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Sustainability, Volume 16, Issue 11 (June-1 2024) – 554 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced is projected to reach 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050, with only 33% being managed sustainably. Composting, a key method for recycling the organic fraction of MSW, offers an economically viable solution to transform waste to compost. MSW often contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), leading to contamination. PFAS levels in compost range from 1.3 to 11.8 µg/kg, posing risks to human and ecosystem health. Effective PFAS remediation technologies are needed. We explore composting as a sustainable waste management practice, the systems used, and the challenges of PFAS contamination, showing the lack of understanding of PFASs’ fate in composting and emphasizes the need for innovative solutions to address this issue, achieve circular economy, and meet sustainable waste management goals.View this paper
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22 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Reading Harry Potter: A Journey into Students’ Understanding of Sustainable Development Goals
by Mehmet Galip Zorba, Derya Şahhüseyinoğlu and Arda Arikan
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114874 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Implementing education for sustainable development (SD) into higher education requires curricular changes, embodying various constraints. Therefore, exploring students’ understanding of sustainable development goals (SDGs) is part of the initial steps. In doing this, students’ reflections on literary works can yield valuable insights and [...] Read more.
Implementing education for sustainable development (SD) into higher education requires curricular changes, embodying various constraints. Therefore, exploring students’ understanding of sustainable development goals (SDGs) is part of the initial steps. In doing this, students’ reflections on literary works can yield valuable insights and guide what and how to teach for effective ESD practices. This study investigated university students’ understanding of SDGs through their reflections on a literary work. A mixed-methods research design was employed, collecting data from senior English literature students at a Turkish state university. Qualitative data were collected through an open-ended survey and students’ term papers, while quantitative data were collected through a questionnaire. The survey and term papers showed divergent results regarding students’ understanding of SDGs. Although the survey indicated a restricted understanding, the term papers showed a more nuanced understanding. The quantitative findings also suggested that students had a systems perspective related to SDGs. Moreover, the term paper findings showed that students focused primarily on characters and settings while clarifying and elaborating their associations. Literary texts can be valuable tools to gain more insights into students’ understanding of SDGs, as they provide explicit and implicit instances in which essential plot elements construct rich and meaningful contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
17 pages, 3944 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Analysis and Prioritization of Sustainable Energy Resources Using Analytical Hierarchy Process
by Hameedullah Zaheb, Obaidullah Obaidi, Sarban Mukhtar, Habiburahman Shirani, Mikaeel Ahmadi and Atsushi Yona
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114873 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The growing global concern for climate change and the need for sustainable energy solutions have driven nations to explore renewable energy alternatives. This research focuses on a developing country heavily reliant on imported electricity and evaluates the potential of renewable energy resources. Using [...] Read more.
The growing global concern for climate change and the need for sustainable energy solutions have driven nations to explore renewable energy alternatives. This research focuses on a developing country heavily reliant on imported electricity and evaluates the potential of renewable energy resources. Using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), a multi-criteria decision-making method (MCDM), this study prioritizes sustainable energy resources crucial for energy security and environmental sustainability, given the country’s dependence on traditional and imported power and its potential for renewable energy development. This study employs AHP to evaluate and rank various sustainable energy options, emphasizing their technological, economic, environmental, and social impacts. The novelty of this research lies in its comprehensive and systematic approach to integrating diverse expert opinions and utilizing AHP; the development of a robust decision-making model that accommodates the diverse criteria and sub-criteria (SCs) influencing the prioritization of energy resources; and its bridging of the gaps through the integration of varied criteria and SCs, region-specific concerns, and stakeholders’ engagement by creating a comprehensive and inclusive prioritization strategy. The key findings highlight solar energy as the most viable sustainable energy resource, followed by wind and hydro energy. These results underscore the significant potential for solar energy development, considering its current technological advancements, economic affordability, social acceptance, and environmental friendliness. This study not only provides a prioritized list of sustainable energy resources but also offers a methodological framework adaptable for similar assessments in other regions facing energy transition challenges. Readers will find a detailed explanation of the AHP methodology, the criteria used for evaluating energy resources, and the implications of the findings for policy and decision making. This research is particularly relevant for policymakers, energy planners, and stakeholders interested in sustainable energy development and strategic planning in similar contexts. Full article
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18 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Healthcare Waste Management through Multi-Stage Decision-Making for Sustainability Enhancement
by Mohd Anjum, Hong Min and Zubair Ahmed
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114872 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 405
Abstract
The possible threats that healthcare waste management (HWM) poses to the environment and public health are making it more and more crucial for medical facility administrators to be worried about it. This is in line with the global trend towards firms giving sustainability [...] Read more.
The possible threats that healthcare waste management (HWM) poses to the environment and public health are making it more and more crucial for medical facility administrators to be worried about it. This is in line with the global trend towards firms giving sustainability more of a priority. Many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations, as well as national and state laws, have mandated the proper disposal of infectious and hazardous healthcare waste. To effectively address the complex problem of selecting the best treatment option for HWM, a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) procedure must be used. The alternative ranking order method accounting for two-step normalization (AROMAN) methodology is provided in the context of q-rung orthopair fuzzy environment. This method comprises two steps of normalization and is based on the criteria importance through intercriteria correlation (CRITIC) paradigm. Whereas the AROMAN methodology uses vector and linear normalization techniques to improve the accuracy of the data for further computations, the CRITIC method assesses the intercriteria correlations and scores the significance of each criterion. The ranking from the proposed method is Al5>Al4>Al3>Al1>Al2. The study’s conclusions indicate that recycling (Al5) is the best option since it lessens trash production, aids in resource recovery, and protects the environment. Using this method helps decision makers deal with subjectivity and ambiguity more skillfully, promotes consistency and transparency in decision making, and streamlines the process of choosing the best waste management system. Sustainable waste management practices have been implemented in the biomedical industry with some success. The proposed technique is a helpful tool for legislators and practitioners seeking to improve waste management systems. Full article
17 pages, 3093 KiB  
Article
Sentiments of Rural U.S. Communities on Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure: Insights from Twitter Data
by Ming (Bryan) Wang, Li Zhao and Abigail L. Cochran
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114871 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 387
Abstract
The widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of charging infrastructure is key to achieving sustainable transportation and reducing greenhouse emissions. This research paper presents a novel exploration of the public sentiments expressed by rural U.S. communities toward EVs and EV [...] Read more.
The widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the development of charging infrastructure is key to achieving sustainable transportation and reducing greenhouse emissions. This research paper presents a novel exploration of the public sentiments expressed by rural U.S. communities toward EVs and EV infrastructure using Twitter data. To understand the factors influencing public sentiment, three distinct models were developed and applied: Generalized Linear Models, Hierarchical Linear Models, and Geographically Weighted Regression. These models explored the relationships between sentiment and several impact factors, including the topics of the tweets, and the age and sex of tweet senders as well as the number of charging stations and historical accident data in the geographical vicinity of each tweet’s origin. Results indicate that a more positive sentiment on EVs resulted (1) when the tweet discussed EV infrastructure investment and equity, (2) when the tweeter was male, and (3) when more charging stations were present and fewer EV accidents occurred in the county, especially in rural areas. Counties with higher rural percentages generally exhibited more positive sentiments toward EV usage. The paper contributes to the existing literature by shedding light on the sentiments of rural residents toward EVs and the infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Vehicles: Production, Charging Stations, and Optimal Use)
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13 pages, 1404 KiB  
Article
Effect of Common Ions in Agricultural Additives on the Retention of Cd, Cu, and Cr in Farmland Soils
by Xu Zhou and Hongbin Cao
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4870; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114870 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 370
Abstract
The anions and cations in agricultural additives have crucial impacts on the retention of toxic heavy metals (HMs) in soil. However, the influence of these ions on the adsorption and desorption of Cd, Cr, and Cu in soil has not been clarified in [...] Read more.
The anions and cations in agricultural additives have crucial impacts on the retention of toxic heavy metals (HMs) in soil. However, the influence of these ions on the adsorption and desorption of Cd, Cr, and Cu in soil has not been clarified in previous studies. This study investigated the adsorption behavior of HMs, common anions, and dissolved organic matter (DOM) in alkaline soil from farmland under different experimental conditions. Nitrates, sulfates, and chlorides were used as HM sources to investigate the effects of different experimental anion environments on batch adsorption experiments and fluorescence quenching titration experiments. Batch sorption experiments showed that the sorption of Cd2+ was inhibited by the concomitant presence of Cr3+ and Cu2+, and the presence of Cl and SO42− inhibited the binding of HMs to the soil matrix compared to NO3. The fluorescence quenching titration with HMs suggested that SO42− significantly enhances the binding ability of Cr3+ to DOM in solution, which may be the reason SO42− inhibited Cr3+ retention in soil. These results provide detailed insights into the interactions of HMs with DOM and anions, which is of great significance for the targeted application of pesticides and HMs’ transport and removal in farmland soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Soil Pollution by Heavy Metals)
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21 pages, 14308 KiB  
Article
Research on the Optimization Path of Regional Innovation “Dualization” Effect Based on System Dynamics
by Renyong Hou, Jiaxing Xiao, Baoji Zhu, Weihua Peng and Haijian Dan
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114869 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Coordinated regional development is an important issue for China in the new era, and the influence of innovation ability on regional economic development is increasing, but the current regional innovation is characterized by an increasingly obvious “dualization” effect. In this paper, by constructing [...] Read more.
Coordinated regional development is an important issue for China in the new era, and the influence of innovation ability on regional economic development is increasing, but the current regional innovation is characterized by an increasingly obvious “dualization” effect. In this paper, by constructing innovation efficiency, science and technology innovation, innovation culture, and innovation policy as the four key subsystems of regional innovation effect, and using system dynamics to establish a regional innovation effect model, Wuhan and Enshi as the representatives of central city and non-central city, selecting the data from 2014 to 2021, and adopting different parameters to simulate the evolution trend of the innovation effect, it is concluded that the growth rate of industrial enterprises and the intensity of R&D expenditures have increased, and the innovation effect has become more and more obvious, which is the most important issue in the new era of China’s development. It is also concluded that the growth rate of industrial enterprises and the intensity of R&D expenditure are the key factors influencing the innovation effect of central and non-central cities, and suggestions are made for optimizing the “dualization” effect of regional innovation. Full article
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24 pages, 1147 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Dynamics of Educational Equity: Exploring the Third Type of Digital Divide for Primary and Secondary Schools in China
by Ping Wang, Zhiyuan Li, Yujing Wang and Feiye Wang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114868 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the integration of online learning into primary and secondary education. However, gaps persist in academic research, particularly in understanding its impact on educational equity within the third-type digital divide. This study conducted an equity-focused review to assess online [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the integration of online learning into primary and secondary education. However, gaps persist in academic research, particularly in understanding its impact on educational equity within the third-type digital divide. This study conducted an equity-focused review to assess online learning’s impact on primary and secondary education within this context. It developed a theoretical framework integrating elements from schooling and home environments to explore equity implications in online learning. Building on this, the study proposed and validated a conceptual model using structural equation modeling (SEM), analyzing data from 1236 students in Shenzhen, China. The study found that both school investment and family involvement indirectly influence students’ online learning outcomes through complete mediating effects on students’ online learning engagement. Family investment slightly outweighs school education in its influence on outcomes. Consequently, online education within the environmental divide potentially hinders educational equity, necessitating caution with large-scale online education initiatives. This study fills research gaps on the digital divide in the third environment, leveraging China’s pandemic experience with online education. It also integrates school education and family input to examine the impact of large-scale online learning and its associated strategies on educational equity, providing insights into the promotion of educational equity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advances in Online and Distance Learning)
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17 pages, 1798 KiB  
Article
A Taxonomy of Mineral Resource Projects in the Arctic: A Path to Sustainable Financing?
by Diana Dmitrieva and Victoria Solovyova
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114867 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The development of mineral resources in the Arctic region presents a strategically significant yet challenging endeavor, necessitating a delicate balance between the growing need for resources and pressing climatic and geopolitical concerns. Mineral resource development projects entail high capital intensity and substantial investment [...] Read more.
The development of mineral resources in the Arctic region presents a strategically significant yet challenging endeavor, necessitating a delicate balance between the growing need for resources and pressing climatic and geopolitical concerns. Mineral resource development projects entail high capital intensity and substantial investment risks, with Arctic projects being particularly complex. While sustainable financing mechanisms for projects fostering sustainable development have been largely addressed in many countries through specialized taxonomies, projects within the mineral resource sector require a distinct financing approach. Such a taxonomy should facilitate the establishment of sustainable financing mechanisms for mineral resource projects in the Arctic zone, incentivizing companies to pursue Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mitigate potential social and environmental risks. This article examines the key aspects of sustainable financing for mining-related business projects amidst current trends, substantiating the prerequisites for establishing a taxonomy of Arctic mineral resource projects. Among the most important prerequisites are the contradiction between the SD concept and the development of mineral resources, specific characteristics of Arctic mining projects, and current financing restrictions. An approach to project financing is developed, and an option for classifying Arctic mineral resource projects for the subsequent taxonomy is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Mining Ecology Management)
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17 pages, 1997 KiB  
Article
Pesticidal Plant Treatments Combined with Improved Soil Fertility Can Reduce Damage Caused by Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. phaseoli) and Bean Fly (Ophiomyia phaseoli) in Common Bean Production (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
by Zuwena J. Ngoya, Angela G. Mkindi, Steven J. Vanek, Philip C. Stevenson, Patrick A. Ndakidemi and Steven R. Belmain
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4866; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114866 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Common bean production is constrained by a multitude of biotic constraints including bean flies and Fusarium wilt in tropical and subtropical farming systems globally. As these pests and diseases attack the crop beneath the soil, excessive applications of synthetic pesticides are frequently used [...] Read more.
Common bean production is constrained by a multitude of biotic constraints including bean flies and Fusarium wilt in tropical and subtropical farming systems globally. As these pests and diseases attack the crop beneath the soil, excessive applications of synthetic pesticides are frequently used for their control. The use of plant-based pesticides could be a more sustainable management approach; however, few studies have investigated their application for controlling soil-borne pests and diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of pesticidal plants and soil fertility management for controlling bean fly (Ophiomyia spp.) and Fusarium wilt (Fusarium spp.) using extracts and pastes of Azadirachta indica, Tephrosia vogelii, Tagetes minuta, Lippia javanica, Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum. To protect against Fusarium wilt and bean fly, pesticidal plants were applied as a seed coating and/or foliar spray, and demonstrated that common bean seeds coated with T. vogelii resulted in higher yields than other pesticidal plants and the synthetic pesticide control treatment. Treatments to target bean fly damage showed no significant difference between application methods on the oviposition rate of bean fly. An integrated treatment of T. minuta with 2 g Diammonium phosphate fertilizer and high compost led to higher yields than other treatments. Our results indicate that key soil-borne pests and pathogens of common bean can be effectively managed without synthetic pesticide inputs, while seed ball pastes of pesticidal plants combined with soil fertility management can increase crop yields using cost-beneficial agroecological farming systems. Full article
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26 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
Executives Implicated in Financial Reporting Fraud and Firms’ Investment Decisions
by Moon Kyung Cho and Minjung Kang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114865 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 310
Abstract
This study examines the impact of executives implicated in fraud on firms’ investment decisions using publicly disclosed Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), aiming to address the underexplored aspect of rationalization within the fraud triangle. [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of executives implicated in fraud on firms’ investment decisions using publicly disclosed Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), aiming to address the underexplored aspect of rationalization within the fraud triangle. AAERs summarize enforcement actions subject to civil lawsuits brought by the SEC in federal court. Executives implicated in fraud often display abnormal attitudes to justify accounting irregularities, prompting an investigation into how abnormal investment decisions are used for rationalizing fraud, given their critical role in a firm’s long-term sustainability. We utilize bootstrap analysis to address the non-normality of fraud firms in our sample, and to acquire multiple bootstrap samples that represent the fraud population, thereby bolstering the reliability of our statistical analysis. Analysis of AAERs spanning from 1981 to 2013 reveals that implicated executives, particularly CEOs and CFOs, tend to make abnormal investment decisions, and that collusive fraud exacerbates this behavior. Notably, such executives lean towards overinvestment, particularly in R&D expenditure, to hide or justify fraud; the duration of fraud amplifies its impact on investment decisions. By shedding light on the rationalization aspect of the fraud triangle, this research contributes valuable insights for investors, regulators, and academia, emphasizing the significance of public disclosure of fraud by regulators to enhance transparency in capital markets and to alert capital market participants. Furthermore, this study underscores the importance of ethics-focused education in accounting to prevent corporate fraud. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
17 pages, 4549 KiB  
Article
Leveraging Deep Learning Models for Targeted Aboveground Biomass Estimation in Specific Regions of Interest
by Selvin Samuel Arumai Shiney, Ramachandran Geetha, Ramasamy Seetharaman and Madhavan Shanmugam
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114864 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Over the past three decades, a lot of research has been conducted on remote sensing-based techniques for estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) in forest ecosystems. Due to the complexity of satellite images, the conventional image classification methods have been unable to meet the actual [...] Read more.
Over the past three decades, a lot of research has been conducted on remote sensing-based techniques for estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) in forest ecosystems. Due to the complexity of satellite images, the conventional image classification methods have been unable to meet the actual application needs. In our proposed work, the estimation of aboveground biomass has been performed on the basis of a Region of Interest (RoI). Initially, this method is employed to measure the green portions of the areas at the local level. The biomass of the subtropical woods in the areas of India, Indonesia, and Thailand is estimated in this work, using data from Deep Globe LIDAR images. Initially, the satellite images are pre-processed. The ROI method is used to select the green portion of the area. The green portion in the satellite images is segmented using the K-means algorithm and binary classification. An empirical formula is used to calculate the carbon weight. The results obtained show 92% accuracy. Full article
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16 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Crosswalking the EU Nature Restoration Regulation and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework: A Forest-Centred Outlook
by Filip Aggestam
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114863 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Following the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the European Union (EU) introduced an EU Nature Restoration Regulation. This study systematically compares the restoration regulation with the KM-GBF, focusing on their implications for forest ecosystems. [...] Read more.
Following the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the European Union (EU) introduced an EU Nature Restoration Regulation. This study systematically compares the restoration regulation with the KM-GBF, focusing on their implications for forest ecosystems. The paper identifies areas of alignment, divergence, and potential gaps concerning habitat restoration, species protection, climate resilience, and sustainable natural resource use. Employing a grounded methodology, the analysis begins with the 23 KM-GBF targets and proceeds to the 28 articles of the restoration regulation. The findings underscore the need for better alignment between the KM-GBF, the restoration regulation, and other forest-related EU policies. The study emphasises the importance of a coherent and integrated EU policy approach to address the complex challenges and varied policy objectives facing forests. It concludes that amendments to the restoration regulation have significantly diluted its potential impact, limiting the EU Member States’ accountability and ability to meet KM-GBF goals and targets. It further stresses the need for strategies to reconcile divergent EU policy pathways, support forest management and restoration efforts, and align with global biodiversity objectives. Full article
21 pages, 2907 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Renewable Energy Systems for Water Security: A Comparative Study of Reanalysis Models
by José Vargas-Brochero, Sebastián Hurtado-Castillo, Jesús Altamiranda, Frederico Carlos M. de Menezes Filho, Alexandre Beluco and Fausto A. Canales
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114862 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The current global scenario of unequal access to water and electricity motivates the search for solutions based on available resources, such as renewable energies and desalination. Additionally, adequate sizing of renewables requires extensive and reliable time series, which are usually unavailable. Reanalysis models [...] Read more.
The current global scenario of unequal access to water and electricity motivates the search for solutions based on available resources, such as renewable energies and desalination. Additionally, adequate sizing of renewables requires extensive and reliable time series, which are usually unavailable. Reanalysis models are an option to consider, but only after evaluating their local accuracy, generally through performance metrics. This study evaluated the performance of the solar radiation, temperature, and wind speed products from MERRA2 and ERA5-Land in comparison to ground data, as well as their influence on the optimal initial configuration of a renewable energy system for desalination in La Guajira, Colombia. HOMER Pro was the software tool employed to establish the best arrangements for the resulting renewable power systems, and the study included a sensitivity analysis considering different annual capacity shortages, operating hours, and energy needs for desalting. ERA5-Land performed better than MERRA2 in matching the time series from the local station. The relative error of the cost of electricity of systems dimensioned from reanalysis was less than 3% compared to systems from ground measurements, with a renewable fraction above 98%. For the study area, ERA5-Land reanalysis represents a reliable alternative to address the scarcity of solar resource records, but both reanalyses failed to reproduce the wind speed regime. Full article
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19 pages, 3657 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Mobility Transition: A SWOT-AHP Analysis of the Case Study of Italy
by Marwa Ben Ali and Erwin Rauch
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114861 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The significance of sustainable mobility transition projects extends beyond borders. Transportation, particularly passenger vehicles, is a crucial sector in achieving sustainability. Therefore, prioritizing sustainable green mobility has led to the inclusion of alternative solutions, with a focus on accelerating the shift towards electric [...] Read more.
The significance of sustainable mobility transition projects extends beyond borders. Transportation, particularly passenger vehicles, is a crucial sector in achieving sustainability. Therefore, prioritizing sustainable green mobility has led to the inclusion of alternative solutions, with a focus on accelerating the shift towards electric vehicle (EV) technologies and implementing a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in all European countries by 2035. Italy has been making progress in this area as the country seeks to address environmental concerns, reduce emissions, and promote sustainable transportation. However, compared to other European countries in 2024, Italy still has a long way to go to achieve a sustainable market share. In this regard, this article aims to address several questions related to the promotion and scaling up of the electric mobility transition project in Italy, taking into account the current situation. Specifically, it seeks to identify internal and external factors associated with this technology ecosystem, along with their relative importance. To conduct this study, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted to identify the factors, which was followed by the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) methodology to determine their priority and importance. A total of 8 internal factors and 14 external factors were analyzed, and their overall priority was determined. This study reveals that it is crucial to capitalize on the opportunities and strengths related to technology ecosystems while effectively mitigating the threats and technological limitations in order to scale up technology adoption. In particular, strengths S1 and S3 were given the highest overall priority scores, suggesting that they are the most important factors to leverage for the successful adoption of the technology. These prioritized factors and subfactors are crucial for expediting the transition process and can influence consumers’ decisions. However, without a substantial increase in consumer understanding and knowledge of these technologies, public education campaigns will be necessary. The significance of this study is paramount, and its results can contribute to the continuous enhancement in the formulation of practical plans and regulations to promote sustainable transportation, taking into account the identified factors. Full article
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24 pages, 4389 KiB  
Article
The Elusive Phenomenon: Unveiling Deconsumption in the EU
by Michał Niewiadomski, Agata Niemczyk, Zofia Gródek-Szostak and Marcin Surówka
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114860 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
This article analyzes the phenomenon of deconsumption, which is relatively new and insufficiently researched or defined. Based on a review of the literature on the subject, it was found that there was little interest in deconsumption compared with sustainable consumption. Moreover, the number [...] Read more.
This article analyzes the phenomenon of deconsumption, which is relatively new and insufficiently researched or defined. Based on a review of the literature on the subject, it was found that there was little interest in deconsumption compared with sustainable consumption. Moreover, the number of scientific publications was negligible as the concept of deconsumption was rarely studied as a phenomenon. In addition, it should be noted that deconsumption can play a role in sustainable development and care for the environment and natural resources. Our study on this phenomenon sought to determine whether the phenomenon has spread to a noticeable degree, despite the deconsumption trend, which is important for its effective popularization in societies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze whether the deconsumption phenomenon was reflected in macroeconomic data on consumption in selected European Union countries prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis of macroeconomic data on per capita consumption in the years 2000–2019 did not reveal a clear phenomenon of deconsumption; however, changes in the consumption structure were identified. In some countries, consumption fluctuated or decreased in certain sectors, suggesting the possible emergence of deconsumption. The computation method used in this study was fuzzy c-means clustering (FCM). Full article
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22 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development: Findings from Seven African and Asian Contexts
by Ghazala Mir, Naureen Durrani, Rachel Julian, Yasah Kimei, Saidur Mashreky and T. T. Duong Doan
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114859 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Social inequities have widened divisions between diverse population groups. Inequity is associated with social exclusion, structural and physical violence and reduced development, which in turn are linked to civil unrest, conflict and adverse health and social outcomes. Public services are key institutions through [...] Read more.
Social inequities have widened divisions between diverse population groups. Inequity is associated with social exclusion, structural and physical violence and reduced development, which in turn are linked to civil unrest, conflict and adverse health and social outcomes. Public services are key institutions through which social inequities are created and maintained, but evidence on viable interventions to reduce institutional exclusion is limited for low- and middle-income (LMIC) contexts. We identify common drivers of institutional exclusion across diverse populations in LMICs and inclusion strategies that could potentially work across populations, public service sectors and country contexts. Seven studies engaged with over 385 key stakeholders in healthcare, education and local government settings in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and Vietnam. Participatory research, in-depth interviews, policy reviews and multi-stakeholder workshops focused on a range of disadvantaged groups. A multi-sector partnership co-produced recommendations at each site. Findings were synthesised to identify common themes and a framework for social inclusion across disadvantaged populations. The invisibility of disadvantaged communities in public service planning and delivery processes helped maintain their exclusion from opportunities and resources. A spectrum of neglect, restrictions and discriminatory practice reflected structural violence linked to poor life chances, illness, physical abuse and death. Key recommendations include the representation of disadvantaged groups in service staffing and decision-making and the transformation of public service policy and practice to develop inclusive, targeted, collaborative and accountable systems. Full article
22 pages, 5295 KiB  
Article
Green Behavior Strategies in the Green Credit Market: Analysis of the Impacts of Enterprises’ Greenwashing and Blockchain Technology
by Xianwei Ling and Hong Wang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114858 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 376
Abstract
With the degradation of the environment due to increasing ecological destruction and pollution, sustainable development has become the paramount objective of social progress. As a result, the concept of green development has garnered considerable attention, which is an important starting point for China [...] Read more.
With the degradation of the environment due to increasing ecological destruction and pollution, sustainable development has become the paramount objective of social progress. As a result, the concept of green development has garnered considerable attention, which is an important starting point for China to achieve stable economic development and sustainable ecological development. To achieve high-quality economic progress while advancing environmentally friendly practices, it is imperative to formulate and uphold a sound green credit system. However, the phenomenon of greenwashing by enterprises still exists, which compromises the efficacy of green credit and hinders the long-term sustainable and well-organized progress of green finance. Building on the background of green credit, considering the existence of blockchain and government subsidies and adopting the method of tripartite evolutionary game, this paper examines the strategic decisions made by the government, financial institutions, and small and medium-sized enterprises in the context of greenwashing. An emphasis is placed on the impact of blockchain technology on the three parties involved in the green credit market. The findings demonstrate that blockchain technology can diminish the likelihood of greenwashing by businesses and enhance the impact of government subsidies. However, it cannot replace the regulatory authority of the government in sustainable development. Moreover, excessive subsidies can stimulate more greenwashing practices, but eliminating subsidies does not eradicate the root of greenwashing. To encourage sustainable economic development and minimize corporate defaults, the government ought to reinforce supervision and establish a robust social surveillance and publicity mechanism. This paper broadens the research perspective on the effectiveness of green credit and provides some empirical and theoretical references for further promoting the green transformation of SMEs and the sustainable development of the ecological environment. Full article
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24 pages, 7846 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Mineral Matter Dynamics within the Peatland as Reflected in Water Composition
by Valentina Pezdir, Luka Serianz and Mateja Gosar
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114857 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Peatland hydrology plays an important role in preserving or changing the record in any consideration of past atmospheric deposition records in peat bogs. The Šijec bog, located on the Pokljuka plateau in Slovenia, is one of the largest ombrotrophic peatlands. We sampled the [...] Read more.
Peatland hydrology plays an important role in preserving or changing the record in any consideration of past atmospheric deposition records in peat bogs. The Šijec bog, located on the Pokljuka plateau in Slovenia, is one of the largest ombrotrophic peatlands. We sampled the surface pools, pore water, drainage from the peatland, and karst streams not connected to the peatland. Additionally, we sampled the precipitation, as ombrotrophic peatlands receive mineral matter solely from the atmosphere. The results of the evaluation of the chemical and isotopic composition indicated different origins of dissolved mineral matter in different water types. The components originating from the bedrock and surrounding soils (Ca, Mg, Al, Si, Sr) predominated in the streams. The chemical composition of the peatland drainage water revealed the significant removal of major components from the peatland, particularly elements like Al, Fe, and REE, and metals that are readily dissolved in an acidic environment or mobile in their reduced state. Despite their solubility, concentrations of metals (As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Ti) and REE in surface pools remained higher than in the drainage due to incomplete elimination from the peatland. The composition of pore water reflects variations among the W and E parts of the peatland, indicating a heterogenous hydrological structure with different dynamics, such as an additional source of water at approximately 90 cm depth in the NW part. The chemical composition and isotope signature (18O and 2H) of pore water additionally indicated a heterogeneous recharge with residence times of less than a year. The overall analysis indicated a predominantly ombrotrophic type and a small part in the NW area of the peatland as a minerotrophic type of peat. Full article
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20 pages, 3497 KiB  
Article
Using Deficit Irrigation Strategies and Adding Sugarcane Waste Biochar as a Sustainable Material to Sandy Soils for Improving Yield and Water Productivity of Cucumber
by Mamdouh A. A. Abdou, Mohamed G. Alashram, Ahmed E. Hamza, Younes M. Rashad, Ahmed M. Abd-ElGawad, Mohamed Bourouah, Mohamed Hafez and Ramadan Eid Abdelraouf
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114856 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 434
Abstract
This study investigates the potential of biochar to mitigate drought stress in crops. Biochar amendments are increasingly recognized for their ability to enhance soil properties that promote water retention and plant resilience during dry periods. In a study conducted in Egypt, impacts of [...] Read more.
This study investigates the potential of biochar to mitigate drought stress in crops. Biochar amendments are increasingly recognized for their ability to enhance soil properties that promote water retention and plant resilience during dry periods. In a study conducted in Egypt, impacts of the application of sugarcane biochar on cucumber production, water productivity, and quality characteristics under deficient irrigation conditions were evaluated. Increasing the biochar application rate under arid region conditions resulted in significant improvements in cucumber yield, water productivity, vitamin C, soluble sugar content, and total soluble solids. The activated sugarcane biochar exhibited desirable properties, including a large surface area (250 m2g−1) and pore size (0.28 cm3g−1), with a microporous nature. The positive effects observed can be attributed to reduced water volume leaving the root zone, enhanced nutrient absorption, increased water holding capacity, and augmented nutrient availability. Based on the results, it is recommended to implement under-irrigation at 75% of full irrigation and apply a biochar rate of 10 tons per hectare to mitigate the environmental impacts of water scarcity and support the development of sustainable agricultural systems. In conclusion, biochar emerges as a valuable soil amendment for bolstering cucumber production and water use efficiency (WUE) under limited irrigation scenarios. Its potential lies in promoting improved soil moisture retention, enhancing nutrient availability for cucumber plants, and potentially mitigating plant stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waste and Recycling)
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17 pages, 7780 KiB  
Article
Bituminous Soil Remediation in the Thermal Plasma Environment
by Dovilė Gimžauskaitė, Andrius Tamošiūnas, Justas Eimontas, Mindaugas Aikas, Rolandas Uscila and Vilma Snapkauskienė
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114855 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Petroleum hydrocarbons like diesel, crude oil, and bitumen are persistent soil contaminants, necessitating urgent remediation due to their harmful effects on the soil and living organisms. Plasma remediation is a thermochemical method that is gaining attention as an alternative to soil de-pollution. Accordingly, [...] Read more.
Petroleum hydrocarbons like diesel, crude oil, and bitumen are persistent soil contaminants, necessitating urgent remediation due to their harmful effects on the soil and living organisms. Plasma remediation is a thermochemical method that is gaining attention as an alternative to soil de-pollution. Accordingly, the purpose of this experimental research is to investigate the feasibility of thermal air and water vapour plasmas to de-pollute bituminous soil. Pre-/post-remediation of soil and generated products, an analysis was carried out using SEM, EDX, TGA, and elemental and gas analysers. Despite the plasma type, the research showed that the bituminous soil’s surface morphology changed and resembled clean soil after the remediation. The EDX analysis revealed that the carbon content in the soil reduced from 70.14 wt.% to 7.70 wt.% and 5.74 wt.% and the sulphur concentration decreased from 2.64 wt.% to 0.70 wt.% and 0.74 wt.% after treatment in the environment of water vapour and air plasmas, respectively. The gas analysis revealed that bitumen was mainly decomposed into a synthesis gas (H2 + CO) and CO2, with concentrations ranging from 8.67% to 13.66% and 10.89% to 12.82% when air and water vapour plasma were used. Thus, both thermal plasmas effectively remediated soil, with the bitumen concentration not being detected or below the laboratory’s finding limit (<0.089 g/kg). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pollution Prevention, Mitigation and Sustainability)
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30 pages, 2751 KiB  
Article
Harnessing the Power of Algorithmic Human Resource Management and Human Resource Strategic Decision-Making for Achieving Organizational Success: An Empirical Analysis
by Mahmoud Abdulhadi Alabdali, Sami A. Khan, Muhammad Zafar Yaqub and Mohammed Awad Alshahrani
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114854 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 426
Abstract
This study examines the role of using algorithmic human resource management (HRM) to make strategic decisions concerning firms’ human resource (HR) activities. This study develops a scale to measure algorithmic HRM usage in its first phase. In the second phase, it is found [...] Read more.
This study examines the role of using algorithmic human resource management (HRM) to make strategic decisions concerning firms’ human resource (HR) activities. This study develops a scale to measure algorithmic HRM usage in its first phase. In the second phase, it is found that algorithmic HRM usage significantly impacts strategic HR decision-making, which helps and enables firms to create a competitive advantage. Utilizing the authors’ LinkedIn profiles, 234 participants were included in the fieldwork. Collected data were analyzed by applying partial least squares structure equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The mediating roles of HR strategic decision-making and HR digital maturity as moderators in enabling the impact of algorithmic HRM on the firm’s competitive advantage have been corroborated. This study finds a strong relationship between algorithmic HRM usage and competitive advantage, a significant relationship between algorithmic HRM usage and strategic HR decision-making, and a significant relationship between strategic HR decision-making and competitive advantage. The moderating role of HR digital maturity was insignificant in this research, paving the way for future research. This research, the model, and its findings contribute to the theory and implicate the practicality of algorithmic HRM. It is one of few papers addressing algorithmic HRM usage in a transitioning economy like Saudi Arabia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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16 pages, 5668 KiB  
Article
A Rapid Assessment Technique for Identifying Future Water Use and Pesticide Risks Due to Changing Cropping Patterns
by Jeffrey D. Mullen and Mary Katherine Rubin
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114853 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Changing weather patterns have already put pressure on cropping systems around the globe. Projected increases in mean temperatures and variance in precipitation will likely affect the profitability of current cropping patterns, leading to shifts in which crops are grown in a given location. [...] Read more.
Changing weather patterns have already put pressure on cropping systems around the globe. Projected increases in mean temperatures and variance in precipitation will likely affect the profitability of current cropping patterns, leading to shifts in which crops are grown in a given location. The pressure on water resources in a location, in terms of both water quantity and water quality, will also change with the types of crops grown. While the southeastern United States is projected to become warmer under each of the representative concentration pathways, it is also projected to become somewhat wetter. California’s Central Valley, where much of the fresh produce in the US is grown, will likely continue to suffer significant and extended droughts. The southeastern US is a prime candidate for expanding fresh produce production in response to reduced yields in the west. This paper explores the consequences on water withdrawals and water quality of shifting from row crop to vegetable production in the southeastern US. The water quality consequences are based on changes in pesticide products and application rates. The water quantity consequences are based on crop water needs. The methodology used here can be applied to other production systems around the world. Identifying the water quality and quantity implications of shifting cropping patterns is critical to the long-term sustainability of water resources. Full article
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15 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
Faith and Sustainability: Exploring Religiosity’s Impact on Intentions to Reduce Food Waste
by Tamer Baran, Cristina Lupu and Donatella Privitera
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114852 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
This study investigates the influence of religiosity on environmental concern and intentions to reduce food waste in Islam and Christianity. The study involves 575 adult participants, predominantly Muslims and Christians, utilizing the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL) religiosity scale, environmental concern scale, and [...] Read more.
This study investigates the influence of religiosity on environmental concern and intentions to reduce food waste in Islam and Christianity. The study involves 575 adult participants, predominantly Muslims and Christians, utilizing the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL) religiosity scale, environmental concern scale, and food waste reduction intention scale. The investigation was conducted in Romania, Italy, and Turkey. Utilizing structural equation modeling (SEM) via AMOS software, the research reveals that religiosity significantly affects environmental concern in both religious groups. Furthermore, environmental concern acts as a mediator between religiosity and both Muslim and Christian participants. Notably, the impact of religiosity on the intention to reduce food waste is significant among Muslims, but is not observed among Christians. The study underscores the importance of integrating religiosity into consumer behavior research, especially concerning food waste reduction. It suggests that religiosity and environmental concern are crucial for successful campaigns targeting food waste reduction among Muslim and Christian consumers. Full article
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17 pages, 2644 KiB  
Article
Can Environmental Protection Tax Decrease Urban Ozone Pollution? A Quasi-Natural Experiment Based on Cities in China
by Wenhao Xue, Zhenwu Xiong, Liyun Wang, Zhe Yang and Xinyao Li
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114851 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The air pollution control in China has gradually transitioned from single pollutant control to multi-pollutant collaborative governance. Among the relevant factors, the control of ozone (O3) pollution has received widespread attention. Among the numerous air pollution regulations, environmental protection tax (EPT) [...] Read more.
The air pollution control in China has gradually transitioned from single pollutant control to multi-pollutant collaborative governance. Among the relevant factors, the control of ozone (O3) pollution has received widespread attention. Among the numerous air pollution regulations, environmental protection tax (EPT) is highly valued, as it can effectively control the emissions of O3 precursors. The objective of this study is to investigate whether the implementation of an EPT can reduce urban O3 pollution in China. Based on this, we used the difference-in-differences (DID) method, combined with the panel data from 221 cities in China from 2015 to 2020, to conduct an empirical analysis of the impacts of EPT reform policy on O3 pollution. The econometrics results indicate that the EPT reform policy can effectively inhibit urban near-surface O3 pollution by approximately 2.1%, and this result was confirmed to be accurate by multiple robustness tests. Additionally, significant spatial heterogeneities of this control effect are captured in this paper. Due to urban development levels and geographical factors, the better pollution reduction effects were national-model environmental protection, and efforts based on inland cities and high-level financial cities. Furthermore, three potential mechanisms, including cutting energy consumption, industrial structure optimization, and technological advance, were verified as being relevant to the impact path of EPT reform policy as to O3 pollution. This paper can provide empirical evidence for O3 pollution control in China, and also contribute to the further improvement of environmental protection policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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30 pages, 18476 KiB  
Article
Mapping Maize Evapotranspiration with Two-Source Land Surface Energy Balance Approaches and Multiscale Remote Sensing Imagery Pixel Sizes: Accuracy Determination toward a Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture
by Edson Costa-Filho, José L. Chávez and Huihui Zhang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114850 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 438
Abstract
This study evaluated the performance of remote sensing (RS) algorithms for the estimation of actual maize evapotranspiration (ETa) using different spaceborne, airborne, and proximal multispectral data in a semi-arid climate region to identify the optimal platform that provides the best ET [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the performance of remote sensing (RS) algorithms for the estimation of actual maize evapotranspiration (ETa) using different spaceborne, airborne, and proximal multispectral data in a semi-arid climate region to identify the optimal platform that provides the best ETa estimates to improve irrigation water management and help make irrigated agriculture sustainable. The RS platforms used in the study included Landsat-8 (30 m pixel spatial resolution), Sentinel-2 (10 m), Planet CubeSat (3 m), multispectral radiometer or MSR (1 m), and a small uncrewed aerial system or sUAS (0.03 m). Two-source surface energy balance (TSEB) models, implementing the series and parallel surface resistance approaches, were used in this study to estimate hourly maize ETa. The data used in this study were obtained from two maize research sites in Greeley and Fort Collins, CO, USA, in 2020 and 2021. Each research site had different irrigation systems. The Greeley site had a subsurface drip system, while the Fort Collins site had surface irrigation (furrow). Maize ETa predictions were compared to observed maize ETa data from an eddy covariance system installed at each research site. Results indicated that the MSR5 proximal platform (1 m) provided optimal RS data for the TSEB algorithms. The MSR5 “point-based” nadir-looking surface reflectance data and surface radiometric temperature combination resulted in the smallest error when predicting hourly (mm/h) maize ETa. The mean bias and root mean square errors (MBE and RMSE, respectively), when predicting maize hourly ETa using the MSR5 sensor data, were equal to −0.02 (−3%) ± 0.07 (11%) mm/h MBE ± RMSE and −0.02 (−3%) ± 0.09 (14%) mm/h for the TSEB parallel and series approaches, respectively. The poorest performance, when predicting hourly TSEB maize ETa, was from Landsat-8 (30 m) multispectral data combined with its original thermal data, since the errors were −0.03 (−5%) ± 0.16 (29%) mm/h and −0.07 (−13%) ± 0.15 (29%) mm/h for the TSEB parallel and series approaches, respectively. These results indicate the need to develop methods to improve the quality of the RS data from sub-optimal platforms/sensors/scales/calibration to further advance sustainable irrigation water management. Full article
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27 pages, 575 KiB  
Article
Emergence and Development of Transformative Capacities for the Sustainability of the Agri-Food System: The Process in Valdivia, Chile
by Nancy Sarabia and Jordi Peris
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114849 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Local agri-food disruptive innovations are becoming increasingly crucial for the transformation of agri-food regimes towards sustainability. This study incorporates a systemic approach to explore the relevance of various capacities available at the city region level to prepare, initiate, and lead a change in [...] Read more.
Local agri-food disruptive innovations are becoming increasingly crucial for the transformation of agri-food regimes towards sustainability. This study incorporates a systemic approach to explore the relevance of various capacities available at the city region level to prepare, initiate, and lead a change in the sustainability trajectory of local agri-food systems. It explores the city of Valdivia, Chile, which has a large movement of sustainable cooperatives and diverse disruptive private and public agri-food initiatives that are challenging the deep free-market economic and social model with an agro-exporting, competitive, and centralist focus. Through the systemic approach of sustainability transition studies, themes of emergence and development of local agri-food transition processes are being developed, and the findings are linked to studies of social movements and the social and solidarity economy. Full article
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22 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
Can Resource Dependency and Corporate Social Responsibility Drive Green Innovation Performance?
by Yibo Wang and Bocheng Wang
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114848 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 355
Abstract
As the producers of environmental pollution, it is urgent for enterprises to make up for their lack of environmental responsibility and to realize green transformation and development. At the same time, resource dependence is promoted from the single level of economic growth to [...] Read more.
As the producers of environmental pollution, it is urgent for enterprises to make up for their lack of environmental responsibility and to realize green transformation and development. At the same time, resource dependence is promoted from the single level of economic growth to the field of green development, which is a field of research and development on resource dependence and broadens the perspective of related research in the academic world. In this paper, we select panel data from 30 regions in China from 2009 to 2022 to validate the research on the impact of resource dependence and corporate social responsibility on green innovation performance. The conclusions are as follows: (1) From 2009 to 2022, the average industrial green innovation performance of the 30 provinces in China was 0.553, with the efficiency values of the eastern, central, and western regions showing a gradual decreasing trend. (2) We found a consistently negative correlation between resource dependency and green innovation performance, confirming the existence of a “resource curse” linking the two. Meanwhile, the regression coefficient of CSR for green innovation performance was positive, confirming the driving effect of the former on the latter. (3) The “resource curse” does not manifest conditionally or have a threshold effect. Instead, we found that it has long-term and persistent characteristics. Meanwhile, the impact of CSR on green innovation performance shows a “reverse N-shaped” double-threshold effect, where CSR can improve green innovation performance only when it reaches a certain threshold value. This paper provides insights to support Chinese enterprises in enhancing their green innovation performance and lays a theoretical foundation for enterprises to fulfill their social responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corporate Governance, Social Responsibility and Green Innovation)
23 pages, 14287 KiB  
Article
Constrained MPPT Strategy for Sustainable Wave Energy Converters with Magnetic Lead Screw
by Wei Zhong, Meng Zhang, Jiahui Zhang, Jiaqi Liu and Haitao Yu
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114847 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Emerging magnetic lead screws (MLSs) have been proven to be promising in sustainable wave energy conversion areas due to their high efficiency and power density. This study is aimed at developing a constrained maximum power point tracking (MPPT) strategy for MLS-based wave energy [...] Read more.
Emerging magnetic lead screws (MLSs) have been proven to be promising in sustainable wave energy conversion areas due to their high efficiency and power density. This study is aimed at developing a constrained maximum power point tracking (MPPT) strategy for MLS-based wave energy converters (WECs). In this paper, the mechanism of the MLS is analyzed and the dynamic model of the MLS-based WEC is established. The variations in hydrodynamic coefficients were analyzed using ANSYS AQWA, based on which the theoretical MPPT requirements were explored. Afterward, two constraints (stroke and translator force constraint) were introduced to ensure the safe operation of the converter. An adaptive constrained genetic algorithm (ACGA) was applied to realize MPPT under constraints. For irregular wave situations, an extended Kalman filter (EKF) was applied to estimate the frequency and amplitude of the wave excitation force with which the constrained GA can be realized. Simulations and experiments were carried out to verify the constrained MPPT. In the two cases (wind speed u = 7 m/s and u = 10 m/s) of the simulation, the proposed ACGA can improve the energy harvest rate by 3.95% and 3.57% compared to the standard constrained genetic algorithm (SCGA), while this rate was improved by 6% in the experimental case. Full article
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13 pages, 432 KiB  
Review
Definition of Food Consumption, Loss, and Waste
by Arkalgud Ramaprasad and Shwetmala Kashyap
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114846 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 461
Abstract
The global food system has three recognized challenges: (a) increasing the availability of food for consumption; (b) reducing food loss; and (c) reducing food waste. The increasing demand for food for consumption, the increasing quantity of food loss, and the corresponding increase in [...] Read more.
The global food system has three recognized challenges: (a) increasing the availability of food for consumption; (b) reducing food loss; and (c) reducing food waste. The increasing demand for food for consumption, the increasing quantity of food loss, and the corresponding increase in food waste are resulting in serious health, aesthetic, social, economic, and environmental problems due to a lack of appropriate planning and management. Despite its importance, there is no clear, concise, and comprehensive definition of food consumption, loss, and waste. Generally, food consumption, food loss, and food waste are dealt with separately. This article presents a logically constructed ontological framework of food consumption, loss, and waste. It gives equal importance to all three aspects of global food management. The systemic ontological framework is general, and the analysis can be applied to any country. The framework deconstructs the combinatorial complexity of the problem and explicates the pathways to manage the consumption, loss, and waste. The ontological framework encapsulates 19 × 11 × 7 × 4 × 6 = 35,112 possible components of the challenge. A critical analysis based on available data using the framework will help to develop strategies to deal with the problem. It can help us to discover the gaps and to find ways to bridge the gaps. It is a novel way to conceptualize food consumption, loss, and waste together. Full article
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22 pages, 11699 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Effects of Urban Development in Ten Chinese Node Cities along the Belt and Road Initiative on Vegetation Net Primary Productivity
by Gaosheng Liu, Jie Pan, Yuxin Jiang, Xinquan Ye and Fan Shao
Sustainability 2024, 16(11), 4845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16114845 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Urbanization and economic growth in node cities surged due to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), leading to significant environmental changes, notably in vegetation net primary productivity (NPP). Investigating the ecological impact of these urban changes was crucial, despite scarce relevant studies. We [...] Read more.
Urbanization and economic growth in node cities surged due to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), leading to significant environmental changes, notably in vegetation net primary productivity (NPP). Investigating the ecological impact of these urban changes was crucial, despite scarce relevant studies. We employed Sen’s slope estimation and Mann–Kendall trend analysis to study NPP trends (2005–2020) in ten Belt and Road node cities. The Optimized Parameters Geographic Detector Model (OPGD) analyzed factors impacting NPP and their interactions. Results revealed significant NPP variations among the ten cities, ranging from 656.47 gCm−2a−1 to 250.55 gCm−2a−1, with over 79% showing increasing trends. Since 2013, Chongqing, Wuhan, Hefei, Nanchang, and Changsha experienced declining NPP, while the other five cities saw an increase. Natural factors like temperature, precipitation, and DEM predominantly influence rising NPP trends, while anthropogenic factors like land use changes and nighttime light drive NPP decline. Land use changes, with 39.0% explanatory power, primarily affect NPP. After 2013, construction land increased by 117.7 km2 on average, while arable land decreased by 274.8 km2, contributing to decreased vegetation cover NPP. Nighttime lights explained up to 25% of NPP variance. Regions with high nocturnal light values exhibited more developed urbanization but comparatively lower NPP levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Sustainable Land Use—2nd Edition)
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