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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2016)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Preventive Command and Control Regulation: A Case Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010099
Received: 7 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for Germany
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010098
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 10 | 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)
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Open AccessReview Overcoming Food Security Challenges within an Energy/Water/Food Nexus (EWFN) Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010095
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 15 | 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 AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sustainability in 2015
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010103
Received: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
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Abstract
The editors of Sustainability would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] 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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010102
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 1 | 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 AccessArticle Factors Influencing Museum Sustainability and Indicators for Museum Sustainability Measurement
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010101
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 7 | 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
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Open AccessArticle Local Residents’ Attitude toward Sustainable Rural Tourism Development
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010100
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 16 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
Cited by 12 | 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 AccessFeature PaperArticle The Building Fabric Thermal Performance of Passivhaus Dwellings—Does It Do What It Says on the Tin?
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010097
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 5 | 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
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Open AccessArticle Release of Heavy Metals from the Pyrite Tailings of Huangjiagou Pyrite Mine: Batch Experiments
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010096
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
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Open AccessArticle Sequential Relationship between Profitability and Sustainability: The Case of Migratory Beekeeping
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010094
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 Influence of Tillage Practices and Crop Type on Soil CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010090
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 19 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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)
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Open AccessCommunication Exergy and CO2 Analyses as Key Tools for the Evaluation of Bio-Ethanol Production
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 76; https://doi.org/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)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary EU Product Environmental Footprint—Mid-Term Review of the Pilot Phase
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010092
Received: 30 September 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 6 | 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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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010089
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 9 | 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
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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; https://doi.org/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
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation and Clustering Maps of Groundwater Wells in the Red Beds of Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 87; https://doi.org/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
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Capabilities of Suppliers for Green Supply Chain Management in Construction Projects: A Case Study in Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010082
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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)
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Open AccessReview Designing the Business Models for Circular Economy—Towards the Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010043
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 18 January 2016
Cited by 64 | 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
[...] Read more.
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)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Land Use on Availability of Japanese Freshwater Resources and Its Significance for Water Footprinting
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 86; https://doi.org/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
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Open AccessArticle Risk Evaluation of Qinghai–Tibet Power Grid Interconnection Project for Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010085
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 4 | 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
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Greenhouse Gas Emissions across Texas Universities
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010080
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 16 January 2016
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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)
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Open AccessCase Report Commercially Available Materials Selection in Sustainable Design: An Integrated Multi-Attribute Decision Making Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 79; https://doi.org/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
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Open AccessArticle Towards an Assessment Methodology to Support Decision Making for Sustainable Electronic Waste Management Systems: Automatic Sorting Technology
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010084
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
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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 True Green and Sustainable University Campuses? Toward a Clusters Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010083
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
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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?)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing the Identification of Sustainable Opportunities by SMEs: Empirical Evidence from Zambia
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010081
Received: 17 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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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)
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation into Real Estate Investment and Economic Growth in China: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 66; https://doi.org/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 Nature–Culture Relations: Early Globalization, Climate Changes, and System Crisis
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010078
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
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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
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Financial Sustainability for Farm Credit Applications—A Delphi Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010077
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
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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 Variations of Heavy Metals from Geothermal Spring to Surrounding Soil and Mangifera Indica–Siloam Village, Limpopo Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010060
Received: 22 November 2015 / Revised: 3 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
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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
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Open AccessEditorial Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8010075
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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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)
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