Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

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

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story This paper aims to define and characterise the socio-cultural phenomenon of tourism user-generated [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-160
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2195; doi:10.3390/su9122195
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this introduction to the Special Issue on Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability, the links between a variety of physical landscapes located throughout the world and long-term wellbeing are considered from a systems approach. Twelve papers were published as part of this call,
[...] Read more.
In this introduction to the Special Issue on Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability, the links between a variety of physical landscapes located throughout the world and long-term wellbeing are considered from a systems approach. Twelve papers were published as part of this call, with half from Asia, especially China. They represent a contribution across topographic landscapes, from mountainous to estuarine, and cover models as well as case studies encompassing landscape and environmental changes. Remotely sensed data, statistical analysis, and GIS were often incorporated in the work, and this particularly conveys the importance of spatial analysis on inputs by physical geographers in sustainability research. Furthermore, scale variations from the local to global are presented as part of a geographical contribution. The connectedness of environments to humans and the reverse (of humans adapting to environmental change) is evident in several of the papers where human impacts and adaptation are concerned. Finally, the last paper provides a comprehensive summary of the potential contribution that physical geographers can make to environmental sustainability from a multidisciplinary approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
Open AccessEditorial Sustainable and Resource—Efficient Homes and Communities
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2246; doi:10.3390/su9122246
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Throughout most of human history, societies have lived a self-sufficient existence.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Analysis of Interval Data Envelopment Efficiency Model Considering Different Distribution Characteristics—Based on Environmental Performance Evaluation of the Manufacturing Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2080; doi:10.3390/su9122080
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (960 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study utilizes the Data Envelopment Efficiency (DEA) model to assess input–output efficiency from two perspectives. First, not considering the distribution of interval data, we introduce an adjusted parameter to transform interval data to determination data. Second, by contrast, we take into account
[...] Read more.
This study utilizes the Data Envelopment Efficiency (DEA) model to assess input–output efficiency from two perspectives. First, not considering the distribution of interval data, we introduce an adjusted parameter to transform interval data to determination data. Second, by contrast, we take into account the distribution characteristics of interval data and test the DEA model with interval data based on linear uniform distribution and normal distribution with uncertainty. Based on the normal distribution DEA evaluation model, this paper aims to evaluate the input–output performance of the manufacturing industry with the constraint of environmental pollution in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region, China. Research has shown that the optimal solution of the normal distribution model is better than that of linear distribution. Therefore, it is imperative to adopt an appropriate method to evaluate the energy and environmental efficiency of this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Study on Environment Performance Evaluation and Regional Differences of Strictly-Environmental-Monitored Cities in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2094; doi:10.3390/su9122094
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 2 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the rapid economic growth and development, the problem of environmental pollution in China’s cities is becoming increasingly serious, and environmental pollution takes on a regional difference. There is, however, little comprehensive evaluation on the environmental performance and the regional difference of strictly-environmental-monitored
[...] Read more.
With the rapid economic growth and development, the problem of environmental pollution in China’s cities is becoming increasingly serious, and environmental pollution takes on a regional difference. There is, however, little comprehensive evaluation on the environmental performance and the regional difference of strictly-environmental-monitored cities in China. In this paper, the environmental performance of 109 strictly-environmental-monitored cities in China is evaluated in terms of natural performance, management performance, and scale performance by Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), incorporating PM2.5 and PM10 as undesirable outputs. The empirical results show that: (1) At present, the natural performance is quite high, while the management performance is noticeably low for most cities. (2) The gap between the level of economic development and environmental protection among cities in China is large, and the scale efficiency of big cities is better than that of smaller cities. The efficiency value of large-scale cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc. is high, equaling 1; the value of smaller cities such as Sanmenxia, Baoding, Mudanjiang, and Pingdingshan is low, close to 0, indicating that big cities are characterized by high environmental efficiency. (3) From the perspective of region, the level of environmental performance in China is very uneven. For example, the environmental efficiency level of the Pan-Pearl River Delta region is superior to that of the Pan-Yangtze River region and the Bahia Rim region, whose values of environmental efficiency are 0.858, 0.658, and 0.622 respectively. The average efficiency of the Southern Coastal Economic Zone, Eastern Coastal Comprehensive Economic Zone, and the Comprehensive Economic Zone in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River is higher than that of other regions. Finally, corresponding countermeasures and suggestions are put forward. The method used in this paper is applicable to the performance evaluation of cities, and the results of the evaluation reflect the differences of the environmental performance level between strictly-environmental-monitored cities and different regions in China, providing reference for the balanced environmental development of cities and regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Regional Economic Resilience: Resistance and Recoverability of Resource-Based Cities during Economic Crises in Northeast China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2136; doi:10.3390/su9122136
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper quantitatively analyzes the economic resilience of resource-based cities (RBCs) in Northeast China in terms of resistance and recoverability during two economic crises: the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Moreover, it analyzes the main factors that affected regional resilience.
[...] Read more.
This paper quantitatively analyzes the economic resilience of resource-based cities (RBCs) in Northeast China in terms of resistance and recoverability during two economic crises: the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis. Moreover, it analyzes the main factors that affected regional resilience. There are three main findings. First, the RBCs in general demonstrated poor resistance during both recessions, but there were variations among the different types of RBCs. Petroleum and metal cities demonstrated the most resistance, whereas coal cities performed the worst. Second, the influential factors affecting economic resilience varied across the two economic cycles, but location advantage, research and development (R and D) intensity, foreign trade dependence ratio, and supporting policies had positive effects on resilience during both economic cycles, while the proportion of employed persons in resource industries had a negative effect. Industrial diversity had a weak and ambiguous effect on resilience. Third, the secondary industry was more resilient during the Asian financial crisis, but the tertiary industry was more resilient during the global financial crisis. This shift may be attributed to both the nature of the crises and the strength of the sectors at the time of the crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Globalization and Sustainable Urban-Regional Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Synergetic Development Assessment of Urban River System Landscapes
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2145; doi:10.3390/su9122145
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 19 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents Synergetic Development Assessment (SDA) as a methodology to evaluate the environmental, economic, and social performance of an urban river system landscape from the perspective of sustainability. SDA is based on synergetics and its “order parameters” theory, proposed as a science
[...] Read more.
This paper presents Synergetic Development Assessment (SDA) as a methodology to evaluate the environmental, economic, and social performance of an urban river system landscape from the perspective of sustainability. SDA is based on synergetics and its “order parameters” theory, proposed as a science to study the self-organization of complex systems. A case study of river system landscapes in China was carried out by, first, simplifying the composite system into three subsystems: environmental, economic, and social; then, going on to construct a hierarchical structure to explore the order parameters as the evaluation index. The Analytic Hierarchy Process was used to get the weight of the evaluation index to complete the assessment index system. At the same time, a Sequential Synergy Degree Model was built to accomplish the SDA. We find that from 2005 to 2015, the order degree of the environmental subsystem developed slowly, with fluctuations, and that river pattern is the key factor. Meanwhile, the order degree of the economic subsystem fluctuated widely, which significantly depended on the changing value of water resources, and the order degree of social subsystem improved continuously, with social culture lagging far behind. As a whole, the synergy degree of the composite system developed orderly at a corresponding low level, which was in low synergy from 2005 to 2009 and then in general synergy up to 2015. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Evolution and Effect Evaluation of Photovoltaic Industry Policy in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2147; doi:10.3390/su9122147
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1560 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The large scale of China’s photovoltaic (PV) industry and the great policy support by the Chinese government make it necessary to scientifically evaluate PV industry policy. This study designed an evaluation framework for China’s PV industry policy from four dimensions (policy measure, policy
[...] Read more.
The large scale of China’s photovoltaic (PV) industry and the great policy support by the Chinese government make it necessary to scientifically evaluate PV industry policy. This study designed an evaluation framework for China’s PV industry policy from four dimensions (policy measure, policy type, policy strength, and policy issuing department) to categorize and quantify China’s 307 PV industry policies from 1994 to 2016. Furthermore, the historical evolution and realistic effect of the policies on the PV industry in China were examined. The results show that, currently, grid support, operation specification, and operation supervision are the main policy measures, while a low-level notice is the main type of policy. The policy issued strength is generally low. The enforcement strength of regional policy presents descending trend from the northern to the southern provinces, and a similar trend from coastal provinces to inland provinces. The policy for grid support, operation specification, and technical specification has had the best effect. The most effective policy types are the sector-specific notices and announcements, and the best policy-issuing department is the National Energy Administration. In terms of policy strength, the policy for grid support, operation specification, and operation supervision has had a positive correlation with the development of the industry, although it did not achieve its desired effect. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Managerial and Adaptive Capabilities to Stimulate Organizational Innovation in SMEs: A Complementary PLS–SEM Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2157; doi:10.3390/su9122157
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 19 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to empirically explore and propose a rigorous model for the positive impact of managerial capability (in terms of decision-making, management style, people development, and succession planning) and adaptive capability (in terms of horizon scanning, change management, and
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to empirically explore and propose a rigorous model for the positive impact of managerial capability (in terms of decision-making, management style, people development, and succession planning) and adaptive capability (in terms of horizon scanning, change management, and resilience) on organizational innovation in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The study uses partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS–SEM) to test the model hypotheses, and importance-performance matrix analysis (IPMA) to provide information regarding the significance and relevance of the dimensions of managerial and adaptive capability in explaining organizational innovation in the proposed model. The empirical data is gathered through questionnaires from 210 SMEs. The results show a strong and significant relationship between managerial capability, adaptive capability, and organizational innovation. This study found that all of the dimensions of managerial capability and adaptive capability help to develop and improve the performance of organizational innovation in SMEs. The study concludes with a comprehensive discussion of the research limitations, and provides suggestions for future research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dynamic Land-Use Map Based on Twitter Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2158; doi:10.3390/su9122158
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (7756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Location-based social media allows people to communicate and share information on a popular landmark. With millions of data records generated, it provides new knowledge about a city. The identification of land use intends to uncover accurate positions for future urban development planning. The
[...] Read more.
Location-based social media allows people to communicate and share information on a popular landmark. With millions of data records generated, it provides new knowledge about a city. The identification of land use intends to uncover accurate positions for future urban development planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the use of social networking check-in data as a source of information to characterize dynamic urban land use. The data from this study were obtained from the social media application i.e., Twitter. Three kinds of data that are prioritized in this research are check-ins (specific location), timestamps, and a user’s status text or post activities. In this study, we propose a grid-based aggregation method to divide the urban area. Two different approaches are compared—rank and clustering methods to group the place’s activities. Then we utilize time distribution frequency to attain the land-use function. In this case, Makassar City, Indonesia, has been selected as the case study. An analysis shows that the check-in activity and the method we proposed can be used to group the actual land-use types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Does Value Co-Creation Really Matter? An Investigation of Italian Millennials Intention to Buy Electric Cars
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2159; doi:10.3390/su9122159
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present research aims to explore the determinants of (full) electric vehicle (EV) buying intention of Italian millennials focusing on the role that value co-creation initiatives might play in the buying decision-making process. Value co-creation initiatives in the EV domain are studied employing
[...] Read more.
The present research aims to explore the determinants of (full) electric vehicle (EV) buying intention of Italian millennials focusing on the role that value co-creation initiatives might play in the buying decision-making process. Value co-creation initiatives in the EV domain are studied employing an enhanced version of the Theory of Reasoned Action which, in addition to the traditional variables of the model, also includes perceived importance of cars’ attributes. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to analyze the data collected though an online survey on 523 Italians aged 18–35. The outcomes provide recommendations to tailor proper initiatives to encourage millennials’ buying intention of electric vehicles supporting private companies in favoring the adoption of wide-spread pro-environmental behaviors among Italian youngsters. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Wastewater Reuse: An Economic Perspective to Identify Suitable Areas for Poplar Vegetation Filter Systems for Energy Production
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2161; doi:10.3390/su9122161
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing interest towards climate change, water and energy saving, and soil protection has led the research community to consider non-conventional water as a sustainable source for irrigation of energy crops. Vegetation filter systems are considered a reliable technique for sustainable biomass cultivation,
[...] Read more.
The increasing interest towards climate change, water and energy saving, and soil protection has led the research community to consider non-conventional water as a sustainable source for irrigation of energy crops. Vegetation filter systems are considered a reliable technique for sustainable biomass cultivation, enabling the use of reclaimed wastewater as water and nutrients sources during irrigation periods. In this study, a geographic information system (GIS)-based spatial model was developed to identify areas potentially suitable for creating vegetation filter systems with poplars to size the plants of energy production. An economic assessment allowed us to identify the cost-effectiveness areas for biomass production that can be fertigated by reclaimed wastewater. Considering the Basilicata region as the test region, a surface area of 258,512 ha was investigated, identifying 73,331 ha of SRF soils sited downstream of 45 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). However, considering only areas that have positive net present value and are economically attractive, results indicate 1606 ha of SRF falling within the areas of influence of 39 WWTPs. The results show that the sector of dedicated crops, adjacent and linked with WWTPs, expresses a total capacity of 50.56 MW for thermal, 8.25 MW for electricity, and 31 MW for cogeneration (25.07 MWt and 5.94 MWe) plants. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting the Adoption of Gamified Smart Tourism Applications: An Integrative Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2162; doi:10.3390/su9122162
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Considering that the core concerns in sustainability are threats to the survival of humankind and the ecosystems that humans depend on, changing the consumption and production behaviors of individuals and society is inevitable. However, people are reluctant to change their own behavior in
[...] Read more.
Considering that the core concerns in sustainability are threats to the survival of humankind and the ecosystems that humans depend on, changing the consumption and production behaviors of individuals and society is inevitable. However, people are reluctant to change their own behavior in support of sustainability goals. This tendency seems to be especially strong in tourism because the main value of tourism is hedonic utility. Thus, the tourism industry is now introducing gamification and smart tourism to shift tourist behavior toward sustainability, but most of studies and practices only focus on the performance and application of gamification without considering customer adoption patterns and perceptions during the process. This study empirically investigated what factors affect the adoption of smart tourism applications that incorporate game elements, using the Google Maps tourist guide program. As an initial approach, we incorporated diverse theoretical approaches: perceived usefulness; perceived ease of use; perceived enjoyment from technology acceptance model; information and interaction motivations from the uses and gratifications theory; the network effect; distributive justice; flow as responses to the game characteristics of smart tourism applications; and information privacy concerns as a negative factor for diffusion. The result showed that hedonic characteristics of the gamified smart tourism application (GSTA) are strong in adoption. Perceived enjoyment had a significant influence on the intention to use, but information quality, related to cognitive experience, did not. The flow and perceived distributive justice associated with the game content were not significant, but the interaction motivation was significant in the research model. The results of this study show that individuals regard a GSTA as a low-level game tool. Also, it is important to preoccupy the smart tourism application market in terms of marketing strategy because the network effect is relevant to both perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment. We also found that the need to provide personal information would negatively affect the adoption of a gamified smart tourism application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Relationship between the Efficiency, Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction for State-Owned Commercial Banks in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2163; doi:10.3390/su9122163
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2006, China fully opened up its financial markets. This means that the banking industry is facing a more severe competitive environment, which requires not only the operational efficiency of the bank but also customer satisfaction for the quality of service. As the
[...] Read more.
In 2006, China fully opened up its financial markets. This means that the banking industry is facing a more severe competitive environment, which requires not only the operational efficiency of the bank but also customer satisfaction for the quality of service. As the reform and opening up policy started from the eastern costal areas in China, there are differences in economic development levels by the region, and so are the levels of financial development. Therefore, it is necessary to study the effect of regional differences on bank efficiency. Prior studies also showed a lot of limitations about using data envelopment analysis, in that the efficiencies of the bank are only measured without consideration of other managerial aspects of the service and customer satisfaction. Thus, this study aims to analyze the efficiencies of twenty state-owned commercial banks in five provinces of China. The relationships between bank efficiency, service quality, and customer satisfaction are analyzed. The data used for the analysis was obtained from the 2015 Chinese Banking Statistics. As a result, the average technical efficiency of twenty state-owned banks is as high as 81.9%. It is also found that the bank’s service quality has a positive impact on efficiency and customer satisfaction. In the case of banks that are located in areas with high economic levels, customer satisfaction is lower than that of banks in lower regions. This is because customers in high economic level regions have higher expectations for service quality and it leads to lower customer satisfaction. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Social and Solidarity Economy, Sustainable Development Goals, and Community Development: The Mission of Adult Education & Training
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2164; doi:10.3390/su9122164
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A utopia of sustainable development is becoming established on the international stage. To get there, varied and complementary strategies must come into play—among them education. This trend is turning to the “Social and Solidarity Economy” (SSE), especially since the approval by the United
[...] Read more.
A utopia of sustainable development is becoming established on the international stage. To get there, varied and complementary strategies must come into play—among them education. This trend is turning to the “Social and Solidarity Economy” (SSE), especially since the approval by the United Nations (UN) of the 2030 Agenda; the fulfilment of which demands adult education strategies and programs in line with the principles and values of sustainability. This article offers a response to that demand. It aims to carry out a reflective analysis that reveals the similarities between the principles and values of the SSE and those guiding the UN’s 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on the results of this analysis, we will argue that training in the competencies for sustainability, essential in achieving the SDGs, is among the main functions of education within the SSE framework. Further, in order to make educational programs more sustainable, such training must be included in their operating objectives. The work uses a hermeneutic methodology based on the existing literature and gives particular attention to UNESCO’s directives on training in key competencies for sustainability. The significant contribution the results make is to show: (a) the emphases of each approach and their similarities; (b) how the two are complementary; and (c) the potential, and need, for creating synergies based on their respective strengths. A further original contribution is a proposed basic guide for the design of training activities geared towards gaining the normative competency that UNESCO has identified as key to sustainability. This innovative proposal will be useful for improving the quality of adult training programs, thereby contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Development and Validation of a Safety Attitude Scale for Coal Miners in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2165; doi:10.3390/su9122165
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Safety attitude is of vital importance to accident prevention, and the high accident rate in the coal mining industry makes it urgent to undertake research on coal miners’ safety attitude. However, the current literature still lacks a valid and reliable safety attitude measurement
[...] Read more.
Safety attitude is of vital importance to accident prevention, and the high accident rate in the coal mining industry makes it urgent to undertake research on coal miners’ safety attitude. However, the current literature still lacks a valid and reliable safety attitude measurement scale for coal miners, which stands as a barrier against their safety attitude improvement. In this study, a scale is developed that can be used to measure coal miners’ safety attitude. The preliminary scale was based on an extended literature review. Empirical data were then collected from 725 coal miners using the preliminary scale. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were undertaken to validate and improve the scale. The final scale, which consists of 17 items, contains four dimensions: management safety commitment, team safety climate, fatalism and work pressure. Results show that this safety attitude scale can effectively measure the safety attitude of coal miners, showing high psychological measurement validity. This paper contributes to the occupational safety research by developing the factor structure and indicator system of coal miners’ safety attitude, thus providing more profound interpretation of this crucial construct in the safety research domain. The measurement scale serves as an important tool for safety attitude benchmarking among different coal mining enterprises and, thus, can boost the overall safety improvement of the whole industry. These findings can facilitate improvement of both theories and practices related to occupational safety attitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Coupling Strategy Research of Urban Public Space and Traffic for Improving the Residents’ Low-Carbon Travel Accessibility: A Case Study of Hexi New City Central Area in Nanjing
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2166; doi:10.3390/su9122166
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (14231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under the current model of advocating urban intensive development and updating built-up areas, promoting the coupling optimization of space and public transport in built-up areas is an important way to realize sustainable urban development. Apart from researching the space and accessibility of the
[...] Read more.
Under the current model of advocating urban intensive development and updating built-up areas, promoting the coupling optimization of space and public transport in built-up areas is an important way to realize sustainable urban development. Apart from researching the space and accessibility of the central area in Hexi new city of Nanjing and analyzing problems from various aspects, i.e., urban land use, road network planning, bus station distribution, non-motorized traffic, and space and environment design, combining with the OD (Origin & Destination) survey, this paper further put forward the corresponding improvement strategy for the public space accessibility of different levels and optimized design of non-motorized traffic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Triple Recycling Channel Strategies for Remanufacturing of Construction Machinery in a Retailer-Dominated Closed-Loop Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2167; doi:10.3390/su9122167
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1693 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Firms engaged in remanufacturing activities generally adopt more than one recycling channel to collect more used products and gain more profits. This paper explores the optimal strategies for a retailer-dominated closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) with a triple recycling channel in the construction machinery
[...] Read more.
Firms engaged in remanufacturing activities generally adopt more than one recycling channel to collect more used products and gain more profits. This paper explores the optimal strategies for a retailer-dominated closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) with a triple recycling channel in the construction machinery remanufacturing context. In this special system, the retailer is the leader and authorized by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to remanufacture. Moreover, the OEM, the retailer, and the secondary market all take part in the used products collection activities. Considering the differentiation of the OEM, the retailer, and the secondary market in collecting the used construction machinery, a mathematical model of the CLSC system based on reasonable assumptions is built, the closed-form optimal pricing decisions are derived, and the optimal collection efforts allocation strategies are explored within the framework of the game theory. In addition, the impacts of the reverse logistics cost coefficient, the competing coefficient, and the buy-back price coefficient on the supply chain performance are elaborately analyzed. These achievements provide decision makers with managerial insights and offer efficient guidelines for the construction machinery remanufacturing firms to solve similar puzzles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain System Design and Optimization)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Indicators for Responsible Research and Innovation: A Methodological Proposal for Context-Based Weighting
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2168; doi:10.3390/su9122168
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decade, the term Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has rapidly attracted the attention of policy-makers and researchers of Europe, mainly due to its promotion by the European Commission (EC). The concretion of this framework of RRI has been articulated by
[...] Read more.
In the last decade, the term Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has rapidly attracted the attention of policy-makers and researchers of Europe, mainly due to its promotion by the European Commission (EC). The concretion of this framework of RRI has been articulated by the EC around six key areas: governance, public engagement, gender equality, science education, open access, and open science and ethics. The indicators to measure these dimensions have been proposed recently. In our opinion the set of indicators available so far has two weaknesses: a lack of context-based indicators and a need for hierarchical ordering. Our aim is to provide tools for policy- and decision-makers that might need to identify the more important indicators in a specific context. In this work, we explored how the multicriteria analysis technique Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) can be used to prioritize indicators for RRI by involving experts in the specific context. The AHP method allowed weighting indicators according to experts in the different areas and producing four different options to select indicators. The method of AHP can be an appropriated instrument to select the most suitable indicators for RRI policies and initiatives. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Opportunity Cost of Labor for Valuing Mangrove Restoration in Mahakam Delta, Indonesia
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2169; doi:10.3390/su9122169
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Worldwide, damage to mangroves is alarming. Restoration is required to recover mangrove ecosystems, and communities’ involvement is a primary factor to reduce the threat to mangroves. Their participation might be interpreted as the appropriate decision concerning conservation and utilization of mangroves. Using a
[...] Read more.
Worldwide, damage to mangroves is alarming. Restoration is required to recover mangrove ecosystems, and communities’ involvement is a primary factor to reduce the threat to mangroves. Their participation might be interpreted as the appropriate decision concerning conservation and utilization of mangroves. Using a contingent valuation approach, this study assesses mangroves’ values to local communities through their willingness to contribute labor to obtain monetary value. Results showed that the opportunity cost of time was valued at IDR 398.76 thousand (US$29.99) a month or IDR 4.79 million (US$359.90) per year. A total annual benefit of mangrove restoration using the wage rate of time (WRT) is IDR 143 billion (US$10.77 million) per year. Accessing such information is crucial to making the appropriate decisions about conservation of mangroves within the context of developing countries that have poor coastal communities and low incomes. Tobit regression determined that five variables affect willingness to provide labor time and WRT significantly for mangrove restoration. These findings can support decision-makers with the relevant information for assessing a mangrove restoration project. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial Patterns and the Regional Differences of Rural Settlements in Jilin Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2170; doi:10.3390/su9122170
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial patterns of rural settlements are important for understanding the drivers of land use change and the relationship between human activity and environmental processes. It has been suggested that the clustering of houses decreases the negative effects on the environment and promotes
[...] Read more.
The spatial patterns of rural settlements are important for understanding the drivers of land use change and the relationship between human activity and environmental processes. It has been suggested that the clustering of houses decreases the negative effects on the environment and promotes the development of the countryside, but few empirical studies have quantified the spatial distribution patterns of houses. Our aim was to explore the regional differences in rural settlement patterns and expand our understanding of their geographic associations, and thus contribute to land use planning and the implementation of the policy of “building a new countryside”. We used spatial statistical methods and indices of landscape metrics to investigate different settlement patterns in three typical counties within different environments in Jilin Province, Northeast China. The results indicated that rural settlements in these three counties were all clustered, but to a varied degree. Settlement density maps and landscape metrics displayed uniformity of the settlement distributions within plain, hill, and mountainous areas. Influenced by the physical environment, the scale, form, and degree of aggregation varied. Accordingly, three types of rural settlements were summarized: a low-density, large-scale and sparse type; a mass-like and point-scattered type; and a low-density and high cluster-like type. The spatial patterns of rural settlements are the result of anthropogenic and complex physical processes, and provide an important insight for the layout and management of the countryside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Measure the Performance with the Market Value Added: Evidence from CSR Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2171; doi:10.3390/su9122171
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An increasing number of firms in OECD countries are obtaining certification as Socially Responsible. Literature is sensitive in testing whether there is a relation between firm performance and Social Responsibility certification. In order to overcome problems related to the multiplicity of Corporate Social
[...] Read more.
An increasing number of firms in OECD countries are obtaining certification as Socially Responsible. Literature is sensitive in testing whether there is a relation between firm performance and Social Responsibility certification. In order to overcome problems related to the multiplicity of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) definitions and certifications, our work implements a CSR index based on the intersection between two of the three main international indices (Domini 400 Social Index, Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and FTSE4Good Index). By using this database in a panel framework, our work shows that among Corporate Performance Measures (CPF), Market Value Added (MVA) is affected by a firm’s social responsible behaviour and certification. The results support the idea that CSR firms have better long-run performance. Thanks to the reputation effect, they achieve higher sales volumes and profits and a reduction in long-run costs: these effects compensate the costs due to the certification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Structuring the Environmental Experience Design Research Framework through Selected Aged Care Facility Data Analyses in Victoria
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2172; doi:10.3390/su9122172
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Humans relate to the living environment physically and psychologically. Environmental psychology has a rich developed history while experience design emerged recently in the industrial design domain. Nonetheless, these approaches have barely been merged, understood or implemented in architectural design practices. This study explored
[...] Read more.
Humans relate to the living environment physically and psychologically. Environmental psychology has a rich developed history while experience design emerged recently in the industrial design domain. Nonetheless, these approaches have barely been merged, understood or implemented in architectural design practices. This study explored the correlation between experience design and environmental psychology. Moreover, it conducted literature reviews on theories about emotion, user experience design, experience design and environmental psychology, followed by the analyses of spatial settings and environmental quality data of a selected aged care facility in Victoria, Australia, as a case study. Accordingly, this study led to proposing a research framework on environmental experience design (EXD). It can be defined as a deliberate attempt that affiliates experience design and environmental psychology with creation of the built environment that should accommodate user needs and demands. The EXD research framework proposed in this study was tailored for transforming related design functions into the solutions that contribute to improving the built environment for user health and wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - ZEMCH 2016)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Increased Production and Water Remediation by Land-Based Farm-Scale Sequentially Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Systems—An Example from Southern Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2173; doi:10.3390/su9122173
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (856 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wastewater effluent from aquaculture ponds can affect aquatic ecosystems. To mitigate this problem, we designed 2 sets (southern and northern) of land-based and farm-scale sequential integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems in order to reduce water pollution and to diversify and optimize aquaculture products
[...] Read more.
Wastewater effluent from aquaculture ponds can affect aquatic ecosystems. To mitigate this problem, we designed 2 sets (southern and northern) of land-based and farm-scale sequential integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems in order to reduce water pollution and to diversify and optimize aquaculture products in coastal southern Taiwan. In each system, the 1st pond cultivated milkfish as the main aquaculture product, the 2nd pond cultivated Portuguese oysters as the product to reduce suspended particles, and the 3rd pond cultivated the seaweed Gracilaria sp. as feed and to absorb nutrients. Photosynthetic bacteria (PSB) were added to the southern system in order to reduce nutrients. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare performance parameters of the compartments and the overall IMTA systems preliminarily. Our results showed that the southern system with the addition of PSB had lower PO4−3-P, slightly higher turbidity, and higher brown algal biomass than the northern system. In the southern system, PO4−3-P and cyanobacteria levels were lowest at the end of the seaweed pond. In the northern system, NO2-N and phytoplankton levels were lowest at the end of the seaweed pond. Turbidity was reduced in the oyster pond and further reduced in the Gracilaria pond in both systems. The high seaweed yield in the northern system indicated substantial nutrient absorption. Advantages and limitations in terms of water purification and aquaculture production of these IMTA systems are evaluated in the present paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Anthropization Processes and Protection of the Environment: An Assessment of Land Cover Changes in Sardinia, Italy
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2174; doi:10.3390/su9122174
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protection of the environment is implemented through preventive and mitigating measures aimed at hindering anthropization processes. These measures may possibly entail the establishment of natural protected areas and sites where conservation measures are stated under the provisions of the “Habitats” Directive (No. 92/43/EEC)
[...] Read more.
Protection of the environment is implemented through preventive and mitigating measures aimed at hindering anthropization processes. These measures may possibly entail the establishment of natural protected areas and sites where conservation measures are stated under the provisions of the “Habitats” Directive (No. 92/43/EEC) and Directive No. 2009/147/EC (the so-called “Birds” Directive, which modifies Directive No. 79/409/EEC). A straightforward way of assessing widespread anthropization processes consists in analyzing land cover changes related artificialization processes concerning natural areas. In this study, we assess land cover changes by using the simplified land cover taxonomy of the Land and Ecosystem Account classes and by analyzing transition processes; in addition, we propose a comparative appraisal of land cover changes occurring in areas characterized by different protection regimes, as follows: areas protected under the provisions of national or regional acts or regulations; sites belonging to the Natura 2000 network, that is, protected under the Habitats or Birds Directives; and unprotected areas. We analyze anthropization processes that take place in Sardinia, an Italian insular region characterized by the presence of several national and regional protected areas and by a significant system of Natura 2000 sites, and assess land cover changes over a twelve-year period (2000–2012). The outcomes of our study put in evidence important lessons related to the definition and implementation of planning policies aiming at preventing anthropization processes in Sardinia. Moreover, the assessment methodology we implement in our study can be exported to other European regions to set up planning processes that fit the local features of land cover changes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Digital Omotenashi: Toward a Smart Tourism Design Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2175; doi:10.3390/su9122175
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The tourism industry is currently facing many challenges; one of the main challenges is the lack of having smart tourism systems that make use of the recent advances in information and communication technology. Another challenge is designing such smart tourism systems while embracing
[...] Read more.
The tourism industry is currently facing many challenges; one of the main challenges is the lack of having smart tourism systems that make use of the recent advances in information and communication technology. Another challenge is designing such smart tourism systems while embracing diversified tourists’ sustainable values of experience (functional values, social values, emotional values, and epistemic values). In light of these challenges, the overall objective of this work is to design a smart tourism experience-centered system that considers social and technical perspectives. The Socio-Technical Systems theory was adopted as a theoretical foundation, and the Design Science Research methodology was used to develop a smart tourism system and a practical design artifact. A case study from the Japanese tourism context was studied by exploring tourists’ sustainable values of experiences and local staffs’ behaviors. The main problem was the dysfunctional communication between local service staffs and foreign tourists during the service process. After identifying the problem and the objectives, a relevant smart tourism system was synthesized and tested as a design artifact. The results of the utility test of the proposed artifact showed its effectiveness and efficiency in facilitating the service process and in creating multi-dimensional values of experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals—Explaining the Legal Implementation Gap
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2176; doi:10.3390/su9122176
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system for classifying and labelling chemicals according to their intrinsic hazardous properties. The GHS is one of the cornerstones of sound chemicals management, an issue consistently on the international sustainable
[...] Read more.
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system for classifying and labelling chemicals according to their intrinsic hazardous properties. The GHS is one of the cornerstones of sound chemicals management, an issue consistently on the international sustainable development agenda since 1992. In 2002, it was agreed under the United Nations that all countries should be encouraged to implement the GHS by 2008. However, to date, it is unclear where, how, and to what extent the GHS has been implemented and what factors best explain any differences in implementation coverage. The aim of this paper is to provide a global overview of current GHS implementation status in national legislation using primary and secondary data, and explain differences between countries based on theory on motivational and capacity-related factors for implementation of international standards. We conclude that there seems to be broad support from countries for enhanced international collaboration in the field of sound chemicals management. However, several drivers and barriers for national GHS implementation co-exist, and there is a clear positive correlation between the financial and regulatory capacities of a country and its GHS implementation status. At the same time, our data suggest that it is possible to increase the global implementation coverage by using a combination of motivational and capacity related strategies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Toward Multi-Stakeholder Value: Virtual Human Resource Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2177; doi:10.3390/su9122177
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (975 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some large organizations have used online virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) in human resources (HR) in recent years, but few studies have explored how the values are generated by this technology and what factors have an impact on the performance of this technology.
[...] Read more.
Some large organizations have used online virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) in human resources (HR) in recent years, but few studies have explored how the values are generated by this technology and what factors have an impact on the performance of this technology. In this article we identify the delivery of HR functions in virtual worlds as virtual human resource management (v-HRM). In principle, v-HRM is an integrated HR strategy that enhances the management of human capital and increases the visibility of human capital to worldwide stakeholders through the establishment of an online virtual world. By introducing the features of v-HRM and summarizing the initiatives of v-HRM based on IBM experiences, we propose a model that examines the multi-stakeholder value of v-HRM. A qualitative study was employed to explore the impact of v-HRM on four types of stakeholder values through the insights from social shaping of technology approach. The case analysis results also show four types of v-HRM value facilitators. This model acknowledges how and what to implement with respect to v-HRM, and thus can be used to guide future research on v-HRM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Disruption Management for the Real-Time Home Caregiver Scheduling and Routing Problem
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2178; doi:10.3390/su9122178
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 4 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aggravating trend of the aging population, the miniaturization of the family structure, and the increase of families with empty nesters greatly affect the sustainable development of the national economy and social old-age security system of China. The emergence of home health care
[...] Read more.
The aggravating trend of the aging population, the miniaturization of the family structure, and the increase of families with empty nesters greatly affect the sustainable development of the national economy and social old-age security system of China. The emergence of home health care or home care (HHC/HC) service mode provides an alternative for elderly care. How to develop and apply this new mobile service mode is crucial for the government. Therefore, the pertinent optimization problems regarding HHC/HC have constantly attracted the attention of researchers. Unexpected events, such as new requests of customers, cancellations of customers’ services, and changes of customers’ time windows, may occur during the process of executing an a priori visiting plan. These events may sometimes make the original plan non-optimal or even infeasible. To cope with this situation, we introduce disruption management to the real-time home caregiver scheduling and routing problem. The deviation measurements on customers, caregivers, and companies are first defined. A mathematical model that minimizes the weighted sum of deviation measurements is then constructed. Next, a tabu search (TS) heuristic is developed to efficiently solve the problem, and a cost recorded mechanism is used to strengthen the performance. Finally, by performing computational experiments on three real-life instances, the effectiveness of the TS heuristic is tested, and the advantages of disruption management are analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Study of a Double-Layer Trombe Wall Assisted by a Temperature-Controlled DC Fan for Heating Seasons
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2179; doi:10.3390/su9122179
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5869 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a double-layer Trombe wall assisted by a temperature-controlled direct current (DC) fan. THERB for HAM, a dynamic thermal load calculation software, was used to estimate the heating ability of a double-layer Trombe wall for an office building. We designed a
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a double-layer Trombe wall assisted by a temperature-controlled direct current (DC) fan. THERB for HAM, a dynamic thermal load calculation software, was used to estimate the heating ability of a double-layer Trombe wall for an office building. We designed a new double-layer Trombe wall that has two ventilated air cavities installed on the south facade of the office building, and a pipe with a temperature-controlled DC fan used to control thermo-circulation. The office building was located in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan. The temperature of the ventilated air cavity of the double-layer Trombe wall and the indoor temperature were simulated. It was more efficient for the DC fan to start when the ventilated air cavity temperature was 19 °C and the operative temperature of indoor was maintained at 20 °C. The results showed that the double-layer Trombe wall with a temperature-controlled DC fan can reduce yearly heating needs by nearly 0.6 kWh/m3 and improve the performance of a double-layer Trombe wall up to 5.6% (22.7% in November, 8.56% in December, 1.04% in January, 3.77% in February, and 3.89% in March), compared to the double-layer Trombe wall without an air supply. The ventilated (all day) double-layer Trombe wall performed better than the unventilated double-layer Trombe wall in November, December, February, and March. Thus, the potential of a double-layer Trombe wall can be improved with the assistance of a temperature-controlled DC fan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Capturing Firms’ Heterogeneity through Marketing and IT Capabilities in SMEs
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2180; doi:10.3390/su9122180
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 11 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To achieve sustainability, firms capable of surviving economic recessions is of key relevance; the capabilities that firms need to face dynamic environments remain an open question. In this work, a new procedure is proposed to capture firms’ heterogeneity with regard to the capabilities
[...] Read more.
To achieve sustainability, firms capable of surviving economic recessions is of key relevance; the capabilities that firms need to face dynamic environments remain an open question. In this work, a new procedure is proposed to capture firms’ heterogeneity with regard to the capabilities they possess in operating efficiently in dynamic environments. This approach enables the identification of the classes of firms that develop efficiency with a specific integration of resources. While the literature has most often measured firm capabilities using subjective measures, this study suggests the use of Data Envelopment Analysis to capture the ability to transform resources into outcomes and of Latent Class Regression to capture differences across firms that explain firms’ heterogeneity in the way they perform. By combining these two techniques, this work presents a way to identify those firms that need to invest in and develop certain capabilities. This work analyses a large dataset of manufacturing Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) extracted from the Business and Strategy survey provided by Fundación de la Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales( SEPI) in Spain. The dataset used enfolds 10,960 observations from 2048 firms during the period 1994–2011. The complete dataset has been employed to calculate manufacturing firms’ efficiency. In a second step, data were cleaned to eliminate outliers, and to identify SMEs and observations with records of IT capabilities. As a result, 329 manufacturing SMEs were analysed to capture their heterogeneity. The results contribute to the current literature by explaining how manufacturing SMEs show a different need in their development of capabilities to be efficient and adapt to environmental changes. While approximately 20% of firms analysed really take advantage of recessions through their investment in R&D, the remaining 80% need to adjust their size or invest in IT capabilities to become competitive. The assumption shown in previous studies regarding the performance of SMEs to better confront recessions is discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Holistic Analysis Approach to Social, Technical, and Socio-Technical Aspect of E-Government Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2181; doi:10.3390/su9122181
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, a new trend has been emerging in understanding the differences in the implementation of ICT (Information Communication Technology) in the context of e-government between the developing and developed world. The two are broadly distinct in their characteristics of implementation due to differences
[...] Read more.
Recently, a new trend has been emerging in understanding the differences in the implementation of ICT (Information Communication Technology) in the context of e-government between the developing and developed world. The two are broadly distinct in their characteristics of implementation due to differences in the diffusion and speed of technology patterns combined with efforts to bridge the digital divide. This leads to the objective of this paper, understanding the dynamic effects intertwining diverse aspects—social, technical, and socio-technical—on the development of e-government. However, current research still lacks a holistic perspective in comprehending how social, technical and socio-technical dimensions interact or promote the development of e-government system in a given state. This paper uses a panel dataset gathered from the World Bank, UN, and ITU databases. The research results highlight the need to look at the development of e-government through a more holistic approach rather than an atomistic single-cause approach. The results also indicate that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and a more effective e-government master plan should take into consideration the technical side of e-government development and also reflect social and, most importantly, socio-technical considerations and its holistic implication for the development of e-government systems in a given state. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Corporate Disclosure, Materiality, and Integrated Report: An Event Study Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2182; doi:10.3390/su9122182
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the extensive literature investigating the impacts of corporate disclosure in supporting the sustainable growth of an organization, few studies have included in the analysis the materiality issue referred to the information being disclosed. This article aims to address this gap, exploring the
[...] Read more.
Within the extensive literature investigating the impacts of corporate disclosure in supporting the sustainable growth of an organization, few studies have included in the analysis the materiality issue referred to the information being disclosed. This article aims to address this gap, exploring the effect produced on capital markets by the publication of a recent corporate reporting tool, Integrated Report (IR). The features of this tool are that it aims to represent the multidimensional impact of the organization’s activity and assumes materiality as a guiding principle of the report drafting. Adopting the event study methodology associated with a statistical significance test for categorical data, our results verify that an organization’s release of IR is able to produce a statistically significant impact on the related share prices. Moreover, the term “integrated” assigned to the reports plays a significant role in the impact on capital markets. Our findings have beneficial implications for both researchers and practitioners, adding new evidence for the IR usefulness as a corporate disclosure tool and the effect of an organization’s decision to disclose material information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Multiple Vehicle Fuel Pathways in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2183; doi:10.3390/su9122183
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Tsinghua University Life Cycle Analysis Model (TLCAM) is applied to calculate the life cycle fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for more than 20 vehicle fuel pathways in China. In addition to conventional gasoline and diesel, these include coal- and
[...] Read more.
The Tsinghua University Life Cycle Analysis Model (TLCAM) is applied to calculate the life cycle fossil energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for more than 20 vehicle fuel pathways in China. In addition to conventional gasoline and diesel, these include coal- and gas-based vehicle fuels, and electric vehicle (EV) pathways. The results indicate the following. (1) China’s current dependence on coal and relative low-efficiency processes limits the potential for most alternative fuel pathways to decrease energy consumption and emissions; (2) Future low-carbon electricity pathways offer more obvious advantages, with coal-based pathways needing to adopt carbon dioxide capture and storage technology to compete; (3) A well-to-wheels analysis of the fossil energy consumption of vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) showed that they are comparable to conventional gasoline vehicles. However, importing rather than domestically producing LNG for vehicle use can decrease domestic GHG emissions by 35% and 31% compared with those of conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles, respectively; (4) The manufacturing and recovery of battery and vehicle in the EV analysis has significant impact on the overall ability of EVs to decrease fossil energy consumption and GHG emissions from ICEVs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Cost Based Value Stream Mapping as a Sustainable Construction Tool for Underground Pipeline Construction Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2184; doi:10.3390/su9122184
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (7125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper deals with application of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) as a sustainable construction tool on a real construction project of installation of underground pipelines. VSM was adapted to reduce the high percentage of non-value-added activities and time wastes during each construction stage
[...] Read more.
This paper deals with application of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) as a sustainable construction tool on a real construction project of installation of underground pipelines. VSM was adapted to reduce the high percentage of non-value-added activities and time wastes during each construction stage and the paper searched for an effective way to consider the cost for studied construction of underground pipeline. This paper is unique in its way that it adopts cost implementation of VSM to improve the productivity in underground pipeline projects. The data was observed and collected from site during construction, indicating the cycle time, value added and non-value added of each construction stage. The current state was built based on these details. This was an eye-opening exercise and a process management tool as a trigger for improvement. After the current state assessment, a future state is attempted by Value Stream Mapping tool balancing the resources using a Line of Balance (LOB) technique. Moreover, a sustainable cost estimation model was developed during current state and future state to calculate the cost of underground pipeline construction. The result shows a cost reduction of 20.8% between current and future states. This reflects the importance of the cost based Value Stream Mapping in construction as a sustainable measurement tool. This new tool could be utilized in construction industry to add the sustainability and effective cost management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction Engineering)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Functional Structure Convergence of China’s Coastal Ports
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2185; doi:10.3390/su9122185
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Functional structure is an important part of a port system, and can reflect the resource endowments and economic development needs of the hinterland. In this study, we investigated the transportation function of coastal ports in China from the perspective of cargo structure using
[...] Read more.
Functional structure is an important part of a port system, and can reflect the resource endowments and economic development needs of the hinterland. In this study, we investigated the transportation function of coastal ports in China from the perspective of cargo structure using a similarity coefficient. Our research considered both adjacent ports and hub ports. We found that the transportation function of some adjacent ports was very similar in terms of outbound structure (e.g., Qinhuangdao and Huanghua) and inbound structure (e.g., Huanghua and Tangshan). Ports around Bohai Bay and the port group in the Yangtze River Delta were the most competitive areas in terms of outbound and inbound structure, respectively. The major contributors to port similarity in different regions varied geographically due to the different market demands and cargo supplies. For adjacent ports, the functional convergence of inbound structure was more serious than the outbound. The convergence between hub ports was more serious than between adjacent ports in terms of both outbound and inbound structure. The average similarity coefficients displayed an increasing trend over time. This study further develops the theory of transport geography, improves our understanding of China’s port transportation system, and can provide reference for policy-makers in their port development decisions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparison and Evaluation of Large-Scale and On-Site Recycling Systems for Food Waste via Life Cycle Cost Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2186; doi:10.3390/su9122186
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1600 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-benefit of on-site food waste recycling system using Life-Cycle Cost analysis, and to compare with large-scale treatment system. For accurate evaluation, the cost-benefit analysis was conducted with respect to local governments and residents, and
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-benefit of on-site food waste recycling system using Life-Cycle Cost analysis, and to compare with large-scale treatment system. For accurate evaluation, the cost-benefit analysis was conducted with respect to local governments and residents, and qualitative environmental improvement effects were quantified. As for the local governments, analysis results showed that, when large-scale treatment system was replaced with on-site recycling system, there was significant cost reduction from the initial stage depending on reduction of investment, maintenance, and food wastewater treatment costs. As for the residents, it was found that the cost incurred from using the on-site recycling system was larger than the cost of using large-scale treatment system due to the cost of producing and installing the on-site treatment facilities at the initial stage. However, analysis showed that with continuous benefits such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, compost utilization, and food wastewater reduction, cost reduction would be obtained after 6 years of operating the on-site recycling system. Therefore, it was recommended for local governments and residents to consider introducing an on-site food waste recycling system if they are to replace an old treatment system or need to establish a new one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident on Belief in Rumors: The Role of Risk Perception and Communication
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2188; doi:10.3390/su9122188
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (943 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rumors about nuclear power energy and its risks in terms of technology are common. However, these rumors are sometimes exaggerated and not true. Our research question is what factors and variables have influence the rumors related to the Fukushima nuclear accident. We analyzed
[...] Read more.
Rumors about nuclear power energy and its risks in terms of technology are common. However, these rumors are sometimes exaggerated and not true. Our research question is what factors and variables have influence the rumors related to the Fukushima nuclear accident. We analyzed data collected through social survey (n = 1572). To measure the dependent variable, we asked respondents whether rumors related to the Fukushima nuclear accident were true or false, and the degree to which they trusted such rumors. We measured three factors in determining belief in rumors: psychometric paradigm, communication, and risk perception. We then analyzed the direct impact of these three factors on belief in rumors and the indirect moderating effect of perceived risk of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the relationship between psychometric factors and belief in rumors. Results show that in the communication factors, source credibility decreases belief in rumors whereas usefulness of information and receiver’s ability increase it. All the psychometric variables have significant impacts on belief in rumors. Perceived benefit, trust, and knowledge decrease belief in rumors, and perceived risk and stigma increase it. Finally, the perceived risk of Fukushima accident plays a role of moderators between psychometric paradigm and belief in rumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Awe: An Important Emotional Experience in Sustainable Tourism
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2189; doi:10.3390/su9122189
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
“Awesome” is one of the most highly desirable experiences for tourists. This study investigates how tourists’ awe emotion is induced when tourists visit sacred mountains and how the awe experience influences their satisfaction. A survey is administrated at a famous sacred mountain in
[...] Read more.
“Awesome” is one of the most highly desirable experiences for tourists. This study investigates how tourists’ awe emotion is induced when tourists visit sacred mountains and how the awe experience influences their satisfaction. A survey is administrated at a famous sacred mountain in China—Mount Emei. Results reveal that the awe experience is more elicited by the perceived vastness of natural environment for secular tourists, while is more encouraged by the perceived sanctity of religious ambience for pilgrim tourists. Awe experience is a mediator between the sense of perceptual vastness/sanctity and tourists’ satisfaction. The mediation relationships through awe experience are moderated by the visitor types (pilgrims and secular tourists). Findings suggest that destination marketers should apply tourism strategies to encourage tourists’ sense of awe. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Beijing’s Urbanization Efficiency from 2005 to 2014
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2190; doi:10.3390/su9122190
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of Beijing’s accelerated economic growth, a high urbanization rate and associated urban problems pose challenges. We collected panel data for the period 2005–2014 to examine the relationship between Beijing’s urbanization efficiency and economic growth rate as well as its spatial
[...] Read more.
In the context of Beijing’s accelerated economic growth, a high urbanization rate and associated urban problems pose challenges. We collected panel data for the period 2005–2014 to examine the relationship between Beijing’s urbanization efficiency and economic growth rate as well as its spatial patterns of dynamic and static urbanization efficiency. Specifically, we developed a comprehensive index system for assessing Beijing’s economic growth rate and urbanization efficiency at the district (county) level. Economic level was selected as an indicator of the economic growth rate. Economic urbanization and consumption levels were selected as indicators of urbanization efficiency. We applied a sequential Malmquist total factor productivity index to estimate the dynamic urbanization efficiency and economic growth rate at the district/country level from 2005 to 2014. We measured Beijing’s static urbanization efficiency in 2014 using a data envelopment analysis model and assessed its spatiotemporal dynamics and urbanization efficiency pattern using a Getis–Ord General Gi index. The results indicated an overall average increase of 1.07% in the total factor urbanization efficiency (TFUE), with an average value of 0.91, while the total factor economic growth rate (TFEE) remained stable at an average value of 0.979. The low TFUE level evidently continues to significantly constrain TFEE. Both TFUE and TFEE levels in the Capital Function Core (CFC) area were significant, exhibiting high inputs and outputs, while these levels in the Urban Function Development (UFD), City Development Zone (CDZ), and Ecological Conservation Development (ECD) areas were below 1 for most periods, strongly indicating inefficient factor allocation. In view of this spatial pattern, TFUE’s regional spatial distribution appears remarkable, showing a decreasing trend from north to south in Beijing, excluding CFC areas. During the period 2005–2014, the CFC area and northeastern Beijing gradually developed into high urbanization efficiency cluster regions. The dominant factors accounting for the difference in total factor productivity indices between TFUE and TFEE were technical change (TC) and scale efficiency change (SEC), and the main factors driving the regional spatial distribution pattern for urbanization efficiency were TC and technical efficiency change (TEC). Accordingly, local governments should promote TC, SEC, and TEC to improve urbanization levels, with optimal strategies entailing strengthening policy support and encouraging investments in technology in UFD, CDZ, and ECD areas. Within Beijing, Dongcheng, Xicheng, Shijingshan, Mentougou, and Yanqing demonstrated effectively balanced static urbanization efficiency levels in 2014, whereas these levels in the city’s remaining 11 districts were not optimal, with extensive development. County governments should therefore promote efforts to reduce input redundancy and improve pure technical efficiency to maintain sustainable and steady development. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Adaptive Governance and Market Heterogeneity: An Institutional Analysis of an Urban Food System in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2191; doi:10.3390/su9122191
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (14332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
African cities face immense challenges over the coming decades. As countries urbanize, African cities must maintain service provision for rapidly increasing populations, yet with limited resources. In particular, urban food systems must be able to cope with regional food shortages and catalyze (or
[...] Read more.
African cities face immense challenges over the coming decades. As countries urbanize, African cities must maintain service provision for rapidly increasing populations, yet with limited resources. In particular, urban food systems must be able to cope with regional food shortages and catalyze (or at least enable) the distribution of food from diverse sources in order to ensure that the cost of food remains affordable for all of the segments of a city’s population. Food systems in most African cities are composed of wholesale sellers, formal markets, street vendors, shops, and increasingly large-scale international stores, creating an evolving landscape of food sources. At the same time, urban population growth can result in rapid changes in urban structure with new peri-urban development and transitions in socioeconomic status within existing areas. Governance plays an important role in the creation and coordination of formal and informal actors across different types of food providers. At the municipal level, new markets must be approved to keep pace with urban expansion. Within residential areas, market management committees must work to maintain traditional markets in the context of increasing competition from large-scale grocers and small-scale street vendors. We use household and market-level data that was collected in Lusaka, Zambia, to conduct an institutional analysis of residential areas to examine the interplay between households, public markets, and street vendors. Analysis of the city’s food system identifies a complex network of relationships featuring formal and informal governance arrangements, which may affect food system functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Numerical Simulation of the Period 1971–2100 over the Mediterranean Area with a Regional Model, Scenario SRES-A1B
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2192; doi:10.3390/su9122192
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (14258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, we discuss the results of numerical simulations performed with the regional model COSMO-CLM over the Mediterranean area at a spatial resolution of 14 km, employing an optimized model configuration. An assessment of model capabilities to reproduce the main features of
[...] Read more.
In this work, we discuss the results of numerical simulations performed with the regional model COSMO-CLM over the Mediterranean area at a spatial resolution of 14 km, employing an optimized model configuration. An assessment of model capabilities to reproduce the main features of the recent and past climate has been performed, using two different simulations: The first simulation is driven by the ERA40 Reanalysis and the second, by the CMCC-MED global model. Validation is performed through a comparison with the E-OBS dataset. Climate projections, according to the SRES A1B emission scenario, have been further analyzed in terms of change of 2-m temperature and precipitation, and have shown a significant warming expected at the end of the 21st Century, along with a general reduction in precipitation, particularly evident in spring and summer. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Unintended Side Effects of Digital Transition: Perspectives of Japanese Experts
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2193; doi:10.3390/su9122193
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The core of the digital transition is the representation of all kinds of real-world entities and processes and an increasing number of cognitive processes by digital information and algorithms on computers. These allow for seemingly unlimited storage, operation, retrieval, and transmission capacities that
[...] Read more.
The core of the digital transition is the representation of all kinds of real-world entities and processes and an increasing number of cognitive processes by digital information and algorithms on computers. These allow for seemingly unlimited storage, operation, retrieval, and transmission capacities that make digital tools economically available for all domains of society and empower human action, particularly combined with real-world interfaces such as displays, robots, sensors, 3D printers, etc. Digital technologies are general-purpose technologies providing unprecedented potential benefits for sustainability. However, they will bring about a multitude of potential unintended side effects, and this demands a transdisciplinary discussion on unwanted societal changes as well as a shift in science from analog to digital modeling and structure. Although social discourse has begun, the topical scope and regional coverage have been limited. Here, we report on an expert roundtable on digital transition held in February 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. Drawing on a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, our discussions highlight the importance of cultural contexts and the need to bridge local and global conversations. Although Japanese experts did mention side effects, their focus was on how to ensure that AI and robots could coexist with humans. Such a perspective is not well appreciated everywhere outside Japan. Stakeholder dialogues have already begun in Japan, but greater efforts are needed to engage a broader collection of experts in addition to stakeholders to broaden the social debate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Digital Environment)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Using Synergy between Water Limnology and Satellite Imagery to Identify Algal Blooms Extent in a Brazilian Amazonian Reservoir
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2194; doi:10.3390/su9122194
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (6120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Monitoring algal blooms from space is a very challenging task, which becomes particularly difficult when dealing with cyanobacteria blooms. Cyanobacteria are strategic organisms adapted to a wide variety of environmental conditions. In high concentrations, they form scum on the water surface, which is
[...] Read more.
Monitoring algal blooms from space is a very challenging task, which becomes particularly difficult when dealing with cyanobacteria blooms. Cyanobacteria are strategic organisms adapted to a wide variety of environmental conditions. In high concentrations, they form scum on the water surface, which is a concern for public health due to the production of toxins, as well as being a nuisance. Knowledge of the ecological role of these organisms is, therefore, essential when trying to estimate their extent from satellite-based data. We present a multidisciplinary approach, based on both the ecological and the optical perspective. This approach is applied in a Brazilian Amazonian reservoir using spatial and temporal scales. The ACOLITE processor is employed to perform atmospheric correction. Extent of the algal bloom is mapped with outputs such as Rayleigh reflectance atmospheric corrected images. Chlorophyll-a estimation is accomplished using a blue-green edge algorithm from the Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG), and shows reasonable results (R2 = 0.95; RMSE = 0.40). The SAred-NIR slope algorithm identifies the extent of the algal bloom at both the spatial and temporal scale. Unfortunately, the performance of these algorithms is most likely affected by weather conditions and glint effects. Therefore, this study recommends that cyanobacteria or phytoplankton studies in this area ensure that their ecological functioning is carefully considered when attempting to map occurrence using limited satellite imagery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eutrophication and Sustainable Management of Water)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Deficit Irrigation and Partial Root-Zone Drying Techniques in Processing Tomato Cultivated under Mediterranean Climate Conditions
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2197; doi:10.3390/su9122197
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to climate change, the application of water saving strategies is of particular interest. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of deficit irrigation (DI) and partial root-zone drying (PRD) techniques on the crop water stress index (CWSI), water use
[...] Read more.
Due to climate change, the application of water saving strategies is of particular interest. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of deficit irrigation (DI) and partial root-zone drying (PRD) techniques on the crop water stress index (CWSI), water use efficiency (WUE), and quality parameters in processing tomatoes grown in open field conditions in a Mediterranean climate. Two cultivars were grown for two growing seasons under four irrigation regimes as follows: (i) IR100: full irrigation by restoring 100% of the maximum tomato evapotranspiration (ETc); (ii) IR70DI: 70% of the amount of water given to the IR100; (iii) IR70PRD: 70% of the amount of water given to the IR100 by applying partial root-zone drying and (iv) IR0: irrigation only at transplanting and during fertigation. During the flowering period, the first growing season was characterized by an absence of rainfall and by higher temperatures also showing a higher CWSI. Despite, under IR70PRD, the CWSI was significantly higher than under IR70DI, the marketable yield obtained was significantly higher. Both IR70DI and IR70PRD regimes received approximately 24% less water than IR100, but the yield reduction with relation to the optimum regime was equal to 16.2% under IR70DI, and only 7.6% under IR70PRD. The WUE increment of IR70PRD with respect to IR100 was equal to 27% in the first growing season and to 17% in the second one, showing that the positive effect of PRD on the WUE is more evident in the more stressed year. Finally, the results from the principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the two cultivars had different qualitative responses in the two extreme regimes (IR100 and IR0) but not under PRD and DI regimes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Reducing Carbon Emissions in a Closed-Loop Production Routing Problem with Simultaneous Pickups and Deliveries under Carbon Cap-and-Trade
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2198; doi:10.3390/su9122198
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The incorporation of reverse logistics into production routing problems can promote and coordinate the implementation of sustainable development for supply chains. This study aims to incorporate reverse logistics into production routing problems and investigate the reduction of carbon emissions under carbon cap-and-trade. Mixed-integer
[...] Read more.
The incorporation of reverse logistics into production routing problems can promote and coordinate the implementation of sustainable development for supply chains. This study aims to incorporate reverse logistics into production routing problems and investigate the reduction of carbon emissions under carbon cap-and-trade. Mixed-integer programming models are proposed for the production routing problem with reverse logistics by considering simultaneous pickups and deliveries in vehicle routing subproblems. To solve this problem, we propose a solution method of a branch-and-cut guided search algorithm based on adaptation of known valid inequalities. Computational results highlight the trade-offs among various performance indicators, including emission levels and operational costs of production, inventory holding, fuel consumption, and drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle An Empirical Study on the Relationship between Investor Protection, Government Behavior, and Financial Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2199; doi:10.3390/su9122199
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We studied the relationship between investor protection, government behavior, and financial development using data covering six provinces (Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Henan, and Sichuan) and two provincial-level cities (Beijing and Shanghai) in China for the period 2005–2014. Using panel data estimation techniques, we
[...] Read more.
We studied the relationship between investor protection, government behavior, and financial development using data covering six provinces (Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Henan, and Sichuan) and two provincial-level cities (Beijing and Shanghai) in China for the period 2005–2014. Using panel data estimation techniques, we found that there is a positive relationship between investor protection and financial development; by contrast, highly-intense government intervention leads to more financial impediments. Moreover, government intervention in education could promote financial development through its contribution to having a higher amount of the fund supply. Our empirical findings have important implications for policy-makers in terms of reforming the capital market regulation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Fatigue Crack Propagation of Gears Considering Uncertainties in Loading and Material Properties
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2200; doi:10.3390/su9122200
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5197 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Failure prediction of wind turbine gearboxes (WTGs) is especially important since the maintenance of these components is not only costly but also causes the longest downtime. One of the most common causes of the premature fault of WTGs is attributed to the fatigue
[...] Read more.
Failure prediction of wind turbine gearboxes (WTGs) is especially important since the maintenance of these components is not only costly but also causes the longest downtime. One of the most common causes of the premature fault of WTGs is attributed to the fatigue fracture of gear teeth due to fluctuating and cyclic torque, resulting from stochastic wind loading, transmitted to the gearbox. Moreover, the fluctuation of the torque, as well as the inherent uncertainties of the material properties, results in uncertain life prediction for WTGs. It is therefore essential to quantify these uncertainties in the life estimation of gears. In this paper, a framework, constituted by a dynamic model of a one-stage gearbox, a finite element method, and a degradation model for the estimation of fatigue crack propagation in gear, is presented. Torque time history data of a wind turbine rotor was scaled and used to simulate the stochastic characteristic of the loading and uncertainties in the material constants of the degradation model were also quantified. It was demonstrated that uncertainty quantification of load and material constants provides a reasonable estimation of the distribution of the crack length in the gear tooth at any time step. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact and Innovation of Wind Turbine Technologies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Risk Reduction Methods for Managing the Development of Regional Electric Power Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2201; doi:10.3390/su9122201
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of the regional electric power industry has come to the forefront due to the changing scale, quality, and configuration of electric power infrastructure, and the spread of distributed generation. This gives rise to more stringent requirements regarding the reliability, safety, and
[...] Read more.
The development of the regional electric power industry has come to the forefront due to the changing scale, quality, and configuration of electric power infrastructure, and the spread of distributed generation. This gives rise to more stringent requirements regarding the reliability, safety, and environmental impact of electric power supply. This article aims to justify a package of methods that make it possible to identify and minimize investment, production, financial, and environmental risks in order to ensure sustainable development of the regional electric power industry that performs anti-crisis functions, and of individual energy companies. The key method to be employed is integrated resource planning (IRP). As a part of the method, energy conservation, renewable energy sources, and combined heat and power production are considered as equally valid ways of meeting future demand. The authors have designed a methodology for taking into account uncertainty and risk when implementing IRP. The methodology includes analysis of scenarios and decision making processes by calculating past and projected values of profit indicators. When conducting the environmental and economic assessment of an investment project in the electric power industry, the authors suggest using an aggregate indicator of environmental and economic effectiveness that is calculated on the basis of a combination of locally significant positive and negative environmental and economic impacts of the project. The authors formulate conceptual provisions that serve as the foundation for a promising model of the regional electric power industry and which contain recommendations for managing the development of the industry while minimizing organizational, market, and technological risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Tensions in Aspirational CSR Communication—A Longitudinal Investigation of CSR Reporting
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2202; doi:10.3390/su9122202
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1079 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A recent emergence of academic discourse within organisation and management scholarship is encouraging organisations to embrace the performative power of aspirational talk within corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication. However, there has been no empirical study to date to investigate the appropriateness of such
[...] Read more.
A recent emergence of academic discourse within organisation and management scholarship is encouraging organisations to embrace the performative power of aspirational talk within corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication. However, there has been no empirical study to date to investigate the appropriateness of such encouragement. This paper analyses CSR reporting and underlying sensemaking processes to trace how far this academic departure from the dominant discourse of verification and standardisation is reflected and accepted within this practice. The process-focused, longitudinal study is based on a discursive analysis of Nestlé CSR reports, revealing the struggles between forward and backward facing statements, and tracing the discursive management of tensions between talk and action over a period between 2002 and 2016. The discursive analysis is complemented with findings from seven in-depth interviews with Nestlé senior managers and external non-governmental organisation (NGO) stakeholders to provide insights into the underlying organisational sensemaking. Three tension management phases are detected in the reporting shifting from ignoring aspiration to allowing for a dialectic interplay between aspiration and performance. The interview findings support the detection of the three phases, highlight the dialectic interplay between retrospective and prospective sensemaking as part of the iterative reporting, and underscore the importance of stakeholder involvement in the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Global Warming Leading to Phenological Responses in the Process of Urbanization, South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2203; doi:10.3390/su9122203
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4027 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current studies are either region-limited, sole-species, or have short researching periods; so, studies about various species are necessary throughout South Korea. In this study, trends of changes in the budding and flowering dates of spring plants by climate factors served to explore the
[...] Read more.
Current studies are either region-limited, sole-species, or have short researching periods; so, studies about various species are necessary throughout South Korea. In this study, trends of changes in the budding and flowering dates of spring plants by climate factors served to explore the process of urbanization. Four common species, such as Forsythia koreana (forsythia), Rhododendron mucronulatum (azalea), Prunus yedoensis (Yoshino cherry) and Prunus mume (Japanese apricot), are examined during the period from 1973 to 2008 due to the limitation of recent datasets. Budding of forsythia, azalea, Yoshino cherry and the flowering of Japanese apricot are defined as Type I (inland, of reverse letter ‘L’) and flowering of forsythia, azalea and Yoshino cherry were grouped as Type II (inland and south coastline). Prunus mume budding was different from others, so it was defined as Type III (subtropical climate). The inland phonological response is relatively cold and dry and areas are affected by the Siberian high atmospheric pressure. On the other hand, the south and east coastlines are humid and warm areas even in the winter season due to the southeastern wind. There were advancements for 3.1 days of forsythia, 5.5 days of azalea, 6.5 days of Yoshino cherry and 18.6 days of Japanese apricot during the research period. The greatest changes occurred with respect to the minimum temperature in January and the maximum temperature in February, while the precipitation change was not significant. However, in Type II, the precipitation significantly impacted plant flowering events. Precipitation was the lowest in early spring in South Korea and especially the flowering of plants was impacted by the small amount of precipitation in this region. Additionally, if precipitation after budding was over 1 mm for forsythia and azalea, 2 mm for Yoshino cherry and 7 mm for apricot, flowering occurred in over 80% of the region. South Korea is characterized as having a small amount of land and a high population density in cities. As such, it encounters strong influences due to global warming, as well as urbanization. Seven metropolitan cities and Suwon have populations over 1 million and showed more remarkable phenological events and changes of climate factors than the other regions. Especially in the case of shrubs, the phenological events were delayed in urban areas during this research. In conclusion, climate change, as well as urbanization, serve as strong factors leading to phonological and regional events in the ecosystem. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Stakeholder Analysis for the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Phoenix, Arizona: Implications for Nexus Governance
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2204; doi:10.3390/su9122204
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must understand not only how these systems are physically connected but also how they
[...] Read more.
Understanding the food-energy-water nexus is necessary to identify risks and inform strategies for nexus governance to support resilient, secure, and sustainable societies. To manage risks and realize efficiencies, we must understand not only how these systems are physically connected but also how they are institutionally linked. It is important to understand how actors who make planning, management, and policy decisions understand the relationships among components of the systems. Our question is: How do stakeholders involved in food, energy, and water governance in Phoenix, Arizona understand the nexus and what are the implications for integrated nexus governance? We employ a case study design, generate qualitative data through focus groups and interviews, and conduct a content analysis. While stakeholders in the Phoenix area who are actively engaged in food, energy, and water systems governance appreciate the rationale for nexus thinking, they recognize practical limitations to implementing these concepts. Concept maps of nexus interactions provide one view of system interconnections that be used to complement other ways of knowing the nexus, such as physical infrastructure system diagrams or actor-networks. Stakeholders believe nexus governance could be improved through awareness and education, consensus and collaboration, transparency, economic incentives, working across scales, and incremental reforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food-Energy-Water Nexus: Towards New Thinking and Action)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Incentives for Developing Resilient Agritourism Entrepreneurship in Rural Communities in Romania in a European Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2205; doi:10.3390/su9122205
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a global setting where the requirements for development equally address the economic viability but also social and environmental sustainability, the healthy and efficient growth of rural communities poses substantial challenges. Our paper focuses on specific conditions and constraints that influence the progress
[...] Read more.
In a global setting where the requirements for development equally address the economic viability but also social and environmental sustainability, the healthy and efficient growth of rural communities poses substantial challenges. Our paper focuses on specific conditions and constraints that influence the progress of agritourism business initiatives as viable entrepreneurial solutions for self-sustainable rural communities in Romania. To assess the impact of economic, social and tourism-related factors on agritourism entrepreneurship for Romanian counties during 2010–2015 periods, we conducted several Ordinary Least Square regression models. The results emphasize that economic indicators like regional GDP and kilometers of national roads have a positive influence on the number of agritourism business units; also, a positive impact on agritourism entrepreneurship was identified for tourism-related factors like: number of employees and corresponding salaries in tourism, total tourists, share of tourism firms and their turnover in total firms and turnover of the region, as well as preference of tourists for agritourism. The conclusions highlight the direct link between resilient agritourism entrepreneurship and sustainable development of the region and open further research directions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Eco-Innovation Indices as Tools for Measuring Eco-Innovation
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2206; doi:10.3390/su9122206
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2051 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measuring eco-innovation helps us understand the overall trends and raises awareness in society. Measuring eco-innovation at the national level and making comparisons across countries may allow us to benchmark performance and foster policy learning. This paper assesses two indices developed in two different
[...] Read more.
Measuring eco-innovation helps us understand the overall trends and raises awareness in society. Measuring eco-innovation at the national level and making comparisons across countries may allow us to benchmark performance and foster policy learning. This paper assesses two indices developed in two different regions: The ASEM Eco-Innovation Index (ASEI) by the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center, based in Republic of Korea; and the Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (Eco-IS) developed by the Eco-Innovation Observatory, based in the European Union. This paper aims to examine and compare the features of both and attempts to obtain insights on their strengths and weaknesses. Towards this aim, our paper assesses those scoreboards against four criteria stemming from innovation analysis: (1) relevance of areas and stakeholders covered; (2) ability to indicate changes; (3) directions towards common goals; and (4) ability to facilitate further changes. We conclude both are promising, despite data shortages, and have great potential to contribute towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly with regard to the SDGs on sustainable industrialization and sustainable consumption and production. In comparison, the ASEI covers more countries than the Eco-IS. However, the ASEI has limitations on measuring indicators due to limited data availability in Asian countries. The Eco-IS is closely linked with the regional and national policies for eco-innovation in Europe, while the ASEI’s impact appears more limited, as of now. In conclusion, the research results give insights into key areas, goals and applications of eco-innovation indices, and can help upgrading eco-innovation indices. This research helps interpret the scores of two indices better and facilitate application of the scores in the multiple ways. It is expected that this research contributes to developing and modifying a global eco-innovation index and enhancing the ability of these indices to facilitate eco-innovation strategies at national levels and across relevant actors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Climate Changes and Their Impact on Agricultural Market Systems: Examples from Nepal
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2207; doi:10.3390/su9122207
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global climate models foresee changes in temperature and precipitation regimes that shift regional climate zones and influence the viability of agricultural market systems. Understanding the influence of climate change on the different sub-sectors and functions of a market system is crucial to increasing
[...] Read more.
Global climate models foresee changes in temperature and precipitation regimes that shift regional climate zones and influence the viability of agricultural market systems. Understanding the influence of climate change on the different sub-sectors and functions of a market system is crucial to increasing the systems’ climate resilience and to ensuring the long-term viability of the sectors. Our research applies a new approach to climate change analysis to better understand the influence of climate change on each step of an agricultural market system—on its core (processing units, storage facilities and sales) and support functions (sapling supply, research, insurance and agricultural policy). We use spatial climate analyses to investigate current and projected changes in climate for different regions in Nepal. We then analyse the risks and vulnerabilities of the sub-sectors banana, charcoal, coffee, macadamia, orange, vegetables and walnut. Our results show that temperatures and precipitation levels will change differently depending on the climatic regions, and that climate change elicits different responses from the market functions both between and within each of the different sub-sectors. We conclude that climate-related interventions in market systems must account for each different market function’s specific response and exposure to climate change, in order to select adaptation measures that ensure long-term climate resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Intelligent Luminance Control Method for Tunnel Lighting Based on Traffic Volume
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2208; doi:10.3390/su9122208
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an intelligent control method for tunnel lighting based on traffic volume. The monitoring data for a period of 12 days of the Chibai tunnel (located in the Jilin province of China) under different weather conditions was selected as the case
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an intelligent control method for tunnel lighting based on traffic volume. The monitoring data for a period of 12 days of the Chibai tunnel (located in the Jilin province of China) under different weather conditions was selected as the case study. The data used in the analysis included traffic volume, vehicle speed, the time of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) operating at their lowest luminance level, and the average time interval between two consecutive vehicles. The traffic flow analysis indicated that the tunnel has a relatively heavy traffic volume in the daytime (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and a relatively low traffic volume in the nighttime (12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.). Thus, we propose a tunnel lighting control method that distinguishes day and night operational strategies. In the daytime, the luminance of tunnel zones depends on tunnel exterior luminance, traffic volume and vehicle speed regardless of vehicle presence. In the night, the “vehicle in, light brightens; vehicle out, light darkens” control method is adopted for the tunnel luminance, which depends on vehicle presence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Sensitivity of Small-Scale Fishery Groups to Climate Change in Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2209; doi:10.3390/su9122209
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (522 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change continues to pose threats to fisheries and fishery-dependent communities globally. Vulnerability to climate change is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Sensitivity is largely determined by the differences in socio-economic conditions among communities, and conflicts over resources often exacerbate
[...] Read more.
Climate change continues to pose threats to fisheries and fishery-dependent communities globally. Vulnerability to climate change is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Sensitivity is largely determined by the differences in socio-economic conditions among communities, and conflicts over resources often exacerbate this sensitivity. This study aims to understand factors affecting the sensitivity to climate change. The objectives are twofold: first, to develop indicators affecting sensitivity and to determine how they affect sensitivity, second, to compare sensitivity of two small-scale fishing groups (fishing camps and fishing villages). The study used twelve indicators, which are categorized into two; the community characteristics and assets, and threats and conflicts. Results show that fishing camps are less sensitive to climate change than fishing villages since they have more varied livelihood sources, such as crop farming. This allows for more sources of income. Both groups experience conflict with other lake users and wildlife attacks, which amplify their sensitivity through the reduction of fishing grounds and the damaging of fishing gear. It also shows that both climate and non-climate factors affect sensitivity, and understanding this can help to increase adaptive capacity. The findings allow for formulation of policy recommendations to help strengthen the livelihoods of small-scale fisheries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Water Authorities’ Pricing Strategies to Recover Supply Costs in the Absence of Water Metering for Irrigated Agriculture
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2210; doi:10.3390/su9122210
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most of the irrigated agricultural regions in Europe are supplied by surface irrigation networks managed by local water authorities (WAs). Under such conditions, WAs are not able to fully monitor water usage and farmers have an information advantage vis-a-vis the WA. This results
[...] Read more.
Most of the irrigated agricultural regions in Europe are supplied by surface irrigation networks managed by local water authorities (WAs). Under such conditions, WAs are not able to fully monitor water usage and farmers have an information advantage vis-a-vis the WA. This results in the water authority suffering ‘pricing failure’ if it decides to apply an incentive pricing strategy (tariffs proportional to the alleged water uses). Indeed, farmers could exploit their information advantage by behaving in an opportunistic manner, withdrawing more water than declared, and ultimately paying less than they should. This situation could also undermine the efficacy and the efficiency of the WA incentive pricing strategies. This paper analyses incentive water pricing schemes under asymmetric information by the means of a Principal-Agent model. The Agency problem between the WA and farmers is addressed by introducing a monitoring strategy that would enable the WA to detect farms action. In doing so, we compare incentive strategies with flat rate water pricing and investigate under what conditions the WA might provide/not provide incentive water pricing in the absence of water metering. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Small-Scale Hydropower Plants in Sites of Environmental Value: An Italian Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2211; doi:10.3390/su9122211
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (12352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since ancient times water has been accompanying technological change in the energy sector. Used as a source of hydraulic energy, it currently generates one-fifth of the global electricity production. However, according to collective imagination, hydroelectric plants are constructions of high environmental, acoustic, and
[...] Read more.
Since ancient times water has been accompanying technological change in the energy sector. Used as a source of hydraulic energy, it currently generates one-fifth of the global electricity production. However, according to collective imagination, hydroelectric plants are constructions of high environmental, acoustic, and visual impact, which may harm the preservation of the territory. This paper intends to address the topic of mini-hydropower that, in addition to providing the production of renewable energy, ensures a limited environmental impact even in delicate contexts with high landscape values, by elaborating a research methodology that makes these interventions compatible with them. The process of “global compatibility” checks developed to assess the feasibility of the intervention will be explained in the paper. We intend to describe here the research process undertaken to make the planning of this type of system sustainable, in contexts that need to be rehabilitated in relation both to the accessibility of citizens and to the environmental enhancement. The intervention planned will be characterized by the combined use of other renewable energy sources, in addition to water. The proposed methodology has been tested on a case study in the village of Roccacasale, in the province of L’Aquila. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Road to Sustainable Development of Chinese Cities: A Perception of Improving Urban Management Efficiency Based on Two-Level Production Factors
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2212; doi:10.3390/su9122212
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
It is an inevitable requirement of regional governance and sustainable development to improve urban management efficiency (UME). Different from the previous studies, this paper gives it a new meaning based on the production factors theories. Then the paper analyzes the response of UME
[...] Read more.
It is an inevitable requirement of regional governance and sustainable development to improve urban management efficiency (UME). Different from the previous studies, this paper gives it a new meaning based on the production factors theories. Then the paper analyzes the response of UME to the primary production factors (PPFs) characterized by the traditional production factors theory (land, labor, and capital), and the expanded production factors (EPFs) reflected by the modern production factors theory (energy and ecology). By analyzing UME in China’s 334 cities on global and local scales, this paper found four characteristics of UME: (1) the striking spatial differences; (2) the strong correlation between management models; (3) the evident development emphasis; and (4) the weak matching linkage. Finally, we put forward the countermeasures of spatial governance, including strengthening the agglomeration effect, promoting diversified development models on different scales, and accelerating resource coordination and sharing. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Delimiting Urban Growth Boundary through Combining Land Suitability Evaluation and Cellular Automata
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2213; doi:10.3390/su9122213
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (9148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s domestic urban planning only worked on researches of urban space control, the scope definition of urban development is not clear enough. The purpose of this study is to present a new urban growth boundary (UGB) delimitation method which combined land suitability evaluation
[...] Read more.
China’s domestic urban planning only worked on researches of urban space control, the scope definition of urban development is not clear enough. The purpose of this study is to present a new urban growth boundary (UGB) delimitation method which combined land suitability evaluation (LSE) and cellular automata (CA). This method gave credence to LSE’s advantage in sustainable land use, and CA’s advantage in objective dynamic simulation. The ecological limitation areas were defined by LSE, which were regarded as the restricted areas of urban growth; meanwhile, it was taken as an important model input to guide intensive land allocation in urban growth model (CA model). The future urban growth scenarios were predicted by CA model and the corresponding UGB lines were delineated by ArcGIS 10.1. The results indicated that this method had good performance in Ningbo’s urban growth simulation. When compared to the planned UGB in urban master planning, the simulated UGBs under port development and regulated scenarios showed more intensive and suitable spatial layout of land. Besides, the simulated UGB under regulated scenario had the most reasonable space structure and the largest ecological protection effect among the UGBs. Hence, the simulated UGBs were superior to the planned UGB. The study recommends that this UGB delimitation method can promote sustainability of land development and ecological environment in Chinese cities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Fostering Nautical Tourism in the Balearic Islands
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2215; doi:10.3390/su9122215
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to determine pillars for fostering nautical tourism based on the beliefs and attitudes that professionals in the sector have towards the particularities and difficulties that the market is going through. To achieve these goals, in-depth interviews structured
[...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to determine pillars for fostering nautical tourism based on the beliefs and attitudes that professionals in the sector have towards the particularities and difficulties that the market is going through. To achieve these goals, in-depth interviews structured around 37 questions were carried out with agents of associations and nautical firms, public institutions, and the Chamber of Commerce. The qualitative analysis program NVIVO 11 was used to analyze the content of the gathered data. The findings reveal that the main difficulties are related to normative issues and taxation, illegal supply, and a lack of definition of the nautical tourist profile. This absence of definition causes a vagueness when estimating the total number of nautical tourists that visit a destination. Thus, this affects evaluation of the economic, social, and environmental impact of nautical tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analyzing Supply Chain Uncertainty to Deliver Sustainable Operational Performance: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Modeling Approaches
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2217; doi:10.3390/su9122217
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to analyze different types of supply chain uncertainties and suggest strategies to deal with unexpected contingencies to deliver superior operational performance (OP) using symmetrical and asymmetrical modeling approaches. The data were collected through a survey given to
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to analyze different types of supply chain uncertainties and suggest strategies to deal with unexpected contingencies to deliver superior operational performance (OP) using symmetrical and asymmetrical modeling approaches. The data were collected through a survey given to 146 supply chain managers within the fast moving consumer goods industry in Thailand. Symmetrical modeling is applied via partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in order to assess the theoretical relationships among the latent variables, while asymmetrical modeling is applied via fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to emphasize their combinatory causal relation. The empirical results support the theory by highlighting the mediating effect of supply chain strategy (SCS) in the relation between supply chain uncertainty (SCU) and firms’ OP and, hence, deliver business sustainability for the firms, demonstrating that the choice of SCS should not be an “either-or” decision. This research contributes by providing an illustration of a PLS-SEM and fsQCA based estimation for the rapidly emerging field of sustainable supply chain management. This study provides empirical support for resource dependence theory (RDT) in explaining the relation between SCU and SCS, which leads to sustainable OP. From a methodological standpoint, this study also illustrates predictive validation testing of models using holdout samples and testing for causal asymmetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Green Marketing as the Source of the Competitive Advantage of the Business
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2218; doi:10.3390/su9122218
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
PDF Full-text (340 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work we focused on summarizing the principles of green marketing and the concepts related to it. The aim of this contribution was to prove the relationship between the implementation of green marketing principles and sustainable competitive company position on the market.
[...] Read more.
In this work we focused on summarizing the principles of green marketing and the concepts related to it. The aim of this contribution was to prove the relationship between the implementation of green marketing principles and sustainable competitive company position on the market. In order to prove the relationship between the implementation of green marketing principles and the competitive market position of companies, we used a multiple regression method to reveal the relationship, despite many variables. This was preceded by a factor analysis that helped us to select the main factors of influence. In order to meet this goal, we have drawn from the surveys conducted by PwC (Bratislava, Slovakia), the Automobile Industry Association and the Slovak Automobile Institute to identify key factors and future expected development in the auto industry supplier segment and our marketing research, conducted from December 2015 to February 2016. Based on the results of marketing surveys, research responses and the study of available resources, we concluded that there is no comprehensive green marketing implementation model linking environmental consumer behavior with a link to the company’s marketing strategy. The contribution could help the Automotive Industry Union to present requirements to the government and help create incentives for the alternative vehicle market, and our findings could be incorporated into the creation of companies’ strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in E-Business)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Studies on Pounding Response Considering Structure-Soil-Structure Interaction under Seismic Loads
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2219; doi:10.3390/su9122219
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pounding phenomena considering structure–soil–structure interaction (SSSI) under seismic loads are investigated in this paper. Based on a practical engineering project, this work presents a three-dimensional finite element numerical simulation method using ANSYS software. According to Chinese design code, the models of adjacent shear
[...] Read more.
Pounding phenomena considering structure–soil–structure interaction (SSSI) under seismic loads are investigated in this paper. Based on a practical engineering project, this work presents a three-dimensional finite element numerical simulation method using ANSYS software. According to Chinese design code, the models of adjacent shear wall structures on Shanghai soft soil with the rigid foundation, box foundation and pile foundation are built respectively. In the simulation, the Davidenkov model of the soil skeleton curve is assumed for soil behavior, and the contact elements with Kelvin model are adopted to simulate pounding phenomena between adjacent structures. Finally, the dynamic responses of adjacent structures considering the pounding and SSSI effects are analyzed. The results show that pounding phenomena may occur, indicating that the seismic separation requirement for adjacent buildings of Chinese design code may not be enough to avoid pounding effect. Pounding and SSSI effects worsen the adjacent buildings’ conditions because their acceleration and shear responses are amplified after pounding considering SSSI. These results are significant for studying the effect of pounding and SSSI phenomena on seismic responses of structures and national sustainable development, especially in earthquake prevention and disaster reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Value-Added-Based Accounting of CO2 Emissions: A Multi-Regional Input-Output Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2220; doi:10.3390/su9122220
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the era of globalization and international trade, the production-based CO2 emissions accounting system, proposed by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, can easily lead to a “carbon leakage” issue. Thus, the accounting of consumption-based carbon emissions and carbon emissions embodied
[...] Read more.
In the era of globalization and international trade, the production-based CO2 emissions accounting system, proposed by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, can easily lead to a “carbon leakage” issue. Thus, the accounting of consumption-based carbon emissions and carbon emissions embodied in international trade has received considerable research attention. Nevertheless, researchers also indicated that the consumption-based principle has some weaknesses, for example, it leads the producers inert on reducing carbon emissions while gaining economic benefits. To share carbon emissions responsibilities between producers and consumers is widely recognized. So, setting an income-based emissions accounting method as to producer is a necessary complement for accounting national carbon emissions. This study promoted a model, called the value-added-based accounting of CO2 emissions method, to account for anthropogenic CO2 emissions within the context of the economic benefit principle. Based on the global multi-regional input-output table and national carbon emissions database, we calculated the national/regional carbon emissions based on the value-added accounting approach as well as the amount of global carbon emissions embodied in value-added chains. If the results are served as a supplement for calculating the amount of CO2 emissions reduction that a country is responsible for, problems such as carbon leakage and resistance to improving the energy efficiency of exporting sector may be solved, because all the supply chains emissions associated with the economic growth of a country would be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Role of Sustainable Investment in Climate Policy
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2221; doi:10.3390/su9122221
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals requires a fundamental socio-economic transformation accompanied by substantial investment in low-carbon infrastructure. Such a sustainability transition represents a non-marginal change, driven by behavioral factors and systemic interactions. However, typical economic models used to assess a sustainability transition focus
[...] Read more.
Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals requires a fundamental socio-economic transformation accompanied by substantial investment in low-carbon infrastructure. Such a sustainability transition represents a non-marginal change, driven by behavioral factors and systemic interactions. However, typical economic models used to assess a sustainability transition focus on marginal changes around a local optimum, which—by construction—lead to negative effects. Thus, these models do not allow evaluating a sustainability transition that might have substantial positive effects. This paper examines which mechanisms need to be included in a standard computable general equilibrium model to overcome these limitations and to give a more comprehensive view of the effects of climate change mitigation. Simulation results show that, given an ambitious greenhouse gas emission constraint and a price of carbon, positive economic effects are possible if (1) technical progress results (partly) endogenously from the model and (2) a policy intervention triggering an increase of investment is introduced. Additionally, if (3) the investment behavior of firms is influenced by their sales expectations, the effects are amplified. The results provide suggestions for policy-makers, because the outcome indicates that investment-oriented climate policies can lead to more desirable outcomes in economic, social and environmental terms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Spatial Disaster Assessment Model of Social Resilience Based on Geographically Weighted Regression
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2222; doi:10.3390/su9122222
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since avoiding the occurrence of natural disasters is difficult, building ‘resilient cities’ is gaining more attention as a common objective within urban communities. By enhancing community resilience, it is possible to minimize the direct and indirect losses from disasters. However, current studies have
[...] Read more.
Since avoiding the occurrence of natural disasters is difficult, building ‘resilient cities’ is gaining more attention as a common objective within urban communities. By enhancing community resilience, it is possible to minimize the direct and indirect losses from disasters. However, current studies have focused more on physical aspects, despite the fact that social aspects may have a closer relation to the inhabitants. The objective of this paper is to develop an assessment model for social resilience by measuring the heterogeneity of local indicators that are related to disaster risk. Firstly, variables were selected by investigating previous assessment models with statistical verification. Secondly, spatial heterogeneity was analyzed using the Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) method. A case study was then undertaken on a flood-prone area in the metropolitan city, Seoul, South Korea. Based on the findings, the paper proposes a new spatial disaster assessment model that can be used for disaster management at the local levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling the Impact of Urban Landscape Change on Urban Wetlands Using Similarity Weighted Instance-Based Machine Learning and Markov Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2223; doi:10.3390/su9122223
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban wetlands play important roles in providing several ecosystem services that support the urban environment. As such, scientists have studied them to understand the urban processes that lead to their continued decline. However, little attention has been given to the drivers of land-use
[...] Read more.
Urban wetlands play important roles in providing several ecosystem services that support the urban environment. As such, scientists have studied them to understand the urban processes that lead to their continued decline. However, little attention has been given to the drivers of land-use change that may affect this fragile ecosystem in the future. Understanding this could serve as a critical step towards urban wetland management and sustainability. In this study, we utilized an integrated approach that combined Similarity Weighted Instance-based Machine Learning and Markov chain, both embedded in the IDRISI Land Change Modeler to simulate change in the landscape of three watersheds in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. The purpose was to assess the possible future impacts of urban expansion-induced landscape change on wetlands within the study area, using a retrospective approach. To achieve this, classified SPOT satellite data covering the three watersheds were used to generate historical land cover maps of the study area between 1992 and 2010 to analyze changes to the landscape. In addition, the study identified several drivers of land change associated with the historical change process in the study area, and accounted for their role in the modeling process. On this basis, the study made the prediction of urban landscape transformation to the end date of 2014. The prediction result was verified with a more accurate map that was derived from independently classifying a 2014 SPOT image of the study area. Results from this study show that impervious surfaces, which were used as an index of urban expansion, may increase by approximately the same magnitude experienced historically, which may result in a small but significant loss of wetlands and other land cover classes within the study area. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Advanced Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor Core Concept Using Uranium-Free Metallic Fuels for Maximizing TRU Burning Rate
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2225; doi:10.3390/su9122225
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2664 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we designed and analyzed advanced sodium-cooled fast reactor cores using uranium-free metallic fuels for maximizing burning rate of transuranics (TRU) nuclides from PWR spent fuels. It is well known that the removal of fertile nuclides such as 238U from
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we designed and analyzed advanced sodium-cooled fast reactor cores using uranium-free metallic fuels for maximizing burning rate of transuranics (TRU) nuclides from PWR spent fuels. It is well known that the removal of fertile nuclides such as 238U from fuels in liquid metal cooled fast reactor leads to the degradation of important safety parameters such as the Doppler coefficient, coolant void worth, and delayed neutron fraction. To resolve the degradation of the Doppler coefficient, we considered adding resonant nuclides to the uranium-free metallic fuels. The analysis results showed that the cores using uranium-free fuels loaded with tungsten instead of uranium have a significantly lower burnup reactivity swing and more negative Doppler coefficients than the core using uranium-free fuels without resonant nuclides. In addition, we considered the use of axially central B4C absorber region and moderator rods to further improve safety parameters such as sodium void worth, burnup reactivity swing, and the Doppler coefficient. The results of the analysis showed that the final design core can consume ~353 kg per cycle and satisfies self-controllability under unprotected accidents. The fuel cycle analysis showed that the PWR–SFR coupling fuel cycle option drastically reduces the amount of waste going to repository and the SFR burner can consume the amount of TRUs discharged from 3.72 PWRs generating the same electricity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Analysis of the Determinants of Sustainable Cross-Border Cooperation and Recommendations on Its Harmonization
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2226; doi:10.3390/su9122226
Received: 8 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1538 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cross-border partnerships are a distinctive example of inter-organizational cooperation, embedded, in terms of territory, in the neighboring borderland regions of two or more countries. The aim of this paper is to identify factors that contribute to the sustainable cross-border cooperation and affect motivation
[...] Read more.
Cross-border partnerships are a distinctive example of inter-organizational cooperation, embedded, in terms of territory, in the neighboring borderland regions of two or more countries. The aim of this paper is to identify factors that contribute to the sustainable cross-border cooperation and affect motivation to increase cooperation between cross-border partners. The objective implementation is connected with the verification of a hypothesis referring to the possible impact of the European Union funds on the trans-boundary cooperation transformations. Results of desk research and quantitative research involving IDI, CATI, CAWI and CATI and PAPI data collection methods, implemented in the Polish–Czech borderland in 2016 were used in this paper. Research on the Polish–Lithuanian borderland was also used in the paper to conduct comparative analysis, useful to identify and evaluate factors motivating sustainable cross-border cooperation in the Czech–Polish borderland. The sustainable, cross-border and inter-organizational cooperation in the borderlands results from the simultaneous interaction of three groups of factors: (1) people and institutions (the quality of interpersonal relationships); (2) cross-border planning, procedures and support mechanisms (e.g., the possibility of jointly planning the cross-border cooperation and obtaining EU funds for the development of the borderlands as well as the availability of other funds helpful in this kind of cooperation); and (3) environment (historical affinity and geographical proximity of neighboring border regions, system support at the regional and local level in neighboring countries). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alliances and Network Organizations for Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Environmental Consequences of Swedish Food Consumption and Dietary Choices
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2227; doi:10.3390/su9122227
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In recent years, a growing interest from consumers to know the origins and contents of foods has put alternative choices, such as organic foods and dietary changes, on the agenda. Dietary choices are important to address, as many studies find that activities related
[...] Read more.
In recent years, a growing interest from consumers to know the origins and contents of foods has put alternative choices, such as organic foods and dietary changes, on the agenda. Dietary choices are important to address, as many studies find that activities related to food production account for nearly 20–30% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nonetheless, while GHG emissions are important, often other environmental impact categories are not considered in the assessment of the sustainability of different foods, diets and choices. This study aims to quantify the implications of dietary choices for Swedish food consumption on a broad range of environmental impact categories using life cycle assessment to provide insight into the impacts, and potential tradeoffs, associated with certain food products and dietary choices. Scenarios are used to assess the implications of diets with reduced meat, increased Swedish food consumption, increased organic foods, vegan and semi-vegetarian diets. The results indicate that tradeoffs could be possible with certain dietary choices. Increasing Swedish food production and consumption may lead to lower impacts for all impact categories by reducing imports, although limitations in growing season and availability of foods in Sweden allows only for minor increases. The results also indicate that large reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are possible by reducing meat consumption, i.e., by halving meat consumption and through vegan and vegetarian diets. Nonetheless, an increase in vegetable, legume and fruit products may lead to a potential increase in human and ecosystem toxicity. Diets based on nutritional guidelines, show reductions in all impact categories, as these guidelines call for an increase in vegetables and fruits and a reduction in meat consumption. An increase in organic foods showed no significant change in climate impact, although toxicity potential was reduced significantly. Increasing consumption of organic foods may also lead to a reduction in biodiversity damage potential, and if all food is produced organically, it risks increasing eutrophication and land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Action in Consumption and Production)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Proposal to Foster Sustainability through Circular Economy-Based Engineering: A Profitable Chain from Waste Management to Tunnel Lighting
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2229; doi:10.3390/su9122229
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (957 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing demands of infrastructures in terms of energy consumption, raw material demand, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, treatment of components after their lifetime period, and financial costs are nowadays a serious threat for sustainability. Given that the resources are limited, it is
[...] Read more.
The increasing demands of infrastructures in terms of energy consumption, raw material demand, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, treatment of components after their lifetime period, and financial costs are nowadays a serious threat for sustainability. Given that the resources are limited, it is difficult to ensure an accurate level of well-being for future generations. For this reason, new perspectives in design, production and consumption are necessary. In this work, the principles of circular economy are applied to concrete branches of engineering. Departing from a design orientated to new uses after life period of infrastructures, a circular economy-aimed engineering makes possible the connection and mutual profit of such different branches like waste management and tunnel lighting. The benefits in environmental and financial terms are a strong argument in favor of a stronger link between engineering and circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Catalan Economy towards the New European Energy Policy: Through Accounting of Greenhouse Emission Multipliers
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2230; doi:10.3390/su9122230
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to study the effect that implementing the agreement signed by the European Union at the end of 2008 will have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Catalonia. Emission multipliers and the impact of reducing emissions by 10%,
[...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to study the effect that implementing the agreement signed by the European Union at the end of 2008 will have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Catalonia. Emission multipliers and the impact of reducing emissions by 10%, in sectors not covered by the EU ETS (EU Emissions Trading System) and reducing those that are covered by 21%, are analysed. More specifically, the effects on the endogenous income of the multiplier model (production, factorial and private income) is studied, while reducing and increasing endogenous income and the decomposition of emission multipliers into open, own and circular effects is analysed to include the different channels of the process of generating CO2 equivalent emissions. The empirical application is for the Catalan economy and uses economic and environmental data for the year 2001. The results show that increases in greenhouse gas emissions will essentially depend on the account that receives the exogenous inflow in demand. Greenhouse gas emissions in Catalonia are affected very differently at the sectoral level and the effects of production activities, factors of production and consumption on air pollution are very heterogeneous. The analytical approach used in this paper provides interesting results that can help to design and implement policies to reduce emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Regional Ecological Risk Assessment in the Huai River Watershed during 2010–2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2231; doi:10.3390/su9122231
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem deterioration has been and is still a serious threat to human survival and regional economic development. Theoretical and methodological challenges exist in assessing ecological risk of watershed ecosystem that is imposed by natural changes or human activities. To fill this research gap,
[...] Read more.
Ecosystem deterioration has been and is still a serious threat to human survival and regional economic development. Theoretical and methodological challenges exist in assessing ecological risk of watershed ecosystem that is imposed by natural changes or human activities. To fill this research gap, this research proposes an interdisciplinary and quantitative methodology based on some techniques such as the Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risk (PETAR), the Entropy, and the Celluar Automata Markov (CA-Markov). We focused on six vulnerable environmental variables, namely land-use change, water quantity, water quality, gross domestic product (GDP), environmental pollutants, and soil erosion in the Huai River watershed in the Henan Province in order to build multi-dimensional quantitative method. Further, the Coupling Coordination Degree Model is constructed, and the “threshold index” is also addressed to reflect the limitation of ecological risk. Our results show that the spatio-temperal distribution of the eco-environmental quality has greatly varied across this study area during different time spans. Natural eco-environmental quality has moderately degraded in 70% of this study area (mainly agricultural region), at a prefectural level from 2000 to 2010, and has slightly improved over the agricultural region (<170 m above sea level) during 2010–2015. However, when considering negative stressors from human social system on the natural ecosystem, the extent and distribution of the ecological risk varied across the whole area during 2000–2015. The results show that there was almost 90.40% of this region under the ecological risk, with varying extents over the study time, e.g., Kaifeng, Shangqiu, Xuchang, and Xinyang, with a moderate deterioration in the eco-environmental quality, and Zhengzhou with a slight deterioration in the eco-environmental quality. This paper provides a valuable perspective for governments at all levels to manage watershed environment resources. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Learning Path of US Shale Players by Using the Learning Curve Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2232; doi:10.3390/su9122232
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (939 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The US shale exploration and production (E&P) industry has grown since 2007 due to the development of new techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As a result, the share of shale gas in the US natural gas production is almost 50%,
[...] Read more.
The US shale exploration and production (E&P) industry has grown since 2007 due to the development of new techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. As a result, the share of shale gas in the US natural gas production is almost 50%, and the share of tight oil in the US crude oil production is almost 52%. Even though oil and gas prices decreased sharply in 2014, the production amounts of shale gas and tight oil increased between 2014 and 2015. We show that many players in the US shale E&P industry succeeded in decreasing their production costs to maintain their business activity and production. However, most of the companies in the US petroleum E&P industry incurred losses in 2015 and 2016. Furthermore, crude oil and natural gas prices could not rebound to their 2015 price levels. Therefore, many companies in the US petroleum E&P industry need to increase their productivity to overcome the low commodity prices situation. Hence, to test the change in their productivity and analyze their ability to survive in the petroleum industry, this study calculates the learning rate using the US shale E&P players’ annual report data from 2008 to 2016. The result of the calculation is that the long-term learning rate is 1.87% and the short-term learning rate is 3.16%. This indicates a change in the technological development trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining Trust and Risk in Mobile Money Acceptance in Uganda
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2233; doi:10.3390/su9122233
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mobile money adoption can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Uganda but the factors affecting its sustainable adoption remain largely unknown. This paper explores the extent to which mobile money users’ trust and risk perceptions affect mobile money services adoption of in
[...] Read more.
Mobile money adoption can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Uganda but the factors affecting its sustainable adoption remain largely unknown. This paper explores the extent to which mobile money users’ trust and risk perceptions affect mobile money services adoption of in Uganda. A survey was conducted with 438 mobile money users from Uganda and data was analyzed using Partial Least Squares (PLS) Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). From the results, we obtained new empirical evidence for applying trust and risk perceptions for analyzing mobile money acceptance. We found that mobile money users rely on the structural soundness of mobile money services providers and their ability to provide mobile money services with low perceived risk. Performance expectancy, perceived risk and structural assurance significantly influenced behavioral intention to adopt mobile money. Trust belief did not significantly influence behavioral intention. These results help us to understand and promote mobile banking services in underdeveloped countries, which is of practical and scientific interests. We finally provide practical implications for mobile money services providers, commercial banks and central banks in Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Solid Waste Disposal in Chinese Cities: An Evaluation of Local Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2234; doi:10.3390/su9122234
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China meets increasingly serious solid waste problems and has adopted various policies in response in recent years. Meanwhile, few studies have investigated the performance of solid waste disposal through statistical analysis with empirical data. This study examines provincial resource use policy’s influence on
[...] Read more.
China meets increasingly serious solid waste problems and has adopted various policies in response in recent years. Meanwhile, few studies have investigated the performance of solid waste disposal through statistical analysis with empirical data. This study examines provincial resource use policy’s influence on the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste in Chinese cities. Through comparing results for statistical analysis in the year 2009 and 2015 by multiple linear regression analysis, this study analyzes similarities and differences in the drivers for solid waste disposal in the era of the 11th Five-Year Plan and the 12th Five-Year Plan in China. It finds that the adoption of resource use policy positively increases the comprehensive utilization rate of industrial solid waste. Other factors such as industrial SO2 emission, local environmental regulations, GDP per capita, population density and educational level also affect industrial solid waste disposal. Therefore, China should continue implementing solid waste disposal policies, upgrade current industrial systems, push forward economic and social reform and increase environmental education to enhance the effectiveness of solid waste disposal for long-term sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustaining Employability: A Process for Introducing Cloud Computing, Big Data, Social Networks, Mobile Programming and Cybersecurity into Academic Curricula
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2235; doi:10.3390/su9122235
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article describes a process for introducing modern technological subjects into the academic curricula of non-technical universities. The process described may increase and contribute to social sustainability by enabling non-technical students’ access to the field of the Internet of Things and the broader
[...] Read more.
This article describes a process for introducing modern technological subjects into the academic curricula of non-technical universities. The process described may increase and contribute to social sustainability by enabling non-technical students’ access to the field of the Internet of Things and the broader Industry 4.0. The process has been defined and tested during a curricular reform project that took place in two large universities in Eastern Europe. In this article, the authors describe the results and impact, over multiple years, of a project financed by the European Union that aimed to introduce the following subjects into the academic curricula of business students: cloud computing, big data, mobile programming, and social networks and cybersecurity (CAMSS). The results are useful for those trying to implement similar curricular reforms, or to companies that need to manage talent pipelines. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle A New Approach to Identify Social Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Yangtze River Delta
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2236; doi:10.3390/su9122236
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explored a new approach regarding social vulnerability to climate change, and measured social vulnerability in three parts: (1) choosing relevant indicators of social vulnerability to climate change; (2) based on the Hazard Vulnerability Similarity Index (HVSI), our method provided a procedure
[...] Read more.
This paper explored a new approach regarding social vulnerability to climate change, and measured social vulnerability in three parts: (1) choosing relevant indicators of social vulnerability to climate change; (2) based on the Hazard Vulnerability Similarity Index (HVSI), our method provided a procedure to choose the referenced community objectively; and (3) ranked social vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability according to profiles of similarity matrix and specific attributes of referenced communities. This new approach was applied to a case study of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region and our findings included: (1) counties with a minimum and maximum social vulnerability index (SVI) were identified, which provided valuable examples to be followed or avoided in the mitigation planning and preparedness of other counties; (2) most counties in the study area were identified in high exposure, medium sensitivity, low adaptability, and medium SVI; (3) four cities, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou were much less vulnerable than others due to their high adaptability; (4) to some extent, there were geographical similarities of SVI, exposure index, sensitivity index, and adaptability index; and (5) the indicator of “Employees in primary industry” related to SVI the most, the indicator of “Renter” related to exposure index (EI) most, the indicator of “Elderly” related to sensitivity index (SI) the most, and the indicator of “Urban residents” relates to adaptability index (AI) most. These results can help decision makers find the focus of their mitigation works, where the efficient of practices will then be improved. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The STIRPAT Analysis on Carbon Emission in Chinese Cities: An Asymmetric Laplace Distribution Mixture Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2237; doi:10.3390/su9122237
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In cities’ policy-making, it is a hot issue to grasp the determinants of carbon dioxide emission in Chinese cities. And the common method is to use the STIRPAT model, where its coefficients represent the influence intensity of each determinants of carbon emission. However,
[...] Read more.
In cities’ policy-making, it is a hot issue to grasp the determinants of carbon dioxide emission in Chinese cities. And the common method is to use the STIRPAT model, where its coefficients represent the influence intensity of each determinants of carbon emission. However, less work discusses estimation accuracy, especially in the framework of non-normal distribution and heterogeneity among cities’ emission. To improve the estimation accuracy, this paper employs a new method to estimate the STIRPAT model. The method uses a mixture of Asymmetric Laplace distributions (ALDs) to approximate the true distribution of the error term. Meantime, a designed two-layer EM algorithm is used to obtain estimators. We test the robustness via the comparison results of five different models. We find that the ALDs Mixture Model is more reliable the others. Further, a significant Kuznets curve relationship is identified in China. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of the Distribution of Small Businesses in the Eastern Villages of Gilan Province with Emphasis on the Tourism Sector in Mountainous Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2238; doi:10.3390/su9122238
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of small businesses in rural areas as a key strategy for sustaining the population and improving the quality of life of villagers has always been a concern for many developed and developing countries. Some rural areas provide their villagers with favorable
[...] Read more.
The development of small businesses in rural areas as a key strategy for sustaining the population and improving the quality of life of villagers has always been a concern for many developed and developing countries. Some rural areas provide their villagers with favorable conditions for the development of businesses in order to enjoy the potential in the field of tourism. Sustainable development in these areas can be achieved with systematic attention and planning. In the present work, the spatial analysis of the distribution of small businesses in the eastern parts of Gilan Province was studied with an emphasis on tourism in mountainous regions. The study population consisted of all villages in the east part of Gilan Province, and the sample included all businesses officially supported by the Omid Entrepreneurship Fund. The research method was a descriptive analytic in which GIS software and the G statistic were used for the analysis of spatial correlation, clustering, hot and cold spots analysis and buffer zones. Finally, the results of the study showed that the spatial distribution of businesses in different economic sectors (agriculture, industry, services and tourism) were different between 2011 and 2016 in the way the cluster pattern was formed in agricultural and service activities. A cluster pattern cannot be considered in the tourism and industrial activities, but there is a random (point) pattern; in this regard, the results indicate the importance of the factor of distance between the village and the city center in the distribution of tourism businesses. In addition, the highest levels of support for businesses were in the agricultural and services sectors, while the lowest support was in industry and tourism. Finally, the results showed that the distribution of businesses in all activities was much higher in the plains and valleys as compared to the mountainous and hill areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Environmental Risks or Costs? Exploring Flooding and the Urban Heat Island Effect in Planning for Policymaking: A Case Study in the Southern Taiwan Science Park
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2239; doi:10.3390/su9122239
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (27367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study examined a specific case of planning for policymaking in response to two physical environmental issues: flooding and the urban heat island effect (UHI). The Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) was selected as a case study. Data were primarily collected through interviews
[...] Read more.
This study examined a specific case of planning for policymaking in response to two physical environmental issues: flooding and the urban heat island effect (UHI). The Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) was selected as a case study. Data were primarily collected through interviews as well as through policy review. The assessment showed significant differences in policymaking when comparing these two issues. The issue of flooding was considered and managed well. The UHI, however, was poorly considered or ignored altogether in policymaking, even though it has shown an increasing trend over the last decades, to a greater degree in the STSP than in the city centre. The results implied that the neoliberal approach to planning of decision-making performed better in managing risks (i.e., flooding and relevant disasters which had occurred in the past) than costs (i.e., the UHI and the future threats resulting from development). The STSP’s spatial development strategy, underpinned by the neoliberal approach with an agenda for maximising economic growth, was questionable for environmental management toward resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Architectural and Urban Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle From Having Fun to Applause: The Study of Relationships among Festival Benefits, Festival Identity and Festival Support by Viewpoints of the Hosts and Guests
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2240; doi:10.3390/su9122240
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainable development of the festival depends on the support and participation of residents and tourists. There are a number of practical and theoretical gaps regarding the hosts and guests in festival literature. This study attempts to fill the host–guest gap based on
[...] Read more.
The sustainable development of the festival depends on the support and participation of residents and tourists. There are a number of practical and theoretical gaps regarding the hosts and guests in festival literature. This study attempts to fill the host–guest gap based on the theory of reasoned action to construct and exam a relationship model. Taking the 2016 Summer Festival during busy season as an example in Hualien, 1165 questionnaires were valid, and data were analyzed by SEM (structural equation modeling). Results showed that the hosts had higher perception than the guests in terms of the festival benefits, identity, and support. This study has two concept models: the guest model and the host model. In the host model, the local-development benefits have more positive relationships to affect the festival support and festival identity than the recreation-experience benefits. On the other hand, the recreation-experience benefits could affect the festival support, but the festival identity could not in the guest model. The results of this study indicate that the festival organizers or the public sectors must be pay attention to the viewpoints of the guests and hosts in order to achieve the sustainable development objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Incorporating Workplace Injury to Measure the Safety Performance of Industrial Sectors in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2241; doi:10.3390/su9122241
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The severity of workplace injuries varies by industry. Information on workplace injuries can enable firms and governments to effectively improve their safety performance based on the specific contexts of each industry. Incorporating the three workplace injury rates (being wounded or ill, disability, and
[...] Read more.
The severity of workplace injuries varies by industry. Information on workplace injuries can enable firms and governments to effectively improve their safety performance based on the specific contexts of each industry. Incorporating the three workplace injury rates (being wounded or ill, disability, and death), a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model is developed to evaluate the safety performance of 17 industrial sectors in Taiwan. The results suggest that the Taiwanese government should pay particular attention to the mining and quarrying industry, which has the lowest safety performance. Additionally, the results provide abundant information for the Taiwanese government to design industry safety regulations in a way that may prompt firms to develop a sustainable economy by improving their health and safety practices and enhancing their overall safety performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment Modelling of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing and Proposed Municipal Solid Waste Management System of Lahore, Pakistan
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2242; doi:10.3390/su9122242
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Open Dumping of indiscriminate municipal solid waste (MSW) remarkably contributes to global warming (GW). Life Cycle Assessment modelling may be a useful tool for assessing the best waste management option regarding GW potential. The current study evaluates the contribution of an existing MSW
[...] Read more.
Open Dumping of indiscriminate municipal solid waste (MSW) remarkably contributes to global warming (GW). Life Cycle Assessment modelling may be a useful tool for assessing the best waste management option regarding GW potential. The current study evaluates the contribution of an existing MSW management (MSWM) system to greenhouse gases in Gulberg Town, Lahore, Pakistan. This research also presents a comparison of scenarios with different waste management options. Life Cycle Assessment methodology has been used to conduct the study. EASETECH has been used for modelling. The short-term scenarios (STSs) have been developed to promote the thinking of integration of treatment technologies in the current waste management system within a few months. The results show that the major contribution to the total emissions comes from the anaerobic digestion of organic material from open waste dumps. Currently, recycling is the best treatment option for reducing the CO2-eq values in the study area. It was clarified that recycling is the best option for reducing the CO2-eq values, whereas biogasification comes in second in terms of savings and reduction. The integration of recycling and biogasification techniques would be a good solution. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle City Brand Personality—Relations with Dimensions and Dimensions Inter-Relations
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2243; doi:10.3390/su9122243
Received: 5 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
City brand strategies play an important part in building strong identities for cities and also for effective promotional campaigns. The purpose of this research is to analyze in more depth the dimensions of the City Brand Personality of Iași, as identified in previous
[...] Read more.
City brand strategies play an important part in building strong identities for cities and also for effective promotional campaigns. The purpose of this research is to analyze in more depth the dimensions of the City Brand Personality of Iași, as identified in previous research. The objectives of the present study are to: (1) understand the impact of each dimension upon the entire construct; (2) identify the possible connections between the perception of the city brand personality and the perceptions on particular city features; (3) identify the possible inter-connections between the resulting dimensions. An Independent Samples t test, Discriminant analysis, and Correlations and Regressions analysis were conducted. The dimension Peacefulness/Sincerity has the highest positive impact, while the dimension Malignacy has the lowest negative impact. Respondents who consider the city to be relatively young rate the personality features better for the dimensions of Peacefulness/Sincerity and Competence. Competence and Peacefulness/Sincerity are strongly related. Improving the perception of features composing the Competence dimension leads to an improvement of the entire City Brand Personality. Future research could specifically identify the types of sustainable activities that could be associated with the desired personality traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energy Toolbox—Framework for the Development of a Tool for the Primary Design of Zero Emission Buildings in European and Asian Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2244; doi:10.3390/su9122244
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the framework for the development of an Energy Toolbox (ETB). The aim of the ETB is to support the design of domestic Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs), according to the concept of net zero-energy buildings during the early architectural design and
[...] Read more.
This paper discusses the framework for the development of an Energy Toolbox (ETB). The aim of the ETB is to support the design of domestic Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs), according to the concept of net zero-energy buildings during the early architectural design and planning phases. The ETB concept is based on the calculation of the energy demand for heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances. Based on a building’s energy demand, technologies for the onsite conversion and production of the specific forms and quantities of final and primary energy by means of renewable energy carriers can be identified. The calculations of the ETB are based on the building envelope properties of a primary building design, as well as the physical and climate parameters required for the calculation of heat transfer coefficients, heat gains, and heat losses. The ETB enables the selection and rough dimensioning of technologies and systems to meet, and, wherever possible, reduce the thermal and electric energy demand of a building. The technologies included comprise green facades, adaptable dynamic lighting, shading devices, heat pumps, photovoltaic generators, solar thermal collectors, adiabatic cooling, and thermal storage. The ETB facilitates the balancing of the energy consumption and the production of renewable energies of a primary building design. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Real-Time Energy Consumption Simulation and Comparison of Buildings in Different Construction Years in the Olympic Central Area in Beijing
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2245; doi:10.3390/su9122245
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (8167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy consumed the in urban sector accounts for a large proportion of total world delivered energy consumption. Residential building energy consumption is an important part of urban energy consumption. However, there are few studies focused on this issue and that have simulated the
[...] Read more.
Energy consumed the in urban sector accounts for a large proportion of total world delivered energy consumption. Residential building energy consumption is an important part of urban energy consumption. However, there are few studies focused on this issue and that have simulated the energy consumption of residential buildings using questionnaire data. In this research, an eQUEST study was conducted for different residential buildings in the Olympic Central Area in Beijing. Real-time meteorological observation data and an actual energy consumption schedule generated by questionnaire data were used to improve the eQUEST model in the absence of actual energy consumption data. The simulated total energy consumption of residential buildings in the case area in 2015 is 21,262.28 tce, and the average annual energy consumption per unit area is 20.09 kgce/(m2·a). Space heating accounted for 45% of the total energy consumption as the highest proportion, and the second highest was household appliances, which accounted for 20%. The results showed that old residential buildings, multi-storey buildings and large-sized apartment buildings consume more energy. The internal units, building height, per capita construction area, the number of occupants and length of power use had significant impact on residential energy consumption. The result of this study will provide practical reference for energy saving reconstruction of residential buildings in Beijing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring Performance Determinants of China’s Cable Operators and OTT Service Providers in the Era of Digital Convergence—From the Perspective of an Industry Platform
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2247; doi:10.3390/su9122247
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
PDF Full-text (411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates key determinants of business performance in China’s video industry in the era of digital convergence. Specifically, we analyze China’s OTT (over-the-top) service providers and cable operators based on the perspective of an industry platform, which acts as the core module
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates key determinants of business performance in China’s video industry in the era of digital convergence. Specifically, we analyze China’s OTT (over-the-top) service providers and cable operators based on the perspective of an industry platform, which acts as the core module of a business ecosystem and is capable of facilitating and coordinating interdependence among different agents. Panel data models are established to empirically explore what factors impact the performance of these two types of players. The findings demonstrate that both platform use and the size of an installed base are crucial for the determinants of the performance of OTT service providers and cable operators. An online video platform can also benefit from an increasing proportion of mobile viewers by implementing a multi-screen strategy. Further, an OTT service provider can profit from the interaction between its installed base and UGC (user-generated content), while cable operators can take advantage of positive feedback between their demand side and supply side. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Transformation Planning of Ecotourism Systems to Invigorate Responsible Tourism
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2248; doi:10.3390/su9122248
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to introduce transformation plans that can stimulate responsible ecotourism by using systems thinking to solve ecotourism problems in Korea. Systems thinking is a research method used to understand the operating mechanisms of the variables that influence an
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to introduce transformation plans that can stimulate responsible ecotourism by using systems thinking to solve ecotourism problems in Korea. Systems thinking is a research method used to understand the operating mechanisms of the variables that influence an entire system, in order to identify its problems. The four types of ecotourism systems are classified as follows: low-infrastructure and resident-initiated, high-infrastructure and resident-initiated, high-infrastructure and government-initiated and low-infrastructure and government-initiated. These systems vary based on the need for tourism facilities and the form of governance. Each type of system is analyzed using the systems thinking process (dynamic thinking, causal thinking, feedback thinking, strategic thinking) at representative ecotourism sites in Jeollanam-do and the following transformation plans are proposed to improve the responsibility at the tourism sites: First, local residents will develop a system to manage and operate ecotourism ventures and establish cooperative governance structures to strengthen the local capacity. Second, ecotourism operators will improve the quality of their educational and interpretative programs and tourist information platforms in order to raise awareness of the responsibilities of ecotourists. Third, ecotourism systems that are improved through ecotourists’ and tour operators' heightened senses of responsibility can sustain ecotourism independently. These transformation plans can be applied to policy proposals for revitalizing ecotourism, to guidelines for improving community resilience and to biological habitat protection plans. This study is meaningful in that it discusses the role of stakeholders in ecotourism planning and promoting responsible tourism and their role in utilizing and conserving natural resources accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Innovative Production Scheduling with Customer Satisfaction Based Measurement for the Sustainability of Manufacturing Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2249; doi:10.3390/su9122249
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scheduling problems for the sustainability of manufacturing firms in the era of the fourth industrial revolution is addressed in this research. In terms of open innovation, innovative production scheduling can be defined as scheduling using big data, cyber-physical systems, internet of things, cloud
[...] Read more.
Scheduling problems for the sustainability of manufacturing firms in the era of the fourth industrial revolution is addressed in this research. In terms of open innovation, innovative production scheduling can be defined as scheduling using big data, cyber-physical systems, internet of things, cloud computing, mobile network, and so on. In this environment, one of the most important things is to develop an innovative scheduling algorithm for the sustainability of manufacturing firms. In this research, a flexible flowshop scheduling problem is considered with the properties of sequence-dependent setup and different process plans for jobs. In a flexible flowshop, there are serial workstations with multiple pieces of equipment that are able to process multiple lots simultaneously. Since the scheduling in this workshop is known to be extremely difficult, it is important to devise an efficient and effective scheduling algorithm. In this research, a heuristic algorithm is proposed based on a few dispatching rules and economic lot size model with the objective of minimizing total tardiness of orders. For the purposes of performance evaluation, a simulation study is conducted on randomly generated problem instances. The results imply that our proposed method outperforms the existing ones, and greatly enhances the sustainability of manufacturing firms. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle User-Generated Social Media Events in Tourism
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2250; doi:10.3390/su9122250
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (5726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Social media and mobile technologies have revolutionised communication and particular attention has been given to user-generated content (UGC) and the formation of online communities; however, little attention has been given to tourist events entirely generated by users through social media. This paper aims
[...] Read more.
Social media and mobile technologies have revolutionised communication and particular attention has been given to user-generated content (UGC) and the formation of online communities; however, little attention has been given to tourist events entirely generated by users through social media. This paper aims to define and characterise the phenomenon of tourism user-generated events (UGEs) through social media around the user’s new empowered role and to assess user-generated social media events’ online socialness. It is also our aim to provide a useful mixed-methodology analysis framework for UGEs in relation to social media and to highlight their interest for organisations. The methodological approach includes a quantitative model to store, analyse and compare events’ online socialness, which is combined with qualitative, participant observation at the events. This approach is applied to the analysis of three Instagram meetups organised by a specific online community at Catalan ski resorts. The paper’s results show the differential characteristic of tourism UGEs: user initiative and empowerment, full organisation and structure, great social media use and UGC production, brand dissemination, attraction capacity, strong online community bond and faithfulness. With UGEs, an event management paradigm shift occurs as organisations are no longer the main initiators and controllers of the event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Social Network Analysis of Tourist Movement Patterns in Blogs: Korean Backpackers in Europe
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2251; doi:10.3390/su9122251
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given recent developments in information and communication technology, the number of individual tourists enjoying free travel without the advice of travel agencies is increasing. Therefore, such tourists can visit more tourist destinations and create more complex movement patterns than mass tourists. These tourist
[...] Read more.
Given recent developments in information and communication technology, the number of individual tourists enjoying free travel without the advice of travel agencies is increasing. Therefore, such tourists can visit more tourist destinations and create more complex movement patterns than mass tourists. These tourist movement patterns are a key factor in understanding tourist behavior and they contain various information that is important for tourism marketers. In this vein, this study aims to investigate tourist movement patterns in Europe. We acquired 122 data points from posts on the NAVER blog, which is the most famous social media platform in Korea. These data were transformed into matrix data for social network analysis and analyzed for centrality. The results suggest that Korean backpackers in Europe tend to enter Europe through London and Paris. Venezia and Firenze are also key cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Analyses of Transition Pension Liabilities and Solvency Sustainability in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2252; doi:10.3390/su9122252
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of the aging population, the debt risk and solvency situation of China’s pension plan are of major concern for government and individuals. The aim of this paper is to project public pension liabilities and evaluate the solvency sustainability of China’s
[...] Read more.
In the context of the aging population, the debt risk and solvency situation of China’s pension plan are of major concern for government and individuals. The aim of this paper is to project public pension liabilities and evaluate the solvency sustainability of China’s pension reform during transition periods. By using cohort component and actuarial models, transition debt and solvency sustainability are projected under the existing policy scenario and several sets of hypothetical policy scenarios. We find that the transition liabilities will peak in 2035 and the pension plan will become unsustainable in 2048 under existing policies. In the proposed scenario, postponing retirement age helps to maintain pension plan sustainability until 2083, but this option can’t solve the financial distress in the long run. Further, the transition pension debt will double in the peak moment if the retirement age is postponed for five years, which would pose a risk to the liquidity of the fund. Moreover, an increase to invest return can only improve the baseline solvency in short term. Sustainable options should be designed as composite reform measures, including retirement and investment adjustment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Innovation Systems for Transformations towards Sustainability? Taking the Normative Dimension Seriously
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2253; doi:10.3390/su9122253
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this article is to complement research on transformations towards sustainability by drawing upon the innovation systems (IS) framework. The IS framework already serves as a suitable and influential basis for research on processes of technological innovation and economic change. We
[...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to complement research on transformations towards sustainability by drawing upon the innovation systems (IS) framework. The IS framework already serves as a suitable and influential basis for research on processes of technological innovation and economic change. We argue that improving the capacity of an IS framework for dealing with wicked problems and the normative complexity of sustainability requires a fundamental paradigm shift because in the current IS paradigm innovations are considered as per se desirable and in mostly technological terms. Therefore, we call for IS dedicated to transformations towards sustainability by opening up for systemic innovations beyond the technological dimension and by acknowledging that stakeholders have conflicting visions, interests, norms, and expectations with regard to sustainability goals. Taking the normative dimension of transformations towards sustainability seriously thus requires more explicit and integrative research on directionality, legitimacy, responsibility, and their interrelation in IS. The article concludes by proposing suggestions for future research based on IS-related approaches that can serve as building blocks for an IS framework capable of incorporating legitimate goal-orientation for transformative innovation by and for society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Wild Carpathia Future Development: From Illegal Deforestation to ORV Sustainable Recreation
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2254; doi:10.3390/su9122254
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (9129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Romanian Wild Carpathia constitutes the ultimate pristine wilderness of the old European continent. Carpathian Mountains landscape experiences and outdoor recreation represents quite unique cultural ecosystem services. The new annotations to the Forest Law are restricting any public access in the woods without authorities’
[...] Read more.
Romanian Wild Carpathia constitutes the ultimate pristine wilderness of the old European continent. Carpathian Mountains landscape experiences and outdoor recreation represents quite unique cultural ecosystem services. The new annotations to the Forest Law are restricting any public access in the woods without authorities’ pre-approval for organised sport, leisure and tourism activities. However, off road vehicle (ORV) recreation is a popular activity and a growing transparency concern of National Forest Administration Authorities that is not managed accordingly. Here we show that our ORV recreation frame model can securely allow public access and protect all Romanian mountains. Our results demonstrate how growing ORV recreation popularity can be used in an honest and open way if it is well organized and controlled. We anticipate our assay to be a starting point for a regional and national forest administration sustainable development plan. Furthermore, stopping illegal forest activities is a major target of the anti-logging movement. A well-defined assay for the ORV recreation frame model will be relevant for such developments. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Correlations between GIS-Based Urban Building Densification Analysis and Climate Guidelines for Mediterranean Courtyards
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2255; doi:10.3390/su9122255
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (16284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study identifies and proposes A GIS-based exploration of the relationships between aspect ratio of inner courtyards, porosity of the urban fabric and the climatic factors where it is located. To perform that comparison, morphological and measurement methods have been used to delineate
[...] Read more.
This study identifies and proposes A GIS-based exploration of the relationships between aspect ratio of inner courtyards, porosity of the urban fabric and the climatic factors where it is located. To perform that comparison, morphological and measurement methods have been used to delineate spatial boundaries of urban densification. This methodology has been applied to a case study in Spain, where regulation establishes several climatic zones. Examples of cities in these zones have been examined to establish possible correlations. This paper analyses the particularities of these different urban scenarios, considering the effects of climate on the real urban densification. The purpose of this study is to find a relationship between the historical inner courtyards dimensions and the climate of the zone where they are located. In order to frame the real thermal behaviour of the inner courtyard in the context of the vernacular typologies studied, a representative sample of inner courtyards has been selected. The monitoring data presented allow quantifying the courtyard’s ability to temper the maximum temperature values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Urban Metabolism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effective Disclosure in the Fast-Fashion Industry: from Sustainability Reporting to Action
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2256; doi:10.3390/su9122256
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This work, set in the context of the apparel industry, proposes an action-oriented disclosure tool to help solve the sustainability challenges of complex fast-fashion supply chains (SCs). In a search for effective disclosure, it focusses on actions towards sustainability instead of the measurements
[...] Read more.
This work, set in the context of the apparel industry, proposes an action-oriented disclosure tool to help solve the sustainability challenges of complex fast-fashion supply chains (SCs). In a search for effective disclosure, it focusses on actions towards sustainability instead of the measurements and indicators of its impacts. We applied qualitative and quantitative content analysis to the sustainability reporting of the world’s two largest fast-fashion companies in three phases. First, we searched for the challenges that the organisations report they are currently facing. Second, we introduced the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework to overcome the voluntary reporting drawback of ‘choosing what to disclose’, and revealed orphan issues. This broadened the scope from internal corporate challenges to issues impacting the ecosystems in which companies operate. Third, we analysed the reported sustainability actions and decomposed them into topics, instruments, and actors. The results showed that fast-fashion reporting has a broadly developed analysis base, but lacks action orientation. This has led us to propose the ‘Fast-Fashion Sustainability Scorecard’ as a universal disclosure framework that shifts the focus from (i) reporting towards action; (ii) financial performance towards sustainable value creation; and (iii) corporate boundaries towards value creation for the broader SC ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The New Pyramid of Needs for the Digital Citizen: A Transition towards Smart Human Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2258; doi:10.3390/su9122258
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article analyzes the cultural transition towards postmodernity or a knowledge society and its impact on the changing needs of cities. This transition is characterized by a growing diversification of the use of technologies in most of the economic, political, educational, social, and
[...] Read more.
This article analyzes the cultural transition towards postmodernity or a knowledge society and its impact on the changing needs of cities. This transition is characterized by a growing diversification of the use of technologies in most of the economic, political, educational, social, and cultural activities of different human groups. The concept of smart cities emerges, in which the roles and behaviors of citizens are redefined in physical spaces and in their interactions, as well as the function of institutions and interpersonal relationships. Emerging models of social and cultural behavior are required to analyze and systematize these realities, to understand how to increase effectiveness in action, and to rethink education and new ways of teaching and learning. All these processes are based on phenomena of innovation and management, mediated by technology. We proposed an analysis of the new digital skills of these individuals. The elements that shape the reformulation of roles and reference models, as well as an analysis of the postmodern cultural changes and the formation of a holistic, human-community-technology vision, are based on a new pyramid of training needs in which technologies are placed at the service of people’s development, organizations, society, and culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Longitudinal Control for Mengshi Autonomous Vehicle via Gauss Cloud Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2259; doi:10.3390/su9122259
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (968 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dynamic robustness and stability control is a requirement for self-driving of autonomous vehicle. Longitudinal control technique of autonomous vehicle is basic theory and one key complex technique which must have the reliability and precision of vehicle controller. The longitudinal control technique is one
[...] Read more.
Dynamic robustness and stability control is a requirement for self-driving of autonomous vehicle. Longitudinal control technique of autonomous vehicle is basic theory and one key complex technique which must have the reliability and precision of vehicle controller. The longitudinal control technique is one of the foundations of the safety and stability of autonomous vehicle control. In our paper, we present a longitudinal control algorithm based on cloud model for Mengshi autonomous vehicle to ensure the dynamic stability and tracking performance of Mengshi autonomous vehicle. The longitudinal control algorithm mainly uses cloud model generator to control the acceleration of the autonomous vehicle to achieve the goal that controls the speed of Mengshi autonomous vehicle. The proposed longitudinal control algorithm based on cloud model is verified by real experiments on Highway driving scene. The experiments results of the acceleration and speed show that the algorithm is validity and stability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1