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Special Issue "Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Kuishuang Feng

Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable consumption and production; consumption-based environmental accounting; supply chain analysis
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Bin Chen

State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 86-10-5880-7368
Interests: urban carbon metabolism; ecological modeling; environmental science
Guest Editor
Dr. Shaojian Wang

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Geo-simulation, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable development; exergy efficiency; carbon emission accounting; environmental impact; urban planning; spatial analysis and statistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carbon emissions from anthropogenic activities and their impact on climate change are one of the main challenges for achieving environmental sustainability. Carbon footprint, as an environmental sustainability indicator, has been frequently studied to quantify the environmental performance of a product, individual, company, city, or country, using environmental life-cycle assessment (LCA). Different LCA approaches have been developed to assess the environmental impacts of goods and services throughout their whole life cycle—that is from resource extraction, production, use and disposal—or cradle to grave. These approaches include the bottom-up process-based LCA approach and the top-down input–output-based LCA approach and both have advantages and disadvantages, in terms of system boundaries and detail of production processes. However, we need both approaches to be able to investigate the carbon implications of human activities at different scales, e.g., individual consumption, company operation, regional development. In addition, a win-win or trade-offs analysis between carbon footprint and other environmental indicators (e.g., water footprint, land footprint) may provide important information to decision makers for achieving overall environmental sustainability.

We invite researchers to contribute original research as well as review articles that address the topics of carbon footprint, including carbon accounting, win-win or trade-offs with other environmental issues, and carbon mitigation.

Prof. Kuishuang Feng
Prof. Dr. Bin Chen
Dr. Shaojian Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Environmental input–output analysis
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Low carbon policies
  • Carbon inequality
  • Sustainable consumption and production

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Carbon Reduction Strategies Based on an NW Small-World Network with a Progressive Carbon Tax
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1747; doi:10.3390/su9101747
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
There is an increasingly urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Devising effective carbon tax policies has become an important research topic. It is necessary to explore carbon reduction strategies based on the design of carbon tax elements. In this study, we explore the
[...] Read more.
There is an increasingly urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Devising effective carbon tax policies has become an important research topic. It is necessary to explore carbon reduction strategies based on the design of carbon tax elements. In this study, we explore the effect of a progressive carbon tax policy on carbon emission reductions using the logical deduction method. We apply experience-weighted attraction learning theory to construct an evolutionary game model for enterprises with different levels of energy consumption in an NW small-world network, and study their strategy choices when faced with a progressive carbon tax policy. The findings suggest that enterprises that adopt other energy consumption strategies gradually transform to a low energy consumption strategy, and that this trend eventually spreads to the entire system. With other conditions unchanged, the rate at which enterprises change to a low energy consumption strategy becomes faster as the discount coefficient, the network externality, and the expected adjustment factor increase. Conversely, the rate of change slows as the cost of converting to a low energy consumption strategy increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effect of Eco-City Practices on Urban Sustainability Using an Extended Ecological Footprint Model: A Case Study in Xi’an, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1591; doi:10.3390/su9091591
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Planning and construction are well-known practical topics; however, eco-city developments and their sustainable effects on the city are less known. Xi’an is a typical city that has a target to become an eco-city. This city is selected in this case study with the
[...] Read more.
Planning and construction are well-known practical topics; however, eco-city developments and their sustainable effects on the city are less known. Xi’an is a typical city that has a target to become an eco-city. This city is selected in this case study with the aims of (1) framing eco-practices to enhance the understanding of an eco-city development and (2) evaluating the effect of eco-practices to reveal whether they truly enhance urban sustainability. For the first objective, the framework was constructed in accordance with ecological footprint (EF) theory. For the second objective, environmental pollution was added to an extended EF model. The EF of Xi’an from 1999 to 2014 was calculated and analyzed. The results are as follows: (1) Water pollution control and water area development are core issues in the Xi’an eco-city development. Air pollution control and forest land development also play important roles in the eco-city development; (2) Eco-city practices contribute to the decreases of per capita EF and per capita ecological deficit because of the reduction in the EFs of water area, forest land, and arable land, thereby enhancing urban sustainability; (3) The effect of eco-city practices on the improvement of per capita ecological capacity (EC), the ECs of arable land, water area, pasture land, and forest land are not significant. Based on these results, this study provides practical implications for the promotion of urban sustainability through eco-city development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Progress and Prospects for Tourism Footprint Research
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1847; doi:10.3390/su9101847
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 15 October 2017
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Abstract
The tourism footprint family comprises the tourism ecological footprint (TEF), the tourism carbon footprint (TCF) and the tourism water footprint (TWF). The tourism footprint represents an important tool for quantitatively assessing the impact of tourism activities on the ecosystem of a tourist destination.
[...] Read more.
The tourism footprint family comprises the tourism ecological footprint (TEF), the tourism carbon footprint (TCF) and the tourism water footprint (TWF). The tourism footprint represents an important tool for quantitatively assessing the impact of tourism activities on the ecosystem of a tourist destination. This paper systematically reviews the relevant literature on TEF, TCF and TWF, analyses and summarizes the main progress and failures in the analytical frameworks, research methods, measurement results, environmental impacts and reductions in the tourism footprint. This paper also proposes areas for further developing the tourism footprint research, including unifying the analytical frameworks and boundaries of the tourism footprint, distinguishing the geographical scope of the tourism footprint effectively, improving the process of analyzing the environmental impact of the tourism footprint, measuring the tourism footprint scientifically and roundly, performing space-time calculations of the tourism footprint, and expanding the tourism footprint family by introducing new members. Accordingly, this paper is devoted to the continued study of the tourism footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)

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