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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The historic range of variability of land covers, and evidence-based knowledge about threshold [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Exploring the Role of Science in Sustainable Landscape Management. An Introduction to the Special Issue
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 331; doi:10.3390/su10020331
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
In this special issue, landscapes are conceptualized as social-ecological systems resulting from the interaction between societal and natural processes. Landscapes produce services and values to stakeholders that share a particular geographical area. In view of landscape sustainability, these stakeholders have common responsibilities to
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In this special issue, landscapes are conceptualized as social-ecological systems resulting from the interaction between societal and natural processes. Landscapes produce services and values to stakeholders that share a particular geographical area. In view of landscape sustainability, these stakeholders have common responsibilities to retain the functioning of landscapes to service future generations. Also, because demands for landscape services overlap and require landscape wide management, users and owners of the landscape have common interests in creating added value and organizing landscape wide coordination of interventions. This interdependency calls for collaborative management, but is also a cause of conflicts. From the point of view of scientific support, there is a need for interdisciplinary and solution-oriented approaches that foster collaboration. This special issue presents innovative interdisciplinary approaches that illustrate the main challenges for science to support community-based landscape governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
Open AccessEditorial Innovation in the European Energy Sector and Regulatory Responses to It: Guest Editorial Note
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 416; doi:10.3390/su10020416
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The European energy sector is an important economic sector that is also traditionally highly regulated. With the increasing tempo in which innovations in technology and markets occur, catalysed inter alia by the energy transition and accompanied by new formats of innovation (disruptive and
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The European energy sector is an important economic sector that is also traditionally highly regulated. With the increasing tempo in which innovations in technology and markets occur, catalysed inter alia by the energy transition and accompanied by new formats of innovation (disruptive and bottom-up), the question arises whether existing regulatory frameworks sufficiently allow for such innovation and support its further development. From an editorial perspective, we argue that decentralization of energy production on the national level and that of regulatory responses to it, need more scholarly attention. In this guest editorial, the contributions of nine articles to our special issue on innovation in the European energy sector and regulatory responses to it, are addressed. First, lessons on regulatory response to innovations in European energy markets are drawn. Second, several types of responses are deduced and discussed. Finally, key observations and suggestions for further research are presented. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Queuing-Network Design for Airport Security Based on the Monte Carlo Method
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 1; doi:10.3390/su10020001
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The design of airport queuing networks is a significant research field currently for researchers. Many factors must to be considered in order to achieve the optimized strategies, including the passenger flow volume, boarding time, and boarding order of passengers. Optimizing these factors lead
[...] Read more.
The design of airport queuing networks is a significant research field currently for researchers. Many factors must to be considered in order to achieve the optimized strategies, including the passenger flow volume, boarding time, and boarding order of passengers. Optimizing these factors lead to the sustainable development of the queuing network, which currently faces a few difficulties. In particular, the high variance in checkpoint lines can be extremely costly to passengers as they arrive unduly early or possibly miss their scheduled flights. In this article, the Monte Carlo method is used to design the queuing network so as to achieve sustainable development. Thereafter, a network diagram is used to determine the critical working point, and design a structurally and functionally sustainable network. Finally, a case study for a sustainable queuing-network design in the airport is conducted to verify the efficiency of the proposed model. Specifically, three sustainable queuing-network design solutions are proposed, all of which not only maintain the same standards of security, but also increase checkpoint throughput and reduce passenger waiting time variance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Perception of User Criteria in the Context of Sustainability of Modern Methods of Construction Based on Wood
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 116; doi:10.3390/su10020116
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent developments in the construction industry have brought more efficient and sustainable technologies, technological procedures, and materials. An example of this are modern methods of construction, which offer larger production volumes with a higher quality and shorter procurement time. The goal of those
[...] Read more.
Recent developments in the construction industry have brought more efficient and sustainable technologies, technological procedures, and materials. An example of this are modern methods of construction, which offer larger production volumes with a higher quality and shorter procurement time. The goal of those methods is to improve construction sustainability through quality improvement, customer satisfaction, shortened construction time, and reduced environmental impact. The main goal of this research is to demonstrate, by means of theoretical assumptions, surveys, and analyses, the sustainability of modern methods of construction based on wood. The work focuses on identifying the user criteria for construction sustainability. Selected user criteria of construction sustainability are applied in a socio-economic survey whose purpose is to determine how users perceive the efficiency of selected construction systems. We evaluate certain user parameters in the context of sustainability by relying on the users of buildings (family houses) which have already been built and compare the results with declared design parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Socio-Economic Indicators on Sustainable Consumption of Domestic Electricity in Lithuania
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 162; doi:10.3390/su10020162
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Lithuania is one of the EU Member States, where the rate of energy consumption is comparatively low but consumption of electricity has been gradually increasing over the last few years. Despite this trend, households in only three EU Member States consume less electricity
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Lithuania is one of the EU Member States, where the rate of energy consumption is comparatively low but consumption of electricity has been gradually increasing over the last few years. Despite this trend, households in only three EU Member States consume less electricity than Lithuanian households. The purpose of this research is to analyse the impact of socio-economic factors on the domestic electricity consumption in Lithuania, i.e., to establish whether electricity consumption is determined by socio-economic conditions or population’s awareness to save energy. Cointegration analysis, causality test and error-correction model were used for the analysis. The results reveal that there is a long run equilibrium relationship between residential electricity consumption per capita and GDP at current prices as well as the ratio of the registered unemployed to the working-age population. In consequence, the results of the research propose that improvement of living standards for Lithuanian community calls for the necessity to pay particular attention to the promotion of sustainable electricity consumption by providing consumers with appropriate information and feedback in order to seek new energy-related consumption practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Historic Waterfront Revitalization Decision Support Tool for Attracting Tourists
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 215; doi:10.3390/su10020215
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Waterfront revitalization would be an effective strategy to preserve heritages, conserve the contaminated or abandoned site and inspire the identity and authenticity. However, there is no decision support tool to quantify and evaluate the sustainability accreditation of waterfronts in tourism attraction. This research
[...] Read more.
Waterfront revitalization would be an effective strategy to preserve heritages, conserve the contaminated or abandoned site and inspire the identity and authenticity. However, there is no decision support tool to quantify and evaluate the sustainability accreditation of waterfronts in tourism attraction. This research aimed to identify the most potential waterfront typology in tourism attraction and develop the waterfront sustainable revitalization (SWR) index assessment model. The SWR index can assist policy makers and urban developers to analyze the heritage waterfronts using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. The research found out the historic waterfront has the highest potential in tourism attraction among other typologies. And, pollution moderator is mostly important sub-criterion in tourism absorption (WC2.2 = 0.1294); followed by Identity (WC1.2 = 0.1272) and Safety and well-being (WC1.3 = 0.1043). The SWR index can be applied in any waterfronts in heritage cities around the world, while this research implemented it as a case study in Bandar Maharani, Muar, Malaysia. It resulted Bandar Maharani was ranked as grade C; means, usable waterfront to which extent environmental, social and physical revitalization are needed. The SWR index can be coupled with other decision-making methods in future, to reduce its inconsistencies and increasing accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Czech Machinery Cluster and Its Role in Sustainable Development of Moravian-Silesian Enterprises during the Post-Transformation Era
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 239; doi:10.3390/su10020239
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The paper intends to contribute to the field of geographical economics by an extensive questionnaire survey carried out in Moravian-Silesian region, which represents one of territories of traditional industry in the Czech Republic. The purpose of this paper is to analyse and assess
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The paper intends to contribute to the field of geographical economics by an extensive questionnaire survey carried out in Moravian-Silesian region, which represents one of territories of traditional industry in the Czech Republic. The purpose of this paper is to analyse and assess the co-operation among enterprises, educational institutions, and public administration from the perspective of sustainability in the Moravian-Silesian region during its post-transformation era. The article deals specifically with the Czech machinery cluster. The research question that lies behind the survey is as follows: Is the co-operation of entities present in the Czech machinery cluster beneficial to the parties involved? The contribution of the paper is in uncovering the role of this cluster in the sustainable development of Moravian-Silesian enterprises during post-transformation period. Since the Moravian-Silesian region is a typical old industrial region, which moreover underwent a difficult transformation process, there are numerous peculiarities in functioning of its enterprises. Machinery was traditionally one of the supportive pillars of regional industry and it is not surprising that the machinery cluster was created as the first one. Yet, regional characteristics lie behind specific trajectories towards economic sustainability. The above ways toward economic sustainability differ markedly from the concepts that are in vogue in developed western territories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alliances and Network Organizations for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Potential Climate Change Effects on the Rice Yield and Water Footprint in the Nanliujiang Catchment, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 242; doi:10.3390/su10020242
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The Nanliujiang catchment is one of major rice production bases of South China. Irrigation districts play an important role in rice production which requires a large quantity of water. There are potential risks on future climate change in response to rice production, agricultural
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The Nanliujiang catchment is one of major rice production bases of South China. Irrigation districts play an important role in rice production which requires a large quantity of water. There are potential risks on future climate change in response to rice production, agricultural irrigation water use and pollution control locally. The SWAT model was used to quantify the yield and water footprint (WF) of rice in this catchment. A combined method of automatic and manual sub-basin delineation was used for the model setup in this work to reflect the differences between irrigation districts in yield and water use of rice. We validated our simulations against observed leaf area index, biomass and yield of rice, evapotranspiration and runoff. The outputs of three GCMs (GFDL-ESM2M, IPSL-CM5A-LR and HadGEM2-ES) under three RCPs (RCP2.6, 4.5, 8.5) were fed to the SWAT model. The results showed that: (a) the SWAT model is an ideal tool to simulate rice development as well as hydrology; (b) there would be increases in rice yield ranged from +1.4 to +10.6% under climate projections of GFDL-ESM2M and IPSL-CM5A-LR but slight decreases ranged from −3.5 to −0.8% under that of HadGEM2-ES; (c) the yield and WFs of rice displayed clear differences in the catchment, with a characteristic that high in the south and low in the north, mainly due to the differences in climatic conditions, soil quality and fertilization amount; (d) there would be a decrease by 45.5% in blue WF with an increase by 88.1% in green WF, which could provide favorable conditions to enlarge irrigated areas and take technical measures for improving green water use efficiency of irrigation districts; (e) a clear rise in future grey WF would present enormous challenges for the protection of water resources and environmental pollution control in this catchment. So it should be to improved nutrient management strategies for the agricultural non-point source pollution control in irrigation districts, especially for the Hongchaojiang and Hepu irrigation districts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Traceability System for Improved Utilization of Solid Biofuel from Agricultural Prunings
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 258; doi:10.3390/su10020258
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Biomass production and supply for renewable energy generation should be managed well and carried out in a sustainable manner. An effective traceability system (TS) is required to provide sufficient information and assure the quality of the biomass. The objective of this study is
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Biomass production and supply for renewable energy generation should be managed well and carried out in a sustainable manner. An effective traceability system (TS) is required to provide sufficient information and assure the quality of the biomass. The objective of this study is to define and develop a TS to assure the pruning biomass quality for the production of solid biofuels and to provide guarantee to the final user that the biomass is in good condition according to recommended quality criteria. It is designed for an agricultural pruning supply chain in which farmers, biomass traders, transporters, and end users are major actors. It is based on the biofuel quality requirements required by final users and other standards such as the new European standards EN 14961-1, EN15234:1-2011, and EN14961-1:2010, which describe solid fuel quality parameters. Traceable quality parameters include origin and source of product, traded form, bale dimension, chips size distribution, moisture content, ash content, and density of biomass. In this TS, a unique product label is introduced and integrated into a smart logistics system (SLS). The TS uses information captured at different stages of the product supply chain. It enables the management of the whole pruning biomass supply chain with the support of a centralized web-based information platform, an integral part of the SLS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Responses of Urban Land Surface Temperature on Land Cover: A Comparative Study of Vienna and Madrid
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 260; doi:10.3390/su10020260
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The relationship between the land cover (LC) characteristics and the land surface temperature (LST) is significant for surface urban heat island (SUHI) study and for sustainability research. To better understand how the land surface temperature (LST) responds to LC, two urban areas, Vienna
[...] Read more.
The relationship between the land cover (LC) characteristics and the land surface temperature (LST) is significant for surface urban heat island (SUHI) study and for sustainability research. To better understand how the land surface temperature (LST) responds to LC, two urban areas, Vienna and Madrid, with different climatic conditions are selected and compared, using Landsat-8 OLI data and urban atlas data. To determine a suitable scale for analyzing the relationship between LC and LST, a correlation analysis at different sizes of spatial analytical scales is applied. To demonstrate the LC composition effects on LST, a regression analysis of the whole study area and in the specific circumstance is undertaken. The results show that: (1) In the summer, Vienna presents high temperature in the urban areas and low temperature in the surrounding rural areas, while Madrid displays the opposite appearance, being relatively cooler in the urban areas as compared to the rural areas, with the main different factors affecting elevated urban LST; (2) Suitable analytical scales are suggested in studying the LC–LST relationship between different LC characteristics in the two study areas; (3) Negative effects on the LST appear when the area of cooling sources, such as water or urban greenery, reaches 10% at a 990 × 990 m2 scale in Vienna. Built-up area is the main factor affecting elevated urban LST where such areas cover the majority at a 990 × 990 m2 scale in Madrid. These findings provide a valuable view regarding how to balance the urban surface thermal environment through urban planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adapting Bioretention Construction Details to Local Practices in Finland
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 276; doi:10.3390/su10020276
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Bioretention is a method of storm water management that includes several processes following the natural hydrological cycle. Bioretention, or variations of it, include rain gardens and bioswales, infiltrates, filtrates, evapotranspirates, and help to store and manage storm water run-off. A bioretention cell retains
[...] Read more.
Bioretention is a method of storm water management that includes several processes following the natural hydrological cycle. Bioretention, or variations of it, include rain gardens and bioswales, infiltrates, filtrates, evapotranspirates, and help to store and manage storm water run-off. A bioretention cell retains water, removes pollutants, and provides water elements for urban green areas. Although bioretention is a promising method for multifunctional storm water management, its construction details should not be copied from other climatic areas. A direct application may dismiss local conditions, materials, and construction practices. This study aimed to adapt construction details for bioretention to Finnish local practices and conditions and to formulate bioretention constructions that balance water, soil, and vegetation. First, construction details were reviewed, then local adaptations were applied, and finally, the application and two variations of growing media in two construction depths were tested in a test field in Southern Finland. Sandy growing media allowed the efficient retention of water during the first year, but failed to provide vital growth. The use of topsoil and compost in the growing media improved growth, but held high electrical conductivity after infiltration. All the experimental cells in the test field showed activity during the melting periods, both during winter and spring. If bioretention plays a multifunctional role in urban design and engineered ecology, the design parameters should not only focus on storm water quantity, but also on quality management and vegetation growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Feasibility Study on the Application of Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) Steel Slag for Railway Ballast Material
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 284; doi:10.3390/su10020284
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Railway ballast, for which natural crushed stone aggregates have been generally used, is an essential track component for the distribution of train loads along the rails and sleepers to the roadbed. However, the use of natural crushed stone aggregate causes environmental destruction as
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Railway ballast, for which natural crushed stone aggregates have been generally used, is an essential track component for the distribution of train loads along the rails and sleepers to the roadbed. However, the use of natural crushed stone aggregate causes environmental destruction as well as dust production in train service. This paper evaluates the feasibility of using the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) steel slag as railway ballast material. A series of physical and chemical quality tests are performed to investigate the characteristics of the materials associated with the effect of aging period due to the remaining free CaO and MgO in the BOF steel slag. Three different aging periods (i.e., 0, 3, and 6 months) are used to compare with various standards and the properties of the crushed stone aggregates. It is demonstrated that the physical and chemical properties of the BOF steel slag with different aging periods satisfy all requirements of standards sufficiently. Especially, the BOF steel slag without aging (i.e., 0 month) provides the similar physical and chemical properties, when compared to the BOF steel slag with aging (i.e., 3 and 6 months). Thus, it is possible to apply the BOF steel slag regardless of aging periods to the railway ballast materials instead of natural crushed stone aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Migrating towards Using Electric Vehicles in Campus-Proposed Methods for Fleet Optimization
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 285; doi:10.3390/su10020285
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Managing a fleet efficiently to address demand within cost constraints is a challenge. Mismatched fleet size and demand can create suboptimal budget allocations and inconvenience users. To address this problem, many studies have been conducted around heterogeneous fleet optimization. That research has not
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Managing a fleet efficiently to address demand within cost constraints is a challenge. Mismatched fleet size and demand can create suboptimal budget allocations and inconvenience users. To address this problem, many studies have been conducted around heterogeneous fleet optimization. That research has not included an examination of different vehicle types with travel distance constraints. This study focuses on optimizing the University of Tennessee (UT) motor pool which has a heterogeneous fleet that includes electric vehicles (EVs) with a travel distance and recharge time constraint. After assessing UT motor pool trip patterns as a case study, a queuing model was used to estimate the maximum number of each vehicle type needed to minimize the expected customer wait time to near zero. The break-even point is used for the optimization model to constrain the minimum number of years that electric vehicles should be operated under the no-subsidy assumption. The results show that the fleet has surplus vehicles. In addition to reducing the number of vehicles, total fleet costs could be minimized by using electric vehicles for all trips less than 100 miles. The models are flexible and can be applied and help fleet managers make decisions about fleet size and EV adoption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Inelastic Supply of Fossil Energy and Competing Environmental Regulatory Policies
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 287; doi:10.3390/su10020287
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The inelastic supply of fossil energy in the international input market precipitates failure of Pigouvian taxation consequent to competition among governments, as imposition of an environmental tax increases (decreases) the marginal cost of domestic (foreign) firms. This paper demonstrates that unless the supply
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The inelastic supply of fossil energy in the international input market precipitates failure of Pigouvian taxation consequent to competition among governments, as imposition of an environmental tax increases (decreases) the marginal cost of domestic (foreign) firms. This paper demonstrates that unless the supply of fossil energy is perfectly elastic, cap-and-trade outperforms Pigouvian taxation in terms of the domestic welfare of adopting countries, and global welfare is maximized when all countries implement the alternative scheme. We further demonstrate that the linkage of permit markets, when the energy supply is sufficiently inelastic, improves global welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Farmers’ Adoption of Soil and Water Control Technology (SWCT) in Keita Valley, a Semi-Arid Area of Niger
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 288; doi:10.3390/su10020288
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The Ader Doutchi Maggia in Niger, as with other Sahelian zones, undergoes a process of climatic deterioration, which combines with the growing social and economic needs of the increasing population and causes a general economic crisis. Land degradation due to biophysical factors requires
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The Ader Doutchi Maggia in Niger, as with other Sahelian zones, undergoes a process of climatic deterioration, which combines with the growing social and economic needs of the increasing population and causes a general economic crisis. Land degradation due to biophysical factors requires that priority action is given to land reclamation and soil conservation and to activities intended to increase agricultural production. This paper takes a look at socio-economic and established factors affecting the adoption of soil and water control technology (SWCT) in Keita valley, a semi-arid area in the central of Niger. Well-designed questionnaire survey on key agents was used to gather the indispensable data from farm ménages. The binary dichotomous logistic regression model prognosticated six factors to be affecting the adoption of soil and water control technology in Keita. These variables cover the gender of the respondent, age of the household’s head, income evolution within the family, small craft referring to off farm income, training provides by local institutions, use of credit and, possession of full rights on land and its resources. The results revealed that diffusion of adoption from local organized community is a good alternative to increase the adoption of soil and water control technology in Keita valley agriculture system in Niger. Researchers and policy makers should conceive proper strategies and agenda reflecting the farmers’ interest, position and restriction in advocating new technologies for greater assumption and adoption by the farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Urban Resilience through Inter-City Networks of Co-Invention: A Case Study of U.S. Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 289; doi:10.3390/su10020289
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Knowledge creation involves social and collaborative processes with local and extra-local partners. The space of knowledge flows functions as a system of networks where knowledge is transmitted around different alignments of agents in distant places. Scholars argue that the concept of urban resilience
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Knowledge creation involves social and collaborative processes with local and extra-local partners. The space of knowledge flows functions as a system of networks where knowledge is transmitted around different alignments of agents in distant places. Scholars argue that the concept of urban resilience combines local and extra-local competencies to develop an inter-city system, this is a major strategy for cities to mitigate and adapt to climate change and economic recession. Little attention has been given to the role of networks in co-invention and few empirical studies have been conducted. This article provides insights into the structure of inter-city networks of co-invention by examining the relative importance of the network compared with spatial proximity in biotechnology co-patenting across 150 American cities from 1983 to 2013. Results show that the U.S. inter-city structure gradually becomes more explicit, apparent, and identifiable in the network-based system. Network proximity better defines the biotechnology co-patenting relationships among the U.S. cities compared with spatial proximity. The current inter-city networks of co-invention are mostly regional, with some national but few local ties. This structure provides a way to develop mitigation and adaptation policies for climate disasters or economic recessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Architectural and Urban Design)
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Open AccessArticle Examining the Role of Childhood Experiences in Developing Altruistic and Knowledge Sharing Behaviors among Children in Their Later Life: A Partial Least Squares (PLS) Path Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 292; doi:10.3390/su10020292
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Previous research on child development advocates that motivating children to make a choice to forfeit their own toys with others develop sharing behavior in later life. Borrowing the conceptual background from the child development theory, this study proposes a model of knowledge sharing
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Previous research on child development advocates that motivating children to make a choice to forfeit their own toys with others develop sharing behavior in later life. Borrowing the conceptual background from the child development theory, this study proposes a model of knowledge sharing behavior among individuals at the workplace. The study proposes a unique conceptual model that integrates the cognitive/behavioral, and other childhood theories to explain the knowledge sharing behavior among individuals. The study uses psychological, cognitive, behavioral and social learning theories to explain the development of altruistic behavior in childhood as a determinant of knowledge sharing behavior. This study develops and empirically tests a research framework which explains the role of childhood experiences in developing altruistic behavior among children and the translation of this altruistic behavior into knowledge sharing behavior later in their professional life. This study explores those relationships using PLS-SEM with data from 310 individuals from Pakistan. The study concludes the role of parents and child-rearing practices as central in developing children’s altruistic attitude that leads to knowledge sharing behavior in their later life. The implications and future research directions are discussed in details. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Developing an Accessible Landslide Susceptibility Model Using Open-Source Resources
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 293; doi:10.3390/su10020293
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Landslide susceptibility models are important for public safety, but often rely on inaccessible or unaffordable software and geospatial data. Thus, affordable and accessible landslide prediction systems would be especially useful in places that lack the infrastructure for acquiring and analyzing geospatial data. Current
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Landslide susceptibility models are important for public safety, but often rely on inaccessible or unaffordable software and geospatial data. Thus, affordable and accessible landslide prediction systems would be especially useful in places that lack the infrastructure for acquiring and analyzing geospatial data. Current landslide susceptibility models and existing methodologies do not consider such issues; therefore, this study aimed to develop an accessible and affordable landslide susceptibility modeling application and methodology based on open-source software and geospatial data. This model used TRIGRS (asc format) and QGIS (Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) extracted from GeoTIFF format) with widely accessible environmental parameters to identify potential landslide risks. In order to verify the suitability of the proposed application and methodology, a case study was conducted on Lantau Island, Hong Kong to assess the validity of the results, a comparison with 1999 landslide locations. The application developed in this study showed a good agreement with the four previous landslide locations marked as highly susceptible, which proves the validity of the study. Therefore, the developing model and the cost-effective approach, in this study simulated the landslide performance well and suggested the new approach of the landslide prediction system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation and Sustainable Management of Land)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Perceptions in Romanian Non-Profit Organizations: An Exploratory Study Using Success Factor Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 294; doi:10.3390/su10020294
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper analyses sustainability perceptions in Romanian non-profits by investigating 81 non-profits managers and board members. Using a multidimensional sustainability measurement framework, Success Factor Analysis, as a conceptual model, we measured perceptions on 5 critical sustainability factors: People, Business Model, Operations, Strategy and
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This paper analyses sustainability perceptions in Romanian non-profits by investigating 81 non-profits managers and board members. Using a multidimensional sustainability measurement framework, Success Factor Analysis, as a conceptual model, we measured perceptions on 5 critical sustainability factors: People, Business Model, Operations, Strategy and Culture and concluded that there are significant differences in the perceptions of sustainability depending on respondents’ previous failure experiences. While those which previously experienced failure adopt a long-term approach based on marketization, clear accountability standards and rely on strategy, while the others prefer a short-term approach, focused more on non-profits operations and focus on human resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Complex Relationships of the Effects of Topographic Characteristics and Susceptible Tree Cover on Burn Severity
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 295; doi:10.3390/su10020295
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Forest fires and burn severity mosaics have profound impacts on the post-fire dynamics and complexity of forest ecosystems. Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between topographic variables and susceptible tree covers with regard to burn severity. However, these relationships have not been fully
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Forest fires and burn severity mosaics have profound impacts on the post-fire dynamics and complexity of forest ecosystems. Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between topographic variables and susceptible tree covers with regard to burn severity. However, these relationships have not been fully elucidated, because most studies have assumed linearity in these relationships. Therefore, we examined the linearity and the nonlinearity in the relationships between topographic variables and susceptible tree covers with burn severity by comparing linear and nonlinear models. The site of the Samcheok fire, the largest recorded forest fire in Korea, was used as the study area. We generated 802 grid cells with a 500-m resolution that encompassed the entire study area and collected a dataset that included the topographic variables and percentage of red pine trees, which are the most susceptible tree cover types in Korea. We used conventional linear models and generalized additive models to estimate the linear and the nonlinear models based on topographic variables and Japanese red pine trees. The results revealed that the percentage of red pine trees had linear effects on burn severity, reinforcing the importance of silviculture and forest management to lower burn severity. Meanwhile, the topographic variables had nonlinear effects on burn severity. Among the topographic variables, elevation had the strongest nonlinear effect on burn severity, possibly by overriding the effects of susceptible fuels over elevation effects or due to the nonlinear effects of topographic characteristics on pre-fire fuel conditions, including the spatial distribution and availability of susceptible tree cover. To validate and generalize the nonlinear effects of elevation and other topographic variables, additional research is required at different fire sites with different tree cover types in different geographic locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Neutral by 2021: The Past and Present of Costa Rica’s Unusual Political Tradition
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 296; doi:10.3390/su10020296
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Costa Rica has pledged to become the first nation to become carbon neutral. This event raises the important question of how to understand this contemporary form of climate politics, given that Costa Rica has made an almost negligible contribution to the problem of
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Costa Rica has pledged to become the first nation to become carbon neutral. This event raises the important question of how to understand this contemporary form of climate politics, given that Costa Rica has made an almost negligible contribution to the problem of global climate change. To understand this pledge, a case study spanning about 200 years situates the pledge within the country’s unique historical profile. An analysis of interview data, archival research, and secondary data reveals that the pledge is the latest instance in Costa Rica’s unusual political tradition. This political tradition dates back to the area’s experience as a Spanish colony and as a newly independent nation. Several events, including the abolition of the army, the work on green development, and being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize were all foundational in forming Costa Rica’s tradition as a place that leads by example and stands for peace and protection of nature. The carbon neutral pledge extends the political tradition that has been established through these earlier events. This case highlights the importance of understanding contemporary environmental politics through an analysis of long-term, historical data. Full article
Open AccessArticle What is Private Land Stewardship? Lessons from Agricultural Opinion Leaders in North Carolina
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 297; doi:10.3390/su10020297
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The development of private land is a significant conservation concern globally. To conserve the ecosystem services associated with private lands, conservationists must understand landowner conceptions of stewardship and its role in decisions about land and natural resources. We began addressing this need with
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The development of private land is a significant conservation concern globally. To conserve the ecosystem services associated with private lands, conservationists must understand landowner conceptions of stewardship and its role in decisions about land and natural resources. We began addressing this need with a survey of North Carolina Farm Bureau county advisory board members in North Carolina (n = 735). Nearly all respondents self-identified as stewards of the land (97%). More respondents indicated their stewardship responsibility was owed to future generations (87%) and family (77%), rather than to the community (41%) or society (26%). Respondents associated stewardship more with using natural resources wisely (78%) than leaving natural resources untouched (31%). Plans to bequeath land to relatives, the importance of soil conservation, and past participation in conservation programs were the most consistent predictors of how respondents viewed stewardship. Our results suggest that stewardship may be more effective when framed more as a benefit to family and future generations than to society and the community. Similarly, stewardship may be more effective for achieving conservation as opposed to the preservation of natural resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Wind Power Development and Energy Storage under China’s Electricity Market Reform—A Case Study of Fujian Province
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 298; doi:10.3390/su10020298
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper, based on the Fujian provincial 500 kV grid and part of the 220 kV grid and the key power plants, including hydro, coal, nuclear, gas, wind and pumping and storage hydro powers (PSHP) connected to the grid, constructs an independent electricity
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This paper, based on the Fujian provincial 500 kV grid and part of the 220 kV grid and the key power plants, including hydro, coal, nuclear, gas, wind and pumping and storage hydro powers (PSHP) connected to the grid, constructs an independent electricity market model. Using data that are very close to reality about coal fired power production costs, along with data about power plants’ technical constraints, this paper studies the effect of wind power on Fujian’s provincial electricity market. Firstly, the paper analyzes the relationship between wind speed and wind power output and the effects of short-term power output fluctuation on frequency modulation and voltage regulation. Secondly, under supposition of the production costs following quadratic functions, the paper analyzes the effects of changes in wind power output on the electricity supply costs under optimal power flow. Thirdly, using the bidding model in the Australian Electricity Market Operator for reference and supposing that, in a competitive market, coal fired power plants can bid 6 price bands according to their capacity, the paper analyzes effects of wind power on electricity prices under optimal power flow, the stabilizing effects of PSHP and the minimum PSHP capacity needed to stabilize the electricity market. Finally, using a daily load curve, this paper simulates the electricity prices’ fluctuation under optimal power flow and PSHP’s stabilizing effect. The results show that, although PSHP has a large external social welfare effect, it can hardly make a profit. In the end, this paper puts forward some policy suggestions for Fujian province’s wind and nuclear power development, PSHP construction and electricity market development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Infrastructural and Human Factors Affecting Safety Outcomes of Cyclists
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 299; doi:10.3390/su10020299
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The increasing number of registered road crashes involving cyclists during the last decade and the high proportion of road crashes resulting in severe injuries and fatalities among cyclists constitutes a global issue for community health, urban development and sustainability. Nowadays, the incidence of
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The increasing number of registered road crashes involving cyclists during the last decade and the high proportion of road crashes resulting in severe injuries and fatalities among cyclists constitutes a global issue for community health, urban development and sustainability. Nowadays, the incidence of many risk factors for road crashes of cyclists remains largely unexplained. Given the importance of this issue, the present study has been conducted with the aim of determining relationships between infrastructural, human factors and safety outcomes of cyclists. Objectives: This study aimed, first, to examine the relationship between key infrastructural and human factors present in cycling, bicycle-user characteristics and their self-reported experience with road crashes. And second, to determine whether a set of key infrastructural and human factors may predict their self-reported road crashes. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, a total of 1064 cyclists (38.8% women, 61.2% men; M = 32.8 years of age) from 20 different countries across Europe, South America and North America, participated in an online survey composed of four sections: demographic data and cycling-related factors, human factors, perceptions on infrastructural factors and road crashes suffered. Results: The results of this study showed significant associations between human factors, infrastructural conditions and self-reported road crashes. Also, a logistic regression model found that self-reported road crashes of cyclists could be predicted through variables such as age, riding intensity, risky behaviours and problematic user/infrastructure interactions. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that self-reported road crashes of cyclists are influenced by features related to the user and their interaction with infrastructural characteristics of the road. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Ontology-Based Knowledge Modelling for a Sustainability Assessment Domain
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 300; doi:10.3390/su10020300
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability assessment has received more and more attention from researchers and it offers a large number of opportunities to measure and evaluate the level of its accomplishment. However, proper selection of a particular sustainability assessment approach, reflecting problem properties and the evaluator’s preferences,
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Sustainability assessment has received more and more attention from researchers and it offers a large number of opportunities to measure and evaluate the level of its accomplishment. However, proper selection of a particular sustainability assessment approach, reflecting problem properties and the evaluator’s preferences, is a complex and important issue. Due to an existing number of different approaches dedicated to assessing, supporting, or measuring the level of sustainability and their structure oriented on the particular domain usage, problems with accurate matching frequently occur. On the other hand, the efficiency of sustainability assessment depends on the available knowledge of the ongoing capabilities. Additionally, actual research trends confirm that knowledge engineering gives a method to handle domain knowledge practically and effectively. Unfortunately, literature studies confirm that there is a lack of knowledge systematization in the sustainability assessment domain, however. The practical application of knowledge-based mechanisms may cover this gap. In this paper, we provide formal, practical and technological guidance to a knowledge management-based approach to sustainability assessment. We propose ontology as a form of knowledge conceptualization and using knowledge engineering, we make gathered knowledge publicly available and reusable, especially in terms of interoperability of collected knowledge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Social Responsibility and Ownership Structure on Sustainable Financial Development of China’s Energy Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 301; doi:10.3390/su10020301
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
In the analysis, we integrated stakeholder and agency theories to explore the connection between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable financial development by considering the moderating effect of ownership structure. After empirical analysis, we found the following conclusions. First, the short-term and long-term
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In the analysis, we integrated stakeholder and agency theories to explore the connection between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable financial development by considering the moderating effect of ownership structure. After empirical analysis, we found the following conclusions. First, the short-term and long-term economic performance is positively affected by CSR, which leads to sustainable financial development. Second, ownership circulation has a positive relationship with economic performance in the short run, which short-term profit increases as ownership circulation strengthens. Third, the effect of CSR on short-term economic performance is moderated by ownership structure. Excessive concentrated ownership may lead to decisions that do not satisfy all key stakeholders and may reduce the positive effect of CSR on economic performance. Finally, we suggest that Chinese energy companies should pay more attention to improving corporate social responsibility to maintain good economic performance and develop sustainable competitive advantage. Meanwhile, companies should optimize ownership concentration to avoid weakening the positive effects of social responsibility on short-term economic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Compatibility of Geothermal Power Plants with Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems: The Case of the Cesine Wetland (Southern Italy)
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 303; doi:10.3390/su10020303
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The Cesine Wetland, located along the Adriatic coast, was recognized as a Wetland of International Interest and a National Natural Park. Managed by the “World Wide Fund for nature” (WWF), it is considered a groundwater dependent ecosystem which is affected by seawater intrusion.
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The Cesine Wetland, located along the Adriatic coast, was recognized as a Wetland of International Interest and a National Natural Park. Managed by the “World Wide Fund for nature” (WWF), it is considered a groundwater dependent ecosystem which is affected by seawater intrusion. The site was selected to test the environmental compatibility of a low-enthalpy geothermal power plant (closed loop) operating in the aquifer saturated portion with purpose to improving the visitor centre. For this purpose, the long-lasting thermal impact on groundwater was assessed using a multi-methodological approach. The complex aquifer system was carefully studied with geological, hydrogeological and geochemical surveys, including chemical and isotopic laboratory analyses of surface water, groundwater and seawater. The isotopes δ18O, δD, δ11B, and 3H were useful to clarify the recharge contribution, the water mixing and the water age. All information was used to improve the conceptualization of the water system, including aquifers and the boundary conditions for a density driven numerical groundwater model. The purpose was to forecast anthropogenic thermal groundwater variations up to 10 years of plant working before the plant realization and to validate the solution after some working years. All results show the environmental compatibility notwithstanding the peculiar ecological environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Geohazards and Preventative Countermeasures Using AHP Incorporated with GIS in Lanzhou, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 304; doi:10.3390/su10020304
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
This research investigates geohazards and preventative countermeasures for Lanzhou City, China. To investigate the factors related to the development of geohazards in Lanzhou, the regional geological conditions around Lanzhou were investigated. The geomorphology of the region is comprised of a loess landform underlying
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This research investigates geohazards and preventative countermeasures for Lanzhou City, China. To investigate the factors related to the development of geohazards in Lanzhou, the regional geological conditions around Lanzhou were investigated. The geomorphology of the region is comprised of a loess landform underlying quaternary loess deposits. A large number of faults induced by strong neotectonic movements are present in the area. Therefore, earthquakes frequently occur around Lanzhou. Earthquakes cause numerous rock falls and landslides, with landslide masses found scattered on the upper middle level of the area’s mountains. When intense rainfall occurs, a lot of loose deposits are brought together along steep gullies, forming debris flows; hence, a disaster chain of earthquake–landslide–debris flow is formed. To evaluate the georisks around Lanzhou, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was employed to assess geohazards. The spatial distribution of the evaluated georisk levels was mapped using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Based on the assessed results, about 55% of the urban area and 44% of Gaolan County have high or very high-risk levels. The ratio of relatively high disaster risk levels is up to 31% of the total area. To mitigate these geohazards, both strategic decision making and technical countermeasures should be implemented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Blue and Green Water Consumption at the Irrigation District Scale
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 305; doi:10.3390/su10020305
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The concepts of virtual water and water footprint bring a new perspective for water management. Previous studies mainly focus on one type of water and the relationship between water footprint and water availability. In this study, three indicators were proposed to show water
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The concepts of virtual water and water footprint bring a new perspective for water management. Previous studies mainly focus on one type of water and the relationship between water footprint and water availability. In this study, three indicators were proposed to show water consumption and the influences of virtual water flows at the Hetao irrigation district, China, during 2001–2010, considering both blue and green water. Results indicate that the ratio of blue water footprint and blue water availability was 0.642 in 2010 and the value for green water was 0.148, coefficients on contribution of regional production on consumption in other areas were about 0.9, and coefficients on influences of trades from other regions to the district on regional water consumption were 0.528 (blue water) and 0.433 (green water), respectively. Government should promote water pricing policies that can encourage the adoption of irrigation technologies and water-saving practices. Besides, the adjustment of the crop sowing date or the cultivation of new varieties may be helpful in using more rainfall. Lastly, a compensation mechanism for virtual water export should be built in the future, and virtual water importing can be advocated. Before actions are taken, the possible influences and related constraints should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Recurrence Interval Analysis on Electricity Consumption of an Office Building in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 306; doi:10.3390/su10020306
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The energy management of office buildings has been a rising concern for owners, researchers, and energy suppliers. The volatility of power load in office buildings threatens energy consumption and risks device security. This paper investigates the load fluctuation patterns in an office building
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The energy management of office buildings has been a rising concern for owners, researchers, and energy suppliers. The volatility of power load in office buildings threatens energy consumption and risks device security. This paper investigates the load fluctuation patterns in an office building based on user data, using recurrence interval analysis for different thresholds. The recurrence intervals of volatility are fitted by stretched exponential distribution, from which the probability density function is derived. Then, the short-term and long-term memory effect on the fluctuations are learned by conditional probability density function and multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis, respectively. A hazard function is further established to analyze the risk estimation of load volatility and derive the value at risk (VaR). Thus, a functional relationship has been established between average recurrence interval and threshold. The methodology and analysis results addressed in this paper help to understand load fluctuation patterns and aid in the design of energy consumption strategies in office buildings. According to the results of our research, conclusions and management suggestions are provided at the end of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Critical Comparison of Alternative Distribution Configurations in Omni-Channel Retailing in Terms of Cost and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 307; doi:10.3390/su10020307
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
New opportunities and challenges forced by the ever-increasing importance of the online channel have arisen for retailers. The retailing industry is moving to a new phase, in which the distinctions between traditional and online channels disappear, namely omni-channel (OC) retailing. At the same
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New opportunities and challenges forced by the ever-increasing importance of the online channel have arisen for retailers. The retailing industry is moving to a new phase, in which the distinctions between traditional and online channels disappear, namely omni-channel (OC) retailing. At the same time, the awareness of environmentally sustainable processes has been enhanced around the world and the environmental impact that results from the online order fulfilment process is becoming a key issue for logistics managers. The new challenge is to understand how multiple channels can be synergistically managed to provide a seamless customer experience, taking an economic and environmental perspective simultaneously. Retailers need to define the distribution configuration for serving the online demand, making decisions on the integration level between online and traditional channels. In this paper, we developed an assessment model of the operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions for three distribution configurations in OC retailing. The model was also applied to a real case operating in the consumer electronics industry. Results highlighted that the search for synergies between online and traditional flows in both warehouse and transport activities is a key factor for the economic and environmental sustainability of OC systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Assessment of Flood Control Facilities under Climate Uncertainty: A Case of Nakdong River, South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 308; doi:10.3390/su10020308
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Climate change contributes to enhanced flood damage that has been increasing for the last several decades. Understanding climate uncertainties improves adaptation strategies used for investment in flood control facilities. This paper proposes an investment decision framework for one flood zone to cope with
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Climate change contributes to enhanced flood damage that has been increasing for the last several decades. Understanding climate uncertainties improves adaptation strategies used for investment in flood control facilities. This paper proposes an investment decision framework for one flood zone to cope with future severe climate impacts. This framework can help policy-makers investigate the cost of future damage and conduct an economic assessment using real options under future climate change scenarios. The proposed methodology provides local municipalities with an adaptation strategy for flood control facilities in a flood zone. Using the proposed framework, the flood prevention facilities in the Nakdong River Basin of South Korea was selected as a case study site to analyze the economic assessment of the investments for flood control facilities. Using representative concentration pathway (RCP) climate scenarios, the cost of future flood damage to 23 local municipalities was calculated, and investment strategies for adaptation were analyzed. The project option value was determined by executing an option to invest in an expansion that would adapt to floods under climate change. The results of the case study showed that the proposed flood facilities are economically feasible under both scenarios used. The framework is anticipated to present guidance for establishing investment strategies for flood control facilities of a flood zone in multiple municipalities’ settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Do Looks Matter? A Case Study on Extensive Green Roofs Using Discrete Choice Experiments
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 309; doi:10.3390/su10020309
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Extensive green roofs are a promising type of urban green that can play an important role in climate proofing and ultimately in the sustainability of our cities. Despite their increasingly widespread application and the growing scientific interest in extensive green roofs, their aesthetics
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Extensive green roofs are a promising type of urban green that can play an important role in climate proofing and ultimately in the sustainability of our cities. Despite their increasingly widespread application and the growing scientific interest in extensive green roofs, their aesthetics have received limited scientific attention. Furthermore, several functional issues occur, as weedy species can colonize the roof, and extreme roof conditions can lead to gaps in the vegetation. Apart from altering the function of a green roof, we also expect these issues to influence the perception of extensive green roofs, possibly affecting their acceptance and application. We therefore assessed the preferences of a self-selected convenience sample of 155 Flemish respondents for visual aspects using a discrete choice experiment. This approach, combined with current knowledge on the psychological aspects of green roof visuals, allowed us to quantify extensive green roof preferences. Our results indicate that vegetation gaps and weedy species, together with a diverse vegetation have a considerable impact on green roof perception. Gaps were the single most important attribute, indicated by a relative importance of ca. 53%, with cost coming in at a close second at ca. 46%. Overall, this study explores the applicability of a stated preference technique to assess an often overlooked aspect of extensive green roofs. It thereby provides a foundation for further research aimed at generating practical recommendations for green roof construction and maintenance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Decision-Making and Governance Framework for the Renewal of Tourism Destinations: The Case of the Canary Islands
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 310; doi:10.3390/su10020310
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Tourism destinations in advanced stages of the life cycle need to update their lodging offers and infrastructures. The main problem is that new destinations are planned according to the new preferences of customers, creating critical problems in older destinations related to the architecture
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Tourism destinations in advanced stages of the life cycle need to update their lodging offers and infrastructures. The main problem is that new destinations are planned according to the new preferences of customers, creating critical problems in older destinations related to the architecture of the buildings, size of the rooms, dimension of lodgings, complementary offer, and infrastructures. The aim of this paper is to develop a decision-making and governance framework for the renewal of destinations in an advanced stage of the life cycle that require the renovation of the lodging offer and infrastructures in order to increase their competitiveness and sustainability. The decisions were planned and carried out in the Canary Islands by stakeholders involved in the public and private sectors. The evaluation of actions to renew the lodgings and infrastructures through special legislation, leadership, sources of financing, and investment guarantees is presented to determine the level of success obtained. Because the Canary Islands is one of the main tourist destinations in Europe, the actions and procedures presented can be used in other destinations with similar characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Independent R and D, Technology Introduction, and Green Growth in China’s Manufacturing
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 311; doi:10.3390/su10020311
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
An analysis of not only the effects of independent research and development (R and D), but also of the effects of the introduction of domestic and foreign technology on the growth of green manufacturing, can help China achieve the green transformation of manufacturing.
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An analysis of not only the effects of independent research and development (R and D), but also of the effects of the introduction of domestic and foreign technology on the growth of green manufacturing, can help China achieve the green transformation of manufacturing. In this paper we first use a non-directional distance function (NDDF) and meta-frontier methods to calculate a green growth index. Then, using 2003 to 2015 manufacturing panel data, we empirically test the effects of three different types of R and D investment on the green growth of China’s manufacturing. The regression results show that there is significant industrial heterogeneity in the effects of independent R and D, in the introduction of domestic technology and in the introduction of foreign technology on the green growth of China’s manufacturing. Independent R and D is conducive to the green growth of the three types of technological industries, but the contribution of independent R and D to green growth has gradually weakened with improvements in industrial technology. Domestic technology introduction is conducive to green growth in low and middle-technology industries, but its effect on high-technology industries is not significant. On the other hand, foreign technology introduction is conducive to the green growth of middle and high-technology industries, but its effect on low-technology industries is not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
Open AccessArticle Air Pollution and Human Development in Europe: A New Index Using Principal Component Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 312; doi:10.3390/su10020312
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
EU countries to measure human development incorporating the ambient PM2.5 concentration effect. Using a principal component analysis, we extract the information for 2010 and 2015 using the Real GDP/capita, the life expectancy at birth, tertiary educational attainment, ambient PM2.5 concentration, and the death
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EU countries to measure human development incorporating the ambient PM2.5 concentration effect. Using a principal component analysis, we extract the information for 2010 and 2015 using the Real GDP/capita, the life expectancy at birth, tertiary educational attainment, ambient PM2.5 concentration, and the death rate due to exposure to ambient PM2.5 concentration for 29 European countries. This paper has two main results: it gives an overview about the relationship between human development and ambient PM2.5 concentration, and second, it provides a new quantitative measure, PHDI, which reshapes the concept of human development and the exposure to ambient PM2.5 concentration. Using rating classes, we defined thresholds for both HDI and PHDI values to group the countries in four categories. When comparing the migration matrix from 2010 to 2015 for HDI values, some countries improved the development indicator (Romania, Poland, Malta, Estonia, Cyprus), while no downgrades were observed. When comparing the transition matrix using the newly developed indicator, PHDI, the upgrades observed were for Denmark and Estonia, while some countries like Spain and Italy moved to a lower rating class due to ambient PM2.5 concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Farmer Perceptions of Conflict Related to Water in Zambia
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 313; doi:10.3390/su10020313
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
The relationship between climate change, water scarcity, and conflict is still debated. Much of the existing work relating resource scarcity to conflict has involved regional-scale analysis linking instances of violent outbreaks to environmental conditions. But how do individual farmers in Africa define conflict?
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The relationship between climate change, water scarcity, and conflict is still debated. Much of the existing work relating resource scarcity to conflict has involved regional-scale analysis linking instances of violent outbreaks to environmental conditions. But how do individual farmers in Africa define conflict? Do they perceive that conflict will change as a function of water scarcity, and, if so, how? Here, we address these questions by surveying farmers in southern Zambia in 2015, where we asked respondents to define conflict, assessed their perceptions of past and future conflict, as well as perceptions of rainfall and water availability. We find that the majority of our respondents (75%) think of conflict as misunderstandings or disagreements between people and that 91% of our sample has experienced past conflict, 70% expect to experience future conflict, and 58% expect to experience future physical violent conflict. When asked about the sources of conflict, respondents mainly mention land grabbing, crop damage by animals, and politics rather than water related issues. However, we find a significant relationship between perceptions of future rainfall decreasing and future physical violent conflict. These results imply that even though respondents do not think water scarcity is a direct source of conflict, the perception of decreased rain in the future is significantly related to the perception that future conflict and future physical violent conflict will occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study on Entrepreneurial Orientation, Absorptive Capacity, and SMEs’ Innovation Performance: A Sustainable Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 314; doi:10.3390/su10020314
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Using a survey of 324 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Yangtze River Delta in China, this study discusses the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, absorptive capacity, environmental dynamism, and corporate technological innovation performance. The results based on a moderated moderation model show
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Using a survey of 324 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Yangtze River Delta in China, this study discusses the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, absorptive capacity, environmental dynamism, and corporate technological innovation performance. The results based on a moderated moderation model show that the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and innovation performance is significantly positive. The absorptive capacity can positively moderate this relationship. When the external environment is in high dynamism, the moderating effect of absorptive capacity will be stronger than when the environment is in low dynamism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bonding and Bridging Forms of Social Capital in Wildlife Tourism Microentrepreneurship: An Application of Social Network Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 315; doi:10.3390/su10020315
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Tourism has been recognized as an important economic sector, requiring a high degree of involvement from the entrepreneurial sector to diversify tourism products and services to meet increasing demand. Tourism is often considered a tool for economic development and a strategy to improve
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Tourism has been recognized as an important economic sector, requiring a high degree of involvement from the entrepreneurial sector to diversify tourism products and services to meet increasing demand. Tourism is often considered a tool for economic development and a strategy to improve the livelihoods of rural citizens. Specifically, nature-based tourism, such as wildlife tourism, is growing faster than tourism in general, providing a myriad of opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurial engagement. However, several obstacles exist for these small-scale tourism enterprises, such as a lack of social capital. This study examined a network of wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs for bonding and bridging forms of social capital using a social network analysis approach, where bonding and bridging social capital have their own interpretation. Thirty-seven in-person interviews were conducted with wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs from North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound Region. The study revealed that microentrepreneurs interacted with each other in a bridging network structure. The ability to reciprocate with other members of the network was essential for business success. The results identified four key bridging ties connecting potential sub-groups in the network, connected to each other in a redundant fashion. We concluded that the formation of a bridging network structure was a function of entrepreneurial phenomena that may not promote a highly trusted, well-connected network. The findings and implications are further discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Modeling Grassland Degradation with and without Considering Localized Spatial Associations in Vegetation Changing Patterns
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 316; doi:10.3390/su10020316
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Grassland ecosystems worldwide are confronted with degradation. It is of great importance to understand long-term trajectory patterns of grassland vegetation by advanced analytical models. This study proposes a new approach called a binary logistic regression model with neighborhood interactions, or BLR-NIs, which is
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Grassland ecosystems worldwide are confronted with degradation. It is of great importance to understand long-term trajectory patterns of grassland vegetation by advanced analytical models. This study proposes a new approach called a binary logistic regression model with neighborhood interactions, or BLR-NIs, which is based on binary logistic regression (BLR), but fully considers the spatio-temporally localized spatial associations or characterization of neighborhood interactions (NIs) in the patterns of grassland vegetation. The BLR-NIs model was applied to a modeled vegetation degradation of grasslands in the Xilin river basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Residual trend analysis on the normalized difference vegetation index (RESTREND-NDVI), which excluded the climatic impact on vegetation dynamics, was adopted as a preprocessing step to derive three human-induced trajectory patterns (vegetation degradation, vegetation recovery, and no significant change in vegetation) during two consecutive periods, T1 (2000–2008) and T2 (2007–2015). Human activities, including livestock grazing intensity and transportation accessibility measured by road network density, were included as explanatory variables for vegetation degradation, which was defined for locations if vegetation recovery or no significant change in vegetation in T1 and vegetation degradation in T2 were observed. Our work compared the results of BLR-NIs and the traditional BLR model that did not consider NIs. The study showed that: (1) both grazing intensity and road density had a positive correlation to vegetation degradation based on the traditional BLR model; (2) only road density was found to positively correlate to vegetation degradation by the BLR-NIs model; NIs appeared to be critical factors to predict vegetation degradation; and (3) including NIs in the BLR model improved the model performance substantially. The study provided evidence for the importance of including localized spatial associations between the trajectory patterns for mapping vegetation degradation, which has practical implications for designing management policies to counterpart grassland degradation in arid and semi-arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Advances in Research on Sustainable Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Pressure of Carbon Footprint in Passenger Transport: Spatio-Temporal Changes and Regional Disparities
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 317; doi:10.3390/su10020317
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Passenger transport has become a significant producer of carbon emissions in China, thus strongly contributing to climate change. In this paper, we first propose a model of ecological pressure of the carbon footprint in passenger transport (EPcfpt). In the model,
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Passenger transport has become a significant producer of carbon emissions in China, thus strongly contributing to climate change. In this paper, we first propose a model of ecological pressure of the carbon footprint in passenger transport (EPcfpt). In the model, the EPcfpt values of all the provinces and autonomous regions of China are calculated and analyzed during the period of 2006–2015. For the outlier EPcfpt values of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, the research areas are classified into two scenarios: the first scenario (all the provinces and autonomous regions) and the second scenario (not including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin). The global spatial autocorrelation analysis of the first scenario shows that the EPcfpt might be randomly distributed, while it shows positive spatial autocorrelation in the second scenario. Furthermore, we carry out the local spatial autocorrelation analysis of the second scenario, and find that the low aggregation areas are the most common type and are mainly located in the west of China. Then the disparities in EPcfpt between China’s Eight Comprehensive Economic Zones are further analyzed. Finally, we put forward a number of policy recommendations in relation to the spatio-temporal changes and the regional disparities of EPcfpt in China. This study provides related references for proposing effective policy measures to reduce the ecological pressure of carbon emissions from the passenger transport sector. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Power Scheduling for a Medium Voltage AC/DC Hybrid Distribution Network
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 318; doi:10.3390/su10020318
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
With the great increase of renewable generation as well as the DC loads in the distribution network; DC distribution technology is receiving more attention; since the DC distribution network can improve operating efficiency and power quality by reducing the energy conversion stages. This
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With the great increase of renewable generation as well as the DC loads in the distribution network; DC distribution technology is receiving more attention; since the DC distribution network can improve operating efficiency and power quality by reducing the energy conversion stages. This paper presents a new architecture for the medium voltage AC/DC hybrid distribution network; where the AC and DC subgrids are looped by normally closed AC soft open point (ACSOP) and DC soft open point (DCSOP); respectively. The proposed AC/DC hybrid distribution systems contain renewable generation (i.e., wind power and photovoltaic (PV) generation); energy storage systems (ESSs); soft open points (SOPs); and both AC and DC flexible demands. An energy management strategy for the hybrid system is presented based on the dynamic optimal power flow (DOPF) method. The main objective of the proposed power scheduling strategy is to minimize the operating cost and reduce the curtailment of renewable generation while meeting operational and technical constraints. The proposed approach is verified in five scenarios. The five scenarios are classified as pure AC system; hybrid AC/DC system; hybrid system with interlinking converter; hybrid system with DC flexible demand; and hybrid system with SOPs. Results show that the proposed scheduling method can successfully dispatch the controllable elements; and that the presented architecture for the AC/DC hybrid distribution system is beneficial for reducing operating cost and renewable generation curtailment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Rethinking Sustainability within the Viticulture Realities Integrating Economy, Landscape and Energy
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 320; doi:10.3390/su10020320
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability is often explained through three dimensions (society, economy and environment). However, such a definition currently appears to be restricted. Sustainable development often includes the energy issue. An example of realities founded on bioenergy are agro-energy districts. These realities involve all the three
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Sustainability is often explained through three dimensions (society, economy and environment). However, such a definition currently appears to be restricted. Sustainable development often includes the energy issue. An example of realities founded on bioenergy are agro-energy districts. These realities involve all the three dimensions of sustainability, integrating also the energy dimension and fueling a potential circular economy. Based on these premises, the most affluent rural subdivision in Italy is that of wine. The wine sector has experienced a recent growth of its economic market, diverging from other agricultural activities and enlarging its cultivated surface areas. In this sense, the local landscape has also changed. Owing to the strong inclination of the wine sector in adopting sustainable strategies and measures, agro-energy districts can be the following future phase in viticulture realities as a cutting-edge business in the modern agricultural sector, implementing new strategies and opportunities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Analysis of the Estimated Risk in Formal Safety Assessment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 321; doi:10.3390/su10020321
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
An uncertainty analysis is required to be carried out in formal safety assessment (FSA) by the International Maritime Organization. The purpose of this article is to introduce the uncertainty analysis technique into the FSA process. Based on the uncertainty identification of input parameters,
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An uncertainty analysis is required to be carried out in formal safety assessment (FSA) by the International Maritime Organization. The purpose of this article is to introduce the uncertainty analysis technique into the FSA process. Based on the uncertainty identification of input parameters, probability and possibility distributions are used to model the aleatory and epistemic uncertainties, respectively. An approach which combines the Monte Carlo random sampling of probability distribution functions with the a-cuts for fuzzy calculus is proposed to propagate the uncertainties. One output of the FSA process is societal risk (SR), which can be evaluated in the two-dimensional frequency–fatality (FN) diagram. Thus, the confidence-level-based SR is presented to represent the uncertainty of SR in two dimensions. In addition, a method for time window selection is proposed to estimate the magnitude of uncertainties, which is an important aspect of modeling uncertainties. Finally, a case study is carried out on an FSA study on cruise ships. The results show that the uncertainty analysis of SR generates a two-dimensional area for a certain degree of confidence in the FN diagram rather than a single FN curve, which provides more information to authorities to produce effective risk control measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Collaboration Network Based on ClinicalTrials.gov Database in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 322; doi:10.3390/su10020322
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Increasing costs, risks, and productivity problems in the pharmaceutical industry are important recent issues in the biomedical field. Open innovation is proposed as a solution to these issues. However, little statistical analysis related to collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry has been conducted so
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Increasing costs, risks, and productivity problems in the pharmaceutical industry are important recent issues in the biomedical field. Open innovation is proposed as a solution to these issues. However, little statistical analysis related to collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry has been conducted so far. Meanwhile, not many cases have analyzed the clinical trials database, even though it is the information source with the widest coverage for the pharmaceutical industry. The purpose of this study is to test the clinical trials information as a probe for observing the status of the collaboration network and open innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. This study applied the social network analysis method to clinical trials data from 1980 to 2016 in ClinicalTrials.gov. Data were divided into four time periods—1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s—and the collaboration network was constructed for each time period. The characteristic of each network was investigated. The types of agencies participating in the clinical trials were classified as a university, national institute, company, or other, and the major players in the collaboration networks were identified. This study showed some phenomena related to the pharmaceutical industry that could provide clues to policymakers about open innovation. If follow-up studies were conducted, the utilization of the clinical trial database could be further expanded, which is expected to help open innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Kitchen with too Many Cooks: Factors Associated with Hospital Profitability
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 323; doi:10.3390/su10020323
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we carefully investigate previous literature to extract 10 relevant factors to explain the hospital profitability and build an econometrically well-specified model of explaining hospital profitability that does not suffer from omitted variable bias. Then we provide empirical evidence to a
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In this paper, we carefully investigate previous literature to extract 10 relevant factors to explain the hospital profitability and build an econometrically well-specified model of explaining hospital profitability that does not suffer from omitted variable bias. Then we provide empirical evidence to a common belief that the objective function of a hospital varies with the type of hospital. We identified distinct objective functions for three types of hospitals: for-profit hospitals are driven by the overarching agreed-upon goal of profit maximization for shareholders; government hospitals, which are often the insurers of last resort, are obliged to put the public interest over profit objectives; nonprofit hospitals, which are legally prohibited from distributing profits, occupy the middle ground between for-profit and government hospitals. The results of this paper suggest that the ownership type should determine the factors on which hospitals focus and hence are useful to hospital management and academic researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Dependence Structures and Systemic Risk of Government Securities Markets in Central and Eastern Europe: A CoVaR-Copula Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 324; doi:10.3390/su10020324
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we proposed a new empirical method by combining generalized autoregressive score functions and a copula model with high-frequency data to model the conditional time-varying joint distribution of the government bond yields between Poland/Czech Republic/Hungary, and Germany. Capturing the conditional time-varying
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In this study, we proposed a new empirical method by combining generalized autoregressive score functions and a copula model with high-frequency data to model the conditional time-varying joint distribution of the government bond yields between Poland/Czech Republic/Hungary, and Germany. Capturing the conditional time-varying joint distribution of these bond yields allowed us to precisely measure the dependence of the government securities markets. In particular, we found a high dependence of these government securities markets in the long term, but a low dependence in the short term. In addition, we report that the Czech Republic showed the highest dependence with Germany, while Hungary showed the lowest. Moreover, we found that the systemic risk dynamics were consistent with the idea that the global financial crisis not only had spillover effects on countries with weak economic fundamentals (e.g., Hungary, which had the highest systemic risk), but also had contagion effects for both CEEC-3 countries and Germany. Finally, we confirm that three major market events, namely the EU accession, the global financial crisis, and the European debt crisis, caused structural changes to the dynamic correlation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Measures with Applications in Finance and Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Green Driver: Travel Behaviors Revisited on Fuel Saving and Less Emission
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 325; doi:10.3390/su10020325
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Road transportation is the main energy consumer and major contributor of ever-increasing hazardous emissions. Transportation professionals have raised the idea of applying the green concept in various areas of transportation, including green highways, green vehicles and transit-oriented designs, to tackle the negative impact
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Road transportation is the main energy consumer and major contributor of ever-increasing hazardous emissions. Transportation professionals have raised the idea of applying the green concept in various areas of transportation, including green highways, green vehicles and transit-oriented designs, to tackle the negative impact of road transportation. This research generated a new dimension called the green driver to remediate urgently the existing driving assessment models that have intensified emissions and energy consumption. In this regard, this study aimed to establish the green driver’s behaviors related to fuel saving and emission reduction. The study has two phases. Phase one involves investigating the driving behaviors influencing fuel saving and emission reduction through a systematic literature review and content analysis, which identified twenty-one variables classified into four clusters. These clusters included the following: (i) FEf1, which is driving style; (ii) FEf2, which is driving behavior associated with vehicle transmission; (iii) FEf3, which is driving behavior associated with road design and traffic rules; and (iv) FEf4, which is driving behavior associated with vehicle operational characteristics. The second phase involves validating phase one findings by applying the Grounded Group Decision Making (GGDM) method. The results of GGDM have established seventeen green driving behaviors. The study conducted the Green Value (GV) analysis for each green behavior on fuel saving and emission reduction. The study found that aggressive driving (GV = 0.16) interferes with the association between fuel consumption, emission and driver’s personalities. The research concludes that driver’s personalities (including physical, psychological and psychosocial characteristics) have to be integrated for advanced in-vehicle driver assistance system and particularly, for green driving accreditation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel Behaviour and Sustainable Transport of the Future)
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Open AccessArticle Defining Benchmarks for Restoration of Green Infrastructure: A Case Study Combining the Historical Range of Variability of Habitat and Species’ Requirements
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 326; doi:10.3390/su10020326
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Animal husbandry in Europe that sustained once wide-spread semi-natural grasslands has been replaced by maximum sustained yield agriculture and forestry. This transformation coincides with declining populations of species dependent on semi-natural grasslands. A key task is therefore to define benchmarks for landscape restoration
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Animal husbandry in Europe that sustained once wide-spread semi-natural grasslands has been replaced by maximum sustained yield agriculture and forestry. This transformation coincides with declining populations of species dependent on semi-natural grasslands. A key task is therefore to define benchmarks for landscape restoration in terms of well-planned functional habitat networks, i.e., green infrastructure. Using a representative example of the European landscape gradient between agricultural and forest landscapes in southern Sweden as a case study, we analyzed the historic range of variability of the total area, quality, and size of grassland patches, and compared this to the requirements of focal grassland species. Spatial data covering the past two centuries indicated a 75–80% loss of total grassland area. Three factors affected the functionality of grasslands as green infrastructure. First, during the period 1927–1976, the loss of all grassland areas with high nature values was 41–59%. Second, as a measure of alteration, the number of semi-natural grassland types declined from 5 to 1. Third, to address habitat fragmentation, an analysis of changes in grassland patch size showed that patches sufficiently large to support local populations of complete focal grasslands species assemblages declined by 89–100%. The cumulative effect of loss, alteration, and fragmentation over the past two centuries indicates that the functionality of semi-natural grasslands has declined by at least 98%. However, this estimate does not consider land use changes before 1800, reduced connectivity, and altered biotic and abiotic processes in both semi-natural grasslands and the surrounding matrix. We stress the need to define the historic range of variability as a benchmark in relation to species’ requirements to maintain semi-natural grasslands as green infrastructure. Finally, integrated land management and governance that support multi-functionality of grasslands is needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Spatial Priority of Urban Green Infrastructure for Urban Sustainability in Areas of Rapid Urbanization: A Case Study of Pukou in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 327; doi:10.3390/su10020327
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization in recent decades highlights the limitations on the sustainable development of cities due to the fragmentation of restricted urban green land. The aim of this paper is to formulate a workable framework for planning and managing urban green infrastructure (UGI) for
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Rapid urbanization in recent decades highlights the limitations on the sustainable development of cities due to the fragmentation of restricted urban green land. The aim of this paper is to formulate a workable framework for planning and managing urban green infrastructure (UGI) for urban sustainability. This study provides a new method for modeling and analyzing UGI based on a case study of the Pukou District in Nanjing, which is a typical developing area in China. We adopt the morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA) method and combine it with the landscape connectivity index to identify the UGI hubs and links. In addition, the least-cost path model is employed to construct the potential UGI network in this case. We further integrate the spatial syntax model into landscape ecological principles to evaluate the spatial priority of the UGI network. The results showed that the framework proposed in this study is suitable for the green infrastructure network construction by combining the MSPA, landscape connectivity, and the space syntax methods. This framework can be used to better understand the spatial distribution and priority of the green infrastructure network for achieving urban sustainability in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Taxonomy of Climate Accounting Principles for Financial Portfolios
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 328; doi:10.3390/su10020328
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Climate accounting for financial portfolios has seen growing prominence in the past years, thanks to both private and public sector initiatives. Over 200 financial institutions have conducted some form of portfolio analysis. In the context of this growing prominence, the academic and practitioner’s
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Climate accounting for financial portfolios has seen growing prominence in the past years, thanks to both private and public sector initiatives. Over 200 financial institutions have conducted some form of portfolio analysis. In the context of this growing prominence, the academic and practitioner’s discussion of climate accounting has largely focused on questions of climate data quality and choices for estimation models. Missing in this debate is an analysis of the underlying accounting principles related to climate data. There is no overview of the climate accounting principles and the implications of choosing different principles and rules. This article provides a taxonomy of key accounting choices currently applied for climate accounting of financial portfolios, notably regarding units of accounting, boundaries of accounting, normalization rules, and allocation rules. Based on a review of data providers accounting approaches in practice, as well as sample applications of different accounting principles, it distills key accounting categories and highlights the potential sensitivity of the ultimate results to these choices. The article concludes that climate assessments of portfolios may be equally sensitive to accounting choices as to the quality of underlying data, suggesting more attention and standards are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Finance)
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Open AccessArticle Minimization of the Environmental Emissions of Closed-Loop Supply Chains: A Case Study of Returnable Transport Assets Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 329; doi:10.3390/su10020329
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
This study investigates the issue of minimizing the environmental burden of a real closed-loop supply chain (CLSC), consisting of a pallet provider, a manufacturer and several retailers. A simulation model is developed under Microsoft Excel™ (Microsoft Corporation, Washington, US) to reproduce the flow
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This study investigates the issue of minimizing the environmental burden of a real closed-loop supply chain (CLSC), consisting of a pallet provider, a manufacturer and several retailers. A simulation model is developed under Microsoft Excel™ (Microsoft Corporation, Washington, US) to reproduce the flow of returnable transport items (RTIs) in the CLSC and to compute the corresponding environmental impact. Multi-objective optimization, including some relevant environmental key performance indicators (KPIs), is then carried out exploiting the commercial software ModeFRONTIER™ (ESTECO S.p.A., Trieste, Italy), to determine the settings that minimize emissions of the CLSC. In addition, economic and strategic metrics are taken into account in the optimization, to make the analysis more comprehensive. Three scenarios are considered (one “base” scenario and two scenarios examined in a sensitivity analysis) with different relative importance assigned to the metrics subject to optimization. Results show that the asset retrieving operations contribute to the environmental impact of the system to the greatest extent, mainly because of the quite relevant distance between Company A and its customers. Conversely, emissions due to the purchase of new assets contribute to the total environmental impact of the system to a very limited extent. Because the analysis is grounded on a real CLSC, the results are expected to provide practical indications to logistics and supply chain managers, to minimize the environmental performance of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reverse Logistics: An Interdisciplinary Approach)
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Open AccessArticle Biogas Micro-Production from Human Organic Waste—A Research Proposal
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 330; doi:10.3390/su10020330
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Organic waste (OW) management tackles the problem of sanitation and hygiene in developing countries and humanitarian camps where unmanaged waste often causes severe health problems and premature death. OW still has a usable energy content, allowing biogas production, potentially contributing to satisfy the
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Organic waste (OW) management tackles the problem of sanitation and hygiene in developing countries and humanitarian camps where unmanaged waste often causes severe health problems and premature death. OW still has a usable energy content, allowing biogas production, potentially contributing to satisfy the local needs, e.g., cooking, lighting and heating. Digesters are the devices converting OW into biogas under anaerobic conditions. They are simple and effective solutions for the OW management in rural areas, humanitarian camps and remote developing regions, producing energy and fertilizers for local farming as residual. This paper describes the design and lab-test of a domestic OW management system integrating a waterless toilet with a small-scale digester producing safe biogas for local micro-consumption. Starting from people’s needs and an extensive review of the current state-of-art technology, the proposed system’s key innovation and strength is the combination of effectiveness and a very simple construction, set up and use, fitting with the rural conditions and raw materials available within the emerging countries. A small-scale prototype is assembled and lab-tested assessing the quantity—i.e., productivity—and quality—i.e., composition and methane content—of the produced biogas. The measured productivity in terms of specific biogas production (SBP) is of about 0.15 m3/kgSV and a methane content of about 74% in mass match the energy needs of domestic users, encouraging the spread of such systems in developing regions and rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Waste Management System for Batteries
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 332; doi:10.3390/su10020332
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
We live in a technology driven era where each day new gadgets improve the way we live our lives. Many resources are being spent on building these devices that often turn obsolete overnight. Taking into account that these electronics have a long-term impact
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We live in a technology driven era where each day new gadgets improve the way we live our lives. Many resources are being spent on building these devices that often turn obsolete overnight. Taking into account that these electronics have a long-term impact on the environment, a waste management system must be embedded in the electronic product lifecycle. In this paper, we propose a monitoring system for recycling batteries from electronic equipment and devices. This solution covers specific waste management issues to manage and reduce battery waste and to recover valuable materials and components. A solution for the continuous monitoring of each battery waste container is also proposed. The solution involves the storage of all information regarding the recycling process, such as pickup date and time, collector’s name, quantity, and location. The research is also extended for smartphone usage. This is an important feature for collectors who need to access data in real time from any location. The mobile application directly reads the weight of battery waste, automatically saves the date and time, and stores the location along with any other useful information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Dynamics and Spillovers of the Health Labor Market: Evidence from China’s Provincial Panel Data
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 333; doi:10.3390/su10020333
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
Health workforce misdistribution is a major challenge faced by almost all countries. A more profound understanding of the dynamics of the health labor market provides evidence for policy makers to balance health workforce distribution with solid evidence. However, one major deficit of existing
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Health workforce misdistribution is a major challenge faced by almost all countries. A more profound understanding of the dynamics of the health labor market provides evidence for policy makers to balance health workforce distribution with solid evidence. However, one major deficit of existing theoretical and empirical studies is that they often ignore the intra-regional spillovers of the health labor market. This study builds a theoretical “supply–demand–spillover” model that considers both intra-regional supply and demand-side factors, and inter-regional spillovers, hence providing a theoretical reference point for further in-depth studies. Using spatial econometric panel models, the effect of all determinants and spillovers were empirically measured based on a Chinese panel data set, shedding light on health workforce policies in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reassessing the Links between GHG Emissions, Economic Growth, and the UNFCCC: A Difference-in-Differences Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 334; doi:10.3390/su10020334
Received: 24 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 28 January 2018
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Abstract
International climate agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and, more recently, the Paris Climate Agreement are fragile because, at a national level, political constituencies’ value systems may conflict with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to sustainable levels. Proponents
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International climate agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and, more recently, the Paris Climate Agreement are fragile because, at a national level, political constituencies’ value systems may conflict with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to sustainable levels. Proponents cite climate change as the most pressing challenge of our time, contending that international cooperation will play an essential role in addressing this challenge. Political opponents argue that the disproportionate requirements on developed nations to shoulder the financial burden will inhibit their economic growth. We find empirical evidence that both arguments are likely to be correct. We use standard regression techniques to analyze a multi-country dataset of GHG emissions, GDP per capita growth, and other factors. We estimate that after the Kyoto Protocol (KP) entered into force ‘Annex I’ countries reduced GHG emissions on average by roughly 1 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MTCO2e), relative to non-Annex I countries. However, our estimates reveal that these countries also experienced an average reduction in GDP per capita growth rates of around 1–2 percentage points relative to non-Annex I countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Business Intelligence Issues for Sustainability Projects
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 335; doi:10.3390/su10020335
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term for strategies, technologies, and information systems used by the companies to extract from large and various data, according to the value chain, relevant knowledge to support a wide range of operational, tactical, and strategic business decisions.
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Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term for strategies, technologies, and information systems used by the companies to extract from large and various data, according to the value chain, relevant knowledge to support a wide range of operational, tactical, and strategic business decisions. Sustainability, as an integrated part of the corporate business, implies the integration of the new approach at all levels: business model, performance management system, business intelligence project, and data model. Both business intelligence issues presented in this paper represent the contribution of the author in modeling data for supporting further BI approaches in corporate sustainability initiatives. Multi-dimensional modeling has been used to ground the proposals and to introduce the key performance indicators. The démarche is strengthened with implementation aspects and reporting examples. More than ever, in the Big Data era, bringing together business intelligence methods and tools with corporate sustainability is recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design Optimization Considering Variable Thermal Mass, Insulation, Absorptance of Solar Radiation, and Glazing Ratio Using a Prediction Model and Genetic Algorithm
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 336; doi:10.3390/su10020336
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents the optimization of building envelope design to minimize thermal load and improve thermal comfort for a two-star green building in Wuhan, China. The thermal load of the building before optimization is 36% lower than a typical energy-efficient building of the
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This paper presents the optimization of building envelope design to minimize thermal load and improve thermal comfort for a two-star green building in Wuhan, China. The thermal load of the building before optimization is 36% lower than a typical energy-efficient building of the same size. A total of 19 continuous design variables, including different concrete thicknesses, insulation thicknesses, absorbance of solar radiation for each exterior wall/roof and different window-to-wall ratios for each façade, are considered for optimization. The thermal load and annual discomfort degree hours are selected as the objective functions for optimization. Two prediction models, multi-linear regression (MLR) model and an artificial neural network (ANN) model, are developed to predict the building thermal performance and adopted as fitness functions for a multi-objective genetic algorithm (GA) to find the optimal design solutions. As compared to the original design, the optimal design generated by the MLRGA approach helps to reduce the thermal load and discomfort level by 18.2% and 22.4%, while the reductions are 17.0% and 22.2% respectively, using the ANNGA approach. Finally, four objective functions using cooling load, heating load, summer discomfort degree hours, and winter discomfort degree hours for optimization are conducted, but the results are no better than the two-objective-function optimization approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Environmental Design in Outdoor Space Focusing on Radiation Environment Influenced by Ground Cover Material and Solar Shading, through the Examination on the Redevelopment Buildings in Front of Central Osaka Station
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 337; doi:10.3390/su10020337
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
The outdoor open space is used for various purposes, e.g., to walk, rest, talk, meet, study, exercise, play, perform, eat, and drink. Therefore, it is desirable to provide various thermal environments according to users’ needs and their actual conditions. In this study, the
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The outdoor open space is used for various purposes, e.g., to walk, rest, talk, meet, study, exercise, play, perform, eat, and drink. Therefore, it is desirable to provide various thermal environments according to users’ needs and their actual conditions. In this study, the radiation environment was evaluated, focusing on ground cover materials and solar radiation shading, through the examination on the redevelopment buildings in front of Central Osaka Station. The spatial distribution of solar radiation shading was calculated using ArcGIS and building shape data. Surface temperatures on the ground and wall are calculated based on the surface heat budget equation. MRT (Mean Radiant Temperature) of the human body is calculated assuming that the human body is a sphere. The most dominant factor for the radiant environment is solar radiation shielding and the next is the improvement of surface cover. It is difficult to make SET* (Standard new Effective Temperature) comfortable in the afternoon by both solar radiation shielding and improved surface cover because the air temperature is too high on a typical summer day (August). However, particularly in Rooftop Gardens and Green Garden, because the areas of shade grass and water are large, there are several places where people do not feel uncomfortable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Urban Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle How Human Activities Affect Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil and Sediment in a Long-Term Reclaimed Area of the Liaohe River Delta, North China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 338; doi:10.3390/su10020338
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Heavy metal pollution in soils and sediments is becoming a matter of wide concern, this study was carried out in Dawa County of the Liaohe River Delta, with the aim of exploring the impacts of land use levels on heavy metal contamination of
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Heavy metal pollution in soils and sediments is becoming a matter of wide concern, this study was carried out in Dawa County of the Liaohe River Delta, with the aim of exploring the impacts of land use levels on heavy metal contamination of soil and sediment. A total of 129 soil samples were collected in different land use intensities (LUI). Soil metals (Fe, Mn, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and soil salinity, pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), available phosphorus (AP) and grain sizes were analyzed. Correlation analysis indicated that SOC and grain size played important roles in affecting the heavy metal distribution. The factor analysis results indicated that heavy metal contamination was most probably caused by industrial and agricultural wastewater discharges, domestic sewage discharge and atmospheric deposition. Using ANOVA, it found that human activities significantly changed soil physic-chemical properties through soil erosion, leaching and fertilizer application, further affecting the behaviors of heavy metals in the soil and sediments. The anthropogenic factors could lead to potential environmental risk, as indicated by the Geo-accumulation index (Igeo) results of heavy metals. Overall, the heavy metals generally had approached or even exceeded moderately polluted (0 < Igeo < 1, 1 < Igeo < 2), but the Pb and Cu pollution level was low (Igeo < 0), and the Cd pollution level was moderately or strongly polluted (2 < Igeo < 3, 3 < Igeo < 4) in the five land use levels. This study will provide valuable information for appropriately determining how land should be used in future reclamation areas, as well as for the sustainable management of estuarine areas around the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Perception of Rural Tourism Impact: A Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 339; doi:10.3390/su10020339
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Rural tourism is based on the natural and cultural resources in an area that make it unique, with people as the main drivers. The main objective of this paper is to know the social perception about rural tourism impact in the Cinco Villas
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Rural tourism is based on the natural and cultural resources in an area that make it unique, with people as the main drivers. The main objective of this paper is to know the social perception about rural tourism impact in the Cinco Villas region (Aragon, Spain), analysing its evolution and effect on the territory. The theoretical approach is based on concepts such as rural tourism and its different elements from the perspective of sustainable local endogenous development. The research method chosen is the study case based on the Cinco Villas region. A combination of qualitative and quantitative instruments was used to research and achieve the aims of this study. A documentary analysis of the last ten years based on secondary data from institutional database sources was conducted. Primary data have been compiled from two different sources: semi-structured interviews with political leaders and tourism business people and participatory observation in focus groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Large Wild Herbivore Populations on the Forage-Livestock Balance in the Source Region of the Yellow River
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 340; doi:10.3390/su10020340
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Unmanned aerial vehicle surveys were conducted in the summer season of 2016 and the winter season of 2017 to investigate the large wild herbivore population, including kiangs, Tibetan gazelles and bharals, in Madoi County; the source region of the Yellow River. The study
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Unmanned aerial vehicle surveys were conducted in the summer season of 2016 and the winter season of 2017 to investigate the large wild herbivore population, including kiangs, Tibetan gazelles and bharals, in Madoi County; the source region of the Yellow River. The study generated forage grass production data in 30 m spatial resolution in Madoi County in 2016 using a downscaling algorithm; estimated a forage-livestock balance including wild animals and domestic animals; and analyzed the effect of the large wild herbivore population on the balance between forage grass and herbivory in Madoi County. The large wild herbivore population was estimated based on the density of the animals in the survey sample strip and compared and verified with available statistical data and the two survey results from the summer season of 2016 and winter season of 2017. The results showed that: (1) in the winter season of 2017, the populations of kiang, Tibetan gazelle and bharal were 17,100, 16,000 and 9300, respectively, while the populations of domestic yak, Tibetan sheep and horse were 70,800, 102,200 and 1200, respectively. The total population of large wild herbivores and domestic animals was 475,000 (sheep units). The ratio (in sheep units) between large wild herbivores and domestic animals was 1:4.5; (2) When only considering domestic animals, the grazing pressure index was 1.13, indicating slight overloading of the grassland. When considering domestic animals and large wild herbivores (kiang, Tibetan gazelle and bharal), the grazing pressure index was 1.38, suggesting moderate overloading of the grassland; (3) If large wild herbivores are not taken into consideration when the forage-livestock balance is calculated, the grazing pressure will be under-estimated by 22%. Overgrazing is the major cause of grassland degradation in Madoi County. An additional 79,000 tons of hay or a 30% reduction in domestic animals is required to maintain a forage-livestock balance in Madoi County. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wildlife Ecology and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Have Housing Prices Gone with the Smelly Wind? Big Data Analysis on Landfill in Hong Kong
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 341; doi:10.3390/su10020341
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Unlike many other places around the globe, Hong Kong is a small city with a high population density. Some housing units are built near the sources of an externality, such as a landfill site. As the blocks of buildings are particularly tall, many
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Unlike many other places around the globe, Hong Kong is a small city with a high population density. Some housing units are built near the sources of an externality, such as a landfill site. As the blocks of buildings are particularly tall, many are walled buildings that block the bad odor from the landfill. Thus, the wind blowing from a landfill site may not affect the entire building estate. Some buildings are more heavily affected than others, partly because walled buildings built near landfills are rare. Only a few studies currently examine the correlation between wind direction and the prices of walled buildings. In this paper, we aim to bridge this research gap by illustrating Hong Kong as a case study. Most previous research studies only examine a few factors affecting housing prices. Modern big data is characterized by its large volume of data, which includes various types of data that analysts would not necessarily sample, but instead merely observe to track what happens. Therefore, another innovative point of our paper, is that we adopt a big data approach to study this issue. In this aspect, this paper is the first of its kind. There are 53,071 observations in the 1999 to 2014 dataset, with 2,175,911 data entries. Our results reflect that when more municipal solid waste is sent to the South East New Territories Landfill, residents’ complaints in Tseung Kwan O increase. However, entire property prices in the region also increase, which rejects our hypothesis. We speculate that as more people become aware of the housing estate due to complaints, with only a limited number of housing units affected by the smell, since the wind usually only blows in certain directions, the “advertisement effect” originating from complaints about the bad smell boosts the property prices of the unaffected units. That is, people become aware of the existence of the property, visit the site, and discover that only specific units facing one particular direction are affected. Then, they purchase units that are unaffected by the smelly wind, leading to an overall increase in property prices. The study’s results may provide a new perspective on urban planning, and possible implications for other cities in view of the constant increase in population and expansion of landfill sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real Estate Economics, Management and Investments)
Open AccessArticle Existing Knowledge Assets and Disruptive Innovation: The Role of Knowledge Embeddedness and Specificity
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 342; doi:10.3390/su10020342
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Disruptive innovation has created a significant impact on management practices and academia. This study investigated the impact of existing knowledge assets on disruptive innovation by analyzing the role of knowledge embeddedness and specificity. We conducted a hierarchical regression analysis by using survey data
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Disruptive innovation has created a significant impact on management practices and academia. This study investigated the impact of existing knowledge assets on disruptive innovation by analyzing the role of knowledge embeddedness and specificity. We conducted a hierarchical regression analysis by using survey data from 173 Chinese industrial firms to test the direct and indirect effects of knowledge embeddedness and specificity on disruptive innovation, which can be divided into outward-oriented and internal-oriented disruptive innovation. The results indicated that knowledge embeddedness not only played a positive role in knowledge specificity, but also had a positive effect on outward-oriented disruptive innovation. Furthermore, knowledge specificity exhibited opposite functions in outward-oriented and internal-oriented disruptive innovation. In addition, knowledge specificity mediated the relationship between knowledge embeddedness and outward-oriented (internal-oriented) disruptive innovation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Immigration and the Housing Market: The Case of Castel Volturno, in Campania Region, Italy
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 343; doi:10.3390/su10020343
Received: 16 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
According to Eurostat, Italy is the fifth country of the European Union per immigrant population. The complexity of the phenomenon, as it has evolved in recent years, leads to analyzing it from a specific point of view, that of the real estate market.
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According to Eurostat, Italy is the fifth country of the European Union per immigrant population. The complexity of the phenomenon, as it has evolved in recent years, leads to analyzing it from a specific point of view, that of the real estate market. The article represents the early stage of research on the housing condition of the immigrant population in the Southern Italy and its effect on the housing market. First, we describe the spatial segregation phenomenon affecting the immigrant population in Campania Region; then we analyze data of the municipality of Castel Volturno, which has one of the greater migratory pressure throughout the whole region. We provide statistical regressions correlating housing prices and socio-economic features from 2006 to 2016. The results confirm the findings of the current literature on the subject: there is a specific phenomenon associated with the presence of an immigrant population residing in conjunction with a reduction of housing prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real Estate Economics, Management and Investments)
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Open AccessArticle LMDI Decomposition of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Based on Energy and CO2 Allocation Sankey Diagrams: The Method and an Application to China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 344; doi:10.3390/su10020344
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
This manuscript develops a logarithmic mean Divisia index I (LMDI) decomposition method based on energy and CO2 allocation Sankey diagrams to analyze the contributions of various influencing factors to the growth of energy-related CO2 emissions on a national level. Compared with
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This manuscript develops a logarithmic mean Divisia index I (LMDI) decomposition method based on energy and CO2 allocation Sankey diagrams to analyze the contributions of various influencing factors to the growth of energy-related CO2 emissions on a national level. Compared with previous methods, we can further consider the influences of energy supply efficiency. Two key parameters, the primary energy quantity converted factor (KPEQ) and the primary carbon dioxide emission factor (KC), were introduced to calculate the equilibrium data for the whole process of energy unitization and related CO2 emissions. The data were used to map energy and CO2 allocation Sankey diagrams. Based on these parameters, we built an LMDI method with a higher technical resolution and applied it to decompose the growth of energy-related CO2 emissions in China from 2004 to 2014. The results indicate that GDP growth per capita is the main factor driving the growth of CO2 emissions while the reduction of energy intensity, the improvement of energy supply efficiency, and the introduction of non-fossil fuels in heat and electricity generation slowed the growth of CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Development under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Decoupling between Rural-to-Urban Migrants and Urban Land Expansion in Hubei Province, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 345; doi:10.3390/su10020345
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization in China has caused a large number of rural-to-urban migrants (RUMs) and rapid urban land expansion (ULE). Understanding the relationship between RUMs and ULE has important implications for urban sustainable development. This study explored the spatial patterns of RUMs and ULE
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Rapid urbanization in China has caused a large number of rural-to-urban migrants (RUMs) and rapid urban land expansion (ULE). Understanding the relationship between RUMs and ULE has important implications for urban sustainable development. This study explored the spatial patterns of RUMs and ULE in Hubei Province from 2009 to 2014, and analyzed the relationship between the two using a decoupling model. The results show that: (1) a large proportion of the rural population migrated to urban areas in Hubei Province from 2009 to 2014, and the distribution of RUMs was uneven: developed areas attracted more RUMs than undeveloped regions; (2) the urban land in Hubei Province increased rapidly from 2009 to 2014, and the urban land use in Hubei Province was extensive and inefficient; (3) the decoupling types between RUMs and ULE in Hubei Province were dominated by expansive negative and weak decoupling; (4) according to the changes in per capita urban land area and decoupling types, the coordination relationship between RUMs and ULE in Hubei Province was divided into eight types, and while the relationship between RUMs and ULE in most areas were coordinated and beneficial to urban land intensive use, the rest were uncoordinated. Finally, reasonable implications for urban sustainable development and new land use policy were put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle Comparing the Applicability of Commonly Used Hydrological Ecosystem Services Models for Integrated Decision-Support
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 346; doi:10.3390/su10020346
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Different simulation models are used in science and practice in order to incorporate hydrological ecosystem services in decision-making processes. This contribution compares three simulation models, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, a traditional hydrological model and two ecosystem services models, the Integrated Valuation
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Different simulation models are used in science and practice in order to incorporate hydrological ecosystem services in decision-making processes. This contribution compares three simulation models, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool, a traditional hydrological model and two ecosystem services models, the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs model and the Resource Investment Optimization System model. The three models are compared on a theoretical and conceptual basis as well in a comparative case study application. The application of the models to a study area in Nicaragua reveals that a practical benefit to apply these models for different questions in decision-making generally exists. However, modelling of hydrological ecosystem services is associated with a high application effort and requires input data that may not always be available. The degree of detail in temporal and spatial variability in ecosystem service provision is higher when using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool compared to the two ecosystem service models. In contrast, the ecosystem service models have lower requirements on input data and process knowledge. A relationship between service provision and beneficiaries is readily produced and can be visualized as a model output. The visualization is especially useful for a practical decision-making context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
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Open AccessArticle To License or Not to License Remanufacturing Business?
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 347; doi:10.3390/su10020347
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face the choice of whether to license an independent remanufacturer (IR) to remanufacture their used products. In this paper, we develop closed-loop supply chain models with licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing operations to analyze the competition and cooperation between
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Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face the choice of whether to license an independent remanufacturer (IR) to remanufacture their used products. In this paper, we develop closed-loop supply chain models with licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing operations to analyze the competition and cooperation between an OEM and an IR. The OEM sells new products and collects used products through trade-ins, while the IR intercepts the OEM’s cores to produce remanufactured products and sell them in the same market. We derive optimal decisions for each of the two types of firms in licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing scenarios and identify conditions under which the OEM and the IR would be most likely to cooperate with each other in implementing remanufacturing. The results show although it is beneficial for an OEM to license an IR to remanufacture its cores, it is not always necessary for an IR to accept OEM’s authorization. Moreover, we contrast the result for licensed remanufacturing scenario in the decentralized system with that in the centrally coordinated system to quantify potential inefficiency resulting from decentralization of decision making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Decision-Making for Coal Power Flexibility Retrofitting and Compensation in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 348; doi:10.3390/su10020348
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
In China, in order to integrate more renewable energy into the power grid, coal power flexibility retrofitting is imperative. This paper elaborates a generic method for estimating the flexibility potential from the rapid ramp rate and peak shaving operation using nonlinear programming, and
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In China, in order to integrate more renewable energy into the power grid, coal power flexibility retrofitting is imperative. This paper elaborates a generic method for estimating the flexibility potential from the rapid ramp rate and peak shaving operation using nonlinear programming, and defines three flexibility elastic coefficients to quantify the retrofitted targets. The optimized range of the retrofitted targets determined by the flexibility elastic coefficients have a reference significance on coal power flexibility retrofitting. Then, in order to enable economic decisions for coal power flexibility retrofitting, we address a profit maximizing issue regarding optimization decisions for coal power flexibility retrofitting under an assumption of perfect competition, further analyzing the characteristic roots of marginal cost equal to marginal revenue. The rationality of current compensation standards for peak shaving in China can also be judged in the analysis. The case study results show that economic decision-making depends on the compensation standard and the peak shaving depth and time. At a certain peak shaving depth and time, with rational compensation standard power plants are willing to carry out coal power flexibility retrofitting. The current compensation standard in Northeast China is high enough to carry out coal power flexibility retrofitting. These research conclusions have theoretical significance for China’s peak shaving compensation standards formulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Strengths and Limits of Strong and Weak Sustainability Indicators: A Case Study of the Assessment of China’s Megacities with EF and GPI
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 349; doi:10.3390/su10020349
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
The perspective of strong/weak sustainability has a great impact on sustainability assessment. In this study, two most widely used indices, Ecological Footprint (EF) and Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for strong and weak sustainability assessment, were employed to evaluate the sustainability of China’s ten
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The perspective of strong/weak sustainability has a great impact on sustainability assessment. In this study, two most widely used indices, Ecological Footprint (EF) and Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for strong and weak sustainability assessment, were employed to evaluate the sustainability of China’s ten megacities between 1978 and 2015. The results showed that the ecological footprint had been enlarged in the past twenty years; while the genuine economic welfare started to increase since 2005. The cities of Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Shanghai met the threshold of below 2.5 global hectares for EF/capita, and over 3000 dollars/capita (in 2010 US$) for GPI/capita. By analyzing and comparing the characteristics, the processes and results, and the complementary features of evaluation methods of EF and GPI, the research suggested that: (1) Strong and weak sustainability indicators, with their own pros/cons in sustainability assessment, should be used carefully; (2) Weak sustainability indicators could be analyzed from the perspective of strong sustainability; (3) Strong sustainability indicators need to be developed urgently. The results in this study could guide the selection of sustainability indicators, and help interpret the results of sustainability assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Values (2-MEV) and Appreciation of Nature
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 350; doi:10.3390/su10020350
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
When monitoring the long history of empirical instruments for environmental attitude measurement, the Two Major Environmental Value model (2-MEV) with its two higher order factors: Preservation (PRE) and Utilization (UTL) has repeatedly and independently been confirmed. PRE assesses preferences towards conservation of nature
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When monitoring the long history of empirical instruments for environmental attitude measurement, the Two Major Environmental Value model (2-MEV) with its two higher order factors: Preservation (PRE) and Utilization (UTL) has repeatedly and independently been confirmed. PRE assesses preferences towards conservation of nature and the environment, whilst UTL measures preferences towards utilization/exploitation of nature. The latter, however, does not yet include the positive aspects of benefitting from the (enjoyable) use of nature. Consequently, besides the established 2-MEV-battery, additional items from an “Appreciation of Nature” (APR) scale were applied to an Irish sample of 289 secondary school students (age: M = 14.3 years). Responses to the altogether 30-item battery were applied on an oblique rotation by using the Promax procedure: UTL and PRE appeared as orthogonally related factors, APR correlated to PRE with 0.283. Based on loading scores, the item number for each subscale was further reduced to make the analysis more manageable in educational outreach sites; on those sites, where completing questionnaires may well be quite unpopular, they are very much needed for planning and fine-tuning educational programs. Therefore, extending the 2-MEV scale with an added scale for Appreciation may help: (i) to judge participants’ feedback for adjusting/balancing program contents better; and (ii) to promote appreciation as a successful strategy for shifting individuals away from their individual exploitative preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle How Eco-Labelling Influences Environmentally Conscious Consumption of Construction Products
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 351; doi:10.3390/su10020351
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Interior wall paints and coatings may evaporate hazardous emissions such as volatile organic compound and formaldehyde. Hence, for these products, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) with information about toxicological and environmental properties and on safe handling practices must be handed out to professional
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Interior wall paints and coatings may evaporate hazardous emissions such as volatile organic compound and formaldehyde. Hence, for these products, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) with information about toxicological and environmental properties and on safe handling practices must be handed out to professional users. However, this obligation does not include end-users which places them at risk. In order to provide a service to the end-users, some German manufacturers issue an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is a certificate for a construction product that is based on its Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This paper investigates potential solutions to direct end-users’ awareness of environmental and health effects of the products they purchase. Therefore, two questionnaire surveys are held on several trade fairs for construction products in Germany. On the one hand, the first survey targets visitors of these trade fairs, i.e., average consumers, or end-users of construction products. On the other hand, the second survey targets participants of these trade fairs that include manufacturers of indoor paints and varnishes as well as companies who use painting pigments in their manufacturing process, e.g., carpet floors and ceramics. The objectives of these surveys were to learn experts’ opinions on the transfer of relevant data, i.e., about health and environmental effects their products might cause, to end-users and compare them to those of the end-users. One of the outcomes of the survey shows that, according to the experts’ survey participants, Environmental Product Declarations are of main interest to make LCAs transparent. Moreover, the paper investigates the perception of one of the most broadly known eco-labels in Germany, the Blue Angel eco-label, by the average consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Online Impulse Buying: Evidence from Chinese Social Commerce Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 352; doi:10.3390/su10020352
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
First, the purpose of this study is to examine the impact of situational variables, scarcity and serendipity, on online impulse buying (OIB) in Chinese social commerce (SC) environment. Second, the study further assesses the moderating role of five dimensions of hedonic shopping value.
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First, the purpose of this study is to examine the impact of situational variables, scarcity and serendipity, on online impulse buying (OIB) in Chinese social commerce (SC) environment. Second, the study further assesses the moderating role of five dimensions of hedonic shopping value. Data were gathered from 671 online shoppers who come from two metropolitan cities of China, Beijing, and Shanghai. Structure equation modeling utilized was generated by AMOS 23 version to test the study hypotheses. The results confirm that situational factors positively influence the online impulse buying among Chinese online shoppers in SC environment. Four dimensions of hedonic shopping value (social shopping, relaxation shopping, adventure shopping and idea shopping) positively moderate the relationship between serendipity and OIB; value shopping is insignificant with moderation effect. The finding is helpful to the online retailers and SC web developers by recommending them to take the scarcity and serendipity in their consideration. These factors have the potential to motivate the consumers to initiate the hedonic shopping aptitude to urge to buy impulsively. Unlike the previous work which remained unsuccessful in incorporating all factors into one study, this study has incorporated irrational and unplanned consumption along with rational and planned one in the same research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Livelihood Assets-Based Spatial Differentiation of the Income of Natural Tourism Communities
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 353; doi:10.3390/su10020353
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Livelihood assets have a significant impact on the livelihood options and income of tourism communities. The level of tourism development and the type of natural tourism communities often exhibit spatial differences. By using the method of sustainable livelihood and examining the main factors
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Livelihood assets have a significant impact on the livelihood options and income of tourism communities. The level of tourism development and the type of natural tourism communities often exhibit spatial differences. By using the method of sustainable livelihood and examining the main factors that affect community income from the perspective of spatial heterogeneity, it is possible to identify the livelihood assets that play the most critical role in the development of sustainable livelihoods and income generation in the community, which helps provide more reasonable advice on tourism destination management. In this article, we conducted a case study on 16 communities in and around Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, China, and divided the communities into three types, i.e., core attraction areas, service support areas, and secondary service support areas, according to the geographical and spatial characteristics, tourism development level, and livelihood type. The participatory assessment method was adopted to obtain in-depth interviews and questionnaire data from 256 rural households, which was utilized to construct four multivariate regression models to investigate the effect of livelihood assets on community income and the spatial difference of the factors that affect community income. The results showed that (1) livelihood assets exert a significant impact on community income in tourist areas, with a remarkable spatial difference; (2) the types of livelihoods and the effective utilization of livelihood assets have a significant impact on farmers’ incomes; (3) the type and amount of livelihood assets have a certain impact on the choice of livelihood; and (4) a farmer’s livelihood type determines the utilization method and the effective utilization of livelihood assets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Employment and Income Growth from Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Irrigation Water Availability and Winter Wheat Abandonment in the North China Plain (NCP): Findings from a Case Study in Cangxian County of Hebei Province
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 354; doi:10.3390/su10020354
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
The North China Plain (NCP) is the major winter wheat producing area in China. Abandonment of this crop has, however, become more and more prevalent in this region since the late 1990s. Although the underlying causes of this phenomenon remain little understood, irrigation
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The North China Plain (NCP) is the major winter wheat producing area in China. Abandonment of this crop has, however, become more and more prevalent in this region since the late 1990s. Although the underlying causes of this phenomenon remain little understood, irrigation water availability (IWA) has always been regarded as the key factor limiting winter wheat production on the NCP. The aim of this paper is to determine the role played by IWA in the abandonment of winter wheat, using evidence drawn from a case study in Cangxian County, Hebei Province. First-hand data were collected for this study from 350 households in 35 villages, using semistructured one-on-one questionnaires. Five types of irrigation water sources were defined and identified at the level of individual land plots: “ground and surface water”, “just groundwater”, “just rivers”, “just reservoirs”, and “no irrigation”. These levels correspond to a decreasing trend in the overall frequency of irrigation and thus provide a clear proxy indicator for IWA. The results from a series of multilevel multinomial models show that the higher the IWA, the less likely it is for a land plot to abandon winter wheat. Specifically, using “no irrigation” cases as a control group, the results show that land plots with more sources of irrigation water also tend to be characterized by greater IWA, including “ground and surface water” and “just groundwater”, and also have lower probabilities of abandoning winter wheat. In contrast, land plots with less IWA (less irrigation water sources), including “just reservoirs” and “just rivers”, are more likely to abandon winter wheat. The results also show that, in addition to IWA, soil quality and plot size at the plot level, as well as demographic characteristics, farm equipment, and land fragmentation at the household level and irrigation prices at the village level, all play additional significant roles in the cropping-system decisions made by farmers. A number of suggestions are made in this paper regarding policy implementation related to integrative water management and transferred water reallocation, in order to achieve the twin goals of water conservation and winter wheat production on the NCP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle “Recess” in the Eyes of Primary School Students: Cyprus Case
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 355; doi:10.3390/su10020355
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to describe what recess is like in the eyes of primary school children. At the basis of the literature of the study, the focus was on the notion of free time, and free time notion was explained based on the
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This study aims to describe what recess is like in the eyes of primary school children. At the basis of the literature of the study, the focus was on the notion of free time, and free time notion was explained based on the Planned Behavior Theory. A mixed research approach is used in the study, from both qualitative and quantitative aspects. In the qualitative dimension, students were asked to express what they understood from recess through using metaphors. In the quantitative dimension, “Leisure Satisfaction Scale”, developed by Beard and Ragheb, and adapted to Turkish in 2001, was used. Responses given by students to this scale were analyzed and their level of satisfaction during recess periods was identified. This research was performed at a primary school of the North Cyprus Ministry of National Education during the 2016–2017 academic year, selected in accordance with purposive sampling. A total of 190 students attending the 5th grade in this school constituted the study group of the research. Students consider recess as more of a time for enjoyment, game, and fun, but think it ends too soon. On the other hand, they stated that they achieved satisfaction socially, especially during recess, but, on the contrary, it was observed that their psychological satisfaction stayed at a lower level. A conclusion was also reached that certain variables (having a monitoring teacher, especially during recess periods) affected level of satisfaction of students during recess. In conclusion, based on the findings of this research, it should be stated that both teachers and school administrators have responsibility in enhancing the psychological satisfaction level of students especially during recess periods. It can be said that it will be possible to raise other satisfaction levels (physical, aesthetic, social, etc.) of students by enhancing their psychological satisfaction levels during recess. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity as a Means of Culture, Leisure and Free Time)
Open AccessArticle Modeling and Quantifying User Acceptance of Personalized Business Modes Based on TAM, Trust and Attitude
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 356; doi:10.3390/su10020356
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
With the rapid development of economics and social businesses, users’ business demand has changed a lot. More and more people want to personalize their business modes so that they can get better experiences in business and learning activities. The key factor of personalized
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With the rapid development of economics and social businesses, users’ business demand has changed a lot. More and more people want to personalize their business modes so that they can get better experiences in business and learning activities. The key factor of personalized business mode is to consider users’ individual needs on business activities, so that users can receive differentiated services. Users’ satisfaction on personalized services will effectively improve the consuming experience of users, which is helpful for business organizations to strengthen their competitive power in business environments. However, will users wish to participate in personalized businesses? This is a crucial issue for developing personalized businesses. Aiming to solve this problem, this paper analyzes the major factors influencing user acceptance of personalized business modes. Then, we propose a research model that enhances the TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) model with trust and attitude to depict the influence from several variables to user acceptance of personalized business modes. Further, we use the structural equation method to conduct an empirical analysis on questionnaire data from the Internet. The results in terms of many kinds of data analysis show that trust and the TAM factors (perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) have significant influence on user acceptance of personalized business modes. In addition, there are partial intermediate relationships existing among the factors of the research model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study on the Indirect Impact of Flight Delay on China’s Economy
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 357; doi:10.3390/su10020357
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Due to the influence on the sectors and industries that have strong relationships with the air transportation industry, flight delays have a huge impact on China’s economy. In this study, the input–output method and the Ghosh model were used to analyze the indirect
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Due to the influence on the sectors and industries that have strong relationships with the air transportation industry, flight delays have a huge impact on China’s economy. In this study, the input–output method and the Ghosh model were used to analyze the indirect economic impacts of flight delays on China’s economy. We also constructed simultaneous demand-fare equations to estimate the direct output of the air industry as a result of flight delay control. The final results showed that the total indirect impact of flight delays on China was Ұ350.71 billion in 2013, stressing the importance of controlling flight delays. Since delay control not only provides direct benefits to passengers and carriers, but also indirectly contributes to regional economies, the efforts benefit the entire Chinese society. The great investment in flight delay governance should be shared among various producing sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Open AccessArticle Transition towards Sustainable Solutions: Product, Service, Technology, and Business Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 358; doi:10.3390/su10020358
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays, the horse industry can be considered as an important industry in European countries and has a major role in agricultural industry throughout the world. Although today the diversity of the horse-related companies provides new markets and business opportunities, there are also some
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Nowadays, the horse industry can be considered as an important industry in European countries and has a major role in agricultural industry throughout the world. Although today the diversity of the horse-related companies provides new markets and business opportunities, there are also some sustainable issues which needs to be addressed. Therefore, this study contributes to this research gap by reviewing the concept of sustainability and existing approaches to find sustainable solutions for companies. These sustainable approaches can be applied to products, services and technologies as well as business models, such as the product-service-system (PSS), circular economy (CE) and industrial symbiosis (IS). Although there seems to be a growing understanding of sustainable approaches and their role in sustainable development, there is a lack of research at the empirical level regarding the types of sustainability approaches (i.e., technologies, services, products and business models) that evolve in specific industries. The empirical data in this research have been collected from a cross-section of Finnish horse industry operators to determine how willing companies are to exploit approaches to sustainable solutions, as well as what the existing sustainable solutions are in this industry. The response rate of this study is approximately 24 percent, including 139 received valid responses among the sample of 580 operators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effective Life Cycle Management in SMEs: Use of a Sector-Based Approach to Overcome Barriers
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 359; doi:10.3390/su10020359
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
One approach to incorporate sustainability in organisations is the implementation of life cycle management (LCM). LCM involves sharing responsibility for addressing environmental impacts across the entire supply chain of products and services, extending from raw material extraction to end-of-life of the product. The
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One approach to incorporate sustainability in organisations is the implementation of life cycle management (LCM). LCM involves sharing responsibility for addressing environmental impacts across the entire supply chain of products and services, extending from raw material extraction to end-of-life of the product. The New Zealand primary sector relies heavily on natural resources and provides about 70% of the country’s export revenue. Most companies in primary industry sectors in New Zealand are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Successful sector-wide uptake of LCM can potentially facilitate effective measurement and management of environmental impacts caused by this sector. The aim of this research was to identify the barriers and enablers to successful LCM uptake by New Zealand primary sector SMEs within a sector-based context. An extensive review of the literature was undertaken in the areas of change management for SMEs and supply chain management. The main factors influencing successful LCM uptake include owner/manager influence, environmental culture, resource availability, future orientation, knowledge of environmental issues, market requirements, geographical separation of production and consumption, awareness of own environmental issues and communication/information sharing. This paper forms the basis for future research and development of tools for the effective implementation of sector based approaches to LCM in the primary industry. The results of this research include a capability maturity model and the development of a cloud based platform for collaboration and communication around LCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Examining the Relationships of Image and Attitude on Visit Intention to Korea among Tanzanian College Students: The Moderating Effect of Familiarity
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 360; doi:10.3390/su10020360
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate country image and attitudes on Tanzanian tourists’ intention to visit Korea. It also aimed to examine the moderating effects of destination and product familiarities in the relationship between country image and attitudes on future visit
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The aim of this study was to investigate country image and attitudes on Tanzanian tourists’ intention to visit Korea. It also aimed to examine the moderating effects of destination and product familiarities in the relationship between country image and attitudes on future visit intention. We utilized data collected from 350 college students in Tanzania and found that participants’ cognitive image of Korea significantly influenced their affective image, in turn affecting attitudes toward country, products, and cuisine. Attitudes toward country, products, and cuisine, in turn, had positive effects on visit intention. We also showed the moderating effects of destination and product familiarities among the interrelationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle A Community Livelihood Approach to Agricultural Heritage System Conservation and Tourism Development: Xuanhua Grape Garden Urban Agricultural Heritage Site, Hebei Province of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 361; doi:10.3390/su10020361
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
The designation, conservation and tourism development of agricultural heritage systems, which are embedded with intricate human–nature relations, could significantly influence community livelihoods. Therefore, a livelihood approach is critical for agricultural heritage conservation and the sustainability of the hosting community. Taking Guanhou Village, Xuanhua
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The designation, conservation and tourism development of agricultural heritage systems, which are embedded with intricate human–nature relations, could significantly influence community livelihoods. Therefore, a livelihood approach is critical for agricultural heritage conservation and the sustainability of the hosting community. Taking Guanhou Village, Xuanhua Grape Garden Urban Agricultural Heritage Site as an example, this study examines impacts of heritage conservation and tourism on the community livelihood system and its implications for community livelihood sustainability. A sustainable livelihood framework is adopted to guide the analysis. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with management officials, village leaders and village residents. The research identified the importance of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) designation on raising government support and public awareness on conservation. Tourism emerges as an alternative livelihood to some residents which exerts positive economic influence. However, tourism participation is currently at a low level which restricted the distribution of benefits. The sustainability of local rural livelihood is at risk due to the rapid urbanization, the decline of human resources and the insufficient integration of traditional agriculture with tourism. Practical implications were discussed to enhance local participation and tourism contribution to GIAHS conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Overall Throughputability Effectiveness (S.O.T.E.) as a Metric for Production Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 362; doi:10.3390/su10020362
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper proposes a new index for a comprehensive and systematic measurement of sustainability and throughput performance in production systems. The proposed index, called Sustainable Overall Throughput Effectiveness (S.O.T.E.), is designed on the basis of a comparison of the environmental and operational factors.
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This paper proposes a new index for a comprehensive and systematic measurement of sustainability and throughput performance in production systems. The proposed index, called Sustainable Overall Throughput Effectiveness (S.O.T.E.), is designed on the basis of a comparison of the environmental and operational factors. Specifically, it integrates the following four dimensions: availability, utilization, performance, and environmental sustainability. The way each dimension is measured is explained and justified. This index uses the overall environmental equipment effectiveness (OEEE) index, which is based on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) index. However, such metrics are lacking at the factory level, because OEEE, as well as the OEE, is devoted to equipment-level. Its application and potential contribution to the analysis of sustainable throughput is demonstrated through a case study in an actual crushing plant. Through examining several hypotheses concerning the relationship between operational and environmental performance, a series of useful conclusions could be raised. The main difference and advantage of the proposed S.O.T.E. is that S.O.T.E., as it is based on the Overall Throughput Effectiveness (OTE), measures factory-level sustainability and operational performance. S.O.T.E. allows us to relate the impact of the overall effectiveness of each one of the components of the index to each piece of equipment that makes a part of the production systems. Furthermore, S.O.T.E., as OTE, take into account the production system configuration (series, parallel, assembly, etc.). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Grain Yield of Summer Maize on Smallholder Farms in the North China Plain
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 363; doi:10.3390/su10020363
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
The summer maize yields and partial factor productivity of nitrogen (N) fertilizer (PFPN, grain yield per unit N fertilizer) on smallholder farms in China are low, and differ between farms due to complex, sub-optimal management practices. We collected data on management
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The summer maize yields and partial factor productivity of nitrogen (N) fertilizer (PFPN, grain yield per unit N fertilizer) on smallholder farms in China are low, and differ between farms due to complex, sub-optimal management practices. We collected data on management practices and yields from smallholder farms in three major summer maize-producing sites—Laoling, Quzhou and Xushui—in the North China Plain (NCP) for two growing seasons, during 2015–2016. Boundary line analysis and a Proc Mixed Model were used to evaluate the contribution of individual factors and their interactions. Summer maize grain yields and PFPN ranged from 6.6 t ha−1 to 14.2 t ha−1 and 15.4 kg kg−1 to 96.1 kg kg−1, respectively, and averaged 10.5 t ha−1 and 49.1 kg kg−1, respectively. The mean total yield gap and PFPN gap were 3.6 t ha−1 and 43.3 kg kg−1 in Laoling, 2.2 t ha−1 and 24.5 kg kg−1 in Xushui, and 2.8 t ha−1 and 41.1 kg kg−1 in Quzhou. A positive correlation was observed between the yield gap and PFPN gap; the PFPN gap could be reduced by 6.0 kg kg−1 (3.6–6.6 kg kg−1) by reducing the yield gap by 1 t ha−1. The high yield and high PFPN (HH) fields had a higher plant density and lower N fertilization rate than the low yield and low PFPN (LL) fields. Our results show that multiple management factors caused the yield gap, but the relative contribution of plant density is slightly higher than that of other management practices, such as N input, the sowing date, and potassium fertilizer input. The low PFPN was mainly attributed to an over-application of N fertilizer. To enhance the sustainable production of summer maize, the production gaps should be tackled through programs that guide smallholder farmers on the adoption of optimal management practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Stakeholders’ Views and the Influence of the Socio-Cultural Dimension on the Adoption of Solar Energy Technology in Lebanon
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 364; doi:10.3390/su10020364
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
In light of climate change and global commitments, a great amount of programs and policies have been implemented by governments targeting the diffusion of renewable energy technologies. Successful diffusion relies on the understanding, persuasion and acceptance by consumers and other stakeholders. This article
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In light of climate change and global commitments, a great amount of programs and policies have been implemented by governments targeting the diffusion of renewable energy technologies. Successful diffusion relies on the understanding, persuasion and acceptance by consumers and other stakeholders. This article investigates the views, roles and influence of stakeholders on the adoption of solar energy technology in Lebanon. The main research questions are: What are the stakeholders’ views, roles and influence on the diffusion process of solar energy technologies? And are specific socio-cultural factors therein that influenced adoption? The influence of different stakeholders (end users, public representatives, banking sector, suppliers, consultants and NGOs) was assessed via qualitative data analysis, in particular semi-structured interviews. Our research perspective combines grounded and critical theoretical approaches with a case study research design allowing for a semi-inductive process to elaborate and complement new insights to the current body of literature on adoption of clean technology innovation, with a particular focus on the socio-cultural dimension. The results show that contextual factors, specifically related to the social, cultural, geographic and market dimensions, played a crucial role in shaping market development, especially in relation to the uptake of solar energy technology by different consumer groups. Based on the results of this study we argue that more scholarly attention should be awarded to the influence of the socio-cultural dimension and stakeholders’ perspectives on adoption of renewable energy technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Innovations in the Energy Transition)
Open AccessArticle A Study on the Analysis of CO2 Emissions of Apartment Housing in the Construction Process
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 365; doi:10.3390/su10020365
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent research in the construction industry has focused on the reduction of CO2 emission using quantitative assessment of building life. However, most of this research has focused on the operational stage of a building’s life cycle. Few comprehensive studies of CO2
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Recent research in the construction industry has focused on the reduction of CO2 emission using quantitative assessment of building life. However, most of this research has focused on the operational stage of a building’s life cycle. Few comprehensive studies of CO2 emissions during building construction have been performed. The purpose of this study is to analyze the CO2 emissions of an apartment housing during the construction process. The quantity of CO2 emissions associated with the utilization of selected building materials and construction equipment were used to estimate the CO2 emissions related to the apartment housing life cycle. In order to set the system boundary for the construction materials, equipment, and transportation used, 13 types of construction work were identified; then the CO2 emissions produced by the identified materials were calculated for each type of construction work. The comprehensive results showed that construction work involving reinforced concrete accounted for more than 73% of the total CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions related to reinforced concrete work was mainly due to transportation from the supplier to the construction site. Therefore, at the time that reinforced concrete is being supplied, shipping distance and fuel economy management of concrete transportation vehicles should be considered thoroughly for significant reduction of CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Facilitating Energy Transition through Energy Commons: An Application of Socio-Ecological Systems Framework for Integrated Community Energy Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 366; doi:10.3390/su10020366
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) are an emerging local energy system focusing on the collective use of distributed energy resources (DER). These socio-technical systems (STSs) have a high potential to advance the transition towards socially inclusive, environmentally-friendly energy systems and to stimulate the
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Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) are an emerging local energy system focusing on the collective use of distributed energy resources (DER). These socio-technical systems (STSs) have a high potential to advance the transition towards socially inclusive, environmentally-friendly energy systems and to stimulate the local economy. While there is an analogy between energy in ICES and other common goods such as natural resources, it is not clear to what extent the existing theoretical framework for Socio-ecological Systems (SES) on the commons accounts for the specificities of common resources in ICESs and other STSs. This research explores the applicability of the SES framework to energy commons that are firmly embedded in STS with reference to the DE Ramplaan ICES in the Netherlands. The formation process and governance characteristics of this ICES are revised, further aided by stakeholder interviews. A framework and a strategic plan that can be used to design and implement an ICES are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Innovations in the Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Air Pollution Inequality and Its Sources in SO2 and NOX Emissions among Chinese Provinces from 2006 to 2015
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 367; doi:10.3390/su10020367
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates inequality in SO2 and NOX emissions, by observing their extraordinary levels and uneven distribution in China during the period of the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plans (FYPs, 2006–2015). This provincial and regional analysis utilizing the Theil index and
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This paper investigates inequality in SO2 and NOX emissions, by observing their extraordinary levels and uneven distribution in China during the period of the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plans (FYPs, 2006–2015). This provincial and regional analysis utilizing the Theil index and Kaya factors help us to find the trajectory of inequality and its primary sources. Based on our analysis, we conclude the driving factors behind emissions inequalities are as follows. There are four economic factors of per capita SO2 emission: SO2 emission intensity of coal consumption, coal intensity of power generation, power intensity of GDP, and per capita GDP. Additionally, there are four urban development factors of per capita NOX emission: NOX emission intensity of gasoline consumption, proportion of gasoline vehicles, vehicle use in urban population, and urbanization rate. The SO2 emission results represent an increase of 6% in overall inequality where the inequality of power intensity of GDP is the main contributor. In terms of NOX emission, the 3% growth in total inequality is related to the high effect of NOX emission intensity of gasoline consumption. We also examine the effect of other factors affecting the trajectory of inequalities. To apply these results in practice, we compare the 11th and 12th FYPs and give some policy suggestions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Recovery from the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste: A Real Options-Based Facility Assessment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 368; doi:10.3390/su10020368
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
During the last years, due to the strict regulations on waste landfilling, anaerobic digestion (AD) of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) is increasingly considered a sustainable alternative for waste stabilization and energy recovery. AD can reduce the volume of OFMSW
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During the last years, due to the strict regulations on waste landfilling, anaerobic digestion (AD) of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) is increasingly considered a sustainable alternative for waste stabilization and energy recovery. AD can reduce the volume of OFMSW going to landfill and produce, at the same time, biogas and compost, all at a profit. The uncertainty about the collected quantity of organic fraction, however, may undermine the economic-financial sustainability of such plants. While the flexibility characterizing some AD technologies may prove very valuable in uncertain contexts since it allows adapting plant capacity to changing environments, the investment required for building flexible systems is generally higher than the investment for dedicated equipment. Hence, an adequate justification of investments in these flexible systems is needed. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at investigating how different technologies may perform from technical, economic and financial standpoints, in presence of an uncertain organic fraction quantity to be treated. Focusing on two AD treatment plant configurations characterized by a technological process with different degree of flexibility, a real options-based model is developed and then applied to the case of the urban waste management system of the Metropolitan Area of Bari (Italy). Results show the importance of pricing the flexibility of treatment plants, which becomes a critical factor in presence of an uncertain organic fraction. Hence, it has to be taken into consideration in the design phase of these plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Valuation of the Restoration of Hwangnyongsa Temple in South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 369; doi:10.3390/su10020369
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Hwangnyongsa Temple (HT) in South Korea belongs to the Gyeongju Historic Areas, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The temple was destroyed by fire in AD 1238 and today there are few traces left, however the government is seeking to
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Hwangnyongsa Temple (HT) in South Korea belongs to the Gyeongju Historic Areas, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The temple was destroyed by fire in AD 1238 and today there are few traces left, however the government is seeking to restore HT. This paper aims to evaluate the economic benefits of the restoration using contingent valuation (CV), and to then perform a cost-benefit analysis of the restoration. For this purpose, people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for the restoration is elicited from a survey of 1000 households. The average household’s WTP is estimated as KRW 2341 (USD 2.07) per annum. The current values of the benefits and costs of the restoration computed for the relevant period and population are KRW 415.3 billion (USD 366.9 million) and KRW 232.2 billion (USD 205.1 million), respectively. As the former is more than the latter, the restoration is socially profitable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Implications of the 2016 Oregon Minimum Wage Increase for Direct Market Farmers, Farmworkers, and Communities
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 370; doi:10.3390/su10020370
Received: 7 January 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
We conducted interviews with 18 direct market (DM) farmers to explore the implications of the Oregon minimum wage (MW) increase for the state’s DM agricultural sector. How, if at all, will DM farms in the Willamette Valley (OR, USA) adjust their production and
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We conducted interviews with 18 direct market (DM) farmers to explore the implications of the Oregon minimum wage (MW) increase for the state’s DM agricultural sector. How, if at all, will DM farms in the Willamette Valley (OR, USA) adjust their production and marketing practices in response to the MW increase? How will these adjustments affect DM farm viability, farmworkers, the environment, and the communities in which the farms are embedded? This region has a vibrant food system with many small-to-mid sized, diversified farms that sell through direct and intermediated marketing channels. The diversified production and marketing practices of these DM farmers are labor intensive and, in many respects, environmentally friendly. These practices result in relatively high costs and the farmers’ ability to respond by increasing prices is constrained by mainstream retail prices. Most growers reported that they will adjust to the MW increase by reducing their production and marketing costs with a decrease in total labor hours being an important strategy. This study, while small and exploratory, is the first in Oregon (and perhaps nationally) to collect empirical farm-level data about how DM farms will adjust to a MW increase. It sets the stage for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Supply Chain)
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Open AccessArticle Social Sustainability in Metropolitan Areas: Accessibility and Equity in the Case of the Metropolitan Area of Valencia (Spain)
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 371; doi:10.3390/su10020371
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
By definition, sustainable development includes environmental, economic and social dimensions. Scholars have paid little attention to the latter, although greater interest has been seen in recent years due to the growing strength of the idea that development without equity is not development. Within
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By definition, sustainable development includes environmental, economic and social dimensions. Scholars have paid little attention to the latter, although greater interest has been seen in recent years due to the growing strength of the idea that development without equity is not development. Within this context, moreover, urban spaces present complex structures that make it difficult to address sustainable development goals without adequate territorial planning. The aims of the present article are twofold: to expound a conceptual line of thinking to define the social dimension of sustainability—while aware that it is inseparable from the other two—and to propose a simple measurement method based on the accessibility of public services. This method uses time-distance as the measure through which to understand socio-spatial equity. It is based on using GIS tools for a case study—in this case, the city of Valencia—and on the concept of spatial equity as the basis of social sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Interannual Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Southeastern Taiwan Strait
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 372; doi:10.3390/su10020372
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
The Taiwan Strait (TS) is one of the main sources of phosphate that supports the large fish catches of the phosphate-limited East China Sea (ECS). The Penghu Channel is the deepest part of the TS, and most of the flow of the TS
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The Taiwan Strait (TS) is one of the main sources of phosphate that supports the large fish catches of the phosphate-limited East China Sea (ECS). The Penghu Channel is the deepest part of the TS, and most of the flow of the TS towards the ECS is principally through this channel. Empirical equations that are based on measurements made during 19 cruises (2000–2011) were combined with water velocity, salinity, and temperature, which were modeled using HYCOM (the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model) to obtain the annual fluxes for total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), nitrate plus nitrite, phosphate, and silicate fluxes. The TA and DIC are mainly transported in the top layer (0–55 m) because the current is much stronger there than in the bottom layer (55–125 m) whereas the TA and DIC concentrations in the top layer are only slightly smaller compared with the bottom layer. In contrast, the nitrate plus nitrite flux is mainly transported in the bottom layer because the concentrations are much higher in the bottom layer. Generally, nutrient flux increases with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index, but TA and DIC fluxes increase as the PDO index decreases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carbon Cycles)
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Open AccessArticle The Reality of Light Pollution: A Field Survey for the Determination of Lighting Environmental Management Zones in South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 374; doi:10.3390/su10020374
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Light pollution has been receiving increased attention worldwide. Scientific research has provided convincing evidence that ties artificial lighting to health-related issues. Consequently, the involved parties are now leaned towards the implementation of regulations to help limit the use of artificial lighting. Many countries,
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Light pollution has been receiving increased attention worldwide. Scientific research has provided convincing evidence that ties artificial lighting to health-related issues. Consequently, the involved parties are now leaned towards the implementation of regulations to help limit the use of artificial lighting. Many countries, together with international organizations, have embarked on setting standards and regulations aimed at halting the excessive and improper usage of artificial lighting, there-by eradicating light pollution and its effects. In Korea, outdoor lighting at night is a common phenomenon. Moreover, as the economic development grows even further, the use of artificial lighting is expected to increase making Korea vulnerable to the adverse effects of artificial lighting. In this study, we discuss the issue of light pollution based on field measurements conducted in Seoul, South Korea. The measurements were undertaken to broaden the understanding and assessment of light pollution. During the investigation, we noted that the most severe forms of light pollution were found in developed urban and densely commercialized areas. Currently, there are ongoing light pollution measurement projects around the entire Korea. It would be informative to see how the rest of South Korea compares to the Capital, Seoul in terms of light pollution levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lighting and Energy Saving)
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Open AccessArticle Contribution of Quality Management Practices to Sustainability Performance of Vietnamese Firms
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 375; doi:10.3390/su10020375
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
This study seeks to investigate the relationship between quality management practices and sustainability performance as well as the moderating effects from quality management implementation timeline, type of industry, and firm size on this relationship. Data were collected from enterprises in Vietnam from July
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This study seeks to investigate the relationship between quality management practices and sustainability performance as well as the moderating effects from quality management implementation timeline, type of industry, and firm size on this relationship. Data were collected from enterprises in Vietnam from July 2016 to March 2017. Based on a sample of 144 valid responses, empirical results indicate that quality management practices have mixed impacts on economic performance and environmental performance, while show positive impact on social performance. The results found four quality management practices that have significantly positive impact on sustainability performance: top management support for quality management, design for quality, quality data and reporting, and continuous improvement. These practices could be considered as critical quality management factors that significantly contribute to sustainability goals. Furthermore, the study found significant moderating effects of three contextual factors on the relationship between quality management practices and sustainability performance. The study enriches the literature on quality management and sustainability management, and offers some important insights into efficient allocation of resources to achieve sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A New Demand-Supply Model to Enable Sustainability in New Australian Housing
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 376; doi:10.3390/su10020376
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability implementation in new housing in Australia lags much of the developed world’s standards and implementation levels for residential sustainability. Various reasons for this are offered via a ‘blame game’ in a sector plagued by lack of demand, prohibitive costs, and poorly implemented
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Sustainability implementation in new housing in Australia lags much of the developed world’s standards and implementation levels for residential sustainability. Various reasons for this are offered via a ‘blame game’ in a sector plagued by lack of demand, prohibitive costs, and poorly implemented existing energy efficiency regulations. Multiple gaps in traditional supply-led procurement theory inhibits sustainability’s implementation in the Australian mass production residential construction system. Once-off consumers are not the key demand actor due to their inability to demand sustainability in a system that limits consumers’ choice and demand. Warren-Myers and Heywood (2016) theorized that the mass-producing Volume Builders are the pivotal demand-side actor in mainstreaming sustainability in the Australian new housing system. This paper investigated the Volume Builders’ roles and relationships with traditional demand-side actors, housing consumers, and the supply-side’s subcontractors and suppliers, to identify the ultimate demand actor that drives the housing industry. The investigation used semi-structured interviews with Volume Builders. The results demonstrated Volume Builders’ dominance of the Australian residential mass production construction industry validating their pivotal role as a demand-side actor in a consumption-based demand and supply model. This identifies Volume Builders as the key actor who could then drive wide-spread adoption of sustainability innovation in Australian mass-produced housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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