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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 14 (July-2 2019) – 240 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The region of Almería (SE Spain) has experienced deep changes in the last 40 years, and has become [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Global Food and Energy Security System Dynamics Model for Addressing Systemic Risk
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143995 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
In 1972, The Limits to Growth, using the World3 System Dynamics model, modeled for the first time the long-term risk of food security, which would emerge from the complex relation between capital and population growth within the limits of the planet. In this [...] Read more.
In 1972, The Limits to Growth, using the World3 System Dynamics model, modeled for the first time the long-term risk of food security, which would emerge from the complex relation between capital and population growth within the limits of the planet. In this paper, we present a novel system dynamics model to explore the short-term dynamics of the food and energy system within the wider global economic framework. By merging structures of the World3, Money, and Macroeconomy Dynamics (MMD) and the Energy Transition and the Economy (ETE) models, we present a closed system global economy model, where growth is driven by population growth and government debt. The agricultural sector is a general disequilibrium productive sector grounded on World3, where capital investment and land development decisions are made to meet population food need, thus generating cascade demands for the energy and capital sector. Energy and Capital Sectors employ a more standard economic approach in line with MMD and ETE. By taking into account the role of financial, real, and natural capital, the model can be used to explore alternative scenarios driven by uncertainty and risk, such as climate extreme events and their impacts on food production. The paper presents scenario analysis of the impact of an exogenous price, production, and subsidies shock in the food and/or energy dimensions on the economic system, understanding the sources of potential cascade effects, thus providing a systemic risk assessment tool to inform global food security policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approaches to Complex and Sustainable Food Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Key Failure Factors in Construction Partnering—A Case Study of Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143994 - 23 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Construction partnering is commonly touted as a win-win arrangement for project owners and contractors alike. The failure or success of construction partnering arrangements is contingent upon a multitude of influences, many of which can be controlled through careful planning and active project management. [...] Read more.
Construction partnering is commonly touted as a win-win arrangement for project owners and contractors alike. The failure or success of construction partnering arrangements is contingent upon a multitude of influences, many of which can be controlled through careful planning and active project management. This study examines the key failure factors (KFFs) of construction partnering projects based on data collected from a survey of industry professionals in Taiwan. Methods: Factor analysis is performed using data gathered from a survey of industry practitioners operating in Taiwan to identify KFFs and better understand the level of significance of each factor. A total of 15 failure variables (FV) were included in the survey. This study applied Principle Components Analysis to classify groups of crucial FV relevant to construction partnering based on their relative perceived contribution to project failure. Study results confirm that there are four KFFs to partnering failure in construction projects; they are absence of agility, collaboration barriers, partnering barriers, and organizational management barriers. The biggest influencer on partnership failure in construction projects is the association between absence of agility and organizational management barriers, while the next most significant is the relationship between collaboration barriers and partnering barriers. Avoiding failure of construction partnering requires careful planning and management considerations of the four KFFs found. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Board Human Capital and Enterprise Growth: A Perspective of Ambidextrous Innovation
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143993 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
This paper investigates the relationship between board human capital and enterprise growth. By analysing data from Chinese publicly listed companies between 2008 and 2017, we apply resource-based theory and endogenous growth theory to develop a model, and we show board human capital has [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the relationship between board human capital and enterprise growth. By analysing data from Chinese publicly listed companies between 2008 and 2017, we apply resource-based theory and endogenous growth theory to develop a model, and we show board human capital has positive effects on enterprise growth and ambidextrous innovation mediates between them. We further consider the role of industry differences and market competition and show empirical evidence that board human capital has a favorable impact on enterprise growth, and such an effect is more prominent in the high-tech industry. In addition, our results suggest that ambidextrous innovation plays a partial intermediary role between board human capital and enterprise growth. Such a favorable effect is prominent in the high-tech industry but is not affected by market competition. Furthermore, the promotion of exploratory innovation is not affected by the nature of the industry, but the promotion effect is more pronounced when the market competition is weak. We finally discuss the implications of the findings for scholars, managers, and policymakers alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and the Development of Enterprises)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation and Analysis of Vehicle Exhaust Emissions at Signalized Intersections Using a Car-Following Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143992 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
A signalized intersection is a high fuel consumption and high emission node of a traffic network. It is necessary to study the emission characteristics of vehicles at signalized intersections in order to reduce vehicle emissions. In this study, the combination of a car-following [...] Read more.
A signalized intersection is a high fuel consumption and high emission node of a traffic network. It is necessary to study the emission characteristics of vehicles at signalized intersections in order to reduce vehicle emissions. In this study, the combination of a car-following model and the vehicle specific power emission model was used to estimate the vehicle emissions, including the CO2, CO, HC, and nitric oxide (NOX) emissions, at unsaturated signalized intersections. The results of simulations show that, under the influence of the signal light, the substantial changes in a vehicle’s trajectory increase the CO2, CO, HC, and NOX emissions. The CO2, CO, HC, and NOX emissions from vehicles at signalized intersections were further analyzed in terms of signal timing, vehicle arrival rate, traffic interference, and road section speed. The results show that an increase in the signal cycle, the vehicle arrival rate, and the traffic interference amplitude result in increases in the CO2, CO, HC, and NOX emissions per vehicle at the intersection inbound approach, and an increase in the green signal ratio and the vehicle road section speed within a specified range has a positive significance for reducing the CO2, CO, HC, and NOX emissions of vehicles in the study range. The proposed method can be flexibly applied to the analysis of vehicle emissions at unsaturated signalized intersections. The obtained results provide a reference for the control and management of signalized intersections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Public Acceptance for Traffic-Reducing Policies to Improve Urban Air Quality
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143991 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Air pollution remains a problem in German cities. In particular, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual limit-value set by the European Union of 40 µg/m3 was not met at ~40% of roadside monitoring stations across German cities in 2018. In response [...] Read more.
Air pollution remains a problem in German cities. In particular, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual limit-value set by the European Union of 40 µg/m3 was not met at ~40% of roadside monitoring stations across German cities in 2018. In response to this issue, many cities are experimenting with various traffic-reducing measures targeting diesel passenger vehicles so as to reduce emissions of NO2 and improve air quality. Identifying the determinants of public acceptance for these measures using a systematic approach can help inform policy-makers in other German cities. Survey data generated from a questionnaire in Potsdam, Germany, were used in predictive models to quantify support for investments in traffic-reducing measures generally and to quantify support for a specific traffic-reducing measure implemented in Potsdam in 2017. This exploratory analysis found that general support for investments in such measures was most strongly predicted by environmental and air pollution perception variables, whereas specific support for the actual traffic measure was most strongly predicted by mobility habits and preferences. With such measures becoming more common in German cities and across Europe, these results exemplify the complexity of factors influencing public acceptance of traffic-reducing policies, highlight the contrasting roles environmental beliefs and mobility habits play in determining support for such measures, and emphasize the connections between mobility, air pollution, and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Serving Local Fish in School Meals: The Nutritional Importance of Consuming Oily Fish
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143990 - 23 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
The European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020 encourages Member States to promote local affordable and healthy dietary initiatives to support a sustainable food system, particularly in schools and public institutions where advertising on eating behaviour and food preferences is needed. In Italy, [...] Read more.
The European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020 encourages Member States to promote local affordable and healthy dietary initiatives to support a sustainable food system, particularly in schools and public institutions where advertising on eating behaviour and food preferences is needed. In Italy, the promotion of healthy and sustainable diets, including the consumption of oily fish, is at an early stage. Based on the success of a unique Italian educational campaign in school lunch programmes, the aim of the present study was to compare the nutritional composition of locally caught anchovy and of imported frozen fillets of farmed Vietnamese pangasius, to observe the potential implications of this dietary substitution. Anchovy showed a significantly higher fatty acid and protein content than pangasius, and contained five times more lipids, mainly n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. As previous studies confirmed, a diet providing large amounts of these fats is therefore recommended especially during childhood. The present findings highlight the high nutritional value and healthiness of serving locally caught fish in school meals, which plays a strong role in teaching good dietary habits for a lifetime. Further initiatives are needed to encourage responsible fish consumption during early life to promote a sustainable food system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seafood Sustainability - Series I)
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Open AccessReview
A Comparative Study on Current Outdoor Lighting Policies in China and Korea: A Step toward a Sustainable Nighttime Environment
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143989 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Light pollution is a serious environmental issue with many adverse effects on human health and the ecosystem as a whole. Accordingly, many countries have issued laws and regulations to limit the effects of artificial lighting at night (ALAN). The Republic of Korea and [...] Read more.
Light pollution is a serious environmental issue with many adverse effects on human health and the ecosystem as a whole. Accordingly, many countries have issued laws and regulations to limit the effects of artificial lighting at night (ALAN). The Republic of Korea and China are among the few countries that have drafted laws to curb light pollution. In the present study, we gathered data related to light pollution regulations and ordinances in both China and Korea. We then carried out a comparative analysis of the light pollution laws of both countries. We found that, although the two countries share a similar socio-economic background, they have different approaches to the issue of light pollution. The information provided in this study serves as a guideline to countries that wish to develop their own light pollution policies. In addition, the conclusions provided in our study offer potential improvements to local and national light pollution policies in both the Republic of Korea and China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lighting at the Frontiers of Sustainable Development)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Interactive Buildings: A Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3988; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143988 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Buildings are widely regarded as potential sources for demand flexibility. The flexibility of thermal and electric load in buildings is a result of their interactive nature and its impact on the building’s performance. In this paper, the interaction of a building with the [...] Read more.
Buildings are widely regarded as potential sources for demand flexibility. The flexibility of thermal and electric load in buildings is a result of their interactive nature and its impact on the building’s performance. In this paper, the interaction of a building with the three interaction counterparts of the physical environment, civil infrastructure networks and other buildings is investigated. The literature review presents a wide variety of pathways of interaction and their associated potential impacts on building performance metrics such as net energy use, emissions, occupant comfort and operational cost. It is demonstrated that all of these counterparts of interaction should be considered to harness the flexibility potential of the buildings while maintaining other buildings performance metrics at a desired level. Juxtaposed with the upside potential for providing demand flexibility, numerous implementation challenges are identified that are associated with the evaluation and financial valuation of the capacity for demand flexibility, the aggregated flexibility potential, as well as the control and communication to facilitate the interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Personality Types as Moderators of the Acceptance of Information Technologies in Organizations: A Multi-Group Analysis in PLS-SEM
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3987; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143987 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 971
Abstract
This study aims to examine the influence of personality types on the acceptance of information technologies at work. Based on the model of the five dominant personality traits and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology, 155 users of Enterprise Resource [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the influence of personality types on the acceptance of information technologies at work. Based on the model of the five dominant personality traits and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology, 155 users of Enterprise Resource Planning systems were examined in two Chilean organizations. A cluster analysis applied to personality traits identified three different types of personalities. Subsequently, a multi-group analysis in Partial Least Squares of the technology acceptance model detected statistically significant differences among these types of personalities. Specifically, although for all personality types, the intention to use technology is explained in more than 60 percent, the strength of the antecedent variables changes radically depending on the type of personality. These findings indicate that personality type plays an essential role as a moderator of technology acceptance at work. This study is one of the first attempts where personality types, instead of specific personality traits, have been associated with technology acceptance models. In it, we performed an analysis of statistically significant differences among the types. Its practical implications are to identify the personality type of employees and adapt the implementation of innovations accordingly. This can help organizations to implement technology successfully, which, in turn, contributes to their sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Organizational Capabilities, Export Growth and Job Creation: An Investigation of Korean SMEs
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143986 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
In the new global economy, export promotion and job creation have become two central issues for economic sustainability. This study aims to raise awareness of the importance of organizational capabilities in job creation through exports. By emphasizing the role of exports in shaping [...] Read more.
In the new global economy, export promotion and job creation have become two central issues for economic sustainability. This study aims to raise awareness of the importance of organizational capabilities in job creation through exports. By emphasizing the role of exports in shaping a linkage between organizational capabilities and job creation, this research focuses on how to improve exports that benefit employment creation in the context of Korean small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Using survey data of 414 SMEs collected by jointly working with the Korea Federation of SMEs and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, this study employs a structural equation model to investigate a mediation model that links organizational capabilities to job creation through export growth. The main findings of this study are that both technological and manufacturing capability positively influence export growth; export growth has a positive effect on job creation, fully mediates a positive linkage between technological capability and job creation and also plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between manufacturing capability and job creation. Finally, the present study contributes to the literature on exports and job creation and also provides useful information for SME operators and policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Innovation and the Effect of Employment on Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
The Comovement of Exchange Rates and Stock Markets in Central and Eastern Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143985 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 863
Abstract
This paper analyses the link between exchange rates and stock markets in four Central and Eastern European countries. We simultaneously explore the comovements of foreign exchange markets and stock markets at the cross-country level and the link between these two markets within each [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the link between exchange rates and stock markets in four Central and Eastern European countries. We simultaneously explore the comovements of foreign exchange markets and stock markets at the cross-country level and the link between these two markets within each country while employing a Dynamic Conditional Correlation Mixed Data Sampling (DCC-MIDAS) model. Such an approach to financial markets conveys a much more visible picture of the existing patterns of financial integration between these markets that would otherwise be neglected. The estimates reveal significant differences between the patterns of correlation in our sample countries. First, the paper finds a quite low degree of convergence between foreign exchange markets, with rising correlations during some of the crisis episodes. Second, both the 2004 European Union enlargement and the European sovereign debt crisis underpin the stock market comovements in the Central and Eastern European countries. Third, the correlations between the exchange rate returns and stock markets rise mostly during the European sovereign debt crisis and to a lesser extent during the global financial crisis, revealing signs of contagion and lower portfolio diversification opportunities. These results are of utmost relevance for the process of financial integration and they also have important implications for policy makers, risk management, and investors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Financial Markets)
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Open AccessArticle
Grouping of Water Supply-and-Demand Structure in the Yellow River Basin of China: Focusing on Balance between Groundwater and Surface-water
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3984; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143984 - 23 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1079
Abstract
The research purpose of this study was to uncover the grouping of the water supply-and-demand structure in the Yellow River Basin (YRB) of China, focusing on the balance between groundwater and surface-water. Comparing the structure of water usage and the structure of groundwater [...] Read more.
The research purpose of this study was to uncover the grouping of the water supply-and-demand structure in the Yellow River Basin (YRB) of China, focusing on the balance between groundwater and surface-water. Comparing the structure of water usage and the structure of groundwater usage estimated by previous studies in each region, 35 municipalities were selected and they were classified into 12 catchments in focusing on the geographical location and the similarity of the shape of the structure of water supply-and-demand. In the upper reaches, surface-water is mainly used and the share of agricultural usage is small, therefore, seasonal variability of groundwater usage is small. On the other hand, in the middle and the lower reaches, the share of groundwater is large and the share of agricultural usage is large, therefore, seasonal variability of groundwater usage is large. Especially, these characteristics are obvious in the Loess Plateau. In addition, surface-water is mainly used again in the lowermost reaches. The results qualitatively identify the spatial pattern of the classification of water supply-and-demand structure and investigate the geographical heterogeneity within each catchment. Performing a GIS (Geographic Information System) -based estimation is meaningful for grasping the geospatial pattern of water supply-and-demand structure and for providing an area-by-area report of the situation of the water resource usage. It is hoped that this study serves as an academic reference for optimizing the water resource management and for providing some policy recommendations on resource’s sustainability by using a GIS-based approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perceived Quality in Sports Centers in Southern Spain: A Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143983 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the level of satisfaction in three municipal sports centers in the city of Malaga and to learn and analyze the characteristics of users older than 40 years of age in these centers. A total of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the level of satisfaction in three municipal sports centers in the city of Malaga and to learn and analyze the characteristics of users older than 40 years of age in these centers. A total of 303 persons (123 men and 180 women) from three sports centers in the city of Malaga participated in this study (M = 58.14, SD = 7.16 years). The Evaluation of Perceived Quality in Sports Services test (CECASDEP) was used, and the results demonstrated that the different dimensions studied—sports center, activity space, locker rooms, program of activities, and trainer—were very positively correlated. The level of customer loyalty increased with user satisfaction and perceived quality of services as well as the age of the person. Users were also found to be more motivated to take part in physical activities due to greater satisfaction. The highest scores were given to the trainers, who played a key role in all three sports centers. In conclusion, we gathered important insights into perceived quality in different sports centers. This information can be used by sports managers to strengthen dimensions with lower scores and improve those with higher scores. In addition, the study confirms that the level of customer loyalty is related to the perceived quality scores. Therefore, the use of measuring instruments is recommended to optimize the quality of sports services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainability in Physical Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis on the Influence of China’s Energy Consumption on Economic Growth
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3982; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143982 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Many studies have shown that energy consumption has a great influence on economic growth. This paper divides China’s energy into coal, oil, natural gas and clean energy (hydroenergy, nuclear energy, wind energy and solar energy), and then studies the influences of China’s coal, [...] Read more.
Many studies have shown that energy consumption has a great influence on economic growth. This paper divides China’s energy into coal, oil, natural gas and clean energy (hydroenergy, nuclear energy, wind energy and solar energy), and then studies the influences of China’s coal, oil, natural gas and clean energy on economic growth quantitatively using econometric models. This paper uses three methods. The first method is correlative degree analysis. The paper calculates the correlative degrees between four energy consumption and economic growth (GDP), and then compares the influences of four different kinds of energy consumption on economic growth in terms of the correlative degree. The second method is multiplier analysis. The paper uses the lagged variable regression model to calculate four energy consumption’s current multipliers, dynamic multipliers and long-term multipliers for economic growth, and then compares the influences of four kinds of energy consumption on economic growth in terms of marginal effect. The third method is contribution rate analysis. The paper calculates the rates of contribution of four kinds of energy consumption to economic growth and then compares the influences of four energy consumption on economic growth in terms of input and output. The paper makes an empirical analysis on influences of China’s energy consumption on economic growth. Analysis results show that in terms of correlative degree, natural gas has the greatest influence on GDP, followed by clean energy, oil and coal; in terms of the multiplier effect, natural gas has the biggest current multiplier and long-term multiplier, followed by clean energy, oil and coal; in terms of contribution rate, clean energy has the biggest contribution rate, followed by natural gas, oil and coal. Overall, China’s natural gas consumption and clean energy consumption have more influence on economic growth than coal consumption and oil consumption, and show a rising trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Consumption Choices of Low-Income Groups in a Mixed-Income Community Using a Support Vector Machine Method
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143981 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 752
Abstract
To examine how cross-strata neighboring behavior in a mixed-income community can influence the consumption choices of individuals in low-income groups, and to improve the prediction accuracy of the consumption choice model of low-income groups for small sample sizes, we developed a support vector [...] Read more.
To examine how cross-strata neighboring behavior in a mixed-income community can influence the consumption choices of individuals in low-income groups, and to improve the prediction accuracy of the consumption choice model of low-income groups for small sample sizes, we developed a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm based on the influence of neighboring behavior. We substituted the predicted latent variables into the SVM classifier and constructed an SVM prediction model with latent variables based on reference group theory. We established the model parameters using cross-validation and used low-income residents from a mixed-income community in Shanghai as study objects to empirically test the model’s performance. The results show that the SVM selection model with latent variables has good prediction accuracy. The proposed model’s accuracy was improved by 1.29% on the basis of the particle swarm optimization (PSO)-SVM model without latent variables, and by 19.35% on the basis of the SVM model with latent variables. The proposed model can be employed to predict the consumption choices of individuals in low-income groups. This paper offers a theoretical reference for investigating neighboring behavior in a mixed-income community and the consumption choices of individuals in low-income groups and is practically important for urban community planning systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Sustainable Development Policies Really Feasible? Focused on the Petrochemical Industry in Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3980; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143980 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
Korea inaugurated an emission trading scheme (ETS) in 2015 for its ambitious target to reduce 37% greenhouse gas per 2030 business-as-usual level. This study examines the sustainable governance of the Korean petrochemical industry, one of the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gas, with [...] Read more.
Korea inaugurated an emission trading scheme (ETS) in 2015 for its ambitious target to reduce 37% greenhouse gas per 2030 business-as-usual level. This study examines the sustainable governance of the Korean petrochemical industry, one of the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gas, with 55 firms participating in ETS. On the basis of the non-radial, non-parametric directional distance function, this study derives three types of efficiencies: greenhouse gas technical efficiency (GTE), pure technical efficiency, and scale efficiency. Using these indices, this study also provides information for benchmarking for the fast followers. The findings of this study reveal the following. First, petrochemical industry exhibits 63.5% ETS performance, on average, showing huge potential improvement. Second, by decomposing GTE value, this study provides information from the perspective of scale to find out the oversupply issues in some petrochemical firms. Lastly, benchmark information for each firm is provided to enhance its efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Does the Low-Carbon Pilot Initiative Reduce Carbon Emissions? Evidence from the Application of the Synthetic Control Method in Guangdong Province
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3979; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143979 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
As the world’s top energy consumer and carbon emitter, China’s carbon emissions policies, including the low-carbon pilot initiative (LCPI) implemented in July 2010, have important effects on global climate change. Therefore, accurately assessing the effect of this policy has become extremely important for [...] Read more.
As the world’s top energy consumer and carbon emitter, China’s carbon emissions policies, including the low-carbon pilot initiative (LCPI) implemented in July 2010, have important effects on global climate change. Therefore, accurately assessing the effect of this policy has become extremely important for low-carbon development. This article analyses the impact of implementing LCPI on regional carbon emissions by using Guangdong Province as the study area, which has the largest economic scale, population size and carbon emissions amongst China’s low-carbon pilot provinces. The results suggest that for the entire 2010–2015 period, Guangdong’s carbon emissions were reduced by about 10% due to the implementation of LCPI. This policy produced a significant impact on the carbon emissions from manufacturing industries but showed minimal impact on the carbon emissions from energy production. Unlike previous researchers who relied on estimations, the authors of this work obtained unified carbon emissions data for 1997–2015 from the China Emission Accounts and Datasets and then constructed comparison groups by using the synthetic control method instead of performing a subjective selection. The authors also examined the impact of LCPI on carbon emissions from different sources. This article proposes that policy support and low-carbon action are necessary for reducing regional carbon emissions and that the policies must be constantly adjusted during their implementation. The successful experiences in low-carbon pilots are also worth exploring and promoting in other regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Community Gardens Require Social Engagement and Training: A Users’ Needs Analysis in Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3978; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143978 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Urban gardens are spreading in many cities across Europe, with community gardening being a fundamental form of urban agriculture. While the literature reveals the essential role that community gardens can play in terms of learning and education, no studies have investigated the training [...] Read more.
Urban gardens are spreading in many cities across Europe, with community gardening being a fundamental form of urban agriculture. While the literature reveals the essential role that community gardens can play in terms of learning and education, no studies have investigated the training needs for participants in community gardens to ensure their successful development. The goal of this article is to evaluate the training requirements of urban community gardens to ensure their successful implementation and their contribution to sustainability in European cities. Two questionnaires of users’ needs analysis were designed and implemented in Berlin, Bologna, Budapest, and Cartagena. The results unveiled the need to re-enforce the training in the formation and community building phases of community gardens towards ensuring the creation of an engaged gardening community to maintain activity, particularly for top-down activities (e.g., research-related gardens). Users claimed their need for being trained on crop management skills (e.g., maintenance, bed preparation, organic practices) and on communication skills to further disseminate their activity, thereby increasing the potential for citizen engagement. Such requirements could be overcome with the creation of urban gardens networks, where experiences and knowledge are shared among practitioners. Policy recommendations are provided based on the outputs of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Agriculture)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fashion Promotion on Instagram with Eye Tracking: Curvy Girl Influencers Versus Fashion Brands in Spain and Portugal
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3977; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143977 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
The rise of Instagram, as the fastest growing social network in Spain and Portugal, and its incorporation into the communication strategies of beauty and fashion brands have posed some risks for younger followers in relation to the development of identity and self-esteem. A [...] Read more.
The rise of Instagram, as the fastest growing social network in Spain and Portugal, and its incorporation into the communication strategies of beauty and fashion brands have posed some risks for younger followers in relation to the development of identity and self-esteem. A physical appearance acceptance movement has also begun, based on interaction with images, on which the social network is also based. The purpose of this research was to determine how attention is paid to fashion promotion and to the awareness of physical appearance acceptance by curvy influencers in comparison with communications by fashion brands on Instagram. The quantitative and qualitative methodology is based on the use of a biometric eye tracking technique applied to a sample of 120 participants from Spain and Portugal, matching the profile of the main users of Instagram: urban university women under 25 years old with an interest in fashion, and a self-perception as a curvy woman. The results point to more attention focused on the imperfections for which curvy influencers are raising awareness than on the fashion they promote when these awareness factors are more visible, as well as more attention focused on the fashion accessories worn by curvy brand models than those worn by the influencers, with specific and significant differences between Spanish and Portuguese audiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Influence on Consumer Behaviour)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of the Sharing Economy in the B2B Sector
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3976; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143976 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
The sharing economy is treated as an alternative consumption model. Its aim is to increase the efficiency of the resources used and create a new value for society. In order to create a new value for business, attempts are being made to implement [...] Read more.
The sharing economy is treated as an alternative consumption model. Its aim is to increase the efficiency of the resources used and create a new value for society. In order to create a new value for business, attempts are being made to implement a shared economy model in the B2B (business-to-business) sector. While this model is effectively implemented in the case of B2C (business-to-consumer) relations, sharing resources is still a problem in the business environment. In the case of B2B relationships, the use of the sharing economy has a number of unresolved issues concerning legal regulations, responsibility, and security. The research presented in this article includes the analysis and assessment of the sharing economy between enterprises in order to identify whether, and in what way, the exchange of material resources between them is implemented. In order to indicate what factors motivate enterprises for sharing and using the resources of other companies, the selected methods of statistical testing were applied. The empirical research was preceded by the literature analysis in which the basic concepts and aspects of the concept of the sharing economy was referred to against the background of the fourth industrial revolution. The obtained results showed that enterprises which have fixed assets are willing to exchange them with other entities. At the same time, the lack of formal and technological solutions is the most important barrier in implementing the economy of sharing in B2B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and New Technology Challenges of Sustainable Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Response Scales as Measures of Indoor Environmental Perception in Combined Thermal and Acoustic Conditions
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143975 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
Response scales are widely used to assess the personal experience of sensation and perception in built environments, and have a great impact on the quality of the responses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of response scales on human [...] Read more.
Response scales are widely used to assess the personal experience of sensation and perception in built environments, and have a great impact on the quality of the responses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of response scales on human sensation and perception in moderate indoor environments. Four different response scales were compared under three room temperatures (19.0 °C, 24.5 °C, and 30.0 °C) and five acoustic stimuli (ambient noise, 42 and 61 dBA × water sounds and traffic noise): a bipolar seven-point scale according to ISO 10551:1995, a unipolar 11-point scale according to ISO/TS 15666:2003, these two scales combined for each sensory comfort assessment, and a bipolar visual analogue scale. The degree of relative differentiation based on indoor physical factors made no significant difference across the four response scales. Therefore, the effects of physical factors on human response could be assessed by using any of the four scales tested in this study, with a statistical significance at p < 0.05 in moderate environments. The choice of response scale would depend not only on the type of physical stimulus but also on the question of sensation or perception. The reliability of each response scale was different according to the subjective attributes. The bipolar visual analogue scale was subjectively preferred by the respondents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
BlockDeepNet: A Blockchain-Based Secure Deep Learning for IoT Network
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3974; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143974 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
The recent development in IoT and 5G translates into a significant growth of Big data in 5G—envisioned industrial automation. To support big data analysis, Deep Learning (DL) has been considered the most promising approach in recent years. Note, however, that designing an effective [...] Read more.
The recent development in IoT and 5G translates into a significant growth of Big data in 5G—envisioned industrial automation. To support big data analysis, Deep Learning (DL) has been considered the most promising approach in recent years. Note, however, that designing an effective DL paradigm for IoT has certain challenges such as single point of failure, privacy leak of IoT devices, lack of valuable data for DL, and data poisoning attacks. To this end, we present BlockDeepNet, a Blockchain-based secure DL that combines DL and blockchain to support secure collaborative DL in IoT. In BlockDeepNet, collaborative DL is performed at the device level to overcome privacy leak and obtain enough data for DL, whereas blockchain is employed to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of collaborative DL in IoT. The experimental evaluation shows that BlockDeepNet can achieve higher accuracy for DL with acceptable latency and computational overhead of blockchain operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle
A Semantic and Social Approach for Real-Time Green Building Rating in BIM-Based Design
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143973 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
While many countries have developed green building rating systems (GBRSs) to promote the concept of green buildings, it is difficult for designers to achieve better sustainability in the design process when using the real-time green building rating score as a reference. This paper [...] Read more.
While many countries have developed green building rating systems (GBRSs) to promote the concept of green buildings, it is difficult for designers to achieve better sustainability in the design process when using the real-time green building rating score as a reference. This paper proposes an intelligent green building rating (iGBR) framework supported by a semantic and social approach to realize real-time rating in building design. The framework features four components: (1) An ontology that is used to encapsulate the knowledge of green building rating, (2) score calculation rules that are encoded in Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL), (3) Autodesk Forge, which is employed as a building information modeling (BIM)–based design platform to synchronize design models from different professions in the cloud, and (4) a group chat tool to connect all project participants in a social communication environment to effectively exchange data/information required for score calculation. A prototype iGBR system is developed based on the Evaluation Standard for Green Building of China (ESGBC) to verify the framework, so that a total of 95 articles can be assessed automatically in the real-time approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building Technologies)
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Open AccessReview
Global Research on Carbon Emissions: A Scientometric Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3972; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143972 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Greenhouse gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide have been recognized as the prime cause of global climate change, which has received significant global attention. Among these gases, carbon dioxide is considered as the prominent gas which motivated researchers to [...] Read more.
Greenhouse gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide have been recognized as the prime cause of global climate change, which has received significant global attention. Among these gases, carbon dioxide is considered as the prominent gas which motivated researchers to explore carbon reduction and mitigation strategies. Research work on this domain expands from carbon emission reporting to identifying and implementing carbon mitigation and reduction strategies. A comprehensive study to map global research on carbon emissions is, however, not available. Therefore, based on a scientometric analysis method, this study reviewed the global literature on carbon emissions. A total of 2945 bibliographic records, from 1981 to 2019, were extracted from the Web of Science core collection database and analyzed using techniques such as co-author and co-citation analysis. Findings revealed an increasing trend of publications in the carbon emission research domain, which has been more visible in the past few years, especially during 2016–2018. The most significant contribution to the domain was reported from China, the United States, and England. While most prolific authors and institutions of the domain were from China, authors and institutions from the United States reported the best connection links. It was revealed that evaluating greenhouse gas emissions and estimating the carbon footprint was popular among the researchers. Moreover, climate change and environmental effects of carbon emissions were also significant points of concern in carbon emission research. The key findings of this study will be beneficial for the policymakers, academics, and institutions to determine the future research directions as well as to identify with whom they can consult to assist in developing carbon emission control policies and future carbon reduction targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Administrative Reforms in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Case of Blockchain Use
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3971; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143971 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
The increasing interest in blockchain since the end of 2017 has induced many attempts to apply it to public sector administration. Blockchains have been shown to improve the levels of economic efficiency, security and decentralization in administration. This exploratory study examines the determinants [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in blockchain since the end of 2017 has induced many attempts to apply it to public sector administration. Blockchains have been shown to improve the levels of economic efficiency, security and decentralization in administration. This exploratory study examines the determinants of blockchain administration and their priorities through an analytic-hierarchy process (AHP) analysis. The priority ranking of internal factors was security, economic efficiency, and decentralization. The introduction of blockchains in the evolution of the current e-government to the future of convergent governments will be generalized through trial, error, and learning processes. As experienced both in the knowledge and information society and in the e-government development process, reforming government administration is not solely a technical problem. The study results suggest that future blockchain administration in the public sector be used in the field of e-voting to encourage citizen participation in the process of agenda-setting, to enhance the level of security and transparency of taxation, and to increase the level of equity. Blockchain technology can also be used to improve efficiency in the provision of individually oriented social welfare services. Its adoption via administrative reform may reduce the level of corruption in personnel management, recruitment, and procurement in public sector organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Resident Motivations for and Experiences of Establishing a Home in a Low-Carbon Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3970; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143970 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
There is some understanding of how an individual’s daily practices consume resources in the home, but the home as a space itself and peoples’ relationships to it remain an interesting research area. In this paper, residents of an Australian low-carbon development (LCD) are [...] Read more.
There is some understanding of how an individual’s daily practices consume resources in the home, but the home as a space itself and peoples’ relationships to it remain an interesting research area. In this paper, residents of an Australian low-carbon development (LCD) are studied in order to discover the expectations and motivations driving them to move to their new home, the emotional landscape of the home, and their subsequent experiences living in an LCD. This exploration through mixed methods and a post-occupancy evaluation enables a longitudinal empirical study of the motivations, perceptions, expectations and experiences of an LCD residence. This study aims to further conceptualize the social understanding of a home and what people consider when moving into an LCD, along with the post-occupancy experiences that are important for establishing LCDs in the future. The results show that a home is associated with being a place of community, sustainability, safety and comfort, as well as a place that incorporates aesthetically pleasing features. The motivation for residents moving into an LCD is to have housing stability, live the life they want (including performing sustainable practices) and enjoy the attractive design of the LCD. The user experiences of living in an LCD include unexpected design influences on daily practices and an appreciation of the community atmosphere created. The strong sense of community and the self-reported thermally comfortable homes met residents’ expectations post-occupancy. This research is of interest to academics in the low-carbon and social science sectors, real-estate agents and property developers, as it provides insight into motivations and expectations of low-carbon dwelling residents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study on the Limitations of South Korea’s National Roadmap for Greenhouse Gas Reduction by 2030 and Suggestions for Improvement
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3969; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143969 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
South Korea must submit its targets for greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 to comply with the Paris Agreement. While South Korea’s government has announced a roadmap for achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030, issues are present regarding the methodology used to set [...] Read more.
South Korea must submit its targets for greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 to comply with the Paris Agreement. While South Korea’s government has announced a roadmap for achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030, issues are present regarding the methodology used to set reduction targets, select the reduction method, and estimate the potential emissions reduction in the building sector. Accordingly, the present study identified the limitations based on an analysis of the roadmap and suggested an improvement plan for each limitation. To improve the roadmap, the methodology used to set emissions targets was changed from business-as-usual (BAU) to the absolute emissions method, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines were applied to estimate greenhouse gas emissions, and methodology for determining emissions targets by year was proposed. The reduction method has been proposed abstractly, and five methods have been suggested: Energy consumption by building age and establishment of gross floor area for cooling/heating, supply status for each type of lighting, estimation of reduction amount through supply of LED lighting, reduction amount estimation by analyzing current supply status data for home appliances and office equipment, proposal of methodology for improvement of duplicate estimation for building energy maintenance systems (BEMS), and estimation of reduction potential by applying efficiency improvement in power generating equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Built Environment and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
A Sustainability Assessment of Bioethanol (EtOH) Production: The Case of Cassava in Colombia
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3968; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143968 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
This paper shows how system design determines sustainability outcomes of cassava bioethanol production in Colombia. The recovery of the energy contained in by-products is recommended as compared to single product production. In particular, this study assesses the energy, greenhouse gases, water, and land [...] Read more.
This paper shows how system design determines sustainability outcomes of cassava bioethanol production in Colombia. The recovery of the energy contained in by-products is recommended as compared to single product production. In particular, this study assesses the energy, greenhouse gases, water, and land use performance of alternative cassava cascades working at different scales, highlighting the implications of including anaerobic digestion technology in the chain. The centralized systems showed a poorer energy and greenhouse gases performance as compared to decentralized ones in part due to the artificial drying of cassava chips in the centralized facility. Under solar drying of cassava chips, systems with anaerobic digestion produced three to five times more energy than demanded and produced greenhouse gas savings of 0.3 kgCO2eq L EtOH−1. The water balance output depends upon the water reuse within the ethanol industry, which demands 21–23 L EtOH−1. In the anaerobic digestion scenarios, assuming liquid flows are treated separately, complete water recovery is feasible. Land use for cassava cultivation was calculated to be 0.27–0.35 ha tEtOH−1. The energy and water content of the material to digest, the options for digestate reuse, and the recovery of the methane produced are major considerations substantially influencing the role of anaerobic digestion within cassava cascade configurations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association Rule Mining Tourist-Attractive Destinations for the Sustainable Development of a Large Tourism Area in Hokkaido Using Wi-Fi Tracking Data
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3967; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143967 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
The rise of radiofrequency scanner technology has led to its potential application in the observation of people’s movements. This study used a Wi-Fi scanner device to track tourists’ traveling behavior in Hokkaido’s tourism area, which occupies a large region that features a unique [...] Read more.
The rise of radiofrequency scanner technology has led to its potential application in the observation of people’s movements. This study used a Wi-Fi scanner device to track tourists’ traveling behavior in Hokkaido’s tourism area, which occupies a large region that features a unique natural landscape. Inbound tourists have significantly increased in recent years; thus, tourism’s sustainability is considered to be important for maintaining the tourism atmosphere in the long term. Using internet-enabled technology to conduct extensive area surveys can overcome the limitations imposed by conventional methods. This study aims to use digital footprint data to describe and understand traveler mobility in a large tourism area in Hokkaido. Association rule mining (ARM)—a machine learning methodology—was performed on a large dataset of transactions to identify the rules that link destinations visited by tourists. This process resulted in the discovery of traveling patterns that revealed the association rules between destinations, and the attractiveness of the destinations was scored on the basis of visiting frequency, with both inbound and outbound movements considered. A visualization method was used to illustrate the relationships between destinations and simplify the mathematical descriptions of traveler mobility in an attractive tourism area. Hence, mining the attractiveness of destinations in a large tourism area using an ARM method integrated with a Wi-Fi mobility tracking approach can provide accurate information that forms a basis for developing sustainable destination management and tourism policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stability Charts for Sustainable Infrastructure: Collapse Loads of Footings on Sandy Soil with Voids
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3966; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143966 - 22 Jul 2019
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The presence of underground voids in regions suitable for sustainable development can adversely affect the stability of the overlying infrastructures. In this paper, the collapse loads of strip rigid footings resting on sand with single and double continuous voids are determined for a [...] Read more.
The presence of underground voids in regions suitable for sustainable development can adversely affect the stability of the overlying infrastructures. In this paper, the collapse loads of strip rigid footings resting on sand with single and double continuous voids are determined for a frictional Mohr-Coulomb material following the non-associated flow rule. For use by practitioners, design charts are proposed to evaluate the well-known bearing capacity factor Nγ as a function of the dimensionless parameters related to the vertical and horizontal void distances from the footing, void shape, and spacing between the two voids, as well as the soil friction angle. The computational result compares quite favorably with the available theoretical and numerical solutions. The failure mechanism is broadly discussed based on the pattern of soil displacement around the footing and void. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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