Open AccessArticle
Adopters and Non-Adopters of Low-Cost Household Latrines: A Study of Corbelled Pit Latrines in 15 Districts of Malawi
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 917; doi:10.3390/su8100917 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals will challenge low- and middle-income settings to look at new approaches for rural sanitation. In 2013, Mzuzu University, in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malawi, started a low-cost latrine program in rural areas using the corbelled [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals will challenge low- and middle-income settings to look at new approaches for rural sanitation. In 2013, Mzuzu University, in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malawi, started a low-cost latrine program in rural areas using the corbelled latrine design supported by locally owned sustainable businesses. The objective of this work was to trace customers (early household adopters) and non-customers through field observations and interviews in 15 districts of Malawi. The research team spent 193 personnel work days in data collection and found 21 households as adopters in 7 districts. Most respondents had a preference with regard to the design of the sanitation facility they would like to use. Although sharing of sanitation facilities was common, the corbelled latrine is promoted as a single household pit latrine design. Unfortunately, 8% (23/304) of non-adopters responded they practiced open defecation. Households were satisfied with the corbelled latrine design, and no latrine was found to have collapsed during field visits. To promote the corbelled latrine in Malawi, the following are recommended: (1) education of frontline government extension workers towards non-subsidized household latrines; (2) identification of rural low-income households as the best target for potential adopters; and (3) linkage of low-cost sanitation technologies to community mobilization campaigns led by the government, such as Community Led Total Sanitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of Asphalt Modified with Municipal Wastes for Sustainable Pavement Construction
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 949; doi:10.3390/su8100949 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The severe hot temperature and high traffic loadings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are causing distress in flexible pavements within a few years of service. Secondly, the conventional bitumen extracted from Saudi oil refineries have a performance grade of 64-10 [...] Read more.
The severe hot temperature and high traffic loadings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are causing distress in flexible pavements within a few years of service. Secondly, the conventional bitumen extracted from Saudi oil refineries have a performance grade of 64-10 (PG 64-10), which does not meet the SuperPave performance grade requirement for most of the KSA’s regions. In order to improve the performance grade of bitumen, different percentages of municipal wastes (plastic and crumb rubber) were used as bitumen additives. The performance of bitumen at low, intermediate, and high temperatures was evaluated. This is important as the waste production is rising significantly due to the fast urbanization and high population growth in the KSA. Particularly, when there are very few ways of recycling these wastes (municipal, as well as industrial), which in fact have great impact on the environment. High-density polyethylene (HDP), low-density polyethylene (LDP), and crumb rubber (CR) with 5%, 10%, and 15% by weight of bitumen, were mixed with the base bitumen (PG 64-10). Rotational viscometer (RV), dynamic shear rheometer (DSR), and bending beam rheometer (BBR) were used to evaluate the viscosity, rutting, fatigue, and low-temperature behavior of base and modified binders. The test results indicated that the rutting (permanent deformation) and fatigue resistance were significantly improved in modified binders due to the improvement in the visco-elastic properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New Algorithm for Evaluating the Green Supply Chain Performance in an Uncertain Environment
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 960; doi:10.3390/su8100960 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
An effective green supply chain (GSC) can help an enterprise obtain more benefits and reduce costs. Therefore, developing an effective evaluation method for GSC performance evaluation is becoming increasingly important. In this study, the advantages and disadvantages of the current performance evaluations [...] Read more.
An effective green supply chain (GSC) can help an enterprise obtain more benefits and reduce costs. Therefore, developing an effective evaluation method for GSC performance evaluation is becoming increasingly important. In this study, the advantages and disadvantages of the current performance evaluations and algorithms for GSC performance evaluations were discussed and evaluated. Based on these findings, an improved five-dimensional balanced scorecard was proposed in which the green performance indicators were revised to facilitate their measurement. A model based on Rough Set theory, the Genetic Algorithm, and the Levenberg Marquardt Back Propagation (LMBP) neural network algorithm was proposed. Next, using Matlab, the Rosetta tool, and the practical data of company F, a case study was conducted. The results indicate that the proposed model has a high convergence speed and an accurate prediction ability. The credibility and effectiveness of the proposed model was validated. In comparison with the normal Back Propagation neural network algorithm and the LMBP neural network algorithm, the proposed model has greater credibility and effectiveness. In practice, this method provides a more suitable indicator system and algorithm for enterprises to be able to implement GSC performance evaluations in an uncertain environment. Academically, the proposed method addresses the lack of a theoretical basis for GSC performance evaluation, thus representing a new development in GSC performance evaluation theory. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Organic Farming Reduce Vulnerabilities and Enhance the Resilience of the European Food System? A Critical Assessment Using System Dynamics Structural Thinking Tools
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 971; doi:10.3390/su8100971 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, food systems must be resilient, i.e., able to deliver sustainable and equitable food and nutrition security in the face of multiple shocks and stresses. The resilience of the European food system that relies mostly [...] Read more.
In a world of growing complexity and uncertainty, food systems must be resilient, i.e., able to deliver sustainable and equitable food and nutrition security in the face of multiple shocks and stresses. The resilience of the European food system that relies mostly on conventional agriculture is a matter of genuine concern and a new approach is called for. Does then organic farming have the potential to reduce vulnerabilities and improve the resilience of the European food system to shocks and stresses? In this paper, we use system dynamics structural thinking tools to identify the vulnerabilities of the conventional food system that result from both its internal structure as well as its exposure to external disturbances. Further, we evaluate whether organic farming can reduce the vulnerabilities. We argue here that organic farming has some potential to bring resilience to the European food system, but it has to be carefully designed and implemented to overcome the contradictions between the dominant socio-economic organization of food production and the ability to enact all organic farming’s principles—health, ecology, fairness and care—on a broader scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen and Sediment Capture of a Floating Treatment Wetland on an Urban Stormwater Retention Pond—The Case of the Rain Project
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 972; doi:10.3390/su8100972 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nitrogen is widely recognized as a chronic urban stormwater pollutant. In the United States, wet retention ponds have become widely used to treat urban runoff for quantity and quality. While wet ponds typically function well for the removal of sediments, nitrogen removal, [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is widely recognized as a chronic urban stormwater pollutant. In the United States, wet retention ponds have become widely used to treat urban runoff for quantity and quality. While wet ponds typically function well for the removal of sediments, nitrogen removal, performance can be inconsistent due to poor design and/or lack of maintenance. Retrofitting ponds to improve their nitrogen capture performance, however, is often expensive. By hydroponically growing macrophytes on wet ponds, floating treatment wetlands (FTW) may provide a cheap, sustainable means of improving nitrogen removal efficiency of aging stormwater ponds. Few studies have been performed on the effectiveness real-world stormwater systems, however. In this study, we investigated the nitrogen and sediment capture performance of a 50 m2 floating treatment wetland deployed for 137 days on a stormwater wet pond located within an urban university campus near Washington, D.C. A total of 2684 g of biomass was produced, 3100 g of sediment captured, and 191 g of nitrogen removed from the pond. Although biomass production was relatively low (53 g/m2), we found that nitrogen uptake by the plants (0.009 g/m2/day) was comparable to contemporary FTW studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Preference Heterogeneity for Integrated River Basin Management: The Case of the Shiyang River Basin, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 970; doi:10.3390/su8100970 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Integrated river basin management (IRBM) programs have been launched in most parts of China to ease escalating environmental degradation. Meanwhile, little is known about the benefits from and the support for these programs. This paper presents a case study of the preference [...] Read more.
Integrated river basin management (IRBM) programs have been launched in most parts of China to ease escalating environmental degradation. Meanwhile, little is known about the benefits from and the support for these programs. This paper presents a case study of the preference heterogeneity for IRBM in the Shiyang River Basin, China, as measured by the Willingness to Pay (WTP), for a set of major restoration attributes. A discrete choice analysis of relevant restoration attributes was conducted. The results based on a sample of 1012 households in the whole basin show that, on average, there is significant support for integrated ecological restoration as indicated by significant WTP for all ecological attributes. However, residential location induced preference heterogeneities are prevalent. Generally, compared to upper-basin residents, middle sub-basin residents have lower mean WTP while lower sub-basin residents express higher mean WTP. The disparity in utility is partially explained by the difference in ecological and socio-economic status of the residents. In conclusion, estimating welfare benefit of IRBM projects based on sample responses from a specific sub-section of the basin only may either understate or overstate the welfare estimate. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
For a Green Stadium: Economic Feasibility of Sustainable Renewable Electricity Generation at the Jeju World Cup Venue
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 969; doi:10.3390/su8100969 -
Abstract
After the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, the local governments of South Korea were left in charge of several large-scale soccer stadiums. Although these governments have made significant efforts toward creating profits from the stadiums, it is proving [...] Read more.
After the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, the local governments of South Korea were left in charge of several large-scale soccer stadiums. Although these governments have made significant efforts toward creating profits from the stadiums, it is proving to be too difficult for several administrations to cover their full operational, maintenance, and conservation costs. In order to overcome this problem, one of the governments, Seogwipo City, which owns Jeju World Cup Stadium (JWCS), is attempting to provide an independent renewable electricity generation system for the operation of the stadium. The current study therefore examines potential configurations of an independent renewable electricity generation system for JWCS, using HOMER software. The simulation results yield three optimal system configurations with a renewable fraction of 1.00 and relatively low values for the cost of energy ($0.405, $0.546, and $0.692 per kWh). Through the examination of these three possible optimal configurations, the implications and limitations of the current study are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research on the Sustainable Development of Green-Space in Beijing Using the Dynamic Systems Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 965; doi:10.3390/su8100965 -
Abstract
Greater contradiction and conflict among urban green space, the development of social economy and the environment have occurred in Beijing. However, few studies have been conducted that consider the three subsystems as a whole. In this study, we defined sustainable development of [...] Read more.
Greater contradiction and conflict among urban green space, the development of social economy and the environment have occurred in Beijing. However, few studies have been conducted that consider the three subsystems as a whole. In this study, we defined sustainable development of green space (SDGS) as the coordinated development of the urban green system, social economy, and environment. Based on the datasets from 2000 to 2015, we forecast the SDGS in Beijing under multiple scenarios based on real-world policies using a system dynamics model. We found that the historical SDGS value increased to its highest level in 2012, but declined slightly by 2015. Second, the forecasted SDGS values declined over time in all scenarios, but the decline was greater in scenarios placing a high priority on economic development. In these scenarios, the performance of the indices only improved in certain subsystems. The simulation shows the implementation of the four policies proposed by the government failed to improve the overall level of SDGS in Beijing. This study could provide support for decision-making designed to improve the overall condition of urban green space in Beijing through integrated forecast and scenario simulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Food Tourism in Indigenous Settings as a Strategy of Sustainable Development: The Case of Ilex guayusa Loes. in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 967; doi:10.3390/su8100967 -
Abstract
This paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on how to enhance food tourism in emerging, tropical countries characterized by a large number of indigenous groups and a high biodiversity. A sacred plant for the Kichwa indigenous communities labelled Ilex guayusa Loes. [...] Read more.
This paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on how to enhance food tourism in emerging, tropical countries characterized by a large number of indigenous groups and a high biodiversity. A sacred plant for the Kichwa indigenous communities labelled Ilex guayusa Loes. (Aquifoliceae) is used as a case study. Twelve recorded interviews with different stakeholders of the Amazon region of Napo in Ecuador were analysed. The results of this qualitative research show that the Western-based theory on niche tourism based on experiential and intimacy theory is compatible with four principles which are related to the cosmovision (worldview) of Kichwa indigenous groups, namely: mutual learning, empowerment, regulated access to intellectual property and community legislation. The framework proposed seems suitable to understand food tourism in an indigenous setting. Furthermore, the integration of Western-based food tourism with an indigenous cosmovision might contribute to a more sustainable land use and more equitable social development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Proactive Green Innovation and Reactive Green Innovation on Green Product Development Performance: The Mediation Role of Green Creativity
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 966; doi:10.3390/su8100966 -
Abstract
This study fills the research gap in the exploration of the relationships between both proactive and reactive green innovations and green product development performance, and examines the mediating effect of green creativity. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is utilized to test the hypotheses. [...] Read more.
This study fills the research gap in the exploration of the relationships between both proactive and reactive green innovations and green product development performance, and examines the mediating effect of green creativity. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is utilized to test the hypotheses. From the sample of 146 valid respondents, the results show that proactive green innovation positively affects green creativity and green product development performance, and green creativity positively affects green product development performance. In addition, our findings also indicate that the relationship between proactive green innovation and green product development performance is partially mediated by green creativity. Accordingly, green creativity plays a critical role for companies to achieve a great green product development performance. However, reactive green innovation does not significantly influence green creativity and green product development performance. Companies should develop proactive green innovation rather than reactive green innovation in order to enhance their green creativity and increase their product development performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quota Restrictions on Land Use for Decelerating Urban Sprawl of Mega City: A Case Study of Shanghai, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 968; doi:10.3390/su8100968 -
Abstract
The mega cities of China are faced with great pressure from conflict between huge land demand for construction use and limited resources. To improve this situation, it is necessary to slow the increasing rate of built-up land and even reduce the existing [...] Read more.
The mega cities of China are faced with great pressure from conflict between huge land demand for construction use and limited resources. To improve this situation, it is necessary to slow the increasing rate of built-up land and even reduce the existing built-up land by improving land use efficiency. Herein, land use planning with urban sprawl deceleration is proposed. Land quotas are important tools for the control of land use planning in China, but the current quotas are mainly in the form of increment, thus cannot support land use planning with urban sprawl deceleration. To address these issues, we developed a model named “current-plan-requirement response (CPRR)”, to optimize the land quotas. With this model, we investigated the current status of land use, the process of land use planning, and the requirements of land use planning with urban sprawl deceleration in Shanghai. It was found that the current land quotas have provided somewhat inhabited conversion of arable land to built-up land, but scarcely any regulation of land use efficiency or protection of natural environment. Then, the land quotas were optimized and quota management recommendations were made. The optimized land quotas included four aspects of quotas: arable land protection, ecological conservation, scale constraint on built-up land and economical and intensive land use. These new land quotas could be used to guide reduction of built-up land and increase ecological land in China’s mega cities. It might also be beneficial for easing conflict between supply and demand of built-up land, for building an eco-friendly city land-use structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Productivity Patterns of Grass-Dominated Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Region, Pakistan
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 961; doi:10.3390/su8090961 -
Abstract
Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing, which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The present study assessed the spatiotemporal patterns and trends of rangelands using satellite remote-sensing time-series [...] Read more.
Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing, which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The present study assessed the spatiotemporal patterns and trends of rangelands using satellite remote-sensing time-series data. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, collected at fortnightly intervals over 12 years (2001–2012), were used as a proxy for the vegetation conditions of the grasslands. The analysis revealed that rangeland productivity increased with increasing elevation up to the sub-alpine zone, which had a higher productivity than the moist temperate zone and humid sub-tropical zone. The high sub-alpine productivity was attributed to seasonal amplitude and the extended length of the growing season in the phenological cycle. In the temporal analysis of productivity, the majority of the area exhibited improvements in vegetation conditions, which were strongest in the humid sub-tropical zones and weakest in the alpine zones. The sub-alpine grasslands were found to be the most productive and heterogeneous habitat; however, the relatively strong negative temporal trend in productivity in this zone indicates ongoing degradation in these rangelands. Thus, special attention is needed for the sustainable management of rangelands in the sub-alpine zones of the Hindu Kush Karakoram region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Optimistic Analysis of the Means of Implementation for Sustainable Development Goals: Thinking about Goals as Means
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 962; doi:10.3390/su8090962 -
Abstract
A key but contentious aspect of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the means of implementation (MOI). Many developing countries emphasize the importance of international assistance while developed countries focus more on domestic financing and the private sector. The text of the SDGs [...] Read more.
A key but contentious aspect of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the means of implementation (MOI). Many developing countries emphasize the importance of international assistance while developed countries focus more on domestic financing and the private sector. The text of the SDGs includes a broad range of MOI. However, a discussion has arisen about whether countries should prioritize some goals over others due partly to concerns that MOI may be insufficient. In contrast, this article argues for a more optimistic outlook concerning MOI and the feasibility of achieving the SDGs. First, most SDGs and targets are themselves means—or intermediate goals—contributing to the achievement of other goals. The structure of the SDGs blurs the fact that different goals have different functions, such as providing resources or enabling environments. Greater focus on the interlinkages and synergies among goals could enhance the effectiveness of implementation and reduce costs. Second, integrated planning and implementation, needed for leveraging synergies among goals, will require enhanced capacity, particularly for governance and coordination. We argue that the strengthening of such capacity is a central MOI that requires more attention since it is a precondition for the effective mobilization and deployment of other MOI. Third, although upfront investments may seem high in absolute terms, financial feasibility is realistic when considering existing global financial stocks and flows and the expected benefits. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Feasibility Test on Adopting Electric Vehicles to Serve as Taxis in Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 964; doi:10.3390/su8090964 -
Abstract
For realizing sustainable development, EV (Electric Vehicle) is currently considered as one of the most promising alternative due to its cleanness and inexhaustibility. However, the development and dissemination of EV has stagnated because it faces major constraints such as battery performance and [...] Read more.
For realizing sustainable development, EV (Electric Vehicle) is currently considered as one of the most promising alternative due to its cleanness and inexhaustibility. However, the development and dissemination of EV has stagnated because it faces major constraints such as battery performance and an excessively long charging time. Thus, this study examined the feasibility of using EVs as taxis by analyzing real data from a pilot project in Daejeon, a metropolitan city in South Korea for proposing the effective way to adopt EV. To reflect reality and improve accuracy, we adopted scenarios and assumptions based on in-depth interviews with groups of experts. The resulting initial benefit-to-cost (B/C) ratio for EV taxis is approximately 0.4, which is quite low compared to 0.7 for traditional taxis. However, after incorporating some further assumptions into the calculation, the B/C ratio shifts to approximately 0.7, which is more appropriate for EV adoption. For this improvement to be achieved, the dissemination of a charging infrastructure, improvement of the business model and policy support is strongly needed. Limitations to this work and potential areas for future study are also fully discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Multiple Specializations on Economic Performance in U.S. Metropolitan Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 963; doi:10.3390/su8090963 -
Abstract
Scholars have recently been debating how economic structure affects regional economic performance. Regional economic structure typically indicates how the industries in regions are organized. The attribute of industrial organization in regions is typically measured by how the employment in a region is [...] Read more.
Scholars have recently been debating how economic structure affects regional economic performance. Regional economic structure typically indicates how the industries in regions are organized. The attribute of industrial organization in regions is typically measured by how the employment in a region is distributed among various sectors. If the employment in a region is highly concentrated on a limited number of sectors, that region is industrially specialized. On the contrary, when the employment is more evenly distributed among various industries, that region is highly diversified in its industrial organization. In this context, some researchers recognized that diversity and specialization are not opposite concepts. Instead, they can coexist, for example in the form of diversified specializations. In this study, this body of literature was extended by formulating an indicator to measure the extent of multiple specializations in regional economies and by examining the effect of multiple specializations on regional economic performance. Empirical analysis showed that specializing in multiple industrial pursuits helped regions to achieve both faster and more stable economic growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Communicating Sustainability: An Operational Model for Evaluating Corporate Websites
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 950; doi:10.3390/su8090950 -
Abstract
The interest in corporate sustainability has increased rapidly in recent years and has encouraged organizations to adopt appropriate digital communication strategies, in which the corporate website plays a key role. Despite this growing attention in both the academic and business communities, models [...] Read more.
The interest in corporate sustainability has increased rapidly in recent years and has encouraged organizations to adopt appropriate digital communication strategies, in which the corporate website plays a key role. Despite this growing attention in both the academic and business communities, models for the analysis and evaluation of online sustainability communication have not been developed to date. This paper aims to develop an operational model to identify and assess the requirements of sustainability communication in corporate websites. It has been developed from a literature review on corporate sustainability and digital communication and the analysis of the websites of the organizations included in the “Global CSR RepTrak 2015” by the Reputation Institute. The model identifies the core dimensions of online sustainability communication (orientation, structure, ergonomics, content—OSEC), sub-dimensions, such as stakeholder engagement and governance tools, communication principles, and measurable items (e.g., presence of the materiality matrix, interactive graphs). A pilot study on the websites of the energy and utilities companies included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index 2015 confirms the applicability of the OSEC framework. Thus, the model can provide managers and digital communication consultants with an operational tool that is useful for developing an industry ranking and assessing the best practices. The model can also help practitioners to identify corrective actions in the critical areas of digital sustainability communication and avoid greenwashing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Development in China’s Coastal Area: Based on the Driver-Pressure-State-Welfare-Response Framework and the Data Envelopment Analysis Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 958; doi:10.3390/su8090958 -
Abstract
The economic development of China’s coastal areas is being constrained by resources and the environment, with sustainable development being the key to solving these problems. The data envelopment analysis (DEA) model is widely used to assess sustainable development. However, indicators used in [...] Read more.
The economic development of China’s coastal areas is being constrained by resources and the environment, with sustainable development being the key to solving these problems. The data envelopment analysis (DEA) model is widely used to assess sustainable development. However, indicators used in the DEA model are not selected in a scientific and comprehensive manner, which may lead to unrepresentative results. Here, we use the driver-pressure-state-welfare-response (DPSWR) framework to select more scientific and comprehensive indicators for a more accurate analysis of efficiency in China’s coastal area. The results show that the efficiencies of most provinces and cities in China’s coastal area have a stable trend. In the time dimension, efficiency was rising before 2008, after which it decreased. In the spatial dimension, China’s coastal provinces and cities are divided into three categories: high efficiency, low efficiency, and greater changes in efficiency. By combining DPSWR and DEA, we produce reliable values for measuring efficiency, with the benefit of avoiding the incomplete selection of DEA indicators. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Sea-Level Rise and Land Subsidence: Impacts on Flood Projections for the Mekong Delta’s Largest City
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 959; doi:10.3390/su8090959 -
Abstract
The present paper demonstrates that inundation levels in the Mekong Delta’s largest city, Can Tho, are predominantly determined by ocean tides, sea-level rise, and land subsidence. Our analysis of inundation patterns projects that the duration of inundation at an important road in [...] Read more.
The present paper demonstrates that inundation levels in the Mekong Delta’s largest city, Can Tho, are predominantly determined by ocean tides, sea-level rise, and land subsidence. Our analysis of inundation patterns projects that the duration of inundation at an important road in the city will continue to rise from the current total of 72 inundated days per year to 270 days by 2030 and 365 days by 2050. This is attributed to the combined influence of sea-level rise and land subsidence, which causes relative water level rises at a rate of 22.3 mm·yr−1. People in the Mekong Delta have traditionally lived with floods, and thus there is certain resilience among residents in coping with small floods. At present, daily maximum inundation depth, which is generally shallower than 10 cm on the road, seems to be still manageable; however, our analysis indicates that this will start drastically increasing in the coming decades and reach an average depth of 70 cm by 2050. Effective and well-planned actions to mitigate the effects of land subsidence and sea-level rise are urgently required, otherwise, local inhabitants will encounter an unmanageable increase in inundation depth and duration in the coming decades. This study, which considers both sea-level rise and land subsidence, suggests that inundation depth and duration are projected to rise much faster than those indicated by previous studies, which only consider sea-level rise. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Strategic Transport Management Models—The Case Study of an Oil Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 954; doi:10.3390/su8090954 -
Abstract
The awareness of the need to preserve the environment and establish sustainable development evolved as the result of the development of the world economy and society. Transport plays a very important role in this process. It is recognized as one of the [...] Read more.
The awareness of the need to preserve the environment and establish sustainable development evolved as the result of the development of the world economy and society. Transport plays a very important role in this process. It is recognized as one of the main factors in sustainable development strategy. Strategic transport management model is presented in this paper. It represents a comprehensive and complete strategic management process, beginning from the strategic analysis, then strategy formulation and its implementation to strategic control. What makes this model specific is the development of its phases using contemporary strategic management methods and MCDM (Multicriteria Decision Making) techniques. In this way, subjectivity is avoided and the decision-making process is impartial. To formulate sustainable transport strategy, the authors use a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and the fuzzy Delphi method as the basis to evaluate impact factors. Fuzzy SWOT analysis is applied to formulate strategic options and the selection of optimal option is realized through DEMATEL (Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory)-based ANP (Analytic Network Process). The strategic transport management model is applied to Serbian Oil Industry (NIS) as a company engaged in the production and transport of oil and oil derivatives. The results presented in this paper have shown that this model can be successfully implemented in profit organizations. It also can be used to formulate strategies on the basis of scientific principles and create conditions for successful sustainable strategies implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic Farms in Denmark
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 957; doi:10.3390/su8090957 -
Abstract
The growth of organic agriculture in Denmark raises the interest of both producers and consumers in the sustainability performance of organic production. The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of farms in four agricultural sectors (vegetable, dairy, pig [...] Read more.
The growth of organic agriculture in Denmark raises the interest of both producers and consumers in the sustainability performance of organic production. The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of farms in four agricultural sectors (vegetable, dairy, pig and poultry) using the sustainability assessment tool RISE 2.0. Thirty seven organic farms were assessed on 10 themes, including 51 subthemes. For one theme (water use) and 17 subthemes, a difference between sectors was found. Using the thresholds of RISE, the vegetable, dairy and pig sector performed positively for seven themes and the poultry sector for eight themes. The performance on the nutrient flows and energy and climate themes, however, was critical for all sectors. Moreover, the performance on the economic viability theme was critical for vegetable, dairy and pig farms. The development of a tool, including decisions, such as the selection of themes and indicators, reference values, weights and aggregation methods, influences the assessment results. This emphasizes the need for transparency and reflection on decisions made in sustainability assessment tools. The results of RISE present a starting point to discuss sustainability at the farm-level and contribute to an increase in awareness and learning about sustainability. Full article
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