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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 4 (February-2 2022) – 537 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This article presents a methodology combining a life cycle cost assessment (LCC) and a life cycle assessment (LCA). The purpose is to assess the relevance of embodied energy and carbon emissions on the cost-effectiveness of building renovation solutions towards nZEB at the neighbourhood scale by comparing an operational energy approach and a whole life cycle approach in a case study of a social housing neighbourhood in Braga, Portugal. The results suggest an increase in indicator values, demonstrating a negative impact on the achievable reduction of both energy and emissions when the whole life cycle approach is considered, which can constitute a critical point for policy formulation in the decarbonisation of the built environment. View this paper
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Article
Assessing How Big Insurance Firms Report and Manage Carbon Emissions: A Case Study of Allianz
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042476 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
Carbon management is an important topic for investigation to ensure the accountability of firms in meeting Paris Agreement targets. Transparency and rigorous scrutiny are needed to keep industries on track to accomplish a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To maintain a healthy environment, [...] Read more.
Carbon management is an important topic for investigation to ensure the accountability of firms in meeting Paris Agreement targets. Transparency and rigorous scrutiny are needed to keep industries on track to accomplish a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To maintain a healthy environment, and promote human and ecosystem health, it will be vital to limit global warming to below 2 °C. Allianz presents a good example of carbon management as they are a leading insurance firm that utilises the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards to report their greenhouse gas emissions. Allianz has promoted important initiatives such as the Net-Zero Climate Alliance and made an array of pledges that promote net-zero business operations by 2050. In 2020, Allianz reported greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 384,178 tCO2, a 31% reduction in their emissions compared to 2019 figures. Procuring carbon credits is the main mechanism that Allianz has used to reduce their reportable emissions, as well as making investments into renewable energies—wind and solar. This study is limited by the information provided by Allianz and the accuracy in which they have reported their greenhouse gas emissions and emissions reductions. In the last reporting year, Allianz produced the greatest carbon emissions in the EU/USA insurance sector, producing 189,061 tCO2e more than their closest competitor. To achieve net-zero emissions, Allianz will need to increase their investment into carbon offsets and transition to 100% renewable energy use, while concurrently reducing their investment into coal and gas mining industries. This research gives an insight into the greenhouse gas emissions being produced by insurance/investment firms while also detailing the emissions reduction methods that are being employed. This study synthesises scientific literature with business reports to present a detailed account of industry carbon emissions, emissions reductions, and overall progress towards meeting net-zero pledges, in line with Paris Agreement targets. The recommendations made in this study are based on the information provided by Allianz and are designed to be within the scope of what would be possible for this firm. The aim of this study was to determine the actions and issues in the process of carbon management with a specific focus on Allianz. Key objectives of this research are: 1. To determine the net-zero pledges made by Allianz; 2. To determine the carbon emissions and emissions reductions made by Allianz compared to other firms in the sector; and 3. To determine how these emissions reductions have been achieved. Full article
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Article
Incentives for Innovation in Robotics and Automated Construction: Based on a Tripartite Evolutionary Game Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042475 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
The current construction industry faces many challenges, such as low productivity, low material application rates, and poor environmental benefits. Robotic and automated construction (RAAC) technologies represent a breakthrough from traditional construction methods and are considered an effective way to improve productivity, ecological efficiency, [...] Read more.
The current construction industry faces many challenges, such as low productivity, low material application rates, and poor environmental benefits. Robotic and automated construction (RAAC) technologies represent a breakthrough from traditional construction methods and are considered an effective way to improve productivity, ecological efficiency, and sustainability in the construction industry. However, the high cost of research and development and the lack of investment in the construction field have discouraged Chinese construction companies from innovating. In this paper, an evolutionary game model between the government, construction firms, and public universities is constructed around the choice of RAAC innovation, and the evolutionary stabilization strategy (ESS) of the three parties is discussed. Establishing a compound incentive policy of financial and reputational rewards and increasing the share of RAAC scores in academic evaluations can accelerate the realization of ESS among the government, construction companies, and public universities. This study informs policymakers to develop RAAC innovation strategies, and stakeholders such as the government, construction companies, and public universities should consider and jointly promote the development and application of RAAC technologies to improve productivity and environmental sustainability in the construction industry. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Scientific Research in Universities Based on the Idea of Education for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042474 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Our research aims to establish an evaluation framework and evaluate the sustainability of scientific research in universities. Based on the concept of Education for Sustainable Development and the function of scientific research activities, an evaluation framework was constructed including three dimensions: the sustainable [...] Read more.
Our research aims to establish an evaluation framework and evaluate the sustainability of scientific research in universities. Based on the concept of Education for Sustainable Development and the function of scientific research activities, an evaluation framework was constructed including three dimensions: the sustainable trend of scientific research activity, research performance related to the topic of sustainable development, and sustainability of scientific research contributions. Descriptive analysis, Data Envelopment Analysis, and a Statistical Index Method were used to calculate the sustainability of scientific research of world-class universities in China. Results show that China’s world-class universities published more articles related to sustainable development than the best-performing universities in the UK and USA. They make sustainable contributions to society through cultivating Ph.D. graduates, publishing research papers, and transforming science and technology. However, the sustainable trend of the scientific research of universities is still to be improved. The result of resource efficiency is relatively low, and attention should be paid to the waste of human and financial resources. In addition, universities should improve their ability to withstand external risks to minimize the influence of external public emergencies such as COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Commuter Bus Operation Rules under Two Traffic Scenarios and Two Weather Conditions: Naturalistic Driving Study on Vehicle Speed and Clearance
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042473 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
This study provides insights into the building of environmentally and socially sustainable and livable cities by investigating commuter buses’ vehicle speed and clearance, considering two traffic scenarios (working days and weekends) and two weather conditions on urban roads. Thirty participants drove ten different [...] Read more.
This study provides insights into the building of environmentally and socially sustainable and livable cities by investigating commuter buses’ vehicle speed and clearance, considering two traffic scenarios (working days and weekends) and two weather conditions on urban roads. Thirty participants drove ten different routes during natural driving. The drivers were observed under the following traffic conditions: free flow (Grade I), steady flow (Grades II and III), unsteady flow (Grade IV), working days and weekends, and sunny and heavy snow weather. A method for collecting accurate traffic flow data was developed using a radar sensor to measure the real-time distance between vehicles. The real-time vehicle spacing and speed were detected using a radar sensor and a mobile app, respectively. The results showed that speed decreased obviously from 11.2% to 16.5% on working days compared to a similar situation on weekends, especially in heavy snow weather (from 33.8% to 40.7%). The lowest average speed was obtained in the traffic environment Grade IV. Commuter buses maintained a minimum vehicle clearance during working or heavy snow days in traffic environment Grade IV. Policymakers should consider the insights of this study to develop new, dynamic commuter schedules under diverse conditions. Full article
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Article
The Design of a Multi-Period and Multi-Echelon Perishable Goods Supply Network under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042472 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 779
Abstract
The value of superior supply network design is becoming increasingly important, especially in the perishable supply chain. Due to the recent developments in perishable products, perishable product supply chain (PPSC) management has attracted many researchers. The purpose of this study was to present [...] Read more.
The value of superior supply network design is becoming increasingly important, especially in the perishable supply chain. Due to the recent developments in perishable products, perishable product supply chain (PPSC) management has attracted many researchers. The purpose of this study was to present a multi-period and multi-echelon perishable supply chain with regards to procurement time, cycle cost, and customer satisfaction. This study presented a new form of location-routing in a supply chain network for perishable products, accounting for environmental considerations, cost, procurement time, and customer satisfaction, such that the total costs, delivery time, and the emission of pollutants in the network were minimized while customer satisfaction was maximized. We formulated the problem as a multi-objective, nonlinear, mixed-integer program and the hybrid approach was proposed to solve the model. The mean error of the proposed algorithm for the objective function compared to the exact method in solving the sample problems was less than 3.4%. The computational results revealed the efficiency of the proposed algorithm for a wide range of issues of various sizes. Full article
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Article
A Structured Review of Emotional Barriers to WASH Provision for Schoolgirls Post-Disaster
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042471 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Pubescent girls face unique emotional barriers to returning to school after a disaster concerning water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This paper explores themes of WASH, gender violence, the lack of dignity and sense of shame arising from inadequate WASH facilities for girls in [...] Read more.
Pubescent girls face unique emotional barriers to returning to school after a disaster concerning water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This paper explores themes of WASH, gender violence, the lack of dignity and sense of shame arising from inadequate WASH facilities for girls in disaster settings. We conducted a structured literature review of 126 sources to investigate the emotional constraints facing pubescent girls concerning WASH in schools in Indonesia, a region prone to frequent disasters. Findings are synthesised into four major themes: psychological experiences of WASH, challenges faced by girls in schools, barriers to inclusive WASH provision and how to create a holistic approach to WASH. Key conclusions include the need for interdisciplinary research, cross sectoral collaboration, more evidence and research in Indonesia, especially regarding menstrual hygiene management, improved toilet design to reduce the physical barriers linked to emotional barriers and inclusive design for those with disabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Sustainable Disaster Management)
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Article
Artificial Neural Networks for Modelling and Predicting Urban Air Pollutants: Case of Lithuania
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042470 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 605
Abstract
This study focuses on the Vilnius (capital of Lithuania) agglomeration, which is facing the issue of air pollution resulting from the city’s physical expansion. The increased number of industries and vehicles caused an increase in the rate of fuel consumption and pollution in [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the Vilnius (capital of Lithuania) agglomeration, which is facing the issue of air pollution resulting from the city’s physical expansion. The increased number of industries and vehicles caused an increase in the rate of fuel consumption and pollution in Vilnius, which has rendered air pollution control policies and air pollution management more significant. In this study, the differences in the pollutants’ means were tested using two-sided t-tests. Additionally, a 2-layer artificial neural network and a pollution data were both used as tools for predicting and warning air pollution after loop traffic has taken effect in Vilnius Old Town from July of 2020. Highly accurate data analysis methods provide reliable data for predicting air pollution. According to the validation, the multilayer perceptron network (MLPN1), with a hyperbolic tangent activation function with a 4-4-2 partition, produced valuable results and identified the main pollutants affecting and predicting air quality in the Old Town: maximum concentration of sulphur dioxide per 1 hour (SO2_1 h, normalized importance = 100%); carbon monoxide (CO) was the second pollutant with the highest indication of normalized importance, equalling 59.0%. Full article
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Article
Resource Recycling Utilization of Distillers Grains for Preparing Cationic Quaternary Ammonium—Ammonium Material and Adsorption of Acid Yellow 11
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042469 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Using distillers grains (DG) as raw material after pre-treatment with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and modified with cationic etherification agent 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC), cationic quaternary ammonium distillers grains adsorption material (CDG) was successfully prepared. The optimal adsorption conditions were an adsorption temperature of 25 [...] Read more.
Using distillers grains (DG) as raw material after pre-treatment with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and modified with cationic etherification agent 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC), cationic quaternary ammonium distillers grains adsorption material (CDG) was successfully prepared. The optimal adsorption conditions were an adsorption temperature of 25 °C, adsorption time of 180 min, amount of adsorbent at 8.5 g/L, initial dye concentration of 100 mg/L, and pH of dye solution 7.0. The structure of CDG was characterized by FTIR, EDS, SEM, BET, ultraviolet spectrum analysis, and analysis of the zeta potential, while the adsorption mechanism was studied by adsorption kinetics, isotherms, and thermodynamics. The results showed that CHPTAC modified the distillers grains successfully and induced the formation of CDG with a large number of pore structures and good adsorption effect. The highest adsorption yield was above 98%, while after eight rounds of adsorption–desorption experiments, the adsorption rate was 81.80%. The adsorption mechanism showed that the adsorption process of acid yellow 11 (AY11) by CDG conforms to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, mainly with chemical and physical adsorption such as pore adsorption and electrostatic adsorption. Thermodynamics conforms to the Freundlich isothermal model, and the adsorption process is a spontaneous, endothermic and entropy-increasing process. Full article
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Article
A Cultural Route Perspective on Rural Revitalization of Traditional Villages: A Case Study from Chishui, China
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042468 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Traditional villages along rivers have contributed significantly to local–regional development by transporting production and spreading culture through certain routes. To date, the cultural continuity of traditional villages has been underestimated in sustainable development with regard to practical dilemmas between conservation and development. This [...] Read more.
Traditional villages along rivers have contributed significantly to local–regional development by transporting production and spreading culture through certain routes. To date, the cultural continuity of traditional villages has been underestimated in sustainable development with regard to practical dilemmas between conservation and development. This study explores an integrated approach to traditional villages in river basins that considers historic relics, locality, and spatial form. The cultural routes concept is introduced from the field of cultural heritage to link geographically scattered villages that shared the same cultural values and purposes in the past and to stimulate their potential as dynamic routes for further rural revitalization. In this context, the following subtopics are defined for a specific analysis of the lower Chishui River in Guizhou: an evolving framework of cultural routes and the spatial-temporal route of “Sichuan salt into Guizhou”, including its contemporary transformation. The findings of cultural and spatial coherence in historical texts, maps, morphological structures, and rural landscapes support a multi-cultural route model for sustainable development. The study extends the prevailing knowledge on cultural sustainability in rural revitalization and it provides novel insights into spatial development in basin environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Shared Micromobility: Between Physical and Digital Reality
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2467; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042467 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 796
Abstract
Moving around the city is a problem for the development of most megacities. Due to digital technologies, each city dweller is connected by information and communication channels with the city infrastructure, receiving information and choosing the available modes of movement. Shared micromobility in [...] Read more.
Moving around the city is a problem for the development of most megacities. Due to digital technologies, each city dweller is connected by information and communication channels with the city infrastructure, receiving information and choosing the available modes of movement. Shared micromobility in terms of digital solutions is a convenient service, while reducing congestion and emissions, and preventing air and noise pollution; however, the physical and social dimension of the city is experiencing problems, with growing public health concerns, high overall environmental costs, clutter in the streets, etc. This presentation presents a case study of the relatively recent emergence of shared micromobility in St. Petersburg and attitudes towards its users. In addition to the direct process of use and the experience gained, the factors that determine the social influence and perception of micromobility are highlighted. The highest ratings of the digital component and the rather high importance of such factors as environmental friendliness and safety make it possible to recommend the creation of an interactive digital system that unites riders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection The Impact of Digitalization on the Quality of Life)
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Article
Working through Disaster Risk Management to Support Regional Food Resilience: A Case Study in North-Eastern Australia
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042466 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1150
Abstract
As a consequence of disasters such as pandemics and severe weather events, Australian communities often face ‘food shortages’ resulting from the reduced availability of food and reduced access to available food. These food shortages can be acutely felt by vulnerable populations, comprising people [...] Read more.
As a consequence of disasters such as pandemics and severe weather events, Australian communities often face ‘food shortages’ resulting from the reduced availability of food and reduced access to available food. These food shortages can be acutely felt by vulnerable populations, comprising people in communities who are already dealing with social or economic disadvantages. Despite growing calls to ensure food access for everyone during and following disasters, efforts are still largely ad hoc, champion based and highly variable in their reliability and quality of supply. There is also a disconnect between disaster-related food relief and improving business continuity towards local economic resilience. This study sought to tackle these challenges by exploring how ‘local food access’ could be integrated within disaster management mechanisms, to support the most vulnerable and also contribute to local economic resilience. This paper discusses the findings of a study undertaken in Cairns, a north-eastern Australian regional authority, and involves a review of disaster management planning and policy artifacts, an online survey, and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders providing care and advocacy for vulnerable populations. Synthesizing the findings, we present a disaster-management-focused ‘Local Food Access Model’ that connects shorter food supply chains to improved disaster response, resilience and contingency-planning agendas. Applying this model to Cairns, we conclude the multiple benefits and immediate stakeholder readiness for a virtual (online) food resilience and contingency hub, to enable the connection of local food availability and access information within existing disaster management processes. The research method used, the model, and the case-specific findings provide government decision makers with a useful process, a local food-access schematic and a case study example to support immediate improvements in disaster resilience for vulnerable populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Insecurity in Advanced Capitalist Nations)
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Article
Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Rural Residents of Japan and Their Interactions with the Outside World
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042465 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 564
Abstract
In this study, we clarified the impact of the pandemic on the daily lives of rural Japanese residents who experienced the pandemic and on their attitudes toward relationships with people in the broader world. From July to August 2021, an anonymous questionnaire survey [...] Read more.
In this study, we clarified the impact of the pandemic on the daily lives of rural Japanese residents who experienced the pandemic and on their attitudes toward relationships with people in the broader world. From July to August 2021, an anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted in three rural and fishing community districts (Oshio, Sugane, and Ozushima) in Shunan City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, among the residents of each district. We found that the survey respondents had decreased their frequency of engaging in activities that were not essential to daily life. During the pandemic, people consciously avoided visitors from outside their districts, but after the pandemic restrictions were lifted, many people welcomed visitors the same way they had before the pandemic; indeed, people welcomed migrants who would increase their populations. As long as COVID-19 infections are under control, residents of the three districts have one thing in common: they want to interact with people outside their districts. It is necessary to consider how to continue community activities under the pandemic so that rural Japanese citizens can maintain interactions with the outside world after the pandemic. Full article
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Article
Military Food Supply Chain during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042464 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China, disrupted international trade and changed the global food supply chain. Disruptions affected all food supply chains, including those critical to national security. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China, disrupted international trade and changed the global food supply chain. Disruptions affected all food supply chains, including those critical to national security. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to reveal the impact of the pandemic on the military food supply chain in Poland. In the analysed single case study, we used process mapping to show the diversity of the types of military food supply chains operating in military units. The attention was focused on the internal and external food supply chains in the context of the disruptions and dysfunctions that appeared in the sphere of management. The contribution of the article is twofold. First, we used a situational crisis management approach to isolate four types of internal military food supply chains. Practical guidance concerns showing actions influencing the modification of system solutions in the military sphere in peacetime in connection with the pandemic. As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Poland applies system solutions similar to those in place in other allied countries. The results of our research can be used as recommendations for solving problems in the military food supply chain in other countries within NATO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic and Social Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
The 2021 National Report on Sports Innovation for Montenegro: Content Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2463; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042463 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 960
Abstract
This research aims to content analyze the literature on innovation in the field of sports in Montenegro to provide a better basis for the establishment of a monitoring system. The research was conducted drawing on a pre-established methodology related to the assessment of [...] Read more.
This research aims to content analyze the literature on innovation in the field of sports in Montenegro to provide a better basis for the establishment of a monitoring system. The research was conducted drawing on a pre-established methodology related to the assessment of the level of sports innovation based on 16 defined indicators. Grades were attributed to data found in available scientific articles that were published until 2021, as well as in secondary data sources (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science), such as governmental and nongovernmental reports and online content on Google (N = 18) from the same period. The findings of content analysis indicate that all indicators averaged 2.25 (fair) on a six-point scale, while only one indicator was rated as excellent, five indicators were rated as good, four indicators were rated as fair, and lastly, five indicators were rated as poor. Based on the obtained results, a low level of innovation in the field of sports in Montenegro was determined, and this also applies to innovation indicators individually. These results can be used as an initial step in planning an appropriate strategy development at the national level, which will lead to the improvement of innovation activities and their implementation in the field of sports in Montenegro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation in Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport)
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Article
Museal Indoor Air Quality and Public Health: An Integrated Approach for Exhibits Preservation and Ensuring Human Health
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2462; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042462 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
The quality of the indoor microclimate in museums is a problem of great interest to the contemporary society, given that it is in close connection with the health and comfort of visitors and employees, as well as with the integrity of the exhibits. [...] Read more.
The quality of the indoor microclimate in museums is a problem of great interest to the contemporary society, given that it is in close connection with the health and comfort of visitors and employees, as well as with the integrity of the exhibits. Taking into account the fact that museums are places that have a special role in the community’s life and therefore attract a very large number of visitors of all ages, a very important issue is to determine the degree of safety that the indoor microclimate presents. Thus, the quality of the indoor microclimate was investigated inside an iconic museum in Romania, dating back to the 19th century, because pollutants from external or internal sources of the building, generated secondary, often anthropogenic, as a tendency to defend/adapt to climate change (CC), contribute to both local and regional pollution, but also lead to challenges in identifying links between air quality (AQ) and and climate change (CC). The methodology used was based on monitoring the main parameters of the microclimate (temperature, relative humidity and CO2) over a period of between October 2020 and March 2021, 21 weeks, as well as on determining the microbiological contamination of the air and some indoor exhibits located in three different areas of the museum. At the same time, the study aims to identify cheap, easy to implement and non-invasive solutions for removing fungi identified on exhibits for long-term preservation and reducing the risk of various pathologies in humans following prolonged exposure. The results obtained show that the indoor microclimate in the old heritage building favours the development of fungi, which have a high degree of contamination of the air (over 800 CFU/m3) and of the exhibits, representing a potential risk for the health of the visitors and museum workers. Thus, six species of yeast and five different fungi genera were identified in the air, while on the exhibits were individualised six fungi genera, a species of yeast and a bacterium. The most viable solution for cleaning materials, prolonging their lifespan and reducing the risk of disease in humans was represented by the use of essential oils (EO). Three essential oils (lavender, mint and lemon) were applied on an exhibit with five different microorganism genera, and it was observed that they have the ability to inhibit the spores from moulds and bacteria, being a very good alternative to the usual chemical treatments that are used in the cultural heritage field. Full article
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Article
The Impacts of Energy Use, Tourism and Foreign Workers on CO2 Emissions in Malaysia
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2461; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042461 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
Previous studies have investigated various determinants of CO2 emissions, such as energy use, economic expansion and population growth. However, foreign workers have not been treated as a potential determinant. Therefore, this research embarks on an investigation into the impacts of energy use, [...] Read more.
Previous studies have investigated various determinants of CO2 emissions, such as energy use, economic expansion and population growth. However, foreign workers have not been treated as a potential determinant. Therefore, this research embarks on an investigation into the impacts of energy use, foreign workers and tourist arrivals on CO2 emissions in Malaysia from 1982 to 2018. An ARDL approach was employed, and the findings showed that natural gas and electricity use insignificantly influence CO2 emissions. Tourist arrivals, coal use and oil use were found to positively influence CO2 emissions, while foreign workers and population growth insignificantly influence CO2 emissions. It was found that in the early stages of development, higher GDP negatively influences CO2 emissions, but in the final stages, higher GDP positively influences CO2 emissions. These findings are important for formulating policies to reduce environmental degradation stemming from higher CO2 emissions. Malaysia should use more renewable energy sources, and a carbon tax could be imposed to reduce environmental degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pollution Prevention, Mitigation and Sustainability)
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Article
Modeling the Sustainable Integration of Quality and Energy Management in Power Plants
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2460; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042460 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
(1) Background: this paper aimed at modeling the sustainable integration of quality and energy management system (IQEM) via identifying critical success factors (CSFs) and analyzing the effect on energy management; (2) Methods: The research adopted theoretical and practical methods, through carefully examining the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: this paper aimed at modeling the sustainable integration of quality and energy management system (IQEM) via identifying critical success factors (CSFs) and analyzing the effect on energy management; (2) Methods: The research adopted theoretical and practical methods, through carefully examining the literature to extract the research gap and CSFs that establish a sustainable model for the integration of quality and energy management, while the practical method was energy experts’ arbitration and to develop a sustainable model in power plants. The study used SmartPLS and SPSS software for analysis purposes, collected data using a 5-point Likert scale and employed a cross-sectional approach survey questionnaire; (3) Results: The research succeeded in identifying the most important CSFs necessary for the sustainable integration of (IQEM). This investigation discovered that the identified CSFs are significantly related to the electricity sector’s energy management integration success (EMIS). The study’s results showed that the identified IQEM’s CSFs, such as EP with p-values (0.000), SQI (0.000), EMT (0.019), A (0.003), SP (0.010), are significantly associated with EMIS and improve quality and energy management; (4) Conclusions: This study succeeded in modeling a framework that ensures integrated and sustainable success between energy management and quality in developing countries power plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Quality and Process Management)
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Article
In Vitro Corrosion Resistance of a Layer-by-Layer Engineered Hybrid Coating on ZK60 Magnesium Alloy
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2459; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042459 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Magnesium alloys are next generation biodegradable implants for clinical applications. However, their medical applications are currently hampered by their rapid corrosion rate in the physiological environment. To overcome such limitations, we have applied a novel layer-by-layer engineering approach of introducing anodization-induced microrough oxidized [...] Read more.
Magnesium alloys are next generation biodegradable implants for clinical applications. However, their medical applications are currently hampered by their rapid corrosion rate in the physiological environment. To overcome such limitations, we have applied a novel layer-by-layer engineering approach of introducing anodization-induced microrough oxidized surface on ZK60 magnesium alloy, followed by surface mineralization with natural calcium apatite (hydroxyapatite, HA), and surface coating with natural protein (silk fibroin, SF); which, effectively reduces corrosion and degradation rate of ZK60 in simulated body fluid. Anodization of ZK60 improved the surface adhesion strength of HA layer; HA layer increased the surface roughness, hydrophilicity and micro-hardness, whereas decreased ionic release; SF layer decreased surface microroughness and hydrophilicity, whereas improved the stability of HA layer. The SF + HA coating on anodized ZK60 effectively decreased the in vitro weight loss (degradation) by almost six times, whereas corrosion rate by more than two orders in magnitude. Such interfacial coatings, with biocompatible SF on the outer surface, could potentially expand the application of ZK60 in the field of biomedical engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Sustainable Multifunctional Coatings)
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Article
The Effects of the Supercritical Extracts of Momordica charantia Linn., Pistacia lentiscus, and Commiphora myrrha on Oral Inflammation and Oral Cancer
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2458; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042458 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
In this study, mixed extract samples (MPC-1–4) of natural plants, Momordica charantia Linn., Pistacia lentiscus, and Commiphora myrrha, were prepared according to their respective extraction methods, and the efficacy of these samples for treating oral inflammation and oral cancer was investigated. [...] Read more.
In this study, mixed extract samples (MPC-1–4) of natural plants, Momordica charantia Linn., Pistacia lentiscus, and Commiphora myrrha, were prepared according to their respective extraction methods, and the efficacy of these samples for treating oral inflammation and oral cancer was investigated. As a result of the cell proliferation inhibition experiment, all samples (MPC-1 to 4) decreased the proliferation of oral cancer cell MC3 and HN22 cells in a concentration-dependent manner (p < 0.01). The survival rates of MPC-4 and MPC-1 were about 50% and about 80%, respectively, showing a difference according to the extraction method. In flow cytometry results, early apoptosis and late apoptosis of MPC-4 were 26.9% and 18.1%, respectively, indicating that apoptosis induction was the most effective. Although the induction effect was shown in other samples, the result was lower than that of MPC-4. As a result of confirming the regulation of the signaling pathway, it was confirmed that the expression of cleaved caspase 3 and Bak regulatory genes increased in a concentration-dependent manner in MC3 and HN22 cells (p < 0.01), thus inducing apoptosis in oral cancer cells. In addition, as a result of safety and Xenograft model experiments, it was found that MPC-4 had no toxicity to oral administration. These results suggest that the supercritical extract of Momordica charantia Linn., Pistacia lentiscus, and Commiphora myrrha can be applied as a preventive and therapeutic agent for oral mucosa inflammation and oral cancer. Full article
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Review
Review of the Impact of IT on the Environment and Solution with a Detailed Assessment of the Associated Gray Literature
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042457 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 894
Abstract
The immaterial aspect of digital technology tends to make us forget its growing impact on the environment. Today, the situation has changed: we are becoming aware of the material aspect of digital technology, especially with the recent datacenter fires. The topic is now [...] Read more.
The immaterial aspect of digital technology tends to make us forget its growing impact on the environment. Today, the situation has changed: we are becoming aware of the material aspect of digital technology, especially with the recent datacenter fires. The topic is now on the political agenda, and for good reason: digital accounts for nearly 4% of global emissions, and emissions from the sector are growing exponentially. Digital impact analysis is crucial to increase the visibility and consequently the diffusion and democratization of responsible digital. This article offers a detailed study and solutions on the environmental impact of IT with a detailed assessment of the gray literature of the last years and accompanying elements such as LCA or ISO standards. Thus, we have a view of the main green IT tools, the environmental impact of digital on datacenters, user equipment and networks, recent forecasts, and a look at the future challenges of digital technologies (such as AI or Blockchain),and finally a conclusion with the limitations of our research. Full article
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Article
Impact of China’s National Sword Policy on the U.S. Landfill and Plastics Recycling Industry
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042456 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2356
Abstract
This paper analyzes the impacts of China’s Green Fence and National Sword Programs, under which strict contamination limits were imposed on recyclable materials, besides prohibiting imports of low quality recyclables. Specifically, this study investigates the impacts of this policy on landfills, and the [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the impacts of China’s Green Fence and National Sword Programs, under which strict contamination limits were imposed on recyclable materials, besides prohibiting imports of low quality recyclables. Specifically, this study investigates the impacts of this policy on landfills, and the risks to the U.S. plastics secondary materials market and material recovery facilities (MRFs). A hierarchical regression analysis reveals the significant impacts of China’s Green Fence and National Sword polices on the amount landfilled plastic. Controlling for oil prices, producer price index (PPI), and amount of plastic scrap exported, our findings show that the Green Fence had no statistically significant impact on the amount of plastic landfilled in the U.S. However, the quantity of plastic landfilled in the U.S. increased by 23.2% following the implementation of National Sword. Furthermore, analysis of the annual reports submitted by registered MRFs in New York (NY) state reveals that the total amount of plastic recovered by them has decreased. We suggest that demand creation and investments that improve the quality of bales are needed to help solve this economic dilemma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Solid Waste Management)
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Article
Global Challenges and Responses: Agriculture, Economic Globalization, and Environmental Sustainability in Central Asia
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042455 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 927
Abstract
Economic globalization (EG) accelerates very fast in Central Asia. This could cause environmental degradation, according to the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis. The study aims to determine how the EG of agriculture impacts environmental sustainability, and to test the EKC hypothesis on the [...] Read more.
Economic globalization (EG) accelerates very fast in Central Asia. This could cause environmental degradation, according to the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis. The study aims to determine how the EG of agriculture impacts environmental sustainability, and to test the EKC hypothesis on the agricultural sector in six Central Asian countries. Particularly, some main hypotheses were proposed using secondary data from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan from 1994 to 2019. This study uses five explanatory variables: agricultural exports value (EXP), agriculture forestry and fishing value-added (AVA), the exchange rate (EXR), total natural resource rents (RENT), and external debt stocks (DEBT), while the dependent variable in this study is the CO2 emissions from on-farm energy use (EMS), temperature changes (TEMP), and forest fires (FIRE). These data are analyzed using panel data regression. As a result, AVA and RENT raise EMS; EXC raises TEMP but lowers EMS; DEBT raises TEMP but can lower FIRE. Hence, we propose recommendations to improve this condition, including a clear roadmap, enhanced partnerships, and regional and international support. Full article
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Editorial
Educational Travel Programs, Sustainability, and the Environment
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042454 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 477
Abstract
This Special Issue seeks to contribute to the growing body of literature that considers and examines the multiple ways that educational travel programs (ETPs), such as study abroad, service learning, and educational exchange programs, educate students about environmental and sustainability issues, as well [...] Read more.
This Special Issue seeks to contribute to the growing body of literature that considers and examines the multiple ways that educational travel programs (ETPs), such as study abroad, service learning, and educational exchange programs, educate students about environmental and sustainability issues, as well as how the programs themselves interact with these same issues [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Educational Travel and Environmental Protection)
Article
Sustainable Assignment of Egyptian Ornamental Stones for Interior and Exterior Building Finishes Using the AHP-TOPSIS Technique
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042453 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
The ornamental stones industry has grown progressively in Egypt as the demand has increased for Egyptian decorative stones in indoor and outdoor building spaces. Choosing the most suitable ornamental stone for each purpose and taking the right decisions related to aesthetic and practical [...] Read more.
The ornamental stones industry has grown progressively in Egypt as the demand has increased for Egyptian decorative stones in indoor and outdoor building spaces. Choosing the most suitable ornamental stone for each purpose and taking the right decisions related to aesthetic and practical performance can be a challenge causing a lot of confusion for homeowners and contractors. Thus, there is a need to define what decorative style you are trying to achieve in order to properly choose the most suitable decorative stone. In this research, some Egyptian ornamental stones were evaluated by combining the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS). The optimized AHP–TOPSIS comprehensive decision model was implemented on natural materials relevant to ornaments and the finishing purposes of indoor and outdoor buildings. Ten rock types from four Egyptian sites were studied, examined, and analyzed. According to the quality index scheme, grey granite is an ideal ornamental stone that meets indoor and outdoor purposes. Grey granite and black marble have a performance score (Pi) of 0.78 and 0.71, respectively. Serpentine and pink granite were ranked third with a Pi = 0.68. These results provide stakeholders with strategic indicators to select different natural ornamental stones based on the total points assigned to all rock specifications and costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis, Design and Environmental Impact of Green Materials)
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Article
Developing a Behavior Change Framework for Pandemic Prevention and Control in Public Spaces in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2452; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042452 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
Preventive behavior, such as hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and social distancing, plays a vital role in containing the spread of viruses during pandemics. However, people in many parts of the world usually encounter difficulties adhering to this behavior due to various causes. Thus, [...] Read more.
Preventive behavior, such as hand hygiene, facemask wearing, and social distancing, plays a vital role in containing the spread of viruses during pandemics. However, people in many parts of the world usually encounter difficulties adhering to this behavior due to various causes. Thus, this article aims to develop a research framework and propose design strategies to prompt individuals’ behavior change during pandemics. Initially, we integrated a literature review and a structured interview (n = 22) to ascertain the core factors impacting behavior change during pandemics. These factors were categorized into four aspects: perceptional factors (attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavior control, risk perceptions); social factors (knowledge and information dissemination, governmental regulations); physical factors (tools and facilities and surveillance); and sociocultural factor (cultural contexts). Then, a theoretical framework with antecedents was developed to reveal behavior intention and formation process. After that, an empirical study was carried out to test the research framework through a questionnaire survey (n = 549). The research findings indicated that all derived factors could directly or indirectly affect individuals’ preventive behavior during pandemics. This article strives to provide valuable insights for different stakeholders when coping with pandemic situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Public Health and Social Science on COVID-19)
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Article
Analysis of Crisis Management for Sustainable Development of Fitness Center during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042451 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to verify the importance and performance of sustainable crisis management in Korean fitness centers using Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA). For this study, 304 fitness center executives and managers in Seoul and Gyeonggi region were selected from 21 March [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to verify the importance and performance of sustainable crisis management in Korean fitness centers using Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA). For this study, 304 fitness center executives and managers in Seoul and Gyeonggi region were selected from 21 March to 17 May 2020. Frequency analysis was performed using SPSS 24.0, and exploratory factor analysis was conducted to verify the validity and reliability. Priority analysis and IPA analysis were performed to compare the mean values, and the following results were obtained. In the first quadrant, there were six attributes besides keeping social distancing between employees and customers. In the second quadrant, there were four attributes in addition to regular disinfection of the gymnasium. In the third quadrant, there were six attributes besides maintain clean furniture. Third, there were six attributes other than maintaining clean furniture in the third quadrant. Lastly, in the fourth quadrant, there were three attributes in addition to the restriction of face-to-face meetings. The conclusion was as follows. First, equip supplies for the prevention of COVID-19, keep social distance, and check government support policies. Second, analyze economic support policies, and research their application methods. Third, prepare various non-face-to-face communication methods and Untact (noncontact) marketing strategies. Fourth, make a checklist for factors with relatively little importance. Full article
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Article
Subsidized LPG Scheme and the Shift to Cleaner Household Energy Use: Evidence from a Tribal Community of Eastern India
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042450 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 760
Abstract
Traditional fuels have both environmental and health impacts. The transition from traditional to clean cooking fuel requires significant public policy actions. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is one of the primary policies launched in India to eradicate energy poverty among households. Past [...] Read more.
Traditional fuels have both environmental and health impacts. The transition from traditional to clean cooking fuel requires significant public policy actions. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is one of the primary policies launched in India to eradicate energy poverty among households. Past studies have focused on the drivers that motivate rural households to adopt clean energy and identified the bottlenecks for adoption of clean energy in developing countries. PMUY’s success in terms of scale and pace is critical in the national drive to provide access to clean energy fuel to each citizen. The present study focuses on two objectives. First, we investigate the intensity of adoption and refill of LPG under the PMUY scheme. Second, we use household and other demographic characteristics to examine the factors that influence households’ decision on using LPG as a cooking fuel. Empirical results show that rapid growth has been witnessed in the provision of subsidized LPG connections. However, the annual average refill status stands at two LPG cylinders per beneficiary household indicating that the majority of the beneficiaries have failed to refill their LPG cylinders. This imbalance between rapid enrollment of LPG and limited refill among beneficiary households indicate the continued usage of traditional sources of energy for cooking. From the primary survey conducted in the rural tribal communities of Odisha, we observe that household income and education played a significant role in adoption of LPG and continued usage of LPG gas. Additionally, the logit and ordered probit models identify that membership in self-help groups, accessibility and awareness of LPG are the major adoption drivers. In conclusion, policy makers need to address the challenge of refill status among PMUY consumers. Further, educating households on health benefits through SHG and creating accessibility at village level can actively increase the usage of LPG. Full article
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Correction
Correction: Tõnisson et al. Knowledge Transfer with Citizen Science: Luft-Leipzig Case Study. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7855
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042449 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 357
Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections about the published paper [...] Full article
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Article
Environmental Fate of Trace Elements in Depositional Sediments after Flashflood Events: The Case of Mandra Town in Greece
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042448 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
Flash floods are one of the harshest natural hazards, having a wide range of substantial impacts for human and environmental health in the short-term and long-term. On 15 November 2017, a high-intensity storm caused a catastrophic flash flood event in the town of [...] Read more.
Flash floods are one of the harshest natural hazards, having a wide range of substantial impacts for human and environmental health in the short-term and long-term. On 15 November 2017, a high-intensity storm caused a catastrophic flash flood event in the town of Mandra, a western, outer suburb of the Athens Metropolitan Area in Greece. In this study, we determine the aqua regia extractable concentrations of trace elements in residual sediments and associated soils after the flash flood and evaluate the fractionation of contaminants in geochemical compartments. Geochemical data are coupled with physicochemical parameter measurements and mineralogy to identify possible factors explaining the variability of trace element concentrations, while a dilute acid extraction is used to monitor changes of the reactive fraction of the trace elements over the term of 1 year following the flood event. Aqua regia concentrations in flood-deposited sediments reached values of 1 mg/kg (Cd), 24 mg/kg (Co), 183 mg/kg (Cr), 599mg/kg (Cu), 1080 mg/kg (Mn), 195 mg/kg (Ni), 122 mg/kg (Pb) and 945 mg/kg (Zn). Multivariate statistical techniques classified the elements according to their natural or anthropogenic origin. Trace elements of geogenic origin (As, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni) dominate in flood deposited material. The cluster of anthropogenic elements (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn,) shows significant correlation with total organic carbon and magnetic susceptibility, while a significant seasonal variation has been observed for total organic carbon, Cd and Mn contents in the deposited sediments. Results allow a better understanding of the distribution of elements in the surface cover during and after catastrophic events in urban areas and provide useful information on the long-term exposure of the residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trace Metals in the Urban Environment and Human Health Risks)
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Article
Bioeconomic Entrepreneurship and Key Factors of Development: Lessons from Argentina
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2447; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042447 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
For Argentina, a country with large biomass availability, scientific-technological capacities and a strong agro-industrial sector, bioeconomy comes with an opportunity for sustainable local and national development. As key actors in bioeconomic transition processes, entrepreneurs become an important source of information for the design [...] Read more.
For Argentina, a country with large biomass availability, scientific-technological capacities and a strong agro-industrial sector, bioeconomy comes with an opportunity for sustainable local and national development. As key actors in bioeconomic transition processes, entrepreneurs become an important source of information for the design and implementation of bioeconomic strategies and policies. However, bioeconomic activity cannot guarantee sustainable development outcomes. Here, we examine factors that influenced bioeconomic entrepreneurship and related sustainability outcomes. Our case study involved interviews with 23 enterprises of varying size and technological level, covering the main sectors and regions of the Argentine bioeconomy. We identify five bioeconomic pathways with distinct characteristics. Among the main factors driving development in these pathways of the Argentinian bioeconomy, entrepreneurs emphasized the rich endowment with natural resources and the high level of scientific, technological and entrepreneurial capacities. Public policies, economic stability and regulatory frameworks were considered as the most critical barriers to bioeconomic development. Entrepreneurs saw their contribution to sustainable development primarily in the generation of new knowledge and employment. Ecological or social motives were less frequently reported. Despite agricultural commodity production being the mainstay of the Argentinian bioeconomy, small-scale local initiatives, which also include socio-institutional and agro-ecological innovations, are coming up. Recommendations to improve the competitiveness of the Argentinean bioeconomy include the elaboration of a national bioeconomic development policy with the participation of private actors and their organizations, and the scientific and technological complex. Moreover, regulatory and normative frameworks have to be adapted and bureaucratic obstacles be reduced. Finally, a national strategy for the bioeconomy in Argentina should pay more attention to entrepreneurship as a driver of transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioeconomy of Sustainability)
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