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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Model of Chinese Household Kitchen Waste Separation Behavior: A Case Study in Beijing City
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101083 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
High participation rates by the public in authority projects are key in increasing resident recycling levels. Understanding waste separation behavior is crucial to achieving sustainable waste management within such household-based schemes. To identify the driving forces behind the seldom-discussed kitchen garbage separation behavior, [...] Read more.
High participation rates by the public in authority projects are key in increasing resident recycling levels. Understanding waste separation behavior is crucial to achieving sustainable waste management within such household-based schemes. To identify the driving forces behind the seldom-discussed kitchen garbage separation behavior, five psychological factors, namely, attitude, perceived behavior control, subjective norms, moral norms, and responsibility denial, are established. Our data originate from a social study of Beijing citizens conducted in July 2013 (n = 362). Through structural equation modeling, we find that moral norms are consistently the most important predictor of household kitchen waste (KW) separation behavior. Subjective norms have a larger effect on such behavior than responsibility denial. Data analysis shows that perceived behavior control contributes significantly and independently to the explanation of such behavior. By contrast, attitude towards KW separation is found to be significantly negatively correlated with separation behavior. In conclusion, the model with direct and indirect effects of psychological factors explains 50.3% of the variance in household KW source separation behavior. Implications of the results for the promotion of household KW separation programs are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Group Management Scheme for Sustainable and Secure Information Sensing in IoT
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101081 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
The services provided to users in the environment associated with the Internet of Things (hereinafter referred to as IoT) begin with the information collected from sensors. It is imperative to transmit high-quality sensor data for providing better services. It is also required to [...] Read more.
The services provided to users in the environment associated with the Internet of Things (hereinafter referred to as IoT) begin with the information collected from sensors. It is imperative to transmit high-quality sensor data for providing better services. It is also required to collect data only from those authenticated sensors. Moreover, it is imperative to collect high-quality data on a sustainable and continuous basis in order to provide services anytime and anywhere in the IoT environment. Therefore, high-quality, authenticated sensor networks should be constructed. The most prominent routing protocol to enhance the energy consumption efficiency for the sustainable data collection in a sensor network is the LEACH routing protocol. The LEACH routing protocol transmits sensor data by measuring the energy of sensors and allocating sensor groups dynamically. However, these sensor networks have vulnerabilities such as key leakage, eavesdropping, replay attack and relay attack, given the nature of wireless network communication. A large number of security techniques have been studied in order to solve these vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, these studies still cannot support the dynamic sensor group allocation of the LEACH routing protocol. Furthermore, they are not suitable for the sensor nodes whose hardware computing ability and energy resources are limited. Therefore, this paper proposed a group sensor communication protocol that utilizes only the four fundamental arithmetic operations and logical operation for the sensor node authentication and secure data transmission. Through the security analysis, this paper verified that the proposed scheme was secure to the vulnerabilities resulting from the nature of wireless network communication. Moreover, this paper verified through the performance analysis that the proposed scheme could be utilized efficiently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermoeconomic Analysis and Optimization of a New Combined Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Recompression Brayton/Kalina Cycle
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101079 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
A new combined supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton/Kalina cycle (SCRB/KC) is proposed. In the proposed system, waste heat from a supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton cycle (SCRBC) is recovered by a Kalina cycle (KC) to generate additional electrical power. The performances of the [...] Read more.
A new combined supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton/Kalina cycle (SCRB/KC) is proposed. In the proposed system, waste heat from a supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton cycle (SCRBC) is recovered by a Kalina cycle (KC) to generate additional electrical power. The performances of the two cycles are simulated and compared using mass, energy and exergy balances of the overall systems and their components. Using the SPECO (Specific Exergy Costing) approach and employing selected cost balance equations for the components of each system, the total product unit costs of the cycles are obtained. Parametric studies are performed to investigate the effects on the SCRB/KC and SCRBC thermodynamic and thermoeconomic performances of key decision parameters. In addition, considering the exergy efficiency and total product unit cost as criteria, optimization is performed for the SCRBC and SCRB/KC using Engineering Equation Solver software. The results indicate that the maximum exergy efficiency of the SCRB/KC is higher than that of the SCRBC by up to 10%, and that the minimum total product unit cost of the SCRB/KC is lower than that of the SCRBC by up to 4.9%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
ESG Issues among Fund Managers—Factors and Motives
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101078 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2506
Abstract
This paper investigates the motives, behavior, and characteristics shaping mutual fund managers’ willingness to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into investment decision making. Using survey evidence from fund managers from five different countries, we demonstrate that this predisposition is the stronger, [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the motives, behavior, and characteristics shaping mutual fund managers’ willingness to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into investment decision making. Using survey evidence from fund managers from five different countries, we demonstrate that this predisposition is the stronger, the shorter their average forecasting horizon and the higher their level of reliance on business risk in portfolio management is. We also find that the propensity to incorporate ESG factors is positively related to an increasing level of risk aversion, an increasing importance of salary change and senior management approval/disapproval as motivating factors as well as length of professional experience in current fund and increasing significance of assessment by superiors in remuneration. Overall, our evidence suggests that ESG diligence among fund managers serves mainly as a method for mitigating risk and is typically motivated by herding; it is much less important as a tool for additional value creation. The prevalent use of ESG criteria in mitigating risk is in contrast with traditional approach, but it is in line with behavioral finance theory. Additionally, our results also show a strong difference in the length of the forecasting horizon between continental European and Anglo-Saxon fund managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Income Diversification: A Strategy for Rural Region Risk Management
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101064 - 24 Oct 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Recent literature shows that income diversification is an important strategy for rural households to manage drought risk in arid and semiarid regions. This article examines whether income diversification can help rural households to overcome the adverse impact of drought in Northern China. Based [...] Read more.
Recent literature shows that income diversification is an important strategy for rural households to manage drought risk in arid and semiarid regions. This article examines whether income diversification can help rural households to overcome the adverse impact of drought in Northern China. Based on field interview data from 291 rural households in 13 townships of Northern China, we found that rural households tend to have a more diversified portfolio of income; the spatial location of rural households determines the type and number of income sources, the degree of income diversification, and the income combinations, especially under the context of frequent drought strikes. These results indicate that income diversification could help rural households to reduce the adverse impact of drought, enhance their resistance and resilience to drought, and make their livelihood system more stable. Income diversification not only is a useful strategy in terms of managing disaster risk and improving social welfare, but also may offer a new perspective for the research of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptive ability of rural social-ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of the Extended Theory of Planned Behavior Model to Investigate Purchase Intention of Green Products among Thai Consumers
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101077 - 23 Oct 2016
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 5007
Abstract
Green products are among the widely used products worldwide due to their environmental benefits. However, information on the consumers’ purchase intention towards green products in developing countries, such as Thailand, is lacking. This study aims to investigate Thai consumers who are aged over [...] Read more.
Green products are among the widely used products worldwide due to their environmental benefits. However, information on the consumers’ purchase intention towards green products in developing countries, such as Thailand, is lacking. This study aims to investigate Thai consumers who are aged over 18 years, and whose base education is high school, on purchase intention for green products by using an extended framework of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). We derived and examined the model through structural equation modeling in a sample of 483 respondents in Thailand. The findings of this model indicated that consumer attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control have significant positive influences on the purchase intention for green products. Furthermore, our results indicated that environmental concerns have a significant effect on attitude, perceived behavioral control and purchase intention for green products, but subjective norm. Moreover, environmental knowledge had no significant effect on the purchase intention for green products. Instead, it had a distinct indirect effect through attitude towards purchasing green products, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. The findings from this study contribute to improving the understanding of intention to purchase green products, which could play a major role towards sustainable consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
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Open AccessArticle
A Mapping of Marine Biodiversity Research Trends and Collaboration in the East Asia Region from 1996–2015
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1075; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101075 - 23 Oct 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
Many countries define policies to manage oceans and coastal areas in order to utilize marine ecosystems strategically. When we reviewed the strategies and policies of various countries in relation to ocean sustainability, we found that biodiversity preservation is a key issue for policies [...] Read more.
Many countries define policies to manage oceans and coastal areas in order to utilize marine ecosystems strategically. When we reviewed the strategies and policies of various countries in relation to ocean sustainability, we found that biodiversity preservation is a key issue for policies related to sustainable marine development. We investigated the research trends and collaboration status of China, Japan and South Korea regarding marine biodiversity through the analysis of scientific articles using bibliometric analysis. The results showed that Japan collaborated the most with other countries compared to China and South Korea. All three countries collaborated with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries frequently. South Korea showed the strongest inter-collaboration amongst China, Japan and South Korea. Microorganism research is a common research topic in China, Japan and South Korea. Each country demonstrated its own prominent research area, such as local region research in China, deep-sea research in Japan and aquaculture research in South Korea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Consumers’ Attitude toward Sustainable Food Products: Ingredients vs. Packaging
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101073 - 23 Oct 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3216
Abstract
The availability of and preference for eco-friendly products have increased; however, understanding of sustainable products is still insufficient because most studies have been focused only on organic products. The availability and understanding of organic products are high, but not complete. With regards to [...] Read more.
The availability of and preference for eco-friendly products have increased; however, understanding of sustainable products is still insufficient because most studies have been focused only on organic products. The availability and understanding of organic products are high, but not complete. With regards to environmental protection, it is important to focus not only on the eco-friendly ingredients but also on the eco-friendly packaging because packaging has recently been found to be a primary cause of pollution. Through three studies, this article investigated the interaction between the effect of consumers’ willingness to buy (WTB), the price premium for eco-friendliness (internal: eco-friendly ingredients vs. external: eco-friendly packaging), and the product’s attributes. Three experimental studies were conducted to determine whether the consumers’ WTB and the price premium for sustainable products differ according to the eco-friendliness of the product and the product’s attributes. In Study 1 and Study 3, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted; and, in Study 2, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted. The results of Study 1 and Study 2 suggested that the consumers’ WTB for sustainable products can differ according to the product’s attribute. Moreover, results of Study 3 revealed that consumers’ WTB and satisfaction for sustainable products can differ according to level of packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
Decision Making Process for Constructing Low-Energy Buildings in the Public Housing Sector in Sweden
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101072 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
The built environment accounts for a significant share of energy consumption and energy efficiency in this sector is important for the Swedish environmental objectives. Only a limited share of the total new construction of multifamily houses are constructed as low-energy buildings. Current building [...] Read more.
The built environment accounts for a significant share of energy consumption and energy efficiency in this sector is important for the Swedish environmental objectives. Only a limited share of the total new construction of multifamily houses are constructed as low-energy buildings. Current building regulations lay down requirements for energy efficiency for new construction, and these will be tightened further in the future. Public housing companies often aim to be at the forefront, and the public housing sector has now built half of Sweden’s low-energy blocks of flats. Many public housing companies have tried, but it is uncertain if they will, or have, the possibilities to construct low-energy buildings on a large scale. Twenty public housing companies around Sweden have been interviewed with the aim of identifying obstacles and possibilities to be forerunners and build better than required by the building regulations. The study shows that the public housing companies build better than the law demands and intend to continue doing so. Low-energy buildings are particularly suitable in central locations where land is attractive and the required returns lower. The driving motivation is to be at the forefront and to build green. The new pressure to increase house building can lead to a risk of energy and quality issues being passed over. For the increase in the construction of low-energy buildings to continue, extended, shared and comparable decision making support for the public housing companies is needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Cultivated Landscape Changes under Different Management Modes: A Case Study in Sanjiang Plain
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101071 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
Understanding the historical change of agricultural landscape patterns is the basis for promoting the sustainable development of cultivated land, as well as appropriate decision-making. In order to analyze spatio-temporal changes of cultivated land in Sanjiang Plain, from 1985–2015, Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and [...] Read more.
Understanding the historical change of agricultural landscape patterns is the basis for promoting the sustainable development of cultivated land, as well as appropriate decision-making. In order to analyze spatio-temporal changes of cultivated land in Sanjiang Plain, from 1985–2015, Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) were used to reconstruct satellite data of land use and land cover. Additionally, twelve landscape indices were selected to analyze landscape pattern changes and to compare the differences of cultivated landscape changes between the agricultural region and the reclamation region. Studies suggested that during the past 30 years, cultivated land in the study area grew rapidly, with a rapid growth of paddy fields and a slow reduction of dry farmland. This trend was more obvious in the reclamation region than it was in the agricultural region, where both dry farmland and paddy fields showed a growth trend in the past 30 years. Our study showed that paddies have become the dominant agricultural landscape and that fragmentation of paddy fields has decreased, while dry farmland has increased over the past 30 years, within the entire study area. Different management modes have caused major differences between the agricultural region and the reclamation region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer on Toilet Use in eThekwini, South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101070 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
In the developing world, having access to a toilet does not necessarily imply use: infrequent or non-use limits the desired health outcomes of improved sanitation. We examine the sanitation situation in a rural part of South Africa where recipients of novel, waterless “urine-diverting [...] Read more.
In the developing world, having access to a toilet does not necessarily imply use: infrequent or non-use limits the desired health outcomes of improved sanitation. We examine the sanitation situation in a rural part of South Africa where recipients of novel, waterless “urine-diverting dry toilets” are not regularly using them. In order to determine if small, conditional cash transfers (CCT) could motivate families to use their toilets more, we paid for urine via different incentive-based interventions: two were based on volumetric pricing and the third was a flat-rate payment (irrespective of volume). A flat-rate payment (approx. €1) resulted in the highest rates of regular (weekly) participation at 59%. The low volumetric payment (approx. €0.05/L) led to regular participation rates of only 12% and no increase in toilet use. The high volumetric payment (approx. €0.1/L) resulted in lower rates of regular participation (35%), but increased the average urine production per household per day by 74%. As a first example of conditional cash transfers being used in the sanitation sector, we show that they are an accepted and effective tool for increasing toilet use, while putting small cash payments in the hands of poor, largely unemployed populations in rural South Africa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Drought Impact on Main Cereal Crops Using a Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in Liaoning Province, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101069 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
Global warming has resulted in increasingly frequent and severe drought and/or precipitation events. Severe drought limits crop water availability and impacts agricultural productivity and socioeconomic development. To quantify drought-induced yield loss during the main crop stages in Liaoning province, China, aspects of drought [...] Read more.
Global warming has resulted in increasingly frequent and severe drought and/or precipitation events. Severe drought limits crop water availability and impacts agricultural productivity and socioeconomic development. To quantify drought-induced yield loss during the main crop stages in Liaoning province, China, aspects of drought episodes (magnitude, duration, and frequency) were investigated during the period 1960–2015 using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), respectively. Then the relationship between the SPI/SPEI and the standardized yield residuals series (SYRS), and the drought-induced yield loss were analyzed for maize, rice, sorghum, soybean, and millet. Liaoning underwent a province-wide increase in temperature, reduced precipitation, and reduced reference crop evapotranspiration. As expected, Liaoning experienced province-wide meteorological drying trends during the main crop growth stages, while the drought frequency, duration, and magnitude were not as serious as revealed by using the SPI. As compared to the SPI, the SPEI considering potential evapotranspiration explained 39%–78% yield variability of SYRS and evaluated the drought-induced yield loss more accurately. The increased drought frequency mainly affected the rain-fed crops (maize, sorghum, soybean, and millet), while it did not reduce irrigated rice production. No major impact was exerted on the rain-fed crops caused by mild drought. However, severe drought (SPEI < −1.0) markedly reduced yield performance, in particular at the anthesis-silking stage for maize, the jointing-booting stage for sorghum, the flowering-podding stage for soybean, and the sowing-milking stage for millet. It is concluded that the SPEI is a more useful measure for the identification of drought episodes and the assessment of drought impact on agricultural production in Liaoning province. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Potential Area and Financial Prospects of Rooftop Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101068 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
In an urban area, the roof is the only available surface that can be utilized for installing solar photovoltaics (PV), and the active surface area depends on the type of roof. Shadows on a solar panel can be caused by nearby tall buildings, [...] Read more.
In an urban area, the roof is the only available surface that can be utilized for installing solar photovoltaics (PV), and the active surface area depends on the type of roof. Shadows on a solar panel can be caused by nearby tall buildings, construction materials such as water tanks, or the roof configuration itself. The azimuth angle of the sun varies, based on the season and the time of day. Therefore, the simulation of shadow for one or two days or using the rule of thumb may not be sufficient to evaluate shadow effects on solar panels throughout the year. In this paper, a methodology for estimating the solar potential of solar PV on rooftops is presented, which is particularly applicable to urban areas. The objective of this method is to assess how roof type and shadow play a role in potentiality and financial benefit. The method starts with roof type extraction from high-resolution satellite imagery, using Object Base Image Analysis (OBIA), the generation of a 3D structure from height data and roof type, the simulation of shadow throughout the year, and the identification of potential and financial prospects. Based on the results obtained, the system seems to be adequate for calculating the financial benefits of solar PV to a very fine scale. The payback period varied from 7–13 years depending on the roof type, direction, and shadow impact. Based on the potentiality, a homeowner can make a profit of up to 200%. This method could help homeowners to identify potential roof area and economic interest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contributing to Sustainability Education of East Asian University Students through a Field Trip Experience: A Social-Ecological Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101067 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
This study reports the effects of a field trip environmental education program with a social-ecological perspective on the experience and learning of university students from China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. The students visited Jeju Island, the Saemangeum Sea Dike, the Demilitarized Zone [...] Read more.
This study reports the effects of a field trip environmental education program with a social-ecological perspective on the experience and learning of university students from China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. The students visited Jeju Island, the Saemangeum Sea Dike, the Demilitarized Zone and Seoul, South Korea. Their experiences and learning about social-ecological interactions were analyzed using the new environmental paradigm test, an evaluation questionnaire, group presentations and individual reports. Across demographic characteristics, the participants believed the program fairly presented the concept of social-ecological systems. Some developed new ideas of social-ecological systems through interpreting, transforming and contextualizing their field trip experience based on prior knowledge bases; others compared the sites to case studies. They preferred the sites where social-ecological issues were clearly presented by well-preserved landscapes, successful environmental management or environmental conflict. The results show the need for an advanced multi-dimensional methodology to evaluate students’ learning through constructive processes. The program design of this study from planning to field trip and evaluation, the field site design in which regional site resources were organized in a social-ecological context and the analysis of participants’ learning and experiences could contribute to attempts to couple the social-ecological perspective with the practice of sustainability and environmental education in field trip design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Automatic Type Recognition and Mapping of Global Tropical Cyclone Disaster Chains (TDC)
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101066 - 21 Oct 2016
Viewed by 1768
Abstract
The catastrophic events caused by meteorological disasters are becoming more severe in the context of global warming. The disaster chains triggered by Tropical Cyclones induce the serious losses of population and economy. It is necessary to make the regional type recognition of Tropical [...] Read more.
The catastrophic events caused by meteorological disasters are becoming more severe in the context of global warming. The disaster chains triggered by Tropical Cyclones induce the serious losses of population and economy. It is necessary to make the regional type recognition of Tropical Cyclone Disaster Chain (TDC) effective in order to make targeted preventions. This study mainly explores the method of automatic recognition and the mapping of TDC and designs a software system. We constructed an automatic recognition system in terms of the characteristics of a hazard-formative environment based on the theory of a natural disaster system. The ArcEngine components enable an intelligent software system to present results by the automatic mapping approach. The study data comes from global metadata such as Digital Elevation Model (DEM), terrain slope, population density and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The result shows that: (1) according to the characteristic of geomorphology type, we establish a type of recognition system for global TDC; (2) based on the recognition principle, we design a software system with the functions of automatic recognition and mapping; and (3) we validate the type of distribution in terms of real cases of TDC. The result shows that the automatic recognition function has good reliability. The study can provide the basis for targeted regional disaster prevention strategy, as well as regional sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
Resident Knowledge and Willingness to Engage in Waste Management in Delhi, India
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101065 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
Delhi generates about 8360 tons of municipal solid waste per day, and there is low compliance to rules regarding waste management. The objective of this paper was to understand the situation in Delhi with respect to the segregation, storage, collection, and disposal of [...] Read more.
Delhi generates about 8360 tons of municipal solid waste per day, and there is low compliance to rules regarding waste management. The objective of this paper was to understand the situation in Delhi with respect to the segregation, storage, collection, and disposal of household waste, and to assess the knowledge of the residents of Delhi, and their willingness to engage in solid-waste management. A stratified random sample, comprising 3047 respondents, was chosen for a questionnaire survey, covering all municipalities of Delhi, with socio-economic classification as the stratifying variable. Survey results indicate that 60% of residents do not know the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and only 2% of them segregate waste. Fifty-eight percent of respondents reported that the waste collector mixes the segregated waste, 97% of respondents reported that they sold items to an itinerant waste buyer, and 87% of households are covered by doorstep waste collection services. Abstract knowledge (general knowledge about waste management) is seen to have a significant correlation with willingness to engage in waste management. Differences between the socio-economic groups indicate that the highest (most educated and wealthy), as well as the lowest socio-economic category (least educated and poor), older age-groups, and women, have greater abstract knowledge. Socio-economic categories having higher abstract knowledge can be active participants in decentralized models of waste management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Bottom-Up Building Stock Model for Tracking Regional Energy Targets—A Case Study of Kočevje
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101063 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
The paper addresses the development of a bottom-up building stock energy model (BuilS) for identification of the building stock renovation potential by considering energy performance of individual buildings through cross-linked data from various public available databases. The model enables integration of various EE [...] Read more.
The paper addresses the development of a bottom-up building stock energy model (BuilS) for identification of the building stock renovation potential by considering energy performance of individual buildings through cross-linked data from various public available databases. The model enables integration of various EE and RES measures on the building stock to demonstrate long-term economic and environmental effects of different building stock refurbishment strategies. In the presented case study, the BuilS model was applied in the Kočevje city area and validated using the measured energy consumption of the buildings connected to the city district heating system. Three strategies for improving the building stock in Kočevje towards a more sustainable one are presented with their impact on energy use and CO2 emission projections up to 2030. It is demonstrated that the BuilS bottom-up model enables the setting of a correct baseline regarding energy use of the existing building stock and that such a model is a powerful tool for design and validation of the building stock renovation strategies. It is also shown that the accuracy of the model depends on available information on local resources and local needs, therefore acceleration of the building stock monitoring on the level of each building and continually upgrading of databases with building renovation information is of the utmost importance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Bottom-Up Understanding of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing in Lake Victoria
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101062 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major concern in fisheries management around the world. Several measures have been taken to address the problem. In Lake Victoria, the alleviation of IUU fishing is implemented through the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA-IUU), which [...] Read more.
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major concern in fisheries management around the world. Several measures have been taken to address the problem. In Lake Victoria, the alleviation of IUU fishing is implemented through the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA-IUU), which restricts use of certain fishing gear, as well as prohibits fishing in closed areas and during closed seasons. Despite the long-term efforts to monitor and control what goes on in the fisheries, IUU fishing has persisted in Lake Victoria. Inspired by interactive governance theory, this paper argues that the persistence of IUU fishing could be due to different images that stakeholders have about the situation, rather than the lack of management competency. Through structured interviews with 150 fisheries stakeholders on Ijinga Island in the southeastern part of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, using paired comparison questionnaires, the study elicits stakeholders’ perspective about the severity of different locally-pertinent fishing-related activities. The results show that while fisheries stakeholder groups agree on their judgments about certain fishing gears, some differences are also apparent. For instance, fisheries managers and scientists do not always agree with fishing people about what activities cause the most damage to fisheries resources and ecosystem. Further, they tend to consider some IUU fishing-related activities less damaging than some non-IUU fishing. Such disparity creates governability challenges, pointing to the need to revisit relevant regulatory measures and to make them consistent with the knowledge and judgments of all stakeholders. Based on these findings, we discuss governing interventions that may contribute to addressing IUU fishing in Lake Victoria and elsewhere. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Conservation Measures and Loss of Ecosystem Services: A Study Concerning the Sardinian Natura 2000 Network
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101061 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1396
Abstract
The seeming dichotomy between the protection of biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services (ESs) represents an outstanding field of research that requires a structured and detailed analysis. The paper analyzes and discusses the role of ESs within spatial planning and strategic environmental [...] Read more.
The seeming dichotomy between the protection of biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services (ESs) represents an outstanding field of research that requires a structured and detailed analysis. The paper analyzes and discusses the role of ESs within spatial planning and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) procedures through the content analysis methodology and a logical framework (LF) implemented into the SEA of municipal masterplans (MMPs). We discuss the role of ESs as factors that improve the effectiveness of SEA-based processes related to management plans (MPs) of sites that belong to the Sardinian Natura 2000 Network with reference to their positive impacts on environmental quality. The empirical outcomes put in evidence the inconsistencies between MMPs and MPs in terms of sustainability-oriented objectives and potential losses of the ESs productive output due to measures adopted by the MPs in order to protect habitats and species. The scant attention paid to ESs in the operational context of MMPs, MPs and SEA reports, particularly as regards their regulative framework, entails that the issue of the protection of ESs has to be carefully taken into account within the process of the definition and establishment of MPs through an SEA report that integrates the MPs and MMPs LFs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Deep-Learning-Based Approach for Prediction of Algal Blooms
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101060 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Algal blooms have recently become a critical global environmental concern which might put economic development and sustainability at risk. However, the accurate prediction of algal blooms remains a challenging scientific problem. In this study, a novel prediction approach for algal blooms based on [...] Read more.
Algal blooms have recently become a critical global environmental concern which might put economic development and sustainability at risk. However, the accurate prediction of algal blooms remains a challenging scientific problem. In this study, a novel prediction approach for algal blooms based on deep learning is presented—a powerful tool to represent and predict highly dynamic and complex phenomena. The proposed approach constructs a five-layered model to extract detailed relationships between the density of phytoplankton cells and various environmental parameters. The algal blooms can be predicted by the phytoplankton density obtained from the output layer. A case study is conducted in coastal waters of East China using both our model and a traditional back-propagation neural network for comparison. The results show that the deep-learning-based model yields better generalization and greater accuracy in predicting algal blooms than a traditional shallow neural network does. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and Green Innovation: The Role of Internal Environmental Collaboration
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101056 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Green innovation has been deemed a key corporate capability to deal with environmental issues. The usage of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) provides important resources and knowledge for firms’ green innovation. Drawing on a resources-based approach, this study contributes to the existing literature by [...] Read more.
Green innovation has been deemed a key corporate capability to deal with environmental issues. The usage of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) provides important resources and knowledge for firms’ green innovation. Drawing on a resources-based approach, this study contributes to the existing literature by examining how the adoption of specific types of AMT (process, design, and planning) influences two dimensions of green innovation (green product innovation and green process innovation). In particular, we explore these relationships through internal environmental collaboration. Based on data collected from 198 Chinese manufacturing firms, we found that process, design, and planning AMT can contribute to both green products and process innovation. Moreover, the findings confirm the significant mediating role of internal environmental collaboration in this relationship. Specifically, internal environmental collaboration mediates the relationship between process AMT and green product innovation as well as the relationship between design AMT and two dimensions of green innovation; it also partially mediates the relationship between process AMT and green process innovation as well as the relationship between planning AMT and two dimensions of green innovation. These findings provide novel insights into how manufacturing firms can use various types of AMT to enhance their green innovation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Decoupling and Decomposition Analysis of Carbon Emissions from Industry: A Case Study from China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101059 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, with industrial carbon emissions (ICE) accounting for approximately 65% of the country’s total emissions. Understanding the ICE decoupling patterns and factors influencing the decoupling status is a prerequisite for [...] Read more.
China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, with industrial carbon emissions (ICE) accounting for approximately 65% of the country’s total emissions. Understanding the ICE decoupling patterns and factors influencing the decoupling status is a prerequisite for balancing economic growth and carbon emissions. This paper provides an overview of ICE based on decoupling elasticity and the Tapio decoupling model. Furthermore, the study identifies the factors contributing to ICE changes in China, using the Kaya identity and Log Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) techniques. Based on the effects and contributions of ICE, we close with a number of recommendations. The results revealed a significant upward trend of ICE during the study period 1994 to 2013, with a total amount of 11,147 million tons. Analyzing the decoupling relationship indicates that “weak decoupling” and “expansive decoupling” were the main states during the study period. The decomposition analysis showed that per capita wealth associated with industrial outputs and energy intensity are the main driving force of ICE, while energy intensity of industrial output and energy structure are major determinants for ICE reduction. The largest contributing cumulative effect to ICE is per capita wealth, at 1.23 in 2013. This factor is followed by energy intensity, with a contributing cumulative effect of −0.32. The cumulative effects of energy structure and population are relatively small, at 0.01 and 0.08, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Investigation of Resource-Based Cities in Northeastern China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101058 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Improving the sustainability of traditional resource-based cities in China has been a core issue and policy-priority for Chinese government to establish long-term ecological civilization, particularly for northeastern China which is recognized as a typical agglomeration area of resources cities. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Improving the sustainability of traditional resource-based cities in China has been a core issue and policy-priority for Chinese government to establish long-term ecological civilization, particularly for northeastern China which is recognized as a typical agglomeration area of resources cities. In this study, we establish a three-layer index system consisting of a comprehensive layer, systemic layer, and variable layer, and including 22 indicators which are grouped into economic, social and environmental subsystems. After that, the TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) method was applied to measure and rank the sustainability of the selected 15 typical resource-based cities in northeast China, and then a GIS (Geographical Information System) technique based on the software of SuperMap was applied to map the sustainability in terms of the spatial effects among these cities. The results reveal that a unilateral improvement of a subsystem did not mean an improvement or contribution to whole system. In detail, during the past 15 years from 2000 to 2015, the comprehensive sustainability of resource-based cities in Northeastern China shows a declining trend in the mass, and the sustainability of the economic subsystem shows increase; the sustainability of the social system remains stable, while the environmental subsystem shows decrease. These situations might result from policy interventions during the past 15 years, therefore, promoting the sustainability of resource-based cities needs a historical approach, which should focus on the coordinated development of its economic, social, and environmental subsystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability and EMAS: Impact of Motivations and Barriers on the Perceived Benefits from the Adoption of Standards
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101057 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1919
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to analyze the influence of the sources of motivation that lead companies to adopt a global standard of the Environmental Management System and the barriers found in the process, on the perceived benefits of the implementation and [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to analyze the influence of the sources of motivation that lead companies to adopt a global standard of the Environmental Management System and the barriers found in the process, on the perceived benefits of the implementation and certification of the standard. To achieve the objectives proposed, primary data were collected using a survey questionnaire that was administered to a representative sample of companies certified as EMAS-Eco-Management and Audit Scheme of the Autonomous Community of Galicia (sample of 114 of the 255 companies). An extensive review of the academic literature published on ISO 14001 and EMAS about motivations, barriers and benefits was carried out in order to establish the working hypotheses that are analyzed using structural equation models as the statistical tool. The findings of this study show that the motivations positively affect the benefits derived from implementation, noting that the internal motivations (related to efficiency; improved performance, productivity and profitability) have a stronger influence on the benefits than the external motivations (related to stakeholders’ social pressure). In addition, the motivations also affect the perceived barriers, and these affect the benefits negatively, i.e., the higher the barriers encountered, the lower the perceived benefits. The results obtained allow us to identify important implications for managers, which will help them establish management strategies in the field of environmental management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forecasting Helianthus annuus Seed Quality Based on Soil Chemical Properties Using Radial Basis Function Neural Networks
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101055 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Forecasting crop chemical characteristics based on soil properties is not only a possible way to spare supplementary sampling and testing, but also a potential method of instructing cultivation planning based on regional soil surveys. In this paper, taking the data of regional agricultural [...] Read more.
Forecasting crop chemical characteristics based on soil properties is not only a possible way to spare supplementary sampling and testing, but also a potential method of instructing cultivation planning based on regional soil surveys. In this paper, taking the data of regional agricultural geological survey on Helianthus annuus sources in the western part of the Jilin province as an attempt, radial basis function neural networks were used to forecast the quality indexes of Helianthus annuus seeds based on the non-linear relationship between soil and crop. The results indicate the following: (1) The mean relative errors of vitamin E, protein, fat, and TAA concentration forecasting neural networks are 2.63%, 2.19%, 2.19%, and 2.80%, respectively. The root mean square errors are 1.7 mg/100 g, 0.59%, 1.09%, and 0.77%. The forecasting radial basis function neural networks are of high prediction accuracy, which introduces an empirical case of forecasting the quality of crop based on a systematical soil environmental quality investigation along with a sampling survey of the crops. To set a proper model, interrelation between the selected indexes of input layer and output layer needs to be confirmed first, and a low setting of spread can improve the accuracy; (2) Soil in the studied area is under severe salinization, and concentrations of soil chemical properties mostly show an evident regional difference between the three experimental fields. However, the vitamin E, protein, and TAA concentrations of Helianthus annuus seeds all stabilize in a certain range despite the different soil environments. The mean fat concentration of Helianthus annuus seeds collected from Nongan and Daan exceeds those from Tongyu by approximately 5%, which shows a relatively evident regional difference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Effect of Organic Potato Farming on Human and Environmental Health and Benefits from New Plant Breeding Techniques. Is It Only a Matter of Public Acceptance?
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101054 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
Organic farming practices are commonly thought to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and to preserve the naturalness of the products. Herein, we report the effect of crop management practices on nutritional and toxicological value of potato tubers. Comparative studies are often controversial [...] Read more.
Organic farming practices are commonly thought to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and to preserve the naturalness of the products. Herein, we report the effect of crop management practices on nutritional and toxicological value of potato tubers. Comparative studies are often controversial and the results are dependent on genotype and methodological approach. Targeted analysis and “omics” strategies are discussed, pointing at the nutritional aspects and the corresponding biological and molecular processes involved. Organic farming supporters still do not accept the use of genetic modification to produce new varieties suited for organic agriculture and crop improvement by genetic engineering still sparks hot debate among various scientific and social factions whose major concern is the possible existence of unintended effects both on human and world health. In this context, the advent of “new plant breeding techniques” has reignited the discussion on genetic engineering and on the compatibility of the new technologies with an eco-friendly agriculture. Could cisgenic and genome-edited potatoes be new good options for organic agriculture? We discuss how these approaches can be used to address food security challenges and to overcome specific problems based on the biological characteristics of potato tubers, producing new varieties that can improve farmers’ profit with a lower impact on public opinion. However, political, ethical, and social fears will probably persist much longer, mainly in Italy, historically a fiercely anti-GM country with a European leadership in organic food production and export. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and Gene Manipulation)
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Open AccessArticle
Chinese Housing Reform and Social Sustainability: Evidence from Post-Reform Home Ownership
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101053 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Since 1978, China has undergone an institutional reform, from a welfare-oriented housing allocation system to a market-oriented one. But with high housing prices, affordability is a major obstacle to home ownership for Chinese citizens. Now, the government has started to change the goal [...] Read more.
Since 1978, China has undergone an institutional reform, from a welfare-oriented housing allocation system to a market-oriented one. But with high housing prices, affordability is a major obstacle to home ownership for Chinese citizens. Now, the government has started to change the goal of housing policy from present economic benefits to sustainable housing, so future generations will have a decent place to live. Housing is an important indicator for social stratification, and home ownership, which is an important component of social sustainability in the Chinese context, is influenced by multiple factors that vary across countries. Although China has a long tradition of home ownership, there is a lack of comprehensive research on post-reform housing inequality. By undertaking a large-scale field study in the city of Xiamen, our research explored to what extent home ownership varies across socio-economic classes, and improves understanding of the reasons behind home ownership inequality. It was discovered that people have a variety of resources from which housing can be obtained, and that commercial housing served as the primary housing source, although, due to path dependence, public housing still comprises an important source of housing, as well as self-built houses. A structural equation model (SEM) was used to further explore the driving forces of home ownership inequality. The model indicated that hukou (household registration) status has the strongest effect on home ownership, followed by education, with family income and occupation as less important factors. Along with income and education, home ownership has a direct effect on people’s perception of their own socio-economic status (SES). A probability model of home ownership was developed, based on logistic regression. Local families with higher levels of income and education with at least one member working in a publicly owned organization had a higher probability of home ownership. Lastly, since 1999, housing reform in Xiamen has tended to increase social stratification, with negative economic and social consequences. Therefore, policies should pay more attention to the welfare of renters and integrating the migration process into urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
A Modeling Approach for Farmland Protection Zoning Considering Spatial Heterogeneity: A Case Study of E-Zhou City, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101052 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
Farmland protection in China is facing multiple pressures, including urbanization, population growth and ecological degradation. Primary farmland zoning was introduced as a basic state policy to ensure national food security. Previous studies about “primary farmland zoning” have always taken the factors as global [...] Read more.
Farmland protection in China is facing multiple pressures, including urbanization, population growth and ecological degradation. Primary farmland zoning was introduced as a basic state policy to ensure national food security. Previous studies about “primary farmland zoning” have always taken the factors as global linear variables, neglecting the spatial heterogeneity of the study areas. Based on the Development Priority Zoning (DPZ) strategy, we present a zoning approach using Bayesian networks (BNs) for considering regional differences. The networks were developed using quantitative biophysical and economic variables from multi-scale and historical change data of farmland. The simulated results substantiate that this method can ensure the agricultural quality, stability and connectivity of primary farmland. Furthermore, it can further optimize the spatial allocation of primary farmland to meet the development conditions and trends of different sub-regions, promoting the balance between the farmland protection, urban development and ecological protection of certain regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Applications to Improve the Energy Savings in Residential Buildings Based on Systemic Quality Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101051 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
Creating a definition of the features and the architecture of a new Energy Management Software (EMS) is complex because different professionals will be involved in creating that definition and in using the tool. To simplify this definition and aid in the eventual selection [...] Read more.
Creating a definition of the features and the architecture of a new Energy Management Software (EMS) is complex because different professionals will be involved in creating that definition and in using the tool. To simplify this definition and aid in the eventual selection of an existing EMS to fit a specific need, a set of metrics that considers the primary issues and drawbacks of the EMS is decisive. This study proposes a set of metrics to evaluate and compare EMS applications. Using these metrics will allow professionals to highlight the tendencies and detect the drawbacks of current EMS applications and to eventually develop new EMS applications based on the results of the analysis. This study presents a list of the applications to be examined and describes the primary issues to be considered in the development of a new application. This study follows the Systemic Quality Model (SQMO), which has been used as a starting point to develop new EMS, but can also be used to select an existing EMS that fits the goals of a company. Using this type of analysis, we were able to detect the primary features desired in an EMS software. These features are numerically scaled, allowing professionals to select the most appropriate EMS that fits for their purposes. This allows the development of EMS utilizing an iterative and user-centric approach. We can apply this methodology to guide the development of future EMS and to define the priorities that are desired in this type of software. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Residential Satisfaction of University Dormitories through Post-Occupancy Evaluation in China: A Socio-Technical System Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101050 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Residential satisfaction of university dormitories serves as one of the significant aspects in the framework of sustainability in higher education. This study aims to develop a framework for post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of university dormitories in China grounded on the socio-technical systems approach and [...] Read more.
Residential satisfaction of university dormitories serves as one of the significant aspects in the framework of sustainability in higher education. This study aims to develop a framework for post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of university dormitories in China grounded on the socio-technical systems approach and to identify factors contributing to students’ residential satisfaction. Two focus groups were carried out to build the socio-technical framework. A case study was undertaken to evaluate the post-occupancy status of university dormitories, and structured-questionnaire was used to collect the data. The results show that university dormitories are equipped with quality physical facilities. However, they failed to provide satisfied services and supporting infrastructure. This indicates that “hardware” could generally meet students’ requirements, while the “software” is still less competent. It is also found that the socio-technical systems approach has the feature of being embedded into the social, regulatory and geographic contexts. In order to enhance post-occupancy satisfaction, occupants’ participation would be helpful. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by presenting a socio-technical framework of POE and its embeddedness feature. Implications for research and practices are also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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