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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5 (May 2015), Pages 4783-6335

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Open AccessArticle Thermoeconomic Analysis of Biodiesel Production from Used Cooking Oils
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6321-6335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056321
Received: 5 March 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) is one of the most sustainable solutions to replace conventional fossil fuels in the transport sector. It can achieve greenhouse gas savings up to 88% and at the same time reducing the disposal of a polluting waste.
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Biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) is one of the most sustainable solutions to replace conventional fossil fuels in the transport sector. It can achieve greenhouse gas savings up to 88% and at the same time reducing the disposal of a polluting waste. In addition, it does not provoke potential negative impacts that conventional biofuels may eventually cause linked to the use of arable land. For this reason, most policy frameworks favor its consumption. This is the case of the EU policy that double-counters the use of residue and waste use to achieve the renewable energy target in the transport sector. According to different sources, biodiesel produced from UCO could replace around 1.5%–1.8% of the EU-27 diesel consumption. This paper presents an in-depth thermoeconomic analysis of the UCO biodiesel life cycle to understand its cost formation process. It calculates the ExROI value (exergy return on investment) and renewability factor, and it demonstrates that thermoeconomics is a useful tool to assess life cycles of renewable energy systems. It also shows that UCO life cycle biodiesel production is more sustainable than biodiesel produced from vegetable oils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Supporting Keyword Search for Image Retrieval with Integration of Probabilistic Annotation
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6303-6320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056303
Received: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ever-increasing quantities of digital photo resources are annotated with enriching vocabularies to form semantic annotations. Photo-sharing social networks have boosted the need for efficient and intuitive querying to respond to user requirements in large-scale image collections. In order to help users formulate
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The ever-increasing quantities of digital photo resources are annotated with enriching vocabularies to form semantic annotations. Photo-sharing social networks have boosted the need for efficient and intuitive querying to respond to user requirements in large-scale image collections. In order to help users formulate efficient and effective image retrieval, we present a novel integration of a probabilistic model based on keyword query architecture that models the probability distribution of image annotations: allowing users to obtain satisfactory results from image retrieval via the integration of multiple annotations. We focus on the annotation integration step in order to specify the meaning of each image annotation, thus leading to the most representative annotations of the intent of a keyword search. For this demonstration, we show how a probabilistic model has been integrated to semantic annotations to allow users to intuitively define explicit and precise keyword queries in order to retrieve satisfactory image results distributed in heterogeneous large data sources. Our experiments on SBU (collected by Stony Brook University) database show that (i) our integrated annotation contains higher quality representatives and semantic matches; and (ii) the results indicating annotation integration can indeed improve image search result quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle Why Include Impacts on Biodiversity from Land Use in LCIA and How to Select Useful Indicators?
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6278-6302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056278
Received: 20 February 2015 / Accepted: 24 April 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Loss of biodiversity is one of the most severe threats to sustainability, and land use and land use changes are still the single most important factor. Still, there is no sign of any consensus on how to include impacts on biodiversity from land
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Loss of biodiversity is one of the most severe threats to sustainability, and land use and land use changes are still the single most important factor. Still, there is no sign of any consensus on how to include impacts on biodiversity from land use and land use changes in LCIA. In this paper, different characteristics of biodiversity are discussed and related to proposals on how to include land use and land use changes in LCIA. We identify the question of why we should care about biodiversity as a key question, since different motivations will result in different choices for the indicators, and we call for more openness in the motivation for indicator selection. We find a promising trend in combining pressure indicators with geographic weighting and regard this as a promising way ahead. More knowledge on the consequences of different choices, such as the selection of a reference state, is still needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Analysis on the Relationship between Green Accounting and Green Design for Enterprises
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6264-6277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056264
Received: 17 January 2015 / Revised: 5 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green design is advocated and developed in response to the increasingly deteriorating global environment, but its implementation is only based on the morality of the entrepreneurs, without economic incentive and legal restraint. As a result, green design has not been widely adopted. In
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Green design is advocated and developed in response to the increasingly deteriorating global environment, but its implementation is only based on the morality of the entrepreneurs, without economic incentive and legal restraint. As a result, green design has not been widely adopted. In recent years, the European countries, the U.S., Japan, the UN and Taiwan have successively promoted environmental accounting guidelines and required enterprises to disclose environmental improvement information, so as to improve the environment through production that will unavoidably impact product manufacturing. How product design should respond to this trend is a concern of this study. This study adopted the KJ (Kawakita Jiro) method and the meta-research method to analyze the influence factors. Then, it was discussed whether green design is feasible. The results showed that the requirements of green accounting include: expanding corporate social responsibility, production cannot be exempted from environmental protection, the manufacturing of clean products can generate pollution, the external production cost should be internalized, the redesign to improve the product production process and packaging, reducing resource waste and implementing the (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) 3R policy, lifecycle assessment for all assessments and developing environmentally-friendly products, which can be solved with green design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Supply Chain Engagement in a Retail Environment
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6246-6263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056246
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 30 April 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (791 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is a key requirement for business success and is often regarded a competitive advantage if strategically managed. Sustainability-mature organisations look to their value chains where the retailer-supplier collaboration becomes critical in embedding sustainability. With this in mind, it is important to monitor
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Sustainability is a key requirement for business success and is often regarded a competitive advantage if strategically managed. Sustainability-mature organisations look to their value chains where the retailer-supplier collaboration becomes critical in embedding sustainability. With this in mind, it is important to monitor retailer-supplier collaboration to determine whether it is effective. To facilitate this monitoring, the UN Global Compact Supply Chain Sustainability: A Guide for Continuous Improvement was consulted. The research question aimed to determine the progress of a prominent South African retailer regarding their sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) and collaboration with suppliers. Therefore, this study attempts to apply the Supplier Engagement Continuum, extracted from the UN Global Compact Supply Chain Sustainability: A Guide for Continuous Improvement, in order to determine how the retailer is progressing in sustainable supply chain management. The qualitative and exploratory nature of the study necessitated a case study research design, while the technique of purposive sampling was used to select the sample of three suppliers. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews facilitated by an interview guide, and data analysis was conducted with Atlas.ti software. It was found that the retailer’s sustainable supply chain management can only be located on level one of the continuum. Supply chain sustainability in organisations lack the theoretical foundation of what sustainability really is. Therefore, the model was amended and an additional level was added to incorporate the education of sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour to Predict the Usage Intention of the Electric Car: A Multi-Group Comparison
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6212-6245; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056212
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 7 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) is developed that integrates emotions towards car driving and electric cars as well as car driving habits of the DTPB, and is empirically validated in a Belgian sample (n = 1023). Multi-group comparisons explore
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An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) is developed that integrates emotions towards car driving and electric cars as well as car driving habits of the DTPB, and is empirically validated in a Belgian sample (n = 1023). Multi-group comparisons explore how the determinants of usage intention are different between groups of consumers differing in environmentally-friendly behaviour, environmental concern, innovativeness and personal values. Besides attitudes, media, perceived complexity, compatibility and relative advantage, emotions towards the electric car and reflective emotions towards car driving have a strong effect on usage intention. Car driving habits and perceived behavioural control (facilitators and constraints) do not substantially affect usage intention. Only people differing in personal values show a different motivational structure for a number of important drivers of usage intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Upgrading of Chinese Automotive Manufacturing Industry in the Global Value Chain: An Empirical Study Based on Panel Data
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6189-6211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056189
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In the age of globalization, the upgrading of China’s manufacturing industries has attracted great attention from both academicians and practitioners, as it certainly has great implications for the development of China and, even further, for the development of the whole world. To address
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In the age of globalization, the upgrading of China’s manufacturing industries has attracted great attention from both academicians and practitioners, as it certainly has great implications for the development of China and, even further, for the development of the whole world. To address this issue, the study clarifies the effects of the internal technological innovation capability (ITIC) and external linkages (ELs) on upgrading the Chinese automotive manufacturing industry (CAMI) in the global value chain, in order to indicate the appropriate way for the CAMI to be further upgraded and provide references for the formulation of regional automotive industrial policies. Based on Chinese panel data, the results confirm that both ITIC and EL are important for the upgrading of the CAMI, with ITIC being the more important. Improvement of ITIC facilitates the industry’s cooperation with the EL, resulting in better knowledge access. Furthermore, the results of cluster analysis reveal that regions with relatively developed automotive industries place emphasis on both the ITIC and EL. However, in some regions (e.g., Shanghai and Chongqing), the utility of EL seems insufficient. Therefore, the results of this paper, on the one hand, suggest policies should be directed towards increasing the ITIC of CAMI. On the other hand, in some regions, managers and policymakers need to explore further the advantage of clustering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitive and Sustainable Manufacturing in the Age of Globalization)
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Open AccessArticle Key Determinant Derivations for Information Technology Disaster Recovery Site Selection by the Multi-Criterion Decision Making Method
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6149-6188; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056149
Received: 4 January 2015 / Revised: 22 April 2015 / Accepted: 29 April 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (956 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Disaster recovery sites are an important mechanism in continuous IT system operations. Such mechanisms can sustain IT availability and reduce business losses during natural or human-made disasters. Concerning the cost and risk aspects, the IT disaster-recovery site selection problems are multi-criterion decision making
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Disaster recovery sites are an important mechanism in continuous IT system operations. Such mechanisms can sustain IT availability and reduce business losses during natural or human-made disasters. Concerning the cost and risk aspects, the IT disaster-recovery site selection problems are multi-criterion decision making (MCDM) problems in nature. For such problems, the decision aspects include the availability of the service, recovery time requirements, service performance, and more. The importance and complexities of IT disaster recovery sites increases with advances in IT and the categories of possible disasters. The modern IT disaster recovery site selection process requires further investigation. However, very few researchers tried to study related issues during past years based on the authors’ extremely limited knowledge. Thus, this paper aims to derive the aspects and criteria for evaluating and selecting a modern IT disaster recovery site. A hybrid MCDM framework consisting of the Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) and the Analytic Network Process (ANP) will be proposed to construct the complex influence relations between aspects as well as criteria and further, derive weight associated with each aspect and criteria. The criteria with higher weight can be used for evaluating and selecting the most suitable IT disaster recovery sites. In the future, the proposed analytic framework can be used for evaluating and selecting a disaster recovery site for data centers by public institutes or private firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development)
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Open AccessArticle An Incentive-Based Solution of Sustainable Mobility for Economic Growth and CO2 Emissions Reduction
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6119-6148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056119
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 6 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
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Abstract
“Incentivized Sustainable Mobility” is a conceptual business model which involves four stakeholders: citizens, municipalities, commerce and mobility services. A platform named “ISUMO” (Incentivized Sustainable Mobility) provides technological support to this business model, integrating a set of metaservices that unifies the existing ICTs of
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“Incentivized Sustainable Mobility” is a conceptual business model which involves four stakeholders: citizens, municipalities, commerce and mobility services. A platform named “ISUMO” (Incentivized Sustainable Mobility) provides technological support to this business model, integrating a set of metaservices that unifies the existing ICTs of transportation plus a unique patented QR-based (Quick Response) low-cost charging device for electric vehicles. Essentially, the system tracks and registers citizens’ transportation activities (anonymously and voluntarily) and evaluates each through a scoring system while their ecological footprint is calculated. Afterwards, citizens are able to exchange their accumulated points for discount QR coupons, to be redeemed in the associated commerce in order to purchase their products or services. The breakthrough of this business model is that it enhances awareness of sustainable mobility practices, increasing their attractiveness as perceived by the stakeholders with diverse benefits; citizens (and indirectly, the municipalities) initiate a new consumption pattern of “coupons culture” linked to sustainable mobility, the urban economy is stimulated, and the use of mobility services grows, providing a new business opportunity regarding electric vehicles. It is expected that continuous exploration of the model and implementation will contribute to sustainable social and economic development aiming at CO2 emissions reduction, headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of the Natural Gas Industry in China Using Principal Component Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6102-6118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056102
Received: 12 January 2015 / Revised: 9 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under pressure toward carbon emission reduction and air protection, China has accelerated energy restructuring by greatly improving the supply and consumption of natural gas in recent years. However, several issues with the sustainable development of the natural gas industry in China still need
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Under pressure toward carbon emission reduction and air protection, China has accelerated energy restructuring by greatly improving the supply and consumption of natural gas in recent years. However, several issues with the sustainable development of the natural gas industry in China still need in-depth discussion. Therefore, based on the fundamental ideas of sustainable development, industrial development theories and features of the natural gas industry, a sustainable development theory is proposed in this thesis. The theory consists of five parts: resource, market, enterprise, technology and policy. The five parts, which unite for mutual connection and promotion, push the gas industry’s development forward together. Furthermore, based on the theoretical structure, the Natural Gas Industry Sustainability Index in China is established and evaluated via the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method. Finally, a conclusion is reached: that the sustainability of the natural gas industry in China kept rising from 2008 to 2013, mainly benefiting from increasing supply and demand, the enhancement of enterprise profits, technological innovation, policy support and the optimization and reformation of the gas market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle First Catch Your Fish: Designing a “Low Energy Fish” Label
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6086-6101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056086
Received: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the application of information design principles to label design for fish packaging, identifying energy implications for the product. This stage of the project has consisted of: A review and distillation of the relevant literature on information and label design; environmental
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This paper explores the application of information design principles to label design for fish packaging, identifying energy implications for the product. This stage of the project has consisted of: A review and distillation of the relevant literature on information and label design; environmental and labelling standards; and literature on consumer reaction to the design and information content of the label. Considering the design of a label requires the analysis and integration of a variety of factors while attempting to satisfy the demands of consumers and retailers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
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Open AccessArticle The Temporal and Spatial Evolution of Water Yield in Dali County
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6069-6085; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056069
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water yield is of great importance to the balance between supply and demand of water resources. The provision of freshwater for Dali is estimated and mapped in 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008, using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST)
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Water yield is of great importance to the balance between supply and demand of water resources. The provision of freshwater for Dali is estimated and mapped in 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008, using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) modeling toolset. The stability of water yield’s spatial variation is analyzed by a sorting method. The factors are explored which lead to the change in the relative water yield capacity. The yields at five points in time are compared, and the result of which shows a sharp fluctuation. The water yield curve is of a similar waveform as precipitation. An obvious and relatively stable spatial variation appears for water yield. The highest water yield areas are mainly located in the area where the elevation is high and both the elevation and the slope changes are large, and the main land uses are Shrub Land and High Coverage Grassland. The lowest areas are mainly in the eastern part of Erhai or the surrounding area. Precipitation, construction land expansion and the implementation of policy on land use are the three main factors which contribute to the change of the relative water yield capacity during 1988–2008 in Dali. In the study area, the water yield appears highly sensitive to the change in precipitation. The elasticity coefficient is calculated to illustrate the sensitivity of the water yield to the precipitation. When the elasticity index is larger, the risk of natural disaster will be higher. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Notes on the Quality of Life of Artisanal Small-Scale Fishermen along the Pacific Coast of Jalisco, México
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6046-6068; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056046
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 29 April 2015 / Accepted: 30 April 2015 / Published: 15 May 2015
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Abstract
Sustainable fishing includes the socioeconomic status of fishers. We combined empirical quality of life (QOL) and subjective lived experiences methods to explore the social sustainability of artisanal fishers in five fishery collectives along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico, where the average daily income
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Sustainable fishing includes the socioeconomic status of fishers. We combined empirical quality of life (QOL) and subjective lived experiences methods to explore the social sustainability of artisanal fishers in five fishery collectives along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico, where the average daily income is slightly above the poverty level. The QOL scores were also related to annual catch and incomes within each collective. A QOL index is used in this study that combines importance and achievement ratings scores; the results are indicative of an acceptable QOL for fishermen. The concept of lived experiences, incorporating aspects of life relating to Mind, Body, Work and People was explored through interviews with 12 fishers. The QOL data revealed that family and friends are important indicators related to positive QOL reported by the sample, while economic indicators were not important. Although four of the five collectives perceived that the future looks worse than the present and past, there was limited correlation between catch or income and QOL. However, while the lived experiences exercise in part supported the QOL findings, in that People was the most important dimension for almost all of the fishers interviewed, negative economic gaps related to poor catches and incomes were prevalent in the Mind and Work dimensions. The findings suggest that to understand the socioeconomic component of sustainable fisheries, both of these approaches should be considered, as they can illuminate different aspects of fishers’ lives that need to be considered during the development of fisheries’ management policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Gardening Wastes as a Co-Substrate for Diapers Degradation by the Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6033-6045; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056033
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 8 May 2015 / Published: 15 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste with high biomass content generated in cities in developing countries is sent to landfills or open dumps. This research aims to degrade biomass content in urban waste through cultivation, at pilot scale, of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. First, the number
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Waste with high biomass content generated in cities in developing countries is sent to landfills or open dumps. This research aims to degrade biomass content in urban waste through cultivation, at pilot scale, of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. First, the number of diapers used by one baby per week was measured with a survey in day care facilities. Then, cellulose content of diapers was assessed. Finally, cultivation of P. ostreatus was carried out using as substrate a mixture of diapers with gardening waste, a co-substrate readily available at urban settings. The factors assessed were strain of P. ostreatus (grey BPR-81, white BPR-5), conditioning of the substrate (diapers with and without plastic) and co-substrate (wheat straw, grass, and withered leaves). Results show that diapers are a valuable source of biomass, as generation of diapers with urine is 15.3 kg/child/month and they contain 50.2% by weight of cellulose. The highest reductions in dry weight and volume (>64%) of substrates was achieved with the substrate diaper without plastic and co-substrate wheat straw. Although diapers with plastic and grass and leaves showed lower degradation, they achieved efficiencies that make them suitable as a co-substrate (>40%), considering that their biomass is currently confined in landfills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Traceability the New Eco-Label in the Slow-Fashion Industry?—Consumer Perceptions and Micro-Organisations Responses
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6011-6032; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7056011
Received: 14 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 15 May 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on eco-labels from the point of view of consumers and experts/owner-managers of micro-organisations. The analysis maps the 15 most common standardisations within the UK’s fashion industry and elaborates on their commonalities and differences, before exploring the perceptions held by both
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This article focuses on eco-labels from the point of view of consumers and experts/owner-managers of micro-organisations. The analysis maps the 15 most common standardisations within the UK’s fashion industry and elaborates on their commonalities and differences, before exploring the perceptions held by both consumers and micro-companies. This paper presents preliminary findings of a wider research project with emphasis on the potential for future research and marketing implications. The study is interpretative in nature and provides detailed results that contribute to an understudied area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
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