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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 15 (August-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Current legislation allows for the inclusion of social issues in contracting processes, which [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Does CSR Signal the Firm Value? Evidence from China
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154255
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Compared to the rapid development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in developing countries, especially in China, the research about the effect of CSR on firm value has evolved more slowly. This paper examines the relationship between CSR and firm value used by [...] Read more.
Compared to the rapid development of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in developing countries, especially in China, the research about the effect of CSR on firm value has evolved more slowly. This paper examines the relationship between CSR and firm value used by listed Chinese companies from 2010 to 2017. The results for the whole sample show CSR significantly reduces firm value. Additionally, there are no significant differences for the effect of CSR on firm value between state owned enterprises (SOEs) and non-SOEs or sensitive industry and non-sensitive industry. To explore whether the relationship changes over time, we divided the period into two sub-periods. During 2010–2014, the results are similar with those obtained by the whole sample. However, the results significantly change during 2015–2017. Specifically, the negative and significant relationship between CSR and firm value becomes non-significant in the second sub-period. Compared to the weakening effect of CSR for non-SOEs on firm value, CSR for SOEs alleviates the effect, and CSR of SOEs increases firm value significantly. Similar results are obtained for non-sensitive industry and sensitive industry. The changes are the result of increasing awareness by government, companies, and investors on sustainable development after 2015. This finding enriches the research on the dynamic effect of CSR on firm value in developing countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Big Data Analytics Capabilities and Eco-Innovation: A Study of Energy Companies
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4254; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154254
Received: 25 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 30 June 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the past decades have created concerns about the environment. To stymie global warming and the deterioration of the natural environment, global CO2 emissions need to reach approximately 1.3 tons per capita by 2050. However, in Malaysia, [...] Read more.
Increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the past decades have created concerns about the environment. To stymie global warming and the deterioration of the natural environment, global CO2 emissions need to reach approximately 1.3 tons per capita by 2050. However, in Malaysia, CO2 output per capita—driven by fossil fuel consumption and energy production—is expected to reach approximately 12.1 tons by the year 2020. GHG mitigation strategies are needed to address these challenges. Cleaner production, through eco-innovation, has the potential to arrest CO2 emissions and buttress sustainable development. However, the cleaner production process has been hampered by lack of complete data to support decision making. Therefore, using the resource-based view, a preliminary study consisting of energy and utility firms is undertaken to understand the impact of big data analytics towards eco-innovation. Linear regression through SPSS Version 24 reveals that big data analytics could become a strong predictor of eco-innovation. This paper concludes that information and data are key inputs, and big data technology provides firms the opportunity to obtain information, which could influence its production process—and possibly help arrest increasing CO2 emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One Concept, Many Opinions: How Scientists in Germany Think About the Concept of Bioeconomy
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4253; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154253
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The official bioeconomy strategies in Europe and Germany pursue a technology-based implementation pathway and stipulate a wide range of objectives to be achieved with a bio-based economy. Reviews of the scientific and societal debate have shown that the technology fix meets criticism and [...] Read more.
The official bioeconomy strategies in Europe and Germany pursue a technology-based implementation pathway and stipulate a wide range of objectives to be achieved with a bio-based economy. Reviews of the scientific and societal debate have shown that the technology fix meets criticism and that there is a controversial discussion about possible ways to shape the transition process. Against this background, an online survey was carried out among scientists involved in a regional bioeconomy research program in southern Germany in order to gain insight into their understanding of a bioeconomy. Moreover, the survey provides information about cooperation and major challenges in the future development of three biomass utilization pathways: biogas, lignocellulose, and microalgae. The analysis showed that a resource-oriented understanding of a bioeconomy is favored. The political objectives for a European bioeconomy are widely accepted, and it is expected that ongoing research can significantly contribute to achieving these goals. The two different pathways for shaping the bioeconomy that are discussed in the debate—the technology-based approach and the socio-ecological approach—are considered compatible rather than contrary. Up to now, scientific cooperation has prevailed, while cooperation with societal stakeholders and end-users has played a minor role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green, Closed Loop, Circular Bio-Economy)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Step Approach Framework for Freight Forecasting of River-Sea Direct Transport without Direct Historical Data
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4252; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154252
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 21 July 2019 / Accepted: 29 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The freight forecasting of river-sea direct transport (RSDT) is crucial for the policy making of river-sea transportation facilities and the decision-making of relevant port and shipping companies. This paper develops a multi-step approach framework for freight volume forecasting of RSDT in the case [...] Read more.
The freight forecasting of river-sea direct transport (RSDT) is crucial for the policy making of river-sea transportation facilities and the decision-making of relevant port and shipping companies. This paper develops a multi-step approach framework for freight volume forecasting of RSDT in the case that direct historical data are not available. First, we collect publicly available shipping data, including ship traffic flow, speed limit of each navigation channel, free-flow running time, channel length, channel capacity, etc. The origin–destination (O–D) matrix estimation method is then used to obtain the matrix of historical freight volumes among all O–D pairs based on these data. Next, the future total freight volumes among these O–D pairs are forecasted by using the gray prediction model, and the sharing rate of RSDT is estimated by using the logit model. The freight volume of RSDT is thus determined. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is validated by forecasting the RSDT freight volume on a shipping route of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Visual Engagement with Urban Street Edges along Non-Pedestrianised and Pedestrianised Streets Using Mobile Eye-Tracking
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4251; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154251
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Existing knowledge of street edge experience has often been constructed using methods that offer a limited opportunity to gain empirical insight from the first-hand perspective of pedestrians. In order to address this, mobile eye-tracking glasses were used during the current investigation to provide [...] Read more.
Existing knowledge of street edge experience has often been constructed using methods that offer a limited opportunity to gain empirical insight from the first-hand perspective of pedestrians. In order to address this, mobile eye-tracking glasses were used during the current investigation to provide a detailed understanding of pedestrian visual engagement with street edges along both non-pedestrianised and pedestrianised urban streets. Through this, the current study advances empirical knowledge of street edge experience from a perspective that has previously been challenging to capture and quantify. The findings demonstrate that people visually engage with street edge ground floors more than their upper floors, that visual engagement is distributed more towards the street edge on the walked side of non-pedestrianised streets than the opposite side, and that visual engagement with street edges of pedestrianised streets is balanced across both sides. The study findings also highlight how the everyday activities of pedestrians and different streets being walked often influence the amount of visual engagement within these street edge areas. These insights provide a new understanding that develops existing knowledge of pedestrian street edge experience. Significantly, they also provide an empirical foundation from which to examine how design intervention can become more considerate of peoples’ routine use of and experiential engagement with street edges along non-pedestrianised and pedestrianised urban streets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable | Sustaining City Streets)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Output Correction Methodology for Long Short Term Memory-Based Speech Recognition
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4250; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154250
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents a correction methodology for Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) based speech recognition. A strategy that validates with a reference database was developed for LSTM. It is conceptually simple but requires a large keyword database to match test templates. The correction [...] Read more.
This paper presents a correction methodology for Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) based speech recognition. A strategy that validates with a reference database was developed for LSTM. It is conceptually simple but requires a large keyword database to match test templates. The correction method is based on the “most matching method” that is finding the word in which the system output is closest among the “Referenced Template Database”. Each LSTM model recognition output was corrected with the proposed new concept. Thus, system recognition performance was improved by correcting faulty outputs. The effectiveness, efficiency, and contribution of this approach to system performance were demonstrated by experiments. Tests carried out using different speech-text datasets and LSTM models yielded an average performance increase of 2.25%. With some advanced models, this ratio rises to 3.84%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Finance, Sustainability and Negative Externalities. An Overview of the European Context
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154249
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 27 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The goal of the paper is to examine the relation between finance and sustainability, with a special emphasis on the impact of negative externalities. Sustainable development as a concept aims to mitigate negative externalities. Conventional finance offers no room for the environment and [...] Read more.
The goal of the paper is to examine the relation between finance and sustainability, with a special emphasis on the impact of negative externalities. Sustainable development as a concept aims to mitigate negative externalities. Conventional finance offers no room for the environment and society. Therefore, three-dimensional sustainable finance has appeared. This paper is the first original attempt to examine the relationship between: financial, economic, environmental and social development indicators from the sustainability perspective, with a special focus on externalities. To study the disparities between the European Union (EU) countries belonging to the OECD in the field of sustainable development and sustainable finance, the multi-criteria taxonomy was used. The basis of the analyses was the indicators transformed according to the relative taxonomy method. The database, based on Eurostat, contains indicators describing pillars of sustainable development such as: economic (12 indicators), social (28), environmental (7) and sustainable finance (16). The study analyses the sample of 23 countries in 2007, 2013 and 2016. The results confirm a positive relationship among the analysed indicators. On the basis of 62 statistical features selected according to the statistical methods, 7 groups of countries were obtained in 2007 and 2013 and 8 groups in 2016. In the case of Scandinavian countries, one can observe a permanent separation of economic growth from its negative impact on the natural environment. Such dependencies are no longer so obvious in the case of other EU countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Therefore, attention should be paid to the most economically developed countries in Western Europe, i.e., Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, whose high rankings in the case of economic, social and very often also financial results correspond to much worse results in the case of environmental development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Optimization of Ship Steel Distribution Center under Green Shipbuilding Mode
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4248; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154248
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Timeliness of steel distribution centers can effectively ensure the smooth progress of ship construction, but the carbon emissions of vehicles in the distribution process are also a major source of pollution. Therefore, when considering the common cost of vehicle distribution, taking the carbon [...] Read more.
Timeliness of steel distribution centers can effectively ensure the smooth progress of ship construction, but the carbon emissions of vehicles in the distribution process are also a major source of pollution. Therefore, when considering the common cost of vehicle distribution, taking the carbon emissions of vehicles into account, this paper establishes a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model called green vehicle routing and scheduling problem with simultaneous pickups and deliveries and time windows (GVRSP-SPDTW). An intelligent water drop algorithm is designed and improved, and compared with the genetic algorithm and traditional intelligent water drop algorithm. The applicability of the improved intelligent water drop algorithm is proven. Finally, it is applied to a specific example to prove that the improved intelligent water drop algorithm can effectively reduce the cost of such problems, thereby reducing the carbon emissions of vehicles in the distribution process, achieving the goals of reducing environmental pollution and green shipbuilding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Board of Directors: Evidence from the Research Productivity of Professors Serving on Boards in the Korean Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4247; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154247
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
We examine the relationship between the expertise of outside directors from academia and firms’ financial performance using a unique dataset on the research publications of such directors. Specifically, we use research publication history in finance or an academic concentration in business or law [...] Read more.
We examine the relationship between the expertise of outside directors from academia and firms’ financial performance using a unique dataset on the research publications of such directors. Specifically, we use research publication history in finance or an academic concentration in business or law as a proxy for expertise and measure the influence of this expertise on Korean financial firms’ short-term and long-term performance. We find a positive (negative) association between research intensity (a business or law concentration) and short-term corporate performance. Firms with greater information and agency problems appear to benefit more from research-intensive academic outside directors than other firms do. Thus, we propose that firms in emerging economies elect research-intensive academic outside directors to contribute to sustainable corporate governance and firm performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Residents’ Intention toward Green Retrofitting of Existing Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154246
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The green retrofitting of existing residential buildings is an important approach to realise the sustainable development of stock buildings. In addition to the new technologies and materials related to green retrofitting, the intention of residents toward the green retrofitting of existing residential buildings [...] Read more.
The green retrofitting of existing residential buildings is an important approach to realise the sustainable development of stock buildings. In addition to the new technologies and materials related to green retrofitting, the intention of residents toward the green retrofitting of existing residential buildings must be understood. However, the factors affecting such intentions are still unclear. Hence, this study refers to the extended theory of planed behaviour and constructs a theoretical model of the intention toward the green retrofitting of existing residential buildings. On the basis of the data from 507 questionnaires collected from eastern and western China, the theoretical model is tested via structural equation modelling (SEM). Multigroup SEM is used to analyse the differences in population characteristics and the intention of residents toward the green retrofitting of existing residential buildings in residential areas. Research results reveal the following: (1) the most important factors affecting residents’ intention toward green retrofitting are policy factors, followed by cognition of green retrofitting, behaviour, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control; (2) policy factors not only directly affect residents’ intention toward green retrofitting but also indirectly affect their intention toward existing residential green retrofitting through perceived behavioural control; (3) residents’ cognition of green retrofitting exerts no significant direct impact on their intention toward green retrofitting, but it does indirectly affect their intention toward green retrofitting through behaviour and subjective norms; (4) behaviour, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control have direct and significant influences on intention toward green retrofitting; (5) demographic characteristics (gender, age, monthly family income, education level, and occupation) and regional variables (east and west) present significant differences in different influence paths. The conclusion of the study provides a targeted path reference for the promotion of the green retrofitting of existing residential buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Refurbishment and Urban Rehabilitation for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Traps and Opportunities of Czech Small-Scale Beef Cattle Farming
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4245; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154245
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Small farmers represent a majority of the European Union (EU) farming sector and are considered the cornerstone of both the current and future sustainable EU agriculture. The dynamic complexity of livestock systems hinders the understanding of its behaviour, as well as recognizing the [...] Read more.
Small farmers represent a majority of the European Union (EU) farming sector and are considered the cornerstone of both the current and future sustainable EU agriculture. The dynamic complexity of livestock systems hinders the understanding of its behaviour, as well as recognizing the causes of problems and sources of resistance to applied policies and strategies. Livestock system behaviour needs to be understood in order to find leverage points and identify efficient solutions. The presented study depicts issues of small-scale beef cattle farmers in the market environment from a systemic perspective. The common complexity of managing a company increases with biological processes characterized by very long time periods, especially in the case of beef cattle farming. The scenarios analysed by the computer simulation model presented in the study evaluate the benefits of basic diversification into meat processing and a farm-to-table approach. The direct contact of the farmer with the final consumers represents increased demand and requirements on farmers’ entrepreneurship; nevertheless, such a strategy is a significant growth driver that allows faster maximisation of the farm’s output, accelerates the return of the investments, strengthens the market position of the farmer, and increases the farm’s sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Curating Indigenous Knowledge and Practices for Sustainable Development: Possibilities for a Socio-Ecologically-Minded University
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154244
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 7 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Higher education continues to play an integral role in fostering regional development and this is underpinned by the concept that universities possess a social responsibility as proponents of progress in relation to society’s socio-economic, political and environmental challenges. Different approaches have been articulated [...] Read more.
Higher education continues to play an integral role in fostering regional development and this is underpinned by the concept that universities possess a social responsibility as proponents of progress in relation to society’s socio-economic, political and environmental challenges. Different approaches have been articulated but none seems to provide a useful framework to support African universities’ contribution to development in their regions. This paper interrogates the idea of the ecological university and moves on to posit the possibility for a socio-ecological premise to meet environmental and societal needs, based on a symbiotic relationship between indigenous practices and a university’s capacity to engender sustainable development. Findings from an in-depth analysis of participants’ transcripts drawn from qualitative responses depict indigenous knowledge and practices which can galvanise environmental and societal sustainability, and bring to the fore the idea of the socio-ecologically-minded university. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Loss and Damage Estimation for Extreme Weather Events: State of the Practice
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4243; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154243
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Extreme weather, climate-induced events that are episodic (e.g., hurricane, heatwave) or chronic (e.g., sea-level rise, temperature change) in nature, is occurring with increasing frequency and severity. This places a growing and time-sensitive need on the development and implementation of adaptation policies and practices. [...] Read more.
Extreme weather, climate-induced events that are episodic (e.g., hurricane, heatwave) or chronic (e.g., sea-level rise, temperature change) in nature, is occurring with increasing frequency and severity. This places a growing and time-sensitive need on the development and implementation of adaptation policies and practices. To motivate adaptive behavior, however, requires the ability to deliver improved risk-informed decision-making capability. At the crux of this challenge is the provision of full and accurate loss and damage accounting of the overall impact of an extreme weather event, enabling the business case to be made for adaptation investment. We define loss and damage as the manifestation of impacts associated with extreme weather that negatively affect human and natural systems. Progress in the development of adequate loss and damage accounting has been hampered by issues, such as discrepancies in conceptual frameworks, problems associated with data quantity and quality, and lack of standardized analysis methodologies. In this paper, we have discussed the conceptual basis for measuring loss and damage, reviewed the state of loss and damage data collection and modeling, and offered a narrative on the future direction of the practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Multidimensional Measurement of the Level of Consistency of Farm Buildings with Rural Heritage: A Methodology Tested on an Italian Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4242; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154242
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The industrialization after World War II marked a severe discontinuity between rural heritage and contemporary farm buildings. Rural landscapes have thus become more and more uniform; historical buildings are often abandoned and degraded, while contemporary buildings are often disconnected from their surrounding environment. [...] Read more.
The industrialization after World War II marked a severe discontinuity between rural heritage and contemporary farm buildings. Rural landscapes have thus become more and more uniform; historical buildings are often abandoned and degraded, while contemporary buildings are often disconnected from their surrounding environment. Besides aiming to protect and restore rural heritage—more and more acknowledged as a common good contributing to societal identity—attention should be paid to increasing the quality of new buildings, a crucial issue to improve landscape quality in everyday landscape contexts. Based on a series of previous studies carried out to develop and test a robust methodology allowing the analysis of the main formal features of rural buildings, organized in a comprehensive framework known as the FarmBuiLD model (Farm Building Landscape Design), this study aims to perform an integrated and compared analysis of sets of traditional and contemporary rural buildings through experimental trials on an Italian case study. In particular, the study focuses on defining and measuring indexes allowing the quantification of the level of consistency of contemporary buildings with the traditional typologies. A contemporary farm building is evaluated based on the distance of each of its formal features from those which proved to be representative of the corresponding traditional building type, evaluated through a cluster analysis of the typological characters of traditional buildings in the study area. The results showed that different degrees of dissonance can be detected. Similarities have been found, in particular with respect to the shape of buildings and their closure with regards to landscape. The major dissonances are related to the perception of buildings as flattened on the ground, due to their excessively elongated shape, and in the case of buildings completely permeable to landscape, this being necessary for structural purposes and for the type of use of historic buildings. The expected impact of this study is to provide designers and planners with indicators allowing the evaluation, on an objective basis, of the level of consistency of new buildings with local rural heritage, thus supporting both design phases and project evaluation as well as building management processes (maintenance, restoration, extension, change in use, etc.). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Exploration of Sustainability in Traditional Rural Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Frequency Fuzzy Adaptive Additional Inertial Control Strategy for D-PMSG Wind Turbine
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154241
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
The traditional additional inertial control (T-AIC) strategy can provide frequency support for the directly-driven wind turbine with a permanent magnet synchronous generator (D-PMSG). However, due to the fixed control coefficients, the frequency modulation effect is poor under load and wind speed disturbances. In [...] Read more.
The traditional additional inertial control (T-AIC) strategy can provide frequency support for the directly-driven wind turbine with a permanent magnet synchronous generator (D-PMSG). However, due to the fixed control coefficients, the frequency modulation effect is poor under load and wind speed disturbances. In order to improve the frequency transient response of D-PMSG, a fuzzy adaptive additional inertial control strategy (FA-AIC) is proposed in this paper. A simplified D-PMSG model is established for the complexity and low calculation speed. A single-machine grid-connected system composed of a D-PMSG and an equivalent synchronous generator set (ESGS) is taken as the background and analysis of the principle of T-AIC. The proportional and derivative coefficient initial values in T-AIC are tuned by simulating the static characteristics and inertial response characteristics of the conventional synchronous generator set, and fuzzy control technology is introduced to adjust the proportional and derivative coefficients adaptively based on the frequency deviation and the frequency deviation change rate under load or wind speed disturbances. The simulation verification indicates that T-AIC, kinetic energy (KE)-based gain-AIC and FA-AIC all can utilize the D-PMSG additional inertial response to provide frequency support for grid-connected systems. Compared with T-AIC and KE-based gain-AIC, the proposed FA-AIC can not only provide more effective frequency support during load disturbances, but also suppress the frequency fluctuation caused by the wind speed variation and displays a better dynamic frequency regulation effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications, Integration and Trends of Renewable Energy Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Bridging the Gap: Integrated Occupational and Industrial Approach to Understand the Regional Economic Advantage
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154240
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 28 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
In the debates on regional economic analysis, scholars generally reach the consensus that the industrial frame and the occupational mix are not very accurate substitutes for each other. While industry concentration and mix are widely accepted as significant, the independent consideration of occupation [...] Read more.
In the debates on regional economic analysis, scholars generally reach the consensus that the industrial frame and the occupational mix are not very accurate substitutes for each other. While industry concentration and mix are widely accepted as significant, the independent consideration of occupation has been shown to be important, especially for creativity-concentrated regions. However, neither the industrial nor the occupational mix is separately sufficient to be solely applied to understand the entire regional situation. This paper develops an integrated occupational and industrial structure (IOIS) at the state and also the national level in order to bridge the gap between separate industrial and occupational analytic results. The case of California is used to demonstrate that the integrated approach is a more effective way than either the single occupational or industrial analysis. The further application of this approach to data for the fifty states provides a general view of joint occupational and industrial development across the nation. This approach further links the occupational approach and the industrial development together by providing a new way to measure and identify the regional comparative difference to be able to implement more fruitful policy-making decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban and Regional Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Level of Maturity of Quality Management Systems in Poland—Results of Empirical Research
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4239; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154239
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
This paper examines the problem of measuring the maturity of quality management systems. The main scope of the study is to measure the level of maturity of quality management systems in organizations with an implemented quality management system compliant with the requirements of [...] Read more.
This paper examines the problem of measuring the maturity of quality management systems. The main scope of the study is to measure the level of maturity of quality management systems in organizations with an implemented quality management system compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001 in Poland; however, this paper also investigates which factors influence the level of maturity. An analysis of the maturity level of the quality management system in the surveyed organizations showed that the highest level of maturity occurs in those areas and activities that directly result from the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard and direct market pressure, and this level of maturity must be implemented. This can be included in case areas such as customer orientation, process approach, or evidence-based decision-making. However, a lower level of maturity is observed in the case of “soft” aspects of quality management related to leadership and human resource management. The problems are also related to the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this respect, the surveyed organizations show numerous shortcomings which lead to low assessments of their level of maturity, for example, in ensuring openness and ethical behavior in contact with the public. The following hypothesis was formulated for the research objective: H1—control variables, such as the size of the organization (H1a), time of existence of the enterprise (H1b), business profile (H1c), market position (H1d), financial condition (H1e), and ratio of management to the normalization processes (H1f), affect the level of maturity of an enterprise’s quality management system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Leachate from Northern Landfill Site in Bloemfontein on Water and Soil Quality: Implications for Water and Food Security
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4238; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154238
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
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Abstract
Solid waste management in developing cities is a threat to water and food security. The final disposal option for solid wastes is usually landfill sites. Possible contaminants and their impact on surface and groundwater, and soil quality, at the northern solid waste landfill [...] Read more.
Solid waste management in developing cities is a threat to water and food security. The final disposal option for solid wastes is usually landfill sites. Possible contaminants and their impact on surface and groundwater, and soil quality, at the northern solid waste landfill in Bloemfontein city, South Africa, was investigated. Soil samples were analysed for basic cations and heavy metals. A one-point surface leachate, groundwater, and surface water samples were analysed for physicochemical and microbiological parameters. Hydrochemical speciation models were developed using these parameters to determine the influence of the leachate emanating from the landfill on the quality of the water samples. Findings from the study showed that the low metal content in the soil and water samples posed no immediate threat to food and water security. However, most of the other parameters were above the permissible limit of South African National Standard 241 (SANS241) and World Health Organisation (WHO) for drinking water, and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) specification for irrigation, an indication that the groundwater was unfit for drinking, domestic and irrigation purposes. Metal concentrations in the soil also increased with distance downslope of the landfill along drainage lines. The implementation of a circular economy in Bloemfontein will translate to less pollution and enhance sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Warranty Period Decision and Coordination in Closed-Loop Supply Chains Considering Remanufacturing and Consumer Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154237
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The closed-loop supply chain management model is an effective way to promote sustainable economic development and environmental protection. Increasing the sales volume of remanufactured products to stimulate green growth is a key issue in the development of closed-loop supply chains. By designing an [...] Read more.
The closed-loop supply chain management model is an effective way to promote sustainable economic development and environmental protection. Increasing the sales volume of remanufactured products to stimulate green growth is a key issue in the development of closed-loop supply chains. By designing an effective warranty strategy, customer’s perceived value can be enhanced and market demand can be stimulated. This study cuts through the warranty period of closed-loop supply chain products. Based on the perspective of consumer behavior, game theory is used to construct the optimal decision-making model for closed-loop supply chains. The optimal warranty decision making for new products and remanufactured products under centralized and decentralized decision-making models is discussed. Further, the impact of the closed-loop supply chain system with warranty services and the design of contract coordination is also shown. We show that consumer preference has a positive impact on the sales of remanufactured products and the profits of enterprises; with the extension of the new product and remanufacturing warranty period, the profit of the supply chain system first increases and then decreases, and the value is maximized at the extreme point in the manufacturer-led decision-making model. Furthermore, the leader gains higher profits with bargaining power, but the profit of the supply chain system under decentralized decision model is less than that of the centralized decision model, reflecting the double marginalization effect. The revenue sharing contract and the two-charge contract designed in this study coordinate the closed-loop supply chain system with warranty services, so that the member companies in the supply chain can achieve Pareto improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Decisions and Risk Assessment in Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
A Proposal for a Decision-Making Tool in Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider Selection Based on Multi-Criteria Analysis and the Fuzzy Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4236; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154236
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The selection of a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is an important and demanding task for many companies and organizations dealing with distribution activities. To assist in decision making, this paper proposes the implementation of fuzzy logic. To design a fuzzy inference system (FIS), [...] Read more.
The selection of a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is an important and demanding task for many companies and organizations dealing with distribution activities. To assist in decision making, this paper proposes the implementation of fuzzy logic. To design a fuzzy inference system (FIS), the first prerequisite is to determine a set of evaluation criteria and sub-criteria and to find the relationship between them. This task was solved by an extensive review of the literature and expert opinions on implementing the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) approach. The results obtained in the first part of the research, together with data collected from 20 3PL providers, were further used in the second part, which was related to the implementation of the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method. Finally, a decision-making tool for 3PL provider selection was designed as an FIS structure, where the inputs were the previously defined criteria and the output was a preference for 3PL selection. The fuzzy rules were generated on the basis of the collected empirical data, the preferences obtained by the TOPSIS method, and expert opinion using the Wang–Mendel method. The proposed fuzzy model is particularly suitable when input data are not crisp values but are provided descriptively through linguistic statements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Managing Marketing Decision-Making with Sentiment Analysis: An Evaluation of the Main Product Features Using Text Data Mining
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4235; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154235
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 29 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
Companies have realized the importance of “big data” in creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and user-generated content (UGC) represents one of big data’s most important sources. From blogs to social media and online reviews, consumers generate a huge amount of brand-related information that [...] Read more.
Companies have realized the importance of “big data” in creating a sustainable competitive advantage, and user-generated content (UGC) represents one of big data’s most important sources. From blogs to social media and online reviews, consumers generate a huge amount of brand-related information that has a decisive potential business value for marketing purposes. Particularly, we focus on online reviews that could have an influence on brand image and positioning. Within this context, and using the usual quantitative star score ratings, a recent stream of research has employed sentiment analysis (SA) tools to examine the textual content of reviews and categorize buyer opinions. Although many SA tools split comments into negative or positive, a review can contain phrases with different polarities because the user can have different sentiments about each feature of the product. Finding the polarity of each feature can be interesting for product managers and brand management. In this paper, we present a general framework that uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques, including sentiment analysis, text data mining, and clustering techniques, to obtain new scores based on consumer sentiments for different product features. The main contribution of our proposal is the combination of price and the aforementioned scores to define a new global score for the product, which allows us to obtain a ranking according to product features. Furthermore, the products can be classified according to their positive, neutral, or negative features (visualized on dashboards), helping consumers with their sustainable purchasing behavior. We proved the validity of our approach in a case study using big data extracted from Amazon online reviews (specifically cell phones), obtaining satisfactory and promising results. After the experimentation, we could conclude that our work is able to improve recommender systems by using positive, neutral, and negative customer opinions and by classifying customers based on their comments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Evaluation and Regionalization of Maize Drought Vulnerability in the Midwest of Jilin Province
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154234
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
Drought vulnerability analysis of crops can build a bridge between hazard factors and disasters and become the main tool to mitigate the impact of drought. However, the resulting disagreement about the appropriate definition of vulnerability is a frequent cause for misunderstanding and a [...] Read more.
Drought vulnerability analysis of crops can build a bridge between hazard factors and disasters and become the main tool to mitigate the impact of drought. However, the resulting disagreement about the appropriate definition of vulnerability is a frequent cause for misunderstanding and a challenge for attempts to develop formal models of vulnerability. This paper presents a generally applicable conceptual framework of vulnerability that combines a nomenclature of vulnerable situations and a terminology of vulnerability based on the definition in the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) report. By selecting 10 indicators, the drought disaster vulnerability assessment model is established from four aspects. In order to verify our model, we present a case study of maize drought vulnerability in the Midwest of the Jilin Province. Our analysis reveals the relationship between each single factor evaluation indicator and drought vulnerability, as well as each indicator to every other indicator. The results show that the drought disturbing degree in different growth periods increases from the central part of the Jilin Province to the western part of the Jilin Province. The sensitivity degree showed an increasing trend from the southeast to the northwest. The places with the strongest self-recovery ability are mainly concentrated in Changchun, Siping, Baicheng, and the other area. The ability to adjust to drought in each growth period is weak and crop yield reduction caused by drought is easy to create. Environmental adaptability is closely related to the social and economic situation every year, so it changes greatly and is flexible. Areas with strong drought vulnerability are mainly concentrated in Baicheng, Tongyu, and Qianguo. The research results can provide a certain basis for risk assessment, early warning, and disaster prevention and mitigation of agricultural drought disaster in the research area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Climate Change Influence Guest Loyalty at Alpine Winter Destinations?
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4233; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154233
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
Research has dealt extensively with different aspects of climate change and winter tourism such as the impact on ski resorts and ski lift operators, adaptation strategies, governance at destinations and reactions of winter sports guests to changing snow conditions. This paper goes deeper [...] Read more.
Research has dealt extensively with different aspects of climate change and winter tourism such as the impact on ski resorts and ski lift operators, adaptation strategies, governance at destinations and reactions of winter sports guests to changing snow conditions. This paper goes deeper into the question of destination choice and examines the role of climate change among the many factors affecting guest loyalty at Alpine winter destinations. The study uses an established destination choice model with choice sets, destination image and dynamic feedback loop. A qualitative online forum identifies factors influencing winter destination choice, followed by a quantitative survey which compares Alpine winter holidaymakers categorised as “loyal”, “disloyal” and “undecided”. The results demonstrate that climate change clearly influences destination choice, but snow sports are not the only affected attractors. Enjoyment of the natural environment and value for money are just as high on the list of guest motivators. This indicates that climate change adaptation measures such as snowmaking can be counterproductive to guest loyalty because they spoil the natural scenery and raise prices. The paper concludes with a recommendation for winter destinations to prioritize conservation of the natural environment and integrate more environmental protection measures into their management strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects on Carbon Sources and Sinks from Conversion of Over-Mature Forest to Major Secondary Forests and Korean Pine Plantation in Northeast China
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4232; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154232
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 28 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The effects of replacing over-mature forest with secondary forests and plantations are significant for terrestrial ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics. However, the carbon balance and recovery time of this replacement process remain unclear. This study measured the fluxes of CH4 and CO2 [...] Read more.
The effects of replacing over-mature forest with secondary forests and plantations are significant for terrestrial ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics. However, the carbon balance and recovery time of this replacement process remain unclear. This study measured the fluxes of CH4 and CO2 in soils and the annual net C sequestration (ANCS) from seven ecosystems with different vegetation types (over-mature forest (OMF), Korean pine plantation (KPP), hardwood forest (HWF), Betula platyphylla forest (BPF), Populous davidiana forest (PDF), mixed deciduous forest (MDF), and Mongolian oak forest (MOF)) using the static chamber-gas chromatography method and the relative growth equation method. We examined the effects of environmental factors (e.g., air and soil temperature, soil volumetric water content (SVWC), soil pH, nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N), and soil organic carbon (SOC)) on CH4 and CO2 fluxes at the Maoershan Ecosystem Research Station in Northeast China. The carbon source or sink of OMF, KPP, and five secondary forests (HWF, BPF, PDF, MDF, and MOF) were then evaluated based on net ecosystem C balance. The results revealed that the mean annual CH4 fluxes varied between −0.046 and −0.077 mg m−2 h−1. The mean annual absorption of CH4 in the secondary forests and OMF were respectively 1.09–1.67 times and 1.11 times higher than that of KPP (0.046 mg m−2 h−1, p < 0.05). The mean annual CO2 fluxes varied between 140.425 and 250.023 mg m−2 h−1. The CO2 fluxes in the secondary forests and KPP soils were respectively 1.33–1.78 times and 1.16 times higher than that of OMF (140.425 mg m−2 h−1, p < 0.05). The CH4 and CO2 fluxes were mainly influenced by air and soil temperature, SVWC, soil pH, NO3-N, NH4+-N, and SOC in Northeast China. The ANCS of vegetation (3.41 ± 0.27 − 6.26 ± 0.75 t C ha−1 y−1) varied widely among different forest types: KPP had the largest ANCS (6.26 ± 0.75 t C ha−1 y−1, which was higher than secondary forests and OMF by 1.20–1.84 times and 1.46 times, respectively, p > 0.05). Carbon sources and sinks were significantly different among the seven types of vegetation: OMF and KPP were observed to be the greatest C sinks, and secondary forests were shown to be the weakest carbon sinks or net C sources in the study region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
CFD Simulation of Convective Heat Transfer on Vernacular Sustainable Architecture: Validation and Application of Methodology
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154231
Received: 7 July 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The global background of energy shortages and climate deterioration demands bioclimatic sustainable buildings. Vernacular architecture can provide a useful resource of passive strategies and techniques for creating inner comfort conditions with minimum heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) assistance. The identification and verification [...] Read more.
The global background of energy shortages and climate deterioration demands bioclimatic sustainable buildings. Vernacular architecture can provide a useful resource of passive strategies and techniques for creating inner comfort conditions with minimum heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) assistance. The identification and verification of such knowledge are essential for climate responsive or energy passive building design. Among the methods, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a useful tool for simulating convective heat transfer of vernacular architecture and predicting the convective heat transfer coefficient (CHTC) and flow field. Geometric complexity and diversity of building samples are crucial in the development of an effective simulation methodology in terms of computational cost and accuracy. Therefore, this paper presents high-resolution 3D steady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) CFD simulations of convective heat transfer on Japanese vernacular architecture, namely, “machiya.” A CFD validation study on the CHTC is performed based on wind-tunnel experiments on a cube heated by constant heat flux and placed in a turbulent channel flow with a Reynolds number of 3.3 × 104. Three steady RANS models and two boundary layer modeling approaches are compared and discussed. Results show that the SST k-ω model applied with low Reynolds number modeling approach is suitable for CHTC simulations on a simplified building model. The RNG k-ε model applied with wall functions is an appropriate choice for simulating flow field of a complicated building model. Overall, this study develops a methodology involving RANS model selection, boundary layer modeling, and target model fitting to predict the convective heat transfer on vernacular architecture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expansive Social Learning, Morphogenesis and Reflexive Action in an Organization Responding to Wetland Degradation
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154230
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
This study (conducted as PhD research at Rhodes University, South Africa) describes a formative interventionist research project conducted to explore factors inhibiting improved wetland management within a corporate plantation forestry context and determine if, and how, expansive social learning processes could strengthen organizational [...] Read more.
This study (conducted as PhD research at Rhodes University, South Africa) describes a formative interventionist research project conducted to explore factors inhibiting improved wetland management within a corporate plantation forestry context and determine if, and how, expansive social learning processes could strengthen organizational learning and development to overcome these factors. A series of formative interventionist workshops and feedback meetings took place over three years; developing new knowledge amongst staff of Company X, and improved wetland management practices. Through the expansive learning process, the tensions and contradictions that emerged became generative, supporting expansive learning that was reflectively engaged with throughout the research period. The study was== supported by an epistemological framework of cultural historical activity theory and expansive learning. Realist social theory, emerging from critical realism, with its methodological compliment the morphogenetic framework gave the research the depth of detail required to explain how the expansive learning, organizational social change, and boundary crossings that are necessary for assembling the collective were taking place. This provided ontological depth to the research. The research found that expansive learning processes, which are also social learning processes (hence we use the term ‘expansive social learning’, supported organizational learning and development for improved wetland management. Five types of changes emerged from the research: (1) Changes in structure, (2) changes in practice, (3) changes in approach, (4) changes in discourse, and (5) changes in knowledge, values, and thinking. The study was able to explain how these changes occurred via the interaction of structural emergent properties and powers; cultural emergent properties and powers; and personal emergent properties and powers of agents. It was concluded that expansive learning could provide an environmental education platform to proactively work with the sociological potential of morphogenesis to bring about future change via an open-ended participatory and reflexive expansive learning process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Learning and Change in Organisations)
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Open AccessArticle
Minero-Petrographic Characterization of Chianocco Marble Employed for Palazzo Madama Façade in Turin (Northwest Italy)
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154229
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The study of ancient marble plays an important role in the interpretation of historical and archaeological sites and gives interesting information about building materials used in ancient times and their trade routes. The present work focuses on Chianocco marble that represents one of [...] Read more.
The study of ancient marble plays an important role in the interpretation of historical and archaeological sites and gives interesting information about building materials used in ancient times and their trade routes. The present work focuses on Chianocco marble that represents one of the most important ancient white marbles for cultural heritage exploited in the Piedmont region (Northwest Italy) and employed for the Palazzo Madama façade. A multi-analytical study based on petrographic (optical and scanning electron microscopy), electron microprobe, cathodoluminescence and stable isotope analyses was carried out on these marbles in order to perform an archaeometric study. Chianocco marble was used in Turin during the baroque era by the Savoy architect Filippo Juvarra (1678–1736) in historical buildings, such as the façade of the Palazzo Madama, the plinth of the façade of the town Cathedral and the columns (now plastered) of the portico of Piazza San Carlo. This stone is a dolomitic rock belonging to the Mesozoic cover of the Dora Maira Massif (Pennidic Unit). It shows a vuggy fabric characterized by a vacuolar texture due to tectonic brecciation and subsequent selective dissolution during subaerial exposure. This kind of research is useful to highlight the importance of the use of local stones as building materials and to investigate stone materials for the restoration and maintenance of historical buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage)
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Open AccessEditorial
The Discourse on Sustainable Urban Tourism: The Need for Discussing More Than Overtourism
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4228; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154228
Received: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The journal Sustainability has previously published special issues on sustainable tourism and on sustainable cities (both in 2014). This special issue presents recent insights from combining the two research topics. There is some convergence with respect to core challenges that sustainable urban tourism [...] Read more.
The journal Sustainability has previously published special issues on sustainable tourism and on sustainable cities (both in 2014). This special issue presents recent insights from combining the two research topics. There is some convergence with respect to core challenges that sustainable urban tourism is facing. Firstly, relating to social sustainable development, there is the tension between the quality of life for residents in different ways and the development of cities to benefit the tourism industry. Secondly, relating to environmental sustainable development, there is the tension between residents and their desire for good local environmental standards and visiting tourists that create a number of over-tourism related local environmental problems. Thirdly, there are the challenges that so far have received less attention, but obviously are expected to become crucial in the years to come: The double climate change provides risks to cities from a changing climate and from more ambitious climate policies to come. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Tourism)
Open AccessArticle
Granite Pavement Nitrate Desalination: Traditional Methods vs. Biocleaning Methods
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154227
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
High levels of nitrate contamination of granite stone are a major problem, affecting large surfaces of many historical monuments, particularly in the north-west of Spain. This study showed a comparison between different traditional and biotechnological desalination methods in order to evaluate the most [...] Read more.
High levels of nitrate contamination of granite stone are a major problem, affecting large surfaces of many historical monuments, particularly in the north-west of Spain. This study showed a comparison between different traditional and biotechnological desalination methods in order to evaluate the most appropriate cleaning treatment for nitrate desalination of granite. Three types of traditional desalination methods (with cellulose and/or sepiolite) were compared with two types of bacterial denitrifying treatments that used Pseudomonas stutzeri (with cotton wool or with agar 2% as delivery systems). The in-situ tests were carried in the Cristo Chapel of Stª Mª de Conxo in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), which has a high nitrate salt content in its granite pavement. Conductivity and nitrate content measurements, biological monitoring and digital image analysis were performed to determinate the efficacy of each method. The findings showed that both techniques succeeded in reducing salt content, but bio-desalination was the more effective method tested. This work contributes to the practical implementation of BTCH (Biocleaning Technologies for Cultural Heritage) for the bio-desalination of granite surfaces, and to the evaluation of the use of non-destructive cleaning techniques based on digital imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Biocleaning Technologies for Cultural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
The Deterrence Effect of a Penalty for Environmental Violation
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154226
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
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Abstract
The response to the penalty for an environmental violation on the firm level is a matter of reactive corporate environmental practices, about which the existence of a penalty is critical for environmental public policy. We propose that a penalty acts as a deterrence [...] Read more.
The response to the penalty for an environmental violation on the firm level is a matter of reactive corporate environmental practices, about which the existence of a penalty is critical for environmental public policy. We propose that a penalty acts as a deterrence signal to enhance the perceived threat of legal punishment and the peer effect serves as the path through which peer firms learn from target firms. Based on the peer effect among firms and the deterrence effect in criminal economics, we investigated whether and how the peer firm responds to the penalty for environmental violation of target firms in the same industrial sector. Using samples of Chinese listed firms from 2008 to 2015, this paper finds that the penalty for the target firms can increase the peer firms’ environmental investment, and compared to the sample with low-level environmental regulation, the increase in the sample with high-level environmental regulation is more significant. These findings suggest that a penalty for target firms has a deterrence effect on peer firms and the environmental regulation strengthens the above deterrence effect. This is expected to help both theorists and practitioners achieve a better understanding of the implementation of a penalty for an environmental violation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Asian Emerging Markets)
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