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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 9 (May-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In this article, we highlight the importance of personal competencies for sustainable consumer [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A Data-Driven Approach to Development of a Taxonomy Framework for Triple Bottom Line Metrics
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2717; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092717
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
This paper proposes a data-driven approach to develop a taxonomy in a data structure on list for triple bottom line (TBL) metrics. The approach is built from the authors reflection on the subject and review of the literature about TBL. The envisaged taxonomy [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a data-driven approach to develop a taxonomy in a data structure on list for triple bottom line (TBL) metrics. The approach is built from the authors reflection on the subject and review of the literature about TBL. The envisaged taxonomy framework grid to be developed through this approach will enable existing metrics to be classified, grouped, and standardized, as well as detect the need for further metrics development in uncovered domains and applications. The approach reported aims at developing a taxonomy structure that can be seen as a bi-dimensional table focusing on feature interrogations and characterizing answers, which will be the basis on which the taxonomy can then be developed. The interrogations column is designed as the stack of the TBL metrics features: What type of metric is it (qualitative, quantitative, or hybrid)? What is the level of complexity of the problems where it is used? What standards does it follow? How is the measurement made, and what are the techniques that it uses? In what kinds of problems, subjects, and domains is the metric used? How is the metric validated? What is the method used in its calculation? The column of characterizing answers results from a categorization of the range of types of answers to the feature interrogations. The approach reported in this paper is based on a screening tool that searches and analyzes information both within abstracts and full-text journal papers. The vision for this future taxonomy is that it will enable locating for any specific context, discern what TBL metrics are used in that context or similar contexts, or whether there is a lack of developed metrics. This meta knowledge will enable a conscious decision to be made between creating a new metric or using one of those that already exists. In this latter case, it would also make it possible to choose, among several metrics, the one that is most appropriate to the context at hand. In addition, this future framework will ease new future literature revisions, when these are viewed as updates of this envisaged taxonomy. This would allow creating a dynamic taxonomy for TBL metrics. This paper presents a computational approach to develop such taxonomy, and reports on the initial steps taken in that direction, by creating a taxonomy framework grid with a computational approach. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Telecoupled Sustainable Livelihoods in an Era of Rural–Urban Dynamics: The Case of China
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2716; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092716
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Recently, increasingly sophisticated studies have investigated the relationship between agrarian livelihoods and the environment, as well as rural–urban interactions in developing countries. The policies developed to respond to these dynamics can constrain livelihood options or provide additional opportunities. In the present study, using [...] Read more.
Recently, increasingly sophisticated studies have investigated the relationship between agrarian livelihoods and the environment, as well as rural–urban interactions in developing countries. The policies developed to respond to these dynamics can constrain livelihood options or provide additional opportunities. In the present study, using a modified version of the telecoupled sustainable livelihood framework to generalize dynamic livelihood strategies in the context of rural–urban transformation and by focusing on recent research in China, we review important factors that shape rural livelihood strategies as well as the types of strategies that typically intersect with livelihood and environmental dynamics. We then examine telecoupled rural–urban linkages given that the dynamics of the livelihood strategies of farmers can cause flows of labor, capital, ecosystem services, and other processes between rural and urban areas, thereby placing livelihood strategies in a dynamic context, which has not been considered widely in previous research. We show that most previous studies focused on the reduction of environmental impacts via livelihood diversification and rural–urban migration. We propose several areas for future policy development and research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with Household Food Security in Zambia
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092715
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Food security is a global challenge and threatens mainly smallholder farmers in developing countries. The main aim of this paper is to determine factors that are associated with food security in Zambia. This study utilizes the household questionnaire survey dataset of 400 smallholder [...] Read more.
Food security is a global challenge and threatens mainly smallholder farmers in developing countries. The main aim of this paper is to determine factors that are associated with food security in Zambia. This study utilizes the household questionnaire survey dataset of 400 smallholder farmers in four districts conducted in southern Zambia in 2016. To measure food security, the study employs two food security indicators, namely the food consumption score (FCS) and the household hunger scale (HHS). Two ordered probit models are estimated with the dependent variables FCS and HHS. Both the FCS and HHS models’ findings reveal that higher education levels of household head, increasing livestock income, secure land tenure, increasing land size, and group membership increase the probability of household food and nutrition security. The results imply that policies supporting livestock development programs such as training of farmers in animal husbandry, as well as policies increasing land tenure security and empowerment of farmers groups, have the potential to enhance household food and nutrition security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicted Absorption Performance of Cylindrical and Rectangular Permeable Membrane Space Sound Absorbers Using the Three-Dimensional Boundary Element Method
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2714; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092714
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Three-dimensional, permeable membrane space sound absorbers have been proposed as practical and economical alternatives to three-dimensional, microperforated panel space sound absorbers. Previously, the sound absorption characteristics of a three-dimensional, permeable membrane space sound absorber were predicted using the two-dimensional boundary element method, but [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional, permeable membrane space sound absorbers have been proposed as practical and economical alternatives to three-dimensional, microperforated panel space sound absorbers. Previously, the sound absorption characteristics of a three-dimensional, permeable membrane space sound absorber were predicted using the two-dimensional boundary element method, but the prediction accuracy was impractical. Herein, a more accurate prediction method is proposed using the three-dimensional boundary element method. In the three-dimensional analysis, incident waves from the elevation angle direction and reflected waves from the floor are considered, using the mirror image. In addition, the dissipated energy ratio is calculated based on the sound absorption of a surface with a unit sound absorption power. To validate the three-dimensional numerical method, and to estimate the improvement in prediction accuracy, the results are compared with those of the measurements and two-dimensional analysis. For cylindrical and rectangular space sound absorbers, three-dimensional analysis provides a significantly improved prediction accuracy for any shape and membrane sample that is suitable for practical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Acoustic Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Sharing, and Innovation Performance: Evidence from the Chinese Construction Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092713
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Knowledge economy era is an era driven by innovation, mainly based on the input of intangible assets which plays decisive roles in the long-term development of enterprises. The product value of enterprises is largely determined by their intellectual capital. Therefore, as pillars of [...] Read more.
Knowledge economy era is an era driven by innovation, mainly based on the input of intangible assets which plays decisive roles in the long-term development of enterprises. The product value of enterprises is largely determined by their intellectual capital. Therefore, as pillars of China’s economy, construction enterprises must strengthen their investments in intellectual capital, and to achieve competitiveness in the market, enterprises must share knowledge with the other members of their networks. This study explores the relationship among the intellectual capital, knowledge sharing, and innovation performance of construction enterprises and the mediating effect of knowledge sharing on the relationship between intellectual capital and innovation performance by using data collected from a questionnaire survey. These data are analyzed along with the aforementioned relationships by using SPSS and a structural equation model. The findings indicate that intellectual capital not only has a direct positive influence on the innovation performance of construction enterprises but also positively affects their innovation performance through knowledge sharing. This paper concludes by presenting its limitations and the implications of its findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knowledge and Intellectual Capital Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Proposed Consecutive Uncertainty Analysis Procedure of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Model Output for Products
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2712; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092712
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
The study objective was to develop a method for an uncertainty analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission model output based on consecutive use of an analytical and a stochastic approach. The contribution to variance (CTV) analysis followed by the data quality analysis [...] Read more.
The study objective was to develop a method for an uncertainty analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission model output based on consecutive use of an analytical and a stochastic approach. The contribution to variance (CTV) analysis followed by the data quality analysis are the main feature of the procedure. When a set of data points of a certain input variable has a high CTV, but its data quality indicator (DQI) is good, then there is no need to iterate data collection of this input variable. This is because the DQI of this data set indicates that there is no room for the reduction of its variance, and the high variance must be its inherent attribute. Through the CTV analysis and data quality analysis, the identified input variables were selected as the input variables for the data from the iteration of data collection. The statistical parameters of the GHG emissions of the model were calculated using the Monte Carlo simulation (MCS). In the case study of a cattle dairy farm, the relative reduction in the CV value was 47.6%. In this study, a procedure was developed for the selection of the input variables for iteration of data collection to reduce their variance and subsequently reduce the uncertainty in the model output. The dairy cow case study showed that the uncertainty in the model output was decreased by the iteration of data collection, indicating that CTV analysis can be used to identify the input variables, contributing considerably to the uncertainty in the model output. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Capability of the Invasive Tree Prosopis glandulosa Torr. to Remediate Soil Treated with Sewage Sludge
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2711; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092711
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Sewage sludge improves agricultural soil and plant growth, but there are hazards associated with its use, including high metal(loid) contents. An experimental study was conducted under greenhouse conditions to examine the effects of sewage sludge on growth of the invasive tree Prosopis glandulosa [...] Read more.
Sewage sludge improves agricultural soil and plant growth, but there are hazards associated with its use, including high metal(loid) contents. An experimental study was conducted under greenhouse conditions to examine the effects of sewage sludge on growth of the invasive tree Prosopis glandulosa, as well as to determine its phytoremediation capacity. Plants were established and grown for seven months along a gradient of sewage sludge content. Plant traits, soil properties, and plant and soil concentrations of N, P, K, Cd, Pb, Cu, Ni, Zn, Cr, Co, As, and Fe were recorded. The addition of sewage sludge led to a significant decrease in soil pH, and Ni, Co, and As concentrations, as well as an increase in soil organic matter and the concentrations of N, P, Cu, Zn, and Cr. Increasing sewage sludge content in the growth medium raised the total uptake of most metals by P. glandulosa plants due to higher biomass accumulation (taller plants with more leaves) and higher metal concentrations in the plant tissues. P. glandulosa concentrated more Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Fe in its below-ground biomass (BGB) than in its above-ground biomass (AGB). P. glandulosa concentrated Ni, Co, and As in both BGB and AGB. P. glandulosa has potential as a biotool for the phytoremediation of sewage sludges and sewage-amended soils in arid and semi-arid environments, with a potential accumulation capability for As in plant leaves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Reverse Logistics Network Design Considering Multi-Level Investments for Facility Reconstruction with Environmental Considerations
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2710; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092710
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Reverse logistics is convincingly one of the most efficient solutions to reduce environmental pollution and waste of resources by capturing and recovering the values of the used products. Many studies have been developed for decision-making at tactical, practical, and operational levels of the [...] Read more.
Reverse logistics is convincingly one of the most efficient solutions to reduce environmental pollution and waste of resources by capturing and recovering the values of the used products. Many studies have been developed for decision-making at tactical, practical, and operational levels of the reverse supply chain. However, many enterprises face a challenge that is how to design the reverse logistics networks into their existing forward logistics networks to account for both economic and environmental sustainability. In this case, it is necessary to design a novel reverse logistics network by reconstructing the facilities based on the existing forward logistics network. Multi-level investments are considered for facility reconstruction because more investment and more advanced remanufacturing technologies need to be applied to reduce the carbon emissions and improve facility capacities. Besides, uncertain elements include the demand for new products and return quantity of used products, making this problem challenging. To handle those uncertain elements, a bi-objective stochastic integer nonlinear programming model is proposed to facilitate this novel reverse logistics network design problem with economic and environmental objectives, where tactical decisions of facility locations, investment level choices, item flows, and vehicle assignments are involved. To show the applicability and computational efficiency of the proposed model, several numerical experiments with sensitivity analysis are provided. Finally, the trade-off between the profit and carbon emissions is presented and the sensitive analysis of changing several key input parameters is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Intelligent Manufacturing Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction of Public Transport Accessibility and Residential Property Values Using Smart Card Data
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2709; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092709
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
This study examines the relationship between residential property values and accessibility indicators derived from transit smart card data. The use of smart card data to estimate accessibility indicators for explaining the housing market has not yet been explored in the literature. Hence, this [...] Read more.
This study examines the relationship between residential property values and accessibility indicators derived from transit smart card data. The use of smart card data to estimate accessibility indicators for explaining the housing market has not yet been explored in the literature. Hence, this paper employs information from Brisbane, Australia’s “go card” and corresponding property data to develop residential property hedonic pricing models using an ordinary least square (OLS) model, a spatial lagged model (SL), a spatial error model (SE), and a geographically weighted regression (GWR). Due to the systematic coincidence between location and price similarities, these spatial econometric models yield superior goodness-of-fit over the OLS model. Using the proposed definition of public transit accessibility in this study, it was found that properties located in well-connected, well-serviced, and accessible locations generally experience premiums in their values. The results indicate that there is value added to the property market from the public investment in public transport services and infrastructure, which supports the adoption of transit funding mechanisms, such as value-capture taxes. Furthermore, the analysis of spatial interactions between transport accessibility and the housing market could be of use to policy makers to ensure a just distribution of capital investment in future infrastructure projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis of Grey Multiattribute Decision-Making Optimization Concerning Gender and Sustainable Environment
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092708
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation, but does not compromise the satisfaction of future generations’ needs. It emphasizes the concept of needs and constraints. Women’s lack of development is not the result of insufficient involvement [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation, but does not compromise the satisfaction of future generations’ needs. It emphasizes the concept of needs and constraints. Women’s lack of development is not the result of insufficient involvement in production, but the fact that much of the cost paid by women is ignored and they do not get the rewards and affirmations they deserve. There are also many other factors of uncertainty. Therefore, this study considers that grey multiattribute decision-making refers to when there are factors of uncertain or incomplete information in the process of decision-making, after obtaining the actual decision-making combination effect by calculating the effect of the combination of all possible decision-making elements to select a scheme according to the decision matrix. The research results show that a mixed economic system is the best scheme for women’s economic security. Developing a gender and sustainable environment can be optimized by actively creating new friendly workplace practices, including designing flexible working hours and working environments, promoting multiple vacation schemes, assisting employees in their career development, and providing family care and support services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Modeling Soil Nitrogen Content in South Patagonia across a Climate Gradient, Vegetation Type, and Grazing
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092707
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Soil total nitrogen (N) stock in rangelands, shrublands, and forests support key ecological functions such as the capacity of the land to sustain plant and animal productivity and ecosystem services. The objective of this study was to model soil total N stocks and [...] Read more.
Soil total nitrogen (N) stock in rangelands, shrublands, and forests support key ecological functions such as the capacity of the land to sustain plant and animal productivity and ecosystem services. The objective of this study was to model soil total N stocks and soil C/N ratio from 0–30 cm depth across the region using freely accessible information on topography, climate, and vegetation with a view to establishing a baseline against which sustainable land management practices can be evaluated in Southern Patagonia. We used stepwise multiple regression to determine which independent variables best explained soil total N variation across the landscape in Southern Patagonia. We then used multiple regression models to upscale and produce maps of soil total N and C/N across the Santa Cruz province. Soil total N stock to 30 cm ranged from 0.13 to 2.21 kg N m−2, and soil C/N ratios ranged from 4.5 to 26.8. The model for variation of soil total N stock explained 88% of the variance on the data and the most powerful predictor variables were: isothermality, elevation, and vegetation cover (normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)). Soil total N and soil C/N ratios were allocated to three categories (low, medium, high) and these three levels were used to map the variation of soil total N and soil C/N ratios across Southern Patagonia. The results demonstrate that soil total N decreases as desertification increases, probably due to erosional processes, and that soil C/N is lower at low temperatures and increased with increasing precipitation. Soil total N and soil C/N ratios are critical variables that determine system capacity for productivity, especially the provisioning ecosystem services, and can serve as baselines against which efforts to adopt more sustainable land management practices in Patagonia can be assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Saline and Deficit Irrigation on Soil-Plant Water Status and Potato Crop Yield under the Semiarid Climate of Tunisia
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2706; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092706
Received: 7 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Water supplies have been decreasing in several semi-arid regions, and it is therefore necessary to adopt irrigation strategies aimed at maximizing water use efficiency. In this paper, the effects of saline and deficit irrigation on water use efficiency and on potato crop response, [...] Read more.
Water supplies have been decreasing in several semi-arid regions, and it is therefore necessary to adopt irrigation strategies aimed at maximizing water use efficiency. In this paper, the effects of saline and deficit irrigation on water use efficiency and on potato crop response, based on observations of soil and plant water status, were investigated. Experiments were carried out in Central Tunisia, by monitoring potato crop growth during two seasons in four distinct treatments (T1–T4), represented by two different irrigation doses and two water qualities. For irrigation scheduling purposes, thresholds of soil matric potential, soil water content and Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) were identified with the aim to quantify the effects of water and/or salinity stress on the achievable yield. Experiments allowed verifying that crop yield is strongly affected by the seasonal amount and quality of applied water. Despite differences of crop yield between treatments T2, T3 and T4 not being statistically significant (P < 0.05), crop yield varied between 26.3 t/ha (T3 in 2015) to 16.3 t/ha (T4 in 2015). However, crop yield decline of 17.0 t/ha and 12.0 t/ha per each 100 mm decrease of applied water were observed under the application of water electrical conductivity of 1.6 dS/m and 4.1 dS/m respectively. On the other hand, an increase of 1.0 dS/m in water electrical conductivity caused a yield decline rate of about 10%. The results achieved showed that under the semi-arid climate of Tunisia, potato crop irrigation should be scheduled to avoid water deficit; however, the possibility to reduce water supply can be envisaged when water availability is limited, but with the awareness to accept the shortage of production. Finally, when saline water is the only source available to the farm, it is necessary to avoid the reduction of irrigation doses, to prevent excessive salt accumulation in the root zone with unavoidable effects on crop yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Land Degradation along the China-Mongolia Railway (Mongolia)
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2705; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092705
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
The increasingly serious problem of land degradation has a direct impact on the ecosystem and sustainable development in Mongolia. The influence of land degradation on the main China–Mongolia–Russia traffic arteries is currently unclear and poses a risk to the construction of transportation infrastructure. [...] Read more.
The increasingly serious problem of land degradation has a direct impact on the ecosystem and sustainable development in Mongolia. The influence of land degradation on the main China–Mongolia–Russia traffic arteries is currently unclear and poses a risk to the construction of transportation infrastructure. In this study, for the first time, we obtained land cover data from 1990, 2010, and 2015, at a 30 m, resolution based on the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) images along the China–Mongolia railway (Mongolia section). We then analyzed the change in the obtained land cover data using the geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis technology to obtain the land pattern and development trend of this region. Results showed that the newly-increased degraded land was distributed mainly in the center of the region and tended to expand northward. The joint effect of natural and socioeconomic factors resulted in land degradation. We speculated that the significant temperature fluctuation and the decrease in rainfall were the inducing factors. Population migration, overgrazing, infrastructure construction, unreasonable mineral exploitation, and rapid urbanization aggravate the degree of land degradation. It is thus necessary to use a broader view to observe patterns of desertification and variations in regions along the Railway facing its sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of the Loss on Ignition of Fly Ash on the Properties of High-Volume Fly Ash Concrete
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2704; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092704
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
This study presents the experimental results of fresh and hardened properties of concrete incorporating high-volume fly ash (HVFA). Two kinds of low-calcium fly ash with loss on ignition (LOI) of 5% and 8% were used as replacement for cement and/or fine aggregate of [...] Read more.
This study presents the experimental results of fresh and hardened properties of concrete incorporating high-volume fly ash (HVFA). Two kinds of low-calcium fly ash with loss on ignition (LOI) of 5% and 8% were used as replacement for cement and/or fine aggregate of 0% (control), 20%, 40%, 50%, 60% and 80% by weight of the total cementitious materials. The properties of fresh concrete tested included the slump, air content, unit weight and setting time; those of hardened concrete determined included compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, flexural strength and drying shrinkage. Test results indicate that the concretes made with high-LOI (8%) fly ash can be successfully produced for structural concrete, which contains fly ash of up to 60% of the total cementitious materials. The high-LOI fly ash-concretes with higher replacement levels presented longer setting times. However, although both the fresh and hardened properties of high LOI fly ash concretes were inferior to those of the low-LOI (5%) fly ash concretes, the high modulus of elasticity, the adequate strength development characteristics both at early and later ages (up to 365 days) and the low dry shrinkage were observed when compared to those of the control concrete with a comparable 28-day compressive strength of 30 MPa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Attitude towards Bike Use in Rende, a Small Town in South Italy
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092703
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
The bike can contribute to the development of sustainable mobility. This requires interventions to promote bike use, such as increasing the cyclist safety, construction of bikeways, and provision of ancillary services and bike sharing activities. In the literature many studies focus on bike [...] Read more.
The bike can contribute to the development of sustainable mobility. This requires interventions to promote bike use, such as increasing the cyclist safety, construction of bikeways, and provision of ancillary services and bike sharing activities. In the literature many studies focus on bike use and agree with the application of such interventions. However, these studies are often related to specific urban areas that are very different; the transferability of results and models has not been adequately analyzed. This work investigates the attitudes towards cycling in Rende, a small town in Southern Italy. The aim is to determine in what conditions the users would be willing to use bicycles in relation to the trip purpose, the presence or absence of cycle paths, and the availability of bike sharing services. Different factors, such as age, gender, and occupation, are taken into account. The results show that the bike use could be incentivized by enlarging the existent bike network, adopting bike sharing systems, and promoting specific policies oriented to sustainable transport modes. Furthermore, two aspects emerged from the analysis: the importance of studying the propensity to use bikes by different groups of users and the importance of focusing interventions on market segments with greater willingness to bike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Product Consistency and Consumer Resistance to Innovation on Green Product Diffusion in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2702; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092702
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
As consumers are becoming concernedabout environmental sustainability, firms are motivated to develop green products that adopt sustainable innovation or materials. This study contributes to the existing literature by specifically examining how consumers react to a firm’s green product introduction (i.e., the diffusion process [...] Read more.
As consumers are becoming concernedabout environmental sustainability, firms are motivated to develop green products that adopt sustainable innovation or materials. This study contributes to the existing literature by specifically examining how consumers react to a firm’s green product introduction (i.e., the diffusion process of the green product) based on two factors: the extent to which the new green product shares common characteristics with the existing product offerings and the extent to which customers are resistant to innovation. The findings suggest that when firms introduce green products to the market, they need to consider the product consistency between existing product offerings and the new green product as well as the consumer resistance to new innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of Major Asian Airline Companies Using DEA Window Model and Grey Theory
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2701; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092701
Received: 16 March 2019 / Revised: 28 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
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Abstract
Being an essential part of the global transport system, airline transportation is capable of delivering fast service for passengers and commodities. In the past decade, the Asia aviation industry has experienced a high growth rate of transport due to higher economic development in [...] Read more.
Being an essential part of the global transport system, airline transportation is capable of delivering fast service for passengers and commodities. In the past decade, the Asia aviation industry has experienced a high growth rate of transport due to higher economic development in this area, and this trend is expected to continue in the next two decades. However, competition in the Asia aviation industry will increase dramatically. To survive in the Asia aviation industry, the Asia airline companies should understand their current and future performance. A methodology for this purpose is required. This paper proposes a hybrid approach, combining Grey model GM(1,1) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) Window model, to satisfy this need. The hybrid approach proposed in this research has been used to evaluate the current and future performance of 16 major Asia airline companies. The DEA Window analysis showed that airline companies Emirates, Cebu Pacific, and Sri Lankan were leading companies in the time period of 2012 to 2016, while Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, and All Nippon Airways followed behind. We found that Chinese airline corporations are rising in the Asia aviation industry. All 16 Asia airline companies studied in the research were found to improve their productivity in the time period of 2017 to 2021 as their Malmquist productivity indexes (MPIs) are greater than 1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serpentinite from Moeche (Galicia, North Western Spain). A Stone Used for Centuries in the Construction of the Architectural Heritage of the Region
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2700; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092700
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
Serpentinites are characterized by highly variable mineralogical, physical, and mechanical properties. Serpentinites from Moeche (North Western Spain) have been studied to establish their mineralogical, petrographic, and textural characteristics, as well as their physical and mechanical parameters and the factors influencing rock failure, to [...] Read more.
Serpentinites are characterized by highly variable mineralogical, physical, and mechanical properties. Serpentinites from Moeche (North Western Spain) have been studied to establish their mineralogical, petrographic, and textural characteristics, as well as their physical and mechanical parameters and the factors influencing rock failure, to evaluate the possible use of these rocks either for new construction or for conservation-restoration of the architectonic heritage of the region. In this paper, we highlight the importance of a detailed mineralogical and petrographic characterization in the fracture zones, which will determine the viability of quarrying the stone. A strong correlation between the petrographic features and the uniaxial compression strength values has been observed. The most important aspects were found to be the rock texture, the mineralogical composition of the fracture area and foliation, although mineralogy was also found to be involved (% of carbonates) in the strength of the stone. An important preliminary result of the study was the low asbestos content of these serpentinites, which will help in the potential re-opening of the quarries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated BIM-Parametric Workflow-Based Analysis of Daylight Improvement for Sustainable Renovation of an Exemplary Apartment in Seoul, Korea
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2699; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092699
Received: 7 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
More than 60% of housing in South Korea consists of mass constructed apartment neighborhoods. Due to poor quality construction materials and components, the average operative life of apartment buildings is 20 years. The rapid degradation and low maintenance condition of transparent and semi-opaque [...] Read more.
More than 60% of housing in South Korea consists of mass constructed apartment neighborhoods. Due to poor quality construction materials and components, the average operative life of apartment buildings is 20 years. The rapid degradation and low maintenance condition of transparent and semi-opaque components, as well as the limited daylight access in the standard apartment layout, are cause for the lower visual comfort of occupants. This research analyzes the improvement in visual comfort for the renovation of an exemplary apartment unit in Seoul, using Building Information Modeling (BIM) and parametric environmental analysis tools. The existing apartment is virtually reconstructed with BIM software. The building model is exported to Computer-Aided Design software to execute parametric daylight analyses through environmental simulation software. An enhanced modular building envelope and apartment layout are developed to reduce the energy demand for heating, cooling, artificial lighting, and to improve visual and thermal comfort. The visual comfort analysis of the refurbished apartment results in average improvements of 15% in terms of Daylight Factor and 30% of daylight autonomy. Therefore, this research proposes, the renovation of aged Korean apartment buildings to enhance daylighting and visual comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Habitat)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Planning Policy for Realizing Public Objectives Through Private Development in Seoul
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2698; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092698
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
This study aims to examine the relationship between urban development by the private sector and the urban planning incentive policy “FAR (Floor Area Ratio) bonus” and its effects on the city of Seoul in Korea. The results and characteristics of the incentive policy [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the relationship between urban development by the private sector and the urban planning incentive policy “FAR (Floor Area Ratio) bonus” and its effects on the city of Seoul in Korea. The results and characteristics of the incentive policy in the development process over the last five years in Seoul are investigated. An in-depth analysis of the mechanism of the floor area ratio incentive was conducted alongside measuring public design elements and the additional floor area compensated by private sectors for public benefit. The outcome of summarizing incentive implementations via quantitative analysis indicated that the policy focused on a narrow scope of target items, resulting in an imbalance in the implementation of public benefits and inflated incentive provisions. These quantitative results, exceeding those in non-special planning districts, misleadingly suggest a significant effectiveness of the incentive policy in generating operative public space. This study argues that the standards for establishing a balance between public and private benefit need a reform toward practical and qualitative impacts, while currently it is evaluated based on mere quantification. In conclusion, it is critical to implement policies that designate necessary public amenities in a selective manner and provide more judicious incentives to achieve a better-balanced planning system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Social Media Can Foster Social Innovation in Disadvantaged Rural Communities
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2697; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092697
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
Social innovation has received widespread attention in the rural development field, especially its contribution to future rural sustainability. Social innovation revolves around social networks. Rural areas, however, can be relatively disadvantaged by their geographical peripherality. Social media, therefore, has strong potential to foster [...] Read more.
Social innovation has received widespread attention in the rural development field, especially its contribution to future rural sustainability. Social innovation revolves around social networks. Rural areas, however, can be relatively disadvantaged by their geographical peripherality. Social media, therefore, has strong potential to foster social innovation by enabling remote communication, but in rural areas, social media use may be low because of an aging and decreasing population. This study examined community-level adoption and use of social media in rural areas in Japan, with a focus on Facebook, for the purpose of sharing community information and facilitating networking with a variety of actors to promote rural social innovation. The study involved a comprehensive search and case studies targeting 139,063 rural communities and 10,922 rural joint-communities, all of which are legally designated agricultural communities throughout Japan. The search found that disadvantaged rural communities’ adoption of Facebook was scarce, and most of the communities that had adopted Facebook did not expand their social networks. Furthermore, investigation into the communities that had adopted social networking to a larger extent revealed that external supporters or migrants had essential roles in successful networking. Based on the obtained findings, this study has provided insights for future policy design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is Gastronomy A Relevant Factor for Sustainable Tourism? An Empirical Analysis of Spain Country Brand
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2696; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092696
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
Tourism has become a fundamental industry for the economic growth of many countries. Due to this, there is growing competitiveness among the different destinations to attract as many tourists as possible. As a result, disciplines such as marketing have developed tools to differentiate [...] Read more.
Tourism has become a fundamental industry for the economic growth of many countries. Due to this, there is growing competitiveness among the different destinations to attract as many tourists as possible. As a result, disciplines such as marketing have developed tools to differentiate some destinations from others and concepts such as place branding and country brand have emerged. One of the key factors forming the country brand is gastronomy, as food tourism is one way to reduce the growing problem of sustainability in tourism, as it impacts different aspects of the country’s environment. However, there is a great lack of scientific works that relate both variables. In this paper, we propose to establish that, in the case of Spain, tourists’ perception of Spanish gastronomy is a key element of its country brand. To do that, this study relies on the use of Partial Least Squares Structural Equations Modeling (PLS-SEM) using a 496 cases data set. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing for Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Industry Integration Improve the Competitiveness of China’s Electronic Information Industry?—Evidence from the Integration of the Electronic Information Industry and Financial Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2695; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092695
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
As the pillar industry of China’s national economy, the electronic information industry plays an important role in social development and has increasingly become an important indicator of international competitiveness in the informatization age. We constructed a fusion evaluation model of the electronic information [...] Read more.
As the pillar industry of China’s national economy, the electronic information industry plays an important role in social development and has increasingly become an important indicator of international competitiveness in the informatization age. We constructed a fusion evaluation model of the electronic information industry and financial industry in China, and used coupling theory to measure the integration degree of the two industries. Next, we empirically measure the impact of the industrial integration level on the competitiveness of the electronic information industry. According to the empirical test, we found that (1) the coupling degree ranged from 0.9 to 1 with minimal changes and that a strong coupling relationship existed between the electronic information industry and financial industry; (2) the coupling coordination degree ranged between 0.59 and 0.80, with a coordination level ranging from primary to intermediate coordination; and (3) the degree of industrial integration had a lagging positive impact on industrial competitiveness. Based on these results, we proposed policy recommendations to strengthen industrial integration and promote the international competitiveness of China’s electronic information industry for various aspects such as government services, technology upgrades, industry integration, and effective capital entry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Fear of Not Flying: Achieving Sustainable Academic Plane Travel in Higher Education Based on Insights from South Australia
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2694; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092694
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 12 May 2019
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Abstract
Universities are both disseminators and producers of the climate knowledge needed to institute the social and cultural change required for climate adaptation and mitigation to occur. They also have the opportunity to lead and model pro-environmental behavior, yet often have large carbon budgets, [...] Read more.
Universities are both disseminators and producers of the climate knowledge needed to institute the social and cultural change required for climate adaptation and mitigation to occur. They also have the opportunity to lead and model pro-environmental behavior, yet often have large carbon budgets, partly caused by staff travel. This paper explores this topic via an institutional case study of what factors motivate the academic community to undertake plane travel and the implications this has for wielding wider societal influence in terms of pro-environmental behavior. We report on a year-long qualitative social science study of academic plane travel at the University of Adelaide, South Australia where we investigated the tension between academic requirements to travel and the institution’s formal commitment to sustainability within the Campus Sustainability Plan. We found that, while many academics were worried about climate change, very few were willing to change their current practice and travel less because they are not institutionally incentivized to do so. There is a fear of not flying: plane travel is perceived as a key driver for career progression and this is an ongoing barrier to pro-environmental behavior. We conclude that institutional and political change will be required for individual change to occur and sustainable agendas to be met within academic communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Leader Encouragement of Creativity on Innovation Speed: Findings from SEM and fsQCA
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2693; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092693
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
Adopting the empowerment perspective of leadership, this study proposes and examines the mediating model that leader encouragement of creativity affects innovation speed through strengthening employees’ engagement in the creative process. Using a sample of 245 participants in China, the results from structural equation [...] Read more.
Adopting the empowerment perspective of leadership, this study proposes and examines the mediating model that leader encouragement of creativity affects innovation speed through strengthening employees’ engagement in the creative process. Using a sample of 245 participants in China, the results from structural equation modeling (SEM) suggest that the impact of leader encouragement of creativity on innovation speed is significantly mediated by creative process engagement, and positively moderated by organizational ambidexterity at the same time. Additionally, the results from fuzzy-set comparative qualitative analysis (fsQCA) with the same data set reveal that the aforementioned factors have a holistic effect on enhancing innovation speed. The results of fsQCA reinforce and refine the findings of the SEM analysis concerning the limits and conditions for how leader encouragement of creativity affects innovation speed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporating In-Stream Nutrient Uptake into River Management: Gipuzkoa Rivers (Basque Country, North Spain) as a Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2692; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092692
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, North Spain) is an industrial region where investments in sanitation and wastewater treatment have improved water quality and partially recovered river biological communities. However, further technological improvements are unlikely. Our objective was to assess whether in-stream self-purification may contribute to [...] Read more.
Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, North Spain) is an industrial region where investments in sanitation and wastewater treatment have improved water quality and partially recovered river biological communities. However, further technological improvements are unlikely. Our objective was to assess whether in-stream self-purification may contribute to improvement of the trophic state of rivers. We propose an integrative approach to assessing river water quality, which diagnoses problems, identifies likely causes and prescribes solutions. We first analysed the loads of nutrients transported by Gipuzkoa rivers and compared them with the potential nutrient uptake rates (estimated from published empirical regressions). In reaches where both of them were within one order of magnitude, we considered that the self-purification capacity of river channels may influence nutrient concentrations. Then, we selected some river reaches where no other water quality problems beyond nutrient concentrations occurred and ran the expert system STREAMES 1.0 to diagnose the problems and detect their causes. The studied reaches differed in their problems and in their potential solutions. We empirically determined nutrient retention in two streams by means of mass balances and slug nutrient additions. We detected large differences in retention capacity between reaches and siltation as one of the main problems affecting the self-purification capacity of the study streams. Finally, we used STREAMES 1.0 to identify potential solutions to specific river sections. The results obtained so far point towards an important potential of in-stream bioreactive capacity to reduce nutrient loads and to specific restoration activities that may improve the functionality and trophic status of the streams in Gipuzkoa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Industrial Hemp Knowledge and Interest among North Carolina Organic Farmers in the United States
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2691; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092691
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa), has been proposed as a new crop that might be of interest to organic farmers in the North Carolina and other states in the United States. However, little is known about how organic farmers view this crop. [...] Read more.
Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa), has been proposed as a new crop that might be of interest to organic farmers in the North Carolina and other states in the United States. However, little is known about how organic farmers view this crop. We conducted a survey among North Carolina certified organic growers to ascertain their knowledge of, and willingness to adopt, industrial hemp. Contact information was obtained from a database of certified organic farmers in North Carolina and the growers were contacted by email and directed to complete an online questionnaire. Growers were asked a wide range of questions about farm characteristics, technology adoption, interest toward industrial hemp, and policy issues regarding hemp adoption. A total of 245 farmers were contacted; 64 started the survey and 35 responded to all questions. Our results indicate that 85% of North Carolina organic growers are interested in growing hemp on their farms and the majority wanted to learn more about the crop production practices, adapted cultivars, and legality of growing it. Seventy-five percent expressed interest in being certified growers while 52% wanted to grow industrial hemp primarily for cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Most (65%) respondents indicate they aspired to be among the first farmers in their area to grow and sell hemp. Growers who have tried new crops or new farming technology in the last three years were more likely to adopt industrial hemp production. These findings will help decision-makers understand the critical concerns of growers who are willing to adopt industrial hemp as an alternative income-generating enterprise. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of CO2 Emissions of Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle and Battery Electric Vehicle Using LCA
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092690
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
In order to reduce vehicle emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) on a global scale, the scope of consideration should be expanded to include the manufacturing, fuel extraction, refinement, power generation, and end-of-life phases of a vehicle, in addition to the actual operational phase. In [...] Read more.
In order to reduce vehicle emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) on a global scale, the scope of consideration should be expanded to include the manufacturing, fuel extraction, refinement, power generation, and end-of-life phases of a vehicle, in addition to the actual operational phase. In this paper, the CO2 emissions of conventional gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles (ICV) were compared with mainstream alternative powertrain technologies, namely battery electric vehicles (BEV), using life-cycle assessment (LCA). In most of the current studies, CO2 emissions were calculated assuming that the region where the vehicles were used, the lifetime driving distance in that region and the CO2 emission from the battery production were fixed. However, in this paper, the life cycle CO2 emissions in each region were calculated taking into consideration the vehicle’s lifetime driving distance in each region and the deviations in CO2 emissions for battery production. For this paper, the US, European Union (EU), Japan, China, and Australia were selected as the reference regions for vehicle operation. The calculated results showed that CO2 emission from the assembly of BEV was larger than that of ICV due to the added CO2 emissions from battery production. However, in regions where renewable energy sources and low CO2 emitting forms of electric power generation are widely used, as vehicle lifetime driving distance increase, the total operating CO2 emissions of BEV become less than that of ICV. But for BEV, the CO2 emissions for replacing the battery with a new one should be added when the lifetime driving distance is over 160,000 km. Moreover, it was shown that the life cycle CO2 emission of ICV was apt to be smaller than that of BEV when the CO2 emissions for battery production were very large. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Corporate–NGO Partnerships through Sustainability Labeling Schemes: Motives and Risks
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092689
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
This article examines the development of partnerships between multinational companies (MNCs) and large nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through voluntary product labeling schemes. First, the economics, management, and business literature are reviewed to highlight cross-checking, consistencies, and complementarities among these disciplines to identify and analyze [...] Read more.
This article examines the development of partnerships between multinational companies (MNCs) and large nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through voluntary product labeling schemes. First, the economics, management, and business literature are reviewed to highlight cross-checking, consistencies, and complementarities among these disciplines to identify and analyze the motives of partnering via voluntary product labeling. This analysis shows that, through such partnerships, companies and NGOs share similar objectives, viability and visibility and exchange essential resources, information and legitimacy. The development of shared goals and the complementarity of resources are the basis for successful partnerships, but they also create a phenomenon of blurred roles between companies and NGOs. Each partner enters the other’s sphere, which allows for better communication among partners, a clear and common vision of the partnership, a mutual trust, and a symmetric commitment of partners, necessary conditions for successful partnerships. However, I show that this phenomenon also leads to new risks for partners: competition, “NGO-capture”, and inconsistency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporating Forests, Agriculture, and Energy Consumption in the Framework of the Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2688; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092688
Received: 13 April 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 11 May 2019
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Abstract
Based on country-specific panel data from 1990–2014 for 86 different countries, we quantify the effects of forests and agricultural land in CO2 emissions, using the framework of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). The results from the dynamic panel data method reveal that [...] Read more.
Based on country-specific panel data from 1990–2014 for 86 different countries, we quantify the effects of forests and agricultural land in CO2 emissions, using the framework of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). The results from the dynamic panel data method reveal that forests are an important determinant in reducing CO2 emissions globally, but the effects vary by region. All else constant, we estimate a 0.11% decline in CO2 emissions per 1% increase in the forest area globally. However, the agricultural sector is found to be a true CO2 emitter. Our study provides additional empirical evidence for the roles of forests in regulating atmospheric CO2, further reinforcing the importance of forests in global climate change policies. Full article
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