such as static tensile, impact, water absorption and hardness, were investigated. The results provide the basis for a detailed analysis of the properties of the biocomposites and made it possible to accurately determine their properties. The results show that the optimal solution is the Mater-Bi biocomposite with 20 wt.% oak filler content, which shows the most favorable adhesion strength and water absorption. The research conducted here is in the context of issues related to sustainability and a circular economy, through waste management, as well as through the production of biodegradable construction products. Full article
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16 pages, 5522 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Robotic Process for Sealing Car Radiators
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020865 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 445
Abstract
This work presents the multi-variant robotization of the process of sealing car radiators. Three design solutions have been proposed for the tank sealing station, in which the seal is applied on a stationary worktable, on a rotary positioner and on a belt conveyor. [...] Read more.
This work presents the multi-variant robotization of the process of sealing car radiators. Three design solutions have been proposed for the tank sealing station, in which the seal is applied on a stationary worktable, on a rotary positioner and on a belt conveyor. These solutions were compared in terms of process time, but also energy consumption. The energy optimization of robotic processes is one of the elements of effective production. First, a review of the use of industrial robots in assembly processes is provided and the structure of car radiators is presented. Next, the basic technological process of producing a car radiator is described, especially the process of applying a liquid gasket. Then, the designed robotic stations and conclusions from the simulations are presented, along with the selection of the most sustainable variant of the robotic station. The results of the simulations are useful in reducing the robot’s operating time and energy consumption while maintaining the appropriate process quality. Full article
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15 pages, 1972 KiB  
Article
Effect of Vibration Stress on Selected Chemical Parameters of “Bluecrop” Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and Grape (Vitis vinifera L.)
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020715 - 14 Jan 2024
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Changes in the quality of fruits and vegetables are influenced by such factors as temperature, humidity and the composition of the atmosphere in which the fruits and vegetables are stored. During transport, an additional factor is vibration stress. This can lead to mechanical [...] Read more.
Changes in the quality of fruits and vegetables are influenced by such factors as temperature, humidity and the composition of the atmosphere in which the fruits and vegetables are stored. During transport, an additional factor is vibration stress. This can lead to mechanical damage of the fruits and vegetables, which leads to deteriorated quality and, in extreme cases, spoiling. In order to preserve the best possible quality of fruits and vegetables despite their prolonged transport, they are maintained in an unripe condition and are later subject to forced ripening before selling. The aim of our investigations was to perform an analysis of the influence of vibration stress on the chemical parameters of fruits (“Bluecrop” highbush blueberry and grape) related to the process of their ripening. The identified parameters were the pH level, the content of total soluble solids, overall sugar, reducing sugars and ascorbic acid. The results of the performed investigations allowed for determining the levels of energy supplied in the form of vibration to the produce causing significant changes in its chemical parameters, indicating its accelerated ripening, as well as the levels of energy that result in changes leading to product spoilage. Full article
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16 pages, 1353 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Agility Culture—The Case of a Pasta Company
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16540; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316540 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 624
Abstract
The ability of an organization to be agile, and, therefore, the organizational culture of agility that determines it, is a key characteristic necessary for enterprises to meet the challenges of the requirements of sustainable development under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in turn, is [...] Read more.
The ability of an organization to be agile, and, therefore, the organizational culture of agility that determines it, is a key characteristic necessary for enterprises to meet the challenges of the requirements of sustainable development under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in turn, is an inherent feature of achieving the challenging goals of growth and often survival in today’s competitive enterprise market. Analyzing the organization’s ability to be agile, the article includes the results of a study of the productivity of the pasta packaging process in a selected manufacturing company. The main purpose of the article was to identify the factors important for the implementation of the concept of organizational agility and to develop steps to follow the Shu Ha Ri methodology in a pasta packaging company in order to increase production productivity. Based on the data obtained in the form of the number of employees per shift and the amount of packed pasta, significant differences in the productivity of shifts were found, and the challenges of organizational agility were also identified, which include the changing nature of demand, the impact of the state of the machines on the continuity of production, and the occurrence of shortages at the packing stage due to the manual nature of the process. Based on the conducted research and analysis of the tools used in the formation of an agile culture, a proprietary approach to sustainably increase the productivity of the packaging process was proposed using the Shu Ha Ri methodology. The conducted research made it possible to formulate the paradigm of sustainable agility culture and its main dimensions for companies in the food industry. Full article
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18 pages, 10041 KiB  
Article
Utilization of Multilayered Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)-Based Film Packaging Waste Using Reactive Compatibilizers and Impact Modifier
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014986 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
This research aimed to evaluate the material properties of reactive extrusion-modified blends containing PET multilayered foil waste. Three types of PET-based multilayer foil waste were used as the compound during the reprocessing of standard bottle-grade PET. Flakes used for this purpose were made [...] Read more.
This research aimed to evaluate the material properties of reactive extrusion-modified blends containing PET multilayered foil waste. Three types of PET-based multilayer foil waste were used as the compound during the reprocessing of standard bottle-grade PET. Flakes used for this purpose were made from laminated foils: (A) PET/PE, (B) PET/EVOH/PE, and PET/PE/met. All types of the prepared materials were compounded with 30% of the waste foil flakes. Additionally, the blend was modified with an epoxy-based chain extender and polyolefin-based impact modifier. The prepared blends were processed using two methods; initially, the materials were prepared by injection molding, while cast-film samples were also prepared. All samples were subjected to full characterization using mechanical testing methods, thermal analysis, and structural observations. The study shows that the addition of multilayered foil waste is leading to significant deterioration of PET-based material properties. While, in most cases, the use of a chain extender led to some improvement in mechanical characteristics, the impact modifier addition strongly influenced most of the properties. It was also observed that the reactive extrusion procedure led to melt strength improvement, which greatly facilitates the film production process. Due to the limited possibility of separating the film components, the developed method of foil recycling might be useful for the utilization of multilayered packaging. Full article
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15 pages, 1753 KiB  
Article
Sustainability in the Development of Green Organizations Based on the Example of Manufacturing Companies
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14705; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014705 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 934
Abstract
There are many studies that address the topic of organizational development in the context of sustainability, but their results do not include a combined functional approach in the area of management as well as in the development of green organizations (GOs). Defining the [...] Read more.
There are many studies that address the topic of organizational development in the context of sustainability, but their results do not include a combined functional approach in the area of management as well as in the development of green organizations (GOs). Defining the development of GOs and their phases from a functional perspective in manufacturing companies has not yet been sufficiently studied. This refers to the process of organizational change including, but not limited to, production, human resources, marketing, environmental management, supply chain, resources, circular economy, zero-waste buildings or product design. The purpose of this paper is to characterize the criteria for describing GOs and to define the phases of their development against the background of the literature. Empirical research was conducted on a sample of 100 manufacturing companies. The development phases of GOs were determined using cluster analysis with the k-means method carried out in accordance with the Hartigan–Wong algorithm and compared with the publishing dates of scientific publications. The results indicate that it is possible to define organizations by their development phase, and thus, it is possible to identify criteria that, when refined, will make it possible to accelerate the development of GOs in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Full article
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0 pages, 674 KiB  
Article
Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility, Green Talent Management, and Organization’s Sustainable Performance in the Banking Sector of Oman: The Role of Innovative Work Behavior and Green Performance
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914303 - 27 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1489 | Correction
Abstract
While moving towards sustainable performance, organizations try to create a win-win situation not only for the organization itself but for the planet and society as well. The main aim of this study is to examine the linkage between environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR), [...] Read more.
While moving towards sustainable performance, organizations try to create a win-win situation not only for the organization itself but for the planet and society as well. The main aim of this study is to examine the linkage between environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR), green talent management (GTM), and organization’s sustainable performance. The study also investigates the impact of ECSR and GTM towards sustainable performance through transformational leadership, employees’ innovative work behavior (IWB), and green performance (GP). The results of the present study show that ECSR directly influences the sustainable performance and GTM of an organization. Similarly, green hard and soft talent management (TM) both have direct and positive links with employees’ IWB and GP. Another important finding is the significant and direct relationship of both IWB and GP of employees towards the sustainable performance of an organization. The moderating role of transformational leadership exerts a significant moderating influence between green hard TM and IWB. However, the moderating role of transformational leadership between green soft TM and IWB and the moderating role of transformational leadership between GTM and employee’s GP proves insignificant. The findings of this study can help the organizations to understand the importance of engaging in environmentally sustainable activities and to support and recognize the significance of green values and competencies within their employees. Full article
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18 pages, 1090 KiB  
Article
A Model for an Order-Picking Problem with a One-Directional Conveyor and Buffer
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13731; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813731 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
Customers seek items at low prices, excellent quality, and customization in today’s market. Additionally, the need for quick product delivery is rising because of the expansion of e-commerce. Order picking is an essential element of order fulfillment and is regarded as one of [...] Read more.
Customers seek items at low prices, excellent quality, and customization in today’s market. Additionally, the need for quick product delivery is rising because of the expansion of e-commerce. Order picking is an essential element of order fulfillment and is regarded as one of the most costly and time-consuming tasks for warehouses. The study aims to create a model for the ordering in logistics that involves the group of racks with assigned one-way conveyor and buffers. The focus of this study is on improving the customer order completion time because of appropriate tasks assigned to pickers. The simulation was performed using the CPLEX solver. The findings highlight the need for picking operations to manage time resources, as well as the importance of sustainable work of order pickers in logistic centers in fostering sustainable performance outcomes. Full article
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16 pages, 7361 KiB  
Article
The Use of Recycled Polymers for the Preparation of Self-Reinforced Composites by the Overmolding Technique: Materials Performance Evaluation
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11318; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411318 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
The presented research focused on the evaluation of the novel concept of the overmolding technique using self-reinforced composite prepregs and recycled polymer blends. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed manufacturing technique, several series of materials based on polycarbonate/polyethylene terephthalate (PC/PET) [...] Read more.
The presented research focused on the evaluation of the novel concept of the overmolding technique using self-reinforced composite prepregs and recycled polymer blends. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed manufacturing technique, several series of materials based on polycarbonate/polyethylene terephthalate (PC/PET) and polycarbonate/polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PC/PETG) blends were prepared. The reinforcing component in the form of overmolded prepreg was made from polyester-based self-reinforced composite (srPET). The prepared materials were compared in terms of mechanical properties and heat resistance; the study was supplemented by thermal analysis measurements. Considering the mechanical characteristics, the overmolding technique turns out to be an effective method of improving the properties of composites, and the increase in impact strength turns out to be particularly beneficial. The increase of the impact strength for the overmolded PC/PET blend reached 430% for PC/PETG sample 330%, while for the PC-based composite, only 100%. The expected improvement in thermomechanical properties turned out to be difficult to achieve due to the rapid softening of the srPET prepreg at around 70 °C. However, technological tests and properties analysis indicated that the use of PC-based blends makes it possible to create a permanent connection with reinforcement based on srPET prepregs, which can significantly expand the potential of applications of this type of material. The presented research confirmed that the self-reinforced composites can be successfully used as reinforcement for recycled polymer blends. Full article
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Review

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12 pages, 3325 KiB  
Review
Mechanical Weed Control Systems: Methods and Effectiveness
Sustainability 2023, 15(21), 15206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152115206 - 24 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
This article presents a division of methods to support mechanical weeding based on mechatronic control systems and estimates their effectiveness. The subject was undertaken due to the noticeable increase in interest in machine weeding methods, which is the result of the need for [...] Read more.
This article presents a division of methods to support mechanical weeding based on mechatronic control systems and estimates their effectiveness. The subject was undertaken due to the noticeable increase in interest in machine weeding methods, which is the result of the need for farmers to meet the growing awareness of customers focusing on healthy and high-quality products and the European Union policy promoting environmental protection programs, such as the European Green Deal and supporting commission priorities like the Mission Soil as a flagship initiative of the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas. Mechanical weeding meets the stringent conditions set by organic farming, and automation favours the development of these methods. Based on sources in the literature, it has been shown that it is possible to increase the weeding speed by at least 1.6 times by using the tool position correction system for row crops. In the case of crops requiring weeding, and in the spaces between plants in a row, the use of specialised weeding machines allows for an increase in the weeding efficiency by up to 2.57 times compared to manual weeding. Each of the analysed methods used to support weeding are subject to a certain error due to the use of sources in the literature, including manufacturers’ materials; however, it shows an upward trend in the effectiveness of using mechatronic weeding support systems, which was part of the thesis. This article presents the division of these systems and analyses the specific market solutions of machines, which is its distinguishing feature. Full article
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15 pages, 290 KiB  
Review
Behavioural Insights in Corporate Sustainability Research: A Review and Future Agenda
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914266 - 27 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
As a plethora of sustainability challenges are rooted in human behaviour, the aim of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that brings behavioural insights to the forefront in corporate sustainability research. The ABCD (attention, belief formation, choice, determination) approach, which is [...] Read more.
As a plethora of sustainability challenges are rooted in human behaviour, the aim of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that brings behavioural insights to the forefront in corporate sustainability research. The ABCD (attention, belief formation, choice, determination) approach, which is meant to assist policy-makers in analysing and diagnosing behavioural problems at an individual level, has been adopted into the corporate context. Taking the ABCD approach, this article discusses the main tenets of the prominent organisational theories, such as upper echelons theory, managerial cognition, stakeholder theory, the attention-based view of the firm, transaction cost theory, institutional theory, social network theory, legitimacy theory and signalling theory, and their application into corporate sustainability (CS) research. The paper offers a series of propositions, alternative to theories of structural determinism or theories of rational strategic choice, for specifying the conditions under which firms are likely to engage in sustainable business conduct. They refer among others to: (a) individual factors—characteristics and mental frames of managers in companies, (b) organisational factors—the composition and size of a board, governance mechanisms in a company, such as role models for sustainability issue selling, or the inclusion in decision making of various stakeholders, as well as (c) external factors—social norms or board connections. Full article
16 pages, 2406 KiB  
Review
Environmental Impact Evaluation as a Key Element in Ensuring Sustainable Development of Rail Transport
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13754; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813754 - 15 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1897
Abstract
The development of railways stands as a pivotal milestone in the history of transportation, transforming the world and revolutionising the movement of people and goods. From their humble beginnings as rudimentary track systems to the sophisticated and interconnected networks we witness today, railways [...] Read more.
The development of railways stands as a pivotal milestone in the history of transportation, transforming the world and revolutionising the movement of people and goods. From their humble beginnings as rudimentary track systems to the sophisticated and interconnected networks we witness today, railways have played a crucial role in fostering economic growth, promoting globalisation, and shaping modern societies. Moreover, as the world grapples with the urgent need to mitigate climate change and transition to sustainable modes of transportation, the role of railways has gained significant attention. Railways have long been recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly means of mass transit, offering lower carbon emissions, energy efficiency, and reduced congestion compared to other transportation modes. However, there are still many challenges to overcome to provide continuous sustainability in the context of environmental impacts, especially related to wildlife and habitat protection. This scientific paper aims to explore the concept of sustainability in the context of railways, providing a comprehensive analysis of their environmental influences. As a result, the authors present a complex analysis of the topic, combining different perspectives—ecological, engineering, and legislative. They present methods of reducing noise pollution—constructional and legal ways; emission pollution reduction associated with combustion engines; and innovative analysis of limiting the impact of transportation on natural habitats and forest animal populations, which is not yet sufficiently elaborated scientifically in the literature. By examining key strategies, technologies, and policy frameworks, this research sheds light on the challenges and opportunities related to sustainability within the railway industry around the world. Full article
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