E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference"

Quicklinks

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Claus-Heinrich Daub

Centre for Sustainable Management at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW, Stahlrain 2, 5200 Brugg, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +41 56 462 42 36
Interests: sustainable management; corporate sustainability; corporate social responsibility; stakeholder management; globalization of society and markets; corporate identity and communication strategies
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Burger

Departement of Social Sciences, Sustainability Research Group, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +41 61 267 07 75
Interests: theoretical foundations for sustainability; values and evaluation (especially within sustainability issues); human-nature-interrelations; ontology of systems; social theories and sustainability; epistemology and methodology of future studies and of inter- & transdisciplinary research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the outstanding success of the preceding International Sustainability Conferences (ISC 2005 & 2008) in Basel, the organisers – University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland and the University of Basel – are organizing another conference. The theme of this 3rd International Sustainability Conference is "Strategies for Sustainability: Institutional and Organisational Challenges". From a socio-economic perspective, we take institutional and organisational progress towards integrating sustainability to be one of the major tasks involved in the anticipated societal transformation toward sustainability.

The ISC 2012 provides a platform for social scientists and economists working with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches in the field of sustainable development. The conference is committed to promoting dialogue, especially between economists and other social scientists. Moreover, the conference aims to act as a meeting point for committed individuals from the political, corporate and academic worlds as well as for representatives from civil society.

Prof. Dr. Claus-Heinrich Daub
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Burger
co-Guest Editor

Submission

Starting from 21 September 2012, full paper manuscripts can be submitted, using the conference's online submission plattform on http://www.sustainabilityconference.ch. Manuscripts can be submitted until 31 December 2012. Papers will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles dealing with topics central to ISC 2012 (see keywords below) are invited. For any questions please refer directly to the guest editorial office at info@sustainabilityconference.ch.

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

Keywords

  • sustainable consumption & lifestyles
  • theories of sustainable development
  • sustainable regional development
  • corporate social responsibility/corporate citizenship
  • institutionalisation and sustainable development
  • governance of sustainable development
  • economics of sustainable development
  • measuring and evaluating sustainable development / sustainability
  • sustainable energy systems
  • sustainable supply chain management
  • industrial ecology management
  • sustainability in higher education
  • sustainability communication & reporting
  • sustainability in public administration
  • the role of information and media for sustainable societies
  • industrial ecology management − developing (eco-)industrial parks towards sustainability
  • sustainability in higher education
  • sustainability communication & reporting
  • sustainability in public administration
  • the role of information and media for sustainable societies

Published Papers (10 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-10
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditorial Strategies for Sustainability: Institutional and Organisational Challenges
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8342-8347; doi:10.3390/su6118342
Received: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
PDF Full-text (638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable Development (SD) is a global role model that claims to function as a general orientation for shaping societal processes, i.e., local, regional, national and international development. This is in line with the Brundtland and justice-oriented understanding of the term. It is
[...] Read more.
Sustainable Development (SD) is a global role model that claims to function as a general orientation for shaping societal processes, i.e., local, regional, national and international development. This is in line with the Brundtland and justice-oriented understanding of the term. It is understood as a role model and sometimes also interpreted as a regulative ideal. However, it does not state how exactly “sustainable” societies will or should look. It does not give us a step-by-step pattern to follow, but something like a frame of what ought to be done in order to transform today’s societies, including their economies. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Potential of IT for Corporate Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4163-4180; doi:10.3390/su6074163
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 2 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (600 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies have proven that information technology (IT) can improve enterprises’ performance. The effective and efficient management of enterprise resources has for long been the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Whereas traditional ERP systems focused on the optimization of financial resources
[...] Read more.
Several studies have proven that information technology (IT) can improve enterprises’ performance. The effective and efficient management of enterprise resources has for long been the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Whereas traditional ERP systems focused on the optimization of financial resources and assets, the manifold challenges of a sustainable development necessitate broadening that view. Business applications need to provide informational transparency on all kinds of financial, environmental and social indicators, both within the enterprise and along the value chain; they need to support business processes and enable the measuring, tracking and reporting of sustainability performance, as well as the compliance with legal regulations, all implying substantial potential for improving corporate sustainability. However, the understanding of the potential of IT for corporate sustainability poses an interesting and valuable research topic. Drawing on previous works of Luftman, Melville et al. and Dao et al., we propose a conceptual model for the sustainability value of IT. We will summarize the main aspects of the recent discussion around the capabilities of IT and, then, illustrate with best-practice examples how these capabilities can be utilized for improved sustainability performance in a corporate setting. The paper concentrates on the second order effects of IT, like process improvements or substitution effects, which have also been described as “green through IT”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Supporting the Integration of Sustainability into Higher Education Curricula—A Case Study from Switzerland
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3291-3300; doi:10.3390/su6063291
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From the perspective of different stakeholders, education for sustainable development (ESD) in higher education is highly desirable. In practice, however, this may present challenges, as it involves systemic and cultural changes as well as organizational transformation. A working group at the Zurich University
[...] Read more.
From the perspective of different stakeholders, education for sustainable development (ESD) in higher education is highly desirable. In practice, however, this may present challenges, as it involves systemic and cultural changes as well as organizational transformation. A working group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences supported such a transformative process with the aim of fostering, linking and subsequently deepening the dimensions of sustainable development in the existing curricula. By means of an assessment tool (spider diagram) developed through a bottom-up action research procedure, the working group initiated a discussion on sustainability among university lecturers, research associates and students. Results support the hypothesis that resistance to incorporating dimensions of sustainability into the curriculum can effectively be avoided by such an approach. The effectiveness of the assessment tool increased the commitment and the willingness of lecturers to share a common goal of demonstrating the relevance of sustainability in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Method-Based Higher Education in Sustainability: The Potential of the Scenario Method
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3357-3373; doi:10.3390/su6063357
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both sustainability and education are challenging process-oriented objectives. When the aim is to combine both notions, as in Higher Education in Sustainability (HES), it is indispensable to first establish a common ground between them. In this paper, we characterise this common ground in
[...] Read more.
Both sustainability and education are challenging process-oriented objectives. When the aim is to combine both notions, as in Higher Education in Sustainability (HES), it is indispensable to first establish a common ground between them. In this paper, we characterise this common ground in terms of four aspects: future orientation, normativity, global perspective, and theory engaged in practice. Based on an analysis of the common ground, one method that is well-established in a wide range of sustainability sciences shows high potential for use in HES because it covers all four aspects in detail: the scenario method. We argue that a didactical reconstruction of the scenario method is necessary to utilise its potential and develop adequate forms of teaching in higher education. The scenario method is used to construct and analyse a set of alternative future developments to support decisions that have to be made in the present. Didactical reconstruction reveals a spectrum of objectives for which the scenario method can be employed: (1) projection; (2) teleological planning and (3) an explorative search for possibilities not yet considered. By studying and experimenting with this spectrum of objectives, students in HES can develop fundamental reflexive competencies in addressing the future in different ways that are relevant for both sustainability and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Reporting: An Approach to Get the Right Mix of Theory and Practicality for Local Actors
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3145-3170; doi:10.3390/su6063145
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many local government or regional plans have “a sustainable future for our community” as a goal. However, few local or regional governments have a sustainability reporting tool in place that enables them to understand how far along the pathway to sustainability their community
[...] Read more.
Many local government or regional plans have “a sustainable future for our community” as a goal. However, few local or regional governments have a sustainability reporting tool in place that enables them to understand how far along the pathway to sustainability their community is. There are a range of reasons for this, including current sustainability indicators and indices not matching the needs or capacity of local actors. This paper argues that a collaborative approach to developing sustainability reporting tools, that involves sustainability experts and local actors working together, will be more successful at developing a tool that has a theoretical basis with locally relevant indicators, which is practical for informed decision making. This process will also build the sustainability reporting capacity of local actors. This collaborative approach was tested in South West Victoria, Australia, resulting in a locally relevant, practical and theoretically sound sustainability reporting tool that met the needs of local actors. This outcome shows that a collaborative approach can overcome some of the barriers to sustainability reporting for local actors; however, further testing is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Exploring Reasons for the Resistance to Sustainable Management within Non-Profit Organizations
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3252-3270; doi:10.3390/su6063252
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The numerous empirical and conceptual studies that have been conducted over recent years concerning the social responsibility of enterprises and their contributions towards sustainable development have given very little consideration to non-profit organizations (NPOs). This is surprising, because NPOs are confronted with very
[...] Read more.
The numerous empirical and conceptual studies that have been conducted over recent years concerning the social responsibility of enterprises and their contributions towards sustainable development have given very little consideration to non-profit organizations (NPOs). This is surprising, because NPOs are confronted with very similar challenges to profit-orientated enterprises regarding their evolution into sustainable organizations. This paper is a preliminary conceptual study and explores the question of why the corporate social responsibility, or corporate sustainability, of NPOs has to date been both neglected by research establishments and also extensively ignored by the NPOs during their day-to-day practical management. The example of church and pastoral institutions in Germany is used to demonstrate the extent to which they take account of ecological and social aspects in their management systems and processes and, thus, implement sustainable management within their day-to-day practice. The paper concludes with some proposals for further empirical and conceptual research projects, which are designed to analyze developments within NPOs with relation to the integration of sustainability into their management systems and processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Energy Recovery from Scrap Tires: A Sustainable Option for Small Islands like Puerto Rico
Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 3105-3121; doi:10.3390/su6053105
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Puerto Rico generates and disposes nearly five million/year scrap tires (ST), of which 4.2% is recycled and 80% is exported. The Island has one of the world highest electrical service tariff ($0.28 kWh), because of its dependency on fossil fuels for power generation.
[...] Read more.
Puerto Rico generates and disposes nearly five million/year scrap tires (ST), of which 4.2% is recycled and 80% is exported. The Island has one of the world highest electrical service tariff ($0.28 kWh), because of its dependency on fossil fuels for power generation. The Government has not considered ST for electricity production, despite more than 13,000 ST are generated daily, and paradoxically exported for that purpose. Theoretically, if ST recycling increases to 10% and assuming that the caloric value of ST be 33 MJ/kg, it was estimated that scrap tires processed with pyrolysis can supply annually about 379 MWh, a potential value that shall not be unnoticed. This paper is a literature review to describe the legal, technical, and economic framework for the viability of ST for power generation in Puerto Rico using pyrolysis, the most recommended process for ST energy recovery. Data of ST from Puerto Rico was used to model the potential of ST for pyrolytic energy conversion. The herein article is intended to invite other insular countries and territories, to join efforts with the academic and scientific community, and with the energy generation sector, to validate ST as a sustainable option for energy generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle How Does Paying for Ecosystem Services Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence from Case Study Research in Germany and the UK
Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 3019-3042; doi:10.3390/su6053019
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are currently being discussed as one of the most promising tools in environmental and sustainability governance. However, much criticism has been voiced against overly optimistic assumptions of PES’ management potential towards sustainability. Several contributions to the debate show
[...] Read more.
Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are currently being discussed as one of the most promising tools in environmental and sustainability governance. However, much criticism has been voiced against overly optimistic assumptions of PES’ management potential towards sustainability. Several contributions to the debate show that PES fail both in reducing poverty and strengthening social justice. Additionally, they neglect problems of deliberation in decision-making, as well as the legitimacy of the applied environmental practices. Our empirical investigation on participatory and deliberative structures in already existing PES initiated by non-state actors contributes to the latter body of research. Based on the assumption that playing an active part in scheme design facilitates the consideration of justice and fairness, our case studies from Germany and the UK. present interesting results on the involvement of conflicting interests and their argumentation in the design process. Summing up these findings, we conclude that paying for ES rarely contributes to sustainable development in and of itself, but deliberatively designed schemes provide a formal setting to take aspects of justice into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Universities as Potential Actors for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 3043-3063; doi:10.3390/su6053043
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (633 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Universities can contribute to the solutions of major challenges of the 21st century such as increasing environmental and socio-economic crises, inequalities of income and wealth and political instabilities by integrating the concept of sustainable development (SD) in research, organization, and by educating future
[...] Read more.
Universities can contribute to the solutions of major challenges of the 21st century such as increasing environmental and socio-economic crises, inequalities of income and wealth and political instabilities by integrating the concept of sustainable development (SD) in research, organization, and by educating future decision makers. For instance, by integrating sustainability into the organization, universities can lead by example. Furthermore, through the curriculum, future decision makers can learn the competences needed to solve ecological, social, and economic problems in societies. However, despite their possible importance, universities in Germany fall behind internationally in implementing sustainable strategies. Therefore this paper presents/introduces an approach to how universities can implement the holistic concept of SD that considers all three dimensions (economic, ecological, and social) relating to their main functions of research and education in addition to their organization. Additionally this paper analyzes the current state of implementing sustainability strategies at universities, and how the success of these implementation efforts can be evaluated and be fostered further. We find that assessment systems enable universities to systematically use their potential for action for SD by initiating, evaluating, and accelerating the sustainability process. This also applies in the case of German universities, where the implementation of SD is still in the early stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Involving Corporate Functions: Who Contributes to Sustainable Development?
Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 3064-3085; doi:10.3390/su6053064
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 19 May 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A large body of literature claims that corporate sustainable development is a cross-functional challenge, which requires all functional units to be involved. However, it remains uncertain to what extent and in which way different corporate functions are actually involved in corporate sustainability management.
[...] Read more.
A large body of literature claims that corporate sustainable development is a cross-functional challenge, which requires all functional units to be involved. However, it remains uncertain to what extent and in which way different corporate functions are actually involved in corporate sustainability management. To bridge this research gap, our paper draws on a concept of involvement introduced in the field of consumer behavior. Based on this previous research, our paper distinguishes two components of involvement: first, a cognitive-affective component, incorporating being affected by sustainability issues and being supportive of corporate sustainability; and second, a behavioral component, represented by the application of sustainability management tools. We use this concept to empirically analyze the involvement of corporate functions in sustainability management and find considerable differences in large German companies. Whereas public relations and strategic management are heavily involved, finance, accounting and management control appear not to be involved. A multinomial logistic regression shows that the cognitive-affective component significantly influences the behavioral component, with a functional unit being affected influencing the application of tools the most. Building on the model proposed, the paper provides implications on how to increase a functional unit’s involvement in sustainability management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
sustainability@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Sustainability
Back to Top