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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Yield and Milk Composition at Different Stages of Lactation from a Small Herd of Nguni, Boer, and Non-Descript Goats Raised in an Extensive Production System
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1000; doi:10.3390/su9061000
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the yield and composition of milk from 30 indigenous South African goats of different genotypes, namely Nguni, Boer, and non-descript, reared under a free-ranging system. Milk yield and composition (milk fat, protein, lactose, solid non-fat, and minerals)
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This study was conducted to evaluate the yield and composition of milk from 30 indigenous South African goats of different genotypes, namely Nguni, Boer, and non-descript, reared under a free-ranging system. Milk yield and composition (milk fat, protein, lactose, solid non-fat, and minerals) from Nguni (10), Boer (10) and non-descript (10) goats were measured and analysed per week at each stage of lactation. Results showed that Nguni goats produced (1.2 ± 0.09, 1.3 ± 0.11 and 1.2 ± 0.07 litres per day) more milk (p < 0.05) at early, mid-, and late stages of lactation than Boer (0.6 ± 0.10, 1.0 ± 0.17, and 0.6 ± 0.09 litres per day) and non-descript (0.3 ± 0.10, 0.3 ± 0.12, and 0.3 ± 0.09 litres per day) goats, respectively. The mean value of milk fat, protein, and lactose content from Nguni goats was 3.98, 3.54, and 5.31; Boer goats, 2.9, 3.59, and 5.04 and non-descript goats, 4.05, 3.39, and 5.02, respectively. There was a significant effect (p < 0.05) of genotypes on milk fat, milk magnesium, and sodium contents of Nguni, Boer, and non-descript goats. It could be concluded that Nguni goats produced more milk than Boer and non-descript goats, but the non-descript goat had a higher mean percentage of milk fat compared to Nguni and Boer goats. Full article
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of Urban Renewal Policies of Shenzhen, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1001; doi:10.3390/su9061001
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
Urban renewal is a pragmatic approach in the sustainable urban development of urban areas, and has now become an essential strategy for most metropolises in China. The question of how urban renewal can best be realized has gained the attention of urban planning
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Urban renewal is a pragmatic approach in the sustainable urban development of urban areas, and has now become an essential strategy for most metropolises in China. The question of how urban renewal can best be realized has gained the attention of urban planning researchers looking to formulate practical evidence-based urban renewal policies through policy instruments. This paper analyzes the urban renewal policies of Shenzhen, a pioneer city in China in the promulgation of urban renewal legislation. In doing so, an analytical framework is established by focusing on three main policy instruments, along with several sub-instruments within them. Shenzhen’s five main urban renewal policies, issued between 2009 and 2016, are analyzed through this framework. Content analysis and pattern-matching is used in the review and analysis of the data. The results show that “Environment” side policies tend to be the most widely applied by the Shenzhen municipal government. Additionally, “Regulation Control” and “Goal-planning” policies are the two instruments most frequently adopted as sub-instruments. Moreover, it is found that the application of “Supply” side polices and “Demand” side polices needs be strengthened. These findings identify the types of urban renewal policies currently employed in China and provide a clear understanding of the current policy priorities, with suggestions and insight into further urban renewal policy initiatives for Shenzhen and beyond. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Ecosystem Services and Eco-Security to Assess Sustainable Development in Liuqiu Island
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1002; doi:10.3390/su9061002
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
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Abstract
Developing sustainable island tourism must be thoroughly evaluated in consideration of ecological, economic, and social factors on account of the fragility of island ecosystems. This study evaluated the ecological footprint (EF) and ecological capacity of Liuqiu Island from 2010 to 2015 using the
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Developing sustainable island tourism must be thoroughly evaluated in consideration of ecological, economic, and social factors on account of the fragility of island ecosystems. This study evaluated the ecological footprint (EF) and ecological capacity of Liuqiu Island from 2010 to 2015 using the EF model, establishing an indicator to estimate the value of ecosystem service and eco-security. The empirical results include: (1) the overall value of ecosystem service on Liuqiu Island increased from US$3.75 million in 2010 to US$5.11 million in 2015; (2) the total per capita EF considerably increased from 0.5640 gha/person in 2010 to 4.0845 gha/person in 2015; and (3) the ecological footprint index increased from 0.30 in 2010 to 2.28 in 2015. These findings indicate that island tourism recreational zones gradually increased the pressure on its ecosystem, reduced the eco-security level, and severely damaged the environment, thereby threatening the function and structure of the entire ecosystem. The innovations and contributions of this study is integrating ecological footprint and ecosystem services valuation provide insights into sustainability of an island. The theoretical and practical implications identified in this study should contribute to reducing the gap between research and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment, Tourism and Sustainable Development)
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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle China’s Rare Earths Production Forecasting and Sustainable Development Policy Implications
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1003; doi:10.3390/su9061003
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
Because of their unique physical and chemical properties, Rare earth elements (REEs) perform important functions in our everyday lives, with use in a range of products. Recently, the study of China’s rare earth elements production has become a hot topic of worldwide interest,
[...] Read more.
Because of their unique physical and chemical properties, Rare earth elements (REEs) perform important functions in our everyday lives, with use in a range of products. Recently, the study of China’s rare earth elements production has become a hot topic of worldwide interest, because of its dominant position in global rare earth elements supply, and an increasing demand for rare earth elements due to the constant use of rare earth elements in high-tech manufacturing industries. At the same time, as an exhaustible resource, the sustainable development of rare earth elements has received extensive attention. However, most of the study results are based on a qualitative analysis of rare earth elements distribution and production capacity, with few studies using quantitative modeling. To achieve reliable results with more factors being taken into consideration, this paper applies the generic multivariant system dynamics model to forecast China’s rare earth elements production trend and Hubbert peak, using Vensim software based on the Hubbert model. The results show that the peak of China’s rare earth elements production will appear by 2040, and that production will slowly decline afterwards. Based on the results, the paper proposes some policy recommendations for the sustainable development of China’s—and the world’s—rare earth elements market and rare earth-related industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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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
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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)
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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
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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 Using Specification and Description Language for Life Cycle Assesment in Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1004; doi:10.3390/su9061004
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
The definition of a Life Cycle Assesment (LCA) for a building or an urban area is a complex task due to the inherent complexity of all the elements that must be considered. Furthermore, a multidisciplinary approach is required due to the different sources
[...] Read more.
The definition of a Life Cycle Assesment (LCA) for a building or an urban area is a complex task due to the inherent complexity of all the elements that must be considered. Furthermore, a multidisciplinary approach is required due to the different sources of knowledge involved in this project. This multidisciplinary approach makes it necessary to use formal language to fully represent the complexity of the used models. In this paper, we explore the use of Specification and Description Language (SDL) to represent the LCA of a building and residential area. We also introduce a tool that uses this idea to implement an optimization and simulation mechanism to define the optimal solution for the sustainability of a specific building or residential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Can Facebook Aid Sustainability? An Investigation of Empathy Expression within the Humans of New York Blog
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1005; doi:10.3390/su9061005
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
This qualitative study offers a novel exploration of the links between social media, virtual intergroup contact, and empathy by examining how empathy is expressed through interactions on a popular social media blog. Global leaders are encouraging individuals to engage in behaviors and support
[...] Read more.
This qualitative study offers a novel exploration of the links between social media, virtual intergroup contact, and empathy by examining how empathy is expressed through interactions on a popular social media blog. Global leaders are encouraging individuals to engage in behaviors and support policies that provide basic social foundations. It is difficult to motivate people to undertake such actions. However, research shows that empathy intensifies motivation to help others. It can cause individuals to see the world from the perspective of stigmatized group members and increase positive feelings. Social media offers a new pathway for virtual intergroup contact, providing opportunities to increase conversation about disadvantaged others and empathy. We examined expressions of empathy within a popular blog, Humans of New York (HONY), and engaged in purposeful case selection by focusing on (1) events where specific prosocial action was taken corresponding to interactions on the HONY blog and (2) presentation of people in countries other than the United States. Nine overarching themes; (1) perspective taking, (2) fantasy, (3) empathic concern, (4) personal distress, (5) relatability, (6) prosocial action, (7) community appreciation, (8) anti-empathy, and (9) rejection of anti-empathy, exemplify how the HONY community expresses and shares empathic thoughts and feelings. Full article
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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Firms’ Board Independence and Corporate Social Performance: A Meta-Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1006; doi:10.3390/su9061006
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper investigates the influence of organizations’ board independence on corporate social performance (CSP) using a meta-analytic approach. A sample of 87 published papers is used to identify a set of underlying moderating effects in that relationship. Specifically, differences in the system of
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates the influence of organizations’ board independence on corporate social performance (CSP) using a meta-analytic approach. A sample of 87 published papers is used to identify a set of underlying moderating effects in that relationship. Specifically, differences in the system of corporate governance, CSP measurement models and market conditions have been considered as moderating variables. The results show that the independence of a company’s board positively influences CSP. This is because companies with more independent directors in their boards are more likely to commit to stakeholder engagement, environmental preservation and community well-being. Interestingly, the results also show that the positive connection between board independence and CSP is stronger in civil law countries and when CSP is measured by self-reporting data. Finally, the strength of the influence of the independence of a firm’s board on CSP varies significantly in different market conditions. The paper concludes by presenting the main implications for academics, practitioners and policy makers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Benchmarking Sustainability Practices Use throughout Industrial Construction Project Delivery
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1007; doi:10.3390/su9061007
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
Despite the efforts for sustainability studies in building and infrastructure construction, the sustainability issues in industrial construction remain understudied. Further, few studies evaluate sustainability and benchmark sustainability issues in industrial construction from a management perspective. This study presents a phase-based benchmarking framework for
[...] Read more.
Despite the efforts for sustainability studies in building and infrastructure construction, the sustainability issues in industrial construction remain understudied. Further, few studies evaluate sustainability and benchmark sustainability issues in industrial construction from a management perspective. This study presents a phase-based benchmarking framework for evaluating sustainability practices use focusing on industrial facilities project. Based on the framework, this study quantifies and assesses sustainability practices use, and further sorts the results by project phase and major project characteristics, including project type, project nature, and project delivery method. The results show that sustainability practices were implemented higher in the construction and startup phases relative to other phases, with a very broad range. An assessment by project type and project nature showed significant differences in sustainability practices use, but no significant difference in practices use by project delivery method. This study contributes to providing a benchmarking method for sustainability practices in industrial facilities projects at the project phase level. This study also discusses and provides an application of phase-based benchmarking for sustainability in industrial construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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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
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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
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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
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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 Sustainable Supply Chain Based on News Articles and Sustainability Reports: Text Mining with Leximancer and DICTION
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1008; doi:10.3390/su9061008
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this research is to explore sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) trends, and firms’ strategic positioning and execution with regard to sustainability in the textile and apparel industry based on news articles and sustainability reports. Further analysis of the rhetoric in
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to explore sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) trends, and firms’ strategic positioning and execution with regard to sustainability in the textile and apparel industry based on news articles and sustainability reports. Further analysis of the rhetoric in Chief executive officer (CEO) letters within sustainability reports is used to determine firms’ resoluteness, positive entailments, sharing of values, perception of reality, and sustainability strategy and execution feasibility. Computer-based content analysis is used for this research: Leximancer is applied for text analysis, while dictionary-based text mining program DICTION and SPSS are used for rhetorical analysis. Overall, contents similar to the literature on environmental, social, and economic aspects of the triple bottom line (TBL) are observed, however, topics such as regulation, green incentives, and international standards are not readily observed. Furthmore, ethical issues, sustainable production, quality, and customer roles are emphasized in texts analyzed. The CEO letter analysis indicates that listed firms show relatively low realism and high commonality, while North American firms exhibit relatively high commonality, and Europe firms show relatively high realism. The results will serve as a baseline for providing academia guidelines in SSCM research, and provide an opportunity for businesses to complement their sustainability strategies and executions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Policy of the Creative Industry for Urban Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1009; doi:10.3390/su9061009
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 11 June 2017
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Abstract
Culture, an intellectual capital of a city, is accumulated through the intellect and wisdom of the government, citizens, businesses and other organizations. Cities regardless of their size are seeking their own distinguishing features and positions. By combining culture and creativity to improve international
[...] Read more.
Culture, an intellectual capital of a city, is accumulated through the intellect and wisdom of the government, citizens, businesses and other organizations. Cities regardless of their size are seeking their own distinguishing features and positions. By combining culture and creativity to improve international visibility, cities can develop new potentials, create job opportunities and boost economic growth. Therefore, cultural and creative industries have become the core industries that cities worldwide actively seek to develop; furthermore, various city governments have unanimously agreed that the creative industry will effectively improve urban economic competitiveness. This study investigated how the creative industry improved urban competitiveness, developed relevant assessment indexes and formulated policies for developing the creative industry. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was adopted to determine the indexes for assessing the creative industry’s positive influence on urban competitiveness. Subsequently, the analytic hierarchy process and the analytic network process were integrated to establish a model for assessing city-based creative industry development policies. City governments seeking to promote such policies can refer to this model. Finally, an importance-performance analysis was performed to investigate the satisfaction for policies related to creative industries, providing a reference for governments to promote pertinent policies. The results of this study indicated that the indexes of innovation capability, industrial cooperation, innovation incubation and industry-government-academia integration are crucial bases for cities to develop the creative industry. In addition, the policies of industrial R&D and clustering, talent training and industrial consulting and expanding industrial and marketing channels and networks can be adopted to enhance creative industry development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Field: A Bibliometric Analysis of Green Innovation
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1011; doi:10.3390/su9061011
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
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Abstract
The topic of green innovation (GI) has increasingly attained organizational relevance due to its contribution to the satisfaction of environmental needs while concurrently enabling companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and hence attain sustainable competitive advantages. In this context, we conducted a
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The topic of green innovation (GI) has increasingly attained organizational relevance due to its contribution to the satisfaction of environmental needs while concurrently enabling companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and hence attain sustainable competitive advantages. In this context, we conducted a detailed analysis of 618 papers on green innovation from the Web of Science (WoS) database for the 1971–2015 period. This paper develops a bibliometric analysis with the aim of assessing the key papers in the field and identifying the most substantive contributions to the literature. This study presents the following findings: (i) the chronological development of the discipline; (ii) the research trends and popular issues in this field; (iii) the antecedent variables acting as key drivers of GI in these studies; and (iv) the main outcomes of GI. Therefore, this paper provides the past, the present and the potential future of this specific topic and serves as an orientation and guide for researchers who are new to the topic of GI; it also enhances their knowledge concerning which journals, authors and articles they may consult while creating their theoretical framework or designing future research models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Homophily of Commercial Areas: The Case of Seoul
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1012; doi:10.3390/su9061012
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper attempts to answer the question of whether or not “segregation”, or at least “differentiation”, takes place in commercial areas in terms of “spatial homophily”. Based on the 2010 Household Travel Survey data in the Seoul metropolitan area, we first identify Seoul’s
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This paper attempts to answer the question of whether or not “segregation”, or at least “differentiation”, takes place in commercial areas in terms of “spatial homophily”. Based on the 2010 Household Travel Survey data in the Seoul metropolitan area, we first identify Seoul’s top 20 destinations for weekend shopping and leisure trips. Then, using traveler information regarding gender, age, and income, we calculate the percentage of female visitors, as well as the average and the coefficient of variation of age and income, for each destination. These statistics are employed to identify which groups and which shopping and leisure activity centers are characterized distinctively by spatial homophily. As a result, it is proved that “differentiation” takes place in commercial areas in terms of “spatial homophily”. Moreover, paying attention to the “Old Age, Low Income” cluster in the old downtown area, we can raise the possibility of “segregation” in commercial areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Moving Low-Carbon Construction Industry in Jiangsu Province: Evidence from Decomposition and Decoupling Models
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1013; doi:10.3390/su9061013
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
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Abstract
The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by the global construction industry account for 36% of the world’s total carbon emissions, and 50% of China’s total carbon emissions. The carbon emissions from Jiangsu Province’s construction industry account for approximately 16% of the
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The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by the global construction industry account for 36% of the world’s total carbon emissions, and 50% of China’s total carbon emissions. The carbon emissions from Jiangsu Province’s construction industry account for approximately 16% of the total emissions of the Chinese construction industry. Taking the construction industry in Jiangsu Province as our study object, therefore, this paper introduces the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) carbon emission accounting method as a means to measure the total CO2 emissions of the Jiangsu Province construction industry. Specifically, we examine the period from 2005 to 2013. Based on the Tapio decoupling model, we analyze the decoupling state between the CO2 emissions of the construction industry in Jiangsu Province and the province’s economic growth. Our paper also employs the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) approach, in order to conduct a decomposition analysis of those factors that influenced the changes in the level of CO2 emissions during the studied period. According to the results of our research, during the period from 2005 to 2013, the CO2 emission levels caused by the construction industry in Jiangsu Province experienced a significant increase. The cumulative total CO2 emissions reached 402.85 million tons. During most of the years covered by our study, an expansive negative decoupling state existed between the level of CO2 emissions and the output value of Jiangsu’s construction industry. These periods were interspersed with either a weak decoupling state in some years or a strong decoupling state in other years. The indirect carbon emission intensity effect and the industry scale effect were the main factors influencing the increases in the construction industry’s CO2 emissions. At the conclusion of our paper, we put forward policy suggestions, with the objective of promoting the de-carbonization of the construction industry in Jiangsu Province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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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
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Income Diversification and Rural Consumption—Evidence from Chinese Provincial Panel Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1014; doi:10.3390/su9061014
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
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Abstract
In China, income diversification has become a useful method for the rural households to smooth their income and maintain a sustainable mode of consumption. Additionally, income diversification affects rural consumption differently in regions with different income levels. In this paper, I have analyzed
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In China, income diversification has become a useful method for the rural households to smooth their income and maintain a sustainable mode of consumption. Additionally, income diversification affects rural consumption differently in regions with different income levels. In this paper, I have analyzed the impacts of income diversification on the peasants’ consumption in the Chinese rural areas with the provincial level panel data from 1998 to 2015. The findings indicate that income diversification can increase the Chinese peasants’ consumption, but the consumption of the peasants from the low- and the high- income subsamples of provinces are more sensitive to income diversification while the peasants from the middle-income provinces are not so sensitive to income diversification. Moreover, there is a significant ratchet effect and demonstration effect in the peasants’ consumption, as is stated by the traditional literature. This paper contributes to the research by testing the impact of peasants’ income sources diversification on the rural consumption and investigating its mechanism against the changing social background in China with the latest panel data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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
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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,
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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)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Method for Selecting Protective Seam against Coal and Gas Outburst: A Case Study of Wangjiazhai Coal Mine in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1015; doi:10.3390/su9061015
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract
Protective seam mining is a major and critical regional measure to prevent coal and gas outbursts (CGO) in coal mines. In this study, a novel method for selecting protective seam against coal and gas outburst was studied on the basis of gas geology
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Protective seam mining is a major and critical regional measure to prevent coal and gas outbursts (CGO) in coal mines. In this study, a novel method for selecting protective seam against coal and gas outburst was studied on the basis of gas geology and rock strata control theories and principles for protective seam mining and relevant regulations, which is that theories of gas geology were used to assess the outburst risk inherent in different seams of this mine, and then make preliminary selection of protective seams, and the technical feasibility of the proposed selection method was then analyzed using the theories and principles for protective seam mining and relevant regulations. The case application study results show that the extraction of the upper protective seam (UPS) caused significant decreases in the predicative indicators of outburst risk in the outburst-prone seam and thereby prevented CGO, and the novel method can provide a theoretical basis for selecting protective seam against CGO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Company-Cause Fit and Company Involvement in Consumer Responses to CSR Initiatives: A Meta-Analytic Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1016; doi:10.3390/su9061016
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract
The marketing literature suggests that company-cause fit is of key importance to developing a successful socially responsible initiative. However, controversy exists regarding the level of this fit. While some studies report that high fit between a company and a cause has beneficial effects
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The marketing literature suggests that company-cause fit is of key importance to developing a successful socially responsible initiative. However, controversy exists regarding the level of this fit. While some studies report that high fit between a company and a cause has beneficial effects on consumer responses to such efforts, other research identifies negative impacts. This paper aims to obtain a deeper insight into this issue by examining the moderating role of company involvement in a cause. A meta-analysis of 51 experimental studies, yielding a total sample size of 11,335 subjects, shows that company-cause fit influences consumer responses to CSR initiatives most positively when a company with a positive reputation is highly involved in a cause, that is, when the company donates at least products. If such a company provides its beneficiary with only monetary contributions (i.e., low involvement), the effects of fit are significantly less influential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of National-Scale Afforestation on Forest Water Supply and Soil Loss in South Korea, 1971–2010
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1017; doi:10.3390/su9061017
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract
Afforestation of forests in South Korea may provide an example of the benefit of afforestation on precipitation storage and erosion control. In this study, we presented the effects of afforestation on water supply and soil loss prevention. A spatio-temporal simulation of forest water
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Afforestation of forests in South Korea may provide an example of the benefit of afforestation on precipitation storage and erosion control. In this study, we presented the effects of afforestation on water supply and soil loss prevention. A spatio-temporal simulation of forest water yield and soil loss was performed from 1971–2010 using InVEST water yield and SWAT models. A forest stock change map was produced by combining land cover data and National Forest Inventory data. The forest water yield increased about twice with changes in forest stock and climate from 1971–2010 and showed a spatially homogeneous water supply capacity. In the same period, the soil loss decreased more than three times, and the volatility of soil loss, in the 2010s, was smaller than before. The analysis of the change in forest stock without considering climate change showed an increase of 43% in forest water yield and a decrease of 87% in soil loss. An increase in precipitation increased the water yield, but also increased the soil loss volume. A change in forest stock led to positive changes in both. This study presents functional positive effects of the afforestation program in South Korea that can be useful in various afforestation programs in other countries. Full article
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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
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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,
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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
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Understory Liana Trachelospermum jasminoides on Distributions of Litterfall and Soil Organic Carbon in an Oak Forest in Central China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1019; doi:10.3390/su9061019
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
Liana constitutes an important structural and functional component in many forest ecosystems and has profound impacts on forest carbon (C) cycling. However, whether and how liana regulates spatial distributions of litterfall and soil organic C are still poorly understood. To address this critical
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Liana constitutes an important structural and functional component in many forest ecosystems and has profound impacts on forest carbon (C) cycling. However, whether and how liana regulates spatial distributions of litterfall and soil organic C are still poorly understood. To address this critical knowledge gap, we investigated litterfall composition and soil physicochemical characteristics in stands with different densities of liana (Trachelospermum jasminoides (Lindl.) Lem.). Both fresh and decomposed leaf litters were greater in the stands with high density of the liana species T. jasminoides. More liana covered stands also had higher soil respiration rate, soil organic C, and total nitrogen than those with less liana. The findings demonstrate that understory liana can regulate litterfall distribution and thus soil organic C, suggesting that the influences of understory liana on belowground ecological processes should be considered while assessing the role of liana in forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
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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
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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,
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Governance of Organic Food Production When Market Forecast Is Imprecise
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1020; doi:10.3390/su9061020
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
During the past few years, the market for organic food has been experiencing rapid growth. However, the market demand for organic food typically fluctuates due to its seasonal nature and customized characteristics, and it remains fairly difficult to precisely forecast market demand prior
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During the past few years, the market for organic food has been experiencing rapid growth. However, the market demand for organic food typically fluctuates due to its seasonal nature and customized characteristics, and it remains fairly difficult to precisely forecast market demand prior to the selling season. Forecast bias usually creates inefficiency in an organic food producer’s production plan and results in a substantial amount of waste. Thus, this paper studies how much an organic food producer is likely to lose with a certain level of forecast bias and investigates whether forecast bias necessarily results in an improper production plan. Finally, we calculate the maximum potential profit loss rate when the organic food producer determines how much to produce based on his forecasted demand, which we believe will be instructive for organic food producers in making production decisions. The target problem is formulated by a newsvendor model and solved using a tolerant analysis approach. We find that an organic food producer can still find the optimal solution only if his forecast bias is under a certain threshold. However, if the organic food producer’s forecast bias is beyond the threshold, he will probably make a sub-optimal production decision and potentially experience a profit loss. Subsequently, we analytically calculate an organic producer’s maximum potential profit loss rate for any given level of forecast bias. Examples are employed to numerically illustrate the main findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Uncovering the Driving Factors of Carbon Emissions in an Investment Allocation Model of China’s High-Carbon and Low-Carbon Energy
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1021; doi:10.3390/su9061021
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
In the view of long-term comprehensive development, the concept of low-carbon economy has long been a concern. In this paper, we build a pure energy-economic system and explore the exact influencing factors in the investment allocation of high-carbon and low-carbon energy with the
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In the view of long-term comprehensive development, the concept of low-carbon economy has long been a concern. In this paper, we build a pure energy-economic system and explore the exact influencing factors in the investment allocation of high-carbon and low-carbon energy with the purpose of mitigating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The dynamic analysis shows that the model that we built is applicable for the current market situation and the way we adjust the investments of high-carbon and low-carbon energy are conductive to carbon abatement in the atmosphere. On the basis of the stability analysis and numerical simulation, some strategies are given to decrease the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The results show that the social consumption and public consumption behavior are the most important factors responsible for the variation in the atmospheric carbon dioxide. The cleanliness of high carbon presents an obvious mitigating effect on carbon in the atmosphere and the effect of marginal profit of high-carbon energy is the weakest. In addition, enhancing marginal profit, return on investment and investment share of low-carbon energy are beneficial to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while a return on investment of high-carbon energy increasing is the detriment of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Finally, we provide carbon mitigation effort by considering both economic development and carbon abatement for policymakers to achieve a desirable emission-reduction effect. Full article
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Application Status and Problem Investigation of Distributed Generation in China: The Case of Natural Gas, Solar and Wind Resources
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1022; doi:10.3390/su9061022
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
The development of distributed energy systems in China is one of the important measures to promote the revolution for energy production and its utilization patterns. First of all, we analyze the present application status of China’s distributed generation from three major types: natural
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The development of distributed energy systems in China is one of the important measures to promote the revolution for energy production and its utilization patterns. First of all, we analyze the present application status of China’s distributed generation from three major types: natural gas, photovoltaic, and distributed wind. Secondly, based on the analysis of the project overview, project scale, and project effect in three patterns of distributed generation, we summarize the policy deficiencies and development obstacles. Finally, aiming to promote the development of distributed energy in China, we propose some relevant policies corresponding to countermeasures on the problems existing in the development process of China’s distributed generation of natural gas, photovoltaic, and wind power. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of CSR on Firm Financial Performance in Stakeholder Perspectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1023; doi:10.3390/su9061023
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable growth can be a source of success for firms. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a key tool for sustainable growth. However, should firms invest in CSR without having confidence in the effects and methods of CSR? This study explored the R&D, technology
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Sustainable growth can be a source of success for firms. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a key tool for sustainable growth. However, should firms invest in CSR without having confidence in the effects and methods of CSR? This study explored the R&D, technology commercialization, and CSR motivation as core competencies that enhance corporate performance through CSR from a normative perspective—the stakeholder’s perspective. The purpose of this study was to investigate both strategic and traditional CSR’s relationships with financial performance based on the confidence in the effectiveness of CSR. Another important objective of this study was to explore management factors that influence strategic CSR. Firms consider R&D and technology commercialization as strategic management factors. Therefore, this study analyzed the influence of these strategic management factors along with CSR motivations, which may influence strategic and traditional CSR. Full article
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Decoupling Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution from Crop Production: A Case Study of Heilongjiang Land Reclamation Area, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1024; doi:10.3390/su9061024
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 14 June 2017
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Abstract
Modern agriculture often leads to nonpoint source pollution. From the perspective of a decoupling analysis, this research evaluates the relationship between crop production and agricultural nonpoint source pollution (via fertilizer application), using the Heilongjiang land reclamation area as a case study. As it
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Modern agriculture often leads to nonpoint source pollution. From the perspective of a decoupling analysis, this research evaluates the relationship between crop production and agricultural nonpoint source pollution (via fertilizer application), using the Heilongjiang land reclamation area as a case study. As it is the largest commodity grain base and green food base in China, more than 80% of water pollution in this area comes from fertilizer application. This study adopts an export coefficient model to hindcast nitrogen loss delivered to surface water via fertilizer application and conduct a further analysis of decoupling agricultural nonpoint source pollution from crop production. The results indicated that weak decoupling frequently occurred. However, this tendency was not steady in the period 2001–2012, and weak decoupling was typical in each branch based on the average value. Regarding the example of decoupling agricultural nonpoint source pollution from rice production, weak decoupling occurred more often, but this tendency was not steady over time. In addition, expansive coupling occurred in 2006, 2010 and 2012, and there were no definite signs of it improving. All branches, except for the Suihua branch, reached the degree of weak decoupling. A basic fact is that a decoupling tendency and environmental deterioration coexist in both the past and present. The decoupling analysis will contribute to localized strategies for sustainable agricultural development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle A Joint Evaluation of the Wind and Wave Energy Resources Close to the Greek Islands
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1025; doi:10.3390/su9061025
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
The objective of this work is to analyze the wind and wave energy potential in the proximity of the Greek islands. Thus, by evaluating the synergy between wind and waves, a more comprehensive picture of the renewable energy resources in the target area
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The objective of this work is to analyze the wind and wave energy potential in the proximity of the Greek islands. Thus, by evaluating the synergy between wind and waves, a more comprehensive picture of the renewable energy resources in the target area is provided. In this study, two different data sources are considered. The first data set is provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) through the ERA-Interim project and covers an 11-year period, while the second data set is Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data (AVISO) and covers six years of information. Using these data, parameters such as wind speed, significant wave height (SWH) and mean wave period (MWP) are analyzed. The following marine areas are targeted: Ionian Sea, Aegean Sea, Sea of Crete, Libyan Sea and Levantine Sea, near the coastal environment of the Greek islands. Initially, 26 reference points were considered. For a more detailed analysis, the number of reference points was narrowed down to 10 that were considered more relevant. Since in the island environments the resources are in general rather limited, the proposed work provides some outcomes concerning the wind and wave energy potential and the synergy between these two natural resources in the vicinity of the Greek islands. From the analysis performed, it can be noticed that the most energetic wind conditions are encountered west of Cios Island, followed by the regions east of Tinos and northeast of Crete. In these locations, the annual average values of the wind power density (Pwind) are in the range of 286–298.6 W/m2. Regarding the wave power density (Pwave), the most energetic locations can be found in the vicinity of Crete, north, south and southeast of the island. There, the wave energy potential is in the range of 2.88–2.99 kW/m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Energy, Load and Price Forecasting towards Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Urban Green Infrastructure on Disaster Mitigation in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1026; doi:10.3390/su9061026
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Increasing precipitation by climate change and the growing number of impervious areas present greater risk of disaster damage in urban areas. Urban green infrastructure can be an effective mitigation alternative in highly developed and concentrated area. This study investigates the effect of various
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Increasing precipitation by climate change and the growing number of impervious areas present greater risk of disaster damage in urban areas. Urban green infrastructure can be an effective mitigation alternative in highly developed and concentrated area. This study investigates the effect of various types of urban green infrastructure on mitigating disaster damage in Korea. Tobit model is used to analyze the factors that determine disaster damage. Damage variation is predicted with scenarios of RCP 8.5 and urban green spaces. Seventy-four districts and counties in seven metropolitan areas are defined as the unit and the period from 2005 to 2013 is considered in the analysis. The results indicate that higher urban green ratio, sewer length, financial independence rate, and local government’s budget are relating to lower disaster damage. Based on a precipitation level of RCP 8.5 scenario in 2050, an increase in economic damage is expected to range from 262 to 1086%. However, with an increase in urban green ratio by 10%, increased economic damage is only expected to range from 217 to 1013%. The results suggest that green spaces play important role to mitigate precipitation related disasters. Highly concentrated urban areas need to consider various types of urban green infrastructure to prepare for an increase in precipitation due to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Experiments in the Agri-Food System: Uncovering the Factors of New Governance and Collaboration Success
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1027; doi:10.3390/su9061027
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, research, society and industry recognize the need to transform the agri-food system towards sustainability. Within this process, sustainability experiments play a crucial role in transforming the structure, culture and practices. In literature, much attention is given to new business models,
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In recent years, research, society and industry recognize the need to transform the agri-food system towards sustainability. Within this process, sustainability experiments play a crucial role in transforming the structure, culture and practices. In literature, much attention is given to new business models, even if the transformation of conventional firms toward sustainability may offer opportunities to accelerate the transformation. Further acceleration could be achieved through collaboration of multiple actors across the agri-food system, but this calls for a systems approach. Therefore, we developed and applied a new sustainability experiment systems approach (SESA) consisting of an analytical framework that allows a reflective evaluation and cross-case analysis of multi-actor governance networks based on business and learning evaluation criteria. We performed a cross-case analysis of four agri-food sustainability experiments in Flanders to test and validate SESA. Hereby, the key factors of the success of collaboration and its performance were identified at the beginning of a sustainability experiment. Some of the key factors identified were risk sharing and the drivers to participate. We are convinced that these results may be used as an analytical tool for researchers, a tool to support and design new initiatives for policymakers, and a reflective tool for participating actors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effect of Carbon Tariffs on International Trade and Emission Reduction of China’s Industrial Products under the Background of Global Climate Governance
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1028; doi:10.3390/su9061028
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper simulates the effect of a carbon tariff on China’s trade of industrial products and emission reduction through the GTAP 8.0 model, when the European Union, the United States, and Japan impose a carbon tariff simultaneously or respectively. The conclusions indicate: (1)
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This paper simulates the effect of a carbon tariff on China’s trade of industrial products and emission reduction through the GTAP 8.0 model, when the European Union, the United States, and Japan impose a carbon tariff simultaneously or respectively. The conclusions indicate: (1) a carbon tariff will cause a decrease in exports for high-carbon industries and generate an increase in exports for low-carbon industries; (2) a carbon tariff will cause a greater reduction on imports for low-carbon industries than that for high-carbon industries; (3) a carbon tariff will also generate a noticeable increase in output for light industry and a decrease in output for heavy industry; and (4) a carbon tariff has an obviously positive effect on emission reduction for China’s industrial sector, which bears the most responsibility of emission reduction. Based on these conclusions, this paper puts forward some corresponding policy suggestions. Full article
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Impervious Surface Changes in Sustainable Coastal Land Use: A Case Study in Hong Kong
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1029; doi:10.3390/su9061029
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
In Hong Kong, reclamation is the main method for developing new land use areas as most country parks and mountains are protected under a land policy that emphasizes conservation for their high ecological value. Therefore, the land use for urbanized area in Hong
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In Hong Kong, reclamation is the main method for developing new land use areas as most country parks and mountains are protected under a land policy that emphasizes conservation for their high ecological value. Therefore, the land use for urbanized area in Hong Kong is limited, which has become an issue of concern. Hong Kong’s population is increasing; however, the amount of available land use is insufficient to meet the demand. Developing a high density of buildings is one of the critical strategies of Hong Kong’s government. Highly dense development may result in an urban heat island as well as health problems. In this study, we present an assessment of urban impervious surface changes in coastal megacities like Hong Kong based on satellite images. Landsat satellite images are employed to analyze urban impervious surface changes from 1995 to 2015 in coastal urban areas of Hong Kong. The results show that the increase of impervious surface area is almost the same as the increase in land reclamation area. This suggests that Hong Kong’s land use policy, which underlines conservation for high ecological value and reclamation, may be able to maintain its sustainable development of coastal land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Land Use Intensity on Ecosystem Services: An Example from the Agro-Pastoral Ecotone of Central Inner Mongolia
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1030; doi:10.3390/su9061030
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Land use intensity is an important indicator of human activities, so we quantified the land use intensity and five ecosystem services (soil conservation, water conservation, carbon storage, net primary productivity (NPP), and crop production) in 13 subbasins of the Tabu River Basin in
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Land use intensity is an important indicator of human activities, so we quantified the land use intensity and five ecosystem services (soil conservation, water conservation, carbon storage, net primary productivity (NPP), and crop production) in 13 subbasins of the Tabu River Basin in an agro-pastoral ecotone in central Inner Mongolia. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationships among ecosystem services and the responses of the services to the impact of land use intensity. The primary conclusions were as follows: (1) All five ecosystem services gradually diminished from the upper to the lower reaches of the Tabu River Basin; (2) Water conservation exhibited a trade-off relationship with soil conservation, NPP, and crop production, but it exhibited a synergistic relationship with carbon storage. There were also synergistic relationships between soil conservation, carbon storage, NPP, and crop production; (3) As land use intensity increased, soil conservation, NPP and crop production monotonically increased. In contrast, water conservation exhibited a monotonically decreasing trend, and carbon storage followed a unimodal curve; (4) In this region, suitable ecosystem services were sustained at a land use intensity of approximately 3.95. Full article
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Bioeconomy Strategies: Contexts, Visions, Guiding Implementation Principles and Resulting Debates
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1031; doi:10.3390/su9061031
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Over the last decade, bioeconomy policies, guided by integrated bioeconomy strategies, have developed. This paper presents a systematic and comparative analysis of official bioeconomy strategies of the EU, Germany, OECD, Sweden and the USA with regard to their context, visions and guiding implementation
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Over the last decade, bioeconomy policies, guided by integrated bioeconomy strategies, have developed. This paper presents a systematic and comparative analysis of official bioeconomy strategies of the EU, Germany, OECD, Sweden and the USA with regard to their context, visions and guiding implementation principles. In an additional step, the relationship between these strategies and important scientific and societal debates around bioeconomy is assessed. In conclusion, five major stumbling blocks for the further development of the bioeconomy are worked out. First, there is the risk of disappointment because far-reaching promises of the strategies are difficult to achieve. Second, the bioeconomy is not the only way to a low carbon economy so alternatives could impede the desired development. Third, persistent conflicts between the different uses of biomass for food, material and energy production could lead to unstable policy support with short-term shifts. Fourth, a broader success of new bioeconomy value chains could trigger new societal conflicts over bioeconomy if efficiency gains, cascading use, residue use and sustainability certification are not sufficient to ensure a sustainable supply of biomass. Fifth, the acceptance of bioeconomy could be compromised if bioeconomy policies continue to ignore the on-going societal debates on agriculture and food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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
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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,
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Conceptualizing Dimensions and Characteristics of Urban Resilience: Insights from a Co-Design Process
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1032; doi:10.3390/su9061032
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Resilience is a multi-faceted concept frequently used across a wide range of disciplines, practices, and sectors. There is a growing recognition of the utility of resilience as a bridging concept that can facilitate inter-and transdisciplinary approaches to tackle complexities inherent in decision making
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Resilience is a multi-faceted concept frequently used across a wide range of disciplines, practices, and sectors. There is a growing recognition of the utility of resilience as a bridging concept that can facilitate inter-and transdisciplinary approaches to tackle complexities inherent in decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Such conditions are common in urban planning, infrastructure planning, asset management, emergency planning, crisis management, and development processes where systemic interdependencies and interests at stake influence decisions and outcomes. A major challenge that can undermine the use of resilience for guiding planning activities is the value-laden and contested nature of the concept that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Because resilience is context-specific and generally depends on local aspirations, this issue can be partially tackled by adopting participatory approaches for the conceptualization of resilience. This paper provides an example of how co-design methods can be employed for conceptualizing resilience. The Structured Interview Matrix was used as a technique to facilitate discussions among a diverse group of researchers and practitioners attending the International Workshop on Tools and Indicators for Assessing Urban Resilience. Participants deliberated on issues related to constituent elements of urban resilience, including its position vis- Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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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
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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,
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Effects of Government Policy and Drought from 1984 to 2009 on Rangeland in the Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1033; doi:10.3390/su9061033
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
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Abstract
The Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a key area that has extensive impacts on much of the population and economy of China as well as several Southeast Asian countries. The rangeland in this area has undergone degradation, the driving
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The Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a key area that has extensive impacts on much of the population and economy of China as well as several Southeast Asian countries. The rangeland in this area has undergone degradation, the driving factors of which have been extensively investigated in previous studies. However, the effect of policy on rangeland was not analyzed by subdividing the study period according to the timing of the rangeland policies. The role of dry conditions during the process of degradation has not been studied. Therefore, the period from 1984 to 2009 was subdivided into five periods according to the timing of the relevant government policies based on long-term field investigation. The mean annual normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and its relationship to dry conditions, policy, temperature, precipitation, and moisture index were analyzed for the five periods. According to our analysis, dry conditions mainly occurred in non-vegetation-growing months, and they did not affect the status of the rangeland. The privatization of rangeland and livestock caused the number of livestock to increase, resulting in a decrease in the mean annual NDVI from 1984 to 1993. The policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration caused livestock numbers to decrease and the NDVI to increase after 1994. Physical factors such as temperature, precipitation, and moisture also affected the status of the rangeland. Increased temperature had positive effects on rangeland in most areas, but its effect was offset by increased numbers of livestock from 1984 to 1993. Precipitation had positive effects only in drier areas in which the precipitation in the vegetation-growing months was less than 400 mm. In general, the policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration improved the status of rangeland, and helped improve sustainable use of the rangeland. The methods used in this study could be applied to other case studies of rangeland. Governments should continue to implement compensation policies to maintain the improved condition of rangeland in the area and expand those policies to other rangeland areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Public Response to the Regulation Policy of Urban Household Waste: Evidence from a Survey of Jiangsu Province in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1034; doi:10.3390/su9061034
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
The attitudes and response of “policy receivers” should be taken into more consideration when governments make regulation policy. This paper discusses the public’s degree of understanding, support willingness, implement willingness, and influence willingness to the policy, as well as the mutually responding scenario
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The attitudes and response of “policy receivers” should be taken into more consideration when governments make regulation policy. This paper discusses the public’s degree of understanding, support willingness, implement willingness, and influence willingness to the policy, as well as the mutually responding scenario by using the quadratic response surface regression analysis from the perspective of “policy receivers”. The statistics of 951 segments of valid sample data and the regression analysis suggest that: (1) 42.51% of individuals have poor understanding with regard to the command and control policy of household waste, which indicates a deficiency in the publicity effectiveness of the policy; (2) the public’s understanding, support, implement, and influence of the policy present an inverted U shape change, indicating a low degree of understanding and influence willingness, and high support willingness and implement willingness; (3) overall, only support willingness can significantly affect the public’s willingness to implement the policy, while both the degree of understanding and support willingness can positively predict influence willingness significantly; (4) the consistency between the degree of understanding and support willingness has an incremental effect on implement willingness and influence willingness; and (5) the implement level to the charge collection policy increases when the degree of understanding exceeds support willingness by a certain value. Full article
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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
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Professional Self-Structuration in the Arts: Sustaining Creative Careers in the 21st Century
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1035; doi:10.3390/su9061035
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 4 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the ongoing, self-motivated activity called freelancing or self-employment, and explore ideas about the entrepreneurial competencies needed to conduct a sustainable work life in the arts. We present the findings of a comparative concept analysis of three concept clusters
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In this paper, we investigate the ongoing, self-motivated activity called freelancing or self-employment, and explore ideas about the entrepreneurial competencies needed to conduct a sustainable work life in the arts. We present the findings of a comparative concept analysis of three concept clusters concerning working in the arts and creative sector: Portfolio of jobs, Portfolio of hybrid practices, and the Portfolio/Protean career. We relate these concept clusters to ideas about arts entrepreneurship and professionalism in the arts in order to investigate our research questions: How do cultural workers/artists in today’s social context create economically and creatively sustainable careers? What can we learn from their experiences about broader questions of the cultural value of art, the ongoing trend toward professionalization, and the changing roles of the worker and the entrepreneur in 21st-century economic life? To begin to answer these questions, we undertake a conceptual literature review and use conceptual mapping as a primary tool. We draw on a critical analysis of research, practice, and policy, as well as numerous discussions and interviews with creative professionals and the authors’ own experiences with educating students who aim to become cultural workers in the creative sector. Based on our findings, we developed the Integrated Model for Self-Structuring Portfolio Professions. This model demonstrates how incomes and work practices tend to be clustered into portfolios that are self-structured by individual creative workers, acting as the entrepreneurs in their own career management and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle The Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Maturity Model: Linking Theory and Practice
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1036; doi:10.3390/su9061036
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is an approach to research and innovation governance aiming to ensure that research purpose, process and outcomes are acceptable, sustainable and even desirable. In order to achieve this ambitious aim, RRI must be relevant to research and innovation
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Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is an approach to research and innovation governance aiming to ensure that research purpose, process and outcomes are acceptable, sustainable and even desirable. In order to achieve this ambitious aim, RRI must be relevant to research and innovation in industry. In this paper, we discuss a way of understanding and representing RRI that resonates with private companies and lends itself to practical implementation and action. We propose the development of an RRI maturity model in the tradition of other well-established maturity models, linked with a corporate research and development (R&D) process. The foundations of this model lie in the discourse surrounding RRI and selected maturity models from other domains as well as the results of extensive empirical investigation. The model was tested in three industry environments and insights from these case studies show the model to be viable and useful in corporate innovation processes. With this approach, we aim to inspire further research and evaluation of the proposed maturity model as a tool for facilitating the integration of RRI in corporate management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Technology Forecasting Using a Diffusion Model Incorporating Replacement Purchases
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1038; doi:10.3390/su9061038
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the nature of the diffusion process is crucial for sustainable development of a new technology and product. This study introduces a replacement diffusion model that leads to a better understanding of the growth dynamics of a technology. The model operates in an
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Understanding the nature of the diffusion process is crucial for sustainable development of a new technology and product. This study introduces a replacement diffusion model that leads to a better understanding of the growth dynamics of a technology. The model operates in an environment with multiple competitors and overcomes the limitations of existing models. The model (1) consists of a diffusion model and an additional time series model; (2) separately identifies the diffusion of first-time purchases and that of replacement purchases; (3) incorporates players’ marketing-mix variables, affecting a new technology diffusion; and (4) characterizes consumers’ different replacement cycles. The proposed model is applied to South Korea’s mobile handset market. The model performs well in terms of its fit and forecasting capability when compared with other diffusion models incorporating replacement and repeat purchases. The usefulness of the model stems from its ability to describe complicated environments and its flexibility in including multiple factors that drives diffusion in the regression analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Green Travel: Exploring the Characteristics and Behavior Transformation of Urban Residents in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1043; doi:10.3390/su9061043
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Green travel can ease urban traffic problems and has aroused Chinese government interest regarding their extensive concerns. Although the Chinese government has formulated some policies to encourage residents to perform green travel behavior, non-green travel behavior is still popular. Using the Q method,
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Green travel can ease urban traffic problems and has aroused Chinese government interest regarding their extensive concerns. Although the Chinese government has formulated some policies to encourage residents to perform green travel behavior, non-green travel behavior is still popular. Using the Q method, this study explores the characteristics of Chinese urban residents from the perspective of green travel behavior. The results show that according to values and travel attitudes, urban residents can be divided into three groups; green, light green, and brown travelers. Green travelers care about the environment, have positive environmental attitudes, and implement green travel in their daily lives. Light green travelers require incentives and good conditions to carry out green travel. Brown travelers, however, hold egoistic values and their travel behavior, with little consideration of environment, is mainly affected by individual travel habits. Such results can help governments make suitable and effective policies and initiatives to promote behavior transformation from brown and light green into green travelers. Full article
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Reducing Global Warming Potential through Sustainable Intensification of Basmati Rice-Wheat Systems in India
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1044; doi:10.3390/su9061044
Received: 13 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
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Abstract
This study examines the effects of tillage, residue management and cropping system intensification through the inclusion of green gram on the performance of the rice-wheat (RW) system in NW India. We hypothesized that zero tillage (ZT) with residue retention provides a means of
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This study examines the effects of tillage, residue management and cropping system intensification through the inclusion of green gram on the performance of the rice-wheat (RW) system in NW India. We hypothesized that zero tillage (ZT) with residue retention provides a means of sustainably intensifying the RW system through lower production costs and higher economic profitability, whilst at the same time minimizing soil and environmental trade-offs. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated six combinations of tillage, residue management and green gram integration in RW rotation in northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) of India. Treatments included in the study were: rice and wheat under conventional tillage (CT) with and without green gram (CTR-CTW, CTR-CTW+GG), both crops under zero-tillage (ZT) with and without green gram (ZTR-ZTW-R, ZTR-ZTW-R+GG) and both crops under ZT plus residues with and without green gram (ZTR-ZTW+R, ZTR-ZTW+R+GG). Based on two consecutive years of data, the net return from the RW system was significantly higher in the ZT than CT systems. Methane emissions were only observed under flooded conditions in CT rice plots; otherwise, emissions were negligible in all other treatment combinations. N2O emissions were dictated by N fertilizer application with no other treatment effects. Overall, ZT with residue retention resulted in the lowest global warming potential (GWP) ranging from −3301 to −823 kg CO2-eq ha−1 year−1 compared to 4113 to 7917 kg CO2-eq ha−1 year−1 in other treatments. Operational inputs (tillage, planting, and irrigation) and soil C sequestration had significant effects on total GWP. The water footprint of RW production system was about 29% less in CA-based system compared to CT-based systems. Our study concludes that ZTR-ZTW+R and ZTR-ZTW+R+GG in RW systems of northwestern IGP have the potential to be agronomically productive, economically viable with benefits also for the environment in terms of soil health and GHG emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Regional Maldistribution of China’s Hospitals Based on Their Structural System
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1046; doi:10.3390/su9061046
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Health equity is significant for social sustainability and the Chinese government is trying to achieve the goals of “universal access to basic health care services”. As the comprehensive carrier of health care services, hospitals are almost the most important health care resources and
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Health equity is significant for social sustainability and the Chinese government is trying to achieve the goals of “universal access to basic health care services”. As the comprehensive carrier of health care services, hospitals are almost the most important health care resources and their regional maldistribution needs to give a special concern for health justice and social sustainability. This study aims to explore regional maldistribution of various hospitals through constructing, decomposing and calculating per capita hospitals Gini Coefficient based on the unique structural system of China’s hospitals from 2003–2014. Results show that: (1) the level of regional maldistribution of hospitals in China is not too serious in terms of quantity and there is a slight decline in recent years; (2) regional maldistribution of hospitals is mainly from General Hospitals and in inland areas; and (3) the slight decrease of regional maldistribution is mainly caused by Concentration Effect and increased per capita hospitals. Based on empirical results and the reality of China, some targeted policy suggestions are proposed to reduce regional maldistribution of hospitals and promote health equity for social sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability and Justice)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Natural Ventilation in Vernacular Architecture of Sistan, Iran; Classification and CFD Study of Compound Rooms
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1048; doi:10.3390/su9061048
Received: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
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Abstract
Extensive energy consumption in construction and ventilation has caused numerous environmental problems alongside huge waste of nonrenewable natural resources in today’s world. Meanwhile, vernacular architecture has been able to sustainably adapt to climate by developing creative and local solutions which provide a comfortable
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Extensive energy consumption in construction and ventilation has caused numerous environmental problems alongside huge waste of nonrenewable natural resources in today’s world. Meanwhile, vernacular architecture has been able to sustainably adapt to climate by developing creative and local solutions which provide a comfortable living environment, consume less energy and cause less pollution than the new ways of construction, one of which is wind induced ventilation. Vernacular architecture of Sistan (southeast of Iran) is not an exception to this rule. It utilizes its own set of unique elements and techniques that are compatible with region’s climate. This original article studies wind induced ventilation and its elements in Sistan’s architecture, including: (1) roofs (Sistani, Filpush and Barrel); (2) ventilator openings (Kolak, Surak and Dariche); and (3) walls. Then, this paper continues to classify three different compound room types in Sistan’s architecture, based on orientation and use of mentioned elements by documenting thirty-two sample houses across the region: (1) stretched against the prevailing winds; (2) stretched aligned with the winds; and (3) L shaped. CFD simulations are used to study the wind behavior and evaluate the ventilation performance of these room-types. These simulations lead to guidelines to enhance the ventilation performance of existing buildings and future constructions, including: where to put the windows, which orientation maximizes the natural ventilation performance, where to consider precautions to block the undesirable winds from entering and how far from each other should different room types be built. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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’
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Stabilizing Valences of an Optimum Monetary Zone in a Resilient Economy—Approaches and Limitations
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1051; doi:10.3390/su9061051
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
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Abstract
Following De Grauwe (2016), this research advances the idea according to which economies that are part of a monetary union issue debt in a medium of exchange they cannot control: financial markets develop the capacity to impose default on such economies. We are
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Following De Grauwe (2016), this research advances the idea according to which economies that are part of a monetary union issue debt in a medium of exchange they cannot control: financial markets develop the capacity to impose default on such economies. We are interested in how previous research analyzed the notion that, when economies are autonomous and they employ the exchange rate as a vehicle to handle asymmetric shocks, they confront comparable constraints on the performance of exchange rate strategies. When a monetary union is affected by significant asymmetric shocks, the member economies have to deal with tough adjustment issues. Empirical and secondary data are used to back the assertion that, in a monetary union, economies that are affected by long-lasting asymmetric demand shocks demand wage elasticity and labor flexibility to rectify for them, and if the latter generate substantial budget deficits, financial markets tend to intensify the consequences of the asymmetric shocks, boosting the demand for severe regulation of wages and labor flexibility. Our article makes conceptual and methodological contributions to the view that member economies of a monetary union are exposed to varying market reactions, generating more volatility in the business cycle: an economy undergoing a recession and a rise in the budget deficit might be affected by wide-ranging transactions of its government bonds, causing a liquidity crisis and superior interest rates, and possibly coercing the government of that economy to adopt budgetary austerity measures, thus intensifying the recession. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Economics and the Regional Sustainable Economic Growth)
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle Life Satisfaction of Downtown High-Rise vs. Suburban Low-Rise Living: A Chicago Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1052; doi:10.3390/su9061052
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
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Abstract
There has been a long-standing debate about whether urban living is more or less sustainable than suburban living, and quality of life (QoL) is one of several key measures of the social sustainability of residential living. However, to our knowledge, no study to
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There has been a long-standing debate about whether urban living is more or less sustainable than suburban living, and quality of life (QoL) is one of several key measures of the social sustainability of residential living. However, to our knowledge, no study to date has examined life satisfaction among residents of downtown high-rise living compared to residents living in suburban low-rise housing. Further, very few studies have utilized building or neighborhood-scale data sets to evaluate residents’ life satisfaction, and even fewer have controlled for both individual and household-level variables such as gender, age, household size, annual income, and length of residence, to evaluate residents’ life satisfaction across different living scenarios. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate residents’ satisfaction with their place of residence as well as overall life in general via surveys of individuals living in existing high-rise residential buildings in downtown Chicago, IL, and in existing low-rise residential buildings in suburban Oak Park, IL. Over 1500 individuals were contacted directly, resulting in over 500 responses. The number of fully completed responses for this study was 177, including 94 from residents of four downtown high-rise buildings and 83 from residents in suburban low-rise homes. Residents living in downtown high-rise buildings had significantly higher life satisfaction scores than residents living in suburban low-rise homes when controlling for demographic differences; however, the differences were small, as housing type explained less than 5% of the observed variance in life satisfaction outcomes. The research also evaluated five life satisfaction domains including travel, accessibility, social interaction, safety, and overall residential environment (ORE). In all cases, residents of the downtown high-rises reported higher satisfaction levels, although the scores on all these five satisfaction domains reported from both urban scenarios were very high. Moreover, all five satisfaction domains were highly associated with each other, and accessibility and safety were found as the strongest predictors of ORE for individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability and Justice)
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Open AccessArticle Sand and Dust Storms: Impact Mitigation
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1053; doi:10.3390/su9061053
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
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Abstract
Sand and dust storms (SDS) play an integral role in the Earth system but they also present a range of hazards to the environmental and economic sustainability of human society. These hazards are of considerable importance for residents of dryland environments and also
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Sand and dust storms (SDS) play an integral role in the Earth system but they also present a range of hazards to the environmental and economic sustainability of human society. These hazards are of considerable importance for residents of dryland environments and also affect people beyond drylands because wind erosion can occur in most environments and desert dust events often involve long-range transport over great distances (>1000 km). This paper makes an assessment of the scale of SDS impacts by totalling the countries affected using an appraisal of peer-reviewed published sources, arriving at a conservative estimate that 77% of all parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are affected directly by SDS issues. We then present a synthesis of the environmental management techniques designed to mitigate SDS hazards for disaster risk reduction and review policy measures, both historical and contemporary, for SDS impact mitigation. Although many SDS hazards are well-known, the processes involved and their impacts are not all equally well-understood. Policies designed to mitigate the impacts of wind erosion in agricultural areas have been developed in certain parts of the world but policies designed to mitigate the wider impacts of SDS, including many that are transboundary, are geographically patchy and have a much shorter history. Further development and wider implementation of such policies is advocated because of the recent marked increase in wind erosion and associated dust storms in several parts of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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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
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of Forest in the Transnational Area of Changbai Mountain from 1977 to 2015: A Comparative Analysis of the Chinese and DPRK Sub-Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1054; doi:10.3390/su9061054
Received: 8 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 17 June 2017
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Abstract
The transnational area of Changbai Mountain (TACM) is crucial to sustainable development in Northeast Asia owing to its abundant forest, which helps in maintaining biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services. However, the spatiotemporal patterns of forest in the TACM have been poorly understood across
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The transnational area of Changbai Mountain (TACM) is crucial to sustainable development in Northeast Asia owing to its abundant forest, which helps in maintaining biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services. However, the spatiotemporal patterns of forest in the TACM have been poorly understood across the whole region. The objectives of this study were to quantify the spatiotemporal patterns of forest in the TACM from 1977 to 2015, investigate the causes of forest dynamics, and assess the impacts of forest dynamics on habitat quality. To do this, we first extracted the forest in the TACM from Landsat images acquired in 1977, 1988, 1999, 2007, and 2015 using visual interpretation. Then, we analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of forest in the TACM from 1977 to 2015 using landscape metrics and compared the dynamics of forest between the area in China and the area in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). After that, we investigated the driving forces of forest dynamics and the impacts of forest dynamics on habitat quality. We found that the TACM experienced a noticeable forest decrease—from 1.57 million ha in 1977 to 1.48 million ha in 2015, a decline of 5.78%—and underwent a forest fragmentation process. In particular, the sub-region in the DPRK had a much larger decrease (17.75%) than the sub-region in China (2.86%). We found that timber harvesting, urban expansion, agricultural reclamation, and typhoon disasters were the main driving forces behind forest decreases in the TACM. Specifically, agricultural reclamation was the most important factor in the DPRK sub-region, while urban expansion was the dominant factor in the Chinese sub-region. Furthermore, such forest loss and fragmentation has resulted in declines in habitat quality across both sides of the TACM. Thus, we suggest that more effective forest management with cooperation between China and DPRK is needed to maintain and improve forest coverage in the TACM. Full article
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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Open AccessArticle The Future of North Rhine-Westphalia-Participation of the Youth as Part of a Social Transformation towards Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1055; doi:10.3390/su9061055
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 18 June 2017
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Abstract
The future belongs to the youth, but do they really have a say in it? Learning processes with regard to a successful socio-ecological change must start in childhood and adolescence in order to succeed in social transformation. The youth cannot be a passive
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The future belongs to the youth, but do they really have a say in it? Learning processes with regard to a successful socio-ecological change must start in childhood and adolescence in order to succeed in social transformation. The youth cannot be a passive part in a changing society—they have to be actively included in its design. When allowed to participate, young people can make important and effective contributions—which should not be reduced to sub-projects and opportunity structures. In a socio-political context, participation means involvement, collaboration, and commitment. In the context of intra- and inter-generational equity, as the core part of sustainable development, participation strategies should be developed that allow for a permanent and purposeful involvement of children and adolescents. Participation of young people is an important and appropriate step in strengthening those who are so strongly affected by the planning processes but are otherwise powerless. A successful involvement and participation of non-professional actors requires a target group-oriented method, a supportive culture of participation, as well as clarity and decision latitude. Abiding by these rules leads to central results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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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
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