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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 16 (August-2 2023) – 569 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Spanish PV sector could be a serious opportunity for the recovery and economic growth of the country, by serving as a support platform for the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021–2030. It is necessary to carry out a strategic analysis of the macro-environment, using a PESTEL analysis to identify the most relevant external aspects for the performance of photovoltaic industries/markets and to facilitate decision making when developing short-, medium-, and long-term strategies, and the micro-environment, using Porter’s five forces framework, to determine and examine the main factors that define the structure and level of competition that exists within the Spanish industry/market. The results obtained have been combined in a SWOT chart to facilitate the understanding of the current state of the PV sector in Spain. View this paper
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20 pages, 928 KiB  
Article
Pursuing Long-Term Business Performance: Investigating the Effects of Financial and Technological Factors on Digital Adoption to Leverage SME Performance and Business Sustainability—Evidence from Indonesian SMEs in the Traditional Market
by Florentina Kurniasari, Elissa Dwi Lestari and Hendy Tannady
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612668 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
The traditional market holds a pivotal role in Indonesia’s economy because it is the main contributor to national retail grocery transactions. Nevertheless, competition with modern markets and retailers makes their competitiveness lessened. From the financial side, traditional market SMEs are vulnerable to financial [...] Read more.
The traditional market holds a pivotal role in Indonesia’s economy because it is the main contributor to national retail grocery transactions. Nevertheless, competition with modern markets and retailers makes their competitiveness lessened. From the financial side, traditional market SMEs are vulnerable to financial risks and still face obstacles in accessing financial resources due to a lack of financial literacy. In addition, the level of digitalization of traditional market SMEs technology is also still low, so digital adoption is still a challenge that must be faced. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify the influence of financial and technological factors on the level of adoption of SME technology in traditional markets and its impact on the performance and sustainability of the SME business. This research will be conducted in a quantitative cross-sectional study of 225 SMEs in the traditional market. The sampling technique that will be used is judgmental sampling. This study’s research data will be analyzed using SEM-PLS. The study result shows that financial literacy positively affects SME financial accessibility and financial risk. The study also confirms that financial accessibility, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and social influence are variables that significantly affect SMEs digital adoption, while the effect of financial risk on digital adoption is found to be insignificant. The study result also shows that SMEs digital adoption is positively affecting their performance, which eventually affects their business sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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28 pages, 3939 KiB  
Article
Central Asia: Exploring Insights on Gender Considerations in Climate Change
by Marina Kovaleva, Walter Leal Filho, Christian Borgemeister and Julia Komagaeva
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612667 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1570
Abstract
More than three decades of independence of Central Asia (CA) countries have been marked by socio-economic, political, and legal reforms. Growing climate change impacts threaten the wellbeing and livelihood of the already vulnerable local population, more than half of which comprises women. In [...] Read more.
More than three decades of independence of Central Asia (CA) countries have been marked by socio-economic, political, and legal reforms. Growing climate change impacts threaten the wellbeing and livelihood of the already vulnerable local population, more than half of which comprises women. In this context, it is essential to adequately include both women’s and men’s needs in multiple efforts taken by national governments to overcome climate change challenges. This paper explores how gender/women considerations have been already addressed in climate change in CA using bibliometric analysis, an expert-driven assessment approach, and a comprehensive analysis of thematically relevant development projects. The findings demonstrated a significant prevalence of grey literature implying much lower interest from academia. The experts outlined the importance of women’s participation and consideration of their experiences, which were different from men’s, in climate change decision making. The comprehensive analysis of the selected development projects revealed the leadership/empowerment domain of climate change–gender interconnections as being mostly addressed. The implications of this paper regarding the current knowledge on the topic related to the CA region are threefold. Firstly, it highlights a strong need for further scientific research that could be implemented through international research initiatives and national institutional programs. Secondly, it calls for increased input from women representation in climate action at all levels. Thirdly, it outlines areas that require stronger cooperation with international donors to mainstream gender/women considerations among a wide range of stakeholders engaged in climate change and its related fields. Overall, the paper lays a basis for further steps towards advancing gender-sensitive and -responsive approaches in CA, particularly in those climate-change-related areas that are often perceived as being gender-neutral. Full article
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29 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
Agent-Based Model to Analyze the Role of the University in Reducing Social Exclusion
by Eliana Villa-Enciso, Walter Ruiz-Castañeda and Jorge Robledo Velásquez
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612666 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
While conventional innovation has boosted economic growth in certain regions, it has not contributed to closing the social and economic gap in most developing countries. Humanity is going through a historic moment of great challenges. One of them is social exclusion, a matrix [...] Read more.
While conventional innovation has boosted economic growth in certain regions, it has not contributed to closing the social and economic gap in most developing countries. Humanity is going through a historic moment of great challenges. One of them is social exclusion, a matrix of factors that prevent human beings from achieving well-being: poverty, hunger, inequality, lack of access to basic resources and services, and lack of social ties that help improve these circumstances, among others. This study holds two hypotheses: (1) in this context, inclusive innovation emerges as a response to the inability of conventional innovation to contribute to solve the persistent challenge of social exclusion and (2) universities—key actors in innovation dynamics—should play a fundamental role in the generation of inclusive innovation, especially considering their natural commitment to society. Although the role of the university in innovation has been widely acknowledged and studied, no formal theoretical model has represented inclusive innovation in developing countries adopting a systemic, complex, adaptive, and functional approach and incorporating a diversity of agents, interactions, capabilities, learning processes, knowledge, and directionalities—this would enable us to understand the role of the university in inclusive innovation. This paper argues that innovation dynamics should be understood from a systemic perspective and using computational modeling and simulation methods, so that the inherent complexity of these systems can be taken into account. The analysis of innovation scenarios based on a formal theoretical model and its operationalization through computer simulation should contribute to the understanding of the role of the university in these system dynamics, which can be used to propose effective strategies to strengthen its participation. Therefore, this paper proposes a formal systemic agent-based conceptual model that can be used to study the role of the university in inclusive innovation and establish guidelines to improve its performance. This study implemented standard computer modeling and simulation, specifically adapted for agent-based modeling. The results obtained from the simulation scenarios were comparatively analyzed using statistical tests (ANOVA and Tukey) to determine the presence of statistically significant differences. As the main finding of the research, the proposed conceptual model was validated and proved to be useful for studying the role of the university in reducing social exclusion in the Global South, through the design and execution of computer simulation scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation Management and Sustainability)
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32 pages, 1497 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Proactive Resilience Strategies on Organizational Performance: Role of Ambidextrous and Dynamic Capabilities of SMEs in Manufacturing Sector
by Thillai Raja Pertheban, Ramayah Thurasamy, Anbalagan Marimuthu, Kumara Rajah Venkatachalam, Sanmugam Annamalah, Pradeep Paraman and Wong Chee Hoo
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612665 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5646
Abstract
The challenges of the global business environment foster small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to continuously improve their performance in the level of vulnerability to possible impacts and interruptions in their operations that may affect their sustainability. Resilience strategies and ambidextrous capabilities have become important [...] Read more.
The challenges of the global business environment foster small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to continuously improve their performance in the level of vulnerability to possible impacts and interruptions in their operations that may affect their sustainability. Resilience strategies and ambidextrous capabilities have become important determinants of organizational performance, which has developed as an emerging area of interest in supply chain management in recent years. SMEs are one of the major contributing sectors to the Malaysian economy. Therefore, SMEs have been forced to survive in the current market situation to ensure higher economic growth and competitiveness. The resilience strategies and ambidexterity capabilities are important determinants of SMEs’ performance. As such, this study aims to examine the relationship between proactive resilience strategies, ambidextrous capabilities, and the performance of SMEs in the manufacturing sector, drawing on the dynamic capabilities perspective. A quantitative research design is adopted, a structured survey questionnaire is used, and data are collected from 351 SMEs in the manufacturing sector. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), Smart PLS 3.0 is used to test both direct and mediating results. The findings of this study suggested that proactive resilience strategies may have a significant influence on organizational performance of SMEs. Ambidextrous capabilities also act as a strong mediator between proactive resilience strategies and organizational performance. These findings contribute to the dynamic capabilities literature by highlighting the importance of proactive resilience strategies and ambidextrous capabilities in enhancing the positive impact on organizational performance in SMEs. This study provides a plausible explanation of two important management mechanisms for enhancing organizational performance sustainability. The relationships between proactive resilience strategies, ambidextrous capabilities, and organizational performance are malleable. This study also suggests that fostering formal and informal relationships might hold the key to the sustainable performance of SMEs in the long term. This study’s practical contributions are improving the knowledge and performance of supply chain systems for SMEs in the manufacturing sector and enhancing their competitive power in domestic and international markets. Full article
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21 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
Corporate Sustainability and Financial Performance: The Moderating Effect of CEO Characteristics
by Abdulateif A. Almulhim and Abdullah A. Aljughaiman
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612664 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of corporate sustainability on financial performance as well as examine whether CEO characteristics influence the association between corporate sustainability and the financial performance of listed firms in the Saudi Stock Exchange. In this vein, this study [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of corporate sustainability on financial performance as well as examine whether CEO characteristics influence the association between corporate sustainability and the financial performance of listed firms in the Saudi Stock Exchange. In this vein, this study is the first to utilize multiple CEO characteristics as a moderating role influencing the association between corporate sustainability and financial performance. In addition, the study focuses on the developing country of Saudi Arabia, which is one of the top oil producers in the world and is targeting to invest billions of dollars in renewable and sustainable energy projects according to Saudi Vision 2030. We primarily focused on ESG activities (environmental, social, and governance) and their impact on the return on assets and return on equity (employed as a proxy of financial performance). This study used the ordinary least squares (OLS) model to examine these associations as well as the system GMM to test for endogeneity problems. Using a sample of 1143 observations to represent the non-financial firms listed on the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) for 9 years from 2014 to 2022, we found a negative and significant relationship between the activities of corporate sustainability and financial performance. Furthermore, we demonstrated that CEO characteristics (CEO busyness, CEO ownership, CEO education, CEO gender, and CEO tenure) exerted influence on the association between corporate sustainability and financial performance; that is, CEO busyness, CEO ownership, and CEO gender mitigated the negative influence of corporate sustainability on financial performance, whereas CEO education and CEO tenure made it worse. The results of this study have implications for regulators, firms, and stakeholders. Full article
17 pages, 5780 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Educational Metaverse Content and System Based on Deep Learning for Enhancing Learner Immersion
by Jaekyu Lee and Yeichang Kim
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612663 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Social distancing has encouraged the use of various non-face-to-face services utilizing information and communication technology, especially in the education sector. Educators and learners are increasingly utilizing online technology to conduct non-face-to-face classes, which has resulted in an increased use of EduTech. Virtual education [...] Read more.
Social distancing has encouraged the use of various non-face-to-face services utilizing information and communication technology, especially in the education sector. Educators and learners are increasingly utilizing online technology to conduct non-face-to-face classes, which has resulted in an increased use of EduTech. Virtual education is expected to expand continuously. However, students involved in virtual education find it difficult to focus and participate in the classes. Hence, we propose a system that can improve learners’ focus and immersion in metaverse-based education. In this paper, we propose a sustainable educational metaverse content and system based on deep learning that can enhance learners’ immersion. We built an AI-based simulation that judges learning activities based on the learning behavior rather than on the learner’s device and program events and allows the user to proceed to the next level of education. In the simulation implemented in this study, virtual reality educational contents were created for 12 educational activities, and the effectiveness of four learning models in assessing the learning effectiveness of learners was evaluated. From the four models, an ensemble model with boosting was adopted considering its accuracy, complexity, and efficiency. The F1-score and specificity of the adopted learning model were confirmed. This model was applied to the system in a simulation. Full article
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15 pages, 2061 KiB  
Article
Positive Affectivity as a Motivator: How Does It Influence Employees’ Sustainable Careers
by Jialing Miao, Hao Hu, Fang Wang and Baoguo Xie
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612662 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Given the critical role of the sustainable careers of employees in their survival and development, interest in how to improve employees’ sustainable careers is growing rapidly. Previous studies primarily focused on the role of contextual factors, and neglected the role of agentic factors [...] Read more.
Given the critical role of the sustainable careers of employees in their survival and development, interest in how to improve employees’ sustainable careers is growing rapidly. Previous studies primarily focused on the role of contextual factors, and neglected the role of agentic factors such as positive affectivity. Based on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, the aim of this study is to investigate whether, how and when positive affectivity affects sustainable careers. A time-lagged study with two waves of data collected 8 months apart was conducted. With a sample of 580 employees in China, regression analyses showed that positive affectivity influenced employees’ sustainable careers indicated by vigor and level of pay; cognitive reappraisal mediated the positive relationships between positive affectivity and sustainable careers; and organizational commitment moderated the indirect effects of positive affectivity on sustainable careers via cognitive reappraisal. Our findings illustrate the important role of positive affectivity in building employees’ sustainable careers in the workplace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Career Development and Organizational Psychology)
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14 pages, 1616 KiB  
Article
Occupational Accidents in Ecuador: An Approach from the Construction and Manufacturing Industries
by Mario Paguay, Juan Diego Febres and Eduardo Valarezo
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12661; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612661 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Ecuador is a country in South America, where, in 2021, there were 849,874 companies that had total sales of USD 105.23 billion, which had 2,698,650 workers. This study was carried out with the aim of analyzing occupational accidents by industry type in Ecuador, [...] Read more.
Ecuador is a country in South America, where, in 2021, there were 849,874 companies that had total sales of USD 105.23 billion, which had 2,698,650 workers. This study was carried out with the aim of analyzing occupational accidents by industry type in Ecuador, focusing mainly on the construction and manufacturing industries. The data were provided upon express request to the National Directorate of General Occupational Risk Insurance of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute. The data used in this study concerned accidents involving qualified workers affiliated with the Ecuadorian Social Security System. The data obtained were used to calculate the general accident rate, accident rate by sector, permanent disability rate, and mortality rate. Between 2016 and 2019, 6960 qualifying accidents occurred in Ecuador. Approximately 89.71 ± 0.36% of the accidents investigated involved men, and 50.28 ± 2.49% of these accidents caused permanent disability. The mortality rate was, on average, 10.60 ± 1.83%, 2018 being the year with the most deaths due to accidents at work. The Ecuadorian sector with the highest accident rate was the manufacturing industry with 26.15 ± 2.50%, followed by the construction industry with a rate of 17.47 ± 3.59%. The manufacturing industry had the highest rate, with a significant difference of accidents that resulted in permanent disability, with an average of 31.79 ± 2.85%, while the construction sector had the highest rate of fatal accidents, with an average of 25.82 ± 5.05%. This is the first study to report the number of qualified occupational accidents in Ecuador. With this study, a starting point is established for future analyses of the evolution of occupational accidents by type of industry in Ecuador. Future studies could determine the increase or decrease in the number of accidents, evaluate rates of permanent disability and death, and establish risk factors and preventive measures for each task or activity in all productive sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Work Environments: Occupational Health and Safety)
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19 pages, 2580 KiB  
Article
State-Space Modeling of Housing Sentiment for Regressing Changes of Real Estate Prices Following Short-Term Control Policy in China
by Taiyi Zang and Hongmei Gu
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612660 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Government may need to launch policies to stabilize real estate prices being away from unusual rise at an unexpected pace through short-term regulations of sales and purchases. Short-term control policies are often not effective immediately after withdrawal, but their effect easily attracts swift [...] Read more.
Government may need to launch policies to stabilize real estate prices being away from unusual rise at an unexpected pace through short-term regulations of sales and purchases. Short-term control policies are often not effective immediately after withdrawal, but their effect easily attracts swift and intensive responses of consumer sentiments. The change in sentiment synchronizes with that of expectations, which together account for housing price in response to restrictions following short-term policies. The research objective of this study is to establish the role of housing sentiment in policymaking to regulate and stabilize real estate prices. To cope with the tough tissue of unclear knowledge about customers’ sentiments, we employed the state-space model to explore the impact of short-term regulatory policies on housing sentiment. The research objective of this study also involves optimizing the instrument for assessing housing sentiments. Results showed that: Firstly, the short-term regulation and control policy enhanced positive sentiment in the housing market. Secondly, high positive sentiment further increased the cyclical prices. Thirdly, the upsurge of consumer sentiment has weakened the impact of short-term control policies on real estate market price. Lowered housing sentiment resulted in a reduction in the effectiveness of short-term control policies. Overall, our study verifies that high positive consumer sentiments will result in an increase in housing prices, hence it is customers’ sentiments that caused the failure of short-term control policies. Full article
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19 pages, 551 KiB  
Article
The Development of E-Banking Services Quality Measurement Instrument: MPQe-BS
by Domen Malc, Jasmina Dlačić, Aleksandra Pisnik and Borut Milfelner
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612659 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2188
Abstract
Perceived service quality is a well-researched concept in the marketing literature. Several measurement scales have been proposed, including for banking services, but most apply to the physical service environment. On the other hand, there is a lack of instruments available to measure the [...] Read more.
Perceived service quality is a well-researched concept in the marketing literature. Several measurement scales have been proposed, including for banking services, but most apply to the physical service environment. On the other hand, there is a lack of instruments available to measure the quality of banking services in a digital environment. Nowadays, especially pushed by the COVID-19 situation and sustainable development goals promoted by the United Nations, digitalization of services is a new normal. It is often perceived as a green banking practice and a prerequisite to contribute to the SDGs and environment per se. The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a perceived quality scale of e-banking services. The proposed measurement model was tested on a convenience sample of 335 respondents from Slovenia and Croatia via web-based questionnaires. Content validity, construct validity, dimensionality, and discriminant validity were assessed with EFA and CFA. The results prove that the instrument is appropriate for measuring the perceived quality of e-banking services. It measures six dimensions: efficiency, availability, contact, design, security, and fulfillment. Additional group analysis shows that the scale applies to different cultural contexts. The main limitation of the research is that the instrument measures only the perceived quality of e-banking services provided through online channels. The main theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Marketing and Business Sustainability)
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24 pages, 7109 KiB  
Article
Digital Transformation of Education: Design of a “Project-Based Teaching” Service Platform to Promote the Integration of Production and Education
by Xiang Wang, Chang-Franw Lee, Yiwen Li and Xiaoyang Zhu
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612658 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
The integration of production and education represents a common paradigm for vocational education development globally. In this study, project-based teaching serves as a crucial pedagogical model. However, the manifestation of this model in Chinese undergraduate vocational institutions has yet to reach the desired [...] Read more.
The integration of production and education represents a common paradigm for vocational education development globally. In this study, project-based teaching serves as a crucial pedagogical model. However, the manifestation of this model in Chinese undergraduate vocational institutions has yet to reach the desired state of integration. The objective of this research is to advance the concept, service model, and platform framework for project-based teaching service design through empirical research by utilizing the Double-Diamond process of service design. The aim is to address service pain points for stakeholders against the backdrop of project-based teaching with the integration of production and education, thereby enhancing service qualvrtity. Five critical areas were identified, leading to the proposition of service concepts such as platforms for information communication, fund management, teaching management, auditing/evaluation management, and promotion management. The effectiveness and recommendation levels of the digital service concepts were validated via a Net Promoter Score survey involving 100 stakeholders. This research features targeted discussions and suggestions regarding a conceptual digital service platform. The five service concepts derived from this research may serve as specific digital designs for applications and evaluations of project-based teaching. Full article
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21 pages, 8964 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of the Heat Transfer Characteristics of Medium-Shallow Borehole Ground Heat Exchangers with Various Working Fluids
by Kexun Wang, Tishi Huang, Wenke Zhang, Zhiqiang Zhang, Xueqing Ma and Leyao Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612657 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 955
Abstract
Medium-shallow borehole ground heat exchangers (BGHEs) utilize a burial depth ranging from 200 to 600 m. The heat exchange capacity of a single medium-shallow BGHE is higher than that of a single shallow BGHE. Compared to medium-deep BGHEs, the cost of medium-shallow BGHEs [...] Read more.
Medium-shallow borehole ground heat exchangers (BGHEs) utilize a burial depth ranging from 200 to 600 m. The heat exchange capacity of a single medium-shallow BGHE is higher than that of a single shallow BGHE. Compared to medium-deep BGHEs, the cost of medium-shallow BGHEs is lower, and both heating and cooling can be achieved, while the former can only be used for heating. However, there is a relative lack of research on the heat transfer characteristics of medium-shallow BGHEs, especially on the influence of the working fluid type on the heat transfer performance of BGHEs. This study aimed to investigate the impact of different working fluids on the performance of medium-shallow BGHEs. First, a heat transfer model for medium-shallow BGHEs was established considering the ground temperature gradient and geothermal heat flow, and its accuracy was validated using experimental test data. Second, the model was used to compare and analyze the effects of various working fluids on the heat transfer performance, pressure loss, and potential environmental benefits of BGHEs. Based on economic analysis, CO2 was determined to be the most suitable working fluid among the organic fluids considered. Finally, the influence of the number of boreholes and the type of working fluid on the heat transfer performance of borehole clusters consisting of 2 and 4 boreholes was analyzed using the superposition principle. The results indicated that CO2 could provide the highest heat transfer among the various working fluids selected in this study, as its heat extraction and heat dissipation were approximately 15% and 12% higher than those achieved by water. Isobutane (R600a) achieved the highest net heat and emission reduction, surpassing water by 66.7% and 73.6%, respectively. Regarding the four boreholes, the outlet temperature of the BGHEs gradually decreased at the end of each heating season. After 10 years of operation, the value decreased by approximately 2 °C. The results in this paper provide a theoretical basis and technical guidance for the rational selection of working fluids and improvements in the heat transfer performance of BGHEs, which could promote the development and application of medium-shallow geothermal energy sources. Full article
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14 pages, 3255 KiB  
Article
European Green Deal: Study of the Combined Agricultural Aggregate
by Volodymyr Nadykto, Volodymyr Kyurchev, Pavol Findura, Taras Hutsol, Sławomir Kurpaska, Anna Krakowiak-Bal and Vyacheslav Vasyuk
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12656; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612656 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 728
Abstract
The modern world industry involves the use of innovative approaches and optimisations of the existing agricultural management methods, which contribute to the implementation of the sustainable development of related industries and economies of different countries. The use of mobile agricultural units with extended [...] Read more.
The modern world industry involves the use of innovative approaches and optimisations of the existing agricultural management methods, which contribute to the implementation of the sustainable development of related industries and economies of different countries. The use of mobile agricultural units with extended functional properties can have a steady demand in the agricultural machinery market and contribute to the practical implementation of the philosophy of the “European Green Deal”. The research results show that when assembling a unit for mowing agricultural crops with simultaneous grinding and placing their stubble in the soil, preference should be given to a self-propelled machine with rear swivel wheels. When using a wheeled tractor, it must have a reversible control post and a reversible transmission. A mathematical model of the collecting unit was developed, which allows for obtaining the corresponding amplitude and phase frequency characteristics and, with their help, the stability of the horizontal movement was evaluated. According to the results of field studies, the dispersion of the angle of directional oscillation of the tractor with front-steered wheels was 4.48 grad2. For the tractor with rear-steered wheels, the value of this statistical parameter was 2.90 grad2, which, according to the F-test at the level of statistical significance of 0.05, is naturally lower. Full article
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21 pages, 3809 KiB  
Article
Analyzing the Impact of C-ITS Services on Driving Behavior: A Case Study of the Daejeon–Sejong C-ITS Pilot Project in South Korea
by Junhee Kang, Sehyun Tak and Sungjin Park
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612655 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
This paper analyzes the impact of C-ITS service on driving behavior, focusing on a pilot project in Daejeon–Sejong, South Korea. C-ITS, an advanced technology, enables bidirectional wireless communication between vehicles or infrastructure, allowing for real-time traffic data collection and dissemination. The study uses [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the impact of C-ITS service on driving behavior, focusing on a pilot project in Daejeon–Sejong, South Korea. C-ITS, an advanced technology, enables bidirectional wireless communication between vehicles or infrastructure, allowing for real-time traffic data collection and dissemination. The study uses a unique analytical method, employing parallel processing techniques for variable extraction and a paired t-test to examine the short-term effects of C-ITS on driving behavior. Findings indicate a significant change in drivers’ behavior, particularly in average speed, hard braking rate, severe deceleration rate, speeding rate, and excessive speeding rate, towards safer trends after receiving C-ITS warning services. Reductions in hard braking and severe deceleration were immediate after C-ITS service initiation, while a decrease in excessive speeding was observed after four months. Further research is needed to identify other potential influencing variables and provide an unbiased evaluation of C-ITS effectiveness. The study’s implications highlight its role in promoting public acceptance of C-ITS-service-based cooperative autonomous driving strategies. Full article
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18 pages, 1516 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Approach of Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process and Super Slack-Based Measure for the Logistics Industry in Vietnam
by Thi Kim Lien Nguyen, Thi Lan Huong Nguyen, Tri Long Ngo, Bang An Hoang, Hong Huyen Le and Thi Thanh Hong Tran
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12654; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612654 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1219
Abstract
In the context of economic development and international economic integration, Vietnam’s logistics industry is developing to meet market demands for the transportation of goods; thus, many logistics enterprises have been formulated and expanded in recent years. This research aims to measure the efficiency [...] Read more.
In the context of economic development and international economic integration, Vietnam’s logistics industry is developing to meet market demands for the transportation of goods; thus, many logistics enterprises have been formulated and expanded in recent years. This research aims to measure the efficiency of logistics enterprises and recommend a feasible solution to improve their future performance by integrating a super slack-based measure model (super-SBM) in data envelopment analysis and fuzzy analytic hierarchy processes (fuzzy AHP) in multi-criteria decision-making. The super-SBM model was utilized to conduct the efficiency scores of logistics enterprises from 2016 to 2022 based on calculating the ratio between input and output variables; the empirical result determined each enterprise’s effectiveness and ineffectiveness. Next, the fuzzy AHP method evaluated and ranked criteria that directly impacted the operational process of logistics enterprises based on experts’ opinions; the examined result suggested a feasible direction to improve future business efficiency. The proposed hybrid models are a helpful solution for efficiency determination and determining the development direction for logistics enterprises. An overall picture of the logistics enterprises was also drawn to describe their operational business process. Full article
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16 pages, 519 KiB  
Article
The Eternal Struggle for the City: In Search of an Alternative Framework for Citizen Participation in Urban Regeneration Projects in Shrinking Cities
by Maja Ročak and Sabrina Keinemans
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12653; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612653 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1738
Abstract
The relevance of citizen participation in regeneration projects, particularly in shrinking cities, is widely acknowledged, and this topic has received a great deal of policy and academic attention. Although the many advantages of citizen participation in regeneration projects have been identified, its current [...] Read more.
The relevance of citizen participation in regeneration projects, particularly in shrinking cities, is widely acknowledged, and this topic has received a great deal of policy and academic attention. Although the many advantages of citizen participation in regeneration projects have been identified, its current forms have also received considerable criticism. In short, this criticism boils down to the conclusion that the ideal of citizen participation is not put into practice. This paper considers why this is the case, asking whether current participatory practices enable citizens to exercise influence as political actors in urban regeneration projects. In this paper, we examine this question based on Mouffe’s conception of the political, coupled with findings from our empirical research conducted in Heerlen North, The Netherlands. We conducted qualitative research on urban regeneration in the shrinking old industrial city of Heerlen. The findings reveal two distinct perspectives on citizen participation. Professionals see the existing context of citizen participation as a reasonable and practical but, in some respects, insufficient practice. Citizens’ views on participation are organized around feelings of anger, shame, and fear and are grounded in experiences of a lack of recognition. These experiences limit citizens’ abilities to exert true influence on regeneration projects. We conclude that efforts to regenerate shrinking cities should strive to recognize these experiences so as to create conditions that generate respect and esteem and, as such, enable urban social justice. Full article
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14 pages, 6303 KiB  
Article
Uneven Distribution of Urban Green Spaces in Relation to Marginalization in Mexico City
by Cristina Ayala-Azcarraga, Daniel Diaz, Tania Fernandez, Fernando Cordova-Tapia and Luis Zambrano
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612652 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2105
Abstract
The present study examines the spatial distribution and level of accessibility of urban green spaces (UGSs) within the context of Mexico City, with a particular focus on their relationship with marginalization. The study examined five distinct categories of UGSs based on their size [...] Read more.
The present study examines the spatial distribution and level of accessibility of urban green spaces (UGSs) within the context of Mexico City, with a particular focus on their relationship with marginalization. The study examined five distinct categories of UGSs based on their size and subsequently analyzed their total surface area per capita in relation to their correlation with the marginalization index. The data were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis, and correlations were computed to investigate the relationships between variables. We found 1353 UGSs accessible for public use with a total area of 2643 ha. Seventy-four percent of them had <1 ha of surface area, and 51% were located in only three municipalities that were mostly middle- and high-income. These municipalities concentrated a higher area of green spaces per capita. We found a negative correlation between the marginality index and the area of UGSs per municipality; the lower the marginality index was, the higher the area of green spaces. These results suggest that a bad distribution of UGSs can increase environmental injustice since urban environmental services are unequally distributed, affecting particularly marginalized populations. This research is a valuable contribution to the existing body of knowledge regarding the accessibility of UGSs in Mexico City, particularly in connection to marginalized communities. It emphasizes the significance of this topic in the context of environmental justice, urban sustainability, and the formulation of urban policy decisions. By engaging with these concerns, individuals can strive to foster a city that promotes fairness and well-being for all of its residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Wellbeing and Environmental Benefits of Contact with Nature)
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17 pages, 665 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Survival Mechanisms of Short-Term Rentals in Virginia: A Comparative Analysis of Rural versus Non-Rural Markets
by Seungbee Choi and Jongho Won
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612651 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1042
Abstract
This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the survival mechanisms of STRs in Virginia, particularly focusing on rural versus non-rural markets. Utilizing data from AirDNA, we observe 16,852 active listings from 2018 to 2022. The study identifies the influence of various factors on [...] Read more.
This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the survival mechanisms of STRs in Virginia, particularly focusing on rural versus non-rural markets. Utilizing data from AirDNA, we observe 16,852 active listings from 2018 to 2022. The study identifies the influence of various factors on STR longevity, including unit type, location, and the number of bedrooms. It is a unique attempt to bridge the gap in understanding the dynamics of short-term rentals (STRs) in rural and urban contexts. Our findings reveal differences in the survival patterns of STRs in rural versus non-rural markets. In particular, rural STRs exhibit higher survival probabilities compared to their non-rural counterparts. Furthermore, Full-Time STRs, which are primarily dedicated to short-term rentals, show significantly higher survival probabilities than Occasional STRs, regardless of their location. These findings serve as critical inputs for stakeholders involved in policymaking, regulation, and industry strategies. By highlighting the distinctive dynamics of rural and urban STR markets, we underscore the need for context-specific regulations that can balance the economic benefits of STRs with the preservation of local housing options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Tourism, Events, and Recreation)
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19 pages, 9323 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Pore Pressure Variation and Erosion Stability of Sandy Slope Model under Microbially Induced Carbonate Precipitation
by Mingjuan Huang, Youliang Zhang, Jinning Hu, Yunpeng Hei, Zikun Xu and Jinchen Su
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12650; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612650 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
With the development of a free trade port on Hainan Island, the construction of tourist roads around the island is currently underway. However, the weather conditions on Hainan Island, which include strong typhoons and rainstorms, pose challenges for the construction of highway-cutting slopes [...] Read more.
With the development of a free trade port on Hainan Island, the construction of tourist roads around the island is currently underway. However, the weather conditions on Hainan Island, which include strong typhoons and rainstorms, pose challenges for the construction of highway-cutting slopes on the coastal weak sandy terraces. These slopes are susceptible to sand loss and erosion from rainfall. To address this issue, MICP green spray irrigation solidification technology is used to strengthen the sandy cutting, and pore water pressure monitoring is carried out on the slope model during MICP solidification and rainfall scour. Combined with the model pore water pressure and flow slip failure pattern, a dynamic analysis was conducted. The results show that MICP sprinkler irrigation technology can solidify the surface of the slope model in a short time, and after three sets of rotation reinforcement, the model achieved a cementation depth of 4 cm, with a well-reinforced surface and closely connected sand samples. Under the erosion effect of simulated rainfall intensity, the sand loss of the slope was weakened, without damage to the sand binding, and the integrity was enhanced. The cementation between the sand grains facilitated the conversion of most of the rainfall into runoff. However, despite these efforts, the slope eventually slid after 150 s. During the sliding process, the leading edge of the slope model lost sand and became unloaded, and the failure mode was graded a creep slip failure. Finally, the slope was divided into several blocks due to the continuous expansion of cracks following the slope failure. The erosion stability of the sandy slope under heavy rains was optimized and the sand loss was prevented effectively. This study proposes a new method of MICP remediation techniques that serve as a new test basis for the practical application of MICP technology in engineering projects. Full article
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16 pages, 4277 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Carbon Emission Trading on Renewable Energy: A Comparative Analysis Based on the CGE Model
by Shenhai Huang, Chao Du, Xian Jin, Daini Zhang, Shiyan Wen and Zhijie Jia
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12649; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612649 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
This study examines the effects of carbon emission trading on renewable energy consumption in China. The research applies the CEEEA2.0 model to simulate the economic, energy, and environmental impacts of carbon trading from 2018 to 2030. The CEEEA2.0 model is a recursive dynamic [...] Read more.
This study examines the effects of carbon emission trading on renewable energy consumption in China. The research applies the CEEEA2.0 model to simulate the economic, energy, and environmental impacts of carbon trading from 2018 to 2030. The CEEEA2.0 model is a recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium model that incorporates multiple households, sectors, and an energy and environment module. Four scenarios are considered: the Business as Usual (BaU) scenario, the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)-benchmark scenario, and the ETS-strengthened and ETS-enhanced scenarios. The findings reveal that carbon emission trading positively influences electricity consumption, resulting in a higher preference for renewable energy due to reduced price disparities between renewable sources and fossil fuels. Consequently, electricity generation from renewable sources increases in all scenarios compared to the BaU scenario. However, the share of renewable energy is not substantially affected by carbon emission trading due to the complex interplay of factors, including substitution and income effects. The study further highlights that carbon trading significantly reduces coal usage and partially increases the overall proportion of renewable energy. These results underscore the significance of establishing ambitious carbon reduction targets and continual efforts to shift towards clean energy sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Green Energy Economy 2nd Edition)
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29 pages, 5609 KiB  
Article
A Novel Multi Level Dynamic Decomposition Based Coordinated Control of Electric Vehicles in Multimicrogrids
by Muhammad Anique Aslam, Syed Abdul Rahman Kashif, Muhammad Majid Gulzar, Mohammed Alqahtani and Muhammad Khalid
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612648 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
This paper presents a novel tetra-level dynamic decomposition-based control approach for coordinated operation of electric vehicles in multimicrogrids, which is comprehensive, generic, modular, and secure in nature, to maximize the utilization of renewable energy sources, while meeting the load demands with the resources [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel tetra-level dynamic decomposition-based control approach for coordinated operation of electric vehicles in multimicrogrids, which is comprehensive, generic, modular, and secure in nature, to maximize the utilization of renewable energy sources, while meeting the load demands with the resources available. There are a number of microgrids that are connected to the grid. Each microgrid consists of a number of renewable energy sources, energy storage systems, non-renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, and loads. Each distributed energy source or load is controlled by a microsource controller. All microsource controllers with a similar nature are controlled by a unit controller, and all the unit controllers in a microgrid are controlled by a microgrid controller. There is a single multimicrogrid controller at the top. The proposed control scheme was verified through simulation-based case studies. Full article
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21 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Types of E-Consumers and Their Implications for Sustainable Consumption—A Study of the Behavior of Polish E-Consumers in the Second Decade of the 21st Century
by Bożena Gajdzik, Magdalena Jaciow and Robert Wolny
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12647; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612647 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
This article is based on the findings of a longitudinal study examining the behavior of Polish e-consumers. A series of methodically planned and executed surveys was conducted to elucidate the evolution of online consumer behavior over the past decade. The objective of this [...] Read more.
This article is based on the findings of a longitudinal study examining the behavior of Polish e-consumers. A series of methodically planned and executed surveys was conducted to elucidate the evolution of online consumer behavior over the past decade. The objective of this article is to diagnose changes in the behavior of selected types of e-consumers from Generations X and Y over the last decade, and link them to the concept of sustainable consumption. The 2020 study employed a sample possessing attributes similar to the 2010 research study, maintaining the sample distribution in terms of gender, education, and age. Characterizations of the identified consumer types were derived from prevalent psychographic traits, attitudes towards oneself and others, behavioral patterns, and determinants of buying behavior. Four distinct types of Polish e-consumers were identified: HQ_type (those seeking the Highest Quality products), MS_type (those intending to Save Money during shopping), LT_type (those dedicating the Least amount of Time to shopping), and DP_type (those Deriving Pleasure from the shopping experience). The identified Polish e-consumer types were subjected to a comparative analysis spanning a decade. The findings reveal significant alterations in the behavior of e-consumers representing various types, with a trend favoring sustainable consumption. Generally, Polish e-consumers are shown to demonstrate conscious and sustainable consumption behaviors, such as effective financial management, especially evident in the MS_type group. They typically purchase products within their means, avoiding expensive credits to fulfill their “needs.” Half of the HQ_type, MS_type, and LT_type e-consumers recognize the importance of budgeting and spending tracking for informed consumption, whereas the DP_type, who enjoy shopping, tend to overlook active financial management, perceiving it as a burdensome task. Over the years, a positive shift in the HQ_type’s attitude towards spending management has been observed. A significant aspect of conscious and sustainable consumption involves planned purchases. More than half of the HQ_type, MS_type, and LT_type e-consumers adhere to ready-made shopping lists, while the more impulsive DP_type frequently opts to shop in-store without any preceding planning. This research carries both theoretical and practical implications. The repeatability of the studies renders them a fundamental source of knowledge about the studied populations over time, and serves as an exclusive means of learning about changes in market phenomena and processes in a scientific manner. The findings of this article may prove valuable for e-commerce managers in devising strategies for effective sales promotion and customer communication for different types of e-consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business Models for Sustainable Consumption in the Circular Economy)
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14 pages, 526 KiB  
Article
Higher Educational Institutions’ Digital Transformation and the Roles of Digital Platform Capability and Psychology in Innovation Performance after COVID-19
by Rui Du, Adriana Grigorescu and Kamer-Ainur Aivaz
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12646; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612646 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Digital technologies have transformed business models quickly, making sustainable, inventive performance essential for the survival of businesses, particularly in emerging markets. However, a lot of English educational institutions struggle to make use of digital platform capability (DPC) due to a lack of funding, [...] Read more.
Digital technologies have transformed business models quickly, making sustainable, inventive performance essential for the survival of businesses, particularly in emerging markets. However, a lot of English educational institutions struggle to make use of digital platform capability (DPC) due to a lack of funding, resources, and experience that stifles prospects for advanced innovation. After the COVID-19 pandemic, this study suggests a framework to investigate how English educational institutions might improve their innovation performance using DPC. The study examines the relationship between digital innovation (DI) and innovation performance (IP), as well as the moderating effects of digital technology (DT). This study uses a quantitative methodology and questionnaire survey with 435 respondents from institutions that support DPC. The analysis examines the hypotheses using correlations, regression analyses, and 5000 bootstraps. The results demonstrate a positive relationship between DPC and IP, with DI acting as a mediator. Additionally, the outcomes show that the development of digital technology strengthens the positive influence of DPC on innovation performance. Through filling research gaps, this study adds to the body of knowledge. It also has significant management implications for English educational institutions looking to improve their innovation performance by fostering digital platform ability and digital innovation. Full article
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13 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing Compliance with COVID-19 Disinfection Safety Guidelines among Disinfection Workers in South Korea
by Seulki Son, Yoon Hyeon Lee and Sarang Jang
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612645 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 967
Abstract
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the global demand for disinfection services. Disinfection work involves specialized expertise in the use of chemicals and equipment. However, many studies have not illuminated the essential knowledge and practices of disinfection workers. This study aims [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the global demand for disinfection services. Disinfection work involves specialized expertise in the use of chemicals and equipment. However, many studies have not illuminated the essential knowledge and practices of disinfection workers. This study aims to investigate factors influencing disinfection practices to enhance the quality and safety of infection-control measures. A cross-sectional descriptive study among 215 disinfection workers in South Korea was undertaken. The survey questionnaire was designed to collect information on demographic characteristics, disinfection methods, knowledge of COVID-19 disinfectants and their application, and the use of personal protective equipment. Data were analyzed using SPSS 26. Participants who received COVID-19 disinfection training had more knowledge regarding disinfectant products, demonstrated greater adherence to disinfection guidelines, and used more disposable PPE items. The multiple linear regression analysis revealed that being female, completing prior training on COVID-19 disinfection, obtaining disinfectant information through official education, and possessing a subjective awareness of COVID-19 disinfectants and disinfectant knowledge were associated with increased compliance with guidelines for disinfection. This study revealed a gap between perceived compliance and actual knowledge between groups. These findings highlight the importance of retraining disinfection workers, enhancing their qualifications, and promoting responsible disinfection practices. Full article
15 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Effects from ESG Scores on P&C Insurance Companies
by Silvia Bressan
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12644; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612644 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2281
Abstract
Insurers act as institutional investors and underwriters of risk. Therefore, improving their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance is important for the transmission of ESG values to all economic sectors. We analyze ESG scores of worldwide Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers during 2013–2022 [...] Read more.
Insurers act as institutional investors and underwriters of risk. Therefore, improving their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance is important for the transmission of ESG values to all economic sectors. We analyze ESG scores of worldwide Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers during 2013–2022 and show that more sustainable insurers have high operating leverage despite appearing to be financially stable from their combined ratios and z-scores. Additional results for the US subsample illustrate that stocks issued by sustainable insurers deliver positive excess returns. Overall, these findings suggest that there is a significant association between sustainable practices and the ability of insurers to execute business and create value. This is important for insurance managers, investors, and policy makers, as insurers play a prominent role in promoting economic growth and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Finance and Risk Management)
21 pages, 5983 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Biodiversity and Conservation Value of Alpine Grasslands in the Bucegi Massif, Romanian Carpathians
by Claudia Bita-Nicolae, Faruk Yildiz and Ozkan Kaya
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12643; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612643 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 987
Abstract
The Carpathian region harbors a wide range of threatened species, making it an area of exceptional conservation value. In the Alpine belt, grasslands cover the entire region and this study aims to describe the communities in the Bucegi Massif of the Romanian Carpathians [...] Read more.
The Carpathian region harbors a wide range of threatened species, making it an area of exceptional conservation value. In the Alpine belt, grasslands cover the entire region and this study aims to describe the communities in the Bucegi Massif of the Romanian Carpathians and highlight their importance for conservation. The Braun–Blanquet approach was used to record floristic data from 47 phytosociological surveys, identifying a total of 235 plant species from 40 different families, including 30 threatened species. Canonical correspondence analysis was used to analyze the data, revealing that the distribution of vegetation is mainly influenced by elevation, slope and vegetation cover. Dominant grass species in these communities include Nardus stricta, Festuca violacea, Kobresia myosuroides, Festuca amethystina, Festuca airoides, Sesleria rigida, Festuca versicolor and Festuca carpatica. The alpine and boreal siliceous grasslands of the Carpathian Mountains, identified by Natura 2000 codes 6150, 6130 and 6170, host a wide range of plant species of significant conservation value. The higher altitude grasslands, especially, have outstanding plant species richness. We argue that although the habitats have been grazed, significant parts of the area are still in good ecological condition, having many typical natural features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Sustainable Management of Riparian Ecosystems)
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14 pages, 1976 KiB  
Article
Carbon Emission Evaluation of Roadway Construction at Contaminated Sites Based on Life Cycle Assessment Method
by Luorui Zheng, Yingzhen Li, Cheng Qian and Yanjun Du
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12642; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612642 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Greenhouse gas emissions induced by climate change have garnered global attention. Minimizing climate change can be achieved through the reduction of carbon emissions in transportation infrastructure construction and in the production of construction materials. This study aims to calculate carbon emissions in three [...] Read more.
Greenhouse gas emissions induced by climate change have garnered global attention. Minimizing climate change can be achieved through the reduction of carbon emissions in transportation infrastructure construction and in the production of construction materials. This study aims to calculate carbon emissions in three hypothetical construction scenarios based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) method when a roadway passes across polluted soil at contaminated sites. Three methods are employed to remediate contaminated soil: off-site cement kiln co-processing, on-site ex-situ thermal desorption, and on-site ex-situ solidification/stabilization. Carbon emissions are calculated using the LCA method for each scenario. The baseline carbon emission is estimated for the scenario in which contaminated soil is remediated using the off-site cement kiln co-processing method, and the roadway subgrade is constructed using transported clean soil. In the other two scenarios, contaminated soils are remediated using the on-site ex-situ thermal desorption and solidification/stabilization methods, respectively, and then they are reused as roadway subgrade materials. The LCA analyses demonstrate that the total carbon emission reductions range from 1168.48 to 2379.62 tons per basic unit, corresponding to decreased of 19.31% to 39.33%, respectively, compared to baseline. The reuse of solid waste to replace sand and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as raw materials in roadway construction reduces carbon emissions by 498.98 tons. Finally, a comparison of carbon emissions between the three scenarios indicates that reducing carbon emissions in the remediation of contaminated soil and reusing solid waste as construction materials are two important methods for achieving overall carbon emission reductions in roadway construction projects. Full article
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21 pages, 2177 KiB  
Review
A Review on Biohydrogen Sources, Production Routes, and Its Application as a Fuel Cell
by Antony V. Samrot, Deenadhayalan Rajalakshmi, Mahendran Sathiyasree, Subramanian Saigeetha, Kasirajan Kasipandian, Nachiyar Valli, Nellore Jayshree, Pandurangan Prakash and Nagarajan Shobana
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12641; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612641 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3655
Abstract
More than 80% of the energy from fossil fuels is utilized in homes and industries. Increased use of fossil fuels not only depletes them but also contributes to global warming. By 2050, the usage of fossil fuels will be approximately lower than 80% [...] Read more.
More than 80% of the energy from fossil fuels is utilized in homes and industries. Increased use of fossil fuels not only depletes them but also contributes to global warming. By 2050, the usage of fossil fuels will be approximately lower than 80% than it is today. There is no yearly variation in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere due to soil and land plants. Therefore, an alternative source of energy is required to overcome these problems. Biohydrogen is considered to be a renewable source of energy, which is useful for electricity generation rather than relying on harmful fossil fuels. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of sources and technologies and has numerous applications including electricity generation, being a clean energy carrier, and as an alternative fuel. In this review, a detailed elaboration about different kinds of sources involved in biohydrogen production, various biohydrogen production routes, and their applications in electricity generation is provided. Full article
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19 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Potential of a Popular EFL Textbook to Foster Both Sustainability Awareness and Competencies among ESD Learners: A Content Analysis Approach
by Olusiji Adebola Lasekan, Claudia Myrna Méndez-Alarcón, Blessy Sarah Mathew and Evelyn Solange Campos
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12640; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612640 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1703
Abstract
To demonstrate the potential of the fifth edition of the Headway EFL textbook as a means to cultivate sustainability awareness and competence in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), this study aims to identify themes related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the [...] Read more.
To demonstrate the potential of the fifth edition of the Headway EFL textbook as a means to cultivate sustainability awareness and competence in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), this study aims to identify themes related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the textbook. The secondary objective is to identify grammatical concept exercises that can function as a means of augmenting sustainability competencies. Drawing on constructivism research philosophy, this study utilized a content analysis approach to identify themes and patterns of SDGs in the textbook. This involved connecting language skill development (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) within every topic unit of the textbook with each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, we focused on identifying and correlating different grammatical tasks that have the potential of enhancing students’ anticipatory, system-thinking, normative, strategic, and interpersonal sustainability competencies. The findings indicated that, with the exception of SDGs 6 and 1, all of the remaining 15 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are depicted throughout the six levels of the textbook. In addition, it was revealed that exercises pertaining to grammatical concepts, including passive voice, pronouns, conjunctions, adjectives, and emphatic language, simple future tense, serve as significant predictors and enhancers of the five core competencies of sustainability. The present study sheds more light on the current understanding of sustainability awareness and competencies that are crucial for advancing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) initiatives across various levels of the educational system. Full article
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25 pages, 3160 KiB  
Review
Sources of Antibiotic Contamination in Wastewater and Approaches to Their Removal—An Overview
by Antony V. Samrot, Samraj Wilson, Ram Singh Sanjay Preeth, Pandurangan Prakash, Mahendran Sathiyasree, Subramanian Saigeetha, Nagarajan Shobana, Senthilkumar Pachiyappan and Vinod Vincent Rajesh
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12639; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612639 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5933
Abstract
In the practice of medicine, antibiotics are extremely important and are employed in the treatment of infections. A lot of antibiotics are consumed by humans and excreted via urine and feces into sewage systems and treatment plants. These are considered to be non-biodegradable, [...] Read more.
In the practice of medicine, antibiotics are extremely important and are employed in the treatment of infections. A lot of antibiotics are consumed by humans and excreted via urine and feces into sewage systems and treatment plants. These are considered to be non-biodegradable, and over the years they accumulate in the aquatic environment. The presence of antibiotics in water resources causes the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a serious threat to the health of human beings. Water bodies must be adequately treated before being discharged to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. In the present article, the sources of antibiotics and strategies used for their effective removal, such as ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, membranous biological reactor treatment, Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP), Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Nano sorbents, are discussed. Conventional wastewater treatment plants are not able to eliminate antibiotics deposition/resistance genes effectively and efficiently. In this regard, the adsorption method is the most effective way of removing antibiotics from wastewater from various sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Wastewater Treatment, and Sustainable Development)
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