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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 3 (February-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Food production can have a large impact on sustainable development in relation to various [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Water Availability Assessment of Shale Gas Production in the Weiyuan Play, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030940
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Innovations and improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well technologies have contributed to the success of the shale gas industry; however, the industry is also challenged by freshwater use and environmental health issues, and this makes precise quantification of water consumption important. The [...] Read more.
Innovations and improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well technologies have contributed to the success of the shale gas industry; however, the industry is also challenged by freshwater use and environmental health issues, and this makes precise quantification of water consumption important. The objective of this study was to better understand water sustainability and availability of the projected shale gas from 2018 to 2030 in the Weiyuan play, China. The water footprint framework was used to quantify the potential water use and environmental impacts on different time scales. The results showed that the water use per well ranged from 11,300 to 60,660 m3, with a median of 36,014 m3, totaling ~ 3.44 Mm3 for 97 wells. Yearly evaluation results showed that the gray water footprint was the main contributor and accounted for 83.82% to 96.76%, which was dependent on the different treatment percentage scenario. The monthly environmental impact results indicated that the annual streamflow statistics were more likely to prevent water withdrawal. Water quality issues may be alleviated through recycling and retreatment measures that improve current waste water management strategies. Resource regulators should manage their water resources by matching water demand to water availability or replenishment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating China’s Air Pollution Control Policy with Extended AQI Indicator System: Example of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030939
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper calculated and evaluated the air quality of 13 cities in China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region from February 2015 to January 2018 based on the extended AQI (Air Quality Index) Indicator System. By capturing the heterogeneous information in major pollutant indicators and the [...] Read more.
This paper calculated and evaluated the air quality of 13 cities in China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region from February 2015 to January 2018 based on the extended AQI (Air Quality Index) Indicator System. By capturing the heterogeneous information in major pollutant indicators and the standardization process, we depicted the important effect of other relevant features of pollutant indicators beyond single-point data. Based on that, we further calculated the assessment value of the air quality of different cities in the BTH region by using the Collaborative Filtering Backward Cloud Model to construct differentiated weights of different indicators. With help of the Back Propagation (BP) Neutral Network, we simulated the effect of the pollution control policies of the Chinese government targeting air pollution since March 2016. Our conclusion is: the pollution control policies have improved the air quality of Beijing by 55.74%, and improved the air quality of Tianjin by 34.38%; while the migration of polluting enterprises from Beijing and Tianjin has caused different changes in air quality in different cities of Hebei province—we saw air quality deterioration by 58.60% and 38.68% in Shijiazhuang and Handan city respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Land Use on Housing Price and Rent: Empirical Evidence of Job Accessibility and Mixed Land Use
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030938
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Recently, the improvement of job accessibility and the encouragement of mixed land use have been gaining popularity in the planning field. However, little is known about whether these two factors are able to meet housing consumers’ needs. This study aims to analyze how [...] Read more.
Recently, the improvement of job accessibility and the encouragement of mixed land use have been gaining popularity in the planning field. However, little is known about whether these two factors are able to meet housing consumers’ needs. This study aims to analyze how job accessibility and mixed land use satisfy housing consumers’ needs. Particularly, this study investigates housing consumers’ willingness to pay for these two features by using housing prices and rents in the Chicago metropolitan area. In order to deal with endogeneity between land use and housing prices and spatial autocorrelation between housing prices, spatial econometric models are used with instrumental variables. Interestingly, our findings show that an increase in job accessibility leads to an increase in housing prices, whereas it is not related to rents. We also found that mixed land use decreases housing prices, but increases rents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessReview Magnitude, Causes, and Solutions of the Performance Gap of Buildings: A Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030937
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The performance gap of buildings is commonly defined as the difference between the performance value predicted in the design stage and that measured in the post-occupancy stage. Knowledge about the performance gap of buildings is valuable in many aspects and thus is a [...] Read more.
The performance gap of buildings is commonly defined as the difference between the performance value predicted in the design stage and that measured in the post-occupancy stage. Knowledge about the performance gap of buildings is valuable in many aspects and thus is a research subject drawing much attention. Important questions that should be asked include: (1) Definition: what is the performance gap of buildings? (2) Magnitude: how large is the performance gap of buildings? (3) Techniques: how to determine the performance gap of buildings? (4) Causes: what are the reasons leading to the performance gap of buildings? (5) Solutions: how to bridge the performance gap of buildings. By collecting and analyzing more than 20 published works with reported data on the performance gap of buildings and other research articles, these important questions are addressed. Through this review state-of-the-art knowledge regarding the performance gap of buildings is presented. Major conclusions are drawn and future research directions are pointed out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Column-Top Seismic Isolation of Single-Layer Latticed Domes
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030936
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, a single-layer lamella reticulated dome with reinforced concrete bearings was studied, and a method of column-top isolation was proposed to improve the seismic performance of the whole structure, thereby avoiding too large support stiffness in engineering practice. A nonlinear time-history [...] Read more.
In this paper, a single-layer lamella reticulated dome with reinforced concrete bearings was studied, and a method of column-top isolation was proposed to improve the seismic performance of the whole structure, thereby avoiding too large support stiffness in engineering practice. A nonlinear time-history analysis showed that lead rubber bearings (LRB) can reduce the support reaction to a certain extent and make it distribute uniformly, reducing the support design requirements under frequent earthquakes. During rare earthquakes, the LRB was basically in the plastic state and the support reaction remained near the yield force, which was reduced greatly compared with that of the original structure. The bearing hysteresis curve was full, while the plasticity development degree of the upper reticulated dome was greatly reduced and the elasticity was basically maintained, thus achieving a good damping effect. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Waste to Carbon: Influence of Structural Modification on VOC Emission Kinetics from Stored Carbonized Refuse-Derived Fuel
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030935
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The torrefaction of municipal solid waste is one of the solutions related to the Waste to Carbon concept, where high-quality fuel—carbonized refuse-derived fuel (CRDF)—is produced. An identified potential problem is the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during CRDF storage. Kinetic emission parameters [...] Read more.
The torrefaction of municipal solid waste is one of the solutions related to the Waste to Carbon concept, where high-quality fuel—carbonized refuse-derived fuel (CRDF)—is produced. An identified potential problem is the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during CRDF storage. Kinetic emission parameters have not yet been determined. It was also shown that CRDF can be pelletized for energy densification and reduced volume during storage and transportation. Thus, our working hypothesis was that structural modification (via pelletization) might mitigate VOC emissions and influence emission kinetics during CRDF storage. Two scenarios of CRDF structural modification on VOC emission kinetics were tested, (i) pelletization and (ii) pelletization with 10% binder addition and compared to ground (loose) CRDF (control). VOC emissions from simulated sealed CRDF storage were measured with headspace solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. It was found that total VOC emissions from stored CRDF follow the first-order kinetic model for both ground and pelletized material, while individual VOC emissions may deviate from this model. Pelletization significantly decreased (63%~86%) the maximum total VOC emission potential from stored CDRF. Research on improved sustainable CRDF storage is warranted. This could involve VOC emission mechanisms and environmental-risk management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Financing through Crowdfunding
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030934
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The phenomenon of crowdfunding has been widely studied, while the sustainability of crowdfunded ventures is attracting growing interest from academia and society. In light of this interest, we conducted bibliometric analysis to study the relationship between crowdfunding and crowdfunded ventures’ sustainability orientation. We [...] Read more.
The phenomenon of crowdfunding has been widely studied, while the sustainability of crowdfunded ventures is attracting growing interest from academia and society. In light of this interest, we conducted bibliometric analysis to study the relationship between crowdfunding and crowdfunded ventures’ sustainability orientation. We analyzed the number of publications, type of publications, and most productive countries, journals, and authors. We also analyzed the most cited articles and examined their approach to sustainability and crowdfunding. The results suggested that a sustainability orientation could bring about change in the current financial and environmental system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Urban Expansion Using the Spatial and Temporal Dynamic Changes in the Impervious Surface in Nanjing
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030933
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Impervious surface area is a key factor affecting urbanization and urban environmental quality. It is of great significance to analysis timely and accurately the dynamic changes of impervious surface for urban development planning. In this study, we use a comprehensive method to extract [...] Read more.
Impervious surface area is a key factor affecting urbanization and urban environmental quality. It is of great significance to analysis timely and accurately the dynamic changes of impervious surface for urban development planning. In this study, we use a comprehensive method to extract the time series data on the impervious surface area (ISA) from the multi-temporal Landsat remote sensing images with a high overall accuracy of 90%. The processes and mechanisms of urban expansion at different political administration and direction level in the Nanjing metropolitan area are investigated by using the comprehensive classification method consisting of minimum noise fraction, linear spectral mixture analysis, spectral index, and decision tree classifiers. The expansion of Nanjing is examined by using various ISA indexes and concentric regression analyses. Results indicate that the overall classification accuracy of ISA is higher than 90%. The ISA in Nanjing has dramatically increased in the past three decades from 427.36 km2 to 1780.21 km2 and with a high expansion rate of 0.48 from 2000 to 2005. The city sprawls from monocentric to urban core with multiple subcenters in a concentric structure, and the geometric gravity center of construction land moves southward annually. The stages of urbanization in different district levels and the dynamic changes in different direction levels are influenced by the topographic and economic factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Research on Temporal–Spatial Distribution and Morphological Characteristics of Ancient Settlements in the Songhua River Basin
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030932
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Settlements have a high cultural and historical value in regions as indicators of human habitation and culture. The Songhua River Basin is on the edge of a traditional cultural center, which has scattered ecological elements, a special culture, and historical faults. Because of [...] Read more.
Settlements have a high cultural and historical value in regions as indicators of human habitation and culture. The Songhua River Basin is on the edge of a traditional cultural center, which has scattered ecological elements, a special culture, and historical faults. Because of the superposition of traces of different ethnic activities in different periods, the Songhua River has a special and diversified cultural foundation and heritage, which is of high research value. However, the ancient settlements in this region have not been given sufficient attention and as a result it is difficult to achieve a complete and systematic study. In order to promote the cultural value of this historical region and the development of a regional and cultural industry, this paper seeks to study the ancient settlements of Songhua River Basin. With the help of GIS technology, archeological excavations, and the concept of ethnic pedigree in ethnology, this study analyzes the temporal–spatial distribution and morphological characteristics of ancient settlements in the Songhua River Basin, in order to determine how the heritage value of these settlements can be sustainably protected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Historic Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Barriers of Biodiesel Adoption by Transportation Companies: A Case of Malaysian Transportation Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030931
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The need to develop an alternative fuel to fossil fuel is growing day by day, especially for the transportation industry, as the supply of fossil fuels is limited and is depleting at a rapid rate. One available resource that has emerged recently is [...] Read more.
The need to develop an alternative fuel to fossil fuel is growing day by day, especially for the transportation industry, as the supply of fossil fuels is limited and is depleting at a rapid rate. One available resource that has emerged recently is biodiesel. However, the usage of biodiesel is very low among transportation companies. An investigation into the barriers of adopting biodiesel by transportation companies is the focus of the present study. A survey of 147 transportation companies in Malaysia was undertaken, and the data gathered were analyzed using partial least squares technique. Lack of government support, lack of environmental–commercial benefits, and lack of competitive pressure were found to be the barriers to biodiesel adoption. The results also indicated that differentiation strategy moderates the impact of lack of government support, lack of customer demand, lack of environmental-commercial benefits and lack of competitive pressure on biodiesel adoption. The results of this study could benefit policy makers by providing them key focus areas in which they can modify their strategies to actively and successfully promote the use of biodiesel among transportation companies in developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Holistic Wetland Ecological Water Replenishment Scheme with Consideration of Seasonal Effect
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030930
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Wetland ecological water replenishment becomes necessary in most developing countries. A holistic water replenishment scheme considering both wetland ecosystem services and irrigation requirement is needed for river water reallocation. A framework was developed in this study to calculate wetland ecological water demand (WD), [...] Read more.
Wetland ecological water replenishment becomes necessary in most developing countries. A holistic water replenishment scheme considering both wetland ecosystem services and irrigation requirement is needed for river water reallocation. A framework was developed in this study to calculate wetland ecological water demand (WD), river water supply capacity (RSC) and the benefit of wetland ecological water replenishment and crop irrigation with consideration of the seasonal effects. The Xianghai wetland and the Taoerhe irrigation district (TID) were considered as the study area to investigate various wetland ecological water replenishment schemes (WRS). The results showed that the WRS, considering both wetland function and agricultural irrigation, has the highest overall benefit compared to the schemes with a single focus (either wetland or irrigation). In addition, the WRS design must consider the seasonal effect because of seasonal variation of rainfall, crop growth, and wetland plants and animals’ growth. The WRS design with consideration of seasonal effect not only increased the total value of river basin from $74.83 million to $104.02 million but also balanced the benefit between TID and wetland while meeting wetland WD. This study offers a decision-making framework of developing a holistic WRS considering benefits from multiple water users and seasonal variation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Water Resources in the Developing Cities)
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Objective INLP Model of Sustainable Resource Allocation for Long-Range Maritime Search and Rescue
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030929
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Maritime search and rescue (SAR) operations play a crucial role in reducing fatalities and mitigating human suffering. Compared to short-range maritime SAR, long-range maritime SAR (LRMSAR) is more challenging due to the far distance from the shore, changeful weather, and less available resources. [...] Read more.
Maritime search and rescue (SAR) operations play a crucial role in reducing fatalities and mitigating human suffering. Compared to short-range maritime SAR, long-range maritime SAR (LRMSAR) is more challenging due to the far distance from the shore, changeful weather, and less available resources. Such an operation put high requirements on decision makers to timely assign multiple resources, such as aircraft and vessels to deal with the emergency. However, most current researches pay attention to assign only one kind of resource, while practically, multiple resources are necessary for LRMSAR. Thus, a method is proposed to provide support for decision makers to allocate multiple resources in dealing with LRMSAR problem; to ensure the sustainable use of resources. First, by analyzing the factors involved in the whole process, we formulated the problem as a multi-objective optimization problem, the objective of which was to maximize both the probability of completing the tasks and the utilities of allocated resources. Based on the theory of search, an integer nonlinear programming (INLP) model was built for different tasks. Second, in order to solve the non-deterministic polynomial-time hardness (NP-hard) model, by constructing a rule base, candidate solutions can be found to improve the calculation efficiency. Furthermore, in order to obtain the optimal scheme, the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) was applied to the candidate solution sets to approximate Pareto fronts. Finally, an emergency case of Chinese Bohai Sea was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model. In the study, 11 resource allocation schemes were obtained to respond to the emergency, and calculation processes of schemes were further analyzed to demonstrate our model’s rationality. Results showed that the proposed models provide decision-makers with scientific decision support on different emergency tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Consumer Acceptance of Smart Product-Service Systems in Sharing Economy: The Effects of Perceived Interactivity and Particularity
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030928
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
With the rapid growth of the sharing economy, access-based services have emerged as an alternative and/or complementary to traditional ownership-based services. The access-based services are enabled by means of Smart Product-Service Systems (SPSSs) that integrate smart products and e-services into a single solution. [...] Read more.
With the rapid growth of the sharing economy, access-based services have emerged as an alternative and/or complementary to traditional ownership-based services. The access-based services are enabled by means of Smart Product-Service Systems (SPSSs) that integrate smart products and e-services into a single solution. However, there is a lack of studies that cover the acceptance factors for both smart products and e-services of SPSSs. Therefore, it is important to have a study to explore the factors that influence the acceptance of SPSSs. This study develops a conceptual framework which consists of the perceived interactivity of mobile apps and the particularity of the smart shared products as antecedents apart from perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, as suggested by the Technology Acceptance Model. To test the research framework empirically, a self-reported online survey was conducted among bike sharing program users in China. A total of 520 valid responses were collected, and the partial least-square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) technique was used to examine the research model. The empirical results suggest that the perceived interactivity of mobile apps and the particularity of smart shared products are two significant sets of antecedents that influence consumers’ perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, and the perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness are preconditions for the acceptance of SPSSs. The findings generate practical suggestions for SPSSs providers to increase the network size of users, improve the interactivity of mobile apps, and manage the distributions of service points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Mobility for Future Cities)
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Open AccessArticle System-Based Coaching Technology Mechanism for the Development of Educational Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030927
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In order to further explore the performance of coaching technology in promoting the overall development of the education system, this paper applies the idea of system theory to deconstruct the five key elements and their interaction relations in the education system which affects [...] Read more.
In order to further explore the performance of coaching technology in promoting the overall development of the education system, this paper applies the idea of system theory to deconstruct the five key elements and their interaction relations in the education system which affects the effect of education and training objectives. Meanwhile, the present situation and existing problems of each element are discussed including their influences for the system goal. The key analysis and exposition are made with the input and output of the core elements of the system to promote the overall coordinated development of the education system and improve the effectiveness. Based on the system theory we could conclude that this paper is of practical guiding value to promote the coordinated development of the key elements of the education system by using coaching technology, further to promote the overall evolution of the educational system and to promote the effective promotion of the overall goal of education and educating people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Migrant Workers on Total Factor Productivity in Chinese Construction Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030926
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Total factor productivity (TFP) is of critical importance to the sustainable development of construction industry. This paper presents an analysis on the impact of migrant workers on TFP in Chinese construction sector. Interestingly, Solow Residual Approach is applied to conduct the analysis through [...] Read more.
Total factor productivity (TFP) is of critical importance to the sustainable development of construction industry. This paper presents an analysis on the impact of migrant workers on TFP in Chinese construction sector. Interestingly, Solow Residual Approach is applied to conduct the analysis through comparing two scenarios, namely the scenario without considering migrant workers (Scenario A) and the scenario with including migrant workers (Scenario B). The data are collected from the China Statistical Yearbook on Construction and Chinese Annual Report on Migrant Workers for the period of 2008–2015. The results indicate that migrant workers have a significant impact on TFP, during the surveyed period they improved TFP by 10.42% in total and promoted the annual average TFP growth by 0.96%. Hence, it can be seen that the impact of migrant workers on TFP is very significant, whilst the main reason for such impact is believed to be the improvement of migrant workers’ quality obtained mainly throughout learning by doing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Environmental Sustainability of Food Packaging: An Extended Life Cycle Assessment including Packaging-Related Food Losses and Waste and Circularity Assessment
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030925
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Food packaging helps to protect food from being lost or wasted, nevertheless it is perceived as an environmental problem. The present study gives an overview of methods to assess the environmental sustainability of food packaging. Furthermore, we propose a methodological framework for environmental [...] Read more.
Food packaging helps to protect food from being lost or wasted, nevertheless it is perceived as an environmental problem. The present study gives an overview of methods to assess the environmental sustainability of food packaging. Furthermore, we propose a methodological framework for environmental assessment of food packaging. There is a broad consensus on the definition of sustainable packaging, which has to be effective, efficient, and safe for human health and the environment. Existing frameworks only provide general guidance on how to quantify the environmental sustainability of packaging. Our proposed framework defines three sustainability aspects of food packaging, namely direct environmental effects of packaging, packaging-related food losses and waste, as well as circularity. It provides a list of key environmental performance indicators and recommends certain calculation procedures for each indicator. The framework is oriented towards the Product Environmental Footprint initiative and the Circular Economy Package of the European Union. Further research should develop a method to determine the amount of packaging-related food losses and waste. Moreover, future studies should examine the potential environmental benefits of different measures to make food packaging more circular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Materials for Food Packaging)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Hong Kong’s Wind Energy: Power Potential, Development Constraints, and Experiences from Other Countries for Local Wind Energy Promotion Strategies
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030924
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The wind energy utilization in Hong Kong is limited, although its potential has proven to be significant. The lack of effective policy for wind energy development is the main constraint. In this paper, the wind power potential in Hong Kong is analyzed, and [...] Read more.
The wind energy utilization in Hong Kong is limited, although its potential has proven to be significant. The lack of effective policy for wind energy development is the main constraint. In this paper, the wind power potential in Hong Kong is analyzed, and the wind power potential assessment is conducted based on one-year field measured wind data using Light Detection & Ranging (LiDAR) technology in a proposed offshore wind farm. Results show that the offshore wind power potential in Hong Kong was 14,449 GWh which occupied 32.20% of electricity consumption in 2017. In addition, the electricity market and power structure in Hong Kong are also reviewed with the existing policies related to renewable energy development. Conclusions can be made that the renewable energy target in Hong Kong is out of date and until now there have been no specific effective policies on wind energy. In order to urge Hong Kong, catch up with other countries/regions on wind energy development, the histories and evolution of wind energy policies in other countries, especially in Denmark, are reviewed and discussed. Suggestions are provided in the aspects of economics, public attitude, and political factors which can stimulate wind power development in Hong Kong. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Toward an Ecological Monetary Theory
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030923
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Money is the most ubiquitous institution on the planet and lays the foundation for human civilization. As such it should underlie economic theory. Due to the dualized nature of Western culture, however, mainstream economic theory assumes that money is simply a value relation [...] Read more.
Money is the most ubiquitous institution on the planet and lays the foundation for human civilization. As such it should underlie economic theory. Due to the dualized nature of Western culture, however, mainstream economic theory assumes that money is simply a value relation to make barter efficient. This theory is manifest in orthodox monetary theory and policy. Ecological economics understands the problems attendant to modern money but has heretofore not developed a theory of money of its own. In order to make its economic theory and policy prescriptions viable, this paper argues that ecological economics must develop a theory of money that is simultaneously rooted in an understanding of money’s socio-history, and an ontological reimagining of dualized Western culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Research Agenda for Ecological Economics)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment of Crop Loss in the Yangtze River Delta Region of China
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030922
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Due to their complexity, hazard interactions are often neglected in current studies of multi-hazard risk assessment. As a result, the assessment results are qualitative or semi-quantitative and are difficult to use in regional risk management. In this paper, the crop loss risk due [...] Read more.
Due to their complexity, hazard interactions are often neglected in current studies of multi-hazard risk assessment. As a result, the assessment results are qualitative or semi-quantitative and are difficult to use in regional risk management. In this paper, the crop loss risk due to heavy rain and strong wind in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of China was quantitatively assessed, based on the joint return periods of these hazards and a vulnerability surface. The joint return period is obtained with a copula function based on the marginal distribution of each hazard. The vulnerability is fitted by considering the joint hazard intensity, the sown area of crops, elevation, and GDP per capita. The results show that counties with a high value of joint hazard probability are clustered in the southeast coastal area and that the value gradually decreases from south to north and from east to west. The multi-hazard risk has a similar pattern, with a large value in the southeast coastal area and a low value in the northwest. The proposed method can be used for quantitative assessment of multi-hazard risk, and the results can be used for regional disaster risk management and planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Win-Win Outcome between Corporate Environmental Performance and Corporate Value: From the Perspective of Stakeholders
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030921
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper combines determinants of corporate environment performance (CEP) and the effect of CEP on corporate value together, namely how to motivate firms to conduct environmental protection from the perspective of enhancing firm value. Using a sample of 204 observations of listed corporations [...] Read more.
This paper combines determinants of corporate environment performance (CEP) and the effect of CEP on corporate value together, namely how to motivate firms to conduct environmental protection from the perspective of enhancing firm value. Using a sample of 204 observations of listed corporations in Chinese pollution-intensive industries over the period of 2013–2014, we observed that: (1) compared to investment in a single stakeholder, combinations of multidimensional stakeholders are more likely to affect CEP, and the path is not unique; (2) employees have a positive role, but investors, the community, suppliers, and customers have negative roles; (3) among three patterns for high CEP, both high investment in employees and low investment in the community, suppliers and customers will not detract from firm value, i.e., a win-win outcome; (4) among three patterns for low CEP, one will enhance firm value; and (5) the investor should be seen as an important breakthrough in corporate environmental protection. Such conclusions have stronger promotional value for other emerging countries where corporate social and environmental responsibility is still in the initial stage and the traditional corporate government mode still has a leading position. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Vertical Co-operation in Creative Micro-Enterprises: A Case Study of Textile Crafts of Matiari District, Pakistan
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030920
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Despite their cultural and economic importance, creative micro-enterprises have received very little attention from academia research, especially with respect to vertical co-operation—customers and suppliers—and innovation. This study aims to fill the literature gap by studying how vertical co-operation improves the performance of micro-enterprises [...] Read more.
Despite their cultural and economic importance, creative micro-enterprises have received very little attention from academia research, especially with respect to vertical co-operation—customers and suppliers—and innovation. This study aims to fill the literature gap by studying how vertical co-operation improves the performance of micro-enterprises in textile crafts through innovation. A questionnaire was used to collect data from creative micro-enterprises in the textile craft sector operating in the Matiari District of Pakistan. To test the construct validity of the research, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) were conducted, and to examine the hypotheses, the bootstrap re-sampling method was used with the SPSS PROCESS macro developed by Hayes. The findings of this study indicate that vertical co-operation positively and significantly affects the innovation and performance of creative micro-enterprises in textile crafts. In addition, we find that innovation plays a significant mediating role between vertical co-operation and performance. Furthermore, contrary to some studies, we empirically provide evidence regarding innovation in craft in terms of product development (design, size, shape, color, etc.), improvement in quality, and replacement/modification of tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Heritage Management)
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Open AccessArticle Visitor Mobility and Spatial Structure in a Local Urban Tourism Destination: GPS Tracking and Network analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030919
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Visitor mobility is an important element for facilitating sustainable local economics and management in urban tourism destinations. Research on visitor mobility often focuses on the patterns and structures of spatial visitor behavior and the factors that influence them. This study examines the relationship [...] Read more.
Visitor mobility is an important element for facilitating sustainable local economics and management in urban tourism destinations. Research on visitor mobility often focuses on the patterns and structures of spatial visitor behavior and the factors that influence them. This study examines the relationship between visitor mobility and urban spatial structures through an exploratory analysis of visitors’ movements and characteristics, which were collected from surveys with global positional system (GPS) tracking technologies and questionnaires. The Ueno district, one of the most popular tourism destinations in Tokyo, Japan, was selected as the study area. For local stakeholders, the low accessibility levels between this district’s park zone and downtown zone have become a major destination management issue. We compared visitor movements and flow networks in various places from different major trip origins (railway stations) by using several analysis techniques (GPS log distribution, spatial movement sequences, and network analysis), and examined physical and human factors that caused the different mobility patterns. The results demonstrated that physical factors, including major transport hubs (railway stations), topography, commercial accumulation, and POI distribution, affected intra-destination visitor behavior, and segmented visitor markets into different main zones. Such findings could inform future destination management policies and planning in local urban tourism destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Analysis of Urbanization towards Urban Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview Sustainable and Resilient Urban Water Systems: The Role of Decentralization and Planning
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030918
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
Urban water systems face multiple challenges related to future uncertainty and pressures to provide more sustainable and resilient modes of service delivery. Transitioning away from fully centralized water systems is seen as a primary solution to addressing these urban challenges and pressures. We [...] Read more.
Urban water systems face multiple challenges related to future uncertainty and pressures to provide more sustainable and resilient modes of service delivery. Transitioning away from fully centralized water systems is seen as a primary solution to addressing these urban challenges and pressures. We first review the literature on advantages, potential risks, and impediments to change associated with decentralized water system. Our review suggests that adopting decentralized solutions may advance conditions of sustainability and resilience in urban water management. We then explore the potential to incorporate decentralized water systems into broader urban land use patterns that include underserved residential neighborhoods, mixed-use developments, and industrial districts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Detecting Indicators for Startup Business Success: Sentiment Analysis Using Text Data Mining
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030917
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
The main aim of this study is to identify the key factors in User Generated Content (UGC) on the Twitter social network for the creation of successful startups, as well as to identify factors for sustainable startups and business models. New technologies were [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study is to identify the key factors in User Generated Content (UGC) on the Twitter social network for the creation of successful startups, as well as to identify factors for sustainable startups and business models. New technologies were used in the proposed research methodology to identify the key factors for the success of startup projects. First, a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model was used, which is a state-of-the-art thematic modeling tool that works in Python and determines the database topic by analyzing tweets for the #Startups hashtag on Twitter (n = 35.401 tweets). Secondly, a Sentiment Analysis was performed with a Supervised Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm that works with Machine Learning in Python. This was applied to the LDA results to divide the identified startup topics into negative, positive, and neutral sentiments. Thirdly, a Textual Analysis was carried out on the topics in each sentiment with Text Data Mining techniques using Nvivo software. This research has detected that the topics with positive feelings for the identification of key factors for the startup business success are startup tools, technology-based startup, the attitude of the founders, and the startup methodology development. The negative topics are the frameworks and programming languages, type of job offers, and the business angels’ requirements. The identified neutral topics are the development of the business plan, the type of startup project, and the incubator’s and startup’s geolocation. The limitations of the investigation are the number of tweets in the analyzed sample and the limited time horizon. Future lines of research could improve the methodology used to determine key factors for the creation of successful startups and could also study sustainable issues. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water Services Sustainability: Institutional Arrangements and Shared Responsibilities
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030916
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Poor water services in developing countries after national conflict as a result of institutional setups and devastating infrastructures. This study assesses how institutional arrangements have affected the poor water services in Somalia, through thematic analyses. The huge gap in the literature about Somalia [...] Read more.
Poor water services in developing countries after national conflict as a result of institutional setups and devastating infrastructures. This study assesses how institutional arrangements have affected the poor water services in Somalia, through thematic analyses. The huge gap in the literature about Somalia highlights the significant need of such research works and the originality of this paper. For this paper, different stakeholders were interviewed from seven zones of the city of Garowe. The results show that public private partnerships (PPP) play a vital role in providing drinking water. The results show that the institutions involved in the water sector in Puntland are not well organized. Roles and responsibilities were unclear, and different governmental institutions criticized each other for deliberately taking over others’ responsibilities, leading to poor and over-priced domestic water quality. Most consumers cannot afford a drinking water supply to their homes, so they are forced to walk long distances and queue for a long time in order to access water. Our analysis shows that it will be difficult for Somalia to achieve Sustainable Development Goal six (SDG 6) (target one) under the current institutional arrangements. Institutional reforms are recommended in the water sector in order to achieve SDG 6 (Target one), and to ensure safe drinking water in Puntland by 2030. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rating the Raters: Evaluating how ESG Rating Agencies Integrate Sustainability Principles
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030915
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agencies, acting as relevant financial market actors, should take a stand on working towards achieving a more sustainable development. In this context, the objective of this paper is, on the one hand, to understand how criteria used [...] Read more.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agencies, acting as relevant financial market actors, should take a stand on working towards achieving a more sustainable development. In this context, the objective of this paper is, on the one hand, to understand how criteria used by ESG rating agencies in their assessment processes have evolved over the last ten years and, on the other hand, to analyze whether ESG rating agencies are contributing to fostering sustainable development by the inclusion of sustainability principles into their assessment processes and practices according to the ESG criteria. This research is based on a comparative descriptive analysis of the public information provided by the most representative ESG rating and information provider agencies in the financial market in two periods: 2008 and 2018. The findings show that ESG rating agencies have integrated new criteria into their assessment models to measure corporate performance more accurately and robustly in order to respond to new global challenges. However, a deep analysis of the criteria also shows that ESG rating agencies do not fully integrate sustainability principles into the corporate sustainability assessment process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Finance)
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Open AccessArticle How to Allocate Carbon Emission Permits Among China’s Industrial Sectors Under the Constraint of Carbon Intensity?
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030914
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
With the official launch of China’s national unified carbon trading system (ETS) in 2017, it has played an increasingly important role in controlling the growth of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the core issues in carbon trading is the allocation of initial carbon [...] Read more.
With the official launch of China’s national unified carbon trading system (ETS) in 2017, it has played an increasingly important role in controlling the growth of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the core issues in carbon trading is the allocation of initial carbon emissions permits. Since the industry emits the largest amount of carbon dioxide in China, a study on the allocation of carbon emission permits among China’s industrial sectors is necessary to promote industry carbon abatement efficiency. In this study, industrial carbon emissions permits are allocated to 37 sub-sectors of China to reach the emission reduction target of 2030 considering the carbon marginal abatement cost, carbon abatement responsibility, carbon abatement potential, and carbon abatement capacity. A hybrid approach that integrates data envelop analysis (DEA), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), and principal component analysis (PCA) is proposed to allocate carbon emission permits. The results of this study are as follows: First, under the constraint of carbon intensity, the carbon emission permits of the total industry in 2030 will be 8792 Mt with an average growth rate of 3.27%, which is 1.57 times higher than that in 2016. Second, the results of the carbon marginal abatement costs show that light industrial sectors and high-tech industrial sectors have a higher abatement cost, while energy-intensive heavy chemical industries have a lower abatement cost. Third, based on the allocation results, there are six industrial sub-sectors that have obtained major carbon emission permits, including the smelting and pressing of ferrous metals (S24), manufacturing of raw chemical materials and chemical products (S18), manufacturing of non-metallic mineral products (S23), smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metals (S25), production and supply of electric power and heat power (S35), and the processing of petroleum, coking, and processing of nuclear fuel (S19), accounting for 69.23% of the total carbon emissions permits. Furthermore, the study also classifies 37 industrial sectors to explore the emission reduction paths, and proposes corresponding policy recommendations for different categories. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sales Prediction by Integrating the Heat and Sentiments of Product Dimensions
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030913
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Online word-of-mouth (eWOM) disseminated on social media contains a considerable amount of important information that can predict sales. However, the accuracy of sales prediction models using big data on eWOM is still unsatisfactory. We argue that eWOM contains the heat and sentiments of [...] Read more.
Online word-of-mouth (eWOM) disseminated on social media contains a considerable amount of important information that can predict sales. However, the accuracy of sales prediction models using big data on eWOM is still unsatisfactory. We argue that eWOM contains the heat and sentiments of product dimensions, which can improve the accuracy of prediction models based on multiattribute attitude theory. In this paper, we propose a dynamic topic analysis (DTA) framework to extract the heat and sentiments of product dimensions from big data on eWOM. Ultimately, we propose an autoregressive heat-sentiment (ARHS) model that integrates the heat and sentiments of dimensions into the benchmark predictive model to forecast daily sales. We conduct an empirical study of the movie industry and confirm that the ARHS model is better than other models in predicting movie box-office revenues. The robustness check with regard to predicting opening-week revenues based on a back-propagation neural network also suggests that the heat and sentiments of dimensions can improve the accuracy of sales predictions when the machine-learning method is used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data Research for Social Sciences and Social Impact)
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Behavior and Measures to Prevent Condensation of a Newly Developed External Wall Panel
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030912
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
An external wall panel (EWP) as a novel alternative to provide spatial flexibility and improve the performance of external walls was developed. The purpose of this study was to analyze the thermal performance of this EWP. A simulation analysis was carried out to [...] Read more.
An external wall panel (EWP) as a novel alternative to provide spatial flexibility and improve the performance of external walls was developed. The purpose of this study was to analyze the thermal performance of this EWP. A simulation analysis was carried out to scrutinize whether it was vulnerable to condensation, considering South Korea’s weather conditions, and find countermeasures to prevent this. Results indicated that the indoor surface temperature with the measures of added insulation materials and an inserted thermal-breaker was over 16.5 °C and that these methods could prevent condensation. In addition, this study assessed unsteady-state thermal characteristics, linear thermal transmittance, and the effective thermal transmittance of EWP. Effective thermal transmittance was estimated in consideration of the heat transmittance of EWP and the linear thermal transmittance of its slabs and its connection parts. The thermal characteristics of the building envelope are needed to analyze effective thermal transmittance and linear thermal transmittance-associated thermal bridges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Habitat)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Diversification Potential in the Rentier States towards a Sustainable Development: A Theoretical Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030911
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper develops a theoretical model to analyze whether a rentier state can diversify its economy away from the rent revenue and hence sustain the economic development and preserve the status-quo. Considering the decarbonization process of the global economy and rapidly fall in [...] Read more.
This paper develops a theoretical model to analyze whether a rentier state can diversify its economy away from the rent revenue and hence sustain the economic development and preserve the status-quo. Considering the decarbonization process of the global economy and rapidly fall in economic value of hydrocarbons in the face of the supply glut, rentier states depending on oil and gas revenues urgently need to diversify their economies to avoid social backlash and political upheaval. There are three intertwining factors that determine an effective economic diversification away from the rent revenue: The profitability of non-rentier sectors, the size of the domestic economy to induce a “Big Push” for industrialization to non-rentier sectors, and the level of economic inclusivity. For an optimal level of economic diversification in a rentier state: (1) Non-rentier sectors should be attractive to private agents without the entry barriers; (2) domestic economy should be large enough to induce investment into non-rentier sectors; (3) the ruler(s) should have sufficient tolerance (inclusivity) for private agents investing into non-rentier sectors. Our findings indicate that a rentier state can achieve an optimal level of economic diversification provided that the conditions above are met even without any political change. Full article
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