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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A participatory Integrated Assessment process was carried out to elicit the most fit-for-purpose [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Role of the E-Trust in the B2C E-Commerce of Vietnam
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010291
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1847 | PDF Full-text (1675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vietnam, as a new emerging market, especially in e-business, has been promoting its emerging e-commerce market in Southeast Asia using aggressive players such as Lazada. Nonetheless, Vietnam has strong cultural background of risk-averse attitudes, like other developing countries, thereby deferring sustainable transformation into
[...] Read more.
Vietnam, as a new emerging market, especially in e-business, has been promoting its emerging e-commerce market in Southeast Asia using aggressive players such as Lazada. Nonetheless, Vietnam has strong cultural background of risk-averse attitudes, like other developing countries, thereby deferring sustainable transformation into the e-business revolution. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the factors leading to the sustainable performance of e-commerce businesses, because highly risk-avert attitudes still cause many problems due to low levels of trust. In this perspective of trust, this research may contribute to promoting Vietnamese online shopping trends and suggesting ways for sustainable business to achieve success in B2C e-commerce. The purpose of this research is to examine whether or not the characteristics of e-service quality (usefulness, convenience, security, responsiveness, and assurance) have a positive influence on customer loyalty, one of the sustainable success factors in this growing e-commerce industry in Asian markets. Using questionnaires and structural equation modelling, we concluded that it is crucial to promote e-trust as a vital element, because it lacks, in the short-run, an initial e-trust. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Spatiotemporal Interactions between Urbanization and Eco-Environment in the Urban Agglomeration in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010290
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1193 | PDF Full-text (11219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban agglomeration has become a crucial topic in order for the Chinese government to promote new-type urbanization in China, and its urbanization will greatly affect China’s eco-environment. Existing literature on bidirectional influence between urbanization and eco-environment from the perspective of urban agglomeration is,
[...] Read more.
Urban agglomeration has become a crucial topic in order for the Chinese government to promote new-type urbanization in China, and its urbanization will greatly affect China’s eco-environment. Existing literature on bidirectional influence between urbanization and eco-environment from the perspective of urban agglomeration is, however, limited. This study establishes a conceptual framework to identify bidirectional relationships between urbanization and eco-environment in urban agglomerations. After evaluating urbanization level and eco-environment quality for each city in an urban agglomeration, this framework determines key interaction factors, and employs a global regression approach to quantify the coercing effects of urbanization on eco-environment and constraining effects of eco-environment on urbanization. Spatial heterogeneity of bidirectional interactions is then examined using local regression, represented by geographically weighted regression. The case study in the urban agglomeration in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 2000 to 2015 indicated the existence of bidirectional interactions and coercing threat that was stronger than constraining pressure in this region. The coercion that urbanization posed on the eco-environment began to vary in space significantly from 2010, whereas the constraint of eco-environment on urbanization was spatially stationary. This study will help policy-makers to develop sustainable policies to balance urban development and eco-environment conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimising Anaerobic Digestion of Manure Resources at a Regional Level
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010286
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 924 | PDF Full-text (1939 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An optimisation model was developed to give decision support on methods of managing manure resources within a region to reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time obtain economic profitability for the farmer. The model was tested by performing a case study on
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An optimisation model was developed to give decision support on methods of managing manure resources within a region to reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time obtain economic profitability for the farmer. The model was tested by performing a case study on 50 farms in one region in Norway. Based on input data on the number of cattle and pigs on each farm, and the transport distance between each farm and the nearest centralised biogas plant, the model calculates the economic profit of the farmer and the greenhouse gas emissions for three manure management alternatives: (1) no biogas production; (2) farm scale biogas production; and (3) centralised biogas production. The model could minimise the greenhouse gas emissions, maximise the profit for the farmers or a combination of the two. Results from the case study showed that both options for anaerobic digestion (farm scale and centralised biogas production) are beneficial in terms of the reduction of greenhouse gases and can be profitable for the farmers. The case study has validated the functionality and usefulness of the model. Some improvements are suggested for further development and use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle An Early Warning System for Oil Security in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010283
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
The oil system security in a country or region will affect its sustainable development ability. China’s oil security has risen to the national strategic level. It is urgent to construct an early warning indicator system to reflect the oil security level accurately, as
[...] Read more.
The oil system security in a country or region will affect its sustainable development ability. China’s oil security has risen to the national strategic level. It is urgent to construct an early warning indicator system to reflect the oil security level accurately, as well as to diagnose and assess the oil system status effectively and put forward the corresponding proposals for ensuring oil security. An early warning indicator system of China’s oil system covering 23 sub-indicators from three aspects, i.e., resource security, market security and consumption security, was constructed using the SPSS (Statistical Product and Service Solutions) factor analysis method. It shows that China’s oil system safety level has been seriously threatened and is generally declining. However, due to the strong introduction of energy policies and increasing energy utilization technology in recent years, the increasing proportion of new energy, renewable energy and oil substitutes eases the energy security threats. In response to complex oil security issues, the Chinese government needs to strengthen macroeconomic regulation and control at the policy level continuously, increase efforts to explore resource reserves, upgrade energy conservation and emission reduction technologies, develop new alternatives for oil products, and reduce the dependence on international oil imports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in the Minerals Industry: An Empirical Study on the Effect of Non-Geographical Proximity Dimensions
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010282
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1002 | PDF Full-text (548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Minerals mining and processing companies (hereinafter referred to as “minerals industry”) face the increasing demand for a comprehensive approach towards innovations aimed at sustainability. While the ability to learn from external sources of knowledge is at the core of this process, lack of
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Minerals mining and processing companies (hereinafter referred to as “minerals industry”) face the increasing demand for a comprehensive approach towards innovations aimed at sustainability. While the ability to learn from external sources of knowledge is at the core of this process, lack of geographical proximity and multiplicity of external sources impose challenges for mineral companies in this respect. The present study proposes that organizational, institutional and cognitive proximities could provide a platform for this industry to overcome those challenges, thereby achieving a superior innovation performance across various sustainability dimensions. Results of an analysis based on a sample of 101 mineral companies in Norway reveal that these dimensions of proximity are conducive to process, product and social innovation in different ways. More specifically, organizational proximity (diversity of non-local collaborations) and informal institutional proximity (shared cultural norms and values) spur social innovation. Furthermore, formal institutional proximity (similarity of rules and laws) and cognitive proximity (familiarity of knowledge base) support both process and product innovations. This paper provides some insights on the determinants of innovation in sustainability contexts, and contributes to the recent debate on the role of non-spatial proximity dimensions for innovation in the peripheral regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Mining, Minerals and Energy Industries)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency Actions and Firm Growth in European SMEs
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010281
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 763 | PDF Full-text (621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of eco-efficiency actions on firm performance in terms of sales growth in an extensive sample of 11,336 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in 28 European countries. Our empirical results suggest that not all eco-strategies are positively related
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This study investigates the effects of eco-efficiency actions on firm performance in terms of sales growth in an extensive sample of 11,336 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in 28 European countries. Our empirical results suggest that not all eco-strategies are positively related to better performance, at least not in the short term. We found that European companies using renewable energies, and recycling or designing products that are easier to maintain, repair, or reuse, perform better. Those that aim to reduce water or energy pollution, however, seemed to show a negative correlation to firm growth. Our results also indicate that high investment in eco-strategies improves firm growth, particularly in new members that joined the EU from 2004 onwards. Finally, we observed a U-shaped relationship between eco-strategies and firm growth, which indicates that a greater breadth of eco-strategies is associated with better firm performance. However, few European SMEs are able to either invest heavily or undertake multiple eco-strategies, thus leaving room for policy interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Competitive Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Index Evaluation of the Rainwater Harvesting System in Six US Urban Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010280
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the sustainability of the rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) by analyzing six urban city sites with different rainfall statistics in the United States. We developed a new RWHS performance model by modifying a spreadsheet-based storage, treatment, and overflow runoff model (SS
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the sustainability of the rainwater harvesting system (RWHS) by analyzing six urban city sites with different rainfall statistics in the United States. We developed a new RWHS performance model by modifying a spreadsheet-based storage, treatment, and overflow runoff model (SS STORM) and verified its performance by comparing with another analytical RWHS model. The sustainability index (SI) evaluation method was used for a reservoir system and applied to the RWHS, employing modified resilience and vulnerability evaluation methods due to the different characteristics of a reservoir and the RWHS. The performance of modified SS STORM is very similar to that of the analytical method, except in Los Angeles, which is characterized by long inter-event times and low rainfall event depths due to low annual rainfall. The sustainability indices were successfully evaluated depending on both RWHS size and water demand and vary over a wide range as annual rainfall increases. This study proposes a new RWHS performance model and sustainability index evaluation method. Further study should confirm the proposed approach in regions with widely different rainfall characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Floristic Diversity and Cultural Importance in Agroforestry Systems on Small-Scale Farmer’s Livelihoods in Central Veracruz, México
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010279
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
México is a cultural and biological megadiverse country with an increased anthropogenic pressure on its tropical landscapes. The study area was the ejido “Los Ídolos”, Misantla, Central Veracruz, Mexico. The main objective of this research was to identify how the woody plant diversity
[...] Read more.
México is a cultural and biological megadiverse country with an increased anthropogenic pressure on its tropical landscapes. The study area was the ejido “Los Ídolos”, Misantla, Central Veracruz, Mexico. The main objective of this research was to identify how the woody plant diversity of agroforestry systems contributed to the cultural, economic, and subsistence security of local farmers. Five different agroforestry systems were identified: forest gardens (FG), home gardens (HG), plantation crop combination with perennial cultivates (PC), plantation crop combinations with annual cultivates (AC), and trees on pastures (TP). FG systems had the highest floristic diversity, followed by HG and TP. Interviews with farmers showed that FG, HG, and PC systems were important for maintaining cultural identity and secure subsistence needs, while PC and TP systems were important for improving the economic situation of farmers. The FG systems contained only native species, while the proportion of exotic plants differed among the other systems. Useful exotic plants were found in the HG system. This study demonstrated that agroforestry systems such as FG were not used to their full potential, despite their high diversity of useful plants. It is recommended that farmers—assisted by institutions and representatives of local product chains—conduct feasibility studies on the marketing and promotion of products derived from specific agroforestry systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Open AccessArticle Total-Factor Energy Efficiency in BRI Countries: An Estimation Based on Three-Stage DEA Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010278
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 863 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is showing its great influence and leadership on the international energy cooperation. Based on the three-stage DEA model, total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) in 35 BRI countries in 2015 was measured in this article. It shows that the
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The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is showing its great influence and leadership on the international energy cooperation. Based on the three-stage DEA model, total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) in 35 BRI countries in 2015 was measured in this article. It shows that the three-stage DEA model could eliminate errors of environment variable and random, which made the result better than traditional DEA model. When environment variable errors and random errors were eliminated, the mean value of TFEE was declined. It demonstrated that TFEE of the whole sample group was overestimated because of external environment impacts and random errors. The TFEE indicators of high-income countries like South Korea, Singapore, Israel and Turkey are 1, which is in the efficiency frontier. The TFEE indicators of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Poland and China are over 0.8. And the indicators of Uzbekistan, Ukraine, South Africa and Bulgaria are in a low level. The potential of energy-saving and emissions reduction is great in countries with low TFEE indicators. Because of the gap in energy efficiency, it is necessary to distinguish different countries in the energy technology options, development planning and regulation in BRI countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recycling Pig Slurry Solid Fraction Compost as a Sound Absorber
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010277
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 889 | PDF Full-text (4023 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by
[...] Read more.
The aim of this investigation was to determine the physical and acoustical properties of compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction (SF) in order to assess the potential to recycle this agricultural waste as a sound absorber. The compacts were obtained by compression. The physical parameters investigated were bulk density, durability, and particle size distribution. The acoustical features of the compacts were studied with an impedance tube device in order to verify the acoustic absorption coefficient. Two composts were prepared: pig SF compost without a bulking agent (SSFC) and pig SF compost with wood chips as a bulking agent (WCC). The study’s results indicated that compost particles dimension played a key role in the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts: the smaller the particles, the higher the physical and acoustical properties of the compacts. The densification process increased the bulk density of the investigated composts up to 690 kg m−3 for SSFC and 660 kg m−3 for WWC, with, respectively, medium (77.9%) and low (66.5%) durability. The addition of woody bulking agent significantly reduced the absorption coefficient: the best results, in terms of potential use as a sound absorber, were observed for compacts made from composted pig slurry solid fraction without the addition of wood chips. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Supply Chain Management and Business Sustainability Synergy: A Theoretical and Integrated Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010275
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1597 | PDF Full-text (484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global business organizations face the challenges of adapting proper sustainability strategies and practices to effectively respond to social, ethical, environmental, and governance issues while improving financial performance in creating value for their shareholders. Business sustainability enables the integration of financial economic sustainability performance
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Global business organizations face the challenges of adapting proper sustainability strategies and practices to effectively respond to social, ethical, environmental, and governance issues while improving financial performance in creating value for their shareholders. Business sustainability enables the integration of financial economic sustainability performance and non-financial environmental, social, ethical, and governance sustainability performance dimensions into the corporate culture, supply chain management and business models in creating shared value for all stakeholders. Business literature has provided mixed evidence of the tension, and possible link, between financial and non-financial sustainability performance dimensions and sustainability theories have yet to sufficiently address this tension. This paper attempts to fill this void by shedding light on the link between various dimensions of sustainability performance, their integrated effect on creating shared value for all stakeholders and their implications for supply chain sustainability. This paper examines the synergy between business sustainability and supply chain management by presenting a framework consisting of sustainability theories, sustainability performance dimensions, sustainability shared value concept, and sustainability best practices. Companies can use the suggested framework in integrating both financial and non-financial sustainability initiatives into their supply chain sustainability from production design, purchasing and inbound logistics, and manufacturing process to distribution and outbound logistics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Pedestrian Comfort with Wind Chill during Winter
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010274
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Two types of methods are used to evaluate pedestrian comfort: pedestrian wind comfort and outdoor thermal comfort. To accurately ascertain the outdoor wind environment, wind speed is the only parameter considered. However, pedestrians may still feel discomfort when the perceived temperature is low,
[...] Read more.
Two types of methods are used to evaluate pedestrian comfort: pedestrian wind comfort and outdoor thermal comfort. To accurately ascertain the outdoor wind environment, wind speed is the only parameter considered. However, pedestrians may still feel discomfort when the perceived temperature is low, even though the wind comfort criterion has been satisfactorily fulfilled. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate pedestrian comfort when the perceived temperature is low, especially in winter conditions. To achieve this, a pedestrian survey was conducted, and 588 respondents completed a questionnaire. The results show that pedestrians feel discomfort when the WCET (Wind Chill Equivalent Temperature) is low, with almost 40 percent of respondents answering that they feel discomfort in these conditions. In conclusion, the threshold wind speed of the winter season could be determined to be lower than that of the existing comfort criteria by applying the WCET. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Built Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Approach and Departure System for Left-Turn Vehicles at a Fixed-Time Signalized Intersection
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010273
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)
[...] Read more.
This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and conventional human-driven vehicles by providing ecological speed trajectories for left-turn CAVs. All the ecological speed trajectories are offline optimized before the implementation of system. The speed trajectory optimization is constructed in Pontryagin’s Minimum Principle structure. The before and after evaluation of the proposed system shows the percentage of vehicles that drive pass the intersection at safe speed increases by 2.14% to 45.65%, fuel consumption benefits range 0.53% to 18.44%, emission benefits range from 0.57% to 15.69%, no significant throughput benefits is observed. The proposed system significantly enhances the traffic safety and improves the fuel efficiency and emission reduction of left-turn vehicles with no adverse effect on mobility, and has a good robustness against the randomness of traffic. The investigation also indicates that the computation time of proposed system is greatly reduced compared to previous eco-driving system with online speed optimization. The computation time is up to 0.01 s. The proposed system is ready for real-time application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Implementing Traceability Systems in Specific Supply Chain Management (SCM) through Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010204
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1212 | PDF Full-text (1408 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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Traceability plays a vital role in the success of Halal Supply Chain (HSC). HSC revolve around the essential dimension of Halal Integrity (HI), whereas traceability is seemed to be medium to assure integrity. Thus, a need is felt to identify the factors which
[...] Read more.
Traceability plays a vital role in the success of Halal Supply Chain (HSC). HSC revolve around the essential dimension of Halal Integrity (HI), whereas traceability is seemed to be medium to assure integrity. Thus, a need is felt to identify the factors which are critical to the successful implementation of traceability in Halal Supply Chain Management (HSCM). Identified Twelve Critical Success Factors (CSFs) through an extensive review of literature and opinion of experts. Further, a contextual relationship among the CSFs is developed using Total Interpretive Structure Modelling (TISM) approach and derived a model. The structural model is analyzed using Fuzzy MICMAC (Matrice d’Impacts Croises-Multipication Applique and Classment-cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification) approach to identify the importance of CSFs by driving and dependence power. The primary result indicates towards; that improving the HSCM with the higher level of Halal awareness. Assuring HI will enhance the consumer satisfaction which leads to a competitive advantage for the organization. Academic researchers, industrial practitioners and Supply Chain executives can understand the complex interrelationship of CSFs by visualizing the TISM. It can help the management, lobbies and government to develop the policies regarding the implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Technological Collaboration Characteristics of the Global Integrated Circuit Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010196
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1274 | PDF Full-text (2322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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With the intensification of international competition, there are many international technological collaborations in the integrated circuit manufacturing (ICM) industry. The importance of improving the level of international technological collaboration is becoming more and more prominent. Therefore, it is vital for a country, a
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With the intensification of international competition, there are many international technological collaborations in the integrated circuit manufacturing (ICM) industry. The importance of improving the level of international technological collaboration is becoming more and more prominent. Therefore, it is vital for a country, a region, or an institution to understand the international technological collaboration characteristics of the ICM industry and, thus, to know how to enhance its own international technological collaboration. This paper depicts the international technological collaboration characteristics of the ICM industry based on patent analysis. Four aspects, which include collaboration patterns, collaboration networks, collaboration institutions, and collaboration impacts, are analyzed by utilizing patent association analysis and social network analysis. The findings include the following: first, in regard to international technological collaboration, the USA has the highest level, while Germany has great potential for future development; second, Asia and Europe have already formed clusters, respectively, in the cooperative network; last, but not least, research institutions, colleges, and universities should also actively participate in international collaboration. In general, this study provides an objective reference for policy making, competitiveness, and sustainability in the ICM industry. The framework presented in this paper could be applied to examine other industrial international technological collaborations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Market Intelligence Precursors for the Entrepreneurial Resilience Approach: The Case of the Romanian Eco-Label Product Retailers
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010190
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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The entrepreneurial resilience of eco-label product retailers emphasises their adaptive capability for renewal after the economic crisis. This paper explores the resilience of the market intelligence techniques adopted by the eco-label product retailers in order to contribute to sustainable development of this market
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The entrepreneurial resilience of eco-label product retailers emphasises their adaptive capability for renewal after the economic crisis. This paper explores the resilience of the market intelligence techniques adopted by the eco-label product retailers in order to contribute to sustainable development of this market in Romania. The research, conducted on a sample of Romanian retailers of eco-label products, analyses the main sources for gathering data about their competitors, the reasons for monitoring the strategic options of their competitors and the specific market intelligence techniques employed within the entrepreneurial resilience approach, aiming to overcome the negative crisis effects. The research outlines, from an entrepreneurial resilience perspective, several positioning opportunities of the eco-label product retailers after the crisis, which have affected the Romanian economy in the period 2008–2009 and have implicitly affected the eco-label market. Full article
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Open AccessReview Organic versus Conventional Cropping Sustainability: A Comparative System Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010272
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1823 | PDF Full-text (3089 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of
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We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of concise and widely accepted means to measure sustainability makes coming to an agreement on this issue quite challenging. However, an accurate assessment of sustainability can be reached by dissecting the scientific underpinnings of opposing production practices and crop output between cropping systems. The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of modern global production practices and economics of organic cropping systems, as well as assess the sustainability of organic production practices through the clarification of information and analysis of recent research. Additionally, this review addresses areas where improvements can be made to help meet the needs of future organic producers, including organic-focused breeding programs and necessity of coming to a unified global stance on plant breeding technologies. By identifying management strategies that utilize practices with long-term environmental and resource efficiencies, a concerted global effort could guide the adoption of organic agriculture as a sustainable food production system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Does Leader’s Support for Environment Promote Organizational Citizenship Behaviour for Environment? A Multi-Theory Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010271
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
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Organizational citizenship behaviour for environment of employees is indispensable in realizing environmental sustainability goals of organizations. However, in the growing literature of employee green behaviour at work, scant attention has been paid on the impact of leader’s specific support for environment, and the
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Organizational citizenship behaviour for environment of employees is indispensable in realizing environmental sustainability goals of organizations. However, in the growing literature of employee green behaviour at work, scant attention has been paid on the impact of leader’s specific support for environment, and the mechanisms through which it impacts organizational citizenship behaviour for environment. Drawing upon social exchange theory, self-determination theory and theory of normative conduct, we tested the impact of leader’s support for environment, autonomous motivation for environment and perceived group’s green climate on organizational citizenship behaviour for environment in an integrated model. The sample included 313 executive level employees of green implemented textile and apparel manufacturing factories in Sri Lanka. The results of structural equation modelling showed a direct positive impact of leader’s support for environment on organizational citizenship behaviour for environment. Further, autonomous motivation for environment and perceived group’s green climate were found to be partial mediators between leader’s support for environment and organizational citizenship behaviour for environment. We discussed the theoretical implications for sustainability literature and the managerial implications for organizational practitioners in promoting organizational citizenship behaviour for environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Responses of Vegetation Cover to Environmental Change in Large Cities of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010270
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 985 | PDF Full-text (5542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
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Vegetation cover is crucial for the sustainability of urban ecosystems; however, this cover has been undergoing substantial changes in cities. Based on climate data, city statistical data, nighttime light data and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset, we investigate the spatiotemporal variations
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Vegetation cover is crucial for the sustainability of urban ecosystems; however, this cover has been undergoing substantial changes in cities. Based on climate data, city statistical data, nighttime light data and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset, we investigate the spatiotemporal variations of climate factors, urban lands and vegetation cover in 71 large cities of China during 1998–2012, and explore their correlations. A regression model between growing-season NDVI (G-NDVI) and urban land proportion (PU) is built to quantify the impact of urbanization on vegetation cover change. The results indicate that the spatiotemporal variations of temperature, precipitation, PU and G-NDVI are greatly different among the 71 cities which experienced rapid urbanization. The spatial difference of G-NDVI is closely related to diverse climate conditions, while the inter-annual variations of G-NDVI are less sensitive to climate changes. In addition, there is a negative correlation between G-NDVI trend and PU change, indicating vegetation cover in cities have been negatively impacted by urbanization. For most of the inland cities, the urbanization impacts on vegetation cover in urban areas are more severe than in suburban areas. But the opposite occurs in 17 cities mainly located in the coastal areas which have been undergoing the most rapid urbanization. Overall, the impacts of urbanization on G-NDVI change are estimated to be −0.026 per decade in urban areas and −0.015 per decade in suburban areas during 1998–2012. The long-term developments of cities would persist and continue to impact on the environmental change and sustainability. We use a 15-year window here as a case study, which implies the millennia of human effects on the natural biotas and warns us to manage landscapes and preserve ecological environments properly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Critical Examination of Geoengineering: Economic and Technological Rationality in Social Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010269
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Geoengineering—specifically stratospheric aerosol injection—is not only risky, but supports powerful economic interests, protects an inherently ecologically harmful social formation, relegates the fundamental social-structural changes needed to address climate change, and is rooted in a vision of a nature as a set of passive
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Geoengineering—specifically stratospheric aerosol injection—is not only risky, but supports powerful economic interests, protects an inherently ecologically harmful social formation, relegates the fundamental social-structural changes needed to address climate change, and is rooted in a vision of a nature as a set of passive resources that can be fully controlled in line with the demands of capital. The case for geoengineering is incomprehensible without analyzing the social context that gave birth to it: capitalism’s inability to overcome a contradiction between the need to accumulate capital, on the one hand, and the need to maintain a stable climate system on the other. Substantial emissions reductions, unlike geoengineering, are costly, rely more on social-structural than technical changes, and are at odds with the current social order. Because of this, geoengineering will increasingly be considered a core response to climate change. In light of Herbert Marcuse’s critical theory, the promotion of geoengineering as a market-friendly and high-tech strategy is shown to reflect a society that cannot set substantive aims through reason and transforms what should be considered means (technology and economic production) into ends themselves. Such a condition echoes the first-generation Frankfurt School’s central thesis: instrumental rationality remains irrational. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Cycling as a Smart and Green Mode of Transport in Small Touristic Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010268
Received: 5 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1276 | PDF Full-text (2248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cycling as a mode of transport is a low-cost, health-improving way to travel and offers environmental benefits for the cities that promote it. It is only recently, though, with concerns over climate change, pollution, congestion, and obesity among others, that have cities throughout
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Cycling as a mode of transport is a low-cost, health-improving way to travel and offers environmental benefits for the cities that promote it. It is only recently, though, with concerns over climate change, pollution, congestion, and obesity among others, that have cities throughout the world have begun to implement policies to promote cycling. In Greece, however, the use of the bicycle is limited. In Preveza, a small touristic city in Northwestern Greece where the use of the bicycle is prominent when compared to other Greek cities, there are efforts to promote cycling. Through the aid of a structured questionnaire, the residents evaluated the suitability of the city for cycling, the existing infrastructure, appropriate education, and behavior of cyclists and drivers. More than half of the residents use bicycles as their transportation and stated that bicycles are an inexpensive way of transport in the city and had the opinion that the state should encourage bicycle use by supporting subvention in bicycle acquisition. Two-thirds of the residents evaluated the cycling facilities of their city as adequate, but unsafe for young cyclists who do not follow the rules of transport. Adult cyclists, in contrast, were more loyal to the code, but stated that drivers did not respect their presence on the roads. This research provides important information on the perceived shortcomings of cycling as a transport mode in Preveza that may be of interest to towns/cities with similar characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel Behaviour and Sustainable Transport of the Future)
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Open AccessArticle Calculation of Characterization Factors of Mineral Resources Considering Future Primary Resource Use Changes: A Comparison between Iron and Copper
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010267
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
The future availability of mineral resources has attracted much attention; therefore, a quantitative evaluation of the potential impacts of resource use on future availability is important. Although the surplus cost model is often recommended among the existing endpoint characterization models of mineral resources,
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The future availability of mineral resources has attracted much attention; therefore, a quantitative evaluation of the potential impacts of resource use on future availability is important. Although the surplus cost model is often recommended among the existing endpoint characterization models of mineral resources, it has a shortcoming as it does not consider the changes in future primary resource use. This paper introduces a new characterization model considering future primary resource use changes, due to future changes in total demand and secondary resource use. Using material flow analysis, this study estimated time-series primary resource use for iron and copper for five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) and a constant total demand scenario. New characterization factors, i.e., demand change-based surplus costs (DCSC), are calculated for each resource. In all of the SSPs, the calculated DCSCs are larger than the conventional surplus costs (SC) for both iron and copper. The DCSC, relative to the SC of copper, is larger than that of iron for all of the SSPs, which suggests that the potential impacts of copper use, relative to iron, will be underestimated, unless future primary resource use changes are considered. In calculating DCSC for other resources, it is important to choose an appropriate approach for forecasting future total demands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Zone-Aware Service Platform: A New Concept of Context-Aware Networking and Communications for Smart-Home Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010266
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Recent advances in networking and communications removed the restrictions of time and space in information services. Context-aware service systems can support the predefined services in accordance with user requests regardless of time and space. However, due to their architectural limitations, the recent systems
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Recent advances in networking and communications removed the restrictions of time and space in information services. Context-aware service systems can support the predefined services in accordance with user requests regardless of time and space. However, due to their architectural limitations, the recent systems are not so flexible to provide device-independent services by multiple service providers. Recently, researchers have focused on a new service paradigm characterized by high mobility, service continuity, and green characteristics. In line with these efforts, improved context-aware service platforms have been suggested to make the platform possible to manage the contexts to provide the adaptive services for multi-user and locations. However, this platform can only support limited continuity and mobility. In other words, the existing system cannot support seamless service provision among different service providers with respect to the changes of mobility, situation, device, and network. Furthermore, the existing context-aware service platform is significant reliance on always-on infrastructure, which leads to great amounts of energy consumption inevitably. Therefore, we subsequently propose a new concept of context-aware networking and communications, namely a zone-aware service platform. The proposed platform autonomously reconfigures the infrastructure and maintains a service session interacting with the middleware to support cost- and energy-efficient pervasive services for smart-home sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Absorptive Capacity on Green Customer Capital under an Organizational Unlearning Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010265
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Environmental management is becoming increasingly important within organizations and forms an essential part of their strategies. As customers are more concerned with the care of the environment, companies are required to be more aware of their actions. Consequently, companies must ignore their historical
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Environmental management is becoming increasingly important within organizations and forms an essential part of their strategies. As customers are more concerned with the care of the environment, companies are required to be more aware of their actions. Consequently, companies must ignore their historical mindsets and assumptions to be able to adopt green-oriented practices and processes. Our specific research questions are: (i) How can firms become (more) green-oriented? and (ii) how can knowledge-based organizational capabilities drive this shift into greener companies, which may enhance green customer capital? The research model describes how the complementary roles of absorptive capacity (direct effect) and the fostering of an organizational unlearning context (moderating effect) affects green customer capital within the Spanish automotive component manufacturing sector. Empirical results reveal that to create green customer capital, companies should absorb new knowledge and build a context of organizational unlearning. In today’s competitive environment, knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, so companies need to encourage unlearning to make space for new knowledge that meets environmental needs and keeps pace with changing customer preferences. The research hypotheses were tested using partial least squares (PLS) path-modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Analysis on the Influence Factors of the Sustainable Water Resource Management Performance in Irrigation Areas: An Empirical Research from China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010264
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Performance evaluation and influence factors analysis are vital to the sustainable water resources management (SWRM) in irrigation areas. Based on the objectives and the implementation framework of modern integrated water resources management (IWRM), this research systematically developed an index system of the performances
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Performance evaluation and influence factors analysis are vital to the sustainable water resources management (SWRM) in irrigation areas. Based on the objectives and the implementation framework of modern integrated water resources management (IWRM), this research systematically developed an index system of the performances and their influence factors ones of the SWRM in irrigation areas. Using the method of multivariate regression combined with correlation analysis, this study estimated quantitatively the effect of multiple factors on the water resources management performances of irrigation areas in the Ganzhou District of Zhangye, Gansu, China. The results are presented below. The overall performance is mainly affected by management enabling environment and management institution with the regression coefficients of 0.0117 and 0.0235, respectively. The performance of ecological sustainability is mainly influenced by local economic development level and enable environment with the regression coefficients of 0.08642 and −0.0118, respectively. The performance of water use equity is mainly influenced by information publicity, administrators’ education level and ordinary water users’ participation level with the correlation coefficients of 0.637, 0.553 and 0.433, respectively. The performance of water use economic efficiency is mainly influenced by the management institutions and instruments with the regression coefficients of −0.07844 and 0.01808, respectively. In order to improve the overall performance of SWRM in irrigation areas, it is necessary to strengthen the public participation, improve the manager’ ability and provide sufficient financial support on management organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrothermal Liquefaction Enhanced by Various Chemicals as a Means of Sustainable Dairy Manure Treatment
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010230
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Because of the increase in concentrated animal feeding operations, there is a growing interest in sustainable manure management. In this study, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of dairy manure enhanced by various chemicals (NH3·H2O, H3PO4, and glycerol)
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Because of the increase in concentrated animal feeding operations, there is a growing interest in sustainable manure management. In this study, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of dairy manure enhanced by various chemicals (NH3·H2O, H3PO4, and glycerol) was proposed as a sustainable alternative for the dairy manure management. The applications of NH3·H2O and H3PO4 during HTL could significantly enhance the production of liquid chemicals. The addition of NH3·H2O or glycerol increased the amounts of non-polar toluene, xylene, and other benzene-contained compounds, while the use of H3PO4 produced high amounts of acids, pyridine, 3-methyl-pyridine, 2,6-dimethyl-pyrazine, 2-cyclopenten-1-ones, and phenols. The biochars produced via HTL showed a significant increase in the surface area/pore volume and relatively higher N, P, C, and other minerals, and may serve as a good soil amendment and nutrient source. The preliminary energy analyses showed that the energy consumption of this process might be reduced to 50% of the original energy content of the feedstock, and the energy payback period was about 3.5 years. Combining all advantages, HTL of dairy manure might increase the sustainability of the farming operation via producing energy products, fine chemicals, and biochars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Dimensions of Landscape Stewardship across Europe: Landscape Values, Place Attachment, Awareness, and Personal Responsibility
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010263
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Improved perceptions towards landscape stewardship, at the local level, could help achieve more sustainable futures. However, little research has been done on the dimensions of landscape stewardship underlying such perceptions. Here we look at the perception of landscape values, place attachment, awareness of
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Improved perceptions towards landscape stewardship, at the local level, could help achieve more sustainable futures. However, little research has been done on the dimensions of landscape stewardship underlying such perceptions. Here we look at the perception of landscape values, place attachment, awareness of the adverse consequences human action might have on landscapes, and ascription of personal responsibility across Europe as well as how these dimensions are connected and influenced by personal capabilities and socio-cultural contexts. We conducted a cross-site comparison study, in six European municipalities, using a survey to capture residents’ levels of awareness, responsibility, and attachment as derived from a set of statements. Respondents were also asked to indicate the values they perceive in the local landscape from a given list. The data was analysed by combining frequency analysis, factor analysis, and contingency tables. In our sample of 726 respondents, stronger awareness was related to stronger ascription of personal responsibility, but a connection to place attachment was not clear. Perception of multiple landscape values was related to stronger awareness, responsibility, and place attachment. Meanwhile, awareness and responsibility were influenced by respondents’ occupation, levels of income and education, and socio-cultural context, whereas place attachment was linked to their relationship to the local area. We conclude that enhancing commitment towards landscape stewardship, at the local level, requires efforts focused on making environmental education more universal, implementing green options accessible to everyone, and people experientially engaging more actively with their local landscapes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Risk Identification in the Early Design Stage Using Thermal Simulations—A Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010262
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 722 | PDF Full-text (5543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The likely increasing temperature predicted by UK Climate Impacts Program (UKCIP) underlines the risk of overheating and potential increase in cooling loads in most of UK dwellings. This could also increase the possibility of failure in building performance evaluation methods and add even
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The likely increasing temperature predicted by UK Climate Impacts Program (UKCIP) underlines the risk of overheating and potential increase in cooling loads in most of UK dwellings. This could also increase the possibility of failure in building performance evaluation methods and add even more uncertainty to the decision-making process in a low-carbon building design process. This paper uses a 55-unit residential unit project in Cardiff, UK as a case study to evaluate the potential of thermal simulations to identify risk in the early design stage. Overheating, increase in energy loads, carbon emissions, and thermal bridges are considered as potential risks in this study. DesignBuilder (DesignBuilder Software Ltd., Stroud, UK) was the dynamic thermal simulation software used in this research. Simulations compare results in the present, 2050, and 2080 time slices and quantifies the overall cooling and heating loads required to keep the operative temperature within the comfort zone. Overall carbon emissions are also calculated and a considerable reduction in the future is predicted. Further analysis was taken by THERM (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA) and Psi THERM (Passivate, London, UK) to evaluate the thermal bridge risk in most common junctions of the case study and the results reveal the potential of thermal assessment methods to improve design details before the start of construction stage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Energy Consumption in Northeast Asia: A Case from China’s Fuel Oil Futures Market
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010261
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 823 | PDF Full-text (1756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainable energy consumption in northeast Asia has a huge impact on regional stability and economic growth, which gives price volatility research in the energy market both theoretical value and practical application. We select China’s fuel oil futures market as a research subject
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The sustainable energy consumption in northeast Asia has a huge impact on regional stability and economic growth, which gives price volatility research in the energy market both theoretical value and practical application. We select China’s fuel oil futures market as a research subject and use recurrence interval analysis to investigate the price volatility pattern in different thresholds. We utilize the stretched exponential function to fit the pattern of the recurrence intervals of price fluctuations and find that the probability density functions of the recurrence intervals in different thresholds do not show the scaling behavior. Then the conditional probability density function and detrended fluctuation analysis prove that there is short-term and long-term correlation. Last, we use a hazard function to introduce the recurrence intervals into the (value at risk) VaR calculation and establish a functional relationship between the mean recurrence interval and the threshold. Following this result, we also shed light on policy discussion for hedgers and government. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Direct Rebound Effect of Energy Consumption: A Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010259
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Technological innovation plays a crucial role for improving energy efficiency. But the excessive energy consumption has presented a significant challenge at the same time, which indicates that the direct energy rebound effect exists in China. Cobb-Douglas production function and Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index
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Technological innovation plays a crucial role for improving energy efficiency. But the excessive energy consumption has presented a significant challenge at the same time, which indicates that the direct energy rebound effect exists in China. Cobb-Douglas production function and Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index decomposition model are employed to analyze the rebound effect of energy consumption of all three main industries sector in China. The results show that total technological effect curve and total substitution effect curve fluctuated more significantly than total structure effect curve from 1991 to 2014.The first two curves were the most critical factors for the energy consumption intensity. Stabilizing energy prices, developing new and renewable energy and implementing policies related to energy conservation and emission reduction are effective measures to reduce energy consumption intensity. More attention should be paid to the growing demand for living energy consumption derived from the rapid development of the tertiary industry. The direct rebound effect of energy consumption in China showed an overall descending trend. This shows that technological effect has well prevented the growth of energy consumption. Direct energy rebound effect can be controlled effectively by means of formulating and implementing the corresponding energy related policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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