Special Issue "Information Society and Sustainable Development—Selected Papers from the 5th International Conference ISSD 2018"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marian ZAHARIA
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Economic Sciences, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, B-dul Bucuresti, No.39, 100680, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania
Interests: green econometrics and simulations; sustainable tourism; green informatics; IT&C
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Prof. Dr. Magdalena Ziolo
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Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Finance and Capital Markets, University of Szczecin, Poland
Interests: finance and banking, public finance, sustainable finance, sustainable financial systems, sustainable business models, negative externalities, environmental finance, ESG risk
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Prof. Dr. Diana-Mihaela Țîrcă
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Guest Editor
Center of Fundamental and Applied Economic Studies (CSEFA), Faculty of Economics, “Constantin Brâncuși” University of Târgu-Jiu, Tineretului Street, No. 4, 210135, Targu-Jiu, Gorj, Romania
Interests: macroeconomics; sustainable development; regional development
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Prof. Dr. Johannes Casparus (Joost) Platje
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Finance and Management, WSB University in Wroclaw, 53-609 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: institutional determinants of sustainable development; innovation and regional development; campus and business sustainability; sustainable financial systems; sustainable energy and food supply
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Isabel Novo-Corti
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Guest Editor
Economic Development and Social Sustainability Research Group (EDaSS), University School – University of A Coruña – Spain, Campus de Elviña, s/n, A Coruña 15071, Spain
Interests: economic analysis; business administration and development; creative entrepreneurial initiatives; strategic planning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Information Society and Sustainable Development represent dominant characteristics in the evolution of contemporary economies. They shape, in a great extent, the future of human society. Both elements have been imposed as specific paradigms in achieving a functional and highly competitive model for an economy.

This Special Issue will consist of selected papers from the Information Society and Sustainable Development International Scientific Symposium (2018), which will be held in Targu-Jiu, Gorj County, Romania, during 27–28April 2018.

The international conference “Information Society and Sustainable Development”—ISSD—is organized by the Center of Fundamental and Applied Economic Studies (CSEFA) within the Faculty of Economics, "Constantin Brancusi" University of Târgu Jiu, Romania, in partnership with:

  • Economics Research Center, Romanian American University, Bucharest, Romania
  • Center for Resources and Research in Tourism—CERC Tourism, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, University "Ştefan cel Mare" of Suceava, Romania
  • Research and Transfer Centre "Applications of Life Sciences”, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Economic Development and Social Sustainability Research Group (EDaSS), University of A Coruna, Spain
  • Institute of Sustainable Financial Systems, University of Szczecin, Poland
  • The Research Institute of University of Economics—Varna, Bulgaria
  • Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa University in Wroclaw, Poland.

The main aim of the symposium is to encourage and facilitate the dissemination of interdisciplinary research, from a broader perspective, from scientists, professionals, and academia, in the field of green economics development. Primarily, selected papers from the Information Society and Sustainable Development Symposium (ISSD 2018) will be considered for publication. The papers submitted and selected for this Special Issue should neither have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and are subject to a very rigorous peer review process.

Prof. Dr. Zaharia Marian
Dr. Magdalena Zioło
Prof. Dr. Diana-Mihaela Pociovălişteanu
Dr. Johannes Casparus Platje
Prof. Dr. Isabel Novo-Corti
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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 1900 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

The topics of the symposium include, but are not limited to, the following aspects:

  • Tourism, services, and sustainable development
  • Industry and its impact on sustainable development
  • Green Statistics and economics
  • Business and E-activities in the Information society
  • Financing for sustainable development
  • Environmental management

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability and Dimensions of a Nexus Approach in a Sharing Economy
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030909 - 11 Feb 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Increasing global resource consumption puts the availability of natural mineral resources under significant pressure. One strategy to overcome this trend is the decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption and the application of circular economy approaches. These approaches aim at closing material cycles [...] Read more.
Increasing global resource consumption puts the availability of natural mineral resources under significant pressure. One strategy to overcome this trend is the decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption and the application of circular economy approaches. These approaches aim at closing material cycles across sectoral boundaries. Beside these attempts, there are further options for action aimed at minimization of resource consumption through resource sharing approaches. This study investigates resource-saving potentials on different scales namely on a personal scale through sharing goods and services, but also in the frame of industrial symbiosis through sharing of secondary resources at a company scale. The environmental effects have been quantified using life cycle assessment examples for these two simulated cases. The results show for both resource consumption levels, resource savings potentials of up to 2 powers of ten, that can particularly be proven regarding the impact category ‘fossil resource depletion’. The emergence of industrial symbiosis can be identified by six factors: Resource, government, economy, company, technology, and society. The cases simulated in the study are supported by empirical evidence from real-life examples, which consider the mentioned factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social Effects of Economic Crisis: Risk of Exclusion. An Overview of the European Context
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020336 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Sustainability is a complex concept. It only can be achieved from a global perspective, where social, economic and environmental issues are all key factors for achieving the goal. This paper is focused on the importance of social sustainability and, as a consequence, the [...] Read more.
Sustainability is a complex concept. It only can be achieved from a global perspective, where social, economic and environmental issues are all key factors for achieving the goal. This paper is focused on the importance of social sustainability and, as a consequence, the importance of avoiding each and everyone’s risk of poverty and exclusion as due to the recent crisis effects. Nevertheless, this crisis resulted in higher inequalities and put a lot of people at risk of poverty, even in “developed” countries. Through a statistical and econometric analysis, some of the key factors to which the European Union should aim to avoid unsustainable scenarios are analysed. A regression, factorial and cluster analysis is carried out and this leads to conclude that the labour market is key in promoting economic policies in order to achieve social sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stabilization Policies and Technological Shocks: Towards a Sustainable Economic Growth Path
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010205 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which traditional economic policies can be oriented by sound practices. It is becoming widely accepted that sustainable economic growth (and not only economic growth) is the final target of economic policies, but [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which traditional economic policies can be oriented by sound practices. It is becoming widely accepted that sustainable economic growth (and not only economic growth) is the final target of economic policies, but some economic policies are applied just looking to the short-run without taking in account the long-run perspective. Our aim is to show how a sustainable economic policy-making would be possible, making compatible the stabilization of the economy in the short-run with a sustainable economic growth in the long-run. We confront the design of economic policies with the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda. We argue that all sustainable development goals can be attained by the design and implementation of sustainable economic policies. Finally, to illustrate this point, we will conduct a simulation exercise to show under which combinations of demand policies technological shocks would promote a path of sustainable growth. Our results will provide a reference framework for a sustainable economic policy-making. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Development, Poverty, and Risk of Exclusion for Young People in the European Union: The Case of NEETs
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124708 - 10 Dec 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
The difficulties of access to the labor market remains in the post-crisis period, particularly for younger people and for those countries more affected by the crisis. The economic conditions with the precariousness of the labor market and higher unemployment taxes for youth, draws [...] Read more.
The difficulties of access to the labor market remains in the post-crisis period, particularly for younger people and for those countries more affected by the crisis. The economic conditions with the precariousness of the labor market and higher unemployment taxes for youth, draws a scenario where the risk of poverty and social exclusion could influence young people and discourage them from social and economic participation, and thus the number of young people not in employment, education, or training (NEETs) will increase. The sustainable development in general and the social sustainability in particular needs to solve this important issue to get a balanced and fair social and economic scenario. In this work, the influence of socio economic variables related to the level of prosperity of the country and social protection as well as the risk of poverty and social exclusion on young NEETs is evaluated based on the EUROSTAT data for the year, 2016, for young people. The method was a structural equations model and the results confirm that the key important factors for explaining the situation of the NEETs’ are more related to poverty and exclusion than to the economic environment. The main conclusion from these results is the importance of implementing some inclusive actions to prevent an increase in the number of young NEETs, and boosting, in this way, a more balanced and sustainable society. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Social Responsibility and Reporting Methods of Romanian Companies in the Countries of the European Union
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124662 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
In the context of the current economy, the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained momentum, and its significance derives from the attitude of companies that have understood the importance of the impact of their activity on the environment in which they conduct [...] Read more.
In the context of the current economy, the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained momentum, and its significance derives from the attitude of companies that have understood the importance of the impact of their activity on the environment in which they conduct their operations. The present study emphasizes the fact that CSR has an equal importance for those companies of varying sizes that operate in developing countries, such as Romania. There are still a lot of challenges regarding their implementation. The study focuses on establishing the level of CSR report by the Romanian companies within the European Union framework by taking into account the extent to which they are familiar with the CSR reporting guidelines in order to identify the degree of applying the Global Reporting Guidelines (GRI) when designing the sustainability reports. The data regarding the acceptance of the voluntary report and its correlation to the sustainable development as a strategic focus of the management of entities, the usefulness, the necessity and the obstacles of voluntary reporting were gathered based on a questionnaire. Between 2015–2017, 61 Romanian companies of various sizes had to answer specific questions. The research is based on the descriptive statistics as well as the correlation analysis method. The findings of the research proved that the acceptance of the management in terms of the sustainable development is in a close relationship with implementing voluntary reporting and the willingness to develop a favorable image of the company within a competitive market. The study also identified the differences that exist between a company’s success on the market that is linked to their development and the economic factors that characterize each and every field of activity. The present study focuses on defining the term ‘social responsibility’ from the point of view of its concepts. It also aims at presenting the social responsibility reporting methods used by the companies from the European Union countries. These can be a starting point for those companies that have not had the chance of applying them yet. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Crowdfunding and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4650; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124650 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
The aim of this article is to verify the hypothesis that crowdfunding campaigns with sustainable orientations are significantly more likely to convince investors and successfully raise funds. The research covered 50 successful crowdfunding projects’ reward and equity-based models, which were pledged on Polish [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to verify the hypothesis that crowdfunding campaigns with sustainable orientations are significantly more likely to convince investors and successfully raise funds. The research covered 50 successful crowdfunding projects’ reward and equity-based models, which were pledged on Polish platforms, and analyzed the context of the campaigns. Basic statistical non-parametric tests were used to analyze the data. The study shows that although there were big differences in the amount of raised funds and achieved success rates, the sustainable orientation of the project itself was not so important. It is worth noticing that the level of realization of the objectives of sustainable development was really low, and was not highlighted in the description. This paper explores the relevant success factors of crowdfunding projects, which is very important in order to prepare new ideas for financing and attract the crowd as an investor. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Organic versus Conventional Farming—A Paradigm for the Sustainable Development of the European Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114279 - 19 Nov 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Although organic farming is an important topic for society, at the European level there have been few achievements so far. Despite its constant increase, the demand for organic food in Europe is outweighing the development of this sector. As such, we aim to [...] Read more.
Although organic farming is an important topic for society, at the European level there have been few achievements so far. Despite its constant increase, the demand for organic food in Europe is outweighing the development of this sector. As such, we aim to assess the interaction between conventional and organic agriculture, as well as their impact on the value of agricultural production at the European level. The main objective of this article is the assessment of the impact of organic farming, as compared with conventional agriculture, on sustainable development of European countries. Therefore, we used panel models based on data collected from the Eurostat database. We found that an increase of 1% of the organic farming areas will generate a contraction in agricultural production of 0.278%, whereas a 1% increase in the production of fertilizers would generate an increase of 0.260% in agriculture production. Moreover, an increase of 1% in the production of plant protection substances and in gross capital formation would generate increases of 0.1190% and 0.0933%, respectively, in agriculture production. The obtained results depend mainly on the characteristics of work on land, as some agricultural engineering methods (crop rotation, pest control, use of fertilizers etc.) influence productivity and production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Researching the Main Causes of the Romanian Shadow Economy at the Micro and Macro Levels: Implications for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103518 - 30 Sep 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1621
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were established by the United Nations for the year 2030 are considered the blueprint for reaching a sustainable future through addressing poverty eradication, education, social protection, environmental protection, climate change, health, job opportunities, and strong institutions. Until [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were established by the United Nations for the year 2030 are considered the blueprint for reaching a sustainable future through addressing poverty eradication, education, social protection, environmental protection, climate change, health, job opportunities, and strong institutions. Until now, sustainable development has focused mainly on the formal sector, somehow neglecting the potential contributions of the informal sector to sustainable futures. In this context, the paper aims to analyze the main causes of the Romanian shadow economy (SE) both at the micro and macro levels, and how they can make a considerable impact on achieving a more sustainable future. The main purpose of the paper is to highlight the relevance of knowing the main determinants of this phenomenon, emphasizing that keeping the incidence of the shadow economy and its causes under control could offer an alternative in the process of achieving sustainable development. In order to do that, we use an improved MIMIC (Multiple Causes Multiple Indicators) specification of the causal variables that is grounded in an evidence-based approach through using the points of view of the Romanian entrepreneurs. Their opinions are based on a national representative survey that is based on quarterly data covering the period 2000–2017. The empirical analysis pointed out the roles of tax avoidance, bribery, a lack of trust in public officials, the poor quality of business legislation, the poor government support for entrepreneurs, high social contributions, a relatively high of corruption, high tax rates, and uncertainty about regulation policies in increasing incidences of shadow economic activity. The macroeconomic results that were revealed to be the main causes for the Romanian SE were self-employment, unemployment, part-time employment, and the lack of trust in public institutions. Therefore, policymakers need to focus on building reliable and transparent institutions with a lower level of corruption, regulations, and bureaucracy, regaining people’ confidence in public institutions, and elaborating effective strategies for tackling the undeclared activities that will contribute to the achievement of sustainable development desideratum by the fulfillment of two main SDGs. These are Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth, and Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perspectives of Ecological Footprint in European Context under the Impact of Information Society and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093224 - 09 Sep 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3023
Abstract
The perspective of ecological footprint, which is a tool for measuring and monitoring the sustainability of the new information society and the higher degree of openness in the European economy powered by the globalization process, was approached from the viewpoint of accelerated technical, [...] Read more.
The perspective of ecological footprint, which is a tool for measuring and monitoring the sustainability of the new information society and the higher degree of openness in the European economy powered by the globalization process, was approached from the viewpoint of accelerated technical, scientific, and innovative progress. This research aims at identifying and forecasting patterns of environmental footprint behavior in European countries, depending on factors reflecting the innovation activity, the degree of economic freedom, and EU membership status. In the article, three factors are identified that explain to a large extent the variation of the ecological footprint values: employment in foreign controlled enterprises, eco-innovation index, and region. The statistical and econometric methods used in the analysis are aimed at applying a Proportional-Odds Cumulative Logistic regression model in order to verify the existence of the association between the statistical variables and to forecast the likelihood of changing the ecological footprint from a lower to a higher score under the impact of selected factors by quantifying their influence. The results have led to the conclusion that, by applying the model, both the share of the employed population in the foreign-controlled enterprises and the eco-innovation index will have a significant direct influence on the variability in the ecological footprint (through the odds-ratio). Referring to the EU membership, the model shows that non-EU member countries or newer EU member countries are predominantly assigned low ecological footprint scores. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Economic Effects of Biogas Installations for Organic Waste from Agro-Industrial Sector
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072582 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
The evolution of the world economy, the continuous growth of human needs and industrial and technological development have led to an increased demand for energy and consumption of fossil fuels. Since fossil resources are limited, there is an urgent need for the evolution [...] Read more.
The evolution of the world economy, the continuous growth of human needs and industrial and technological development have led to an increased demand for energy and consumption of fossil fuels. Since fossil resources are limited, there is an urgent need for the evolution of current economies to achieve sustainable development (SD), supported predominantly by waste management, renewable energy production, limiting non-renewable resource consumption, sustainable development, etc. In this research, the management of waste (chicken debris and debris from meat processing/slaughter) resulting from the chicken slaughtering activities using biogas installations (BI) is shown to be a viable alternative that places the economic entity at intercept if waste recycling and the production of electricity, heat and digestate. The purpose of this research was to quantify the economic impact generated using BI, which processes organic wastes resulted from the processing flow of the meat chicken slaughterhouse. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of the Cohesion Policy on the Sustainable Development of the Development Regions in Romania
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2577; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072577 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
The objective of this study was to characterize the development regions in Romania and to measure spatial imbalances, starting from the national and the European Union aspiration to promote more economic and social policies adapted to the different regional particularities. For this purpose, [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to characterize the development regions in Romania and to measure spatial imbalances, starting from the national and the European Union aspiration to promote more economic and social policies adapted to the different regional particularities. For this purpose, we conducted a multifactorial analysis of the sustainability of the development regions in Romania at NUTS II level by constructing a synthetic index of socio-economic development for the regions that appreciate sustainability and have accepted structural and cohesion funds. The multi-criteria synthetic index was obtained by aggregating several sub-indices (economy, health, education, public utilities, and living standards). We used cluster analysis to identify patterns of regional development in Romania over time. For 1998 and 2006, the same cluster structure was obtained. However, due to economic and social changes that occurred after 2006 (negative impact of the global financial crisis as well as the positive impact of EU funds), in 2016, we recorded another structure of clusters, except in the Bucharest-Ilfov region which continues to present a number of unique features. In addition, we show that the polarized regional development model is increasingly strengthening and the network of urban agglomerations needs to be territorially balanced to boost their ability to “export” wealth. Full article
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