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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 8 (April-2 2020) – 434 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Sustainability in viticulture requires deeper knowledge of the issues related to soil management in [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Intention to Use Sustainable Green Logistics Platforms
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083502 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 589
Abstract
Recently, logistics platforms that facilitate interaction and the exchange and transaction of information have quickly emerged in the Korean domestic market. In order to further advance the development of logistics platforms into green logistics platforms in which participation in the early stages is [...] Read more.
Recently, logistics platforms that facilitate interaction and the exchange and transaction of information have quickly emerged in the Korean domestic market. In order to further advance the development of logistics platforms into green logistics platforms in which participation in the early stages is not active, appropriate checks and balances are needed so that service providers, users, and platform operators can grow together in green logistics platforms. The purpose of this study is to empirically verify the factors affecting participants’ intentions to use green logistics platforms. Out of the 230 questionnaires distributed from 25 June to 11 July 2019, 14 were excluded from analyses due to unsatisfactory responses, while 216 responses were used for statistical processing. The structural equation model (SEM) was used to test hypotheses in this research. The results showed that the network effect and security factors influenced perceived usefulness, and trust did not affect perceived usefulness. Perceived usefulness also significantly influenced the intention to use green logistics platforms. The results of this study present strategies and directions for the future development of green logistics platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data for Sustainable Anticipatory Computing)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Depot Green Vehicle Routing Problem to Minimize Carbon Emissions
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083500 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 398
Abstract
A Multi-Depot Green Vehicle Routing Problem (MDGVRP) is considered in this paper. In MDGVRP, Alternative Fuel-powered Vehicles (AFVs) start from different depots, serve customers, and, at the end, return to the original depots. The limited fuel tank capacity of AFVs forces them to [...] Read more.
A Multi-Depot Green Vehicle Routing Problem (MDGVRP) is considered in this paper. In MDGVRP, Alternative Fuel-powered Vehicles (AFVs) start from different depots, serve customers, and, at the end, return to the original depots. The limited fuel tank capacity of AFVs forces them to visit Alternative Fuel Stations (AFS) for refueling. The objective is to minimize the total carbon emissions. A Two-stage Ant Colony System (TSACS) is proposed to find a feasible and acceptable solution for this NP-hard (Non-deterministic polynomial-time) optimization problem. The distinct characteristic of the proposed TSACS is the use of two distinct types of ants for two different purposes. The first type of ant is used to assign customers to depots, while the second type of ant is used to find the routes. The solution for the MDGVRP is useful and beneficial for companies that employ AFVs to deal with the various inconveniences brought by the limited number of AFSs. The numerical experiments confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms in this research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies on Green Innovation
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083499 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 447
Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to evaluate if manufacturing firms can boost their performance through green innovations. The literature on this topic shows contradictory findings. We have concentrated on the effect of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) on green innovations. To the [...] Read more.
The main aim of this paper is to evaluate if manufacturing firms can boost their performance through green innovations. The literature on this topic shows contradictory findings. We have concentrated on the effect of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) on green innovations. To the authors’ best knowledge, this research is the first to examine the impact of a firm’s own AMT on green innovation and the firm’s performance at the same time. Green innovation in our research relates to green product innovation. The data analysis is performed through three-step OLS regression analysis and two evaluation models. One model looks at AMT and how they affect green innovation, and the second model looks at how AMT and green innovations affect performance. Our findings suggest that AMT contribute to both the firm’s performance and green innovation. We found that technology is a moderator for green innovations. While the majority of research emphasizes that firms will not eco-innovate unless they receive subsidies or severe restrictions are imposed, we show that out of all innovations, 66% are green innovations. Restrictions such as having ISO 14000 certification do not contribute to green innovation, but rather the age of the firm does. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Production Operations Management and Industry 4.0)
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Open AccessReview
Numerical Models of Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands: Review and Future Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083498 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Numerical model as a simulation tool was used to describe the pollutants transformation and degradation process in constructed wetlands (CWs). It can help provide insight into the “black box” and increase the understanding of the complex processes in CWs. In the last few [...] Read more.
Numerical model as a simulation tool was used to describe the pollutants transformation and degradation process in constructed wetlands (CWs). It can help provide insight into the “black box” and increase the understanding of the complex processes in CWs. In the last few decades, several process-based numerical models were developed to depict the pollutants removal processes in CWs, which include biochemical model, hydraulic model, reactive-transport model, plants model, clogging model, and coupling model combining two or more sub-models. However, there was a long way to go before fully understanding the decontamination mechanisms of CWs. On the one hand, single or a composite model coupling a small number of sub-models cannot fully reveal the decontamination processes. On the other hand, a comprehensive model including all sub-models of current cognition involves numerous parameters, most of which are interaction and cannot quantitatively determined, thus making the model complex and leading to diffuse interaction. Therefore, in order to describe the reaction processes in CWs more accurately, it is expected that all parameters should be quantified as far as possible in the future model. This study aims to provide a review of the numerical models of CWs and to reveal mechanism of decontamination. Based on the advantages and disadvantages of existing models, the study presented the improvement method and future research direction: (1) new detection/monitoring technique or computing method to quantitatively assess the parameters in CWs models, (2) correcting the simulation errors caused by the assumption of Activated Sludge Models (ASMs) and developing a complete biofilm reaction sub-model, (3) simplification of the comprehensive model, and (4) need of emerging pollutants modeling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Blockchain-Based Traceability and Visibility for Agricultural Products: A Decentralized Way of Ensuring Food Safety in India
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083497 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
The globalization of the food supply chain industry has significantly emerged today. Due to this, farm-to-fork food safety and quality certification have become very important. Increasing threats to food security and contamination have led to the enormous need for a revolutionary traceability system, [...] Read more.
The globalization of the food supply chain industry has significantly emerged today. Due to this, farm-to-fork food safety and quality certification have become very important. Increasing threats to food security and contamination have led to the enormous need for a revolutionary traceability system, an important mechanism for quality control that ensures sufficient food supply chain product safety. In this work, we proposed a blockchain-based solution that removes the need for a secure centralized structure, intermediaries, and exchanges of information, optimizes performance, and complies with a strong level of safety and integrity. Our approach completely relies on the use of smart contracts to monitor and manage all communications and transactions within the supply chain network among all of the stakeholders. Our approach verifies all of the transactions, which are recorded and stored in a centralized interplanetary file system database. It allows a secure and cost-effective supply chain system for the stakeholders. Thus, our proposed model gives a transparent, accurate, and traceable supply chain system. The proposed solution shows a throughput of 161 transactions per second with a convergence time of 4.82 s, and was found effective in the traceability of the agricultural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain and Building Information Modeling (BIM))
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Open AccessArticle
The Influential Factors of Consumers’ Sustainable Consumption: A Case on Electric Vehicles in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3496; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083496 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
As one of the internationally recognized solutions to environmental problems, electric vehicles feature zero direct emissions and can reduce dependence on petroleum. An increasing number of countries have attached importance to the electric vehicle and developed it, and it is predicted that it [...] Read more.
As one of the internationally recognized solutions to environmental problems, electric vehicles feature zero direct emissions and can reduce dependence on petroleum. An increasing number of countries have attached importance to the electric vehicle and developed it, and it is predicted that it will become a main force in the transportation system. Hence, it is necessary to explore the factors that drive consumers to buy electric vehicles. This study analyzes the factors that influence the consumer’s intention to buy electric vehicles and tests the relationship between them, and intends to offer information for the formulation of policies designed to popularize electric vehicles in order to reduce carbon emissions from transportation. As a result, consumer attitudes are the most important factor influencing the intention to purchase electric vehicles. The greatest effect is found in this line: Brand Trust→Perceived Benefit→Attitude→Purchase Intention. This means that the brand can increase the consumer’s perceived benefit of electric vehicles, make consumers more attracted to electric vehicles, and influence their final purchase intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy in Industry 4.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Access and Forms of Urbanity in Public Space: Transit Urban Design Beyond the Global North
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083495 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 561
Abstract
There has been an emerging interest in the study of urban design dimensions associated with Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs). However, addressing the question of how TOD principles laid out in the international literature can be explored in the context of the global South remains [...] Read more.
There has been an emerging interest in the study of urban design dimensions associated with Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs). However, addressing the question of how TOD principles laid out in the international literature can be explored in the context of the global South remains in an incipient stage. In this paper, we investigate the nexus between station walkable catchments and forms of urbanity around transit nodes by adopting an assemblage approach to cut across any separation of sociality and spatiality. Drawing on empirical research from two case studies in Tehran, this paper contributes to studies on transit urban design by developing two measures of accessibility—the Catchment of Accessible Public Spaces (CAPS) and Accessible Interfaces (AI). We found that the combination of high CAPS and high AI within a given time can enable streetlife intensity, which is also linked to a synergistic effect of a larger assemblage, including the number of entries and diversity of functions. We argue that a focus on both measures is critical to understand the performance and potential transformation of street networks in a TOD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Challenge of Sustainable Development Goal Reporting: The First Evidence from Italian Listed Companies
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083494 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 427
Abstract
This research investigates the extent to which the voluntary disclosure of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assumed to be the most recent innovation in social disclosures and corporate sustainability reporting, is diffused among Italian listed companies through different instruments of disclosure (voluntary or non-voluntary). [...] Read more.
This research investigates the extent to which the voluntary disclosure of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), assumed to be the most recent innovation in social disclosures and corporate sustainability reporting, is diffused among Italian listed companies through different instruments of disclosure (voluntary or non-voluntary). Our findings reveal that SDGs awareness amongst the business community is high and that the majority of highly-traded, liquid, and highly-capitalized Italian companies have introduced SDGs in their disclosure and story-telling practices, while the exact nature and requirements of the SDGs, and the definitions of specific key performance indicators (KPIs) related to those goals, are still missing. Italian companies prefer using non-financial statements and sustainability reports to disclose information about their commitments to SDGs, and most of them started to report information about SDGs in 2016. Additionally, this research seeks to identify the significant differences between SDG reporters in different sectors, under the assumption that operating in a specific sector could significantly affect a company’s decision to disclose information on their SDGs. This research highlights, following the recent evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure and sustainability reporting, the increasing relevance of SDGs in Italian companies’ disclosure practices and, at the same time, the gaps to be covered for their effective implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Indigenous Food Crops in Africa and the Implications for more Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083493 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Indigenous and traditional foods crops (ITFCs) have multiple uses within society, and most notably have an important role to play in the attempt to diversify the food in order to enhance food and nutrition security. However, research suggests that the benefits and value [...] Read more.
Indigenous and traditional foods crops (ITFCs) have multiple uses within society, and most notably have an important role to play in the attempt to diversify the food in order to enhance food and nutrition security. However, research suggests that the benefits and value of indigenous foods within the South African and the African context have not been fully understood and synthesized. Their potential value to the African food system could be enhanced if their benefits were explored more comprehensively. This synthesis presents a literature review relating to underutilized indigenous crop species and foods in Africa. It organizes the findings into four main contributions, nutritional, environmental, economic, and social-cultural, in line with key themes of a sustainable food system framework. It also goes on to unpack the benefits and challenges associated with ITFCs under these themes. A major obstacle is that people are not valuing indigenous foods and the potential benefit that can be derived from using them is thus neglected. Furthermore, knowledge is being lost from one generation to the next, with potentially dire implications for long-term sustainable food security. The results show the need to recognize and enable indigenous foods as a key resource in ensuring healthy food systems in the African continent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle
Improved Hydraulic Simulation of Valve Layout Effects on Post-Earthquake Restoration of a Water Distribution Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083492 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
To restore water pipes damaged by earthquakes, it is common to block the water flow by closing the associated shut-off valves. In this process, water supply suspension in the area connected to the isolated pipes is inevitable, which decreases the serviceability of the [...] Read more.
To restore water pipes damaged by earthquakes, it is common to block the water flow by closing the associated shut-off valves. In this process, water supply suspension in the area connected to the isolated pipes is inevitable, which decreases the serviceability of the water distribution network (WDN). In this study, we identified the impact of valve layout (i.e., number and location) on system serviceability during a seismic damage restoration process. By conducting a pressure-driven-analysis (PDA) using EPANET 3.0, a more realistic hydraulic analysis could be carried out under the seismically damaged condition. Furthermore, by considering the valve-controlled segment in the hydraulic simulation, a more realistic water suspension area was determined, and efficient seismic damage restoration strategies were identified. The developed model was implemented on a WDN to demonstrate the effect of valve layout on the post-earthquake restoration process. Finally, effective restoration strategies were suggested for the application network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Earthquake Hazard: Assessments and Frameworks)
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Open AccessReview
More or Less Sustainable? Assessment from a Policy Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083491 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 438
Abstract
Sustainability of tourism destinations has become the main focus in planning and managing tourism development. Despite existing legislation and an institutional framework to safeguard balanced tourism growth, many destinations fail to properly address it. So far, studies are limited in exploring sustainable tourism [...] Read more.
Sustainability of tourism destinations has become the main focus in planning and managing tourism development. Despite existing legislation and an institutional framework to safeguard balanced tourism growth, many destinations fail to properly address it. So far, studies are limited in exploring sustainable tourism impacts from a policy perspective. This study follows previous ones in using the triple bottom line sustainability approach to define tourism impacts. It argues, in particular, for a nexus between understanding of policy perception and sustainability, and it applies this to tourist destinations in Serbia to determine whether they are operating sustainably. For this purpose, the data were collected using a combination of multiple methods, involving interviews with policymakers and content analysis of strategic documents. This study further suggests a model that assesses the extent of the sustainability of tourist destinations. The results illustrate the importance of understanding policy perceptions in shaping and facilitating sustainability and informing policy enablers on how to improve and reform current tourism development. The model can be adopted and applied to any tourist destination facing an inevitable need to re-shape their tourism development plans and policies, while the implications address the need to build a participative policy approach to sustainable tourism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economic Development: Challenges, Policies, and Reforms)
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Open AccessArticle
Soil Quality and Its Potential Indicators under Different Land Use Systems in the Shivaliks of Indian Punjab
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083490 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The present study assessed the overall state of the soil based on the most sensitive soil attributes under different land uses—i.e., rainfed agriculture, mixed forest, afforestation and non-arable lands—in the lower Shivaliks of Indian Punjab. The soil parameters—i.e., erosion ratio, bulk density and [...] Read more.
The present study assessed the overall state of the soil based on the most sensitive soil attributes under different land uses—i.e., rainfed agriculture, mixed forest, afforestation and non-arable lands—in the lower Shivaliks of Indian Punjab. The soil parameters—i.e., erosion ratio, bulk density and water retention characteristics—and fertility parameters were integrated under different land uses to identify potential soil quality indicators.The overall state of the soil, based on a weighted average of primary soil functions under different land uses through fuzzy modeling, was deemed best for agricultural land use (0.515), followed by forests (0.465) and non-arable lands (0.456), and deemed worst under afforestation (0.428). Among the different land use systems, principal component analysis (PCA) clearly separated the agriculture and forest samples from afforestation and non-arable lands samples. The contribution of potential indicators such as erosion ratio (ER), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) toward the soil quality index (SQI) was substantial. The order of contribution of the selected indicators to the SQI was 53.5%, 34.3% and 19.9% for ER, P and K, respectively. These indicators are most influential for studying real time soil health and ecological processes in the future, under various land use systems in degraded agroecosystems like the Shivaliks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil Health Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Ecological Security in the Tableland Region of the Chinese Loess Plateau Using a Remote-Sensing-Based Index
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083489 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Maintaining optimal ecological security is a serious issue in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Remote sensing ecological indexes (RSEI) of three main tableland regions of the CLP were calculated based on spectral information provided by remote sensing imaging satellites between 2000 and 2018. [...] Read more.
Maintaining optimal ecological security is a serious issue in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Remote sensing ecological indexes (RSEI) of three main tableland regions of the CLP were calculated based on spectral information provided by remote sensing imaging satellites between 2000 and 2018. We were able to use RSEI values to systematically evaluate the temporal and spatial variation in the regional ecological environment and determine the influential factors that mainly associated with these changes. The results showed that between 2000 and 2018, the ecological environment improved, remained stable, and deteriorated, respectively, in the Gansu, Shaanxi, and Shanxi tablelands. Regions with poor or fair RSEIs were concentrated around the main river basins, while regions with moderate RSEIs were associated with poor ecological conditions and poor areas. The significant spatiotemporal variation in RSEI indicates that the ecological system in this region is relatively fragile. We also observed that natural factors such as the temperature, potential evapotranspiration, and precipitation had the greatest influence on the overall ecological quality. The rapid increase in the regional population and human activity played an important role in the variation in the regional RSEI. This research will provide important information on controlling regional soil erosion and ecological restoration in the CLP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of E-Proctoring in Online Teaching: A Study about Motivational Factors
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083488 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 652
Abstract
Most online teaching institutions still do not offer complete remote teaching, requiring the physical presence of the student in the evaluation process (for supervisory reasons), which could aggravate the evaluation and certification in massive open online teaching. Although, there are already e-proctoring tools [...] Read more.
Most online teaching institutions still do not offer complete remote teaching, requiring the physical presence of the student in the evaluation process (for supervisory reasons), which could aggravate the evaluation and certification in massive open online teaching. Although, there are already e-proctoring tools (electronic proctoring) that allow this process to be carried out remotely, without requiring that physical presence. For this reason, and in order for this complete remote teaching to be extended to institutions that do not yet believe in the success of its implementation, this study, through a bibliographic study and a causal study carried out by experts in online teaching, focuses on locating the determining motivational factors when accepting and implementing this evaluation system as a method of remote supervision and tries to encourage its use through them. The list obtained consists of the following motivational factors: Quality management, available information, external conditioning, trust, perceived compatibility, perceived usefulness, attitude and intention, and the most decisive factor in this whole process is trust (which would be the extent of security and privacy that institutions have in the use of this tool). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opportunities and Challenges for the Future of Open Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of the CIE L*a*b* Method for the Evaluation of the Color of Fried Products from Potato Tubers Exposed to C Band Ultraviolet Light
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083487 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Color evaluation, using its numerous parameters, was applied to assess qualitative changes of products resulting from the use of specific technological treatment. The study investigates the possibility of using the CIE (Comission Internationale de l’Eclairage) L*a*b* (components describe color: L - luminance, a [...] Read more.
Color evaluation, using its numerous parameters, was applied to assess qualitative changes of products resulting from the use of specific technological treatment. The study investigates the possibility of using the CIE (Comission Internationale de l’Eclairage) L*a*b* (components describe color: L - luminance, a - green to magenta color, b - blue to yellow color) method to determine selected color coefficients of fried potato products. Statistical analysis of the results was performed at the assumed significance level of α = 0.05. It was demonstrated that the method proposed (CIE L*a*b*) is effective in evaluating the color of french fries modified with the use of raw material exposed to ultraviolet radiation in the C band. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Environmental and Operational Analysis of Quality Function Deployment-Based Methods
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083486 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Ecodesign consists of integrating environmental considerations into the product development process by means of practices that involve the use of methods, techniques, tools, and guidelines. However, many published practices do not incorporate important environmental issues, often resulting in a product development process that [...] Read more.
Ecodesign consists of integrating environmental considerations into the product development process by means of practices that involve the use of methods, techniques, tools, and guidelines. However, many published practices do not incorporate important environmental issues, often resulting in a product development process that is ineffective from an ecodesign standpoint. This paper’s aim is threefold: (i) Identifying environmental and operational criteria and determining weights to these criteria; (ii) assessing and selecting quality function deployment (QFD)-based ecodesign methods using environmental and operational criteria, and (iii) analyzing the practitioners’ perception of the most suitable QFD-based method identified by the second aim. To that end, a comprehensive literature review of ecodesign practices based on QFD and its requirements was carried out, and a survey was conducted with environmental science and product development experts, whose answers enabled the prioritization of the characteristics those practices must meet from environmental and operational standpoints. Thereafter, a workshop was carried out with design engineers from an automotive company in Brazil. This study’s findings indicate that many QFD-based ecodesign methods fail to consider the life cycle perspective, do not assess environmental impacts, and have not been tested before being published. Another finding from industry designers suggests that ecodesign methods should be easy to use and not time-consuming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Durability Increase by Polyester Coating of Some Quaternary Copper-Based Alloys Parts
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083485 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
The need to increase the reliability of the metal parts and the assessment of the cost-quality parameters of a matrix require big manufacturers to find new technological solutions focused on the following aspects: thin layer deposits, metallic coatings, use of bimetals, and multilayer [...] Read more.
The need to increase the reliability of the metal parts and the assessment of the cost-quality parameters of a matrix require big manufacturers to find new technological solutions focused on the following aspects: thin layer deposits, metallic coatings, use of bimetals, and multilayer materials. The coating of the copper-based quaternary alloys with carbon graphite impregnated polyester aims to improve the performance of the metal parts used in the aeronautics, automotive, and railway industries. The goal is to achieve the following objectives: to reduce the rate of premature failure, to reduce the maintenance and service costs, and to increase the service life (the competitiveness of the manufacturing companies is positively influenced by the latter). This paper studies the operating behavior of some copper-based quaternary alloys coated with carbon graphite-impregnated polyester. The influence of the carbon graphite coating is studied in terms of operating behavior, especially aiming to assess the intensity of the wear and the intensity of the accumulated wear. On the whole, proper wear behavior entails the possibility of obtaining an increase in the service life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessReview
A Product/Service System Design Schema: Application to Big Data Analytics
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083484 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 583
Abstract
The challenge of environmental sustainability has required product/service systems (PSSs) to play a substantial role. New technologies such as big data analytics (BDA), which have high potential to improve or enable PSSs, are increasingly implemented in industry. However, research achieved in the past [...] Read more.
The challenge of environmental sustainability has required product/service systems (PSSs) to play a substantial role. New technologies such as big data analytics (BDA), which have high potential to improve or enable PSSs, are increasingly implemented in industry. However, research achieved in the past and research opportunities in the intersection of PSS design and BDA are unclear in the literature. Therefore, this article took an inter-disciplinary approach and aimed to pave the way forward for research and development in PSS design and show opportunities to improve PSS design and delivery using BDA. The research methods adopted were literature synthesis and systematic literature review. The synthesis of PSS design literature resulted in a schema consisting of 10 design steps for PSS conceptual design. The systematic review of BDA literature found 11 research works, including industrial applications, which were then mapped on to the PSS design schema. This revealed the achievement of applied research using BDA for some of the PSS design steps as well as opportunities of research for the others. The two inter-related areas of research, PSS design and BDA, were connected with each other more clearly, so that further research could be anchored and motivated with more specificity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Life Satisfaction in Later Life: The Interplay of Marital Condition and Income among Elderly Koreans
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083483 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Although both marital status and economic conditions significantly contribute to life satisfaction in later life, the effect of their interaction (or moderating) on life satisfaction has been understudied. Our goal was to examine whether marriage buffers the negative consequences of low income among [...] Read more.
Although both marital status and economic conditions significantly contribute to life satisfaction in later life, the effect of their interaction (or moderating) on life satisfaction has been understudied. Our goal was to examine whether marriage buffers the negative consequences of low income among elderly people. Using two large national survey datasets, the Korean Community Health Survey (n = 126,936) and the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) (n = 5687), we examined the relationship between household income, marital condition (marital status and marital satisfaction), and life satisfaction in Korean adults over 50. We found that increases in life satisfaction among individuals aged 50 and over were associated with higher income, marital status, and spousal satisfaction. We also determined that the beneficial effects of marriage, as well as marital quality, on life satisfaction are stronger in men. Moreover, separated/divorced status, but not bereavement or single status, moderated the effects of household income, such that the adverse effects of poverty were particularly pronounced among those who were separated/divorced. Furthermore, spousal satisfaction also moderated the effect of household income on life satisfaction among married men, indicating that marital satisfaction amplifies the effect of favorable economic conditions on life satisfaction. Because economic condition and relationship status are two key determinants of life satisfaction, understanding their interactions can improve overall predictions of life satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scour Protection Effects of a Geotextile Mattress with Floating Plate on a Pipeline
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083482 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Underwater pipelines are vital to the oil industry. Extending the service life of these pipelines is a key issue in improving the sustainability of oil transportation. A geotextile mattress with floating plate (GMFP) is a novel and sustainable countermeasure for scour and erosion [...] Read more.
Underwater pipelines are vital to the oil industry. Extending the service life of these pipelines is a key issue in improving the sustainability of oil transportation. A geotextile mattress with floating plate (GMFP) is a novel and sustainable countermeasure for scour and erosion control and is herein introduced to protect a partially buried pipeline from local scour in steady currents. A series of experiments was designed to verify the protection capabilities of the GMFP and investigate its parametric effects on protection. The average seepage hydraulic gradient under the pipeline was adopted to depict the protection effects of the GMFP, and was calculated with the pore pressure readings under the pipeline. The test results show that the GMFP is capable of protecting a pipeline from the onset of local scour in a unidirectional current. The average seepage hydraulic gradient below the pipeline decreases remarkably after a GMFP is installed. The average hydraulic gradient shows a descending trend with increased sloping angle α when 0.64 < sinα < 0.77. The hydraulic gradient hits a nadir at sinα = 0.77 and climbs with the increasing sloping angle when sinα > 0.82. The hydraulic gradient ascends when the bottom opening ratio δ increases from 0.167 to 0.231, due to the decreased intensity of the bottom vortex. The hydraulic gradient drops with a rising plate height, except for a fluctuation at Hp = 0.12 m. An approximate negative correlation is found between the obstruction height of the floating plate and the average hydraulic gradient under the pipeline. This could be partially attributed to the extension and amplification of the bottom vortex on the leeside of the pipeline due to the increased plate obstruction height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy in India Using the SA 8000 Standard
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083481 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
In today’s global markets, issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility have greater importance on business performance, and international standards are defined as tools for companies to internalize their sustainability requests. The aim of this paper is to understand how the Social Accountability 8000 [...] Read more.
In today’s global markets, issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility have greater importance on business performance, and international standards are defined as tools for companies to internalize their sustainability requests. The aim of this paper is to understand how the Social Accountability 8000 (SA 8000) standard is managed by developing countries, focusing on Indian certified companies, analyzing, in detail, of the motivations and benefits that prompted them to certification and barriers to its implementation. The research is based on a qualitative multiple case study. A total number of six companies participated in the research. The study showed that one of the main reasons for Indian companies of being SA 8000 certified is the willingness to satisfy the request for greater transparency on the part of stakeholders and the market in general. The study shows that by certifying SA 8000, Indian textile companies want to be promoters of a more sustainable and ethical way of doing business. The value of the research lies in the decision to focus on the Indian market, and in the textile sector, since India is the first country with the largest number of SA 8000 certified companies among developing countries and its textile industry is relevant all around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Market Competition, Capital Structure, and CEO Duality on Firm Performance: A Mediation Analysis by Incorporating the GMM Model Technique
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083480 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 481
Abstract
This current study is one of the few investigations to conduct a focalized examination of the relationship between CEO duality and firm performance; however, this relationship seems to be imprecise due to the impact of the invention mechanism. This study explores the effect [...] Read more.
This current study is one of the few investigations to conduct a focalized examination of the relationship between CEO duality and firm performance; however, this relationship seems to be imprecise due to the impact of the invention mechanism. This study explores the effect of CEO duality to achieve firm performance through the mediating effects of capital structure and market competition, which is an innovative model. The study incorporated the generalized method of moments (GMM) model to examine the proposed association of the CEO duality and firm performance, and the findings specified a negative relationship between CEO duality and firm performance. The results indicated that capital structure partially mediated the association between CEO duality and firm performance. The results also showed that market competition fully mediated this linkage between CEO duality and firm performance, which in turn specified a significant positive relationship with market competition, which mediated a positive relationship. By incorporating these mediators, the results determined that CEO duality reduces firm performance through the capital structure; however, it enhances firm performance by stimulating market competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development II)
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Open AccessArticle
Whistleblowing in Norwegian Municipalities—Can Offers of Reward Influence Employees’ Willingness and Motivation to Report Wrongdoings?
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083479 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 374
Abstract
This organizational study aims to explore whistleblowing in Norwegian Municipalities. The purpose is to explore whether employees perceive that their workplace has a well-functioning reporting system, to investigate what kind of rewards, if any, the employees considered most desirable, and to map, if [...] Read more.
This organizational study aims to explore whistleblowing in Norwegian Municipalities. The purpose is to explore whether employees perceive that their workplace has a well-functioning reporting system, to investigate what kind of rewards, if any, the employees considered most desirable, and to map, if any, the relationship between all types of compensation and the willingness to notify within one’s own organization. This study reports on 2018 interview data from a medium-sized Norwegian municipality. The main findings indicated that the municipally exhibits little perceived every-day focus on fighting corruption and that the employees have limited knowledge of the systems and routines available to them. Further, results showed that multiple factors influenced the employee’s willingness to report and receive compensation. Especially was increased management recognition and a more clearly formalized reporting processes perceived as important motivation factors. This study contributes to organization and leadership studies and identifies problem areas, possibly helping managers and organizers focus further on the importance of anti-corruption work and whistleblowing processes within organizations. Further studies are recommended to increase the field of knowledge related to employees’ willingness and motivation to notify when they witness workplace corruption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial-Temporal Response Patterns of Tourist Flow under Real-Time Tourist Flow Diversion Scheme
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083478 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
This paper excavates tourist decision-making mechanism under the real-time tourist flow diversion scheme (RTFDS) and evaluates the tourist flow diversion effect of RTFDS. To meet the objectives, the stated preference survey and tourist flow survey of the Summer Palace were implemented. The tourist [...] Read more.
This paper excavates tourist decision-making mechanism under the real-time tourist flow diversion scheme (RTFDS) and evaluates the tourist flow diversion effect of RTFDS. To meet the objectives, the stated preference survey and tourist flow survey of the Summer Palace were implemented. The tourist behavior adjustment model and tourist flow diversion simulation model were established. The results show that: (a) For core tourist spots, 66.5% and 16.5% of tourists will choose “behavior adjustment” and “no longer adjustment” under RTFDS, these behavior adjustments all shorten tourists’ residence time in tourist spots; (b) When the tourist congestion perception degree equals 4 or 5, tourists tend to adopt behavior adjustment or the individuals adopt no longer adjustment instead of cognitive adjustment when they face low tourist congestion perception degree, which equals 1 or 2; (c) When core tourist spots’ residence time is reduced by 10% and 20%, there are 60% and 73% time nodes where core tourist spots’ tourist flow density is less than or equal to the condition of null information, there are 73% and 60% time nodes where periphery tourist spots’ density is more than the condition of null information. The simulation results showed that some tourists could be guided from core tourist spots to periphery tourist spots through releasing RTFDS information. The research can provide theoretical support for the implementation of RTFDS, and alleviate the congestion inside the tourist attraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Small Queuing Restaurant Sustainable Revenue Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083477 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 383
Abstract
When competitive small restaurants have queues in peak periods, they lack strategies to cope. However, few studies have examined small restaurants’ revenue management strategies at peak times. This research examines how such small restaurants in South Korea can improve their profitability by adapting [...] Read more.
When competitive small restaurants have queues in peak periods, they lack strategies to cope. However, few studies have examined small restaurants’ revenue management strategies at peak times. This research examines how such small restaurants in South Korea can improve their profitability by adapting their price increases, table mix, and the equilibrium points of the utilization rates, and reports the following findings based on the analysis of two studies. In Study 1, improving profitability by increasing prices should carefully consider the magnitude and timing. In Study 2, when implementing the table mix strategy, seat occupancy and profit also increase, and we further find the equilibrium points of the utilization rates. Under a queuing system, the utilization rate and average waiting time are also identified as having a trade-off relationship. The results provide insights into how managers of small restaurants with queues can develop efficient revenue management strategies to manage peak hours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restaurant Sustainable Strategic Management (SSM))
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Open AccessArticle
Socialization on Sustainable Networks: The Case of eBay Green’s Facebook
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083476 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Given that novel merchandising informatics is seen as a better approach to studying eco-friendly markets, this study aimed to explore consumer socialization of sustainable networks based on the theory of consumer socialization. By employing social network analysis using the NodeXL program, we examined [...] Read more.
Given that novel merchandising informatics is seen as a better approach to studying eco-friendly markets, this study aimed to explore consumer socialization of sustainable networks based on the theory of consumer socialization. By employing social network analysis using the NodeXL program, we examined the social class hierarchy, investigated the structure of social agent–learner relationships, and explored the social learning properties of the eBay Green Team Facebook network. The results indicated that the network has been structured as a ‘tight-crowd network’ through 76,482 interactions among 1612 actors from 19 clusters. Specifically, the centrality measure revealed the top influentials and their interactions with other eBay Green participants. The semantic analysis discerned the salient words, which implies that consumers gain utility from this network. We concluded that sustainable networks in social media can provide an account of the socialization of consumer attitudes and the role of top influentials in sustaining the relational network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing the Willingness to Pay for Aquaponic Products in a Developed Food Market: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083475 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Even in highly developed food markets, aquaponic products have not yet been successfully introduced. This is particularly surprising, as aquaponics is an excellent example of a sustainable circulation food production system. The purpose of this empirical study was to determine the factors that [...] Read more.
Even in highly developed food markets, aquaponic products have not yet been successfully introduced. This is particularly surprising, as aquaponics is an excellent example of a sustainable circulation food production system. The purpose of this empirical study was to determine the factors that influence consumers’ willingness to pay for aquaponic products. The direct and indirect relationships were tested via Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Primary data of 315 respondents from Austria were collected. The findings revealed that the willingness to pay for aquaponic products was significantly and directly driven by the purchase intention. As a result, the successful implementation of aquaponics in the market requires the provision of information for consumers. We suggest emphasizing the value of aquaponics as a sustainable food production system, since indirect factors that influence the willingness to pay are (besides the assessment of aquaponics) environmental awareness and green consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior and Food Marketing)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathways to Livable Relocation Settlements Following Disaster
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083474 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Mass relocation—the transfer of communities to new housing developments—is often implemented following disasters, despite criticism that past projects have not created livable communities for residents. Livable relocation communities are those where residents experience quality housing, utilities, social infrastructure, neighborliness, safety, and a sense [...] Read more.
Mass relocation—the transfer of communities to new housing developments—is often implemented following disasters, despite criticism that past projects have not created livable communities for residents. Livable relocation communities are those where residents experience quality housing, utilities, social infrastructure, neighborliness, safety, and a sense of permanence. Numerous conditions may support livability, such as site location, community involvement, and processes of managing construction and beneficiary transfer. We evaluated relocation communities in Tacloban City, Philippines, applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify pathways, or combinations of conditions, that led to built and societal livability. We found pathways to livability generally differed between government and non-government developed sites, with the former benefiting from a slower pace and standard permitting procedures, and the latter by building fast and using scale and need to prompt improved services. An unexpected combination emerged as a pathway to societal livability—being remote and comprised of households originally from a mix of different communities—revealing a new narrative for positive social outcomes in relocation. Three conditions emerged as necessary for achieving overall livability: fast construction, full occupancy, and close proximity to an economic and administrative center. This analysis demonstrates necessary conditions and pathways that implementing agencies can reference in their quest to create livable relocation communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sheltering and Housing Displaced Populations)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
More Timber in Construction: Unanswered Questions and Future Challenges
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083473 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 472
Abstract
The built environment is one of the greatest contributors to carbon emissions, climate change, and to the unsustainable pressure on the natural environment and its ecosystems. The use of more timber in construction is one possible response, and an authoritative contribution to this [...] Read more.
The built environment is one of the greatest contributors to carbon emissions, climate change, and to the unsustainable pressure on the natural environment and its ecosystems. The use of more timber in construction is one possible response, and an authoritative contribution to this growing movement comes from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, which identifies a “substantial increase in the use of wood in the construction of buildings” as a top priority. However, a global encouragement of such a strategy raises some difficult questions. Given the urgency of effective solutions for low-carbon built environments, and the likely continued growth in demand for timber in construction, this article reviews its sustainability and identifies future challenges and unanswered questions. Existing evidence points indeed towards timber as the lower carbon option when modelled through life cycle assessment without having to draw on arguments around carbon storage. Issues however remain on the timing of carbon emissions, land allocation, and the environmental loads and benefits associated with the end-of-life options: analysis of environmental product declarations for engineered timber suggests that landfill might either be the best or the worst option from a climate change perspective, depending on assumptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
The Concern about Biodiversity as a Criterion for the Classification of the Sustainable Consumer: A Cross-Cultural Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083472 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 331
Abstract
One of the variables assessed in the research related to the consumption of green products is environmental concern. This work explores a new dimension to environmental concern: biodiversity. The reasons why research has focused on the mentioned dimension are, on one hand, the [...] Read more.
One of the variables assessed in the research related to the consumption of green products is environmental concern. This work explores a new dimension to environmental concern: biodiversity. The reasons why research has focused on the mentioned dimension are, on one hand, the consideration of biodiversity as the main environmental indicator of the sustainability and, on the other, the paucity of marketing studies analyzing this variable and its relationship with the purchase behavior of sustainable products. The present paper proposes a classification of sustainable consumers according to their level of biodiversity concern. It is based on a quantitative study on the consumption behavior of olive oils carried out in four European countries, using the clustering multivariate technique. The results point out that there are differences between the segments depending on their level of commitment to biodiversity. The country’s influence on the way that its people experience biodiversity was also tackled. As a main conclusion, we identify four clusters or segments (not concerned, passive, active and influencers), setting up a multilevel structure of ascending intensity with regard to their level of biodiversity concern, with differences in the composition according to age and sex between countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumption, Consumer Behaviour and Sustainability)
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