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Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 3 (February-1 2021) – 582 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Human pressures on marine ecosystems significantly increased during the last few decades. The aim of the research, carried out in the Adriatic Sea, was to test a repeatable Marine Spatial Planning framework aimed at enhancing the sustainability of fisheries. Results highlighted the spatial features of the major fishing pressures affecting essential fish habitats, marine mammals, and turtles in the study area. A portfolio of possible management measures is identified, providing clear evidence that, in order to mitigate emerging conflicts and cumulative impacts, it is necessary to combine and integrate different types of measures and an effective exchange with fisheries stakeholders. Given the complex set of measures discussed, this work can provide a useful contribution to the management of fisheries both at a local and regional level, fostering the transition to sustainable fisheries. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Common Good Balance Sheet and Employees’ Perceptions, Attitudes and Behaviors
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031592 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
The Common Good Balance Sheet (CGB) is an instrument to measure a company’s contribution to the common good. In our study, we investigate whether employees from companies with higher CBG scores perceive more corporate social responsibility than employees from companies with lower CBG [...] Read more.
The Common Good Balance Sheet (CGB) is an instrument to measure a company’s contribution to the common good. In our study, we investigate whether employees from companies with higher CBG scores perceive more corporate social responsibility than employees from companies with lower CBG scores and whether relationships can be found between the achieved CGB scores and employees’ job-related attitudes and behaviors. We conducted an online survey of 332 employees from eight German companies with published CGBs. According to results from multiple linear regression analyses, employees from companies with higher CGB scores perceive more CSR and are more satisfied with their jobs and payments. In addition, they report less job demands, more organizational support, more work meaningfulness and more organizational citizenship behaviors towards their company. Employees identify more with their company if high transparency and co-determination is practiced. However, the value and social impact of the companies’ products is not related to employees’ organizational identification. Moreover, employees from companies with high CGB scores do not report more organizational citizenship behaviors towards their colleagues. Our results indicate that the CGB is a tool that measures aspects concerning job-related attitudes and behaviors and allows comparability between companies. However, aspects relevant to job satisfaction may still be missing in the CGB scoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Economy for the Common Good)
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Open AccessArticle
Cost–Benefit Analysis of HELE and Subcritical Coal-Fired Electricity Generation Technologies in Southeast Asia
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031591 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
A large potential exists in the Southeast Asia region for deployment of high-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) electricity generation technologies. A cost–benefit analysis of HELE technologies compared to the less efficient subcritical electricity generation plants is thus carried out to find a persuasive scenario supporting [...] Read more.
A large potential exists in the Southeast Asia region for deployment of high-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) electricity generation technologies. A cost–benefit analysis of HELE technologies compared to the less efficient subcritical electricity generation plants is thus carried out to find a persuasive scenario supporting quicker transition from subcritical stations towards HELE technologies in the region. A levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) analysis is carried out for both technologies under four potential policy scenarios. Scenario 1 does not take into consideration any carbon pricing or costs associated with the desulphurization (deSOx) and denitrification (deNOx) facilities. Scenario 2 (Scenario 3) incorporates carbon pricing (costs associated with the deSOx and deNOx facilities), and Scenario 4 includes both carbon pricing and costs associated with the deSOx and deNOx facilities. Under each scenario, a sensitivity analysis is performed to evaluate the uncertainty affecting the future coal prices. This study demonstrates that HELE technologies are competitive against the subcritical plants under all four scenarios and both the technologies derive benefit from lifetime extensions and low coal prices. It is revealed that future deployments of HELE technologies can be best expedited by factoring in carbon pricing in LCOE costs of coal-fired power plants under Scenario 2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Secure and Sustainable Energy System)
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Open AccessArticle
Factor Analysis of Subjective Well-Being Sustainability through Foreign Language Learning in Healthy Older Individuals
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031590 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Healthy aging is one of the most important aspects of human life as it can significantly improve its quality. Therefore, it is necessary to promote successful aging as a significant and important part of maintaining physical and mental well-being in the elderly. One [...] Read more.
Healthy aging is one of the most important aspects of human life as it can significantly improve its quality. Therefore, it is necessary to promote successful aging as a significant and important part of maintaining physical and mental well-being in the elderly. One of the strategies to enhance the elderly’s well-being may be also foreign language learning. The purpose of this study is to compare and discuss what effect foreign language learning (FLL) might have on subjective well-being among healthy older individuals in the Czech Republic and Poland, using factor analysis as the primary statistical method. The research sample consisted of two experimental groups of seniors; one from the Czech Republic (n = 92) and another from Poland (n = 100). The main research methods included a questionnaire survey and factor analysis. The factor analysis revealed the four significant factors and their correlations with demographic variables, whose results showed the effect of FLL on seniors’ subjective well-being. In conclusion, learning a foreign language at an older age seems to be one of the key strategies to maintain a subjective feeling of happiness at a relatively high level in elderly people without necessary pharmacological intervention. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Consumer Neuroscience Techniques in Advertising Research: A Bibliometric Citation Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031589 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 430
Abstract
The limitations of self-report techniques (i.e., questionnaires or surveys) in measuring consumer response to advertising stimuli have necessitated more objective and accurate tools from the fields of neuroscience and psychology for the study of consumer behavior, resulting in the creation of consumer neuroscience. [...] Read more.
The limitations of self-report techniques (i.e., questionnaires or surveys) in measuring consumer response to advertising stimuli have necessitated more objective and accurate tools from the fields of neuroscience and psychology for the study of consumer behavior, resulting in the creation of consumer neuroscience. This recent marketing sub-field stems from a wide range of disciplines and applies multiple types of techniques to diverse advertising subdomains (e.g., advertising constructs, media elements, or prediction strategies). Due to its complex nature and continuous growth, this area of research calls for a clear understanding of its evolution, current scope, and potential domains in the field of advertising. Thus, this current research is among the first to apply a bibliometric approach to clarify the main research streams analyzing advertising persuasion using neuroimaging. Particularly, this paper combines a comprehensive review with performance analysis tools of 203 papers published between 1986 and 2019 in outlets indexed by the ISI Web of Science database. Our findings describe the research tools, journals, and themes that are worth considering in future research. The current study also provides an agenda for future research and therefore constitutes a starting point for advertising academics and professionals intending to use neuroimaging techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Neuroscience and Sustainable Marketing)
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of Inbound Logistics Mode Based on JIT Production in Cruise Ship Construction
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031588 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
The cruise market has developed rapidly in recent years. The opulence of the cruise market has also augmented the demand for the cruise construction industry. Cruise ship construction is a huge and intricate heavy industry that can cause serious environmental problems. Therefore, optimal [...] Read more.
The cruise market has developed rapidly in recent years. The opulence of the cruise market has also augmented the demand for the cruise construction industry. Cruise ship construction is a huge and intricate heavy industry that can cause serious environmental problems. Therefore, optimal use of advanced logistics systems, to meet the demands at the lowest possible cost and unnecessary waste, has become a key issue. This paper developed two typical inbound logistics system modes based on JIT (Just In Time)-logistics policy and formulated two single-objective nonlinear models to simultaneously determine the ordering strategy under the inbound logistics system and the optimal selection strategy of two typical inbound logistics modes. Numerical experiments depicted the variations of optimal inbound logistics mode over three different kinds of cruise parts. These two models could provide insights in making inbound logistics decisions, and serve as a reference in the mass customization logistics service for cruise ship construction to control costs, which is helpful for promoting the sustainability of the cruise market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Generating and Visualizing Spatially Disaggregated Synthetic Population Using a Web-Based Geospatial Service
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031587 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Geographically fine-grained population information is critical for various urban planning and management tasks. This is especially the case for the Chinese cities that are undergoing rapid development and transformation. However, detailed population data are rarely available in comprehensive and timely means. Therefore, appropriate [...] Read more.
Geographically fine-grained population information is critical for various urban planning and management tasks. This is especially the case for the Chinese cities that are undergoing rapid development and transformation. However, detailed population data are rarely available in comprehensive and timely means. Therefore, appropriate approaches are needed to estimate populations from available data sets in a systematic way to support the continuous demand from urban analytics and planning. Population synthesis approaches such as Iterative Proportional Fitting (IPF) were developed to combine microdata samples with marginal statistics about population characteristics at aggregated spatial levels in order to expand the microdata sample into a complete synthetic population. This paper presents the framework for and the implementation of a geospatial platform for supporting the generation and exploration of spatially detailed urban synthetic populations. The platform provides analytical and visualization tools to support the quick generation of a full urban population with critical attributes based on the latest data available. The case of the synthetic population of Chongqing is used to illustrate the population information and types of visualization that are facilitated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Nonlinear Relation between Institutional Ownership and Environmental, Social and Governance Performance in Emerging Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031586 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 388
Abstract
This paper examines how the level of institutional ownership affects environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance in emerging countries by jointly investigating a nonlinear relationship. By examining an international sample composed of 17,318 firm–year observations from the period 2012–18 for 16 emerging countries, [...] Read more.
This paper examines how the level of institutional ownership affects environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance in emerging countries by jointly investigating a nonlinear relationship. By examining an international sample composed of 17,318 firm–year observations from the period 2012–18 for 16 emerging countries, our findings reveal that the ESG performance of firms located in emerging countries depends on the level of influential institutional ownership, and displays a U-shaped relation, particularly for environmental disclosure. Institutional investors with low ownership are less likely to promote higher ESG performance in emerging countries, although this effect is attenuated when institutional ownership reaches a significant percentage, constituting a critical mass. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Demarketing Tourism for Sustainability: Degrowing Tourism or Moving the Deckchairs on the Titanic?
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031585 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Demarketing is generally recognized as that aspect of marketing that aims at discouraging customers in general or a certain class of customers in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis and has been increasingly posited as a potential tool to degrow tourism [...] Read more.
Demarketing is generally recognized as that aspect of marketing that aims at discouraging customers in general or a certain class of customers in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis and has been increasingly posited as a potential tool to degrow tourism and improve its overall sustainability, particularly as a result of so-called overtourism. The paper provides an overview of the various ways in which demarketing has been applied in a tourism context and assesses the relative value of demarketing as a means of contributing to sustainability and degrowing tourism. It is argued that demarketing can make a substantial contribution to degrowing tourism at a local or even regional scale, but that the capacity to shift visitation in space and time also highlights a core weakness with respect to its contribution at other scales. The paper concludes by noting that the concept of degrowth also needs to be best understood as a continuum of which demarketing is only one aspect. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Are Cross-Border Classes Feasible for Students to Collaborate in the Analysis of Energy Efficiency Strategies for Socioeconomic Development While Keeping CO2 Concentration Controlled?
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031584 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Education is critical for improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 concentration, but collaboration between countries is also critical. It is a global problem in which we cannot isolate ourselves. Our students must learn to collaborate in seeking solutions together with others from [...] Read more.
Education is critical for improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 concentration, but collaboration between countries is also critical. It is a global problem in which we cannot isolate ourselves. Our students must learn to collaborate in seeking solutions together with others from other countries. Thus, the research question of this study is whether interactive cross-border science classes with energy experiments are feasible and can increase awareness of energy efficiency among middle school students. We designed and tested an interactive cross-border class between Chilean and Peruvian eighth-grade classes. The classes were synchronously connected and all students did experiments and answered open-ended questions on an online platform. Some of the questions were designed to check conceptual understanding whereas others asked for suggestions of how to develop their economies while keeping CO2 air concentration at acceptable levels. In real time, the teacher reviewed the students’ written answers and the concept maps that were automatically generated based on their responses. Students peer-reviewed their classmates’ suggestions. This is part of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) education project on energy efficiency using APEC databases. We found high levels of student engagement, where students discussed not only the cross-cutting nature of energy, but also its relation to socioeconomic development and CO2 emissions, and the need to work together to improve energy efficiency. In conclusion, interactive cross-border science classes are a feasible educational alternative, with potential as a scalable public policy strategy for improving awareness of energy efficiency among the population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Knowledge Graph-Based Data Integration Framework Applied to Battery Data Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031583 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Today, the automotive and transportation sector is undergoing a transformation process to meet the requirements of sustainable and efficient operations. This transformation mainly reveals itself by electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicle sharing. One significant, and the most expensive, component in [...] Read more.
Today, the automotive and transportation sector is undergoing a transformation process to meet the requirements of sustainable and efficient operations. This transformation mainly reveals itself by electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicle sharing. One significant, and the most expensive, component in electric vehicles is the batteries, and the management of batteries is crucial. It is essential to perform constant monitoring of behavior changes for operational purposes and quickly adjust components and operations to these changes. Thus, to address these challenges, we propose a knowledge graph-based data integration framework for simplifying access and analysis of data accumulated through the operations of vehicles and related transportation systems. The proposed framework aims to enable the effortless analysis and navigation of integrated knowledge and the creation of additional data sets from this knowledge to use during the application of data analysis and machine learning. The knowledge graph serves as a significant component to simplify the extraction, enrichment, exploration, and generation of data in this framework. We have developed it according to the human-centered design, and various roles of the data science and machine learning life cycle can use it. Its main objective is to streamline the exploration and interaction with the integrated data to maximize human productivity. Finally, we present a battery use case to show the feasibility and benefits of the proposed framework. The use case illustrates the usage of the framework to extract knowledge from raw data, navigate and enrich it with additional knowledge, and generate data sets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Micro-Hydropower in Nepal: Analysing the Project Process to Understand Drivers that Strengthen and Weaken Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031582 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Evaluating the sustainable operation of community-owned and community-operated renewable energy projects is complex. The development of a project often depends on the actions of diverse stakeholders, including the government, industry and communities. Throughout the project cycle, these interrelated actions impact the sustainability of [...] Read more.
Evaluating the sustainable operation of community-owned and community-operated renewable energy projects is complex. The development of a project often depends on the actions of diverse stakeholders, including the government, industry and communities. Throughout the project cycle, these interrelated actions impact the sustainability of the project. In this paper, the typical project cycle of a micro-hydropower plant in Nepal is used to demonstrate that key events throughout the project cycle affect a plant’s ability to operate sustainably. Through a critical analysis of the available literature, policy and project documentation and interviews with manufacturers, drivers that affect the sustainability of plants are found. Examples include weak specification of civil components during tendering, quality control issues during manufacture, poor quality of construction and trained operators leaving their position. Opportunities to minimise both the occurrence and the severity of threats to sustainability are identified. For the micro-hydropower industry in Nepal, recommendations are made for specific actions by the relevant stakeholders at appropriate moments in the project cycle. More broadly, the findings demonstrate that the complex nature of developing community energy projects requires a holistic consideration of the complete project process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designed to Be Noticed: A Reconceptualization of Carbon Food Labels as Warning Labels
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031581 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Carbon labels are considered a fundamental tool for reducing emissions associated with grocery products. Although the prior literature has shown that both limited motivation and understanding of carbon labels explain the effectiveness of carbon labels, knowledge regarding how to improve the label design [...] Read more.
Carbon labels are considered a fundamental tool for reducing emissions associated with grocery products. Although the prior literature has shown that both limited motivation and understanding of carbon labels explain the effectiveness of carbon labels, knowledge regarding how to improve the label design to increase noticeability is limited. Given the limited motivation of mainstream consumers to use carbon labels, this exploratory paper proposes that the label design should trigger bottom-up (or sensory-driven) attention mechanisms. Using grounded theory for the data collection and analysis of six focus groups, this study tests six features (i.e., location, size, color, icons, a colored background or border, and textual anchors) and identifies four design criteria (i.e., vividness, incongruity, simplicity, and clarity) that may increase label noticeability. The main conclusion of this qualitative study is that carbon labels are noticed when they are perceived as a cue of hazard. Based on this finding, we propose that carbon labels could be designed as warning labels; therefore, the insights already proven in the warning label literature should be applied to carbon label design to increase its noticeability and use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Future Natural Suitable Areas for Rice under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031580 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Extreme temperature events, which are part of global climate change, are a growing threat to crop production, especially to such temperature-sensitive crops as rice. As a result, the traditional rice-growing areas are also likely to shift. The MaxEnt model was used for predicting [...] Read more.
Extreme temperature events, which are part of global climate change, are a growing threat to crop production, especially to such temperature-sensitive crops as rice. As a result, the traditional rice-growing areas are also likely to shift. The MaxEnt model was used for predicting the areas potentially suitable for rice in the short term (2016–2035) and in the medium term (2046–2065) and under two scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, namely representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 (the intermediate scenario) and RCP 8.5 (sometimes referred to as the worst-case scenario). The predictions, on verification, were seen to be highly accurate: the AUC—area under the curve—value of the MaxEnt model was > 0.85. The model made the following predictions. (1) Areas highly suitable for rice crops will continue to be concentrated mainly in the current major rice-production areas, and areas only marginally suitable will be concentrated mainly in the rainforest region. (2) Overall, although the current pattern of the distribution of such areas would remain more or less unchanged, their extent will mainly decrease in the subtropics but increase in the tropics and in high-latitude regions. (3) The extent of such areas will decrease in the short term but increase in the medium term. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spatial Evolution of Urban Expansion in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Coordinated Development Region
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031579 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Against the background of coordinated development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region (BTH), it is of great significance to quantitatively reveal spatiotemporal dynamics of urban expansion for optimizing the layout of urban land across regions. However, the urban expansion characteristics, types and trends, and spatial [...] Read more.
Against the background of coordinated development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region (BTH), it is of great significance to quantitatively reveal spatiotemporal dynamics of urban expansion for optimizing the layout of urban land across regions. However, the urban expansion characteristics, types and trends, and spatial coevolution (including urban land, GDP, and population) have not been well investigated in the existing research studies. This study presents a new spatial measure that describes the difference of the main trend direction. In addition, we also introduce a new method to classify an urban expansion type based on other scholars. The results show the following: (1) The annual urban expansion area (UEA) in Beijing and Tianjin has been ahead of that in Hebei; the annual urban expansion rate (UER) gradually shifted from the highest in megacities to the highest in counties; the high–high clusters of the UEA presented an evolution from a “seesaw” pattern to a “dumbbell” pattern, while that of the UER moved first from Beijing to Tianjin and eventually to Hebei. (2) Double high speed for both UEA and UER was the main extension type; most cities presented a U-shaped trend. (3) Qinhuangdao has the largest difference between the main trend direction of spatial distribution of urban land, GDP and population; the spatial distribution of GDP is closer to that of urban land than population. (4) The area and proportion of land occupied by urban expansion varied greatly across districts/counties. BTH experienced dramatic urban expansion and has a profound impact on land use. These research results can provide a data basis and empirical reference for territorial spatial planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Development in a Closed Groundwater-Driven Basin: A Case Study of the Siwa Region, Western Desert of Egypt
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1578; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031578 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 267
Abstract
The Siwa region located in the Western Desert of Egypt has 30,000 acres available for reclamation as a part of a national project to increase agricultural production. This study addressed the climate change-driven long-term concerns of developing an agricultural project in this region [...] Read more.
The Siwa region located in the Western Desert of Egypt has 30,000 acres available for reclamation as a part of a national project to increase agricultural production. This study addressed the climate change-driven long-term concerns of developing an agricultural project in this region where groundwater from the non-renewable Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) is the only source of water. Different climate models were used under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs); RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Projected seasonal temperatures show that the maximum increase in summer is 1.68 ± 1.64 °C in 2060 and 4.65 ± 1.82 °C in 2100 under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively. The increase in water requirement for crops is estimated around 6–8.1% under RCP 4.5 while around 9.7–18.2% under RCP 8.5. Maximum reductions of strategic crop yields vary from 2.9% to 12.8% in 2060 under RCP 4.5, while from 10.4% to 27.4% in 2100 under RCP 8.5. Project goals are feasible until 2100 under RCP 4.5 but only until 2080 with RCP 8.5. When an optimization analysis was conducted, these goals are possible from 2080 to 2100 by modified land allocation. The proposed methodology is useful to project impact of climate change anywhere such that management and adaptation options can be proposed for sustainable agricultural development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Groundwater Resource Development for Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Trade-Offs and Synergies of Multiple Ecosystem Services for Different Land Use Scenarios in the Yili River Valley, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031577 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Environmental managers and policymakers increasingly discuss trade-offs between ecosystem services (ESs). However, few studies have used nonlinear models to provide scenario-specific land-use planning. This study determined the effects of different future land use/land cover (LULC) scenarios on ESs in the Yili River Valley, [...] Read more.
Environmental managers and policymakers increasingly discuss trade-offs between ecosystem services (ESs). However, few studies have used nonlinear models to provide scenario-specific land-use planning. This study determined the effects of different future land use/land cover (LULC) scenarios on ESs in the Yili River Valley, China, and analyzed the trade-offs and synergistic response characteristics. We simulated land-use changes in the Yili River Valley during 2020–2030 under three different scenarios using a patch-generating land-use simulation (PLUS) model—business as usual (BAU), economic development (ED), and ecological conservation (EC). Subsequently, we evaluated the water yield (WY), carbon storage (CS), soil retention (SR), and nutrient export (NE) ESs by combining the PLUS and integrated valuation of ecosystem services and trade-offs (InVEST) models, thus exploring multiple trade-offs among these four ESs at a regional scale. For the BAU scenario, there are some synergistic effects between WY and SR in the Yili River Valley, in addition to significant trade-off effects between CS and NE. For the ED scenario, the rapid expansion of cropland and constructed land is at the expense of forested grassland, leading to a significant decline in ESs. For the EC scenario, the model predicted that the cumulative regional net future carbon storage, cumulative water retention, and cumulative soil conservation would all increase due to ecological engineering and the revegetation of riparian zones and that formerly steep agricultural land can be effective in improving ESs. Meanwhile, the trade-off effect would be significantly weakened between CS and NE. These results can inform decision makers on specific sites where ecological engineering is implemented. Our findings can enhance stakeholders’ understanding of the interactions between ESs indicators in different scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Well-Being and Sustainability in Crisis Areas: The Case of Taranto
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031576 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 369
Abstract
Unresilient and fragile regions need methods and data able to make policy-makers acknowledge the specific criticalities by which they are affected, so as to build effective development strategies and policies. This research explores whether and to what extent well-being and sustainability measurement frameworks [...] Read more.
Unresilient and fragile regions need methods and data able to make policy-makers acknowledge the specific criticalities by which they are affected, so as to build effective development strategies and policies. This research explores whether and to what extent well-being and sustainability measurement frameworks are able to recognize crisis areas. We identified Taranto (Italy), declared as both a National Priority Contaminated Site and a Complex Industrial Crisis area, as a paradigmatic and extreme case of crisis areas and adopted the single case approach to address our research question. After reviewing several frameworks able to measure well-being at local level, we focused on Benessere Equo e Sostenibile dei Territori (Equitable and Sustainable Territorial Well-being, BESdT). We used two aggregate indexes to analyze data, namely the Adjusted Mazziotta-Pareto Index and the Adjusted Differences Mean Index. The study shows that, although BESdT does detect some criticalities of the examined area, it seems not able to adequately frame the multifaceted crisis that affects the area of Taranto. Even in presence of a full-blown crisis, the problematic situation does not always reflect into lower territorial performance, neither at the level of single indicators nor at the level of entire domains. Such discrepancy appears to be particularly evident within the economic domain. The paper ends with a discussion on the research and policy implications and some proposals for further research. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Swimming Performance of Four Carps on the Yangtze River for Fish Passage Design
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031575 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Anthropogenic engineered structures alter the local ecological connectivity of river and survival habitat of native fishes. The swimming performance is critical for establishing fish passage or fish habitat. This study evaluated the swimming performance of four carps (black carp, grass carp, silver carp [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic engineered structures alter the local ecological connectivity of river and survival habitat of native fishes. The swimming performance is critical for establishing fish passage or fish habitat. This study evaluated the swimming performance of four carps (black carp, grass carp, silver carp and bighead carp) with smaller body lengths (1.0–9.0 cm) in a swimming flume. The results showed that the critical and burst swimming speed (m/s) of the four carps increased with the increased body length, and the relative (critical and burst) swimming speed (the critical and burst swimming speed divided by the body length, BL/s) decreases with body length. The critical and burst swimming speed of each species at two individual length groups (1.0–5.0 cm, 5.1–9.0 cm) was significantly different (p < 0.05), and the water velocities in fish passage should be less than the fish burst swimming speed. The results further provided the swimming performance data of juvenile carps and provided technical reference for the construction of fish passage and the restoration of ecological habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Digestate as Fertilizer for a Sustainable Tomato Cultivation
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031574 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 355
Abstract
The effects of two digestates split up in liquid and solid fractions were investigated on tomato production. The objectives were (1) to verify if the two digestates different in composition differently affected the growth and the quality of tomato; (2) to assess the [...] Read more.
The effects of two digestates split up in liquid and solid fractions were investigated on tomato production. The objectives were (1) to verify if the two digestates different in composition differently affected the growth and the quality of tomato; (2) to assess the effectiveness of the two digestate fractions (liquid and solid) on tomato growth and quality characteristics of the harvested tomato fruit. In short, our results evidenced different effects between the two digestates and also between solid and liquid fractions, suggesting that the type of solid fraction (Uliva or Fattoria) rather than the concentration, or their interaction mainly influenced plant growth parameters. Conversely, the effectiveness of liquid fractions were mostly due to the concentrations rather than to the type of digestate. Results also evidenced positive effects of both digestates on the nutritional values of tomatoes, largely explained by the increase in various health-promoting compounds, including vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. The contemporary increase in these different bio-compounds with a wide range of physiological properties and multi target actions confers to digestate treated tomato a nutraceutical benefit. The use of both fractions of both digestates as fertilizer may represent an effective strategy to obtain, even if in some cases at the expense of growth, high-quality fruit in a sustainable way from an economic and environmental point of view. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Inland Container Transportation Problem with Separation Mode Considering Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031573 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
This paper investigates the Inland Container Transportation (ICT) problem with carbon dioxide emissions. The separation mode that the tractor and semi-trailer could be detached and it permits multitasking to reduce fuel and carbon emission costs. A mixed-integer programming model with Full-Empty container integration [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the Inland Container Transportation (ICT) problem with carbon dioxide emissions. The separation mode that the tractor and semi-trailer could be detached and it permits multitasking to reduce fuel and carbon emission costs. A mixed-integer programming model with Full-Empty container integration has been built. An improved ant colony optimization with two-dimensional variable matrix encoding and Infeasible-Arc filtration strategy has been proposed. Numerical experiments with different scales and characteristics are simulated and validated in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The comparison result indicates the excellent stability for our approach with different task characteristic distribution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Care and Factors Associated with Quality of Life among Older Beneficiaries of Social Services
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031572 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Population aging has led to an increased recognition of the problems encountered by older persons. As a consequence, the most recent years have been marked by a series of changes with regard to the organization and provision of social services for dependent older [...] Read more.
Population aging has led to an increased recognition of the problems encountered by older persons. As a consequence, the most recent years have been marked by a series of changes with regard to the organization and provision of social services for dependent older people. The aim of this article is to identify factors associated with the quality of life in old age, using a logistic regression applied to the data collected following a field survey among the beneficiaries of social services. The analysis revealed that men are more likely to appreciate that life does not make sense, compared to dependent elderly women. Age is also a significant factor that influences the quality of life: the older the people are, the more they tend to think in a positive manner about their life. Health, social participation and food are also important factors that influence the perception regarding the quality of life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analyzing the Environmental Efficiency of Global Airlines by Continent for Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031571 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 304
Abstract
The study of environmental sustainability in the aviation industry mainly focuses on research targeting specific regions such as the United States, Europe, and China. However, for the environmental sustainability of the aviation industry, global airlines on all continents around the world must implement [...] Read more.
The study of environmental sustainability in the aviation industry mainly focuses on research targeting specific regions such as the United States, Europe, and China. However, for the environmental sustainability of the aviation industry, global airlines on all continents around the world must implement efficient environmental management. This study divides the world into six continents and attempts to verify environmental efficiency for airlines belonging to each continent. Using data from 2014 to 2018 of 31 global airlines, this study compares environmental efficiency in the aviation industry by continent and individual airline. Data envelopment analysis (DEA), which is actively used in efficiency studies was adopted as an analysis method. We find that, first, airlines in Europe and Russia have the highest environmental efficiency, and airlines in North America and Canada are the second highest, which can be a good benchmark for other airlines. Second, in technical efficiency (TE) values, airlines in Africa and the Middle East and Latin America generally have low efficiency; but, in the airlines in Africa and the Middle East, environmental efficiency is steadily improving slightly. In comparison, airlines in Latin America showed a decrease in environmental efficiency value, requiring a lot of effort and investment to improve efficiency. Third, for airlines in North America and Canada, the scale efficiency (SE) value was the lowest, even though there was a high level of overall environmental efficiency, indicating the need for efficiency improvement through economies of scale. This study has implications, in that, it suggests how airlines can perform efficient environmental management for sustainability according to the continent to which they belong. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Airline Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Agronomic and Environmental Performance of Lemnaminor Cultivated on Agricultural Wastewater Streams—A Practical Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031570 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 324
Abstract
This study investigated the potential of Lemna minor to valorise agricultural wastewater in protein-rich feed material in order to meet the growing demand for animal feed protein and reduce the excess of nutrients in certain European regions. For this purpose, three pilot-scale systems [...] Read more.
This study investigated the potential of Lemna minor to valorise agricultural wastewater in protein-rich feed material in order to meet the growing demand for animal feed protein and reduce the excess of nutrients in certain European regions. For this purpose, three pilot-scale systems were monitored for 175 days under outdoor conditions in Flanders. The systems were fed with the effluent of aquaculture (pikeperch production—PP), a mixture of diluted pig manure wastewater (PM), and a synthetic medium (SM). PM showed the highest productivity (6.1 ± 2.5 g DW m−2 d−1) and N uptake (327 ± 107 mg N m−2 d−1). PP yielded a similar productivity and both wastewaters resulted in higher productivities than SM. Furthermore, all media showed similar P uptake rates (65–70 P m−2 d−1). Finally, duckweed had a beneficial amino acid composition for humans (essential amino acid index = 1.1), broilers and pigs. This study also showed that the growing medium had more influence on the productivity of duckweed than on its amino acid composition or protein content, with the latter being only slightly affected by the different media studied. Overall, these results demonstrate that duckweed can effectively remove nutrients from agriculture wastewaters while producing quality protein. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction Boundary Determination of Renewable Energy Sources to Estimate System Strength Using the Power Flow Tracing Strategy
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031569 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 327
Abstract
System strength is an important concept in the integration of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, evaluating system strength is becoming more ambiguous due to the interaction of RESs. This paper proposes a novel scheme to define the actual interaction boundaries of RESs using [...] Read more.
System strength is an important concept in the integration of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, evaluating system strength is becoming more ambiguous due to the interaction of RESs. This paper proposes a novel scheme to define the actual interaction boundaries of RESs using the power flow tracing strategy. Based on the proposed method, the interaction boundaries of RESs were identified at the southwest side of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) systems. The test results show that the proposed approach always provides the identical interaction boundaries of RESs in KEPCO systems, compared to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) method. The consistent boundaries could be a guideline for power-system planners to assess more accurate system strength, considering the actual interactions of the RESs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimum Mix Design for 3D Concrete Printing Using Mining Tailings: A Case Study in Spain
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031568 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
A mix design, using a mixture of sand and mine tailings as aggregates, was selected to produce a cement-based 3D printing material suitable for building purposes. Different dosage rates of mine tailings, water, superplasticizers, and accelerators were added to the mixture with the [...] Read more.
A mix design, using a mixture of sand and mine tailings as aggregates, was selected to produce a cement-based 3D printing material suitable for building purposes. Different dosage rates of mine tailings, water, superplasticizers, and accelerators were added to the mixture with the end of looking for the optimum strength, workability and buildability. The term buildability includes aspects such as pumpability and printability. Different tests were carried out in order to compare homogeneous material strength with printed material strength, to evaluate the bonding strength between filaments, and to establish the relationship between fresh behaviour and buildability for printing applications. Finally, a mixture with 20% of recycled materials demonstrated its ability to be used as concrete printing material in the construction industry in the frame of circular economy concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing Applications and Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle
Priority of Uses in International Water Law
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031567 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 304
Abstract
The raison d’être of international water law is that it provides States with a toolkit to equip them to deal with complex problems relating to the joint use and sustainable management of transboundary freshwater resources. The principle of equitable and reasonable utilization is [...] Read more.
The raison d’être of international water law is that it provides States with a toolkit to equip them to deal with complex problems relating to the joint use and sustainable management of transboundary freshwater resources. The principle of equitable and reasonable utilization is one such tool in this toolkit. When applying the equitable and reasonable utilization principle to a specific transboundary watercourse, States sharing that watercourse must decide which water uses are more important than others. But the general rule is that no water use takes a priori priority over others (this is the so-called no-inherent-priority rule). This paper examines three ways in which this no-inherent-priority rule can be relativized, by recognizing a certain degree of priority to certain categories of water uses. Based on an assessment of previous State practice, it is suggested that (1) existing uses enjoy a certain degree of priority over new uses; that water uses that are (2) more beneficial to a greater number of people and are less damaging to other uses and the freshwater ecosystems, enjoy priority; and that water uses that (3) immediately satisfy vital human water needs enjoy priority. States need some general guidance in identifying which water uses normally take priority in defined circumstances, and this paper provides such guidance, thereby making the tool more effective. States can decide to derogate from these general rules if the circumstances so require; they are, of course, not legally binding on them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Law and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Fail to Yield? An Analysis of Ambulance Crashes in Taiwan
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031566 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 227
Abstract
Introduction—Medical emergency vehicles help patients get to the hospital quickly. However, there were more and more ambulance crashes on the road in Taiwan during the last decade. This study investigated the characteristics of medical emergency vehicle crashes in Taiwan from January 2003 to [...] Read more.
Introduction—Medical emergency vehicles help patients get to the hospital quickly. However, there were more and more ambulance crashes on the road in Taiwan during the last decade. This study investigated the characteristics of medical emergency vehicle crashes in Taiwan from January 2003 to December 2016. Methods—The ordered logit (OL) model, multinominal logit (MNL) model, and partial proportional odds (PPO) model were applied to investigate the relationship between the severity of ambulance crash injuries and its risk factors. Results—We found the various factors have different effects on the overall severity of ambulance crashes, such as ambulance drivers’ characteristics and road and weather conditions. When another car was involved in ambulance crashes, there was a disproportionate effect on the different overall severity, as found by the PPO model. Conclusions—The results showed that male ambulance drivers and car drivers who failed to yield to an ambulance had a higher risk of severe injury from ambulance crashes. Ambulance crashes are an emerging issue and need further policies and public education regarding Taiwan’s ambulance transportation safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Impacts: Innovation and Improvement of the Local Urban Plan for a Climate-Proof Adaptation Strategy
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031565 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
In recent years, the territorial impacts connected to sea level rise have prompted a reflection on the responsibilities of policy makers in transposing these issues into urban agendas. The need also emerged to both broaden and update the skills of urban planners and [...] Read more.
In recent years, the territorial impacts connected to sea level rise have prompted a reflection on the responsibilities of policy makers in transposing these issues into urban agendas. The need also emerged to both broaden and update the skills of urban planners and to improve territorial governance tools, with the aim of developing feasible regeneration and resilience strategies to face climate change. In this paper, a methodology for the production of Flood Risk Maps is presented, as applied to the Municipality of Ravenna, Italy, by only considering the static component of inundation hazard, i.e., the projected Mean Sea Level Rise, as a first step towards increased preparedness. The resulting Flood Risk Maps represent, in fact, an innovation with respect to the current cognitive framework that supports local urban planning, by providing information on a potential risk that has so far been overlooked. The method combines sea level rise projections under the pessimistic RCP8.5 scenario with georeferenced territorial data, aiming to identify the physical consistency of the urban-structure components which are potentially at risk. For successive time horizons (2030, 2050 and 2100), our results show the progressive impairment and potential degradation of extensive urban areas that are disregarded in the urban planning regulations currently in force. This preliminary evaluation phase is aimed at prompting and supporting the necessary updating of the planning tools and regulations adopted by the public bodies responsible for territorial governance, by identifying priority areas for intervention, and helping define mitigation and adaptation actions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Statistics Anxiety and Academic Dishonesty: A Comparison between Learning Environments in Social Sciences
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031564 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 327
Abstract
The current research examines the impact of Statistics Anxiety on academic ethical behavior as manifesting in undergraduate social science students attending introductory statistics courses in different learning environments: Covid-19-Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), Planned Online Environment (POE), and Face-to-Face (F2F) courses. Data were collected [...] Read more.
The current research examines the impact of Statistics Anxiety on academic ethical behavior as manifesting in undergraduate social science students attending introductory statistics courses in different learning environments: Covid-19-Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), Planned Online Environment (POE), and Face-to-Face (F2F) courses. Data were collected from students in academic institutions studying for a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to examine the relationship between students’ previous academic achievements and Academic Dishonesty mediated by Statistics Anxiety. The results of multi-group analysis show that path coefficients differ between the three learning environments (POE, F2F, and ERT). Specifically, the results support a model in which previous math and academic achievements are significantly related to Academic Dishonesty mediated by Statistics Anxiety in a POE context only. Accordingly, POE statistics learning is less effective than F2F instruction and practice. Our research shows that instructors’ presence in the learning process reduces students’ anxiety levels and unethical behavior. Thus, we recommend that in POE, the instructor’s presence includes supportive, emphatic, and interpersonal interaction to reduce virtual distance. We conclude that introductory courses in statistics need to empower students experiencing Statistics Anxiety for a better sustainable statistical literacy population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Job Insecurity on Employee Happiness at Work: A Case of Robotised Production Line Operators in Furniture Industry in Lithuania
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031563 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
As a result of intensive robotisation over the past decade, employees have been constantly experiencing job insecurity, a term which refers to the perceived threat of job loss and the worries related to this threat. Previous studies have supported the detrimental effect of [...] Read more.
As a result of intensive robotisation over the past decade, employees have been constantly experiencing job insecurity, a term which refers to the perceived threat of job loss and the worries related to this threat. Previous studies have supported the detrimental effect of job insecurity on employees; however, the focus on happiness at work is still missing, despite the notion that a happy employee is essentially contributing to sustainable business performance. Trying to narrow the gap, the paper aims at revealing the linkage between job insecurity and happiness at work and its dimensions, namely job satisfaction, affective organisational commitment, and work engagement. Building on the hindrance stressor dimension of the stress model, and conservation of resources and psychological contract theories, the paper claims that a negative relationship exists between the constructs. Quantitative data were collected in a survey of robotised production line operators working in the furniture sector in Lithuania. As predicted, the results revealed that job insecurity had a negative impact on happiness at work as a higher-order construct and all of its dimensions. This finding should be taken seriously by organisations creating a robotised production environment while striving for sustainability. Full article
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