Open AccessArticle
Willingness to Adopt Biochar in Agriculture: The Producer’s Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 655; doi:10.3390/su9040655 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Most research on biochar has focused either on the mechanistic or the biophysical aspects, and there has been relatively little research into the social applicability and acceptance of biochar as a soil enhancer in agriculture. However, whether to adopt biochar in their practice
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Most research on biochar has focused either on the mechanistic or the biophysical aspects, and there has been relatively little research into the social applicability and acceptance of biochar as a soil enhancer in agriculture. However, whether to adopt biochar in their practice is ultimately the farmers’ decision, and their willingness to do so is crucial. Here, we show the producer’s perspective on adopting biochar, using Polish farmers as a case study. Poland is an interesting case study because biochar has only recently attracted the attention of researchers, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders there. We performed standardized, semi-structured interviews with 161 Polish farmers to evaluate the socioeconomic potential of biochar application in practice. We found that 27% of the respondents claimed to be familiar with biochar. The respondents with a technical, non-agricultural level of education were most familiar with the term ‘biochar’ (36%), followed by the group of respondents with a higher-level agricultural education (31%). It was surprising that among the latter respondents, the majority (69%) did not know the term ‘biochar’, either in the context used for this study or in any other context. Twenty percent of the respondents expressed an interest in using biochar, while 43% were not willing to adopt it in their agricultural practice (37% ‘did not know yet’). If a farmer was familiar with the concept of sustainable agriculture, the probability of familiarity with biochar increased by 16% (p < 0.05). In addition, farmers interested in using biochar indicated that sustainable agriculture might improve the financial situation of their farms (52%). The perceived benefits of biochar that drive the willingness to adopt it included improved soil quality and increased income due to increased yields, while the constraints on its adoption were associated mainly with high costs. Our results also point to the necessity of information flow as well as engaging farmers in participatory research to adjust the research to their needs. Furthermore, our results highlight the importance of transparency with the farmers and appropriate dissemination and presentation of both the positive and the negative aspects of biochar adoption. We urge those studying biochar to engage in more interdisciplinary research and to go beyond laboratory and field research. Many innovations, even those that work, will not be adopted if socioeconomic considerations are not incorporated into the research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improvements in Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Capacities after Shrub Planting to Stabilize Sand Dunes in China’s Horqin Sandy Land
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 662; doi:10.3390/su9040662 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Caragana microphylla, a native perennial leguminous shrub, is widely used for desertification control in China’s Horqin Sandy Land. We investigated the effects of afforestation using C. microphylla in areas with fixed and active dunes on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage
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Caragana microphylla, a native perennial leguminous shrub, is widely used for desertification control in China’s Horqin Sandy Land. We investigated the effects of afforestation using C. microphylla in areas with fixed and active dunes on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage in the soil total and light-fraction (LF) organic matter. Compared to the values in the control areas, soil organic carbon (SOC) storage to a depth of 100 cm increased by 88%, 74%, and 145% at 9, 15, and 31 years after shrub planting, respectively; the corresponding values were 68%, 61%, and 195% for total nitrogen (TN) storage, 109%, 199%, and 202% for LF organic carbon storage, and 203%, 337%, and 342% for LF nitrogen storage. The soil light-fraction (LF) organic matter contributed significantly to total SOC and TN storage, despite the low proportion of total soil mass accounted for by the LF dry matter. Thus, afforestation using C. microphylla was an effective way to sequester C and to restore degraded soils, but the process was slow; it would take more than 100 years to fully restore SOC storage in active dunes through afforestation with C. microphylla in the Horqin Sandy Land. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Transition to Which Bioeconomy? An Exploration of Diverging Techno-Political Choices
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 669; doi:10.3390/su9040669 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To date the concept of the bioeconomy—an economy based primarily on biogenic instead of fossil resources—has largely been associated with visions of “green growth” and the advancement of biotechnology and has been framed from within an industrial perspective. However, there is no consensus
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To date the concept of the bioeconomy—an economy based primarily on biogenic instead of fossil resources—has largely been associated with visions of “green growth” and the advancement of biotechnology and has been framed from within an industrial perspective. However, there is no consensus as to what a bioeconomy should effectively look like, and what type of society it would sustain. In this paper, we identify different types of narratives constructed around this concept and carve out the techno-political implications they convey. We map these narratives on a two-dimensional option space, which allows for a rough classification of narratives and their related imaginaries into four paradigmatic quadrants. We draw the narratives from three different sources: (i) policy documents of national and supra-national authorities; (ii) stakeholder interviews; and (iii) scenarios built in a biophysical modelling exercise. Our analysis shows that there is a considerable gap between official policy papers and visions supported by stakeholders. At least in the case of Austria there is also a gap between the official strategies and the option space identified through biophysical modelling. These gaps testify to the highly political nature of the concept of the bioeconomy and the diverging visions of society arising from it. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment and Potential for Its Adoption at an Automotive Company
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 670; doi:10.3390/su9040670 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to guide the next steps of a PhD thesis through a structured review of the state of the art and implementation of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), and to identify challenges and potentials for its adoption at
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The aim of this paper is to guide the next steps of a PhD thesis through a structured review of the state of the art and implementation of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), and to identify challenges and potentials for its adoption at an automotive company. First, the structured literature review was conducted on LCSA to screen the current methodological and practical implementations and to identify the main research needs in the field. Second, a research on the current status of LCSA within the automotive industry was carried out by means of investigation of published sources of 15 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). By combining the results of both steps and consulting with decision makers, the challenges and potential for adopting LCSA at an automotive company were identified. The main challenges for adoption of LCSA were found to be: (1) the consistent execution of the three life cycle based assessment methods; (2) the comparatively low maturity of Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA); and (3) the adequate presentation and interpretation of results. Next steps towards implementation would be a case study to gather experience on the combined execution of the three life cycle based assessments at an automotive company. Furthermore, it should be determined what the needs of decision makers at an automotive company are regarding the aggregation and interpretation of environmental, social, and economic impacts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Competitiveness Measurement of Chinese Cities Based on a Structural Equation Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 666; doi:10.3390/su9040666 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In the current era, competition among countries and regions is in fact among cities. Thus, how to measure urban competitiveness precisely is a basic and important question. The two main approaches to this are comprehensive evaluation based on a set of indicators and
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In the current era, competition among countries and regions is in fact among cities. Thus, how to measure urban competitiveness precisely is a basic and important question. The two main approaches to this are comprehensive evaluation based on a set of indicators and network analysis based on inter-city relations. However, both have shortcomings. In this study, we introduced structural equation model (SEM) into urban competitiveness measurement to integrate the two approaches. We built a partial least squares structural equation model (PLS–SEM) according to the analysis of causal relationship among urban attribute indicators → urban functions → urban competitiveness → urban flow intensities. Following the processes of algorithm selection, model building, fitting and assessment, and modification in PLS-SEM modeling, we measured the urban competitiveness of Chinese cities in 2010 and analyzed its distribution quantitatively and spatially. The results revealed relationships between factors contained in the model and urban competitiveness and proved that the PLS-SEM urban competitiveness measurement approach we proposed is theoretically reliable and statistically valid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Higher Carbon Intensity of Loans, the Higher Non-Performing Loan Ratio: The Case of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 667; doi:10.3390/su9040667 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In response to the call of the Chinese government to support low-carbon development, the issue has come to the view gradually as to whether the behaviors of banks’ green credit will contribute to easing their own credit risk. To reflect the behaviors of
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In response to the call of the Chinese government to support low-carbon development, the issue has come to the view gradually as to whether the behaviors of banks’ green credit will contribute to easing their own credit risk. To reflect the behaviors of green credit of banks in detail, an indicator, named the carbon intensity of loans (CIL), is first proposed in this paper to measure the carbon emissions with association of the loans for commercial banks, on basis of the series of the input–output table. Then, a panel data model is used to explore the relationship between CIL and non-performing loan ratio, which measures the credit risk of banks. Based on the data of China’s commercial banks from 2007 to 2014, an empirical study has been conducted to investigate the impacts of CIL upon the non-performing loan ratio from a microscopic-level perspective. The result indicates that CIL has a positive effect on the non-performing loan ratio of banks. Since CIL is considered a significant indicator for the banks’ green credit, this paper comes to a conclusion that the green credit policy not only contributes to achieving of the emission-reduction targets for the society, but also promotes the development of banks’ credit risk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Energy Conservation in China’s Cement Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 668; doi:10.3390/su9040668 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
China, as the world’s largest cement producer, accounts for more than 60% of global cement production. With the continuous development of the Chinese economy, resource and environmental constraints are becoming increasingly serious, and energy saving and emission reduction has become one of the
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China, as the world’s largest cement producer, accounts for more than 60% of global cement production. With the continuous development of the Chinese economy, resource and environmental constraints are becoming increasingly serious, and energy saving and emission reduction has become one of the choices with which all industries are faced in the process of development. The cement industry is one of the major sources of China’s carbon dioxide emissions and its effect on energy saving and emissions’ reduction determines the realization of the national goals of energy conservation and emissions reduction. Taking China’s cement industry as the main focus, this paper carries out quantitative analysis of the relationship between energy consumption in the cement industry and a number of variables: energy structure, energy prices, energy efficiency and total output value of the cement industry based on a cointegration model. The study further analyzes the energy saving potential of the cement industry by assuming different scenarios. The research results show that the energy saving potential of the cement industry is 19.06% and 33.69%, with medium and high energy efficiency, respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Temporal Changes in Ecosystem Services in European Cities in the Continental Biogeographical Region in the Period from 1990–2012
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 665; doi:10.3390/su9040665 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ecosystem services (ES) in cities and surrounding suburban areas are one of the major factors which guarantee quality of life. Most studies directly referring to urban ecosystem services are conducted on a local scale or for selected cities. There are few studies which
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Ecosystem services (ES) in cities and surrounding suburban areas are one of the major factors which guarantee quality of life. Most studies directly referring to urban ecosystem services are conducted on a local scale or for selected cities. There are few studies which focus on temporal changes of the provision of ecosystem services across a large number of cities. This paper analyzes selected land use type (forest, green urban area), soil sealing, selected ecosystem services (food provisioning, climate regulation, recreation), and biodiversity potential in 85 large cities (over 100,000 citizens) from the Continental (Central and Eastern) biogeographical region in Europe. We used the Corine Land Cover (CLC) data for 1990, 2000, 2006, and 2012. Our main findings are as follows: (1) The increase of forest areas was the highest in 2006–2012, and of urban green areas in 2000–2006, mostly in cities in Germany and the western part of the Czech Republic; (2) The process of soil sealing growth occurred in all studied cities and the rate was the most intense in Polish cities; (3) There was a decrease of food production and biodiversity potential in all the analyzed cities; (4) climate regulating services experienced only slight changes; (5) There was a very positive trend of the recreation indicator in most core zones of the cities in Germany and several cities in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Denmark. Moreover, our results of the temporal changes of land use and ES in European cities in the Continental biogeographical region indicate how important it is to monitor CLC and ES for potential spatial planning and regional policy interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Collective Strategies of Major Stakeholders in Land Expropriation: A Tripartite Game Analysis of Central Government, Local Governments, and Land-Lost Farmers
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 648; doi:10.3390/su9040648 -
Abstract
Land expropriation, during the rapid urbanization process in China, results in rural conflicts and presents barriers in sustainable development. Collective strategies of major stakeholders should be clearly understood for finding effective measures to cope with conflicts. However, the existing studies usually assume two
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Land expropriation, during the rapid urbanization process in China, results in rural conflicts and presents barriers in sustainable development. Collective strategies of major stakeholders should be clearly understood for finding effective measures to cope with conflicts. However, the existing studies usually assume two types of stakeholders, which overlook the complicated practices as, at least central, government, local governments, and land-lost farmers are three major stakeholders. This research aims to explore the collective strategies of the three major stakeholders and examine how various factors contribute to conflicts with a tripartite evolutionary game model. The tripartite model is established based on the evolutionary game theories and relationships among the central and local governments, and land-lost farmers. A simulation analysis is also conducted on the MATLAB platform, which shows that serious asymmetry of information between stakeholders leads to the low efficiency of the game or serious conflicts. Thorough discussions on the influencing factors have also been conducted. The findings can provide good references for the central and local governments to reduce conflicts during land expropriation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social Sustainability in an Ageing Chinese Society: Towards an Integrative Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 658; doi:10.3390/su9040658 -
Abstract
Social sustainability is a relatively underexposed dimension of the sustainability debate. Diversified and discipline-specific study perspectives and the lack of contextualization make it difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of social sustainability in non-Western societies. In examining the problems facing a rapidly ageing
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Social sustainability is a relatively underexposed dimension of the sustainability debate. Diversified and discipline-specific study perspectives and the lack of contextualization make it difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of social sustainability in non-Western societies. In examining the problems facing a rapidly ageing Chinese society, this paper aims to construct an integrative conceptual framework of social sustainability, taking into account the Chinese contextual interpretations and elderly population in particular. This paper proposes an integrative conceptual framework composed of two key contextualized components: well-being and social justice. Well-being, according to Lindenberg, is the ultimate goal of life and is achieved by relevant themes organized in a hierarchical system. Social justice relating to the equal distribution of resources, opportunities, and rights is also significant for the achievement of well-being. Interpretations of social sustainability are explored within Chinese socio-cultural (Confucianism, collectivism), institutional (welfare regime, hukou system), and demographic (population ageing) contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simulation of Thermal Distribution and Airflow for Efficient Energy Consumption in a Small Data Centers
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 664; doi:10.3390/su9040664 -
Abstract
Data centers have become ubiquitous in the last few years in an attempt to keep pace with the processing and storage needs of the Internet and cloud computing. The steady growth in the heat densities of IT servers leads to a rise in
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Data centers have become ubiquitous in the last few years in an attempt to keep pace with the processing and storage needs of the Internet and cloud computing. The steady growth in the heat densities of IT servers leads to a rise in the energy needed to cool them, and constitutes approximately 40% of the power consumed by data centers. However, many data centers feature redundant air conditioning systems that contribute to inefficient air distribution, which significantly increases energy consumption. This remains an insufficiently explored problem. In this paper, a typical, small data center with tiles for an air supply system with a raised floor is used. We use a fluent (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD) to simulate thermal distribution and airflow, and investigate the optimal conditions of air distribution to save energy. The effects of the airflow outlet angle along the tile, the cooling temperature and the rate of airflow on the beta index as well as the energy utilization index are discussed, and the optimal conditions are obtained. The reasonable airflow distribution achieved using 3D CFD calculations and the parameter settings provided in this paper can help reduce the energy consumption of data centers by improving the efficiency of the air conditioning. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Resilience and Livelihoods in Supply Chains (RELISC): An Analytical Framework for the Development and Resilience of the UK Wood Fuel Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 660; doi:10.3390/su9040660 -
Abstract
Bioenergy is an important renewable energy source in the UK, but the bioenergy industry and in particular the wood fuel sub sector, is relatively under-developed. Socioeconomic factors have been identified as critical for facilitating deployment levels and sustainable development. However, previous studies have
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Bioenergy is an important renewable energy source in the UK, but the bioenergy industry and in particular the wood fuel sub sector, is relatively under-developed. Socioeconomic factors have been identified as critical for facilitating deployment levels and sustainable development. However, previous studies have mostly assessed these factors using quantitative methods and models, which are limited in assessing pertinent contextual factors such as institutional/regulatory governance, supply chain structure and governance, capital resource availability as well as actor decisions. As a step further, this research engages with these under-explored aspects of the system by developing a new analytical framework: the Resilience and Livelihoods in Supply Chains (RELISC) framework, which was designed by linking Value Chain Analysis, the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and a supply chain resilience framework. Its application to a UK wood fuel supply chain produced useful insights. For example, the structure of the chain revealed a high level of dependency on a particular end user and contractor. Key institutional governance was critical in sustaining natural resources and providing access to finance. Internal supply chain governance was limited in ensuring the sustainability of resources and lack of actor awareness and interest were also limiting factors. In addition, five capital analyses revealed gaps in skills, networking and physical infrastructure. Finally, the design of the novel RELISC framework enables it to engage with diverse aspects of the system holistically and its application generated practical recommendations and strategies for supply chain resilience and sector growth, which are useful and applicable to other emerging sectors. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Sustainable Management of Plant Quarantine Pests: The Case of Olive Quick Decline Syndrome
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 659; doi:10.3390/su9040659 -
Abstract
The disease outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca strain CoDiRO (Complesso del Disseccamento Rapido dell’Olivo) in Salento (Apulia, South Italy) associated with severe cases of olive quick decline syndrome may represent not just a new disease paradigm, but a challenge for
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The disease outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca strain CoDiRO (Complesso del Disseccamento Rapido dell’Olivo) in Salento (Apulia, South Italy) associated with severe cases of olive quick decline syndrome may represent not just a new disease paradigm, but a challenge for policy formulation and science communication in plant pathology. Plant health management can be achieved by applying a technocratic model, in which objective science is thought to directly inform policy-making, or via decisionistic or inclusive models, in which scientific considerations drive risk assessment. Each could be applied to X. fastidiosa and CoDiRO strain management, thanks to consistent literature related to pathogen/host interactions, hosts, vectors, and diagnostic tools, reviewed here. However, consensus among stakeholders seems to be necessary in order to avoid plant health management failures or gridlocks, due to environmental, economic, and social implications in the X. fastidiosa threat. Here we discuss the role of consensus in building scientific opinion, reporting different approaches of governance after severe disease outbreaks in Europe. These case studies, and the available risk analysis for Xylella strains, should drive policy formulations towards more cooperative networks. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Emergy Evaluation of Dwelling Operation in Five Housing Units of Montreal Island, Canada
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 663; doi:10.3390/su9040663 -
Abstract
Sustainability of cities and the environmental implications of high resource utilization by the domestic sector are growing concerns related to urban regions. Well-informed urban planning decision-making is an essential tool to help in the task and, for that, an important point to consider
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Sustainability of cities and the environmental implications of high resource utilization by the domestic sector are growing concerns related to urban regions. Well-informed urban planning decision-making is an essential tool to help in the task and, for that, an important point to consider is the influence of parameters like residential density and housing typology on the intensity of resource utilization. Emergy synthesis, a life-cycle energy analysis methodological approach that considers the interaction of natural and human-made flows, was used to evaluate the environmental support for dwelling operational stage in five typical present-day housing units on the island of Montreal. As expected, resource utilization, measured as total emergy used, was positively correlated to housing unit size both with respect to number of occupants and dwelling size. Results suggest that variables affecting notably the intensity of resource utilization are per household income and per dweller habitable space and, while a higher income increased per capita emergy in all cases, increasing space availability per resident did not result in a decrease of empower density after 50 m2/person. Future work should consider lower and higher densities and analyses at the scale of blocks, neighborhoods and urban planning zones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-Efficiency Evaluation Considering Environmental Stringency
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 661; doi:10.3390/su9040661 -
Abstract
This paper proposes an extended data envelopment analysis (DEA) model for deriving eco-efficiency. In order to derive eco-efficiency, the proposed model utilizes the concepts of operational efficiency and environmental efficiency. Since DEA can separately measure operational efficiency and environmental efficiency, the treatment for
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This paper proposes an extended data envelopment analysis (DEA) model for deriving eco-efficiency. In order to derive eco-efficiency, the proposed model utilizes the concepts of operational efficiency and environmental efficiency. Since DEA can separately measure operational efficiency and environmental efficiency, the treatment for constructing the unified indicator is required to ultimately evaluate eco-efficiency through balancing operational and environmental concerns. To achieve this goal, we define the environmental stringency as the business condition reflecting the degree of enforcing environmental regulations across the firms or particular industries in different countries. The proposed model provides flexibility, as required by the pollution-intensity of industry, in that it allows the decision maker to evaluate DMU’s (decision-making unit) eco-efficiency appropriately depending on the business environment. We present a case of agricultural production systems to help readers understand what eco-efficiency becomes when we vary the stringency conditions. Through the illustrative example, this paper presents the potential application by which different environmental stringencies can successively be incorporated in DEA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Green Supplier Evaluation and Selection in Apparel Manufacturing Using a Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 650; doi:10.3390/su9040650 -
Abstract
With the increasing environmental awareness, apparel manufacturers have begun to consider environmental issues in supplier evaluation and selection. It is crucial to assess suppliers based on their environmental performance along with other criteria for supplier selection. This paper addresses the green supplier evaluation
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With the increasing environmental awareness, apparel manufacturers have begun to consider environmental issues in supplier evaluation and selection. It is crucial to assess suppliers based on their environmental performance along with other criteria for supplier selection. This paper addresses the green supplier evaluation and selection problem in global apparel manufacturing by developing a methodological framework for green supplier evaluation and selection based on the triple bottom line principle and a fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) model. First, a green supplier evaluation criteria hierarchy based on the triple bottom line principle is established based on comprehensive literature review, on-site investigation and policy analysis. Then, a fuzzy MCDM model is presented to evaluate and select the best material supplier. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is conducted to verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Results show that the proposed framework can handle green supplier evaluation and selection in apparel manufacturing effectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Multicriteria Model to Evaluate Strategic Plans for the Nautical and Naval Industry in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 653; doi:10.3390/su9040653 -
Abstract
The evaluation of urban development plans is a key concern of the strategic planning of the city of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) due to the pressure exerted by both public and private sectors. Any strategic planning requirement deserves the inclusion of clear terms
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The evaluation of urban development plans is a key concern of the strategic planning of the city of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) due to the pressure exerted by both public and private sectors. Any strategic planning requirement deserves the inclusion of clear terms of coordination and cooperation among sectors, including local communities and the scientific sector. In this paper, we present a methodology for the sustainable evaluation of strategic nautical and naval projects for the development of the city of Cartagena de Indias. The methodology is based on the multicriteria technique Analytic Network Process, which allows considering political, socio-cultural and environmental aspects. The aim is to provide answers and guide the decision makers towards the optimal selection of strategies. Results provide some important insights into the overall conception of what sustainable evaluation means for the experts consulted. The procedure enhances participation and transparency and becomes a support for their decisions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Excessive Product Packaging on Green Brand Attachment: The Mediation Roles of Green Brand Attitude and Green Brand Image
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 654; doi:10.3390/su9040654 -
Abstract
This study develops an original framework to explore the influence of excessive product packaging on green brand attachment and to discuss the mediation roles of green brand attitude and green brand image. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is applied to verify the research framework.
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This study develops an original framework to explore the influence of excessive product packaging on green brand attachment and to discuss the mediation roles of green brand attitude and green brand image. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is applied to verify the research framework. The results from a dataset of 238 valid questionnaires show that excessive product packaging has no direct effect on green brand attachment. However, green brand attitude and green brand image fully mediate the negative relationship between excessive product packaging and green brand attachment. Managerially, this study helps firms understand that excessive product packaging may bring damage to green brand attitude and green brand image, which positively relate to green brand attachment. Thus, committing to promoting the functional benefit of green products, firms must not neglect the negative effects of excessive product packaging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Peripherization of Indemnificatory Housing Community under Land-Centered Urban Transformation: The Case of Nanjing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 656; doi:10.3390/su9040656 -
Abstract
Indemnificatory housing programs—a kind of state-backed urban low-end and nonmarket housing programs which used to be welfare—have now increasingly evolved to be the vehicle to promote capital accumulation. Most of these housing communities show peripherization with high rates of unemployment, low income, poverty,
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Indemnificatory housing programs—a kind of state-backed urban low-end and nonmarket housing programs which used to be welfare—have now increasingly evolved to be the vehicle to promote capital accumulation. Most of these housing communities show peripherization with high rates of unemployment, low income, poverty, and social exclusion, which violates their sustainability. This paper examines the impacts of land-centered urban transformation on indemnificatory housing communities, and analyzes the causes of unsustainable outcomes in political economy discourse. To achieve this, the social and economic conditions of a longstanding suburban indemnificatory housing community in Nanjing were analyzed. Survey data collected from March to April 2016 was evaluated to determine the peripherization of the residents within it. We found that for many residents, high rates of unemployment, low income, and poverty were mainly caused by their individual demographic and socioeconomic disadvantages, with the peripheral physical and social location contributing by exacerbating their vulnerabilities. It is concluded that local governments’ land-centered urban transformation and the central government’s affordable housing policies aimed at social and economic crisis mitigation combine to produce suburban indemnificatory housing communities, driving low-income relocated residents into more disadvantaged situations. This finding creates important lessons for the sustainable development of Chinese indemnificatory housing communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simplified I-V Characteristic Tester for Photovoltaic Modules Using a DC-DC Boost Converter
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 657; doi:10.3390/su9040657 -
Abstract
In this paper, an efficient testing system for measuring a PV module’s I-V curve is proposed. The proposed system is based on a controlled DC-DC boost converter. The advantage of using a DC-DC converter is that this converter is typically used in PV
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In this paper, an efficient testing system for measuring a PV module’s I-V curve is proposed. The proposed system is based on a controlled DC-DC boost converter. The advantage of using a DC-DC converter is that this converter is typically used in PV systems to track the maximum power point and to control the charging of the battery. Consequently, this device is utilized for I-V curve extraction without the need for further external devices. The I-V curve is extracted by modifying the duty cycle of the triggering signal of the boost converter’s switch. The proposed system has been tested experimentally using a 120 Wp PV module. The results show that the proposed system can successfully extract I-V curves of PV module. Notably, the performance of the tested module, as measured by this study’s system as well as with a reference system, was found to be in the range of 61–67% of the performance given in the datasheet. Hence, this result highlights the importance of considering a measurement of the actual performance of PV modules when designing any PV system so as to avoid an undersized system. The proposed I-V testing system can be used as a simple tool to diagnose any shortages or low performance problems in PV system. Full article
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