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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 8 (April-2 2022) – 489 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Many Mediterranean grazing lands are characterized by unfavorable edapho-climatic conditions and unsustainable use. In this paper, we explore the use, productivity, and floral diversity of 16 grazing lands on Lesvos Island, Greece. Three times per season for two growing seasons, we recorded herbage biomass, land cover, and biomass inside small exclosures protected from grazing. We recorded species richness within and outside the cages at the end of seasons and chemically analyzed the biomass for crude protein. Results show sizable productivity differences, a medium to high degree of productivity, and species richness. They suggest that the “history” of the fields is important, but overall, these ecosystems showed a high degree of resilience despite their intensive use. View this paper
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16 pages, 3147 KiB  
Case Report
Impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism Industry in Taiwan
by Ching-Tang Chan and Hsien-Wu Chen
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084864 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4629
Abstract
The initial outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic occurred at the end of 2019. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the tourism industry, which is facing a critical moment of survival due to the government restrictions and tourism warnings in various [...] Read more.
The initial outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic occurred at the end of 2019. Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the tourism industry, which is facing a critical moment of survival due to the government restrictions and tourism warnings in various countries. In Taiwan, despite effective epidemic prevention measures, the pandemic has significantly affected the country’s tourism industry, particularly the travel industry. This study provides an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry and discusses the fiscal stimulus measures and vaccinations provided by the Taiwan government to ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry in Taiwan from the start of 2020 to the end of 2021. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic and Social Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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21 pages, 2619 KiB  
Article
Decisions on Pricing, Sustainability Effort, and Carbon Cap under Wholesale Price and Cost-Sharing Contracts
by Doo-Ho Lee and Jong-Chul Yoon
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084863 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1975
Abstract
Rapid economic growth and industrialization have brought material abundance and convenience, but also social and environmental problems such as global warming, climate change, and ozone depletion. For this reason, the public and governments have continued to make efforts to reduce carbon oxide emissions [...] Read more.
Rapid economic growth and industrialization have brought material abundance and convenience, but also social and environmental problems such as global warming, climate change, and ozone depletion. For this reason, the public and governments have continued to make efforts to reduce carbon oxide emissions worldwide over the past few decades. To achieve this mission, cap-and-trade regulations have been introduced as one of the most effective market-based mechanisms to control carbon emissions. Accordingly, sustainability efforts, including the development of green products and innovating manufacturing technologies, are being made by companies in supply chains to reduce their carbon emissions. In the context of sustainability innovations and carbon emission constraints, this article investigates pricing decisions, the degree of sustainability efforts, and carbon caps under two different supply chain contracts—in this case, wholesale price contract and cost-sharing contract. This article establishes a Stackelberg game model under each of the supply chain contract types and presents the equilibrium decisions made by players of the game. Major findings of this article reveal that (i) the performance of the supply chain is considerably affected by the presence of a carbon cap; (ii) the higher the carbon cap set by a government is, the more sustainability innovation efforts the supply chain makes; and (iii) the supply chain can improve its profitability and its sustainability under a cost-sharing contract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Optimization)
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30 pages, 1245 KiB  
Article
Theoretical Perspectives on Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Digital Transformation: A Literature Review and a Conceptual Framework
by Asterios Stroumpoulis and Evangelia Kopanaki
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084862 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 13988
Abstract
In an era where environmental and social pressures on companies are increasing, sustainable supply chain management is essential for the efficient operation and survivability of the organizations (members of the chain). Digital transformation and the adoption of new technologies could support the development [...] Read more.
In an era where environmental and social pressures on companies are increasing, sustainable supply chain management is essential for the efficient operation and survivability of the organizations (members of the chain). Digital transformation and the adoption of new technologies could support the development of sustainable strategies, as they support supply chain processes, decrease operational costs, enable control and monitoring of operations and support green practices. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between sustainable supply chain management and digital transformation through the adoption of specific technologies (Blockchain technology, big data analytics, internet of things). It aims at theory building and the development of a conceptual framework, enabling the explanation of under which circumstances the above combination could lead to the development of sustainable performances. It also aims to examine how companies can increase their competitive advantage and/or increase their business performance, contributing both to academics and practitioners. After conducting a literature review analysis, a significant gap was detected. There are a few studies providing theoretical approaches to examining all three pillars of sustainability, while at the same time analyzing the impact of big data analytics, internet of things and blockchain technology on the development of sustainable supply chains. Aiming to address this gap, this paper primarily conducts a literature review, identifies definitions and theories used to explain the different pillars of flexibility, and examines the effect of different technologies. It then develops a theoretical conceptual framework, which could enable both academics and practitioners to examine the impact of the adoption of different technologies on sustainable supply chain management. The findings of this research reveal that digital transformation plays an important role to companies, as the combination of different technologies may lead to the development of significant capabilities, increasing sustainable performances and enabling the development of sustainable strategies, which can improve companies’ position in the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Logistics and Supply Chains)
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17 pages, 571 KiB  
Review
Drone Forensics and Machine Learning: Sustaining the Investigation Process
by Zubair Baig, Majid Ali Khan, Nazeeruddin Mohammad and Ghassen Ben Brahim
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084861 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4738
Abstract
Drones have been increasingly adopted to address several critical challenges faced by humanity to provide support and convenience . The technological advances in the broader domains of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the affordability of off-the-shelf devices, [...] Read more.
Drones have been increasingly adopted to address several critical challenges faced by humanity to provide support and convenience . The technological advances in the broader domains of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the affordability of off-the-shelf devices, have facilitated modern-day drone use. Drones are readily available for deployment in hard to access locations for delivery of critical medical supplies, for surveillance, for weather data collection and for home delivery of purchased goods. Whilst drones are increasingly beneficial to civilians, they have also been used to carry out crimes. We present a survey of artificial intelligence techniques that exist in the literature in the context of processing drone data to reveal criminal activity. Our contribution also comprises the proposal of a novel model to adopt the concepts of machine learning for classification of drone data as part of a digital forensic investigation. Our main conclusions include that properly trained machine-learning models hold promise to enable an accurate assessment of drone data obtained from drones confiscated from a crime scene. Our research work opens the door for academics and industry practitioners to adopt machine learning to enable the use of drone data in forensic investigations. Full article
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23 pages, 379 KiB  
Article
Mandatory Non-Financial Information Disclosure under European Directive 95/2014/EU: Evidence from Portuguese Listed Companies
by Cecília Carmo and Cristiana Ribeiro
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084860 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2982
Abstract
This paper investigates the effects of Directive 95/2014/EU on the quality of non-financial information (NFI) disclosed by Portuguese listed companies and explains the reporting practices adopted in this context. For this purpose, a content analysis of non-financial disclosures made a year before (2016) [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the effects of Directive 95/2014/EU on the quality of non-financial information (NFI) disclosed by Portuguese listed companies and explains the reporting practices adopted in this context. For this purpose, a content analysis of non-financial disclosures made a year before (2016) and in the first and second years of the implementation of the Directive (2017 and 2018) was performed. A self-constructed index that covers the disclosure matters required by the Directive was used to measure the quality of NFI. The findings showed that the major effects on the quality of non-financial disclosures were observed in the first year of implementation. Furthermore, it was observed that companies that had high-quality voluntary reporting practices, such as the presentation of a sustainability report, the use of GRI Standards and the certification of NFI, maintained these practices after the Directive. After two years of implementation, there were still companies that did not mention the framework used or did not disclose information on sensitive matters such as human rights or anti-corruption and bribery. The evidence found supports the existence of a ‘routine’ effect that has influenced the reporting practices adopted. The results obtained have implications for policymakers helping them to identify aspects of the Directive’s requirements that need to be improved. Full article
18 pages, 4133 KiB  
Article
Establishment and Utilization Plans of Apartment Housing Envelope System Database
by Jong-Geon Lee, Hyeong-Jae Jang, Sungho Tae and Yonghan Ahn
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084859 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1585
Abstract
Recently, apart from the energy saving of new buildings, various carbon-centered environmental policies for climate change were implemented to improve the energy performance of existing buildings, actively promoting green remodeling businesses. This study proposed a classification system for green remodeling envelope systems to [...] Read more.
Recently, apart from the energy saving of new buildings, various carbon-centered environmental policies for climate change were implemented to improve the energy performance of existing buildings, actively promoting green remodeling businesses. This study proposed a classification system for green remodeling envelope systems to select the applicable representative method and input material for the green remodeling of apartment housing. The system boundaries were divided into the material production stage and construction waste processing stage, and the classification system of the envelope system was implemented for applicable green remodeling. A database for the environmental, economic, and energy performances of the classification system was created. Moreover, a green remodeling evaluation sheet system was proposed. According to our results, the economic, energy, and environmental performances of the proposed combinations of the insulation systems were higher than those of the reference combination by 30%, 10%, and 30%, respectively. Regarding the window systems, the economic and energy performances of the proposed input material combinations were higher than those of the reference combination by 22% and 10%, respectively. Additionally, the energy performance of the proposed input material combinations was higher than that of the reference combination by 8~64%. Full article
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23 pages, 579 KiB  
Article
Sense of Place, Biocultural Heritage, and Sustainable Knowledge and Practices in Three Italian Rural Regeneration Processes
by Letizia Bindi, Mauro Conti and Angelo Belliggiano
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084858 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3155
Abstract
This paper addresses sustainable development processes based on biocultural heritage, sense of place, and socio-cultural innovation and inclusiveness in the rural context, particularly focusing different scales of endogenous/neo-endogenous rural regeneration processes. Ethnographic and grounded case studies allow a critical analysis of different forms [...] Read more.
This paper addresses sustainable development processes based on biocultural heritage, sense of place, and socio-cultural innovation and inclusiveness in the rural context, particularly focusing different scales of endogenous/neo-endogenous rural regeneration processes. Ethnographic and grounded case studies allow a critical analysis of different forms of rural development from a multidisciplinary perspective based on old and new rurality, rural and local communities’ participation, resilience and regeneration processes, sense of place, belongingness, and “restanza”. The three cases are situated in three areas of Italy: the ecomuseum of pastoralism in Pontebernardo in the northern region of Piedmont as a driver of local shared development pathways; the municipality of Castel del Giudice, in the Central-Southern region of Molise, enabling different and integrated local regeneration actions; and the Association “Casa delle AgriCulture”/Green Night Festival in Castiglione d’Otranto in the Southern region of Puglia as a performative opportunity to define innovative and transversal as well as community-oriented activities. In these contexts, different local regeneration programs were applied in order to provide a critical evaluation of the knowledge and practices of sustainability in terms of their entanglements with biocultural heritage and socio-cultural innovation. The present analysis insists on the impact of biocultural heritage in regeneration processes in rural regions and endogenous/neo-endogenous factors in rural sustainable development. Full article
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27 pages, 667 KiB  
Article
The Impact of RDP Measures on the Rural Development: The Case of Romania
by Ramona Pîrvu, Laurențiu Dragomir, Bogdan Budică, Răducu-Ștefan Bratu, Sorin Dinulescu and Lili Țenea
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084857 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
The goal of this study is to analyze the development of rural areas in Romania on the basis of the absorption of both the European non-reimbursable funds and the national funds for the modernization of the infrastructure of villages and communes. The aim [...] Read more.
The goal of this study is to analyze the development of rural areas in Romania on the basis of the absorption of both the European non-reimbursable funds and the national funds for the modernization of the infrastructure of villages and communes. The aim of the article is to carry out thorough empirical research on the process of rural development in Romania as a facet of the EU’s overall rural development. Thus, in order to obtain relevant results in connection with the pursued goal, we will be using hierarchical cluster analysis to observe the effects of the expenses financed through the National Rural Development Program (NRDP) on the development of rural areas. In accordance with the methodological approach of research, our goal is to give a picture of the way in which Romania’s counties (NUTS 3) were clustered at the beginning of the multi-annual planning (2014) as well as at the end of the planning period, in 2020, and to point out a series of practical and concrete aspects generated by the opportunities that the rural areas have had in terms of attracting structural funds. Based on the conducted analysis, we can say that a series of positive aspects can be put in the spotlight as a result of the existence of the European irredeemable funds, which engender positive direct and indirect effects on both the economy and the population’s standard of living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development and Land Use Planning)
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16 pages, 1621 KiB  
Article
The Challenges of Palm Oil Sustainable Consumption and Production in China: An Institutional Theory Perspective
by Rui Wang, Khai Ern Lee, Mazlin Mokhtar and Thian Lai Goh
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084856 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3883
Abstract
The emerging economies are the centrepieces in the sustainable consumption and production of palm oil (SCP). With the collaborative efforts of the European Union and some non-governmental organisations, producers are kept in the spotlight, and scrutiny has begun to sweep down the supply [...] Read more.
The emerging economies are the centrepieces in the sustainable consumption and production of palm oil (SCP). With the collaborative efforts of the European Union and some non-governmental organisations, producers are kept in the spotlight, and scrutiny has begun to sweep down the supply chain. Palm oil environmental liabilities are extended to the consuming countries and criticism of emerging economies is evident in the context of weak institutions and inadequate attention from interest groups. China, one of the major consumers of palm oil, encompasses almost every potential environmental performance issue at the end of the palm oil supply chain. Sherri Torjman’s six-step approach has been used to parse the constraints and contributions of institutional coercive, mimetic and normative drivers to the three goals of the economic, social and environmental performance of palm oil SCP. This paper investigates the relevant institutions in China and compares in detail the content of SCP-related elements in these institutions through desktop research. An institutional theoretical perspective is provided to take a more comprehensive look at the SCP challenges facing the palm oil supply chain in China whereby this paper aims to shed light on the linkages between the challenges and institutional drivers. Full article
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20 pages, 3920 KiB  
Review
Bio-Based Plastics Production, Impact and End of Life: A Literature Review and Content Analysis
by Halayit Abrha, Jonnathan Cabrera, Yexin Dai, Muhammad Irfan, Abrham Toma, Shipu Jiao and Xianhua Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084855 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5934
Abstract
The accumulation of plastic wastes is one of the most widely spread problems affecting the environment. The reality that plastics can be made from renewable resources and degrade naturally has prompted academics to think outside the box to develop “better for the environment” [...] Read more.
The accumulation of plastic wastes is one of the most widely spread problems affecting the environment. The reality that plastics can be made from renewable resources and degrade naturally has prompted academics to think outside the box to develop “better for the environment” items. In this paper, a bibliometric analysis of the scholarly publications related to bio-based plastics within the last 20 years is presented. Annual progression, geographic and research area distribution, and keyword co-occurrence were all examined. Six distinct clusters emerged from keyword analysis, which were further categorized into three directions: production to marketing; impact on the environment, economy, and society; and end-of-life (EoL) options. The major focus was on how to counter the weaknesses and challenges of bio-based plastics and take opportunities using the inherent advantages of bio-based plastics. Comprehensive studies regarding the impact of bio-based plastics on the environment, economy and social sustainability are still deficient. Although there are many promising innovations in this area, most of them are at the research stage. The benefits of bio-based plastics and better EoL options can be enjoyed only after increased production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Polymeric Materials for Sustainability and Innovations)
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21 pages, 4562 KiB  
Article
Mechanical and Hydraulic Properties of Recycled Concrete Aggregates Mixed with Clay Brick Aggregates and Particle Breakage Characteristics for Unbound Road Base and Subbase Materials in Vietnam
by Trong Lam Nguyen, Van Tuan Nguyen, Hoang Giang Nguyen, Akihiro Matsuno, Hirofumi Sakanakura and Ken Kawamoto
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084854 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
The construction industry is one of the key industries with high potential for the circular economy; the promotion of reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste (CDW) is essential for sustainable urban development. In this study, a series of compaction, California bearing [...] Read more.
The construction industry is one of the key industries with high potential for the circular economy; the promotion of reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste (CDW) is essential for sustainable urban development. In this study, a series of compaction, California bearing ratio, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and particle breakage tests of well– and poor–graded mixtures of recycled clay brick aggregates (RCBs) and recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) with maximum aggregate diameters of 19, 25, and 37.5 mm were carried out to examine the practical application of those mixtures to unbound roadbed materials in Vietnam. The experimental results suggest that the maximum amount of RCBs added to RCAs should be less than 30% when applied to unbound roadbed materials. In addition, it was found that the mixing proportions of RCBs and RCAs and the maximum aggregate diameter, gradation of aggregates, and initial moisture condition control the saturated hydraulic conductivity. Further, the particle breakage characteristics under compaction were carefully examined, and it was found that the percentage increment/decrement, as well as a newly introduced method of estimating the mixing proportions of RCAs and RCBs in the fine fraction (<2.36 mm), is effective in understanding the mechanism of particle breakage of RCA and RCB mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Resources and Sustainable Utilization)
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11 pages, 1966 KiB  
Communication
Administrative Level May Be the Key Factor to Improve Protection Effectiveness of Nature Reserves in China
by Xuhui Sun, Yicong Cao, Xiaobin He, Rongxing Wang, Peng Zeng, Yanpeng Li, Zhipang Huang and Wen Xiao
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084853 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Nature reserves (NRs) have been the backbone of biodiversity conservation and the construction of China’s ‘ecological-civilization’ since the 1950s. With over 11,800 protected areas (PAs) covering 18% of the country’s land area, Chinese NRs have made a great contribution to global biodiversity conservation. [...] Read more.
Nature reserves (NRs) have been the backbone of biodiversity conservation and the construction of China’s ‘ecological-civilization’ since the 1950s. With over 11,800 protected areas (PAs) covering 18% of the country’s land area, Chinese NRs have made a great contribution to global biodiversity conservation. At this point, better protection effectiveness can be achieved by optimizing the management organization rather than expanding the area. We analyzed the management structure of Chinese NRs by looking at their ranks, the hierarchy of administrative organs, number of grass-root stations, manpower, and financial resources, among other variables. We found that the average number of staff employed and yearly financial input per km2 of Chinese NRs were both higher than the world and US averages. However, the range was extremely high, revealing great unbalance among different regions and ranks of NRs. In particular, the western part of China, which is less developed and features the least disturbed ecosystems, received less funding and staff resources than the developed east. A further analysis of the highest-ranked nature reserves, i.e., the national nature reserves (NNRs), showed that administrative organs of different hierarchical statuses (the lowest being Deputy family, the highest being Division level) could be in charge of them. Unexpectedly, we found that the amount of human and financial resources injected into NNRs was correlated with the level of their administration but dissociated from other important factors such as the reserve’s size or ecological value. Furthermore, the management organization was inadequate, with many NRs lacking key departments as defined by Chinese nature reserve regulations. We suggest that the administrative levels of management organization in NRs should be unified, and through the existing ecological transfer payments policy, strengthen the financial and staffing input in the western NRs of China. Moreover, the internal structure of NRs management should include all relevant departments with specific tasks and the creation of grass-root stations should be promoted without neglecting the capacity building to improve staff’s knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Sustainability)
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26 pages, 1633 KiB  
Review
Child-Friendly Environments—What, How and by Whom?
by Märit Jansson, Emma Herbert, Alva Zalar and Maria Johansson
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084852 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 8310
Abstract
The socio-physical qualities of built environments are, in several ways, of imperative importance for children growing up. The Child-Friendly Cities initiative by UNICEF, an implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has made local governments strive toward child-friendliness. The [...] Read more.
The socio-physical qualities of built environments are, in several ways, of imperative importance for children growing up. The Child-Friendly Cities initiative by UNICEF, an implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has made local governments strive toward child-friendliness. The participation of children and young people is often the focus of such projects, with a potential for a far broader scope. Besides participation processes, what important socio-physical qualities make environments child-friendly, and how can they be developed? This paper presents a structured literature review of the concept of child-friendly environments, in order to address the full socio-physical spectrum. The results focus on concrete factors that have been filtered through child-friendliness and the associated frameworks, showing an inherent dependence between the social context and the physical environment. The shaping of child-friendliness hinges on the realization of environments that are safe, fair, and with accessible and variable green and open spaces. A multi-stakeholder endeavor including, e.g., planners, designers, and managers requires clearly outlined priorities. This study lays the groundwork for further exploration of how the concept of child-friendly environments can lead to positive changes, also as part of the overall strive toward sustainable development. Full article
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22 pages, 11005 KiB  
Article
Fuzzy Hysteresis Current Controller for Power Quality Enhancement in Renewable Energy Integrated Clusters
by Yellapragada Venkata Pavan Kumar, Sivakavi Naga Venkata Bramareswara Rao, Kottala Padma, Challa Pradeep Reddy, Darsy John Pradeep, Aymen Flah, Habib Kraiem, Michał Jasiński and Srete Nikolovski
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084851 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
Steady increase in electricity consumption, fossil fuel depletion, higher erection times of conventional plants, etc., are encouraging the use of more and more onsite renewable energy. However, due to the dynamic changes in environmental factors as well as the customer load, renewable energy [...] Read more.
Steady increase in electricity consumption, fossil fuel depletion, higher erection times of conventional plants, etc., are encouraging the use of more and more onsite renewable energy. However, due to the dynamic changes in environmental factors as well as the customer load, renewable energy generation is facing issues with reliability and quality of the supply. As a solution to all these factors, renewable energy integrated cluster microgrids are being formed globally in urban communities. However, their effectiveness in generating quality power depends on the power electronic converters that are used as an integral part of the microgrids. Thus, this paper proposes the “Fuzzy Hysteresis Current Controller (FHCC)-based Inverter” for improving the power quality in renewable energy integrated cluster microgrids that are operated either in grid-connected or autonomous mode. Here, the inverter is controlled through a fuzzy logic-based hysteresis current control loop, thereby achieving superior performance. System modelling and simulations are done using MATLAB/Simulink®. The performance analysis of the proposed and conventional inverter configurations is done by computing various power quality indices, namely voltage characteristics (swell, sag, and imbalance), frequency characteristics (deviations), and total harmonic distortion. The results reveal that the proposed FHCC-based inverter achieves a better quality of power than the traditional ST-PWM-based multilevel inverter in terms of IEEE/IEC/EN global standards for renewable energy integrated cluster microgrids application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Resources and Sustainable Utilization)
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24 pages, 4816 KiB  
Article
Strength and Deformation Characteristics of Dune Sand Earth Blocks Reinforced with Natural and Polymeric Fibers
by Magdi El-Emam and Adil Al-Tamimi
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084850 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
In this paper, we present a strength and deformation evaluation of earth blocks reinforced with different types of fiber. A natural palm tree fiber and two other types of synthetic polyolefin fibers were used to improve earth blocks’ strength and stiffness. The soil [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a strength and deformation evaluation of earth blocks reinforced with different types of fiber. A natural palm tree fiber and two other types of synthetic polyolefin fibers were used to improve earth blocks’ strength and stiffness. The soil used to cast the earth blocks was composed of dune sand, which is extensively available in the United Arab Emirates and most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deserts, and clayey silt soil acquired from Al-Ain city, UAE. Sixteen different mixes were prepared for this study. Two identical earth blocks were cast in a wooden mold from each mix to form a total of 32 blocks. After compaction, the blocks were consolidated under pre-specified pressure, air dried, and tested to failure in the compression machine. The main parameters investigated in this study were clay content, fiber types and percentages, and cement content. The results indicate that the addition of natural or polymeric fiber to cast earth blocks significantly improved their compressive strength. The maximum compressive strength of improved blocks showed an increase of more than 30% above the maximum compressive strength recorded for identical soil blocks without fiber. In addition, the post-peak and pre-peak strength behaviors of the earth blocks are different with different fiber contents. Finally, the addition of 0.5% cement to the fiber-reinforced blocks showed a negligible effect on the peak compressive strength. However, cement content improved the early stage (small strain) stiffness of earth blocks. Full article
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14 pages, 3264 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions in NW of Spain
by Íñigo García-Martínez-de-Albéniz, Juan Antonio Ruiz-de-Villa and Jorge Rodriguez-Hernandez
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084849 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
Wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVCs) in many places have a significant impact on wildlife management and road safety. The COVID-19 lockdown enabled the study of the specific impact that traffic has on these events. WVC variation in the Asturias and Cantabria regions (NW of Spain) [...] Read more.
Wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVCs) in many places have a significant impact on wildlife management and road safety. The COVID-19 lockdown enabled the study of the specific impact that traffic has on these events. WVC variation in the Asturias and Cantabria regions (NW of Spain) because of the COVID-19 lockdown reached a maximum reduction of −64.77% during strict confinement but it was minimal or nonexistent during “soft” confinement. The global average value was −30.22% compared with the WVCs registered in the same period in 2019, but only −4.69% considering the average throughout the period 2010–2019. There are huge differences between conventional roads, where the traffic reduction was greater, and highways, where the traffic reduction was lesser during the COVID-19 lockdown. The results depend on the season, the day of the week and the time of day, but mainly on the traffic reduction occurring. The results obtained highlight the need to include the traffic factor in WVC reduction strategies. Full article
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14 pages, 5270 KiB  
Article
Determination of Narrow Coal Pillar Width and Roadway Surrounding Rock Support Technology in Gob Driving Roadway
by Qingliang Chang, Shiguo Ge, Xianyuan Shi, Yesong Sun, Haibin Wang, Mengda Li, Yizhe Wang and Fengfeng Wu
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084848 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1743
Abstract
In order to determine the rational width of coal pillars and study the surrounding rock control technology of gob side entry driving with a narrow coal pillar, this paper first calculates the width of narrow coal pillar according to limit equilibrium theory; after [...] Read more.
In order to determine the rational width of coal pillars and study the surrounding rock control technology of gob side entry driving with a narrow coal pillar, this paper first calculates the width of narrow coal pillar according to limit equilibrium theory; after that, the lateral support pressure and plastic zone development of the goaf is analyzed by numerical simulation to determine the rational width of reserved coal pillar; finally, through the ring breaking deformation regulation of surrounding rock of the gob side entry, the deformation and failure characteristics of the gob-side roadway during excavation and the influence of mining on the deformation and failure of the gob-side roadway are analyzed. The research results show that, combined with theoretical analysis and numerical simulation, the width of narrow coal pillar is decided to be 10 m; the deformation of the coal pillar side of the gob side roadway is much bigger than the roof subsidence, the deformation of the solid coal wall and the floor deformation; after the bolt support design of the gob side roadway, the deformation and damage of the gob side roadway during the driving period is small; during mining, the deformation of the narrow coal pillar wall is the key factor to determine the stability of the gob roadway; under the bolt support scheme, the overall deformation and failure of surrounding rock of the goaf roadway is small, and the control effect of the surrounding rock of the goaf roadway is good. Full article
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14 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Changes and Challenges in Human Resources Management: An Analysis of Human Resources Roles in a Bank Context (after COVID-19)
by Chiara D’Angelo, Diletta Gazzaroli, Chiara Corvino and Caterina Gozzoli
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084847 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4966
Abstract
Background: In the coming years, HR in the banking industry will need to play a leading role to develop human capital management, based on people care, evaluation, development, and training. To properly face this change in one of the biggest Italian banks we [...] Read more.
Background: In the coming years, HR in the banking industry will need to play a leading role to develop human capital management, based on people care, evaluation, development, and training. To properly face this change in one of the biggest Italian banks we wanted to contribute to understanding the actual HR areas of change and examine how HR roles are dealing with “being on the frontline” of an unparalleled organisational evolution. Methods: Six focus-group sessions with up to 10 participants per session. Results: The crucial issue that emerged is a profound rupture and crisis that showed the (already existing) fragilities of the HR role interpretation: develop a new synergic relationship with the top management; define a stronger and wider organisational mandate; establish structured moments of discussion between professionals. Conclusion: HR roles in the banking context, especially after the pandemic, entail a high emotional burden related to role assumption. Specifically, our research highlighted the need to discuss the evolution of the HR role with top management, the need for synergies and a definition of the organisational mandate that allows wider participation in terms of decision-making and planning, and finally the need for supervision of HR roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Sustainability in Human Resource Management)
18 pages, 7481 KiB  
Review
A Study of the Design Method of Miruk-Jõn Hall Kumsan-Sa Temple in Korea—Through a Comparison with the Kiwari Method
by Byungjin Kim, Masaki Koiwa and Takesi Nakagawa
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084846 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2063
Abstract
It is considered that it is difficult to build a well-constructed building without proportional or dimensional relationships of precise parts, so it is estimated that Korea has some sort of numerical determination method now. Also, in China there is “Ying Zao Fa Shi: [...] Read more.
It is considered that it is difficult to build a well-constructed building without proportional or dimensional relationships of precise parts, so it is estimated that Korea has some sort of numerical determination method now. Also, in China there is “Ying Zao Fa Shi: 営造法式” of technical books and it is doubtful that there is no similar technology in Korea with the same architectural flow, given that there are ways to decide “Kiwarisho: 木割書” in Japan. Therefore, focus on this point and aim to clarify the dimension determination method of Miruk-jõn Hall Kumsan-sa Temple using analysis method of each proportional method in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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27 pages, 5495 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Public Partnerships in Non-Urban Regeneration Projects in Korea: Seeing through Place-Keeping Theory
by Changsong Oh and Jisoo Sim
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084845 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
This study conducted a holistic analysis of selected public-led regeneration projects carried out in different ways in rural and fishing villages in Korea, in line with current trends based on place-keeping theory, which reflects the long-term perspective of the project as a frame. [...] Read more.
This study conducted a holistic analysis of selected public-led regeneration projects carried out in different ways in rural and fishing villages in Korea, in line with current trends based on place-keeping theory, which reflects the long-term perspective of the project as a frame. This study identified the mechanisms and characteristics revealed in the planning process of the cases. Through an analysis of the discourse of the governing bodies, it also examined their perceptions and issues regarding the projects, finding that the different objectives of the projects and differences in the members leading the governance had different effects on the planning of the regeneration project. In this process, this study found distorted place-keeping elements: (1) The final design tends to be uniform rather than reflecting regional specificity. (2) As the investment in profit-making facilities was limited to one’s own expense, funding was limited. (3) Asymmetry of partnership occurred due to the local community’s insecurity following the adjustment of the plan. (4) In order to maintain a long-term governance system, a group of regionally friendly and responsible professionals was required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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23 pages, 3485 KiB  
Article
Population Prediction of Chinese Prefecture-Level Cities Based on Multiple Models
by Lixuan Chen, Tianyu Mu, Xiuting Li and Jichang Dong
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084844 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2763
Abstract
In recent years, the population growth rate has been gradually declining in China. As the population problem becomes increasingly significant, the accurate prediction of population development trends has become a top priority, used to facilitate national scientific planning and effective decision making. Based [...] Read more.
In recent years, the population growth rate has been gradually declining in China. As the population problem becomes increasingly significant, the accurate prediction of population development trends has become a top priority, used to facilitate national scientific planning and effective decision making. Based on historical data spanning a period of 20 years (1999–2018), this article presents predictions of the populations of 210 prefecture-level cities using the Malthusian model, Unary linear regression model, Logistic model, and Gray prediction model. Furthermore, because the gray prediction model exhibited the highest degree of accuracy in formulating predictions, this study uses the model to predict and analyze future population development trends. The results reveal that the population gap between cities is gradually widening, and the total urban population shows a pattern of rising in middle-tier cities (second-tier cities and third-tier cities) and declining in high-tier cities (first-tier cities and new first-tier cities) and low-tier cities (fourth-tier cities and fifth-tier cities). From the viewpoint of geographical distribution, the population growth rate is basically balanced between the northern part and the southern part of China. In addition, the population growth of the high-tier cities is gradually slowing while the low-tier cities are experiencing a negative growth of population, but middle-tier cities are experiencing skyrocketing population growth. From the viewpoint of regional development, although the development of regional integration has been strengthened over the years, the radiative driving effect of large urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas is relatively limited. Full article
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19 pages, 1982 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Cool Roof System on the Mitigation of Building Temperature: Empirical Evidence from a Field Experiment
by Jaehong Park and Sugie Lee
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084843 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2371
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the effects of a cool roof system on the building temperature mitigation using a field experiment under current climate conditions in Seoul, Korea. Particularly, this study analyzed which meteorological factors affect the performance of the cool roof system [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the effects of a cool roof system on the building temperature mitigation using a field experiment under current climate conditions in Seoul, Korea. Particularly, this study analyzed which meteorological factors affect the performance of the cool roof system based on the results of a field experiment during four seasons at the study site with real-time changes in various urban meteorological variables. This study also examined the extent to which each meteorological variable affects a cool roof system. Automatic temperature data loggers were installed on the roof of a Dobong eco-class building with reduced experimental models that included both conventional and cool roofs. A multiple regression analysis showed that when applying the cool roof system with other explanatory variables being controlled, the surface temperature of the building roof decreased by approximately 5.6 °C, and the indoor air temperature of the experimental model decreased by approximately 0.56 °C. These temperature reduction effects are meaningful, as the annual average reduction effects include nighttime and daytime. In addition, the most influential weather condition variable for roof surface or indoor temperature is external temperature, followed by insolation and humidity. Finally, the surface temperature reduction values in the actual roof of the study site and those of the roof surface of the experimental model were different. This suggests that the effect of temperature change on cool roofs is related to environmental factors as well as roofing materials. Therefore, the study suggests that cool roof policies should consider not only solar reflectivity but also other building environmental conditions and roofing materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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16 pages, 3388 KiB  
Article
Modelling and Environmental Profile Associated with the Valorization of Wheat Straw as Carbon Source in the Biotechnological Production of Manganese Peroxidase
by Sandra González-Rodríguez, Ana Arias, Gumersindo Feijoo and Maria Teresa Moreira
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4842; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084842 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
Interest in the development of biorefineries and biotechnological processes based on renewable resources has multiplied in recent years. This driving force is the result of the availability of lignocellulosic biomass and the range of applications that arise from its use and valorization. The [...] Read more.
Interest in the development of biorefineries and biotechnological processes based on renewable resources has multiplied in recent years. This driving force is the result of the availability of lignocellulosic biomass and the range of applications that arise from its use and valorization. The approach of second-generation sugars from lignocellulosic biomass opens up the possibility of producing biotechnological products such as enzymes as a feasible alternative in the framework of biorefineries. It is in this context that this manuscript is framed, focusing on the modelling of a large-scale fermentative biotechnological process to produce the enzyme manganese peroxidase (MnP) by the fungus Irpex lacteus using wheat straw as a carbon source. The production scheme is based on the sequence of four stages: pretreatment of wheat straw, seed fermenters, enzyme production and downstream processes. For its environmental assessment, the Life Cycle Assessment methodology, which allows the identification and quantification of environmental impacts associated with the process, was utilized. As the main finding, the stages of the process with the highest environmental burdens are those of pretreatment and fermentation, mainly due to energy requirements. With the aim of proposing improvement scenarios, sensitivity analyses were developed around the identified hotspots. An improvement in the efficiency of steam consumption leads to a reduction of environmental damage of up to 30%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Techno-Sustainable Biowaste Management Strategy)
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12 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
Students’ Acceptance of Applying Cyber–Physical Integration Technique in an Automation Platform
by Wen-Jye Shyr, Chun-Min Ho, Hou-Chueh Juan and Hung-Ming Liau
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4841; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084841 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
This study applied the technology acceptance model to the cyber–physical integration technique in an automation platform. A total of 34 students from a technological university in central Taiwan responded to a survey following the completion of a six-week teaching course. The course helps [...] Read more.
This study applied the technology acceptance model to the cyber–physical integration technique in an automation platform. A total of 34 students from a technological university in central Taiwan responded to a survey following the completion of a six-week teaching course. The course helps students develop cyber–physical integration concepts and improve their learning outcomes. Data were collected to examine the path relationships among all variables (i.e., perceived enjoyment, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude toward using, and behavioral intention to use) influencing the acceptance of the automation platform learning. Noteworthily, there is a correlation between the dimensions of the technology acceptance model, and all hypotheses are valid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching: Sustainable Education)
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27 pages, 1054 KiB  
Review
Revising Technology Adoption Factors for IoT-Based Smart Campuses: A Systematic Review
by Radhwan Sneesl, Yusmadi Yah Jusoh, Marzanah A. Jabar and Salfarina Abdullah
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4840; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084840 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4941
Abstract
Smart education and the sustainable development of smart campuses have drawn significant research attention. This is enabled by intelligent devices that are widely attracting massive applicability in personal and big business contexts and can increase efficiency and convenience. This paper aims to present [...] Read more.
Smart education and the sustainable development of smart campuses have drawn significant research attention. This is enabled by intelligent devices that are widely attracting massive applicability in personal and big business contexts and can increase efficiency and convenience. This paper aims to present a solution to address the lack of a proper adoption model for smart campus initiatives. The evaluation and synthesis of the literature were conducted by following the systematic literature review (SLR) procedure. The study’s findings revealed the taxonomy and IoT technologies leading to the wide adoption of IoT-based smart campuses. The technology adoption models and their corresponding variables help the authors identify and classify a suitable adoption framework for smart campuses. The limitations and challenges of adoption theories as they pertain to smart campuses are discussed. Finally, the study adapts perceived scalability, perceived replicability, perceived reliability, perceived privacy and security, perceived trust, the cost of deployment, usefulness, enjoyment, and technicality as adoption factors of sustainable smart campuses. This study offers practical and theoretical implications regarding the adoption and propagation of emerging smart campuses. Full article
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17 pages, 1149 KiB  
Article
The Evaluation of Active Learning Classrooms: Impact of Spatial Factors on Students’ Learning Experience and Learning Engagement
by Lei Peng, Yuan Deng and Shitao Jin
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4839; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084839 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3483
Abstract
Previous studies have investigated the spatial attributes of Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) and their impact on students’ learning experiences and learning engagement independently; however, a holistic investigation of the relationship between these attributes and students’ learning engagement has not been conducted. This study [...] Read more.
Previous studies have investigated the spatial attributes of Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) and their impact on students’ learning experiences and learning engagement independently; however, a holistic investigation of the relationship between these attributes and students’ learning engagement has not been conducted. This study explored how the spatial attributes of ALCs affect students’ learning experiences and learning engagement. An empirical questionnaire was administered to freshmen taking English classes in four different types of ALCs at one university, and 224 valid questionnaires were analyzed. This study provides design insight for future learning environments in ALCs by linking two Likert scales: one rating spatial attributes in ALCs that influence learning experiences, and the other rating students’ learning engagement in ALCs. The results revealed that the spatial attributes of ALCs significantly affected the learning experience, specifically instructional interaction, furniture perception, learning support, and physical environment. Among them, instructional interactions and physical environment are the most critical in promoting student learning engagement. The survey findings can help architects design more flexible and sustainable learning environments in the future, supporting university students in developing active and collaborative learning skills, as well as providing better references and beneficial insights for future education for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education)
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25 pages, 2553 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Multimodal Transport during COVID-19: A Thai Service Provider Perspective
by Teerasak Charoennapharat and Poti Chaopaisarn
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4838; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084838 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3513
Abstract
Multimodal transport is a critical component in developing the international trade economy, and logistics service providers are a critical component in multimodal transport. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected the transport system, especially in light of the ongoing rise in transportation [...] Read more.
Multimodal transport is a critical component in developing the international trade economy, and logistics service providers are a critical component in multimodal transport. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected the transport system, especially in light of the ongoing rise in transportation costs which has increased firm operating costs. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely influenced the economic sector, resulting in decreased growth. This research aims to determine the priorities of the most important factors for developing and improving multimodal transport compared to pre-COVID-19 and during the COVID-19 outbreak. This research consisted of two stages. The first stage used bibliometric analysis to define multimodal transport dimensions and criteria based on the previous and current literature studies on multimodal transport and used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to verify the relationship between factors and multimodal transport. The second stage used the fuzzy best-worst method (FBW) combined benefit, opportunity, cost and risk (BOCR) to prioritize the improvement and development of multimodal transport during the COVID-19 crisis, which considers the perspective of logistics service providers in Thailand. These factors, when identified, would help policymakers design more efficient policies to improve and solve multimodal transport problems mainly caused by strict public health measures during COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies in Supply Chain Planning and Business Resilience)
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15 pages, 1567 KiB  
Article
The Effect of the Subsidiary on the Ultimate Controller’s Private Benefits: Enlightenment to the Risk Management Challenges for Sustainability of the Corporate
by Ming Cai, Zhong Ma and Youhua Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084837 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
In a period of uncertainty about economic development, it is particularly important to maintain corporate sustainable growth in order to deal with the risk management challenge of sustainability. Private benefits of control in corporate governance play a crucial role in ensuring corporate financial [...] Read more.
In a period of uncertainty about economic development, it is particularly important to maintain corporate sustainable growth in order to deal with the risk management challenge of sustainability. Private benefits of control in corporate governance play a crucial role in ensuring corporate financial sustainability to face the risk. The existing literature about private benefits of control mainly focuses on the assumption of absolute control by the ultimate controller, ignoring the influence of subsidiaries. This paper constructs a model of private benefits, based on a framework of the interaction of ultimate controllers and subsidiaries, and investigates how subsidiaries influence the ultimate controller’s expropriation. The model has proposed that: Subsidiary’s self-interest demand can prevent the ultimate controller’s private benefits; the autonomy owned by the subsidiary can be used to allocate resources, inhibiting the private benefits of control to some extent. Further research has found that when the proportion of funds that can be arranged by the subsidiary’s autonomy can meet the proportion of funds required for the subsidiary’s self-interest demand, as the subsidiary’s self-interest demand increases, the ultimate controller’s expropriation is reduced. This paper reveals the internal mechanism that private benefits of control are jointly determined by the ultimate controller and the subsidiary, expands the research on the decision mechanism of private benefits and provides new ideas for understanding the expropriation of the ultimate controller. Additionally, the solution to this problem can provide help and inspiration for risk management challenges for the sustainability of the corporate, as well as provide reference significance for economic sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Management Challenges for Sustainability and Wellbeing)
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13 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Financial Shock, Behavior, and Knowledge on the Financial Fragility of Single Youth
by Zaimah Ramli, Henry Borromeo Anak Nyirop, Sarmila Md Sum and Abd Hair Awang
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4836; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084836 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2747
Abstract
Financial fragility is an important issue in the well-being of individuals. Previous studies have shown that many young people are vulnerable to financial fragility. To add value to previous findings, the issue of financial fragility was focused on single youths in the middle-income [...] Read more.
Financial fragility is an important issue in the well-being of individuals. Previous studies have shown that many young people are vulnerable to financial fragility. To add value to previous findings, the issue of financial fragility was focused on single youths in the middle-income group (M40) in urban areas. The objective of the study was to determine the factors influencing the financial fragility of single youth (M40) in urban areas. A quantitative approach using a survey method was applied. The study’s sample consisted of 25–34-year-old single urban youths. Questionnaires were used as research instruments and were distributed online. A total of 374 samples were analyzed using multilevel regression. The results of the analysis show that spending knowledge, financial behavior, saving behavior, and financial shock are the determining factors of financial fragility among M40 single youth in urban areas. Full article
16 pages, 1398 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Fuzzy MCDM Hybrid Methodology to Analyze Agricultural Production
by Babak Daneshvar Rouyendegh and Şeyda Savalan
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4835; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084835 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2269
Abstract
A hybrid model was developed by combining multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and a fuzzy set to give decision support for choosing sustainable solutions to agricultural problems. Six steps were taken to build the suggested hybrid model: identifying and [...] Read more.
A hybrid model was developed by combining multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and a fuzzy set to give decision support for choosing sustainable solutions to agricultural problems. Six steps were taken to build the suggested hybrid model: identifying and weighing criteria; normalizing data using fuzzy membership functions; calculating the weighting of the criteria using AHP; and selecting the best alternative for the agricultural problem. The objective of this case study is to demonstrate how agricultural production techniques (APTs) are becoming more complex as agricultural production becomes more complex. Organic agriculture aims to protect both the environment and consumer satisfaction by utilizing organic management practices that do not have the negative effects associated with conventional and genetic engineering production. Meanwhile, products obtained through conventional and genetic engineering techniques are more cost-effective. To present the superiority of the proposed fuzzy MCDM hybrid model, this problem is used as the causative agent’s dataset. Because the challenge involves a large number of competing quantitative and qualitative criteria, the assessment approach should improve the ratio of input data to output data. As a result, agricultural productivity should be controlled holistically. However, because the problem may contain both qualitative and quantitative facts and uncertainties, it is necessary to represent the uncertainty inherent in human thinking. To achieve superior outcomes, fuzzy set theory (FST), which enables the expression of uncertainty in human judgments, can be integrated with). The purpose of this study is to present a novel MCDM approach based on fuzzy numbers for analyzing decision-making scenarios. The proposed methodology, which is based on Buckley’s fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (B-FAHP) and the Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (F-TOPSIS), uses Buckley’s fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (B-FAHP) and fuzzy TOPSIS to determine weights and rank alternatives, respectively. As a result, we attempted to include both the uncertainty and hesitancy of experts in the decision-making process through the use of fuzzy numbers. We have three main criteria in this study: Satisfaction (C1), Economy (C2), and Environment (C3). An important objective of the current research is to build a complete framework for evaluating and grading the suitability of technologies. A real-world case study is used to demonstrate the suggested paradigm’s validity. Full article
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