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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2017)

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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
[...] Read more.
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 The Role of Natural Gas and Renewable Energy in Curbing Carbon Emission: Case Study of the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 600; doi:10.3390/su9040600
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper adopts the vector auto-regression model (VAR) to study the dynamic effect of renewable energy consumption on carbon dioxide emissions. Our model is based on a given level of primary energy consumption, economic growth and natural gas consumption in the US, from
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This paper adopts the vector auto-regression model (VAR) to study the dynamic effect of renewable energy consumption on carbon dioxide emissions. Our model is based on a given level of primary energy consumption, economic growth and natural gas consumption in the US, from 1990 to 2015. Our results indicate that a long-running equilibrium relationship exists between carbon emissions and four other variables. According to the variance decomposition of carbon dioxide emissions, the use of primary energy has a positive and notable influence on CO2 emissions, compared to other variables. From the Impulse Response Function (IRF) results, we find that the use of renewable energy would remarkably reduce carbon emissions, despite leading to an increase in emissions in the early stages. Natural gas consumption will have a negative impact on CO2 emissions in the beginning, but will have only a modest impact on carbon emission reductions in the long run. Finally, our study indicates that the use of renewable forms of energy is an effective solution to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The findings of our study will help policy makers develop energy-saving and emission-reduction policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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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 The Influence of the Sustainability Logic on Carbon Disclosure in the Global Logistics Industry: The Case of DHL, FDX and UPS
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 601; doi:10.3390/su9040601
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
As a significant contributor to carbon emissions, global logistics companies are under scrutiny from various stakeholders, and respond by disclosing carbon-related information in the form of carbon reports. Carbon disclosure is, however, a mainly voluntary practice that allows for a broad range of
[...] Read more.
As a significant contributor to carbon emissions, global logistics companies are under scrutiny from various stakeholders, and respond by disclosing carbon-related information in the form of carbon reports. Carbon disclosure is, however, a mainly voluntary practice that allows for a broad range of interpretation from the management field, which leads to different approaches to the measurement and reporting of carbon-related information. From a theoretical perspective, these different carbon-disclosure approaches in global logistics companies can be attributed to the underlying construct of competing logics, namely the market and the sustainability logic. While competing logics are frequently discussed in the current literature, little is known about their influence on shaping carbon-disclosure practices. The aim of this paper is to examine the similarities and differences in the measurement and reporting of carbon-related information in order to capture the underlying logic that drives carbon-disclosure behaviour in the global logistics industry. We adopt an interpretative content analysis approach and examine the carbon-related information using the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reports of DHL, FDX and UPS. The analysis reveals significant differences in the applied carbon-disclosure strategies, as well as in the degree of transparency between the three companies. The results also indicate that the carbon-disclosure practices of FDX are dominated by a market logic that emphasizes the economic benefits of carbon reductions, while DHL and UPS have prioritized the sustainability logic to gain a competitive advantage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Natural Gas, Heat, and Power Dispatch Considering Wind Power and Power-to-Gas
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 602; doi:10.3390/su9040602
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
A large amount of wind power has to be curtailed due to the inflexibility of the combined heat and power (CHP) system in the heating season in northern China. The power-to-gas (P2G) technology, which uses electricity to produce hydrogen or synthetic natural gas,
[...] Read more.
A large amount of wind power has to be curtailed due to the inflexibility of the combined heat and power (CHP) system in the heating season in northern China. The power-to-gas (P2G) technology, which uses electricity to produce hydrogen or synthetic natural gas, has become a promising energy conversion option for the utilization of surplus power energy. In this paper, an integrated natural gas, heat, and power dispatch (INGHPD) model which balances natural gas, heat, and power demand considering wind power and a P2G unit, is proposed. A natural gas network and P2G are modeled and integrated into the dispatch model. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model, an integrated energy system consisting of a six-bus power system, a six-node natural gas system, and a district heating system is simulated. The benefits of P2G are investigated in terms of reducing wind power curtailment, as well as system operation cost and CO2 emissions. The results in the deterministic model show that with the introduction of 40 MW P2G, the wind power curtailment rate decreases from 24.0% to 9.7%. The daily wind power energy consumed by P2G reaches 256 MWh and the daily CO2 emissions reduction reaches 46,080 kg. Additionally, the impact of the power and heat demand on the gas production of P2G and of the P2G capacity on the wind power curtailment are also investigated. P2G tends to generate more natural gas when the power demand is low and the heat demand is high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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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 Integrated Sustainability Assessment of Public Rental Housing Community Based on a Hybrid Method of AHP-Entropy Weight and Cloud Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 603; doi:10.3390/su9040603
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
As an essential part of a city, community is significant to the sustainable development of the city. At present, research on community sustainability assessment systems is relatively scarce. The existing community sustainability assessment systems often lack integrated consideration of community sustainability. For example,
[...] Read more.
As an essential part of a city, community is significant to the sustainable development of the city. At present, research on community sustainability assessment systems is relatively scarce. The existing community sustainability assessment systems often lack integrated consideration of community sustainability. For example, these systems especially place emphasis on the ecological and environmental aspects, but the economic and social aspects of sustainability are partially ignored. In order to comprehensively evaluate the sustainability of a community, this paper draws on the “participatory philosophy” and constructs an integrated assessment indicator system that includes five dimensions: environment; economy; society; institution; and culture. On this basis, a new hybrid evaluation method based on analytical hierarchy process (AHP)-entropy weight and the cloud model is proposed to evaluate community sustainability. This method combines AHP and the entropy weight method to determine index weight, thus making full use of their respective advantages. At the same time, it makes use of the superiority of the cloud model to transform qualitative remarks into quantitative representations and to reflect fuzziness and randomness. To verify the feasibility of this method, a case study is carried out on the “Minxinjiayuan” public rental housing community in Chongqing, China. The results show that the overall sustainability of the community lies between the “middle” and “good” level, and closer to the “middle” level. The level of the economic and social sustainability is higher than that of the environmental, institutional and cultural sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings)
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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.
[...] Read more.
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
[...] Read more.
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 Towards Sustainable Public Health Surveillance in India: Using Routinely Collected Electronic Emergency Medical Service Data for Early Warning of Infectious Diseases
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 604; doi:10.3390/su9040604
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Infectious disease surveillance, timely detection and early warning of outbreaks present a complex challenge to health authorities in India. Approaches based on the use of unexplored data sources, like emergency medical services (EMS) data, can contribute to the further advancement of public health
[...] Read more.
Infectious disease surveillance, timely detection and early warning of outbreaks present a complex challenge to health authorities in India. Approaches based on the use of unexplored data sources, like emergency medical services (EMS) data, can contribute to the further advancement of public health surveillance capacities in India and support and strengthen the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) strategy. This research followed a mixed method approach including a series of semi-structured interviews and fever data analysis of the EMS operating dispatch system in Andra Pradesh, India. In this paper, we explore whether routinely collected EMS health data can improve sustainable infectious disease surveillance and early warning capacity. The result highlights the need for improved surveillance systems for early warning of infectious diseases in India. The data availability at the EMS dispatch centre includes patient data and spatial information and can be used for near real-time analysis. Routine data relevant for health surveillance can be extracted to provide timely health information that supplements and enhances more traditional surveillance mechanisms and thus provides a cost-efficient, near real-time early warning system for the operating states. The designed intervention is sustainable and can improve infectious disease surveillance to potentially help the government officials to appropriately prioritize timely interventions to prevent infectious disease spread. 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
[...] Read more.
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 Life and Death of Industrial Ecosystems
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 605; doi:10.3390/su9040605
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Self-organized industrial ecosystems (SOIEs) refer to communities of firms in diverse industries that spontaneously engage in Industrial Symbiosis (IS); that is, firms independently develop bilateral and multi-lateral interactions involving material, energy, and knowledge sharing for individual and collective benefit. Like biological ecosystems, self-organized
[...] Read more.
Self-organized industrial ecosystems (SOIEs) refer to communities of firms in diverse industries that spontaneously engage in Industrial Symbiosis (IS); that is, firms independently develop bilateral and multi-lateral interactions involving material, energy, and knowledge sharing for individual and collective benefit. Like biological ecosystems, self-organized industrial ecosystems must constantly respond to external perturbations. Resilience of SOIEs, or the ability of systems to maintain structure and function in response to perturbations, has been the focus of a few recent studies. However, these studies have only examined the network characteristics for resilience of IS in a static manner. The current study contributes to this emerging literature by examining the dynamics associated with growth (life) and demise (death) of self-organized industrial ecosystems in light of changing network dynamics and external perturbations, with emphasis on material and socio-economic aspects of connectivity between firms. This research is grounded in real world cases, but expands beyond these through hypothetical network models in order to ascertain the network characteristics that lead to more resilient structures and outcomes. A key distinction is made between SOIEs that include an anchor firm versus scavenger firms. The former typically involve a scale-free network structure where new member firms preferentially connect to actors with the most connections, while the latter involve more random, fully-connected networks where new member firms connect with multiple existing actors. The results imply that resilience of SOIEs do not arise from intrinsic properties of the system alone, but from the interplay of network topology with external social and ecological constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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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
[...] Read more.
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 Mortality Associated with High Ambient Temperatures, Heatwaves, and the Urban Heat Island in Athens, Greece
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 606; doi:10.3390/su9040606
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract: Climate change looms as the biggest threat of the 21st century, and its effect on urban mortality is exacerbated by urban heat islands. This study analyzes the impact of high temperatures, heatwaves, and the urban heat island on the cardiovascular and
[...] Read more.
Abstract: Climate change looms as the biggest threat of the 21st century, and its effect on urban mortality is exacerbated by urban heat islands. This study analyzes the impact of high temperatures, heatwaves, and the urban heat island on the cardiovascular and respiratory mortality of people over 65 years of age for the years 2002 to 2012. The area of application is Athens, Greece, an urban agglomeration experiencing an urban heat island of high intensity. The correlation of the daily cardiovascular and respiratory mortality count of people over 65 years of age with various temperature measures confirmed a U-shaped exposure response curve, with fewer deaths in the range of moderate temperatures. At high and very high temperatures, this mortality increased by 20 to 35% correspondingly, at a 99.9% significance level. Mortality was further investigated with ordinary least squares, Poisson, and negative binomial times series models, which, although suffering from poor fit, showed a one-day lag for the maximum temperature effect on mortality. Finally, cluster analysis for observations confined to May to September, confirmed by multiple discriminant analysis, showed the existence of six clusters, with the highest excess mortality count of 23% for the cluster that included the hottest days and 20.6% for the heatwave cluster. To this end, it is recommended that policies target high ambient temperatures and heatwaves as a priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Relating Knowledge and Perceptions of Sustainable Water Management to Preferences for Smart Irrigation Technology
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 607; doi:10.3390/su9040607
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Water quantity and quality concerns in urban environments have prompted conservation groups, governmental agencies, and policy makers to develop and promote residential water conservation programs, including restrictions on residential landscape irrigation practices and incentives for the adoption of water-efficient appliances. Previous literature links
[...] Read more.
Water quantity and quality concerns in urban environments have prompted conservation groups, governmental agencies, and policy makers to develop and promote residential water conservation programs, including restrictions on residential landscape irrigation practices and incentives for the adoption of water-efficient appliances. Previous literature links household characteristics, financial incentives, and demographic characteristics to the adoption of water-efficient appliances and overall water use. However, relatively little attention has been given toward understanding how homeowners’ perceptions and knowledge of smart irrigation technologies affect their preferences or stated purchase likelihood of such irrigation equipment. To address this gap in the literature, this paper identifies perception- and knowledge-related factors that are correlated with the purchase likelihood of smart irrigation controllers. The generalized logit regression model results suggest that knowledge about irrigation systems and residential landscaping are positively correlated with purchase likelihood. Similarly, homeowners’ perceptions about conservation efforts, water restrictions, and their neighbors’ irrigation habits all increase purchase likelihood. Combined with statistically-significant correlations of several socio-demographic variables and purchase likelihood, these results have theoretical and practical implications, which are summarized in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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
[...] Read more.
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 Mitigating Supply Chain Risk via Sustainability Using Big Data Analytics: Evidence from the Manufacturing Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 608; doi:10.3390/su9040608
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
The use of big data analytics for forecasting business trends is gaining momentum among professionals. At the same time, supply chain risk management is important for practitioners to consider because it outlines ways through which firms can allay internal and external threats. Predicting
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The use of big data analytics for forecasting business trends is gaining momentum among professionals. At the same time, supply chain risk management is important for practitioners to consider because it outlines ways through which firms can allay internal and external threats. Predicting and addressing the risks that social issues cause in the supply chain is of paramount importance to the sustainable enterprise. The aim of this research is to explore the application of big data analytics in mitigating supply chain social risk and to demonstrate how such mitigation can help in achieving environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The method involves an expert panel and survey identifying and validating social issues in the supply chain. A case study was used to illustrate the application of big data analytics in identifying and mitigating social issues in the supply chain. Our results show that companies can predict various social problems including workforce safety, fuel consumptions monitoring, workforce health, security, physical condition of vehicles, unethical behavior, theft, speeding and traffic violations through big data analytics, thereby demonstrating how information management actions can mitigate social risks. This paper contributes to the literature by integrating big data analytics with sustainability to explain how to mitigate supply chain risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Sustainability)
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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 Residential Fuel Choice in Rural Areas: Field Research of Two Counties of North China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 609; doi:10.3390/su9040609
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Solid fuels are still widely used in rural China though the living standard has improved greatly. Energy poverty is an obvious indicator of poverty, which has serious effects on economic development, environment, and health. In this paper, we conducted a detailed analysis on
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Solid fuels are still widely used in rural China though the living standard has improved greatly. Energy poverty is an obvious indicator of poverty, which has serious effects on economic development, environment, and health. In this paper, we conducted a detailed analysis on fuel choice and usage behavior of different end-use activities in rural residential energy consumption. Using 717 household observations from micro-survey data in two counties of Shandong and Hebei province in 2016, we find that biomass is the dominant fuel used for cooking among all energy sources despite of obvious decreasing trend in recent years, accounting for 44%. Clean energy used to cook increased markedly with a proportion of nearly 50%. Solar energy is an ordinary fuel used for water heating except for biomass. Almost 90% of households rely on coal for space heating in winter, and one-third of households have space heating for fewer than two months. Ownership of home appliances for basic needs is higher than that for hedonistic needs, and usage behaviors of some appliances are economical. Fuel accessibility of commercial energy have improved noticeably in rural areas, and the high proportion usage of biomass is affected by family income, usage habits, local resources, environmental recognition, education, and age. Since the negative effects of using solid fuels, it is urgent to cleanse biomass, develop new energy, and improve residents’ cognition about the consequences of using solid fuels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Implementation of Green Infrastructure: Relating a General Concept to Context and Site
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 610; doi:10.3390/su9040610
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
In the quest for more sustainable urban landscape development, the concept of “green infrastructure” (GI) has become central in policy documents and as a multifunctional general planning tool. GI is not, however, a simple and unambiguous solution. While in policy documents there are
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In the quest for more sustainable urban landscape development, the concept of “green infrastructure” (GI) has become central in policy documents and as a multifunctional general planning tool. GI is not, however, a simple and unambiguous solution. While in policy documents there are claims for more and connected GI, actual urban development takes another direction. The densifying imperative is hard to combine with an increased and more connected GI. This paper argues for a critical and diversified approach to the concept of GI, in order to facilitate its implementation in urban planning and management. Any kind of GI will not deliver all ecosystems services in any place, not without land use conflicts, investments and long term operating costs. This calls for a GI concept linked to actors and mediating conflicting values. Linguistic as well as spatial definitions of the two relevant dichotomies of “green-grey” and “public-private” are crucial in GI location, design, construction and management, it is argued. Overarching representations of GI will be needed, but not only pictured as a separate system, but also displayed with necessary integration to the whole urban landscape. Development over time will need an intersectorial implementation and management program. Some of the GI intentions may be implemented in planning processes, some through re-organization and redesign of public space, and some by agreements with landowners. To reach out to implementation in ordinary urban development, GI needs to be described in a way that establishes points of connection to a variety of relevant actors and organizations taking part in implementation of GI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Challenges)
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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 the Diagnosis Accuracy of Hydrothermal Aging Degree of V2O5/WO3–TiO2 Catalyst in SCR Control System Using an GS–PSO–SVM Algorithm
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 611; doi:10.3390/su9040611
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is one of the most effective technologies used for eliminating NOx from diesel engines. This paper presents a novel method based on a support vector machine (SVM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) with grid search (GS) to diagnose
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Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is one of the most effective technologies used for eliminating NOx from diesel engines. This paper presents a novel method based on a support vector machine (SVM) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) with grid search (GS) to diagnose the degree of aging of the V2O5/WO3–TiO2 catalyst in the SCR system. This study shows the aging effect on the performance of a NH3 slip based closed-loop SCR control system under different aging factors (α), which are defined by the SCR reaction rate ( R scr ). A diagnosis of the performance of GS–PSO–SVM has been presented as compared to SVM, GS–SVM and PSO–SVM to get reliable results. The results show that the average prediction diagnosis accuracy of the degree of catalytic aging is up to 93.8%, 93.1%, 92.9% and 92.0% for GS–PSO–SVM, PSO–SVM, GS–SVM and SVM respectively. It is demonstrated that GS–PSO–SVM is able to identify the SCR catalyst’s degree of aging, to ultimately assist with fault tolerance in the aging of the SCR catalyst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
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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 Household Livelihood Strategies and Implication for Poverty Reduction in Rural Areas of Central Nepal
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 612; doi:10.3390/su9040612
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Understanding household livelihood strategies is pivotal to minimize rural poverty in the least developed countries like Nepal. This study is an attempt to assess livelihood strategies pursued by rural households, investigate the most remunerative strategy, and identify the factors that influence a household’s
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Understanding household livelihood strategies is pivotal to minimize rural poverty in the least developed countries like Nepal. This study is an attempt to assess livelihood strategies pursued by rural households, investigate the most remunerative strategy, and identify the factors that influence a household’s choice of better strategies in rural Nepal. Primary data collected in 453 households from three villages of central Nepal are analyzed quantitatively within a sustainable livelihood framework. This study categorized households into five main livelihood strategy groups. The results showed that the majority (61%) of the households diversified their income to non-farm sources. Livelihood diversification to business/enterprise strategies adopted by 16% of the households is the most remunerative strategy followed by commercial farming that includes 13% of the sample and are more relevant to poverty reduction. Land holding, education, agriculture and skill training, access to credit, and proximity to the road and market center are the major influencing factors on the adoption of higher returning livelihood strategies. Stimulating poor households to follow market-oriented farm and non-farm activities by improving access to education, vocational training, rural credit, and rural infrastructures is momentous for reducing poverty in the rural areas of central Nepal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Offshore Wind and Wave Energy Assessment around Malè and Magoodhoo Island (Maldives)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 613; doi:10.3390/su9040613
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
The Maldives are situated in the remote equatorial Indian Ocean, covering 900 km from north to south. The 26 coral atolls forming the archipelago are composed of sand and coral with a maximum height of about 2.30 m above the mean sea level.
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The Maldives are situated in the remote equatorial Indian Ocean, covering 900 km from north to south. The 26 coral atolls forming the archipelago are composed of sand and coral with a maximum height of about 2.30 m above the mean sea level. Periodic flooding from storm surges and the frequent freshwater scarcity are perceived by the population and the economic operators as the major environmental stresses. Moreover, the strong dependence on imported fossil fuels increases, even more, the environmental concerns. Diesel, in fact, still represents the main source of power generation, typically through privately managed small diesel sets. The real challenge for this area is to promote the environmental quality with socioeconomic growth. The present study aims to evaluate the strategic effectiveness to face these issues by wave and offshore wind energy. Resources using a 10-year hindcast dataset are here examined. The annual offshore wave power was found to range between 8.46 kW/m and 12.75 kW/m, while the 10 m and 100 m mean wind power density is respectively 0.08 kW/m2 and 0.16 kW/m2. Based on these results, an environmentally and socio-economically sustainable best-case scenario is constructed and two atoll islands (Malè and Magoodhoo) are specifically investigated. As a result, multifunctional structures and multi-use systems, which combine power generation, desalinization and coastal defence, are strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)
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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 Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emissions of China’s Residential Sector: The Importance of Considering Energy Transition
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 614; doi:10.3390/su9040614
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
This study focuses on China’s residential sector and examines energy use growth resulting from income increases and urbanization development. We also look at the energy transition (from primitive fuels to advanced fuels) caused by economic development, as well as the mitigation potential of
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This study focuses on China’s residential sector and examines energy use growth resulting from income increases and urbanization development. We also look at the energy transition (from primitive fuels to advanced fuels) caused by economic development, as well as the mitigation potential of greenhouse gas and air pollutants emissions. Several studies have provided evidence of a positive correlation between income and per capita final energy use at the national level. In addition to income, demographic factors such as household size and education level have also been suggested to have influences on urban energy use. In this study, we consider various socio-economic indicators to analyze their influences on household energy use. Considering the economic and climate diversity across China’s provincial regions, our analysis is based on the 31 provincial regions and examines the emissions pathways of 31 provincial regions. We first apply a multiple linear regression analysis on historical panel data to determine the correlations between socio-economic indicators and domestic energy sources. Next, we use the Asia-Pacific Integrated Model (AIM/Enduse) to estimate mitigation potential due to energy transition and sustainable policies. The results suggest that income and education levels are major drivers that have a significant impact on household energy choices both in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, climate and energy resource potential also have an impact on the choices of biomass energy use. Without consideration of energy transition constraints, future estimation of energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can be greatly overestimated or underestimated depending on the socioeconomic status of the province. It is important to note that the way that we consider energy transition constraints also significantly affects the air pollutants’ emissions of the household sector due to biomass consumption, especially on particulate matter 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) emissions. Furthermore, implementation of efficient technologies contributes to achieving China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and brings the co-benefits of air pollutants’ emission reductions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
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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 Adjusting Sowing Dates Improved Potato Adaptation to Climate Change in Semiarid Region, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 615; doi:10.3390/su9040615
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Yields of rainfed potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in China’s semiarid region are restricted by limited precipitation. Climate change could cause significant fluctuation in the rain-fed agricultural production due to the spatiotemporal changes in temperature and precipitation. As adjusting sowing dates proved to
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Yields of rainfed potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in China’s semiarid region are restricted by limited precipitation. Climate change could cause significant fluctuation in the rain-fed agricultural production due to the spatiotemporal changes in temperature and precipitation. As adjusting sowing dates proved to be an important management technique for improving grain yields, we examined how potato production can be improved by altering planting date in China’s semiarid region, thus improving potato adaptation to climate change. Field trials with five target sowing dates (from late April to early June) were carried out in Inner Mongolia, China during four growing seasons (2010–2013), and the effects of sowing dates on potato development, yield and water use efficiency (WUE) were estimated. Results showed that although delayed sowing shortened the duration of potato growth period, non-significant thermal time differences after flowering stage was found among the treatments. However, greater precipitation was shown in three intermediate treatments. Potato yield was significantly affected by sowing dates, and intermediate sowing dates showed greater yield compared to the earlier or later sowing dates. Delayed sowing dates significantly improved WUE in a drier year. As for a normal year, earlier sowing dates promoted WUE because of less water consumption, but these increases came at the cost of reducing yields. Under the current climate conditions in the study area, the flexible sowing time for potato was determined as from early May to early June, and optimum sowing time was between 10 May and 27 May. In conclusion, adjusting sowing date affected duration, thermal time, and precipitation over potato growth period, and the optimal sowing date exhibited higher yield by obtaining greater precipitation, which could improve potato adaption to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A System-of-Systems Framework for Improved Human, Ecologic and Economic Well-Being
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 616; doi:10.3390/su9040616
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
“Advances in technology and management not keeping pace with the ever-increasing urban problems” is attributed in this research to the poor understanding of person-focused governance of societal, environmental and economic entities. The objective of this paper is to present an adaptive institutional model
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“Advances in technology and management not keeping pace with the ever-increasing urban problems” is attributed in this research to the poor understanding of person-focused governance of societal, environmental and economic entities. The objective of this paper is to present an adaptive institutional model of person-driven effectiveness and ineffectiveness. The model proposes that human, ecologic and economic outcomes are heavily influenced by a complex system of systems, spanning from individually unique “non-physical influencers” to a broader set of social and environmental influencers that have a common impact on the larger society-environment-economy (SEE) system. At the heart of the model is an analytic formulation that explains the phenomena of non-physical blocker, enhancer and indifferent, which are responsible for the adaptation and maladaptation of social agents and, accordingly, for the sustainability and unsustainability of SEE systems. Examples are provided to illustrate the model applications: (a) the non-physical and maladaptive syndromes as antecedents of multi-morbidity; and (b) the broadened and narrowed minds as sources of sustainability and unsustainability at the SEE system level within the context of emerging technologies such as engineered nanomaterials. Full article
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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 Energy R&D towards Sustainability: A Panel Analysis of Government Budget for Energy R&D in OECD Countries (1974–2012)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 617; doi:10.3390/su9040617
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 8 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
Energy transition is one of the greatest challenges for sustainability. However, the overall composition of the world energy supply has not changed much since the late 1970s, with fossil fuels providing 81% of the world’s total primary energy supply. While political leaders increasingly
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Energy transition is one of the greatest challenges for sustainability. However, the overall composition of the world energy supply has not changed much since the late 1970s, with fossil fuels providing 81% of the world’s total primary energy supply. While political leaders increasingly call for proactive policies to innovate the energy sector in the face of climate change, governments around the world commit vastly different levels of budgets to energy R&D. This research examines the potential determinants of cross-national variations in government budget allocations for energy R&D with three perspectives. With the panel data analysis of OECD countries (1974–2012), we check the supply-side, demand-side, and institutional factors inducing government investment in R&D for energy in general as well as for renewable energy. Among the multitude of factors tested in our analysis, gross domestic R&D expenditure, refinery output, and the rightist orientation of the governing party show significantly positive influences on government R&D budgets for energy in general. However, refinery output shows the negative effect on government R&D budget for renewables. This contrasting finding about the impact of refinery output on government investment in energy R&D in general vs. renewable energy R&D suggests that policymakers and scholars need to better appreciate the complex roles of the oil sector in driving public R&D investment in energy. It also calls for more proactive renewable energy policy to make progress towards sustainable energy transition. 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 AccessCommunication Large-Scale Screening of Intact Tomato Seeds for Viability Using Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS)
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 618; doi:10.3390/su9040618
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), a non-destructive and rapid analytical method, was used to examine the possibility of replacing a method for the large-scale screening of tomato seed viability. A total of 368 tomato seed samples were used for development and validation of
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Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), a non-destructive and rapid analytical method, was used to examine the possibility of replacing a method for the large-scale screening of tomato seed viability. A total of 368 tomato seed samples were used for development and validation of an NIRS calibration model. The accelerating aging method (98 ± 2% R.H., 40 °C) was employed for preparation of a calibration set (n = 268) and a validation set (n = 100) with wider seed viability. Among the tomato NIRS calibration models tested, the modified partial least square (MPLS) regression produced the best equation model. Specifically, this model produced a higher RSQ (0.9446) and lower SEC (6.5012) during calibration and a higher 1-VR (0.9194) and lower SECV (7.8264) upon cross-validation compared to the other regression methods (PLS, PCR) tested in this study. Additionally, the SD/SECV was 3.53, which was greater than the criterion point of 3. External validation of this NIRS equation revealed a significant correlation between reference values and NIRS-estimated values based on the coefficient of determination (R2), the standard error of prediction (SEP (C)), and the ratio of performance to deviation (RPD = SD/SEP (C)), which were 0.94, 6.57, and 3.96, respectively. The external validation demonstrated that this model had predictive accuracy in tomato, indicating that it has the potential to replace the germination test. 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 Effectiveness and Limitation of Coastal Dykes in Jakarta: The Need for Prioritizing Actions against Land Subsidence
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 619; doi:10.3390/su9040619
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 16 April 2017
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Abstract
Jakarta has been experiencing severe land subsidence over the last few decades. A questionnaire survey of local inhabitants revealed that seawater is already overtopping coastal dykes and flooding a vulnerable community along Jakarta’s waterfront. The present study projects coastal floods around Jakarta until
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Jakarta has been experiencing severe land subsidence over the last few decades. A questionnaire survey of local inhabitants revealed that seawater is already overtopping coastal dykes and flooding a vulnerable community along Jakarta’s waterfront. The present study projects coastal floods around Jakarta until the year 2050 to understand the long term effectiveness of proposed dykes under continuing rapid land subsidence scenarios. This is done through a hydrodynamic model that considers land subsidence, sea-level rise, and tides. The analysis confirms that, if high enough, coastal dykes will help to prevent flooding, though their effectiveness will eventually disappear as land subsidence continues. For example, a 3-m dyke, which is expected to be sufficiently high to cope with present-day conditions, could completely lose its ability to stop floods by the year 2040. Moreover, higher dykes can also bring about other problems, because if they are overtopped, they actually prolong flooding, essentially trapping a higher volume of water inland. On the other hand, a small 1-m dyke can be expected to stop coastal floods if land subsidence can be stopped. This study demonstrates that actions to stop land subsidence would be the most effective countermeasure to mitigate coastal floods from the middle of the 21st century onwards, emphasizing the need to prioritize such actions among the range of countermeasures being proposed for Jakarta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of Refining Enterprises Using a DEA-Based Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 620; doi:10.3390/su9040620
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 16 April 2017
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Abstract
As one of the basic industries supporting the national economy development and energy demand, the refining industry is expected to provide combustion energy, reduce pollution emission, and improve utilization efficiency. With more stringent requirement for environmental protection, refining enterprises have to insist on
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As one of the basic industries supporting the national economy development and energy demand, the refining industry is expected to provide combustion energy, reduce pollution emission, and improve utilization efficiency. With more stringent requirement for environmental protection, refining enterprises have to insist on the sustainable development to achieve industrial optimization. Evaluation of the sustainability of enterprises can help them understand their situation more objectively and guide them to establish modes for sustainable development. In this study, the evaluation system is firstly built from perspectives of economic, ecological, and social sustainability, including six second-grade indexes and seventeen third-grade indexes, which can accurately reflect the entire sustainability contents of refining enterprises. Then, a DEA-based model is constructed, which selects seven input indexes (e.g., the asset–liability ratio and comprehensive energy consumption per unit of output) and nine output indexes (e.g., return on assets, asset turnover, and science and technology investment strength). The DEA-based model can not only objectively evaluate the sustainability level, but also find out the restriction factors for further optimization. Third, to demonstrate the validity of the model, 15 enterprises are selected for case studies, among which only four are identified as having strong sustainability. For the other 11 enterprises, projection analyses are implemented, and the DMU values of three enterprises characterized by low efficiency are adjusted to find out the restriction factors, which reflect the model’s efficiency and its potentially wide application in the future. Finally, specific suggestions are proposed for the enhancement of sustainability of refining enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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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 Soil Respiration Response to Long-Term Freezing Saline Water Irrigation with Plastic Mulching in Coastal Saline Plain
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 621; doi:10.3390/su9040621
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
The technology of freezing saline water irrigation (FSWI) with plastic mulching has been regarded as an effective way to reclaim the highly saline soil in coastal plains, which enabled the growth of crops in heavy saline soil that was not suitable for any
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The technology of freezing saline water irrigation (FSWI) with plastic mulching has been regarded as an effective way to reclaim the highly saline soil in coastal plains, which enabled the growth of crops in heavy saline soil that was not suitable for any crop growth before. However, after long-term treatment with FSWI, the microenvironment of the soil has been found to be affected by the growth of crops, which will directly influence the balance of soil carbon emissions. In this study, the characteristics of soil respiration in a typical saline field (planted with cotton) under four treatments (FSWI in Winter with plastic mulching, FSWI + Mulch; FSWI in Winter without plastic mulching, FSWI; plastic mulching in Spring without FSWI, mulch; no plastic mulching and no FSWI, CK) were investigated between June and November from 2015 to 2016. The results suggested that the soil surface temperature was an important factor that affected the soil respiration rate in each treatment during the growth period of cotton. FSWI + Mulch can reduce the soil surface salinity to 0.4% during the seedling stage, which increased the survival rate and the abundance of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes in the cotton field and subsequently increased soil respiration. By examining the effects of FWSI and mulching on soil respiration and its influencing factors, this study provides practical and theoretical insight into the sustainable development of agriculture in coastal saline plains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adjustable Green Defaults Can Help Make Smart Homes More Sustainable
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 622; doi:10.3390/su9040622
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Smart home technologies offer exciting opportunities to promote more efficient uses of energy. For instance, programmable thermostats, centralized lighting controls, and rooftop solar panels all have potential for energy conservation and efficiency. However, these technologies alone will not guarantee energy savings. Whereas previous
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Smart home technologies offer exciting opportunities to promote more efficient uses of energy. For instance, programmable thermostats, centralized lighting controls, and rooftop solar panels all have potential for energy conservation and efficiency. However, these technologies alone will not guarantee energy savings. Whereas previous research on smart homes has focused on the technologies themselves, relatively little work has addressed the factors that shape the human-technology interface. In this review paper, we argue that in order to ensure any savings, smart home technologies must first be adopted by end-users, and once adopted, they must be used in ways that promote energy efficiency. We focus on three areas of behavioral research with implications for smart home technologies: (1) defaults; (2) perceived adjustability or control; and (3) trust in automation. Linking these areas, we propose a new concept for improving the efficiency gains of smart homes. First, although smart device controls can help save energy, considerably larger energy efficiency gains can be realized through smart automation. But importantly, the default settings of systems should be “green”, to maximize energy savings. Second, many people have concerns around relinquishing decision-making to technologies, which can reduce the likelihood of adoption. People want to be, or at least to feel, in control of their homes, even if they do not adjust settings post-installation. Further, consumer trust in technologies encourages adoption in the first place; trust also impacts consumer interactions with installed devices and can impact default acceptance. Combining these concepts, we recommend that smart home technologies build consumer trust and come pre-programmed with adjustable green defaults, which permit consumers to change initial green settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Advent of Smart Homes)
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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 Early-Stage Design Considerations for the Energy-Efficiency of High-Rise Office Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 623; doi:10.3390/su9040623
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Decisions made at early stages of the design are of the utmost importance for the energy-efficiency of buildings. Wrong decisions and design failures related to a building’s general layout, shape, façade transparency or orientation can increase the operational energy tremendously. These failures can
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Decisions made at early stages of the design are of the utmost importance for the energy-efficiency of buildings. Wrong decisions and design failures related to a building’s general layout, shape, façade transparency or orientation can increase the operational energy tremendously. These failures can be avoided in advance through simple changes in the design. Using extensive parametric energy simulations by DesignBuilder, this paper investigates the impact of geometric factors for the energy-efficiency of high-rise office buildings in three climates contexts: Amsterdam (Temperate), Sydney (Sub-tropical) and Singapore (Tropical). The investigation is carried out on 12 plan shapes, 7 plan depths, 4 building orientations and discrete values for window-to-wall ratio. Among selected options, each sub-section determines the most efficient solution for different design measures and climates. The optimal design solution is the one that minimises, on an annual basis, the sum of the energy use for heating, cooling, electric lighting and fans. The results indicate that the general building design is an important issue to consider for high-rise buildings: they can influence the energy use up to 32%. For most of the geometric factors, the greatest difference between the optimal and the worst solution occurs in the sub-tropical climate, while the tropical climate is the one that shows the smallest difference. In case of the plan depth, special attention should be paid in the case of a temperate climate, as the total energy use can increase more than in other climates. Regarding energy performance, the following building geometry factors have the highest to lowest influence: building orientation, plan shape, plan depth, and window-to-wall ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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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 The Relationship between Firm Characteristics and the Disclosure of Sustainability Reporting
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 624; doi:10.3390/su9040624
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Stakeholder theory is a major approach to research on sustainability management. Firm characteristics, including corporate governance and business characteristics, can be represented in terms of their effects on stakeholders. In this study, a multi-regression model is used to examine the relationship between firm
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Stakeholder theory is a major approach to research on sustainability management. Firm characteristics, including corporate governance and business characteristics, can be represented in terms of their effects on stakeholders. In this study, a multi-regression model is used to examine the relationship between firm characteristics and the disclosure of sustainability reporting for the Taiwan 50 Index-listed companies. Least-squares regression, panel data regression, and logistic regression analyses are applied. The results show that seven corporate governance and business characteristics, namely the size of the board of directors, ratio of independent directors, audit committee, ratio of export income, percentage of foreign shareholders’ holdings, fixed asset staleness, and firm growth are positively related to the disclosure of sustainability reporting, whereas the percentage of director holdings and stock price per share are negatively related to the disclosure of sustainability reporting. This study supports the notion that stakeholder involvement is related to the disclosure of sustainability reporting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Household Waste Separation Behaviour: Testing the Roles of Moral, Past Experience, and Perceived Policy Effectiveness within the Theory of Planned Behaviour
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 625; doi:10.3390/su9040625
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Due to the increasing waste generation over the years in China, there is an urgent need to addressing this major problem by implementing effective household waste separation programs. Although past studies have tried to explain the waste behaviour from social and psychological motivations,
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Due to the increasing waste generation over the years in China, there is an urgent need to addressing this major problem by implementing effective household waste separation programs. Although past studies have tried to explain the waste behaviour from social and psychological motivations, there is little understanding as to the impact of individual moral obligation and past experience on forming waste separating intention. The aim of this study is to investigate key determinants influencing household waste separation intention and behaviour. Based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model, we designed a survey questionnaire by taking account of determinants including residents’ attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, moral obligation, past behaviour, and demographic factors, with the prediction of household waste separation behaviour in mind. After obtaining 628 valid questionnaires from households in the city of Hangzhou, the partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of each construct. The results indicate that subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, past behaviour and intention significantly predict household waste separation behaviour, with past behaviour being the most significant construct to predict individuals’ intention and behaviour. Additional analysis on the moderating effect of different kinds of people in terms of their genders, ages, income levels and perceived policy effectiveness, to further evoke household waste separation behaviours is also discussed. The findings suggest insightful future policies that can focus on residents’ habit formation by providing the convenient location of waste separation and collection facilities, encouraging market-driven recycling programs and traders, promoting community campaigns and education which help residents to form favourable habits for protecting the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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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 Expert Evaluation of Subsidies for the Management of Fragmented Private Forest in Regards to National Biodiversity Goals—The Case of Kochi Prefecture, Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 626; doi:10.3390/su9040626
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents an expert evaluation of the subsidy scheme for private forest plantations in Kami City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan, to determine whether the twelve currently available subsidies are designed to realize national biodiversity goals. Subsidies for forestry practices are often criticized for
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This paper presents an expert evaluation of the subsidy scheme for private forest plantations in Kami City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan, to determine whether the twelve currently available subsidies are designed to realize national biodiversity goals. Subsidies for forestry practices are often criticized for rarely achieving planned outcomes and for environmental threats. Threats to natural balance of private forest have been observed in Kochi Prefecture, suggesting that current forestry subsidies may not be achieving national objectives. The utilization objectives, type of management, requirements, area, intensity, and subsidy rates were contrasted to the three forest multifunctionality objectives of the National Biodiversity Strategy of Japan (NBSJ) 2012–2020, to identify subsidy weaknesses. Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in the study site, as well as Bavaria, Germany and Steiermark, Austria, to get a big picture of how experts in these comparable management areas evaluate the Kochi subsidy scheme. Analyses were performed based on a combination of framework analysis and constant comparison analysis. It was found that realization of vertical multifunctionality is hindered due to lack of site-specific management. A six-point proposal for restructuring the subsidy scheme, leaned on results, and the Bavarian subsidy scheme was made. To improve vertical multi-functionality, subsidy schemes should focus on forest owner integration and site-specific, long-term oriented forest works. Full article
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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 Cooperative Downlink Listening for Low-Power Long-Range Wide-Area Network
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 627; doi:10.3390/su9040627
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Recently, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) applications has become more active with the emergence of low-power wide-area network (LPWAN), which has the advantages of low-power and long communication distance. Among the various LPWAN technologies, long-range wide-area network (LoRaWAN, or LoRa)
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Recently, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) applications has become more active with the emergence of low-power wide-area network (LPWAN), which has the advantages of low-power and long communication distance. Among the various LPWAN technologies, long-range wide-area network (LoRaWAN, or LoRa) is considered as the most mature technology. However, since LoRa performs uplink-oriented communication to increase energy efficiency, there is a restriction on the downlink function from the network server to the end devices. In this paper, we propose cooperative downlink listening to solve the fundamental problem of LoRa. In particular, the proposed scheme can be extended to various communication models such as groupcasting and geocasting by combining with the data-centric model. Experiments also show that the proposed technology not only significantly reduces network traffic compared to the LoRa standard, but also guarantees maximum energy efficiency of the LoRa. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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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 The Biogeophysical Effects of Revegetation around Mining Areas: A Case Study of Dongsheng Mining Areas in Inner Mongolia
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 628; doi:10.3390/su9040628
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
The biogeophysical effects of land cover change (LCC) on land surface temperature are largely understood, especially in tropical and boreal zones, but fewer studies have reported the biogeophysical consequences of ecological restoration of mining areas located in arid and semi-arid temperate zones. In
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The biogeophysical effects of land cover change (LCC) on land surface temperature are largely understood, especially in tropical and boreal zones, but fewer studies have reported the biogeophysical consequences of ecological restoration of mining areas located in arid and semi-arid temperate zones. In this study, we employed 2000–2015 satellite-based net radiation (Rn) and latent heat flux (LE) data from mining areas (taking Dongsheng in Inner Mongolia as an example) and adjacent ecological restoration areas to understand the biogeophysical effect of revegetation around mining areas. The results showed that revegetation increased Rn (0.25 ± 0.17 W/m2) and LE (0.43 ± 0.26 W/m2). The warming effect of increased Rn (∆Rn), however, was completely offset by the cooling effect of increased LE (∆LE), thus revegetation caused an overall cooling effect of −0.18 ± 0.17 W/m2. Land surface temperature (LST) from mining areas and adjacent ecological restoration areas also showed that revegetation decreased LST (∆LST being −0.2 ± 0.1 K). The difference of ∆Rn and ∆LE explained 27% of the ∆LST variations. These findings reinforce our understanding for the potential climatic benefits of the ecological restoration around mining areas in arid and semi-arid temperate zones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Dynamics of Reclaimed Coal Mine Soil under Agricultural Use: A Chronosequence Study in the Dongtan Mining Area, Shandong Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 629; doi:10.3390/su9040629
Received: 21 January 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an essential role in the early stages of pedogenisis and ecological restoration in reclaimed mine soils. Dynamic changes in the SOC content are essential for assessing the quality of reclaimed mine soils and the effect of ecological restoration.
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Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an essential role in the early stages of pedogenisis and ecological restoration in reclaimed mine soils. Dynamic changes in the SOC content are essential for assessing the quality of reclaimed mine soils and the effect of ecological restoration. To objectively assess the carbon dynamics of reclaimed soils, we selected the surface (0–20 cm) soil of farmland under agricultural use (soybean–wheat rotation) from a reclamation chronosequence (R4: 4 years of reclamation, R7: 7 years of reclamation, R10: 10 years of reclamation and R13: 13 years of reclamation) in the Dongtan Mining Area, Shandong Province, China. The adjacent normal, unaffected farmland was used as a control (CK). The results showed that the SOC content gradually increased with the reclamation age until it reached 7.98 g·kg−1 for R13, which accounted for 76% of that of the CK. However, the total carbon contents of the reclaimed soils did not significantly differ from and even appeared higher than that of the CK. This is mainly because the inorganic carbon contents of the reclaimed soils ranged from 2.98 to 12.61 g·kg−1, all of which were significantly higher than the 0.87 g·kg−1 obtained for the CK. The microbial biomass carbon (MBC) content and the microbial quotient significantly increased with the reclamation age of the soil, and both parameters were markedly higher for R13 than for the CK. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content and its ratio to the SOC were significantly higher for R4–R13 than for the CK and DOC/SOC gradually decreased with the reclamation age. Both the reclamation age and the temperature had positive effects on the soil basal respiration (SBR). The SBR rate constantly increased with the reclamation age and was markedly higher at 25 °C than at 15 °C. The temperature sensitivity (Q10) of the SBR showed a clearly decreasing trend for the reclamation chronosequence, but its value remained higher for R13 than for the CK (2.37). The metabolic quotient constantly decreased with the reclamation age, which suggests that the survival pressure imposed on soil microbes by the soil environment gradually decreased. These results indicate that it takes a long time for organic carbon to accumulate in reclaimed mine soil and that rational agricultural use contributes to sustained improvement of the quality of reclaimed soil. Full article
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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 Identifying Irrigation Strategies for Improved Agricultural Water Productivity in Irrigated Maize Production through Crop Simulation Modelling
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 630; doi:10.3390/su9040630
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Identifying irrigation strategies that improve agricultural water use efficiency (WUE) have a pivotal role to play in sustainable water development. In this study, the AquaCrop model was used to examine the impact of different irrigation scheduling options on yields to identify viable strategies
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Identifying irrigation strategies that improve agricultural water use efficiency (WUE) have a pivotal role to play in sustainable water development. In this study, the AquaCrop model was used to examine the impact of different irrigation scheduling options on yields to identify viable strategies to enhance WUE for irrigated maize. Two scheduling scenarios at water application depths ranging from 20 to 50 mm were investigated: schedules based on allowable depletion of total available water (TAW) in the root zone and interval schedules based on irrigating at predefined daily intervals. For both scenarios, simulated yields, seasonal water applied and percent percolation loss were within the range of 9.16 to 10.22 ton/ha, 180 to 950 mm and 0–61%, respectively. The WUE in terms of water applied (WUEIrr) and crop evapotranspiration (WUEET) ranged from 1.07 to 5.48 kg/m3 and 2.42 to 4.42 kg/m3, respectively. The results revealed that depletion levels of 40–50% TAW at water depths of 20–40 mm could be used to obtain high WUE without significant yield penalty. Moreover, a good balance between yield, improved WUEET and percolation reduction was observed at water depths of 30–40 mm for daily intervals with water applied during the vegetative-reproductive stage of 7–5, 10–5 and 10–7. The identified strategies can contribute to the development of best management practices for water conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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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 How Does Good Governance Relate to Quality of Life?
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 631; doi:10.3390/su9040631
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between the practices of good governance and the quality of life at the municipal level in Spain. A composite indicator of the quality of life of 393 Spanish municipalities in 2011 is estimated using varied statistical information. For
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This paper explores the relationship between the practices of good governance and the quality of life at the municipal level in Spain. A composite indicator of the quality of life of 393 Spanish municipalities in 2011 is estimated using varied statistical information. For this purpose, we follow a benefit of the doubt approach based on Data Envelopment Analysis. Then three dimensions of good governance are considered: transparency, participation, and accountability. The results show a significant positive relationship between quality of life and participation and financial accountability. However, transparency seems to be unrelated to quality of life. Full article
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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 A Performance Evaluation Study of Human Resources in Low-Carbon Logistics Enterprises
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 632; doi:10.3390/su9040632
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
With China’s rapid economic development, restructuring the economy will require a development model based on high-to-low carbon transition. The development of logistics enterprises has its own characteristics associated with the trend of low carbon. This article discusses the significance of structuring a human
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With China’s rapid economic development, restructuring the economy will require a development model based on high-to-low carbon transition. The development of logistics enterprises has its own characteristics associated with the trend of low carbon. This article discusses the significance of structuring a human resource performance evaluation system for low-carbon logistics enterprises. We used an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and triangle-definite weighted functions as the technology platform to determine the performance evaluation and measure corporate status quo. The results can serve as a reference for companies to make the best talent decisions and achieve long-term development strategies. In addition, this study helps to make up for a lack of relevant research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
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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 Analysis of Regional Inequality from Sectoral Structure, Spatial Policy and Economic Development: A Case Study of Chongqing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 633; doi:10.3390/su9040633
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 17 April 2017
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Abstract
Inequality is a large challenge to sustainable development, and achieving equity has already become one of the top goals in sustainable development of the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. Located in the western inland region of China, Chongqing is characterized by “big city, big
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Inequality is a large challenge to sustainable development, and achieving equity has already become one of the top goals in sustainable development of the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. Located in the western inland region of China, Chongqing is characterized by “big city, big countryside, big mountain area, big reservoir area” and its regional inequality is more serious. This paper is to explore Chongqing’s regional inequality from sectoral structure, spatial policy and economic development by constructing, decomposing, and calculating the inter-county per capita GDP Gini Coefficient. Through this study, it is mainly found that: (1) Chongqing has experienced a dynamic evolution from unbalanced development to balanced development, and its regional inequality has been decreasing steadily in recent years; (2) the Tertiary Sector gradually contributes most to regional inequality; (3) inequality between regions is the main section of regional inequality; (4) the spatial policy as per regional division of Five Function Areas is more rational than the division of the main urban and suburb areas; and (5) economic development is the best way to reduce the regional inequality. Based on the results of empirical study and the reality of Chongqing, targeted and systematic policy suggestions are proposed to reduce regional inequality and promote sustainable development. 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 Analysis of China’s Carbon Emissions Base on Carbon Flow in Four Main Sectors: 2000–2013
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 634; doi:10.3390/su9040634
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Reducing carbon emissions is a major way to achieve green development and sustainability for China’s future. This paper elaborates the detailed features of China’s carbon flow for 2013 with the carbon flow chart and shows the changing characteristics of China’s CO2 flow
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Reducing carbon emissions is a major way to achieve green development and sustainability for China’s future. This paper elaborates the detailed features of China’s carbon flow for 2013 with the carbon flow chart and shows the changing characteristics of China’s CO2 flow from the viewpoint of specific sectors and energies from 2000 and 2013. The results show that (1) from 2000 to 2013, China’s CO2 emissions approximately grew by 9% annually, while the CO2 intensity of China diminished at different rates. (2) The CO2 emissions from the secondary industry are prominent from the perspective of four main sectors, accounting for 83.5% of emissions. Manufacturing plays an important part in the secondary industry with 45% of the emissions, in which the “smelting and pressing of metal” takes up a large percentage of about 50% of the emissions from manufacturing. (3) The CO2 emissions produced by coal consumption are dominant in energy-related emissions with a contribution of 65%, which will decrease in the future. (4) From the aspect of different sectors, the CO2 emissions mainly come from the “electricity and heating” sector and the “smelting, pressing and manufacturing of metals” sub-sector. It is essential and urgent to propose concrete recommendations for CO2 emissions mitigation. Firstly, the progression of creative technology is inevitable and undeniable. Secondly, the government should make different CO2 emissions reduction policies among different sectors. For example, the process emissions play an important role in “non-metallic minerals” while in “smelting and manufacturing of metals” it is energy emissions. Thirdly, the country can change the energy structure and promote renewable energy that is powered by wind or other low-carbon energy sources. Alternatively, coke oven gas can be a feasible substitution. Finally, policy makers should be aware that the emissions from residents have been growing at a fast rate. It is effective to involve the public in energy conservation and carbon emissions reduction, such as reducing the time of personal transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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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 AccessArticle A Duration Prediction Using a Material-Based Progress Management Methodology for Construction Operation Plans
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 635; doi:10.3390/su9040635
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Precise and accurate prediction models for duration and cost enable contractors to improve their decision making for effective resource management in terms of sustainability in construction. Previous studies have been limited to cost-based estimations, but this study focuses on a material-based progress management
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Precise and accurate prediction models for duration and cost enable contractors to improve their decision making for effective resource management in terms of sustainability in construction. Previous studies have been limited to cost-based estimations, but this study focuses on a material-based progress management method. Cost-based estimations typically used in construction, such as the earned value method, rely on comparing the planned budget with the actual cost. However, accurately planning budgets requires analysis of many factors, such as the financial status of the sectors involved. Furthermore, there is a higher possibility of changes in the budget than in the total amount of material used during construction, which is deduced from the quantity take-off from drawings and specifications. Accordingly, this study proposes a material-based progress management methodology, which was developed using different predictive analysis models (regression, neural network, and auto-regressive moving average) as well as datasets on material and labor, which can be extracted from daily work reports from contractors. A case study on actual datasets was conducted, and the results show that the proposed methodology can be efficiently used for progress management in construction. 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 Sustainability and Risk Disclosure: An Exploratory Study on Sustainability Reports
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 636; doi:10.3390/su9040636
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Recent policy changes in sustainability reporting, such as the ones related to the new European Directive on non-financial disclosure (2014/95/EU), the standards issued by the American Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB), the G4 guidelines issued by the Global Sustainability Standard Board (GSSB), and
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Recent policy changes in sustainability reporting, such as the ones related to the new European Directive on non-financial disclosure (2014/95/EU), the standards issued by the American Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB), the G4 guidelines issued by the Global Sustainability Standard Board (GSSB), and the framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) stress the importance of extending the disclosure of ethical, social, and environmental risks within financial and social-environmental reporting. Institutional pressure has notably increased among organizations, in setting up risk management tools to understand sustainability risks within managerial and reporting practices. Given such institutional pressure, the corporate reaction in providing additional sustainability risk disclosure calls for attention and scrutiny. Therefore, this study aims at addressing such issues from an exploratory perspective. We based our analysis on a sample of large Italian organizations that issued sustainability disclosure in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), G4 guidelines, and we tested the relationship between their level of risk disclosure and other relevant variables. Consistently with the literature, we found that “experienced” sustainable reporters provide a significant volume of disclosure, and that disclosure quality on risk is positively influenced by their international presence and reporting experience. However, when accounting for specific risk-related areas of disclosure, only a few of them seem to adopt a managerial perspective linking strategy, risk metrics, and disclosure. 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 Measuring Green Growth Efficiency for Chinese Manufacturing Industries
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 637; doi:10.3390/su9040637
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
As a pillar industry in supporting Chinese economy, Chinese manufacturing industry consumes a large amount of energy and causes serious environmental pollutants. Better understanding the greening level of manufacturing industry is important to promote its green growth. Hence first this study, measures the
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As a pillar industry in supporting Chinese economy, Chinese manufacturing industry consumes a large amount of energy and causes serious environmental pollutants. Better understanding the greening level of manufacturing industry is important to promote its green growth. Hence first this study, measures the green growth efficiency for Chinese manufacturing industries by applying the EBM measuring model; second, to better understand the differences and similarity in green growth among those industries, this study categorizes those industries into different types by using cluster analysis. The result shows that within the past nine years, green growth efficiency value for Chinese manufacturing industries rises steadily year by year, and Chinese manufacturing industries have huge promotion potentials in resource saving and environment pollutant reduction. And the characteristics of each different type are analyzed. Finally, policies and suggestions are put forward to promote the green growth of manufacturing industries in China. This study objectively evaluates the green growth level of Chinese manufacturing industry, which is helpful to understand the status quo and also explore green growth path for Chinese manufacturing industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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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 Peri-Urban Matters. Changing Olive Growing Patterns in Central Italy
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 638; doi:10.3390/su9040638
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
For centuries, olive growing has played a major role in the central regions of Italy, with hectares of olive groves surrounding hill towns and hamlets as part of a strong deep-rooted farming tradition. With reference to Lazio and Abruzzo, this article makes use
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For centuries, olive growing has played a major role in the central regions of Italy, with hectares of olive groves surrounding hill towns and hamlets as part of a strong deep-rooted farming tradition. With reference to Lazio and Abruzzo, this article makes use of historical documentation, geographical surveys and in-depth interviews with professionals and experts, in order to provide evidence of how olive growing, once of the mixed type, now with specialized cultivations, has somehow challenged the structural features of traditional landscapes. In some cases, this ancient farming tradition has been awarded the ‘Protected Designation of Origin Brand’ according to strict technical production policies. Besides intensive crops, today also practiced on flat ground, for some years now, olive trees have been cultivated by ‘hobby farmers’. This is frequent in fringe areas, threatened by urban sprawl, within small plots belonging to detached family homes conferring a sense of rural ‘revival’. Whether all these diverse settlement patterns are socially and economically sustainable is debatable. Definitely, such persistence in land use, which now and again can be read even as a material survival of certain tree specimens, allows for olive farming as an enduring cultural practice in the face of increasing urbanization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
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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 Measuring the Economic Impact of Rural Tourism Membership on Local Economy: A Korean Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 639; doi:10.3390/su9040639
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
The implementation of rural tourism membership can aid in boosting economic growth in rural areas. This study examines households’ preferences for rural tourism experience in association with sales of local agricultural products. Using a choice experiment method developed by experimental designs, this paper
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The implementation of rural tourism membership can aid in boosting economic growth in rural areas. This study examines households’ preferences for rural tourism experience in association with sales of local agricultural products. Using a choice experiment method developed by experimental designs, this paper examines households’ preferences to trade off purchasing costs of local agricultural products against various benefits provided by the rural tourism membership. The methods utilized in this paper represent an effective approach to evaluate the value of local tourism resources and the influence of these resources on the local economy. In empirical estimation we applied econometric approaches that allow for different preferences by incorporating income and residence effects into the models. Findings reveal that respondents place a premium on tourism attributes such as invitation seats and outdoor adventure tickets when choosing a tourism membership. We also find that the economic impacts associated with inducing higher-level tourism membership are substantial. This paper illustrates the potential for the development of a strategy associated with rural tourism management to enhance the local economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism, Rural Development and Rural Resilience)
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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 Impact of Green Roof and Orientation on the Energy Performance of Buildings: A Case Study from Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 640; doi:10.3390/su9040640
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in the Middle East region in terms of population, geographic area and scale of economy. It has a fast growing energy sector with over 76% of the total electricity being consumed in the building sector.
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Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries in the Middle East region in terms of population, geographic area and scale of economy. It has a fast growing energy sector with over 76% of the total electricity being consumed in the building sector. Domestic buildings account for 51% of total electricity consumption. Predominantly due to hot climatic conditions, most of the energy consumption in buildings is attributed to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) loads. In terms of supply mix, the country entirely relies on oil and gas to meet its energy requirements. The high growth in energy demand is imposing stringent energy, environmental and economic challenges for Saudi Arabia. The present work aims to explore prospects of energy saving in buildings through the application of green roof technology. With the help of ECOTECT modelling, the work examines the effectiveness of green roof on considering modern faculty homes built in the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals situated in the hot-humid climatic conditions of the Easter Province of the country. The same building has also been investigated for the hot-dry climate of Riyadh, the capital city. The work also examines the impact of orientations on the energy performance of buildings. 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 Household Perceptions about the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security in the Mountainous Region of Nepal
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 641; doi:10.3390/su9040641
Received: 18 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 18 April 2017
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Abstract
This study tried to understand the mountainous households’ perception of climate change and its impacts on food security in the Lamjung district of Nepal. The study attempted to find out changes in households food security and daily activities in the face of climate
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This study tried to understand the mountainous households’ perception of climate change and its impacts on food security in the Lamjung district of Nepal. The study attempted to find out changes in households food security and daily activities in the face of climate change for the last twenty years. The study started with the 150 household surveys along with participatory rural appraisal to understand the climate change perception of local people and its impact on dimensions of food security. Households expressed different levels of perception in terms of climate change on food security. The result shows that most of the mountainous households experienced increased temperature, less rainfall in winter, an increasing number of natural disasters and the emergence of insects for the last twenty years. They perceived the role of climate change in decreased crop production, decreased dairy products and increased household work. The situation of food security is likely to be more vulnerable to climate change in the future. It was also observed that households have been using different autonomous adaptation measures, such as high yielding crop varieties, enhanced irrigation systems and fertilizers, to cope with the changing climate. Finally, the study recommended policy instruments to enhance food security in the mountainous region amidst changing climate. Full article
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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 A Decision Model to Predict the Optimal Size of the Diversified Management Industry from the View of Profit Maximization and Coordination of Industrial Scale
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 642; doi:10.3390/su9040642
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
To avoid the risk of single and homogeneous development, China’s coal enterprises have explored a diversified development model and are actively developing coal-based industries such as electric power, coal chemical, coal equipment manufacturing, logistics, and building materials. In previous studies of the diversification
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To avoid the risk of single and homogeneous development, China’s coal enterprises have explored a diversified development model and are actively developing coal-based industries such as electric power, coal chemical, coal equipment manufacturing, logistics, and building materials. In previous studies of the diversification strategy, the focus has been placed on the motivation for diversification, the measurement of diversification, and the relationship between diversification and enterprise performance. From an enterprise strategic decision, we predicted the optimal size of each industry by considering the limited enterprise capital, human resources, the synergetic relationship among industrial clusters (mainly the scale coordination), and policy factors. The optimal decision model for diversified industrial management was constructed using linear programming methods. The decision target was to maximize the enterprise’s profit, but to also consider the social and environmental benefits. One of the largest listed coal enterprises in China, China Coal Energy (also a typical diversified enterprise), was selected as a case for analysis. Data were collected from surveys and annual reports from 2010 to 2014. The optimal scales of coal, electric power, chemical, and equipment manufacturing were predicted, and could be used as a reference for future enterprise production decisions. Furthermore, this decision model can be used as a reference for other diversified enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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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 Adapting Nonprofit Resources to New Social Demands: The Food Banks in Spain
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 643; doi:10.3390/su9040643
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Food banks make up an increasing phenomenon of nonprofit organizations answering to new social needs related to the global socioeconomic crisis. In order to explore if they are suitably adapting to their environments in Spain, one of the countries most seriously affected by
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Food banks make up an increasing phenomenon of nonprofit organizations answering to new social needs related to the global socioeconomic crisis. In order to explore if they are suitably adapting to their environments in Spain, one of the countries most seriously affected by the crisis in South Europe, this work assumes a hybrid qualitative–quantitative structure composed of an exploratory case study based on semi-structured interviews followed by a survey addressed to all the Spanish food banks. Much of the academic literature has concerned the appropriateness of food banks as a delivery mechanism in the context of welfare state withdrawal. This paper takes this in a different direction by examining Spanish food banks from an organizational management point of view. Wary of concerns about the institutionalization of food charity, on the one hand, and recognizing the escalating daily reliance on food banks, on the other, this paper seeks to address potential technical supply problems and challenges food banks face and open debate about the organizational networks of food banks more generally. The results show nonprofit entities based on a voluntary workforce who run supply chains in order to join both social and business targets. Their situation, performance, resources, mutual relationships and the links with other entities are described, paying special attention to the changes induced by the latest contextual changes. In short, food banks are efficiently organized and well established in their territories as a coherent social movement, although they should improve in their strategic view, coordination, resources and sources of these, to satisfy more adequately their increasingly complex demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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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 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 Sustainable Evaluation of Social Science Research in Higher Education Institutions Based on Data Envelopment Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 644; doi:10.3390/su9040644
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
This paper divides the typical social scientific research process into two stages: the research development stage and the research innovation stage, with personnel as a shared input between them. We construct an input-shared multi-period two-stage DEA (data envelopment analysis) model as measurement of
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This paper divides the typical social scientific research process into two stages: the research development stage and the research innovation stage, with personnel as a shared input between them. We construct an input-shared multi-period two-stage DEA (data envelopment analysis) model as measurement of sustainability capacities of social scientific research, and then measure both the overall efficiencies and the stage efficiencies of scientific research of 18 HEIs (higher education institutions) in Jiangsu province of China from 2010 to 2014. There are some revelatory traits among the overall efficiencies and stage efficiencies of HEIs. As for the HEIs, the efficiencies of the first stage of certain HEIs that are better in social science are higher than those which have advantage in natural science. The results are the opposite in the second stage. Additionally, in virtue of common-weight global MPI (Malmquist Productivity Index), we figure out the dynamic efficiencies within and between HEIs. Finally, we appeal to administration departments to establish academic sharing systems and construct interdisciplinary ecosystems among HEIs, which aims to pool the knowledge, experience, and capacities of the region’s academic actors and improve the sustainable development and innovation abilities of social scientific research. In addition, collaborating with industrial organizations is also a strategic avenue to improve their research abilities, which can push the boundaries of sustainable development and also bring vigor in social scientific research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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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 Analytical and Thermal Evaluation of Carbon Particles Recovered at the Cyclone of a Downdraft Biomass Gasification System
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 645; doi:10.3390/su9040645
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Gasification of biomass gives off syngas that is contaminated mostly by carbon particulates and tars. The degree of contamination is attributed to factors such as gasification process, type of gasifier and type of biomass material. Downdraft gasifier minimizes the production of tar to
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Gasification of biomass gives off syngas that is contaminated mostly by carbon particulates and tars. The degree of contamination is attributed to factors such as gasification process, type of gasifier and type of biomass material. Downdraft gasifier minimizes the production of tar to a tolerable limit for engine applications; however, carbon particles still pose a challenge particularly with the integration of a heat exchanger for the purpose of heat recovery from the product gas. The presence of carbon particles in the syngas does influence the heat recovery process and materials used in the recovery. Hence, there is need for the characterization of these carbon particles to ascertain their chemical compositions, thermal properties and morphological features. This study was aimed at evaluating the characteristic features of carbon particles recovered from the syngas stream during gas cleaning at the cyclone. The elemental analysis of the carbon particle samples was performed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. An electron beam from scanning electron microscopy was passed through the sample surface at a magnification of 1000× and an accelerating voltage of 15 kV to determine the morphological features of the carbon particles. Their thermal properties were investigated using a thermogravimetric analyzer at a heating rate of 10°C/min. A weight loss of approximately 5.4 wt % was recorded at the maximum temperature of 900 °C. Silicon, oxygen and carbon were found to be the dominating elements in the carbon particulate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Initiatives towards Poverty Alleviation)
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Open AccessArticle Total Factor Energy Efficiency of China’s Industrial Sector: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 646; doi:10.3390/su9040646
Received: 25 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
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Abstract
Based on stochastic frontier analysis and translog input distance function, this paper examines the total factor energy efficiency of China’s industry using input-output data of 30 sub-industries from 2002 to 2014, and decomposes the changes in estimated total factor energy efficiency into the
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Based on stochastic frontier analysis and translog input distance function, this paper examines the total factor energy efficiency of China’s industry using input-output data of 30 sub-industries from 2002 to 2014, and decomposes the changes in estimated total factor energy efficiency into the effects of technical change, technical efficiency change, scale efficiency change and input-mix effect. The results show that during this period the total factor energy efficiency in China’s industry grew annually at a rate of 3.63%; technical change, technical efficiency change and input-mix effect contributed positively to the change in total factor energy efficiency; while scale efficiency change contributed negatively to it. Full article
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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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