Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2264-2280; doi:10.3390/su6042264 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The changes of spatial pattern in energy consumption have an impact on global climate change. Based on the spatial autocorrelation analysis and the auto-regression model of spatial statistics, this study has explored the spatial disparities and driving forces in energy consumption changes in China. The results show that the global spatial autocorrelation of energy consumption change in China is significant during the period 1990–2010, and the trend of spatial clustering of energy consumption change is weakened. The regions with higher energy consumption change are significantly distributed in the developed coastal areas in China, while those with lower energy consumption change are significantly distributed in the less developed western regions in China. Energy consumption change in China is mainly caused by transportation industry and non-labor intensive industry. Rapid economic development and higher industrialization rate are the main causes for faster changes in energy consumption in China. The results also indicate that spatial autoregressive model can reveal more influencing factors of energy consumption changes in China, in contrast with standard linear model. At last, this study has put forward the corresponding measures or policies for dealing with the growing trend of energy consumption in China.
Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2248-2263; doi:10.3390/su6042248 - published online 16 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Based on China’s inter-provincial panel data from 1999–2009, this paper has tested the impact and extent of marketization, government governance, and legal environment of sustainable economic development by controlling physical capital, human capital and productivity, so as to find the institutional reality for the difference in China’s economic development and another explanation for it. It turns out that marketization, government governance, and legal environment play significant roles in promoting sustainable economic development. Further tests show that the results of Eastern China are consistent with China’s inter-provincial results; while in Western China, the promotion effect of marketization, government governance, and legal environment on sustainable economic development is not significant.
Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2223-2247; doi:10.3390/su6042223 - published online 16 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper highlights the role of a national Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Indonesia as “pioneer” actor in the jatropha global production network, linking solutions for local problems with narratives concerning global concerns. Analysis of previous activities of the NGO positions their jatropha project as one period in a sequence of donor-funded appropriate technology programs. On the island of Flores in Eastern Indonesia the NGO aimed to establish community based jatropha cultivation exclusively on “degraded land”, avoiding threats to food cultivation, and responding to local problems of land degradation and water resources depletion. In contrast with investors interested in jatropha based biofuel production for export, the NGO aimed at developing biofuel for local needs, including jatropha based electricity generation in the regional state-owned power plant. Anticipating progress in international and national regulations concerning the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) the 2008 project’s design included carbon credit income as a main source of future project financing. Using methods of socio-legal studies and political ecology, this study indicates that when the economic feasibility of a project is based on the future financial value of a legally constructed commodity like carbon credits, the sustainability of the project outcome can be questionable. The author recommends precaution when it comes to including anticipated income from carbon credits in calculating the economic viability of a project, as price developments can fluctuate when political support and regulations change.
Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2201-2222; doi:10.3390/su6042201 - published online 16 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Despite the plethora of literature in sustainability and supply chain management in the recent years, a quantitative tool that measures the sustainability performance of an industrial supply network, considering the uncertainties of existing data, is hard to find. This conceptual paper is aimed at establishing a quantitative measure for the sustainability performance of industrial supply networks that considers aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in its environmental performance evaluation. The measure is built upon economic, environmental and social performance evaluation models. These models address a number of shortcomings in the literature, such as incomplete and inaccurate calculation of environmental impacts, as well as the disregard for aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in the input data and, more importantly, the scarce number of quantitative social sustainability measures. Dyadic interactions are chosen for the network, while the network members have a revenue-sharing relationship. This relationship promotes sharing of the required information for the use of the proposed model. This measure provides an approach to quantify the environmental, social and economic sustainability performances of a supply network. Moreover, as this measure is not specifically designed for an industrial sector, it can be employed over an evolving and diverse industrial network.
Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2176-2200; doi:10.3390/su6042176 - published online 16 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The term “eco-labeling” has become a buzzword in today’s sustainable business world. The use of eco-labeling in various forms has been increasing notably for past many years, sometimes as an environmental “requirement” and sometimes merely as a marketing tool. Questions arise about how well these eco-labels are attended and understood by consumers. However, though mentionable studies are found on various aspects of eco-labels, gaps exist in exploring an inclusive set of parameters for investigating consumer perceptions of eco-labels. This paper aims at preparing a synthesis of all the possible factors to be incorporated for measuring consumer perceptions of eco-labeling of products. For making such synthesis, all major works in the field have been thoroughly reviewed. The paper comes up with a total of 10 parameters that include consumer awareness, consumer knowledge, consumer involvement, consumer trust, design and visibility, credibility of the source, type and level of information, clarity of meaning, persuasiveness, and private benefits. This tentative, yet inclusive, set of parameters is thought to be useful for designing large scale future empirical researches for developing a dependable inclusive set of parameters to test consumer understanding and perceptions of eco-label. A framework is proposed for further empirical research.
Sustainability2014, 6(4), 2160-2175; doi:10.3390/su6042160 - published online 15 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We live in the Anthropocene era, where human action has an unforeseen impact on global ecosystems. This is visible, for instance, in climate change, in the loss of biodiversity and in the acidification of the oceans. Little attention is given to the fact that the Anthropocene is related to anthropocentric thinking that also guides our policies. Therefore, we argue that ecologically and socially sustainable policies will not be achieved by incidental policy measures alone, but a change of paradigm is needed. In our article, we lay out the tenets of a relational paradigm resting on holistic thinking and deep ecology. On the basis of this paradigm, the principles, conceptions and goals specific to any given policy can be formulated, giving them a common ground. In this article, we apply the relational paradigm to social policy in order to contribute to the quest for sustainable wellbeing in the overconsuming welfare states. Here, we formulate a multidimensional and relational conception of wellbeing, the HDLB-model (Having-Doing-Loving-Being), which is a modification of sociologist Erik Allardt’s theory. We illustrate how this model could provide the foundation of a sustainable ecosocial policy.