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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 11 (November 2015), Pages 14427-15784

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessEditorial Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities: A Commentary from the Guest Editors
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14677-14688; doi:10.3390/su71114677
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 27 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities are the most dramatic manifestations of human activities on the surface of the earth. These human-dominated organisms—i.e., cities—degrade natural habitats, simplify species composition, disrupt hydrological systems, and modify energy flow and nutrient cycling. Today, these consequential impacts of human activities,
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Cities are the most dramatic manifestations of human activities on the surface of the earth. These human-dominated organisms—i.e., cities—degrade natural habitats, simplify species composition, disrupt hydrological systems, and modify energy flow and nutrient cycling. Today, these consequential impacts of human activities, originated from population increase, rapid urbanization, high private motor vehicle dependency, deregulated industrialization and mass livestock production, are increasing exponentially and causing great deal of environmental, social, and economic challenges both at global and local scales. In such a situation, establishment of sustainable cities, through sustainable urban development practices, is seen as a potential panacea to combat these challenges responsibly, effectively, and efficiently. This paper offers a critical review of the key literature on the issues relating to planning, development and management of sustainable cities, introduces the contributions from the Special Issue, and speculates on the prospective research directions to place necessary mechanisms to secure a sustainable urban future for all. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessEditorial Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15400-15406; doi:10.3390/su71115400
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 12 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (633 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under the global trend of sustainability, many companies selling fashion products have to reshape their operational strategies. Over the past few years, we have witnessed many fashion companies going green by re-engineering their business processes and establishing their formal sustainability programs. Many important
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Under the global trend of sustainability, many companies selling fashion products have to reshape their operational strategies. Over the past few years, we have witnessed many fashion companies going green by re-engineering their business processes and establishing their formal sustainability programs. Many important topics, such as closed-loop supply chain management, corporate social responsibility, and economic sustainability, are all related to sustainable fashion business operations management. This paper provides a brief review of these critical topics, introduces the special issue, and proposes future research areas to achieve sustainable operations management in the fashion business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Open AccessArticle Development of an Innovation Model Based on a Service-Oriented Product Service System (PSS)
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14427-14449; doi:10.3390/su71114427
Received: 1 August 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 20 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, there have been many attempts to cope with increasingly-diversified and ever-changing customer needs by combining products and services that are critical components of innovation models. Although not only manufacturers, but also service providers, try to integrate products and services, most of the
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Recently, there have been many attempts to cope with increasingly-diversified and ever-changing customer needs by combining products and services that are critical components of innovation models. Although not only manufacturers, but also service providers, try to integrate products and services, most of the previous studies on Product Service System (PSS) development deal with how to effectively integrate services into products from the product-centric point of view. Services provided by manufacturers’ PSSes, such as delivery services, training services, disposal services, and so on, offer customers ancillary value, whereas products of service providers’ PSSes enrich core value by enhancing the functionality and quality of the service. Thus, designing an effective PSS development process from the service-centric point of view is an important research topic. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to propose a service-oriented PSS development process, which consists of four stages: (1) strategic planning; (2) idea generation and selection; (3) service design; and (4) product development. In the proposed approach, the PSS development project is initiated and led by a service provider from a service-centric point of view. From the perspective of methodology, customer needs are converted into product functions according to Quality Function Deployment (QFD), while Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is employed to prioritize the functions. Additionally, this paper illustrates a service-oriented PSS development that demonstrates the application of the proposed process. The proposed process and illustration are expected to serve as a foundation for research on service-oriented PSS development and as a useful guideline for service providers who are considering the development of a service-oriented PSS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Material Criteria in Neighborhood Sustainability Assessment Tools and Urban Design Guidelines: Cases of the UK, the US, Japan, and Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14450-14487; doi:10.3390/su71114450
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 6 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability assessment tools have been developed for building-scale sustainability since the 1990s. Several systems, such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), are widely used and
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Sustainability assessment tools have been developed for building-scale sustainability since the 1990s. Several systems, such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), are widely used and have been upgraded and adapted to large-scale development. BREEAM Communities, LEED Neighborhood Development and CASBEE for Urban Development have been implemented in the UK, the USA and Japan, respectively. As the notion of sustainable urban design has gained more significance, city governments have set their own guidelines for sustainable standards in urban design based on studies of sustainability assessment tools. This study focused on a comparative analysis of the material criteria embedded for sustainable urban design in BREEAM Communities, LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) and CASBEE-UD (Urban Development), and the urban design guidelines recently issued in multiple cities, including London, New York, Tokyo, and Seoul. The top master plans and the supplementary guidelines were analyzed to investigate the detailed material criteria. The study examined the differences in the material assessment criteria, evaluation parameters, and descriptions of the neighborhood sustainability assessment tools and the urban design guidelines. The material criteria was investigated and discussed to summarize the current features and weaknesses as balanced material assessments for sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Sustainability. Sustainability Window Analysis of Chinese Poverty-Environment Nexus Development
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14488-14500; doi:10.3390/su71114488
Received: 19 June 2015 / Revised: 18 October 2015 / Accepted: 23 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
PDF Full-text (758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability Window is a new analysis tool for assessing the sustainability of development simultaneously in all of its three dimensions (environmental, economic, and social). The analysis method provides information of the maximum and minimum economic development that is required to maintain the direction
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Sustainability Window is a new analysis tool for assessing the sustainability of development simultaneously in all of its three dimensions (environmental, economic, and social). The analysis method provides information of the maximum and minimum economic development that is required to maintain the direction of social and environmental development towards more sustainable targets. With the Sustainability Window method it is possible to easily analyze the sustainability using different indicators and different time periods making comparative analyses easy. The new method makes it also possible to analyze the dynamics of the sustainability and the changes over time in the width of the window. This provides a new perspective for analyzing the trends of sustainability and the impacts of underlying sustainability policies. As an illustration of the method, we have carried out an analysis of Chinese development using CO2 and SO2 emissions as indicators of the environmental dimension, number of non-poor people as an indicator of the social dimension and GDP as an indicator of the economic dimension. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Frames in the Context of the Energy Wood Conflict in Germany
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14501-14520; doi:10.3390/su71114501
Received: 14 July 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 29 October 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interpretations of the concept of sustainability vary substantially in relation to forests and their management, and they are usually present in conflicts about forest use. In this article, we consider underlying interests relating to conflicts of forest use as a given. Our aim
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Interpretations of the concept of sustainability vary substantially in relation to forests and their management, and they are usually present in conflicts about forest use. In this article, we consider underlying interests relating to conflicts of forest use as a given. Our aim is therefore not to reveal those interests, but rather to explore understandings of sustainability hiding behind them—sustainability frames. To this end, we use frame theory to investigate the following research question: How are different sustainability frames of interest groups reflected in a forest use conflict situation in Germany? The energy wood conflict serves as the example for our research, as it is currently the most prominent forest management conflict in Germany. Using 12 stakeholder interviews within three interest groups as the empirical data basis, it becomes clear that sustainability understandings reflect particular positionings in conflicts, or vice versa. In the energy wood conflict, the classic dichotomy between forestry and conservation groups becomes a trichotomy in which the forestry group splits into an interest group that profits from energy wood production and one that competes with it. We suggest that sustainability understandings do not represent worldviews that guide how actors understand conflicts, but rather that they are shaped according to actors’ particular interests in conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)
Open AccessArticle Antecedents and Consequences of Firms’ Climate Change Management Practices: Stakeholder and Synergistic Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14521-14536; doi:10.3390/su71114521
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 25 October 2015 / Published: 29 October 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1006 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing pressure for firms to address global warming issues, but firms differ in adopting and implementing management practices in response to climate change. The aim of this study is to assess stakeholder pressure and firms’ responses to climate change, and
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There is a growing pressure for firms to address global warming issues, but firms differ in adopting and implementing management practices in response to climate change. The aim of this study is to assess stakeholder pressure and firms’ responses to climate change, and their effect on emission reduction and operational performance. A survey was conducted and then empirically analyzed using regression analysis. This study shows that financial investors and regulatory agencies are the most influential stakeholders for adopting and implementing climate change management practices. Process efficiency and low-carbon product development are the most adopted carbon management practices while organizational engagement and carbon offsetting are not preferred. This article provides evidence that some firms’ climate change management practices lead to improved operational performance such as cost reduction and enhanced delivery and flexibility, as well as improved climate change performance including carbon emission and energy consumption reductions. This study provides guidance for policy makers and firm managers on how to identify, design and manage global warming issues within the business arena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle From Indicators to Policies: Open Sustainability Assessment in the Water and Sanitation Sector
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14537-14557; doi:10.3390/su71114537
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (987 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A water and sanitation sustainability index (WASSI) was developed and estimated in four cities of the province of Salta, in northern Argentina. The index was built with nine descriptors and fifteen indicators that covered all essential aspects of the sustainability of local water
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A water and sanitation sustainability index (WASSI) was developed and estimated in four cities of the province of Salta, in northern Argentina. The index was built with nine descriptors and fifteen indicators that covered all essential aspects of the sustainability of local water and sanitation management systems. Only one of the cities studied obtained a sustainability value above the acceptability threshold adopted (50 of 100 points). Results indicate that the water company needs to address some environmental and social issues to enhance the sustainability of the systems studied. The WASSI was conceptually robust and operationally simple, and could be easily adapted to the case studies. The index can be followed and updated online on a web site specially developed for this project. This website could be useful to promote participatory processes, assist decision makers, and facilitate academic research. According to local stakeholders, a more open sustainability assessment based on sustainability indices and supported by virtual tools would be relevant and highly feasible. It would help decision makers improve the sustainability and transparency of water and sanitation management systems, and promote more sustainable water policies in the region and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Predicting Public Bicycle Adoption Using the Technology Acceptance Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14558-14573; doi:10.3390/su71114558
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bicycle sharing programs provide a sustainable mode of urban transportation. Although cities across the globe have developed these systems for their citizens and visitors, usage rates are not as high as anticipated. This research uses the technology acceptance model as the basis to
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Bicycle sharing programs provide a sustainable mode of urban transportation. Although cities across the globe have developed these systems for their citizens and visitors, usage rates are not as high as anticipated. This research uses the technology acceptance model as the basis to understand one’s intention to adopt bicycle sharing programs. Using survey data derived from 421 participants in Beijing, China, the proposed covariance-based structural equation model consisting of perceived quality, perceived convenience, and perceived value is found to predict 50.5% of the variance in adoption intention. The findings of this research contribute to theory and practice in the burgeoning literature on public bicycle systems and sustainable urban transportation by offering a theoretical lens through which to consider system adoption, and providing information to practitioners as to what factors might contribute most to adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Logistics)
Open AccessArticle From Anti-Pollution to Climate Change Risk Movement: Reshaping Civic Epistemology
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14574-14596; doi:10.3390/su71114574
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
PDF Full-text (732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From the perspective of reflexive governance, this study probes into the transformative capacity and roles of government and civil society, and aims to determine how the authoritative developmental neo-liberalism state was challenged by civil society in democratization from the end of the 1980s,
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From the perspective of reflexive governance, this study probes into the transformative capacity and roles of government and civil society, and aims to determine how the authoritative developmental neo-liberalism state was challenged by civil society in democratization from the end of the 1980s, when it encountered a crisis of governance legitimacy. By analyzing the anti-petrochemical movement of the recent two decades, this paper recognizes the important historic line, and proposes that without innovative governance, a regime of expert politics with hidden and delayed risk will result in higher degrees of mistrust and confrontational positions by the public. In contrast to the government, local and civil societies are growing through the anti-pollution appeals of simple group protests into systematic and robust civic knowledge and strategic action. By administrative, legislative, judicial, and risk statement paths, such strategic mobilizations break through authoritative expert politics and reshape new civic epistemology. The process of reflexive governance is extremely radical. When two parties cannot commit to dealing with a high degree of mistrust, they will not be able to manage the more dramatic threat of climate change. Fundamentally speaking, a robust civil society will be an important driving power competing with government, in terms of constructing innovative governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Access to Risk Mitigating Weather Forecasts and Changes in Farming Operations in East and West Africa: Evidence from a Baseline Survey
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14599-14617; doi:10.3390/su71114599
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Unfavorable weather currently ranks among the major challenges facing agricultural development in many African countries. Impact mitigation through access to reliable and timely weather forecasts and other adaptive mechanisms are foremost in Africa’s policy dialogues and socio-economic development agendas. This paper analyzed the
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Unfavorable weather currently ranks among the major challenges facing agricultural development in many African countries. Impact mitigation through access to reliable and timely weather forecasts and other adaptive mechanisms are foremost in Africa’s policy dialogues and socio-economic development agendas. This paper analyzed the factors influencing access to forecasts on incidence of pests/diseases (PD) and start of rainfall (SR). The data were collected by Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and analyzed with Probit regression separately for East Africa, West Africa and the combined dataset. The results show that 62.7% and 56.4% of the farmers from East and West Africa had access to forecasts on start of rainfall, respectively. In addition, 39.3% and 49.4% of the farmers from East Africa indicated that forecasts on outbreak of pests/diseases and start of rainfall were respectively accompanied with advice as against 18.2% and 41.9% for West Africa. Having received forecasts on start of rainfall, 24.0% and 17.6% of the farmers from East and West Africa made decisions on timing of farming activities respectively. Probabilities of having access to forecasts on PD significantly increased with access to formal education, farm income and previous exposure to climatic shocks. Furthermore, probabilities of having access to forecasts on SR significantly increased (p < 0.05) with access to business income, radio and perception of more erratic rainfall, among others. It was recommended that promotion of informal education among illiterate farmers would enhance their climatic resilience, among others. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Study on Soil and Groundwater Pollution Remediation of the Surrounding Real Estate Prices and Tax Revenue Impact
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14618-14630; doi:10.3390/su71114618
Received: 17 June 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To see whether the surrounding real estate price after soil and groundwater pollution remediation will revert to the level before the risk of implicit pollution, this paper uses research methods, such as the hedonic price method and contingent valuation method for analysis. The
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To see whether the surrounding real estate price after soil and groundwater pollution remediation will revert to the level before the risk of implicit pollution, this paper uses research methods, such as the hedonic price method and contingent valuation method for analysis. The results of empirical analysis reveal that the hedonic price method will be restricted by trade cases around pollution sites. In view of this, it proposes using the contingent valuation method and consumers’ viewpoints for the analysis. Empirical results show that after pollution remediation the respondents are willing to pay an average of $1168 per square meter, which is slightly higher than the current price of $1059 per square meter with an increase of about 10%. Therefore, prices will recover after remediation at least to the level of the surrounding area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring No-Cost Opportunities for Public Sector Information Systems Energy Efficiency: A Tennessee Application
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14631-14646; doi:10.3390/su71114631
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 27 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
PDF Full-text (1815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) completed a pilot project within its Central Office spaces to test the utilization of computer power management (CPM) technologies to implement power saving settings on state-owned, network-connected computer equipment. Currently, the State of Tennessee has
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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) completed a pilot project within its Central Office spaces to test the utilization of computer power management (CPM) technologies to implement power saving settings on state-owned, network-connected computer equipment. Currently, the State of Tennessee has no clear protocol regarding energy-conserving power settings on state-owned machines. Activation of monitor sleep modes and system standby and hibernation modes on 615 Central Office computers over an 18-month period reduced energy consumption by an estimated 8093 kWh and $526 per month, amounting to approximately $6312 in cost savings for Tennessee annually. If implemented throughout State of Tennessee executive agencies across the state, energy cost savings could amount to an estimated $323,341 annually. The research endeavored to understand both positive and negative impacts that strategic power management approaches can have on energy consumption, worker productivity, network security, and state budgets. Nearly all impacts discussed were positive. Based on successful results within TDEC Central Office spaces in Tennessee Tower, and considering the potential cost savings that could be achieved, expansion of the implementation of computer power management policies to machines in offices across the state was recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Indicators of Iran’s Developmental Plans: Application of the Sustainability Compass Theory
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14647-14660; doi:10.3390/su71114647
Received: 25 July 2015 / Revised: 27 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
PDF Full-text (794 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to analyze Iran’s developmental plans in order to examine and compare their direction and conformity with the sustainable development theory via the compass of sustainability. The approach involves a content analysis used in line with qualitative
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The main purpose of this study was to analyze Iran’s developmental plans in order to examine and compare their direction and conformity with the sustainable development theory via the compass of sustainability. The approach involves a content analysis used in line with qualitative research methodologies. The results indicated that, in the first developmental plans, there was no direct reference to sustainable development. In the second to fifth plans, the main focus was on the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of development; which were common elements seen in the policies of all the plans. An analysis of the fourth plan revealed that expressions related to sustainable development appeared more frequently, indicating a stronger emphasis on sustainable development by decision-makers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Costs and Benefits in the Recovery of Historic Buildings: The Application of an Economic Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14661-14676; doi:10.3390/su71114661
Received: 4 August 2015 / Revised: 29 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1029 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Until now, the policies on sustainability relating to regeneration interventions on historic buildings have dealt with the casing of the buildings in order to regulate and control the flow of air, light and energy from outside to inside and vice versa. However,
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Until now, the policies on sustainability relating to regeneration interventions on historic buildings have dealt with the casing of the buildings in order to regulate and control the flow of air, light and energy from outside to inside and vice versa. However, recent technological developments in home comfort and energy savings highlight the efficiency of the plants and the proper management of the building-plant system, while respecting the criteria of integrated conservation and the multiple constraints that characterize historic buildings. This study proposes a methodological process that identifies the optimal steps from a technical and economical point of view, by providing a combination of traditional architectural conservation interventions with innovative technology systems. The calculation algorithms are developed with a specific software based on UNI TS 11300 regulations, which allows for the thermodynamic modelling of the structure. The preparation of the feasibility plan allows testing the cost-effectiveness of the work proposed, considering the environmental benefits resulting from the reduced CO2 emissions. The impact of the financial results of the evaluation is also analyzed. This protocol provides industry operators a useful instrument for selecting the least expensive initiatives among those compatible with the multiple constraints that affect the design choices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Supply Chain Finance in China: Business Innovation and Theory Development
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14689-14709; doi:10.3390/su71114689
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 25 September 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supply chain finance (SCF) is concerned with the capital flows within a supply chain, an area often neglected in past decades, while SCF does have an impact on a firm’s capability to adopt sustainable supply chain management (SCM) practices. The aim of this
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Supply chain finance (SCF) is concerned with the capital flows within a supply chain, an area often neglected in past decades, while SCF does have an impact on a firm’s capability to adopt sustainable supply chain management (SCM) practices. The aim of this study is to explore new insight from a growing body of research which is investigating SCF issues in China, an evolving transition economy. A content analysis on a review of 151 Chinese-written SCF papers from 2004–2014, based on a sample of 45 leading Chinese journals (Chinese Social Science Citation Index, CSSCI) was conducted from three perspectives: topical coverage, theoretical application and methodological inquiry. The study reveals that the research stream of SCF in China has emerged and evolved to a considerable extent. However, the SCF phenomenon in China is not exactly the same as “SCF” as it is perceived in the mature economy, which is articulated in mainstream SCM English literature. The Chinese business context in which SCF has been implemented has played a dominant role in initiating, affecting and even shaping SCF. This study represents the first endeavor in the field of SCM. It diffuses the Chinese-written SCF research in mainstream SCM English literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Assessment of Conventional and Solar Assisted Air Conditioning Systems
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14710-14728; doi:10.3390/su71114710
Received: 15 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy consumption in the buildings is responsible for 26% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions where cooling typically accounts for over 50% of the total building energy use. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential for reducing the cooling systems’ environmental
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Energy consumption in the buildings is responsible for 26% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions where cooling typically accounts for over 50% of the total building energy use. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential for reducing the cooling systems’ environmental footprint with applications of alternative renewable energy source. Three types of cooling systems, water cooled, air cooled and a hybrid solar-based air-conditioning system, with a total of six scenarios were designed in this work. The scenarios accounted for the types of power supply to the air-conditioning systems with electricity from the grid and with a solar power from highly integrated building photovoltaics (BIPV). Within and between these scenarios, systems’ energy performances were compared based on energy modelling while the harvesting potential of the renewable energy source was further predicted based on building’s detailed geometrical model. The results showed that renewable energy obtained via BIPV scenario could cover building’s annual electricity consumption for cooling and reduce 140 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. The hybrid solar air-conditioning system has higher energy efficiency than the air cooled chiller system but lower than the water cooled system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle The Response of Grain Potential Productivity to Land Use Change: A Case Study in Western Jilin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14729-14744; doi:10.3390/su71114729
Received: 8 August 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 4 November 2015
PDF Full-text (10828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of land use change on grain potential productivity is one of the most important topics in the research of land use/cover change and its effects. Western Jilin, located on the edge of an ecotone in northern China, and its land use
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The impact of land use change on grain potential productivity is one of the most important topics in the research of land use/cover change and its effects. Western Jilin, located on the edge of an ecotone in northern China, and its land use have changed dramatically in recent decades, with significant impact on grain potential productivity. This study evaluated the grain potential productivity in different conditions and analyzed the response to land use change based on land use data, meteorological data and statistical data by using the Global Agro-ecological Zone model. Results showed that (1) grain potential productivity of Western Jilin in 2010 was 19.12 million tons, an increase of 34.8% over 1975 because of changes in land use and in climate; (2) due to land use change, grain potential productivity in the study area increased between 1975 and 2000, however, it decreased between 2000 and 2010; (3) conversion in type of land use and an increase in irrigation percentage caused grain potential productivity to increase by 0.70 million tons and 3.13 million tons respectively between 1975 and 2000; between 2000 and 2010, grain potential productivity had an increase of 0.17 million tons due to the increase in farmland area, but it decreased by 1.88 million tons because the irrigation percentage declined from 36.6% to 24.7%. Therefore, increasing investment in agriculture, improving land quality and increasing the conversion rate of grain potential productivity to actual production would be a better choice for ensuring national food security and achieving sustainable land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Food Waste in School Catering: An Italian Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14745-14760; doi:10.3390/su71114745
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 4 November 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (905 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food losses and waste are currently at the heart of academic debates, civil society initiatives, and political agendas. This paper investigates food waste in school catering services focusing on six schools located in the municipality of Verona (Italy). It aims to quantify food
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Food losses and waste are currently at the heart of academic debates, civil society initiatives, and political agendas. This paper investigates food waste in school catering services focusing on six schools located in the municipality of Verona (Italy). It aims to quantify food waste, as a measure of food catering inefficiency, to identify the main causes, and to suggest a set of prevention and reduction interventions. For these purposes food waste is defined as all the products discarded from the food chain while still preserving their nutritional value and complying with safety standards. The work shows a significant level of inefficiency in the school catering services, measured by the amount of food processed and still perfectly edible, but not served during the meals. On average more than 15% of the overall processed food is wasted. Among the causes identified in this study, four of them were more relevant than others because of their implications and impact on prevention: the lack of attention to dietary habits, the rigid food procurement specifications, the menu composition, and the meal presentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Decision-Making under Uncertainty for Water Sustainability and Urban Climate Change Adaptation
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14761-14784; doi:10.3390/su71114761
Received: 3 September 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 4 November 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (944 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Complexities and uncertainties surrounding urbanization and climate change complicate water resource sustainability. Although research has examined various aspects of complex water systems, including uncertainties, relatively few attempts have been made to synthesize research findings in particular contexts. We fill this gap by examining
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Complexities and uncertainties surrounding urbanization and climate change complicate water resource sustainability. Although research has examined various aspects of complex water systems, including uncertainties, relatively few attempts have been made to synthesize research findings in particular contexts. We fill this gap by examining the complexities, uncertainties, and decision processes for water sustainability and urban adaptation to climate change in the case study region of Phoenix, Arizona. In doing so, we integrate over a decade of research conducted by Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC). DCDC is a boundary organization that conducts research in collaboration with policy makers, with the goal of informing decision-making under uncertainty. Our results highlight: the counterintuitive, non-linear, and competing relationships in human–environment dynamics; the myriad uncertainties in climatic, scientific, political, and other domains of knowledge and practice; and, the social learning that has occurred across science and policy spheres. Finally, we reflect on how our interdisciplinary research and boundary organization has evolved over time to enhance adaptive and sustainable governance in the face of complex system dynamics. Full article
Open AccessArticle Intermediary Propositions for Green Growth with Sustainable Governance
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14785-14801; doi:10.3390/su71114785
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article gives an overview of the conceptual characteristics of sustainable development by searching the governance-oriented intermediaries. It shows how the new paradigm of green growth evolved through international consensus and how this paradigm of the public-private partnership (PPP) could work with the
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This article gives an overview of the conceptual characteristics of sustainable development by searching the governance-oriented intermediaries. It shows how the new paradigm of green growth evolved through international consensus and how this paradigm of the public-private partnership (PPP) could work with the new propositions of intermediation. The historical context in the latter half of the 20th century is outlined, in which a paradigm shift toward PPP was caused by green growth policies. It emphasizes the governance, resulting in the propositions of the intermediary role of PPP by the SWOT matrix: facilitator, collaborator, network manager and service provider. Full article
Open AccessArticle Multi-Agent Modeling and Simulation of Farmland Use Change in a Farming–Pastoral Zone: A Case Study of Qianjingou Town in Inner Mongolia, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14802-14833; doi:10.3390/su71114802
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Farmland is the most basic material condition for guaranteeing rural livelihoods and national food security, and exploring management strategies that take both stable rural livelihoods and sustainable farmland use into account has vital significance in theory and practice. Farmland is a complex and
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Farmland is the most basic material condition for guaranteeing rural livelihoods and national food security, and exploring management strategies that take both stable rural livelihoods and sustainable farmland use into account has vital significance in theory and practice. Farmland is a complex and self-adaptive system that couples human and natural systems, and natural and social factors that are related to its changing process need to be considered when modeling farmland changing processes. This paper uses Qianjingou Town in the Inner Mongolian farming–pastoral zone as a study area. From the perspective of the relationship between household livelihood and farmland use, this study establishes the process mechanism of farmland use change based on questionnaire data, and constructs a multi-agent simulation model of farmland use change using the Eclipse and Repast toolbox. Through simulating the relationship between natural factors (including geographical location) and household behavior, this paper systematically simulates household farmland abandonment and rent behaviors, and accurately describes the dynamic interactions between household livelihoods and the factors related to farmland use change. These factors include natural factors (net primary productivity, road accessibility, slope and relief amplitude) and social factors (household family structures, economic development and government policies). Ultimately, this study scientifically predicts the future farmland use change trend in the next 30 years. The simulation results show that the number of abandoned and sublet farmland plots has a gradually increasing trend, and the number of non-farming households and pure-outworking households has a remarkable increasing trend, whereas the number of part-farming households and pure-farming households has a decreasing trend. Household livelihood sustainability in the study area is confronted with increasing pressure, and household non-farm employment has an increasing trend, while regional appropriate-scale agricultural management is maintained. The research results establish the theoretical foundation and a basic method for developing sustainable farmland use management that can meet the willingness of households and guarantee grain and ecological security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Cropland Dynamics of the Yellow River Delta based on Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery over 1986 to 2015
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14834-14858; doi:10.3390/su71114834
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
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Abstract
Natural deltas can provide human beings with flat and fertile land to be cultivated. It is important to monitor cropland dynamics to provide policy-relevant information for regional sustainable development. This paper utilized Landsat imagery to study the cropland dynamics of the Yellow River
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Natural deltas can provide human beings with flat and fertile land to be cultivated. It is important to monitor cropland dynamics to provide policy-relevant information for regional sustainable development. This paper utilized Landsat imagery to study the cropland dynamics of the Yellow River Delta during the last three decades. Multi-temporal Landsat data were used to account for the phenological variations of different plants. Several spectral and textural features were adopted to increase the between-class separability. The robust random forest classifier was used to generate the land cover maps of the Yellow River Delta for 1986, 1995, 2005 and 2015. Experimental results indicated that the proposed methodology showed good performance with an average classification accuracy of 89.44%. The spatial-temporal analysis indicated that the cropland area increased from 467.6 km2 in 1986 to 718.5 km2 in 2015 with an average growth rate of 8.65 km2/year. The newly created croplands were mainly due to the reclamation of grassland and bare soil while the losses of croplands were due to abandoned cultivation and urban sprawl. The results demonstrate that a sustainable perspective should be adopted by the decision makers in order to simultaneously maintain food security, industrial development and ecosystem safety. Full article
Open AccessArticle Entrepreneurial Judgment and Value Capture, the Case of the Nascent Offshore Renewable Industry
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14859-14872; doi:10.3390/su71114859
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 25 October 2015 / Accepted: 30 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Entrepreneurship may be regarded as the mechanism of change towards sustainability. Any entrepreneur that seeks to start a new venture in an emerging industry will face resource and time constraints. The question we raise here is how the entrepreneur should prioritize use of
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Entrepreneurship may be regarded as the mechanism of change towards sustainability. Any entrepreneur that seeks to start a new venture in an emerging industry will face resource and time constraints. The question we raise here is how the entrepreneur should prioritize use of time and resources to increase likeliness of success. To address this question we depart from a theoretical perspective of entrepreneurship seen as judgment, and bridges it over to entrepreneurship seen as co-creation. In other words, we combine the subjective with the intersubjective, and explore the effects of the actions successful green technology entrepreneurs in the emerging offshore renewable energy industry make in building their new ventures in nascent markets. Inspired by earlier studies on market entry, combined with new ways to understand new venture emergence, we find that independent entrepreneurs benefit from leapfrogging typical stages in the technology development process and rather devote time and efforts on resource acquisition. We also find that the most important value-capturing, decision-making heuristics are those related to “hybrid governance”. We discuss implications for theory, practice, and policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle New City Logistics Paradigm: From the “Last Mile” to the “Last 50 Miles” Sustainable Distribution
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14873-14894; doi:10.3390/su71114873
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2914 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The distribution of goods in urban areas, together with private traffic flows, are among the main sources of energy consumption, air pollution and noise. As a consequence, in the 2000s, several EU cities started to implement logistical solutions for the sustainable city. In
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The distribution of goods in urban areas, together with private traffic flows, are among the main sources of energy consumption, air pollution and noise. As a consequence, in the 2000s, several EU cities started to implement logistical solutions for the sustainable city. In this context, this study addresses the implementation of a new eco-logistic system, which serves multiple adjacent cities by using electric vehicles to deliver goods of any type within their urban areas. This paper describes the results of a project developed in the province of Vicenza (northern Italy) and covering the main cities (Bassano del Grappa, Thiene, Schio and Valdagno) in the foothills (the so-called Pedemontana Veneta zone). The eco-logistic system aims to cover the last 50 miles of distribution (typical area of an Italian province) with a centralised platform that performs green deliveries with electric vehicles from/to the downtown areas. A preliminary and extensive “on field” analysis by means of door-to-door questionnaires was conducted to identify the performance required by the eco-logistic system. Therefore, the design of such a distribution system is performed to assess and define the conditions that make this solution profitable from both the economic and the environmental perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
Open AccessArticle Are Australian Universities Making Good Use of ICT for CSR Reporting?
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14895-14916; doi:10.3390/su71114895
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The higher education system in Australia has witnessed various government initiatives that have provided funding to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues and thus contribute to the training of professionals with a strong sense of ethics, social values and concern for the repercussions
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The higher education system in Australia has witnessed various government initiatives that have provided funding to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues and thus contribute to the training of professionals with a strong sense of ethics, social values and concern for the repercussions of business activities in society. There are increasing demands from stakeholders for more transparent and more accountable information, including questions related to CSR. This paper analyses the policies and communication strategies regarding CSR information applied in Australian universities and considers whether they are making good use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to facilitate interaction with stakeholders. The results show that ICT have not been considered a relevant tool in terms of improving accountability regarding CSR concerns in Australian universities, although they could represent a differentiation factor in the competitive environment of higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprint of Tree Nuts Based Consumer Products
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14917-14934; doi:10.3390/su71114917
Received: 23 July 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This case study shows results of a calculation of carbon footprint (CFP) resulting from the production of nuts added value products for a large consumer market. Nuts consumption is increasing in the world and so is the consumer awareness of the environmental impact
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This case study shows results of a calculation of carbon footprint (CFP) resulting from the production of nuts added value products for a large consumer market. Nuts consumption is increasing in the world and so is the consumer awareness of the environmental impact of goods, hence the calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of food production is of growing importance for producers. Calculation of CO2eq emissions was performed for all stages of the production chain to the final retail point for flour, grains, paste, chocolate covered nuts and spreadable cream produced from almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts grown and transformed in Italy and for peanuts grown in Argentina and transformed in Italy. Data from literature was used to evaluate CFP of raw materials, emissions from transport and packing were calculated using existing models, while emissions deriving from transformation were calculated empirically by multiplying the power of production lines (electrical and/or thermal) by its productivity. All values were reported in kg of CO2 equivalent for each kg of packed product (net weight). Resulting values ranged between 1.2 g of CO2/kg for a 100 g bag of almond to 4.8 g of CO2/kg for the 100 g bag of chocolate covered almond. The calculation procedure can be well used for similar cases of large consumer food productions. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Computational Method based on Radio Frequency Technologies for the Analysis of Accessibility of Disabled People in Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14935-14963; doi:10.3390/su71114935
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 29 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 10 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainability strategy in urban spaces arises from reflecting on how to achieve a more habitable city and is materialized in a series of sustainable transformations aimed at humanizing different environments so that they can be used and enjoyed by everyone without exception
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The sustainability strategy in urban spaces arises from reflecting on how to achieve a more habitable city and is materialized in a series of sustainable transformations aimed at humanizing different environments so that they can be used and enjoyed by everyone without exception and regardless of their ability. Modern communication technologies allow new opportunities to analyze efficiency in the use of urban spaces from several points of view: adequacy of facilities, usability, and social integration capabilities. The research presented in this paper proposes a method to perform an analysis of movement accessibility in sustainable cities based on radio frequency technologies and the ubiquitous computing possibilities of the new Internet of Things paradigm. The proposal can be deployed in both indoor and outdoor environments to check specific locations of a city. Finally, a case study in a controlled context has been simulated to validate the proposal as a pre-deployment step in urban environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Method to Evaluate the Stimulation of a Real World Field of View by Means of a Spectroradiometric Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14964-14981; doi:10.3390/su71114964
Received: 4 August 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 10 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stimulation elicited by a real world field of view is related to the color, the intensity and the direction of the information reaching the eye: different spectral power distributions of light trigger different responses. An evaluation of the stimulation provided by the field
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Stimulation elicited by a real world field of view is related to the color, the intensity and the direction of the information reaching the eye: different spectral power distributions of light trigger different responses. An evaluation of the stimulation provided by the field of view can be performed by measuring the spectral radiance with a spectroradiometer and weighting this data with an efficiency curve. Different weights (physical, physiological and psychological) can lead to different analyses and consequently to different results. The proposed method allows an overall and simplified evaluation of the field of view based on spectral and luminance measures and a script that processes the luminous information. The final aim of this approach is to provide further information about the light stimulation reaching the retina and to supply a qualitative evaluation of the field of view, allowing to know how much stimulation is coming from a certain area within the visual field depending on the type of surface, basing on spectral and directional information. This approach can have practical implications, allowing technicians and designers to take into consideration the possible visual fields, in order to properly shape the features of stimulation throughout the day, hence following a field of view-based dynamic design. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficiency versus Equality: Comparing Design Options for Indirect Emissions Accounting in the Korean Emissions Trading Scheme
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14982-15002; doi:10.3390/su71114982
Received: 24 August 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Korean emissions trading scheme (ETS) has one special characteristic that makes it different from other schemes, such as the EU ETS. While the other schemes consider only direct emissions from fossil fuels, the Korean ETS also regulates indirect emissions arising from the
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The Korean emissions trading scheme (ETS) has one special characteristic that makes it different from other schemes, such as the EU ETS. While the other schemes consider only direct emissions from fossil fuels, the Korean ETS also regulates indirect emissions arising from the consumption of electricity. The problem of double counting arises under this setting, in which emissions from the power sector can be accounted for twice, when electricity is produced and consumed. This study aims to compare design options on indirect emissions accounting for the Korean ETS using a computable general equilibrium model. Four scenarios are generated for options accounting for direct and/or indirect emissions and are evaluated in terms of efficiency and equality. The result shows that the ETS operates most efficiently when only direct emissions are considered. However, the option that includes both direct and indirect emissions produces a competent result in terms of equality by spreading the economic burden of emissions reduction among industries. We conclude that this option can be an alternative to meet the key purposes of the Korean ETS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Suggestion for a Framework for a Sustainable Infrastructure Asset Management Manual in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15003-15028; doi:10.3390/su71115003
Received: 6 June 2015 / Revised: 1 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 11 November 2015
PDF Full-text (2886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study proposes a framework for an infrastructure asset management manual containing infrastructure asset management processes and operation techniques, which can be adjusted by different ordering authorities to develop their own manuals. The following conclusions were drawn in this study. First, the justification
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This study proposes a framework for an infrastructure asset management manual containing infrastructure asset management processes and operation techniques, which can be adjusted by different ordering authorities to develop their own manuals. The following conclusions were drawn in this study. First, the justification for implementation of asset management was examined through analysis of changes and status of asset management in domestic infrastructure, and the current status and insufficiencies in the asset management manuals of the government and ordering authorities were inspected. Second, the current status and systems of infrastructure asset management manuals in developed foreign nations such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were examined, to analyze and compare the characteristics of asset management manuals among different nations. The directivity for composition of an infrastructure asset management manual in Korea was deduced for reference. Third, based on the directivity for composition of a domestic and foreign infrastructure asset management manual, a framework for an infrastructure asset management manual that can be utilized by the ordering authorities was proposed for (1) a general infrastructure asset management manual connected to global asset management manuals; (2) a manual that considers the asset management experience of the ordering authorities; (3) a systematic manual that takes user convenience into account; and (4) a circulatory process, which links infrastructure policy and strategy in the decision-making stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Drought Adaptation in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China: Actions, Planning, Pathways and Barriers
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15029-15056; doi:10.3390/su71115029
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NX region) of Northwestern China is threatened by increased meteorological drought induced by climate change (CC) and constraints on water supply from the Yellow River. Thus, the NX region is representative of attempts to adapt to CC and
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The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NX region) of Northwestern China is threatened by increased meteorological drought induced by climate change (CC) and constraints on water supply from the Yellow River. Thus, the NX region is representative of attempts to adapt to CC and variability in China’s arid regions. Field visits, a questionnaire and in situ inspections were conducted in 2012–2014 to understand people’s perception and awareness of drought and its impact, particularly with respect to adaptation strategies. We mainly focused on drought adaptation actions and planning implemented at the government level under the double pressures of drought and allocation. We described a suitable adaptation pathway for socio-economic sustainable development and discussed existing adaptation barriers. Construction of modern efficient water-saving agriculture lies at the core of drought adaptation, with socio-economic sustainable development being the ultimate goal. To achieve this, policies and institutional, engineering, technological, structural and social initiatives and measures—classified into macro adaptation strategies and specific coping measures—are implemented. Adaptation often encounters obstacles, e.g., policy issues from household contract responsibility systems, funding difficulties of low-income farmers, traditional behavioral habits and low education and literacy levels among farmers. The adaptation pathway involves the construction of modern efficient water-saving agriculture. Agricultural water savings are then transferred to developed industries, which back-feed socio-economic sustainable development in the NX region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Removal of Dimethyl Sulfide from Aqueous Solution Using Cost-Effective Modified Chicken Manure Biochar Produced from Slow Pyrolysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15057-15072; doi:10.3390/su71115057
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the characteristics of using a cost-effective, amine-modified biochar (BC) derived from chicken manure for removing dimethyl sulfide (DMS) from an aqueous solution. The amine-modified BC showed much higher adsorption of DMS compared to commercial activated carbons under varying conditions of
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This study investigated the characteristics of using a cost-effective, amine-modified biochar (BC) derived from chicken manure for removing dimethyl sulfide (DMS) from an aqueous solution. The amine-modified BC showed much higher adsorption of DMS compared to commercial activated carbons under varying conditions of contact time, initial concentration, and adsorbent dosage. The DMS removal efficiency increased as the adsorbent dosage was increased from 0.01 to 0.25 g and reached 92.4% even at the relatively low adsorbent dose of 0.015 g. The DMS adsorption capacity of the amine-modified BC (mg/g) increased with increasing DMS concentration, while the incremental rate of the removal efficiency decreased. The adsorption process was well explained by a pseudo-second-order kinetics model. The adsorption of DMS is more appropriately described by the Freundlich isotherm (R2 = 0.989) than by the Langmuir isotherm (R2 = 0.942). The DMS removal efficiency was only reduced by 23.4% even after 10 recovery cycles. The surface area of the amine-modified BC was much higher (9.4 ± 1.2 times) than that of the unmodified BC. The amine-modified BC with a high surface area of 334.6 m2/g can be utilized as a cheap and effective alternative adsorbent to commercial activated carbon for DMS removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biochar)
Open AccessArticle Creating World-Class Gathering Places for People and Wildlife along the Detroit Riverfront, Michigan, USA
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15073-15098; doi:10.3390/su71115073
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
PDF Full-text (4357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, USA is the automobile capital of the world, part of the industrial heartland and Rust Belt, and a major urban area. For over two centuries, the Detroit River was perceived as a working river that supported commerce and industry. Like
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Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, USA is the automobile capital of the world, part of the industrial heartland and Rust Belt, and a major urban area. For over two centuries, the Detroit River was perceived as a working river that supported commerce and industry. Like many other large North American cities, the Motor City made the Detroit River its back door, with businesses facing inland and away from the river. Compounding the problem, Detroit became indifferent to the water pollution that was perceived as a necessary by-product of industrial progress. By the 1960s, the Detroit River was one of the most polluted rivers in North America. Today, the cleanup and recovery of the Detroit River represent one of the most remarkable ecological recovery stories in North America with the return of bald eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, lake sturgeon, lake whitefish, mayflies, and more. Out of this recovery has come two transformational projects—the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and the Detroit RiverWalk—that are helping change the perception of the region from that of a Rust Belt city to one of a leader of urban sustainability that reconnects people to nature, improves quality of life, promotes sustainable redevelopment, and enhances community pride. Key lessons learned include: recruit a well-respected champion; ensure broad support from key stakeholder groups; establish core delivery team, focused on outcomes; build trust; adopt a strategic approach to community engagement, creating a connected community; evoke a sense of place; and measure and celebrate successes to sustain momentum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Hazard Assessment of Debris Flows in the Reservoir Region of Wudongde Hydropower Station in China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15099-15118; doi:10.3390/su71115099
Received: 9 September 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4142 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The outbreak of debris flows in a reservoir region can affect the stability of hydropower stations and threaten the lives of the people living downstream of dams. Therefore, determining the hazard degree of debris flows in a reservoir region is of great importance.
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The outbreak of debris flows in a reservoir region can affect the stability of hydropower stations and threaten the lives of the people living downstream of dams. Therefore, determining the hazard degree of debris flows in a reservoir region is of great importance. SPOT5 remote sensing images and digital elevation models are introduced to determine the characteristics of debris-flow catchments. The information is acquired through comprehensive manual investigation and satellite image interpretation. Ten factors that influence debris flow are extracted for the hazard assessment. The weight of these factors is determined using the analytic hierarchy process method. As a multi-criterion decision analysis method, fuzzy synthetic evaluation is applied for hazard assessment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Factor Analysis of Trends in Temporal–Spatial Patterns of China’s Coal Consumption
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15119-15135; doi:10.3390/su71115119
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 7 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (919 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes coal consumption in the 31 provinces and regions of China from 1995 to 2012. Using spatial analysis in Arc geographical information systems (ArcGIS) and the concept of the center of gravity in physics, we explore the regional differences in temporal-spatial
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This paper analyzes coal consumption in the 31 provinces and regions of China from 1995 to 2012. Using spatial analysis in Arc geographical information systems (ArcGIS) and the concept of the center of gravity in physics, we explore the regional differences in temporal-spatial coal consumption and the factors influencing them. The results show that China’s coal consumption increased yearly, especially after 2003. It exhibits a marked spatial clustering phenomenon; consumption in the south and east exceeded that in the north and west respectively. Moreover, the center of gravity of consumption gradually moved toward the southwest, indicating reducing gaps in coal consumption between the north-south and the east-west regions. Both the level of economic development and coal consumption are positively related with regional coal production. Promoting urbanization and increasing the proportion of the tertiary industry can effectively reduce coal consumption and help readjust coal consumption patterns to sustainable levels. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Passive vs. Active Strategies for a School Building Design
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15136-15151; doi:10.3390/su71115136
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 16 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9930 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a simulation study to reduce heating and cooling energy demand of a school building in Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korea. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of passive vs. active approaches on energy savings in buildings using
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This paper presents a simulation study to reduce heating and cooling energy demand of a school building in Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korea. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of passive vs. active approaches on energy savings in buildings using EnergyPlus simulation. By controlling lighting, the energy saving of the original school building design was found most significant, and increased by 32% when the design was improved. It is noteworthy that energy saving potential of each room varies significantly depending on the rooms’ thermal characteristics and orientation. Thus, the analysis of energy saving should be introduced at the individual space level, not at the whole building level. Additionally, the simulation studies should be involved for rational decision-making. Finally, it was concluded that priority should be given to passive building design strategies, such as building orientation, as well as control and utilization of solar radiation. These passive energy saving strategies are related to urban, architectural design, and engineering issues, and are more beneficial in terms of energy savings than active strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Electric Vehicles as Distributed Energy Storage in Isolated Systems: The Case of Tenerife
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15152-15178; doi:10.3390/su71115152
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Isolated regions are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The use of endogenous sources and the improvement in energy efficiency in all of the consumption activities are the two main ways to reduce the dependence of petroleum-derived fuels. Tenerife offers an excellent renewable resource
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Isolated regions are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The use of endogenous sources and the improvement in energy efficiency in all of the consumption activities are the two main ways to reduce the dependence of petroleum-derived fuels. Tenerife offers an excellent renewable resource (hours of sun and wind). However, the massive development of these technologies could cause important operational problems within the electric power grids, because of the small size of the system. In this paper, we explore the option of coupling an electric vehicle fleet as a distributed energy storage system to increase the participation of renewables in an isolated power system, i.e., Tenerife Island. A model simulator has been used to evaluate five key outputs, that is the renewable share, the energy spilled, the CO2 emissions, the levelized cost of generating electricity and fuel dependence, under alternative scenarios. Comparing to the current situation, combining a gradual renewable installed capacity and the introduction of an electric vehicle fleet using alternative charging strategies, a total of 30 different scenarios have been evaluated. Results shows that the impact of 50,000 electric vehicles would increase the renewable share in the electricity mix of the island up to 30%, reduce CO2 emissions by 27%, the total cost of electric generation by 6% and the oil internal market by 16%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Repetitive Model Refinement for Questionnaire Design Improvement in the Evaluation of Working Characteristics in Construction Enterprises
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15179-15193; doi:10.3390/su71115179
Received: 15 July 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an iterative confidence interval based parametric refinement approach for questionnaire design improvement in the evaluation of working characteristics in construction enterprises. This refinement approach utilizes the 95% confidence interval of the estimated parameters of the model to determine their statistical
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This paper presents an iterative confidence interval based parametric refinement approach for questionnaire design improvement in the evaluation of working characteristics in construction enterprises. This refinement approach utilizes the 95% confidence interval of the estimated parameters of the model to determine their statistical significance in a least-squares regression setting. If this confidence interval of particular parameters covers the zero value, it is statistically valid to remove such parameters from the model and their corresponding questions from the designed questionnaire. The remaining parameters repetitively undergo this sifting process until their statistical significance cannot be improved. This repetitive model refinement approach is implemented in efficient questionnaire design by using both linear series and Taylor series models to remove non-contributing questions while keeping significant questions that are contributive to the issues studied, i.e., employees’ work performance being explained by their work values and cadres’ organizational commitment being explained by their organizational management. Reducing the number of questions alleviates the respondent burden and reduces costs. The results show that the statistical significance of the sifted contributing questions is decreased with a total mean relative change of 49%, while the Taylor series model increases the R-squared value by 17% compared with the linear series model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Measuring Shared Social Appreciation of Community Goods: An Experiment for the East Elevated Expressway of Rome
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15194-15218; doi:10.3390/su71115194
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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Abstract
Many large projects held over the last few decades in Europe have been based on the enhancement of community goods as a strategy to put in place sustainable urban regeneration. The inclusive nature of these goods and the social importance of the related
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Many large projects held over the last few decades in Europe have been based on the enhancement of community goods as a strategy to put in place sustainable urban regeneration. The inclusive nature of these goods and the social importance of the related decision-making processes suggests the need to involve the relevant community and to take into account its intentions and wishes regarding planning and organization. Therefore, before even starting to plan possible interventions, it is crucial to know what the members of the community think about the good in terms of social appreciation, in order to achieve socially sustainable choices. This paper offers a method to measure the social appreciation of community goods and describes the following: (a) deliberative esteem value technology to measure the social appreciation based on a combination between stated preference techniques and deliberative methods; (b) the criterion and methodology of the valuation technique proposed; and (c) an experimental application of the valuation technique pertinent to the specific case of the East Elevated Expressway of Rome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Grain-Size Analysis of Debris Flow Alluvial Fans in Panxi Area along Jinsha River, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15219-15242; doi:10.3390/su71115219
Received: 10 September 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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Abstract
The basic geometric parameters of 236 debris flow catchments were determined by interpreting SPOT5 remote sensing images with a resolution of 2.5 m in a 209 km section along the Jinsha River in the Panxi area, China. A total of 27 large-scale debris
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The basic geometric parameters of 236 debris flow catchments were determined by interpreting SPOT5 remote sensing images with a resolution of 2.5 m in a 209 km section along the Jinsha River in the Panxi area, China. A total of 27 large-scale debris flow catchments were selected for detailed in situ investigation. Samples were taken from two profiles in the deposition zone for each debris flow catchment. The φ value gradation method of the grain size was used to obtain 54 histograms with abscissa in a logarithmic scale. Five types of debris flows were summarized from the outline of the histogram. Four grain size parameters were calculated: mean grain size, standard deviation, coefficient of skewness, and coefficient of kurtosis. These four values were used to evaluate the features of the histogram. The grain index that reflects the transport (kinetic) energy information of debris flows was defined to describe the characteristics of the debris-flow materials. Furthermore, a normalized grain index based on the catchment area was proposed to allow evaluation of the debris flow mobility. The characteristics of the debris-flow materials were well-described by the histogram of grain-size distribution and the normalized grain index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Green Transport Balanced Scorecard Model with Analytic Network Process Support
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15243-15261; doi:10.3390/su71115243
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 5 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1056 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, the performance of economic and non-economic activities has required them to be friendly with the environment. Transport is one of the areas having considerable potential within the scope. The main assumption to achieve ambitious green goals is an effective green
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In recent decades, the performance of economic and non-economic activities has required them to be friendly with the environment. Transport is one of the areas having considerable potential within the scope. The main assumption to achieve ambitious green goals is an effective green transport evaluation system. However, these systems are researched from the industrial company and supply chain perspective only sporadically. The aim of the paper is to design a conceptual framework for creating the Green Transport (GT) Balanced Scorecard (BSC) models from the viewpoint of industrial companies and supply chains using an appropriate multi-criteria decision making method. The models should allow green transport performance evaluation and support of an effective implementation of green transport strategies. Since performance measures used in Balanced Scorecard models are interdependent, the Analytic Network Process (ANP) was used as the appropriate multi-criteria decision making method. The verification of the designed conceptual framework was performed on a real supply chain of the European automotive industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Logistics)
Open AccessArticle Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Flash Geothermal Power Plants—A Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15262-15283; doi:10.3390/su71115262
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 6 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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Abstract
The sustainability of geothermal energy production is analyzed with reference to a production plant located in a specific area (Monte Amiata, Italy). Four solutions combining a flash power plant with an Organic Rankine Cycle in a hybrid configuration are analyzed in terms of
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The sustainability of geothermal energy production is analyzed with reference to a production plant located in a specific area (Monte Amiata, Italy). Four solutions combining a flash power plant with an Organic Rankine Cycle in a hybrid configuration are analyzed in terms of production of electricity, exergy balance and emissions level (CO2, H2S, Hg). The different solutions correspond to increasing environmental performance, and for the most advanced case achieve near-zero emissions (complete reinjection of the natural resource, including incondensable gases). The results show that this can be achieved at the price of a progressive reduction of electrical productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Relationship between the Population Trends, Prices, Heat Waves, and the Demands of Energy Consumption in Cities
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15284-15301; doi:10.3390/su71115284
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 6 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The demands of energy consumption have been projected as a key factor that affects an economy at the city, national, and international level. Contributions to total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 by various urban sectors include electricity (31%), transportation (28%), industry (20%),
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The demands of energy consumption have been projected as a key factor that affects an economy at the city, national, and international level. Contributions to total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 by various urban sectors include electricity (31%), transportation (28%), industry (20%), agriculture (10%), and commercial and residential (10%). Yet the heavy demands of energy consumption in the cities by residents, commercial businesses, industries, and transportation are important for maintaining and sustaining sufficient economic growth. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between population trends, historical energy consumptions, the changes of average electricity price, average annual temperature, and extreme weather events for three selected cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. These cities are exemplary of, metropolitan areas in the East, Middle, and the Western regions of the U.S. We find that the total energy consumptions of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are influenced to various degrees by changes in population, temperature and the average price of electricity and that only one city, Los Angeles, does price significantly affect electricity use. This finding has implications for policy making, suggesting that each city’s climate, size and general economic priorities must be considered in developing climate change mitigation strategies and incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Adsorptive Removal of Reactive Black 5 from Wastewater Using Bentonite Clay: Isotherms, Kinetics and Thermodynamics
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15302-15318; doi:10.3390/su71115302
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The studies of the kinetics and isotherms adsorption of the Reactive Black 5 (RB5) onto bentonite clay were explored in a batch study in a laboratory. The maximum RB5 adsorption conditions of bentonite clay were optimized such as shaking speed (100 rpm), temperature
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The studies of the kinetics and isotherms adsorption of the Reactive Black 5 (RB5) onto bentonite clay were explored in a batch study in a laboratory. The maximum RB5 adsorption conditions of bentonite clay were optimized such as shaking speed (100 rpm), temperature (323 K), pH (10), contact time (40 min), initial dye concentration (170 mg·L−1), and particle size (177 µm). The adsorbent surface was characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy spectroscopy. The mechanisms and characteristic parameters of the adsorption process were analyzed using two parameter isotherm models which revealed the following order (based on the coefficient of determination): Harkin-Jura (0.9989) > Freundlich (0.9986) and Halsey (0.9986) > Langmuir (0.9915) > Temkin (0.9818) > Dubinin–Radushkevich (0.9678). This result suggests the heterogeneous nature of bentonite clay. Moreover, the adsorption process was chemisorption in nature because it follows the pseudo-second order reaction model with R2 value of 0.9998, 0.9933 and 0.9891 at 25, 75 and 100 mg·L−1 RB5 dye in the solution, respectively. Moreover, based on the values of standard enthalpy, Gibbs free energy change, and entropy, bentonite clay showed dual nature of exothermic and endothermic, spontaneous and non-spontaneous as well as increased and decreased randomness at solid–liquid interface at 303–313 K and 313–323 K temperature, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Comparing Potential Unstable Sites and Stable Sites on Revegetated Cut-Slopes of Mountainous Terrain in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15319-15341; doi:10.3390/su71115319
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
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Abstract
This study employs a diverse set of variables to explain slope stabilization on stable versus failure-prone revegetated cut-slopes in Korea. A field survey was conducted at potential unstable sites and stable sites using 23 variables. Through a non-parametric test of the field survey
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This study employs a diverse set of variables to explain slope stabilization on stable versus failure-prone revegetated cut-slopes in Korea. A field survey was conducted at potential unstable sites and stable sites using 23 variables. Through a non-parametric test of the field survey results, 15 variables were identified as primary determinants of slope failure. Of these variables, one described physical characteristics (elapsed year); four variables described vegetation properties (plant community, vegetation coverage rate, number of trees, and number of herbs); and 10 variables represented soil properties (porosity, soil hardness, water content, sand ratio and silt ratio of soil texture, tensile strength, permeability coefficient, soil depth, soil acidity, salt concentration, and organic matter). Slope angle, which was mainly considered in previous studies, of variables in physical characteristics was not statistically selected as one of the 15 variables because most of sites were located on steep slopes. The vegetation community, vegetation coverage, and number of trees influence slope stabilization. Vegetation coverage is highly correlated with other soil and vegetation variables, making it a major indicator of slope stabilization. All soil variables were related to slope failure such that subsequent slope failure was related to the method of slope revegetation rather than the environmental condition of the slope. Slope failure did not occur in revegetated slopes that matched the characteristics of the surrounding landscape and contained a large number of native trees. Most soil and vegetation variables showed differing values for whether a revegetated slope is potentially unstable or stable. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Environmental Management Practices and Supply Chain Integration on Technological Innovation Performance—Evidence from China’s Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15342-15361; doi:10.3390/su71115342
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
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Abstract
How to effectively implement environmental management practices and supply chain integration to enhance technological innovation performance has become crucial in both research and practice. Based on resource-based view (RBV) theory, a theoretical model to determine the relationship between environmental management practices, supply chain
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How to effectively implement environmental management practices and supply chain integration to enhance technological innovation performance has become crucial in both research and practice. Based on resource-based view (RBV) theory, a theoretical model to determine the relationship between environmental management practices, supply chain integration, supply chain knowledge sharing, and technological innovation performance was proposed. Based on data collected from one hundred and twelve Chinese manufacturing enterprises, the empirical results show that environmental management practices have a significantly positive influence on technological innovation performance, and supply chain integration plays a moderating role on the relationship. In addition, the results indicate that supply chain integration is also a predictive variable of technological innovation performance and supply chain knowledge sharing. Our findings suggest that practitioners should couple environmental management practices with supply chain integration to improve technological innovation performance in addition to environmental performance, which has been substantiated in literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Leadership and Management)
Open AccessArticle Selection of Optimum Working Fluid for Organic Rankine Cycles by Exergy and Exergy-Economic Analyses
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15362-15383; doi:10.3390/su71115362
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 8 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
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Abstract
The thermodynamic performance of a regenerative organic Rankine cycle that utilizes low temperature heat sources to facilitate the selection of proper organic working fluids is simulated. Thermodynamic models are used to investigate thermodynamic parameters such as output power, and energy efficiency of the
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The thermodynamic performance of a regenerative organic Rankine cycle that utilizes low temperature heat sources to facilitate the selection of proper organic working fluids is simulated. Thermodynamic models are used to investigate thermodynamic parameters such as output power, and energy efficiency of the ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle). In addition, the cost rate of electricity is examined with exergo-economic analysis. Nine working fluids are considered as part of the investigation to assess which yields the highest output power and exergy efficiency, within system constraints. Exergy efficiency and cost rate of electricity are used as objective functions for system optimization, and each fluid is assessed in terms of the optimal operating condition. The degree of superheat and the pressure ratio are independent variables in the optimization. R134a and iso-butane are found to exhibit the highest energy and exergy efficiencies, while they have output powers in between the systems using other working fluids. For a source temperature was equal to 120 °C, the exergy efficiencies for the systems using R134a and iso-butane are observed to be 19.6% and 20.3%, respectively. The largest exergy destructions occur in the boiler and the expander. The electricity cost rates for the system vary from 0.08 USD/kWh to 0.12 USD/kWh, depending on the fuel input cost, for the system using R134a as a working fluid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Biomass Yield and Water Treatment in Two Aquaponic Systems Using the Dynamic Root Floating Technique (DRF)
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15384-15399; doi:10.3390/su71115384
Received: 4 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
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Abstract
The experiment evaluates the food production and water treatment of TAN, NO2–N, NO3–N, and PO43− in two aquaponics systems using the dynamic root floating technique (DRF). A separate recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) was used as
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The experiment evaluates the food production and water treatment of TAN, NO2–N, NO3–N, and PO43− in two aquaponics systems using the dynamic root floating technique (DRF). A separate recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) was used as a control. The fish cultured was Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The hydroponic culture in one treatment (PAK) was pak choy (Brassica chinensis,) and in the other (COR) coriander (Coriandrum sativum). Initial and final weights were determined for the fish culture. Final edible fresh weight was determined for the hydroponic plant culture. TAN, NO2–N, NO3–N, and PO43− were measured in fish culture and hydroponic culture once a week at two times, morning (9:00 a.m.) and afternoon (3:00 p.m.). The fish biomass production was not different in any treatment (p > 0.05) and the total plant yield was greater (p < 0.05) in PAK than in COR. For the hydroponic culture in the a.m., the PO43− was lower (p < 0.05) in the PAK treatment than in COR, and in the p.m. NO3–N and PO43− were lower (p < 0.05) in PAK than in COR. The PAK treatment demonstrated higher food production and water treatment efficiency than the other two treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency Trends and Decoupling Analysis of Environmental Pressures in Tianjin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15407-15422; doi:10.3390/su71115407
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 19 November 2015
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Abstract
This study analyzes Tianjin’s eco-efficiency trends during the period 2001–2013 and reasons for their changes, with the aim of contributing to efforts to ensure the city’s sustainable development. While eco-efficiency of all of the indicators that we analyzed showed improvements during the study
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This study analyzes Tianjin’s eco-efficiency trends during the period 2001–2013 and reasons for their changes, with the aim of contributing to efforts to ensure the city’s sustainable development. While eco-efficiency of all of the indicators that we analyzed showed improvements during the study period, a gap remained in comparison to the more advanced eco-efficiency observed both domestically and internationally. We subsequently introduced decoupling indices to examine the decoupling relationship between environmental pressure and economic growth. This analysis demonstrated that some progress occurred during the study period resulting from the implementation of existing policies and measures entailing resource conservation and reduction in the emission of pollutants. The latter applied, especially, to sulfur dioxide (SO2) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), which both retained strong decoupling states from 2006 to 2013. Other indicators showed an apparent tendency toward decoupling, but most displayed weak decoupling. These findings indicate that further efforts are urgently required to promote strong decoupling. At the end of the twelfth Five-Year Plan period, Tianjin should consider formulating policies from the perspectives of resource consumption and pollutant emissions reduction to promote further sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Project-Based Market Competition and Policy Implications for Sustainable Developments in Building and Construction Sectors
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15423-15448; doi:10.3390/su71115423
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 12 November 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (804 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building and construction sectors are significant contributors to the global economy, but their energy consumption necessitates greater commitment to sustainable developments. There is therefore a growing demand for green innovation in the form of cleaner production and policies to meet the modern requirements
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Building and construction sectors are significant contributors to the global economy, but their energy consumption necessitates greater commitment to sustainable developments. There is therefore a growing demand for green innovation in the form of cleaner production and policies to meet the modern requirements of sustainability. However, the nature in which public work is undertaken is in an environment of project-based market competition, whereby contractors routinely bid for contracts under specific project awarding systems, and variations are accompanied with the unique scope of individual projects before the final goods or services are delivered. A comprehensive understanding of the characteristics and contractors’ behavior in systems could help to identify the leverage points of policies. This paper proposes a system dynamics model, with quantitative analysis and simulations, to demonstrate the problems of a system with different project awarding systems and ineffective market performance. The framework of market efficiency and performance measures has been proposed to evaluate the project-based competition mechanism. Managerial policy implications for market efficiency and sustainable developments can thus be systematically discussed and compared through iterative computer simulations and scenario analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Revising Payment for Ecosystem Services in the Light of Stewardship: The Need for a Legal Framework
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15449-15463; doi:10.3390/su71115449
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 12 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) highlighted the importance of ecosystem services for human well-being, the payments for such services have increasingly been drawing the attention of governments, the private sector and academia. Nonetheless, there is not yet a specific legal framework which
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Since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) highlighted the importance of ecosystem services for human well-being, the payments for such services have increasingly been drawing the attention of governments, the private sector and academia. Nonetheless, there is not yet a specific legal framework which is able to capture the complexity of managing natural resources and, at the same time, deal with the numerous drawbacks that have been identified by critics, who are opposed to using financialisation of the environment as a tool. This paper, after briefly summarizing some of the main features and criticisms of the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), will critically assess the understanding of property rights over natural resources as stewardship, rather than as entitlement, because this interpretation is more coherent with the inherent characteristics of natural resources and, consequently, of ecosystem services. The novel usage of a stewardship dimension to property rights underlines the necessity for a legal framework for PES, constituted by “property-liability rules”. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis on Accuracy of Bias, Linearity and Stability of Measurement System in Ball screw Processes by Simulation
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15464-15486; doi:10.3390/su71115464
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 14 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
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Abstract
To consistently produce high quality products, a quality management system, such as the ISO9001, 2000 or TS 16949 must be practically implemented. One core instrument of the TS16949 MSA (Measurement System Analysis) is to rank the capability of a measurement system and ensure
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To consistently produce high quality products, a quality management system, such as the ISO9001, 2000 or TS 16949 must be practically implemented. One core instrument of the TS16949 MSA (Measurement System Analysis) is to rank the capability of a measurement system and ensure the quality characteristics of the product would likely be transformed through the whole manufacturing process. It is important to reduce the risk of Type I errors (acceptable goods are misjudged as defective parts) and Type II errors (defective parts are misjudged as good parts). An ideal measuring system would have the statistical characteristic of zero error, but such a system could hardly exist. Hence, to maintain better control of the variance that might occur in the manufacturing process, MSA is necessary for better quality control. Ball screws, which are a key component in precision machines, have significant attributes with respect to positioning and transmitting. Failures of lead accuracy and axial-gap of a ball screw can cause negative and expensive effects in machine positioning accuracy. Consequently, a functional measurement system can incur great savings by detecting Type I and Type II errors. If the measurement system fails with respect to specification of the product, it will likely misjudge Type I and Type II errors. Inspectors normally follow the MSA regulations for accuracy measurement, but the choice of measuring system does not merely depend on some simple indices. In this paper, we examine the stability of a measuring system by using a Monte Carlo simulation to establish bias, linearity variance of the normal distribution, and the probability density function. Further, we forecast the possible area distribution in the real case. After the simulation, the measurement capability will be improved, which helps the user classify the measurement system and establish measurement regulations for better performance and monitoring of the precision of the ball screw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Human-Environment System Knowledge: A Correlate of Pro-Environmental Behavior
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15510-15526; doi:10.3390/su71115510
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 15 October 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An effective program of environmental education requires the identification of the knowledge that must be imparted. This paper compares the effects of human-environment system knowledge (i.e., knowledge related to environmental problems caused by humans) and environmental action knowledge (i.e.,
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An effective program of environmental education requires the identification of the knowledge that must be imparted. This paper compares the effects of human-environment system knowledge (i.e., knowledge related to environmental problems caused by humans) and environmental action knowledge (i.e., knowledge of possible courses of action to reduce human impact on the environment) on pro-environmental behavior. Environmental knowledge and pro-environmental behavior of 950 Chilean adults were assessed with a survey. Both types of knowledge were related to pro-environmental behavior (r = 0.25 and r = 0.22, respectively, p < 0.001). These results seem to contradict previous studies that found that system knowledge is not directly related to pro-environmental behavior. However, existing scales of environmental system knowledge are behavioral-distant due to their greater number of general geography knowledge items. In contrast, our human-environmental system knowledge scale focuses on understanding global environmental problems and, therefore, can be expected to relate more closely to pro-environmental behavior. To promote pro-environmental behavior, we suggest teaching more human-environment system knowledge and environmental action knowledge. Since different forms of environmental knowledge must work together in a convergent manner in order to foster pro-environmental behavior, the present study represents an important contribution by showing that greater human-environment system knowledge is correlated with pro-environmental behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Identifying Critical Factors in the Eco-Efficiency of Remanufacturing Based on the Fuzzy DEMATEL Method
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15527-15547; doi:10.3390/su71115527
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remanufacturing can bring considerable economic and environmental benefits such as cost saving, conservation of energy and resources, and reduction of emissions. With the increasing awareness of sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing gradually becomes the research priority. Most studies concentrate on the analysis of influencing factors,
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Remanufacturing can bring considerable economic and environmental benefits such as cost saving, conservation of energy and resources, and reduction of emissions. With the increasing awareness of sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing gradually becomes the research priority. Most studies concentrate on the analysis of influencing factors, or the evaluation of the economic and environmental performance in remanufacturing, while little effort has been devoted to investigating the critical factors influencing the eco-efficiency of remanufacturing. Considering the current development of the remanufacturing industry in China, this paper proposes a set of factors influencing the eco-efficiency of remanufacturing and then utilizes a fuzzy Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method to establish relation matrixes reflecting the interdependent relationships among these factors. Finally, the contributions of each factor to eco-efficiency and mutual influence values among them are obtained, and critical factors in eco-efficiency of remanufacturing are identified. The results of the present work can provide theoretical supports for the government to make appropriate policies to improve the eco-efficiency of remanufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Tourism Water Capacity in Agricultural Heritage Sites
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15548-15569; doi:10.3390/su71115548
Received: 21 September 2015 / Revised: 8 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1958 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agricultural heritage sites have been gaining popularity as tourism destinations. The arrival of large numbers of tourists, however, has created serious challenges to these vulnerable ecosystems. In particular, water resources are facing tremendous pressure. Thus, an assessment of tourism water footprint is suggested
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Agricultural heritage sites have been gaining popularity as tourism destinations. The arrival of large numbers of tourists, however, has created serious challenges to these vulnerable ecosystems. In particular, water resources are facing tremendous pressure. Thus, an assessment of tourism water footprint is suggested before promoting sustainable tourism. This paper uses the bottom-up approach to construct a framework on the tourism water footprint of agricultural heritage sites. The tourism water footprint consists of four components, namely accommodation water footprint, diet water footprint, transportation water footprint and sewage dilution water footprint. Yuanyang County, a representative of the Honghe Hani rice terraces, was selected as the study area. Field surveys including questionnaires, interviews and participant observation approaches were undertaken to study the tourism water footprint and water capacity of the heritage site. Based on the results, measures to improve the tourism water capacity have been put forward, which should provide references for making policies that aim to maintain a sustainable water system and promote tourism development without hampering the sustainability of the heritage system. The sewage dilution water footprint and the diet water footprint were top contributors to the tourism water footprint of the subject area, taking up 38.33% and 36.15% of the tourism water footprint, respectively, followed by the transportation water footprint (21.47%). The accommodation water footprint had the smallest proportion (4.05%). The tourism water capacity of the heritage site was 14,500 tourists per day. The water pressure index was 97%, indicating that the water footprint was still within the water capacity, but there is a danger that the water footprint may soon exceed the water capacity. As a consequence, we suggest that macro and micro approaches, including appropriate technologies, awareness enhancement and diversified tourism product development throughout the whole year that can alleviate the water pressure at critical times, could be taken to optimize the water management of the heritage sites. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimating the Impact of Urbanization on Air Quality in China Using Spatial Regression Models
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15570-15592; doi:10.3390/su71115570
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1067 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban air pollution is one of the most visible environmental problems to have accompanied China’s rapid urbanization. Based on emission inventory data from 2014, gathered from 289 cities, we used Global and Local Moran’s I to measure the spatial autorrelation of Air Quality
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Urban air pollution is one of the most visible environmental problems to have accompanied China’s rapid urbanization. Based on emission inventory data from 2014, gathered from 289 cities, we used Global and Local Moran’s I to measure the spatial autorrelation of Air Quality Index (AQI) values at the city level, and employed Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Spatial Lag Model (SAR), and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) to quantitatively estimate the comprehensive impact and spatial variations of China’s urbanization process on air quality. The results show that a significant spatial dependence and heterogeneity existed in AQI values. Regression models revealed urbanization has played an important negative role in determining air quality in Chinese cities. The population, urbanization rate, automobile density, and the proportion of secondary industry were all found to have had a significant influence over air quality. Per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the scale of urban land use, however, failed the significance test at 10% level. The GWR model performed better than global models and the results of GWR modeling show that the relationship between urbanization and air quality was not constant in space. Further, the local parameter estimates suggest significant spatial variation in the impacts of various urbanization factors on air quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Out of the Dark: Establishing a Large-Scale Field Experiment to Assess the Effects of Artificial Light at Night on Species and Food Webs
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15593-15616; doi:10.3390/su71115593
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2472 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is one of the most obvious hallmarks of human presence in an ecosystem. The rapidly increasing use of artificial light has fundamentally transformed nightscapes throughout most of the globe, although little is known about how ALAN impacts the
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Artificial light at night (ALAN) is one of the most obvious hallmarks of human presence in an ecosystem. The rapidly increasing use of artificial light has fundamentally transformed nightscapes throughout most of the globe, although little is known about how ALAN impacts the biodiversity and food webs of illuminated ecosystems. We developed a large-scale experimental infrastructure to study the effects of ALAN on a light-naïve, natural riparian (i.e., terrestrial-aquatic) ecosystem. Twelve street lights (20 m apart) arranged in three rows parallel to an agricultural drainage ditch were installed on each of two sites located in a grassland ecosystem in northern Germany. A range of biotic, abiotic, and photometric data are collected regularly to study the short- and long-term effects of ALAN on behavior, species interactions, physiology, and species composition of communities. Here we describe the infrastructure setup and data collection methods, and characterize the study area including photometric measurements. None of the measured parameters differed significantly between sites in the period before illumination. Results of one short-term experiment, carried out with one site illuminated and the other acting as a control, demonstrate the attraction of ALAN by the immense and immediate increase of insect catches at the lit street lights. The experimental setup provides a unique platform for carrying out interdisciplinary research on sustainable lighting. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Network of Protected Areas in China Based on a Geographic Perspective: Current Status, Issues and Integration
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15617-15631; doi:10.3390/su71115617
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2519 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the continued growth of protected areas (PAs) in China in terms of the number, coverage and varieties of protected objects, how to efficiently manage the protected areas to ensure both resource protection and environmental protection has become a crucial research question. By
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With the continued growth of protected areas (PAs) in China in terms of the number, coverage and varieties of protected objects, how to efficiently manage the protected areas to ensure both resource protection and environmental protection has become a crucial research question. By applying a geographic perspective in an analysis of the development and evolution of protected areas in China, this paper presents the results of an analysis focused on the status and the types of current approaches to the management of natural protected areas to reveal the problems that exist in their management and to further explore an integration strategy for the protected area network. It proposes that the future management of protected areas should prioritize their legal status, the sustainable livelihood of individuals living in close proximity to them, and the establishment of a unified database to achieve grid and information management of the protected areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Land Use Allocation Based on a Multi-Objective Artificial Immune Optimization Model: An Application in Anlu County, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15632-15651; doi:10.3390/su71115632
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the main feature of land use planning, land use allocation (LUA) optimization is an important means of creating a balance between the land-use supply and demand in a region and promoting the sustainable utilization of land resources. In essence, LUA optimization is
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As the main feature of land use planning, land use allocation (LUA) optimization is an important means of creating a balance between the land-use supply and demand in a region and promoting the sustainable utilization of land resources. In essence, LUA optimization is a multi-objective optimization problem under the land use supply and demand constraints in a region. In order to obtain a better sustainable multi-objective LUA optimization solution, the present study proposes a LUA model based on the multi-objective artificial immune optimization algorithm (MOAIM-LUA model). The main achievements of the present study are as follows: (a) the land-use supply and demand factors are analyzed and the constraint conditions of LUA optimization problems are constructed based on the analysis framework of the balance between the land use supply and demand; (b) the optimization objectives of LUA optimization problems are defined and modeled using ecosystem service value theory and land rent and price theory; and (c) a multi-objective optimization algorithm is designed for solving multi-objective LUA optimization problems based on the novel immune clonal algorithm (NICA). On the basis of the aforementioned achievements, MOAIM-LUA was applied to a real case study of land-use planning in Anlu County, China. Compared to the current land use situation in Anlu County, optimized LUA solutions offer improvements in the social and ecological objective areas. Compared to the existing models, such as the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II, experimental results demonstrate that the model designed in the present study can obtain better non-dominated solution sets and is superior in terms of algorithm stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Landscape Pattern Changes in Response to Transhumance Abandonment on Mountain Vermio (North Greece)
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15652-15673; doi:10.3390/su71115652
Received: 28 September 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transhumance, the seasonal movement of herds between highlands and lowlands following precise, repeated routes, is a common practice in many Mediterranean regions. This livestock movement exploits natural vegetation in both winter and summer pastures. In Greece transhumant herders, drawn by relatively abundant vegetation,
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Transhumance, the seasonal movement of herds between highlands and lowlands following precise, repeated routes, is a common practice in many Mediterranean regions. This livestock movement exploits natural vegetation in both winter and summer pastures. In Greece transhumant herders, drawn by relatively abundant vegetation, usually relocate to mountainous areas between April and October. Mount Vermio was an ideal summer pasture for the nomadic, ethnic group Sarakatsanoi of Thessaly, who used to own big herds. Socio-economic conditions of the 20th century led to the gradual decline of transhumance, resulting in reduction in grazing pressure and changes in vegetation dynamics. The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in landscape patterns in response to transhumance abandonment. Landscape metrics were employed to estimate land use/cover in two altitudinal zones. Results reveal that due to the abandonment of transhumance in the highlands landscape fragmentation increased. Meanwhile, in the lowlands, due to the uninterrupted presence of animals, landscape structure is more stable and diversified. Grasslands and agroforestry systems became smaller and more isolated. In conclusion, the abandonment of transhumance led to the overall deterioration of the rural landscape in the highlands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Enhancing Green Absorptive Capacity, Green Dynamic Capacities and Green Service Innovation to Improve Firm Performance: An Analysis of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15674-15692; doi:10.3390/su71115674
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 4 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study discusses the influences of green absorptive capacity, green dynamic capacities, and green service innovation on firm performance. In order to fill the research gap, this study proposes the concept of green service innovation. The results are as follows: First, this study
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This study discusses the influences of green absorptive capacity, green dynamic capacities, and green service innovation on firm performance. In order to fill the research gap, this study proposes the concept of green service innovation. The results are as follows: First, this study finds that green absorptive capacity has positive effects on green dynamic capacities, green service innovation, and firm performance. Second, this study points out that green dynamic capacities have positive effects on green service innovation and firm performance. Third, this study observes that green dynamic capacities and green service innovation intercede the positive connection between green absorptive capacity and firm performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effectiveness of Education for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15693-15717; doi:10.3390/su71115693
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (904 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Perhaps the most important issue in our time is how to sustain our planet’s resources, while developing wealth and well-being for a growing population. This monumental task has been defined in the concept of sustainable development (SD). During the last few decades the
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Perhaps the most important issue in our time is how to sustain our planet’s resources, while developing wealth and well-being for a growing population. This monumental task has been defined in the concept of sustainable development (SD). During the last few decades the world communities have agreed upon addressing SD through international treaties. As a response Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been launched as an answer to cope with sustainability. However, empirical studies are a missing link in the discourse around ESD, where decisions and implementation strategies are heavily based on policy recommendations and gut feelings by practitioners. We used data from 2413 students in grades 6, 9, and 12 from 51 schools across Sweden to study the effectiveness of ESD. In line with the current debate on the definition of ESD, we quantified the extent to which teaching can be labeled as holistic and/or pluralistic. Through a series of descriptive analyses and the estimation of structural equation models, our results indicate that ESD can indeed impact on student outcomes in terms of their sustainability consciousness. The results of this study reveal the key role ESD plays in addressing SD, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Risky Business: Sustainability and Industrial Land Use across Seattle’s Gentrifying Riskscape
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15718-15753; doi:10.3390/su71115718
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 7 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14080 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper examines the spatial and temporal trajectories of Seattle’s industrial land use restructuring and the shifting riskscape in Seattle, WA, a commonly recognized urban model of sustainability. Drawing on the perspective of sustainability as a conflicted process, this research explored the intersections
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This paper examines the spatial and temporal trajectories of Seattle’s industrial land use restructuring and the shifting riskscape in Seattle, WA, a commonly recognized urban model of sustainability. Drawing on the perspective of sustainability as a conflicted process, this research explored the intersections of urban industrial and nonindustrial land use planning, gentrification, and environmental injustice. In the first part of our research, we combine geographic cluster analysis and longitudinal air toxic emission comparisons to quantitatively investigate socioeconomic changes in Seattle Census block-groups between 1990, 2000, and 2009 coupled with measures of pollution volume and its relative potential risk. Second, we qualitatively examine Seattle’s historical land use policies and planning and the growing tension between industrial and nonindustrial land use. The gentrification, green cities, and growth management conflicts embedded within sustainability/livability lead to pollution exposure risk and socioeconomic vulnerability converging in the same areas and reveal one of Seattle’s significant environmental challenges. Our mixed-method approach can guide future urban sustainability studies to more effectively examine the connections between land use planning, industrial displacement, and environmental injustice. Our results also help sustainable development practitioners recognize that a more just sustainability in Seattle and beyond will require more planning and policy attention to mitigate obscured industrial land use conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Challcharoenwattana, A., et al. Co-Benefits of Household Waste Recycling for Local Community’s Sustainable Waste Management in Thailand. Sustainability 2015, 7, 7417–7437
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14597-14598; doi:10.3390/su71114597
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
PDF Full-text (629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The author wishes to make corrections on the numbers shown in Table A3 of this paper [1]. [...] Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper Expanding Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Usage in the Corn–Soy–Wheat Rotation
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15487-15509; doi:10.3390/su71115487
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A common agronomic recommendation is under-seeding red clover to wheat in the corn–soy–wheat rotation. As a leguminous cover crop, red clover boosts agro-ecological resilience and productivity through nitrogen fixation, as well as non-nitrogen-related contributions, such as soil temperature and moisture regulation; reduction of
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A common agronomic recommendation is under-seeding red clover to wheat in the corn–soy–wheat rotation. As a leguminous cover crop, red clover boosts agro-ecological resilience and productivity through nitrogen fixation, as well as non-nitrogen-related contributions, such as soil temperature and moisture regulation; reduction of erosion, runoff, and leaching; weed suppression; and interruption of pest and disease cycles. The objective of this paper is to propose a system that extends red clover usage into the corn phase of the corn–soy–wheat rotation as a living mulch. The system incorporates strip-tillage, strip-mowing, as well as banded herbicide and fertilizer application in order to maximize productivity and minimize competition. We analyzed the feasibility of this proposal by examining red clover’s adequacy for the proposed system in comparison with other broadleaf, leguminous cover crops, and assessed potential agro-ecological benefits. We considered logistical components of the proposition, including the use of strip-tillage, the application of precision technology, as well as the opportunity for further technological developments. We found that the proposed system has potential to increase agro-ecological sustainability, resilience, and the overall productivity of this three-year rotation. Thus, this easily-implemented practice should be formally studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessEssay Social Justice as a Link between Sustainability and Educational Sciences
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15754-15771; doi:10.3390/su71115754
Received: 19 August 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This position paper defines and substantiates the relevance of educational sciences as design elements of socially sustainable development in economics and society. Therefore, a theoretical-normative link of the fields of social sustainability, social justice, and educational sciences is discussed to build a foundation
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This position paper defines and substantiates the relevance of educational sciences as design elements of socially sustainable development in economics and society. Therefore, a theoretical-normative link of the fields of social sustainability, social justice, and educational sciences is discussed to build a foundation for further concepts that may synergistically address social sustainability and education. Because social sustainability currently seems to be the least addressed dimension of sustainability research and practice, this paper might provide a new impulse in this field. The linkage of the three fields will be accomplished with a hermeneutic-analytical approach, identifying possible interdependencies in the relevant theories and concepts of the disciplines and suggesting necessary modifications. Based on this foundation, a theoretical-normative construct will be designed that describes the link and may be used to deduct practice-related concepts in order to construct related measures. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Carbon Footprint Analysis for Mechanization of Maize Production Based on Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study in Jilin Province, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15772-15784; doi:10.3390/su71115772
Received: 1 August 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (991 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The theory on the carbon footprint of agriculture can systematically evaluate the carbon emissions caused by artificial factors from the agricultural production process, which is the theoretical basis for constructing low-carbon agriculture and has important guiding significance for realizing low-carbon agriculture. Based on
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The theory on the carbon footprint of agriculture can systematically evaluate the carbon emissions caused by artificial factors from the agricultural production process, which is the theoretical basis for constructing low-carbon agriculture and has important guiding significance for realizing low-carbon agriculture. Based on farm production survey data from Jilin Province in 2014, this paper aims to obtain a clear understanding of the carbon footprint of maize production through the following method: (1) one ton of maize production was evaluated systematically by using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); (2) the carbon emissions of the whole system were estimated based on field measurement data, (3) using the emission factors we estimated Jilin’s carbon footprint for the period 2006–2013, and forecasted it for the period from 2014 to 2020 using the grey system model GM (1, 1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues on Soil Management and Conservation)

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