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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Open AccessArticle International Alliance of Green Hotels to Reach Sustainable Competitive Advantages
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020573
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Under increasing environmental pressure, hotel firms need to improve their ability to access international alliances while maintaining good performance for sustainable development. This paper uses survey data from 784 hotels running at different levels of service in China to test the hypothesis in
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Under increasing environmental pressure, hotel firms need to improve their ability to access international alliances while maintaining good performance for sustainable development. This paper uses survey data from 784 hotels running at different levels of service in China to test the hypothesis in an integrated analytical model, and the findings show that the impact of international alliances varies with different levels of green hotels. Despite operating in the same sector, hotels running at different levels of service vary their respective tactics to gain sustainable competitive advantage and achieve significantly different results. This study intends to inform hotel managers in obtaining specific performance goals by developing absorptive capacity, and by choosing the most suitable alliance for their level of operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study on the Manufacturing Firm’s Strategic Choice for Sustainability in SMEs
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020572
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
To survive in the current competitive, unpredictable business environment, it is significant for firms to search and enforce capabilities that lead them to adapt and cope with dynamic changes of environment for their sustainability. We try to connect operation issues with sustainability in
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To survive in the current competitive, unpredictable business environment, it is significant for firms to search and enforce capabilities that lead them to adapt and cope with dynamic changes of environment for their sustainability. We try to connect operation issues with sustainability in this paper. From the perspective of the dynamic capabilities of the firm, this study suggests a conceptual model that presents relationships among supply chain visibility, modular design, supply chain flexibility, and agility. We do not focus on the module buyer but on the small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs). An empirical study is performed to verify the relationships proposed, using datasets collected from 232 manufacturing SMEs as module suppliers in South Korea. We used SPSS to analyze data and structural equation modeling to verify the hypotheses of the research model. The important contributions of this study are as follows. Firstly, we suggest relationships among supply chain visibilities and a modular design for supply chain flexibility and agility in sustainable performance. Secondly, we show that supply chain visibility directly leads firms to implement modular design in sustainable development. Thirdly, we verify the importance of supply chain visibility, not for module buyers, but for module suppliers by switching views in terms of SMEs’ sustainability. Lastly, this study shows that the suppliers’ modular design affects supply chain flexibility and agility, which is consistent with the findings presented in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in SMEs)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Coordination Strategy of Regional Vertical Emission Abatement Collaboration in a Low-Carbon Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020571
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
This study introduces a time factor into a low-carbon context, and supposes the contamination control state of local government and the ability of polluting enterprise to abate emissions as linear increasing functions in a regional low-carbon emission abatement cooperation chain. The local government
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This study introduces a time factor into a low-carbon context, and supposes the contamination control state of local government and the ability of polluting enterprise to abate emissions as linear increasing functions in a regional low-carbon emission abatement cooperation chain. The local government effectuates and upholds the low-carbon development within the jurisdiction that is primarily seeking to transform regional economic development modes, while the polluting enterprise abates the amounts of emitted carbon in the entire period of product through simplifying production, facilitating decontamination, and adopting production technology, thus leading to less contamination. On that basis, we infer that the coordinated joint carbon reduction model and two decentralization contracts expound the dynamic coordination strategy for a regional cooperation chain in terms of vertical carbon abatement. Furthermore, feedback equilibrium strategies that are concerned with several diverse conditions are compared and analyzed. The main results show that a collaborative centralized contract is able to promote the regional low-carbon cooperation chain in order to achieve a win–win situation in both economic and environmental performance. Additionally, the optimal profits of the entire regional low-carbon cooperation channel under an integration scenario evidently outstrip that of two non-collaborative decentralization schemes. Eventually, the validity of the conclusions is verified with a case description and numerical simulation, and the sensitivity of the relevant parameters is analyzed in order to lay a theoretical foundation and thus facilitate the sustainable development of a regional low-carbon environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Why the Wind Curtailment of Northwest China Remains High
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020570
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The total grid-connected installed capacity of wind power in northwest China has grown from 16,260 MW in 2013 to 43,290 MW in 2016; an increase of 88.7% each year. However, this region has suffered from increasingly serious wind curtailment since 2014, and the
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The total grid-connected installed capacity of wind power in northwest China has grown from 16,260 MW in 2013 to 43,290 MW in 2016; an increase of 88.7% each year. However, this region has suffered from increasingly serious wind curtailment since 2014, and the wind curtailment amount accounts for nearly a half of China’s total. The wind curtailment rate of Gansu Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in this area has increased and remains high. This paper constructs an analytical model to explore the reasons of the high wind curtailment of these three provinces from the four aspects of the wind power supply capacity, demand, grid transmission capacity, power system flexibility and market mechanism and laws. The results show that the relationship between the wind energy distribution and supply and the local load is incompatible, which is the source causing the high wind curtailment in northwest China. On the one hand, the game between the local government and developers has driven the development of wind power bases. On the other hand, the electricity sector is growing slowly and oversupply of electricity is seen in many areas of China. The wind power grid of northwest China not only faces limit of grid transmission capacity, but also constraint of insufficient flexibility of the electricity system. Presently, China has not set up a market mechanism and subsidy mechanism for the peak load adjustment, thus the thermal power companies lack motivation to voluntarily adjust the peak load. Moreover, the regional segregation and market barriers are also obstacles for the wind power outward transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Difficulty of Climate Change Adaptation in Manufacturing Firms: Developing an Action-Theoretical Perspective on the Causality of Adaptive Inaction
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020569
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Climate change induces various risks for supply chains of manufacturing firms. However, surveys have suggested that only a minority of firms conducts strategic adaptations, which we define as anticipatory and target-oriented action with the purpose of increasing resilience to climate change. While several
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Climate change induces various risks for supply chains of manufacturing firms. However, surveys have suggested that only a minority of firms conducts strategic adaptations, which we define as anticipatory and target-oriented action with the purpose of increasing resilience to climate change. While several barrier-centered studies have investigated the causality of non-adaptation in industry, the examined barriers are often not problem-specific. Furthermore, it has been shown that even in cases when managers perceive no barriers to adaptation at all, strategic adaptations may still not be conducted. On this background, the present analysis focuses on the logic of adaptive inaction, which we conceive, in particular, as inaction with regard to strategic adaptations. Adopting an action-theoretical perspective, the study examines (a) which aspects may shape the rationality of adaptive inaction among managers, (b) which more condensed challenges of conducting strategic adaptations emerge for managers, and (c) how the theoretical propositions can be tested. For this purpose, the study employs an exploratory approach. Thus, hypotheses on such aspects are explored, which may shape the rationality of adaptive inaction among managers. Subsequently, predictions are inferred from the theoretical propositions, which allow testing their empirical relevance. Methodologically, the hypotheses are explored by reexamining existing explanatory approaches from literature based on a set of pretheoretical assumptions, which include notions of bounded rationality. As a result, the study proposes 13 aspects which may constrain managers in conducting adaptations in such a way, which serves the economic utility of the firm. By condensing these aspects, 4 major challenges for managers are suggested: the challenges of (a) conducting long-term adaptations, of (b) conducting adaptations at an early point in time, of (c) conducting adaptations despite uncertain effects of the measures, and of (d) conducting adaptations despite cross-tier dependencies in supply chains. Finally, the study shows how the propositions can be tested and outlines a research agenda based on the developed theoretical suggestions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy, Ethical Funds, and Engineering Projects)
Open AccessArticle Three-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis of Agricultural Water Use Efficiency: A Case Study of the Heihe River Basin
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020568
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Aiming to inspect the water use-related situation in the Heihe River Basin, we used a three-stage data envelopment analysis to examine agricultural water use efficiency (WUE) and related issues in the Heihe River Basin from 2004 to 2012. This method calculates technical efficiency
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Aiming to inspect the water use-related situation in the Heihe River Basin, we used a three-stage data envelopment analysis to examine agricultural water use efficiency (WUE) and related issues in the Heihe River Basin from 2004 to 2012. This method calculates technical efficiency (TE), pure technical efficiency (PTE), and scale efficiency (SE). Results show that water use-related efficiency varies according to scale. TE and SE decreased in the study area, while PTE increased. This means that the effects of pure technology on improving overall technology are very limited, and scale adjustment is vitally important to the agricultural production area in the Heihe River Basin. The results provide recommendations for decision-makers to plan the efficient use of water resources in arid and semiarid areas; in addition, this method will contribute to calculations of water use-related efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability, Transformational Leadership, and Social Entrepreneurship
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020567
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
This article examines the extent to which culturally endorsed transformational leadership theories (CLTs) and the sustainability of society, both considered societal level institutional indicators, impact the emergence of social entrepreneurship. Using 107,738 individual-level responses from 27 countries for the year 2009 obtained from
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This article examines the extent to which culturally endorsed transformational leadership theories (CLTs) and the sustainability of society, both considered societal level institutional indicators, impact the emergence of social entrepreneurship. Using 107,738 individual-level responses from 27 countries for the year 2009 obtained from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey, and supplementing with country-level data obtained from Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) and Sustainability Society Foundation (SSF), our findings from multilevel analysis show that transformational CLTs and sustainability conditions of society positively influence the likelihood of individuals becoming social entrepreneurs. Further, the effectiveness of transformational CLTs matters more for social entrepreneurship when the sustainability of society is low, which suggests the interaction between cultural leadership styles and societal sustainability. This article contributes to comparative entrepreneurship research by introducing strong cultural antecedents of social entrepreneurship in transformational CLTs and societal sustainability. We discuss various implications and limitations of our study, and we suggest directions for future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Europe 2020 Implementation as Driver of Economic Performance and Competitiveness. Panel Analysis of CEE Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020566
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The Europe 2020 strategy is the EU strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth, for fighting the structural weaknesses of the European economies, and for improving their competitiveness. In this paper, we determined the most important ratios of the Europe 2020 Strategy impacting on
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The Europe 2020 strategy is the EU strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth, for fighting the structural weaknesses of the European economies, and for improving their competitiveness. In this paper, we determined the most important ratios of the Europe 2020 Strategy impacting on economic performance expressed as the growth of the GDP per capita, and on economic competitiveness expressed as the share of the countries’ exports in total world exports for some selected Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries (Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Romania) using co-integration tests and OLS panel estimations with a dataset between 2004 (after four of these selected countries acceded to EU) and 2015 (the latest available data for all the ratios we used in our analysis). Our findings show that the tertiary level of education is the most important factor, positively correlated with both endogenous variables mentioned above. Other important factors for achieving the economic performance and competitiveness goals are the school dropout ratio, the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption, and the employment rate. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Economic Determinants of Bioenergy Trade Intensity in the EU-28: A Co-Integration Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020565
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines the dynamic effect of the economic determinants on bilateral trade intensity of the European Union (EU) region’s bioenergy industry outputs. The authors adopt the panel co-integration model approach to estimate annual trade intensity data of the EU-28 countries’ bioenergy industry
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This paper examines the dynamic effect of the economic determinants on bilateral trade intensity of the European Union (EU) region’s bioenergy industry outputs. The authors adopt the panel co-integration model approach to estimate annual trade intensity data of the EU-28 countries’ bioenergy industry outputs from 1990 to 2013. This study investigated the long-term influence of the rate of real exchange, gross domestic product (GDP), and export price on the trade intensity of bioenergy industry applying fully modified oriented least square (FMOLS), dummy oriented least square (DOLS), and pooled mean group (PMG) models. In the current study, the findings boost the empirical validity of the panel co-integration model through FMOLS, indicating that depreciation has improved the trade intensity. This study has further investigated, through the causality test, a distinct set of countries. FMOLS estimation does find proof of the long run improvement of trade intensity. Thus, the result shows that the gross domestic product (GDP) and the real exchange rate have a positive and noteworthy influence on the EU-28 region trade intensity of the bioenergy industry. Moreover, the export price affects negatively and significantly the trade intensity of the bioenergy industry in the EU-28 countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle Supplier Selection Study under the Respective of Low-Carbon Supply Chain: A Hybrid Evaluation Model Based on FA-DEA-AHP
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020564
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
With the development of global environment and social economy, it is an indispensable choice for enterprises to achieve sustainable growth through developing low-carbon economy and constructing low-carbon supply chain. Supplier is the source of chain, thus selecting excellent low-carbon supplier is the foundation
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With the development of global environment and social economy, it is an indispensable choice for enterprises to achieve sustainable growth through developing low-carbon economy and constructing low-carbon supply chain. Supplier is the source of chain, thus selecting excellent low-carbon supplier is the foundation of establishing efficient low-carbon supply chain. This paper presents a novel hybrid model for supplier selection integrated factor analysis (FA), data envelopment analysis (DEA), with analytic hierarchy process (AHP), namely FA-DEA-AHP. First, an evaluation index system is built, incorporating product level, qualification, cooperation ability, and environmental competitiveness. FA is utilized to extract common factors from the 18 pre-selected indicators. Then, DEA is applied to establish the pairwise comparison matrix and AHP is employed to rank these low-carbon suppliers comprehensively and calculate the validity of the decision-making units. Finally, an experiment study with seven cement suppliers in a large industrial enterprise is carried out in this paper. The results reveal that the proposed technique can not only select effective suppliers, but also realize a comprehensive ranking. This research has enriched the methodology of low-carbon supplier evaluation and selection, as well as owns theoretical value in exploring the coordinated development of low-carbon supply chain to some extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain System Design and Optimization)
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Open AccessArticle Using Toponyms to Analyze the Endangered Manchu Language in Northeast China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020563
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
UNESCO has classified Manchu in Northeast China as a critically endangered language. Toponyms can act as carriers of languages and can be preserved for a long time. The Manchu language was the national language in the Qing Dynasty, and there are many Manchu
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UNESCO has classified Manchu in Northeast China as a critically endangered language. Toponyms can act as carriers of languages and can be preserved for a long time. The Manchu language was the national language in the Qing Dynasty, and there are many Manchu place names in Northeast China that serve as “living heritages” that retain traces of ancient local cultures. We studied Manchu and other related ethnic place names in Northeast China by integrating spatial statistical measures using geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze the endangered languages in the region. The objective was to explore not only the distribution of ethnic toponyms within a relevant historical context but also the environmental factors associated with the endangered Manchu languages. This study reveals that the distributions of ethnic groups and languages can be revealed by the Sinification of ethnic toponyms in Northeast China. The evolution of spatial patterns of toponyms shows the interactive process between Manchus and Han Chinese. The Manchu language is endangered by the influences of Han Chinese migrants on the original culture, as reflected by crops and the distances to the nearest roads, which are indicators of farming culture and accessibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of Out-of-Home Meals: Potentials and Challenges of Applying the Indicator sets NAHGAST Meal-Basic and NAHGAST Meal-Pro
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020562
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Nutrition is responsible for about 30% of global natural resource use. In order to limit the negative impact the nutritional sector has on the environment and on society, the consumption and processing of foodstuffs with assumed low negative impact is an important topic
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Nutrition is responsible for about 30% of global natural resource use. In order to limit the negative impact the nutritional sector has on the environment and on society, the consumption and processing of foodstuffs with assumed low negative impact is an important topic in the effort of sustainable development. In professional kitchens, clearly defined indicators assessing the impact of business activities are needed in this effort. The research and development in the NAHGAST project provides groundwork that could be of important assistance in this effort. Two versions of an assessment tool, with indicators of different complexity (NAHGAST Meal-Basic and NAHGAST Meal-Pro), were developed that can be used by kitchen professionals to determine the sustainability performance of their products—the offered meal. An informed selection of indicators, and a discussion of what processes and impacts this indicator relates to in the wider context, are essential and are discussed in this paper. Furthermore, in the selection of indicators for the purpose of our research certain criteria were considered simultaneously: (1) Communicability—What information an indicator can communicate and how comprehensible this information is for different actors; (2) Feasibility and data availability—Whether there is sufficient data for an indicator to be included and whether it is realistic for companies to integrate this indicator in their daily work practice; and (3) Scientific relevance—Whether the indicator is relevant for sustainability efforts on a larger scale and for related discussions in the scientific community. Insights related to these considerations are valuable for future developments in sustainability assessment in out-of-home gastronomy. The tool has been used to evaluate a number of dishes and results are deemed meaningful. However, assessments must not be understood as an accurate measurement but as an approximation of the sustainability of meals. At the level of individual indicators, they allow a detailed analysis and targeted optimization of recipes, while the aggregated results in the form of labels can be communicated well to customers. However, deficiencies and challenges, as discovered in the application phase of the project, demonstrate research gaps in the wider context. Finally, further steps for an integration of the tool in company processes and remaining options for companies to adjust the tool are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wood Use in Civil Engineering in Japan Based on Life-Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020561
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Throughout its life-cycle, wood contributes to climate change mitigation through carbon storage and material and energy substitution. Focusing on wood use for piles, check dams, paved walkways, guardrails, and noise barriers, we quantified the nationwide potential for climate change mitigation in civil engineering
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Throughout its life-cycle, wood contributes to climate change mitigation through carbon storage and material and energy substitution. Focusing on wood use for piles, check dams, paved walkways, guardrails, and noise barriers, we quantified the nationwide potential for climate change mitigation in civil engineering in Japan through 2050. To assess mitigation potential, we examined life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are avoided by storing carbon in wood and forests, substituting wooden materials for non-wooden materials (cement, concrete, steel, and asphalt), and substituting processing residue and waste wood salvaged from defunct civil engineering structures for fossil fuels (heavy oil). Our projections suggest that there will be a maximum potential domestic log volume of 6.80 million m3/year available for civil engineering use in Japan in 2050, and that it would be possible to produce this volume while increasing Japan’s forest resources over the long term. A maximum nationwide avoided GHG emissions potential of 9.63 million t-CO2eq/year could be achieved in 2050, which is equivalent to 0.7% of Japan’s current GHG emissions. The breakdown of avoided emissions is 73%, 19%, and 8% for carbon storage, material substitution, and energy substitution, respectively, with the greatest contributions coming from carbon storage through the use of log piles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Ex-Ante Impact Assessment of Sustainability Information–The Directive 2014/95
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020560
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Directive 2014/95, in force since 2017, is the first European step that requires undertakings to provide mandatory non-financial information. The regulation concerns sustainability information, such as environmental, social, and employee information, human rights, and anti-corruption and bribery matters, and the disclosure of diversity
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Directive 2014/95, in force since 2017, is the first European step that requires undertakings to provide mandatory non-financial information. The regulation concerns sustainability information, such as environmental, social, and employee information, human rights, and anti-corruption and bribery matters, and the disclosure of diversity policies for board members. According to the theoretical framework of Integrated Assessment (IA), the study aims to examine the expected impact of the Directive within the analysis of empirical evidence before the mandatory approach. This allows, on the regulatory side, evaluation of the quality of the regulation, therefore, whether the law achieves its policy objectives (i.e., if it fills the gap in the sustainability disclosure) and, on the firms’ side, to identify where companies have to invest to meet the legal requirements. The oil and gas sector is chosen as a sample for the study, because it is one of the most advanced sectors in sustainability disclosure, and if the regulation could impact on this sector, it would be the same for less-informed ones. The findings reveal a fair level of completeness of non-financial information, however, there are some areas that have to be improved to achieve the requirements of the Directive. The results also show the presence of overlap between financial and sustainability reports. In conclusion, the quality of regulation is good because it will also increase sustainability disclosure in an advanced sector, such as oil and gas, even if there is an open point on the location of information; companies in this sector will have to invest more in environmental and employee information in future years to comply with the Directive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Tale of North and South: Balanced and Sustainable Development of Primary Education in Ningxia, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020559
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Education is the driving force of social development, while regional differences have restricted the balance of educational development. This paper provides a political and geospatial analysis of regional inequality across the province from 1990–2015 under a comparative spatiotemporal conceptual framework. Great differences in
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Education is the driving force of social development, while regional differences have restricted the balance of educational development. This paper provides a political and geospatial analysis of regional inequality across the province from 1990–2015 under a comparative spatiotemporal conceptual framework. Great differences in terms of the distribution and dynamic changes in primary school were found between southern and the northern Ningxia. The southern region has a large number of primary schools with a sharp reduction in these numbers, especially in recent years, while the north has a small but stable number of schools. Spatial accessibility analyses revealed that due to the imbalance between the south and the north, the spatial accessibility of the southern region is much worse than that of the northern region. Our study found the imbalance in the number and spatial distribution of primary schools in the north and south of Ningxia was formed because of multiple factors of policy, geography, and social-economy. The government has pursued a policy of promoting education fairness. However, neglecting differences between north and south, on the contrary, has brought negative effects to the south, worsened the educational environment, and increased education inequities. Our case study in the Ningxia district demonstrates that this research can provide a practical basis for the formulation of policies to guide the rational planning of primary education in Ningxia and/or other similar areas. Full article
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