Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story The current e-waste management system suffers from losses in the form of materials, product and [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-194
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 811; doi:10.3390/su9050811
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This piece serves as the guest editorial of the Special Issue on the ‘Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms’. Firstly, this editorial piece asks whether it is possible for firms to sustain their performance forever. Then, it reviews the popular
[...] Read more.
This piece serves as the guest editorial of the Special Issue on the ‘Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms’. Firstly, this editorial piece asks whether it is possible for firms to sustain their performance forever. Then, it reviews the popular literature on the value chain. Afterwards, it develops a research framework for open innovation in the value chain, and proposes five ways of open innovation taking place within it. These include user open innovation, customer open innovation, common profit community, together growth community, and inner open innovation. Lastly, this editorial introduces articles from the Special Issue that concentrate on the various open innovation perspectives for firms to achieve sustainability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial Advanced IT-Based Future Sustainable Computing
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 757; doi:10.3390/su9050757
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Future Sustainability Computing (FSC) is a novel research topic that deals with algorithms, procedures, and applications of information technologies for abundant life. In this Special Issue, we cover novel research and applications within the scope of sustainability computing dealing with hardware/software technologies, especially
[...] Read more.
Future Sustainability Computing (FSC) is a novel research topic that deals with algorithms, procedures, and applications of information technologies for abundant life. In this Special Issue, we cover novel research and applications within the scope of sustainability computing dealing with hardware/software technologies, especially for frameworks and architectures. For example, topics include dynamic group management in Internet of Things (IoT); real-time video surveillance; security threats in Software Defined Network (SDN); real-time indoor Air-Quality level indicator; effectiveness of information systems security; load-balancing for inter-sensor convergence; neighbor discovery in sensor networks; transmission algorithm with Quality of Service (QoS) consideration; analysis of the relationship between Intrusion Detection System (IDS) alerts and darknet are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessEditorial Special Issue Editorial: Earth Observation and Geoinformation Technologies for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 760; doi:10.3390/su9050760
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle An Optimal Operation Model and Ordered Charging/Discharging Strategy for Battery Swapping Stations
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 700; doi:10.3390/su9050700
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The economic operation of battery swapping stations (BSSs) is significant for the promotion of large-scale electric vehicles. This paper develops a linear programming model to maximize the daily operation profits of a BSS by considering constraints of the battery swapping demand of users
[...] Read more.
The economic operation of battery swapping stations (BSSs) is significant for the promotion of large-scale electric vehicles. This paper develops a linear programming model to maximize the daily operation profits of a BSS by considering constraints of the battery swapping demand of users and the charging/discharging balance of batteries in the BSS. Based on the BSS configuration and data from electric taxis in Beijing, we simulate the operation situation and charging/discharging load of the BSS in nine scenarios with two ordered charging and discharging strategies. The simulation results demonstrate that the model can achieve the maximum daily profits of the BSS. According to the sensitivity analysis, the battery swapping price for batteries is the most sensitive, followed by the number of batteries in the BSS, while the operation-maintenance costs and battery depreciation costs are least sensitive. In addition, the charging and discharging of batteries in the BSS can be coordinated by increasing the battery quantity of the BSS and formulating the ladder-type battery swapping price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Country Selection Model for Sustainable Construction Businesses Using Hybrid of Objective and Subjective Information
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 800; doi:10.3390/su9050800
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An important issue for international businesses and academia is selecting countries in which to expand in order to achieve entrepreneurial sustainability. This study develops a country selection model for sustainable construction businesses using both objective and subjective information. The objective information consists of
[...] Read more.
An important issue for international businesses and academia is selecting countries in which to expand in order to achieve entrepreneurial sustainability. This study develops a country selection model for sustainable construction businesses using both objective and subjective information. The objective information consists of 14 variables related to country risk and project performance in 32 countries over 25 years. This hybrid model applies subjective weighting from industrial experts to objective information using a fuzzy LinPreRa-based Analytic Hierarchy Process. The hybrid model yields a more accurate country selection compared to a purely objective information-based model in experienced countries. Interestingly, the hybrid model provides some different predictions with only subjective opinions in unexperienced countries, which implies that expert opinion is not always reliable. In addition, feedback from five experts in top international companies is used to validate the model’s completeness, effectiveness, generality, and applicability. The model is expected to aid decision makers in selecting better candidate countries that lead to sustainable business success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How Sharing Can Contribute to More Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 701; doi:10.3390/su9050701
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, much of the literature on sharing in cities has focused on the sharing economy, in which people use online platforms to share underutilized assets in the marketplace. This view of sharing is too narrow for cities, as it neglects the myriad of
[...] Read more.
Recently, much of the literature on sharing in cities has focused on the sharing economy, in which people use online platforms to share underutilized assets in the marketplace. This view of sharing is too narrow for cities, as it neglects the myriad of ways, reasons, and scales in which citizens share in urban environments. Research presented here by the Liveable Cities team in the form of participant workshops in Lancaster and Birmingham, UK, suggests that a broader approach to understanding sharing in cities is essential. The research also highlighted tools and methods that may be used to help to identify sharing in communities. The paper ends with advice to city stakeholders, such as policymakers, urban planners, and urban designers, who are considering how to enhance sustainability in cities through sharing. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Relative Sustainability of Land Devoted to Bioenergy: Comparing Land-Use Alternatives in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 801; doi:10.3390/su9050801
Received: 3 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When developing land to meet various human needs, conducting assessments of different alternatives regarding their sustainability is critical. Among different alternatives of land-use, devoting land to bioenergy is relatively novel, in high demand, and important for addressing the energy crisis and mitigating carbon
[...] Read more.
When developing land to meet various human needs, conducting assessments of different alternatives regarding their sustainability is critical. Among different alternatives of land-use, devoting land to bioenergy is relatively novel, in high demand, and important for addressing the energy crisis and mitigating carbon emissions. Furthermore, the competition and disputes among limited land-use for bioenergy and the combination of food production and housing are tense. Thus, which alternative of land-use is more sustainable is an important question, yet it is still under-investigated. The main purposes of this study are to investigate the merits and problems of land-use for bioenergy and to compare the relative sustainability of land-use for bioenergy, food production, and housing based on habitants’ perceptions. Multi-criteria analysis is applied to the case study in the context of China, evaluating multiple criteria in economic, environmental, and social dimensions. Therefore, this study presents a comprehensive assessment of different scenarios of land-use designed to be implemented and some implications for optimum land-use policies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle MCDM Assessment of a Healthy and Safe Built Environment According to Sustainable Development Principles: A Practical Neighborhood Approach in Vilnius
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 702; doi:10.3390/su9050702
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization has a massive effect on the environment, both locally and globally. With an ever-increasing scale of construction and manufacturing and misuse of energy resources come poorer air quality, growing mortality rates and more rapid climate change. For these reasons, a healthy and
[...] Read more.
Urbanization has a massive effect on the environment, both locally and globally. With an ever-increasing scale of construction and manufacturing and misuse of energy resources come poorer air quality, growing mortality rates and more rapid climate change. For these reasons, a healthy and safe built environment is ever more in demand. Global debates focus on sustainable development of the built environment; a rational approach to its analysis is multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) methods. Alternative MCDM methods applied to the same problem often produce different results. In the search for a more reliable tool, this study proposes that a system of MCDM methods should be applied to a single problem. This article assesses 21 neighborhoods in Vilnius in the context of a healthy and safe built environment in view of the principles of sustainable development. MCDM methods were used for this purpose: entropy, Criterion Impact LOSs (CILOS) and Integrated Determination of Objective Criteria Weights (IDOCRIW) methods were used to determine the objective weights of the criteria, while expert judgement determined the subjective weights. With the overall weights determined, the Vilnius neighborhoods were assessed through the application of COmplex PRoportional ASsessment (COPRAS), Simple Additive Weighting (SAW), Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and Evaluation based on Distance from Average Solution (EDAS) methods. The final results were then processed using the rank average method, Borda count and Copeland’s method. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Anomia and Displacement of Responsibility as Determinants of Tourist Company Managers’ Non-Involvement in Alleviating Poverty
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 802; doi:10.3390/su9050802
Received: 28 January 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The economic transformation produced by tourism sometimes has a positive influence on reducing poverty, but other times it does not. Discovering the reasons for this difference is highly relevant. In searching for these reasons, this study will focus on an important actor in
[...] Read more.
The economic transformation produced by tourism sometimes has a positive influence on reducing poverty, but other times it does not. Discovering the reasons for this difference is highly relevant. In searching for these reasons, this study will focus on an important actor in tourism management, the manager. Specifically, the study will analyze how a certain negative mood state, anomia, influences the fact that managers do not consider it advisable for their companies to become involved in reducing poverty. The term future managers has been used as a proxy variable for managers. In addition, the study will also examine whether a moral disengagement mechanism, displacement of responsibility, is a mediator variable in this relationship. Covariance-based structural equation modeling was applied to a sample of 422 students in their last year of the Tourism degree at two universities, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) and Ibn-Zohr-Agadir (Morocco). The results show that all the proposed hypotheses are supported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Collaborative Consumption: A Proposed Scale for Measuring the Construct Applied to a Carsharing Setting
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 703; doi:10.3390/su9050703
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards greater collaboration in various spheres of society, in which the creation of value from shared resources while balancing self-interest and community well-being is emphasized. Consumption has ceased to be characterized exclusively by the
[...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards greater collaboration in various spheres of society, in which the creation of value from shared resources while balancing self-interest and community well-being is emphasized. Consumption has ceased to be characterized exclusively by the purchase and possession of goods; instead new collaborative initiatives represented by exchanges, loans, renting, and other forms of sharing that allow consumers access to a good or service only in the time they are necessary have appeared. However, few studies have attempted to measure the reasons that lead consumers to practice collaborative consumption. Therefore, the main objective of this article is to propose a scale that measures the motivators, facilitators, and constraints for this mode of consumption. For this, a study was conducted among carsharing users in Brazil, which aimed to purify and validate the proposed scale. The results indicate that collaborative consumption applied to a carsharing setting is composed of six dimensions and confirm the validity and reliability of the studied construct. The discussion highlights the study findings and offers suggestions for further research into this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Open AccessArticle The Energy Rebound Effect for the Construction Industry: Empirical Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 803; doi:10.3390/su9050803
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the largest energy consumer and carbon emitter, China has made substantial efforts to improve energy efficiency to save energy, while the energy rebound effect mitigates its effectiveness. This paper is based on the logical relationship among capital input, technical change, economic growth,
[...] Read more.
As the largest energy consumer and carbon emitter, China has made substantial efforts to improve energy efficiency to save energy, while the energy rebound effect mitigates its effectiveness. This paper is based on the logical relationship among capital input, technical change, economic growth, and energy consumption, adapting an alternative estimation model to estimate the energy rebound effect for the construction industry in China. Empirical results reveal that the average energy rebound effect for the construction industry in China was about 59.5% during the period of 1990–2014. It is indicated that the energy rebound effect does exist in China’s construction industry and it presents a fluctuating declining trend. This indicates that approximately half of the potential energy saving by technical change is achieved. It could be concluded that proper energy pricing reforms and energy taxes should be implemented to promote sustainable development in the construction industry for China’s government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Summer Sea-Surface Temperatures and Climatic Events in Vaigat Strait, West Greenland, during the Last 5000 Years
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 704; doi:10.3390/su9050704
Received: 19 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We present a new reconstruction of summer sea-surface temperature (SST) variations over the past 5000 years based on a diatom record from gravity core DA06-139G, from Vaigat Strait in Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Summer SST varied from 1.4 to 5 °C, and the
[...] Read more.
We present a new reconstruction of summer sea-surface temperature (SST) variations over the past 5000 years based on a diatom record from gravity core DA06-139G, from Vaigat Strait in Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Summer SST varied from 1.4 to 5 °C, and the record exhibits an overall decreasing temperature trend. Relatively high summer SST occurred prior to 3000 cal. a BP, representing the end of the Holocene Thermal Maximum. After the beginning of the “Neoglaciation” at approximately 3000 cal. a BP, Vaigat Strait experienced several hydrographical changes that were closely related to the general climatic and oceanographic evolution of the North Atlantic region. Distinct increases in summer SST in Vaigat Strait occurred from 2000 to 1600 cal. a BP and from 1200 to 630 cal. a BP, and are consistent with the “Roman Warm Period” and the “Mediaeval Warm Period” in the North Atlantic region. The summer SST decreased significantly during 1500~1200 cal. a BP and 630~50 cal. a BP, corresponding, respectively, to the Northeast Atlantic cooling episodes known as the “European Dark Ages” and “Little Ice Age”. Spectral and cross-correlation analyses indicate that centennial-scale oscillations in summer SST are superimposed on the long-term trend. The dominant periodicities are centered at 529, 410, and 191 years, which are close to the ubiquitous 512 and 206-year 14C cycle, suggesting that solar forcing may play an important role in summer SST variability in Disko Bugt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining Spatial Variation in the Effects of Japanese Red Pine (Pinus densiflora) on Burn Severity Using Geographically Weighted Regression
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 804; doi:10.3390/su9050804
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Burn severity has profound impacts on the response of post-fire forest ecosystems to fire events. Numerous previous studies have reported that burn severity is determined by variables such as meteorological conditions, pre-fire forest structure, and fuel characteristics. An underlying assumption of these studies
[...] Read more.
Burn severity has profound impacts on the response of post-fire forest ecosystems to fire events. Numerous previous studies have reported that burn severity is determined by variables such as meteorological conditions, pre-fire forest structure, and fuel characteristics. An underlying assumption of these studies was the constant effects of environmental variables on burn severity over space, and these analyses therefore did not consider the spatial dimension. This study examined spatial variation in the effects of Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) on burn severity. Specifically, this study investigated the presence of spatially varying relationships between Japanese red pine and burn severity due to changes in slope and elevation. We estimated conventional ordinary least squares (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models and compared them using three criteria; the coefficients of determination (R2), Akaike information criterion for small samples (AICc), and Moran’s I-value. The GWR model performed considerably better than the OLS model in explaining variation in burn severity. The results provided strong evidence that the effect of Japanese red pine on burn severity was not constant but varied spatially. Elevation was a significant factor in the variation in the effects of Japanese red pine on burn severity. The influence of red pine on burn severity was considerably higher in low-elevation areas but became less important than the other variables in high-elevation areas. The results of this study can be applied to location-specific strategies for forest managers and can be adopted to improve fire simulation models to more realistically mimic the nature of fire behavior. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Climate Variability and Mangrove Cover Dynamics at Species Level in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 805; doi:10.3390/su9050805
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
PDF Full-text (14364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mangrove ecosystems are complex in nature. For monitoring the impact of climate variability in this ecosystem, a multidisciplinary approach is a prerequisite. Changes in temperature and rainfall pattern have been suggested as an influential factor responsible for the change in mangrove species composition
[...] Read more.
Mangrove ecosystems are complex in nature. For monitoring the impact of climate variability in this ecosystem, a multidisciplinary approach is a prerequisite. Changes in temperature and rainfall pattern have been suggested as an influential factor responsible for the change in mangrove species composition and spatial distribution. The main aim of this study was to assess the relationship between temperature, rainfall pattern and dynamics of mangrove species in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, over a 38 year time period from 1977 to 2015. To assess the relationship, a three stage analytical process was employed. Primarily, the trend of temperature and rainfall over the study period were identified using a linear trend model; then, the supervised maximum likelihood classifier technique was employed to classify images recorded by Landsat series and post-classification comparison techniques were used to detect changes at species level. The rate of change of different mangrove species was also estimated in the second stage. Finally, the relationship between temperature, rainfall and the dynamics of mangroves at species level was determined using a simple linear regression model. The results show a significant statistical relationship between temperature, rainfall and the dynamics of mangrove species. The trends of change for Heritiera fomes and Sonneratia apelatala show a strong relationship with temperature and rainfall, while Ceriops decandra shows a weak relationship. In contrast, Excoecaria agallocha and Xylocarpus mekongensis do not show any significant relationship with temperature and rainfall. On the basis of our results, it can be concluded that temperature and rainfall are important climatic factors influencing the dynamics of three major mangrove species viz. H. fomes, S. apelatala and C. decandra in the Sundarbans. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Integrating Agroecology and Participatory Action Research (PAR): Lessons from Central America
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 705; doi:10.3390/su9050705
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The last decade has seen an increasing advancement and interest in the integration of agroecology and participatory action research (PAR). This article aims to: (1) analyze the key characteristics and principles of two case studies that integrated PAR and agroecology in Central America;
[...] Read more.
The last decade has seen an increasing advancement and interest in the integration of agroecology and participatory action research (PAR). This article aims to: (1) analyze the key characteristics and principles of two case studies that integrated PAR and agroecology in Central America; and (2) learn from the lessons offered by these case studies, as well as others from the literature, on how to better integrate PAR and agroecology. Key principles identified for effective PAR agroecological processes include a shared interest in research by partners, a belief in collective power/action, a commitment to participation, practicing humility and establishing trust and accountability. Important lessons to consider for future work include: (1) research processes that did not start as PAR, can evolve into it; (2) farmer/stakeholder participation in setting the research agenda, from the outset, results in higher engagement and enhanced outcomes; (3) having the right partners for the desired outcomes is key; (4) intentional and explicit reflection is an essential component of PAR processes; and (5) cross-generational collaborations are crucial to long-term benefits. Key challenges that confront PAR processes include the need for time and resources over longer periods; the complexity of multi-actor process facilitation; and institutional barriers within the academy and development organizations, which prevent shifting investment towards integrated PAR agroecological processes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Industrial Symbiosis in the Upper Valley: A Study of the Casella-Hypertherm Recycling Partnership
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 806; doi:10.3390/su9050806
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (471 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Casella-Hypertherm Recycling Partnership (CHRP) is a collaboration between a waste management company and a manufacturer that has created a unique recycling environment for companies in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. This article presents the CHRP as a novel
[...] Read more.
The Casella-Hypertherm Recycling Partnership (CHRP) is a collaboration between a waste management company and a manufacturer that has created a unique recycling environment for companies in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. This article presents the CHRP as a novel form of industrial symbiosis (IS) using the recently published theoretical framework of IS dynamics proposed by Boons et al. We present this partnership in the academic literature for the first time and also gauge the adequacy of the typology when faced with a new model of IS. We argue that the CHRP exhibits qualities of multiple dynamics, and may in fact be an example of a new dynamic which we call “active facilitation”. Finally, the article also contributes evidence to the Boons et al. generative research question about the relationship between initial conditions and specific dynamics by analyzing the context in which the CHRP emerged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Finding the Missing Link between Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Competitiveness through Social Capital: A Business Ecosystem Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 707; doi:10.3390/su9050707
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are existing studies that successfully show the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on firms’ financial performance. However, limited attention is paid to its impact on the business ecosystem. CSR could be seen as an investment for building a sustainable business ecosystem,
[...] Read more.
There are existing studies that successfully show the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on firms’ financial performance. However, limited attention is paid to its impact on the business ecosystem. CSR could be seen as an investment for building a sustainable business ecosystem, which enhances the competitiveness of this system’s members. In that context, this study apprehends and captures the virtuous cycle of firm competitiveness. On analyzing data from interviews with seven firms, the study offers four propositions identifying the structure of the virtuous cycle linking CSR activities to firm competitiveness through the accumulation of social capital within business ecosystems. Based on those propositions, the study offers new insights into CSR research for academics and strategic planning guidelines for managers that integrate social and economic values for a sustainable business ecosystem and firm competitiveness. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Determinants of Plate Leftovers in One German Catering Company
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 807; doi:10.3390/su9050807
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (611 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the majority of food waste in high-income countries occurs at the consumption stage and given the clear trend towards out-of-home food consumption, it is important to understand the factors that lead to food waste in the hospitality sector. The present study uses
[...] Read more.
Since the majority of food waste in high-income countries occurs at the consumption stage and given the clear trend towards out-of-home food consumption, it is important to understand the factors that lead to food waste in the hospitality sector. The present study uses a behavioral structural equation model to test the drivers of consumers’ leftover behavior in an out-of-home setting. Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, we additionally consider “personal norms” and the situational “taste perception” of food as determinants. Our results in a company canteen demonstrate that personal norms and attitudes greatly determine consumers’ intention to prevent leftovers, whereas subjective norms and perceived behavioral control appear less relevant. Stated leftover behavior depends on both behavioral intention and the situational taste perception of food. We show that in order to understand individual food leftover behavior in an out-of-home setting, determinants from behavioral theories should be complemented by situational variables. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling the Relative Contributions of Land Use Change and Harvest to Forest Landscape Change in the Taihe County, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 708; doi:10.3390/su9050708
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (8045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests are under pressure from land use change due to anthropogenic activities. Land use change and harvest are the main disturbances of forest landscape changes. Few studies have focused on the relative contributions of different disturbances. In this study, we used the CA-Markov
[...] Read more.
Forests are under pressure from land use change due to anthropogenic activities. Land use change and harvest are the main disturbances of forest landscape changes. Few studies have focused on the relative contributions of different disturbances. In this study, we used the CA-Markov model, a land-use change model, coupled with a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, to simulate dynamic change in Taihe County, China, from 2010 to 2050. Scenarios analysis was conducted to quantify the relative contributions of land use change and harvest. Our results show that forestland and arable land will remain the primary land-use types in 2050, whereas the built-up land will sprawl drastically. Land use change and harvest may result in the significant loss of forest area and changes in landscape structure. The simulated forest area will increase by 16.2% under the no disturbance scenario. However, under harvest, forest conversion, and integrated scenario, the area will be reduced by 5.2%, 16.5%, and 34.9%, respectively. The effect of harvest is gradually enhanced. The land use change will account for 60% and harvest will account for 40% of forest landscape change in 2050, respectively. Our results may benefit from the integration of regional forest management and land-use policy-making, and help to achieve a trade-off between economy and ecological environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Treelines—Approaches at Different Scales
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 808; doi:10.3390/su9050808
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4858 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scales in treeline research depend on the objectives and must match the underlying natural processes. Factors and processes at one scale may not be as important at another scale. In the global view, the number of factors influencing climatic treeline position can be
[...] Read more.
Scales in treeline research depend on the objectives and must match the underlying natural processes. Factors and processes at one scale may not be as important at another scale. In the global view, the number of factors influencing climatic treeline position can be reduced to the effects of heat deficiency. Emphasis, however, should be laid on differentiation of the treeline by their regionally and locally varying physiognomy, diversity, spatial and temporal features, and heterogeneity. An assessment of the relative importance of the factors shaping regional/local treeline physiognomy, spatial patterns, and dynamics should have priority. This can be achieved only by syndisciplinary research. Such studies are indispensable for assessing treeline response to climate change at the regional and landscape scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Interrelations of Ecosystem Services and Rural Population Wellbeing in an Ecologically-Fragile Area in North China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 709; doi:10.3390/su9050709
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (10759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services (ES) are indispensable contributors to rural population wellbeing (RPWB). Understanding the relationship between ES and RPWB is important to human welfare and conserving ecosystem services. Ecologically-vulnerable areas are widely distributed in China and are concentrated with impoverished people. This study explored
[...] Read more.
Ecosystem services (ES) are indispensable contributors to rural population wellbeing (RPWB). Understanding the relationship between ES and RPWB is important to human welfare and conserving ecosystem services. Ecologically-vulnerable areas are widely distributed in China and are concentrated with impoverished people. This study explored the relations of ES and RPWB in an ecologically-fragile area, and provided some recommendations for regional improvement. We developed an evaluation framework, analyzed the spatio-temporal characteristics of services and RPWB, and examined their relations. Results showed that: (1) the level of RPWB in an ecologically-vulnerable area was lower than that in the downstream region; however, the wellbeing gap between regions has narrowed over time; (2) Regions with a higher ecosystem service capacity had higher levels of rural population wellbeing, and vice versa; (3) In addition to the food supply, other ES indicators were closely associated with RPWB in the region. Specifically, the net income and living space were closely related to food supply, while rural-urban income ratio and water environment were more relevant to the other services. Lastly, it is important to address environment and poverty issues simultaneously. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Low Purchase Willingness for Battery Electric Vehicles: Analysis and Simulation Based on the Fault Tree Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 809; doi:10.3390/su9050809
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (857 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Purchase intention is the key to popularizing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and to developing the industry. This study combines classical theoretical and qualitative research, and applies fault tree analysis (FTA) methods to study factors that hinder BEV purchase, and identify the logical relationship
[...] Read more.
Purchase intention is the key to popularizing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and to developing the industry. This study combines classical theoretical and qualitative research, and applies fault tree analysis (FTA) methods to study factors that hinder BEV purchase, and identify the logical relationship between top fault events and basic events, by calculating minimal cut sets and minimal path sets. Activity based classification analysis was used to investigate the key basic event and key event combination (i.e., minimal cut sets) that hinders purchase intention, with the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed method verified by Monte Carlo simulation. The results indicate (1) there were 26 minimal cut sets and 18 minimal path sets in the fault tree model, and the fault tree was defined by four key event combinations and five key basic events; and (2) by reducing key events’ failure probability, the probability of fault tree cumulative occurrence was reduced from 0.86021 to 0.57406 over 100,000 Monte Carlo simulations, i.e., the willingness to purchase BEVs was significantly increased. Thus, the proposed FTA method was feasible and effective for addressing low purchase intentions. Consequently, some policy implications are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Techno-Economic Forecasts of Lithium Nitrates for Thermal Storage Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 810; doi:10.3390/su9050810
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thermal energy storage systems (TES) are a key component of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants that generally use a NaNO3/KNO3 mixture also known as solar salt as a thermal storage material. Improvements in TES materials are important to lower CSP
[...] Read more.
Thermal energy storage systems (TES) are a key component of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants that generally use a NaNO3/KNO3 mixture also known as solar salt as a thermal storage material. Improvements in TES materials are important to lower CSP costs, increase energy efficiency and competitiveness with other technologies. A novel alternative examined in this paper is the use of salt mixtures with lithium nitrate that help to reduce the salt’s melting point and improve thermal capacity. This in turn allows the volume of materials required to be reduced. Based on data for commercial plants and the expected evolution of the lithium market, the technical and economic prospects for this alternative are evaluated considering recent developments of Lithium Nitrates and the uncertain future prices of lithium. Through a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis it is concluded that some of the mixtures could allow a reduction in the costs of CSP plants, improving their competitiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Trust-Embedded Information Sharing among One Agent and Two Retailers in an Order Recommendation System
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 710; doi:10.3390/su9050710
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trust potentially affects the decision-makers’ behaviors and has a great influence on supply chain performances. We study the information sharing process considering trust in a two-tier supply chain with one upstream agent and two retailers, where the agent recommends ordered quantities (ROQ) to
[...] Read more.
Trust potentially affects the decision-makers’ behaviors and has a great influence on supply chain performances. We study the information sharing process considering trust in a two-tier supply chain with one upstream agent and two retailers, where the agent recommends ordered quantities (ROQ) to retailers and the retailer decides her/his ordered quantities according to the agent’s recommendation and self-collected information. There exist three types of information sharing patterns among the agent and two retailers, i.e., both retailers share their demand prediction (Pattern 1), one retailer shares her/his demand prediction (Pattern 2) and none of the retailers share their demand prediction (Pattern 3). Thus, we build corresponding mathematical models and analyze each party’s decision strategies in each pattern, respectively. The findings in this study show that sharing information can generally promote trust among enterprises in the entire supply chain and increase their profits in return. It is found that when the accuracies of the two retailers’ predicted demand differs, their behaviors of information sharing or not sharing significantly affect their expected profits. In Pattern 1 and Pattern 3, we find that retailers’ expected profits are negatively influenced by the agent’s accuracies of demand prediction. However, the retailer’s expected profits are positively linked to the agent’s accuracies of demand in Pattern 2. Consequently, we propose a series of strategies for retailers in different decision patterns after several simulation runs. In addition, we also find that the retailer whose prediction is less accurate can also gain more profits by un-sharing his/her demand prediction when the agent’s predict accuracy is between the two retailers. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Inequality of Carbon Intensity: Empirical Analysis of China 2000–2014
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 711; doi:10.3390/su9050711
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1164 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On the 3 September 2016, China officially ratified the Paris agreement as the main global producer of carbon emissions. A key of China’s commitment is to reduce its carbon intensity by 60–65% between 2005 and 2030. An improved understanding of the inequality of
[...] Read more.
On the 3 September 2016, China officially ratified the Paris agreement as the main global producer of carbon emissions. A key of China’s commitment is to reduce its carbon intensity by 60–65% between 2005 and 2030. An improved understanding of the inequality of carbon intensity at national-, inter-regional-, and intra-regional scale is a prerequisite for the development of a more cost-effective carbon intensity reduction policy. In this study, we used the Dagum Gini coefficient and its subgroup decomposition method to quantify China’s inequality of carbon intensity between 2000 and 2014 based on available and updated data. The results show: (i) The Gini coefficient indicates a rising inequality of the carbon intensity at both national and sub-national scale, suggesting accelerated inequality of carbon intensity at national-, inter-regional, and intra-regional-scale. (ii) The Gini coefficient indicates a rising trend of intra-regional carbon intensity in Central and Western China, while the trend declines for Eastern China. (iii) The Gini coefficient indicates rising carbon intensity between Eastern and Central China, Western and Eastern China, and Central and Western China. (iv) Transvariation intensity occupies a leading role in the increasing national-level carbon intensity Gini coefficient. Ultimately, several policy recommendations are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Urban Heat Island and Overheating Characteristics in Sydney, Australia. An Analysis of Multiyear Measurements
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 712; doi:10.3390/su9050712
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (10822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has become increasingly important to study the urban heat island phenomenon due to the adverse effects on summertime cooling energy demand, air and water quality and most importantly, heat-related illness and mortality. The present article analyses the magnitude and the characteristics of
[...] Read more.
It has become increasingly important to study the urban heat island phenomenon due to the adverse effects on summertime cooling energy demand, air and water quality and most importantly, heat-related illness and mortality. The present article analyses the magnitude and the characteristics of the urban heat island in Sydney, Australia. Climatic data from six meteorological stations distributed around the greater Sydney region and covering a period of 10 years are used. It is found that both strong urban heat island (UHI) and oasis phenomena are developed. The average maximum magnitude of the phenomena may exceed 6 K. The intensity and the characteristics of the phenomena are strongly influenced by the synoptic weather conditions and in particular the development of the sea breeze and the westerly winds from the desert area. The magnitude of the urban heat island varies between 0 and 11°C, as a function of the prevailing weather conditions. The urban heat island mainly develops during the warm summer season while the oasis phenomenon is stronger during the winter and intermediate seasons. Using data from an extended network of stations the distribution of Cooling Degree Days in the greater Sydney area is calculated. It is found that because of the intense development of the UHI, Cooling Degree Days in Western Sydney are about three times higher than in the Eastern coastal zone. The present study will help us to better design and implement urban mitigation strategies to counterbalance the impact of the urban heat island in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle What Is a Sustainable Level of Timber Consumption in the EU: Toward Global and EU Benchmarks for Sustainable Forest Use
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 812; doi:10.3390/su9050812
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable energy targets in the European Union (EU) have raised the demand for timber and are expected to increase dependence on imports. However, EU timber consumption levels are already disproportionally high compared to the rest of the world. The question is, how much
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy targets in the European Union (EU) have raised the demand for timber and are expected to increase dependence on imports. However, EU timber consumption levels are already disproportionally high compared to the rest of the world. The question is, how much timber is available for the EU to sustainably harvest and import, in particular considering sustainable forest management practices, a safe operating space for land-system change, and the global distribution of “common good” resources. This article approaches this question from a supply angle to develop a reference value range for the current as well as future sustainable supply of timber at the EU-27 and global levels. For current supply estimates, national-level data on forest area available for wood supply, productivity in that area, as well as the rate available for harvest were collected and aggregated into three potential supply scenarios. For future supply estimates, a safe operating space scenario halting land use change, a sensitivity analysis, and a literature review were performed. To provide both a comparison of global versus EU sustainable supply capacities and to develop a benchmark toward evaluating and comparing levels of consumption to sustainable supply capacities, per capita calculations were made. Results revealed that the per capita sustainable supply potential of EU forests is estimated to be around three times higher than the global average in 2050. Whether a global or EU reference value is more appropriate for EU policy orientation, considering both strengthened economic and cultural ties to the forest in forest-rich countries as well as the need to prevent problem shifting associated with exporting land demands abroad, is discussed. Further research is needed to strengthen and harmonize data, improve methods for modeling future scenarios and incorporate interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder perspectives toward the development of robust and politically relevant reference values for sustainable consumption levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Novel Hybrid Approach Based on Instance Based Learning Classifier and Rotation Forest Ensemble for Spatial Prediction of Rainfall-Induced Shallow Landslides using GIS
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 813; doi:10.3390/su9050813
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
PDF Full-text (16314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study proposes a novel hybrid machine learning approach for modeling of rainfall-induced shallow landslides. The proposed approach is a combination of an instance-based learning algorithm (k-NN) and Rotation Forest (RF), state of the art machine techniques that have seldom explored
[...] Read more.
This study proposes a novel hybrid machine learning approach for modeling of rainfall-induced shallow landslides. The proposed approach is a combination of an instance-based learning algorithm (k-NN) and Rotation Forest (RF), state of the art machine techniques that have seldom explored for landslide modeling. The Lang Son city area (Vietnam) is selected as a case study. For this purpose, a spatial database for the study area was constructed, and then was used to build and evaluate the hybrid model. Performance of the model was assessed using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC), area under the ROC curve (AUC), success rate and prediction rate, and several statistical evaluation metrics. The results showed that the model has high performance with both the training data (AUC = 0.948) and the validation data (AUC = 0.848). The results were compared with those obtained from soft computing techniques, i.e. Random Forest, J48 Decision Trees, and Multilayer Perceptron Neural Networks. Overall, the performance of the proposed model is better than those obtained from the above methods. Therefore, the proposed model is a promising tool for landslide modeling. The research result can be highly useful for land use planning and management in landslide prone areas. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Decoupling Control Methodologies and H Multivariable Robust Control for Variable-Speed, Variable-Pitch Wind Turbines: Application to a Lab-Scale Wind Turbine
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 713; doi:10.3390/su9050713
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (5462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational
[...] Read more.
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational zones. This interaction level and the dynamics uncertainties complicate the control system design. The aim of this work is developing multivariable controllers that cope with such problems. The study shows the applicability of different decoupling methodologies and provides a comparison with a H controller, which is an appropriate strategy to cope with uncertainties. The methodologies have been tested in simulation and verified experimentally in a lab-scale wind turbine. It is demonstrated that the wind turbine presents more interaction at the transition zone. Then, this operational point is used as the nominal one for the controller designs. At this point, decoupling controllers obtain perfect decoupling while the H control presents important interaction in the generated power loop. On the other hand, they are slightly surpassed by the robust design at other points, where perfect decoupling is not achieved. However, decoupling controllers are easier to design and implement, and specifically dynamic simplified decoupling achieve the best global response. Then, it is concluded that the proposed methodologies can be considered for implantation in industrial wind turbines to improve their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact and Innovation of Wind Turbine Technologies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Willingness to Pay a Premium for Eco-Labeled LED TVs in Korea: A Contingent Valuation Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 814; doi:10.3390/su9050814
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the production costs and prices of eco-labeled products are higher than those of conventional ones, the use of greener products can lead to better environmental outcomes. Thus, the consumers’ preferences for eco-labeled products should be investigated to understand the potential of markets
[...] Read more.
Although the production costs and prices of eco-labeled products are higher than those of conventional ones, the use of greener products can lead to better environmental outcomes. Thus, the consumers’ preferences for eco-labeled products should be investigated to understand the potential of markets with green products. This study attempts to examine the consumers’ preference or willingness to pay (WTP) a premium for eco-labeled products using a specific case study of a 43-inch LED TV, which is a common home appliance in Korea. For this purpose, a contingent valuation survey of 1000 Korean consumers was conducted in June 2016. We used a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question to derive the additional WTP responses and a spike model to analyze zero additional WTP responses. The mean additional WTP a premium for the eco-labeled 43-inch LED TV is estimated to be KRW 29,007 (USD 24.8), which is statistically meaningful at the 1% level. This value amounts to 3.9% of the price of a conventional 43-inch LED TV (KRW 750,000 or USD 640.5) and can be interpreted as the external benefit of an eco-labeled LED TV. We can conclude that Korean consumers are ready to pay a significant premium for eco-labeled LED TVs. Moreover, we examined the consumer’s characteristics that affect the probability that the person will be willing to pay a premium for an eco-labeled LED TV and found that it would be effective to set high-income, older, highly-educated, and female consumers with children as marketing targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Open AccessArticle Minimum Quantity Lubrication and Carbon Footprint: A Step towards Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 714; doi:10.3390/su9050714
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In today’s world, there is an increasing awareness among consumers for demanding sustainable products. Several countries have already started working to create strategies for implementing sustainable manufacturing. Other countries are making efforts to access international markets and face intense market competitions in terms
[...] Read more.
In today’s world, there is an increasing awareness among consumers for demanding sustainable products. Several countries have already started working to create strategies for implementing sustainable manufacturing. Other countries are making efforts to access international markets and face intense market competitions in terms of sustainable status of products, which build a huge pressure on manufacturers to avail the concept of sustainable manufacturing. This paper proposes a manufacturing model to minimize total cost of manufacturing and carbon emissions with the effect of variable production quantity to provide sustainable manufacturing. Total cost of manufacturing includes fixed costs and variable costs with the addition of cost of minimum quantity lubrication and imperfect quality items. Minimum quantity lubrication system is an eco-friendly and sustainable, which reduces negative impact on environment and improves workers' safety. This study considers the real situation of imperfect products and proportion of it can be reworked at certain known rate. Numerical example and sensitivity analysis are given by using multiobjective genetic algorithm and goal attainment techniques to illustrate the practical applications of the proposed model. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Measuring the Changes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Caused by the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 715; doi:10.3390/su9050715
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the proposed mega-free trade agreements. While several previous studies have measured the economic impact of the trade liberalization resulting from the TPP, the TPP may have not only a very large economic impact, but also a
[...] Read more.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the proposed mega-free trade agreements. While several previous studies have measured the economic impact of the trade liberalization resulting from the TPP, the TPP may have not only a very large economic impact, but also a significant environmental impact, such as changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate over TPP and GHG emissions by asking the following question: Will the TPP increase or decrease GHG emissions? We estimate the potential impact on GHG emissions changes caused by the TPP using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, and the GTAP CO2 and non-CO2 emissions databases. Our results suggest that the TPP is likely to increase the total amount of GHG emissions in the 12 TPP member countries, as well as global emissions. The main reason for increasing TPP member and global GHG emissions is non-CO2 emissions growth in Australia and the US. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Decoupling Analysis of China’s Product Sector Output and Its Embodied Carbon Emissions—An Empirical Study Based on Non-Competitive I-O and Tapio Decoupling Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 815; doi:10.3390/su9050815
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper uses the non-competitive I-O model and the Tapio decoupling model to comprehensively analyze the decoupling relationship between the output of the product sector in China and its embodied carbon emissions under trade openness. For this purpose, the Chinese input and output
[...] Read more.
This paper uses the non-competitive I-O model and the Tapio decoupling model to comprehensively analyze the decoupling relationship between the output of the product sector in China and its embodied carbon emissions under trade openness. For this purpose, the Chinese input and output data in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2012 are used. This approach is beneficial to identify the direct mechanism for the increased carbon emission in China from a micro perspective and provides a new perspective for the subsequent study about low-carbon economy. The obtained empirical results are as follows: (1) From overall perspective, the decoupling elasticity between the output of the product sector and its embodied carbon emissions decreased. Output and embodied carbon emissions showed a growth link from 2002 to 2005 and a weak decoupling relationship for the rest of the study period. (2) Among the 28 industries in the product sector, the increased growth rate of output in more and more product sectors was no longer accompanied by large CO2 emissions. The number of industries with strong decoupling relationships between output and embodied carbon emissions increased. (3) From the perspective of three industries, the output and embodied carbon emissions in the second and third industries exhibited a growth link only from 2002 to 2005; the three industries presented weak or strong decoupling for the rest of the study period. Through empirical analysis, this paper mainly through the construction of ecological and environmental protection of low carbon agriculture, low carbon cycle industrial system, as well as intensive and efficient service industry to reduce the carbon emissions of China’s product sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Urban Flood Adaptation through Public Space Retrofits: The Case of Lisbon (Portugal)
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 816; doi:10.3390/su9050816
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
PDF Full-text (11439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A “Conceptual Framework of flood adaptation measures applicable in the design of public spaces” was previously created with the objective of increasing the rate of successful flood adaptation endeavors, fulfill municipal goals for more adaptive cities and facilitate the initial brainstorming phases of
[...] Read more.
A “Conceptual Framework of flood adaptation measures applicable in the design of public spaces” was previously created with the objective of increasing the rate of successful flood adaptation endeavors, fulfill municipal goals for more adaptive cities and facilitate the initial brainstorming phases of a public space design process. This research aims to assess the relevance and applicability of this Conceptual Framework on the particular municipal context of Lisbon. The paper starts by demonstrating the city’s existing vulnerabilities and projected climate change scenarios, where it is possible to confirm that floods are indeed a recurrent phenomenon that will aggravate in the near and distant future. Subsequently, municipal endeavors up to the present time are analyzed with the purpose of assessing if the Conceptual Framework provides additional types of flood adaptation measures that may be considered. In a final stage, additional types of adaptation measures highlighted by the Conceptual Framework are assessed with regard to their application and infrastructural relevance. In light of the presented results, which confirm the infrastructural benefits of the additional measures proposed, new discussions emerge specifically regarding Lisbon’s municipal flood adaptation management and its relation with public space design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Integrated Location-Allocation Model for Temporary Disaster Debris Management under an Uncertain Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 716; doi:10.3390/su9050716
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural disasters always generate an overwhelming amount of debris. Reusing and recycling waste from disasters are essential for sustainable debris management. Before recycling the debris, it is necessary to sort this mixed waste. To perform the sorting process efficiently, a Temporary Disaster Debris
[...] Read more.
Natural disasters always generate an overwhelming amount of debris. Reusing and recycling waste from disasters are essential for sustainable debris management. Before recycling the debris, it is necessary to sort this mixed waste. To perform the sorting process efficiently, a Temporary Disaster Debris Management Site (TDDMS) is required, and the selection of TDDMS is a multi-criteria decision-making problem due to its numerous regional and municipal constraints. This paper provides a two-phase framework for sustainable debris management during the response phase of disasters. In the first phase, a methodology for TDDMS selection is proposed that consists of Analytical Network Process (ANP) and a fuzzy Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). In the second phase, a debris allocation optimization model is developed to allocate the debris from disaster-affected regions to the selected TDDMS. A city prone to hurricane damage is selected to illustrate the proposed framework. For the debris allocation purpose, five TDDMS are chosen, among which three sites are selected using the proposed methodology. To illustrate the utilization of the proposed study, a numerical example with two different scenarios is provided. Numerical outcomes prove that the model results in a sustainable debris management system for disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Stochastic Prediction of Wind Generating Resources Using the Enhanced Ensemble Model for Jeju Island’s Wind Farms in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 817; doi:10.3390/su9050817
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the intermittency of wind power generation, it is very hard to manage its system operation and planning. In order to incorporate higher wind power penetrations into power systems that maintain secure and economic power system operation, an accurate and efficient estimation
[...] Read more.
Due to the intermittency of wind power generation, it is very hard to manage its system operation and planning. In order to incorporate higher wind power penetrations into power systems that maintain secure and economic power system operation, an accurate and efficient estimation of wind power outputs is needed. In this paper, we propose the stochastic prediction of wind generating resources using an enhanced ensemble model for Jeju Island’s wind farms in South Korea. When selecting the potential sites of wind farms, wind speed data at points of interest are not always available. We apply the Kriging method, which is one of spatial interpolation, to estimate wind speed at potential sites. We also consider a wind profile power law to correct wind speed along the turbine height and terrain characteristics. After that, we used estimated wind speed data to calculate wind power output and select the best wind farm sites using a Weibull distribution. Probability density function (PDF) or cumulative density function (CDF) is used to estimate the probability of wind speed. The wind speed data is classified along the manufacturer’s power curve data. Therefore, the probability of wind speed is also given in accordance with classified values. The average wind power output is estimated in the form of a confidence interval. The empirical data of meteorological towers from Jeju Island in Korea is used to interpolate the wind speed data spatially at potential sites. Finally, we propose the best wind farm site among the four potential wind farm sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy, Load and Price Forecasting towards Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Entry into Socially Responsible Investment Index on Cost of Equity and Firm Value
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 717; doi:10.3390/su9050717
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of a company’s incorporation into the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index on its cost of equity (COE) and corporate value. The study collected and analyzed data about the four-year long changes of the
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of a company’s incorporation into the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index on its cost of equity (COE) and corporate value. The study collected and analyzed data about the four-year long changes of the component stocks of the Korea Exchange (KRX) SRI index from September 2010 to September 2013 to verify the correlation between the incorporation of the SRI index and the cost of equity or corporate value by using the Price-Earnings Growth (PEG), Modified PEG (MPEG) and Gode and Mohanram (GM) models for estimation of the implied costs of equity capital, as well as Tobin’s Q ratio. The analysis results failed to show any significant relation between the incorporation of the SRI index and the cost of equity capital. Also, no statistically significant correlation between the incorporation of the SRI index and corporate value was observed. However, at an early phase of introduction of the SRI index, the included companies revealed a negative correlation with the cost of equity. However, after changing the listed stocks, they showed a positive correlation with the cost of equity capital. All in all, this can be ascribed to a mixed presence of optimistic and pessimistic investors about CSR activities, or there is a possibility that the KRX SRI index might not correctly reflect the CSR activities of companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Rural Tourism: Development, Management and Sustainability in Rural Establishments
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 818; doi:10.3390/su9050818
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
PDF Full-text (760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism is one of the economic driving forces of Spain: the consolidation of existing tourist destinations and new market niches encourage an upward trend of tourism. The economic impacts produced by tourism are one of the major concerns of the authorities; the question
[...] Read more.
Tourism is one of the economic driving forces of Spain: the consolidation of existing tourist destinations and new market niches encourage an upward trend of tourism. The economic impacts produced by tourism are one of the major concerns of the authorities; the question is whether it is possible to continue growing without compromising our environment. This work attempts to answer this issue by analysing one of the tourism segments with higher growth in recent years: rural tourism. Using a model of partial least squares (PLS), we will analyse the environmental impacts from the point of view of the supply and its relationships with the environmental management conducted. We will also analyse the rural establishments from a global point of view and, depending on their category, explain the factors which determine the sustainable behaviour of providers, and identify that the establishments of low categories have a more sustainable conduct. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Integrating Social Values and Ecosystem Services in Systematic Conservation Planning: A Case Study in Datuan Watershed
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 718; doi:10.3390/su9050718
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Systematic conservation planning (SCP) deals with a delicate interplay of competing interests and has far-reaching impacts for all stakeholders and systems involved. While SCP has traditionally attempted to conserve ecosystem services that benefit ecological systems, public perceptions of conservation initiatives influence their ultimate
[...] Read more.
Systematic conservation planning (SCP) deals with a delicate interplay of competing interests and has far-reaching impacts for all stakeholders and systems involved. While SCP has traditionally attempted to conserve ecosystem services that benefit ecological systems, public perceptions of conservation initiatives influence their ultimate feasibility and sustainability. In an attempt to balance ecological integrity, social utility, and urban development, this study develops a framework that applies four popular models to represent these competing factors, including two ecosystem services models—InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs) for biophysical services (BpS), and SolVES (Social Values for Ecosystem Services) for social values (SV); a land use and land cover (LULC) suitability model; and Zonation for delimiting high priority areas. We also analyze a number of conservation scenarios that consider varying levels of urban development. While BpS are distributed with considerable spatial variability, SV spatially overlap. Approximately 6% of the area was identified as having both high BpS and SV, whereas a further 24.5% of the area was identified as either high BpS low SV or vise-versa. Urban development scenarios affected the conservation area selection drastically. These results indicate tradeoffs and potential synergies between development, SV, and BpS. Our findings suggest that the information provided by the proposed framework can assist in finding solutions to social-ecological planning complexities that serve multiple stakeholders. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Comparison between Spatial Econometric Models and Random Forest for Modeling Fire Occurrence
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 819; doi:10.3390/su9050819
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
PDF Full-text (8852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fire occurrence, which is examined in terms of fire density (number of fire/km2) in this paper, has a close correlation with multiple spatiotemporal factors that include environmental, physical, and other socioeconomic predictors. Spatial autocorrelation exists widely and should be considered seriously for modeling
[...] Read more.
Fire occurrence, which is examined in terms of fire density (number of fire/km2) in this paper, has a close correlation with multiple spatiotemporal factors that include environmental, physical, and other socioeconomic predictors. Spatial autocorrelation exists widely and should be considered seriously for modeling the occurrence of fire in urban areas. Therefore, spatial econometric models (SE) were employed for modeling fire occurrence accordingly. Moreover, Random Forest (RF), which can manage the nonlinear correlation between predictors and shows steady predictive ability, was adopted. The performance of RF and SE models is discussed. Based on historical fire records of Hefei City as a case study in China, the results indicate that SE models have better predictive ability and among which the spatial autocorrelation model (SAC) is the best. Road density influences fire occurrence the most for SAC, while network distance to fire stations is the most important predictor for RF; they are selected in both models. Semivariograms are employed to explore their abilities to explain the spatial structure of fire occurrence, and the result shows that SAC works much better than RF. We give a further explanation for the generation of residuals between fire density and the common predictors in both models. Therefore, decision makers can make use of our conclusions to manage fire safety at the city scale. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimum Returns from Greenhouse Vegetables under Water Quality and Risk Constraints in the United Arab Emirates
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 719; doi:10.3390/su9050719
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greenhouses have been used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to produce vegetables that contribute toward UAE food security, including offering fresh vegetable produce in the off-season. However, to manage such greenhouses, farmers face both technical and environmental limitations (i.e., high water scarcity),
[...] Read more.
Greenhouses have been used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to produce vegetables that contribute toward UAE food security, including offering fresh vegetable produce in the off-season. However, to manage such greenhouses, farmers face both technical and environmental limitations (i.e., high water scarcity), as well as vegetable market price instability. The objective of this study is to explore tradeoffs between returns (i.e., gross margin) of selected vegetables (tomato, pepper, and cucumber), risk (deviation from gross margin means), and an environmental constraint (water salinity) using a unique target MOTAD (minimization of total absolute deviations) approach to support UAE farmer decision-making processes. The optimal target MOTAD solution included all three vegetables and no corner solution. The results showed tradeoffs between returns and risks, and confirmed that product diversification reduces overall risk. The analysis was consistent with farmer perceptions based on a survey of 78 producers in the region. The search for the optimal mix of vegetable production under UAE greenhouse conditions revealed that reduction in tomato production should be offset by an increase in cucumber production while maintaining a constant level of pepper production. In other words, risk is reduced as cucumber production increases due to the high level of tomato and lettuce price volatility as the alternative to cucumber. The results also demonstrated the importance of the water salinity environmental constraint, as it was found to have a positive marginal value in the optimal vegetable mix solution (i.e., important factor). Thus the optimal solution was highly sensitive to changes in the crop water salinity constraint. The study results also demonstrate that the target MOTAD approach is a suitable optimization methodology. As a practical approach, a decision-maker in the UAE can consider gross margin (total revenue-variable costs) maximization with risk and water quality constraints to find the optimal vegetable product mix under greenhouse conditions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Based Economic Analysis of Solar PV System with Respect to Performance Investigation for Indian Market
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 820; doi:10.3390/su9050820
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Energy market is subject to changing energy demands on a daily basis. The increasing demand for energy necessitates the use of renewable sources and promotes decentralized generation. Specifically, solar PV is preferred in the energy market to meet the increasing energy demand. New
[...] Read more.
Energy market is subject to changing energy demands on a daily basis. The increasing demand for energy necessitates the use of renewable sources and promotes decentralized generation. Specifically, solar PV is preferred in the energy market to meet the increasing energy demand. New approaches are preferred in the economic analysis to simulate multiple actor interplays and intermittent behavior in order to predict the increasing complexity in solar PV. In the Indian society, there are various myths and perceptions regarding economics of electricity generated through solar PV system. Therefore, this paper will address the various Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) and economic analysis for all types of consumers in the Indian electricity market. A detailed economic and performance study is made by considering ten categories and seven sub categories of investment plan for 1 MW solar projects using Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM). Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is applied to support the decision. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Climate Vulnerability and Human Migration in Global Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 720; doi:10.3390/su9050720
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The relationship between climate change and human migration is not homogenous and depends critically on the differential vulnerability of population and places. If places and populations are not vulnerable, or susceptible, to climate change, then the climate–migration relationship may not materialize. The key
[...] Read more.
The relationship between climate change and human migration is not homogenous and depends critically on the differential vulnerability of population and places. If places and populations are not vulnerable, or susceptible, to climate change, then the climate–migration relationship may not materialize. The key to understanding and, from a policy perspective, planning for whether and how climate change will impact future migration patterns is therefore knowledge of the link between climate vulnerability and migration. However, beyond specific case studies, little is known about this association in global perspective. We therefore provide a descriptive, country-level portrait of this relationship. We show that the negative association between climate vulnerability and international migration holds only for countries least vulnerable to climate change, which suggests the potential for trapped populations in more vulnerable countries. However, when analyzed separately by life supporting sector (food, water, health, ecosystem services, human habitat, and infrastructure) and vulnerability dimension (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity), we detect evidence of a relationship among more, but not the most, vulnerable countries. The bilateral (i.e., country-to-country) migration show that, on average, people move from countries of higher vulnerability to lower vulnerability, reducing global risk by 15%. This finding is consistent with the idea that migration is a climate adaptation strategy. Still, ~6% of bilateral migration is maladaptive with respect to climate change, with some movement toward countries with greater climate change vulnerability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Development of Organic Farming in Europe at the Crossroads: Looking for the Way Forward through System Archetypes Lenses
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 821; doi:10.3390/su9050821
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2030 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last several decades, policymakers and stakeholders in the European Union (EU) have put considerable effort into increasing the adoption of organic farming, with the overall objective of its sustainable development. However, the growth of the organic sector has come with many
[...] Read more.
Over the last several decades, policymakers and stakeholders in the European Union (EU) have put considerable effort into increasing the adoption of organic farming, with the overall objective of its sustainable development. However, the growth of the organic sector has come with many challenges that jeopardize its sustainability. The question then is how to move organic farming in Europe forward and at the same time capitalize on its potential contribution to sustainability? Organic farming in the EU is a highly complex and dynamic food system and as such this question cannot be answered in isolation using a one-dimensional mind-set and tools of the past. In this paper, we use three system archetypes—Limits to Growth, Shifting the Burden and Eroding Goals—to sharpen our ability: (1) to analyze and anticipate difficulties in the development of organic farming in the EU under the current policy measures; and (2) to find effective ways to address these difficulties. A system archetype consists of a generic system structure that leads to unintended behavior over time and effective strategies for changing the structure into one that generates desirable behavior. The analysis reveals that in order to move forward, policymakers and stakeholders should reemphasize fundamental solutions rather than quick fixes that often generate unintended consequences. Specifically, Limits to Growth shows us that the leverage for moving organic farming out of the niche does not necessarily lie in increasing subsidies that push engines of growth, but rather in anticipating and managing its limits arising from, for instance, market dynamics or intrinsic environmental motivation. In turn, Shifting the Burden brings to attention how easily and unnoticeably the EU’s organic farming system can become dependent on third countries thereby undermining its own sustainability. Finally, Eroding Goals highlights that is it important to continuously improve regulatory standards based on an external frame of reference, as otherwise organic farming in the EU will continue on its trajectory towards conventionalization. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring Interface Problems in Taiwan’s Construction Projects Using Structural Equation Modeling
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 822; doi:10.3390/su9050822
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction projects are complex systems that inherently contain complex interface problems. This study explored the root causes of interface problems in construction projects using structural equation modeling. This technique is a systematic approach that combines factor analysis and path analysis to investigate the
[...] Read more.
Construction projects are complex systems that inherently contain complex interface problems. This study explored the root causes of interface problems in construction projects using structural equation modeling. This technique is a systematic approach that combines factor analysis and path analysis to investigate the causal relationships among multidimensional factors. The literature on construction interface problems was reviewed, and a questionnaire survey was conducted in Taiwan to identify 27 initial factors that cause interface problems in three dimensions: owner, design, and construction. Then, a series of structural equation models (SEMs) was developed to further explore the root causes of the interface problems and their causal relationships. This study has three main findings: (1) poor design causes interface problems; (2) ineffective communication and coordination among the owner, design, and construction dimensions are the main factors that cause construction interface problems; and (3) a lack of communication and coordination has a greater influence on the construction dimension than on the owner and design dimensions. The above findings can be used as important references and sustainable management strategies for academia and decision-makers in the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Decoupling and Influencing Factors of Carbon Emissions from the Transportation Sector in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Area, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 722; doi:10.3390/su9050722
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
PDF Full-text (4185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transport sector is the major green-house gas emitter and most rapidly growing sector in terms of consuming energy in China. Understanding the driving forces behind carbon emission is a prerequisite for reducing carbon emissions and finding a balance between economic growth and
[...] Read more.
The transport sector is the major green-house gas emitter and most rapidly growing sector in terms of consuming energy in China. Understanding the driving forces behind carbon emission is a prerequisite for reducing carbon emissions and finding a balance between economic growth and carbon emissions. The purpose of this paper is to identify the impact of the factors which influence the level of carbon emissions from the transportation sector in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) area, China, using decomposition model, combined with a decoupling elasticity index. The results of our study indicate that: (1) changes in the level of carbon emissions from the transportation sector are not always synchronized with changes in economic growth. (2) The decoupling state between the carbon emissions and economic growth of Tianjin and Beijing can be roughly divided into two phases. The first phase was during the 2005 to 2009 period, when the decoupling state was pessimistic. The second phase was from 2009 to 2013, when the decoupling state became better overall and was mainly dominated by weak decoupling. Conversely, the decoupling state of Hebei was mainly weak during this period. (3) Economic growth and population size play positive roles in increasing the levels of transportation-related carbon emissions in BTH. However, the energy structure is a negative force. The effect of energy intensity always plays a negative role in Tianjin and Hebei, but positive in Beijing. The industrial structure effect shows a fluctuating trend, but the cumulative effect value is negative, and negative interaction is prominent. Finally, this paper gives some suggestions on how to develop low-carbon transport in BTH area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Spatial Variation of Groundwater Quality in a Mining Basin
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 823; doi:10.3390/su9050823
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessment of groundwater quality is vital for the sustainable safe use of this inimitable resource. However, describing the overall groundwater quality condition—particularly in a mining basin—is more complicated due to the spatial variability of multiple contaminants and the wide range of indicators found
[...] Read more.
Assessment of groundwater quality is vital for the sustainable safe use of this inimitable resource. However, describing the overall groundwater quality condition—particularly in a mining basin—is more complicated due to the spatial variability of multiple contaminants and the wide range of indicators found in these areas. This study applies a geographic information system (GIS)-based groundwater quality index (GQI) to assess water quality in a mining basin. The study synthesized nine different water quality parameters available—nitrate, sulphate, chloride, sodium, magnesium, calcium, dissolved mineral solids, potassium, and floride ( NO 3 , SO 4 2 , Cl , Na + , Mg 2 + , Ca 2 + , DMS, K + and F )—from 90 boreholes across the basin by indexing them numerically relative to the World Health Organization standards. The study compared data from 2006 and 2011. The produced map indicated a lower GQI of 67 in 2011 compared to 72 in 2006. The maximum GQI of 84.4 calculated using only three parameters ( Mg 2 + , K + and F ) compared well with the GQI of 84.6 obtained using all nine parameters. A noticeable declining groundwater quality trend was observed in most parts of the basin, especially in the south-western and the northern parts of the basin. The temporal variation between the GQIs for 2006 and 2011 indicated variable groundwater quality (coefficient of variation = 15–30%) in areas around the mining field, and even more variability (coefficient of variation >30%) in the south-western and eastern parts of the basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Research on Sustainability Financial Performance of Chinese Listed Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 723; doi:10.3390/su9050723
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studying the sustainability of the financial performance of Chinese listed companies is an assessment of their future development capability and a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the companies over the past period of time. Based on the financial data of manufacturing industry
[...] Read more.
Studying the sustainability of the financial performance of Chinese listed companies is an assessment of their future development capability and a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the companies over the past period of time. Based on the financial data of manufacturing industry of Chinese listed companies from 2008 to 2015, this paper uses the AHP (Analytic hierarchy process) method to determine the weight of each secondary indictor, calculate the sustainable development capability of financial performance, and analyze and compare the sustainable financial performance of manufacturing sub-industries. The long-term trend and the periodical trend of the sustainable development of the manufacturing industry in Chinese listed companies are analyzed through the HP (High-Pass) filter method. The results show that the long-term sustainable financial performance of the manufacturing industry of Chinese listed companies is basically maintained. Through the comparison of regions and ownership, it has been found that the sustainable financial performance of Chinese listed companies in the eastern and central regions is rising, while that of the western region is declining; the long-term sustainable financial performance of non-state-owned enterprises is rising, while that of state-owned enterprises is declining. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Land-Cover/Land-Use Change and Landscape Patterns in the Two National Nature Reserves of Ebinur Lake Watershed, Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 724; doi:10.3390/su9050724
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (11126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land-cover and land-use change (LCLUC) alters landscape patterns and affects regional ecosystems. The objective of this study was to examine LCLUC and landscape patterns in Ebinur Lake Wetland National Nature Reserve (ELWNNR) and Ganjia Lake Haloxylon Forest National Nature Reserve (GLHFNNR), two biodiversity-rich
[...] Read more.
Land-cover and land-use change (LCLUC) alters landscape patterns and affects regional ecosystems. The objective of this study was to examine LCLUC and landscape patterns in Ebinur Lake Wetland National Nature Reserve (ELWNNR) and Ganjia Lake Haloxylon Forest National Nature Reserve (GLHFNNR), two biodiversity-rich national nature reserves in the Ebinur Lake Watershed (ELW), Xinjiang, China. Landsat satellite images from 1972, 1998, 2007 and 2013 were used to calculate the dynamics of a land-cover and land-use (LCLU) transition matrix and landscape pattern index using ENVI 5.1 and FRAGSTATS 3.3. The results showed drastic land use modifications have occurred in ELWNNR during the past four decades. Between 1972 and 1998, 1998 and 2007, and 2007 and 2013, approximately 251.50 km2 (7.93%), 122.70 km2 (3.87%), and 195.40 km2 (6.16%) of wetland were turned into salinized land. In GLHFNNR both low and medium density Haloxylon forest area declined while high density Haloxylon forest area increased. This contribution presents a method for characterizing LCLUC using one or more cross-tabulation matrices based on Sankey diagrams, demonstrating the depiction of flows of energy or materials through ecosystem network. The ecological landscape index displayed that a unique landscape patches have shrunk in size, scattered, and fragmented. It becomes a more diverse landscape. Human activities like farming were negatively correlated with the landscape diversity of wetlands. Furthermore, evidence of degraded wetlands caused by air temperature and annual precipitation, was also observed. We conclude that national and regional policies related to agriculture and water use have significantly contributed to the extensive changes; the ELWNNR and GLHFNNR are highly susceptible to LCLUC in the surrounding Ebinur Lake Watershed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Unsuccessful Urban Governance of Brownfield Land Redevelopment: A Lesson from the Toxic Soil Event in Changzhou, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 824; doi:10.3390/su9050824
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A public health crisis in the process of brownfield land redevelopment (BLR) has frequently appeared in the context of promoting industrial upgrading and de-industrialization in China. Recent discussions on the reasons for this problem centered on the lack of laws, standards, and policies
[...] Read more.
A public health crisis in the process of brownfield land redevelopment (BLR) has frequently appeared in the context of promoting industrial upgrading and de-industrialization in China. Recent discussions on the reasons for this problem centered on the lack of laws, standards, and policies needed to secure the process of BLR. However, we argue that an urban governance approach to BLR can identify the sources of the problem. This paper discusses a case study of a toxic soil event in Changzhou, China, based on the theoretical framework—the Institutional Industry Complex (IIC). Under the pressure of fiscal distress as well as the requirements of economic growth and urbanization, local governments in China are bound with fiscal revenue from land development and land urbanization and have formed a pro-growth alliance with enterprises, property developers, and even the public. The alliance is defined as the pro-growth IIC of land finance regime in this paper. Due to the path-dependence of the IIC, the conventional pro-growth IIC of land finance regime in China has been circulated, and then transformed into a pro-growth IIC of BLR. As a result, the goal of the pro-growth IIC of BLR is maximizing profit in the process of land development, a goal that is the same as the pro-growth IIC of land finance regime Thus, as the pivotal stockholders of the pro-growth IIC of BLR, local governments, enterprises, and property developers hesitate to pursue a prudent and secure BLR process, which effectively attenuates a series of serious environmental issues and public health crises. That is the root cause of the problem. This study suggests a positive interaction between central and local government, as well as between enterprise and the public to create a sustainable IIC of BLR in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Relationships between Soil Crust Development and Soil Properties in the Desert Region of North China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 725; doi:10.3390/su9050725
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of soil crust development on the underlying soil properties. The field sampling work was conducted in June 2016 in the Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia, North China. Soil crust samples and 0–6, 6–12, 12–18, 18–24, and 24–30 cm
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of soil crust development on the underlying soil properties. The field sampling work was conducted in June 2016 in the Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia, North China. Soil crust samples and 0–6, 6–12, 12–18, 18–24, and 24–30 cm deep underlying soil samples were taken from five representative areas of different soil crust development stages. All samples were analyzed for physicochemical properties, including water content, bulk density, aggregate content, organic matter content, enzyme activities, and microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen. The results showed that the thickness, water content, macro-aggregate (>250 μm) content, organic matter content, microbial biomass, and enzyme activities of the soil crusts gradually increased along the soil crust development gradient, while the bulk density of the soil crusts decreased. Meanwhile, the physicochemical and biological properties of the soils below the algal and moss crusts were significantly ameliorated when compared with the physical crust. Moreover, the amelioration effects were significant in the upper horizons (approx. 0–12 cm deep) and diminished quickly in the deeper soil layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Population and Land Urbanization on China’s Environmental Impact: Empirical Analysis Based on the Extended STIRPAT Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 825; doi:10.3390/su9050825
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1538 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China has been undergoing a very rapid but unbalanced urbanization, characterized by under-urbanization of its population and faster urbanization of the land. In such a situation, the urbanization of the population and the land may produce different effects on the natural environment. In
[...] Read more.
China has been undergoing a very rapid but unbalanced urbanization, characterized by under-urbanization of its population and faster urbanization of the land. In such a situation, the urbanization of the population and the land may produce different effects on the natural environment. In addition, due to substantial inter-regional differences, the influence of urbanization on the environment is likely to vary across regions at different stages of economic and social development. This article expands the basic STIRPAT–Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology, model by adding industrialization level, foreign trade degree, population urbanization level and land urbanization level. Based on panel data from 2006 to 2014 and using this extended STIRPAT model, the article analyses the effects of the driving forces, especially population urbanization and land urbanization, on the environmental impact for the whole of China as well as on its eastern, middle and western regions. The results indicate that for the whole of China, population urbanization produces a significant negative effect on the environmental impact, while land urbanization has a small, but not statistically significant, positive effect. The effects of population urbanization and land urbanization vary across the eastern, middle and western regions, which are at different stages of economic and social development. Population urbanization and land urbanization have no significant influences on environmental impact in the eastern and middle regions, while in the western region population urbanization has a significant negative influence on environmental impact. The main driving factors of environmental impact remain population, affluence and energy intensity. This study also quantitatively calculates the actual contribution rate of each driving force for the 2006–2014 period. It contributes to understanding the characteristics and key driving forces in each region, allowing for appropriate policy recommendations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Regional Disparities in Emissions of Rural Household Energy Consumption: A Case Study of Northwest China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 726; doi:10.3390/su9050726
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to present the emissions status of multiple rural areas from the perspective of a field survey and make up for the defects of the traditional emission cognition of single type of area. The basic data in the
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to present the emissions status of multiple rural areas from the perspective of a field survey and make up for the defects of the traditional emission cognition of single type of area. The basic data in the lower reaches of the Weihe River of Northwest China were collected through household questionnaire surveys, and emissions from rural household energy consumption were calculated in the paper. In addition, the grey relational analysis method was used to identify influential factors of emission disparities. The results show that the total emissions of the plain, loess tableland, and Qinling piedmont areas are 1863.20, 1850.43, and 2556.68 kg, respectively. Regional disparities in emissions of rural household energy consumption vary greatly. CO2 emissions are highest in the Qinling piedmont area, followed by the loess tableland area. For other emissions, there is no fixed order of the three areas, which suggests that disparities in emissions are connected with the dominant type of energy consumption. Diversification of energy use might not necessarily produce higher emissions, but the traditional biomass energy pattern does generate more emissions. The regional supply capacity of household energy is the original influence factor of disparities in emissions, and factors that influence these disparities are directly related to differences among farmers, followed by the age structure, educational background, income level, occupation, and so on. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Developing and Understanding Design Interventions in Relation to Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 826; doi:10.3390/su9050826
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Symbiotic Urban Agriculture Networks (SUANs) are a specific class of symbiotic networks that intend to close material and energy loops from cities and urban agriculture. Private and public stakeholders in SUANs face difficulties in the implementation of technological and organisational design interventions due
[...] Read more.
Symbiotic Urban Agriculture Networks (SUANs) are a specific class of symbiotic networks that intend to close material and energy loops from cities and urban agriculture. Private and public stakeholders in SUANs face difficulties in the implementation of technological and organisational design interventions due to the complex nature of the agricultural and urban environment. Current research on the dynamics of symbiotic networks, especially Industrial Symbiosis (IS), is based on historical data from practice, and provides only partly for an understanding of symbiotic networks as a sociotechnical complex adaptive system. By adding theory and methodology from Design Science, participatory methods, and by using agent-based modelling as a tool, prescriptive knowledge is developed in the form of grounded and tested design rules for SUANs. In this paper, we propose a conceptual Design Science method with the aim to develop an empirically validated participatory agent-based modelling strategy that guides sociotechnical design interventions in SUANs. In addition, we present a research agenda for further strategy, design intervention, and model development through case studies regarding SUANs. The research agenda complements the existing analytical work by adding a necessary Design Science approach, which contributes to bridging the gap between IS dynamics theory and practical complex design issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining PM2.5 Emissions Embodied in China’s Supply Chain Using a Multiregional Input-Output Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 727; doi:10.3390/su9050727
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Haze has become an urgent problem for China’s highly populated cities. Regional collaboration is an effective method for controlling air pollution. Because air pollution diffuses freely, it is necessary to distribute the responsibility for pollution with a common and differentiated rule. Based on
[...] Read more.
Haze has become an urgent problem for China’s highly populated cities. Regional collaboration is an effective method for controlling air pollution. Because air pollution diffuses freely, it is necessary to distribute the responsibility for pollution with a common and differentiated rule. Based on a multiregional input-output model, this article calculated the PM2.5 emissions embodied in provincial trade (EEPT) of China’s 30 provinces in 2007 and 2010. The results show that the PM2.5 EEPT accounts for almost one-third of the production-based PM2.5 emissions of China. The economic crisis lowered the EEPT, while the ratio between the EEPT and production-based PM2.5 emissions has increased. The EEPT values of the eastern provinces are mainly due to the EEPT embodied in final consumption, while the EEPT values of the central, northeastern, and the western provinces are due to the EEPT embodied in the intermediate input. We also analyzed different compositions of EEPT, such as fixed capital formation and consumption. The emissions embodied in provincial imports are mainly due to fixed capital formation. Due to the policies of the West Development, the Rising of Central China, and Promoting the Old Industrial Base in the Northeast, the central government increased the investment to these areas. The ratios of the EEPT embodied in the fixed capital formation to the total EEPT of the central (0.64), northeastern (0.69), and the western provinces (0.65) are higher than that of the eastern provinces (0.62). This indicates that the government need to establish different policies to control the effects of EEPT. In addition to the challenges of regional collaboration, environmental damage and the EEPT should be taken into account. The importers in the collaboration should consider providing compensation to the exporters in the collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparative LCA of Alternative Scenarios for Waste Treatment: The Case of Food Waste Production by the Mass-Retail Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 827; doi:10.3390/su9050827
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food waste is one of the most important issues taken into account by the European Union due to its negative environmental, economic and social impacts. The treatment of food waste through recycling processes represents a solution for food waste minimisation. Concerning, in particular,
[...] Read more.
Food waste is one of the most important issues taken into account by the European Union due to its negative environmental, economic and social impacts. The treatment of food waste through recycling processes represents a solution for food waste minimisation. Concerning, in particular, the retail sector, it is necessary to define strategies for retail-oriented sustainable food waste management. The aim of this study is to compare the potential environmental impacts related to five scenarios (landfill, incineration, composting, anaerobic digestion and bioconversion through insects) for the disposal/treatment of food waste produced by a mass retail company operating in Messina (Italy) through the application of the Life Cycle Assessment method, in order to find the best treatment solution. Results based on the treatment of a functional unit of 1 tonne of food waste show that the bioconversion scenario represents the most preferable solution considering all of the impact categories analysed through the CML 2 baseline 2000 method, except for Global Warming, for which higher environmental performances are connected to the anaerobic digestion scenario. The incineration and the bioconversion scenarios show the highest environmental benefits when the production of alternative energy sources and valuable materials is evaluated through the inclusion of the avoided productions in the analysis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ground Deposition and Airborne Spray Drift Assessment in Vineyard and Orchard: The Influence of Environmental Variables and Sprayer Settings
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 728; doi:10.3390/su9050728
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spray drift assessment encompasses classification of the capacity of each sprayer/technology/setting combination to reduce or avoid the spray drift risk, as well as drift measurement to define buffer zones mandated during pesticide application. Compounding the challenge of these tasks is the great variability
[...] Read more.
Spray drift assessment encompasses classification of the capacity of each sprayer/technology/setting combination to reduce or avoid the spray drift risk, as well as drift measurement to define buffer zones mandated during pesticide application. Compounding the challenge of these tasks is the great variability of field evaluation results from environmental conditions, spray application technology, canopy structure, and measurement procedures. This study, performed in Spanish context, evaluates the effects of different parameters on comparative measurements of ground and airborne spray drift employing the ISO22866:2005 protocol. Four configurations of air blast sprayers, derived from two fan airflow rates and two nozzle types (conventional and air-induction), were tested in orchard and vineyard at late growth stage. Spray drift curves were obtained, from which corresponding Drift Values (DVs) were calculated using an approximation of definite integral. Both sprayer settings and environmental variables statistically affect spray drift total amounts and result variability. PCA analysis showed that nozzle type and wind speed characteristics explained 51% and 24% of the variance, respectively. In particular, mean wind direction influence ground sediments (Pr < 0.01) and maximum wind speed strongly influence airborne drift value (Pr < 0.0001). The wind characteristics concealed the influence of adopted fan airflow rates on final spray drift assessment results. The effect of uncontrollable environmental conditions makes objective and comparative tests difficult. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Historical Loss and Current Rehabilitation of Shoreline Habitat along an Urban-Industrial River—Detroit River, Michigan, USA
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 828; doi:10.3390/su9050828
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (9406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the historical loss and current shoreline habitat rehabilitation efforts along the urban-industrial Detroit River using geographical information system methods and a shoreline survey. This study found a 97% loss of historical coastal wetlands to human
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the historical loss and current shoreline habitat rehabilitation efforts along the urban-industrial Detroit River using geographical information system methods and a shoreline survey. This study found a 97% loss of historical coastal wetlands to human development. By 1985, 55% of the U.S. mainland shoreline had been hardened with steel sheet piling or concrete breakwater that provide limited habitat. Since 1995, 19 projects were implemented, improving 4.93 km of shoreline habitat. A comparison of the 1985 and 2015 georeferenced aerial imagery showed that 2.32 km of soft shoreline was also converted to hard shoreline during this timeframe. Of the 19 projects surveyed, 11 representing 3.35 km made habitat improvements to shoreline that was already georeferenced as “soft“, three representing 360 m converted shoreline from “hard” to “soft”, and five representing 1.22 km added incidental habitat to hardened shoreline. Even with the addition of 1.58 km of new soft shoreline and incidental habitat, there was an overall net loss of 0.74 km of soft shoreline over the 30-year timeframe. To reach the “good” state of at least 70% soft shoreline, an additional 12.1 km of soft shoreline will have to be added. This confirms that shoreline hardening continues despite the best efforts of resource managers and conservation organizations. Resource managers must become opportunistic and get involved up front in urban waterfront redevelopment projects to advocate for habitat. Incremental progress will undoubtedly be slow following adaptive management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Using Analytic Hierarchy Process to Examine the Success Factors of Autonomous Landscape Development in Rural Communities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 729; doi:10.3390/su9050729
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The absence of comprehensive plans has resulted in disordered rural development and construction and a mix of new and old buildings in rural communities. Disorganized and blighted spaces have become rural landscape obstacles. After the Rural Rejuvenation Act was passed, rural construction has
[...] Read more.
The absence of comprehensive plans has resulted in disordered rural development and construction and a mix of new and old buildings in rural communities. Disorganized and blighted spaces have become rural landscape obstacles. After the Rural Rejuvenation Act was passed, rural construction has been guided with plans, and the government expects to enhance surroundings and expand policies through autonomous community development to create a good rural landscape. Through a literature review, this study aims to establish key success factors in autonomous landscape development of rural communities, covering 8 criteria and 28 sub-criteria. A questionnaire survey was conducted among national rural communities, experts, and scholars. The analytic hierarchy process reveals that manpower input has the highest importance, thereby indicating that the improvement of autonomous community development would double with the guidance of community cadres and the participation of artists and experts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Green Shipping Practices of Shipping Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 829; doi:10.3390/su9050829
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1349 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary objective of this study is to provide an empirical research using structural equation modeling to identify the factors that motivate shipping firms to adopt green shipping practices (GSP). Furthermore, it also examines if adopting GSP can enhance the shipping firms’ environmental
[...] Read more.
The primary objective of this study is to provide an empirical research using structural equation modeling to identify the factors that motivate shipping firms to adopt green shipping practices (GSP). Furthermore, it also examines if adopting GSP can enhance the shipping firms’ environmental and productivity performance. The findings show that shipping firms are motivated to adopt GSP mostly by industrial norms set by institutionalized associations. They are also motivated by customers’ demand for environmental friendliness and their own strategy to make good image. Unlike our expectation, government regulations and international environmental laws are not significant in influencing shipping firms to adopt GSP. Moreover, adoption of green shipping practices can improve the environmental and productivity performance of the shipping firms. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Supplier Qualification Sub-Process from a Sustained Perspective: Generation of Dynamic Capabilities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 730; doi:10.3390/su9050730
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research describes the generation of dynamic capabilities in the Repsol supplier qualification sub-process based on a sustained value chain, using a proposed model consisting of seven stages of supplier approval. A qualitative and descriptive approach, focusing on social and sustained commitment methodology
[...] Read more.
This research describes the generation of dynamic capabilities in the Repsol supplier qualification sub-process based on a sustained value chain, using a proposed model consisting of seven stages of supplier approval. A qualitative and descriptive approach, focusing on social and sustained commitment methodology has been applied. An analysis of a case of a successful firm in the supplier qualification sub-process has been performed based on the achievement of positive results from the dynamic capabilities theory. The results show how REPSOL contributes to the sustained development of its suppliers with specific actions arising from the implementation of its dynamic capabilities in organizational governance, the environment, human rights, labor practices, consumer issues, fair operating practices, and developing the communities with which it operates, in a model that seeks to respond to the expectations of society. The research performed shows that REPSOL’s capabilities are generated by influencing their competitive efficiency and better defining a sustained value chain integrated with its suppliers. The description and analysis of REPSOL’s supplier qualification sub-process becomes a business guideline for reaching dynamic capabilities in the process of qualification of suppliers. The proposed model means an inspiration for firms operating in the same, or different, industries. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Perceptions of Rural Consumers on the Aspects of Meat Quality and Health Implications Associated With Meat Consumption
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 830; doi:10.3390/su9050830
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of rural low-income consumers on meat quality and health issues associated with meat consumption. A total of 466 consumers in the Eastern Cape (EC) Province (South Africa (SA)) were randomly sampled, and principal component analyses
[...] Read more.
This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of rural low-income consumers on meat quality and health issues associated with meat consumption. A total of 466 consumers in the Eastern Cape (EC) Province (South Africa (SA)) were randomly sampled, and principal component analyses (PCA) were used to analyse the data. With regard to purchasing decisions, correlation analysis was performed to establish the relationships between actual scores and mean scores so as to determine purchase motives and decisions. The major purchase point mentioned by all consumers was the supermarket (65%), and the reasons were that this purchase point was the most hygienic and the meat was fresh (35%). The estimated relationship showed a significant association between products consumed at home and the source of income of consumers. With regard to consumption patterns and health issues, most consumers were aware of nutritional balance issues (64%), and most were aware of the health risks associated with meat consumption (59%). It was concluded that consumer perceptions on the meat quality aspects associated with health and consumption patterns are affected by disposable income and cultural background. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impact of Window Films on the Overall Energy Consumption of Existing UK Hotel Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 731; doi:10.3390/su9050731
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, considerable attention has justifiably been directed towards energy savings in buildings as they account for up to 20–40% of total energy consumption in developed countries. In the United Kingdom, studies have revealed that buildings’ CO2 emissions for account for at least
[...] Read more.
Recently, considerable attention has justifiably been directed towards energy savings in buildings as they account for up to 20–40% of total energy consumption in developed countries. In the United Kingdom, studies have revealed that buildings’ CO2 emissions for account for at least 43% of total emissions. Window panels are a major component of the building fabric with considerable influence on the façade energy performance and are accountable for up to 60% of a building’s overall energy loss. Therefore, the thermal performance of glazing materials is an important issue within the built environment. This work evaluates the impact of solar window films on the overall energy consumption of an existing commercial building via the use of a case study U.K. hotel and TAS dynamic simulation software. The study results demonstrated that the impact of window films on the overall energy consumption of the case study hotel is approximately 2%. However, an evaluation of various overall energy consumption components showed that the window films reduce the annual total cooling energy consumption by up to 35% along with a marginal 2% increase in the annual total heating energy consumption. They can also provide overall cost and CO2 emissions savings of up to 3%. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Perspectives on Household Chestnut Fruit Utilization and Chestnut Blight Prevention Efforts in Turkey
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 831; doi:10.3390/su9050831
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
PDF Full-text (995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exotic pathogens, within the center of genetic diversity for the species, compromise European chestnut populations in Turkey. In Turkey today, the species is of tremendous economic, ecological and cultural importance. At this time of severe exotic pathogenic pressure on a highly-valued forest species,
[...] Read more.
Exotic pathogens, within the center of genetic diversity for the species, compromise European chestnut populations in Turkey. In Turkey today, the species is of tremendous economic, ecological and cultural importance. At this time of severe exotic pathogenic pressure on a highly-valued forest species, we ask, how does awareness of diseases and treatments as well as value for chestnut trees affect the efforts of households to manage pests and diseases of chestnut trees in Turkey? We conducted 96 surveys in 34 villages in 10 provinces across Turkey to investigate awareness of diseases and other challenges to the chestnut population, chestnut harvesting habits, family value for chestnuts and efforts to mitigate pest and disease pressure. We analyze our results using cluster and regression analysis. Our results show that based on analysis of all observed characteristics, our research sites in Turkey break cleanly into groups based on production level. Further, results demonstrate significant correlation between amount of chestnut-derived income and awareness of pests and diseases as well as the likelihood of households enacting disease mitigation measures. These results also demonstrate correlation between observed awareness of diseases and pests and the likelihood of households enacting disease mitigation measures. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Relationship between E-Government Development and Environmental Sustainability: A Study of Small Island Developing States
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 732; doi:10.3390/su9050732
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Small island developing states (SIDS) are one of the most vulnerable countries for environmental sustainability in the world. To maintain environmental sustainability, the SIDS governments are pursuing many e-government projects, but there is much debate on its effectiveness. In the absence of empirical
[...] Read more.
Small island developing states (SIDS) are one of the most vulnerable countries for environmental sustainability in the world. To maintain environmental sustainability, the SIDS governments are pursuing many e-government projects, but there is much debate on its effectiveness. In the absence of empirical evidence, this study conducts quantitative analysis to estimate the effects of e-government development on environmental sustainability. Utilizing a panel dataset, we found that the development of e-government not only has direct effects on environmental sustainability, but also indirect effects through the enhancement of government effectiveness. This study emphasized the importance of contingent or intermediary factors in the study of e-government effectiveness. Additionally, after reviewing potential variables, we recommend the effectiveness of government as an important intermediary variable for the environmental sustainability in developing countries, such as SIDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Spatially Explicit Optimization Model for Agricultural Straw-Based Power Plant Site Selection: A Case Study in Hubei Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 832; doi:10.3390/su9050832
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (13662 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Using agricultural straw to generate electricity is an effective approach for relieving the pressure of procuring a reliable energy supply and reducing environmental pollution. Because the locations of the power plants have a significant impact on the supply of raw materials and the
[...] Read more.
Using agricultural straw to generate electricity is an effective approach for relieving the pressure of procuring a reliable energy supply and reducing environmental pollution. Because the locations of the power plants have a significant impact on the supply of raw materials and the cost of transportation, it is important to choose reasonable locations for power plants. To solve the problem of straw-based power plant site selection (SPPSS), in this paper, a spatially explicit optimization model is proposed. Compared to the existing research, the present study makes the following major contributions: (1) The agricultural land quality evaluation dataset, combined with the cropping system and theoretical yield information, is used as the basic data to estimate agricultural straw yields, thereby increasing the accuracy of the straw yield and spatial distribution estimates. (2) Geographic information system (GIS) techniques are employed to improve an artificial immune system (AIS), which is an effective and flexible approach for solving optimization problems. The Chinese province of Hubei is selected as the experimental area to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed model. The experimental results demonstrate that of the 34.89 million tons of agricultural straw produced in Hubei Province each year, 17.45 million tons can be used for electricity generation. The optimization schemes generated by the proposed model are feasible. Our results are expected to provide an important decision-making basis for straw-based power plant (SPP) development planning in Hubei Province. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Eco-Innovation Drivers in Value-Creating Networks: A Case Study of Ship Retrofitting Services
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 733; doi:10.3390/su9050733
Received: 18 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies discuss how regulatory, technological and market drivers increasingly challenge manufacturing industries to adopt eco-innovations. However, the understanding of the process by which eco-innovations are developed and commercialized as a result of these drivers is not yet well established, in particular because
[...] Read more.
Previous studies discuss how regulatory, technological and market drivers increasingly challenge manufacturing industries to adopt eco-innovations. However, the understanding of the process by which eco-innovations are developed and commercialized as a result of these drivers is not yet well established, in particular because these drivers are perceived differently by the end-users and their suppliers. In this paper, we address the following research question: How do eco-innovation drivers shape processes in value-creating networks? To answer this question, we carried out a case study purposely selected to understand how eco-innovation drivers, such as regulation, market pull and technology, interact and affect the eco-innovation decisions in a given industry. We analyzed the processes in an eco-innovation initiative about retrofitting old ships, contextualized in the maritime equipment and supply industry. The paper makes two novel contributions: First, we develop a framework that can support supply-network eco-innovation initiatives to deal with changes at the regulatory, market and technology levels. The framework includes elements, such as value co-creation to explore technological opportunities emerging from the interaction of the drivers or value proposition development to align multiple actors’ interests in the network and agree on shared expectations to exploit the opportunities. Second, we contribute to the emerging research area on eco-innovation processes by highlighting the lesser-known role of value-creating network dynamics. Value-creating networks can be a platform for the development of more radical eco-innovations if actors in the networks can align their value creation and capture objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Training Satisfaction and the Readiness to Transfer Learning: The Mediating Role of Normative Commitment
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 834; doi:10.3390/su9050834
Received: 4 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organizations are becoming increasingly demanding in regard to training cost rationalization and justification, and to the associated result achievement obligation. In practice, these pressures result in the introduction of more or less adequate efficiency indicators in relation to training programs. The goal of
[...] Read more.
Organizations are becoming increasingly demanding in regard to training cost rationalization and justification, and to the associated result achievement obligation. In practice, these pressures result in the introduction of more or less adequate efficiency indicators in relation to training programs. The goal of this study is to understand the relationship between training and training efficiency indicators at the individual level, using a mediation model. This study proposes a three-factor mediation model estimated using a databank of 578 cases. The results first show a positive relation between training satisfaction and normative commitment. Normative commitment has a positive effect on readiness to transfer learning and a negative effect on absenteeism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in light of these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Low Carbon Strategy Analysis of Competing Supply Chains with Different Power Structures
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 835; doi:10.3390/su9050835
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the emission reduction performance for supply chain members in both single-channel and exclusive dual-channel cases. Two game scenarios (Manufacturer Stackelberg and Retailer Stackelberg) are examined under different channel structures. Furthermore, we introduce government subsidies as an impact factor of low-carbon
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates the emission reduction performance for supply chain members in both single-channel and exclusive dual-channel cases. Two game scenarios (Manufacturer Stackelberg and Retailer Stackelberg) are examined under different channel structures. Furthermore, we introduce government subsidies as an impact factor of low-carbon strategy adoption. In the single-channel (Case 1), we mainly examine the influence of consumers’ price-sensitivity on channel members’ optimal decisions. In the dual-channel (Case 2), we focus on the joint impact of product substitutability and different channel power structures on the optimal decisions under asymmetric related channel status. The analysis suggests that the Stackelberg leaders always perform better than their corresponding followers before emission reduction, while they may not necessarily yield more benefits after emission reduction. The implementation of low-carbon strategy depends on parameters like product substitutability and channel base demand. Finally, all the supply chain members will encounter a Prisoner’s Dilemma when the product substitutability is relatively high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Floodplain Stability Indices for Sustainable Waterfront Development by Spatial Identification of Erosion and Deposition
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 735; doi:10.3390/su9050735
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The abrupt rises of water level in rivers by torrential rain or storm repeatedly cause inundation damage, such as erosion and deposition in floodplains. However, studies on identifying the abrasion of waterfront facilities or the accumulation of sediment near rivers under extreme flow
[...] Read more.
The abrupt rises of water level in rivers by torrential rain or storm repeatedly cause inundation damage, such as erosion and deposition in floodplains. However, studies on identifying the abrasion of waterfront facilities or the accumulation of sediment near rivers under extreme flow conditions are seldom found because floodplains are utilized in various ways in each country. In this study, novel floodplain sustainability indices by spatial classification of erosion and deposition were developed for sustainable waterfront development. The indices can provide the relative spatial distribution of erosion and deposition in a floodplain by using only kinematic flow information, such as flow depth and velocity obtained by 2D numerical analysis. Accordingly, applying a complex sediment transport model that involves numerous assumptions and parameters can be moderately replaced with the present approach. The suitability of developed indices was tested in several flow problems by comparing the predicted erosional or depositional region with measured data. In addition, the developed indices were applied to a floodplain in a natural river to examine the relative spatial distribution of the erosion and deposition for a typhoon event, and the results were compared with field monitoring data. It was found that deposition was more likely to occur than erosion in most floodplains, and the developed floodplain sustainability indices accurately quantified the erosion and deposition phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Potential Benefits and Limits of Electric Storage Heaters for Wind Curtailment Mitigation: A Finnish Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 836; doi:10.3390/su9050836
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Driven by policy changes and technological advancement, wind power installations are booming as compared to any other types of power generation. However, the increased penetration of renewable generation in the power systems has resulted in high level of curtailment. Advanced energy storage technologies
[...] Read more.
Driven by policy changes and technological advancement, wind power installations are booming as compared to any other types of power generation. However, the increased penetration of renewable generation in the power systems has resulted in high level of curtailment. Advanced energy storage technologies have been increasingly scrutinized as a feasible mitigation option in smart grids. This paper investigates the potential of mitigating wind generation curtailment via aggregating the domestic electric storage heaters. The key findings show that aggregating domestic thermal storages is a viable option for curtailment mitigation, but with the indispensable caution that mitigation potential significantly saturates as the share of wind generation escalates beyond a certain limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy, Load and Price Forecasting towards Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Quantitative Assessment of Causes of Bovine Liver Condemnation and Its Implication for Food Security in the Eastern Cape Province South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 736; doi:10.3390/su9050736
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned
[...] Read more.
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned in three abattoirs in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and assesses the causes and the monetary loss associated with these condemnations. A retrospective study (RS) (n = 51 302) involving the use of abattoir slaughter records from 2010–2012 and a post-mortem meat inspection (PMMI) (n = 1374) was conducted from July to December 2013. The RS revealed the leading cause of liver wastage as fasciolosis (5.95%, 4.48%, and 2.7%), fibrosis (2.74%, 2.37%, and 1.0%), and abscessation (1.11%, 2.78%, and 1.5%) for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. During the PMMI, the same factors caused liver condemnation in addition to calcification (8.3%, 6.8%, and 3.2%), Cysticercosis bovis (1.7%, 2.4%, and 1.3%) and improper evisceration (4.8%, 12.4%, and 27.1%) for the abattoirs X, Y, and Z respectively. A total of R 343, 330 (USD 45,271.07) was lost due to the condemnation of liver between 2010 and 2012. The further loss of 3290.4 kg of liver was calculated for the six month in 2013, and its financial value was R 59, 227.2 (USD 5889.82). The result of this study provide baseline information on major causes of liver wastage in cattle slaughtered in South Africa as well as the direct financial losses and demonstrate the huge waste of ideal protein food source. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Vulnerability of an Energy Intensive Sector to the EU ETS under a Life Cycle Approach: The Case of the Chlor-Alkali Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 837; doi:10.3390/su9050837
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change, has been criticised by its effects on the competitiveness of intensive energy demanding industries, and in particular, of the chlor-alkali sector. The main chlorine
[...] Read more.
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change, has been criticised by its effects on the competitiveness of intensive energy demanding industries, and in particular, of the chlor-alkali sector. The main chlorine application in Europe is the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from ethylene dichloride (EDC) as intermediate. Since chlorine is mainly traded in terms of derivatives, the aim of this work is to assess the vulnerability of the European chlor-alkali industry to chlorine replacement by imported EDC. An Energetic, Economic and Environmental Sustainability Assessment (EEESA) methodology is proposed based on the main variables affecting EDC production. Moreover, the influence of the EU ETS compensation measures and the emission allowance price in the current (mercury, diaphragm and membrane) and emergent (oxygen-depolarized cathodes (ODC)) technologies is studied. The most vulnerable scenarios become mercury and diaphragm technologies due to energy consumption. However, the salt price dependency on the quality requirements substantially influences the EEESA results. This analysis also shows the importance of hydrogen valorisation, whose major impact is observed in ODC scenario. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Linking Transitions to Sustainability: A Study of the Societal Effects of Transition Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 737; doi:10.3390/su9050737
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sustainability transitions as processes of fundamental change in societal systems are open-ended, nonlinear and uncertain. Respective research and governance approaches, e.g., transition management, propose a reflexive way of governing, aiming for a number of societal effects to help facilitating a transition. Effects include
[...] Read more.
Sustainability transitions as processes of fundamental change in societal systems are open-ended, nonlinear and uncertain. Respective research and governance approaches, e.g., transition management, propose a reflexive way of governing, aiming for a number of societal effects to help facilitating a transition. Effects include empowerment, social learning and social capital development. Jointly mentioned effects shall allow for reflexivity and innovation in developing socially robust and contextualized solutions to sustainability challenges that work in practice. But, understanding the mentioned societal effects and their interplay in more depth is necessary to design and assess transition management processes. While such understanding and related assessment framework is under development in the transition management literature, transdisciplinary sustainability research can provide a rich body of tools and experiences. Building on a review of the literature, this article develops an evaluation framework focusing on social learning, empowerment and social capital as important and hitherto under-conceptualised aspects of the sustainability transition literature. This framework is used to empirically investigate the effects of two specific transition management processes at the local scale. In doing so, the article provides a conceptual and empirical understanding of how social learning, empowerment and social capital contribute to a transition towards sustainability. The three effects are shown to be interrelated, mutually supportive and bridging different scale levels from individuals to groups, niches and beyond. Results highlight possibilities to facilitate and assess societal effects, addressing sustainability as their inherent quality. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle ESCoBox: A Set of Tools for Mini-Grid Sustainability in the Developing World
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 738; doi:10.3390/su9050738
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (6184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mini-grids powered by photovoltaic generators or other renewable energy sources have the potential to bring electricity to the 17% of the world’s population, mainly in rural areas, that are currently un-served. However, designing and managing a mini-grid so that it is reliable and
[...] Read more.
Mini-grids powered by photovoltaic generators or other renewable energy sources have the potential to bring electricity to the 17% of the world’s population, mainly in rural areas, that are currently un-served. However, designing and managing a mini-grid so that it is reliable and economically sustainable is difficult because of the high variability of demand that arises from the small population of consumers. We describe an integrated set of four tools to assist mini-grid operators to predict and manage demand. These comprise a decision support tool to predict peak and average demand from a consumer population, a demand disaggregation tool that allows the key statistical properties of connected electricity-consuming appliances to be identified, a battery condition modeling tool which allows the impact on battery life of a planned operating regime to be predicted and a demand control sub-system which limits the operating time of high demand appliances to intervals when they can be supported. Results from application of the tool set to mini-grids in Kenya and The Gambia are presented. We conclude that accessible, usable and low cost tools of this form can improve mini-grid sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Spatiotemporal Variation of Tree Cover in the Loess Plateau of China after the ‘Grain for Green’ Project
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 739; doi:10.3390/su9050739
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analyzing spatiotemporal variation of tree cover could enhance understanding of the environment and promote a sustainable resource use of ecosystems. This study investigated the variation in tree cover in the Loess Plateau after an ecological restoration effort called the ‘Grain for Green Project’
[...] Read more.
Analyzing spatiotemporal variation of tree cover could enhance understanding of the environment and promote a sustainable resource use of ecosystems. This study investigated the variation in tree cover in the Loess Plateau after an ecological restoration effort called the ‘Grain for Green Project’ (GGP). The results show that the proportion of tree covered area in the Loess Plateau changed from 73% to 88%, with the cumulative tree cover fluctuating from approximately 7% to 11%, and the average annual tree cover increased from 10% in 2000 to 12% in 2014. Based on tree cover values over the course of 15 years, the study area was classified into five regions, which provide much more information for spatial assessment of tree cover change in the Loess Plateau spatially. The increase in tree cover value was mainly in the core part of Loess Plateau, the mountains, and the edge of the mountain areas; whereas the values were stable in 36.21% of the area, and a decrease was noted in 5.63% of the area, primarily located in the low plain areas. Approximately 26.36% of the Loess Plateau will show a sustained increase in tree cover in the future. The results of this study will facilitate us to understand the current conditions and development of the GGP’s effects, and offer a valuable reference for future detection of tree cover change through geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Farmer Willingness to Fallow Winter Wheat and Ecological Compensation Standards in a Groundwater Funnel Area in Hengshui, Hebei Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 839; doi:10.3390/su9050839
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1832 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use/land cover change will have a certain impact on the regional ecological environment. This study uses the questionnaire survey method, an opportunity cost method and a logistic model to evaluate the suitability of an ecological compensation standard for a winter- wheat-fallow cropping
[...] Read more.
Land use/land cover change will have a certain impact on the regional ecological environment. This study uses the questionnaire survey method, an opportunity cost method and a logistic model to evaluate the suitability of an ecological compensation standard for a winter- wheat-fallow cropping system in a groundwater funnel area in Hebei. The main factors affecting farmers’ willingness to fallow fields provide a theoretical basis for scientifically and rationally developing a rotation policy in the groundwater funnel area. The results indicate the following: (1) nearly 87% of the surveyed farmers would accept a winter-wheat-fallow policy, whereas 13% would not; (2) farmer educational level, the total number of participants in the agricultural labor force, dependency rate, farmers’ attitudes toward a winter wheat-fallow policy in the groundwater funnel area and the farmer level of trust in government policy have significant positive effects farmer intention to fallow, whereas the number of days of participation in farming, the cultivated land quality and the per capita area of cultivated land have a significant negative effect on farmers’ fallowing intentions; (3) considering only the impact of winter wheat on groundwater, the proposed compensation standard for farmers who accept the policy is 0.00095 $/hm2; (4) some policy implications are put forward to improve the effectiveness of the winter wheat fallowing policy in the groundwater funnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Building Criteria for Evaluating Green Project Management: An Integrated Approach of DEMATEL and ANP
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 740; doi:10.3390/su9050740
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A complete framework for assessing a green project management has not been clearly identified in prior literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of dimensions and criteria for evaluating a green project management. An integrated approach combining the decision
[...] Read more.
A complete framework for assessing a green project management has not been clearly identified in prior literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of dimensions and criteria for evaluating a green project management. An integrated approach combining the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and the analytical network process (ANP) is used to determine the interrelationship structure and priority of each dimension and each criterion in a green project management. Six dimensions and twenty-four criteria of a green project management are identified based on related research in the fields of environmental sustainability and supply chain management. The empirical results show the interrelationship structure and priority of each dimension and each criterion in a green project management. The findings of this study provide important implications for both managerial managers and academic researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Liquid Organic Fertilizers on Plant Growth and Rhizosphere Soil Characteristics of Chrysanthemum
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 841; doi:10.3390/su9050841
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
PDF Full-text (6874 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organic fertilizers are generally thought to be an effective way to sustain soil fertility and plant growth. To promote the productivity of chrysanthemum, five sources of liquid organic fertilizers (L1–L5), as well as a chemical fertilizer, were applied at an early stage of
[...] Read more.
Organic fertilizers are generally thought to be an effective way to sustain soil fertility and plant growth. To promote the productivity of chrysanthemum, five sources of liquid organic fertilizers (L1–L5), as well as a chemical fertilizer, were applied at an early stage of the growth cycle to investigate their effects on plant growth. In the short-term pot experiment, the liquid organic fertilizers significantly promoted root and aboveground growth by 10.2–77.8% and 10.7–33.3%, respectively, compared with the chemical fertilizer. The order of growth promotion was: L1 (shrimp extracts) > L2 (plant decomposition) > L4 (seaweed extracts)/L5 (fish extracts) > L3 (vermicompost). Morphological and chemical analyses indicated that, compared with other organic fertilizers, the treatment with shrimp extract (L1) produced the greatest increases in root dry weight, total length, surface area, volume, tips, and thick root length, respectively. Furthermore, the shrimp extract treatment significantly increased the nutrient contents and altered the soil’s functional microbial community at the rhizospheric level compared with the chemical fertilizer treatment. Thus, the shrimp extract liquid organic fertilizer could be part of an effective alternative to chemical fertilization during the early stage of chrysanthemum growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Contribution of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) to the Reduction of Global CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 741; doi:10.3390/su9050741
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under economic globalization, with the intensification of China’s reform and opening up, China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has continuously gained momentum, but CO2 emissions caused by the OFDI have not been given due attention. As one China is of the world’s
[...] Read more.
Under economic globalization, with the intensification of China’s reform and opening up, China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has continuously gained momentum, but CO2 emissions caused by the OFDI have not been given due attention. As one China is of the world’s leading CO2 emitters, it is necessary to conduct thorough research into the CO2 emission problem caused by China’s OFDI. Thirty-four host countries were selected as the objects of this study, including some European countries, Australia, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, and the USA. Their CO2 emissions as caused by China’s OFDI were calculated using the input-output model with non-competitive imports, the data of China’s OFDI flows, and their own energy consumption and CO2 emissions from 2000 to 2011. Then a comparative analysis was performed taking China as the comparative object. CO2 emission transfer of China’s OFDI was studied quantitatively. Finally, CO2 emissions from China’s OFDI were discussed from the perspective of industry selection and location selection. The results showed that China’s OFDI could achieve the aim of reducing global carbon emissions with reasonable industry and location selection. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Establishment of the Sustainable Ecosystem for the Regional Shipping Industry Based on System Dynamics
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 742; doi:10.3390/su9050742
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid development of the shipping industry has brought great economic benefits but at a great environmental cost; exhaust emissions originating from ships are increasing, causing serious atmospheric pollution. Hence, the mitigation of ship exhaust emissions and the establishment of the sustainable ecosystem
[...] Read more.
The rapid development of the shipping industry has brought great economic benefits but at a great environmental cost; exhaust emissions originating from ships are increasing, causing serious atmospheric pollution. Hence, the mitigation of ship exhaust emissions and the establishment of the sustainable ecosystem have become urgent tasks, which will require complicated and comprehensive systematic approaches to solve. We address this problem by establishing a System Dynamics (SD) model to help mitigate regional ship exhaust emissions without restricting economic growth and promote the development of the sustainable ecosystem. Factors correlated with ship exhaust emissions are identified, and a causal loop diagram is drawn to describe the complicated interrelations among the correlated factors. Then, a stock-and-flow diagram is designed and variable equations and parameter values are determined to quantitatively describe the dynamic relations among different elements. After verifying the effectiveness of the model, different scenarios for the sustainable development in the study area were set by changing the values of the controlling variables. The variation trends of the exhaust emissions and economic benefits for Qingdao port under different scenarios were predicted for the years 2015–2025. By comparing the simulation results, the effects of different sustainable development measures were analyzed, providing a reference for the promotion of the harmonious development of the regional environment and economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Do Forwarders Improve Sustainability Efficiency? Evidence from a European DEA Malmquist Index Calculation
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 842; doi:10.3390/su9050842
Received: 27 March 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5453 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability performance and efficiency is an important topic in transportation and for forwarders. This is shown, for example, by the fact that major logistics service providers LSP publish sustainability reports, often within the annual legal business report. However, in depth research is missing
[...] Read more.
Sustainability performance and efficiency is an important topic in transportation and for forwarders. This is shown, for example, by the fact that major logistics service providers LSP publish sustainability reports, often within the annual legal business report. However, in depth research is missing regarding the efficiency of forwarders regarding the established triple bottom line approach for sustainability, including economic, social, and ecology performance areas. This is especially true for a dynamic time-series perspective, as usually only static analyses for one point in time are presented (in most cases single business years). Therefore, the operations research technique of a data envelopment analysis (DEA) Malmquist index calculation is used in order to provide a longitudinal calculation of efficiency, incorporating multiple objectives regarding the triple bottom line approach for European forwarders. Several indicators are tested, including total revenues and assets as input types, profit (EBIT) and dividend volume (economic dimension), employment and gender equality in management (social), and carbon-equivalent emissions (environmental) as output types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing Environmental Impact Indicators in Road Construction Projects in Developing Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 843; doi:10.3390/su9050843
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental pollution is considered to be one of the main concerns in the construction industry. Environmental pollution has become a major challenge to construction projects due to the huge amount of pollution caused by construction projects. There are different types of environmental impact
[...] Read more.
Environmental pollution is considered to be one of the main concerns in the construction industry. Environmental pollution has become a major challenge to construction projects due to the huge amount of pollution caused by construction projects. There are different types of environmental impact indicators, such as the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, eutrophication potential (EP), acidification potential (AP), human health (HH) particulate, ozone depletion, and smog. Each of these environmental impact indicators can be linked to different phases of the construction projects. The overall environmental impact indicators can be divided into direct, indirect, and operational emissions. This paper presents a Building Information Modeling (BIM)-based methodology for the assessment of environmental impacts in road construction projects. The model takes into account the overall life cycle of the road construction project, which is divided into: manufacturing phase, transportation phase, construction phase, maintenance phase, operational phase, recycling phase, and deconstruction phase. A case study is presented to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model. The proposed model solves a major problem for road construction project teams who want to assess the environmental impact indicators associated with their project prior to the start of the execution of their projects. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Attribute Segmentation and Communication Effects on Healthy and Sustainable Consumer Diet Intentions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 743; doi:10.3390/su9050743
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A shift towards more sustainable consumer diets is urgently needed. Dietary guidelines state that changes towards less animal-based and more plant-based diets are beneficial in terms of sustainability and, in addition, will have a positive effect on public health. Communication on these guidelines
[...] Read more.
A shift towards more sustainable consumer diets is urgently needed. Dietary guidelines state that changes towards less animal-based and more plant-based diets are beneficial in terms of sustainability and, in addition, will have a positive effect on public health. Communication on these guidelines should be most effective when tailored to the motivations of specific consumer segments. Therefore, the current study (1) segments consumers based on the importance they attach to sustainability, health, taste and price of food in several food categories; and (2) tests different ways (with health arguments, sustainability arguments, or both) of communicating the dietary guideline. Three segments have been identified: pro-self, average, and sustainable conscious consumers. For pro-self and average consumers, the communication of both health and sustainability benefits made them think most about sustainability, although communication did not result in changes in dietary intentions in these segments. For sustainable conscious consumers, intention to reduce their meat consumption increased when both health and sustainability benefits were communicated. These research outcomes indicate the importance of segmentation research in the development of dietary messages. In addition, the findings show the importance of taking product category differences into account in studying consumer food motivations and intentions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Alternative Approaches to Food: Community Supported Agriculture in Urban China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 844; doi:10.3390/su9050844
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most remarkable features of China’s development path is its large-scale and fast-paced urbanization. As cities already accommodate more than half of China’s population, new challenges to urban food systems have emerged concurrently. Concerns over environmental degradation and food safety have
[...] Read more.
One of the most remarkable features of China’s development path is its large-scale and fast-paced urbanization. As cities already accommodate more than half of China’s population, new challenges to urban food systems have emerged concurrently. Concerns over environmental degradation and food safety have provoked growing dissatisfaction with China’s food regime. Amidst these concerns, the aim of this paper is to study the role of new and alternative approaches to food, focusing in on the question of how community supported agriculture (CSA) can deal with the food-related issues emerging from China’s development. The paper adopts Granovetter’s notions of social embeddedness to describe CSA’s relational role in consumer-farmer dynamics, as well as the structural role within its broader relational context. Empirical data is drawn from surveys distributed among CSA farms, and interviews with key stakeholders in the Chinese CSA movement. The study finds that the model of CSA demonstrates an innovative approach to deal with food safety issues, address sustainability, and operate in an environment where future food demands are most critical. Although the movement’s structural embeddedness is bound by several limitations and contradictions, it is argued that the CSA model offers important insights and adds value into ameliorating China’s food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Workers’ Age and the Impact of Psychological Factors on the Perception of Safety at Construction Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 745; doi:10.3390/su9050745
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The safety of construction workers is always a major concern at construction sites as the construction industry is inherently dangerous with many factors influencing worker safety. Several studies concluded that psychological factors such as workload, organizational relationships, mental stress, job security, and job
[...] Read more.
The safety of construction workers is always a major concern at construction sites as the construction industry is inherently dangerous with many factors influencing worker safety. Several studies concluded that psychological factors such as workload, organizational relationships, mental stress, job security, and job satisfaction have significant effects on workers’ safety. However, research on psychological factors that are characteristic of different age groups have been limited. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of psychological factors on the perception of worker safety for two different age groups. After an extensive literature review, different psychological factors were identified, and a hypothetical research model was developed based on psychological factors that could affect workers’ perception of safety. A survey instrument was developed, and data were collected from seven different construction sites in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test the hypothetical model for both age groups. The results revealed that workload and job satisfaction are significantly dominant factors on workers’ perception of safety in older workers, whereas organizational relationships, mental stress, and job security are dominant factors for younger workers at construction sites. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Patent Citations and Financial Analysts’ Long-Term Growth Forecasts
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 846; doi:10.3390/su9050846
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the influence of patent citations, a proxy for the quality of firms’ innovation outputs, on financial analysts’ long-term growth forecasts for firms. We find that financial analysts are more likely to issue long-term forecasts for firms with higher patent citations.
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the influence of patent citations, a proxy for the quality of firms’ innovation outputs, on financial analysts’ long-term growth forecasts for firms. We find that financial analysts are more likely to issue long-term forecasts for firms with higher patent citations. In addition, we find that financial analysts’ long-term forecasts are more positive for firms with high patent citations. These results imply that patent citations increase financial analysts’ coverage, and result in more positive forecasts for firms with impactful patents. Considering that financial analysts play important roles in allocating financial resources in capital markets, our findings suggest that patents are valuable assets for firms in securing capital from capital markets, and are thus essential for the sustainable growth of firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Complex Dynamics Induced by Nonlinear Pollution Absorption, Pollution Emission Rate and Effectiveness of Abatement Technology in an OLG Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 746; doi:10.3390/su9050746
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (7916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, nonlinear pollution absorption, emission rate, and effectiveness of abatement technology are incorporated into the classic overlapping generation model. Within this framework, we analyze the macroeconomic effects of pollution emission and abatement technology on the economy. Our findings reveal that different
[...] Read more.
In this work, nonlinear pollution absorption, emission rate, and effectiveness of abatement technology are incorporated into the classic overlapping generation model. Within this framework, we analyze the macroeconomic effects of pollution emission and abatement technology on the economy. Our findings reveal that different levels of pollution emission rates from per capita income and the effectiveness of abatement technology could induce complex dynamical behavior, including the occurrence of a stable equilibrium, cycles, and chaos. Our analysis shows that either the pollution emission rate per capita income should be controlled to be small enough or the effectiveness of abatement technology should be large enough to maintain a stable system yielding high level of per capita income. A high level of pollution emission rate per capita income and a low level of effectiveness of abatement technology can lead to a stable economy, but with a low level of per capita income. In the case that the pollution emission rate and the effectiveness of abatement technology vary in a certain range, the economy would become unstable, and cycles and chaos would emerge. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A District Approach to Building Renovation for the Integral Energy Redevelopment of Existing Residential Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 747; doi:10.3390/su9050747
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead
[...] Read more.
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead of raising the efficiency of the energy supply through a broader use of renewable sources. This strategy requires an integral redefinition of the approach to energy building renovations. The joint project SWIVT elaborates on a district redevelopment strategy that combines a reduction in the energy demand of existing buildings and their physical interconnection within a local micro-grid and heating network. The district is equipped with energy generation and distribution technologies as well as hybrid thermal and electrical energy storage systems, steered by an optimizing energy management controller. This strategy is explored through three scenarios designed for an existing residential area in Darmstadt, Germany, and benchmarked against measured data. Presented findings show that a total primary energy balance at least 30% lower than that of a standard building renovation can be achieved by a cluster of buildings with different thermal qualities and connected energy generation, conversion, and storage systems, with only minimal physical intervention to existing buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Adoption and Use of Low-Carbon Technologies: Lessons from 100 Finnish Pilot Studies, Field Experiments and Demonstrations
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 847; doi:10.3390/su9050847
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Experimentation is critical for the deployment of low-carbon technologies. New solutions need to be selected and adapted to their contexts of use, and users need to learn new skills. Society as a whole needs to create new modes of production, consumption and governance.
[...] Read more.
Experimentation is critical for the deployment of low-carbon technologies. New solutions need to be selected and adapted to their contexts of use, and users need to learn new skills. Society as a whole needs to create new modes of production, consumption and governance. We investigated how local pilot projects, demonstrations and trials of low-carbon technologies promote learning in Finnish society, where the government has made a commitment to a culture of experimentation. We drew on a database of 100 pilot projects and experiments and 15 detailed case studies. We identified several types of learning, beyond the formal evaluation of “what works where and when”: pilot projects served to inspire, to create commitment and to develop networks. We also investigated how lessons learned are transferred to other sites and into societal knowledge. We contribute by conceptualizing different forms of learning and transfer—particularly situated and embodied forms—alongside more techno-scientific ones. While highlighting this form of learning, we also note that it is not particularly strong in acknowledging challenges faced in experimentation. We argue that there is scope for more systematic evaluation, alongside more situated forms of learning and sharing. We also pinpoint tensions between these two forms of learning that need to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Coordinated Optimal Operation Method of the Regional Energy Internet
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 848; doi:10.3390/su9050848
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of the energy internet has become one of the key ways to solve the energy crisis. This paper studies the system architecture, energy flow characteristics and coordinated optimization method of the regional energy internet. Considering the heat-to-electric ratio of a combined
[...] Read more.
The development of the energy internet has become one of the key ways to solve the energy crisis. This paper studies the system architecture, energy flow characteristics and coordinated optimization method of the regional energy internet. Considering the heat-to-electric ratio of a combined cooling, heating and power unit, energy storage life and real-time electricity price, a double-layer optimal scheduling model is proposed, which includes economic and environmental benefit in the upper layer and energy efficiency in the lower layer. A particle swarm optimizer–individual variation ant colony optimization algorithm is used to solve the computational efficiency and accuracy. Through the calculation and simulation of the simulated system, the energy savings, level of environmental protection and economic optimal dispatching scheme are realized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Korean Developers in Vietnam: The Mechanism of Transnational Large-Scale Property Development and Its Planning
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 748; doi:10.3390/su9050748
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since neo-liberalism emerged in the 1980s, private actors have started to take a primary role in urban planning and foreign private developers became important actors, especially in urban development in developing countries. In order to investigate the mechanism of large-scale property developments by
[...] Read more.
Since neo-liberalism emerged in the 1980s, private actors have started to take a primary role in urban planning and foreign private developers became important actors, especially in urban development in developing countries. In order to investigate the mechanism of large-scale property developments by foreign developers, this paper focused on three cases developed by Koreans in Vietnam and investigated their similarities in development processes, and the resultant urban forms through analyzing relevant documents and conducting a series of in-depth interviews. As a result, a common strategy employed by Korean firms was to build villas first and apartments later, which would distort the resultant urban form. Conflicts with local governments over the provision of public facilities were another feature shared by these projects, and the provision of urban infrastructure, in turn, was scaled down during scheme changes. While previous studies argued that neglecting urban infrastructure has been a common feature of developments influenced by the privatization trend, foreign developers have more financial burdens and risks than their domestic counterparts, which increases the possibility of such neglect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability Features of Iran’s Vernacular Architecture: A Comparative Study between the Architecture of Hot–Arid and Hot–Arid–Windy Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 749; doi:10.3390/su9050749
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (19392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vernacular architecture has evolved over time to reflect and sustainably comply with the environmental and cultural contexts in which it exists. This kind of architecture possesses a variety of original and clever practices and technologies to satisfy various necessities imposed by context. Iran’s
[...] Read more.
Vernacular architecture has evolved over time to reflect and sustainably comply with the environmental and cultural contexts in which it exists. This kind of architecture possesses a variety of original and clever practices and technologies to satisfy various necessities imposed by context. Iran’s vernacular architecture has mastered the art of adaptation to context by developing different architectures in different regions of the country. Despite their different appearances, these architectures follow the same logic in spirit: sustainable adaptation to context. This original research work surveys this logic in two regions, one hot-arid and the other hot-arid-windy, in Iran (represented by the city of Yazd and the region of Sistan, respectively) through a comparative study. This paper studies different elements and techniques of sustainability in these areas, reasons for their existence and the factors that have shaped them into the specific way that they are. The main elements that were studied through this survey include: fabric and orientation, sidewalks, facades, materials, entrances, courtyards, basements and cellars, porches, roofs, wind-catchers, and openings. In conclusion, links that connect different specifications of context to different aspects of construction are discovered and their role in overall character of two region’s architecture is illustrated so they can be used as guidelines for future designs and constructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Work-Family Balance Policy on Job Selection and Social Sustainability: The Case of South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 849; doi:10.3390/su9050849
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
South Korea needs to actively implement work-family balance policies to increase both the low employment rate of women and the low total fertility rate. This study analyzes the quantitative benefits that the implementation of work-family balance policies provides to employees and employers. We
[...] Read more.
South Korea needs to actively implement work-family balance policies to increase both the low employment rate of women and the low total fertility rate. This study analyzes the quantitative benefits that the implementation of work-family balance policies provides to employees and employers. We conducted a choice experiment that asked 633 participants about their stated preferences for a hypothetical company with different work-family balance practices. The analysis was performed by using a hierarchical Bayesian model that considered preference heterogeneity according to the respondents’ characteristics. The results indicate that the availability of parental leave provides benefits equivalent to an increase of 5.80 million won in annual salary and that offering childcare in the workplace has an effect equivalent to an increase of 5.37 million won in annual salary. Further, low-income groups, women, the younger generation, and parents of preschool children are most sensitive to the policy. Finally, small and medium-sized enterprises are less desirable to work for than large companies, but the implementation of work-family balance policies could change this preference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Because My Friends Insist or Because It Makes Sense? Adolescents’ Motivation towards the Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 750; doi:10.3390/su9050750
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present the results of a study that focuses in on issues of validity of the motivation towards the environment scale (MTES) in the context of Flanders (the Flemish-speaking community in Belgium). The instrument was developed almost two decades ago in Canada, and
[...] Read more.
We present the results of a study that focuses in on issues of validity of the motivation towards the environment scale (MTES) in the context of Flanders (the Flemish-speaking community in Belgium). The instrument was developed almost two decades ago in Canada, and is designed to measure the self-determined motivation of people for performing pro-environmental behaviors, but has not yet been applied widely to different contexts. Here, we use a sample of 1730 grade 12 students from 71 schools across Flanders, to focus on specific issues concerning the validity of the MTES in the context of Flanders. We deal with its construct validity, through the estimation of a confirmatory factor analysis. Next, we test the reliability of the MTES and the hypothesized simplex structure by calculating intercorrelations between all six MTES subscales. External validity of the MTES is addressed by correlating the subscales to well-established environmental psychological constructs, such as the models of two major environmental values, the connectedness to nature scale, and the general ecological behavior scale. Finally, we also look at the discriminative validity of the MTES by testing gender differences in self-determined motivations towards the environment. Overall, our results confirm that the MTES is a valid and reliable instrument that can also be used outside the cultural context within which it was developed, to measure the diverse motivations of (young) people to engage in environmental behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Drivers, Barriers and Benefits of the EU Ecolabel in European Companies’ Perception
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 751; doi:10.3390/su9050751
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date, only a few studies have investigated the attitude of companies towards the EU Ecolabel. This article intends to provide an updated portrait of what are the main motivations that push companies to use the EU Ecolabel, the benefits that companies perceive
[...] Read more.
To date, only a few studies have investigated the attitude of companies towards the EU Ecolabel. This article intends to provide an updated portrait of what are the main motivations that push companies to use the EU Ecolabel, the benefits that companies perceive as deriving from it and the barriers that companies perceive as hindering uptake. In order to answer to these research questions, we have used the data collected by the empirical survey on the EU Ecolabel that ran from April to July 2014. Evidence emerging from the survey shows that companies deem that the EU Ecolabel added-value lies in it being a useful “showcase” tool of their eco-innovation efforts, potentially able to close the information gap with the market (made of consumers above all, but also retailers and public procurers) about their products and services’ environmental performance. However, there is evidence throughout the study that, although the EU Ecolabel brings some market rewards, these are fewer than those expected by companies when they first decide to apply for the EU Ecolabel. This is linked to the lack of awareness of the EU Ecolabel by consumers and to the insufficient and inadequate promotion and support granted by public institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Adaptive Effectiveness of Irrigated Area Expansion in Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change on Crop Yields in Northern China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 851; doi:10.3390/su9050851
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To improve adaptive capacity and further strengthen the role of irrigation in mitigating climate change impacts, the Chinese government has planned to expand irrigated areas by 4.4% by the 2030s. Examining the adaptive potential of irrigated area expansion under climate change is therefore
[...] Read more.
To improve adaptive capacity and further strengthen the role of irrigation in mitigating climate change impacts, the Chinese government has planned to expand irrigated areas by 4.4% by the 2030s. Examining the adaptive potential of irrigated area expansion under climate change is therefore critical. Here, we assess the effects of irrigated area expansion on crop yields based on county-level data during 1980–2011 in northern China and estimate climate impacts under irrigated area scenarios in the 2030s. Based on regression analysis, there is a statistically significant effect of irrigated area expansion on reducing negative climate impacts. More irrigated areas indicate less heat and drought impacts. Irrigated area expansion will alleviate yield reduction by 0.7–0.8% in the future but associated yield benefits will still not compensate for greater adverse climate impacts. Yields are estimated to decrease by 4.0–6.5% under future climate conditions when an additional 4.4% of irrigated area is established, and no fundamental yield increase with an even further 10% or 15% expansion of irrigated area is predicted. This finding suggests that expected adverse climate change risks in the 2030s cannot be mitigated by expanding irrigated areas. A combination of this and other adaptation programs is needed to guarantee grain production under more serious drought stresses in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
Figures

Figure 1