Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

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

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story The current e-waste management system suffers from losses in the form of materials, product and [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-194
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Advanced IT-Based Future Sustainable Computing
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 757; doi:10.3390/su9050757
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Future Sustainability Computing (FSC) is a novel research topic that deals with algorithms, procedures, and applications of information technologies for abundant life. In this Special Issue, we cover novel research and applications within the scope of sustainability computing dealing with hardware/software technologies, especially
[...] Read more.
Future Sustainability Computing (FSC) is a novel research topic that deals with algorithms, procedures, and applications of information technologies for abundant life. In this Special Issue, we cover novel research and applications within the scope of sustainability computing dealing with hardware/software technologies, especially for frameworks and architectures. For example, topics include dynamic group management in Internet of Things (IoT); real-time video surveillance; security threats in Software Defined Network (SDN); real-time indoor Air-Quality level indicator; effectiveness of information systems security; load-balancing for inter-sensor convergence; neighbor discovery in sensor networks; transmission algorithm with Quality of Service (QoS) consideration; analysis of the relationship between Intrusion Detection System (IDS) alerts and darknet are included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessEditorial Special Issue Editorial: Earth Observation and Geoinformation Technologies for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 760; doi:10.3390/su9050760
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Open AccessEditorial Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 811; doi:10.3390/su9050811
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This piece serves as the guest editorial of the Special Issue on the ‘Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms’. Firstly, this editorial piece asks whether it is possible for firms to sustain their performance forever. Then, it reviews the popular
[...] Read more.
This piece serves as the guest editorial of the Special Issue on the ‘Open Innovation in Value Chain for Sustainability of Firms’. Firstly, this editorial piece asks whether it is possible for firms to sustain their performance forever. Then, it reviews the popular literature on the value chain. Afterwards, it develops a research framework for open innovation in the value chain, and proposes five ways of open innovation taking place within it. These include user open innovation, customer open innovation, common profit community, together growth community, and inner open innovation. Lastly, this editorial introduces articles from the Special Issue that concentrate on the various open innovation perspectives for firms to achieve sustainability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Education and R&D Investment on Regional Economic Growth
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 676; doi:10.3390/su9050676
Received: 11 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of education and R&D investment on regional economic growth in South Korea. We develop a simultaneous model of production, human capital accumulation, migration, population and physical capital investment of two regions: the Seoul
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of education and R&D investment on regional economic growth in South Korea. We develop a simultaneous model of production, human capital accumulation, migration, population and physical capital investment of two regions: the Seoul Metropolitan Area and the rest of Korea. We decompose the regional growth path into a quality path and a quantity path to identify how regional economies grow and run simulations to evaluate alternative policies in terms of effectiveness and adaptability. The impact of education and R&D investment on regional growth in the rest of Korea is only 22.3% of that in the Seoul Metropolitan Area due to lower elasticity values of young in-migrants with respect to the investment in the rest of Korea. An enhanced efficiency of regional human capital accumulation is effective and adaptable to alleviate regional economic disparity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Regionalist Principles to Reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 677; doi:10.3390/su9050677
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scientists, climatologists, and urban planners have started to recognize the importance of nature at two very different scales: the global (metabolic) and the local (liveability) scales. The regional scale is the one at which these macro and micro approaches overlap. Future predictions foresee
[...] Read more.
Scientists, climatologists, and urban planners have started to recognize the importance of nature at two very different scales: the global (metabolic) and the local (liveability) scales. The regional scale is the one at which these macro and micro approaches overlap. Future predictions foresee an increase of more than 2450 million urban inhabitants by 2050, thus new balanced urban visions need to be developed in order to guarantee the sustainability of urban areas. The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is a climate phenomenon resulting from unbalanced urban design arrangements. This paper analyses several design principles proposed by the 1920s regionalists from the UHI perspective. The preservation of the regional geographical landmarks, the implementation of urban containment policies (limiting city sizes), the increase of greenery and the development of green multifunctional blocks would help reduce the UHI in future urban developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Toward Geodesign for Watershed Restoration on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Pacific Northwest, USA
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 678; doi:10.3390/su9050678
Received: 6 January 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Spatial decision support systems for forest management have steadily evolved over the past 20+ years in order to better address the complexities of contemporary forest management issues such as the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems on forested landscapes. In this paper, we describe
[...] Read more.
Spatial decision support systems for forest management have steadily evolved over the past 20+ years in order to better address the complexities of contemporary forest management issues such as the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems on forested landscapes. In this paper, we describe and illustrate new features of the Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system that extend the system’s traditional support for landscape analysis and strategic planning to include a simple approach to feature-based tactical planning priorities. The study area for this work was the Chewaucan watershed of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, located in south-central Oregon, USA. The analysis of strategic priorities recommended five subwatersheds as being of high priority for restoration activities, based primarily on decision criteria related to the stream accessibility to headwaters and upland condition. Among high priority subwatersheds, the most common tactical action recommended was the removal of artificial barriers to fish passages. Other high priority tactical actions recommended in high priority subwatersheds to improve fish habitats were reducing the road density and restoring riparian vegetation. In the discussion, we conclude by describing how the simple tactical planning methods illustrated in this paper can be extended in EMDS to provide a more sophisticated hybrid approach to strategic and tactical planning that can evaluate alternative portfolios of designed management actions applied across landscapes. The latter planned improvement to decision support capabilities in EMDS encapsulates Carl Steinitz’s concept of geodesign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Public Support for Pro-Environmental Policy Measures: Examining the Impact of Personal Values and Ideology
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 679; doi:10.3390/su9050679
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the relationship between two major explanations of the formation of positive attitudes towards environmental policy measures. Ideological orientation and personal values have, in theory, significant overlaps in the sense that they collect general and cross-situational sentiments used to understand and
[...] Read more.
This article explores the relationship between two major explanations of the formation of positive attitudes towards environmental policy measures. Ideological orientation and personal values have, in theory, significant overlaps in the sense that they collect general and cross-situational sentiments used to understand and evaluate a wide range of political issues. However, in the empirical literature, although they independently have been shown to have rather significant effects on pro-environmental policy attitudes, they are rarely tested together in order to explore whether they capture the same basic mechanisms. In this article, two data sets from Sweden are used to demonstrate both that ideological orientation and personal values independently affect pro-environmental policy support, as well as that these effects differ across different policy types. Full article
Open AccessArticle Neighborhood Walking and Social Capital: The Correlation between Walking Experience and Individual Perception of Social Capital
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 680; doi:10.3390/su9050680
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between people’s actual walking experience and their social capital levels in order to examine the possibility of restoring weakened social functions of streets and public spaces in a walking-friendly urban environment. Based on
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between people’s actual walking experience and their social capital levels in order to examine the possibility of restoring weakened social functions of streets and public spaces in a walking-friendly urban environment. Based on the survey data of 591 residents of Seoul, we empirically analyzed the relationship between walking experience for various purposes and individual perceptions of social capital using one-way ANOVA and OLS regression models. As a result of the analysis, we found that the levels of neighborly trust and networking of people who experienced leisure walking were higher than those of people who did not, while there was no difference in the level of social capital according to walking experiences for other purposes. This result is significant in that it shows the basis for the restoration of the social function of neighborhoods through social capital formation of people as an effect of walking. Hence, it is important to create a walking environment that supports leisure activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of an Energy Tax (Carbon Tax) on Energy Saving and Emission Reduction in Guangdong Province-Based on a CGE Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 681; doi:10.3390/su9050681
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Guangdong, as China’s most affluent province, which is representative in terms of its industrial and energy consumption structure, will deal with an important issue about how to change its environmental management policies from command-and-control strategies to incentive-based ones and how to exert its
[...] Read more.
Guangdong, as China’s most affluent province, which is representative in terms of its industrial and energy consumption structure, will deal with an important issue about how to change its environmental management policies from command-and-control strategies to incentive-based ones and how to exert its effects to the greatest extent possible in the new situation of the impending imposition of an environmental tax. By establishing an energy Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for Guangdong Province, and setting up various taxation and tax refund scenarios, this research simulates the energy saving and emission reduction effects imposed by the imposition of an energy tax or carbon tax at various tax rates in Guangdong Province, and analyzes the mitigation effects upon an economic system by various tax refund plans. The research proves that when the energy tax rate is at 100–200 yuan/tce (ton coal equivalent) or carbon tax at 50–100 yuan/t CO2, the energy consumption of Guangdong Province is reduced by 5.8–11.21%, and carbon emission is reduced by 5.94–11.61%. The energy saving and emission reduction effects of the carbon tax surpasses that of the energy tax under the equivalent tax revenue with even fewer significant negative impacts upon the economy, contributing to the capital transfer towards non-energy intensive industries; thus, appropriate and accurate tax refund plans can alleviate the negative impacts of taxation upon the economy in Guangdong Province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Economic Analysis of a Traceability System for a Two-Level Perishable Food Supply Chain
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 682; doi:10.3390/su9050682
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food waste stemmed from food contamination and ineffective quality control is a significant challenge to food management. Supply chain traceability has become an essential task of the food industry for guaranteeing food quality and safety and reducing food waste. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
[...] Read more.
Food waste stemmed from food contamination and ineffective quality control is a significant challenge to food management. Supply chain traceability has become an essential task of the food industry for guaranteeing food quality and safety and reducing food waste. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has emerged as a lead technology in the development of traceability systems, which enable automatically capturing of food information along the supply chain. However, the significant investment cost has been a major obstacle in the diffusion of traceability systems in the food industry. This study conducts a cost-benefit analysis of a RFID-enabled traceability system for a two-level perishable food supply chain, which consists of an upstream supplier and a downstream retailer. Consumer perceptions of food quality and safety are jointly considered when evaluating the value of a traceability system. The optimal decisions of the supply chain participants are derived in both centralized and decentralized systems, in terms of wholesale price, order quantity, price markdowns, and granularity level of the traceability system. The results show that a dynamic pricing policy supported by the traceability system could significantly reduce food waste and improve the retailer’s performance. We further propose a two-part tariff contract to coordinate the supply chain and to distribute benefits and costs of the traceability system between supply chain participants. This study demonstrates that a well-developed traceability system could significantly improve the supply chain performance and become a profitable investment for the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dynamic Collection Strategy and Coordination of a Remanufacturing Closed-Loop Supply Chain under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 683; doi:10.3390/su9050683
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to investigate the uncertainty factors that impact the collection strategy of a remanufacturing closed-loop supply chain. The basis of this type of supply chain is the collection of used products, without which the remanufacturing of new products would be out
[...] Read more.
This paper aims to investigate the uncertainty factors that impact the collection strategy of a remanufacturing closed-loop supply chain. The basis of this type of supply chain is the collection of used products, without which the remanufacturing of new products would be out of the question. In this paper, we considered the effect of stochastic disturbance on the collection process in a closed-loop supply chain consisting of a manufacturer and a retailer, in which the manufacturer is responsible for collecting the used products. Considering stochastic disturbance, in this research, we proposed a stochastic collection model, and derived the feedback control strategies for both the manufacturer and retailer. Next, we investigated the evolutionary path and probability distribution of the stochastic return rate. Finally, we proposed a contract to coordinate the decentralized closed-loop supply chain. The results showed that the manufacturer would improve the level of return effort as the intensity of stochastic disturbance increases. However, the disturbance would not affect the pricing strategies of the supply chain members. As a result of the stochastic disturbance, the return rate always hovered around the expected return rate, while the expectation and variance of the return rate remained stable from a long-term perspective. The expected value and variance of the return rate could decrease or increase with time, depending on the value of the initial return rate of the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Design and Analysis of Multiple OS Implementation on a Single ARM-Based Embedded Platform
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 684; doi:10.3390/su9050684
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
PDF Full-text (6554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, with the development of embedded system hardware technology, there is a need to support various kinds of operating system (OS) operation in embedded systems. In mobile processors, ARM started to provide the virtualization extension support technology which was intended for processors in
[...] Read more.
Recently, with the development of embedded system hardware technology, there is a need to support various kinds of operating system (OS) operation in embedded systems. In mobile processors, ARM started to provide the virtualization extension support technology which was intended for processors in PC processors. Virtualization technology has the advantage of using hardware resources effectively. If the real-time operating system (RTOS) is operated on a hypervisor, there is a problem that RTOS performance is degraded due to overhead. Thus, we need to compare the performance between a single execution of the RTOS and simultaneous execution of multiple OS (RTOS + Linux). Therefore, in this paper, we measure the performance when the RTOS operates independently on the NVidia Jetson TK-1 embedded board supporting virtualization technology. Then, we measure the performance when the RTOS and Linux are operating simultaneously on top of a hypervisor. For this purpose, we implemented and ported such a RTOS, especially FreeRTOS and uC/OS, onto two embedded boards, such as the Arndale board (SAMSUNG, Seoul, South Korea) and the NVidia TK1 board (NVIDIA, Santa Clara, CA, USA). Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Decomposition Analysis of Aggregate Energy Consumption in China: An Exploration Using a New Generalized PDA Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 685; doi:10.3390/su9050685
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (959 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the largest energy consumer, China is facing greater pressure to guarantee energy supply and energy security. Investigating the driving factors of energy consumption is very important. Decomposition analysis is an analytical tool for decomposing an aggregate indicator into its contributing factors. This
[...] Read more.
As the largest energy consumer, China is facing greater pressure to guarantee energy supply and energy security. Investigating the driving factors of energy consumption is very important. Decomposition analysis is an analytical tool for decomposing an aggregate indicator into its contributing factors. This paper introduces index decomposition analysis (IDA) into production decomposition analysis (PDA) and provides a new decomposition framework for analyzing energy consumption. Two application studies are presented to illustrate the use of our proposed approach. The first deals with the decomposition of aggregate energy consumption from 1991 to 2012; the second application studies seven sectors of China from 2001 to 2012. The empirical studies result in four meaningful findings: (1) the rapid economic growth has already resulted in severe energy supply crises; (2) China’s energy sector consumption structure has changed significantly; (3) potential economic effect is the largest driving factor for energy consumption growth; (4) potential energy intensity effect and technical change of economic output effect were the two primary driving factors in reducing energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impact of Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction Policy Means Coordination on Economic Growth: Quantitative Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 686; doi:10.3390/su9050686
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To understand the general relationship between Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction (ECER) policy means coordination (PMC) and economic growth, this paper quantitatively investigates the impact on economic growth of differing PMCs. ECER policies from 1978 to 2013 in China are quantified across two
[...] Read more.
To understand the general relationship between Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction (ECER) policy means coordination (PMC) and economic growth, this paper quantitatively investigates the impact on economic growth of differing PMCs. ECER policies from 1978 to 2013 in China are quantified across two dimensions of policy power and policy means, and then, PMC degrees are designed as independent variables and incorporated into a modified Cobb−Douglas production model. While determining the cointegration relationships by using a unit root test, a cointegration test and a stability test, cointegration equation is conducted by using quantitative data to explore the economic growth effects of PMC in China. The government’s use of PMC in China is also analyzed and ranked. The empirical results show that there is a long-term cointegration relationship among the variables from 1978 to 2013. Additionally, the effects of the different PMCs on economic growth show significant discrepancies and each PMC usage ranking is also found to be significantly different, thereby implying that the use of different PMCs by the Chinese government needs to be further perfected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Development for Emerging Markets)
Open AccessArticle Decomposition Analysis of Forest Ecosystem Services Values
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 687; doi:10.3390/su9050687
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2505 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Forest ecosystem services are fundamental for human life. To protect and increase forest ecosystem services, the driving factors underlying changes in forest ecosystem service values must be determined to properly implement forest resource management planning. This study examines the driving factors that affect
[...] Read more.
Forest ecosystem services are fundamental for human life. To protect and increase forest ecosystem services, the driving factors underlying changes in forest ecosystem service values must be determined to properly implement forest resource management planning. This study examines the driving factors that affect changes in forest ecosystem service values by focusing on regional forest characteristics using a dataset of 47 prefectures in Japan for 2000, 2007, and 2012. We applied two approaches: a contingent valuation method for estimating the forest ecosystem service value per area and a decomposition analysis for identifying the main driving factors of changes in the value of forest ecosystem services. The results indicate that the value of forest ecosystem services has increased due to the expansion of forest area from 2000 to 2007. However, factors related to forest management and ecosystem service value per area have contributed to a decrease in the value of ecosystem services from 2000 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2012, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Green Supplier Evaluation and Selection Using Cloud Model Theory and the QUALIFLEX Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 688; doi:10.3390/su9050688
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (947 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, companies have to improve their practices in the management of green supply chain with increased awareness of environmental issues worldwide. Selecting the optimum green supplier is crucial for green supply chain management, which is a challenging multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem. Moreover,
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, companies have to improve their practices in the management of green supply chain with increased awareness of environmental issues worldwide. Selecting the optimum green supplier is crucial for green supply chain management, which is a challenging multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem. Moreover, while evaluating the performance of alternative suppliers, decision makers tend to determine their assessments using linguistic descriptors due to experts’ vague knowledge and information deficiency. Therefore, this paper develops an integrated MCDM model based on the cloud model and QUALIFLEX (qualitative flexible multiple criteria method) approach to assess the green performance of companies under economic and environmental criteria. For the introduced model, the linguistic terms, expressed in normal clouds, are utilized to assess alternatives against each selection criterion. A linear programming model is established to compute the weights of criteria with unknown or incompletely known weight information. An extended QUALIFLEX approach is proposed and used to select the most suitable green supplier. Finally, the proposed green supplier selection method is demonstrated by an empirical example of an auto manufacturer to confirm its rationality and effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Beijing Subway’s New Fare Policy on Riders’ Attitude, Travel Pattern and Demand
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 689; doi:10.3390/su9050689
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On 28 December 2014, the Beijing subway’s fare policy was changed from “Two Yuan” per trip to the era of Logging Ticket Price, charging users by travel mileage. This paper aims at investigating the effects of Beijing subway’s new fare policy on the
[...] Read more.
On 28 December 2014, the Beijing subway’s fare policy was changed from “Two Yuan” per trip to the era of Logging Ticket Price, charging users by travel mileage. This paper aims at investigating the effects of Beijing subway’s new fare policy on the riders’ attitude, travel pattern and demand. A survey analysis was conducted to identify the effects of the new fare policy for Beijing subway on riders’ satisfaction degree and travel pattern associated with the potential influencing factors using Hierarchical Tree-based Regression (HTBR) models. The model results show that income, travel distance and month of travel have significant impacts on the subway riders’ satisfaction degree, while trip purpose, car ownership and travel frequency significantly influence the riders’ stated travel pattern. Overall, the degree of satisfaction could not be effectively recovered within five months after the new fare policy, but the negative public attitude did not depress the subway demand continuously. Based on the further time sequence analyses of the passenger flow volume data for two years, it is concluded that the new policy made the ridership decrease sharply in the first month but gradually came back to the previous level four months later, and then the passenger flow volume kept steady again. The findings in this study indicate that the new fare policy realized the purpose of lowering the government’s financial pressure but did not reduce the subway ridership in a long term perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Microbial Viability of Soil Samples from Maize Crops in Freeze-Storage under Different Management Conditions in a Semi-Arid Climate
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 690; doi:10.3390/su9050690
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effect of freeze-storage on culturable soil microorganism viability was determined for soil samples from three agricultural maize crop systems (under conventional management, direct seeding, and direct seeding with a cover crop). Most culturable soil bacteria were unaffected by the freeze-thaw stress or
[...] Read more.
The effect of freeze-storage on culturable soil microorganism viability was determined for soil samples from three agricultural maize crop systems (under conventional management, direct seeding, and direct seeding with a cover crop). Most culturable soil bacteria were unaffected by the freeze-thaw stress or the prolonged freeze-storage, but the viability of mold and Bacillus mycoides populations decreased drastically after eight months of freeze-storage, limiting the process sustainability to this period. However, these changes did not significantly affect either the total microorganism biodiversity index or the biodiversity differences between treatment. Based on the available results, freeze-storage seems to be a sustainable process for up to eight months that can be allowed in analyses of culturable microbial population biodiversity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energy Vulnerability Composite Index in Social Housing, from a Household Energy Poverty Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 691; doi:10.3390/su9050691
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Europe, the proportion of social housing is high, and such houses tend to be inhabited by below average-income households, which are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty. This article proposes a new methodological approach for defining an index for household energy vulnerability assessment.
[...] Read more.
In Europe, the proportion of social housing is high, and such houses tend to be inhabited by below average-income households, which are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty. This article proposes a new methodological approach for defining an index for household energy vulnerability assessment. This method can be used to improve the management of social housing. After establishing a heuristic framework for household energy poverty–which stems from different causes such as income, the characteristics of the residence, energy installations, and the energy-consumption habits of household members–multi-criteria analytical methods, based on the aggregation of indicators which reveal the conditions leading to energy poverty, have been applied, and effective means of intervention are proposed. The method is also applied to a sample of social houses and thus validated as a useful tool in decision-making processes which concern the management of social housing from a household energy-poverty perspective. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Preliminary Study on Connectivity and Perceived Values of Community Green Spaces
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 692; doi:10.3390/su9050692
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (9850 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green spaces in residential communities are important yet understudied features of the urban ecological system. While large urban parks and remnant wildlands in urban areas tend to receive public attention from conservation and management perspectives, less is known about the importance of spatial
[...] Read more.
Green spaces in residential communities are important yet understudied features of the urban ecological system. While large urban parks and remnant wildlands in urban areas tend to receive public attention from conservation and management perspectives, less is known about the importance of spatial and ecological characteristics of the community-scale green space. This study investigates natural elements in four planned communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona; two of which represent conventional types of neighborhoods and two which exemplify community development type with a proclaimed vision of sustainability. These distinct types of communities, which illustrate variations in age, location, open space type, and a cross-section of housing density, are compared with regard to landscape connectivity as a means of gauging the ecological condition for community sustainability. Using Geographical Information Systems and landscape connectivity indices, a community’s green space features were examined including size, physical connectedness, and ecological potential. Furthermore, a questionnaire survey was designed and implemented to examine the perceptional differences between the two types of community residents. The findings demonstrate that the green spaces in conventional communities are more physically connected than their counterparts, but the naturalness and ecological qualities manifested in the amount of the land that may serve as potential urban desert habitats were higher in the sustainable communities. The results of the survey indicated that the respondents inhabiting sustainable communities possess a higher level of satisfaction than the people in conventional types of communities. This is due mainly to the amount of easy access to, and the perceived ecological values of the green spaces in their neighborhoods and surrounding areas. The study concludes that careful community design with ecological consideration can help create sustainable communities which can benefit both site-scale ecosystems and perceived human well-being. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Consumer Empowerment in the Digital Economy: Availing Sustainable Purchasing Decisions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 693; doi:10.3390/su9050693
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The advent of the digital economy and, implicitly, of competition in the online marketplace has triggered new challenges in terms of consumer protection approaches. Online, consumer skills are expected to be improved and the level of consumer awareness and engagement increased. These are
[...] Read more.
The advent of the digital economy and, implicitly, of competition in the online marketplace has triggered new challenges in terms of consumer protection approaches. Online, consumer skills are expected to be improved and the level of consumer awareness and engagement increased. These are the baseline prerequisites of the sustainable purchasing decision and, thus, should be considered as pillars of responsible online consumption. Consistent with the novel consumption challenges, the current paper is intended to advance and test a research model integrating five main constructs, namely, competition in the online marketplace, online consumer skills, online consumer awareness, online consumer engagement and sustainable purchasing decision. A total of 318 college students—a representative population of the new Millennials generation—accepted the invitation to participate in a questionnaire-based survey. In order to pertinently analyze the collected data, a structural equation modeling technique based on partial least squares was employed for the assessment of the measurement and the structural model. The findings indicated that the model explained 24.4 percent of the variance of sustainable purchasing decisions, while the highest influence was exerted by the improvement of online consumer skills. This implies that online providers should revisit their products sustainability standards on purpose to preserve a competitive advantage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-disciplinary Sustainability Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimization of Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows for Cold Chain Logistics Based on Carbon Tax
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 694; doi:10.3390/su9050694
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
PDF Full-text (8734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to reduce the cost pressure on cold-chain logistics brought by the carbon tax policy, this paper investigates optimization of Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) with time windows for cold-chain logistics based on carbon tax in China. Then, a green and low-carbon cold
[...] Read more.
In order to reduce the cost pressure on cold-chain logistics brought by the carbon tax policy, this paper investigates optimization of Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) with time windows for cold-chain logistics based on carbon tax in China. Then, a green and low-carbon cold chain logistics distribution route optimization model with minimum cost is constructed. Taking the lowest cost as the objective function, the total cost of distribution includes the following costs: the fixed costs which generate in distribution process of vehicle, transportation costs, damage costs, refrigeration costs, penalty costs, shortage costs and carbon emission costs. This paper further proposes a Cycle Evolutionary Genetic Algorithm (CEGA) to solve the model. Meanwhile, actual data are used with CEGA to carry out numerical experiments in order to discuss changes of distribution routes with different carbon emissions under different carbon taxes and their influence on the total distribution cost. The critical carbon tax value of carbon emissions and distribution cost is obtained through experimental analysis. The research results of this paper provide effective advice, which is not only for the government on carbon tax decision, but also for the logistics companies on controlling carbon emissions during distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Measuring Network-Based Public Transit Performance Using Fuzzy Measures and Fuzzy Integrals
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 695; doi:10.3390/su9050695
Received: 19 February 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (2720 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes an indicator integration model to measure network-based public transit performance. Coverage, directness, and connectivity indicators were used to measure network-based public transit performances individually. The three indicators exist preferential dependence problem in eliciting indicator weights. The value judgments by 40
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes an indicator integration model to measure network-based public transit performance. Coverage, directness, and connectivity indicators were used to measure network-based public transit performances individually. The three indicators exist preferential dependence problem in eliciting indicator weights. The value judgments by 40 representatives were collected by using fuzzy measures. Subsequently, fuzzy integrals were applied to integrate the three indicators considering their preferential dependence. The major contributions are twofold: one contribution is providing a comprehensive performance measurement for multimodal transit networks and the other is resolving preferential dependence between the three indicators. A case study of Taipei City was also discussed to demonstrate the application of the integration model. Five major results were derived from the study: (1) according to the decision group preferences, coverage was preferred to directness, and directness was preferred to connectivity; (2) the districts of Taipei City in the central business district (CBD) generally feature high transit coverage compared with the districts in the surrounding areas; (3) the districts in the surrounding areas generally exhibit high transit connectivity compared with the districts in the CBD; (4) the 12 districts of Taipei City do not differ substantially in transit directness performance; and (5) most of the districts of Taipei City in the CBD exhibit relatively better comprehensive transit performance than the districts in the surrounding areas. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of China’s Overseas Oil Refining Investment Using a Fuzzy-Grey Comprehensive Evaluation Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 696; doi:10.3390/su9050696
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following the “going out” strategy, Chinese oil and gas companies have been widely involved in investing and operating business abroad to mitigate the increasing energy imbalance between supply and demand. Overseas oil investment, characterized by high risks and high returns, plays a significant
[...] Read more.
Following the “going out” strategy, Chinese oil and gas companies have been widely involved in investing and operating business abroad to mitigate the increasing energy imbalance between supply and demand. Overseas oil investment, characterized by high risks and high returns, plays a significant role in ensuring energy security and strengthening global competitiveness in China. However, compared with overseas upstream projects, the downstream oil refining investment is still in the preliminary development stage, with limited experience for references, which further increases the risk surrounding such multibillion-dollar ventures. Hence, it is significant to assess the investment risks so as to help investors be fully aware of them and then make optimal investment decisions. To this end, this paper successfully identifies the main risk factors, including the local investment environment risk, technical risk, organization management risk, health, safety and environment (HSE) and social responsibility risk, and economic risk. Then, a qualitative-quantitative comprehensive risk evaluation method, combining the fuzzy mathematics and the grey system theory, is proposed and applied to analyze the investment risks of one Chinese overseas oil refining project as a case study. The assessment results are basically in accordance with the practical conditions, which validate the reliability and reasonability of the proposed risk assessment model in regard to the overseas oil refining project. The findings of this research provide the theoretical foundation and practical methodology of the risk analysis for future investment in oil refining areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Economic Growth, and Selected Types of Fossil Energy Consumption in China: Empirical Evidence from 1965 to 2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 697; doi:10.3390/su9050697
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper empirically investigates the interactions among CO2 emissions, economic growth, and three selected types of fossil energy consumption (coal, gas, and oil) using time series data from China over the period 1965–2015. Classic econometric analysis technologies including the Johansen cointegration test,
[...] Read more.
This paper empirically investigates the interactions among CO2 emissions, economic growth, and three selected types of fossil energy consumption (coal, gas, and oil) using time series data from China over the period 1965–2015. Classic econometric analysis technologies including the Johansen cointegration test, the vector error correction model (VECM), and the Granger causality test based on VECM are employed to meet our objectives, and the presence of breaks in the data is also considered. Cointegration test result supports the existence of a long-run equilibrium relationship among the five variables, and the error correction mechanisms of the system involving the five variables are proven to be effective by VECM. Additionally, the Granger causality test based on VECM reveals that the bidirectional causalities between GDP and coal consumption, between GDP and gas consumption, and between coal consumption and CO2 emissions and unidirectional causalities running from GDP and oil consumption to CO2 emissions, from GDP to oil consumption, and from coal consumption to oil and gas consumption are found. Furthermore, several policy implications are proposed in the final section of this paper based on the empirical results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Tourism Pressure at the Regional Level in the Context of Sustainable Development in Romania
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 698; doi:10.3390/su9050698
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3073 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism, through its components, can be found in all areas that relate to sustainable development principles. Although it should be encouraged due to the multiplier effect that it has in the development of a region, it creates pressure on the surrounding environment like
[...] Read more.
Tourism, through its components, can be found in all areas that relate to sustainable development principles. Although it should be encouraged due to the multiplier effect that it has in the development of a region, it creates pressure on the surrounding environment like any other economic activity in the process of specific potential capitalization. This paper is aimed at determining the degree of tourism pressure, its trend and impact on tourism’s sustainable development and the Romanian economy. When this pressure exceeds the ecological support capacity, negative effects occur, both on the landscape in general, and on certain tourist objectives, in particular. The assessment of this pressure and its most accurate quantification imply the use, calculation, correlation and interpolation of indicators that may summarize certain aspects related to the density of tourist fittings, tourist traffic intensity and capitalization level. Hence, the approach would be considered regionally and in terms of tourism pressure dynamics, depending on the structure of available statistical data, as well as to get a clearer picture. The authors used methods specific to geography, as well as statistical and econometric methods. The interdependence between tourism, tourism pressure and sustainability is described in the Central region. The results and observations determined with reference to the factors and indicators shown underlie the coordination of the tourism activity in the other regions according to the processes of sustainability and tourism pressure mitigation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Port Waste Management in the Baltic Sea Area: A Four Port Study on the Legal Requirements, Processes and Collaboration
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 699; doi:10.3390/su9050699
Received: 27 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cruise ship industry has become a well-implemented industry in the Baltic Sea area, and each year, the number of cruise ship passengers rises steadily. Efficient waste management in cruising ports around the Baltic Sea is a crucial element in minimizing environmental impacts.
[...] Read more.
The cruise ship industry has become a well-implemented industry in the Baltic Sea area, and each year, the number of cruise ship passengers rises steadily. Efficient waste management in cruising ports around the Baltic Sea is a crucial element in minimizing environmental impacts. This research involves the four selected ports of Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn. The study applies statistics and interview data to the analysis of waste management systems for cruise ship-generated waste. The interview data involves 12 executives and professionals responsible for environmental issues and decision making in their respective ports. The interviews highlighted the need for standardized environmental legislation and related procedures, which would result in coherent measurement systems. These systems would enable transparent environmental monitoring, thus maintaining the ports’ competitiveness. A common environmental legislation would support the emerging waste management system for the whole Baltic Sea area. The study suggests that ports should focus on handling specific types of wastes and collaborate as a spatial network. Specialization to allow the discharge of certain fractions of waste is essential. The paper concludes by addressing demands for future research, particularly vessel- and customer behavior-focused studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Optimal Operation Model and Ordered Charging/Discharging Strategy for Battery Swapping Stations
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 700; doi:10.3390/su9050700
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The economic operation of battery swapping stations (BSSs) is significant for the promotion of large-scale electric vehicles. This paper develops a linear programming model to maximize the daily operation profits of a BSS by considering constraints of the battery swapping demand of users
[...] Read more.
The economic operation of battery swapping stations (BSSs) is significant for the promotion of large-scale electric vehicles. This paper develops a linear programming model to maximize the daily operation profits of a BSS by considering constraints of the battery swapping demand of users and the charging/discharging balance of batteries in the BSS. Based on the BSS configuration and data from electric taxis in Beijing, we simulate the operation situation and charging/discharging load of the BSS in nine scenarios with two ordered charging and discharging strategies. The simulation results demonstrate that the model can achieve the maximum daily profits of the BSS. According to the sensitivity analysis, the battery swapping price for batteries is the most sensitive, followed by the number of batteries in the BSS, while the operation-maintenance costs and battery depreciation costs are least sensitive. In addition, the charging and discharging of batteries in the BSS can be coordinated by increasing the battery quantity of the BSS and formulating the ladder-type battery swapping price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How Sharing Can Contribute to More Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 701; doi:10.3390/su9050701
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, much of the literature on sharing in cities has focused on the sharing economy, in which people use online platforms to share underutilized assets in the marketplace. This view of sharing is too narrow for cities, as it neglects the myriad of
[...] Read more.
Recently, much of the literature on sharing in cities has focused on the sharing economy, in which people use online platforms to share underutilized assets in the marketplace. This view of sharing is too narrow for cities, as it neglects the myriad of ways, reasons, and scales in which citizens share in urban environments. Research presented here by the Liveable Cities team in the form of participant workshops in Lancaster and Birmingham, UK, suggests that a broader approach to understanding sharing in cities is essential. The research also highlighted tools and methods that may be used to help to identify sharing in communities. The paper ends with advice to city stakeholders, such as policymakers, urban planners, and urban designers, who are considering how to enhance sustainability in cities through sharing. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle MCDM Assessment of a Healthy and Safe Built Environment According to Sustainable Development Principles: A Practical Neighborhood Approach in Vilnius
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 702; doi:10.3390/su9050702
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization has a massive effect on the environment, both locally and globally. With an ever-increasing scale of construction and manufacturing and misuse of energy resources come poorer air quality, growing mortality rates and more rapid climate change. For these reasons, a healthy and
[...] Read more.
Urbanization has a massive effect on the environment, both locally and globally. With an ever-increasing scale of construction and manufacturing and misuse of energy resources come poorer air quality, growing mortality rates and more rapid climate change. For these reasons, a healthy and safe built environment is ever more in demand. Global debates focus on sustainable development of the built environment; a rational approach to its analysis is multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) methods. Alternative MCDM methods applied to the same problem often produce different results. In the search for a more reliable tool, this study proposes that a system of MCDM methods should be applied to a single problem. This article assesses 21 neighborhoods in Vilnius in the context of a healthy and safe built environment in view of the principles of sustainable development. MCDM methods were used for this purpose: entropy, Criterion Impact LOSs (CILOS) and Integrated Determination of Objective Criteria Weights (IDOCRIW) methods were used to determine the objective weights of the criteria, while expert judgement determined the subjective weights. With the overall weights determined, the Vilnius neighborhoods were assessed through the application of COmplex PRoportional ASsessment (COPRAS), Simple Additive Weighting (SAW), Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and Evaluation based on Distance from Average Solution (EDAS) methods. The final results were then processed using the rank average method, Borda count and Copeland’s method. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Collaborative Consumption: A Proposed Scale for Measuring the Construct Applied to a Carsharing Setting
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 703; doi:10.3390/su9050703
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards greater collaboration in various spheres of society, in which the creation of value from shared resources while balancing self-interest and community well-being is emphasized. Consumption has ceased to be characterized exclusively by the
[...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards greater collaboration in various spheres of society, in which the creation of value from shared resources while balancing self-interest and community well-being is emphasized. Consumption has ceased to be characterized exclusively by the purchase and possession of goods; instead new collaborative initiatives represented by exchanges, loans, renting, and other forms of sharing that allow consumers access to a good or service only in the time they are necessary have appeared. However, few studies have attempted to measure the reasons that lead consumers to practice collaborative consumption. Therefore, the main objective of this article is to propose a scale that measures the motivators, facilitators, and constraints for this mode of consumption. For this, a study was conducted among carsharing users in Brazil, which aimed to purify and validate the proposed scale. The results indicate that collaborative consumption applied to a carsharing setting is composed of six dimensions and confirm the validity and reliability of the studied construct. The discussion highlights the study findings and offers suggestions for further research into this topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Open AccessArticle Summer Sea-Surface Temperatures and Climatic Events in Vaigat Strait, West Greenland, during the Last 5000 Years
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 704; doi:10.3390/su9050704
Received: 19 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We present a new reconstruction of summer sea-surface temperature (SST) variations over the past 5000 years based on a diatom record from gravity core DA06-139G, from Vaigat Strait in Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Summer SST varied from 1.4 to 5 °C, and the
[...] Read more.
We present a new reconstruction of summer sea-surface temperature (SST) variations over the past 5000 years based on a diatom record from gravity core DA06-139G, from Vaigat Strait in Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Summer SST varied from 1.4 to 5 °C, and the record exhibits an overall decreasing temperature trend. Relatively high summer SST occurred prior to 3000 cal. a BP, representing the end of the Holocene Thermal Maximum. After the beginning of the “Neoglaciation” at approximately 3000 cal. a BP, Vaigat Strait experienced several hydrographical changes that were closely related to the general climatic and oceanographic evolution of the North Atlantic region. Distinct increases in summer SST in Vaigat Strait occurred from 2000 to 1600 cal. a BP and from 1200 to 630 cal. a BP, and are consistent with the “Roman Warm Period” and the “Mediaeval Warm Period” in the North Atlantic region. The summer SST decreased significantly during 1500~1200 cal. a BP and 630~50 cal. a BP, corresponding, respectively, to the Northeast Atlantic cooling episodes known as the “European Dark Ages” and “Little Ice Age”. Spectral and cross-correlation analyses indicate that centennial-scale oscillations in summer SST are superimposed on the long-term trend. The dominant periodicities are centered at 529, 410, and 191 years, which are close to the ubiquitous 512 and 206-year 14C cycle, suggesting that solar forcing may play an important role in summer SST variability in Disko Bugt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Integrating Agroecology and Participatory Action Research (PAR): Lessons from Central America
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 705; doi:10.3390/su9050705
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The last decade has seen an increasing advancement and interest in the integration of agroecology and participatory action research (PAR). This article aims to: (1) analyze the key characteristics and principles of two case studies that integrated PAR and agroecology in Central America;
[...] Read more.
The last decade has seen an increasing advancement and interest in the integration of agroecology and participatory action research (PAR). This article aims to: (1) analyze the key characteristics and principles of two case studies that integrated PAR and agroecology in Central America; and (2) learn from the lessons offered by these case studies, as well as others from the literature, on how to better integrate PAR and agroecology. Key principles identified for effective PAR agroecological processes include a shared interest in research by partners, a belief in collective power/action, a commitment to participation, practicing humility and establishing trust and accountability. Important lessons to consider for future work include: (1) research processes that did not start as PAR, can evolve into it; (2) farmer/stakeholder participation in setting the research agenda, from the outset, results in higher engagement and enhanced outcomes; (3) having the right partners for the desired outcomes is key; (4) intentional and explicit reflection is an essential component of PAR processes; and (5) cross-generational collaborations are crucial to long-term benefits. Key challenges that confront PAR processes include the need for time and resources over longer periods; the complexity of multi-actor process facilitation; and institutional barriers within the academy and development organizations, which prevent shifting investment towards integrated PAR agroecological processes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Finding the Missing Link between Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Competitiveness through Social Capital: A Business Ecosystem Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 707; doi:10.3390/su9050707
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are existing studies that successfully show the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on firms’ financial performance. However, limited attention is paid to its impact on the business ecosystem. CSR could be seen as an investment for building a sustainable business ecosystem,
[...] Read more.
There are existing studies that successfully show the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on firms’ financial performance. However, limited attention is paid to its impact on the business ecosystem. CSR could be seen as an investment for building a sustainable business ecosystem, which enhances the competitiveness of this system’s members. In that context, this study apprehends and captures the virtuous cycle of firm competitiveness. On analyzing data from interviews with seven firms, the study offers four propositions identifying the structure of the virtuous cycle linking CSR activities to firm competitiveness through the accumulation of social capital within business ecosystems. Based on those propositions, the study offers new insights into CSR research for academics and strategic planning guidelines for managers that integrate social and economic values for a sustainable business ecosystem and firm competitiveness. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling the Relative Contributions of Land Use Change and Harvest to Forest Landscape Change in the Taihe County, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 708; doi:10.3390/su9050708
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
PDF Full-text (8045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests are under pressure from land use change due to anthropogenic activities. Land use change and harvest are the main disturbances of forest landscape changes. Few studies have focused on the relative contributions of different disturbances. In this study, we used the CA-Markov
[...] Read more.
Forests are under pressure from land use change due to anthropogenic activities. Land use change and harvest are the main disturbances of forest landscape changes. Few studies have focused on the relative contributions of different disturbances. In this study, we used the CA-Markov model, a land-use change model, coupled with a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, to simulate dynamic change in Taihe County, China, from 2010 to 2050. Scenarios analysis was conducted to quantify the relative contributions of land use change and harvest. Our results show that forestland and arable land will remain the primary land-use types in 2050, whereas the built-up land will sprawl drastically. Land use change and harvest may result in the significant loss of forest area and changes in landscape structure. The simulated forest area will increase by 16.2% under the no disturbance scenario. However, under harvest, forest conversion, and integrated scenario, the area will be reduced by 5.2%, 16.5%, and 34.9%, respectively. The effect of harvest is gradually enhanced. The land use change will account for 60% and harvest will account for 40% of forest landscape change in 2050, respectively. Our results may benefit from the integration of regional forest management and land-use policy-making, and help to achieve a trade-off between economy and ecological environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Interrelations of Ecosystem Services and Rural Population Wellbeing in an Ecologically-Fragile Area in North China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 709; doi:10.3390/su9050709
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (10759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services (ES) are indispensable contributors to rural population wellbeing (RPWB). Understanding the relationship between ES and RPWB is important to human welfare and conserving ecosystem services. Ecologically-vulnerable areas are widely distributed in China and are concentrated with impoverished people. This study explored
[...] Read more.
Ecosystem services (ES) are indispensable contributors to rural population wellbeing (RPWB). Understanding the relationship between ES and RPWB is important to human welfare and conserving ecosystem services. Ecologically-vulnerable areas are widely distributed in China and are concentrated with impoverished people. This study explored the relations of ES and RPWB in an ecologically-fragile area, and provided some recommendations for regional improvement. We developed an evaluation framework, analyzed the spatio-temporal characteristics of services and RPWB, and examined their relations. Results showed that: (1) the level of RPWB in an ecologically-vulnerable area was lower than that in the downstream region; however, the wellbeing gap between regions has narrowed over time; (2) Regions with a higher ecosystem service capacity had higher levels of rural population wellbeing, and vice versa; (3) In addition to the food supply, other ES indicators were closely associated with RPWB in the region. Specifically, the net income and living space were closely related to food supply, while rural-urban income ratio and water environment were more relevant to the other services. Lastly, it is important to address environment and poverty issues simultaneously. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Trust-Embedded Information Sharing among One Agent and Two Retailers in an Order Recommendation System
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 710; doi:10.3390/su9050710
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trust potentially affects the decision-makers’ behaviors and has a great influence on supply chain performances. We study the information sharing process considering trust in a two-tier supply chain with one upstream agent and two retailers, where the agent recommends ordered quantities (ROQ) to
[...] Read more.
Trust potentially affects the decision-makers’ behaviors and has a great influence on supply chain performances. We study the information sharing process considering trust in a two-tier supply chain with one upstream agent and two retailers, where the agent recommends ordered quantities (ROQ) to retailers and the retailer decides her/his ordered quantities according to the agent’s recommendation and self-collected information. There exist three types of information sharing patterns among the agent and two retailers, i.e., both retailers share their demand prediction (Pattern 1), one retailer shares her/his demand prediction (Pattern 2) and none of the retailers share their demand prediction (Pattern 3). Thus, we build corresponding mathematical models and analyze each party’s decision strategies in each pattern, respectively. The findings in this study show that sharing information can generally promote trust among enterprises in the entire supply chain and increase their profits in return. It is found that when the accuracies of the two retailers’ predicted demand differs, their behaviors of information sharing or not sharing significantly affect their expected profits. In Pattern 1 and Pattern 3, we find that retailers’ expected profits are negatively influenced by the agent’s accuracies of demand prediction. However, the retailer’s expected profits are positively linked to the agent’s accuracies of demand in Pattern 2. Consequently, we propose a series of strategies for retailers in different decision patterns after several simulation runs. In addition, we also find that the retailer whose prediction is less accurate can also gain more profits by un-sharing his/her demand prediction when the agent’s predict accuracy is between the two retailers. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Inequality of Carbon Intensity: Empirical Analysis of China 2000–2014
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 711; doi:10.3390/su9050711
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1164 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On the 3 September 2016, China officially ratified the Paris agreement as the main global producer of carbon emissions. A key of China’s commitment is to reduce its carbon intensity by 60–65% between 2005 and 2030. An improved understanding of the inequality of
[...] Read more.
On the 3 September 2016, China officially ratified the Paris agreement as the main global producer of carbon emissions. A key of China’s commitment is to reduce its carbon intensity by 60–65% between 2005 and 2030. An improved understanding of the inequality of carbon intensity at national-, inter-regional-, and intra-regional scale is a prerequisite for the development of a more cost-effective carbon intensity reduction policy. In this study, we used the Dagum Gini coefficient and its subgroup decomposition method to quantify China’s inequality of carbon intensity between 2000 and 2014 based on available and updated data. The results show: (i) The Gini coefficient indicates a rising inequality of the carbon intensity at both national and sub-national scale, suggesting accelerated inequality of carbon intensity at national-, inter-regional, and intra-regional-scale. (ii) The Gini coefficient indicates a rising trend of intra-regional carbon intensity in Central and Western China, while the trend declines for Eastern China. (iii) The Gini coefficient indicates rising carbon intensity between Eastern and Central China, Western and Eastern China, and Central and Western China. (iv) Transvariation intensity occupies a leading role in the increasing national-level carbon intensity Gini coefficient. Ultimately, several policy recommendations are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Urban Heat Island and Overheating Characteristics in Sydney, Australia. An Analysis of Multiyear Measurements
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 712; doi:10.3390/su9050712
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (10822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has become increasingly important to study the urban heat island phenomenon due to the adverse effects on summertime cooling energy demand, air and water quality and most importantly, heat-related illness and mortality. The present article analyses the magnitude and the characteristics of
[...] Read more.
It has become increasingly important to study the urban heat island phenomenon due to the adverse effects on summertime cooling energy demand, air and water quality and most importantly, heat-related illness and mortality. The present article analyses the magnitude and the characteristics of the urban heat island in Sydney, Australia. Climatic data from six meteorological stations distributed around the greater Sydney region and covering a period of 10 years are used. It is found that both strong urban heat island (UHI) and oasis phenomena are developed. The average maximum magnitude of the phenomena may exceed 6 K. The intensity and the characteristics of the phenomena are strongly influenced by the synoptic weather conditions and in particular the development of the sea breeze and the westerly winds from the desert area. The magnitude of the urban heat island varies between 0 and 11°C, as a function of the prevailing weather conditions. The urban heat island mainly develops during the warm summer season while the oasis phenomenon is stronger during the winter and intermediate seasons. Using data from an extended network of stations the distribution of Cooling Degree Days in the greater Sydney area is calculated. It is found that because of the intense development of the UHI, Cooling Degree Days in Western Sydney are about three times higher than in the Eastern coastal zone. The present study will help us to better design and implement urban mitigation strategies to counterbalance the impact of the urban heat island in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Decoupling Control Methodologies and H Multivariable Robust Control for Variable-Speed, Variable-Pitch Wind Turbines: Application to a Lab-Scale Wind Turbine
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 713; doi:10.3390/su9050713
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational
[...] Read more.
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational zones. This interaction level and the dynamics uncertainties complicate the control system design. The aim of this work is developing multivariable controllers that cope with such problems. The study shows the applicability of different decoupling methodologies and provides a comparison with a H controller, which is an appropriate strategy to cope with uncertainties. The methodologies have been tested in simulation and verified experimentally in a lab-scale wind turbine. It is demonstrated that the wind turbine presents more interaction at the transition zone. Then, this operational point is used as the nominal one for the controller designs. At this point, decoupling controllers obtain perfect decoupling while the H control presents important interaction in the generated power loop. On the other hand, they are slightly surpassed by the robust design at other points, where perfect decoupling is not achieved. However, decoupling controllers are easier to design and implement, and specifically dynamic simplified decoupling achieve the best global response. Then, it is concluded that the proposed methodologies can be considered for implantation in industrial wind turbines to improve their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact and Innovation of Wind Turbine Technologies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Minimum Quantity Lubrication and Carbon Footprint: A Step towards Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 714; doi:10.3390/su9050714
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In today’s world, there is an increasing awareness among consumers for demanding sustainable products. Several countries have already started working to create strategies for implementing sustainable manufacturing. Other countries are making efforts to access international markets and face intense market competitions in terms
[...] Read more.
In today’s world, there is an increasing awareness among consumers for demanding sustainable products. Several countries have already started working to create strategies for implementing sustainable manufacturing. Other countries are making efforts to access international markets and face intense market competitions in terms of sustainable status of products, which build a huge pressure on manufacturers to avail the concept of sustainable manufacturing. This paper proposes a manufacturing model to minimize total cost of manufacturing and carbon emissions with the effect of variable production quantity to provide sustainable manufacturing. Total cost of manufacturing includes fixed costs and variable costs with the addition of cost of minimum quantity lubrication and imperfect quality items. Minimum quantity lubrication system is an eco-friendly and sustainable, which reduces negative impact on environment and improves workers' safety. This study considers the real situation of imperfect products and proportion of it can be reworked at certain known rate. Numerical example and sensitivity analysis are given by using multiobjective genetic algorithm and goal attainment techniques to illustrate the practical applications of the proposed model. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Measuring the Changes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Caused by the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 715; doi:10.3390/su9050715
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the proposed mega-free trade agreements. While several previous studies have measured the economic impact of the trade liberalization resulting from the TPP, the TPP may have not only a very large economic impact, but also a
[...] Read more.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the proposed mega-free trade agreements. While several previous studies have measured the economic impact of the trade liberalization resulting from the TPP, the TPP may have not only a very large economic impact, but also a significant environmental impact, such as changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate over TPP and GHG emissions by asking the following question: Will the TPP increase or decrease GHG emissions? We estimate the potential impact on GHG emissions changes caused by the TPP using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, and the GTAP CO2 and non-CO2 emissions databases. Our results suggest that the TPP is likely to increase the total amount of GHG emissions in the 12 TPP member countries, as well as global emissions. The main reason for increasing TPP member and global GHG emissions is non-CO2 emissions growth in Australia and the US. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Integrated Location-Allocation Model for Temporary Disaster Debris Management under an Uncertain Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 716; doi:10.3390/su9050716
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural disasters always generate an overwhelming amount of debris. Reusing and recycling waste from disasters are essential for sustainable debris management. Before recycling the debris, it is necessary to sort this mixed waste. To perform the sorting process efficiently, a Temporary Disaster Debris
[...] Read more.
Natural disasters always generate an overwhelming amount of debris. Reusing and recycling waste from disasters are essential for sustainable debris management. Before recycling the debris, it is necessary to sort this mixed waste. To perform the sorting process efficiently, a Temporary Disaster Debris Management Site (TDDMS) is required, and the selection of TDDMS is a multi-criteria decision-making problem due to its numerous regional and municipal constraints. This paper provides a two-phase framework for sustainable debris management during the response phase of disasters. In the first phase, a methodology for TDDMS selection is proposed that consists of Analytical Network Process (ANP) and a fuzzy Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). In the second phase, a debris allocation optimization model is developed to allocate the debris from disaster-affected regions to the selected TDDMS. A city prone to hurricane damage is selected to illustrate the proposed framework. For the debris allocation purpose, five TDDMS are chosen, among which three sites are selected using the proposed methodology. To illustrate the utilization of the proposed study, a numerical example with two different scenarios is provided. Numerical outcomes prove that the model results in a sustainable debris management system for disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Entry into Socially Responsible Investment Index on Cost of Equity and Firm Value
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 717; doi:10.3390/su9050717
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of a company’s incorporation into the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index on its cost of equity (COE) and corporate value. The study collected and analyzed data about the four-year long changes of the
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of a company’s incorporation into the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index on its cost of equity (COE) and corporate value. The study collected and analyzed data about the four-year long changes of the component stocks of the Korea Exchange (KRX) SRI index from September 2010 to September 2013 to verify the correlation between the incorporation of the SRI index and the cost of equity or corporate value by using the Price-Earnings Growth (PEG), Modified PEG (MPEG) and Gode and Mohanram (GM) models for estimation of the implied costs of equity capital, as well as Tobin’s Q ratio. The analysis results failed to show any significant relation between the incorporation of the SRI index and the cost of equity capital. Also, no statistically significant correlation between the incorporation of the SRI index and corporate value was observed. However, at an early phase of introduction of the SRI index, the included companies revealed a negative correlation with the cost of equity. However, after changing the listed stocks, they showed a positive correlation with the cost of equity capital. All in all, this can be ascribed to a mixed presence of optimistic and pessimistic investors about CSR activities, or there is a possibility that the KRX SRI index might not correctly reflect the CSR activities of companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Integrating Social Values and Ecosystem Services in Systematic Conservation Planning: A Case Study in Datuan Watershed
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 718; doi:10.3390/su9050718
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Systematic conservation planning (SCP) deals with a delicate interplay of competing interests and has far-reaching impacts for all stakeholders and systems involved. While SCP has traditionally attempted to conserve ecosystem services that benefit ecological systems, public perceptions of conservation initiatives influence their ultimate
[...] Read more.
Systematic conservation planning (SCP) deals with a delicate interplay of competing interests and has far-reaching impacts for all stakeholders and systems involved. While SCP has traditionally attempted to conserve ecosystem services that benefit ecological systems, public perceptions of conservation initiatives influence their ultimate feasibility and sustainability. In an attempt to balance ecological integrity, social utility, and urban development, this study develops a framework that applies four popular models to represent these competing factors, including two ecosystem services models—InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs) for biophysical services (BpS), and SolVES (Social Values for Ecosystem Services) for social values (SV); a land use and land cover (LULC) suitability model; and Zonation for delimiting high priority areas. We also analyze a number of conservation scenarios that consider varying levels of urban development. While BpS are distributed with considerable spatial variability, SV spatially overlap. Approximately 6% of the area was identified as having both high BpS and SV, whereas a further 24.5% of the area was identified as either high BpS low SV or vise-versa. Urban development scenarios affected the conservation area selection drastically. These results indicate tradeoffs and potential synergies between development, SV, and BpS. Our findings suggest that the information provided by the proposed framework can assist in finding solutions to social-ecological planning complexities that serve multiple stakeholders. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Optimum Returns from Greenhouse Vegetables under Water Quality and Risk Constraints in the United Arab Emirates
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 719; doi:10.3390/su9050719
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greenhouses have been used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to produce vegetables that contribute toward UAE food security, including offering fresh vegetable produce in the off-season. However, to manage such greenhouses, farmers face both technical and environmental limitations (i.e., high water scarcity),
[...] Read more.
Greenhouses have been used in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to produce vegetables that contribute toward UAE food security, including offering fresh vegetable produce in the off-season. However, to manage such greenhouses, farmers face both technical and environmental limitations (i.e., high water scarcity), as well as vegetable market price instability. The objective of this study is to explore tradeoffs between returns (i.e., gross margin) of selected vegetables (tomato, pepper, and cucumber), risk (deviation from gross margin means), and an environmental constraint (water salinity) using a unique target MOTAD (minimization of total absolute deviations) approach to support UAE farmer decision-making processes. The optimal target MOTAD solution included all three vegetables and no corner solution. The results showed tradeoffs between returns and risks, and confirmed that product diversification reduces overall risk. The analysis was consistent with farmer perceptions based on a survey of 78 producers in the region. The search for the optimal mix of vegetable production under UAE greenhouse conditions revealed that reduction in tomato production should be offset by an increase in cucumber production while maintaining a constant level of pepper production. In other words, risk is reduced as cucumber production increases due to the high level of tomato and lettuce price volatility as the alternative to cucumber. The results also demonstrated the importance of the water salinity environmental constraint, as it was found to have a positive marginal value in the optimal vegetable mix solution (i.e., important factor). Thus the optimal solution was highly sensitive to changes in the crop water salinity constraint. The study results also demonstrate that the target MOTAD approach is a suitable optimization methodology. As a practical approach, a decision-maker in the UAE can consider gross margin (total revenue-variable costs) maximization with risk and water quality constraints to find the optimal vegetable product mix under greenhouse conditions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Climate Vulnerability and Human Migration in Global Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 720; doi:10.3390/su9050720
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The relationship between climate change and human migration is not homogenous and depends critically on the differential vulnerability of population and places. If places and populations are not vulnerable, or susceptible, to climate change, then the climate–migration relationship may not materialize. The key
[...] Read more.
The relationship between climate change and human migration is not homogenous and depends critically on the differential vulnerability of population and places. If places and populations are not vulnerable, or susceptible, to climate change, then the climate–migration relationship may not materialize. The key to understanding and, from a policy perspective, planning for whether and how climate change will impact future migration patterns is therefore knowledge of the link between climate vulnerability and migration. However, beyond specific case studies, little is known about this association in global perspective. We therefore provide a descriptive, country-level portrait of this relationship. We show that the negative association between climate vulnerability and international migration holds only for countries least vulnerable to climate change, which suggests the potential for trapped populations in more vulnerable countries. However, when analyzed separately by life supporting sector (food, water, health, ecosystem services, human habitat, and infrastructure) and vulnerability dimension (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity), we detect evidence of a relationship among more, but not the most, vulnerable countries. The bilateral (i.e., country-to-country) migration show that, on average, people move from countries of higher vulnerability to lower vulnerability, reducing global risk by 15%. This finding is consistent with the idea that migration is a climate adaptation strategy. Still, ~6% of bilateral migration is maladaptive with respect to climate change, with some movement toward countries with greater climate change vulnerability. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Decoupling and Influencing Factors of Carbon Emissions from the Transportation Sector in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Area, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 722; doi:10.3390/su9050722
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
PDF Full-text (4185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transport sector is the major green-house gas emitter and most rapidly growing sector in terms of consuming energy in China. Understanding the driving forces behind carbon emission is a prerequisite for reducing carbon emissions and finding a balance between economic growth and
[...] Read more.
The transport sector is the major green-house gas emitter and most rapidly growing sector in terms of consuming energy in China. Understanding the driving forces behind carbon emission is a prerequisite for reducing carbon emissions and finding a balance between economic growth and carbon emissions. The purpose of this paper is to identify the impact of the factors which influence the level of carbon emissions from the transportation sector in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) area, China, using decomposition model, combined with a decoupling elasticity index. The results of our study indicate that: (1) changes in the level of carbon emissions from the transportation sector are not always synchronized with changes in economic growth. (2) The decoupling state between the carbon emissions and economic growth of Tianjin and Beijing can be roughly divided into two phases. The first phase was during the 2005 to 2009 period, when the decoupling state was pessimistic. The second phase was from 2009 to 2013, when the decoupling state became better overall and was mainly dominated by weak decoupling. Conversely, the decoupling state of Hebei was mainly weak during this period. (3) Economic growth and population size play positive roles in increasing the levels of transportation-related carbon emissions in BTH. However, the energy structure is a negative force. The effect of energy intensity always plays a negative role in Tianjin and Hebei, but positive in Beijing. The industrial structure effect shows a fluctuating trend, but the cumulative effect value is negative, and negative interaction is prominent. Finally, this paper gives some suggestions on how to develop low-carbon transport in BTH area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Research on Sustainability Financial Performance of Chinese Listed Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 723; doi:10.3390/su9050723
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studying the sustainability of the financial performance of Chinese listed companies is an assessment of their future development capability and a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the companies over the past period of time. Based on the financial data of manufacturing industry
[...] Read more.
Studying the sustainability of the financial performance of Chinese listed companies is an assessment of their future development capability and a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the companies over the past period of time. Based on the financial data of manufacturing industry of Chinese listed companies from 2008 to 2015, this paper uses the AHP (Analytic hierarchy process) method to determine the weight of each secondary indictor, calculate the sustainable development capability of financial performance, and analyze and compare the sustainable financial performance of manufacturing sub-industries. The long-term trend and the periodical trend of the sustainable development of the manufacturing industry in Chinese listed companies are analyzed through the HP (High-Pass) filter method. The results show that the long-term sustainable financial performance of the manufacturing industry of Chinese listed companies is basically maintained. Through the comparison of regions and ownership, it has been found that the sustainable financial performance of Chinese listed companies in the eastern and central regions is rising, while that of the western region is declining; the long-term sustainable financial performance of non-state-owned enterprises is rising, while that of state-owned enterprises is declining. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Land-Cover/Land-Use Change and Landscape Patterns in the Two National Nature Reserves of Ebinur Lake Watershed, Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 724; doi:10.3390/su9050724
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land-cover and land-use change (LCLUC) alters landscape patterns and affects regional ecosystems. The objective of this study was to examine LCLUC and landscape patterns in Ebinur Lake Wetland National Nature Reserve (ELWNNR) and Ganjia Lake Haloxylon Forest National Nature Reserve (GLHFNNR), two biodiversity-rich
[...] Read more.
Land-cover and land-use change (LCLUC) alters landscape patterns and affects regional ecosystems. The objective of this study was to examine LCLUC and landscape patterns in Ebinur Lake Wetland National Nature Reserve (ELWNNR) and Ganjia Lake Haloxylon Forest National Nature Reserve (GLHFNNR), two biodiversity-rich national nature reserves in the Ebinur Lake Watershed (ELW), Xinjiang, China. Landsat satellite images from 1972, 1998, 2007 and 2013 were used to calculate the dynamics of a land-cover and land-use (LCLU) transition matrix and landscape pattern index using ENVI 5.1 and FRAGSTATS 3.3. The results showed drastic land use modifications have occurred in ELWNNR during the past four decades. Between 1972 and 1998, 1998 and 2007, and 2007 and 2013, approximately 251.50 km2 (7.93%), 122.70 km2 (3.87%), and 195.40 km2 (6.16%) of wetland were turned into salinized land. In GLHFNNR both low and medium density Haloxylon forest area declined while high density Haloxylon forest area increased. This contribution presents a method for characterizing LCLUC using one or more cross-tabulation matrices based on Sankey diagrams, demonstrating the depiction of flows of energy or materials through ecosystem network. The ecological landscape index displayed that a unique landscape patches have shrunk in size, scattered, and fragmented. It becomes a more diverse landscape. Human activities like farming were negatively correlated with the landscape diversity of wetlands. Furthermore, evidence of degraded wetlands caused by air temperature and annual precipitation, was also observed. We conclude that national and regional policies related to agriculture and water use have significantly contributed to the extensive changes; the ELWNNR and GLHFNNR are highly susceptible to LCLUC in the surrounding Ebinur Lake Watershed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Relationships between Soil Crust Development and Soil Properties in the Desert Region of North China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 725; doi:10.3390/su9050725
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of soil crust development on the underlying soil properties. The field sampling work was conducted in June 2016 in the Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia, North China. Soil crust samples and 0–6, 6–12, 12–18, 18–24, and 24–30 cm
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of soil crust development on the underlying soil properties. The field sampling work was conducted in June 2016 in the Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia, North China. Soil crust samples and 0–6, 6–12, 12–18, 18–24, and 24–30 cm deep underlying soil samples were taken from five representative areas of different soil crust development stages. All samples were analyzed for physicochemical properties, including water content, bulk density, aggregate content, organic matter content, enzyme activities, and microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen. The results showed that the thickness, water content, macro-aggregate (>250 μm) content, organic matter content, microbial biomass, and enzyme activities of the soil crusts gradually increased along the soil crust development gradient, while the bulk density of the soil crusts decreased. Meanwhile, the physicochemical and biological properties of the soils below the algal and moss crusts were significantly ameliorated when compared with the physical crust. Moreover, the amelioration effects were significant in the upper horizons (approx. 0–12 cm deep) and diminished quickly in the deeper soil layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Regional Disparities in Emissions of Rural Household Energy Consumption: A Case Study of Northwest China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 726; doi:10.3390/su9050726
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1826 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to present the emissions status of multiple rural areas from the perspective of a field survey and make up for the defects of the traditional emission cognition of single type of area. The basic data in the
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to present the emissions status of multiple rural areas from the perspective of a field survey and make up for the defects of the traditional emission cognition of single type of area. The basic data in the lower reaches of the Weihe River of Northwest China were collected through household questionnaire surveys, and emissions from rural household energy consumption were calculated in the paper. In addition, the grey relational analysis method was used to identify influential factors of emission disparities. The results show that the total emissions of the plain, loess tableland, and Qinling piedmont areas are 1863.20, 1850.43, and 2556.68 kg, respectively. Regional disparities in emissions of rural household energy consumption vary greatly. CO2 emissions are highest in the Qinling piedmont area, followed by the loess tableland area. For other emissions, there is no fixed order of the three areas, which suggests that disparities in emissions are connected with the dominant type of energy consumption. Diversification of energy use might not necessarily produce higher emissions, but the traditional biomass energy pattern does generate more emissions. The regional supply capacity of household energy is the original influence factor of disparities in emissions, and factors that influence these disparities are directly related to differences among farmers, followed by the age structure, educational background, income level, occupation, and so on. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining PM2.5 Emissions Embodied in China’s Supply Chain Using a Multiregional Input-Output Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 727; doi:10.3390/su9050727
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Haze has become an urgent problem for China’s highly populated cities. Regional collaboration is an effective method for controlling air pollution. Because air pollution diffuses freely, it is necessary to distribute the responsibility for pollution with a common and differentiated rule. Based on
[...] Read more.
Haze has become an urgent problem for China’s highly populated cities. Regional collaboration is an effective method for controlling air pollution. Because air pollution diffuses freely, it is necessary to distribute the responsibility for pollution with a common and differentiated rule. Based on a multiregional input-output model, this article calculated the PM2.5 emissions embodied in provincial trade (EEPT) of China’s 30 provinces in 2007 and 2010. The results show that the PM2.5 EEPT accounts for almost one-third of the production-based PM2.5 emissions of China. The economic crisis lowered the EEPT, while the ratio between the EEPT and production-based PM2.5 emissions has increased. The EEPT values of the eastern provinces are mainly due to the EEPT embodied in final consumption, while the EEPT values of the central, northeastern, and the western provinces are due to the EEPT embodied in the intermediate input. We also analyzed different compositions of EEPT, such as fixed capital formation and consumption. The emissions embodied in provincial imports are mainly due to fixed capital formation. Due to the policies of the West Development, the Rising of Central China, and Promoting the Old Industrial Base in the Northeast, the central government increased the investment to these areas. The ratios of the EEPT embodied in the fixed capital formation to the total EEPT of the central (0.64), northeastern (0.69), and the western provinces (0.65) are higher than that of the eastern provinces (0.62). This indicates that the government need to establish different policies to control the effects of EEPT. In addition to the challenges of regional collaboration, environmental damage and the EEPT should be taken into account. The importers in the collaboration should consider providing compensation to the exporters in the collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ground Deposition and Airborne Spray Drift Assessment in Vineyard and Orchard: The Influence of Environmental Variables and Sprayer Settings
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 728; doi:10.3390/su9050728
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spray drift assessment encompasses classification of the capacity of each sprayer/technology/setting combination to reduce or avoid the spray drift risk, as well as drift measurement to define buffer zones mandated during pesticide application. Compounding the challenge of these tasks is the great variability
[...] Read more.
Spray drift assessment encompasses classification of the capacity of each sprayer/technology/setting combination to reduce or avoid the spray drift risk, as well as drift measurement to define buffer zones mandated during pesticide application. Compounding the challenge of these tasks is the great variability of field evaluation results from environmental conditions, spray application technology, canopy structure, and measurement procedures. This study, performed in Spanish context, evaluates the effects of different parameters on comparative measurements of ground and airborne spray drift employing the ISO22866:2005 protocol. Four configurations of air blast sprayers, derived from two fan airflow rates and two nozzle types (conventional and air-induction), were tested in orchard and vineyard at late growth stage. Spray drift curves were obtained, from which corresponding Drift Values (DVs) were calculated using an approximation of definite integral. Both sprayer settings and environmental variables statistically affect spray drift total amounts and result variability. PCA analysis showed that nozzle type and wind speed characteristics explained 51% and 24% of the variance, respectively. In particular, mean wind direction influence ground sediments (Pr < 0.01) and maximum wind speed strongly influence airborne drift value (Pr < 0.0001). The wind characteristics concealed the influence of adopted fan airflow rates on final spray drift assessment results. The effect of uncontrollable environmental conditions makes objective and comparative tests difficult. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Using Analytic Hierarchy Process to Examine the Success Factors of Autonomous Landscape Development in Rural Communities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 729; doi:10.3390/su9050729
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The absence of comprehensive plans has resulted in disordered rural development and construction and a mix of new and old buildings in rural communities. Disorganized and blighted spaces have become rural landscape obstacles. After the Rural Rejuvenation Act was passed, rural construction has
[...] Read more.
The absence of comprehensive plans has resulted in disordered rural development and construction and a mix of new and old buildings in rural communities. Disorganized and blighted spaces have become rural landscape obstacles. After the Rural Rejuvenation Act was passed, rural construction has been guided with plans, and the government expects to enhance surroundings and expand policies through autonomous community development to create a good rural landscape. Through a literature review, this study aims to establish key success factors in autonomous landscape development of rural communities, covering 8 criteria and 28 sub-criteria. A questionnaire survey was conducted among national rural communities, experts, and scholars. The analytic hierarchy process reveals that manpower input has the highest importance, thereby indicating that the improvement of autonomous community development would double with the guidance of community cadres and the participation of artists and experts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Supplier Qualification Sub-Process from a Sustained Perspective: Generation of Dynamic Capabilities
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 730; doi:10.3390/su9050730
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research describes the generation of dynamic capabilities in the Repsol supplier qualification sub-process based on a sustained value chain, using a proposed model consisting of seven stages of supplier approval. A qualitative and descriptive approach, focusing on social and sustained commitment methodology
[...] Read more.
This research describes the generation of dynamic capabilities in the Repsol supplier qualification sub-process based on a sustained value chain, using a proposed model consisting of seven stages of supplier approval. A qualitative and descriptive approach, focusing on social and sustained commitment methodology has been applied. An analysis of a case of a successful firm in the supplier qualification sub-process has been performed based on the achievement of positive results from the dynamic capabilities theory. The results show how REPSOL contributes to the sustained development of its suppliers with specific actions arising from the implementation of its dynamic capabilities in organizational governance, the environment, human rights, labor practices, consumer issues, fair operating practices, and developing the communities with which it operates, in a model that seeks to respond to the expectations of society. The research performed shows that REPSOL’s capabilities are generated by influencing their competitive efficiency and better defining a sustained value chain integrated with its suppliers. The description and analysis of REPSOL’s supplier qualification sub-process becomes a business guideline for reaching dynamic capabilities in the process of qualification of suppliers. The proposed model means an inspiration for firms operating in the same, or different, industries. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impact of Window Films on the Overall Energy Consumption of Existing UK Hotel Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 731; doi:10.3390/su9050731
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, considerable attention has justifiably been directed towards energy savings in buildings as they account for up to 20–40% of total energy consumption in developed countries. In the United Kingdom, studies have revealed that buildings’ CO2 emissions for account for at least
[...] Read more.
Recently, considerable attention has justifiably been directed towards energy savings in buildings as they account for up to 20–40% of total energy consumption in developed countries. In the United Kingdom, studies have revealed that buildings’ CO2 emissions for account for at least 43% of total emissions. Window panels are a major component of the building fabric with considerable influence on the façade energy performance and are accountable for up to 60% of a building’s overall energy loss. Therefore, the thermal performance of glazing materials is an important issue within the built environment. This work evaluates the impact of solar window films on the overall energy consumption of an existing commercial building via the use of a case study U.K. hotel and TAS dynamic simulation software. The study results demonstrated that the impact of window films on the overall energy consumption of the case study hotel is approximately 2%. However, an evaluation of various overall energy consumption components showed that the window films reduce the annual total cooling energy consumption by up to 35% along with a marginal 2% increase in the annual total heating energy consumption. They can also provide overall cost and CO2 emissions savings of up to 3%. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Relationship between E-Government Development and Environmental Sustainability: A Study of Small Island Developing States
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 732; doi:10.3390/su9050732
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Small island developing states (SIDS) are one of the most vulnerable countries for environmental sustainability in the world. To maintain environmental sustainability, the SIDS governments are pursuing many e-government projects, but there is much debate on its effectiveness. In the absence of empirical
[...] Read more.
Small island developing states (SIDS) are one of the most vulnerable countries for environmental sustainability in the world. To maintain environmental sustainability, the SIDS governments are pursuing many e-government projects, but there is much debate on its effectiveness. In the absence of empirical evidence, this study conducts quantitative analysis to estimate the effects of e-government development on environmental sustainability. Utilizing a panel dataset, we found that the development of e-government not only has direct effects on environmental sustainability, but also indirect effects through the enhancement of government effectiveness. This study emphasized the importance of contingent or intermediary factors in the study of e-government effectiveness. Additionally, after reviewing potential variables, we recommend the effectiveness of government as an important intermediary variable for the environmental sustainability in developing countries, such as SIDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Eco-Innovation Drivers in Value-Creating Networks: A Case Study of Ship Retrofitting Services
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 733; doi:10.3390/su9050733
Received: 18 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies discuss how regulatory, technological and market drivers increasingly challenge manufacturing industries to adopt eco-innovations. However, the understanding of the process by which eco-innovations are developed and commercialized as a result of these drivers is not yet well established, in particular because
[...] Read more.
Previous studies discuss how regulatory, technological and market drivers increasingly challenge manufacturing industries to adopt eco-innovations. However, the understanding of the process by which eco-innovations are developed and commercialized as a result of these drivers is not yet well established, in particular because these drivers are perceived differently by the end-users and their suppliers. In this paper, we address the following research question: How do eco-innovation drivers shape processes in value-creating networks? To answer this question, we carried out a case study purposely selected to understand how eco-innovation drivers, such as regulation, market pull and technology, interact and affect the eco-innovation decisions in a given industry. We analyzed the processes in an eco-innovation initiative about retrofitting old ships, contextualized in the maritime equipment and supply industry. The paper makes two novel contributions: First, we develop a framework that can support supply-network eco-innovation initiatives to deal with changes at the regulatory, market and technology levels. The framework includes elements, such as value co-creation to explore technological opportunities emerging from the interaction of the drivers or value proposition development to align multiple actors’ interests in the network and agree on shared expectations to exploit the opportunities. Second, we contribute to the emerging research area on eco-innovation processes by highlighting the lesser-known role of value-creating network dynamics. Value-creating networks can be a platform for the development of more radical eco-innovations if actors in the networks can align their value creation and capture objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Floodplain Stability Indices for Sustainable Waterfront Development by Spatial Identification of Erosion and Deposition
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 735; doi:10.3390/su9050735
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The abrupt rises of water level in rivers by torrential rain or storm repeatedly cause inundation damage, such as erosion and deposition in floodplains. However, studies on identifying the abrasion of waterfront facilities or the accumulation of sediment near rivers under extreme flow
[...] Read more.
The abrupt rises of water level in rivers by torrential rain or storm repeatedly cause inundation damage, such as erosion and deposition in floodplains. However, studies on identifying the abrasion of waterfront facilities or the accumulation of sediment near rivers under extreme flow conditions are seldom found because floodplains are utilized in various ways in each country. In this study, novel floodplain sustainability indices by spatial classification of erosion and deposition were developed for sustainable waterfront development. The indices can provide the relative spatial distribution of erosion and deposition in a floodplain by using only kinematic flow information, such as flow depth and velocity obtained by 2D numerical analysis. Accordingly, applying a complex sediment transport model that involves numerous assumptions and parameters can be moderately replaced with the present approach. The suitability of developed indices was tested in several flow problems by comparing the predicted erosional or depositional region with measured data. In addition, the developed indices were applied to a floodplain in a natural river to examine the relative spatial distribution of the erosion and deposition for a typhoon event, and the results were compared with field monitoring data. It was found that deposition was more likely to occur than erosion in most floodplains, and the developed floodplain sustainability indices accurately quantified the erosion and deposition phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Quantitative Assessment of Causes of Bovine Liver Condemnation and Its Implication for Food Security in the Eastern Cape Province South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 736; doi:10.3390/su9050736
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned
[...] Read more.
Food production needs to double, with minimum waste, if hunger and poverty is to be alleviated in South Africa. The condemnation of liver during meat inspection represents a huge waste of a protein food resource. This paper measures the quantity of liver condemned in three abattoirs in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and assesses the causes and the monetary loss associated with these condemnations. A retrospective study (RS) (n = 51 302) involving the use of abattoir slaughter records from 2010–2012 and a post-mortem meat inspection (PMMI) (n = 1374) was conducted from July to December 2013. The RS revealed the leading cause of liver wastage as fasciolosis (5.95%, 4.48%, and 2.7%), fibrosis (2.74%, 2.37%, and 1.0%), and abscessation (1.11%, 2.78%, and 1.5%) for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively. During the PMMI, the same factors caused liver condemnation in addition to calcification (8.3%, 6.8%, and 3.2%), Cysticercosis bovis (1.7%, 2.4%, and 1.3%) and improper evisceration (4.8%, 12.4%, and 27.1%) for the abattoirs X, Y, and Z respectively. A total of R 343, 330 (USD 45,271.07) was lost due to the condemnation of liver between 2010 and 2012. The further loss of 3290.4 kg of liver was calculated for the six month in 2013, and its financial value was R 59, 227.2 (USD 5889.82). The result of this study provide baseline information on major causes of liver wastage in cattle slaughtered in South Africa as well as the direct financial losses and demonstrate the huge waste of ideal protein food source. Full article
Open AccessArticle Linking Transitions to Sustainability: A Study of the Societal Effects of Transition Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 737; doi:10.3390/su9050737
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sustainability transitions as processes of fundamental change in societal systems are open-ended, nonlinear and uncertain. Respective research and governance approaches, e.g., transition management, propose a reflexive way of governing, aiming for a number of societal effects to help facilitating a transition. Effects include
[...] Read more.
Sustainability transitions as processes of fundamental change in societal systems are open-ended, nonlinear and uncertain. Respective research and governance approaches, e.g., transition management, propose a reflexive way of governing, aiming for a number of societal effects to help facilitating a transition. Effects include empowerment, social learning and social capital development. Jointly mentioned effects shall allow for reflexivity and innovation in developing socially robust and contextualized solutions to sustainability challenges that work in practice. But, understanding the mentioned societal effects and their interplay in more depth is necessary to design and assess transition management processes. While such understanding and related assessment framework is under development in the transition management literature, transdisciplinary sustainability research can provide a rich body of tools and experiences. Building on a review of the literature, this article develops an evaluation framework focusing on social learning, empowerment and social capital as important and hitherto under-conceptualised aspects of the sustainability transition literature. This framework is used to empirically investigate the effects of two specific transition management processes at the local scale. In doing so, the article provides a conceptual and empirical understanding of how social learning, empowerment and social capital contribute to a transition towards sustainability. The three effects are shown to be interrelated, mutually supportive and bridging different scale levels from individuals to groups, niches and beyond. Results highlight possibilities to facilitate and assess societal effects, addressing sustainability as their inherent quality. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle ESCoBox: A Set of Tools for Mini-Grid Sustainability in the Developing World
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 738; doi:10.3390/su9050738
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (6184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mini-grids powered by photovoltaic generators or other renewable energy sources have the potential to bring electricity to the 17% of the world’s population, mainly in rural areas, that are currently un-served. However, designing and managing a mini-grid so that it is reliable and
[...] Read more.
Mini-grids powered by photovoltaic generators or other renewable energy sources have the potential to bring electricity to the 17% of the world’s population, mainly in rural areas, that are currently un-served. However, designing and managing a mini-grid so that it is reliable and economically sustainable is difficult because of the high variability of demand that arises from the small population of consumers. We describe an integrated set of four tools to assist mini-grid operators to predict and manage demand. These comprise a decision support tool to predict peak and average demand from a consumer population, a demand disaggregation tool that allows the key statistical properties of connected electricity-consuming appliances to be identified, a battery condition modeling tool which allows the impact on battery life of a planned operating regime to be predicted and a demand control sub-system which limits the operating time of high demand appliances to intervals when they can be supported. Results from application of the tool set to mini-grids in Kenya and The Gambia are presented. We conclude that accessible, usable and low cost tools of this form can improve mini-grid sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Spatiotemporal Variation of Tree Cover in the Loess Plateau of China after the ‘Grain for Green’ Project
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 739; doi:10.3390/su9050739
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analyzing spatiotemporal variation of tree cover could enhance understanding of the environment and promote a sustainable resource use of ecosystems. This study investigated the variation in tree cover in the Loess Plateau after an ecological restoration effort called the ‘Grain for Green Project’
[...] Read more.
Analyzing spatiotemporal variation of tree cover could enhance understanding of the environment and promote a sustainable resource use of ecosystems. This study investigated the variation in tree cover in the Loess Plateau after an ecological restoration effort called the ‘Grain for Green Project’ (GGP). The results show that the proportion of tree covered area in the Loess Plateau changed from 73% to 88%, with the cumulative tree cover fluctuating from approximately 7% to 11%, and the average annual tree cover increased from 10% in 2000 to 12% in 2014. Based on tree cover values over the course of 15 years, the study area was classified into five regions, which provide much more information for spatial assessment of tree cover change in the Loess Plateau spatially. The increase in tree cover value was mainly in the core part of Loess Plateau, the mountains, and the edge of the mountain areas; whereas the values were stable in 36.21% of the area, and a decrease was noted in 5.63% of the area, primarily located in the low plain areas. Approximately 26.36% of the Loess Plateau will show a sustained increase in tree cover in the future. The results of this study will facilitate us to understand the current conditions and development of the GGP’s effects, and offer a valuable reference for future detection of tree cover change through geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Building Criteria for Evaluating Green Project Management: An Integrated Approach of DEMATEL and ANP
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 740; doi:10.3390/su9050740
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 3 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A complete framework for assessing a green project management has not been clearly identified in prior literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of dimensions and criteria for evaluating a green project management. An integrated approach combining the decision
[...] Read more.
A complete framework for assessing a green project management has not been clearly identified in prior literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of dimensions and criteria for evaluating a green project management. An integrated approach combining the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and the analytical network process (ANP) is used to determine the interrelationship structure and priority of each dimension and each criterion in a green project management. Six dimensions and twenty-four criteria of a green project management are identified based on related research in the fields of environmental sustainability and supply chain management. The empirical results show the interrelationship structure and priority of each dimension and each criterion in a green project management. The findings of this study provide important implications for both managerial managers and academic researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Contribution of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) to the Reduction of Global CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 741; doi:10.3390/su9050741
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Under economic globalization, with the intensification of China’s reform and opening up, China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has continuously gained momentum, but CO2 emissions caused by the OFDI have not been given due attention. As one China is of the world’s
[...] Read more.
Under economic globalization, with the intensification of China’s reform and opening up, China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has continuously gained momentum, but CO2 emissions caused by the OFDI have not been given due attention. As one China is of the world’s leading CO2 emitters, it is necessary to conduct thorough research into the CO2 emission problem caused by China’s OFDI. Thirty-four host countries were selected as the objects of this study, including some European countries, Australia, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, and the USA. Their CO2 emissions as caused by China’s OFDI were calculated using the input-output model with non-competitive imports, the data of China’s OFDI flows, and their own energy consumption and CO2 emissions from 2000 to 2011. Then a comparative analysis was performed taking China as the comparative object. CO2 emission transfer of China’s OFDI was studied quantitatively. Finally, CO2 emissions from China’s OFDI were discussed from the perspective of industry selection and location selection. The results showed that China’s OFDI could achieve the aim of reducing global carbon emissions with reasonable industry and location selection. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Establishment of the Sustainable Ecosystem for the Regional Shipping Industry Based on System Dynamics
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 742; doi:10.3390/su9050742
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid development of the shipping industry has brought great economic benefits but at a great environmental cost; exhaust emissions originating from ships are increasing, causing serious atmospheric pollution. Hence, the mitigation of ship exhaust emissions and the establishment of the sustainable ecosystem
[...] Read more.
The rapid development of the shipping industry has brought great economic benefits but at a great environmental cost; exhaust emissions originating from ships are increasing, causing serious atmospheric pollution. Hence, the mitigation of ship exhaust emissions and the establishment of the sustainable ecosystem have become urgent tasks, which will require complicated and comprehensive systematic approaches to solve. We address this problem by establishing a System Dynamics (SD) model to help mitigate regional ship exhaust emissions without restricting economic growth and promote the development of the sustainable ecosystem. Factors correlated with ship exhaust emissions are identified, and a causal loop diagram is drawn to describe the complicated interrelations among the correlated factors. Then, a stock-and-flow diagram is designed and variable equations and parameter values are determined to quantitatively describe the dynamic relations among different elements. After verifying the effectiveness of the model, different scenarios for the sustainable development in the study area were set by changing the values of the controlling variables. The variation trends of the exhaust emissions and economic benefits for Qingdao port under different scenarios were predicted for the years 2015–2025. By comparing the simulation results, the effects of different sustainable development measures were analyzed, providing a reference for the promotion of the harmonious development of the regional environment and economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Attribute Segmentation and Communication Effects on Healthy and Sustainable Consumer Diet Intentions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 743; doi:10.3390/su9050743
Received: 29 January 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A shift towards more sustainable consumer diets is urgently needed. Dietary guidelines state that changes towards less animal-based and more plant-based diets are beneficial in terms of sustainability and, in addition, will have a positive effect on public health. Communication on these guidelines
[...] Read more.
A shift towards more sustainable consumer diets is urgently needed. Dietary guidelines state that changes towards less animal-based and more plant-based diets are beneficial in terms of sustainability and, in addition, will have a positive effect on public health. Communication on these guidelines should be most effective when tailored to the motivations of specific consumer segments. Therefore, the current study (1) segments consumers based on the importance they attach to sustainability, health, taste and price of food in several food categories; and (2) tests different ways (with health arguments, sustainability arguments, or both) of communicating the dietary guideline. Three segments have been identified: pro-self, average, and sustainable conscious consumers. For pro-self and average consumers, the communication of both health and sustainability benefits made them think most about sustainability, although communication did not result in changes in dietary intentions in these segments. For sustainable conscious consumers, intention to reduce their meat consumption increased when both health and sustainability benefits were communicated. These research outcomes indicate the importance of segmentation research in the development of dietary messages. In addition, the findings show the importance of taking product category differences into account in studying consumer food motivations and intentions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Workers’ Age and the Impact of Psychological Factors on the Perception of Safety at Construction Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 745; doi:10.3390/su9050745
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The safety of construction workers is always a major concern at construction sites as the construction industry is inherently dangerous with many factors influencing worker safety. Several studies concluded that psychological factors such as workload, organizational relationships, mental stress, job security, and job
[...] Read more.
The safety of construction workers is always a major concern at construction sites as the construction industry is inherently dangerous with many factors influencing worker safety. Several studies concluded that psychological factors such as workload, organizational relationships, mental stress, job security, and job satisfaction have significant effects on workers’ safety. However, research on psychological factors that are characteristic of different age groups have been limited. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of psychological factors on the perception of worker safety for two different age groups. After an extensive literature review, different psychological factors were identified, and a hypothetical research model was developed based on psychological factors that could affect workers’ perception of safety. A survey instrument was developed, and data were collected from seven different construction sites in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test the hypothetical model for both age groups. The results revealed that workload and job satisfaction are significantly dominant factors on workers’ perception of safety in older workers, whereas organizational relationships, mental stress, and job security are dominant factors for younger workers at construction sites. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Complex Dynamics Induced by Nonlinear Pollution Absorption, Pollution Emission Rate and Effectiveness of Abatement Technology in an OLG Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 746; doi:10.3390/su9050746
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (7916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, nonlinear pollution absorption, emission rate, and effectiveness of abatement technology are incorporated into the classic overlapping generation model. Within this framework, we analyze the macroeconomic effects of pollution emission and abatement technology on the economy. Our findings reveal that different
[...] Read more.
In this work, nonlinear pollution absorption, emission rate, and effectiveness of abatement technology are incorporated into the classic overlapping generation model. Within this framework, we analyze the macroeconomic effects of pollution emission and abatement technology on the economy. Our findings reveal that different levels of pollution emission rates from per capita income and the effectiveness of abatement technology could induce complex dynamical behavior, including the occurrence of a stable equilibrium, cycles, and chaos. Our analysis shows that either the pollution emission rate per capita income should be controlled to be small enough or the effectiveness of abatement technology should be large enough to maintain a stable system yielding high level of per capita income. A high level of pollution emission rate per capita income and a low level of effectiveness of abatement technology can lead to a stable economy, but with a low level of per capita income. In the case that the pollution emission rate and the effectiveness of abatement technology vary in a certain range, the economy would become unstable, and cycles and chaos would emerge. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A District Approach to Building Renovation for the Integral Energy Redevelopment of Existing Residential Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 747; doi:10.3390/su9050747
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead
[...] Read more.
Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead of raising the efficiency of the energy supply through a broader use of renewable sources. This strategy requires an integral redefinition of the approach to energy building renovations. The joint project SWIVT elaborates on a district redevelopment strategy that combines a reduction in the energy demand of existing buildings and their physical interconnection within a local micro-grid and heating network. The district is equipped with energy generation and distribution technologies as well as hybrid thermal and electrical energy storage systems, steered by an optimizing energy management controller. This strategy is explored through three scenarios designed for an existing residential area in Darmstadt, Germany, and benchmarked against measured data. Presented findings show that a total primary energy balance at least 30% lower than that of a standard building renovation can be achieved by a cluster of buildings with different thermal qualities and connected energy generation, conversion, and storage systems, with only minimal physical intervention to existing buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Korean Developers in Vietnam: The Mechanism of Transnational Large-Scale Property Development and Its Planning
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 748; doi:10.3390/su9050748
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since neo-liberalism emerged in the 1980s, private actors have started to take a primary role in urban planning and foreign private developers became important actors, especially in urban development in developing countries. In order to investigate the mechanism of large-scale property developments by
[...] Read more.
Since neo-liberalism emerged in the 1980s, private actors have started to take a primary role in urban planning and foreign private developers became important actors, especially in urban development in developing countries. In order to investigate the mechanism of large-scale property developments by foreign developers, this paper focused on three cases developed by Koreans in Vietnam and investigated their similarities in development processes, and the resultant urban forms through analyzing relevant documents and conducting a series of in-depth interviews. As a result, a common strategy employed by Korean firms was to build villas first and apartments later, which would distort the resultant urban form. Conflicts with local governments over the provision of public facilities were another feature shared by these projects, and the provision of urban infrastructure, in turn, was scaled down during scheme changes. While previous studies argued that neglecting urban infrastructure has been a common feature of developments influenced by the privatization trend, foreign developers have more financial burdens and risks than their domestic counterparts, which increases the possibility of such neglect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sustainability Features of Iran’s Vernacular Architecture: A Comparative Study between the Architecture of Hot–Arid and Hot–Arid–Windy Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 749; doi:10.3390/su9050749
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (19392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vernacular architecture has evolved over time to reflect and sustainably comply with the environmental and cultural contexts in which it exists. This kind of architecture possesses a variety of original and clever practices and technologies to satisfy various necessities imposed by context. Iran’s
[...] Read more.
Vernacular architecture has evolved over time to reflect and sustainably comply with the environmental and cultural contexts in which it exists. This kind of architecture possesses a variety of original and clever practices and technologies to satisfy various necessities imposed by context. Iran’s vernacular architecture has mastered the art of adaptation to context by developing different architectures in different regions of the country. Despite their different appearances, these architectures follow the same logic in spirit: sustainable adaptation to context. This original research work surveys this logic in two regions, one hot-arid and the other hot-arid-windy, in Iran (represented by the city of Yazd and the region of Sistan, respectively) through a comparative study. This paper studies different elements and techniques of sustainability in these areas, reasons for their existence and the factors that have shaped them into the specific way that they are. The main elements that were studied through this survey include: fabric and orientation, sidewalks, facades, materials, entrances, courtyards, basements and cellars, porches, roofs, wind-catchers, and openings. In conclusion, links that connect different specifications of context to different aspects of construction are discovered and their role in overall character of two region’s architecture is illustrated so they can be used as guidelines for future designs and constructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Because My Friends Insist or Because It Makes Sense? Adolescents’ Motivation towards the Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 750; doi:10.3390/su9050750
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 23 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present the results of a study that focuses in on issues of validity of the motivation towards the environment scale (MTES) in the context of Flanders (the Flemish-speaking community in Belgium). The instrument was developed almost two decades ago in Canada, and
[...] Read more.
We present the results of a study that focuses in on issues of validity of the motivation towards the environment scale (MTES) in the context of Flanders (the Flemish-speaking community in Belgium). The instrument was developed almost two decades ago in Canada, and is designed to measure the self-determined motivation of people for performing pro-environmental behaviors, but has not yet been applied widely to different contexts. Here, we use a sample of 1730 grade 12 students from 71 schools across Flanders, to focus on specific issues concerning the validity of the MTES in the context of Flanders. We deal with its construct validity, through the estimation of a confirmatory factor analysis. Next, we test the reliability of the MTES and the hypothesized simplex structure by calculating intercorrelations between all six MTES subscales. External validity of the MTES is addressed by correlating the subscales to well-established environmental psychological constructs, such as the models of two major environmental values, the connectedness to nature scale, and the general ecological behavior scale. Finally, we also look at the discriminative validity of the MTES by testing gender differences in self-determined motivations towards the environment. Overall, our results confirm that the MTES is a valid and reliable instrument that can also be used outside the cultural context within which it was developed, to measure the diverse motivations of (young) people to engage in environmental behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Drivers, Barriers and Benefits of the EU Ecolabel in European Companies’ Perception
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 751; doi:10.3390/su9050751
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date, only a few studies have investigated the attitude of companies towards the EU Ecolabel. This article intends to provide an updated portrait of what are the main motivations that push companies to use the EU Ecolabel, the benefits that companies perceive
[...] Read more.
To date, only a few studies have investigated the attitude of companies towards the EU Ecolabel. This article intends to provide an updated portrait of what are the main motivations that push companies to use the EU Ecolabel, the benefits that companies perceive as deriving from it and the barriers that companies perceive as hindering uptake. In order to answer to these research questions, we have used the data collected by the empirical survey on the EU Ecolabel that ran from April to July 2014. Evidence emerging from the survey shows that companies deem that the EU Ecolabel added-value lies in it being a useful “showcase” tool of their eco-innovation efforts, potentially able to close the information gap with the market (made of consumers above all, but also retailers and public procurers) about their products and services’ environmental performance. However, there is evidence throughout the study that, although the EU Ecolabel brings some market rewards, these are fewer than those expected by companies when they first decide to apply for the EU Ecolabel. This is linked to the lack of awareness of the EU Ecolabel by consumers and to the insufficient and inadequate promotion and support granted by public institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Understanding the Possible Contamination of Ancient Starch Residues by Adjacent Sediments and Modern Plants in Northern China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 752; doi:10.3390/su9050752
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The potential contamination of ancient residues from both modern plant sources and sediments adjacent to archaeological contexts can complicate interpretation in the field of starch grain analysis, thus affecting the sustainable use of the method in archaeobotany. In this study, we examined two
[...] Read more.
The potential contamination of ancient residues from both modern plant sources and sediments adjacent to archaeological contexts can complicate interpretation in the field of starch grain analysis, thus affecting the sustainable use of the method in archaeobotany. In this study, we examined two potential sources of contamination at a wheat field in Shandong Province and a maize field in Beijing, the Nanzhuangtou site in Hebei Province and the Zhuannian site in Beijing in Northern China. Surface soils from active farmland and its surrounds, as well as deposits from clearly-defined cultural layers, overlying layers, and underlayers at the archaeological sites were subjected to starch grain analysis. No starches were recovered from any of the 16 surface soil samples from fields of wheat and maize, or their environs. This outcome indicates that starches do not preserve well in active surface soils. Further results from the analysis of 33 samples from the two sites demonstrate that starches do not occur in either the overlying layers or underlayers of cultural deposits. Thus, starch grains extracted from the surface residues of artifacts were not deposited from adjacent sediments after the artifacts were abandoned or buried. Further, cultural sediments contained fewer starch grains than the surfaces of artifacts in the same horizon. Thus, if any starch grains on the surfaces of tools are the result of contamination, ancient cultural sediments are the primary source. In conclusion, we offer insights for the prevention of misinterpretation of extraneous residues and sustainable development for the use of starch grain analysis. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Empirical Exploration, Typology, and Definition of Corporate Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 753; doi:10.3390/su9050753
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between business and society is evolving. On the one hand, social, environmental, and long-term economic issues subsumed under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are inspiring intergovernmental organizations, governments, NGOs, NPOs, foundations, and civic society to legislate and regulate corporate
[...] Read more.
The relationship between business and society is evolving. On the one hand, social, environmental, and long-term economic issues subsumed under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are inspiring intergovernmental organizations, governments, NGOs, NPOs, foundations, and civic society to legislate and regulate corporate behavior toward a greater concern for the wellbeing of groups, regions, or entire societies. On the other, a growing trend toward protectionism, nationalism, and populism may be the consequence or expression of a dissatisfaction with the perceived dissociation of the private sector from society. As a form of self-regulation, corporate responsibility deals with the complex responsibilities businesses have toward society. However, it tends to be hampered by an emphasis on theology and philosophy-based business ethics, which are difficult to integrate into day-to-day business operations or to translate between national or corporate cultures. In this article, we argue that corporate sustainability could be a more useful concept to help improve on how government, the private sector, and academia understand the links between business and society, and how to translate the interdependence between business and society from one culture to another. For this purpose, we empirically analyzed the relevant academic literature on corporate sustainability, using Content Configuration Analysis. Our analyses revealed three conceptual types and nine subtypes of corporate sustainability. Based on their assessment, we suggest conceptual preferences and a definition of corporate sustainability, which fulfil criteria that may render the concept more useful to global political and socioeconomic negotiations among stakeholder groups for the long-term benefit of business and society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Prediction of Soil Organic Matter Using a Hybrid Geostatistical Model of an Extreme Learning Machine and Ordinary Kriging
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 754; doi:10.3390/su9050754
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 29 April 2017 / Accepted: 30 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An accurate estimation of soil organic matter (SOM) content for spatial non-point prediction is an important driving force for the agricultural carbon cycle and sustainable productivity. This study proposed a hybrid geostatistical method of extreme learning machine-ordinary kriging (ELMOK), to predict the spatial
[...] Read more.
An accurate estimation of soil organic matter (SOM) content for spatial non-point prediction is an important driving force for the agricultural carbon cycle and sustainable productivity. This study proposed a hybrid geostatistical method of extreme learning machine-ordinary kriging (ELMOK), to predict the spatial variability of the SOM content. To assess the feasibility of ELMOK, a case study was conducted in a regional scale study area in Shaanxi Province, China. A total of 472 topsoil (0–20 cm) samples were collected. A total of 14 auxiliary variables (predictors) were obtained from remote sensing data and environmental factors. The proposed method was compared with the ability of traditional geostatistical methods such as simple kriging (SK) and ordinary kriging (OK), in addition to hybrid geostatistical methods such as regression-ordinary kriging (ROK) and artificial neural network-ordinary kriging (ANNOK). The results showed that the extreme learning machines (ELM) model used principal components (PCs) as input variables, and performed better than both multiple linear regression (MLR) and artificial neural network (ANN) models. Compared with geostatistical and hybrid geostatistical prediction methods of SOM spatial distribution, the ELMOK model had the highest coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.671) and ratio of performance to deviation (RPD = 2.05), as well as the lowest root mean square error (RMSE = 1.402 g kg−1). In conclusion, the application of remote sensing imagery and environmental factors has a deeper driven significance of a non-linear and multi-dimensional hierarchy relationship for explaining the spatial variability of SOM, tracing local carbon sink and high quality SOM maps. More importantly, it is possibly concluded that the sustainable monitoring of SOM is a significant process through the pixel-based revisit sampling, an analysis of the mapping results of SOM, and methodological integration, which is the primary step in spatial variations and time series. The proposed ELMOK methodology is a promising and effective approach which can play a vital role in predicting the spatial variability of SOM at a regional scale. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Costly Barriers to Sustainable Institutions: Empirical Evidence from State-Reinforced Management of a Communal Irrigation System in the Philippines
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 755; doi:10.3390/su9050755
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (6236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the process and outcome of institutional change from a self-governing common-pool resources (CPR) model into state-reinforced self-governance. Empirical evidence is drawn from the Philippines’ experience in decentralizing the management of communal irrigation systems (CIS) to local farmers through Irrigators Associations
[...] Read more.
This study examines the process and outcome of institutional change from a self-governing common-pool resources (CPR) model into state-reinforced self-governance. Empirical evidence is drawn from the Philippines’ experience in decentralizing the management of communal irrigation systems (CIS) to local farmers through Irrigators Associations (IAs). The field data were collected through archival research, a review of secondary documents, and key informant interviews in Sagada, Philippines. Through institutional analysis, the study confirms earlier empirical findings that self-governing bodies can work well with the state provided they do not impinge on the autonomy of resource users. However, user expectations regarding the costs and benefits of state-reinforced self-governance affect its likelihood of success. Drawing from the case study, changes in the value and distribution of transaction costs are the two biggest challenges to sustaining state-reinforced IAs. The first challenge is the introduction of membership and irrigation fees, a huge shift from the non-monetary contribution that farmers were accustomed to. The second challenge is the change in the allocation and distribution of transaction costs or, simply, who bears what cost. Further research is recommended to expand the current discourse on state-reinforced self-governance to include more in-depth transaction cost analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Trend Analysis of Water Poverty Index for Assessment of Water Stress and Water Management Polices: A Case Study in the Hexi Corridor, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 756; doi:10.3390/su9050756
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Hexi Corridor, an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, is considered the poorest, most water scarce, and most ecologically fragile area in China. Establishing efficient strategies for water management in an integrated manner is utterly important. This paper evaluates the
[...] Read more.
The Hexi Corridor, an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, is considered the poorest, most water scarce, and most ecologically fragile area in China. Establishing efficient strategies for water management in an integrated manner is utterly important. This paper evaluates the spatio-temporal trends of water stress (2003–2015) in the Shule (SLRB), Heihe (HHRB), and Shiyang (SYRB) River Basins in the Hexi Corridor based on the Water Poverty Index (WPI). For SLRB, the WPI ranged from 55.3 to 66.4, followed by HHRB (40.1–58.2) and SYRB with WPI = 20.0–43.9. Both SYRB and HHRB showed an improvement in the water situation based on increasing trends, whereas SLRB demonstrated a small decrease. The effectiveness of water policy interventions was evident in SYRB and HHRB, standing at odds with SLRB where interventions required adjustment to ameliorate the water stress. For the start and end years, pentagrams for five components (Resource, Access, Capacity, Use, Environment) demonstrated the merits and weaknesses of WPI as a comparative framework for assessing the water situation. This study also reaffirms the importance of WPI, utilized for investigating the efficacy of implemented water policies and benchmarking the future priorities in basins not only in China but also in other locations where water resources management is a key issue. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Optimal Dispatch Model of Wind-Integrated Power System Considering Demand Response and Reliability
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 758; doi:10.3390/su9050758
Received: 26 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (11556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demand response (DR) has become an impressive option in the deregulated power system due to its features of availability, quickness and applicability. In this paper, a novel economic dispatch model integrated with wind power is proposed, where incentive-based DR and reliability measures are
[...] Read more.
Demand response (DR) has become an impressive option in the deregulated power system due to its features of availability, quickness and applicability. In this paper, a novel economic dispatch model integrated with wind power is proposed, where incentive-based DR and reliability measures are taken into account. Compared with the conventional models, the proposed model considers customers’ power consumption response to the incentive price. The load profile is optimized with DR to depress the influence on the dispatch caused by the anti-peak-shaving and intermittence of wind generation. Furthermore, a probabilistic formulation is established to calculate the expected energy not supplied (EENS). This approach combines the probability distribution of the forecast errors of load and wind power, as well as the outage replacement rates of units into consideration. The cost of EENS is added into the objective to achieve an optimal equilibrium point between economy and reliability of power system operation. The proposed model is solved by mixed integer linear programming (MILP). The applicability and effectiveness of this model is illustrated by numerical simulations tested on the IEEE 24-bus Reliability Test System. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Significance of Criteria Contributing to Decision-Making on Brownfield Land Redevelopment Strategies in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 759; doi:10.3390/su9050759
Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brownfield land is one of the least exploited resources for urban development in a number of Eastern European countries. Establishing a rational strategy for redeveloping brownfields is an unambiguously complex task that requires considering a number of different economic, social, physical and environmental
[...] Read more.
Brownfield land is one of the least exploited resources for urban development in a number of Eastern European countries. Establishing a rational strategy for redeveloping brownfields is an unambiguously complex task that requires considering a number of different economic, social, physical and environmental factors. The strategic decision-making has a long term impact on the quality of life, ecological balance and urban structure. Therefore, the paper is aimed at developing a comprehensive set of criteria that contribute to the redevelopment of brownfield land in urban areas. It focuses on six main development strategies that embrace creating residential, green, commercial, recreational activity and industrial areas or leaving land as a reserve. Geographic information system (GIS) tools are employed to collect the spatial information, obtain the initial set of criteria and derive the statistical data. Expert’s evaluations along with a statistical method of gauging the level of concordance of their opinion combined with Delphi method are used for determining significance of criteria within economic, social, physical (urbanistic) and environmental criteria groups. This study establishes the most significant criteria for implementing different scenarios of the brownfield land redevelopment in Vilnius, Lithuania. Developed framework will support the decision-making process in the brownfield land redevelopment aiding a sustainable urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Towards Water Sensitive Cities in the Colorado River Basin: A Comparative Historical Analysis to Inform Future Urban Water Sustainability Transitions
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 761; doi:10.3390/su9050761
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (6620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many population centers in the American West rely on water from the Colorado River Basin, which has faced shortages in recent years that are anticipated to be exacerbated by climate change. Shortages to urban water supplies related to climate change will not be
[...] Read more.
Many population centers in the American West rely on water from the Colorado River Basin, which has faced shortages in recent years that are anticipated to be exacerbated by climate change. Shortages to urban water supplies related to climate change will not be limited to cities dependent on the Colorado River. Considering this, addressing sustainable water governance is timely and critical for cities, states, and regions facing supply shortages and pollution problems. Engaging in sustainability transitions of these hydro-social systems will increase the ability of such systems to meet the water needs of urban communities. In this paper, we identify historical transitions in water governance and examine their context for three sites in the Colorado River Basin (Denver, Colorado, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona) to provide insight for intentional transitions towards sustainable, or “water sensitive” cities. The comparative historical approach employed allows us to more fully understand differences in present-day water governance decisions between the sites, identify past catalysts for transitions, and recognize emerging patterns and opportunities that may impact current and future water governance in the Colorado River Basin and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Environmental Perspective on Clothing Consumption: Consumer Segments and Their Behavioral Patterns
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 762; doi:10.3390/su9050762
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3639 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efforts to decrease the environmental impact of today’s clothing industry across the entire process of production, purchase, maintenance, and disposal can be driven by either suppliers or consumers. Changing the behavior of the latter, however, requires an understanding of current clothing consumption patterns—a
[...] Read more.
Efforts to decrease the environmental impact of today’s clothing industry across the entire process of production, purchase, maintenance, and disposal can be driven by either suppliers or consumers. Changing the behavior of the latter, however, requires an understanding of current clothing consumption patterns—a currently under-researched area. We therefore shed more light on these patterns in the purchase, use and maintenance, and discard phases by analyzing unique data on 4617 adult consumers (aged 18–65) from Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the U.S., who we divide into five segments based on clothing consumption behavior. At the low end of the spectrum is a consumer segment that earns the least, consumes mostly budget brand clothing, and is the least open to alternative more environmentally friendly business models such as fashion leasing or clothing libraries. At the other extreme lies a small segment that earns the most, engages in high consumption of medium or premium brand clothing, and is most open to alternative business models. Lying between these two is a primarily female segment that purchases an above average amount of clothing from budget brands. In addition to the segments’ different reported purchase behavior and a varying openness to alternative business models, we identify differences in willingness to pay for clothing made of material that is more environmentally friendly than conventional fabrics. These observations suggest several promising directions for environmental interventions tailored toward specific consumer segments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Influence of Green Supply Chain Integration on Firm Performance: A Contingency and Configuration Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 763; doi:10.3390/su9050763
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the impacts of three dimensions of green supply chain integration (GSCI) on operational and financial performance, from both a contingency and a configuration perspective. From the contingency perspective, we used hierarchical regression to determine the impacts of individual GSCI dimensions
[...] Read more.
This study investigates the impacts of three dimensions of green supply chain integration (GSCI) on operational and financial performance, from both a contingency and a configuration perspective. From the contingency perspective, we used hierarchical regression to determine the impacts of individual GSCI dimensions (green internal, customer and supplier integration) and their interactions on firm performance. From the configuration perspective, we used cluster analysis to develop patterns of GSCI, which were analyzed in terms of GSCI strength and balance. Analysis of variance was used to examine the relationship between GSCI pattern and firm performance. We used data collected from manufacturing firms in Shanxi, Shandong, Beijing, Guangdong and Jiangsu to test hypotheses. The findings from both the contingency and configuration perspective indicate that GSCI was related to both operational and financial performance. Furthermore, the interaction between green internal integration and green customer integration was positively related to both operational and financial performance, while the interaction between green internal integration and green supplier integration was negatively related to financial performance. The interaction between green customer integration and green supplier integration was positively related to financial performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Institutional Pressures on Green Supply Chain Management and Firm Performance: Top Management Roles and Social Capital
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 764; doi:10.3390/su9050764
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the impact of three institutional pressures, namely government, customer, and competitor pressures, on the environmental and operational performance of firms. These three institutional pressures are examined by implementing green supply chain management, considering the role of top management and studying
[...] Read more.
This study investigates the impact of three institutional pressures, namely government, customer, and competitor pressures, on the environmental and operational performance of firms. These three institutional pressures are examined by implementing green supply chain management, considering the role of top management and studying social capital between buyers and suppliers in the supply chain. Data were collected through an electronic mail survey from buyer firms in the manufacturing industry in Korea. With 241 complete and usable responses, we used structural equation modeling to test our hypotheses. Our findings revealed that the majority of our hypotheses were supported, which is in line with the existing literature. However, the impact of coercive pressure on top management support and the impact of structural social capital on performance were found to be insignificant. The major contribution of our study is that it broadens the framework of green supply chain management (GSCM) by integrating major and recent constructs in the GSCM theory, while also providing instructive managerial implications through empirical evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Promoting the Opportunity Identification of Industrial Symbiosis: Agent-Based Modeling Inspired by Innovation Diffusion Theory
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 765; doi:10.3390/su9050765
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (5873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Promotion of the emergence of synergistic linkages between different firms is crucial in the development of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) networks or Eco-Industrial Parks (EIP). Appropriate strategies for the promotion of inter-firm interactions are required to enhance the emergence of IS networks through institutional
[...] Read more.
Promotion of the emergence of synergistic linkages between different firms is crucial in the development of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) networks or Eco-Industrial Parks (EIP). Appropriate strategies for the promotion of inter-firm interactions are required to enhance the emergence of IS networks through institutional capacity building. This research draws on insight from Diffusion of Innovations (DoI) theory, and considers the emergence and development of IS as a process where the knowledge, attitude and implementation of IS synergies are gradually adopted by firms. Accordingly, we propose an Agent-Based Model (ABM) to investigate the influence of promoting strategies associated with various dimensions of institutional capabilities, on the identification of opportunity sets for IS synergies. The simulation results show that both “Knowledge Coordination” and “Relationship Coordination” have a positive impact on the identification of IS opportunities (represented by the adoption of positive attitudes). However, the performance of promoting strategies depends to a great extent on the mobilization capacity and the characteristics of the specific IS solutions. We believe the proposed research provides insights and implications for the design of the strategies to promote effective IS practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Monitoring Spatial Patterns and Changes of Ecology, Production, and Living Land in Chinese Urban Agglomerations: 35 Years after Reform and Opening Up, Where, How and Why?
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 766; doi:10.3390/su9050766
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
PDF Full-text (3814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chinese urban agglomeration (UA) has gradually become a new world economic center and the strategic region of the “The Belt and Road Initiatives”. The spatial patterns and variations of ecology–production–living land (EPL) profoundly affect UA’s development and its ecological environment. Unfortunately, scientific understanding
[...] Read more.
Chinese urban agglomeration (UA) has gradually become a new world economic center and the strategic region of the “The Belt and Road Initiatives”. The spatial patterns and variations of ecology–production–living land (EPL) profoundly affect UA’s development and its ecological environment. Unfortunately, scientific understanding about the trajectories, patterns and drivers of EPL changes in Chinese urban agglomerations (UAs) since reform and opening up is still very limited. The aim of this paper was to monitor those characteristics during the last 35 years. Here, we proposed a new classification system of EPL, including ecology land (EL), industrial production land (IPL), agricultural production land (APL), urban living land (ULL) and rural living land (RLL) due to Chinese urban–rural dual structure. Then, we extracted EPL land from the Chinese LUCC product, which is the recently released remote sensing data product of high resolution spatial land use data in China at national level. Furthermore, we analyzed the spatial-temporal trajectories and driving factors of EPL for Chinese UAs during 1980–2015. The results showed that: (1) ULL and IPL in Chinese UAs were increased rapidly, while EL and APL were seriously decreased. (2) The growth patterns of ULL and IPL had shown a spatial heterogeneity. As to different regional UAs, the expansion rates of ULL and IPL ranked from high to low were as follows: eastern, central, western, and northeastern UAs. (3) National policies, population, and economy dominated the spatial-temporal changes of EPL in Chinese UAs. (4) The multi-planning integration in the structure of land use should be strengthened at UA-scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Industrial By-Products as Sustainable Pozzolanic Materials in Recycled Aggregate Concrete
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 767; doi:10.3390/su9050767
Received: 25 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The utilization of traditional supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) has become more intense in the concrete industry due to their better long-term properties. This research evaluates the fresh and hardened properties of concrete that was developed using a high amount of recycled aggregate (RA)
[...] Read more.
The utilization of traditional supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) has become more intense in the concrete industry due to their better long-term properties. This research evaluates the fresh and hardened properties of concrete that was developed using a high amount of recycled aggregate (RA) incorporated with sustainable SCMs. Rice husk ash (RHA), palm oil fuel ash (POFA) and palm oil clinker powder (POCP) were used as SCMs at 10%, 20% and 30% cement replacement levels to investigate their positive role in the performance of RA concrete. The results showed that the 10% replacement level of cement by RHA produced the highest strength at all ages tested. Although POFA and POCP were found to negatively affect the strengths at an early age, the hardened properties showed improvement after a relatively long curing time of 90 days. In addition, the targeted compressive strength of 30 MPa was achieved by using SCMs at levels up to 30%. Overall, the sustainable SCMs can reduce the quantity of cement required for concrete production, as well as reduce the conventional cement with the industrial by-products, which are considered as waste materials; thus, the concrete produced using up to 30% of SCMs as a replacement for cement could be considered as more environmentally-friendly concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Product Family Approach in E-Waste Management: A Conceptual Framework for Circular Economy
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 768; doi:10.3390/su9050768
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 7 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the need for a more circular model is being increasingly pronounced, a fundamental change in the end-of-life (EoL) management of electrical and electronic products (e-products) is required in order to prevent the resource losses and to promote the reuse of products and
[...] Read more.
As the need for a more circular model is being increasingly pronounced, a fundamental change in the end-of-life (EoL) management of electrical and electronic products (e-products) is required in order to prevent the resource losses and to promote the reuse of products and components with remaining functionality. However, the diversity of product types, design features, and material compositions pose serious challenges for the EoL managers and legislators alike. In order to address these challenges, we propose a framework that is based on the ‘product family’ philosophy, which has been used in the manufacturing sector for a long time. For this, the product families can be built based on intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of e-products as well as of the EoL management system. Such an approach has the potential to improve the current EoL practices and to support designers in making EoL thinking operational during the product design stage. If supported by a better EoL collection, presorting and testing platform, and a family-centric approach for material recovery, such a framework carries the potential to avoid the losses occurring in today’s e-waste management system. This, in turn, could facilitate a smooth transition towards a circular model for the electrical and electronic industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Performing Ecosystem Services at Mud Flats in Seocheon, Korea: Using Q Methodology for Cooperative Decision Making
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 769; doi:10.3390/su9050769
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
PDF Full-text (496 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of ecosystem services, which are the direct and indirect benefits of nature to humans, has been established as a supporting tool to increase the efficiency in decision-making regarding environmental planning. However, preceding studies on decision-making in relation to ecosystem services have
[...] Read more.
The concept of ecosystem services, which are the direct and indirect benefits of nature to humans, has been established as a supporting tool to increase the efficiency in decision-making regarding environmental planning. However, preceding studies on decision-making in relation to ecosystem services have been limited to identifying differences in perception, whereas few studies have reported cooperative alternatives. Therefore, this study aimed to present a method for cooperative decision-making among ecosystem service stakeholders using Q methodology. The results showed three perspectives on ecosystem services of small mud flat areas: ecological function, ecotourism, and human activity. The perspectives on cultural services and regulating services were diverse, whereas those on supporting services were similar. Thus, supporting services were considered crucial for the cooperative assessment and management of small mud flat ecosystems as well as for the scientific evaluation of regulating services. Furthermore, this study identified practical implementation measures to increase production through land management, to manufacture related souvenirs, and to link them to ecotourism. Overall, our results demonstrated the ideal process of cooperative decision-making to improve ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Enhancing Productivity and Resource Conservation by Eliminating Inefficiency of Thai Rice Farmers: A Zero Inefficiency Stochastic Frontier Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 770; doi:10.3390/su9050770
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 April 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
PDF Full-text (1480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study first identified fully efficient farmers and then estimated technical efficiency of inefficient farmers, identifying their determinants by applying a Zero Inefficiency Stochastic Frontier Model (ZISFM) on a sample of 300 rice farmers from central-northern Thailand. Next, the study developed scenarios of
[...] Read more.
The study first identified fully efficient farmers and then estimated technical efficiency of inefficient farmers, identifying their determinants by applying a Zero Inefficiency Stochastic Frontier Model (ZISFM) on a sample of 300 rice farmers from central-northern Thailand. Next, the study developed scenarios of potential production increase and resource conservation if technical inefficiency was eliminated. Results revealed that 13% of the sampled farmers were fully efficient, thereby justifying the use of our approach. The estimated mean technical efficiency was 91%, implying that rice production can be increased by 9%, by reallocating resources. Land and labor were the major productivity drivers. Education significantly improved technical efficiency. Farmers who transplanted seedlings were relatively technically efficient as compared to those who practised manual and/or mechanical direct seeding methods. Elimination of technical inefficiency could increase output by 8.64% per ha, or generate 5.7–6.4 million tons of additional rice output for Thailand each year. Similarly, elimination of technical inefficiency would potentially conserve 19.44% person-days of labor, 11.95% land area, 11.46% material inputs and 8.67% mechanical power services for every ton of rice produced. This translates into conservation of 2.9–3.0 million person-days of labor, 3.7–4.5 thousand km2 of land, 10.0–14.5 billion baht of material input and 7.6–12.8 billion baht of mechanical power costs to produce current level of rice output in Thailand each year. Policy implications include investment into educating farmers, and improving technical knowledge of seeding technology, to boost rice production and conserve scarce resources in Thailand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Urban Plan and Water Infrastructures Planning: A Methodology Based on Spatial ANP
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 771; doi:10.3390/su9050771
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
PDF Full-text (10737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities are exploding, occupying rural territory in dispersed and fragmented ways. A consequence of this phenomenon is that the demand for utilities includes more and more extensive territories. Among them, fulfilling the demand for services related to integrated water service presents many difficulties.
[...] Read more.
Cities are exploding, occupying rural territory in dispersed and fragmented ways. A consequence of this phenomenon is that the demand for utilities includes more and more extensive territories. Among them, fulfilling the demand for services related to integrated water service presents many difficulties. The economic costs needed to meet service demand and the environmental costs associated with its non-fulfilment are inversely proportional to the population needing service in rural areas, since that population is distributed across a low-density gradient. Infrastructure planning, within the area of competence, generally follows a policy of economic sustainability, fixing a service coverage threshold in terms of a “sufficient” concentration of population and economic activity (91/271/CEE). This threshold, homogenous within the territorial limits of a water infrastructure plan, creates uncertainty in the planning of investments, which are not sized on the actual, appropriately spatialized, demand for service. Careful prediction of the location of infrastructure investments would guarantee not only economic savings but also reduce the environmental costs generated by the lack of utilities. Therefore, is necessary to create a link between water infrastructure planning and urban planning, which is responsible for the future spatial distribution of service demand. In this study, the relationships between the instruments of regulation and planning are compared by a multi-criteria spatial analysis network (analytic network process (ANP)). This method, tested on a sample of a city in southern Italy, allows us to optimize the design and location of the investment needed to meet the service criteria, looking at the actual efficiency of the networks. The result of this application is a suitability map that allows us to validate the criteria for defining urban transformations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1