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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2016)

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Open AccessArticle A Comprehensive Quantitative Evaluation of New Sustainable Urbanization Level in 20 Chinese Urban Agglomerations
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 91; doi:10.3390/su8020091
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On 16 March 2014, the State Council of China launched its first urbanization planning initiative dubbed “National New Urbanization Planning (2014–2020)” (NNUP). NNUP put forward 20 urban agglomerations and a sustainable development approach aiming to transform traditional Chinese urbanization to sustainable new urbanization.
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On 16 March 2014, the State Council of China launched its first urbanization planning initiative dubbed “National New Urbanization Planning (2014–2020)” (NNUP). NNUP put forward 20 urban agglomerations and a sustainable development approach aiming to transform traditional Chinese urbanization to sustainable new urbanization. This study quantitatively evaluates the level of sustainability of the present new urbanization process in 20 Chinese urban agglomerations and provides some positive suggestions for the achievement of sustainable new urbanization. A three-level index system which is based on six fundamental elements in a city and a Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator evaluation method are adopted. The results show that China is undergoing a new urbanization process with a low level of sustainability and there are many problems remaining from traditional urbanization processes. There exists a polarized phenomenon in the urbanization of 20 urban agglomerations. Based on their own development patterns, the 20 urban agglomerations can be divided into seven categories. Every category has its own development characteristics. The analyses also show that waste of water resources, abuse of land resources, and air pollution are three big problems that are closely linked to traditional Chinese urbanization processes. To achieve sustainable new urbanization in China, four relevant suggestions and comments have been provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Does Business Model Affect CSR Involvement? A Survey of Polish Manufacturing and Service Companies
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 93; doi:10.3390/su8020093
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 2 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 February 2016
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Abstract
The study explores links between types of business models used by companies and their involvement in CSR. As the main part of our conceptual framework we used a business model taxonomy developed by Dudzik and Witek-Hajduk, which identifies five types of models: traditionalists,
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The study explores links between types of business models used by companies and their involvement in CSR. As the main part of our conceptual framework we used a business model taxonomy developed by Dudzik and Witek-Hajduk, which identifies five types of models: traditionalists, market players, contractors, distributors, and integrators. From shared characteristics of the business model profiles, we proposed that market players and integrators will show significantly higher levels of involvement in CSR than the three other classes of companies. Among other things, both market players and integrators relied strongly on building own brand value and fostering harmonious supply channel relations, which served as a rationale for our hypothesis. The data for the study were obtained through a combined CATI and CAWI survey on a group of 385 managers of medium and large enterprises. The sample was representative for the three Polish industries of chemical manufacturing, food production, and retailing. Statistical methods included confirmatory factor analysis and one-way ANOVA with contrasts and post hoc tests. The findings supported our hypothesis, showing that market players and integrators were indeed more engaged in CSR than other groups of firms. This may suggest that managers in control of these companies could bolster the integrity of their business models by increasing CSR involvement. Another important contribution of the study was to propose and validate a versatile scale for assessing CSR involvement, which showed measurement invariance for all involved industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle A Multi-Tier Social-Ecological System Analysis of Protected Areas Co-Management in Belize
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 104; doi:10.3390/su8020104
Received: 4 August 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
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Abstract
Co-management of protected areas has been recognized as a viable option to sustainably manage ecosystems. This collaborative approach actively engages civil society in the protected areas governance processes. Attempts at co-management, however, have not been uniformly successful; whereas the governance of some initiatives
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Co-management of protected areas has been recognized as a viable option to sustainably manage ecosystems. This collaborative approach actively engages civil society in the protected areas governance processes. Attempts at co-management, however, have not been uniformly successful; whereas the governance of some initiatives succeed and become strong and sustainable, others become weak or fail over time. In this paper, we provide a nuanced application of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework to carry out a systematic analysis of representative cases of co-management in Belize. This novel approach allows us to avoid the common problem of overstating the explanatory power of individual variables, while enabling us to tease out the interrelationships among critical process and contextual variables that may influence co-management outcomes. Our findings show that strong co-management is associated with a multiplicity of variables, including information sharing, conflict resolution, investments, self-organization, and networking. Contextual conditions inclusive of strong leadership, social capital, and high levels of dependence on resources for daily livelihoods seem to have influenced these processes over time. The presence of cross-scale and cross-level networks also seems to be important in influencing co-management outcomes. Our study contributes to the further development of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework by proposing the addition of five new third-tier variables. We advance some key lessons in the analysis of co-management outcomes and offer some policy recommendations to improve protected areas co-management policy and practice in Belize. Full article
Open AccessArticle Green Component Procurement Collaboration for Improving Supply Chain Management in the High Technology Industries: A Case Study from the Systems Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 105; doi:10.3390/su8020105
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impacts of high technology industries have been growing increasingly to technological innovations and global economic developments, while the concerns in sustainability are calling for facilitating green materials and cleaner production in the industrial value chains. Today’s manufacturing companies are not striving for
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The impacts of high technology industries have been growing increasingly to technological innovations and global economic developments, while the concerns in sustainability are calling for facilitating green materials and cleaner production in the industrial value chains. Today’s manufacturing companies are not striving for individual capacities but for the effective working with green supply chains. However, in addition to environmental and social objectives, cost and economic feasibility has become one of the most critical success factors for improving supply chain management with green component procurement collaboration, especially for the electronics OEM (original equipment manufacturing) companies whose procurement costs often make up a very high proportion of final product prices. This paper presents a case study from the systems perspective by using System Dynamics simulation analysis and statistical validations with empirical data. Empirical data were collected from Taiwanese manufacturing chains—among the world’s largest manufacturing clusters of high technology components and products—and their global green suppliers to examine the benefits of green component procurement collaborations in terms of shared costs and improved shipping time performance. Two different supply chain collaboration models, from multi-layer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) and universal serial bus 3.0 (USB 3.0) cable procurements, were benchmarked and statistically validated. The results suggest that the practices of collaborative planning for procurement quantity and accurate fulfillment by suppliers are significantly related to cost effectiveness and shipping time efficiency. Although the price negotiation of upstream raw materials for the collaborative suppliers has no statistically significant benefit to the shipping time efficiency, the shared cost reduction of component procurement is significantly positive for supply chain collaboration among green manufacturers. Managerial implications toward sustainable supply chain management were also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Review of Thermal Materials for CSP Plants and LCOE Evaluation for Performance Improvement using Chilean Strategic Minerals: Lithium Salts and Copper Foams
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 106; doi:10.3390/su8020106
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The improvement of solar thermal technologies in emerging economies like Chile is particularly attractive because the country is endowed with one of the most consistently high solar potentials, lithium and copper reserves. In recent years, growing interests for lithium based salts and copper
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The improvement of solar thermal technologies in emerging economies like Chile is particularly attractive because the country is endowed with one of the most consistently high solar potentials, lithium and copper reserves. In recent years, growing interests for lithium based salts and copper foams in application of thermal technologies could change the landscape of Chile transforming its lithium reserves and copper availability into competitive energy produced in the region. This study reviews the technical advantages of using lithium based salts—applied as heat storage media and heat transfer fluid—and copper foam/Phase Change Materials (PCM) alternatives—applied as heat storage media—within tower and parabolic trough Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, and presents a first systematic evaluation of the costs of these alternatives based on real plant data. The methodology applied is based on material data base compilation of price and technical properties, selection of CSP plant and estimation of amount of required material, and analysis of Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). Results confirm that some lithium based salts are effective in reducing the amount of required material and costs for the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems for both plant cases, with savings of up to 68% and 4.14% in tons of salts and LCOE, respectively. Copper foam/PCM composites significantly increase thermal conductivity, decreasing the volume of the TES system, but costs of implementation are still higher than traditional options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sustainable Acoustic Metasurfaces for Sound Control
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 107; doi:10.3390/su8020107
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sound attenuation with conventional acoustic materials is subject to the mass law and requires massive and bulky structures at low frequencies. A possible alternative solution is provided by the use of metamaterials, which are artificial materials properly engineered to obtain properties and characteristics
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Sound attenuation with conventional acoustic materials is subject to the mass law and requires massive and bulky structures at low frequencies. A possible alternative solution is provided by the use of metamaterials, which are artificial materials properly engineered to obtain properties and characteristics that it is not possible to find in natural materials. Theory and applications of metamaterials, already consolidated in electromagnetism, can be extended to acoustics; in particular, they can be applied to improve the properties of acoustical panels. The design of acoustic metasurfaces that could effectively control transmitted sound in unconventional ways appears a significant subject to be investigated, given its wide-ranging possible applications. In this contribution, we investigate the application of a metasurface-inspired technique to achieve the acoustical insulation of an environment. The designed surface has subwavelength thickness and structuring and could be realized with cheap, lightweight and sustainable materials. We present a few examples of such structures and analyze their acoustical behavior by means of full-wave simulations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Coupling an Intercalibration of Radiance-Calibrated Nighttime Light Images and Land Use/Cover Data for Modeling and Analyzing the Distribution of GDP in Guangdong, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 108; doi:10.3390/su8020108
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spatialized GDP data is important for studying the relationships between human activities and environmental changes. Rapid and accurate acquisition of these datasets are therefore a significant area of study. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) radiance-calibrated nighttime light (RC NTL) images exhibit
[...] Read more.
Spatialized GDP data is important for studying the relationships between human activities and environmental changes. Rapid and accurate acquisition of these datasets are therefore a significant area of study. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) radiance-calibrated nighttime light (RC NTL) images exhibit the potential for providing superior estimates for GDP spatialization, as they are not restricted by the saturated pixels which exist in nighttime stable light (NSL) images. However, the drawback of light overflow is the limited accuracy of GDP estimation, and GDP data estimations based on RC NTL images cannot be directly used for temporal analysis due to a lack of on-board calibration. This study develops an intercalibration method to address the comparability problem. Additionally, NDVI images are used to reduce the light overflow effect. In this way, the secondary and tertiary industry outputs are estimated by using intercalibrated RC NTL images. Primary industry production is estimated by using land use/cover data. Ultimately, four 1 km gridded GDP maps of Guangdong for 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2010 are generated. The verification results of the proposed intercalibration method demonstrate that this method is reasonable and can be effectively implemented. These maps can be used to analyze the distribution and spatiotemporal changes of GDP density in Guangdong. Full article
Open AccessArticle Seismic Response and Performance Evaluation of Self-Centering LRB Isolators Installed on the CBF Building under NF Ground Motions
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 109; doi:10.3390/su8020109
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 17 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (11099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper mainly treats the seismic behavior of lead-rubber bearing (LRB) isolation systems with superealstic shape memory alloy (SMA) bending bars functioning as damper and self-centering devices. The conventional LRB isolators that are usually installed at the column bases supply extra flexibility to
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This paper mainly treats the seismic behavior of lead-rubber bearing (LRB) isolation systems with superealstic shape memory alloy (SMA) bending bars functioning as damper and self-centering devices. The conventional LRB isolators that are usually installed at the column bases supply extra flexibility to the centrically braced frame (CBF) building with a view to elongate its vibration period, and thus make a contribution to mitigating seismic acceleration transferred from ground to structure. However, these base isolation systems are somehow susceptible to shear failure due to the lack of lateral resistance. In the construction site, they have been used to be integrated with displacement control dampers additionally withstanding lateral seismic forces. For this motivation, LRB isolation systems equipped with superelastic SMA bending bars, which possess not only excellent energy dissipation but also outstanding recentering capability, are proposed in this study. These reinforced and recentering LRB base isolators are modeled as nonlinear component springs, and then assigned into the bases of 2D frame models used for numerical simulation. Their seismic performance and capacity in the base-isolated frame building can be evaluated through nonlinear dynamic analyses conducted with historic ground motion data. After comparative study with analyses results, it is clearly shown that 2D frame models with proposed LRB isolators generally have smaller maximum displacements than those with conventional LRB isolators. Furthermore, the LRB isolation systems with superelastic SMA bending bars effectively reduce residual displacement as compared to those with steel bending bars because they provide more flexibility and recentering force to the entire building structure. Full article
Open AccessArticle Vegetation Carbon Storage, Spatial Patterns and Response to Altitude in Lancang River Basin, Southwest China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 110; doi:10.3390/su8020110
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 25 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1903 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vegetation plays a very important role of carbon (C) sinks in the global C cycle. With its complex terrain and diverse vegetation types, the Lancang River Basin (LRB) of southwest China has huge C storage capacity. Therefore, understanding the spatial variations and controlling
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Vegetation plays a very important role of carbon (C) sinks in the global C cycle. With its complex terrain and diverse vegetation types, the Lancang River Basin (LRB) of southwest China has huge C storage capacity. Therefore, understanding the spatial variations and controlling mechanisms of vegetation C storage is important to understand the regional C cycle. In this study, data from a forest inventory and field plots were used to estimate and map vegetation C storage distribution in the LRB, to qualify the quantitative relationships between vegetation C density and altitude at sublot and township scale, and a linear model or polynomial model was used to identify the relationship between C density and altitude at two spatial scales and two statistical scales. The results showed that a total of 300.32 Tg C was stored in the LRB, an important C sink in China. The majority of C storage was contributed by forests, notably oaks. The vegetation C storage exhibited nonlinear variation with latitudinal gradients. Altitude had tremendous influences on spatial patterns of vegetation C storage of three geomorphological types in the LRB. C storage decreased with increasing altitude at both town and sublot scales in the flat river valley (FRV) region and the mid-low mountains gorge (MMG) region, and first increased then decreased in the alpine gorge (AG) region. This revealed that, in southwest China, altitude changes the latitudinal patterns of vegetation C storage; especially in the AG area, C density in the mid-altitude (3100 m) area was higher than that of adjacent areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Making of a Sustainable Wireless City? Mapping Public Wi-Fi Access in Shanghai
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 111; doi:10.3390/su8020111
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of the global information economy, ready access to the Internet is critical to a city’s competitiveness, which has prompted a number of cities to launch plans to establish wireless networks. Most literature on the development of wireless cities focuses on
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In the context of the global information economy, ready access to the Internet is critical to a city’s competitiveness, which has prompted a number of cities to launch plans to establish wireless networks. Most literature on the development of wireless cities focuses on cities in Western countries, and few have discussed how Chinese cities have adopted wireless technologies in their urban infrastructure development efforts. This paper examines recent development and spatial distribution of public Wi-Fi access in Shanghai, a leading business hub in China. We mapped Wi-Fi hotspots through the government sponsored “i-Shanghai” project and China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC). We find that while telecommunication providers have been proactively deploying WLAN (wireless local area network,a proxy of public Wi-Fi or wireless access) hotspots in Shanghai, neither government sponsored WLAN hotspots nor facilities established by CMCC could cover the old traditional neighborhoods in the central city and sub-districts in remote rural areas. We also address the development of a more sustainable wireless city in Shanghai with a particular focus on digital divide and social equity issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Kelp-Fed Beef, Swimming Caribou, Feral Reindeer, and Their Hunters: Island Mammals in a Marine Economy
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 113; doi:10.3390/su8020113
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
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Abstract
Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula residents have selectively introduced land mammals to their primarily marine based economy over the past two centuries. This paper describes these many introductions, contexts, and the longer term roles of these cattle, sheep, reindeer, and other land mammals
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Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula residents have selectively introduced land mammals to their primarily marine based economy over the past two centuries. This paper describes these many introductions, contexts, and the longer term roles of these cattle, sheep, reindeer, and other land mammals in discrete island settings and the regional food economy based upon interviews in ten communities and comprehensive household surveys in eight of these. Caribou are indigenous and traditionally hunted in other parts of the state but are legally “invasive” in island contexts now managed by the federal government. Access to land and natural resources by Alaska Natives and rural peoples is regulated by state and federal agencies, but Aleutian residents have shaped their environment and engineered food sources to support their communities. This paper demonstrates that hardline approaches to removing invasive land mammal species will have human consequences and an integrated management policy emphasizing food security and conservation that includes reducing the density of these introduced species is most appropriate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Technology Evaluation and Selection of 3DIC Integration Using a Three-Stage Fuzzy MCDM
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 114; doi:10.3390/su8020114
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For the purpose of the sustainable development in the global semiconductor industry, emerging three-dimensional integrated circuit (3DIC) integration technologies have demonstrated their importance as potential candidates for extending the lifespan of Moore’s Law. This study aimed to explore a technology selection process involving
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For the purpose of the sustainable development in the global semiconductor industry, emerging three-dimensional integrated circuit (3DIC) integration technologies have demonstrated their importance as potential candidates for extending the lifespan of Moore’s Law. This study aimed to explore a technology selection process involving a three-stage fuzzy multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) approach to facilitate the effective assessment of emerging 3DIC integration technologies. The fuzzy Delphi method was first used to determine the important criteria. The fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (fuzzy AHP) was then adopted to derive the weights of the criteria. The fuzzy technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (fuzzy TOPSIS) was finally deployed to rate the alternatives. Empirical results indicate that market potential, time-to-market, and heterogeneous integration are the top three decision criteria for the selection of 3DIC integration technologies. Furthermore, 2.5D through-silicon interposer (TSI) is of primary interest to the Taiwanese semiconductor industry, followed by 3DIC through-silicon via (TSV), 3D packaging, and 3D silicon TSV (Si TSV). The proposed three-stage fuzzy decision model may potentially assist industry practitioners and government policy-makers in directing research and development investments and allocating resources more strategically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustaining without Changing: The Metabolic Rift of Certified Organic Farming
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 115; doi:10.3390/su8020115
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 27 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many proponents of organic farming claim that it is a sustainable alternative to conventional agriculture due to its reliance on natural agro-inputs, such as manure based fertilizers and organic pesticides. However, in this analysis we argue that although particular organic farming practices clearly
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Many proponents of organic farming claim that it is a sustainable alternative to conventional agriculture due to its reliance on natural agro-inputs, such as manure based fertilizers and organic pesticides. However, in this analysis we argue that although particular organic farming practices clearly benefit ecosystems and human consumers, the social context in which some organic farms develop, limit the potential environmental benefits of organic agriculture. Specifically, we argue that certified organic farming’s increased reliance on agro-inputs, such as organic fertilizers and pesticides, reduces its ability to decrease global water pollution. We review recent research that demonstrates the environmental consequences of specific organic practices, as well as literature showing that global organic farming is increasing its reliance on agro-inputs, and contend that organic farming has its own metabolic rift with natural water systems similar to conventional agriculture. We use a fixed-effects panel regression model to explore how recent rises in certified organic farmland correlate to water pollution (measured as biochemical oxygen demand). Our findings indicate that increases in the proportion of organic farmland over time increases water pollution. We conclude that this may be a result of organic farms increasing their reliance on non-farm agro-inputs, such as fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)
Open AccessArticle Studies on Charges for Sea Area Utilization Management and Its Effect on the Sustainable Development of Marine Economy in Guangdong Province, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 116; doi:10.3390/su8020116
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
PDF Full-text (3030 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marine economy plays an important role in the growth of the global economy. With its continuous development in the past years, the driving roll of marine economy in China’s economy has become remarkable. It is of strategic significance for China’s economic sustainable development
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Marine economy plays an important role in the growth of the global economy. With its continuous development in the past years, the driving roll of marine economy in China’s economy has become remarkable. It is of strategic significance for China’s economic sustainable development to strengthen the exploration of marine resources and promote the quality and profit of the marine economy. To explore sustainable marine resources, one important economic management method is to implement paid use system, specify marine resource property rights and collect Charges for Sea Area Utilization (CSAU). With the approval of the “Guangdong Marine Economic Experimental Zone Program”, Guangdong province targets the building of an economically strong marine province. The collection and rational expenditure of CSAU not only play a positive role in the rapid and sustainable development of the marine economy, but also offer financial guarantee and support for the building of an economically strong marine province. In this paper, the CSAU collection and expenditure in the past decade after the issuance of the Sea Area Use Management Law and the corresponding performance were evaluated and analyzed, and the problems in the CSAU collection and management were discussed. Furthermore, countermeasures were proposed to perfect the CSAU expenditure management policy, define the distribution proportion at all levels, optimize the expenditure structure, and strengthen the supervision and management mechanism. The results and conclusion of this paper could not only greatly promote the construction of marine economy, rational development and sustainable use of marine resources, but also provide a reference for other coastal provinces in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Approach for R&D Partner Selection in Alliances between Large Companies, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Application of Bayesian Network and Patent Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 117; doi:10.3390/su8020117
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The enhanced R&D cooperative efforts between large firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been emphasized to perform innovation projects and succeed in deploying profitable businesses. In order to promote such win-win alliances, it is necessary to consider the capabilities of large
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The enhanced R&D cooperative efforts between large firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been emphasized to perform innovation projects and succeed in deploying profitable businesses. In order to promote such win-win alliances, it is necessary to consider the capabilities of large firms and SMEs, respectively. Thus, this paper proposes a new approach of partner selection when a large firm assesses SMEs as potential candidates for R&D collaboration. The first step of the suggested approach is to define the necessary technology for a firm by referring to a structured technology roadmap, which is a useful technique in the partner selection from the perspectives of a large firm. Second, a list of appropriate SME candidates is generated by patent information. Finally, a Bayesian network model is formulated to select an SME as an R&D collaboration partner which fits in the industry and the large firm by utilizing a bibliography with United States patents. This paper applies the proposed approach to the semiconductor industry and selects potential R&D partners for a large firm. This paper will explain how to use the model as a systematic and analytic approach for creating effective partnerships between large firms and SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Wind Energy Investment Alternatives Using Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy Benefit/Cost Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 118; doi:10.3390/su8020118
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2207 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the tools for maintaining environmental sustainability is transformation from fossil-based energy sources to renewable energy sources in energy consumption. Among renewable energy alternatives, wind energy is the most prominent and reliable energy source for fulfilling energy demand. Traditional investment evaluation techniques
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One of the tools for maintaining environmental sustainability is transformation from fossil-based energy sources to renewable energy sources in energy consumption. Among renewable energy alternatives, wind energy is the most prominent and reliable energy source for fulfilling energy demand. Traditional investment evaluation techniques based on discounted cash flows are not capable of capturing the uncertainty and vagueness in the data related to the wind energy investment parameters. Fuzzy capital budgeting techniques can capture this vagueness and model the imprecise estimations of parameter values. In this paper, we develop interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy benefit-cost analysis for the evaluation of wind energy technology investments. The fuzzy benefit-cost analyses are based on both present worth and annual worth analyses. The developed analyses can handle the assessments of multiple experts through aggregation operators. In the proposed economic model, the components of each wind energy investment parameter are incorporated into the equations in detail. A real case study is also presented in this paper. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Contribution of Energy-Optimized Urban Planning to Efficient Resource Use–A Case Study on Residential Settlement Development in Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 119; doi:10.3390/su8020119
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines and explores the contribution of an energy-optimized urban planning approach to efficient resource use in the context of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. A conceptual energy optimization model called the “EnUp” model has been developed and tested for feasibility and adaptation strategies
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This study examines and explores the contribution of an energy-optimized urban planning approach to efficient resource use in the context of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. A conceptual energy optimization model called the “EnUp” model has been developed and tested for feasibility and adaptation strategies to improve urban energy use in residential settlements. This study is based on a system analysis and grounded theory approach that involved field methods including key informant (KI) interviews and collection of data and information from local urban planning offices and other secondary sources. Results show that the adoption of an energy-optimized planning approach is possible and necessary in Dhaka city. The “EnUp“ model can be applied in new urban settlement planning and retrofitting existing urban settlements. Ensuring various stakeholders' participation, technical inputs, and adaptability could make this innovative model and approach replicable in many other cities in the world. The study facilitates a better documentation and visualization for comprehensive urban planning and energy planning process in developing countries, while providing useful insights to policy makers, planners, developers, and interested urban stakeholders in the transition to urban sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Does the Sustainable PPI Investments Promote Financial Market’s Sustainable Development?
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 120; doi:10.3390/su8020120
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 20 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the late 1980s, most developing countries adopt a policy of attracting investments for Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) projects. With a perspective of sustainability, this paper offers a first attempt to examine whether the sustainable PPI investments promote financial market development. First,
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Since the late 1980s, most developing countries adopt a policy of attracting investments for Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) projects. With a perspective of sustainability, this paper offers a first attempt to examine whether the sustainable PPI investments promote financial market development. First, we demonstrate how the PPI policy enlargers the size of financial markets and then fosters the liquidity of financial markets in the static and dynamic conditions. Using the data from 33 developing countries during 1997–2012, we discover the significant promotion effect of PPI investments on the development of financial markets in the dimensions of size and liquidity. Additionally, we confirm the significant mediator effect of financial market size for the positive relationship between PPI investments and financial market liquidity. Both the promotion effect and mediation effect are robust to different control variables and estimation techniques used. Full article
Open AccessArticle Regional Convergence and Sustainable Development in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 121; doi:10.3390/su8020121
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the convergence theory of economic growth, this paper extends this concept to the human development index and carries out an empirical analysis of regional development in China between 1997 and 2006. Our research shows that the conditional convergence has been identified.
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Based on the convergence theory of economic growth, this paper extends this concept to the human development index and carries out an empirical analysis of regional development in China between 1997 and 2006. Our research shows that the conditional convergence has been identified. Investment in fixed assets, government expenditure on education, health and infrastructure construction have positive effects on regional convergence of social development. Population weighted analysis of human development index provides support for weak convergence amongst provinces. Analysis of dynamics of regional distribution reveals the club convergence, which indicate two different convergence states. Central China is in the shade and lags behind, giving rise to the so-called “central downfall”. To solve this problem, the “Rise of Central China” Plan is necessary to promote the connection between coastal and inland regions of China and reduce the regional development gap. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Megacity Jobs-Housing Spatial Mismatch on Commuting Behaviors: A Case Study on Central Districts of Shanghai, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 122; doi:10.3390/su8020122
Received: 7 November 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
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Abstract
This studyutilized the mobile signaling data to conductthe impact analysis of jobs-housing spatial mismatch on commuting behavior, with eight typical employment centers of three categories selected as the research subjects. Based on the analysis of the characteristics and indictors including commuting distance, accessibilities
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This studyutilized the mobile signaling data to conductthe impact analysis of jobs-housing spatial mismatch on commuting behavior, with eight typical employment centers of three categories selected as the research subjects. Based on the analysis of the characteristics and indictors including commuting distance, accessibilities from cumulative opportunity model etc., this study demonstrates that (a) cumulative percentage of short commuting distance (e.g., less than 3 km) reflects the jobs-housing spatial match between employment centers and their peripheral areas; and (b) combining the indicators of employed population and area covered within a certain space-time range among indictors of accessibility, it is possible to identify the degree of jobs-housing balance and efficiency of the transport system. According to the evaluation radar maps, the authors believe that employment centers could be divided into three categories: those with a gathering power, those with improvable functions, and those with local adjustment potentials. Possible measures including controlling the gathering power of the city centers, improving the function mix and transport facilities, and optimizing the overall local environment, etc. could be made to achieve jobs-housing balance in central districts and their peripheral areas as a whole. Besides, the study, proceeding from the perspective of commuters, suggests that optimization of jobs-housing distribution along banded corridors would be more efficient than those within the traditional region so as to reduce commuting traffic load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Inter-Organisational Coordination for Sustainable Local Governance: Public Safety Management in Poland
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 123; doi:10.3390/su8020123
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
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Abstract
The goal of this article is to examine the basic characteristics and factors that impact inter-organisational coordination in sustainable local governance to address: 1. What are the factors that effective inter-organisational coordination between independent units creating public safety system on local level in
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The goal of this article is to examine the basic characteristics and factors that impact inter-organisational coordination in sustainable local governance to address: 1. What are the factors that effective inter-organisational coordination between independent units creating public safety system on local level in sustainable local governance depends on? 2. What are the principal features of inter-organisational coordination in the public safety management system studied in the context of sustainable local governance? The article’s goal was reached using desk research analysis and empirical research. The desk research covers an analysis of international scientific publications. In turn, the empirical research was based on the example of public safety management. It covered interviews with practitioners dealing with public safety and a hermeneutic process within a focus group of scholars. As a result of the conducted research, interdependencies between coordination and other factors of inter-organisational collaboration were identified and the process of inter-organisational coordination during the emergency situations was characterised. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Ecological Efficiency Based Ranking of Cities: A Combined DEA Cross-Efficiency and Shannon’s Entropy Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 124; doi:10.3390/su8020124
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, a method is proposed to calculate a comprehensive index that calculates the ecological efficiency of a city by combining together the measurements provided by some Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) cross-efficiency models using the Shannon’s entropy index. The DEA models include
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In this paper, a method is proposed to calculate a comprehensive index that calculates the ecological efficiency of a city by combining together the measurements provided by some Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) cross-efficiency models using the Shannon’s entropy index. The DEA models include non-discretionary uncontrollable inputs, desirable and undesirable outputs. The method is implemented to compute the ecological efficiency of a sample of 116 Italian provincial capital cities in 2011 as a case study. Results emerging from the case study show that the proposed index has a good discrimination power and performs better than the ranking provided by the Sole24Ore, which is generally used in Italy to conduct benchmarking studies. While the sustainability index proposed by the Sole24Ore utilizes a set of subjective weights to aggregate individual indicators, the adoption of the DEA based method limits the subjectivity to the selection of the models. The ecological efficiency measurements generated by the implementation of the method for the Italian cities indicate that they perform very differently, and generally largest cities in terms of population size achieve a higher efficiency score. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Daily Average Wind Power Interval Forecasts Based on an Optimal Adaptive-Network-Based Fuzzy Inference System and Singular Spectrum Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 125; doi:10.3390/su8020125
Received: 13 October 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
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Abstract
Wind energy has increasingly played a vital role in mitigating conventional resource shortages. Nevertheless, the stochastic nature of wind poses a great challenge when attempting to find an accurate forecasting model for wind power. Therefore, precise wind power forecasts are of primary importance
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Wind energy has increasingly played a vital role in mitigating conventional resource shortages. Nevertheless, the stochastic nature of wind poses a great challenge when attempting to find an accurate forecasting model for wind power. Therefore, precise wind power forecasts are of primary importance to solve operational, planning and economic problems in the growing wind power scenario. Previous research has focused efforts on the deterministic forecast of wind power values, but less attention has been paid to providing information about wind energy. Based on an optimal Adaptive-Network-Based Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) and Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA), this paper develops a hybrid uncertainty forecasting model, IFASF (Interval Forecast-ANFIS-SSA-Firefly Alogorithm), to obtain the upper and lower bounds of daily average wind power, which is beneficial for the practical operation of both the grid company and independent power producers. To strengthen the practical ability of this developed model, this paper presents a comparison between IFASF and other benchmarks, which provides a general reference for this aspect for statistical or artificially intelligent interval forecast methods. The comparison results show that the developed model outperforms eight benchmarks and has a satisfactory forecasting effectiveness in three different wind farms with two time horizons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle CSR Reporting Practices of Polish Energy and Mining Companies
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 126; doi:10.3390/su8020126
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
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Abstract
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting receives much attention nowadays. Communication with stakeholders is a part of assumed social responsibility, thus the quality of information disclosed in CSR reports has a significant impact on fulfilment of the responsibility. The authors use content analysis of
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting receives much attention nowadays. Communication with stakeholders is a part of assumed social responsibility, thus the quality of information disclosed in CSR reports has a significant impact on fulfilment of the responsibility. The authors use content analysis of selected CSR reports to describe and assess patterns and structure of information disclosed in them. CSR reports of Polish companies have similar structures at a very high level of analysis, but a more detailed study reveals much diversity in approaches to the report’s content. Even fairly similar companies may devote significantly different amounts of space to the same issue. The number of similar stakeholders varies irrespectively of the company’s size. Considerable diversity of reporting patterns results from the nature of CSR reporting, because it concerns highly entity-specific issues. Thus, such considerable diversity is not surprising. However, many initiatives and efforts are devoted to greater comparability of reporting, so a greater degree of uniformity can be expected. Similar conclusions may be drawn from integrated reports’ analysis, though a small sample reflects the relative novelty of this trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Participatory Design of Multi-Use Platforms at Sea
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 127; doi:10.3390/su8020127
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
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Abstract
European oceans are subject to rapid development. New activities such as aquaculture and ocean energy have gained importance. This triggers interest in “multi-use platforms at sea” (MUPS), i.e., areas at sea in which different activities are combined. MUPS are complex features with
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European oceans are subject to rapid development. New activities such as aquaculture and ocean energy have gained importance. This triggers interest in “multi-use platforms at sea” (MUPS), i.e., areas at sea in which different activities are combined. MUPS are complex features with regards to technology, governance, and financial, socioeconomic, and environmental aspects. To identify realistic and sustainable solutions and designs for MUPS, the MERMAID project applied a participatory design process (PDP) involving a range of stakeholders representing companies, authorities, researchers, and NGOs. This paper evaluates if and how the participatory design process contributed to the design of multi-use platforms. It is based on interviews with the managers of the case study sites and a questionnaire administered to all stakeholders participating in the PDP workshops. Analyzing the four case studies, we conclude that the participatory design process has had a valuable contribution to the development of the four different designs of MUPS, even though the preconditions for carrying out a participatory design process differed between sites. In all four cases, the process has been beneficial in generating new and shared knowledge. It brought new design issues to the table and increased knowledge and understanding among the different stakeholders. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Scarcity and the Impact of the Mining and Agricultural Sectors in Chile
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 128; doi:10.3390/su8020128
Received: 24 September 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
Chile contains some of the driest areas in the world, yet human activities in these areas require large volumes of water, the result is regions experiencing high water scarcity leading to environmental degradation, conflicts and reduced industrial productivity. The aim of this paper
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Chile contains some of the driest areas in the world, yet human activities in these areas require large volumes of water, the result is regions experiencing high water scarcity leading to environmental degradation, conflicts and reduced industrial productivity. The aim of this paper was to quantify the water scarcity in the central and northern regions by calculating the water scarcity index—the ratio of annual water demand to availability. A focus of the paper was to determine the impact of the main industries in each region and investigate the benefit of implementing water reduction strategies within these industries. The water resources of each investigated region were found to be greatly overexploited and particularly so in the region of Antofagasta. The mining industry was found to be the greatest water consuming sector in this region and further analysis demonstrated that the degree of water scarcity could be greatly reduced by the implementation of water reduction strategies. The agricultural sector dominated water demand in all other regions and it was found that upgrading irrigation efficiency alongside reducing consumption in mining improved the situation in all regions. Nevertheless, given the scale of water scarcity, further investigation is necessary to obtain more recent and accurate data and analyze alternative strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation for Sustainability of Strong Smart Grid by Using Stochastic AHP and Fuzzy TOPSIS Methods
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 129; doi:10.3390/su8020129
Received: 21 November 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 30 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an efficient way to deal with the global climate change and energy shortage problems, a strong, self-healing, compatible, economic and integrative smart gird is under construction in China, which is supported by large amounts of investments and advanced technologies. To promote the
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As an efficient way to deal with the global climate change and energy shortage problems, a strong, self-healing, compatible, economic and integrative smart gird is under construction in China, which is supported by large amounts of investments and advanced technologies. To promote the construction, operation and sustainable development of Strong Smart Grid (SSG), a novel hybrid framework for evaluating the performance of SSG is proposed from the perspective of sustainability. Based on a literature review, experts’ opinions and the technical characteristics of SSG, the evaluation model involves four sustainability criteria defined as economy, society, environment and technology aspects associated with 12 sub-criteria. Considering the ambiguity and vagueness of the subjective judgments on sub-criteria, fuzzy TOPSIS method is employed to evaluate the performance of SSG. In addition, different from previous research, this paper adopts the stochastic Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method to upgrade the traditional Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) by addressing the fuzzy and stochastic factors within weights calculation. Finally, four regional smart grids in China are ranked by employing the proposed framework. The results show that the sub-criteria affiliated with environment obtain much more attention than that of economy from experts group. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis indicates the ranking list remains stable no matter how sub-criteria weights are changed, which verifies the robustness and effectiveness of the proposed model and evaluation results. This study provides a comprehensive and effective method for performance evaluation of SSG and also innovates the weights calculation for traditional TOPSIS. Full article
Open AccessArticle How Exposure to ”Role Model” Projects Can Lead to Decisions for More Sustainable Infrastructure
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 130; doi:10.3390/su8020130
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 30 January 2016
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Abstract
A role model, whether an individual or a project, can inspire similar performance in others. This research examines such a phenomenon during the design process for more sustainable physical infrastructure. In this empirical study, engineering professionals (n = 54) were randomly assigned
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A role model, whether an individual or a project, can inspire similar performance in others. This research examines such a phenomenon during the design process for more sustainable physical infrastructure. In this empirical study, engineering professionals (n = 54) were randomly assigned either a modified version of the Envision rating system for sustainable infrastructure, which was changed to include details from an exemplary role model project, or the current version of Envision, with no role model. Professionals given the role model version of Envision achieved on average 34% more points (SD = 27) than the control group (p = 0.001). A positive role model project appears to lead engineering professionals to higher goals for sustainability performance in their design decisions. This finding, and the corresponding line of interdisciplinary research, can be used in decision-structuring interventions, which are a relatively low-cost approach to support greater sustainability in physical infrastructure development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Potential Benefits and Limitations of Corn Cob and Sewage Sludge Biochars in an Infertile Oxisol
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 131; doi:10.3390/su8020131
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 21 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
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Abstract
The thermal conversion of sewage sludge to biochar offers a promising alternative use for a hazardous waste material with potential benefits to agricultural productivity and soil quality. Three short-term greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of corn cob (CC) and sewage
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The thermal conversion of sewage sludge to biochar offers a promising alternative use for a hazardous waste material with potential benefits to agricultural productivity and soil quality. Three short-term greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of corn cob (CC) and sewage sludge (SS) biochars, with their anaerobically treated counterparts, on soil properties and plant growth in an infertile Oxisol. The anaerobically treated SS biochar showed the greatest concentration of bioavailable essential nutrients, but treatment only resulted in increased yields for the SS biochar in the first crop in the absence of added fertilizer. Both CC and SS biochars in combination with fertilizer doubled plant growth compared to the control in the first crop cycle, produced no significant effect in the second cycle, and more than tripled plant growth for the SS biochars in the third cycle. High ash content with high nutrient contributions (especially P) and a persistent liming effect explain the benefits of the SS biochars to plant growth. The SS biochar showed promise in mitigating the negative effects of soil Mn toxicity. Sewage sludge biochars reduced Cd bioavailability and had no significant effect on the bioavailability of other potentially toxic metals compared to the control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biochar)
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Open AccessArticle What Causes Haze Pollution? An Empirical Study of PM2.5 Concentrations in Chinese Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 132; doi:10.3390/su8020132
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, many areas of China have suffered from serious haze pollution, which greatly affects human health and daily life. It is of policy importance to understand the factors that influence the spatial concentration of PM2.5. Based on data from
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In recent years, many areas of China have suffered from serious haze pollution, which greatly affects human health and daily life. It is of policy importance to understand the factors that influence the spatial concentration of PM2.5. Based on data from 74 cities with PM2.5 monitoring stations in 2013 and 2014, this study presents the overall haze situation in China and explores the determinants of PM2.5 using a random-effects model, as well as a set of OLS regressions. The results indicate that PM2.5 is significantly correlated with the industrial proportion, the number of motor vehicles, and household gas consumption, while public financial expenditure on energy saving and environmental protection does not show statistically significant effects. The analysis implies that China should adjust its economic structure and optimizes environmental governance to effectively respond to haze pollution. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Quality Assessment and Pollution Source Identification of the Eastern Poyang Lake Basin Using Multivariate Statistical Methods
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 133; doi:10.3390/su8020133
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 16 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 30 January 2016
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Abstract
Multivariate statistical methods including cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA) and component analysis/factor analysis (PCA/FA), were applied to explore the surface water quality datasets including 14 parameters at 28 sites of the Eastern Poyang Lake Basin, Jiangxi Province of China, from January 2012
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Multivariate statistical methods including cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA) and component analysis/factor analysis (PCA/FA), were applied to explore the surface water quality datasets including 14 parameters at 28 sites of the Eastern Poyang Lake Basin, Jiangxi Province of China, from January 2012 to April 2015, characterize spatiotemporal variation in pollution and identify potential pollution sources. The 28 sampling stations were divided into two periods (wet season and dry season) and two regions (low pollution and high pollution), respectively, using hierarchical CA method. Four parameters (temperature, pH, ammonia-nitrogen (NH4-N), and total nitrogen (TN)) were identified using DA to distinguish temporal groups with close to 97.86% correct assignations. Again using DA, five parameters (pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD), TN, Fluoride (F), and Sulphide (S)) led to 93.75% correct assignations for distinguishing spatial groups. Five potential pollution sources including nutrients pollution, oxygen consuming organic pollution, fluorine chemical pollution, heavy metals pollution and natural pollution, were identified using PCA/FA techniques for both the low pollution region and the high pollution region. Heavy metals (Cuprum (Cu), chromium (Cr) and Zinc (Zn)), fluoride and sulfide are of particular concern in the study region because of many open-pit copper mines such as Dexing Copper Mine. Results obtained from this study offer a reasonable classification scheme for low-cost monitoring networks. The results also inform understanding of spatio-temporal variation in water quality as these topics relate to water resources management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Urban Green Spaces and Flooded Area Type on Flooding Probability
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 134; doi:10.3390/su8020134
Received: 28 November 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 30 January 2016
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Abstract
Countermeasures to urban flooding should consider long-term perspectives, because climate change impacts are unpredictable and complex. Urban green spaces have emerged as a potential option to reduce urban flood risks, and their effectiveness has been highlighted in notable urban water management studies. In
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Countermeasures to urban flooding should consider long-term perspectives, because climate change impacts are unpredictable and complex. Urban green spaces have emerged as a potential option to reduce urban flood risks, and their effectiveness has been highlighted in notable urban water management studies. In this study, flooded areas in Seoul, Korea, were divided into four flooded area types by cluster analysis based on topographic and physical characteristics and verified using discriminant analysis. After division by flooded area type, logistic regression analysis was performed to determine how the flooding probability changes with variations in green space area. Type 1 included regions where flooding occurred in a drainage basin that had a flood risk management infrastructure (FRMI). In Type 2, the slope was steep; the TWI (Topographic Wetness Index) was relatively low; and soil drainage was favorable. Type 3 represented the gentlest sloping areas, and these were associated with the highest TWI values. In addition, these areas had the worst soil drainage. Type 4 had moderate slopes, imperfect soil drainage and lower than average TWI values. We found that green spaces exerted a considerable influence on urban flooding probabilities in Seoul, and flooding probabilities could be reduced by over 50% depending on the green space area and the locations where green spaces were introduced. Increasing the area of green spaces was the most effective method of decreasing flooding probability in Type 3 areas. In Type 2 areas, the maximum hourly precipitation affected the flooding probability significantly, and the flooding probability in these areas was high despite the extensive green space area. These findings can contribute towards establishing guidelines for urban spatial planning to respond to urban flooding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Trace Metals Contamination of Surface Water and Sediment: A Case Study of Mvudi River, South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 135; doi:10.3390/su8020135
Received: 25 October 2015 / Revised: 23 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
Trace metals contamination of rivers and sediments remains a global threat to biodiversity and humans. This study was carried out to assess the variation pattern in trace metals contamination in Mvudi River water and sediments for the period of January–June 2014. Metal concentrations
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Trace metals contamination of rivers and sediments remains a global threat to biodiversity and humans. This study was carried out to assess the variation pattern in trace metals contamination in Mvudi River water and sediments for the period of January–June 2014. Metal concentrations were analyzed using an inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer after nitric acid digestion. A compliance study for the water samples was performed using the guidelines of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) of South Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sediment quality guidelines for marine and estuarine sediments and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment sediment guidelines (CCME) for freshwater sediments were used to determine the possible toxic effects of the metals on aquatic organisms. pH (7.2–7.7) and conductivity (10.5–16.1 mS/m) values complied with DWAF and WHO standards for domestic water use. Turbidity values in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) were in the range of 1.9–429 and exceeded the guideline values. The monthly average levels of trace metals in the water and sediments of Mvudi River were in the range of: Al (1.01–9.644 mg/L and 4296–5557 mg/kg), Cd (0.0003–0.002 mg/L and from below the detection limit to 2.19 mg/kg), Cr (0.015–0.357 mg/L and 44.23–149.52 mg/kg), Cu (0.024–0.185 mg/L and 13.22–1027 mg/kg), Fe (0.702–2.645 mg/L and 3840–6982 mg/kg), Mn (0.081–0.521 mg/L and 279–1638 mg/kg), Pb (0.002–0.042 mg/L and 1.775-4.157 mg/kg) and Zn (0.031–0.261 mg/L and 14.481–39.88 mg/kg). The average concentrations of Al, Cr, Fe, Mn and Pb in the water samples exceeded the recommended guidelines of DWAF and WHO for domestic water use. High concentrations of Al and Fe were determined in the sediment samples. Generally, the concentrations of Cd, Cr and Cu in the sediments exceeded the corresponding effect range low (ERL) values in the sediment quality guidelines and could have adverse effects on aquatic organisms in Mvudi River. Full article
Open AccessArticle Research on Energy-Saving Production Scheduling Based on a Clustering Algorithm for a Forging Enterprise
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 136; doi:10.3390/su8020136
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 23 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
Energy efficiency is a buzzword of the 21st century. With the ever growing need for energy efficient and low-carbon production, it is a big challenge for high energy-consumption enterprises to reduce their energy consumption. To this aim, a forging enterprise, DVR (the abbreviation
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Energy efficiency is a buzzword of the 21st century. With the ever growing need for energy efficient and low-carbon production, it is a big challenge for high energy-consumption enterprises to reduce their energy consumption. To this aim, a forging enterprise, DVR (the abbreviation of a forging enterprise), is researched. Firstly, an investigation into the production processes of DVR is given as well as an analysis of forging production. Then, the energy-saving forging scheduling is decomposed into two sub-problems. One is for cutting and machining scheduling, which is similar to traditional machining scheduling. The other one is for forging and heat treatment scheduling. Thirdly, former forging production scheduling is presented and solved based on an improved genetic algorithm. Fourthly, the latter is discussed in detail, followed by proposed dynamic clustering and stacking combination optimization. The proposed stacking optimization requires making the gross weight of forgings as close to the maximum batch capacity as possible. The above research can help reduce the heating times, and increase furnace utilization with high energy efficiency and low carbon emissions. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Impact Analysis of Farmer Field School in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 137; doi:10.3390/su8020137
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the impact of the Farmer Field School (FFS) intervention among small-scale tomato farmers in Beijing. Using data collected by face-to face-interview from 358 households on 426 planting plots in 2009, we evaluate the yield effect and find evidence
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In this paper, we investigate the impact of the Farmer Field School (FFS) intervention among small-scale tomato farmers in Beijing. Using data collected by face-to face-interview from 358 households on 426 planting plots in 2009, we evaluate the yield effect and find evidence of positive impact. We then examine the determining factors of farmers’ FFS attendance using the zero-inflated Poisson model. We find evidence of the positive impact of the FFS program on male participants but no impact on female participants. We find that some factors, such as being the household head, wealth level and land size affect both FFS participation decisions and attendance decisions, whereas other factors may affect only one decision but not the other. The results suggest that FFS is a useful way to increase production of farmers in Beijing and that the approach is especially effective for male and wealthy producers with smaller farm sizes and higher literacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Study on the LEED Energy Simulation Process Using BIM
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 138; doi:10.3390/su8020138
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 15 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
In the domestic and international environmentally friendly certification system, energy-related credit occupies a high ratio in the total distribution of certification score Leadership in the Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system is a certification system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC)
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In the domestic and international environmentally friendly certification system, energy-related credit occupies a high ratio in the total distribution of certification score Leadership in the Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system is a certification system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) in order to assess the environmental friendliness of buildings. The energy-related credit is approximately 30% of the total and also the energy simulation ratio specifically is the highest among the single credits as it is 20%. In this research, the energy simulation process using Building Information Modeling (BIM) based on the energy simulation case performed at the A-Tower, LEED certification was proposed. It places an emphasis on the verification process which was short in the previous research. The architectural geometry modeled through the BIM tool is converted to the gbXML, and in this process the geometry is verified through the interference check functions, the gbXML Viewer and the FZKViewer. The energy simulation is performed after the verification procedure. The geometry verification process in the A-Tower project is presented throughout this paper. In conclusion, an improved process is proposed for the productivity and reliability of energy simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle The Present and Future Energy Performance of the First Passivhaus Project in the Gulf Region
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 139; doi:10.3390/su8020139
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
With voluntary and mandatory energy performance standards now becoming more common around the world, schemes to develop low energy buildings have become more apparent in developed countries. The Passivhaus standard, established 25 years ago in Germany, is one the most stringent and promising
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With voluntary and mandatory energy performance standards now becoming more common around the world, schemes to develop low energy buildings have become more apparent in developed countries. The Passivhaus standard, established 25 years ago in Germany, is one the most stringent and promising low energy building standards in Europe. It started as a construction concept applied to residential buildings, but has since spread as a voluntary ultra-low energy efficient standard to different parts of the world. Qatar, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, announced in 2013 the completion of the first Passivhaus project in the Gulf Region. The current and future performance of the Passivhaus project in Qatar was investigated in this study using current and future climate scenarios. Computer modelling was used to simulate the energy performance of the house and the thermal comfort of the occupants. In addition, on-site measurements were made to corroborate the modelling outcomes. Further, the impacts of climate change on the Passivhaus project was examined, and comparative analyses were undertaken. The findings suggested that the Passivhaus performs well under the current and the future weather data sets. Furthermore, the modelling indicates that the Qatar house is close to achieving the Passivhaus standard. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analytical Business Model for Sustainable Distributed Retail Enterprises in a Competitive Market
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 140; doi:10.3390/su8020140
Received: 12 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
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Abstract
Retail enterprises are organizations that sell goods in small quantities to consumers for personal consumption. In distributed retail enterprises, data is administered per branch. It is important for retail enterprises to make use of data generated within the organization to determine consumer patterns
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Retail enterprises are organizations that sell goods in small quantities to consumers for personal consumption. In distributed retail enterprises, data is administered per branch. It is important for retail enterprises to make use of data generated within the organization to determine consumer patterns and behaviors. Large organizations find it difficult to ascertain customer preferences by merely observing transactions. This has led to quantifiable losses, such as loss of market share to competitors and targeting the wrong market. Although some enterprises have implemented classical business models to address these challenging issues, they still lack analytics-based marketing programs to gain a competitive advantage to deal with likely catastrophic events. This research develops an analytical business (ARANN) model for distributed retail enterprises in a competitive market environment to address the current laxity through the best arrangement of shelf products per branch. The ARANN model is built on association rules, complemented by artificial neural networks to strengthen the results of both mutually. According to experimental analytics, the ARANN model outperforms the state of the art model, implying improved confidence in business information management within the dynamically changing world economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Growing Gardens in Shrinking Cities: A Solution to the Soil Lead Problem?
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 141; doi:10.3390/su8020141
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
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Abstract
As cities shrink, they often leave a patchwork of vacancy on the landscape. The maintenance of vacant lands and eventual transformation to sustainable land uses is a challenge all cities face, but one that is particularly pronounced in shrinking cities. Vacant lands can
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As cities shrink, they often leave a patchwork of vacancy on the landscape. The maintenance of vacant lands and eventual transformation to sustainable land uses is a challenge all cities face, but one that is particularly pronounced in shrinking cities. Vacant lands can support sustainability initiatives, specifically the expansion of urban gardens and local food production. However, many shrinking cities are the same aging cities that have experienced the highest soil lead burdens from their industrial past as well as the historic use of lead-based paint and leaded gasoline. Elevated soil lead is often viewed as a barrier to urban agriculture and managing for multiple ecosystem services, including food production and reduced soil lead exposure, remains a challenge. In this paper, we argue that a shift in framing the soil lead and gardening issue from potential conflict to potential solution can advance both urban sustainability goals and support healthy gardening efforts. Urban gardening as a potential solution to the soil lead problem stems from investment in place and is realized through multiple activities, in particular (1) soil management, including soil testing and the addition of amendments, and (2) social network and community building that leverages resources and knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustaining the Shrinking City: Concepts, Dynamics and Management)
Open AccessArticle Adopting Strategic Niche Management to Evaluate EV Demonstration Projects in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 142; doi:10.3390/su8020142
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
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Abstract
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are considered to be a potential viable technology to address the persistent unsustainable problems in transport sector. In this paper, we focus on analyzing the transition processes of EVs in China because the sustainability of developing countries is essential for
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Electric Vehicles (EVs) are considered to be a potential viable technology to address the persistent unsustainable problems in transport sector. In this paper, we focus on analyzing the transition processes of EVs in China because the sustainability of developing countries is essential for the worldwide sustainability. The two-round demonstration programs of EVs in China were analyzed by adopting the strategic niche management (SNM) approach so as to find out what niche protection has been provided and which obstacles hamper the further development of EVs. The results show that the financial subsidy is the most important protective measure. However, the diffusion results of EVs in different pilot cities are greatly different. The main reason lies in the uneven geographical landscape. In addition, some obstacles were exposed during the niche internal processes including low quality of expectations and poor alignment within the network. Based on the analysis results, we develop a list of suggestions that are important to consider when developing EVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Evaluation of Coordination Development for Regional Power Grid and Renewable Energy Power Supply Based on Improved Matter Element Extension and TOPSIS Method for Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 143; doi:10.3390/su8020143
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
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Abstract
In the background of exhaustion of the traditional fossil energy sources, developing renewable energy has become a strategic choice for China to achieve energy sustainable utilization and energy security. The coordination between renewable energy generation and the traditional power grid is a problem
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In the background of exhaustion of the traditional fossil energy sources, developing renewable energy has become a strategic choice for China to achieve energy sustainable utilization and energy security. The coordination between renewable energy generation and the traditional power grid is a problem that needs to be solved in the development of the power grid. The three sectors of power generation, transmission, distribution, and scheduling are considered comprehensively in this paper and an evaluation index system for the development of renewable energy and traditional power grid is designed. The traditional method of Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) is improved using the idea of matter element extension, and mathematical model of comprehensive evaluation is constructed. Combined with the development index data of a regional power grid and renewable energy sources in Ningxia province, this paper applied the evaluation model to empirical research. The results show that the model meets the real situation of development of the regional power grid and renewable energy generation and has certain reference and promotion significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Quality Assessment of National Territory Use at the City Level: A Planning Review Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 145; doi:10.3390/su8020145
Received: 20 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
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Abstract
With increasing urbanization, the populations in China’s cities are growing, and the cities themselves are gradually expanding. Competition for access to the national territory’s resources is also growing. Thus, the quality of national territory use is worsening. Quality assessments on national territory use
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With increasing urbanization, the populations in China’s cities are growing, and the cities themselves are gradually expanding. Competition for access to the national territory’s resources is also growing. Thus, the quality of national territory use is worsening. Quality assessments on national territory use can provide a basis for solving this issue. By combining the implications of new urbanization in China, we established an assessment index system relating to the quality of national territory use, from the perspective of harmoniously developing spaces for production, living and ecology. A subjective and objective integrated weighting method was developed based on principal component analysis and planning review. Then, a comprehensive discriminative model was established to assess the quality of national territory use. The evaluation results showed that harmonious development of spaces for production, living and ecology did not occur in either the ecology-oriented or production-oriented regions. The integrated quality of national territory use in the production-oriented region had a significant advantage over that of the ecology-oriented region. The integrated quality of national territory use was highest in Changzhou’s city center and vicinity. The results can support the implementation of China’s new urbanization strategy and provide evidence to improve the criteria for the intensive use of national territorial resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Open Innovation Projects in SMEs as an Engine for Sustainable Growth
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 146; doi:10.3390/su8020146
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 24 January 2016 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
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Abstract
Most innovation activities that are inevitable for sustainable growth are coordinated via research and development (R&D) projects, which can differ widely in terms of both project and open innovation characteristics, even when conducted within the same firm. Therefore, it is important to consider
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Most innovation activities that are inevitable for sustainable growth are coordinated via research and development (R&D) projects, which can differ widely in terms of both project and open innovation characteristics, even when conducted within the same firm. Therefore, it is important to consider the peculiarities of R&D projects when evaluating the performance of open innovation strategies, as well as to explore how the benefits and costs of open innovation are shaped by cross-level interactions. This study identifies the differences between successful and unsuccessful open innovation projects, in both firm-level and project-level terms. We focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which usually lack the full set of internal resources and competences required to effectively develop, produce, and commercialize their innovations, and thus must adopt open innovation approaches more actively for sustainability. Adopting an empirical approach, we conducted a survey of 517 Korean SMEs and analyzed 241 successful and unsuccessful open innovation projects in depth. By combining measurements at the firm and project levels, this study provides new insight into the intra-organizational challenges of implementing open innovation projects, which are not only helpful to strategic decision-makers in SMEs, but also to those who make policies for them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Reuse Intention of Third-Party Online Payments: A Focus on the Sustainable Factors of Alipay
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 147; doi:10.3390/su8020147
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
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Abstract
An anonymous transaction environment and the advantage of virtual property have resulted in trust playing an important role in the rapid growth of online shopping in China. To satisfy this trust issue, Alibaba (China) Co., Ltd. (Hangzhou, China) invented Alipay, the largest third-party
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An anonymous transaction environment and the advantage of virtual property have resulted in trust playing an important role in the rapid growth of online shopping in China. To satisfy this trust issue, Alibaba (China) Co., Ltd. (Hangzhou, China) invented Alipay, the largest third-party online payment service. Using a structural equation model (SEM), this paper attempts to determine whether Alipay’s service quality factors are truly sustainable. The results indicate that only two of five factors—convenience and security—are significantly mediated by the sustainable performance of customer satisfaction as a mediator. The other three factors—usefulness, responsiveness and economy—were rejected for the role of customer satisfaction, even if they are accepted regarding the direct effect on reuse intention. This result implies that Chinese web companies need to make greater efforts not to ensure initial success, but instead to ensure sustainable performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Development and Urban Sustainability: An Analysis of Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 148; doi:10.3390/su8020148
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
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Abstract
In recent decades, the majority of cities in developing countries have grown rapidly and have experienced increasing environmental problems. These changes have generated a broad discussion on urban sustainability and development. In this discussion, it is fundamental to establish methods for measuring urban
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In recent decades, the majority of cities in developing countries have grown rapidly and have experienced increasing environmental problems. These changes have generated a broad discussion on urban sustainability and development. In this discussion, it is fundamental to establish methods for measuring urban sustainability using a quantitative approach. This research seeks to estimate and evaluate the environmental, social, and economic efficiency of cities in a developing country, Colombia, using data envelopment analysis to determine the changes that occurred between 2005 and 2013. In this study, indicators related to economic, environmental, and social performance are used with the objective of analyzing efficiency from urban sustainability. The results indicate differences among cities, where the efficient cities show adequate resource use, lower environmental impacts, improved social conditions, and guaranteed economic growth and development. Moreover, as the city scale increases, urban sustainability declines. All these findings are important in the formulation and design of adequate urban policies to improve and strengthen sustainability and social welfare over the long term, particularly in cities in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Geographical Detector Model for Influencing Factors of Industrial Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Inner Mongolia, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 149; doi:10.3390/su8020149
Received: 7 November 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
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Abstract
Studying the influencing factors of carbon dioxide emissions is not only practically but also theoretically crucial for establishing regional carbon-reduction policies, developing low-carbon economy and solving the climate problems. Therefore, we used a geographical detector model which is consists of four parts, i.e.
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Studying the influencing factors of carbon dioxide emissions is not only practically but also theoretically crucial for establishing regional carbon-reduction policies, developing low-carbon economy and solving the climate problems. Therefore, we used a geographical detector model which is consists of four parts, i.e., risk detector, factor detector, ecological detector and interaction detector to analyze the effect of these social economic factors, i.e., GDP, industrial structure, urbanization rate, economic growth rate, population and road density on the increase of energy consumption carbon dioxide emissions in industrial sector in Inner Mongolia northeast of China. Thus, combining with the result of four detectors, we found that GDP and population more influence than economic growth rate, industrial structure, urbanization rate and road density. The interactive effect of any two influencing factors enhances the increase of the carbon dioxide emissions. The findings of this research have significant policy implications for regions like Inner Mongolia. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Rail Transit Systems in Reducing Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The Case of The City of Rio de Janeiro
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 150; doi:10.3390/su8020150
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
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Abstract
The city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has established, by municipal law, a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions of the transport system by 20% until 2020 compared to 2005. In order to reach this goal, the city’s public transport has been restructured
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The city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has established, by municipal law, a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions of the transport system by 20% until 2020 compared to 2005. In order to reach this goal, the city’s public transport has been restructured with an emphasis on rail transit systems. The city will host the 2016 Olympic Games and this has encouraged the transformation of public transportation. One of the new projects is the construction of a new metro line, Line 4, to connect the downtown area to the city’s fastest growing part, the western region, which will also be a venue for many events during the Olympic Games. This article presents and applies a procedure for calculating energy use and emissions avoided by Line 4 by attracting users from other transport modes in the period from 2016 to 2040. The procedure uses a detailed demand forecast for this period and considers the local transport profile and the different fuels used. The net amount of carbon dioxide avoided was 55,449 tonnes per year and 44.53 grams per passenger kilometer. The avoided energy reached 0.76 MJ per passenger kilometer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Social Housing in Asia: A Holistic Multi-Perspective Development Process for Bamboo-Based Construction in the Philippines
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 151; doi:10.3390/su8020151
Received: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
This paper highlights the need for a more inclusive and sustainable development of social housing in rapidly developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. At the example of the Philippines, a multi-perspective development process for a bamboo-based building system is developed. Sustainability
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This paper highlights the need for a more inclusive and sustainable development of social housing in rapidly developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. At the example of the Philippines, a multi-perspective development process for a bamboo-based building system is developed. Sustainability Assessment Criteria are defined through literature review, field observations and interviews with three stakeholder clusters: (1) Builders and users of traditional bamboo houses in the Philippines; (2) Stakeholders involved in using forest products for housing in other countries around the world; and (3) Stakeholders in the field of social housing in the Philippines. Through coding and sorting of data in a qualitative content analysis, 15 sustainability assessment criteria are identified clustered into the dimensions society, ecology, economy, governance, and technology. Guided by the sustainability criteria and four implementation strategies: (A) Research about and (B) Implementation of the building technology; (C) Participation and Capacity Building of Stakeholders; and (D) Sustainable Supply Chains, a strategic roadmap was created naming, in total, 28 action items. Through segmentation of the complex problem into these action items, the paper identifies one-dimensional methods leading to measurable, quantitative endpoints. In this way, qualitative stakeholder data is translated into quantitative methods, forming a pathway for a holistic assessment of the building technologies. A mid-point, multi-criteria, or pareto decision-making method comparing the 28 endpoints of the alternative to currently practiced conventional solutions is suggested as subject for further research. This framework paper is a contribution to how sustainable building practices can become more inclusive, incorporating the building stock of low-income dwellers. It bridges the gap between theoretical approach and practical applications of sustainability and underlines the strength of combining multi-dimensional development with stakeholder participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Research on Factors Influencing Municipal Household Solid Waste Separate Collection: Bayesian Belief Networks
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 152; doi:10.3390/su8020152
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
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Abstract
Municipal household solid waste (MHSW) has become a serious problem in China over the course of the last two decades, resulting in significant side effects to the environment. Therefore, effective management of MHSW has attracted wide attention from both researchers and practitioners. Separate
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Municipal household solid waste (MHSW) has become a serious problem in China over the course of the last two decades, resulting in significant side effects to the environment. Therefore, effective management of MHSW has attracted wide attention from both researchers and practitioners. Separate collection, the first and crucial step to solve the MHSW problem, however, has not been thoroughly studied to date. An empirical survey has been conducted among 387 households in Harbin, China in this study. We use Bayesian Belief Networks model to determine the influencing factors on separate collection. Four types of factors are identified, including political, economic, social cultural and technological based on the PEST (political, economic, social and technological) analytical method. In addition, we further analyze the influential power of different factors, based on the network structure and probability changes obtained by Netica software. Results indicate that technological dimension has the greatest impact on MHSW separate collection, followed by the political dimension and economic dimension; social cultural dimension impacts MHSW the least. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Level of Industrial Green Development and Exploring Its Influencing Factors: Empirical Evidence from China’s 30 Provinces
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 153; doi:10.3390/su8020153
Received: 5 December 2015 / Revised: 13 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 14 February 2016
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Abstract
Nowadays, with the green economy becoming mainstream in the world, an industrial revolution as the core of green development has emerged. Based on the empirical evidence from China’s 30 provinces, this study establishes an evaluation index system of China’s industrial green development and
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Nowadays, with the green economy becoming mainstream in the world, an industrial revolution as the core of green development has emerged. Based on the empirical evidence from China’s 30 provinces, this study establishes an evaluation index system of China’s industrial green development and applies the analytic hierarchy process to determine the indices’ weights and properties to measure the level of industrial green development in China’s 30 provinces. Then, an empirical study is conducted to explore the relevant factors influencing China’s industrial green development by using the dynamic panel data model and a panel threshold test. The results show that China’s level of industrial green development has the characteristic of typical regional differentiation with a ladder-like distribution from the east and middle to the west, and the eastern region has the highest level on industrial green output, industrial green efficiency and industrial green innovation. Technological progress and innovation can stimulate industrial green development. The impact of environmental regulation and foreign investment on industrial green development presents a nonlinear “N”-type trend, and the positive effects are mainly observed in eastern China. Capital deepening, heavy chemical industries and an unreasonable energy structure are not effective in industrial green development. There is no direct relation between the enterprise scale and industrial green development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Recent Trends in the World Gas Market: Economical, Geopolitical and Environmental Aspects
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 154; doi:10.3390/su8020154
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 30 January 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
Natural gas is considered by energy experts to be the most promising fossil fuel for the 21st century, and as a matter of fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) introduced for the first time in the 2011 World Energy Outlook a high gas
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Natural gas is considered by energy experts to be the most promising fossil fuel for the 21st century, and as a matter of fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) introduced for the first time in the 2011 World Energy Outlook a high gas use scenario called the “Golden Age of Gas”. Natural gas is an easy to burn and clean fuel; its proven reserves are large and furthermore, enormous possibilities are offered by unconventional resources. There are anyway some geopolitical concerns in the global gas market, since the most important reserves are concentrated in a limited number of countries; the environmental impacts in the extraction of shale gas should also be taken into account. The paper presents an updated and thorough overview of recent advances and trends in the global gas market, highlighting the role of Europe in the World scenario. Statistical data from the main international reports are presented; economical, geopolitical and especially environmental aspects are presented and discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Overcoming Ex-Post Development Stagnation: Interventions with Continuity and Scaling in Mind
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 155; doi:10.3390/su8020155
Received: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
Project interventions are important vehicles for development globally. However, while there is often allocation of resources for new and innovative (pilot) projects—with varying levels of success—there is seemingly less focus on consolidating and/or scaling the positive impacts of successful larger interventions. Assuming an
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Project interventions are important vehicles for development globally. However, while there is often allocation of resources for new and innovative (pilot) projects—with varying levels of success—there is seemingly less focus on consolidating and/or scaling the positive impacts of successful larger interventions. Assuming an overarching development goal to have long lasting impact at scale, this approach seems somewhat contradictory. Scaling is often not integrated into project planning, design and implementation and rarely pursued genuinely in the ex-post. However, where demand for further development remains outstanding beyond project completion, opportunities may exist to build upon project platforms and extend benefits in a cost effective manner. This paper examines existing scaling typologies, before introducing “scaling-within” as a concept to promote greater continuity of development to a wider range of stakeholders. Scaling-within offers the opportunity to “in-fill” intervention principles and practices to both project and non-project communities within a broader strategic framework to address disparities and to promote sustainable development. The authors draw on research from case studies of large-scale integrated watershed rehabilitation projects and assess scaling-within against a contemporary scaling framework drawn from the literature. While the concept is tested with watersheds as the administrative unit, the authors anticipate applications for other project management units. Full article
Open AccessArticle Proactive Environmental Strategy, Technological Eco-Innovation and Firm Performance—Case of Poland
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 156; doi:10.3390/su8020156
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 1 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
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Abstract
Nowadays, scholars exploring the relationship between proactive environmental strategy and firm competitiveness do not focus on the question of whether it pays to be green but rather investigate when, for whom or how it does so. This paper analyzes the links between proactive
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Nowadays, scholars exploring the relationship between proactive environmental strategy and firm competitiveness do not focus on the question of whether it pays to be green but rather investigate when, for whom or how it does so. This paper analyzes the links between proactive environmental strategy, technological eco-innovation and firm performance. In particular, it examines the influence of proactive environmental strategy on firm performance and explores this relationship through technological eco-innovation. A research model has been developed and tested using a sample of 292 firms operating in Poland. In order to test the proposed research model and hypotheses, structural equation modeling using partial least squares has been employed. The findings do not confirm that proactive environmental strategy directly affects firm performance. However, the results show the significant mediating role of technological eco-innovation in this relationship. Since the technological eco-innovation reduces environmental impact and improves business performance, this research proves that it simultaneously contributes to environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Agricultural Tractor Selection: A Hybrid and Multi-Attribute Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 157; doi:10.3390/su8020157
Received: 9 January 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
Usually, agricultural tractor investments are assessed using traditional economic techniques that only involve financial attributes, resulting in reductionist evaluations. However, tractors have qualitative and quantitative attributes that must be simultaneously integrated into the evaluation process. This article reports a hybrid and multi-attribute approach
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Usually, agricultural tractor investments are assessed using traditional economic techniques that only involve financial attributes, resulting in reductionist evaluations. However, tractors have qualitative and quantitative attributes that must be simultaneously integrated into the evaluation process. This article reports a hybrid and multi-attribute approach to assessing a set of agricultural tractors based on AHP-TOPSIS. To identify the attributes in the model, a survey including eighteen attributes was given to agricultural machinery salesmen and farmers for determining their importance. The list of attributes was presented to a decision group for a case of study, and their importance was estimated using AHP and integrated into the TOPSIS technique. In this case, one tractor was selected from a set of six alternatives, integrating six attributes in the model: initial cost, annual maintenance cost, liters of diesel per hour, safety of the operator, maintainability and after-sale customer service offered by the supplier. Based on the results obtained, the model can be considered easy to apply and to have good acceptance among farmers and salesmen, as there are no special software requirements for the application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
Open AccessArticle Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Green Growth? Evidence from China’s Experience
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 158; doi:10.3390/su8020158
Received: 29 October 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) not only affects the economic growth but also affects the environmental protection of the host country. With China’s background of pursuing green growth, we need to consider the performance of FDI from the economic and environmental benefit aspects. On
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Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) not only affects the economic growth but also affects the environmental protection of the host country. With China’s background of pursuing green growth, we need to consider the performance of FDI from the economic and environmental benefit aspects. On this basis, using slacks-based measure directional distance function (SBMDDF) to build up green growth efficiency, economic efficiency and environmental efficiency indexes, empirical research on FDI in 104 Chinese cities from 2004 to 2011 has shown that: (1) Different cities have differences in their green growth efficiency. Shenzhen city is always efficient in green economic growth. (2) Overall, FDI is positive on Chinese cities’ green growth. (3) When the green growth efficiency is broken down into economic efficiency and environmental efficiency, FDI promotes China’s economic green growth through both environmental benefits and economic benefits. (4) The effect of FDI differs in different sectors. FDI in the emission-intensive sector promotes green efficiency mainly through the improvement of economic efficiency. FDI in the non-emission-intensive sector promotes economic efficiency, environmental efficiency and green efficiency. Full article
Open AccessArticle Landsat Imagery-Based Above Ground Biomass Estimation and Change Investigation Related to Human Activities
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 159; doi:10.3390/su8020159
Received: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
Forest biomass is a significant indicator for substance accumulation and forest succession, and a spatiotemporal biomass map would provide valuable information for forest management and scientific planning. In this study, Landsat imagery and field data cooperated with a random forest regression approach were
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Forest biomass is a significant indicator for substance accumulation and forest succession, and a spatiotemporal biomass map would provide valuable information for forest management and scientific planning. In this study, Landsat imagery and field data cooperated with a random forest regression approach were used to estimate spatiotemporal Above Ground Biomass (AGB) in Fuyang County, Zhejiang Province of East China. As a result, the AGB retrieval showed an increasing trend for the past decade, from 74.24 ton/ha in 2004 to 99.63 ton/ha in 2013. Topography and forest management were investigated to find their relationships with the spatial distribution change of biomass. In general, the simulated AGB increases with higher elevation, especially in the range of 80–200 m, wherein AGB acquires the highest increase rate. Moreover, the forest policy of ecological forest has a positive effect on the AGB increase, particularly within the national level ecological forest. The result in this study demonstrates that human activities have a great impact on biomass distribution and change tendency. Furthermore, Landsat image-based biomass estimates would provide illuminating information for forest policy-making and sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Multi-Objective Input–Output Linear Model for Water Supply, Economic Growth and Environmental Planning in Resource-Based Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 160; doi:10.3390/su8020160
Received: 11 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
Water resource and environment capacity have become two of the most important restrictions for sustainable development in resource-based cities whose leading industries are the exploitation and processing of resources. Taking Ordos in China as an example, this article constructs an integrated model combining
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Water resource and environment capacity have become two of the most important restrictions for sustainable development in resource-based cities whose leading industries are the exploitation and processing of resources. Taking Ordos in China as an example, this article constructs an integrated model combining a multi-objective optimization model with input–output analysis to achieve the tradeoffs between economic growth, water utilization and environmental protection. This dynamic model includes socioeconomic, water supply–demand, water quality control, air quality control, energy consumption control and integrated policy sub-models. These six sub-models interact with each other. After simulation, this article proposes efficient solutions on industrial restructuring by maximizing the Gross Regional Product of Ordos from 394.3 in 2012 to 785.1 billion RMB in 2025 with a growth rate of 6.4% annually; and presents a water supply plan by maximizing the proportion of reclaimed water from 2% to 6.3% through sewage treatment technology selection and introduction, and effective water allocation. Meanwhile, the environmental impacts are all in line with the planning targets. This study illustrates that the integrated modeling is generic and can be applied to any region suffering uncoordinated development issues and can serve as a pre-evaluation approach for conducting early warning research to offer suggestions for government decision-making. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Development of a Measurement Instrument for the Organizational Performance of Social Enterprises
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 161; doi:10.3390/su8020161
Received: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
There is a growing consensus that the adoption of performance measurement tools are of particular interest for social enterprises in order to support internal decision‐making and to answer the demands of accountability toward their stakeholders. As a result, different methodologies to assess the
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There is a growing consensus that the adoption of performance measurement tools are of particular interest for social enterprises in order to support internal decision‐making and to answer the demands of accountability toward their stakeholders. As a result, different methodologies to assess the non‐financial performance of social enterprises are developed by academics and practitioners. Many of these methodologies are on the one hand discussions of general guidelines or, on the other hand, very case specific. As such, these methodologies do not offer a functional tool for a broad range of social enterprises. The goal of this article is to fill this gap by developing an instrument suitable for the internal assessment and the external reporting of the non‐financial performance of a diverse group of social enterprises. To reach this goal, we used qualitative (focus groups and a Delphi panel) and quantitative research methods (exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis), involving multiple actors in the field of social entrepreneurship. Focusing on five dimensions of organizational performance (economic, environmental, community, human and governance performance), we offer a set of indicators and an assessment tool for social enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Inter‐Basin Water Transfer Projects on Regional Ecological Security from a Telecoupling Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 162; doi:10.3390/su8020162
Received: 1 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
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Abstract
Inter‐basin water transfer projects (IBWTPs) offer one of the most important means to solve the mismatch between supply and demand of regional water resources. IBWTPs have impacts on the complex ecosystems of the areas from which water is diverted and to which water
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Inter‐basin water transfer projects (IBWTPs) offer one of the most important means to solve the mismatch between supply and demand of regional water resources. IBWTPs have impacts on the complex ecosystems of the areas from which water is diverted and to which water is received. These impacts increase damage or risk to regional ecological security and human wellbeing. However, current methods make it difficult to achieve comprehensive analysis of the impacts of whole ecosystems, because of the long distance between ecosystems and the inconsistency of impact events. In this study, a model was proposed for the analysis of the impacts of IBWTPs on regional ecological security. It is based on the telecoupling framework, and the Driver‐Pressure‐State‐ Impact‐Response (DPSIR) model was used to improve the analysis procedure within the telecoupling framework. The Middle Line of the South‐to‐North Water Diversion Project was selected as a case study to illustrate the specific analysis procedure. We realized that information sharing is a key issue in the management of regional security, and that the ecological water requirement, in the form of a single index, could be used to quantitatively assess the impacts on ecological security from IBWTPs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Emission Laws and Influence Factors of Greenhouse Gases in Saline-Alkali Paddy Fields
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 163; doi:10.3390/su8020163
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
The study of greenhouse gas emissions has become a global focus, but few studies have considered saline-alkali paddy fields. Gas samples and saline-alkali soil samples were collected during the green, tillering, booting, heading and grain filling stages. The emission fluxes of CO2
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The study of greenhouse gas emissions has become a global focus, but few studies have considered saline-alkali paddy fields. Gas samples and saline-alkali soil samples were collected during the green, tillering, booting, heading and grain filling stages. The emission fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O as well as the pH, soil soluble salt, available nitrogen, and soil organic carbon contents were detected to reveal the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission laws and influence factors in saline-alkali paddy fields. Overall, GHG emissions of paddy soil during the growing season increased, then decreased, and then increased again and peaked at booting stage. The emission fluxes of CO2 and CH4 were observed as having two peaks and a single peak, respectively. Both the total amount of GHG emission and its different components of CO2, CH4, and N2O increased with the increasing reclamation period of paddy fields. A positive correlation was found between the respective emission fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O and the available nitrogen and SOC, whereas a negative correlation was revealed between the fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O and soil pH and soil conductivity. The study is beneficial to assessing the impact of paddy reclamation on regional greenhouse gas emissions and is relevant to illustrating the mechanisms concerning the carbon cycle in paddy soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Scheme to Relieve Parking Pressure at Tourist Attractions on Holidays
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 164; doi:10.3390/su8020164
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 8 February 2016
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Abstract
Parking is a key component of urban transportation managements and has become a severe problem at many tourist attractions during holidays in China. This paper presents a novel scheme to relieve the holiday parking pressure. Based on the perspectives of the activity-based travel
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Parking is a key component of urban transportation managements and has become a severe problem at many tourist attractions during holidays in China. This paper presents a novel scheme to relieve the holiday parking pressure. Based on the perspectives of the activity-based travel characteristics, we propose an effort to develop parking alternatives by utilizing existing traffic facilities. A conceptual model is employed to explore the influence of additional leisure activity of parking and various options of transportation modes. The results indicate that compared to commuters, the scenery is the major factor affecting tourists’ parking preference, besides parking time and cost. Based on the finding, a tourist-centered strategy is designed to satisfy the peak hours parking demands in order to relieve the parking pressure at tourist attractions during holidays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Liner Shipping Fleet Deployment with Sustainable Collaborative Transportation
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 165; doi:10.3390/su8020165
Received: 12 December 2015 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2016 / Published: 8 February 2016
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Abstract
Facing sharp competition in the market for shipping companies, it is necessary to make reasonable and efficient decisions to optimize the container shipping line network so as to improve the shipping efficiency and reduce the transportation cost, as well as to realize the
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Facing sharp competition in the market for shipping companies, it is necessary to make reasonable and efficient decisions to optimize the container shipping line network so as to improve the shipping efficiency and reduce the transportation cost, as well as to realize the transportation sustainability. Therefore, the liner ship fleet deployment problem with collaborative transportation is proposed in this paper. This problem is formulated as a mixed-integer linear programming model that takes collaborative transportation into consideration. The model includes fixed cost, variable cost, berth cost, transport cost, penalty, compensation cost, and so on. To achieve the sustainable development of collaborative transportation, the shipping companies could make a selection between the internal routes and the external routes to serve each task by comparing the distance between the above routes. A real Asia-Europe-Oceania numerical experiment shows that the proposed sustainable collaborative transportation model can be efficiently solved by C++ calling ILOG CPLEX. Results demonstrate that the optimized shipping line network with sustainable collaborative transportation can improve the service efficiency, as well as the service level of shipping companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Principle of Integration in International Sustainable Development Law (ISDL) with Reference to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 166; doi:10.3390/su8020166
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
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Abstract
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) does not explicitly refer to sustainable development despite the fact that other United Nations (UN) disarmament documents prescribe that international environmental law principles and sustainable development be considered among arms control agreements. This study’s objective is to utilize
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The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) does not explicitly refer to sustainable development despite the fact that other United Nations (UN) disarmament documents prescribe that international environmental law principles and sustainable development be considered among arms control agreements. This study’s objective is to utilize the principle of integration’s three components of environmental, economic, and social development, as found in the International Sustainable Development Law (ISDL) from the New Delhi Declaration (Delhi Declaration) of Principles of International Law Relating to Sustainable Development, in order to evaluate whether the BWC contains such components; thereby, making it possible for the BWC to contribute to sustainable development. The methodology of this study is necessarily qualitative, given that it is a socio-legal research that relies on international agreements such as the BWC, declarations, resolutions, plans of implementation, other non-binding documents of the UN, and secondary resources—all of which are analyzed through a document analysis. The results show that the BWC addresses the environment (Article II), prohibits transfers relating to export controls, international trade, and economic development (Article III), while at the same time, covering social development concerns, health, and diseases that make up the international social law (Article X). Since the BWC is found to be capable of contributing to sustainable development, it is concluded that ISDL cannot be restricted to international environmental, economic, and social law, but should be expanded to include international arms control law. Full article
Open AccessArticle Culture-Sustainability Relation: Towards a Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 167; doi:10.3390/su8020167
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2016 / Accepted: 8 February 2016 / Published: 11 February 2016
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Abstract
Several individual scholars and international organizations have attempted to conceptualize “culture” in its different meanings in sustainability. Despite those efforts, a tangle of different approaches are being used, reflecting the various disciplines and policy aims. In this paper we propose an interdisciplinary framework
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Several individual scholars and international organizations have attempted to conceptualize “culture” in its different meanings in sustainability. Despite those efforts, a tangle of different approaches are being used, reflecting the various disciplines and policy aims. In this paper we propose an interdisciplinary framework for identifying the different roles of culture in sustainability in an attempt to guide the research and policy activities in this complex field. The framework is comprised of three representations defined by a literature review on “cultural sustainability”, which are further explored through eight organizing dimensions that mark the similarities and differences between the three representations. The article reveals that the three representations are partly interlinked and that they also reveal gradients in the dynamics of the system, as well as in the human/nature interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
Open AccessArticle A TOE Approach to Establish a Green Supply Chain Adoption Decision Model in the Semiconductor Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 168; doi:10.3390/su8020168
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
The green supply chain is an innovation that extends traditional sustainability initiatives to environmental activities in the supply chain and aims to minimize a product’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle. The adoption of a green supply chain involves a complex decision-making process
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The green supply chain is an innovation that extends traditional sustainability initiatives to environmental activities in the supply chain and aims to minimize a product’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle. The adoption of a green supply chain involves a complex decision-making process characterized by multiple criteria. The goal of the current study is to construct a decision framework by identifying a comprehensive set of consideration factors and their causal relationships. The consideration factors are deliberately drawn from a variety of different, yet related, theories and are grouped into an extensive Technology-Organization -Environment (TOE) framework. In accordance with the Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method, the decision framework was analyzed for appropriateness through surveys of selected experts in the semiconductor industry. Because the semiconductor industry has a long history of heavy resource usage and has proven an early advocate of green supply chains, results from this study can provide insights to other firms with similar operations and aims. The contributions of this research are twofold. First, its theoretical contribution consists of integrating previously separate strands of different theories into a holistic framework and exploring the causal relationships among decision factors. Second, its practical contribution lies in its establishment of a strategic path that provides firms a set of priorities when adopting green supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Biochar Based Microbial Fuel Cell for Enhanced Wastewater Treatment and Nutrient Recovery
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 169; doi:10.3390/su8020169
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 14 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Waste-wood derived biochar was evaluated for the first time as both an anode and cathode material, simultaneously, in an overflow style microbial fuel cell (MFC) using actual industrial wastewater. Results show that the average chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was 95% with a
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Waste-wood derived biochar was evaluated for the first time as both an anode and cathode material, simultaneously, in an overflow style microbial fuel cell (MFC) using actual industrial wastewater. Results show that the average chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was 95% with a reduction rate of 0.53 kg·COD·m−1·d−1 in closed operation mode. The ammonia and phosphorous reductions from wastewater was 73% and 88%, respectively. Stable power production was observed with a peak power density measured at 6 W/m3. Preliminary contributions of physical, biological, and electrochemical COD removals were evaluated, and the results show such combined mechanisms give BC an advantage for MFC applications. Nutrient recovery data showed high levels of macronutrients adsorbed onto the spent biochar electrodes, and phosphorus concentration increased from 0.16 g·kg−1 in raw BC to up to 1.9 g·kg−1 in the cathode. These findings highlight the use of biochar as electrodes in MFCs to facilitate simultaneous wastewater treatment and power production with additional agronomic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biochar)
Open AccessArticle Brownfield Redevelopment Evaluation Based on Fuzzy Real Options
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 170; doi:10.3390/su8020170
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 23 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
There are a great amount of brownfield in Chinese mining cities. In order to promote mining cities sustainable development, it is necessary to redevelop brownfield. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the process of brownfield redevelopment owing to the influences of
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There are a great amount of brownfield in Chinese mining cities. In order to promote mining cities sustainable development, it is necessary to redevelop brownfield. There is a great deal of uncertainty in the process of brownfield redevelopment owing to the influences of pollution. Normal fuzzy numbers were used to describe the fuzziness of the expected DCF (discounted cash flow) value of brownfield redevelopment projects. In view of experts’ preferences, the weight of fuzzed estimation intervals of the expected DCF value was determined by means of the lattice closeness degree to find the volatility of the expected DCF value. Combining the results with the B-S (Black-Scholes) real option model, we built a fuzzy real option model which could be applied to the brownfield redevelopment projects. The empirical results showed that the valuation results of the fuzzy real option model, considering the experts’ risk preferences, were relatively objective and accurate. Full article
Open AccessArticle Regional Competition, Heterogeneous Factors and Pollution Intensity in China: A Spatial Econometric Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 171; doi:10.3390/su8020171
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
Regional competition may play an important role in the balance of environmental protection and economic growth. However, it is a pending issue of whether the competition among Chinese local governments leads to a race to black development or green development. This paper aims
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Regional competition may play an important role in the balance of environmental protection and economic growth. However, it is a pending issue of whether the competition among Chinese local governments leads to a race to black development or green development. This paper aims to explore the strategic interactions in provincial development in terms of an environment-economic indicator, i.e., the pollution intensity in China from 2000 to 2013. We divide four predominant industrial pollutants into two groups according to whether the pollutant is regulated, and then test the strategic interactions among regions based on the spatial lag term by employing the spatial Durbin model. The results show that the heterogeneous factors, such as various pollutants and regional difference, may give rise to diversified competition strategies. We find that the “race to black development” hypothesis is not supported at the national level, and the “race to green development” hypothesis is established in the developed eastern regions only in terms of the regulated industrial pollutants. We also detect how pollution intensity is influenced by the direct and spatial spillover effects of environmental regulation and find that environmental legislation has been effective in reducing regulated pollutants’ pollution intensity, while the effects of environmental staff and investment are weak. Finally, some policy suggestions are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ecological Security Pattern Analysis Based on InVEST and Least-Cost Path Model: A Case Study of Dongguan Water Village
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 172; doi:10.3390/su8020172
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
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Abstract
The famous “world’s factory” city, Dongguan, like many other places in China, is a typical beneficiary of China’s Reform and Opening-up Policy. However, rapid urban sprawl and economic growth are at the expense of the destruction of the local environment. Therefore, it is
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The famous “world’s factory” city, Dongguan, like many other places in China, is a typical beneficiary of China’s Reform and Opening-up Policy. However, rapid urban sprawl and economic growth are at the expense of the destruction of the local environment. Therefore, it is of great importance to establish an ecological security network for sustainable development. InVEST models, effective tools to measure sensitivity and intensity of external threats to quantify habitat value, are used to calculate habitat quality of water and land. By combining structural connectivity and the Least-Cost Path model (LCP model), in which corridors are determined based on the minimum accumulative cost path between each critical point, ecological security patterns were calculated. According to the results, the northwest region of Dongguan, having a large quantity of farmlands and water and therefore many corridors and critical patches, is the most essential area in the overall security of ecological environments, which should be protected first. If developed, it should be dominated by eco-tourism and eco-agriculture. We hope that research on the ecological network, which includes critical patches and corridors formed by greenland and rivers, will lead toward better-informed proposals for local urban planning and regional sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Automobile Industry Strategic Alliance Partner Selection: The Application of a Hybrid DEA and Grey Theory Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 173; doi:10.3390/su8020173
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2016 / Published: 17 February 2016
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Abstract
Finding the right strategic alliance partner is a critical success factor for many enterprises. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to propose an effective approach based on grey theory and data envelopment analysis (DEA) for selecting better partners for alliance. This study
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Finding the right strategic alliance partner is a critical success factor for many enterprises. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to propose an effective approach based on grey theory and data envelopment analysis (DEA) for selecting better partners for alliance. This study used grey forecasting to predict future business performances and used DEA for the partner selection of alliances. This research was implemented with realistic public data in four consecutive financial years (2009–2012) of the world’s 20 biggest automobile enterprises. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd was set to be the target decision making unit (DMU). The empirical results showed that, among 19 candidate DMUs, Renault (DMU10) and Daimler (DMU11) were the two feasible beneficial alliance partners for Nissan. Although this research is specifically applied to the automobile industry, the proposed method could also be applied to other manufacturing industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle New Hybrid Multiple Attribute Decision-Making Model for Improving Competence Sets: Enhancing a Company’s Core Competitiveness
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 175; doi:10.3390/su8020175
Received: 29 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
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Abstract
A company’s core competitiveness depends on the strategic allocation of its human resources in alignment with employee capabilities. Competency models can identify the range of capabilities at a company’s disposal, and this information can be used to develop internal or external education training
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A company’s core competitiveness depends on the strategic allocation of its human resources in alignment with employee capabilities. Competency models can identify the range of capabilities at a company’s disposal, and this information can be used to develop internal or external education training policies for sustainable development. Such models can ensure the importation of a strategic orientation reflecting the growth of its employee competence set and enhancing human resource sustainably. This approach ensures that the most appropriate people are assigned to the most appropriate positions. In this study, we proposed a new hybrid multiple attributed decision-making model by using the Decision-making trial and Evaluation Laboratory Technique (DEMATEL) to construct an influential network relation map (INRM) and determined the influential weights by using the basic concept of the analytic network process (called DEMATEL-based ANP, DANP); the influential weights were then adopted with a modified Vise Kriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method. A simple forecasting technique as an iteration function was also proposed. The proposed model was effective. We expect that the proposed model can facilitate making timely revisions, reflecting the growth of employee competence sets, reducing the performance gap toward the aspiration level, and ensuring the sustainability of a company. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustaining Competitiveness: Moving Towards Upstream Manufacturing in Specialized-Market-Based Clusters in the Chinese Toy Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 176; doi:10.3390/su8020176
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 10 January 2016 / Accepted: 30 January 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
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Abstract
Western industrial cluster literature pays little attention to specialized markets (SMs) and the geographical agglomeration of distributors or sale agencies (SAs). This paper takes Linyin, Shandong, a famous commodity city in Northeastern China, as an example, to discuss the determinants that make SAs
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Western industrial cluster literature pays little attention to specialized markets (SMs) and the geographical agglomeration of distributors or sale agencies (SAs). This paper takes Linyin, Shandong, a famous commodity city in Northeastern China, as an example, to discuss the determinants that make SAs in SMs of the toy industry move towards upstream manufacturing. A structured questionnaire survey and subsequent interviews were carried out during 2011 and 2012 to collect data, and a Binary Logistic Regression Model was used to process the data. This paper looks from the perspective of global production networks theory, establishes an analytical framework that combines individual motivations of intra-firm coordination, local inter-firm relationships and dynamic cross-regional level relationships. The findings indicate that the expansion of SAs towards manufacturing allows them to sustain competitiveness under changing circumstances. The local inter-firm relationships within SM-based clusters not only makes it easy to obtain material and human resources with lower manufacturing costs, but also facilitates the access to production knowledge and technologies for an expansion of production scale. Cross-regional relationships with suppliers provide an informal channel for SAs to obtain skills, which is fundamental for an expansion into manufacturing. In addition, it is a preference for strengthening competitiveness rather than the simple pursuit of economic profit that encourages SAs to invest in manufacturing. Full article
Open AccessArticle Does Land Tenure Security Promote Manure Use by Farm Households in Vietnam?
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 178; doi:10.3390/su8020178
Received: 6 November 2015 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
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Abstract
Facing widespread poverty and land degradation, Vietnam started a land reform in 1993 as part of its renovation policy package known as “Doi Moi”. This paper examines the impacts of improved land tenure security, via this land reform, on manure use
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Facing widespread poverty and land degradation, Vietnam started a land reform in 1993 as part of its renovation policy package known as “Doi Moi”. This paper examines the impacts of improved land tenure security, via this land reform, on manure use by farm households. As manure potentially improves soil fertility by adding organic matter and nutrients to the soil surface, it might contribute to improving soil productive capacity and reversing land degradation. Random effect regression models are applied to a panel dataset of 133 farm households in the Northern Uplands of Vietnam collected in 1993, 1998, and 2006. The results confirm that land tenure security has positive effects on manure use, but the levels of influence differ depending on whether the land has been privatized or whether the land title has already been issued. In addition, manure use is also influenced by the number of cattle and pigs, the education level and ethnicity of household heads, farm land size and non-farm income. The findings suggest that speeding up land privatization and titling, encouraging cattle and pig rearing, and improving education would promote manure use in farm production. However, careful interpretation of our research findings is required as land privatization, together with economic growth and population pressure, might lead to overuse of farm inputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues on Soil Management and Conservation)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of the Internal Side of Social Responsibility on Firm Competitive Success in the Business Services Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 179; doi:10.3390/su8020179
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 12 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work focuses on the internal side of social responsibility of organizations in a regional context. Through a survey of 590 managers in classical business services (human-capital intensive) and representative of the productive economy of the Region of Extremadura (Spain), an empirical analysis
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This work focuses on the internal side of social responsibility of organizations in a regional context. Through a survey of 590 managers in classical business services (human-capital intensive) and representative of the productive economy of the Region of Extremadura (Spain), an empirical analysis is conducted. First, a factor analysis is conducted to explore the main dimensions of the internal face of Social Responsibility and second, a structural equations model is developed to look for a relationship with business competitiveness. Business performance and innovation are also considered in the model. The main contribution of the article is the establishment of a set of indicators that will help to build an ongoing and meaningful dialogue with employees improving their quality of life at work that will also serve as important guidance for the increasing of the firm’s competitiveness through responsible human resources practices. Some suggestions for a research agenda emerge from this first attempt to approach the internal side of responsibility in business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Local Development and Environmental Governance: A Strategic Planning Experience
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 180; doi:10.3390/su8020180
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (1058 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The emphasis on learning and adaptation among different actors at various political administrative levels and on various geographic scales has become a precondition for the emergence of sustainable development. It is possible to find the essential form of collaborative management by using a
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The emphasis on learning and adaptation among different actors at various political administrative levels and on various geographic scales has become a precondition for the emergence of sustainable development. It is possible to find the essential form of collaborative management by using a Strategic Plan, designed to determine a local model of sustainable competitiveness in economic, social and environmental terms. The adoption of a Strategic Plan stimulates a process of shared knowledge, through which it is possible to generate a new environmental governance (EG) that is truly representative of a local system. This paper presents, as a case study representative of the Italian context, the Strategic Plan of the Nebrodi area (SP), and assesses the structure of a new form of public and private environmental governance focused on sustainable concern. Finally, the SP could be considered a guideline for managing the local territorial and environmental system from a long-term perspective. Full article
Open AccessArticle Who is Next? Identifying Communities with the Potential for Increased Implementation of Sustainability Policies and Programs
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 182; doi:10.3390/su8020182
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
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Abstract
Understanding the system of connections between societal contexts and policy outcomes in municipal governments provides important insights into how community sustainability happens, and why it happens differently in various communities. A growing body of research in recent years has focused on understanding the
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Understanding the system of connections between societal contexts and policy outcomes in municipal governments provides important insights into how community sustainability happens, and why it happens differently in various communities. A growing body of research in recent years has focused on understanding the socio-economic characteristics of communities and cities that are recognized as policy leaders in sustainability. In this paper, we expand the focus beyond the leaders in sustainability as we apply a selection of socio-demographic influences of community sustainability to a large sample of U.S. communities using community classification analytics to identity a range of community types and levels of engagement with sustainability. Our typology presents an integrated and comprehensive perspective on the structure of community sustainability in the United States, highlighting key points of comparison between human capital factors such as population size and density, affluence, home ownership, and adoption of sustainability policy. The analysis provides new insights not only about community leaders in sustainability, but also communities with the civic and social capacity to do more, and the challenges that may inhibit sustainability efforts in others. Full article
Open AccessArticle Have Changes to Unused Land in China Improved or Exacerbated Its Environmental Quality in the Past Three Decades?
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 184; doi:10.3390/su8020184
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
PDF Full-text (4569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inappropriate land use has caused a series of environmental disasters such as floods and sand storms, and some of them involved unused land changes with highly localized distributions in arid and semi-arid regions with fragile ecosystems. As the third-rank category of first-level land
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Inappropriate land use has caused a series of environmental disasters such as floods and sand storms, and some of them involved unused land changes with highly localized distributions in arid and semi-arid regions with fragile ecosystems. As the third-rank category of first-level land use/cover in China, unused land (UL) is now playing an increasingly important role in protection of the natural environment and sustainable utilization of land resources. In this article, we assessed the effects on regional eco-environments employing a quantitative EL (ecological effect index) model, which can be used to evaluate and represent the contribution of UL changes to the eco-environmental quality. Results show that UL changes generally contributed to the deterioration of eco-environmental quality during the study period. Some major contributors to improving eco-environmental quality were transformation of sandy land and saline-alkali lands to grasslands, expansion of water bodies in UL areas, and reclamation of farmland in UL areas (except for marsh lands). In contrast, the main contributors to worsening eco-environmental quality were grassland degradation to UL (except marshes), reclamation of marsh areas, and shrinkage of water bodies to leave desert or saline-alkali land. Some suggestions are provided about UL management, utilization, and protection issues. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic Valuation of Mining Heritage from a Recreational Approach: Application to the Case of El Soplao Cave in Spain (Geosite UR004)
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 185; doi:10.3390/su8020185
Received: 4 January 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
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Abstract
Heritage tourism can increase incomes and stimulate the economy in former mining areas. Recreational tourism is one of the main sources of value of heritage. People from urban areas are willing to pay for access to these tourism options. The measurement of the
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Heritage tourism can increase incomes and stimulate the economy in former mining areas. Recreational tourism is one of the main sources of value of heritage. People from urban areas are willing to pay for access to these tourism options. The measurement of the economic impact of this availability is one of the main problems to confront, due to the immeasurable possibilities of heritage resources. The use of non-market values and their estimation by means of revealed preference methods should help to assess the economic value of this sort of resources from a recreational perspective. The travel cost method (TCM) is widely used to value areas with recreational uses, such as lakes, beaches or forests, but there are not references to previous applications of this methodology in the field of mining heritage. In this work, TCM has been applied to obtain the economic value of El Soplao Cave (Geosite UR004, Cantabria, Spain) as a recreational site, providing an estimated result of 34,961,162 euros. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle Urbanization and the Change of Fertilizer Use Intensity for Agricultural Production in Henan Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 186; doi:10.3390/su8020186
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 27 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s urbanization has resulted in significant changes in agricultural land use. However, understanding of the linkages between urbanization and fertilizer use intensity is limited. Using county-level panel data for Henan Province, 1995–2008 and panel econometric models, we investigate the impact of urbanization and
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China’s urbanization has resulted in significant changes in agricultural land use. However, understanding of the linkages between urbanization and fertilizer use intensity is limited. Using county-level panel data for Henan Province, 1995–2008 and panel econometric models, we investigate the impact of urbanization and other socioeconomic factors on fertilizer use intensity, with a focus on the two key processes related to urbanization—shrinking agricultural land area and increasing urban wages. Our results show that declining agricultural land per capita is associated with greater fertilizer use intensity. Urban wages is positively correlated with fertilizer use intensity. We also find that GDP per capita and per capita expenditure of government for agriculture both positively contribute to the increase of fertilizer use intensity, which is consistent with expectations. Our results imply that other than land conversion, urbanization contains some positive influences on land use sustainability. However, on the other hand, urbanization contributes to agriculture-based environmental pollution by increasing the level of fertilizer use in agricultural production. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determination of Optimum Window to External Wall Ratio for Offices in a Hot and Humid Climate
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 187; doi:10.3390/su8020187
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5904 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat loss and gain through windows has a very high impact on the thermal comfort of offices. This paper analyzes a standard low energy consumption university office that has a standard envelope. Dynamic thermal simulations with EDSL Tas software, a predicted mean vote
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Heat loss and gain through windows has a very high impact on the thermal comfort of offices. This paper analyzes a standard low energy consumption university office that has a standard envelope. Dynamic thermal simulations with EDSL Tas software, a predicted mean vote (PMV), and a predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) with all local discomfort as stated in ASHRAE, ISO 7730: 2005, EN 15251: 2007 were used for thermal sensation, in order to optimize the best window to external wall proportion in a hot and humid climate that exists in the Famagusta case study. A simulated office building is oriented east to west in order to take advantage of the wind direction. In May 45% (PPD < 6%–0.7% open window), 93% (PPD < 10–0.2 open window), and 97% (PPD < 15%–0.1% open window) thermal comfort scores are obtained when the window to external wall ratio (WWR) is 10%. In October 43% (PPD < 6%–0.7% open window), 86% (PPD < 10–0.2 open window), and 92% (PPD < 15%–0.1% open window) thermal comfort scores are obtained when the WWR is 10%. In September 49% (PPD < 10% full open window) and 51% (PPD < 15%–0.1% open window) thermal comfort scores are obtained when the WWR is 10%. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Evaluation Method-Based Technical and Economic Factors for International Oil Exploration Projects
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 188; doi:10.3390/su8020188
Received: 3 January 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Optimizing international oil exploration projects is one of the main challenges for oil companies in obtaining investment benefits. This paper establishes an integrated evaluation model to maximize investment benefits within the constraints of technical and economic factors, including geological factors, resource quality, geographic
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Optimizing international oil exploration projects is one of the main challenges for oil companies in obtaining investment benefits. This paper establishes an integrated evaluation model to maximize investment benefits within the constraints of technical and economic factors, including geological factors, resource quality, geographic conditions, the investment environment, and oil contracts. The paper also proposes a dynamic calculation method of indicators’ weight associated with oil prices. The analysis describes the effects of contract terms and the investment environment on project value and quantifies the contractor income ratio for different types of contracts and the investment environment of the host country. Oil exploration projects in Africa are illustrated as examples in which the evaluation indicator Adjusted Concept Reserves (ACR) is calculated for each project. The results show that remaining recoverable reserves and contract terms exert tremendous influences on ACR, and remaining recoverable reserves is the essential factor. Simultaneously, changes in oil prices lead to various rates of change in the contractor income ratio, which is determined by different fiscal terms. This study is important in helping oil companies optimize international oil projects and design reasonable investment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle How Achieving the Millennium Development Goals Increases Subjective Well-Being in Developing Nations
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 189; doi:10.3390/su8020189
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The target date in 2015 for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was reached, and a new period of global goals for the post-2015 is dawning. To assess whether and how regional progress towards achieving the MDGs has contributed to better quality
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The target date in 2015 for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was reached, and a new period of global goals for the post-2015 is dawning. To assess whether and how regional progress towards achieving the MDGs has contributed to better quality of life in developing nations, we formulated a correlation between various aspects of human development, indicated by MDG indicators, and subjective well-being (SWB), a response to the question of how much people feel happy or satisfied. We demonstrated that national levels of SWB can be explained by the degree of development; poverty reduction is the strongest determinant, and achieving the MDGs is associated with higher SWB levels. Scenario assessment of SWB allowed which domain of development should be improved preferentially in each region to be determined, hence the SWB approach is expected to offer an innovative proxy of human development for the assessment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Construction Waste Management Profiles, Practices, and Performance: A Cross-Jurisdictional Analysis in Four Countries
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 190; doi:10.3390/su8020190
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction waste management (CWM) has received worldwide attention for some time. As a result, a plethora of research, investigating a wide array of CWM issues such as their profiles, practices, and performance, has been reported in individual economies around the globe. However, a
[...] Read more.
Construction waste management (CWM) has received worldwide attention for some time. As a result, a plethora of research, investigating a wide array of CWM issues such as their profiles, practices, and performance, has been reported in individual economies around the globe. However, a cross-jurisdictional comparison of these issues is limitedly presented in the literature despite its importance to benchmarking performance and identifying best CWM practices in the context of globalization whereby knowledge sharing has already transcended traditional country boundaries. The aim of this ex post facto research is to compare CWM profiles, practices, and performance in Australia, Europe (Europe refers to EU-27 member countries in the European Union, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania.), Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom at a national-level, with a view to facilitating CWM knowledge sharing internationally. It does so by triangulating empirical data collected from various national statistical yearbooks with research papers and professional reports on CWM in these economies. It is found that in producing one million (US) dollars’ work, construction contributes a volume of solid waste ranging from 28 to 121 tons among countries. Conscientious CWM practices can make a significant difference in reducing, reusing, or recycling construction waste, as evident in the large variation in the CWM performance. While it might be oversimplified to conclude that the best practices in one country can be applied in another, the research provides insightful references into sharing CWM knowledge across boundaries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Why Companies Do Not Renew Their EMAS Registration? An Exploratory Research
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 191; doi:10.3390/su8020191
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 6 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the official Environmental Management System (EMS) issued by the European Union (EU). Italy is the country where EMAS is most widespread, accounting for over 1000 registered organizations. Since entry into the force of the Regulation in
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The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the official Environmental Management System (EMS) issued by the European Union (EU). Italy is the country where EMAS is most widespread, accounting for over 1000 registered organizations. Since entry into the force of the Regulation in 1997, the number of registrations has constantly grown until 2008, when the figures started to drop. The phenomena are due to both the decrease of the annual registration rate and the lack of renewals. According to the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), in recent years, an increasing number of organizations decided to withdraw from EMAS registration. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reasons of this negative trend. The first step consisted of a literature review concerning the main barriers, difficulties, and costs incurred by EMAS-registered organizations. Subsequently, this information was integrated with data about the evolution of EMAS registrations and the results of a previous survey, which involved the entire population of registered firms. The present exploratory research highlighted economic and operational domains concerning the cancellation trends that deserve a deeper investigation, which will be conducted through a questionnaire addressed to Italian firms that did not renew the registration in the last lustrum. The intended output will allow us to identify stakeholders’ priority intervention areas in order to suggest an operative strategy to reduce EMAS cancellation rates, addressed to Member States (MS) Competent Bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Development of a Model for a Cordon Pricing Scheme Considering Environmental Equity: A Case Study of Tehran
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 192; doi:10.3390/su8020192
Received: 22 November 2015 / Revised: 3 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1953 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Congestion pricing strategy has been recognized as an effective countermeasure in the practical field of urban traffic congestion mitigation. Despite the positive effects of congestion pricing, its implementation has faced problems. This paper investigates the issue of environmental equity in cordon pricing and
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Congestion pricing strategy has been recognized as an effective countermeasure in the practical field of urban traffic congestion mitigation. Despite the positive effects of congestion pricing, its implementation has faced problems. This paper investigates the issue of environmental equity in cordon pricing and a park-and-ride scheme. Although pollution decreases inside the cordon by implementation of cordon pricing, air pollutants emission may increase in some links and in the whole network. Therefore, an increase in air emissions in the network means more emission outside the cordon. In fact, due to the implementation of this policy, air pollutants emission may transfer from inside to outside the cordon, creating a type of environmental inequity. To reduce this inequity, a bi-level optimization model with an equity constraint is developed. The proposed solution algorithm based on the second version of the strength Pareto evolutionary algorithm (SPEA2) is applied to the city network in Tehran. The results revealed that it seems reasonable to consider environmental equity as an objective function in cordon pricing. In addition, we can create a sustainable situation for the transportation system by improving environmental inequity with a relatively low reduction in social welfare. Moreover, there are environmental inequity impacts in real networks, which should be considered in the cordon pricing scheme. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimal Distributed Generator Allocation Method Considering Voltage Control Cost
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 193; doi:10.3390/su8020193
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Up till now, the high penetration of intermittent distributed generation (DG) has posed great challenges to the planning and operation of the grid. To achieve the best balance between economic cost and acceptable capacity of DG, this paper proposes a new integrated planning
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Up till now, the high penetration of intermittent distributed generation (DG) has posed great challenges to the planning and operation of the grid. To achieve the best balance between economic cost and acceptable capacity of DG, this paper proposes a new integrated planning method of the active distribution network while considering voltage control cost. Firstly, characteristics of decentralized and centralized voltage control methods were analyzed. The technical frameworks, voltage control strategies and economical models of different voltage control systems were put forward. Then, an integrated planning model with objectives to minimize the comprehensive cost and maximize clean energy utilization under the constraint of maintaining acceptable voltage was implemented. Simulations were conducted using the Multi-objective Differential Evolution Algorithm (MODE). IEEE 33-bus test systems were employed to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results demonstrate that the proposed approach is able to connect larger distributed generators and decrease the economic cost of Distribution Network Operators while maintaining voltage within the statutory limits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Revealing Social Values by 3D City Visualization in City Transformations
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 195; doi:10.3390/su8020195
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Social sustainability is a widely used concept in urban planning research and practice. However, knowledge of spatial distributions of social values and aspects of social sustainability is required. Visualization of these distributions is also highly valuable, but challenging, and rarely attempted in sparsely
[...] Read more.
Social sustainability is a widely used concept in urban planning research and practice. However, knowledge of spatial distributions of social values and aspects of social sustainability is required. Visualization of these distributions is also highly valuable, but challenging, and rarely attempted in sparsely populated urban environments in rural areas. This article presents a method that highlights social values in spatial models through 3D visualization, describes the methodology to generate the models, and discusses potential applications. The models were created using survey, building, infrastructure and demographic data for Gällivare, Sweden, a small city facing major transformation due to mining subsidence. It provides an example of how 3D models of important social sustainability indices can be designed to display citizens’ attitudes regarding their financial status, the built environment, social inclusion and welfare services. The models helped identify spatial variations in perceptions of the built environment that correlate (inter alia) with closeness to certain locations, gender and distances to public buildings. Potential uses of the model for supporting efforts by practitioners, researchers and citizens to visualize and understand social values in similar urban environments are discussed, together with ethical issues (particularly regarding degrees of anonymity) concerning its wider use for inclusive planning. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Cities and Systemic Change for Sustainability: Prevailing Epistemologies and an Emerging Research Agenda
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 144; doi:10.3390/su8020144
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cities are key for sustainability and the radical systemic changes required to enable equitable human development within planetary boundaries. Their particular role in this regard has become the subject of an emerging and highly interdisciplinary scientific debate. Drawing on a qualitative literature review,
[...] Read more.
Cities are key for sustainability and the radical systemic changes required to enable equitable human development within planetary boundaries. Their particular role in this regard has become the subject of an emerging and highly interdisciplinary scientific debate. Drawing on a qualitative literature review, this paper identifies and scrutinizes the principal fields involved, asking for their respective normative orientation, interdisciplinary constitution, theories and methods used, and empirical basis to provide orientations for future research. It recognizes four salient research epistemologies, each focusing on a distinct combination of drivers of change: (A) transforming urban metabolisms and political ecologies; (B) configuring urban innovation systems for green economies; (C) building adaptive urban communities and ecosystems; and (D) empowering urban grassroots niches and social innovation. The findings suggest that future research directed at cities and systemic change towards sustainability should (1) explore interrelations between the above epistemologies, using relational geography and governance theory as boundary areas; (2) conceive of cities as places shaped by and shaping interactions between multiple socio-technical and social-ecological systems; (3) focus on agency across systems and drivers of change, and develop corresponding approaches for intervention and experimentation; and (4) rebalance the empirical basis and methods employed, strengthening transdisciplinarity in particular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessReview The Implementation of Earth Jurisprudence through Substantive Constitutional Rights of Nature
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 174; doi:10.3390/su8020174
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 17 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date, international processes associated with sustainable development have not led to an internationally legally binding framework that adequately addresses the challenges we face. Human influence on the planet has led to the adoption, although not universally accepted, of the term Anthropocene to
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To date, international processes associated with sustainable development have not led to an internationally legally binding framework that adequately addresses the challenges we face. Human influence on the planet has led to the adoption, although not universally accepted, of the term Anthropocene to define our new relationship with nature. This paper aims to look at the role and rule of law in the making of society and, more importantly, the arguments for a shift in the paradigm from an Anthropocentric ontology to a more Earth-centered one. We critique the current approach to sustainable development and environmental protection, review arguments on the Rights of Nature and explore the potential for the concept of Earth Jurisprudence building on current literature. In particular, the paper outlines that a constitutional right of nature is needed to address the challenges that we now face globally. To this end, we also examine in detail the case study of the constitution of Ecuador where the rights of nature have been codified. We outline some of the key issues involved in this proposed approach to new legal frameworks and make recommendations for future research. Full article
Open AccessReview Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 177; doi:10.3390/su8020177
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long
[...] Read more.
Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i) multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii) elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Transition Thinking and Business Model Innovation–Towards a Transformative Business Model and New Role for the Reuse Centers of Limburg, Belgium
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 112; doi:10.3390/su8020112
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 20 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current dynamics of change, including climate change, resource depletion, energy transition, internet of things, etc. will have substantial impacts on the functioning of contemporary business models. Most firms and companies, however, still largely focus on efficiency strategies leading to sub-optimal solutions (reducing
[...] Read more.
The current dynamics of change, including climate change, resource depletion, energy transition, internet of things, etc. will have substantial impacts on the functioning of contemporary business models. Most firms and companies, however, still largely focus on efficiency strategies leading to sub-optimal solutions (reducing bad impact), rather than radically changing their business model to develop new transaction models more appropriate for today’s world (doing better things). However, persistent sustainability issues arising from our changing societal systems, require more radical and structural changes both within and between organizations to change the way we do business. There is limited empirically established research literature on how businesses can be more proactive in this regard and how they can move beyond “management of unsustainability”. In this paper, we present a transformative business model innovation approach inspired by transition theory combining elements of systems thinking, value-inspired envisioning, reflexive design and co-creation that was pioneered for a consortia of reuse centers in the province of Limburg, Belgium. We demonstrate that this approach contributed to the development of new business model concepts, was conducive for mobilizing support and resources to ensure follow up activity and holds potential to promote a more proactive role for businesses as agents of transformative change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)

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