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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 10 (October 2014), Pages 6488-7481

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial An Integrated Sustainable Business and Development System: Thoughts and Opinions
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6862-6871; doi:10.3390/su6106862
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (646 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Companies understand the importance of monitoring and managing their environmental impacts and aim to integrate, with consistent quality control, effective reduce-reuse-recycle programs and risk preventions. By building an integrated sustainable business and development system to meet certain environmental standards, many companies are eligible
[...] Read more.
Companies understand the importance of monitoring and managing their environmental impacts and aim to integrate, with consistent quality control, effective reduce-reuse-recycle programs and risk preventions. By building an integrated sustainable business and development system to meet certain environmental standards, many companies are eligible to be “green” certified. Companies may consider recognizing global visions on sustainability while implementing local best practices. An integrated sustainable business and development system includes talent management, sustainable supply chain, practicing strategies of leveraging resources effectively, implementing social responsibilities, initiating innovative programs of recycling, reducing, and reusing, advancing leaders’ perceptions towards sustainability, reducing innovation barriers, and engaging sustainable practices strategically. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Urban Land Pattern Impacts on Floods in a New District of China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6488-6508; doi:10.3390/su6106488
Received: 4 June 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2968 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban floods are linked to patterns of land use, specifically urban sprawl. Since the 1980s, government-led new districts are sweeping across China, which account for many of the floods events. Focuses of urbanization impact on floods are extending gradually from hydraulic channels, to
[...] Read more.
Urban floods are linked to patterns of land use, specifically urban sprawl. Since the 1980s, government-led new districts are sweeping across China, which account for many of the floods events. Focuses of urbanization impact on floods are extending gradually from hydraulic channels, to imperviousness ratio, to imperviousness pattern in urban areas or urbanized basins. Thus, the paper aims to explore how urban land pattern can affect floods in urban areas to provide decision makers with guidance on land use and stormwater management. Imperviousness was generally correlated with spatial variations in land use, with lower imperviousness in less dense, new districts, and higher imperviousness in more dense, uniform/clustered development in local areas adjacent to hot nodes. The way imperviousness and channel are organized, and the location of imperviousness within a catchment, can influence floods. Local government’s approach to new district planning, in terms of zoning provisions, has only considered some development aspects and has not adequately integrated flood management. A key issue for the planning should been done to adequately cater for flooding, particularly considering the benefits of keeping natural conveyance systems (rivers) and their floodplains to manage flood waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution of Migration and Economic Development: A Case Study of Sichuan Province, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6509-6528; doi:10.3390/su6106509
Received: 20 June 2014 / Revised: 7 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 26 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2028 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial distribution of China’s rapid growth in population and economic development is uneven, and this imbalance leads to migration. However, the literature concerning migration in China has been primarily focused at the provincial scale and on eastern parts of the country. Relatively
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The spatial distribution of China’s rapid growth in population and economic development is uneven, and this imbalance leads to migration. However, the literature concerning migration in China has been primarily focused at the provincial scale and on eastern parts of the country. Relatively few studies have examined migration between counties and these rarely involve poor areas, and even more rarely involving out-migration areas. Using statistical data, this study analyzes the spatial correspondence between population distribution and economic development in Sichuan with an index, the Correspondence of Population and Economy (CPE). We also build a regression model of net-migration to analyze the driving forces of migration. The results include the following: (1) The distribution of population, population density, GDP, and GDP growth are all similar, and the high value areas are mainly concentrated in eastern Sichuan; (2) The number of counties that are balanced in CPE dropped from 30 to 12 from 2005 to 2012, but the counties did not overlap; (3) Most in-migrants come from Sichuan itself, and in-migration areas are primarily concentrated in cities; (4) In the regression model, the four economic factors have a positive influence on net-migration, but rural employment has a negative influence; (5) CPE has a weak negative correlation with net-migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle A Focused Crawler for Borderlands Situation Information with Geographical Properties of Place Names
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6529-6552; doi:10.3390/su6106529
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Place name is an important ingredient of borderlands situation information and plays a significant role in collecting them from the Internet with focused crawlers. However, current focused crawlers treat place name in the same way as any other common keyword, which has no
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Place name is an important ingredient of borderlands situation information and plays a significant role in collecting them from the Internet with focused crawlers. However, current focused crawlers treat place name in the same way as any other common keyword, which has no geographical properties. This may reduce the effectiveness of focused crawlers. To solve the problem, this paper firstly discusses the importance of place name in focused crawlers in terms of location and spatial relation, and, then, proposes the two-tuple-based topic representation method to express place name and common keyword, respectively. Afterwards, spatial relations between place names are introduced to calculate the relevance of given topics and webpages, which can make the calculation process more accurately. On the basis of the above, a focused crawler prototype for borderlands situation information collection is designed and implemented. The crawling speed and F-Score are adopted to evaluate its efficiency and effectiveness. Experimental results indicate that the efficiency of our proposed focused crawler is consistent with the polite access interval and it could meet the daily demand of borderlands situation information collection. Additionally, the F-Score value of our proposed focused crawler increases by around 7%, which means that our proposed focused crawler is more effective than the traditional best-first focused crawler. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle From Attitude Change to Behaviour Change: Institutional Mediators of Education for Sustainable Development Effectiveness
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6553-6575; doi:10.3390/su6106553
Received: 18 April 2014 / Revised: 10 September 2014 / Accepted: 17 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we explore the way in which institutional contexts mediate values-focused behaviour change, with potential design implications. We use concepts taken from training research, where “learning transfer” refers to the translation into practice of the learning acquired during training: it is
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore the way in which institutional contexts mediate values-focused behaviour change, with potential design implications. We use concepts taken from training research, where “learning transfer” refers to the translation into practice of the learning acquired during training: it is considered necessary to generalize it for the job context and for it to be maintained over a period of time on the job. In this paper, we analyse the example of one education for sustainable development (ESD) intervention that is already established as pedagogically effective when it is deployed in diverse institutional environments worldwide—the Youth as Agents of Behaviour Change program of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This allows an opportunity to consider variations in learning transfer due to distinctive moderating institutional features, which can now be understood in terms of varying transfer climates, levels of leadership support and opportunities to practice. Additional barriers of tokenistic consultation, lack of role clarity and perverse effects of increased distance between trainees and their colleagues on return were also seen. ESD programs intending to bridge the values-action gap could benefit from not focusing only on the training content, but pre-planning organisational support for returning trainees and including in the training ways for them to assess and plan to overcome such difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Cyberspace Knowledge Gaps and Boundaries in Sustainability Science: Topics, Regions, Editorial Teams and Journals
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6576-6603; doi:10.3390/su6106576
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The scholarly world of sustainability science is one that is international and interdisciplinary, but is one, on close reading of research contributions, editoral teams, journal citations, and geographic coverage, that has much unevenness. The focus of this paper is on the cyberspace boundaries
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The scholarly world of sustainability science is one that is international and interdisciplinary, but is one, on close reading of research contributions, editoral teams, journal citations, and geographic coverage, that has much unevenness. The focus of this paper is on the cyberspace boundaries between and within fields and disciplines studying sustainability; these boundaries separate knowledge gaps or uneven patterns in sustainability scholarship. I use the volume of hyperlinks on Google Search Engine and Google Scholar to illustrate the nature and extent of the boundaries in cyberspace that exist and also the subject and geographic gaps in the home countries of sustainability journal editors and editorial board members of 69 journals, many which have appeared since 2000. The results reveal that knowledge boundaries are part of the current nature of sustainability scholarship and that, while there is global coverage in our knowledge of sustainability, as well as sustainability maps and photographs, we know much less about sustainability in countries of the Global South than the Global North. This unevenness extends to the dominance of North America, Europe, and China as leaders in what we know. English-speaking countries also tend to dominate both journal editors and editorial board members, even though countries in the Global South have representation. The volumes of hyperlinks for the sustainability journals associated with both databases are similar with major interdisciplinary journals having the largest numbers. As the field of international sustainability science continues to evolve, it bears observing whether the cyberspace knowledge or boundary gaps will narrow in what is recognized by most science and policy scientists as one of the most important transdisciplinary fields of study in the Global South and North. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Green Transformational Leadership and Green Performance: The Mediation Effects of Green Mindfulness and Green Self-Efficacy
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6604-6621; doi:10.3390/su6106604
Received: 7 August 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
No prior literature explores the influence of green transformational leadership on green performance, thus, this study develops a novel research framework to fill the research gap. This study investigates the influence of green transformational leadership on green performance and discusses the mediation effects
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No prior literature explores the influence of green transformational leadership on green performance, thus, this study develops a novel research framework to fill the research gap. This study investigates the influence of green transformational leadership on green performance and discusses the mediation effects of green mindfulness and green self-efficacy by means of structural equation modeling (SEM). The results indicate that green transformational leadership positively influences green mindfulness, green self-efficacy, and green performance. Moreover, this study demonstrates that the positive relationship between green transformational leadership and green performance is partially mediated by the two mediators: green mindfulness and green self-efficacy. It means that green transformational leadership can not only directly affect green performance positively but also indirectly affect it positively through green mindfulness and green self-efficacy. Therefore, firms need to raise their green transformational leadership, green mindfulness, and green self-efficacy to increase their green performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Power of Urban Planning on Environmental Sustainability: A Focus Group Study in Finland
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6622-6643; doi:10.3390/su6106622
Received: 26 June 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 17 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable communities are promoted as a desirable policy goal and, in particular, local authorities are encouraged to contribute to climate change mitigation through urban planning. Furthermore, recent research takes a broad perspective on the environmental sustainability of urban areas and considers the environmental
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Sustainable communities are promoted as a desirable policy goal and, in particular, local authorities are encouraged to contribute to climate change mitigation through urban planning. Furthermore, recent research takes a broad perspective on the environmental sustainability of urban areas and considers the environmental impact of all consumption. A focus group study was conducted in Finland for the purpose of examining how increased environmental awareness influences urban land use. The 32 participants of three focus groups were professionals of urban planning and environmental sustainability, at both a municipal and a state level. The main finding was that urban planning is viewed as being unable to support environmental sustainability in the broader sense. In general, the participants did not see a connection between urban structure and sustainable lifestyles and only the influence of planning on housing and daily journeys was recognised. Three main reasons for this were identified. Firstly, environmental sustainability in its broader definition is seen as too complex for urban planners to influence alone. Secondly, the dominance of short-term economic issues in decision-making and the lack of co-operation from other stakeholders to achieve environmental aims demotivate land use planners. Thirdly, the prioritisation of urban density may overrule alternative means of promoting environmental sustainability, such as the encouragement of sustainable suburban or non-urban lifestyles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Agricultural Extension on Farmer Nutrient Management Behavior in Chinese Rice Production: A Household-Level Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6644-6665; doi:10.3390/su6106644
Received: 13 August 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 18 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agricultural nutrients play a critical role in food production and human nutrition in China. Against this backdrop, agricultural extension services are essential for providing farmers with knowledge and information about nutrient management. By using a propensity score-matching (PSM) approach, this study examines the
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Agricultural nutrients play a critical role in food production and human nutrition in China. Against this backdrop, agricultural extension services are essential for providing farmers with knowledge and information about nutrient management. By using a propensity score-matching (PSM) approach, this study examines the impact of agricultural extension on farmer nutrient management behavior. Survey data about rice farmers in seven provinces of rural China are used. The empirical results indicate that participation in agricultural extension has a positive impact on rationalizing farmer nutrient management behavior. However, this impact is trivial. Compared with non-participating farmers, the reduced ratio of total fertilizer use and total inorganic fertilizer use by participating farmers is only 1.7% to 3.7%, and the improved ratio of the total organic fertilizer use and the level of soil-testing-based fertilizer use by participating farmers is only 1.008% to 1.173%. Additionally, the causal impacts of agricultural extension participation on nutrient management behavior tend to be higher for more educated, risk-loving and larger-scale farmers. This study reveals that China faces great challenges in implementing improved nutrient management practices for hundreds of millions of farmers through extension services. The findings also have important implications for China’s extension system to meet the objectives of improving nutrient management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chain Network Design under Disruption Risks
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6666-6686; doi:10.3390/su6106666
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 17 September 2014 / Accepted: 19 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable supply chain network design is a rich area for academic research that is still in its infancy and has potential to affect supply chain performance. Increasing regulations for carbon and waste management are forcing firms to consider their supply chains from ecological
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Sustainable supply chain network design is a rich area for academic research that is still in its infancy and has potential to affect supply chain performance. Increasing regulations for carbon and waste management are forcing firms to consider their supply chains from ecological and social objectives, but in reality, however, facilities and the links connecting them are disrupted from time to time, due to poor weather, natural or manmade disasters or a combination of any other factors. Supply chain systems drop their sustainability objectives while coping with these unexpected disruptions. Hence, the new challenges for supply chain managers are to design an efficient and effective supply chain network that will be resilient enough to bounce back from any disruption and that also should have sufficient vigilance to offer same sustainability under a disruption state. This paper focuses on ecological sustainability, because an environmental focus in a supply chain system is more important and also links with other pillars of sustainability, as the products need to be produced, packed and transported in an ethical way, which should not harm social balance and the environment. Owing to importance of the considered issue, this paper attempts to introduce a network optimization model for a sustainable and resilient supply chain network by incorporating (1) sustainability via carbon emissions and embodied carbon footprints and (2) resilience by incorporating location-specific risks. The proposed goal programming (GP) model optimizes the total cost, while considering the resilience and sustainability of the supply chain network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle An Innovative Configuration for CO2 Capture by High Temperature Fuel Cells
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6687-6695; doi:10.3390/su6106687
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (899 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many technological solutions have been proposed for CO2 capture in the last few years. Most of them are characterized by high costs in terms of energy consumption and, consequently, higher fossil fuel use and higher economic costs. High temperature fuel cells are
[...] Read more.
Many technological solutions have been proposed for CO2 capture in the last few years. Most of them are characterized by high costs in terms of energy consumption and, consequently, higher fossil fuel use and higher economic costs. High temperature fuel cells are technological solutions currently developed for energy production with low environmental impact. In CIRIAF—University of Perugia labs, cylindrical geometry, small-sized molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) prototypes were built and tested with good energy production and lifetime performances. In the present work, an innovative application for MCFCs is proposed, and an innovative configuration for CO2 capture/separation is investigated. The plant scheme is based on a reformer and a cylindrical MCFC. MCFCs are the most suitable solutions, because CO2 is used in their operating cycle. An analysis in terms of energy consumption/kgCO2 captured is made by coupling the proposed configuration with a gas turbine plant. The proposed configuration is characterized by a theoretical energy consumption of about 500 kJ/kgCO2, which is quite lower than actual sequestration technologies. An experimental campaign will be scheduled to verify the theoretical findings. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Sustainability and Economic Benefits of Dairy Farm Biogas Energy Production: A Case Study in Umbria
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6696-6713; doi:10.3390/su6106696
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accelerating demand to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels has been driving widespread attention to renewable fuels, such as biogas. In fact, in the last decade numerous policy guidelines and laws regarding energy, the environment and agriculture have been issued to encourage
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Accelerating demand to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels has been driving widespread attention to renewable fuels, such as biogas. In fact, in the last decade numerous policy guidelines and laws regarding energy, the environment and agriculture have been issued to encourage the use of animal sewage as a raw material for the production of biogas. The production of energy from biogas in a dairy farm can provide a good opportunity for sustainable rural development, augmenting the farm’s income from traditional sources and helping to reduce the overall environmental impact of the energy sector. This paper investigates the trade-off between the environmental and economic benefits of an agro-energy farm in the Umbria region of Italy that employs livestock sewage and manure, dedicated energy crops (corn and triticale silage) and olive waste. The environmental analysis was performed using the LCA methodology, while the economic investigation was carried out by reconstructing the economic balance of the agro-energetic supply chain based on the budgets of each activity performed. The LCA results show, on the one hand, the predominant weight of producing dedicated crops compared to all other processes in the supply chain and, on the other hand, a significant reduction in environmental impact compared to that caused by energy production from fossil fuels. Economic analysis revealed that the results depend significantly on what rate per kWh the government incentives guarantee to agricultural producers of renewable energy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Farmers’ Willingness to Pay and Its Level for Ecological Compensation of Poyang Lake Wetland, China: A Household-Level Survey
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6714-6728; doi:10.3390/su6106714
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 31 August 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (866 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the determinants of farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) and their payment levels for ecological compensation of the Poyang Lake Wetland in China. We developed a farmer household survey and gathered 292 effective responses. The contingent valuation method (CVM) and Heckman’s
[...] Read more.
This study examines the determinants of farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) and their payment levels for ecological compensation of the Poyang Lake Wetland in China. We developed a farmer household survey and gathered 292 effective responses. The contingent valuation method (CVM) and Heckman’s two-step model were employed for the empirical study. Results show that 46.58% of farmers are willing to pay ecological compensation, with an average price of $64.39/household per year. The influencing factors that significantly influence farmers’ WTP include household income, residential location, emphasis on improvement of wetland resources, arable land area, and contracted water area. In addition, household income, residential location, arable land area, and contracted water area are significantly related to their payment levels. The results of this empirical study inform important policy implications and recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)
Open AccessArticle Decoupling Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: Reviewing Progress to Date in the Small Island State of Malta
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6729-6750; doi:10.3390/su6106729
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper considers the challenge of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation; in contrast to several large-scale cross-country analyses that focus on limited indicators of environmental degradation, we analyze in some depth the experience of a single small-scale island state setting (Malta). We
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This paper considers the challenge of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation; in contrast to several large-scale cross-country analyses that focus on limited indicators of environmental degradation, we analyze in some depth the experience of a single small-scale island state setting (Malta). We use available statistical data to derive decoupling factors, in order to consider the extent to which decoupling has been achieved in four sectors: (i) energy intensity, climate change, and air quality; (ii) water; (iii) waste; and (iv) land. Results indicate relative decoupling between economic growth and several indicators considered, and to a lesser extent, relative decoupling between population growth and the same indicators of environmental pressure. Absolute decoupling has been achieved in at least one instance but there has been no decoupling of land development from either economic or population growth. Land use and population thus appear to be notable sources of pressure. The results suggest that decoupling analyses that present environmental degradation in terms of single variables (e.g., carbon emissions) may misrepresent somewhat the state of the environment at local level. Furthermore, the study highlights the need for methodologies that factor in the “embedding” of small-scale settings within much larger trade networks, for a more accurate estimation of environmental impact, and points to some limitations of solely quantitative analyses of environment-ecology relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment in Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Preliminary Calculation of the EROI for the Production of Gas in Russia
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6751-6765; doi:10.3390/su6106751
Received: 2 June 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (783 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of energy resources. Production of energy resources in Russia is profitable, both economically and in terms of the energy produced (as measured by EROI). At the present time, Russian oil and gas companies have a
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Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of energy resources. Production of energy resources in Russia is profitable, both economically and in terms of the energy produced (as measured by EROI). At the present time, Russian oil and gas companies have a policy of energy saving, and data on energy consumption is given in annual reports. Based on these data, we can make the EROI calculation. In 2013, the EROI for the production, transportation and processing of gas for Open joint stock company (OJSC) “Gazprom” was 79:1; for OJSC “NOVATEK”, 76:1; for OJSC “Yakutsk Fuel and Energy Company (YATEC)”, only for production, 116:1. Currently, the situation in the oil and gas industry has come to a point when there is a need for the introduction of an energy audit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Mechanisms of Forest Restoration in Landslide Treatment Areas
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6766-6780; doi:10.3390/su6106766
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reforestation after a landslide facilitates competition between herbaceous plants and arborous plants. Tangible variations in grassland areas in regions susceptible to landslides can only be found within collections of trees. A landslide area in the Sule Watershed was investigated. Relative illuminance results reveal
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Reforestation after a landslide facilitates competition between herbaceous plants and arborous plants. Tangible variations in grassland areas in regions susceptible to landslides can only be found within collections of trees. A landslide area in the Sule Watershed was investigated. Relative illuminance results reveal that the Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana Kunth) biomass in this landslide area increases with relative illuminance. A comparison of regions with tree islands indicates that the size of the grassland areas decreased and the number of tree islands increased during 2005–2010. Furthermore, a germination experiment in a soil-seed bank indicates that more woody plant species exist around the tree island than in other areas in the landslide region. Trees in a tree island change the micro-climate of the landslide region, and they gather as many nutrients and as much moisture as possible, enabling vegetation to expand around the tree island. Additionally, the area with Rhodes grass and its biomass declined annually in the tree island region. Investigation results show that tree islands and soil-seed banks are suited to reforestation in landslide regions. The pioneering research will assist regional landslide management in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Ecotourism Environmental Protection Measures and Their Effects on Protected Areas in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6781-6798; doi:10.3390/su6106781
Received: 15 July 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological and environmental protection is the core content of ecotourism development. A quantitative evaluation of the effects of ecotourism environmental protection (hereinafter referred to as EEP) measures on protected areas is conducive to a deeper understanding of the key issues related to ecotourism
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Ecological and environmental protection is the core content of ecotourism development. A quantitative evaluation of the effects of ecotourism environmental protection (hereinafter referred to as EEP) measures on protected areas is conducive to a deeper understanding of the key issues related to ecotourism development in China, thus providing the theoretical basis for formulating the relevant national policies of sustainable ecotourism development in China. This paper first discusses the evaluation index system and then establishes an index evaluation model of EEP measures and their effects on protected areas. Using surveys of more than 1110 protected areas in 27 provinces (autonomous regions or municipalities), we evaluated the EEP measures and their effects from a quantitative and spatial perspective. The completeness of EEP measures for Chinese protected areas was moderately effective, and the implementation status of the protection measures varied with the protection region. The effectiveness of EEP measures in different provinces and regions showed significant differences. The effectiveness decreased from east to west. The evaluation index values of the environmental protection measures displayed a high correlation with the effects of environmental protection on protected areas. The ecological protection measures should be further improved and strengthened according to their regional differences during ecotourism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Examining the Impact of Greenspace Patterns on Land Surface Temperature by Coupling LiDAR Data with a CFD Model
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6799-6814; doi:10.3390/su6106799
Received: 10 July 2014 / Revised: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3893 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the link between greenspace patterns and land surface temperature is very important for mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) effect and is also useful for planners and decision-makers for providing a sustainable design for urban greenspace. Although coupling remote sensing data with
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Understanding the link between greenspace patterns and land surface temperature is very important for mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) effect and is also useful for planners and decision-makers for providing a sustainable design for urban greenspace. Although coupling remote sensing data with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has widely been used to examine interactions between UHI and greenspace patterns, the paper aims to examine the impact of five theoretical models of greenspace patterns on land surface temperature based on the improvement of the accuracy of CFD modeling by the combination of LiDAR data with remote sensing images to build a 3D urban model. The simulated results demonstrated that the zonal pattern always had the obvious cooling effects when there are no large buildings or terrain obstacles. For ambient environments, the building or terrain obstacles and the type of greenspace have the hugest influence on mitigating the UHI, but the greenspace area behaves as having the least cooling effect. A dotted greenspace pattern shows the best cooling effect in the central area or residential district within a city, while a radial and a wedge pattern may result in a “cold source” for the urban thermal environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sun Simulators: Development of an Innovative Low Cost Film Filter
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6830-6846; doi:10.3390/su6106830
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sun simulators are employed to test the performance of photovoltaic (PV) devices, according to the standard International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61215. Economical and technical analysis show that PV manufacturers need to integrate Sun simulators in the production process and, in particular, at the
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Sun simulators are employed to test the performance of photovoltaic (PV) devices, according to the standard International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61215. Economical and technical analysis show that PV manufacturers need to integrate Sun simulators in the production process and, in particular, at the end of the production chain in order to measure the I-V curve and to evaluate the peak power of PV devices. Sun simulators need specific lamps to simulate the solar spectrum and a specific filter to simulate atmosphere absorbance. Such a filter can cost over €6 per square centimeter. The aim of this work is to develop an alternative filter. In particular, both chemical analysis and spectrophotometric measurements are carried out to evaluate if the Air Mass (AM) 1.5 G filter can be replaced by a cheaper material. Preliminary simulations show how specific compounds coated on a glass surface can absorb the Sun spectrum, such as the AM 1.5 filter, but with lower costs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Small Mushrooms for Big Business? Gaps in the Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products in Southwest China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6847-6861; doi:10.3390/su6106847
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 17 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The challenge of managing forests for the production of commercial non-timber forest products (NTFPs) lies in promoting economic development by maintaining and even increasing production while simultaneously maintaining or improving ecological conditions. The discussion of forest management therefore encompasses a wide range of
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The challenge of managing forests for the production of commercial non-timber forest products (NTFPs) lies in promoting economic development by maintaining and even increasing production while simultaneously maintaining or improving ecological conditions. The discussion of forest management therefore encompasses a wide range of social, economic, political, and ecological questions. Empirically, it is clear that both market and government failure can lead to unsustainable management in commercial NTFP use. How can we manage the market and at the same time formulate good policies? Taking cases from Southwest China, this paper critically examines the current development of NTFP commercialization in the mountainous region of Southwest China. It focuses particularly on three pieces of research on mushroom collection and marketing. By examining empirical data, the paper analyzes current gaps in the policy and the market in mountainous areas in the context of promoting sustainable use of NTFP. It examines the market structure from the perspective of market failure and explores the government’s failure to promote commercial NTFPs. We recommend economic and political decentralization, capacity building, and government investment as means to improve sustainable management. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Systematical Framework of Schedule Risk Management for Power Grid Engineering Projects’ Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6872-6901; doi:10.3390/su6106872
Received: 22 April 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 1 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Schedule risks are the main threat for high efficiency of schedule management in power grid engineering projects (PGEP). This paper aims to build a systematical framework for schedule risk management, which consists of three dimensions, including the personnel dimension, method dimension and time
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Schedule risks are the main threat for high efficiency of schedule management in power grid engineering projects (PGEP). This paper aims to build a systematical framework for schedule risk management, which consists of three dimensions, including the personnel dimension, method dimension and time dimension, namely supervisory personnel, management methods and the construction process, respectively. Responsibilities of staff with varied functions are discussed in the supervisory personnel part, and six stages and their corresponding 40 key works are ensured as the time dimension. Risk identification, analysis, evaluation and prevention together formed the method dimension. Based on this framework, 222 schedule risks occur in the whole process of PGEPs are identified via questionnaires and expert interviews. Then, the relationship among each risk is figured out based on the Interpretative Structure Model (ISM) method and the impact of each risk is quantitatively assessed by establishing evaluation system. The actual practice of the proposed framework is verified through the analysis of the first stage of a PGEP. Finally, the results show that this framework of schedule risk management is meaningful for improving the efficiency of project management. It provides managers with a clearer procedure with which to conduct risk management, helps them to timely detect risks and prevent risks from occurring. It is also easy for managers to judge the influence level of each risk, so they can take actions based on the level of each risk’s severity. Overall, it is beneficial for power grid enterprises to achieve a sustainable management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Recycled Urban Wastewater for Irrigation of Jatropha curcas L. in Abandoned Agricultural Arid Land
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6902-6924; doi:10.3390/su6106902
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 1 October 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (866 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a global context in which obtaining new energy sources is of paramount importance, the production of biodiesel from plant crops is a potentially viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Among the species used to produce the raw material for biodiesel,
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In a global context in which obtaining new energy sources is of paramount importance, the production of biodiesel from plant crops is a potentially viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Among the species used to produce the raw material for biodiesel, Jatropha curcas L. (JCL) has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, due partly to its ability to grow in degraded zones and under arid and semi-arid conditions. The present study evaluates the potential for JCL production under irrigation with non-conventional water resources in abandoned agricultural soils of the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain), which is one of the most arid parts of the European Union. JCL growth and productivity are compared during the first 39 months of cultivation in two soil types (clay-loam and sandy-loam) and with two irrigation water qualities: recycled urban wastewater (RWW) and desalinated brackish water (DBW). The results indicate that JCL growth (in terms of plant height and stem diameter) was significantly influenced both by soil type and water quality, with better development observed in the sandy-loam soil under RWW irrigation. Productivity, measured as cumulative seed production, was not affected by soil type but was affected by water quality. Production under RWW irrigation was approximately seven times greater than with DBW (mean ~2142 vs. 322 kg·ha−1). The higher nutrient content, especially P, K and Mg, and lower B content of the RWW were found to be key factors in the greater productivity observed under irrigation with this type of water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Transdisciplinary Application of Cross-Scale Resilience
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6925-6948; doi:10.3390/su6106925
Received: 5 July 2014 / Revised: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 17 September 2014 / Published: 2 October 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cross-scale resilience model was developed in ecology to explain the emergence of resilience from the distribution of ecological functions within and across scales, and as a tool to assess resilience. We propose that the model and the underlying discontinuity hypothesis are relevant
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The cross-scale resilience model was developed in ecology to explain the emergence of resilience from the distribution of ecological functions within and across scales, and as a tool to assess resilience. We propose that the model and the underlying discontinuity hypothesis are relevant to other complex adaptive systems, and can be used to identify and track changes in system parameters related to resilience. We explain the theory behind the cross-scale resilience model, review the cases where it has been applied to non-ecological systems, and discuss some examples of social-ecological, archaeological/ anthropological, and economic systems where a cross-scale resilience analysis could add a quantitative dimension to our current understanding of system dynamics and resilience. We argue that the scaling and diversity parameters suitable for a resilience analysis of ecological systems are appropriate for a broad suite of systems where non-normative quantitative assessments of resilience are desired. Our planet is currently characterized by fast environmental and social change, and the cross-scale resilience model has the potential to quantify resilience across many types of complex adaptive systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Gendered Morality and Development Narratives: The Case of Female Labor Migration from Indonesia
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6949-6972; doi:10.3390/su6106949
Received: 6 July 2014 / Revised: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 26 September 2014 / Published: 3 October 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses two dominant and contradictory representations of Indonesian female migrant workers: as national “heroes” who contribute to Indonesia’s economic development, or as exploited “victims” of labor abuse. By analyzing public statements by Indonesian state actors, news reports, and migrant activists’ websites,
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This article discusses two dominant and contradictory representations of Indonesian female migrant workers: as national “heroes” who contribute to Indonesia’s economic development, or as exploited “victims” of labor abuse. By analyzing public statements by Indonesian state actors, news reports, and migrant activists’ websites, I argue that representations of migrants as victims do not undermine representations of migrants as heroes of development. Instead, in Indonesian public discourses about migrant women, various institutions and actors often evoke similar gendered moral assumptions of what makes a “good” or “bad” Indonesian woman and worker. These assumptions serve narratives that imply which migrant workers are heroes who deserve media attention; which migrants are unfairly abused and deserve state protection; and which migrants partly deserve their tragic fates. I term these assumptions gendered moral hierarchies, which distinguish between “tolerable” and “illegitimate” violence. Gendered moral hierarchies in representations of migrants downplay the responsibility of states and institutions for migrant safety, labor protection, and aspects of social welfare, by emphasizing individual moral responsibility and blame. More attention to gendered moral assumptions behind migrants’ narratives of development and victimhood can illuminate how they experience the risks and promises of transnational labor migration in gendered and culturally specific ways. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficient Assessment of Social Hotspots in the Supply Chains of 100 Product Categories Using the Social Hotspots Database
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6973-6984; doi:10.3390/su6106973
Received: 3 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 6 October 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Data collection, or the inventory step, is often the most labor-intensive phase of any Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. The S-LCA Guidelines and numerous authors have recommended generic assessment in this first phase of an S-LCA. In an effort to identify the social
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Data collection, or the inventory step, is often the most labor-intensive phase of any Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. The S-LCA Guidelines and numerous authors have recommended generic assessment in this first phase of an S-LCA. In an effort to identify the social hotspots in the supply chains of 100 product categories during just a few months’ time, adopting a streamlined approach was essential. The Social Hotspots Database system was developed by New Earth over 5 years. It includes a Global Input Output (IO) model derived from the Global Trade Analysis Project, a Worker Hours Model constructed using annual wage payments and wage rates by country and sector, and Social Theme Tables covering 22 themes within five Social Impact Categories—Labor Rights and Decent Work, Health and Safety, Human Rights, Governance and Community Impacts. The data tables identify social risks for over 100 indicators. Both the ranking of worker hour intensity and the risk levels across multiple social themes for the Country Specific Sectors (CSS) within a product category supply chain are used to calculate Social Hotspots Indexes (SHI) using an additive weighting method. The CSS with the highest SHI are highlighted as social hotspots within the supply chain of the product in question. This system was tested in seven case studies in 2011. In order to further limit the number of hotspots, a set of prioritization rules was applied. This paper will review the method implemented to study the social hotspots of the 100 product categories and provide one detailed example. Limitations of the approach and recommended research avenues will be outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Open AccessArticle Application of Low-Phosphorous Fertilizers on Tea Plantations as a Novel Best Management Practice
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6985-6997; doi:10.3390/su6106985
Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 7 October 2014
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Abstract
Taipei Feitsui Reservoir supplies drinking water to more than five million citizens in northern Taiwan. The Feitsui Reservoir Administration and Tea Research and Extension Station have implemented a new pollution control measure for the use of low-phosphorous (low-P) fertilizers to prevent eutrophication. In
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Taipei Feitsui Reservoir supplies drinking water to more than five million citizens in northern Taiwan. The Feitsui Reservoir Administration and Tea Research and Extension Station have implemented a new pollution control measure for the use of low-phosphorous (low-P) fertilizers to prevent eutrophication. In this study, we compared the quality of the soil, effluent and tea from two test fields. Low-P fertilizer was applied to one of the fields, and regular phosphorous fertilizer (regular-P) was applied to the other. The study period covered spring and winter seasons. The results showed that the investigated soil chemical properties were not influenced by either the low-P or regular-P fertilizers. The effluent quality was influenced by the precondition of the soil, which resulted in a larger average total phosphorous (TP) concentration in the low-P field. However, there was a decreasing trend in P concentration that amounted to approximately half of the average TP concentration in the regular-P field. The growth characteristics and yields were not significantly different between the two fields, but the taste and aroma of the tea from the low-P field was rated as superior to that of the regular-P field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle UASB followed by Sub-Surface Horizontal Flow Phytodepuration for the Treatment of the Sewage Generated by a Small Rural Community
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6998-7012; doi:10.3390/su6106998
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 1 October 2014 / Published: 9 October 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper presents the results of an experimental process designed for the treatment of the sewage generated by a rural community located in the north-east of Brazil. The process consists of a preliminary mechanical treatment adopting coarse screens and grit traps, followed by
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The paper presents the results of an experimental process designed for the treatment of the sewage generated by a rural community located in the north-east of Brazil. The process consists of a preliminary mechanical treatment adopting coarse screens and grit traps, followed by a biological treatment in a UASB reactor and a sub-surface horizontal flow phytodepuration step. The use of a UASB reactor equipped with a top cover, as well as of the phytodepuration process employing a porous medium, showed to present important health advantages. In particular, there were no significant odor emissions and there was no evidence of the proliferation of insects and other disease vectors. The plant achieved the following mean abatement efficiencies: 92.9% for BOD5, 79.2% for COD and 94% for Suspended Solids. With regard to fecal indicators average efficiencies of 98.8% for fecal coliforms and 97.9% for fecal enterococci were achieved. The UASB reactor showed an important role in achieving this result. The research was also aimed at evaluating the optimal operating conditions for the UASB reactor in terms of hydraulic load and organic volumetric loading. The achieved results hence indicated that the process may be highly effective for small rural communities in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Mitigation Effects of Urban Heat Islands in a Historical Small Center with the ENVI-Met® Climate Model
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7013-7029; doi:10.3390/su6107013
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 10 October 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (10896 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban morphology and increasing building density play a key role in the overall use of energy and promotion of environmental sustainability. The urban environment causes a local increase of temperature, a phenomenon known as Urban Heat Island (UHI). The purpose of this work
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Urban morphology and increasing building density play a key role in the overall use of energy and promotion of environmental sustainability. The urban environment causes a local increase of temperature, a phenomenon known as Urban Heat Island (UHI). The purpose of this work is the study of the possible formation of an UHI and the evaluation of its magnitude, in the context of a small city, carried out with the ENVI-met® software. For this purpose, a simulation was needed, and this simulation is preparatory for a monitoring campaign on site, which will be held in the immediate future. ENVI-met® simulates the temporal evolution of several thermodynamics parameters on a micro-scale range, creating a 3D, non-hydrostatic model of the interactions between building-atmosphere-vegetation. The weather conditions applied simulate a typical Italian summer heat wave. Three different case-studies have been analyzed: Base Case, Cool Case and Green Case. Analysis of the actual state in the Base Case shows how even in an area with average building density, such as the old town center of a small city, fully developed UHI may rise with strong thermal gradients between built areas and open zones with plenty of vegetation. These gradients arise in a really tiny space (few hundreds of meters), showing that the influence of urban geometry can be decisive in the characterization of local microclimate. Simulations, carried out considering the application of green or cool roofs, showed small relevant effects as they become evident only in large areas heavily built up (metropolis) subject to more intense climate conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development Mechanism of Food Culture’s Translocal Production Based on Authenticity
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7030-7047; doi:10.3390/su6107030
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 28 August 2014 / Accepted: 19 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food culture is a kind of non-material culture with authenticity. To achieve sustainable development of translocal heritage and food culture, we must protect its authenticity. By selecting the cases of the Dongbeiren Flavor Dumpling Restaurant and the Daozanjia Northeast Dumpling Restaurant and using
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Food culture is a kind of non-material culture with authenticity. To achieve sustainable development of translocal heritage and food culture, we must protect its authenticity. By selecting the cases of the Dongbeiren Flavor Dumpling Restaurant and the Daozanjia Northeast Dumpling Restaurant and using the in-depth interview method, this study discusses how northeastern Cuisine in Guangzhou balances the inheritance and innovation of authenticity, how producers and customers negotiate, and how to realize sustainable development. The main conclusions are: first, there are two different paths of translocal food culture production, which are “authentic food culture production” and “differentiated food culture production”. Second, what translocal enterprises produce is not objective authenticity, but constructive authenticity, or even existential authenticity. Third, compared with differentiated food culture production, authentic food culture production is helpful for the sustainable development of local food culture production. It protects the locality while transmitting and developing the local culture. Fourth, translocal food culture production is a process in which the producers and consumers continue to interact to maintain a state of equilibrium, which informs the sustainable development mechanism with a high degree of authenticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of Barriers and Factors Affecting the Reverse Logistics of Waste Management Practice: A Case Study in Thailand
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7048-7062; doi:10.3390/su6107048
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 19 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (744 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic growth in developing countries accelerated waste generation, and Thailand also is experiencing issues related to increased waste generation and improper waste management. The country’s domestic waste utilization is only 20%–26%. Efficient waste management and increased quantity of waste utilization is possible only
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Economic growth in developing countries accelerated waste generation, and Thailand also is experiencing issues related to increased waste generation and improper waste management. The country’s domestic waste utilization is only 20%–26%. Efficient waste management and increased quantity of waste utilization is possible only by overcoming problems and constraints in reverse logistics (RL) systems in Thailand. To address these issues and constraints, this study aims to focus the investigation on the current practices in the RL systems. The study was conducted in Bangkok and its vicinity. An integrated approach of qualitative and quantitative methods was employed to investigate the systems’ and stakeholders’ characteristics and to explore the factors influencing and constraining RL practices. Data were gathered through: (1) existing literature and in-depth interviews of key stakeholders involved in RL; and (2) a questionnaire survey of 98 managers of separation centers (SCs) probing their practices and studying the factors influencing those practices. The findings showed that RL systems can be separated into three levels, i.e., downstream, middle stream and upstream. SCs are key stakeholders in RL of waste management, and they collect waste from downstream, manage waste in a systematic way and send it upstream. The factors influencing and the barriers in the flow of recyclable waste are related to environmental, economic and social aspects. The analysis shows that waste managed by a cooperative-like franchise of SCs perceived that their practices were more efficient than those of a non-franchise practices. Additionally, these SCs have more bargaining power with waste buyers and sellers to set prices in the RL system. The constraints in RL practice are related to finance, market, labor, management/technology and legal issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Rent-Based Closed-Loop Supply Chain for Fashion Products
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7063-7088; doi:10.3390/su6107063
Received: 20 August 2014 / Revised: 27 September 2014 / Accepted: 29 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The textile and clothing industry generates much pollution and consumes a large amount of resources. Improper uses and disposal of clothing products make the problems much more severe. Fast fashion products shorten the valid lifecycle and generate more waste than regular clothing products.
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The textile and clothing industry generates much pollution and consumes a large amount of resources. Improper uses and disposal of clothing products make the problems much more severe. Fast fashion products shorten the valid lifecycle and generate more waste than regular clothing products. Considering the features of fashion products, a system of a rent-based closed-loop supply chain is developed to improve the sustainability of fashion products. The supply chain processes (fashion design and manufacturing, laundry, logistics and disposal), the operations management issues (inventory management, closed-loop logistics, human-clothing matching, booking system and the rental pricing) and the sustainability promotion aspects (customization, responsive system, culture and policy aspects) are investigated by devising sustainable strategies. The rationalities of the developed system and strategies are reviewed and elucidated in detail. The results may contribute to building sustainable closed-loop fashion supply chains, the related information systems and operational and managerial mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle The Spatio-Temporal Distribution and Development Modes of Border Ports in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7089-7106; doi:10.3390/su6107089
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 17 September 2014 / Accepted: 8 October 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3825 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Border ports play a substantial role in socio-economic exchanges, which reflect the diplomatic relations between neighboring countries. This paper maps and analyzes the evolution process of border ports in China since the 1930s, in terms of the spatial distribution, transport modes, cargo and
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Border ports play a substantial role in socio-economic exchanges, which reflect the diplomatic relations between neighboring countries. This paper maps and analyzes the evolution process of border ports in China since the 1930s, in terms of the spatial distribution, transport modes, cargo and flows of people. Four development modes of border ports and cities are summarized based on the functions and development level of border ports and their proximity to urban core areas. The four modes include: (1) Port-Port mode; (2) City-Port-Port-City mode; (3) City (Port)-Port-City mode; (4) City (Port)-City (Port) mode, which also reflect the spatio-temporal evolution process of certain border ports and cities. The results show that the development of border ports is closely related to the bilateral relations with neighboring countries and their complementarities of natural resources and economic development, national foreign policies, as well as the physical, historical and cultural context. The findings of this study are helpful to promote the sustainable development of the border port system which is crucial for win-win reciprocity between China and its neighboring countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Infrared Thermography Assessment of Thermal Bridges in Building Envelope: Experimental Validation in a Test Room Setup
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7107-7120; doi:10.3390/su6107107
Received: 26 June 2014 / Revised: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thermal infrared imaging is a valuable tool to perform non-destructive qualitative tests and to investigate buildings envelope thermal-energy behavior. The assessment of envelope thermal insulation, ventilation, air leakages, and HVAC performance can be implemented through the analysis of each thermogram corresponding to an
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Thermal infrared imaging is a valuable tool to perform non-destructive qualitative tests and to investigate buildings envelope thermal-energy behavior. The assessment of envelope thermal insulation, ventilation, air leakages, and HVAC performance can be implemented through the analysis of each thermogram corresponding to an object surface temperature. Thermography also allows the identification of thermal bridges in buildings’ envelope that, together with windows and doors, constitute one of the weakest component increasing thermal losses. A quantitative methodology was proposed in previous researches by the authors in order to evaluate the effect of such weak point on the energy balance of the whole building. In the present work, in-field experimental measurements were carried out with the purpose of evaluating the energy losses through the envelope of a test room experimental field. In-situ thermal transmittance of walls, ceiling and roof were continuously monitored and each element was characterized by its own thermal insulation capability. Infrared thermography and the proposed quantitative methodology were applied to assess the energy losses due to thermal bridges. The main results show that the procedure confirms to be a reliable tool to quantify the incidence of thermal bridges in the envelope thermal losses. Full article
Open AccessArticle Regional Informatization and Economic Growth in Japan: An Empirical Study Based on Spatial Econometric Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7121-7141; doi:10.3390/su6107121
Received: 25 April 2014 / Revised: 26 September 2014 / Accepted: 30 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (922 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research opinion on informatization is divided between two opposite poles—that it promotes or inhibits the spillover of regional economies. These conflicting viewpoints are called “the paradoxical geographies of the digital economy”. Information-based investment and diffusion of informatization contribute to breaking the economic space
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Research opinion on informatization is divided between two opposite poles—that it promotes or inhibits the spillover of regional economies. These conflicting viewpoints are called “the paradoxical geographies of the digital economy”. Information-based investment and diffusion of informatization contribute to breaking the economic space constraints caused by distance, leading to interregional spillover effects, according to the results of the Durbin model of spatial lag applied to Japanese regional data. Clearly, the local direct effects and the perimeter region’s indirect effects of informatization are both positive. This proves the existence of network externality, which causes increasing returns to scale. Extensive diffusion of information technology plays a significant role in the process, in addition to rapid accumulation and infiltration of information resources, which strengthens the information-based investment spillover effect. In this empirical analysis, evidence seems to support the view that informatization promotes economic development in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessCommunication Increasing the Effectiveness of the “Great Green Wall” as an Adaptation to the Effects of Climate Change and Desertification in the Sahel
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7142-7154; doi:10.3390/su6107142
Received: 21 August 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (677 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Great Green Wall (GGW) has been advocated as a means of reducing desertification in the Sahel through the planting of a broad continuous band of trees from Senegal to Djibouti. Initially proposed in the 1980s, the plan has received renewed impetus in
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The Great Green Wall (GGW) has been advocated as a means of reducing desertification in the Sahel through the planting of a broad continuous band of trees from Senegal to Djibouti. Initially proposed in the 1980s, the plan has received renewed impetus in light of the potential of climate change to accelerate desertification, although the implementation has been lacking in all but two of 11 countries in the region. In this paper, we argue that the GGW needs modifying if it is to be effective, obtain the support of local communities and leverage international support. Specifically, we propose a shift from planting trees in the GGW to utilizing shrubs (e.g., Leptospermum scoparium, Boscia senegalensis, Grewia flava, Euclea undulata or Diospyros lycioides), which would have multiple benefits, including having a faster growth rate and proving the basis for silvo-pastoral livelihoods based on bee-keeping and honey production. Full article
Open AccessArticle Scenario-Based Analysis on Water Resources Implication of Coal Power in Western China
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7155-7180; doi:10.3390/su6107155
Received: 20 August 2014 / Revised: 10 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 October 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, 58% of coal-fired power generation capacity is located in eastern China, where the demand for electricity is strong. Serious air pollution in China, in eastern regions in particular, has compelled the Chinese government to impose a ban on the new construction of
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Currently, 58% of coal-fired power generation capacity is located in eastern China, where the demand for electricity is strong. Serious air pollution in China, in eastern regions in particular, has compelled the Chinese government to impose a ban on the new construction of pulverized coal power plants in eastern regions. Meanwhile, rapid economic growth is thirsty for electric power supply. As a response, China planned to build large-scale coal power bases in six western provinces, including Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Ningxia and Gansu. In this paper, the water resource implication of the coal power base planning is addressed. We find that, in a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, water consumption for coal power generation in these six provinces will increase from 1130 million m3 in 2012 to 2085 million m3 in 2020, experiencing nearly a double growth. Such a surge will exert great pressure on water supply and lead to serious water crisis in these already water-starved regions. A strong implication is that the Chinese Government must add water resource constraint as a critical point in its overall sustainable development plan, in addition to energy supply and environment protection. An integrated energy-water resource plan with regionalized environmental carrying capacity as constraints should be developed to settle this puzzle. Several measures are proposed to cope with it, including downsizing coal power in western regions, raising the technical threshold of new coal power plants and implementing retrofitting to the inefficient cooling system, and reengineering the generation process to waterless or recycled means. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determination of the Support Level of Local Organizations in a Model Forest Initiative: Do Local Stakeholders Have Willingness to Be Involved in the Model Forest Development?
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7181-7196; doi:10.3390/su6107181
Received: 13 July 2014 / Revised: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Voluntary cooperation and the support of stakeholders carry a major importance in the development of Model Forests. The identification of the support level of local organizations as stakeholders in the Bucak Model Forest initiative, located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, constitutes the
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Voluntary cooperation and the support of stakeholders carry a major importance in the development of Model Forests. The identification of the support level of local organizations as stakeholders in the Bucak Model Forest initiative, located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, constitutes the theme of this study. Within this scope, the views of the stakeholders comprising local government units (LGUs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), village councils (VCs), professional organizations (POs) and forest products enterprises (FPEs) located in the district of Bucak were collected by utilizing a survey technique. The data were analysed by using non-parametric statistical analyses due to the absence of a normal distribution. The results show that the information provided about the Model Forest concept to the stakeholders located in the district on the Bucak Model Forest initiative was identified as a factor impacting the support level. Moreover, it was also observed that the stakeholders were more willing to provide advisory support rather than financial support. NGOs and VCs were identified as stakeholders who could not provide financial support due to their restricted budgets. We discuss the benefits for a Model Forest initiative of establishing international cooperation to strengthen the local and regional sustainable development process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Chinese Public Willingness to Pay to Avoid Having Nuclear Power Plants in the Neighborhood
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7197-7223; doi:10.3390/su6107197
Received: 30 July 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In spite of the decreasing share of nuclear power all over the world, China resumed the approval of large-scale construction of nuclear power plants in 2012. However, influenced by the worldwide spreading anti-nuclear attitudes, people who live near nuclear power plants showed increasing
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In spite of the decreasing share of nuclear power all over the world, China resumed the approval of large-scale construction of nuclear power plants in 2012. However, influenced by the worldwide spreading anti-nuclear attitudes, people who live near nuclear power plants showed increasing concerns about nuclear risks. Consequently, the Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome of nuclear power plants should be evaluated prudently to support the healthy development of nuclear power in China. Based on the face-to-face survey data, this study estimates Chinese public willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid having nuclear power plants in the neighborhood. The respondents include both residents who currently live near and those who would live near nuclear power plants in the future. Considering the possible presence of the sample selection bias caused by protest responses, this paper constructs a two-step sample selection model with the protest responses and the double bounded dichotomous choice (DBDC) questions. Using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), we measure the effects of influencing factors of public WTP and study the decay of WTP with longer distances from nuclear power plants. The results suggest that most people are willing to pay higher electricity prices to avoid having nuclear power plants in the neighborhood. Comparing the WTP to avoid having nuclear power plants nearby with the current electricity price, we find that there is an increase of 56.7% and 69.1% of respondents’ WTP for a nuclear power plant located 80 km and 30 km, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)
Open AccessArticle Local Perceptions about the Effects of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) and Castor (Ricinus communis) Plantations on Households in Ghana and Ethiopia
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7224-7241; doi:10.3390/su6107224
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 10 October 2014 / Accepted: 11 October 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biofuel plantations have been hyped as a means to reinvigorate Africa’s rural areas. Yet there is still apprehension about the negative environmental and social impacts of large-scale commercial biofuel production around rising food prices, land grabbing, ecological damage, and disruption of rural livelihoods.
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Biofuel plantations have been hyped as a means to reinvigorate Africa’s rural areas. Yet there is still apprehension about the negative environmental and social impacts of large-scale commercial biofuel production around rising food prices, land grabbing, ecological damage, and disruption of rural livelihoods. Given the extent of Jatropha curcas production in Ghana and Ethiopia and Castor bean (Ricinus communis) in Ethiopia, this paper presents the results of a study that assessed the socio-economic implications of industrial Jatropha plantations on local livelihoods in Ghana, and of industrial Jatropha and Castor plantations on local livelihoods in Ethiopia. This study used primary data collected from 234 households in Ghana and 165 in Ethiopia. The cultivation of Jatropha and Castor has had several important effects on local livelihoods in the study sites, most notably decreases in household landholdings due to the arrival of industrial Jatropha or Castor plantations; and the resulting changes these plantations have caused in household socio-economic status, food security, fallow periods, and fodder availability. We consider how a lack of meaningful consultation between local people, their traditional authorities and the biofuel company managers, along with shortcomings in each country’s broader land acquisition process and poor land use information, may have contributed to these overall negative effects on local livelihoods. We conclude by suggesting several ways that emerging biofuel industries could be improved from the perspective of local people and their livelihoods. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is There Any Evidence on the Existence of an Environmental Taxation Kuznets Curve? The Case of European Countries under Their Rule of Law Enforcement
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7242-7262; doi:10.3390/su6107242
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 1 October 2014 / Accepted: 11 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper gives new insights into the environmental taxation policy, demonstrating the existence of an inverse U-shaped relationship between environmental taxation and income in European countries. Our findings reveal this relationship to be influenced by enforcement of the rule of law, which contributes
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The paper gives new insights into the environmental taxation policy, demonstrating the existence of an inverse U-shaped relationship between environmental taxation and income in European countries. Our findings reveal this relationship to be influenced by enforcement of the rule of law, which contributes to shifting the turning point on the curve to lower income levels. We show that former transition economies have not reached the turning point due to weak institutions. To achieve the goal of sustainable development, the European Environment Agency’s Environmental Taxation Reform, proposing to shift taxation from “goods” to “bads”, should be accompanied by effective enforcement or the rule of law. The heterogeneity found between market-based and former transition European countries demonstrates the existence of problems at the EU-level in the coordination of environmental policies and enforcing the rule of law. In addition, the analysis of the determinants of environmental taxation points to the importance of factors related to consumption and production, governance, environmental quality, oil price shocks and the shift of environmental policy in European countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Wireless Sensor Network Powered by a Terrestrial Microbial Fuel Cell as a Sustainable Land Monitoring Energy System
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7263-7275; doi:10.3390/su6107263
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 25 September 2014 / Accepted: 26 September 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work aims at investigating the possibility of a wireless sensor network powered by an energy harvesting technology, such as a microbial fuel cell (MFC). An MFC is a bioreactor that transforms energy stored in chemical bonds of organic compounds into electrical energy.
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This work aims at investigating the possibility of a wireless sensor network powered by an energy harvesting technology, such as a microbial fuel cell (MFC). An MFC is a bioreactor that transforms energy stored in chemical bonds of organic compounds into electrical energy. This process takes place through catalytic reactions of microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. An anode chamber together with a cathode chamber composes a conventional MFC reactor. The protons generated in the anode chamber are then transferred into the cathode chamber through a proton exchange membrane (PEM). A possible option is to use the soil itself as the membrane. In this case, we are referring to, more properly, a terrestrial microbial fuel cell (TMFC). This research examines the sustainability of a wireless sensor network powered by TMFC for land monitoring and precision agriculture. Acting on several factors, such as pH, temperature, humidity and type of soil used, we obtained minimum performance requirements in terms of the output power of the TMFC. In order to identify some of the different network node configurations and to compare the resulting performance, we investigated the energy consumption of the core components of a node, e.g., the transceiver and microcontroller, looking for the best performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Initial Study on Triaxiality of Human Settlements—In the Case of 10 Districts (Counties) of Dalian
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7276-7291; doi:10.3390/su6107276
Received: 15 August 2014 / Revised: 12 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For a long time, the traditional pattern of urban-rural human settlements has been shaped in reference to the existence of the urban-rural dual structure. In this paper, we put forward the notion of triaxiality of human settlements, and used the standards conversion entropy
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For a long time, the traditional pattern of urban-rural human settlements has been shaped in reference to the existence of the urban-rural dual structure. In this paper, we put forward the notion of triaxiality of human settlements, and used the standards conversion entropy weight method to measure and calculate degrees of livability of human settlements, so as to prove the existence of triaxiality of human settlements within the same unit at the micro-scale level, and conduct an empirical study on the spatial-temporal evolution, system attributes and formation mechanisms of the triaxiality of human settlements in 10 districts (counties) of Dalian (Years 2002–2011). Results showed that: (1) Spatial evolution of human settlements presents triaxiality. Administrative divisions do not play a full and predominant role in the unit division of human settlements. The number of distribution districts (counties) within different units of human settlements tends to be balanced, there is spatial variation of tertiary units in the human settlements of Dalian, and the transition area of human settlements occupies the leading position in the unit division of human settlements; (2) Human settlements also exhibit triaxiality at different development stages during the period of evolution. The fluctuation changes of degrees of livability of the human settlements of Dalian within the past 10 years have been relatively stable, with a trend of small scale decline and obvious manifestations of stage differences; (3) The system attributive characters of human settlements presents triaxiality. There also exists differentiations of system and area in human settlements within the same unit; (4) Industrialization and urbanization have led to the collapse of part of the urban-rural dual structure, while the differentiation of ternary structure of the economic and social structure, and living environment and life style leads to the triaxiality of human settlements. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cooperation or Competition? Channel Choice for a Remanufacturing Fashion Supply Chain with Government Subsidy
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7292-7310; doi:10.3390/su6107292
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 5 October 2014 / Accepted: 9 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (978 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we address the problem of choosing an appropriate channel for the marketing channel structure of remanufactured fashion products. To be specific, we consider a remanufacturer who has two options for selling the products: (1) provide the remanufactured products to a
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In this paper, we address the problem of choosing an appropriate channel for the marketing channel structure of remanufactured fashion products. To be specific, we consider a remanufacturer who has two options for selling the products: (1) provide the remanufactured products to a manufacturer, then the manufacturer sells both new products and the remanufactured products to customers, and (2) sell the remanufactured products directly to customers. Because of the relatively low acceptance of remanufactured products and environment consciousness of customers in developing countries like China, we model the two scenarios as decentralized remanufacturing supply chains, with the manufacturer being the Stackelberg leader and the government offering subsidy to the remanufacturer to incentivize remanufacturing activities. We find that the subsidy can incentivize remanufacturing activity regardless of the remanufacturer’s channel choice. A “too high” or “too low” subsidy makes the remanufacturer compete with the manufacturer, and an intermediate subsidy results in cooperation between the two members of the remanufacturing supply chain. Meanwhile, if the customers’ acceptance for remanufactured products is higher, the remanufacturer will be more likely to compete with the manufacturer. However, the remanufacturer’s optimal channel choice may be inefficient in the sense of social welfare and environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle Thermal and Daylighting Performance of Energy-Efficient Windows in Highly Glazed Residential Buildings: Case Study in Korea
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7311-7333; doi:10.3390/su6107311
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4079 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cooling load in highly glazed residential building can be excessively large due to uncontrolled solar energy entering the indoor space. This study focuses on the cooling load reduction and changes in the daylighting properties via the application of a double window system (DWS)
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Cooling load in highly glazed residential building can be excessively large due to uncontrolled solar energy entering the indoor space. This study focuses on the cooling load reduction and changes in the daylighting properties via the application of a double window system (DWS) with shading with various surface reflectivities in highly glazed residential buildings. Evaluation of thermal and daylighting performances is carried out using simulation tools. The reductions in cooling load and energy cost through the use of DWS are evaluated through a comparative simulation considering conventional windows: a single window and a double window. Three variables of window types, natural ventilation, and shading reflectivity are reflected in the study. According to our results, implementation of DWS reduced cooling load by 43%–61%. Electricity cost during the cooling period was reduced by a maximum of 24%. However, a shading device setting that prioritizes effective cooling load reduction can greatly decrease the daylighting factor and luminance level of indoor space. A DWS implementing shading device with highly reflective at all surfaces is appropriate option for the more comfortable thermal and visual environment, while a shading device with low reflectivity at rear of the surface can contribute an additional 4% cooling load reduction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Heat Health Risk for Sustainability in Beijing’s Urban Heat Island
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7334-7357; doi:10.3390/su6107334
Received: 15 June 2014 / Revised: 11 October 2014 / Accepted: 16 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (19863 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research is motivated by the increasing threat of urban heat waves that are likely worsened by pervasive global warming and urbanization. Different regions of the city including urban, borderland and rural area will experience different levels of heat health risk. In this
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This research is motivated by the increasing threat of urban heat waves that are likely worsened by pervasive global warming and urbanization. Different regions of the city including urban, borderland and rural area will experience different levels of heat health risk. In this paper, we propose an improved approach to quantitatively assess Beijing’s heat health risk based on three factors from hazard, vulnerability and especially environment which is considered as an independent factor because different land use/cover types have different influence on ambient air temperatures under the Urban Heat Island effect. The results show that the heat health risk of Beijing demonstrates a spatial-temporal pattern with higher risk in the urban area, lower risk in the borderland between urban and rural area, and lowest risk in the rural area, and the total risk fluctuated dramatically during 2008–2011. To be more specific, the heat health risk was clearly higher in 2009 and 2010 than in 2008 and 2011. Further analysis with the urban area at sub-district level signifies that the impervious surface (urban area such as buildings, roads, et al.) ratio is of high correlation with the heat health risk. The validation results show that the proposed method improved the accuracy of heat health risk assessment. We recommend that policy makers should develop efficient urban planning to accomplish Beijing’s sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Business Models for Solar Powered Charging Stations to Develop Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7358-7387; doi:10.3390/su6107358
Received: 3 August 2014 / Revised: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must become more electric to decrease carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Increasing availability and accessibility of charging stations is predicted to increase purchases of electric vehicles. In order to address the
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Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must become more electric to decrease carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Increasing availability and accessibility of charging stations is predicted to increase purchases of electric vehicles. In order to address the current inadequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, major entities must adopt business models for solar powered charging stations (SPCS). These SPCS should be located in parking lots to produce electricity for the grid and provide an integrated infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. Due to the lack of information related to SPCS business models, this manuscript designs several models for major entities including industry, the federal and state government, utilities, universities, and public parking. A literature review of the available relevant business models and case studies of constructed charging stations was completed to support the proposals. In addition, a survey of a university’s students, staff, and faculty was conducted to provide consumer research on people’s opinion of SPCS construction and preference of business model aspects. Results showed that 69% of respondents would be more willing to invest in an electric vehicle if there was sufficient charging station infrastructure at the university. Among many recommendations, the business models suggest installing level 1 charging for the majority of entities, and to match entities’ current pricing structures for station use. The manuscript discusses the impacts of fossil fuel use, and the benefits of electric car and SPCS use, accommodates for the present gap in available literature on SPCS business models, and provides current consumer data for SPCS and the models proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Civil Society in Hybrid Governance: Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Legitimacy in Mediating Wal-Mart’s Local Produce Supply Chains in Honduras
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7388-7411; doi:10.3390/su6107388
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 8 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (998 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper challenges the notion that the incorporation of actors from civil society into hybrid governance arrangements improves outcomes and legitimacy. Multi-stakeholder collaborations are a popular hybrid governance approach to development, including NGOs’ work to integrate smallholder farmers into supermarket supply chains. As
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This paper challenges the notion that the incorporation of actors from civil society into hybrid governance arrangements improves outcomes and legitimacy. Multi-stakeholder collaborations are a popular hybrid governance approach to development, including NGOs’ work to integrate smallholder farmers into supermarket supply chains. As a result, NGOs’ service provision role has expanded to include market facilitation, often necessitating NGOs act as market intermediaries. This paper explores how this new role may jeopardize NGOs’ organizational legitimacy in the eyes of their constituents, other development organizations, and supermarket partners, and therefore ultimately affect their ability to represent civil society in hybrid governance arrangements. Drawing on qualitative data collected in the Central American country of Honduras, this paper focuses on NGOs’ role organizing producer associations to facilitate access to Wal-Mart supermarkets. Findings suggest that a lack of supply chain transparency, NGOs’ negotiation between commercial and aid-oriented goals, and the potential to exclude producers from development projects threaten NGOs’ legitimacy. These findings illustrate the difficulties of embedding philanthropic activities in market-based systems, and demonstrate how multi-stakeholder collaborations may be influenced more by commercial priorities than the elements of a partnership. Ultimately, development NGOs are products of neoliberal, hybrid governance, even as their activities are expected to ease the transition of small-scale producers into this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Governance)
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Impact of Complementary Assets on the Environmental Performance in Manufacturing SMEs
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7412-7432; doi:10.3390/su6107412
Received: 18 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the environment increases, there is a need for effective environmental policies to sustain their development. Under this condition, SMEs implement innovation to meet environmental regulations and to achieve environmental competitiveness in sustainability. We
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As the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the environment increases, there is a need for effective environmental policies to sustain their development. Under this condition, SMEs implement innovation to meet environmental regulations and to achieve environmental competitiveness in sustainability. We examine the impact of environmental innovation on labor productivity in SME manufacturers. The literature shows that complementary assets help SMEs to increase their performance in environmental innovation. Therefore, we study the interactive effects of the SMEs’ business-group affiliation and the listing status on the relationship between environmental innovation and labor productivity. We add these interaction terms to multivariate regressions by using the 2010 Korea Innovation Survey. The results show that SMEs are able to use environmental innovation as a business strategy for green growth with improved labor productivity. Also, the results highlight that the business-group affiliation and the listing status as the complementary assets positively moderate the performance of the environmental innovation of the SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Water Quality Changes during Rapid Urbanization in the Shenzhen River Catchment: An Integrated View of Socio-Economic and Infrastructure Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7433-7451; doi:10.3390/su6107433
Received: 24 August 2014 / Revised: 3 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Surface water quality deterioration is a serious problem in many rapidly urbanizing catchments in developing countries. There is currently a lack of studies that quantify water quality variation (deterioration or otherwise) due to both socio-economic and infrastructure development in a catchment. This paper
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Surface water quality deterioration is a serious problem in many rapidly urbanizing catchments in developing countries. There is currently a lack of studies that quantify water quality variation (deterioration or otherwise) due to both socio-economic and infrastructure development in a catchment. This paper investigates the causes of water quality changes over the rapid urbanization period of 1985–2009 in the Shenzhen River catchment, China and examines the changes in relation to infrastructure development and socio-economic policies. The results indicate that the water quality deteriorated rapidly during the earlier urbanization stages before gradually improving over recent years, and that rapid increases in domestic discharge were the major causes of water quality deterioration. Although construction of additional wastewater infrastructure can significantly improve water quality, it was unable to dispose all of the wastewater in the catchment. However, it was found that socio-economic measures can significantly improve water quality by decreasing pollutant load per gross regional production (GRP) or increasing labor productivity. Our findings suggest that sustainable development during urbanization is possible, provided that: (1) the wastewater infrastructure should be constructed timely and revitalized regularly in line with urbanization, and wastewater treatment facilities should be upgraded to improve their nitrogen and phosphorus removal efficiencies; (2) administrative regulation policies, economic incentives and financial policies should be implemented to encourage industries to prevent or reduce the pollution at the source; (3) the environmental awareness and education level of local population should be increased; (4) planners from various sectors should consult each other and adapt an integrated planning approach for socio-economic and wastewater infrastructure development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Limits—Urban Density and Mobility Networks in West Berlin during the Period of Containment
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7452-7465; doi:10.3390/su6107452
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 8 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
If space may be conceptualized as a natural resource, much like gas, oil, or minerals, then its production and use can also be thought of as something to be properly managed, taken care of, and not wasted. Limiting the expansion of the footprint
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If space may be conceptualized as a natural resource, much like gas, oil, or minerals, then its production and use can also be thought of as something to be properly managed, taken care of, and not wasted. Limiting the expansion of the footprint of built-up land in urban areas forces this particular resource (space) to be used more efficiently—in a sense, compelling it to be more creative and productive. These spatial constraints on urban areas generate different kinds of densification processes within the existing city, propagating densification, and with it new patterns and uses in urban development, as well as novel approaches to mitigating the hazards of dense urban environments. This paper examines the case of how spatial containment in West Berlin during the period of the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) produced such outcomes. West Berlin during this period can be considered a unique case of spatial containment, where a relatively large and vibrant modern city had to work around a clear and indelible limit to its physical expansion. This paper will discuss ways in which the containment influenced patterns of development in West Berlin toward densification and connectivity, focusing on the expansion of its infrastructural networks, and discuss the development of a new building culture around transformation and densification, including hybrid architectures and mitigation devices to deal with difficult sites produced by the densification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Site Selection Model for a Straw-Based Power Generation Plant with CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7466-7481; doi:10.3390/su6107466
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 24 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The decision on the location of a straw-based power generation plant has a great influence on the plant’s operation and performance. This study explores traditional theories for site selection. Using integer programming, the study optimizes the economic and carbon emission outcomes of straw-based
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The decision on the location of a straw-based power generation plant has a great influence on the plant’s operation and performance. This study explores traditional theories for site selection. Using integer programming, the study optimizes the economic and carbon emission outcomes of straw-based power generation as two objectives, with the supply and demand of straw as constraints. It provides a multi-objective mixed-integer programming model to solve the site selection problem for a straw-based power generation plant. It then provides a case study to demonstrate the application of the model in the decision on the site selection for a straw-based power generation plant with a Chinese region. Finally, the paper discusses the result of the model in the context of the wider aspect of straw-based power generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)

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Open AccessReview Clathrate Hydrates for Thermal Energy Storage in Buildings: Overview of Proper Hydrate-Forming Compounds
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6815-6829; doi:10.3390/su6106815
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 20 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1067 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing energy costs are at the origin of the great progress in the field of phase change materials (PCMs). The present work aims at studying the application of clathrate hydrates as PCMs in buildings. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline structures in which guest molecules
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Increasing energy costs are at the origin of the great progress in the field of phase change materials (PCMs). The present work aims at studying the application of clathrate hydrates as PCMs in buildings. Clathrate hydrates are crystalline structures in which guest molecules are enclosed in the crystal lattice of water molecules. Clathrate hydrates can form also at ambient pressure and present a high latent heat, and for this reason, they are good candidates for being used as PCMs. The parameter that makes a PCM suitable to be used in buildings is, first of all, a melting temperature at about 25 °C. The paper provides an overview of groups of clathrate hydrates, whose physical and chemical characteristics could meet the requirements needed for their application in buildings. Simulations with a dynamic building simulation tool are carried out to evaluate the performance of clathrate hydrates in enhancing thermal comfort through the moderation of summer temperature swings and, therefore, in reducing energy consumption. Simulations suggest that clathrate hydrates have a potential in terms of improvement of indoor thermal comfort and a reduction of energy consumption for cooling. Cooling effects of 0.5 °C and reduced overheating hours of up to 1.1% are predicted. Full article
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