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Special Issue "Information Society and Sustainable Development – selected papers from the 2nd International Scientific Symposium`2015"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 June 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Andrei Jean Vasile

Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, B-dul Bucuresti, No.39,100680, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable development; green economics and investments; production structures, resource economics, resource productivity
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Popescu Catalin

Head of the Business Administration Department, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, B-dulBucuresti, No.39, 100680, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +40 721 547 571
Interests: green and business management, project management, competitive advantage, environmental management
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Zaharia Marian

Head of the Center for Studies and Economic Research, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, B-dulBucuresti, No.39, 100680, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania
Website | E-Mail
Interests: green econometrics and simulations, sustainable tourism, green informatics, and IT&C

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Information Society and Sustainable Development represent dominant characteristics in the evolution of contemporary economies. They shape, in a great measure, the future of human society. Both elements have been imposed as specific paradigms in achieving a functional and highly competitive model for an economy.

This Special Issue will consist of selected papers from the Information Society and Sustainable Development International Scientific Symposium (2015), which was held in Azuga, Romania, during April 24-25, 2015.

ISSD is an annual, international, scientific event organized by the Center for Studies and Economic Research (Faculty of Economic Sciences), of the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania, in partnership with the Center of Fundamental and Applied Economic Studies (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration), of Constantin Brancusi University in Targu Jiu, Romania. ISSD aims to provide a solid and unique forum for disseminating recent research concerning aspects of information society and sustainable development, including additional topics related to them.

The main aim of the Symposium is to encourage and facilitate the dissemination of interdisciplinary research, from a broader perspective, from scientists, professionals, and academia, in the field of green economics development. Primarily, selected papers from the Information Society and Sustainable Development Symposium (ISSD 2015) will be considered for publication. The papers submitted and selected for this Special Issue should neither have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and are subject to a very rigorous peer review process.

Dr. Andrei Jean Vasile
Prof. Dr. Popescu Catalin
Prof. Dr. Zaharia Marian
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

The topics of the symposium include, but are not limited to the following aspects:

  • Tourism, services, and sustainable development
  • Industry and its impact on sustainable development
  • Green Statistics and economics
  • Business and E-activities in the Information society
  • Financing for sustainable development
  • Environmental management.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Romanian Eco-Innovation Performances in European Context
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12723-12757; doi:10.3390/su70912723
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The field of eco-innovation is included in the area of sustainable development being closely related with ecological planning. In this context, this paper aims to evaluate Romanian eco-innovation performance during the period 2003–2013 by constructing a composite index and to also identify the
[...] Read more.
The field of eco-innovation is included in the area of sustainable development being closely related with ecological planning. In this context, this paper aims to evaluate Romanian eco-innovation performance during the period 2003–2013 by constructing a composite index and to also identify the main eco-innovation poles at the European level using multidimensional analysis techniques based on the eco-innovation specific indicators for the year 2013. This approach used the methodology of constructing composite indices proposed by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2008. The index measured the eco-innovation dimensions in 27 countries over the period 2003–2013. The empirical analysis revealed the conclusion that in Romania, the eco-innovation level is low compared with other countries, thus Romania cannot emphasize its eco-innovation performance. The empirical results of the study highlighted that eco-innovation represents a phenomenon leading to significant progress in achieving the objective of sustainable development in Romania, and also at the European level, only if the importance of this area is awarded and eco-innovation measures are enforced through adequate policies, leading to economic growth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Organic Food Perception: Fad, or Healthy and Environmentally Friendly? A Case on Romanian Consumers
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12017-12031; doi:10.3390/su70912017
Received: 27 June 2015 / Revised: 18 August 2015 / Accepted: 24 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to explore consumers’ perceptions of organic food and examine whether organic food products are perceived in the North-West Region of Romania as offering health and environmental benefits or as simply another sine qua non condition to
[...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper is to explore consumers’ perceptions of organic food and examine whether organic food products are perceived in the North-West Region of Romania as offering health and environmental benefits or as simply another sine qua non condition to be integrated into the luxurious yuppie lifestyle. The inspiration for our study came from witnessing the stereotypical image of organic food consumers as “stylish, trendy, fancy consumers” in the last three to five years. Scientific evidence on the perceptions of organic food is based on a probabilistic survey. The results indicate an environmental consciousness of organic food consumers in North-Western Region of Romania in terms of organic food: a high percentage of consumers believe that organic food is healthier than conventional food (87%) and that it contributes to environmental protection more than conventional food (75%). A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed between people with higher education and those without higher education concerning the following beliefs: belief that most people consume organic products because they are in fashion, and belief that organic food contributes to environmental protection. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring Gamification Techniques and Applications for Sustainable Tourism
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11160-11189; doi:10.3390/su70811160
Received: 28 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism is perceived as an appropriate solution for pursuing sustainable economic growth due to its main characteristics. In the context of sustainable tourism, gamification can act as an interface between tourists (clients), organisations (companies, NGOs, public institutions) and community, an interface built in
[...] Read more.
Tourism is perceived as an appropriate solution for pursuing sustainable economic growth due to its main characteristics. In the context of sustainable tourism, gamification can act as an interface between tourists (clients), organisations (companies, NGOs, public institutions) and community, an interface built in a responsible and ethical way. The main objective of this study is to identify gamification techniques and applications used by organisations in the hospitality and tourism industry to improve their sustainable activities. The first part of the paper examines the relationship between gamification and sustainability, highlighting the links between these two concepts. The second part identifies success stories of gamification applied in hospitality and tourism and reviews gamification benefits by analysing the relationship between tourism organisations and three main tourism stakeholders: tourists, tourism employees and local community. The analysis is made in connection with the main pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. This study is positioning the role of gamification in the tourism and hospitality industry and further, into the larger context of sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Economic Efficiency of Apple Orchard Investments
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10521-10533; doi:10.3390/su70810521
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (703 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The tree-growing sector is considered to be an important supplier of food and raw material for industry worldwide. Increasingly competitive decisions regarding international investment in orchards depend on business analysis. This study compares three apple orchards situated in Cluj-Napoca, on the Eastern limits
[...] Read more.
The tree-growing sector is considered to be an important supplier of food and raw material for industry worldwide. Increasingly competitive decisions regarding international investment in orchards depend on business analysis. This study compares three apple orchards situated in Cluj-Napoca, on the Eastern limits of the Transylvanian Plain, Romania. While the climatic and soil conditions are relatively consistent among the three orchards, the technical and economic results (expressed in hectares) vary due to the use of three different technological systems of apple production: extensive, intensive, and super-intensive. The study compares the life cycle, starting with age of fructification, production level (quantity and quality), costs (investment and production costs—divided into material costs, mechanical costs, human costs, and overhead costs), income, profit (including rate of profit), and investment efficiency: Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and Payback Period (PP). It was observed that the most economically efficient technological system in terms of investments is the super-intensive one, with a higher production level, a higher share of Extra Class apples, and a younger age of initial fructification. However certain inconveniences of this system—such as a more expensive investment, a higher cost of running the business throughout the year, and a reduced life cycle—cannot be ignored. Full article
Open AccessArticle Expected Risk Assessment—Annual Report versus Social Responsibility
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9960-9972; doi:10.3390/su7089960
Received: 12 May 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global economic, social and environmental changes are inspiring companies to behave responsibly towards the environment, not only in the interest of others, but also in that of the future of their companies. It is crucial that companies are able to recognize any lack
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Global economic, social and environmental changes are inspiring companies to behave responsibly towards the environment, not only in the interest of others, but also in that of the future of their companies. It is crucial that companies are able to recognize any lack in their ability to grow values in a timely manner, because issues at companies require immediate intervention. A key factor in maintaining operations is the time interval required for companies to adjust to challenges. Are Annual Reports capable of indicating problems or possibly to inform decision-makers that a company is entering a period of decline? Such information can be gathered from the notes to the financial statement. Are annually prepared statements capable of indicating problems? Definitely, yes. Do yearly once due statements provide enough information? The answer must be no, as we are not living in a static economic environment. The more dynamic our economic environment is, the greater the role played by the question of time. Thanks to improvements in accounting and technology, we are able to create up-to-date analyses, based on accounting statements. However, in order to be effective, teamwork inside the company is essential and controllers should play a key role. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Factors that Influence the Willingness to Pay for Irrigation Water in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9574-9586; doi:10.3390/su7079574
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (953 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water availability has become a problem in many countries of the world. Water scarcity can be economic or physical. Agricultural water use accounts for about three quarters of total global consumption; in many developing countries, irrigation represents over 90% of the water used.
[...] Read more.
Water availability has become a problem in many countries of the world. Water scarcity can be economic or physical. Agricultural water use accounts for about three quarters of total global consumption; in many developing countries, irrigation represents over 90% of the water used. The purpose of this paper is to explore the willingness to pay for irrigation water among the farmers from the boundaries governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). During the field study, 236 farmers from KRG were interviewed. The collected data were analyzed for each of the precipitation zones of the area (secured (A) and non-secured rainfed (B)). The contingent valuation method was used to determine the willingness to pay for irrigation water. The following possible independent variables influencing farmers’ decisions were considered: the bid amounts; evaluation scale of the water deficit; source of water for irrigation; cultivated area; education and age of respondents; main agricultural activity. In Zone A, the median willingness to pay of the farmers that used ground water for irrigation is 20.28 USD/10 m3, and for the farmers that use other sources of water, the willingness to pay is 11.49 USD/10 m3. The median willingness to pay in Zone B is 18.56/10 m3. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Consumption: Analysis of Consumers’ Perceptions about Using Private Brands in Food Retail
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9293-9309; doi:10.3390/su7079293
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
PDF Full-text (678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Private brands are representing an important vector for retailers, helping them to build sustainable relationships with their customers. Usually, private brands are perceived as products differentiated by lower prices. The purpose of this research is to identify consumers’ trust level in private brands
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Private brands are representing an important vector for retailers, helping them to build sustainable relationships with their customers. Usually, private brands are perceived as products differentiated by lower prices. The purpose of this research is to identify consumers’ trust level in private brands used in food retail and their perceptions about the quality of retailers’ own products. The research question is: What are consumers’ perceptions about using private brands in food retail? Pursuing this question, a survey based on a questionnaire was carried out. Research findings showed that the main reason why people buy private brands’ products is lower price rather than high quality. The interviews showed that the typical private brand user is male, aged between 45 and 65 years old, with middle-level income, and employees with secondary education. These results are useful for retailers in their efforts to decide strategies for their private brands and for building consumers’ trust. The findings are useful for food producers as well, because they should reconsider their marketing strategies in order to adapt themselves to the continuous growth of retailers’ private brands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Employment Policies for a Green Economy at the European Union Level
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9231-9250; doi:10.3390/su7079231
Received: 6 May 2015 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable economic development requires ensuring economic growth and development in terms of environmental protection by providing a bridge between sustainable economic growth, improvement in human health, social justice, employment and environmental protection. Our paper aims to study the situation of green jobs at
[...] Read more.
Sustainable economic development requires ensuring economic growth and development in terms of environmental protection by providing a bridge between sustainable economic growth, improvement in human health, social justice, employment and environmental protection. Our paper aims to study the situation of green jobs at the European Union level and the relationship between environment and employment, by analysing the link between employment and environmental policies. It highlights the main trends recorded at the European Union level in the field of employment policy to promote green jobs for sustainable economic development. Although there is little effect from environmental policies on employment, the effects are positive, which shows that the relationship between environmental and employment policy should be continued and improved by measures taken at both the macro- and microeconomic levels. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Sustainable Land Management in Mining Areas in Serbia and Romania
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11857-11877; doi:10.3390/su70911857
Received: 18 June 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 26 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper analyzes the impacts of mining activities on sustainable land management in mining areas in the Republic of Serbia and Romania and discusses the main challenges related to the management of these issues in legislation and practice. Particular attention is paid to
[...] Read more.
The paper analyzes the impacts of mining activities on sustainable land management in mining areas in the Republic of Serbia and Romania and discusses the main challenges related to the management of these issues in legislation and practice. Particular attention is paid to land disturbance, mine waste management and land reclamation, as well as access to land for mining purposes, the transfer of mining royalties and the partnerships of the mining industry, governments, communities and civil society for sustainable mining. Both governments are willing to provide the adequate role to mining in strengthening the national economies, but they face numerous constraints in this matter. Sustainable mining practices and consistent implementation of the mining for the closure planning approach, within an improved legislative framework and in cooperation with stakeholders at all levels, create conditions for the development of creative, profitable, environmentally-sound and socially-responsible management and reuse of mine lands. Full article

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessDiscussion Raising Competitiveness for Tourist Destinations through Information Technologies within the Newest Tourism Action Framework Proposed by the European Commission
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12891-12909; doi:10.3390/su70912891
Received: 28 June 2015 / Revised: 12 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several challenges regarding the European tourism industry were recently identified at EU level which the experts of the European Commission tried to meet, thus formulating several priorities within the newest Tourism Action Framework: Stimulate long-term competitiveness in the European tourism sector, promote the
[...] Read more.
Several challenges regarding the European tourism industry were recently identified at EU level which the experts of the European Commission tried to meet, thus formulating several priorities within the newest Tourism Action Framework: Stimulate long-term competitiveness in the European tourism sector, promote the development of sustainable and high-quality tourism, and consolidate the image and promotion of European tourist destinations. Due to the new generational context, information and communications technology ICT and innovation became keywords within the most recent European Tourism Policy. Considering the symbiotic relationship that exists at the European tourism level between sustainable development, innovative ICT solutions, and long-term competitiveness, the decision-makers in European destinations should focus on identifying innovative ways to implement the new Tourism Action Framework adopted by the European Commission, through ICT applications, in order to support long-term competitiveness achievement. Two such authentic proposals are formulated within the present discussion paper: the creation of a decision support system for the management of sustainable European destinations and the development of a trip-planner for quality-sensitive tourists based on an umbrella European certification/labeling system for tourism quality. There is still a fertile field in these areas and, therefore, more innovative ICT tools to support the long-term competitiveness of European tourist destinations can be developed. Full article
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