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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 5 (March-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The convergence of sharing economy, mobile computing and digital platforms is helping to accelerate [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Regeneration for Shrinking Cities: A Case from Japan
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051505
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Population decline is leading to a shrinking city size in industrialized countries. In some developing countries, because majority of the population is concentrated in big cities, the population in undeveloped cities has begun to decline. Japan experienced rapid urban expansion surrounding industrial districts, [...] Read more.
Population decline is leading to a shrinking city size in industrialized countries. In some developing countries, because majority of the population is concentrated in big cities, the population in undeveloped cities has begun to decline. Japan experienced rapid urban expansion surrounding industrial districts, including steeply sloped areas, between the 1950s and 1970s. In the past forty years, Japan’s population has decreased, and the average age of the population is increasing. The reduction in the size of cities, following population decreases is becoming an important issue, and the study of sustainable, concentrated urban planning to cope with shrinking city size is, therefore, necessary. We have conducted a case study using Yahatahigashi-ku to determine its redevelopment potential, based on a combination of urban geographic data. This paper (1) presents a typical case study using Geographic Information System (GIS) data to evaluate an aging and shrinking society; (2) explores the GIS design approaches configured for an aging society; and (3) evaluates the optimization of environmental performance for an urban regeneration plan. The primary factors related to this urban design case study included, a declining population, mixed urban land use, and the placement of public facilities. We developed a method involving the slope degree to evaluate land-use to model the importance of informational evaluation in the urban planning process. This method could contribute to the urban regeneration for an aging society and could also be applied to other aging and shrinking cities, in mountainous regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shrinking Cities—Testing Ground for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of the Quality and Microstructure of Biodegradable Composites as Contribution towards Better Management of Food Industry Wastes
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051504
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Biowastes from the food industry can be applied as a usable material after appropriate treatment (i.e., agglomeration). Biowastes are materials that could have better properties if they are mixed. Brewery and oilseed wastes were compressed and evaluated by their quality and microstructure. This [...] Read more.
Biowastes from the food industry can be applied as a usable material after appropriate treatment (i.e., agglomeration). Biowastes are materials that could have better properties if they are mixed. Brewery and oilseed wastes were compressed and evaluated by their quality and microstructure. This article presents the influence of food wastes’ type on their biodegradable composite properties. Rapeseed cake and brewer’s threshing were used separately and mixed in three different proportions: 30:70, 50:50, 70:30. The data were obtained by mechanical testing on the Instron machine with different pressure forces of 30,000 N and 50,000 N. Strength and elasticity parameters, expansion after the test and in 24 h were estimated. The characteristics such as density, relaxation and compaction after the agglomeration process of biomass allows the selection of the best material and method for optimal composite quality. The results show an upward trend in composite density with decreasing content of brewery waste in a sample. Rapeseed cake can be considered as the material more susceptible to the compaction process. In addition to material properties and its lower density, the reason may be due to the granulometric composition of particles, density and particle size which was confirmed by SEM structure observations. Images of composites were analyzed on the basis of morphological plant tissue structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Transshipment Container Terminals’ Service Quality in Vietnam: From the Shipping Companies’ Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051503
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Vietnam is a popular production base for multi-national companies and has become a hub for the global supply chain. Accordingly, to facilitate the increased demands on transportation and to satisfy customers’ complicated requirements, more attention has been paid to the service quality of [...] Read more.
Vietnam is a popular production base for multi-national companies and has become a hub for the global supply chain. Accordingly, to facilitate the increased demands on transportation and to satisfy customers’ complicated requirements, more attention has been paid to the service quality of container terminals. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate the service quality of transshipment container terminals in Vietnam from the perspective of shipping companies. The Consistent Fuzzy Preference Relation (CFPR) method has been introduced to solve multi-criteria service quality problems using both empirical data and expert knowledge. The results of this study illustrate that terminal accessibility and the proximity to a main trunk route are most important among the principal factors and sub-factors. Additionally, the TCIT terminal’s service quality ranks first among the top five container terminals in Vietnam. This study provides stakeholders with insight into competitive factors and risk factors for container terminals and their overall quality of service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Maritime Transportation Management and Policies)
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Open AccessArticle Potential and Environmental Impacts of Liquid Biofuel from Agricultural Residues in Thailand
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051502
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, various national strategies and programs are described by planning instruments. The TIEB (Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint), which includes six programs (AEDP, PDP, EEDP, ODP, GDP, REDP), aims to regulate renewable energy and improve the use of biofuel. In addition, the [...] Read more.
In this study, various national strategies and programs are described by planning instruments. The TIEB (Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint), which includes six programs (AEDP, PDP, EEDP, ODP, GDP, REDP), aims to regulate renewable energy and improve the use of biofuel. In addition, the potential of second-generation biofuels is estimated with different residue extractions of second-generation biomasses: 20% (scenario 1), 44% (scenario 2), and 66% (scenario 3). Based on the production potentials that were estimated, CO2 will decrease 1.3–3.5 megatons in the gasoline sector, and 1.4–3.8 megatons in the diesel sector under scenario 1. In scenario 2, we estimated decreases of 2.8–7.7 mega tons and 3.2–8.4 mega tons of CO2 for the gasoline and diesel sectors, respectively. Finally, scenario 3 is expected to reduce the CO2 concentration by 4.2–11.6 megatons in the gasoline sector, and by 4.7–12.6 megatons in the diesel sector. We also estimate the economic potential of a second-generation biofuel with the view of emissions trading. For bioethanol and biodiesel, respectively, 27–74 million USD and 30–81 million USD could be realized in scenario 1, 60–163 million USD and 67–178 million USD in scenario 2, and 90–244 million USD and 100–267 million USD in scenario 3. We conclude that the future potential of second-generation biofuels in Thailand is optimistic, and that they can provide both environmental and economic benefits to the country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Two-Step Approach to Solar Power Generation Prediction Based on Weather Data Using Machine Learning
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051501
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Photovoltaic systems have become an important source of renewable energy generation. Because solar power generation is intrinsically highly dependent on weather fluctuations, predicting power generation using weather information has several economic benefits, including reliable operation planning and proactive power trading. This study builds [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic systems have become an important source of renewable energy generation. Because solar power generation is intrinsically highly dependent on weather fluctuations, predicting power generation using weather information has several economic benefits, including reliable operation planning and proactive power trading. This study builds a model that predicts the amounts of solar power generation using weather information provided by weather agencies. This study proposes a two-step modeling process that connects unannounced weather variables with announced weather forecasts. The empirical results show that this approach improves a base approach by wide margins, regardless of types of applied machine learning algorithms. The results also show that the random forest regression algorithm performs the best for this problem, achieving an R-squared value of 70.5% in the test data. The intermediate modeling process creates four variables, which are ranked with high importance in the post-analysis. The constructed model performs realistic one-day ahead predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Energy Management for Smart Grids)
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Open AccessArticle Ecohydraulic Modelling to Support Fish Habitat Restoration Measures
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051500
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Despite that hydromorphological restoration projects have been implemented since the 1940s, the key to improve the effectiveness of future restoration measures remains a challenge. This is in part related to the lack of adequate aims and objectives together with our limitations in understanding [...] Read more.
Despite that hydromorphological restoration projects have been implemented since the 1940s, the key to improve the effectiveness of future restoration measures remains a challenge. This is in part related to the lack of adequate aims and objectives together with our limitations in understanding the effects on the physical habitat and ecosystems from interventions. This study shows the potential of using remote sensing techniques combined with hydraulic modelling to evaluate the success of physical restoration measures using habitat suitability as a quantifiable objective. Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) was used to build a high-resolution two-dimensional model for Ljungan River, Sweden, using HEC-RAS 5.0. Two types of instream restoration measures were simulated according to the physical measures carried out in the river to improve salmonid habitat: (a) stones and rocks were moved from the bank sides to the main channel, and (b) a concrete wall was broken to open two channels to connect a side channel with the main river. Results showed that the hydraulic model could potentially be used to simulate the hydraulic conditions before and after instream modifications were implemented. A general improvement was found for the potential suitable habitat based on depth, velocity and shear stress values after the instream measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle People Make the Difference: An Explorative Study on the Relationship between Organizational Practices, Employees’ Resources, and Organizational Behavior Enhancing the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051499
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
The most recent developments in the field of sustainability science and the emergence of a psychology of sustainability and sustainable development have contributed to collect evidences about the fact that modern organizations need healthy and motivated employees to survive and to prosper within [...] Read more.
The most recent developments in the field of sustainability science and the emergence of a psychology of sustainability and sustainable development have contributed to collect evidences about the fact that modern organizations need healthy and motivated employees to survive and to prosper within this fast-moving scenario. In this vein, a confirmation to these evidences came from the abundant research on HEalthy and Resilient Organizations (HERO), showing that when organizations make systematic, planned, and proactive efforts to improve employees’ subjective resources then organizational processes and outcomes benefit in turn. Moving forward from these premises, the present study aimed to explore these assumptions within the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), investigating the relationships among the organizational practices, employees’ subjective resources, and organizational behaviors. Two hundred and thirty-six participants working in SMEs located in the south of Italy took part. They were invited to fill in a questionnaire investigating their perception of organizational resources and practices (autonomy, leadership, communication, organizational mindfulness, and commitment to resilience), of their individual resources (work engagement and psychological capital), and finally, of some organizational outcomes (extra-role behavior). Results showed that psychological capital was a significant mediator of the relationship between employees’ perception of the organizational resources and practices and extra-role behaviors. Concrete implications of these conclusions in terms of human resource management (HRM) are discussed together with limitations of the study and future developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Scheduling of an Automatic Pallet Changer System by Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm with First Piece Inspection
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051498
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the machining center with the Automated Pallet Changer (APC) scheduling problem considering the disturbance of the first piece inspection is presented. The APC is frequently used in industry practice; it is useful in terms of sustainability and robustness because it [...] Read more.
In this study, the machining center with the Automated Pallet Changer (APC) scheduling problem considering the disturbance of the first piece inspection is presented. The APC is frequently used in industry practice; it is useful in terms of sustainability and robustness because it increases the machine utilization rate and enhances the responsiveness to uncertainties in dynamic environments. An enhanced evolutionary algorithm for APC scheduling (APCEA) is developed by combining the multi-objective evolutionary algorithm with APC simulation. The dynamic factors in the simulation model include the pass rate of the first piece inspection (FPI) and the adjusted time when the FPI is unpassed. The proposed APCEA defines the non-robust gene based on the risk combination of the first piece inspection, and screens the non-robust gene in the genetic operation, thus improving the solution quality under the same computation times. Compared with the other three multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs), it is demonstrated that the proposed APCEA produces the best result among the four methods. The proposed APCEA has been embedded into the manufacturing execution system (MES) and successfully applied in a manufacturing plant. The application value of the proposed method is verified by a practical example. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing Systems)
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Open AccessEditorial Challenges of Asian Models and Values for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051497
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Northeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the global economy in its dynamic change in the economic scape as well as in the challenge of environmental issues. In particular, many countries in Asia have experienced transitional challenges from a quantitative, [...] Read more.
Northeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the global economy in its dynamic change in the economic scape as well as in the challenge of environmental issues. In particular, many countries in Asia have experienced transitional challenges from a quantitative, GDP-oriented economic development toward environmental-friendly, sustainable development. The quality of the life became much more important for government policies, also fueled by the demand from the private sector. Nonetheless, these countries are experiencing much more severe and sarcastic skepticism in response to government policies, resulting in a lack of effective governance. The Sustainable Asia Conference (SAC) has promoted the importance of these challenges for 10 years since its inauguration in 2009. The major consensus on sustainable development reached at the conference may come from innovation in the positive-sum game approach to environmentally friendly development and sustainable governance in order for the initial innovation to be put into effect. Moreover, due to the complicated and complex process of solving environmental challenges, the countries in this region should cooperate with strong partnerships as well as open connectivity. Therefore, all the countries should participate in the project not as helpers, but as partners to create and share value through regional cooperation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Embedding Sustainable Development Goals in Education. Teachers’ Perspective about Education for Sustainability in the Basque Autonomous Community
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051496
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
In the current context of unsustainability that we inhabit, education is considered to be a necessary pillar for social transformation towards sustainable development. The main goal of this research is to analyze the implementation of educational practical experiences of the education for sustainability [...] Read more.
In the current context of unsustainability that we inhabit, education is considered to be a necessary pillar for social transformation towards sustainable development. The main goal of this research is to analyze the implementation of educational practical experiences of the education for sustainability programs from the perspective of teachers working in secondary schools in the Basque Autonomous Community. The analyzed schools are situated in different socio-economic and environmental contexts. The analysis also aims to diagnose the extent of knowledge on the 2030 Global Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a view to its future implementation. The study is based on qualitative tools such as in-depth interviews (38 interviews conducted at five secondary schools). For analytical purposes, the perspective of the teaching staff is adopted as they play an indispensable and determining role in education for sustainability. The main results showed that the involvement of the teaching staff, personal motivation and good leadership are essential for the success of the program, together with the support of school authorities. A stable teaching staff and a sense of identity with the project are decisive factors. In this sense, differences were detected between public schools and private schools that, to a certain extent, condition the difficulties faced by the teaching staff. Experiential activities, activities outside the classroom and a positive perspective on the subject are considered factors contributing to the success of the programs. SDGs were still largely unknown to the teaching staff but could provide a good framework for multidisciplinary education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Importance of Sociology of Education for a Sustainable Future)
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Open AccessArticle Two-Stage Multi-Objective Meta-Heuristics for Environmental and Cost-Optimal Energy Refurbishment at District Level
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051495
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Energy efficiency and environmental performance optimization at the district level are following an upward trend mostly triggered by minimizing the Global Warming Potential (GWP) to 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030 settled by the European Union (EU) compared with 1990 levels. This [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency and environmental performance optimization at the district level are following an upward trend mostly triggered by minimizing the Global Warming Potential (GWP) to 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030 settled by the European Union (EU) compared with 1990 levels. This paper advances over the state of the art by proposing two novel multi-objective algorithms, named Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) and Multi-Objective Harmony Search (MOHS), aimed at achieving cost-effective energy refurbishment scenarios and allowing at district level the decision-making procedure. This challenge is not trivial since the optimisation process must provide feasible solutions for a simultaneous environmental and economic assessment at district scale taking into consideration highly demanding real-based constraints regarding district and buildings’ specific requirements. Consequently, in this paper, a two-stage optimization methodology is proposed in order to reduce the energy demand and fossil fuel consumption with an affordable investment cost at building level and minimize the total payback time while minimizing the GWP at district level. Aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed two-stage multi-objective approaches, this work presents simulation results at two real district case studies in Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain) for which up to a 30% of reduction of GWP at district level is obtained for a Payback Time (PT) of 2–3 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Net Zero Buildings—A Framework for an Integrated Policy in Chile
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051494
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
The potential of carbon dioxide emissions mitigation in the building sector can be achieved through energy policies, progressive goals, and support systems to attain sustainable constructions that guarantee the reduction of emissions. Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) is a concept that allows moving forward [...] Read more.
The potential of carbon dioxide emissions mitigation in the building sector can be achieved through energy policies, progressive goals, and support systems to attain sustainable constructions that guarantee the reduction of emissions. Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) is a concept that allows moving forward to neutralize buildings’ carbon emissions. This has been demonstrated by more industrial countries which have set goals and challenges to progressively approach an energy neutrality balance for buildings. Therefore, the target of this research is to define a framework for a new standard to reach NZEB in Chile. Firstly, an exhaustive review of the energy policies, NZEB definitions, and components of an NZEB system took place. Secondly, focus group discussions with local and international professionals from the building sector were organized to define a vision, opportunities, and potential measures with a focus on policies, to implement and develop local technologies for NZEB buildings in Chile. The study identifies the need to advance public policies to achieve an integrated policy for the implementation of energy neutral concept buildings. Finally, the paper presents a NZEB standard framework, including key performance indicators and suggested performance metrics thresholds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Habitat)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of HVAC Design Parameters in High-Performance Hospital Operating Theatres
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051493
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Unidirectional flow air-conditioning systems are suitable for achieving indoor air quality required in high-performance operating rooms (organ transplants, cardiac surgery, aorta, orthopedic, burns, etc.). This paper analyzes indoor environmental conditions and technical and hygienic requirements for the design of heating, ventilation, and air-Conditioning [...] Read more.
Unidirectional flow air-conditioning systems are suitable for achieving indoor air quality required in high-performance operating rooms (organ transplants, cardiac surgery, aorta, orthopedic, burns, etc.). This paper analyzes indoor environmental conditions and technical and hygienic requirements for the design of heating, ventilation, and air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems for high-performance operating theatres. The main standards applicable to this type of operating rooms were compiled. Standard UNE 100713:2015, ASHRAE Standard 170-2017, and the European pre-norm EN 16244 were analyzed. A case study shows the lack of uniformity in design criteria and their ranges of values, which generates different design approaches. It was concluded that using these standards applicable to high-performance operating rooms leads to very different indoor environmental conditions for patients and medical personnel—air velocity profiles, air movement pattern, temperature, relative humidity gradients, and pressure stratification. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies have been shown to detect areas of haven that favor microbiological load accumulation. In this way, it is possible to define cleaning protocols to attend these anomalies in a preventive way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Healthcare Facilities)
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Open AccessArticle Outcome-Driven Supply Chain Perspective on Dry Ports
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051492
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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The hinterland leg of maritime containerized transport as a part of supply chain has been increasingly pressured by larger volumes, as well as by a need to fulfill sustainability requirements that are expressed by social opinion and formal regulations. There is a potential [...] Read more.
The hinterland leg of maritime containerized transport as a part of supply chain has been increasingly pressured by larger volumes, as well as by a need to fulfill sustainability requirements that are expressed by social opinion and formal regulations. There is a potential to relieve this pressure through integration of a dry port, as a seaport’s inland interface, in the supply chain. Therefore, this paper aims to explain how a supply chain can benefit or enhance its outcomes of cost, responsiveness, security, environmental performance, resilience, and innovation, by the integration of a dry port. The data for this case study is collected through interviews and site visits from the privately owned Skaraborg dry port, Sweden; and the study is limited to the actors of the transport system involved in the development and operations of the dry port integrated setup. The results show that the six supply chain outcomes (cost, responsiveness, security, environmental performance, resilience, and innovation) are perceived by the actors as being desirable, and can be enhanced by the integration of a dry port in the supply chains. In particular, the enhancement of the supply chain outcomes can be achieved due to intermodality and reliability of rail transportation and customization of services associated with the dry port integrated setup, and by increasing the capacity of transportation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Ports and Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle Does Corporate Charitable Giving Help Sustain Corporate Performance in China?
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051491
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
We examined whether corporate charitable giving (CCG) in China benefits corporate performance (CP) in terms of sales growth (SG), return on asset (ROA), return on equity (ROE), and Tobin’s Q (TQ), and revealed several findings. [...] Read more.
We examined whether corporate charitable giving (CCG) in China benefits corporate performance (CP) in terms of sales growth (SG), return on asset (ROA), return on equity (ROE), and Tobin’s Q (TQ), and revealed several findings. First, testing shows variation in the impact of CCG on CP. Whereas the ratio of corporate charitable giving (RCCG) to total sales revenue does not significantly enhance SG, ROA, and ROE, it is positively related to TQ. Second, the positive relationship between RCCG and TQ originates from non-state-owned firms (NSOFs) rather than state-owned firms (SOFs). Third, Chinese firms may use CCG as traditional philanthropy to enhance long-term performance instead of strategically using it to generate short-term performance. Lastly, an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between RCCG and TQ, especially for NSOFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Real-Time Early Warning System for Sustainable and Intelligent Plastic Film Manufacturing
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051490
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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In this study, real-time preventive measures were formulated for a crusher process that is impossible to automate, due to the impossibility of installing sensors during the production of plastic films, and a real-time early warning system for semi-automated processes subsequently developed. First, the [...] Read more.
In this study, real-time preventive measures were formulated for a crusher process that is impossible to automate, due to the impossibility of installing sensors during the production of plastic films, and a real-time early warning system for semi-automated processes subsequently developed. First, the flow of a typical film process was ascertained. Second, a sustainable plan for real-time forecasting in a process that cannot be automated was developed using the semi-automation method flexible structure production control (FSPC). Third, statistical early selection of the process variables that are most probably responsible for failure was performed during data preprocessing. Then, a new, unified dataset was created using the link reordering method to transform the time sequence of the continuous process into one time zone. Fourth, a sustainable prediction algorithm was developed using the association rule method along with traditional statistical techniques, and verified using actual data. Finally, the overall developed logic was applied to new production process data to verify its prediction accuracy. The developed real-time early warning system for semi-automated processes contributes significantly to the smart manufacturing process both theoretically and practically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Teachers’ Belief and Efficacy Toward Inclusive Education in Early Childhood Settings in Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051489
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
In the literature, teacher self-efficacy has been found to increase teachers’ effective teaching strategies and students’ positive learning outcomes in inclusive education, which highlights the importance of identifying and fostering factors associated with increased self-efficacy. Thus, the purpose of the current study was [...] Read more.
In the literature, teacher self-efficacy has been found to increase teachers’ effective teaching strategies and students’ positive learning outcomes in inclusive education, which highlights the importance of identifying and fostering factors associated with increased self-efficacy. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to examine the relations between teachers’ demographic and background variables (i.e., age, teaching experience, and training experience), teachers’ beliefs toward inclusive education, and teachers’ self-efficacy. Specifically, this study aimed to test the mediating effects of teachers’ beliefs toward inclusive education on the relations between teachers’ demographic and background variables and their self-efficacy using structural equation modeling (SEM). Teacher beliefs toward inclusive education included the effectiveness of inclusive education on the social and cognitive development of children with disabilities and on non-disabled students’ understanding of the needs of children with disabilities. Results indicated that whereas teacher age and teaching and training experiences had no direct relations with teachers’ self-efficacy in inclusive education, teaching and training experiences had significant indirect relations with their self-efficacy through their beliefs toward inclusive education. Implications and future directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Employment Self-Sufficiency Measures on Commuting Time: Case Study of Perth, Australia
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051488
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The level of commuting in cities is an important indicator of the efficiency of urban spatial structure. Recent research has come out in support of land use policies that promote balancing the number of employment opportunities and residents in local geographical units to [...] Read more.
The level of commuting in cities is an important indicator of the efficiency of urban spatial structure. Recent research has come out in support of land use policies that promote balancing the number of employment opportunities and residents in local geographical units to reduce excess commuting. This study explores three employment self-sufficiency indices: job-worker balance (JWB), employment self-sufficiency (ESS) and employment self-containment (ESC), as measures for reducing the level of commuting. Using the case of Perth, Western Australia, we perform a trip-based evaluation of these three variables and investigate their effect on commuting time through statistical correlation. The results reveal that JWB, ESS and ESC levels are relatively poor across the metropolitan region. Higher ESS correlates with lower inflow travel time, but better JWB and higher ESC do not necessarily lead to shorter travel times. The findings of this study suggest that policies solely relying on these measures may not be effective in reducing commuting times. ESS and ESC do not account for the component of the trip outside the zone, which can misrepresent the level of commuting in an area. Incorporating travel time in these measures can complement their reliability, and better represent overall commuting levels within an urban structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Sustainability: Transport Geography and Mobility)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Research on Global Terrorist Attacks and Terrorist Attack Classification
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051487
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Terrorist attacks are events which hinder the development of a region. Before the terrorist attacks, we need to conduct a graded evaluation of the terrorist attacks. After getting the level of terrorist attacks, we can fight terrorist organizations more effectively. This paper builds [...] Read more.
Terrorist attacks are events which hinder the development of a region. Before the terrorist attacks, we need to conduct a graded evaluation of the terrorist attacks. After getting the level of terrorist attacks, we can fight terrorist organizations more effectively. This paper builds rating models for terrorist attacks, hidden or emerging terrorist organization classification discovery models, terrorist organization alliance network models and more, through quantitative research of the Global Terrorism Database, which solved the event classification. Through studying relevant literature and the variables of the Global Terrorism Database, this paper sorted out 25 observation variables related to the impact level (level of harm) of terrorist attacks. By establishing a mathematical model of factor analysis, 11 factors related to the impact level (level of harm) of terrorist attacks were constructed, and the variance of the contribution of each factor was used as the weight to calculate the comprehensive rate of the impact level of each terrorist attack. Finally, K-means clustering method is used to cluster and analyze the comprehensive rate of impact level, and the top 10 terrorist attacks with the highest impact level in the past two decades were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Geography and Social Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Natural and Human-Induced Drivers of Groundwater Sustainability: A Case Study of the Mangyeong River Basin in Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051486
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The sustainability of rural areas depends on the availability of water resources. The Mangyeong River Basin (MRB) in Korea faces a water supply shortage for agriculture and industry. Based on 11-year (2005–2015) precipitation and groundwater monitoring data, groundwater sustainability was evaluated in terms [...] Read more.
The sustainability of rural areas depends on the availability of water resources. The Mangyeong River Basin (MRB) in Korea faces a water supply shortage for agriculture and industry. Based on 11-year (2005–2015) precipitation and groundwater monitoring data, groundwater sustainability was evaluated in terms of natural and man-made factors and their spatio-temporal variations. A precipitation time-series revealed a declining trend, but there were different seasonal trends between wet and dry periods, with declining and rising trends, respectively. Groundwater hydrographs from five national groundwater monitoring wells showed temporal variations. Groundwater wells located in downstream areas showed both recharge from upgradient areas and local man-made impacts (e.g. from pumping), resulting in an ambiguous relationship between precipitation and water levels. However, other monitoring wells in the upstream areas displayed water level responses to precipitation events, with a declining trend. Using the standardized precipitation index at a time scale of 12 months (SPI-12) and the standardized groundwater level anomaly, meteorological and groundwater drought conditions were compared to infer the relationship between precipitation deficit and groundwater shortage in the aquifer. The SPI results indicated severely dry to extremely dry conditions during 2008–2009 and 2015. However, the standardized groundwater level anomaly showed various drought conditions for groundwater, which were dependent on the site-specific hydrogeological characteristics. Finally, groundwater sustainability was assessed using water budget modelling and water quality data. Presently, if groundwater is used above 39.2% of the recharge value in the MRB, groundwater drought conditions occur throughout the basin. Considering water quality issues, with nitrate being elevated above the natural background, this critical abstraction value becomes 28.4%. Consequently, in the MRB, sustainable groundwater management should embrace both natural and human-induced factors to regulate over-exploitation and prevent contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Water Resources in the Developing Cities)
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Open AccessReview Soil and Crop Management Strategies to Ensure Higher Crop Productivity within Sustainable Environments
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051485
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The rising population and reduction in the amount of land and some other resources have created tremendous pressure on current agricultural producers to meet the increasing food demands. To cope with this challenge, certain key inputs, such as fertilizers and other chemicals, are [...] Read more.
The rising population and reduction in the amount of land and some other resources have created tremendous pressure on current agricultural producers to meet the increasing food demands. To cope with this challenge, certain key inputs, such as fertilizers and other chemicals, are overused, which are worsening the surroundings. This intensive agricultural production without adherence to ecological sustainability has led to declining soil health, land degradation, and severe environmental problems. So, future efforts to feed the growing population should aim for greater agricultural production within sustainable environments. In this regard, innovative steps are needed, as business-as-usual policies lack the potential to cope with these challenges. The concept of agricultural sustainability and various soil and crop management strategies (SCMS) that have been designed to optimize crop yield under sustainable environmental conditions are discussed, including nutrient management, site specific nutrient management (SSNM), integrated nutrient management (INM), integrated soil fertility management (ISFM), integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM), ridge-furrow mulching systems (RFMS), sustainable water management (SWM), conservation agriculture (CA), sustainable land management (SLM), vertical/sky farming, and integrated crop management, and breeding strategies as well as other approaches combined with technological and behavioural changes. The present review suggests that a sustainable production system can be developed by combining the multifaceted efforts under SCMS practices with short- and long-term preventive measures. Reducing chemicals’ usage, such as that of fertilizers and pesticides, plus improvements in the crop input use efficiency could minimize greenhouse gases emissions while protecting the environment. Sustainable agriculture holds promise for humankind and the planet Earth, and it can be successful if all developed and developing nations stand together to seek ‘our common future’ to produce more food while generating less environmental pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Context–Problem Network and Quantitative Method of Patent Analysis: A Case Study of Wireless Energy Transmission Technology
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051484
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Identification of prevalent problems is an important process of strategic innovation for stakeholders of trending technologies. This paper proposes a systematic and replicable method of patent analysis to identify problems to be solved requisite for sustainable technology planning and development, by implementing the [...] Read more.
Identification of prevalent problems is an important process of strategic innovation for stakeholders of trending technologies. This paper proposes a systematic and replicable method of patent analysis to identify problems to be solved requisite for sustainable technology planning and development, by implementing the concept of ‘context’ to facilitate problem identification. The main concept of the method entails the importance of the connections between contextual information and problems to provide more focused, relevant, and constructive insights essential for instating goals for research and development activities. These context–problem entities and their entwined connections are discovered using keyword pattern matching, grammar-based text mining, and co-word analysis techniques. The intermediary outputs are then utilized to generate the proposed context–problem network (CP net) for social network, grammar, and quantitative data analysis. For verification, our method was applied to 737 patents in the wireless energy transmission technology domain, successfully yielding CP net data. The detailed analysis of the resulting CP net data delivered meaningful information in the wireless charging technology field: The main contexts, “batteries”, “power transmission coils”, and “cores”, are found to be most relevant to the main problems, “maximizing coupling efficiency”, “minimizing DC signal components”, and “charging batteries”. The results provide a wide range of informative perspectives for individuals, the scientific community, corporate, and market-level stakeholders. Furthermore, the method of this study can be applicable to various technologies since it is independent of specific subject domains. Future research directions aim to improve this method for better quality and modeling of contexts and problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data Research for Social Sciences and Social Impact)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprint as a Lever for Sustained Competitive Strategy in Developing a Smart Oenology: Evidence from an Exploratory Study in Italy
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051483
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
In the wine sector, the choice of a sustainable strategy based on smart marketing has gained more relevance due to the growing importance of sustainability. The literature illustrates a multiplicity of perspectives, wherever firms are committed to improving sustainability and market performance. This [...] Read more.
In the wine sector, the choice of a sustainable strategy based on smart marketing has gained more relevance due to the growing importance of sustainability. The literature illustrates a multiplicity of perspectives, wherever firms are committed to improving sustainability and market performance. This exploratory paper aims to make sense of the extant literature by analysing 10 case studies in Italy, focusing on sustainable competitive resources and strategies, considering the role of CF (Carbon Footprint) as a crucial factor. The research has considered a complementary theoretical framework based on both Resource-Based Theory and Competitive Advantage Theory. Data were analysed by descriptive statistical techniques. The results show a bundle of unique resources and strategies in pursuing firm performance, wherever CF may lead to significant sustained competitive advantages in firms’ value capture (ex. image and reputation and customers’ relationships loyalty, entrance into new foreign markets). Findings highlight that perceiving the costs and benefits of investments in lowering CF may guide to a more accurate understanding of the value-creating from the different type of eco-innovation for building tailor-made communicational and marketing strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Geography: Location, Innovation and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Development of a New Clean Development Mechanism Methodology for the Quantification of Greenhouse Gas in Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051482
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this research was to probe beyond the scope of the “National Strategy Project on Carbon Mineralization” to develop a “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Clean Development Mechanism” (UNFCCC CDM) methodology that enables reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) by [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to probe beyond the scope of the “National Strategy Project on Carbon Mineralization” to develop a “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Clean Development Mechanism” (UNFCCC CDM) methodology that enables reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) by “green cement” under the calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement technologies. The findings will be utilized as the foundations and developed into the UNFCCC CDM project. There were two existing methodologies related to cement, but neither was applicable for CSA cement. The existing methodologies are applicable only when there is one clinker, but CSA cement utilizes more than one clinker. Through this research, we developed methodologies to use waste-based material for avoiding emission leakage and utilized more than one clinker to calculate GHG emissions and reduction. For this purpose, we utilized the CSA cement methodology for calculating GHG reduction compared to Portland cement and found that CSA cement allowed for a reduction of 0.281 tCO2-eq/ton above the reduction enabled by Portland cement. We are presently preparing to register the CSA cement methodology for UNFCCC CDM methodology approval. With the technology transfer and support for this CSA cement technology and methodology, developing countries will be able to achieve their national GHG reduction targets and gain carbon credits. Thus, CSA cement technology could serve as an important tool to deal with GHG emissions and climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cost Adjustment in the Korean Defense Industry: Empirical Research on the Relation between Earnings Management and Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051481
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
This article is a demonstrative research on the motivation and method for earnings management in the Korean defense industry and its connection with the cost of equity capital. The data for this article comes from the Korean DICS (Defense Integrated Cost System). The [...] Read more.
This article is a demonstrative research on the motivation and method for earnings management in the Korean defense industry and its connection with the cost of equity capital. The data for this article comes from the Korean DICS (Defense Integrated Cost System). The difference between the cost data submitted by defense corporations and those verified by DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) serves as an indicator of earnings management; such a direct measurement of earnings management distinguishes this research from previous studies focusing on indirect indicators of earnings management, such as discretionary accruals. This article purposefully names such a specific form of earnings management as ‘cost adjustment’ that takes advantage of the difference between the submitted cost and the verified cost. The result of the research shows that cost adjustment activities in the defense industry are proportional to the capital cost required by shareholders. It is also notable that the cost adjustment activities in the defense industry are mostly done by making use of direct costs, in contrast to other industries utilizing indirect costs, which are hardly traceable. As a result of cost adjustment to meet short-term target profit, the long-term sustainability of the company would get impaired from the inflated costs in direct cost adjustments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Fighting Corruption and Enhancing Tax Compliance through Digitization: Achieving Sustainable Development in Romania
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051480
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Fighting corruption and enhancing tax compliance through digital public services represent key factors for increasing sustainable development in Romania. We argue that fighting corruption may increase the level of sustainable development, through digital pubic services. Using digital public services leads to the increase [...] Read more.
Fighting corruption and enhancing tax compliance through digital public services represent key factors for increasing sustainable development in Romania. We argue that fighting corruption may increase the level of sustainable development, through digital pubic services. Using digital public services leads to the increase of the level of tax compliance, because entrepreneurs will feel more confident and responsible and they will decide to better comply. Tax regulations can affect the level of tax compliance through the additional costs they generate. The discussion is based on the consideration of the costs generated by compliant behavior and we explain how such costs influence the entrepreneurs’ decision in the fiscal environment. If the costs are higher, entrepreneurs will take evasive initiatives and will refuse to comply. Among the numerous tools developed to fight corruption, the use of communication technologies has recently been researched and there is still need for further research in the Romanian economic environment. The use of digital public services reduces costs for entrepreneurs and increases their confidence in state institutions due to higher levels of transparency. We argue for increasing sustainable development in Romania through digital public services, thus fighting corruption and enhancing tax compliance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Transcending the Learned Ignorance of Predatory Ontologies: A Research Agenda for an Ecofeminist-Informed Ecological Economics
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051479
Received: 6 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
As a necessarily political act, the theorizing, debating and enacting of ecological economies offer pathways to radical socio-economic transformations that emphasize the ecological and prioritize justice. In response to a research agenda call for ecological economics, we propose and employ an ecofeminist frame [...] Read more.
As a necessarily political act, the theorizing, debating and enacting of ecological economies offer pathways to radical socio-economic transformations that emphasize the ecological and prioritize justice. In response to a research agenda call for ecological economics, we propose and employ an ecofeminist frame to demonstrate how the logics of extractivist capitalism, which justify gender biased and anti-ecological power structures inherent in the growth paradigm, also directly inform the theoretical basis of ecological economics and its subsequent post-growth proposals. We offer pathways to reconcile these epistemological limitations through a synthesis of ecofeminist ethics and distributive justice imperatives, proposing leading questions to further the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Research Agenda for Ecological Economics)
Open AccessArticle Systems Thinking Skills of Preschool Children in Early Childhood Education Contexts from Turkey and Germany
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051478
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
This study presents an attempt to contribute to the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) by conceptualizing systems thinking skills of four- to six-year-old preschool children with the role of age in this particular skill. For this purpose, we developed and tested [...] Read more.
This study presents an attempt to contribute to the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) by conceptualizing systems thinking skills of four- to six-year-old preschool children with the role of age in this particular skill. For this purpose, we developed and tested a method and instruments to assess and conceptualize systems thinking skills of 52 preschool children in early childhood education contexts from Turkey and Germany. By employing qualitative case study research, we concluded that the young children showed some signs of complex understanding regarding systems thinking in terms of detecting obvious gradual changes and two-step domino and/or multiple one-way causalities, as well as describing behavior of a balancing loop. However, their capacity was found to be limited when it comes to detecting a reinforcing loop, understanding system mechanisms by acknowledging the unintended consequences, detecting hidden components and processes, demonstrating multi-dimensional perspective, solving problems through high-leverage interventions, and predicting the future behavior of the system. Age had a notable effect on the total systems thinking mean scores of the participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Virtual Reality-Based Engineering Education to Enhance Manufacturing Sustainability in Industry 4.0
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051477
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Many advanced product manufacturing approaches have been introduced in the market in recent years. Thus, it is critical to develop modern techniques which can effectively familiarize budding minds with the latest manufacturing procedures. In fact, the contemporary training methods and advanced education practices [...] Read more.
Many advanced product manufacturing approaches have been introduced in the market in recent years. Thus, it is critical to develop modern techniques which can effectively familiarize budding minds with the latest manufacturing procedures. In fact, the contemporary training methods and advanced education practices are crucial to uphold the interest of the new generation as well as to equip them with state-of the art systems. There is a need for innovative ideas and effective methodologies to inculcate the desired competency and prepare students for prospective manufacturing set ups. In the latest Industry 4.0 paradigm, visualization technologies, especially virtual reality, have been emphasized to sustainably train and educate young students. This work presents a technique for utilizing the leading visualization method based on virtual reality in product manufacturing. It aims to acquaint students with the prominent concept of Industry 4.0, the reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS). The RMS has been a demanding topic for the novice and, most often, amateurs are not able to grasp and interpret it. Therefore, this paper outlines the various steps that can be useful for students in order to anticipate the RMS design, interact with it, understand its operation, and evaluate its performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Engineering Education in Industry 4.0 Era)
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Open AccessCommunication A Pilot Study on the Sound Absorption Characteristics of Chicken Feathers as an Alternative Sustainable Acoustical Material
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051476
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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This communication reports the results of a pilot study on the sound absorption characteristics of chicken feathers (CFs). Recently, demands for natural and sustainable materials have been extensively studied for acoustical purposes. CF has long been left wasted, however, they can be used [...] Read more.
This communication reports the results of a pilot study on the sound absorption characteristics of chicken feathers (CFs). Recently, demands for natural and sustainable materials have been extensively studied for acoustical purposes. CF has long been left wasted, however, they can be used for sound-absorbing purposes to improve acoustical environments as a sustainable and green acoustical material. In order to clarify their feasibility, samples of CF absorbers of various densities and thicknesses were prepared, and their sound absorption coefficients were measured by the standard impedance tube method. The measured results were also compared with those of conventional glass wools of the same densities and thicknesses. The results show that CFs have potentially good sound-absorption performance, which is similar to typical fibrous materials: increasing with frequency. Results of direct comparison with glass wool demonstrate that the absorption coefficients of CFs are comparable and, at some frequencies, somewhat higher than conventional glass wools in some cases. Additionally, the first step for searching a prediction method for the sound absorption performance of CFs, their flow resistivity was measured and a Delany–Bazley–Miki model was examined. However, the resultant flow resistivity was unexpectedly low, and the model gave only a much lower value than that measured. The reason for the discrepancies is the subject of a future study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Acoustic Materials)
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