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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2016)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/su8010020
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (164 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) is a quickly growing research field. This Special Issue contains a selection of papers advancing the field or showing innovative applications. The first seven papers are geographic WFA studies, from an urban to a continental scale; the next five
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Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) is a quickly growing research field. This Special Issue contains a selection of papers advancing the field or showing innovative applications. The first seven papers are geographic WFA studies, from an urban to a continental scale; the next five papers have a global scope; the final five papers focus on water sustainability from the business point of view. The collection of papers shows that the historical picture of a town relying on its hinterland for its supply of water and food is no longer true: the water footprint of urban consumers is global. It has become clear that wise water governance is no longer the exclusive domain of government, even though water is and will remain a public resource with government in a primary role. With most water being used for producing our food and other consumer goods, and with product supply chains becoming increasingly complex and global, there is a growing awareness that consumers, companies and investors also have a key role. The interest in sustainable water use grows quickly, in both civil society and business communities, but the poor state of transparency of companies regarding their direct and indirect water use implies that there is still a long way to go before we can expect that companies effectively contribute to making water footprints more sustainable at a relevant scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessEditorial Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 75; doi:10.3390/su8010075
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As one of the biggest issues facing today’s global society, sustainability cuts across all areas of production and consumption and presents challenges for marketers who attempt to understand and incorporate sustainability in their everyday practices [1–3]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sustainability in 2015
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 103; doi:10.3390/su8010103
Received: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The editors of Sustainability would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Comparative Influences of Precipitation and River Stage on Groundwater Levels in Near-River Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/su8010001
Received: 7 July 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainable performance of foundations of various urban buildings and infrastructures is strongly affected by groundwater level (GWL), as GWL causes changes in the stress state within soil. In the present study, the components affecting GWL were investigated, focusing on the effects of
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The sustainable performance of foundations of various urban buildings and infrastructures is strongly affected by groundwater level (GWL), as GWL causes changes in the stress state within soil. In the present study, the components affecting GWL were investigated, focusing on the effects of precipitation and river stage. These components were analyzed using a six-year database established for hydrological and groundwater monitoring data. Five study regions for which daily measured precipitation, river stage, and GWL data were available were compared. Different periods of precipitation, geographical characteristics, and local surface conditions were considered in the analysis. The results indicated that key influence components on GWL are different depending on the hydrological, geological, and geographical characteristics of the target regions. River stage had the strongest influence on GWL in urban areas near large rivers with a high ratio of paved surface. In rural areas, where the paved surface area ratio and soil permeability were low, the moving average showed a closer correlation to GWL than river stage. A moving average-based method to predict GWL variation with time was proposed for regions with a low ratio of paved surface area and low permeability soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Interdependence and Cooperative Behaviors on Buyer’s Satisfaction in the Semiconductor Component Supply Chain
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/su8010002
Received: 8 August 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The semiconductor industry is characterized by extreme competition in price and product features. Firms need to acquire or exchange resources with their supplier or buyer partners to stay at the leading edge of technology. Cooperation between buyers and suppliers is important and power
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The semiconductor industry is characterized by extreme competition in price and product features. Firms need to acquire or exchange resources with their supplier or buyer partners to stay at the leading edge of technology. Cooperation between buyers and suppliers is important and power is the mechanism that can explain the cooperative behaviors. This study aims to investigate how the power structure between the buyer and supplier influences the extent of suppliers’ cooperative behaviors, and the effects of these on buyer satisfaction with the buyer-supplier relationship. Opinions from firms in semiconductor manufacturing supply chain were used to investigate the proposed model. It is found that mutual interdependence between a supplier and its buyer can enhance cooperative behaviors and power asymmetry hurt firms’ investment in cooperative behaviors. Suggestions are then provided to semiconductor supply chain members based on the findings of this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Innovative Carbon Allowance Allocation Policy for the Shenzhen Emission Trading Scheme in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/su8010003
Received: 13 September 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The initial allocation of tradable carbon emission allowances is among the most contentious issues in developing an emission trading scheme (ETS). China faces serious dilemmas of system complexity and information incompleteness and asymmetry in allocating carbon allowance among enterprises. As one of the
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The initial allocation of tradable carbon emission allowances is among the most contentious issues in developing an emission trading scheme (ETS). China faces serious dilemmas of system complexity and information incompleteness and asymmetry in allocating carbon allowance among enterprises. As one of the pilot ETS regions, Shenzhen has launched the first regional cap-and-trade ETS (SZ ETS) in China. Adhering to the overall plan and classification analysis, SZ ETS intends to solve the aforementioned dilemmas by developing innovative allowance allocation policies. A fundamental principle is to allocate allowances based on carbon intensity and actual output, according to which a two-step allocation procedure is constructed. A competitive game mechanism is introduced for allowance allocation among manufacturing enterprises. Empirical results indicate the following: (1) Carbon allowance allocation based on carbon intensity and actual output can mitigate carbon emission growth by reducing CO2 emitted per unit output, and, thus, buffer the shocks of unexpected economic fluctuations to ETS stability; (2) Competitive game allocation may contribute to improving the use of scattered information to enhance the efficiency of information and emission resource allocation. Exploring SZ ETS may provide a reference for formulating future national carbon allowance allocation policies in China and other developing regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Implications of Frugal Innovations on Sustainable Development: Evaluating Water and Energy Innovations
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/su8010004
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Frugal innovations are often associated with sustainable development. These connections, however, are based on anecdotal assumptions rather than empirical evidence. This article evaluates the sustainability of four frugal innovations from water and energy sectors. For the purposes of the evaluation, a set of
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Frugal innovations are often associated with sustainable development. These connections, however, are based on anecdotal assumptions rather than empirical evidence. This article evaluates the sustainability of four frugal innovations from water and energy sectors. For the purposes of the evaluation, a set of indicators was developed. Indicators are drawn from sustainable development goals by the United Nations and they encompass central dimensions of sustainability: ecological, social and economic. In this article, frugal innovations are compared to solutions that are currently used in similar low-income contexts. Studied frugal innovations were found more sustainable in terms of energy production and water purification capacity than the existing solutions. In terms of social sustainability, larger differences between innovations were found. For example, business models of frugal energy solutions focus on capacity building and the inclusion of marginalized low-income people, whereas business models of water purification solutions focus on more traditional corporate social responsibility activities, such as marketing awareness campaigns and cooperation with non-governmental organizations. Three major sustainability challenges for frugal innovators were identified: (1) the proper integration of material efficiency into product or service systems; (2) the patient promotion of inclusive employment; and (3) the promotion of inclusive and sustainable local industrialization. The article concludes that despite indisputable similarities between frugality and sustainability, it is problematic to equate the two conceptually. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of Manufacturing Sustainability Assessment Using Systems Thinking
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/su8010005
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 20 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The existing body of knowledge in sustainability assessment of manufacturing indicates that although extensive research is going on, significant shortcomings remain unsolved. In this paper, the specific needs of a new sustainability assessment system are discussed. Systems thinking is suggested as an alternative
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The existing body of knowledge in sustainability assessment of manufacturing indicates that although extensive research is going on, significant shortcomings remain unsolved. In this paper, the specific needs of a new sustainability assessment system are discussed. Systems thinking is suggested as an alternative to the reductionist approach which is commonly applied to sustainability assessment. Although previous research has recognized the potential of systems thinking applied to sustainability assessment, few practical examples have been demonstrated. Therefore, this article focuses on a practical application of systems thinking to the development of a sustainability assessment system of a manufacturing organization. A framework for development is proposed employing systems thinking. It is suggested that systems thinking reveals several aspects usually not addressed by the reductionist approaches. It is demonstrated that a combination of tools like analysis of multiple viewpoints, conceptagon, seven samurai, and model-based systems engineering can enhance a development of a suitable assessment systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Motivating Action through Fostering Climate Change Hope and Concern and Avoiding Despair among Adolescents
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/su8010006
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efforts to build climate change concern seem warranted to overcome apathy and promote action. However, research suggests that these efforts can backfire by breeding despair, denial and inaction. This may be especially true among younger audiences, as despair is highest among those who
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Efforts to build climate change concern seem warranted to overcome apathy and promote action. However, research suggests that these efforts can backfire by breeding despair, denial and inaction. This may be especially true among younger audiences, as despair is highest among those who view climate challenges as out of their control, and children generally have lower perceived and actual control than adults in political and personal arenas. Though many studies have documented feelings of despair and sadness among younger audiences, few have explored how climate change hope may counteract despair and encourage productive responses to climate change concern. This study examined how climate change hope, despair, and concern predict pro-environmental behavior with a quantitative survey of a random sample of middle school students in North Carolina, USA (n = 1486). We did not find an interaction between climate change hope and concern or despair, but instead found climate change hope and concern independently and positively related to behavior and despair negatively related to behavior. These results suggest that climate change concern among K-12 audiences may be an important antecedent to behavior which does not dampen the positive impacts of hope. Further, rather than mitigating the negative effects of climate change despair, hope may be an independent predecessor to behavior. Students at Title I (a measure of low socioeconomic status) schools were less likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviors, suggesting climate literacy efforts should target schools with lower levels of socioeconomic status specifically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Research on Consumers’ Use Willingness and Opinions of Electric Vehicle Sharing: An Empirical Study in Shanghai
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/su8010007
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 2 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An empirical study in Shanghai was performed to explore consumers’ use willingness and opinions on electric vehicle sharing (EVS) to help operators effectively operate and expand the new business model. Through the multinomial logistic regression developed for different groups, the results show that
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An empirical study in Shanghai was performed to explore consumers’ use willingness and opinions on electric vehicle sharing (EVS) to help operators effectively operate and expand the new business model. Through the multinomial logistic regression developed for different groups, the results show that the factors of the main trip mode in daily use, monthly transportation expenditure, driving range of electric vehicles, gender, age, marital status and occupation have significant influences on consumers’ use willingness. In short, the population characteristics of people choosing to use EVS are male, aged between 18 and 30 and usually taking the subway and bus as the daily transportation modes. Otherwise, the factors of the acceptable highest price of EVS, occupation and personal monthly income have significant impacts on the use willingness of people who keep a neutral stance. These people pay more attention to convenience and the economy of EVS. These results reveal that a reasonable price, accurate positioning of target groups, convenient site layout and usage are required for operators to successfully launch a new transportation mode of EVS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Did the Establishment of Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone Increase Agricultural Labor Productivity in Jiangxi Province, China?
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/su8010008
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we take the establishment of Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone in 2009 as a quasi-natural experiment, to evaluate its influence on the agricultural labor productivity in Jiangxi Province, China. The estimation results of the DID method show that the establishment of
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In this paper, we take the establishment of Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone in 2009 as a quasi-natural experiment, to evaluate its influence on the agricultural labor productivity in Jiangxi Province, China. The estimation results of the DID method show that the establishment of the zone reduced agricultural labor productivity by 3.1%, lowering farmers’ net income by 2.5% and reducing the agricultural GDP by 3.6%. Furthermore, this negative effect has increased year after year since 2009. However, the heterogeneity analysis implies that the agricultural labor productivities of all cities in Jiangxi Province will ultimately converge. We find that the lack of agricultural R&D activities and the abuse of chemical fertilizers may be the main reasons behind the negative influence of the policy, by examining two possible transmission channels—the R&D investment and technological substitution. Corresponding policy implications are also provided. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Efficient Graph-based Method for Long-term Land-use Change Statistics
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/su8010009
Received: 13 September 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
PDF Full-text (2834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Statistical analysis of land-use change plays an important role in sustainable land management and has received increasing attention from scholars and administrative departments. However, the statistical process involving spatial overlay analysis remains difficult and needs improvement to deal with mass land-use data. In
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Statistical analysis of land-use change plays an important role in sustainable land management and has received increasing attention from scholars and administrative departments. However, the statistical process involving spatial overlay analysis remains difficult and needs improvement to deal with mass land-use data. In this paper, we introduce a spatio-temporal flow network model to reveal the hidden relational information among spatio-temporal entities. Based on graph theory, the constant condition of saturated multi-commodity flow is derived. A new method based on a network partition technique of spatio-temporal flow network are proposed to optimize the transition statistical process. The effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method is verified through experiments using land-use data in Hunan from 2009 to 2014. In the comparison among three different land-use change statistical methods, the proposed method exhibits remarkable superiority in efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Informatics in Resource Management & Sustainable Ecosystem)
Open AccessArticle The Anthropocenic Turn: Theorizing Sustainability in a Postnatural Age
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/su8010010
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
So long as sustainability represents the attempt to pacify the relationship between societies and their natural environments, the concept must remain attentive to any findings about the character of such relation. In this regard, the rise of the Anthropocene cannot be ignored by
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So long as sustainability represents the attempt to pacify the relationship between societies and their natural environments, the concept must remain attentive to any findings about the character of such relation. In this regard, the rise of the Anthropocene cannot be ignored by environmental sociologists if a realistic understanding of sustainability is to be produced. The Anthropocene is a scientific notion, grounded on geology and Earth-system science, that plausibly suggests that human beings have colonized nature in a degree that has irreversibly altered the functioning of planetary systems. As a result, social and natural systems have become “coupled”. This paper tries to elucidate the consequences that an “Anthropocenic turn” would have for sustainability studies. To such end, it will explore the related notions of hybridity and relational agency as key aspects of a renewed view of nature. Correspondingly, it argues that cultivated capital (rather than natural or manmade) must be the most important unit for measuring sustainability and devising sustainable policies in a postnatural age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
Open AccessArticle A Life Cycle Assessment of Silica Sand: Comparing the Beneficiation Processes
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/su8010011
Received: 18 September 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
PDF Full-text (826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Silica sand or quartz sand is a mineral resource with a wide variety of application; glass industry, construction and foundry are the most common examples thereof. The Republic of Croatia has reserves of 40 million tons of silica sand and a long tradition
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Silica sand or quartz sand is a mineral resource with a wide variety of application; glass industry, construction and foundry are the most common examples thereof. The Republic of Croatia has reserves of 40 million tons of silica sand and a long tradition of surface mining and processing. The average annual production of raw silica sand in Croatia in the period from 2006 to 2011 amounted to 150 thousand tons. This paper presents cradle to gate LCA results of three different types of beneficiation techniques: electrostatic separation; flotation; gravity concentration. The aim of this research is to identify and quantify the environmental impacts of the silica sand production, to learn the range of the impacts for different processing methods, as well as to identify the major contributors and focus for further process design development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring Heterogeneous Preference for Farmland Non-market Values in Wuhan, Central China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/su8010012
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (970 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research question for this study is estimating the public’s willingness to pay for the public goods generated by farmland, and exploring respondents’ heterogeneity in their preferences for these goods. The approach used is a choice experiment, using respondents from the city of
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The research question for this study is estimating the public’s willingness to pay for the public goods generated by farmland, and exploring respondents’ heterogeneity in their preferences for these goods. The approach used is a choice experiment, using respondents from the city of Wuhan, China. Six attributes representing public good values (farmland area, farmland fertility, water quality, air quality, species richness, and recreational value) and the level of private cost are selected in this study. A heteroscedastic conditional logit model is used to analyze the respondents’ willingness to pay for improvements in these public goods, accounting for systematic heterogeneity in public preferences. The results show the public are willing to pay to preserve the non-market values generated by farmland, with air quality valued most and followed by farmland fertility, farmland area, water quality, species richness and recreational value. In addition, respondents with higher income, and who are aware of the non-market values of farmland and have a willingness to pay for it have a smaller error variance, i.e., these respondents are more consistent in their choices. This study may help decision makers improving more differentiated farmland protection policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Street Lighting Design Supported by Hypergraph-Based Computational Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/su8010013
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Street lighting systems are significant energy consumers in urban environments. The important step toward the reduction of this energy consumption and, thus, finding a balance between functional requirements and savings-related demands, was introducing LED-based light sources. There still exists, however, a margin for
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Street lighting systems are significant energy consumers in urban environments. The important step toward the reduction of this energy consumption and, thus, finding a balance between functional requirements and savings-related demands, was introducing LED-based light sources. There still exists, however, a margin for further savings, which is associated with well-tailored designs of road lighting installations. The critical impediment that has to be overcame beforehand is the computational complexity related to preparing such a well-suited design. To make this approach feasible, we propose using the formal graph-based model, enabling efficient heuristic computations. In this article, we demonstrate several real-life cases showing a coarse estimation of potential savings in terms of reduced CO2 emission. The presented results are expressed in kWh of saved energy, metric tones of CO2 , but also as a volume of combusted fuels, to make the assessment more tangible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle An Index to Measure Sustainability of a Business Project in the Construction Industry: Lithuanian Case
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 14; doi:10.3390/su8010014
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The continuous growth of the world population, resource scarcity and the threat of climate change pose numerous environmental and social problems to the world. Therefore, much hope is put in the concept of sustainability. Companies are increasingly coming under strong global pressure to
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The continuous growth of the world population, resource scarcity and the threat of climate change pose numerous environmental and social problems to the world. Therefore, much hope is put in the concept of sustainability. Companies are increasingly coming under strong global pressure to incorporate sustainability considerations into their project decision-making process. Business projects in the construction industry are among the most important, as this sector is one of the largest sectors and of major importance for the national economy and therefore has a huge impact on the environment and society. Thus, we have to explore ways to integrate sustainability into the management of those projects. This paper presents a composite sustainability index of a project (CSIP) which has been created following a review of existing literature and a pilot research study. A pilot research study was conducted in the Lithuanian construction industry between January 2015 and June 2015. Sustainability criteria were chosen and grouped on the basis of the analysis of the literature and different standards relating to sustainability applicable in the construction industry. A survey was used to select and rank the most important sustainability criteria. The index was constructed using multi-criteria decision-making methods. The results of the pilot study revealed that practitioners in the Lithuanian construction sector attach most importance to 15 sustainability criteria. A composite sustainability index of a project combining all these criteria may be useful in assessing the sustainability of a business project and making decisions regarding project portfolio selection and financial resource allocation. When addressing the issue of financial resource allocation in a project portfolio, the decision-maker could take into account not only the project’s return and risk, but also its sustainability. The understanding of this study should enable companies to execute sustainable projects, which could make a contribution to the sustainable development of organizations and thereby increase their competitive advantage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Evolution of River–Lake and Urban Compound Systems: A Case Study in Wuhan, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 15; doi:10.3390/su8010015
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The process of urbanization takes up a lot of wetlands, profoundly changing the natural connection of surrounding river–lake systems, all the while causing serious damage to the environment of connected catchments. Urban systems and river–lake systems are not isolated and static, there is
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The process of urbanization takes up a lot of wetlands, profoundly changing the natural connection of surrounding river–lake systems, all the while causing serious damage to the environment of connected catchments. Urban systems and river–lake systems are not isolated and static, there is a relation between them which is constantly changing. Based on the idea of system research, the urban system is simplified into four subsystems: environment, infrastructure, social, and economic. These four components interact together, influencing the river–lake system to form a compound system. This paper aims to reflect the features and evolution laws of the compound system, by building a Collaborative Development Model to study the changing of the compound system in Wuhan, China over a 10-year period. The results show that by implementing the Donghu Lake Ecological River Network Engineering Project, the damaged river–lake system in Wuhan showed some improvement. However, in order to improve the sustainability of the compound system in Wuhan, the status of the river–lake system, social system and environment system, which are still comparatively substandard, should be constantly improved. The Collaborative Development Model could also be used in other cities and regions, to provide the basis for sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urban Land Expansion and Sustainable Land Use Policy in Shenzhen: A Case Study of China’s Rapid Urbanization
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 16; doi:10.3390/su8010016
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shenzhen is a city that is highly representative of China’s rapid urbanization process. As the city rapidly expands, there are enormous challenges to the sustainable use of land resources. This paper introduces the evolution of urban land expansion and the sustainable land use
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Shenzhen is a city that is highly representative of China’s rapid urbanization process. As the city rapidly expands, there are enormous challenges to the sustainable use of land resources. This paper introduces the evolution of urban land expansion and the sustainable land use policy of the Shenzhen Government since 2005. The policy covers the reduction in rural-to-urban land conversion, the delineation of urban growth boundaries, arable land reclamation and the establishment of farmland protection areas, urban redevelopment, and the investigation and prosecution of illegal construction. This paper considers the aspects of urbanization and land management systems that are unique to China. The current top-down indicative and mandatory mode of control, which relies on the central government, has very limited effects. Good results were achieved in Shenzhen for the following elements: governmental self-restraint, governmental identity change, and policy innovation. Shenzhen’s sustainable land use practices can provide a reference for other cities in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle A New Systematic Approach to Vulnerability Assessment of Innovation Capability of Construction Enterprises
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/su8010017
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to study the vulnerability of construction enterprises’ innovation capabilities (CEIC) and their respective primary influencing factors. This paper proposed a vulnerability system framework of CEIC, designed two comprehensive assessments for analysis, namely the entropy and set pair
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The purpose of this research is to study the vulnerability of construction enterprises’ innovation capabilities (CEIC) and their respective primary influencing factors. This paper proposed a vulnerability system framework of CEIC, designed two comprehensive assessments for analysis, namely the entropy and set pair analysis method (E-SPA) and the principle cluster analysis and SPA method (P-SPA), and compared grades to verify the vulnerability assessments. Further, the paper quantitatively assessed the major influencing factors in facilitating management, reducing vulnerability, and improving the ability of construction enterprises to respond to changes in the construction industry. The results showed that vulnerability could be effectively and systematically evaluated using E-SPA. However, managing or reducing entrepreneurial sensitivity and improving the ability to respond was critical to supporting sustainable CEIC. The case studies included in this paper suggested that in ensuring sustainable CEIC, companies should concentrate on highly educated human resources, R&D investments, intellectual property related innovations, and government support. This research provided a practical framework and established a sustainable strategy for companies to manage their vulnerability in developing innovation capability. In addition, this research presented an innovative and effective way to quantitatively analyze vulnerability which offered a foundation to signify a new paradigm shift in construction sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Stand-Alone Solar Organic Rankine Cycle Water Pumping System and Its Economic Viability in Nepal
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/su8010018
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current study presents the concept of a stand-alone solar organic Rankine cycle (ORC) water pumping system for rural Nepalese areas. Experimental results for this technology are presented based on a prototype. The economic viability of the system was assessed based on solar
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The current study presents the concept of a stand-alone solar organic Rankine cycle (ORC) water pumping system for rural Nepalese areas. Experimental results for this technology are presented based on a prototype. The economic viability of the system was assessed based on solar radiation data of different Nepalese geographic locations. The mechanical power produced by the solar ORC is coupled with a water pumping system for various applications, such as drinking and irrigation. The thermal efficiency of the system was found to be 8% with an operating temperature of 120 °C. The hot water produced by the unit has a temperature of 40 °C. Economic assessment was done for 1-kW and 5-kW solar ORC water pumping systems. These systems use different types of solar collectors: a parabolic trough collector (PTC) and an evacuated tube collector (ETC). The economic analysis showed that the costs of water are $2.47/m3 (highest) and $1.86/m3 (lowest) for the 1-kW system and a 150-m pumping head. In addition, the cost of water is reduced when the size of the system is increased and the pumping head is reduced. The minimum volumes of water pumped are 2190 m3 and 11,100 m3 yearly for 1 kW and 5 kW, respectively. The payback period is eight years with a profitability index of 1.6. The system is highly feasible and promising in the context of Nepal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Aspects of Social Responsibility of Public Sector Organizations
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 19; doi:10.3390/su8010019
Received: 2 October 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
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Abstract
In addition to determining social responsibility policies that affect the market and social actors, certain governments also set objectives related to their internal activity. For example, one of the activities of the German government is to implement the concept of social responsibility into
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In addition to determining social responsibility policies that affect the market and social actors, certain governments also set objectives related to their internal activity. For example, one of the activities of the German government is to implement the concept of social responsibility into public institutions. In the Netherlands, one of the government tasks is to set an example for responsible practices (government as a role model). The aim of this paper is to examine firstly whether public sector entities set an example for responsible practices, especially with regard to respect for the environment, and secondly, whether public sector organizations in Poland significantly differ from organizations abroad in terms of their practices in the field of environmental protection. A questionnaire was a basis for data collection. The questionnaires were distributed to representatives of deliberately selected public sector organizations located primarily in Europe. The study was conducted in 2012–2013 on a group of 220 public sector organizations (102 Polish and 118 other European). The paper presents only the selected part of research. Public sector organizations in Poland do not have internal mechanisms of environmental responsibility. There is a significant discrepancy between the state of the environmental responsibility of organizations located in Poland and abroad. Obtained results show that public sector organizations, those in Poland in particular, are making their first steps in developing internal environmental responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Quantifying Urban Fragmentation under Economic Transition in Shanghai City, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 21; doi:10.3390/su8010021
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban fragmentation affects sustainability through multiple impacts on economic, social, and environmental cost. Characterizing the dynamics of urban fragmentation in relation to economic transition should provide implications for sustainability. However, rather few efforts have been made in this issue. Using the case of
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Urban fragmentation affects sustainability through multiple impacts on economic, social, and environmental cost. Characterizing the dynamics of urban fragmentation in relation to economic transition should provide implications for sustainability. However, rather few efforts have been made in this issue. Using the case of Shanghai (China), this paper quantifies urban fragmentation in relation to economic transition. In particular, urban fragmentation is quantified by a time-series of remotely sensed images and a set of landscape metrics; and economic transition is described by a set of indicators from three aspects (globalization, decentralization, and marketization). Results show that urban fragmentation presents an increasing linear trend. Multivariate regression identifies positive linear correlation between urban fragmentation and economic transition. More specifically, the relative influence is different for the three components of economic transition. The relative influence of decentralization is stronger than that of globalization and marketization. The joint influences of decentralization and globalization are the strongest for urban fragmentation. The demonstrated methodology can be applicable to other places after making suitable adjustment of the economic transition indicators and fragmentation metrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Influence of the Stability Factors of PV/T-SAHP on the Performance of the System
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 22; doi:10.3390/su8010022
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 26 December 2015
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Abstract
The integrated photovoltaic/thermal collector (PV/T) with solar assisted heat pump (SAHP) often operates under an undesigned condition. Against the backdrop of heat pump system oscillation resulting from the mismatching between collectors area and compressor capacity, this work explores the dynamic performance of heat
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The integrated photovoltaic/thermal collector (PV/T) with solar assisted heat pump (SAHP) often operates under an undesigned condition. Against the backdrop of heat pump system oscillation resulting from the mismatching between collectors area and compressor capacity, this work explores the dynamic performance of heat pump system at a fixed compressor frequency when the condensing water temperature and electronic expansion valve (EEV) opening are variable or invariable. We also consider why the system is unstable and propose the theory of SAHP system stability. Also, a preliminary performance analysis is made on SAHP system that is respectively influenced by an inverter compressor and EEV. The MSS(Minimum Stable Signal) line theory is proposed to account for system unstabilty in the research of the match between EEV and evaporators, that is to say, the critical problem of keep the system stability is to find out how evaporators superheat under the circumstance of specified loads and its corresponding EEV opening, in other words, to find the MSS line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle The Reporting and Sustainable Business Marketing
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 23; doi:10.3390/su8010023
Received: 19 September 2015 / Revised: 11 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
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Abstract
Companies have to communicate to be noticed on the market, to promote their services and products, and to give assurances that they are a credible partner in the relationship with stakeholders. In this article, starting from the importance of marketing communication in business,
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Companies have to communicate to be noticed on the market, to promote their services and products, and to give assurances that they are a credible partner in the relationship with stakeholders. In this article, starting from the importance of marketing communication in business, an index of sustainability communication was created for the companies listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange for the period 2008–2009, during the financial crisis, seeking to show the awareness of the difficult moment and the use of communication. Then, based on the relevance of accounting information model, we study the relationship between the index of sustainability communication and the share price, basically its influence on the future performance of the company. The regression analysis emphasizes the positive influence of the index of sustainability communication on the share price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Environmental Consciousness in Daily Activities Measured by Negative Prompts
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 24; doi:10.3390/su8010024
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 26 December 2015
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Abstract
The gap between people’s attitude and action as regards environmental issues has been pointed out even while surveys registered an increase in people’s environmental awareness. Among the possible reasons is that people tend to automatically answer “yes”, as most surveys on environmental consciousness
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The gap between people’s attitude and action as regards environmental issues has been pointed out even while surveys registered an increase in people’s environmental awareness. Among the possible reasons is that people tend to automatically answer “yes”, as most surveys on environmental consciousness use positively-phrased questions or prompts. To remove the “yes-bias” in previous surveys, this present study conducted in Japan a large-scale questionnaire survey on environmental consciousness using negative prompts and free-answered prompts on which behaviors people feel good/bad/uncertain for the environment. This study also investigated peoples’ psychological factors and concrete pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) in daily life. The results of the questionnaire with negative prompts showed that the rate of people’s consciousness to the environment was lower compared with other surveys. Through factor analysis, five psychological factors were extracted as the explanatory factors of environmental attitude. Demographic effects on the consciousness and PEBs were also observed. Comparison of free-answers on concrete daily behaviors among five different environmentally conscious groups showed there were certain phases in the perception of PEBs based on consciousness level. Similar common behaviors were highly ranked as both PEB and doubtful behaviors, indicating that people were worried about actions that involve a trade-off relationship from diversified standpoints. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Social Media for Emergency Response and Urban Sustainability: A Case Study of the 2012 Beijing Rainstorm
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 25; doi:10.3390/su8010025
Received: 3 October 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 28 December 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (13963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the proliferation of social media, information generated and disseminated from these outlets has become an important part of our everyday lives. For example, this type of information has great potential for effectively distributing political messages, hazard alerts, or messages of other social
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With the proliferation of social media, information generated and disseminated from these outlets has become an important part of our everyday lives. For example, this type of information has great potential for effectively distributing political messages, hazard alerts, or messages of other social functions. In this work, we report a case study of the 2012 Beijing Rainstorm to investigate how emergency information was timely distributed using social media during emergency events. We present a classification and location model for social media text streams during emergency events. This model classifies social media text streams based on their topical contents. Integrated with a trend analysis, we show how Sina-Weibo fluctuated during emergency events. Using a spatial statistical analysis method, we found that the distribution patterns of Sina-Weibo were related to the emergency events but varied among different topics. This study helps us to better understand emergency events so that decision-makers can act on emergencies in a timely manner. In addition, this paper presents the tools, methods, and models developed in this study that can be used to work with text streams from social media in the context of disaster management and urban sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Informatics in Resource Management & Sustainable Ecosystem)
Open AccessArticle The Optimization of Cyclic Links of Live Pig-Industry Chain Based on Circular Economics
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/su8010026
Received: 8 October 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 28 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To reduce waste and wastewater pollution and to improve the utilization rate of resources in the pig-industry chain, a circular economy of the chain can be developed. The key to constructing the circular economic system of the pig-industry chain is to determine the
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To reduce waste and wastewater pollution and to improve the utilization rate of resources in the pig-industry chain, a circular economy of the chain can be developed. The key to constructing the circular economic system of the pig-industry chain is to determine the path of the cyclic materials and to design reasonable waste- and wastewater-treatment capacities. This paper focuses on the treatment and recycling of wastewater in the pig-industry chain and the treatment and recycling of waste into manure and feed. After giving the two circular paths, the paper proposes a multi-objective uncertainty-optimization model for the cyclic links of the pig-industry chain with the highest resource-reuse efficiency and the lowest construction cost based on the uncertainty of market demand. Using a combination of the neural network and genetic algorithm method for designing the solution process for the model, the paper finally introduces the determination methods of relevant parameters and verifies the feasibility and effectiveness of the model through a case study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle “Team Play” between Renewable Energy Sources and Vehicle Fleet to Decrease Air Pollution
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 27; doi:10.3390/su8010027
Received: 12 October 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 23 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3971 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reduction of air pollutants for the purpose of maintaining or improving air quality across the globe is a fundamental concern to which all modern governments are allocating varying amounts of attention and resources. The successful amelioration of air pollution requires strategic investments
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The reduction of air pollutants for the purpose of maintaining or improving air quality across the globe is a fundamental concern to which all modern governments are allocating varying amounts of attention and resources. The successful amelioration of air pollution requires strategic investments in the commercialization and adoption of “clean energy technologies” by both private and public entities, the conversion of contemporary houses to “smart houses”, the diffusion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) including photovoltaic systems (PV), wind farms, and different forms of bioenergy, and the integration of electric-powered vehicles. In concert with these ideas, this paper aims to discuss the possibility of undertaking a feasibility study in two countries Canada and Italy concerning the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) and electric motorcycles (EMs). The proposed feasibility study would seek to assess the prospect of replacing the current vehicle fleets in these two countries with EVs in a manner that utilizes renewable energy sources and, thus, does not generate new toxic emissions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that a pronounced introduction and distribution of RES, EVs, and EMs can operate as a great opportunity for both the environment and the capacities and needs of energy production. Today, the EV is not widespread. With this contribution, it is shown how EVs can be well integrated with renewable energy. Therefore, it is the duty of governments to implement policy strategies, in order to spread them across more territory. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimal Path for Controlling Sectoral CO2 Emissions Among China’s Regions: A Centralized DEA Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 28; doi:10.3390/su8010028
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 6 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
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Abstract
This paper proposes a centralized data envelopment analysis (DEA) model for industrial optimization based on several different production technologies among several regions. We developed this model based on improved Kuosmanen environmental DEA technology, which avoids positive shadow price on undesirable outputs. We also
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This paper proposes a centralized data envelopment analysis (DEA) model for industrial optimization based on several different production technologies among several regions. We developed this model based on improved Kuosmanen environmental DEA technology, which avoids positive shadow price on undesirable outputs. We also designed a dual model for our centralized DEA model, and used it to analyze shadow prices on CO2 emissions. We further employed the proposed model to determine the optimal path for controlling CO2 emissions at the sector level for each province in China. At sectoral level, manufacturing showed the highest potential emissions reduction, and transportation was the largest accepter of emission quotas. At regional level, western and northeastern areas faced the largest adjustments in allowable emissions, while central and eastern areas required the least amount of adjustment. Because our model represents increase or decrease in emissions bidirectionally in terms of shadow price analysis, this setting makes the shadow price on CO2 emissions lower than strong regulation (decreasing CO2 emissions along with increasing value added) used by directional distance function (DDF). Full article
Open AccessArticle Improved Performance of Connected Foundations for Resilient Energy Transmission Infrastructure in Soft Soils
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 30; doi:10.3390/su8010030
Received: 9 September 2015 / Revised: 12 October 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
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Abstract
The connected foundation is an effective structural type of foundation that can improve the sustainability of electrical transmission towers in soft soils to serve as a resilient energy supply system. In this study, the performance of electrical transmission towers reinforced with connected beams
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The connected foundation is an effective structural type of foundation that can improve the sustainability of electrical transmission towers in soft soils to serve as a resilient energy supply system. In this study, the performance of electrical transmission towers reinforced with connected beams was investigated using a series of field load tests. Model transmission tower structures were manufactured and adopted into the tests. Based on the load capacity mobilization and failure mechanism, a criterion to define the load carrying capacity for connected foundation was proposed. It was found that the performance of connected foundation varies with the mechanical property of connection beam. The load capacity and differential settlement increased and decreased, respectively, with increasing connection beam stiffness. Such effect of connection beam was more pronounced as the height of load application point or tower height (zh) increases. Based on the load test results, a design model was proposed that can be used to evaluate the sustainable performance and load carrying capacity of connected foundations. Field load tests with prototype transmission tower structure models were conducted to check and confirm the performance of connected foundation and the proposed design method. Full article
Open AccessArticle Enhancing Economic Sustainability by Markdown Money Supply Contracts in the Fashion Industry: China vs U.S.A.
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 31; doi:10.3390/su8010031
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supply chain contracts, such as the markdown money policy (MMP), are commonly adopted in the fashion industry. In this paper, we explore how fashion companies can use MMP to enhance economic sustainability from the cross-cultural perspective. We conduct case studies on two fashion
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Supply chain contracts, such as the markdown money policy (MMP), are commonly adopted in the fashion industry. In this paper, we explore how fashion companies can use MMP to enhance economic sustainability from the cross-cultural perspective. We conduct case studies on two fashion firms (suppliers), one from China and one from U.S.A., that are adopting MMP in their respective supply chains. Via semi-structured interviews with staff members and some public data searching of the target companies, we find that the cultural factors, such as power distance and collectivism/individualism, affect contract selection, contract management, supplier–retailer leadership, and supplier–retailer relationship. We use the Hofstede’s national cultural dimensions theory to explain our insights. Specifically, in China, a country with a relatively high degree of power distance and collectivism, the companies tend to care more about the group interest and loyalty. The Chinese fashion companies are more willing to play the leading role in managing the relationships with their retailers, and offer MMP to them. In the U.S.A., a country with a relatively low degree of power distance and individualism, the companies are more likely to emphasize their own interest in trading. In fact, we find that American fashion suppliers tend to bargain with their retailers, and they are less willing to proactively provide the markdown money as a sponsor. Finally, managerial implications are provided, and several future challenges on MMP are examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Fifty-Year Sustainability Assessment of Italian Agro-Forest Districts
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 32; doi:10.3390/su8010032
Received: 14 November 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3709 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As cropland management and land use shifted towards more intensive practices, global land degradation increased drastically. Understanding relationships between ecological and socioeconomic drivers of soil and landscape degradation within these landscapes in economically dynamic contexts such as the Mediterranean region, requires multi-target and
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As cropland management and land use shifted towards more intensive practices, global land degradation increased drastically. Understanding relationships between ecological and socioeconomic drivers of soil and landscape degradation within these landscapes in economically dynamic contexts such as the Mediterranean region, requires multi-target and multi-scalar approaches covering long-term periods. This study provides an original approach for identifying desertification risk drivers and sustainable land management strategies within Italian agro-forest districts. An Environmental Sensitivity Area (ESA) approach, based on four thematic indicators (climate, soil, vegetation and land-use) and a composite index of desertification risk (ESAI), was used to evaluate changes in soil vulnerability and landscape degradation between the years 1960 and 2010. A multivariate model was developed to identify the most relevant drivers causing changes in land susceptibility at the district scale. Larger districts, and those with a higher proportion of their total surface area classified as agro-forest, had a significantly lower increase in land susceptibility to degradation during the 50 years when compared with the remaining districts. We conclude that preserving economic viability and ecological connectivity of traditional, extensive agricultural systems is a key measure to mitigate the desertification risk in the Mediterranean region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urban Sustainability Versus Green-Washing—Fallacy and Reality of Urban Regeneration in Downtown Seoul
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/su8010033
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
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Abstract
This paper examines the planning paradigm shift related to the contested “urban renaissance” mega-project in Downtown Seoul (Korea). Similar to other global cities, over the last few decades, different mega-projects have been successfully implemented in Seoul. These projects have been considered engines for
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This paper examines the planning paradigm shift related to the contested “urban renaissance” mega-project in Downtown Seoul (Korea). Similar to other global cities, over the last few decades, different mega-projects have been successfully implemented in Seoul. These projects have been considered engines for urban renewals and transformation. This paper builds on the analysis of the failure and re-framing planning strategy for the Green Corridor (GC) mega-project, part of the “Urban Renaissance Master Plan for Downtown Seoul”. The GC case reveals various critical insights for urban sustainability: (i) the current mega-projects’ sustainability fallacy, related to top-down, technocratic densification, and greening practices; and (ii) the untapped potential of Asian traditional and irregular small scale urban patterns, and their related socio-cultural value in addressing the renaissance of the long term urban sustainability. In particular, the discussed research findings point out that urban renaissance enabling sustainability principles requires integrated, small scale, incremental, and adaptive (stepwise) urban planning and design processes that go well beyond general strategies following the so-called “green growth” paradigm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Spatial Distribution of Occupations Vulnerable to Climate Change in Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 34; doi:10.3390/su8010034
Received: 26 September 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
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Abstract
This article aims to identify occupations at risk of climate change, and explore their spatial distribution by investigating their spatial concentration and cluster patterns in Korea. In order to identify professions vulnerable to climate change, we used three criteria: (1) exposure to the
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This article aims to identify occupations at risk of climate change, and explore their spatial distribution by investigating their spatial concentration and cluster patterns in Korea. In order to identify professions vulnerable to climate change, we used three criteria: (1) exposure to the risks of job activities; (2) sensitivity to work environments; and (3) adaptive capacities based on the socioeconomic conditions of a person’s occupation. We identified 26 vocations as vulnerable, which corresponds to 16.5% of the total number of careers. Then, we used exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) techniques to examine the spatial distribution of jobs at risk of climate change effects. Endangered occupations show the extremely uneven spatial distributions across regions, indicating that there is a wide range of values for the proportion of endangered occupations across regions. The regions with high proportions of professions in jeopardy show clear spatial clustering based on the large geographic belt from the southwest to the northeast. Our results suggest that policymakers should consider the specific geographies of vulnerable occupations. The current work provides helpful hints on regional policy coordination to promote a virtuous circle of sustainable regional development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Geo-Temperature Restoration Performance under Intermittent Operation of Borehole Heat Exchanger Fields
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 35; doi:10.3390/su8010035
Received: 6 October 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
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Abstract
Intermittent operation can improve the coefficient of performance (COP) of a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system. In this paper, an analytical solution to analyze the geo-temperature restoration performance under intermittent operation of borehole heat exchanger (BHE) fields is established. For this purpose,
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Intermittent operation can improve the coefficient of performance (COP) of a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system. In this paper, an analytical solution to analyze the geo-temperature restoration performance under intermittent operation of borehole heat exchanger (BHE) fields is established. For this purpose, the moving finite line source model is combined with the g-function and the superposition principle. The model takes into account the heat transfer along the borehole, thermal interference between BHEs, and the influence of groundwater flow. The accuracy of the model is validated through comparison with an experiment carried out under intermittent operation. The model makes it possible to analyze the geo-temperature restoration performance and its influencing factors, such as BHE spacing, heat flow rate, operation mode, and groundwater flow. The main conclusions of this work are as follows. The heat transfer along the borehole should be considered when analyzing the geo-temperature restoration performance. When the BHE spacing increases, the soil temperature change decreases and the heat recovery improves. Therefore, adequate borehole separation distance is essential in the case of a multiple BHE system with unbalanced load. The presence of groundwater flow is associated with interference between the BHEs, which should not be ignored. In the case of long-term operation, the groundwater flow is beneficial to the geo-temperature recovery process, even for downstream BHEs. Finally, a greater groundwater flux leads to a better geo-temperature recovery. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Science in Forestry Curricula: A Case Study of Colombia Forestry Programs
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 36; doi:10.3390/su8010036
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
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Abstract
Tropical forest management depends greatly on complex social interactions. To understand the underlying human causes of deforestation and to plan forest management, it is of great importance to incorporate social science in the study of forestry. There is insufficient information about the incorporation
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Tropical forest management depends greatly on complex social interactions. To understand the underlying human causes of deforestation and to plan forest management, it is of great importance to incorporate social science in the study of forestry. There is insufficient information about the incorporation of social sciences in undergraduate forestry programs. Foresters are well prepared in ecology, silviculture, forest measurements, and operational topics such as logging, but their knowledge of basic elements of social sciences is limited. This study explored the extent to which tertiary forestry education programs in Colombia include social science. It also examined students’ perceptions of social sciences courses in the curriculum. About 10% of course credits are in economics, administration, and foreign language, courses on social science are listed as optional. A high percentage of current sophomore (fifth semester), junior, and senior students do not have clear knowledge of basic social research methods, although a majority have used social science techniques at some point in their academic careers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Land Use Changes Induced County-Scale Carbon Consequences in Southeast China 1979–2020, Evidence from Fuyang, Zhejiang Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 38; doi:10.3390/su8010038
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Land use change (LUC) is the most dynamic force in terrestrial carbon stock change, and it is imperative to account for the dynamics of LUC in carbon stock change when forming land use policies. This paper explored the impacts of LUCs on carbon
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Land use change (LUC) is the most dynamic force in terrestrial carbon stock change, and it is imperative to account for the dynamics of LUC in carbon stock change when forming land use policies. This paper explored the impacts of LUCs on carbon (C) stocks at a county scale and detected changes of soil C stocks within a county-scale land use planning policy. The LUCs within 1979–2006 in Fuyang County (eastern China) and Fuyang Land Use Master Planning (FLUMP) (2006–2020) were selected for this pilot study. The estimates of C stock changes were examined by compiling vegetation and soil organic C density data from six land use types, and through literature reviews and field surveys. The results showed that LUCs between 1979 and 2006 already caused a vegetation carbon (VC) decrease of 273.44 Gg and a soil organic carbon (SOC) decrease of 771.01 Gg, mainly due to urbanization processes. Further, the FLUMP (2006–2020) is expected to lead to a potential C loss of 25.93 × 10−3 Mg C ha−1year−1 for vegetation and 27.48 × 10−3 Mg C ha−1year−1 for soil between 2006 and 2020. As the situation stands, it is urgent to devise rational policies and effective measures to reverse the C loss process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Variation of Driving Forces for Settlement Expansion in Different Types of Counties
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 39; doi:10.3390/su8010039
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the process of settlement expansion and the spatiotemporal variation of driving forces is the foundation of rational and specific planning for sustainable development. However, little attention has been paid to the spatiotemporal differences of driving forces among different counties, especially when they
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Understanding the process of settlement expansion and the spatiotemporal variation of driving forces is the foundation of rational and specific planning for sustainable development. However, little attention has been paid to the spatiotemporal differences of driving forces among different counties, especially when they are representatives of different development types. This study used Guanyun, Kunshan and Changshu as case studies, and binary logistic regression was employed. The results showed that the expansion rates of Kunshan and Changshu were 5.55 and 3.93 times higher than that of Guanyun. The combinations and relative importance of drivers varied with counties and periods. The change in the number of driving forces can be divided into three stages: increasing stage, decreasing stage, and stable stage. In the relatively developed counties, Kunshan and Changshu, the importance of population is decreased, while it remain an important factor in the less developed county, Guanyun. In addition, the effect of GDP stays the same in Kunshan while it becomes the most important factor in Changshu. The distance to the main road and the distance to town are increasingly important in Kunshan and Guanyun, and distance to town has been the only common factor in the last period, indicating the discrepancy is increased. The relative importance of distance to a lake in Kunshan and Changshu increased, reflecting the role of increasing tourism in accelerating settlement expansion. Full article
Open AccessArticle Research on Steady States of Fuzzy Cognitive Map and its Application in Three-Rivers Ecosystem
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 40; doi:10.3390/su8010040
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 26 November 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) offers many advantages such intuitive knowledge representation and fast numerical reasoning ability, etc. It suits modeling and decision-making of dynamic systems. With the aims to effectively help to analyze and control system sustainable evolution, the paper defines the steady
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Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) offers many advantages such intuitive knowledge representation and fast numerical reasoning ability, etc. It suits modeling and decision-making of dynamic systems. With the aims to effectively help to analyze and control system sustainable evolution, the paper defines the steady states of fixed point and limited cycle of a FCM modeling system. Accordingly, the rules of steady states of the FCM model and the factors influencing the steady states are presented and proved. The Three-Rivers represents a system including population, ecological environment, social development and their relationships. Based on the relationships, the Three-Rivers ecosystem is modeled by FCM and the Three-Rivers ecosystemsustainable evolutionis analyzed bythe rules of the steady states of FCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle General Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urbanization: An Examination of 16 World Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 41; doi:10.3390/su8010041
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 27 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
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Abstract
Urbanization is the most dramatic form of land use change that has profoundly influenced environmental and socioeconomic conditions around the world. To assess these impacts and promote urban sustainability, a better understanding of urbanization patterns is needed. Recent studies have suggested several spatiotemporal
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Urbanization is the most dramatic form of land use change that has profoundly influenced environmental and socioeconomic conditions around the world. To assess these impacts and promote urban sustainability, a better understanding of urbanization patterns is needed. Recent studies have suggested several spatiotemporal patterns of urbanization, but their generality is yet to be adequately tested with long-term data. Thus, the main goal of our study was two-fold: (1) to examine the spatiotemporal patterns of urbanization of 16 world cities over a period of 200 years (1800–2000); and (2) to test four prominent hypotheses of urbanization patterns. Using a set of landscape metrics, we quantified temporal changes in the urban landscape pattern of the 16 cities and examined the four hypotheses individually. Our results show that these cities exhibit several common urbanization patterns: the urban landscape becomes compositionally more diverse, structurally more fragmented and geometrically more complex as urbanization progresses. Our study also suggests that urbanization is a process of shifting dominance among three urban growth modes: infilling, edge expanding and leapfrogging. However, idiosyncrasies do exist for individual cities, as detailed attributes of urbanization patterns often depend on the environmental and socioeconomic settings of cities. In addition, the choice of specific landscape metrics and the scales of analysis both influence the urbanization patterns revealed. Our study examined the urbanization patterns, for the first time, on long-term and global scales. The findings shed new light on the patterns and processes of urbanization, with implications for future studies of the ecology, planning and sustainability of cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Restaurants’ Green Supply Chain Practices on Firm Performance
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 42; doi:10.3390/su8010042
Received: 28 October 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated crucial green supply chain management (GSCM) practice dimensions and firm performance based on restaurants firms in Taiwan. On the basis of a factor analysis, four green supply chain management dimensions were identified: corporate environment policy, green packing, green product, and
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This study investigated crucial green supply chain management (GSCM) practice dimensions and firm performance based on restaurants firms in Taiwan. On the basis of a factor analysis, four green supply chain management dimensions were identified: corporate environment policy, green packing, green product, and economic transport. This study investigated crucial GSCM practice dimensions (including corporate environment policy, packaging waste, economic transport, and product recycling), green capability and organizational performance. The results shown: first, green practices in restaurants in Taiwan have an indirect effect on firm performance through green capability; second, when the ability of suppliers of green and green capability is at a higher degree, it will contribute to organizational performance, namely environmental and economic performance. Finally, green practices could be a key driver of green capability and it should be a priority in restaurants. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Ambient Water Quality and Eurasian Watermilfoil on Lakefront Property Values in the Coeur d’Alene Area of Northern Idaho, USA
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 44; doi:10.3390/su8010044
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amenity value of water resources has become a major driving force of recent population growth in the region centered on Coeur d’Alene Lake in northern Idaho, USA. Despite regulatory measures aimed to protect lake water quality, surface water quality is increasingly threatened by
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Amenity value of water resources has become a major driving force of recent population growth in the region centered on Coeur d’Alene Lake in northern Idaho, USA. Despite regulatory measures aimed to protect lake water quality, surface water quality is increasingly threatened by lakefront development and invasions of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), a non-indigenous aquatic plant species. We used hedonic modeling to estimate the effects of ambient water quality and the presence of Eurasian watermilfoil on lakefront property values of single-family homes in the Coeur d´Alene area. We find that property values are positively associated with Secchi depth (a proxy of water quality or clarity), and negatively related to the presence of watermilfoil. Results of spatial regime analysis indicate the geographical variations of these associations. The presence of watermilfoil was related to a 13% decline in mean property value, corresponding to $64,255 USD, on average, lower property sales price. Our study demonstrates that proactive mitigation approaches to cope with potential environmental degradation in lake ecosystems could have significant economic benefits to owners of lakefront properties and local communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Informatics in Resource Management & Sustainable Ecosystem)
Open AccessArticle Multi-Layered Capital Subsidy Policy for the PV Industry in China Considering Regional Differences
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 45; doi:10.3390/su8010045
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 29 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1485 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a country with huge energy consumption, China has been paying more and more attention to green growth in recent years. Several subsidy policies have been conducted to boost the photovoltaic (PV) industry so far. However, as a matter of fact, there are
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As a country with huge energy consumption, China has been paying more and more attention to green growth in recent years. Several subsidy policies have been conducted to boost the photovoltaic (PV) industry so far. However, as a matter of fact, there are 31 provinces and municipalities (PM) in mainland China, and the economic condition, environmental resources and energy structure of each PM are all significantly different, which leads to a discrepancy of PV efficiency among regions. This paper proposes that the subsidies for the PV industry should be considered mainly from three aspects: the PM’s economic condition, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. We built 19 evaluation indicators involving economic, environmental and energy factors, allocated weight to each indicator using the entropy weight method and sorted the 31 evaluation objects by TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution) method. Additionally, through an empirical study, we obtained the subsidy proportion for each PM. The result could make much of a contribution to the green growth of different regions and to the whole country. Full article
Open AccessArticle Stochastic Forecast of the Financial Sustainability of Basic Pension in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 46; doi:10.3390/su8010046
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper focuses on the stochastic forecast of the financial sustainability ofbasic pension, based on predictions for the population of China. The population was calculated iteratively by using Leslie matrix. An auto-regressive moving average model was adapted for the predictions of the fertility
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The paper focuses on the stochastic forecast of the financial sustainability ofbasic pension, based on predictions for the population of China. The population was calculated iteratively by using Leslie matrix. An auto-regressive moving average model was adapted for the predictions of the fertility rates and the mortality rates. The Monte Carlo stochastic method was adapted for the projections of the dynamic process of the financial sustainability of the basic pension from 2013 to 2087 by 5000 times simulation. The forecasting results show that the imbalance of basic pension will occur in 2026. If the statutory retirement age is postponed by five years, the occurrence of the financial gap of the basic pension may be delayedby about 20 years, and the median deficit of basic pension will be reduced by about 64.25% in 2087. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Heritage Interpretation-Based Itinerary to Enhance Tourist Use of Traditional Rural Buildings
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 47; doi:10.3390/su8010047
Received: 4 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study describes the planning strategy for a tourist itinerary in rural areas located in South-Eastern Sicily which aimed at promoting cultural rural heritage and diversifying the tourist offer. The planning of the tourist itinerary occurred within an appropriate heritage interpretation strategy as
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The study describes the planning strategy for a tourist itinerary in rural areas located in South-Eastern Sicily which aimed at promoting cultural rural heritage and diversifying the tourist offer. The planning of the tourist itinerary occurred within an appropriate heritage interpretation strategy as a working method which could facilitate the understanding and social use of the heritage sites located along the itinerary. The tourist itinerary combined significant territory potential such as traditional rural buildings and enogastronomy. It included a starting point; which is a heritage site and an already well known “tourist attraction”, and several other tourist resources selected on the basis of the information derived from the analysis of the profile of the average visitor to the area. An interpretation center, which was located at the heritage site, and several interpretation media placed at each stopping point included in the itinerary supported the tourists during their trip. By promoting traditional rural buildings and enogastronomy, the tourist itinerary represents a significant opportunity for rural diversification and, therefore, can contribute to achieving sustainable socio-economic development of rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Stochastic Pricing and Order Model with Transportation Mode Selection for Low-Carbon Retailers
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 48; doi:10.3390/su8010048
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 27 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More and more enterprises have begun to pay attention to their carbon footprint in the supply chain, of which transportation has become the second major source of carbon emissions. This paper aims to study both optimum pricing and order quantities, considering consumer demand
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More and more enterprises have begun to pay attention to their carbon footprint in the supply chain, of which transportation has become the second major source of carbon emissions. This paper aims to study both optimum pricing and order quantities, considering consumer demand and the selection of transportation modes by retailers, in terms of carbon emissions sensitivity and price sensitivity under the conditions of a cap-and-trade policy and uncertain market demand. Firstly, we analyze the effects of transportation mode (including transportation costs and transportation-induced carbon emissions), initial emissions allowances, carbon emissions trading price and consumer sensitivity to carbon emissions on the optimum decisions and profits of retailers. The results demonstrate that when consumers are less sensitive to price, the optimum retail price and the optimum order quantity of products are proportional to the transportation cost and transportation-induced carbon emissions of retailers per unit product, the carbon emissions trading price as well as consumer sensitivity to carbon emissions. However, when consumers are highly sensitive to price, the optimum order quantity of products is inversely proportional to the transportation costs and transportation-induced carbon emissions of retailers per unit product, the carbon emissions trading price and consumer sensitivity to carbon emissions. In addition, the optimum retail price of products is inversely proportional to consumer sensitivity to carbon emissions. We also find that retailers prefer a low-carbon transportation mode when the carbon emissions trading price is high. Meanwhile, the carbon emissions trading price influences the carbon emissions trading volume of retailers. These theoretical findings are further validated by some numerical analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Blue and Green Water Footprint of Lucerne for Milk Production in South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 49; doi:10.3390/su8010049
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use
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The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use then was assessed by comparing water use to water availability for the region. The results show a volumetric water footprint indicator of 378 m3/tonne of lucerne. Of the total blue and green water footprint, 55% is green water footprint and 45% is blue water footprint. Thus, albeit in a major irrigation area of South Africa, the largest component of the total water requirement is met by effective rainfall. The assessment of sustainability of water use showed that the period when lucerne requires irrigation water furthermore corresponds to the period where the water scarcity index is smaller than 100%. The water footprint thus is considered sustainable from an environmental perspective. This research proves the benefit of using context specific data to assess the water footprint of a crop, and the importance of a sustainability assessment in a water footprint assessment to generate information useful for informing water users and managers towards sustainable freshwater use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Methodological Proposal for Optimal Location of Emergency Operation Centers through Multi-Criteria Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 50; doi:10.3390/su8010050
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 29 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Territorial vulnerability and risk analysis play a fundamental role in urban planning and emergency management. Requirements analysis of such aspects are possible to define more and more effective risk mitigation strategies providing efficient response plans to events. Many mitigation strategies as well as
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Territorial vulnerability and risk analysis play a fundamental role in urban planning and emergency management. Requirements analysis of such aspects are possible to define more and more effective risk mitigation strategies providing efficient response plans to events. Many mitigation strategies as well as many response plans have in common the purpose of minimizing response time in order to decrease the level of vulnerability of the concerning area. The response time to a perturbing event is in fact an essential parameter to define the hazard of the considered site and literature is unanimous in considering it. In this context, the article proposes a methodology for the optimization of the location on the territory of emergency operation centers (EOCs), reducing response times and mitigating in this way the vulnerability of the area. The proposed methodology is based on a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) hybrid type AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process)-Electre. This method has been applied in the territory of Bressanone and Vipiteno (Bolzano-Italy), simulating the need to build a new barrack of Fire Department. A campaign of interviews with operators and industry experts and the collection of spatial data from the portals of the concerned authorities has been carried out in order to get the number of necessary data for the implementation of the proposed methodology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Crafting Sustainable Development Solutions: Frugal Innovations of Grassroots Entrepreneurs
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 51; doi:10.3390/su8010051
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A shift in the entrepreneurial landscape is taking place brought about by grassroots innovators with little formal education and technological knowhow, living and working in penurious environments. This research represents an emerging third wave of literature on Bottom of the Pyramid innovation, where
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A shift in the entrepreneurial landscape is taking place brought about by grassroots innovators with little formal education and technological knowhow, living and working in penurious environments. This research represents an emerging third wave of literature on Bottom of the Pyramid innovation, where products are offered for and by the underserved. Using primary and secondary data derived from four cases of grassroots entrepreneurs in the Indian Subcontinent, the study explores the phenomenon where resource scarce entrepreneurs craft solutions that are environmental friendly, with low overall ownership costs, and use locally available material. We argue that the grassroots phenomenon can be fruitfully exploited to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN as a post-2015 strategy for the future of global governance. These innovations might have a tremendous impact not only in terms of serving unmet and ignored consumer needs, but also longer term impacts through enhanced productivity, sustainability, poverty reduction and inclusion promotion. Full article
Open AccessArticle Describing Long-Term Electricity Demand Scenarios in the Telecommunications Industry: A Case Study of Japan
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 52; doi:10.3390/su8010052
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the rapid expansion of information and communication technology (ICT) usage, the telecommunications industry is faced with a challenge to promote green ICT toward achieving a low-carbon society. One critical obstacle in planning long-term strategies for green ICT is the uncertainty of
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Due to the rapid expansion of information and communication technology (ICT) usage, the telecommunications industry is faced with a challenge to promote green ICT toward achieving a low-carbon society. One critical obstacle in planning long-term strategies for green ICT is the uncertainty of various external factors, such as consumers’ lifestyle and technological advancement. To tackle this issue, this paper employs a scenario planning method to analyze electricity consumption in the telecommunications industry, where both changes in various external factors and energy-saving measures are assumed. We propose a model to estimate future electricity consumption of the telecommunications industry using a statistical approach. In a case study, we describe four scenarios that differ in the diffusion of ICT and the technological advancement of ICT equipment in order to analyze the electricity consumption in Japan’s telecommunications industry to 2030. The results reveal that the electricity consumption in 2030 becomes 0.7–1.6-times larger than the 2012 level (10.7 TWh/year). It is also shown that the most effective measures to reduce the electricity consumption include improving the energy efficiency of IP (Internet Protocol) communication equipment and mobile communication equipment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Strategic Planning for Land Use under Extreme Climate Changes: A Case Study in Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 53; doi:10.3390/su8010053
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
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Abstract
Extreme weather caused by global climate change affects slope-land in Taiwan, causing soil loss, floods, and sediment hazards. Although Taiwan is a small island, the population density is ranked second highest worldwide. With three-fourths of the island area being slope-land, soil and water
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Extreme weather caused by global climate change affects slope-land in Taiwan, causing soil loss, floods, and sediment hazards. Although Taiwan is a small island, the population density is ranked second highest worldwide. With three-fourths of the island area being slope-land, soil and water conservation (SWC) is crucial. Therefore, because of the impact of climate and social change, the means of maintaining sustainable development of slope-land and the safety of the living environment in Taiwan is a developing and crucial issue. This study applied four foresight analysis tools that covered both qualitative and quantitative aspects, including international trend analysis, a focus group, the Delphi method, and a strategy roadmap. By combining the four analysis tools, we developed corresponding strategies to address climate change for use as references for policy-makers. The findings of this study can contribute to consensus-forming among multiple stakeholders on the sustainable development of soil and water resources and to devising foresight strategies for SWC in short-term, middle-term, and long-term bases. Ultimately, the goal of “considering climate and socioeconomic change, watershed resources being managed on a multiple-use basis to avoid disasters and to sustain SWC” can be realized by the year 2025. Full article
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment of Flat Roof Technologies for Office Buildings in Israel
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 54; doi:10.3390/su8010054
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (644 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of the current study was to evaluate the environmental damage from three flat roof technologies typically used in Israel: (i) concrete, (ii) ribbed slab with concrete blocks, and (iii) ribbed slab with autoclaved aerated blocks. The roofs were evaluated using the
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The goal of the current study was to evaluate the environmental damage from three flat roof technologies typically used in Israel: (i) concrete, (ii) ribbed slab with concrete blocks, and (iii) ribbed slab with autoclaved aerated blocks. The roofs were evaluated using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. The Production and Construction (P and C), Operational Energy (OE), and Maintenance to Demolition (MtoD) stages were considered. The roofs were modeled based on an office building module located in the four climate zones of Israel, and the hierarchical ReCiPe2008 Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) method was applied. The percent difference of one, which is the default methodological option of ReCiPe2008, and an ANOVA of the six methodological options of ReCiPe2008 were used. The results revealed that (i) in a hot climate, the best roof technology can be selected by considering only the OE stage, whereas in a mild climate, both the OE and P and C stages must be considered; (ii) in a hot climate, the best roof technology is a concrete roof, but in a mild climate, the best options are ribbed slab roofs with concrete blocks and autoclaved aerated blocks; and (iii) the conjugation of ReCiPe2008 with a two-stage nested ANOVA is the appropriate approach to evaluate the differences in environmental damage in order to compare flat roof technologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Four Perspectives of Sustainability Applied to the Local Food Strategy of Ghent (Belgium): Need for a Cycle of Democratic Participation?
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 55; doi:10.3390/su8010055
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (457 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As part of cities’ increasing commitment to sustainable development, local food systems are becoming a policy priority. In this article we focus on the case of a local food system in Ghent, Belgium. We adopt the notion of Hajer et al. (2015) that
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As part of cities’ increasing commitment to sustainable development, local food systems are becoming a policy priority. In this article we focus on the case of a local food system in Ghent, Belgium. We adopt the notion of Hajer et al. (2015) that top-down steering of environmental issues (so-called “cockpit-ism”) is insufficient, incomplete and in need of revision. Using their four perspectives on sustainable development (Hajer et al., 2015), we explore, analyze and valorize the potential of the actors, motives and logics for change within the agriculture and food system in the Ghent region. Applying these four perspectives, we have mapped the current positive developments as well as identified the weaknesses, pitfalls and opportunities of a local food strategy. The discussion section contains two important strategies for good governance of sustainable urban development: first, a governance approach to stimulate participation and representation in a complex, unequal and rapidly changing context; and second, a reflection on how local food strategies can drive global sustainability. In conclusion, we argue for the integration of a global sustainability approach within sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Grazing Exclusion on Vegetation Characteristics and Soil Organic Carbon of Leymus chinensis Grassland in Northern China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 56; doi:10.3390/su8010056
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Overgrazing has caused vegetation destruction and soil degradation in Leymus chinensis grassland, the widely distributed type of grassland in northern China. To restore the degraded ecosystem, grazing exclusion was implemented in 1979, 1999, and 2004. However, changes in the vegetation and soil organic
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Overgrazing has caused vegetation destruction and soil degradation in Leymus chinensis grassland, the widely distributed type of grassland in northern China. To restore the degraded ecosystem, grazing exclusion was implemented in 1979, 1999, and 2004. However, changes in the vegetation and soil organic carbon (SOC) in different years of grazing exclusion have not been thoroughly elucidated. This paper examines the changes in vegetation characteristics (i.e., biomass, cover, richness, degree of succession, and shannon diversity index) and SOC under free of grazing (FG), 6 years (6 GE), 11 years (11 GE), and 31 years (31 GE) of grazing exclusion plots in the Xilin River Basin, China. The results indicate that the vegetation characteristics and SOC increased during the restoration process. Both the vegetation characteristics and SOC in 6 GE did not differ significantly from FG (p > 0.05), while these indexes in 11 GE were significantly higher than in FG. The differences between the vegetation characteristics and SOC in 11 GE and those in 31 GE were not significant. To meet the tradeoff between ecosystem conservation and utilization, further studies with multi-year observation should be conducted to identify the optimal duration of grazing exclusion and the grazing exclusion time threshold in L. chinensis grassland. This study provides valuable insights into sustainable grassland management in northern China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Using Causal Loop Diagramming to Explore the Drivers of the Sustained Functionality of Rural Water Services in Timor-Leste
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 57; doi:10.3390/su8010057
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 9 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is recognized that international water sector development work has issues with a lack of sustained positive outcomes. A large driver of this outcome is how NGOs work with communities to implement and then manage water services. Many NGOs tend to focus their
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It is recognized that international water sector development work has issues with a lack of sustained positive outcomes. A large driver of this outcome is how NGOs work with communities to implement and then manage water services. Many NGOs tend to focus their efforts on improving their reach and organisational growth by continually engaging in new projects. This behaviour is largely driven by short-term donor funding models that reward extended coverage, leaving little focus on sustained outcomes. Similarly, community-based management (CBM) schemes often impede sustained services as a result of the community’s limited capacity to operate and maintain the technology. To explore these complicated drivers on water service sustainability, we used causal loop diagramming to analyse the key aspect influencing the combined dynamics between NGOs, donors and CBM. We demonstrate this methodology through a study in Timor-Leste, where we gathered data necessary to develop and apply causal loop diagrams to analyse rural water supply program outcomes. The analysis of these diagrams allowed identification of leverage points used to suggest structural changes for sustained benefits of water services. These structural changes emphasize the importance of increased robustness and reliability of water technology and the associated impact this has on community satisfaction and, conjointly, on water service sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Utilizing the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Establish Weighted Values for Evaluating the Stability of Slope Revegetation based on Hydroseeding Applications in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 58; doi:10.3390/su8010058
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 12 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (884 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify the major variables identified as important for considering the stabilization of slope revegetation based on hydroseeding applications and evaluate weights of each variable using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) with both environmental experts and civil
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The aim of this study was to identify the major variables identified as important for considering the stabilization of slope revegetation based on hydroseeding applications and evaluate weights of each variable using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) with both environmental experts and civil engineers. Twenty-five variables were selected by the experts’ survey from a total of 65 from the existing literature, with each variable considered as an important factor for slope stabilization in South Korea. The final results from the AHP method showed that variables associated with the driving force of water resources showed higher values in all expert groups such as rain intensity, seepage water and drainage condition. Other important variables were related to plant growth such as vegetation community, vegetation coverage and quality of soil ameliorant produced in an artificial factory such as tensile strength, permeability coefficient, soil texture and organic matter. The five highest-ranked variables that satisfied both environmental experts and civil engineers were rain intensity, seepage water, slope angle, drainage condition and ground layer. The findings of this research could be helpful for developing a more accurate rating system to evaluate the stability of slope revegetation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Students’ Assessment of Campus Sustainability at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 59; doi:10.3390/su8010059
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Higher education institutions are major drivers of change in achieving environmental sustainability both within college campuses and beyond campuses in communities at large. However, achieving campus sustainability is not possible without the involvement of students as one of the major stakeholders of a
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Higher education institutions are major drivers of change in achieving environmental sustainability both within college campuses and beyond campuses in communities at large. However, achieving campus sustainability is not possible without the involvement of students as one of the major stakeholders of a university. Based on survey of 152 students of the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, this study explores students’ assessment of campus sustainability components: curriculum and research; campus operations; and community involvement. The results show that even though the students indicate a great deal of awareness and concern about campus environmental sustainability, they lack interest and willingness to participate in initiatives towards achieving sustainability. Apart from some sustainable landscaping and waste recycling practices, there are few sustainability initiatives in transportation and energy and water conservation on the campus. Offered courses and student projects have also been reported to have modest focus on sustainability. The article concludes by highlighting the roles of incorporating sustainability into campus operations, and training university students in promoting environmental sustainability in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Variations of Heavy Metals from Geothermal Spring to Surrounding Soil and Mangifera Indica–Siloam Village, Limpopo Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 60; doi:10.3390/su8010060
Received: 22 November 2015 / Revised: 3 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
PDF Full-text (1441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessment of seasonal variation in concentration of heavy metals–As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn from the Siloam Geothermal Spring and their impacts on surface soils and Mangifera indica were undertaken during winter and summer seasons in South Africa. This was
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Assessment of seasonal variation in concentration of heavy metals–As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn from the Siloam Geothermal Spring and their impacts on surface soils and Mangifera indica were undertaken during winter and summer seasons in South Africa. This was done to determine the environmental pollution status of surface soils and Mangifera indica around the geothermal spring. The geothermal spring water, surface soil (0–15 cm) and Mangifera indica (bark and leaves) samples were collected during 2014 winter and summer seasons. Soil and Mangifera indica samples were treated and digested using microwave and block digestion methods, respectively. The heavy metal concentrations were determined with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) (Agilent 7700). The result from this study showed that levels of heavy metals were higher in summer compared to winter season for geothermal spring water, surface soil, and Mangifera indica (barks and leaves). In two-tailed tests (Mann–Whitney U-test), geothermal spring water alone showed significant differences (Z = −2.1035, p < 0.05), whereas the surface soil and barks and leaves of Mangifera indica showed no significant differences (Z = 0.053; 0; −0.524, p > 0.05) in both seasons. Some heavy metals concentrations were above the standard guidelines for drinking water and typical soil, making the soil contaminated. This is a cause for concern as it can affect the environment and the health of the inhabitants of Siloam village, who depend on the geothermal spring as their source of domestic water, irrigation, and other uses. This study also showed that Mangifera indica has a phytoremediative property, which lessens the heavy metal concentrations absorbed from the contaminated soil. Full article
Open AccessArticle Long-Term Cropping Effects on Agricultural Sustainability in Alar Oasis of Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 61; doi:10.3390/su8010061
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 13 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 9 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agricultural sustainability has become a major concern in arid regions of China. In order to better understand the influence of continuous cropping on soil quality, six experimental fields were established in the Alar Oasis of Xinjiang, including uncultivated land (as a zero year
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Agricultural sustainability has become a major concern in arid regions of China. In order to better understand the influence of continuous cropping on soil quality, six experimental fields were established in the Alar Oasis of Xinjiang, including uncultivated land (as a zero year treatment duration) and five different continuous cropping years on cotton fields, with different cropping durations (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years, respectively). Thirteen soil indicators were selected including soil physicochemical properties, nutrient properties and enzymatic activities. The results show that duration of continuous cropping of cotton fields significantly influences a number of soil properties. Cultivation durations ranked according to soil quality indexes (SQI) are as follows: 15 years (0.828) > 20 years (0.816) > 10 years (0.668)> 5 years (0.548) > 25 years (0.377) > 0 years (0.205), and sustainable yield index (SYI) are as follows: 10 years (0.830) > 15 years (0.777) > 20 years (0.667) > 5 years (0.586) > 25 years (0.159). Full article
Open AccessArticle Inclusion and Implementation of Socio-Economic Considerations in GMO Regulations: Needs and Recommendations
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 62; doi:10.3390/su8010062
Received: 29 August 2015 / Revised: 26 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
Socio-economic considerations are included in the regulatory frameworks on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) of many countries. This is a reflection of an increasing interest in and recognition of the necessity to consider a broader range of issues when conducting a GMO risk assessment.
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Socio-economic considerations are included in the regulatory frameworks on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) of many countries. This is a reflection of an increasing interest in and recognition of the necessity to consider a broader range of issues when conducting a GMO risk assessment. At the same time, there are discussions about how socio-economic considerations can be identified and how their assessment can be carried out. To provide an understanding of the advances achieved so far, we describe the state of the art of existing biosafety institutional frameworks, legislation and policies with provisions on socio-economic considerations. We analyse the scope of the socio-economic considerations that have been included, the methodological options taken and the role of participatory processes and stakeholders involvement in the GMO-related decision-making. Since many of the countries that have legislation for assessing socio-economic considerations lack implementation experience, we provide an analysis of how implementation has evolved in Norway with the intention to illustrate that the inclusion of socio-economic considerations might be based on a learning process. Norway was the first country to include broader issues in its GMO assessment process, and is at present one of the countries with the most experience on implementation of these issues. Finally, we emphasise that there is a great need for training on how to perform assessments of socio-economic considerations, as well as reflection on possible ways for inclusion of participatory processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Supervisory Board Composition on CSR Reporting. Evidence from the German Two-Tier System
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 63; doi:10.3390/su8010063
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 3 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting is becoming increasingly relevant in light of modern corporate governance. There is growing activity among empirical research in one-tier systems that considers the link between board composition and CSR reporting. This study is the first of its kind
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting is becoming increasingly relevant in light of modern corporate governance. There is growing activity among empirical research in one-tier systems that considers the link between board composition and CSR reporting. This study is the first of its kind on the German two-tier system with special regard for the supervisory board. We analyze gender diversity, expertise, the presence of former managers, frequency of meetings, and the size of the supervisory board. Our multiple regressions indicate that gender diversity has a positive impact on CSR disclosure intensity, which is in line with prior studies on one-tier systems. Our findings have implications for both users and public policy and suggest that current European corporate governance regulations could help to increase the decision usefulness of CSR reporting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Mapping Cross-Boundary Climate Change Vulnerability—Case Study of the Hualien and Taitung Area, Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 64; doi:10.3390/su8010064
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
This study uses biophysical vulnerability and social vulnerability data from Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) to assess the vulnerable areas in Hualien County and Taitung County (Hualien-Taitung Area). The most vulnerable townships are Yanping and Chenggong townships in
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This study uses biophysical vulnerability and social vulnerability data from Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) to assess the vulnerable areas in Hualien County and Taitung County (Hualien-Taitung Area). The most vulnerable townships are Yanping and Chenggong townships in Taitung County, and the least vulnerable townships are Fuli, Jian, Yuli, Shoufeng and Fenglin townships in Hualien County. The severity of potential impacts to townships in Taitung County is greater than that to townships in Hualien County. In the context of climate change, the Hualien-Taitung Area must develop policies that prioritize policies and strategies for hotspot townships. Furthermore, the Hualien-Taitung Area should integrate long-term cross-boundary policies and strategies to lobby for increased funding from the central government. Moreover, cross-boundary resource integration and regional adaptation strategies should be merged to help the Hualien-Taitung Area move toward sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Walkability, Land Use and Physical Activity
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 65; doi:10.3390/su8010065
Received: 4 October 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 11 January 2016
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Abstract
Physical activity (PA) promotes healthy life and contributes to sustainable development. In this paper, we rely on the Utah Household Travel Survey data and analyze the determinants of PA in terms of neighborhood land use, accessibility to transportation, and socio-demographic status in Salt
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Physical activity (PA) promotes healthy life and contributes to sustainable development. In this paper, we rely on the Utah Household Travel Survey data and analyze the determinants of PA in terms of neighborhood land use, accessibility to transportation, and socio-demographic status in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States using four-component walkability indices at various geographic scales. We find that PA is associated with neighborhood land use and social demographic status, including the compact design of the neighborhood. The results also indicate that land use mix is insignificant, and that current neighborhood design only supports people’s 20-min walk. The spatial lag model reveals significant spatial autocorrelation of PA but the barely improved R2 validates the dominant effect of neighborhood land use and social demographic status on people’s walking behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle An Investigation into Real Estate Investment and Economic Growth in China: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 66; doi:10.3390/su8010066
Received: 8 November 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 5 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract
Using a dynamic panel data approach to analyze national-level and province-level data in China from 2000 to 2012, this paper studies how real estate investment affects Chinese economic growth. We find that real estate investment has significantly positive contemporaneous effects on economic growth
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Using a dynamic panel data approach to analyze national-level and province-level data in China from 2000 to 2012, this paper studies how real estate investment affects Chinese economic growth. We find that real estate investment has significantly positive contemporaneous effects on economic growth on both national and regional levels. Surprisingly, we also find that real estate investment has negative lagged effects on economic growth. Such negative lagged effects differ among the three regions we investigated: the eastern region shows the most significant effects from real estate investment; while the middle region shows the least. Further examinations of the four types of real estate investment (i.e. housing investment, office building investment, investment for commercial and business purposes, and other investment) show that housing investment exhibits the most influence on the economy in China. Additionally, we find that the four types of real estate investment exhibit significantly negative lagged effects on Chinese economic growth and there are regional differences in the repressive effects of the four types of real estate investments on economic growth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Seed Burial Depth and Soil Water Content Affect Seedling Emergence and Growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa in the Horqin Sandy Land
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 68; doi:10.3390/su8010068
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
We investigated the effects of seed burial depth and soil water content on seedling emergence and growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa (sandy elm), an important native tree species distributed over the European-Asian steppe. Experimental sand burial depths in the soil were
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We investigated the effects of seed burial depth and soil water content on seedling emergence and growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa (sandy elm), an important native tree species distributed over the European-Asian steppe. Experimental sand burial depths in the soil were 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 cm, and soil water contents were 4%, 8%, 12% and 16% of field capacity. All two-way ANOVA (five sand burial depths and four soil water contents) results showed that seed burial depths, soil water content and their interactions significantly affected all the studied plant variables. Most of the times, seedling emergence conditions were greater at the lower sand burial depths (less than 1.0 cm) than at the higher (more than 1.0 cm) seed burial depths, and at the lower water content (less than 12%) than at the higher soil water content. However, high seed burial depths (more than 1.5 cm) or low soil water content (less than 12%) reduced seedling growth or change in the root/shoot biomass ratios. In conclusion, the most suitable range of sand burial was from 0.5 to 1.0 cm soil depth and soil water content was about 12%, respectively, for the processes of seedling emergence and growth. These findings indicate that seeds of the sandy elm should be kept at rather shallow soil depths, and water should be added up to 12% of soil capacity when conducting elm planting and management. Our findings could help to create a more appropriate sandy elm cultivation and understand sparse elm woodland recruitment failures in arid and semi-arid regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Optimal Dispatch of a Power System Containing Virtual Power Plants under Fog and Haze Weather
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 71; doi:10.3390/su8010071
Received: 25 November 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the growing influence of fog and haze (F-H) weather and the rapid development of distributed energy resources (DERs) and smart grids, the concept of the virtual power plant (VPP) employed in this study would help to solve the dispatch problem caused by
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With the growing influence of fog and haze (F-H) weather and the rapid development of distributed energy resources (DERs) and smart grids, the concept of the virtual power plant (VPP) employed in this study would help to solve the dispatch problem caused by multiple DERs connected to the power grid. The effects of F-H weather on photovoltaic output forecast, load forecast and power system dispatch are discussed according to real case data. The wavelet neural network (WNN) model was employed to predict photovoltaic output and load, considering F-H weather, based on the idea of “similar days of F-H”. The multi-objective optimal dispatch model of a power system adopted in this paper contains several VPPs and conventional power plants, under F-H weather, and the mixed integer linear programming (MILP) and the Yalmip toolbox of MATLAB were adopted to solve the dispatch model. The analysis of the results from a case study proves the validity and feasibility of the model and the algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Multi-Objective Optimization of Engine Performance and Hydrocarbon Emissions via the Use of a Computer Aided Engineering Code and the NSGA-II Genetic Algorithm
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 72; doi:10.3390/su8010072
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is feared that the increasing population of vehicles in the world and the depletion of fossil-based fuel reserves could render transportation and other activities that rely on fossil fuels unsustainable in the long term. Concerns over environmental pollution issues, the high cost
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It is feared that the increasing population of vehicles in the world and the depletion of fossil-based fuel reserves could render transportation and other activities that rely on fossil fuels unsustainable in the long term. Concerns over environmental pollution issues, the high cost of fossil-based fuels and the increasing demand for fossil fuels has led to the search for environmentally friendly, cheaper and efficient fuels. In the search for these alternatives, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been identified as one of the viable alternatives that could be used in place of gasoline in spark-ignition engines. The objective of the study was to present the modeling and multi-objective optimization of brake mean effective pressure and hydrocarbon emissions for a spark-ignition engine retrofitted to run on LPG. The use of a one-dimensional (1D) GT-Power™ model, together with Group Method of Data Handling (GMDH) neural networks, has been presented. The multi-objective optimization was implemented in MATLAB® using the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II). The modeling process generally achieved low mean squared errors (0.0000032 in the case of the hydrocarbon emissions model) for the models developed and was attributed to the collection of a larger training sample data using the 1D engine model. The multi-objective optimization and subsequent decisions for optimal performance have also been presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Air Quality in Turkey: A Proposed, Air Quality Index
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 73; doi:10.3390/su8010073
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The annual air quality indices are aimed at better taking into account of long-term exposure to air pollution. This type of indices offer decision-makers condensed environmental information for performance monitoring, policy progress evaluation, benchmarking comparisons, and decision-making. This paper evaluates the air quality
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The annual air quality indices are aimed at better taking into account of long-term exposure to air pollution. This type of indices offer decision-makers condensed environmental information for performance monitoring, policy progress evaluation, benchmarking comparisons, and decision-making. This paper evaluates the air quality of eight Turkish cities in view of the European Union (EU) norms. The proposed index aggregates concentrations of three air pollutants, namely sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter and it is built by using 2014 data from 20 air quality monitoring stations. According to the results obtained from the calculation, the EU standards were exceeded at 14 stations, while at six stations the situation is better than the norms. These results indicate that Turkey has failed in fulfilling the European air quality standards. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Resilience of a Small Company and the Grounds of Capitalism: Thriving on Non-Knowledgeable Ground
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 74; doi:10.3390/su8010074
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract
A case about a small company in Portugal enables an analysis of the resilience of small companies undergoing open innovation environments. Successfully facing non-knowledgeable grounds―which means insecurity, likelihood of disruption risk and uncertainty—is only possible through constant adaptation, by which a company can
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A case about a small company in Portugal enables an analysis of the resilience of small companies undergoing open innovation environments. Successfully facing non-knowledgeable grounds―which means insecurity, likelihood of disruption risk and uncertainty—is only possible through constant adaptation, by which a company can thrive and, through rational thinking, enable continuity. This study shows that open innovation achieved through agile partnerships can provide the resources and synergies necessary for the continued adaptation of small businesses to environments of high uncertainty. An ability to innovatively adapt is a central characteristic of resilient companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Businesses: Assessment, Approaches and Technology)
Open AccessCommunication Exergy and CO2 Analyses as Key Tools for the Evaluation of Bio-Ethanol Production
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 76; doi:10.3390/su8010076
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 24 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The background of bioethanol as an alternative to conventional fuels is analyzed with the aim of examining the efficiency of bioethanol production by first (sugar-based) and second (cellulose-based) generation processes. Energy integration is of paramount importance for a complete recovery of the processes’
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The background of bioethanol as an alternative to conventional fuels is analyzed with the aim of examining the efficiency of bioethanol production by first (sugar-based) and second (cellulose-based) generation processes. Energy integration is of paramount importance for a complete recovery of the processes’ exergy potential. Based upon literature data and our own findings, exergy analysis is shown to be an important tool in analyzing integrated ethanol production from an efficiency and cost perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Financial Sustainability for Farm Credit Applications—A Delphi Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 77; doi:10.3390/su8010077
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore
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Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore what factors are used as indicators of loan-repayment ability of farmers. The objective was not only to identify factors that are currently considered, but also to identify other personal attributes that may improve the accuracy in predicting the repayment ability of potential borrowers. The Delphi was applied to a panel consisting of nine credit analysts and credit managers from a commercial credit provider in South Africa. The results indicate that the current and past financial performance, account standing, collateral, and credit record of the farm are very important in the assessment of applications in terms of financial performance. Experience and the success factors compared to competitors were found to be important, while age and education/qualification are regarded as less important in predicting repayment ability. The results also show that, although not currently objectively included in credit evaluations, credit analysis regards leadership and human relations; commitment and confidence; internal locus of control; self-efficacy; calculated risk taking; need for achievement; and opportunity seeking as important indicators of the ability of potential borrows to repay their loans. Thus, credit analysts and managers also regard management abilities and entrepreneurial characteristics of potential borrowers to be good indicators of repayment ability. Results from this research provide new indicator factors that can be used to extend existing credit evaluation instruments in order to more accurately predict repayment ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Nature–Culture Relations: Early Globalization, Climate Changes, and System Crisis
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 78; doi:10.3390/su8010078
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Globalization has been on everyone’s lips in light of the contemporary conditions. It has been viewed mostly as a stage reached as a result of long-term societal changes over the course of world history. For us, globalization has been an ongoing process for
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Globalization has been on everyone’s lips in light of the contemporary conditions. It has been viewed mostly as a stage reached as a result of long-term societal changes over the course of world history. For us, globalization has been an ongoing process for at least the last 5000 years. Little attention has been paid to the socioeconomic and natural processes that led to the current transformation. With the exception of historical sociologists, there is less interest in examining the long-term past as it is often assumed that the past has nothing to teach us, and it is the future that we have to turn our intellectual gaze. This paper will argue the opposite. We believe a long-term tracing of the socioeconomic and political processes of the making of the modern world will allow us to have a more incisive understanding of the current trajectory of world development and transformations. To plead our case, we outline the emergence of the first Eurasian World Economy linking seven regions (Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, South Asia, Ceylon, Southeast Asia, and China) of the world, with the exception of the Americas, starting as early as 200 BC, and the sequence of structural crises and transformations (trading networks and commodities) that has circumscribed the structures and trends of the current global system. Such consideration in our view is limited if we do not also include the relations between social systems and Nature, and the rhythms of the climate. For the latter, an awareness of the natural rhythms of the climate as well as human induced changes or climate forcing have triggered system-wide level collapses during certain early historical periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
Open AccessArticle Comparing Greenhouse Gas Emissions across Texas Universities
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 80; doi:10.3390/su8010080
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 16 January 2016
PDF Full-text (3217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This project serves as a study comparing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between universities in Texas. Over 90 percent of climate scientists believe that increased climate change is due to anthropogenic causes. These anthropogenic causes result in the GHG that we emit in our
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This project serves as a study comparing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between universities in Texas. Over 90 percent of climate scientists believe that increased climate change is due to anthropogenic causes. These anthropogenic causes result in the GHG that we emit in our day-to-day activities. Our study quantifies the GHG data from our university, St. Edward’s University in Austin, and compares it to data obtained from other Texas universities. This report will serve as a reference to the universities involved to improve sustainability initiatives in place by comparing practices and metrics. These findings may also serve as a catalyst for action for other universities to begin implementing their own sustainability practices. Our hypotheses are exploratory in nature; schools with sustainability offices will have lower emissions than those without, and St. Edward’s emissions will have decreased since the institution of a sustainability program. The results show that there does seem to be a correlation between the schools with the lowest GHG emissions and their creation of a sustainability office. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing the Identification of Sustainable Opportunities by SMEs: Empirical Evidence from Zambia
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 81; doi:10.3390/su8010081
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) to examine the factors influencing the identification of sustainable opportunities among SMEs in a developing country, Zambia. The factors under investigation include knowledge of the natural/social environment, perception of threats to the natural/social
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This study uses the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) to examine the factors influencing the identification of sustainable opportunities among SMEs in a developing country, Zambia. The factors under investigation include knowledge of the natural/social environment, perception of threats to the natural/social environment, altruism towards others and entrepreneurial knowledge. We interviewed 220 owner-managers in the trading and service sector who supply goods and services to the mining industry in Zambia. We found that altruism towards others was partially supported by our empirical results while the positive effects of knowledge of the natural/social environment and perception of threats to the natural/social environment on the identification of sustainable opportunities were not supported. Contrary to our expectations, entrepreneurial knowledge does not positively moderate the relationship between explanatory variables and the identification of sustainable opportunities. In sum, we found only limited empirical support for the model of Patzelt and Shepherd (2011) concerning the identification of sustainable opportunities. Our findings contribute to literature on entrepreneurship and sustainable opportunity identification by showing what factors influence the identification of sustainable opportunities. This can help us to create awareness among entrepreneurs regarding the effects of entrepreneurial activities on the environment and society; consequently, stimulating entrepreneurs to identify sustainable opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Capabilities of Suppliers for Green Supply Chain Management in Construction Projects: A Case Study in Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 82; doi:10.3390/su8010082
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 18 January 2016
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Abstract
Green supply chain management (GSCM) enhances a firm’s competitiveness for sustainable growth. GSCM is especially important in the construction industry, a project-based business that often results in heavy environmental pollution. For the successful implementation of GSCM in the construction industry to occur, contractors
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Green supply chain management (GSCM) enhances a firm’s competitiveness for sustainable growth. GSCM is especially important in the construction industry, a project-based business that often results in heavy environmental pollution. For the successful implementation of GSCM in the construction industry to occur, contractors should make the best use of suppliers’ environmental capabilities based on shared understanding of the capabilities. This paper examines the shared understanding of suppliers’ environmental management capabilities between the contractor and suppliers by assessing the consistency between the contractor’s and suppliers’ evaluations of the capabilities. This explorative case study investigates a supply chain comprised of a major construction firm and 106 suppliers in Korea. The results of the case analysis show that the suppliers’ self-evaluation scores of environmental capability are higher than the contractor’s evaluation scores. Furthermore, from both evaluators, suppliers received the lowest scores in the evaluation item rating the relationship with second-tier suppliers and the highest in the evaluation item rating the relationship with the contractor. The consistency between the suppliers’ and contractor’s evaluation is related to several characteristics of suppliers, such as industry type, firm size and partnership duration with the contractor. This study contributes to the literature of GSCM and strategic alignment amongst supply chain partners for the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle True Green and Sustainable University Campuses? Toward a Clusters Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 83; doi:10.3390/su8010083
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Campus greening is often the first step universities take towards sustainability. However, the diffusion of sustainability reporting methodologies and rankings is still at an early stage, and is biased in mainly measuring energy efficiency indicators while omitting basic features enabling meaningful comparisons among
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Campus greening is often the first step universities take towards sustainability. However, the diffusion of sustainability reporting methodologies and rankings is still at an early stage, and is biased in mainly measuring energy efficiency indicators while omitting basic features enabling meaningful comparisons among centers or addressing social (users) aspects related to long term sustainability transitions. This paper aims to introduce a critical perspective on sustainability university frameworks through: (i) a review of current Campus Sustainability Assessments (CSAs); (ii) performing and comparing the results obtained from the application of two internationally recognized CSAs (namely, Green Metric and ISCN) to two case studies (the Politecnico di Torino, in Italy, and the Hokkaido University, In Japan) and, finally, (iii) proposing a new CSA approach that encompasses clusters of homogeneous campus typologies for meaningful comparisons and university rankings. The proposed clusters regard universities’ morphological structures (campuses nested within city centers versus outside of a city compact ones), climatic zones and functions. At the micro scale, the paper introduces the need for indicators beyond measuring pure energy efficiency, but which are attentive to local and societal constraints and provide long-term tracking of outcomes. This, better than a sheer record of sustainability priority actions, can help in building homogenous university case studies to find similar and scalable success strategies and practices, and also in self-monitoring progress toward achieving truly sustainable university campuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Towards an Assessment Methodology to Support Decision Making for Sustainable Electronic Waste Management Systems: Automatic Sorting Technology
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 84; doi:10.3390/su8010084
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a lack of structured methodologies to support stakeholders in accessing the sustainability aspects for e-waste management. Moreover, the increasing volume of electronic waste (e-waste) and the availability of automated e-waste treatment solutions demand frequent reconfigurations of facilities for efficient e-waste management.
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There is a lack of structured methodologies to support stakeholders in accessing the sustainability aspects for e-waste management. Moreover, the increasing volume of electronic waste (e-waste) and the availability of automated e-waste treatment solutions demand frequent reconfigurations of facilities for efficient e-waste management. To fill this gap and guide such ongoing developments, this paper proposes a novel methodological framework to enable the assessing, visualizing and comparing of sustainability impacts (economic, environmental and social) resulting from changes applied to a facility for e-waste treatment. The methodology encompasses several methods, such as discrete event simulation, life cycle assessment and stakeholder mapping. A newly-developed demonstrator for sorting e-waste is presented to illustrate the application of the framework. Not only did the methodology generate useful information for decision making, but it has also helped identify requirements for further assessing the broader impacts on the social landscape in which e-waste management systems operate. These results differ from those of previous studies, which have lacked a holistic approach to addressing sustainability. Such an approach is important to truly measure the efficacy of sustainable e-waste management. Potential future applications of the framework are envisioned in production systems handling other waste streams, besides electronics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Risk Evaluation of Qinghai–Tibet Power Grid Interconnection Project for Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 85; doi:10.3390/su8010085
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project is the first power transmission project with the highest altitude, longest transmission lines, longest distance running across the plateau frozen ground, and highest iron tower in the world. The risk evaluation on it can identify the overall
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The Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project is the first power transmission project with the highest altitude, longest transmission lines, longest distance running across the plateau frozen ground, and highest iron tower in the world. The risk evaluation on it can identify the overall risk level and key risk factors, which can reduce risk-induced loss and promote sustainable construction. In this paper, the risk of the Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project was evaluated by employing a matter-element extension model under a fuzzy environment. After building the risk evaluation index system, the performances and weights of criteria were qualitatively judged by three groups of experts in different fields, and then the risk of the Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project was rated by employing matter-element extension model. Meanwhile, the sensitivity analysis was performed to identify key risk criteria. The empirical results indicate the risk of the Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project belongs to the “stronger” grade, tending to the “strongest” grade. “Social stability risk”, “altitude sickness seizure risk”, “permafrost-induced risk”, “severe weather-induced risk”, and “ecological destruction risk” are key sub-criteria, which should be paid more attention to when taking risk management measures. Finally, some countermeasures for key risks of the Qinghai–Tibet power grid interconnection project were given. The findings in this paper can provide references for engineering managers and related stakeholders. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Land Use on Availability of Japanese Freshwater Resources and Its Significance for Water Footprinting
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 86; doi:10.3390/su8010086
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
All relevant effects on water must be assessed in water footprinting for identifying hotspots and managing the impacts of products, processes, and services throughout the life cycle. Although several studies have focused on physical water scarcity and degradation of water quality, the relevance
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All relevant effects on water must be assessed in water footprinting for identifying hotspots and managing the impacts of products, processes, and services throughout the life cycle. Although several studies have focused on physical water scarcity and degradation of water quality, the relevance of land use in water footprinting has not been widely addressed. Here, we aimed to verify the extent of land-use effect in the context of water footprinting. Intensity factors of land use regarding the loss of freshwater availability are modeled by calculating water balance at grid scale in Japan. A water footprint inventory and impacts related to land use are assessed by applying the developed intensity factors and comparing them with those related to water consumption and degradation. Artificial land use such as urban area results in the loss of many parts of available freshwater input by precipitation. When considering water footprint inventory, the dominance of land use is less than that of water consumption. However, the effect of land use is relevant to the assessment of water footprint impact by differentiating stress on water resources. The exclusion of land use effect underestimates the water footprint of goods produced in Japan by an average of around 37%. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation and Clustering Maps of Groundwater Wells in the Red Beds of Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 87; doi:10.3390/su8010087
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 26 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
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Abstract
Since the start of the 21st century, groundwater wells have been placed in red beds to solve the problem of scarce water resources in Southwest China and have rapidly expanded to other areas. By providing examples of cartography in Chengdu and Sichuan, China,
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Since the start of the 21st century, groundwater wells have been placed in red beds to solve the problem of scarce water resources in Southwest China and have rapidly expanded to other areas. By providing examples of cartography in Chengdu and Sichuan, China, and using the locations of groundwater in fractures and pores when monitoring and managing red sandstone and mudstone wells, a series of maps of groundwater wells at different scales in the red beds of Chengdu was obtained. Most of the wells located in red beds are located in Jintang, Dayi, and Qingbaijiang and exhibit different cluster features. The kernel density estimation and spatial cluster analysis classification methods were used based on the Density Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise algorithm (DBSCAN) in three concentrated areas. This method describes the trends of the clustering results and the relationships between the locations of residents and red bed wells. The cartography results show that the groundwater wells in red beds are mainly distributed in hilly areas and partially correspond with the locations of villages and settlements, particularly their geological and topographic factors, which satisfy the maximum requirements of water use and recycling in Southwest China. The irrigation wells located in red beds are not only reliable and efficient but also replace inefficient water resources in the recharge-runoff-discharge groundwater process, which promotes the sustainable development of groundwater resources. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Hybrid Arrangements as a Form of Ecological Modernization: The Case of the US Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 88; doi:10.3390/su8010088
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How are environmental policy goals implemented and sustained in the context of political stagnation surrounding national climate policies in the United States? In this paper, we discuss Ecological Modernization Theory as a tool for understanding the complexity of climate governance at the sub-national
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How are environmental policy goals implemented and sustained in the context of political stagnation surrounding national climate policies in the United States? In this paper, we discuss Ecological Modernization Theory as a tool for understanding the complexity of climate governance at the sub-national level. In particular, we explore the emergence of hybrid governance arrangements during the local implementation of federal energy efficiency programs in US cities. We analyze the formation and advancement of programs associated with one effort to establish a sub-national low carbon energy policy: the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program administered by the US Department of Energy. Our findings highlight the diverse range of partnerships between state, private, and civil society actors that emerged through this program and point to some of the challenges associated with collaborative climate governance initiatives at the city level. Although some programs reflected ecologically modern outcomes, other cities were constrained in their ability to move beyond the status quo due to the demands of state bureaucracies and the challenges associated with inconsistent funding. We find that these programs cultivated hybrid arrangements in an effort to sustain the projects following the termination of federal grant funding. Overall, hybrid governance plays an important role in the implementation and long-term sustainability of climate-related policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment and Optimization-Based Decision Analysis of Construction Waste Recycling for a LEED-Certified University Building
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 89; doi:10.3390/su8010089
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current waste management literature lacks a comprehensive LCA of the recycling of construction materials that considers both process and supply chain-related impacts as a whole. Furthermore, an optimization-based decision support framework has not been also addressed in any work, which provides a
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The current waste management literature lacks a comprehensive LCA of the recycling of construction materials that considers both process and supply chain-related impacts as a whole. Furthermore, an optimization-based decision support framework has not been also addressed in any work, which provides a quantifiable understanding about the potential savings and implications associated with recycling of construction materials from a life cycle perspective. The aim of this research is to present a multi-criteria optimization model, which is developed to propose economically-sound and environmentally-benign construction waste management strategies for a LEED-certified university building. First, an economic input-output-based hybrid life cycle assessment model is built to quantify the total environmental impacts of various waste management options: recycling, conventional landfilling and incineration. After quantifying the net environmental pressures associated with these waste treatment alternatives, a compromise programming model is utilized to determine the optimal recycling strategy considering environmental and economic impacts, simultaneously. The analysis results show that recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals significantly contributed to reductions in the total carbon footprint of waste management. On the other hand, recycling of asphalt and concrete increased the overall carbon footprint due to high fuel consumption and emissions during the crushing process. Based on the multi-criteria optimization results, 100% recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, cardboard, plastic and glass is suggested to maximize the environmental and economic savings, simultaneously. We believe that the results of this research will facilitate better decision making in treating construction and debris waste for LEED-certified green buildings by combining the results of environmental LCA with multi-objective optimization modeling. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Tillage Practices and Crop Type on Soil CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 90; doi:10.3390/su8010090
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
Nonsustainable agricultural practices often lead to soil carbon loss and increased soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. A research study was conducted on arable fields in central lowland Croatia to measure soil respiration, its seasonal variability, and its response
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Nonsustainable agricultural practices often lead to soil carbon loss and increased soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. A research study was conducted on arable fields in central lowland Croatia to measure soil respiration, its seasonal variability, and its response to agricultural practices. Soil C-CO2 emissions were measured with the in situ static chamber method during corn (Zea mays L.) and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growing seasons (2012 and 2013, n = 288) in a field experiment with six different tillage treatments. During corn and winter wheat growing season, average monthly soil C-CO2 emissions ranged, respectively, from 6.2–33.6 and 22.1–36.2 kg ha−1 day−1, and were decreasing, respectively, from summer > spring > autumn and summer > autumn > spring. The same tillage treatments except for black fallow differed significantly between studied years (crops) regarding soil CO2 emissions. Significant differences in soil C-CO2 emissions between different tillage treatments with crop presence were recorded during corn but not during winter wheat growing season. In these studied agroecological conditions, optimal tillage treatment regarding emitted C-CO2 is plowing to 25 cm along the slope, but it should be noted that CO2 emissions involve a complex interaction of several factors; thus, focusing on one factor, i.e., tillage, may result in a lack of consistency across studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sequential Relationship between Profitability and Sustainability: The Case of Migratory Beekeeping
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 94; doi:10.3390/su8010094
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
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Abstract
When beekeeping is managed on a migratory basis, the bee colony produces physical outputs (honey) and pollination services on a sequence of forage sites. Forage sites are competitors if their flowering periods overlap, and are complementary otherwise. Viable sequences consist only of complementary
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When beekeeping is managed on a migratory basis, the bee colony produces physical outputs (honey) and pollination services on a sequence of forage sites. Forage sites are competitors if their flowering periods overlap, and are complementary otherwise. Viable sequences consist only of complementary forage sites. A part of the bee colony’s production time is spent on each forage site in the period when the crop or wild vegetation covering it is in flower. The total period covered by the sequence of sites, including the base site, must be equal to or less than the duration (365 days) of the bee colony’s annual biological cycle. The migratory beekeeper draws up viable sequences of forage sites and calculates their profitability levels. Variations in the profitability of forage sites which alter the composition of the sequence, affecting provision of the non-marketed ecosystem pollination services, impact the biodiversity of the pollinated plants with trickle-down effects on sustainability. In the case of migratory beekeeping, there is, therefore, a sequential relationship between profitability and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
Open AccessArticle Release of Heavy Metals from the Pyrite Tailings of Huangjiagou Pyrite Mine: Batch Experiments
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 96; doi:10.3390/su8010096
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract
To provide the basic information about the release of heavy metals from the pyrite tailings of Huangjiagou pyrite mine, the pyrite tailings were investigated through a series of batch experiments under different initial pH of extractant, temperature, liquid-solid (LS) ratio, and soaking time
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To provide the basic information about the release of heavy metals from the pyrite tailings of Huangjiagou pyrite mine, the pyrite tailings were investigated through a series of batch experiments under different initial pH of extractant, temperature, liquid-solid (LS) ratio, and soaking time conditions. Moreover, calcium carbonate was added in the pyrite tailings to determine the reduction effect on the release of heavy metals. The results show that Fe, Cr, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Ni were the major heavy metals in the pyrite tailings. Low initial pH and high LS ratio significantly promoted Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn release, and high temperature significantly promoted Fe, Cu, Mn, and Ni release. Only small amounts of Cr were detected at low LS ratios. With the increase of soaking time, the released amount of Fe, Cu, Mn, Ni, and Zn increased to the maximum value within 48 h, respectively. After adding calcium carbonate, the released amounts of Fe, Cu, and Zn reduced at least 70.80% within 48 h soaking time. The results indicate that summer and the early soaking stage are the main phases for the release of heavy metals from the pyrite tailings. In the pyrite tailings, Cr is difficult to release. Adding calcium carbonate can effectively reduce the release of Fe, Cu, and Zn. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Building Fabric Thermal Performance of Passivhaus Dwellings—Does It Do What It Says on the Tin?
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 97; doi:10.3390/su8010097
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Passivhaus (or Passive House) Standard is one of the world’s most widely known voluntary energy performance standards. For a dwelling to achieve the Standard and be granted Certification, the building fabric requires careful design and detailing, high levels of thermal insulation, building
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The Passivhaus (or Passive House) Standard is one of the world’s most widely known voluntary energy performance standards. For a dwelling to achieve the Standard and be granted Certification, the building fabric requires careful design and detailing, high levels of thermal insulation, building airtightness, close site supervision and careful workmanship. However, achieving Passivhaus Certification is not a guarantee that the thermal performance of the building fabric as designed will actually be achieved in situ. This paper presents the results obtained from measuring the in situ whole building heat loss coefficient (HLC) of a small number of Certified Passivhaus case study dwellings. They are located on different sites and constructed using different technologies in the UK. Despite the small and non-random nature of the dwelling sample, the results obtained from the in situ measurements revealed that the thermal performance of the building fabric, for all of the dwellings, performed very close to the design predictions. This suggests that in terms of the thermal performance of the building fabric, Passivhaus does exactly what it says on the tin. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for Germany
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 98; doi:10.3390/su8010098
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Driven by the growing awareness of the finite nature of fossil raw materials and the need for sustainable pathways of industrial production, the bio-based economy is expected to expand worldwide. Policy strategies such as the European Union Bioeconomy Strategy and national bioeconomy strategies
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Driven by the growing awareness of the finite nature of fossil raw materials and the need for sustainable pathways of industrial production, the bio-based economy is expected to expand worldwide. Policy strategies such as the European Union Bioeconomy Strategy and national bioeconomy strategies foster this process. Besides the advantages promised by a transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy, these processes have to cope with significant uncertainties as many influencing factors play a role, such as climate change, technological and economic development, sustainability risks, dynamic consumption patterns and policy and governance issues. Based on a literature review and an expert survey, we identify influence factors for the future development of a wood-based bioeconomy in Germany. Four scenarios are generated based on different assumptions about the development of relevant influence factors. We discuss what developments in politics, industry and society have a central impact on shaping alternative futures. As such, the paper provides a knowledge base and orientation for decision makers and practitioners, and contributes to the scientific discussion on how the bioeconomy could develop. We conclude that the wood-based bioeconomy has a certain potential to develop further, if adequate political framework conditions are implemented and meet voter support, if consumers exhibit an enhanced willingness to pay for bio-based products, and if among companies, a chance-oriented advocacy coalition of bioeconomy supporters dominates over proponents of fossil pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Preventive Command and Control Regulation: A Case Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 99; doi:10.3390/su8010099
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
The aim of the current study is to evaluate new preventive command-and-control environmental regulation’s competitive effects on automobile manufacturers and their suppliers. The methodology that we have used is a case analysis, and its main aim is to study an unfamiliar situation. Therefore,
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The aim of the current study is to evaluate new preventive command-and-control environmental regulation’s competitive effects on automobile manufacturers and their suppliers. The methodology that we have used is a case analysis, and its main aim is to study an unfamiliar situation. Therefore, we have chosen cases from each of the groups: two suppliers and one manufacturer. The new regulation obliges automobile companies to deeply modify their process technologies and their relationships with their suppliers (toughening requirements and strengthening long-term relationships) and to require their workers to train in environmental matters. Complying with regulation by suppliers will be possible if product and process designs are modified. However, only organisational actions, which include workers’ training in environmental and quality matters and activities to recover value in factories, are capable to achieve it. In any case, these factories have already been affected by trade-offs between environmental and other more classic manufacturing objectives, especially quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Local Residents’ Attitude toward Sustainable Rural Tourism Development
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 100; doi:10.3390/su8010100
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 16 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism is a multi-faced activity that links the economic, social and environmental components of sustainability. This research analyzes rural residents’ perceptions of the impact of tourism development and examines the factors that influence the support for sustainable tourism development in the region of
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Tourism is a multi-faced activity that links the economic, social and environmental components of sustainability. This research analyzes rural residents’ perceptions of the impact of tourism development and examines the factors that influence the support for sustainable tourism development in the region of Nord-Vest in Romania. Residents’ perceptions towards tourism development were measured using 22 items, while their support for tourism development was determined using 8 items. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Principal component analysis grouped the first 22 variables into 4 factors, and the following 8 variables into 2 factors (sustainable development, destination development). Findings indicate that residents see tourism as a development factor. The natural, economic, and social-cultural environment as well as infrastructure, age, gender and education are factors that influence the sustainable development of tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Museum Sustainability and Indicators for Museum Sustainability Measurement
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 101; doi:10.3390/su8010101
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to identify the factors upon which museum sustainability depends and the way in which this can be measured. Methodologically, we applied a qualitative research approach, using semi-structured interviews with experts from the Romanian museum sector, complemented by
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The purpose of this research was to identify the factors upon which museum sustainability depends and the way in which this can be measured. Methodologically, we applied a qualitative research approach, using semi-structured interviews with experts from the Romanian museum sector, complemented by an in-depth study of the literature in this field. Results indicated that any objective measuring of sustainability must take into account the size of a museum’s collections and its organizational structure. It was also found that museum type can affect sustainability via its competitive advantage. However, the sustainability of a museum is not strictly determined by these factors, but also by the management and marketing strategies applied. Based on analysis of literature- and respondent-based factors influencing sustainability, this article proposes a set of 33 indicators that can be used by museums to measure their sustainability, as well as a model that enables evaluation of the sustainability levels of various museums comparatively, regardless of their type, size or importance (e.g., national, regional and local). The results obtained are useful both from a theoretical point of view, given that there are few writings on this topic, and from a practical point of view, as they provide a basis for a clear, objective model of museum sustainability measurement. Full article
Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility Applied for Rural Development: An Empirical Analysis of Firms from the American Continent
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 102; doi:10.3390/su8010102
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
PDF Full-text (491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corporate Social Responsibility has been recognized by policymakers and development specialists as a feasible driver for rural development. The present paper explores both theoretically and empirically how firms involved in CSR provide development opportunities to rural communities. The research first evaluates the applied
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Corporate Social Responsibility has been recognized by policymakers and development specialists as a feasible driver for rural development. The present paper explores both theoretically and empirically how firms involved in CSR provide development opportunities to rural communities. The research first evaluates the applied literature on the implementation of CSR by private firms and policymakers as means to foster sustainable rural development. The empirical research analyses the CSR activities of 100 firms from a variety of industries, sizes, and countries to determine the type of companies who are involved in rural development and the kind of activities they deployed. Results from the empirical research show that although rural development initiatives are not relevant for all types of companies, a significant number of firms from a variety of industries have engaged in CSR programs supporting rural communities. Firms appear to be interested in stimulating rural development and seem to benefit from it. This paper also includes an exploration of the main challenges and constraints that firms encounter when encouraging rural development initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)

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Open AccessReview How to Monitor Sustainable Mobility in Cities? Literature Review in the Frame of Creating a Set of Sustainable Mobility Indicators
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/su8010029
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of sustainable mobility and its impact on society and the environment is evident and recognized worldwide. Nevertheless, although there is a growing number of measures and projects that deal with sustainable mobility issues, it is not so easy to compare their
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The role of sustainable mobility and its impact on society and the environment is evident and recognized worldwide. Nevertheless, although there is a growing number of measures and projects that deal with sustainable mobility issues, it is not so easy to compare their results and, so far, there is no globally applicable set of tools and indicators that ensure holistic evaluation and facilitate replicability of the best practices. In this paper, based on the extensive literature review, we give a systematic overview of relevant and scientifically sound indicators that cover different aspects of sustainable mobility that are applicable in different social and economic contexts around the world. Overall, 22 sustainable mobility indicators have been selected and an overview of the applied measures described across the literature review has been presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
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Open AccessReview VIKOR Technique: A Systematic Review of the State of the Art Literature on Methodologies and Applications
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 37; doi:10.3390/su8010037
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 4 January 2016
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to present a systematic review of the VlseKriterijuska Optimizacija I Komoromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method in several application areas such as sustainability and renewable energy. This study reviewed a total of 176 papers, published in 2004 to
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The main objective of this paper is to present a systematic review of the VlseKriterijuska Optimizacija I Komoromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method in several application areas such as sustainability and renewable energy. This study reviewed a total of 176 papers, published in 2004 to 2015, from 83 high-ranking journals; most of which were related to Operational Research, Management Sciences, decision making, sustainability and renewable energy and were extracted from the “Web of Science and Scopus” databases. Papers were classified into 15 main application areas. Furthermore, papers were categorized based on the nationalities of authors, dates of publications, techniques and methods, type of studies, the names of the journals and studies purposes. The results of this study indicated that more papers on VIKOR technique were published in 2013 than in any other year. In addition, 13 papers were published about sustainability and renewable energy fields. Furthermore, VIKOR and fuzzy VIKOR methods, had the first rank in use. Additionally, the Journal of Expert Systems with Applications was the most significant journal in this study, with 27 publications on the topic. Finally, Taiwan had the first rank from 22 nationalities which used VIKOR technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Designing the Business Models for Circular Economy—Towards the Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 43; doi:10.3390/su8010043
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Switching from the current linear model of economy to a circular one has recently attracted increased attention from major global companies e.g., Google, Unilever, Renault, and policymakers attending the World Economic Forum. The reasons for this are the huge financial, social and environmental
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Switching from the current linear model of economy to a circular one has recently attracted increased attention from major global companies e.g., Google, Unilever, Renault, and policymakers attending the World Economic Forum. The reasons for this are the huge financial, social and environmental benefits. However, the global shift from one model of economy to another also concerns smaller companies on a micro-level. Thus, comprehensive knowledge on designing circular business models is needed to stimulate and foster implementation of the circular economy. Existing business models for the circular economy have limited transferability and there is no comprehensive framework supporting every kind of company in designing a circular business model. This study employs a literature review to identify and classify the circular economy characteristics according to a business model structure. The investigation in the eight sub-domains of research on circular business models was used to redefine the components of the business model canvas in the context of the circular economy. Two new components—the take-back system and adoption factors—have been identified, thereby leading to the conceptualization of an extended framework for the circular business model canvas. Additionally, the triple fit challenge has been recognized as an enabler of the transition towards a circular business model. Some directions for further research have been outlined, as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessReview Overcoming Food Security Challenges within an Energy/Water/Food Nexus (EWFN) Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 95; doi:10.3390/su8010095
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050, in a context of constrained resources and growing environmental pressures posed by current food production methods on one side, and changing lifestyles and consequent shifts in dietary patterns on the other, exacerbated by the
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The challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050, in a context of constrained resources and growing environmental pressures posed by current food production methods on one side, and changing lifestyles and consequent shifts in dietary patterns on the other, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, has been defined as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. The first step to achieve food security is to find a balance between the growing demand for food, and the limited production capacity. In order to do this three main pathways have been identified: employing sustainable production methods in agriculture, changing diets, and reducing waste in all stages of the food chain. The application of an energy, water and food nexus (EWFN) approach, which takes into account the interactions and connections between these three resources, and the synergies and trade-offs that arise from the way they are managed, is a prerequisite for the correct application of these pathways. This work discusses how Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) might be applicable for creating the evidence-base to foster such desired shifts in food production and consumption patterns. Full article

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Open AccessConcept Paper Fostering Sustainable Nutrition Behavior through Gamification
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 67; doi:10.3390/su8010067
Received: 21 September 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The food choices consumers make have considerable consequences for the environment. In the Western world, about one-third of all negative environmental impact is directly related to food consumption. Although many consumers are concerned about environmental issues, this frequently has little effect on actual
[...] Read more.
The food choices consumers make have considerable consequences for the environment. In the Western world, about one-third of all negative environmental impact is directly related to food consumption. Although many consumers are concerned about environmental issues, this frequently has little effect on actual nutritional behavior and new approaches are needed to convert good intentions into action. Gamification could be a possible way to encourage both self-efficacy on the part of the consumer as well as normalizing such behavior socially. In this paper, central elements of the behavioral change model HAPA (health action process approach) are introduced to a gamification concept. The underlying frameworks of both concepts are then analyzed in order to develop propositions for use in the design of an effective gamification setting to promote sustainable nutritional behavior (SNB). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessCommentary Transition towards Circular Economy in the Food System
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 69; doi:10.3390/su8010069
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing population and increased demand for food, inefficient resource use and food distribution, environmental impacts, and high rates of food wasted at all stages of the food system are all calling for transition towards more sustainable practices. In this article we apply the
[...] Read more.
Growing population and increased demand for food, inefficient resource use and food distribution, environmental impacts, and high rates of food wasted at all stages of the food system are all calling for transition towards more sustainable practices. In this article we apply the concept of circular economy to the case of a sustainable food system. Furthermore, we explore the transition towards a circular food system through the lens of socio-technical transition theory towards sustainability. We discuss challenges and potential solutions for the production stage (focusing on nutrient flow), the consumption stage (focusing on meat consumption), and food waste and surplus management and prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessCase Report Teaching Case: ViaVia Yogyakarta: Choosing the Right Strategy to Maximize Social Impact
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 70; doi:10.3390/su8010070
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
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Abstract
This teaching case addresses the strategic choices of social entrepreneurs, Mie and Ingvild, who founded the ViaVia café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In their daily management of ViaVia , Mie and Ingvild put respect for local culture and ideals above short-term profit. They offered
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This teaching case addresses the strategic choices of social entrepreneurs, Mie and Ingvild, who founded the ViaVia café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In their daily management of ViaVia , Mie and Ingvild put respect for local culture and ideals above short-term profit. They offered good working conditions for staff with opportunities to learn and grow, which resulted in a loyal group of employees who felt a sense of ownership of ViaVia. Furthermore, the organization was involved in a multitude of social, cultural, environmental and humanitarian projects. As a result, ViaVia was regarded as a positive contributor to the local community. In 2013, it secured international recognition for its efforts by receiving the prestigious Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award. However, Mie and Ingvild wondered whether the support of many projects was perhaps spreading their resources too thin, and whether greater impact could be generated with fewer but more focused initiatives. Despite ViaVia’s success as a social enterprise, Mie and Ingvild reviewed the past 20 years of the café’s existence and contemplated the sustainable strategy that they should follow in the years ahead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessCase Report Commercially Available Materials Selection in Sustainable Design: An Integrated Multi-Attribute Decision Making Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 79; doi:10.3390/su8010079
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
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Abstract
This paper presents an integrated multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) approach to aid selection of commercially available materials in the context of sustainable design. The MADM couples grey relational analysis (GRA) with an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to rank alternative materials in terms of their
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This paper presents an integrated multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) approach to aid selection of commercially available materials in the context of sustainable design. The MADM couples grey relational analysis (GRA) with an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to rank alternative materials in terms of their economic, environmental, and social performance. AHP is used to determine the corresponding weighting values for the selected indicators. In addition, a case example is used to verify the proposed MADM method and demonstrate its practical application. Three alternative polymer materials, i.e., poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE), are examined to determine their sustainability for plastic pipe design. The associated MADM result and the limitations of the approach are discussed to lay the foundation for further improvement. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary EU Product Environmental Footprint—Mid-Term Review of the Pilot Phase
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 92; doi:10.3390/su8010092
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ongoing pilot phase of the European Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) tests the PEF method and develops product category-specific rules (PEFCRs) for selected product categories. The goal of PEF is to address all relevant environmental impacts and the full life cycle of products
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The ongoing pilot phase of the European Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) tests the PEF method and develops product category-specific rules (PEFCRs) for selected product categories. The goal of PEF is to address all relevant environmental impacts and the full life cycle of products is acknowledged. However, PEF faces several methodological and practical challenges. This paper presents key findings of a comprehensive analysis of the current status of the PEF pilot phase (mainly based on the evaluation of all draft PEFCRs). Remaining key challenges are: (1) the still open goal and policy outcome of the PEF process; (2) the difficult applicability and, thus, the unclear tangible added value of some PEF rules compared to current life cycle assessment (LCA) practice; (3) the insufficient maturity level of some predefined impact assessment methods and missing reliable methods for prioritizing impact categories; and (4) the fact that, in the worst case, the developed PEFCRs may not support a fair comparability of products. This “mid-term review” of the PEF pilot phase shows that the PEF method and the PEFCRs need to be further improved and refined for a successful policy implementation of PEF, but also for avoiding that unsolved issues of PEF affect the LCA method as such. Full article

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