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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 12 (December 2014) , Pages 8348-9563

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Open AccessArticle
Do Current European Policies Prevent Soil Threats and Support Soil Functions?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9538-9563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129538 - 22 Dec 2014
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3461
Abstract
There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil [...] Read more.
There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil threats, namely compaction, salinization and soil sealing, were not addressed in any of the 19 legislative policies that were analyzed. Other soil threats, such as erosion, decline in organic matter, loss of biodiversity and contamination, were covered in existing legislation, but only a few directives provided targets for reducing the soil threats. Existing legislation addresses the reduction of the seven soil functions that were analyzed, but there are very few directives for improving soil functions. Because soil degradation is ongoing in Europe, it raises the question whether existing legislation is sufficient for maintaining soil resources. Addressing soil functions individually in various directives fails to account for the multifunctionality of soil. This paper suggests that a European Soil Framework Directive would increase the effectiveness of conserving soil functions in the EU. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Rebound Effects Explain Why Sustainable Mobility Has Not Been Achieved?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9510-9537; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129510 - 19 Dec 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3393
Abstract
Since the report “Our Common Future” launched sustainable development as a primary goal for society in 1987, both scientific and political discussions about the term’s definition and how to achieve sustainable development have ensued. The manifold negative environmental impacts of transportation are an [...] Read more.
Since the report “Our Common Future” launched sustainable development as a primary goal for society in 1987, both scientific and political discussions about the term’s definition and how to achieve sustainable development have ensued. The manifold negative environmental impacts of transportation are an important contributor to the so-far non-sustainable development in financially rich areas of the world. Thus, achieving sustainable mobility is crucial to achieving the wider challenge of sustainable development. In this article, we limit our sustainability focus to that of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We discuss whether rebound effects can reveal why sustainable mobility has not been reached. Rebound effects refer to behavioral or other systemic responses after the implementation of new technologies or other measures to reduce energy consumption. Three main strategies exist for achieving sustainable mobility: efficiency, substitution, and volume reduction. (1) The efficiency strategy is based on the idea that environmental problems caused by transport can be improved by developing new and more efficient technologies to replace old, inefficient, and polluting materials and methods; (2) The second strategy—substitution—argues for a change to less polluting means of transport; (3) The volume reduction strategy argue that efficiency and substitution are not sufficient, we must fundamentally change behavior and consumption patterns; people must travel less, and freight volumes must decrease. We found rebound effects associated with all three of the main strategies that will lead to offsetting expected savings in energy use and GHG emissions in the transport sector. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Health and Environmental Concerns Meet in Food Choices?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9494-9509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129494 - 19 Dec 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2324
Abstract
The objective of the study is to analyze if there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in food choices. We used data of 300 Italian consumers collected through a vis-à-vis survey. We performed cross-tabulations and chi-square tests for a selected [...] Read more.
The objective of the study is to analyze if there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in food choices. We used data of 300 Italian consumers collected through a vis-à-vis survey. We performed cross-tabulations and chi-square tests for a selected set of variables measuring both types of concerns, segmenting the sample by age, gender and education. Our results suggest that the association between health and environmental concerns is often statistically significant, though we observe a high variable specificity of the associations. Socio-demographic conditions seem to play a role in determining the association between the two concerns, with middle-aged and/or highly-educated respondents showing a stronger association between health and environmental concerns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Sustainability of the Alumina Industry in Western Europe
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9477-9493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129477 - 18 Dec 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
The implementation of European policies on environmental protection is enforcing some substantial modifications in the processing methods and technologies traditionally adopted in the alumina industry and, in particular, in the management of the alumina residue produced. The article analyses the evolution of the [...] Read more.
The implementation of European policies on environmental protection is enforcing some substantial modifications in the processing methods and technologies traditionally adopted in the alumina industry and, in particular, in the management of the alumina residue produced. The article analyses the evolution of the alumina production and the residue disposal practices in Western Europe. Some critical aspects regarding the legal implementation of the EU Directive on the landfill of waste are highlighted and discussed. With reference to the requirements established for the landfill of non-hazardous waste, a key point is represented by the possibility of reducing the deposit protection measures if the collection and treatment of leachate is not necessary. The flexibility introduced by the Directive is not incorporated into the Italian law; this fact may represent a major issue in the prospect of disposal conversion from wet to dry methods for companies operating in Italy, as it may endanger the economic sustainability of the plants’ upgrade, as well as the opportunity to attract outside investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Governing GMOs: The (Counter) Movement for Mandatory and Voluntary Non-GMO Labels
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9456-9476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129456 - 18 Dec 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6512
Abstract
Since 2012 the anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) movement has gained significant grassroots momentum in its efforts to require mandatory GMO food labels through state-level ballot and legislative efforts. Major food and agriculture corporations are opposed to mandatory GMO labels and have successfully defeated [...] Read more.
Since 2012 the anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) movement has gained significant grassroots momentum in its efforts to require mandatory GMO food labels through state-level ballot and legislative efforts. Major food and agriculture corporations are opposed to mandatory GMO labels and have successfully defeated most of these initiatives. Nevertheless, these battles have garnered significant media attention and re-energized the debate over GMO crops and foods. In this paper, we argue that one of the most significant outcomes of this fight is efforts by food retailers and value-based food companies to implement voluntary non-GMO labels and brands. We draw on the governance and political consumerism literature to explore (counter) movement efforts for mandatory labels and how these efforts are being institutionalized through private voluntary governance institutions. Our assessment is based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with key informants from consumer and environmental organizations, agriculture and biotech companies, and government regulatory agencies, as well as a content analysis of food industry websites. A growing number of food retailers recognize the reputational and economic value that new niche markets for non-GMO foods can offer, while the anti-GMO movement views these efforts as a step in the direction of mandatory GMO labels. We conclude that voluntary labels may act to settle the labeling debate by mollifying agri-food industry concerns about mandatory labeling and meeting the desire of political consumers for greater choice and transparency but without addressing the broader social and environmental sustainability concerns that drives the anti-GMO movement in the first place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing the Sustainability of a Location-Aware Service through Optimization
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9441-9455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129441 - 18 Dec 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1876
Abstract
A location-aware service (LAS) is an imperative topic in ambient intelligence; an LAS recommends suitable utilities to a user based on the user’s location and context. However, current LASs have several problems, and most of these services do not last. This study proposes [...] Read more.
A location-aware service (LAS) is an imperative topic in ambient intelligence; an LAS recommends suitable utilities to a user based on the user’s location and context. However, current LASs have several problems, and most of these services do not last. This study proposes an optimization-based approach for enhancing the sustainability of an LAS. In this paper, problems related to optimizing a LAS system are presented. The distinct nature of a LAS optimization problem in comparison with traditional optimization problems is subsequently described. Existing methods applicable to solving a LAS optimization problem are also reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are then discussed as a motive for combining multiple optimization methods in this study, as illustrated by an example. Finally, opportunities and challenges faced by researchers in this field are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teaching Interdisciplinary Sustainability Science Teamwork Skills to Graduate Students Using In-Person and Web-Based Interactions
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9428-9440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129428 - 17 Dec 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2971
Abstract
Interdisciplinary sustainability science teamwork skills are essential for addressing the world’s most pressing and complex sustainability problems, which inherently have social, natural, and engineering science dimensions. Further, because sustainability science problems exist at global scales, interdisciplinary science teams will need to consist of [...] Read more.
Interdisciplinary sustainability science teamwork skills are essential for addressing the world’s most pressing and complex sustainability problems, which inherently have social, natural, and engineering science dimensions. Further, because sustainability science problems exist at global scales, interdisciplinary science teams will need to consist of international members who communicate and work together effectively. Students trained in international interdisciplinary science skills will be able to hit the ground running when they obtain jobs requiring them to tackle sustainability problems. While many universities now have sustainability science programs, few offer courses that are interdisciplinary and international in scope. In the fall semester of 2013, we piloted a course for graduate students entitled “Principles of Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research” at Michigan Technological University. This course was part of our United States National Science Foundation Partnerships in International Research and Education project on bioenergy development impacts across the Americas. In this case study, we describe the course development and implementation, share critical insights from our experience teaching the course and student learning outcomes, and give recommendations for future similar courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Approaches in Education)
Open AccessReview
The Legal Structure of Taiwan’s Wetland Conservation Act
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9418-9427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129418 - 16 Dec 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2246
Abstract
In July of 2013, Taiwan passed its Wetland Conservation Act and will begin the implementation of the Act on 2 February 2015. With this Act, Taiwan has become the second Asian country to have specific legislation on wetland conservation and protection. This new [...] Read more.
In July of 2013, Taiwan passed its Wetland Conservation Act and will begin the implementation of the Act on 2 February 2015. With this Act, Taiwan has become the second Asian country to have specific legislation on wetland conservation and protection. This new law enables the society to achieve sustainable utilization on wetland ecological services. The core concepts of the Wetland Conversation Act include biological diversity conservation and wise use of wetland resources. Special political circumstances prevent Taiwan from registering its wetlands as a conservation priority under the Ramsar Convention. This new law allows the government to evaluate and assign a specific area as a “Wetland of Importance.” Under this status, any development activities within the designated area shall be prohibited unless the developer prepares a usage plan for review. The usage plan and the original usage of the natural resources within the wetland area shall also follow the “wise use” principle to protect the wetland and biological service system. However, this new law does not provide clear separation between the two different “wise use” standards. If the development is deemed necessary, new law provides compensation mitigation measures to extend the surface of the wetland and provides additional habitats for various species. Wetland conservation and management rely heavily on systematic research and fundamental data regarding Taiwan’s wetlands. Determining how to adopt these scientific methodologies and transfer them into enforceable mechanisms is a sizeable challenge for both biologists and lawyers as the Wetland Conservation Act creates many legal norms without clarifying definitions. This article will review the current wetland regulations from the legal perspective and provide suggestions for enforcement in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Feasibility Analysis of Establishing Multilateral Nuclear Approaches (MNAs) in the Asian Region and the Middle East
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9398-9417; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129398 - 16 Dec 2014
Viewed by 1680
Abstract
To establish frameworks for multilateral nuclear approaches (MNAs), we identified challenges and their possible solutions through case studies proposing to establish three different MNAs, comprising existing states in the Asian region and the Middle East, in accordance with twelve features deemed necessary for [...] Read more.
To establish frameworks for multilateral nuclear approaches (MNAs), we identified challenges and their possible solutions through case studies proposing to establish three different MNAs, comprising existing states in the Asian region and the Middle East, in accordance with twelve features deemed necessary for establishing MNAs. In all case studies, political instability of MNA member states and the region, as well as political conflicts between MNA member states and other states were seen as challenges hindering the establishment of MNAs. There are no simple measures to overcome such challenges, but additional case-by-case measures, including the direct involvement of international organizations, supplier states and nuclear weapon states, in MNAs, as well as the application of regional safeguards and regional systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material (RSAC) within MNAs, may contribute toward mitigating the political challenges. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Story Marketing and Travel Involvement on Tourist Behavioral Intention in the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9387-9397; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129387 - 16 Dec 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2915
Abstract
Story marketing has been widely applied to modern societies. As a matter of fact, attraction is a critical part of tourism for any visitor attractions throughout the world. A visitor attraction requires sufficient attraction to appeal to customers’ interests. Story marketing is currently [...] Read more.
Story marketing has been widely applied to modern societies. As a matter of fact, attraction is a critical part of tourism for any visitor attractions throughout the world. A visitor attraction requires sufficient attraction to appeal to customers’ interests. Story marketing is currently the most popular marketing strategy. The success of using stories in visitor attractions as a marketing tactic for tourism attraction lies in the fact that story-telling is able to best attract people. Both adults and children love listening to stories, which can lead a way to people’s hearts and stories are also the best strategy for communication with others. Aimed at visitors to the Wushe Township as the research participants, a total of 500 copies of questionnaires were distributed, and 287 valid ones retrieved, with a retrieval rate of 57%. The research results show: (1) a significantly positive effect of story marketing on travel involvement; (2) a notably positive effect of travel involvement on behavioral intention; (3) remarkably positive effect of story marketing on behavioral intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Outward Extension of an Ecological Footprint in City Expansion: The Case of Beijing
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9371-9386; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129371 - 16 Dec 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4609
Abstract
A biologically productive area was used in the ecological footprint method to measure the demand and impact of human activities on the natural capital, and further, to judge whether the impact is within the scope of the regional bio-capacity. In this presentation, an [...] Read more.
A biologically productive area was used in the ecological footprint method to measure the demand and impact of human activities on the natural capital, and further, to judge whether the impact is within the scope of the regional bio-capacity. In this presentation, an indicator “ecological footprint distance (Def)” is proposed. The results indicated that the proposed indicator Def could identify the outward extension of a city’s ecological footprint with the city’s rapid expansion. From 2008 to 2012, the proportion of imported bio-capacity increased approximately from 48% to 64%, which implied that the ecological impact of Beijing had expanded year by year. The Def of Beijing increased from 567 km in 2008 to 677 km in 2012, with an average annual increase of about 25 km. From the perspective of seasonal change, Beijing’s ecological footprint distance in winter and spring was much higher than in summer and fall. The main features of provincial-spatial distribution of Beijing’s Def were as follows: grain and oil and meat and eggs were mainly supplied by Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and Inner Mongolia; yet vegetable and fruit were mainly supplied by Hainan, Guangdong, Hebei and Shandong. Measures should be taken to decentralize the sources of imported bio-capacity, so as to ensure a sustainable development in Metropolitan cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis and Projection of the Relationship between Industrial Structure and Land Use Structure in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9343-9370; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129343 - 16 Dec 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario [...] Read more.
Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario analysis and projection of the relationship between the industrial structure and land use structure of the thirty-one provinces in China from 2010 to 2020, the proportions of secondary and tertiary industry in each province have been increasing; correspondingly, the proportion of agriculture has been decreasing. This means that the industrial structure of China is changing. As for land use, in general, the trend is similar to the industrial structure changes. The transformation of the structure of industrial development and land use has driven economic structure changes in China. The economic structure has an inclination to transform from agriculture to both secondary and tertiary industry. Along with industrial transformation, the cultivated land in China shows a trend of continuous decline. Empirical analysis results indicate that a decrease of cultivated land is acceptable under the scenario of economic growth in the next ten years. This shows a possibility that the economic efficiency of land use for cultivation and business services will decline, and more attention ought to be paid to increasing the economic efficiency of land use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Alternative Passenger Vehicles
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9305-9342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129305 - 16 Dec 2014
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 4477
Abstract
Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with four [...] Read more.
Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with four different all-electric ranges, and full battery electric vehicles (BEV). In total, 19 macro level sustainability indicators are quantified for a scenario in which electric vehicles are charged through the existing U.S. power grid with no additional infrastructure, and an extreme scenario in which electric vehicles are fully charged with solar charging stations. The analysis covers all life cycle phases from the material extraction, processing, manufacturing, and operation phases to the end-of-life phases of vehicles and batteries. Results of this analysis revealed that the manufacturing phase is the most influential phase in terms of socio-economic impacts compared to other life cycle phases, whereas operation phase is the most dominant phase in the terms of environmental impacts and some of the socio-economic impacts such as human health and economic cost of emissions. Electric vehicles have less air pollution cost and human health impacts compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. The economic cost of emissions and human health impact reduction potential can be up to 45% and 35%, respectively, if electric vehicles are charged through solar charging stations. Electric vehicles have potential to generate income for low and medium skilled workers in the U.S. In addition to quantified sustainability indicators, some sustainability metrics were developed to compare relative sustainability performance alternative passenger vehicles. BEV has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and ecological land footprint per $ of its contribution to the U.S. GDP, and has the lowest ecological footprint per unit of its energy consumption. The only sustainability metrics that does not favor the BEV is the water-energy ratio, where the conventional gasoline vehicle performed best. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Regional Sustainability Using a Model of Coordinated Development Index: A Case Study of Mainland China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9282-9304; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129282 - 15 Dec 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2266
Abstract
From a holistic view, this paper addresses a perspective of coordinated development of economy, society, and environment for regional sustainability assessment. Firstly, a comprehensive indicator system for co-evaluating the level of economic, social, and environmental subsystems is presented based on a holistic understanding [...] Read more.
From a holistic view, this paper addresses a perspective of coordinated development of economy, society, and environment for regional sustainability assessment. Firstly, a comprehensive indicator system for co-evaluating the level of economic, social, and environmental subsystems is presented based on a holistic understanding of regional sustainability. Then, a coordinated development index model focusing on the level of coordination among the subsystems as well as their comprehensive development level is established. Furthermore, an empirical study of all the provinces and municipalities is conducted by collecting the panel data from 2004 to 2010. The result shows that: (1) the coordinated developments of the most developed and the most underdeveloped regions stay stable while the regions with medium development level possess more fluctuant trends during the study years; (2) regional disparities are indicated according to the grading of CDI (the coordinated development index), which are further analyzed to be related to the local economic development patterns; (3) the conditions and causes of economic, social, and environmental development in real situations under different grades of CDI are discussed through detailed case studies of typical regions, which indicate specific suggestions of sustainable development for regions in the same pattern. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Assessment of Solid Waste Management in China: A Decoupling and Decomposition Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9268-9281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129268 - 15 Dec 2014
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3504
Abstract
As the largest solid waste (SW) generator in the world, China is facing serious pollution issues induced by increasing quantities of SW. The sustainability assessment of SW management is very important for designing relevant policy for further improving the overall efficiency of solid [...] Read more.
As the largest solid waste (SW) generator in the world, China is facing serious pollution issues induced by increasing quantities of SW. The sustainability assessment of SW management is very important for designing relevant policy for further improving the overall efficiency of solid waste management (SWM). By focusing on industrial solid waste (ISW) and municipal solid waste (MSW), the paper investigated the sustainability performance of SWM by applying decoupling analysis, and further identified the main drivers of SW change in China by adopting Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) model. The results indicate that China has made a great achievement in SWM which was specifically expressed as the increase of ISW utilized amount and harmless disposal ratio of MSW, decrease of industrial solid waste discharged (ISWD), and absolute decoupling of ISWD from economic growth as well. However, China has a long way to go to achieve the goal of sustainable management of SW. The weak decoupling, even expansive negative decoupling of ISW generation and MSW disposal suggests that China needs timely technology innovation and rational institutional arrangement to reduce SW intensity from the source and promote classification and recycling. The factors of investment efficiency and technology are the main determinants of the decrease in SW, inversely, economic growth has increased SW discharge. The effects of investment intensity showed a volatile trend over time but eventually decreased SW discharged. Moreover, the factors of population and industrial structure slightly increased SW. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Method for Proposing Valued-Adding Attributes in Customized Housing
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9244-9267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129244 - 12 Dec 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2572
Abstract
In most emerging economies, there has been many incentives and high availability of funding for low-cost housing projects. This has encouraged product standardization and the application of mass production ideas, based on the assumption that this is the most effective strategy for reducing [...] Read more.
In most emerging economies, there has been many incentives and high availability of funding for low-cost housing projects. This has encouraged product standardization and the application of mass production ideas, based on the assumption that this is the most effective strategy for reducing costs. However, the delivery of highly standardized housing units to customers with different needs, without considering their lifestyle and perception of value, often results in inadequate products. Mass customization has been pointed out as an effective strategy to improve value generation in low-cost housing projects, and to avoid waste caused by renovations done in dwellings soon after occupancy. However, one of the main challenges for the implementation of mass customization is the definition of a set of relevant options based on users’ perceived value. The aim of this paper is to propose a method for defining value adding attributes in customized housing projects, which can support decision-making in product development. The means-end chain theory was used as theoretical framework to connect product attributes and costumers’ values, through the application of the laddering technique. The method was tested in two house-building projects delivered by a company from Brazil. The main contribution of this method is to indicate the customization units that are most important for users along with the explanation of why those units are the most relevant ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Empirical Evaluation of the Effect of Heat Gain from Fiber Optic Daylighting System on Tropical Building Interiors
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9231-9243; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129231 - 12 Dec 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
A fiber optic daylighting system is an evolving technology for transporting illumination from sunlight into building interiors. This system is a solution developed by daylighting designers to reduce operational costs and enhance comfort. As an innovative technology, fiber optic daylighting systems can illuminate [...] Read more.
A fiber optic daylighting system is an evolving technology for transporting illumination from sunlight into building interiors. This system is a solution developed by daylighting designers to reduce operational costs and enhance comfort. As an innovative technology, fiber optic daylighting systems can illuminate building interiors efficiently compared with other daylighting strategies. However, as a transmission medium in daylighting systems, optical fibers require uniform light distribution in sunlight concentration, which could generate heat. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of heat buildup produced by end-emitting fiber optic daylighting systems in tropical buildings. The applied method adopts a new fiber optic daylighting system technology from Sweden called Parans SP3, with a 10 m cable to be tested in an actual room size under the Malaysian climatic environment, particularly within the vicinity of the main campus of the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Results show that the system generated a temperature of 1.3 °C under average conditions through fiber optic diffusers and increases indoor temperature by 0.8 °C in a 60 m3 room. According to the results, applying fiber optic daylighting systems, as renewable energy sources, generates extra heat gain in building interiors in the tropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Fishprint of Coastal Fisheries in Jalisco, Mexico
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9218-9230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129218 - 12 Dec 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Coastal fisheries contribute to global food security, since fish are an important source of protein for many coastal communities in the world. However, they are constrained by problems, such as weak management of fisheries and overfishing. Local communities perceive that they are fishing [...] Read more.
Coastal fisheries contribute to global food security, since fish are an important source of protein for many coastal communities in the world. However, they are constrained by problems, such as weak management of fisheries and overfishing. Local communities perceive that they are fishing less, as in other fisheries in the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fisheries sustainability in the Jalisco coast through the fishing footprint, or fishprint (FP), based on the primary productivity required (PPR) and the appropriated surface by the activity (biocapacity). The total catch was 20,448.2 metric tons from 2002–2012, and the average footprint was calculated to be 65,458 gha/year, a figure that quadrupled in a period of 10 years; the biocapacity decreased, and the average trophic level of catches was 3.1, which implies that it has remained at average levels, resulting in a positive balance between biocapacity and ecological footprint. Therefore, under this approach, the fishing activity is sustainable along the coast of Jalisco. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Influences of Humorous Advertising on Brand Popularity and Advertising Effects in the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9205-9217; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129205 - 11 Dec 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3690
Abstract
With a diversity of promotional channels and ever-increasing numbers of participants, the tourism industry in Taiwan faces keen competition. Along with the direct cross-strait flights policy, groups like Eastern Multimedia Group, Tsann Kuen Enterprise Company Limited and Want Want China Times Group have [...] Read more.
With a diversity of promotional channels and ever-increasing numbers of participants, the tourism industry in Taiwan faces keen competition. Along with the direct cross-strait flights policy, groups like Eastern Multimedia Group, Tsann Kuen Enterprise Company Limited and Want Want China Times Group have founded travel agencies for the purpose of increasing their market share in the tourism industry. Therefore, the formulation of marketing strategies has become a critical issue for all travel agencies that wish to ensure their prominence in the market. The frequent use of humorous materials and appeals has been the main tendency in advertising. However, no consistent conclusions regarding the actual effects of humorous advertising have been determined. The subjects of the current study were users of the Lion Travel website. Online questionnaires were sent to and collected from random respondents. One hundred questionnaires were delivered, and 512 valid questionnaires were collected. Each collected questionnaire represented a valid sample. The study generated the following five results: (1) humorous advertisements may partially influence brand awareness; (2) humorous elements may partially influence advertising effects; (3) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the advertising attitude of advertising effects; (4) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the brand attitude of advertising effects; (5) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the purchasing intention of advertising effects. Eventually, it is anticipated that the results of this study can serve as a reference and provide suggestions for humorous advertising strategies in the tourism industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Increasing Production and Eliminating Waste through Lean Tools and Techniques for Halal Food Companies
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9179-9204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129179 - 11 Dec 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3692
Abstract
Major businesses around the world have been trying to reduce the total cost and wastes across their supply chain to remain competitive in the expanding global market. Hence, a collection of reliable tools and techniques are vital for decreasing costs and wastes and [...] Read more.
Major businesses around the world have been trying to reduce the total cost and wastes across their supply chain to remain competitive in the expanding global market. Hence, a collection of reliable tools and techniques are vital for decreasing costs and wastes and for providing effective services for customer demands. Given that lean concept attempts to decrease costs and wastes, this study aims to identify the effective lean tools required for eliminating wastes in the supply chain. Because of the large number of consumers and the global market of Halal products, this study focuses on Halal food supply chains. Out of the questionnaires distributed to 300 Halal food firms in Malaysia, only 61 usable replies were obtained. The results showed that demand collaboration, continuous improvement, and inventory management practices are the most important tools in Lean Supply Chain (LSC) implementation. In addition, the results indicated that only a small percentage of Halal food companies are implementing LSC. Malaysia is an important Halal food producer in the word, but has low level of LSC implementation among its Halal food producers. LSC is a new concept that needs more effort to be understood and implemented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Commercialization Development of Crop Straw Gasification Technologies in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9159-9178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129159 - 10 Dec 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
Crop straw gasification technologies are the most promising biomass gasification technologies and have great potential to be further developed in China. However, the commercialization development of gasification technology in China is slow. In this paper, the technical reliability and practicability of crop straw [...] Read more.
Crop straw gasification technologies are the most promising biomass gasification technologies and have great potential to be further developed in China. However, the commercialization development of gasification technology in China is slow. In this paper, the technical reliability and practicability of crop straw gasification technologies, the economic feasibility of gas supply stations, the economic feasibility of crop straw gasification equipment manufacture enterprises and the social acceptability of crop straw gasification technologies are analyzed. The results show that presently both the atmospheric oxidation gasification technology and the carbonization pyrolysis gasification technology in China are mature and practical, and can provide fuel gas for households. However, there are still a series of problems associated with these technologies that need to be solved for the commercialization development, such as the high tar and CO content of the fuel gas. The economic feasibility of the gas supply stations is different in China. Parts of gas supply stations are unprofitable due to high initial investment, the low fuel gas price and the small numbers of consumers. In addition, the commercialization development of crop straw gasification equipment manufacture enterprises is hindered for the low market demand for gasification equipment which is related to the fund support from the government. The acceptance of the crop straw gasification technologies from both the government and the farmers in China may be a driving force of further commercialization development of the gasification technologies. Then, the crop straw gasification technologies in China have reached at the stage of pre-commercialization. At this stage, the gasification technologies are basically mature and have met many requirements of commercialization, however, some incentives are needed to encourage their further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a Cell-Based Spatial Optimization Model for Land-Use Patterns Planning
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9139-9158; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129139 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3312
Abstract
This study developed a cell-based spatial optimization model compatible with the ArcGIS platform, termed Dynamically Dimensioned Search Landscape Optimization Planning model (DDSLOP), for landscape planning. The development of the proposed model was based on the Dynamically Dimensioned Search Algorithm, which can efficiently find [...] Read more.
This study developed a cell-based spatial optimization model compatible with the ArcGIS platform, termed Dynamically Dimensioned Search Landscape Optimization Planning model (DDSLOP), for landscape planning. The development of the proposed model was based on the Dynamically Dimensioned Search Algorithm, which can efficiently find an optimal global solution within the massive solution space inherent to multi-dimensional analysis. Therefore, the DDSLOP model can reveal landscape pattern scenarios suited to specific managerial purposes at a cellular level. To evaluate the DDSLOP model, we applied it to a landscape planning initiative that focused on the conservation of three bird species in the National Taiwan University Highland Experimental Farm (NTU-HEF). We compared the proposed model with the Land-Use Pattern Optimization-library (LUPOlib), which was used in the optimization of landscapes at a patch level. The results of the comparison revealed that our fine scale optimization method has better flexibility, and can therefore form landscape structures, which, overall, provides not only better individual habitats for the target species, but also landscape patterns that foster high habitat connectivity, both important aspects of conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Concentrations of Available Heavy Metals in Mediterranean Agricultural Soils and their Relation with Some Soil Selected Properties: A Case Study in Typical Mediterranean Soils
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9124-9138; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129124 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
The characterization of the content of trace metals in soils is an instrument in many programs of environmental protection, including the establishment of regional-level standards to detect sites affected by contamination. The objectives of the present study were to study the available levels [...] Read more.
The characterization of the content of trace metals in soils is an instrument in many programs of environmental protection, including the establishment of regional-level standards to detect sites affected by contamination. The objectives of the present study were to study the available levels of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface horizons of agricultural soils in a typical European Mediterranean region, to establish the geochemical baseline concentration (GBC), background level (BL), and reference value (RV) of each of these available metals, and to investigate their possible correlations with soil properties. To establish the GBC and RV values, we used the “standard threshold method”. Topsoil samples (0–20 cm) were collected from 630 sites, and extracted with Diethylene Triamine Pentaacetic Acid (DTPA) to determine their available heavy metal concentrations. The GBC values established were: 0.04 to 0.90 mg kg−1, 0.70 to 2.50 mg kg−1, 0.10 to 6.30 mg kg−1, 0.30 to 7.90 mg kg−1, 0.29 to 4.50 mg kg−1, and 0.18 to 2.50 mg kg−1 for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn, respectively. Soil properties were found to be correlated with the available heavy metal content, suggesting that the enhanced mobility of heavy metals are related to anthropic activities. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Marketization of Collective-owned Rural Land: A Breakthrough in Shenzhen, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9114-9123; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129114 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
This study focuses on analyzing the ongoing land policy reform that allows collective-owned rural land transactions in the open market in Shenzhen, China. Employing a case study method, we investigate this land policy evolution through description and contextual analysis. We argue that the [...] Read more.
This study focuses on analyzing the ongoing land policy reform that allows collective-owned rural land transactions in the open market in Shenzhen, China. Employing a case study method, we investigate this land policy evolution through description and contextual analysis. We argue that the existing dual-track land administration system, within which the state administers market transactions, has contributed to numerous social problems, such as urban land scarcity, inefficiency of land resource allocation, and exacerbated social injustice. Following the recent actions of the central government, a collective-owned rural land parcel in Shenzhen was officially transferred in November 2013, an action viewed as a landmark step in reforming the current dual-track land system. Though the generalization of Shenzhen’s experiment nationwide faces significant barriers, Shenzhen’s breakthrough in liberalization of the rural land market indicates that China is moving toward a potential new round of land policy revolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Speciation of Metals and Assessment of Contamination in Surface Sediments from Daya Bay, South China Sea
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9096-9113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129096 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2234
Abstract
The contents, speciation, source factors and potential ecological risks of the selected metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and As) were analyzed in surface sediments from Daya Bay (DYB). The results show that, with the exception of Pb, metal concentrations have decreased [...] Read more.
The contents, speciation, source factors and potential ecological risks of the selected metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and As) were analyzed in surface sediments from Daya Bay (DYB). The results show that, with the exception of Pb, metal concentrations have decreased at all sites over the past decade. The distribution features of these concentrations represent a ring shape that descends from shore to bay by varying degrees. Speciation analysis showed that Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and As exist mainly in the residual fraction and, thus, are of low bioavailability, while Cd and Pb were found to be abundant in the non-residual fraction and, thus, have high potential mobility. The ratio of heavy metals in non-residual form in descending order is Pb (78.83%), Cd (78.65%), Cu (48.54%), Zn (48.10%), Ni (38.31%), Cr (28.43%) and As (27.76%). The ratio of Pb content is the highest, meaning the highest mobility of Pb. The metals’ potential ecological risks to the environment were also assessed using the methods of the mean effect range-median quotient and the criteria of risk assessment code. The results showed that Cd presents the highest risk, and Pb and Cu are generally considered to be medium risks in the sub-basins of Daya Bay. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that natural coastal weathering and erosion of rock caused the highest input, followed by mariculture and industrial wastewater and, finally, domestic sewage discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Management of Municipal Solid Waste in One of the Galapagos Islands
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9080-9095; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129080 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
This paper analyses some aspects of the management of municipal solid waste in one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago. The aim is to point out a few aspects of an interesting experience that could help decision managers faced with the organization [...] Read more.
This paper analyses some aspects of the management of municipal solid waste in one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago. The aim is to point out a few aspects of an interesting experience that could help decision managers faced with the organization of the waste sector in similar realities. The relevance of this case study consists in the presence of a very famous National Park surrounding the inhabited area. The role of tourism in the generation of waste is analyzed too. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
On Financing of Urban Transition Viewed from the Oresund Area: When the Political Agenda of Urban Transition Meets the Market
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9057-9079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129057 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2061
Abstract
The “urban transition” agenda is as a conglomerate of ambitions derived from international policy documents and as applied in the Oresund area. Encompassing locally set goals for (i) climate change mitigation; (ii) energy efficiency; and (iii) human wellbeing in the built environment. Its [...] Read more.
The “urban transition” agenda is as a conglomerate of ambitions derived from international policy documents and as applied in the Oresund area. Encompassing locally set goals for (i) climate change mitigation; (ii) energy efficiency; and (iii) human wellbeing in the built environment. Its implementation is largely dependent on private sector joining in, since transitioning the building stock is to be financed by the market. This paper explores strategies to meet this agenda in the Oresund area. A particular focus is on the refurbishment of multi-family housing relative to these set goals. The paper finds meaningful differences between Denmark and Sweden. In general, exceptionally high energy standards come at an additional cost that is likely to be incompatible with rational economic behavior. Furthermore, actions appropriate for one goal are likely to have modest effects on ancillary goals. The paper concludes by suggesting to revisit current strategies in the Oresund area to reflect market constraints and to promote more coherent ways to achieve the set goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Profit Analysis and Supply Chain Planning Model for Closed-Loop Supply Chain in Fashion Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9027-9056; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129027 - 09 Dec 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5453
Abstract
In recent decades, due to market growth and use of synthetic fiber, the fashion industry faces a rapid increase of CO2 emission throughout the production cycle and raises environmental issues in recovery processing. This study proposes a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) structure [...] Read more.
In recent decades, due to market growth and use of synthetic fiber, the fashion industry faces a rapid increase of CO2 emission throughout the production cycle and raises environmental issues in recovery processing. This study proposes a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) structure in fashion industry and develops its planning model as multi-objective mixed integer linear programming to find an optimal trade-off between CLSC profit and CO2 emission. The planning model is associated with the profit analysis of each member in CLSC to find the optimal price of products on CLSC network. The model determines optimal production, transportation, and inventory quantities on CLSC network. The proposed models are validated using numerical experiments and sensitivity analyses, and from the results some managerial insights are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
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Open AccessArticle
A Monetary Measure of Inclusive Goods: The Concept of Deliberative Appraisal in the Context of Urban Agriculture
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9007-9026; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6129007 - 05 Dec 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2444
Abstract
In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic impact [...] Read more.
In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic impact generated by urban agriculture (UA). There are numerous and greatly varied effects, linked to localization, that are consistent with the paradigm of sustainable development, although the sporadic, spontaneous, and discontinued nature of UA conditions its capacity to strongly influence an entire community. With a view to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of urban agriculture, and to facilitating its planning, this study puts forward the implementation of an organized and multifunctional agro-urban system. The consent of the population involved is vital for the creation and implementation of the system, therefore ascertaining not only the existence but also the level of social appreciation of this resource is of paramount importance. With the aim of providing a suitable methodology for ascertaining the social appreciation of the stakeholders in the agro-urban system, the paper puts forward a deliberative monetary appraisal that combines an economic valuation based on hypothetic scenarios with direct, inclusive, and dialogic approaches. In this paper we present: (1) a general overview of the main characteristics of urban agriculture and related problems; (2) the principal methodological elements for defining and planning an agro-urban system; and (3) guidelines for a deliberative appraisal procedure related to an agro-urban system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
An Entropy-Perspective Study on the Sustainable Development Potential of Tourism Destination Ecosystem in Dunhuang, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8980-9006; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6128980 - 05 Dec 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2675
Abstract
This paper analyzed the characteristic of the tourism destination ecosystem from perspective of entropy in Dunhuang City. Given these circumstances, an evaluation index system that considers the potential of sustainable development was formed based on dissipative structure and entropy change for the tourism [...] Read more.
This paper analyzed the characteristic of the tourism destination ecosystem from perspective of entropy in Dunhuang City. Given these circumstances, an evaluation index system that considers the potential of sustainable development was formed based on dissipative structure and entropy change for the tourism destination ecosystem. The sustainable development potential evaluation model for tourism destination ecosystem was built up based on information entropy. Then, we analyzed each indicator impact for the sustainable development potential and proposed some measures for the tourism destination ecosystem. The conclusions include: (a) the requirements of Dunhuang tourism destination ecosystem on the natural ecosystem continuously grew between 2000 and 2012; (b) The sustainable development potential of the Dunhuang tourism destination ecosystem was on an oscillation upward trend during the study period, which is dependent on government attention, and pollution problems were improved. Full article
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