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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Macro Micro Studio: A Prototype Energy Autonomous Laboratory
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 500; doi:10.3390/su8060500
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (8851 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In 2011, the Departments of Architecture, Physics and Engineering began the development of a small Passivhaus standard, renewable energy self-sufficient studio at the University Botanical Gardens in Dundee. The prototype was conceived as an experimental, integrated technical platform to monitor the performance of
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In 2011, the Departments of Architecture, Physics and Engineering began the development of a small Passivhaus standard, renewable energy self-sufficient studio at the University Botanical Gardens in Dundee. The prototype was conceived as an experimental, integrated technical platform to monitor the performance of an ultra-low-energy consumption, energy positive building in the Scottish climate, and understand user behaviour in relation to managing energy in-use and reducing occupant’s energy consumption. The building fabric has been constructed using regional sustainable materials, including a low-thermal bridging timber kit relying on Scottish small cross-section timber and a novel foam concrete (air entrained) slab foundation. While further work is required to complete the installation of the renewable energy system, predictive modelling indicates that energy autonomy can be largely achieved. With the recent introduction of the new Passivhaus 2009 criteria in October 2015, this project provides an insight into the practical application of an autarkic energy system in a northern European climate. The following paper describes the research rationale, the processes and decision making in the development of the formal and technical design of the building and discusses our current thinking in the design and quantification of the energy system. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Environmental Impact and Cost Analysis of Concrete Mixing Blast Furnace Slag Containing Titanium Gypsum and Sludge in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 502; doi:10.3390/su8060502
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 14 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the environmental effects and cost of the Industrial Waste addictive Blast Furnace Slag (W-BFS) using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and compared it to general BFS. The environmental impacts of W-BFS were as follows: 1.12 × 10−1 kg-CO2 eq/kg,
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This study assessed the environmental effects and cost of the Industrial Waste addictive Blast Furnace Slag (W-BFS) using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and compared it to general BFS. The environmental impacts of W-BFS were as follows: 1.12 × 10−1 kg-CO2 eq/kg, 3.18 × 10−5 kg-Ethylene eq/kg, 4.79 × 10−4 kg-SO2 eq/kg, 7.15 × 10−4 kg-PO43− eq/kg, 7.15 × 10−4 kg-CFC11 eq/kg and 3.94 × 10−3 kg-Antimony eq/kg. Among the environmental impact category, GWP and AP were 9.28 × 10−2 kg-CO2 eq/kg and 3.33 × 10−4 kg-SO2 eq/kg at a raw material stage, accounting for 80% and 70% of total environmental impact respectively. In EP, POCP and ADP, in addition, raw material stage accounted for a great portion in total environmental impact because of “W” among input materials. In ODP, however, compared to the environmental impact of raw materials, oil, which was used in transporting BFS to the W-BFS manufacturing factory, was more influential. In terms of GWP, POCP and ODP, W-BFS was higher than general BFS. In terms of AP, EP and ADP, in contrast, the former was lower than the latter. In terms of cost, W-BFS (41.7 US$/ton) was lower than general BFS by about 17% because of the use of waste additives comprised of industrial wastes instead of natural gypsum ,which has been commonly used in general BFS. In terms of GWP and POCP, the W-BFS mixed (30%) concrete was lower than plain concrete by 25%. In terms of AP and EP, the former was lower than the latter by 30%. In terms of ADP, furthermore, W-BFS mixed (30%) concrete was lower than plain concrete by 11%. In aggregate-related ODP, however, almost no change was found. In terms of cost, when W-BFS was added by 10% and 30%, it was able to reduce cost by 3% and 7% respectively, compared to plain concrete. Compared to BFS-mixed concrete as well, cost could be saved by 1% additionally because W-BFS (US$41.7/ton) is lower than common cement (US$100.3/ton) by about 60% in terms of production costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Supply Chain Capabilities: Accumulation, Strategic Types and Performance
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 503; doi:10.3390/su8060503
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the cumulative sustainable supply chain (SC) capabilities and their effects on supply chain performance, including economic, environmental, and social performance. Using empirical analyses with data from 198 small- and medium-sized suppliers in Korea, this paper provides evidence about the cumulative
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This paper explores the cumulative sustainable supply chain (SC) capabilities and their effects on supply chain performance, including economic, environmental, and social performance. Using empirical analyses with data from 198 small- and medium-sized suppliers in Korea, this paper provides evidence about the cumulative sustainable SC capabilities, indicating that economic, social, and environmental capabilities in the supply chain mutually reinforce each other rather than traded off. This study also presents the positive effect of cumulative sustainable SC capabilities on supply chain sustainability performance. This paper identifies four distinctive groups of cumulative capabilities: the laggard, environmental-focused, social-cautious, and all-round. This study provides a better understanding about sustainable capabilities and important guidelines for managers of suppliers and buyers who wish to build strong social/environmental management capabilities without compromising economic capability throughout the entire supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Four Sustainability Paradigms for Environmental Management: A Methodological Analysis and an Empirical Study Based on 30 Italian Industries
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 504; doi:10.3390/su8060504
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 3 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1667 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper develops an empirical methodology to consistently compare alternative sustainability paradigms (weak sustainability (WS), strong sustainability (SS), a-growth (AG), and de-growth (DG)) and different assessment approaches (LCA, CBA, and MCA) within alternative relationship frameworks (economic general equilibrium (EGE) and ecosystem services (ESS)).
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This paper develops an empirical methodology to consistently compare alternative sustainability paradigms (weak sustainability (WS), strong sustainability (SS), a-growth (AG), and de-growth (DG)) and different assessment approaches (LCA, CBA, and MCA) within alternative relationship frameworks (economic general equilibrium (EGE) and ecosystem services (ESS)). The goal is to suggest different environmental interventions (e.g., projects vs. policies) for environmental management at national, regional, or local levels. The top-down methodology is then applied to 30 interdependent industries in Italy for three pollutants and four resources during two periods. The industries were prioritized in terms of interventions to be taken to diminish pollution damage and resource depletion, whereas sustainability paradigms were compared in terms of their likelihood (i.e., WS > AG = DG > SS), robustness (i.e., AG > SS > DG > WS), effectiveness (i.e., SS > AG > DG > WS), and feasibility (i.e., SS > DG > WS > AG). Proper assessment approaches for projects are finally identified for situations when policies are infeasible (e.g., LCA in WS and SS, MCA in DG and SS within ESS, CBA in WS, and AG within EGE), by suggesting MCA in WS within ESS once ecological services are linked to sustainability criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Jatropha Crop Production Alternatives in Abandoned Agricultural Arid Soils Using MCA and GIS
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 505; doi:10.3390/su8060505
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
PDF Full-text (1787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper discusses the assessment of various biofuel crop production alternatives on the island of Fuerteventura using Jatropha crops. It adopts an integrated approach by carrying out a multi-criteria assessment with the support of participatory techniques and geographical information systems. Sixteen production alternatives
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This paper discusses the assessment of various biofuel crop production alternatives on the island of Fuerteventura using Jatropha crops. It adopts an integrated approach by carrying out a multi-criteria assessment with the support of participatory techniques and geographical information systems. Sixteen production alternatives were analyzed for growing Jatropha, and the results suggest that the best alternative involves using typical torrifluvent soils irrigated with recycled urban wastewater using surface drip irrigation covering 100% evapotranspiration. It was also determined that a potential area of 2546 ha could be used for cultivation within a radius of 10 km from a wastewater treatment plant. This level of production would supply 27.56% of the biofuel needs of Fuerteventura, thereby contributing to the 2020 target of the European Commission regarding biofuels for land transport. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Interprovincial CO2 Emissions Considering Electric Power Dispatching in China: From Production and Consumption Perspectives
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 506; doi:10.3390/su8060506
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How to accurately measure the interprovincial CO2 emissions is key to achieving the task of energy saving and emission reduction. Electric power is very important for economy development. At the same time, the amount of interprovincial electric power dispatching is very large
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How to accurately measure the interprovincial CO2 emissions is key to achieving the task of energy saving and emission reduction. Electric power is very important for economy development. At the same time, the amount of interprovincial electric power dispatching is very large in China, so it is obligatory to measure the CO2 emissions from both electricity production and consumption perspectives. We have measured China's interprovincial CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion during 2000–2014, in which the revised regional electric power CO2 emissions are used to adjust interprovincial CO2 emissions. The obtained results show that: no matter from which perspective one considers the situation, the overall CO2 emissions of China are almost the same amount. From different perspectives, the interprovincial CO2 emissions are different. In terms of the production perspective, CO2 emissions of Beijing, Hebei, Shandong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong are underestimated. However, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Hubei, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Shaanxi are overestimated. If the electric power dispatching is not considered, it is unfairly portrayed as transferring CO2 emissions from the electricity input provinces to the output ones, because the electricity input provinces enjoy clean energy, but the electricity production ones pay for the environmental pollution. Full article
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Study on the Dynamic Mechanism of Smart Low-Carbon City Development in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 507; doi:10.3390/su8060507
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the development of new generation technology and the low-carbon economy, the smart low-carbon city has become one of the academic hotspots. Many studies on it have begun; however, the dynamic mechanism is rarely involved. Therefore, this paper uses the Technique for Order
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With the development of new generation technology and the low-carbon economy, the smart low-carbon city has become one of the academic hotspots. Many studies on it have begun; however, the dynamic mechanism is rarely involved. Therefore, this paper uses the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method to creatively take a quantitative study on a Chinese smart low-carbon city’s dynamic mechanism. The results show that: (1) the three main dynamics of smart low-carbon city development in China are institutional and cultural conditions, facilities and functions conditions and economy and industry conditions, but the overall utility is relatively low; (2) the level of the dynamic operation mechanism of the Chinese smart low-carbon city is distinct between regions, indicating a diminishing spatial law from east to west and differences within regions; (3) the imbalance of the comprehensive dynamic mechanism and the operation status between smart low-carbon cities is prominent, showing a decreasing urban scale law of from big to small and differences within each scale, and a descending administration hierarchy law from high to low and differences within each class; (4) seven basic development patterns can be obtained, and most of the cities belong to the external strong/internal weak mode, which basically matches with its development realities. Finally, general policy recommendations and countermeasures of optimization and improvement are proposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of International Oil Price on Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 508; doi:10.3390/su8060508
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 14 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of “new normal” economy and frequent “haze”, the strategy of energy conservation and emission reduction aiming to lower costs and reduce pollution is currently still a major strategic direction in China and the world, and will remain so for some
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In the context of “new normal” economy and frequent “haze”, the strategy of energy conservation and emission reduction aiming to lower costs and reduce pollution is currently still a major strategic direction in China and the world, and will remain so for some time in the future. This paper uses the annual data of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price in 1987–2014 as samples. We firstly present the direction and mechanism of the influence of oil price change on total consumption of every kind of energy by path analysis, and then consider establishing a Structural Vector Autoregression model of energy conservation and emission reduction in three statuses. Research shows that if the international oil price increases by 1%, the energy consumption per GDP and carbon dioxide emission increase by 0.092% and 0.053% respectively in the corresponding period. In the status of high energy consumption and high emission, if the international oil price increases by 1%, the energy consumption per GDP and carbon dioxide emission increase by 0.043% and 0.065% respectively in the corresponding period. In the status of low energy consumption and low emission, if the international oil price increases by 1%, the energy consumption per GDP per unit increases by 0.067% and carbon dioxide emission decreases by 0.085% in the corresponding period. Full article
Open AccessArticle Networked or Un-Networked? A Preliminary Study on KIBS-Based Sustainable Urban Development: The Case of China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 509; doi:10.3390/su8060509
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasingly pertinent linkages of cities via knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) in the 21st century have opened a new window for academia to reconsider the approach to achieving urban sustainability. In this study, city network was investigated with an aim of identifying its
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Increasingly pertinent linkages of cities via knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) in the 21st century have opened a new window for academia to reconsider the approach to achieving urban sustainability. In this study, city network was investigated with an aim of identifying its attributes in the framework of sustainable urban development. Data about China’s KIBS, which are compiled in an inter-regional input–output table, were calculated following the procedure of social network analysis. It was found that: (1) the degree of nodes (i.e., out-degree, in-degree and betweenness) in China varies distinctively from city to city; (2) the hierarchy of the city network is very tiny; and (3) that the network structure is subject to both “a small world” and core–periphery effects. Furthermore, city nodes in China fall into four categories, namely high centrality and power, high centrality and low power, low centrality and high power, and low centrality and power. The implication is that governmental efforts should be made to secure a reasonable decentralization of key city nodes to ensure that urban sustainability is built on a city-to-city basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Learning about Sustainability—What Influences Students’ Self-Perceived Sustainability Actions after Undergraduate Education?
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 510; doi:10.3390/su8060510
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changing societies’ minds about sustainability requires knowledge about the situation, awareness of what needs to be done and actions to change today’s unsustainable behaviors. Universities are challenged to develop students’ ability to appreciate the complexities of sustainability and translate sustainability knowledge of education
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Changing societies’ minds about sustainability requires knowledge about the situation, awareness of what needs to be done and actions to change today’s unsustainable behaviors. Universities are challenged to develop students’ ability to appreciate the complexities of sustainability and translate sustainability knowledge of education into systemic, anticipatory and critical thinking and actions. To meet this challenge, universities provide specific study programs and courses and integrate sustainability in education and activities. There is limited research on the results of such efforts from a student perspective. The study focused on an identical cohort of 108 undergraduate students who answered a survey about their self-perceived knowledge, awareness and actions before and after their studies in a Swedish university. All 108 students had sustainability integrated into their study programs; forty-eight also attended specific sustainability courses. The test model explains variations in students’ self-perceived sustainability actions at the end of their studies. There were differences already in students’ initial self-perceived knowledge between the groups. The students’ female gender, self-perceived initial actions, studying sustainability courses as well as the increase in self-perceived sustainability knowledge contribute significantly to the later sustainability actions. The results show student development, which can encourage those working with education for sustainable development in universities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficient Digital Signage-Based Online Store Layout: An Experimental Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 511; doi:10.3390/su8060511
Received: 8 April 2016 / Revised: 21 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
PDF Full-text (4298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In today’s era of information technology, human computer interaction and interface design are critical factors for a successful retail business. In a virtual world, the purpose of store layout is to create an environment that fascinates customers, entices them to spend more time
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In today’s era of information technology, human computer interaction and interface design are critical factors for a successful retail business. In a virtual world, the purpose of store layout is to create an environment that fascinates customers, entices them to spend more time in the store and encourages them to purchase from the store. The accomplishment of a successful retail business relies on a quick response and the adoption of new technologies that simplify the customer’s shopping experience. Virtual stores play a vital role in enhancing the success of a retail business. Nowadays, digital signage is widely used to publicize different store contents. The aim of this paper is to select a distinct layout that can be used in digital signage. To enhance Customer Relationship Management (CRM), digital signage can be installed in various contexts, such as metro stations, shopping centers, airplane terminals, and so on. The proposed system scans the Quick Response (QR) code of a product, and the product then arrives at the user end. The tree, pipeline and guiding pathway layouts are employed in the context of digital signage. A questionnaire is used to determine customers’ opinions on the most efficient layout. The statistical results show that layout significantly affects customer’s behavior. Moreover, human computer interaction can help understand more about the customer’s interaction with digital signage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Impact of China’s Rail Network Expansions on Local Accessibility: A Market Potential Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 512; doi:10.3390/su8060512
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 22 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 26 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper uses a market potential approach to examine the evolution of the rail transport network of China and its spatial distributional impacts on local accessibility, with a particular focus on high-speed rail improvements. Accessibility is measured by using a “market potential” function
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This paper uses a market potential approach to examine the evolution of the rail transport network of China and its spatial distributional impacts on local accessibility, with a particular focus on high-speed rail improvements. Accessibility is measured by using a “market potential” function that was derived from the general equilibrium model of the economic geography literature, and is empirically calculated based on Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques. A key finding, albeit from a highly stylized model, is that rail improvements may help raise territorial polarizing patterns across counties. The results point to the profound implications of railroad network expansion on the accessibility dynamics in periphery regions relative to core regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Driving Factors and Contributions to Carbon Emissions of Energy Consumption from the Perspective of the Peak Volume and Time Based on LEAP
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 513; doi:10.3390/su8060513
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1850 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studying the driving factors and contributions of carbon emissions peak volume and time is essential for reducing the cumulative carbon emissions in developing countries with rapid economic development and increasing carbon emissions. Taking Jilin Province as a case study, four scenarios were set
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Studying the driving factors and contributions of carbon emissions peak volume and time is essential for reducing the cumulative carbon emissions in developing countries with rapid economic development and increasing carbon emissions. Taking Jilin Province as a case study, four scenarios were set in this paper respectively: Business as Usual Scenario (BAU), Energy-Saving Scenario (ESS), Energy-Saving and Low-Carbon Scenario (ELS), and Low-Carbon Scenario (LCS). Furthermore, the carbon emissions were predicted according to the energy consumption based on the application of LEAP system. The research result showed that the peak time of carbon emissions would appear in 2045, 2040, 2035 and 2025 under the four different scenarios, respectively. The peak volumes would be 489.8 Mt, 395.2 Mt, 305.3 Mt and 233.6 Mt, respectively. The cumulative emissions by 2050 are respectively 15.632 Bt, 13.321 Bt, 10.971 Bt and 8.379 Bt. According to the forecasting, we analyzed the driving factors of and contributions to carbon emissions peak volume and time. On the premise of moderate economic growth, the “structural emission reduction”, namely the adjustment of industrial structure and energy structure, and “technology emission reduction”, namely the reduction of energy intensity and carbon emission coefficient could make the peak volume reduced by 20%–52% and cumulative carbon emissions (2050) reduced by 15%–46% on the basis of BAU. Meanwhile, controlling the industrial structure, energy structure and energy intensity could make carbon emissions reach the peak 5–20 years ahead of the time on the basis of BAU. Controlling GDP, industrial structure, energy structure, energy intensity and coefficient of carbon emissions is the feasible method to adjust the carbon emissions peak volume and time in order to reduce the cumulative emissions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Highly Reflective Roofing Sheets Installed on a School Building to Mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect in Osaka
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 514; doi:10.3390/su8060514
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, strategies to mitigate urban heat island (UHI) effects and reduce building energy consumption are implemented worldwide. In Japan, as an effective means of mitigating UHI effects and saving energy of buildings, highly reflective (HR) roofs have increasingly been used. In this study,
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Currently, strategies to mitigate urban heat island (UHI) effects and reduce building energy consumption are implemented worldwide. In Japan, as an effective means of mitigating UHI effects and saving energy of buildings, highly reflective (HR) roofs have increasingly been used. In this study, in order to evaluate the effect of HR roofs on building energy conservation, we investigated the solar reflectivity of a subject school roof in Osaka, Japan, in which HR roofing sheets were installed on the roof from 2010. Additionally, monthly and annual thermal loads, including the cooling load and heating load of the top floor of the school, were calculated using the thermal load calculation software New HASP/ACLD-β. Comparing the calculated thermal loads of the school after HR roofing sheet installation to before, the annual thermal load decreased about 25 MJ/m2/year, and the cooling load decreased about 112 MJ/m2/year. However, the heating load increased about 87 MJ/m2/year in winter. To minimize the annual thermal load, thermal insulation of the roof was also considered to be used together with HR roofing sheets. Thermal load calculations showed that the combination of HR roofing sheets and thermal insulation can be effective in further reducing the annual thermal load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Open AccessArticle The Complexity of Food Systems: Defining Relevant Attributes and Indicators for the Evaluation of Food Supply Chains in Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 515; doi:10.3390/su8060515
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 27 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The wide-ranging literature on food systems provides multiple perspectives and world views. Various stakeholders define food and food systems in non-equivalent ways. The perception of the performance of food systems is determined by these specific perspectives, and a wide variety of policies responding
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The wide-ranging literature on food systems provides multiple perspectives and world views. Various stakeholders define food and food systems in non-equivalent ways. The perception of the performance of food systems is determined by these specific perspectives, and a wide variety of policies responding to different aims are proposed and implemented accordingly. This paper sets out to demonstrate that the pre-analytical adoption of different narratives about the food system leads to non-equivalent assessments of the performance of food supply chains. In order to do so, we (i) identify a set of relevant narratives on food supply chains in Spanish and Catalan contexts; (ii) identify the pertinent attributes needed to describe and represent food supply chains within the different perspectives or narratives; and (iii) carry out an integrated assessment of three organic tomato supply chains from the different perspectives. In doing so, the paper proposes an analysis of narratives to enable the analyst to characterize the performance of food supply chains from different perspectives and to identify the expected trade-offs of integrated assessment, associating them with the legitimate-but-contrasting views found among the social actors involved. Full article
Open AccessArticle China’s Water Utilization Efficiency: An Analysis with Environmental Considerations
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 516; doi:10.3390/su8060516
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper estimates China’s water utilization efficiency using the directional distance function to take into account the environmental degradation affecting the economy. We further analyze the spatial correlation and the factors influencing the utilization efficiency using spatial panel data models. The results show
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This paper estimates China’s water utilization efficiency using the directional distance function to take into account the environmental degradation affecting the economy. We further analyze the spatial correlation and the factors influencing the utilization efficiency using spatial panel data models. The results show that water utilization efficiency in China differs between provinces and regions. For example, water utilization efficiency in the eastern coastal provinces is significantly higher than that of inland provinces. The pattern of spatial auto-correlation Moran’s I index presents significant spatial auto-correlation and evident cluster tendencies in China’s inter-provincial water utilization. Factors that contribute to water utilization efficiency include economic development, technological progress, and economic openness. Negative factors affecting water utilization efficiency arise from industrial structure, government interference, and water resources endowment. In addition, the price of water resources is insignificant. The improvement of water utilization efficiency is essential to sustainable economic development. To raise the utilization efficiency of water resources, China should focus on transforming its industrial restructure, advancing technological development, enhancing economic openness, and encouraging entrepreneurial innovations. Moreover, establishing a mechanism to encourage water conservation and reduce wastewater pollution will further increase water utilization efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Evidence of Absolute Decoupling from Real World Policy Mixes in Europe
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 517; doi:10.3390/su8060517
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
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Abstract
In resource economics, decoupling from environmental impacts is assumed to be beneficial. However, the success of efforts to increase resource productivity should be placed within the context of the earth’s resources and ecosystems as theoretically finite and contingent on a number of threshold
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In resource economics, decoupling from environmental impacts is assumed to be beneficial. However, the success of efforts to increase resource productivity should be placed within the context of the earth’s resources and ecosystems as theoretically finite and contingent on a number of threshold values. Thus far relatively few analyses exist of policies which have successfully implemented strategies for decoupling within these limits. Through ex-post evaluation of a number of real world policy mixes from European Union member states, this paper further develops definitions of the concept of decoupling. Beyond absolute (and relative) decoupling, “absolute decoupling within limits” is proposed as an appropriate term for defining resource-productivity at any scale which respects the existing real world limits on resources and ecosystems and as such, contributes to meeting sustainability objectives. Policy mixes presented here cover a range of resources such as fish stocks, fertilizers, aggregates and fossil based materials (plastics). Policy mixes demonstrating absolute decoupling and at least one where absolute decoupling within limits has occurred, provide insights on developing resource efficiency policies in Europe and beyond. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Balanced Scorecard of Sustainable Management in the Taiwanese Bicycle Industry: Development of Performance Indicators and Importance Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 518; doi:10.3390/su8060518
Received: 5 February 2016 / Revised: 21 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the development of the performance indicators of sustainable management in the Taiwanese bicycle industry and to perform an importance analysis. Based on the Balanced Scorecard concept, the framework of sustainable management is added. Ten
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The main purpose of this study is to investigate the development of the performance indicators of sustainable management in the Taiwanese bicycle industry and to perform an importance analysis. Based on the Balanced Scorecard concept, the framework of sustainable management is added. Ten experts evaluated the performance indicators of a sustainable Balanced Scorecard in the Taiwanese bicycle industry using five major categories: (1) Financial, (2) Customer, (3) Internal Business Processes, (4) Learning and Growth, and (5) Sustainable Development, and a total of 21 performance indicators were used. The analytic network process (ANP) was used to perform an importance analysis of the various performance indicators. Most of the experts suggested that for the introduction of a sustainable management strategy into the bicycle industry in Taiwan, it is necessary to include the definition of sustainable management and to improve five performance indicators: innovation process, customer satisfaction, operations process, after-sales service, and market share. According to the analysis results, this study proposed relevant management definitions and suggestions to be used as important references for decision-makers to understand the introduction of sustainable management strategies to the current bicycle industry in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models)
Open AccessArticle Earth Observation for Maritime Spatial Planning: Measuring, Observing and Modeling Marine Environment to Assess Potential Aquaculture Sites
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 519; doi:10.3390/su8060519
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of seawaters are primary descriptors for understanding environmental patterns and improving maritime spatial planning for potential aquaculture uses. By analyzing these descriptors in spatial and temporal dimensions, it is possible to characterize the potential productivity performances of different
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Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of seawaters are primary descriptors for understanding environmental patterns and improving maritime spatial planning for potential aquaculture uses. By analyzing these descriptors in spatial and temporal dimensions, it is possible to characterize the potential productivity performances of different locations for specific aquaculture species. We developed a toolbox that, starting from the actual competing uses of the maritime space, aims at: (a) identifying sites with conditions feasible for aquaculture fish growth (feasibility scenario); and (b) assessing their different productivity performances in terms of potential fish harvest (suitability scenario). The toolbox is being designed in the Mediterranean, northern Adriatic Sea, but because of its modularity/multi-stage process, it can be easily adapted to other areas, or scaled to larger areas. The toolbox, representing a pre-operational Copernicus downstreaming service that integrates data and products from different sources (in situ, Earth Observation and modeling), is innovative because it is based more on parameters relevant for fish vitality than on those oriented to farm functioning. Stakeholders and farmers involved in the maritime spatial planning can use resulting scenarios for decision-making and market-trading processes. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Simulation Study on the Urban Population of China Based on Nighttime Light Data Acquired from DMSP/OLS
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 521; doi:10.3390/su8060521
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 7 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
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Abstract
The urban population (UP) measure is one of the most direct indicators that reflect the urbanization process and the impacts of human activities. The dynamics of UP is of great importance to studying urban economic, social development, and resource utilization. Currently, China lacks
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The urban population (UP) measure is one of the most direct indicators that reflect the urbanization process and the impacts of human activities. The dynamics of UP is of great importance to studying urban economic, social development, and resource utilization. Currently, China lacks long time series UP data with consistent standards and comparability over time. The nighttime light images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) allow the acquisition of continuous and highly comparable long time series UP information. However, existing studies mainly focus on simulating the total population or population density level based on the nighttime light data. Few studies have focused on simulating the UP in China. Based on three regression models (i.e., linear, power function, and exponential), the present study discusses the relationship between DMSP/OLS nighttime light data and the UP and establishes optimal regression models for simulating the UPs of 339 major cities in China from 1990 to 2010. In addition, the present study evaluated the accuracy of UP and non-agricultural population (NAP) simulations conducted using the same method. The simulation results show that, at the national level, the power function model is the optimal regression model between DMSP/OLS nighttime light data and UP data for 1990–2010. At the provincial scale, the optimal regression model varies among different provinces. The linear regression model is the optimal regression model for more than 60% of the provinces. In addition, the comparison results show that at the national, provincial, and city levels, the fitting results of the UP based on DMSP/OLS nighttime light data are better than those of the NAP. Therefore, DMSP/OLS nighttime light data can be used to effectively retrieve the UP of a large-scale region. In the context of frequent population flows between urban and rural areas in China and difficulty in obtaining accurate UP data, this study provides a timely and effective method for solving this problem. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Pilot to the National Emissions Trading Scheme in China: International Practice and Domestic Experiences
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 522; doi:10.3390/su8060522
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
In order to tackle climate change and build a low-carbon economy, China has selected seven provinces and cities as carbon trading pilots and plans to establish the national emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2017. However, since China has not yet reached peak carbon
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In order to tackle climate change and build a low-carbon economy, China has selected seven provinces and cities as carbon trading pilots and plans to establish the national emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2017. However, since China has not yet reached peak carbon emissions, and as a major developing country, the conflict between increasing energy demand and the requirement to reduce emissions brings challenges to the design of a national ETS suitable for China’s development. In this paper, we summarize the current situation of China’s seven ETS pilots with respect to coverage, allowance allocation, transactions, punishment mechanisms and especially the market performance. By analyzing the common practice of three international mandatory schemes, combined with China’s current circumstances and characteristics of market construction and regulation, we emphasize China’s own economic reality, and propose several recommendations for building a suitable and effective national ETS. This paper could provide new perspectives towards scheme design for China and other similar countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Assessment of the Knowledge and Demand of Young Residents regarding the Ecological Services of Urban Green Spaces in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 523; doi:10.3390/su8060523
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
The fast and steady economic growth and social changes in recent years in Cambodia have brought rapid expansion and restructuring to its cities. These phenomena have brought numerous challenges including threats to urban green spaces (UGS’s). This study addresses problems of UGS’s by
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The fast and steady economic growth and social changes in recent years in Cambodia have brought rapid expansion and restructuring to its cities. These phenomena have brought numerous challenges including threats to urban green spaces (UGS’s). This study addresses problems of UGS’s by investigating the knowledge and perceptions of young residents of Phnom Penh (YRPPs) toward UGS’s in relation to the following: (1) basic knowledge of YRPPs on ecological services (KES) of UGS’s; (2) perceptions of YRPPs on the current state of UGS’s (PUGS’s) in Phnom Penh; (3) demand of YRPPs for UGS’s in the city (DUGS); and (4) associations between KES, PUGS’s, social profiles (SoPs), and DUGS. A questionnaire was designed to solicit knowledge from 554 respondents randomly selected from the study area. The findings revealed that 83.1% of total respondents strongly recognized ecological services of UGS’s. Four subgroups of ecological services, namely microclimate (89.7%), environmental quality and functions (83.8%), recreational and public health services (88.5%), and economic benefits (70.4%) were all rated highly. Because the current state of UGS’s was very poor (68.4%), demand for UGS’s was high (94.43%). Public toilets (84.7%) and rubbish bins (75.6%) were both rated the poorest. The PUGS’s were significantly associated with KES (r = 0.307, F (3, 543) = 18.83, p < 0.001). This study offers a deep understanding about knowledge and demand of YRPPs for UGS’s. Full article
Open AccessArticle Addressing the Security Concerns of Locals and Visitors for the Sustainable Development of Tourist Destinations
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 524; doi:10.3390/su8060524
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
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Abstract
Tourism has long been recognized as a crime generator. This poses a dilemma in the sustainable development context: is continued tourist expansion sustainable if it generates increased law and order problems? Using the example of Brașov, Romania, this article considers the ways in
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Tourism has long been recognized as a crime generator. This poses a dilemma in the sustainable development context: is continued tourist expansion sustainable if it generates increased law and order problems? Using the example of Brașov, Romania, this article considers the ways in which criminal justice agencies and the tourism sector have operated in partnership to ensure the security of both local residents and visitors. We argue that the success of the initiative depends on multi-agency working at the local level, but that the involvement of local residents is also crucial. This commitment may be tested as the nature of tourism changes. The research consists of an analysis of primary and secondary data. The results revealed that among the main security issues mentioned by tourists are not only robberies and other social and situational features that contributed to tourists feeling anxious or unsafe, but also the need to have access to good health services and easy access to money changing facilities, information centers, etc. Some improvements are suggested for the local Sustainable Development Strategy of Brașov. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle BIM and Sustainability Education: Incorporating Instructional Needs into Curriculum Planning in CEM Programs Accredited by ACCE
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 525; doi:10.3390/su8060525
Received: 6 February 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
Higher education ought to support the identification of training needs for industrial building information modelling (BIM) curriculum development and sustainability education in the fields of civil engineering and management (CEM). This paper proposes a framework based on a four-phase step-by-step quality function deployment
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Higher education ought to support the identification of training needs for industrial building information modelling (BIM) curriculum development and sustainability education in the fields of civil engineering and management (CEM). This paper proposes a framework based on a four-phase step-by-step quality function deployment (QFD) application for CEM curriculum planning and quality management. The framework attempts to respond to requests collected from 17 professionals and professors in order to integrate BIM into the higher education curriculum in China with a specific focus on construction management programs accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). The entropy method and a K1–K6 scale adapted from Bloom’s revised cognitive process were employed to evaluate the CEM curriculum in QFD. The proposed framework was successfully applied to CEM curriculum planning, which included two curriculums of the four main knowledge areas provided by the Chinese CEM guidelines: construction cost and flow construction. Two curriculum areas showed that content should focus on knowledge such as (a) Program evaluation and review technique(PERT) planning; (b) construction optimization in flow construction; (c) principles of bill of quantities and (d) construction consumption in construction costs. As for teaching quality management in China, the higher education curriculum should focus on three aspects to promote curriculum integration: (a) pedagogical design; (b) teaching resource and material and (c) curriculum assessment. This research sheds light on the pedagogical shift to a similar context that has established guidelines accredited by the ACCE, with respect to reviewing curriculum planning from a knowledge system perspective in order to meet industrial demands at the operational level. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Efficient Networks for Monitoring Water Quality in Subterranean Rivers
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 526; doi:10.3390/su8060526
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 27 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
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Abstract
The fresh water in rivers beneath the Earth’s surface is as significant to humans as that on the surface. However, the water quality is difficult to monitor due to its unapproachable nature. In this work, we consider building networks to monitor water quality
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The fresh water in rivers beneath the Earth’s surface is as significant to humans as that on the surface. However, the water quality is difficult to monitor due to its unapproachable nature. In this work, we consider building networks to monitor water quality in subterranean rivers. The network node is designed to have limited functions of floating and staying in these rivers when necessary. We provide the necessary conditions to set up such networks and a topology building method, as well as the communication process between nodes. Furthermore, we provide every an node’s energy consumption model in the network building stage, the data acquiring and transmission stage. The numerical results show that the energy consumption in every node is different, and the node number should be moderate to ensure energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: An Ex Ante Assessment
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 528; doi:10.3390/su8060528
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 2 June 2016
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Abstract
One approach to reducing the environmental costs of economic activity is to design and implement policies that aim at decoupling economic activity from its environmental impacts. Such a decoupling requires an economy-wide approach to policy-making, through broad mixes of policy instruments that create
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One approach to reducing the environmental costs of economic activity is to design and implement policies that aim at decoupling economic activity from its environmental impacts. Such a decoupling requires an economy-wide approach to policy-making, through broad mixes of policy instruments that create the right framework conditions for decoupling, and which provide coherent and consistent signals to resource-using sectors of the economy. This article summarizes the ex ante qualitative environmental assessment of three policy mixes (over-arching, metals, and land use) developed within the DYNAMIX project, highlighting their potential impacts on raw material extraction, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, freshwater use, and biodiversity (parallel assessments addressed economic and social impacts, and governance issues). Whilst the environmental assessments largely identified positive impacts, some policies had potential for minor negative impacts. The key challenges for undertaking such an assessment are identified (including uncertainty, baseline accuracy, the differing nature and scope of policies, policy flexibility, and the challenges of implementing volume control policies). Finally, some conclusions and lessons for policy-makers are presented, to contribute to the development of future policies and improve the reliability of future environmental assessments of policy mixes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rice Cultivation Methods and Their Sustainability Aspects: Organic and Conventional Rice Production in Industrialized Tropical Monsoon Asia with a Dual Cropping System
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 529; doi:10.3390/su8060529
Received: 21 October 2015 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Options to tackle the sustainability challenges faced in the production of rice, including global and local environmental perspectives, need to be discussed. Here, the global warming potential, water consumption and cumulative energy demand were analyzed using a life-cycle assessment to highlight the sustainability
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Options to tackle the sustainability challenges faced in the production of rice, including global and local environmental perspectives, need to be discussed. Here, the global warming potential, water consumption and cumulative energy demand were analyzed using a life-cycle assessment to highlight the sustainability aspects of rice production in Taiwan, where a mixed organic and conventional rice production with a dual cropping system is practiced. The results show that the conventional farming method practiced in Houbi district contributes less to global warming and annual water consumption and consumes less energy than the organic method practiced in Luoshan village on a grain weight basis. It is also more lucrative for farmers because of the higher rice yield. Considering the yield ratio based on the data from two districts, the regional characteristics are more responsible for these differences. Giving up dual cropping to avail water to other sectors by fallowing during the second cropping season is preferable from the GHG emission and productivity perspectives. However, because water shortages usually occur in the first cropping season, it is more realistic to fallow during the first cropping season when domestic and other industrial users have the higher priority. The results presented here can serve as the foundation for exploring the possibilities of options, such as new biorefinery technologies and water allocation policies, in relation to influences on GHG emissions and the national self-sufficiency of rice. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implications of Reverse Innovation for Socio-Economic Sustainability: A Case Study of Philips China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 530; doi:10.3390/su8060530
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
The idea of reverse innovation, local innovation happening in emerging markets for the global market, has gained much academic and managerial attention in recent years. The purpose of this study is to understand how reverse innovation has successfully diffused into the product and
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The idea of reverse innovation, local innovation happening in emerging markets for the global market, has gained much academic and managerial attention in recent years. The purpose of this study is to understand how reverse innovation has successfully diffused into the product and market development strategies at Philips Inc., a prominent multinational company (MNC) of the modern era. Furthermore, the study presents the success achieved by these innovations at both the domestic and global levels, along with their implications regarding socio-economic sustainability in emerging markets. In order to investigate the research questions, a case study of Philips China was conducted involving three product innovations that were found to be suitable examples of reverse innovation. After the study of extant literature on the topic, drawing from research databases, newspaper articles, and company press releases, five semi-structuredinterviews were conducted with key managers and a market practitioner to gain sufficient understanding for this exploratory study. Subsequent case analysis concludes that these innovations are examples of reverse innovation representing a new paradigm change in innovation flow. This flow of innovation from emerging markets to developed markets as confirmed by Corsi’s framework could potentially disrupt developed markets as well as contribute to ensure healthy living conditions for the population living in developing countries. If so, this represents a sustainable socio-economic change in-line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.” This is relevant as Philips aspires to be a prominent private sector player in achieving the above-stated goal by defeating non-communicable disease and strengthening local healthcare systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Energy Savings and Environmental Benefits for Small and Medium Enterprises by Cloud Energy Management System
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 531; doi:10.3390/su8060531
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract
Small and medium enterprises (SMES) play an important role in Taiwan’s economy. The reduction of energy costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are critical to preserving the environment. This paper uses the experimental results from 65 sites, gathered over two years
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Small and medium enterprises (SMES) play an important role in Taiwan’s economy. The reduction of energy costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are critical to preserving the environment. This paper uses the experimental results from 65 sites, gathered over two years since 2012, to determine how the integration of Internet communication, cloud computing technologies and a cloud energy management service (cloud EMS) can reduce energy consumption by cost-effective means. The EMS has three levels: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). Working jointly with ChungHwa Telecom, Taiwan’s leading telecom service provider, data from detection devices, control devices, air-conditioning and lighting systems are all uploaded to a cloud EMS platform, to give a so called intelligent energy management network application service platform (IEN-ASP). Various energy saving management functions are developed using this platform: (1) air conditioning optimization; (2) lighting system optimization; (3) scheduling control; (4) power billing control and (5) occupancy detection and timing control. Using the international performance measurement and verification protocol (IPMVP), the energy used at the test sites, before and after the use of the IEN-ASP, are compared to calculate the energy saved. The experimental results show that there is an average energy saving of 5724 kWh per year, which represents a saving ratio of 5.84%. This translates to a total reduction in CO2 emissions of 9,926,829 kg per year. Using the data collected, a regression model is used to demonstrate the correlation between the power that is consumed, the energy that is saved and the area of the sites. Another interesting result is that, if the experimental sites are maintained by experienced electricians or other personnel and EMS protocols are followed, the energy saving can be as great as 6.59%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Analysis of the Social Performance of Global and Local Berry Supply Chains
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 532; doi:10.3390/su8060532
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 28 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract
The goal of this paper is twofold: to comparatively analyze the social performance of global and local berry supply chains and to explore the ways in which the social dimension is embedded in the overall performance of food supply chains. To achieve this
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The goal of this paper is twofold: to comparatively analyze the social performance of global and local berry supply chains and to explore the ways in which the social dimension is embedded in the overall performance of food supply chains. To achieve this goal, the social performance of five global and local food supply chains in two countries are analyzed: wild blueberry supply chains in Latvia and cultivated raspberry supply chains in Serbia. The study addresses two research questions: (1) What is the social performance of the local and global supply chains? (2) How can references to context help improve understanding of the social dimension and social performance of food supply chains? To answer these questions, two interlinked thematic sets of indicators (attributes) are used—one describing labor relations and the other describing power relations. These lists are then contextualized by examining the micro-stories of the actors involved in these supply chains. An analysis of the chosen attributes reveals that global chains perform better than local chains. However, a context-sensitive analysis from the perspective of embedded markets and communities suggests that the social performance of food chains is highly context-dependent, relational, and affected by actors’ abilities to negotiate values, norms, and the rules embedded within these chains, both global and local. The results illustrate that the empowerment of the chains’ weakest actors can lead to a redefining of the meanings that performance assessments rely on. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Low-Carbon Based Multi-Objective Bi-Level Power Dispatching under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 533; doi:10.3390/su8060533
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 29 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
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Abstract
This research examines a low-carbon power dispatch problem under uncertainty. A hybrid uncertain multi-objective bi-level model with one leader and multiple followers is established to support the decision making of power dispatch and generation. The upper level decision maker is the regional power
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This research examines a low-carbon power dispatch problem under uncertainty. A hybrid uncertain multi-objective bi-level model with one leader and multiple followers is established to support the decision making of power dispatch and generation. The upper level decision maker is the regional power grid corporation which allocates power quotas to each follower based on the objectives of reasonable returns, a small power surplus and low carbon emissions. The lower level decision makers are the power generation groups which decide on their respective power generation plans and prices to ensure the highest total revenue under consideration of government subsidies, environmental costs and the carbon trading. Random and fuzzy variables are adopted to describe the uncertain factors and chance constrained and expected value programming are used to handle the hybrid uncertain model. The bi-level models are then transformed into solvable single level models using a satisfaction method. Finally, a detailed case study and comparative analyses are presented to test the proposed models and approaches to validate the effectiveness and illustrate the advantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Development for Emerging Markets)
Open AccessArticle The Multiscale Fluctuations of the Correlation between Oil Price and Wind Energy Stock
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 534; doi:10.3390/su8060534
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
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Abstract
Wind energy is considered a clear and sustainable substitution for fossil fuel, and the stock index of the wind energy industry is closely related to the oil price fluctuation. Their relationship is characterized by multiscale and time-varying features based on a variety of
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Wind energy is considered a clear and sustainable substitution for fossil fuel, and the stock index of the wind energy industry is closely related to the oil price fluctuation. Their relationship is characterized by multiscale and time-varying features based on a variety of stakeholders who have different objectives within various time horizons, which makes it difficult to identify the factor in which time scale could be the most influential one in the market. Aiming to explore the correlation between oil price and the wind energy stock index from the time–frequency domain in a dynamic perspective, we propose an algorithm combining the wavelet transform, complex network, and gray correlation analyses and choose the Brent oil price and the international securities exchange (ISE) global wind energy index from January 2006 to October 2015 in daily frequency as data sample. First, we define the multiscale conformation by a set of fluctuation information with different time horizons to represent the fluctuation status of the correlation of the oil–wind nexus rather than by a single original correlation value. Then, we transform the multiscale conformation evolution into a network model, and only 270 multiscale conformations and 710 transmissions could characterize 2451 data points. We find that only 30% of conformations and transmissions work as a backbone of the entire correlation series; through these major conformations, we identify that the main factor that could influence the oil–wind nexus are long-term components, such as policies, the status of the global economy and demand–supply issues. In addition, there is a clustering effect and transmissions among conformations that mainly happen inside clusters and rarely among clusters, which means the interaction of the oil–wind nexus is stable over a short period of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Experience with LEDS and NAMA Low Carbon Strategies: The Case of Georgia
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 535; doi:10.3390/su8060535
Received: 25 January 2016 / Revised: 29 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
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Abstract
Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) have the potential to support developing countries in attaining low carbon goals. In spite of the evident potential, there is a need to learn from practice. This paper explores the case of
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Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) have the potential to support developing countries in attaining low carbon goals. In spite of the evident potential, there is a need to learn from practice. This paper explores the case of Georgia. The main research question discussed is: What experience has been gained with the development of LEDS and NAMAs in Georgia? The study reveals that both LEDS and NAMAs are subject to barriers that considerably slow development processes: there is a lack of institutional capacity, little inter-governmental goal alignment and poor coordination of actions, a lack of experienced staff and insufficient, substantial, earmarked funding. Capacity building depends on support from organizations in donor countries. This paper contributes to a growing body of knowledge of the implementation of LEDS and NAMA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dynamic Ecological Risk Assessment and Management of Land Use in the Middle Reaches of the Heihe River Based on Landscape Patterns and Spatial Statistics
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 536; doi:10.3390/su8060536
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 16 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
Land use profoundly changes the terrestrial ecosystem and landscape patterns, and these changes reveal the extent and scope of the ecological influence of land use on the terrestrial ecosystem. The study area selected for this research was the middle reaches of the Heihe
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Land use profoundly changes the terrestrial ecosystem and landscape patterns, and these changes reveal the extent and scope of the ecological influence of land use on the terrestrial ecosystem. The study area selected for this research was the middle reaches of the Heihe River. Based on land use data (1986, 2000, and 2014), we proposed an ecological risk index of land use by combining a landscape disturbance index with a landscape fragility index. An exponential model was selected to perform kriging interpolation, as well as spatial autocorrelations and semivariance analyses which could reveal the spatial aggregation patterns. The results indicated that the ecological risk of the middle reaches of the Heihe River was generally high, and higher in the northwest. The high values of the ecological risk index (ERI) tended to decrease, and the low ERI values tended to increase. Positive spatial autocorrelations and a prominent scale-dependence were observed among the ERI values. The main hot areas with High-High local autocorrelations were located in the north, and the cold areas with low-low local autocorrelations were primarily located in the middle corridor plain and Qilian Mountains. From 1986 to 2014, low and relatively low ecological risk areas decreased while relatively high risk areas expanded. A middle level of ecological risk was observed in Ganzhou and Minle counties. Shandan County presented a serious polarization, with high ecological risk areas observed in the north and low ecological risk areas observed in the southern Shandan horse farm. In order to lower the eco-risk and achieve the sustainability of land use, these results suggest policies to strictly control the oasis expansion and the occupation of farmland for urbanization. Some inefficient farmland should transform into grassland in appropriate cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Optimization of an Improved Intermodal Transit Model Equipped with Feeder Bus and Railway Systems Using Metaheuristics Approaches
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 537; doi:10.3390/su8060537
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
One of the serious concerns in network design is creating an efficient and appropriate network capable of efficiently migrating the passenger’s mode of transportation from private to public. The main goal of this study is to present an improved model for combining the
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One of the serious concerns in network design is creating an efficient and appropriate network capable of efficiently migrating the passenger’s mode of transportation from private to public. The main goal of this study is to present an improved model for combining the feeder bus network design system and the railway transit system while minimizing total cost. In this study, the imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA) and the water cycle algorithm (WCA) were employed to optimize feeder bus and railway services. The case study and input data were based on a real transit network in Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Numerical results for the proposed model, including the optimal solution, statistical optimization results and the convergence rate, as well as comparisons are discussed in detail. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Five Forms of Capital on Thought Processes Underlying Water Consumption Behavior in Suburban Vientiane
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 538; doi:10.3390/su8060538
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 11 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
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Abstract
A community’s water supply is one of its most important infrastructures, as sufficient quality and quantity of water are as much prerequisites for human life as economic development. The rapid urbanization predicted for developing countries will cause serious water shortages in densely populated
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A community’s water supply is one of its most important infrastructures, as sufficient quality and quantity of water are as much prerequisites for human life as economic development. The rapid urbanization predicted for developing countries will cause serious water shortages in densely populated areas. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is taking precautions by planning and developing their water supply infrastructure to ensure reliable supply of water. We used the five capitals model of sustainable livelihoods to capture how a household makes a living and analyzed the effects of five forms of capital (natural, physical, human, financial, and social) on water consumption behaviors from the perspective of the residents’ livelihood. We conducted a survey to gain an understanding of the thought processes behind water consumption behavior in two villages in suburban Vientiane. The results indicated that natural and physical capital delayed connections to the water supply. Financial capital stimulated the purchase of high-quality water in preference to a connection to the water supply. This lack of connection is not necessarily sustainable in the near future, considering ongoing urbanization. Furthermore, this possibility presents a difficult problem, as residents do not usually acknowledge it. To accomplish sustainable development goals, this gap should be overcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydroelectricity Generation Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 539; doi:10.3390/su8060539
Received: 28 March 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
This study evaluated the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different hydroelectricity generation systems by first performing a comprehensive review of the hydroelectricity generation system life cycle assessment (LCA) studies and then subsequent computation of statistical metrics to quantify the life cycle
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This study evaluated the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different hydroelectricity generation systems by first performing a comprehensive review of the hydroelectricity generation system life cycle assessment (LCA) studies and then subsequent computation of statistical metrics to quantify the life cycle GHG emissions (expressed in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour, gCO2e/kWh). A categorization index (with unique category codes, formatted as “facility type-electric power generation capacity”) was developed and used in this study to evaluate the life cycle GHG emissions from the reviewed hydroelectricity generation systems. The unique category codes were labeled by integrating the names of the two hydro power sub-classifications, i.e., the facility type (impoundment (I), diversion (D), pumped storage (PS), miscellaneous hydropower works (MHPW)) and the electric power generation capacity (micro (µ), small (S), large (L)). The characterized hydroelectricity generation systems were statistically evaluated to determine the reduction in corresponding life cycle GHG emissions. A total of eight unique categorization codes (I-S, I-L, D-µ, D-S, D-L, PS-L, MHPW-µ, MHPW-S) were designated to the 19 hydroelectricity generation LCA studies (representing 178 hydropower cases) using the proposed categorization index. The mean life cycle GHG emissions resulting from the use of I-S (N = 24), I-L (N = 8), D-µ (N = 3), D-S (N = 133), D-L (N = 3), PS-L (N = 3), MHPW-µ (N = 3), and MHPW-S (N = 1) hydroelectricity generation systems are 21.05 gCO2e/kWh, 40.63 gCO2e/kWh, 47.82 gCO2e/kWh, 27.18 gCO2e/kWh, 3.45 gCO2e/kWh, 256.63 gCO2e/kWh, 19.73 gCO2e/kWh, and 2.78 gCO2e/kWh, respectively. D-L hydroelectricity generation systems produced the minimum life cycle GHGs (considering the hydroelectricity generation system categories with a representation of at least two cases). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development of Slow Fashion Businesses: Customer Value Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 540; doi:10.3390/su8060540
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
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Abstract
As an alternative to the prevalent fast fashion model, slow fashion has emerged as a way of enhancing sustainability in the fashion industry, yet how slow fashion can enhance profitability is still largely unknown. Based on a customer value creation framework, this study
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As an alternative to the prevalent fast fashion model, slow fashion has emerged as a way of enhancing sustainability in the fashion industry, yet how slow fashion can enhance profitability is still largely unknown. Based on a customer value creation framework, this study empirically tested a structural model that specified the slow fashion attributes that contribute to creating perceived customer value, which subsequently increases a consumer’s intention to buy and pay a price premium for slow fashion products. An analysis of 221 U.S. consumer data revealed that delivering exclusive product value is significantly critical in creating customer value for slow fashion, and customer value, in turn, positively affects consumers’ purchase intentions. Further analysis also revealed that different slow fashion attributes distinctively affect customer value. This provides potential strategies on which slow fashion businesses can focus to secure an economically sustainable business model, thereby continuously improving environmental and social sustainability with the slow fashion ideal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Issues of Application of Machine Learning Models for Virtual and Real-Life Buildings
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 543; doi:10.3390/su8060543
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 1 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
The current Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) tools are based on first principles. For the correct use of BEPS tools, simulationists should have an in-depth understanding of building physics, numerical methods, control logics of building systems, etc. However, it takes significant time and
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The current Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) tools are based on first principles. For the correct use of BEPS tools, simulationists should have an in-depth understanding of building physics, numerical methods, control logics of building systems, etc. However, it takes significant time and effort to develop a first principles-based simulation model for existing buildings—mainly due to the laborious process of data gathering, uncertain inputs, model calibration, etc. Rather than resorting to an expert’s effort, a data-driven approach (so-called “inverse” approach) has received growing attention for the simulation of existing buildings. This paper reports a cross-comparison of three popular machine learning models (Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Gaussian Process (GP)) for predicting a chiller’s energy consumption in a virtual and a real-life building. The predictions based on the three models are sufficiently accurate compared to the virtual and real measurements. This paper addresses the following issues for the successful development of machine learning models: reproducibility, selection of inputs, training period, outlying data obtained from the building energy management system (BEMS), and validation of the models. From the result of this comparative study, it was found that SVM has a disadvantage in computation time compared to ANN and GP. GP is the most sensitive to a training period among the three models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle China’s Energy Intensity, Determinants and Spatial Effects
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 544; doi:10.3390/su8060544
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 28 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 9 June 2016
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Abstract
In the shadow of the energy crisis and environmental degradation, energy intensity is a hot topic in academic circles in China. The energy intensity distribution map of China indicates the fairly large geographic disparities globally and clustering locally in some areas, ascending from
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In the shadow of the energy crisis and environmental degradation, energy intensity is a hot topic in academic circles in China. The energy intensity distribution map of China indicates the fairly large geographic disparities globally and clustering locally in some areas, ascending from the southeast regions to the northwest provinces. Although energy intensity and its determinants vary from place to place, few studies have been made from the spatial perspective. Determinates of energy intensity and spatial spillover effects should be taken into consideration. Controlling for seven exogenous variables (per capita GDP; the share of the secondary sector; foreign direct investment; international trade, energy price, the share of coal, and transport sector) and their spatial lags, we apply a spatial Durbin model to test for spatial spillover effects among energy intensity and exogenous variables from a panel of 29 Chinese provinces over 1998 to 2014. We find that per capita GDP has an insignificant and negative direct and indirect effect, but has a significant and negative total effect on energy intensity. The share of the secondary sector and the share of coal are found to have significant and positive direct and indirect effects on energy intensity. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Trade have significant and negative direct and indirect effects on energy intensity. The direct effect of energy price is found to be significantly positive while the indirect effect is negative. Only the direct effect of the Transport variable is significant and positive. The results of this study offer some theoretical evidence for differential localized policy making related to reduction in energy intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Management with the Sustainability Balanced Scorecard in SMEs: Findings from an Austrian Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 545; doi:10.3390/su8060545
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
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Abstract
Given the economic importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their need for strategic sustainability management, this paper examines the concept of Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) with respect to SMEs. This case study describes the development of an SBSC in a
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Given the economic importance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their need for strategic sustainability management, this paper examines the concept of Sustainability Balanced Scorecard (SBSC) with respect to SMEs. This case study describes the development of an SBSC in a middle-sized Austrian brewery. The existing methods used in SBSC creation were adapted to suit the company’s specific needs. The findings show that when developing an SBSC it is important to take specific SME characteristics into account and apply methods that allow for adaptation to the prevailing conditions, such as strategic management, organizational structure and resources. In the case study special attention was paid to strategy analysis and thereby the creation of a solid basis for the SBSC. Furthermore, the results show SBSC development is not a process of distinct consecutive steps, as it is often suggested in the literature, but rather that it is a complex process marked by iterative steps. Moreover, the paper highlights the supporting factors and challenges experienced. Whereas top management support, the presence of a project team and high employee involvement were identified as key supporting factors, a lack of specific resources and blurry strategy formulation exert negative influence on the development process. The results presented here should help other SMEs in their development of an SBSC. The paper stimulates scientific discourse on sustainability and strategic management by highlighting the relevant supporting factors and challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of the Quality of Coal Mine Stockpile Soils on Sustainable Vegetation Growth and Productivity
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 546; doi:10.3390/su8060546
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
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Abstract
Stockpiled soils are excavated from the ground during mining activities, and piled on the surface of the soil for rehabilitation purposes. These soils are often characterized by low organic matter (SOM) content, low fertility, and poor physical, chemical, and biological properties, limiting their
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Stockpiled soils are excavated from the ground during mining activities, and piled on the surface of the soil for rehabilitation purposes. These soils are often characterized by low organic matter (SOM) content, low fertility, and poor physical, chemical, and biological properties, limiting their capability for sustainable vegetation growth. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of stockpile soils of differing depth and quality on vegetation growth and productivity. Soils were collected at three different depths (surface, mid, and deep) as well as mixed (equal proportion of surface, mid and deep) from two stockpiles (named Stockpile 1: aged 10 and Stockpile 2: 20 years) at the coal mine near Witbank in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Soils were amended with different organic and inorganic fertilizer. A 2 × 4 × 5 factorial experiment in a completely randomized blocked design with four replications was established under greenhouse conditions. A grass species (Digiteria eriantha) was planted in the pots with unamended and amended soils under greenhouse conditions at 26–28 °C during the day and 16.5–18.5 °C at night. Mean values of plant height, plant cover, total fresh biomass (roots, stems and leaves), and total dry biomass were found to be higher in Stockpile 1 than in Stockpile 2 soils. Plants grown on soils with no amendments had lower mean values for major plant parameters studied. Soil amended with poultry manure and lime was found to have higher growth rate compared with soils with other soil amendments. Mixed soils had better vegetation growth than soil from other depths. Stockpiled soils in the study area cannot support vegetation growth without being amended, as evidenced by low grass growth and productivity in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Development? Exploring the Locational Attributes of LEED-ND Projects in the United States through a GIS Analysis of Light Intensity and Land Use
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 547; doi:10.3390/su8060547
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
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Abstract
LEED®-ND™ is the latest attempt to develop more sustainable urban environs in the United States. The LEED®-ND™ program was created to provide a green rating system that would improve the quality of life for all people through the inclusion
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LEED®-ND™ is the latest attempt to develop more sustainable urban environs in the United States. The LEED®-ND™ program was created to provide a green rating system that would improve the quality of life for all people through the inclusion of sustainable development practices. To achieve this, a premium is placed on the locational attributes of proposed projects under the “Smart Location and Linkages” credit category. The purpose of this paper is to explore the locational attributes of LEED®-ND™ projects in the United States to determine if projects are being located in areas that will result in achieving the program’s stated objectives. Specifically, this paper will examine two locational variables (i.e., night-time light intensity and land use cover) through the use of GIS to determine the effectiveness of these criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle A High-Efficiency Voltage Equalization Scheme for Supercapacitor Energy Storage System in Renewable Generation Applications
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 548; doi:10.3390/su8060548
Received: 2 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
Due to its fast charge and discharge rate, a supercapacitor-based energy storage system is especially suitable for power smoothing in renewable energy generation applications. Voltage equalization is essential for series-connected supercapacitors in an energy storage system, because it supports the system’s sustainability and
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Due to its fast charge and discharge rate, a supercapacitor-based energy storage system is especially suitable for power smoothing in renewable energy generation applications. Voltage equalization is essential for series-connected supercapacitors in an energy storage system, because it supports the system’s sustainability and maximizes the available cell energy. In this paper, we present a high-efficiency voltage equalization scheme for supercapacitor energy storage systems in renewable generation applications. We propose an improved isolated converter topology that uses a multi-winding transformer. An improved push-pull forward circuit is applied on the primary side of the transformer. A coupling inductor is added on the primary side to allow the switches to operate under the zero-voltage switching (ZVS) condition, which reduces switching losses. The diodes in the rectifier are replaced with metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) to reduce the power dissipation of the secondary side. In order to simplify the control, we designed a controllable rectifying circuit to achieve synchronous rectifying on the secondary side of the transformer. The experimental results verified the effectiveness of the proposed design. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding Artisanal Fishers’ Behaviors: The Case of Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombia
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 549; doi:10.3390/su8060549
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
We investigate the ecological impact caused by fishing grounds and the fishing gear/methods used by fishers in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM), an estuarine lagoon located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. To do so, we build individual and composite ecological sustainable
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We investigate the ecological impact caused by fishing grounds and the fishing gear/methods used by fishers in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM), an estuarine lagoon located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. To do so, we build individual and composite ecological sustainable indicators based on the opinions of a group of experienced fishers and a group of scientists. Additionally, we use those indicators to examine the influence of socioeconomic and perceptional factors on fishers’ fishing behaviors and how those behaviors may be affecting CGSM fishery resources. Our results suggest that fishers and scientists differ in their opinions about the impact of fishing on CGSM. Additionally, we found that having a higher level of education, sharing household expenses with other family members and spending more hours fishing lead to ecologically-sustainable fishing behavior, while the perception that the government is responsible for CGSM conservation leads to ecologically unsustainable fishing behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle The Resilience of a Sustainability Entrepreneur in the Swedish Food System
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 550; doi:10.3390/su8060550
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
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Abstract
Organizational resilience emphasizes the adaptive capacity for renewal after crisis. This paper explores the sustainability and resilience of a not-for-profit firm that claims to contribute to sustainable development of the food system. We used semi-structured interviews and Holling’s adaptive cycle as a heuristic
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Organizational resilience emphasizes the adaptive capacity for renewal after crisis. This paper explores the sustainability and resilience of a not-for-profit firm that claims to contribute to sustainable development of the food system. We used semi-structured interviews and Holling’s adaptive cycle as a heuristic device to assess what constitutes social and sustainable entrepreneurship in this case, and we discuss the determinants of organizational resilience. The business, Biodynamiska Produkter (BP), has experienced periods of growth, conservation and rapid decline in demand, followed by periods of re-organization. Our results suggest that BP, with its social mission and focus on organic food, meets the criteria of both a social and sustainability entrepreneurial organization. BP also exhibits criteria for organizational resilience: two major crises in the 1970s and late 1990s were met by re-organization (transformation) and novel market innovations (adaptations). BP has promoted the organic food sector in Sweden, but not profited from this. In this case study, resilience has enhanced sustainability in general, but trade-offs were also identified. The emphasis on trust, local identity, social objectives and slow decisions may have impeded both economic performance and new adaptations. Since the successful innovation Ekolådan in 2003, crises have been met by consolidation rather than new innovations. Full article
Open AccessArticle City Green Economy Evaluation: Empirical Evidence from 15 Sub-Provincial Cities in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 551; doi:10.3390/su8060551
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 6 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
City green economy plays an important role in the development of low-carbon economy and the achievement of sustainable development of economy, society and ecological environment. From the perspective of economy, society, environment and resources, the evaluation of the green economy in urban areas
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City green economy plays an important role in the development of low-carbon economy and the achievement of sustainable development of economy, society and ecological environment. From the perspective of economy, society, environment and resources, the evaluation of the green economy in urban areas tends to offer us a new insight into the green economy of cities. This paper is about the creation of a novel urban green economy evaluation model and its application. First of all, we established a city green economy evaluation index system based on R cluster analysis and coefficient of variation. Secondly, based on the nonlinear weighted utilizing entropy weight method, a city green economy evaluation model is established based on inferior constraints. Thirdly, by comparing the differences between evaluation rankings under inferior constraints and non-inferior constraints, the advantageous factors and the disadvantageous ones in urban green economy development are obtained. The proposed model has been verified with the data on 15 sub-provincial cities in China. Empirical analysis results show that: (1) The proposed approach can accurately find out the advantageous and disadvantageous factors for each sub-provincial city; (2) In the evaluation of green economy development, the order of importance of the three criterion layers is X1 Economy development > X2 Social livelihood of the people > X3 Resources and environment; (3) Local governments should implement differential, reasonable policies in order to improve their green economy development. Moreover, our research is not only significant for developing green economy in China’s sub-provincial cities, but also serves as a reference for the development of green economy in other cities in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Promotion of Through-Life Management in Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 552; doi:10.3390/su8060552
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
One justification of public private partnerships (PPP) is the alleged benefit they offer in terms of through-life management (TLM). Aiming at an evaluation of this claim, the dominant reasoning connecting PPPs and TLM is first defined: In creating a single point of responsibility
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One justification of public private partnerships (PPP) is the alleged benefit they offer in terms of through-life management (TLM). Aiming at an evaluation of this claim, the dominant reasoning connecting PPPs and TLM is first defined: In creating a single point of responsibility and a long temporal involvement, the PPP model provides an effective incentive to implement TLM. This reasoning is first evaluated through prior large scale studies and through two case studies undertaken by the authors. No substantial evidence of TLM benefits is found. To identify the causes for this gap between intention and achievement, a critical review of the PPP literature supported by insights from management and organization theory is undertaken. Four problems in the reasoning are found to explain the gap: fragmentation is factually prevailing; not all parties in PPPs intend to have a long term commitment to the project; there may be competing incentives for some parties; and the effort to achieve the change and learning necessary for TLM may be missing. It is concluded that for the TLM benefits to be achieved, the PPP model has to be redesigned to secure incentivisation towards TLM and to incorporate TLM mechanisms at the level of the production system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Mining λ-Maximal Cliques from a Fuzzy Graph
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 553; doi:10.3390/su8060553
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
The depletion of natural resources in the last century now threatens our planet and the life of future generations. For the sake of sustainable development, this paper pioneers an interesting and practical problem of dense substructure (i.e., maximal cliques) mining in
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The depletion of natural resources in the last century now threatens our planet and the life of future generations. For the sake of sustainable development, this paper pioneers an interesting and practical problem of dense substructure (i.e., maximal cliques) mining in a fuzzy graph where the edges are weighted by the degree of membership. For parameter 0 λ 1 (also called fuzzy cut in fuzzy logic), a newly defined concept λ-maximal clique is introduced in a fuzzy graph. In order to detect the λ-maximal cliques from a fuzzy graph, an efficient mining algorithm based on Fuzzy Formal Concept Analysis (FFCA) is proposed. Extensive experimental evaluations are conducted for demonstrating the feasibility of the algorithm. In addition, a novel recommendation service based on an λ-maximal clique is provided for illustrating the sustainable usability of the problem addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Studies of the Relationship between City Size and Urban Benefits in China Based on a Panel Data Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 554; doi:10.3390/su8060554
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Policy regarding the size of cities is an important component of China’s urban policy prescription. We used a curvilinear regression model in this study to identify the optimal function and conducted curve panel data regression analysis on the panel data of the benefits
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Policy regarding the size of cities is an important component of China’s urban policy prescription. We used a curvilinear regression model in this study to identify the optimal function and conducted curve panel data regression analysis on the panel data of the benefits of the economy, ecosystem services, and city size in China. In doing so, we obtained the regression relationship between city size and the benefits of the economy, environment, and resources of a city. Our main findings are as follows: (1) city size is not the most important factor determining a city’s benefits. However, there is a significant difference in the average city benefit between cities of various sizes; (2) city per capita GDP increase exhibited an inverted-N-shaped relationship with increasing city size, initially decreasing but subsequently increasing. The city size corresponding to the maximum value was usually higher than or close to the actual city size. Thus, it can be concluded that when a city’s population is more than 1 million, its per capita output increases; (3) a city’s resource services benefits all exhibited the trend of improving with increasing city size. This trend was particularly pronounced among cities with a population of less than 1 million; and (4) a city’s environmental services benefits exhibited an inverted-U-shaped relationship with city size, initially increasing but subsequently decreasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Combined Model Based on an Artificial Intelligence Algorithm—A Case Study on Wind Speed Forecasting in Penglai, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 555; doi:10.3390/su8060555
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
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Abstract
Wind speed forecasting plays a key role in wind-related engineering studies and is important in the management of wind farms. Current forecasting models based on different optimization algorithms can be adapted to various wind speed time series data. However, these methodologies cannot aggregate
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Wind speed forecasting plays a key role in wind-related engineering studies and is important in the management of wind farms. Current forecasting models based on different optimization algorithms can be adapted to various wind speed time series data. However, these methodologies cannot aggregate different hybrid forecasting methods and take advantage of the component models. To avoid these limitations, we propose a novel combined forecasting model called SSA-PSO-DWCM, i.e., particle swarm optimization (PSO) determined weight coefficients model. This model consisted of three main steps: one is the decomposition of the original wind speed signals to discard the noise, the second is the parameter optimization of the forecasting method, and the last is the combination of different models in a nonlinear way. The proposed combined model is examined by forecasting the wind speed (10-min intervals) of wind turbine 5 located in the Penglai region of China. The simulations reveal that the proposed combined model demonstrates a more reliable forecast than the component forecasting engines and the traditional combined method, which is based on a linear method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems Using Fuzzy Shannon Entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 556; doi:10.3390/su8060556
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration can play a strategic role in addressing environmental issues and climate change. CHP systems require less fuel than separate heat and power systems in order to produce the same amount of energy saving primary energy, improving
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Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration can play a strategic role in addressing environmental issues and climate change. CHP systems require less fuel than separate heat and power systems in order to produce the same amount of energy saving primary energy, improving the security of the supply. Because less fuel is combusted, greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants are reduced. If we are to consider the CHP system as “sustainable”, we must include in its assessment not only energetic performance but also environmental and economic aspects, presenting a multicriteria issue. The purpose of the paper is to apply a fuzzy multicriteria methodology to the assessment of five CHP commercial technologies. Specifically, the combination of the fuzzy Shannon’s entropy and the fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) approach will be tested for this purpose. Shannon’s entropy concept, using interval data such as the α-cut, is a particularly suitable technique for assigning weights to criteria—it does not require a decision-making (DM) to assign a weight to the criteria. To rank the proposed alternatives, a fuzzy TOPSIS method has been applied. It is based on the principle that the chosen alternative should be as close as possible to the positive ideal solution and be as far as possible from the negative ideal solution. The proposed approach provides a useful technical–scientific decision-making tool that can effectively support, in a consistent and transparent way, the assessment of various CHP technologies from a sustainable point of view. Full article
Open AccessArticle A New Method to Plan the Capacity and Location of Battery Swapping Station for Electric Vehicle Considering Demand Side Management
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 557; doi:10.3390/su8060557
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Compared to electric vehicle (EV) charging mode, battery swapping mode can realize concentrated and orderly charging. Therefore battery swapping stations (BSS) can participate in the demand side management (DSM) as an integrated form. In this context, a new method to plan the capacity
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Compared to electric vehicle (EV) charging mode, battery swapping mode can realize concentrated and orderly charging. Therefore battery swapping stations (BSS) can participate in the demand side management (DSM) as an integrated form. In this context, a new method to plan the capacity and location of BSS for EV, considering DSM, is proposed in this paper. Firstly, based on the original charging power of BSS with the rule of “First-In First-Out”, a bi-level optimal configuration model of BSS, in which net profit of BSS is maximized in the upper model and operating cost of Distribution Company is minimized in the lower model, is developed to decide the rated power, number of batteries, contract pricing and dispatched power of BSS for DSM. Then, the optimal locating model of BSS with the objective of minimizing network loss is built. A mesh adaptive direct search algorithm with YALMIP toolbox is applied to optimize the bi-level model. Simulation calculation was carried on IEEE-33 nodes distribution system and the results show that participating in DSM can improve the economic benefits of both BSS and distribution network and promote the consumption of distributed generation, verifying the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Strategic Part Prioritization for Quality Improvement Practice Using a Hybrid MCDM Framework: A Case Application in an Auto Factory
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 559; doi:10.3390/su8060559
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1962 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quality improvement practice (QIP), as a competitive strategy, is increasingly vital for auto factories to improve the product quality and brand reputation. Quality activity on selected automotive parts among a variety of competing candidates is featured by prioritization calculation. It arouses our interest
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Quality improvement practice (QIP), as a competitive strategy, is increasingly vital for auto factories to improve the product quality and brand reputation. Quality activity on selected automotive parts among a variety of competing candidates is featured by prioritization calculation. It arouses our interest how to select the appropriate auto part to perform quality improvement action based on the collected data from the after-sale source. Managers usually select the QIP part by the rule of thumb that is based on the quantitative criterion or the subjective preference of individuals. The total quality management (TQM) philosophy requires multiple stakeholders’ involvement, regarded as a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) issue. This paper proposes a novel hybrid MCDM framework to select the best quality improvement solution combining the subjective and objective information. The rough set-based attribute reduction (RSAR) technique was employed to establish the hierarchy structure of influential criteria, and the decision information was collected with triangular fuzzy numbers (TFNs) for its vagueness and ambiguity. In addition, the novel hybrid MCDM framework integrating fuzzy DEMATEL (decision making trial and evaluation laboratory) method, the anti-entropy weighting (AEW) technique and fuzzy VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) was developed to rank the alternatives with the combined weight of criteria. The results argue that the optimal solution keeps a high conformance with Shemshadi’s and Chaghooshi’s methods, which is better than the existing determination. Besides, the result analysis shows the robustness and flexibility of the proposed hybrid MCDM framework. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effect of Thermal Bridges in Insulated Walls on Air-Conditioning Loads Using Whole Building Energy Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 560; doi:10.3390/su8060560
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
Thermal bridges in building walls are usually caused by mortar joints between insulated building blocks and by the presence of concrete columns and beams within the building envelope. These bridges create an easy path for heat transmission and therefore increase air-conditioning loads. In
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Thermal bridges in building walls are usually caused by mortar joints between insulated building blocks and by the presence of concrete columns and beams within the building envelope. These bridges create an easy path for heat transmission and therefore increase air-conditioning loads. In this study, the effects of mortar joints only on cooling and heating loads in a typical two-story villa in Riyadh are investigated using whole building energy analysis. All loads found in the villa, which broadly include ventilation, transmission, solar and internal loads, are considered with schedules based on local lifestyles. The thermal bridging effect of mortar joints is simulated by reducing wall thermal resistance by a percentage that depends on the bridges to wall area ratio (TB area ratio or Amj/Atot) and the nominal thermal insulation thickness (Lins). These percentage reductions are obtained from a correlation developed by using a rigorous 2D dynamic model of heat transmission through walls with mortar joints. The reduction in thermal resistance is achieved through minor reductions in insulation thickness, thereby keeping the thermal mass of the wall essentially unchanged. Results indicate that yearly and monthly cooling loads increase almost linearly with the thermal bridge to wall area ratio. The increase in the villa’s yearly loads varies from about 3% for Amj/Atot = 0.02 to about 11% for Amj/Atot = 0.08. The monthly increase is not uniform over the year and reaches a maximum in August, where it ranges from 5% for Amj/Atot = 0.02 to 15% for Amj/Atot = 0.08. In winter, results show that yearly heating loads are generally very small compared to cooling loads and that heating is only needed in December, January and February, starting from late night to late morning. Monthly heating loads increase with the thermal bridge area ratio; however, the variation is not as linear as observed in cooling loads. The present results highlight the importance of reducing or eliminating thermal bridging effects resulting from mortar joints in walls by maintaining the continuity of the insulation layer in order to reduce energy consumption in air-conditioned buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Heterotrophic Anodic Denitrification in Microbial Fuel Cells
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 561; doi:10.3390/su8060561
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 20 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Nowadays, pollution caused by energy production systems is a major environmental concern. Therefore, the development of sustainable energy sources is required. Amongst others, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) seems to be a possible solution because it can produce clean energy at the same
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Nowadays, pollution caused by energy production systems is a major environmental concern. Therefore, the development of sustainable energy sources is required. Amongst others, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) seems to be a possible solution because it can produce clean energy at the same time that waste is stabilized. Unfortunately, mainly due to industrial discharges, the wastes could contain nitrates, or nitrates precursors such ammonia, which could lead to lower performance in terms of electricity production. In this work, the feasibility of coupling anodic denitrification process with electricity production in MFC and the effect of the nitrates over the MFC performance were studied. During the experiments, it was observed that the culture developed in the anodic chamber of the MFC presented a significant amount of denitrificative microorganisms. The MFC developed was able to denitrify up to 4 ppm, without affecting the current density exerted, of about 1 mA/cm2. Regarding the denitrification process, it must be highlighted that the maximum denitrification rate achieved with the culture was about 60 mg·NO3·L−1·h−1. Based on these results, it can be stated that it is possible to remove nitrates and to produce energy, without negatively affecting the electrical performance, when the nitrate concentration is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuel Production)
Open AccessArticle Optimal Hybrid Renewable Airport Power System: Empirical Study on Incheon International Airport, South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 562; doi:10.3390/su8060562
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
In response to global energy problems (e.g., the oil crisis, the Fukushima accident, the Paris Agreement), the South Korean government has executed a strict renewable energy plan to decrease the country’s dependence on fossil fuel. Public facilities, such as international airports, which use
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In response to global energy problems (e.g., the oil crisis, the Fukushima accident, the Paris Agreement), the South Korean government has executed a strict renewable energy plan to decrease the country’s dependence on fossil fuel. Public facilities, such as international airports, which use substantial amounts of electricity, are the most in need of government regulation. In this study, we attempt to determine the optimal hybrid electricity generation system for South Korea’s largest airport: Incheon International Airport. In the analysis, we use three scenarios: the current load, 120% of the current load, and 140% of the current load, according to the plan to expand Incheon International Airport. According to the COE (cost of electricity) and the NPC (net present cost) of the result, it is economically feasible to completely cover the potential increase in the electric load with PV power. Government policy implications and limitations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Biomass Power Generation Investment in China: A Real Options Evaluation
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 563; doi:10.3390/su8060563
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 29 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
This paper proposes a real options model for evaluating the biomass power generation investment in China. The uncertainties in the market price of electricity, CO2 price and straw price are considered. Meanwhile the dynamic relationship between installed capacity and fuel cost, as
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This paper proposes a real options model for evaluating the biomass power generation investment in China. The uncertainties in the market price of electricity, CO2 price and straw price are considered. Meanwhile the dynamic relationship between installed capacity and fuel cost, as well as the long-term reduction of subsidy are described. Two scenarios, i.e., with the carbon emission trading scheme existent and non-existent, respectively, is built to empirically analyze the investment of a 25-MW straw-based power generation project. The results show that investors should undertake the investment in 2030 under two scenarios. Investment values are 14,869,254.8 and 37,608,727 Chinese Yuan (RMB), respectively. The implementation of the carbon emission trading scheme theoretically helps improve investment value and advance the most likely optimal investment time. However, the current CO2 price is not sufficient to advance the most likely optimal investment time. The impacts of several factors, including subsidy policy, CO2 price, straw price, installed capacity, correlation structure and the validity period of investment, on the optimal investment strategy are also examined. It is suggested that governments take some measures, including increasing subsidy, setting the growth pattern of subsidy and establishing and perfecting a nationwide carbon trading market, to improve the investment environment and attract more investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuel Production)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Supply Chain Management: The Influence of Disposal Scenarios on the Environmental Impact of a 2400 L Waste Container
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 564; doi:10.3390/su8060564
Received: 24 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the influence of the supply chain management on the environmental impact of a 2400 L waste disposal container used in most cities of Spain. The studied functional unit, a waste disposal container, made up mostly of plastic materials and a
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This paper analyzes the influence of the supply chain management on the environmental impact of a 2400 L waste disposal container used in most cities of Spain. The studied functional unit, a waste disposal container, made up mostly of plastic materials and a metallic structure, and manufactured in Madrid (Spain), is distributed to several cities at an average distance of 392 km. A life cycle assessment of four different scenarios (SC) has been calculated with the software EcoTool v4.0 (version 4.0; i+: Zaragoza, Spain, 2015) and using Ecoinvent v3.0 database (version 3.0; Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories: St. Gallen, Switzerland, 2013). The environmental impact has been characterized with two different methodologies, recipe and carbon footprint. In order to reduce the environmental impact, several end of life scenarios have been performed, analyzing the influence of the supply chain on a closed-looped system that increases recycling. Closed loop management of the waste and reuse of parts allows companies to stop selling products and start selling the service that their products give to the consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
Open AccessArticle The Livelihood Vulnerability of Rural Households in Earthquake-Stricken Areas—A Case Study of Ning’er, Yunnan Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 566; doi:10.3390/su8060566
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Earthquakes happen suddenly and are immensely destructive. They not only destroy entire societal production and infrastructure systems but also seriously interfere with daily life and reduce opportunities to earn income in earthquake-affected areas. In this paper, using the Ning’er Ms 6.4 earthquake in
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Earthquakes happen suddenly and are immensely destructive. They not only destroy entire societal production and infrastructure systems but also seriously interfere with daily life and reduce opportunities to earn income in earthquake-affected areas. In this paper, using the Ning’er Ms 6.4 earthquake in 2007 as an example, we analyzed the livelihood vulnerability of rural households in Ning’er County, Yunnan, based on data from questionnaires and on-site interviews. The results showed that on the whole, local rural household livelihoods are relatively vulnerable in the earthquake-affected area of Ning’er. The main reason for the high level of vulnerability of rural households is the lack of single or multiple incomes. Due to the shortage of household income, the capacity of rural households to manage the aftermath of an earthquake is low. Improving the income allocation and transformation level and expanding methods of earning income is an effective way for rural households to decrease livelihood vulnerability in earthquake-prone areas. Some suggestions are given for local rural households to enhance their livelihood income levels in the event of earthquakes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Building Simplified Life Cycle CO2 Emissions Assessment Tool (B‐SCAT) to Support Low‐Carbon Building Design in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 567; doi:10.3390/su8060567
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Various tools that assess life cycle CO2 (LCCO2) emissions are currently being developed throughout the international community. However, most building LCCO2 emissions assessment tools use a bill of quantities (BOQ), which is calculated after starting a building’s construction. Thus,
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Various tools that assess life cycle CO2 (LCCO2) emissions are currently being developed throughout the international community. However, most building LCCO2 emissions assessment tools use a bill of quantities (BOQ), which is calculated after starting a building’s construction. Thus, it is difficult to assess building LCCO2 emissions during the early design phase, even though this capability would be highly effective in reducing LCCO2 emissions. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop a Building Simplified LCCO2 emissions Assessment Tool (B‐SCAT) for application in the early design phase of low‐carbon buildings in South Korea, in order to facilitate efficient decision‐making. To that end, in the construction stage, the BOQ and building drawings were analyzed, and a database of quantities and equations describing the finished area were conducted for each building element. In the operation stage, the “Korea Energy Census Report” and the “Korea Building Energy Efficiency Rating Certification System” were analyzed, and three kinds of models to evaluate CO2 emissions were proposed. These analyses enabled the development of the B‐SCAT. A case study compared the assessment results performed using the B‐SCAT against a conventional assessment model based on the actual BOQ of the evaluated building. These values closely approximated the conventional assessment results with error rates of less than 3%. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assimilation and Translocation of Dry Matter and Phosphorus in Rice Genotypes Affected by Salt-Alkaline Stress
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 568; doi:10.3390/su8060568
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
Salt-alkaline stress generally leads to soil compaction and fertility decline. It also restricts rice growth and phosphorus acquisition. In this pot experiment, two relatively salt-alkaline tolerant (Dongdao-4 and Changbai-9) and sensitive (Changbai-25 and Tongyu-315) rice genotypes were planted in sandy (control) and salt-alkaline
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Salt-alkaline stress generally leads to soil compaction and fertility decline. It also restricts rice growth and phosphorus acquisition. In this pot experiment, two relatively salt-alkaline tolerant (Dongdao-4 and Changbai-9) and sensitive (Changbai-25 and Tongyu-315) rice genotypes were planted in sandy (control) and salt-alkaline soil to evaluate the characteristics of dry matter and phosphorus assimilation and translocation in rice. The results showed that dry matter and phosphorus assimilation in rice greatly decreased under salt-alkaline stress as the plants grew. The translocation and contribution of dry matter and phosphorus to the grains also increased markedly; different performances were observed between genotypes under salt-alkaline stress. D4 and C9 showed higher dry matter translocation, translocation efficiency and contribution of dry matter assimilation to panicles than those of C25 and T315. These changes in D4 and C9 indexes occurred at low levels of salt-alkaline treatment. Higher phosphorus acquisition efficiency of D4 and C9 were also found under salt-alkaline conditions. Additionally, the phosphorus translocation significantly decreased in C25 and T315 in the stress treatment. In conclusion, the results indicated that salt-alkaline-tolerant rice genotypes may have stronger abilities to assimilate and transfer biomass and phosphorus than sensitive genotypes, especially in salt-alkaline conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Vertical Coordination in Organic Food Chains: A Survey Based Analysis in France, Italy and Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 569; doi:10.3390/su8060569
Received: 7 February 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
The paper analyses characteristics of vertical relationships of organic supply chains with a specific focus on the processing and retailing sectors. The analysis takes into account different regions of the EU Mediterranean area. Data were collected through interviews using an ad hoc questionnaire.
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The paper analyses characteristics of vertical relationships of organic supply chains with a specific focus on the processing and retailing sectors. The analysis takes into account different regions of the EU Mediterranean area. Data were collected through interviews using an ad hoc questionnaire. The survey was based on a sample of 306 firms, including processors and retailers. The analysis revealed that a relevant aspect for the processing firms of organic products concerns the guaranteeing of safety and quality levels for the products. The main tools to implement the quality management are based on the adoption of specific production regulations and quality controls. The premium price most frequently applied by processors ranges from 10% to 40% and similar values are revealed for retailers. The diffusion of supply contracts allows the vertical coordination between agriculture and processing firms in the organic supply chains. The main distribution channels for the processing firms are represented by specialised shops in organic products, direct sales and supermarkets. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cultural Attitudes as WTP Determinants: A Revised Cultural Worldview Scale
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 570; doi:10.3390/su8060570
Received: 8 March 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
There has been little attention paid to the systematic measurement issue of general attitudes toward human-culture relationships. This paper applied the Cultural Worldview (CW) scale that was developed by Choi et al. in 2007 (published in the Journal of Cultural Economics), and
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There has been little attention paid to the systematic measurement issue of general attitudes toward human-culture relationships. This paper applied the Cultural Worldview (CW) scale that was developed by Choi et al. in 2007 (published in the Journal of Cultural Economics), and investigated its dimensionality and relationship with willingness to pay (WTP) for cultural heritage protection through a sequential integration between latent variables and valuation models. A case study of 997 Korean respondents was employed to examine conservation values of cultural heritage sites using discrete choice models. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that this scale can be used either as a single second-order factor or four correlated factors. A more parsimonious version of the CW scale with twelve items is endorsed in this paper and the results also confirm that it is valid for use with non-Western nations. The findings support a significant attitude–WTP relationship; there was a significant role of the CW scale that reveals unobserved factors in valuation models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Residents’ Environmental Conservation Behaviors at Tourist Sites: Broadening the Norm Activation Framework by Adopting Environment Attachment
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 571; doi:10.3390/su8060571
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Understanding the factors that affect residents’ environmental conservation behaviors help in managing the environment of tourist sites. This research provides an integrative understanding of how residents near tourist sites form their environmental conservation behaviors by merging the norm-activation model and cognitive-affective model into
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Understanding the factors that affect residents’ environmental conservation behaviors help in managing the environment of tourist sites. This research provides an integrative understanding of how residents near tourist sites form their environmental conservation behaviors by merging the norm-activation model and cognitive-affective model into one theoretical framework. Results of the structural analysis from a sample of 642 residents showed that this study’s proposed composite model includes a satisfactory level of predictive power for environmental conservation behaviors. The findings identify the following two dimensions of awareness of environmental consequences as having a key role in predicting environmental conservation behaviors: (1) awareness of positive consequences of environmental protection; and (2) awareness of disaster consequences. Results also show that environment attachment and personal norms about environmentalism played a mediating role between awareness of environmental consequences and environmental conservation behaviors, and that personal norms about environmentalism were the most powerful factor in predicting behaviors. Several practical implications were derived from the research findings that can contribute to environment management policy both within and outside the field of tourism, mostly notably: (1) how the effective promotion of these factors can encourage environmental conservation behaviors for residents; and (2) how governments can develop and implement environmental management measures to improve locals’ awareness of positive consequences of environmental protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Beef Cattle Farms’ Conversion to the Organic System. Recommendations for Success in the Face of Future Changes in a Global Context
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 572; doi:10.3390/su8060572
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Dehesa is a remarkable agroforestry system, which needs the implementation of sustainable production systems in order to reduce its deterioration. Moreover, its livestock farms need to adapt to a new global market context. As a response, the organic livestock sector has expanded not
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Dehesa is a remarkable agroforestry system, which needs the implementation of sustainable production systems in order to reduce its deterioration. Moreover, its livestock farms need to adapt to a new global market context. As a response, the organic livestock sector has expanded not only globally but also in the region in search for increased overall sustainability. However, conversions to the organic system have been commonly carried out without analyzing farms’ feasibility to do so. This analysis is necessary before implementing any new production system in order to reduce both the diversity of externalities that the variety of contexts leads to and the vulnerability of the DDehesa ecosystem to small management changes. Within this context and in the face of this gap in knowledge, the present paper analyzes the ease of such conversions and the farms’ chances of success after conversion in the face of global changes (market and politics). Different aspects (“areas of action”) were studied and integrated within the Global Conversion Index (GCI), and the legal requirement for European organic farming, organic principles, future challenges for ruminants’ production systems, as well as the lines of action for the post-2013 CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and their impacts on the beef cattle sector were taken into account. Results revealed that farms must introduce significant changes before initiating the conversion process, since they had very low scores on the GCI (42.74%), especially with regard to health and agro-ecosystem management (principle of Ecology). Regarding rearing and animal welfare (principle of justice/fairness), farms were close to the organic system. From the social point of view, active participation in manufacturing and marketing of products should be increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Factors in Land Subsidence in Shanghai: A View Based on a Strategic Environmental Assessment
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 573; doi:10.3390/su8060573
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract
It has been observed that in the urban center of Shanghai, land subsidence has accelerated, and the groundwater level has continued to drop even though the net withdrawn volume (NWV) of groundwater has remained unchanged since 1980. An analysis of monitoring data shows
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It has been observed that in the urban center of Shanghai, land subsidence has accelerated, and the groundwater level has continued to drop even though the net withdrawn volume (NWV) of groundwater has remained unchanged since 1980. An analysis of monitoring data shows that drawdown of the groundwater level is one of the factors that have influenced land subsidence since 1980. The NWV of groundwater in urban areas, however, is not the critical factor controlling the drawdown of the groundwater level. Since the 1980s, there have been many underground works constructed in the unique strata of Shanghai, which has an interlayered structure known as a multi-aquifer-aquitard system (MAAS). Investigation into land subsidence caused by urban construction is now receiving much attention. Based on the principle of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for sustainable urban development, this paper presents a discussion and analysis of the factors which can influence the development of land subsidence during continued urbanization in Shanghai. The main factors include the additional loading caused by the construction of structures, the cut-off effect due to construction in aquifers, the drawdown of groundwater level caused by leakage into underground structures, and the decrease of groundwater recharge from neighboring zones. SEA is recommended for the future development of Shanghai. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle From Food Waste to Donations: The Case of Marketplaces in Northern Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 575; doi:10.3390/su8060575
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
There is a growing increase in the number of disadvantaged people whose basic needs, such as food, should be covered. In crisis periods, food banks and other entities have a special role to play in that social function. This research focuses on the
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There is a growing increase in the number of disadvantaged people whose basic needs, such as food, should be covered. In crisis periods, food banks and other entities have a special role to play in that social function. This research focuses on the marketplaces that are great generators of organic food waste due to the fact that almost all of their stalls are dedicated to the sales of fresh food. The work combines both qualitative (interviews with the person responsible for most of the marketplaces in a northern Spain region and with two health inspectors, as well as a participatory workshop with different stakeholders related to food recovery: a regional waste management company, a food bank and several beneficiary entities) and quantitative techniques (a massive survey of the market stalls where the interviews were previously conducted). The results allow us to estimate the volume of organic waste generated by these marketplaces and to propose guidelines that would facilitate a better management of the food surpluses with potential for use, in the first place, as donations to food banks and, secondly, as recoverable bio-waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Modeling the Habitat of the Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) Wintering in Cheorwon-Gun to Support Decision Making
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 576; doi:10.3390/su8060576
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is
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Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is needed to mitigate these negative effects. To this end, our study had three objectives: (1) to analyze the red-crowned crane habitat and its suitability in Cheorwon-gun, using field surveys and habitat modeling; (2) to check the feasibility of alternative habitat patches across demilitarized zones (DMZs); and (3) to propose a conceptual diagram that minimizes habitat loss during development activities. We aim to quantify habitat suitability, the farmland area needed to support existing crane populations in wintertime, disturbance caused by human activities, and vehicular spatial patterns. These data could be used in spatial planning. The framework of this study and the process of making a conceptual diagram could be applied to other areas where there is a conflict between development and habitat conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wildlife Management)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Thermal Anomalies in Multi-Boreholes Field Considering the Effects of Groundwater Flow
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 577; doi:10.3390/su8060577
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, the performance of multiple boreholes (multi-BHEs) field is evaluated by considering the groundwater flow. Optimization strategies are presented to mitigate thermal anomalies in the BHEs field. This study shows that groundwater flow greatly improves the heat transfer but causes thermal
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In this paper, the performance of multiple boreholes (multi-BHEs) field is evaluated by considering the groundwater flow. Optimization strategies are presented to mitigate thermal anomalies in the BHEs field. This study shows that groundwater flow greatly improves the heat transfer but causes thermal anomalies downstream. To overcome this problem, a heat transfer model is established for multi-boreholes based on temperature field superposition and moving finite line source model (MFLS). The MFLS multi-boreholes model considers the axial effect and groundwater flow and produces results in agreement with the field tested data of a 4 × 4 boreholes field. Using a dynamic annual load pattern, the long-term performance of the 4 × 4 boreholes field is analyzed. Three dynamic diurnal cooling load models are proposed to evaluate the temperature changes in the underground. The intermittent load model could reduce the local temperature anomalies in downstream tubes. The optimization model for cooling cases for multi-BHEs is elaborated to keep the outlet temperature as low as possible and minimize the extreme temperature anomalies, and by this, ultimately improve the system performance. Furthermore, the temperature variations and thermal anomalies downstream of multi-BHEs are investigated by evaluating the arrangement optimization and load optimization. The results show that the optimization could mitigate thermal anomalies downstream and reduce the rate of temperature imbalance of the BHEs field. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Impact Analysis of Acidification and Eutrophication Due to Emissions from the Production of Concrete
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 578; doi:10.3390/su8060578
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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Abstract
Concrete is a major material used in the construction industry that emits a large amount of substances with environmental impacts during its life cycle. Accordingly, technologies for the reduction in and assessment of the environmental impact of concrete from the perspective of a
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Concrete is a major material used in the construction industry that emits a large amount of substances with environmental impacts during its life cycle. Accordingly, technologies for the reduction in and assessment of the environmental impact of concrete from the perspective of a life cycle assessment (LCA) must be developed. At present, the studies on LCA in relation to greenhouse gas emission from concrete are being carried out globally as a countermeasure against climate change. However, the studies on the impact of the substances emitted in the concrete production process on acidification and eutrophication are insufficient. As such, assessing only a single category of environmental impact may cause a misunderstanding about the environmental friendliness of concrete. The substances emitted in the concrete production process have an impact not only on global warming but also on acidification and eutrophication. Acidification and eutrophication are the main causes of air pollution, forest destruction, red tide phenomena, and deterioration of reinforced concrete structures. For this reason, the main substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that have an impact on acidification and eutrophication were deduced. In addition, an LCA technique through which to determine the major emissions from concrete was proposed and a case analysis was carried out. The substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that are related to eutrophication were deduced to be NOx, NH3, NH4+, COD, NO3, and PO43−. The substances among those emitted in the concrete production process that are related to acidification, were found to be NOx, SO2, H2S, and H2SO4. The materials and energy sources among those input into the concrete production process, which have the biggest impact on acidification and eutrophication, were found to be coarse aggregate and fine aggregate. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Study on Life Cycle CO2 Emissions of Low-Carbon Building in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 579; doi:10.3390/su8060579
Received: 25 February 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
There have been much interest and many efforts to control global warming and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the world. Recently, the Republic of Korea has also increased its GHG reduction goal and searched for an implementation plan. In buildings, for example,
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There have been much interest and many efforts to control global warming and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the world. Recently, the Republic of Korea has also increased its GHG reduction goal and searched for an implementation plan. In buildings, for example, there have been technology developments and deployment policies to reduce GHG emissions from a life cycle perspective, covering construction materials, building construction, use of buildings and waste disposal. In particular, Korea’s Green Standard for Energy and Environmental Design is a certification of environmentally-friendly buildings for their energy saving and reduction of environmental pollution throughout their lives. In fact, the demand and adoption of the certification are rising every year. In construction materials and buildings, as a result, an environmentally-friendly aspect has become crucial. The importance of construction material and building development technologies that can reduce environmental load by diminishing GHG emissions in buildings has emerged. Moreover, there has been a rising necessity to verify the GHG reduction effects of buildings. To assess the reduction of carbon emissions in the buildings built with low-carbon construction technologies and materials, therefore, this study estimated life cycle carbon emissions in reference buildings in which general construction materials are used and in low-carbon buildings. For this, the carbon emissions and their reduction from construction materials (especially concrete) between conventional products and low-carbon materials were estimated, using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After estimating carbon emissions from a building life cycle perspective, their reduction in low-carbon buildings compared to the reference buildings was reviewed. The results found that compared to conventional buildings, low-carbon buildings revealed a 25% decrease in carbon emissions in terms of the reduction of Life Cycle CO2 (LCCO2) per unit area. If diverse production technologies and sales routes are further developed for low-carbon construction materials, carbon emission reduction effects would considerably increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Supporting Farmer-Led Irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on Field-Testing a New Design Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 580; doi:10.3390/su8060580
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract
Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes
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Smallholder irrigation technologies introduced in sub-Saharan Africa are often unsustainable in the sense that they are not maintained by their users. In contrast, there is clear evidence that smallholder farmers have been developing and expanding irrigated areas. An approach was developed that takes these farmers’ initiatives as a starting point to stimulate further irrigated agricultural expansion in central Mozambique, dubbed the PIAD approach (Participatory Irrigated Agricultural Development). The approach was documented through field diaries, participatory monitoring and evaluation. This article presents an analysis and reflection on the design process. Amongst other things, it shows that a crucial difference is the division of roles between users, contractors and irrigation engineers, both in terms of division of responsibilities and in understanding the interdisciplinary connections of irrigated agricultural production. The approach allowed users to be kept in the driver’s seat of development while going beyond improving irrigation infrastructure, including agronomic and institutional interventions. Additionally, the results show that technologies are being sustained by their users and copied by farmers in neighboring areas. We conclude that the approach allows for active investment by the users, both in design as well as in project costs and labor, which later results in the improvements being maintained and copied, a clear marker of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 581; doi:10.3390/su8060581
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 11 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively
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To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12) in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm) was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4), double (S7), and triple (S12) compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63), but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7) than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12). The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Coordinated Development Analysis of the “Resources-Environment-Ecology-Economy-Society” Complex System in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 582; doi:10.3390/su8060582
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
The aim of investigating the coordination of the complex system constituted by resources, environment, ecology, economy and society subsystems (CSR3ES), is to achieve sustainable development by: (1) describing the complicated relationships of the inner-subsystems and inter-systems; (2) designing the calculation method of the
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The aim of investigating the coordination of the complex system constituted by resources, environment, ecology, economy and society subsystems (CSR3ES), is to achieve sustainable development by: (1) describing the complicated relationships of the inner-subsystems and inter-systems; (2) designing the calculation method of the coordination degree for CSR3ES; (3) analyzing its developing trends from a macro point of view through comprehensive coordination degree; and (4) to determine the direction of system restoration from a micro point of view based on the inner-subsystem and inter-subsystem coordination degree, and to develop specific improvement strategies. By setting a province-level administrative region as a decision-making unit (DMU), the nationwide coordination of CSR3ES was studied. The main conclusions are: (1) The coordination degree between the subsystems is directly influenced by interactions between the elements. (2) Within the provinces and autonomous regions (PARs) in China, the levels of coordinated development of inter-subsystems are high, while the coordinated development between the elements within a single subsystem level are low. Furthermore, a positive coherent effect is exerted on the comprehensive coordination degree of CSR3ES by the inter-system synergistic effects. (3) In terms of spatial correlation, five comprehensive coordinated development modes of CSR3ES are formed: the northeast regional coordination mode group; the northwest regional uncoordinated mode group; the southeast regional coordination mode group; the central regional random mode group; and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei polarization mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Covering Indirect Emissions Mitigates Market Power in Carbon Markets: The Case of South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 583; doi:10.3390/su8060583
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
One of the main concerns of policymakers regarding emissions trading markets is that some firms may well enjoy market power owing to their share of the emissions. This study shows that including indirect emissions within the coverage of an emissions trading scheme can
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One of the main concerns of policymakers regarding emissions trading markets is that some firms may well enjoy market power owing to their share of the emissions. This study shows that including indirect emissions within the coverage of an emissions trading scheme can help to reduce market power and thereby enhance social efficiency. In this study, the market concentration measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index significantly drops after including indirect emissions in the South Korean emissions trading market. In addition, other market concentration measures are also considered to verify that the conclusion does not depend on the choice of concentration measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Sustainable Development of Resources-Based Cities in Shanxi Province Based on Unascertained Measure
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 585; doi:10.3390/su8060585
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An index system is established for evaluating the level of sustainable development of resources-based cities, and each index is calculated based on the unascertained measure model for 11 resources-based cities in Shanxi Province in 2013 from three aspects; namely, economic, social, and resources
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An index system is established for evaluating the level of sustainable development of resources-based cities, and each index is calculated based on the unascertained measure model for 11 resources-based cities in Shanxi Province in 2013 from three aspects; namely, economic, social, and resources and environment. The result shows that Taiyuan City enjoys a high level of sustainable development and integrated development of economy, society, and resources and environment. Shuozhou, Changzhi, and Jincheng have basically realized sustainable development. However, Yangquan, Linfen, Lvliang, Datong, Jinzhong, Xinzhou and Yuncheng have a low level of sustainable development and urgently require a transition. Finally, for different cities, we propose different countermeasures to improve the level of sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Timber Chips as the Insulation Material for Energy Saving in Prefabricated Offices
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 587; doi:10.3390/su8060587
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
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Abstract
This research demonstrates the feasibility of a roof insulation method for prefabricated offices that uses vinyl packed timber chips to reduce air conditioning loads (hereinafter referred to as AC loads) and which also improves indoor thermal comfort. The advantages of the new roof
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This research demonstrates the feasibility of a roof insulation method for prefabricated offices that uses vinyl packed timber chips to reduce air conditioning loads (hereinafter referred to as AC loads) and which also improves indoor thermal comfort. The advantages of the new roof insulation method were revealed through comparing the impacts of four roof types on prefabricated offices. The AC load and indoor thermal comfort (surface temperature and air temperature) were evaluated. The disposal of scrap timber discarded from building construction projects is costing money, and is also a waste of natural resources. The assessment of a new roof insulation method with timber chips demonstrates the advanced usage of timber chips, reducing the environmental load in the building construction process. On the other hand, since prefabricated offices have lower thermal storage capacities and are less airtight than RC (reinforced concrete) or S (steel) structured buildings, the AC load consumption and indoor thermal comfort exacerbation in prefabricated offices is more serious. Especially in summer, a large amount of solar energy absorption from the roof raises the indoor air temperature and significantly increases the cooling load. This research contributes to the environmental design for prefabricated offices, and develops a method for the reuse of wood chips. Full article
Open AccessArticle Study on Solar Radiation Models in South Korea for Improving Office Building Energy Performance Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 589; doi:10.3390/su8060589
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hourly global solar radiation in a weather file is one of the significant parameters for improving building energy performance analyses using simulation programs. However, most weather stations worldwide are not equipped with solar radiation sensors because they tend to be difficult to manage.
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Hourly global solar radiation in a weather file is one of the significant parameters for improving building energy performance analyses using simulation programs. However, most weather stations worldwide are not equipped with solar radiation sensors because they tend to be difficult to manage. In South Korea, only twenty-two out of ninety-two weather stations are equipped with sensors, and there are large areas not equipped with any sensors. Thus, solar radiation must often be calculated by reliable solar models. Hence, it is important to find a reliable model that can be applied in the wide variety of weather conditions seen in South Korea. In this study, solar radiation in the southeastern part of South Korea was calculated using three solar models: cloud-cover radiation model (CRM), Zhang and Huang model (ZHM), and meteorological radiation model (MRM). These values were then compared to measured solar radiation data. After that, the calculated solar radiation data from the three solar models were used in a building energy simulation for an office building with various window characteristics conditions, in order to identify how solar radiation differences affect building energy performance. It was found that a seasonal solar model for the area should be developed to improve building energy performance analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle 2D Versus 3D: The Relevance of the Mode of Presentation for the Economic Valuation of an Alpine Landscape
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 591; doi:10.3390/su8060591
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to value the transformation of landscapes from an economic perspective, survey respondents are usually presented with pictures of various landscapes with the aim to visualize differences in their appearance. The current paper presents a classroom experiment ascertaining differences, and potential advantages
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In order to value the transformation of landscapes from an economic perspective, survey respondents are usually presented with pictures of various landscapes with the aim to visualize differences in their appearance. The current paper presents a classroom experiment ascertaining differences, and potential advantages and disadvantages, of 2D versus 3D (stereoscopic) presentations of landscape changes. The landscape to be valued was a traditional Alpine pasture in the Austrian Alps as a prominent example of natural and cultural heritage (traditional economy and specific ecology). Two alternative scenarios included, on the one hand, changes in agricultural uses, leading to natural afforestation (reforestation) and decay of existing infrastructure (e.g., hiking trails). On the other hand, significantly extended tourism infrastructure (e.g., new attractions for visitors) was presented. Two groups were presented manipulated pictures (2D/non-stereoscopic), and 3D (stereoscopic) presentations with 3D glasses, respectively. Both groups were then asked for their perception of landscape changes. It turns out that significant differences between the two groups could be detected in terms of the frequency of vacations at Alpine pastures. For instance, respondents in the 3D stereoscopic group stated a significantly higher frequency of trips. However, on the other hand, they did not state a significantly different willingness-to-pay to prevent landscape changes disadvantageous in terms of sustainability. The study results thus suggest that the mode of presentation may affect the valuation of landscape changes depending on the valuation instrument. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)

Review

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Open AccessReview Focus on the Development of Natural Gas Hydrate in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 520; doi:10.3390/su8060520
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
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Abstract
Natural gas hydrate, also known as combustible ice, and mainly composed of methane, is identified as a potential clean energy for the 21st century. Due to its large reserves, gas hydrate can ease problems caused by energy resource shortage and has gained attention
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Natural gas hydrate, also known as combustible ice, and mainly composed of methane, is identified as a potential clean energy for the 21st century. Due to its large reserves, gas hydrate can ease problems caused by energy resource shortage and has gained attention around the world. In this paper, we focus on the exploration and development of gas hydrate as well as discussing its status and future development trend in China and abroad. We then analyze its opportunities and challenges in China from four aspects, resource, technology, economy and policy, with five forces model and Politics Economics Society Technology method. The results show China has abundance gas hydrate resource; however, backward technologies and inadequate investment have seriously hindered the future development of gas hydrate; thus, China should establish relevant cooperation framework and intuitional arrangement to attract more investment as well as breaking through technical difficulties to commercialization gas hydrate as soon as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Philanthropic Fundraising of Higher Education Institutions: A Review of the Malaysian and Australian Perspectives
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 541; doi:10.3390/su8060541
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
PDF Full-text (1051 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, higher education institutions are facing rapidly rising costs and limitations in governmental funding. Accordingly, higher education institutions need sustainable forms of funding to operate effectively and remain competitive. In their attempts to identify causes and initiatives, world universities have paid more attention
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Currently, higher education institutions are facing rapidly rising costs and limitations in governmental funding. Accordingly, higher education institutions need sustainable forms of funding to operate effectively and remain competitive. In their attempts to identify causes and initiatives, world universities have paid more attention to philanthropic support. In their effort to raise funds, many institutions have grappled with questions of why donors give and what motivates donors to give. To address these questions, scholars must consider the influence of demographic and socio-economic characteristics, as well as internal and external motivational parameters on successful giving behaviour. However, much more attention has been paid to universities in Western countries and the United States. This study aims to review the factors influencing organizational philanthropic fundraising success and to gain an understanding of factors affecting donors’ giving decisions and perceptions of giving. This work focuses on donors’ giving to Malaysian and Australian public universities. Full article
Open AccessReview The Qualities Needed for a Successful Collaboration: A Contribution to the Conceptual Understanding of Collaboration for Efficient Public Transport
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 542; doi:10.3390/su8060542
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 2 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The creation of an efficient public transport system requires collaborations between formal independent organizations. This paper examines collaborations between public and private organizations and passengers, with the aim of contributing to the conceptual understanding of collaborations on public transport. The study begins by
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The creation of an efficient public transport system requires collaborations between formal independent organizations. This paper examines collaborations between public and private organizations and passengers, with the aim of contributing to the conceptual understanding of collaborations on public transport. The study begins by describing previous research on collaboration in the public transport area and in other research fields analytically relevant for public transport. Accordingly, collaboration is defined as an attempt to overcome problems with collective action and to transform a situation in which the various organizations operate independently into a situation where they act in concert to achieve shared objectives. The collaboration process involves the establishment of joint rules and structures that govern the relationship and behavior of the organizations. According to this definition, collaboration is a more sophisticated form of collective action than is indicated by terms such as “co-operation” or “coordination”. Fully-functioning collaboration can be described as a form of “co-action”, as opposed to “individual action”. In co-action, formal independent organizations together reap the benefits of working together and achieve more than if they had acted alone. Co-action can be regarded as a gradual trust-building process that requires qualities such as mutual confidence, an understanding of other organizations’ motivations, and joint problem formulation. Full article
Open AccessReview Performance of Modular Prefabricated Architecture: Case Study-Based Review and Future Pathways
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 558; doi:10.3390/su8060558
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though tightened building energy efficiency standards are implemented periodically in many countries, existing buildings continually consume a momentous quota of the total primary energy. Energy efficiency solutions range from material components to bulk systems. A technique of building construction, referred to as
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Even though tightened building energy efficiency standards are implemented periodically in many countries, existing buildings continually consume a momentous quota of the total primary energy. Energy efficiency solutions range from material components to bulk systems. A technique of building construction, referred to as prefabricated architecture (prefab), is increasing in reputation. Prefab encompasses the offsite fabrication of building components to a greater degree of finish as bulk building structures and systems, and their assembly on-site. In this context, prefab improves the speed of construction, quality of architecture, efficiency of materials, and worker safety, while limiting environmental impacts of construction, as compared to conventional site-built construction practices. Quite recently, a 57 story skyscraper was built in 19 days using prefabricated modules. From the building physics point of view, the bulk systems and tighter integration method of prefab minimizes thermal bridges. This study seeks to clearly characterize the levels of prefab and to investigate the performance of modular prefab; considering acoustic constrain, seismic resistance, thermal behavior, energy consumption, and life cycle analysis of existing prefab cases and, thus, provides a dynamic case study-based review. Generally, prefab can be categorized into components, panels (2D), modules (3D), hybrids, and unitized whole buildings. On average, greenhouse gas emissions from conventional construction were higher than for modular construction, not discounting some individual discrepancies. Few studies have focused on monitored data on prefab and occupants’ comfort but additional studies are required to understand the public’s perception of the technology. The scope of the work examined will be of interest to building engineers, manufacturers, and energy experts, as well as serve as a foundational reference for future study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Soil Conservation Issues in India
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 565; doi:10.3390/su8060565
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite years of study and substantial investment in remediation and prevention, soil erosion continues to be a major environmental problem with regard to land use in India and elsewhere around the world. Furthermore, changing climate and/or weather patterns are exacerbating the problem. Our
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Despite years of study and substantial investment in remediation and prevention, soil erosion continues to be a major environmental problem with regard to land use in India and elsewhere around the world. Furthermore, changing climate and/or weather patterns are exacerbating the problem. Our objective was to review past and current soil conservation programmes in India to better understand how production-, environmental-, social-, economic- and policy-related issues have affected soil and water conservation and the incentives needed to address the most critical problems. We found that to achieve success in soil and water conservation policies, institutions and operations must be co-ordinated using a holistic approach. Watershed programmes have been shown to be one of the most effective strategies for bringing socio-economic change to different parts of India. Within both dryland and rainfed areas, watershed management has quietly revolutionized agriculture by aligning various sectors through technological soil and water conservation interventions and land-use diversification. Significant results associated with various watershed-scale soil and water conservation programmes and interventions that were effective for reducing land degradation and improving productivity in different parts of the country are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Agroforestry—The Next Step in Sustainable and Resilient Agriculture
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 574; doi:10.3390/su8060574
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agriculture faces the unprecedented task of feeding a world population of 9 billion people by 2050 while simultaneously avoiding harmful environmental and social effects. One effort to meet this challenge has been organic farming, with outcomes that are generally positive. However, a number
[...] Read more.
Agriculture faces the unprecedented task of feeding a world population of 9 billion people by 2050 while simultaneously avoiding harmful environmental and social effects. One effort to meet this challenge has been organic farming, with outcomes that are generally positive. However, a number of challenges remain. Organic yields lag behind those in conventional agriculture, and greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching remain somewhat problematic. In this paper, we examine current organic and conventional agriculture systems and suggest that agroforestry, which is the intentional combination of trees and shrubs with crops or livestock, could be the next step in sustainable agriculture. By implementing systems that mimic nature’s functions, agroforestry has the potential to remain productive while supporting a range of ecosystem services. In this paper, we outline the common practices and products of agroforestry as well as beneficial environmental and social effects. We address barriers to agroforestry and explore potential options to alter policies and increase adoption by farmers. We conclude that agroforestry is one of the best land use strategies to contribute to food security while simultaneously limiting environmental degradation. Full article
Open AccessReview Vulnerability Assessment Models to Drought: Toward a Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 588; doi:10.3390/su8060588
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Drought is regarded as a slow-onset natural disaster that causes inevitable damage to water resources and to farm life. Currently, crisis management is the basis of drought mitigation plans, however, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies are based on risk
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Drought is regarded as a slow-onset natural disaster that causes inevitable damage to water resources and to farm life. Currently, crisis management is the basis of drought mitigation plans, however, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies are based on risk management. As a primary tool in mitigating the impact of drought, vulnerability assessment can be used as a benchmark in drought mitigation plans and to enhance farmers’ ability to cope with drought. Moreover, literature pertaining to drought has focused extensively on its impact, only awarding limited attention to vulnerability assessment as a tool. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for designing a vulnerability model in order to assess farmers’ level of vulnerability before, during and after the onset of drought. Use of this developed drought vulnerability model would aid disaster relief workers by enhancing the adaptive capacity of farmers when facing the impacts of drought. The paper starts with the definition of vulnerability and outlines different frameworks on vulnerability developed thus far. It then identifies various approaches of vulnerability assessment and finally offers the most appropriate model. The paper concludes that the introduced model can guide drought mitigation programs in countries that are impacted the most by drought. Full article

Other

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Open AccessCase Report Learning from Regional Sustainable Development in The Netherlands: Explorations from a Learning History
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 527; doi:10.3390/su8060527
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 22 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This case report is about a regional land-use planning project in the Netherlands. Initiated by the province of Gelderland and Radboud University (RU), the project aimed to create “Communities of Ownership” (CoO’s), local associations of townspeople who would engage in collaborative vision-building related
[...] Read more.
This case report is about a regional land-use planning project in the Netherlands. Initiated by the province of Gelderland and Radboud University (RU), the project aimed to create “Communities of Ownership” (CoO’s), local associations of townspeople who would engage in collaborative vision-building related to sustainable land development. The guiding conceptual model was “The Natural Step” (TNS), a systems-level approach to sustainability. We describe the land-use project and the learning history we constructed to help project managers and facilitators learn from the different perspectives that project actors conveyed. The learning history indicated that the project had limited success. We discuss four factors shaping the project’s results and the lessons learned related to those factors. The first lesson concerns the importance of a shared vision for sustainability among stakeholder groups. The second focuses on the preconditions necessary to work with The Natural Step effectively in certain contexts. Lesson three is about what it takes for a learning history to serve as a catalyst for collective learning and project improvement. Lesson four sheds light on the importance of respecting differences in stakeholders’ levels of sustainability awareness. We speculate that these differences may have shared characteristics with the kind of developmental differences that constructivist stage theorists of human development have articulated. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for the leadership of sustainability initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessShort Note The Rise of the Food Risk Society and the Changing Nature of the Technological Treadmill
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 584; doi:10.3390/su8060584
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic development of transition and developed countries is associated with increasingly unhealthy dietary habits among low-income population segments. Drawing on Ulrich Beck’s sociological theory of risk society, the present research note calls attention to the positive relation between national economic development and food
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Economic development of transition and developed countries is associated with increasingly unhealthy dietary habits among low-income population segments. Drawing on Ulrich Beck’s sociological theory of risk society, the present research note calls attention to the positive relation between national economic development and food risks that result in the rise of food-related diseases and healthcare costs. On this basis, we argue that the knowledge-intensive agribusiness may translate Cochrane’s technological treadmill into Beck’s risk treadmill that shifts a growing share of food-related healthcare costs from producers toward consumers, state, and the healthcare system. This argument motivates a novel research program dealing with the “food risk treadmill” that emerges in response to modern farming and agribusiness practices. Awareness of the food risk treadmill may help to streamline the development of agricultural science and to prevent it from being excessively dominated by the agricultural and food industry. Full article

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