Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2018)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) A participatory Integrated Assessment process was carried out to elicit the most fit-for-purpose [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-277
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sustainability in 2017
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 218; doi:10.3390/su10010218
Received: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 16 January 2018
PDF Full-text (979 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Sustainability maintains high quality standards for its published papers [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Could Black Be the New Gold? Design-Driven Challenges in New Sustainable Luxury Materials for Jewelry
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 2; doi:10.3390/su10010002
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Is there a new material for use in jewelry, matching gold and precious stones, capable of maintaining the same perception of “preciousness” but that is also more sustainable, ethical, and inexpensive? This article deals with a case study within the European EcoDesign Network
[...] Read more.
Is there a new material for use in jewelry, matching gold and precious stones, capable of maintaining the same perception of “preciousness” but that is also more sustainable, ethical, and inexpensive? This article deals with a case study within the European EcoDesign Network research project, aimed at investigating how sustainable design can help prestigious companies pinpoint new materials for the creation of jewelry, focusing on new and environmentally friendly opportunities while preserving their market position and target audience. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed. Adopting the exploring design path, a jewelry background analysis pointed out both stereotypes and possible innovations in the jewelry field: an analysis was carried out on the perception of jewels by a panel guided by a cognitive ergonomics specialist, also using the eye-tracking machine to examine participants’ reactions to the jewelry involved in the study, and to establish paradigms of sustainability, preciousness, and innovation. Several meta-project proposals regarding innovations in materials and finishing were hypothesized and tested, following the main guidelines and principles of ecodesign. Lastly, a prototyping phase and some mechanical tests were implemented to verify the hypotheses of innovation. The results allowed the creation of a first set of sustainable jewelry, currently on the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effluents from Fish Farming Ponds: A View from the Perspective of Its Main Components
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 3; doi:10.3390/su10010003
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among the animal protein production activities, world aquaculture has the highest growth rate, and is mainly practiced in ground-excavated ponds. However, with great productivity comes the concern about the increasing generation of effluents, mainly at the moment of fish removal, when high loads
[...] Read more.
Among the animal protein production activities, world aquaculture has the highest growth rate, and is mainly practiced in ground-excavated ponds. However, with great productivity comes the concern about the increasing generation of effluents, mainly at the moment of fish removal, when high loads of organic matter and nutrients are released into the environment. Thus, this study evaluated the quality of effluents through the principal component analysis (PCA) in samples from nurseries of different sizes in four sampling scenarios. Analysis was performed during the process of fish removal in Nile Tilapia intensive fish farming sites at various properties in the Western region of Paraná State in Brazil. Twenty physical and chemical parameters were analyzed in each effluent sample using standard methods of effluent analysis. The results indicated that the concentrations of Suspended Solids (SS), Total Solids (TS), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), and Total Phosphorus (TP) increased significantly at the end of the fish removal process, which caused a progressive deterioration in the effluent released into the environment. Hence, regulating water management during cultivation, as well as mitigating the effects of effluent generated in fish removal, is indispensable to maintain the legality, profitability, and sustainability of this sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eutrophication and Sustainable Management of Water)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Empirical Study towards the Drivers of Sustainable Economic Growth in EU-28 Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 4; doi:10.3390/su10010004
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims at empirically investigating the drivers of sustainable economic growth in EU-28 countries. By means of panel data regression models, in the form of fixed and random effects models, alongside system generalized method of moments, we examine several drivers of real
[...] Read more.
This study aims at empirically investigating the drivers of sustainable economic growth in EU-28 countries. By means of panel data regression models, in the form of fixed and random effects models, alongside system generalized method of moments, we examine several drivers of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, as follows: higher education, business environment, infrastructure, technology, communications, and media, population lifestyle, and demographic changes. As regards higher education, the empirical results show that expenditure per student in higher education and traditional 18–22 year-old students are positively linked with sustainable economic growth, whereas science and technology graduates negatively influence real GDP growth. In terms of business environment, total expenditure on research and development and employment rates of recent graduates contributes to sustainable development, but corruption perceptions index revealed a negative association with economic growth. As well, the results provide support for a negative influence of infrastructure abreast technological measures on economic growth. Besides, we found a negative connection between old-age dependency ratio and sustainable economic growth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Green Suppliers Performance Evaluation in Belt and Road Using Fuzzy Weighted Average with Social Media Information
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 5; doi:10.3390/su10010005
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1646 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A decision model for selecting a suitable supplier is a key to reducing the environmental impact in green supply chain management for high-tech companies. Traditional fuzzy weight average (FWA) adopts linguistic variable to determine weight by experts. However, the weights of FWA have
[...] Read more.
A decision model for selecting a suitable supplier is a key to reducing the environmental impact in green supply chain management for high-tech companies. Traditional fuzzy weight average (FWA) adopts linguistic variable to determine weight by experts. However, the weights of FWA have not considered the public voice, meaning the viewpoints of consumers in green supply chain management. This paper focuses on developing a novel decision model for green supplier selection in the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative through a fuzzy weighted average approach with social media. The proposed decision model uses the membership grade of the criteria and sub-criteria and its relative weights, which consider the volume of social media, to establish an analysis matrix of green supplier selection. Then, the proposed fuzzy weighted average approach is considered as an aggregating tool to calculate a synthetic score for each green supplier in the Belt and Road initiative. The final score of the green supplier is ordered by a non-fuzzy performance value ranking method to help the consumer make a decision. A case of green supplier selection in the light-emitting diode (LED) industry is used to demonstrate the proposed decision model. The findings demonstrate (1) the consumer’s main concerns are the “Quality” and “Green products” in LED industry, hence, the ranking of suitable supplier in FWA with social media information model obtained the difference result with tradition FWA; (2) OBOR in the LED industry is not fervently discussed in searches of Google and Twitter; and (3) the FWA with social media information could objectively analyze the green supplier selection because the novel model considers the viewpoints of the consumer. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial Heterogeneity of Typical Ecosystem Services and Their Relationships in Different Ecological–Functional Zones in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 6; doi:10.3390/su10010006
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (6844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recognizing changes in ecosystem services (ES) and their relationships is the basis of achieving sustainable regional development. Regional collaborative development has become the core strategy of the development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region. However, sub regions have different ecological changes and relationships. Here,
[...] Read more.
Recognizing changes in ecosystem services (ES) and their relationships is the basis of achieving sustainable regional development. Regional collaborative development has become the core strategy of the development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region. However, sub regions have different ecological changes and relationships. Here, we quantify and map ES, including water yield, sediment retention, carbon sequestration and grain productive capacity in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, using several biophysical models and explore the relationships of spatial correction, trade-offs and synergies among multiple ES in different spatial scales. Results across the four years show that the quality and variation tendency of ES from each region are spatially heterogeneous. The relationship between ES that are not significant in the entire region shows different correlations in individual ecological–functional zones. From the perspective of regional disparity, the effect of land use factor and correlative mechanisms among ES are analyzed. To observe the spatiotemporal variations and relationships of ES in individual regions, land use management policies are proposed on the basis of the results of the relationships among ES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Cultivated Land Use Benefits Under State and Collective Agrarian Property Regimes in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 7; doi:10.3390/su10010007
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (7693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agrarian property regimes interact with relevant property stakeholders’ behaviors and benefits, playing a vital role in national and regional cultivated land use. In China, state and collective agrarian property regimes are the two main forms of cultivated land use. To help fully realize
[...] Read more.
Agrarian property regimes interact with relevant property stakeholders’ behaviors and benefits, playing a vital role in national and regional cultivated land use. In China, state and collective agrarian property regimes are the two main forms of cultivated land use. To help fully realize the multi-objectives of cultivated land use benefits provided by agrarian property regimes, our study investigated the relationship between agrarian property regimes and cultivated land use. This paper describes the role of a cultivated land use system in facilitating the relationship between agrarian property regimes and cultivated land use from a geographical perspective. Understanding the cultivated land use system is the foundation for comparatively analyzing differences in the cultivated land use benefits in two adjacent areas, a state-owned regime and a collective regime, in the city of Fujin, China, through a comprehensive evaluation. We found the following results: (1) The arrangement of agrarian property rights directly reflects capital, material and technology inputs by motivating agricultural labors to obtain different economic benefits; (2) The state agrarian property regime reflects top-down agricultural management while the collective agrarian property regime reflects bottom-up agricultural management in China. The different agricultural managements influence planting structure and land use planning, resulting in different ecological benefits; (3) Labor division and social insurance are the main drivers of different social benefits from the two regimes. Examining cultivated land use benefits provides a new comparative perspective for studying agrarian property regimes. The results show that cultivated land use benefits from collective and state agrarian property regimes are different. These findings clarify that, incentivized by the different types of agrarian property ownerships represented by collectively and state-owned regimes, local governments and organizations aim to achieve the multi-objective cultivated land use benefit goal of Chinese agricultural development, including economic, ecological and social benefits. With China’s goal of conducting moderate agricultural reform in its agrarian property regime, verification of rural collective land rights is an effective form of asset management in collective areas in China, while deepening land tenure and usufruct is an important priority in state-owned regimes. Furthermore, to make full use of agricultural resources, it is necessary to have a close collaboration between the collective agrarian property regime and the state agrarian property regime. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability and Economic Performance of the Companies in the Renewable Energy Sector in Romania
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 8; doi:10.3390/su10010008
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we focus on the sustainability and economic performance of the renewable energy sector of Romania. In our analysis, we have used Total Quality Management (TQM) model, which is an economic modern tool used for improving the quality of management for
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we focus on the sustainability and economic performance of the renewable energy sector of Romania. In our analysis, we have used Total Quality Management (TQM) model, which is an economic modern tool used for improving the quality of management for all companies. The aim of this study is to bring into discussion the conceptualized TQM model of Edward Deming underlying different stages of its evolution as it is described in the economic literature. Conceptual model is applied in a case study of the renewable energy sector of Romania. The quantitative research evaluates the impact of the total quality management to achieve the sustainable development, performance objectives and the competitive advantage of the companies in the renewable energy sector. Data was collected through a survey and the questionnaire was addressed to the management and employees in the renewable energy sector. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used and the hypotheses were tested by partial least square (PLS) equations. Data was analyzed through the Smart PLS 3 software. The main contribution of this paper is to identify and evaluate the relationship among sustainable development, economic performance of the companies and TQM model indicators. The conclusions of our research are in line with the existing literature and confirm the theoretical assumptions, underlining the fact that the undertaking’s performance and sustainable development is a direct consequence of the combination among a series of factors like decisional power quality, motivated workforce as well as integrity of operational process. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urbanization Synergy Degree Measures—A Case Study in Henan Province, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 9; doi:10.3390/su10010009
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable urbanization emphasizes properly handling the relationships between people, people and society, and people and nature in the process of urban development. However, sometimes these interactions are difficult to quantify. Through an analysis of the structure and functions of the sustainable urbanization system,
[...] Read more.
Sustainable urbanization emphasizes properly handling the relationships between people, people and society, and people and nature in the process of urban development. However, sometimes these interactions are difficult to quantify. Through an analysis of the structure and functions of the sustainable urbanization system, this paper introduced synergetic theory and constructed a sustainable urbanization synergy system (SUSS) with five subsystems; demographic change, economic development, spatial structure, environmental quality, and social development; to study the synergistic development and orderly evolution trend of the sustainable urbanization composite system. Using sustainable urbanization in Henan province as an example, a mathematical quantitative model was established to measure the subsystem order degrees and the composite system synergy degree from 2006 to 2015. The results were consistent with the actual situation and indicated that over time, sustainable urbanization in Henan developed towards a more harmonious and orderly state, though the overall synergy degree was not high. It was found that the model was a sound basis for scientific judgment and effective decision-making when seeking to coordinate sustainable urbanization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Urban Metabolism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Analyzing Land Cover Change and Urban Growth Trajectories of the Mega-Urban Region of Dhaka Using Remotely Sensed Data and an Ensemble Classifier
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 10; doi:10.3390/su10010010
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (15370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate information on, and human interpretation of, urban land cover using satellite-derived sensor imagery is critical given the intricate nature and niches of socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental factors occurring at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Detailed knowledge of urban land and their changing
[...] Read more.
Accurate information on, and human interpretation of, urban land cover using satellite-derived sensor imagery is critical given the intricate nature and niches of socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental factors occurring at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Detailed knowledge of urban land and their changing pattern over time periods associated with ecological risk is, however, required for the best use of critical land and its environmental resources. Interest in this topic has increased recently, driven by a surge in the use of open-source computing software, satellite-derived imagery, and improved classification algorithms. Using the machine learning algorithm Random Forest, combined with multi-date Landsat imagery, we classified eight periods of land cover maps with up-to-date spatial and temporal information of urban land between the period of 1972 and 2015 for the mega-urban region of greater Dhaka in Bangladesh. Random Forest—a non-parametric ensemble classifier—has shown a quantum increase in satellite-derived image classification accuracy due to its outperformance over traditional approaches, e.g., Maximum Likelihood. Employing Random Forest as an image classification approach for this study with independent cross-validation techniques, we obtained high classification accuracy, user and producer accuracy. Our overall classification accuracy ranges were between 85% and 97% with kappa values between 0.81 and 0.94. The area statistics derived from the thematic land cover map show that the built-up area in the 43-year study period expanded quickly, from 35 km2 in 1972 to 378 km2 in 2015, with a net increase rate of approximately 980% and an average annual growth rate of 6%. This growth rate, however, was higher in peripheral areas, with a 2903% increase and an annual expansion rate of 8%, compared to a 460% increase with an annual growth rate of 4% in the core city area (Dhaka City Corporation). This huge urban expansion took place in the north, northwest, and southwest regions of Dhaka, transforming areas that were previously agricultural land, vegetation cover, wetland, and water bodies. The main factors driving the city towards northern corridors include flood-free higher land, the availability of a transportation network, and the agglomeration of manufacturing-based employment centers. The resulting thematic map and spatial information produced from this study therefore serve to facilitate a detailed understanding of urban growth dynamics and land cover change patterns in the mega-urban region of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Collaborative Cloud Service Platform for Realizing Sustainable Make-To-Order Apparel Supply Chain
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 11; doi:10.3390/su10010011
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (14408 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As fashion mass customization has been developing rapidly in the recent decade, supply chain in apparel industry was required to be more flexible for meeting the need of quick response toward the dynamic changes in the fashion market. Forecast-based make-to-stock production strategy was
[...] Read more.
As fashion mass customization has been developing rapidly in the recent decade, supply chain in apparel industry was required to be more flexible for meeting the need of quick response toward the dynamic changes in the fashion market. Forecast-based make-to-stock production strategy was not suitable anymore. Make-to-order strategy was employed by more and more apparel companies. However, there were still many defects in traditional make-to-order apparel supply chain, e.g., sustainability is still at a low level. In this study, we proposed a collaborative cloud service platform to develop a novel model of sustainable make-to-order apparel supply chain. A service provider selection heuristic was designed for this platform to optimally select suppliers corresponding to each received demand. Multi-agent-based simulation technology was utilized to build the proposed platform and to evaluate the new sustainable supply chain model. Experiment was conducted in the simulation to compare our new model to traditional apparel make-to-order model and model with outsourcing mechanism. Based on simulation results, the remarkable improvement in terms of sustainability of the proposed platform and corresponding supply chain model was demonstrated. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Stomatal Behavior of Cowpea Genotypes Grown Under Varying Moisture Levels
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 12; doi:10.3390/su10010012
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drought is a major limitation to crop productivity worldwide. Plants lose most of their water through stomata, thus making stomata an important organ in the control of transpiration and photosynthesis. This study assessed the stomatal behavior of four cowpea genotypes grown under four
[...] Read more.
Drought is a major limitation to crop productivity worldwide. Plants lose most of their water through stomata, thus making stomata an important organ in the control of transpiration and photosynthesis. This study assessed the stomatal behavior of four cowpea genotypes grown under four moisture levels under hot semi-arid conditions. Stomatal conductance (gs) was measured at 47, 54, 70 and 77 days after planting (DAP). Biomass and carbon isotope composition (δ13C) were also determined at flowering. Genotype and moisture level significantly influenced gs. Genotypes varied in gs at vegetative stages (47 and 54 DAP) only. TVu4607 had higher gs under severe drought conditions at both 47 and 54 DAP. On the other hand, moisture level influenced gs at 54 and 70 DAP only. Stomatal conductance was severely restricted in cowpea under both moderate and severe drought conditions as gs was mostly below the threshold 0.10 mol m−2 s−1. Relationships between: biomass and gs, and δ13C and gs were positive under severe drought only. The findings revealed that cowpea genotypes vary in gs under dry conditions and that the variation is more prominent at vegetative stage, suggesting that cowpea productivity in dry areas could be improved through selection of genotypes that maintain higher gs under dry conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Innovative Corporate Initiatives to Reduce Climate Risk: Lessons from East Asia
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 13; doi:10.3390/su10010013
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
PDF Full-text (406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Businesses, investors, and insurers are requiring better quantitative assessments of their exposure to climate risks and their impact on climate change. They are incorporating these assessments in their day-to-day management and long-term investment decisions. Already, there are efforts to develop international guidelines, common
[...] Read more.
Businesses, investors, and insurers are requiring better quantitative assessments of their exposure to climate risks and their impact on climate change. They are incorporating these assessments in their day-to-day management and long-term investment decisions. Already, there are efforts to develop international guidelines, common policies and legal frameworks for such assessments, as well as the desire to foster climate financing. We examine recent progress in East Asia and the rest of the world in setting targets, pricing policies, and other mechanisms to reduce climate risks. We develop a model that demonstrates how reduced climate risk management may lower the total cost of capital of firms, thus making them more attractive to investors. We discuss the additional policies needed to support improved climate risk management in investment decisions, private investments in climate science, technology and innovation (STI) expansion, and more widespread adoption of climate financing and principles. Central banks, financial authorities, and governments can advance this objective by creating financial incentives to support investment decision-making. This would take into account factors such as improving climate performance, establishing better climate risk management and reporting requirements to foster green STI, and developing international guidelines and common policy and legal frameworks to support better climate risk management, assessments and reporting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Towards Sustainability in Viral Marketing with User Engaging Supporting Campaigns
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 15; doi:10.3390/su10010015
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While viral marketing has captured substantial academic and professional interest, the processes that underpin successful viral marketing campaigns remain poorly understood. High competition and pressure for successful campaigns lead to strategies based on persuasion, unsolicited messages, and other techniques that negatively affect brand
[...] Read more.
While viral marketing has captured substantial academic and professional interest, the processes that underpin successful viral marketing campaigns remain poorly understood. High competition and pressure for successful campaigns lead to strategies based on persuasion, unsolicited messages, and other techniques that negatively affect brand perception. The need for more sustainable strategies with a limited negative impact on web users is observed. Therefore, the current study examines the effectiveness of viral marketing and a supporting campaign, where the main goal was to increase user engagement and overall campaign performance. Supporting campaigns were evaluated, to determine whether they enhanced viral activity, but without the need for high persuasion or intrusive techniques. Results showed that supporting actions could be integrated with lower performing campaigns to increase their effectiveness. Apart from the main scientific goal that is presented, the study demonstrates how virtual worlds can provide a laboratory-like environment for identifying the processes that underpin viral marketing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in E-Business)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Implementing Responsible Research and Innovation Practices in SMEs: Insights into Drivers and Barriers from the Austrian Medical Device Sector
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 17; doi:10.3390/su10010017
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper addresses the question of how Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can be implemented in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It builds on existing knowledge about RRI in business as well as on insights into motivations, drivers and barriers from the related
[...] Read more.
This paper addresses the question of how Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can be implemented in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It builds on existing knowledge about RRI in business as well as on insights into motivations, drivers and barriers from the related fields of eco-innovation and sustainability innovation. Expert interviews with CEOs of SMEs in the Austrian medical device sector are analyzed to develop insights into the companies’ research and innovation activities and potential drivers and barriers for RRI. The findings support the assumption that SMEs are largely unaware of the RRI concept. At the same time, however, it is possible to identify current practices that already operationalize aspects of RRI. It is argued that SMEs could build upon existing practices to further develop ways of being responsible and that implementation of RRI should be in line with specific organizational and contextual factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)
Open AccessArticle The Great Scottish Housing Disaster: The Impacts of Feudalism, Modernism, Energy Efficiency and Vapour Barriers on Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Public Health
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 18; doi:10.3390/su10010018
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper represents 30 years of research into the arena of housing and health. It brings together the conclusions of three books and the findings of multiple research papers undertaken by the author and published by medical, engineering and social policy journals. This
[...] Read more.
This paper represents 30 years of research into the arena of housing and health. It brings together the conclusions of three books and the findings of multiple research papers undertaken by the author and published by medical, engineering and social policy journals. This work aims to highlight the links and connections between the diverse arenas of urban form, building design, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, respiratory medicine and immunology, all within the socio-economic framework of a small damp country on the fringe of northern Europe. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Low-Carbon Transportation Oriented Urban Spatial Structure: Theory, Model and Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 19; doi:10.3390/su10010019
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Optimising the spatial structure of cities to promote low-carbon travel is a primary goal of urban planning and construction innovation in the low-carbon era. There is a need for basic research on the structural characteristics that help to reduce motor traffic, thereby promoting
[...] Read more.
Optimising the spatial structure of cities to promote low-carbon travel is a primary goal of urban planning and construction innovation in the low-carbon era. There is a need for basic research on the structural characteristics that help to reduce motor traffic, thereby promoting energy conservation. We first review the existing literature on the influence of urban spatial structure on transport carbon dioxide emissions and summarise the influence mechanisms. We then present two low-carbon transportation oriented patterns of urban spatial structure including the traditional walking city and the modern transit metropolis, illustrated by case studies. Furthermore, we propose an improved model Green Transportation System Oriented Development (GTOD), which is an extension of traditional transit-oriented development (TOD) and includes the additional features of a walking city and an emphasis on the integration of land use with a green transportation system, consisting of the public transportation and non-auto travel system. A compact urban form, effective mix of land use and appropriate scale of block are the basic structural features of a low-carbon transportation city. However, these features are only effective at promoting low-carbon transportation when integrated with the green traffic systems. Proper integration of the urban structural system with the green space system is also required. The optimal land use/transportation integration strategy is to divide traffic corridors with wedge-shaped green spaces and limit development along the transit corridors. This strategy forms the basis of the proposed urban structural model to promote low-carbon transportation and sustainable urban growth management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Advances in Research on Sustainable Ecosystems)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Regional Variations of Credits Obtained by LEED 2009 Certified Green Buildings—A Country Level Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 20; doi:10.3390/su10010020
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most widely recognized green building rating systems. With more than 20% of the projects certified in non-United States (US) countries, LEED’s global impact has been increasing and it is critically important for
[...] Read more.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most widely recognized green building rating systems. With more than 20% of the projects certified in non-United States (US) countries, LEED’s global impact has been increasing and it is critically important for developers and regulatory authorities to understand LEED’s performance at the country level to facilitate global implementation. This study therefore aims to investigate the credit achievement pattern of LEED 2009, which is one of the well-developed versions of LEED, by using 4021 certified projects in the US, China, Turkey, and Brazil. The results show that significant differences can be identified on most rating categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Using a post hoc analysis, country-specific credit allocation patterns are also identified to help developers to understand existing country-specific green building practices. In addition, it is also found that there is unbalanced achievement of regional priority credits. The study offers a useful reference and benchmark for international developers and contractors to understand the regional variations of LEED 2009 and for regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. Green Building Council, to improve the rating system, especially on designing regional priority credits. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How Myopia Archetypes Lead to Non-Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 21; doi:10.3390/su10010021
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Much of the literature on sustainability has tried to define the “virtuous behaviour” of “agents” (man and his social and economic organizations) so that it respects the “sustainability constraint.” This paper provides a “mirror-image” approach, based on the idea that it is above
[...] Read more.
Much of the literature on sustainability has tried to define the “virtuous behaviour” of “agents” (man and his social and economic organizations) so that it respects the “sustainability constraint.” This paper provides a “mirror-image” approach, based on the idea that it is above all necessary to understand why men and organizations tend to develop, at times unconsciously and dishonestly, damaging behaviour that turns into non-sustainability. In other words, to orient man toward sustainable behaviour it is indispensable to understand the “reasons” for the behaviour that produces non-sustainable effects. Regarding sustainability problems, we shall introduce the hypothesis that non-sustainable behaviour is not irrational in an absolute sense but derives from the action of three connected “behavioural archetypes” that accurately describe the “natural” behaviour of individuals in pursuing their aims: behaving in a way that will provide evident short-term advantages, both individual and local, while ignoring the disadvantages and harm such behaviour produces in the long run, at the collective and global level. To solve the problem, we shall try to identify the “levers” that weaken the archetypes and reverse their effects, thereby requiring sacrifices which are unacceptable to some. The paper presents four emblematic cases of non-sustainable behaviour and demonstrates that sustainability must become a fundamental strategic driver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling Spatial Distribution of Some Contamination within the Lower Reaches of Diyala River Using IDW Interpolation
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 22; doi:10.3390/su10010022
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (14119 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this research was to simulate the water quality along the lower course of the Diyala River using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques. For this purpose, the samples were taken at 24 sites along the study area. The parameters: total dissolved
[...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to simulate the water quality along the lower course of the Diyala River using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques. For this purpose, the samples were taken at 24 sites along the study area. The parameters: total dissolved solids (T.D.S), total suspended solids (T.S.S), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), and manganese (Mn) were considered. Water samples were collected on a monthly basis for a duration of five years. The adopted analyzing approach was tested by calculating the mean absolute error (MAE) and the correlation coefficient (R) between observed water samples and predicted results. The result showed a percentage error less than 10% and significant correlation at R > 89% for all pollutant indicators. It was concluded that the accuracy of the applied model to simulate the river pollutants can decrease the number of monitoring station to 50%. Additionally, a distribution map for the concentrations’ results indicated that many of the major pollution indicators did not satisfy the river water quality standards. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Comprehensive Benefit of Group-Affiliated New Energy Power Generation Enterprises for Sustainability: Based on a Combined Technique of STBI and TOPSIS
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 24; doi:10.3390/su10010024
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an efficient way to deal with the exhaustion of traditional fossil fuels, new energy power generation has obtained much attention from the Chinese Government. In this context, more and more new energy power generation groups that consist of large numbers of regional
[...] Read more.
As an efficient way to deal with the exhaustion of traditional fossil fuels, new energy power generation has obtained much attention from the Chinese Government. In this context, more and more new energy power generation groups that consist of large numbers of regional enterprises have been founded and developed rapidly. However, researches related to comprehensive benefit evaluation of group-affiliated new energy power generation enterprises is still blank in China, which will hinder the benefit growth and sustainable development of such enterprises. A novel hybrid evaluation indicator system is proposed from both perspectives of sustainability and the internal management within the groups. Considering the preference information given on each of the indicators is featured by multi-source and multi-form, an evaluation framework to integrate the blended and complex evaluation information is designed. In addition, different from previous studies, this paper employs a combined technique of Stochastic Transformation for Blended Information (STBI) method and the Technique for Order Preference by Similar to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) to simulate the evaluation process and rank the comprehensive benefit of evaluation objects. It can efficiently handle the comprehensive evaluation problems with blended and complex evaluation information and preserve the initial evaluation information to the utmost simultaneously. Finally, this paper applied the evaluation model to empirical research and the results show that the model meets the actual situation of the new energy power generation group and can provide a certain reference value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Traditional Technological Approach and Social Technologies in the Brazilian Semiarid Region
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 25; doi:10.3390/su10010025
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (13955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are different technological approaches to deal with the social-ecological adversities found in the Brazilian Semiarid region (BSA). They vary according to the interpretation of what the roots of these adversities and the causes of the resulting vulnerability are. This paper analyses two
[...] Read more.
There are different technological approaches to deal with the social-ecological adversities found in the Brazilian Semiarid region (BSA). They vary according to the interpretation of what the roots of these adversities and the causes of the resulting vulnerability are. This paper analyses two technological approaches to the BSA, the first provided by the government through public policies and the other driven by civil society. It focuses on the initiatives promoted by each approach during the 20th and 21st centuries, and discusses how they have enhanced or reduced the sustainability of the Brazilian Semiarid region. This assessment is based on document analysis, fieldwork and open/semi-structured interviews. The traditional technological approach did not reduce the social-ecological vulnerability of the BSA system or increase resilience of family farmers and of the deciduous forest, the most vulnerable parties. It has boosted development from a classical development perspective, promoting macro-infrastructure and growth, but also contributed to keep the same pattern of dependence of farmers. Social technologies have been promoting the BSA sustainability and can have a long-lasting impact if extensively applied. While the traditional approach mostly benefits large landowners, social technologies benefit family farmers, the deciduous forest and the entire social-ecological system. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Groundwater Level Dynamics in Bengaluru City, India
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 26; doi:10.3390/su10010026
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (8747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater accounts for half of Indian urban water use. However, little is known about its sustainability, because of inadequate monitoring and evaluation. We deployed a dense monitoring network in 154 locations in Bengaluru, India between 2015 and 2017. Groundwater levels collected at these
[...] Read more.
Groundwater accounts for half of Indian urban water use. However, little is known about its sustainability, because of inadequate monitoring and evaluation. We deployed a dense monitoring network in 154 locations in Bengaluru, India between 2015 and 2017. Groundwater levels collected at these locations were analyzed to understand the behavior of the city’s groundwater system. At a local scale, groundwater behavior is non-classical, with valleys showing deeper groundwater than ridge-tops. We hypothesize that this is due to relatively less pumping compared to artificial recharge from leaking pipes and wastewater in the higher, city core areas, than in the rapidly growing, lower peripheral areas, where the converse is true. In the drought year of 2016, groundwater depletion was estimated at 27 mm, or 19 Mm3 over the study area. The data show that rainfall has the potential to replenish the aquifer. High rainfall during August–September 2017 led to a mean recharge of 67 mm, or 47 Mm3 for the study area. A rainfall recharge factor of 13.5% was estimated from the data for 2016. Sustainable groundwater management in Bengaluru must account for substantial spatial socio-hydrological heterogeneity. Continuous monitoring at high spatial density will be needed to inform evidence-based policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Reality of Encounters with Local Life in Other Cultures
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 27; doi:10.3390/su10010027
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Equipped with mobile technologies, travelers increasingly seek opportunities to encounter the real lives of the people residing in the focal destination. With this trend of pursuing local life experience, this study investigated how international visitors recognize the lives of people in the focal
[...] Read more.
Equipped with mobile technologies, travelers increasingly seek opportunities to encounter the real lives of the people residing in the focal destination. With this trend of pursuing local life experience, this study investigated how international visitors recognize the lives of people in the focal destination, and whether this recognition is related to satisfaction. Reviews for Teheran’s Grand Bazaar from an online review site, Tripadvisor, showed that visitors’ local encounters were linked with favorable emotions (good, interesting, and worthwhile). To lend support to the contact hypothesis, which posits that intercultural experiences can lead to more favorable evaluations of the host community; the visitors who recognized direct and indirect encounters with local life indicated higher satisfaction. Even if brief, the experience of local life appeared to create more intimate feelings for the focal destination. Interestingly, the number of past travel experiences, which was captured by the number of reviews written by the reviewer, was found to have a negative association with satisfaction. We draw further implications for the travelers as well as the local community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Green Eco-Driving Effects in Non-Congested Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 28; doi:10.3390/su10010028
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite technological advances in engines and fuels, the transportation sector is still one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas (GHG). Driving patterns, including eco-driving techniques, are a complementary measure for saving GHG emissions. Most eco-driving studies so far have been conducted in
[...] Read more.
Despite technological advances in engines and fuels, the transportation sector is still one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas (GHG). Driving patterns, including eco-driving techniques, are a complementary measure for saving GHG emissions. Most eco-driving studies so far have been conducted in large cities suffering chronic congestion problems. The aim of this research is therefore to analyse the potential of driver behaviour for reducing emissions in a small non-congested city. Driver performance parameters such as travel speeds, number of stops, revolutions per minute, and maximum acceleration-deceleration are also studied. The methodology is designed to measure the effect of both eco-driving and eco-routing under real traffic conditions. A campaign was carried out in the city of Caceres (Spain) to collect data on various types of roads under different traffic conditions. This research concludes that eco-driving leads to CO2 savings on all routes and road types of 17% in gasoline engines and 21% in diesel, although travel times are increased by 7.5% on average. The shortest route is also the most ecological, regardless of the traffic volume and characteristics, implying that consumption in non-congested cities depends mainly on distance travelled rather than driving patterns in terms of number of stops, speed and acceleration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring Farmers’ Pro-Ecological Intentions after Ecological Rehabilitation in a Fragile Environment Area: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 29; doi:10.3390/su10010029
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farmers’ pro-ecological intentions (PEI) after ecological rehabilitation are crucial to the sustainability of ecological conservation achievements and attract attention from policy-makers and managers. However, studies regarding multiple factors and their mechanism of influence on farmer's PEI are limited in fragile environmental areas. We
[...] Read more.
Farmers’ pro-ecological intentions (PEI) after ecological rehabilitation are crucial to the sustainability of ecological conservation achievements and attract attention from policy-makers and managers. However, studies regarding multiple factors and their mechanism of influence on farmer's PEI are limited in fragile environmental areas. We conducted a household survey that measures the perceptions and attitudes, and the individual, demographic, and economic properties of 2025 farmers in the Loess Plateau of China. Results showed that only 28.74% of the respondents intended to apply the pro-ecological behavior after ecological restoration. The structural equation model reported a high explanatory power of 77.6% for farmers’ PEI. Farmers’ intentions to apply pro-ecological behaviors are jointly affected by various factors, with their perceptions and attitudes found to be the most influential factor and a vital link to other factors. Farmers’ individual, demographic, and economic factors also showed significant effects. Younger male farmers with higher education degrees, and better self-assessment of their abilities and perception of environmental improvement tend to state a greater intention to apply pro-ecological behaviors after the ecological rehabilitation. Results suggest that policy-makers and managers wanting to encourage farmers taking pro-ecological actions after ecological programs should value both enhancing farmers’ abilities to conserve ecological achievements and their perceptions of ecological benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Future Water Use for Electricity Generation under Different Energy Development Scenarios in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 30; doi:10.3390/su10010030
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Water scarcity and uneven water demand in regional electricity generation pose substantial challenges to the sustainable development of water resources and electricity production in China. Based on the latest official policy of China’s electricity development, i.e., the 13th Five-Year Plan of electricity development,
[...] Read more.
Water scarcity and uneven water demand in regional electricity generation pose substantial challenges to the sustainable development of water resources and electricity production in China. Based on the latest official policy of China’s electricity development, i.e., the 13th Five-Year Plan of electricity development, this study quantified annual water withdrawal and consumption for future electricity generation in China from 2015 to 2030. This study simulated a three-prong approach to impacting water use for electricity development, i.e., updating the cooling technology mix, increasing non-thermal power generation and relocating thermal power plants to the west. The results showed that solutions to relieve water stress caused by electricity production entail major trade-offs. Annual water withdrawal and consumption were projected to exceed 63.75 and 8.30 billion m3 by 2030, up approximately 14% and 21% of those in 2015, respectively, if China does not implement any new water and energy policies. Replacing once-through cooling systems with closed-loop cooling systems would decrease national water withdrawal remarkably but increase water consumption. The west-centered spatial distribution of thermoelectric power generation would reduce water use at the national level; however, it will largely increase water stress in northern and northwestern China. Thus, relieving the stress of growing electricity demand on water resources in China requires comprehensive measures and quantitative estimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Investigating How the Rents of Small Urban Houses are Determined: Using Spatial Hedonic Modeling for Urban Residential Housing in Seoul
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 31; doi:10.3390/su10010031
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Seoul metropolitan government has launched the Urban Residential Housing (URH) program to address the shortage of small urban houses, and enhance residential stability for the increasing number of one- and two-person households in Seoul, Korea. While studies have examined the price premium
[...] Read more.
The Seoul metropolitan government has launched the Urban Residential Housing (URH) program to address the shortage of small urban houses, and enhance residential stability for the increasing number of one- and two-person households in Seoul, Korea. While studies have examined the price premium of locational and neighborhood environmental features for houses in general, little is known about how and to what extent these features influence the rents of small urban houses. We estimate and compare conventional and spatial hedonic price models (HPMs) to examine the effects of those features on the monthly rents of URH units, while using geographic information system techniques to measure the variables. We found that the spatial HPM outperforms the conventional HPM in terms of goodness of fit measures. All of the locational features, and most of the variables with respect to the neighborhood environment, had a significant impact on rents. Rent tended to be lower in areas adjacent to a university, suggesting that it is a good place for one and two-person households to enhance residential affordability. However, access to parks does not appear to be important for residents. We conclude that the people who live in small urban houses are inclined to place a premium on rents in different ways. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Variation Trend Analysis of Runoff and Sediment Time Series Based on the R/S Analysis of Simulated Loess Tilled Slopes in the Loess Plateau, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 32; doi:10.3390/su10010032
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
PDF Full-text (6564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to illustrate the temporal variation of runoff and sediment of loess tilled slopes under successive rainfall conditions. Loess tilled slopes with four microtopography types (straight cultivated slope, artificial backhoe, artificial digging, and contour tillage) under five slope
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to illustrate the temporal variation of runoff and sediment of loess tilled slopes under successive rainfall conditions. Loess tilled slopes with four microtopography types (straight cultivated slope, artificial backhoe, artificial digging, and contour tillage) under five slope gradients (5°, 10°, 15°, 20°, 25°) were simulated and a rainfall intensity of 60 mm/h was adopted. The temporal trends of runoff and sediment yield were predicted based on the Rescaled Range (R/S) analysis method. The results indicate that the Hurst indices of runoff time series and sediment time series are higher than 0.5, and a long-term positive correlation exists between the future and the past. This means that runoff and sediment of loess tilled slopes in the future will have the same trends as in the past. The results obtained by the classical R/S analysis method were the same as those of the modified R/S analysis method. The rationality and reliability of the R/S analysis method were further identified and the method can be used for predicting the trend of runoff and sediment yield. The correlation between the microtopography and the Hurst indices of the runoff and sediment yield time series, as well as between the slopes and the Hurst indices, were tested, and the result was that there was no significant correlation between them. The microtopography and slopes cannot affect the correlation and continuity of runoff and sediment yield time series. This study provides an effective method for predicting variations in the trends of runoff and sediment yield on loess tilled slopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Critical Factors Influencing Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Buildings
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 33; doi:10.3390/su10010033
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite significant policy drives, the wide adoption of sustainable building (SB) is hindered by factors such as high upfront cost and long payback period. Business model (BM) innovation is therefore highly demanded to help SB professionals to cope with the challenges and convert
[...] Read more.
Despite significant policy drives, the wide adoption of sustainable building (SB) is hindered by factors such as high upfront cost and long payback period. Business model (BM) innovation is therefore highly demanded to help SB professionals to cope with the challenges and convert the value of SB into profit. Nevertheless, few studies examined BM innovation in the building sector and factors influencing BM innovation for SB are unclear. This paper aims to identify the critical factors that propel companies to innovate BM for SB. First, a literature review and expert interviews were conducted to identify and filter the drivers for BM innovation within the SB context. Second, a questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data on the significance of the selected influencing factors from 132 SB professionals. Finally, a model based on fuzzy set theory was used to ascertain the critical factors influencing BM innovation for SB. Twenty-four critical influencing factors in six categories from the external environment and internal organization were finalized, namely, market and economic, policy and legislation, technology and industry structure, social-culture, entrepreneurship, and organizational learning. The findings illuminate the motivations when developing BM for sustainability and provide strategies on BM innovation for practitioners and policy makers. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Early Forecasting of Rice Blast Disease Using Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Networks
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 34; doi:10.3390/su10010034
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among all diseases affecting rice production, rice blast disease has the greatest impact. Thus, monitoring and precise prediction of the occurrence of this disease are important; early prediction of the disease would be especially helpful for prevention. Here, we propose an artificial-intelligence-based model
[...] Read more.
Among all diseases affecting rice production, rice blast disease has the greatest impact. Thus, monitoring and precise prediction of the occurrence of this disease are important; early prediction of the disease would be especially helpful for prevention. Here, we propose an artificial-intelligence-based model for rice blast disease prediction. Historical data on rice blast occurrence in representative areas of rice production in South Korea and historical climatic data are used to develop a region-specific model for three different regions: Cheolwon, Icheon and Milyang. A rice blast incidence is then predicted a year in advance using long-term memory networks (LSTMs). The predictive performance of the proposed LSTM model is evaluated by varying the input variables (i.e., rice blast disease scores, air temperature, relative humidity and sunshine hours). The most widely cultivated rice varieties are also selected and the prediction results for those varieties are analyzed. Application of the LSTM model to the accumulated rice-blast disease score data confirms successful prediction of rice blast incidence. In all regions, the predictions are most accurate when all four input variables are combined. Rice blast fungus prediction using the proposed LSTM model is variety-based; therefore, this model will be more helpful for rice breeders and rice blast researchers than conventional rice blast prediction models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Water Efficient Alternative Crops for Sustainable Agriculture along the Tarim Basin: A Comparison of the Economic Potentials of Apocynum pictum, Chinese Red Date and Cotton in Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 35; doi:10.3390/su10010035
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores a paradigm of sustainable land use in the oases along the Tarim River of northwest China, where a fragile, semi-arid riparian ecosystem is being damaged by excessive land and water use for agriculture, especially for the growing of cotton. The
[...] Read more.
This study explores a paradigm of sustainable land use in the oases along the Tarim River of northwest China, where a fragile, semi-arid riparian ecosystem is being damaged by excessive land and water use for agriculture, especially for the growing of cotton. The reliance of agriculture on water-demanding cash crops in this region poses a grave threat to survival of the natural Tugai vegetation in the area and to the long-term sustainability of the region. We explored the hypothesis that the species Apocynum pictum (A. pictum), known as Lop-Kendir by locals, and the Chinese red date (Zyzyphus jujube) may act as sustainable crop substitutes for the region, thereby replacing the widely distributed cash crop of cotton that has high water demands. Therefore, we investigated current utilization and cost-revenue structure of these two alternative plants and compared the results to cotton. Three natural resource management types of A. pictum were both identified in the wild and cultivation, with cost-revenue analysis carried out for each. The results show that all three types of institutional arrangements of natural resources, which are namely open access, ranching and farming, were present in our study and at various levels for A. pictum. A. pictum farming costs 16,250.25 yuan/ha, generates 49,014.45 yuan/ha of revenue from raw materials and brings a profit of 32,764.2 yuan/ha, which is the highest of all three cash crops compared. The Chinese government encourages Chinese red date plantations with a “Grain for green” campaign in the Tarim Basin with this plant being more profitable than cotton, which could serve to diversify the region’s agriculture. We conclude that A. pictum offers opportunities for the restoration of vegetation in riparian ecosystems on salinized sites under the arid conditions of the Tarim Basin. Furthermore, it can serve as a viable land-use alternative to cotton for cash crop agriculture, as it may generate a certain income in the form of tea and fibers as well as fodder for livestock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Valuing Urban Landscape Using Subjective Well-Being Data: Empirical Evidence from Dalian, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 36; doi:10.3390/su10010036
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has been well recognized that the urban landscape ecosystem is able to make a great contribution to the quality of life for people who live in the city and beyond, thus it can potentially accrue a significant economic value to the human
[...] Read more.
It has been well recognized that the urban landscape ecosystem is able to make a great contribution to the quality of life for people who live in the city and beyond, thus it can potentially accrue a significant economic value to the human well-being. However, due to its public good nature, it is difficult to monetizing its values in a systematic manner. In this paper, we attempt to assess the economic value of the urban landscape through people’s life satisfaction approach utilizing a large sample of dataset complied from the general public survey in Dalian City which is one of the well-known tourism cities in China. The results indicate that most of the urban landscape attributes impose significant effects on people’s life satisfaction, thus accruing a considerable amount of value to the local residents. Taking a 10-point ranking scale for the urban landscape quality as an example, the household willingness to pay on average reaches ¥24,579 per annum for one point of ranking level increase. Relative to the low level of household income, those high-income households are much keener to the changes of the landscape quality. If the urban landscape quality is disaggregated into five levels, household’s marginal willingness-to-pay diminishes as the urban landscape’s rank level is improved. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How to Evaluate Smart Cities’ Construction? A Comparison of Chinese Smart City Evaluation Methods Based on PSF
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 37; doi:10.3390/su10010037
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the rapid development of smart cities in the world, research relating to smart city evaluation has become a new research hotspot in academia. However, there are general problems of cognitive deprivation, lack of planning experience, and low level of coordination in smart
[...] Read more.
With the rapid development of smart cities in the world, research relating to smart city evaluation has become a new research hotspot in academia. However, there are general problems of cognitive deprivation, lack of planning experience, and low level of coordination in smart cities construction. It is necessary for us to develop a set of scientific, reasonable, and effective evaluation index systems and evaluation models to analyze the development degree of urban wisdom. Based on the theory of the urban system, we established a comprehensive evaluation index system for urban intelligent development based on the people-oriented, city-system, and resources-flow (PSF) evaluation model. According to the characteristics of the comprehensive evaluation index system of urban intelligent development, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) combined with the experts’ opinions determine the index weight of this system. We adopted the neural network model to construct the corresponding comprehensive evaluation model to characterize the non-linear characteristics of the comprehensive evaluation indexes system, thus to quantitatively quantify the comprehensive evaluation indexes of urban intelligent development. Finally, we used the AHP, AHP-BP (Back Propagation), and AHP-ELM (Extreme Learning Machine) models to evaluate the intelligent development level of 151 cities in China, and compared them from the perspective of model accuracy and time cost. The final simulation results show that the AHP-ELM model is the best evaluation model. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing Green and Blue Water Footprints in the Supply Chain of Cocoa Production: A Case Study in the Northeast of Colombia
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 38; doi:10.3390/su10010038
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cocoa is an important commercial crop in the tropics, and estimating the water footprint to target areas of improvement is a worthwhile effort. The main goal of this paper was to assess the regional green and blue water footprints (WF) of cocoa (
[...] Read more.
Cocoa is an important commercial crop in the tropics, and estimating the water footprint to target areas of improvement is a worthwhile effort. The main goal of this paper was to assess the regional green and blue water footprints (WF) of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) production in the department of Norte de Santander, Colombia. Water footprint assessment was based on the Water Footprint Assessment Manual. The results show that the green water footprint was about 13,189 m3/ton, and the blue water footprint was 5687 m3/ton. The WF proposed method can be a good approximation for the uses of water for different crops, but weather conditions and hydrological modeling must be considered in extreme conditions, which would permit a much more detailed analysis for a region. This study allowed us to provide data on the cocoa water footprint, principally concentrating on elevated grain production in the department of Norte de Santander, Colombia. In addition, some of these results may positively contribute to water resource management improvement, especially regarding food security and water scarcity, both at the local and national levels. Therefore, the cocoa production process was analyzed from agronomic practices in settled crops, through the primary processing of the grain, to the procedures of grain selection and packaging. Thus, taking into consideration that most cocoa crops produced in Colombia are not irrigated, it is possible to implement productivity enhancement programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Supply Chain Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Innovation Ecosystem of CNG Vehicles: A Case Study of Its Cultivation and Characteristics in Sichuan, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 39; doi:10.3390/su10010039
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under the constraints of resources and environment, China is eager to cultivate a new industrial system with ecological characteristics in light of local circumstances. This paper selects the innovation ecosystem of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles in Sichuan, China as the objective of
[...] Read more.
Under the constraints of resources and environment, China is eager to cultivate a new industrial system with ecological characteristics in light of local circumstances. This paper selects the innovation ecosystem of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles in Sichuan, China as the objective of the case study to explore its cultivation and characteristics. The theoretical significance lies in three areas. Firstly, the cultivation path of the CNG vehicle innovation ecosystem is manifested. Secondly, the symbiotic process model among the communities within the CNG vehicle innovation ecosystem is found. Thirdly, the substitutive process model of the CNG vehicle innovation ecosystem is discovered, which reveals the substitutability among innovation ecosystems, the communities of similar products, and the enterprises of similar products. This paper is of theoretical, practical, and political significance for the development of a CNG vehicle innovation ecosystem in emerging markets in terms of regional energy security and emission reduction. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Diffusion Effect of MSW Recycling
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 40; doi:10.3390/su10010040
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to compare the recycling performance for some waste fractions selected including food waste, bulk waste, paper, metal products, plastics/rubber and glass products and then to develop some directions for the future improvements. The priority of each waste
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to compare the recycling performance for some waste fractions selected including food waste, bulk waste, paper, metal products, plastics/rubber and glass products and then to develop some directions for the future improvements. The priority of each waste fraction for recycling is also analyzed by using an importance-performance analysis. Traditionally, the recycling rate that is calculated by the ratio of waste recycled to waste collected is used as an indicator to measure recycling performance. Due to a large variation among waste fractions in municipal solid waste (MSW), the recycling rate cannot reflect the actual recycling performance. The ceiling of recycling rate for each waste fraction estimated from the diffusion models is incorporated into a model to calculate recycling performance. The results show that (1) the diffusion effect exists significantly for the recycling of most recyclables but no evidence is found to support the diffusion effect for the recycling of food waste and bulk waste; (2) the recycling performance of waste metal products ranks the top, compared to waste paper, waste glass and other waste fractions; (3) furthermore, an importance-performance analysis (IPA) is employed to analyze the priority of recycling programs and thus this paper suggests that the recycling of food waste should be seen as the most priority item to recycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluating Grid Size Suitability of Population Distribution Data via Improved ALV Method: A Case Study in Anhui Province, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 41; doi:10.3390/su10010041
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2953 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate grid size suitability evaluations are necessary to enhance the spatialization quality of gridded population distributions. This paper proposes an improved average local variance (ALV) method to express discrepancies in population density and was validated in Anhui Province, China. A dataset consisting of
[...] Read more.
Accurate grid size suitability evaluations are necessary to enhance the spatialization quality of gridded population distributions. This paper proposes an improved average local variance (ALV) method to express discrepancies in population density and was validated in Anhui Province, China. A dataset consisting of 14 spatial scales, from 100 m to 900 m, and 1000 m to 5000 m, was processed by both the proposed and traditional ALV methods. Line graphs of two sets of ALV values and grid sizes were comparatively analyzed to evaluate the grid size suitability. The ALV trends calculated by the proposed method encompassed more accurate and useful features compared to the traditional method. The case study results showed that the 200 m grid size accurately expresses the population distribution characteristics of Anhui Province. The standard deviation (SD) index was adopted to validate these results; the proposed ALV method was proven valuable both in theory and practice for assessing grid size suitability. The method may be further improved by determining the essential laws of ALV values based on grid characteristics, and by enhancing the adaptability to various locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability Formation of Machine Cells in Group Technology Systems Using Modified Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 42; doi:10.3390/su10010042
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The efficiency and sustainability of a cellular manufacturing system (CMS) in batch type manufacturing is highly valued. This is done using a systematic method of equipment into machine cells, and components into part families, based on the suitable similar criteria. The present work
[...] Read more.
The efficiency and sustainability of a cellular manufacturing system (CMS) in batch type manufacturing is highly valued. This is done using a systematic method of equipment into machine cells, and components into part families, based on the suitable similar criteria. The present work discusses the cell formation problem, with the objective of minimizing the cumulative cell load variation and cumulative intercellular moves. The quantity of parts, operation sequences, processing time, capacity of machines, and workload of machineries were considered as parameters. For the grouping of equipment, the modified artificial bee colony (MABC) algorithm is considered. The computational procedure of this approach is explained by using up to 40 machines and 100 part types. The result obtained from MABC is compared with the findings acquired from the genetic algorithm (GA) and ant colony system (ACS) in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Model to Measure Tourist Preference toward Scenic Spots Based on Social Media Data: A Case of Dapeng in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 43; doi:10.3390/su10010043
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2347 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research on tourist preference toward different tourism destinations has been a hot topic for decades in the field of tourism development. Tourist preference is mostly measured with small group opinion-based methods through introducing indicator systems in previous studies. In the digital age, e-tourism
[...] Read more.
Research on tourist preference toward different tourism destinations has been a hot topic for decades in the field of tourism development. Tourist preference is mostly measured with small group opinion-based methods through introducing indicator systems in previous studies. In the digital age, e-tourism makes it possible to collect huge volumes of social data produced by tourists from the internet, to establish a new way of measuring tourist preference toward a close group of tourism destinations. This paper introduces a new model using social media data to quantitatively measure the market trend of a group of scenic spots from the angle of tourists’ demand, using three attributes: tourist sentiment orientation, present tourist market shares, and potential tourist awareness. Through data mining, cleaning, and analyzing with the framework of Machine Learning, the relative tourist preference toward 34 scenic spots closely located in the Dapeng Peninsula is calculated. The results not only provide a reliable “A-rating” system to gauge the popularity of different scenic spots, but also contribute an innovative measuring model to support scenic spots planning and policy making in the regional context. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Theoretical Analysis on the Short-Circuit Current of Inverter-Interfaced Renewable Energy Generators with Fault-Ride-Through Capability
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 44; doi:10.3390/su10010044
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable energy generators (REGs) usually employ power electronic devices for connecting with the grid, which makes their fault characteristics completely different from those of conventional synchronous generators. In the existing studies, the simulation methods are mainly adopted to analyze fault current contribution from
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy generators (REGs) usually employ power electronic devices for connecting with the grid, which makes their fault characteristics completely different from those of conventional synchronous generators. In the existing studies, the simulation methods are mainly adopted to analyze fault current contribution from REG. As a result, the explanations on the fault current show diversity and cannot reach a recognized standard. The REGs’ mathematical model in relay-setting calculations is unknown. Thus, this paper theoretically analyses the fault current characteristics of inverter-interfaced REGs (IIREGs) with fault-ride-through (FRT) ability. In order to understand the fault current characteristics, the FRT control strategy for IIREGs is firstly studied. Then the characteristics of high-frequency and fundamental-frequency fault currents from IIREGs are theoretically analyzed after and during the faults. The affecting factors and duration time of different frequency fault currents are, respectively, revealed. Further, the mathematical expression of fundamental fault currents from IIREGs are derived and verified based on the experimental test bench. The results can be used in estimating the IIREGs’ fault contributions and developing the fault calculation model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Investment Promotion, Fiscal Competition and Economic Growth Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 45; doi:10.3390/su10010045
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Local governments in China build development zones to attract investment. We develop a model of fiscal competition to examine investment promotion under centralization and decentralization. Our study shows that even when perfect information is not available, under the condition of an indivisible investment,
[...] Read more.
Local governments in China build development zones to attract investment. We develop a model of fiscal competition to examine investment promotion under centralization and decentralization. Our study shows that even when perfect information is not available, under the condition of an indivisible investment, a central government achieves the optimal investment in development zones and the best tax ratio for maximizing total welfare, whereas decentralized decision-making easily results in infrastructure overinvestment and tax erosion, which does harm to economic growth sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Value Creation Mechanism of Social Enterprises in Manufacturing Industry: Empirical Evidence from Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 46; doi:10.3390/su10010046
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A variety of social enterprises (SEs) have recently emerged in many different countries in an effort to resolve diverse social problems. However, the value creation mechanism of SEs has not yet been disclosed. The purpose of this study is to reveal the value
[...] Read more.
A variety of social enterprises (SEs) have recently emerged in many different countries in an effort to resolve diverse social problems. However, the value creation mechanism of SEs has not yet been disclosed. The purpose of this study is to reveal the value creation mechanism of SEs in manufacturing industry. To do so, we verify the role of social entrepreneurship and examine the effects of product innovation attributes and social capital on social value creation and financial performance by using structural equation modelling. Then, we conduct interviews with six experts in SE fields. According to the results of empirical study, the social entrepreneurship works as an antecedent of product innovation and social capital in SEs and the degrees of products’ simplicity, usability and standardization positively affect the social value creation of SEs. In addition, the social value creation works as a complete mediator between the product innovation of SEs and their financial performance. The interviews suggest policy implications for successful social value creation and sustainability of SEs. This research contributes towards further studies on innovation of SEs and provides social entrepreneurs with guidelines in planning their innovation strategy or developing their products. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Scale Effects of Water Saving on Irrigation Efficiency: Case Study of a Rice-Based Groundwater Irrigation System on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 47; doi:10.3390/su10010047
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research analyzed the scale effect of water saving in Bielahonghe (BLH) Basin, a rice-cultivating district on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. Water budgets with different surface irrigation water supply ratios and water-saving measures were simulated with a semi-distributed water balance model. PF
[...] Read more.
This research analyzed the scale effect of water saving in Bielahonghe (BLH) Basin, a rice-cultivating district on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. Water budgets with different surface irrigation water supply ratios and water-saving measures were simulated with a semi-distributed water balance model. PFnws, representing the ratio of rice evapotranspiration to net water supply (the total amount of irrigation and precipitation minus the amount of water reused), was employed to assess the water use efficiency. Seven spatial scales (noted from S1 to S7), ranging from a single field (317.87 ha) to the whole basin (about 100,800 ha) were determined. PFnws values were quantified across scales and several water-saving measures, including water-saving irrigation regimes, canal lining, and a reduction of the surface water supply ratio (SWSR). The results indicated that PFnws increased with scale and could be calculated by a fitted power function (PFnws = 0.736Area0.033, R2 = 0.58). Furthermore, PFnws increased most prominently when the scale increased from S1 to S2. The water-saving irrigation regime (WSIR) had the most substantial water-saving effect (WSE) at S1. Specifically, PFnws improved by 21.2% at S1 when high-intensity WSIR was applied. Additionally, the WSE values of S3 and S5 were slightly higher than at other scales when the branch canal water delivery coefficient increased from 0.65 to 0.80 through canal lining. Furthermore, the PFnws at each scale varied with SWSR. Specifically, PFnws from S3 to S7 improved as SWSR decreased from 0.4 to 0.3 but remained approximately constant when SWSR decreased from 0.3 to 0. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Urban Regeneration and the Search for Identity in Historic Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 48; doi:10.3390/su10010048
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
PDF Full-text (6926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the face of rapid economic development, population growth, people increasing needs and changing lifestyles, most historic centers in the Gulf have experienced problems in making the necessary adjustment and adaptation to the present needs and changes. This paper examines the role of
[...] Read more.
In the face of rapid economic development, population growth, people increasing needs and changing lifestyles, most historic centers in the Gulf have experienced problems in making the necessary adjustment and adaptation to the present needs and changes. This paper examines the role of urban regeneration in revitalizing redundant historic areas and how they can be used to reinforce their cities urban identities. This study is based on the case study approach by focusing on the urban regeneration of Msheireb in old Doha, Qatar. Since the project is not yet completed, this paper will focus on the physical aspects of urban identity rather than its social dimensions. The empirical investigation used a comprehensive fieldwork undertaken through several site visits. This paper argues that one way of rediscovering the urban identity of the city of Doha is to go back to its first roots and try to sustain them in face of the emerging global environments. Through the Msheireb urban regeneration project, this paper explores a new experience in Qatar and the Gulf in creating a new urban identity inspired from the past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evolution of a Development Model for Fruit Industry against Background of an Aging Population: Intensive or Extensive Adjustment?
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 49; doi:10.3390/su10010049
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an important starting point for optimizing the structure of agricultural products and implementing green production methods, the direction of orchard management development is directly related to the success of “supply side” reform in the fruit industry in China. However, in the context
[...] Read more.
As an important starting point for optimizing the structure of agricultural products and implementing green production methods, the direction of orchard management development is directly related to the success of “supply side” reform in the fruit industry in China. However, in the context of the progressive aging of the rural labor force, is the old labor force still capable of the high labor intensity and fine cultivation management needed, such as for pruning, or to maintain or improve the application efficiency of fertilizers? In this paper, based on the micro-production data of peach farmers in Jiangsu Province, we explore the influence of aging on the management of fruit trees and further introduce fruit tree management into the production function to analyze the effects of different orchard management methods on fertilizer efficiency. The results show that with the increase of labor force age, although the total labor investment of aged farmer households has somewhat increased, significant differences exist in the distribution of labor investment between the different production processes due to the different labor demands from the various production processes. In technical stages that demand good physical capabilities, such as pruning and flower/fruit thinning, elderly farmers have significantly reduced labor investment than younger ones, and this relative shortfall further reduces the marginal output of their chemical and organic fertilizers. Foreseeably, the aging of the rural labor force will have a negative impact on the efficiency of chemical and other fertilizers, cost-cutting, and profit-making in the fruit and nut industries, which have the same management methods for pruning and flower (fruit) thinning. Therefore, this paper offers relevant policy recommendations for the optimization of production tools, expansion of operation scale, and development of socialized services for the fruit industry, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Agri-food Prospects)
Open AccessArticle Implications of Switching Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Solar: A Case Study for the European Union
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 50; doi:10.3390/su10010050
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) constitute one of the most obvious barriers to tackling climate change, as they encourage inefficient energy consumption and divert investment away from clean energy sources. According to the International Monetary Fund, FFS amounted globally to $233 billion in 2014,
[...] Read more.
Fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) constitute one of the most obvious barriers to tackling climate change, as they encourage inefficient energy consumption and divert investment away from clean energy sources. According to the International Monetary Fund, FFS amounted globally to $233 billion in 2014, over four times the value of subsidies awarded to promote renewable energy. In this study an integrated assessment model is used to analyse the CO2 implications in the European Union of eliminating FFS and recycling the revenues to promote rooftop PV. It is found that eliminating FFS would give rise to a small reduction in CO2 due to fuel-switching from coal to gas. If the revenues were recycled to promote solar, then the CO2 reduction would increase from 1.8% to 2.2% by 2030. Eliminating FFS is not a panacea from the mitigation point of view, even if the revenues are recycled, but other important objectives, such as those related to renewable energy promotion and the reduction of air pollution, are advanced at zero cost for the government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Resource Sharing Mechanism for Sustainable Production in the Garment Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 52; doi:10.3390/su10010052
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the development of mass customization, the traditional garment production model needs to be optimized to have a more sustainable structure. To meet demand for flexibility, low-cost, and high-efficiency, an innovative resource sharing mechanism was proposed in this paper to form a new
[...] Read more.
With the development of mass customization, the traditional garment production model needs to be optimized to have a more sustainable structure. To meet demand for flexibility, low-cost, and high-efficiency, an innovative resource sharing mechanism was proposed in this paper to form a new sustainable type of garment production. Different from the individual production in traditional models, the new mechanism involves resources being shared among various manufacturers. The tradeoff between positive and negative effects of the proposed mechanism is a key issue for sustainable production. In the present study, an overall sustainable index, integrating four production performance indicators, was defined on the basis of an Analytical Network Process to assess various production scenarios. According to the discrete-event simulation results of the different scenarios, we found that garment manufacturers could obtain comprehensive improvements in sustainable production by implementing the proposed resource sharing mechanism under the threshold of an increasing production failure rate. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Tourism as an Approach to Sustainable Rural Development in Post-Socialist Countries: A Comparative Study of Serbia and Slovenia
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 54; doi:10.3390/su10010054
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (987 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research deals with the sustainable development of the Serbian and Slovenian countryside, under the influence of tourism progress. The article identifies the main rural tourism competitiveness in Serbia and Slovenia, as one of the essential factors of rural development in both countries,
[...] Read more.
The research deals with the sustainable development of the Serbian and Slovenian countryside, under the influence of tourism progress. The article identifies the main rural tourism competitiveness in Serbia and Slovenia, as one of the essential factors of rural development in both countries, analyzing the main contributions and making a series of proposals to guide the future research agenda. The aim of the paper is to clarify around one obviously defined objective—to point out the competitiveness of sustainable rural tourism in typical post-socialist settings. The data for this study were collected using the Integrated Model of Destination Competitiveness to observe Serbian and Slovenian competitiveness in tourism. Determinants were assessed using a survey evaluating four demanding factors and 20 supporting factors, based upon a five-point Likert Scale. The results indicated that the friendliness of residents towards visitors, easy communication between them, together with quality of infrastructure and health facilities show the highest level of statistical correlation. These are the main propositions to start an initiative for the authorities in local communities to actively participate in sustainable rural development. The findings provide tourism stakeholders with relevant respondents’ perceptions pertaining to the tourism development in non-urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impacts of Power Structure on Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 55; doi:10.3390/su10010055
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present paper examines the manufacturer’s operational decisions, e.g., wholesale price and product sustainability level, the retailer’s operational decision, e.g., retail margin, and supply chain efficiency under three supply chain power structures: manufacturer Stackelberg, Nash and retailer Stackelberg. As a benchmark, we first
[...] Read more.
The present paper examines the manufacturer’s operational decisions, e.g., wholesale price and product sustainability level, the retailer’s operational decision, e.g., retail margin, and supply chain efficiency under three supply chain power structures: manufacturer Stackelberg, Nash and retailer Stackelberg. As a benchmark, we first obtain the equlibrium price and product sustainability level in a vertically integrated supply chain. Our analysis provides some interesting findings in a decentralized supply chain: (i) a dominant manufacturer (retailer) always benefits from its power; (ii) the entire supply chain earns the most profit from the Nash game, and the least from the retailer Stackelberg game, respectively; (iii) as the power shifts from the manufacturer to the retailer, product sustainability and retail price increase; (iv) dominant manufacturer does not necessarily imply low wholesale price that would benefit the retailer. Managerial insights are provided for the manufacturer and the retailer, respectively. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploratory Orientation, Business Model Innovation and New Venture Growth
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 56; doi:10.3390/su10010056
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 27 December 2017
PDF Full-text (604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Why are some start-ups more successful than other companies? In view of this question, this paper deconstructs the growth mechanism of the present new Chinese ventures from the perspective of Internet entrepreneurship and points out that exploratory orientation and business model innovation play
[...] Read more.
Why are some start-ups more successful than other companies? In view of this question, this paper deconstructs the growth mechanism of the present new Chinese ventures from the perspective of Internet entrepreneurship and points out that exploratory orientation and business model innovation play an important role in the new ventures growth process. Based on this, through the investigation of 210 start-ups in China, the research found that: (1) exploratory orientation is in a positive relationship with the growth of new ventures; (2) business model innovation plays a mediated role between exploratory orientation and new business growth; (3) Internet embeddedness is found as a moderator in the relationship between exploratory orientation and the growth of new ventures. This finding will not only help further deepen the new research in the new venture growth process but also help to further expand exploratory orientation, business model innovation and the important role of the Internet embeddedness in the growth of new ventures. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Building Design Elements on Residential Thermal Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 57; doi:10.3390/su10010057
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Residential thermal environment affects the life of residents in terms of their physical and mental health. Many studies have shown that building design elements affect the urban thermal environment. In this study, Nanjing City was used as the study area. A three-dimensional microclimate
[...] Read more.
Residential thermal environment affects the life of residents in terms of their physical and mental health. Many studies have shown that building design elements affect the urban thermal environment. In this study, Nanjing City was used as the study area. A three-dimensional microclimate model was used to simulate and analyze the effects of four main factors, namely, building height, density, layout and green ratio, on thermal environment in residential areas. Results showed that 25% building density obtained a low average air temperature (ATa) and average predicted mean vote (APMV) during 24 h. Thus, a higher building height indicates a lower ATa and APMV and better outdoor comfort level. In addition, peripheral layout had the lowest ATa and APMV, followed by the determinant and point group layouts. The green ratio increased from 0% to 50% with a 10% step and the ATa and APMV decreased gradually. However, when the green ratio increased from 30% to 40%, ATa and APMV decreased most. The effects of building height, density and green ratio on the thermal environment in residential areas were interactive. The effects of building density, green ratio and layout on hourly air temperature and hourly predicted mean vote in daytime varied from these indicators during night time. How the four building design elements interact with thermal environment were probed from two aspects of air temperature and thermal comfort based on the validated ENVI-met, which is the element of novelty in this study. However, thermal comfort has rarely been considered in the past studies about urban outdoor thermal environment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Research and Development Strategy for Fishery Technology Innovation for Sustainable Fishery Resource Management in North-East Asia
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 59; doi:10.3390/su10010059
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The development of fishery technologies supports food sustainability to achieve a steady supply of fish and fishery products. However, the priorities for research and development (R&D) in fishery technologies vary by region due to differences in fish resource availability, environmental concerns, and consumer
[...] Read more.
The development of fishery technologies supports food sustainability to achieve a steady supply of fish and fishery products. However, the priorities for research and development (R&D) in fishery technologies vary by region due to differences in fish resource availability, environmental concerns, and consumer preferences for fishery products. This study examines trends in fishery technology innovations using data on patents granted as an indicator of changing R&D priorities. To clarify changes in R&D priorities, we apply a decomposition analysis framework that classifies fishery technologies into three types: harvesting, aquaculture, and new products. This study mainly focuses on China, Japan, and Korea as the major fishing countries in the north-east Asia region. The results show that the number of fishery technology patents granted increased between 1993 and 2015; in particular, the number of aquaculture patents granted has grown rapidly since 2012. However, the trend in Japan was the opposite, as the apparent priority given to aquaculture technology innovation decreased between 1993 and 2015. The trends and priority changes for fishery technology inventions vary by country and technology group. This implies that an international policy framework for fishery technology development should recognize that R&D priorities need to reflect diverse characteristics across countries and the technologies employed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle PLS and OPLS Discriminatory Analyses on Political Sustainability in Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 60; doi:10.3390/su10010060
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Political sustainability relates to successful governance. The general public’s satisfaction is vital to political sustainability. In this paper, we propose to use the general public’s satisfaction as the proxy and utilize the partial least squares discriminatory (PLS-DA) model and orthogonal partial least squares
[...] Read more.
Political sustainability relates to successful governance. The general public’s satisfaction is vital to political sustainability. In this paper, we propose to use the general public’s satisfaction as the proxy and utilize the partial least squares discriminatory (PLS-DA) model and orthogonal partial least squares discriminatory (OPLS-DA) model to explore the factors that affect political sustainability in Taiwan. The results of the PLS-DA and OPLS-DA models vindicate that the satisfaction with the integrity performance of the central government, the satisfaction with the central government’s modus operandi on food safety, and the satisfaction with the central government’s policies on the twelve years primary education reform influence the Taiwanese civilians’ satisfaction with the central government, which is closely related to political sustainability. This offers us the insights on political sustainability in Taiwan. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Developing and Assessing Alternative Land-Use Scenarios from the MOLAND Model: A Scenario-Based Impact Analysis Approach for the Evaluation of Rapid Rail Provisions and Urban Development in the Greater Dublin Region
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 61; doi:10.3390/su10010061
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (6876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, environmental sustainability implications of planned rail infrastructure investments on the urban form and development in the Greater Dublin Region (GDR) have been analysed incorporating the scenario analysis approach. Various scenarios are developed using the MOLAND Model applications including: A baseline
[...] Read more.
In this study, environmental sustainability implications of planned rail infrastructure investments on the urban form and development in the Greater Dublin Region (GDR) have been analysed incorporating the scenario analysis approach. Various scenarios are developed using the MOLAND Model applications including: A baseline scenario incorporating a continuation of the present dispersed pattern of urban development and an alternative scenario with rail-oriented corridor development, under varying conditions of economic growth. An alternative scenario was also developed for the recessionary development case considering the prolonged recession in the GDR. Further explorations incorporating a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) approach are developed to evaluate the sustainability implications of different land development scenarios in the Dublin Region. This is assisted by focussing on the impacts of rail investments on urban form and development as raised in the international comparative literature. The findings from the CBA assessment positively indicate that containment policies-as represented by the public transport oriented development indicate benefits over the dispersed development case by reducing the negative consequences of sprawl type of developments. In contrast, dispersed development in the baseline scenario indicates costs of continuation of such development patterns exceed the benefits in the long term. This study will contribute to policy support evaluation measures relating to the integration of scenario analysis tool with the CBA approach in assisting the evaluation of new transport infrastructure proposals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transport Policy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Determinants of Migrant Workers’ Willingness to Buy Houses in Cities: A Case Study in Xi’an, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 62; doi:10.3390/su10010062
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Migrant workers’ buying houses in cities can not only help to reduce the number of unsold houses but also improve the efficiency of the use of rural residential lands. A framework is constructed to study how individual resource endowment and the compensation policy
[...] Read more.
Migrant workers’ buying houses in cities can not only help to reduce the number of unsold houses but also improve the efficiency of the use of rural residential lands. A framework is constructed to study how individual resource endowment and the compensation policy of quitting rural residential land act on migrant workers’ willingness to buy houses in cities. The paper adopts the logistic regression model with the data collected from 410 migrant workers in Xi’an. The results can be drawn as follows: firstly, migrant workers’ desire for buying houses in cities has a close relationship with their individual resource endowment; secondly, there is a gap between the existing compensation policy and migrant workers’ actual preference for the compensation policies. Thirdly, the existing compensation policy cannot fully exert its impact. As a result, when migrant workers are allowed to choose their most preferred policies in light of their own conditions, both the policy and resource effect will become more remarked. Thus, the design of compensation policies for quitting rural residential land should take full account of migrant workers’ individual resource endowments in order to provide them with selective compensation mechanisms. The conclusion provides a policy reference for cities where the house prices are close to that of Xi’an (11,000 yuan/square m). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of the Economic Efficiency of Construction Land in the Pearl River Delta Megalopolis from 1998 to 2012
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 63; doi:10.3390/su10010063
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the 1980s, the rapid, extensive, and dispersed urban expansion in the Pearl River Delta megalopolis (PRDM) has led to landscape fragmentation and the inefficient use of construction land. Like other developed regions in China that are subject to the dual challenges of
[...] Read more.
Since the 1980s, the rapid, extensive, and dispersed urban expansion in the Pearl River Delta megalopolis (PRDM) has led to landscape fragmentation and the inefficient use of construction land. Like other developed regions in China that are subject to the dual challenges of shortages of construction land and deterioration of the ecological environment, it is becoming increasingly important in the PRDM to improve the land-use efficiency of urban construction. However, current methods for assessing land-use efficiency do not meet the emerging needs of land-use planning and policymaking. Therefore, using the American Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)/Operational Linescan System (OLS) nighttime light imagery and Landsat TM data, this study aims to develop a timely and efficient approach to model the high-resolution economic efficiency of construction land (EECL). With this approach, we mapped the reliable EECL of the PRDM at township level and with a one-kilometer grid. Next, the study compared the temporal changes and revealed the spatial-temporal dynamics in order to provide a scientific reference for informed land-use planning and policymaking. The results show that since 1998, the economic efficiency of construction land in the PRDM increased in general but varied significantly throughout the area. Further, these disparities widened from 1998 to 2012 between the PRDM’s inner and peripheral circles. Only one-fifth of the towns and subdistricts were categorized as fast-growth or ultrafast-growth, with the majority located in the most developed areas of the PRDM’s inner circle. In order to improve the efficiency of construction land in the PRDM and realize sustainable development, differentiated land-use policies for the inner and peripheral circles were proposed. The inner circle should focus on promoting the efficiency of existing construction land and encourage urban renewal, while the peripheral circle should enhance the control of new construction land and improve its efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Advances in Research on Sustainable Ecosystems)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Solar Heat Gain Reduction of Ventilated Double Skin Windows without a Shading Device
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 64; doi:10.3390/su10010064
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (8584 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With global efforts to strengthen various energy-saving policies for buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in South Korea, new laws and regulations have been in force since May 2015 to install shading devices in public buildings and to include the solar heat gain
[...] Read more.
With global efforts to strengthen various energy-saving policies for buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in South Korea, new laws and regulations have been in force since May 2015 to install shading devices in public buildings and to include the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) reduction performance of shading devices in the evaluation of building performance. By making a ventilated air layer outer glass and inner glass to lower the temperatures of the air layer and glass surface, it is possible to reduce the amount of heat flowing into the building while maintaining the same level of light transmission as plain window systems. This study proposes a double-skin façade window with a 20 mm ventilated air cavity, and assumes that insolation inflow indoors would be reduced through ventilation in the air cavity. The artificial solar lab test results show that the SHGC can be lowered through ventilation by 28% to 52.9%. Additionally, in an outdoor test cell experiment, the results show that the mean temperature was 0.6 K and the peak temperature was 0.9 K lower with ventilation in the air cavity than that without ventilation in the air cavity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Predictive Measurement of the Structure of Land Use in an Urban Agglomeration Space
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 65; doi:10.3390/su10010065
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The scientific measurement of land use in space is an essential task in urban agglomeration studies, and the fractal feature is one of the most powerful tools for describing the phenomenon of space. However, previous research on the fractal feature of land use
[...] Read more.
The scientific measurement of land use in space is an essential task in urban agglomeration studies, and the fractal feature is one of the most powerful tools for describing the phenomenon of space. However, previous research on the fractal feature of land use has mostly been conducted in urban space, and examines the fractal feature of different land use types, respectively; thus, the measurement of the relationship between different land use types was not realized. Meanwhile, previous prediction methods used for spatial land use mostly relied on subjective abstraction of the evolution, theoretically, regardless of whether they were calibrated, so that complete coverage of all the mechanisms could not be guaranteed. Based on this, here, we treat the land use structure in urban agglomeration space as the research object, and attempt to establish a fractal measure method for the relationship between different land use types in the space of urban agglomeration. At the same time, we use the allometric relationship between “entirety” and “local” to establish an objective forecast model for the land use structure in urban agglomeration space based on gray prediction theory, to achieve a predictive measurement of the structure of land use in urban agglomeration space. Finally, this study applied the methods on the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration to analyze the evolution of the stability of the structure of land use and achieve predictive measurement of the structure of land use. The results of the case study show that the methods proposed in this study can obtain the measurement of the relationship between different land use types and the land use prediction that does not depend on the subjective exploration of the evolution law. Compared with the measurement methods that analyzed the fractal feature of different land types, respectively, and the prediction methods that rely on subjective choice, the methods presented in this study recaps some innovations and reference values for relevant future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial–Temporal Patterns and Driving Forces of Ecological-Living-Production Land in Hubei Province, Central China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 66; doi:10.3390/su10010066
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological-living-production land (ELPL) is gaining an increasing attention of governors, planners and scholars to alleviate ecological deterioration on the premise of ensuring regional sustainable development in China. This paper has built an ecological-living-production land classification system (ELCS) by the reclassification method, and further
[...] Read more.
Ecological-living-production land (ELPL) is gaining an increasing attention of governors, planners and scholars to alleviate ecological deterioration on the premise of ensuring regional sustainable development in China. This paper has built an ecological-living-production land classification system (ELCS) by the reclassification method, and further analyzed the spatio-temporal characteristics and evolution mechanism of ELPL from 2009 to 2014 with a case study of Hubei Province of Central China. The results show that (1) land with an ecological function held a dominant role in Hubei Province. Ecological land (EL) and production-eco land (PEL) covered the largest areas. The area of EL was the largest in Western Hubei Eco-cultural Tourism Circle (WHETC), and the area of PEL accounted for the largest proportion in Wuhan Urban Circle (WUC). (2) Land with an ecological function was decreasing continuously, while the land with living function expanded rapidly. Additionally, the intensity of ELPL changes in the WUC was higher than that in the WHETC. (3) The changes of ELPL threatened the food and ecological security and adversely affected the sustainable development. The factors of population growth and GDP increase were the main driving forces of ELPL change. The results of this study provide valuable information for planning decision makings (e.g., the ELPL spatial pattern optimization). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle SPP Toolbox: Supporting Sustainable Public Procurement in the Context of Socio-Technical Transitions
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 67; doi:10.3390/su10010067
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public procurement can shape production and consumption trends and represents a stimulus for both innovation and diversification in products and services, through a direct increase in demand. In recent years, the interest in demand-side policies has grown and several approaches have emerged, such
[...] Read more.
Public procurement can shape production and consumption trends and represents a stimulus for both innovation and diversification in products and services, through a direct increase in demand. In recent years, the interest in demand-side policies has grown and several approaches have emerged, such as Green Public Procurement (GPP), Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) and Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI), representing strategic goals to be achieved through public procurement. In this context, there is a need to guide and support public organizations in the uptake of GPP, SPP and PPI practices. To respond to the challenges raised by the operationalization of such strategies, this paper proposes a new tool—the SPP Toolbox—for guiding public organizations as they re-think the procurement process, raising their ambitions and broadening their vision, thus changing the organizational approach towards culture, strategies, structures and practices. This toolbox integrates insights from GPP, SPP and PPI objectives and practices, in the context of the emergence of socio-technical transitions. The toolbox coherently links GPP, SPP and PPI, allowing flexibility in terms of goals, yet promoting an increasing complexity of institutionalized practices and skills—from GPP to SPP and then from SPP to PPI, organized in a framework fully integrated into the organizational strategy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimization of a Traffic Control Scheme for a Post-Disaster Urban Road Network
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 68; doi:10.3390/su10010068
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traffic control of urban road networks during emergency rescues is conducive to rapid rescue in the affected areas. However, excessive control will lead to negative impacts on the normal traffic order. We propose a novel model to optimize the traffic control scheme during
[...] Read more.
Traffic control of urban road networks during emergency rescues is conducive to rapid rescue in the affected areas. However, excessive control will lead to negative impacts on the normal traffic order. We propose a novel model to optimize the traffic control scheme during the post-disaster emergency rescue period named PD-TCM (post-disaster traffic control model). In this model, the vertex and edge betweenness indexes of urban road networks are introduced to evaluate the controllability of the road sections. The gravity field model is also used to adjust the travel time function of different road sections in the control and diverging domains. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model can obtain the optimal traffic control scheme efficiently, which gives it the ability to meet the demand of emergency rescues as well as reducing the disturbances caused by controls. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Wet Deposition of Trace Metals at a Typical Urban Site in Southwestern China: Fluxes, Sources and Contributions to Aquatic Environments
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 69; doi:10.3390/su10010069
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we quantified the atmospheric wet deposition (AWD) of 13 trace metals (TMs) and estimated their potential effects on the surface water of the Three Gorges Reservoir in China. Precipitation was collected in Wanzhou in southwestern China from March 2015 to
[...] Read more.
In this study, we quantified the atmospheric wet deposition (AWD) of 13 trace metals (TMs) and estimated their potential effects on the surface water of the Three Gorges Reservoir in China. Precipitation was collected in Wanzhou in southwestern China from March 2015 to February 2016. The concentrations and fluxes of the 13 TMs were in the ranges of 0.16–9.44 µg L−1 and 0.18–10.22 mg m−2 yr−1, respectively, in the order Al > Zn > Fe > Ba > Pb > Mn > Ti > Cd > Cu > As > V > Ni ≈ Cr. Using principal component analysis, it was found that Al, Ba, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn were mainly derived from a mixture of soil and road dust, As, Cd, Cr, Pb and Ti primarily originated from the local industries, and Ni and V were related to diesel and gasoline combustion, including both vehicle exhaust emissions and ship emissions from the nearby Yangtze River. The estimated TM inputs to the Three Gorges Reservoir were 11.1, 11.0, 5.7, 5.3, 4.5, 2.7, 2.5, 1.5, 1.0, 0.7, 0.5, 0.2, and 0.2 t yr−1 for Al, Zn, Fe, Ba, Pb, Mn, Ti, Cd, Cu, As, V, Ni and Cr, respectively. The AWD TM fluxes in Wanzhou were lower than those in metropolises and their inputs were limited for surface water of the Three Gorges Reservoir. However, Cd was strongly enriched in precipitation and rainstorms greatly increased the surface water concentrations of Cd and Pb. Therefore, the behavior of Cd and Pb in southwestern mountain areas of China, including emission, transport, transformation, and their ecological effects, should be given more attention in future studies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Environmental and Community Stability of a Mountain Destination: An Analysis of Residents’ Perception
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 70; doi:10.3390/su10010070
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to explore the use of the social-ecological system (SES) in tourism of a mountain area. Authors examined residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts on four SES aspects: ecosystems, local knowledge, people and technology and property rights institutions. The aim is to
[...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the use of the social-ecological system (SES) in tourism of a mountain area. Authors examined residents’ perceptions of tourism impacts on four SES aspects: ecosystems, local knowledge, people and technology and property rights institutions. The aim is to find area that will be a “common ground” for community and area that can be a source of conflict and will require additional work to solve the differences. Second objective was to examine residents’ perception towards future local development tourism policies (winter tourism, seasonality and environment and culture) and how those policies can affect natural, socio-economic and cultural aspects of mountain area. Residents’ perceptions of sustainable tourism development potential, perceived tourism impacts, analysis of community attachment and employment sector of stakeholder were involved in this study. The authors applied the Q-methodology, as one SES-allied approach, in a small mountain community of Kopaonik, the Republic of Serbia. The results revealed that residents’ agreement/disagreement is connected with two aspects: ecosystem and property rights and that ecosystem can be significantly influenced by all three development policies. Findings suggest that development of future natural conservation plans and new cultural attractions can have positive effects on all parts of social-ecological system. Some practical implications of those findings for tourism planning and development are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling and Simulation of the Future Impacts of Urban Land Use Change on the Natural Environment by SLEUTH and Cluster Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 72; doi:10.3390/su10010072
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (12693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changing land use and urban expansion are key drivers of global environmental change, which are inevitable consequences of economic and social development for many cities. Most land use changes have a negative impact on the natural environment, especially due to their effects on
[...] Read more.
Changing land use and urban expansion are key drivers of global environmental change, which are inevitable consequences of economic and social development for many cities. Most land use changes have a negative impact on the natural environment, especially due to their effects on surface temperature, runoff and habitat diversity. Due to the limitation of local government funding and expenditure, it is a challenge for developing countries to create strategies for urban sustainability. This study provided a systematic assessment method for simulating and analyzing the future impacts and spatial patterns of urban growth via cellular automata and cluster analysis. We used Tainan as a study area and compared the impact of future urban spatial development during two periods: 1993–2008 and 2008–2030. The results indicate that the impact of this development on the natural environment can be divided into six clusters. With an increased distance from the city center, there were increased changes in surface temperature and a decreased amount of runoff. These results indicate the occurrence of urban expansion, with habitat diversity being greater in areas governed by policies or ordinances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Open AccessArticle International Tourists’ Perceived Sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 73; doi:10.3390/su10010073
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the causal relationships between international tourists’ perceived sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea and environmentally responsible behavior, revisit intention, and positive word-of-mouth communication. Perceived sustainability was employed as a multidimensional construct comprised of economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. Data were
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the causal relationships between international tourists’ perceived sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea and environmentally responsible behavior, revisit intention, and positive word-of-mouth communication. Perceived sustainability was employed as a multidimensional construct comprised of economic, cultural, and environmental aspects. Data were collected from international tourists that visited Jeju Island. The results indicated that environmentally responsible behavior was influenced positively by cultural sustainability, and negatively by environmental sustainability. Revisit intention and positive word-of-mouth communication were significantly affected by the three dimensions of sustainability. Based on the findings, associated implications were suggested for sustainable destination management of Jeju Island. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Performance Measurement of Healthcare Service and Association Discussion between Quality and Efficiency: Evidence from 31 Provinces of Mainland China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 74; doi:10.3390/su10010074
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Performance of healthcare service includes quality and efficiency, so there is inevitably an association between them. In general, it is believed that there is a trade-off between quality and efficiency; however, we prove that it is not completely accurate. We take the quality
[...] Read more.
Performance of healthcare service includes quality and efficiency, so there is inevitably an association between them. In general, it is believed that there is a trade-off between quality and efficiency; however, we prove that it is not completely accurate. We take the quality as an additional output to measure the healthcare service efficiency creatively, and discuss the association between quality and efficiency based on the effect of quality on relative efficiency. Firstly, we use TOPSIS method to calculate relative quality index values of healthcare service of 31 provinces of mainland China. This practice ensures the consistent comparison of 31 provinces’ qualities. Subsequently, we measure the 31 provinces’ relative performances and efficiencies of healthcare service with consideration of quality or not, by constructing DEA models. Then, we analyze the association between quality and efficiency from each group of the national, east, central and west, and conclude that the association between them is different along with their advantage degrees of quality and efficiency. Finally, we use the Tobit regression method to test 12 environment variables’ net impacts on efficiency values both with consideration of quality or not. The results indicate that the main drivers of healthcare service efficiency are different when we take quality as an additional output or not. This article contributes to the field of performance measurement of healthcare service, puts forward a new method to integrate quality and efficiency and provides management guidelines. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Patterns and Mechanisms of Reclaimed Arable Land Utilization under the Requisition-Compensation Balance Policy in Wenzhou, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 75; doi:10.3390/su10010075
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arable land in China is undergoing significant changes, with massive losses of arable land due to rapid urbanization and the reclamation of arable land from other lands to compensate for these losses. Many studies have analyzed arable land loss, but less attention has
[...] Read more.
Arable land in China is undergoing significant changes, with massive losses of arable land due to rapid urbanization and the reclamation of arable land from other lands to compensate for these losses. Many studies have analyzed arable land loss, but less attention has been paid to land reclamation, and the utilization of reclaimed land remains unclear. The goal of our study was to characterize the patterns and efficiency of the utilization of reclaimed land and to identify the factors influencing the land utilization process in Wenzhou using remote sensing, geographic information systems and logistic regression. Our results showed that only 37% of the total reclaimed land area was under cultivation, and other lands were still bare or had been covered by trees and grasses. The likelihood that reclaimed land was used for cultivation was highly correlated with the land use type of its neighboring or adjacent parcels. Reclaimed land utilization was also limited at high elevations in lands with poor soil fertility and in lands at a great distance from rural residential areas. In addition, parcels located in the ecological protection zone were less likely to be cultivated. Therefore, we suggest that the important determinants should be considered when identifying the most suitable land reclamation areas. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hexachlorocyclohexanes, Cyclodiene, Methoxychlor, and Heptachlor in Sediment of the Alvarado Lagoon System in Veracruz, Mexico
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 76; doi:10.3390/su10010076
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 5 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organochlorine pesticides are used in agricultural areas and health campaigns, which reach the coastal environment through rivers, drains, runoffs, and atmospheric transport. In aquatic environments, they are adsorbed by particles of organic matter, depositing themselves in sediments in the bottom of these bodies,
[...] Read more.
Organochlorine pesticides are used in agricultural areas and health campaigns, which reach the coastal environment through rivers, drains, runoffs, and atmospheric transport. In aquatic environments, they are adsorbed by particles of organic matter, depositing themselves in sediments in the bottom of these bodies, in which benthic organisms of commercial interest for human consumption inhabit. The objective of this research was to evaluate the concentration of organochlorine pesticides in sediment from the Alvarado lagoon system in Veracruz, Mexico. In 20 out of 41 sampling sites analyzed, 11 banned organochlorine pesticides were identified, such as hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, and endrin. The highest concentrations were as follows: aldrin: 46.05 ng g−1; β-HCH: 42.11 ng g−1; α-HCH: 38.44 ng g−1; gamma γ-HCH (lindane): 34.20 ng g−1; δ-HCH: 31.61 ng g−1; methoxychlor: 29.40 ng g−1; heptachlor epoxide: 25.70 ng g−1; heptachlor: 24.11 ng g−1; dieldrin: 22.13 ng g−1; endrin: 21.23 ng g−1; endrin aldehyde: 12.40 ng g−1. Concentrations reported are prohibited in international standards. There is a strong need to further evaluate, with scientific studies, the level of concentration reported by impact of compounds widely used in agricultural livestock activities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Designing a Climate-Resilient Environmental Curriculum—A Transdisciplinary Challenge
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 77; doi:10.3390/su10010077
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building resilience is a promising transdisciplinary area that contributes to addressing the impacts of climate change. This paper focused on the design of climate-resilient environmental curriculums to enhance environmental quality. Transdisciplinary approaches have been recognized as being well-placed to assist responses to climate
[...] Read more.
Building resilience is a promising transdisciplinary area that contributes to addressing the impacts of climate change. This paper focused on the design of climate-resilient environmental curriculums to enhance environmental quality. Transdisciplinary approaches have been recognized as being well-placed to assist responses to climate change, which is a complex phenomenon and problem. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore how climate-resilient environmental education can be integrated into the design, implementation, and practice transdisciplinary manner into curriculums. Transdisciplinary curriculum design is an important factor determining the quality of modules, especially in the field of environmental design, due to its real-life setting characteristics. As students are trained with new projects, and under different socioeconomic and environmental conditions, curriculum design requires modification. Moreover, promoting transdisciplinary studies is a new trend that influences curriculum design. Compared to the interdisciplinary approach, the transdisciplinary approach is concerned with issues and subjects that exist between disciplines, across different disciplines, and beyond all the disciplines, leading to an immense space of new knowledge. This approach leads to integrated research that involves non-academic participants. We concluded that the transdisciplinary approach is beneficial for students in two ways: better performance in practical modules, and addresses the real interests of the students. Feedback from students about the curriculum design suggested that, to consider the individual student’s personal circumstances, multiple training methods should be used. The transdisciplinary approach to climate-resilient environmental curriculum design using a participative process amongst stakeholders is crucial; however, in this study, different opinions amongst interviewed tutors may obstruct the realization of the students’ wishes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Architectural and Urban Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Model of Market Positioning of Destinations Based on Online Customer Reviews of Lodgings
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 78; doi:10.3390/su10010078
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to develop a methodology to determine the competitive online positioning of lodging companies in different tourist destinations. The rise of the digital age has allowed many customers to share their opinions through specialized websites, providing a dynamic
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to develop a methodology to determine the competitive online positioning of lodging companies in different tourist destinations. The rise of the digital age has allowed many customers to share their opinions through specialized websites, providing a dynamic and constantly updated evaluation of the market. In this context, competitiveness is an essential factor in the economic sustainability of destinations. The competitive positioning of destinations is determined by the scale of variables used by Booking.com. The price and lodging category variables are also used, as well as three new variables derived from the initial scale: the quality average, value and added value. This methodology provides a tool to determine the level of competitiveness of the lodging offered in tourist destinations, based on which, actions can be taken to improve destinations’ positioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Flipped Learning on Cooperative and Competitive Mindsets
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 79; doi:10.3390/su10010079
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
PDF Full-text (961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of flipped learning in business education, especially teaching corporate sustainability. Although the effect of flipped learning has been demonstrated in many education avenues, it is still rare in business education. To address this, we designed a flipped learning
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of flipped learning in business education, especially teaching corporate sustainability. Although the effect of flipped learning has been demonstrated in many education avenues, it is still rare in business education. To address this, we designed a flipped learning course for teaching corporate sustainability and implemented it in the autumn semester of 2016 at H University. The six classes of 157 university students were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups according to a pre-test–post-test control group design. The treatment groups were provided with the funnel experiment as pre-learning material based on flipped learning, but the control groups were instructed without it using the existing instructor-led ways. ANCOVA (analysis of covariance) was used to verify the difference between the pre- and post-test scores of the cooperative/competitive mindset to compare the two groups. The results revealed that the cooperative mindset scores in the treatment groups were improved more than those of the control groups. The competitive mindset scores in the treatment groups, on the other hand, were decreased more than those of the students in the control groups. These findings suggest that flipped learning methods may be a promising approach to enhance students’ awareness of sustainable management in business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Investigation of Passengers’ Psychological Benefits from Green Brands in an Environmentally Friendly Airline Context: The Moderating Role of Gender
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 80; doi:10.3390/su10010080
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1002 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, as natural environmental problems have become more serious, environmentally friendly airlines have been attracting attention from many practitioners and scholars. The purpose of this study was to apply the concept of psychological benefits of green brands in an environmentally friendly
[...] Read more.
In recent years, as natural environmental problems have become more serious, environmentally friendly airlines have been attracting attention from many practitioners and scholars. The purpose of this study was to apply the concept of psychological benefits of green brands in an environmentally friendly airline context. Based on the theoretical relationships between the conceptual constructs, a model was developed and then evaluated using data collected from 322 airline passengers in Korea. The results indicated that the three sub-dimensions of psychological benefits of green brands (i.e., warm glow, self-expressive benefits and nature experiences) help to enhance the overall image of an environmentally friendly airline. Furthermore, the overall image plays an important role in the formation of three outcome variables: intentions to use, word-of-mouth intentions and willingness to pay more. Lastly, gender moderates the relationship between overall image and intentions to use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Measuring the Sustainability of a Manufacturing Process: A Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 81; doi:10.3390/su10010081
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, besides recurrent financial gains, industries have been required to boost their environmental and social performance to fulfil the demands of several stakeholders. Moreover, the need to measure the sustainability of manufacturing processes is recognized because the production and operations managers need to
[...] Read more.
Recently, besides recurrent financial gains, industries have been required to boost their environmental and social performance to fulfil the demands of several stakeholders. Moreover, the need to measure the sustainability of manufacturing processes is recognized because the production and operations managers need to know how they are contributing to the triple bottom line of their respective companies. To do that, many initiatives have been developed although all of them face some limitations: (a) they are only appropriate for the company as a whole, which makes their application for a manufacturing process difficult; (b) they consider the measures for sustainability (economic, environmental and social) as separate variables with no integration among them, which could become a methodological difficulty in case indicators move in different directions; or (c) they are too complicated to be used as a practical tool on the factory floor. Hence, this study proposes a framework to evaluate the sustainability level of a manufacturing process, integrating the economic, environmental, and social variables into a single combined measure. A case study exemplifies how the proposed procedure can be applied in real-world situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Diagnosis of Sustainable Business Strategies Implemented by Chilean Construction Companies
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 82; doi:10.3390/su10010082
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction companies need to formulate sustainable construction business strategies to create a competitive advantage and remain in the market. This requires that construction firms incorporate sustainability into their business model. However, the current situation of the firm must be known before following the
[...] Read more.
Construction companies need to formulate sustainable construction business strategies to create a competitive advantage and remain in the market. This requires that construction firms incorporate sustainability into their business model. However, the current situation of the firm must be known before following the path to be a sustainable construction firm. Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify sustainable business strategies and their level of implementation in Chilean construction companies. A survey was designed and applied to 245 construction firms to provide statistically valid and reliable information, thus supporting both the senior managers’ decision-making process and the companies’ strategic planning. The main results show that the companies do not pursue business strategies that promote profound organizational changes; instead, they focus their short-term efforts on urgent market demands. This is evidenced by the lack of the function of sustainability management as a permanent role in the organization. Also, this study found that only 32% of Chilean construction companies implement business strategies towards sustainability. Construction firms with higher turnover and subjected to stricter regulations, such as construction companies working in the mining sector, incorporate more sustainable business strategies across their organizations. The lack of a sustainability-oriented vision can affect the transformation of strategy into a competitive advantage, a step that is necessary to support both the company’s permanence in the market and its long-term sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Hydraulic Retention Time on Treatment of Coffee Processing Wastewater (CPWW) in EGSB Bioreactor
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 83; doi:10.3390/su10010083
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The coffee processing agro-industry generates large quantities of wastewater requiring systematic treatment prior to disposal. For this reason, the aim of this study was to evaluate the hydraulic retention times (HRT) in treatment of coffee processing wastewater (CPWW) using a laboratory scale Expanded
[...] Read more.
The coffee processing agro-industry generates large quantities of wastewater requiring systematic treatment prior to disposal. For this reason, the aim of this study was to evaluate the hydraulic retention times (HRT) in treatment of coffee processing wastewater (CPWW) using a laboratory scale Expanded Granular Sludge Bed (EGSB) bioreactor at different HRT (3 to 9 days). The EGSB was evaluated in mesophilic condition (26 ± 2 °C) with an average pH of 7.5 ± 0.2 to determine the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency. According to the results, the COD removal efficiency increases from 94 to 98% when the HRT increase from 3 to 9 days; the α factor remained stable (0.98) throughout the evolution of the bioreactor. The HRT´s between 7–9 days generated effluents capable to be dischargeable into water bodies with a permitted COD concentration according to World Health Organization (WHO) and Official Mexican Environmental Regulations permissible limits. Results evidenced that the HRT of 9 days was the one that greater COD removal generated, so the EGSB bioreactor can be a sustainable alternative to solve the environmental problems, compared to other conventional methods to CPWW treatment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Artificial Neural Network for Assessment of Energy Consumption and Cost for Cross Laminated Timber Office Building in Severe Cold Regions
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 84; doi:10.3390/su10010084
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
PDF Full-text (7612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the energy consumption and cost of cross laminated timber (CLT) office buildings in severe cold regions during the early stage of architectural design. Eleven variables were selected as input variables including
[...] Read more.
This paper aims to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict the energy consumption and cost of cross laminated timber (CLT) office buildings in severe cold regions during the early stage of architectural design. Eleven variables were selected as input variables including building form and construction variables, and the values of input variables were determined by local building standards and surveys. ANNs were trained by the simulation data and Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) method was used to select training datasets for the ANN training. The best ANN was obtained by analyzing the output variables and the number of hidden layer neurons. The results showed that the ANN with multiple outputs presented better prediction performance than the ANN with single output. Moreover, the number of hidden layer neurons in ANN should be greater than five and preferably 10, and the best mean square error (MSE) value was 1.957 × 103. In addition, it was found that the time of predicting building energy consumption and cost by ANN was 80% shorter than that of traditional building energy consumption simulation and cost calculation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving a Sustainable Future Using Renewable Materials in Buildings)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Manufacturing Quality Prediction Using Intelligent Learning Approaches: A Comparative Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 85; doi:10.3390/su10010085
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under the international background of the transformation and promotion of manufacturing, the Chinese government proposed the “Made in China 2025” strategy, which focused on the improvement of a quality-based innovation ability. Moreover, predicting manufacturing quality is one of the crucial measures for quality
[...] Read more.
Under the international background of the transformation and promotion of manufacturing, the Chinese government proposed the “Made in China 2025” strategy, which focused on the improvement of a quality-based innovation ability. Moreover, predicting manufacturing quality is one of the crucial measures for quality management. Accurate prediction is closely related to the feature learning of manufacturing processes. Therefore, two categories of intelligent learning approaches, i.e., shallow learning and deep learning, are investigated and compared for manufacturing quality prediction in this paper. Specifically, the feed forward neural network (FFNN) with one hidden layer and the least squares support vector machine (LSSVM) with no hidden layers are selected as the representatives for shallow learning, and the deep restricted Boltzmann machine (DRBM) and the stack autoencoder (SAE) are chosen as the representatives for deep learning. The manufacturing data is collected from a competition about manufacturing quality control in the Tianchi Data Lab of China. The experiments show that the deep framework overwhelms the shallow architecture in terms of mean absolute percentage error, root-mean-square error, and threshold statistics. In addition, the prediction results also indicate that the performances depend on the length of the training data. That is, the bigger the sample size is, the better the performance is. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Overview of the Main Disinfection Processes for Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Plants
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 86; doi:10.3390/su10010086
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of water disinfection as a public health measure reduces the spread of diseases. Various disinfection technologies can be used to meet the pathogen inactivation demand in water. This work is an overview of the main disinfection technologies of wastewater and drinking
[...] Read more.
The use of water disinfection as a public health measure reduces the spread of diseases. Various disinfection technologies can be used to meet the pathogen inactivation demand in water. This work is an overview of the main disinfection technologies of wastewater and drinking water that reports for the conventional processes the action mechanism, the possible formation of by-products, the operative conditions, the advantages and disadvantages. For advanced and natural processes the action mechanisms are reported. Advanced technologies are interesting but are still in the research state, while conventional technologies are the most used. There is a tendency, especially in Italy, to use chlorine-based disinfectant, despite in some forms could lead to production of disinfection by-products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Destination Personality, Destination Image, and Intent to Recommend: The Role of Gender, Age, Cultural Background, and Prior Experiences
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 87; doi:10.3390/su10010087
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
PDF Full-text (605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When tourists chose destinations, they usually select locations that satisfy the subjective criteria of their requirements. The purpose of this study was to delineate those criteria by analyzing the interrelationships among destination personality, image, and intent to recommend while examining the effects of
[...] Read more.
When tourists chose destinations, they usually select locations that satisfy the subjective criteria of their requirements. The purpose of this study was to delineate those criteria by analyzing the interrelationships among destination personality, image, and intent to recommend while examining the effects of gender, age, cultural background, and prior tourist experience. The data were collected from a major tourism destination in South Korea. A total of 316 usable surveys were analyzed using structural analysis. The results show that three of the four factors for destination personality significantly affected destination image. In turn, destination image influenced intent to recommend. Subsequent tests for metric invariances showed differences in the moderating role of cultural background, gender, age, and prior experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Effects of Operational Structure Change on Performance after Seasoned Equity Offerings
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 88; doi:10.3390/su10010088
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 31 December 2017
PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is directly linked to firms’ survival in competitive markets. To survive, firms need extra capital, and seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) are one sustainability strategy. Additional resources from SEOs lead to changes in firms’ operational structure, which brings future sustainability. This study investigates
[...] Read more.
Sustainability is directly linked to firms’ survival in competitive markets. To survive, firms need extra capital, and seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) are one sustainability strategy. Additional resources from SEOs lead to changes in firms’ operational structure, which brings future sustainability. This study investigates whether there is sustainability in firms’ operational structure and the effects of sustainable development on operational performance and market reaction. We measure the operational structure change of firms as three proxies: (1) the rate of increase in the number of operating segments, (2) the Berry–Herfindahl index using the ratio of sales of each operating segment out of total sales, and (3) the size of net investment in plant and equipment. Our results show that operational structure change has a statistically significant and positive correlation with long-term operating performance. In addition, there is no significant stock price response at first, but the operating performance in the next term is perceived as a favorable factor after three years. The results show that there are different responses in the stock market toward operational structure change. The empirical results confirm that firms with SEO have sustainable development in operational structure and that markets recognize firms’ sustainability strategy arising from SEOs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Possibilities of Using the Tourism Area Life Cycle Model to Understand and Provide Sustainable Solution for Tourism Development in the Antarctic Region
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 89; doi:10.3390/su10010089
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2517 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An important problem for the development of tourism in the polar regions is the determination of the limit of tourist traffic that these regions can accept, without risking the degradation of the environment. One such region is Antarctica. This article describes the environmental
[...] Read more.
An important problem for the development of tourism in the polar regions is the determination of the limit of tourist traffic that these regions can accept, without risking the degradation of the environment. One such region is Antarctica. This article describes the environmental conditions of Antarctica that decide its attractiveness for tourists, as well as its political and legal status. The factors that determine a tourist reception area of increasing intensity are analyzed. Based on the data of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), the volume of tourist traffic was determined, and environmental problems identified, which result from tourism development in Antarctica. The model of R.W. Butler—Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC)—was used to analyze the development of tourism. By the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, the number of tourists in the Antarctic region exceeded 40 thousand, which seems to be the largest figure (the “boom phase” in the Butler cycle) in sheer numbers, and which resulted in the introduction of less tourist-friendly behavior, from the point of view of environmental protection. On the basis of IAATO data, the environmental problems that are a consequence of the development of tourism in Antarctica are identified. Reference is made to climate change affecting the area, and on the basis of the Butler cycle, the hypothetical limits of the further development of tourism are described. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Algerian Carob Tree Products: A Comprehensive Valorization Analysis and Future Prospects
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 90; doi:10.3390/su10010090
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research presents a thorough analysis of the nutrients and anti-nutrients contained in different products from Algerian carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua L. (pod, pulp, seeds and leaves). Other parameters such as moisture, ash content and calorific value were also determined. The main purpose
[...] Read more.
This research presents a thorough analysis of the nutrients and anti-nutrients contained in different products from Algerian carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua L. (pod, pulp, seeds and leaves). Other parameters such as moisture, ash content and calorific value were also determined. The main purpose was to characterize these products derived from carob tree and analyze their possible valorization in several fields such as chemical, energy or medical industries. The results show that these products contain low amount of crude lipids (2.4–4.5%), moderate amounts of protein (4–7.4%) and high levels of total sugar (up to 66.6%). The compositional analysis reveals high nutritional values but, at the same time, it is also worth underscoring their high content in anti-nutrients: (i) trypsin inhibitor (6.4–7.3 mg·g−1); and (ii) phytic acid (0.6–0.94 mg·g−1). This work quantifies these two secondary metabolites in carob tree products for the first time. Finally, based on the results obtained, a process scheme is proposed for the complete use of carob tree products, including the use of anti-nutrients (trypsin inhibitors and phytic acid) for bio-medical applications since many research studies support that these compounds have great potential in this field. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Non-Competitive and Competitive Adsorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ Ions onto SDS in Process of Micellar-Enhanced Ultrafiltration
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 92; doi:10.3390/su10010092
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Competitive adsorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in binary mixtures were investigated compared with non-competitive adsorption in the unitary metal solution in micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration at a temperature of 25 °C. Mutual interference effects
[...] Read more.
Competitive adsorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in binary mixtures were investigated compared with non-competitive adsorption in the unitary metal solution in micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration at a temperature of 25 °C. Mutual interference effects were investigated based on the removal rate, the Langmuir Competitive Model (LCM) and equilibrium adsorption capacity ratios, qe/qm, which indicated the presence of other metal ions. The results indicated that the removal rate and adsorption capacity of Pb2+ were higher than that of the other metal ions in unitary and binary systems. The effects on SDS micelles for Cd-Pb and Zn-Pb combinations were found to be antagonistic. However, it was a favorable effect for the Cd-Zn combination, and the metal ions sorption followed the order: Pb2+ > Cd2+ > Zn2+. The behavior of non-competitive and competitive adsorption for Cd2+ and Zn2+ in a single system and in the presence of Pb2+ were well described by LCM. Moreover, the LCM showed poor fitting to non-competitive and competitive adsorption of Pb2+ in a single solution and in the presence of Cd2+ or Zn2+. In conclusion, the removal of Pb2+ in the presence of Zn2+ or Cd2+ showed greater efficacy than that of Cd2+ or Zn2+ in the presence of Pb2+. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Empirical Investigation of Architectural Heritage Management Implications for Tourism: The Case of Portugal
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 93; doi:10.3390/su10010093
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 8 January 2018
PDF Full-text (9558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aims of this study are manifold. First, to investigate the potentials of architectural heritage in the context of tourism destination development, as well as examine public sector policies and make plans toward the preservation of these resources. Secondly, to appraise the outcome
[...] Read more.
The aims of this study are manifold. First, to investigate the potentials of architectural heritage in the context of tourism destination development, as well as examine public sector policies and make plans toward the preservation of these resources. Secondly, to appraise the outcome of preservation and its implications for tourism. The study is an effort to explore and understand the interrelationships between tourism and architectural heritage sites through tourist image and perception. For the purposes of this research, numerous heritage sites were sampled in Portugal. A mixed research method was utilized to gauge tourists’ image/perception of heritage resources, and impact (quantitative approach). A qualitative approach was utilized to assess the priority of tourists in their visits and public-sector policies toward heritage resource management and planning. The fuzzy logic method was used to assess the architectural value and the tourist and preservation potential of historical buildings in Porto/Aveiro. The contribution and implications of the study are also explained. The results revealed that architectural heritage resources have the most appeal to tourists. The study to date demonstrates the architectural value and tourist and preservation potential of the buildings observed via evaluation by fuzzy logic methods. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Impact of Energy Consumption on Air Quality in Jiangsu Province of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 94; doi:10.3390/su10010094
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1611 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air quality has become an important sustainability concern for China’s highly developed economic regions. Taking Jiangsu Province as a case, this study investigates the effect of energy consumption on air quality when both considering and not considering control variables, such as industrial structure,
[...] Read more.
Air quality has become an important sustainability concern for China’s highly developed economic regions. Taking Jiangsu Province as a case, this study investigates the effect of energy consumption on air quality when both considering and not considering control variables, such as industrial structure, energy consumption structure and energy efficiency from 2006 to 2015 and further explores the influence of the related policies on air quality and the relationship between energy consumption and air quality. One important finding is that the relationship between energy consumption and the air quality index of Jiangsu Province shows a U-shaped curve and it is now in the increasing part of the curve, which reveals the effectiveness of controlling energy consumption in improving air quality. Another important finding is that, when considering the effect of related polices, there is still a U-shaped curve relationship between energy consumption and air quality index, with the opening of curve becoming bigger and the influence of energy consumption on air quality becoming more obvious. Moreover, although air quality is improved whether considering policies separately or together, the effect of combined policies is better than is the effect of a separate policy. This not only reflects the effectiveness of related polices but also shows the importance of policy coordination. Furthermore, a 1% optimization of industrial structure inhibits air quality index by 0.0054%, while the relationship of energy efficiency and energy consumption structure with air quality is inconsistent with theoretical analysis. This implies that, in practice, there is still room for improvement in both energy saving and emission reduction and even in air quality improvement. This study may help the stakeholders, whether from Jiangsu Province, other provinces in China or other countries at the global level, identify the impacts of energy consumption on air quality and formulate effective energy saving and air quality improvement policies in conjunction with their economic characteristics. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Data Governance Taxonomy: Cloud versus Non-Cloud
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 95; doi:10.3390/su10010095
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (3531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forward-thinking organisations believe that the only way to solve the data problem is the implementation of effective data governance. Attempts to govern data have failed before, as they were driven by information technology, and affected by rigid processes and fragmented activities carried out
[...] Read more.
Forward-thinking organisations believe that the only way to solve the data problem is the implementation of effective data governance. Attempts to govern data have failed before, as they were driven by information technology, and affected by rigid processes and fragmented activities carried out on a system-by-system basis. Until very recently, governance has been mostly informal, with very ambiguous and generic regulations, in siloes around specific enterprise repositories, lacking structure and the wider support of the organisation. Despite its highly recognised importance, the area of data governance is still underdeveloped and under-researched. Consequently, there is a need to advance research in data governance in order to deepen practice. Currently, in the area of data governance, research consists mostly of descriptive literature reviews. The analysis of literature further emphasises the need to build a standardised strategy for data governance. This task can be a very complex one and needs to be accomplished in stages. Therefore, as a first and necessary stage, a taxonomy approach to define the different attributes of data governance is expected to make a valuable contribution to knowledge, helping researchers and decision makers to understand the most important factors that need to be considered when implementing a data governance strategy for cloud computing services. In addition to the proposed taxonomy, the paper clarifies the concepts of data governance in contracts with other governance domains. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Gardener Well-Being along Social and Biophysical Landscape Gradients
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 96; doi:10.3390/su10010096
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (3659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Increasing human populations are challenging cities to grow sustainably while maintaining green spaces that deliver ecosystem services and well-being benefits. Community gardens are green spaces that provide food, community, and health benefits, but gardens often are non-permanent due to development and green space
[...] Read more.
Increasing human populations are challenging cities to grow sustainably while maintaining green spaces that deliver ecosystem services and well-being benefits. Community gardens are green spaces that provide food, community, and health benefits, but gardens often are non-permanent due to development and green space loss. Thus, investigating their significance and benefit across urban regions is critical for research and policy alike. This study investigated the role of community gardens in providing human well-being benefits across three counties in the California Central Coast—a region undergoing massive urban transformation in the last century. We measured how multiple aspects of self-reported gardener well-being varied in relation to the social opportunities of surrounding neighborhoods and the biophysical features of the landscapes in which the gardens were embedded. The results document improvements in gardener well-being through gardening across social and biophysical gradients. Gardeners are motivated by diverse reasons, varying from gardening in order to connect to nature, to gardening for improved food access, or to enhance time spent with family. Community gardens are therefore important for supporting many well-being benefits. Policies to maintain and protect gardens should prioritize neighborhoods with needs for connecting to nature and enhancing social interaction within the community. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Proactive versus Reactive Corporate Environmental Practices and Environmental Performance
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 97; doi:10.3390/su10010097
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates how different types of corporate environmental practices affect environmental performance. This paper is theoretically anchored in the natural resource-based view and, methodologically, it applies the recently recommended disaggregated approach in a new effort to deepen our understanding of how environmental
[...] Read more.
This study investigates how different types of corporate environmental practices affect environmental performance. This paper is theoretically anchored in the natural resource-based view and, methodologically, it applies the recently recommended disaggregated approach in a new effort to deepen our understanding of how environmental performance is associated with different types of corporate environmental practices. The results partially affirm the argument of the natural resource-based view that proactive corporate environmental practice leads to better environmental performance, whereas reactive corporate environmental practice is associated with worse environmental performance. However, the relationship between corporate environmental practices and environmental performance should be carefully interpreted, because the findings differ depending on how Kinder Lydenberg Domini (KLD) strength and concern rating scores are measured. The results further demonstrate that the disaggregate KLD environmental rating scores can be better alternative measures for corporate environmental practices than the commonly used composite and aggregate KLD rating scores, given that disaggregate KLD concern and strength scores represent independent rather than similar constructs. The findings are expected to help both theorists and practitioners achieve a more nuanced understanding of the measurement of environmental practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Development of the Economic-Energy-Environment (3E) System under the Carbon Trading (CT) Mechanism: A Chinese Case
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 98; doi:10.3390/su10010098
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 1 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The implementation of the carbon trading (CT) mechanism is important for the transformation of China’s renewable energy industry, thereby affecting the structure of energy, economy, and the environment, and determining the sustainable development of China’s economic-energy-environment (3E) system in the future. This paper
[...] Read more.
The implementation of the carbon trading (CT) mechanism is important for the transformation of China’s renewable energy industry, thereby affecting the structure of energy, economy, and the environment, and determining the sustainable development of China’s economic-energy-environment (3E) system in the future. This paper constructs a 3E system simulation model under the CT mechanism based on the theory of system dynamics and taking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as an example. We study the internal operation mechanism of the carbon emissions trading system and its impact on 3E by combing the related mechanisms of the CT market, CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and gross domestic product (GDP), thereby helping to provide references for policy-making institutions. The results show that the implementation of CT can effectively reduce energy consumption growth and carbon emissions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the negative impact of CT implementation on GDP is significantly lower than its positive impact on reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption. Thus, the CT mechanism is conducive to the sustainable development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region’s 3E system. In addition, reducing the total amount of quota, reducing free quota, and increasing CT price can effectively promote carbon emission reduction, thus promoting the sustainable development of the 3E system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Study on Adaptive-Passive and Semi-Active Eddy Current Tuned Mass Damper with Variable Damping
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 99; doi:10.3390/su10010099
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9533 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tuned mass damper (TMD) is a widely used vibration control device, consisting of a mass, some springs and damping elements. Viscous damper is mostly used as a damping element; however, it has many unsustainable problems, e.g., poor durability, sensitive to the change of
[...] Read more.
Tuned mass damper (TMD) is a widely used vibration control device, consisting of a mass, some springs and damping elements. Viscous damper is mostly used as a damping element; however, it has many unsustainable problems, e.g., poor durability, sensitive to the change of temperature, difficult to adjust the damping, oil leakage etc. In this paper, a new sustainable adaptive-passive eddy current tuned mass damper (ECTMD) with variable damping, which is very easy to be further upgraded to a semi-active one, is proposed. Four important parameters, e.g., adsorption position of permanent magnets, thickness of the conductive plate, thickness of the extra steel plate and the air gap between permanent magnets and the conductive plate are investigated by a parametric study. Two new evaluation indexes are put forward to indicate the damping mechanism of the proposed device. The relationship between effective damping coefficient and air gap is fitted through a quadratic function. Then, the corresponding design method of the proposed adaptive–passive ECTMD is presented. At last, the previous adaptive–passive ECTMD is upgraded to a semi-active one, which can adjust its eddy current damping through adjusting its air gap in real-time, based on the linear-quadratic-Gaussian algorithm. The effectiveness of semi-active ECTMD is evaluated through harmonic excitations and human-induced excitations. The results show that the semi-active ECTMD with variable damping has a better vibration control effect than the optimized passive one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Oleotourism as a Sustainable Product: An Analysis of Its Demand in the South of Spain (Andalusia)
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 101; doi:10.3390/su10010101
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 1 January 2018 / Published: 3 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olive oil has generated a new tourism offer in Spain called oleotourism. Visitors can enjoy landscapes of ancient olive groves and visit its oil mills called almazaras, to learn about its manufacture and to taste different oil varieties. Andalusia, located in the south
[...] Read more.
Olive oil has generated a new tourism offer in Spain called oleotourism. Visitors can enjoy landscapes of ancient olive groves and visit its oil mills called almazaras, to learn about its manufacture and to taste different oil varieties. Andalusia, located in the south of Spain, produces 60% of Spain’s olive oil, having the largest number of almazaras, and therefore most oleotourism offers. This differentiated tourism offer requires identifying the profile of oleotourists to determine sustainable strategies to increase demand without harming the local community. The objective of this study is to identify the Andalusian oleotourism offer according to the profile of oleotourists and project its demand evolution, in order to offer a sustainable product best suited to the demand. With this aim, three techniques are applied in this study: a random survey addressed to oleotourists in Andalusia, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the oleotourism sector in the region, and finally, its demand is projected by using the ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average) model. The results indicate a favorable future scenario that should induce entrepreneurs and local authorities to invest in promoting and developing a product. Oleotourism is an alternative that can serve as a complement to agricultural income and generate employment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle City Branding in China’s Northeastern Region: How Do Cities Reposition Themselves When Facing Industrial Decline and Ecological Modernization?
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 102; doi:10.3390/su10010102
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The past decade has seen a surge in the use of city branding, which is used to attract specific target groups of investors, high-tech green firms and talented workforce and reflects a desired shift from old, polluting manufacturing industries to new, clean service
[...] Read more.
The past decade has seen a surge in the use of city branding, which is used to attract specific target groups of investors, high-tech green firms and talented workforce and reflects a desired shift from old, polluting manufacturing industries to new, clean service industries. Previous studies in the Chinese mega-city regions Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Jing-Jin-Ji (region around Beijing and Tianjin) have shown that branding practices of primarily service and innovation oriented cities are largely in line with existing industrial profiles while those which are predominantly manufacturing oriented wish to present themselves as more service and innovation driven. In this contribution, city branding practices are studied in China’s three Northeastern provinces Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning which face structural decline because of the presence of many outdated resource-based and heavy industries. The gap between existing profile and branding choices appears not systematic as in China’s leading economic regions. Northeastern cities focus more on combining primary, secondary and tertiary industrial patterns than on displacing manufacturing with services. The tertiary sector in these provinces is more administrative and public sector oriented and generates lower value added; it is therefore not significantly more attractive than the primary and secondary ones. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impact of Infrastructure and Production Processes on Rioja Wine Supply Chain Performance
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 103; doi:10.3390/su10010103
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 4 January 2018
PDF Full-text (839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a structural equation model for analyzing the relationship between four latent variables: infrastructure, production processes, transport benefits, and economic benefits within the supply chain for wine from La Rioja, Spain, by incorporating 12 observed variables. The model proposes six hypothesis
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a structural equation model for analyzing the relationship between four latent variables: infrastructure, production processes, transport benefits, and economic benefits within the supply chain for wine from La Rioja, Spain, by incorporating 12 observed variables. The model proposes six hypothesis that were tested using information gathered from 64 surveys completed by managers of several wineries in the region. The WarpPLS v.5® software (Version 5.0, Script Warp Systems, Laredo, TX, USA) was used to execute the model and analyze the direct, indirect, and total effects among latent variables. The results show that the control of production processes is a direct source of economic and transport benefits because of its higher explanatory power of those variables. Similarly, infrastructure is a direct source of transport and production benefits, and some of them are given indirectly. In addition, infrastructure does not have a direct effect on economic benefits; however, there were indirect effects given through production process and transport benefits. Infrastructure is a very important variable because of its influence in the final performance, but also because of its high environmental impact. Finally, economic benefits were explained in 43.8%, 19.1% belonging to production process, 21.1% coming from transport benefits, and 3.7% from infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainable Living in Finland: Combating Climate Change in Everyday Life
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 104; doi:10.3390/su10010104
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 4 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Finland aims to be a carbon-neutral society by the year 2050. We are interested to know on a general level how sustainable living materializes among Finnish people, what is the structure of a sustainable lifestyle in Finland and how do people reason about
[...] Read more.
Finland aims to be a carbon-neutral society by the year 2050. We are interested to know on a general level how sustainable living materializes among Finnish people, what is the structure of a sustainable lifestyle in Finland and how do people reason about their everyday behavior choices in the context of sustainability in order to combat climate change. The data (n = 2052) were collected by questionnaire in April 2017. They were corrected by sex, age and residential area to be representative of the population of Finland (18–79 years old). We applied mixed methods. A principal axis factoring was conducted on the 32 variables with orthogonal rotation (varimax). Six factors explained 65.2% of the variance. The respondents were also able to write why they considered the specific variable to be important for them. We classified 2811 reasonings. According to our results, Finns have become conscious of climate change, but carbon reduction has not become mainstream in their everyday life. Circulation and preventing loss of materials show a promising start to a Finn’s sustainable way of living. Recycling has been automated so that it is part of a Finn’s everyday routine and habits. Finns also favor domestic food and products. They are interested in the origin of materials. Essential reasons for that are supporting the local economy and ensuring a good employment rate for the state. Smart, carbon-free mobility is a challenge. Finns seem to estimate that their personal car use is already at the proper level. On the other hand, even one fifth reported consideration of environmental effects when planning holidays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Simulation Model for Productivity Analysis of External Insulated Precast Concrete Wall System
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 105; doi:10.3390/su10010105
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
PDF Full-text (4967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
External Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) is recognized as a suitable method for attaining energy efficiency of buildings. However, conventional EIFS is not actively applied to building construction due to additional time and cost compared with interior insulation method. Therefore, as an alternative that
[...] Read more.
External Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) is recognized as a suitable method for attaining energy efficiency of buildings. However, conventional EIFS is not actively applied to building construction due to additional time and cost compared with interior insulation method. Therefore, as an alte