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IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2022) | Viewed by 31782

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Interests: ICT4D; ICT sustainability; big data analytics, IS security & privacy, AI and machine learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

ICT has potentials to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2030 by helping companies, and consumers more intelligently use energy. ICT applications can help increase agricultural crop yields by 30%, saving over 300 trillion liters of water, and 25 billion barrels of oil a year, generating USD 11 trillion in economic benefits by 2030. In addition, ICT is part of a country's critical infrastructure. They also offer several environmentally friendly applications, from monitoring the environment and animals to applications of e-agriculture.  ICT wireless sensors provide energy-saving applications, such as smart grids, homes, buildings, metering, and renewable energy integrated with sustainable smart city projects.

However, technological change and innovation need to be directed towards inclusive and sustainable outcomes, through a purposeful effort by governments, in collaboration with civil society, business, and academia.

Dr. Farid Shirazi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable innovation
  • environmental issues
  • IoT
  • big data analytics
  • artificial intelligence
  • smart city

Published Papers (5 papers)

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22 pages, 1930 KiB  
Article
A Transformer-Based Machine Learning Approach for Sustainable E-Waste Management: A Comparative Policy Analysis between the Swiss and Canadian Systems
by Saidia Ali and Farid Shirazi
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13220; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013220 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3017
Abstract
Efficient e-waste management is crucial to successfully achieve sustainable urban growth universally. The upsurge in e-waste has resulted in countries, including Canada, adopting a wide array of policies associated with sustainable management. In this study, we conducted a mixed-method analysis of Canadian e-waste [...] Read more.
Efficient e-waste management is crucial to successfully achieve sustainable urban growth universally. The upsurge in e-waste has resulted in countries, including Canada, adopting a wide array of policies associated with sustainable management. In this study, we conducted a mixed-method analysis of Canadian e-waste management policies to showcase the opportunities and limitations of the current system. We examine and compare the effectiveness of electronic waste management strategies in Canada and Switzerland using a comparative policy evaluation and by quantitatively measuring their efficiencies through two efficiency methods, namely a transformer-based, bidirectional, unsupervised machine learning model for natural language processing (NLP) and data envelopment analysis (DEA). Switzerland is utilized as a comparison case due to its robust legal framework that has been in place for proper management e-waste in order to enhance Canada’s electronic waste management system. The policy considerations presented in this study are directed toward urban planners, policy makers, and corporate strategists. These involve a mix of political, economic, social, and environmental planning tools concerning how to communicate and foster competent e-waste management in these countries. This is the first study to incorporate DEA and NLP-based BERT analysis to identify the most efficient policy deployment concerning e-waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development)
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24 pages, 1528 KiB  
Article
ICT and Environmental Sustainability: A Comparative Study
by Samin Shaaban-Nejad and Farid Shirazi
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148651 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4682
Abstract
This study investigates the role of information and communication technology (ICT), political instability and violence, and international protocols on global carbon emissions. Our empirical analysis used archival data for 146 economies from 1996 to 2019. The study’s estimates are also based on subsamples [...] Read more.
This study investigates the role of information and communication technology (ICT), political instability and violence, and international protocols on global carbon emissions. Our empirical analysis used archival data for 146 economies from 1996 to 2019. The study’s estimates are also based on subsamples from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries. The study found that ICT has statistically significant impacts on reducing CO2 emissions globally, but the extension of the impact for OECD member countries is considerably more substantial. Therefore, the subject of study is considered to be among the first few studies to measure the effects of violence and regional conflicts on global warming—a notable result for conflict regions around the world. Additionally, the authors narrowed down the findings to a micro level and conducted a comparative study between Canada and the United Kingdom to evaluate the countries’ performances concerning climate mitigation initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development)
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19 pages, 6098 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Indoor Air Quality in Academic Buildings Using IoT and Deep Learning
by Mohamed Marzouk and Mohamed Atef
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7015; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127015 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3621
Abstract
Humans spend most of their lifetime indoors; thus, it is important to keep indoor air quality within acceptable levels. As a result, many initiatives have been developed by multiple research centers or through academic studies to address the harmful effects of increased indoor [...] Read more.
Humans spend most of their lifetime indoors; thus, it is important to keep indoor air quality within acceptable levels. As a result, many initiatives have been developed by multiple research centers or through academic studies to address the harmful effects of increased indoor pollutants on public health. This research introduces a system for monitoring different air parameters to evaluate the indoor air quality (IAQ) and to provide real-time readings. The proposed system aims to enhance planning and controlling measures and increase both safety and occupants’ comfort. The system combines microcontrollers and electronic sensors to form an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that collects different indoor readings. The readings are then compared with outdoor readings for the same experiment period and prepared for further processing using artificial intelligence (AI) models. The results showed the high effectiveness of the IoT device in transferring data via Wi-Fi with minimum disruptions and missing data. The average readings for temperature, humidity, air pressure, CO2, CO, and PM2.5 in the presented case study are 30 °C, 42%, 100,422 pa, 460 ppm, 2.2 ppm, and 15.3 µ/m3, respectively. The developed model was able to predict multiple air parameters with acceptable accuracy. It can be concluded that the proposed system proved itself as a powerful forecasting and management tool for monitoring and controlling IAQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development)
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24 pages, 1032 KiB  
Article
IT-Enabled Sustainable Innovation and the Global Digital Divides
by Farid Shirazi and Nick Hajli
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9711; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179711 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4218
Abstract
This article investigates the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), human capital, institutional settings, socio-economic, and environmental parameters on sustainable innovation (SI) using archival data for 127 economies from 2008 to 2017. We developed an econometrics research framework for investigating factors influencing [...] Read more.
This article investigates the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), human capital, institutional settings, socio-economic, and environmental parameters on sustainable innovation (SI) using archival data for 127 economies from 2008 to 2017. We developed an econometrics research framework for investigating factors influencing SI on a global scale. We found that ICT variables, such as ICT access and ICT broadband network, positively influence sustainable innovation in conjunction with the socio-economic and political parameters. Despite differences among economies in terms of ICTs, socio-economic development, and educational attainment, ICTs are the significant drivers of sustainable innovation and economic growth. We observed a growing digital divide among nations within the context of the knowledge-based economy and the expansion of digital commerce, particularly in the least developed countries and Africa, a phenomenon impeding sustainable innovation growth. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that empirically investigates the global digital divide from sustainable innovation perspectives. The results of this study suggest that to tackle the digital divide issues, policymakers and educational institutes need to perform constructive educational reform in higher education curricula, particularly concerning STEM programs, which should reflect the necessary skills and competencies for deploying emergent technologies. In addition, ICT should be considered part of a country’s critical infrastructure, particularly investment in the broadband networks regarded as the backbone of today’s innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development)
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38 pages, 2145 KiB  
Systematic Review
New Trends in E-Commerce Research: Linking Social Commerce and Sharing Commerce: A Systematic Literature Review
by Razaz Waheeb Attar, Ahlam Almusharraf, Areej Alfawaz and Nick Hajli
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16024; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316024 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 15365
Abstract
Technological advances have facilitated the move from market-centric to user-centric commerce by enabling the progress towards S-Commerce from E-Commerce. Technologically advanced S-Commerce platforms have enabled collaborative commerce, which has led to the development of new commerce concepts such as sharing commerce. Unlike traditional [...] Read more.
Technological advances have facilitated the move from market-centric to user-centric commerce by enabling the progress towards S-Commerce from E-Commerce. Technologically advanced S-Commerce platforms have enabled collaborative commerce, which has led to the development of new commerce concepts such as sharing commerce. Unlike traditional E-Commerce or S-Commerce platforms, where the platform provider was burdened with more responsibility in ensuring the smooth flow of operations and transactions, sharing commerce offers a new approach, wherein both platform providers and users collaborate in ensuring process flow, growth, and development to co-create value and achieve sustainability. The research linking S-Commerce and sharing commerce is still in its early stages. Focussing on this aspect, this study conducts a systematic review to identify research questions relevant to S-Commerce and sharing commerce, related challenges, and the benefits of linking S-Commerce with sharing commerce. A total of 143 studies were selected using the keywords and review protocol, which were analysed to identify definitions, themes, issues, and benefits associated with S-Commerce and sharing commerce. The results obtained are explained and discussed in this study. The results provide a theoretical base for the emerging topic of sharing commerce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IT-Enabled Sustainability and Development)
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