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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Spatial landscape patterns are scale-dependent, especially in highly heterogeneous environments [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle IT2 Hybrid Decision-Making Approach to Performance Measurement of Internationalized Firms in the Baltic States
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010296
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
International activities of firms contribute to environmental socio-economic development and have a positive influence on prosperity of countries. The novelty of this study is to extend prevailing theory on the performance measurement of internationalized firms by suggesting a hybrid decision-making model based on
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International activities of firms contribute to environmental socio-economic development and have a positive influence on prosperity of countries. The novelty of this study is to extend prevailing theory on the performance measurement of internationalized firms by suggesting a hybrid decision-making model based on interval type 2 fuzzy sets for the Baltic states. The integrated method is defined as the interval type-2 (IT2) decision making trial and evaluation laboratory qualitative flexible multiple criteria method (DEMATEL-QUALIFLEX). IT2 DEMATEL is used for weighting each criterion of internationalized firms and IT2 QUALIFLEX is applied for ranking the Baltic states, respectively. Within this context, six different criteria are defined for ranking the internationalized firms of the Baltic states. The ranking of all three countries enable us to conclude that Estonia demonstrates the best results of internationalized firms. Meanwhile, Latvia has the worst performance of internationalized firms. The findings are useful for decision makers responsible for supportive policies focused on the research and development (R&D) and internationalization of firms. The implications for managers lie in the awareness of necessary conditions for successful internationalization. The study extends prevailing knowledge on the performance measurement of internationalized firms and provides findings on multinational companies (MNCs) in the Baltic states’ context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Water Supply and Energy in Residential Buildings: Potential Savings and Financial Profitability
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010295
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
This article examines the suitability of water supply installations in residential buildings for the pressure conditions of the main water network, and evaluates the energy saving possibilities associated with pumping water into homes. It assesses the situation and the options for renovation in
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This article examines the suitability of water supply installations in residential buildings for the pressure conditions of the main water network, and evaluates the energy saving possibilities associated with pumping water into homes. It assesses the situation and the options for renovation in a sample of 151 buildings in the city of Zaragoza (Spain), estimating the savings in electric power and the possible financial returns that could be obtained. The results show that in half the buildings, the installations are inadequate and lead to inefficient energy use, which could be avoided by renovation. However, they also show that in many cases, this type of retrofitting would not be profitable for the building owners, meaning that technically viable solutions may not necessarily be financially viable. To mitigate or avoid the energy inefficiency in question, the public sector could step in by informing and financing support for building owners and regulating in the areas of town planning and construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Energy Sustainable Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Contribution of China’s Civil Law to Sustainable Development: Progress and Prospects
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010294
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Environmental protection is mainly the focus of environmental law in China, but as China has started to pursue ecological civilization, its civil law has begun to respond to environmental problems as well, which is called the “greening of civil law”. As a result,
[...] Read more.
Environmental protection is mainly the focus of environmental law in China, but as China has started to pursue ecological civilization, its civil law has begun to respond to environmental problems as well, which is called the “greening of civil law”. As a result, the newly passed General Provisions of Civil Law adopted a “Green Principle” requiring private actors to contribute to resources conservation and environmental protection in civil activities. Through normative and comparative analysis, this article explores the establishment of the “Green Principle”, the rationales for civil law’s response to environmental problems in China, the progress already made, and the further efforts that are needed. It argues that the major challenge for the greening of China’s civil law at present is the modification of the subsequent sections of the forthcoming civil code. Despite the progress that has already been made, further efforts are needed regarding the following aspects: environmental and resources protection should be taken into account in contract rules concerning the validity, performance, and interpretation of contracts, and rules on emission trading contracts should be added; the property section should stipulate the unified exercise of state ownership over natural resources; and the “personality rights” section should stipulate environmental rights so as to clarify the right that is violated in environmental public interest litigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Development System Measurement Based on Dissipative Structure Theory, the Grey Entropy Method and Coupling Theory: A Case Study in Chengdu, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010293
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
With the rapid advancement of urbanization, the sustainable development of the city has received more and more attention. The measurement of the sustainable development of a city can provide an important reference for the development of the city. Therefore, this paper firstly constructs
[...] Read more.
With the rapid advancement of urbanization, the sustainable development of the city has received more and more attention. The measurement of the sustainable development of a city can provide an important reference for the development of the city. Therefore, this paper firstly constructs an index system for five dimensions: society, the economy, the environment, resources, and technology. Then, a sustainable development measurement model is established based on dissipative structure theory, grey entropy and coupling theory, and the evolution trend and coordinated development of the city are measured. Finally, Chengdu, an important central city in the western region of China, is selected for sustainable development measurement research, from which it was found that the city became more sustainable and more orderly, the development level was constantly improving, and the coordination was continuously improving, which was consistent with the actual situation and indicated that the proposed measurement model could effectively measure and evaluate sustainable urban development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Tourism and Residents’ Perception towards the Brand: The Case of Malaga (Spain)
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010292
Received: 3 November 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
A brand can turn a geographical location into a landmark and influences the tourist planification of a city. Although the world tourist sector recognizes Malaga as The Coast of Sun, this analysis also reveals several more elements, which should be substantiated if a
[...] Read more.
A brand can turn a geographical location into a landmark and influences the tourist planification of a city. Although the world tourist sector recognizes Malaga as The Coast of Sun, this analysis also reveals several more elements, which should be substantiated if a rebranding is carried out. If the brand is well managed, the residents’ perspective must be taken into account. Avoiding the seasonality and keeping the destination in the future will allow the sustainable development of the tourism in the city of Malaga. In order to achieve the goals set in this research, a descriptive methodology has been used. This study has been carried out using a questionnaire in which 1230 residents have participated. Indeed, the results show that Malaga brand is being built under the concept of culture and that some attributes are vital for the territory’s image. This encourages economic growth and hence employment. This paper offers important implications to both public and private institutions insofar as they promote tourism campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Can We Shape Trait Professional Skepticism through University Accounting Programs? Evidence from Polish University
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010291
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper examines whether it is possible to shape trait professional skepticism of accounting students through undergraduate and graduate university programs. Using Hurtt’s Professional Skepticism Scale (HPSS), we surveyed 432 students of the Poznań University of Economics, who follow either one of the
[...] Read more.
This paper examines whether it is possible to shape trait professional skepticism of accounting students through undergraduate and graduate university programs. Using Hurtt’s Professional Skepticism Scale (HPSS), we surveyed 432 students of the Poznań University of Economics, who follow either one of the accounting programs or the management program. Comparing the mean scores of first-year undergraduates from each program, who have been studying only for two weeks (initial level of skepticism), with the mean scores of the final-year students as proxies for the entry-level auditors (audit assistants), we calculated the change in the mean scores of students’ trait skepticism over four years of study. The results show that only the ACCA-accredited (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) accounting program significantly increased the level of trait skepticism of the accounting students in comparison to the control group and students who followed the standard accounting program. The robustness analysis shows that independent variables, such as age, the future job that subjects wish to occupy, and the length of professional experience, have no significant impact on the results obtained. However, that both gender and professional experience have a significant impact on the mean scores may be considered as variables supporting the change of professional skepticism within the four years of study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Energy Sustainability Using the Pressure-State-Response and Improved Matter-Element Extension Models: Case Study of China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010290
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Most existing studies on energy sustainability have focused on qualitative research. Few studies have applied quantitative methods, and there has not been a systematic review of energy sustainability. To fill this gap, this study first developed a sustainable energy evaluation index system consisting
[...] Read more.
Most existing studies on energy sustainability have focused on qualitative research. Few studies have applied quantitative methods, and there has not been a systematic review of energy sustainability. To fill this gap, this study first developed a sustainable energy evaluation index system consisting of 20 indicators across the three dimensions of economy, energy, and environment based on the pressure-state-response (PSR) model. The weights of these indicators were then determined in conjunction with the weighting method. Finally, the matter-element extension method was improved to quantify energy sustainability. The proposed method was applied to evaluate China’s energy sustainability status from 2000 to 2015. The results show that China’s status continued to improve; however, it remained at a low level. To improve China’s energy sustainability, more efforts are needed in the economic, energy, and environmental dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Perspectives on Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sustainability in 2018
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010289
Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Supply-Side Efficiency of China’s Real Estate Market: A Data Envelopment Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010288
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
With the gradual slowdown of economic growth in China, the Chinese government proposed the task of supply-side reform. As a vital part of China’s economy, supply-side reform in the real estate market is particularly important. Using 29 provinces (divided into seven regions) in
[...] Read more.
With the gradual slowdown of economic growth in China, the Chinese government proposed the task of supply-side reform. As a vital part of China’s economy, supply-side reform in the real estate market is particularly important. Using 29 provinces (divided into seven regions) in China as examples, this paper empirically studies the supply-side efficiency of China’s real estate market using data envelopment analysis (DEA) for the period of 2012–2016. The results showed that (1) the main problem of low supply-side efficiency in the Chinese real estate market is the low land-use efficiency, with a redundancy rate of 60.59% in China’s land space pending development; and (2) China’s southeastern coastal region, with the highest supply-side efficiency in the real estate market, reached a level of decreasing returns, and it is no longer appropriate to increase the supply-side efficiency by expanding the market scale. However, the southwestern region and the Yangtze River’s middle region, which both have lower supply-side efficiency, can improve the land utilization ratio and technology investment to change the current situations. The study results suggest (1) improving the construction land development efficiency by adjusting the input and output of the market according to the specific conditions of each city, and (2) promoting the supply-side reform of China’s real estate market and sustainable urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Building Energy and Daylight Performance of Electrochromic Glazing for Optimal Control in Three Different Climate Zones
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010287
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The objective of this paper is to analyze the control conditions of the transmittance rate, and determine the conditions that are most optimal with respect to building energy and daylight performance in three climate conditions: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (hot climate); Inchon, South Korea
[...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to analyze the control conditions of the transmittance rate, and determine the conditions that are most optimal with respect to building energy and daylight performance in three climate conditions: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (hot climate); Inchon, South Korea (hot and cold climate); and Moscow, Russia (cold climate). The analysis was based on the electrochromic glass developed by a research team. Electrochromic glass is a next generation solar control glass that can control the transmittance of the glass itself. Therefore, proper control methods are essential for rational use of this electrochromic glass. To properly control electrochromic glass, daylight performance must be considered, along with building energy (heating, cooling, and lighting). If only building energy is considered, transmittance needs to be lowered during the summer season and increased during the winter season. Controlling electrochromic glass transmittance with such a method would not improve the satisfaction of users and occupants of a building due to the resulting glare. In addition to energy reduction, the basic function of solar control glass is to prevent glare. Therefore, in this study, we develop the Energy and Daylight Performance Index (EDPI) using, to evaluate the combined building energy and daylight performance and deduce the optimal control method for electrochromic glass. In addition, optimal control conditions for the three different climatic regions were obtained. Limitations of this study were that the scope was restricted to the eastern climate region, and that the building analysis model was limited to one climate region. It is expected that the optimal control method could be used as an initial database in the development of a electrochromic glass control system. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Multidisciplinary Optimization of Life-Cycle Energy and Cost Using a BIM-Based Master Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010286
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Virtual design tools and methods can aid in creating decision bases, but it is a challenge to balance all the trade-offs between different disciplines in building design. Optimization methods are at hand, but the question is how to connect and coordinate the updating
[...] Read more.
Virtual design tools and methods can aid in creating decision bases, but it is a challenge to balance all the trade-offs between different disciplines in building design. Optimization methods are at hand, but the question is how to connect and coordinate the updating of the domain models of each discipline and centralize the product definition into one source instead of having several unconnected product definitions. Building information modelling (BIM) features the idea of centralizing the product definition to a BIM-model and creating interoperability between models from different domains and previous research reports on different applications in a number of fields within construction. Recent research features BIM-based optimization, but there is still a question of knowing how to design a BIM-based process using neutral file formats to enable multidisciplinary optimization of life-cycle energy and cost. This paper proposes a framework for neutral BIM-based multidisciplinary optimization. The framework consists of (1) a centralized master model, from which different discipline-specific domain models are generated and evaluated; and (2) an optimization algorithm controlling the optimization loop. Based on the proposed framework, a prototype was developed and used in a case study of a Swedish multifamily residential building to test the framework’s applicability in generating and optimizing multiple models based on the BIM-model. The prototype was developed to enhance the building’s sustainability performance by optimizing the trade-off between the building’s life-cycle energy (LCE) and life-cycle cost (LCC) when choosing material for the envelope. The results of the case study demonstrated the applicability of the framework and prototype in optimizing the trade-off between conflicting objectives, such as LCE and LCC, during the design process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Service Providers’ Resilience in Buffering the Negative Impact of Customer Incivility on Service Recovery Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010285
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
In the service sector, customer-related social stressors may weaken employees’ well-being, impairing job-related outcomes. Drawing on the Conservation of Resources theory and on the psychology of sustainability, fostering personal resources become critical to encourage service providers who can effectively manage such job demands.
[...] Read more.
In the service sector, customer-related social stressors may weaken employees’ well-being, impairing job-related outcomes. Drawing on the Conservation of Resources theory and on the psychology of sustainability, fostering personal resources become critical to encourage service providers who can effectively manage such job demands. This study investigated how customer-related social stressors and customer orientation influence service recovery performance and whether resilience buffers the negative effects of customer incivility on service recovery performance. One hundred and fifty-seven Italian customer-contact employees completed a questionnaire analyzing customer incivility, customer-related social stressors, resilience, customer orientation, and service recovery performance. Regression analyses and SEMs were conducted. Although all customer-related social stressors indirectly and negatively influenced service recovery performance by increasing burnout symptoms, customer incivility only exerted a direct and detrimental impact on service recovery performance. Customer orientation was directly and positively associated with service recovery performance. Highly resilient employees were less affected by variations in service recovery performance across customer incivility levels. Within the psychology of sustainability framework, promoting resilient workplaces is crucial to foster healthy and sustainable work settings. Service organizations can greatly benefit from providing their employees with psychological resilience training programs, cultivating high customer-oriented attitudes through mentoring sessions, and hiring highly customer-oriented and resilient employees for customer-contact occupations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Firewood Moisture Content on the Atmospheric Thermal Load by Flue Gases Emitted by a Boiler
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010284
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we present an analysis on the effect of the moisture content of firewood on the atmospheric thermal load created by the heating of flue gases with temperatures of tfg = 120–200 °C, emitted by a boiler when wood with
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we present an analysis on the effect of the moisture content of firewood on the atmospheric thermal load created by the heating of flue gases with temperatures of tfg = 120–200 °C, emitted by a boiler when wood with moisture content of W = 10%–60% is combusted. The load of the atmosphere created by the heat of the flue gases with temperatures of ts = 120 °C from the boiler, where dried wood with the moisture content of W = 10% is combusted, is Q = 9.2 MJ·GJ−1. The atmospheric thermal load caused by flue gases with the temperature of ts = 200 °C, resulting from the combustion process of wet firewood with a moisture content of W = 60%, is 3.8 times higher compared with the above-mentioned conditions. The heating of water vapor from the evaporated water occurring in combusted wood, as well as the heat of the heated nitrogen and unoxidized oxygen in the combustion air delivered to the furnace of a firewood boiler, are considered to be reasons for the increasing atmospheric thermal load caused by the heating of flue gases, resulting from the combustion of wood with higher moisture content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Wood Science)
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Open AccessEditorial Hawai‘i in Focus: Navigating Pathways in Global Biocultural Leadership
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010283
Received: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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As an introduction to the special issue on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i,” this manuscript provides background for term ‘biocultural restoration,’ and contextualizes it within the realms of scholarship and conservation. It explores two key themes related to the topic. First, “Earth as Island,
[...] Read more.
As an introduction to the special issue on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i,” this manuscript provides background for term ‘biocultural restoration,’ and contextualizes it within the realms of scholarship and conservation. It explores two key themes related to the topic. First, “Earth as Island, Island as Earth,” scales up an island-borne concept of sustainability into a global context. Second, “Hawai‘i as a Biocultural Leader,” examines the reasons behind the global trend of looking to the most isolated landmass on the planet for solutions to global sustainability issues. We conclude by summarizing the content of the special issue and pointing out the historic nature of its publication. It is the largest collection to date of scientific papers authored by Native Hawaiians and kama‘āina (Hawai‘i-grown) scholars, and more than 50% of both lead and total authorship are women. This Special Issue, therefore, represents a big step forward for under-represented demographics in science. It also solidifies, as embodied in many of the papers in this Special Issue, indigenous methodologies that prioritize working relationships and practical applications by directly involving those on the front lines of biocultural conservation and restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
Open AccessArticle Determining Local Economic Development in the Rural Areas of Romania. Exploring the Role of Exogenous Factors
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010282
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Based on data collected for 398 communes from the North-West development region of Romania between 2007 and 2014, this article presents a local economic development (LED) index for rural communities and identifies the main factors which influence LED in these communities. Our results
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Based on data collected for 398 communes from the North-West development region of Romania between 2007 and 2014, this article presents a local economic development (LED) index for rural communities and identifies the main factors which influence LED in these communities. Our results show that exogenous factors, such as location in the influence area of urban communities and the existence of a direct connection to the European Road Network, influence the level of LED. At the same time nor the aforementioned exogenous factors nor other exogenous factors, such as non-refundable investments programs in local core infrastructure (financed by the European Union and the Romanian Government) which were designed to accelerate/spur economic development, as well as direct connections to the National Roads Network, do not have any statistically significant influence on spurring/accelerating LED (at least in this short period of time). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessReview Physico-Mechanical and Thermodynamic Properties of Mycelium-Based Biocomposites: A Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010281
Received: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Reducing the use of non-renewable resources is a key strategy of a circular economy. Mycelium-based foams and sandwich composites are an emerging category of biocomposites relying on the valorization of lignocellulosic wastes and the natural growth of the living fungal organism. While growing,
[...] Read more.
Reducing the use of non-renewable resources is a key strategy of a circular economy. Mycelium-based foams and sandwich composites are an emerging category of biocomposites relying on the valorization of lignocellulosic wastes and the natural growth of the living fungal organism. While growing, the fungus cements the substrate, which is partially replaced by the tenacious biomass of the fungus itself. The final product can be shaped to produce insulating panels, packaging materials, bricks or new-design objects. Only a few pioneer companies in the world retain a significant know-how, as well as the ability to provide the material characterization. Moreover, several technical details are not revealed due to industrial secrecy. According to the available literature, mycelium-based biocomposites show low density and good insulation properties, both related to acoustic and thermal aspects. Mechanical properties are apparently inferior in comparison to expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is the major synthetic competitor. Nevertheless, mycelium-based composites can display an enormous variability on the basis of: fungal species and strain; substrate composition and structure; and incubation conditions. The aim of the present review is to summarize technical aspects and properties of mycelium-based biocomposites focusing on both actual applications and future perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measurement of Regional Green Economy Sustainable Development Ability Based on Entropy Weight-Topsis-Coupling Coordination Degree—A Case Study in Shandong Province, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010280
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 30 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Traditional development models are being slowly replaced by green economic development models. This paper views regional green economic development as a large complex system and develops a conceptual DPSIR (drivers, pressures, state, impact, response model of intervention) to construct a regional green economy
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Traditional development models are being slowly replaced by green economic development models. This paper views regional green economic development as a large complex system and develops a conceptual DPSIR (drivers, pressures, state, impact, response model of intervention) to construct a regional green economy development measurement index system, after which an entropy weight-TOPSIS-coupling coordination degree evaluation model is developed to quantitatively horizontally and vertically analyze regional green economy sustainable development trends and the coupled coordination status of each subsystem. The evaluation model is then employed to analyze the sustainable development of the green economy in Shandong Province from 2010 to 2016. The analysis results were found to be in line with the actual green economy development situation in Shandong Province, indicating that the measurement model had strong practicability for regional green economy development. Meanwhile, this model can demonstrate clearly how those indicators impact on the regional green economy sustainable development and fill the absence of existing studies on regional green economy sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economic Development: Challenges, Policies, and Reforms)
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Open AccessArticle Implicit Secondary Authentication for Sustainable SMS Authentication
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010279
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Short message service (SMS) is the most widely adopted multi-factor authentication method for consumer-facing accounts. However, SMS authentication is susceptible to vulnerabilities such as man-in-the-middle attack, smishing, and device theft. This study proposes implicit authentication based on behavioral pattern of users when they
[...] Read more.
Short message service (SMS) is the most widely adopted multi-factor authentication method for consumer-facing accounts. However, SMS authentication is susceptible to vulnerabilities such as man-in-the-middle attack, smishing, and device theft. This study proposes implicit authentication based on behavioral pattern of users when they check an SMS verification code and environmental information of user proximity to detect device theft. User behavioral pattern is collected by using the accelerometer and gyroscope of a smart device such as a smartphone and smart watch. User environmental information is collected using device fingerprint, wireless access point, Bluetooth, and global positioning system information. To evaluate the performance of the proposed scheme, we perform experiments using a total of 1320 behavioral and environmental data collected from 22 participants. The scheme achieves an average equal error rate of 6.27% when using both behavioral and environmental data collected from only a smartphone. Moreover, it achieves an average equal error rate of 0% when using both behavioral and environmental data collected from a smartphone and smart watch. Therefore, the proposed scheme can be employed for more secure SMS authentication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Secondary Development and Application of Bio-Inspired Isolation System
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010278
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Near-fault pulse motions will cause excessive and much larger base displacement in traditional isolated structures than common earthquake motions. The new isolation system inspired by the “sacrificial bonds and hidden length” biomechanics of an abalone shell can control the base displacement efficiently and
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Near-fault pulse motions will cause excessive and much larger base displacement in traditional isolated structures than common earthquake motions. The new isolation system inspired by the “sacrificial bonds and hidden length” biomechanics of an abalone shell can control the base displacement efficiently and reach almost the same vibration isolation efficiency as a semi-active control system. The current research is confined to the lumped mass model and cannot uncover the exact performance of isolators and structures in practical applications. A user subroutine is developed based on the interface of UEL in Abaqus. Subsequent verification has been done in both the lumped mass model and 3D complex model with Abaqus, Matlab/Simulink, and SAP2000. It can be revealed from the comparative results that the calculation accuracy of the secondary developed user subroutine can meet the demand of design and research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Physicochemical and Nutritional Characteristics of Waste Mushroom Substrate Biochar under Various Pyrolysis Temperatures and Times
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010277
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The prime objective of biochar production is to contribute to nutrients recycling, reducing waste and converting useful bio-wastes into carbon rich products in the environment. The present study was intended to systematically evaluate the effect of pyrolysis conditions and characteristics of feedstock influencing
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The prime objective of biochar production is to contribute to nutrients recycling, reducing waste and converting useful bio-wastes into carbon rich products in the environment. The present study was intended to systematically evaluate the effect of pyrolysis conditions and characteristics of feedstock influencing the generation of biochar. The study revealed the nutritional importance of waste mushroom substrate (WMS) biochar which may elevate soil nutritional status and soil quality. The results showed that the yields and properties of WMS biochar depended principally on the applied temperature where pyrolysis at higher temperatures, that is, 600 °C and 700 °C produced biochar having high ash, P and K contents. Moreover, numerous useful macro and micro nutrients such as Ca, Mg, Fe and Zn were observed to positively correlate with the increase in temperature. The WMS biochar in our study is highly alkaline which can be used to rectify acidic soil pH. Overall our results suggest that WMS biochar being a rich source of nutrients can be the best remedy to maintain and further enhance the soil nutritional status. Thus by interpreting biochar feedstock characteristics and pyrolysis conditions, the regulation of tailored WMS biochar manufacturing and application in soil can be facilitated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Satisfaction of Indigenous Tourism from Residents’ Perspective: A Case Study in Nantou County, Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010276
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
This study focused on indigenous residents’ satisfaction of tourism development. We used sociocultural preservation (SP), economic benefits (EB), environmental protection (EP) and environmental devastation (ED) as indicators to examine residents’ satisfaction following tourism development in an indigenous area. The present study interviewed 391
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This study focused on indigenous residents’ satisfaction of tourism development. We used sociocultural preservation (SP), economic benefits (EB), environmental protection (EP) and environmental devastation (ED) as indicators to examine residents’ satisfaction following tourism development in an indigenous area. The present study interviewed 391 indigenous residents located in two indigenous villages located in Nantou County, Taiwan, aged 20–70 (174 men and 217 women). The findings showed that most of the participants were satisfied with SP, EB and EP and revealed differences among birthplace, duration of residence, occupation groups regarding SP, EB and EP. Two types of groups (people born locally and residing for more than 15 years) reported higher satisfaction of SP, EB and EP. In addition, path analysis found SP, BE, EP and ED had explanatory power of tourism development satisfaction with R2 = 0.692. Since tourism development in indigenous areas has significant impact on local residents, this development should consider not only the economic benefits but also sociocultural preservation and environmental protection to meet the expectations of local indigenous residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sources of Economic Growth: A Global Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010275
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The main goal of this paper is to determine the factors responsible for economic growth at the global level. The indication of the sources of economic growth may be an important element of the sustainable economic policy for development. The novelty of this
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The main goal of this paper is to determine the factors responsible for economic growth at the global level. The indication of the sources of economic growth may be an important element of the sustainable economic policy for development. The novelty of this research lies in employing an analysis based on data, which consist of an average growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 168 countries for the years 2002–2013. The Bayesian model averaging approach is used to identify potential factors responsible for differences in countries’ GDPs. Additionally, a jointness analysis is performed to assess the potential independence, substitutability, and complementarity of the factors of economic growth. The robustness of the results is confirmed by Bayesian averaging of classical estimates. We identify the most probable factors of economic growth, and we find that the most important determinants are variables associated with the so-called “Asian development model”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Making Ours Mine: Increasing Consumer Acceptance of Access-Based PSS through Temporary Product Customisation
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010274
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Access-based product-service systems (AB-PSS) have the potential to lower environmental impacts. Currently, a lack of consumer acceptance and, consequently, low adoption levels of AB-PSS are challenges preventing the realisation of their sustainability potential. This study proposes temporary product customisation to lower barriers for
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Access-based product-service systems (AB-PSS) have the potential to lower environmental impacts. Currently, a lack of consumer acceptance and, consequently, low adoption levels of AB-PSS are challenges preventing the realisation of their sustainability potential. This study proposes temporary product customisation to lower barriers for the acceptance of AB-PSS. We investigated whether customisation through modifying the appearance of an easily changeable attribute of a typical product, and thereby changing the product personality, could improve consumer acceptance while limiting the impact on sustainability. To explore this, a 3 × 1 between-group design experiment was conducted with consumers who are familiar with offerings similar to the AB-PSS we tested. The results indicate that respondents have a strong preference, as is widely recognised, for typical products in an AB-PSS. Infusing meaning and intangible value into accessed products through customisation can simultaneously lead to wider acceptance in the market and individual consumers’ satisfaction. Our findings confirm that consumer acceptance increases if a product fulfils intangible needs along with functionality needs. The results can be used to think about new ways in which product design can enhance the diffusion of AB-PSS in the consumer market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Feedback Analysis of Influencing Factors of Existing Building Energy-Saving Renovation Market Based on System Dynamics in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010273
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Existing buildings energy-saving renovation is an important means to cope with global warming and an essential component of achieving China’s energy conservation and pollution emissions reduction strategy goals. The development of the energy-saving renovation market is closely related to its influencing factors, which
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Existing buildings energy-saving renovation is an important means to cope with global warming and an essential component of achieving China’s energy conservation and pollution emissions reduction strategy goals. The development of the energy-saving renovation market is closely related to its influencing factors, which determine the reasons and conditions for the development of the system; therefore, it is necessary to study the influencing factors of energy-saving transformations. System dynamics was applied to explore the feedback relationship between the service subsystem, the demand market subsystem, and the market regulation subsystem. Analysis was performed for the intrinsic influencing factors of the development of the existing building energy-saving renovation market and the interaction law of feedback relationship. This paper discusses the basic characteristics of government incentives, Energy Service Company (ESCO) technology innovation, ESCO’s revenue, and owner’s awareness to promote the development of the existing building energy-saving renovation market. Base on those, it puts forward suggestions for promoting the market development of existing buildings energy-saving reconstruction. The findings provided a theoretical basis and guiding role for the Chinese government to formulate support policies for existing building energy-saving renovation. At the same time, it also provides reference for other countries to develop existing buildings energy-saving renovation market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Transition to Energy Efficient Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Are Geographical Indication Products Fostering Public Goods? Some Evidence from Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010272
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Within the framework of multifunctional conceptualisation, the authors have investigated the level of public goods embedded in Agri-food geographical indication products. Moving from the concept of the local Agri-food system, the generation of public goods are observed both on the value chain and
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Within the framework of multifunctional conceptualisation, the authors have investigated the level of public goods embedded in Agri-food geographical indication products. Moving from the concept of the local Agri-food system, the generation of public goods are observed both on the value chain and on the territory. Three different dimensions of public goods are considered: Cultural heritage issues, socio-economic themes, and natural resources. To pursue this aim, the FAO-SAFA method is adopted. A single index for the three dimensions is computed in order to provide an easy and quick interpretation of the three dimensions. Preliminary empirical evidence on two cases studies suggests different public goods levels embedded in geographical indications, depending on the dimensions analysed. The method proposed aims to be a simple and effective tool to support good practice for policy makers and indicate fields for intervention where indexes show that improvements could be made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preserving Ecosystem Services via Sustainable Agro-Food Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Study of Multiple Land Use Planning Based on the Coordinated Development of Wetland Farmland: A Case Study of Fuyuan City, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010271
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Fuyuan City is located in the black soil region of northeast China. Its fertile soil and flat terrain provide a reliable guarantee for the scale, intensification, and standardization of farmland. A large amount of land resources that can be used for the national
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Fuyuan City is located in the black soil region of northeast China. Its fertile soil and flat terrain provide a reliable guarantee for the scale, intensification, and standardization of farmland. A large amount of land resources that can be used for the national food base has been developed, and the contradiction between the need for wetland protection and arable land development has become increasingly prominent. Based on the remote sensing data of 2000, 2005, and 2010, this paper simulates the future land use/land cover changes structure in Fuyuan City based on the Markov Chain model. According to the characteristics of Fuyuan City’s structure, economy, society, and natural environment, within the overall planning of the city, we explore three scenarios: business-as-usual scenarios, farmland conservation scenarios, and wetland conservation scenarios. The results revealed the following: (1) Under the business-as-usual scenario, the rapid development of Fuyuan City showed the characteristics of the continued expansion of urban area and the reduction of farmland and wetland area in 2020 compared with 2010. (2) Under farmland conservation scenarios, farmland was well protected and stable, while construction land expansion was restricted. (3) Under wetland conservation scenarios, wetland increased dramatically, which mainly derived from farmland, grassland, and unused land. According to the result, optimized countermeasures are proposed to balance the coordinated development of farmland and wetlands, to deepen the multiperiod planning of land use in Fuyuan City and to provide data support and a basis for decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Sustainable Environmental Management)
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Open AccessArticle Such a Shame! A Study on Self-Perception of Household Food Waste
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010270
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Reducing food waste is globally considered as a key challenge in developing sustainable food systems. Although most food waste is generated at the household level, consumers hardly recognize their responsibility, and the factors underpinning their perception of the quantity of food wasted at
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Reducing food waste is globally considered as a key challenge in developing sustainable food systems. Although most food waste is generated at the household level, consumers hardly recognize their responsibility, and the factors underpinning their perception of the quantity of food wasted at home are still unclear. This paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing the results of a large-scale survey conducted in Italy. The perceived quantity of household food waste was measured through a Likert scale and analyzed by means of a logistic regression against a set of predictors, including food waste motivations, perception of the effects of food waste, and sociodemographic variables. As expected, the perceived quantity of food waste declared by respondents was very low. Among the main determinants, food shopping habits and the level of awareness about the reasons why food is wasted played a key role. In contrast, the perception of the environmental effects of food waste seemed to be less important. Differences among subsamples recruited in different areas of Italy were detected, suggesting that further studies, as well as awareness-raising policies, should also consider context-related variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Methods for Food Waste Valorization)
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Open AccessArticle One Transformation Path Does Not Fit All—Insights into the Diffusion Processes of Education for Sustainable Development in Different Educational Areas in Germany
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010269
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
While Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is increasingly being implemented in educational systems, monitoring projects which capture the status and diffusion processes of ESD are also gaining relevance. The article presents part of the national monitoring of ESD in Germany—a qualitative expert interview
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While Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is increasingly being implemented in educational systems, monitoring projects which capture the status and diffusion processes of ESD are also gaining relevance. The article presents part of the national monitoring of ESD in Germany—a qualitative expert interview study—which aims to analyze the diffusion process of ESD in different educational areas (early childhood education, school education, vocational education and training, higher education, non-formal learning organizations, and local authorities). Its goal is to gain a systematic understanding of the diffusion process of ESD in the different areas of the German educational system. For the analysis of the 66 expert interviews, a qualitative content analysis was used. The overarching result of the study is that there is no single transformation path of ESD diffusion that fits all educational areas. Instead, characteristics of ESD as well as prevailing structural conditions, systemic goals, and the understanding of education within the respective educational area have an impact on the diffusion of ESD. The diffusion process of ESD evolves within this circular interplay of innovation and innovation system. A deeper understanding of it therefore has great potential for practitioners’ (self-) reflections and for further research projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Interurban Consumption Flows of Urban Agglomeration in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River: A Network Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010268
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Network analysis through the lens of traffic flows is becoming the focus of urban-region research in the context of globalization. This study examines the network relationship among 31 cities in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from the perspective of consumption flow
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Network analysis through the lens of traffic flows is becoming the focus of urban-region research in the context of globalization. This study examines the network relationship among 31 cities in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from the perspective of consumption flow that is serving as an increasingly important engine for China’s growth in general and regional momentum in particular. By tracing the directions and magnitudes of bank card transactions in 2016 as provided by Chinese UnionPay, this paper finds: (1) Three capital cities dominate both outward and inward flow networks and have net outflows, whereas others are featured with inward consumption flow; (2) Most interurban flows occur within provincial boundary, which leaves this whole region without a city-generating global impact; (3) Eight sub-networks composed of adjoining few cities can be further identified that have closer connections to the one containing capital city in that province. Based on these findings related to boundary effect, this paper concludes with a vision for more integrated consumption networks in the context of this region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Family Structure and Severe Food Insecurity in Maputo and Matola, Mozambique
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010267
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
The rapid growth of Maputo and Matola (neighbouring cities in Mozambique) has dramatically shifted the vulnerability profiles of these cities. Poor neighbourhoods across these two cities may now face the prospect of becoming food deserts. Scholars have defined African urban food deserts by
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The rapid growth of Maputo and Matola (neighbouring cities in Mozambique) has dramatically shifted the vulnerability profiles of these cities. Poor neighbourhoods across these two cities may now face the prospect of becoming food deserts. Scholars have defined African urban food deserts by the co-occurrence of poverty and food insecurity. This study aims to assess the assumed relationship between resource poverty and food insecurity in the African urban food desert concept and to assess the contribution of household demographics to this relationship. Using household survey data collected in 2014 across Maputo and Matola, this investigation demonstrated that inconsistent access to water, electricity, medical care, cooking fuel, and cash was associated with increased odds of severe household food insecurity across both cities. In addition, a nuclear household family structure was associated with reduced odds of severe food insecurity in both cities (even when taking limited resource access into account). These findings suggest that the severe food insecurity vulnerabilities associated with African urban food deserts may differ according to the family structure of households in Maputo and Matola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Food Deserts: Perspectives from the Global South)
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