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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 2 (January-2 2019)

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Open AccessArticle Architectural and Management Strategies for The Design, Construction and Operation of Energy Efficient and Intelligent Primary Care Centers in Chile
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020464 (registering DOI)
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Primary care centers are establishments with elevated social relevance and high operational energy consumption. In Chile, there more than 628 family healthcare centers (CESFAM) have been built in the last two decades and with plans for hundreds more in the next few years.
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Primary care centers are establishments with elevated social relevance and high operational energy consumption. In Chile, there more than 628 family healthcare centers (CESFAM) have been built in the last two decades and with plans for hundreds more in the next few years. We revised the architecture, construction management and energy performance of five CESFAM centers to determine possible instances of overall improvement. Staff was interviewed, and state documents reviewed, which allowed the conceptualization of the architectonic and energy structure of the centers, as well as the process of implementation. At the same time, energy simulations were done for each one of the centers, controlling for different climates, construction solutions and orientations. Our study revealed that strategies employed by the primary healthcare centers in Chile have aided a progressive implementation of establishments with elevated costs and materialization times, as well as neglect for climatic conditions. These energy evaluations show relevant and consistent impacts of the architectural form and material conditions, especially in southern zones, demonstrating the need to work with shared knowledge resources such as BIM. There is a clear necessity to define technological, morphological and construction strategies specific to each climate zone in order to achieve energetically efficient and intelligent healthcare establishments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring “Company Personas” for Informing Design for Sustainability Implementation in Companies
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020463 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The need for understanding the context of the case company during Design for Sustainability (DfS) implementation has been a long identified need among the researchers in the field. Yet, studies on company context have primarily focused on studying, enlisting, and prescribing standardized solutions
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The need for understanding the context of the case company during Design for Sustainability (DfS) implementation has been a long identified need among the researchers in the field. Yet, studies on company context have primarily focused on studying, enlisting, and prescribing standardized solutions for companies or clustering companies based on similarities. Such approaches have not been able to overcome the organizational “soft side” challenges that have been long addressed in DfS literature. This explorative paper takes insights from 20 case interviews conducted in Norwegian and Danish manufacturing companies and with sustainability experts and uses the concept of persona from design studies to explore the potential of defining “company personas” to better define the context of the company. The interview analysis produced 14 dimensions, including both hitherto identified factual needs of companies and soft-side elements required to create a company persona, thereby informing practitioners and researchers to take a DfS implementation approach tailored to the company context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Defining and Quantifying National-Level Targets, Indicators and Benchmarks for Management of Natural Resources to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020462 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are high on the agenda for most countries of the world. In its publication of the SDGs, the UN has provided the goals and target descriptions that, if implemented at a country
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are high on the agenda for most countries of the world. In its publication of the SDGs, the UN has provided the goals and target descriptions that, if implemented at a country level, would lead towards a sustainable future. The IAEG (InterAgency Expert Group of the SDGs) was tasked with disseminating indicators and methods to countries that can be used to gather data describing the global progress towards sustainability. However, 2030 Agenda leaves it to countries to adopt the targets with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. At present, guidance on how to go about this is scant but it is clear that the responsibility is with countries to implement and that it is actions at a country level that will determine the success of the SDGs. Reporting on SDGs by country takes on two forms: i) global reporting using prescribed indicator methods and data; ii) National Voluntary Reviews where a country reports on its own progress in more detail but is also able to present data that are more appropriate for the country. For the latter, countries need to be able to adapt the global indicators to fit national priorities and context, thus the global description of an indicator could be reduced to describe only what is relevant to the country. Countries may also, for the National Voluntary Review, use indicators that are unique to the country but nevertheless contribute to measurement of progress towards the global SDG target. Importantly, for those indicators that relate to the security of natural resources security (e.g., water) indicators, there are no prescribed numerical targets/standards or benchmarks. Rather countries will need to set their own benchmarks or standards against which performance can be evaluated. This paper presents a procedure that would enable a country to describe national targets with associated benchmarks that are appropriate for the country. The procedure builds on precedent set in other countries but in particular on a procedure developed for the setting of Resource Quality Objectives in South Africa. The procedure focusses on those SDG targets that are natural resource-security focused, for example, extent of water-related ecosystems (6.6), desertification (15.3) and so forth, because the selection of indicator methods and benchmarks is based on the location of natural resources, their use and present state and how they fit into national strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Measuring Environmental Efficiency through the Lens of Technology Heterogeneity: A Comparative Study between China and the G20
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020461 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Drawing on a perspective of technology heterogeneity, this study advances the analytical framework for evaluation of environmental efficiency (EE) across diverse economies. To improve the continuity and robustness of efficiency estimation, we construct a Hybrid Malmquist–Luenberger index under the meta-frontier (MHML) technique to
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Drawing on a perspective of technology heterogeneity, this study advances the analytical framework for evaluation of environmental efficiency (EE) across diverse economies. To improve the continuity and robustness of efficiency estimation, we construct a Hybrid Malmquist–Luenberger index under the meta-frontier (MHML) technique to allow a dynamic evaluation of environmental efficiency and to probe the underlying sources of inefficiency. Decomposition of the MHML index into component factors of efficiency change (EC), Best Practice Change (BPC) and Technological Gap Change (TPC) allows an improved understanding of causality and enhanced guidance for decision-making units (DMUs). Empirical tests based on panel data of the Group 20 countries spanning 2000–2014 reveal an upward improving trend in environmental efficiency but is also characterized by notable evidence of technological heterogeneity. Whereas technical progress was the main cause of environmental efficiency improvements in the G20 countries, for the BRICS (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), economic growth rates played a more significant in contrast to the role of technical change and allocation efficiency. The lagging growth rates of environmental efficiency for the G20 countries compared to the BRICS is a reflection of the fact that room for optimization in G20 countries was not as high as it was for BRICS and, China, in particular. China has been catching up with frontier technology whereas developing countries were shifting away from benchmark technology frontier. The developed economies remain the best performers and leaders in environmental technology. However, the BRICS countries, represented by China, remain on an upward trajectory of improvements’ in EE with gains from managerial sufficiency and technological advancement. The MHML index developed here provides a robust quantitative measure for policy interventions to support overall national environmental performance. Context-specific suggestions are proposed to foster efficiency gains and green transition for Chinese development scenarios against best performing economies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Optimization Approach for the Coordinated Low-Carbon Design of Product Family and Remanufactured Products
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020460 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
With increasingly stringent environmental regulations on emission standards, enterprises and investigators are looking for effective ways to decrease GHG emission from products. As an important method for reducing GHG emission of products, low-carbon product family design has attracted more and more attention. Existing
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With increasingly stringent environmental regulations on emission standards, enterprises and investigators are looking for effective ways to decrease GHG emission from products. As an important method for reducing GHG emission of products, low-carbon product family design has attracted more and more attention. Existing research, related to low-carbon product family design, did not take into account remanufactured products. Nowadays, it is popular to launch remanufactured products for environmental benefit and meeting customer needs. On the one hand, the design of remanufactured products is influenced by product family design. On the other hand, the launch of remanufactured products may cannibalize the sale of new products. Thus, the design of remanufactured products should be considered together with the product family design for obtaining the maximum profit and reducing the GHG emission as soon as possible. The purpose of this paper is to present an optimization model to concurrently determine product family design, remanufactured products planning and remanufacturing parameters selection with consideration of the customer preference, the total profit of a company and the total GHG emission from production. A genetic algorithm is applied to solve the optimization problem. The proposed method can help decision-makers to simultaneously determine the design of a product family and remanufactured products with a better trade-off between profit and environmental impact. Finally, a case study is performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the presented approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing Systems)
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Open AccessReview What about the Migrant Children? The State-Of-The-Art in Research Claiming Social Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020459 (registering DOI)
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate research articles that relate to education for sustainability, primarily in early childhood, in order to describe to what extent a holistic perspective on education for sustainability has been applied, and how the social dimension is conceptualized. The review
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This study aimed to investigate research articles that relate to education for sustainability, primarily in early childhood, in order to describe to what extent a holistic perspective on education for sustainability has been applied, and how the social dimension is conceptualized. The review comprised research articles in Nordic Journals of Education, International Journals of Early Childhood Education, and International Journals of Education/Environmental/Sustainability education. The findings disclosed that researchers within the field of education for sustainability acknowledged, to a large extent, environmental, economic, and social aspects, and thus applied a holistic perspective. This review shows, however, that even if the social dimension were conceptualized as strongly related to topics such as social justice, citizenship, and the building of stable societies, few articles have investigated diversity, multicultural perspectives, or migrant children’s situations in the context of early childhood education for sustainability. This review discloses that the concept of belonging is rarely used in connection to migrants and refugees in research on early childhood education for sustainability. A further argument encourages the inclusion of these aspects in further research which claims social sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle The Food Desert as a Concept and Policy Tool in African Cities: An Opportunity and a Risk
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020458 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The idea that food insecurity can be resolved by increasing the presence of supermarkets has been gaining traction in African cities and has recently gained political traction in Africa. This paper interrogates the potential value and risks associated with the adoption of the
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The idea that food insecurity can be resolved by increasing the presence of supermarkets has been gaining traction in African cities and has recently gained political traction in Africa. This paper interrogates the potential value and risks associated with the adoption of the discourse of the food desert in the African context. The paper draws on findings from a households survey, neighborhoods-scale food retail mapping and surveys, and city-wide supermarket mapping conducted in Cape Town (South Africa), Kisumu (Kenya), and Kitwe (Zambia). Following a discussion of why the concept is gaining traction, the paper identifies false assumptions associated with the food desert framing in Africa, namely: supermarkets provide better access to healthier food, low-income areas have poor access to healthy food; and food security can be reduced to economic and physical accessibility. The paper concludes that although the food desert concept may be valuable for African researchers to provoke debates about systemic inequality, the food desert policy narrative should be rejected as it is ill-informed by the lived experiences of food insecurity in African cities and may promote policy interventions that erode rather than enhance the capacity of the food system to meet the food security needs of African urbanites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Food Deserts: Perspectives from the Global South)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Development in Mathematics Education—A Case Study of What Kind of Meanings Do Prospective Class Teachers Find for the Mathematical Symbol “23”?
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020457 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
In this article, our focus is on sustainable development in mathematics education from the point of view of teacher training. The aim was to develop prospective teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of school mathematics. As a case study, we chose the
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In this article, our focus is on sustainable development in mathematics education from the point of view of teacher training. The aim was to develop prospective teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of school mathematics. As a case study, we chose the mathematical symbol “a/b”, and examined how prospective class teachers in Finland connect it to the concepts of fraction, ratio, division, rational number or probability. Mathematics textbooks often have a central role in lessons, and they affect strongly how pupils understand concepts and the relationships between them. We chose languaging as a multi-semiotic approach to interpreting what kind of meanings the prospective class teachers gave the mathematical symbol “a/b”. The results show that some of these concepts are difficult to see at the same time from the given mathematical symbol. The concept of ratio is particularly difficult for prospective class teachers to interpret. Pictorial presentation supported the interpretations. Mathematics learning materials and teacher education should develop in accordance with the results of the study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science Education Promoting Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Wild Plants Potentially Used in Human Food in the Protected Area "Sierra Grande de Hornachos" of Extremadura (Spain)
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020456 (registering DOI)
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Natura 2000 is a network of protected spaces where the use of natural resources is regulated through the Habitat Directive of the European Union. It is essential for the conservation of biodiversity in Europe, but its social perception must be improved. We present
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Natura 2000 is a network of protected spaces where the use of natural resources is regulated through the Habitat Directive of the European Union. It is essential for the conservation of biodiversity in Europe, but its social perception must be improved. We present this work as a demonstration case of the potentialities of one of these protected areas in the southwest (SW) Iberian Peninsula. We show an overview of the catalog of native wild plants of the place, which have nutritional and edible properties, having been used in human food by the peasant local population over the last century, and whose consumption trend is being implemented in Europe mainly through the haute cuisine and ecotourism sectors. What is offered here is a study of the case of what kind of positive contribution systematized botanical or ethnobotanical scientific knowledge can make toward encouraging innovative and sustainable rural development initiatives. A total of 145 wild plants that are potentially useful for leading tourism and consumers toward haute cuisine, new gastronomy, enviromentally-friendly recipes, and Natura 2000 Conservation are retrieved. The methodology used for our proposal is based on recent proposals of food product development and Basque Culinary Center initiatives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reflecting on Green Infrastructure and Spatial Planning in Africa: The Complexities, Perceptions, and Way Forward
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020455 (registering DOI)
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Spatial planning decision-making is progressively acknowledging that nature-based solutions are substantially beneficial to urban communities and their host cities. This paper is a meta-study of the current state of spatial planning practice in South Africa, with special focus on nature-based solutions and green
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Spatial planning decision-making is progressively acknowledging that nature-based solutions are substantially beneficial to urban communities and their host cities. This paper is a meta-study of the current state of spatial planning practice in South Africa, with special focus on nature-based solutions and green infrastructure planning. The complexities and perceptions relating to green infrastructure planning in South Africa is presented, based on the findings of nine independent studies conducted between 2014 and 2018. The collective interpretation of these findings are thematically reported on in terms of (i) the concept of Green Infrastructure as perceived from a local perspective, ii2) the functionality of green infrastructure in local (urban and rural) context, (iii) the benefits (and value) of green infrastructure in local context which probe to be contradicting international accepted theory, and (iv) long term planning strategies and opportunities relating to green infrastructure provision in South Africa and Africa. The paper emphasizes the importance of context-based planning based on the unique considerations illustrated in the (South) African case studies which amongst others disproved the green compensation hypothesis and disproved the green proximity principle. As a result, the paper calls on long-term strategies to align green infrastructure as part of mainstream spatial planning approaches, along with value capturing approaches to sensitize decision-makers to prioritize green infrastructure within broader land-use planning approaches. Full article
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Open AccessReview Crises of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Satoyama Landscape of Japan: A Review on the Role of Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020454
Received: 4 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Satoyama is a Japanese term used to describe the traditional rural landscape in Japan. It has changed continuously from overuse to underuse stages under the development of economy and society, which caused the loss of both biodiversity and ecosystem services. In this paper,
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Satoyama is a Japanese term used to describe the traditional rural landscape in Japan. It has changed continuously from overuse to underuse stages under the development of economy and society, which caused the loss of both biodiversity and ecosystem services. In this paper, we summarized the interactions of biodiversity and ecosystem services affected by human management in Satoyama landscape. The results indicate: (1) the concepts of Satoyama forests and Satoyama landscape varied with researchers and their objectives. The most popular one is a mosaic landscape consisting of Satoyama (secondary) forests, rice paddies, grassland, ponds, irrigating systems, and rural settlements; (2) traditional management regimes on Satoyama landscape were the disturbing mechanisms to provide multiple ecosystem services, as well as a series of semi-natural habitats for species; (3) due to significant progress in economy and technology in Japan, the aging problems of farmers, industrialized agriculture, the import of ecosystem services and goods from international markets, and global climate changes eventually caused the simplification of crop plants, the invasion of alien species, the fragmentation of habitats, and the decreasing of ecosystem services; (4) future research should pay more attention to the complex mechanisms of biodiversity crises and ecosystem services at the landscape scale, considering pattern-process relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Green Production Decision on Social Welfare
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020453
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
As an important approach of achieving sustainable development, green production plays a significant role in improving the ecological environment and total social welfare. In order to clarify the impacts of green production on social welfare favorably, this paper assumes that there are two
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As an important approach of achieving sustainable development, green production plays a significant role in improving the ecological environment and total social welfare. In order to clarify the impacts of green production on social welfare favorably, this paper assumes that there are two types of consumers in the market: the green and the brown. Green consumers have green preference, focusing on the environmental and physical attributes of products; while brown consumers only value the physical attributes. We have obtained some intriguing conclusions through the use of the Hotelling model, as follows: (i) The total social welfare will benefit from green production. Meanwhile, we also find that the social welfare is likely to reach the highest value in scenario BG (i.e., both enterprises implement green production) or scenario SG (i.e., only one enterprise implements green production). (ii) Moreover, the total social welfare is always positively related to the degree of consumer green preference and unit of environmental benefit parameters in scenario SG and scenario BG. (iii) Finally, in scenario BG, the proportion of green consumers has a positive effect on the total social welfare, while only when certain conditions are satisfied, the higher proportion of green consumers will benefit the social welfare in scenario SG. Our findings can provide useful managerial insights for policy-makers in the development of green production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Using Pareto Optimization to Support Supply Chain Network Design within Environmental Footprint Impact Assessment
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020452
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
A product environmental footprint is a multi-criteria measure for environmental sustainability. Most of these environmental criteria are either synergies (non-trade-offs) or compromises (trade-offs) within environmental metrics. This forms a multi-objective problem of supply chain network design. The product environmental footprint is an aid
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A product environmental footprint is a multi-criteria measure for environmental sustainability. Most of these environmental criteria are either synergies (non-trade-offs) or compromises (trade-offs) within environmental metrics. This forms a multi-objective problem of supply chain network design. The product environmental footprint is an aid or tool that enterprises may use to measure and improve the life cycle environmental performance of their products. In this research, a multi-criteria method, Pareto optimization, is used to design a supply chain network based on the results of a product environmental footprint. In Pareto optimization, two objectives are formulated: Environmental impact and cost. Using the results of this research, designers will be able to choose a material with a lower environmental impact and supply chain managers will be able to select suppliers with lower environmental impacts. A case study of industry practice is also analyzed. It shows an environmental footprint is useful for the supply chain design network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Crowd Logistics Platform’s Informative Support to Logistics Performance: Scale Development and Empirical Examination
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020451
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Using the organization information processing theory, we explored the process through which the informative support of crowd logistics platforms affects logistics performance. After collecting data from 321 respondents from two crowd logistics companies in China, we proposed and tested the theoretical framework empirically
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Using the organization information processing theory, we explored the process through which the informative support of crowd logistics platforms affects logistics performance. After collecting data from 321 respondents from two crowd logistics companies in China, we proposed and tested the theoretical framework empirically using SEM. To conduct the empirical study, we developed scales for platform’s informative support and the degree of logistics resources-demand match, respectively. The results indicate that a platform’s informative support improves logistics performance via two mediators, i.e., logistics resources-demand match and logistics agility. Moreover, a platform’s ease of use moderates the indirect process through which its informative support promotes logistics performance via logistics resources-demand match. However, a platform’s ease of use has no significant effect on the indirect process of its informative support affecting logistics performance via logistics agility. This paper extends our understanding on how the informative support of crowd logistics platforms predicts logistics performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Logistics and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Differentiated Influence of Technology Absorption on Regional Economic Growth in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020450
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Technology absorption based on technology input–output is a main source of regional economic growth, and it can be one of the mechanisms to achieve regional sustainable development. In order to explore the influence mechanism and effects of regional technology absorption on economic growth,
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Technology absorption based on technology input–output is a main source of regional economic growth, and it can be one of the mechanisms to achieve regional sustainable development. In order to explore the influence mechanism and effects of regional technology absorption on economic growth, this paper classifies 30 provinces (including municipalities and autonomous regions) in China into technology input areas and technology output areas. With economic data from 2000 to 2016, this paper adopts the Hausman test and conducts an empirical study using regression analysis of fixed effect and random effect. The result shows that: (1) compared to technology output areas, technology absorption has a greater effect on economic growth in technology input areas; and (2) in general, all of these different types of technology transactions contribute to promoting regional economy. In technology output areas, the promoting effects of four different technology transactions on economic growth are sequenced from strong to weak as following: technology development, technology consultation, technology service, and technology transfer, while in the technology input areas, the promotion effect on economic growth from strong to weak is technology development, technology service, technology consultation, and technology transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regions and Economic Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle Partnership-Based Supply Chain Collaboration: Impact on Commitment, Innovation, and Firm Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020449
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
With increasing numbers of nodes and links in supply network relationships, understanding partnership management and the required level of collaboration is important for sustainable supply network alignment. This study explores the impact of partnership orientation on partnership commitment and firm performance using a
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With increasing numbers of nodes and links in supply network relationships, understanding partnership management and the required level of collaboration is important for sustainable supply network alignment. This study explores the impact of partnership orientation on partnership commitment and firm performance using a model based on social capital theory and resource dependence theory. It aims to understand the appropriate partnership orientation for the desired level of commitment and firm performance, including innovation, operational, and financial performance. Using a survey of 423 respondents representing three different partnership structure types (supplier, buyer, and parallel-aligned firms’ perspectives), the relationship between partnership orientation and commitment in enhancing firm performance is investigated using structural equation modeling. Additional analysis identifies the moderating role of commitment and investment exchange on performance. The findings show that positive relationships between both investment and contractual-based partnership orientation positively contribute to partnership commitment, but the direct association between partnership commitment and firm performance type varies by partnership structure. Furthermore, (i) investment exchange level moderates the relationship between commitment and innovation and operational performance regardless of partnership structure type, (ii) negative investment exchange signals higher firm performance from the buyer firm’s perspective, and (iii) positive investment exchange is absolutely necessary for financial performance from the supplier firm’s perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Innovation in Organizations for Improving Decisions)
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Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure and Stock Price Crash Risk: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020448
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
We take Chinese A-share listed companies in years 2010–2015 as a sample to examine the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) information disclosure and stock price crash risk using the fixed effect model. The results show that: (1) There is an inverted U-shaped
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We take Chinese A-share listed companies in years 2010–2015 as a sample to examine the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) information disclosure and stock price crash risk using the fixed effect model. The results show that: (1) There is an inverted U-shaped nonlinear relationship between CSR information disclosure and stock price crash risk. That is, as the CSR information disclosure level increases, the CSR information disclosure first aggravates and then reduces the stock price crash risk; (2) under different disclosure motives, there is a significant difference in the impact of CSR information disclosure on stock price crash risk. There is still an inverted U-shaped relationship between mandatory CSR information disclosure and stock price crash risk, but not for the semi-mandatory and voluntary disclosure; (3) the academic independent director has a positive adjustment effect on the relationship between CSR information disclosure and stock price crash risk, while the institutional investor has a negative adjustment effect on the relationship between CSR information disclosure and stock price crash risk. The research is of great significance for promoting the fulfillment of CSR, improving corporate governance and stabilizing the capital market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Finance)
Open AccessArticle A Stakeholder Perspective of Port City Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020447
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
As world seaborne trade continues to grow, especially in view of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), there is a mounting demand for a sustainable balance among the economic, social, and environmental performance of the port cities involved. This study aims to first
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As world seaborne trade continues to grow, especially in view of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), there is a mounting demand for a sustainable balance among the economic, social, and environmental performance of the port cities involved. This study aims to first conduct a review of existing sustainability frameworks; second, conduct a stakeholder analysis for port city sustainable development. The case studies of two major port cities in China—Guangzhou and Shenzhen, are conducted. According to the findings, a structured framework with main categories of economic, social and environmental indicators would be recommended for port cities. Dealing with diversified stakeholders and their interests is a major challenge for policy makers to overcome but opportunities do co-exist. Policy makers of Guangzhou and Shenzhen have made progress in balancing economic, social, and environmental interests in recent years. This study has taken a step forward in the research area, with a view to provide reference to stakeholders and governments in progressing towards sustainable development in port cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Unsustainable Working Conditions: The Association of Destructive Leadership, Use of Technology, and Workload with Workaholism and Exhaustion
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020446
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Job demands typical of the current working environments and negative leadership styles may be considered unsustainable factors able to decrease workers well-being. Moreover, contrary to the idea that workaholism is an innate individual characteristic, a recent perspective considers the working context able to
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Job demands typical of the current working environments and negative leadership styles may be considered unsustainable factors able to decrease workers well-being. Moreover, contrary to the idea that workaholism is an innate individual characteristic, a recent perspective considers the working context able to foster its insurgence. In order to investigate unsustainable dynamics within organizations, this study aimed at examining whether (1) destructive leadership increases workload and supplemental work supported by technology, (2) the three job demands increases workaholism, and (3) workaholism mediates their relationship with exhaustion. A convenience sample of 432 workers filled in a self-report questionnaire. The structural equation model results showed a positive relationship between destructive leadership and workload, off-work hour Technology-Assisted Job Demand (off-TAJD), and workaholism. Moreover, both workload and off-TAJD partially mediated the relationship between destructive leadership and workaholism. Finally, workaholism was a mediator between the three demands and exhaustion. The study confirmed a positive association between job demands and workaholism, and, in turn, their association with exhaustion, highlighting in particular the role of two under-investigated determinants, namely destructive leadership and off-TAJD, as unsustainable working conditions. Despite limitations, above all the cross-sectional design, this study provided useful indications for research and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Changes in Evapotranspiration from an Overexploited Water Resources Basin in Arid Northern China and Their Implications for Ecosystem Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020445
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Evapotranspiration (ET), including evaporation from soil and water surfaces and transpiration from vegetation, influences water distribution in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, especially in arid areas where water is a key limiting factor. Therefore, understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of ET, including its two components of
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Evapotranspiration (ET), including evaporation from soil and water surfaces and transpiration from vegetation, influences water distribution in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, especially in arid areas where water is a key limiting factor. Therefore, understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of ET, including its two components of soil evaporation (Es) and vegetation transpiration (Ec), can be useful for water resource management and ecological restoration in arid regions. Based on ET data from 2002 to 2012, the spatiotemporal variations in ET were evaluated in the Shiyang River Basin in arid Northwest China. The results showed the following: (1) spatially, ET decreased from upstream of the Qilian Mountains to the middle and downstream, with a mean annual value of 316 mm; (2) temporally, ET showed a single peak curve throughout the year, with the highest value occurring in summer; (3) ET showed a downward trend (from 350 to 265 mm) before 2009 and thereafter increased (from 265 to 345 mm); and (4) water use efficiency, indicated by the ratio of Ec to ET, was low in the cropland, with a mean value of 50.9%. Further analysis indicates that decreases in ET are mainly caused by vegetation decreases; in contrast, ecological restriction measures and strict water resource management policies in the middle reaches of the basin led to ET increases. It is concluded that understanding ET and its two components can elucidate the connections between water and human society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Sustainable Environmental Management)
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Open AccessArticle Selection Process of Sustainable Indicators for the Algarve Region—OBSERVE Project
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020444
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The selection of indicators for the Observatory of Sustainability of the Algarve Region for Tourism (OBSERVE), poses challenges, namely which indicators are relevant to stakeholders and how to assure that information is available. To support the selection of the environmental, sociocultural, economic and
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The selection of indicators for the Observatory of Sustainability of the Algarve Region for Tourism (OBSERVE), poses challenges, namely which indicators are relevant to stakeholders and how to assure that information is available. To support the selection of the environmental, sociocultural, economic and institutional indicators, an engagement process was designed and applied, which included meetings with stakeholders, a workshop and an online survey. The results showed that both workshop and online surveys reflected, in general, similar opinions, thus allowing the selecting of the sustainable development indicators for the Algarve region. Additionally, the results showed that nearly 75% of the indicators can be obtained from national statistics and, therefore, can be used on the OBSERVE project, assuring a quick flow of information. As limitations, it is important to mention that the other 25% will need further development, in order to provide data for indicators, like carbon management and client satisfaction. With this approach, the observatory will survey and evaluate the sustainable development of the region (status and trends), based on indicators that answer to the strategic needs of system’s main users, with social and economic implications, i.e., public institutions, economic agents, tourists, local communities and residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Conceptualization of an Indicator System for Assessing the Sustainability of the Bioeconomy
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020443
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The increased use of biogenic resources is linked to expectations of “green” economic growth, innovation spurts through biotechnology, development options for rural areas, and an increasingly regenerative resource base that is also climate-neutral. However, for several years the signs for unintentional and unwanted
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The increased use of biogenic resources is linked to expectations of “green” economic growth, innovation spurts through biotechnology, development options for rural areas, and an increasingly regenerative resource base that is also climate-neutral. However, for several years the signs for unintentional and unwanted side effects have been increasing. In 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was published at the international level in order to address this problem and deliver a starting point for a comprehensive sustainability criteria evaluation catalogue. Impact indicators to quantify the environmental burden induced by national activities in foreign countries are especially lacking. In this article a comprehensive framework for the evaluation of the sustainability of the bioeconomy, considering key objectives and relevant criteria for environmental, economic, and social sustainability is developed. A special focus is set to the intersection area of the three pillars of sustainability, where the particularly important integrative key objectives and the indicators assigned to them (e.g., resource footprints) apply. This indicator set can be used as a basis for bio-economy monitoring, which uses and produces differently aggregated information on different levels of action, with a focus at the national level but also including global impacts of domestic production and consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Does the Olympic Agenda 2020 Have the Power to Create a New Olympic Heritage? An Analysis for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games Bid
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020442
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lacks candidates willing to host the Olympic Games (OG) and has reacted to this situation by introducing the Olympic Agenda 2020 (OA)—a reform process making the OG more attractive for potential hosts. This study analyzes whether the OA
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) lacks candidates willing to host the Olympic Games (OG) and has reacted to this situation by introducing the Olympic Agenda 2020 (OA)—a reform process making the OG more attractive for potential hosts. This study analyzes whether the OA plays a crucial role for the future of the OG. We, therefore, examined the official IOC documents and feasibility studies of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games (WOG) bidders and conducted qualitative interviews with experts in the field (n = 15). The results reveal that the 2026 WOG hosts plan to reduce the budgets for the organization and the infrastructure costs in the host regions. As a consequence, the number and nature of the sites and venues as well as the distances between them will increase. This means that the future Olympic heritage (OH) may lay less in iconic buildings but rather focus on the attempt to fulfil the city’s long-term strategies. Our analyses extend the literature by: (1) analysing the OA in view of future OG, (2) comparing experiences from past OG with those of current bidders, (3) integrating expert knowledge thanks to qualitative interviews and, finally, (4) considering new heritage concepts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Heritage Management)
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Open AccessArticle Large-Scale Grain Producers’ Application of Land Conservation Technologies in China: Correlation Effects and Determinants
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020441
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The quality of cultivated land has been seriously degraded due to the overuse of chemical fertilizer in China. Land conservation technologies (LCTs) have been proven to effectively address land degradation and improve land productivity. In this study, a multivariate probit model is applied
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The quality of cultivated land has been seriously degraded due to the overuse of chemical fertilizer in China. Land conservation technologies (LCTs) have been proven to effectively address land degradation and improve land productivity. In this study, a multivariate probit model is applied to empirically analyze the correlation effects and determinants of the application of LCTs application using cross-sectional data collected on 690 large-scale grain producers from the Jiangsu and Jiangxi provinces in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The sample farmers were individually investigated by face-to-face questionnaires in the field that included around 400 questions. The results revealed that there are significant complementary relationships among farm manure application, commercial organic fertilizer use, and green manure plantation, and between formula fertilization and straw returning. Regarding the determinants, highly educated farmers and farmers with a large farm size and high incomes are more likely to adopt LCTs. The land size variable shows an inverted U-shaped relationship with formula fertilization, with an inflection point at 153 mu (10.20 ha), while showing an U-shaped relationship with commodity organic fertilizer use and green manure plantation technologies, with the turning points at 207 mu (13.80 ha) and 124 mu (8.27 ha), respectively. The results also indicate that extension services from agricultural technicians, agricultural technical information, and policy knowledge variables have positive effects on the application of LCTs, while the subsidy policy variable does not appear to have the expected effect. To promote the application of LCTs, suggestions include improving the extension system, selecting targeted farmers for extension training, expanding environmental policy advocacy to increase farmers’ knowledge about land degradation, and adjusting subsidies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle A Case of ‘Muddling Through’? The Politics of Renewing Glyphosate Authorization in the European Union
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020440
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Between 2012 and 2017, the European Commission struggled to achieve the renewal of glyphosate, an active ingredient of some broad-spectrum herbicides. As indicated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the chemical kills or suppresses all plant types; when applied at lower
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Between 2012 and 2017, the European Commission struggled to achieve the renewal of glyphosate, an active ingredient of some broad-spectrum herbicides. As indicated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the chemical kills or suppresses all plant types; when applied at lower rates, it is a plant-growth regulator and desiccant. Glyphosate is used worldwide for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes. Once uncontroversial, new scientific evidence concerning the potential hazards of the substance has sparked a considerable debate in public and political spheres. In light of this sustained controversy, it came as a surprise when a qualified majority of European Union member states voted in favor of the Commission’s proposal to renew the approval of glyphosate for another five years. How was this outcome reached after many ‘no opinion’ votes? How are the member states dealing with the authorization’s renewal? Relying on document analyses and process tracing, we show in this study that the aforementioned renewal was attained due to a change in position on the part of German delegates, who voted in favor of the proposal instead of abstaining. By examining how the member states are addressing the renewal of the authorization, we found that both the countries that opposed renewal and those that supported it are now taking steps to reduce the use—or preparing the phaseout—of glyphosate. Due to domestic political considerations, however, the realization of these steps has so far proven to be difficult. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Land Carrying Capacities of the Cities in the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone and their Spatio-Temporal Variations
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020439
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 1 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The comprehensive land carrying capacities of seven cities in the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone between 2007–2014 were assessed using a multi-criterion comprehensive evaluation approach and an index of 27 indicators, and cluster analysis was conducted to identify the spatial-temporal variations of the
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The comprehensive land carrying capacities of seven cities in the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone between 2007–2014 were assessed using a multi-criterion comprehensive evaluation approach and an index of 27 indicators, and cluster analysis was conducted to identify the spatial-temporal variations of the cities’ comprehensive land carrying capacities. The results showed that the carrying capacity of the water and soil resources of the cities had declined except Dongying City; in contrast, the carrying capacities of the eco-environment, the social resources and the economy and technology of the seven cities had all arisen. The carrying capacities of social resources of Dongying and Weihai were markedly higher than the other five cities. The carrying capacities of economy and technology of Qingdao and Dongying were high, the capacities of Weihai and Yantai were moderate, and the capacities of Weifang, Rizhao, and Binzhou were low. In general, the comprehensive land carrying capacities of the eastern cities were higher than those of the western cities, which was similar to the spatial pattern of the economy development of those cities. In addition, positive correlations were identified between the comprehensive land carrying capacity and the per capita land for construction, areal proportion of wetland to total land, percentage of green space to build up area, per capita public green space, comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste residues, urbanization rate, area of per capita urban road, per capita GDP, economy density, fixed-assets investment per area, etc. However negative correlations were discovered between the comprehensive land carrying capacity and the discharge of industrial waste water per 10,000 Yuan RMB GDP, as well as the proportion of added value of the primary industry to total GDP. Finally, we discussed measures to improve the comprehensive land carrying capacities of the cities, such as elevating the intensive land utilization and economic development, decreasing the proportion of added value of the primary industry to total GDP, promoting energy saving and emission reduction, etc. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Embodied Energy Flow Patterns of the Internal and External Industries of Manufacturing in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020438
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
The Sino–US trade war has prompted China to re-examine the development of manufacturing, while the energy crisis restricts such development. Scientifically planning industrial energy allocation is important for supporting industrial transformation and the upgrading of manufacturing. The embodied energy flow in China’s manufacturing
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The Sino–US trade war has prompted China to re-examine the development of manufacturing, while the energy crisis restricts such development. Scientifically planning industrial energy allocation is important for supporting industrial transformation and the upgrading of manufacturing. The embodied energy flow in China’s manufacturing was investigated by reconstructing the energy flow network; taking a systems perspective, a fine-grained analysis of the emerging patterns and evolution of these flows in the internal and external manufacturing industries was performed, thus providing useful insights for energy planning. The results show that in the internal and external networks of Chinese manufacturing, most of the embodied energy convergence and transmission is concentrated in a few industries Moreover, it is clear that industries with stronger embodied energy convergence and conductivity are generally more likely to be associated with industries with weak convergence and conductivity. Preferential selection is an important mechanism for the generation of embodied energy flow paths. The choices of the embodied energy flow paths of various industries exhibit the preference that ‘the rich get richer,’ and newly generated flow paths are more likely to be chosen for connectivity to a path of strong convergence or conductivity. The embodied energy flow patterns of the internal network of manufacturing mainly include two-focus and multi-focus convergence patterns, while that of the external network of manufacturing is mainly a two-focus transmission pattern. Within in-edge networks, communities of high-end manufacturing have gathered most of the embodied energy, while in out-edge networks, communities of traditional manufacturing have been key in the transmission of embodied energy. The impacts of the internal and external network types, and of the in-edge and out-edge types on the stability of the embodied energy flow pattern are separate, and the embodied energy flow pattern is stable. Based on these findings, an ‘energy-related industrial cluster’ model is proposed here to aid in energy convergence and transmission, as well as to realize network cluster synergy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determinants of the Price of Housing in the Province of Alicante (Spain): Analysis Using Quantile Regression
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020437
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
After almost a decade of crisis, the housing market in Spain shows significant signs of recovery, with increases in both the average price and the number of sales transactions. Housing is the main asset for the majority of households, and it also has
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After almost a decade of crisis, the housing market in Spain shows significant signs of recovery, with increases in both the average price and the number of sales transactions. Housing is the main asset for the majority of households, and it also has the most resources devoted to it, thus, when it comes to buying a residence, people do not only look at the asset’s intrinsic characteristics, but also consider other particularities such as the neighbourhood, accessibility to services, availability of public transport or adequate funding. The study aimed to analyse and quantify the relationship that exists between the asking price of second-hand housing on the market in Alicante and the attributes that characterise them. This was done using a multivariate analysis to estimate a hedonic pricing model by ordinary least squares and a quantile regression to analyse the impact of the characteristics in different price ranges. The results show the segmentation of the prices in the Alicante market, with higher prices in the northern coastal area over the southern and inland comarcas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Real Estate Economics, Management and Investments)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Transformational Leadership on Job Performance and CSR as Mediator in SMEs
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020436
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
Leadership style is an important factor that affects the enhancement of organizational performance and employee’s job performance, and what objectives they should pursue, which also makes a profit for their employees or makes another social and economic contribution to society. The present study
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Leadership style is an important factor that affects the enhancement of organizational performance and employee’s job performance, and what objectives they should pursue, which also makes a profit for their employees or makes another social and economic contribution to society. The present study was developed to observe the impact of transformational leadership on job performance and to investigate the mediating mechanism of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Primary data were collected from the employees by using a cross-sectional design method. Employees who participated in the study are working in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of Pakistan. A total of 300 questionnaires were circulated, and 130 were received. The Regression analysis was executed to examine whether CSR mediated the correlation among transformational leadership and job performance. The results of the study suggest that transformational leadership positively and completely predicts job performance. Particularly, the study finds that CSR significantly mediated the effect of transformational leadership on job performance. On the basis of these findings, it can be explicated that transformational leadership, job performances, and CSR are important elements of an organization. These elements can improve organizational performance. Theoretical implications of the recent study are discussed, and offer directions for future research in the area. Full article
Open AccessArticle A New Residential Role for the Rural Environment in Extremadura, Spain
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020435
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
European rural spaces are assuming a new residential role. In some such as Extremadura (Spain), the low population density and the practice of an extensive primary sector has allowed the survival of large areas and natural spaces that are desirable for urbanites. The
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European rural spaces are assuming a new residential role. In some such as Extremadura (Spain), the low population density and the practice of an extensive primary sector has allowed the survival of large areas and natural spaces that are desirable for urbanites. The residential growth caused by economic changes and tourist attractiveness has generated a new paradigm in which recreational use competes with agricultural and livestock use (until now the sustenance of the local economy). To record this change, it is essential to spatially determine what the rural environment means in this specific regional context and quantify the number of new existing homes. First, we resorted to the future competent legislation (born of experience and local knowledge) and territorial and urban planning, while second, we used the potentiality of all of the available free series of orthophotography and aerial photography including other tools such as Google Street View. This methodological process led us to discover a recent and important advancement of the recreational residential function. On balance, the data showed that recreational residential use is a leading actor in the change of the landscape and productive model of rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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