Next Issue
Volume 13, April-1
Previous Issue
Volume 13, March-1

Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 6 (March-2 2021) – 589 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Pro-sustainability policy and management interventions are commonly planned and implemented at sub-global levels: local, regional, or national. Decision makers need science-based mapping of possibilities, and an understanding of human and social values, to guide choices that are made within a context of broader policy objectives. They are confronted with an abundance of information—sustainability indicators, downscaled planetary boundaries, and appeals to cost–benefit logic and incentive-based policy instruments—but too little guidance on how to make sense of it all. Taking an integrative approach drawing upon the existing literature, challenging, clarifying, amending, and extending it with some new insights, I establish some principles for monitoring and targeting, and sketch some policy and management applications. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Seamless Integration of Rainfall Spatial Variability and a Conceptual Hydrological Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3588; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063588 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Rainfall is an important input to conceptual hydrological models, and its accuracy would have a considerable effect on that of the model simulations. However, traditional conceptual rainfall-runoff models commonly use catchment-average rainfall as inputs without recognizing its spatial variability. To solve this, a [...] Read more.
Rainfall is an important input to conceptual hydrological models, and its accuracy would have a considerable effect on that of the model simulations. However, traditional conceptual rainfall-runoff models commonly use catchment-average rainfall as inputs without recognizing its spatial variability. To solve this, a seamless integration framework that couples rainfall spatial variability with a conceptual rainfall-runoff model, named the statistical rainfall-runoff (SRR) model, is built in this study. In the SRR model, the exponential difference distribution (EDD) is proposed to describe the spatial variability of rainfall for traditional rain gauging stations. The EDD is then incorporated into the vertically mixed runoff (VMR) model to estimate the statistical runoff component. Then, the stochastic differential equation is adopted to deal with the flow routing under stochastic inflow. To test the performance, the SRR model is then calibrated and validated in a Chinese catchment. The results indicate that the EDD performs well in describing rainfall spatial variability, and that the SRR model is superior to the Xinanjiang model because it provides more accurate mean simulations. The seamless integration framework considering rainfall spatial variability can help build a more reasonable statistical rainfall-runoff model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling and Simulations for Sustainable Water Environments)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Effects on Regional Production and Employment in Spain of the Renewable Energy Plan 2011–2020
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3587; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063587 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
The Renewable Energy Plan for the period 2011–2020 established as a general goal to ensure that renewable sources represent at least 20% of final energy consumption in 2020, together with a minimum contribution of 10% from renewable energy sources in transportation for that [...] Read more.
The Renewable Energy Plan for the period 2011–2020 established as a general goal to ensure that renewable sources represent at least 20% of final energy consumption in 2020, together with a minimum contribution of 10% from renewable energy sources in transportation for that year. Then, the goal of this research is to evaluate the effects of the regional production of clean energy, identifying the employment generated in the renewable sector. The adopted methodology was the shift-share analysis, frequently used by researchers to analyze territorial differences. Main results showed important differences, at regional level, in the production of this type of energy. Likewise, we used constant shift and constant share methodology to make a forecast on the evolution of the sector from the data of last published years. Pending the approval of the new Renewable Energy Plan for the period 2021–2030, the results obtained in this research allow the identification of the regions that showed a favorable evolution to the energy change and identifies the projects that generate employment and production in the sector. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Entrepreneurial Orientation on New Product Creativity, Competitive Advantage and New Product Performance in SMEs: The Moderating Role of Corporate Life Cycle
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063586 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 472
Abstract
The current study aims to empirically examine the effect of entrepreneurial orientation on new product creativity, competitive advantage, and new product performance. Data are collected from 424 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea. The suggested hypotheses are tested through the structural [...] Read more.
The current study aims to empirically examine the effect of entrepreneurial orientation on new product creativity, competitive advantage, and new product performance. Data are collected from 424 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in South Korea. The suggested hypotheses are tested through the structural equation modeling technique. The analysis outcome shows that entrepreneurial orientation has a significant positive effect on both new product (NP) novelty and new product meaningfulness. The study further finds that both new product novelty and meaningfulness have significant positive impacts on competitive advantage, respectively, while the latter has a significant positive effect on new product performance. Similarly, the study finds that corporate life cycle significantly moderates the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and new product meaningfulness. The study offers practical and theoretical insights into understanding entrepreneurship dynamics, new product creativity, and new product performance. The research shows that SME managers must adopt an entrepreneurial orientation at an early stage in the life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Decision-Making Model on the Impact of Vehicle Use on Urban Safety
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063585 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 461
Abstract
In the current era of urban development, people are already using electric vehicles more and more often for transport purposes, which reduces negative impacts on the environment. However, there are still vehicles in towns and cities that run on ordinary internal combustion engines. [...] Read more.
In the current era of urban development, people are already using electric vehicles more and more often for transport purposes, which reduces negative impacts on the environment. However, there are still vehicles in towns and cities that run on ordinary internal combustion engines. Performing optimization measures on the operation of these vehicles improves their performance, which can result in positive sustainable development effects. This article presents measures to reduce the wear and tear of urban vehicles and outlines a decision model to determine which of the vehicle parts described suffer the most frequent wear and tear under urban conditions. The article presents a list of structural elements that are most affected by urban traffic, as well as corrective actions to improve such specialized vehicles. Based on the decision analysis, Rule 1 was eliminated as having the least significant impact on vehicle wear and tear, and the least significant impact on urban safety. On the other hand, the most worn-out elements were found to be gearboxes, clutches, bus levelling electronics, and brake pads and discs. The decision-making model made it possible to identify the factors which have the greatest impact on reducing safety in urban spaces. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Relationship between Public Satisfaction and Public Environmental Participation during Government Treatment of Urban Malodorous Black River in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063584 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
During China’s rapid economic development and urbanization, numerous cases of urban malodorous black river (MBR) have occurred. MBR refers to a polluted urban river that smells bad, is almost black in color, has no aquatic plants or animals, and that consequently causes many [...] Read more.
During China’s rapid economic development and urbanization, numerous cases of urban malodorous black river (MBR) have occurred. MBR refers to a polluted urban river that smells bad, is almost black in color, has no aquatic plants or animals, and that consequently causes many social and environmental problems. The Chinese government has sought public participation during the whole process of MBR treatment as part of a comprehensive action plan to improve residents’ satisfaction with their environment. To investigate the influencing factors of public participation and satisfaction, a questionnaire survey was conducted among residential communities close to an MBR. SPSS 22.0 was employed to conduct an analysis of the collected data, using factor analysis, correlation analysis, and linear regression analysis. The results indicate that there is a direct relationship between public satisfaction and the factors of government treatment, public perception and public participation behaviors, such as engagement behavior, supervision behavior, health influence, and compensation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Water Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Multistage Chemical Recycling of Polyurethanes and Dicarbamates: A Glycolysis–Hydrolysis Demonstration
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3583; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063583 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
The use of polyurethanes and, therefore, the quantity of its scrap are increasing. Considering the thermoset characteristic of most polyurethanes, the most circular recycling method is by means of chemical depolymerization, for which glycolysis is finding its way into the industry. The main [...] Read more.
The use of polyurethanes and, therefore, the quantity of its scrap are increasing. Considering the thermoset characteristic of most polyurethanes, the most circular recycling method is by means of chemical depolymerization, for which glycolysis is finding its way into the industry. The main goal of polyurethane glycolysis is to recover the polyols used, but only limited attempts were made toward recovering the aromatic dicarbamate residues and derivates from the used isocyanates. By the split-phase glycolysis method, the recovered polyols form a top-layer phase and the bottom layer contain transreacted carbamates, excess glycol, amines, urea, and other side products. The hydrolysis of carbamates results in amines and CO2 as the main products. Consequently, the carbamates in the bottom layer of polyurethane split-phase glycolysis can also be hydrolyzed in a separate process, generating amines, which can serve as feedstock for isocyanate production to complete the polyurethane material cycle. In this paper, the full recycling of polyurethanes is reviewed and experimentally studied. As a matter of demonstration, combined glycolysis and hydrolysis led to an amine production yield of about 30% for model systems. With this result, we show the high potential for further research by future optimization of reaction conditions and catalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycling and Sustainability of Plastics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The EU Health Technology Assessment and the Open Method of Coordination: A Relation with Potential in the Context of Network Governance
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063582 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The open method of coordination (OMC)—a tool which was formalized in the early 2000s—has generated the interest of both the researchers and practitioners in the context of the new EU governance. This article is examining the literature of both network governance and OMC, [...] Read more.
The open method of coordination (OMC)—a tool which was formalized in the early 2000s—has generated the interest of both the researchers and practitioners in the context of the new EU governance. This article is examining the literature of both network governance and OMC, with the focus particularly on one main question: is OMC a useful instrument in health policies in order to achieve concrete results by outlining norms and legislation where EU exercise limited power? Analyzing a field in which the EU competence is limited—given the budgetary implications of medicines reimbursement—from the results of the existing collaboration within EUnetHTA, we will observe the added value in this particular case of the OMC application, and the possible consequences in shaping the supranational competences. Given that the EU, with some exceptions provided by the Treaties, may only exercise actions to support, coordinate or complement the action of the Member States in the health policy, the OMC proves to be a useful tool, both from the perspective of the Member States but especially of the supranational level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding Customer Responses to Service Failures during the COVID-19 Pandemic for Sustained Restaurant Businesses: Focusing on Guanxi
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063581 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants worldwide, including China, have been forced to protect public health by following food safety standards and adapting to the necessary social distancing practices. Accordingly, restaurant diners who are concerned about food safety and unsure of whether it [...] Read more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants worldwide, including China, have been forced to protect public health by following food safety standards and adapting to the necessary social distancing practices. Accordingly, restaurant diners who are concerned about food safety and unsure of whether it is truly safe to dine out, put more importance on the entire stages of service consumption. Restaurants must make their best efforts to minimize service failures in their service provision process and outcomes. Given that customers from different cultures are reported to evaluate service quality differently, this study was designed to investigate what actions Chinese customers who encounter service failures would take under the influence of Guanxi. Guanxi represents Chinese attitudes towards long-term individual and business relationships and ultimately involves moral obligations and mutual favors. Analyzing our structural equation model using 439 responses obtained from Chinese diners, this study determined that Chinese consumers would react differently in the service process failures and outcome failures in terms of negative word-of-mouth, direct complaints, switching intention, and revisit intention. More importantly, this study confirmed the significant moderating effects of Guanxi within the proposed relationships. Based on the study’s findings, useful implications are provided for academics and practitioners regarding sustained restaurant businesses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of Green User Entrepreneurs’ Performance—Is Sustainability an Asset or a Liability for Innovators?
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063580 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
User entrepreneurs rely on regular consumers when starting their business, for example, when raising creative and financial support. This research examines regular consumers’ opinions with regard to the future business performance of green vs. non-green user entrepreneurs. We build on previous consumer behavior [...] Read more.
User entrepreneurs rely on regular consumers when starting their business, for example, when raising creative and financial support. This research examines regular consumers’ opinions with regard to the future business performance of green vs. non-green user entrepreneurs. We build on previous consumer behavior research on consumers’ performance perceptions. Specifically, consumers perceive products that use green, environmentally friendly technologies as having inferior performance compared to products that use traditional technologies. We investigate whether this so called “sustainability liability” effect can also be found in consumers’ perceptions of green user entrepreneurs’ performance. We ran an online scenario experiment with regular consumers who assessed the business performance of several (green vs. non-green) user entrepreneurs. Results reveal a “sustainability asset” effect for perceptions of green user entrepreneurs, such that consumers with strong environmental values perceived the business performance of green user entrepreneurs as superior compared to non-green user entrepreneurs. Consumers with weak environmental values perceived green and non-green entrepreneurs as equally performant. We discuss possible explanations of our findings. Furthermore, we propose potential consequences of our results both for consumers’ intentions to support user entrepreneurs as well as for user entrepreneurs’ motivation to engage in green innovations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Human Side of Sustainable Innovations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Twitter’s Messages about Hydrometeorological Events. A Study on the Social Impact of Climate Change
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3579; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063579 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This study is based on an interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists from natural and social sciences to create scientific knowledge about how Twitter is valuable to understand the social impact of hydrometeorological events. The capacity of citizens’ reaction through Twitter to environmental issues is [...] Read more.
This study is based on an interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists from natural and social sciences to create scientific knowledge about how Twitter is valuable to understand the social impact of hydrometeorological events. The capacity of citizens’ reaction through Twitter to environmental issues is widely analyzed in the current scientific literature. Previous scientific works, for example, investigated the role of social media in preventing natural disasters. This study gives scientific evidence on the existence of diversity in the intentionality of Twitters’ messages related to hydrometeorological events. The methodological design is formed by four experiments implemented in different moments of a temporal axis. The social impact on social media methodology (SISM) is implemented as social media analytics. From the findings obtained, it can be observed that there are different forms of intentionality in Twitter’s messages related to hydrometeorological events depending on the contextual circumstances and on the characteristics of Twitter’s users’ profiles (including the geolocation when this information is available). This content is relevant for future works addressed to define social media communication strategies that can promote specific reactions in vulnerable groups in front the climate change. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective
Choices We Make in Times of Crisis
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3578; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063578 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 812
Abstract
We present a new framework that allows understanding those we deem irrational in the climate debate. Realizing if the issue is one of information, beliefs, values or means opens the door for more constructive dialogue. Decision-makers diverge in their responses to the urgent [...] Read more.
We present a new framework that allows understanding those we deem irrational in the climate debate. Realizing if the issue is one of information, beliefs, values or means opens the door for more constructive dialogue. Decision-makers diverge in their responses to the urgent need for action on climate and biodiversity. Action gaps are fueled by the apparent inability of decision-makers to respond efficiently to the mounting threats described by scientists—and increasingly recognized by society. Surprisingly, with the growing evidence and the accumulation of firsthand experiences of the impacts of environment crises, the gap is not only a problem of conflicting values or beliefs but also a problem of inefficient strategies. Bridging the gap and tackling the growing polarization within society calls for decision-makers to engage with the full complexity of the issues the world is facing. We propose a framework characterizing five archetypes of decision-makers to help us out of the current impasse by better understanding the behavior of others. Dealing with the complexity of environmental threats requires decision-makers to question their understanding of who wins and who loses, and how others make decisions. This requires that decision-makers acknowledge complexity, embrace uncertainty, and avoid falling back on simplistic cognitive models. Understanding the complexity of the issue and how people make decisions is key to having a fighting chance of solving the climate crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Behaviour and Collective Decision Making–Series II)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Community Assessment of Flood Risks and Early Warning System in Ratu Watershed, Koshi Basin, Nepal
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063577 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Nepal is highly vulnerable to flood-related disasters which cause considerable loss of lives and property. The vulnerability of communities to flood-related hazards can be reduced by proper planning, preparedness, and responses using various structural and nonstructural measures. The community-based flood early warning system [...] Read more.
Nepal is highly vulnerable to flood-related disasters which cause considerable loss of lives and property. The vulnerability of communities to flood-related hazards can be reduced by proper planning, preparedness, and responses using various structural and nonstructural measures. The community-based flood early warning system is one such tool that enables local communities to enhance their resilience to flooding risks. This paper highlights the efficacy of the community assessment of flood risks and early warning systems. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this paper evaluates the progress of a community-based flood early warning system implemented in the Ratu River—a small tributary of the Koshi River. The establishment of a community network in 2015 was instrumental in the dissemination of flood early warning information and in building local capacities to understand the risks and take timely action. The flood early warning resulted in awareness-raising, strengthened upstream–downstream linkages, and resulted in a greater willingness among communities to help each other prepare for flood disasters in the Ratu watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vulnerability Assessment and Disaster Risk Reduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Battery Energy Storage System on the Operating Schedule of a Renewable Energy-Based Time-of-Use Rate Industrial User under the Demand Bidding Mechanism of Taipower
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3576; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063576 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Due to the increased development of the smart grid, it is becoming crucial to have an efficient energy management system for a time-of-use (TOU) rate industrial user in Taiwan. In this paper, an extension of the direct search method (DSM) is developed to [...] Read more.
Due to the increased development of the smart grid, it is becoming crucial to have an efficient energy management system for a time-of-use (TOU) rate industrial user in Taiwan. In this paper, an extension of the direct search method (DSM) is developed to deal with the operating schedule of a TOU rate industrial user under the demand bidding mechanism of Taipower. To maximize the total incentive obtained from the Taiwan Power Company (TPC, namely Taipower), several operational strategies using a battery energy storage system (BESS) are evaluated in the study to perform peak shaving and realize energy conservation. The effectiveness of the proposed DSM algorithm is validated with the TOU rate industrial user of the TPC. Numerical experiments are carried out to provide a favorable indication of whether to invest in a BESS for the renewable energy-based TOU rate industrial user in order to execute the demand bidding program (DBP). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Development for Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Urban Community Sustainable Development Patterns under the Influence of COVID-19: A Case Study Based on the Non-Contact Interaction Perspective of Hangzhou City
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063575 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
A community is the basic organization and living unit of a city. During COVID-19, China’s epidemic prevention and isolation measures against COVID-19 based on the community as the basic unit achieved excellent results and strengthened the impact of non-contact interaction activities on the [...] Read more.
A community is the basic organization and living unit of a city. During COVID-19, China’s epidemic prevention and isolation measures against COVID-19 based on the community as the basic unit achieved excellent results and strengthened the impact of non-contact interaction activities on the lifestyles of resident communities. We surveyed and interviewed 1610 respondents on how the epidemic changed residents’ lifestyle habits “before, during, and after COVID-19” in 12 communities in Hangzhou, China. Then, we undertook a comparative analysis and found that, under the stimulus of COVID-19, the frequency of residents using non-contact interaction had increased to varying degrees, community lifestyles had undergone significant changes, and the impact of non-contact interaction on community service facilities was complicated. Our conclusions are as following: (1) under COVID-19, the community space had become a composite space—that is, a new type of community space formed by the fusion of community physical space and community virtual space; (2) non-contact interactive activities were the main content in the community composite space, which differently influenced people’s habits of using existing community service facilities; (3) the influence mechanism was manifested in significant differences and spatial scale effects. Therefore, based on the research results, we propose a model for the configuration of service facilities in community composite spaces. It is necessary to build communities into a healthy, safe, and convenient urban space governance unit to ensure the sustainable development of cities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Designing Immortal Products: A Lifecycle Scenario-Based Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063574 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Immortal products are updated and upgraded to go from application to application and, in so doing, to extend their life as long as possible. Designing such products is the key to a sustainable society from the circular economy perspective. It is a new [...] Read more.
Immortal products are updated and upgraded to go from application to application and, in so doing, to extend their life as long as possible. Designing such products is the key to a sustainable society from the circular economy perspective. It is a new way of designing that must be supported by engineering tools to be deployed in companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) included. The implementation of circular loops and the associated industrial systems are very dependent on the contexts and life scenarios of the products. Thus, depending on the products to be re-circulated, the processes controlled, and the actors involved, the requirements to be reported at design level are very diverse. This paper proposes a new design method based on lifecycle scenarios to be analyzed and designed. Supported by classical engineering tools that has been adapted for circular economy (CE) context, the lifecycle model enables simultaneous design of businesses, products and services and the evaluation of their environmental values. Three industrial design cases showing the application of engineering tools for implementation of CE lifecycle scenarios are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EcoDesign: The Importance of Manufacturing Sustainable Products)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Tourists’ COVID-19 Risk Perception and Vacation Behavior Shift
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3573; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063573 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on global tourism for at least two reasons: (1) imposed systematic travel restrictions that discourage people from traveling even though they would like to; and (2) increased travel anxiety due to the [...] Read more.
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on global tourism for at least two reasons: (1) imposed systematic travel restrictions that discourage people from traveling even though they would like to; and (2) increased travel anxiety due to the perceived risk of the COVID-19 virus, causing people to change their typical travel behavior. This study aims to explore the role of Covid-19 in shaping future travel behavior. More specifically, following the general model of vacation behavior and the role of risk in travel behavior, we investigate how COVID-19 influences travelers’ perceptions of risk and how this affects planned vacation behavior. The results show that COVID-19 risk perception per se influences typical forms of vacation behavior, but this risk also leads to the development of travel anxiety, which additionally influences only some forms of vacation behavior. Empirical findings show that general anxiety, which is not associated with Covid-19 risk perception, also predicts some forms of planned changes in vacation behaviour. The study concludes with recommendations on how to reduce traveler uncertainty in order to recover international leisure travel. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Dietary Habits, Physical Activity and Lifestyle in Medical University Students
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063572 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 430
Abstract
A busy schedule and demanding tasks challenge medical students to adjust their lifestyle and dietary habits. The aim of this study was to identify dietary habits and health-related behaviours among students. A number of 403 students (80.40% female, aged M = 21.21 ± [...] Read more.
A busy schedule and demanding tasks challenge medical students to adjust their lifestyle and dietary habits. The aim of this study was to identify dietary habits and health-related behaviours among students. A number of 403 students (80.40% female, aged M = 21.21 ± 4.56) enrolled in a medical university provided answers to a questionnaire constructed especially for this research, which was divided into three parts: the first part collected socio-demographic, anthropometric, and medical data; the second part inquired about dietary habits, lifestyle, sleep, physical activity, water intake, and use of alcohol and cigarettes; and the third part collected information about nutrition-related data and the consumption of fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, and sweets. Data were analysed using SPSS v24. Students usually slept M = 6.71 ± 1.52 h/day, and one-third had self-imposed diet restrictions to control their weight. For both genders, the most important meal was lunch, and one-third of students had breakfast each morning. On average, the students consumed 1.64 ± 0.88 l of water per day and had 220 min of physical activity per week. Data about the consumption of fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, sweets, fast food, coffee, tea, alcohol, or carbohydrate drinks were presented. The results of our study proved that medical students have knowledge about how to maintain a healthy life and they practice it, which is important for their subsequent professional life. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Methodology for Determining the Location of River Ports on a Modernized Waterway Based on Non-Cost Criteria: A Case Study of the Odra River Waterway
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063571 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 394
Abstract
The paper responds to research problems related to the implementation of large-scale investment projects in waterways in Europe. As part of design and construction works, it is necessary to indicate river ports that play a major role within the European transport network as [...] Read more.
The paper responds to research problems related to the implementation of large-scale investment projects in waterways in Europe. As part of design and construction works, it is necessary to indicate river ports that play a major role within the European transport network as intermodal nodes. This entails a number of challenges, the cardinal one being the optimal selection of port locations, taking into account the new transport, economic, and geopolitical situation that will be brought about by modernized waterways. The aim of the paper was to present an original methodology for determining port locations for modernized waterways based on non-cost criteria, as an extended multicriteria decision-making method (MCDM) and employing GIS (Geographic Information System)-based tools for spatial analysis. The methodology was designed to be applicable to the varying conditions of a river’s hydroengineering structures (free-flowing river, canalized river, and canals) and adjustable to the requirements posed by intermodal supply chains. The method was applied to study the Odra River Waterway, which allowed the formulation of recommendations regarding the application of the method in the case of different river sections at every stage of the research process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-criteria Decision Making and Sustainable Transport)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Andalusian Organic Farming Plans (2002–2016): Themes, Approaches and Values
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063570 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Organic farming in the Spanish region of Andalusia has acquired great socio-economic importance over the past decades. The purpose of this article is to study the themes, approaches, and socio-political values pertaining to ecological agriculture addressed in the Andalusian plans for organic farming [...] Read more.
Organic farming in the Spanish region of Andalusia has acquired great socio-economic importance over the past decades. The purpose of this article is to study the themes, approaches, and socio-political values pertaining to ecological agriculture addressed in the Andalusian plans for organic farming (2002–2016). The contents of these plans have not been systematically studied before. From a descriptive and qualitative perspective, the authors present and classify the main themes addressed in those plans and show the socio-political approaches and values that underpin the plans. A thematic and semantic content analysis methodology is applied to the plans and sections addressing various objectives, measures, and actions. A theoretical-qualitative sampling is developed, and 109 keywords are selected for content analysis. This analysis allows us to detect numerous themes pertaining to ecological agriculture and to classify them into six semantic fields linked to various approaches and values promoted by the Andalusian autonomous administration. Therefore, this research focuses on changing perspectives of organic farming developed by the administration and the agents involved in the plans. The authors conclude that the diverse actors have prioritized a productivist–technocratic approach to ecological agriculture, to the detriment of an approach centered on sustainable and agroecological local communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Sociology, Agriculture and Ecological Territorial Development)
Open AccessArticle
Vegetation Response to Goats Grazing Intensity in Semiarid Hilly Grassland of the Loess Plateau, Lanzhou, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063569 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Quantitatively estimating the grazing intensity (GI) effects on vegetation in semiarid hilly grassland of the Loess Plateau can help to develop safe utilization levels for natural grasslands, which is a necessity of maintaining livestock production and sustainable development of grasslands. Normalized difference vegetation [...] Read more.
Quantitatively estimating the grazing intensity (GI) effects on vegetation in semiarid hilly grassland of the Loess Plateau can help to develop safe utilization levels for natural grasslands, which is a necessity of maintaining livestock production and sustainable development of grasslands. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), field vegetation data, and 181 days (one goat per day) of GPS tracking were combined to quantify the spatial pattern of GI, and its effects on the vegetation community structure. The spatial distribution of GI was uneven, with a mean value of 0.50 goats/ha, and 95% of the study area had less than 1.30 goats/ha. The areas with utilization rates of rangeland (July) lower than 45% and 20% made up about 95% and 60% of the study area, respectively. Grazing significantly reduced monthly aboveground biomass, but the grazing effects on plant growth rate were complex across the different plant growth stages. Grazing impaired plant growth in general, but the intermediate GI appeared to facilitate plant growth rate at the end of the growing seasons. Grazing had minimal relationship with vegetation community structure characteristics, though Importance Value of forbs increased with increasing GI. Flexibility in the number of goats and conservatively defining utilization rate, according to the inter-annual variation of utilization biomass, would be beneficial to achieve ecologically healthy and economically sustainable GI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Livestock Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Corporate Responsibility Disclosure, Information Environment and Analysts’ Recommendations: Evidence from Malaysia
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3568; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063568 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to extend our understanding of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures impact capital market participants, specifically sell-side analysts. The sample of this study was based on a dataset from a panel of 285 Malaysian firms for the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to extend our understanding of how corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures impact capital market participants, specifically sell-side analysts. The sample of this study was based on a dataset from a panel of 285 Malaysian firms for the period of 2008–2013 (738 firm-year observations). This study employed ordinary least square regression. This study found that firms with better CSR disclosures are more likely to receive optimistic investment recommendations. Subsample analyses revealed that the CSR-recommendation nexus is more pronounced under a transparent information environment (i) when there is less family control and (ii) when a firm is audited by a prominent Big Four auditor. The results implied that analysts tend to give favorable stock recommendations to high CSR companies operating in a more transparent information environment. To gain analysts’ confidence and make them more appreciative of the CSR disclosures, family firms with proactive CSR engagement are encouraged to switch to Big Four auditors or to seek assurance on their CSR reports. This study broadens our understanding of the factors influencing analysts’ recommendations and the preferences of analysts towards CSR engagement in an emerging market. This paper expands the literature on how corporate responsibility disclosures impact analysts’ final output, as reflected in the recommendation opinion, an area that has so far received little attention, particularly in emerging markets. Furthermore, this study also provides fresh evidence that analyst behavior towards CSR disclosures varies based on the strength of the firm’s information environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Distributed Power Sources to Improve the Decent Living Standard (DLS) in the Ethnic Minority Areas of Myanmar
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063567 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Myanmar has been suffering from ethnic conflicts for approximately 70 years. The instability remains ongoing, and villagers in ceasefire areas are vulnerable. To ensure that no one is left behind, sustainable development in these areas should consider local needs. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Myanmar has been suffering from ethnic conflicts for approximately 70 years. The instability remains ongoing, and villagers in ceasefire areas are vulnerable. To ensure that no one is left behind, sustainable development in these areas should consider local needs. The objective of this study was to identify the living conditions required by local villagers such that they do not exacerbate conflicts. We interviewed stakeholders related to the peace process and rural electrification in Myanmar to identify the needs in conflict-affected areas. Needs were identified using the decent living standard (DLS) as the main analytical framework and energy justice as a complementary framework. The results show a strong local need for mobile phones and the importance of access to information provided by mobile phones and other dimensions of DLS, such as education and health care. For electrification options, off-grid solar products were found to be less likely to exacerbate conflicts compared to large-scale power plants. Historically, the latter has caused many issues related to energy justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Scenario-Based Stochastic Framework for Optimal Planning of Distribution Systems Including Renewable-Based DG Units
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063566 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Renewable energy-based distributed generators are widely embedded into distribution systems for several economical, technical, and environmental tasks. The main concern related to the renewable-based distributed generators, especially photovoltaic and wind turbine generators, is the continuous variations in their output powers due to variations [...] Read more.
Renewable energy-based distributed generators are widely embedded into distribution systems for several economical, technical, and environmental tasks. The main concern related to the renewable-based distributed generators, especially photovoltaic and wind turbine generators, is the continuous variations in their output powers due to variations in solar irradiance and wind speed, which leads to uncertainties in the power system. Therefore, the uncertainties of these resources should be considered for feasible planning. The main innovation of this paper is that it proposes an efficient stochastic framework for the optimal planning of distribution systems with optimal inclusion of renewable-based distributed generators, considering the uncertainties of load demands and the output powers of the distributed generators. The proposed stochastic framework depends upon the scenario-based method for modeling the uncertainties in distribution systems. In this framework, a multi-objective function is considered for optimal planning, including minimization of the expected total power loss, the total system voltage deviation, the total cost, and the total emissions, in addition to enhancing the expected total voltage stability. A novel efficient technique known as the Equilibrium Optimizer (EO) is actualized to appoint the ratings and locations of renewable-based distributed generators. The effectiveness of the proposed strategy is applied on an IEEE 69-bus network and a 94-bus practical distribution system situated in Portugal. The simulations verify the feasibility of the framework for optimal power planning. Additionally, the results show that the optimal integration of the photovoltaic and wind turbine generators using the proposed method leads to a reduction in the expected power losses, voltage deviations, cost, and emission rate and enhances the voltage stability by 60.95%, 37.09%, 2.91%, 70.66%, and 48.73%, respectively, in the 69-bus system, while in the 94-bus system these values are enhanced to be 48.38%, 39.73%, 57.06%, 76.42%, and 11.99%, respectively. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Criticality and Life-Cycle Assessment of Materials Used in Fuel-Cell and Hydrogen Technologies
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063565 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to obtain relevant data on materials that are the most commonly used in fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies. The focus is on polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells, solid-oxide fuel cells, polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolysers and alkaline water electrolysers. An innovative, methodological [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to obtain relevant data on materials that are the most commonly used in fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies. The focus is on polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells, solid-oxide fuel cells, polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolysers and alkaline water electrolysers. An innovative, methodological approach was developed for a preliminary material assessment of the four technologies. This methodological approach leads to a more rapid identification of the most influential or critical materials that substantially increase the environmental impact of fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies. The approach also assisted in amassing the life-cycle inventories—the emphasis here is on the solid-oxide fuel-cell technology because it is still in its early development stage and thus has a deficient materials’ database—that were used in a life-cycle assessment for an in-depth material-criticality analysis. All the listed materials—that either are or could potentially be used in these technologies—were analysed to give important information for the fuel-cell and hydrogen industries, the recycling industry, the hydrogen economy, as well as policymakers. The main conclusion from the life-cycle assessment is that the polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolysers have the highest environmental impacts; lower impacts are seen in polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells and solid-oxide fuel cells, while the lowest impacts are observed in alkaline water electrolysers. The results of the material assessment are presented together for all the considered materials, but also separately for each observed technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Fuel and Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
On the Role of Perception: Understanding Stakeholders’ Collaboration in Natural Resources Management through the Evolutionary Theory of Innovation
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063564 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Natural resources management deals with highly complex socioecological systems. This complexity raises a conundrum, since wide-ranging knowledge from different sources and types is needed, but at the same time none of these types of knowledge is able by itself to provide the basis [...] Read more.
Natural resources management deals with highly complex socioecological systems. This complexity raises a conundrum, since wide-ranging knowledge from different sources and types is needed, but at the same time none of these types of knowledge is able by itself to provide the basis for a viable productive system, and mismatches between the two of them are common. Therefore, a growing body of literature has examined the integration of different types of knowledge in fisheries management. In this paper, we aim to contribute to this ongoing debate by integrating the evolutionary theory of innovation—and specifically the concept of proximity—and the theory of perception. We set up a theoretical framework that is able to explain not only why the different types of knowledge differ, but also why they should differ and why this divergence is useful to develop fisheries management. This framework is illustrated through a well-known complex scenario, as was the implementation of the Landing Obligation (LO) in Europe. We conclude that diversity (distance) between types of knowledge is essential for interactive learning, innovation, the incorporation of new ideas or to avoid lock-in, etc. At the same time, cognitive, institutional, geographical, etc. proximity is needed for effective communication, participation and dialogue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Natural Resources)
Open AccessArticle
Fertilization and Shading Trials to Promote Pinus nigra Seedlings’ Nursery Growth under the Climate Change Demands
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063563 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Pinus nigra is one of the most widely used tree species for reforestation within its geographical distribution, as well as being a potential substitute for other tree species in Central Europe under future climate scenarios. P. nigra is transplanted into the field as [...] Read more.
Pinus nigra is one of the most widely used tree species for reforestation within its geographical distribution, as well as being a potential substitute for other tree species in Central Europe under future climate scenarios. P. nigra is transplanted into the field as two-year or three-year old seedlings because of its relatively low growth rate in the nursery. This study investigated the effects of fertilization programs and shading on P. nigra seedlings, aiming to accelerate early growth, and thus to reduce the nursery rearing time. The experiment (a completely randomized block design) was conducted in an open-air nursery by sowing seeds from Grevena, Northern Greece, in Quick pots filled with peat and perlite in a 2:1 ratio. The seedlings were subjected to two levels of fertilization—5 and 10 g L−1 NPK (30-10-10)—and two shading levels: 50% and 70%. At the ends of the first and second nursery growing season, we recorded the seedlings’ above- and below-ground morphology and biomass data. The results show that the application of all of the treatments produced seedlings which met the targeted quality standards for outplanting. However, the combination of a high fertilization rate and low shading level resulted in seedlings of a higher morphological quality, which is often considered to be an indicator for a successful seedling establishment in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Adaptive Reforestation and Plant Material Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Application of Growth Activators and Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria as a Method of Introducing a “Farm to Fork” Strategy in Crop Management of Winter Oilseed
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3562; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063562 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 367
Abstract
In the European Union, out of concern for the quality of the natural environment, agriculture aims to limit the doses of mineral nitrogen to mitigate nitrogen leaching into the groundwater and N2O emissions into the atmosphere. This requires a search for [...] Read more.
In the European Union, out of concern for the quality of the natural environment, agriculture aims to limit the doses of mineral nitrogen to mitigate nitrogen leaching into the groundwater and N2O emissions into the atmosphere. This requires a search for new crop management for more environmentally friendly production. The aim of the study was to evaluate crop management technologies that would allow farmers to obtain high yields without high doses of nitrogen fertilizers. The study was conducted in Poland in 2016–2017 and 2018–2019 to test the effects of growth activators without an additional product and with a product containing plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in the production of winter oilseed rape, reducing the nitrogen dose by 30%. The results obtained in the study show a positive effect of the studied treatments on seed yield, which was higher by 9.8 and 7.7%, and fat yield, higher by 11.4 and 9.2%, respectively, compared to those for the control treatment in which the full nitrogen dose was applied. Taking into account the scale of oilseed rape production in Poland, this means savings of 52.8 thousand tonnes of mineral nitrogen per year. Therefore, introducing the researched solutions into agricultural practice would lead to measurable benefits for the natural environment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Different Levels of Smart and Sustainable Cities Construction Using e-Participation Tools in European and Central Asian Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063561 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing [...] Read more.
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing opportunities to accelerate transformation. Smart City (SC) models built on empowering people in making public decisions favor access to sustainable development solutions based on knowledge and innovation. Nonetheless, SC experiences around the world denote divergent conceptions of SCs which could lead to different SCs construction. It deserves a more thorough understanding of the nature of collaboration in different settings. Therefore, this paper contributes to the debate on the different uses of ICTs in SCs construction in developing vs. developed countries, by examining the use of ICTs for creating collaborative environments in a sample of SCs in different countries, depending on their economic level, and seeking to identify differences in the objectives pursued by city governments with the use of these technologies. To achieve this aim, e-participation platforms, apps or social media platforms (European and Central Asia SCs) are examined for identifying SCs construction differences between developed vs. developing countries. The findings of this paper put an emphasis on the need for taking into account the differences among SCs in developed vs. developing countries when raking or when performance measurement is designed, because the assessment should be tailored to the cities’ particular visions and priorities for achieving their objectives. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Going Green (and Not Being Just More Pro-Social): Do Attitude and Personality Specifically Influence Pro-Environmental Behavior?
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063560 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 588
Abstract
The current research examines the extent to which attitudes and personality traits are predictive of pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Concretely, we tested the relationship between pro-environmental attitudes, HEXACO personality traits, and actual PEB (donating potential prize money to a pro-environmental organization; N = 257). [...] Read more.
The current research examines the extent to which attitudes and personality traits are predictive of pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Concretely, we tested the relationship between pro-environmental attitudes, HEXACO personality traits, and actual PEB (donating potential prize money to a pro-environmental organization; N = 257). Additionally, we controlled for the influence of helping behavior (donating to a pro-social organization) by addressing whether attitudes and personality have a distinct impact on PEB or whether people are more likely to engage in PEB because they act more pro-socially in general. Analyses included correlations, multiple linear regressions, mediations, and partial correlations. Pro-environmental attitude had the most robust association with PEB and mediated the influence of openness to experiences and honesty–humility on PEB. Importantly, the relationship of pro-environmental attitudes and personality (openness to experiences and honesty–humility) with PEB was unaffected by the participant’s helping behavior, suggesting that pro-environmental people mainly care about the environment and are not necessarily more pro-social in general. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
State Ibuism and Women’s Empowerment in Indonesia: Governmentality and Political Subjectification of Chinese Benteng Women
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3559; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063559 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This paper examines how the patriarchal understanding of “women’s empowerment” in Indonesia instrumentalizes the notion of Ibu, a social construction of womanhood based on a societally determined idea of domestication and productivity. Through the establishment of a saving and lending cooperative, a [...] Read more.
This paper examines how the patriarchal understanding of “women’s empowerment” in Indonesia instrumentalizes the notion of Ibu, a social construction of womanhood based on a societally determined idea of domestication and productivity. Through the establishment of a saving and lending cooperative, a group of Chinese Benteng women was subjected to a neoliberal development project that operated on the basis of a market-driven society and promoted a “gender mainstreaming” discourse to enhance this participatory project. They were introduced by a women’s NGO as their broker. The notion of “women’s empowerment” inspired a governmental operation aimed at these women, promoting the particular qualities of the dutiful housewife, devoted mother, and socially active member of Indonesian society. These characters were distinguished by their high level of devotion to community volunteering and to the state’s apolitical project, thus depoliticizing and deradicalizing the feminist view of women’s empowerment; this was simultaneously balanced with the promotion of the traditional gender roles of wife and mother. Such a discourse also molds women’s desires to voluntarily subscribe to such a social construction of womanhood and, at the same time, circumvents objections to any form of women’s subordination reproduced by the same rhetoric of “women’s empowerment”. By employing an ethnographic methodology, this article argues that the patriarchal view of “women’s empowerment” emerged as a deceitful doctrine to prompt Chinese Benteng women into internalizing certain qualities according to the gendered conception of womanhood in Indonesia. This article concludes that the patronizing and dominating aspects of State Ibuism have normalized Indonesian society’s expectations and desires with regard to women’s empowerment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability in Business from a Gender Perspective)
Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop