Data Envelopment Analysis in Environmental Technologies

Data Envelopment Analysis in Environmental Technologies

Peep Miidla (University of Tartu, Estonia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-156-0.ch012
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Contemporary scientific and economic developments in environmental technology suggest that it is of great importance to introduce new approaches that would enable the comparison of different scenarios for their effectiveness, their distributive effects, their enforceability, their costs and many other dimensions. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is one of such methods. The DEA is receiving an increasing importance as a tool for evaluating and improving the performance of manufacturing and service operations. It has been extensively applied in performance evaluation and benchmarking of several types of organizations, so-called Decision Making Units (DMU) with similar goals and objectives. Among these are schools, hospitals, libraries, bank branches, production plants, but also climate policies, urban public transport systems, renewable energy plants, pollutant emission systems, environmental economics, etc. The purpose of this chapter is to present the basic principles of the DEA and give an overview of its application possibilities for the problems of environmental technology.
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The Earth is the common home for all of us and because of this the great attention paid to environmental problems is more than natural and urgent. The lack of economic value of environmental goods often leads to over-exploitation and degradation of these resources. It is extremely important to monitor and control interactions between production technologies and the environment. To keep and conserve the natural environment, environmental technology is developed. Independently of application areas of environment sciences, new approaches and methods, particularly of mathematical modeling, are extremely needed and welcome in this area. It is well-known that mathematical modelling is the most efficient method for investigating different processes, their simulation and prediction.

Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is a relatively new data oriented mathematical method for evaluating the performance of a set of peer entities traditionally called Decision Making Units (DMU) which convert multiple inputs into multiple outputs. Since DEA was first introduced, in its present form, in 1978 (Charnes et al., 1978), we have seen a great variety of applications of DEA being used in evaluating the performances of many different kinds of entities engaged in many different activities in many different contexts in many different countries. These DEA applications have used DMUs of various forms, such as hospitals, schools, universities, cities, courts, business firms, and others, including the performance of countries, regions, etc. The DEA is frequently applied in many areas of applied economic sciences, including agricultural economics, development economics, financial economics, public economics, macroeconomic policy, etc.; and among others, in addition to its traditional confinements in productivity and efficiency analysis; it has also diffused into the field of environmental economics and environmental technology. As it requires very few theoretical assumptions, DEA has opened up possibilities for its use in cases which have been resistant to other approaches because of the complex (often unknown) nature of the relations between the multiple inputs and multiple outputs involved in DMU.

There are several examples of areas of environmental science, where DEA is used and where remarkable theoretical and practical results have been achieved. In the framework of problems raised by climate change, one of the major threats to the Earth’s sustainability, we see that DEA is applied for assessing the relative performance of different climate policy scenarios as DMUs, through accounting their long-term economic, social and environmental impacts as input and output parameters. (Bosetti & Buchner, 2008) Quantitative techniques are crucial here in order to make adequate decisions quickly. In the sense of climate change measuring the carbon emission performance is also important. (Zhou et al., 2008) In another context, the paper by (Piot-Lepetit, 1997) considers the usefulness of DEA for estimating potential input reductions and assessing potential reductions of environmental impact on agricultural inputs. We can see the same in the paper (Madlener et al., 2006), where the assessment of the performance of biogas plants is realized. In the study (Rodrigues Diaz et al., 2004) DEA was used to select the most representative irrigation districts in Andalusia. One can find the use of DEA to assess corporate enactment of Environmentally Benign Manufacturing as work parts move from place to place in a company (Wu et al., 2006); this work touches green manufacturing problems. The DEA is used even in political decision making (Taniguchi et al., 2000), and to discuss a methodology to assess the performances of tourism management of local governments when economic and environmental aspects are considered as equally relevant. (Bosetti et al., 2004)

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Table of Contents
Vladimír Olej, Ilona Obršálová, Jirí Krupka
Vladimír Olej, Ilona Obršálová, Jirí Krupka
Chapter 1
Ting Yu, Manfred Lenzen, Christopher Dey
Input-output table plays a central role in the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) method. This chapter presents an integrated and... Sample PDF
Large-Scale Computational Modeling for Environmental Impact Assessment
Chapter 2
Mohamed M. Mostafa
The per capita Ecological Footprint (EF) is one of the most-widely recognized measures of environmental sustainability. It seeks to quantify the... Sample PDF
Modeling the Ecological Footprint of Nations via Evolutionary Computation and Machine Learning Models
Chapter 3
Francesco di Pierro, Soon-Thiam Khu, Tim Oxley
Although it is widely recognized that urban planning has a large implication on the provision of utilities, services and other urban... Sample PDF
Stochastic System Dynamics Integrative Model: An Integrated Modeling Framework Spanning Policy Domains
Chapter 4
František Božek, Josef Navrátil, Jirí Dvorák, Miloš Božek
The index method, which enables a complex assessment of regional risks, is described. The method is based on the comparison of critical indicators... Sample PDF
Regional Risks Assessment
Chapter 5
Petr Hájek, Vladimír Olej
The chapter presents an overview of current methods for air quality assessment, i.e. air stress indices and air quality indices. Traditional air... Sample PDF
Air Quality Assessment by Neural Networks
Chapter 6
Vladimír Olej, Petr Hájek
The chapter presents a design of parameters for air quality classification of districts into classes according to their pollution. Therefore, the... Sample PDF
Air Quality Modeling by Fuzzy Sets and IF-Sets
Chapter 7
Miloslava Kašparová, Jirí Krupka
This chapter deals with modeling and metamodeling of air quality in the Pardubice region of the Czech Republic. From a regional point of view, the... Sample PDF
Air Quality Modeling and Metamodeling Approach
Chapter 8
Robert Bata, Ticiano Costa Jordão
The chapter deals with the modeling of materials and energy flows associated with different types of heating fuels used in the household sector in... Sample PDF
Modeling the Influences of Heating Fuel Consumption in Gaseous Emissions and Solid Waste Generation
Chapter 9
Maria da Conceição Cunha
Wastewater systems are very important environmental systems. They should be carefully planned and managed to contribute to a more sustainable... Sample PDF
Wastewater Systems Management at the Regional Level
Chapter 10
Davide Viaggi, Meri Raggi
Mathematical programming tools are widely used to simulate agriculture water use thanks to their ability to provide a detailed technical and... Sample PDF
Estimation of Irrigation Water Demand on a Regional Scale Combining Positive Mathematical Programming and Cluster Analysis in Model Calibration
Chapter 11
Ana Passuello, Marta Schuhmacher, Montse Mari, Oda Cadiach, Martí Nadal
In this chapter, the spatial problem of disposing sewage sludge on agricultural soils is addressed. Sewage sludge application on agricultural soils... Sample PDF
A Spatial Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Manage Sewage Sludge Application on Agricultural Soils
Chapter 12
Peep Miidla
Contemporary scientific and economic developments in environmental technology suggest that it is of great importance to introduce new approaches... Sample PDF
Data Envelopment Analysis in Environmental Technologies
Chapter 13
Renáta Myšková, Ivana Linkeová
The economic development of a region depends on a number of factors which influence it mainly bases in a macro-economic aspect. Each region has its... Sample PDF
Modeling of the Economic Development of a Region
Chapter 14
Egor Sidorov, Iva Ritschelová
The chapter describes an approach for the calculation of coal depletion adjusted regional macroeconomic aggregates for the coal mining regions of... Sample PDF
Economic Performance and Environmental Quality at the Regional Level An Approach to Modeling Depletion Adjusted Macro Aggregates for the Czech Coal Mining Regions
Chapter 15
Tim B. Williamson, Grant K. Hauer, M. K.(Marty) Luckert
Climate change will affect the expected values and distributions of key variables that influence forest management decisions. Risk analysis will... Sample PDF
Economic Concepts, Methods, and Tools for Risk Analysis in Forestry under Climate Change
Chapter 16
Matthias Schröter, Oliver Jakoby, Roland Olbrich, Marcus Eichhorn, Stefan Baumgärtner
Bush encroachment is one of the most extensive changes in land cover in semi-arid rangelands and an urgent problem for cattle farming, rapidly... Sample PDF
Remote Sensing of Bush Encroachment on Commercial Cattle Farms in Semi-Arid Rangelands in Namibia
Chapter 17
Pavel Jirava, Ilona Obršálová
This chapter is focused on the modeling and analysis of the relation between environment and health. Many research papers have found links between... Sample PDF
Modeling the Effects of the Quality of the Environment on the Health of a Selected Population
Chapter 18
William M. Fonta, Kanayo K. Ogujiuba, Uzochukwu Amakom
Many rural households in developing countries derived their income partly from forest extraction yet, very little is known about the distributional... Sample PDF
Modeling and Understanding the Interrelationship between Natural Resource Extraction, Poverty and Inequality: The Case of Forestry in Sub-Saharan Nigeria
Chapter 19
Jirí Krupka, Miloslava Kašparová, Pavel Jirava, Jan Mandys
The chapter presents the problem of quality of life modeling in the Czech Republic based on classification methods. It concerns a comparison of... Sample PDF
Quality of Life Modeling at the Regional Level
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