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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Land Use Efficiency and Total Factor Productivity—Distribution Dynamic Evolution of Rural Living Space in Chongqing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 444; doi:10.3390/su9040444
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
Research on the land use efficiency of rural living spaces is at the core of conflicts about current rural land use and ecological environment construction in China. It can be effectively dealt with through the rational and healthy use of rural land, by
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Research on the land use efficiency of rural living spaces is at the core of conflicts about current rural land use and ecological environment construction in China. It can be effectively dealt with through the rational and healthy use of rural land, by promoting sustainable development and urban and rural coordination. Building on the foundation of ecosystem metabolism and sustainable development theories, this paper utilizes the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) Malmquist productivity index to divide the land use efficiency total factor productivity (LUTFP) into Malmquist–Luenberger technical change (MLTECH) and Malmquist–Luenberger efficiency change (MLEFFCH) from the perspective of scale change, and uses Kernel Function to measure and study the distribution characteristics of the dynamic evolution and land use efficiency (LUE) in different functional and productive areas and living space subsystem. The results show that, in the process of land use, desirable output growth in the Chongqing city rural living space is lower than the undesirable output reduction rate. Rural human settlement and construction management appears to damage the environment. The LUE in the obtained results showcases an obvious agglomeration effect in Chongqing. Also, there is a very significant “match-up” effect between the LUE and economic development level. In addition, the paper also finds that the technical change index and efficiency change index work together in rural living space LUTFP. The results presented in this paper can provide a basis for the optimization of regional development strategies and rural land utilization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Urbanization on Rural Drinking Water Quality in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 461; doi:10.3390/su9040461
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization is an inevitable trend in historical development, but eco-environmental problems, including drinking water safety, have gradually become more and more outstanding during the process of rural urbanization. Ten districts in rural areas of Beijing, China were selected to study the effects of
[...] Read more.
Urbanization is an inevitable trend in historical development, but eco-environmental problems, including drinking water safety, have gradually become more and more outstanding during the process of rural urbanization. Ten districts in rural areas of Beijing, China were selected to study the effects of urbanization on drinking water quality. The relation between the urbanization index and drinking water quality indicators were explored. The influence of the urbanization process on drinking water quality showed that housing construction, population urbanization, energy consumption, and industrialization during urban development were closely related to drinking water quality. The paired t-test showed the total electricity consumption, living electricity consumption, tertiary industry, and the GDP growth rate had boundary (p = 0.06) or significantly positive (p < 0.05) relations with the qualified rate of rural drinking water. The grey correlation analysis showed that the growth rates of the value-added of housing construction areas were the most important factor affecting comprehensive water quality of Beijing rural areas, followed by the growth rates of the value-added by secondary industry and total electricity consumption, and then the growth rates of the value-added by the tertiary industry and GDP. Urbanization had a significant impact on individual water quality indicators. The results of this study provided some supports for drinking water security in the face of urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relationships between Tourism and Hospitality Sector Electricity Consumption in Spanish Provinces (1999–2013)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 480; doi:10.3390/su9040480
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
The EU is committed to a 40% reduction in their domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In order to reach this ambitious target, new measures affecting all economic sectors would be needed. This paper focuses on the tourism sector. Using econometric panel data
[...] Read more.
The EU is committed to a 40% reduction in their domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In order to reach this ambitious target, new measures affecting all economic sectors would be needed. This paper focuses on the tourism sector. Using econometric panel data techniques, the relationships between tourist overnight stays and the hospitality sector electricity consumption is studied for the Spanish provinces during the period 1999–2013. With this aim, an Energy-Tourism Kuznets Curve hypothesis is tested. The results show that the Energy-Tourism Kuznets Curve hypothesis is not supported. An increasing positive relationship between the hospitality sector electricity consumption and overnight stays is observed. Results also show that the hospitality sector electricity consumption elasticity values, with respect to tourist overnight stays, differ among the provinces, the values being within a range of 0.1–0.5 during the period. The highest values are observed for the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Gerona, Tarragona and Malaga. Energy efficiency measures, the adoption of renewable energy systems and the development of energy management capabilities are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment, Tourism and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Low Cost, Edge Computing, All-Sky Imager for Cloud Tracking and Intra-Hour Irradiance Forecasting
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 482; doi:10.3390/su9040482
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
With increasing use of photovoltaic (PV) power generation by utilities and their residential customers, the need for accurate intra-hour and day-ahead solar irradiance forecasting has become critical. This paper details the development of a low cost all-sky imaging system and an intra-hour cloud
[...] Read more.
With increasing use of photovoltaic (PV) power generation by utilities and their residential customers, the need for accurate intra-hour and day-ahead solar irradiance forecasting has become critical. This paper details the development of a low cost all-sky imaging system and an intra-hour cloud motion prediction methodology that produces minutes-ahead irradiance forecasts. The SkyImager is designed around a Raspberry Pi single board computer (SBC) with a fully programmable, high resolution Pi Camera, housed in a durable all-weather enclosure. Our software is written in Python 2.7 and utilizes the open source computer vision package OpenCV. The SkyImager can be configured for different operational environments and network designs, from a standalone edge computing model to a fully integrated node in a distributed, cloud-computing based micro-grid. Preliminary results are presented using the imager on site at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, USA during the fall of 2015 under a variety of cloud conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Study of the Mechanism of Sustainable Value Creation in the Luxury Fashion Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 483; doi:10.3390/su9040483
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, increasing numbers of luxury groups have adopted sustainable practices in their supply chains (sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, servicing, waste and recycling). However, the report from Greenpeace International organization (2014) indicates that some luxury brands/companies did not actively conduct sustainable practices
[...] Read more.
In recent years, increasing numbers of luxury groups have adopted sustainable practices in their supply chains (sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, servicing, waste and recycling). However, the report from Greenpeace International organization (2014) indicates that some luxury brands/companies did not actively conduct sustainable practices to produce items, which is likely attributed to the cost and risks caused by such practices outweighing the benefits. This, to some extent, is due to the failure of developing collaborative practices. Specifically, some luxury brands may fail to develop collaborative practices to create value that are able to benefit multiple stakeholders. Thus, in our study, we explore the value creation mechanism to create sustainable value that benefits not only brands’ shareholders, but also other stakeholders, including producers, customers, other stakeholders in the society (e.g., marginalized people) and the environment. In addition, based on a case study from Stella McCartney and Kering and the literature on value creation, we develop a novel model for guiding sustainable value creation (i.e., value co-creation model), where the conceptual building blocks and specific practices are presented. Our contribution lies in extending the knowledge of the value co-creation model from co-creation with customers to co-creation with multiple stakeholders and elaborating systematically and empirically sustainable value co-creation mechanisms including the building blocks and specific practices. In addition, this study offers significant managerial insights for luxury brands/companies to effectively achieve sustainable value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Influence Factors of Electric Vehicles Charging Station Location Based on ISM and FMICMAC
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 484; doi:10.3390/su9040484
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
Along with the rapid growth in the number of electric vehicles, there is urgent need to construct electric vehicles charging stations (EVCSs) to satisfy the charging demand. However, during the process of carrying out quantitative and qualitative analysis on location decisions, it is
[...] Read more.
Along with the rapid growth in the number of electric vehicles, there is urgent need to construct electric vehicles charging stations (EVCSs) to satisfy the charging demand. However, during the process of carrying out quantitative and qualitative analysis on location decisions, it is necessary to make clear the relationships and role between various factors which make impacts on charging station location. Studies are inadequate in analyzing the influence factors with regard to this respect. This study aims to identify the influence factors, as well as the driving and dependence power of these factors and to analyze the interactions among them. This work proposes to use interpretive structural modeling (ISM) and Matriced'Impacts Croisés Multiplication Appliquée á un Classement (fuzzy cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification) (FMICMAC) based approach which is a novel effort in this sector. Moreover, rankings of the identified factors have also been obtained. Based on review of literature and brainstorming among experts in the EVCS field and academia, this paper puts forward 12 factors that impact EVCS location in five aspects. After ISM and FMICMAC analysis, it is concluded that area attribute and geographical environment are defined as key factors while construction cost and annual operation and maintenance cost are the objective factors. The developed integrated structured model will be beneficial in understanding the interrelationship and dependency among the identified factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biocultural Homogenization in Urban Settings: Public Knowledge of Birds in City Parks of Santiago, Chile
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 485; doi:10.3390/su9040485
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
An understudied consequence of growing urbanization is the rapid and concurrent loss of native biological and cultural diversity. Here, we measured the concordance between avian species richness in public green areas of the city of Santiago, Chile, and the corresponding knowledge of local
[...] Read more.
An understudied consequence of growing urbanization is the rapid and concurrent loss of native biological and cultural diversity. Here, we measured the concordance between avian species richness in public green areas of the city of Santiago, Chile, and the corresponding knowledge of local citizens of this avian diversity. To assess this correspondence, we sampled avian species richness in 10 representative city parks and surveyed the awareness of avian diversity by park visitors as well as their ability to identify bird species. We found no significant relationship between estimated bird diversity from field sampling and their perception by park visitors, suggesting that visitors underestimate avian diversity in city parks because they perceive only a small fraction of the overall diversity, with their awareness especially biased towards the most abundant species. Exotic bird species comprise the majority of the latter group. This result was observed regardless of whether the city park had high or low bird diversity. Public knowledge of birds did not relate to the species richness present at city parks, and was strongly biased towards the most abundant, widely distributed, and primarily exotic species. This result agrees with the biocultural homogenization hypothesis, documenting the role of urban areas in this global process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Framework for Sustainable Business in a Software Factory in the Financial Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 486; doi:10.3390/su9040486
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
A balanced scorecard (BSC) framework for a factory that develops software for banking was proposed by us at the end of 2015 to ensure its sustainability, and was focused on improving its productivity and cost. Based on this framework, the aim of this
[...] Read more.
A balanced scorecard (BSC) framework for a factory that develops software for banking was proposed by us at the end of 2015 to ensure its sustainability, and was focused on improving its productivity and cost. Based on this framework, the aim of this study is to construct an approach using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and BSC for evaluating a factory’s performance in order for it to become a sustainable business. In this study, AHP is proposed to prioritise and determine weights for the perspectives and indicators included in the BSC for a financial software factory (FSF). The combination of these weights with different indicator measures produces a model that provides an effective assessment tool for FSF managers. The results of the study, which are shown both globally and disaggregated according to the different roles of FSF stakeholders, show that user satisfaction is the main pillar for making decisions. In addition, the result considering roles shows differences according to the relationship of each stakeholder with the software factory. The current study has been validated in a Spanish factory that develops software for several financial entities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Transformation Planning for Resilient Wildlife Habitats in Ecotourism Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 487; doi:10.3390/su9040487
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
An ecotourism system that is based on wildlife habitats in ecological systems is considered a social-ecological system that has a feedback relationship with social systems. Increases in socioeconomic activities and tourism infrastructure construction are not conducive to the resilience of wildlife habitats, thereby
[...] Read more.
An ecotourism system that is based on wildlife habitats in ecological systems is considered a social-ecological system that has a feedback relationship with social systems. Increases in socioeconomic activities and tourism infrastructure construction are not conducive to the resilience of wildlife habitats, thereby stressing the ecological system and threatening sustainable ecotourism. Managing resilient wildlife habitats by developing transformation plans that can be used to construct new systems through self-organization and the absorption of stress is paramount to perpetuating sustainable ecotourism systems. This study aims to establish transformation plans to enhance the resilience of systems thinking regarding wildlife habitats. Such thinking involves the sequential application of dynamic thinking, causal thinking, closed-loop thinking, and the discovery of strategies. This study examines the case study of Eulsukdo Island in South Korea, and the following transformation plans are derived: (1) high-quality eco-education programs to help tourists become hard ecotourists; (2) subsidies for foraging area restoration; (3) ecosystem services of wildlife habitats; and (4) governance organization led by multiple actors. The results of this study can provide guidelines for the effective use of natural resources at ecotourism destinations and for the ecotourism development of damaged wildlife habitats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimates of Economic Loss of Materials Caused by Acid Deposition in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 488; doi:10.3390/su9040488
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
China is facing severe acid deposition. Acid deposition can cause economic loss, corrosion, and damage to materials, and the reduction of material life span. In this study, the administrative areas (including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, regions, autonomous prefectures, and leagues—hereinafter referred to the cities)
[...] Read more.
China is facing severe acid deposition. Acid deposition can cause economic loss, corrosion, and damage to materials, and the reduction of material life span. In this study, the administrative areas (including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, regions, autonomous prefectures, and leagues—hereinafter referred to the cities) at and above the prefecture level were selected as research areas. Monitoring results of acid precipitation and ambient air sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the China National Environmental Monitoring Network were used, research findings available domestically and abroad were summarized, and a set of material exposure inventory per capita was established, based on urban and rural areas in Eastern, Central, and Western China regions. Losses of construction materials caused by acid deposition in the cities were assessed by using the said materials’ acid rain exposure response functions available. The results showed that, material loss caused by acid deposition in China was 32.165 billion yuan (RMB, similarly hereinafter) in 2013, accounting for 0.057% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 3.4% of the total investment for environmental pollution governance this year. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of Firm-Level Climate Change Mitigation Targets in the European Union and the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 489; doi:10.3390/su9040489
Received: 13 November 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the debate on global and national carbon emission targets has dominated every major climate change conference, setting firm-level climate change mitigation targets has become an increasingly important issue. In this paper we present illustrative evidence on cross-country and cross-industry differences of the
[...] Read more.
While the debate on global and national carbon emission targets has dominated every major climate change conference, setting firm-level climate change mitigation targets has become an increasingly important issue. In this paper we present illustrative evidence on cross-country and cross-industry differences of the firm-level mitigation targets among some of the largest corporations in the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) with regard to five aspects, i.e., target adoption, target metric, target scope, target stringency, and target completion. We find that overall 25% of the firms have not set up emission targets. The EU firms are significantly more likely to use intensity targets than the US firms. The EU firms are twice as likely as the US firms to incorporate indirect emissions from the supply chain into the scope of their targets. The Energy and Materials sectors in the EU set significantly more stringent targets than their US counterparts. The energy sectors of the EU and the US in general have not made satisfactory progress toward accomplishment of the targets. Based on these findings, we discuss the most pressing issues that should be addressed by policymakers and firm managers in different regions and sectors with regard to target-setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Holistic Sustainability Assessment Method for Urban Food System Governance
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 490; doi:10.3390/su9040490
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A growing number of people live in cities. Urban food systems and their impacts on ecosystems and socio-economic conditions are becoming increasingly important. To address the challenge of making urban food systems more sustainable, a rising number of assessments of urban food systems
[...] Read more.
A growing number of people live in cities. Urban food systems and their impacts on ecosystems and socio-economic conditions are becoming increasingly important. To address the challenge of making urban food systems more sustainable, a rising number of assessments of urban food systems have been published. Some used large quantitative datasets while others were descriptive in nature and/or do not address the whole thematic spectrum of sustainability. In this study, an indicator set was developed, which uses widely available data to address all dimensions of sustainability. The indicators focus on policies and measures of public administration and local politics and are based on the guidelines for Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA) by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To operationalize the SAFA-Guidelines, we developed, in a participatory process, a multi-criteria assessment method with 97 indicators for evaluating 51 of the 58 SAFA subthemes, which were deemed relevant for the context of an urban food system. The first application of this method in the city of Basel, Switzerland, revealed concrete areas of improvement relating to the sustainability of the food system. In combination with cost-effectives analysis, stakeholder consultation, and monitoring measures, the results of the assessment method can be used to initiate the process of moving towards more sustainable urban food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment for Distribution Systems Using an Improved PEM-Based Method Considering Wind and Photovoltaic Power Distribution
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 491; doi:10.3390/su9040491
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
The intermittency and variability of permeated distributed generators (DGs) could cause many critical security and economy risks to distribution systems. This paper applied a certain mathematical distribution to imitate the output variability and uncertainty of DGs. Then, four risk indices—EENS (expected energy not
[...] Read more.
The intermittency and variability of permeated distributed generators (DGs) could cause many critical security and economy risks to distribution systems. This paper applied a certain mathematical distribution to imitate the output variability and uncertainty of DGs. Then, four risk indices—EENS (expected energy not supplied), PLC (probability of load curtailment), EFLC (expected frequency of load curtailment), and SI (severity index)—were established to reflect the system risk level of the distribution system. For the certain mathematical distribution of the DGs’ output power, an improved PEM (point estimate method)-based method was proposed to calculate these four system risk indices. In this improved PEM-based method, an enumeration method was used to list the states of distribution systems, and an improved PEM was developed to deal with the uncertainties of DGs, and the value of load curtailment in distribution systems was calculated by an optimal power flow algorithm. Finally, the effectiveness and advantages of this proposed PEM-based method for distribution system assessment were verified by testing a modified IEEE 30-bus system. Simulation results have shown that this proposed PEM-based method has a high computational accuracy and highly reduced computational costs compared with other risk assessment methods and is very effective for risk assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Multicriteria Model for Optimization of Maintenance in Thermal Energy Production Systems in Hospitals: A Case Study in a Spanish Hospital
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 493; doi:10.3390/su9040493
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Health Care Organizations are large consumers of energy resources. This is due to the large number of services they must offer continuously, the strict requirements of temperature and humidity for patients and comfort for all visitors. Facilities for thermal energy production are critical
[...] Read more.
Health Care Organizations are large consumers of energy resources. This is due to the large number of services they must offer continuously, the strict requirements of temperature and humidity for patients and comfort for all visitors. Facilities for thermal energy production are critical as they guarantee the proper working of care services by producing primary air, eliminating legionella, and providing air conditioning to theatres, emergency areas, ICUs, neonatology departments, etc. Nonetheless, despite the importance of thermal energy production systems, there is no prior literature analysing the best maintenance to be applied to these systems. This study describes an innovative multicriteria model designed with the Measuring Attractiveness by a Categorical Based Evaluation Technique (MACBETH) approach and Markov chains, in choosing the best combination of maintenance policies to guarantee the best quality of care. The model was created with the co-operation of a decision group made up of those in charge of different areas of a Health Care Organization. This gives the current availability of the thermal energy production systems, and the availability that would be achieved by applying other alternatives. In the system that produces hot water for the air conditioning units, the best alternative is found to be corrective and preventive maintenance. In the cold-water production system for air conditioning, the model recommends the use of corrective, preventive and predictive maintenance, monitored by vibration analysis. For the systems producing hot domestic water and hot and cold water for other systems, corrective and preventive maintenance is recommended. In the legionella treatment system, it is best to apply corrective, preventive and periodic predictive maintenance (quarterly by combustion analysis). Finally, the implications for quality of care of changing the maintenance alternatives are considered. This research was carried out on thermal energy production systems currently operational in the University General Hospital of Ciudad Real (Spain). The methodology used in this study, together with the criteria, descriptors, weightings, etc., may serve as a standard for other Health Care Organizations, with the final goal of improving quality of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Policies and Mobility Trends in Italian Smart Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 494; doi:10.3390/su9040494
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses indicators to evaluate the progress made by Italian cities in the smart mobility sector, in order to understand how these cities have approached the new guidelines imposed by the European Union, and how they have implemented the European changes. Specifically,
[...] Read more.
This study uses indicators to evaluate the progress made by Italian cities in the smart mobility sector, in order to understand how these cities have approached the new guidelines imposed by the European Union, and how they have implemented the European changes. Specifically, this study analyses the evolution of public transportation systems, using a sample of twenty-two Italian cities for three successive time periods (2005, 2010, and 2015). The outcomes identified are then linked to funding provided for the implementation of projects related to smart mobility in the cities studied, in order to verify possible correlations between the growth of these services and European and national financial investments. The data analysis shows remarkable progress in the field of sustainable mobility, especially between 2010 and 2015 as well as how this progress is linked to significant financial support that favours the realization of projects related to smart mobility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability and Planning Support Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Using Fuzzy DEA for Green Suppliers Selection Considering Carbon Footprints
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 495; doi:10.3390/su9040495
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Due to increasing global environmental awareness, supply chains that consider environmental protection tend to be favored by green-minded customers. In addition to adapting to the technology required for green supply chains and developing contingency plans, organizations must consider reducing their carbon footprint to
[...] Read more.
Due to increasing global environmental awareness, supply chains that consider environmental protection tend to be favored by green-minded customers. In addition to adapting to the technology required for green supply chains and developing contingency plans, organizations must consider reducing their carbon footprint to meet corporate objectives and reducing their carbon footprint. To address this issue, this paper aims at establishing a decision-making process for buyers with sustainability in mind. A fuzzy data envelopment analysis (FDEA) model was developed to select the most suitable supplier. Production costs, lead time, and supply chain carbon footprints were used as the input criteria, and quality and demand quantity were used as the output criteria. Buyer-seller supply chains and non-cooperative and cooperative models were employed separately to calculate associative efficiency. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to understand the effects carbon footprints have on efficiency. This study found that suppliers with low carbon footprints exhibited poor efficiency, which may be attributed to the additional effort required to select raw materials. Additionally, suppliers with different supply chain operation models exhibited differing efficiencies. Therefore, suppliers must consider the balance between carbon footprint reduction and costs, and buyers must consider environmental criteria when selecting green suppliers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic City Branding in China: the Multi-Level Governance of Municipal Self-Promotion in the Greater Pearl River Delta
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 496; doi:10.3390/su9040496
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3791 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In the urban development policy in China, city brands play an important role in setting targets for Chinese cities. These economic city brands, however, are not produced in an institutional vacuum: they are embedded in the visions national, provincial and municipal governments have
[...] Read more.
In the urban development policy in China, city brands play an important role in setting targets for Chinese cities. These economic city brands, however, are not produced in an institutional vacuum: they are embedded in the visions national, provincial and municipal governments have for these cities, i.e., on multi-level governance. In this paper, a data-intense analysis of economic city branding practices has been conducted in the Greater Pearl River Delta, taking into account national, provincial and municipal documents in socio-economic, urban and land use planning. Evidence of economic and ecological initiatives through branding at the level of symbolic urban projects, such as new towns, has also been examined. It transpires that Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have adopted more sophisticated economic brand identities than the others and the reflection of brand-related targets from their actual projects is also more credible. While China’s national plans focus primarily on Hong Kong and Macau, provincial documents place more emphasis on the wealthier cities on the mainland (Shenzhen and Guangzhou). The other cities attract less attention and have more freedom to adopt economic city brands, but their efforts to live up to their promise are quite limited due to their weak financial position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Competitive Intelligence Analysis of Augmented Reality Technology Using Patent Information
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 497; doi:10.3390/su9040497
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 25 March 2017
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Abstract
Augmented reality has recently achieved a rapid growth through its applications in various industries, including education and entertainment. Despite the growing attraction of augmented reality, trend analyses in this emerging technology have relied on qualitative literature review, failing to provide comprehensive competitive intelligence
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Augmented reality has recently achieved a rapid growth through its applications in various industries, including education and entertainment. Despite the growing attraction of augmented reality, trend analyses in this emerging technology have relied on qualitative literature review, failing to provide comprehensive competitive intelligence analysis using objective data. Therefore, tracing industrial competition trends in augmented reality will provide technology experts with a better understanding of evolving competition trends and insights for further technology and sustainable business planning. In this paper, we apply a topic modeling approach to 3595 patents related to augmented reality technology to identify technology subjects and their knowledge stocks, thereby analyzing industrial competitive intelligence in light of technology subject and firm levels. As a result, we were able to obtain some findings from an inventional viewpoint: technological development of augmented reality will soon enter a mature stage, technologies of infrastructural requirements have been a focal subject since 2001, and several software firms and camera manufacturing firms have dominated the recent development of augmented reality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Worldview among Urban Design Professionals
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 498; doi:10.3390/su9040498
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
The built environment is responsible for a large proportion of the global use of energy, natural resources, and emissions. Architects and other urban design professionals are key actors in the building process whose behavior and decisions will influence these impacts. Because environmental attitudes
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The built environment is responsible for a large proportion of the global use of energy, natural resources, and emissions. Architects and other urban design professionals are key actors in the building process whose behavior and decisions will influence these impacts. Because environmental attitudes are linked to pro-environmental behavior, this study aims to measure environmental worldview among urban design professionals involved in the architectural competition ‘A New City Center for Kiruna’. The mean score registered for the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale was 3.68 (standard deviation 0.51) and there were no significant differences with regard to age (mean 41.3 years) or gender (64.7% males). The ecological worldview of the participants was similar to most other samples from diverse countries, but a lower score was reported in comparison to environmentalists. The score ranged from 2.53 to 4.67 which shows heterogeneity at an individual level. Thus, future efforts to improve environmental attitudes among urban design professionals are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Co-Effects on Air Pollutants and CO2 Emissions Generated by End-of-Pipe Measures of Pollution Control in China’s Coal-Fired Power Plants
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 499; doi:10.3390/su9040499
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
China is now facing great challenges resulting from climate change and air pollution, driven by the processes of industrialization and urbanization. Greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions produced by the coal-fired power industry represent approximately 70% of the total emissions in China’s industrial
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China is now facing great challenges resulting from climate change and air pollution, driven by the processes of industrialization and urbanization. Greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions produced by the coal-fired power industry represent approximately 70% of the total emissions in China’s industrial sector. In this study, 39 coal-fired power plants built in China between 2014 and 2015 were analyzed in regards to the co-effects oncarbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions generated directly and indirectly by end-of-pipe measures of pollution control. After completing the quantitative analysis with input data from 83units of power plants, we found that co-effects were positive only for air pollutant reductions through the implementation of desulfurization, denitrification, and dedusting measures, but co-effects were negative for carbon dioxide production because of the corresponding electricity use and chemical reactions that led to the increases in carbon dioxide emissions. We also performed an assessment of the synergistic coefficients to better understand the degree of co-effects. It will be important for researchers to take a comprehensive view of China’s coal-fired power plants and look for solutions that can maximize positive co-effects and achieve overall co-benefits of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Total Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Dianshan Lake, China: The External Loading and Self-Purification Capability
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 500; doi:10.3390/su9040500
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
In this article, long-term data, statistical analysis, and spatial interpolation method were applied to the analyses of the spatial and temporal changes of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in Dianshan Lake. We also estimated the self-purification capability of TN and TP
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In this article, long-term data, statistical analysis, and spatial interpolation method were applied to the analyses of the spatial and temporal changes of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in Dianshan Lake. We also estimated the self-purification capability of TN and TP in Dianshan Lake. The results showed that interannual variability of the average concentration of TN in Dianshan Lake changed significantly, showing a characteristic increase before a decline, and the average concentration of TN showed an obvious downward trend, especially after 2007. Interannual variability of the average concentration of TP in Dianshan Lake fluctuated, and the average concentration of TP showed a downward trend after 2007. The seasonal variations of TN and TP in Dianshan Lake were similar. Higher TN concentration occurred in winter and spring, while higher TP concentration appeared in summer, autumn, and winter. The spatial distribution of TN and TP in Dianshan Lake were similar, showing a characteristic which decreased from north to south and west to east. The highest TN and TP values were mainly distributed in the inlet monitoring sites, while the lowest TP values were distributed in the outlet monitoring sites. The self-purification capability of TN and TP were about 2289.97 t/yr and 112.16 t/yr, which suggested a deterioration of natural water quality. Our research showed that Dianshan Lake was highly eutrophic and that water quality showed a substantial improvement from 1996 to 2015. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Movement of Septic Water Chloride through a Soil Profile
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 501; doi:10.3390/su9040501
Received: 8 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the movement of chloride through a vadose zone located under failed and non-regulated septic tanks of Duhok city, Kurdistan of Iraq, potentially contaminating its groundwater. A physical vadose model (PVM) of a vertical flow direction
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the movement of chloride through a vadose zone located under failed and non-regulated septic tanks of Duhok city, Kurdistan of Iraq, potentially contaminating its groundwater. A physical vadose model (PVM) of a vertical flow direction was built in the laboratory to represent the city soil profile. The size of the PVM was 210 × 122 × 9.7 cm (height, width, and depth). Preliminary soil tests were conducted to better represent the lithology of study area. The PVM was then packed with regional silt clay soil, after modifying its texture, using an innovative packing procedure to preserve natural soil density and porosity. The model was run for a period of three months with newly collected septic water (black water from a septic tank) as an exclusive source of contaminants. Water samples from eight vertically arranged portals representing 12.5, 37.5, 62.5, 87.5, 112.5, 137.5, 162.5, and 187.5 cm levels in the subsurface soil profile were collected on a daily basis and analyzed weekly. Logistic regression and logarithmic models were developed to spatially predict the movement of chloride ions at different sampling depths in the soil profile until the system had reached the equivalent chloride concentration of the septic water or had stabilized. There was a good agreement between the physical model and the statistical models, however each model had its strengths and weaknesses. This study demonstrated that there is a potential for septic water to reach the water table within a 2–3 weeks period. Dilution and dispersion appear to play important roles in the fate and transport of septic water. This study has the potential to help the local authorities predict percolation rates and establish strategies for groundwater management in order to protect the public health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model for the Material Flow of Resonant Wood Production
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 502; doi:10.3390/su9040502
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes a multi-criteria decision-making model, for the selection and evaluation of the most valuable wooden input—resonant wood. Application of a given model can improve the process of input valuation as well as impact and improve particular economic indicators for the resonant
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This paper proposes a multi-criteria decision-making model, for the selection and evaluation of the most valuable wooden input—resonant wood. Application of a given model can improve the process of input valuation as well as impact and improve particular economic indicators for the resonant wood manufacturer. We have tried to describe and evaluate the supply chain of resonant wood manufacturing and production of musical instruments. Particular value-added and non-value-added activities have been chosen according to the logical sequence of technology. Then, concrete criteria were specified and their significance weightings. Another important part of our paper is the description of resonant wood, specifications, and demands on log and wood species. There are some important physical and mechanical properties which should be taken into account and evaluated during the production of musical instruments. By the application of this model, a particular enterprise can reach an enhanced tool for the continuous evaluation of the product flowing through the supply chain. Visibility of particular operations and their logical sequence, presented by Petri nets, can lead to easier detection of possible defects in these operations and their origin. So, the main purpose of the paper lies in the suggestion of an objective and quantified managerial tool for the decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle E-Waste Supply Chain in Mexico: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 503; doi:10.3390/su9040503
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
Electronic waste is a widespread environmental problem. From all waste streams, e-waste is registering one of the largest growing rates (between 3% and 5%). In Mexico, the e-waste recovery system comprises a mix of formal and informal sectors not well known to date.
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Electronic waste is a widespread environmental problem. From all waste streams, e-waste is registering one of the largest growing rates (between 3% and 5%). In Mexico, the e-waste recovery system comprises a mix of formal and informal sectors not well known to date. The goal of this article was to analyze electronic waste in Mexico through the active actors in the recovery chain. This article presents the evolution of studies on electronic waste in Mexico. The legal regulations and public policies were analyzed, as were the existing practices of electronic waste handling, and some challenges facing this country for waste flow management. A management model is proposed which highlights components that must be considered in the model and the opportunities and challenges to transition from an unbundled handling, which still has practices that lack environmental and technical support, to sustainable management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle GHG Emissions from the Production of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 504; doi:10.3390/su9040504
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
With the mass market penetration of electric vehicles, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with lithium-ion battery production has become a major concern. In this study, by establishing a life cycle assessment framework, GHG emissions from the production of lithium-ion batteries in China
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With the mass market penetration of electric vehicles, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with lithium-ion battery production has become a major concern. In this study, by establishing a life cycle assessment framework, GHG emissions from the production of lithium-ion batteries in China are estimated. The results show that for the three types of most commonly used lithium-ion batteries, the (LFP) battery, the (NMC) battery and the (LMO) battery, the GHG emissions from the production of a 28 kWh battery are 3061 kgCO2-eq, 2912 kgCO2-eq and 2705 kgCO2-eq, respectively. This implies around a 30% increase in GHG emissions from vehicle production compared with conventional vehicles. The productions of cathode materials and wrought aluminum are the dominating contributors of GHG emissions, together accounting for around three quarters of total emissions. From the perspective of process energy use, around 40% of total emissions are associated with electricity use, for which the GHG emissions in China are over two times higher than the level in the United States. According to our analysis, it is recommended that great efforts are needed to reduce the GHG emissions from battery production in China, with improving the production of cathodes as the essential measure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Projections of Future Land Use in Bangladesh under the Background of Baseline, Ecological Protection and Economic Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 505; doi:10.3390/su9040505
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Land is one of the important input resources in a highly populous and land-scarce country such as Bangladesh. When different factors change (such as, geophysical, proximity, socioeconomic and climatic), there are dramatic changes in the spatial pattern of land uses. Thus, shedding light
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Land is one of the important input resources in a highly populous and land-scarce country such as Bangladesh. When different factors change (such as, geophysical, proximity, socioeconomic and climatic), there are dramatic changes in the spatial pattern of land uses. Thus, shedding light on the dynamics of land use and land cover changes has great importance for finding the changing pattern of land use in Bangladesh. In the present study, we predicted the land use and land cover changes from 2010 to 2030 under baseline, ecological protection priority and economic growth scenarios in Bangladesh. On this basis, we applied a previously developed Dynamics of Land Systems (DLS) model to simulate the changes in land uses according to the driving mechanisms. The findings indicate that cultivated land declines and built-up area expansion is common under all three scenarios. However, the future land use demand shows differences under different scenarios. The results under the ecological protection priority scenario shows that forest area and grassland will increase more, while under economic growth scenario, built-up area will expand dramatically in the future. The present research results furnish meaningful decision-making information for planners to conserve and/or exploit land resources in Bangladesh in a more sustainable manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
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Open AccessArticle Rural Solid Waste Management in China: Status, Problems and Challenges
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 506; doi:10.3390/su9040506
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper seeks to describe the overall state of Rural Solid Waste Management (RSWM) in China in three main areas: waste collection services, waste transportation services and waste disposal services. Given China’s urbanization, industrialization, and the subsequent improvement of household living standards, the
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This paper seeks to describe the overall state of Rural Solid Waste Management (RSWM) in China in three main areas: waste collection services, waste transportation services and waste disposal services. Given China’s urbanization, industrialization, and the subsequent improvement of household living standards, the amount of solid waste generated in rural China has increased rapidly. Based on primary data collected in 2016 from 100 villages across five provinces in China, we find that the proportion of villages with waste collection, waste transportation, and waste disposal services in 2015 is 80%, 55% and 22%, respectively. The differences in shares of villages with these services across provinces are statistically significant. Using descriptive and econometric analyses, the authors show that richer villages are more likely to provide rural solid waste (RSW) collection and transportation services. Villages with new (newly elected or appointed) village leaders are more likely to supply RSW disposal services. While the majority of villages report that they offer waste collection services (installing waste collection facilities and employing waste collection workers), the vast majority of villages do not transport their waste to treatment plants. Even fewer villages report using centralized disposal methods to dispose of waste, as required by law or regulation. This study represents the first effort to describe the state and determinants of waste management services in rural China in the wake of increased investment in and new policies regarding RSWM released in 2015. Additionally, we provide evidence-based suggestions that might be useful for policy makers interested in improving RSWM in China. These suggestions include increasing investments in waste collection facilities and worker services; encouraging local residents to classify and recycle waste; designing optimal waste transportation networks and routes; and improving on-site waste disposal technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Economics and the Regional Sustainable Economic Growth)
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Open AccessArticle New Configuration and Novel Reclosing Procedure of Distribution System for Utilization of BESS as UPS in Smart Grid
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 507; doi:10.3390/su9040507
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes a new configuration and novel reclosing procedure of a distribution system with a battery energy storage system (BESS) used as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in a smart grid. The proposed new configurations of the distribution systems are the installation
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This paper proposes a new configuration and novel reclosing procedure of a distribution system with a battery energy storage system (BESS) used as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in a smart grid. The proposed new configurations of the distribution systems are the installation of a circuit breaker (CB) on both sides of the distribution line, the replacement of the recloser with a CB and protective relay, and the requirement of a communication method. The proposed reclosing procedure performs the reclosing of the CB at the load side and then judges the fault clearance using the load current. If the fault is cleared, the synchronism checking between the main source and the BESS is performed. After completing this, the CB at the main source side is reclosed. The smart grid environment, including a new distribution system, BESS, and reclosing method are modeled with the Electromagnetic Transients Program (EMTP)/ATPDraw. To verify the proposed method, the various simulations according to the fault clearance time are performed and analyzed. The simulation results show that the BESS can be operated as a UPS and successful reclosing is possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
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Open AccessArticle Heuristic vs. Meta-Heuristic Optimal Energy Design for an Office Building
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 508; doi:10.3390/su9040508
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 27 March 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, an application of heuristic vs. meta-heuristic approaches to the design of an office building is presented. The building was first optimized by a heuristic approach based on the designers’ expertise, prior experiences and intuitions with the use of a whole
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In this paper, an application of heuristic vs. meta-heuristic approaches to the design of an office building is presented. The building was first optimized by a heuristic approach based on the designers’ expertise, prior experiences and intuitions with the use of a whole building simulation tool, EnergyPlus. Then, a meta-heuristic approach was completed in MATLAB platform where EnergyPlus and Genetic Algorithm (GA) were coupled. M-script files were developed to automate execution of EnergyPlus simulation runs (reading output files and overwriting input files of EnergyPlus) in integration to GA. Based on a comparison between the heuristic and the meta-heuristic approach, it is shown that GA performs much better in finding a global optimum even under a constrained search space than the heuristic approach. The heuristic approach has advantages, such as reflection of a design context in decision-making and fast communication between stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Renewable Energy Project as a Source of Innovation in Rural Communities: Lessons from the Periphery
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 509; doi:10.3390/su9040509
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Renewable energy projects (REPs) are viewed as a resource for the development of rural, peripheral communities. Going beyond the simplistic understanding of renewable energy technology as an independent variable, the current study looks into what the interaction between renewables and host communities brings
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Renewable energy projects (REPs) are viewed as a resource for the development of rural, peripheral communities. Going beyond the simplistic understanding of renewable energy technology as an independent variable, the current study looks into what the interaction between renewables and host communities brings in terms of innovation and development. Relying on a combination of primary and secondary data, both qualitative and quantitative, we observed that for the case of northwest Romania the fast development of REPs had no impact on classic economic indicators such as employment or revenue to the local budget. Looking closely at the impact on innovation as an important explanatory factor of peripheralization, in the majority of researched cases we saw no technical nor policy-related innovation associated with REPs. The presence of a privately-owned project in the territory of the community acted as a possible catalyst for considering developing their own REPs however. Owning a renewable energy project at the same time proved to have a positive impact on policy-related innovation. Moreover, communities that developed and manage their own REPs seem also to be more interested in changing the existing technological arrangements as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle The Study on Biomass Fraction Estimation for Waste Incinerated in Korea: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 511; doi:10.3390/su9040511
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
In this study, to determine the biomass fraction to apply to the estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the waste incineration sector, municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and sewage sludge incineration facilities were selected and analyzed, and the biomass fractions found in
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In this study, to determine the biomass fraction to apply to the estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the waste incineration sector, municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and sewage sludge incineration facilities were selected and analyzed, and the biomass fractions found in these facilities were compared. The biomass fractions of Municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and sewage sludge in incineration facilities were shown to be 57%, 41%, and 78%, on average, respectively. In the case of municipal solid waste and industrial waste incineration facilities, the values were similar to those of previous studies. However, the biomass fraction of wastes and sewage sludge except for municipal solid waste was found to be significantly different from the IPCC default. Accordingly, we believe that the biomass fractions used to estimate the GHG emissions of different incineration facilities should reflect the characteristics of each waste type. At present, the basic value given by the IPCC for biomass fraction is used in Korea to estimate the GHG emissions of each waste incineration facility. Some studies have found a difference between the value obtained using the basic value given by the IPCC and the value obtained using values that reflect the characteristics of Korea. In common with previous studies, in this study the biomass fraction of waste incineration facilities and sewage sludge incineration facilities except for municipal solid wastes showed a large difference, which is also expected to affect the estimation of GHG emissions. If further studies collect additional data on the biomass fraction of each waste type, this study along with the additional data collected will assist in the development of a state level greenhouse gas emission factor and contribute to the improvement of the reliability of the national GHG inventory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Transfer in the Food Sector by Applying a Target Audience-Centered Approach—The Development of a Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Guide Based on a Case Study of the LAV Platform
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 512; doi:10.3390/su9040512
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
This article presents a marketing campaign guide to support nonprofit and governmental organizations, such as academic research institutes or governmental agencies, that wish to develop support tools for the food industry. It offers a systematic and target audience-centered approach which guides nonprofits through
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This article presents a marketing campaign guide to support nonprofit and governmental organizations, such as academic research institutes or governmental agencies, that wish to develop support tools for the food industry. It offers a systematic and target audience-centered approach which guides nonprofits through the various steps of a marketing campaign, from defining the required values of a new product or service to ultimately launching it. The text also explains how a target audience-centered marketing approach was applied in a case study of developing and transferring the LAV platform (LAV—Avoiding Food Waste, from the German “Lebensmittel Abfall Vermeiden”), a website that has been specifically set up and targeted to small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the German food sector that wish to reduce food waste in their operations. Currently, there are more than 500 tools available in the English or German language which attempt to support companies in the food sector in their food waste reduction efforts. However, so far there has been no platform that could gather all these tools to facilitate SMEs’ access to them. The LAV platform compiles various relevant tools from academia as well as from industry and makes the most suitable tools available in a toolbox published on the Internet platform. Here, the tools are structured by topic and market segment; its user-friendliness was tested applying participatory methods which involved SMEs and industry organizations. The LAV platform, as well as target audience-centered marketing approaches more generally, could act as role models for other international projects that also have the goal of setting up and promoting tool-gathering systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle SH-SecNet: An Enhanced Secure Network Architecture for the Diagnosis of Security Threats in a Smart Home
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 513; doi:10.3390/su9040513
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
The growing demand for an independent and comfortable lifestyle has motivated the development of the smart home, and providing security is a major challenge for developers and security analysts. Enhancing security in the home environment has been recognized as one of the main
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The growing demand for an independent and comfortable lifestyle has motivated the development of the smart home, and providing security is a major challenge for developers and security analysts. Enhancing security in the home environment has been recognized as one of the main obstacles to realizing the vision of creating energy-efficient smart homes and buildings. Understanding the risks associated with the use and potential exploitation of information about homes, end-users, and partners, as well as forming techniques for integrating security assessments into the design, is not straightforward. To address this challenge, we propose enhanced secure network architecture (SH-SecNet) for the diagnosis of security threats in the smart home. In our architecture, we use the Multivariate Correlation Analysis (MCA) technique to analyze the network flow packet in the network layer, as this classifies the network traffic by extracting the correlation between network traffic features. We evaluated the performance of our architecture with respect to various parameters, such as CPU utilization, throughput, round trip time, and accuracy. The result of the evaluation shows that our architecture is efficient and accurate in detecting and mitigating attacks in the smart home network with a low performance overhead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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Open AccessArticle CO2 Emissions Reduction and Energy Efficiency Improvements in Paper Making Drying Process Control by Sensors
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 514; doi:10.3390/su9040514
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
The drying process of paper has many production parameters that can influence both the energy consumed and the characteristics of paper produced. It was found that most of the previous studies conducted on this process assume that the conditions of the facilities are
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The drying process of paper has many production parameters that can influence both the energy consumed and the characteristics of paper produced. It was found that most of the previous studies conducted on this process assume that the conditions of the facilities are always appropriate. The control of the variables associated with air circulating inside the drying hood is essential to obtain a paper with adequate quality and obtain low ratios of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This article proposes a new indirect method based on the study of the enthalpy of the airflows inside the production hall and thermographic images that helps to analyze the maintenance state of the enclosure hood drying section in a general process, whereby it can also estimate the emissions and energy losses. The combined use of sensors and equipment has helped to identify energy losses and potential savings in CO2 emissions. The developed method is applied to a paper manufacturing plant that has ratios of energy consumption and CO2 emissions very close to the product benchmark set by the European Authorities. The study corroborates that it can be identified as a significant energy loss in paper making drying process. Analyzing facilities that are in apparently good maintenance conditions, leaks are evident. These energy losses are very significant compared with the theoretical energy consumption, and it can affect the paper moisture profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Early Front-End Innovation Decisions for Self-Organized Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics—A Case Study on Lignin Utilization
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 515; doi:10.3390/su9040515
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
The emergence of self-organized industrial symbiosis (IS) is based on the expectations of industrial actors regarding financial and/or environmental benefits through symbiotic inter-company linkages. One such linkage is the exchange of by-products as substitutes for primary raw materials. However, the company generating the
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The emergence of self-organized industrial symbiosis (IS) is based on the expectations of industrial actors regarding financial and/or environmental benefits through symbiotic inter-company linkages. One such linkage is the exchange of by-products as substitutes for primary raw materials. However, the company generating the by-product may even not be aware of potential application fields in other industries. In cases where the by-product triggers an innovation, the very early phase of the innovation process (“early front-end”—EFE) is extremely important, as it is here that a first rough picture of future application fields must be defined. In contrast to traditional market innovations of industries, the EFE of IS innovations is triggered by the existence of a certain by-product. As conventional innovation models are not very helpful in supporting the EFE decisions in IS innovations, our paper aims to establish a link between self-organized IS and innovation by creating a specific theoretical framework for the support of EFE decisions. We thus introduce the “stage-gate model of self-organized IS innovations” and place a particular emphasis on the early phases within this model. Subsequently, we illustrate the application of the early phases of the model in a case study on lignin utilization in the Austrian paper and pulp industry (P&P industry). In this way, the study contributes to a better understanding of the peculiarities and conditions of EFE decisions in IS innovations and their significance in the emergence of self-organized IS networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Remanufacturing Certification Contracts in the Electrical and Electronic Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 516; doi:10.3390/su9040516
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
While remanufacturing is highly encouraged worldwide, some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the electrical and electronics industry are still not willing to embrace remanufacturing, for fear of expensive investment or the cannibalization of existing products. Meanwhile, third-party remanufacturers’ (TPRs) remanufactured products are developing
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While remanufacturing is highly encouraged worldwide, some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the electrical and electronics industry are still not willing to embrace remanufacturing, for fear of expensive investment or the cannibalization of existing products. Meanwhile, third-party remanufacturers’ (TPRs) remanufactured products are developing quickly. Due to quality reasons, consumers usually have a higher preference for OEM-certified remanufactured products than uncertified ones. As such, remanufacturing certification has become a strategy that OEMs can use to benefit from product remanufacturing. Our paper focuses on the remanufacturing certification contract between an OEM and a TPR. Once certified, the TPR makes payments to the OEM. These payment terms will affect their enthusiasm for participating in remanufacturing certification. By establishing game models among an OEM, a certified TPR, and an uncertified TPR, our paper explores three certification contracts, namely, the lump-sum payment, profit-sharing payment, and piece-rate payment. We identify the conditions for the OEM and certified TPR to reach a win-win outcome. Our results show that when TPRs have a high profit margin and there is no significant difference in consumers’ preferences between certified and non-certified remanufacturing channels, the profit-sharing payment contract yields the highest profit; otherwise, the piece-rate payment contract is best for the OEM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Industry Interdependence Dynamics and Structure Change Causal Analysis: An Empirical Study on China’s Shipbuilding Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 517; doi:10.3390/su9040517
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Based on empirical evidence from Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Circum-Bohai-Sea region, this study applies the Input-Output (I-O) model and ArcGIS to analyze the interdependence and its dynamic evolution of the shipbuilding industry. In order to study the change cause of
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Based on empirical evidence from Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Circum-Bohai-Sea region, this study applies the Input-Output (I-O) model and ArcGIS to analyze the interdependence and its dynamic evolution of the shipbuilding industry. In order to study the change cause of shipbuilding industrial structure, we decompose the I-O model to obtain the influential factors including domestic final demand, overseas export demand, intermediate input, intermediate demand import and final demand import. The results indicate that (1) the shipbuilding industry has a significant interdependence, which has showed the characteristics of high integration and interaction. Among the three different regions, the degree of interdependence of the Yangtze River Delta is most significant, followed by the Pearl River Delta and the Circum-Bohai region. (2) The interaction and integration of the shipbuilding industry have the trend of synchronous development. From the initial S-shapes of coastal distribution, the interaction gradually expands to inland cities radially. (3) The dependence of the shipbuilding industry has reduced but the self-supporting effect continuously strengthened, and industrialization is accelerating, which indicates the shipbuilding industry will further promote the optimization of industrial structure. (4) Shipbuilding industry has been expanding a lot, the main causes of changes in industrial structure are different, and the effect of intermediate inputs change plays a significant role in the Yangtze River Delta. In the Pearl River Delta, it is the changes effect of foreign export demand that counts. However, it is the effect of the final demand that makes contribution to the industrial structure change in Circum-Bohai-Sea region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Screening Indicators for the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 518; doi:10.3390/su9040518
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Since children are the key stakeholders supporting and being affected by sustainable development, the framework for the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) was proposed. It addresses social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development by considering seven relevant themes of child development, i.e.,
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Since children are the key stakeholders supporting and being affected by sustainable development, the framework for the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) was proposed. It addresses social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development by considering seven relevant themes of child development, i.e., health, education, safety, economic status, relationship, environmental aspects and participation. However, an indicator set for initiating the SCDI is still missing. In this study, indicators for the themes, subthemes and criteria of SCDI are identified from literature and then analyzed regarding data availability. Sixty-six indicators with statistical data covering at least 100 countries are selected as the indicator set for the SCDI. The results indicate that data availability is best for indicators describing the themes of health and education, and worst for indicators addressing the themes of relationship and participation. Furthermore, 21 subthemes and 50 criteria described by indicators with limited data availability are identified for future indicator and data development. By providing an initial indicator set and screening the indicators with regard to data availability, the practicality of the SCDI framework is expected. Furthermore, the indicator set can serve as a potential indicator pool for other child and sustainable development related studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle What Motivates Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change? The Case of Apple Farmers of Shaanxi in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 519; doi:10.3390/su9040519
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Past studies showing that barriers to farmers’ adaptation behaviors are focused on their socio-economic factors and resource availability. Meanwhile, psychological and social considerations are sparingly mentioned, especially for the related studies in developing countries. This study investigates the impact of psychological factors and
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Past studies showing that barriers to farmers’ adaptation behaviors are focused on their socio-economic factors and resource availability. Meanwhile, psychological and social considerations are sparingly mentioned, especially for the related studies in developing countries. This study investigates the impact of psychological factors and social appraisal on farmers’ behavioral intention to adopt adaptation measures for the aforementioned reason, due to climate change and not to anthropogenic climate change. Drawing on the protection motivation theory, a threat, coping, social appraisal, maladaptation and behavioral intention to adopt adaptation measures (TCSMBI) model was proposed to predict farmers’ adaptation. A structural equation model was then employed to analyze the relationships between variables in the TCSMBI model with 658 apple farmers in Shaanxi province, China. The empirical results showed that threat appraisal and coping appraisal have positive and significant impacts on behavioral intention to climate change. Moreover, threat appraisal reduces the occurrence of maladaptation, and social appraisal tends to have significantly positive impacts on threat appraisal and coping appraisal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Engineering Design in Technological and 21st Century Competencies Capacity Building: Comparative Case Study in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 520; doi:10.3390/su9040520
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Engineering design is considered an effective means for developing engineering technical skills. Normally, engineering design is conducted in teams and is a collaborative open-ended approach under constraints. This nature of engineering design involves engagement of several interpersonal, cognitive, and management skills or competencies
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Engineering design is considered an effective means for developing engineering technical skills. Normally, engineering design is conducted in teams and is a collaborative open-ended approach under constraints. This nature of engineering design involves engagement of several interpersonal, cognitive, and management skills or competencies such as teamwork, communications, decision making, problem solving, etc. While modern engineers are supposed to be technically competent, they need to posses a wide set of interpersonal, cognitive, and management competencies to function effectively in the workplace. Increasingly there has been more deployment of engineering design competitions (EDCs) in engineering education to address some gaps in current curricula system. In this study, the impact of a complex engineering design competition on developing 21st century competencies of engineering and technology talent is investigated. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods in the approach to self-reporting perceptions were utilized. Data was collected through interviews from students and faculty, and through surveys from students. Triangulating quantitative and qualitative data from students and faculty indicate that the investigated EDC have positive impact on a large set of 21st century engineering and technology competencies, this has been consistent across groups of students from the EU, Middle East, and Asia, as well as across genders. This is one of the few available investigations that sheds light in further depth on the impact of engineering design on non-technical skills. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficacy of Landfill Tax and Subsidy Policies for the Emergence of Industrial Symbiosis Networks: An Agent-Based Simulation Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 521; doi:10.3390/su9040521
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Despite the theoretical value of industrial symbiosis (IS), this approach appears to be underdeveloped in terms of practical applications. Different attempts to stimulate IS in practice are noticed, one of them consisting in the application of adequate policy measures. This paper explores the
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Despite the theoretical value of industrial symbiosis (IS), this approach appears to be underdeveloped in terms of practical applications. Different attempts to stimulate IS in practice are noticed, one of them consisting in the application of adequate policy measures. This paper explores the efficacy of two specific policies (landfill tax and economic subsidy for IS exchanges) in supporting the emergence of self-organized industrial symbiosis networks (ISNs). We frame the ISNs as complex adaptive systems and we design an agent-based model to simulate their emergence. We use a real case study and, by means of the simulation model, we assess how the two policy measures are able to enhance the formation of spontaneous IS relationships, thereby forcing the emergence of the ISN. Results show that both policy measures have a positive effect in all scenarios considered, but the extent is strictly dependent on the environmental conditions in which IS relationships occur. The economic implications for the government are finally discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Barriers to Widespread Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Shenzhen China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 522; doi:10.3390/su9040522
Received: 3 December 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
China promoted the large-scale adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in its 13th five-year plan; however, this target faces many obstacles. This paper analyzes the main barriers to widespread adoption of EVs through a survey in Shenzhen, which has the biggest EVs market share
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China promoted the large-scale adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in its 13th five-year plan; however, this target faces many obstacles. This paper analyzes the main barriers to widespread adoption of EVs through a survey in Shenzhen, which has the biggest EVs market share out of China’s major cities. Based on previous research, this paper conducted a new study using 406 approved questionnaires among 500 participants. Our study proposed five hypotheses to examine the main barriers to widespread adoption of EVs. The analysis was conducted using statistical method that included two-way frequency tables, chi-square test, and factor analysis. The results indicated that perception of advantages of EVs and access to recharging EVs remained the main barriers in large-scale penetration. Furthermore, our study revealed that a drop in financial incentives would not cause a significant decline in the future adoption of EVs. The study provides suggestions to car manufacturers and government policy advisors based on our analysis and discussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Modeling and 3D Investigation of INWAVE Device
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 523; doi:10.3390/su9040523
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
In this article, numerical studies on a tightly moored point absorber type wave energy converter called INWAVE are presented. This system consists of a buoy, subsea pulleys, and a power take off (PTO) module. The buoy is moored by three ropes that pass
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In this article, numerical studies on a tightly moored point absorber type wave energy converter called INWAVE are presented. This system consists of a buoy, subsea pulleys, and a power take off (PTO) module. The buoy is moored by three ropes that pass through the subsea pulleys to the PTO module. Owing to the counterweight in the PTO module, a constant tension, which provides a horizontal restoring force to the buoy, is constantly applied to the rope. As waves pass by, the buoy is subjected to six degrees of freedom motion, consisting of surge, heave, sway, roll, pitch, and yaw, which causes reciprocating motion in the three mooring ropes. The PTO module converts the motion of the ropes into electric power. This process is expressed as a dynamic equation based on Newtonian mechanics and the performance of the device is analyzed using time domain simulation. We introduce the concept of virtual torsion spring in order to prevent the impact error in the ratchet gear modules which convert bidirectional motion of rope drum into unidirectional rotary motion. The three-dimensional geometrical relationship between the ropes and the buoy is investigated, and the effects of the angle of the mooring rope and the direction of wave propagation are addressed to determine the interaction between the tension of the rope and the buoy. Results have shown that the mooring rope angle has a large impact on the power extraction. The simulation results present a useful starting point for future experimental work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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Open AccessArticle Policy Analysis to Reduce Climate Change-Induced Risks in Urban and Rural Areas in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 524; doi:10.3390/su9040524
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to project changes in climate change-induced risks over time and to investigate policy alternatives to mitigate the risks from increases in sea level, heavy rains, and heat waves in urban and rural areas. System dynamics simulation was
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The purpose of this paper was to project changes in climate change-induced risks over time and to investigate policy alternatives to mitigate the risks from increases in sea level, heavy rains, and heat waves in urban and rural areas. System dynamics simulation was used to build a model and conduct policy analysis for a simulation period over the years 2000–2050. The model was built with a focus on the interaction among three factors: damage restoration costs from heavy rains, heat waves, and sea level rise; the total cost of food imports due to decreases in arable land and agricultural productivity; and changes in the government budget to respond to climate change problems. A policy experiment was conducted with the model under four scenarios mainly based on the government budget for climate change. The results indicated, firstly, that the climate budget needs to be increased to at least 13 trillion Korean Won (US $11.6 billion) per year. Secondly, an earlier budget increase would more effectively reduce the total disaster restoration cost than a delayed budget increase. Third, if an earlier budget increase is difficult, the next best alternative would be to allocate a greater fraction of the climate budget to urban rather than to rural areas. Lastly, an early response to climate change would more effectively reduce food import costs, maintain agricultural productivity, and improve infrastructure for climate change adaptation than a delayed response. In conclusion, an earlier increase in the climate change budget would be more effective than a delayed budget increase of the same amount, and allocating a larger fraction of the climate budget to urban areas could be more cost-effective than increasing the budget, if urban and rural parties could agree on the method of allocation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perspective of Sustainable Rural Tourism in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK): Comparative Study of β and σ Convergence in the Economic Development Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 525; doi:10.3390/su9040525
Received: 21 January 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Tourism is an activity which globally develops proportionally with the evolution of progress. The opportunities we enjoy are bigger than ever, but their price should be lowered in order for the global society to develop its wealth. This can be performed by sustainability,
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Tourism is an activity which globally develops proportionally with the evolution of progress. The opportunities we enjoy are bigger than ever, but their price should be lowered in order for the global society to develop its wealth. This can be performed by sustainability, a concept which will join in the future all economic activities, not only tourism. Our analysis is focused on the specific case of the UK, one of the main tourist destinations in the world. It is well known that cultural tourism is the form attracting the highest number of foreign visitors. However, we can see the importance given to rural tourism. The main methods used to perform the present analysis are β and σ convergence. They proved their efficiency in other research studies, which led to a high degree of accuracy of the results. β and σ convergence analysis is performed on a sample of 12 Economic Development Regions from the UK, among which we will determine the degree of convergence and divergence of sustainable rural tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism, Rural Development and Rural Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Knowledge Intensive Business Services on Romania’s Economic Revival and Modernization at the Regional Level
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 526; doi:10.3390/su9040526
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Knowledge intensive business services have recently become one of the most important themes addressed by researchers in the field. Their interest in such a subject is due primarily to the impact they have in terms of growth rate, especially for the economies of
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Knowledge intensive business services have recently become one of the most important themes addressed by researchers in the field. Their interest in such a subject is due primarily to the impact they have in terms of growth rate, especially for the economies of emerging countries. The literature in the field brings a series of persuasive arguments about the role that these services have both at national and regional levels. In this paper, the authors make a radiography of the Romanian research system which is passing through a transition phase from the ruins of communism to the challenges of globalization. Moreover, the authors analyse the role of performance-based services in Romania’s regional development in correlation with the economic growth target at the national scale. Quantitative methods used during the present paper highlight the disparities between Romania’s geographic regions in terms of technological development and research. In addition, the econometric model developed in the study emphasizes the cohesion degree corresponding to the European Union Member States. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Strategy Map, and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) for a Sustainability Business Framework: A Case Study of a Spanish Software Factory in the Financial Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 527; doi:10.3390/su9040527
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a case study of how a Spanish financial software factory (FSF) has determined the weights of the indicators and objectives included in their strategy map with the aim of ensuring its business sustainability. A strategy map is a graphical representation
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This paper presents a case study of how a Spanish financial software factory (FSF) has determined the weights of the indicators and objectives included in their strategy map with the aim of ensuring its business sustainability. A strategy map is a graphical representation of the cause-effect relationships between strategic objectives and indicators of a balanced scorecard (BSC). The detailed description of the strategy map development and deployment is not part of the aim of this work as it was described in a former paper. In this study, FAHP, a multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) method using the concepts of fuzzy set theory and hierarchical structure analysis, was used to calculate the weights. The analysis was carried out considering the points of view of different groups of stakeholders (shareholders, top management, middle managers, other employees, customers and some experts in the field of software factories) and the results are presented grouped by role to get a better understanding of the preferences of each kind of stakeholder. The conclusions of this study give a better insight of the corporative sustainability strategies of this kind of firms as well as the different vision of each stakeholder, what could be very valuable to the software factory managers for the decision-making and the strategic management of their organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Tailor-Made Feedback to Reduce Residential Electricity Consumption: The Effect of Information on Household Lifestyle in Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 528; doi:10.3390/su9040528
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Residential smart metering and energy feedback have attracted worldwide attention toward reducing energy consumption and building a sustainable society. Many theoretical studies have suggested the importance of personalized information; however, few feedback demonstrations have focused on household lifestyle. This paper presents a pilot
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Residential smart metering and energy feedback have attracted worldwide attention toward reducing energy consumption and building a sustainable society. Many theoretical studies have suggested the importance of personalized information; however, few feedback demonstrations have focused on household lifestyle. This paper presents a pilot program of energy feedback reports based on analytical methods to show the relationship between electricity consumption and household lifestyle in Japan. One type of report was for households with a night-oriented lifestyle, which were classified by means of frequency analysis; it was evident that such households should shift to a healthy, environmentally friendly, morning-oriented lifestyle. Another type of report was based on cluster analysis: it pinpointed the dates and times when the household consumed much more electricity than with its regular routine. Through panel data regression analysis, it was found that the reports contributed to reducing daily household electricity consumption—as long as a boomerang effect could be avoided. It was also found that the feedback effect was enhanced by activation of consciousness, norms, and motives. It was observed that activation required a good understanding of the characteristics of electricity consumption and lifestyles of each household. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Revived Beauty: Research into Aesthetic Appreciation of Materials to Valorise Materials from Waste
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 529; doi:10.3390/su9040529
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
The use of materials derived from waste is one of the prominent ways to contribute to sustainable product design. However, there is a stark gap in literature concerning how people appraise such materials. In this paper, we present our initial attempts to understand
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The use of materials derived from waste is one of the prominent ways to contribute to sustainable product design. However, there is a stark gap in literature concerning how people appraise such materials. In this paper, we present our initial attempts to understand the aesthetic appreciation of materials, in particular those derived from discarded raw materials, i.e., revived materials. Two studies were conducted for which we took the aesthetic principle unity-in-variety as the departure point. In the first study, we explored material appraisals by testing whether different visual and tactile qualities interrelate with each other in a similar or contradictory way. Based on these findings, two revived materials were modified and our main assumptions were further explored in Study 2. We outline our findings and show that the aesthetic appreciation of a material can be influenced by the (in)congruity between visual and tactile qualities of the material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Analysis of an Integrated Heat Pump with Air-Conditioning System for the Existing Hospital Building Application
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 530; doi:10.3390/su9040530
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
In this study, a complete evaluation procedure of energy-saving and efficiency improvement for a large-scale hospital retrofit project has been established and successfully validated in Taiwan. The retrofit scheme, in integrating the alternative hot water system, namely, a water source heat pump (WSHP),
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In this study, a complete evaluation procedure of energy-saving and efficiency improvement for a large-scale hospital retrofit project has been established and successfully validated in Taiwan. The retrofit scheme, in integrating the alternative hot water system, namely, a water source heat pump (WSHP), with the existing HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning) system, enables the capability to meet the cooling and hot water demand simultaneously with a larger safety margin as well as saving energy. In addition, it has been found that the integrated system provides a new source for cooling which can be utilized as a system redundancy in avoiding system shutdown. This is very useful when considering in specific areas in the hospital, such as intensive care unit, or operation rooms, where cooling should not be interrupted on any occasion. In this study, it is validated that the coefficient of performance (COP) of the newly added WSHP system, under heating and cooling mode, is 3.62 and 2.62, respectively. The recorded annual cost reduction by this integrated system is $102,564, with a payback of 1.2 years. The hospital after retrofit has been operating safer, with more redundancy, and more energy-efficient which warrants tremendous potential for implementation in the industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Rural Second Homes and Their Impacts on Rural Development: A Case Study in East Iran
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 531; doi:10.3390/su9040531
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Previously, rural tourism has developed due to population growth, urbanization, development of transportation, and communication routes. In this context, rural second homes (RSHs) are considered as one of the main instruments of permanent and temporary residency tourism. This study intended to evaluate the
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Previously, rural tourism has developed due to population growth, urbanization, development of transportation, and communication routes. In this context, rural second homes (RSHs) are considered as one of the main instruments of permanent and temporary residency tourism. This study intended to evaluate the impacts that “rural second homes” have on rural development in the Khorashad village in the South Khorasan province of Iran. Data were collected through a questionnaire. Using a random sampling method, 146 permanent rural residents were selected. Results showed that in the view of the respondents, the most important positive and negative impacts of RSHs were, respectively, the physical-environment and socio-cultural aspects of the area. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between job type, gender, and purchase/construction year of the RSHs and people’s perceptions toward the impacts of RSHs. The study concluded that the most important strategies to reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts of the RSHs are to, respectively, improve public policies and design geographical distribution patterns in order to develop RSHs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment, Tourism and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Development of the Renewable Energy Power Industry under Feed-In Tariff and Renewable Portfolio Standard: A Case Study of China’s Photovoltaic Power Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 532; doi:10.3390/su9040532
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Among the regulatory policies, feed-in tariffs (FIT) and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) are the most popular to promote the development of renewable energy power industry. They can significantly contribute to the expansion of domestic industrial activities in terms of sustainable energy. In this
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Among the regulatory policies, feed-in tariffs (FIT) and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) are the most popular to promote the development of renewable energy power industry. They can significantly contribute to the expansion of domestic industrial activities in terms of sustainable energy. In this paper, we synthetically consider various important factors with the analysis of the existing literature, and use system dynamics (SD) to establish models of long-term development of the renewable energy power industry under FIT and RPS schemes. The model not only clearly shows the complex logical relationship between the factors but also reveals the process of coordination between the two policy tools in the development of the renewable energy power industry. In addition, as an example of development of renewable energy industry, the paper studies the development of China’s photovoltaic power industry under different scenarios. The models proposed in this paper can provide a reference for scholars to study development of the renewable energy power industry in different countries, thereby facilitating an understanding of the renewable energy power’s long-term sustainable development pattern under FIT and RPS schemes, and helping to provide references for policy-making institutions. The results show that in the perfect competitive market, the implementation of RPS can promote long-term and rapid development of China’s photovoltaic power industry given the constraints and actions of the mechanisms of RPS quota proportion, the TGC valid period, and fines, compared with FIT. At the end of the paper, policy implications are offered as references for the government. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Grid Mapping for Spatial Pattern Analyses of Recurrent Urban Traffic Congestion Based on Taxi GPS Sensing Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 533; doi:10.3390/su9040533
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Traffic congestion is one of the most serious problems that impact urban transportation efficiency, especially in big cities. Identifying traffic congestion locations and occurring patterns is a prerequisite for urban transportation managers in order to take proper countermeasures for mitigating traffic congestion. In
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Traffic congestion is one of the most serious problems that impact urban transportation efficiency, especially in big cities. Identifying traffic congestion locations and occurring patterns is a prerequisite for urban transportation managers in order to take proper countermeasures for mitigating traffic congestion. In this study, the historical GPS sensing data of about 12,000 taxi floating cars in Beijing were used for pattern analyses of recurrent traffic congestion based on the grid mapping method. Through the use of ArcGIS software, 2D and 3D maps of the road network congestion were generated for traffic congestion pattern visualization. The study results showed that three types of traffic congestion patterns were identified, namely: point type, stemming from insufficient capacities at the nodes of the road network; line type, caused by high traffic demand or bottleneck issues in the road segments; and region type, resulting from multiple high-demand expressways merging and connecting to each other. The study illustrated that the proposed method would be effective for discovering traffic congestion locations and patterns and helpful for decision makers to take corresponding traffic engineering countermeasures in order to relieve the urban traffic congestion issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle A Geo-Event-Based Geospatial Information Service: A Case Study of Typhoon Hazard
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 534; doi:10.3390/su9040534
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Social media is valuable in propagating information during disasters for its timely and available characteristics nowadays, and assists in making decisions when tagged with locations. Considering the ambiguity and inaccuracy in some social data, additional authoritative data are needed for important verification. However,
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Social media is valuable in propagating information during disasters for its timely and available characteristics nowadays, and assists in making decisions when tagged with locations. Considering the ambiguity and inaccuracy in some social data, additional authoritative data are needed for important verification. However, current works often fail to leverage both social and authoritative data and, on most occasions, the data are used in disaster analysis after the fact. Moreover, current works organize the data from the perspective of the spatial location, but not from the perspective of the disaster, making it difficult to dynamically analyze the disaster. All of the disaster-related data around the affected locations need to be retrieved. To solve these limitations, this study develops a geo-event-based geospatial information service (GEGIS) framework and proceeded as follows: (1) a geo-event-related ontology was constructed to provide a uniform semantic basis for the system; (2) geo-events and attributes were extracted from the web using a natural language process (NLP) and used in the semantic similarity match of the geospatial resources; and (3) a geospatial information service prototype system was designed and implemented for automatically retrieving and organizing geo-event-related geospatial resources. A case study of a typhoon hazard is analyzed here within the GEGIS and shows that the system would be effective when typhoons occur. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Agroecology, Public Policies and Labor-Driven Intensification: Alternative Development Trajectories in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 535; doi:10.3390/su9040535
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
The institutional recognition obtained by family farming in Brazil over recent decades has translated into the launching of a broad and diverse set of public policies specifically aimed towards this sociopolitical category. However, the design of these policies was heavily influenced by the
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The institutional recognition obtained by family farming in Brazil over recent decades has translated into the launching of a broad and diverse set of public policies specifically aimed towards this sociopolitical category. However, the design of these policies was heavily influenced by the productivist bias derived from the agricultural modernization paradigm, making the sector increasingly dependent on input and capital markets. In this same movement of institutional evolution, policies consistent with the agroecological approach created new margins for maneuvering for development trajectories founded on the use of local resources self-controlled by rural families and communities. Taking as a reference the recent trajectory of rural development in Brazil’s semi-arid region, the article analyses the role of the agroecological perspective in the strategic combination between territorially endogenous rural resources and public resources redistributed by the State. Based on the analysis of the economy of agroecosystems linked to two sociotechnical networks structured by contrasting logics of productive intensification, the study demonstrates agroecology’s potential as a scientific-technological approach for the combined attainment of various Sustainable Development Goals, starting with the economic and political emancipation of the socially most vulnerable portions of the rural population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Demographic Changes and Real Estate Values. A Quantitative Model for Analyzing the Urban-Rural Linkages
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 536; doi:10.3390/su9040536
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Vast metropolitan areas include both urban areas and rural outskirts. Between these areas, there are strong links to the point which they cannot be examined separately. There is a contemporary presence of residential function and working activity in the rural outskirts, as well
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Vast metropolitan areas include both urban areas and rural outskirts. Between these areas, there are strong links to the point which they cannot be examined separately. There is a contemporary presence of residential function and working activity in the rural outskirts, as well as in the typical sector of agriculture. Therefore, the production of goods and services for the city requires a combined analysis, due to the large territory which it has to consider. The evolution of the population of such a large territory can be studied in great detail, with reference to the single census area and with the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This means that such a demographic development produces an effect on the values of the urban real estate. This work demonstrates the existing interconnections between urban areas and rural outskirts. Data collection on trends of the population living in the Naples metropolitan area and the house prices associated with this area, and the post spatial processing of such data, allows for the establishment of thematic maps according to which a model capable of interpreting the population development is defined. A study of the statistical correlations shows the consequences that the population dynamics produce for property prices. In addition, the diachronic analysis of the sales prices of residential buildings demonstrates that economic functions, exclusive of certain urban or rural territories, end up distributing and integrating. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coherences and Differences among EU, US and PRC Approaches for Rural Urban Development: Interscalar and Interdisciplinary Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 537; doi:10.3390/su9040537
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
The main goal of this paper is to translate the indexing of a projects’ Data Base, based on EU vocabulary on rural urban development, into different lexicons. Built on the groundwork laid in previous researches, the authors want to enlarge the methodology applied
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The main goal of this paper is to translate the indexing of a projects’ Data Base, based on EU vocabulary on rural urban development, into different lexicons. Built on the groundwork laid in previous researches, the authors want to enlarge the methodology applied in European Union (EU) territory and defined with Rural Architectural Intensification (RAI) and Rural Architectural Urbanism (RAU) to other contexts, in particular People’s Republic of China (PRC) and United States (US), keeping, however, this research at theoretical and methodological definition level. The study of coherences and differences between EU, US and China for rural urban development implies an interscalar and interdisciplinary analysis approach. It must be in complete adherence with national and specific directives and objectives in all the different selected countries. The analysis of main literature and national and federal laws of Europe, United States and China allows the definition of the Strategic Objectives and Main Goals for Rural Development identifying indicators and criteria. They permit to measure intensification’s outcomes in a qualitative way through the description and interpretation of operative tools for architecture and landscape design. Finally, the organized database and the territorial results can be considered as guidelines to support decision makers in rural-urban context. In addition, the whole procedure presented along with the projects’ database is a significant research package for further interdisciplinary applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Analysis on the Energy and Environmental Impact of the Korean National Energy R&D Roadmap a Using Bottom-Up Energy System Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 538; doi:10.3390/su9040538
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
According to the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties, 196 member states are obliged to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for every 5 years. As a member, South Korea has already proposed the reduction target and need to
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According to the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties, 196 member states are obliged to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for every 5 years. As a member, South Korea has already proposed the reduction target and need to submit the achievement as a result of the policies and endeavors in the near future. In this paper, a Korean bottom-up energy system model to support the low-carbon national energy R&D roadmap will be introduced and through the modeling of various scenarios, the mid-to long-term impact on energy consumptions and CO2 emissions will be analyzed as well. The results of the analysis showed that, assuming R&D investments for the 11 types of technologies, savings of 13.7% with regards to final energy consumptions compared to the baseline scenario would be feasible by 2050. Furthermore, in the field of power generation, the generation proportion of new and renewable energy is expected to increase from 3.0% as of 2011 to 19.4% by 2050. This research also suggested that the analysis on the Energy Technology R&D Roadmap based on the model can be used not only for overall impact analysis and R&D portfolio establishment, but also for the development of detailed R&D strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monte Carlo vs. Fuzzy Monte Carlo Simulation for Uncertainty and Global Sensitivity Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 539; doi:10.3390/su9040539
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) has been widely used for the uncertainty propagations of building simulation tools. In general, most unknown inputs for the MCS are regarded as single probability distributions based on experts’ subjective judgements and assumptions, when simulation information and measured data
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Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) has been widely used for the uncertainty propagations of building simulation tools. In general, most unknown inputs for the MCS are regarded as single probability distributions based on experts’ subjective judgements and assumptions, when simulation information and measured data are inaccurate and insufficient. However, this can lead to meaningless and untrustworthy results, since the results are obtained using only single probability distributions without considering reducible possibilities of some unknown inputs. This paper introduces a fuzzy MCS for dealing with the aforementioned problems. In comparison with the MCS, the fuzzy MCS has the advantage of considering the aleatory and epistemic uncertainty, and can provide a family of probability distributions. This paper also discusses how fuzzy MCS could be effectively used for uncertainty and global sensitivity analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Driving Factors for Extended Producer Responsibility by Using Interpretative Structure Modelling (ISM) and Analytic Network Process (ANP)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 540; doi:10.3390/su9040540
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
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Abstract
The establishment of an efficient reverse supply chain is important, especially in the electronics industry, considering the environmental and resource pressures worldwide. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), an important environmental policy approach, has been adopted extensively in various countries, and the effectiveness of its
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The establishment of an efficient reverse supply chain is important, especially in the electronics industry, considering the environmental and resource pressures worldwide. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), an important environmental policy approach, has been adopted extensively in various countries, and the effectiveness of its implementation has been proven through practical application. However, the establishment and development of EPR are lacking in most developing countries where collection and recycling systems are underdeveloped. This study addresses this problem by exploring the hierarchical relationship among the driving factors of EPR in the electronics industry in China and by identifying and ranking the factors that are critical in EPR implementation. As important managerial conclusions, research results show that EPR-related laws and regulations, the consciousness of senior executives, and corporate image are the three most important driving factors of EPR implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
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Open AccessArticle Global Interdependence of Collaborative R&D-Typology and Association of International Co-Patenting
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 541; doi:10.3390/su9040541
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
Economic globalization implies a growing interdependence of resources across countries. Technological R&D and cross-border collaboration are often identified as the primary driving forces in the process. This study aims to holistically analyze global landscape of international collaboration and identify influential countries and the
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Economic globalization implies a growing interdependence of resources across countries. Technological R&D and cross-border collaboration are often identified as the primary driving forces in the process. This study aims to holistically analyze global landscape of international collaboration and identify influential countries and the interdependencies among countries. A total of 458,381 international patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 1976 to 2013 are analyzed and the structure of international collaboration network is created. It is found that highly developed and small countries usually show a higher degree of internationalization. However, emerging countries such as China present high collaborative influences. The highly skewed collaboration distribution indicates significant inequality of internationalization, which is indeed a hurdle to a country’s technological mobility. It can be observed that most pairs of interdependent countries are neighboring or even bordering countries because of their similar historical, linguistic and cultural heritages. Several contributions of this study are summarized as follows: (1) this study first proposes the II, IA, II-IA, IA-AA, and II-IA-AA system for classifying international patent; (2) all international patents (38-year time span) from USPTO are examined without sampling; (3) association rule mining is used to evaluate the interdependency of international collaboration; and (4) network structures illustrating 38 years international co-patenting are visually presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Are They Neck and Neck in the Affordable Housing Policies? A Cross Case Comparison of Three Metropolitan Cities in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 542; doi:10.3390/su9040542
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Many municipal governments have adopted affordable housing policies to benefit people whose socio-economic status is not commensurate with the price of housing. However, the effects and the functions of these policies in the city on sustainable development and living remains limited. Using a
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Many municipal governments have adopted affordable housing policies to benefit people whose socio-economic status is not commensurate with the price of housing. However, the effects and the functions of these policies in the city on sustainable development and living remains limited. Using a comparative case study, this study explores the characteristics and effects of affordable housing policies in three metropolitan cities in China: Beijing, Tianjin, and Guangshou. This study finds that these cities have their unique affordable housing policies and have experienced various challenges in implementing those policies. Conclusions and implications for other cities in China are addressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of CEOs’ Negative Traits on Corporate Social Responsibility
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 543; doi:10.3390/su9040543
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
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Abstract
The dark triad, composed of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism, refers to negative personality traits, which may influence business processes. While negative traits could be an important factor explaining the relationship between a CEO’s immoral and unethical behavior and corporate social responsibility (CSR), there
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The dark triad, composed of Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism, refers to negative personality traits, which may influence business processes. While negative traits could be an important factor explaining the relationship between a CEO’s immoral and unethical behavior and corporate social responsibility (CSR), there has been minimal research focusing on this relationship. This paper thus attempts to investigate how a CEO exhibiting these negative traits affects CSR, and if an employee’s perception of ethics and social responsibility would mediate the relationship. In addition, this paper considers the moderating effects of an individual performance-based compensation system (IPBCS) between employee’s CSR perception and CSR activities. The data are collected through a survey conducted on 165 employees (companies) in twelve industries. The regression result indicates an inverse relationship between the negative traits of a CEO and an employee’s perception of ethics and social responsibility and CSR activities, and the mediating effect of the perception in the relationship between the negative traits and CSR activities. It also indicates that an IPBCS moderates the relationship between CSR perception and activities. Implications for the study, future research directions, and management approach are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Study on User-Oriented and Intelligent Service Design in Sustainable Computing: A Case of Shipbuilding Industry Safety
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 544; doi:10.3390/su9040544
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
Most business services based on Ubiquitous Computing are being designed with a sole focus on the technological sector, without considering business elements. In light of this trend, this study was intended to design a user-oriented u-Business service for preventing and promptly responding to
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Most business services based on Ubiquitous Computing are being designed with a sole focus on the technological sector, without considering business elements. In light of this trend, this study was intended to design a user-oriented u-Business service for preventing and promptly responding to industrial disasters at shipbuilding sites using a systematic methodology. Specifically, major danger elements of disasters in need of preferential preventive and responsive measures were derived as business opportunities unfulfilled by the current process, and then a u-Business service was developed to prevent/respond to such dangers. Statistical analysis was performed on the developed services according to evaluation models, and the final u-Business service was selected based on this analysis. Resources and information systems were designed to support the chosen service. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Organic vs. Non-Organic Food Products: Credence and Price Competition
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 545; doi:10.3390/su9040545
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
We analyze the organic and non-organic production choices of two firms by considering customers’ trust in organic food products. In the context of customers’ possible willingness to pay a premium price and their mistrust in organic food products, two firms first make choices
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We analyze the organic and non-organic production choices of two firms by considering customers’ trust in organic food products. In the context of customers’ possible willingness to pay a premium price and their mistrust in organic food products, two firms first make choices on offering organic and non-organic food products. If offering organic products, a firm can further invest in the credence system to increase customers’ trust in their organic products. At the final stage, two firms determine prices. We provide serval insights. First, we characterize the market conditions in which only one firm, both firms or neither firm will choose to offer organic food products. We find that the higher the production costs or credence investment costs for organic food products are, the more likely firms are to choose to produce non-organic food products. Second, if it is expensive enough to invest in organic credence, offering organic food products may still be uncompetitive, even if organic production cost appears to have no disadvantage compared to non-organic food products. Third, we highlight how the prices of organic food products in equilibrium are affected by market parameters. We show that when only one firm offers organic food products, this firm tends to offer a relatively low price if organic credence investment is expensive. Fourth, we highlight how one firm’s credence investment decision in equilibrium can be affected by the product type choice of the other firm. We find that the investment in organic credence is lower when both firms offer organic food products compared with the case when only one firm offers organic food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Access to Sanitation Facilities among Nigerian Households: Determinants and Sustainability Implications
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 547; doi:10.3390/su9040547
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Access to improved sanitation facilities is key to the socioeconomic wellbeing and sustainable development of any society. This study examines access to sanitation facilities in Nigeria and explores the socioeconomic and locational factors that influence the type of facility used by households. The
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Access to improved sanitation facilities is key to the socioeconomic wellbeing and sustainable development of any society. This study examines access to sanitation facilities in Nigeria and explores the socioeconomic and locational factors that influence the type of facility used by households. The study utilizes cross-sectional data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, and employs descriptive and inferential statistics for data analyses. The results indicated that 44.2% of households used various kinds of pit latrines, followed by toilets that flush to septic tanks (10.3%). While only 5.3% of the respondents used toilets that connect to sewer systems, about a third (31.5%) lacked sanitation facility and the remaining 8.7% used other types of sanitation facilities. Results from chi-square analysis and ANOVA revealed significant statistical differences between the type of sanitation facility households used and their place of residence, geopolitical zone, ethnicity, educational attainment and wealth. Multivariate regression results indicated that the type of household sanitation facility is significantly associated with the mentioned factors as well as household size, gender of the head of the household, type of water sources, number of rooms and access to electricity. Age of the head of the household and type of cooking fuel used were not significant. The study concludes by underscoring the implications of using unimproved sanitation facilities on human health and environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Low-Carbon Innovation and Its Heterogeneous Components on CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 548; doi:10.3390/su9040548
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to investigate the impact of low-carbon innovation on CO2 emissions. Using patent statistics, we measured low-carbon innovations for 15 major economies during the period of 1992–2012. Then, we classified low-carbon technology into clean and gray technology according to the
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This paper aims to investigate the impact of low-carbon innovation on CO2 emissions. Using patent statistics, we measured low-carbon innovations for 15 major economies during the period of 1992–2012. Then, we classified low-carbon technology into clean and gray technology according to the patent classification system. Following the empirical Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) framework, we explored the effects of low-carbon innovation and its components on CO2 emissions. We did not find any evidence of significant influence of low-carbon innovation. Through further estimations, a significantly negative effect of clean innovation was found while the effect of gray innovation is not clear. Heterogeneous impacts within low-carbon technology provide an explanation for the insignificant impact of low-carbon innovation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Coordination of Industrial Symbiosis through Anchoring
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 549; doi:10.3390/su9040549
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims to contribute to understanding the dynamics of industrial symbiosis. More specifically, we focus on the dynamics of anchoring as they can be observed in the Chinese context of eco-industrial development. We define anchoring as those activities that (typically local) actors
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This paper aims to contribute to understanding the dynamics of industrial symbiosis. More specifically, we focus on the dynamics of anchoring as they can be observed in the Chinese context of eco-industrial development. We define anchoring as those activities that (typically local) actors perform to create local physical and institutional conditions conducive to the emergence and further development of industrial symbiosis in a specific regional industrial system. We argue that, in the study of industrial symbiosis dynamics, it is conceptually more useful to focus on anchoring as an activity, rather than anchor tenants as actors. Based on a systematic literature review, we distinguish two types of anchoring activities: institutional and physical. We analyze anchoring dynamics in the case of Qijiang Industrial Symbiosis (Chongqing Municipality) in China. We have identified the physical and institutional anchoring activities, the actors responsible for these activities, and how different anchoring activities build on each other over time. Our case study shows that the attempt to bring about industrial symbiosis in the Qijiang industrial park can be described in a richer way than just ‘governmental planning’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Pioneering Renewable Energy in an Economic Energy Policy System: The History and Development of Dutch Grassroots Initiatives
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 550; doi:10.3390/su9040550
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
The first grassroots initiatives for renewable energy in The Netherlands were a small number of wind cooperatives that developed in the 1980s and 1990s. After a few years without developments, new initiatives started emerging after 2000, and after 2009 the movement boomed, growing
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The first grassroots initiatives for renewable energy in The Netherlands were a small number of wind cooperatives that developed in the 1980s and 1990s. After a few years without developments, new initiatives started emerging after 2000, and after 2009 the movement boomed, growing from around 40 to over 360 initiatives. These initiatives form an active, large and diverse movement that uses various motivations, technologies and connections, which have changed over time. This article uses a mixed methodology, aiming to map the development of these different “waves of initiatives” and relate them to the way in which the initiatives fit with their institutional environment. Institutional changes—such as the liberalization of the energy market, changing energy policies and discourses and a policy field that became increasingly multi-actor and multi-level—have influenced the presence and activities of grassroots initiatives. The article concludes that the growth and increasing visibility of the movement can be attributed to a large institutional fit at the decentral level, but that the low priority for grassroots initiatives and the economic rationale of the national government have hindered the political influence and installed capacity of renewable energy production facilities of the initiatives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Variations in Growing-Season NDVI and Its Response to Permafrost Degradation in Northeast China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 551; doi:10.3390/su9040551
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Permafrost is extremely sensitive to climate change. The degradation of permafrost has strong and profound effects on vegetation. The permafrost zone of northeastern China is the second largest region of permafrost in China and lies on the south edge of the Eurasian cryolithozone.
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Permafrost is extremely sensitive to climate change. The degradation of permafrost has strong and profound effects on vegetation. The permafrost zone of northeastern China is the second largest region of permafrost in China and lies on the south edge of the Eurasian cryolithozone. This study analyzed the spatiotemporal variations of the growing-season Normalization Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in the permafrost zone of northeastern China and analyzed the correlation between NDVI and ground surface temperatures (GST) during the years 1981–2014. Mean growing-season NDVI (MGS-NDVI) experienced a marked increase of 0.003 year−1 across the entire permafrost zone. The spatial dynamics of vegetation cover had a high degree of heterogeneity on a per pixel scale. The MGS-NDVI value increased significantly (5% significance level) in 80.57%, and this increase was mostly distributed in permafrost zone except for the western steppe region. Only 7.72% experienced a significant decrease in NDVI, mainly in the cultivated and steppe portions. In addition, MGS-NDVI increased significantly with increasing growing-season mean ground surface temperature (GS-MGST). Our results suggest that a warming of GS-MGST (permafrost degradation) in the permafrost region of northeastern China played a positive role in increasing plant growth and activities. Although increasing ground surface temperature resulted in increased vegetation cover and growth in the short time of permafrost degradation, from the long term point of view, permafrost degradation or disappearance may weaken or even hinder vegetation activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Regional-Level Carbon Allocation in China Based on Sectoral Emission Patterns under the Peak Commitment
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 552; doi:10.3390/su9040552
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
The Chinese government has committed to reaching its carbon emissions peak by 2030, which is a major undertaking. However, traditional carbon allocation processes may face a suite of difficulties, including the dynamics of the allocation principle, the independence of the allocation entities and
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The Chinese government has committed to reaching its carbon emissions peak by 2030, which is a major undertaking. However, traditional carbon allocation processes may face a suite of difficulties, including the dynamics of the allocation principle, the independence of the allocation entities and data availability. Considering these difficulties, in this study, we developed a multi-level carbon allocation model that integrates five sectors and 30 provinces in China. Based on the clustering of the sectoral carbon emission of major countries (or regions), the model simulates and analyzes carbon allocation at the provincial level in China under the peak commitment. The results of this study are as follows: First, in contrast to allocating national carbon allocations (NCAs) to provinces, the grandfather principle is the only option for allocating NCAs to sectors. In the future, China’s carbon emissions pattern will be dominated by the contribution from electricity and heat production sectors. This carbon emission pattern can be further divided into three categories: Pattern M, where the manufacturing and construction sectors significantly contribute to total emissions; Pattern R, where the residential buildings and commercial and public services sectors have a significant contribution to total emissions; and Pattern T, where the contribution of the transport sector to total emissions is substantial. Second, emission patterns affect the allocation of sectoral carbon allocations at the national level (SCANs). Although the preferences vary from sector to sector, they are consistent between the national and provincial levels. Third, compared with sectoral preferences, provincial preferences are more complex. Sixteen provinces, including Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, prefer Pattern T. There are nine provinces, for example, Guangdong, Shandong and Jiangsu, whose preferred pattern is M; and five provinces, represented by Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, have a preference for Pattern R. Last, but not least, to achieve China’s peak commitment, different provinces face alternative peak pressures. It is worth mentioning that, in patterns R and T, provinces with a high proportion of manufacturing and construction sector emissions, such as Guangdong, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, may have to increase the share of carbon emissions from the transport sector or from residential buildings and commercial and public services sectors to postpone their peak year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Political Regime and Learning Outcomes of Stakeholder Participation: Cross-National Study of 81 Biosphere Reserves
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 553; doi:10.3390/su9040553
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Stakeholder participation in natural resource management has spread widely, even to nondemocracies, driven by expectations of beneficial outcomes such as multidirectional learning. However, can we expect participation to be equally effective in achieving multidirectional learning in democracies and nondemocracies? Unsurprisingly, previous studies indicate
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Stakeholder participation in natural resource management has spread widely, even to nondemocracies, driven by expectations of beneficial outcomes such as multidirectional learning. However, can we expect participation to be equally effective in achieving multidirectional learning in democracies and nondemocracies? Unsurprisingly, previous studies indicate the relevance of power distribution for learning. Higher levels of repression and accumulation of political capital in nondemocracies should limit the distribution of power across stakeholders. Yet, the relationship between political regime, participation, and learning has rarely been studied empirically. I address this gap by analysing multidirectional learning in stakeholder participation in 81 Man and the Biosphere reserves across 35 countries using ordinary least squares regression, Firth logistic regression, and heat maps. The results suggest that the amount of stakeholders sharing knowledge and learning is similar in both regimes. However, a closer analysis reveals differences in the impact different stakeholders have on the learning process. More concretely, local actors share knowledge more often and have a greater impact on stakeholders’ learning in democracies, while state actors display similar behavior across regimes in terms of learning and sharing knowledge. Thus, although there are notable similarities across regimes, multidirectional learning through stakeholder participation is influenced by the political context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Digital Threat and Vulnerability Management: The SVIDT Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 554; doi:10.3390/su9040554
Received: 28 January 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
The Digital Revolution is inducing major threats to many types of human systems. We present the SVIDT method (a Strengths, Vulnerability, and Intervention Assessment related to Digital Threats) for managing the vulnerabilities of human systems with respect to digital threats and changes. The
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The Digital Revolution is inducing major threats to many types of human systems. We present the SVIDT method (a Strengths, Vulnerability, and Intervention Assessment related to Digital Threats) for managing the vulnerabilities of human systems with respect to digital threats and changes. The method first performs a multilevel system–actor analysis for assessing vulnerabilities and strengths with respect to digital threats. Then, the method identifies threat scenarios that may become real. By constructing, evaluating, and launching interventions against all identified digital threats and their critical negative outcomes, the resilience of a specific human system can be improved. The evaluation of interventions is done when strengthening the adaptive capacity, i.e., a system’s capability to cope with negative outcomes that may take place in the future. The SVIDT method is embedded in the framework of coupled human–environment systems, the theory of risk and vulnerability assessment, types of adaptation (assimilation vs. accommodation), and a comprehensive sustainability evaluation. The SVIDT method is exemplarily applied to an enterprise (i.e., a Swiss casino) for which online gaming has become an essential digital-business field. The discussion reflects on the specifics of digital threats and discusses both the potential benefits and limitations of the SVIDT method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Digital Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Explore the Buffering Effects of Perceived Hidden Inflation on Survival of Mobile Phone Service Providers in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 555; doi:10.3390/su9040555
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine the moderating role of perceived hidden inflation on the relationships between service quality, brand trust and brand loyalty. All data collected from the target population are analyzed through two-step structural equation modeling (SEM) and moderated
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The purpose of this study is to examine the moderating role of perceived hidden inflation on the relationships between service quality, brand trust and brand loyalty. All data collected from the target population are analyzed through two-step structural equation modeling (SEM) and moderated multiple regression (MMR) to examine the hypotheses. 1,050 questionnaires are randomly distributed at 21 telecommunication service stores in Taiwan. Findings indicated that service quality has no direct impact on behavioral loyalty but it has a significant indirect impact on behavioral loyalty through brand trust or attitudinal loyalty. Moreover, findings identify perceived hidden inflation as the moderating role in the service quality–brand trust–brand loyalty chain. Besides the need for empirical confirmation of the hypotheses given, finally, there are several practical implications for service marketers and future research directions for scholars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Are Consumers Willing to Pay More for a “Made in” Product? An Empirical Investigation on “Made in Italy”
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 556; doi:10.3390/su9040556
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
The paper aims to explore consumer behavior towards “Made in” products in order to determine the associated quality and value-attributes related to the purchasing intention of consumers. In particular, the article presents the comments and results deriving from an empirical investigation on “Made
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The paper aims to explore consumer behavior towards “Made in” products in order to determine the associated quality and value-attributes related to the purchasing intention of consumers. In particular, the article presents the comments and results deriving from an empirical investigation on “Made in Italy”. The research questions addressed are: (1) Does recognition really exist in terms of qualitative characterization of “Made in Italy” products? And if yes; (2) Does willingness to pay a “premium price” for such products exist in quantitative terms? The study is characterized by two phases. From a theoretical standpoint, the main literature on the topic is presented through the identification and deepening of the scientific strand of reference, such as the Country of Origin, the Country Image and the Brand Image, placing them in a broader context on Willingness to Pay. From an experimental standpoint, the research group investigates the existence and the type of relationship between the perception of quality and the willingness to pay for “Made in Italy” products. The summarized main findings show (1) “Made in Italy” is well established as a conceptual category in the minds of consumers; and (2) there is a significant “premium price” recognized by consumers for “Made in Italy” in the three sectors analyzed (food, fashion and furnishings). The “premium price” is not homogeneously recognized for the various product sectors analyzed, although for all the sectors the most commonly encountered value is relative to 10–30%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Applying Biomass Fraction for Greenhouse Gases Emission Estimation of a Sewage Sludge Incinerator in Korea: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 557; doi:10.3390/su9040557
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) guidelines, when calculating CO2 emissions, CO2 emissions from biomass should be excluded from the total amount of CO2 emissions and should be separately reported due to their “carbon neutrality”. Sewage sludge
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According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) guidelines, when calculating CO2 emissions, CO2 emissions from biomass should be excluded from the total amount of CO2 emissions and should be separately reported due to their “carbon neutrality”. Sewage sludge is one of the representative biomass fuels. It is mixed with fossil fuels to achieve greenhouse gas reduction or is used by itself as a fuel to replace fossil fuels. According to the results of this study, biomass fractions of both the sewage sludge and the sewage sludge incineration exhaust gases did not amount to 100%. At present, in many countries (South Korea, Japan, and Germany), when calculating greenhouse gas emissions from sewage sludge incinerators, all CO2 emissions from sewage sludge are judged to be biomass and only the greenhouse gas emissions that correspond to non-CO2 gases are calculated as greenhouse gas emissions. However, since, according our results, the content of sewage sludge is not 100% biomass, if CO2 emissions are excluded according to the existing greenhouse gas emission calculation method, the amount of emissions may be underestimated. Therefore, to accurately calculate greenhouse gas emissions from a sewage sludge incinerator, CO2 emissions should be calculated in consideration of the fossil carbon fractions of sewage sludge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Spatial Dimension of Automobile Ownership and Its Associations with Household Characteristics and Land Use Patterns: A Case Study in Three Counties, South Florida (USA)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 558; doi:10.3390/su9040558
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
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Abstract
Motorization and increased levels of car ownership have partly contributed to traffic congestion and air pollution, which is a prime concern in the era of climate change. Therefore, vehicle ownership-related topics have been extensively explored by transportation scholars, economists, and planning researchers. However,
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Motorization and increased levels of car ownership have partly contributed to traffic congestion and air pollution, which is a prime concern in the era of climate change. Therefore, vehicle ownership-related topics have been extensively explored by transportation scholars, economists, and planning researchers. However, relatively fewer scientists have investigated the spatial patterns and socioeconomic factors of car ownership simultaneously within a large geographic scale. Thus, the goal of this article is to illuminate how high levels of auto ownership may cluster spatially and what factors relate to such phenomena by developing an integrative framework and applying it in three counties in South Florida (US). Specifically, this study first evaluated whether vehicle ownership is spatially autocorrelated using Global and Local Moran’s I statistics. It then justified significant factors associated with car ownership by employing Poisson and Corrected Poisson regression models. The findings, using raw data, show that there exist locally spatial clusters of the households with high levels of automobile ownership, while globally the patterns of auto ownership are statistically random. Furthermore, the results suggest that the number of drivers, the number of workers, household income level, housing tenure, the proximity to schools, and net house density significantly influence car ownership levels. The results can assist urban planners and local governments in developing planning schemes that aim at transit, cycling, walking, and other non-motorized travel modes, thereby furthering environmentally friendly communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of Ozone and Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disease Mortalities Due to Ozone in Shenzhen
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 559; doi:10.3390/su9040559
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
In order to explore the temporal-spatial patterns and possible health effects of ozone in Shenzhen, daily concentrations of ozone and the daily mortality caused by cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were collected. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) and SPSS, the spatial and temporal patterns
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In order to explore the temporal-spatial patterns and possible health effects of ozone in Shenzhen, daily concentrations of ozone and the daily mortality caused by cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were collected. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) and SPSS, the spatial and temporal patterns of ozone in Shenzhen were illustrated. Using a generalized additive model (GAM), the associations between ozone and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases causing mortality were analyzed, adjusted for meteorological factors and other major air pollutants including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO), and stratified by lag, age, and gender. The results showed that, during 2013, ozone was the second main air pollutant in Shenzhen apart from PM2.5, with average daily concentrations of 95.9 µg/m3 and 76.8 µg/m3 for the ozone 1-h mean and the daily ozone 8-h maximum concentration, respectively. The daily level of ozone had a higher concentration from September to October, and relatively low concentration from May to June. Obviously, a higher concentration was found in central parts of Shenzhen with the largest population, indicating higher risks. The excess risk (ER) percentage of the cardio-respiratory mortality rate showed a clearly accumulative effect at L03, with the highest ER percentage of 1.08 (0.88–1.27) per 10 µg/m3 increase in the ozone 8-h maximum concentration for all the population. Males were found to be more sensitive to ozone compared with females, and the elderly were more susceptible to ozone exposure than younger people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Green Open Space on Community Attachment—A Case Study of Three Communities in Beijing
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 560; doi:10.3390/su9040560
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
With the development of urbanization in China, the quality of urban life and community attachment have attracted increasing attention of the governments and society. Existing research on community attachment has mainly examined how individual characteristics affect community attachment, such as their length of
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With the development of urbanization in China, the quality of urban life and community attachment have attracted increasing attention of the governments and society. Existing research on community attachment has mainly examined how individual characteristics affect community attachment, such as their length of residence and socioeconomic status. However, some scholars have become interested in exploring the effects of green open space on community attachment. This research examined whether the distribution of green open space in communities had significant effects on community attachment, and both the impact and path were also investigated. Through a questionnaire survey, relevant data in three communities of Beijing were collected. The impact of green open space layout on community attachment was evaluated by using hierarchical regression, and the impact path was examined by using a structural equation model. The results showed that green open space in a community had significant effects on the community attachment, with centralized green open space layout having a greater effect than that of dispersed green open space. Moreover, the more complex the shape of green open space is, the greater the impact is. The degree of satisfaction with the green open space had direct effects on the community attachment. The accessibility and perceived area of green open space could indirectly have an impact on the community attachment by affecting the degree of satisfaction with the green open space. Nevertheless, residents’ perceived importance of green open space could affect the community attachment directly and indirectly, as it affects the degree of satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimization and Analysis of a Manufacturing–Remanufacturing–Transport–Warehousing System within a Closed-Loop Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 561; doi:10.3390/su9040561
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 26 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper deals with the optimization of a manufacturing–remanufacturing–transport–warehousing closed-loop supply chain, which is composed of two machines for manufacturing and remanufacturing, manufacturing stock, purchasing warehouse, transport vehicle and recovery inventory. The proposed system takes into account the return of used end-of-life products
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This paper deals with the optimization of a manufacturing–remanufacturing–transport–warehousing closed-loop supply chain, which is composed of two machines for manufacturing and remanufacturing, manufacturing stock, purchasing warehouse, transport vehicle and recovery inventory. The proposed system takes into account the return of used end-of-life products from the market. Manufactured and re-manufactured products are stored in the manufacturing stock. The used end-of-life products are stored in the recovery inventory for remanufacturing. The vehicle transports products from the manufacturing stock to the purchasing warehouse. The objective of this work is to simultaneously evaluate the optimal capacities of manufacturing stock, purchasing warehouse and the vehicle, as well as the optimal value of returned used end-of-life products. Those four decision variables minimize the total cost function. A discrete flow model, which is supposed to be the most realistic, is used to describe the system. An optimization program, based on a genetic algorithm, is developed to find the decision variables. Numerical results are presented to study the influence of transportation time, unit remanufacturing cost and configuration of the manufacturing/remanufacturing machines on the decision variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Natural Light vs. Cold LED Lighting in Installations for the Recovery of Victims of Gender Violence: Impact on Energy Consumption and Victims’ Recovery
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 562; doi:10.3390/su9040562
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
The efficiency of lighting installations is a major challenge concerning Governments, productive sectors and individuals. However, the importance of accurate lighting in some areas, especially those related to Health and Wellbeing is so critical that the constraints of energy efficiency and sustainability are
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The efficiency of lighting installations is a major challenge concerning Governments, productive sectors and individuals. However, the importance of accurate lighting in some areas, especially those related to Health and Wellbeing is so critical that the constraints of energy efficiency and sustainability are not always a priority. This situation has become more critical with the current boom in the application of non-visual effects of light to these areas. In this study, the effects oftwo different kinds of lighting on femalevictims of gender violence are compared and analyzed in terms of positive results and impact on energy consumption and sustainability. The lighting technologies used are integrated in facilities where these women carry out different activities aimed at their integration into daily life after their traumatic experiences. The results are expected to become a tool for professionals working with these collectives and for installation designers. In spite of the well-known effects of cold light, especially for tasks involving arousal, sleepiness and other critical variables, it is demonstrated that daylight, which is obviously cheaper from productive and environmental perspectives, is better for this application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Expansion and Soil Organic Carbon Storage Changes of Croplands in the Sanjiang Plain, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 563; doi:10.3390/su9040563
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Soil is the largest pool of terrestrial organic carbon in the biosphere and interacts strongly with the atmosphere, climate and land cover. Remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) were used to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of croplands and soil organic carbon
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Soil is the largest pool of terrestrial organic carbon in the biosphere and interacts strongly with the atmosphere, climate and land cover. Remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) were used to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of croplands and soil organic carbon density (SOCD) in the Sanjiang Plain, to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. Results show that croplands increased with 10,600.68 km2 from 1992 to 2012 in the Sanjiang Plain. Area of 13,959.43 km2 of dry farmlands were converted into paddy fields. Cropland SOC storage is estimated to be 1.29 ± 0.27 Pg C (1 Pg = 103 Tg = 1015 g) in 2012. Although the mean value of SOCD for croplands decreased from 1992 to 2012, the SOC storage of croplands in the top 1 m in the Sanjiang Plain increased by 70 Tg C (1220 to 1290). This is attributed to the area increases of cropland. The SOCD of paddy fields was higher and decreased more slowly than that of dry farmlands from 1992 to 2012. Conversion between dry farmlands and paddy fields and the agricultural reclamation from natural land-use types significantly affect the spatio-temporal patterns of cropland SOCD in the Sanjiang Plain. Regions with higher and lower SOCD values move northeast and westward, respectively, which is almost consistent with the movement direction of centroids for paddy fields and dry farmlands in the study area. Therefore, these results were verified. SOC storages in dry farmlands decreased by 17.5 Tg·year−1 from 1992 to 2012, whilst paddy fields increased by 21.0 Tg·C·year−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling Knowledge in Environmental Analysis: A New Approach to Soundscape Ecology
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 564; doi:10.3390/su9040564
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
Planning activities are inherently technical, political and organizational exercises, being both constructions of action optimization over time and “social” organizations promoting action. Thus, they require organization and consensus. In this context, the concept of processes that develop based on diffused interactions between different
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Planning activities are inherently technical, political and organizational exercises, being both constructions of action optimization over time and “social” organizations promoting action. Thus, they require organization and consensus. In this context, the concept of processes that develop based on diffused interactions between different agents appears useful and rather effective. Cognitive agents and reactive agents coexist in a system of relations and interactions. This allows the context in which environmental management and/or planning processes take place to be modeled in its essential parts. Scholars and researchers have often wondered if behavioral proxies of the environment-agent can be singled out for possible inclusion in a multi-agent system (MAS) layout. This challenge is of particular interest today, considering the potential offered by the spread of intelligent sensor networks, able to represent and model various “behaviors” of the environment-agent. Today’s growing interest in research in the field of planning is enhanced by an awareness of the complexity issue embedded in planning. In this framework, this paper is realized as a pilot study on the knowledge of sound and soundscapes as elements characterizing the environment-agent in the context of environmental planning processes. The study reflects a contextual difficulty of collecting extensive data in uneasy conditions: nevertheless it reports results and suggestions useful in an innovative MAS-oriented perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Invasive Eichhornia crassipes Affects the Capacity of Submerged Macrophytes to Utilize Nutrients
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 565; doi:10.3390/su9040565
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
Invasion by free-floating species, such as Eichhornia crassipes, is one of the most critical threats to the biodiversity and sustainability of wetland ecosystems, where all plants experience spatial heterogeneity in substrate nutrients. However, few studies have focused on the effects of free-floating
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Invasion by free-floating species, such as Eichhornia crassipes, is one of the most critical threats to the biodiversity and sustainability of wetland ecosystems, where all plants experience spatial heterogeneity in substrate nutrients. However, few studies have focused on the effects of free-floating invaders on the capacity of submerged plants to utilize substrate nutrients. A 10-week greenhouse experiment was conducted to test the effects of free-floating invasive E. crassipes (presence or absence) on the growth of Ceratophyllum demersum and Myriophyllum spicatum, and their capacity to use heterogeneous and homogeneous substrate nutrients. We found that the invasion of E. crassipes could significantly decrease the growth of both submerged C. demersum and M. spicatum and that substrate nutrient heterogeneity increased the growth of C. demersum (approximately 30% in total biomass and 40% in the number of nodes) but not of M. spicatum. The two submerged species have different strategies to address invasion by E. crassipes. These results indicate that E. crassipes can prevent the growth of submerged plants even if the submerged plants can effectively use heterogeneous nutrients. For the effective conservation of submerged macrophytes in wetlands, measures should be taken to restrict the spread of invasive free-floating species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Ex-Post Evaluation of Agricultural Extension Programs for Reducing Fertilizer Input in Shaanxi, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 566; doi:10.3390/su9040566
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
It is difficult to control agricultural Non-point Source (NPS) pollution, caused by overusing of chemical fertilizer, through laws alone. An agricultural extension program is an alternative way to reduce fertilizer input. This paper estimates the average change in fertilizer use of farmers, which
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It is difficult to control agricultural Non-point Source (NPS) pollution, caused by overusing of chemical fertilizer, through laws alone. An agricultural extension program is an alternative way to reduce fertilizer input. This paper estimates the average change in fertilizer use of farmers, which is attributable to their participation in the agricultural extension program. The Inverse-Probability Weighted matching method is used to evaluate the average treatment effect for the farmers who engaged in the program and, to a limited extent, evaluate the impact of individual elements of the program. Surprisingly, we find that farmer-to-farmer training may have had a counterproductive effect while the posters may be the most effective program element in reducing fertilizer use in the context. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Cointegration Analysis of Real GDP and CO2 Emissions in Transitional Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 568; doi:10.3390/su9040568
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper analyses the relationship between real GDP and CO2 emissions for 17 transitional economies based on a series of annual data from 1997 to 2014. The analysis was conducted using Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) (DOLS) and Fully Modified OLS (FMOLS)
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This paper analyses the relationship between real GDP and CO2 emissions for 17 transitional economies based on a series of annual data from 1997 to 2014. The analysis was conducted using Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) (DOLS) and Fully Modified OLS (FMOLS) approaches. The results clearly suggest the existence of a statistically significant long-run cointegrating relationship between CO2 emissions and real GDP. A 1% change in GDP leads to around a 0.35% change of CO2 emission on average for the considered group of countries. Close values of long-run coefficients for all estimations confirm the robustness of the estimated results. The authors state that transitional economies need to follow global policy incentives, and try to implement new mechanisms and instruments for the purpose of reducing CO2 emissions, such as environmental taxes, emissions-trading schemes, and carbon capture and storage, if they want to achieve future CO2 emission reductions, while attaining economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Economics and the Regional Sustainable Economic Growth)
Open AccessArticle Empirical Study of China’s Provincial Carbon Responsibility Sharing: Provincial Value Chain Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 569; doi:10.3390/su9040569
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
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Abstract
Against the background of global warming, China has vowed to meet a series of carbon emissions reduction targets and plans to launch a national carbon emissions rights trading market by 2017. Therefore, from the provincial value chain perspective, using input-output tables from China
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Against the background of global warming, China has vowed to meet a series of carbon emissions reduction targets and plans to launch a national carbon emissions rights trading market by 2017. Therefore, from the provincial value chain perspective, using input-output tables from China in 2002, 2007, and 2010, this study constructs models to calculate the CO2 emissions responsibility of each province under the production, consumption, and value capture principles, respectively. Empirical results indicate that Shandong, Hebei, Jiangsu, Guangdong, and Henan bear the most responsibility for CO2 emissions under the three principles in China, while Hainan and Qinghai have the least responsibility. However, there is a great difference in the proportion of carbon emissions responsibility for each province during the same period under different principles or different periods under the same principle. For consumption-oriented areas such as Beijing, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Guangdong, the production principle is more favorable, and the consumption principle is more beneficial for production-oriented provinces such as Hebei, Henan, Liaoning, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, and Shaanxi. However, the value capture principle strikes a compromise of the CO2 emissions responsibility of each province between the production and consumption principles, and it shares the CO2 emissions responsibility based on the actual value captured by each province in the provincial value chain. The value capture principle is conducive to the fair and reasonable division of CO2 emissions rights of each province by sectors, as well as the construction of a standardized carbon emissions rights trading market. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Develop Eco-Friendly Enterprise: Aligning Enablers with Strategy
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 570; doi:10.3390/su9040570
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 8 April 2017
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Abstract
Environmental friendliness has been regarded as a fundamental characteristic of sustainability and competitiveness, yet such eco-friendliness is often not performed well. Based on the relationship matrix in the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method and fuzzy logic, this paper presents an original integrated approach
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Environmental friendliness has been regarded as a fundamental characteristic of sustainability and competitiveness, yet such eco-friendliness is often not performed well. Based on the relationship matrix in the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method and fuzzy logic, this paper presents an original integrated approach that, by linking competitive bases, green capabilities, and providers, aims at identifying the most appropriate providers to be implemented by companies starting from competitive characteristics. As an illustration, an international electronics-related manufacturing firm’s eco-friendliness developing project is cited which provides evidence of a robust method that can improve the eco-friendliness of an enterprise and enhance competitive advantage. The approach allows for avoiding the risk of misalignments between green providers and competition requirements for practitioners that seek to implement green supply chain management systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Environmental Regulation on Industrial Activities: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Chinese Prefectures
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 571; doi:10.3390/su9040571
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 9 April 2017
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Abstract
We assess the effectiveness of China’s Two Control Zones (TCZ) policy, an environmental policy that tightens the control of acid rain and the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in targeted areas. To identify the effect of the policy on industrial activities,
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We assess the effectiveness of China’s Two Control Zones (TCZ) policy, an environmental policy that tightens the control of acid rain and the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in targeted areas. To identify the effect of the policy on industrial activities, we use the difference-in-differences (DID) method to study industry-level activities in China’s prefectures based on a unique firm-level data set covering the period from 1999–2009. We find that stricter environmental regulation led to a lower level of polluting industrial activities in TCZ prefectures, which was associated with more closures of polluting firms in targeted prefectures and more new polluting firms in non-targeted locations. In addition, our findings suggest that the TCZ policy had more pronounced effects in the coastal areas and became more effective after China changed its assessment criteria for the performance of local officials in the late 2000s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Open Data for Monitoring Risks and Preserving Archaeological Areas and Landscape: Case Studies at Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt and Shush, Iran
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 572; doi:10.3390/su9040572
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 9 April 2017
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Abstract
Instrumental to the concept of sustainability must be the search for feasible ways to implement sustainability, especially connecting heritage and tourism. This should be understood in relationship with the persistence in time and the current and future conception of the human-made environment. This
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Instrumental to the concept of sustainability must be the search for feasible ways to implement sustainability, especially connecting heritage and tourism. This should be understood in relationship with the persistence in time and the current and future conception of the human-made environment. This study deals with the spatial characterization over time of the urban sprawl close to and around two important archaeological areas: Kom el Shoqafa, Egypt and Shush, Iran. For both of the investigated sites, change detection analyses have been conducted using satellite declassified Corona and multidate Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery available for free from the USGS Earth Explorer. The study involves the collection of Corona 1964, Landsat TM 1984, Landsat ETM+ 1998 and L8 2016. The past and current urban and agricultural areas have been extracted by using consolidated classification techniques. Analyses and quantification of the spatial dimension of the urban expansion showed that, for both the study sites, urban areas have expanded to a significant percentage. In particular, the analysis of Corona and Landsat TM, ETM+, L8 imagery in Kom el Shoqafa revealed that, for the urban area, the evaluation of the change detection presented generally increasing chronology in both of the study areas, but for the agriculture lands, we can see that the changes sometimes decreased and sometimes increased. As a whole, outputs from our investigations clearly highlight that the current availability free of charge of long term satellite time series provides an excellent low cost tool for several applications including environmental monitoring and change detection to observe and quantify urban and land use changes from a global down to a local scale. We examine the capabilities of integrating remote sensing and GIS and suggest some innovative solutions to preserve the archaeological sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Rock Mass Classifications and Tunnel Support Systems in Unconsolidated Sedimentary Rock
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 573; doi:10.3390/su9040573
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 9 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents new valuable field data and a comprehensive approach to the determination of the rock mass classification and tunnel support systems for tunnels in unconsolidated sedimentary rocks as a special soil condition. The main objective of this study is to investigate
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This paper presents new valuable field data and a comprehensive approach to the determination of the rock mass classification and tunnel support systems for tunnels in unconsolidated sedimentary rocks as a special soil condition. The main objective of this study is to investigate and present the characteristics of the unconsolidated sedimentary rock by using the point load tests and slake durability tests. In addition, the appropriate rock mass classification and tunnel support system for the unconsolidated sedimentary rock tunnel are proposed, based on the results of experimental tests. The proposed rock mass classification and tunnel support system are validated through comparison against results from measuring the convergence of a tunnel under the construction. The proposed tunnel support system is appropriate for the unconsolidated sedimentary rocks, since the convergence factors, such as the maximum displacement and velocity of displacement, satisfy the criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Dynamic Evolutionary Behavior of American Heating Oil Spot and Futures Price Fluctuation Networks
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 574; doi:10.3390/su9040574
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
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Abstract
Heating oil is an extremely important heating fuel to consumers in northeastern United States. This paper studies the fluctuations law and dynamic behavior of heating oil spot and futures prices by setting up their complex network models based on the data of America
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Heating oil is an extremely important heating fuel to consumers in northeastern United States. This paper studies the fluctuations law and dynamic behavior of heating oil spot and futures prices by setting up their complex network models based on the data of America in recent 30 years. Firstly, modes are defined by the method of coarse graining, the spot price fluctuation network of heating oil (HSPFN) and its futures price fluctuation network (HFPFN) in different periods are established to analyze the transformation characteristics between the modes. Secondly, several indicators are investigated: average path length, node strength and strength distribution, betweeness, etc. In addition, a function is established to measure and analyze the network similarity. The results show the cumulative time of new nodes appearing in either spot or futures price network is not random but exhibits a growth trend of straight line. Meanwhile, the power law distributions of spot and futures price fluctuations in different periods present regularity and complexity. Moreover, these prices are strongly correlated in stable fluctuation period but weak in the phase of sharp fluctuation. Finally, the time distribution characteristics of important modes in the networks and the evolution results of the topological properties mentioned above are obtained. Full article
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