Development of a Green Index for the textile industry : an application in China

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Development of a Green Index for the textile industry : an application in China


Author: You, Sau-wai Sophie
Title: Development of a Green Index for the textile industry : an application in China
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2011
Subject: Textile industry -- Environmental aspects
Textile industry -- Environmental aspects -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: xviii, 211 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The textile manufacturing activities have been seriously criticised for the amount of pollutants they produce. It is imperative for the textile industry to compromise a balance between achieving the goal of environmental protection and sustaining economic growth. Environmental performance indicator (EPI), which helps in regulating the negative impact brought to the environment, is one effective measure to assist in pursuing optimal balance. However, the existing environmental performance indicators for the textile industry suffer deficiencies from inconsistent framework, lack of comprehensive view and a biased weighting. To fill the present research gap, a Green Index is developed to cater for the textile industry in monitoring environmental performance. The present study is divided into two stages. Stage One is the introduction of a new model in assessing the environmental performance. In developing the Green Index, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), a methodology which has been widely used to measure the efficiency of organisations (also called a decision making unit, DMU) is employed. With increasing public attention in the environment, researchers have started to include undesirable output into the study of DEA which is termed as eco-DEA. There are numerous aspects in incorporating undesirable output in the literature. However, the economic implication and the suitability for the DEA research background of the undesirable output are yet to be seriously investigated and discussed. By comparing the various existing eco-DEA approaches, the findings offer several implications for theoretical development. When an undesirable output is accommodated into the calculation of eco-DEA, it gives higher, instead of lower efficiency scores. This is an anomaly that needs to be ascertained and the undesirable output needs to be properly addressed so that the impact of the undesirable output is quantified in the overall efficiency score. Thus, a new eco-DEA termed as the Ratio Model is developed from the present study to incorporate both the desirable and undesirable outputs from a new perspective.
Stage Two is about the establishment of the Green Index which is derived from the newly developed Ratio Model. There are three sub-indices which represent the three undesirable outputs discharged from the textile industry: polluted air, wastewater and solid waste. They are summed up to give the Green Index in the end. With four different scenarios, the Green Index monitors the environmental performance of China's textile industry at national and provincial (Jiangsu) levels and the textile products studied are yarn, cloth and chemical fibre. China is adopted since it plays a significant role as the world's exporter of textile products. It would be of interest to examine how the Chinese textile industry is performing from an environmental point of view. To validate the Ratio Model, the Green Index is also compared with the four existing eco-DEA approaches. The results from the four case studies further confirm the two main findings and show that the newly developed Ratio Model is able to characterise undesirable output better than other approaches, thus giving a more accurate performance assessment. The environmental performance of China's textile industry has been fluctuating since 1991 but has been improving for the last seven years. For Jiangsu textile industry, the Green Index shows that it has a stable annual progression in its environmental performance. Suggestions of improvement for the least efficient DMUs are also provided. To conclude, the study shows the possibility of applying the Green Index as a new approach in assessing environmental performance. The Green Index can be a complementary tool to the existing environmental management systems and provide guidelines to profitably manage the textile industry, as well as the production of environmental friendly products.

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