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 6 (June 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 This paper presents and compares different approaches of science–practice collaboration, in [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-202
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Effect of Corporate Governance Structure on the Financial Performance of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-Listed Mining Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 867; doi:10.3390/su9060867
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There have been many corporate collapses and financial crises in recent years linked to a lack of effective corporate governance. The South African King IV Code of Corporate Governance recommends that corporate governing bodies should be comprised of an appropriate balance of knowledge,
[...] Read more.
There have been many corporate collapses and financial crises in recent years linked to a lack of effective corporate governance. The South African King IV Code of Corporate Governance recommends that corporate governing bodies should be comprised of an appropriate balance of knowledge, diversity, and independence for discharging their duties objectively and more efficiently. This study examines the effect of corporate governance structures on firm financial performance. The secondary data of selected Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index-listed mining firms’ sustainability reports, and integrated annual financial statements are used. Using panel data analysis of the random effects model, we determined the relationship between board independence and board size and the return on equity (ROE) for the period 2010–2015. Results indicate a weak negative correlation between ROE and board size, and a weak, but positive, correlation between ROE and board independence. Additionally, there is a positive, but weak, correlation between ROE and sales growth, but a negative and weak relationship between ROE and firm size. The study suggests that effective corporate governance through a small effective board and monitoring by an independent board result in increased firm financial performance. We recommend that South African companies see compliance with the recommendations of the King IV Code on Corporate Governance not as a liability, but an ethical investment that may likely yield financial benefit in the long-term. Although complying with corporate governance principles does not necessarily translate into a significant economic benefit, firms should, however, continue to adopt corporate governance for ethical reasons to meet stakeholder’s social and environmental needs for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Realities, Perceptions, Challenges and Aspirations of Rural Youth in Dryland Agriculture in the Midelt Province, Morocco
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 871; doi:10.3390/su9060871
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 14 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Active involvement of youth in agriculture is necessary for sustainable agricultural systems but is currently a challenge in many areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative participatory research methods, this study analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood
[...] Read more.
Active involvement of youth in agriculture is necessary for sustainable agricultural systems but is currently a challenge in many areas. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative participatory research methods, this study analyses rural youth’s realities, perspectives and aspirations in dryland Agricultural Livelihood Systems (ALSs) in the Midelt Province, Morocco, with a particular focus on gender. The data collected are an important first step in understanding the target group and working with youth to identify and develop appropriate programmatic interventions to improve their livelihoods and rural futures. Prior to expressing their aspirations for their rural life and career, the youth first raised the issue of unfulfilled primary needs: access to education, potable water, heath care, and lack of infrastructure in their villages. The issue of outmigration from rural areas is controversial and not so widespread. The youth’s dream village is envisioned as a rural place where people have a more comfortable life with their own families, farming better and more sustainably rather than seeking a job in urban areas. To support the youth’s aspirations and their willingness to stay in agriculture, there is a need for infrastructural and regulatory interventions and specific training in agricultural practices targeting and engaging youth. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Does Environmental Policy Reduce Enterprise Innovation?—Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 872; doi:10.3390/su9060872
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the serious worldwide problem of carbon emissions, carbon emissions’ control and trade have become necessary policies adopted by the governments, after the establishment of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), China has also implemented a similar carbon emission trading pilot policy
[...] Read more.
With the serious worldwide problem of carbon emissions, carbon emissions’ control and trade have become necessary policies adopted by the governments, after the establishment of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), China has also implemented a similar carbon emission trading pilot policy which plays a vital role in environmental regulation and influences enterprise behaviors, so this paper will put more focus on the impact of this policy on the enterprise innovation. In this paper, we construct a theoretical model and use the “Chinese Carbon Emissions Trading Pilot Policy” as a quasi-natural experiment to accurately identify the net causal effect of this environmental policy on enterprise innovation. Moreover, we use the synthetic control and difference-in-differences methods to eliminate the endogeneity to a large extent and conduct the robustness tests, difference-in-differences method, placebo test, and permutation test to respectively confirm these results. The results show that the implementation of carbon emissions trading policy will significantly reduce the enterprise innovation in general, this conclusion is contrary to the EU ETS’s effect, which is confirmed by plenty of previous empirical study. However, this policy has different effects across enterprises of different industries and different types of innovation. It can promote enterprise innovation of environmental industry, but it will inhibit enterprise innovation of non-environmental industry; besides, it can promote the development of green technical innovation and inhibit non-green technical innovation, which is basically identical to the causal effect of EU ETS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energetic Sustainability and the Environment: A Transdisciplinary, Economic–Ecological Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 873; doi:10.3390/su9060873
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper combines original concepts about eco-energetic systems, in a transdisciplinary sustainable context. Firstly, it introduces the concept of M.E.N. (Mega-Eco-Nega-Watt), the eco-energetic paradigm based on three different but complementary ecological economic spaces: the Megawatt as needed energy, the Ecowatt as ecological energy,
[...] Read more.
The paper combines original concepts about eco-energetic systems, in a transdisciplinary sustainable context. Firstly, it introduces the concept of M.E.N. (Mega-Eco-Nega-Watt), the eco-energetic paradigm based on three different but complementary ecological economic spaces: the Megawatt as needed energy, the Ecowatt as ecological energy, and the Negawatt as preserved energy. The paper also deals with the renewable energies and technologies in the context of electrical energy production. Secondly, in the context of the M.E.N. eco-energetic paradigm, comprehensive definitions are given about eco-energetic systems and for pollution. Thirdly, the paper introduces a new formula for the eco-energetic efficiency which correlates the energetic efficiency of the system and the necessary newly defined ecological coefficient. The proposed formula for eco-energetic efficiency enables an interesting form of relating to different situations in which the input energy, output energy, lost energy, and externalities involved in an energetic process, interact to produce energy in a specific energetic system, in connection with the circular resilient economy model. Finally, the paper presents an original energetic diagram to explain different channels to produce electricity in a resilience regime, with high eco-energetic efficiency from primary external energetic sources (gravitation and solar sources), fuels (classical and radioactive), internal energetic sources (geothermal, volcanoes) and other kind of sources. Regardless the kind of energetic sources used to obtain electricity, the entire process should be sustainable in what concerns the transdisciplinary integration of the different representative spheres as energy, socio-economy, and ecology (environment). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimum Subsidy to Promote Electric Boiler Investment to Accommodate Wind Power
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 874; doi:10.3390/su9060874
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing development of combined heat and power (CHP) plants is exacerbating the wind power curtailment problem in regional power grids during the winter heating season. Electric boilers (EBs) were proposed to be employed within CHP plants to relieve this problem. However, CHP
[...] Read more.
The increasing development of combined heat and power (CHP) plants is exacerbating the wind power curtailment problem in regional power grids during the winter heating season. Electric boilers (EBs) were proposed to be employed within CHP plants to relieve this problem. However, CHP plants usually have no incentive for investing in EBs. Therefore, CHP plants must be incentivized to make such investments through appropriate compensation from beneficiaries, i.e., government and wind farms, although this has not previously been discussed. We propose a game theory model to simulate the impact of government subsidies on EB investment. We analyzed the utilization of the involved parties with the marginal cost and average cost and applied game theory to simulate the investment decisions. Then, an approximate enumeration technique was developed to identify the optimum government subsidy. An actual case of a regional power grid in northern China was investigated to validate the proposed method. A minimum government subsidy to maximize total social benefit was calculated; this subsidy can incentivize wind farms and CHP plants to invest in and use EBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Management of a Tourist Village Establishment in Mountainous Area through Analysis of Costs and Incomes
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 875; doi:10.3390/su9060875
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The popularity of rural areas and especially the mountainous ones, as a possibility to spend the vacation has increased in most countries. Almost all mountain areas can provide great opportunities for the development of various forms of rural tourism, there being many examples
[...] Read more.
The popularity of rural areas and especially the mountainous ones, as a possibility to spend the vacation has increased in most countries. Almost all mountain areas can provide great opportunities for the development of various forms of rural tourism, there being many examples according to which many mountain areas, through appropriate and effective strategies of capitalizing the resources through the forms of rural tourism, start from the pioneer stage to a real valuable alternative in socio-economic terms for the rural area. One of the concepts that are increasingly used is the “tourist village”, its main issue, consisting in the return of the investment, an aspect that we will discuss in this paper. The paper presents an analysis of the way in which the occupancy degree affects the period of amortization of the initial investment. Concretely, in the case of the medium-sized tourist village, the minimum occupancy degree for the amortization of the initial investment, starts from about 25% for the investment without a loan, but subsidy in proportion of 50% and reaches at about 85% in the case of an investment with loan, for a period of 10 years, without advance or subsidy and with an interest of 7%. Initial investments were established for a holiday village in the Romanian countryside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Study of the Simulated Expansion Boundary of Construction Land in Shanghai Based on a SLEUTH Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 876; doi:10.3390/su9060876
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The SLEUTH model is one of the recent methodological advances, but its data sources are mainly interpreted from remote sensing images. It doesn’t cover the whole urban area and exhibits technical errors. Moreover, the relationships between land use and land cover change (LUCC)
[...] Read more.
The SLEUTH model is one of the recent methodological advances, but its data sources are mainly interpreted from remote sensing images. It doesn’t cover the whole urban area and exhibits technical errors. Moreover, the relationships between land use and land cover change (LUCC) and sustainability have seldom been discussed. Aimed at addressing these shortcomings, we focus on a wider range and use different data sources to simulate and predict the boundary of urban construction land expansion, and analyze the relationship between the expansion style of urban land and the change of ecological service value. Based on Shanghai land use map data, which covers the whole city scope and eliminates the error in data processing, we use a SLEUTH model to simulate the urban growth mode in Shanghai in 2020 under two scenarios, i.e., the natural growth mode and ecological priority mode, which are different from the previous scenario modes such as unprotected, light protected, moderately protected, and heavily protected modes. The results are as follows: (1) The development of urban land in Shanghai is most reasonable under the ecological priority mode as its ecological service value is higher than that of the natural growth mode; (2) Construction land expansion in Shanghai is very slow under the ecological priority mode, wherein construction land growth mainly occurs in the northwest, southwest, and southeast of Shanghai, and the northwest part of Chongming Island; (3) The surrounding area of the central city is given priority over edge growth, where the growth range is small. The outer suburbs are given priority for widespread growth, which is synchronous with the slow growth of roads. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Data Compatibility to Enhance Sustainable Capabilities for Autonomous Analytics in IoT
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 877; doi:10.3390/su9060877
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The collection of raw data is based on sensors embedded in devices or the environment for real-time data extraction. Nowadays, the Internet of Things (IoT) environment is used to support autonomous data collection by reducing human involvement. It is hard to analyze such
[...] Read more.
The collection of raw data is based on sensors embedded in devices or the environment for real-time data extraction. Nowadays, the Internet of Things (IoT) environment is used to support autonomous data collection by reducing human involvement. It is hard to analyze such data, especially when working with the sensors in a real-time environment. On using data analytics in IoT with the help of RDF, many issues can be resolved. Resultant data will have a better chance of quality analytics by reforming data into the semantical annotation. Industrial correspondence through data will be improved by the induction of semantics at large due to efficient data capturing, whereas one popular medium of sensors’ data storage is Relational Database (RDB). This study provides a complete automated mechanism to transform from loosely structured data stored in RDB into RDF. These data are obtained from sensors in semantically annotated RDF stores. The given study comprises methodology for improving compatibility by introducing bidirectional transformation between classical DB and RDF data stores to enhance the sustainable capabilities of IoT systems for autonomous analytics. Two case studies, one on weather and another on heart-rate measurement collections through IoT sensors, are used to show the transformation process in operation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sea Reclamation Status of Countries around the South China Sea from 1975 to 2010
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 878; doi:10.3390/su9060878
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (8544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a way of turning sea into land for living space for humans, the actions of sea reclamation bring about significant benefits. Nevertheless, it is also an under-recognized threat to the environment and the marine ecosystem. Based on images in two periods, sea
[...] Read more.
As a way of turning sea into land for living space for humans, the actions of sea reclamation bring about significant benefits. Nevertheless, it is also an under-recognized threat to the environment and the marine ecosystem. Based on images in two periods, sea reclamation information of countries around the South China Sea was extracted from 1975 to 2010. The spatial state and driven forces of sea reclamation are then discussed. Results show that the overall strength of sea reclamation in the South China Sea was great. New reclaimed land added up to 3264 km2. Sea reclamation for fish farming was the main reclamation type and widely distributed in the whole area, especially on the coast from the Pearl River Delta to the Red River Delta, and the coast of Ca Mau Peninsula. Sea reclamation in China and Vietnam was rather significant, which occupies 80.6% of the total reclamation area. Singapore had the highest level of sea reclamation. New reclaimed land for fish farming holds a key role in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, while new reclaimed land for construction and docks dominated in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. Areas and use-type compositions of new reclaimed land in countries varied greatly due to the differences of economic factors, policy inclination, and landscapes in the respective countries. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Simulating Block-Level Urban Expansion for National Wide Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 879; doi:10.3390/su9060879
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5140 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Large-scale models are generally associated with large spatial modelling units, for example, counties or super grids (several to dozens of km2). Few applied urban models can achieve a large spatial coverage with irregular spatial units due to data availability and computation
[...] Read more.
Large-scale models are generally associated with large spatial modelling units, for example, counties or super grids (several to dozens of km2). Few applied urban models can achieve a large spatial coverage with irregular spatial units due to data availability and computation load. The framework of automatic identification and characterization of blocks developed by Liu and Long (2016) makes such an ideal model possible by establishing the existing urban blocks using road networks and points of interest for very large areas (e.g., a country or a continent). In this study, we develop a mega-vector-blocks cellular automata model (MVB-CA) to simulate urban expansion at the block level for 654 Chinese cities. The existing urban blocks in 2012 were used for initiating the MVB-CA and are generated using multi-levelled road networks and ubiquitous points of interest. We then simulate block-based urban expansion of all the cities from 2012 to 2017. The national spatial development strategies of China are discussed extensively by academia and policy makers, while the baseline scenario and other simulated urban expansion scenarios have been tested and compared horizontally. As one of the first block-based urban expansion models at a national scale, its academic contributions, practical applications, and potential biases are also discussed in this paper. The developed MVB-CA using general approaches is also applicable for other counties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Consumers’ Intentions to Participate in a Formal E-Waste Collection System: A Case Study of Onitsha, Nigeria
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 881; doi:10.3390/su9060881
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the increasing amount of electronic waste (e-waste) generated in Nigeria, challenges such as consumer disposal behaviors have emerged. An understanding of consumers’ intentions to participate in formal e-waste collections is key in increasing the level of participation in an e-waste collection
[...] Read more.
Due to the increasing amount of electronic waste (e-waste) generated in Nigeria, challenges such as consumer disposal behaviors have emerged. An understanding of consumers’ intentions to participate in formal e-waste collections is key in increasing the level of participation in an e-waste collection scheme. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) creates an applicable platform for identifying the determinants of recycling intention. Based on the TPB, we develop a theoretical framework to study how influencing factors such as attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and environmental knowledge influence intentions to participate in formal e-waste collections. Additionally, we extend the research framework to examine whether the factors of infrastructure and economic incentive moderate the relationships between the influencing factors and intention. Using an empirical survey conducted in Onitsha with 384 usable questionnaire responses, we observe that attitude, subjective norm, and environmental knowledge directly influence consumers’ intentions. Statistical results also show that only the factor of infrastructure moderates the relationship between two influencing factors (attitude and subjective norm) and intention. The resulting negative coefficients of regression for the interactions indicate that the introduction of infrastructure will result in a weaker influencing ability of attitude and subjective norm on intention. Thus, the implications of this study in motivating consumers’ intentions suggest it would be beneficial for the government to provide functional and adequately managed infrastructure situated close to the community, such that it can be easily accessed by household consumers. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Microclimate Improvement of Inner-City Urban Areas in a Mediterranean Coastal City
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 882; doi:10.3390/su9060882
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
PDF Full-text (27822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates urban bioclimatic interventions in the central area of a coastal medium-sized city in Greece. Two urban blocks typical of the urban fabric of the city center and a neighborhood of 38 urban blocks were selected. Different proposed Bioclimatic Renewal Scenarios
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates urban bioclimatic interventions in the central area of a coastal medium-sized city in Greece. Two urban blocks typical of the urban fabric of the city center and a neighborhood of 38 urban blocks were selected. Different proposed Bioclimatic Renewal Scenarios were investigated through microclimatic simulations using the micro-scale numerical model, ENVI-met. The simulations aimed at assessing various scenarios and examining the effect of the different bioclimatic interventions on the local outdoor environment, such as the application of cool materials, greenery of public open space, and other. Thus a parametric analysis was carried out. A final bioclimatic renewal scenario, based primarily on the parameters, proved to have a positive effect on the local microclimate, was proposed and assessed. The simulation results showed that the final scenario resulted in the most effective heat mitigation strategy for the case studies’ microclimate. The vegetation-based scenario also contributed to a significant microclimate improvement in the case studies. The benefits of the various bioclimatic interventions were magnified when these were applied on a spatial scale larger than that of the single urban block, hence on the urban neighborhood scale. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Walkability and Street Intersections in Rural-Urban Fringes: A Decision Aiding Evaluation Procedure
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 883; doi:10.3390/su9060883
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 17 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4346 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We propose a decision-aiding evaluation procedure (i) for classifying road crossings based on their impact on walkability and, subsequently, (ii) for prioritising street improvements, in urban-rural fringe areas. In the peripheral urban-rural fringes, pedestrian mobility is usually less developed and people generally depend
[...] Read more.
We propose a decision-aiding evaluation procedure (i) for classifying road crossings based on their impact on walkability and, subsequently, (ii) for prioritising street improvements, in urban-rural fringe areas. In the peripheral urban-rural fringes, pedestrian mobility is usually less developed and people generally depend more on cars for their everyday chores. Partly this is inevitable given the structural features and supply of services and activities in such areas, but part is due to a frequent neglect of pedestrian mobility in planning and urban design. Measures to improve this state of affairs can include the design of more pedestrian-friendly environments offering to potential users a greater level of security, comfort and convenience when walking to their designated destinations. Our evaluation procedure combines a walkability assessment methodology with the ELECTRE TRI rating procedure, in order to assist planners and decision makers in designing physical streets to enhance the continuity, safety and quality of pedestrian paths. Improving the walking accessibility in the fringe areas of towns is a way to reduce the physical and perceptual distance which separates these contexts from the rest of the city, thus leading to a progressive integration of urban functions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Mobile Technology on Exhibition Attendees’ Unplanned Booth Visit Behaviour
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 884; doi:10.3390/su9060884
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 13 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the effect of the booth Recommender system (BRS) embedded in a mobile device on the goals of exhibition attendees, based on two main theories that are unplanned behaviour and goal frame theories. Previous studies have overlooked the importance of the
[...] Read more.
This study examines the effect of the booth Recommender system (BRS) embedded in a mobile device on the goals of exhibition attendees, based on two main theories that are unplanned behaviour and goal frame theories. Previous studies have overlooked the importance of the unplanned behavioural effectiveness of IT devices for understanding motivation and delivering unexpected outcomes at exhibitions. The BRS offers customized, personalized, and advanced information to attendees; experiences with the BRS lead to unplanned behaviour. In this paper, we distinguish several goal frames, including hedonic, gain, and normative goals, which contribute to the relationship between continued BRS use and unplanned booth visits. Continued BRS use directly influences revisit intentions to an exhibition and contributes to unplanned booth visits. We analysed data from 508 attendees at a franchise exhibition using structural equation modelling (SEM) method. Our research empirically determined that goal framing theory and unplanned behaviour via continued BRS use embedded in a mobile device are connected. Continued BRS use in an exhibition can contribute to attendees’ impulsive behaviour and can induce them to return to an exhibition. The results and implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Selection of a Sustainable Functional Pasta Enriched with Opuntia Using ELECTRE III Methodology
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 885; doi:10.3390/su9060885
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decade, the nutritional and health benefits of Opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) were discussed by academic scientists and private companies. In particular, the introduction of this substance in frequently consumed foods, like, for example, pasta and bakery products, could
[...] Read more.
In the last decade, the nutritional and health benefits of Opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) were discussed by academic scientists and private companies. In particular, the introduction of this substance in frequently consumed foods, like, for example, pasta and bakery products, could have a wide diffusion due to its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and amino acids. The identified natural cactus compounds are responsible for biologically relevant activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, and neuro-protective properties. The aim of this paper is the evaluation of the best combination of Opuntia quantity and process parameters (recipe) for the production of sustainable functional pasta. The results obtained show that the new functional pasta guarantees the presence of the Opuntia quantity necessary to be considered a healthy food without altering the organoleptic and physical properties of the final product. An important indicator of a sustainable food product is its capacity to contribute to public health while maintaining a high quality of the final product. The selection of the optimal recipe was carried out by means of a multi-criteria decision-making procedure, ELECTRE III. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the stability of the obtained solutions varying the ELECTRE III thresholds, showing that the results obtained are stable under uncertain conditions. Food productions are often affected by qualitative judgments in terms of physical and organoleptic properties of the final product, making the ELECTRE III particularly suitable in an industrial application in which different points of view are involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Decoupling and Decomposition Analysis of Carbon Emissions from Electric Output in the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 886; doi:10.3390/su9060886
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid growth of the electricity sector in the United States has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in CO2 emissions. To understand the driving effects that contribute to the increase in CO2 emissions during electricity generation, as well as the
[...] Read more.
The rapid growth of the electricity sector in the United States has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in CO2 emissions. To understand the driving effects that contribute to the increase in CO2 emissions during electricity generation, as well as the relationship between the emissions and electricity output, a novel decoupling index on the basis of the multilevel logarithmic mean divisia index (LMDI) method is presented in this paper. The results of our study indicate that, on the one hand, the electricity output effect played a crucial role in increasing CO2 emissions. On the other hand, the energy mix effect and the conversion efficiency effect made a contribution to curbing the related CO2 emissions in most of the years covered by our study. The power production structure effect and emission factor effect each played a negative role in the decoupling process. No decoupling was the main status during most of the years covered in our study, with a strong decoupling status being the least common state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Influence of Particle Morphologies of LiFePO4 on Water- and Solvent-Based Processing and Electrochemical Properties
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 888; doi:10.3390/su9060888
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5057 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
LiFePO4 (LFP) primary particles and secondary agglomerates have been processed into water- and solvent-based cathodes. By means of neutron and X-ray diffraction it was found that no structural changes of LiFePO4 occurred upon water- and solvent-based slurry preparation. Electrochemical characterization was
[...] Read more.
LiFePO4 (LFP) primary particles and secondary agglomerates have been processed into water- and solvent-based cathodes. By means of neutron and X-ray diffraction it was found that no structural changes of LiFePO4 occurred upon water- and solvent-based slurry preparation. Electrochemical characterization was carried out with full-cells and a distinct influence of particle morphology was observable. Water-based processing of primary particles leads to deficits in electrochemical performance while secondary agglomerates are non-sensitive to water during processing. In the presence of water, high mechanical stress during slurry preparation causes a partial detachment of carbon coating. However, this effect is negligible for secondary agglomerates since only surface particles are exposed to mechanical stress. Due to longer diffusion paths and the fact that secondary agglomerates represent a micro-heterogeneity in the cathode, the C-rate capability of secondary agglomerates is slightly lower than that of primary particles. This paper demonstrates that for any high energy application with moderate C-rates, secondary agglomerates hold a great potential for environmentally friendly and cost-efficient water-based cathode production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Place-Based Rural Development and Resilience: A Lesson from a Small Community
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 889; doi:10.3390/su9060889
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Community resilience is central to reshaping the role and functions of rural areas; and development has increasingly come about via the capacity of communities to be resilient in the face of challenges. When policies designed and adopted in rural areas are place-based; these
[...] Read more.
Community resilience is central to reshaping the role and functions of rural areas; and development has increasingly come about via the capacity of communities to be resilient in the face of challenges. When policies designed and adopted in rural areas are place-based; these policies should rely on resilient actors; belonging to resilient communities. The aim of this article is to focus on factors that can trigger or re-activate mechanisms that help to actively build resilience in areas that are heavily economically and socially impoverished using as a case study a very active and dynamic rural community. From the case study; three aspects emerge; all of which are closely interrelated; as having been particularly significant for building community resilience. The first was the rebuilding of previously frayed social ties within the community (growth of social capital and increased trust). The second was the ‘cascade effect’ of the first project started in the community; which led to the creation of many other initiatives. The third was the adoption of a systemic approach; able to bring together areas and sectors that had previously been disconnected (breaking down technical-legislative barriers). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mining Site Reclamation Planning Based on Land Suitability Analysis and Ecosystem Services Evaluation: A Case Study in Liaoning Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 890; doi:10.3390/su9060890
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4900 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Restoration of the degraded ecosystem is a global priority for achieving sustainable development. Although increasing ecosystem service is an important goal of ecological restoration, it is rarely used to inform mine reclamation. This study proposed a reclamation strategy that incorporated land suitability analysis
[...] Read more.
Restoration of the degraded ecosystem is a global priority for achieving sustainable development. Although increasing ecosystem service is an important goal of ecological restoration, it is rarely used to inform mine reclamation. This study proposed a reclamation strategy that incorporated land suitability analysis and ecosystem service evaluation for a mining site in Liaoning Province, China. We assessed the land suitability for three reclamation alternatives and identified suitable land uses for each location by comparing their suitability levels. For areas that were suitable for multiple land uses with the same suitability level, the future land uses cannot be identified by land suitability analysis alone, and we employed ecosystem services evaluation to determine the optimal reclamation strategy. The results showed that forest could be restored throughout the entire mining site, agricultural land were most suitable in the western and southern parts, and developed land were in northern parts that were closer to roads and city centers. Our study showed that a large mining site can be reclaimed to different land uses and provided a practical framework for integrating ecosystem services into mine reclamation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Public Participatory Mapping of Cultural Ecosystem Services: Citizen Perception and Park Management in the Parco Nord of Milan (Italy)
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 891; doi:10.3390/su9060891
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services may be underestimated, and consequently threatened, when land-use planning and management decisions are based on inadequate information. Unfortunately, most of the studies aimed to evaluate and map cultural ecosystem services (CES) are not used for actual decision support therefore there is
[...] Read more.
Ecosystem services may be underestimated, and consequently threatened, when land-use planning and management decisions are based on inadequate information. Unfortunately, most of the studies aimed to evaluate and map cultural ecosystem services (CES) are not used for actual decision support therefore there is a gap in the literature about its use in practice. This study aimed to reduce this gap by: (i) mapping CES perceived by city park users through participatory mapping (PPGIS); (ii) mapping CES arising from park management (management perception); (iii) comparing citizens and park management perception to identify matches or mismatches; and (iv) discussing the utility of the data acquired and the methodology proposed to inform urban planning. The methodology presented in this study resulted in data directly informative for urban planning. It provided spatially explicit data about perceived cultural services of the park as well as information about the matching or mismatching patterns about cultural services provision comparing the users’ view with the management dimension. This research demonstrated a way to use the potential of ES mapping to inform urban planning and explored the local management demand for CES mapping, showing this to be a valuable tool for effective integration into actual decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Predicting Bio-indicators of Aquatic Ecosystems Using the Support Vector Machine Model in the Taizi River, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 892; doi:10.3390/su9060892
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerous studies have sought to clarify the link between biological communities and environmental factors in freshwater, but an appropriate model is still needed to predict the effect of water quality and hydromorphology improvement on biological communities and to provide useful information for ecological
[...] Read more.
Numerous studies have sought to clarify the link between biological communities and environmental factors in freshwater, but an appropriate model is still needed to predict the effect of water quality and hydromorphology improvement on biological communities and to provide useful information for ecological restoration planning. In this study, a support vector machine (SVM) was used to predict the bio-indicators of an aquatic ecosystem (i.e., macroinvertebrates, fish, algae communities) in the Taizi River, northeast China. Environmental factors, including physico-chemical (i.e., dissolved oxygen (DO), electricity conductivity (EC), ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand in five days (BOD5), total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN)) and hydromorphology parameters (i.e., water quantity, channel change, morphology diversity) were used as the input variables to train and validate the SVM model. The sensitivity of the input variables for the prediction was examined by removing a variable from the SVM model. Results revealed that the SVM model reproduced the variation in bio-indicators of fish and algae communities well, based on the input variables. The sensitivity for the input variables applied in SVM showed that in the Taizi River the most sensitive variables for predicting macroinvertebrate and algae communities were channel change, DO, TN, and TP, while the most sensitive variables for predicting fish communities were DO and BOD5. This study proposed an effective method for predicting biological communities, which will improve freshwater quality and hydromorphology management schemes. The outputs can guide the decision-making process in river basin management, support the prioritization of actions and resource allocation, and help to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Agent-Based Model to Project China’s Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission Peaks at Multiple Levels
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 893; doi:10.3390/su9060893
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To assess whether China’s emissions will peak around 2030, we forecast energy consumption and carbon emissions in China. We use an agent-based model driven by enterprises’ innovation. Results show some differences in both energy consumption peaks and carbon emission peaks when we compare
[...] Read more.
To assess whether China’s emissions will peak around 2030, we forecast energy consumption and carbon emissions in China. We use an agent-based model driven by enterprises’ innovation. Results show some differences in both energy consumption peaks and carbon emission peaks when we compare trends at different levels. We find that carbon emissions and energy consumption will peak in 2027 and 2028, respectively. However, the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries will reach energy consumption in different years: 2023, 2029, and 2022, respectively, and reach carbon emission peaks in 2022, 2028, and 2022, respectively. At the sectoral level, we find a wider range of energy consumption peaks and carbon emission peaks. Peak energy consumption occurs between 2020 and 2034, and peak carbon emissions between 2020 and 2032. Commercial and catering businesses, utilities and resident services, and finance and insurance achieve peak energy consumption and carbon emissions earliest in 2020, while building materials and other non-metallic mineral products manufacturing and metal products manufacturing are the two latest sectors to reach peak energy consumption and emissions, in 2034 and 2032, respectively. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Characterizing Spatiotemporal Pattern of Land Use Change and Its Driving Force Based on GIS and Landscape Analysis Techniques in Tianjin during 2000–2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 894; doi:10.3390/su9060894
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial and temporal characteristics and driving factors analysis of regional land use are the core scientific problems in the research of ecological environment and human sustainable development. It is also an important basis for the government to formulate land management policy. Based
[...] Read more.
The spatial and temporal characteristics and driving factors analysis of regional land use are the core scientific problems in the research of ecological environment and human sustainable development. It is also an important basis for the government to formulate land management policy. Based on the land use maps of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, this article analyzed the spatiotemporal pattern of land use change in Tianjin, and determined the relative importance of each driving factor of land use change. The main features of land use change were the continuous expansion of built-up land (1386.89 km2/74.73% gains) and the decrease of arable land area (1181.60 km2/16.84% losses). The area and intensity of land use change were not completely consistent, such as Wuqing and Jixian. The hotspots of land use change mainly were located in the main urban region in Tianjin, around the suburban settlements and Binhai New Area. The landscape pattern in the research region has also changed significantly. The Largest patch index (LPI) and largest shape index (LSI) of arable land showed an increasing trend, and the degree of landscape fragmentation of arable land was deepened. The trend of landscape index of built-up land was similar to that of arable land, but the change intensity was more severe. In addition, the article also used the stepwise regression analysis in the multiple regression to analyze the relative importance of various driving factors, indicating that the driving factors of the built-up land and arable land change were obviously different in different periods. Government policies also have a significant impact on land use change, such as establishing the Tianjin Binhai New Area (TBNA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Dynamic Programming Model for Operation Decision-Making in Bicycle Sharing Systems under a Sustainable Development Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 895; doi:10.3390/su9060895
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Maintaining a balance between revenue and expenditure is the key to the sustainable development of a bicycle sharing system (BSS), and is a challenge for almost all systems worldwide. This article proposes a dynamic programming approach to obtain the optimal strategy to maximize
[...] Read more.
Maintaining a balance between revenue and expenditure is the key to the sustainable development of a bicycle sharing system (BSS), and is a challenge for almost all systems worldwide. This article proposes a dynamic programming approach to obtain the optimal strategy to maximize the revenue of overall BSS. The Variable Granularity-Depth First Search (VG-DFS) algorithm is designed to speed up the solution. A numerical experiment is presented to verify the applicability of the model through a comparison with real data from the BSS in Hangzhou. Results indicated that the BSS could achieve break-even, or even obtain a substantial income by utilizing our model to make operational decisions, especially when the region it is located in has a relatively high GDP. Moreover, the best investment strategy proved is to involve stations in the initial construction period of the BSS as much as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Municipal Solid Waste Management in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Systems Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 896; doi:10.3390/su9060896
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
PDF Full-text (4102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research was conducted in Ulaanbaatar (UB), Mongolia with a view of finding ways of making its municipal solid waste management (MSWM) more efficient by minimizing the negative impact of waste on the environment and public health whilst increasing its resource efficiency in a
[...] Read more.
Research was conducted in Ulaanbaatar (UB), Mongolia with a view of finding ways of making its municipal solid waste management (MSWM) more efficient by minimizing the negative impact of waste on the environment and public health whilst increasing its resource efficiency in a manner that is economically and financially viable. In this study, “Wasteaware” benchmark indicators were applied to assess the current system for MSWM in UB according to its physical and governance features. Data were obtained from site visits, interviews with the key stakeholders, and consulting of official documents and reports. The results of benchmark indicators showed that, in terms of Public Health, Environmental Control and Institutional Aspects, UB had surpassed the levels of low- and lower-middle-income countries and sufficed the prerequisites for modernizing its waste management system. However, there are still some major steps ahead to fully transition to a modern system. Our study brought significant contributions by filling the existing literature gaps for UB and identified its key strengths and areas for improvement. We conclude that an improvement in data collection and reporting, and widespread consultation with all stakeholders would impact positively on the improvement of the efficiency of the MSWM in UB and other developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analyzing Risk Factors for Fatality in Urban Traffic Crashes: A Case Study of Wuhan, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 897; doi:10.3390/su9060897
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How to maintain public transit safety and sustainability has become a major concern for the department of Road Traffic Administration. This study aims to analyze the risk factors that contribute to fatality in road traffic crashes using a 5-year police-reported dataset from the
[...] Read more.
How to maintain public transit safety and sustainability has become a major concern for the department of Road Traffic Administration. This study aims to analyze the risk factors that contribute to fatality in road traffic crashes using a 5-year police-reported dataset from the Wuhan Traffic Management Bureau. Four types of variables, including driving experience, environmental factor, roadway factor and crash characteristic, were examined in this research by a case-control study. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of crash fatality, this study explored a detailed set of injury-severity risk factors such as impact direction, light and weather conditions, crash characteristic, driving experience and high-risk driving behavior. Based on the results of statistical analyses, fatality risk of crash-involved individuals was significantly associated with driving experience, season, light condition, road type, crash type, impact direction, and high-risk driving behavior. This study succeeded in identifying the risk factors for fatality of crash-involved individuals using a police-reported dataset, which could provide reliable information for implementing remedial measures and improving sustainability in urban road network. A more detailed list of explanatory variables could enhance the accountability of the analysis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Massive Data and Sparse Data in Adaptive Micro Open Educational Resource Recommendation: A Study on Semantic Knowledge Base Construction and Cold Start Problem
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 898; doi:10.3390/su9060898
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Micro Learning through open educational resources (OERs) is becoming increasingly popular. However, adaptive micro learning support remains inadequate by current OER platforms. To address this, our smart system, Micro Learning as a Service (MLaaS), aims to deliver personalized OER with micro learning to
[...] Read more.
Micro Learning through open educational resources (OERs) is becoming increasingly popular. However, adaptive micro learning support remains inadequate by current OER platforms. To address this, our smart system, Micro Learning as a Service (MLaaS), aims to deliver personalized OER with micro learning to satisfy their real-time needs. In this paper, we focus on constructing a knowledge base to support the decision-making process of MLaaS. MLaas is built using a top-down approach. A conceptual graph-based ontology construction is first developed. An educational data mining and learning analytic strategy is then proposed for the data level. The learning resource adaptation still requires learners’ historical information. To compensate for the absence of this information initially (aka ‘cold start’), we set up a predictive ontology-based mechanism. As the first resource is delivered to the beginning of a learner’s learning journey, the micro OER recommendation is also optimized using a tailored heuristic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart X for Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Deep Learning-Based Corporate Performance Prediction Model Considering Technical Capability
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 899; doi:10.3390/su9060899
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies have predicted the future performance of companies for the purpose of making investment decisions. Most of these are based on the qualitative judgments of experts in related industries, who consider various financial and firm performance information. With recent developments in data
[...] Read more.
Many studies have predicted the future performance of companies for the purpose of making investment decisions. Most of these are based on the qualitative judgments of experts in related industries, who consider various financial and firm performance information. With recent developments in data processing technology, studies have started to use machine learning techniques to predict corporate performance. For example, deep neural network-based prediction models are again attracting attention, and are now widely used in constructing prediction and classification models. In this study, we propose a deep neural network-based corporate performance prediction model that uses a company’s financial and patent indicators as predictors. The proposed model includes an unsupervised learning phase and a fine-tuning phase. The learning phase uses a restricted Boltzmann machine. The fine-tuning phase uses a backpropagation algorithm and a relatively up-to-date training data set that reflects the latest trends in the relationship between predictors and corporate performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analysis and Prediction of Changes in Coastline Morphology in the Bohai Sea, China, Using Remote Sensing
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 900; doi:10.3390/su9060900
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coastline change reflects the dynamics of natural processes and human activity, and influences the ecology and environment of the coastal strip. This study researched the change in coastline and sea area of the Bohai Sea, China, over a 30-year period using Landsat TM
[...] Read more.
Coastline change reflects the dynamics of natural processes and human activity, and influences the ecology and environment of the coastal strip. This study researched the change in coastline and sea area of the Bohai Sea, China, over a 30-year period using Landsat TM and OLI remote sensing data. The total change in coastline length, sea area, and the centroid of the sea surface were quantified. Variations in the coastline morphology were measured using four shape indexes: fractal dimension, compact ratio, circularity, and square degree. Equations describing fit of the shape index, coastline length, and marine area were built. Then the marine area 10 years later was predicted using the model that had the highest prediction accuracy. The results showed that the highest prediction accuracy for the coastline length was obtained using a compound function. When a cubic function was used to predict the compact ratio, then the highest prediction accuracy was obtained using this compact ratio and a quadratic function to predict sea area. This study can provide theoretical support for the coastal development planning and ecological environment protection around the Bohai Sea. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Meteorological Drought Analysis in the Lower Mekong Basin Using Satellite-Based Long-Term CHIRPS Product
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 901; doi:10.3390/su9060901
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
PDF Full-text (12110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) experiences a recurrent drought phenomenon. However, few studies have focused on drought monitoring in this region due to lack of ground observations. The newly released Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) with a long-term record and
[...] Read more.
Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) experiences a recurrent drought phenomenon. However, few studies have focused on drought monitoring in this region due to lack of ground observations. The newly released Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) with a long-term record and high resolution has a great potential for drought monitoring. Based on the assessment of CHIRPS for capturing precipitation and monitoring drought, this study aims to evaluate the drought condition in LMB by using satellite-based CHIRPS from January 1981 to July 2016. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) at various time scales (1–12-month) is computed to identify and describe drought events. Results suggest that CHIRPS can properly capture the drought characteristics at various time scales with the best performance at three-month time scale. Based on high-resolution long-term CHIRPS, it is found that LMB experienced four severe droughts during the last three decades with the longest one in 1991–1994 for 38 months and the driest one in 2015–2016 with drought affected area up to 75.6%. Droughts tend to occur over the north and south part of LMB with higher frequency, and Mekong Delta seems to experience more long-term and extreme drought events. Severe droughts have significant impacts on vegetation condition. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Why Are Naturally Ventilated Office Spaces Not Popular in New Zealand?
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 902; doi:10.3390/su9060902
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we investigated the reason(s) why natural ventilation is not as popular as air-conditioned or mixed-mode ventilation systems in Green-rated office buildings in New Zealand. To achieve this, we had three objectives. Firstly, we reviewed the Green Star criteria for thermal
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigated the reason(s) why natural ventilation is not as popular as air-conditioned or mixed-mode ventilation systems in Green-rated office buildings in New Zealand. To achieve this, we had three objectives. Firstly, we reviewed the Green Star criteria for thermal comfort in office buildings to ascertain which ventilation system the NZ Green Star rating tool promotes. Secondly, we ascertained the perception of occupants in office buildings regarding thermal comfort. This was followed by an interview with building experts regarding factors that affect the use of natural ventilation in New Zealand offices. The findings showed that the NZ Green Star thermal comfort criteria encourage the use of mechanical ventilation over natural ventilation which results in designers opting for air conditioning systems in office designs. We observed that occupants of naturally ventilated spaces were least satisfied with the thermal comfort of their offices when compared with occupants of mixed-mode and air-conditioned offices. This study fulfils the need to encourage the use of natural ventilation in office environments by designers and building owners. Further study on other aspects of the indoor environment quality that is related to naturally ventilated systems such as lighting and noise is required in a bid to ascertain its viability in office environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Residents’ Attitude toward Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Development: An Integration of Two Theories
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 903; doi:10.3390/su9060903
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding residents’ attitudes is critical for successfully developing cultural tourism in aboriginal protected areas. This study developed an integration model combining two theories to identify the key determinants of indigenous residents’ attitudes toward cultural tourism development. Social exchange theory stresses the impact of
[...] Read more.
Understanding residents’ attitudes is critical for successfully developing cultural tourism in aboriginal protected areas. This study developed an integration model combining two theories to identify the key determinants of indigenous residents’ attitudes toward cultural tourism development. Social exchange theory stresses the impact of the benefits derived from tourism on indigenous residents’ attitudes toward tourism development. Social capital theory embeds clear rationales for strengthening the internalization process of the formation of residents’ shared values and understanding, enabling them to trust each other and thus support tourism development. The present study was conducted within two indigenous communities in Eastern Taiwan. The results revealed that cultural tourism benefits and structural and relational capital effectively predict indigenous residents’ attitudes toward tourism development; structural capital plays a critical mediating role in the relationship between tourism benefits and residents’ attitudes. The managerial implications provide recommendations for aboriginal community developers or practical sectors to avoid problems or costs caused by tourism development when promoting cultural tourism activities within indigenous communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Tourism and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Barriers to Millennials Visiting Rouge Urban National Park
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 904; doi:10.3390/su9060904
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Intensified urbanization has led to more populated cities and less green spaces which are vital to community health, wellbeing and conservation. Rouge Urban National Park in Toronto has recently become Canada’s first urban national park. This park is ideally suited to the millennial
[...] Read more.
Intensified urbanization has led to more populated cities and less green spaces which are vital to community health, wellbeing and conservation. Rouge Urban National Park in Toronto has recently become Canada’s first urban national park. This park is ideally suited to the millennial population, offering outdoor recreation and green space that this growing market generally desires. There is, however, a lack of research into visitor motivations to urban parks and more specifically millennial motivations. Findings from 280 quantitative surveys found three main barriers to visiting the Urban National Park: distance, transportation, and awareness. The lack of public transport combined with road congestion and fewer millennials owning cars creates issues with accessibility. Poor branding and knowledge through electronic media creates low awareness within a demographic market so tied to technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle PV, Wind and Storage Integration on Small Islands for the Fulfilment of the 50-50 Renewable Electricity Generation Target
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 905; doi:10.3390/su9060905
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decarbonisation in the generation of electricity is necessary to reduce fossil fuel consumption, the pollution emitted and to meet the Energy Technology Perspectives 2 °C Scenario (2DS) targets. Small islands are not exempt from this target, so this study’s emphasis is placed
[...] Read more.
Decarbonisation in the generation of electricity is necessary to reduce fossil fuel consumption, the pollution emitted and to meet the Energy Technology Perspectives 2 ° C Scenario (2DS) targets. Small islands are not exempt from this target, so this study’s emphasis is placed on a 50-50 target: to reduce the fossil fuel consumption through electricity generation from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) to cover 50% of all electric demand by 2050 on small islands. Using Cozumel Island, Mexico, as a case study, this analysis will be based on three factors: economical, technical, and land-use possibilities of integrating Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) into the existing electrical grid. This analysis is made through long-term statistical models. A deterministic methodology is used to perform time-series simulations. The selection of the best system was made on the basis of a Dimensional Statistical Variable (DSV) through primary and secondary category rankings. The presented methodology determines the best systems for capturing the initial capital cost and competitiveness of this new proposal compared with the current system of electricity generation on the Island, and can be applied to small islands as well. According to the results, all systems proposed are able to completely satisfy the renewable electricity needed by 2050 in all scenarios. From the 12 system proposals that were compared, two systems, System 2 and System 7, were chosen as eligible systems to be installed. The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) result for System 2 was 0.2518 US$/kWh and for System 7 was 0.2265 US$/kWh by 2018 in the Base Scenario. Meanwhile, the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) value fluctuated from 17.2% for System 2 to 31% for System 7. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Agricultural Product Price Fluctuations on China’s Grain Yield
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 906; doi:10.3390/su9060906
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, food security, especially supply, has been an important issue in China’s agricultural production. The stability of grain prices is related to the stability and development of the grain market. Based on agricultural production data from 1970 to 2015, this paper
[...] Read more.
In recent years, food security, especially supply, has been an important issue in China’s agricultural production. The stability of grain prices is related to the stability and development of the grain market. Based on agricultural production data from 1970 to 2015, this paper explores the influence of agricultural product price fluctuation on grain production by using the cobweb theory and vector error correction (VEC) model. The results show that changes in grain production in China are affected by fluctuations in agricultural product prices, that the production change lags behind the price change, and that there is a long-term equilibrium relationship between grain yield and agricultural product price. A Granger causality test shows that the change in agricultural product price is the Granger cause of grain yield change. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Potentials for Improvement of Resource Efficiency in Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing: A Case Study Based on Material Flow Cost Accounting
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 907; doi:10.3390/su9060907
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2966 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pursuit of sustainable resource use by manufacturing companies is driven by resource scarcity, environmental awareness, and cost savings potentials. To address these issues, Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) has been developed and applied as an effective environmental management tool. Within MFCA’s general
[...] Read more.
The pursuit of sustainable resource use by manufacturing companies is driven by resource scarcity, environmental awareness, and cost savings potentials. To address these issues, Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) has been developed and applied as an effective environmental management tool. Within MFCA’s general allocation, the accounts of products and losses are overrated by weight or volume. However, such a method is incompatible with Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing because of industry characteristics in which primary inputs and products are measured by area. Based on MFCA, this case study systematically established several linear cost calculation models along the production process for capturing the actual waste flows as well as performing cost-benefit analysis. The recognition of previously ignored losses offered the incentive to find appropriate indicators to conduct cost-benefit analysis on hotspots for losses. Loss identification and analysis indicated that machining and wiring are the necessities and priorities of process optimization for resource efficiency improvement measures. Therefore, this research could not only advance the achievement of a profitable and sustainable production while improving resource efficiency at the source but could also provide support for decision making in PCB manufacturing. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Achieving Revenue Benchmarks Conditional on Growth Properties
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 908; doi:10.3390/su9060908
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines whether certain firm characteristics, specifically growth properties, are associated with the likelihood of achieving market expectations for revenues, as well as which mechanism (revenue manipulation or expectation management) growth firms utilize in order to avoid missing these expectations. The results
[...] Read more.
This study examines whether certain firm characteristics, specifically growth properties, are associated with the likelihood of achieving market expectations for revenues, as well as which mechanism (revenue manipulation or expectation management) growth firms utilize in order to avoid missing these expectations. The results show that growth firms are more likely to meet or exceed analyst revenue forecasts than non-growth firms. We also find that growth firms are more inclined to manipulate their reported revenues upwards, and less inclined to guide market expectations for revenues downward, in order to meet or beat expected revenues relative to non-growth firms. These findings suggest that window-dressing activities by growth firms may not be sustainable in the long-run and can misguide users of financial statements in their decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle An Optimal Rubrics-Based Approach to Real Estate Appraisal
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 909; doi:10.3390/su9060909
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditional real estate appraisal methods obtain estimates of real estate by using mathematical modeling to analyze the existing sample data. However, the information of sample data sometimes cannot fully reflect the real-time quotes. For example, in a thin real estate market, the correlated
[...] Read more.
Traditional real estate appraisal methods obtain estimates of real estate by using mathematical modeling to analyze the existing sample data. However, the information of sample data sometimes cannot fully reflect the real-time quotes. For example, in a thin real estate market, the correlated sample data for estimated object is lacking, which limits the estimates of these traditional methods. In this paper, an optimal rubrics-based approach to real estate appraisal is proposed, which brings in crowdsourcing. The valuation estimate can serve as a market indication for the potential real estate buyers or sellers. It is not only based on the information of the existing sample data (just like these traditional methods), but also on the extra real-time market information from online crowdsourcing feedback, which makes the estimated result close to that of the market. The proposed method constructs the rubrics model from sample data. Based on this, the cosine similarity function is used to calculate the similarity between each rubric for selecting the optimal rubrics. The selected optimal rubrics and the estimated point are posted on a crowdsourcing platform. After comparing the information of the estimated point with the optimal rubrics on the crowdsourcing platform, those users who are connected with the estimated object complete the appraisal with their knowledge of the real estate market. The experiment results show that the average accuracy of the proposed approach is over 70%; the maximum accuracy is 90%. This supports that the proposed method can easily provide a valuable market reference for the potential real estate buyers or sellers, and is an attempt to use the human-computer interaction in the real estate appraisal field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart X for Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Most Economical Mode of Power Supply for Remote and Less Developed Areas in China: Power Grid Extension or Micro-Grid?
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 910; doi:10.3390/su9060910
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are still residents without access to electricity in some remote and less developed areas of China, which lead to low living standards and hinder sustainable development for these residents. In order to achieve the strategic targets of solving China’s energy poverty, realizing
[...] Read more.
There are still residents without access to electricity in some remote and less developed areas of China, which lead to low living standards and hinder sustainable development for these residents. In order to achieve the strategic targets of solving China’s energy poverty, realizing basic energy service equalization, and comprehensively building up a moderately prosperous society, several policies have been successively promulgated in recent years, which aim to solve the electricity access issue for residents living in remote and less developed areas. It is of great importance to determine the most economical mode of power supply in remote and less developed areas, which directly affects the economic efficiency of public investment projects. Therefore, this paper focuses on how to select the most economical power supply mode for rural electrification in China. Firstly, the primary modes to supply electricity for residents living in the remote and less developed areas are discussed, which include power grid extension mode and micro-grid mode. Secondly, based on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) technique, the life cycle economic cost accounting model for different power supply modes are built. Finally, taking a minority nationality village in Yunnan province as an example, the empirical analysis is performed, and the LCOEs of various possible modes for rural electrification are accounted. The results show that the photovoltaic (PV)-based independent micro-grid system is the most economical due to the minimum LCOE, namely 0.658 RMB/kWh. However, other power supply modes have much higher LCOEs. The LCOEs of power grid extension model, wind-based independent micro-grid system and biomass-based independent micro-grid system are 1.078 RMB/kWh, 0.704 RMB/kWh and 0.885 RMB/kWh, respectively. The proposed approach is effective and practical, which can provide reference for rural electrification in China. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Smart MCDM Framework to Evaluate the Impact of Air Pollution on City Sustainability: A Case Study from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 911; doi:10.3390/su9060911
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 29 May 2017
PDF Full-text (449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution has become one of the key environmental concerns in the urban sustainable development. It is important to evaluate the impact of air pollution on socioeconomic development since it is the prerequisite to enforce an effective prevention policy of air pollution. In
[...] Read more.
Air pollution has become one of the key environmental concerns in the urban sustainable development. It is important to evaluate the impact of air pollution on socioeconomic development since it is the prerequisite to enforce an effective prevention policy of air pollution. In this paper, we model the impact of air pollution on the urban economic development as a Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem. In particular, we propose a novel Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) analysis framework to evaluate multiple factors of air pollutants and economic development. Our method can overcome the drawbacks of conventional TOPSIS methods by using Bayesian regularization and the Back-Propagation (BP) neural network to optimize the weight training process. We have conducted a case study to evaluate our proposed framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart X for Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency, Ownership Structure, and Sustainable Development: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 912; doi:10.3390/su9060912
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Low energy efficiency and severe environmental pollution are two growing issues haunting China’s fast economic development. Under China’s current development model, economic growth still heavily depends on massive energy input, which makes energy efficiency one crucial topic in order to secure future sustainable
[...] Read more.
Low energy efficiency and severe environmental pollution are two growing issues haunting China’s fast economic development. Under China’s current development model, economic growth still heavily depends on massive energy input, which makes energy efficiency one crucial topic in order to secure future sustainable development of China. This paper focuses on the unique energy ownership structure of China, and designs and adopts MATLAB programming for optimization solutions of multi-variable constrained nonlinear functions to obtain results that can better reflect China’s energy efficiency and solutions to sustainable development of China. Using this model, this paper conducts an empirical analysis on the impact of difference energy investment behaviors between China’s state-owned entities and non-state-owned business on China’s Total Factor Energy Efficiency (TFEE) and sustainable development from 2003 to 2014. We find that Beijing and Shanghai represent the highest energy efficiency level in China. However, except for the more developed regions in Eastern China, for other provinces in Northeast China, Central China and Western China, the TFEE of energy investment by state-owned and non-state-owned economies are both quite low compared with the optimal level. Based on the above findings from the empirical study and detailed analysis by region, this paper discusses the possible reasons for China’s low TFEE and provides implications and policy recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Longitudinal Study of the Impacts of a Climate Change Curriculum on Undergraduate Student Learning: Initial Results
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 913; doi:10.3390/su9060913
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study assesses the efficacy of a semester-long undergraduate sustainability curriculum designed from a systems approach. The three-course curriculum, which incorporated environmental science and ethics courses along with an integrative course using a community-based learning pedagogy, was intended to provide students with
[...] Read more.
The present study assesses the efficacy of a semester-long undergraduate sustainability curriculum designed from a systems approach. The three-course curriculum, which incorporated environmental science and ethics courses along with an integrative course using a community-based learning pedagogy, was intended to provide students with experience using knowledge and skills from distinct disciplines in a holistic way in order to address the complex problems of the human acceptance of and response to anthropogenic climate change. In the fall of 2013, 23 of the 24 sophomore general education students enrolled in the three courses were surveyed at the beginning and end of the semester; 17 of those same students completed the survey again in the spring of 2016, their senior year. Results, which focus on the 17 students who continued to participate through their senior year, were analyzed with quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The pre/post data from the surveys demonstrated significant improvement in climate literacy, certainty, concern and urgency over the course of the semester; the senior data indicated that those improvements were largely retained. The study also suggests that the nine-credit curriculum improved transferable skills such as interdisciplinary thinking, self-confidence and public speaking. A qualitative analysis of three student cases, informed by a focus group (n = 7) of seniors along with other sources of information, suggested retention of such transferable skills, and, in some cases, deeper involvement in climate and sustainability action. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability in the Higher Education System: An Opportunity to Improve Quality and Image
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 914; doi:10.3390/su9060914
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In view of the increasing importance attributed to social responsibility and stakeholder relationship management, more universities have expanded their research topics and their educational programs through the years. High attention is dedicated to the dominant principles and values of internal and external relations,
[...] Read more.
In view of the increasing importance attributed to social responsibility and stakeholder relationship management, more universities have expanded their research topics and their educational programs through the years. High attention is dedicated to the dominant principles and values of internal and external relations, to the innovation processes designed to ensure an approach to sustainable development. However, less attention is dedicated to the sustainability governance orientation and to the development of a strong institutional culture of sustainability, which is a key success factor to improve the quality and the image. This article observes the sustainability governance orientation, through the analysis of the information on the websites of three fair groups of universities in the international Top 500-ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) 2015 ranking. The aim is to verify if there is a link between the degree of sustainability culture in the management and the positioning of the universities in the international ranking. In addition, the analysis is compared with self-assessment data carried out by the same universities in terms of performance sustainability through the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) online platform. As principal consideration, we have noted that the best universities in the ranking have a management approach based on a shared vision of sustainability development of their university leaders, who play an essential role affirming and disseminating a sustainability culture. All this opens broader future implications intended to highlight the importance of management sustainability as a quality improvement factor of universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication Assessing the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard of 2016: Can Americans Access Electronic Disclosure Information?
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 916; doi:10.3390/su9060916
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The debate as to whether to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organism (GMO) foods was partially settled on 29 July 2016, when President Obama signed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard into public law. In contrast to precipitating legislation passed by the
[...] Read more.
The debate as to whether to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organism (GMO) foods was partially settled on 29 July 2016, when President Obama signed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard into public law. In contrast to precipitating legislation passed by the State of Vermont that required disclosure of GMO ingredients on food shelves or food packages, the superseding National Standard allows firms to disclose bioengineered ingredients to consumers via symbols, electronic or digital links, or phone numbers, and further requires a study assessing the ability of consumers to access disclosure information by these means. This communication analyzes survey responses from 525 adults to investigate whether U.S. consumers are able to obtain information as per the disclosure methods allowed in the Federal legislation. The survey probes deeper to investigate consumer perceptions of genetically modified organisms and whether consumers would use the tools available to access disclosure about bioengineered ingredients. Findings from the survey show that 93.8% of respondents have the ability to access information via the disclosure methods permitted. Those in the lowest income group, and from the oldest age group are least likely to have such access. This provides the United State Department of Agriculture with information relevant to how they can implement the law and highlights particular demographic segments that may require additional attention to ensure the disclosed information is universally accessible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Word-of-Mouth of Cultural Products through Institutional Social Networks
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 917; doi:10.3390/su9060917
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, a number of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, art auctions, events, and performance centers have been utilizing social network sites (SNS) for promoting and marketing their culture, art content, and events. The online social space is appropriate for cultural products to
[...] Read more.
Recently, a number of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, art auctions, events, and performance centers have been utilizing social network sites (SNS) for promoting and marketing their culture, art content, and events. The online social space is appropriate for cultural products to be viral, since users of SNS mainly share personal interest and spread hedonic consumption with close friends and acquaintances. If viral content drives strong emotions such as joy, arousal, pleasure, sorrow, or horror, it will be transmitted to more people, and rapidly. This study investigates how a certain type of motivation for using a social network service such as Facebook influences trust in art and culture exhibition information providers and the content of the information itself. Results show that people who have an informational motivation for using social media expressed a higher degree of trust in exhibition information provided by institutions such as museums. On the contrary, those who have relational motivation for using social media credited acquaintances such as friends, families, and colleagues more. Trust in the information provider resulted in trust in the content itself, and hence, increased the possibility of word-of-mouth for the corresponding information. An empirical survey was implemented, using followers of the Facebook page of a national museum and users who clicked “Like” on postings of exhibitions. Finally, the potential applications of the result for promotion and marketing of exhibitions of art and culture for public will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing Agricultural Drought Vulnerability by a VSD Model: A Case Study in Yunnan Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 918; doi:10.3390/su9060918
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drought vulnerability of agriculture is significant to economic development and sustainable food production. In this paper, we proposed a framework to evaluate the regional agricultural-eco environment in the face of drought caused by climate change. Based on a vulnerability scoping diagram (VSD) model,
[...] Read more.
Drought vulnerability of agriculture is significant to economic development and sustainable food production. In this paper, we proposed a framework to evaluate the regional agricultural-eco environment in the face of drought caused by climate change. Based on a vulnerability scoping diagram (VSD) model, we built up a comprehensive system to evaluate the agricultural drought vulnerability of Yunnan Province in China. The model highlights the human-land relationship by considering both natural conditions and human activities. Twelve indicators were generated to construct three components of the model: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. During the construction of the VSD model, the entropy and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) comprehensive analysis method were adopted to generate the weights and to compute the composite index for each section. Furthermore, the factor analysis method was used to determine the dominant factors of different cities and the main indicators driving the system. The results indicated a spatial pattern that the vulnerability value was high on the eastern and western sides, but low in the middle of Yunnan Province. Most of the vulnerable regions were concentrated in remote areas. Indicators such as population density, irrigation level, annual average precipitation, cultivation land ratio, and difficulty of water supply were the main driving factors. This means that there is a deep connection between agricultural drought vulnerability and urbanization. The evaluation system developed during this research will provide guidance for drought mitigation in regions of complex terrain. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Green Buildings in Singapore; Analyzing a Frontrunner’s Sectoral Innovation System
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 919; doi:10.3390/su9060919
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
PDF Full-text (786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The building sector in Singapore consumes up to half of the nation’s total energy. The government has therefore been urging the transformation of the industry by targeting 80% of all buildings to be green-certified by 2030. Thus far, Singapore has done relatively well,
[...] Read more.
The building sector in Singapore consumes up to half of the nation’s total energy. The government has therefore been urging the transformation of the industry by targeting 80% of all buildings to be green-certified by 2030. Thus far, Singapore has done relatively well, and is widely viewed as frontrunner in this respect. This paper addresses the question: what are the benefits and limitations of Singapore’s sectoral innovation system in spurring an energy transition in the building sector, in particular by up-scaling the use of green building technology? The Sectoral Innovation Systems (SIS) theoretical framework was used to analyze the Singapore case. Four SIS components were assessed: technological regime, market demand, actor interactions and networks, and institutional framework. The benefits of Singapore’s sectoral innovation system identified in the analysis basically concern aspects of all of the four elements of SIS. Particular success factors concerned the launching of an integrated strategy to support green building innovations (i.e., the Green Mark policy scheme), implementing support policies, and setting up test beds. Furthermore, a masterplan to engage and educate end-users was implemented, knowledge exchange platforms were set up, regulations on the use of efficient equipment in buildings were issued, and standards and a certification system were adopted. The results also shed light on key barriers, namely, the reluctance of building users to change their habits, ineffective stakeholder collaboration, and green buildings innovation support coming from the government only. Measures in place have been moderately effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Product Strategy in Apparel Industry with Consumer Behavior Consideration
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 920; doi:10.3390/su9060920
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article attempts to analyze sustainable product strategy in apparel industry specifically addressing a firm that is considering launching a sustainable product partly made from recycled materials. There are two types of consumers under consideration, environmentally conscious and regular consumers, as they have
[...] Read more.
The article attempts to analyze sustainable product strategy in apparel industry specifically addressing a firm that is considering launching a sustainable product partly made from recycled materials. There are two types of consumers under consideration, environmentally conscious and regular consumers, as they have different perceived values for the sustainable products. The article provides an analytical model aimed to identify conditions under which a firm could benefit from adopting sustainable product strategy. The level of sustainability is determined by the trade-off between profitability and costs occurred and if more consumers value sustainable products, the firm will increase its sustainable level and get a higher profit. This is because of a combination effect of an increasing marginal profit and demand expansion. Moreover, the model has been further extended to address a situation where the firm could manage consumer segmentation. Depending on parameter settings, the firm may target different consumer segments and there is always a threshold of cost for managing consumer segments. When converting regular consumers to be environmentally conscious is not costly, the firm will convert all consumers to be environmentally conscious with great efforts; otherwise, the firm will convert part of consumers to be environmentally conscious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Research on Customer Satisfaction in Marine Cultural and Sustainable Tourism—A Case Study of Shanghai
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 921; doi:10.3390/su9060921
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, marine cultural tourism, an emerging tourism mode, has become more and more popular among tourists, and demonstrates broad market prospects. However, Chinese marine cultural tourism is still in the development and growth stage, and the level of customer satisfaction is
[...] Read more.
In recent years, marine cultural tourism, an emerging tourism mode, has become more and more popular among tourists, and demonstrates broad market prospects. However, Chinese marine cultural tourism is still in the development and growth stage, and the level of customer satisfaction is uneven. The improvement of the customer satisfaction level is conducive to meeting customers’ demands in marine cultural tourism and enhancing the competitiveness of Chinese marine cultural tourism. Based on theoretical research and the practical situation of marine cultural tourism, this paper implements empirical investigation and research into customer satisfaction in marine cultural tourism in Shanghai, China. According to the research results, it proposes improving the level of customer satisfaction in Chinese marine cultural tourism from the perspectives of ocean culture tourism promotion, customer satisfaction evaluation, service level management and environment construction of scenic spots, tourism branding and the marine cultural accomplishments of tourists, so as to promote the sustainable development of marine cultural tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
Open AccessArticle Taking the Time Characteristic into Account of Life Cycle Assessment: Method and Application for Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 922; doi:10.3390/su9060922
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) involves many temporal issues. It is necessary to make a clear distinction between long-term impacts and short-term impacts, especially for those structures with long service life, such as buildings. With their long service life of 50 years, a great
[...] Read more.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) involves many temporal issues. It is necessary to make a clear distinction between long-term impacts and short-term impacts, especially for those structures with long service life, such as buildings. With their long service life of 50 years, a great deal of maintenance and repairs could be conducted, causing a respective environmental impact. In this paper we explored a monetization method to convert the life cycle environmental impact into a life cycle environmental cost to address the temporal issues involved in LCA by discounting. This method can facilitate decision-making when tradeoffs between current and future environmental impacts exist. Moreover, this method can be used as an effective supplement to life cycle cost and provide decision support for making trade-off between cost and environmental impact. Finally, a building located in Xiamen City, China was selected as a case study and analyzed by the proposal LCA method. The results indicated that carbon cost in the operational stage is the maximum, building material production and transportation stages are ranked second, and the amount in the demolition stage is negligible, compared with the other three stages. Additionally, with the increase of the discount rate, the carbon cost in different life cycle stages will decrease, the percentage of the carbon cost in the operational stage will gradually decrease, but the percentage of the carbon cost in building material production and transportation stages will gradually increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Optimization of Manufacturing Process Effectiveness in Furniture Production
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 923; doi:10.3390/su9060923
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
PDF Full-text (1429 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable manufacturing is connected with the effectiveness of production processes. There are several solutions to improve manufacturing sustainability. This paper deals with the possibilities of the utilization of mathematical methods to solve optimization problems in the production process of furniture. The aim of
[...] Read more.
Sustainable manufacturing is connected with the effectiveness of production processes. There are several solutions to improve manufacturing sustainability. This paper deals with the possibilities of the utilization of mathematical methods to solve optimization problems in the production process of furniture. The aim of the paper is to create a mathematical model of the key processes in order to maximize productivity and cost reduction by identifying key processes and parameters influencing manufacturing effectiveness. After identification of the parameters describing the key process (milling), an abstract model of the manufacturing process was created. Identified input parameters were the cutting velocity, feed rate, and a total volume of removed material. The output parameters were surface roughness, process duration, and process cost. The experimentally measured and calculated values of the output parameters were analyzed by a multiple regression tool. The method of an artificial neural network was used as a numeric method for optimization. The results showed that the maximal effectiveness of the sub-process can be achieved if the CNC machine is set at the cutting velocity of 4398.23 m·min−1 and feed rate of 11.00 m·min−1. Maximal values of the created neural network showed optimal values of input and output parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Manufacturing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mushrooming Communities: A Field Guide to Mycology in the Community Forests of Portugal
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 924; doi:10.3390/su9060924
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
PDF Full-text (284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest community connections are crucial to ensure forest stewardship and sustainability. We explored the potential of mushrooming to enable such connections in contexts where these connections have been historically broken, alienating local people from forests. Taking the case of the recent devolution of
[...] Read more.
Forest community connections are crucial to ensure forest stewardship and sustainability. We explored the potential of mushrooming to enable such connections in contexts where these connections have been historically broken, alienating local people from forests. Taking the case of the recent devolution of a community forest (baldios) in central Portugal to the local population, we present a five-year pilot project to rework mycology from a mushroom-centered approach to a mushroom-in-baldios approach. Mushrooms were used as an entry-point to connect the forest ecology with the challenges of governance and community building. The devised activities provided an opportunity for people inside and outside the local community to adventure into the woods and find out more about their socio-ecological history, develop communal and convivial relationships and engage in the responsible gathering of wild mushrooms. However, the hosting of mushroomers to know, value and engage with the community forest recovery has constantly worked against the enclosure of mushrooms to provide marketable forms of leisure. The outcome of these activities depends on the relationships established between mushrooms, mycologists, local administrators, commoners and poachers, all operating within a framework that favors the eradication of resources instead of long-term relationships that sustain places. Full article
Open AccessArticle Farmer Cooperation as a Means for Creating Local Food Systems—Potentials and Challenges
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 925; doi:10.3390/su9060925
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (452 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Facing the continuous loss of family-run farms across Europe, farmers are seeking new pathways to sustainability. One such pathway is involvement in local food supply systems. Often, this requires new forms of cooperation among farmers and with consumers. Little is known, however, about
[...] Read more.
Facing the continuous loss of family-run farms across Europe, farmers are seeking new pathways to sustainability. One such pathway is involvement in local food supply systems. Often, this requires new forms of cooperation among farmers and with consumers. Little is known, however, about how this cooperation works in practice and how it might be better fostered. This paper aims to illustrate various forms of cooperation in relation to small-scale farming and the establishment of local food supply. It sheds light on challenges farmers are facing and on the potential measures they can adopt to tackle these challenges. By means of an Austrian case study, researchers applied a participatory method (Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation) and conducted workshops with farmers. Research shows that local production, processing and distribution infrastructure becomes more affordable when farmers collaborate with each other and with consumers and institutions. Furthermore, sharing and collectively developing know-how helps to optimise local farming and food supply systems. However, farmers often lack the knowledge and time to establish new collaborations and to re-organise labour, logistics and communication processes. They would benefit from the availability of cooperative schemes that help facilitate such processes and innovations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Multi-Objective Spatial Optimization: Sustainable Land Use Allocation at Sub-Regional Scale
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 927; doi:10.3390/su9060927
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
PDF Full-text (5235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The rational use of territorial resources is a key factor in achieving sustainability. Spatial planning is an important tool that helps decision makers to achieve sustainability in the long term. This work proposes a multi-objective model for sustainable land use allocation known as
[...] Read more.
The rational use of territorial resources is a key factor in achieving sustainability. Spatial planning is an important tool that helps decision makers to achieve sustainability in the long term. This work proposes a multi-objective model for sustainable land use allocation known as MAUSS (Spanish acronym for “Modelo de Asignación de Uso Sostenible de Suelo”) The model was applied to the Plains of San Juan, Puebla, Mexico, which is currently undergoing a rapid industrialization process. The main objective of the model is to generate land use allocations that lead to a territorial balance within regions in three main ways by maximizing income, minimizing negative environmental pressure on water and air through specific evaluations of water use and CO2 emissions, and minimizing food deficit. The non-sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II) is the evolutionary optimization algorithm of MAUSS. NSGA-II has been widely modified through a novel and efficient random initializing operator that enables spatial rationale from the initial solutions, a crossover operator designed to streamline the best genetic information transmission as well as diversity, and two geometric operators, geographic dispersion (GDO) and the proportion (PO), which strengthen spatial rationality. MAUSS provided a more sustainable land use allocation compared to the current land use distribution in terms of higher income, 9% lower global negative pressure on the environment and 5.2% lower food deficit simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment Method for Substation Capacity Credit of Generalized Power Source Considering Grid Structure
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 928; doi:10.3390/su9060928
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the concept of the generalized power source in an active distribution network. After the energy storage system (ESS), distributed generators (DG), and demand-side controllable load are connected to the active distribution network, part of the system load can be undertaken
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the concept of the generalized power source in an active distribution network. After the energy storage system (ESS), distributed generators (DG), and demand-side controllable load are connected to the active distribution network, part of the system load can be undertaken by these ESS, DG, and controllable load instead of relying on the capacity of the substation, which greatly improves the reliability of the system. The above-mentioned distributed energy resources in the active distribution network are collectively referred to as the generalized power source (GPS). Substation credible capacity refers to the capacity of the GPS to supply the distribution network that is equivalent at the high voltage distribution network level when considering the faults of the main transformer, 110 kV lines, and circuit breakers. Considering the uncertainties and control strategies of GPS, this paper takes a specific distribution area as the background to study its substituted substation capacity. Based on a sequential Monte Carlo evaluation framework and the principle of constant reliability, an evaluation method of the GPS credible capacity is proposed. In order to verify the effectiveness of the method proposed in this paper, the credible capacity of various typical connection modes of a high voltage distribution network is quantitatively analyzed in the case study, which can provide a reference for the capacity planning of an active distribution network substation and grid structure selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Pilot-Scale Testing of Non-Activated Biochar for Swine Manure Treatment and Mitigation of Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulfide, Odorous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 929; doi:10.3390/su9060929
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Managing the environmental impacts associated with livestock production is a challenge for farmers, public and regulatory agencies. Sustainable solutions that take into account technical and socioeconomic factors are needed. For example, the comprehensive control of odors, ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H
[...] Read more.
Managing the environmental impacts associated with livestock production is a challenge for farmers, public and regulatory agencies. Sustainable solutions that take into account technical and socioeconomic factors are needed. For example, the comprehensive control of odors, ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from swine production is a critical need. Stored manure is a major source of gaseous emissions. Mitigation technologies based on bio-based products such as biochar are of interest due to the potential benefits of nutrient cycling. The objective of this study was to test non-activated (non-functionalized) biochar for the mitigation of gaseous emissions from stored manure. Specifically, this included testing the effects of: (1) time; and (2) dosage of biochar application to the swine manure surface on gaseous emissions from deep-pit storage. The biochar surface application was tested with three treatments (1.14, 2.28 and 4.57 kg·m−2 manure) over a month. Significant reductions in emissions were observed for NH3 (12.7–22.6% reduction as compared to the control). Concomitantly, significant increases in CH4 emissions (22.1–24.5%) were measured. Changes to emissions of other target gases (including CO2, N2O, H2S, dimethyl disulfide/methanethiol, dimethyl trisulfide, n-butyric-, valeric-, and isovaleric acids, p-cresol, indole, and skatole) were not statistically significant. Biochar treatment could be a promising and comparably-priced option for reducing NH3 emissions from stored swine manure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Economic Valuation of the Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation in South Korea: Correcting for the Endogeneity Bias in Contingent Valuation
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 930; doi:10.3390/su9060930
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we use the Contingent Valuation (CV) method to estimate households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the aquatic ecosystem health (biodiversity) improvement. This paper extends CV studies by dealing with the endogenous effect of a proxy variable, namely the subjective experience
[...] Read more.
In this study, we use the Contingent Valuation (CV) method to estimate households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the aquatic ecosystem health (biodiversity) improvement. This paper extends CV studies by dealing with the endogenous effect of a proxy variable, namely the subjective experience of negative environmental quality changes. The results show that the correction for the endogeneity bias facilitates the efficiency of parameter estimation in the empirical model. The mean WTP per household accounts for around 46.8% (KRW 79.6) of the current water use charge (KRW 170 per cubic meter). The total benefit from conserving the biodiversity is around KRW 198.62 billion. We found several factors that affect households’ WTP for fish biodiversity conservation, suggesting the importance of these factors in the formulation of water policies associated with aquatic biodiversity. In addition, the inefficient water management costs should be redistributed to other projects or new programs such as for the fish biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Processes of Participation in the Development of Urban Food Strategies: A Comparative Assessment of Exeter and Eindhoven
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 931; doi:10.3390/su9060931
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban food strategies are increasingly being used as means to address a multitude of challenges presented by food system failings. The use of participatory approaches has become common practice in the field of urban food systems planning. These approaches are believed to democratize,
[...] Read more.
Urban food strategies are increasingly being used as means to address a multitude of challenges presented by food system failings. The use of participatory approaches has become common practice in the field of urban food systems planning. These approaches are believed to democratize, legitimize and increase effectiveness of addressing challenges. Despite these “promises”, they have also been viewed as problematic for being unbalanced and lacking accountability. This paper sets out to compare the creation and use of new participatory spaces in two initiatives in two European cities in their on-going attempts to formulate urban food strategies through multi-actor processes. This is explored through operationalisation of two key concepts essential to participatory approaches: participation and accountability. As such, the paper addresses how participatory processes for urban food strategies can be conceptualised when policy making involves the interplay of actors, knowledges and spaces. We conclude that within the two cases, ample attention is given to get a cross-section of the types of participants involved, while accountability is an aspect still under-represented. Based on the two cases, we argue that incorporation of accountability in particular will be instrumental in the development and implementation of more mature urban food strategies. However, it is essential for participatory processes to not completely break from more “traditional” policy processes, at risk of limiting progress in strategy development and deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
Figures

Open AccessArticle CO2 Emission Performance, Mitigation Potential, and Marginal Abatement Cost of Industries Covered in China’s Nationwide Emission Trading Scheme: A Meta-Frontier Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 932; doi:10.3390/su9060932
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (2702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s nationwide emission trading scheme (CN-ETS) is scheduled to be launched in 2017. It is of great urgency and necessity to obtain a good understanding of the participating sectors of CN-ETS in terms of energy utilization and CO2 emissions. In this regard,
[...] Read more.
China’s nationwide emission trading scheme (CN-ETS) is scheduled to be launched in 2017. It is of great urgency and necessity to obtain a good understanding of the participating sectors of CN-ETS in terms of energy utilization and CO2 emissions. In this regard, it should be noted that the findings may be biased without taking industry heterogeneity into consideration. To this end, a meta-frontier framework with the directional distance function is employed to estimate the CO2 emission performance (CEP), mitigation potential (MP), and marginal abatement cost (MAC) at sector levels under the meta-frontier and the group-frontier. The results indicate that significant disparities in the CEP, MP, and MAC exist under both frontiers among various sectors, and the sectoral distributions of CEP, MP, and MAC are found to be different between the two frontiers. Additionally, the differences between the two frontiers in terms of CEP, MP, and MAC are considerable, and exhibit unequal distributions among these sectors. Notably, MAC under both frontiers and the difference between them are found to be significantly correlated with the carbon intensity. Finally, policy implications are provided for the government and participating enterprises, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Empirical Research of FDI Spillovers and Financial Development Threshold Effects in Different Regions of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 933; doi:10.3390/su9060933
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (4716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on a comprehensive review of previous studies about the threshold effects of financial development on the process of foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers, the present work roundly measures the financial development from the aspects of scale, structure, and efficiency and applies a
[...] Read more.
Based on a comprehensive review of previous studies about the threshold effects of financial development on the process of foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers, the present work roundly measures the financial development from the aspects of scale, structure, and efficiency and applies a multiple threshold regression model to estimate the threshold effects of financial development on FDI spillovers, and then examines the inherent relationship between FDI spillovers effects and the financial development from the three aspects, respectively, in different regions of China, based on regional panel data from 2000 to 2014. The results revealed that there are two thresholds of financial development scale, structure and efficiency, existing in the FDI spillover processes in different regions. The FDI spillovers effects are greatest in the eastern region and are generally smallest in the western region. There is a negative correlation between FDI spillovers effects and the financial development scale or efficiency in eastern and central region. Moreover, there is positive correlation between FDI spillovers effects and the financial development structure in eastern and central region. Additionally, there is a positive correlation between FDI spillovers effects and the financial development scale, structure, or efficiency in western region. The capital, labor, and regional technology progress have positive effects on economic growth in different regions and the effects of financial development on economic growth are not unanimous in each region. Based on the empirical results, some policies on how to develop regional finances and how to introduce FDI to promote economic growth are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Non-Homogeneous Diffusion of Residential Crime in Urban China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 934; doi:10.3390/su9060934
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (8560 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between crime and urban environment has always been the focus of crime geography. Like diseases which can transmit and diffuse, crimes may also spread during a certain period of time and to a certain area by the near-repeat effect. Traditional near-repeat
[...] Read more.
The relationship between crime and urban environment has always been the focus of crime geography. Like diseases which can transmit and diffuse, crimes may also spread during a certain period of time and to a certain area by the near-repeat effect. Traditional near-repeat analysis focuses on the spatial spread of crimes to adjacent areas, with little regard to the displacement effect. Crime displacement refers to the relocation of criminal events as a result of policing efforts. If this phenomenon is neglected, the near-repeat analysis will tend not to obtain the overall spatial distribution pattern of criminal cases, leading to limited effectiveness of crime control. This paper presents a non-homogeneous diffusion model where crime spreads not only to spatially and temporally adjacent areas, but also to areas with similar environmental characteristics. By virtue of spatial constraints and environmental characteristics, the most vulnerable areas are identified, and this will be helpful for developing policing strategy as well as for sustainable community development. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Case Study of Effective Support Working Resistance and Roof Support Technology in Thick Seam Fully-Mechanized Face Mining with Hard Roof Conditions
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 935; doi:10.3390/su9060935
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (5416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper presents the engineering geological properties and roof control tecnology for a thick coal seam fully-mechanized face mining with hard roof conditions (THC) at the Jinhuagong Coal Mine (JCM), northwest China. The effective support working resistance and appropriate roof control technology are
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the engineering geological properties and roof control tecnology for a thick coal seam fully-mechanized face mining with hard roof conditions (THC) at the Jinhuagong Coal Mine (JCM), northwest China. The effective support working resistance and appropriate roof control technology are two critical factors for safe and productive mining in the THC. The load-estimate-method (LOEM) is the effective method to determine the support working resistance for normal working conditions (the mining height less than 3.5 m). In order to prevent support crushing accidents from happening and to ensure the safety and high-efficiency in the THC, the LOEM was modified based on the structure of the overlying strata in the THC. The strata which can form the voussoir beam structure in normal working conditions and will break in the form of cantilever beam in the THC is defined as the key strata in the immediate roof. Therefore, the hanging length of the key strata in the immediate roof was considered in the LOEM. Furthermore, a method for calculating the hanging length of the key strata in the immediate roof and its influencing factors were proposed using cantilever beam theory analysis of the structure of the overlying strata. Moreover, in order to fully fill the goaf area with caving roof to reduce the energy accumulation of main roof movement, it was decided to apply destress blasting technique (DEBT) at the JCM to control the large hanging length of the hard roof, so as to reduce the impact of the hard main roof movement on the working face. The key technique parameters of the roof caving borehole were also proposed. The obtained results demonstrated that the theoretical analysis is reasonable, and the chosen support type and the DEBT could meet the roof control requirements. The THC has achieved safety and high-efficiency mining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Performance of Vacuum Glazing in Office Buildings in Korea: Simulation and Experimental Studies
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 936; doi:10.3390/su9060936
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (6007 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Window performance in buildings is very important for energy saving. Many efforts have been made towards saving energy in buildings, and research has focused attention on enhancing the thermal performance of windows. Vacuum glazing has attracted much interest as a means of enhancing
[...] Read more.
Window performance in buildings is very important for energy saving. Many efforts have been made towards saving energy in buildings, and research has focused attention on enhancing the thermal performance of windows. Vacuum glazing has attracted much interest as a means of enhancing the thermal performance of windows by strengthening insulation performance. However, the performance of vacuum glazing differs based on various component combinations, therefore, further study on vacuum glazing is needed. In this paper, through simulations, the authors confirmed the heat transfer value (U-value) of the vacuum glazing composed of various combinations (glass type, number of layers, interval of pillar, etc.). A physical test of vacuum glazing was also performed using standard test methods of windows and the U-value of the vacuum glazing by various intervals of the pillar position was confirmed. The simulation revealed a U-value for vacuum glazing of 0.682–1.466 W/m2·K as per the interval of the pillar position, the performance of solar heat gain, and visible light transmission. The U-value of the double vacuum glazing was calculated as 0.607–1.154 W/m2·K and was similar regardless of the interval of pillar position, the performance of solar heat gain, and visible light transmission. Based on the results of the energy simulation, in the case of a used low U-value of vacuum glazing, the heating and cooling energy consumption in buildings decreased by 2.46%, than when low-e glass and argon gas filled layers were used in windows. Furthermore, in double vacuum glazing, the heating and cooling energy consumption in buildings decreased by 3.91%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Agronomic Factors Affecting the Potential of Sorghum as a Feedstock for Bioethanol Production in the Kanto Region, Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 937; doi:10.3390/su9060937
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Kanto region in Japan, the possibilities of running a bio-ethanol plant from rice straw has been assessed and sorghum production has been considered as a necessary part of the system. Two field experiments were conducted in 2012 and 2013 at the
[...] Read more.
In the Kanto region in Japan, the possibilities of running a bio-ethanol plant from rice straw has been assessed and sorghum production has been considered as a necessary part of the system. Two field experiments were conducted in 2012 and 2013 at the NARO—Agricultural Research Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki to estimate yielding ability of sorghum in the Kanto region. Two cultivars of sweet sorghum and one of grain sorghum were sown using a pneumatic seeder. Above-ground dry matter (DM) yield ranged from 1.03 to 1.82 kg m−2 for the sorgo type cultivars and from 0.70 to 1.18 kg m−2 for the grain type cultivar. The observed yields were lower than the simulated potential yields, i.e., 1.61 to 2.66 kg m−2, indicating that biomass production was restricted in this study. Stem brix values for the sweet sorghum cultivars were generally low (3.3–16.2%) compared with the values reported in the literature. It appears that there is still room to improve the field management of sorghum to minimize the gap between the potential and actual production observed in these experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Beyond Regulation: Innovative Strategies for Governing Large Complex Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 938; doi:10.3390/su9060938
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have entered an era characterized by levels of complexity that are unprecedented in human experience. The hallmarks of complex systems are the growth of connectivity, the prominence of nonlinear patterns of change, the occurrence of bifurcations in contrast to oscillations, and frequent
[...] Read more.
We have entered an era characterized by levels of complexity that are unprecedented in human experience. The hallmarks of complex systems are the growth of connectivity, the prominence of nonlinear patterns of change, the occurrence of bifurcations in contrast to oscillations, and frequent surprises associated with emergent properties. There are good reasons to question the adequacy of the standard repertory of practices associated with regulatory strategies in efforts to fulfill needs for governance in complex systems. Whereas regulatory strategies feature the articulation of rules expected to remain in place indefinitely and emphasize efforts to maximize compliance with the rules, governing complex systems calls for a willingness to experiment with innovative practices in the face of uncertainty and a capacity to adapt existing practices easily to new circumstances. It is helpful in this connection to distinguish between Type I governance, which is a matter of devising supplementary practices to augment rather than to replace regulatory measures in managing volatile oscillations, and Type II governance, which is a matter of devising new governance strategies to address needs for governance arising during periods of transformation and in the settings that become the new normal following major state changes. There is no need to discard familiar regulatory strategies. Rather, the challenge is to devise innovative steering mechanisms to augment the existing toolkit to meet needs for governance in the 21st century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Ecological Assets for Sustainable Regional Development: A Case Study of Deqing County, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 939; doi:10.3390/su9060939
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
PDF Full-text (5278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development has become a main concern of governments at a variety of levels. Assessing ecological assets, which is significant for the sustainability of human society, plays an important role in measuring the performance of local governments. Using Deqing County in Zhejiang Province
[...] Read more.
Sustainable development has become a main concern of governments at a variety of levels. Assessing ecological assets, which is significant for the sustainability of human society, plays an important role in measuring the performance of local governments. Using Deqing County in Zhejiang Province as a case study, this paper adapts a county-level indicator assessment of ecological assets and quantifies these indicators using high-resolution data sets. The resulting value of ecological assets in Deqing County accounts for 24.85% of its GDP, which is much higher than other published case studies across China. Through contrasting per capita valuation of ecological assets and per capita enterprise taxation at township level, this paper has classified all townships into four categories, each of which has varied implications for the local development strategy from the perspective of sustainability. This study implies that the integration of the valuation of ecological assets into the measurement of political performance at the lowest township level enables the provision of quantitative evidence to enhance sustainable development at local (county) level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Addressing Large-Scale Energy Retrofit of a Building Stock via Representative Building Samples: Public and Private Perspectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 940; doi:10.3390/su9060940
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 28 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scientific literature about energy retrofit focuses on single buildings, but the investigation of whole building stocks is particularly worthy because it can yield substantial energy, environmental and economic benefits. Hence, how to address large-scale energy retrofit of existing building stocks? The paper handles
[...] Read more.
Scientific literature about energy retrofit focuses on single buildings, but the investigation of whole building stocks is particularly worthy because it can yield substantial energy, environmental and economic benefits. Hence, how to address large-scale energy retrofit of existing building stocks? The paper handles this issue by employing a methodology that provides a robust energy analysis of building categories. This is denoted as SLABE, “Simulation-based Large-scale uncertainty/sensitivity Analysis of Building Energy performance”. It was presented by the same authors and is here enhanced to investigate a whole and heterogeneous building stock that includes various categories. Each category is represented via a Representative Building Sample (RBS), which is defined through Latin hypercube sampling and uncertainty analysis. Hence, optimal retrofit packages are found in function of building location, intended use and construction type. Two families of optimal solutions are achieved. The first one collects the most energy-efficient (and thus sustainable) solutions, among the ones that produce global cost savings, thereby addressing the public perspective. The second one collects cost-optimal solutions thereby addressing the private perspective. EnergyPlus is employed as a simulation tool and coupled with MATLAB® for data analysis and processing. The methodology is applied to a significant share of the Italian public administration building stock, which includes several building categories depending on location, use destination and construction type. The outcomes show huge potential energy and economic savings, and could support a deep energy renovation of the Italian building stock. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability from the Occurrence of Critical Dynamic Power System Blackout Determined by Using the Stochastic Event Tree Technique
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 941; doi:10.3390/su9060941
Received: 26 March 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (4972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the advent of advanced technology in smart grid, the implementation of renewable energy in a stressed and complicated power system operation, aggravated by a competitive electricity market and critical system contingencies, this will inflict higher probabilities of the occurrence of a severe
[...] Read more.
With the advent of advanced technology in smart grid, the implementation of renewable energy in a stressed and complicated power system operation, aggravated by a competitive electricity market and critical system contingencies, this will inflict higher probabilities of the occurrence of a severe dynamic power system blackout. This paper presents the proposed stochastic event tree technique used to assess the sustainability against the occurrence of dynamic power system blackout emanating from implication of critical system contingencies such as the rapid increase in total loading condition and sensitive initial transmission line tripping. An extensive analysis of dynamic power system blackout has been carried out in a case study of the following power systems: IEEE RTS-79 and IEEE RTS-96. The findings have shown that the total loading conditions and sensitive transmission lines need to be given full attention by the utility to prevent the occurrence of dynamic power system blackout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Consumption Dilemmas
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 942; doi:10.3390/su9060942
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To examine which considerations play a role when individuals make decisions to purchase sustainable product varieties or not, we have conducted a large scale field experiment with more than 600 participating households. Households can vote on whether the budgets they receive should only
[...] Read more.
To examine which considerations play a role when individuals make decisions to purchase sustainable product varieties or not, we have conducted a large scale field experiment with more than 600 participating households. Households can vote on whether the budgets they receive should only be spent on purchasing the sustainable product variety, or whether every household in a group is free to spend their budget on any product variety. By conducting several treatments, we tested whether people tend to view sustainable consumption as a social dilemma or as a moral dilemma. We find little support for the hypothesis that social dilemma considerations are the key drivers of sustainable consumption behaviour. Participants seem to be caught in a moral dilemma in which they not only weigh their individual financial costs with the sustainable benefits but they also consider the consequences of restricting other people’s freedom of choice. Complementary survey results further substantiate this claim and show that many people are reluctant to impose restrictions on their peers, but, at the same time, our results also suggest substantial support for the government to regulate the availability of unsustainable product varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior) Printed Edition available
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Land Cover Changes (1963–2010) and Their Environmental Factors in the Upper Danube Floodplain
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 943; doi:10.3390/su9060943
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (23304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To analyze the changes in the Upper Danube Floodplain, we used aerial photos to quantify the change of landscape pattern from 1963 to 2010. We focused on typical floodplain habitats, i.e., riparian forest and floodplain grassland. We used landscape metrics and transformation matrix
[...] Read more.
To analyze the changes in the Upper Danube Floodplain, we used aerial photos to quantify the change of landscape pattern from 1963 to 2010. We focused on typical floodplain habitats, i.e., riparian forest and floodplain grassland. We used landscape metrics and transformation matrix to explore changes in land cover structure and composition. The active floodplain experienced increasing fragmentation from 1963 to 2010. Despite an increase of aggregation, riparian forest suffered a 2.3% area loss from 1995 to 2010. Arable land in the active floodplain declined by 28.5%, while its patch size significantly increased. Elevation, distance to river and soil quality were the most relevant environmental factors for the land cover change in the floodplain. Higher soil quality or longer distance to river led to an increase of conversion from grassland into arable land; grassland patches with poorer soil quality were likely to change into riparian forest; riparian forest closer to the river and with a lower height above mean water level tended to remain stable. This comprehensive understanding of historical land cover change and environmental factors is needed for the enhancement of landscape functions and sustainable development in the floodplain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of Trade Relations and the Spatial-Temporal Evolution of Geo-Economy between China and Vietnam
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 944; doi:10.3390/su9060944
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (1443 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the increasing economic importance of the Asia-Pacific Region, the economic interdependence among countries in the region has gradually enhanced. With the continuous opening up of the two countries, Sino-Vietnamese economic relations have also been deepened. However, the export trade between Vietnam and
[...] Read more.
With the increasing economic importance of the Asia-Pacific Region, the economic interdependence among countries in the region has gradually enhanced. With the continuous opening up of the two countries, Sino-Vietnamese economic relations have also been deepened. However, the export trade between Vietnam and China has been competitive. China and Vietnam seek to dominate or join an agreement that is conducive to their own trade, which also exacerbates the trade competition between the two countries. This paper compares China and Vietnam and analyzes their foreign trade data from 2005 to 2014. By analyzing the competitiveness of export commodities, the trade division effect and spatio-temporal changes of the geo-economic relationship in the Asia-Pacific Region, this study explores Sino-Vietnamese trade relations and compares the pattern of geo-economic evolution between the two countries. The findings show that China and Vietnam have similarities and substitutability in textiles, apparel and footwear in terms of commodity structure. There is already a trade diversion effect between Vietnam and China on these commodities, but it is not substantial. From a geographic perspective, China’s geo-economic relations in the Pacific Rim present an increasingly dispersed trend. However, the spatial pattern of Vietnam’s geo-economy has maintained a low-level and stable spatial agglomeration over the last decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Brazilian Solidarity Economy Rural Organizations: Validating Performance Evaluation Criteria Based on Decision Makers’ Perception
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 945; doi:10.3390/su9060945
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The majority of the world’s current economic models are destructive and unsustainable. Little progress has been made in recent years to change this, despite significant discussion surrounding the theme. In this context, the solidarity economy presents itself as an alternative that seeks environmental
[...] Read more.
The majority of the world’s current economic models are destructive and unsustainable. Little progress has been made in recent years to change this, despite significant discussion surrounding the theme. In this context, the solidarity economy presents itself as an alternative that seeks environmental and economic sustainability, as well as social promotion. In Brazil, Solidarity Economy Rural Organizations (SEROs) began in the 1970s. As with organizations from other sectors, they should be evaluated in relation to their ability to achieve social and solidarity objectives. Thus, this study aims to present a theoretical model of performance evaluation indicators for Solidarity Economy Rural Organizations in Southern Brazil based on the perceptions of the organizations’ decision makers. SERO representatives interviewed were asked to rank 36 criteria commonly used in performance evaluations, which were grouped into six dimensions: (1) legal documents and standards; (2) valuing of human work; (3) technology and economy; (4) acknowledgment of women; (5) preservation of and respect for nature; and (6) cooperation and solidarity. The results show that SERO representatives consider that performance evaluations should adhere to the Brazilian Declaration of Solidarity Economy Principles. Additionally, we identified a greater concern with criteria correlated to technical and legal aspects than criteria related to solidarity and humanitarianism. These results are relevant for the maintenance of rural solidarity economy organization as they provide a base for developing processes and tools to be used in SERO performance evaluations; such processes are necessary to maintain sustainable development in low-income economies, and to enable solidarity organizations to reach their objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Internet Access, Spillover and Regional Development in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 946; doi:10.3390/su9060946
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
PDF Full-text (1008 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As Internet access grows at different rates across regions, the Internet has had variable effects on regional economies through agglomeration and spillover effects. This paper uses province-level panel data from 2000 to 2013 to study inequality in Internet access, its spatial effect on
[...] Read more.
As Internet access grows at different rates across regions, the Internet has had variable effects on regional economies through agglomeration and spillover effects. This paper uses province-level panel data from 2000 to 2013 to study inequality in Internet access, its spatial effect on regional economies in China and the channels through which the spillover effects are most evident. We find that the Internet has dispersed quickly from core cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, to coastal provinces; and has had increasingly significant effects on neighboring regions. However, the Internet speed is still comparatively low outside the core cities. We then use endogenous growth models to quantify the effect of Internet access on regional economies. Our results show that, while Internet dispersion is positively associated with economic growth, the spillover effect varies significantly by region and is more pronounced in developed regions. So is the effect of the science and technology environment. Developed regions have benefited the most in the process. The three channels of spillover are listed here in order of relative significance: economy, proximity and urbanization. The spillover effect of the Internet may lead to the divergence of regional economies, working against the national goal of reducing regional inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How Building with Wood Can Be Linked to Sales of Building Plots: Results from an Exemplary Site Development in Munich, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 947; doi:10.3390/su9060947
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities today seek ways to comply with national climate targets. The urban authorities responsible for city planning are therefore responsible for defining the eco-efficiency of cities for decades to come. They need clear guidelines on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the
[...] Read more.
Cities today seek ways to comply with national climate targets. The urban authorities responsible for city planning are therefore responsible for defining the eco-efficiency of cities for decades to come. They need clear guidelines on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building stock in a specific area. The use of sustainably sourced wood in construction plays an increasingly vital part in the transition towards eco-cities. Drawing on an exemplary development site in Munich, this paper describes how the sale of building plots can be connected to an agreement to build with wood. Based on an actual research project, site-specific target values regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of renewable material for specific building plots were developed by studying life cycle assessments for different buildings. Wood is introduced as a building material to achieve a minimal environmental footprint. The focus is set on linking the sale of building plots to an agreement to build primarily with wood. Target values for the buildings were developed in close cooperation with the city and were linked to the tendering of the plots. The proceedings and its implementation are shown in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Rewetting Decreases Carbon Emissions from the Zoige Alpine Peatland on the Tibetan Plateau
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 948; doi:10.3390/su9060948
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
PDF Full-text (2204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle and potentially have a significant impact on regional climate change. Restoring and rewetting the degraded peatlands is an urgent task. However, effects of rewetting on the carbon emissions of peatlands remain poorly understood.
[...] Read more.
Peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle and potentially have a significant impact on regional climate change. Restoring and rewetting the degraded peatlands is an urgent task. However, effects of rewetting on the carbon emissions of peatlands remain poorly understood. In this study, the process of rewetting a piece of the degraded Zoige alpine peatland was experimentally simulated and the derived results were compared with those of natural rewetting by monitoring CO2 and CH4 fluxes and other environmental factors before and after rewetting. The natural rewetting results showed that rewetting decreased ecosystem respiration (ER) by about 60%. Furthermore, rewetting increased CH4 emissions by 127%, decreased total carbon emissions (TCE) from 270 to 157 mg CO2 m−2 h−1, and decreased TCE from the entire ecosystem by 42%. The results of the controlled experiment showed that ER decreased gradually as the degree of rewetting was increased, and CH4 fluxes and changes in water level were significantly and positively correlated: CH4 fluxes increased from 0.3 (water level −20 cm) to 2.17 mg CH4 m−2 h−1 (water level 20 cm). After rewetting, the TCE of the whole ecosystem were significantly decreased. Regional observations showed that CO2 fluxes were significantly and negatively correlated to the water level; and the corresponding CO2 equivalent was significantly and positively correlated to the water level, while TCE were significantly and negatively correlated to the water level. Our findings indicate that rewetting can decrease carbon emissions and thus contribute in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change in alpine peatland. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Observing Trip Chain Characteristics of Round-Trip Carsharing Users in China: A Case Study Based on GPS Data in Hangzhou City
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 949; doi:10.3390/su9060949
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3018 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carsharing as a means to provide individuals with access to automobiles to complete a personal trip has grown significantly in recent years in China. However, there are few case studies based on operational data to show the role carsharing systems play in citizens’
[...] Read more.
Carsharing as a means to provide individuals with access to automobiles to complete a personal trip has grown significantly in recent years in China. However, there are few case studies based on operational data to show the role carsharing systems play in citizens’ daily trips. In this study, vehicle GPS data of a round-trip carsharing system in Hangzhou, China was used to describe the trip chain characteristics of users. For clearer delineation of carshare usage, the car use time length of all observations chosen in the study was within 24 h or less. Through data preprocessing, a large pool (26,085) of valid behavior samples was obtained, and several trip chaining attributes were selected to describe the characteristics. The pool of observations was then classified into five clusters, with each cluster having significant differences in one or two trip chain characteristics. The cluster results reflected that different use patterns exist. By a comparative analysis with trip survey data in Hangzhou, differences in trip chain characteristics exist between carsharing and private cars, but in some cases, shared vehicles can be a substitute for private cars to satisfy motorized travel. The proposed method could facilitate companies in formulating a flexible pricing strategy and determining target customers. In addition, traffic administration agencies could have a deeper understanding of the position and function of various carsharing modes in an urban transportation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of the Changeable Organic Semi-Transparent Solar Cell Window on Building Energy Efficiency and User Comfort
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 950; doi:10.3390/su9060950
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are one of the most important sustainability technologies for building energy, and the semi-transparent solar cell is one of the most promising photovoltaic systems for building integration because it can generate electricity and is transparent with a range of beneficial
[...] Read more.
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are one of the most important sustainability technologies for building energy, and the semi-transparent solar cell is one of the most promising photovoltaic systems for building integration because it can generate electricity and is transparent with a range of beneficial optical properties. On the other hand, the utilization of semi-transparent solar cells for a building facade is limited, as the optimal transparency and power conversion efficiency (PCE %) of the solar cell vary according to the purpose of the space, facing orientation, and number of occupants. This study designed a changeable organic semi-transparent solar cell window (COSW), in which the transparency can be altered by adjusting its temperature and solvent vapor pressure. A simulation test with the proposed COSW was conducted to examine the effects of the proposed window on energy consumption, electricity production, and occupant comfort. The results show that the proposed window has a huge potential for energy conservation and occupant comfort. Compared to the double-glazed Low-E windows, the proposed window reduces the energy consumption by approximately 14.80 kW/m2 (53.29 MJ/m2), 11.51 kW/m2 (41.45 MJ/m2), and 15.02 kW/m2 (54.07 MJ/m2), for the south-facing, east-facing, and west-facing facades, respectively, and increases user satisfaction, particularly in spring and autumn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Antecedents of Corporate Reputation in the Hotel Industry: The Moderating Role of Transparency
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 951; doi:10.3390/su9060951
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we developed a theoretical framework in which corporate social responsibility, corporate ability, customer trust and satisfaction, and corporate reputation by considering the influence of transparency as a moderator. The proposed hypotheses were empirically tested using data collected from 487 U.S.
[...] Read more.
In this study, we developed a theoretical framework in which corporate social responsibility, corporate ability, customer trust and satisfaction, and corporate reputation by considering the influence of transparency as a moderator. The proposed hypotheses were empirically tested using data collected from 487 U.S. consumers via structural equation modeling. The results indicated that perceived corporate social responsibility and corporate ability significantly affected overall customer satisfaction and trust. In turn, customer trust and satisfaction have positive effects on perceptions about corporate reputation. Lastly, this study found that transparency as a significant moderator. This research will contribute to the development of a robust and comprehensive theoretical model that integrates existing frameworks and concepts within the hotel industry. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Improved Eco-Efficiency Analysis Framework Based on Slacks-Based Measure Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 952; doi:10.3390/su9060952
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The level of sustainable development can be measured by eco-efficiency, which is a combination of economic and ecological performance. Utilizing the weighted sum of the improved proportions of the indicators as the objective function, this paper develops a proportional slacks-based measure model to
[...] Read more.
The level of sustainable development can be measured by eco-efficiency, which is a combination of economic and ecological performance. Utilizing the weighted sum of the improved proportions of the indicators as the objective function, this paper develops a proportional slacks-based measure model to assess eco-efficiency, in which the conventional inputs, and desirable and undesirable outputs are improved to different proportions along the elements of a given directional vector. Moreover, this paper presents a weighted proportional slacks-based measure model using the ranges as the divisors instead of the input and output values in the objective function. Finally, this paper presents an empirical analysis by applying proposed measure models with the data of 30 provinces in China in 2015. The empirical study results indicate the developed slacks-based measure models can be used in the assessment of eco-efficiency effectively and reasonably. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hybrid Algorithm Based on an Estimation of Distribution Algorithm and Cuckoo Search for the No Idle Permutation Flow Shop Scheduling Problem with the Total Tardiness Criterion Minimization
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 953; doi:10.3390/su9060953
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (2836 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The no idle permutation flow shop scheduling problem (NIPFSP) is a popular NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem, which exists in several real world production processes. This study proposes a novel hybrid estimation of the distribution algorithm and cuckoo search (CS) algorithm (HEDA_CS) to solve
[...] Read more.
The no idle permutation flow shop scheduling problem (NIPFSP) is a popular NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem, which exists in several real world production processes. This study proposes a novel hybrid estimation of the distribution algorithm and cuckoo search (CS) algorithm (HEDA_CS) to solve the NIPFSP with the total tardiness criterion minimization. The problem model is built on the basis of the starting and ending time point of each job. A discrete solution representation method is applied in HEDA_CS to increase the operation efficiency. A novel probability matrix build method is also designed within the knowledge of the processing time matrix. The partially-mapped crossover operation works effectively during the CS phase. A suitable knowledge-based local search is also designed in the HEDA_CS to balance the exploitation and exploration. Finally, many simulations based on the new hard Ruiz benchmarks are conducted. Computational results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed HEDA_CS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Property Rights and the Soybean Revolution: Shaping How China and Brazil Are Telecoupled
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 954; doi:10.3390/su9060954
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (753 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China currently has the largest population in the world and is currently experiencing rapid economic and urban growth, becoming the world’s number one pork and poultry consumer. In order to meet this growing demand for meat, China has increased its demand for soybeans
[...] Read more.
China currently has the largest population in the world and is currently experiencing rapid economic and urban growth, becoming the world’s number one pork and poultry consumer. In order to meet this growing demand for meat, China has increased its demand for soybeans to produce chicken and pork. It has imported soybeans from the United States, Brazil, and Argentina, while keeping its soybean production for direct human consumption stable at home. Brazil has become the largest soybean exporter to China, and, in response specifically to Chinese demand, has become the second largest producer of soybeans in the world. This has changed land use in Brazil, particularly in its central plateau. In this paper, we indicate how these two countries, telecoupled by trade in soybeans, are depending on each other as they try to balance environmental and economic objectives. Brazil, as a sending system, has created pressures on its natural ecosystems, which have led to losses particularly in the Cerrado biome and its ecotones in the Amazon’s tropical moist forest biome. China, as a receiving system, has created a land asset important to regenerating its lost natural systems (e.g., forest cover areas). Both countries have different property rights regimes, which have created distinct circumstances in which they are to protect or regenerate their natural ecosystems. Throughout this paper, we analyze how both countries have dealt with the lure offered by the soybean commodity trade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hidden Roles of CSR: Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility as a Preventive against Counterproductive Work Behaviors
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 955; doi:10.3390/su9060955
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to identify how the degree to which employees perceive that their organization is socially responsible influences their counterproductive behaviors at work. We developed a research model capturing the relationships between perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR), affective organizational
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to identify how the degree to which employees perceive that their organization is socially responsible influences their counterproductive behaviors at work. We developed a research model capturing the relationships between perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR), affective organizational commitment (AOC), and organization-, colleague-, and customer-directed counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). Drawing on social identity and social bonding theories, we hypothesized that employees’ perceptions of CSR would enhance their levels of AOC and thereby hinder the three types of CWBs. Survey data from 252 frontline employees of six luxury hotels in South Korea were examined. We found that perceived CSR is indirectly and negatively related to the three types of CWBs through AOC. We discussed the theoretical contributions and practical implications of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimal Weed Control Strategies in Rice Production under Dynamic and Static Decision Rules in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 956; doi:10.3390/su9060956
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes optimal weed control management strategies under static and dynamic decision rules. Seed bank is taken into account to introduce dynamics into the model. We present a numerical example of controlling Sheathed Monochoria (Monochoria Vaginalis) in Korean rice paddy
[...] Read more.
This paper analyzes optimal weed control management strategies under static and dynamic decision rules. Seed bank is taken into account to introduce dynamics into the model. We present a numerical example of controlling Sheathed Monochoria (Monochoria Vaginalis) in Korean rice paddy fields. Our results show that producers benefit from dynamic decision rules; higher income and more control of weed density can be obtained with the same amount of herbicide. In order to illustrate the magnitude of differences between static and dynamic models, a numerical example is presented using a data set from Korean rice production. When it comes to controlling weed density, Korean rice farmers are found to be better off under the dynamic model, and the magnitude of advantages are found to be more sensitive to herbicide efficacy and less sensitive to initial seed banks and germination rates in terms of weed density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Water Sustainability of Selected Mining Companies in South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 957; doi:10.3390/su9060957
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (453 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many parts of the world, and South Africa specifically, are facing a water crisis, not only because of the scarcity of water, but also the quality of the available water. Apart from agriculture, industry is viewed as the second largest user of water
[...] Read more.
Many parts of the world, and South Africa specifically, are facing a water crisis, not only because of the scarcity of water, but also the quality of the available water. Apart from agriculture, industry is viewed as the second largest user of water and can, therefore, have a significant impact on the saving of water. The purpose of this research is to investigate how selected South African listed mining companies are measuring, managing, and disclosing their water risks, as well as engaging with stakeholders. The selection of the mining companies was made using the companies with the highest market capitalisation figures of those that have a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The sustainability/integrated/annual reports for 2013 were reviewed using the Ceres Aqua Gauge™ (Boston, MA, USA) as the framework. The findings of this research were that the selected mining companies had grasped the seriousness of the water crisis in South Africa, and the effects it will have on their businesses in future. Most concerning was the activities relating to water management in the supply chain; all of the selected mining companies were found to have no evidence of this in their reports, subsequently this is an area that needs to be addressed in future research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Role of Consumers in the Transition toward Low-Carbon Living
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 958; doi:10.3390/su9060958
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 5 June 2017
PDF Full-text (1295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improvements in energy efficiency and production of renewable energy hold significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions of housing, which accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In our research, we focused on the willingness of owners of detached houses to adopt
[...] Read more.
Improvements in energy efficiency and production of renewable energy hold significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions of housing, which accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In our research, we focused on the willingness of owners of detached houses to adopt renewable energy production systems of their own, and we examined perceived barriers to adopting these systems. The research was conducted using a survey and a life cycle assessment model. The survey covered three residential areas in Lahti, Finland, and the potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were estimated using a life cycle assessment model based on the survey results. The barriers to transformation were identified as a lack of knowledge in the following three areas: (1) the possible annual savings attained; (2) the costs of implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy production solutions; and (3) the technologies used in renewable energy production. The greenhouse gas emission reductions in the residential areas surveyed would amount to approximately 15% if the consumers implemented the solutions they considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Continuity and Change: Dealing with Political Volatility to Advance Climate Change Mitigation Strategies—Examples from the Transport Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 959; doi:10.3390/su9060959
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement has shown, political volatility directly affects climate change mitigation policies, in particular in sectors, such as transport associated with long-term investments by individuals (vehicles) and by local and national governments (urban
[...] Read more.
As the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement has shown, political volatility directly affects climate change mitigation policies, in particular in sectors, such as transport associated with long-term investments by individuals (vehicles) and by local and national governments (urban form and transport infrastructure and services). There is a large potential for cost-effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the sustainability of the transport sector that is yet unexploited. Considering the cost-effectiveness and the potential for co-benefits, it is hard to understand why efficiency gains and CO2 emission reductions in the transport sector are still lagging behind this potential. Particularly interesting is the fact that there is substantial difference among countries with relatively similar economic performances in the development of their transport CO2 emissions over the past thirty years despite the fact that these countries had relatively similar access to efficient technologies and vehicles. This study aims to explore some well-established political science theories on the particular example of climate change mitigation in the transport sector in order to identify some of the factors that could help explain the variations in success of policies and strategies in this sector. The analysis suggests that institutional arrangements that contribute to consensus building in the political process provide a high level of political and policy stability which is vital to long-term changes in energy end-use sectors that rely on long-term investments. However, there is no direct correlation between institutional structures, e.g., corporatism and success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. Environmental objectives need to be built into the consensus-based policy structure before actual policy progress can be observed. This usually takes longer in consensus democracies than in politically more agile majoritarian policy environments, but the policy stability that builds on corporatist institutional structures is likely to experience changes over a longer-term, in this case to a shift towards low-carbon transport that endures. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Dynamics of Responses to Food Production Shocks
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 960; doi:10.3390/su9060960
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
PDF Full-text (391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food production shocks can lead to food crises where access to appropriate quantities and quality of food become inadequate, unaffordable, or unreliable on a major scale. While the physical causes of food production shocks are well researched, the dynamics of responses to them
[...] Read more.
Food production shocks can lead to food crises where access to appropriate quantities and quality of food become inadequate, unaffordable, or unreliable on a major scale. While the physical causes of food production shocks are well researched, the dynamics of responses to them are less well understood. This paper reviews those dynamics and includes evidence gathered via interviews of 44 expert practitioners sourced globally from academia, government, industry, think-tanks, and development/relief organizations. The paper confirms that policy interventions are often prioritised for national interests and poorly coordinated at regional and global scales. The paper acknowledges future compounding trends such as climate change and demographic shifts and suggests that while there are signs of incremental progress in better managing the impacts of shock events, coordinated responses at scale will require a paradigm shift involving major policy, market, and technological advancements, and a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Economic and Environmental Performance of Fashion Supply Chain: The Joint Effect of Power Structure and Sustainable Investment
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 961; doi:10.3390/su9060961
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1091 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fashion supply chain members now search for trade-offs between sustainable investment and the related incentives, such as savings on environmental taxes and gains in incremental demands. To evaluate the economic and environmental performance of sustainable investment from a power perspective, we develop an
[...] Read more.
Fashion supply chain members now search for trade-offs between sustainable investment and the related incentives, such as savings on environmental taxes and gains in incremental demands. To evaluate the economic and environmental performance of sustainable investment from a power perspective, we develop an analytical model to study a two-echelon sustainable supply chain consisting of one retailer and one manufacturer with three different power structures. We derive the optimal solutions for various cases associated with different supply chain power structures and sustainable investors. Though it is beneficial for both the manufacturer and retailer to make sustainable investment, they often utilize high power to gain economic benefit with less sustainable investment. Interestingly, the follower with less supply chain power has more incentive to make a sustainable effort to achieve a higher profit. The optimal amount of sustainable investment in the apparel manufacturer investment case is greater than that in the retailer investment case in most scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Vaguely Right or Exactly Wrong: Measuring the (Spatial) Distribution of Land Resources, Income and Wealth in Rural Ethiopia
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 962; doi:10.3390/su9060962
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land ties people to specific localities featuring different levels of accessibility and natural endowments; it is therefore related in various ways to matters of inequality. Drawing from economics and human geography, we explore the multifaceted and complex nature of inequality. Our case study
[...] Read more.
Land ties people to specific localities featuring different levels of accessibility and natural endowments; it is therefore related in various ways to matters of inequality. Drawing from economics and human geography, we explore the multifaceted and complex nature of inequality. Our case study takes place in rural Tigray, Ethiopia. Quantitative data analysis is used to reveal (spatial) income distribution patterns between statistically representative population groups. Qualitative data are then used to describe the productive activities of these groups, their respective processes of material asset accumulation or losses, and how their economic activities are affected by location. The paper concludes that, where measures of the distribution of income falls short, we require other tools that will help us reveal patterns: (1) of material wealth distribution; (2) of control over production; and (3) of the unaccounted value created within the household or derived from the natural environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication Dust Accumulation on the Surface of Photovoltaic Panels: Introducing the Photovoltaic Soiling Index (PVSI)
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 963; doi:10.3390/su9060963
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article presents an empirical review of research concerning the impact of dust accumulation on the performance of photovoltaic (PV) panels. After examining the articles published in international scientific journals, many differences between the studies were found within the context of the PV
[...] Read more.
This article presents an empirical review of research concerning the impact of dust accumulation on the performance of photovoltaic (PV) panels. After examining the articles published in international scientific journals, many differences between the studies were found within the context of the PV technologies used, the contribution to this type of study from different countries, and the variety in the representation of the results where each study has its unique parameters, testing equipment, and relevant standards. Due to those variations and differences, it has been found that it is very difficult and impractical to compare between results of the corresponding studies. Hence, in addition to the valuable reviews found in literature, this article demonstrates another new perspective that highlights the gaps in the studies related to the impact of dust accumulation on PV panels. The conclusions of this study are considered to be the seed for establishing a new initiative—The Photovoltaic Soiling Index (PVSI)—which would be an indicator for the performance of PV panels under exposure to dust at the Standard Test Conditions (STC), as well as at other operating conditions in different locations around the globe. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Regulation of Information Sharing with Electronic Data Interchange by a Trust-Embedded Contract
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 964; doi:10.3390/su9060964
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper studies the risks in demand information sharing applications by electronic soft-orders using electronic data interchange (EDI) systems in e-commerce and aims to suggest a sustainable regulation mechanism with a trust-embedded contract. In a supply chain with one retailer and one supplier,
[...] Read more.
This paper studies the risks in demand information sharing applications by electronic soft-orders using electronic data interchange (EDI) systems in e-commerce and aims to suggest a sustainable regulation mechanism with a trust-embedded contract. In a supply chain with one retailer and one supplier, the retailer solicits private forecasted demand and places soft-orders via EDI to the supplier. To ensure abundant supply, the retailer has an incentive to inflate her soft-orders, which potentially harms the credible information sharing and sustainability of business cooperation. Normally, the degree to which the supplier relies on the retailer’s order information is specified by trust, which is evaluated according to the retailer’s reputation and supplier’s intuition in this study. Based on standard game theory, we find that both the retailer’s order and the quantity of supplier prepared materials are independent of the retailer’s forecast. Therefore, EDI based information sharing in e-commerce without a regulation mechanism leads to inefficient demand information sharing. Since both the supplier and retailer are proved to faces huge of potential profit losses due to the failure of information sharing, the commerce by EDI based information sharing is full of risk and unsustainable. Therefore, a regulation mechanism that leaded by the retailer is proposed to establish ‘win-win’ sustainable cooperation. Numerical experiments highlight the value of trust, the impact of reputation and intuition in decisions, and the effectiveness of the regulation mechanism by a cost-sharing contract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Development of a GIS Tool for High Precision PV Degradation Monitoring and Supervision: Feasibility Analysis in Large and Small PV Plants
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 965; doi:10.3390/su9060965
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
PDF Full-text (22529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
It is well known that working photovoltaic (PV) plants show several maintenance needs due to wiring and module degradation, mismatches, dust, and PV cell defects and faults. There are a wide range of theoretical studies as well as some laboratory tests that show
[...] Read more.
It is well known that working photovoltaic (PV) plants show several maintenance needs due to wiring and module degradation, mismatches, dust, and PV cell defects and faults. There are a wide range of theoretical studies as well as some laboratory tests that show how these circumstances may affect the PV production. Thus, it is mandatory to evaluate the whole PV plant performance and, then, its payback time, profitability, and environmental impact or carbon footprint. However, very few studies include a systematic procedure to quantify and supervise the real degradation effects and fault impacts on the field. In this paper, the authors first conducted a brief review of the most frequent PV faults and the degradation that can be found under real conditions of operation of PV plants. Then, they proposed and developed an innovative Geographic Information System (GIS) application to locate and supervise them. The designed tool was applied to both a large PV plant of 108 kWp and a small PV plant of 9 kWp installed on a home rooftop. For the large PV plant, 24 strings of PV modules were modelized and introduced into the GIS application and every module in the power plant was studied including voltage, current, power, series and parallel resistances, fill factor, normalized PV curve to standard test conditions (STC), thermography and visual analysis. For the small PV installation three strings of PV panels were studied identically. It must be noted that PV modules in this case included power optimizers. The precision of the study enabled the researchers to locate and supervise up to a third part of every PV cell in the system, which can be adequately georeferenced. The developed tool allows both the researchers and the investors to increase control of the PV plant performance, to lead to better planning of maintenance actuations, and to evaluate several PV module replacement strategies in a preventive maintenance program. The PV faults found include hot spots, snail tracks, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) discoloration, PV cell fractures, busbar discoloration, bubbles and Si discoloration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Toward a Romanian NPOs Sustainability Model: Determinants of Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 966; doi:10.3390/su9060966
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) have become increasingly important in the last decade for Romanian society since the state often failed to fulfill some of its social responsibilities. Romania’s economic and financial crisis several years ago hardly hit non-profit sector because it led to a
[...] Read more.
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) have become increasingly important in the last decade for Romanian society since the state often failed to fulfill some of its social responsibilities. Romania’s economic and financial crisis several years ago hardly hit non-profit sector because it led to a significant drop in public spending at the government level and cuts of financing programs from companies, two main donors for NPOs while simultaneously has amplified society’s problems and gave rise to new target groups requiring support. This led to an acute need to address sustainability at organizational level since existing sustainability models in the literature are hardly adequate for Romanian context. We developed a model based on literature survey and Romanian experts’ interviews, which allow us to identify relevant factors for Romanian non-profit sustainability. Three determinants were considered: Cognitive competence (nine items analyzed), Social awareness (seven items analyzed) and Financial vulnerability (four items analyzed), as well as two types of results: economic and social. The model was tested through an empirical research on 103 Romanian NPOs and on two sub-samples (nongovernment organizations and community based organizations) and found, using univariate and bivariate analysis, that the three considered determinants are correlated and statistically influence Romanian NPOs sustainability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Theoretical Explanations for the Inverted-U Change of Historical Energy Intensity
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 967; doi:10.3390/su9060967
Received: 9 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
PDF Full-text (802 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Historical experience shows that the economy-wide energy intensity develops nonmonotonically like an inverted U, which still lacks direct theoretical explanations. Based on a model of structural change driven by technological differences, this paper provides an attempt to explore the underlying mechanisms of energy
[...] Read more.
Historical experience shows that the economy-wide energy intensity develops nonmonotonically like an inverted U, which still lacks direct theoretical explanations. Based on a model of structural change driven by technological differences, this paper provides an attempt to explore the underlying mechanisms of energy intensity change and thus to explain the above empirical regularity accompanied by structural transformation, through introducing a nested constant elasticity of substitution production function with heterogeneous elasticities of substitution. According to some reasonable assumptions, this extended model not only describes the typical path of structural change but also depicts the inverted-U development of economy-wide energy intensity. With the availability of Swedish historical data, we take calibration and simulation exercises which confirm the theoretical predictions. Furthermore, we find that: (1) elasticities of substitution may affect the shapes and peak periods of the inverted-U curves, which can explain to a certain extent the heterogeneous transitions of economy-wide energy intensity developments in different economies; and (2) over long periods of time, the economy-wide energy intensity determined by the initial industrial structure and sectoral energy intensity tends to grow upward, while structure change among sectors provides a driving force on reshaping this trend and turning it downward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Economic Benefits of the Dokdo Seals Restoration Project in Korea: A Contingent Valuation Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 968; doi:10.3390/su9060968
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), especially those that live in Dokdo, Korea, represent an endangered species in Korea. Thus, the government is considering the implementation of the Dokdo Seals (DS) restoration project. This article looks at the economic benefits for implementing
[...] Read more.
Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), especially those that live in Dokdo, Korea, represent an endangered species in Korea. Thus, the government is considering the implementation of the Dokdo Seals (DS) restoration project. This article looks at the economic benefits for implementing the project, which includes making habitats for the DS, such as an artificial sea ranch, and training DS rescued from fishing nets and wounded in the wild to adapt to the wild so that they can be released into the Dokdo Sea. To this end, we looked at the willingness to pay (WTP) for the implementation of the project by conducting a contingent valuation (CV) survey of 1000 Korean households. We employed a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question format. Furthermore, we used a spike model to model the WTP responses with zero observations. The mean yearly WTP for the project implementation was computed to be KRW 4923 (USD 4.86) for next ten years per household, which is statistically significant at the 1% level. The national annual value amounts to KRW 90.9 billion (USD 89.8 million). This value can be taken as an indication of the economic benefits of restoring the endangered species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment, Tourism and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Strategies for Promoting Green Building Technologies Adoption in the Construction Industry—An International Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 969; doi:10.3390/su9060969
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because green building technologies (GBTs) adoption is a promising way of ameliorating the sustainability performance of buildings, GBTs are receiving increased interest in the global construction community. The barriers to the adoption of GBTs, such as higher cost and lack of awareness, further
[...] Read more.
Because green building technologies (GBTs) adoption is a promising way of ameliorating the sustainability performance of buildings, GBTs are receiving increased interest in the global construction community. The barriers to the adoption of GBTs, such as higher cost and lack of awareness, further indicate that proper strategies need to be devised for promoting the wider adoption of GBTs in buildings development. However, there exist limited empirical studies identifying the strategies for promoting GBTs adoption in the construction industry. This study aims to identify the strategies that are important for promoting GBTs adoption in construction. After a comprehensive literature review to identify strategies for the promotion of GBTs adoption, empirical data were gleaned through a questionnaire survey with 104 green building experts around the world. The analysis results validated the importance of all of the 12 promotion strategies used for the study. Green building experts from different countries and with different backgrounds had significant agreement on the relative importance ranking of the promotion strategies. Furthermore, “financial and further market-based incentives for GBTs adopters”, “availability of better information on cost and benefits of GBTs”, “mandatory governmental policies and regulations”, and “green rating and labeling” were identified as the top four important promotion strategies. The research findings provide a valuable reference to assist practitioners and policy makers in developing practical strategies for promoting GBTs adoption to eventually achieve the sustainable development of buildings. From the perspective of international experts, this study adds to the green building literature by offering empirical evidence of the important strategies for promoting GBTs adoption in the construction industry. Future research will investigate the interrelationships among the promotion strategies and their impacts on the GBTs adoption process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)