Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 2015), Pages 15785-16884

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-66
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessArticle Establishment and Applied Research on a Wetland Ecosystem Evaluation Model in Taiwan
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15785-15793; doi:10.3390/su71215785
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 26 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is rich biodiversity and biomass in wetlands and these areas are important in ecosystems. Assessment of the environment of wetlands is critical in the management of pivotal ecosystems. The energy ecological footprint (EEF) is an improved form of the ecological footprint method
[...] Read more.
There is rich biodiversity and biomass in wetlands and these areas are important in ecosystems. Assessment of the environment of wetlands is critical in the management of pivotal ecosystems. The energy ecological footprint (EEF) is an improved form of the ecological footprint method based on the theory of energy value. EEF can be a useful tool for comparing and monitoring environmental impacts. EEF was used to investigate a national coastal wetland in Taiwan; i.e., Gaomei Wetlands. We created a wetland ecosystem evaluation model to quantify the EEF, ecological safety of the GaomeiWetlands, and energy ecological carrying capacity to assess the current environmental situation of the area between 2007 and 2013. The research results provide a reference for environmental policy execution, strategy, and planning and suggestions for sustainable development of the Gaomei Wetlands. Our study showed that the per capita ecological carrying capacity of the Gaomei Wetlands experienced fluctuations during the time of the study. However, the per capita EF had substantial growth. The per capita ecological carrying capacity of the Gaomei Wetlands was influenced by the EFs of the fossil energy land, meadows, and croplands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Establishing a Framework for Evaluating Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts by Power Generation Technology Using an Input–output Table—A Case Study of Japanese Future Electricity Grid Mix
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15794-15811; doi:10.3390/su71215786
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 20 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Input–output (IO) analysis is a useful economic method to evaluate the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts associated both directly and indirectly with energy technologies. Using an IO table, this study establishes a scenario analysis framework to evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts arising
[...] Read more.
Input–output (IO) analysis is a useful economic method to evaluate the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts associated both directly and indirectly with energy technologies. Using an IO table, this study establishes a scenario analysis framework to evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impacts arising from future power generation technology mixes. The impact indices selected are employment generation and greenhouse gas emissions. The study adopts a hybrid method for the framework it establishes: a combined bottom-up and IO life cycle inventory analysis approach to reflect the technological differences by power generation technology. Using an IO table for future analysis is limited because the industrial structure is fixed to the IO table benchmark year and it is thus not possible to reflect any potential inter-sector transaction changes that may arise from technological progress. However, the framework is valuable in estimating the future potential impacts that might arise from the current industrial structure and technology level. A case study is conducted using the established framework on the potential impacts of Japan’s future grid mix scenarios. The case study considers the differences in lead-times and durable years per power generation technology to ascertain the continuous and temporary jobs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Location Planning Problem of Service Centers for Sustainable Home Healthcare: Evidence from the Empirical Analysis of Shanghai
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15812-15832; doi:10.3390/su71215787
Received: 4 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is of theoretical and practical significance to understand what factors influence the sustainable development of home healthcare services in China. Based on a face-to-face survey, we find that the location planning, which is decisive for the improvement of patient satisfaction, can effectively
[...] Read more.
It is of theoretical and practical significance to understand what factors influence the sustainable development of home healthcare services in China. Based on a face-to-face survey, we find that the location planning, which is decisive for the improvement of patient satisfaction, can effectively reduce the risks, as well as the costs of redundant construction and re-construction of service centers for home healthcare and, thus, helps ensure the sustainability of health and the environment. The purposes of this paper are to investigate the existing problem of home healthcare in Shanghai and to find the optimum location planning scheme under several realistic constraints. By considering differentiated services provided by the medical staff at different levels and the degrees of patient satisfaction, a mixed integer programming model is built to minimize the total medical cost. The IBM ILOGCPLEX is used to solve the above model. Finally, a case study of Putuo district in Shanghai is conducted to validate the proposed model and methodology. Results indicate that the model used in this paper can effectively reduce the total medical cost and enhance the medical sustainability, and therefore, the results of the model can be used as a reference for decision makers on the location planning problem of home healthcare services in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Service Demand Projections and CO2 Reduction Potentials in Rural Households in 31 Chinese Provinces
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15833-15846; doi:10.3390/su71215789
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Until 2012, most of China’s population lived in rural areas with markedly different patterns of household energy consumption from those in Chinese cities. The studies so far done on residential energy use in rural Chinese households have been limited to questionnaire surveys and
[...] Read more.
Until 2012, most of China’s population lived in rural areas with markedly different patterns of household energy consumption from those in Chinese cities. The studies so far done on residential energy use in rural Chinese households have been limited to questionnaire surveys and panel data analyses. Hardly any studies on energy demand in rural areas have considered both the climatic and economic disparities across Chinese regions. In this study we conduct a systematic analysis of the rural Chinese residential sector on a regional basis. We begin by developing a macro-model to estimate energy service demands up to 2050. Next, we apply the AIM(Asia-Pasific Integrated Model)/Enduse model, a bottom-up cost-minimization model with a detailed mitigation technology database, to estimate the mitigation potential of low-carbon technologies in rural China. Our results show that energy service demand in the rural household sector will continue to increase in regions with growing population or income conditions. However, after 2030, the rural residential energy service demand will start to decline in most Chinese regions. The impacts of efficient technologies will vary from one region to the next due to regional climatic and economic disparities. Throughout all of China, the penetration of efficient technologies can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% to 50%. Of the technologies available, efficient lighting, biomass water heaters, and efficient electronics bring the most benefit when implemented in rural households. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Concept of Sustainable Strategy Implementation
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15847-15856; doi:10.3390/su71215790
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The idea of sustainable development has been present in the field of management for many years, yet the challenges and rules of contemporary business mean that it remains topical. At the same time, the results of much research indicates an unsatisfactory level of
[...] Read more.
The idea of sustainable development has been present in the field of management for many years, yet the challenges and rules of contemporary business mean that it remains topical. At the same time, the results of much research indicates an unsatisfactory level of execution of development concepts. Due to this, the subject of the study encompasses the implementation of the idea of sustainability in the strategy execution process, lending it a holistic and balanced nature. The purpose of the paper is an examination of the relationship between strategy implementation and the effectiveness of the strategy execution process. The relationships between the perspectives defined and results obtained by organizations were investigated. The research demonstrated the existence of a positive correlation of varied intensity. It is thus possible to identify a positive influence of the integration of the idea of sustainability with strategy execution, which is reflected in the effectiveness of activities undertaken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Assessment of the Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP) in the Coastal Areas of Jiangsu, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15857-15870; doi:10.3390/su71215793
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 24 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Global increases in population and consumption have raised concerns regarding the sustainability of the current and future use of natural resources. The human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) provides a useful measure for determining human-derived alterations in the amount of biomass that
[...] Read more.
Global increases in population and consumption have raised concerns regarding the sustainability of the current and future use of natural resources. The human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) provides a useful measure for determining human-derived alterations in the amount of biomass that is available in ecosystems each year. HANPP was calculated based on vegetation modelling, agricultural statistics, and remote sensing data on land use and land cover to assess the human impacts on ecosystems in the coastal areas of Jiangsu, China. The results showed that HANPP increased from 332 g·C/m2/year in 2000 to 442 g·C/m2/year in 2010, with an average annual increase of 2.9%. The proportion of appropriated net primary production increased from 50.3% to 71.0% of NPPpot, mainly driven by HANPPharv (harvested NPP) with an increase from 45.2% to 61.3% of NPPpot. Additionally, the spatial variation in average HANPP was striking among counties in the observed period with the lowest and highest values of 21.8% and 63.8% of NPPpot, respectively. Further analysis showed that observed levels of HANPP are high due to a high level of biomass harvest from cropland and the increases in fertilizer use, farmland irrigation rate and population and economic growth explain the trends in HANPP in the coastal areas of Jiangsu. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Identifying Challenges to Building an Evidence Base for Restoration Practice
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15871-15881; doi:10.3390/su71215788
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 19 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Global acknowledgement of ecological restoration, as an important tool to complement conservation efforts, requires an effort to increase the effectiveness of restoration interventions. Evidence-based practice is purported to promote effectiveness. A central tenet of this approach is decision making that is based on
[...] Read more.
Global acknowledgement of ecological restoration, as an important tool to complement conservation efforts, requires an effort to increase the effectiveness of restoration interventions. Evidence-based practice is purported to promote effectiveness. A central tenet of this approach is decision making that is based on evidence, not intuition. Evidence can be generated experimentally and in practice but needs to be linked to baseline information collection, clear goals and monitoring of impact. In this paper, we report on a survey conducted to assess practitioners’ perceptions of the evidence generated in restoration practice in South Africa, as well as challenges encountered in building this evidence base. Contrary to a recent assessment of this evidence base which found weaknesses, respondents viewed it as adequate and cited few obstacles to its development. Obstacles cited were mostly associated with planning and resource availability. We suggest that the disparity between practitioners’ perceptions and observed weaknesses in the evidence base could be a challenge in advancing evidence-based restoration. We explore opportunities to overcome this disparity as well as the obstacles listed by practitioners. These opportunities involve a shift from practitioners as users of scientific knowledge and evidence, to practitioners involved in the co-production of evidence needed to increase the effectiveness of restoration interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Factors Explaining Households’ Cash Payment for Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling Behaviors in South Africa
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15882-15899; doi:10.3390/su71215795
Received: 28 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental safety is one of the top policy priorities in some developing countries. This study analyzed the factors influencing waste disposal and recycling by households in South Africa. The data were collected by Statistics South Africa in 2012 during the General Household Survey
[...] Read more.
Environmental safety is one of the top policy priorities in some developing countries. This study analyzed the factors influencing waste disposal and recycling by households in South Africa. The data were collected by Statistics South Africa in 2012 during the General Household Survey (GHS). Analysis of the data was carried out with the Bivariate Probit model. The results showed that 56.03% and 31.98% of all the households disposed waste through local authority/private companies and own refuse dump sites, respectively. Limpopo and Mpumalanga had the highest usage of own refuse dump sites and dumping of waste anywhere. Littering (34.03%) and land degradation (31.53%) were mostly perceived by the households, while 38.42% were paying for waste disposal and 8.16% would be willing to pay. Only 6.54% and 1.70% of all the households were recycling and selling waste respectively with glass (4.10%) and papers (4.02%) being most recycled. The results of the Bivariate Probit model identified income, access to social grants, Indian origin, and attainment of formal education as significant variables influencing payment for waste disposal and recycling. It was inter alia recommended that revision of environmental law, alleviating poverty, and gender sensitive environmental education and awareness creation would enhance environmental conservation behaviors in South Africa. Full article
Open AccessArticle Managing Nature–Business as Usual: Resource Extraction Companies and Their Representations of Natural Landscapes
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15900-15922; doi:10.3390/su71215791
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 30 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article contributes to knowledge of how one category of business organization, very large, British-based, natural resource extraction corporations, has begun to manage its operations for sustainability. The object of study is a large volume of texts that make representations of the managing-for-sustainability
[...] Read more.
This article contributes to knowledge of how one category of business organization, very large, British-based, natural resource extraction corporations, has begun to manage its operations for sustainability. The object of study is a large volume of texts that make representations of the managing-for-sustainability practices of these multinational corporations (MNCs). The macro-level textual analysis identifies patterns in the wording of the representations of practice. Hajer’s understanding of discourse, in which ideas are contextualized within social processes of practice, provides the theoretical approach for discourse analysis that gives an insight into how they understand and practice sustainability. Through this large-scale discourse analysis, illustrated in the article with specific textual examples, one can see that these natural resource MNCs are developing a vocabulary and a “grammar” which enables them to manage natural spaces in the same way that they are able to manage their own far-flung business operations. They make simplified representations of the much more complex natural landscapes in which their operations are sited and these models of nature can then be incorporated into the corporations’ operational management processes. Their journey towards sustainability delivers, in practice, the management of nature as business continues as usual. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sustainable Assessment of Alternative Sites for the Construction of a Waste Incineration Plant by Applying WASPAS Method with Single-Valued Neutrosophic Set
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15923-15936; doi:10.3390/su71215792
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 1 December 2015
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The principles of sustainability have become particularly important in the construction, real estate maintenance sector, and all areas of life in recent years. The one of the major problem of urban territories that domestic and construction waste of generated products cannot be removed
[...] Read more.
The principles of sustainability have become particularly important in the construction, real estate maintenance sector, and all areas of life in recent years. The one of the major problem of urban territories that domestic and construction waste of generated products cannot be removed automatically. The above necessity induces the demand of systems and technologies for waste life cycle and proper disposal development. Siting of the waste incineration plant is a complex process, which includes all factors of sustainability principles. The selection of the construction area is a complex problem due to the existence of different tangible and intangible factors and the multiple alternatives available. Multicriteria decision-making methods (MCDM) present powerful and flexible techniques for the solution of many sustainability problems. In this paper, we propose a new extension of WASPAS method, namely WASPAS-SVNS. This extension is realized in the framework of the single-valued neutrosophic set that enables to represent and model the indeterminacy explicitly and the functions of the truth-membership, the indeterminacy-membership and the falsity-membership are not related to each other. The paper deals with the solution of the waste incineration plant siting problem due to the requirements of sustainability factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Handshake between Markets and Hierarchies: Geese as an Example of Successful Collaborative Management of Ecosystem Services
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15937-15954; doi:10.3390/su71215794
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 20 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An important task in research about natural resource management is to communicate the utility of different approaches from various settings. Using ecosystem services as a conceptual frame, we study a local solution to alleviate goose-human conflicts in an agricultural region in Sweden. Increasing
[...] Read more.
An important task in research about natural resource management is to communicate the utility of different approaches from various settings. Using ecosystem services as a conceptual frame, we study a local solution to alleviate goose-human conflicts in an agricultural region in Sweden. Increasing goose numbers and crop damage led to the foundation of a goose management group (GMG), comprising landowners, farmers, hunters, ornithologists, conservation NGOs, and local and county level administration. The GMG was not given any formal or legal authority. We asked: is this management solution successful? Which problems can be solved and which remain? Can the GMG stand as a model for management of other species and in other landscapes? We interviewed present members of the GMG and analyzed minutes from its meetings. We found that the GMG has autonomy to self-organize and shows adaptive capacity over time in handling variability and complexity in its socio-ecological system. This makes the GMG a sustainable solution for local management of a resource in which goose population growth and legislation are decided at other (national or international) levels. We assessed what constitutes perceived success and found that GMG is geared toward “mediation of opposing preferences” by establishing a figurative handshake between stakeholders. By comparing how four general challenges in ecosystem service management align with formative attributes of the GMG, we discuss in which ways this management solution is applicable to other ecosystem services in other contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Google TV or Apple TV?—The Reasons for Smart TV Failure and a User-Centered Strategy for the Success of Smart TV
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15955-15966; doi:10.3390/su71215797
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 6 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditional television (TV) has evolved into smart TV in terms of both hardware and software. However, compared with smart phones and tablet PCs, which are huge successes in the market, smart TV has grown more slowly than the market expected and has not
[...] Read more.
Traditional television (TV) has evolved into smart TV in terms of both hardware and software. However, compared with smart phones and tablet PCs, which are huge successes in the market, smart TV has grown more slowly than the market expected and has not really changed the TV market. In this study, we investigate reasons for the failure of smart TV from consumer perspectives. We use conjoint analysis to collect stated preference data from consumers. Our analysis consists of two parts: analyzing consumer preferences for six attributes of smart TVs and examining the effects of socio-demographic and behavioral information on purchase intention for a smart TV. Based on the estimation results from the first part, we find that consumers set a higher value on the traditional characteristics of TV than on the functions of smart TV. Thus, smart TV does not have key functions to encourage its adoption over traditional TV. From the second part of our analysis, we identify which factor is most important to increase purchase intention for a smart TV. Based on our results, we can suggest the direction of market strategies about how to cross the chasm of smart TV. Full article
Open AccessArticle AMF Inoculation Enhances Growth and Improves the Nutrient Uptake Rates of Transplanted, Salt-Stressed Tomato Seedlings
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15967-15981; doi:10.3390/su71215799
Received: 24 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The study aimed to investigate the effects of commercially available AMF inoculate (Glomus sp. mixture) on the growth and the nutrient acquisition in tomato (Solanumlycopersicum L.) plants directly after transplanting and under different levels of salinity. Inoculated (AMF+) and non-inoculated (AMF−)
[...] Read more.
The study aimed to investigate the effects of commercially available AMF inoculate (Glomus sp. mixture) on the growth and the nutrient acquisition in tomato (Solanumlycopersicum L.) plants directly after transplanting and under different levels of salinity. Inoculated (AMF+) and non-inoculated (AMF−) tomato plants were subjected to three levels of NaCl salinity (0, 50, and 100 mM·NaCl). Seven days after transplanting, plants were analyzed for dry matter and RGR of whole plants and root systems. Leaf tissue was analyzed for mineral concentration before and after transplanting; leaf nutrient content and relative uptake rates (RUR) were calculated. AMF inoculation did not affect plant dry matter or RGR under fresh water-irrigation. The growth rate of AMF−plants did significantly decline under both moderate (77%) and severe (61%) salt stress compared to the fresh water-irrigated controls, while the decline was much less (88% and 75%,respectively)and statistically non-significant in salt-stressed AMF+ plants. Interestingly, root system dry matter of AMF+ plants (0.098 g plant–1) remained significantly greater under severe soil salinity compared to non-inoculated seedlings (0.082 g plant–1). The relative uptake rates of N, P, Mg, Ca, Mn, and Fe were enhanced in inoculated tomato seedlings and remained higher under (moderate) salt stress compared to AMF− plants This study suggests that inoculation with commercial AMF during nursery establishment contributes to alleviation of salt stress by maintaining a favorable nutrient profile. Therefore, nursery inoculation seems to be a viable solution to attenuate the effects of increasing soil salinity levels, especially in greenhouses with low natural abundance of AMF spores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues on Soil Management and Conservation)
Open AccessArticle The Dynamic Relationship between Growth and Profitability under Long-Term Recession: The Case of Korean Construction Companies
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15982-15998; doi:10.3390/su71215796
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 15 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
PDF Full-text (422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We conducted an empirical analysis of the dynamic relationship between growth and profitability for small- and medium-sized construction companies that faced long-term economic stagnation in Korea. The period of the analysis spanned 2000 to 2014, and the full period was divided into two
[...] Read more.
We conducted an empirical analysis of the dynamic relationship between growth and profitability for small- and medium-sized construction companies that faced long-term economic stagnation in Korea. The period of the analysis spanned 2000 to 2014, and the full period was divided into two halves: before the 2008 global financial crisis and after it. Our empirical model was based on the system generalized method of moments model, and 264 construction companies were used as the study sample. The results of the empirical analysis are as follows. (1) A profitability-driven management strategy limits company growth, thus prolonging the economic downturn; (2) When the macroeconomic environment is relatively stable, high growth in the previous period fosters profitability in the current period. This implies that the phenomenon of dynamic increasing returns is present in the Korean construction industry, and learning through growth enhances productivity and profitability. Consequentially, a strategy oriented towards short-term profitability (popular with small- and medium-sized Korean construction companies) makes the corporate management less resilient, causing them to select “de-growth” during the long-term stagnation by decreasing their scale of operations. Accordingly, it is important for companies to maintain the balance between growth and profitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Businesses: Assessment, Approaches and Technology)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Scorecard Framework Proposal for Improving Software Factories’ Sustainability: A Case Study of a Spanish Firm in the Financial Sector
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 15999-16021; doi:10.3390/su71215800
Received: 15 September 2015 / Revised: 15 November 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Financial institutions and especially banks have always been at the forefront of innovation in management policies in order to improve their performance, and banking is probably one of the sectors that more effectively measures productivity and efficiency in virtually all aspects of its
[...] Read more.
Financial institutions and especially banks have always been at the forefront of innovation in management policies in order to improve their performance, and banking is probably one of the sectors that more effectively measures productivity and efficiency in virtually all aspects of its business. However, there is one area that still fails: the productivity of its software development projects. For years banking institutions have chosen to outsource their software projects using software firms created by them for this purpose, but up until a few years ago, the deadline for the delivery of the projects was more important than the efficiency with which they were developed. The last economic crisis has forced financial institutions to review and improve the software development efficiency related to their software factories to achieve a sustainable and feasible model. The sustainability of these software factories can be achieved by improving their strategic management, and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) framework can be very useful in order to obtain this. Based on the concepts and practices of the BSC, this paper proposes a specific model to establish this kind of software factory as a way of improving their sustainability and applies it to a large Spanish firm specializing in financial sector software. We have included a preliminary validation plan as well as the first monitoring results. The adoption is still very recent and more data are needed to measure all the perspectives so no definitive conclusions can be drawn. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Weak and Strong Compensation for the Prioritization of Public Investments: Multidimensional Analysis for Pools
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16022-16038; doi:10.3390/su71215798
Received: 9 September 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (377 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the economic crisis still heavily affecting most of Europe, a possible resumption can be found in the revitalization of public and private investments. These investments should be directed not only towards the strategic areas of infrastructures and production, but also to those
[...] Read more.
Despite the economic crisis still heavily affecting most of Europe, a possible resumption can be found in the revitalization of public and private investments. These investments should be directed not only towards the strategic areas of infrastructures and production, but also to those which allow for a higher level of the quality of life (sports facilities, parks, etc.). In such cases, the need to balance the reasons of financial sustainability with environmental and social profiles is even more evident. Thus, multicriteria techniques, supporting complex assessments, should be implemented together with a monetary feasibility study (cost-benefit analysis). Multidimensional methods allow for the aggregation of different profiles into overall indicators. This study gives an account of how the application and comparison of multi-criteria approaches based on tools characterized by a higher or lower level of compensation between criteria can broaden the spectrum of analysis of the problems and lead to a more subtle logic of funding for public works and works of public utility, with a more current and mature sharing of profitability between private investors and users of community infrastructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle How Firms Can Get Ideas from Users for Sustainable Business Innovation
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16039-16059; doi:10.3390/su71215802
Received: 3 October 2015 / Revised: 21 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The importance of user information and user participation for seeking business opportunities has been widely acknowledged in a variety of industries. Therefore, this study aims to suggest a typology for user innovation models as a strategy for sustainable development and to investigate the
[...] Read more.
The importance of user information and user participation for seeking business opportunities has been widely acknowledged in a variety of industries. Therefore, this study aims to suggest a typology for user innovation models as a strategy for sustainable development and to investigate the characteristics of different types user innovation to encourage and support improved utilization of user innovation in firms. For this purpose, we began by collecting 435 relevant papers from the most-cited academic journals. Then, we developed a typology of user innovation models, which consist of four types including workshop-based, consortium-based, crowdsourcing-based and platform-based, and we investigated the characteristics of the suggested types in terms of applications and research trends. The analysis results reveal that each type has different characteristics and that there exist some research gaps in the user innovation field. Our results are expected to foster understanding of user innovation for guiding sustainable business development and provide useful information for both researchers and innovation mangers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Challenging the Sustainability of an Education System of Evaluation and Labor Market Outcomes
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16060-16075; doi:10.3390/su71215808
Received: 1 November 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Students’ inattention to the importance of teaching evaluations may undermine the sustainability of the education evaluation system. This study analyzed the effects of the personality variable reflected by monotonic response patterns, which is a typical example of student indifference, on the employability of
[...] Read more.
Students’ inattention to the importance of teaching evaluations may undermine the sustainability of the education evaluation system. This study analyzed the effects of the personality variable reflected by monotonic response patterns, which is a typical example of student indifference, on the employability of graduates using Career-SET (student evaluations of teaching) matched data of college graduates from 2008–2012. The results from various estimation models consistently indicated that graduates with a higher ratio of insincere responses in student evaluations of teaching are less likely to be employed, or are hired for lower prestige jobs than other comparison groups. This means that unlike the current practice in which firms rely simply on specifications to hire employees, applicants’ invisible characteristics, such as personality, can also be screened by job interviewers. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Causal Relationship between Urbanization, Economic Growth and Water Use Change in Provincial China
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16076-16085; doi:10.3390/su71215803
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between urbanization, economic growth, and water use change is one of the key issues for China’s sustainable development, as rapid urbanization and continuous economic growth are accompanied by a steady water stress. Thus, we applied a cointegration test and a VECM
[...] Read more.
The relationship between urbanization, economic growth, and water use change is one of the key issues for China’s sustainable development, as rapid urbanization and continuous economic growth are accompanied by a steady water stress. Thus, we applied a cointegration test and a VECM (vector error correction model) Granger causality test to investigate the causal relationship between the urbanization level, the economic development level, and the total water use in China and its 31 provincial administrative regions during 1997–2013. Results show that the three indicators have a long-run equilibrium relationship in most provincial administrative regions in China. However, the short-run effects and Granger causal relationship are insignificant for China and most provincial administrative regions. Therefore, that an idea such as urbanization as the engine or major driving force of economic growth, and that China’s urbanization and economic growth will bring a water crisis and will be strongly constrained by water resources, might be properly weakened. Targeted and relatively separate policies should be emphasized more for the coordinated development of China’s urbanization, economy, and water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of a Building Energy Efficiency Certification System in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16086-16107; doi:10.3390/su71215804
Received: 10 September 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (6231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Korean government has established a national plan for the promotion of zero energy buildings to respond to climate change and energy crises. To achieve this plan, several energy efficiency policies for new and existing buildings have been developed. The Building Energy Efficiency
[...] Read more.
The Korean government has established a national plan for the promotion of zero energy buildings to respond to climate change and energy crises. To achieve this plan, several energy efficiency policies for new and existing buildings have been developed. The Building Energy Efficiency Certification System (BEECS) aims to promote the spread of high energy-efficient buildings by evaluating and certifying building energy performance. This study discussed Korean building energy efficiency policies and analyzed especially the influence of the BEECS on the actual energy consumption of a residential building and calculated energy performance of non-residential buildings. The BEECS was evaluated to have influence on gas and district heating consumption in residential buildings. For non-residential buildings, a decreasing trend was shown in calculated primary energy consumption in the years since the BEECS has been enacted. Appropriate improvements of the certification system were also discussed by analyzing relationship between building characteristics and their energy consumptions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Driving Forces of CO2 Emissions in Emerging Countries: LMDI Decomposition Analysis on China and India’s Residential Sector
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16108-16129; doi:10.3390/su71215805
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to identify and analyze the key drivers behind changes of CO2 emissions in the residential sectors of the emerging economies, China and India. For the analysis, we investigate to what extent changes in residential emissions
[...] Read more.
The main objective of this paper is to identify and analyze the key drivers behind changes of CO2 emissions in the residential sectors of the emerging economies, China and India. For the analysis, we investigate to what extent changes in residential emissions are due to changes in energy emissions coefficients, energy consumption structure, energy intensity, household income, and population size. We decompose the changes in residential CO2 emissions in China and India into these five contributing factors from 1990 to 2011 by applying the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method. Our results show that the increase in per capita income level was the biggest contributor to the increase of residential CO2 emissions, while the energy intensity effect had the largest effect on CO2 emissions reduction in residential sectors in both countries. This implies that investments for energy savings, technological improvements, and energy efficiency policies were effective in mitigating CO2 emissions. Our results also depict that the change in CO2 emission coefficients for fuels which include both direct and indirect emission coefficients slowed down the increase of residential emissions. Finally, our results demonstrate that changes in the population and energy consumption structure drove the increase in CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Regional Creative Milieu on Interregional Migration of the Highly Educated in Korea: Evidence from Hierarchical Cross-Classified Linear Modeling
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16130-16147; doi:10.3390/su71215807
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
PDF Full-text (426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study empirically investigates the effects of a regional creative milieu on the migration inflows and outflows of the highly educated between urbanized areas in Korea. To estimate the push and pull effects, we use the 5% Population and Housing Census (2005) and
[...] Read more.
This study empirically investigates the effects of a regional creative milieu on the migration inflows and outflows of the highly educated between urbanized areas in Korea. To estimate the push and pull effects, we use the 5% Population and Housing Census (2005) and employ a hierarchical cross-classified linear model as an empirical modeling framework. The graduate migration between areas is generally affected by regional and individual characteristics. To this effect, the literature suggests that highly-educated individuals tend to significantly value diverse and creative regional amenities in migration decision making. Our results reveal that, regarding the push and pull effect for the highly educated, talent and tolerance in a region and a high level of the creativity index in a region are likely to increase the likelihood of in-migration and decrease that of out-migration by lowering the barriers to entry for the highly educated. Our findings emphasize the role of regions with well-established amenities as a creative milieu for attracting the highly educated and, thus, have significant implications for sustainable regional development policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Relationship between Quarry Activity and Municipal Spatial Planning: A Possible Mediation for the Case of Sardinia, Italy
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16148-16163; doi:10.3390/su71215801
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite its economic importance, quarrying activity for the production of natural aggregates (sand, gravel, and crushed stone) can result in overexploitation of the natural environment. This paper investigates the current state of natural and recycled aggregates in Sardinia Italy and how to limit
[...] Read more.
Despite its economic importance, quarrying activity for the production of natural aggregates (sand, gravel, and crushed stone) can result in overexploitation of the natural environment. This paper investigates the current state of natural and recycled aggregates in Sardinia Italy and how to limit the production of natural aggregates (NA) and increase the use of recycled aggregates (RA). The municipalities of Cagliari, Sant’Antioco and Tortolì of Sardinia, Italy, were chosen as case studies because they fall within a particular territorial context. Owing to its geographic condition, the island of Sardinia must produce its own raw materials. The results of this research show how the combined use of NA and RA can help meet local and regional demand for aggregates. This proposal is derived from a needs assessment of NA based on urban masterplans for each municipality. Possible strategies for limiting the consumption of NA, as well as the use of RA, are also described. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Predictive Model of Technology Transfer Using Patent Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16175-16195; doi:10.3390/su71215809
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 24 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid pace of technological advances creates many difficulties for R&D practitioners in analyzing emerging technologies. Patent information analysis is an effective tool in this situation. Conventional patent information analysis has focused on the extraction of vacant, promising, or core technologies and the
[...] Read more.
The rapid pace of technological advances creates many difficulties for R&D practitioners in analyzing emerging technologies. Patent information analysis is an effective tool in this situation. Conventional patent information analysis has focused on the extraction of vacant, promising, or core technologies and the monitoring of technological trends. From a technology management perspective, the ultimate purpose of R&D is technology commercialization. The core of technology commercialization is the technology transfer phase. Although a great number of patents are filed, publicized, and registered every year, many commercially relevant patents are filtered through registration processes that examine novelty, creativity, and industrial applicability. Despite the efforts of these selection processes, the number of patents being transferred is low when compared with total annual patent registrations. To deal with this problem, this study proposes a predictive model for technology transfer using patent analysis. In the predictive model, patent analysis is conducted to reveal the quantitative relations between technology transfer and a range of variables included in the patent data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessCommunication Firm Sustainability Performance Index Modeling
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16196-16212; doi:10.3390/su71215810
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to bring a model for firm sustainability performance index by applying both classical and Bayesian structural equation modeling (parametric and semi-parametric modeling). Both techniques are considered to the research data collected based on a survey directed
[...] Read more.
The main objective of this paper is to bring a model for firm sustainability performance index by applying both classical and Bayesian structural equation modeling (parametric and semi-parametric modeling). Both techniques are considered to the research data collected based on a survey directed to the China, Taiwan, and Malaysia food manufacturing industry. For estimating firm sustainability performance index we consider three main indicators include knowledge management, organizational learning, and business strategy. Based on the both Bayesian and classical methodology, we confirmed that knowledge management and business strategy have significant impact on firm sustainability performance index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Design and Assessment of an IGCC Concept with CO2 Capture for the Co-Generation of Electricity and Substitute Natural Gas
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16213-16225; doi:10.3390/su71215811
Received: 24 October 2015 / Revised: 24 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The focus of this work is on the modeling and the thermodynamic evaluation of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) for the co-production of electricity and substitute natural gas (SNG). At first, an IGCC with CO2 capture for electricity generation is analyzed.
[...] Read more.
The focus of this work is on the modeling and the thermodynamic evaluation of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) for the co-production of electricity and substitute natural gas (SNG). At first, an IGCC with CO2 capture for electricity generation is analyzed. Coal-derived syngas is conditioned in a water gas shift unit (WGS), and cleaned in an acid gas removal system including carbon capture. Eventually, the conditioned syngas is fed to a combined cycle. A second case refers to a complete conversion of syngas to SNG in an integrated commercial methanation unit (TREMP™ process, Haldor Topsøe, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark). Due to the exothermic reaction, a gas recycling and intercooling stages are necessary to avoid catalyst damage. Based on a state-of-the-art IGCC plant, an optimal integration of the synthetic process considering off-design behavior was determined. The raw syngas production remains constant in both cases, while one shift reactor in combination with a bypass is used to provide an adequate H2/CO-ratio for the methanation unit. Electricity has to be purchased from the grid in order to cover the internal consumption when producing SNG. The resulting heat and power distributions of both cases are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
Open AccessArticle Study of the Raveling Resistance of Porous Asphalt Pavements Used in Sustainable Drainage Systems Affected by Hydrocarbon Spills
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16226-16236; doi:10.3390/su71215812
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Permeable pavements are one of the most commonly-used sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in urban areas for managing stormwater runoff problems. Porous asphalt is widely used in surface layers of permeable pavement systems, where it can suffer from accidental oil spills from vehicles. Oil
[...] Read more.
Permeable pavements are one of the most commonly-used sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in urban areas for managing stormwater runoff problems. Porous asphalt is widely used in surface layers of permeable pavement systems, where it can suffer from accidental oil spills from vehicles. Oil spills affect bituminous mixes through the solvent action of the hydrocarbons on the bitumen, reducing the raveling resistance of asphalt pavements. In order to assess the raveling resistance in porous asphalt pavements, the Cantabro abrasion test was performed on 200 test samples after applying controlled oil spills. Three different types of binders were used: conventional bitumen, polymer-modified bitumen and special fuel-resistant bitumen. After analyzing the results, it was concluded that the most suitable bitumen to protect against oil leakages is the polymer-modified one, which is far better than the other two types of bitumen tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Region-Specific Indicators for Assessing the Sustainability of Biomass Utilisation in East Asia
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16237-16259; doi:10.3390/su71215813
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 18 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the findings of an expert working group of researchers from East Asian countries. The group was tasked with developing a theoretically sound and practically implementable methodology for assessing the sustainability of biomass utilisation in East Asian countries based on the
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the findings of an expert working group of researchers from East Asian countries. The group was tasked with developing a theoretically sound and practically implementable methodology for assessing the sustainability of biomass utilisation in East Asian countries based on the needs and potential of biomass resources in this region. Building on six years of research conducted between 2007 and 2013, the working group formulated a set of main and secondary indicators for biomass utilisation under three pillars of sustainability. For the environmental pillar, the main indicator was life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and secondary indicators were water consumption and soil quality. For the economic pillar, the main indicator was total value added and secondary indicators were net profit, productivity, and net energy balance. For the social pillar, the main indicators were employment generation and access to modern energy, and the secondary indicator was the human development index. The application of the working group methodology and indicators in sustainability assessments of biomass utilisation will enable decision makers in East Asian countries to compare the sustainability of biomass utilisation options and to make decisions on whether or not to launch or sustain biomass utilisation initiatives. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hydrogen Production in the Anaerobic Treatment of Domestic-Grade Synthetic Wastewater
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16260-16272; doi:10.3390/su71215814
Received: 15 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 5 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1035 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of domestic wastewater for anaerobic hydrogen production. High-strength and ordinary-strength organic loadings of synthetic wastewater, i.e., real-time domestic wastewater with and without a mixture of food waste, were tested. During operation at
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of domestic wastewater for anaerobic hydrogen production. High-strength and ordinary-strength organic loadings of synthetic wastewater, i.e., real-time domestic wastewater with and without a mixture of food waste, were tested. During operation at a high strength loading, the initial pH was maintained at 7 and then gradually decreased, and a pH of 5–5.5 was observed as the best experimental condition. A pH of 5–5.5 was controlled during the operation at an ordinary-strength loading. Maximum hydrogen yields of 1.125 mol H2/mol glucose and 1.01 mol H2/mol glucose were observed during operation at high (48 g COD/L·day) and ordinary (3 g COD/L·day) strength loadings in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD), respectively, with hydrogen contents of 42%–53%. The operating environment of the hydrogen production system was found to be very crucial because the metabolic pathway of the microorganism and production of intermediates were found to be dynamic with the controlled environment. Smaller COD removals of 30% and 26% were observed in high-strength and ordinarystrength loadings, respectively. Organic mass balance in terms of COD described the distribution of organics in the system via reactor byproducts. The findings of this study can be applied during the design of onsite domestic wastewater and energy recovery systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Profit Distribution in Guaranteed Savings Contracts: Determination Based on the Collar Option Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16273-16289; doi:10.3390/su71215816
Received: 7 August 2015 / Revised: 15 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper seeks to determine the value of Energy Service Company (ESCO) contracts based on the guaranteed savings contracts, which are relatively widely used among ESCO contract models. A framework is proposed based on the collar option model to qualitatively calculate the profit
[...] Read more.
This paper seeks to determine the value of Energy Service Company (ESCO) contracts based on the guaranteed savings contracts, which are relatively widely used among ESCO contract models. A framework is proposed based on the collar option model to qualitatively calculate the profit distribution ratio between energy users and the ESCO. The profit distribution model is defined with the guaranteed and target savings, changes in energy cost reductions, and volatility. The model determines a profit distribution ratio such that the energy user offers the ESCO profits equivalent to the value of the guarantee. The model is evaluated using a case study. The model suggested in this study is expected to resolve previous issues with making decisions based on past experiences, as the profit distribution ratio is determined objectively. Moreover, it is possible to effectively assess various profit structures in guaranteed savings contracts according to changes in the guaranteed and target savings. Ultimately, this model is expected to assist in revitalizing the Korean ESCO market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Agro-Economic Factors on GHG Emissions: Evidence from European Developing and Advanced Economies
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16290-16310; doi:10.3390/su71215815
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (742 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental degradation by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been an important challenge of sustainable economic development and climate changes control. Industry is the major source of CO2 emissions, whereas 84% of global anthropogenic methane and nitrous-oxide emissions emerge from agriculture. The impact
[...] Read more.
Environmental degradation by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been an important challenge of sustainable economic development and climate changes control. Industry is the major source of CO2 emissions, whereas 84% of global anthropogenic methane and nitrous-oxide emissions emerge from agriculture. The impact of agro-economic factors on GHG emissions in European developing economies (Southeastern Europe in focus) as compared with European advanced economies has been examined in this paper. The results have confirmed the existence of significant differences in impact of these factors depending on the level of economic development. For both groups of economies, we have confirmed the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis (inverted U-shaped relationship between GDP per capita and carbon dioxide emissions), but different sectoral outputs, too. We have also established different impacts of agro emission sources. In developing economies, we have recognized livestock breeding as a predominant factor and recommended measures for reducing the emissions in this sector, following developed economies. The findings may be useful to European developing economies as a support to implementation of binding commitments emerging from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the panel analysis, we have taken into consideration the non-stationarity of the series, heterogeneity of the sample, and also examined a dynamic specification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Field and Evaluation Methods Used to Test the Performance of a Stormceptor® Class 1 Stormwater Treatment Device in Australia
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16311-16323; doi:10.3390/su71215817
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device was undertaken over 14 months at a site located in Nambour, South East Queensland. Testing was undertaken to evaluate the pollution removal performance of a Stormceptor® treatment train for removing total suspended solids (TSS),
[...] Read more.
Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device was undertaken over 14 months at a site located in Nambour, South East Queensland. Testing was undertaken to evaluate the pollution removal performance of a Stormceptor® treatment train for removing total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) from stormwater runoff. Water quality sampling was undertaken using natural rainfall events complying with an a priori sampling protocol. More than 59 rain events were monitored, of which 18 were found to comply with the accepted sampling protocol. The efficiency ratios (ER) observed for the treatment device were found to be 83% for TSS, 11% for TP and 23% for TN. Although adequately removing TSS, additional system components, such as engineered filters, would be required to satisfy minimum local pollution removal regulations. The results of dry weather sampling tests did not conclusively demonstrate that pollutants were exported between storm events or that pollution concentrations increased significantly over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Optimal Control Approaches to the Aggregate Production Planning Problem
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16324-16339; doi:10.3390/su71215819
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the area of production planning and control, the aggregate production planning (APP) problem represents a great challenge for decision makers in production-inventory systems. Tradeoff between inventory-capacity is known as the APP problem. To address it, static and dynamic models have been proposed,
[...] Read more.
In the area of production planning and control, the aggregate production planning (APP) problem represents a great challenge for decision makers in production-inventory systems. Tradeoff between inventory-capacity is known as the APP problem. To address it, static and dynamic models have been proposed, which in general have several shortcomings. It is the premise of this paper that the main drawback of these proposals is, that they do not take into account the dynamic nature of the APP. For this reason, we propose the use of an Optimal Control (OC) formulation via the approach of energy-based and Hamiltonian-present value. The main contribution of this paper is the mathematical model which integrates a second order dynamical system coupled with a first order system, incorporating production rate, inventory level, and capacity as well with the associated cost by work force in the same formulation. Also, a novel result in relation with the Hamiltonian-present value in the OC formulation is that it reduces the inventory level compared with the pure energy based approach for APP. A set of simulations are provided which verifies the theoretical contribution of this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitive and Sustainable Manufacturing in the Age of Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Trade Credit and Replenishment Policies under the Cap-And-Trade and Carbon Tax Regulations
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16340-16361; doi:10.3390/su71215818
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
PDF Full-text (2828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper considers the sustainable trade credit and inventory policies with demand related to credit period and the environmental sensitivity of consumers under the carbon cap-and-trade and carbon tax regulations. First, the decision models are constructed under three cases: without regulation, carbon cap-and-trade
[...] Read more.
The paper considers the sustainable trade credit and inventory policies with demand related to credit period and the environmental sensitivity of consumers under the carbon cap-and-trade and carbon tax regulations. First, the decision models are constructed under three cases: without regulation, carbon cap-and-trade regulation, and carbon tax regulation. The optimal solutions of the retailer in the three cases are then discussed under the exogenous and endogenous credit periods. Finally, numerical analysis is conducted to obtain conclusions. The retailer shortens the trade credit period as the environmental sensitivity of the consumer is enhanced. The cap has no effects on the credit period decisions under the carbon cap-and-trade regulation. Carbon trade price and carbon tax have negative effects on the credit period. The retailer under carbon cap-and-trade regulation is more motivated to obey regulations than that under carbon tax regulation when carbon trade price equals carbon tax. Carbon regulations have better effects on carbon emission reduction than with exogenous credit term when the retailer has the power to decide with regards credit policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Income Inequality Based on Income Mobility for Poverty Alleviation in Rural China
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16362-16378; doi:10.3390/su71215821
Received: 16 August 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (8759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the reform and opening up, the Chinese economy has achieved sustained high-speed growth. However, the widening gaps in income, especially for rural China, seem to be a dark lining to these extraordinary achievements. Taking the duration of poverty into the consideration, this
[...] Read more.
Since the reform and opening up, the Chinese economy has achieved sustained high-speed growth. However, the widening gaps in income, especially for rural China, seem to be a dark lining to these extraordinary achievements. Taking the duration of poverty into the consideration, this article analyzes the income inequality of rural per capita net income (RPCNI) based on income mobility in rural China. Analysis results showed that Gini coefficient of RPCNI declined, but that income mobility was mainly limited in the interior for low- and high-income groups. Income inequalities rose sharply within eastern and western China from 1990 to 2010. Benefiting from the developed economy, the upward mobility was universal in eastern China. The spillover effect on neighboring poor counties was feeble in western China, which directly caused long-term rich and poor. The Gini coefficient of RPCNI in central China was always at a low level, corresponding to the phenomenon of short-term rich and long-term poor. In northeastern China, the Gini coefficient sharply decreased and the large body of income mobility between non-neighboring groups was quite remarkable. The spatial pattern of intra-provincial Gini coefficient and income mobility of RPCNI has been divided by the “HU line”, which is a “geo-demographic demarcation line” discovered by Chinese population geographer HU Huanyong in 1935. In southeastern China, the characteristics of income mobility of each county depended on the distance between the county and the capital city. The spatial pattern of income mobility of RPCNI in agricultural provinces was different from that in non-agricultural provinces. According to the income inequality and income mobility, appropriate welfare and development policies was proposed to combat rural poverty at both regional and provincial scales. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Use and Policies: Global and Turkish Perspectives
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16379-16407; doi:10.3390/su71215820
Received: 12 March 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
PDF Full-text (2091 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The utilization of renewable energy sources (RES) has become inevitable, not only due to the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, but also to sustain life on Earth. Consequently, countries have started developing renewable energy policies individually and as part of global organizations and
[...] Read more.
The utilization of renewable energy sources (RES) has become inevitable, not only due to the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, but also to sustain life on Earth. Consequently, countries have started developing renewable energy policies individually and as part of global organizations and networks, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Union (EU) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Turkey is a developing OECD member country and in the accession process to the EU. Thus, the renewable energy policies should be aligned with those of the EU. Moreover, despite the substantial amount and wide range of RES, it is still in a position to import more than half of its energy demand. In the light of these facts, this study aims to analyze and compare the renewable energy policies in Turkey with those adopted worldwide to lay out possible solutions regarding its energy problems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Identification of Significant Impact of Silicon Foundry Sands Mining on LCIA
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16408-16421; doi:10.3390/su71215822
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a case study based on a LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) research program of the silicon foundry sand (SFS) due to the large quantity of produced waste foundry sand (WFS). The foundry waste is a high priority sector within the growing
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a case study based on a LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) research program of the silicon foundry sand (SFS) due to the large quantity of produced waste foundry sand (WFS). The foundry waste is a high priority sector within the growing European foundry industry. It is necessary to understand the full life cycle of the foundry waste in order to correctly identify magnitude and types of impacts it has on the environment. System boundary includes the processes: mining, modification, packing, storage and transport to foundry. Inventory analysis data were analyzed and finally converted to the functional unit, which has been defined as one ton of SFS. The resulting environmental impact of SFS production in endpoint is: consumption of natural resources 70.9%, ecosystem quality 18.2% and human health 10.9%. The following portions, with respective percentages, have the greatest overall effect on these results: diesel fuel consumption 32.4% and natural gas consumption 28.7%, electricity usage 17.2%, transport 12.2%, devastation caused by the SFS 5.35% and oil (engine, gear and hydraulic) consumption 4.14%. The highest contributor to the diesel fuel consumption is the SFS exploitation. The overall effect of desiccation was 35.8% and was caused by high consumption of resources and electricity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Lake Basin Water Resource Governance in China: The Case of Tai Lake
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16422-16434; doi:10.3390/su71215824
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s water pollution is severe and has a negative impact on its residents. Establishing an emissions trading mechanism will be helpful for reducing the pollution. However, the government in China controls the emission rights market. The “GDP Only” preference blocks equitable rules to
[...] Read more.
China’s water pollution is severe and has a negative impact on its residents. Establishing an emissions trading mechanism will be helpful for reducing the pollution. However, the government in China controls the emission rights market. The “GDP Only” preference blocks equitable rules to address the externalities. To modify this distortion, we develop a multi-objective primary distribution model that optimizes economic efficiency, environmental contribution, and fairness. In addition, the geographical location of a company and the industry differential are two key factors that would affect the local government’s decision. According to the simulation results using data from Tai Lake in China, this model can effectively help to meet the political expectation that large-scale manufacturers with poor technology can take the initiative to reduce emissions through emission-rights distribution. Full article
Open AccessArticle MuSAE: A European Project for the Diffusion of Energy and Environmental Planning in Small-Medium Sized Municipalities
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16435-16450; doi:10.3390/su71215823
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The basic idea of the EU LIFE+ 2011 project MuSAE (“Municipalities Subsidiarity for Actions on Energy”, code LIFE11 ENV/IT/000016) consists of transferring the skills and experience related to energy planning, acquired by the leading beneficiary, the Municipality of Perugia, to three small- or
[...] Read more.
The basic idea of the EU LIFE+ 2011 project MuSAE (“Municipalities Subsidiarity for Actions on Energy”, code LIFE11 ENV/IT/000016) consists of transferring the skills and experience related to energy planning, acquired by the leading beneficiary, the Municipality of Perugia, to three small- or medium-sized Umbrian Municipalities (Marsciano, Umbertide and Lisciano Niccone). This transfer is aimed, among other objectives, at the drafting of the Municipal Energy and Environmental Plan (MEEP) and the opening of an energy information office in each partner Municipality, in cooperation with CIRIAF and Umbria Region. The present paper provides a summary of MuSAE activities, analyzing the procedures and modalities of implementation of the various phases of the MEEPs, on the basis of the experience gained over the years through the collaboration with the Municipality of Perugia and adapted to smaller territories such as those represented by the other partner Municipalities. A summary of the dissemination activities and pilot projects is also presented, testifying the first concrete results of the planning activity developed by each administration within the project. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Optimised Approach of Protecting and Sustaining Large Vehicle System
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16451-16464; doi:10.3390/su71215825
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article is a synopsis of our research and highlights the outcomes and its impact. It was conducted for the development of a sustainable approach to protect and sustain large vehicles in sheltered environment for their enhanced longevity. In this research, various modes
[...] Read more.
This article is a synopsis of our research and highlights the outcomes and its impact. It was conducted for the development of a sustainable approach to protect and sustain large vehicles in sheltered environment for their enhanced longevity. In this research, various modes of failures linked directly or indirectly to the structural ageing of large vehicles were identified, measured, and analysed. Based upon the research conducted, a frame-work with an objective to prolong the structural longevity cost effectively and to retard structural failures has been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Development of a High Performance PES Ultrafiltration Hollow Fiber Membrane for Oily Wastewater Treatment Using Response Surface Methodology
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16465-16482; doi:10.3390/su71215826
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 2 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study attempts to optimize the spinning process used for fabricating hollow fiber membranes using the response surface methodology (RSM). The spinning factors considered for the experimental design are the dope extrusion rate (DER), air gap length (AGL), coagulation bath temperature (CBT), bore
[...] Read more.
This study attempts to optimize the spinning process used for fabricating hollow fiber membranes using the response surface methodology (RSM). The spinning factors considered for the experimental design are the dope extrusion rate (DER), air gap length (AGL), coagulation bath temperature (CBT), bore fluid ratio (BFR), and post-treatment time (PT) whilst the response investigated is rejection. The optimal spinning conditions promising the high rejection performance of polyethersulfone (PES) ultrafiltration hollow fiber membranes for oily wastewater treatment are at the dope extrusion rate of 2.13 cm3/min, air gap length of 0 cm, coagulation bath temperature of 30 °C, and bore fluid ratio (NMP/H2O) of 0.01/99.99 wt %. This study will ultimately enable the membrane fabricators to produce high-performance membranes that contribute towards the availability of a more sustainable water supply system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Modelling and Enhancement of Organizational Resilience Potential in Process Industry SMEs
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16483-16497; doi:10.3390/su71215828
Received: 2 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 14 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2010 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The business environment is rapidly changing and puts pressure on enterprises to find effective ways to survive and develop. Since it is almost impossible to identify the multitude of complex conditions and business risks, an organization has to build its resilience in order
[...] Read more.
The business environment is rapidly changing and puts pressure on enterprises to find effective ways to survive and develop. Since it is almost impossible to identify the multitude of complex conditions and business risks, an organization has to build its resilience in order to be able to overcome issues and achieve long term sustainability. This paper contributes by establishing a two-step model for assessment and enhancement of organizational resilience potential oriented towards Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the process industry. Using a dynamic modelling technique and statistical tools, a sample of 120 SMEs in Serbia has been developed as a testing base, and one randomly selected enterprise was used for model testing and verification. Uncertainties regarding the relative importance of organizational resilience potential factors (ORPFs) and their value at each level of business are described by pre-defined linguistic expressions. The calculation of the relative importance of ORPFs for each business level is stated as a fuzzy group decision making problem. First, the weighted ORPFs’ values and resilience potential at each business level are determined. In the second step, near optimal enhancement of ORPFs’ values is achieved by applying a genetic algorithm (GA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Businesses: Assessment, Approaches and Technology)
Open AccessArticle Green Template for Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings Based on Building Information Modeling: Focus on Embodied Environmental Impact
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16498-16512; doi:10.3390/su71215830
Received: 14 November 2015 / Revised: 6 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 14 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increased popularity of building information modeling (BIM) for application in the construction of eco-friendly green buildings has given rise to techniques for evaluating green buildings constructed using BIM features. Existing BIM-based green building evaluation techniques mostly rely on externally provided evaluation tools,
[...] Read more.
The increased popularity of building information modeling (BIM) for application in the construction of eco-friendly green buildings has given rise to techniques for evaluating green buildings constructed using BIM features. Existing BIM-based green building evaluation techniques mostly rely on externally provided evaluation tools, which pose problems associated with interoperability, including a lack of data compatibility and the amount of time required for format conversion. To overcome these problems, this study sets out to develop a template (the “green template”) for evaluating the embodied environmental impact of using a BIM design tool as part of BIM-based building life-cycle assessment (LCA) technology development. Firstly, the BIM level of detail (LOD) was determined to evaluate the embodied environmental impact, and constructed a database of the impact factors of the embodied environmental impact of the major building materials, thereby adopting an LCA-based approach. The libraries of major building elements were developed by using the established databases and compiled evaluation table of the embodied environmental impact of the building materials. Finally, the green template was developed as an embodied environmental impact evaluation tool and a case study was performed to test its applicability. The results of the green template-based embodied environmental impact evaluation of a test building were validated against those of its actual quantity takeoff (2D takeoff), and its reliability was confirmed by an effective error rate of ≤5%. This study aims to develop a system for assessing the impact of the substances discharged from concrete production process on six environmental impact categories, i.e., global warming (GWP), acidification (AP), eutrophication (EP), abiotic depletion (ADP), ozone depletion (ODP), and photochemical oxidant creation (POCP), using the life a cycle assessment (LCA) method. To achieve this, we proposed an LCA method specifically applicable to concrete and tailored to the Korean concrete industry by adapting the ISO standards to suit the Korean situations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Changes of Water Conservation Service of Typical Ecosystems in China within a Year Based on Data from CERN
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16513-16531; doi:10.3390/su71215827
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 15 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1627 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we compared and analyzed the dynamic changes of water conservation and its value of some typical forests, grasslands, and farmlands in China within a year based on the dataset of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Net (CERN). Results showed that forest,
[...] Read more.
In this study, we compared and analyzed the dynamic changes of water conservation and its value of some typical forests, grasslands, and farmlands in China within a year based on the dataset of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Net (CERN). Results showed that forest, grassland, and farmland provide different kinds of water conservation services which vary in size and dynamic processes within a year. Water conservation of forest consisted of water regulation service, here referred to as water retaining service, and water supply service, while water conservation of grassland and farmland was mainly water regulation service. Different types of forests/grasslands/farmlands can serve different water conservation services in both size and change patterns. In general, the water conservation service and value of forests is the largest (Xishuangbanna forest being $712·hm−2·year−1, Dingshu Mountains forest being $823·hm−2·year−1, and Changbai Mountains forest being $366·hm−2·year−1), and then is the farmlands (Yucheng farmland being $147·hm−2·year−1, Changshu farmland being $92·hm−2·year−1, Qianyanzhou farmland being $247 hm−2·year−1), and that of the grasslands is the least (Haibei alpine meadow being $75·hm−2·year−1, Mongolia grassland being $30·hm−2·year−1). The monthly water conservation and its value of each ecosystem had its own changing pattern throughout the year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Regional Water Footprint Assessment: A Case Study of Leshan City
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16532-16547; doi:10.3390/su71215829
Received: 26 September 2015 / Revised: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 15 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an assessment of urban water footprint in the period of 2001 to 2012 by taking Leshan City, China as a typical case study. The water footprint is calculated by the sum of the water footprints of various sectors, i.e.,
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an assessment of urban water footprint in the period of 2001 to 2012 by taking Leshan City, China as a typical case study. The water footprint is calculated by the sum of the water footprints of various sectors, i.e., crop production, animal products, industrial processes, domestic waster, eco-environment, and virtual water trade. Results show that the water footprints of the various sectors rose by degrees varying from 19% to 55%, which gave rise to an increase of the total water footprint of 43.13% from 2001 to 2012. Crop production and animal products are identified as the major water intensive sectors, accounting for about 68.97% of the total water footprint. The water footprint in the Northeastern area of Leshan City is greater than that of the Southwestern area in the period 1992–2012, resulted in an expansion of water footprint in the Sha Wan and Wu Tongqiao Districts due to the development of urbanization. The application of water footprint assessment is expected to provide insight into the improvement of urban water efficiency, and thus aid in better water resources management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Which Subsidy Mode Improves the Financial Performance of Renewable Energy Firms? A Panel Data Analysis of Wind and Solar Energy Companies between 2009 and 2014
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16548-16560; doi:10.3390/su71215831
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 6 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 December 2015 / Published: 15 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effectiveness of subsidies in improving the performance of renewable energy firms has aroused significant research attention in recent years. As subsidy modes may affect corporate financial performance,we have chosen companies specializing in wind and solar energy in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock
[...] Read more.
The effectiveness of subsidies in improving the performance of renewable energy firms has aroused significant research attention in recent years. As subsidy modes may affect corporate financial performance,we have chosen companies specializing in wind and solar energy in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets as samples.The relationships between the subsidy modes and financial performance of these two types of companies are investigated with a panel data model. Results of the total sample indicate that both indirect and non-innovative subsidy have significant effects on the financial performance of renewable energy companies. The regressive coefficient of the former,however, is a negative value, which illustrates that taxation, bonus, and other market-based mechanisms impair corporate profitability. Moreover, the influence of innovative subsidy is weak, which means that the subsidy used for research and development, technical demonstration, and other innovations of renewable energy enterprises have failed to effectively enhance corporate financial performance. In terms of sub-industries, the direct subsidy for wind energy companies has achieved a significant effect. Incomparison, the indirect subsidy and innovative subsidy acquired by solar energy companies have notably reduced corporate profitability. Thissuggests an urgent reform of subsidy policy for this industry is needed. The government should consider differences in the effects subsidies have for wind and solar energy companies when improving subsidy policy. In addition, market-based subsidy mechanisms should be perfected, and the structure of innovative subsidies should be ameliorated. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of Holistic Sustainability Assessment Framework for Palm Oil Production in Malaysia
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16561-16587; doi:10.3390/su71215833
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 6 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Palm oil based biodiesel offers an alternative energy source that can reduce current dependence on conventional fossil fuels and may reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions depending on the type of feedstock and processes used. In the Malaysian context, the palm oil industry not
[...] Read more.
Palm oil based biodiesel offers an alternative energy source that can reduce current dependence on conventional fossil fuels and may reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions depending on the type of feedstock and processes used. In the Malaysian context, the palm oil industry not only provides high-yield, renewable feedstock to the world, it brings socio-economic development to the Malaysian rural community and contributes to the national income. However, the sustainability of palm oil remains controversial, due to deforestation, pollution and social conflicts associated with its production. Sustainability assessment is vital for the palm oil industry to identify weaknesses, improve its sustainability performance and improve consumer confidence. This paper proposes a holistic sustainability assessment framework for palm oil production with the aim to address the weaknesses of existing palm oil sustainability assessment methods. It identifies environmental, social and economic Headline Performance Indicators, Key Performance Indicators and their Performance Measures in crude palm oil production in a structured framework. Each quantitative/semi-quantitative performance measure is translated into Likert Scale of 1–5, where 3 is the threshold value, 5 is the ideal condition, and 1 is the worst case scenario. Calculation methods were established for the framework to provide quantitative assessment results. The framework was tested using a hypothetical example with data from existing studies. The results suggest that crude palm oil production in Malaysia is below the sustainability threshold. Evaluations of this sustainability assessment framework also demonstrate that it is a comprehensive assessment method for assessing sustainability of feedstock for biofuel production. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Empirical Assessment of the Economic Damage Caused by Apple Marssonina Blotch and Pear Scab Outbreaks in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16588-16598; doi:10.3390/su71215836
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
PDF Full-text (508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marssonina blotch in apples and pear scab are diseases that may affect apple and pear production as well as related industries significantly. The range and scale of the economic influence of such outbreaks should be clarified to ensure the sustainable growth of these
[...] Read more.
Marssonina blotch in apples and pear scab are diseases that may affect apple and pear production as well as related industries significantly. The range and scale of the economic influence of such outbreaks should be clarified to ensure the sustainable growth of these industries. This study evaluates the direct and indirect economic effects of outbreaks through a partial equilibrium approach and an input–output model; direct influences are measured on the basis of reduced production, and the estimated costs are 34,926 million Korean Won (mKRW) (US$ 29.79 million) and 11,767 mKRW (US$ 10.04 million) for apples and pears, respectively. The indirect effects are determined according to changes in the quantity of apples and pears supplied to the market; these effects can induce social welfare losses. These costs are estimated to be 305,065 mKRW (US$ 259.08 million) for apples infected with Marssonina blotch, which accounts for 186,628 mKRW (US$ 158.50 million) in producer surplus and 118,437 mKRW (US$ 100.58 million) in consumer surplus and 72,693 mKRW (US$ 61.74 million) for pears infected with scab, which accounts for 44,106 mKRW (US$ 37.46 million) in producer surplus and 28,587 mKRW (US$ 24.28 million) in consumer surplus. The findings from this study can be referenced by the Korean government in designing more effective control measures toward sustainable growth of related industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Distributional Challenges of Sustainability Policies—The Case of the German Energy Transition
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16599-16615; doi:10.3390/su71215834
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability policies based on the economic rationale of providing incentives to get prices right inevitably place a significant burden on society and often raise distributional concerns. The social acceptability of Germany’s energy transition towards more sustainable generation and usage of energy is frequently
[...] Read more.
Sustainability policies based on the economic rationale of providing incentives to get prices right inevitably place a significant burden on society and often raise distributional concerns. The social acceptability of Germany’s energy transition towards more sustainable generation and usage of energy is frequently the subject of such critical appraisals. The discourse centres upon the burden imposed on electricity users as a result of the promotion of renewable energy sources in the electricity sector in accordance with the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). A regressive EEG surcharge is suspected of driving up energy prices unreasonably and of being socially unjust. It is also argued that high-income utility owners profit from the EEG system at the expense of low-income electricity consumers (redistribution from bottom to top). The aim of this paper is to examine the validity of these two hypotheses and to show that both exhibit substantial theoretical and empirical weaknesses, with climate and environmental policy being played off against social policy in a questionable manner. At the same time, the article points out remaining conflicts between energy policy and social policy and makes corresponding policy recommendations for their resolution, thus contributing to reconciling distributional concerns arising in the context of incentive-oriented sustainability governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Cultural Values and Sustainable Tourism Governance in Bhutan
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16616-16630; doi:10.3390/su71215837
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 December 2015 / Published: 16 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Governance is recognized as a means to promote sustainable outcomes by democratizing the policy process and potentially harmonizing competing policy interests. This is particularly critical for sustainable tourism policy with its multiple sectors and multiple stakeholders at multiple scales. Yet little is known
[...] Read more.
Governance is recognized as a means to promote sustainable outcomes by democratizing the policy process and potentially harmonizing competing policy interests. This is particularly critical for sustainable tourism policy with its multiple sectors and multiple stakeholders at multiple scales. Yet little is known about the kinds of governance processes and instruments that are able to effectively harmonize competing power interests to better balance economic, ecological, and social concerns. This study analyzes the case of Bhutan and its Gross National Happiness (GNH) strategy as it is applied to sustainable tourism policy. Based on semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 57 state and non-state governance actors, it explores whether Bhutan’s unique GNH governance framework successfully harmonizes competing interests in the pursuit of sustainable tourism policy. It argues that the implementation of Bhutanese tourism policy is characterized by diverse and unexpected applications of power by multiple policy stakeholders. These complex power dynamics are not shaped in a meaningful way by the GNH governance instruments. Nor are they rooted in a common understanding of GNH itself. While this situation should subvert sustainable tourism policy, a commitment among state and non-state governance actors to a common set of Buddhist-infused cultural values shapes and constrains policy actions in a manner that promotes sustainable tourism outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Landscape Ecological Risk Responses to Land Use Change in the Luanhe River Basin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16631-16652; doi:10.3390/su71215835
Received: 20 September 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use change has large effects on natural ecosystems, which is considered to be the main factor in eco-environment change. We analyzed the future characters of land use change by the CLUE-S model and explored landscape ecological risk responses to land use change
[...] Read more.
Land use change has large effects on natural ecosystems, which is considered to be the main factor in eco-environment change. We analyzed the future characters of land use change by the CLUE-S model and explored landscape ecological risk responses to land use change by the landscape ecological risk index method. Using the Luanhe River Basin as a case study, we simulated future land use change from 2010 to 2030 under 3 scenarios (i.e., trend, high economic growth, and ecological security), and identified the hotspots of land use change. Afterward, we quantitatively investigated the degree of land use development and landscape ecological risk patterns that have occured since 2000 and that are expected to occur until 2030. Results revealed that, under the three scenarios, construction land and forest are expanding mainly at the expense of agriculture land and grassland. The hotspots of land use change are located in the vicinity of Shuangluan and Shuangqiao District of Chengde City in the midstream of the Luanhe River Basin, where urbanization has been strong since 2000 and is projected to continue that way until 2030. During this time period, hotspots of land use development have been gradually transferring from the downstream to the midstream since 2000 and, again, is expected to continue that way until 2030, which will impact the spatial distribution of landscape ecological risk. We found that the landscape ecological risk of the entire basin has shown a negative trend. However, a few areas still have serious ecological risk, which are mainly located in the east of upstream (Duolun County and Weichang County), the middle region (Shuangluan and Shuangqiao District, Chengde County, and Xinglong County), and the downstream (Qinglong County). These can provide key information for land use management, and for helping to prepare future eco-environmental policies in the Luanhe River Basin. Full article
Open AccessArticle Landslide Susceptibility Mapping Based on Selected Optimal Combination of Landslide Predisposing Factors in a Large Catchment
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16653-16669; doi:10.3390/su71215839
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Landslides are usually initiated under complex geological conditions. It is of great significance to find out the optimal combination of predisposing factors and create an accurate landslide susceptibility map based on them. In this paper, the Information Value Model was modified to make
[...] Read more.
Landslides are usually initiated under complex geological conditions. It is of great significance to find out the optimal combination of predisposing factors and create an accurate landslide susceptibility map based on them. In this paper, the Information Value Model was modified to make the Modified Information Value (MIV) Model, and together with GIS (Geographical Information System) and AUC (Area Under Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve) test, 32 factor combinations were evaluated separately, and factor combination group with members Slope, Lithology, Drainage network, Annual precipitation, Faults, Road and Vegetation was selected as the optimal combination group with an accuracy of 95.0%. Based on this group, a landslide susceptibility zonation map was drawn, where the study area was reclassified into five classes, presenting an accurate description of different levels of landslide susceptibility, with 79.41% and 13.67% of the validating field survey landslides falling in the Very High and High zones, respectively, mainly distributed in the south and southeast of the catchment. It showed that MIV model can tackle the problem of “no data in subclass” well, generate the true information value and show real running trend, which performs well in showing the relationship between predisposing factors and landslide occurrence and can be used for preliminary landslide susceptibility assessment in the study area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Building Carbon Emissions Assessment and Driving Factors Decomposition Analysis Based on LMDI—A Case Study of Wuhan City in China
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16670-16686; doi:10.3390/su71215838
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2101 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon emissions calculation at the sub-provincial level has issues in limited data and non-unified measurements. This paper calculated the life cycle energy consumption and carbon emissions of the building industry in Wuhan, China. The findings showed that the proportion of carbon emissions in
[...] Read more.
Carbon emissions calculation at the sub-provincial level has issues in limited data and non-unified measurements. This paper calculated the life cycle energy consumption and carbon emissions of the building industry in Wuhan, China. The findings showed that the proportion of carbon emissions in the construction operation phase was the largest, followed by the carbon emissions of the indirect energy consumption and the construction material preparation phase. With the purpose of analyzing the contributors of the construction carbon emissions, this paper conducted decomposition analysis using Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI). The results indicated that the increasing buidling area was the major driver of energy consumption and carbon emissions increase, followed by the behavior factor. Population growth and urbanization, to some extent, increased the carbon emissions as well. On the contrary, energy efficiency was the main inhibitory factor for reducing the carbon emissions. Policy implications in terms of low-carbon construction development were highlighted. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Simplified Methodology for Evaluating the Impact of Point Thermal Bridges on the High-Energy Performance of a Passive House
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16687-16702; doi:10.3390/su71215840
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the design of high-energy performance buildings with ventilated facade systems, the evaluation of point thermal bridges is complicated and is often ignored in practice. This paper analyzes the relationship between the point thermal bridges resulting from aluminum fasteners, which are used for
[...] Read more.
In the design of high-energy performance buildings with ventilated facade systems, the evaluation of point thermal bridges is complicated and is often ignored in practice. This paper analyzes the relationship between the point thermal bridges resulting from aluminum fasteners, which are used for installation facades cladding, and the thermal properties of materials that are used in external walls layers and dimension of layers. Research has shown that the influence of the point thermal bridges on the U-value of the entire wall may achieve an average of up to 30% regarding thermal properties of materials of the external wall layers and the dimension of layers. With the increase in thermal conductivity of the bearing layer material and the thickness of the thermal insulation layer, the point thermal transmittance χ-value increased. For this reason, the U-value of the entire wall may increase by up to 35%. With the increase of the thickness of the bearing layer and thermal conductivity value of thermal insulation layer, the point thermal transmittance χ-value decreased by up to 28%. A simplified methodology is presented for the evaluation of point thermal bridges based on the thermal and geometrical properties of external wall layers. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Waste Energy Recovery from Natural Gas Distribution Network: CELSIUS Project Demonstrator in Genoa
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16703-16719; doi:10.3390/su71215841
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing energy efficiency by the smart recovery of waste energy is the scope of the CELSIUS Project (Combined Efficient Large Scale Integrated Urban Systems). The CELSIUS consortium includes a world-leading partnership of outstanding research, innovation and implementation organizations, and gather competence and excellence
[...] Read more.
Increasing energy efficiency by the smart recovery of waste energy is the scope of the CELSIUS Project (Combined Efficient Large Scale Integrated Urban Systems). The CELSIUS consortium includes a world-leading partnership of outstanding research, innovation and implementation organizations, and gather competence and excellence from five European cities with complementary baseline positions regarding the sustainable use of energy: Cologne, Genoa, Gothenburg, London, and Rotterdam. Lasting four-years and coordinated by the City of Gothenburg, the project faces with an holistic approach technical, economic, administrative, social, legal and political issues concerning smart district heating and cooling, aiming to establish best practice solutions. This will be done through the implementation of twelve new high-reaching demonstration projects, which cover the most major aspects of innovative urban heating and cooling for a smart city. The Genoa demonstrator was designed in order to recover energy from the pressure drop between the main supply line and the city natural gas network. The potential mechanical energy is converted to electricity by a turboexpander/generator system, which has been integrated in a combined heat and power plant to supply a district heating network. The performed energy analysis assessed natural gas saving and greenhouse gas reduction achieved through the smart systems integration. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Forecasting Methodology for Sustainable Management of Defense Technology
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16720-16736; doi:10.3390/su71215844
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A dynamic methodology for sustainable management of defense technology is proposed to overcome the limitations of the static methodology, which involves comparative analysis based on the criterion of the highest technology level and has limitations for time series analysis, because the country with
[...] Read more.
A dynamic methodology for sustainable management of defense technology is proposed to overcome the limitations of the static methodology, which involves comparative analysis based on the criterion of the highest technology level and has limitations for time series analysis, because the country with the highest level undergoes technical changes over time. To address these limitations, this study applies a technology growth model for a dynamic analysis of the Delphi result. An effective method using patents is also proposed to verify and adjust the analysis results. First, technology levels of the present and future are examined by the Delphi technique, and the growth curve is extracted based on the technology growth model. Second, the technology growth curve based on patents is extracted using the annual number of unexamined and registered patents related to the technology. Lastly, the statistical significance of the two growth curves is examined using regression analysis. Then the growth curves are adjusted by the rate of increase in patents. This methodology could provide dynamic technology level data to facilitate sustainable management of defense technology. The results could be useful to research institutions, as they establish strategies for securing technologies in defense or private domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Organizational Green IT Adoption: Concept and Evidence
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16737-16755; doi:10.3390/su71215843
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 27 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (381 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green IT has emerged as an important research topic in information systems and in other areas, such as business sustainability management. Some progress has been made in our understandings of green IT in a wide area of research topics, ranging from the green
[...] Read more.
Green IT has emerged as an important research topic in information systems and in other areas, such as business sustainability management. Some progress has been made in our understandings of green IT in a wide area of research topics, ranging from the green IT definition to the motivation for adopting green IT by organizations. This paper provides a holistic review and explanation of why organizations adopt green IT. Based on an extensive review of extant studies and a broad theoretical foundation, the paper presents a theoretical framework on organizational green IT adoption (OGITA). For researchers, the study provides a comprehensive review of previous green IT adoption studies and a roadmap for future research. For practitioners, the study provides managers and policy makers a systematic analytical framework in guiding their business decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Businesses: Assessment, Approaches and Technology)
Open AccessArticle Biochar Application in Malaysian Sandy and Acid Sulfate Soils: Soil Amelioration Effects and Improved Crop Production over Two Cropping Seasons
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16756-16770; doi:10.3390/su71215842
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was
[...] Read more.
The use of biochar as an agricultural soil improvement was tested in acid sulfate and sandy soils from Malaysia, cropped with rice and corn. Malaysia has an abundance of waste rice husks that could be used to produce biochar. Rice husk biochar was produced in a gasifier at a local mill in Kelantan as well as in the laboratory using a controlled, specially designed, top lift up draft system (Belonio unit). Rice husk biochar was applied once to both soils at two doses (2% and 5%), in a pot set up that was carried out for two cropping seasons. Positive and significant crop yield effects were observed for both soils, biochars and crops. The yield effects varied with biochar type and dosage, with soil type and over the cropping seasons. The yield increases observed for the sandy soil were tentatively attributed to significant increases in plant-available water contents (from 4%–5% to 7%–8%). The yield effects in the acid sulfate soil were likely a consequence of a combination of (i) alleviation of plant root stress by aluminum (Ca/Al molar ratios significantly increased, from around 1 to 3–5) and (ii) increases in CEC. The agricultural benefits of rice husk biochar application to Malaysian soils holds promise for its future use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biochar)
Open AccessArticle The Spatial Econometric Analysis of China’s Banking Competition and Its Influential Factors
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16771-16782; doi:10.3390/su71215848
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 19 December 2015
PDF Full-text (423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper determines alternative indexes to measure banking competition from the perspective of industrial economics. Spatial correlation of competition in China’s banking environment is studied from the perspective of spatial economics. A spatial panel data model is built to make an empirical study
[...] Read more.
This paper determines alternative indexes to measure banking competition from the perspective of industrial economics. Spatial correlation of competition in China’s banking environment is studied from the perspective of spatial economics. A spatial panel data model is built to make an empirical study of factors influencing banking competition. The results show that the global autocorrelation test index Moran’s I indicates that China’s banking competition has obvious spatial correlation characteristics and significant spatial clustering. The space LISA map indicates that banking competition in most provinces has the characteristics of spatial dependence, and only a few provinces have the characteristics of spatial heterogeneity. Human capital, economic growth, financial scale of development, and foreign direct investment all have a significant positive effect on improving the degree of banking competition. Government intervention has a significant negative impact on the degree of banking competition, while fixed asset investment has no significant impact on it. Full article
Open AccessArticle Natural Disasters, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in China―An Empirical Study Using Provincial Panel Data
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16783-16800; doi:10.3390/su71215847
Received: 6 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 19 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using a newly developed integrated indicator system with entropy weighting, we analyzed the panel data of 577 recorded disasters in 30 provinces of China from 1985–2011 to identify their links with the subsequent economic growth. Meteorological disasters promote economic growth through human capital
[...] Read more.
Using a newly developed integrated indicator system with entropy weighting, we analyzed the panel data of 577 recorded disasters in 30 provinces of China from 1985–2011 to identify their links with the subsequent economic growth. Meteorological disasters promote economic growth through human capital instead of physical capital. Geological disasters did not trigger local economic growth from 1999–2011. Generally, natural disasters overall had no significant impact on economic growth from 1985–1998. Thus, human capital reinvestment should be the aim in managing recoveries, and it should be used to regenerate the local economy based on long-term sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Biogas Power Plants in Poland—Structure, Capacity, and Spatial Distribution
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16801-16819; doi:10.3390/su71215846
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the analysis and evaluation of biogas power plant capacity in Poland based on the generic structure and energy production. These issues are also presented from the point of view of the obtained energy and biogas energy production in Poland against
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the analysis and evaluation of biogas power plant capacity in Poland based on the generic structure and energy production. These issues are also presented from the point of view of the obtained energy and biogas energy production in Poland against selected European Union countries. The paper also indicates a significant diversity in the spatial distribution of biogas plants in Poland. It also discusses the importance of biogas plants as one of the elements of bottom-up development of the second tier administrative units. There are 231 biogas power plants in Poland (as of 2013), which are based on biogas from landfill sites, biogas from wastewater treatment plants, and agricultural biogas. The generic structure of biogas power plants in Poland is dominated by power plants based on biogas from landfill. Despite the fact that Poland has large resources of agricultural substrate, there are very few biogas power plants based on agricultural biogas. There are no biogas power plants in almost 60% of poviats in Poland, despite the fact that every poviat in Poland has enough of this substrate at its disposal. This article contributes innovative elements to existing knowledge on biogas power plants in Poland, thanks to its comprehensive treatment of the problem of biogas power plants in Poland and because it urges local authorities and local communities to behave more ecologically, as well as promoting endogenous factors of the economic development of a given region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Eco-Innovation for Sustainability: Evidence from 49 Countries in Asia and Europe
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16820-16835; doi:10.3390/su71215849
Received: 11 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following the trend on focusing on a nation’s economic-growth, side effects such as resource exhaustion, environmental pollution, and social injustice have begun to appear. As a solution, eco-innovation has received a great amount of attention from European countries and as a result, many
[...] Read more.
Following the trend on focusing on a nation’s economic-growth, side effects such as resource exhaustion, environmental pollution, and social injustice have begun to appear. As a solution, eco-innovation has received a great amount of attention from European countries and as a result, many efforts to analyze the development of eco-innovation quantitatively have been made. This study aims to evaluate the validity of an eco-innovation index developed to support the sustainable development goal. For this purpose, four factors of eco-innovation—capacity, supportive environment, activity, and performance—were applied to three categories of the Triple-Bottom-Line (TBL) concept in sustainability to compare the eco-innovation development level of 49 Asia-Europe Meeting countries. Factors for eco-innovation and TBL at the country level were organized in quartile and compared to see strength and weaknesses for each nation. In order to test if eco-innovation factors of a nation adequately reflect its sustainability, we used various comparisons of ANOVA. The results of this study are as follows: First, the one-way ANOVA tests present the scores for capacity, supportive environment, and performance as grouped into four quartiles in the same pattern as their economic, social, and environmental scores. The three-way ANOVA tests showed significance for the economic category. Scores for capacity, supportive environment, activity and performance were significant at a nation’s economic level. Lastly, the MANOVA test revealed that TBL significantly explains four eco-innovation factors. In addition, the eco-innovation performance level of European nations and Asian nations were compared. The possibility that many nations still have room to be competitive in their eco-innovation efforts was identified. Nations with unbalanced eco-innovation growth are urged to implement new strategies to balance their growth. Therefore, this research contributes to extending research on eco-innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Effects of Employees’ Work Values and Organizational Management on Corporate Performance for Chinese and Taiwanese Construction Enterprises
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16836-16848; doi:10.3390/su71215852
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Through questionnaire surveys, this study explored the discrepancies in work values and organizational management between employees and cadre members of construction enterprises on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Statistical methods including data reliability, regression analysis, and tests of significance were utilized
[...] Read more.
Through questionnaire surveys, this study explored the discrepancies in work values and organizational management between employees and cadre members of construction enterprises on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Statistical methods including data reliability, regression analysis, and tests of significance were utilized for modelling a case study. The findings of this study included: (1) in terms of work values, employees from China focused on their lives “at present”, while those from Taiwan focused on their lives “in the future”, expecting to improve the quality of their lives later on through advanced studies and promotion; (2) according to the data obtained from the questionnaires, the answers regarding income and welfare in terms of work values and satisfaction were contradictory on the two sides of the Strait, which could be interpreted in terms of influence from society; and (3) there was a significant influence of organizational management on employees’ intentions to resign. If enterprises could improve current organizational management systems, their employees’ work attitudes would be improved and the tendency to resign would be reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Urban Residential Land Use Reconstruction under Dual-Track Mechanism of Market Socialism in China: A Case Study of Chengdu
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16849-16865; doi:10.3390/su71215850
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We study urban residential land use changes by analyzing the massive migration and relocation of two typical social classes: employees in government departments (EGD) and urban demolition displaced households (UDDH). After the reform and opening-up of China that has taken place during the
[...] Read more.
We study urban residential land use changes by analyzing the massive migration and relocation of two typical social classes: employees in government departments (EGD) and urban demolition displaced households (UDDH). After the reform and opening-up of China that has taken place during the last 30 years, the residential land use of both the EGD and UDDH groups has been notable in terms of the changing urban landscape in China’s cities. A considerable number of studies highlight the large scale relocations of weaker groups usually through sample surveys at a microscopic scale, which sheds light on the relationships between market forces and government intervention and power. However, employees hired by state government departments and related branches (Shiye Danwei) have been neglected. Bridging the empirical research gap and using Chengdu as a case study, we compare residential relocations of EGD and UDDH groups in Chengdu. Our analysis based on field surveys conducted from 2009–2013 indicates that the relocations of EGD and UDDH are spatially agglomerated due to China’s unique dual-track mechanism driven by market forces and government power since the late 1970s. The study shows that most of the UDDH are migrated from urban centers to fringes, while a large number of EGD still agglomerate close to urban centers. Government interventions differentiate residential relocations of EGD and UDDH, and market mechanisms reinforce these relocations. Potential problems caused by the dual-track mechanism are finally discussed and summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Mitigation Measures on Flood Damage Prevention in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16866-16884; doi:10.3390/su71215851
Received: 2 October 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study analyzed the characteristics of flood damages and the effects of structural and non-structural flood damage mitigation measures in Korea. First, a theoretical discussion of the structural and non-structural measures to mitigate flood damages was used to select the variables and devise
[...] Read more.
This study analyzed the characteristics of flood damages and the effects of structural and non-structural flood damage mitigation measures in Korea. First, a theoretical discussion of the structural and non-structural measures to mitigate flood damages was used to select the variables and devise the hypotheses. An analysis was conducted using the Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving-Average (ARIMA) time series methodology, Korean socioeconomic data, and damage characteristics of major flood events. The effects of flood damage mitigation measures on the extent of flood damages were assessed using an intervention time series model. The major findings were that the intervention effects of structural and non-structural measures were statistically significant from 1958 to 2013 (a period of 55 years) and that while the former were ineffective at mitigating flood damages, the latter were successful in doing so. Based on the above findings, policy suggestions for future flood damage mitigation measures in Korea were offered. For structural measures, the government should manage its existing facilities, recover ecosystems of damaged rivers, and devise mitigation measures for urban areas. For non-structural measures, the government should enhance its flood forecasting capacity, revise laws related to flood control and prevention, and update and rationalize land-use plans. Full article

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessProject Report Wineries’ Perception of Sustainability Costs and Benefits: An Exploratory Study in California
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16164-16174; doi:10.3390/su71215806
Received: 21 September 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study aims to make a contribution to the analysis of costs and benefits of adopting sustainable practices. The paper reports the results of an exploratory study into wineries’ perceived mix of economic costs and benefits and environmental benefits provided by participating
[...] Read more.
The present study aims to make a contribution to the analysis of costs and benefits of adopting sustainable practices. The paper reports the results of an exploratory study into wineries’ perceived mix of economic costs and benefits and environmental benefits provided by participating in the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing scheme. A total of 14 wineries, representing more than 50% of the entire wine production of California certified wine (and 25% of all certified wineries), participated in the study. Based on the information detected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with winery managers and owners, performing a descriptive analysis and a logit model, we reveal that overall economic benefits, resulting from the sustainable practices introduced by the certification scheme, outweigh the additional costs. In particular, older wineries (>15 years) and those located in Sonoma Valley or onmultiple sites are more keen to assign a positive economic viability tosustainable practices. Furthermore, sustainable vineyard practices are highly rated by respondents in terms of both perceived environmental and economic benefits. Outcomes should foster similar studies exploring other specific sustainability programs and certification schemes, and eventually encourage cross-cultural investigations. Full article
Back to Top