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1.
8th FEB International Scientific Conference : Challenges in the Turbulent Economic Environment and Organizations’ Sustainable Development
2024, proceedings of peer-reviewed scientific conference contributions (international and foreign conferences)

Abstract: The proceedings of the 8th scientific conference, organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor, titled "Challenges in the turbulent economic environment and organizations’ sustainable development," present research and findings on the challenges that companies as well as other organizations face in unpredictable economic environments and efforts towards sustainable development. Various distinguished European authors address the impacts of global economic fluctuations on business operations and emphasize the importance of adaptability and innovation in tackling these challenges. Additionally, they underscore the significance of sustainable development as a crucial factor for the long-term success of companies and present strategies for its effective implementation. Through analyses and case studies, authors reveal key factors influencing the success of organizations in turbulent economic environments and offer guidelines for designing responsive and sustainability-focused business models.
Keywords: sustainability, economic environment, sustainable development, business challenges, competitiveness, turbolent environment
Published in DKUM: 23.05.2024; Views: 32; Downloads: 0
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2.
Requirements for establishing energy hubs : practical perspective
Mahmoud A. Hammad, Sara El Gazzar, Borut Jereb, Marjan Sternad, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The global economy has barely begun to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to be thrown into a new crisis because of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The war exacerbated the energy problem by causing a shortage of energy supplies for the EU and other countries, affecting quality of life. As a result, establishing energy hubs for collecting, processing, storing, and transiting energy resources between producing and consuming countries has become imperative to manage energy supplies efficiently. However, previous studies have not yet addressed the requirements for setting up energy hubs from a practical point of view. Therefore, this paper investigates the requirements for the establishment of energy hubs, particularly for oil and gas, from a practical perspective. The researchers conducted 13 semi-structured interviews with different energy stakeholders. Using the SWOT analysis matrix tool, the findings assessed the current state of the global oil and gas market, and the main practical requirements for the establishment of energy hubs were identified, along with the elements for implementation. Furthermore, the article highlighted the most pressing practical issues confronting the establishment of energy centres. Finally, the paper laid out a comprehensive practical framework based on the industry practitioners’ views to help establish energy hubs. The framework provides a possible guide for countries to establish energy hubs based on the main requirements outlined in this study. It can also improve the diversity, flexibility, and security of energy supply, especially for countries that rely on sole suppliers, such as the EU.
Keywords: energy hubs, energy stakeholders, diversification of energy supplies, security and sustainability of energy supply, European Union countries, Russian-Ukrainian war
Published in DKUM: 19.04.2024; Views: 97; Downloads: 0
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3.
The role of education in sustainable dietary patterns in Slovenia
Andrej Kirbiš, Monika Lamot, Marija Javornik, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The most sustainable dietary patterns involve the consumption of plant-based (vegan) foods, excluding or reducing animal products, including meat, fish, and dairy, yet there is a lack of research on determinants of sustainable dietary patterns in central European countries. The present article aimed to examine the prevalence of sustainable dietary practices and attitudes among the Slovenian public and to investigate the role of education in fostering sustainable dietary patterns. We analyzed a representative national sample of Slovenians, with data gathered in 2019 (ISSP/Slovenian Public Opinion; N = 1079; 51.2% females). The results indicate that most Slovenians do not have sustainable dietary practices or attitudes with regard to health, the environment, animals, and dietary minorities. One in four Slovenians consume meat at least once per day and one in two consume meat three to six times per week. In addition, 78.2% of Slovenians consume milk at least three times per week; more than half consume milk daily or more often. Fish consumption is the least frequent among the three food groups. At least two-thirds of Slovenians also hold attitudes that are low in sustainability. Results also show that, after controlling for confounding variables, higher educational level emerged as an independent predictor of lower meat consumption, but not of lower fish or milk consumption. Furthermore, those in the lowest educational group are significantly less likely to hold sustainable attitudes than those in the higher educational group. Finally, current student status only decreases meat consumption. Since our results show an educational gradient in meat consumption and attitudes, public health and environmental campaigns should focus on the less-educated groups, encouraging them to reduce meat intake and fostering more sustainable attitudes.
Keywords: dietary patterns, education, sustainability, attitudes, meat, animals
Published in DKUM: 12.04.2024; Views: 119; Downloads: 4
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4.
Organizational maturity and sustainability orientation influence on DMS life cycle : case analysis
Sandra Jordan, Simona Sternad Zabukovšek, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The topic of the article addresses the management of the document management system (DMS), which represents one of the important steps for organizations to speed up the implementation of business processes, achieve better control over documents, and ensure safer operations. When implementing and using DMS, the importance of the organization’s maturity shall not be forgotten, as it gives the organization a framework to evaluate and improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization’s DMS, which can contribute to better decision-making and increased productivity. On the other hand, sustainable-oriented organizations are likely to show interest in choosing, implementing, and using DMS. In the article, the impact of an organization’s maturity and the role of sustainability on the DMS lifecycle are researched. Results are presented based on a case analysis of Company X. Supporting the case analysis, structured interviews with the project leader on the clients’ and the project leader on the providers’ side have been performed, which shall give a deeper insight into DMS implementation and the importance of sustainability and organizational maturity, resulting in more successful DMS implementation and use.
Keywords: document management system (DMS), DMS life cycle, maturity model, sustainability, case analysis
Published in DKUM: 09.04.2024; Views: 79; Downloads: 2
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5.
A Framework for adopting a sustainable reverse logistics service quality for reverse logistics service providers : a systematic literature review
Ahmed Dabees, Mahmoud Barakat, Sahar Sobhy El Barky, Andrej Lisec, 2023, review article

Abstract: Reverse logistics has become a competitive need for sustainability. Lack of resources to apply reverse logistics solutions has severely impacted many supply chains’ costs and customer service, making it impossible to meet the expectations of return processing. In those conditions, client demands for higher service quality are the main drivers of effective sustainability operations. This study aims to establish the sustainable reverse logistics service quality (SRLSQ) theoretical framework offered by reverse logistics services providers (RLSPs). The study conducts a systematic methodology protocol by examining reliable academic periodicals using PRISMA guidelines based on the research scope and identified 56 papers from 2011–2022, with the main research focus on SSQ and RLSQ dimensions to develop a research framework. By re-evaluating those factors using the SRLSQ framework and by including sustainability into the service quality approach, this study expanded the practicability of reverse logistic service quality and sustainable service quality. The results point to a knowledge gap when it comes to quantifying the impact of reverse logistics operation process through a triple bottom line approach on customer outcomes, relationship quality (RQ), and mediation of operation risk factor, which could be examined within various contexts in subsequent work.
Keywords: sustainability, reverse logistics, sustainable reverse logistics service quality, customer satisfaction, operational risk
Published in DKUM: 09.04.2024; Views: 76; Downloads: 2
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6.
Prediction of the form of a hardened metal workpiece during the straightening process
Tadej Peršak, Jernej Hernavs, Tomaž Vuherer, Aleš Belšak, Simon Klančnik, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In industry, metal workpieces are often heat-treated to improve their mechanical properties, which leads to unwanted deformations and changes in their geometry. Due to their high hardness (60 HRC or more), conventional bending and rolling straightening approaches are not effective, as a failure of the material occurs. The aim of the research was to develop a predictive model that predicts the change in the form of a hardened workpiece as a function of the arbitrary set of strikes that deform the surface plastically. A large-scale laboratory experiment was carried out in which a database of 3063 samples was prepared, based on the controlled application of plastic deformations on the surface of the workpiece and high-resolution capture of the workpiece geometry. The different types of input data, describing, on the one hand, the performed plastic surface deformations on the workpieces, and on the other hand the point cloud of the workpiece geometry, were combined appropriately into a form that is a suitable input for a U-Net convolutional neural network. The U-Net model’s performance was investigated using three statistical indicators. These indicators were: relative absolute error (RAE), root mean squared error (RMSE), and relative squared error (RSE). The results showed that the model had excellent prediction performance, with the mean values of RMSE less than 0.013, RAE less than 0.05, and RSE less than 0.004 on test data. Based on the results, we concluded that the proposed model could be a useful tool for designing an optimal straightening strategy for high-hardness metal workpieces. Our results will open the doors to implementing digital sustainability techniques, since more efficient handling will result in fewer subsequent heat treatments and shorter handling times. An important goal of digital sustainability is to reduce electricity consumption in production, which this approach will certainly do.
Keywords: sustraightening process, hardened workpiece, manufacturing, U-Net convolutional neural network, modeling, point cloud, digital sustainability
Published in DKUM: 02.04.2024; Views: 116; Downloads: 14
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7.
Special issue on “Process design and sustainable development”
Peter Glavič, 2023, preface, editorial, afterword

Keywords: sustainability, engineering, design
Published in DKUM: 02.04.2024; Views: 78; Downloads: 2
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8.
The complexity and interconnectedness of circular cities and the circular economy for sustainability
Kristijan Brglez, Matjaž Perc, Rebeka Kovačič Lukman, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In our study, we are evaluating the dynamic interplay between circular cities and the circular economy, revealing connections shaped by new research insights, using Web of Science database. We have in depth analysed 671 publications from 1990 to mid- 2023, employing Leximancer and VOSviewer tools. Our analysis uncovered key themes, including buildings, waste management, value chains, and sustainable development, linking the circular cities concept and circular economy framework. Emerging research trends, such as urban metabolism, urban mining, governance models, the built environment, sustainability benchmarks, and value chain management, signify deliberate shifts towards higher circular development and implementation. These trajectories harmonise with overarching sustainable development goals. Contemporary research emphasises urban mining, circular indicators, adaptive resource reuse, and urban structure regeneration. This focus facilitates transitioning from linear models to heightened circularity within urban contexts. Research inclination is shifting from traditional economic and environmental concerns towards holistic urban configurations that prioritise social integration, communal well-being, and the dynamics of the social economy. Through this analytical expedition, we offer novel insights that enhance our understanding of the intricate symbiosis between circular cities and the circular economy. Our findings provide a scientific foundation for formulating targeted strategies by decision-makers and guiding urban landscapes towards transformative trajectories aligned with sustainable development objectives and sustainable cities.
Keywords: bibliometric analysis, circular city, circular economy, content analysis, Leximancer, sustainability, sustainable development goals
Published in DKUM: 29.03.2024; Views: 88; Downloads: 6
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9.
Sustainability reporting ecosystem : a once-in-a-lifetime overhaul during the COVID-19 pandemic
Daniel Zdolšek, Sabina Taškar Beloglavec, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The preparation of sustainability reports, which a negligible number of organisations had been doing until recently, will soon be the new reality for many more organisations. This research aims to present changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in the ecosystem of sustainability reporting pronouncements, especially those used by organisations. In our research, we compare important information about two different periods and the content demands in reporting on sustainability. Changes in the ecosystem are fundamental and unique. Based on the analysis of events and documents, the current research shows the changes in the ecosystem and the future dynamics in the ecosystem, including the principle standard setters (i.e., International Sustainability Standards Board and European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, EFRAG). The research shows that although the changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, they did not significantly impact the ecosystem’s development or slow down or stop their development. The COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the speed or dynamics of changes. In the last few years, EFRAG and the European Union established their position and gained a significant influence in sustainability reporting, with EFRAG at the forefront. The European Sustainability Reporting Standards will be mandatory for organisations doing business in the European Union. At the same time, we do not expect that the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards will be directly endorsed for use in the European Union. The paper presents a new perspective on examining sustainability via developing organisations’ reporting demands within the framework of the uncertain environment caused by COVID-19. In this context, our research also contributes to the literature. The study also has a potential practical impact on organisations and management since it illuminates a wide range of selected sustainability viewpoints and their reporting.
Keywords: sustainability, sustainability reporting, standard setting, reporting standards, disclosure standards, nonfinancial information, regulation, COVID-19, ISSB, EFRAG
Published in DKUM: 28.03.2024; Views: 402; Downloads: 539
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10.
Formation the links between circularity and sustainability in the circular economy
Olga Lingaitienė, Aurelija Burinskiene, 2023, review article

Abstract: Nowadays, many new questions arise regarding the creation and setting of goals for a sustainable circular economy. The study focused on exploring the connections between the concepts of circularity and sustainability in the circular economy. Sustainability aspects integrated into long-term circular economy processes have a clear impact on the environment, the economy and political decisions. The study examines the factors that contribute to and influence the formation of the circular economy and reveals the connection between circularity and sustainability. After reviewing the literature on the links between circularity and sustainability, the theoretical methods that are most often applied to examine aspects of circularity and sustainability have been identified and reviewed. It was also conducted by bibliometric analysis for 2021-2023 which helps to identify current trends and found that the number of studies analysed included five groups which show that the studies are focused on impact, production, end, review and value. The results of the bibliometric analysis show that circularity has links with supply chain, sustainability, material circularity, efficiency and value. The authors have presented research by topic because knowledge is needed to fill existing gaps.
Keywords: circularity, sustainability, theories, factors, links
Published in DKUM: 20.03.2024; Views: 144; Downloads: 10
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