A multiple criteria decision making approach to manure management systems in the Netherlands

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The intensification of livestock operations in the last few decades has resulted in an increased social concern over the environmental impacts of livestock operations and thus making appropriate manure management decisions increasingly important. A socially acceptable manure management system that simultaneously achieves the pressing environmental objectives while balancing the socio-economic welfare of farmers and society at large is needed. Manure management decisions involve a number of decision makers with different and conflicting views of what is acceptable in the context of sustainable development. This paper developed a decision-making tool based on a multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) approach to address the manure management problems in the Netherlands. This paper has demonstrated the application of compromise programming and goal programming to evaluate key trade-offs between socio-economic benefits and environmental sustainability of manure management systems while taking decision makers’ conflicting views of the different criteria into account. The proposed methodology is a useful tool in assisting decision makers and policy makers in designing policies that enhance the introduction of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manure management systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-653
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • goal-programming approach
  • greenhouse-gas emissions
  • livestock manure
  • cattle slurry
  • nitrous-oxide
  • energy
  • optimization
  • technologies
  • aggregation
  • preferences

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