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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 13 (July-1 2020) – 266 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper focuses on social farming in Calabria, one of the least developed Italian regions. Calabria suffers from serious problems such as a low level of accessibility, and the presence of Mafia organizations. We wondered whether social farming could make a significant contribution to the social and economic development in the region. Using the data collected by means of a qualitative investigation of some of the most important Calabrian social farms, we studied their characteristics, their strategies, their social mission, and their role in the local socio-economic context. We found that most of them are successful, in both economic and social terms, and their role in the local community is positive. Moreover, they are making a valuable contribution to the cultural change required to overcome the predominance of the Mafia. View this paper
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Article
“Desigrated”-Desiccant Integrated Façade for the Hot-Humid Climate of Bangkok, Thailand
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135490 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
“Desigrated” presented an attempt to integrate heat prevention strategies with low-ex cooling technologies, namely the desiccant and M-cycle evaporative cooling technology, in the form of a façade system for high-rise office buildings. The project targets to provide an alternative cooling solution for the [...] Read more.
“Desigrated” presented an attempt to integrate heat prevention strategies with low-ex cooling technologies, namely the desiccant and M-cycle evaporative cooling technology, in the form of a façade system for high-rise office buildings. The project targets to provide an alternative cooling solution for the hot and humid climate context of Bangkok. The results from experiments by various researchers are used as assumptions in developing the system, which was then evaluated through numerical methods and dynamic simulations. Being one of the prominent dehumidification technologies, a composite silica gel heat exchanger (CCHE) was implemented as the primary part of the façade system, while the M-cycle technology would also be implemented as a secondary cooling technique to cool down the supply air. The evaluation shows a promising result with up to 36% energy consumption reduction in comparison with the conventional cooling system, presenting itself as a transitioning tool in order to replace refrigerant cooling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Article
Magnetic Fe3O4-Ag0 Nanocomposites for Effective Mercury Removal from Water
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135489 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
In this study, magnetic Fe3O4 particles and Fe3O4-Ag0 nanocomposites were prepared by a facile and green method, fully characterized and used for the removal of Hg2+ from water. Characterizations showed that the Fe3 [...] Read more.
In this study, magnetic Fe3O4 particles and Fe3O4-Ag0 nanocomposites were prepared by a facile and green method, fully characterized and used for the removal of Hg2+ from water. Characterizations showed that the Fe3O4 particles are quasi-spherical with an average diameter of 217 nm and metallic silver nanoparticles formed on the surface with a size of 23–41 nm. The initial Hg2+ removal rate was very fast followed by a slow increase and the maximum solid phase loading was 71.3 mg/g for the Fe3O4-Ag0 and 28 mg/g for the bare Fe3O4. The removal mechanism is complex, involving Hg2+ adsorption and reduction, Fe2+ and Ag0 oxidation accompanied with reactions of Cl with Hg+ and Ag+. The facile and green synthesis process, the fast kinetics and high removal capacity and the possibility of magnetic separation make Fe3O4-Ag0 nanocomposites attractive materials for the removal of Hg2+ from water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Heavy Metals)
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Article
The Role of Agriculture in Ensuring Food Security in Developing Countries: Considerations in the Context of the Problem of Sustainable Food Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135488 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2351
Abstract
Ensuring food security has become an issue of key importance to countries with different degrees of economic development, while the agricultural sector plays a strategic role in improving food availability. The aim of this paper is to identify relationships between the undernourishment scale [...] Read more.
Ensuring food security has become an issue of key importance to countries with different degrees of economic development, while the agricultural sector plays a strategic role in improving food availability. The aim of this paper is to identify relationships between the undernourishment scale and selected characteristics describing the agricultural sector within identified clusters of developing countries. Typological groups of countries were separated using Ward’s method. It results from the analyses that the greatest problems with maintaining food security are observed in the developing countries with a high share of agriculture in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adverse conditions hindering agricultural production and deficient infrastructure. Based on research results desirable and tailored strategies for food security improvement in individual clusters were developed. Promoting investments in agricultural infrastructure and extension services along with adopting measures aimed at increasing the households’ purchasing power, especially those in rural areas, appear to be key drivers for improving both food availability and food access. The paper focuses not only on identifying the reasons of undernourishment, but also contributes to recognition of the most effective ways to solve the hunger problem under a country’s unique conditions. It offers a comprehensive perspective for the policy formulation in various areas world-wide, which may be of interest to scholars and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Rural Areas and Agriculture)
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Article
Emerging Biophilic Urbanism: The Value of the Human–Nature Relationship in the Urban Space
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135487 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
The research presented in this article adopts an urban sociology perspective to explore the relationship between spaces designed with biophilic principles and people’s pro-environmental values and behaviors. The research hypothesized that biophilic design and planning promote connectedness with nature and are positively related [...] Read more.
The research presented in this article adopts an urban sociology perspective to explore the relationship between spaces designed with biophilic principles and people’s pro-environmental values and behaviors. The research hypothesized that biophilic design and planning promote connectedness with nature and are positively related to pro-environmental and more sustainable values and behaviors. The contemporary city asserts the need for new paradigms and conceptual frameworks for reconfiguring the relationship between the urban environment and the natural environment. In order to understand whether biophilic design, planning, and policies can meet the global challenges regarding the future existence on earth of humans, focus groups were conducted to investigate how people’s relationship with the built-up space and the natural landscape is perceived, and to what extent the inclusion of nature and its patterns at various levels of urban planning meets people’s expectations. The results suggest that biophilic design and planning can be considered a useful paradigm to deal with the challenges that are posed by the city of the future, also in terms of sustainability, by reinterpreting and enhancing the human–nature relation in the urban context. Full article
Article
Analysis of Plant-Production-Obtained Biomass in Function of Sustainable Energy
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135486 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
This research analyzed the degree of utilization of the agricultural biomass for energy purposes (combustion), in order to indicate the reasons that limit its use. The biomass potential was studied by means of the methodology of the biomass potential, whereas the factors suggesting [...] Read more.
This research analyzed the degree of utilization of the agricultural biomass for energy purposes (combustion), in order to indicate the reasons that limit its use. The biomass potential was studied by means of the methodology of the biomass potential, whereas the factors suggesting a low degree of biomass utilization were identified by means of factor analysis. The research results reveal that there is an enormous potential of the unused agricultural biomass. This dissertation research significantly contributes to the establishment of a genuine mathematical model based on multiple linear regression. The solution obtained by this analysis, in both a mathematical and a scientific manner, conveys the primary reasons for an insufficient utilization of the biomass for energy purposes. Moreover, the paper suggests the measures to be applied for a more substantial use of this renewable source of energy and presents the expected benefits to be gained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Organic Agriculture for Developing Agribusiness Sector)
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Article
Business Cycle, SSE Policy, and Cooperatives: The Case of Ecuador
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135485 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Over the last few decades, the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has undergone complex changes, from being undervalued to being institutionalized as a key sector in the economy. Within this context of change, Ecuador is a remarkable example of a country that has [...] Read more.
Over the last few decades, the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has undergone complex changes, from being undervalued to being institutionalized as a key sector in the economy. Within this context of change, Ecuador is a remarkable example of a country that has revamped its public policy to situate the SSE in a position of prominence on the national landscape. Using the business cycle theory and based on a model of panel data from 2007–2017, this article attempts to empirically validate that the relationship between the size of Ecuadorian cooperatives, as core businesses of SSE, is coupled with the expansive and destructive economic cycles by adding two more variables: business structure and public policy. From a global perspective, the results confirm a procyclical of the behavior of cooperatives and the positive impact of the new public policy. However, the sectoral and territorial analysis concludes that only production cooperatives in the primary sector have grown in the new institutional framework, and that this growth is concentrated in provinces with a strong cooperative tradition. Full article
Article
Effects of Default Option and Lateral Presentation on Consumer Choice of the Sustainable Option in an Online Choice Task
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135484 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 851
Abstract
In order to reduce the environmental impact of products, sustainability must be improved in many industries. One way to accomplish this aim is to influence consumers by means of nudging in order to choose more sustainable products in online choices. We investigated whether [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the environmental impact of products, sustainability must be improved in many industries. One way to accomplish this aim is to influence consumers by means of nudging in order to choose more sustainable products in online choices. We investigated whether the lateral presentation of products from left to right or from right to left, along with using a status quo default option, influence sustainable choices of make-up products. A pilot study has been conducted in order to obtain background information on make-up choices. Next, an online, quantitative experiment has been conducted in which 330 women together made 1094 hypothetical make-up product choices. Making the sustainable option the default resulted in more sustainable choices than making unsustainable products the default. The left–right versus right–left presentation of products did not significantly influence consumer choices. Furthermore, higher educated people and those finding sustainability important relatively often chose a sustainable make-up product. People frequently wearing make-up and those finding a low price important relatively often chose an unsustainable make-up product. Our experiment suggests that making sustainable products the default choice makes a sustainable choice about 8% more likely than making unsustainable products the default choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Commentary
Regenerative—The New Sustainable?
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135483 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
Over time, sustainability paradigms have evolved from meeting human needs throughout time to improving human wellbeing and the viability of ecological systems. Regenerative sustainability (RS), the next wave of sustainability, includes and transcends these goals, aiming for thriving living systems in which whole-system [...] Read more.
Over time, sustainability paradigms have evolved from meeting human needs throughout time to improving human wellbeing and the viability of ecological systems. Regenerative sustainability (RS), the next wave of sustainability, includes and transcends these goals, aiming for thriving living systems in which whole-system health and wellbeing increase continually. A key difference between sustainability paradigms is the thinking underlying them, with regenerative sustainability based on a holistic worldview and paradigm, integrating recent understandings from science and practice, different ways of knowing, and inner and outer dimensions of sustainability necessary for systemic transformation. RS, practiced through regenerative development and design for over 50 years, aligns human consciousness and actions with living systems principles. When this alignment occurs, sustainable development goals are elevated to become regenerative development goals, with living systems principles and characteristics guiding the development of regenerative indicators and strategies made specific to a place through transformational co-creative processes. We should aim for regenerative sustainability because it offers holistic approaches based on how thriving living systems function, addresses the root causes of (un)sustainability, and is inherently more inspiring and motivational. Advancing regenerative sustainability will require fundamental shifts supported by more awareness and education, theoretical and practical development, leadership, empowering communities, and integrating spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scientific Research on Sustainable Development Goals)
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Article
Performance of Different Catalysts for the In Situ Cracking of the Oil-Waxes Obtained by the Pyrolysis of Polyethylene Film Waste
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135482 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Currently, society is facing a great environmental problem, due to the large amount of plastic waste generated, most of which is not subjected to any type of treatment. In this work, polyethylene film waste from the non-selectively collected fraction was catalytically pyrolyzed at [...] Read more.
Currently, society is facing a great environmental problem, due to the large amount of plastic waste generated, most of which is not subjected to any type of treatment. In this work, polyethylene film waste from the non-selectively collected fraction was catalytically pyrolyzed at 500 °C, 20 °C/min for 2 h, in a discontinuous reactor using nitrogen as an inert gas stream. The main objective of this paper is to find catalysts that decrease the viscosity of the liquid fraction, since this property is quite meaningful in thermal pyrolysis. For this purpose, the three products of catalytic pyrolysis, the gaseous fraction, the solid fraction and the liquid fraction, were separated, obtaining the yield values. After that, the aspect of the liquid fraction was studied, differentiating which catalysts produced a larger quantity of waxy fraction and which ones did not. The viscosity of these samples was measured in order to confirm the catalysts that helped to obtain a less waxy fraction. The results showed that the zeolites Y and the zeolites β used in this study favor the obtaining of a compound with a smaller amount of waxes than for example catalysts such as FCC, ZSM-5 or SnCl2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plastic Waste and Pollution)
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Article
Genetic and Morphologic Variation in a Potential Mosquito Biocontrol Agent, Hydrochara Affinis (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae)
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135481 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Hydrochara affinis (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), a water scavenger beetle, was recently identified as a natural and effective agent for biological mosquito control; it was reported to exhibit high rates of mosquito larvae predation. However, maintaining the quality (i.e., natural ecological attributes, such as genetic [...] Read more.
Hydrochara affinis (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), a water scavenger beetle, was recently identified as a natural and effective agent for biological mosquito control; it was reported to exhibit high rates of mosquito larvae predation. However, maintaining the quality (i.e., natural ecological attributes, such as genetic variation) of laboratory-reared populations is essential for ensuring the long-term success of biological control programs. Accordingly, here, we aimed to use mitochondrial Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences to document the genetic diversity, population structure, and phylogenetic position of natural and lab-reared H. affinis populations in South Korea and use geometric morphometric analysis to investigate the populations’ morphological divergence. The natural H. affinis populations possessed high genetic diversity and numerous COI haplotypes, suggesting that these populations were healthy and could be directly applied to mosquito habitats without alterations to their natural genetic attributes. The lab-reared populations also possessed high genetic diversity and, thus, the potential for high adaptive capacity to new environments. Although no distinct population genetic structures were observed, quantitative variation was observed in the body shape of both the natural and lab-reared populations. The high levels of genetic and morphologic variation observed in the H. affinis populations examined here indicate the species’ favorable conservation status, genetic diversity, adaptive capacity, and, thus, “suitability” for field application as an effective mosquito control agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Organisms and their Management for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Tourism and the SDGs: An Analysis of Economic Growth, Decent Employment, and Gender Equality in the European Union (2009–2018)
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135480 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) approved the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development to improve the lives of countries and societies. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) incorporated the agenda into the tourism industry. This study has as its primary objective an exploratory analysis [...] Read more.
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) approved the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development to improve the lives of countries and societies. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) incorporated the agenda into the tourism industry. This study has as its primary objective an exploratory analysis of tourism activity in the EU-28 countries over the decade 2009–2018 and its adaptation to the Sustainable Development Goals through the lens of employment. This study focuses on the goals of decent employment and economic growth (O8) and gender equality (O5). The results obtained suggest that, in general, the eastern countries of the EU-28 show better values for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) (8) and SDG (5) with respect to both employment and the wage gap. However, these countries have lower GDP-weighted remunerations, which can become an opportunity to obtain higher shares of tourism activity within the EU. It is concluded that there is a need to reinforce the awareness of the fabric of the tourism business and for public administrations to favor stable and decent employment and a reduction in the current gender wage gap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism, Economic Growth and Sustainability)
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Article
Public-Private Partnership Transformation and Worker Satisfaction: A Case Study of Sanitation Workers in H-City, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135479 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Recent years have witnessed a rapid development of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a new model of public service provision. Transitioning from bureaucrat- to market-oriented management of public services entails organizational changes that may affect employee satisfaction, and thus, PPP performance. We take sanitation [...] Read more.
Recent years have witnessed a rapid development of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a new model of public service provision. Transitioning from bureaucrat- to market-oriented management of public services entails organizational changes that may affect employee satisfaction, and thus, PPP performance. We take sanitation services in H-City as a case study to explore the managerial factors that influenced worker satisfaction during the PPP transformation. Our research shows that motivation and transition factors influence worker satisfaction in the PPP transformation and may allow a smoother transformation of sanitation services. In particular, focusing on balancing workload and compensation, training, improving public attitudes, and adopting worker-friendly rules contribute to the satisfaction of sanitation workers. These findings will contribute to the transformation of the provision of public services in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Article
How Does Workplace Romance Influence Employee Performance in the Hospitality Industry?
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135478 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
With the aim of providing insights to scholars, administrators, and managers on how an employee’s romantic involvement influences job engagement and performance, this study examined workplace romance as a psychological mechanism for determining job performance. A total of 224 deluxe hotel employees in [...] Read more.
With the aim of providing insights to scholars, administrators, and managers on how an employee’s romantic involvement influences job engagement and performance, this study examined workplace romance as a psychological mechanism for determining job performance. A total of 224 deluxe hotel employees in South Korea participated in the research. The results indicate that workplace romance significantly affects employees’ job engagement and performance. Employees who sustain a favorable and positive relationship with others in their organization eventually exhibit increased work effectiveness, which then exerts a constructive effect on hotel services and performance. Moreover, workplace romance experience can significantly improve the effect of workplace romance on job engagement. The paper also discusses limitations and future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intention and Tourism/Hospitality Development)
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Article
Family Firms and Sustainability. A Longitudinal Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135477 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
Two-thirds of the world’s private companies are family owned. It is an organizational model that, despite the arrival of large corporations, remains and is still totally in place. The survival of these organizations is not easy, and is conditioned by multiple factors. The [...] Read more.
Two-thirds of the world’s private companies are family owned. It is an organizational model that, despite the arrival of large corporations, remains and is still totally in place. The survival of these organizations is not easy, and is conditioned by multiple factors. The research that addresses the sustainability of family businesses is numerous and has been conducted from multiple disciplines. This document investigates the trends in scientific production related to family businesses and their sustainability, using bibliometric techniques and SciMAT software. A total of 286 articles were analysed between 2003 and 2019 from the journals indexed in the Web of Science (WoS). The results suggest that, although there is a growing interest in the study of the sustainability of family businesses, there is instability in the centrality of the topics, which denotes the existence of a wide margin of development. The most influential and trend-setting themes emerge mainly concentrated in three lines: those that analyse factors that drive sustainability, such as socio-emotional wealth and stakeholders; those interested in knowing about methods or practices that favour sustainability, such as CSR, performance, management or innovation; and those that investigate factors that endanger survival, mainly intergenerational succession processes. The contribution of this work is that, through bibliometric techniques, it sheds light on the groups of topics that condition the sustainability of family businesses, which will help the scientific community in the orientation of future work in this field of research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Entrepreneurial Orientation in Family Firms)
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Article
Contested Dam Development in Iran: A Case Study of the Exercise of State Power over Local People
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135476 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
In this article, we address the interaction of the Iranian State, an agent of power, with affected village residents, as four dam projects are planned and implemented. Dams, recently positioned as a green energy source, are a central component to Iran’s national development [...] Read more.
In this article, we address the interaction of the Iranian State, an agent of power, with affected village residents, as four dam projects are planned and implemented. Dams, recently positioned as a green energy source, are a central component to Iran’s national development strategies; yet historically their construction has been a source of significant conflict and resistance around the world. We focus on ten villages facing displacement or partial loss of lands at the time of the research, and we answer the question: During dam building and resettlement processes, how have residents experienced their role in decision making and the exercise of state power over them? Through a lens of political ecology, we engage with Lukes’ theory of power to interpret data from 18 focus group discussions and 20 in-depth interviews with residents, as well as from 10 interviews with local and state authorities. This case study illustrates how, from the perspectives of residents of rural communities, the Iranian State applies its power over them through multiple, simultaneous means. Coercion, non-decision making, and the withholding of information emerge from analysis as the primary successful mechanisms, while discursive consent-production emerges as largely unsuccessful. We demonstrate how lack of data or other information provision for natural resource development projects can be an important lever the state uses to exercise power, especially when combined with non-decision making. Although all Lukes’ dimensions of power apply to this case, non-decision making was most severe in its experienced effects, as residents suffered from uncertainty and an inability to move forward with individual plans. Our research provides insight into how conflicts over state-sponsored dam building can embody the contest between a sustainable development centered on justice/equity and one centered on economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Justice and Sustainability)
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Article
Mathematical Simulation of Forest Fire Impact on Industrial Facilities and Wood-Based Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135475 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
The present work is devoted to the theoretical study of heat transfer in the enclosing structures of a wooden building exposed to the front of a forest fire. In the general case, the following effects could be distinguished: The direct effect of a [...] Read more.
The present work is devoted to the theoretical study of heat transfer in the enclosing structures of a wooden building exposed to the front of a forest fire. In the general case, the following effects could be distinguished: The direct effect of a forest fire flame, the effect of convective and radiant heat flux, and the removal of firebrands from the front of a forest fire. In this paper, only building enclosures were considered to be exposed to radiant heat flux from the front of a forest fire. The scenarios of the impacts of low- and high-intensity surface forest fires and crown forest fires were considered, taking into account the parameterized structure of the fire front, as well as various cladding materials and the time of the forest fire. As a result of mathematical modeling, temperature distributions over the surface and thickness of the cladding material were obtained, and ignition conditions were determined based on experimental data. The proposed simplified mathematical model and the obtained results can be used in the practice of protecting industrial facilities or rural settlements from forest fires. Particular attention should be paid to the potential use of the results in the Information System for Remote Monitoring of Forest Fires, ISDM-Rosleskhoz, in conjunction with geo-information technologies and methods of remote monitoring. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Quality Management and Big Data Management on Customer Satisfaction in Korea’s Public Sector
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135474 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Data-driven decision making is needed in uncertain situations. Total quality management is the source of quality management activities and customer satisfaction. This study is related to the investigation into the application of total quality management based on big data management on the public [...] Read more.
Data-driven decision making is needed in uncertain situations. Total quality management is the source of quality management activities and customer satisfaction. This study is related to the investigation into the application of total quality management based on big data management on the public sector in Korea. We developed a research model for total quality management, and investigated the role of moderating big data management between total quality management leadership and quality management. Moreover, this study has examined the relationships between the practices of the total quality management and using big data, including customer needs and wants. The research model is developed and tested to fit it is with the SEM (Structural Equation Model) analysis using data 250 samples in Korea’s public sector. The survey was conducted between 1 August and 30 August 2019. The results are as follow: Total quality leadership has significantly impacted total quality management. Customer satisfaction was found to be significantly affected by total quality management activities. In addition, the level of big data management has the moderation effect between total quality leadership and total quality management in Korea public sectors. It is necessary to systematically manage data management in a situation where the demand for improvement of public service is gradually increasing online in public sector. Full article
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Article
Examining the Role of Local Products in Rural Development in the Light of Consumer Preferences—Results of a Consumer Survey from Hungary
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135473 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1131
Abstract
The scientific examination of short food supply chains is justified by consumer interest and their role in the European Unions’ subsidy policy and rural development. In our current article, we present the results of a consumer survey of more than a thousand people [...] Read more.
The scientific examination of short food supply chains is justified by consumer interest and their role in the European Unions’ subsidy policy and rural development. In our current article, we present the results of a consumer survey of more than a thousand people from Hungary. It was conducted in the North Hungarian (rural) region. Our research goals were: (1) To access consumer demand for short food supply chains and to determine the characteristics of consumers who prefer local foods; and (2) to examine the role of short food supply chains in rural development by a territorial comparison. The results showed that consumers’ willingness to pay a theoretical premium for local products was high (averagely +20.7%). Compared to that, we considered their monthly purchased quantity low. We found a statistically valid, yet weak, correlation that on a monthly basis, the purchase of local products was more significant for consumers from smaller settlements and villages than those from (greater) cities. Furthermore, there were factors in some consumers’ preferences that indicated a greater interest for small producers’ goods. Although it was not possible to assess the absolute demand of the studied rural area, these results (at a certain level) confirm the potential of short food chains in rural development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Rural Areas and Agriculture)
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Article
The Role of Landscape Art in Cultural and National Identity: Chinese and European Comparisons
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135472 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
The depiction of landscape in art has played a major role in the creation of cultural identities in both China and Europe. Landscape depiction has a history of over 1000 years in China, whilst in Europe its evolution has been more recent. Landscape [...] Read more.
The depiction of landscape in art has played a major role in the creation of cultural identities in both China and Europe. Landscape depiction has a history of over 1000 years in China, whilst in Europe its evolution has been more recent. Landscape art (shan shui) has remained a constant feature of Chinese culture and has changed little in style and purpose since the Song dynasty. In Europe, landscape depictions have been significant in the modern determination of cultural and national identities and have served to educate consumers about their country. Consideration is given here to Holland, England, Norway, Finland and China, demonstrating how landscape depictions served to support a certain definition of Chinese culture but have played little political role there, whilst in Europe landscape art has been produced in a variety of contexts, including providing support for nationalism and the determination of national identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Habit, Cultural Landscape and Sustainability)
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Article
An Intelligent Framework for the Evaluation of Compliance with the Requirements of ISO 9001:2015
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135471 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
A quality management system (QMS) allows an organization to analyze the needs of its customers and to define the appropriate processes for efficient production and service delivery. Customer satisfaction is an important part of this system, with a significant impact on its corporate [...] Read more.
A quality management system (QMS) allows an organization to analyze the needs of its customers and to define the appropriate processes for efficient production and service delivery. Customer satisfaction is an important part of this system, with a significant impact on its corporate sustainability. The purpose of this research is a proposal for assessing whether the QMS of an organization meets the requirements defined in the standard ISO 9001:2015. The development of the proposal follows a methodology based on the paradigm of design science research where we identify the problem and the motivation and the objectives are defined as a solution to the problem, and as a consequence, we developed an expert system based on a previously identified ISO 9001:2015 process map and transferred it to a knowledge base. The system allows the determination of the degree of compliance with the requirements of the standard: this provides valuable information to organizations, allowing them to implement improvement measures. The expert system is limited in terms of the set of identified inputs, outputs, and acceptance criteria, but its effectiveness was demonstrated through the evaluation of the system. Full article
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Article
Validity of the “Big Data Tendency in Education” Scale as a Tool Helping to Reach Inclusive Social Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5470; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135470 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
Big Data technology can be a great resource for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a fair and inclusive manner; however, only recently have we begun to analyse its impact on education. This research goal was to analyse the psychometric characteristics of a [...] Read more.
Big Data technology can be a great resource for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a fair and inclusive manner; however, only recently have we begun to analyse its impact on education. This research goal was to analyse the psychometric characteristics of a scale to assess opinions that educators in training have about Big Data besides their related emotions. This is important, as it will be the educators of the future who will have to manage with Big Data at school. A nonprobability sample of 337 education students from Peru and Spain was counted. Internal consistency, as well as validity, were analysed through exploratory and confirmatory factorial analysis. The results show good psychometric values, highlighting as relevant a latent structure of six factors that includes emotional and cognitive dimensions. As a result, the profile defining the participants in relation to Big Data was identified. Finally, the implications of the Big Data for Inclusive Education in a sustainable society are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Pedagogies for Training with Technologies)
Article
Mobility Acceptance Factors of an Automated Shuttle Bus Last-Mile Service
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135469 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
The main interest of this paper is to analyze the mobility acceptance factors of an automated shuttle bus last-mile service. There is limited research on the passengers’ perception of security and safety of automated mobility, whereas prior research is mostly based on surveys [...] Read more.
The main interest of this paper is to analyze the mobility acceptance factors of an automated shuttle bus last-mile service. There is limited research on the passengers’ perception of security and safety of automated mobility, whereas prior research is mostly based on surveys interested in attitudes towards self-driving vehicles, without being linked to the experience. We, on the other hand, are interested in passengers’ feeling of security and safety, after taking a ride with an automated shuttle in an open urban environment. For studying this, we conducted an automated shuttle bus last-mile pilot during a four-month period in the city of Tallinn in late 2019. The method is a case study focusing on one city with several tools for data collection applied (surveys, interviews, document analysis). The pilot, open and free for everybody, attracted approximately 4000 passengers, out of which 4% responded to the online feedback survey. For studying the operational capacity, we had a panel interview with operators of the shuttle service, in addition to analyzing daily operational log files. The results indicate that passengers’ perceived feeling of security and safety onboard was remarkably high, after taking a ride (and lower without a ride, in a different control group). The bus was operated only if operational capacity was secured, thus having significant downtime in service due to environment, technology and traffic-related factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Identifying the Planning Priorities for Green Infrastructure within Urban Environments Using Analytic Hierarchy Process
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135468 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
Urban environmental issues such as declining air quality and increasing urban heat island effects can be managed by the effective use of urban green spaces. Consequently, the importance of green infrastructure (GI) has rapidly increased over time. While the various functions of GI [...] Read more.
Urban environmental issues such as declining air quality and increasing urban heat island effects can be managed by the effective use of urban green spaces. Consequently, the importance of green infrastructure (GI) has rapidly increased over time. While the various functions of GI have been investigated in numerous studies, limited research has focused on prioritizing those factors which impact the planning and development of GI. This study used literature reviews, expert surveys, and an analytic hierarchy process methodology to identify and prioritize the critical factors influencing GI during the design and construction process to enhance the role of GI in urban areas. Experts were asked to prioritize four primary (ecological, landscape, usability, and economic factors) and 16 secondary aspects of GI design. Respondents strongly agreed on the importance of the ecological aspects of GI, while the government sector also highlighted the importance of economic concerns, such as ongoing maintenance. Results indicated that the priorities for creating GI require further analysis and mediation between stakeholders. Further empirical evidence should be accumulated regarding the functions of GI for policy implementation in design and construction. Full article
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Article
Public Management, Private Management and Collective Action in the Portoviejo River Basin: Visions and Conflicts
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5467; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135467 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Agricultural policies show an orientation in the management of natural resources, such as water, towards specialized production for world markets. This is promoting models of private use against those of common use. The objective of this research is to evaluate the transformations in [...] Read more.
Agricultural policies show an orientation in the management of natural resources, such as water, towards specialized production for world markets. This is promoting models of private use against those of common use. The objective of this research is to evaluate the transformations in the institutional framework associated with the change of vision of water and the pressures created on peasant communities that culturally maintain socio-ecological systems. Based on Ostrom’s methodological proposals for the governance of common goods, a case study of the Rio Portoviejo Basin (Ecuador) was carried out. The three developed management models are analyzed: public, private and community. Evidence is provided that the community model is more equitable, efficient and sustainable. The way in which the extension of the market model, which conditions agricultural activity to profitability, is weakening the networks of peasant communities is also studied. In this context, the correlation between the loss of the traditional agrarian culture and the environmental degradation of the area is observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscape, Nature Conservation and Culture)
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Article
Potential Role for Consumers to Reduce Canadian Agricultural GHG Emissions by Diversifying Animal Protein Sources
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135466 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The discussion of diversified protein sources triggered by the 2019 Canadian Food Guide has implications for Canada’s livestock industry. In response to this discussion, a scenario analysis is conducted on the potential impact of reducing red meat consumption on the greenhouse gas (GHG) [...] Read more.
The discussion of diversified protein sources triggered by the 2019 Canadian Food Guide has implications for Canada’s livestock industry. In response to this discussion, a scenario analysis is conducted on the potential impact of reducing red meat consumption on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canadian livestock production. This analysis uses medical recommendations as a proxy for healthy servings of red meat. For simplicity, it was assumed that red meat is either beef or pork and that broilers are the only nonred meat choice. The medical scenario is combined with four livestock production scenarios for these three livestock types. Broiler consumption is allowed to expand to maintain national protein intake in all four scenarios. Under the medical scenario, red meat consumption in Canada would decrease from 2.5 Mt to 1.9 Mt of live weight. A feedlot diet for slaughter cattle, and a 50:50 split of the medically recommended red meat intake of beef and pork (Scenario 1), reduced GHG emissions by 3.9 Mt CO2e from the 20.6 Mt CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) for current consumption. Replacing the feedlot beef diet by grass fed beef (Scenario 2) increased GHG emissions by 1.5 Mt CO2e over Scenario 1. Halving the consumption of grass fed beef and increasing pork by 50% (Scenario 3) reduced GHG by 7.7 Mt CO2e. Reverting back to the feedlot diet, and the same 25:75 beef–pork ratio (Scenario 4), increased the GHG emissions reduction to 8.9 Mt CO2e. Without including the emission savings from the medical scenario, GHG reductions from Scenarios 3 and 4 dropped to 3.8 Mt and 5.0 Mt CO2e, respectively. No scenario exceeded the feed grain area required to meet the 2017 consumption of these commodities, but Scenario 2 required more forage area compared to consumption in 2017. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Measuring the Economic Impact of a Voluntary Sustainable Tourism Certification
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5465; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135465 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 776
Abstract
This article contributes to the debate about whether the investment in tourism sustainability is economically profitable for firms. Specifically, using cross-sectional analysis, we explore the existence of a causal link between the possession of a voluntary sustainable certification, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), [...] Read more.
This article contributes to the debate about whether the investment in tourism sustainability is economically profitable for firms. Specifically, using cross-sectional analysis, we explore the existence of a causal link between the possession of a voluntary sustainable certification, Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), and the increase in the prices of hotel accommodation. For this, the hedonic price method is used. Prior to the hedonic estimation, the propensity score-matching methodology is applied in order to control for self-selection bias. The analysis is carried out for coastal hotels located in the southern area of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) which merits attention as a typical mature sun and beach tourist destination. The study does not reveal any significant effects of sustainable certification on the prices of accommodations, which would appear to explain the low participation of establishments in the program. We conclude by providing some useful insights on measures aimed at improving related policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Criteria Decision Making for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 Induced Lockdown on Environmental Quality in Four Indian Megacities Using Landsat 8 OLI and TIRS-Derived Data and Mamdani Fuzzy Logic Modelling Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135464 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
The deadly COVID-19 virus has caused a global pandemic health emergency. This COVID-19 has spread its arms to 200 countries globally and the megacities of the world were particularly affected with a large number of infections and deaths, which is still increasing day [...] Read more.
The deadly COVID-19 virus has caused a global pandemic health emergency. This COVID-19 has spread its arms to 200 countries globally and the megacities of the world were particularly affected with a large number of infections and deaths, which is still increasing day by day. On the other hand, the outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly impacted the global environment to regain its health. This study takes four megacities (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai) of India for a comprehensive assessment of the dynamicity of environmental quality resulting from the COVID-19 induced lockdown situation. An environmental quality index was formulated using remotely sensed biophysical parameters like Particulate Matters PM10 concentration, Land Surface Temperature (LST), Normalized Different Moisture Index (NDMI), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). Fuzzy-AHP, which is a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making process, has been utilized to derive the weight of the indicators and aggregation. The results showing that COVID-19 induced lockdown in the form of restrictions on human and vehicular movements and decreasing economic activities has improved the overall quality of the environment in the selected Indian cities for a short time span. Overall, the results indicate that lockdown is not only capable of controlling COVID-19 spread, but also helpful in minimizing environmental degradation. The findings of this study can be utilized for assessing and analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 induced lockdown situation on the overall environmental quality of other megacities of the world. Full article
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Article
The Sustainability of Energy Substitution in the Chinese Electric Power Sector
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5463; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135463 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 696
Abstract
The Chinese electric power industry, including its coal industry and other energy industries that are not efficient, contributes to China’s serious energy shortages and environmental contamination. The governing authority considers energy conservation to be one of the most prominent national targets, and has [...] Read more.
The Chinese electric power industry, including its coal industry and other energy industries that are not efficient, contributes to China’s serious energy shortages and environmental contamination. The governing authority considers energy conservation to be one of the most prominent national targets, and has formulated various plans for decarbonizing the power system. Applying the trans-log cost function, this paper examined the trans-log cost function to analyze the potential inter-factor substitution among energy, capital and labor. We also investigated what role human capital played in energy substitution for the electric power sector during the period from 1981 to 2017. Three key results were derived: (1) energy is price-insensitive, (2) there exists large substitution sustainability between both capital and labor with energy, and (3) human capital input not only enhances the extent of energy substitutability with capital and labor but also is a substitute to energy itself. These findings imply that the liberalization of the electric price mechanism is conducive to lessening energy use and augmenting non-energy intensiveness, and that energy conservation technology could become more sustainable by investing more capital in the electricity sector, thereby achieving a capital–energy substitution and a decrease of CO2 emissions. We further suggest that the priority for the Chinese electric power industry should be to attach more importance to increasing human capital input. Full article
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Article
Cooperative Entrepreneurship Model for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5462; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135462 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1363
Abstract
The main objective of this research is to contribute to the economic literature on cooperative entrepreneurship as a model for sustainable development, taking into account the special alignment of the cooperative principles (ICA) with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It offers new [...] Read more.
The main objective of this research is to contribute to the economic literature on cooperative entrepreneurship as a model for sustainable development, taking into account the special alignment of the cooperative principles (ICA) with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It offers new empirical evidence from Spain, based on Stakeholder Theory, about the differences between cooperatives (Coops) and Capitalist Firms (CFs) in relation to the distribution of economic value between the different stakeholders. For this purpose, panel data was analysed using the Correlated Random Effects approach. The results reveal that cooperative firms generate value for some of the stakeholders analysed, specifically for their partners and creditors, but no significant differences have been found with CFs in terms of workers and the state. In both cases, it can be inferred that the period analysed has influenced the results, since it has been found that, first, cooperatives adjust wages downward rather than dismiss workers during a recession, which is in line with previous research, and second, that their tax contribution to the state is lower because they are subject to a more favourable tax system in Spain. Full article
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Article
Design for Societal Resilience: The Risk Evaluation Diversity-Aiding Approach (RED-A)
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5461; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135461 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
The global impacts of disaster risks are on the rise. Moreover, evidence shows that the severity of damage will increase exponentially. In 2019, there were 395 natural disasters that caused 11,755 deaths. Literature and practice indicate that diversification of disaster risk management (DRM) [...] Read more.
The global impacts of disaster risks are on the rise. Moreover, evidence shows that the severity of damage will increase exponentially. In 2019, there were 395 natural disasters that caused 11,755 deaths. Literature and practice indicate that diversification of disaster risk management (DRM) approaches can make communities more resilient. One notable bottleneck in adopting diverse DRM approaches is the historical dominance of natural and technological sciences with little contribution from social sciences. Thus, a heterogeneous social-technical approach to DRM is rare and risk governance challenges are hardly understood. We conducted a systematic literature and practice review and extracted data to develop and answer five sub-questions. After that, we reviewed relevant information and selected eight risk evaluation approaches. We made comparisons and used the input to design the Risk Evaluation Diversity-aiding Approach (RED-A). The approach consists of 12 criteria and a checklist with 22 items. RED-A provides guidance to DRM researchers and practitioners when conducting socio-technical risk evaluations. It helps identify cognitive biases in the ongoing DRM process that may largely impact the quality of risk evaluation procedures. The goal of the 22-item checklist is to ensure that the 12 RED-A criteria are incorporated as much as possible to support the progressive transition towards a heterogeneous social-technical DRM approach. Finally, the RED-A criteria and checklist are applied in the Solotvyno municipality context (in Ukraine), to illustrate the use of the approach. Full article
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