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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2017)

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Cover Story This study explores the values and attitudes of dairy and beef farmers in Galicia (Spain) who [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Towards Sustainable Land Use in China: A Collection of Empirical Studies
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2129; doi:10.3390/su9112129 (registering DOI)
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
Achieving sustainable land use is one of the most important ways to achieve regional socio-economic sustainable development. We have collected 12 papers in this special issue “Sustainable Land Use in China” to show the varied application of sustainable land use studies and to
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Achieving sustainable land use is one of the most important ways to achieve regional socio-economic sustainable development. We have collected 12 papers in this special issue “Sustainable Land Use in China” to show the varied application of sustainable land use studies and to provide meaningful decision-making information and policy implications for land use planners. We summarize the contributions to this special issue on sustainable land use and place them in perspective. Several studies focus on sustainable urban land use, some focus on sustainable rural land use, and others on environmental issues on land use. These studies have analyzed a broad array of topics related to land use, including the dynamic changes and driving forces of land use spatial patterns, sustainable land use, land use policy and optimization, and the environmental problems related to certain types of land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Economical and Environmental Costs for the Selection of Municipal Solid Waste Treatment and Disposal Scenarios through Multicriteria Analysis (ELECTRE Method)
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1758; doi:10.3390/su9111758
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Decision-making for the selection of treatment alternatives and landfilling of municipal solid waste (MSW) is based on the experience and judgment of those management responsible, without considering multicriteria analysis. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to determine the treatment scenario and landfilling
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Decision-making for the selection of treatment alternatives and landfilling of municipal solid waste (MSW) is based on the experience and judgment of those management responsible, without considering multicriteria analysis. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to determine the treatment scenario and landfilling of MSW with the lowest environmental and economic costs in a medium-sized city. The methodology included the definition and data processing of the project (population, generation, and composition of MSW), for 16 years. In the design of scenarios, recycling, composting, incineration with energy recovery, and landfilling treatments were proposed; later, the combinations of treatments for each type of residue were generated. The results showed 36 scenarios, then the ELECTRE method was applied to the five with the lowest economical and environmental costs. Finally from the latter, one dominant scenario was determined: organic waste in composting; plastic, paper, and glass in recycling; and ‘others’ in landfilling. It is concluded that the final decision on the scenario is adapted to the particular conditions of the locality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Technological and Management Options for Accelerating Transformational Changes in Rice and Livestock Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1891; doi:10.3390/su9111891
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Agricultural producers grapple with low farm yields and declining ecosystem services within their landscapes. In several instances, agricultural production systems may be considered largely unsustainable in socioeconomic and ecological (resource conservation and use and impact on nature) terms. Novel technological and management options
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Agricultural producers grapple with low farm yields and declining ecosystem services within their landscapes. In several instances, agricultural production systems may be considered largely unsustainable in socioeconomic and ecological (resource conservation and use and impact on nature) terms. Novel technological and management options that can serve as vehicles to promote the provision of multiple benefits, including the improvement of smallholder livelihoods, are needed. We call for a paradigm shift to allow designing and implementing agricultural systems that are not only efficient (serving as a means to promote development based on the concept of creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste) but can also be considered synergistic (symbiotic relationship between socio-ecological systems) by simultaneously contributing to major objectives of economic, ecological, and social (equity) improvement of agro-ecosystems. These transformations require strategic approaches that are supported by participatory system-level research, experimentation, and innovation. Using data from several studies, we here provide evidence for technological and management options that could be optimized, promoted, and adopted to enable agricultural systems to be efficient, effective, and, indeed, sustainable. Specifically, we present results from a study conducted in Colombia, which demonstrated that, in rice systems, improved water management practices such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) reduce methane emissions (~70%). We also show how women can play a key role in AWD adoption. For livestock systems, we present in vitro evidence showing that the use of alternative feed options such as cassava leaves contributes to livestock feed supplementation and could represent a cost-effective approach for reducing enteric methane emissions (22% to 55%). We argue that to design and benefit from sustainable agricultural systems, there is a need for better targeting of interventions that are co-designed, co-evaluated, and co-promoted, with farmers as allies of transformational change (as done in the climate-smart villages), not as recipients of external knowledge. Moreover, for inclusive sustainability that harnesses existing knowledge and influences decision-making processes across scales, there is a need for constant, efficient, effective, and real trans-disciplinary communication and collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Substitution Effect on China’s Heavy Industry: Perspectives of a Translog Production Function and Ridge Regression
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1892; doi:10.3390/su9111892
Received: 17 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
A translog production function model with input factors including energy, capital, and labor is established for China’s heavy industry. Using the ridge regression method, the output elasticity of each input factor and the substitution elasticity between input factors are analyzed. The empirical results
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A translog production function model with input factors including energy, capital, and labor is established for China’s heavy industry. Using the ridge regression method, the output elasticity of each input factor and the substitution elasticity between input factors are analyzed. The empirical results show that the output elasticity of energy, capital and labor are all positive, while the output elasticities of energy and capital are relatively higher, indicating that China’s heavy industry is energy- and capital-intensive. Simultaneously, all the input factors are substitutes, with the substitution between labor and energy having the highest degree of responsiveness. The substitution elasticity between labor and energy is decreasing, while the substitution elasticities of capital for energy and labor are increasing. More capital input can help to improve energy efficiency and thus accomplish the goal of energy conservation in China’s heavy industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Large Seed Banks Requirement for Drought Risk Management in South Asia
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1901; doi:10.3390/su9111901
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Agriculture in South Asia is largely dependent on rainfall, where about two-thirds of the cultivable lands lack irrigation facilities. In recent years, increasing frequency and severity of droughts have had a severe impact on rainfed agriculture and livelihood of millions of farmers in
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Agriculture in South Asia is largely dependent on rainfall, where about two-thirds of the cultivable lands lack irrigation facilities. In recent years, increasing frequency and severity of droughts have had a severe impact on rainfed agriculture and livelihood of millions of farmers in the region. There are numerous drought adaptation and mitigation options available for rainfed agriculture. A seed bank is one of those options that can play an important role in minimizing the effect of droughts on crop production. This paper assesses the need for seed banks in rainfed/partially irrigated areas of South Asia for the purpose of drought risk management. The need for additional seeds of the main crops or suitable alternative crops for re-sowing/planting after drought-induced losses of the main crop was assessed by using long-term gridded rainfall data and crop information. Results show that very limited rainfed areas in South Asia require additional seeds of main or alternative crops for drought risk management once in five to seven years’ drought return period. About 90 percent of such areas in South Asia may require additional seeds for drought risk management once in 10 years or more. The timing and severity of droughts during cropping season and cost/benefits of seed bank maintenance play a major role in choosing additional seeds for the main crops and/or alternate crops for maintenance in the large seed banks. This study shows that, despite the large investment requirement, maintenance of large seed banks for drought risks management is economically viable for the limited areas in South Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Activity of Mining Industry Leaders in Poland in Line with the Principles of Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1903; doi:10.3390/su9111903
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
As mining companies reveal more and more public information about themselves, the behaviour fosters a better image. This article aims to present two industry leaders in the context of environmental requirements they have met (status at the end of 2015), acting in compliance
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As mining companies reveal more and more public information about themselves, the behaviour fosters a better image. This article aims to present two industry leaders in the context of environmental requirements they have met (status at the end of 2015), acting in compliance with the general principles of a socially responsible business. The choice of KGHM (Kombinat Gorniczo-Hutniczy Miedzi) companies (copper ores and other accompanying elements) CG PGE (Capital Group Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A.) (lignite) was dictated by their significant share in the mining industry in Poland. The environmental aspects of the integrated monthly reports were listed and grouped in detail in accordance with the applicable Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and GRI G4 Mining and Metals guidelines. The values of environmental indicators have been analysed over the years, including inter alia data concerning gas emissions, that is, CO2, SOx, NOx, PM or generated waste and sewage. Also, with regard to the environmental aspect of the work, energy consumption in companies is presented together with the characteristics of the fuel balance. The final part of the article compares the value of the revenues to the budgets of local government units (communes) from the operating fee paid by entrepreneurs and expenditures of these municipalities on environmental protection, as additional support by these entities (2013–2015). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing for Wetland Mapping and Historical Change Detection at the Nisqually River Delta
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1919; doi:10.3390/su9111919
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Coastal wetlands are important ecosystems for carbon storage and coastal resilience to climate change and sea-level rise. As such, changes in wetland habitat types can also impact ecosystem functions. Our goal was to quantify historical vegetation change within the Nisqually River watershed relevant
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Coastal wetlands are important ecosystems for carbon storage and coastal resilience to climate change and sea-level rise. As such, changes in wetland habitat types can also impact ecosystem functions. Our goal was to quantify historical vegetation change within the Nisqually River watershed relevant to carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and wetland sustainability, and identify watershed-scale anthropogenic and hydrodynamic drivers of these changes. To achieve this, we produced time-series classifications of habitat, photosynthetic pathway functional types and species in the Nisqually River Delta for the years 1957, 1980, and 2015. Using an object-oriented approach, we performed a hierarchical classification on historical and current imagery to identify change within the watershed and wetland ecosystems. We found a 188.4 ha (79%) increase in emergent marsh wetland within the Nisqually River Delta between 1957 and 2015 as a result of restoration efforts that occurred in several phases through 2009. Despite these wetland gains, a total of 83.1 ha (35%) of marsh was lost between 1957 and 2015, particularly in areas near the Nisqually River mouth due to erosion and shifting river channels, resulting in a net wetland gain of 105.4 ha (44%). We found the trajectory of wetland recovery coincided with previous studies, demonstrating the role of remote sensing for historical wetland change detection as well as future coastal wetland monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using a Spatial Interaction Model to Assess the Accessibility of District Parks in Hong Kong
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1924; doi:10.3390/su9111924
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Urban parks are key elements of the urban landscape. They provide important ecological, environmental, and social value as well as spaces for outdoor activities to contribute to urban sustainability. Reasonable accessibility is fundamental for people to take full advantage of the benefits of
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Urban parks are key elements of the urban landscape. They provide important ecological, environmental, and social value as well as spaces for outdoor activities to contribute to urban sustainability. Reasonable accessibility is fundamental for people to take full advantage of the benefits of parks. Spatial interaction models are useful in many fields, especially in static systems. The proposed model has been validated for analyzing the accessibility of district parks in Hong Kong. The accessibility index was calculated using the population in catchment zones lying within a walking distance of 400 m, considering the population that the parks serve, the distance between residential areas and parks, the park area, and the facilities and current condition of green spaces in the parks. The results indicate that the index is strongly related to the spatial pattern of residential areas and the shape and spatial pattern of district parks. High accessibility is always associated with parks located in centers of population concentration rather than in the geographical centers of built-up areas. The catchment zones of district parks within walking distance only cover one-fourth of residential areas, and most residents do not have convenient access to reach parks on foot. The district parks were established without much concern for increasing accessibility. No districts have enough district parks to meet the needs of their residents. Future parks should preferably be elongated to serve more nearby residents, especially in extremely compact cities like Hong Kong. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Adoption and Implementation of Transdisciplinary Research in the Field of Land-Use Science—A Comparative Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1926; doi:10.3390/su9111926
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Transdisciplinary research (TDR) is discussed as a promising approach in land-use science and spatial research to address complex multifaceted “real-world problems” and to design strategies and solutions for sustainable development. TDR has become a widespread research approach in sustainability science and is increasingly
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Transdisciplinary research (TDR) is discussed as a promising approach in land-use science and spatial research to address complex multifaceted “real-world problems” and to design strategies and solutions for sustainable development. TDR has become a widespread research approach in sustainability science and is increasingly promoted by research programmes and agencies (e.g., Future Earth and Horizon 2020). Against this backdrop, TDR can be considered a (social) innovation in the academic system, which is currently in the midst of an up-scaling diffusion process from a rather small TDR-advocating expert community to a broader science-practice community. We argue that this up-scaling phase also places TDR in a critical state as the concept potentially risks a type of “rhetorical mainstreaming”. The objectives of this study were to analyse how the challenging approach of TDR is currently adopted and implemented in the field of land-use research and to identify potential influencing factors. We studied 13 transdisciplinary research projects from Germany by performing qualitative interviews with coordinators, document analysis and participatory observation during meetings over a period of five years. Results show that the adoption level of the TDR concept varied widely among the studied projects, as did the adoption of the TDR indicators used in our analysis. In many of the investigated projects, we identified a clear lack of conceptual knowledge of TDR. In addition, we found that current academic structures limit the ability of researchers to thoroughly adapt to the requirements of TDR. We conclude that further communication and educational efforts that promote TDR are required. In addition, we advocate for the development of suitable funding instruments that support sustained research structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Objective Trade-Off Model in Sustainable Construction Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1929; doi:10.3390/su9111929
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Based on the consideration of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives and the inherent nature of sustainable construction projects, this study proposes that the contractor can balance the levels of efforts and resources used to improve the overall project sustainability. A multi-objective trade-off
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Based on the consideration of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives and the inherent nature of sustainable construction projects, this study proposes that the contractor can balance the levels of efforts and resources used to improve the overall project sustainability. A multi-objective trade-off model using game theory was established and verified through simulation and numerical example under a moral hazard situation. Results indicate that effort levels of the contractor on sustainability-related objectives are positively related to the outcome coefficient while negatively to the coefficients of effort cost of the relevant objectives. High levels of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives contribute to high levels of effort of the contractor. With the variation in effort levels and the coefficient of benefit allocation, the project net benefit increases before declining. The function of project benefit has a marked peak value, with an inverted “U” shape. An equilibrium always exists as for the given relative importance and coefficients of the effort costs of sustainability-related objectives. Under this condition, the owner may offer the contractor a less intense incentive and motivate the contractor reasonably arranging input resources. The coefficient of benefit allocation is affected by the contractor characteristic factors and the project characteristic factors. The owner should balance these two types of factors and select the most appropriate incentive mechanism to improve the project benefit. Meanwhile, the contractor can balance the relative importance of the objectives and arrange the appropriate levels of effort and resources to achieve a sustainability-related objective. Very few studies have emphasized the effects of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives on the benefits of sustainable construction projects. This study therefore builds a multi-objective trade-off model to bridge this research gap. This study sheds significant theoretical and practical insights regarding the objective management of sustainability-related objectives, as well as insights into the improvement of performance in sustainable construction projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Managerial Efficiency of Educational Tourism in Agriculture: Case of Dairy Farms in Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1931; doi:10.3390/su9111931
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Many rural areas face difficulty in how to motivate farmers to embark on diversified activities, such as tourism, while raising managerial efficiency. Thus, this paper conceptually and empirically evaluated how a farmer’s identity correlates with managerial efficiency since the connection between the two
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Many rural areas face difficulty in how to motivate farmers to embark on diversified activities, such as tourism, while raising managerial efficiency. Thus, this paper conceptually and empirically evaluated how a farmer’s identity correlates with managerial efficiency since the connection between the two has not been explored fully. We have addressed this issue through examining farmers’ efforts in providing an emerging new educational tourism service by focusing on the Educational Dairy Farms in Japan. Conceptually, this paper classified farmers’ identity into two types: traditional identity as a simple farm producer offering an educational service as a volunteer, and, enlarged identity, which is oriented toward viability of a new service activity. Empirically, data envelopment analysis revealed that those with the enlarged identity realized a higher managerial efficiency although there was much room for improvement in overall managerial efficiency. Consequently, support measures with a wider perspective that include identity issues should be designed for capacity building of farmers who are conducting tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism, Rural Development and Rural Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle Combining GIS Applications and Method of Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (AHP) for Landfill Siting in Al-Hashimiyah Qadhaa, Babylon, Iraq
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1932; doi:10.3390/su9111932
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Landfill siting is a complex process. It is one of the major problems in waste management, where many factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a suitable site for landfill in any given area. At the present time, there are many random
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Landfill siting is a complex process. It is one of the major problems in waste management, where many factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a suitable site for landfill in any given area. At the present time, there are many random waste disposal sites distributed throughout Al-Hashimiyah Qadhaa in Iraq. In this study, the Geographic Information System (GIS) and the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) were used to select the best sites for landfill. The process of selecting sites for landfill in Al-Hashimiyah Qadhaa comprised two steps. First, fifteen different criteria were mapped and incorporated into overlay analyses within GIS software to produce the final suitability index map for the site. The second step comprises the exclusion of unsuitable areas from the final map to simplify identification of the candidate sites for landfill in the study area. The weightings of criteria were identified using AHP, and the weightings of the sub-criteria of each criterion were determined based on multiple factors. In order to accommodate solid waste from 2020 until 2030, two suitable candidate landfill sites were determined which fulfill the required area of 1.013 km2 with areas of 1.374 km2 and 1.288 km2 respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Non-Revenue Water Ratio for Sustainable Management Using Artificial Neural Network and Z-Score in Incheon, Republic of Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1933; doi:10.3390/su9111933
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
The non-revenue water (NRW) ratio in a water distribution system is the ratio of the loss due to unbilled authorized consumption, apparent losses and real losses to the overall system input volume (SIV). The method of estimating the NRW ratio by measurement might
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The non-revenue water (NRW) ratio in a water distribution system is the ratio of the loss due to unbilled authorized consumption, apparent losses and real losses to the overall system input volume (SIV). The method of estimating the NRW ratio by measurement might not work in an area with no district metered areas (DMAs) or with unclear administrative district. Through multiple regression analyses is a statistical analysis method for calculating the NRW ratio using the main parameters of the water distribution system, although its disadvantage is lower accuracy than that of the measured NRW ratio. In this study, an artificial neural network (ANN) was used to estimate the NRW ratio. The results of the study proved that the accuracy of NRW ratio calculated by the ANN model was higher than by multiple regression analysis. The developed ANN model was shown to have an accuracy that varies depending on the number of neurons in the hidden layer. Therefore, when using the ANN model, the optimal number of neurons must be determined. In addition, the accuracy of the outlier removal condition was higher than that of the original data used condition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure: An Empirical Study of Polish Listed Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1934; doi:10.3390/su9111934
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
In this paper we explore whether a number of elements influence the levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in the annual reports of Polish companies. These elements include the following: company size, profitability, financial leverage, industry environmental sensitivity, board size, women on
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In this paper we explore whether a number of elements influence the levels of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in the annual reports of Polish companies. These elements include the following: company size, profitability, financial leverage, industry environmental sensitivity, board size, women on the board, internationalization, and reputation. We use content analysis to determine the quality of CSR disclosures. We test our hypotheses using a Tobit regression analysis on a sample of 60 reports from Polish companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. We find industry environmental sensitivity to have significant influence on CSR disclosures. Our research findings also reveal a relationship between company turnover, duration of the stock exchange listing, inclusion in the Respect Index portfolio and foreign capital share, and the level of CSR disclosures. This study extends the scope of previous studies by including non-commonly used independent variables: the company’s internationalization and reputation. To the authors’ knowledge, it is the primary step to investigating CSR reporting practices coupled with the corporate characteristics in a Central and Eastern European country such as Poland. The paper contributes to the understanding of determinants of CSR disclosure and offers findings which are potentially useful for both theory and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evolution of Urban Socio-Spatial Structure in Modern Times in Xi’an, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1935; doi:10.3390/su9111935
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Urban socio-spatial structure has been extensively studied in the Western context but is less researched in Chinese cities, particularly those in less developed regions. To clarify its evolution and evolutionary mechanisms, the city of Xi’an is considered as an empirical case, using factor
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Urban socio-spatial structure has been extensively studied in the Western context but is less researched in Chinese cities, particularly those in less developed regions. To clarify its evolution and evolutionary mechanisms, the city of Xi’an is considered as an empirical case, using factor ecological analysis for modern times. Research results are concluded as follows: the types and affecting factors of social space continued to increase. Urban socio-spatial structure evolved from single-core pattern to single-core pattern with enclaves, and later showed a more mosaic tendency. The political and socio-economic backgrounds of different periods have had a great influence on the urban socio-spatial structure. The research results have theoretical significance for optimizing socio-spatial structure and understanding the urban space of Xi’an. Compared with studies of other cities in China and cities in western countries, the evolution of urban socio-spatial structure in China shows the characteristics of circle expansion and the gradual and stable transition under socialist ideology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle (Dis)Trust, Control, and Project Success: From a Chinese Project Owner’s Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1936; doi:10.3390/su9111936
Received: 10 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
This research aims to investigate the relationship between interorganizational trust and control and their effects on the project success from the perspective of project owners. Based on relevant literature and the actual situation in the Chinese construction industry, trust was classified as calculative
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This research aims to investigate the relationship between interorganizational trust and control and their effects on the project success from the perspective of project owners. Based on relevant literature and the actual situation in the Chinese construction industry, trust was classified as calculative trust and relational trust, and control was classified as outcome control, behavior control, and social control. Results show that project owners’ distrust of contractors is independent of project owners’ trust of contractors. Calculative trust has a positive influence on all kinds of control. Relational trust has negative impacts on outcome control and behavior control and positive impacts on social control. Of the three kinds of control, outcome and behavior control have negative impacts on social control. All constructs have positive impacts on project success. Project managers should be aware that distrust has a positive influence on project success through the mediation effects of control. Similarly, social control is the most influential type of control, influencing the controller to internalize norms to complete project tasks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle NFC Evaluation in the Development of Mobile Applications for MICE in Tourism
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1937; doi:10.3390/su9111937
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents an analysis and implementation of a service for the deployment of events in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) category, to answer the question: how can Near Field Communication (NFC) and mobile applications contribute to the development of tourism
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This paper presents an analysis and implementation of a service for the deployment of events in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) category, to answer the question: how can Near Field Communication (NFC) and mobile applications contribute to the development of tourism in the MICE category? First is an analysis of the applications that are currently on the market and an extraction of the features of greater relevance; later, we define the functionalities for our service, and finally we provide a performance test in a MICE-type event, the seventh Seminar on Emerging Technologies in Telecommunications “TET 2016” developed in Popayán, Colombia and the results of the experience are analyzed. The use of NFC technology with a mobile application allows the experience to be improved when a MICE event was made, for both the user and the organizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
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Open AccessArticle Design, Prototyping, and Assessment of a Wastewater Closed-Loop Recovery and Purification System
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1938; doi:10.3390/su9111938
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Efforts to decrease the water use within industry are mandatory to pursue product and process sustainability. Particularly, the European Union (EU) is at the top level for water consumption in industry, while some sectors, such as the food and beverage (F&B), are highly
[...] Read more.
Efforts to decrease the water use within industry are mandatory to pursue product and process sustainability. Particularly, the European Union (EU) is at the top level for water consumption in industry, while some sectors, such as the food and beverage (F&B), are highly water-intensive with hundreds of liters per hour of consumed and, then, drained water. This article provides a systematic overview of the most innovative insights coming from an EU Eco-Innovation project dealing with greening the F&B industry through the design, prototyping, technical, economic, and environmental assessment of a wastewater closed-loop recovery and purification system. The system, tailored for a standard mid-size F&B company using 2–3 billion L/year of raw water, collects, purifies and recirculates the key produced wastewater streams with an overall recovery efficiency of about 56%. The proposed purification technology comes from the most efficient combination of membrane-based filtration methods, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet modules. Evidence from the technical design, full-scale on-site technology prototyping, net-present-value (NPV) analysis and system life-cycle-assessment (LCA) are presented concluding about the convenience of adopting the proposed solution to reduce costs and impacts on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Sufficiency versus Security: How Trade Protectionism Challenges the Sustainability of the Food Supply in Russia
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1939; doi:10.3390/su9111939
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Food security is increasingly influenced by multilateral trade systems and foreign trade policies implemented by national governments. Many of them are now concerned about the sustainability of food supply and the vulnerability of domestic food markets to price volatility, and seek to support
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Food security is increasingly influenced by multilateral trade systems and foreign trade policies implemented by national governments. Many of them are now concerned about the sustainability of food supply and the vulnerability of domestic food markets to price volatility, and seek to support domestic producers and protect themselves from increasing food imports. Such restrictions improve food self-sufficiency, but decrease food security. It is important to understand any changes that may have occurred in the food consumption pattern due to trade protectionism and to observe any nutritional implications of these changes. This paper employs the rational food security (RFS) assessment approach, which differentiates sources of food supply on the domestic market, assesses the influence of agricultural and trade frameworks on food consumption patterns, and complies consumption with the appropriate food intake threshold. In the case of Russia, the study demonstrates that the conventional consumption approach to self-sufficiency (FSCA) underestimates the food insecurity level by not accounting for nutrition factors. In addition, the gap between the FSCA and the RFS increases in times of protectionist trade policy and decreases when the agricultural and trade policy framework turns to liberalization. The paper concludes that trade protectionism challenges the sustainability of food supply by decreasing food availability and quality of food products, causes dietary changes, and threatens the food security of the country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urbanization and Development Goals Strategy through Public–Private Partnerships in a South-Asian Metropolis
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1940; doi:10.3390/su9111940
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
Contemporary urbanization appears as a conundrum especially in developing nations. This study will act as an accelerator to spill out snags caused by urbanization with a new approach in the development of sustainable infrastructure through Public–Private Partnerships (3Ps). This study first explains the
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Contemporary urbanization appears as a conundrum especially in developing nations. This study will act as an accelerator to spill out snags caused by urbanization with a new approach in the development of sustainable infrastructure through Public–Private Partnerships (3Ps). This study first explains the complications generated by rapid urbanization in different infrastructural sectors in South Asian mega cities like Dhaka and Lahore. Second, the findings of the study elaborate on a new mechanism to adapt to Sustainable Development Goal 11 declared by the United Nations with the engagement of different stake holders working in different silos through 3Ps (like BOT, BOOT, BLT, DBF, PFI etc.). This study uses case studies as part of the research mixed methodology. Studies on Dhaka and Lahore including multi projects through 3Ps, and a detailed questionnaire survey based on critical risk factors from the Meta review of 3P literature are presented to establish the current status of sustainable development goals. This paper primarily contributes in two ways. First, by providing a new direction to policy makers to devise policies using a twofold approach i.e., grasp urbanization with sustainable infrastructure delivery by sustainable enactment of 3P projects. Second, bridge the knowledge gap by identifying the risk factors in the sustainable establishment of 3P projects in developing nations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Have Political Incentives for Local Officials Reduced Environmental Pollution in Resource-Depleted Cities?
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1941; doi:10.3390/su9111941
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Chinese resource-exhausted cities face more severe environmental pollution problems than other cities. In addressing these problems, the way local officials (usually senior party and government leaders) operate is very important, as their focus on political achievements may complicate how they manage environmental pollution
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Chinese resource-exhausted cities face more severe environmental pollution problems than other cities. In addressing these problems, the way local officials (usually senior party and government leaders) operate is very important, as their focus on political achievements may complicate how they manage environmental pollution in these cities. On the one hand, the traditional Gross Domestic Product-based quest for political achievement may lead top leaders to de-emphasize environmental pollution. On the other hand, changes made in 2003 to the way the performance of Chinese officials is evaluated have encouraged some local senior party and government leaders to pay more attention to environmental problems. Based on this, we analyze the relationship between political incentives and environmental pollution by applying the 2004–2014 panel data from 37 resource-exhausted cities. The findings reveal that firstly, among the factors which impact the environmental pollution of resource-exhausted cities, investment in fixed assets, foreign direct investment, industrial structure, per-capita education expenditure, and population density do not have a significant impact, thus indicating that local openness levels, the degree of industrial upgrading, and local investment in fixed assets are not the key variables in environmental pollution control. Secondly, the extent to which officials vie for political achievement affects environmental pollution in resource-exhausted cities. This depends upon whether the officials are municipal party secretaries or mayors; the former play a greater dynamic role in environmental pollution and have stronger robustness than the latter. The conclusion verifies both the existing authority structure of China and its effectiveness in the control of environmental pollution of resource-exhausted cities. That is to say, in contrast to the principles of the party committees, the mayors are in a subordinate position and often fail to fully and effectively exercise their functions. Accordingly, we point out that the selection of municipal party secretaries, rather than mayors, is particularly important in coming to terms with local environmental pollution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Stochastic Optimization Model for Carbon Mitigation Path under Demand Uncertainty of the Power Sector in Shenzhen, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1942; doi:10.3390/su9111942
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
In order to solve problems caused by climate change, countries around the world should work together to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, especially CO2 emissions. Power demand takes up the largest proportion of final energy demand in China, so the key to
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In order to solve problems caused by climate change, countries around the world should work together to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, especially CO2 emissions. Power demand takes up the largest proportion of final energy demand in China, so the key to achieve its goal of energy-saving and emission reduction is to reduce the carbon emissions in the power sector. Taking Shenzhen as an example, this paper proposed a stochastic optimization model incorporating power demand uncertainty to plan the carbon mitigation path of power sector between 2015 and 2030. The results show that, in order to achieve the optimal path in Shenzhen’s power sector, the carbon mitigation technologies of existing coal and gas-fired power plants will be 100% implemented. Two-thirds and remaining one-third of coal-fired power plant capacities are going to be decommissioned in 2023 and 2028, respectively. Gas-fired power, distributed photovoltaic power, waste-to-energy power and CCHP (Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power) are going to expand their capacities gradually. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Influencing Mechanism of Potential Factors on Passengers’ Long-Distance Travel Mode Choices Based on Structural Equation Modeling
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1943; doi:10.3390/su9111943
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the public transportation users’ preferences to long-distance travel modes would contribute to reasonable developing policies and resource allocation. This paper aims to explore the influencing mechanism of potential factors on the long-distance travel mode choice. A survey was conducted to collect the
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Understanding the public transportation users’ preferences to long-distance travel modes would contribute to reasonable developing policies and resource allocation. This paper aims to explore the influencing mechanism of potential factors on the long-distance travel mode choice. A survey was conducted to collect the data. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) approach was applied to analyze the correlation relationship between potential factors and travel mode choice behavior. The results showed that, except gender, service demand for safety and departure time, all of the other factors significantly influenced the travel mode choice behavior. Specifically, passengers with higher education level and income level were more likely to choose high-speed railway (HSR) and plane; passengers caring about travel expense were more likely to choose ordinary train, whereas plane and HSR may be chosen more by passengers caring more about comfort, punctuality and efficiency; the more passengers were satisfied with travel modes’ service performance, the more they would be likely to choose them; the most competitive distance ranges for coach, ordinary train, HSR and plane were below 500 km, 500–1000 km, 500–1500 km and over 1500 km, respectively. Besides, the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was applied to investigate the influencing mechanism of factors on the long-distance travel mode choice. The results revealed that travel distance was the most significant variable directly influencing passengers’ mode choices, followed by the service demand, performance evaluation, and personal attributes. Furthermore, personal attributes were verified to have an indirect effect on travel mode choice behavior by significantly affecting the service demand and performance evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Developing Sustainable Workplaces with Leadership: Feedback about Organizational Working Conditions to Support Leaders in Health-Promoting Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1944; doi:10.3390/su9111944
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Organizations should support leaders in promoting their employees’ health in every possible way to achieve a sustainable workplace. A good way to support leaders could include getting feedback about their health-promoting behavior from their employees. The present study introduces an instrument (Health-Promoting Leadership
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Organizations should support leaders in promoting their employees’ health in every possible way to achieve a sustainable workplace. A good way to support leaders could include getting feedback about their health-promoting behavior from their employees. The present study introduces an instrument (Health-Promoting Leadership Conditions; HPLC) that enables the provision of feedback about the leaders’ efforts to create health-promoting working conditions in seven key aspects: health awareness, workload, control, reward, community, fairness and value-fit. The instrument was used in employee surveys and in an online study, obtaining a sample of 430 participants. The results showed that all seven key aspects of health-promoting leadership can be assigned to a main factor of health-promoting leadership. In addition, the HPLC shows high construct validity with dimensions of stress, resources and burnout (Recovery-Stress- Questionnaire for Work [RESTQ-Work] and Maslach Burnout Inventory General Survey [MBI-GS]). The results indicate that the HPLC can be used as a basis on which to assess health-promoting leadership behavior with a focus on changing working conditions. By getting feedback about their leadership behavior from their employees, leaders can identify their potential and fields for improvement for supporting their employees’ health and developing a sustainable workplace. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Interactive Knowledge Co-Production and Integration for Healthy Urban Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1945; doi:10.3390/su9111945
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
The transformation of cities towards healthy urban living environments for all is a challenge that needs to be addressed through collaboration of all relevant sectors in a transdisciplinary research processes. This paper reports on the design and showcase implementation of a methodological approach,
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The transformation of cities towards healthy urban living environments for all is a challenge that needs to be addressed through collaboration of all relevant sectors in a transdisciplinary research processes. This paper reports on the design and showcase implementation of a methodological approach, named Interactive Spatial Understanding Support System (ISUSS), that is intended to support interactive knowledge co-production and integration among practitioners and researcher in a specific local context. The approach involves the combined use of interactive maps on a MapTable and a rich picture. The goal is to stimulate, articulate and map stakeholders’ knowledge on environmental health issues to come to a shared problem understanding. Drawing on the rich seam of data gathered over the reflexive engagement with the participants in Dortmund, Germany, we explored incidences of a transdisciplinary process. Findings suggest that the approach has the potential to encourage communication and social learning geared towards a shared understanding of the holistic problem situation. Whilst locally embedded spatial knowledge was shared using interactive maps on the MapTable, the rich picture elicited issues linked to wider geographical scale as well as non-spatial drivers. The paper concludes discussing research needs to further explore the approach among various other groups, including citizens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Jatropha Suppliers as Contributors to the Sustainability of the Production of Bioelectricity in Ecuador
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1946; doi:10.3390/su9111946
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
The “Jatropha for Galápagos” (JFG) project in Ecuador aims to progressively replace diesel with jatropha oil in the generation of electricity in The Galápagos Islands. Thus, understanding and motivating the participation of jatropha suppliers is a priority for the sustainability of JFG. For
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The “Jatropha for Galápagos” (JFG) project in Ecuador aims to progressively replace diesel with jatropha oil in the generation of electricity in The Galápagos Islands. Thus, understanding and motivating the participation of jatropha suppliers is a priority for the sustainability of JFG. For this reason, the factors influencing their decision-making to participate in the project have been identified and analyzed using a binomial logit model. The results show that factors found to positively influence the likelihood of participation include, amongst others, the supplier’s experience within the project, their participation in local organizations, and the degree of satisfaction with the price of jatropha oil. In addition, children from producer families’ collaboration in the harvest of jatropha increases the overall likelihood of participation within the project. Similarly, the distance to the collection center positively influences the chances of participation. Conversely, those suppliers with higher wages and those who declared that jatropha harvest starts in April have a reduced likelihood of participating in the project. The findings obtained from this project can help decision-makers develop new measures to improve the sustainability of the project through initiatives to motivate the participation of jatropha suppliers in the program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Access to Finance in Explaining Cross-National Variation in Entrepreneurial Activity: A Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1947; doi:10.3390/su9111947
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the paper is to investigate to what extent access to finance explains differences in entrepreneurial activity across European Union (EU) member countries. We use a dataset containing information across countries and time to investigate the determinants of entrepreneurial activity in
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The aim of the paper is to investigate to what extent access to finance explains differences in entrepreneurial activity across European Union (EU) member countries. We use a dataset containing information across countries and time to investigate the determinants of entrepreneurial activity in twenty-five EU members over the period between 2007 and 2013. Our sample comprises both periods of difficult access to finance and periods of excessive liquidities. Employing a panel data model with fixed effects, we found a positive relationship between access to finance and entrepreneurial activities. Furthermore, we showed that this positive relationship is more important for the individuals who believe they have the required skills and knowledge to start a business. The results proved to be robust when we employed different measures of entrepreneurial activity and several proxies for access to finance. Our findings provide empirical evidence for the need of policy initiatives at national and EU level to facilitate the creation of sustainable new ventures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Forest Maintenance Practices and Wood Energy Alternatives to Increase Uses of Forest Resources in a Local Initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1949; doi:10.3390/su9111949
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
This study assesses the impact of wood energy use under underutilized conditions of wood resources: the impact on promotion of forest maintenance practices (FMPs), user costs, and local economies, using the case of a local initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan. We conducted two
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This study assesses the impact of wood energy use under underutilized conditions of wood resources: the impact on promotion of forest maintenance practices (FMPs), user costs, and local economies, using the case of a local initiative in Nishiwaga, Iwate, Japan. We conducted two main analyses: resource and economic assessment. For resource assessment, we investigate whether wood supply from FMP residue is sufficient to sustainably satisfy new demand created by a local initiative in Nishiwaga, and in how much forest area can FMPs be performed to satisfy the demand. These questions are analyzed by linear programming. Regarding economic assessment, we investigate whether replacement of fossil fuel by wood energy brings economic benefit to a user and local economy using input–output analysis. Our overall findings demonstrated that the use of wood energy under underutilized situations can lead to an increase of implementations of FMPs and of domestic wood resource supplies from a short-term perspective that comes from residues of the FMPs. We also found that wood energy consumption introduces co-benefits in terms of reduced heating costs for users and a larger economic impact on the local economy than fossil fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Vernacular Climatic Strategies (VCS) on Energy Consumption in Common Residential Buildings in Southern Iran: The Case Study of Bushehr City
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1950; doi:10.3390/su9111950
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
This study aims to use the vernacular climatic strategies (VCS) of traditional dwellings in Bushehr, in the common residential buildings of this southern Iranian city (which is characterized by its hot and humid climate), and provide answers to the following question: What effects
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This study aims to use the vernacular climatic strategies (VCS) of traditional dwellings in Bushehr, in the common residential buildings of this southern Iranian city (which is characterized by its hot and humid climate), and provide answers to the following question: What effects do VCS have in terms of energy consumption in these buildings? This study has been conducted at three levels. At the first level, three context-based climatic solutions including shading, natural ventilation, and insulation of external walls and roofs were identified and selected based on bibliographic study. At the second level, a case study reflecting the current typology of common residential buildings in Bushehr city was selected. A combination of the mentioned climatic solutions was used in the baseline case to create a developed model. Based on the space layout of the developed model and some design criteria, a series of proposed models was also created and modeled. The selected case study building was also used to establish a local weather station at a height of 12 m based on the roof, collecting local climate data which were then used for simulation to improve simulation accuracy. Finally, all models were simulated with the use of Design Builder software under natural ventilation conditions during moderate climatic periods of the year while split air-conditioning systems were used during hot and humid periods. The results showed reductions of 16% in energy consumption and 22% in CO2 emissions for the developed model, and reductions of 24–26% in energy consumption and 32–34% in CO2 emissions for the proposed models, as compared with the baseline model. Furthermore, all proposed models achieved lower annual energy consumption when compared with a selection of international sustainable low energy standards and domestic energy performance references for the Middle East region. Further studies are also recommended, and there is potential for combining VCS with other solutions such as on-site renewable energies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Pattern of Carbon Sequestration and Urban Sustainability: Analysis of Land-Use and Carbon Emission in Guang’an, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1951; doi:10.3390/su9111951
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
The state of the urban carbon cycle is an important indicator for managing fossil energy consumption and land resources and it is also a basis for the planning of urban eco-services and urban sustainable development. This paper aims to analyze the spatial distribution
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The state of the urban carbon cycle is an important indicator for managing fossil energy consumption and land resources and it is also a basis for the planning of urban eco-services and urban sustainable development. This paper aims to analyze the spatial distribution of the carbon cycle of the mono-centric cities, based on the von Thünen concentric ring theory, using the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) model and an atmospheric diffusion model to assess the carbon sequestration capacity of land cover/use, to estimate carbon emissions, discuss influencing factors that determine changing trends in carbon sequestration capacity and to predict the changing law of the carbon sequestration eco-service spatial pattern based on scenario simulations. The results of this study show: (1) In Guang’an, the spatial distribution of the carbon cycle follows a concentric ring pattern. From the concentric ring pattern center, the first annular zone represents the carbon emissions, which lie at the concentric ring center; the second annular zone represents the carbon sequestration service; and the third annular zone represents stable carbon stock; (2) The structure of the concentric ring has not changed, but the spatial distribution of carbon sequestration and carbon density has changed due to fossil energy consumption and land cover/use change. From 2014 to 2016, the carbon emission zone shrunk, while the carbon sequestration service zone expanded and the carbon density increased—the increase of forest land is the main factor in the increase of carbon density; (3) The current carbon sequestration eco-service in Guang’an is not the best development condition. The planning of urban eco-service spatial patterns and land cover/use should consider the protection of cultivated and ecological areas at the same time. The results of this study can help the government implement spatial planning and regional policy interventions for land cover/use and eco-service. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability in Chinese Higher Educational Institutions’ Social Science Research: A Performance Interface toward Efficiency
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1952; doi:10.3390/su9111952
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability issues in higher educational institutions’ (HEIs) research, especially in the social science field, have attracted increasing levels of attention in higher education administration in recent decades as HEIs are confronted with a growing pressure worldwide to increase the efficiency of their research
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Sustainability issues in higher educational institutions’ (HEIs) research, especially in the social science field, have attracted increasing levels of attention in higher education administration in recent decades as HEIs are confronted with a growing pressure worldwide to increase the efficiency of their research activities under a limited volume and relatively equitable division of public funding resources. This paper introduces a theoretical analysis framework based on a data envelopment analysis, separating the social science research process into a foundation stage and a construction stage, and then projecting each HEI into certain quadrants to form several clusters according to their overall and stage efficiencies and corresponding Malmquist Productivity Indices. Furthermore, the interfaces are formed in each cluster as feasible potential improvement directions. The empirical results in detail are demonstrated from a data set of Chinese HEIs in Jiangsu Province over the Twelfth Five-Year period as offering a closer approximation to the “China social science research best practice”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Is Automobile Dependence in Emerging Cities an Irresistible Force? Perspectives from São Paulo, Taipei, Prague, Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1953; doi:10.3390/su9111953
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
This paper analyses seven metropolitan regions that are all experiencing rapid motorisation and are perhaps appearing to capitulate to the automobile. Through 20 years of changes, evidenced in systematic data from the mid-1990s, a different perspective is found. None of the urban regions
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This paper analyses seven metropolitan regions that are all experiencing rapid motorisation and are perhaps appearing to capitulate to the automobile. Through 20 years of changes, evidenced in systematic data from the mid-1990s, a different perspective is found. None of the urban regions appear near to or even capable of becoming automobile cities. Physical limits are already being reached that make higher levels of private motorised mobility very problematic if transport systems are to remain functional and the cities livable. These limits appear already to be reversing the decline in non-motorised modes and creating an upturn in transit systems, especially urban rail. That these cities have been able to either hold their own, or somewhat increase their share of total motorised mobility by transit over a 20-year period, is some indication that they are ‘hitting mobility walls’ much sooner in the motorisation path than cities in North America and Australia, which grew up with and were designed around the spatial needs of cars. Like many cities in the developed world that have shown a decoupling of car use and total passenger mobility from GDP growth from 1995 to 2005, there is now evidence that this is happening in less wealthy cities. This is important because it assists global and local goals for reduced CO2 from passenger transport, while allowing for economic progress. Such evidence suggests that automobile dependence is not an irresistible force in emerging economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition towards Low-Impact and Regenerative Human Settlements)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation and Comparison of TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Products With Reference to Rain Gauge Observations in Hunza River Basin, Karakoram Range, Northern Pakistan
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1954; doi:10.3390/su9111954
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
The performance evaluation of satellite-based precipitation products at local and regional scales is crucial for modification in satellite-based precipitation retrieval algorithms, as well as for the provision of guidance during the selection of substitute precipitation data. This study evaluated the performances of three
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The performance evaluation of satellite-based precipitation products at local and regional scales is crucial for modification in satellite-based precipitation retrieval algorithms, as well as for the provision of guidance during the selection of substitute precipitation data. This study evaluated the performances of three Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) products (3B42V6, 3B42RT and 3B42V7) with a reference to rain gauge observations in the Hunza River basin, northern Pakistan. Multi-spatial (pixel and basin) and temporal (daily, monthly, seasonal and annual) resolutions were considered for performance evaluation of TMPA products. Results revealed that the spatial pattern of observed precipitation over the basin was adequately captured by 3B42V7 but misplaced by 3B42V6 and 3B42RT. All TMPA products were unable to capture the intense precipitation events. On the daily time scale, the performance of TMPA products was very poor over both spatial scales. 3B42V6 underestimated the precipitation (31.25% and 44.27% on pixel and basin scales, respectively). By contrast, 3B42RT significantly overestimated the precipitation (47.91% and 38.62% on pixel and basin scales, respectively), while 3B42V7 showed overestimation (17.30%) on pixel scale and slight underestimation (6.24%) on the basin scale. On the seasonal scale, TMPA products showed significant biases with observed precipitation data. We found that the TMPA products performed relatively better on monthly and annual time scales and overall performance of 3B42V7 product was better than that of 3B42V6 and 3B42RT. The bias in 3B42V7 was improved by 85.90% compared with 3B42V6 and by 116.16% compared with 3B42RT. Thus, it is concluded that the TMPA products were unreliable to capture the intense precipitation events and retain high errors on daily and seasonal scales. Therefore, caution should be considered while using these precipitation estimates as a substitute data in hydrology, meteorology and climatology studies in Hunza River basin. However, due to the reasonable performance of monthly and annual 3B42V7 estimates, these can be used as an acceptable substitute for applications in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial–Temporal Modeling for Regional Economic Development: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from Western China
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1955; doi:10.3390/su9111955
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
The objective of this research is to analyze regional economic difference and explore the influencing factors, which would eventually provide an effective foundation to narrow the regional economic differences. In this paper, a new regional economic difference model is established considering the interactions
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The objective of this research is to analyze regional economic difference and explore the influencing factors, which would eventually provide an effective foundation to narrow the regional economic differences. In this paper, a new regional economic difference model is established considering the interactions between the spatial weight and human capital and foreign direct investment (FDI). With the panel data from twelve western provinces in China, the empirical research is conducted by adopting feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) fixed effects model. The preliminary results show that: (1) the spatial spillover effect of human capital and FDI is significant to the formation of regional economic difference; and (2) the total capital formation, government expenditure, FDI, human capital and patent application authorization are positively correlated with GDP growth per capita, while the number of medical institutions is negatively correlated with GDP growth per capita. In addition, the robust test is carried out for validation by using the filter variable method, spatial lag model and spatial error model. The robustness test results show that the results of the FGLS fixed effects model are validated by the filter variable method. The other two robust test results show that: (1) the total capital formation and the fixed asset investment is of 99.9% significance, which represents that they play a key role in the formation of economic development difference; and (2) the coefficients’ symbols of the other variables are consistent with the FGLS fixed effect model but a little different on the significances, which enhance the effectiveness of the proposed regional economic difference model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Savings from Optimised In-Field Route Planning for Agricultural Machinery
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1956; doi:10.3390/su9111956
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Various types of sensors technologies, such as machine vision and global positioning system (GPS) have been implemented in navigation of agricultural vehicles. Automated navigation systems have proved the potential for the execution of optimised route plans for field area coverage. This paper presents
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Various types of sensors technologies, such as machine vision and global positioning system (GPS) have been implemented in navigation of agricultural vehicles. Automated navigation systems have proved the potential for the execution of optimised route plans for field area coverage. This paper presents an assessment of the reduction of the energy requirements derived from the implementation of optimised field area coverage planning. The assessment regards the analysis of the energy requirements and the comparison between the non-optimised and optimised plans for field area coverage in the whole sequence of operations required in two different cropping systems: Miscanthus and Switchgrass production. An algorithmic approach for the simulation of the executed field operations by following both non-optimised and optimised field-work patterns was developed. As a result, the corresponding time requirements were estimated as the basis of the subsequent energy cost analysis. Based on the results, the optimised routes reduce the fuel energy consumption up to 8%, the embodied energy consumption up to 7%, and the total energy consumption from 3% up to 8%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Effect of Corporate Environmental Performance on Corporate Financial Performance in Developed and Developing Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1957; doi:10.3390/su9111957
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
The relationship between corporate environmental performance and corporate financial performance has been extensively studied in developed countries, and has received less attention in developing countries. For this reason, the main objective of this paper is to examine the effect of corporate environmental performance
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The relationship between corporate environmental performance and corporate financial performance has been extensively studied in developed countries, and has received less attention in developing countries. For this reason, the main objective of this paper is to examine the effect of corporate environmental performance on corporate financial performance during a global financial crisis, depending on the economic development level of the country where a firm is located. To this end, we obtain data for a sample of 2982 large firms from 2008 to 2015. We apply Petersen’s approach to these data, adjusting the standard errors for clustering by both firm and year. The results obtained show that the adoption of environmental practices significantly and positively affects the corporate financial performance in developed and developing countries. However, this effect is stronger for firms located in developing countries than those located in developed countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Motivations Underlying Consumers’ Preference for Farmers’ Markets in Klang Valley: A Means-End Chain Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1958; doi:10.3390/su9111958
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
In an increasingly competitive market environment, understanding why consumers purchase fresh produce from farmers’ markets is pivotal to understanding the markets’ value and to strengthening the rural economy. This is the first study to employ a means-end chain (MEC) framework to analyze the
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In an increasingly competitive market environment, understanding why consumers purchase fresh produce from farmers’ markets is pivotal to understanding the markets’ value and to strengthening the rural economy. This is the first study to employ a means-end chain (MEC) framework to analyze the motivations underlying consumer preference for farmers’ markets. The linkages between these motivators are important steps in understanding why consumers purchase fresh produce from farmers’ markets. Based on in-depth interviews with 212 shoppers at the farmers’ markets in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, we identified the attributes ‘fresh’, ‘nearby’, ‘variety’, and ‘cheap’ as the means of achieving self-directed personal values (e.g., ‘expenses are better managed’), security values (‘live longer’), and benevolent values (e.g., ‘close the ties’). The insights gained should prove useful to policy-makers and to the farmers’ market sector, allowing them to more effectively communicate with consumers from the basis of a better understanding of the attributes, benefits, and personal values influencing them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Inventory Analysis and Social Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste-to-Energy Incineration in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1959; doi:10.3390/su9111959
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration technology is widely used to solve the energy supply, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation problems in urban areas. In Taiwan, there are new laws and regulations that would affect greenhouse gas management of WtE incineration plants. This research aims
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Waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration technology is widely used to solve the energy supply, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation problems in urban areas. In Taiwan, there are new laws and regulations that would affect greenhouse gas management of WtE incineration plants. This research aims to identify or raise key issues to be promoted for WtE incineration plants due to existing management systems and complex issues mixed with GHG, energy, and solid waste treatment. This study utilizes inventory analysis and social LCA (SLCA) approach on GHG management of WtE incineration plants in Taiwan to systematically identify materiality issues to be promoted. According to the results of materiality analysis for SLCA, this study generalizes four stakeholders, nine subcategories, and their 15 inventory indicators; and concludes that, among assessment results of 15 inventory indicators, three indicators are at a high level, four at a medium level, and eight at a low level. In total, 12 materiality issues are recognized. This study suggests WtE incineration plants should consider the following materiality issues with respect to priority: a systematic database and calculation methods, the goal and criteria of the laws and regulations, technology development toward circular economy and promotion activity or opportunity for local community and organization level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Coupling and Decoupling Relationships between Urbanization Quality and Water Resources Constraint Intensity: Spatiotemporal Analysis for Northwest China
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1960; doi:10.3390/su9111960
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
China is faced with great challenges for its low urbanization quality and high water stress. Moreover, the relationship between urbanization quality and water resources is still ambiguous. Therefore, we firstly constructed an urbanization quality index (UQI) and a water resources constraint intensity index
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China is faced with great challenges for its low urbanization quality and high water stress. Moreover, the relationship between urbanization quality and water resources is still ambiguous. Therefore, we firstly constructed an urbanization quality index (UQI) and a water resources constraint intensity index (WRCI) by a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method with multi-objectives and multi-hierarchies. Secondly, based on the concept and method of “coupling” and “decoupling”, we provided a method to explore the coordinated and uncoordinated relationships between UQI and WRCI from a spatiotemporal perspective. Finally, we used the statistical data of 51 prefecture level regions in Northwest China from the period 2000–2014 to analyze the spatiotemporal variation of the coupling and decoupling relationships between UQI and WRCI. Results show that, the UQI and WRCI in the whole Northwest China both belonged to low level, and that they had achieved strong decoupling during 2000–2014. However, the coupling and decoupling relationships between UQI and WRCI in Northwest China had great spatial disparity. From the HL-type regions (regions with high UQI & low WRCI) and strong decoupling type regions, we can find key development areas of Northwest China, where the relationships between UQI and WRCI were optimal and coordinated. From the LH-type regions (regions with low UQI & high WRCI) and strong negative decoupling type regions, we can find key problem areas, where the relationships between UQI and WRCI were the worst and uncoordinated. Our study developed an effective method for evaluating the sustainable development level of urbanization constrained by water resources in Northwest China and similar regions, which is significant for the New-Type Urbanization research in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Land Rental Market Participation and Its Impact on Fixed Investment and Household Welfare: Evidence from Chinese Apple Production Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1961; doi:10.3390/su9111961
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Using a large dataset from the specialized apple production sites of China and multiple econometric methods, we identify the main determinants of farmers’ land rental decisions and the effects from renting land in on their investment and economic welfare. It is found that
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Using a large dataset from the specialized apple production sites of China and multiple econometric methods, we identify the main determinants of farmers’ land rental decisions and the effects from renting land in on their investment and economic welfare. It is found that having more effective cultivated land before renting in has a significantly negative effect on the land rented in, that households with rich land endowments or large areas of land rented in usually invest more in fixed assets, and that efficient provisions of credit and insurance are helpful to encourage investments in fixed assets. As a result, renting in land generates gains in terms of agricultural income, total income, and productive expenditure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Working at the Boundary: An Empirical Study into the Goals and Strategies of Knowledge Brokers in the Field of Environmental Governance in the Netherlands
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1962; doi:10.3390/su9111962
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
There is a broad range of literature on individuals who mediate at the boundaries between science and policy. However, there seems to be little empirical evidence on the goals and strategies of knowledge brokers, even though they appear to be becoming increasingly important
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There is a broad range of literature on individuals who mediate at the boundaries between science and policy. However, there seems to be little empirical evidence on the goals and strategies of knowledge brokers, even though they appear to be becoming increasingly important in the field of environmental science and policy. This paper aims to improve the understanding of why and how knowledge brokers operate through an analysis of 27 in-depth interviews. It demonstrates that they see themselves as (strategically) sensitive to all stakes and stakeholders involved, possess a large network, and act without interests. They appear to act strategically in two different settings: on stage, where the collaboration of all stakeholders is needed, and backstage, where the knowledge broker steers the process on his/her own. Furthermore, our research suggests that the (perceived) credibility and legitimacy of the knowledge broker is more important to the process than the degree of credibility and legitimacy of the knowledge used in the decision-making process, and that it would be advisable to deploy knowledge brokers proactively, instead of reactively, which could lead to ‘incident politics’. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Variability and Trends of Rainfall and Streamflow in Tana River Basin, Kenya
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1963; doi:10.3390/su9111963
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
This study investigated temporal variabilities and trends of rainfall and discharges in Tana River Basin in Kenya using Mann–Kendall non-parametric test. Monthly rainfall data from ten stations spanning from 1967 to 2016 and daily streamflow data time series of observations from 1941 to
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This study investigated temporal variabilities and trends of rainfall and discharges in Tana River Basin in Kenya using Mann–Kendall non-parametric test. Monthly rainfall data from ten stations spanning from 1967 to 2016 and daily streamflow data time series of observations from 1941 to 2016 (75 years) were analyzed with the aim of capturing and detecting multiannual and seasonal variabilities and monotonic trends. The results for the datasets suggested that the streamflow is largely dependent on increasing rainfall at the highlands. The rainfall trends seemed to have been influenced by altitudinal factors. The coefficient of variation of the ten rainfall stations ranged from 12% to 17% but 70% of rainfall stations showed negative monotonic trends and 30% show significant trends. The streamflow showed statistically significant upward monotonic trend and seasonal variability indicating a substantial change in the streamflow regime. Although the increasing trend of the streamflow during this period may not pose future risks and vulnerability of energy and irrigated agricultural production systems across the basin, variability observed indicates the need for enhanced alternative water management strategies during the low flow seasons. The trends and time series data indicate the potential evidence of climate and land use change and their impacts on the availability of water and sustainability of ecology and energy and agricultural production systems across the basin. Variability and trends of rainfall and streamflow are useful for planning studies, hydrological modeling and climate change impacts assessment within Tana River Basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring R&D Influences on Financial Performance for Business Sustainability Considering Dual Profitability Objectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1964; doi:10.3390/su9111964
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
The importance of research and development (R&D) for business sustainability have gained increasing interests, especially in the high-tech sector. However, the efforts of R&D might cause complex and mixed impacts on the financial results considering the associated expenses. Thus, this study aims to
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The importance of research and development (R&D) for business sustainability have gained increasing interests, especially in the high-tech sector. However, the efforts of R&D might cause complex and mixed impacts on the financial results considering the associated expenses. Thus, this study aims to examine how R&D efforts may influence business to improve its financial performance considering the dual objectives: the gross and the net profitability. This research integrates a rough-set-based soft computing technique and multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods to explore this complex and yet valuable issue. A group of public listed companies from Taiwan, all in the semiconductor sector, is analyzed as a case study. More than 30 variables are considered, and the adopted soft computing technique retrieves 14 core attributes—for the dual profitability objectives—to form the evaluation model. The importance of R&D for pursuing superior financial prospects is confirmed, and the empirical case demonstrates how to guide an individual company to plan for improvements to achieve its long-term sustainability by this hybrid approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Safety-Culture Exploration in Taiwan’s Metal Industries: Identifying the Workers’ Background Influence on Safety Climate
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1965; doi:10.3390/su9111965
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
The present study aims to assess the safety-climate level in Taiwan’s metal industries, as well as to identify the influence of workers’ backgrounds on the safety climate. An earlier report showed that a poor safety culture was related to the cause of accidents
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The present study aims to assess the safety-climate level in Taiwan’s metal industries, as well as to identify the influence of workers’ backgrounds on the safety climate. An earlier report showed that a poor safety culture was related to the cause of accidents in Taiwan’s traditional manufacturing industries. This study surveyed a total of 839 workers who voluntarily participated and completed the safety-culture questionnaires. These workers were from a Taiwanese metal company and its five satellite companies. Three safety-climate factors, namely safety perception, safety communication and safety-management systems, were assessed. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted by developing structural equation modeling to ensure the questionnaire’s validity. The influence of workers’ backgrounds on the safety climate was identified by using one-way ANOVA. The reliability result of the questionnaire was above the acceptable level. The overall safety-climate score was 4.22 out of a five-point scale for safety perception, 4.23 for safety-management systems and 3.97 for safety communication. The scores indicate a good level of safety climate, with room for improvement in safety communication. Additionally, the influence of workers’ backgrounds on the safety climate was confirmed. Based on the validity test, it was also found that the questionnaire could be improved by reconstructing its questions in its development process in order to increase the safety-climate model’s reliability and validity, as well as its model fit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Levels of Governance in Policy Innovation Cycles in Community Education: The Cases of Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1966; doi:10.3390/su9111966
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
While there is little doubt that social networks are essential for processes of implementing social innovations in community education such as Climate Change Education (CCE) or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), scholars have neglected to analyze these processes in the multilevel governance system
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While there is little doubt that social networks are essential for processes of implementing social innovations in community education such as Climate Change Education (CCE) or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), scholars have neglected to analyze these processes in the multilevel governance system using Social Network Analysis. In this article, we contribute to closing this research gap by exploring the implementation of CCE and ESD in education at the regional and global levels. We compare the way CCE is negotiated and implemented within and through the global conferences of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the way the UN Decade of ESD is put into practice through networks in five different German municipalities. We argue that the role of social networks is particularly strong in policy areas like CCE and ESD, which are best characterized as multi-level and multi-actor governance. Based on data derived from standardized surveys and from Twitter we analyze the complex interactions of public and private actors at different levels of governance in the two selected policy areas. We find, amongst others, that the implementation of CCE and ESD in community education depends in part on actors that had not been assumed to be influential at the outset. Furthermore, our analyses suggest the different levels of governance are not well integrated throughout the phases of the policy innovation cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Do Peer Firms Affect Firm Corporate Social Responsibility?
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1967; doi:10.3390/su9111967
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
Peer-firm strategies are a critical factor for corporate finance, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the main trend for evaluating the behavior of firms. On the basis of the connection between peer strategy and CSR, this paper explores the CSR strategies employed by
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Peer-firm strategies are a critical factor for corporate finance, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the main trend for evaluating the behavior of firms. On the basis of the connection between peer strategy and CSR, this paper explores the CSR strategies employed by a sample of Chinese firms during the 2008–2015 period. Our two main empirical findings are as follows. First, the CSR strategies of firms have a positive effect on their CSR behavior. Second, when there is the CSR gap between firms and peer firms, firms will feel the pressure from stakeholders and the public and improve the level of CSR performance. Our paper enriches empirical research on the CSR behavior of Chinese firms. Full article
Open AccessArticle Shopping for Society? Consumers’ Value Conflicts in Socially Responsible Consumption Affected by Retail Regulation
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1968; doi:10.3390/su9111968
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Consumers have a dual role as economic actors who purchase products and as citizens comprising society. Thus, consumers may experience conflict between pursuing personal values (i.e., low price and high quality) and social values (i.e., equity and common good). In addition, these choices
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Consumers have a dual role as economic actors who purchase products and as citizens comprising society. Thus, consumers may experience conflict between pursuing personal values (i.e., low price and high quality) and social values (i.e., equity and common good). In addition, these choices can be affected by governmental regulation of retail markets. This study aimed to identify consumer perspectives toward socially responsible consumption (SRC) in the choice of grocery store format and to investigate actual store choice behavior across consumer groups with those different perspectives while considering the role of retail regulation. For this purpose, we conducted a Q methodological study in which 30 South Korean consumers rank-ordered 40 statements regarding SRC. After performing Q factor analysis using PQ-Method software, we classified four distinctive consumer groups: “ethical conformist”, “market liberalist”, “ambivalent bystander”, and “internally conflicted”. After investigating similarities and differences between these consumer groups, we found major criteria for understanding consumer perspectives to SRC such as the priority of values pursued, the experience of a value-action gap, and internal conflicts in the decision-making process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Renewable Energy on Regional Sustainability—A Comparative Study of Sogn og Fjordane (Norway) and Okinawa (Japan)
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1969; doi:10.3390/su9111969
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
The drive to expand renewable energies is often in direct conflict with sustainable development goals. Thus, it is important that energy policies account for potential trade-offs. We assess the interlinkages between energy, food, water and land, for two case studies, Okinawa and Sogn
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The drive to expand renewable energies is often in direct conflict with sustainable development goals. Thus, it is important that energy policies account for potential trade-offs. We assess the interlinkages between energy, food, water and land, for two case studies, Okinawa and Sogn og Fjordane. We apply a range of assessment methods and study their usefulness as tools to identify trade-offs and to compare the sustainability performance. We calculate cross-sectoral footprints, self-sufficiency ratios and perform a simplified Energy-Water-Food nexus analysis. We use the latter for assessing scenarios to increase energy and food self-sufficiency in Okinawa, while we use ecosystem service (ESS) accounting for Sogn og Fjordane. For Okinawa, we find that constraints on the energy, food and water sectors urgently call for integrated approaches to energy policy; for Sogn og Fjordane, the further expansion of renewables comes at the expense of cultural and supporting ESS, which could outweigh gains from increased energy exports. We recommend a general upgrade to indicators and visualization methods that look beyond averages and a fostering of infrastructure for data on sustainable development based on harmonized international protocols. We warn against rankings of countries or regions based on benchmarks that are neither theory-driven nor location-specific. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Selected Physical Properties of Ancient Wheat Species
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1970; doi:10.3390/su9111970
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Recent years have witnessed a revived interest in ancient wheats on account of their health-promoting properties. The aim of this study was to determine selected physical properties of hulled and hulless kernels of ancient wheats for optimizing the parameters of seed processing operations
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Recent years have witnessed a revived interest in ancient wheats on account of their health-promoting properties. The aim of this study was to determine selected physical properties of hulled and hulless kernels of ancient wheats for optimizing the parameters of seed processing operations such as husking, cleaning, and sorting. The geometric parameters (length, width and thickness), mass, and angle of external friction (on steel and PVC) of hulled and hulless spelt, emmer, and einkorn kernels were determined. The spikelets and kernels of ancient wheats are characterized by similar physical properties and differ most considerably in mass. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reference Evapotranspiration Retrievals from a Mesoscale Model Based Weather Variables for Soil Moisture Deficit Estimation
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1971; doi:10.3390/su9111971
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) and soil moisture deficit (SMD) are vital for understanding the hydrological processes, particularly in the context of sustainable water use efficiency in the globe. Precise estimation of ETo and SMD are required for developing appropriate forecasting systems, in hydrological modeling
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Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) and soil moisture deficit (SMD) are vital for understanding the hydrological processes, particularly in the context of sustainable water use efficiency in the globe. Precise estimation of ETo and SMD are required for developing appropriate forecasting systems, in hydrological modeling and also in precision agriculture. In this study, the surface temperature downscaled from Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to estimate ETo using the boundary conditions that are provided by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF). In order to understand the performance, the Hamon’s method is employed to estimate the ETo using the temperature from meteorological station and WRF derived variables. After estimating the ETo, a range of linear and non-linear models is utilized to retrieve SMD. The performance statistics such as RMSE, %Bias, and Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) indicates that the exponential model (RMSE = 0.226; %Bias = −0.077; NSE = 0.616) is efficient for SMD estimation by using the Observed ETo in comparison to the other linear and non-linear models (RMSE range = 0.019–0.667; %Bias range = 2.821–6.894; NSE = 0.013–0.419) used in this study. On the other hand, in the scenario where SMD is estimated using WRF downscaled meteorological variables based ETo, the linear model is found promising (RMSE = 0.017; %Bias = 5.280; NSE = 0.448) as compared to the non-linear models (RMSE range = 0.022–0.707; %Bias range = −0.207–−6.088; NSE range = 0.013–0.149). Our findings also suggest that all the models are performing better during the growing season (RMSE range = 0.024–0.025; %Bias range = −4.982–−3.431; r = 0.245–0.281) than the non−growing season (RMSE range = 0.011–0.12; %Bias range = 33.073–32.701; r = 0.161–0.244) for SMD estimation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Short-Term Multiple Forecasting of Electric Energy Loads for Sustainable Demand Planning in Smart Grids for Smart Homes
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1972; doi:10.3390/su9111972
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Energy consumption in the form of fuel or electricity is ubiquitous globally. Among energy types, electricity is crucial to human life in terms of cooking, warming and cooling of shelters, powering of electronic devices as well as commercial and industrial operations. Users of
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Energy consumption in the form of fuel or electricity is ubiquitous globally. Among energy types, electricity is crucial to human life in terms of cooking, warming and cooling of shelters, powering of electronic devices as well as commercial and industrial operations. Users of electronic devices sometimes consume fluctuating amounts of electricity generated from smart-grid infrastructure owned by the government or private investors. However, frequent imbalance is noticed between the demand and supply of electricity, hence effective planning is required to facilitate its distribution among consumers. Such effective planning is stimulated by the need to predict future consumption within a short period. Although several interesting classical techniques have been used for such predictions, they still require improvement for the purpose of reducing significant predictive errors when used for short-term load forecasting. This research develops a near-zero cooperative probabilistic scenario analysis and decision tree (PSA-DT) model to address the lacuna of enormous predictive error faced by the state-of-the-art models. The PSA-DT is based on a probabilistic technique in view of the uncertain nature of electricity consumption, complemented by a DT to reinforce the collaboration of the two techniques. Based on detailed experimental analytics on residential, commercial and industrial data loads, the PSA-DT model outperforms the state-of-the-art models in terms of accuracy to a near-zero error rate. This implies that its deployment for electricity demand planning will be of great benefit to various smart-grid operators and homes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy, Load and Price Forecasting towards Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Land Use Alters the Plant-Derived Carbon and Nitrogen Pools in Terraced Rice Paddies in a Mountain Village
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1973; doi:10.3390/su9111973
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
In Japan, terraced paddies in mountain villages are symbolic of the traditional landscape, but they are gradually being abandoned. To compare plant-derived C and N among land uses, we compared adjacent forest floor (FF), agricultural paddy (AP), and post-agricultural paddy (PP) sites. Long-term
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In Japan, terraced paddies in mountain villages are symbolic of the traditional landscape, but they are gradually being abandoned. To compare plant-derived C and N among land uses, we compared adjacent forest floor (FF), agricultural paddy (AP), and post-agricultural paddy (PP) sites. Long-term litter accumulation could explain the significantly higher litter C and belowground biomass C in FF than in AP and PP. The low-density-fraction (LF) soil C was significantly higher in FF than in PP and better reflected land use than the whole-soil C. The AP soil held more N than FF and PP at 20–30 cm, associated with higher LF soil N. Periodic tillage in AP maintains the LF soil N, but N supplied to the surface soil reduced with depth following abandonment. Differences in recycling of organic matter and nutrients among land uses are crucial to plant-derived C and N contents of soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Input into Agricultural Soils)
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Open AccessArticle Thermodynamic Analysis of ORC and Its Application for Waste Heat Recovery
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1974; doi:10.3390/su9111974
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
The analysis and optimization of an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) used as a bottoming cycle in the Brayton/ORC and steam Rankine/ORC combined cycle configurations is the main focus of this study. The results show that CO2 and air are the best working
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The analysis and optimization of an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) used as a bottoming cycle in the Brayton/ORC and steam Rankine/ORC combined cycle configurations is the main focus of this study. The results show that CO2 and air are the best working fluids for the topping (Brayton) cycle. Depending on the exhaust temperature of the topping cycle, Iso-butane, R11 and ethanol are the preferred working fluids for the bottoming (ORC) cycle, resulting in the highest efficiency of the combined cycle. Results of the techno-economic study show that combined Brayton/ORC cycle has significantly lower total capital investment and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) compared to the regenerative Brayton cycle. An analysis of a combined steam Rankine/ORC cycle was performed to determine the increase in power output that would be achieved by adding a bottoming ORC to the utility-scale steam Rankine cycle, and determine the effect of ambient conditions (heat sink temperature) on power increase. For the selected power plant location, the large difference between the winter and summer temperatures has a considerable effect on the ORC power output, which varies by more than 60% from winter to summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Utilization of Waste Heat)
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Open AccessArticle Forecasting the Energy Consumption of China’s Manufacturing Using a Homologous Grey Prediction Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1975; doi:10.3390/su9111975
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
With the rapid development of China’s manufacturing, energy consumption has increased rapidly, and this has become a major bottleneck affecting the sustainable development of China’s economy. This paper deduces and constructs a homologous grey prediction model with one variable and one first order
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With the rapid development of China’s manufacturing, energy consumption has increased rapidly, and this has become a major bottleneck affecting the sustainable development of China’s economy. This paper deduces and constructs a homologous grey prediction model with one variable and one first order equation (HGEM(1,1)) for forecasting the total energy consumption of China’s manufacturing based on the Grey system theory. Both parameter estimation (PE) and the deduction of the final restored expression (FRE) of the HGEM(1,1) model are all from the time response expression of the whitenization differential equation, which solves the ‘non-homologous’ defects of PE and FRE with traditional grey prediction models. HGEM(1,1) has good performance and can unbiasedly simulate a homogeneous/non-homogeneous exponential function sequence and a linear function sequence. Then, the HGEM(1,1)model is used to simulate and forecast the total energy consumption of China’s energy manufacturing, and the results show that the comprehensive performance of this model is much better than that of the classic Grey Model with one variable and single order equation, GM(1,1) for short and the frequently-used Discrete Grey Model with one variable and single order equation, DGM(1,1) for short. Finally, we forecast the total energy consumption of China’s manufacturing industry during the years 2018–2024. The results show that the total energy consumption in China’s manufacturing is slowing down but is still too large. For this, some measures, such as optimizing the manufacturing structure and speeding up the development and promotion of energy saving and emission reduction technologies, to ensure the effective supply of energy in China’s manufacturing industry are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the “Forgone” ESVs for Small-Scale Gold Mining Using Historical Image Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1976; doi:10.3390/su9111976
Received: 2 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
Ghana’s economic development relies largely on the mining industry, but the ecological cost is very high, particularly for the small-scale sector. To ascertain and give an account of the ecological pressures from the small-scale gold mining sector, we quantified and appraised the ecosystems
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Ghana’s economic development relies largely on the mining industry, but the ecological cost is very high, particularly for the small-scale sector. To ascertain and give an account of the ecological pressures from the small-scale gold mining sector, we quantified and appraised the ecosystems (land cover types) degradation due to mining land use along portions of the renowned Pra River basin of Ghana. The study classified and analysed high-quality Landsat image data (1986–2016) to monitor processes and changes in the river basin and adopted the Ecosystem Service Value (ESV) model to quantify the forgone value in monetary term. The results revealed that the initial ESV of 17.69 million US$ in 1986 increased to 18.40 million US$ in 2002 for the study landscape with the small-scale mining sector accounting for 8.4% of the trade-off costs. The expansion of forest areas and its higher value coefficient (VC) was, however, prevalent and this resulted in a net positive change during this period. However, in 2016, out of the total ESV of 14.63 million US$ obtained, the small-scale mining activities accounted for 36.8% of the trade-off costs. The substantial increase in trade-off costs with a subsequent decrease in ESV in the study landscape, following the intensification of small-scale gold mining, indicates that their activities have been degrading the watershed ecosystem and are, therefore, unsustainable. The study affirms the need for policymakers/government to review the laws, particularly on post-mining monitoring schemes to deter illegal miners and support the registered small-scale miners who are willing to implement land rehabilitation activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Green Self-Identity and Cognitive and Affective Involvement on Patronage Intention in Eco-Friendly Apparel Consumption: A Gender Comparison
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1977; doi:10.3390/su9111977
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
While eco-friendly apparel has been made available in markets, turning this environmental innovation into companies’ competitive advantage has been challenging. The purpose of the study is to better understand consumers’ eco-friendly apparel consumption and to examine whether gender plays a role in consumer
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While eco-friendly apparel has been made available in markets, turning this environmental innovation into companies’ competitive advantage has been challenging. The purpose of the study is to better understand consumers’ eco-friendly apparel consumption and to examine whether gender plays a role in consumer attitudes toward the product. Both male and female consumers’ green self-identity, cognitive and affective involvement, as well as their patronage intention, were examined and compared. The results showed that men and women were motivated by different factors. For men, cognitive involvement was a prominent determinant of their patronage intention and mediated the relationship between their green self-identity and intention. For women, green self-identity was the only factor that motivated their patronage intention for eco-friendly apparel. The findings provide empirical evidence and directions that could help marketers to identify their consumer characteristics and market segments and to develop more efficient eco-friendly apparel market communication strategies in the U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Emergency Material Dispatch from Multiple Depot Locations to Multiple Disaster Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1978; doi:10.3390/su9111978
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
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Abstract
This study establishes an optimization model of emergency material dispatch with the objectives of the highest reliability and lowest cost when the time frame is uncertain and the emergency material must be dispatched from multiple depot locations to multiple disaster sites. Because the
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This study establishes an optimization model of emergency material dispatch with the objectives of the highest reliability and lowest cost when the time frame is uncertain and the emergency material must be dispatched from multiple depot locations to multiple disaster sites. Because the two objectives are not consistent with one another, we propose an algorithm for solving the model by introducing the concept of ideal points, whereby the ideal point between the two objectives is considered the best plan. The study also proves the feasibility and validity of the algorithm with real-life examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Fashion Trendsetting, Creative Traits and Behaviors, and Pro-Environmental Behaviors: Comparing Korean and U.S. College Students
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1979; doi:10.3390/su9111979
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
According to Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, cultures differ in cultural values and norms; values and norms that may influence differences in trendsetting, creative traits, and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Further, because men and women have been socialized within particular cultures, gender differences
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According to Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, cultures differ in cultural values and norms; values and norms that may influence differences in trendsetting, creative traits, and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Further, because men and women have been socialized within particular cultures, gender differences may exist in trendsetting, creative traits and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Trendsetters have characteristics that are interrelated with creative traits and behaviors, perhaps inclining them to endorse pro-environmental behaviors. However, the interrelationships among these variables remain unexplored. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine these three variables among college students in South Korea and the United States (U.S.), specifically looking at cultural and gender differences. Participants were 225 Korean college students and 221 U.S. college students. Questionnaires included demographic items and scales measuring trendsetting, creative traits and behaviors, and pro-environmental behaviors. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, Cronbach’s alpha reliability, MANOVA, ANOVA, and SNK posthoc test. Results show that U.S. (vs. Korean) students indicated greater trendsetting and creative traits and behaviors but not greater pro-environmental behaviors. Fashion trendsetting groups in both Korea and the U.S. differed in creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors. Among Korean trendsetting groups, reluctant adopters scored lowest on creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors. Among U.S. trendsetting groups, trendsetters the scored highest on creative traits and behaviors and pro-environmental behaviors; reluctant adopters scored lowest on pro-environmental behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are provided for researchers and marketers. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Government Support on Corporate Performance Hedging against International Environmental Regulation
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1980; doi:10.3390/su9111980
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Government support systems are crucial for export SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) to cope with growing international environmental regulations. However, empirical studies show a limited research area to explore the performance of export SMEs with the help of government support systems to meet
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Government support systems are crucial for export SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) to cope with growing international environmental regulations. However, empirical studies show a limited research area to explore the performance of export SMEs with the help of government support systems to meet international environmental regulations. This study draws implications on the relationship between government support and corporate performance on export SMEs between two countries: Korea and China. Based on 350 samples from Korea and 320 from China, we diagnosed government supports most positively affects corporate performances in the area of eco-innovation. While education, certificate, and tax supports were less pressing areas to support, no significance was found in information support. Furthermore, we found that eco-innovation is the strongest motive to accelerate corporate performance. Finally, the support of Chinese government on firms seems to be more affective when compared to Korean government support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in SMEs)
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Open AccessArticle Confusion and Misunderstanding—Interpretations and Definitions of Local Food
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1981; doi:10.3390/su9111981
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Developing a more resilient food system based on sustainable food production and consumption is of major concern in creating food security. One issue in this complex field concerns the scale of the food system. Trends and tendencies show that the interest for local
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Developing a more resilient food system based on sustainable food production and consumption is of major concern in creating food security. One issue in this complex field concerns the scale of the food system. Trends and tendencies show that the interest for local food has increased the last decade in Sweden, as well as in other parts of the world. Although the concept “local food” is commonly used, research shows that there is no single definition of it, instead definitions and meanings vary widely. This has led to a need by consumers of clearer information when buying “local food”. Several main actors in the Swedish food sector have joined forces to meet this issue. This paper contributes to knowledge on definitions, interpretations, and practice on local food by presenting views and opinions among different actors in the food chain in a Swedish context, but also in the light of an international pilot study. Main findings concern how the meaning of “local food” related to production, processing, raw material, and distance differs among stakeholders in the food chain. A majority stated that the basic meaning of “local food” concerns both the production and consumption within a certain geographical area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
Open AccessArticle Innovative Extraction Method for a Coal Seam with a Thick Rock-Parting for Supporting Coal Mine Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1982; doi:10.3390/su9111982
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
As thick rock partings delay the efficient mining of coal seams and constrain the sustainable development of coal mines, an innovative extraction method for a coal seam with thick rock parting was proposed. The coal seams were divided into different sub-zones according to
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As thick rock partings delay the efficient mining of coal seams and constrain the sustainable development of coal mines, an innovative extraction method for a coal seam with thick rock parting was proposed. The coal seams were divided into different sub-zones according to the thickness of rock parting and then the sub-zones were mined by separately using three mining schemes involving full-seam mining, combined mining using backfill and caving (CMBC), and reducing height mining. Afterwards, the study introduced the basic mechanism and key devices for the CMBC and analysed the working state of the backfill support in detail. Moreover, the method for calculating the length of the backfill zone was proposed to design the length of backfill zone and the influences of four factors (including bulking coefficient) of rock parting on the length of the backfill zone were also explored. By taking the No. 22203 panel, Buertai mine, Inner Mongolia, China as an example, the mined coal resource by using the CMBC extraction method will increase by 1.83 × 106 tons and the recovery ratio will rise from 56.2% to 92.4% compared with mining of the 2-2 upper coal seam alone. Moreover, by applying CMBC, a series of environmental and ecological problems caused by rock parting is reduced, which can improve the environment in mined areas. The research can provide technological guidance for mining panels of a coal seam with a thick rock parting and the disposal thereof under similar conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Perception of Ecosystem Services in a Coastal Wetland Post-Earthquake: A Case Study in Chile
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1983; doi:10.3390/su9111983
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Natural disasters can cause abrupt disturbances in coastal wetlands, affecting the social perception of ecosystem services (ES). The Tubul-Raqui coastal wetland is one of the most important wetlands in south-central Chile. Rich in biodiversity, these wetlands provide ES to a population of 2238
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Natural disasters can cause abrupt disturbances in coastal wetlands, affecting the social perception of ecosystem services (ES). The Tubul-Raqui coastal wetland is one of the most important wetlands in south-central Chile. Rich in biodiversity, these wetlands provide ES to a population of 2238 inhabitants. The recent MW = 8.8 earthquake of 2010 caused a coastal uplift of 1.4 m and substantial morphological, social, and environmental changes. This paper analyzes the social perceptions of the inhabitants of the village of Tubul-Raqui following a large earthquake disturbance with regards to ES provision frequency and their future changes. A statistically representative semi-structured survey was conducted (175 valid surveys) and the data interpreted through factor analysis and statistical tests for independent categorical variables. The perception of cultural and regulating services was significantly greater than that of provisioning services, which were probably the most affected by the earthquake. Residents identified habitat for species, recreation, and hazard regulation as the most important ES. Perception was influenced by the categorical variables of gender, age, and ethnicity; for example, hazard regulation services varied strongly by gender. According to the respondents, the availability of ES will remain stable (50%) or decrease (40%) in the next 50 years, mainly due to anthropogenic drivers; the effect of natural disasters was not mentioned among the main drivers of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Cultural Centre, Destination Cultural Offer and Visitor Satisfaction
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1984; doi:10.3390/su9111984
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to establish the link between tourists’ perceptions on cultural offers and their overall satisfaction, and explore the implication of this link for sustainable tourist destination management. Assessing online customers’ reviews, this study identifies a positive correlation between visitors’ perspectives and
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This paper aims to establish the link between tourists’ perceptions on cultural offers and their overall satisfaction, and explore the implication of this link for sustainable tourist destination management. Assessing online customers’ reviews, this study identifies a positive correlation between visitors’ perspectives and experiences at the on-site cultural centre and visitors’ destination satisfaction. It suggests that the on-site cultural centre plays a critical role in building up visitors’ perception on cultural attributes of the destination, and its impact on visitor satisfaction is a double-edged sword. Visitors’ positive perspectives on the cultural centre enhance visitors’ experiences and contribute to their destination satisfaction; however, not only does a negative perspective on their cultural and spiritual experience compromise visitors’ satisfaction, but also subsequent negative online reviews damage the destination image and discourage visitor return/visit. The findings help destination management organisations to better understand visitors’ preference for cultural centres and therefore to improve visitors’ cultural experience. This paper appeals for further study of on-site cultural centres’ role in forming destination cultural attributes, and of social media’s potential in enriching cultural experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Habitat Effect on Urban Roof Vegetation
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1985; doi:10.3390/su9111985
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Urban growth has been fast for decades. Because money is very important in this urban-based world, humanity focuses on economic development, and is often too busy to deal with sustainability. Therefore, in a world that is constantly changing, creating sustainable cities that contain
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Urban growth has been fast for decades. Because money is very important in this urban-based world, humanity focuses on economic development, and is often too busy to deal with sustainability. Therefore, in a world that is constantly changing, creating sustainable cities that contain a diverse range of habitats supporting plant establishment is essential. Some surprising urban habitats in which plants can grow, such as cracks on pavements and walls, rocky areas, abandoned places and roofs might be extremely important for sustainability, while urban spaces are under artificial pressure. In this study, which suggesting a method to create more sustainable green roofs for urban areas, and considering roof vegetation is already important for supporting the ecology of urban areas, we surveyed 37 roofs in an urban part of Trabzon city focusing on the habitat effect. We found 51 plant species growing on these 37 roofs, and determined five different roof vegetation typologies in the research area. The main goal in any artificial green roof is to cover roof surfaces with vegetation, and success is considered a perfect coverage rate. We found roof surface size, species richness, size of the sunlit part, daily sunlight duration, and depth of the substrate are the most effective habitat attributes on vegetation coverage on rooftops in the research area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Tax Policy in Romania in the Context of the EU: Double Dividend Theory
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1986; doi:10.3390/su9111986
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
In the last decade, environment protection gained much more significance in designing the economic policies in the European Union (EU) countries. There are many economic and policy differences between the European countries, despite of the harmonization process inside the EU area. The path
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In the last decade, environment protection gained much more significance in designing the economic policies in the European Union (EU) countries. There are many economic and policy differences between the European countries, despite of the harmonization process inside the EU area. The path of implementation of the environmental tax reforms in the EU countries differs greatly from one country to another and the effects of such taxation in the economic and environmental areas are manifold. The authors of this paper have agreed to undertake the task of testing the double dividend hypothesis of the environmental taxation in Romania (an energy-intensive country) versus the EU area as a whole, using Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) techniques and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimations. Our findings show that this hypothesis is validated neither in Romania (in the economic growth area) nor in the EU area as a whole (in the unemployment area). Therefore, Romania cannot increase the level of the environmental tax for supporting economic growth, but it can grant environmental subsidies for decreasing the emissions and supporting the economic growth. This could be achieved by expanding the tax labor base and by collecting higher budgetary revenues to sustain such environmental subsidies. As far as the EU area is concerned, it is a necessary measure to continue the descending trend for the labor taxation to achieve the goal of improving the employment rate. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Values-Based Approach to Exploring Synergies between Livestock Farming and Landscape Conservation in Galicia (Spain)
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1987; doi:10.3390/su9111987
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
The path to sustainable development involves creating coherence and synergies in the complex relationships between economic and ecological systems. In sustaining their farm businesses farmers’ differing values influence their decisions about agroecosystem management, leading them to adopt diverging farming practices. This study explores
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The path to sustainable development involves creating coherence and synergies in the complex relationships between economic and ecological systems. In sustaining their farm businesses farmers’ differing values influence their decisions about agroecosystem management, leading them to adopt diverging farming practices. This study explores the values of dairy and beef cattle farmers, the assumptions that underpin them, and the various ways that these lead farmers to combine food production with the provision of other ecosystem services, such as landscape conservation and biodiversity preservation. This paper draws on empirical research from Galicia (Spain), a marginal and mountainous European region whose livestock production system has undergone modernization in recent decades, exposing strategic economic, social and ecological vulnerabilities. It applies a Q-methodology to develop a values-based approach to farming. Based on a sample of 24 livestock farmers, whose practices promote landscape conservation and/or biodiversity preservation, the Q-methodology allowed us to identify four ‘farming styles’. Further analysis of the practices of the farmers in these groups, based on additional farm data and interview material, suggests that all 24 farmers valorize landscape and nature and consider cattle production and nature conservation to be compatible within their own farm practices. However, the groups differed in the extent to which they have developed synergies between livestock farming and landscape conservation. We conclude by discussing how rural development policy in Galicia could strengthen such practices by providing incentives to farmers and institutionally embedding a shift towards more diversified farming and product development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
Open AccessArticle The Behavioral Response to Location Based Services: An Examination of the Influence of Social and Environmental Benefits, and Privacy
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1988; doi:10.3390/su9111988
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Given the importance tourism has in many economies, this research was designed to study how the social and environmental benefits of Location Based Services (LBS) in the tourism sector influence user behavior and thus contribute to sustainable development. The objective has been to
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Given the importance tourism has in many economies, this research was designed to study how the social and environmental benefits of Location Based Services (LBS) in the tourism sector influence user behavior and thus contribute to sustainable development. The objective has been to study LBS as a solution that makes the deployment of tourism activities easier, more useful and improves attitudes towards it, but in a context where trust in privacy and benefits-based sustainable social and environmental development are key. To achieve this, this research identifies what could be the influence factors in the adoption of mobile applications with Location Based Services from the point of view of the tourism sector, especially if the social and environmental benefits of LBS can help improve usage behavior. We investigated the technological acceptance of LBS in tourism, using Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as a solid model to explain its adoption. Nine hypotheses were investigated by carrying out a survey of travelers (n = 277) during their visit to Seville (Spain). To test the conceptual model’s hypotheses, the Partial Least Squares (PLS) technique was applied to estimate variance-based structural equations models (SEM).The results of this study indicated that tourists are willing to accept these LBS services within a particular adoption model, where trust in privacy and social and environmental benefits are paramount. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle In the Presence of Climate Change, the Use of Fertilizers and the Effect of Income on Agricultural Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1989; doi:10.3390/su9111989
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
This study looks into the factual link between nitrogen fertilizer use and the land annual mean temperature anomalies arising from climate change, incorporating the effect of income and agriculture share to understand better their impact on emissions from agricultural activities along climate indicators.
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This study looks into the factual link between nitrogen fertilizer use and the land annual mean temperature anomalies arising from climate change, incorporating the effect of income and agriculture share to understand better their impact on emissions from agricultural activities along climate indicators. The study unearths causalities associated with this link by employing the Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) with back-dated actual panel data specifically constructed for this study by combining four datasets from 2002 to 2010. In the long-run, the causality is significant and unidirectional, indicating that income, agriculture share, and land temperature anomalies cause agricultural emissions, and that disequilibrium from such emissions is not eliminated within a year. In the short-run, the effective use of nitrogen fertilizers and other associated agricultural practices can be achieved as countries approach per capita income of 7000 USD. Changes in the structure of economies have an expected effect on agricultural emissions. Temperature anomalies increase agricultural emissions from nitrogen fertilizers, possibly due to the fact that the potential negative impacts of these anomalies are mitigated by farmers through changes in crop production inputs. Therefore, as part of adoption strategies, to avoid the excessive and inefficient use of nitrogen fertilizers by farmers, economic incentives should be aligned with the national and global incentives of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle Probabilistic Price Forecasting for Day-Ahead and Intraday Markets: Beyond the Statistical Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1990; doi:10.3390/su9111990
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Forecasting the hourly spot price of day-ahead and intraday markets is particularly challenging in electric power systems characterized by high installed capacity of renewable energy technologies. In particular, periods with low and high price levels are difficult to predict due to a limited
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Forecasting the hourly spot price of day-ahead and intraday markets is particularly challenging in electric power systems characterized by high installed capacity of renewable energy technologies. In particular, periods with low and high price levels are difficult to predict due to a limited number of representative cases in the historical dataset, which leads to forecast bias problems and wide forecast intervals. Moreover, these markets also require the inclusion of multiple explanatory variables, which increases the complexity of the model without guaranteeing a forecasting skill improvement. This paper explores information from daily futures contract trading and forecast of the daily average spot price to correct point and probabilistic forecasting bias. It also shows that an adequate choice of explanatory variables and use of simple models like linear quantile regression can lead to highly accurate spot price point and probabilistic forecasts. In terms of point forecast, the mean absolute error was 3.03 €/MWh for day-ahead market and a maximum value of 2.53 €/MWh was obtained for intraday session 6. The probabilistic forecast results show sharp forecast intervals and deviations from perfect calibration below 7% for all market sessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy, Load and Price Forecasting towards Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Extent to Which the UK’s National Risk Register Supports Local Risk Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1991; doi:10.3390/su9111991
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application
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This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application within the East of England. A semi-structured interview methodology was adopted for this paper with 14 key stakeholders from across the East of England interviewed. Thematic coding analysis was used to structure the results against a set of research questions. Interviewees were found to be largely unaware of the National Risk Register, and as such its usefulness as a risk management tool is limited. In particular, restricted local resources, limited understanding of risk, and a lack of actionable strategies were highlighted as barriers to action. Opportunities for capacity building at the local level, sharing best practice, and improved risk communication were all identified. The National Risk Register could be used to improve risk management at local levels but more engagement with it at a local level is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility, Organizational Justice and Positive Employee Attitudes: In the Context of Korean Employment Relations
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1992; doi:10.3390/su9111992
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in scholarly interest in corporate social responsibility and its impact on employee attitudes. We intend to add to this literature by introducing unique explanatory and contextual variables. The study explains the impact of Corporate
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In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in scholarly interest in corporate social responsibility and its impact on employee attitudes. We intend to add to this literature by introducing unique explanatory and contextual variables. The study explains the impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on employee attitudes through justice within the context of cooperative employee relations. We argue that the concept of justice, which is implied in both socially responsible organizational policies and cooperative employee-employer relations, may be an important addition as a mediating variable. In essence, the study explores the mediating effects of the two primary types of justice, i.e., distributive and procedural, on the relationship between perceived corporate social responsibility, and job satisfaction, and affective commitment. Additionally, we introduce ethics-based psychological foundations, i.e., heuristic and deontic fairness theories to explain the studied relationship. The study also examines the moderated mediation effects of the cooperative industrial relations climate on perceived corporate social responsibility and justice perceptions. Our analysis supports the mediating role of both distributive and procedural justice perceptions. However, a moderated mediation role of the industrial relations climate was only found in the relationship between perceived corporate social responsibility, procedural justice, and employee attitudes. Implications of the study are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Removal of Cr(VI) and Toxic Ions from Aqueous Solutions and Tannery Wastewater Using Polymer-Clay Composites
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1993; doi:10.3390/su9111993
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Polymer-clay composites were prepared by natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) or naturally local clay deposits in an N,N-methylene-bis-acrylamide as cross-linked. The resultant composites were used for the removal of Cr(VI) from an aqueous solution. Additionally, their effects on soluble ions of tannery
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Polymer-clay composites were prepared by natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) or naturally local clay deposits in an N,N-methylene-bis-acrylamide as cross-linked. The resultant composites were used for the removal of Cr(VI) from an aqueous solution. Additionally, their effects on soluble ions of tannery wastewater were investigated. The produced composites were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that Cr(VI) removal is dependent upon initial concentrations and pH. The adsorption quantity of Cr(VI) onto the polymerized clay deposit followed by polymerized zeolite exhibited higher values than their original samples. The polymer-clay composite of clay deposit showed the highest removal of 76.3–100% overall initial concentrations of 10–50 mg L−1 and at initial pH of 2. Kinetics of Cr(VI) removal by various sorbents was predicted using a pseudo–second order model. Our findings showed that the levels of salinity and various soluble ions (Cr2+, Na+, Cl and SO42−) in tannery wastewater are very high, and their levels were reduced after treatment, especially by polymerized sorbents. It could be concluded that the polymer-clay composites may be employed as a highly efficient sorbent for the removal of Cr(VI) and toxic ions from the wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Site Selection of Wind-Solar Complementary Power Generation Project for a Large-Scale Plug-In Charging Station
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1994; doi:10.3390/su9111994
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
The wind-solar hybrid power generation project combined with electric vehicle charging stations can effectively reduce the impact on the power system caused by the random charging of electric cars, contribute to the in-situ wind-solar complementary system and reduce the harm arising from its
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The wind-solar hybrid power generation project combined with electric vehicle charging stations can effectively reduce the impact on the power system caused by the random charging of electric cars, contribute to the in-situ wind-solar complementary system and reduce the harm arising from its output volatility. In this paper, the site selection index system of a landscape complementary power generation project is established by using the statistical methods and statistical analysis in the literature. Subsequently, using the Analytic Network Process to calculate the index weight, a cloud model was used in combination with preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluations to transform and sort uncertain language information. Finally, using the results of the decision-making for the location of the Shanghai wind-solar complementary project and by carrying out contrast analysis and sensitivity analysis, the superiority and stability of the decision model constructed in this study was demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Gen2 RFID-Based System Framework for Resource Circulation in Closed-Loop Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1995; doi:10.3390/su9111995
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Product recycling has become a mandatory activity under extended producer responsibility. Therefore, it is important to operate a closed-loop supply chain that integrates sourcing, production, delivery, and recycling to achieve not only environmental sustainability, but also economic benefits. However, this goal is affected
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Product recycling has become a mandatory activity under extended producer responsibility. Therefore, it is important to operate a closed-loop supply chain that integrates sourcing, production, delivery, and recycling to achieve not only environmental sustainability, but also economic benefits. However, this goal is affected by chronic problems caused by uncertainties relating to the return timing, quantity, and quality of returned items. Many studies proved that information visibility could solve these problems. In this context, a system framework for closed-loop supply chain management is proposed that gathers real-time information within a supply chain and product lifecycle by using the Internet-of-Things, including radio frequency identification (RFID). Specifically, the most recent Gen2 RFID protocol, which provides new features to create new positive effects, is considered. Additionally, an information system is designed, including RFID tag encoding, which supports the operation of the proposed system. Finally, the lifecycle benefits are examined, such as counterfeit prevention, real-time monitoring and maintenance in the middle-of-life phase, and reverse process streamlining. The ultimate aim is to design a system that facilitates the profitable and environmentally friendly operation of the closed-loop supply chain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Tourism Growth on the Changing Landscape of a World Heritage Site: Case of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1996; doi:10.3390/su9111996
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Rapid tourism development adversely impacts and negatively transforms World Heritage Sites. This study aimed at examining how tourism growth has impacted the built environment of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR through an empirical approach. Luang Prabang has received a critical warning from World Heritage
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Rapid tourism development adversely impacts and negatively transforms World Heritage Sites. This study aimed at examining how tourism growth has impacted the built environment of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR through an empirical approach. Luang Prabang has received a critical warning from World Heritage Committee for the escalating development pressure on its vulnerable landscape. Hence, this study examined two aspects: (1) the spatial pattern of the increase of touristic usage; and (2) the relation between the increase of touristic usage and the significant changes in the built environment. For this, geographical information systems (GIS) are combined with statistical methods such as logistic regression and chi-square test of independence. The results affirmed that the change from other types of usage to touristic usage in existing buildings has a higher chance to occur along riverbank areas than in the middle of the peninsula in the core heritage area. Change to touristic usage is also related with three significant changes in the built environment, namely: (1) change from other types of architecture to Lao traditional architecture; (2) change from modern to traditional roof materials; and (3) change from traditional to modern building materials. This indicates that the increase in touristic usage has contributed to strengthening the heritage elements of the landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment of Two Vineyards after the Application of Precision Viticulture Techniques: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1997; doi:10.3390/su9111997
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Precision viticulture is the application of site-specific techniques to vineyard production to improve grape quality and yield and minimize the negative effects on the environment. While there are various studies on the inherent spatial and temporal variability of vineyards, the assessment of the
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Precision viticulture is the application of site-specific techniques to vineyard production to improve grape quality and yield and minimize the negative effects on the environment. While there are various studies on the inherent spatial and temporal variability of vineyards, the assessment of the environmental impact of variable rate applications has attracted limited attention. In this study, two vineyards planted with different grapevine cultivars (Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah) were examined for four consecutive growing seasons (2013–2016). The first year, the two vineyards were only studied in terms of soil properties and crop characteristics, which resulted in the delineation of two distinct management zones for each field. For the following three years, variable rate nutrient application was applied to each management zone based on leaf canopy reflectance, where variable rate irrigation was based on soil moisture sensors, meteorological data, evapotranspiration calculation, and leaf canopy reflectance. Life cycle assessment was carried out to identify the effect of variable rate applications on vineyard agro-ecosystems. The results of variable rate nutrients and water application in the selected management zones as an average value of three growing seasons were compared to the conventional practice. It was found that the reduction of product carbon footprint (PCF) of grapes in Sauvignon Blanc between the two periods was 25% in total. Fertilizer production and distribution (direct) and application (indirect) was the most important sector of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, accounting for 17.2%, and the within-farm energy use was the second ranked sector with 8.8% (crop residue management increase GHG emissions by 1.1%, while 0.1% GHG reduction is obtained by pesticide use). For the Syrah vineyard, where the production was less intensive, precision viticulture led to a PCF reduction of 28.3% compared to conventional production. Fertilizers contributed to this decrease by 27.6%, while within-farm energy use had an impact of 2.2% that was positive even though irrigation was increased, due to yield rise. Our results suggest that nutrient status management offers the greatest potential for reducing GHG emissions in both vineyard types. Variable rate irrigation also showed differences in comparison to conventional treatment, but to a lesser degree than variable rate fertilization. This difference between conventional practices and precision viticulture is noteworthy, and shows the potential of precision techniques to reduce the effect of viticulture on GHG emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Climate Variability and Change in Bihar, India: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Crop Production
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1998; doi:10.3390/su9111998
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Climate change and associated uncertainties have serious direct and indirect consequences for crop production and food security in agriculture-based developing regions. Long-term climate data analysis can identify climate risks and anticipate new ones for planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation options. The aim of
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Climate change and associated uncertainties have serious direct and indirect consequences for crop production and food security in agriculture-based developing regions. Long-term climate data analysis can identify climate risks and anticipate new ones for planning appropriate adaptation and mitigation options. The aim of this study was to identify near-term (2030) and mid-term (2050) climate risks and/or opportunities in the state of Bihar, one of India’s most populous and poorest states, using weather data for 30 years (1980–2009) as a baseline. Rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, and evapotranspiration will all increase in the near- and mid-term periods relative to the baseline period, with the magnitude of the change varying with time, season and location within the state. Bihar’s major climate risks for crop production will be heat stress due to increasing minimum temperatures in the rabi (winter) season and high minimum and maximum temperatures in the spring season; and intense rainfall and longer dry spells in the kharif (monsoon) season. The increase in annual and seasonal rainfall amounts, and extended crop growing period in the kharif season generally provide opportunities; but increasing temperature across the state will have considerable negative consequences on (staple) crops by affecting crop phenology, physiology and plant-water relations. The study helps develop site-specific adaptation and mitigation options that minimize the negative effects of climate change while maximizing the opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance for Climate Smart Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Free Range, Organic? Polish Consumers Preferences Regarding Information on Farming System and Nutritional Enhancement of Eggs: A Discrete Choice Based Experiment
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1999; doi:10.3390/su9111999
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to determine the structure of consumer preferences regarding information on farming system and nutritional enhancement of eggs to verify if consumers are willing to accept products combing sustainability and nutrition related claims. The data was collected
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The main purpose of this study was to determine the structure of consumer preferences regarding information on farming system and nutritional enhancement of eggs to verify if consumers are willing to accept products combing sustainability and nutrition related claims. The data was collected within a CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviews) survey on a representative sample of 935 consumers responsible for food shopping. A discrete choice-based conjoint method was selected in eliciting consumer preferences among different product profiles with varying levels of attributes. A hierarchical cluster analysis was used to identify four distinct clusters that differed significantly in terms of importance attached to production system attributes and socio-demographic profiles. The results of the experiment showed that price and farming system had the most significant mean relative importance in shaping consumers’ preferences, while other attributes such as nutrition and health claims, egg size, package size and hen breed were far less important. Free range eggs had the highest relative importance for consumers despite the fact that organic egg production systems are governed by much stricter animal welfare standards. Our segmentation revealed that two of our four clusters may be more easily reached by information on animal welfare related attributes in egg production than the others. The results of our study provide the policy makers and marketing practitioners with insights applicable for communication and pricing strategies for eggs with sustainability claims. Full article
Open AccessArticle Drivers of Labor-Related Indicators across Diverse Mediterranean Fisheries
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2000; doi:10.3390/su9112000
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
This regional case study is focused on employment, remuneration and labor productivity, with a particular emphasis on the interplay between labor productivity and other labor-related indicators and macroeconomic conditions in Italy, Egypt, Lebanon and Greece. Its value lies in the high degree of
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This regional case study is focused on employment, remuneration and labor productivity, with a particular emphasis on the interplay between labor productivity and other labor-related indicators and macroeconomic conditions in Italy, Egypt, Lebanon and Greece. Its value lies in the high degree of consistency and comparability of the data, owing to a shared data collection methodology. This has allowed for the compilation of both national and regional comparisons. The data is treated in two groups—the first group consists of national data that considers all the active vessels in a country; the second group focuses on the trawl segments of Italy and Egypt. These two countries present an interesting case study because they are so different in terms of labor productivity and remuneration performance. For instance, in Italy labor shortages have caused a shift in fishing strategies towards less labor-intensive operations to maintain the socioeconomic sustainability of the fisheries, while in Egypt macroeconomic conditions have resulted in a larger labor pool and strong incentives to work in the fisheries sector. The regional study demonstrates that labor-related indicators are interconnected and there is an inversely proportional relationship between labor productivity and remuneration and employment levels. This relationship necessitates a combined analysis. The results across and between the countries were compared, with particular attention given to labor productivity and remuneration in the respective countries with a discussion centred around the potential drivers of labor productivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Power Paradox: Implicit and Explicit Power Motives, and the Importance Attached to Prosocial Organizational Goals in SMEs
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2001; doi:10.3390/su9112001
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
We examine the fundamental tension between explicit and implicit power motives; and their combined impact on the importance attached to prosocial organizational goals in small businesses (SMEs). We show that key decision-makers with a dominant implicit power motive attach more importance to the
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We examine the fundamental tension between explicit and implicit power motives; and their combined impact on the importance attached to prosocial organizational goals in small businesses (SMEs). We show that key decision-makers with a dominant implicit power motive attach more importance to the prosocial goals of job creation and taking care of the environment in their businesses. However, we reveal that this positive relationship is moderated by their explicit power motive. Once decision-makers in SMEs consciously seek for power, the positive relationship is neutralized. With these results, we highlight the conceptual and methodological differences between implicit and explicit power motives. We could obtain these results because we developed and validated an innovative implicit motive measure—the Shortened Pictorial Attitude Implicit Association Test (SPA-IAT). Contrary to the currently available implicit motive measures, the SPA-IAT is fast and easy to use and analyze, which makes this novel instrument well suited for research in business settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Protecting of Marble Stone Facades of Historic Buildings Using Multifunctional TiO2 Nanocoatings
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2002; doi:10.3390/su9112002
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
Stone surfaces and façades of historic buildings, due to their predominately outdoor location, suffer from many deterioration factors, including air pollution, soluble salts, relative humidity (RH)/temperature, and biodeterioration, which are the main causes of decay. In particular, the façades of the buildings deteriorate
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Stone surfaces and façades of historic buildings, due to their predominately outdoor location, suffer from many deterioration factors, including air pollution, soluble salts, relative humidity (RH)/temperature, and biodeterioration, which are the main causes of decay. In particular, the façades of the buildings deteriorate with direct exposure to these factors; deformation and disfiguration of superficial decoration and formation of black crusts are often observed on the stones. The development and application of self-cleaning and protection treatments on historical and architectural stone surfaces could be a significant improvement in the conservation, protection and maintenance of Cultural Heritage. A titanium dioxide nanoparticle has become a promising photocatalytic material, owing to its ability to catalyze the complete degradation of many organic contaminants and environmental factors. In this study, TiO2 nanoparticles, dispersed in an aqueous colloidal suspension, were applied directly to historic marble stone surfaces, by spray-coating, in order to obtain a nanometric film over the stone surface. The study started with an investigation of some properties of TiO2 nanoparticles, to assess the feasibility of the use of TiO2 on historic stone and architectural surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was, coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis, (SEM-EDX), in order to obtain information on coating homogeneity and surface morphology, before and after artificial aging; the activity of the coated surface was evaluated through UV-light exposure, to evaluate photo-induced effects. The changes of molecular structure occurring in treated samples were spectroscopically studied by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR); activity of the hydrophobic property of the coated surface was evaluated by Sterio microscopy, model Zeiss 2010 from Munich, Germany, equipped with photo camera S23 under 80X magnification. The efficacy of the treatments was evaluated through capillary water absorption, and colorimetric measurements, performed to evaluate the optical appearance. Results showed that TiO2 nanoparticles are good candidates for coating applications on historic stone surfaces, where self-cleaning photo-induced effects are well evident; they enhanced the durability of stone surfaces toward UV aging, improved resistance to relative humidity (RH)/temperature and abrasion affect, reduced accumulation of dirt on stone surfaces when left in open air for 6 months, and did not alter the original features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Lisbon Potential Foodshed in Ribatejo e Oeste: A Suitability and Yield Model for Assessing the Potential for Localized Food Production
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2003; doi:10.3390/su9112003
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 28 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Research on food planning has been recently proposed in North American and European planning to account for how cities might change their food provision to respond to the rising demands for a more sustainable and ethical food system. The purpose of this paper
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Research on food planning has been recently proposed in North American and European planning to account for how cities might change their food provision to respond to the rising demands for a more sustainable and ethical food system. The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the agro-ecological potential of the Lisbon city region, Ribatejo e Oeste, to increase its Regional Food Self-Reliance (RFSR), through adopting demand restraint and food system relocalization approaches to food system sustainability. Three new diet scenarios were considered: meat-based, plant-based and strict vegetarian, defined in accordance with healthy dietary patterns. We used agro-climatic and agro-edaphic agricultural suitability models to evaluate the agro-ecological potential for RFSR, and proposed the use of Foodshed Landscape Plans within a landscape planning methodology. Results showed the extent of local food production that could improve food self-reliance, with 72%, 76%, 84% of total food needs in the meat-based, plant-based, and strict vegetarian scenarios, respectively. Thus, food system transformation by means of relocalization, is therefore ecologically feasible and would ensure the sustainable use of the ecological basis of food security. Additionally, a dietary transition would imply significant land sparing, which strengthens the demand restraint perspective for a transition to food system sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Dual-Recycling Channel Decision in a Closed-Loop Supply Chain with Cost Disruptions
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2004; doi:10.3390/su9112004
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper investigates cost disruptions of new and remanufactured products in a closed-loop supply chain where a manufacturer and a third-party collector recycle used products through online-recycling and offline-recycling channels, respectively. We use a Stackelberg game to acquire the equilibrium decisions of dual-recycling
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This paper investigates cost disruptions of new and remanufactured products in a closed-loop supply chain where a manufacturer and a third-party collector recycle used products through online-recycling and offline-recycling channels, respectively. We use a Stackelberg game to acquire the equilibrium decisions of dual-recycling and single-recycling channels and analyze how cost disruptions affect the manufacturer’ production and collection strategies. We show that, cost disruption of new products produces a positive impact whilst the remanufacturing cost disruption has a negative impact on collection quantity of used products and negative cost disruptions of both new and remanufactured products could be profitable to the manufacturer. As for the manufacturer’s channel choice, the dual-recycling channel dominates single-recycling channels when new product cost faces positive disruption, because the manufacturer acts as both a buyer and a competitor to the collector and can determine an appropriate acquisition price and transfer price to coordinate the online-offline recycling channel. While if cost disruption of new products is negative, the manufacturer prefers the dual-recycling channel instead of single-recycling channels only if the remanufacturing cost faces large size of negative disruption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain System Design and Optimization)
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Open AccessArticle A Flood Risk Assessment Model for Companies and Criteria for Governmental Decision-Making to Minimize Hazards
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2005; doi:10.3390/su9112005
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Flood risks in the industrial sector and economic damages are increasing because of climate change. In addition to changes in precipitation patterns due to climate change; factors that increase flood damage include infrastructure deterioration and lack of storage facilities. Therefore; it is necessary
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Flood risks in the industrial sector and economic damages are increasing because of climate change. In addition to changes in precipitation patterns due to climate change; factors that increase flood damage include infrastructure deterioration and lack of storage facilities. Therefore; it is necessary for companies and the government to actively establish flood management policies. However; no evaluation method is currently available to determine which items should be invested in first by small and medium-sized enterprises that have limited finances. Because the government should make comprehensive and fair decisions; the purpose of this study is to propose priority investment risk items and an assessment method to decide which companies should be invested in first in flood risk management due to climate change. The multispatial scale of the method takes both the location and characteristics of the company into account. Future climate change scenarios were used to evaluate the changing patterns of flood risks. We developed the relative Flood Risk Assessment for Company (FRAC model) methodology to support the government’s policymaking. This method was applied to four companies belonging to four different industries and three risk items were derived that are likely to harm the company owing to flooding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Customer-Driven Smart and Sustainable Interactions in Conventions: The Case of Nestlé’s Smart Button Adoption
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2007; doi:10.3390/su9112007
Received: 17 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: Services based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have emerged in various business environments. To enhance service quality at conventions and maximize the experience of attendees, this study developed a customer-driven smart and sustainable service, applying a smart button as an
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Abstract: Services based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have emerged in various business environments. To enhance service quality at conventions and maximize the experience of attendees, this study developed a customer-driven smart and sustainable service, applying a smart button as an IoT technology. An application of the IoT technology-based smart button was adopted by comparing advantages and disadvantages of technologies. We also identified the need for customer-driven smart and sustainable service by analyzing cases. Then, we designed, constructed and evaluated the service with the action research framework, which includes phases such as diagnosis, action planning, action taking, evaluation, and specify learning. In the first phase, various challenges and problems of the smart convention were diagnosed through interviews with organizers. In the action planning phase, service models were designed to solve the problems. In the action taking phase, which IoT technology would be the most appropriate was discussed and it was applied to the convention space. In the evaluation phase, we derived the role of IoT technology for smart conventions and summarized the results of the smart convention service. Finally, we presented implications for a business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
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Open AccessArticle Customer Purchasing Behavior Analysis as Alternatives for Supporting In-Store Green Marketing Decision-Making
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2008; doi:10.3390/su9112008
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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Abstract
Due to increasing concerns about environmental protection, the environmental sustainability of businesses has been widely considered in the manufacturing and supply chain context. Further, its adoption has been implemented in the retail industry for marketing field, including green product promotion. This study aimed
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Due to increasing concerns about environmental protection, the environmental sustainability of businesses has been widely considered in the manufacturing and supply chain context. Further, its adoption has been implemented in the retail industry for marketing field, including green product promotion. This study aimed to propose a customer purchasing behavior analysis as an alternative for supporting decision-making in order to promote green products in retail stores. Hence, right-on-target marketing strategies can be implemented appropriately. The study was carried out using shopping path data collected by radio frequency identification (RFID) from a large retail store in Seoul, South Korea. In addition, the store layout and its traffic were also analyzed. This method is expected to help experts providing appropriate decision alternatives. In addition, it can help retailers in order to increase product sales and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid RES Distributed Generation System for Autonomous Islands: A DER-CAM and Storage-Based Economic and Optimal Dispatch Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2010; doi:10.3390/su9112010
Received: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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Abstract
The possibility of replacing the existing autonomous thermal power plants by Distributed Energy Resources (DER) based on renewable energy sources (RES), along with the appropriate energy storage technologies in order to deal with the major problems that autonomous islands usually face was investigated.
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The possibility of replacing the existing autonomous thermal power plants by Distributed Energy Resources (DER) based on renewable energy sources (RES), along with the appropriate energy storage technologies in order to deal with the major problems that autonomous islands usually face was investigated. A case study of a small Greek island, which is confronted by various energy and water shortages, was studied for assessing the feasibility of DER deployment. The main objectives investigated were cost minimization, CO2 emissions minimization and DER reliability maximization. The DER-CAM (Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model) decision support tool was used for the multi-objective analysis conducted, which proposes a set of optimal solutions defining the appropriate Distributed Generation (DG) technologies, the capacities of storage and other technologies and the optimal dispatch of the DG system. A mutual beneficial solution, for all stakeholders, was proposed indicating the scope for developing such systems for all islands facing the same problems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Land Development and Redevelopment during China’s Rapid Urbanization: Evidence from Haikou City, 2003–2016
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2011; doi:10.3390/su9112011
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Land development and redevelopment (LDR) is essential to economic growth and the advancement of urbanization in urban China. Moreover, various factors affect LDR. Based on an investigation, during 2003–2016, which involves 420 parcels within a 2-km section of the Nandu River, Haikou city,
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Land development and redevelopment (LDR) is essential to economic growth and the advancement of urbanization in urban China. Moreover, various factors affect LDR. Based on an investigation, during 2003–2016, which involves 420 parcels within a 2-km section of the Nandu River, Haikou city, this paper employs a logistic model, so as to judge the impact of LDR on these parcels, and then with an improved hedonic model, it sets out to explore the LDR influencing factors. Specifically, the results show that the impact mechanism of LDR in China is different from countries where economy is the main influencing force. Moreover, China’s urban land development results from the cooperation and competition between local government and enterprises, with a particular focus on multiple political and economic factors. Hence, the paper innovatively incorporates quantifiable political and property factors that significantly influence the results. Finally, the paper tries to explain the variance from macro-level government and micro-level enterprises perspectives. In conclusion, China’s land development requires cooperation among the government and enterprises, in order to improve the economic, social, and environmental benefits of land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility in Gambling Industry: Multi-Items Stakeholder Based Scales
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2012; doi:10.3390/su9112012
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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Abstract
Macau gambling companies included Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) information in their annual reports and websites as a marketing tool. Responsible Gambling (RG) had been a recurring issue in Macau’s chief executive report since 2007 and in many of the major gambling operators’ annual
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Macau gambling companies included Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) information in their annual reports and websites as a marketing tool. Responsible Gambling (RG) had been a recurring issue in Macau’s chief executive report since 2007 and in many of the major gambling operators’ annual report. The purpose of this study was to develop a measurement scale on CSR activities in Macau. Items on the measurement scale were based on qualitative research with data collected from employees in Macau’s gambling industry and academic literature. First and Second Order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to verify the reliability and validity of the measurement scale. The results of this study were satisfactory and were supported by empirical evidence. This study provided recommendations to gambling stakeholders, including practitioners, government officers, customers and shareholders, and implications to promote CSR practice in Macau gambling industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Energy Consumption in the Mercury Treatment of Phosphor Powder from Spent Fluorescent Lamps Using a Thermal Process
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2013; doi:10.3390/su9112013
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
In a pilot-plant-scale thermal mercury treatment of phosphor powder from spent fluorescent lamps, energy consumption was estimated to control mercury content by the consideration of reaction kinetics. Mercury content was analyzed as a function of treatment temperature and time. The initial mercury content
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In a pilot-plant-scale thermal mercury treatment of phosphor powder from spent fluorescent lamps, energy consumption was estimated to control mercury content by the consideration of reaction kinetics. Mercury content was analyzed as a function of treatment temperature and time. The initial mercury content of the phosphor powder used in the thermal process was approximately 3500 mg/kg. The target mercury content in the phosphor powder thermal process of the phosphor powder was 5 mg/kg or less at 400 °C or higher because the target mercury content was recommended by Minamata Convention and Basel Convention. During thermal processing, the reaction rate was represented by a first order reaction with the Arrhenius equation. The reaction rate constant increased with temperature from 0.0112 min−1 at 350 °C to 0.0558 min−1 at 600 °C. The frequency factor was 2.51 min−1, and the activation energy was 6509.11 kcal/kg. Reaction rate constants were used to evaluate the treatment time required to reduce mercury content in phosphor powder to be less than 5 mg/kg. The total energy consumption in a pilot-plant-scale thermal process was evaluated to determine the optimal temperature for removing mercury in phosphor powder. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reducing Impact of Negative Complexity on Sustainability of Mass Customization
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2014; doi:10.3390/su9112014
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
In the mass customization environment, product platform development includes several aspects. One relates to the extent to which products are customized. Usually, a high level of product variety brings significant benefits to customers. On the other hand, a high degree of product customization
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In the mass customization environment, product platform development includes several aspects. One relates to the extent to which products are customized. Usually, a high level of product variety brings significant benefits to customers. On the other hand, a high degree of product customization may have a negative environmental impact during production, due to higher material usage. One possible way to reduce the impact is eliminating infeasible configuration options, caused by incompatibilities between optional component types, within a product platform. Such optional components are a source of negative complexity. However, a reduction of optional component types within a product platform can lead to decreasing the extent of the variety of a product to an undesirable level. An effective way of finding this optimal level of reduction is to quantify and analyze the rates between positive and negative complexities, which are related to the numbers of configuration options. The method for this purpose is presented in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle ‘Interrupted’ Landscapes: Post-Earthquake Reconstruction in between Urban Renewal and Social Identity of Local Communities
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2015; doi:10.3390/su9112015
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
The present study deals with the topic of post-seismic reconstruction focusing on landscape and social issues. Sustainable reconstruction requires a connection between the physical context of a given territory and the immaterial (historical, cultural, productive) values that constitute the place’s identity. In this
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The present study deals with the topic of post-seismic reconstruction focusing on landscape and social issues. Sustainable reconstruction requires a connection between the physical context of a given territory and the immaterial (historical, cultural, productive) values that constitute the place’s identity. In this perspective, those places that have been destroyed by severe earthquakes or other disasters could be labelled as “interrupted landscapes”, meaning a drastic break in the individual stories attaching the people to their own territory, as well as an abrupt alteration of the continuous process by which people attribute a sense to their own territory. The study discusses selected cases of post-earthquake reconstruction in Italy, providing an overview of different visions for development of the new towns, that oscillate between two contrasting approaches: the “new town” model, implying the construction of a new town off-site and the “in loco” model. Looking for the reasons for failures of the new town model reconstruction, the study also debates the social dimension of urban landscapes, reflecting upon the notion of ‘collective identity’ connecting place attachment to cultural heritage. These issues were finally considered when defining strategic guidelines for sustainable urban reconstruction promoting place identity and preserving the intimate characteristics of the affected landscapes. Governance actions were defined along with sustainability strategies based on the investigated case studies, outlining a series of best practices that may promote the permanent involvement of local communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Health Consciousness, Smog Consciousness and Chinese Elderly Migrant Workers’ Preferred Retirement Place
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2016; doi:10.3390/su9112016
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Although those who migrated fairly early in the Chinese diaspora are reaching retirement age, their choice of retirement location will be affected by significant rural–urban disparities in medical insurance and service, pension, environment management, and public education. The lifestyle and savings for migrant
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Although those who migrated fairly early in the Chinese diaspora are reaching retirement age, their choice of retirement location will be affected by significant rural–urban disparities in medical insurance and service, pension, environment management, and public education. The lifestyle and savings for migrant workers over 45 years old are unique; they have received the wages of urban workers but are still tied to agricultural residential identities. A field survey of 173 elderly migrant workers in Xi’an examined the relationship between preferred place of retirement and health, smog, and health environmental consciousness. Among the sample, 70.5% preferred to return home for retirement; 16.8%, to stay away from home; and 12.7% had not yet considered where they would live in retirement. Based on regression results, migrant workers who were more concerned about their personal health, less concerned about the effects of city smog, who had property in rural areas and who were less educated were significantly more likely to say that they would return to rural areas for retirement. It is suggested that the narrowing the gap in retirement service and medical service between rural and urban areas could be an effective way for the government to deal with future retirement issues and provide equalized retirement services for elderly migrant workers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Typology and Success Factors of Collaboration for Sustainable Growth in the IT Service Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2017; doi:10.3390/su9112017
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Recently, innovative changes in information technology (IT) trends, such as cloud computing and deep learning, have led IT companies to focus on collaboration for sustainable growth. This paper investigates collaboration strategies and success factors for IT service companies via a survey-based empirical study
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Recently, innovative changes in information technology (IT) trends, such as cloud computing and deep learning, have led IT companies to focus on collaboration for sustainable growth. This paper investigates collaboration strategies and success factors for IT service companies via a survey-based empirical study of Korean leading IT firms. Four types of collaboration were identified by considering the types of customer relationship and the target market: offshore, joint venture, collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and partnership with major local firms. Then, based on a Plan-Do-See management activity process, this paper considers success factors in the planning process and collaboration process, and analyzes an impact of these factors on collaboration performance such as financial performance, process innovation, improving competitiveness, and technology acquisition. As a result, the success factors differ according to the types of performance measures as well as the collaboration types. In particular, the characteristics of partners positively influence competitiveness in captive and global markets, while they improve process innovation in open and domestic markets. This study attempts to provide insight for companies in the IT service industry about how collaboration activities could enhance performance, depending on the alliance types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alliances and Network Organizations for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Transformation Strategies for the Operation and Management of Local Cultural Museums in Nantou County
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2018; doi:10.3390/su9112018
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Affected by economic recession, reductions in government subsidies, and changes in visitors’ needs and contributions, museums in Taiwan have begun to strengthen their recreational and economic functions. Nantou, which has 13 museums that showcase local cultural industries, is the county most obviously affected
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Affected by economic recession, reductions in government subsidies, and changes in visitors’ needs and contributions, museums in Taiwan have begun to strengthen their recreational and economic functions. Nantou, which has 13 museums that showcase local cultural industries, is the county most obviously affected by declining tourist numbers and reduced cultural consumption and cultural tourism. Through surveys and interviews, this study examines the current conditions of operational management of these venues and proposes feasible strategies for their future development. Specifically, it reveals that the operation and management of Nantou’s local cultural museums are negatively impacted by the lack of (1) relevant management experience, (2) inter-museum coordination and integration, and (3) financing mechanisms. The recommended development strategies include the establishment of cross-disciplinary value-added platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Crowdsourcing Analysis of Twitter Data on Climate Change: Paid Workers vs. Volunteers
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2019; doi:10.3390/su9112019
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Web based crowdsourcing has become an important method of environmental data processing. Two alternatives are widely used today by researchers in various fields: paid data processing mediated by for-profit businesses such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and volunteer data processing conducted by amateur citizen-scientists.
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Web based crowdsourcing has become an important method of environmental data processing. Two alternatives are widely used today by researchers in various fields: paid data processing mediated by for-profit businesses such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and volunteer data processing conducted by amateur citizen-scientists. While the first option delivers results much faster, it is not quite clear how it compares with volunteer processing in terms of quality. This study compares volunteer and paid processing of social media data originating from climate change discussions on Twitter. The same sample of Twitter messages discussing climate change was offered for processing to the volunteer workers through the Climate Tweet project, and to the paid workers through the Amazon MTurk platform. We found that paid crowdsourcing required the employment of a high redundancy data processing design to obtain quality that was comparable with volunteered processing. Among the methods applied to improve data processing accuracy, limiting the geographical locations of the paid workers appeared the most productive. Conversely, we did not find significant geographical differences in the accuracy of data processed by volunteer workers. We suggest that the main driver of the found pattern is the differences in familiarity of the paid workers with the research topic. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Can Livestock Farming and Tourism Coexist in Mountain Regions? A New Business Model for Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2021; doi:10.3390/su9112021
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
European Mediterranean mountain regions have been characterized by a sort of competition between the tourism sector and the agro-silvo-pastoral system, which in recent years has contributed to generate a continuous decline of the second one. Nevertheless, Pasture-based Livestock Farming Systems (PLSFS) are relevant
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European Mediterranean mountain regions have been characterized by a sort of competition between the tourism sector and the agro-silvo-pastoral system, which in recent years has contributed to generate a continuous decline of the second one. Nevertheless, Pasture-based Livestock Farming Systems (PLSFS) are relevant for their role in the management and conservation of large High Nature Value (HNV) farmlands in Europe. The goal of our research is therefore to analyze what are the main features of farming organizations in the Italian alpine mountains and how they may be combined into inovative and sustainable business models (BM), characterized by the coexistence of agro-silvo-pastoral and touristic activities. By drawing upon the BM definition suggested by the Bocken’s et al. (2014), an exploratory case study has been analyzed; in particular, we propose the case study of the Lanzo Valleys, an alpine mountain region in the northwest of Italy, and the Toma di Lanzo Producers Association. The way a concrete and sustainable innovation in the more traditional BM could be supported only by the proactive intervention of a supra-farm dimension, while maintaining the peculiarities of the individual farms, is clearly shown in the article. A system of firms and institutions linked together in a collaborative relationship may represent a strong network, able to achieve the common goal of producing a sustainable development for the territory. Indeed, environment and cultural heritage may be preserved, as well as the economic perspective of farms reinforced, while the PLSFS could become more attractive for the tourism phenomenon. Interesting implications for farmers, policy makers and local institutions are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Modelling Interactions between Land Use, Climate, and Hydrology along with Stakeholders’ Negotiation for Water Resources Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2022; doi:10.3390/su9112022
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper describes the main functionalities of an integrated framework to model the interactions between land use, climate, and hydrology along with stakeholders’ negotiation. Its novelty lies in the combination of individual-based and spatially distributed models within the Socio-Hydrology paradigm to capture the
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This paper describes the main functionalities of an integrated framework to model the interactions between land use, climate, and hydrology along with stakeholders’ negotiation. Its novelty lies in the combination of individual-based and spatially distributed models within the Socio-Hydrology paradigm to capture the complexity and uncertainty inherent to these systems. It encompasses a land-use/land-cover cellular automata model, an agent-based model used for automated stakeholders’ negotiation, and the hydrological MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 model, which are linked and can be accessed through a web-based interface. It enables users to run simulations to explore a wide range of scenarios related to land development and water resource management while considering the reciprocal influence of human and natural systems. This framework was developed with the involvement of key stakeholders from the initial design stage to the final demonstration and validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
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Open AccessArticle Is Earnings Management in the South Korean Defense Industry Sustainable?
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2023; doi:10.3390/su9112023
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 27 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Recently, the defense industry in South Korea has been regarded with strong suspicion since a company responsible for producing parts for the aviation sector is being investigated for cost irregularities. Many people are concerned about these issues and the government is distrustful of
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Recently, the defense industry in South Korea has been regarded with strong suspicion since a company responsible for producing parts for the aviation sector is being investigated for cost irregularities. Many people are concerned about these issues and the government is distrustful of defense industries. If the current situation continues, the defense industry market in South Korea (henceforth “South Korea”) will be hard to maintain. The South Korean government will have to rely on importing from abroad instead of buying products in the local market. This study looked at the sustainability of earnings management adopted in the defense industry of South Korea, exploring options for the government to maintain the scheme’s soundness. In particular, we used Kothari’s discretionary accrual as a proxy of earnings management and OLS method to analyze the relationship between them. The results are as follows. Firstly the firms with a high percentage of defense sales showed significant discretionary accruals; the higher the profit, the more likely it was that earnings adjustments were made; secondly, firms that had been certified by the government for defense cost-management were proven to be effective, because the earnings management activities were low compared to those of firms that did not have the defense cost-management certification; lastly, based on the accounting rules for the cost of defense products, it was found that significant results confirming defense firms were exercising their influence, through earnings management, on the improvement of the government system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Adoption of Organic Farming as an Opportunity for Syrian Farmers of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: An Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour and Structural Equation Modelling
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2024; doi:10.3390/su9112024
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
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Abstract
Exporting organic fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) to the European Union could represent a great opportunity for Syrian farmers and exporters. Yet, the organic sector in Syria is comparatively young and only a very small area of FFV is organically managed. To date,
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Exporting organic fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) to the European Union could represent a great opportunity for Syrian farmers and exporters. Yet, the organic sector in Syria is comparatively young and only a very small area of FFV is organically managed. To date, little is known about Syrian farmers’ attitudes towards organic FFV production. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the intentions and attitudes of Syrian farmers of FFV towards organic farming and how likely they are to convert their farms to organic production within the next five years. Using a two-stage cluster sampling procedure, 266 conventional farmers of FFV in 75 villages located in different districts of Syria’s coastal region were selected for this survey. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews by a project partner in Syria (Citrus Fruit Board in Tartous) from December 2012 until mid-May 2013. We used the Theory of Planned Behaviour as theoretical framework and Partial Least Squares Path Modelling as the main tool for data analysis. The results show that most farmers used at least one of the practices that are also part of certified organic production (throughout this article, the term organic agriculture, farming, and/or production always refer to certified organic agricultural production), and hold strong positive attitudes and intentions to adopt organic production within the next five years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Interval Estimation Method of Patent Keyword Data for Sustainable Technology Forecasting
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2025; doi:10.3390/su9112025
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 5 November 2017
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Abstract
Technology forecasting (TF) is forecasting the future state of a technology. It is exciting to know the future of technologies, because technology changes the way we live and enhances the quality of our lives. In particular, TF is an important area in the