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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Foodsheds and City Region Food Systems in Two West African Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1175; doi:10.3390/su8121175
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there
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In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there is a lack of empirical studies and methodologies which systematically analyse the actual proportion and nutritional significance of local and regional food supplied to urban markets. The aim of this empirical study therefore was to compare the geographical sources supplying food to the urban population (“foodsheds”) in Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to record the supplied quantities and to assess the level of interaction between the sources and the respective city. The study was conducted over two years, covering the seasons of abundant and short supply, via traffic surveys on the access roads to the two cities, and in the Tamale markets, resulting altogether in more than 40,000 records of food flow. Results indicated that food sources were highly crop- and season-specific, ranging from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional foodsheds with diverse sources across seasons. Across the commodity-specific foodsheds, city region boundaries were established. Within the proposed city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban food supply, taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. While food provided from within the city region offers certain place-based benefits, like the provision of fresh perishable crops, a larger geographical diversity of foodsheds appeared to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, such as against climate related production failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Are the Changes in China’s Grain Production Sustainable: Extensive and Intensive Development by the LMDI Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1198; doi:10.3390/su8121198
Received: 19 August 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
China has experienced an uninterrupted growth of grain output during the past decade. However, a long-term analysis indicates fluctuations in productivity and output levels, as well as dramatic shifts in grain crop mix and regional distribution. This paper, therefore, re-examines the major factors
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China has experienced an uninterrupted growth of grain output during the past decade. However, a long-term analysis indicates fluctuations in productivity and output levels, as well as dramatic shifts in grain crop mix and regional distribution. This paper, therefore, re-examines the major factors behind the dynamics in China’s grain production over the period of 1978–2013. The Index Decomposition Analysis technique, facilitated by means of Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index, is employed to factorize the changes in China’s grain output into four effects, i.e., yield effect, area effect, crop-mix effect and spatial distribution effect. The results show that yield effect, having been the major driver behind the growth, is experiencing a declining trend over time, with crop-mix effect gaining increasing importance. The results also indicate that changes in crop-mix caused an increase in the total grain output during 2003–2013, however this was due to abandonment of soybean farming, which is not sustainable in terms of self-sufficiency. The effect of spatial distribution has been diminishing ever since 1984. Therefore, re-allocation of areas sown is not likely to damper the sustainability of grain farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Adjustment and Optimization of the Cropping Systems under Water Constraint
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1207; doi:10.3390/su8121207
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
The water constraint on agricultural production receives growing concern with the increasingly sharp contradiction between demand and supply of water resources. How to mitigate and adapt to potential water constraint is one of the key issues for ensuring food security and achieving sustainable
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The water constraint on agricultural production receives growing concern with the increasingly sharp contradiction between demand and supply of water resources. How to mitigate and adapt to potential water constraint is one of the key issues for ensuring food security and achieving sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change. It has been suggested that adjustment and optimization of cropping systems could be an effective measure to improve water management and ensure food security. However, a knowledge gap still exists in how to quantify potential water constraint and how to select appropriate cropping systems. Here, we proposed a concept of water constraint risk and developed an approach for the evaluation of the water constraint risks for agricultural production by performing a case study in Daxing District, Beijing, China. The results show that, over the whole growth period, the order of the water constraint risks of crops from high to low was wheat, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, summer soybean, summer peanut, spring corn, and summer corn, and the order of the water constraint risks of the cropping systems from high to low was winter wheat-summer grain crops, rice, broomcorn, foxtail millet, and spring corn. Our results are consistent with the actual evolving process of cropping system. This indicates that our proposed method is practicable to adjust and optimize the cropping systems to mitigate and adapt to potential water risks. This study provides an insight into the adjustment and optimization of cropping systems under resource constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Game Behavior Analysis between the Local Government and Land-Lost Peasants in the Urbanization Process
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1213; doi:10.3390/su8121213
Received: 17 July 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
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Abstract
China is entering a period of rapid urban development. With the rapid expansion of cities, a large number of peasants have lost their land as a result. Given the development of urbanization, safeguarding the rights and interests of land-lost peasants in the process
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China is entering a period of rapid urban development. With the rapid expansion of cities, a large number of peasants have lost their land as a result. Given the development of urbanization, safeguarding the rights and interests of land-lost peasants in the process of urbanization has become a new topic of interest in China. In this study, based on game theory, we analyze the interests of the local government and land-lost peasants in several rounds of the citizenization process. The result demonstrated the following: (1) this paper proposed that overall interest declines in the entire game, in which the peasant can obtain a greater share of benefits from bargaining with the local government; (2) However, a long bargaining process would lead to the diminishment of peasants’ rights and benefits. In contrast, the local government would obtain greater share of benefits than the peasant and would obtain fewer benefits than at the beginning of the process. Therefore, both sides expect to end the game process early; (3) Under the “rational economic man” process, this process will always tend to be one in which one party struggles while the other compromises. Therefore, in the game, the game process will not reach a game equilibrium state and both sides will be at a stalemate; (4) The local government, as the power owner, is expected to surrender its interests as the “rational economic man” for the Pareto optimality; (5) Finally, we proposed policy recommendations for the sustainability of citizenization. Increasing the public service benefits, establishing the system of subsistence allowances and raising the minimum living allowance of citizenization, improving the training and employment service system for the peasant can improve land-lost peasants’ acceptance in the game. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Profile of the Swiss Supply Chain for French Fries: Effects of Food Loss Reduction, Loss Treatments and Process Modifications
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1214; doi:10.3390/su8121214
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The production of food is responsible for major environmental impacts. Bearing this in mind, it is even worse when food is lost rather than consumed. In Switzerland, 46% of all processing potatoes and 53% of all fresh potatoes are lost on their way
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The production of food is responsible for major environmental impacts. Bearing this in mind, it is even worse when food is lost rather than consumed. In Switzerland, 46% of all processing potatoes and 53% of all fresh potatoes are lost on their way from field to fork. Our study therefore compares the environmental impacts of losses of fresh potatoes with those of French fries. With the aid of a Life Cycle Assessment, we assessed the impact categories “demand for nonrenewable energy resources”, “global warming potential”, “human toxicity”, “terrestrial ecotoxicity” and “aquatic ecotoxicity”. Our results show that 1 kg of potatoes consumed as French fries causes 3–5 times more environmental impacts than the same quantity of fresh potatoes, but also that the proportion of impacts relating to losses is considerably lower for French fries (5%–10% vs. 23%–39%). The great majority of processing potato losses occur before the resource-intensive, emission-rich frying processes and therefore the environmental “backpack” carried by each lost potato is still relatively small. Nonetheless, appropriate loss treatment can substantially reduce the environmental impact of potato losses. In the case of French fries, the frying processes and frying oil are the main “hot spots” of environmental impacts, accounting for a considerably higher proportion of damage than potato losses; it is therefore also useful to look at these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle Creating Customer Value for Product Service Systems by Incorporating Internet of Things Technology
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1217; doi:10.3390/su8121217
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 6 November 2016 / Accepted: 19 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
Product service system (PSS) design has drawn much attention in the last decade and is expected to be affected by the fast-growing application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. This study proposes a six-step design method by extending visual mapping design methods for
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Product service system (PSS) design has drawn much attention in the last decade and is expected to be affected by the fast-growing application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. This study proposes a six-step design method by extending visual mapping design methods for the PSSs that plan to apply IoT technologies. A new concept of “pseudo actors” that highlights the role of the objects incorporating IoT technology is introduced in plotting actors and system maps and a useful table is recommended to help evaluate alternatives of IoT technology application. An example of a battery swapping system for electric scooters is illustrated for application potential. Actors and system maps with “pseudo actors” are presented and analyzed, while IoT technologies are applied in batteries, charging stations, cell phones, and scooters. Designers could use the proposed method to select appropriate application of IoT technologies with higher customer value in a product service system design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Inventory and Policy Reduction Potential of Greenhouse Gas and Pollutant Emissions of Road Transportation Industry in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1218; doi:10.3390/su8121218
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
In recent years, emissions from the road transportation industry in China have been increasing rapidly. To evaluate the reduction potential of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions of the industry in China, its emission inventory was calculated and scenario analysis was created for the
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In recent years, emissions from the road transportation industry in China have been increasing rapidly. To evaluate the reduction potential of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions of the industry in China, its emission inventory was calculated and scenario analysis was created for the period between 2012 and 2030 in this paper. Based on the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) model, the development of China’s road transportation industry in two scenarios (the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and the comprehensive-mitigation (CM) scenario) was simulated. In the Comprehensive Mitigation scenario, there are nine various measures which include Fuel Economy Standards, Auto Emission Standards, Energy-saving Technology, Tax Policy, Eco-driving, Logistics Informatization, Vehicle Liquidation, Electric Vehicles, and Alternative Fuels. The cumulative energy and emission reductions of these specific measures were evaluated. Our results demonstrate that China’s road transportation produced 881 million metric tons of CO2 and emitted 1420 thousand tons of CO, 2150 thousand tons of NOx, 148 thousand tons of PM10, and 745 thousand tons of HC in 2012. The reduction potential is quite large, and road freight transportation is the key mitigation subsector, accounting for 85%–92% of the total emission. For energy conservation and carbon emission mitigation, logistics informatization is the most effective method, potentially reducing 1.80 billion tons of coal equivalent and 3.83 billion tons of CO2 from 2012 to 2030. In terms of air pollutant emission mitigation, the auto emission standards measure performs best with respect to NOx, PM10, and HC emission mitigation, and logistic informatization measure is the best in CO emission reduction. In order to maximize the mitigation potential of China’s road transportation industry, the government needs to implement various measures in a timely and strict fashion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Link between Corporate Environmental and Corporate Financial Performance—Viewpoints from Practice and Research
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1219; doi:10.3390/su8121219
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
For more than 40 years, a tremendous number of studies have empirically explored the relationship between Corporate Environmental Performance (CEP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). This study considers the relationship from a new perspective—via a qualitative research approach based on expert interviews. First,
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For more than 40 years, a tremendous number of studies have empirically explored the relationship between Corporate Environmental Performance (CEP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). This study considers the relationship from a new perspective—via a qualitative research approach based on expert interviews. First, practitioners are queried for their view on the link between CEP and CFP and how to measure it. Since the vast majority see a positive relationship, this study contributes with a new form of evidence that it pays to be green. The chosen qualitative approach also allows a more detailed analysis of underlying cause-and-effect mechanisms. For instance, interviewed practitioners emphasize a direct and indirect impact from CEP on CFP. Second, the study conducts interviews with experts from research and associations (non-practitioners) and compares the viewpoints of the two interview groups. One prevalent difference refers to the fact that non-practitioners do not focus on the two impact levels. Moreover, business experts perceive the link between CEP and CFP as much less complex and reveal more pragmatically oriented considerations. The study then discusses how the interview results and identified differences can be used to direct future research and to support corporations in their move towards sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Feasibility Study on Parametric Optimization of Daylighting in Building Shading Design
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1220; doi:10.3390/su8121220
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
Shading design to optimize daylighting is in many cases achieved through a designer’s sense based on prior knowledge and experience. However, computer-assisted parametric techniques can be utilized for daylighting design in an easy and much more accurate way. If such tools are utilized
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Shading design to optimize daylighting is in many cases achieved through a designer’s sense based on prior knowledge and experience. However, computer-assisted parametric techniques can be utilized for daylighting design in an easy and much more accurate way. If such tools are utilized in the early stages of a project, this can be more effective for sustainable design. This study compares the conventional approach, which depends on a designer’s sense of judgment to create optimal indoor lighting conditions by adjusting louver shapes and window patterns, with the approach of making use of genetic algorithms. Ultimately, this study discusses the advantages and disadvantages of those two approaches. As a starting point, 30 designers were instructed to design a facade by manually adjusting several input parameters of shading. The parameters govern six kinds of louver and window types, with the ratio of analysis grid surface area achieving a daylight factor of 2%–5%. Secondly, input parameters were automatically created by using genetic algorithm optimization methods to find optimal fitness data. As a conclusion, conventional approaches result in a strong disposition toward designing certain shading types represented by linear relationships. Computer-assisted daylight simulation can help influence this, being effective when dealing with a large amount of data and non-linear relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Post-Event Volunteering Legacy: Did the London 2012 Games Induce a Sustainable Volunteer Engagement?
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1221; doi:10.3390/su8121221
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games was seen as an opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of the 70,000 volunteers involved and to provide a post-event volunteer legacy. A total of 77 individuals who had acted as volunteers in London 2012 were
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The hosting of the London 2012 Olympic Games was seen as an opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of the 70,000 volunteers involved and to provide a post-event volunteer legacy. A total of 77 individuals who had acted as volunteers in London 2012 were contacted approximately four years after the Games and agreed to complete a web-based open-ended survey. The participants were asked to indicate their level of current volunteering engagement and whether volunteering at the Games had an impact on their current volunteering levels. The study found that the London Olympics were the first volunteer experience for most of the volunteers who completed the survey, with the main motivation to volunteer being anything related to the Olympic Games. Just over half of the respondents are currently volunteering. Lack of time is shown to be the main barrier towards further volunteering commitment. Only half of respondents had been contacted by a volunteering scheme after London 2012. The implications of the findings for a potential volunteering legacy are then explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Concept of Water Usage Efficiency to Support Water Reduction in Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1222; doi:10.3390/su8121222
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
Increasing pressures on freshwater supplies, continuity of supply uncertainties, and costs linked to legislative compliance, such as for wastewater treatment, are driving water use reduction up the agenda of manufacturing businesses. A survey is presented of current analysis methods and tools generally available
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Increasing pressures on freshwater supplies, continuity of supply uncertainties, and costs linked to legislative compliance, such as for wastewater treatment, are driving water use reduction up the agenda of manufacturing businesses. A survey is presented of current analysis methods and tools generally available to industry to analyze environmental impact of, and to manage, water use. These include life cycle analysis, water footprinting, strategic planning, water auditing, and process integration. It is identified that the methods surveyed do not provide insight into the operational requirements from individual process steps for water, instead taking such requirements as a given. We argue that such understanding is required for a proactive approach to long-term water usage reduction, in which sustainability is taken into account at the design stage for both process and product. As a first step to achieving this, we propose a concept of water usage efficiency which can be used to evaluate current and proposed processes and products. Three measures of efficiency are defined, supported by a framework of a detailed categorization and representation of water flows within a production system. The calculation of the efficiency measures is illustrated using the example of a tomato sauce production line. Finally, the elements required to create a useable tool based on the efficiency measures are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Local Expert Perceptions of Migration as a Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1223; doi:10.3390/su8121223
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
People have long migrated for many reasons, often with a combination of forced and voluntary reasons combining to push them away from current situations and to pull them towards new situations. Bangladesh is one example where environmental changes have long been amongst the
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People have long migrated for many reasons, often with a combination of forced and voluntary reasons combining to push them away from current situations and to pull them towards new situations. Bangladesh is one example where environmental changes have long been amongst the multitude of reasons for migrating, with contemporary climate change suggested as a major impetus towards more migration. This paper examines local expert perceptions of migration as a climate change adaptation strategy for Bangladeshis. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with local experts in Bangladesh and Assam (India) on environmental change and migration to understand the perspectives of those with formal education and expert-related jobs who come from the areas being directly affected by Bangladeshi migration. Findings show that local experts consider that migration is used and will be used for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, but migration is not solely for climate change adaptation, instead interweaving with all other factors influencing migration-related decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Sustainability and Resilience: From Theory to Practice
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1224; doi:10.3390/su8121224
Received: 22 August 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
Urbanization and urban areas are profoundly altering the relationship between society and the environment, and affecting cities’ sustainability and resilience in complex ways at alarming rates. Over the last decades, sustainability and resilience have become key concepts aimed at understanding existing urban dynamics
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Urbanization and urban areas are profoundly altering the relationship between society and the environment, and affecting cities’ sustainability and resilience in complex ways at alarming rates. Over the last decades, sustainability and resilience have become key concepts aimed at understanding existing urban dynamics and responding to the challenges of creating livable urban futures. Sustainability and resilience have also moved and are now core analytic and normative concepts for many scholars, transnational networks and urban communities of practice. Yet, even with this elevated scholarly attention, strategies for bridging between research and practice remain elusive, and efforts to understand and affect change towards more sustainable and resilient urban centers have often fallen short. This paper seeks to synthesize, from this issue’s papers and other strands of literature, the knowledge, theory and practice of urban sustainability and resilience. Specifically, we focus on what capacities urban actors draw on to create sustainability and resilience and how different definitions of these concepts intersect, complement, or contradict each other. We then examine the implications of those intersections and differences in the efforts by urban actors to enhance the capacity to change unsustainable trajectories and transform themselves, their communities, and their cities toward sustainable and resilient relationships with the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle A Human-Needs-Based Dynamics to Simulate Technology Policy and Its Effects on Both Business Success and Human Happiness
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1225; doi:10.3390/su8121225
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper focuses on how human needs are reflected in the market and how several technological and political policies affect the market share of government-supported industries, as well as the satisfaction of human desires and consequent happiness. In this paper, we seek to
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This paper focuses on how human needs are reflected in the market and how several technological and political policies affect the market share of government-supported industries, as well as the satisfaction of human desires and consequent happiness. In this paper, we seek to understand the dynamics of consumer decision-making processes in relation to technology products in the market. In this study, we present a new marketing model based on human needs, wants, and demands, and focus on both holistic and social perspectives. We have shown that human-based policy dynamics and sustainable human happiness can be realized by stimulating national policies for consumer happiness in the human-needs-based sector, e.g., the healthcare industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hydraulic Performance of an Innovative Breakwater for Overtopping Wave Energy Conversion
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1226; doi:10.3390/su8121226
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 19 November 2016 / Accepted: 20 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Overtopping BReakwaterfor Energy Conversion (OBREC) is an overtopping wave energy converter, totally embedded in traditional rubble mound breakwaters. The device consists of a reinforced concrete front reservoir designed with the aim of capturing the wave overtopping in order to produce electricity. The
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The Overtopping BReakwaterfor Energy Conversion (OBREC) is an overtopping wave energy converter, totally embedded in traditional rubble mound breakwaters. The device consists of a reinforced concrete front reservoir designed with the aim of capturing the wave overtopping in order to produce electricity. The energy is extracted through low head turbines, using the difference between the water levels in the reservoir and the sea water level. This paper analyzes the OBREC hydraulic performances based on physical 2D model tests carried out at Aalborg University (DK). The analysis of the results has led to an improvement in the overall knowledge of the device behavior, completing the main observations from the complementary tests campaign carried out in 2012 in the same wave flume. New prediction formula are presented for wave reflection, the overtopping rate inside the front reservoir and at the rear side of the structure. Such methods have been used to design the first OBREC prototype breakwater in operation since January 2016 at Naples Harbor (Italy). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Various Technological Options for Improving Energy and Water Use Efficiency in a Traditional Sugar Mill
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1227; doi:10.3390/su8121227
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
This study is a comparison of four technological improvements proposed in previous works for the Cuban sugar mill Carlos Baliño. These technological options are: (1) utilization of excess wastewater for enhanced imbibition; (2) utilization of waste heat for thermally driven cooling; (3) utilization
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This study is a comparison of four technological improvements proposed in previous works for the Cuban sugar mill Carlos Baliño. These technological options are: (1) utilization of excess wastewater for enhanced imbibition; (2) utilization of waste heat for thermally driven cooling; (3) utilization of excess bagasse for pellets; and (4) modification of the cogeneration unit for maximum electric power generation. The method used for the evaluation of the technological options involves using criteria such as energy saving, financial gains, and CO2 emission saving potential. The results of the analysis show that the first three technological improvement options are attractive only during the crushing season. On the other hand, the last technological improvement option can be attractive if a year round generation of surplus power is sought. The first technological improvement option leads to only minor changes in energy utilization, but the increase in sugar yield of 8.7% leads to attractive profitability with an extremely low payback period. The CO2 emissions saved due to the fourth technological improvement option are the highest (22,000 tonnes/year) and the cost of CO2 emissions saved for the third technological improvement option (lowest) amount to 41 USD/tonne of CO2 emissions saved. The cycle efficiencies of the third and fourth technological improvement options are 37.9% and 36.8%, respectively, with payback periods of 2.3 and 1.6 years. The second technological improvement option is the least attractive alternative of the group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment of Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata) Production in Offshore Fish Farms
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1228; doi:10.3390/su8121228
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
Life cycle assessment is used in this study to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing gilthead seabream in an offshore sea farm exposed to storms in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. The farming methods used can be considered as “basic” since no centralized
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Life cycle assessment is used in this study to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing gilthead seabream in an offshore sea farm exposed to storms in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. The farming methods used can be considered as “basic” since no centralized or automatic food distribution system exists and there is no control system. This study aims to identify the main hotspots under these conditions and to propose and compare viable alternatives to them. Contribution analysis found that the component of the system with the greatest potential environmental impact (48% of the overall impact) was fish feed, especially the raw material used. Other contributory factors were the fuel consumed by the vessels operating in the farm (35%), the dumping of N and P in the environment due to the metabolism of the fish (12%), the cages and their anchorage system (5%). A sensitivity analysis showed that a significant reduction in potential environmental impact can be achieved by increasing feeding efficiency. Feed formulation in raw materials is also an important factor and could serve to diminish overall adverse effects. A balance needs to be found between productive performance (growth, survival and feed conversion rate), feed price and its influence on production costs and the overall environmental consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing Innovative Capability and Sustainability of Saudi Firms
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1229; doi:10.3390/su8121229
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
The Saudi Arabian government has recognised the need for an alternative path to national development in the form of a knowledge-based economy (KBE). One of the key drivers of a knowledge-based economy KBE is innovation. Therefore, to achieve this aim, it is important
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The Saudi Arabian government has recognised the need for an alternative path to national development in the form of a knowledge-based economy (KBE). One of the key drivers of a knowledge-based economy KBE is innovation. Therefore, to achieve this aim, it is important to understand the various factors affecting organisational innovation capability and sustainability. This empirical research study was conducted to provide a better understanding of the interrelationships among the key constructs, socio-technical factors, diffusion of innovation, and knowledge-sharing process towards Saudi organisational innovation capability. The results offer a number of implications, which are beneficial towards the adoption of the knowledge-based economy seeking to enhance the Saudi organisations towards enriching the organisational innovation capability and sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Input-Output Analysis for Sustainability by Using DEA Method: A Comparison Study between European and Asian Countries
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1230; doi:10.3390/su8121230
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract
Policymakers around the world are confronted with the challenge of balancing between economic development and environmental friendliness, which entails a robust set of measures in energy efficiency and environmental protection. The increasing complexity of these issues has imposed pressure on the Asian countries
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Policymakers around the world are confronted with the challenge of balancing between economic development and environmental friendliness, which entails a robust set of measures in energy efficiency and environmental protection. The increasing complexity of these issues has imposed pressure on the Asian countries that have been acting as global factories. This paper proposes a meta-frontier slacks-based measure (SBM) data envelopment analysis (DEA) model, with the hope that policymakers clarify the relationship between labor force, energy consumption, government expenditures, GDP, and CO2 emissions. Clarification of the causal relationship can serve as a template for policy decisions and ease concerns regarding the potential adverse effects of carbon reduction and energy efficiency on the economy. The results show: (1) Developing countries should establish their own climate change governance and policy frameworks; (2) Developed economies should seek to lower carbon emissions; (3) Energy policies play a pivotal role in energy efficiency improvement; (4) Top-down efforts are critical for the success of carbon reduction policies; (5) Learning from the success of developed countries helps to improve the effectiveness of energy policies; (6) Environmental policies should be formulated, and new production technologies, pollution prevention measures, and treatment methods should be introduced; (7) Governments are suggested to build long-term independent management institutions to promote energy cooperation and exchange. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Indicators for the Analysis of Peasant Women’s Equity and Empowerment Situations in a Sustainability Framework: A Case Study of Cacao Production in Ecuador
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1231; doi:10.3390/su8121231
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
Family agriculture is a fundamental pillar in the construction of agroecological agri-food alternatives fostering processes of sustainable rural development where social equity represents a central aspect. Despite agroecology’s critical openness, this area has not yet incorporated an explicit gender approach allowing an appropriate
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Family agriculture is a fundamental pillar in the construction of agroecological agri-food alternatives fostering processes of sustainable rural development where social equity represents a central aspect. Despite agroecology’s critical openness, this area has not yet incorporated an explicit gender approach allowing an appropriate problematization and analysis of the cultural inequalities of gender relations in agriculture, women’s empowerment processes and their nexus with sustainability. This work presents an organized proposal of indicators to approach and analyze the degree of peasant women’s equity and empowerment within a wide sustainability framework. After a thorough bibliographical review, 34 equity and empowerment indicators were identified and organized into six basic theoretical dimensions. Following the collection of empirical data (from 20 cacao-producing families), the indicators were analyzed and reorganized on the basis of hierarchical cluster analysis and explanatory interdependence into a new set of six empirical dimensions: (1) access to resources, education and social participation; (2) economic-personal autonomy and self-esteem; (3) gender gaps (labor rights, health, work and physical violence); (4) techno-productive decision-making and remunerated work; (5) land ownership and mobility; and (6) diversification of responsibilities and social and feminist awareness. Additionally, a case study is presented that analyzes equity and empowerment in the lives of two rural cacao-producing peasant women in Ecuador. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Concept in Decision-Making: Carbon Tax Consideration for Joint Product Mix Decision
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1232; doi:10.3390/su8121232
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
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Abstract
Carbon emissions are receiving greater scrutiny in many countries due to international forces to reduce anthropogenic global climate change. Carbon taxation is one of the most common carbon emission regulation policies, and companies must incorporate it into their production and pricing decisions. Activity-based
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Carbon emissions are receiving greater scrutiny in many countries due to international forces to reduce anthropogenic global climate change. Carbon taxation is one of the most common carbon emission regulation policies, and companies must incorporate it into their production and pricing decisions. Activity-based costing (ABC) and the theory of constraints (TOC) have been applied to solve product mix problems; however, a challenging aspect of the product mix problem involves evaluating joint manufactured products, while reducing carbon emissions and environmental pollution to fulfill social responsibility. The aim of this paper is to apply ABC and TOC to analyze green product mix decision-making for joint products using a mathematical programming model and the joint production data of pharmaceutical industry companies for the processing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in drugs for medical use. This paper illustrates that the time-driven ABC model leads to optimal joint product mix decisions and performs sensitivity analysis to study how the optimal solution will change with the carbon tax. Our findings provide insight into ‘sustainability decisions’ and are beneficial in terms of environmental management in a competitive pharmaceutical industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Downscaling Planetary Boundaries to Semi-Arid Ecosystems with a Local Perception: A Case Study in the Middle Reaches of Heihe River
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1233; doi:10.3390/su8121233
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
The middle reaches of Heihe River are located in the oasis of the Gobi Desert where limited freshwater supply supports more than 1.5 million inhabitants. The intense agricultural activities are depleting the groundwater reserve. Consequently, natural landscapes and habitats are degraded. Though such
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The middle reaches of Heihe River are located in the oasis of the Gobi Desert where limited freshwater supply supports more than 1.5 million inhabitants. The intense agricultural activities are depleting the groundwater reserve. Consequently, natural landscapes and habitats are degraded. Though such development improves the livelihood of the local community, long-term sustainability of the ecosystem is at risk. Local authorities must be informed holistically to prepare for adapting to the changes and/or mitigating the impacts. The purpose of this study was to perform a regional sustainability assessment based on downscaling the planetary boundaries (PBs). We proposed a regional safe operating space framework that applied a top-down approach using the environmental monitoring data, and a bottom-up approach using knowledge from the local perception about environmental disaster. We conducted on-site samplings and interviews of residents to demonstrate the method. Overall, we showed that the middle reaches had transgressed the safe operating space, particularly on the freshwater use and biogeochemical flow dimensions. We found that the local perception acquired from interviews complemented the insufficiency of the monitoring data and provided the insightful social implications of transgressing the safe operating space, i.e., the anticipated impacts on local livelihood, for policy support. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Objective Scheduling of Electric Vehicles in Smart Distribution Network
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1234; doi:10.3390/su8121234
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract
Due to the energy savings and environmental protection they provide, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are increasing in number quickly. Rapid development of PEVs brings new opportunities and challenges to the electricity distribution network’s dispatching. A high number of uncoordinated charging PEVs has significant
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Due to the energy savings and environmental protection they provide, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are increasing in number quickly. Rapid development of PEVs brings new opportunities and challenges to the electricity distribution network’s dispatching. A high number of uncoordinated charging PEVs has significant negative impacts on the secure and economic operation of a distribution network. In this paper, a bi-level programming approach that coordinates PEVs’ charging with the network load and electricity price of the open market is presented. The major objective of the upper level model is to minimize the total network costs and the deviation of electric vehicle aggregators’ charging power and the equivalent power. The subsequent objective of the lower level model after the upper level decision is to minimize the dispatching deviation of the sum of PEVs’ charging power and their optimization charging power under the upper level model. An improved particle swarm optimization algorithm is used to solve the bi-level programming. Numerical studies using a modified IEEE 69-bus distribution test system including six electric vehicle aggregators verify the efficiency of the proposed model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
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Open AccessArticle Culture Sustainability: Culture Quotient (CQ) and Its Quantitative Empirical Application to Chinese Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1235; doi:10.3390/su8121235
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 26 November 2016
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Abstract
Culture sustainability is one of the indispensable components of sustainability. Culture has likely always been an important element for promoting urban and rural sustainable development. It is now playing an increasingly significant role in sparking and incubating innovation, which is becoming the main
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Culture sustainability is one of the indispensable components of sustainability. Culture has likely always been an important element for promoting urban and rural sustainable development. It is now playing an increasingly significant role in sparking and incubating innovation, which is becoming the main driver of economic growth and competitiveness. Unfortunately, little research has been conducted on how much culture matters to economic performance in a quantitative way. Therefore, in this paper, which is based on an intensive literature review, we try to specifically quantify the importance of culture to urban development in general and urban economic performance in particular, by proposing an index system dubbed as the Culture Quotient (CQ). Following this, an integrated database of 297 prefectural-level cities in China is accordingly established. By manipulating the database, the CQ value for each city is then calculated by using principal component analysis with SPSS (19.0). Afterwards, spatial pattern by CQ value tier is presented and illustrates urban China’s “winner-take-all” phenomenon, with the predominance by the three giant urban clusters in the coastal area, i.e., the Jing (Beijing)-Jin (Tianjin)-Ji (Hebei province)-based Bohai rim region, Yangtze River delta, Pearl River delta, as well as some mega-cities such as Chengdu and Wuhan in other parts of China. More precisely, the regression analysis shows that there is a strong positive relationship between CQ and gross domestic product (GDP), with the striking result that every increase of one percentage point in CQ will induce a five percentage point increment in GDP. Although the finding makes an impressive and convincing case that culture does exert a great impact on urban economic development, and can also be measured in a quantitative way in Chinese cases, more cases from other countries need to be included for further verification and confirmation. We therefore urgently call for more in-depth international comparative studies both in theoretical and practical regards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Imbalance in Spatial Accessibility to Primary and Secondary Schools in China: Guidance for Education Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1236; doi:10.3390/su8121236
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract
Compulsory education is an important aspect of the societal development. Meanwhile, education equality safeguards the effectiveness of education systems and is an important part of social equality. This study analyzes the inequality of compulsory education from the perspective of imbalanced spatial distribution. Unlike
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Compulsory education is an important aspect of the societal development. Meanwhile, education equality safeguards the effectiveness of education systems and is an important part of social equality. This study analyzes the inequality of compulsory education from the perspective of imbalanced spatial distribution. Unlike previous studies that have measured the spatial distribution of education simply based on the spatial position of primary and secondary schools, we explore spatial accessibility based on the shortest travel distance from residents to schools, and then analyze the inequality of compulsory education through the distribution of spatial accessibility. We use 2873 Chinese counties as statistical units, and perform a statistical and graphical analysis of their spatial accessibility using the Theil index and spatial autocorrelation analyses. To analyze the differences in the spatial accessibility distribution on the national and regional levels, we use three partitioned modes: the terrain partitioned mode, the economic development partitioned mode, and the province-level partitioned mode. We then analyze the spatial agglomeration characteristics and distribution patterns of compulsory education accessibility through global autocorrelation, local autocorrelation, and hot-spot and cold-spot analysis. The results demonstrate an obvious imbalance in the distribution of spatial accessibility to compulsory education at the national level. Accessibility and equality in eastern and central regions are significantly better than those in the western region; both are significantly better in coastal regions than in inland regions; and equality alone is better in the municipalities, such as Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing, than in other provinces and autonomous regions. The spatial pattern analysis shows significant global autocorrelation and obvious clusters. Counties in cold-spot areas (clusters of good spatial accessibility) are large in number but small in size. Cold-spot areas present a ring-shaped structure in space with Henan Province as the core. Counties in hot-spot areas (clusters of weak spatial accessibility) are not as numerous, but most are large in size; hot-spot areas are mainly in the northwest regions, characterized by complex terrain and severe economic difficulty. This study can provide significant information to aid policy making related to compulsory education sustainability in China and can facilitate research on the equality and sustainable development of compulsory education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of SMED on Benefits Gained in Maquiladora Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1237; doi:10.3390/su8121237
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Nowadays, Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) has achieved great industrial popularity. However, it remains unclear to what extent and how SMED implementation at its different stages benefits industries. To address this gap, this research proposes a structural equation model to quantitatively measure
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Nowadays, Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) has achieved great industrial popularity. However, it remains unclear to what extent and how SMED implementation at its different stages benefits industries. To address this gap, this research proposes a structural equation model to quantitatively measure SMED effects. The model has six hypotheses that link SMED stages and benefits. To statistically validate such hypotheses, a questionnaire was administered to 373 Mexican maquiladoras located in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Results show that before starting SMED implementation process, companies must be appropriately familiarized with their production process. Mainly, manufacturing companies in Ciudad Juárez need to focus their efforts on the SMED planning stage (Step 1) in order to identify important internal production activities and turn them into external activities. In fact, SMED planning stage has direct and indirect effects on subsequent stages and SMED benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Social Farming in the Promotion of Social-Ecological Sustainability in Rural and Periurban Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1238; doi:10.3390/su8121238
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Rural areas are facing a spectrum of landscape changes and vulnerability as a consequence of financial and environmental crises. Innovative approaches are required to maintain the provision of social services and manage ecosystem services in these areas. We explore the capacity of social
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Rural areas are facing a spectrum of landscape changes and vulnerability as a consequence of financial and environmental crises. Innovative approaches are required to maintain the provision of social services and manage ecosystem services in these areas. We explore the capacity of social farming to create viable and sustainable rural and periurban areas according to a social-ecological perspective. We use the key elements of social-ecological systems under social farming practices to analyse (1) the role of local communities and non-formal institutions; (2) the involvement of target stakeholders; and (3) the explicit connection between agroecosystems and human wellbeing. To do so, we selected and described four cases of local social farming initiatives in terms of the key elements of social-ecological systems and conducted a literature review to provide an overview of the explicit impact of social farming on the quality of life. We found that social farming illustrates hybrid governance solutions beyond market instruments that could be applied for the governance of agroecosystems. It can also provide a range of other wellbeing and cultural ecosystem services to rural and urban inhabitants. Greater cooperation between social farming and ecosystem service science could rebound in rural landscape sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle The Dynamic Enterprise Network Composition Algorithm for Efficient Operation in Cloud Manufacturing
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1239; doi:10.3390/su8121239
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
As a service oriented and networked model, cloud manufacturing (CM) has been proposed recently for solving a variety of manufacturing problems, including diverse requirements from customers. In CM, on-demand manufacturing services are provided by a temporary production network composed of several enterprises participating
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As a service oriented and networked model, cloud manufacturing (CM) has been proposed recently for solving a variety of manufacturing problems, including diverse requirements from customers. In CM, on-demand manufacturing services are provided by a temporary production network composed of several enterprises participating within an enterprise network. In other words, the production network is the main agent of production and a subset of an enterprise network. Therefore, it is essential to compose the enterprise network in a way that can respond to demands properly. A properly-composed enterprise network means the network can handle demands that arrive at the CM, with minimal costs, such as network composition and operation costs, such as participation contract costs, system maintenance costs, and so forth. Due to trade-offs among costs (e.g., contract cost and opportunity cost of production), it is a non-trivial problem to find the optimal network enterprise composition. In addition, this includes probabilistic constraints, such as forecasted demand. In this paper, we propose an algorithm, named the dynamic enterprise network composition algorithm (DENCA), based on a genetic algorithm to solve the enterprise network composition problem. A numerical simulation result is provided to demonstrate the performance of the proposed algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Are Tourists Really Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Destinations?
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1240; doi:10.3390/su8121240
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
The understanding of pro-sustainable behavior and its true economic implications is an important subject for tourism destination marketers and policymakers, especially given that limited research has focused on the economic implications of tourist preferences for more sustainable destinations. Following the identification of three
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The understanding of pro-sustainable behavior and its true economic implications is an important subject for tourism destination marketers and policymakers, especially given that limited research has focused on the economic implications of tourist preferences for more sustainable destinations. Following the identification of three different demand segments using the concept of “sustainable intelligence” (level of commitment, attitude, knowledge and/or behavior with regard to sustainability), this study hypothesizes that the tourist segment with high level of “sustainable intelligence” (called “pro-sustainable tourist”) is willing to pay more to visit a more sustainable destination. The main aim of this paper is to use the logistic regression model to estimate the premium price that each segment is willing to pay to visit a sustainable destination. This paper reports the result of a willingness to pay study using data from 1118 respondents visiting the Western Costa del Sol (Andalusia, Spain), a mature sun-and-sand destination that is currently facing several developmental challenges supposedly associated with sustainability. The results obtained from this research study indicate that the tourist segment with high levels of “sustainable intelligence” is willing to pay more to visit a more sustainable tourism destination. However, there is little willingness to pay if the destination’s commitment to sustainability increases the price of the tourism product (26.6% of respondents). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Does the Central Government’s Environmental Policy Work? Evidence from the Provincial-Level Environment Efficiency in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1241; doi:10.3390/su8121241
Received: 16 October 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper aims at checking the effectiveness of environmental policy pushed by the Central Government at provincial level since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). For this purpose, the industrial system of each province is divided into industrial production sub-system and
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This paper aims at checking the effectiveness of environmental policy pushed by the Central Government at provincial level since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). For this purpose, the industrial system of each province is divided into industrial production sub-system and pollution treatment sub-system, and a novel slack-based measure data envelopment analysis (SBM-DEA) model with non-cooperative game is proposed to evaluate the environment efficiency of both industrial production sub-system and pollutant treatment sub-system. The results show that the proposed model can describe the environmental efficiency more precisely than the traditional DEA models. During 2003–2012, the efficiencies of industrial production sub-system and pollution treatment sub-system at the provincial level are both relatively low. Specifically, the efficiency of industrial production is not only lower than pollution treatment efficiency, but is falling generally, especially in the Eastern area. However, in the Central and Western area, the efficiency of industrial production remains relatively stable, and pollution treatment efficiency is rising steadily. The technology gap between the Central/Western area and the Eastern area is narrowing, particularly concerning pollution treatment technology. We thus conclude that though the Central Government’s environmental policies fail to solve the inner contradiction between economic and environmental systems, and they indirectly contribute to the expansion of pollutant treatment technology among the Eastern, Central, and Western areas, which is conducive to the coordinated development among different areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Future Land Use Scenarios to Evaluate the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Landscape Ecological Security
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1242; doi:10.3390/su8121242
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Urban ecological security is the basic principle of national ecological security. However, analyses of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ecological security remain limited, especially those that consider different scenarios of urban development. In this study, an integrated method is proposed that combines
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Urban ecological security is the basic principle of national ecological security. However, analyses of the spatial and temporal dynamics of ecological security remain limited, especially those that consider different scenarios of urban development. In this study, an integrated method is proposed that combines the Conversion of Land Use and its Effects (CLUE-S) model with the Pressure–State–Response (P-S-R) framework to assess landscape ecological security (LES) in Huangshan City, China under two scenarios. Our results suggest the following conclusions: (1) the spatial and temporal dynamics of ecological security are closely related to the urbanization process; (2) although the average values of landscape ecological security are similar under different scenarios, the areas of relatively high security levels vary considerably; and (3) spatial heterogeneity in ecological security exists between different districts and counties, and the city center and its vicinity may face relatively serious declines in ecological security in the future. Overall, the proposed method not only illustrates the spatio-temporal dynamics of landscape ecological security under different scenarios but also reveals the anthropogenic effects on ecosystems by differentiating between causes, effects, and human responses at the landscape scale. This information is of great significance to decision-makers for future urban planning and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Facilitating Transformation and Competence Development in Sustainable Agriculture University Education: An Experiential and Action Oriented Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1243; doi:10.3390/su8121243
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
The need to strengthen the connection between academia and society has received increased attention over the past years. The importance of bringing university students closer to stakeholders in society as part of their learning process is high regarding sustainable agriculture, because of its
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The need to strengthen the connection between academia and society has received increased attention over the past years. The importance of bringing university students closer to stakeholders in society as part of their learning process is high regarding sustainable agriculture, because of its applied approach. University programs based on experiential and action-oriented learning have been developed over the past decades, but more knowledge is needed about the impact of these educational activities. In a short course in sustainable agriculture at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Italy, we examined the impacts of experiential and action-oriented learning on competency development as well as transformational impacts on the students. We found that students improve on several core competences as a result of their participation in the short course, and also signs of deep transformational processes among the students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle A Stackelberg Game Approach in an Integrated Inventory Model with Carbon-Emission and Setup Cost Reduction
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1244; doi:10.3390/su8121244
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper formulates an integrated inventory model that allows Stackelberg game policy for optimizing joint total cost of a vendor and buyer system. After receiving the lot, the buyer commences an inspection process to determine the defective items. All defective items the buyer
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This paper formulates an integrated inventory model that allows Stackelberg game policy for optimizing joint total cost of a vendor and buyer system. After receiving the lot, the buyer commences an inspection process to determine the defective items. All defective items the buyer sends to vendor during the receiving of the next lot. Due to increasing number of shipments fixed and variable transportation, as well as carbon emissions, are considered, which makes the model sustainable integrated model forever. To reduce the setup cost for the vendor, a discrete setup reduction is considered for maximization more profit. The players of the integrated model are with unequal power (as leader and follower) and the Stackelberg game strategy is utilized to solve this model for obtaining global optimum solution over the finite planning horizon. An illustrative numerical example is given to understand this model clearly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1245; doi:10.3390/su8121245
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Precipitation change has significantly influenced annual net primary productivity (ANPP) at either annual or seasonal scales in desert steppes in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to reveal the process of precipitation driving ANPP at different time scales, responses of different ANPP levels
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Precipitation change has significantly influenced annual net primary productivity (ANPP) at either annual or seasonal scales in desert steppes in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to reveal the process of precipitation driving ANPP at different time scales, responses of different ANPP levels to the inter-annual and intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed. ANPP was reversed by building a ground reflectance spectrum model, from 2000 to 2015, using the normalized differential vegetation index of the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-NDVI) data at 250 m × 250 m spatial resolution. Since the description of the differently expressing forms of precipitation are not sufficient in former studies in order to overcome the deficiency of former studies, in this study, intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed not only with precipitation of May–August, June–August, July–August, and August, respectively, which have direct influence on vegetation productivity within the year, but quantitative description, vector precipitation (R), concentration ratio (Cd), and concentration period (D), were also used to describe the overall characteristics of intra-annual precipitation fluctuations. The concentration ratio and the maximum precipitation period of the intra-annual precipitation were represented by using monthly precipitation. The results showed that: (1) in the period from 1971 to 2015, the maximum annual precipitation is 3.76 times that of the minimum in the Urat desert steppe; (2) vector precipitation is more significantly related to ANPP (r = 0.7724, p = 0.000) compared to meteorological annual precipitation and real annual precipitation influence; and (3) annual precipitation is almost concentrated in 5–8 months and monthly precipitation accumulation has significantly effected ANPP, especially in the period of June–August, since the vegetation composition in the study area was mainly sub-shrubs and perennial grasses, which were more sensitive to precipitation accumulation. These findings suggest that: (1) In the desert steppe, the inter-annual fluctuation and the intra-annual distribution of precipitation have a direct impact on ANPP; (2) the annual vector precipitation showed an extremely significant regression relationship with ANPP; and (3) monthly precipitation fluctuations (May–August) possess the accumulative effect on ANPP during the growing period in the desert steppe, while precipitation accumulation from June to August shows the most significant impact. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Efficiency of Chinese Open-Field Grape Production: An Evaluation Using Data Envelopment Analysis and Spatial Autocorrelation
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1246; doi:10.3390/su8121246
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Grape production is associated with some negative environmental externalities. However, they are not considered in the traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA) efficiency assessment models and the research literature. Hence, the assessment results cannot correctly reflect the technical efficiency level of open-field grape production.
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Grape production is associated with some negative environmental externalities. However, they are not considered in the traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA) efficiency assessment models and the research literature. Hence, the assessment results cannot correctly reflect the technical efficiency level of open-field grape production. We measured the environmental efficiency of China’s open-field grape production under the constraint of carbon emissions using the slacks-based measure (SBM) model, including the undesirable outputs. In addition, spatial relations of environmental efficiency in different open-field grape production areas in China were evaluated by adopting spatial econometric methods. The results indicate that the average environmental efficiency score of grape production in China is at a low level of 0.651. Overall, the average environmental efficiencies in southern, southwest, and northeast regions are lower than the average levels, which implies the imbalance in economic outputs, resource consumption, and environmental efficiency in open-field grape cultivation. Moreover, the spatial autocorrelation results show that the environmental efficiency of grape production has obvious continuity in neighboring regions and spatial correlation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Quantifying the City’s Green Area Potential Gain Using Remote Sensing Data
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1247; doi:10.3390/su8121247
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Information about green spaces available in a city is essential for urban planning. Urban green areas are generally assessed through environmental indicators that reflect the city’s quality of life and urban comfort. A methodology based on 3D measure and analysis of green urban
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Information about green spaces available in a city is essential for urban planning. Urban green areas are generally assessed through environmental indicators that reflect the city’s quality of life and urban comfort. A methodology based on 3D measure and analysis of green urban areas at the city scale is presented. Two products are proposed: (1) measuring current vegetation cover at ground level through object-oriented classification of WorldView-2 imagery; and (2) estimating potential green cover at rooftop level using 3D data obtained by LiDAR sensor. The methodology, implemented in Lisbon, Portugal, demonstrates that: (1) remote sensing imagery provides powerful tools for master planning and policy analysis regarding green urban area expansion; and (2) measures of urban sustainability cannot be solely based on indicators obtained from 2D geographical information. In fact, 2D urban indicators should be complemented by 3D modelling of geographic data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability and Planning Support Systems)
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Open AccessArticle The Fourth Wave of Digitalization and Public Transport: Opportunities and Challenges
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1248; doi:10.3390/su8121248
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
We investigate the opportunities and challenges of the forth wave of digitalization, also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), with respect to public transport and how it can support sustainable development of society. Environmental, economical, and social perspectives are considered through
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We investigate the opportunities and challenges of the forth wave of digitalization, also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), with respect to public transport and how it can support sustainable development of society. Environmental, economical, and social perspectives are considered through analysis of the existing literature and explorative studies. We conclude that there are great opportunities for both transport operators and planners, as well as for the travelers. We describe and analyze a number of concrete opportunities for each of these actors. However, in order to realize these opportunities, there are also a number of challenges that needs to be addressed. There are both technical challenges, such as data collection issues, interoperability, scalability and information security, and non-technical challenges such as business models, usability, privacy issues, and deployment. Full article
Open AccessArticle High-Quality Solid Fuel Production from Leaf Litter of Urban Street Trees
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1249; doi:10.3390/su8121249
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Leaf litter is a growing concern for cities. Due to adherent dirt such biomass is rarely utilized nowadays but may constitute a renewable energy source for communities or private households. Leaf litter from main roads, residential areas and city centres collected by the
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Leaf litter is a growing concern for cities. Due to adherent dirt such biomass is rarely utilized nowadays but may constitute a renewable energy source for communities or private households. Leaf litter from main roads, residential areas and city centres collected by the vacuum technique or the sweeper technique was sampled and analysed for ash content and chemical composition. Ash content of leaf litter collected by the sweeping technique was higher (21.6%–40.1% dry matter, DM) than in material collected by the vacuum technique (12.0%–21.7% DM). Leaf litter from residential areas had the highest contamination (21.7%–40.1% DM), followed by main roads (20.8%–26.2% DM) and city centres (12.0%–21.6% DM). Ash content was reduced by up to 60% with a washing treatment and reached values comparable to those achieved by multiple manual rinsing, which was conducted as a reference treatment. The chemical composition of washed leaf litter could be further improved by mechanical dehydration treatment due to a reduction in harmful elements for combustion such as K, Cl, Mg and S. Heating value of leaf litter increased and the risk of corrosion and ash melting during combustion were reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle A Performance Measurement Tool Leading Wastewater Treatment Plants toward Economic Efficiency and Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1250; doi:10.3390/su8121250
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
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Abstract
Wastewater treatment is an important link in the water cycle that allows for water sanitation and reuse, facilitates energy generation, and allows for the recovery of products from waste. The scientific community has paid significant attention to wastewater treatment, especially from a technical
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Wastewater treatment is an important link in the water cycle that allows for water sanitation and reuse, facilitates energy generation, and allows for the recovery of products from waste. The scientific community has paid significant attention to wastewater treatment, especially from a technical point of view. Extensive literature is available on new technologies, processes, and materials to improve wastewater treatment. However, scant studies have been conducted in the management field focusing on the development of a performance measurement tool that supports plant managers. The current article addresses this literature gap, developing a reporting tool that integrates technical and cost measures and implements it in a large wastewater utility. The tool successfully identifies cause and effect linkages among key plant performance drivers and supports management in finding activities with poor performance and allows them to delay non-relevant measures of control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Aquaculture Land-Use Policy: The Case of Clam Farming in Thaibinh Province, Vietnam
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1251; doi:10.3390/su8121251
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Policy-making and enforcement remains centralized in Vietnam. Policies have been formulated with less scientific and public justification, thus being largely bureaucratic and infeasible, and in many cases, they have created plagues for people at the grass-roots levels. This article focuses on the implementation
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Policy-making and enforcement remains centralized in Vietnam. Policies have been formulated with less scientific and public justification, thus being largely bureaucratic and infeasible, and in many cases, they have created plagues for people at the grass-roots levels. This article focuses on the implementation of policies related to intertidal land-use and supports for clam farming in the Thaibinh province as a case study to explore the impacts of policies on clam farming and farmers. During the period of 2011–2013, provincial policies on intertidal land allocation and technical and financial supports had boosted clam farming development in the province to a surprising extent. Rapid expansion of the clam farming area has created significant consequences for the farming sector, as well as farmer’s lives. However, for the same provincial policies, but with different enforcement, different farming outcomes for clam farmers in the three study communes have resulted. Where farmers had more of a voice and choice in bidding for the intertidal areas they preferred, they faced fewer problems. It is, thus, suggested that a more decentralized policy-making and enforcement are needed, in which more scientific assessment and farmer participation are required to not only make government policy more successful in supporting farmers and achieving their expected outcomes, but also to provide farmers with more room to make their own farming decisions from which farming and marketing risks could be mitigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Technology Clusters Exploration for Patent Portfolio through Patent Abstract Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1252; doi:10.3390/su8121252
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
This study explores technology clusters through patent analysis. The aim of exploring technology clusters is to grasp competitors’ levels of sustainable research and development (R&D) and establish a sustainable strategy for entering an industry. To achieve this, we first grouped the patent documents
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This study explores technology clusters through patent analysis. The aim of exploring technology clusters is to grasp competitors’ levels of sustainable research and development (R&D) and establish a sustainable strategy for entering an industry. To achieve this, we first grouped the patent documents with similar technologies by applying affinity propagation (AP) clustering, which is effective while grouping large amounts of data. Next, in order to define the technology clusters, we adopted the term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weight, which lists the terms in order of importance. We collected the patent data of Korean electric car companies from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to verify our proposed methodology. As a result, our proposed methodology presents more detailed information on the Korean electric car industry than previous studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ammonium Concentration and Migration in Groundwater in the Vicinity of Waste Management Site Located in the Neighborhood of Protected Areas of Warsaw, Poland
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1253; doi:10.3390/su8121253
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of the present paper is to assess groundwater contamination by ammonium originating from the waste management site (including composting plant and the landfill) located in the vicinity of protected areas. In this paper, the impact of urban and industrial facilities adjacent
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The purpose of the present paper is to assess groundwater contamination by ammonium originating from the waste management site (including composting plant and the landfill) located in the vicinity of protected areas. In this paper, the impact of urban and industrial facilities adjacent to the landfill is also investigated. The analysis of ammonium concentration was carried out for selected piezometers and then the monitoring and laboratory tests results were referred to the Polish standards of groundwater quality. The content of the paper discusses the changes of ammonium concentration in time and space and presents potential reasons for these changes, especially resulting from the construction of the vertical bentonite barrier. The results show the significant decrease of ammonium concentration and progressive improvement of water quality observed in almost every piezometer after a few years since the vertical barrier has been installed. Furthermore, the paper provides statistical analyses of groundwater monitoring data from the period 1998–2015 in order to control the groundwater quality and assess the movement of contamination plume in the landfill area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Empirical Relationships among Technological Characteristics, Global Orientation, and Internationalisation of South Korean New Ventures
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1254; doi:10.3390/su8121254
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
International new ventures (INVs) that pursue rapid internationalisation have received a growing amount of attention worldwide. This study, therefore, examined characteristics of INVs, and hence investigated empirically the relationships among the technological characteristics of INVs, the characteristics of their chief executive officers (CEOs)
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International new ventures (INVs) that pursue rapid internationalisation have received a growing amount of attention worldwide. This study, therefore, examined characteristics of INVs, and hence investigated empirically the relationships among the technological characteristics of INVs, the characteristics of their chief executive officers (CEOs) (i.e., global orientation), and their internationalisation such as the level of internationalisation. The findings of this study can be summarised as follows: all of the technological characteristics (e.g., technological capacity, imitation, innovation, and standardisation) have significant effects on the internationalisation of INVs. Furthermore, the CEO’s global orientation mediated the relationship between the technological characteristics and internationalisation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Use of CFD in the Analysis of Wave Loadings Acting on Seawave Slot-Cone Generators
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1255; doi:10.3390/su8121255
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
The reliability of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in reproducing qualitative and quantitative features of loadings exerted by waves on Seawave Slot-cone Generators (SSG) has been investigated via 17 numerical experiments, conducted with the suite Flow 3D. The geometry of the Wave Energy Converter
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The reliability of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in reproducing qualitative and quantitative features of loadings exerted by waves on Seawave Slot-cone Generators (SSG) has been investigated via 17 numerical experiments, conducted with the suite Flow 3D. The geometry of the Wave Energy Converter (WEC), as well as the characteristics of the foreshore in front of it, were identical to those used by the authors in a laboratory study, carried out on a small scale model of a pilot plant to be located along the West Norwegian coasts; the similitude of the layouts allowed an in depth comparison between the results. A good agreement has been generally found between physical and numerical experiments, apart from some aspects of the wave–structure interaction that, however, can be considered secondary for engineering purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing Environmental Continuous Improvement for Sustainable Supply Chain Management: Focusing on Its Performance and Information Disclosure
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1256; doi:10.3390/su8121256
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
This study analyzes the relationship between the implementation and information disclosure of environmental continuous improvement (e-CI) in sustainable supply chain management. The analyzed data relates to e-CI delivered from 19 manufacturing industry types in Japan. A degenerated Charnes-Cooper-Rhodes model, a proposed model for
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This study analyzes the relationship between the implementation and information disclosure of environmental continuous improvement (e-CI) in sustainable supply chain management. The analyzed data relates to e-CI delivered from 19 manufacturing industry types in Japan. A degenerated Charnes-Cooper-Rhodes model, a proposed model for data envelopment analysis, is also used for the analysis. The obtained result is a classification of types of manufacturing industries from the perspective of their capabilities in both e-CI implementation and information disclosure to systematically discover emphatic indicators of these two activities in each manufacturing industry type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Colloidal Mobilization and Fate of Trace Heavy Metals in Semi-Saturated Artificial Soil (OECD) Irrigated with Treated Wastewater
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1257; doi:10.3390/su8121257
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
The mobility of selected heavy metals in trace concentrations was investigated in a standard OECD soil irrigated with the effluent of a real municipal wastewater treatment plant. While Cd, Cu and Ni accumulation-migration patterns were mainly influenced by the mobility of colloids generated
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The mobility of selected heavy metals in trace concentrations was investigated in a standard OECD soil irrigated with the effluent of a real municipal wastewater treatment plant. While Cd, Cu and Ni accumulation-migration patterns were mainly influenced by the mobility of colloids generated from soil organic and inorganic matter, Zn mobility was more influenced by the wastewater content of dissolved organic matter and by its salinity. Metal accumulation caused by interaction with colloids resulted in contamination peaks both in different zones of the soil column and in the leaching solution. The release of metals in the leachate was correlated to the contemporary release of silicates from kaolinite and dissolved organic matter, identified through UV absorbance and chemical oxygen demand monitoring. The hypothesized colloidal mobilization was confirmed by spectroscopic studies. The highly heterogeneous complexes of organic and inorganic molecules responsible for metal transport through soil appeared to be structured in highly stable micellar aggregates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Analysis and Process Modeling of Carbon Dioxide Removal Using Tuff
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1258; doi:10.3390/su8121258
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Removal of carbon dioxide via selective adsorption is a key process to obtain consumer-grade natural gas from biogas and, more generally, CO2 capture and sequestration from gaseous mixtures. The aim of this work is the characterization and classification of a natural alternative
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Removal of carbon dioxide via selective adsorption is a key process to obtain consumer-grade natural gas from biogas and, more generally, CO2 capture and sequestration from gaseous mixtures. The aim of this work is the characterization and classification of a natural alternative to synthetic zeolites that could be used as a carbon dioxide adsorbent. Tuff particulate, easily available as a byproduct of the construction industry, was tested with different laboratory procedures to verify its suitability for CO2 removal applications. Relevant physical and adsorption properties were measured during an intensive experimental campaign. Porosity, pore size distribution, and specific surface area were obtained with mercury intrusion porosimetry. Adsorption isotherms and saturation curves were obtained using two custom experimental apparatuses. The selective adsorption was finally modeled using an original phenomenological parameterization, and a simplified simulation of the process was performed using a computational fluid dynamic approach, validated against observed data. Results show that natural zeolites represent a very promising and sustainable alternative to synthetic zeolites in pressure swing adsorption processes for CO2 removal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Initial Evaluation of Provincial-Level Environmental Risks from the Perspective of Human Settlements
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1259; doi:10.3390/su8121259
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
This study introduces risk theory of environmental science into human settlement science using 2004–2013 statistics, remote sensing data, and thematic maps. The entropy weight method and risk-index model are both used to study the characteristics of the time course and spatial pattern of
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This study introduces risk theory of environmental science into human settlement science using 2004–2013 statistics, remote sensing data, and thematic maps. The entropy weight method and risk-index model are both used to study the characteristics of the time course and spatial pattern of human settlement risk in 31 provincial regions in China. In addition, influential mechanisms of vulnerability, functionality, stress, and adaptability on environmental risks are analyzed. Three primary results are obtained. First, for temporal characteristics, environmental risks of human settlements increased significantly from 2003 to 2012. The year 2006 marked both a sudden change and the cut-off point after which human settlements in China experienced qualitative changes and new risks. Second, for spatial characteristics, the risk index of human settlements decreased gradually from the southwestern to the northeastern, northwestern, and northern parts of China. The risk index of human settlement spaces differed significantly, with obvious block aggregation of spatial-distribution characteristics. Third, for relevant factor characteristics, between 2003 and 2012, the temporal change in vulnerability is relatively stable, with a slight increase in functionality and a slight decrease in adaptability. Spatially, Qinghai, Tibet, southwestern China, Guangdong, Guangxi, Beijing, and Tianjin had relatively high vulnerability in human settlements; Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang had the best functionality; Hunan and Sichuan had relatively high stress; and Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang had relatively stronger adaptability. Further consideration and discussion are required on the environmental risks for different social groups and at different geographical scales, as well as on the uncertainty and long-term features of environmental risks in addition to environmental justice issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Monitoring and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Socio-Ecological Adaptation of Agricultural Heritage Systems in Modern China: Three Cases in Qingtian County, Zhejiang Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1260; doi:10.3390/su8121260
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper, on rural restructuring in China, focuses on the ability of agricultural heritage systems to adapt to modernizing conditions in the rural economy. Since 2002, when FAO initiated the protection of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), the value of agricultural heritage
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This paper, on rural restructuring in China, focuses on the ability of agricultural heritage systems to adapt to modernizing conditions in the rural economy. Since 2002, when FAO initiated the protection of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), the value of agricultural heritage has been widely acknowledged, as has the importance and urgency to protect the systems in which they are embedded. However, such complex systems have not been fully assessed for their contribution to food security, ecosystem services and cultural preservation, as well as their ability to adapt to the demands of modernization. In fact, they have not been effectively evaluated as whole systems, largely because we have not yet devised satisfactory ways of studying complex systems, nor have we been able to assess them fully for their multi-faceted contributions to sustainability. This paper accepts the premise that such systems are sustainable in that they have survived as agro-ecosystems for many hundreds of years, having endured the predations of droughts, famines, plagues, floods and wars. This ability to sustain a rich diversity of biological and human systems is considered, in the theory of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), to be a form of resilience, meaning that these systems have either formed a new normal or returned to the old normal after a period of environmental or social stress. In effect, ancient agricultural heritage systems can be seen to represent what has been traditional and normal in China, but which today are faced with the overwhelming forces of modernization. Taking three examples from Qingtian County in Southern China, where physical and political conditions are consistent, the paper shows how similar rice-fish systems adapt differently and sustain themselves in the face of modernization, and particularly to the loss of youth and labor to urbanisation. One system self-adjusts by using remittances from abroad to sustain the system: an example of self-organization. In another township, the pursuit of tourism is the main form of adaptation to large losses of working population and marginal incomes. To maintain the landscape as a key attraction for tourists, this community has re-assembled abandoned rice terraces and is farming them as a collective enterprise under the auspices of a co-operative: an example of land and labor restructuring that has become common as the dominant form of agrarian change in China. In a third example, the local rice-fish system is being strengthened by modern farming technology and scientific techniques: an example of technological adaptation. The discussion explores the three responses as evidence of sustainable practice involving local restructuring, continued ingenuity, and the creative support of local governments in the face of the homogenizing demands of modernization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Regional Retrofit Programme to Upgrade Existing Housing Stock to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Fuel Poverty and Support the Local Supply Chain
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1261; doi:10.3390/su8121261
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
The first-ever legally binding global climate deal that will be adopted by 195 countries was introduced in Paris in 2015, highlighting that climate change is being recognised as a real and urgent global problem. Legislative interventions need to be accompanied by significant action
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The first-ever legally binding global climate deal that will be adopted by 195 countries was introduced in Paris in 2015, highlighting that climate change is being recognised as a real and urgent global problem. Legislative interventions need to be accompanied by significant action across all sectors of the built environment through reducing energy demand, providing energy supply from low carbon sources and combining with this with energy storage to enable necessary targets to be met. Retrofitting existing buildings is critical to making these cuts as 80% of buildings currently in existence will still be present in 2050. These retrofits need to be undertaken rapidly using replicable and affordable solutions that benefit both the householder whilst significantly reducing emissions. This paper will present an evaluation of a £9.6 million regional scale retrofit programme funded under the Welsh Governments Arbed 1 Programme which aimed to reduce fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions and support the energy efficiency and renewable supply chain and encourage recruitment and training in the sector. Results have been obtained from desk top data collection and energy modelling calculations. The evaluation work presents the technical, environmental and economic impacts of the programme and demonstrates lessons learnt to help improve the implementation of the other regional retrofit projects providing evidence of the impacts of a large scale retrofit programme that are necessary for the deep carbon reductions required in the near future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Shedding Light on Eco-Innovation in Tourism: A Critical Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1262; doi:10.3390/su8121262
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
The recent global increase in the competitiveness of tourism has made the implementation of eco-innovations a differentiating element among both the destinations and companies in the sector, with quality management and contribution to sustainable development being increasingly valued. However, the eco-innovations that have
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The recent global increase in the competitiveness of tourism has made the implementation of eco-innovations a differentiating element among both the destinations and companies in the sector, with quality management and contribution to sustainable development being increasingly valued. However, the eco-innovations that have been developed and implemented in tourist industries have rarely been studied. In this study, the eco-innovations that have been developed and implemented by 57 tourism businesses worldwide are analysed. The identified eco-innovations are classified by using different qualitative methodologies. The obtained results shed light on the limited development of eco-innovations in the tourism industry and the industry focuses mainly on product eco-innovations. Several examples by the tourist sub-industry and types of eco-innovation are analysed. Furthermore, this study provides practical information about measures that both businesses and governmental organisations can adopt to promote eco-innovation in the sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Political Economy of the Water Footprint: A Cross-National Analysis of Ecologically Unequal Exchange
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1263; doi:10.3390/su8121263
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
Water scarcity is an important social and ecological issue that is becoming increasingly problematic with the onset of climate change. This study explores the extent to which water resources in developing countries are affected by the vertical flow of exports to high-income countries.
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Water scarcity is an important social and ecological issue that is becoming increasingly problematic with the onset of climate change. This study explores the extent to which water resources in developing countries are affected by the vertical flow of exports to high-income countries. In examining this question, the authors engage the sociological theory of ecologically unequal exchange, which argues that high-income countries are able to partially externalize the environmental costs of their consumption to lower-income countries. The authors use a relatively new and underutilized measure of water usage, the water footprint, which quantifies the amount of water used in the entire production process. Ordinary least squares (OLS) and robust regression techniques are employed in the cross-national analysis of 138 countries. The results provide partial support of the propositions of ecologically unequal exchange theory. In particular, the results highlight the importance of structural position in the global economy for understanding the effects of trade on water resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simplified Heat and Mass Transfer Model for Cross-Flow and Countercurrent Flow Packed Bed Tower Dehumidifiers with a Liquid Desiccant System
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1264; doi:10.3390/su8121264
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
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Abstract
A mathematical model is developed using the Matlab/Simulink platform to investigate heat and mass transfer performance of cross-flow and counterflow dehumidifiers with Lithium Chloride (LiCl) solution. In the liquid desiccant dehumidifier, the orthogonal polynomial basis is used to simulate the combined processes of
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A mathematical model is developed using the Matlab/Simulink platform to investigate heat and mass transfer performance of cross-flow and counterflow dehumidifiers with Lithium Chloride (LiCl) solution. In the liquid desiccant dehumidifier, the orthogonal polynomial basis is used to simulate the combined processes of heat and mass transfer. The temperature profiles on cross-flow and countercurrent flow dehumidifiers are demonstrated. The resultant counter flow air changes the temperature profile of the LiCl solution in the longitudinal direction because of the drag forces. In addition, when inlet airflow rate reaches 15 kg·s−1, the temperature effect becomes less obvious and may be reasonably negligible. Under these conditions, the air changes the design factor and determines the interfacial temperature. It is demonstrated that the mathematical model can be of great value in the design and improvement of cross-flow and countercurrent flow dehumidifiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Robust Sliding Mode Control of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Generator-Based Wind Energy Conversion Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1265; doi:10.3390/su8121265
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 19 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
The subject of this paper pertains to sliding mode control and its application in nonlinear electrical power systems as seen in wind energy conversion systems. Due to the robustness in dealing with unmodeled system dynamics, sliding mode control has been widely used in
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The subject of this paper pertains to sliding mode control and its application in nonlinear electrical power systems as seen in wind energy conversion systems. Due to the robustness in dealing with unmodeled system dynamics, sliding mode control has been widely used in electrical power system applications. This paper presents first and high order sliding mode control schemes for permanent magnet synchronous generator-based wind energy conversion systems. The application of these methods for control using dynamic models of the d-axis and q-axis currents, as well as those of the high speed shaft rotational speed show a high level of efficiency in power extraction from a varying wind resource. Computer simulation results have shown the efficacy of the proposed sliding mode control approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Community-Oriented Approaches in Demand Side Management Projects in Europe
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1266; doi:10.3390/su8121266
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper seeks to investigate if the theoretical and political trends towards a more collective dimension of energy use are reflected in the design and development of demand side management (DSM) pilot projects in Europe. Specifically, the paper analyses DSM projects in the
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This paper seeks to investigate if the theoretical and political trends towards a more collective dimension of energy use are reflected in the design and development of demand side management (DSM) pilot projects in Europe. Specifically, the paper analyses DSM projects in the database of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission to capture signs of a new attention towards the wider context in which consumers live and towards the social dimension associated with energy consumption. To this end, the paper investigates the projects’ scope (in terms of project’s partners, end-use sectors and targeted services) as well as the consumer engagement strategies that projects use. These elements reflect the projects’ consideration for the socio-economic dimension of the community where the pilots take place and their inclination to build on community dynamics. The analysis shows that DSM projects in the EU are increasingly being designed and developed with a collegial approach to energy consumption in mind, although an integrated approach is still missing. In addition, research is still needed to link the use of this innovative approach to project results. A closer look at the developments and results of these projects can help to identify what works and what doesn’t in real life experiences, thus supporting effective policy making at the EU and national level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Marine Ecological Environment Management Based on Ecological Compensation Mechanisms
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1267; doi:10.3390/su8121267
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological
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The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological environment management must be done in order to achieve sustainable development of the marine economy. As an environmental economic policy that combines both administrative and market measures, ecological compensation mechanisms have significant advantages in marine ecological environment management. Based on the study of the current development of ecological compensation mechanisms in China, through the analysis of the connotation of marine ecological civilization, existing marine ecological protection practices and marine environmental management methods, this paper posits that the current marine ecological environment management in China should be established on the basis of ecological compensation mechanisms. At present, a lack of laws and regulations for overall marine ecological environment management is the key factor restricting the practice of marine ecological environment management. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current path of marine ecological environment management in China from the perspective of the construction of legal system of ecological compensation law, the establishment of ecological compensation fees, ecological taxes and ecological compensation fund systems, and the clear status for a marine ecological management and supervision body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
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Open AccessArticle Energy-Efficient Scheduling Problem Using an Effective Hybrid Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1268; doi:10.3390/su8121268
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 25 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
Nowadays, manufacturing enterprises face the challenge of just-in-time (JIT) production and energy saving. Therefore, study of JIT production and energy consumption is necessary and important in manufacturing sectors. Moreover, energy saving can be attained by the operational method and turn off/on idle machine
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Nowadays, manufacturing enterprises face the challenge of just-in-time (JIT) production and energy saving. Therefore, study of JIT production and energy consumption is necessary and important in manufacturing sectors. Moreover, energy saving can be attained by the operational method and turn off/on idle machine method, which also increases the complexity of problem solving. Thus, most researchers still focus on small scale problems with one objective: a single machine environment. However, the scheduling problem is a multi-objective optimization problem in real applications. In this paper, a single machine scheduling model with controllable processing and sequence dependence setup times is developed for minimizing the total earliness/tardiness (E/T), cost, and energy consumption simultaneously. An effective multi-objective evolutionary algorithm called local multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (LMOEA) is presented to tackle this multi-objective scheduling problem. To accommodate the characteristic of the problem, a new solution representation is proposed, which can convert discrete combinational problems into continuous problems. Additionally, a multiple local search strategy with self-adaptive mechanism is introduced into the proposed algorithm to enhance the exploitation ability. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated by instances with comparison to other multi-objective meta-heuristics such as Nondominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II), Strength Pareto Evolutionary Algorithm 2 (SPEA2), Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization (OMOPSO), and Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithm Based on Decomposition (MOEA/D). Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed LMOEA algorithm outperforms its counterparts for this kind of scheduling problems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of Perceptions on Cultural Events’ Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1269; doi:10.3390/su8121269
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Cultural events and festivals can have a significant and important influence on the development of local communities. Their utilization of the endogenous resources of an area means that these events, most often, have a positive impact on the local economy. Quite consequentially, they
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Cultural events and festivals can have a significant and important influence on the development of local communities. Their utilization of the endogenous resources of an area means that these events, most often, have a positive impact on the local economy. Quite consequentially, they may also extend the socio-cultural opportunities of local citizens. However, their utilization of time and space does raise concerns regarding environmental impact. Therefore, it is imperative that stakeholders study their net impact on a region. This present paper examines the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental impact of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF). With a history of 15 editions, the festival gathers, year by year, an increasing number of people in Cluj-Napoca. The growth of the event has had unmistakable and important effects on the city. The purpose of the paper is to analyze resident participants’ perceptions on economic, socio-cultural, and environmental effects. To reach this goal, an exploratory and descriptive research was conducted. Both primary and secondary data were used in the analysis, the questionnaire being the main tool used for collecting data about participants’ perceptions. The results emphasize the positive effects at the socio-cultural level. The festival provides multiple possibilities to spend free time in a pleasant way, it sustains the development of cultural life, and it improves the educational and the cultural level of community. Moreover, the festival does not influence, in a negative manner, the moral principles of the society and it does not generate an increase in crime rate. From the economic point of view, the festival has the capacity to attract investments and additional revenues for the local government, it sustains the development of the city infrastructure, and it creates opportunities for residents to develop new economic activities. Lastly, from the environmental point of view, the festival sustains the improvement of environmental issues, it does not generate important traffic problems, and it does not deteriorate touristic resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Social Vulnerability Indicators to Climate Change for the Southwest Coastal Areas of Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1270; doi:10.3390/su8121270
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 27 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
The impact of climate change on the coastal zones of Taiwan not only affects the marine environment, ecology, and human communities whose economies rely heavily on marine activities, but also the sustainable development of national economics. The southwest coast is known as the
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The impact of climate change on the coastal zones of Taiwan not only affects the marine environment, ecology, and human communities whose economies rely heavily on marine activities, but also the sustainable development of national economics. The southwest coast is known as the area most vulnerable to climate change; therefore, this study aims to develop indicators to assess social vulnerability in this area of Taiwan using the three dimensions of susceptibility, resistance, and resilience. The modified Delphi method was used to develop nine criteria and 26 indexes in the evaluation, and the analytic hierarchy process method was employed to evaluate the weight of each indicator based on the perspectives of experts collected through questionnaire surveys. The results provide important information pertaining to the vulnerability of the most susceptive regions, the lowest-resistance areas, and the least resilient townships on the southwest coast. The most socially vulnerable areas are plotted based on the present analysis. Experts can consider the vulnerability map provided here when developing adaptation policies. It should be kept in mind that improving the capacities of resistance and resilience is more important than reducing susceptibility in Taiwan. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency Analysis of Industrial Systems in the Songhua River Basin: A Decomposition Model Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1271; doi:10.3390/su8121271
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Eco-efficiency is an important sustainable development and circular economy construct that conceptualizes the relationship between industrial output, resource utilization, and environmental impacts. This paper conducts an eco-efficiency analysis for basin industrial systems using the decomposition model approach. Using data on 10 cities in
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Eco-efficiency is an important sustainable development and circular economy construct that conceptualizes the relationship between industrial output, resource utilization, and environmental impacts. This paper conducts an eco-efficiency analysis for basin industrial systems using the decomposition model approach. Using data on 10 cities in China’s Songhua River basin, we illustrate the evolutionary characteristics and influencing factors of industrial systems’ eco-efficiency. The results indicate that cities in upstream and midstream areas focus on improving resource efficiency, whereas cities in downstream areas focus on improving terminal control efficiency. The results also show that the government plays an increasingly important role in promoting eco-efficiency and that significant differences in the influencing factors exist among the upstream area, midstream area, and downstream area. Our results offer deeper insights into the eco-efficiency of industrial systems and give further hints on how policy-making can help achieve sustainable development, balancing between economic activities and environmental protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Sustainability of Nature Reserves Using an Ecological Footprint Method: A Case Study in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1272; doi:10.3390/su8121272
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 29 October 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract
Nature reserves are established to protect ecosystems and rare flora and fauna. However, with the rapid development of the social economy, many nature reserves are facing enormous pressures from human activities. The assessment of the sustainability of nature reserves is a fundamental task
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Nature reserves are established to protect ecosystems and rare flora and fauna. However, with the rapid development of the social economy, many nature reserves are facing enormous pressures from human activities. The assessment of the sustainability of nature reserves is a fundamental task for the planning and management of such areas. In this study, the sustainability of China’s 319 national nature reserves (NRRs) was evaluated based on an ecological footprint (EF) method. The results indicated that the per capita ecological footprints of all national nature reserves increased 85.86% from 2000 to 2010. Meanwhile, the per capita biocapacity (BC) of all national nature reserves increased slightly, with a rate of increase of 1.79%. The ‘traffic light’ method was adopted to identify the sustainability status of those national nature reserves. It was found that currently (2010) 45% of NRRs were in the condition of ecological deficit. In terms of dynamic changes in EF and BC, only 16% of NRRs were sustainable. The 124 national nature reserves that were in the red light state were mainly distributed in Anhui Province, Chongqing City, Hunan, Guizhou, Fujian, Shandong Province, and Inner Mongolia. The percentage of nature reserves at the red light state in these areas were 83.3%, 66.7%, 64.7%, 62.5%, 58.3%, 57.1%, and 56.5%, respectively. The reserves in the red light state should be included in the priority concern level and should be strictly controlled in terms of population growth and the intensity of exploitation. The results of this study will provide more effective data for reference and for decision making support in nature reserve protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Objective Optimization for Smart House Applied Real Time Pricing Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1273; doi:10.3390/su8121273
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
A smart house generally has a Photovoltaic panel (PV), a Heat Pump (HP), a Solar Collector (SC) and a fixed battery. Since the fixed battery can buy and store inexpensive electricity during the night, the electricity bill can be reduced. However, a large
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A smart house generally has a Photovoltaic panel (PV), a Heat Pump (HP), a Solar Collector (SC) and a fixed battery. Since the fixed battery can buy and store inexpensive electricity during the night, the electricity bill can be reduced. However, a large capacity fixed battery is very expensive. Therefore, there is a need to determine the economic capacity of fixed battery. Furthermore, surplus electric power can be sold using a buyback program. By this program, PV can be effectively utilized and contribute to the reduction of the electricity bill. With this in mind, this research proposes a multi-objective optimization, the purpose of which is electric demand control and reduction of the electricity bill in the smart house. In this optimal problem, the Pareto optimal solutions are searched depending on the fixed battery capacity. Additionally, it is shown that consumers can choose what suits them by comparing the Pareto optimal solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Critical Factors Influencing Viability of Wave Energy Converters in Off-Grid Luxury Resorts and Small Utilities
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1274; doi:10.3390/su8121274
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper examines technical and non-technical factors that are critical to the viability of commercialization of wave energy converters in off-grid luxury resorts and small utilities. Critical factors are found by investigating Levelized Cost of Energy, and using the tools PESTEL and Porter’s
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This paper examines technical and non-technical factors that are critical to the viability of commercialization of wave energy converters in off-grid luxury resorts and small utilities. Critical factors are found by investigating Levelized Cost of Energy, and using the tools PESTEL and Porter’s five competitive forces. Identified factors are then applied on three business cases to investigate their impact on viability. The results show that one of the main challenges facing off-grid commercialization is the few wave energy converter units installed per location, negating the economy of scale that large wave energy farms count on to achieve competitive cost levels. In addition, factors like current cost of energy, available wave resources, distance from shore, infrastructure, supply chain logistics, and electricity demand are found to be deciding factors for viability. Despite these challenges, it is found that there are potentially viable off-grid business cases for commercialization of wave energy converters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Open AccessArticle Life-Cycle Assessment of Seismic Retrofit Strategies Applied to Existing Building Structures
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1275; doi:10.3390/su8121275
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
In the last few years, the renovation and refurbishment of existing buildings have become the main activities of the construction industry. In particular, many studies have recently focused on the mechanical and energy performances of existing retrofitted/refurbished facilities, while some research has addressed
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In the last few years, the renovation and refurbishment of existing buildings have become the main activities of the construction industry. In particular, many studies have recently focused on the mechanical and energy performances of existing retrofitted/refurbished facilities, while some research has addressed the environmental effects of such operations. The present study aims to assess the environmental impact of some retrofit interventions on an existing reinforced concrete (RC) building. Once the structural requirements have been satisfied and the environmental effects of these retrofit solutions defined, the final purpose of this study is to identify the most environmentally sustainable retrofit strategy. The environmental impact of the structural retrofit options is assessed using a life-cycle assessment (LCA). This paper sets out a systematic approach that can be adopted when choosing the best structural retrofit option in terms of sustainability performance. The final aim of the study is to also provide a tool for researchers and practitioners that reflects a deep understanding of the sustainability aspects of retrofit operations and can be used for future researches or practical activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Electricity Generation System Sustainability among G20 Countries
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1276; doi:10.3390/su8121276
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
Planning for electricity generation systems is a very important task and should take environmental and economic factors into account. This paper reviews the existing metrics and methods in evaluating energy sustainability, and we propose a sustainability assessment index system. The input indexes include
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Planning for electricity generation systems is a very important task and should take environmental and economic factors into account. This paper reviews the existing metrics and methods in evaluating energy sustainability, and we propose a sustainability assessment index system. The input indexes include generation capacity, generation cost, and land use. The output indexes include desirable and undesirable parts. The desirable outputs are total electricity generation and job creation. The undesirable outputs are external supply risk and external costs associated with the environment and health. The super-efficiency data envelopment analysis method is used to calculate the sustainability of electricity generation systems of 23 countries from 2005 to 2014. The three input indexes and three undesirable output indexes are used as the input variables. The two desirable outputs are used as the output variables. The results show that most countries’ electricity generation sustainability values have decreasing trends. In addition, nuclear and hydro generation have positive effects. Solar, wind, and fossil fuel generation have negative effects on sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability as Social Contract: Textile and Apparel Professionals’ Value Conflicts within the Corporate Moral Responsibility Spectrum
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1278; doi:10.3390/su8121278
Received: 27 September 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
Current discussions of sustainability in the textile and apparel (T&A) supply chain tend to focus on consumer behavior or methods of production. Few studies investigate how T&A supply chain members experience corporate sustainability initiatives within their own moral value spectrum. This study was
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Current discussions of sustainability in the textile and apparel (T&A) supply chain tend to focus on consumer behavior or methods of production. Few studies investigate how T&A supply chain members experience corporate sustainability initiatives within their own moral value spectrum. This study was designed to describe the gaps that might exist between personal and corporate moral values of T&A supply chain members, and how individuals manage such gaps to align personal and corporate identities. The researchers investigated the views of ten T&A supply chain members residing in the United States, both as employees and consumers of T&A companies, through semi-structured interviews. Dunfee’s extant social contracts and Schwartz’s theory of basic values were used as theoretical frameworks to better understand the participants’ lived experiences in negotiating personal and corporate expectations. The findings revealed three themes: (a) nature of the value gap; (b) frustration due to the value gap; and (c) strategies to manage the value gap. The strategies used to realign values split into either those that held sustainability as their responsibility and worked to move corporate values toward their personal values; or those that shifted the blame to others so that their values could remain untouched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1279; doi:10.3390/su8121279
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract
Knowledge learning and diffusion have long been discussed in the literature on the dynamics of industrial clusters, but recent literature provides little evidence for how different actors serve as knowledge brokers in the upgrading process of apprentice-based clusters, and does not dynamically consider
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Knowledge learning and diffusion have long been discussed in the literature on the dynamics of industrial clusters, but recent literature provides little evidence for how different actors serve as knowledge brokers in the upgrading process of apprentice-based clusters, and does not dynamically consider how to preserve the sustainability of these clusters. This paper uses empirical evidence from an antique furniture manufacturing cluster in Xianyou, Fujian Province, in southeastern China, to examine the growth trajectory of the knowledge learning system of an antique furniture manufacturing cluster. It appears that the apprentice-based learning system is crucial during early stages of the cluster evolution, but later becomes complemented and relatively substituted by the role of both local governments and focal outsiders. This finding addresses the context of economic transformation and provides empirical insights into knowledge acquisition in apprentice-based clusters to question the rationality based on European and North American cases, and to provide a broader perspective for policy makers to trigger and sustain the development of apprentice-based clusters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Science, Technology and Innovation through Entrepreneurship Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1280; doi:10.3390/su8121280
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 27 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the ways of achieving Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in UAE. Previously, sustainability within an entrepreneurship context has been related to economic viability as opposed to sustainability in its broadest sense. Through a survey research
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the ways of achieving Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in UAE. Previously, sustainability within an entrepreneurship context has been related to economic viability as opposed to sustainability in its broadest sense. Through a survey research method, we have highlighted the effects of three independent variables and two intervening variables on three important outcomes, innovation, need for achievement and motivation, which ultimately contributes towards STI. These data have been collected from the students of a well-known university in Al-Ain, UAE. The responses of 251 students have been utilized for analysis. For hypotheses testing, we used AMOS 18 (Structural Equation Modeling) and SPSS 20. The study revealed that all of the predictors have a strong effect on the outcome variables, which leads to STI in UAE. There is a strong need to revise the curriculum of higher education institutions of UAE to develop self-confidence, locus of control and risk taking propensity among students. The study provides novel insight into entrepreneurship education and serves as an initial benchmark in the field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Locational Factors on the Performance of Innovation Networks in the German Energy Sector
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1281; doi:10.3390/su8121281
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Locational factors, like the quantity and quality of skilled labour, demanding customers, competitors, supporting industries, and research institutions, are assumed to have an influence on the competitiveness of a region and the performance of the regional actors. However, few studies focus on this
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Locational factors, like the quantity and quality of skilled labour, demanding customers, competitors, supporting industries, and research institutions, are assumed to have an influence on the competitiveness of a region and the performance of the regional actors. However, few studies focus on this topic from an innovation network perspective in the energy sector. Our study tries to close this gap: a sample of 128 German innovation networks of companies and research institutes in the energy sector is used to analyse the effects of locational factors on the performance (effectiveness) of innovation projects. Based on the distinctions in Porter’s Diamond Model, we find that two locational factors—the quality and quantity of the demand conditions and skilled labour—have positive effects. In contrast to the widespread assumption in the literature we could not find evidence for positive impacts on the quality and quantity of the competitive environment. In fact, the effect on performance was negative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Operation and Management of Smart Grid System with LPC and BESS in Fault Conditions
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1282; doi:10.3390/su8121282
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Distributed generators (DG) using renewable energy sources (RESs) have been attracting special attention within distribution systems. However, a large amount of DG penetration causes voltage deviation and reverse power flow in the smart grid. Therefore, the smart grid needs a solution for voltage
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Distributed generators (DG) using renewable energy sources (RESs) have been attracting special attention within distribution systems. However, a large amount of DG penetration causes voltage deviation and reverse power flow in the smart grid. Therefore, the smart grid needs a solution for voltage control, power flow control and power outage prevention. This paper proposes a decision technique of optimal reference scheduling for a battery energy storage system (BESS), inverters interfacing with a DG and voltage control devices for optimal operation. Moreover, the reconfiguration of the distribution system is made possible by the installation of a loop power flow controller (LPC). Two separate simulations are provided to maintain the reliability in the stable power supply and economical aspects. First, the effectiveness of the smart grid with installed BESS or LPC devices is demonstrated in fault situations. Second, the active smart grid using LCPs is proposed. Real-time techniques of the dual scheduling algorithm are applied to the system. The aforementioned control objective is formulated and solved using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm with an adaptive inertia weight (AIW) function. The effectiveness of the optimal operation in ordinal and fault situations is verified by numerical simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Land-Based Mitigation Strategies under the Mid-Term Carbon Reduction Targets in Indonesia
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1283; doi:10.3390/su8121283
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
We investigated the key mitigation options for achieving the mid-term target for carbon emission reduction in Indonesia. A computable general equilibrium model coupled with a land-based mitigation technology model was used to evaluate specific mitigation options within the whole economic framework. The results
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We investigated the key mitigation options for achieving the mid-term target for carbon emission reduction in Indonesia. A computable general equilibrium model coupled with a land-based mitigation technology model was used to evaluate specific mitigation options within the whole economic framework. The results revealed three primary findings: (1) If no climate policy were implemented, Indonesia’s total greenhouse gas emissions would reach 3.0 GtCO2eq by 2030; (2) To reduce carbon emissions to meet the latest Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDC) target, ~58% of total reductions should come from the agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors by implementing forest protection, afforestation and plantation efforts; (3) A higher carbon price in 2020 suggests that meeting the 2020 target would be economically challenging, whereas the INDC target for 2030 would be more economically realistic in Indonesia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Remedial Measures for Erroneous Environmental Policies: Assessing Infrastructure Projects of Waste-to-Energy Incineration in Taiwan with a Case Study of the Taitung Incinerator
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1284; doi:10.3390/su8121284
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Taiwan, like many other countries, often incentivizes private investors to participate in the construction of infrastructures for environmental protection. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-operate-own (BOO) model of financing public infrastructure was introduced to Taiwan in the 1990s. Among them, the construction of incinerators
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Taiwan, like many other countries, often incentivizes private investors to participate in the construction of infrastructures for environmental protection. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-operate-own (BOO) model of financing public infrastructure was introduced to Taiwan in the 1990s. Among them, the construction of incinerators to treat the municipal solid waste using the BOT/BOO model was quite a success in the beginning. With the socio-technical change of lifestyle and waste generation, the amount of amount of trash dropped dramatically. The policy failed eventually, however, because the government over-estimated the trash quantity and refrained from inter-municipality cooperation to treat trash efficiently. This failure triggered a rash of intense debates and legal disputes. In the case of the Taitung incinerator, the 26th incinerator located in southeastern Taiwan, the arbitration resulted in the government making significant compensation payments to the private sector. The finished construction was consequently converted into a “mothballed and pensioned off” facility. This study applies in-depth interviews and literature review to discuss aspects contributing to the policy failure and proposes some possible remedial measures. Five aspects are summarized, namely, the administrative organization’s rigid attitude, the irrationality of the BOT/BOO contracts, the loss of the spirit of BOO partnerships, the heavy financial burden on local government, and the abandonment of inter-municipality cooperation. The remedial measures for the policy failure are presented in the form of thorough policy evaluation, room for contract adjustments under the BOT/BOO model, encouragement of cross-boundary cooperation, and revision of the legal framework for implementing decentralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing the Transformation of Urban Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing the Spatial Difference in Household Energy Consumption in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1285; doi:10.3390/su8121285
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
What factors determine the spatial heterogeneity of household energy consumption (HEC) in China? Can the impacts of these factors be quantified? What are the trends and characteristics of the spatial differences? To date, these issues are still unclear. Based on the STIRPAT model
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What factors determine the spatial heterogeneity of household energy consumption (HEC) in China? Can the impacts of these factors be quantified? What are the trends and characteristics of the spatial differences? To date, these issues are still unclear. Based on the STIRPAT model and panel dataset for 30 provinces in China over the period 1997–2013, this paper investigated influences of the income per capita, urbanization level and annual average temperature on HEC, and revealed the spatial effects of these influencing factors. The results show that the income level is the main influencing factor, followed by the annual average temperature. There exists a diminishing marginal contribution with increasing income. The influence of urbanization level varies according to income level. In addition, from the eastern region to western region of China, variances largely depend upon economic level at the provincial level. From the northern region to southern region, change is mainly caused by temperature. The urbanization level has more significant impact on the structure and efficiency of household energy consumption than on its quantity. These results could provide reference for policy making and energy planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Economic and Environmental Analysis of Investing in Solar Water Heating Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1286; doi:10.3390/su8121286
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
Solar water heating (SWH) systems can provide a significant part of the heat energy that is required in the residential sector. The use of SWH systems is motivated by the desire to reduce energy consumption and especially to reduce a major source of
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Solar water heating (SWH) systems can provide a significant part of the heat energy that is required in the residential sector. The use of SWH systems is motivated by the desire to reduce energy consumption and especially to reduce a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The purposes of the present paper consist in: assessing the solar potential; analysing the possibility of using solar energy to heat water for residential applications in Romania; investigating the economic potential of SWH systems; and their contribution to saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. The results showed that if solar systems are used, the annual energy savings amount to approximately 71%, and the reduction of GHG emissions into the atmosphere are of 18.5 tonnes of CO2 over the lifespan of the system, with a discounted payback period of 6.8–8.6 years, in accordance with the savings achieved depending on system characteristics, the solar radiation available, ambient air temperature and on heating load characteristics. Financially, the installation of SWH systems determines net savings of 805–1151 Euro in a 25-year period in the absence of governmental subsidies. According to the sensitivity analysis, installing a SWH system with subsidies of up to 50% determines the reduction of the discounted payback period to 3.1–3.9 years and the increase of net savings to 1570–1916 Euro. These results indicate that investing in these systems is cost-effective for Romanian households as long as the governmental subsidies increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Development of Regional Disparity in Mainland China: An Experimental Study Based on a Multidimensional Index
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1287; doi:10.3390/su8121287
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper stems from the previous wisdom to investigate the transitional dynamics of regional disparity in China during the period 1998–2010. This is the very first time that 30 Chinese regions have been benchmarked according to a multidimensional index based on a stochastic
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This paper stems from the previous wisdom to investigate the transitional dynamics of regional disparity in China during the period 1998–2010. This is the very first time that 30 Chinese regions have been benchmarked according to a multidimensional index based on a stochastic kernel density. The multidimensional index contains five domains to capture the socioeconomic development: macroeconomic conditions, science and innovation, environmental sustainability, human capital, and public facilities. This experimental study reveals the existence of a three-peak pattern of convergence during 1998–2010, and improves the understanding of the evolution of regional disparity in China in terms of the comprehensive socioeconomic development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Plate Waste in School Lunch Programs in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1288; doi:10.3390/su8121288
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
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Abstract
School plate waste is of particular concern worldwide due to its adverse impacts not only on resource use and the environment, but also on students’ health, physical maturation, and academic achievement in the long term. Previous studies on school plate waste have all
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School plate waste is of particular concern worldwide due to its adverse impacts not only on resource use and the environment, but also on students’ health, physical maturation, and academic achievement in the long term. Previous studies on school plate waste have all been conducted in industrialized countries, and more studies are badly needed in developing countries. In this paper, we report a pilot study on the patterns and causes of plate waste in school lunch programs in Beijing, China, by a combination of physical weighing, questionnaire survey, and semi-structured interview approaches. Our results show that the average amount of food waste generated by school students in Beijing in 2014 was 130 g/cap/meal, accounting for 21% of total food served. Staple food (43%) and vegetables (42%) were the dominant proportions. Buffet meals resulted in less plate waste than packed meals and set meals. Food supply patterns, the quality of canteen service, and the dietary habit and students’ knowledge of food production were the main influencing factors behind plate waste. To our best knowledge, our pilot study provides a first understanding of the overlooked plate waste in school lunch programs in China, and a good basis for further analysis in this field, and will be helpful in informing policy-making in relevant nutrition and education programs in schools in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Supply Chain under Different Subsidy Policies of the Government
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1290; doi:10.3390/su8121290
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
The increasing public attention on green products prompted firms and government to focus on the design and manufacturing of these products. This study focuses on a supply chain system that consists of three members, namely, supplier, manufacturer, and government, and then investigates the
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The increasing public attention on green products prompted firms and government to focus on the design and manufacturing of these products. This study focuses on a supply chain system that consists of three members, namely, supplier, manufacturer, and government, and then investigates the effects of government subsidies on social welfare and the profits of supply chain members. We utilize game and optimization theories to calculate and compare the optimal decisions and profits of players in the following scenarios: (i) the government provides a subsidy rate to the cost of manufacturer’s greenness efforts (first subsidy policy); and (ii) the government grants a per unit subsidy to the manufacturer for the demand for green product (second subsidy policy). We also derive the necessary condition for the most effective subsidy policy that maximizes expected social welfare and profits. Our analysis derives the following findings: (i) under the first subsidy policy, the government tends to provide high subsidy rate to a manufacturer with low marginal profit; (ii) under the second subsidy policy, the government tends to offer low subsidy to a manufacturer with low marginal profit; and (iii) a government’s selection of subsidy policy depends on the sensitivity of consumers to price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Towards the Comprehensive Design of Energy Infrastructures
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1291; doi:10.3390/su8121291
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
Energy infrastructures are increasingly perceived as complex, adaptive socio-technical systems. Their design has not kept up; it is still fragmented between an engineering and economic dimension. While economists focus on a market design that addresses potential market failures and imperfections, opportunistic behavior, and
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Energy infrastructures are increasingly perceived as complex, adaptive socio-technical systems. Their design has not kept up; it is still fragmented between an engineering and economic dimension. While economists focus on a market design that addresses potential market failures and imperfections, opportunistic behavior, and social objectives, engineers pay attention to infrastructure assets, a robust network topology, and control system design to handle flows and eventualities. These two logics may be complementary, but may also be at odds. Moreover, it is generally unclear what design choices in one dimension imply for the other. As such, we are ill-equipped to identify, interpret, and address the challenges stemming from technical innovations, e.g., the integration of renewable energy technologies, and institutional changes, e.g., liberalization or new forms of organization like cooperatives, which often have interrelated operational and market implications. In response, this paper proposes a more comprehensive design framework that bridges the engineering and economic perspectives on energy infrastructure design. To this end, it elaborates the different design perspectives and develops the means to relate design variables of both perspectives along several layers of abstraction: the form of infrastructure access of actors, the division of responsibilities among actors, and type of coordination between actors. The intention is that this way system and market design efforts can be better attuned to each other and we further our understanding and conceptualization of the interrelationship between the techno-operational and economic-institutional dimensions of energy infrastructures. The framework also aids in overseeing the broader institutional implications of technical developments (and vice versa) and stimulates awareness of lock-ins and path-dependencies in this regard. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Socially Responsible Corporate Activities on Korean Consumers’ Corporate Evaluations in the Agrifood Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1292; doi:10.3390/su8121292
Received: 9 October 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
The variety of socially responsible corporate activities employed in the agrifood industry has been broadening. An increasing number of agrifood companies have been employing strategic approaches to socially responsible activities, reinforced by Porter and Kramer’s concept of creating shared value (CSV). This study
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The variety of socially responsible corporate activities employed in the agrifood industry has been broadening. An increasing number of agrifood companies have been employing strategic approaches to socially responsible activities, reinforced by Porter and Kramer’s concept of creating shared value (CSV). This study compares the effects on corporate evaluations of two socially responsible corporate activities: philanthropic giving and CSV. Because prior studies concerning the effects of corporate prosocial behaviors on consumer responses have yielded mixed results, the present study examines the effects of a priori perceptions of companies by using corporate stereotypes as moderators. The results show that the type of socially responsible corporate activity (CSV vs. philanthropic giving) does not influence corporate evaluations. However, in cases of CSV (vs. philanthropic giving), consumers evaluate an unwarm but competent company more attractively and place higher value on an incompetent but warm company. This research is important not only for enriching existing literature, but also for providing guidelines to practitioners with respect to selecting appropriate corporate initiatives based on perceived consumer stereotypes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Local versus Global Environmental Performance of Dairying and Their Link to Economic Performance: A Case Study of Swiss Mountain Farms
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1294; doi:10.3390/su8121294
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
Complying with the carrying capacity of local and global ecosystems is a prerequisite to ensure environmental sustainability. Based on the example of Swiss mountain dairy farms, the goal of our research was firstly to investigate the relationship between farm global and local environmental
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Complying with the carrying capacity of local and global ecosystems is a prerequisite to ensure environmental sustainability. Based on the example of Swiss mountain dairy farms, the goal of our research was firstly to investigate the relationship between farm global and local environmental performance. Secondly, we aimed to analyse the relationship between farm environmental and economic performance. The analysis relied on a sample of 56 Swiss alpine dairy farms. For each farm, the cradle-to-farm-gate life cycle assessment was calculated, and the quantified environmental impacts were decomposed into their on- and off-farm parts. We measured global environmental performance as the digestible energy produced by the farm per unit of global environmental impact generated from cradle-to-farm-gate. We assessed local environmental performance by dividing farm-usable agricultural area by on-farm environmental impact generation. Farm economic performance was measured by work income per family work unit, return on equity and output/input ratio. Spearman’s correlation analysis revealed no significant relationship, trade-offs or synergies between global and local environmental performance indicators. Interestingly, trade-offs were observed far more frequently than synergies. Furthermore, we found synergies between global environmental and economic performance and mostly no significant relationship between local environmental and economic performance. The observed trade-offs between global and local environmental performance mean that, for several environmental issues, any improvement in global environmental performance will result in deterioration of local environmental performance and vice versa. This finding calls for systematic consideration of both dimensions when carrying out farm environmental performance assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Examining Determinants of CO2 Emissions in 73 Cities in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1296; doi:10.3390/su8121296
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
Issues concerning which factors that influence carbon dioxide emission, and which administrative measures should be imposed to reduce carbon emission in Chinese cities, have been on the agenda in cities’ policy-making. Yet little literature has studied this topic from the city level. This
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Issues concerning which factors that influence carbon dioxide emission, and which administrative measures should be imposed to reduce carbon emission in Chinese cities, have been on the agenda in cities’ policy-making. Yet little literature has studied this topic from the city level. This paper first measures CO2 emission of 73 Chinese cities. We find heterogeneity embedded in the cross-city distribution of CO2 emission per capita and a nonlinear structure in the relationship between carbon emission and GDP per capita. To describe such multimodality and examine the determinants of CO2 emission in these cities, this article applies a linear mixed effect model covering the quadratic term of GDP per capita to extend the stochastic impact by regression on population, affluence, and technology (STIRPAT) model. The empirical results demonstrate that population size, secondary industry proportion, energy consumption structure, urbanization level and economic level have generally shown a positive influence on CO2 emissions in Chinese cities. However, the urbanization level is of no significance. The phenomenon of the environmental Kuznets curve varies across Chinese cities, according to which three city groups are formed. Specific policy recommendations are given to each city group in light of their unique influencing modes on carbon emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Proposal for Sustainable Dynamic Lighting in Sport Facilities to Decrease Violence among Spectators
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1298; doi:10.3390/su8121298
Received: 16 October 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
Violence among spectators at sports events has become a serious problem, not only for its evident impact on safety, but also from the perspective of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability. Although it could be considered a purely social problem, some solutions could
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Violence among spectators at sports events has become a serious problem, not only for its evident impact on safety, but also from the perspective of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability. Although it could be considered a purely social problem, some solutions could come from a smart and efficient design and management of the lighting installations. Thus, the management of sports installations requires deep considerations of lighting technology for three reasons: (1) accurate illumination allows the users to achieve their visual task with comfort and safety; (2) the energy consumption of sports facilities can be decreased with an efficient design of the lighting installation; and (3) the lighting impacts some psychological and physiological aspects such as arousal, stress or relaxation which are directly related to violence. In this work, the recent advances on the matter of light sources and non-visual effects of light are deployed within a new proposal of dynamic Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting to decrease violence among spectators. Here, sustainable sports facilities are considered from a global perspective where accurate illumination in each zone (court, bleachers, training rooms and surrounding streets) plays an important role in violence avoidance. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bidirectional Incentive Model for Bicycle Redistribution of a Bicycle Sharing System during Rush Hour
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1299; doi:10.3390/su8121299
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
Redistribution is an important part of operational activities in a bicycle sharing system (BSS). This paper proposes that there are two types of users in a BSS: leisure travelers and commuters. The operators and the government are adopting the bidirectional incentive model (BIM)
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Redistribution is an important part of operational activities in a bicycle sharing system (BSS). This paper proposes that there are two types of users in a BSS: leisure travelers and commuters. The operators and the government are adopting the bidirectional incentive model (BIM) to improve their service level of redistribution. That is, the BIM stimulates leisure travelers to actively respond to bicycle resetting needs of the system; on the other hand, it guides commuters by encouraging them to avoid travelling in peak periods. This is beneficial to achieve the goals of reducing the scheduling pressure on bicycles during rush hour, and even to realize the self-resetting of the BSS. In this paper, we explore three scenarios for implementing BIM through cooperation between the operator and the government. By exploiting Stackelberg games in all models, we illustrate the quantity of users in three different travel behaviors, and surplus value of these users respectively. We also consider the trend of the profit of the operator and the government when some changes of parameters are made. The numerical analysis and case discussion find that the strategy of the operator implementing BIM with a subsidy is the best method for developed regions. In a developing region, the strategy of implementing the BIM with a direct government subsidy to users is the best choice in a small or tourist city. In these cities, the proportion of leisure travelers is always larger than 50%, resulting in a significant incentive effect. The strategy of the operator implementing BIM without a subsidy is the best choice for the large and medium-sized city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Wave Energy Assessment and Performance Estimation of State of the Art Wave Energy Converters in Italian Hotspots
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1300; doi:10.3390/su8121300
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
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Abstract
This paper presents an assessment of offshore wave energy potential at the scale of the whole Mediterranean Sea. The offshore wave data were propagated, by means of numerical modeling, toward four Italian coastal areas, namely stretches of coast of Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia and
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This paper presents an assessment of offshore wave energy potential at the scale of the whole Mediterranean Sea. The offshore wave data were propagated, by means of numerical modeling, toward four Italian coastal areas, namely stretches of coast of Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia and Sicily. For each area, the wave power and the monthly, seasonal and annual variability at water depths of 50 m and 15 m were analyzed and hotspots were located. The results show strong variability of the wave energy potential from point to point of the same area thus highlighting the need for spatially detailed analysis. The higher values of wave energy potential are located in the hotspots of Sardinia and Sicily, at 11.4 kW/m and 9.1 kW/m, respectively. The Tuscany and the Liguria hotspots are characterized, respectively, by 4.7 kW/m and 2.0 kW/m. In order to point out which state of the art WEC is best suited for the Italian areas, the performances of six different state of the art Wave Energy Converters (WECs) were evaluated. Finally, a comparison of the performances of each WEC in the selected Italian sites and in some European (EU) oceanic sites was conducted. The energy potential in the most energetic EU oceanic site, among those here investigated, is up to 38-times greater than the potentials in the studied Italian areas but the power output, of the best WEC technology, is no more than nine times greater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nuclear Insurance Subsidies Cost from Post-Fukushima Accounting Based on Media Sources
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1301; doi:10.3390/su8121301
Received: 14 October 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 12 December 2016
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Abstract
Quantification of nuclear liability insurance is difficult without arbitrary liability caps; however, post-mortem calculations can be used to calculate insurance costs. This study analyzes the Fukushima (Daiichi) nuclear power plant disaster to quantify the cost per unit electricity ($/kWh) of nuclear energy from
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Quantification of nuclear liability insurance is difficult without arbitrary liability caps; however, post-mortem calculations can be used to calculate insurance costs. This study analyzes the Fukushima (Daiichi) nuclear power plant disaster to quantify the cost per unit electricity ($/kWh) of nuclear energy from the lifetime of the plant after accounting for the true cost of the liability needed to cover the damages from the nuclear disaster determined from news reports. These costs are then compared to the cost of electricity currently paid by Japanese consumers, and then are aggregated to determine the indirect subsidy for nuclear power providers in both Japan and the USA. The results show that the reported costs of the Fukushima nuclear disaster are $20–525 billion, which results in a real insurance cost from the lifetime of electricity produced at the plants between $0.22–5.78/kWh. These values are far higher than the current insurance costs by Japanese law of $0.01/kWh and even the total costs consumers pay for electricity. Although the spread in the input costs is large and the reported metrics are incomplete, the nuclear insurance subsidy is clearly substantial in Japan and in the USA. Ideally, energy sources should be economically sustainable without the need for a government insurance subsidy. For the electricity market to function effectively and efficiently in all other countries using nuclear power, the insurance costs should be reported accurately and included in nuclear electricity costs without arbitrary government liability caps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle Market Opportunities for Animal-Friendly Milk in Different Consumer Segments
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1302; doi:10.3390/su8121302
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
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Abstract
Consumers have increasing, but highly variable, interest in sustainability attributes of food, including ethical aspects, such as animal welfare. We explored market opportunities for animal-friendly cow’s milk based on segmentation (cluster) analysis. Flemish survey participants (n = 787) were clustered (n
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Consumers have increasing, but highly variable, interest in sustainability attributes of food, including ethical aspects, such as animal welfare. We explored market opportunities for animal-friendly cow’s milk based on segmentation (cluster) analysis. Flemish survey participants (n = 787) were clustered (n = 6) based on their intention to purchase (IP) animal-friendly milk, and their evaluation of cows’ welfare state (EV). Three market opportunity segments were derived from clusters and labelled as “high”, “moderate” and “limited”. Only 8% of the participants belong to the “high market opportunities” segment, characterized by a high IP and a low EV. The “limited” segment (44%) indicated a neutral to low IP and a positive EV. The “moderate” segment (48%) had a moderately positive IP and positive/negative EV. Reported willingness to pay, interest in information about the state of animal welfare and importance of the product attribute “animal welfare” differed among segments and were strongly related to IP. Most promising selling propositions about animal-friendly milk were related to pasture access. The high degree of differentiation within the Flemish milk market reveals market opportunities for animal-friendly milk, but for an effective market share increase supply of animal-friendly products needs to get more aligned with the heterogeneous demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
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Open AccessArticle Quantification of Improvement in Environmental Quality for Old Residential Buildings Using Life Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1303; doi:10.3390/su8121303
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
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Abstract
In Slovakia, 35% of buildings are older than 50 years but most newer buildings built before 1990 have greater energy consumption. Some other countries also have similar problems. The growing importance of energy saving in buildings can be, in the case of new
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In Slovakia, 35% of buildings are older than 50 years but most newer buildings built before 1990 have greater energy consumption. Some other countries also have similar problems. The growing importance of energy saving in buildings can be, in the case of new and old residential buildings (RB), achieved by lowering thermal energy consumption most often by application of polystyrene insulation on the external walls and roof and the exchange of wood window frames for PVC (polyvinyl chloride) windows. The novelty of the article for Slovakia and some other central European countries consists in using the life cycle assessment (LCA) method for the objective assessment of the environmental benefits of the selected systems of wall insulation, as well as of energy savings in various time intervals of insulation functionality (up to 20 years). LCA software SimaPro (LE Amersfoort, The Netherlands) was used with ReCiPe and IMPACT 2002+ assessment methods to quantify the total environmental impact at selected endpoints and midpoints (IMPACT 2002+) of basic structural materials of an RB and its energy demand—heat consumption (hot water heating, central heating) before the application of insulation and thermal energy saving (TES) after application of insulation to its external walls, roof, and the exchange of windows. The data we obtained confirmed that the environmental impact of the polystyrene insulation of external walls, roof, and exchange of windows of one residential building (RB) in the first year after insulation is higher than the reduction caused by achieving a TES of 39%. When taking a lifespan of 20 years into consideration, the impact over the life cycle of the building materials is reduced by 25% (global warming: −4792 kg CO2 eq; production of carcinogens: −2479 kg C2H3Cl eq; acidification: −12,045 kg SO2 eq; and aquatic eutrophication: −257 kg PO4 P-lim). The verified LCA methodology will be used for comparative analysis of different variants of thermal insulation of buildings, and their functionality in the long term, while taking into account local specifics and the preparation of environmental product declarations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Macroeconomic Assessment of Voltage Sags
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1304; doi:10.3390/su8121304
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 12 December 2016
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Abstract
The electric power sector has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Electricity customers are now demanding uninterrupted and high quality service from both utilities and authorities. By becoming more and more dependent on the voltage sensitive electronic equipment, the industry sector is the one
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The electric power sector has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Electricity customers are now demanding uninterrupted and high quality service from both utilities and authorities. By becoming more and more dependent on the voltage sensitive electronic equipment, the industry sector is the one which is affected the most by voltage disturbances. Voltage sags are one of the most crucial problems for these customers. The utilities, on the other hand, conduct cost-benefit analyses before going through new investment projects. At this point, understanding the costs of voltage sags become imperative for planning purposes. The characteristics of electric power consumption and hence the susceptibility against voltage sags differ considerably among different industry subsectors. Therefore, a model that will address the estimation of worth of electric power reliability for a large number of customer groups is necessary. This paper introduces a macroeconomic model to calculate Customer Voltage Sag Costs (CVSCs) for the industry sector customers. The proposed model makes use of analytical data such as value added, annual energy consumption, working hours, and average outage durations and provides a straightforward, credible, and easy to follow methodology for the estimation of CVSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrogeochemistry of Groundwater and Arsenic Adsorption Characteristics of Subsurface Sediments in an Alluvial Plain, SW Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1305; doi:10.3390/su8121305
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 3 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
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Abstract
Many studies were conducted to investigate arsenic mobilization in different alluvial plains worldwide. However, due to the unique endemic disease associated with arsenic (As) contamination in Taiwan, a recent research was re-initiated to understand the transport behavior of arsenic in a localized alluvial
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Many studies were conducted to investigate arsenic mobilization in different alluvial plains worldwide. However, due to the unique endemic disease associated with arsenic (As) contamination in Taiwan, a recent research was re-initiated to understand the transport behavior of arsenic in a localized alluvial plain. A comprehensive approach towards arsenic mobility, binding, and chemical speciation was applied to correlate groundwater hydrogeochemistry with parameters of the sediments that affected the As fate and transport. The groundwater belongs to a Na-Ca-HCO3 type with moderate reducing to oxidizing conditions (redox potential = −192 to 8 mV). Groundwater As concentration in the region ranged from 8.89 to 1131 μg/L with a mean of 343 ± 297 μg/L, while the As content in the core sediments varied from 0.80 to 22.8 mg/kg with a mean of 9.9 ± 6.2 mg/kg. A significant correlation was found between As and Fe, Mn, or organic matter, as well as other elements such as Ni, Cu, Zn, and Co in the core sediments. Sequential extraction analysis indicated that the organic matter and Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides were the major binding pools of As. Batch adsorption experiments showed that the sediments had slightly higher affinity for As(III) than for As(V) under near neutral pH conditions and the As adsorption capacity increased as the contents of Fe oxyhydroxides as well as the organic matter increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Challenges in Successful Implementation and Adoption of Crop Insurance in Thailand
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1306; doi:10.3390/su8121306
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to assess the gaps in the adoption of crop insurance in Thailand and suggest possible solutions relating to policy support and framework, implementation mechanisms, technology adoption, and awareness amongst farmers. The methodology includes a literature review, interaction
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The purpose of this paper is to assess the gaps in the adoption of crop insurance in Thailand and suggest possible solutions relating to policy support and framework, implementation mechanisms, technology adoption, and awareness amongst farmers. The methodology includes a literature review, interaction with officials, rice experts and insurance experts, and discussion with farmers. A study was undertaken at province level to assess the impact of using rainfall index as a threshold. Additionally, focused group discussions (FGD) were conducted with rice farmers at the village level. Key issues targeted in the FGD were to understand the behavior and practices during droughts, impact of drought on crop yield, methods already in use to reduce the impact, such as plantation of drought-resistant rice, and the adoption of crop insurance. Data availability is a challenge and has led to withdrawal of Weather Index Insurance (WII) in 2015. WII have threshold levels based on historical rainfall. Adoption of coping mechanisms, such as drought-resistant rice and irrigation increases the chances of adverse selection. In absence of ground based weather data, a combination of satellite agriculture drought information can be used to make crop insurance more attractive as it would help in reducing basis risk and improving insurers and farmers’ confidence in the product. Discussion with farmers, insurance companies, and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) in Thailand suggested low awareness among farmers about the potential benefits of weather index insurance products. Relatively low compensation is also an obstacle. Proper marketing and awareness raising campaigns should also accompany the introduction of index-based insurance products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Outcomes on the Spray Profiles Produced by the Feasible Adjustments of Commonly Used Sprayers in “Tendone” Vineyards of Apulia (Southern Italy)
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1307; doi:10.3390/su8121307
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
The objective of the research was to assess the outcomes on the spray patterns produced by the different feasible adjustments of two different air blast sprayers and one mist blower sprayer, commonly employed for treatments to Apulian “tendone” vineyards. The spray profiles of
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The objective of the research was to assess the outcomes on the spray patterns produced by the different feasible adjustments of two different air blast sprayers and one mist blower sprayer, commonly employed for treatments to Apulian “tendone” vineyards. The spray profiles of these machines and the respective refinements affected by the alteration of the available adjusting devices were evaluated using a test bench, suitably set up for calibrating the sprayers used inside such vines. The air blast sprayers, compared with the mist blower model, have a better chance to match the spray pattern and the canopy profile of the “tendone” vines. Furthermore, the left-right asymmetry of the spray profile is reduced only in the case of sprayers with two counter-rotating fans, under certain operating conditions. Conversely, the symmetry index worsens with the activation of the fan in the case of the air blast sprayer fitted with a single fan either with or without the air deflectors. The mist blower sprayer develops lower drawbacks, in terms of left-right asymmetry of the spray profile, even if the high “stiffness” of the spray profile makes this sprayer not particularly suitable to the changing needs of the canopy of the “tendone” vineyards. The obtained results, even if related to the analyzed sprayers, can represent an original base of reference to set up guidelines for the adjustment of sprayers used for treatments inside “tendone” vineyards, very useful for the officially authorized Apulian workshops to make sprayers inspection and calibration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Wheat Frost Risk with the Support of GIS: An Approach Coupling a Growing Season Meteorological Index and a Hybrid Fuzzy Neural Network Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1308; doi:10.3390/su8121308
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
Crop frost, one kind of agro-meteorological disaster, often causes significant loss to agriculture. Thus, evaluating the risk of wheat frost aids scientific response to such disasters, which will ultimately promote food security. Therefore, this paper aims to propose an integrated risk assessment model
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Crop frost, one kind of agro-meteorological disaster, often causes significant loss to agriculture. Thus, evaluating the risk of wheat frost aids scientific response to such disasters, which will ultimately promote food security. Therefore, this paper aims to propose an integrated risk assessment model of wheat frost, based on meteorological data and a hybrid fuzzy neural network model, taking China as an example. With the support of a geographic information system (GIS), a comprehensive method was put forward. Firstly, threshold temperatures of wheat frost at three growth stages were proposed, referring to phenology in different wheat growing areas and the meteorological standard of Degree of Crop Frost Damage (QX/T 88-2008). Secondly, a vulnerability curve illustrating the relationship between frost hazard intensity and wheat yield loss was worked out using hybrid fuzzy neural network model. Finally, the wheat frost risk was assessed in China. Results show that our proposed threshold temperatures are more suitable than using 0 °C in revealing the spatial pattern of frost occurrence, and hybrid fuzzy neural network model can further improve the accuracy of the vulnerability curve of wheat subject to frost with limited historical hazard records. Both these advantages ensure the precision of wheat frost risk assessment. In China, frost widely distributes in 85.00% of the total winter wheat planting area, but mainly to the north of 35°N; the southern boundary of wheat frost has moved northward, potentially because of the warming climate. There is a significant trend that suggests high risk areas will enlarge and gradually expand to the south, with the risk levels increasing from a return period of 2 years to 20 years. Among all wheat frost risk levels, the regions with loss rate ranges from 35.00% to 45.00% account for the largest area proportion, ranging from 58.60% to 63.27%. We argue that for wheat and other frost-affected crops, it is necessary to take the risk level, physical exposure, and growth stages of crops into consideration together for frost disaster risk prevention planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
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Open AccessArticle Gridded Water Resource Distribution Simulation for China Based on Third-Order Basin Data from 2002
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1309; doi:10.3390/su8121309
Received: 16 October 2016 / Revised: 8 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
Water resources are a key factor for regional sustainable development. However, the published water resource data in China is based on a large geographical scale, such as watershed units, and the data cannot reflect subtle differences in water resource distribution. The paper aimed
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Water resources are a key factor for regional sustainable development. However, the published water resource data in China is based on a large geographical scale, such as watershed units, and the data cannot reflect subtle differences in water resource distribution. The paper aimed to distribute water resources of the third-order basin of China into grid-cells of 1 km × 1 km. First, we used Moran’s I index to analyze the spatial pattern of water resources of the third-order basin. Second, we constructed a spatial autocorrelation model between water resources of third-order basins and the associated factors. Third, we applied the model to simulate the gridded water resource distribution and evaluated the simulation accuracy. The results indicated that significant spatial autocorrelation existed among the water resources of third-order basins. Northern China was the low-value clustering area of water resources and Southeast China was the high-value clustering area of water resources. Slope and precipitation were the main factors that influenced the amount of water resources. The simulating accuracy of water resource distribution was very high, apart from some extremely arid regions (Gurbantunggut Desert, Kumtag Desert, and Hexi Desert). On the whole, the gridded water resource distribution map was valid and was helpful for regional water resource management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Respirometric Index and Biogas Potential of Different Foods and Agricultural Discarded Biomass
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1311; doi:10.3390/su8121311
Received: 8 October 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
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Abstract
The biological stability of biomass is an important parameter for treatment plant design, process control or compost use. Measuring the biological reactivity of waste with the help of indicators such as respirometric indexes (RI) becomes an important tool to prevent the significant environmental
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The biological stability of biomass is an important parameter for treatment plant design, process control or compost use. Measuring the biological reactivity of waste with the help of indicators such as respirometric indexes (RI) becomes an important tool to prevent the significant environmental impact of biodegradable wastes in accordance with European legislation. The aim of this paper is to show the importance of the RI technique as a tool to establish further uses of biomass such as fertilizer or biogas. The respirometric process length for different types of biomass (grape marc, apple pomace and olive pomace) was quantified. Higher moisture content seemed to favor the biological activity during the respirometric experiments and shorten the length of the process. The duration of olive pomace respirometry did not exceed 3 days, while the respirometric activity of apple scraps the lasted approximately 2 days. The highest RI values were encountered for the apple pomace, 4888 mgO2·kgVS−1·h−1. The majority of the discarded biomasses are categorized in the third class of stability materials in the course of degradation. This technique is important to detect the biodegradability of substrates, as well as to gain insight into the quantity and generation rate of biogas produced, information that is important from an engineering management perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle The Wicked Problem of Climate Change: A New Approach Based on Social Mess and Fragmentation
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1312; doi:10.3390/su8121312
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
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Abstract
The 21st century has been the warmest period on record since 1880, making the problem of climate change a central issue in the global political arena. While most approaches to climate change emphasize setting and imposing thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions, this paper
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The 21st century has been the warmest period on record since 1880, making the problem of climate change a central issue in the global political arena. While most approaches to climate change emphasize setting and imposing thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions, this paper argues that the issue of climate change and its solutions should be viewed in a more dynamic and complex way, involving social messes and the fragmentation of industries and organizations. In this context, learning models can offer a starting point to understand the reasons why organizations engage in certain types of corporate environmental strategies with regard