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1.
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: 52; Downloads: 2
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2.
Strategic transition to sustainability : a cybernetic model
Tjaša Štrukelj, Petya Dankova, Nomi Hrast, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: As the importance of the transition to sustainable development is increasingly recognised by individuals, organisations, and society as a whole, there is a growing need to examine its impact at micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. There is an urgent imperative to ensure the sustainability of growing economic inequalities, a degraded environment, and people living in uneven conditions in different societies. The authors, therefore, highlight the strategic role and essential contribution of organisations, and universities/higher education institutions in particular, in achieving sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universities/higher education institutions play a key role in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and they form the crucial architecture of contemporary practices in national economies and beyond. Policy makers, university/higher education institution governors, managers, and professors shape students and create new social contexts, and these must be oriented towards sustainability. This paper aims to explore the strategic role of organisations, in particular, universities/higher education institutions, as a key link between personal and social responsibility and, thus, as a powerful enabler of sustainable development. The authors examine the strategic transition to sustainability of two higher education institutions, the University of Maribor and the University of Economics—Varna, and conduct a qualitative case study research to develop a cybernetic model of the university’s/higher education institution’s transition to sustainability, which reflects the organisation’s growing commitment to achieving the Sustainability Development Goals. The model includes seven successive stages: pre-awareness, awareness, focusing, implementation, reaching out, transparency and disclosure, and continuous improvement. The study shows that sustainable development, i.e., sustainability governance, management, and operations, are indispensable for implementing the strategic concept of sustainability in an organisation and for achieving the strategic transition to sustainability as explained in the proposed cybernetic model.
Keywords: governance, sustainability, sustainable development, SDGs, strategic management, innovation, university, higher education institution
Published in DKUM: 19.03.2024; Views: 95; Downloads: 11
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3.
Digitalisation and decarbonisation challenges of inland waterways freight logistics transport and their integration into regional supply chains : a case study
Gbako Shekwoyemi, Dimitrios Paraskevadakis, Jun Ren, Jin Wang, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: An era of increased sustainable transport, the European inland navigation industry has received significant attention to attain sustainable transport. Tremendous opportunities to substantially move freight on waterways are present in the UK; however, several challenges have been appropriately addressed, including infrastructural gaps and various institutional support programs. The paper addresses the UK's current situation of inland navigation and the key challenges affecting the sectors as a viable alternative transport solution. The article explores and summarises the geographic opportunities, commercial feasibility, and the current condition of the UK'S inland navigation sector. From the practical scenario of the UK's experience, an attempt was made by the authors to find the critical challenges and issues faced by the industry. The emerging themes from the analysis of this paper indicated governance and leadership issues, cooperation, and coordination mechanism between establishments with various functions and responsibilities, merged with infrastructural investment, are strategic elements for expansion in the UK. Conclusively, the authors presented recommendations for improvement and sustainable development.
Keywords: inland waterway transport, decarbonisation, digitalisation, challenges, sustainable development, intermodal transport, modal shift, waterway infrastructure, investments
Published in DKUM: 06.03.2024; Views: 171; Downloads: 6
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4.
6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy : conference proceedings
2024, proceedings

Abstract: The 6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy (TBMCE) was organized by the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Maribor in cooperation with Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership – Networks for the transition into circular economy (SRIP – Circular economy), managed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Štajerska. The conference was held in Portorož, Slovenia, at the Grand Hotel Bernardin from September 6th to September 8th, 2023. TBMCE 2023 was devoted to presentations of circular economy concepts, technologies and methodologies that contribute to the shift of business entities and society as a whole to a more responsible, circular management of resources. The conference program included a round table Standardization for circular economy – more secure and less complicated closing of material loops, 6 panel discussions, 1 plenary and 3 keynote lectures, oral and poster presentations. The event was under the patronage of Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport and Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development. The Netherlands joined us as a partner country.
Keywords: sircular economy, sustainable development, processes and technologies, circular business models, research and development
Published in DKUM: 26.02.2024; Views: 188; Downloads: 24
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5.
Sustainability orientation and focus in logistics and supply chains
Sebastjan Lazar, Dorota Klimecka-Tatar, Matevž Obrecht, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Sustainable development, logistics, and supply chain are being combined into three increasingly connected and topical global research areas. Therefore, this paper's novelty identifies and defines the priorities of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable development dimensions in supply-chain- and logistics-management-related studies in the last decade. Knowing logistics and supply chain sustainability focus and orientation is valuable information for researchers and managers to adapt and mitigate their business logistics according to the forecasted trends. The paper provides a systematic and comprehensive review of the literature and is based on 116 scientific papers published between 2010 and 2020 in 73 international journals in the Scopus and Web of Science databases. The study defines focus with integrating environmental, social, and economic sustainability for logistics- and supply-chain-related studies. It emphasizes primary and secondary links of investigated studies with 17 United Nations sustainable development goals. The bibliometric analysis also examined keyword relations. One of the main contributions is that economic sustainability was identified as the most represented one-dimensional sustainability focus. It was revealed that supply chain studies integrated all three sustainability dimensions more frequently (50.60%) than logistics studies, which were equally related to studying two- or three-dimensions of sustainability (39.39%). The most significant findings are also that studies were identified to be oriented primarily towards "responsible consumption and production", "industry, innovation, and infrastructure" and "affordable and clean energy" and secondary especially on "sustainable cities and communities".
Keywords: sustainable development goals, sustainable development, supply chain management, logistics
Published in DKUM: 19.02.2024; Views: 160; Downloads: 4
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6.
The Phenomenon of (Sustainable) Tourism Activities on Farms in Slovenia During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Maja Borlinič Gačnik, Boris Prevolšek, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason why the development trends of the tourism industry are changing today. The purpose of this article is to address issues of future tourism industry development, linking it to elements of sustainable development trends. The article presents the main elements of the sustainable concept of rural and farm tourism. Using the method of compilation and description, we want to check, based on statistical data related to farm tourism activities in Slovenia (before and during the COVID-19 pandemic), whether it is possible to detect development trends in Slovenia, in the direction of sustainability that are linked to the concept of farm tourism. This study also aims to identify a number of measures that can improve sustainability at the farming tourism level in Slovenia, in a post-COVID phase. According to the findings of numerous comparisons and statistical analysis, it can be stated that the future development trends show a great need to develop the decarbonisation of the industry, digitalisation of industry, and the involvement of the local population in the provision of services. In the present global situation, we have reached a point where it will be necessary to focus on sustainable and digital forms of the industry, in order to further post-COVID development of the tourism industry.
Keywords: COVID-19, post-COVID world, sustainable tourism, farm tourism, Slovenia, future development
Published in DKUM: 25.01.2024; Views: 129; Downloads: 6
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7.
How much sustainable knowledge will soon-to-be experts in Slovenia have? : findings of higher education study programs’ analysis
Matevž Obrecht, Lazar Pavić, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Environmental topics are gaining more and more important both in the European Union and in Slovenia in the last decade. Climate changes (floods, droughts, and heat waves), pollution (soil, water, and air), management of invasive species, noise pollution, food self-sufficiency, sustainable development in the field of tourism, etc. are particularly present both in Slovenian Eastern and Western cohesion region. However, the level of knowledge about environmental challenges and competences of current experts and leaders to effectively manage and deal with them is perceived to be too low. The paper examines the inclusion of sustainable competences, knowledge, and skills in higher education programs in Slovenia to predict the level of sustainable knowledge. Slovenian soon-to-be professionals will be empowered by the Slovenian higher education system (Daneshjoo et al., 2020). Analysis included the content of 956 higher education study programs on the individual course level. In the next phase, a comprehensive comparative analysis of the situation in the areas of higher education and environmental education was performed. The factors based on which comparison was made are field of study, type of institution, level of study and number of subjects in the program that include some sustainable content. Non-parametric tests were used to determine statistically significant differences are the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis H test.
Keywords: sustainable development, sustainable knowledge, higher education, sustainable competences, higher education study programs
Published in DKUM: 12.01.2024; Views: 198; Downloads: 12
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8.
A company’s carbon footprint and sustainable development
Jure Gramc, Rok Stropnik, Mitja Mori, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Climate changes are already here. And they will get much worse in time. The main reason for global warming is GHG emissions from anthropological sources. That includes transportation, industry, electricity production, agriculture, and others. The European Union has introduced a new Green Deal as an answer to climate change. The European Green Deal puts more pressure on companies to mitigate their carbon footprint and implement sustainable development. One of the basic steps in the analysis of the environmental profile of a company is the identification of hot spots by using the carbon footprint methodology. The workflow of the carbon footprint calculation follows GHG Protocol standardised methodology. The calculation was made for a medium-sized company in the plastics industry. For all GHG emission sources, hot spots were identified and analysed. Based on the hot spots, sensitivity analysis for different pre-defined scenarios has been made, which are aligned with the company’s mid- and long-term sustainability goals. The three main hot spots of the company within scopes 1 and 2 are purchased heat, purchased electricity, and combustion of fuels in company vehicles. GHG emissions of heat and electricity are dependent on their distributor and their electricity and heat sources. The hot spot of scope 3 is purchased goods, especially plastic granulate. In the study, we focus only on scope 1 and scope 2.
Keywords: carbon footprint, sustainable development, environmental impacts, GHG Protocol, greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, sensitivity analysis
Published in DKUM: 30.10.2023; Views: 353; Downloads: 9
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9.
6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy : book of abstracts
2023

Abstract: The 6th International Conference on Technologies & Business Models for Circular Economy (TBMCE) was organized by the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor in collaboration with the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership - Networks for the Transition into Circular Economy (SRIP- Circular Economy), managed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska. The conference was held in Portorož, Slovenia, at the Grand Hotel Bernardin from September 6th to September 8th, 2023. The Netherlands joined us as a partner country of the conference. TBMCE 2023 was devoted to presentations of circular economy concepts, technologies and methodologies that contribute to the shift of business entities and society as a whole to a more responsible, circular management of resources. The conference program included panel discussions, plenary and keynote sessions, oral and poster presentations on the following topics: Sustainable energy, Biomass and alternative raw materials, Circular business models, Secondary raw materials and functional materials, ICT in Circular Economy, Processes and technologies. Panel discussions addressed following topics: Capture, storage or conversion of CO2 or H2?, The potential of small scale biorefining, Circular economy in construction – myth or real opportunity?, Importance of circular communities in international arena, Sector Coupling: pathways to integrated energy systems, Combating water pollution by plastic waste. The event was
Keywords: circular economy, sustainable development, processes and technologies, circular business models, research and development
Published in DKUM: 01.09.2023; Views: 315; Downloads: 44
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10.
Measuring sustainability in supply chains : comparative study of 15 top logistic companies operating in Slovenia
Petra Serdinšek, Lara Sladič, Matevž Obrecht, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Our research work refers to measuring sustainability in supply chains. First of all we will touch the topic, what means measuring sustainability in supply chain and how it can be measured. We will focus on our research area of fifteen companies, where we will investigate how much Slovenian companies deal with sustainability in their companies, how much sustainability means to them and how they measure it, if their company contributes a lot to the sustainability of supply chain or to the sustainable operation of the whole company. In recent years, have the supply chains undergone significant changes as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced companies to change the way of their operating in order to make their supply chains more efficient. The COVID-19 crisis has therefore made companies realize that they need to move to a circular economy, as it has shown the disruption or vulnerability of current supply chains. About sustainability is more and more speech and also more and more companies are recognizing its importance, because sustainable supply chain affects to the entire production process, from the sourcing of raw materials to the recycling of products or raw materials, if this is possible. A sustainable supply chain increases a company’s competitiveness and also reduces costs for the company.
Keywords: sustainable supply chain, supply chain management, logistics companies, sustainable development
Published in DKUM: 13.07.2023; Views: 268; Downloads: 23
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