Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3683-3694; doi:10.3390/su7043683 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between consumer perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), corporate brand trust, corporate hypocrisy, and corporate reputation. Based on the one-to-one interview method using a structured questionnaire of 560 consumers in South Korea, the proposed model was estimated by structural equation modeling analysis. The model suggests that consumer perception of CSR influences consumer attitudes toward a corporation (i.e., perceived corporate hypocrisy and corporate reputation) by developing corporate brand trust. This in turn further enhances corporate reputation while decreasing corporate hypocrisy. The findings of our study demonstrate that consumer perception of CSR is an antecedent to corporate brand trust, which fully mediates the relationship between consumer perception of CSR and corporate reputation. In addition, corporate brand trust has the role of partial mediator in the relationship between consumer perception of CSR and corporate hypocrisy.These results imply that to better understand the relationship betweenconsumer perception of CSR and consumer attitudes toward a corporation, it is necessary to consider corporate brand trust asan important mediating variable. The theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed, together with its limitations and potential for future research.
Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3665-3682; doi:10.3390/su7043665 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism allows carbon sinks to be used as carbon credits in order to offset emissions from other sources. However, this practice has raised a number of issues relating to financial incentives. In this study, we develop a spatially explicit model for predicting carbon emissions from deforestation that meet baseline levels as well as farmers’ opportunity costs (measured in US dollars per ton of CO2e) under three temporal scenarios with several potential discount rates for agricultural income. Additionally, we use two different accounting methods recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the average storage method and the “ton-year approach,” to evaluate emissions reductions. We find that farmers are more likely to prefer REDD in the short-run when discount rates are higher than 10%. However, further analysis indicates that opportunity costs would increase significantly over longer periods of time (middle-term schemes of 35 years or long-term schemes of 55 years), thereby dissuading farmers from choosing REDD. Our findings highlight the drawbacks in using REDD to mitigate global climate change and conserve forests based on farmers’ financial incentives.
Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3637-3664; doi:10.3390/su7043637 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Sweden has committed itself to comply with EU-directive 2009/28/EC on energy from renewable sources and 2012/27/EU on improvement in the efficiency of energy. Measures in the existing housing stock, such as installing photovoltaics (PV), provide a means of contributing to the goals above. The purpose of this paper is to study how the organization of property management and the decision-making structure in tenant-owner cooperatives (TOCs) in Sweden facilitates or hampers the adoption of large-scale residential building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) in this housing sector. Data collected through seven semi-structured interviews of executive board members in seven housing cooperatives were descriptively analyzed and the results indicate that the decision to adopt BAPV in TOCs does not follow the common frameworks of adoption of innovations. The choice by TOCs to adopt BAPV depends more on the wish to lower operating costs than on efforts to promote a sustainable environment and various principal-agency problems during the decision-making process, as well as during the implementation phase create challenges to the adoption of BAPV. There is a need to strengthen the quality and management of knowledge, as well as procurement proficiency in the TOCs in order to harness the potential for BAPV in the sector.
Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3615-3636; doi:10.3390/su7043615 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Delivering green building (GB) projects involve some activities that are atypical in comparison with conventional buildings. Such new activities are characterized by uncertainty, and they incur hidden costs that have not been expected nor are they readily appreciated among the stakeholders. This paper develops a typology and chronology to examine the new activities that are associated with transaction costs (TCs) in the real estate development process (REDP) of green building. Through in-depth interviews with representatives from the major developers in Hong Kong who have experiences in GB practice, this study aims to unearth TCs involved at the critical stages of the REDP. Apart from reconfirming the early project planning stage as the most critical in the consideration of TCs, the study results also identified “extra legal liability risk of the GB product” as the major concern for any GB developer in Hong Kong. The key additional activities that bring significant TCs in developing GB are identified and compared to their traditional counterparts. In turn, project managers not only have to pursue overall cost management whilst winning more business, but they also have to pay particular attention to sustainability in order to minimize hidden societal costs. The study also provides a reference for governments and professionals that will aid in forming policy as well as advance the practice of the GB market by optimizing the societal costs.
Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3592-3614; doi:10.3390/su7043592 - published 26 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article explores the use of field experimentation in presenting an account of input inventory, material quantities, and the process flow for shea butter production in Ghana. The shea fruit is a non-timber forest product (NTFP) that is indigenous to ecosystems in semi-arid regions of Africa. Current methods and equipment for processing shea kernel into butter impose a dilemma of excessive harvesting of fuel wood for heating and the use of large quantities of water. Thus, the nature of input requirement and production process presents implications for conflict over natural resource use and for sustainability as more processing takes place. Material flow analysis was applied to the data generated from the processing experiments. The outcome was discussed in focus group discussion sessions and individual interviews as a way of data triangulation to validate study parameters. Results from this experiment showed that the quantity of water used in urban processing sites was higher than that used in rural sites. On the other hand, fuel wood use and labor expended were found to be higher in rural sites per unit processing cycle. The nature of the processing equipment, accessibility to input resources, and target market for shea butter were key determinants of the varying resource quantities used in the production process.
Sustainability2015, 7(4), 3571-3591; doi:10.3390/su7043571 - published 26 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Applying fuel reduction treatments (FRTs) to forested landscapes can alleviate undesirable changes in wildfire benefits and costs due to climate change. A conceptual framework was developed for determining the preferred FRTs across planning periods, adapting FRTs to future climate change, assessing the sustainability of adaptive responses to climate change, and evaluating the validity of the two premises motivating this issue of Sustainability. The conceptual framework: (1) accounts for uncertainty about future climate change and its effects on management objectives for FRTs; (2) employs biophysical simulation and mental models to estimate the management objectives for FRTs; (3) uses fuzzy TOPSIS to determine the preferred FRTs for climate futures; (4) employs the minimax regret criterion to identify the preferred FRT for each planning period; (5) determines the best strategy for adapting FRTs to future climate change; and (6) assesses landscape sustainability when using the preferred FRTs. The framework is demonstrated with constructed examples for adapting FRTs to climate change for privately- and publicly-owned forested landscapes. Based on the conceptual framework, current knowledge does not allow determining with certainty whether managers’ adaptations of FRTs to future climate change are sustainable or unsustainable due to type I and II decision errors.