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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 4 (April 2010), Pages 859-1160

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Supply Chain Management and Sustainability: Procrastinating Integration in Mainstream Research
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 859-870; doi:10.3390/su2040859
Received: 10 January 2010 / Revised: 2 February 2010 / Accepted: 25 February 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research has pointed out opportunities and research agendas to integrate sustainability issues with supply chain and operations management. However, we find that it is still not mainstream practice to systematically take a sustainability approach in tackling supply chain and operations management issues. In
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Research has pointed out opportunities and research agendas to integrate sustainability issues with supply chain and operations management. However, we find that it is still not mainstream practice to systematically take a sustainability approach in tackling supply chain and operations management issues. In this paper, we make use of behavioral theory to explain the current lack of integration. We conclude through abductive reasoning that the reasons for procrastinating integration of sustainability in supply chain and operations management research are the conflicting nature of the task and the inherent context, which is the focus on operations rather than environmental or social issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Comprehensive Approach in Assessing the Performance of an Automobile Closed-Loop Supply Chain
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 871-889; doi:10.3390/su2040871
Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 11 March 2010 / Published: 30 March 2010
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ecological issues arising from manufacturing operations have led to the focus on environmental sustainability in manufacturing. This can be addressed adequately using a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC). To attain an effective and efficient CLSC, it is necessary to imbibe a holistic performance
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The ecological issues arising from manufacturing operations have led to the focus on environmental sustainability in manufacturing. This can be addressed adequately using a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC). To attain an effective and efficient CLSC, it is necessary to imbibe a holistic performance measurement approach. In order to achieve this, there is a need to adopt a specific approach for a particular product rather than being generic. Since sustainability has direct environmental footprints that involve organizational stakeholders, suppliers, customers and the society at large, complexities surrounding supply chain performance measurement have multiplied. In this study, a suitable approach has been proposed for CLSC performance measurement in the automotive industry, based on reviewed literature. It is believed that this approach will result in increased effectiveness and efficiency in CLSC performance measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Radioactivity in Oily Sludge and Produced Waste Water from Oil: Environmental Concerns and Potential Remedial Measures
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 890-901; doi:10.3390/su2040890
Received: 21 January 2010 / Revised: 18 March 2010 / Accepted: 24 March 2010 / Published: 31 March 2010
PDF Full-text (434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Produced water separated from oil is usually returned to the environment and could permeate through the water table. If such water is contaminated with radioactive substances, it could create a definite threat to the water supply, especially in arid regions where ground water
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Produced water separated from oil is usually returned to the environment and could permeate through the water table. If such water is contaminated with radioactive substances, it could create a definite threat to the water supply, especially in arid regions where ground water and overhead streams are sources of potable water. Low-level radioactive contamination of oily sludge is equally hazardous and also leads to detrimental pollution of water resources. We investigated the distribution of 226Ra, 40K and 228Ac in produced waste water and oily sludge and found abnormal levels of radioactivity. A total of 90 ground wastewater samples were collected from different sites for a period of one year. The presence of these radionuclides was identified by their characteristic gamma rays. The detection system consisted of a high-purity germanium detector. Our results show that about 20% of the samples exhibited 20–60 Bq/L radioactivity and ~6% of the samples exceeded 60 Bq/L. Roughly 70% of the experimental samples fell in the range of 2–20 Bq/L, which still exceeded the maximum admissible drinking-water limit 0.2 Bq/L. Full article
Open AccessArticle Designing the Future
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 902-918; doi:10.3390/su2040902
Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 16 March 2010 / Accepted: 17 March 2010 / Published: 1 April 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Netherlands has a tradition in public spatial planning and design. In the past 20 years, we have seen an increasing role for the market in this field, and more recently, growing attention for sustainability. Sustainability has become an economic factor. Not only
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The Netherlands has a tradition in public spatial planning and design. In the past 20 years, we have seen an increasing role for the market in this field, and more recently, growing attention for sustainability. Sustainability has become an economic factor. Not only at the building level, but also on the level of large-scale area development projects. More and more local governments have high ambitions for sustainable development. Increasingly, during project development, buildings are developed on a sustainable basis. Most of the time, the focus in this approach is on energy. However, sustainability also comprises social aspects. Energy measures have a direct relation to an economic factor such as investment costs, and payback time can be calculated. The economic aspects of social sustainability are more complex. Therefore, for all sustainability development projects, especially in large-scale projects planned over a longer period, it is necessary to make presumptions, which are less reliable as the planning period is extended. For future larger-scale developments, experience in the Netherlands points to two design approaches: ‘backcasting’, or using a growth model (or a combination of these two). The power of design is the ability to imagine possible scenarios for the future. The layer approach helps to integrate sustainability into public spatial planning. And more specifically, Urban Design Management (UDM) supports an integrative and collaborative approach also on the operational level of a project in which public and market partners work together. This article outlines how design, based on these approaches, can contribute to sustainable development based on the ‘new playing field’, where spatial problems should be solved in networks. Dutch projects in Almere (Benoordenhout) and Rijswijk are used to illustrate this approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Energy Recovery from Wastewater Treatment Plants in the United States: A Case Study of the Energy-Water Nexus
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 945-962; doi:10.3390/su2040945
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 10 March 2010 / Accepted: 30 March 2010 / Published: 5 April 2010
Cited by 46 | PDF Full-text (614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This manuscript uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to analyze the potential for energy recovery from wastewater treatment plants via anaerobic digestion with biogas utilization and biosolids incineration with electricity generation. These energy recovery strategies could help offset the electricity consumption
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This manuscript uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to analyze the potential for energy recovery from wastewater treatment plants via anaerobic digestion with biogas utilization and biosolids incineration with electricity generation. These energy recovery strategies could help offset the electricity consumption of the wastewater sector and represent possible areas for sustainable energy policy implementation. We estimate that anaerobic digestion could save 628 to 4,940 million kWh annually in the United States. In Texas, anaerobic digestion could save 40.2 to 460 million kWh annually and biosolids incineration could save 51.9 to 1,030 million kWh annually. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Nutrients and Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions on the Ecological Footprint of Products
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 963-979; doi:10.3390/su2040963
Received: 12 February 2010 / Revised: 12 March 2010 / Accepted: 29 March 2010 / Published: 7 April 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ecological footprint (EF) commonly neglects the influence of other stressors than land use and CO2 emissions on the land area required for human activities. This study analyzes the relevancy of including nutrients and non-CO2 greenhouse gases in the EF assessment
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The ecological footprint (EF) commonly neglects the influence of other stressors than land use and CO2 emissions on the land area required for human activities. This study analyzes the relevancy of including nutrients and non-CO2 greenhouse gases in the EF assessment of products. The analysis was based on environmental information for 1,925 goods and services. Our findings suggest that within specific product categories, i.e., waste treatment processes, bio-based energy, agricultural products and chemicals, adding non-CO2 greenhouse gases and nutrient emissions can have a dominant influence on the EF results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Indicator)
Open AccessArticle Extracting Minerals from Seawater: An Energy Analysis
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 980-992; doi:10.3390/su2040980
Received: 10 February 2010 / Revised: 23 March 2010 / Accepted: 29 March 2010 / Published: 9 April 2010
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (81 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of recovering minerals from seawater has been proposed as a way of counteracting the gradual depletion of conventional mineral ores. Seawater contains large amounts of dissolved ions and the four most concentrated metal ones (Na, Mg, Ca, K) are being commercially
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The concept of recovering minerals from seawater has been proposed as a way of counteracting the gradual depletion of conventional mineral ores. Seawater contains large amounts of dissolved ions and the four most concentrated metal ones (Na, Mg, Ca, K) are being commercially extracted today. However, all the other metal ions exist at much lower concentrations. This paper reports an estimate of the feasibility of the extraction of these metal ions on the basis of the energy needed. In most cases, the result is that extraction in amounts comparable to the present production from land mines would be impossible because of the very large amount of energy needed. This conclusion holds also for uranium as fuel for the present generation of nuclear fission plants. Nevertheless, in a few cases, mainly lithium, extraction from seawater could provide amounts of metals sufficient for closing the cycle of metal use in the economy, provided that an increased level of recycling can be attained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Net Gains from Depleting Fossil Energy and Mineral Sources)
Open AccessArticle Science, Open Communication and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 993-1015; doi:10.3390/su2040993
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 19 March 2010 / Accepted: 22 March 2010 / Published: 13 April 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the prerequisites for sustainable development is knowledge, in order to inform coping with sustainability threats and to support innovative sustainability pathways. Transferring knowledge is therefore a fundamental challenge for sustainability, in a context where external knowledge must be integrated with local
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One of the prerequisites for sustainable development is knowledge, in order to inform coping with sustainability threats and to support innovative sustainability pathways. Transferring knowledge is therefore a fundamental challenge for sustainability, in a context where external knowledge must be integrated with local knowledge in order to promote user-driven action. But effective local co-production of knowledge requires ongoing local access to existing scientific and technical knowledge so that users start on a level playing field. The information technology revolution can be a powerful enabler of such access if intellectual property obstacles can be overcome, with a potential to transform prospects for sustainability in many parts of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle External Costs as Driving Forces of Land Use Changes
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1035-1054; doi:10.3390/su2041035
Received: 23 March 2010 / Revised: 7 April 2010 / Accepted: 15 April 2010 / Published: 19 April 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land conversion is often not carried out in a sustainable way. The loss of arable land and biodiversity, concern about food security and rising costs of infrastructure due to urban sprawl are just some of the problems under discussion. This paper compares Germany,
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Land conversion is often not carried out in a sustainable way. The loss of arable land and biodiversity, concern about food security and rising costs of infrastructure due to urban sprawl are just some of the problems under discussion. This paper compares Germany, China and Cambodia. The article points out that, despite huge differences in institutions and governance, unsustainable land use changes mostly have some patterns in common: The beneficiaries of land conversion are often well-organized actors, whereas the costs of land conversion are often shifted to poorly organized groups and to society as a whole. A sustainable land use policy has to look for a better coupling of benefits and costs of land use changes. In order to achieve this goal, the article suggests completing the planning law with a suitable economic framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Ecological Citizens: Identifying Values and Beliefs that Support Individual Environmental Responsibility among Swedes
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1055-1079; doi:10.3390/su2041055
Received: 21 February 2010 / Revised: 12 March 2010 / Accepted: 15 April 2010 / Published: 20 April 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As it has been suggested that involvement of individuals in environmental work is necessary for halting environmental degradation, one focus for contemporary environmental policy and political theory is the need for comprehensive individual lifestyle changes. Ecological Citizenship (EC) has been suggested within the
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As it has been suggested that involvement of individuals in environmental work is necessary for halting environmental degradation, one focus for contemporary environmental policy and political theory is the need for comprehensive individual lifestyle changes. Ecological Citizenship (EC) has been suggested within the field of political theory as an approach to realize personal responsibility for the environment. However, empirical research on whether EC can serve this purpose is still lacking. Based on a survey sent to 4,000 Swedish households, this paper makes the theory of EC empirically operational and explores whether, and to what extent, people in general hold values and beliefs in line with what is expected of EC, in order to shed light on the feasibility of cultivating ecological citizens in Sweden. The study concludes that a significant proportion of the respondents do demonstrate a value base consistent with EC, i.e., non-territorial altruism and the primacy of social justice. While additional tests and studies are needed, the results support the use of EC as a theoretical model for behavioral change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Cultural Resilience—The Roles of Cultural Traditions in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study from Rural Kandyan Villages in Central Sri Lanka
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1080-1100; doi:10.3390/su2041080
Received: 1 March 2010 / Revised: 9 March 2010 / Accepted: 11 March 2010 / Published: 21 April 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favor of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the
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The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favor of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the roles played by culture in relation to livelihood resilience, posing the question of how cultural traditions might potentially offer alternatives/adaptive strategies, not only to strength livelihood assets of rural communities, but also in generating new opportunities during vulnerabilities caused by economic, social and political changes. Rural Kandyan communities afford us a good example of “cultural resilience”, relying on longstanding cultural traditions for their survival. This paper shows how culture and traditional values strengthen livelihood resilience and argues that while the impulse for change may come from external influences, adaptation comes from within, through dynamics, which are specific to values of the people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle It’s Time to Get Serious—Why Legislation Is Needed to Make Sustainable Development a Reality in the UK
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1101-1127; doi:10.3390/su2041101
Received: 15 March 2010 / Accepted: 30 March 2010 / Published: 22 April 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On paper, the United Kingdom (UK) has the architecture in place to actually start delivering sustainable development. The current UK-wide framework for sustainable development and the individual strategies made under it are all relatively modern and progressive in considering environmental limits and long-term
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On paper, the United Kingdom (UK) has the architecture in place to actually start delivering sustainable development. The current UK-wide framework for sustainable development and the individual strategies made under it are all relatively modern and progressive in considering environmental limits and long-term effects. This framework, however, lacks a legislative foundation in the UK. Moreover, these strategies are not delivering in the three areas considered vital for the proper implementation of sustainable development—improving understanding, providing a comprehensive framework to integrate potentially conflicting priorities and providing an operational toolkit. This article argues that over and above its symbolic and educational value, specific legislation setting out the state’s approach to sustainable development should impose mandatory obligations on policy and decision makers, with meaningful consequences both inside and outside the courtroom. Using examples from Wales, Canada and Scotland, it explores three legislative models to support the implementation of sustainable development that would be suitable in the UK and its devolved administrations, and the legislative provisions necessary for their delivery. This article emphasises the benefits of procedural obligations, both by themselves and in support of more substantive obligations, along with the possibility that certain appropriately worded substantive duties be treated as legal rules that govern decision-making. It explores the benefits and drawbacks of including a definition of ‘sustainable development’ and of referring to specific underlying principles such as the precautionary principle, concluding that these elements may not be necessary or suitable in the UK. The article also contends that sustainable development ought to be the central organising principle of government in the UK, and that even if a weaker and less ambitious formulation is adopted, legislative backing for the production, use and review of sustainability strategies would still improve understanding, provide a framework for decision-making and clarify the use and importance of other implementation devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
Open AccessCommunication Beyond Design: The Importance of Construction and Post-Construction Phases in Green Developments
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1128-1137; doi:10.3390/su2041128
Received: 23 March 2010 / Revised: 15 April 2010 / Accepted: 22 April 2010 / Published: 26 April 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (53 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green developments are becoming a popular land use planning concept that attempts to accommodate growth while minimizing impacts on natural resources. Various policies encourage conservation designs that usually translate into the clustering of homes and the conservation of some percentage of open space.
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Green developments are becoming a popular land use planning concept that attempts to accommodate growth while minimizing impacts on natural resources. Various policies encourage conservation designs that usually translate into the clustering of homes and the conservation of some percentage of open space. However, the success of a design is determined by what happens during the construction and post-construction phases of a subdivision project. These two phases are often ignored in land use planning and given only minimal attention by built environment professionals. As a result, green developments may not be functioning as originally intended. This essay discusses the importance of construction and post-construction and a way forward to create functional, sustainable communities. Construction activities and decisions, such as impacts from earthwork machines, improper protection of conserved open spaces and trees, the choice of plants used for yards and common areas, and the storage of construction material all can lead to severe impacts on natural areas both within and surrounding a development site. During post-construction, a variety of improper management practices by homeowners can compromise the sustainability of a development. Developers and associated environmental consultant teams could implement approaches that would engage contractors and residents, such as environmental construction covenants and the installment of a neighborhood, environmental education program. To increase the adoption of relevant construction and post-construction practices, appropriate policies need to be created. However, the shift will only occur once the planning and built environment community acknowledges that design is only the first step towards sustainability. Academic design studios and continuing education courses can help with this culture shift by including construction and post-construction considerations within their curriculum. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Community-Based Social Marketing Techniques to Enhance Environmental Regulation
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1138-1160; doi:10.3390/su2041138
Received: 2 April 2010 / Accepted: 21 April 2010 / Published: 26 April 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores how environmental regulation may be improved through the use of community-based social marketing techniques. While regulation is an important tool of sustainability policy, it works upon a limited range of behavioural ‘triggers’. It focuses upon fear of penalty or desires
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This article explores how environmental regulation may be improved through the use of community-based social marketing techniques. While regulation is an important tool of sustainability policy, it works upon a limited range of behavioural ‘triggers’. It focuses upon fear of penalty or desires for compliance, but individual behaviour is also affected by beliefs and values, and by perceived opportunities for greater satisfaction. It is argued that more effective environmental laws may be achieved using strategies that integrate regulation with community-based social marketing. Case studies where community-based social marketing techniques have been successfully used are examined, and methods for employing community-based social marketing tools to support environmental regulation are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)

Review

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Open AccessReview Water Footprinting: How to Address Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment?
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 919-944; doi:10.3390/su2040919
Received: 21 January 2010 / Revised: 1 March 2010 / Accepted: 17 March 2010 / Published: 5 April 2010
Cited by 105 | PDF Full-text (506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As freshwater is a vital yet often scarce resource, the life cycle assessment community has put great efforts in method development to properly address water use. The International Organization for Standardization has recently even launched a project aiming at creating an international standard
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As freshwater is a vital yet often scarce resource, the life cycle assessment community has put great efforts in method development to properly address water use. The International Organization for Standardization has recently even launched a project aiming at creating an international standard for ‘water footprinting’. This paper provides an overview of a broad range of methods developed to enable accounting and impact assessment of water use. The critical review revealed that methodological scopes differ regarding types of water use accounted for, inclusion of local water scarcity, as well as differentiation between watercourses and quality aspects. As the application of the most advanced methods requires high resolution inventory data, the trade-off between ‘precision’ and ‘applicability’ needs to be addressed in future studies and in the new international standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment)
Open AccessReview The Sustainability of Organic Grain Production on the Canadian Prairies—A Review
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1016-1034; doi:10.3390/su2041016
Received: 2 March 2010 / Revised: 29 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 April 2010 / Published: 14 April 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demand for organically produced food products is increasing rapidly in North America, driven by a perception that organic agriculture results in fewer negative environmental impacts and yields greater benefits for human health than conventional systems. Despite the increasing interest in organic grain production
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Demand for organically produced food products is increasing rapidly in North America, driven by a perception that organic agriculture results in fewer negative environmental impacts and yields greater benefits for human health than conventional systems. Despite the increasing interest in organic grain production on the Canadian Prairies, a number of challenges remain to be addressed to ensure its long-term sustainability. In this review, we summarize Western Canadian research into organic crop production and evaluate its agronomic, environmental, and economic sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)

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