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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Manufacturing industries face the critical challenges to accommodate sustainability issues. To [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Management Strategies and Innovations: Important Roles to Sustainable Construction
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 606; doi:10.3390/su10030606
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
While sustainable construction has gained rapid growth worldwide in recent years, it is confronting various challenges and problems, particularly those from a management perspective. This Special Issue collects 16 original research articles relating to management strategies and innovations of sustainable construction, which are
[...] Read more.
While sustainable construction has gained rapid growth worldwide in recent years, it is confronting various challenges and problems, particularly those from a management perspective. This Special Issue collects 16 original research articles relating to management strategies and innovations of sustainable construction, which are mainly concentrated in three areas: the adoption of sustainable construction technologies and products, the development of sustainable built environment, and the organization studies associated with sustainable construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
Open AccessEditorial Collaboration, Adaptation, and Scaling: Perspectives on Environmental Governance for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 679; doi:10.3390/su10030679
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we
[...] Read more.
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we explore three key characteristics of successful, long-term governance. The first of these is working across scale. This includes nested institutions as well as communication and coordination both horizontally and vertically between diverse governance groups. Second, we highlight the importance of collaboration. Building on the previous point, we draw on literature from collaborative governance and co-management to emphasize how collaboration can help to build more enduring governance structures. Third, we examine the importance of adaptation and evolution in the resolution of collective action dilemmas in complex systems filled with nonlinearities, unclear causal chains, and environments in which we have less than a full understanding of the ramifications of governance actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
Open AccessEditorial Responsible Research and Innovation in Industry—Challenges, Insights and Perspectives
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 702; doi:10.3390/su10030702
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two
[...] Read more.
The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two major challenges industry is facing today. The first relates to the accelerating race to innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. The second concerns the need to maintain public trust in industry through innovations that generate social value in addition to economic returns. This Special Issue provides empirical and conceptual contributions that explore corporate motivations to adopt RRI, the state of implementation of concrete RRI practices, the role of stakeholders in responsible innovation processes, as well as drivers and barriers to the further diffusion of RRI in industry. Overall, these contributions highlight the relevance of RRI for firms of different sizes and sectors. They also provide insights and suggestions for managers, policymakers and researchers wishing to engage with responsibility in innovation. This editorial summarizes the most pertinent conclusions across the individual articles published in this Special Issue and concludes by outlining some fruitful avenues for future research in this space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle The Value Relevance of Environmental, Social, and Governance Performance: The Brazilian Case
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 574; doi:10.3390/su10030574
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
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Abstract
There is extensive literature on the value relevance of social responsibility for companies that operate in developed countries. However, little is known about the influence of these practices on the price of assets listed on emerging economies, such as Brazil. In this context,
[...] Read more.
There is extensive literature on the value relevance of social responsibility for companies that operate in developed countries. However, little is known about the influence of these practices on the price of assets listed on emerging economies, such as Brazil. In this context, the aim of this study is to analyse whether social responsibility activities carried out by companies listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange during the 2010–2015 period play a significant role in enhancing firm value. Unlike previous studies, we distinguish between the three modern pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). Our overall results support the value enhancing theory rather than the shareholder expense theory. However, it is important to note that the results also show that the market does not significantly value the three ESG pillars. Specifically, the market positively and significantly values the environmental practices carried out by companies not related to environmentally sensitive industries. In contrast, the market positively and significantly values the social and corporate governance practices carried out by the companies belonging to these sensitive industries. These findings are relevant for both investors and the managers of these companies, policy makers, customers, and citizens concerned about ESG issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Urban Quality: Indicators and Assessment Tools for Smart Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 575; doi:10.3390/su10030575
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The analysis of urban sustainability is key to urban planning, and its usefulness extends to smart cities. Analyses of urban quality typically focus on applying methodologies that evaluate quality objectives at environmental, urban, and building levels. Research has shown that a system of
[...] Read more.
The analysis of urban sustainability is key to urban planning, and its usefulness extends to smart cities. Analyses of urban quality typically focus on applying methodologies that evaluate quality objectives at environmental, urban, and building levels. Research has shown that a system of indicators can be useful for developing qualitative and quantitative descriptors of urban environments. The first step in this study was to formulate a methodology to measure the quality of urban life based on investigative checklists and objective and subjective indicators, aggregated to develop an index to evaluate a city’s level of smart urban quality. The second step was to apply this methodology to evaluate the city of Cagliari (Italy) at the neighbourhood scale, which is considered by literature the most suitable as a self-sufficient spatial unit for showing redevelopment results. In addition to sharing its research findings, this study aims to verify whether the methodology can be applied to similar urban contexts. The main outcomes of this research pertain to opportunities to numerically measure both objective and subjective aspects that affect urban quality. In this way, the most critical areas to be requalified have been highlighted in order to prepare policies congruent with the local context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Forecasting Renewable Energy Consumption under Zero Assumptions
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 576; doi:10.3390/su10030576
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
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Abstract
Renewable energy, as an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of energy, is key to realizing the nationally determined contributions of the United States (US) to the December 2015 Paris agreement. Policymakers in the US rely on energy forecasts to draft and implement cost-minimizing,
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy, as an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of energy, is key to realizing the nationally determined contributions of the United States (US) to the December 2015 Paris agreement. Policymakers in the US rely on energy forecasts to draft and implement cost-minimizing, efficient and realistic renewable and sustainable energy policies but the inaccuracies in past projections are considerably high. The inaccuracies and inconsistencies in forecasts are due to the numerous factors considered, massive assumptions and modeling flaws in the underlying model. Here, we propose and apply a machine learning forecasting algorithm devoid of massive independent variables and assumptions to model and forecast renewable energy consumption (REC) in the US. We employ the forecasting technique to make projections on REC from biomass (REC-BMs) and hydroelectric (HE-EC) sources for the 2009–2016 period. We find that, relative to reference case projections in Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2008, projections based on our proposed technique present an enormous improvement up to ~138.26-fold on REC-BMs and ~24.67-fold on HE-EC; and that applying our technique saves the US ~2692.62PJ petajoules(PJ) on HE-EC and ~9695.09PJ on REC-BMs for the 8-year forecast period. The achieved high-accuracy is also replicable to other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Development under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Social Network Analysis of Scientific Articles Published by Food Policy
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 577; doi:10.3390/su10030577
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The article analyses co-authorship and co-citation networks in Food Policy, which is the most important agricultural policy journal in the field of agricultural economics. The paper highlights the principal researchers in this field together with their authorship and citation networks on the basis
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The article analyses co-authorship and co-citation networks in Food Policy, which is the most important agricultural policy journal in the field of agricultural economics. The paper highlights the principal researchers in this field together with their authorship and citation networks on the basis of 714 articles written between 2006 and 2015. Results suggest that the majority of the articles were written by a small number of researchers, indicating that groups and central authors play an important role in scientific advances. It also turns out that the number of articles and the central role played in the network are not related, contrary to expectations. Results also suggest that groups cite themselves more often than average, thereby boosting the scientific advancement of their own members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alliances and Network Organizations for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Gliricidia-Derived Biochar on Sequential Maize and Bean Farming
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 578; doi:10.3390/su10030578
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The addition of biochar to soils can improve soil fertility and increase agricultural productivity. We carried out a field experiment in which biochar produced from Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. was added to low-fertility Brazilian planosol and tested to increase the yield
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The addition of biochar to soils can improve soil fertility and increase agricultural productivity. We carried out a field experiment in which biochar produced from Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. was added to low-fertility Brazilian planosol and tested to increase the yield of maize (Zea mays) and snap beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in sequential, organic cultivation. Biochar was applied at a 15 t/ha rate, combined or not with Azospirillum Brasiliense inoculation and organic fertilizer (Bokashi). The application of biochar resulted in an increase in soil pH and of the content of macronutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. Contrary to evidence from elsewhere, biochar had a limited effect on increasing maize yield. In the case of beans, when combined with fertilizer, biochar increased the production of beans pods and biomass, but the significant increase was observed only for inoculation. Beans are the principal component of Brazilian diet and increasing productivity of beans is of upmost importance for the poorest in Brazil, and in other tropical countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Optimal Strategic Business Model for Small Businesses Using Online Platforms
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 579; doi:10.3390/su10030579
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
As ecommerce continues to grow, small businesses are using a variety of platforms to secure potential consumers. However, it is important for small business owners to choose an efficient business model because of constraints such as technical problems. In this study, based on
[...] Read more.
As ecommerce continues to grow, small businesses are using a variety of platforms to secure potential consumers. However, it is important for small business owners to choose an efficient business model because of constraints such as technical problems. In this study, based on platform characteristics we divide online shopping platforms into different types as follows: (1) information brokerage services; (2) online malls; and (3) omni-channel platforms. The efficiency of each group is measured by stochastic frontier analysis, and the efficiency comparison between the groups is made using meta-frontier analysis. As a result of the study, it is found that the efficiency of small business owners increases as functional integration increases, satisfying utilitarian motivations. However, a platform with greater integration that has a social presence satisfying hedonic motivations improves the efficiency of all small businesses using the platform instead of just the efficiency of a marginal number of small business owners. This study, based on the dynamic capabilities viewpoint, suggests that the omni-channel platform represents the most sustainable approach for small business owners undergoing difficulties such as technological and organizational changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in E-Business)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Carbon Emission Reduction in a Dual-Channel Supply Chain with Cap-And-Trade Regulation and Low-Carbon Preference
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 580; doi:10.3390/su10030580
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper focuses on the reduction of carbon emissions driven by cap-and-trade regulation and consumers’ low-carbon preference in a dual-channel supply chain. Under the low-carbon environment, we also discuss the pricing strategies and the profits for the supply chain members using the Stackelberg
[...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the reduction of carbon emissions driven by cap-and-trade regulation and consumers’ low-carbon preference in a dual-channel supply chain. Under the low-carbon environment, we also discuss the pricing strategies and the profits for the supply chain members using the Stackelberg game model in two cases. In the first (second) case where the initial proportion of consumers who prefer the online direct channel (traditional retail channel) is “larger”, the direct sale price of low-carbon products could be set higher than (equal to) the wholesale price. And it is shown that in both cases, tighter cap-and-trade regulation and higher low-carbon preference stimulate the manufacturer to cut carbon emissions in its production process. However, improving consumers’ low-carbon preference is more acceptable to the supply chain members. It always benefits the manufacturer and the retailer. In comparison, the firm’s profit increases with carbon price only when the clean production level is relatively high. Our findings can provide useful managerial insights for policy-makers and firms in the development of low-carbon sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does a Board Chairman’s Political Connection Affect Green Investment?—From a Sustainable Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 582; doi:10.3390/su10030582
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Using a sample consisting of China’s listed manufacturing companies which issue A-shares on the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges from 2008–2014, this study empirically tests the relationship between board chairman’s political connections and the amount of energy conservation and emission reduction investment. The
[...] Read more.
Using a sample consisting of China’s listed manufacturing companies which issue A-shares on the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges from 2008–2014, this study empirically tests the relationship between board chairman’s political connections and the amount of energy conservation and emission reduction investment. The results show that the existence of politically-connected board chairmen positively affects green investment. In addition, marketization degrees negatively moderate the relationship between political connection and green investment, which supports an institutional logic perspective. The amount of redundant resources also has the same moderating effect, which is consistent with the resource exchange perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Toward an Integrated Approach to Environmental and Prosocial Education
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 583; doi:10.3390/su10030583
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Environmental education programs neglect the aspect of prosocial behavior as a correlate of pro-environmental behavior. This article examines the possible benefits of increasing the emphasis on prosocial behavior as a way to reinforce environmental education. In our study, prosocial behavior was positively related
[...] Read more.
Environmental education programs neglect the aspect of prosocial behavior as a correlate of pro-environmental behavior. This article examines the possible benefits of increasing the emphasis on prosocial behavior as a way to reinforce environmental education. In our study, prosocial behavior was positively related to pro-environmental behavior (r = 0.34, p < 0.001), and even a combined scale consisting of prosocial and pro-environmental behavior items showed an acceptable reliability (separation reliability = 0.82, at the level of the separated scales), which implies that prosocial and pro-environmental behaviors are a similar class of behavior. We can assume that the two underlying propensities (prosocial behavior and pro-environmentalism) are probably only two facets of an overarching common propensity that supports both kinds of behavior. Therefore, promoting one facet will, through its relationship with the other facet, also foster the respective other facet. Even more so, it might be most effective to relate to both propensities equally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Green Roof for Stormwater Management in a Highly Urbanized Area: The Case of Seoul, Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 584; doi:10.3390/su10030584
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3313 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization changes natural pervious surfaces to hard, impervious surfaces such as roads, buildings and roofs. These modifications significantly affect the natural hydrologic cycle by increasing stormwater runoff rates and volume. Under these circumstances, green roofs offer multiple benefits including on-site stormwater management that
[...] Read more.
Urbanization changes natural pervious surfaces to hard, impervious surfaces such as roads, buildings and roofs. These modifications significantly affect the natural hydrologic cycle by increasing stormwater runoff rates and volume. Under these circumstances, green roofs offer multiple benefits including on-site stormwater management that mimics the natural hydrologic conditions in an urban area. It can retain a large amount of rainwater for a longer time and delay the peak discharge. However, there is very limited research that has been carried out on the retrofitted green roof for stormwater management for South Korean conditions. This study has investigated the performance of retrofitted green roofs for stormwater management in a highly urbanized area of Seoul, the capital city of Korea. In this study, various storm events were monitored and the research results were analyzed to check the performance of the green roof with controlling the runoff in urban areas. Results also allowed us to conclude that the retention mainly depends on the intensity and duration of the rain events. From the analysis, average runoff retention on the green roof was 10% to 60% in different rain events. The application of an extensive green roof provides promising results for stormwater management in the highly urbanized area of Seoul. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetated Roofs and Walls)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Biogas Production from Ensiled Plants Consisting of the Transformation of the Digestate into a Valuable Organic-Mineral Granular Fertilizer
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 585; doi:10.3390/su10030585
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The research concerned the elaborate of non-waste biogas production technology based on the development of digestate from anaerobic digestion. In the anaerobic digestion process, the substrates of plant origin in the form of silage were used. The digestate obtained after biogas production was
[...] Read more.
The research concerned the elaborate of non-waste biogas production technology based on the development of digestate from anaerobic digestion. In the anaerobic digestion process, the substrates of plant origin in the form of silage were used. The digestate obtained after biogas production was processed using the ORTWED method into a valuable granulated organic-mineral fertilizer, which contains a solid fraction of digestate, calcium and biogenic elements. This method can be successfully applied in agriculture in the context of its sustainable development due to the growing problem of utilization of digestate forming in agricultural biogas plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Curve Number Applications for Restoration the Zarqa River Basin
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 586; doi:10.3390/su10030586
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The great demand for water resources from the Zarqa River Basin (ZRB) has resulted in a base-flow reduction of the River from 5 m3/s to less than 1 m3/s. This paper aims to predict Curve Numbers (CNs) as a
[...] Read more.
The great demand for water resources from the Zarqa River Basin (ZRB) has resulted in a base-flow reduction of the River from 5 m3/s to less than 1 m3/s. This paper aims to predict Curve Numbers (CNs) as a baseline scenario and propose restoration scenarios for the ZRB. The method includes classifying the soil type and land use, predicting CNs, and proposing CN restoration scenarios. The prediction of existing CNs will be in parallel with the runoff prediction by using the US Army Corps of Engineers HEC-1 Model, and the Rainfall–Runoff Model (RRM). The models have been set up at the land use distribution of 0.3% water body, 9.3% forest and orchard, 71% mixture of grass, weeds, and desert shrubs, 7.0% crops, 4.0% urban areas, and 8.4% bare soil. The results show that CNs are 59, 78 and 89 under dry, normal and wet conditions, respectively. During the vegetation period, CNs are 52, 72 and 86 for dry, normal and wet conditions respectively. The restoration scenarios include how CNs decrease the runoff and increase the soil moisture when using the contours, terraces and crop residues. Analyzing the results of CN scenarios will be a fundamental tool in achieving watershed restoration targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Park Composition, Vegetation Characteristics and Cool Island Effect
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 587; doi:10.3390/su10030587
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The Land Surface Temperature (LST) of a park is lower than the surrounding environment, and thus the parkland forms a Park Cool Island (PCI). However, more case studies are needed to reveal the relationship between park composition, vegetation characteristic and PCI development. The
[...] Read more.
The Land Surface Temperature (LST) of a park is lower than the surrounding environment, and thus the parkland forms a Park Cool Island (PCI). However, more case studies are needed to reveal the relationship between park composition, vegetation characteristic and PCI development. The LST and Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) of 18 different sized parks in Changzhou, China were obtained from Landsat-8 and Mapworld Changzhou data. Then, a sample investigation method was used to calculate vegetation characteristics of these parks by an i-Tree Eco model. In order to reduce the impact from the external environment on PCI, the Temperature Drop Amplitude (TDA) and Temperature Drop Range (TR) inside the parks were analyzed by ArcGIS 9.3. Impact factors were tested by Pearson correlation analysis and curve fit to reveal the relationship between these factors and PCI formation. The result shows that a park area threshold of 1.34 to 17 hectares provides the best PCI effect, that park shape (perimeter/area), Leaf Area Index (LAI), density, tree cover, water cover, and impervious surface cover have significant correlation with PCI development, vegetation health and global climate change affect the PCI development. Advice is proposed to improve and maintain PCI effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation of the Influence of the Worldwide Governance and Competitiveness on Accounting Fraud Cases: A Cross-Country Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 588; doi:10.3390/su10030588
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
This article examines how worldwide governance, global competiveness, and other institutional determinants have influenced the number of accounting fraud cases in several countries. The researchers have focused more closely on the importance of ‘good governance’ as one of the indicators of development objectives
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This article examines how worldwide governance, global competiveness, and other institutional determinants have influenced the number of accounting fraud cases in several countries. The researchers have focused more closely on the importance of ‘good governance’ as one of the indicators of development objectives in itself. The institutional perspective is employed to explain the complexity of frauds in different societies which can be compatible for the purposes of international judgments in order to increase the effectiveness of previous forensic accounting theories. In this paper, a linear regression model is tested where governance, competitiveness, and other institutional variables are associated with a measure of accounting fraud cases. From our results, we can merely claim that an increased level of controlled corruption and political stability might reduce the number of fraud cases in various countries, while more effective and independent governance services with a higher freedom of expression seemed to increase them. The existence of accounting crimes also appeared to be a suitable proxy of better competitiveness. Anglo-Saxon countries have more stated fraud cases than other countries, attributed, perhaps, to the finest commercial courts with the most professional and least corrupt judges in the world, with centuries of precedent cases and experience in dealing with fraud. Moreover, we believe that a better understanding of fraud detection is a potentially important element in forensic accounting analytics in the success of governance policies to enhance development and reduce the risk of bankruptcies related to the reported fraud cases of enterprises. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of Desertification Dynamics and Desertification Effects on Ecosystem Services in the Mu Us Desert in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 589; doi:10.3390/su10030589
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Degradation of semi-arid and arid ecosystems due to desertification is arguably one of the main obstacles for sustainability in those regions. In recent decades, the Mu Us Desert in China has experienced such ecological degradation making quantification of spatial patterns of desertification in
[...] Read more.
Degradation of semi-arid and arid ecosystems due to desertification is arguably one of the main obstacles for sustainability in those regions. In recent decades, the Mu Us Desert in China has experienced such ecological degradation making quantification of spatial patterns of desertification in this area an important research topic. We analyzed desertification dynamics for seven periods from 1986 to 2015 and focused on five ecosystem services including soil conservation, water retention, net primary productivity (NPP), crop productivity, and livestock productivity, all assessed for 2015. Furthermore, we examined how ecosystem services relate to each other and are impacted by desertification. Three major conclusions are drawn from the study. First, the eastern part of the study area experienced overall improvement while desertification in the west first increased and then reversed its trend during those periods between 1986 and 2015. Second, significant synergistic relationships are observed for three regulating services (soil conservation, water retention, NPP) and two provisioning services (crop productivity and livestock productivity). Strong relationships across different types of ecosystem services were found only between crop productivity and NPP. Third, in response to increasing desertification, the three regulating services exhibit a monotonically decreasing trend, while the two provisioning services follow a hump-shaped response. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research in Sustainable Tourism: A Longitudinal Study of Articles between 2008 and 2017
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 590; doi:10.3390/su10030590
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The influence of tourism on the environment has led to research on the development of sustainable tourism. Scholars from popular destinations and their governments are actively conducting sustainable tourism research, and their contributions to the field have achieved global renown. Without data from
[...] Read more.
The influence of tourism on the environment has led to research on the development of sustainable tourism. Scholars from popular destinations and their governments are actively conducting sustainable tourism research, and their contributions to the field have achieved global renown. Without data from the natural sciences, knowledge from tourism dominates this area. This work utilizes content analysis to systematically review these studies to present the current state of existing research with the aid of visualization tools. The findings delineate the development of research on sustainable tourism in terms of collaboration, impact, knowledge base, and thematic coverage. Six major themes are selected to showcase recent trends in sustainable tourism research and guide future studies. Accordingly, this study can contribute to the development of sustainable tourism research and guide industry practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing on-Street Parking Duration and Demand in a Metropolitan City of a Developing Country: A Case Study of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 591; doi:10.3390/su10030591
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
On-street parking is an urgent issue to address in a fast-growing city of a developing country, such as Yogyakarta City in Indonesia. However, this issue has not been satisfactorily studied due to a lack of relevant parking data. Using a sample of 21
[...] Read more.
On-street parking is an urgent issue to address in a fast-growing city of a developing country, such as Yogyakarta City in Indonesia. However, this issue has not been satisfactorily studied due to a lack of relevant parking data. Using a sample of 21 street segments that are currently used for on-street parking in the central district of the city, this study analyzes how the parking duration and demand are differentiated by street and land use characteristics. The characteristics are evaluated through a field survey, which is supplemented by remote sensing and GIS. Specifically, QuickBird imagery is used to roughly examine the length and angle of the street segments and GIS data to calculate parking capacity and demand as well as to confirm the street length and angle. Regression models find that the parking duration is affected by the street length, parking volume, and commercial type of land use, while the street length also differentiates the parking demand. Although the model for the parking demand has only one significant variable—street length—its variation is better accounted for by the same set of variables than the variation in the parking duration. Regarding the street length, it is found to be the only significant variable in the demand model, but it becomes the weakest among those significant in the duration model, where the land use type has the highest magnitude. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Educating Professionals for Sustainable Futures
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 592; doi:10.3390/su10030592
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The recent discourse on sustainability science calls for interdisciplinary research. The home economics science approach ranges from individual actions to the involvement of communities and societies at large, and thus it can provide important perspectives on cultural sustainability. The aim of the research
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The recent discourse on sustainability science calls for interdisciplinary research. The home economics science approach ranges from individual actions to the involvement of communities and societies at large, and thus it can provide important perspectives on cultural sustainability. The aim of the research is to study the linkage between cultural sustainability and service sector education to support the creation of sustainable professions. In the present small-scale empirical study, the food service degree curriculum of a Finnish vocational college and teachers’ group interview data were analyzed to find how cultural sustainability is presented in the curriculum and how it is understood by teachers and integrated into teaching practices. Previous cultural sustainability research identifies four perspectives of cultural sustainability: (1) vitality of cultural traditions; (2) economic starting point; (3) diversity together with maintenance of local culture; and (4) possible influence on the balance between human actions and environment. Findings indicate that sustainability, including cultural sustainability, is integrated in the curriculum and considered important by teachers. Translating these into practice remains a challenge. The balance between human and nature was mostly understood as recycling, use of public transport, sustainable consumption, and taking trips to the nature nearby. Cultural sustainability as a concept is not well known, although themes such as multicultural issues, equality, charity, and environmental responsibility were included in teachers’ practical lessons daily. Feasts and celebrations in learning were opportunities to view cultural sustainability widely. This paper provides a way forward for the teachers to develop further their pedagogical practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Urban Expansion along the Guangzhou–Foshan Inter-City Rail Transit Corridor, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 593; doi:10.3390/su10030593
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Understanding the urban expansion process along inter-city rail transit corridors is critical to regional integration of city groups. Though numerous studies have considered the influences of rail transit on land use and urban form, most have focused on local station areas or intra-city
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Understanding the urban expansion process along inter-city rail transit corridors is critical to regional integration of city groups. Though numerous studies have considered the influences of rail transit on land use and urban form, most have focused on local station areas or intra-city urban structures. Few studies have examined the effects and dynamic process along inter-city rail transit corridors at a regional scale. In this study, multi-remote sensing images, landscape metrics and gradient analysis were combined to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban expansion and regional structural changes along the GuangFo inter-city Metro in the Pearl River Delta, south China. We introduced Thiessen Polygon into quadrat zoning for landscape gradient analysis, and clearly revealed the spatial variations of landscape changes along the metro transect. The regional expansion stage and inter-city structural changes were further detected based on the theoretical framework of diffusion-coalescence growth. This study revealed that during its construction the GuangFo Metro significantly impacted urban expansion at the urban fringes. Before construction the urban patches became irregular and fragmented as the gradient moved from city centers to city fringes. Influenced by the GuangFo Metro, the urban patches expanded and consequently coalesced into a homogenous urbanized area, which indicated that coalescence was the dominant expansion stage and the regional structure become more aggregated. This suggested that the inter-city rail transit has played an important role in promoting the integration of the GuangFo metropolitan region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study of Frequency Converters for Doubly Fed Induction Machines
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 594; doi:10.3390/su10030594
Received: 21 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The efficient utilization of energy sources seems to be one of the most challenging problems for designers and scientists alike. This challenge particularly applies to power electronics, where the increasing value of energy density leads to demands for optimization processes and better exploitation
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The efficient utilization of energy sources seems to be one of the most challenging problems for designers and scientists alike. This challenge particularly applies to power electronics, where the increasing value of energy density leads to demands for optimization processes and better exploitation (and distribution) of available power sources. As a result, the implementation of frequency-controlled systems is more often in the spotlight. The systems with doubly fed induction machines and a frequency converter in the rotor circuit are typical representatives of these demands. In a wide spectrum of power electronic systems, frequency converters are often used that have a constant current, a diode rectifier, and a thyristor inverter. This article provides a novel approach to modeling methodology, and presents a unique comparison of four different frequency converter schemes that are connected to a doubly fed induction machine. This article presents the modeling methodology itself, as well as the results based on an asynchronous generator motor fed by different frequency converters, a spectral analysis of the output voltage of the used frequency converters, and a comparison of the different technologies. Based on the above, this paper recommends the use of a multistage-multilevel frequency converter scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Metropolitan Landscapes and Daily Mobility Flows in the Italian Context. An Analysis Based on the Theory of Graphs
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 596; doi:10.3390/su10030596
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The distribution of services across a territory generates daily commuting flows, which have a significant influence on the development of the territory and often causes congestion in large areas. This negatively affects the environmental, economic and social components of the metropolitan landscape. Using
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The distribution of services across a territory generates daily commuting flows, which have a significant influence on the development of the territory and often causes congestion in large areas. This negatively affects the environmental, economic and social components of the metropolitan landscape. Using the graph theory, we constructed and analyzed various (in typologies of transportation and moving time) flow networks in the two main Italian metropolitan areas: Rome (MCR) and Milan (MCM). The analysis of these networks provided us with strategic information on the dynamics of the two urban macro-systems. In particular, the aim of our study was to: (i) identify the characteristics, distribution and direction of the main attractive forces within the regional systems under study; (ii) identify the main differences in size and structure of commuter networks between the two metropolitan areas and between the two regional systems that include the two mother cities; and, (iii) identify the main differences in the size and structure of the two commuting networks by transport modes (private, public, non-motorized mobility) and the travel time. The results highlighted significant differences between the two case studies regarding volume flows, complexity and structure networks, and the spatial extension of the territories that are governed by the two metropolitan areas. MCR is a strongly monocentric urban system with a regional influence centred on the mother city of Rome, while MCM is a diffused polycentric regional metropolitan system centred on multiple mother cities. The findings many have a role in urban planning choices and in the evaluation of policies aimed to favor sustainable mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Landscape and Evolutions of Green Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 597; doi:10.3390/su10030597
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
There is a growing need to integrate environmental considerations into supply chain management research and practice. Conceptual papers are being updated all the time to gain a systematic view of the framework in green supply chain management. The purpose of this paper is
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There is a growing need to integrate environmental considerations into supply chain management research and practice. Conceptual papers are being updated all the time to gain a systematic view of the framework in green supply chain management. The purpose of this paper is to visualize the research to-date on green supply chain management according to the intellectual framework and hot topics. Using bibliometric analysis, our paper will present a comprehensive summary of previous research on the knowledge domain. Exploring 1145 papers mainly published from 2000 to May 2017 in international peer-reviewed journals from social sciences citation index (SSCI), the basic distribution of publications are analyzed, and nine prominent research clusters in green supply chain management are visualized by a co-citation network. Key issues are highlighted and analyzed. As for future inquiries, there are numerous opportunities for more advanced theoretically-grounded research and exploration of more multi-functional and systematic approaches. In order to gain broader views of research, a triple bottom line approach can be widely applied to evaluation, impact mechanisms, decision making, drivers, risks and carrier analysis, as well as system contributions. This also provides an integrated point of view to understand the landscape of green supply chain management both for researchers and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Standard Data-Based Predictive Modeling for Power Consumption in Turning Machining
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 598; doi:10.3390/su10030598
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
In the metal cutting industry, power consumption is an important metric in the analysis of energy efficiency since it relates to energy consumption of machine tools. Much of the research has developed predictive models that correlate process planning decisions with power consumption through
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In the metal cutting industry, power consumption is an important metric in the analysis of energy efficiency since it relates to energy consumption of machine tools. Much of the research has developed predictive models that correlate process planning decisions with power consumption through theoretical and/or experimental modeling approaches. These models are created by using the theory of metal cutting mechanics and Design of Experiments. However, these models may lose their ability to predict results correctly outside the required assumptions and limited experimental conditions. Thus, they cannot accurately reflect a diversity of machining configurations; i.e., selections of machine tool, workpiece, cutting tool, coolant option, and machining operation for producing a part, which a machining shop has operated. This paper proposes a predictive modeling approach based on historical data collected from machine tool operations. The proposed approach can create multiple predictive models for power consumption, which can be applicable to the diverse machining configurations. It can create fine-grained models predictable up to the level of a numerical control program. It uses standard-based data interfaces such as STEP-NC and MTConnect to implement interoperable and comprehensive data representations. This paper also presents a case study to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Use Cases with Economics and Simulation for Thermo-Chemical District Networks
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 599; doi:10.3390/su10030599
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Thermo-chemical networks using absorption and desorption to capture and valorise the potential of very low-grade residual heat (20 °C to 60 °C) to offer a reduction of end user costs and increased primary energy efficiency. The paper demonstrates the technical and economic potential
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Thermo-chemical networks using absorption and desorption to capture and valorise the potential of very low-grade residual heat (20 °C to 60 °C) to offer a reduction of end user costs and increased primary energy efficiency. The paper demonstrates the technical and economic potential of thermo-chemical networks by defining use cases and their related level of energy efficiency and technological feasibility. Furthermore, specific economic scenarios, including estimations on investment and operation costs, demonstrate the economic benefit of the technology. Simple payback periods between about 0.5 and 7.5 years indicate a good economic feasibility with end user costs below 4 €ct/kWh-equivalent and refunds of 0.5 to 1 €ct/kWh for the required residual heat. Due to the low-temperature characteristics of the relevant systems and services, detailed simulations are required to approve the functioning and viability of the new technology. For this purpose, the paper demonstrates the simulation outline using the example of space heating based on a low-temperature air heating system partially driven with thermo-chemical fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Utilization of Waste Heat)
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Open AccessArticle Promoting Sustainability through Investment in Building Information Modeling (BIM) Technologies: A Design Company Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 600; doi:10.3390/su10030600
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this article is to enhance the understanding of how design companies perceive the benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies application. BIM is recognized in the literature as a (potentially) powerful driver leading the construction sector towards sustainability. However, for
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The aim of this article is to enhance the understanding of how design companies perceive the benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies application. BIM is recognized in the literature as a (potentially) powerful driver leading the construction sector towards sustainability. However, for design companies, the choice to invest in BIM technologies is basically an economic one. Specifically, a design company assesses economic benefits and efficiency improvements thanks to the application of BIM technologies. The article discusses the return on investments (ROI) in BIM technologies and reviews ROI calculation methodologies proposed by other authors. In order to evaluate BIM return on investment correctly practical ROI calculations are carried out. Appropriate methods, together with the relevant variables for ROI calculation, are developed. The study allows for adjusting the calculation method making it more accurate and understandable using the Autodesk Revit based ROI calculation of the first year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Employees’ Perceptions of CSR Activities on Employee Deviance: The Mediating Role of Anomie
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 601; doi:10.3390/su10030601
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
This study hypothesizes that employees’ positive perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities at the individual level have a negative effect on employee deviance—a negative job-related behavior—and that anomie plays a mediating role in this relationship. In order to verify the relationship, this
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This study hypothesizes that employees’ positive perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities at the individual level have a negative effect on employee deviance—a negative job-related behavior—and that anomie plays a mediating role in this relationship. In order to verify the relationship, this study conducts an empirical analysis with a questionnaire survey on employees of firms that implement CSR activities at the company level. Based on Social identity theory, this study examines the causal relationship between the employees’ perceptions of CSR activities and their deviance, and mechanisms by which anomie decreases in the process. The findings are as follows. First, employees’ perceptions of CSR activities had a negative effect on employee deviance. Second, employees’ perceptions of CSR activities had a negative effect on anomie. Third, anomie had a positive effect on employee deviance. Fourth, anomie fully mediated the relationship between employees’ perceptions of CSR activities and employee deviance. This study is the first to document this relationship, which has great practical and academic significance, as it indicates the importance for companies to consider employees’ perceptions of CSR activities. In addition, the study identifies the mediating role of anomie as mentioned above. The results suggest that methodological considerations of CSR awareness enhancement at the company level be discussed more in depth, helping top management and middle managers understand that enhancing employees’ positive perceptions of CSR activities should be the first priority for reducing collective normlessness under the pressure of goal attainment and resolving ethical conflicts among employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle From Uncertainties to Successful Start Ups: A Data Analytic Approach to Predict Success in Technological Entrepreneurship
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 602; doi:10.3390/su10030602
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
Understanding uncertainties and assessing the risks surrounding business opportunities is essential to support the success of sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives launched on a daily basis. The contribution of this study is the identification of uncertainties surrounding opportunities in the opportunity evaluation stage of the
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Understanding uncertainties and assessing the risks surrounding business opportunities is essential to support the success of sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives launched on a daily basis. The contribution of this study is the identification of uncertainties surrounding opportunities in the opportunity evaluation stage of the entrepreneurial process and the examination of how the analysis and evaluation of uncertainty factors, with the help of data, can predict the future success of an organization. In the first phase, the uncertainty factors are classified based on their sources and we discuss the likely implications towards new venture success with the help of existing literatures. In the second phase, a success prediction model is implemented using machine learning techniques and strategic analysis. The model is trained in such a way that, when new data emerges, the qualitative data is transformed into quantitative data and the probability of success or failure is calculated as the result output in the pre-start-up phase. The method and findings would be relevant for nascent entrepreneurs and researchers focusing on sustainable technology entrepreneurship. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Urban Chinese Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Pork with Certified Labels: A Discrete Choice Experiment
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 603; doi:10.3390/su10030603
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The paper aims to investigate Chinese consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for pork characterized by four attributes, namely food safety certification labels, location-of-origin, “free from veterinary drug residues” label, and price, based on a choice experiment conducted among 844 consumers from Jiangsu and
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The paper aims to investigate Chinese consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for pork characterized by four attributes, namely food safety certification labels, location-of-origin, “free from veterinary drug residues” label, and price, based on a choice experiment conducted among 844 consumers from Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, China. A Random Parameter Logit model was estimated to elicit consumers’ WTP. The results showed that Jiangsu consumers’ WTP for pork with a “Organic Food” certification (26.78 Yuan) was the highest among all attributes, followed by “Green Food” certification (20.22 Yuan), “free from veterinary drug residues” label (23.18 Yuan), and location-of-origin (12.77 Yuan). However, there was only a moderate preference for “Safe Food” certification (8.10 Yuan). In addition, respondents from the more developed region (i.e., Jiangsu) had significantly higher WTP for all attributes than respondents from Anhui, a less developed region. The Random Parameter Logit model shows that better educational attainment and higher income were two factors that were associated with a higher WTP. The main policy recommendations are that public awareness of the different types of verifications should be improved and that authorization of certification logos should be enforced strictly so that food with certification logos are always reflective of the standard being followed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rheological Behaviour of a Bitumen Modified with Metal Oxides Obtained by Regeneration Processes
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 604; doi:10.3390/su10030604
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays, one important challenge is to demonstrate an innovative and integrated approach for the sustainable construction of roads considering the whole life cycle of the infrastructure. Road pavements with multiple asphalt layers generally undergo prolonged environmental exposure and the alternation between solar irradiation
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Nowadays, one important challenge is to demonstrate an innovative and integrated approach for the sustainable construction of roads considering the whole life cycle of the infrastructure. Road pavements with multiple asphalt layers generally undergo prolonged environmental exposure and the alternation between solar irradiation and low temperatures. As a result, relaxation or progressive removal of the material with a negative impact on the resistance to plastic deformation occur, also leading to the formation of slits and to dimensional variations, which are commonly defined as thermal cracking. This suggests the use of suitable bitumen modifiers. For these, important parameters are the optimal mixing time and mixing temperature, in order to reduce problems related to the stability of the bitumen. Therefore, the behaviour, upon changing the temperature, of bituminous mixtures containing (as fillers) a series of metal oxides coming, as secondary products, from spent acid solutions regeneration processes, was investigated. This is intended in order to recover and reuse those otherwise dangerous wastes coming from several industrial (especially, metallurgical) processes. The study was aimed at evaluating the properties of bituminous blends by performing rheological tests under dynamic shear regime. More specifically, five different bitumen matrices were prepared (70/100 bitumen and blends with metal oxides and/or SBS copolymer). Results showed that the addition of iron oxides leads to an increase of the softening point and the complex modulus. The increase is even more emphasized when SBS is added to the blend. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Will Policies of China’s CO2 ETS Affect its Carbon Price: Evidence from Chinese Pilot Regions
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 605; doi:10.3390/su10030605
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme is a key policy instrument for dealing with increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This work aims at giving some policy recommendations on the design of China’s National Emissions Trading Scheme. The experience accumulated in China’s Carbon Emissions Trading Pilots
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CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme is a key policy instrument for dealing with increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This work aims at giving some policy recommendations on the design of China’s National Emissions Trading Scheme. The experience accumulated in China’s Carbon Emissions Trading Pilots is quite valuable for China’s National Emissions Trading Scheme, so it is important to analyze the determinants of the prices in these pilots. We use the difference-in-differences model to study various policies respectively, including auction, investment access of individual and institutional traders, and carbon forward. Principal components of economy, energy, climate and allowance characteristic are respectively extracted from alternative variables, such as CPI, energy price, extreme temperature, in four categories. These principal components are set as control variables. Results show that these policies play a big role in the price discovery and stabilization. Auction drives the market price to approach the auction completion price. Carbon price exhibits a positive sensitivity to non-regulated entities’ participation and carbon forward. All the significant variables together can reflect most of the pilots’ price information. Policies have heterogeneous impacts on carbon price. The finding is robust to alternative specifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Can Next-Generation Vehicles Sustainably Survive in the Automobile Market? Evidence from Ex-Ante Market Simulation and Segmentation
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 607; doi:10.3390/su10030607
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Introduced autonomous and connected vehicles equipped with emerging technologies are expected to change the automotive market. In this study, using stated preference (SP) data collected from choice experiments conducted in Korea with a mixed multiple discrete-continuous extreme value model (MDCEV), we analyzed how
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Introduced autonomous and connected vehicles equipped with emerging technologies are expected to change the automotive market. In this study, using stated preference (SP) data collected from choice experiments conducted in Korea with a mixed multiple discrete-continuous extreme value model (MDCEV), we analyzed how the advent of next-generation of vehicles with advanced vehicle technologies would affect consumer vehicle choices and usage patterns. Additionally, ex-ante market simulations and market segmentation analyses were conducted to provide specific management strategies for next-generation vehicles. The results showed that consumer preference structures of conventional and alternative fuel types primarily differed depending on whether they were drivers or non-drivers. Additionally, although the introduction of electric vehicles to the automobile market is expected to negatively affect the choice probability and mileage of other vehicles, it could have a positive influence on the probability of purchasing an existing conventional vehicle if advanced vehicle technologies are available. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Statistical Tool to Detect and Locate Abnormal Operating Conditions in Photovoltaic Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 608; doi:10.3390/su10030608
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The paper is focused on the energy performance of the photovoltaic systems constituted by several arrays. The main idea is to compare the statistical distributions of the energy dataset of the arrays. For small-medium-size photovoltaic plant, the environmental conditions affect equally all the
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The paper is focused on the energy performance of the photovoltaic systems constituted by several arrays. The main idea is to compare the statistical distributions of the energy dataset of the arrays. For small-medium-size photovoltaic plant, the environmental conditions affect equally all the arrays, so the comparative procedure is independent from the solar radiation and the cell temperature; therefore, it can also be applied to a photovoltaic plant not equipped by a weather station. If the procedure is iterated and new energy data are added at each new run, the analysis becomes cumulative and allows following the trend of some benchmarks. The methodology is based on an algorithm, which suggests the user, step by step, the suitable statistical tool to use. The first one is the Hartigan’s dip test that is able to discriminate the unimodal distribution from the multimodal one. This stage is very important to decide whether a parametric test can be used or not, because the parametric tests—based on known distributions—are usually more performing than the nonparametric ones. The procedure is effective in detecting and locating abnormal operating conditions, before they become failures. A case study is proposed, based on a real operating photovoltaic plant. Three periods are separately analyzed: one month, six months, and one year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Vegetation Succession on Degraded Sites in the Pomacochas Basin (Amazonas, N Peru)—Ecological Options for Forest Restoration
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 609; doi:10.3390/su10030609
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The Andes of northern Peru are still widely covered with forests, but increasingly suffer from habitat fragmentation. Subsequent soil degradation often leads to the abandonment of overused forests and pastures. Ecological knowledge on the restoration potential, e.g., on dependencies of soil conditions and
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The Andes of northern Peru are still widely covered with forests, but increasingly suffer from habitat fragmentation. Subsequent soil degradation often leads to the abandonment of overused forests and pastures. Ecological knowledge on the restoration potential, e.g., on dependencies of soil conditions and altitude, is scarce. Therefore, we compared soil and vegetation patterns along nine transects within the upper Pomacochas Basin, which is an important biodiversity corridor along the Andes, between remaining forests, succession sites and pastures. Anthropogenic successional and disturbance levels, geological substrate, and altitude have the most important ecological impacts on vegetation and tree species composition. Species responded to sandstone versus calcareous substrates, but also to depths of the organic soil layer, and light conditions. The absence of organic layers under pastures contrasted with the accumulation of thick organic layers under forest cover. Vegetation composition at succession sites revealed certain starting points (herbal stage, bush stage, or secondary forest) for restoration that will determine the length of regeneration paths. Pre-forest patches of Alchornea sp. and Parathesis sp. may act as habitat stepping stones for expeditiously restoring biocorridors for wildlife. The key findings can contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in a fragile ecoregion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Investment Planning of Bulk Energy Storage Systems
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 610; doi:10.3390/su10030610
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Many countries have the ambition to increase the share of renewable sources in electricity generation. However, continuously varying renewable sources, such as wind power or solar energy, require that the power system can manage the variability and uncertainty of the power generation. One
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Many countries have the ambition to increase the share of renewable sources in electricity generation. However, continuously varying renewable sources, such as wind power or solar energy, require that the power system can manage the variability and uncertainty of the power generation. One solution to increase flexibility of the system is to use various forms of energy storage, which can provide flexibility to the system at different time ranges and smooth the effect of variability of the renewable generation. In this paper, we investigate three questions connected to investment planning of energy storage systems. First, how the existing flexibility in the system will affect the need for energy storage investments. Second, how presence of energy storage will affect renewable generation expansion and affect electricity prices. Third, who should be responsible for energy storage investments planning. This paper proposes to assess these questions through two different mathematical models. The first model is designed for centralized investment planning and the second model deals with a decentralized investment approach where a single independent profit maximizing utility is responsible for energy storage investments. The models have been applied in various case studies with different generation mixes and flexibility levels. The results show that energy storage system is beneficial for power system operation. However, additional regulation should be considered to achieve optimal investment and allocation of energy storage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for Climate Information Services: Evidence from Cowpea and Sesame Producers in Northern Burkina Faso
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 611; doi:10.3390/su10030611
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Climate information is recognized as a powerful tool to reduce the effect of climate risk and uncertainty on crop production and increase the resilience and the adaptive capacity of farmers in semi-arid zones. This paper estimates farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for climate
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Climate information is recognized as a powerful tool to reduce the effect of climate risk and uncertainty on crop production and increase the resilience and the adaptive capacity of farmers in semi-arid zones. This paper estimates farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for climate information within cowpea and sesame value chains in Northern Burkina Faso. The study used the contingent valuation method for a monetary valuation of farmers’ preferences for climate information. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire from 170 farmers. The study found that 63% of respondents were willing to pay for climate information services (CIS) such as seasonal climate forecast (SCF), decadal climate information (10-DCI), daily climate information (1-DCI) and agro-advisories. The predicted value for the WTP was XOF 3496 for SCF, XOF 1066 for 10-DCI, XOF 1985 for 1-DCI and XOF 1628 for agro-advisories. The study also showed that several socioeconomic and motivation factors have greater influence on farmers’ WTP for CIS. These included the gender, age, education of the farm head and the awareness of farm head to climate information. The outcomes of this paper should support policy makers to better design an efficient mechanism for the dissemination of climate information to improve the adaptive capacity of farmers to climate risks in Burkina Faso. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Acceleration of Urban Sustainability Transitions: A Comparison of Brighton, Budapest, Dresden, Genk, and Stockholm
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 612; doi:10.3390/su10030612
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
City-regions as sites of sustainability transitions have remained under-explored so far. With our comparative analysis of five diverse European city-regions, we offer new insights on contemporary sustainability transitions at the urban level. In a similar vein, the pre-development and the take-off phase of
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City-regions as sites of sustainability transitions have remained under-explored so far. With our comparative analysis of five diverse European city-regions, we offer new insights on contemporary sustainability transitions at the urban level. In a similar vein, the pre-development and the take-off phase of sustainability transitions have been studied in depth while the acceleration phase remains a research gap. We address this research gap by exploring how transitions can move beyond the seeding of alternative experiments and the activation of civil society initiatives. This raises the question of what commonalities and differences can be found between urban sustainability transitions. In our explorative study, we employ a newly developed framework of the acceleration mechanisms of sustainability transitions. We offer new insights on the multi-phase model of sustainability transitions. Our findings illustrate that there are no clear demarcations between the phases of transitions. From the perspective of city-regions, we rather found dynamics of acceleration, deceleration, and stagnation to unfold in parallel. We observed several transitions—transitions towards both sustainability and un-sustainability—to co-evolve. This suggests that the politics of persistence—the inertia and path dependencies of un-sustainability—should be considered in the study of urban sustainability transitions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Discourses across Scales on Forest Landscape Restoration
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 613; doi:10.3390/su10030613
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) has recently received broad political support, e.g., under the Bonn Challenge. However, although the concept promises quadruple wins for humans, biodiversity as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation, it remains heavily underutilized in practice. Drawing on a social
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Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) has recently received broad political support, e.g., under the Bonn Challenge. However, although the concept promises quadruple wins for humans, biodiversity as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation, it remains heavily underutilized in practice. Drawing on a social constructivist reading and a survey in different developing and developed countries, we elaborate on varying existing narratives about FLR at global and country level. Overall, we find that FLR understandings in different countries strongly resonate with the globally pursued idea of enhancing ecological and human well-being. In more detail, however, rural development and climate mitigation oriented motives are prioritized over aspects of species conservation or adaptation. Globally, strong emphasis is placed on collaborative processes empowering local actors. At country level, by contrast, these ideas regarding greater local authority are complemented with a techno-managerial notion of government control. Considering the potential power struggles that could be evoked from such dialectic expectations, we see it as a primary responsibility for global FLR processes to fully embrace the political dimension of FLR and to support conflict resolution and adaptive learning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Local Community’s Environmental Perception on Trust in a Mining Company: A Case Study in Mongolia
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 614; doi:10.3390/su10030614
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
While the mining industry is booming globally, local communities resist mining operations. It is crucial for mining companies to maintain trust within these communities to prevent conflicts. This research investigated local community’s trust in a mining company in Mongolia using a questionnaire survey.
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While the mining industry is booming globally, local communities resist mining operations. It is crucial for mining companies to maintain trust within these communities to prevent conflicts. This research investigated local community’s trust in a mining company in Mongolia using a questionnaire survey. We assessed the residents’ perceptions of the company’s effort to maintain environmental protection, as a determinant of trust, in addition to the determinants of motivation and ability. The results showed that the trust level varied within the different respondent groups and the determinants of trust differentially explained the state of trust. The nomadic herders who lived close to the mine site had low trust while being sensitive to the environmental effects. Other herders had neutral trust. Town citizens had high trust, which was mainly related to positive perceptions of motivation. Communicability of the information provided by the company influenced formulation of positive and negative perceptions. Overall, low trust likely leads to conflicts. Therefore, mining companies are advised to conduct surveys with different groups in the local community, especially those sensitive to environmental changes, and take measures to maintain trust. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Method of Evaluating Ecological Compensation Under Different Property Rights and Stages: A Case Study of the Xiaoqing River Basin, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 615; doi:10.3390/su10030615
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
To solve the problem of unitary ecological compensation standards in river basins by scientifically clarifying the compensation for ecological protection investments and for pollution, this research divided ecological environment property relations between the upstream and downstream into three types: downstream ecological compensation for
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To solve the problem of unitary ecological compensation standards in river basins by scientifically clarifying the compensation for ecological protection investments and for pollution, this research divided ecological environment property relations between the upstream and downstream into three types: downstream ecological compensation for the upstream, upstream ecological compensation for the downstream and sharing the rights of the ecological environment. The various compensation standards were divided into three stages according to the location quotient and pollutant concentration. Calculation and analysis were performed for the ecological compensation of the Xiaoqing River Basin at the junction of Jinan City and Binzhou City of Shandong Province as an example. The results showed that: (1) the downstream compensations for the three stages were 2.139 billion yuan, 2.349 billion yuan and 2.489 billion yuan when only the downstream ecological compensation for the upstream was considered; (2) the compensations for the three stages were 88 million yuan, 107 million yuan, 124 million yuan when only the upstream ecological compensation for the downstream was considered; and (3) the compensations in the three stages were 2.051 billion yuan, 2.242 billion yuan, 2.365 billion yuan when ecological environment rights were shared. Under this property relation, the ecological compensation standard considering water quality and water yield and the goal of ecological environmental protection are clear and the content of compensation is complete, which is easily accepted by all parties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conflict Analysis and Sustainable Management of Water Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Towards the Handling Demand Response Optimization Model for Home Appliances
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 616; doi:10.3390/su10030616
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The Demand Response (DR) is used by public electric utilities to encourage consumers to change their consumption profiles to improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric power system (EPS) and at the same time to minimize the electricity costs for the final
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The Demand Response (DR) is used by public electric utilities to encourage consumers to change their consumption profiles to improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric power system (EPS) and at the same time to minimize the electricity costs for the final consumers. Normally, DR optimization models only aim to reduce the energy consumption and reduce the final cost. However, this disregards the needs of the consumer. Therefore, proposals which appear excellent in theory are usually impracticable and non-commercial. This paper proposes a real-time Demand Response (DR) optimization model to minimize the electricity costs associated with consumption without compromising the satisfaction or comfort of residential consumers. The proposed DR here considered the different home appliance categories and level of consumer satisfaction for the new load scheduling of the appliances and is much more comprehensive than the other models analyzed. Moreover, it can be applied in any country, under any energy scenario. This model was developed as a nonlinear programming problem subject to a set of constraints. An energy consumption analysis of 10 families for 2015 from five geographic and climatic regions of Brazil was carried out. A computational validation of the model was performed using a genetic algorithm (GA) to determine the programming of residential devices for the time horizon. The computational simulations showed a decrease in the cost of the electricity. Moreover, the results showed that there was no impairment to consumer satisfaction and comfort due to the scheduling of appliances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Evolving and Strengthening the Cooperative Approach for Agroforestry Farmers in Bangladesh: Lessons Learned from the Shimogo Cooperative in Japan
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 617; doi:10.3390/su10030617
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Although an agro-based country, the farmers of Bangladesh do not receive significant returns from their products, due to some obstacles blocking the achievement of this ultimate goal. This study tries to identify the major challenges of the agroforestry product supply chains in Bangladesh,
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Although an agro-based country, the farmers of Bangladesh do not receive significant returns from their products, due to some obstacles blocking the achievement of this ultimate goal. This study tries to identify the major challenges of the agroforestry product supply chains in Bangladesh, and offer an alternative solution through the involvement and experiences of farmer cooperatives within a Japanese cooperative model. The objectives were outfitted by two case studies, and the Bangladesh case clearly showed that the involvement of many intermediaries in agroforestry product supply chains was one of the main obstacles that stunted the outcomes of the agroforestry programs. The intermediaries have maximized their profit by buying the farmer products at low prices and selling them back at higher prices, which resulted in high marketing margins. Meanwhile, the Japanese case study had articulated that the farmer-driven cooperative approach, with its good marketing strategies and service functions, could successfully eliminate the intermediaries’ involvement in farmer products, and make a cooperative a strong economic organization. Despite a few challenges, the farmer-driven Japanese cooperative approach would be a good solution that could tackle the middleman problem, and make agroforestry a sustainable production system in Bangladesh. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Spatio-Temporal Characteristics and Modeling Research of Inter-Provincial Migration in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 618; doi:10.3390/su10030618
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The national census data during 1995 and 2000 and during 2005 and 2010 are selected in this paper to make an analysis of the spatio-temporal characteristics of the inter-provincial population migration in China. In addition, the general regression model, the extension regression model
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The national census data during 1995 and 2000 and during 2005 and 2010 are selected in this paper to make an analysis of the spatio-temporal characteristics of the inter-provincial population migration in China. In addition, the general regression model, the extension regression model considering the historical dependent variable and the spatial lag model are established based on the gravity model to make the regression model on China’s inter-provincial population migration over two periods of time. The results show that: (1) the inter-provincial population migration increases rapidly in size with strong geographical proximity; (2) China’s inter-provincial population migration is still in the primary stage of the general process of population migration. In other words, the inter-provincial population emigration and immigration levels have increased greatly with the economic development; (3) Statistically, the inter-provincial population migration is negatively correlated with the level of economic development in the emigrant place and the migration distance and positively correlated with the level of economic development in the immigrant place and the population scale in the emigrant and immigrant places; and (4) The spatio-temporal factor is an important explanatory variable of population migration. The introduction of the historical dependent variable and the spatial lag factor can improve the regression effect of the gravity model greatly, and the historical variable and the spatial factor have strong explanatory power for the inter-provincial population migration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Index System to Evaluate the Quarries Ecological Restoration
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 619; doi:10.3390/su10030619
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The restoration and evaluation of degraded ecosystems is an important component of the sustainable development of complex “human-natural-economic” ecosystems. Based on an analysis of ecosystem evolution and the integration of structure, function, and services, this study proposes that ecosystems can be returned to
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The restoration and evaluation of degraded ecosystems is an important component of the sustainable development of complex “human-natural-economic” ecosystems. Based on an analysis of ecosystem evolution and the integration of structure, function, and services, this study proposes that ecosystems can be returned to a self-maintaining, dynamic balance by enriching system elements, strengthening the relationships between the different elements and diverse ecological processes, and restoring internal functions, which includes the self-regulation of degraded ecosystems. This study developed and categorized quarry ecosystem recovery indicators based on the Core Capabilities of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International through literature review and the development of recovery plans. Metrics identified in the literature were validated through the recovery plan review and the case study, and based on the findings, a user-friendly checklist for practitioners was established. Three elements and 17 indicators representing ecological processes, vegetation structures, and ecological functions were developed to evaluate and manage the ecological restoration of an abandoned quarry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Organic Production Model for “Food Sovereignty” in the United Arab Emirates and Sicily-Italy
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 620; doi:10.3390/su10030620
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this research is to contribute to food security by studying the development of integrated organic production models related to the biodiversity of food sources, soil fertility and water availability, both in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sicily. Using the
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The aim of this research is to contribute to food security by studying the development of integrated organic production models related to the biodiversity of food sources, soil fertility and water availability, both in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sicily. Using the FAO’s multi-facetted approach of the Sustainable Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) Tool, combined with interviews and visits to two organic farming communities in the UAE and Sicily, preliminary results were obtained consisting of: SAFA reports for each farmer and each community and the identification of some additional SAFA Tool indicators for local markets and migrant worker relations. Overall, the two systems contain elements described in the literature, such as Short Food Local Systems and as such contribute to territorial food support. Some best practices in organic production, direct marketing and migrant worker integration were identified and shared with farmers. The study highlights some operational issues that will be further focused upon in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Parallel and Optimization Approach for Land-Surface Temperature Retrieval on a Windows-Based PC Cluster
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 621; doi:10.3390/su10030621
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Land-surface temperature (LST) is a very important parameter in the geosciences. Conventional LST retrieval is based on large-scale remote-sensing (RS) images where split-window algorithms are usually employed via a traditional stand-alone method. When using the environment to visualize images (ENVI) software to carry
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Land-surface temperature (LST) is a very important parameter in the geosciences. Conventional LST retrieval is based on large-scale remote-sensing (RS) images where split-window algorithms are usually employed via a traditional stand-alone method. When using the environment to visualize images (ENVI) software to carry out LST retrieval of large time-series datasets of infrared RS images, the processing time taken for traditional stand-alone servers becomes untenable. To address this shortcoming, cluster-based parallel computing is an ideal solution. However, traditional parallel computing is mostly based on the Linux environment, while the LST algorithm developed within the ENVI interactive data language (IDL) can only be run in the Windows environment in our project. To address this problem, we combine the characteristics of LST algorithms with parallel computing, and propose the design and implementation of a parallel LST retrieval algorithm using the message-passing interface (MPI) parallel-programming model on a Windows-based PC cluster platform. Furthermore, we present our solutions to the problems associated with performance bottlenecks and fault tolerance during the deployment stage. Our results show that, by improving the parallel environment of the storage system and network, one can effectively solve the stability issues of the parallel environment for large-scale RS data processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Advances in Research on Sustainable Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Harvesting Water for Living with Drought: Insights from the Brazilian Human Coexistence with Semi-Aridity Approach towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 622; doi:10.3390/su10030622
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB) has been periodically affected by moderate to extreme droughts, jeopardizing livelihoods and severely impacting the life standards of millions of family farmers. In the early 1990s the Human Coexistence with Semi-Aridity (HCSA) emerged as a development approach.
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The Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB) has been periodically affected by moderate to extreme droughts, jeopardizing livelihoods and severely impacting the life standards of millions of family farmers. In the early 1990s the Human Coexistence with Semi-Aridity (HCSA) emerged as a development approach. The debate on HCSA is limited to Brazilian literature but as a technological and a bottom-up governance experience, researches on the topic could add some insights to international debate on living with drought. The present paper adopts an historical perspective on HCSA before discussing the main HCSA’s rainwater-harvesting methods found in two case studies in the SAB as a local appropriate and advanced technological package for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Qualitative analysis of 32 semi-structured interviews with key local stakeholders, 29 unstructured interviews with family farmers, and surveys in 499 family farms are used. The results show that regardless the highly adaptive potential, the technologies are adopted in differ rates among them and in between case studies chosen, influenced by non-technological factors and interacting the broader public policies context. Scaling up the HCSA’s technologies in the rural SAB is a development path towards the SDGs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Towards a Smart City: Development and Application of an Improved Integrated Environmental Monitoring System
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 623; doi:10.3390/su10030623
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Environmental deprivation is an issue influencing the urban wellbeing of a city. However, there are limitations to spatiotemporally monitoring the environmental deprivation. Thus, recent studies have introduced the concept of “Smart City” with the use of advanced technology for real-time environmental monitoring. In
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Environmental deprivation is an issue influencing the urban wellbeing of a city. However, there are limitations to spatiotemporally monitoring the environmental deprivation. Thus, recent studies have introduced the concept of “Smart City” with the use of advanced technology for real-time environmental monitoring. In this regard, this study presents an improved Integrated Environmental Monitoring System (IIEMS) with the consideration on nine environmental parameters: temperature, relative humidity, PM2.5, PM10, CO, SO2, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), UV index, and noise. This system was comprised of a mobile unit and a server-based platform with nine highly accurate micro-sensors in-coupling into the mobile unit for estimating these environmental exposures. A calibration test using existing monitoring station data was conducted in order to evaluate the systematic errors. Two applications with the use of the new system were also conducted under different scenarios: pre- and post-typhoon days and in areas with higher and lower vegetation coverage. Linear regressions were applied to predict the changes in environmental quality after a typhoon and to estimate the difference in environmental exposures between urban roads and green spaces. The results show that environmental exposures interact with each other, while some exposures are also controlled by location. PM2.5 had the highest change after a typhoon with an estimated 8.0 μg/m³ decrease that was controlled by other environmental factors and geographical location. Sound level and temperature were significantly higher on urban roads than in urban parks. This study demonstrates the potential to use IIEMS for environmental quality measurements under the greater framework of a Smart City and for sustainability research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Contrasting Urban Landscapes and Reduced Irrigation Engender Water Conservation in a Desert Environment
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 624; doi:10.3390/su10030624
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
With increased interest in water conservation, traditional residential landscapes, which often include turfgrass and other high-water use plants, are often eliminated in favor of low water use desert landscape plants. But even with a desert landscape, home owners often overwater, thereby reducing any
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With increased interest in water conservation, traditional residential landscapes, which often include turfgrass and other high-water use plants, are often eliminated in favor of low water use desert landscape plants. But even with a desert landscape, home owners often overwater, thereby reducing any water conservation possibility. This experiment was designed to demonstrate that plants can retain physiological health even when on reduced irrigation. Three 26.8-m2 plots each of two contrasting landscapes, designated as either traditional or desert, were installed in a desert environment using a pot-in-pot in-ground system. Plots were irrigated at 100% or 50% of evapotranspiration (ET) with either sprinklers (turf) or drip emitters (trees and shrubs) using a modified crossover design. Midday stem water potentials (Ψmd) for Arizona ash, Indian hawthorn and Cleveland sage exhibited seasonal differences. In Chinese pistache, Ψmd remained stable when irrigation treatments were lowered from late spring/early summer (−0.26 MPa) to late summer (−0.35 MPa). Chinese pistache maintained less negative osmotic potential when irrigation increased from 50% ET (−5.13 MPa) to 100% ET (−3.68 MPa) in early fall. The ability of Chinese pistache to maintain Ψmd and osmotic potential may indicate this species’ resilience to drought. Surprisingly, Arizona ash sustained greater relative water content in late fall when irrigated at 50% ET (92% elative water content (RWC)) than when irrigated at 100% ET (76% RWC) and this might be due to osmotic adjustment. The plants used in this study recovered after two weeks of full (100% ET) irrigation suggesting that landscape managers could irrigate at 50% ET for a limited period (approx. four weeks) as a way to conserve water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Blue Water Footprint Management in a UK Poultry Supply Chain under Environmental Regulatory Constraints
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 625; doi:10.3390/su10030625
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Chicken is the most consumed meat in the UK, accounting for 40% of meat consumption, while national production sufficiency reaches about 80%. As a farmed animal product, chicken meat is responsible for significant freshwater appropriation volumes during its production cycle. In this context,
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Chicken is the most consumed meat in the UK, accounting for 40% of meat consumption, while national production sufficiency reaches about 80%. As a farmed animal product, chicken meat is responsible for significant freshwater appropriation volumes during its production cycle. In this context, this research aims at exploring freshwater dynamics in the UK processed poultry industry. Specifically, we develop a System Dynamics model to capture the blue water footprint, as a key sustainability performance indicator of a poultry supply chain, in the case that relevant environmental and regulatory constraints are applied. The model contributes towards investigating the impact of two potential policy-making scenarios, namely, the “water penalty” and the “water tax”, on the nexus between profitability and water usage across the poultry supply chain. Responding to the regulatory constraints, the food processor either reconfigures the supply chain through rethinking desired inventory levels or implements a water management intervention. The results indicate that investing in water-friendly production technologies could offer a greater advantage to sustainable supply chains in terms of blue water efficiency and profitability, compared to employing inventory management strategies. Overall, our analysis highlights that effective policy-making and technology-driven interventions could provide potential towards ensuring economic growth and environmental sustainability of the UK poultry sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle The WHS Designation—A Factor of Sustainable Tourism Growth for Romanian Rural Areas?
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 626; doi:10.3390/su10030626
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The presence of World Heritage Sites has been frequently used as a mean of tourism promotion and increased attractiveness. However, previous studies showed contradictory results regarding the territorial impact of World Heritage Sites, and very few researchers discussed their impact in Eastern Europe.
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The presence of World Heritage Sites has been frequently used as a mean of tourism promotion and increased attractiveness. However, previous studies showed contradictory results regarding the territorial impact of World Heritage Sites, and very few researchers discussed their impact in Eastern Europe. This paper examines how the presence of World Heritage Sites in rural localities influenced the tourism growth and sustainable development in Romania after 2000. Independent Sample t-test was used to analyse the evolution of tourism and sustainable development indicators between 2001 and 2016. The results suggest an absence of a positive effect induced by World Heritage Sites in rural areas. It seems that, by itself, the brand has not enough power to sustain tourist attractiveness if it is not endorsed by national, regional, and local initiatives. These findings lead a discussion about how certain sites managed to induce a sustained tourism growth while others failed to do so. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle What about Gender in Climate Change? Twelve Feminist Lessons from Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 627; doi:10.3390/su10030627
Received: 23 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Adaptation and mitigation are two key responses to climate change. In the global South they prompt many questions: what is the direction and degree of change needed? How can new climate change policies be aligned with existing development initiatives? How are core social
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Adaptation and mitigation are two key responses to climate change. In the global South they prompt many questions: what is the direction and degree of change needed? How can new climate change policies be aligned with existing development initiatives? How are core social relations such as gender understood and prioritized in relation to technical and other solutions? In search of synergies between adaptation, development and mitigation, this article asks a pertinent question for sub-Saharan small-scale agriculture in particular: what can adaptation and mitigation learn from development debates on social goal setting, institutional change and gender equality? From the perspective of sustainability science and feminist literature, three main findings emerge. First, as regards social goal setting, adaptation and mitigation should, like development, support the escape out of poverty, ill-health and food-insecurity. Second, as regards institutions, adaptation and mitigation should address how gender regulates access to, use of and control over resources in terms of labor, land and strategic decision-making power. Third, as regards gender equality, adaptation and mitigation should learn from how development in theory and practice has addressed gender, women, nature and the environment. At its core, the analysis contributes twelve salient themes that can significantly inform adaptation and mitigation in research, policy and practice, thus serving as inspiration for a critical debate on much needed synergetic trajectories. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Dynamic Efficiency of Regional Industrial Green Transformation in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 628; doi:10.3390/su10030628
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The green concept has become one of the key demands of the current era of development in China. As an attempt to cope with climate change and constraints of resources and environment, the industrial green transformation is bound to have a dramatic impact
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The green concept has become one of the key demands of the current era of development in China. As an attempt to cope with climate change and constraints of resources and environment, the industrial green transformation is bound to have a dramatic impact on the whole society. This paper enriches the understanding of industrial green transformation by highlighting its social attributes. Combining a hybrid model with a window analysis, this paper measures the dynamic efficiency of regional industrial green transformation in China from 2006 to 2015. In general, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong and Guangdong obtain the best performance; industrial water use has the lowest and most unstable efficiency among various resources. Tobit regression model, thereafter, is used to analyze the impact of hypothetical factors on the efficiency of industrial green transformation. The findings demonstrate that reduction and lean management of state-owned property, promoting the development of the productive service industry, minimizing the proportion of fossil energy use and establishing an excellent economic basis can have nationally positive impacts on the regional industrial green transformation; the progress of the productive service industry is the key to industrial green transformation in Eastern China, while the internal optimization of the industrial sector should be paid more attention in other regions, especially in Western China. Finally, detailed discussions and policy suggestions at a regional level as well as research prospects are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Can the SDGs Provide a Basis for Supply Chain Decisions in the Construction Sector?
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 629; doi:10.3390/su10030629
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The Construction sector is characterised by complex supply networks delivering unique end products over short time scales. Sustainability has increased in importance but continues to be difficult to implement in this sector; thus, new approaches and practices are needed. This paper reports an
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The Construction sector is characterised by complex supply networks delivering unique end products over short time scales. Sustainability has increased in importance but continues to be difficult to implement in this sector; thus, new approaches and practices are needed. This paper reports an empirical investigation into the value of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG12), when used as a framework for action by organisations to drive change towards sustainability in global supply networks. Through inductive research, two different and contrasting approaches to improving the sustainability of supply networks have been revealed. One approach focuses on the “bottom up” ethical approach typified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of timber products, and the other on “top-down” regulations exemplified by the UK Modern Slavery Act. In an industry noted for complex supply networks and characterised by adversarial relationships, the findings suggest that, in the long term, promoting shared values aligned with transparent, third-party monitoring will be more effective than imposing standards through legislation and regulation in supporting sustainable consumption and production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Risks Induced by Room Mining Goaf and Their Assessment: A Case Study in the Shenfu-Dongsheng Mining Area
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 631; doi:10.3390/su10030631
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
A large area of room mining goaf has been left throughout the history of coal mining worldwide. However, because the pillars cannot perpetually retain stability, the sudden collapse of a large area of goaf can occur. The existing large areas of room mining
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A large area of room mining goaf has been left throughout the history of coal mining worldwide. However, because the pillars cannot perpetually retain stability, the sudden collapse of a large area of goaf can occur. The existing large areas of room mining goaf have become a potential source of geological risks in mining areas with room mining goafs worldwide. To elucidate the distribution and state of the goafs, a survey of the characteristics of goafs was carried out by geophysical exploration and drilling methods. From this complete survey of room mining goafs, this paper has outlined eight common goaf risks, emphasizing the types of goaf risks that require precautions, and the formation mechanisms of each goaf risk has been analyzed. Considering that the occurrence of a risk may lead to several other risks and there is a certain interaction between the risks, more specific room mining goaf risk forms, causes and scopes of influence have been listed. It is advantageous to use a support vector machine, which is useful for small-sample problems, to assess the goafs. A support vector machine assessment model of room mining goafs was established, and sample training and verification were carried out. Comparing the risk assessment results with those of the field investigation, it can be seen that the evaluation model has a high accuracy. This work can greatly contribute to the prediction and prevention of risks induced by room mining goaf. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Psychometric Properties of Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire and Its Relationship to Physical Activity and Gender Using Structural Equation Modelling
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 632; doi:10.3390/su10030632
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
(1) Background: Different authors have established that each type of motivation to sports can favor healthy habits in men and women, being important to promote more self-determined motivations. (2) Methods: The present study was designed to assess selected psychometric properties of the Perceived
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(1) Background: Different authors have established that each type of motivation to sports can favor healthy habits in men and women, being important to promote more self-determined motivations. (2) Methods: The present study was designed to assess selected psychometric properties of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire and study the relationship between motivational climate, physical activity and gender in adolescents. Research was conducted with a sample of 2134 Spanish children (12.5 ± 1.4 years). (3) Results: The final scale was formed of two factors. The fit of factor 1 (ego climate) was 0.867, the fit for factor 2 was 0.851 (task climate) and the overall fit was 0.765. Structural equation modelling identified a negative relationship between ego climate and task climate. This relationship was strong in women. A direct relationship was found between the ego climate and task climate in relation to physical activity in men and women. Nevertheless, this positive relationship was stronger in men. (4) Conclusions: PMCSQ-2 test is a good instrument to measure the motivation towards sports practice. Moreover, it is important to promote adaptive types of motivation in physical education classes in order to generate pleasure for learning and long-term physical activity engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity as a Means of Culture, Leisure and Free Time)
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Open AccessArticle Semantic Modeling of Administrative Procedures from a Spanish Regional Public Administration
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 633; doi:10.3390/su10030633
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Over the past few years, Public Administrations have been providing systems for procedures and files electronic processing to ensure compliance with regulations and provide public services to citizens. Although each administration provides similar services to their citizens, these systems usually differ from the
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Over the past few years, Public Administrations have been providing systems for procedures and files electronic processing to ensure compliance with regulations and provide public services to citizens. Although each administration provides similar services to their citizens, these systems usually differ from the internal information management point of view since they usually come from different products and manufacturers. The common framework that regulations demand, and that Public Administrations must respect when processing electronic files, provides a unique opportunity for the development of intelligent agents in the field of administrative processes. However, for this development to be truly effective and applicable to the public sector, it is necessary to have a common representation model for these administrative processes. Although a lot of work has already been done in the development of public information reuse initiatives and common vocabularies standardization, this has not been carried out at the processes level. In this paper, we propose a semantic representation model of both processes models and processes for Public Administrations: the procedures and administrative files. The goal is to improve public administration open data initiatives and help to develop their sustainability policies, such as improving decision-making procedures and administrative management sustainability. As a case study, we modelled public administrative processes and files in collaboration with a Regional Public Administration in Spain, the Principality of Asturias, which enabled access to its information systems, helping the evaluation of our approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Will the Future Be Greener? The Environmental Behavioral Intentions of University Tourism Students
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 634; doi:10.3390/su10030634
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable tourism is essential for tourism sector development. Environmentally responsible behaviors and behavioral intentions are important prerequisites for sustainable tourism. This research explores the behavioral intentions of university tourism students and significant factors affecting these behavioral intentions. The questionnaire survey method was applied
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Sustainable tourism is essential for tourism sector development. Environmentally responsible behaviors and behavioral intentions are important prerequisites for sustainable tourism. This research explores the behavioral intentions of university tourism students and significant factors affecting these behavioral intentions. The questionnaire survey method was applied to university students from the tourism departments of nine universities in Taiwan. A total of 390 valid questionnaires were collected. The pro-environmental behavioral intentions of the students ranged from moderate to high. Environmental knowledge positively affected behavioral intentions and positively influenced environmental sensitivity and environmental responsibility. Furthermore, environmental sensitivity and environmental responsibility exerted a full effect in mediating the relationship between environmental knowledge and behavioral intentions. Hence, increasing students’ environmental knowledge will enhance their behavioral intentions. However, by improving students’ sensitivity and responsibility, their intentions to protect the environment can be more effectively elevated. Development implications and recommendations for sustainable tourism and higher education are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in the Ecological Environment of the Marginal Seas along the Eurasian Continent from 2003 to 2014
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 635; doi:10.3390/su10030635
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Based on time-series satellite-retrieved records of the marine ecological environment from Aqua/MODIS, we investigated changes in the sea surface temperature (SST), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), Secchi Disc depth (SDD), and chlorophyll-a concentration (Chla) in 12 Eurasian marginal seas from 2003 to 2014. Results
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Based on time-series satellite-retrieved records of the marine ecological environment from Aqua/MODIS, we investigated changes in the sea surface temperature (SST), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), Secchi Disc depth (SDD), and chlorophyll-a concentration (Chla) in 12 Eurasian marginal seas from 2003 to 2014. Results showed that the SST increased in all 12 marginal seas, with the enclosed marginal seas (i.e., Black Sea, Baltic Sea, Japan Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Persian Gulf) exhibiting relatively higher rates of increase. The PAR generally decreased, except in the European marginal seas, though not significantly. Similar to the changes in the SST, the SDD increased in all 12 marginal seas, with a maximum rate of 3.02%/year (or 0.25 m/year, p = 0.0003) found in the Persian Gulf. As expected, Chla generally decreased in the tropical marginal seas, but increased in the high-latitude marginal seas. The different relationships between SST and Chla changes indicate the complexity of global warming effects on marine phytoplankton in different marginal seas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carbon Cycles)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Washing Optimization, Recycling of the Solution, and Ecotoxicity Assessment for the Remediation of Pb-Contaminated Sites Using EDDS
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 636; doi:10.3390/su10030636
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at investigating the applicability of ethylenediamine-N,N′-disuccinic acid (EDDS) as a washing solution for the remediation of Pb-contaminated soil. All aspects of the treatment are analyzed and optimized, including the
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This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at investigating the applicability of ethylenediamine-N,N′-disuccinic acid (EDDS) as a washing solution for the remediation of Pb-contaminated soil. All aspects of the treatment are analyzed and optimized, including the reuse and the final disposal of the EDDS spent solution. Different molar concentrations of the washing solutions and the efficiencies of varying solid/liquid ratio are tested at different pH values. More than 90% of the mobile Pb fraction is removed in about 24 h at pH 6. Accordingly, soil toxicity strongly decreases as a consequence of the treatment. The regenerated solution exhibits a reduced, but not negligible, extractive capacity. The total extraction of Pb is approximately 50% of the initial value after one regeneration cycle, and almost 20% after a second regeneration cycle. Respirometric tests, conducted using an activated sludge sampled in a municipal wastewater treatment plant, indicate that the spent solutions are not biodegradable, but they do not exert any toxic effect on the biomass. On the contrary, tests on regenerated solutions displayed the same biodegradability as the fresh ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Principles of Islamic Finance and Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility: What Convergence?
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 637; doi:10.3390/su10030637
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Islamic Finance, among its other features, figures as a financial and economic model based on principles and ethical values in which sustainable development and social responsibility play an essential role. The aim of this study is to illustrate the concept of Corporate Social
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Islamic Finance, among its other features, figures as a financial and economic model based on principles and ethical values in which sustainable development and social responsibility play an essential role. The aim of this study is to illustrate the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with specific reference to Islamic financial institutions, their principles, values and objectives, in order to understand the underpinning dynamics and identify the convergences between the principles underlying conventional CSR and those of Islamic Finance. Specifically, the ultimate purpose of the comparison is to highlight how CSR may constitute a significant factor of convergence between Islamic and conventional finance systems, going beyond the logic of sustainability in short-term marketing policy and implementing medium- and long-term sustainability. This approach aims at increasing the potential for value creation and the pursuit of economic, social and environmental results for all stakeholders. This convergence should, finally, create conditions favourable to the harmonisation of the regulations and directives relative to CSR in the different countries, and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance institutions and conventional ones in the economic contexts. Full article
Open AccessArticle Progress and Bottlenecks in the Early Domestication of the Perennial Oilseed Silphium integrifolium, a Sunflower Substitute
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 638; doi:10.3390/su10030638
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Silflower (Silphium integrifolium Michx.) is in the early stages of domestication as a perennial version of oilseed sunflower, its close relative. Grain crops with deep perennial root systems will provide farmers with new alternatives for managing soil moisture and limiting or remediating
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Silflower (Silphium integrifolium Michx.) is in the early stages of domestication as a perennial version of oilseed sunflower, its close relative. Grain crops with deep perennial root systems will provide farmers with new alternatives for managing soil moisture and limiting or remediating soil erosion, fertilizer leaching, and loss of soil biota. Several cycles of selection for increased seed production potential following initial germplasm evaluation in 2002 have provided opportunities to document the botany and ecology of this relatively obscure species, to compare agronomic practices for improving its propagation and management, and to evaluate the differences between semi-domesticated and wild accessions that have accrued over this time through intentional and unintentional genetic processes. Key findings include: domestication has increased aboveground biomass at seedling and adult stages; seed yield has increased more, achieving modest improvement in harvest index. Harvest index decreases with nitrogen fertilization. Silflower acquires nitrogen and water from greater depth than typical crops. In agricultural silflower stands within its native range, we found that Puccinia silphii (rust) and Eucosma giganteana (moth) populations build up to unacceptable levels, but we also found genetic variation for traits contributing to resistance or tolerance. Breeding or management for reduced height and vegetative plasticity should be top priorities for future silflower research outside its native range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies, Advances and Challenges of Breeding Perennial Grain Crops)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring How Usage-Focused Business Models Enable Circular Economy through Digital Technologies
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 639; doi:10.3390/su10030639
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Recent studies advocate that digital technologies are key enabling factors for the introduction of servitized business models. At the same time, these technologies support the implementation of the circular economy (CE) paradigm into businesses. Despite this general agreement, the literature still overlooks how
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Recent studies advocate that digital technologies are key enabling factors for the introduction of servitized business models. At the same time, these technologies support the implementation of the circular economy (CE) paradigm into businesses. Despite this general agreement, the literature still overlooks how digital technologies enable such a CE transition. To fill the gap, this paper develops a conceptual framework, based on the literature and a case study of a company implementing a usage-focused servitized business model in the household appliance industry. This study focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and analytics, and identifies eight specific functionalities enabled by such technologies (improving product design, attracting target customers, monitoring and tracking product activity, providing technical support, providing preventive and predictive maintenance, optimizing the product usage, upgrading the product, enhancing renovation and end-of-life activities). By investigating how these functionalities affect three CE value drivers (increasing resource efficiency, extending lifespan, and closing the loop), the conceptual framework developed in this paper advances knowledge about the role of digital technologies as an enabler of the CE within usage-focused business models. Finally, this study shows how digital technologies help overcome the drawback of usage-focused business models for the adoption of CE pointed out by previous literature. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improving Operational Risk Management Using Business Performance Management Technologies
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 640; doi:10.3390/su10030640
Received: 21 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Operational Risk Management (ORM) comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business
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Operational Risk Management (ORM) comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business Performance Management (BPM) technologies are believed to provide a solution for effective Operational Risk Management by offering several combined technologies including: work flow, data warehousing, (advanced) analytics, reporting and dashboards. BPM technologies can be integrated with an organization’s Planning & Control cycle and related to strategic objectives. This manuscript aims to show how ORM can benefit from BPM technologies via the development and practical validation of a new maturity model. The B4ORM maturity model was developed following the Design Science Research approach. The maturity model relates specific maturity levels of ORM processes with BPM technologies applicable for a specific maturity stage. There appears to be a strong relationship (0.78) with ORM process maturity and supporting BPM technologies. The B4ORM maturity model as described in this manuscript provides an ideal path of BPM technologies related to six distinctive stages of ORM, leading towards technologies suitable for continuous improvement of ORM processes and organization-wide integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Can Environmental Regulations Promote Corporate Environmental Responsibility? Evidence from the Moderated Mediating Effect Model and an Empirical Study in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 641; doi:10.3390/su10030641
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Based on the Stakeholder theory, a moderated mediating effect model is developed to reach the study objective, revealing an important connection that suggests environmental regulations (ERs) influence corporate environmental responsibility (CER) (Porter Hypothesis). In building the model, the validity of the questionnaire data
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Based on the Stakeholder theory, a moderated mediating effect model is developed to reach the study objective, revealing an important connection that suggests environmental regulations (ERs) influence corporate environmental responsibility (CER) (Porter Hypothesis). In building the model, the validity of the questionnaire data was analyzed with factor analysis. By employing a two-step approach, a regression analysis is utilized to discuss the mediating effect of altruistic motivation and moderating effect of green innovation, and a structural equation model is used to explore the interactive mechanism of different variables. It is found that altruistic motivation plays a medium role in the relationship between ERs and CER, and green innovation engages a positive coordination in the relationship. The empirical study identifies factors affecting enterprises’ willingness to undertake environmental responsibility, including environment policies, corporate culture, and personal characters among others. It is also revealed that altruistic motivation is conducive to forming a community interests among enterprises and enhancing their resistance to market risks, which explains and corroborates the Stakeholder theory; and the higher the level of green innovation, the more willing enterprises are to implement environmentally friendly operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Bank Lending on Urban Housing Prices for Sustainable Development: A Panel Analysis of Chinese Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 642; doi:10.3390/su10030642
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Stable home prices are critical to a healthy housing market and sustainable development. Home prices in many Chinese cities have increased dramatically in past decades. The China’s central bank uses two primary monetary controls on overheated housing prices: the bank lending supply and
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Stable home prices are critical to a healthy housing market and sustainable development. Home prices in many Chinese cities have increased dramatically in past decades. The China’s central bank uses two primary monetary controls on overheated housing prices: the bank lending supply and lending rate. However, little to no evidence informs whether the nation-level bank lending controls are effective at the city level. Unlike extant studies that only focus on nation-level effects of such controls, this research analyzes long-run effects on housing prices at the national, regional, and city levels. The authors perform cross-sectional time-series regressions on empirical data from 35 major Chinese cities for the period 2003 to 2015. Results confirm that controlling lending rates is effective as a long-term measure at the national, regional, and city levels, whereas controlling the lending supply is effective as a short-term measure for many cities. Results also reveal that housing prices cause lending supply changes for many regions in a long run and indicate that credit policy often lags in response to housing price changes. Findings show that the effectiveness of bank lending largely varies at the city level, suggesting city-tailed bank lending rather than the centralized controls at the national level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation on Performance of a Modified Breakwater-Integrated OWC Wave Energy Converter
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 643; doi:10.3390/su10030643
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The hydrodynamic performance of the wave power extraction of an innovative modified breakwater-integrated Oscillating Water Column (OWC) wave energy converter is both numerically and experimentally presented in this study. The modified OWC device comprises a non-conventional perforated wall in front of a typical
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The hydrodynamic performance of the wave power extraction of an innovative modified breakwater-integrated Oscillating Water Column (OWC) wave energy converter is both numerically and experimentally presented in this study. The modified OWC device comprises a non-conventional perforated wall in front of a typical OWC chamber. The air-water two-fluid model, considering the fluid compressibility involved in FLOW-3D solver, is employed for the numerical simulations of the hydrodynamic characteristics of the OWC devices. The numerical simulations of the hydrodynamic performance of the OWC device are first validated by the experimental measurements with a scaled model. The effects of the geometry of the OWC chamber on the hydrodynamic efficiency are then discussed by numerical simulations using a full-scale OWC device under regular waves. The numerical and experimental results show that the present modified device can form a U-type flow pattern by the oscillating water column, thus developing better performance in extracting pneumatic power, when compared with the typical OWC device which does not have the perforated front wall. The results indicate that the present modified OWC device can not only promote the efficiency of the pneumatic power extraction, but can also reduce the wave force acting on the structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Technologies: A Sustainable Energy Source)
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Open AccessArticle Can Energy Structure Optimization, Industrial Structure Changes, Technological Improvements, and Central and Local Governance Effectively Reduce Atmospheric Pollution in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Area in China?
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 644; doi:10.3390/su10030644
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Economic growth in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region has been achieved by consuming large amounts of fossil fuels. This produces a large number of pollutants, which damage the physical and mental health of residents, and prevent sustainable economic development. The most urgent task at present
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Economic growth in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region has been achieved by consuming large amounts of fossil fuels. This produces a large number of pollutants, which damage the physical and mental health of residents, and prevent sustainable economic development. The most urgent task at present is improving the quality of the environment. This paper takes carbon emission as a pollution index, and adopts an extended stochastic impacts by regression on population, affluence, and technology (STIRPAT) model in order to study the impact of the optimization of industry structure (in particular the reduction of the proportion of energy-intensive secondary industry), the optimization of the energy structure, and technological improvements on the atmospheric environmental quality. We obtain some important and enlightening discoveries. First of all, the rapid economic growth that has been based on magnanimous fossil fuel consumption is still the main reason for the deterioration of the atmospheric environment. This means that the main driving force of economic growth still comes from high pollution industries, despite a strategy for the transformation of the pattern of economic growth having been proposed for many years. Second, the optimization of the industrial structure has not played a significant role in promoting the reduction of carbon emissions. Through further research, we believe that this may be due to the low-quality development of the third industry. In other words, the traditional service industry related to high energy consumption accounts for a large proportion in regional total output, while the high-end service industry related to small pollution accounts for a relatively small proportion. Third, reducing the consumption of coal and improving the technological level can effectively curb the deterioration of the environmental quality. In addition, we find that transboundary pollution is an important factor affecting the environment in this region, and the earnings of any unilateral treatment action is small. As a result, joint pollution control under the supervision of the central government can produce greater benefits. Therefore, we believe that the transition of the economic growth pattern, and the optimization of the energy and industry structures (especially developing the high-end service industry) are effective ways to improve the environmental quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Within-Class and Neighborhood Effects on the Relationship between Composite Urban Classes and Surface Temperature
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 645; doi:10.3390/su10030645
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Understanding the relationship between urban structure and ecological function—or environmental performance—is important for the planning of sustainable cities, and requires examination of how components in urban systems are organized. In this paper, we develop a Structure of Urban Landscape (STURLA) classification, identifying common
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Understanding the relationship between urban structure and ecological function—or environmental performance—is important for the planning of sustainable cities, and requires examination of how components in urban systems are organized. In this paper, we develop a Structure of Urban Landscape (STURLA) classification, identifying common compositions of urban components using Berlin, Germany as a case study. We compute the surface temperature corresponding to each classification grid cell, and perform within-cell and neighborhood analysis for the most common composite classes in Berlin. We found that with-class composition and neighborhood composition as well as the interaction between them drive surface temperature. Our findings suggest that the spatial organization of urban components is important in determining the surface temperature and that specific combinations, such as low-rise buildings surrounded by neighborhood trees, or mid-rise buildings surrounded by high-rise buildings, compound to create a cooling effect. These findings are important for developing an understanding of how urban planning can harness structure-function relationships and improve urban sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Mangroves Extents on the Red Sea Coastline in Egypt using Polarimetric SAR and High Resolution Optical Remote Sensing Data
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 646; doi:10.3390/su10030646
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Mangroves ecosystems dominate the coastal wetlands of tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. They are among the most productive forest ecosystems. They provide various ecological and economic ecosystem services. Despite of their economic and ecological importance, mangroves experience high yearly loss rates.
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Mangroves ecosystems dominate the coastal wetlands of tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. They are among the most productive forest ecosystems. They provide various ecological and economic ecosystem services. Despite of their economic and ecological importance, mangroves experience high yearly loss rates. There is a growing demand for mapping and assessing changes in mangroves extents especially in the context of climate change, land use change, and related threats to coastal ecosystems. The main objective of this study is to develop an approach for mapping of mangroves extents on the Red Sea coastline in Egypt, through the integration of both L-band SAR data of ALOS/PALSAR, and high resolution optical data of RapidEye. This was achieved via using object-based image analysis method, through applying different machine learning algorithms, and evaluating various features such as spectral properties, texture features, and SAR derived parameters for discrimination of mangroves ecosystem classes. Three non-parametric machine learning algorithms were tested for mangroves mapping; random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), and classification and regression trees (CART). As an input for the classifiers, we tested various features including vegetation indices (VIs) and texture analysis using the gray-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). The object-based analysis method allowed clearly discriminating the different land cover classes within mangroves ecosystem. The highest overall accuracy (92.15%) was achieved by the integrated SAR and optical data. Among all classifiers tested, RF performed better than other classifiers. Using L-band SAR data integrated with high resolution optical data was beneficial for mapping and characterization of mangroves growing in small patches. The maps produced represents an important updated reference suitable for developing a regional action plan for conservation and management of mangroves resources along the Red Sea coastline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Effects of Urban Expansion on Terrestrial Carbon Storage: A Case Study in Xuzhou City, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 647; doi:10.3390/su10030647
Received: 27 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Carbon storage is closely connected to the productivities and climate regulation capacities of ecosystems. Assessing the effects of urban expansion on carbon storage has become increasingly important for achieving urban sustainability. This study analyzed the effects of urban expansion on terrestrial carbon storage
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Carbon storage is closely connected to the productivities and climate regulation capacities of ecosystems. Assessing the effects of urban expansion on carbon storage has become increasingly important for achieving urban sustainability. This study analyzed the effects of urban expansion on terrestrial carbon storage in Xuzhou City, China during 2000–2025. The cellular automata (CA) model was developed to simulate future urban expansion under three scenarios, namely, the business as usual (BAU), ecological protection (ECO), and planning strengthened (PLS) scenarios. The Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model was further applied to explore the consequences of urban expansion on carbon storage. The results show that urban expansion resulted in 6.099 Tg of carbon storage loss from 2000–2015. Moreover, significant differences in the effects of the urban expansion scenarios on carbon storage were identified in terms of both magnitude and spatial pattern from 2015–2025. Compared with the other scenarios, the PLS scenario could be considered as a good option that would allow future development to achieve the objectives of the lowest carbon storage losses. The findings improve the understanding of the effects of urban expansion on carbon storage and may be used to support urban planning and management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Assessment of Urban Flood Susceptibility Using Data Mining and Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 648; doi:10.3390/su10030648
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Using geographic information system (GIS) tools and data-mining models, this study analyzed the relationships between flood areas and correlated hydrological factors to map the regional flood susceptibility of the Seoul metropolitan area in South Korea. We created a spatial database of data describing
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Using geographic information system (GIS) tools and data-mining models, this study analyzed the relationships between flood areas and correlated hydrological factors to map the regional flood susceptibility of the Seoul metropolitan area in South Korea. We created a spatial database of data describing factors including topography, geology, soil, and land use. We used 2010 flood data for training and 2011 data for model validation. Frequency ratio (FR) and logistic regression (LR) models were applied to 2010 flood data to determine the relationships between the flooded area and its causal factors and to derive flood-susceptibility maps, which were substantiated using the area flooded in 2011 (not used for training). As a result of the accuracy validation, FR and LR model results were shown to have 79.61% and 79.05% accuracy, respectively. In terms of sustainability, floods affect water health as well as causing economic and social damage. These maps will provide useful information to decision makers for the implementation of flood-mitigation policies in priority areas in urban sustainable development and for flood prevention and management. In addition to this study, further analysis including data on economic and social activities, proximity to nature, and data on population and building density, will make it possible to improve sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Landslides: A Sustainability Approach)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Sustainable Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Value Added Models for Investors Decision Making
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 649; doi:10.3390/su10030649
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
The Sustainable Value-Added Model is a new approach in value-oriented strategic management that focuses on maximizing the value that is created by non-financial sustainability indicators. The objective of this paper is to refine the calculation of sustainable added value by incorporating environmental, social,
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The Sustainable Value-Added Model is a new approach in value-oriented strategic management that focuses on maximizing the value that is created by non-financial sustainability indicators. The objective of this paper is to refine the calculation of sustainable added value by incorporating environmental, social, and corporate governance sustainability indicators, assigning weights to the indicators and, by alternative methods, assigning target values to the indicators. Ten alternative models of Sustainable Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Value Added were created. The models encompass 11 environmental, social, and corporate governance indicators of sustainability, and two economic indicators (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, and Value Added). Indicator values are related to the target values that represent the opportunity costs. The quality of the models was assessed by statistical methods, i.e., the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve, Gini index, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic. The results of these statistics show sufficient quality of all the models proposed. The most accurate model is that with the economic indicator Value Added and target values that are based on the values of the company with the best economic results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Considering Water Quality of Urban Rivers from the Perspectives of Unpleasant Odor
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 650; doi:10.3390/su10030650
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Surface water degradation in urban areas is a common problem in many countries, and degradation hampers ecosystem services provided by rivers, having negative impacts on aquatic organisms and human beings. Unpleasant odor arising from impaired rivers causes annoyance to people, and the study
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Surface water degradation in urban areas is a common problem in many countries, and degradation hampers ecosystem services provided by rivers, having negative impacts on aquatic organisms and human beings. Unpleasant odor arising from impaired rivers causes annoyance to people, and the study quantitatively analyzed unpleasantness of odor in Tokyo through the application of hedonic tones of odor. Unpleasantness remained or worsened while overall dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration increased downstream. The phenomenon is considered to be caused by multiple external factors, such as combined sewer outflow, hypoxia at Tokyo Bay, and effluent from water reclamation centers (WRC). Converting descriptive odor types into numeric values helped to see changes over time and enabled to depict the relation between DO concentration and the type of odor. In Tokyo, the ratio of effluent from WRC to stream flow increased over time, and it partially contributed to odor becoming more unpleasant. Malodor is no longer a major issue since the situation improved by developing an advanced treatment facility; however, human olfactory sense detects the existence of unpleasant odor in urban rivers. The study presented the complexity of analyzing odor problems in tidal urban areas because these are caused by external factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Post-Disaster Business Recovery and Sustainable Development: A Study of 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 651; doi:10.3390/su10030651
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of
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Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of the patterns and transformations of small businesses in the recovery process after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China can bridge this gap and provide a valuable contribution to academia. We conducted research through a four-year longitudinal study to track small business recovery in Beichuan County since 2014. Field observations, repeat photography, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The operating status, business type, and spatiotemporal changes of small businesses in the new business district, Banaqia, were demonstrated. Overall, less than 50% of the planned shops were occupied and in operation, and this figure keeps declining from 2014 to 2017. Catering, garments, and souvenirs are the primary business types, but they show individual patterns in terms of sustainable development and spatial configuration. The results help to inform the development of recovery policies following disasters in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Study of Cooperative Survival: Strategic Adaptation to External Developments
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 652; doi:10.3390/su10030652
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Farmer cooperatives have been portrayed in the literature as flawed and complex organizations with ambiguous objectives. However, research on the observed survival of farmer cooperatives in spite of their weaknesses and limitations is scarce, in part because academic attention to cooperative performance has
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Farmer cooperatives have been portrayed in the literature as flawed and complex organizations with ambiguous objectives. However, research on the observed survival of farmer cooperatives in spite of their weaknesses and limitations is scarce, in part because academic attention to cooperative performance has been static and introspective. Using evidence collected from case studies and print media publications, this paper contributes to the literature with a qualitative study of farmer cooperatives which spurred survival and longevity by means of strategic adaptation in response to four current developments in the external environment: industry consolidation, consumer segmentation, price volatility, and policy change. The qualitative study concludes farmer cooperatives in general respond to such developments by means of organizational growth. Common strategies are vertical integration, geographic expansion, and portfolio diversification. While survival and longevity are promoted in theory, strategic adaptation also often facilitates the pursuit of investor-oriented as opposed to user-oriented objectives. In some scenarios, member ownership and control may become burdensome to the business and prompt conversion to another structure if further adaptation to internal and external developments is unsuccessful. More research is therefore needed to explore the dynamic and variable impact of strategy on cooperative survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Longevity: Why are So Many Cooperatives So Successful?)
Open AccessArticle Tackling Fragmented Last Mile Deliveries to Nanostores by Utilizing Spare Transportation Capacity—A Simulation Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 653; doi:10.3390/su10030653
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Last mile deliveries in urban areas cause a disproportionate unsustainable impact, while it is also the most expensive part of the supply chain. This is particularly true for freight flows that are characterized by fragmentation. Logistically, this becomes apparent in vehicles that are
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Last mile deliveries in urban areas cause a disproportionate unsustainable impact, while it is also the most expensive part of the supply chain. This is particularly true for freight flows that are characterized by fragmentation. Logistically, this becomes apparent in vehicles that are driving around with a low vehicle fill rate, leading to the unnecessary presence of freight vehicles in our cities. This study focuses on the operational feasibility of utilizing the spare transportation capacity of a service-driven company as a potential solution to supply small independent retailers, or nanostores. The aim is to reduce inefficient vehicle movement. Based on a real-life implementation, we use SYnchronization Model for Belgian Inland Transport (SYMBIT), an agent-based model, to simulate various bundling scenarios. Results show the total vehicle kilometers and lead times to supply nanostores for the service-driven company to serve its customers. There is a potential to utilize spare capacity to supply nanostores while maintaining a decent service level. The number of vehicle kilometers driven highly depends on the location of the distribution center where the service-driven company operates. Based on these results, the conditions that have to be met to replicate this solution in other urban areas are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Prospect on China’s Urban System by 2020: Evidence from the Prediction Based on Internal Migration Network
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 654; doi:10.3390/su10030654
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
China’s rapid urbanization has aroused substantial attention all over the world. Though there exists a strong connection between urban system and intercity migration, an overall prediction of China’s urban population of all cities based on migration network has rarely been conducted. This study
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China’s rapid urbanization has aroused substantial attention all over the world. Though there exists a strong connection between urban system and intercity migration, an overall prediction of China’s urban population of all cities based on migration network has rarely been conducted. This study proposes an extended NEG (New Economic Geography) model to simulate China’s urban system evolution with actual data and further predicts the future development of China’s urban system under three different urbanization scenarios. We discover that China’s future development trend is centralized urbanization dominated by large cities with a population of above 1 million. This prediction result is of great significance to provide scientific evidence for China’s population flow management and new-type urbanization planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Daytime Lighting Assessment in Textile Factories Using Connected Windows in Slovakia: A Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 655; doi:10.3390/su10030655
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper highlights the problems that are associated with daylight use in industrial facilities. In a case study of a multi-story textile factory, we report how to evaluate daylight (as part of integral light) in the production halls marked F and G. This
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This paper highlights the problems that are associated with daylight use in industrial facilities. In a case study of a multi-story textile factory, we report how to evaluate daylight (as part of integral light) in the production halls marked F and G. This study follows the article in the Buildings journal, where Hall E was evaluated (unilateral daylight). These two additional halls have large areas that are 54 × 54 m and are more than five meters high. The daylight is only on the side through the attached windows in envelope structures in the vertical position on the hall. In this paper, we want to present two case studies of these two production halls in a textile factory in the eastern part of Slovakia. These are halls that are illuminated by daylight from two sides through exterior peripheral walls that are against or next to each other. The results of the case studies can be applied in similar production halls illuminated by a “double-sided” (bilateral) daylight system. This means that they are illuminated by natural illumination through windows on two sides in a vertical position. Such a situation is typical for multi-storied industrial buildings. The proposed approximate calculation method for the daylight factor can be used to predict the daylight in similar spaces in other similar buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Model Prediction of Secondary Soil Salinization in the Keriya Oasis, Northwest China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 656; doi:10.3390/su10030656
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Significant anthropogenic and biophysical changes have caused fluctuations in the soil salinization area of the Keriya Oasis in China. The Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) sustainability framework and Bayesian networks (BNs) were used to integrate information from anthropogenic and natural systems to model the trend of
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Significant anthropogenic and biophysical changes have caused fluctuations in the soil salinization area of the Keriya Oasis in China. The Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) sustainability framework and Bayesian networks (BNs) were used to integrate information from anthropogenic and natural systems to model the trend of secondary soil salinization. The developed model predicted that light salinization (vegetation coverage of around 15–20%, soil salt 5–10 g/kg) of the ecotone will increase in the near term but decelerate slightly in the future, and that farmland salinization will decrease in the near term. This trend is expected to accelerate in the future. Both trends are attributed to decreased water logging, increased groundwater exploitation, and decreased ratio of evaporation/precipitation. In contrast, severe salinization (vegetation coverage of around 2%, soil salt ≥20 g/kg) of the ecotone will increase in the near term. This trend will accelerate in the future because decreased river flow will reduce the flushing of severely salinized soil crust. Anthropogenic factors have negative impacts and natural causes have positive impacts on light salinization of ecotones. In situations involving severe farmland salinization, anthropogenic factors have persistent negative impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Governance of Sustainable Soil Management)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of GDP, Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption, Energy Consumption Intensity, and Economic Structure on SO2 Emissions: A Multi-Variate Panel Data Model Analysis on Selected Chinese Provinces
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 657; doi:10.3390/su10030657
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Atmospheric pollution gradually become a focus of concern all over the world owing to its detrimental influence on human health as well as long range impact on global ecosystem. This paper investigated the relationship among SO2 emissions, GDP, fossil fuel energy consumption,
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Atmospheric pollution gradually become a focus of concern all over the world owing to its detrimental influence on human health as well as long range impact on global ecosystem. This paper investigated the relationship among SO2 emissions, GDP, fossil fuel energy consumption, energy consumption intensity, and economic structure of five provinces in China with the highest SO2 emissions spanning from 2002–2015 based on panel data model. Through comparatively analyzing the coefficients in the established panel data model for Hebei, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Shanxi, we can obtain that: (1) fossil fuel energy consumption made the most devotion to SO2 discharge compared with GDP, energy consumption intensity, and economic structure. And the more the fossil fuel energy consumption, the more the devotion made by it to SO2 discharge. (2) GDP devoted less to SO2 emissions than fossil fuel energy consumption, and the larger the scale of the economy, the greater the contribution made by it to SO2 emissions. (3) The higher the proportion of the secondary industry added value accounted in GDP, the more the devotion made by the economic structure and energy consumption intensity to SO2 emissions. Through analyzing the Granger causality examination results, it can be concluded that: (1) there existed a bi-directional causal relationship between fossil fuel energy consumption and SO2 emissions among five selected provinces. (2) There existed uni-directional causal nexus running from GDP to SO2 emissions, from energy consumption intensity to SO2 emissions, and from economic structure to SO2 emissions among five chosen provinces. Based on the empirical analysis, several policy implications were proposed to provide references for policy makers, which were (1) Giving full play to the guiding role of price signals, and improving the price policy for desulfurization. (2) Formulating a new comprehensive evaluation system to measure the regional development level considering economic development and environmental impacts. (3) Exploring renewable and sustainable energy sources to substitute for fossil fuel energy according to regional resources endowment. (4) Developing high value added and low pollution emissions industries and reducing the proportion of secondary industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Home Energy Prosumer-Chain Methodology with Energy Tags over the Blockchain
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 658; doi:10.3390/su10030658
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we aim to provide a power trade system that will promote a sustainable electrical energy transaction ecosystem between prosumers and consumers of smart homes. We suggest a blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy transaction platform be implemented to enable efficient electrical energy
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In this paper, we aim to provide a power trade system that will promote a sustainable electrical energy transaction ecosystem between prosumers and consumers of smart homes. We suggest a blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy transaction platform be implemented to enable efficient electrical energy transaction between prosumers. We suggest the platform be built on the blockchain, as this technology allows a decentralized and distributed trading system, and allows a more transparent, trustworthy and secure P2P trading environment. We believe that such characteristics of the blockchain are necessary in electrical energy transactions within the smart home environment because the smart home aims to enhance user comfort and security, along with energy conservation and cost-savings. First, we classify the two different types of P2P trade to identify which will best benefit from the use of the suggested blockchain-based P2P energy-transaction platform. Within the two types of P2P trade, that we classify (pure P2P trade and hybrid P2P trade), the hybrid P2P trade will benefit more from a blockchain-based P2P energy-transaction platform. In the blockchain-based P2P energy-transaction platform, a smart contract is embedded in the blockchain and called an energy tag. The energy tag will set conditions for making every future energy transaction more cost-efficient while maintaining the most ideal and high-quality energy selection. With the blockchain-based energy tag in the energy-transaction process, multiple energy resources and home appliances will be democratically connected in order to provide users with high-quality, low-cost energy at all times and locations. In this paper, we provide simulation results that compare the unit price of electrical energy on the suggested platform to the unit price of electrical energy set by currently existing conventional power-generation companies. Additionally, we present simulation results that calculate how long initial investments to create a smart home environment that enables P2P energy transactions will take to be paid back. Based on simulation results, we believe that, in the long run, the suggested blockchain-based P2P energy-transaction platform will create a sustainable energy-transaction environment between consumers and prosumers, and the expanding ecosystem will enable the development of a trusted, sustainable, secure and energy-efficient energy transaction environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle A Preference Model for Supplier Selection Based on Hesitant Fuzzy Sets
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 659; doi:10.3390/su10030659
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
The supplier selection problem is a widespread concern in the modern commercial economy. Ranking suppliers involves many factors and poses significant difficulties for decision makers. Supplier selection is a multi-criteria and multi-objective problem, which leads to decision makers forming their own preferences. In
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The supplier selection problem is a widespread concern in the modern commercial economy. Ranking suppliers involves many factors and poses significant difficulties for decision makers. Supplier selection is a multi-criteria and multi-objective problem, which leads to decision makers forming their own preferences. In addition, there are both quantifiable and non-quantifiable attributes related to their preferences. To solve this problem, this paper presents a preference model based on hesitant fuzzy sets (HFS) to select suppliers. The cost and service quality of suppliers are the main considerations in the proposed model. HFS with interactive and multi-criteria decision making are used to evaluate the non-quantifiable attributes of service quality, which include competitive display, qualification ability, suitability and competitiveness of solutions, and relational fitness and dynamics. Finally, a numerical example of supplier selection for a high-end equipment manufacturer is provided to illustrate the applicability of the proposed model. The preferences of a decision maker are then analyzed by altering preference parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Coal Consumption and Economic Growth: Panel Cointegration and Causality Evidence from OECD and Non-OECD Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 660; doi:10.3390/su10030660
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines the relationship between coal consumption and economic growth for 30 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries and 32 non-OECD countries for 1990–2013 using a multivariate dependent panel analysis. For the analysis, we conducted the common factor defactorization process,
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This paper examines the relationship between coal consumption and economic growth for 30 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries and 32 non-OECD countries for 1990–2013 using a multivariate dependent panel analysis. For the analysis, we conducted the common factor defactorization process, unit root test, cointegration test, long-run cointegrating vector, and Granger causality test. Our results suggest the following: First, there is no long-run relationship between coal consumption and economic growth in OECD countries; however, in non-OECD countries, the relationship does exist. Second, excessive coal usage may hinder economic growth in the long run. Lastly, the growth hypothesis (coal consumption affects economic growth positively) is supported in the short run for non-OECD countries. As coal consumption has a positive effect on economic growth in the short run and a negative effect in the long run, energy conservation policies may have adverse effects only in the short run. Thus, non-OECD countries should gradually switch their energy mix to become less coal-dependent as they consider climate change. Moreover, a transfer of technology and financial resources from developed to developing countries must be encouraged at a global level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Main Factors Affecting Post-Harvest Grain Loss during the Sales Process: A Survey in Nine Provinces of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 661; doi:10.3390/su10030661
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Ensuring food security has always been a top priority of the Chinese government. However, China’s grain supply is facing challenges due to limited resources for grain production and the growth of domestic grain consumption. Reducing post-harvest grain loss represents one of the most
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Ensuring food security has always been a top priority of the Chinese government. However, China’s grain supply is facing challenges due to limited resources for grain production and the growth of domestic grain consumption. Reducing post-harvest grain loss represents one of the most realistic and effective ways to ensure grain security in China. In view of the importance of grain sales in the post-harvest period, we conducted a survey, interviewing 1890 grain sellers across 54 regions in 9 provinces of China, to investigate the factors affecting post-harvest grain loss during sales. The results of the survey show that grain storage conditions have the greatest impact on post-harvest grain loss, followed by transportation. Display and sales have the least impact on grain loss. The Tobit regression model was used to analyze the main factors affecting post-harvest grain loss during sales. The findings suggest that the seller’s education level, years of working as a seller, the conditions of grain storage, and the supply and management level of public facilities in the market were negatively correlated with grain loss in the sales process, whereas the seller’s age, the separation of sales shops and storage warehouses, and the fall season were positively correlated with grain loss. Policy implications are also provided for potential future policy decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding the Emergence and Social Acceptance of Electric Vehicles as Next-Generation Models for the Automobile Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 662; doi:10.3390/su10030662
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This study explores potential factors of drivers’ intentions to use electric vehicles and proposes an integrated adoption model. Results of a structural equation modeling analysis with 988 samples indicate that drivers’ intentions are predicted by one negative factor (cost) and three positive ones
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This study explores potential factors of drivers’ intentions to use electric vehicles and proposes an integrated adoption model. Results of a structural equation modeling analysis with 988 samples indicate that drivers’ intentions are predicted by one negative factor (cost) and three positive ones (satisfaction, usefulness, and attitude). In addition, the total standardized effects of potential factors on the intention are computed. The current study also validates the original technology acceptance model. Based on the results of the current study, practical and academic implications with potential limitations are examined and presented. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effects of Environment in the Microstructure and Properties of Sustainable Mortars with Fly Ash and Slag after a 5-Year Exposure Period
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 663; doi:10.3390/su10030663
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays, getting a more environmentally sustainable cement production is one of the main goals of the cement industry. In this regard, the use of active additions, like fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag, has become very popular. The behaviour, in the short-term,
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Nowadays, getting a more environmentally sustainable cement production is one of the main goals of the cement industry. In this regard, the use of active additions, like fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag, has become very popular. The behaviour, in the short-term, of cement-based materials with those additions is well-known when their hardening is produced under optimum conditions. However, real structures are exposed to different environments during long periods, which could affect the development of microstructures and the service properties of cementitious materials. The objective of this work is to analyse the effects in the long-term (up to 5 years approximately) produced by the exposure to different non-optimum laboratory conditions in the microstructure, mechanical and durability properties of mortars made with slag and fly ash commercial cements. Their performance was compared to that observed for ordinary Portland cement (OPC) mortars. The microstructure has been analysed using mercury intrusion porosimetry. The effective porosity, the capillary suction coefficient, the chloride migration coefficient and mechanical strengths were analysed too. According to the results, mortars prepared using slag and fly ash sustainable commercial cements, exposed to non-optimum conditions, show a good performance after 5-years hardening period, similar or even better than OPC mortars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cementitious Materials for the Construction Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Achieving Highly Efficient Atmospheric CO2 Uptake by Artificial Upwelling
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 664; doi:10.3390/su10030664
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Artificial upwelling (AU) is considered a potential means of reducing the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2. It has been suggested that AU has significant effects on regional carbon sink or source characteristics, and these effects are strongly influenced by certain technical parameters,
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Artificial upwelling (AU) is considered a potential means of reducing the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2. It has been suggested that AU has significant effects on regional carbon sink or source characteristics, and these effects are strongly influenced by certain technical parameters, the applied region, and the season. In this study, we simulated the power needed to raise the level of deep ocean water (DOW) to designated plume trapping depths in order to evaluate the effect of changing the source DOW depth and the plume trapping depth on carbon sequestration ability and efficiency. A carbon sequestration efficiency index (CSEI) was defined to indicate the carbon sequestration efficiency per unit of power consumption. The results suggested that the CSEI and the carbon sequestration ability exhibit opposite patterns when the DOW depth is increased, indicating that, although raising a lower DOW level can enhance the regional carbon sequestration ability, it is not energy-efficient. Large variations in the CSEI were shown to be associated with different regions, seasons, and AU technical parameters. According to the simulated CSEI values, the northeast past of the Sea of Japan is most suitable for AU, and some regions in the South China Sea are not suitable for increasing carbon sink. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carbon Cycles)
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Open AccessArticle Can Payments for Ecosystem Services Improve the Management of Natura 2000 Sites? A Contribution to Explore Their Role in Italy
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 665; doi:10.3390/su10030665
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Financing protected areas is crucial for guaranteeing the flow of ecosystem services (ES) provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems, which are the basis of human well-being. In the last two decades, together with traditional conservation tools, innovative instruments, such as PES (Payment for
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Financing protected areas is crucial for guaranteeing the flow of ecosystem services (ES) provided by natural and semi-natural ecosystems, which are the basis of human well-being. In the last two decades, together with traditional conservation tools, innovative instruments, such as PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services), have been proposed and implemented all over the world in order to improve management effectiveness in biodiversity conservation. In this paper we identified and categorized 33 PES case studies in 19 Natura 2000 sites developing the hypothesis that a PES approach may contribute to improving the effectiveness of conservation actions at different spatial and administrative levels. We found that in these areas, farmers and foresters often allow the maintenance of natural and semi-natural ecosystems through their economic activity. Through PES schemes their important role can be formally acknowledged, both in environmental and economic terms. PES schemes are also a tool for involving more stakeholders, particularly local companies, residents and tourists in conservation actions. So PES can actually improve Natura 2000 sites’ management and increase the availability of financial resources in favor of conservation actions. However, careful attention must to be paid to the supporting role of public authorities, generally crucial for the success of a PES. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Environmental Dimension of Material Efficiency Strategies Relating to the Circular Economy
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 666; doi:10.3390/su10030666
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Material efficiency is a key element of new thinking to address the challenges of reducing impacts on the environment and of resource scarcity, whilst at the same time meeting service and functionality demands on materials. Directly related to material efficiency is the concept
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Material efficiency is a key element of new thinking to address the challenges of reducing impacts on the environment and of resource scarcity, whilst at the same time meeting service and functionality demands on materials. Directly related to material efficiency is the concept of the Circular Economy, which is based on the principle of optimising the utility embodied in materials and products through the life-cycle. Although materials such as steel, on account of high recycling rates at end-of-life, are amongst the most ‘circular’ of manufactured materials, significant opportunities for greater material efficiency exist, which are yet to be widely implemented. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is commonly used to assess the environmental benefits of recovering and recycling materials through the manufacturing supply chain and at end-of-life. Using an example taken from renewable energy generation, this paper explores the correlation between product circularity and the environmental case for strategies designed to improve material efficiency. An LCA-based methodology for accounting for the recovery and reuse of materials from the supply chain and at end-of-life is used as the basis for calculating the carbon footprint benefits of five material efficiency scenarios. The results are compared with a number of proposed material circularity indicators. Two conclusions from this exercise are that (i) LCA methodologies based around end-of-life approaches are well placed for quantifying the environmental benefits of material efficiency and circular economy strategies and (ii) when applying indicators relating to the circularity of materials these should also be supported by LCA-based studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study on Visualizing the Intellectual Structure and Hotspots of Big Data Research from a Sustainable Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 667; doi:10.3390/su10030667
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Big data has been extensively applied to many fields and wanted for sustainable development. However, increasingly growing publications and the dynamic nature of research fronts pose challenges to understand the current research situation and sustainable development directions of big data. In this paper,
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Big data has been extensively applied to many fields and wanted for sustainable development. However, increasingly growing publications and the dynamic nature of research fronts pose challenges to understand the current research situation and sustainable development directions of big data. In this paper, we visually conducted a bibliometric study of big data literatures from the Web of Science (WoS) between 2002 and 2016, involving 4927 effective journal articles in 1729 journals contributed by 16,404 authors from 4137 institutions. The bibliometric results reveal the current annual publications distribution, journals distribution and co-citation network, institutions distribution and collaboration network, authors distribution, collaboration network and co-citation network, and research hotspots. The results can help researchers worldwide to understand the panorama of current big data research, to find the potential research gaps, and to focus on the future sustainable development directions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing Eco-Efficiency of Agro-Products’ Closed-Loop Supply Chain under the Belt and Road Initiatives: A System Dynamics Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 668; doi:10.3390/su10030668
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This study redesigns the supply chain of agricultural products in southwest China under the Belt and Road Initiative to improve its eco-efficiency by considering the associated agro-wastes flowing into bioenergy enterprise for energy production. Two scenarios are created, in which the first assumes
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This study redesigns the supply chain of agricultural products in southwest China under the Belt and Road Initiative to improve its eco-efficiency by considering the associated agro-wastes flowing into bioenergy enterprise for energy production. Two scenarios are created, in which the first assumes that all waste flows into the enterprise, whereas the second only considers the inflow of agro-waste produced by farmers and the wholesale market. A system dynamics simulation is conducted by using carbon emissions per product as an indicator to obtain the optimal scenario for managerial practice and design an incentivizing mechanism to drive supply chain operations. A case study is provided to demonstrate application of the system dynamics. Finally, the limitations of the study are discussed to lay the foundation for further improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Economic and Financial Analysis of China’s Sponge City Program for Water-resilient Urban Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 669; doi:10.3390/su10030669
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
To improve Chinese cities’ resilience to climate change, the Sponge City Program, which was designed to tackle water pollution, storm water management, and flooding, was initiated in 2014. Being a major policy initiative, the Sponge City Program raises heated discussions among Chinese academics;
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To improve Chinese cities’ resilience to climate change, the Sponge City Program, which was designed to tackle water pollution, storm water management, and flooding, was initiated in 2014. Being a major policy initiative, the Sponge City Program raises heated discussions among Chinese academics; however, no relevant extensive economic or financial analysis has been conducted. The research carries out an integrated economic and financial analysis on the Sponge City Program from the perspectives of two stakeholders: the government and the project manager. Different stakeholders have unique perspectives on the management of water projects. This study has two parts: economic analysis and financial analysis. The economic analysis is from the government perspective, and considers all the economic, environmental, and social effects. The financial analysis is from the project manager’s perspective, and judges the financial feasibility of projects. Changde city, one of the demo cities of Sponge City Program, is chosen for the research. The results show that from the perspective of the government, the Sponge City Program should be promoted, because most water projects are economically feasible. From the perspective of the project manager, the program should not be invested in, because the water projects are financially infeasible. A more comprehensive and integrated plan for developing and managing the water projects of the Sponge City Program is required. Otherwise, the private sector may not be interested in investing in the water projects, and the water projects may not be operational in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Reconstructing Tradition: Heritage Authentication and Tourism-Related Commodification of the Ancient City of Pingyao
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 670; doi:10.3390/su10030670
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines how the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (CCPWCNH) is implemented in China, with specific reference to tourism development at the local level in the Ancient City of
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This paper examines how the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (CCPWCNH) is implemented in China, with specific reference to tourism development at the local level in the Ancient City of Pingyao (ACP). Based on a qualitative methodology and constructivist paradigm, the research employs observation and semi-structured interviews to explore how the interaction between heritage authorization and tourism-related commodification shapes the transformation of the local community. Giddens’ theories, amongst others, on modernity, time–space distanciation, disembedding, and reflexivity, are employed to analyze this case study. The paper argues that the reconstruction of “traditional-style culture” has contributed to the transformative processes in the ACP. Traditional-style culture differs from “traditional culture” in that the former refers to cultural forms that are purposely (re)constructed to serve contemporary political or economic needs, while the latter refers to cultural forms that are rooted in the local contexts of premodern societies. One of the impacts of traditional-style culture, which is the product of the interaction between heritage authorization and tourism development, is the emergence of a commercialized environment. This environment confounds the notion of authenticity that is claimed in authorized concepts of heritage. There, construction of traditional-style culture demonstrates the relationship of powerful actors with hierarchical power, leading to an unequal positioning of external agents (such as heritage experts) and local residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Manufacturing Decisions and Government Subsidies for Electric Vehicles in China: A Maximal Social Welfare Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 672; doi:10.3390/su10030672
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
In order to address challenges in the sustainable development of transportation, economy, and environment, governments of China and conventional automobile manufacturers are extremely concerned about the development of the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing industry and market. However, owing to the limitations of EVs
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In order to address challenges in the sustainable development of transportation, economy, and environment, governments of China and conventional automobile manufacturers are extremely concerned about the development of the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing industry and market. However, owing to the limitations of EVs and the government economic policies on decreasing subsidies in China, many manufacturers are worried about entering the EV market. Given the low consumer preference for EVs, using a leader-follower Stackelberg game model, we investigate the impact of government a subsidy on the optimal production and pricing decisions of an auto manufacturer who could produce both EVs and conventional vehicles. We characterize whether/under what conditions the manufacturer’s decision to offer EV products under government subsidy, whilst increasing its profits (a win-win situation). On the policy side, we delineate how government a subsidy can be set to realize the inherent economic, environmental, and social benefits of EV production (the triple win of EV production). We further investigate the impact of EV manufacturing- and society-related factors on the balance among manufacturer profits, environmental impact and social welfare. This study also finds that the adoption of EVs is not bound to be beneficial for the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
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Open AccessArticle A Comparison of Competing Models for Understanding Industrial Organization’s Acceptance of Cloud Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 673; doi:10.3390/su10030673
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
Cloud computing is the next generation in computing, and the next natural step in the evolution of on-demand information technology services and products. However, only a few studies have addressed the adoption of cloud computing from an organizational perspective, which have not proven
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Cloud computing is the next generation in computing, and the next natural step in the evolution of on-demand information technology services and products. However, only a few studies have addressed the adoption of cloud computing from an organizational perspective, which have not proven whether the research model is the best-fitting model. The purpose of this paper is to construct research competing models (RCMs) and determine the best-fitting model for understanding industrial organization’s acceptance of cloud services. This research integrated the technology acceptance model and the principle of model parsimony to develop four cloud service adoption RCMs with enterprise usage intention being used as a proxy for actual behavior, and then compared the RCMs using structural equation modeling (SEM). Data derived from a questionnaire-based survey of 227 firms in Taiwan were tested against the relationships through SEM. Based on the empirical study, the results indicated that, although all four RCMs had a high goodness of fit, in both nested and non-nested structure comparisons, research competing model A (Model A) demonstrated superior performance and was the best-fitting model. This study introduced a model development strategy that can most accurately explain and predict the behavioral intention of organizations to adopt cloud services. Full article</