E-Mail Alert

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

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Manfred Max Bergman

Chair of Social Research and Methodology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Basel, Petersgraben 11, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: empirical research on society and economy, leadership, industry initiatives, sustainable consumption, mobility, and corporate responsibility

Special Issue Information

2015 is an important year for all of us. We are taking stock of the accomplishments based on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were adopted in the year 2000. The results of these efforts are immensely positive. In most countries around the globe, extreme poverty and hunger have been reduced, and infant, child, and maternal mortality have decreased. Girls have better access to primary schooling, progress has been made in slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, access to safe drinking water and sanitation has improved, and more information and knowledge is available to more people via the internet than ever before. However, not all goals have been achieved and some regions have benefitted less, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

The period marked by the MDGs will end in December 2015. As part of the post-2015 development agenda, the international community is working intensely on a new set of goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in the second half of September 2015. The new set of goals, despite their similarity in some aspects, go beyond the MDGs in that (a) the formulation and focus of the goals are more encompassing, explicitly requiring active participation from wealthy and poor nations alike, and that (b) the overall focus is shifting away from ameliorating the situation of poor and underdeveloped regions and societies toward improving the sustainability of global economic and social development while concurrently protecting the environment.

The 5th World Sustainability Forum aims to be a platform for researchers to present and engage with others on issues relating to sustainability within this historical context. We seek to contribute to policy-relevant, change-oriented, and transdisciplinary research and collaboration from science and technology, the life sciences, and the social sciences. Three thematic areas have been identified to structure this event:

Thematic AreaSustainability Dimension Economic
Development
Social
Development
Environmental
Protection
Sustainable Science, Technology, and Energy Panel 1 Panel 2 Panel 3
Sustainable Consumption, Lifestyles, Mobility, and Cities Panel 4 Panel 5 Panel 6
Sustainability in Economics, Business, and Management Panel 7 Panel 8 Panel 9

As part of the output of this conference, we plan to publish a special issue in Sustainability, as well as three edited books, one for each of the three thematic areas. We, the co-chairs of the conference and I, as well as the organizing institutions, are looking forward to welcoming you at the 5th World Sustainability Forum at the University of Basel from 7 to 9 September 2015.

Max Bergman
Chair

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.

Attendees of the conferences will have a discount of 20% per published paper.

Published Papers (16 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-16
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

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
Received: 5 February 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 includes
[...] 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle International and Domestic Sustainable Forest Management Policies: Distributive Effects on Power among State Agencies in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 335; doi:10.3390/su8040335
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 7 April 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The last two decades of forest policy discussions have been dominated by calls for sustainable management of forest resources. Consequently, multiple international and domestic policies, supporting sustainable forest management (SFM), have evolved in numerous jurisdictions. Policies in developing countries often rely on foreign
[...] Read more.
The last two decades of forest policy discussions have been dominated by calls for sustainable management of forest resources. Consequently, multiple international and domestic policies, supporting sustainable forest management (SFM), have evolved in numerous jurisdictions. Policies in developing countries often rely on foreign donors’ projects, which supplement domestic SFM policy. These policies assign various policy tasks to specific public bureaucracies, who then compete for these very tasks, as well as the related staff and budgets. Therefore, project and policy task assignment greatly influences bureaucratic power. This article analyzes the distributive effects of SFM policy on power (in terms of coercion, incentives and dominant information) among relevant domestic and foreign donor bureaucracies in Bangladesh. Concepts from power theory, bureaucratic politics theory, and concepts of policy and policy process were combined to analyze 121 Bangladeshi SFM policies from 1992–2013, which assign a total of 1012 policy tasks to specific public bureaucracies. Using qualitative content analysis, inferences about power were assigned to specific competing bureaucracies by the totality of SFM policies made. Results identify domestic and foreign bureaucracies whose power distribution benefit most from the SFM policies viz. their competitors. It is concluded that bureaucracies gaining the most power set the limits and directions in designing, implementing and evaluating various elements of any national SFM policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Building-Related Symptoms, Energy, and Thermal Control in the Workplace: Personal and Open Plan Offices
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 331; doi:10.3390/su8040331
Received: 1 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (8886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study compared building-related symptoms in personal and open plan offices, where high and low levels of control over the thermal environment were provided, respectively. The individualized approach in Norway provided every user with a personal office, where they had control over an
[...] Read more.
This study compared building-related symptoms in personal and open plan offices, where high and low levels of control over the thermal environment were provided, respectively. The individualized approach in Norway provided every user with a personal office, where they had control over an openable window, door, blinds, and thermostat. In contrast, the open plan case studies in the United Kingdom provided control over openable windows and blinds only for limited occupants seated around the perimeter of the building, with users seated away from the windows having no means of environmental control. Air conditioning was deployed in the Norwegian case study buildings, while displacement ventilation and natural ventilation were utilized in the British examples. Field studies of thermal comfort were applied with questionnaires, environmental measurements, and interviews. Users’ health was better in the Norwegian model (28%), while the British model was much more energy efficient (up to 10 times). The follow-up interviews confirmed the effect of lack of thermal control on users’ health. A balanced appraisal was made of energy performance and users’ health between the two buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Urban Heat Assessment in Urban Plans
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 320; doi:10.3390/su8040320
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 21 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The world is increasingly concerned with sustainability issues. Climate change is not the least of these concerns. The complexity of these issues is such that data and information management form an important means of making the right decisions. Nowadays, however, the sheer quantity
[...] Read more.
The world is increasingly concerned with sustainability issues. Climate change is not the least of these concerns. The complexity of these issues is such that data and information management form an important means of making the right decisions. Nowadays, however, the sheer quantity of data is overwhelming; large quantities of data demand means of representation that are comprehensible and effective. The above dilemma poses questions as to how one incorporates unknown climatologic parameters, such as urban heat, in future urban planning processes, and how one ensures the proposals are specific enough to actually adapt cities to climate change and flexible enough to ensure the proposed measures are combinable and compatible with other urban planning priorities. Conventional urban planning processes and mapping strategies are not adapted to this new environmental, technological and social context. In order come up with more appropriate urban planning strategies, in its first section this paper analyzes the role of the urban planner, reviews the wide variety of parameters that are starting to be integrated into the urban planners practice, and considers the parameters (mainly land surface temperature, albedo, vegetation, and imperviousness) and tools needed for the assessment of the UHI (satellite imagery and GIS). The second part of the study analyzes the potential of four catalyzing mapping categories to integrate urban heat into spatial planning processes: drift, layering, game-board, and rhizome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Strategic Aspects of an Eco-Logistic Chain Optimization
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 277; doi:10.3390/su8040277
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
PDF Full-text (1226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The result of ecological aspects being taken into consideration in human activities and aiming at an optimization of the chains of deliveries is an intention to close the loop of deliveries. One of the ways to achieve this aim is an application of
[...] Read more.
The result of ecological aspects being taken into consideration in human activities and aiming at an optimization of the chains of deliveries is an intention to close the loop of deliveries. One of the ways to achieve this aim is an application of the concept of ecologistics. While waste constitutes one of the main elements of ecologistics, it poses the most serious threat to the natural environment. The state’s ecologic policy for the years of 2002–2010 was a document to support the activities of communes aimed at environmental protection. Long-term objectives are to be realized within the framework of the Strategy of the Sustainable Development of Poland by the Year 2025. In this article, an attempt was undertaken of a critical interpretation of American and European views in this area. The possibilities of the optimization and polyoptimization of the behaviors of individual and group inhabitants in the context of logistics chains modelling were highlighted. Standardized indexes will permit an effective assessment of the behaviors of a human or a given society referred to the economic (business) values in an area determined by the necessity of the functioning of ecologistic chains (this activity is proper to the objectives of designing and an objective assessment of the functioning of ecologistic chains). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Urban Policies on the Development of Urban Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 297; doi:10.3390/su8040297
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 10 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 24 March 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (6399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For more than a decade, the European Union recognizes soil as a common good and considers it as a finite resource of inestimable value. The European Union defines it as the “upper layer of earth’s crust, formed by mineral particles, organic matter, water,
[...] Read more.
For more than a decade, the European Union recognizes soil as a common good and considers it as a finite resource of inestimable value. The European Union defines it as the “upper layer of earth’s crust, formed by mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms”. Despite such definitions, usually, planning choices do not take into account the need to reduce soil consumption to build up resilience. This paper presents the controversial case of Agri Valley (Basilicata, Southern Italy); on the one hand, this region is characterized by the presence of extremely valuable land, because of the exceptional degree of soil fertility; on the other hand, Valdagri is also known to have one of the largest oilfields of Europe. An application built around the SLEUTH model was developed in order to produce a simulation and an estimate of the extent to which urban areas may grow in the near future. Results confirm that urban policies implemented so far by local governments—which aimed almost exclusively to favor industrial development—irreversibly threaten the integrity of the natural values of the valley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Using the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART) for the Systematic Analysis of Trade-Offs and Synergies between Sustainability Dimensions and Themes at Farm Level
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 274; doi:10.3390/su8030274
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 9 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
When trying to optimize the sustainability performance of farms and farming systems, a consideration of trade-offs and synergies between different themes and dimensions is required. The aim of this paper is to perform a systematic analysis of trade-offs and synergies across all dimensions
[...] Read more.
When trying to optimize the sustainability performance of farms and farming systems, a consideration of trade-offs and synergies between different themes and dimensions is required. The aim of this paper is to perform a systematic analysis of trade-offs and synergies across all dimensions and themes. To achieve this aim we used the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART)-Farm Tool which operationalizes the Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) Guidelines by defining science-based indicator sets and assessment procedures. It identifies the degree of goal achievement with respect to the 58 themes defined in the SAFA Guidelines using an impact matrix that defines 327 indicators and 1769 relations between sustainability themes and indicators. We illustrate how the SMART-Farm Tool can be successfully applied to assess the sustainability performance of farms of different types and in different geographic regions. Our analysis revealed important synergies between themes within a sustainability dimension and across dimensions. We found major trade-offs within the environmental dimension and between the environmental and economic dimension. The trade-offs within the environmental dimension were even larger than the trade-offs with other dimensions. The study also underlines the importance of the governance dimension with regard to achieving a good level of performance in the other dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Human Aspect as a Critical Factor for Organization Sustainability in the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 232; doi:10.3390/su8030232
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
PDF Full-text (1037 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organizations adopt diverse strategies to govern the technical and managerial aspects of sustainability implementation processes. The need for better leading and managing people-related issues emerges as companies aim for more effective change towards sustainability. The human aspect of the sustainability implementation process is
[...] Read more.
Organizations adopt diverse strategies to govern the technical and managerial aspects of sustainability implementation processes. The need for better leading and managing people-related issues emerges as companies aim for more effective change towards sustainability. The human aspect of the sustainability implementation process is mostly not paid enough attention, but it can significantly affect the success of a change management program by creating hurdles or easing the process. This study considers three human-related factors: resistance to change, internal communication, and employee engagement in sustainability activities of organizations. The aim of the study is to explore how these human factors are managed by tourism companies for organizational sustainability. For this purpose four companies from different sectors of tourism are chosen as case studies and the results are examined using qualitative data analysis techniques. The results indicate that the companies which are in a more advanced stage of sustainability implementation manage human factors using a greater number of channels and employ varied strategies. The results can provide insights into how organizations tackle the challenges of managing human aspect and display the practices that contribute to successful change management programs for achieving organizational sustainability through people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Advancing City Sustainability via Its Systems of Flows: The Urban Metabolism of Birmingham and Its Hinterland
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 220; doi:10.3390/su8030220
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities are dependent on their hinterlands for their function and survival. They provide resources such as people, materials, water, food and energy, as well as areas for waste disposal. Over the last 50 years, commerce and trade has become increasingly global with resources
[...] Read more.
Cities are dependent on their hinterlands for their function and survival. They provide resources such as people, materials, water, food and energy, as well as areas for waste disposal. Over the last 50 years, commerce and trade has become increasingly global with resources sourced from further afield often due to cheap labour costs, better transportation and a plentiful supply of energy and raw materials. However, the use and transportation of resources is becoming increasingly unsustainable as the global population increases, raw materials become increasing scarce, and energy costs rise. This paper builds on research undertaken in the Liveable Cities Programme on the resource flows of Birmingham, UK. It investigates how people, material, and food flows interact within regional, national, and international hinterlands through road and rail transportation and assesses their sustainability across all three pillars (economic, social, and environmental). The type and weight of goods is highlighted together with their costs and energy used. For a city to move with greatest effect towards sustainability it needs to: (i) source as much as it can locally, to minimise transportation and energy costs; (ii) adopt such principles as the “circular economy”; and (iii) provide clean and efficient means to move people, especially public transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Management of Urban Wastewater on One of the Galapagos Islands
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 208; doi:10.3390/su8030208
Received: 16 November 2015 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
PDF Full-text (1781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since 1984, the Galapagos Islands have been included in the program UNESCO—MAB (Man and Biosphere Programme) due to the increasing need to safeguard their outstanding natural ecosystems and promote economic progress based on principles of sustainable development and environmentally friendly technologies. The Ecuadorian
[...] Read more.
Since 1984, the Galapagos Islands have been included in the program UNESCO—MAB (Man and Biosphere Programme) due to the increasing need to safeguard their outstanding natural ecosystems and promote economic progress based on principles of sustainable development and environmentally friendly technologies. The Ecuadorian government, also by special laws, has legislated in favor of the environmental protection of the archipelago, with the intention to control the flow of migrants from the continent to the islands. Today, with the further problems created by the massive influx of tourists, is it necessary to establish planned areas of urban expansion that are already equipped with a suitable system of collection and treatment of wastewater. This paper focuses on the city of Puerto Ayora, the main town of the island of Santa Cruz, where increasing human pressure has led to, among various other consequences, an increase in water demand, which has highlighted the inadequacy of the current wastewater treatment system, based primarily on single-family septic tanks without additional depuration. Among the various actions proposed to solve the increasing health and environmental hazards, caused by the partially treated wastewater, a centralized sewer system for the drainage and the depuration of the wastewater produced by the users connected to the network has been proposed in order to serve the community of Puerto Ayora. This project is currently experiencing a slow implementation process due to technical difficulties. Our intention is to propose a different wastewater management system, which is modular, easily replicable and which requires low maintenance. A flexible and easily manageable system, such as that proposed, could be implemented in other contexts such as, for example, in developing countries. In this specific case, the main purpose of this study is to investigate how to ensure a healthy environment for tourists and residents, without neglecting our duty to respect the ecosystems of this extraordinary island, by defining a model of wastewater management which should be economically and technologically sustainable in this particular context. In fact, the soil, formed by lava rock does not allow for very deep excavations and being so far away from the mainland means that technologies that are easily maintainable on site must be deployed. The study was carried out according to the Millennium Development Goals, Ecuadorian legislation, the suggestions of the Pan American Health Organization, relevant scientific literature and some data collected from site surveys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Promoting Sustainability through EMS Application: A Survey Examining the Critical Factors about EMAS Registration in Italian Organizations
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 197; doi:10.3390/su8030197
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 29 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the tools set by the European Community (EC) to reduce the environmental impact of firms is EMAS Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009), setting up an Environmental Management System (EMS), which aims for a continuous improvement of environmental performances. Italy has the
[...] Read more.
One of the tools set by the European Community (EC) to reduce the environmental impact of firms is EMAS Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009), setting up an Environmental Management System (EMS), which aims for a continuous improvement of environmental performances. Italy has the highest number of certified organization among all European Member States, accounting for over one thousand registrations. The paper presents the result of a survey conducted through a questionnaire about EMAS implementation and targeted to all Italian registered organizations. Of nearly 1000 organizations, over 500 answers were collected. The main goal is to understand how organizations experience the scheme, focusing on main drivers for its adoption, main difficulties encountered, and perceived benefits. In particular, survey results contribute to define a reflection on the difficulties regarding EMAS diffusion among European companies. Aspects identified as critical can lead to a contraction of registration requests, especially those formulated by SMEs, which constitute the majority of Italian companies. Moreover, perceived difficulties might affect the firms’ willingness to renew EMAS registration. Data provided by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) recently highlighted the increasing rate of firms who decide to withdraw from registration. This study offers interesting inputs related to main critical issues in EMAS implementation, which can be the baseline for future research on companies that abandon the certification scheme, in order to provide suggestions for the improvement of its effectiveness both for national and communitarian institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Why Companies Do Not Renew Their EMAS Registration? An Exploratory Research
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 191; doi:10.3390/su8020191
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 6 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the official Environmental Management System (EMS) issued by the European Union (EU). Italy is the country where EMAS is most widespread, accounting for over 1000 registered organizations. Since entry into the force of the Regulation in
[...] Read more.
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is the official Environmental Management System (EMS) issued by the European Union (EU). Italy is the country where EMAS is most widespread, accounting for over 1000 registered organizations. Since entry into the force of the Regulation in 1997, the number of registrations has constantly grown until 2008, when the figures started to drop. The phenomena are due to both the decrease of the annual registration rate and the lack of renewals. According to the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), in recent years, an increasing number of organizations decided to withdraw from EMAS registration. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reasons of this negative trend. The first step consisted of a literature review concerning the main barriers, difficulties, and costs incurred by EMAS-registered organizations. Subsequently, this information was integrated with data about the evolution of EMAS registrations and the results of a previous survey, which involved the entire population of registered firms. The present exploratory research highlighted economic and operational domains concerning the cancellation trends that deserve a deeper investigation, which will be conducted through a questionnaire addressed to Italian firms that did not renew the registration in the last lustrum. The intended output will allow us to identify stakeholders’ priority intervention areas in order to suggest an operative strategy to reduce EMAS cancellation rates, addressed to Member States (MS) Competent Bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility Applied for Rural Development: An Empirical Analysis of Firms from the American Continent
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 102; doi:10.3390/su8010102
Received: 18 November 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
PDF Full-text (491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corporate Social Responsibility has been recognized by policymakers and development specialists as a feasible driver for rural development. The present paper explores both theoretically and empirically how firms involved in CSR provide development opportunities to rural communities. The research first evaluates the applied
[...] Read more.
Corporate Social Responsibility has been recognized by policymakers and development specialists as a feasible driver for rural development. The present paper explores both theoretically and empirically how firms involved in CSR provide development opportunities to rural communities. The research first evaluates the applied literature on the implementation of CSR by private firms and policymakers as means to foster sustainable rural development. The empirical research analyses the CSR activities of 100 firms from a variety of industries, sizes, and countries to determine the type of companies who are involved in rural development and the kind of activities they deployed. Results from the empirical research show that although rural development initiatives are not relevant for all types of companies, a significant number of firms from a variety of industries have engaged in CSR programs supporting rural communities. Firms appear to be interested in stimulating rural development and seem to benefit from it. This paper also includes an exploration of the main challenges and constraints that firms encounter when encouraging rural development initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Financial Sustainability for Farm Credit Applications—A Delphi Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 77; doi:10.3390/su8010077
Received: 9 November 2015 / Revised: 6 January 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore
[...] Read more.
Farmers use credit from commercial credit providers to finance production activities. Commercial credit providers have to predict the financial sustainability of the enterprise to ensure that the borrower will have the ability to repay the loan. A Delphi study was conducted to explore what factors are used as indicators of loan-repayment ability of farmers. The objective was not only to identify factors that are currently considered, but also to identify other personal attributes that may improve the accuracy in predicting the repayment ability of potential borrowers. The Delphi was applied to a panel consisting of nine credit analysts and credit managers from a commercial credit provider in South Africa. The results indicate that the current and past financial performance, account standing, collateral, and credit record of the farm are very important in the assessment of applications in terms of financial performance. Experience and the success factors compared to competitors were found to be important, while age and education/qualification are regarded as less important in predicting repayment ability. The results also show that, although not currently objectively included in credit evaluations, credit analysis regards leadership and human relations; commitment and confidence; internal locus of control; self-efficacy; calculated risk taking; need for achievement; and opportunity seeking as important indicators of the ability of potential borrows to repay their loans. Thus, credit analysts and managers also regard management abilities and entrepreneurial characteristics of potential borrowers to be good indicators of repayment ability. Results from this research provide new indicator factors that can be used to extend existing credit evaluation instruments in order to more accurately predict repayment ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Blue and Green Water Footprint of Lucerne for Milk Production in South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 49; doi:10.3390/su8010049
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use
[...] Read more.
The Global Water Footprint Standard approach was used to calculate the volumetric blue and green water footprint indicator for lucerne production as important feed for dairy cows in a major lucerne production region in South Africa. The degree of sustainability of water use then was assessed by comparing water use to water availability for the region. The results show a volumetric water footprint indicator of 378 m3/tonne of lucerne. Of the total blue and green water footprint, 55% is green water footprint and 45% is blue water footprint. Thus, albeit in a major irrigation area of South Africa, the largest component of the total water requirement is met by effective rainfall. The assessment of sustainability of water use showed that the period when lucerne requires irrigation water furthermore corresponds to the period where the water scarcity index is smaller than 100%. The water footprint thus is considered sustainable from an environmental perspective. This research proves the benefit of using context specific data to assess the water footprint of a crop, and the importance of a sustainability assessment in a water footprint assessment to generate information useful for informing water users and managers towards sustainable freshwater use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessConcept Paper Fostering Sustainable Nutrition Behavior through Gamification
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 67; doi:10.3390/su8010067
Received: 21 September 2015 / Revised: 25 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 12 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The food choices consumers make have considerable consequences for the environment. In the Western world, about one-third of all negative environmental impact is directly related to food consumption. Although many consumers are concerned about environmental issues, this frequently has little effect on actual
[...] Read more.
The food choices consumers make have considerable consequences for the environment. In the Western world, about one-third of all negative environmental impact is directly related to food consumption. Although many consumers are concerned about environmental issues, this frequently has little effect on actual nutritional behavior and new approaches are needed to convert good intentions into action. Gamification could be a possible way to encourage both self-efficacy on the part of the consumer as well as normalizing such behavior socially. In this paper, central elements of the behavioral change model HAPA (health action process approach) are introduced to a gamification concept. The underlying frameworks of both concepts are then analyzed in order to develop propositions for use in the design of an effective gamification setting to promote sustainable nutritional behavior (SNB). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
Back to Top