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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story The end-of-life phase of products and the overall circular systems of reuse and recycling impose [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Sustainability Issues in Textile and Apparel Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1592; doi:10.3390/su9091592
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Incorporating sustainability into the supply chain is becoming a key priority for many textile and apparel companies. For example, H&M, Patagonia, and The North Face have incorporated various approaches to enhance their levels of sustainable supply chain management. Typical approaches include sustainable product
[...] Read more.
Incorporating sustainability into the supply chain is becoming a key priority for many textile and apparel companies. For example, H&M, Patagonia, and The North Face have incorporated various approaches to enhance their levels of sustainable supply chain management. Typical approaches include sustainable product strategy, sustainable investment, sustainable performance evaluation, corporate social responsibility, and environmental management system adoption, which contribute to the development of sustainable supply chain management in the textile and apparel industry. In this paper, we introduce the fifteen articles published in this special issue, and summarize the key findings and future research directions in the area of textile and apparel sustainable supply chain management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: “Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs”
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1647; doi:10.3390/su9091647
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Cities are growing worldwide, in their geographical extent with respect to their general and current macro-economic significance, as well as regarding their total populations [...]
Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle A Bamboo Treatment Procedure: Effects on the Durability and Mechanical Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1444; doi:10.3390/su9091444
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bamboo is a natural material having a fast reproduction and high mechanical strengths. However, when a bio-based material in general, and bamboo in particular are expected to be a construction material, their sensitivity to moisture and their durability are usually questionable. Indeed, it
[...] Read more.
Bamboo is a natural material having a fast reproduction and high mechanical strengths. However, when a bio-based material in general, and bamboo in particular are expected to be a construction material, their sensitivity to moisture and their durability are usually questionable. Indeed, it is well known that these materials do not possess the same performance in the long-term, when compared to industrial materials. Sustainable solutions for the bamboo treatment still need to be investigated. The present study explores the oil-heated treatment with different types of oils, like flax or sunflower oils. The present investigation concentrates on mechanical properties and durability of treated bamboos to assess the effectiveness of these kinds of treatment. First, bamboo specimens were treated to decrease their sensitivity to moisture and improve their durability. Different conditions of treatment were tested: treatment at 100 °C or 180 °C; with flax oil, sunflower oil, or without oil; treatment durations of 1 h, 2 h, or 3 h; and, different cooling methods and cooling durations. Then, mechanical and durability tests were carried out on untreated and treated bamboos: uniaxial compression tests, 3 points bending tests, water immersion tests, and humidity tests. The results showed that some tested treatment methods could increase both the durability and the compressive strength of treated specimens, compared to untreated bamboo. The best results were observed on specimens treated at 180 °C during 1 h or 2 h without oil, and then cooled in 20 °C sunflower oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
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Open AccessArticle Deteriorated Water Quality of Agricultural Catchments in South China by Net Anthropogenic Phosphorus Inputs
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1480; doi:10.3390/su9091480
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Improper anthropogenic phosphorus (P) management is considered a major cause of water quality deterioration, however the relationship between anthropogenic P input and catchment water quality is rarely quantified in China. The study area encompassed eight small catchments with areas ranging from 58.6 to
[...] Read more.
Improper anthropogenic phosphorus (P) management is considered a major cause of water quality deterioration, however the relationship between anthropogenic P input and catchment water quality is rarely quantified in China. The study area encompassed eight small catchments with areas ranging from 58.6 to 13,442.4 ha in the subtropical region of South China. On-site observations of P concentrations, stream fluxes, and social investigation of P input were conducted over a 3-year period. The regional variations of net anthropogenic phosphorus inputs (NAPI) and responses of riverine P export were quantitatively analyzed. Results showed that the total NAPI of catchments varied from 11.04 to 40.52 kg P ha−1 year−1, where cropland systems (NAPIc) were the largest P sources, accounting for 47.7–67.7% in total. Meanwhile, net food and feed P input varied from 3.87 to 30.73 kg P ha−1 year−1, accounting for 35.0–75.8% in total, followed by fertilizer and non-food P input with 4.65–10.48 and 0.63–2.89 kg P ha−1 year−1, respectively. Riverine P export and the soil total P and Olsen–P contents in croplands were all positively related to NAPI (p < 0.05). A simple empirical model was simulated to predict the annual riverine total P fluxes using NAPIc with greater accuracy than with using NAPI or NAPI for residential land (NAPIr). Gray relational analysis suggested that livestock density was the most important influencing factor for NAPI. It is concluded from these results that, although the livestock accounted for the largest part of the NAPI, the cropland contributed the greatest to catchment riverine P export. This probably due to recycling of animal manure for plant cropping systems. Therefore, maintaining a reasonable scale of livestock production, and reducing the internal cycle of manure or replacing part of the chemical fertilizer should be a major approach in reducing NAPI and corresponding riverine P export in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle A Project Management Plan to Reach Sustainable Competitive Advantage for a Photovoltaic (PV) Manufacturer
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1496; doi:10.3390/su9091496
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Because the skills, knowledge and management required for exploitation and exploration are contradictory, firms still struggle to utilize useful methods to keep exploitative and exploratory activities balanced. Thus, a mathematical model is proposed to challenge the above vacancy. First, in order to allocate
[...] Read more.
Because the skills, knowledge and management required for exploitation and exploration are contradictory, firms still struggle to utilize useful methods to keep exploitative and exploratory activities balanced. Thus, a mathematical model is proposed to challenge the above vacancy. First, in order to allocate limited resources flexibly when implementing projects, a computer-mediated social groupware with Delphi technique is developed to manage conflicts. However, these operations may result in path dependence or lock-in technologies in the long run. Then, second, in order to adjust unbalanced exploitation and exploration after a period of time, a fuzzy analytic network process with fuzzy goal programming is proposed to facilitate the selection of projects in exogenous and endogenous environments. After investigating a real case of a photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer, the paper concludes that a balanced exploration and exploitation can be achieved, and sustainable competitive advantages can subsequently be reached. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Parameter Selection Framework for Sustainability Assessment
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1497; doi:10.3390/su9091497
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
PDF Full-text (2867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sustainability assessment of resource recovery from waste is an important prerequisite for informed and sound decision-making. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) has been developed to support this process, yet its use is still constrained by the difficulty of identifying the most relevant impact
[...] Read more.
Sustainability assessment of resource recovery from waste is an important prerequisite for informed and sound decision-making. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) has been developed to support this process, yet its use is still constrained by the difficulty of identifying the most relevant impact parameters. This paper, seeks to inform LCSA for resource recovery from waste based on a parameter identification approach that uses the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal (PESTEL) analysis. The novelty of this approach lies in the structured conceptualisation of the resource recovery system and the context within which decisions are made. The anaerobic digestion of source-separated food waste in the UK is used as a case study to trial and demonstrate the approach. Findings suggest that a conceptual, qualitative analysis, although limited in its scope due to the lack of quantitative components, is suitable in integrating different parameters, allowing for a holistic conceptualisation of the system and capturing important issues that could be easily overlooked. This type of analysis can summarise the key interdependencies, contrast the trade-offs and provide a wider understanding of the political and legal context within which the system operates, all important in extending the implementation of LCSA towards the right direction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Matter and Financial Performance of Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1498; doi:10.3390/su9091498
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
The relationship between social and environmental performance and financial performance in companies has been a subject widely debated in the literature but the results obtained to date are not conclusive. This research employs the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and offers new evidence
[...] Read more.
The relationship between social and environmental performance and financial performance in companies has been a subject widely debated in the literature but the results obtained to date are not conclusive. This research employs the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and offers new evidence on the relationship between both types of performance in a sample of companies listed in the Spanish capital market. Financial performance is measured by the return on equity (ROE) ratio, variable that is widely used in Finance and Accounting related research. The corporate performance of the company is measured by its inclusion or not in the sustainability index used as reference for the Spanish capital market, the FTSEGood4 IBEX. The model also incorporates other business variables that might affect the relationships between both types of performance, such as return on assets (ROA) ratio, company size, debt ratio, and industry. The results suggest that, for specific industries, return on assets is a necessary condition for companies with leverage to reduce the cost of debt due to their sustainability profile and consequently boost their ROE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Accelerated Urban Expansion in Lhasa City and the Implications for Sustainable Development in a Plateau City
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1499; doi:10.3390/su9091499
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Urbanization challenges regional sustainable development, but a slight expansion mechanism was revealed in a plateau city. We have integrated the urban expansion process and analyzed its determinants in Lhasa (Tibet), and we provide insightful suggestions for urban management and planning for Lhasa. The
[...] Read more.
Urbanization challenges regional sustainable development, but a slight expansion mechanism was revealed in a plateau city. We have integrated the urban expansion process and analyzed its determinants in Lhasa (Tibet), and we provide insightful suggestions for urban management and planning for Lhasa. The full continuum of the urban expansion process has been captured using time-series of high-resolution remote sensing data (1990–2015). Four categories of potential determinants involved in economic, demographic, social, and government policy factors were selected, and redundancy analysis was employed to define the contribution rates of these determinants. The results illustrate that considerable urban expansion occurred from 1990 to 2015 in Lhasa, with the area of construction land and transportation land increasing at rates of 117.2% and 564.7%, respectively. The urban expansion in the center of Lhasa can be characterized as temperate sprawl from 1990 through 2008, primarily explained by governmental policies and investment, economic development, tourist growth, and increased governmental investment resulting in faster urban expansion from 2008 to 2015, mainly occurring in the east, south, and west of Lhasa. In contrast with other cities of China, central government investment and “pairing-up support” projects have played an important role in infrastructure construction in Lhasa. The miraculous development of the tourism industry had prominent effects on this economic development and urbanization after 2006, due to the running of the Tibetan Railway. An integrative and proactive policy framework, the “Lhasa development model”, having important theoretical, methodological, and management implications for urban planning and development, has been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Smart Cities and Smart Villages Research)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Planting Date on Accumulated Temperature and Maize Growth under Mulched Drip Irrigation in a Middle-Latitude Area with Frequent Chilling Injury
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1500; doi:10.3390/su9091500
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given that chilling injury, which involves late spring cold and early autumn freezing, significantly affects maize growth in middle-latitude cold areas, a highly efficient cultivation technique combining suitable planting date (PD) and mulched drip irrigation is being studied to guarantee maize production. A
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Given that chilling injury, which involves late spring cold and early autumn freezing, significantly affects maize growth in middle-latitude cold areas, a highly efficient cultivation technique combining suitable planting date (PD) and mulched drip irrigation is being studied to guarantee maize production. A field experiment for medium-mature variety “Xianyu 335” was conducted in 2015 to 2016 in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China, to explore the effects of PD on the active accumulated temperature (AAT) distribution and maize growth under mulched drip irrigation. Based on the dates (around May 1) of late spring cold occurring in the area, four PDs were designed, namely, April 20 (MD1), May 2–3 (MD2), May 12 (MD3), and May 22 (MD4), and a non-film mulching treatment (NM-D2) was added on the second PD. Results indicated that: (1) the warming effect of film mulching effectively compensated for the lack of heat during the early stages of maize growth. Compared with that in NM-D2, the soil temperature under mulching in MD2 for the sowing–emergence and seedling stage increased by 14.3% and 7.6%, respectively, promoting maize emergence 4 days earlier and presenting 5.6% and 9.7% increases in emergence rate and grain yield, respectively; (2) the AAT reduction caused by PD delay was mainly observed in reproductive stage, which reached 96.6 °C for every 10 days of PD delay in this stage; (3) PD markedly affected maize growth process and yield, which were closely related to the chilling injury. The late spring cold slowed down the emergence or jointing for maize (under MD1 and MD2), but brought insignificant adverse effect on maize later growth and grain yield (16.1 and 15.9 Mg·ha−1, respectively). While the maize in both MD3 and MD4 treatments suffered from early autumn freezing damage at the anthesis–maturity stages, resulting in shortening in reproductive period by 4–8 days and decrease in grain yield by 11.4–17.3% compared with those in MD1 and MD2; and (4) taking the typical date (May 1) of late spring cold occurring as the starting point, the grain yield penalty reached 8.5% for every 10 days of PD delay; for every 100 °C of AAT decrease during reproductive stage, the grain yield decreased by 6.1%. The conclusions offer certain reference values for maize cultivation in the same latitude areas with similar ecological environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Tourism Risk Impacts on Destination Image
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1501; doi:10.3390/su9091501
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
This study develops and tests an integrated model of the moderated mediation of risks (man-made and natural disasters) that explains the associations between the benefits of tourism and the destination image. The study also considers how tourists are influenced by natural disasters and
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This study develops and tests an integrated model of the moderated mediation of risks (man-made and natural disasters) that explains the associations between the benefits of tourism and the destination image. The study also considers how tourists are influenced by natural disasters and provides empirical evidence to predict the hypothesis models. The results of a study of 635 foreign tourists indicate that the tourism risks of man-made disasters positively influence the tourists’ experienced benefits and feeling experience. Foreign tourists’ risk evaluation may have a positive effect on their benefit and feeling experience and, thus, may link to the destination image. Somewhat as expected, the moderating effect of tourist benefit is found to strengthen the relationship between feeling experience and the destination image. Alternatively, foreign tourists’ feeling experiences foster a positive link between tourism risk and destination image. The implications of the moderated mediation results are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Variations of Water Quality in Songhua River from 2006 to 2015: Implication for Regional Ecological Health and Food Safety
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1502; doi:10.3390/su9091502
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
The Songhua River is the largest river in northeastern China; the river’s water quality is one of the most important factors that influence regional ecological health and food safety in northeastern China and even the downstream of the Heilong River in Russia. In
[...] Read more.
The Songhua River is the largest river in northeastern China; the river’s water quality is one of the most important factors that influence regional ecological health and food safety in northeastern China and even the downstream of the Heilong River in Russia. In recent years, the Chinese government implemented several water resource protection policies to improve the river’s water quality. In order to evaluate the influence of the new policies on the water quality in the Songhua River, water quality data from 2006 to 2015 were collected monthly from the nine sites along the mainstream of the Songhua River. Results show that the water quality in the Songhua River could be divided into two groups during the last 10 years. Before 2010, water quality in the Songhua River was primarily influenced by regional human activities. Industries were the major pollutant sources in the upstream of the Songhua River. After several new policies were implemented by the local government in 2010, water quality in the Songhua River improved. As a result, the biodiversity of fish and ecological health in the Songhua River improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
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Open AccessArticle Decisions on Remanufacturing with WTP Disparity and Recycling Competition under Government Subsidies
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1503; doi:10.3390/su9091503
Received: 24 June 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Enterprises have assigned increasing importance to remanufacturing, and meanwhile, the competitiveness of remanufacturing has also become established. In this article, game theory is exploited and government subsidies for remanufacturing, consumer willingness to pay and recycling competition are considered, with a focus on a
[...] Read more.
Enterprises have assigned increasing importance to remanufacturing, and meanwhile, the competitiveness of remanufacturing has also become established. In this article, game theory is exploited and government subsidies for remanufacturing, consumer willingness to pay and recycling competition are considered, with a focus on a supply chain consisting of one local manufacturer and one nonlocal remanufacturer. This study attempts to investigate how nonlocal remanufacturers and local manufacturers determine whether they recycle used products and engage in remanufacturing when these factors are considered, in the hope that the results can be constructive in terms of policies and management related to enterprises and governments. As such, four situations are considered and the corresponding models are built to derive the optimal production of each enterprise in the four different situations. Numerical results under the four situations are furthercompared. The results show that consumer acceptance of remanufactured products, irrespective of whether there is competition in production and recycling of remanufactured products and whetherthe government provides subsidy for remanufacturing directly affects each enterprise, remanufacturing and the profits of the overall supply chains. Based on these factors, enterprises should adjust strategies and choose to compete or stop competing or monopolize the market. The government should define attitudes towards the market competition and supervise the changes of market competitiveness based onmarket competition and consumer acceptance of remanufactured products. This study can provide some constructive guidance for some potential nonlocal enterprises engaged in remanufacturing, and at the same time shed some light for desirable direction in some further research onremanufacturing in theory and practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enabling Value Co-Creation in the Sharing Economy: The Case of Mobike
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1504; doi:10.3390/su9091504
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
The disruptive rise of the sharing economy has inspired multiple social innovations embodying significant potential towards achieving urban sustainability in crucial areas like low-carbon mobility. Increasingly, consumers in such sharing systems participate in activities of value co-creation together with firms and peers, such
[...] Read more.
The disruptive rise of the sharing economy has inspired multiple social innovations embodying significant potential towards achieving urban sustainability in crucial areas like low-carbon mobility. Increasingly, consumers in such sharing systems participate in activities of value co-creation together with firms and peers, such as through enforcing rules that help maintain trust and reciprocity. Why do people choose to invest their time and energy in co-creating values that may benefit wider social and environmental sustainability in the sharing economy? This study addresses this question through an analysis of an emerging shared mobility community, the innovative socio-economic relationships it has spawned, and the cultural and cognitive forces that underpin these new forms of economic organization and value creation in relation to sustainability. Through a mixed method case study of a newly emerged free-floating bike sharing system in China, called Mobike, the paper explores the main enabling factors which is transforming people from passive product/service receivers to active value co-creators in the sharing economy, such as self-efficacy, cognition of duty, anticipated awards and learning processes. The paper argues that business, social and government organizations may leverage these enabling factors to achieve a more sustainable sharing business and society. Finally, based on quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the article proposes a value co-creation framework between users and firms that involves a clear social learning process on the one hand, and has strong links with social innovations towards sustainability, on the other. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Variations of Health Costs Caused by Chemical Fertilizer Utilization in China from 1990 to 2012
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1505; doi:10.3390/su9091505
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The health impacts caused by chemical fertilizer utilization have challenged long-term sustainable development in many countries, particularly developing countries. Based on the emergy analysis method, we estimated the temporal and spatial variations of the health costs, through atmospheric, water, and soil pathways, of
[...] Read more.
The health impacts caused by chemical fertilizer utilization have challenged long-term sustainable development in many countries, particularly developing countries. Based on the emergy analysis method, we estimated the temporal and spatial variations of the health costs, through atmospheric, water, and soil pathways, of chemical fertilizer utilization in China during the period from 1990 to 2012. The results showed an obvious increasing trend of health costs from 1.8 billion Yuan in 1990 to 23.0 billion Yuan in 2012, while the ratio of health costs to agriculture output value declined slowly and became stable in recent years. Regional differences were remarkable and were significantly correlated to the levels of economic development (r = 0.843 and p < 0.001) and crop-sown area in the region (r = 0.588 and p < 0.001). Economically developed regions, especially the eastern coastal provinces, had much higher costs than the western regions. Meanwhile, fertilizer consumption shifted from the eastern to the northwest region, which was the same as the health costs. This study provides a reference to estimate the health costs of fertilizer utilization, and the results highlight the importance of sustainable development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
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Open AccessArticle Smart Cities as Organizational Fields: A Framework for Mapping Sustainability-Enabling Configurations
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1506; doi:10.3390/su9091506
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Despite the impressive growth of smart city initiatives worldwide, an organizational theory of smart city has yet to be developed, and we lack models addressing the unprecedented organizational and management challenges that emerge in smart city contexts. Traditional models are often of little
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Despite the impressive growth of smart city initiatives worldwide, an organizational theory of smart city has yet to be developed, and we lack models addressing the unprecedented organizational and management challenges that emerge in smart city contexts. Traditional models are often of little use, because smart cities pursue different goals than traditional organizations, are based on networked, cross-boundary activity systems, rely on distributed innovation processes, and imply adaptive policy-making. Complex combinations of factors may lead to vicious or virtuous cycles in smart city initiatives, but we know very little about how these factors may be identified and mapped. Based on an inductive study of a set of primary and secondary sources, we develop a framework for the configurational analysis of smart cities viewed as place-specific organizational fields. This framework identifies five key dimensions in the configurations of smart city fields; these five dimensions are mapped through five sub-frameworks, which can be used both separately as well as for an integrated analysis. Our contribution is conceived to support longitudinal studies, natural experiments and comparative analyses on smart city fields, and to improve our understanding of how different combinations of factors affect the capability of smart innovations to translate into city resilience, sustainability and quality of life. In addition, our results suggest that new forms of place-based entrepreneurship constitute the engine that allows for the dynamic collaboration between government, citizens and research centers in successful smart city organizational fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Circular Economy and Decision Models among European SMEs
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1507; doi:10.3390/su9091507
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
While targeting waste reduction and maintaining the value of products and resources in the system as much as possible, undertaking circular economy practices at the company level is a way of achieving entrepreneurial sustainability. This paper explores entrepreneurial decision models for adopting circular
[...] Read more.
While targeting waste reduction and maintaining the value of products and resources in the system as much as possible, undertaking circular economy practices at the company level is a way of achieving entrepreneurial sustainability. This paper explores entrepreneurial decision models for adopting circular economy practices, focusing on European SMEs. Decision tree models are applied on data from Flash Eurobarometer 441 in order to uncover business strategies in relation to the implementation of circular economy practices at the company level and with the optimal level and nature of investments in the circular economy for improving economic performances of companies. The main findings of the article offer a better understanding of the relation between characteristics of European SMEs and their decisions in the field of circular economy. Such results are relevant from both macro and micro perspectives, as they can be used for customizing circular economy programs and intervention strategies for various groups of SMEs, as well as for supporting sustainable entrepreneurial decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Beer and Organic Labels: Do Belgian Consumers Care?
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1509; doi:10.3390/su9091509
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
We investigate whether beer drinkers are willing to pay a price premium for organic beer compared to conventional beer. Moreover, we identify subgroups of consumers with different preference patterns by investigating whether specific personal characteristics of the purchasers have an influence on this
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We investigate whether beer drinkers are willing to pay a price premium for organic beer compared to conventional beer. Moreover, we identify subgroups of consumers with different preference patterns by investigating whether specific personal characteristics of the purchasers have an influence on this willingness-to-pay. Specifically, results are reported from a survey including a stated choice experiment of consumer decisions concerning beer purchases in Flanders (Belgium), focusing on organic labels. A non-probabilistic sampling method was used over the Internet and 334 responses were useable for the empirical analysis. Each respondent was asked to choose their preferred beer from a series of nine choice cards describing three different beer varieties. In this respect, we created a two-block design, each consisting of nine choice cards. Each respondent was randomly presented with one of the two blocks, so that an equal distribution of the blocks could be obtained. Overall, we find that our sample is statistically indifferent between a beer with an organic label and a similar beer without an organic label. This is in line with previous research that stated that consumers are unwilling to pay high price premiums for organic vice products, such as beer. We find no statistically different preferences for male or female respondents, or for members or non-members of nature protection organizations. However, we find a significant difference (p-value = 0.029) between primary beer shoppers who have a zero willingness-to-pay (WTP) for organic beer compared to similar non-organic beer and the reference group that has a negative WTP of 14 Euro per 1.5 L for organic beer. In addition, the WTP for beer drinkers older than 40 (negative WTP of 22 Euro per 1.5 L) and the WTP for frequent beer drinkers (zero WTP) are statistically different from the reference group (p-value = 0.019 and 0.000 respectively). Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Framework for Integrating Ecosystem Services into China’s Circular Economy: The Case of Eco-Industrial Parks
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1510; doi:10.3390/su9091510
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Identified as critical for sustainable development, ecosystem services are increasingly being put on the policy agendas of governments and corporations. China is now facing serious environmental challenges caused by losses of ecosystem services and recently has recognized that the country is reaching its
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Identified as critical for sustainable development, ecosystem services are increasingly being put on the policy agendas of governments and corporations. China is now facing serious environmental challenges caused by losses of ecosystem services and recently has recognized that the country is reaching its environmental capacity. The circular economy (CE) has been positioned as a key strategy for national economic and social development by the national government as a way to resolve problems of resource depletion and environmental pollution. It will be increasingly critical to link ecosystem services to the CE. This means that the CE needs to be expanded to include restoration and regeneration of ecosystem services. This paper proposes a framework comprised of components including policies, governance, techniques and technologies, business development, key actors and support organizations for incorporating ecosystem services into the CE and focuses on industrial ecosystems, specifically eco-industrial parks (EIPs), as microcosms of a CE. Taking China as an example, this paper explores whether this framework can be applied to EIPs. The paper concludes that there are many opportunities to apply the framework to China’s EIPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Green Supply Chain Design and Marketing Strategy for Perishable Food Based on Temperature Control
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1511; doi:10.3390/su9091511
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 6 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
With the intensification of global warming and the levy of energy tax, more industries are paying attention to energy saving and reduction of carbon footprint. For the food industry, energy cost in the supply chain of perishable food is quite high because of
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With the intensification of global warming and the levy of energy tax, more industries are paying attention to energy saving and reduction of carbon footprint. For the food industry, energy cost in the supply chain of perishable food is quite high because of cold-chain transport and storage. Therefore, the efficacies of cold chain management and inventory control are the key factors that increase the efficiency of food supply chain and make it more ecological. This research analyzes the degradation process of perishable food and determines the optimal temperature of the cold chain as well as the optimal price to maximize the channel profit. We prove that there is an optimal price with a certain temperature and develop an efficient search algorithm to find the optimal temperature. We also perform sensitivity analyses to test which parameters affect the channel profit significantly. Numerical experiments are conducted to illustrate the proposed models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Food Supply Chain and Food Industry)
Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting the Capital Cost of Prefabrication—A Case Study of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1512; doi:10.3390/su9091512
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
As a sustainable construction method, prefabrication has become popular in many nations. However, there are many challenges for prefabrication, especially in terms of cost. Previous studies have revealed that higher capital cost was the most important barrier to the implementation of prefabrication. Thus,
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As a sustainable construction method, prefabrication has become popular in many nations. However, there are many challenges for prefabrication, especially in terms of cost. Previous studies have revealed that higher capital cost was the most important barrier to the implementation of prefabrication. Thus, the objective of this study is to explore and evaluate the critical factors affecting the capital cost of prefabrication and examine how cost management may be affected by the “experience”, “corporate responsibility”, and “participant function” as a fix independent factors. To achieve the research objective, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 experts for the development of the questionnaire. Then, a questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate the significance of 49 factors related to prefabrication capital cost. The survey results revealed that “Specification and standards for prefabricated building design”, “Related experience of manager”, and “Rationality of precast component split” were the most critical factors. In addition, “experience”, “corporate responsibility”, and “participant function” had significant impact on the evaluation of capital cost factors. The findings can facilitate developing a benchmark framework for exploring the factors affecting the capital cost of prefabrication in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability in the Food-Water-Ecosystem Nexus: The Role of Land Use and Land Cover Change for Water Resources and Ecosystems in the Kilombero Wetland, Tanzania
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1513; doi:10.3390/su9091513
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC) has a significant impact on water resources and ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). On the basis of three research projects we aim to describe and discuss the potential, uncertainties, synergies and science-policy interfaces of satellite-based integrated
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Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC) has a significant impact on water resources and ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). On the basis of three research projects we aim to describe and discuss the potential, uncertainties, synergies and science-policy interfaces of satellite-based integrated research for the Kilombero catchment, comprising one of the major agricultural utilized floodplains in Tanzania. LULCC was quantified at the floodplain and catchment scale analyzing Landsat 5 and Sentinel 2 satellite imagery applying different adapted classification methodologies. LULC maps at the catchment scale serve as spatial input for the distributed, process-based ecohydrological model SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) simulating the changes in the spatial and temporal water balance in runoff components caused by LULCC. The results reveal that over the past 26 years LULCC has significantly altered the floodplain and already shows an impact on the ecosystem by degrading the existing wildlife corridors. On the catchment scale the anomalies of the water balance are still marginal, but with the expected structural changes of the catchment there is an urgent need to increase the public awareness and knowledge of decision makers regarding the effect of the relationship between LULCC, water resources and environmental degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Pricing Policies on Irrigation Water for Agro-Food Farms in Ecuador
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1515; doi:10.3390/su9091515
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 5 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
The institutional reform of the State established in Ecuador during the last decade has aimed at regaining control of specific sectors such as the consumptive use of water. Since 2014, regulation, consumption, and use of water, especially in agriculture, have been analyzed through
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The institutional reform of the State established in Ecuador during the last decade has aimed at regaining control of specific sectors such as the consumptive use of water. Since 2014, regulation, consumption, and use of water, especially in agriculture, have been analyzed through policies and fiscal instruments. This research presents itself in the context of the simulation of scenarios using positive mathematical programming, to analyze the economic impact of pricing policies on agro-food farms. Policies of fixed costs, water blocks, and volumetric prices are evaluated. The results show that the existing fixed costs do not reduce water consumption. In contrast, the scenarios of water blocks and volumetric prices impact on the behavior of farmers. The tendency of water consumption to the application of volumetric prices demonstrates that banana farms have a greater tolerance to the increase of water costs. On the other hand, the response to an increase in cost in the case of cacao, sugar cane, and rice depends on the productivity of farmers. The negative effects can lead to the abandonment of agriculture. Thus, volumetric policies are more efficient in reducing water consumption as well as in recovering the costs of the irrigation system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Meso-Scale Urban Form Elements for Bus Transit-Oriented Development: Evidence from Seoul, Republic of Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1516; doi:10.3390/su9091516
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization and the increased use of private vehicles have led to many urban problems. Transit-oriented development (TOD) has been proposed as a solution to these problems. The present study examined the relationship between meso-scale urban form and bus ridership, as well as
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Rapid urbanization and the increased use of private vehicles have led to many urban problems. Transit-oriented development (TOD) has been proposed as a solution to these problems. The present study examined the relationship between meso-scale urban form and bus ridership, as well as the link between bus and subway use in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Spatial regression models identified the effects of TOD planning factors on bus ridership at 2300 target bus stops in Seoul. The analysis revealed that TOD planning factors have a significant positive impact on bus ridership. In addition, the result indicated a complementary relationship between bus and subway use, implying that transportation policies designed to promote bus transport use through connecting bus and subway services may be effective strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Combined Voltage Control Strategy for Fuel Cell
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1517; doi:10.3390/su9091517
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Control of output voltage is critical for the power quality of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which is, however, challenging due to electrochemical nonlinearity, load disturbances, modelling uncertainties, and actuator constraints. Moreover, the fuel utilization rate should be limited within a safety range
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Control of output voltage is critical for the power quality of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which is, however, challenging due to electrochemical nonlinearity, load disturbances, modelling uncertainties, and actuator constraints. Moreover, the fuel utilization rate should be limited within a safety range during the voltage regulation transient. The current research is usually appealing to model predictive control (MPC) by formulating the difficulties into a constrained optimization problem, but its huge computational complexity makes it formidable for real-time implementation in practice. To this end, this paper aims to develop a combined control structure, with basic function blocks, to fulfill the objectives with minor computation. Firstly, the disturbance, nonlinearity and uncertainties are lumped as a total disturbance, which is estimated and mitigated by active disturbance rejection controller (ADRC). Secondly, a feed-forward controller is introduced to improve the load disturbance rejection response. Finally, the constraints are satisfied by designing a cautious switching strategy. The simulation results show that the nominal performance of the proposed strategy is comparable to MPC. In the presence of parameter perturbation, the proposed strategy shows a better performance than MPC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Break-Even Point Analysis of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor Capital Investment Cost Comparing the Direct Disposal Option and Pyro-Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor Nuclear Fuel Cycle Option in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1518; doi:10.3390/su9091518
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to recommend a break-even point for the capital investment cost for a Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) when choosing between a Pyro-SFR nuclear fuel cycle (recycling option via Pyro-processing) and a direct disposal option. This is because the
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The purpose of this paper is to recommend a break-even point for the capital investment cost for a Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) when choosing between a Pyro-SFR nuclear fuel cycle (recycling option via Pyro-processing) and a direct disposal option. This is because the selection of an alternative cannot be justified without a guarantee of economic feasibility. The calculation of a break-even point is necessary because SFR capital investment cost makes up the largest share of the cost for electricity generation. In other words, the cost of capital investment is an important cost driver, and the one that exerts the greatest effect on Pyro-SFR nuclear fuel cycle economics. In the end, the break-even point of the SFR capital investment cost between the Pyro-SFR nuclear fuel cycle and the direct disposal was calculated to be 4284 US$/kWe. In other words, it is possible to claim that the potential for the economic viability of the Pyro-SFR nuclear fuel cycle is greater (compared to investing in direct disposal) when the SFR capital investment cost is 4284 US$/kWe or less. In addition, Pyro-SFR technology will enable sustainable nuclear power generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle What Is Behind Land Claims? Downsizing of a Conservation Area in Southeastern Ecuador
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1519; doi:10.3390/su9091519
Received: 5 August 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
While an increase in the size and number of conservation areas is expected as part of global environmental commitments, at the same time, Protected Area Downgrading, Downsizing, and Degazettement, or PADDD, is becoming more frequent worldwide. This paper analyzes the causal relationships between
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While an increase in the size and number of conservation areas is expected as part of global environmental commitments, at the same time, Protected Area Downgrading, Downsizing, and Degazettement, or PADDD, is becoming more frequent worldwide. This paper analyzes the causal relationships between land claims and human settlements on the one hand and the downsizing process of a protective forest in southeastern Ecuador on the other. Industrial-scale commodity production, extraction, infrastructure development, and local land claims or existence of human settlements constitute the main drivers, but a deeper understanding of PADDD causality requires detailed documentation of the history of PA growth and loss. We analyzed official documents, conducted qualitative research through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, and carried out a thematic analysis. We found that institutional and legal changes at the national level drive downsizing, and that local demands to land titles are a proximate cause. Our analysis demonstrates how driver and cause operate in an intertwined, multi-scalar relationship, and concludes that there is a need for more detailed understanding of PADDD causality, either to prevent such events or to define alternative tools, which can replace the idea of having areas with fixed borders to promote conservation, especially in inhabited zones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Green and Traditional Supplier Attributes on Business Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1520; doi:10.3390/su9091520
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supplier evaluation and selection are fundamental tasks since they are part of the production process and even initiate the supply chain (SC). Despite their importance in the production system, supplier evaluation and selection may be challenging activities to be performed if companies look
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Supplier evaluation and selection are fundamental tasks since they are part of the production process and even initiate the supply chain (SC). Despite their importance in the production system, supplier evaluation and selection may be challenging activities to be performed if companies look at the wide range of available evaluation techniques and methodologies, which now seek to integrate both traditional and green attributes. In addition, companies may refuse to take into account green attributes during the supplier selection process, because they do not know their impact on commercial benefits. To overcome this limitation, this study examines the Mexican manufacturing sector and measures the impact of supplier traditional attributes and green attributes on business performance, namely production process benefits and commercial benefits. As data collection instrument, we administered a survey to 253 supplier evaluators and selectors; then, using the gathered data, we constructed a structural equation model. The model includes four variables to determine the impact of traditional and green attributes on business performance: green attributes, traditional attributes, production process benefits, and commercial benefits. The results indicate that all the latent variables have positive direct effects on one another. For instance, process benefits show the largest effects on commercial benefits, but the most significant effect is caused by traditional attributes on commercial benefits through green attributes and production process benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Land-Use Change on the Urban Heat Island in the Fukuoka–Kitakyushu Metropolitan Area, Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1521; doi:10.3390/su9091521
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
In coastal cities, the effect of the sea breeze in mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon has attracted attention. This study targeted the Fukuoka–Kitakyushu metropolitan area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Japan which is also coastal. Doppler Light Detection And Ranging
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In coastal cities, the effect of the sea breeze in mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon has attracted attention. This study targeted the Fukuoka–Kitakyushu metropolitan area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Japan which is also coastal. Doppler Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) observations were conducted in the summer of 2015 to clarify the transition of the wind field over the targeted area. To investigate the effects on the UHI of land-use change related to urbanization, the National Land Numerical Information (NLNI) land-use datasets for Japan in 1976 (NLNI-76) and 2009 (NLNI-09) were used in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The results of the simulation showed that most of the northern part of the Kyushu region became warmer, with an average increase of +0.236 °C for the whole simulation period. Comparing the two simulations and the Doppler LiDAR observations, the simulation results with the NLNI-09 dataset (for the year closest to the study period in 2015) showed closer conformity with the observations. The results of the simulation using NLNI-76 showed faster sea breeze penetration and higher wind velocity than the observations. These results suggest that the land-use change related to urbanization weakened the sea breeze penetration in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Analysis of a GHG Emission Model Output Using the Block Bootstrap and Monte Carlo Simulation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1522; doi:10.3390/su9091522
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
Uncertainty analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is becoming increasingly necessary in order to obtain a more accurate estimation of their quantities. The Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) and non-parametric block bootstrap (BB) methods were tested to estimate the uncertainty of GHG emissions from
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Uncertainty analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is becoming increasingly necessary in order to obtain a more accurate estimation of their quantities. The Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) and non-parametric block bootstrap (BB) methods were tested to estimate the uncertainty of GHG emissions from the consumption of feedstuffs and energy by dairy cows. In addition, the contribution to variance (CTV) approach was used to identify significant input variables for the uncertainty analysis. The results demonstrated that the application of the non-parametric BB method to the uncertainty analysis, provides a narrower confidence interval (CI) width, with a smaller percentage uncertainty (U) value of the GHG emission model compared to the MCS method. The CTV approach can reduce the number of input variables needed to collect the expanded number of data points. Future studies can expand on these results by treating the emission factors (EFs) as random variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Taxpayer’s Perception to Tax Payment in Kind System in Support of SMEs’ Sustainability: Case of the South Korean Government’s Valuation of Unlisted Stocks
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1523; doi:10.3390/su9091523
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Korea, unlisted stock shares are accepted as payment for inheritance tax. In the case of insufficient cash, a taxpayer can pay the government with listed or unlisted stocks (hereinafter referred to as “tax payment in kind”). The drawback of this tax payment
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In Korea, unlisted stock shares are accepted as payment for inheritance tax. In the case of insufficient cash, a taxpayer can pay the government with listed or unlisted stocks (hereinafter referred to as “tax payment in kind”). The drawback of this tax payment system is that receiving tax paid with stocks is subject to the valuation of the government and selling the stocks to an open market requires another valuation. The results of these two valuations show considerable differences, and, therefore, the selling price in the open market is very low. This study analyzes how taxpayers recognize the differences in the valuation results of these unlisted stocks and how the differences affect the pricing for repurchasing the stocks from the open market. Results show that high valuation of unlisted stocks in tax payment in kind drives buyers to lower the purchasing price in the open market. This finding implies a problem in the government’s valuation method of unlisted stocks collected as tax. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in SMEs)
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Open AccessArticle Influencing Factors of the Adoption of Agricultural Irrigation Technologies and the Economic Returns: A Case Study in Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1524; doi:10.3390/su9091524
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
This empirical research investigates the factors influencing the adoption of three irrigation technologies using a probit statistical model: water wheel (WW), water pump (WP), and weir (WR) irrigation technologies as well as their economic returns per unit of rice cultivated area. The influencing
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This empirical research investigates the factors influencing the adoption of three irrigation technologies using a probit statistical model: water wheel (WW), water pump (WP), and weir (WR) irrigation technologies as well as their economic returns per unit of rice cultivated area. The influencing factors were categorized into demographic, socioeconomic, topographical, institutional, and attitudinal factor groups by 207 rice-growers in the Chaiyaphum province in northeastern Thailand. The results revealed that the land holding size, farm income, and water use association (WUA) membership factors were highly positively associated with the WW adoption. Meanwhile, age, farm income, skills training, and WUA membership were negatively correlated with the WP adoption. Nevertheless, proximity to a water source and upstream farmland location were positively correlated with the WP adoption. The WR adoption was positively associated with age but negatively correlated with the land holding size, upstream farmland location, and group participation factors. The cost–benefit analysis indicated that the WW irrigation scheme generated the highest economic return with the benefit-to-cost ratio schemes. The findings suggest that the WW irrigation technology would be deployed in the water management of other agricultural areas in the region to overcome the unfavorable geography and alleviate the local farmers’ disadvantageous economic conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Some Results on the Vulnerability Assessment of HAWTs Subjected to Wind and Seismic Actions
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1525; doi:10.3390/su9091525
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
The spread of the wind energy industry has caused the construction of wind farms in areas prone to high seismic activity. Accordingly, the analysis of wind turbine loading associated with earthquakes is of crucial importance for an accurate assessment of their structural safety.
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The spread of the wind energy industry has caused the construction of wind farms in areas prone to high seismic activity. Accordingly, the analysis of wind turbine loading associated with earthquakes is of crucial importance for an accurate assessment of their structural safety. Within this topic, this paper presents some preliminary results of a probabilistic framework intended to be used for the estimation of the probability of failure of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine-supporting structures when subjected to the wind and seismic actions. In particular, the multi-hazard fragility curves of the wind turbine-supporting structure were calculated using Monte Carlo simulations. A decoupling approach consisting of aerodynamic analysis of the rigid rotor blade model and subsequent linear dynamic Finite Element analyses of the supporting structure, including aerodynamic damping, was used. The failure condition of the tower structure was estimated according to the stress design procedure proposed by EC3 for the buckling limit state assessment. Finally, the vulnerability assessment of HAWTs to wind and seismic actions was evaluated in terms of fragility curves describing the probability of failure of the supporting tower structure as a function of the Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) for each parked and operational wind condition. In particular, the results highlight a probability of failure larger than 50% for high levels of seismic action (PGA greater than 0.7 g) combined with the rotor in parked condition (wind speed of 3 m/s) or in operational rated condition (wind speed of 11.4 m/s). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Types, Indications and Impact Evaluation of Sand and Dust Storms Trajectories in the Arabian Gulf
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1526; doi:10.3390/su9091526
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
Dust is a common weather phenomenon in the Arabian Gulf, which has severely affected economy and health. Sand and dust storms (SDS) trajectories in the Arabian Gulf were temporally and spatially monitored from March 2000 to March 2017. Eight major SDS trajectories were
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Dust is a common weather phenomenon in the Arabian Gulf, which has severely affected economy and health. Sand and dust storms (SDS) trajectories in the Arabian Gulf were temporally and spatially monitored from March 2000 to March 2017. Eight major SDS trajectories were detected from satellite images. The dust storms trajectories were categorized according to shape and size into three main types with 12 subtypes in the region. The annual transported dust amount into the Arabian Gulf was estimated by 89.1 million metric tons, which is about 10,330 metric tons per cubic kilometer of water volume. In comparison to other seas and oceans, the amount of dust deposited into the Arabian Gulf water body volume is the highest. Dust deposited in the coastal regions within the Arabian Gulf are originated from Mesopotamian Flood Plain (MFP), Ahwaz (HZ), Ahwar (HR) and Baluchistan Desert (BSH) and characterized by physical parameters and composition. Such physical characterization of the trajectories of SDS, and of the properties of particles transported in the Arabian Gulf can be helpful to assess and mitigate the environmental impact of future similar events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Driving Force Analysis of the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Flash Floods in Sichuan Province
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1527; doi:10.3390/su9091527
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Flash floods are important natural disasters in China that can result in casualties and property losses. In this paper, we present a quantitative approach to examine the driving factors of the spatiotemporal distribution of flash floods based on a geographical detector. The environmental
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Flash floods are important natural disasters in China that can result in casualties and property losses. In this paper, we present a quantitative approach to examine the driving factors of the spatiotemporal distribution of flash floods based on a geographical detector. The environmental background condition (elevation, slope, etc.), precipitation, and human activity factors, as well as changes in these factors, are investigated in Sichuan Province via a driving force analysis. The results show that heavy precipitation is the most important driver, with power of determinant (PD) values of 0.71 and 0.77 for the spatial distributions of flash floods from 1995 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2014, respectively. The PDs of population density are 0.65 and 0.78 in the same two periods, while those of elevation are 0.59 and 0.73. Precipitation variability is the most important driver of the spatiotemporal variability of flash floods, followed by GDP density and population density, with PDs of 0.48, 0.29, and 0.27, respectively. The results show that human activities and precipitation are the primary driving forces of the spatiotemporal variability of flash floods and should be the focus of flash flood prevention and forecasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Waste Management Expenditure and Waste Reduction Targets on Selected JSE Companies
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1528; doi:10.3390/su9091528
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
PDF Full-text (446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste generation and waste management are critical environmental issues faced by countries all over the world. Furthermore, there are greater environmental, economic, and social demands on firms to reduce the environmental impacts due to environmental problems brought about by their operating activities. There
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Waste generation and waste management are critical environmental issues faced by countries all over the world. Furthermore, there are greater environmental, economic, and social demands on firms to reduce the environmental impacts due to environmental problems brought about by their operating activities. There is a current debate as to the financial implications of waste management expenditure on waste reduction targets. This study examines the relationship between waste management expenditure on waste reduction targets, and the impact of waste reduction targets on firms’ profitability. This study used the quantitative method that utilizes the multiple regressions method to analyses data from selected South African Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) Socially Responsible Index (SRI) listed manufacturing and mining firms for ten years (2007–2016). The study tests if there is a relationship between waste management expenditure and waste reduction targets, as well as the impact of waste reduction targets on firms’ profitability. Results show that waste reduction targets have a positive, but insignificant, correlation on the profitability of firms, and also indicate that there is a relationship between waste management expenditure and waste reduction targets. The study recommends that firms should focus more on minimizing waste generation to reduce costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Reporting at a New Zealand Public University: A Longitudinal Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1529; doi:10.3390/su9091529
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
This study examines the case of sustainability reporting by a New Zealand public university from a longitudinal perspective. Content analysis of the sustainability report for a five-year period is the primary research method. We observe that sustainability reporting by the case university excessively
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This study examines the case of sustainability reporting by a New Zealand public university from a longitudinal perspective. Content analysis of the sustainability report for a five-year period is the primary research method. We observe that sustainability reporting by the case university excessively focuses on environmental reporting with a near absence of economic and social disclosures. Also, the results reveal that there is a generally upward trend for the reporting in the period, albeit the overall level is still low without any monetary disclosures in the report. Moreover, we find that the university does not follow any guidelines in its reporting. Based upon the results and findings, we provide some suggestions for universities to improve their sustainability reporting. This study contributes to the limited research with regard to sustainability reporting in the higher education sector, particularly from a longitudinal perspective. It is expected that this research would have some implications for academics and university sustainability policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Indicators and Road Accident Analysis for the Period 2012–2016
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1530; doi:10.3390/su9091530
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (989 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Road accidents are a major societal issue for every country. The purpose of this paper is to assess the number of traffic and road accidents depending on a series of variables (collision mode, road configuration, conditions of occurrence, road category, type of vehicle
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Road accidents are a major societal issue for every country. The purpose of this paper is to assess the number of traffic and road accidents depending on a series of variables (collision mode, road configuration, conditions of occurrence, road category, type of vehicle involved, personal factors, and length of time of the driving license) in Romania from 2012–2016. The analysis of the road accident trend identifies the causes of accidents, road safety performance indicators, and risk indicators. Having these identified data, a framework is proposed for improving the road safety system and reducing accidents. The Romanian Police, the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) in Romania, and the European Commission provided the data used for this analysis. The data obtained from these databases are analysed and evaluated according to a series of variables. This paper will outline an informative image of road accidents and establish a framework for reducing their effects in road transport. As a result of the analysis, we have seen that the combination of vehicles and personal factors influences the number of traffic and road accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Irrigation-Induced Changes in Evapotranspiration Demand of Awati Irrigation District, Northwest China: Weakening the Effects of Water Saving?
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1531; doi:10.3390/su9091531
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
The evapotranspiration demand of the Awati irrigation district has changed with irrigation development since 1980. During the first period of traditional irrigation expansion from 1980 to 1997, reference crop evapotranspiration (ET0) decreased as irrigation intensity increased. Since the second period
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The evapotranspiration demand of the Awati irrigation district has changed with irrigation development since 1980. During the first period of traditional irrigation expansion from 1980 to 1997, reference crop evapotranspiration (ET0) decreased as irrigation intensity increased. Since the second period of water-saving irrigation extension began in 1998, the gross irrigation quota has decreased as the water use efficiency improved, whereas ET0 has been increasing accordingly. The increasing evapotranspiration demand has enlarged the irrigation water requirement per unit area, which partly weakens the effects of water-saving irrigation. Findings show that irrigation-induced changes in evapotranspiration demand should be considered when evaluating the performance of water-saving technologies in irrigation districts in arid areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Dimensions on Firm Value: Some Evidence from Hong Kong and China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1532; doi:10.3390/su9091532
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
There has been significant interest and debate on the impact that a firm’s investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and initiatives have on its market value. In this paper, we target an area that is relatively under-researched: the relevance of CSR practices
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There has been significant interest and debate on the impact that a firm’s investments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and initiatives have on its market value. In this paper, we target an area that is relatively under-researched: the relevance of CSR practices and initiatives for firms in the emerging economic region of mainland China and Hong Kong, where market development and the institutional environment lag that of developed economies. Using independent CSR assessment data on a sample of large mainland Chinese and Hong Kong firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, we evaluate the impact of six CSR dimensions on the firms’ adjusted stock market value over a three-year period. We found support for the influence of only two of the six dimensions considered, namely, the CSR practices and initiatives focused on community investment through philanthropy and, to a lesser extent, the CSR practices and initiatives focused on enhancing workplace quality, to be significant predictors of firm value. This suggests that social and people-centric dimensions of CSR are more relevant than technical and process-centric dimensions of CSR for mainland Chinese and Hong Kong firms. Furthermore, we found support for the hypothesis that the impact of CSR practices and initiatives on firm value follows an inverted U-shaped relationship over time, suggesting that the effect of these initiatives on firm value steadily increases during the initial years after their adoption to reach a maximum and then gradually fades away in subsequent years. To this end, this study advances our knowledge of the specific CSR dimensions that contribute to firm value and their relevance for Chinese and Hong Kong firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Adsorption Kinetics and Breakthrough of Carbon Dioxide for the Chemical Modified Activated Carbon Filter Used in the Building
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1533; doi:10.3390/su9091533
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
We studied different face velocity and carbon dioxide (CO2) initial concentration to examine the adsorption behavior of calcium oxide (CaO) impregnated activated carbon (AC) filter and also to discuss pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intra-particle diffusion three kinetic models. The experimental results show
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We studied different face velocity and carbon dioxide (CO2) initial concentration to examine the adsorption behavior of calcium oxide (CaO) impregnated activated carbon (AC) filter and also to discuss pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intra-particle diffusion three kinetic models. The experimental results show that saturation time and saturation capacity were decreased and increased with higher inlet concentration at the same face velocity, respectively. Simulation results show that pseudo-second-order correlation coefficient (r22 = 0.921) is higher than pseudo-first-order (r12 = 0.7815) and intra-particle diffusion (ri2 = 0.905). Therefore, the adsorption process of CO2 onto CaO impregnated AC filter media is appropriate for the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A General Equilibrium View of Population Ageing Impact on Energy Use via Labor Supply
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1534; doi:10.3390/su9091534
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Globally, population ageing is accelerating, i.e., the share of older persons in the population is increasing. The population ageing can have considerable impacts on economic growth, energy use and related carbon emissions, affecting sustainable development. A few studies have analyzed the issue by
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Globally, population ageing is accelerating, i.e., the share of older persons in the population is increasing. The population ageing can have considerable impacts on economic growth, energy use and related carbon emissions, affecting sustainable development. A few studies have analyzed the issue by econometric methods, decomposition and CGE modeling. To facilitate understanding of the simulated results from empirical studies, we developed an analytical general equilibrium model to study the population ageing impact on energy-related emissions, focusing on the long-term potential of economic development by considering the interactions between key productive resources, including labor, capital, and energy. Based on a special case of Cobb–Douglas production function, we show that population ageing can result in considerably less emissions at a lower rate than the ageing in the long term. For example, the reduced global emissions in 2050 can be equivalent to one-recent-year emissions in Japan in the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario. We also find that the price elasticity of energy supply is the most important parameter to determine the potential impact of population ageing on energy use and related emissions. In the future, the price elasticity of energy supply may become more inelastic than today due to strict climate policy and increasing extraction cost of fossil fuels. Hence, the ageing impact on emissions may be diminishing over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate Change on the Preferred Season for Outdoor Water Activities
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1535; doi:10.3390/su9091535
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to predict changes in the season for outdoor water activities due to climate change. Nine public outdoor swimming pools in three megacities of South Korea (Seoul, Daegu, and Busan) were selected as study sites. To determine the
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The purpose of this study is to predict changes in the season for outdoor water activities due to climate change. Nine public outdoor swimming pools in three megacities of South Korea (Seoul, Daegu, and Busan) were selected as study sites. To determine the preferred weather conditions for outdoor water activities, the preference functions of weather elements for outdoor water activities were structured by finding the best-fitting lines with the Z-score of the number of visitors, which is calculated for each swimming pool each year, and the inflection points or the stabilized point of preference functions are set as thresholds for preferred weather conditions for outdoor water activities. To predict changes in the preferred season for outdoor water activities, future weather data for the 2030s, 2060s, and 2090s derived from RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) scenarios are adapted to the thresholds of preferred weather conditions. The results of this study show that the preferred temperature range for outdoor water activities is: 24.6 °C to 35.0 °C in Seoul, 25.5 °C to 35.5 °C in Daegu, and 27.4 °C to 34.4 °C in Busan, and that the maximum threshold for precipitation is: 36.5 mm in Seoul, 31.5 mm in Daegu, and 26.5 mm in Busan. The results of this study show that the preferred season for outdoor water activities will expand compared to its current duration due to warmer temperatures in the future, and the preferred period for these activities will shift from June to September to May to June and September to October due to extremely hot weather in July and August beginning in the 2030s. The results of this study imply that there will be major changes in the demand and operation of outdoor water activities due to climate change, making it necessary to begin preparations to combat and respond to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Approach to Improve the Penetration of Sustainable Energy Using Optimal Transformer Tap Control
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1536; doi:10.3390/su9091536
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
A method to secure the generator reactive power reserve by adjusting the transformer tap to improve the power system penetration of renewable energy has been proposed in this study. The tap is adjusted based on the voltage and reactive power sensitivity in the
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A method to secure the generator reactive power reserve by adjusting the transformer tap to improve the power system penetration of renewable energy has been proposed in this study. The tap is adjusted based on the voltage and reactive power sensitivity in the power system network. That is, the transformer tap sensitivity is calculated and analyzed to adjust the tap variation to gain sufficient or the least necessary amount of reactive power reserve. This method can be effective for generators without any margins in the reserves. The optimization problem based on the calculated sensitivities and effectiveness are presented. The optimum solution derived from such a problem provides the minimum control amount necessary to maintain the system voltage and dynamic reactive power reserve at their pre-specified levels to improve the power system acceptability of renewable energy. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the method proposed, a simulation has been performed for an IEEE-25 bus system. The results from simulations prove that the voltage has been well maintained while securing a dynamic reactive power reserve through optimal control based on the sensitivity analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvesting Communication and Computing for Sustainable IT)
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Open AccessArticle International Tourism Advertisements on Social Media: Impact of Argument Quality and Source
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1537; doi:10.3390/su9091537
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
To guarantee sustainable international tourism market growth, challenges for international tourism advertisements (ITAs) include how and by whom they are made. Different to traditional ITAs, a new type of ITA has been created by the international tourists themselves; it contains not only pictures
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To guarantee sustainable international tourism market growth, challenges for international tourism advertisements (ITAs) include how and by whom they are made. Different to traditional ITAs, a new type of ITA has been created by the international tourists themselves; it contains not only pictures but also their own tour stories, and it is distributed via social media (e.g., Youtube.com). However, few studies have investigated the impacts of this type of ITA. I was challenged to empirically validate the impacts on potential tourist reactions of argument quality and the peer tourist source of ITAs. I developed my research model based on Toulmin’s model of argument, institution-based trust, the information adoption model, and consumer reaction literature. I conducted the quasi-experiment using three types of ITAs that vary by argument quality and advertisement source. A total of 387 data were collected and analyzed using ANOVA and the partial least squares (PLS) analysis. The results indicate that argument quality and peer tourist source significantly increase perceived ITA quality, ITA fit-to-task and trusting belief, and decrease perceived risk. Argument quality and peer tourist source could also significantly increase tourist reactions, such as ITA adoption, planned/unplanned visit, and word-of-mouth intention. These findings could make ITAs more persuasive on social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
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Open AccessArticle Surface Urban Heat Island Analysis of Shanghai (China) Based on the Change of Land Use and Land Cover
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1538; doi:10.3390/su9091538
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we present surface urban heat island (SUHI) analysis of Shanghai (China) based on the change in land use and land cover using satellite Landsat images from 2002 to 2013. With the rapid development of urbanization, urban ecological and environmental issues
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In this paper, we present surface urban heat island (SUHI) analysis of Shanghai (China) based on the change in land use and land cover using satellite Landsat images from 2002 to 2013. With the rapid development of urbanization, urban ecological and environmental issues have aroused widespread concern. The urban heat island (UHI) effect is a crucial problem, as its generation and evolution are closely related to social and economic activities. Land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) is the key in analyzing the UHI effect. Shanghai, one of China’s major economic, financial and commercial centers, has experienced high development density for several decades. A tremendous amount of farmland and vegetation coverage has been replaced by an urban impervious surface, leading to an intensive SUHI effect, especially in the city’s center. Luckily, the SUHI trend has slowed due to reasonable urban planning and relevant green policies since the 2010 Expo. Data analyses demonstrate that an impervious surface (IS) has a positive correlation with land surface temperature (LST) but a negative correlation with vegetation and water. Among the three factors, impervious surface is the most relevant. Therefore, the policy implications of land use and control of impervious surfaces should pay attention to the relief of the current SUHI effect in Shanghai. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate Change on Tourism on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Research Based on a Literature Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1539; doi:10.3390/su9091539
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Irrespective of insights gained from previous studies on the impacts and adaptions associated with climate change; little consideration has been given to the effect of climate change on tourism on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Based on a conceptual framework of the impact of
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Irrespective of insights gained from previous studies on the impacts and adaptions associated with climate change; little consideration has been given to the effect of climate change on tourism on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Based on a conceptual framework of the impact of climate change on tourism in high-altitude regions; this paper reviews the literature pertaining to the effects of climate change on the natural characteristics of the QTP and it discusses the corresponding implications for tourism within the region. The findings show that the features of the QTP affected most by climate change comprise wetlands, glaciers, and the vegetation, wildlife, and climate resources. Accordingly, such effects could have considerable implications for related tourism activities. Climate change poses both challenges and opportunities for tourism development on the QTP. The information presented in this paper offers insight for tourism management on the QTP. Comprehensive measures involving all stakeholders should be taken to promote the sustainable development of tourism on the QTP, and to both mitigate the threats and exploit the opportunities related to climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cascade Use and the Management of Product Lifecycles
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1540; doi:10.3390/su9091540
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
This paper explores the challenges related to the End-Of-Life phase of products and circular systems of reuse and recycling within the commonly established frameworks of product lifecycles. Typically, Original Equipment Manufacturer-centric supply chain perspectives neglect the complexity at the End-Of-Life where many third-parties
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This paper explores the challenges related to the End-Of-Life phase of products and circular systems of reuse and recycling within the commonly established frameworks of product lifecycles. Typically, Original Equipment Manufacturer-centric supply chain perspectives neglect the complexity at the End-Of-Life where many third-parties are involved in reuse and recycling activities. Based on a review of product lifecycle and related recycling literature, this study proposes the application of ‘cascades’, a term originally coined within the biomass domain. We propose and subsequently apply the ‘cascade use methodology’ and identify additional and value-adding End-Of-Life solutions for products and materials. The adoption of cascade utilization into product lifecycles is analyzed and critically discussed using case studies from independent remanufacturing and tire recycling, focusing on the End-Of-Life while excluding business models as renting or sharing. Although theoretically feasible, we argue that the practical adoption of ‘cascade use’ deserves more attention from researchers and practitioners in order to become an integral part of the comprehensive management of product lifecycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Uncovering Spatial Structures of Regional City Networks from Expressway Traffic Flow Data: A Case Study from Jiangsu Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1541; doi:10.3390/su9091541
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
On the basis of the “space of flows” theory, city networks emphasizing factor connectivity and spatial connection have become a core perspective for regional spatial relationships. They provide a context for discussing the spatial structures of city networks and a scientific basis for
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On the basis of the “space of flows” theory, city networks emphasizing factor connectivity and spatial connection have become a core perspective for regional spatial relationships. They provide a context for discussing the spatial structures of city networks and a scientific basis for making regional development policies. Relying on expressway traffic flow data from Jiangsu Province in 2014, this study describes macro-spatial patterns and hierarchical structures of city networks, and uses the Walktrap algorithm of community detection to execute space divisions and elucidate potential spatial connection structures in the city networks. In comparison with other algorithms, the Walktrap algorithm demonstrates significant adaptation and stability to the short expressway traffic flows with the characteristics of strong network density and sparse node distribution. The results indicate that the macro-spatial patterns of Jiangsu’s city networks have clear regional differences. The cities with relatively dense spatial linkages are distributed along the Yangtze River banks, and many different sub-network systems have also developed internally. Cities and linkage axles have clear hierarchical structures. City hierarchies have certain spatial couplings with the cities’ intrinsic social economic attributes and geographical locations. The linkage axles hierarchy has clear spatial interactions and superposition with geographical distance. The community detection algorithm identified six spatially connected “city communities”, the Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou Community (SWCC), the Nanjing-Zhenjiang-Yangzhou-Taizhou Community (NZYTC), the Nantong-Yancheng Community (NYC), the Lianyungang Community (LYGC), the Huai’an-Suqian Community (HSC), and the Xuzhou Community (XZC). The community spatial metaphors had four aspects. First, trans-prefectural linkages were formed through spatially integrated effects of metropolis regions. Second, some communities share the same boundaries with their prefecture level administrative units; this reveals that significant administrative regional economies still exist in contemporary Jiangsu. Third, several cities located in the marginal areas of prefectures and captured by the powerful center cities in neighboring prefectures have been absorbed into the communities of neighboring prefectures. Fourth, the two cities Jiangyin and Jingjiang, divided into different administrative districts, have switched status opposite city community divisions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effect of a Crop-Tree Intercropping Program on Smallholders’ Incomes in Rural Xinjiang, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1542; doi:10.3390/su9091542
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Governments in developing counties often promote intercropping (crops intercropped with fruit trees on cultivated land) schemes in order to improve smallholders’ income. However, the implementation of such schemes is often hindered by inappropriate institutional environments and inefficient project management. It is important to
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Governments in developing counties often promote intercropping (crops intercropped with fruit trees on cultivated land) schemes in order to improve smallholders’ income. However, the implementation of such schemes is often hindered by inappropriate institutional environments and inefficient project management. It is important to assess the impacts of such intercropping programs, especially since such a cultivation strategy can often align closely with smallholders’ livelihood strategies, particularly in poor and remote rural regions. This paper attempts to assess the impact of an intercropping program on participants’ incomes in rural Xinjiang (China), and to explore the possible shortcomings in the program’s design and implementation. We apply a propensity score matching method, based on a survey dataset of 352 households, supplemented with descriptive analysis based on our anecdotal field observations. The findings demonstrate that the intercropping program had negative effects on the incomes that participants derived from farming, their off-farm income and their gross income. Overall, participants experienced significant losses of income. Anecdotal observations show that land tenure insecurity played a crucial role in negating the anticipated income improvement effect of this program. Farmer’s perceptions that they have limited security of tenure made them reluctant to invest the necessary time and resources to make the new cropping systems a success, while the available subsidies only partially covered the costs involved. In addition, the program led to a significant drop in yields of field crops as the trees were competing for a limiting and fixed supply of irrigation water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impacts of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Voucher Program on Food Lifestyle Behaviors: Evidence from an Employer-Sponsored Pilot Program
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1543; doi:10.3390/su9091543
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have recently received attention for their potential to influence food lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes. We build on and expand inquiries into the relationship between CSA participation and behavior change by presenting the results from a controlled pilot
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Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs have recently received attention for their potential to influence food lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes. We build on and expand inquiries into the relationship between CSA participation and behavior change by presenting the results from a controlled pilot study of first-time CSA shareholders. We offered 95 first-time shareholders a $200 voucher to participate in a CSA. Prior to and immediately following CSA participation, these shareholders completed a survey on food lifestyle behaviors. Using econometric analyses, we measured shareholder behavior changes against an 82 person control group. All participants were drawn from a pool of individuals involved in a university wellness program. From these analyses, we identified potential benefits and changes to shareholders in four unique categories: (1) fresh versus processed food consumption; (2) food prepared at home versus away from home; (3) food purchasing behavior and interest in nutrition; and (4) self-reported health outcomes. Changes within these categories and differences between test and control were more strongly realized in shareholders who reported lower than average health prior to the CSA. We conclude with a discussion about the potential of incentivized CSAs to serve as a novel preventative health intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Overheating and Daylighting; Assessment Tool in Early Design of London’s High-Rise Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1544; doi:10.3390/su9091544
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
High-rise residential buildings in dense cities, such as London, are a common response to housing shortage. The apartments in these buildings may experience different levels of thermal and visual comfort, depending on their orientation and floor level. This paper aims to develop simplified
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High-rise residential buildings in dense cities, such as London, are a common response to housing shortage. The apartments in these buildings may experience different levels of thermal and visual comfort, depending on their orientation and floor level. This paper aims to develop simplified tools to predict internal temperatures and daylighting levels, and propose a tool to quickly assess overheating risk and daylight performance in London’s high-rise residential buildings. Single- and double-sided apartments in a high-rise building were compared, and the impact of their floor level, glazing ratio, thermal mass, ventilation strategy and orientation was investigated. Using Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment (IES VE), temperature and daylight factor results of each design variable were used to develop early design tools to predict and assess overheating risks and daylighting levels. The results indicate that apartments that are more exposed to solar radiations, through either orientation or floor level, are more susceptible to overheat in the summer while exceeding the daylighting recommendations. Different design strategies at different levels and orientations are subsequently discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - ZEMCH 2016)
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Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Framework for the Integration of Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Development Based on Lifelong Learning
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1545; doi:10.3390/su9091545
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Companies often see themselves as actors in a process of sustainable development that takes place in society. With this self-conception comes the challenge to act in a socially responsible way. The following paper presents a framework to integrate the concepts of Corporate Social
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Companies often see themselves as actors in a process of sustainable development that takes place in society. With this self-conception comes the challenge to act in a socially responsible way. The following paper presents a framework to integrate the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Development to create an approach that can address this responsibility. The concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Development are linked by the idea of lifelong learning, incorporating concepts and ideas from the field of education into the framework, which makes it possible to examine the issue of promotion and social advancement irrespective of an individual’s social background. The article lays a foundation for the framework by describing the concepts named above and later on conceptualizes a three-part framework that helps to analyse the development of entrepreneurial structures that enable social commitment through company education. With this framework, an innovative approach to link a corporation’s social and educational engagement for mutual benefit is given an applicable form, with the immanent potential for the development of social sustainability. The research presented in this paper is purely theoretical and its results offer a connection point for practical interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Are Korean Households Willing to Pay a Premium for Induction Cooktops over Gas Stoves?
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1546; doi:10.3390/su9091546
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Korean households generally prefer to use induction cooktops rather than gas stoves because of their greater convenience and safety features. This paper tries to investigate whether Korean households are willing to pay a premium for replacing their gas stoves, which are currently common
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Korean households generally prefer to use induction cooktops rather than gas stoves because of their greater convenience and safety features. This paper tries to investigate whether Korean households are willing to pay a premium for replacing their gas stoves, which are currently common in Korea, with induction cooktops, from the perspective of convenience and safety. To this end, a contingent valuation technique was applied to assess the additional willingness to pay (WTP) a premium for using an induction cooktop rather than a gas stove. A nationwide survey of 1000 households was carried out. The results indicate that the mean additional WTP for using an induction cooktop rather than a gas stove is KRW 207 (USD 0.19) per cubic meter of residential gas. This value can be interpreted as the convenience and safety benefits to the consumer of using an induction cooktop rather than a gas stove, or residential electricity rather than residential gas for cooking. It amounts to approximately 26.7% of the average 2015 price of residential gas, which was KRW 775 (USD 0.70) per cubic meter. If the gap between the price for residential electricity and the price for residential gas is less than the WTP value, households will increase their demand for residential electricity for cooking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Rapid Detection of Land Cover Changes Using Crowdsourced Geographic Information: A Case Study of Beijing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1547; doi:10.3390/su9091547
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Land cover change (LCC) detection is a significant component of sustainability research including ecological economics and climate change. Due to the rapid variability of natural environment, effective LCC detection is required to capture sufficient change-related information. Although such information has been available through
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Land cover change (LCC) detection is a significant component of sustainability research including ecological economics and climate change. Due to the rapid variability of natural environment, effective LCC detection is required to capture sufficient change-related information. Although such information has been available through remotely sensed images, the complicated image processing and classification make it time consuming and labour intensive. In contrast, the freely available crowdsourced geographic information (CGI) contains easily interpreted textual information, and thus has the potential to be applied for capturing effective change-related information. Therefore, this paper presents and evaluates a method using CGI for rapid LCC detection. As a case study, Beijing is chosen as the study area, and CGI is applied to monitor LCC information. As one kind of CGI which is generated from commercial Internet maps, points of interest (POIs) with detailed textual information are utilised to detect land cover in 2016. Those POIs are first classified into land cover nomenclature based on their textual information. Then, a kernel density approach is proposed to effectively generate land cover regions in 2016. Finally, with GlobeLand30 in 2010 as baseline map, LCC is detected using the post-classification method in the period of 2010–2016 in Beijing. The result shows that an accuracy of 89.20% is achieved with land cover regions generated by POIs, indicating that POIs are reliable for rapid LCC detection. Additionally, an LCC detection comparison is proposed between remotely sensed images and CGI, revealing the advantages of POIs in terms of LCC efficiency. However, due to the uneven distribution, remotely sensed images are still required in areas with few POIs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Reliability of Thermal and Optical Imaging Techniques for Detecting Crop Water Status under Different Nitrogen Levels
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1548; doi:10.3390/su9091548
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Efficient management of irrigation water is fundamental in agriculture to reduce the environmental impacts and to increase the sustainability of crop production. The availability of adequate tools and methodologies to easily identify the crop water status in operating conditions is therefore crucial. This
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Efficient management of irrigation water is fundamental in agriculture to reduce the environmental impacts and to increase the sustainability of crop production. The availability of adequate tools and methodologies to easily identify the crop water status in operating conditions is therefore crucial. This work aimed to assess the reliability of indices derived from imaging techniques—thermal indices (Ig (stomatal conductance index) and CWSI (Crop Water Stress Index)) and optical indices (NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and PRI (Photochemical Reflectance Index))—as operational tools to detect the crop water status, regardless the eventual presence of nitrogen stress. In particular, two separate experiments were carried out in a greenhouse, on two spinach varieties (Verdi F1 and SV2157VB), with different microclimatic conditions and under different levels of water and nitrogen application. Statistical analysis based on ANOVA test was carried out to assess the independence of thermal and optical indices from the crop nitrogen status. These imaging indices were successively compared through correlation analysis with reference destructive and non-destructive measurements of crop water status (stomatal conductance, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and leaf and soil water content), and linear regression models of thermal and optical indices versus reference measurements were calibrated. All models were significant (Fisher p-value lower than 0.05), and the highest R2 values (greater than 0.6) were found for the regression models between CWSI and the soil water content, NDVI and the leaf water content, and PRI and the stomatal conductance. Further analysis showed that imaging indices acquired by thermal cameras (especially CWSI) can be used as operational tools to detect the crop water status, since no dependence on plant nitrogen conditions was observed, even when the soil water depletion was very limited. Our results confirmed that imaging indices such as CWSI, NDVI and PRI can be used as operational tools to predict soil water status and to detect drought stress under different soil nitrogen conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency of Government Policy and Exports in the Bioenergy Technology Market
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1549; doi:10.3390/su9091549
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates how the eco-efficiency of government policy—continuously implementing innovation-friendly policy based on both environmental and economic considerations—affects the export performance of bioenergy technologies, using panel data from 16 countries during 1995–2012. Various heterogeneous panel framework tests are conducted. Our panel unit
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This study investigates how the eco-efficiency of government policy—continuously implementing innovation-friendly policy based on both environmental and economic considerations—affects the export performance of bioenergy technologies, using panel data from 16 countries during 1995–2012. Various heterogeneous panel framework tests are conducted. Our panel unit root and co-integration tests, which allow for cross-sectional dependence in the panel, show that the time series data on the eco-efficiency of public support, exports, and gross domestic product (GDP) are integrated and co-integrated. We set up a panel vector error correction model (VECM) to empirically test the casual relationship among the variables examined. The long-term parameters of the variables were calculated using dynamic ordinary lease squares (DOLS). Panel difference generalized method of moments (GMM) estimations were conducted to test the short-term relationship among the variables. The results of this study therefore show that the eco-efficiency of government policy positively influences export performance in the long run, but not in the short run. The presented findings also indicate that efficiently implemented government policy plays a crucial role in achieving environmentally sound and sustainable development, showing path dependence among the eco-efficiency of government policy, exports, and GDP. We finally suggest policy implications based on the results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Less Meat Initiatives at Ghent University: Assessing the Support among Students and How to Increase It
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1550; doi:10.3390/su9091550
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 26 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we conducted a survey among Business Administration students at Ghent University to assess their support for six less meat initiatives (LMIs) to be implemented in student restaurants. We examined associations between the support and variables related to meat curtailment and
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In this study, we conducted a survey among Business Administration students at Ghent University to assess their support for six less meat initiatives (LMIs) to be implemented in student restaurants. We examined associations between the support and variables related to meat curtailment and additionally examined the effect of providing information about the climate impact of meat on the support for the LMIs. We find that the support is rather limited among the students we surveyed. Students have different appraisals of the different LMIs, which may be due to differences in intervention strength and types of meat curtailment. We found that higher environmental concern is associated with a higher support for all LMIs. Female students and students with lower meat consumption levels indicate a higher support for four of six LMIs. Simply providing information about the climate impact of meat had no remarkable effect on the support. More integrated approaches are recommended to inform students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Communication Networks and Performance of Four New Delhi City Parks
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1551; doi:10.3390/su9091551
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Urban green spaces are very important for human wellbeing and environmental sustainability. The efficiency of managing urban green spaces often depends on communication and integration of information. We performed a social network analysis survey for assessing the communication structure among the staff in
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Urban green spaces are very important for human wellbeing and environmental sustainability. The efficiency of managing urban green spaces often depends on communication and integration of information. We performed a social network analysis survey for assessing the communication structure among the staff in four New Delhi city parks. We were interested in the relationship between three topological properties of the social networks (centre of gravity, MaxS, compactness) and three network-independent attributes of their performance (average satisfaction, visitor’s median expected improvements, number of species identified). The presence of a dynamic leader, improved communication and flow of information down the hierarchical chain and lastly, maximization of interaction and strengthening of relationships of the co-workers are three network properties that emerge as very important for a well-performing park. Through this study, we demonstrate the ability of social network analysis to provide simple, yet powerful, insights that can assist in improving the management of urban green spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Equity Measure on Urban Ecological Space Layout Based on Accessibility of Socially Vulnerable Groups—A Case Study of Changting, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1552; doi:10.3390/su9091552
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
The improper layout of urban public parks leads to the difference between citizens sharing or not sharing this kind of public resource, particularly in the historical districts of mountainous cities in China. The purpose of this study is to explore the spatial equity
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The improper layout of urban public parks leads to the difference between citizens sharing or not sharing this kind of public resource, particularly in the historical districts of mountainous cities in China. The purpose of this study is to explore the spatial equity and quantitative measures of urban public parks’ layouts by building a demand index of socially vulnerable groups sharing public parks based on the accessibility evaluation model. In this paper, Changting—a famous national historical and cultural city—is taken as the empirical object, then the accessibility and social equity of public parks is quantitatively measured with the aid of the field investigation method, the spatial analysis model of geographic information system (GIS) and the SPSS statistical analysis method. The results indicate that it is feasible to measure the spatial equity of urban public parks with the accessibility and demand index of socially vulnerable groups, and it can effectively characterize the rationality and social equity of urban ecological space. It shows that a degree of spatial mismatch exists between the distribution of urban public parks and that of residents, that is to say the spatial distribution of public parks is not equitable in terms of accessibility or residents’ demands. Therefore, the data suggest that the spatial patterns and accessibility levels of parks in Changting County—especially the historical districts—should be further improved and perfected to achieve high levels of accessibility and equity through urban green space system planning. The paper may be used as a scientific reference for the planning and construction of ecological urban spaces. It can also provide useful decision-making guidance for urban planners in investigating, analyzing, and adjusting the distribution of public service facilities to achieve equitable outcomes, while promoting the harmonious and sustainable development of mountainous cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Land Use Changes Driven by Urbanisation and Their Environmental Effects (Example of Trnava City, Slovakia)
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1553; doi:10.3390/su9091553
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Similar to other post-communist countries, Slovakia has undergone significant changes in the last decades—largely through transformation of central planning into a market economy. Unfortunately, this process has been associated with increasing pressure on surrounding ecosystems and their individual components. These changes are subject
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Similar to other post-communist countries, Slovakia has undergone significant changes in the last decades—largely through transformation of central planning into a market economy. Unfortunately, this process has been associated with increasing pressure on surrounding ecosystems and their individual components. These changes are subject to various influences, e.g., socio-economic, political and environmental; in addition, urbanisation has also had great influence. This is typified by conversion of productive agricultural land and semi-natural ecosystems into built-up area accompanied by the negative ecological impacts of habitat deterioration and fragmentation. The rapidly changing consumption patterns of luxury living, transportation and leisure have increased the negative consequences on ecosystems and these compound the negative environmental trends. This paper evaluates land use changes in Trnava, which is one of the most rapidly developing cities in Slovakia. Evaluation covers 1838–2015, with explicit emphasis on transformation over the last 25–30 years. We present comparison with developments since 1990 in other cities in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany and then discuss the main processes and environmental problems related to these changes, concentrating on the sustainability of current trends and appropriate planning and management responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle Application of WEHY-HCM for Modeling Interactive Atmospheric-Hydrologic Processes at Watershed Scale to a Sparsely Gauged Watershed
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1554; doi:10.3390/su9091554
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
A lack of observations within watersheds can make the production of streamflow data via hydrologic models a big challenge. This study evaluates the model performance of the Watershed Environmental Hydrology Hydro-Climate Model (WEHY-HCM), reproducing streamflow in a sparsely gauged watershed. The fifth generation
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A lack of observations within watersheds can make the production of streamflow data via hydrologic models a big challenge. This study evaluates the model performance of the Watershed Environmental Hydrology Hydro-Climate Model (WEHY-HCM), reproducing streamflow in a sparsely gauged watershed. The fifth generation mesoscale model (MM5) is utilized within WEHY-HCM as an atmospheric module coupling with its process-based hydrologic module, WEHY. The WEHY-HCM is set up over a sparsely gauged watershed and the spatially downscaled reconstructed atmospheric data to a 3-km horizontal grid resolution with an hourly time increment, is obtained by the fifth generation mesoscale model (MM5) from NCAR/NCEP global reanalysis data (reanalysis I). Hydrologic simulations by WEHY-HCM were applied to the Upper Putah Creek watershed based on the reconstructed atmospheric data and the estimated WEHY model parameters. The simulation results of WEHY-HCM were evaluated by means of statistical tests for both calibration and validation periods. The results of statistical tests performed using observed and simulated values indicated that the model performance can be considered as exhibiting an acceptable accuracy during both calibration and validation periods. The spatial maps of the evapotranspiration rate and runoff volume showed that the WEHY-HCM can represent a sparsely gauged watershed with unique topography well. This study found that the WEHY-HCM can be a useful tool to simulate the hydrologic processes in a sparsely gauged watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Natural Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Establishing a Framework to Evaluate the Effect of Energy Countermeasures Tackling Climate Change and Air Pollution: The Example of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1555; doi:10.3390/su9091555
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Due to the large-scale utilization of high-carbon fossil energy, considerable amounts of critical air pollutants (CAPs) and greenhouse gas (GHG) have been emitted, which has led to increasingly serious global climate change and local air pollution problems. Given that climate change and air
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Due to the large-scale utilization of high-carbon fossil energy, considerable amounts of critical air pollutants (CAPs) and greenhouse gas (GHG) have been emitted, which has led to increasingly serious global climate change and local air pollution problems. Given that climate change and air pollution have the same source, energy systems, the rational development and use of energy for collaborative governance should be emphasized to solve these problems in parallel. This paper presents a multi-dimensional, multi-perspective and achievable analysis framework to quantitatively evaluate the emission reduction effects of energy countermeasures aimed at tackling climate change and governing air pollution in support of sustainable development. As a typical developing country pursuing sustainable development, China is taken as an example to demonstrate an application of the proposed framework to assess the emission reduction effects of energy countermeasures issued for tackling climate change and governing air pollution on CAPs and GHG. The results indicate that the key energy actions proposed in this paper would result in emission reductions of approximately 6 million tons (Mt) of CAPs and 575 Mt of GHG in 2016. By 2020 and 2030, emission reductions of 12 Mt of CAPs and 1094 Mt of GHG and of 21 Mt of CAPs and 1975 Mt of GHG, respectively, will be achieved. The proposed framework can effectively help China identify the emissions reduction effect of a given energy countermeasure and support the development of policy describing the next steps for tackling climate change and haze pollution. The proposed framework in this paper is also beneficial for countries similar to China in their efforts to simultaneously address climate change and improve air quality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Behaviour of a Sustainable Concrete in Acidic Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1556; doi:10.3390/su9091556
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability has become one of the most important considerations in building design and construction in recent years. Concrete is susceptible to acid attack because of its alkaline nature. The socioeconomic losses associated with infrastructure deterioration due to acid attack exceed billions of dollars
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Sustainability has become one of the most important considerations in building design and construction in recent years. Concrete is susceptible to acid attack because of its alkaline nature. The socioeconomic losses associated with infrastructure deterioration due to acid attack exceed billions of dollars all around the world. An experimental investigation was carried out to study the behaviour of sustainable concrete in 3% sulphuric acid and 1.5% nitric acid environment in which cement was replaced by a combination of fly ash and ultra fine fly ash. It was found that the compressive strength loss of concrete in these acid environments was the minimum in which cement was replaced by 30% fly ash and 10% ultra fine fly ash. This mix also showed the lowest mass loss when exposed to these acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Applying the Mahalanobis–Taguchi System to Improve Tablet PC Production Processes
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1557; doi:10.3390/su9091557
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Product testing is a critical step in tablet PC manufacturing processes. Purchases of testing equipment and on-site testing personnel increase overall manufacturing costs. In addition, to improve manufacturing capabilities, manufacturers must also produce products with higher quality and at a lower cost than
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Product testing is a critical step in tablet PC manufacturing processes. Purchases of testing equipment and on-site testing personnel increase overall manufacturing costs. In addition, to improve manufacturing capabilities, manufacturers must also produce products with higher quality and at a lower cost than their competitors if they are to attract consumers and gain a competitive edge in their industry. The Mahalanobis–Taguchi System (MTS) is a novel technique proposed by Genichi Taguchi for performing diagnoses and forecasting with multivariate data. The MTS can be used to select important factors and has been applied in numerous engineering fields to improve product and process quality. In the present study, the MTS, logistic regression, and a neural network were used to improve the tablet PC product testing process. The results indicated that the MTS attained 98% predictive power after insignificant test items were eliminated. The MTS performance was superior to those of the conventional logistic regression and neural network, which attained 93.3% and 94.7% predictive power, respectively. After the testing process was improved using the MTS, the number of test items in the tablet PC product testing process was reduced from 56 to 14. This facilitated the development of more stable test site configurations and effectively reduced the testing time, number of testers required, and equipment costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Analysis of Charcoal Production in Masonry Kilns with and without Carbonization Process Generated Gas Combustion
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1558; doi:10.3390/su9091558
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
New technologies and emissions controls have been developed for the production of charcoal, but are not widely used in the industry. The present study seeks to evaluate the potential environmental impact of these new technologies as compared to traditional ones. A Life Cycle
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New technologies and emissions controls have been developed for the production of charcoal, but are not widely used in the industry. The present study seeks to evaluate the potential environmental impact of these new technologies as compared to traditional ones. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Brazilian charcoal produced with different technologies without and with the combustion of the gases in burners or furnaces was carried out. The inclusion of furnaces for the combustion of gases reduces all categories of potential environmental impacts by approximately 90% in both a circular masonry kiln and a rectangular masonry kiln with gas combustion. In the process of producing charcoal (gate-to-gate system boundary), in terms of climate change, the rectangular masonry kiln with gas combustion was approximately 63% less impactful than the circular masonry kiln with gas combustion. In the gate-to-gate analysis, the rectangular masonry kiln with gas combustion presented the best performance when not considering NO2 and SO2. Considering these emissions, there were changes in the impact categories of particulate matter emission and terrestrial acidification, and the circular masonry kiln with gas combustion presented better performance (for cradle-to-gate system boundary). The process in a rectangular masonry kiln without gas combustion presented a greater contribution to the categories of terrestrial impact ecotoxicity (98%), due to the emission of acetic acid especially. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Attitudes towards Organic Products and Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Romania
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1559; doi:10.3390/su9091559
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Organic food consumption has increased during the last years as a consequence of its direct impact on consumer health, life style, and social convenience as well as on the environment and sustainable development. Compared to the European level, the consumption of organic food
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Organic food consumption has increased during the last years as a consequence of its direct impact on consumer health, life style, and social convenience as well as on the environment and sustainable development. Compared to the European level, the consumption of organic food products is quite low in Romania. This paper investigates the perception and attitudes of the organic food consumers from the North-West Development Region of Romania. Consumers’ perception towards organic food products was measured using 30 items. The data were collected from 568 respondents and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. A factor-cluster approach was used to identify consumer groups. The findings indicated that health concerns, sensory appeal, sustainable consumption and weight concerns are the main reasons for consuming organic food products. Three main groups of organic food consumers were identified: “gourmand”, “environmentally concerned” and “health concerned”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Facilitating Regional Energy Transition Strategies: Toward a Typology of Regions
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1560; doi:10.3390/su9091560
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
The regional level is essential for the use of renewable energies since on this level national political goals are harmonized with implementation activities. Hence, regional strategies can, we argue, be useful. Yet, these strategies must be tailored to meet a variety of contextual
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The regional level is essential for the use of renewable energies since on this level national political goals are harmonized with implementation activities. Hence, regional strategies can, we argue, be useful. Yet, these strategies must be tailored to meet a variety of contextual conditions. Within this study, we identified natural and socio-economic conditions that need to be considered when developing regional strategies for Energiewende. Focusing on these conditions, we conducted a multivariate statistical analysis of all 412 German districts (Landkreise). We identified nine energy context types characterized by different renewable energy potentials and socio-economic conditions. We propose to develop one generic regional energy transition strategy for each of the energy context types. These can serve as a governance tool that operationalizes and allocates national Energiewende goals according to regional contextual conditions. Moreover, the energy context types may support regional decision makers by allowing them to prioritize steps in the transition process, to establish networks with, and to learn from, similar regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Generational Differences in the Perception of Corporate Culture in European Transport Enterprises
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1561; doi:10.3390/su9091561
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
The workforce of an enterprise consists of employees of various ages with different personality types. Members of each generation differ not only in their behaviour, but also in their attitudes and opinions. A manager should identify generational differences. Subsequently, the management style, leadership
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The workforce of an enterprise consists of employees of various ages with different personality types. Members of each generation differ not only in their behaviour, but also in their attitudes and opinions. A manager should identify generational differences. Subsequently, the management style, leadership and employee motivation should be adapted forasmuch as well-motivated employees are able to affect the efficiency of enterprise processes in right way. The objective of the paper is to identify differences in perception of the preferred level of corporate culture in terms of various generations. Preferred level of corporate culture in six areas is evaluated using a questionnaire consisting of 24 questions. Sixty-four European transport enterprises are engaged in the survey. Following the outcomes, we find that all generations of respondents working in the European transport enterprises prefer clan corporate culture in the course of five years. This culture puts emphasis on employees, customers and traditions. Loyalty and teamwork are considered to be the essential tools for business success. Following the statistical verification using the ANOVA test, we can state that the hypothesis regarding the existence of generational differences in the perception of corporate culture was not confirmed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Efficiency Assessment of Material Use: The Case of Phosphorus Fertilizer Usage in Japan’s Rice Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1562; doi:10.3390/su9091562
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
To raise the eco-efficiency of the economy, it is important to not only investigate the eco-efficiency of specific products but also to ascertain whether the resources are used effectively throughout the life cycle. In this paper, we address eco-efficiency of agricultural use of
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To raise the eco-efficiency of the economy, it is important to not only investigate the eco-efficiency of specific products but also to ascertain whether the resources are used effectively throughout the life cycle. In this paper, we address eco-efficiency of agricultural use of phosphorus in Japan in the years 2005, 2010, and 2011. The increase in revenue from crops due to the use of phosphorus-based fertilizer is considered. The method used allows us to isolate the impact of a single nutrient and to convert this to a monetary value. For impact assessment of P resource use, we combine life-cycle inventory (LCI) data with LIME 2 (Life-cycle Impact Assessment Method based on Endpoint modeling) method. The most significant environment impact of the phosphorus chemical fertilizer life cycle is found to be on climate change by high chemical fertilizer. In 2005, provided service of phosphorus resource use was estimated as the highest while value added service of phosphorus increased, resulting in an uptick in eco-efficiency. During the study period, the lowest eco-efficiency of P resource use resulted in 2011. The results from this study, and the methods used, should be of great interest to industry, the research community, and policy makers concerned with resource efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Diverse Effects of Consumer Credit on Household Carbon Emissions at Quantiles: Evidence from Urban China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1563; doi:10.3390/su9091563
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper surveys the diverse effects of consumer credit on household carbon emissions (HCEs) based on consumption patterns revealed by urban Chinese survey data. Based on the foundation of existing literature, consumption patterns and influential factors are carefully chosen to build empirical models
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This paper surveys the diverse effects of consumer credit on household carbon emissions (HCEs) based on consumption patterns revealed by urban Chinese survey data. Based on the foundation of existing literature, consumption patterns and influential factors are carefully chosen to build empirical models that apply Heteroscedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimation and quantile regression. The study finds that short-term consumer credit and credit card limits (representing daily consumption) have effects on HCEs at all quantiles, but mortgages (representing long-term consumer credit) only have effects at high quantiles. Consumption categories have distinct effects on HCEs at different quantiles. The effects of mortgages on HCEs occur mainly through the consumption of housing and facilities as well as through the consumption of medical care and transportation, while the effects of short-term consumer credit and credit card limits on HCEs occur through almost all consumption categories. These findings contribute to knowledge of the determinants of HCEs and provide a theoretical basis for consumer financial mechanisms to cut HCEs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle What Makes Firms Innovative? The Role of Social Capital in Corporate Innovation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1564; doi:10.3390/su9091564
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper offers a social capital explanation for the purported relationship between human capital investment and an organization’s innovation capability. We argue that social capital plays a mediating role in the relationship between the level of individual knowledge of employees and organizations’ innovation
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This paper offers a social capital explanation for the purported relationship between human capital investment and an organization’s innovation capability. We argue that social capital plays a mediating role in the relationship between the level of individual knowledge of employees and organizations’ innovation capabilities. The mediating mechanism is attributed to the role of social capital in knowledge exchange and combination that help enhance knowledge creation. Using survey data of 319 manufacturing firms in Korea, we conducted structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis to verify the mediating role of social capital in firms’ innovation performance. The results demonstrated that relational and cognitive dimensions of social capital are important mediators in realizing organizational innovation performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Stakeholder Delphi Study to Determine Key Space Management Components for Elderly Facilities in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1565; doi:10.3390/su9091565
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
The elderly population in China is increasing rapidly. To meet elderly residents’ housing demand, Chinese government makes great efforts to build more elderly facilities. However, major challenges in the operation of these elderly facilities, such as low space utilization rate, poor accessibility, poor
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The elderly population in China is increasing rapidly. To meet elderly residents’ housing demand, Chinese government makes great efforts to build more elderly facilities. However, major challenges in the operation of these elderly facilities, such as low space utilization rate, poor accessibility, poor environment and so on, have being emerging. The critical reason for challenges can be concluded as the lack of effective space management components. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to explore key space management components for China’s elderly facilities. Considering stakeholders’ (facility owner, facility manager, care staff, elderly residents, and academic researchers) viewpoints on space management, this study used a multi-stakeholder Delphi approach to determine key space management components through five steps. Based on the selection criteria, a total of 25 Delphi panellists with five stakeholder groups were invited and finally 23 Delphi panellists participated in the whole study process. Subsequently, the academic researchers among these panellists were employed to quantify the stakeholders’ influence with the parameter of stakeholder influencing factor. After that, the initial discussion on space management was performed to generate the initial list involving 11 space management components. Next, two ranking rounds were conducted to conclude the final significance scores of each space management component from five stakeholder groups’ feedbacks. With respect to the final ranking score and the values of influencing stakeholder factor, the decision score of each space management components was calculated, which integrated all stakeholder groups’ opinions. Finally, through two cut-off points, a total of seven components were selected as the key space management components for China’s elderly facilities including space planning and assignment, space utilization audit, space occupancy cost audit, space inventory management, space usability management, space change management, and the management of health safety and environment. These components will assist facility managers to conduct effective and sustainable space management practice for supporting organizational core business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Post Occupancy Evaluation)
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Open AccessArticle Oxidative Status and Presence of Bioactive Compounds in Meat from Chickens Fed Polyphenols Extracted from Olive Oil Industry Waste
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1566; doi:10.3390/su9091566
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
A study was carried out to determine the quality characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, and consumer acceptability of chicken meat after dietary administration of a semi-solid olive cake, known as “paté” (pOC), in broilers. pOC is an olive oil industry waste rich in
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A study was carried out to determine the quality characteristics, antioxidant capacity, oxidative status, and consumer acceptability of chicken meat after dietary administration of a semi-solid olive cake, known as “paté” (pOC), in broilers. pOC is an olive oil industry waste rich in bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, obtained by mechanical extraction from destoned olives. Two hundred and ninety-seven 22-day-old fast growing (Ross 308) female chicks were randomly assigned to three experimental grower-finisher diets. Each dietary group consisted of three replicates, each with 33 birds. The experimental treatments were: (1) basal control diet (C); (2) C diet supplemented with a low dose of pOC (82.5 g/Kg, L-pOC); and (3) C diet supplemented with a high dose of pOC (165.0 g/Kg, H-pOC). Chicken growth rate increased with increasing pOC concentration in the diet. Polyphenol analyses were performed through liquid-chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry technique (LC-MS/MS). In meat of animals belonging to L-pOC and H-pOC groups, tyrosol and sulphate metabolites of hydroxytyrosol were detected. Meat quality parameters and proximate composition were not affected by the dietary treatment, whereas the antioxidant status and the oxidative stability of meat were positively affected, especially when the highest level of pOC was applied. These results demonstrate that pOC can be recommended in chicken diets to improve performance and meat oxidative status. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Transformational Leadership on Employee Sustainable Performance: The Mediating Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1567; doi:10.3390/su9091567
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Transformational leadership has drawn extensive attention in management research. In this field, the influence of transformational leadership on employee performance is an important branch. Recent research indicates that organizational citizenship behavior plays a mediating role between transformational leadership and employee performance. However, some
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Transformational leadership has drawn extensive attention in management research. In this field, the influence of transformational leadership on employee performance is an important branch. Recent research indicates that organizational citizenship behavior plays a mediating role between transformational leadership and employee performance. However, some of these findings contradict each other. Given the background where greater attention is being paid to transformational leadership in the construction industry, this research aims to find the degree of the influence of transformational leadership on employee sustainable performance, as well as the mediating role of organizational citizenship behavior. A total of 389 questionnaires were collected from contractors and analyzed via structural equation modeling. The findings reveal that employee sustainable performance is positively influenced by transformational leadership. In addition, more than half of that influence is mediated by their organizational citizenship behavior. These findings remind project managers of the need to pay close attention to transformational leadership, to cultivate organizational citizenship behavior, and thereby to eventually improve employee’s sustainable performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Income Level and Seasons on Quantity and Composition of Municipal Solid Waste: A Case Study of the Capital City of Pakistan
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1568; doi:10.3390/su9091568
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The current study aims to analyze and compare the quantity and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) at three socio-economic levels of population during all four seasons of the year (spring, summer, monsoon and winter). In this study, 2164.75 kg of MSW was
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The current study aims to analyze and compare the quantity and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) at three socio-economic levels of population during all four seasons of the year (spring, summer, monsoon and winter). In this study, 2164.75 kg of MSW was evaluated, from 1260 samples collected from 45 households. The average waste generation was estimated to be 0.6 kg per capita per day. Waste generation rate for high, middle and low income groups was 0.890, 0.612 and 0.346 kg per capita per day, respectively. Nevertheless, season specific analysis indicated waste generation rates of 0.78, 0.58, 0.48 and 0.75 kg per capita per day in spring, summer, monsoon and winter, respectively. A two way ANOVA statistical analysis further illustrated a significant effect (p = 0.00) of economic level and seasons on the amount and composition of waste generated by the community. Moreover, the collected waste was segregated into 42 categories, where the highest was the organic fraction (57%), then diapers (12%), followed by plastic (8%), cardboard (3%) and paper (2%). The amounts of textile, diapers and plastics were highest in the lowest income group, while tetra packs, metal, paper and yard waste were maximum in the high income group. It is concluded that the high income group generated the highest amount of waste and waste generation rate is higher in the seasons of spring and winter compared to the other two seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Chinese Consumers’ Intention to Purchase Sustainable Fashion Products: The Moderating Role of Face-Saving Orientation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1570; doi:10.3390/su9091570
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
In a culture where collectivism is pervasive such as China, social norms can be one of the most powerful tools to influence consumers’ behavior. Individuals are driven to meet social expectations and fulfill social roles in collectivist cultures. Therefore, this study was designed
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In a culture where collectivism is pervasive such as China, social norms can be one of the most powerful tools to influence consumers’ behavior. Individuals are driven to meet social expectations and fulfill social roles in collectivist cultures. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate how Chinese consumers’ concern with saving face affects sustainable fashion product purchase intention and how it also moderates consumers’ commitment to sustainable fashion. An empirical data set of 469 undergraduate students in Beijing and Shanghai was used to test our hypotheses. Results confirmed that face-saving is an important motivation for Chinese consumers’ purchase of sustainable fashion items, and it also attenuated the effect of general product value while enhancing the effect of products’ green value in predicting purchasing trends. The findings contribute to the knowledge of sustainable consumption in Confucian culture, and thus their managerial implications were also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Objectives for Stakeholder Engagement in Global Environmental Assessments
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1571; doi:10.3390/su9091571
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Global environmental assessments (GEAs) are among the most large-scale, formalized processes for synthesizing knowledge at the science–policy–society interface. The successful engagement of diverse stakeholders in GEAs is often described as a crucial mechanism for increasing their legitimacy, salience and credibility. However, the diversity
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Global environmental assessments (GEAs) are among the most large-scale, formalized processes for synthesizing knowledge at the science–policy–society interface. The successful engagement of diverse stakeholders in GEAs is often described as a crucial mechanism for increasing their legitimacy, salience and credibility. However, the diversity of perspectives on the more precise objectives for stakeholder engagement remains largely unclear. The aims of this study are to categorize and characterize the diversity of perspectives on objectives for stakeholder engagement in GEAs; to explore differences in perspectives within and between different stakeholder groups and categories; and to test whether the more practical prioritization and selection of objectives in GEAs can be linked to deliberative policy learning as a higher-level rationale for stakeholder engagement. For these purposes, we conduct a grounded theory analysis and a keyword analysis of interview material and official GEA documents relating to two GEAs: UN Environment’s Fifth Global Environment Outlook and the Working Group III contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. Based on the analysis, we identify six categories of objectives and present as hypotheses promising ways forward for prioritizing and characterizing objectives for stakeholder engagement in GEAs, as well as potential reasons for the differences between perspectives on objectives. This study draws attention to the need for future GEA processes to have more explicit discussions on the objectives for stakeholder engagement, as well as the importance of moving towards increasingly deliberative and inclusive assessment processes more broadly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Participatory Sustainability Assessment for Sugarcane Expansion in Goiás, Brazil
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1573; doi:10.3390/su9091573
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
The sugarcane expansion in Brazil from 1990 to 2015 increased crop area by 135.1%, which represents more than 10 million hectares. Brazilian ethanol production hit a record high in 2015, reaching 30 billion liters, up 6% compared to 2014. In 2009, the Sugarcane
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The sugarcane expansion in Brazil from 1990 to 2015 increased crop area by 135.1%, which represents more than 10 million hectares. Brazilian ethanol production hit a record high in 2015, reaching 30 billion liters, up 6% compared to 2014. In 2009, the Sugarcane Agroecology—ZAE-CANA—was launched to be a guideline to sustainable sugarcane production in Brazil. However, although it aims at sustainable production, it only considered natural aspects of the country, such as soil and climate. It is still necessary to develop instruments for studies on sustainability in all pillars. The aim of this study is to present the results regarding the application of the FoPIA (Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment) methodology in the Southwestern Goiás Planning Region (SGPR). FoPIA is a participatory methodology designed to assess the impacts of land use policies in regional sustainability, and the results showed the capacity of FoPIA to assess the impacts of land use change of the sugarcane expansion in that area. The major advantage of FoPIA is its participatory method feature, as it is possible to join stakeholders to debate and define sustainability guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Do External or Internal Technology Spillovers Have a Stronger Influence on Innovation Efficiency in China?
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1574; doi:10.3390/su9091574
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we bridge an important gap in the literature by comparing the extent to which external technology spillovers, as indicated by foreign direct investment (FDI), and internal technology spillovers, as indicated by university-institute-industry cooperation (UIC), influence innovation efficiency in China. We
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In this study, we bridge an important gap in the literature by comparing the extent to which external technology spillovers, as indicated by foreign direct investment (FDI), and internal technology spillovers, as indicated by university-institute-industry cooperation (UIC), influence innovation efficiency in China. We divide the innovation process into two sequential stages, namely the knowledge creation and technology commercialization stages, and employ a network data envelopment analysis approach to measure innovation efficiency at each stage. The spatial analysis of the distribution of knowledge creation efficiency and technology commercialization efficiency reveals the heterogeneity of innovation efficiency at the provincial level. Then, a panel data regression is used to analyze the effect of FDI and UIC on innovation efficiency at each stage, using data from 2009 to 2015 for 30 provinces in China. By comparing FDI with UIC, we find that FDI has a higher coefficient and stronger significance level at the knowledge creation stage, while only industry-institute linkages exhibit a stronger association with innovation efficiency at the technology commercialization stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Efficiency–Risk Approach in Sustainable Project Control
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1575; doi:10.3390/su9091575
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
The lack of integrated project control techniques covering both qualitative and quantitative indices is one of the most important reasons leading to unfinished projects under predetermined schedules and expected budgets. Two modern techniques proposed in project control—the critical chain method and buffer management
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The lack of integrated project control techniques covering both qualitative and quantitative indices is one of the most important reasons leading to unfinished projects under predetermined schedules and expected budgets. Two modern techniques proposed in project control—the critical chain method and buffer management (CCM/BM), and the earned value analysis or earned value management and earned schedule (EVM/ES)—both have advantages and disadvantages. Goldratt proposed the CCM/BM method in 1997 based on the theory of constraint (TOC), but this method was not successful despite some improvements in project control because of some executive reasons. The most noteworthy constraint of this method is the management of time and time risks (use of a time buffer) of the project more than the subject. Goldratt believed that time control could be the most critical issue in project control. In other words, the overall problems associated with each project can be solved as long as the buffer time is under control and there is no need to control the other items. EVM/ES is one of the important techniques used to calculate real project development; it has been used for the integrated management of sustainable projects in recent decades. Using this technique, project managers can predict the final status of the project in terms of the necessary time and cost to finish the project. However, this method is limited by the management of the project cost and the lack of interference in the project risks. In sum, the CCM/BM method focuses on time and its risks associated with the project, thus making it advantageous to other techniques. Conversely, EVM/ES focuses on the costs or schedule with non-probabilistic assumptions, giving some interesting results. Therefore, this study aims to represent an integrated framework that considers the advantages of both CCM/BM and EVM/ES, called the efficiency–risk approach, which is implemented to control sustainable projects efficiently. This hybrid form can simultaneously control all the parameters, including both quantitative and qualitative variables, time, cost, and risk in conjunction with the project. Schedule and cost buffers of the project are derived using new formulations that provide appropriate estimations on the duration and cost for completing the sustainable projects and the relevant risks. The proposed ideas are analyzed and described through an industrial case study in the Steel Company, Isfahan, Iran. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainties of Two Methods in Selecting Priority Areas for Protecting Soil Conservation Service at Regional Scale
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1577; doi:10.3390/su9091577
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Soil conservation (SC) is an important ecosystem regulating service. At present, methods for SC mapping to identify priority areas are primarily based on empirical soil erosion models, such as the RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) based model. However, the parameters of the
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Soil conservation (SC) is an important ecosystem regulating service. At present, methods for SC mapping to identify priority areas are primarily based on empirical soil erosion models, such as the RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) based model. However, the parameters of the empirical soil conservation model are based on long-term observations of field experiments at small spatial scales, which are very difficult to obtain and must be simplified when implementing these models at large spatial scales. Such simplification of model parameters may lead to uncertainty in quantifying SC at regional scale. In this study, we have analyzed a new method to map SC in Jiangxi Province of China based on the multiplication of multiple biophysical data. After comparing the spatial-temporal changes of SC from the RUSLE based model and those from the surrogate indicator based method in the study area, the similarities and differences of these methods for identifying SC priority areas were revealed. The result showed that the two methods similarly represented the effects of vegetation coverage and land use types on SC, however, they were significantly different in representing the spatial pattern of SC priority areas and its temporal change. Based on the comparisons, the advantages and drawbacks for both methods were made clear and suggestions were made for the suitable use of the two methods, which may benefit for the research and application of concerning the planning and assessment with SC as key criteria. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gap Analysis Based Decision Support Methodology to Improve Level of Service of Water Services
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1578; doi:10.3390/su9091578
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
One of water utility’s managerial challenges is to make a balance in between two distinctive managerial goals, cost-effective provision of water service and improving customer satisfaction of water service. As management priorities of the water utility perspective do not reconcile from the customer’s
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One of water utility’s managerial challenges is to make a balance in between two distinctive managerial goals, cost-effective provision of water service and improving customer satisfaction of water service. As management priorities of the water utility perspective do not reconcile from the customer’s perspective, this gap challenges the sustainable provision of water service. In this study, the new methodology based on a gap analysis was proposed to improve the Overall Level of Service (O-LOS) of water service. Two new indexes (Gap Index [GI] and the Efficiency Index [EI]) were developed to improve the O-LOS and minimize the gap between the customers and the service providers. The methodology proposed in this study is effective in supporting the water utility decisions on budget allocation to make a balance in between the customers’ demand and the service providers’ needs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Smog Awareness Influences Public Acceptance of Congestion Charge Policies
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1579; doi:10.3390/su9091579
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Although various studies have investigated public acceptance of congestion charge policies, most of them have focused on behavioral and policy-related factors, and did not consider the moderating influence that individual concern about smog and perceived smog risk may have on public acceptance. This
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Although various studies have investigated public acceptance of congestion charge policies, most of them have focused on behavioral and policy-related factors, and did not consider the moderating influence that individual concern about smog and perceived smog risk may have on public acceptance. This paper takes the congestion charge policy in China, targeted at smog and traffic control, and checks how smog awareness—including smog concerns and perceived smog risks, besides behavioral and policy-related factors—might influence public acceptance of the policy. In this paper, we found both a direct and moderating causal relationship between smog awareness and public acceptance. Based on a sample of 574 valid questionnaires in Beijing and Shanghai in 2016, an ordered logistic regression modeling approach was used to delineate the causality between smog awareness and public acceptance. We found that both smog concerns, such as perceived smog risk, and willingness to pay (WTP) were both directly and indirectly positively correlated with public acceptance. These findings imply that policymakers should increase policy fairness with environmental-oriented policy design and should express potential policy effectiveness of the smog controlling policy to citizens to increase their acceptance level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Entrepreneurs’ Orientation towards Sustainability in Interaction versus Network Marketing Practices
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1580; doi:10.3390/su9091580
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
By gliding sustainability into the mainstream areas of marketing strategy, the purpose of the current research is to analyze the influence of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability on relational marketing practices—i.e., interaction versus network marketing. Placed within a comparative setup, the investigation included
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By gliding sustainability into the mainstream areas of marketing strategy, the purpose of the current research is to analyze the influence of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability on relational marketing practices—i.e., interaction versus network marketing. Placed within a comparative setup, the investigation included a sample of 104 business owners of Romanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the services sector, the selection of participants being subject to well-defined pre-established criteria. Acknowledging the research gap which addresses the type of business strategy fit for entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability, the conceptual model integrated a categorical moderator variable (Planned/Emergent Business Strategies) as indicative of the potential heterogeneity among the hypothesized relationships. Both measurement and structural models were appraised by means of a structural equation modeling technique, respectively, component-based partial least squares (PLS-SEM). As the findings concluded, the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability accounts for almost 35% of variance in interaction marketing practices and 16% of variance in network marketing practices, thus positing a higher influence on the former. Moreover, evidence was provided that the reification of the entrepreneurs’ orientation towards sustainability in relational marketing practices was not significantly dependent on the type of business strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle The Gigantism of Public Works in China in the Twenty-First Century
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1581; doi:10.3390/su9091581
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Part of human beings’ relationship with the world around them includes constructing or building. They connect with the land and makes civil engineering an action of reflection with the environment, a use of material, and a function of construction work. This involves a
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Part of human beings’ relationship with the world around them includes constructing or building. They connect with the land and makes civil engineering an action of reflection with the environment, a use of material, and a function of construction work. This involves a combination of necessities and perfection in order to fulfil an aim. To build is essential on this earth. From a “mud hut” as the commencement of architecture up to water regulating with dams, conducting it via a channel, overcoming obstacles by use of a bridge, or finding shelter and sailing by using harbours, a public work requires the welfare of a community as its “raison d´être”. The aim of this investigation is to analyse the human condition in construction and how works of an enormous size that change the way of “being on earth” have been tackled for instrumental reasons by disassociating necessities, revitalizing noxious effects, destroying nature’s scenery and landscapes, disturbing the environment, and negatively affecting the urban development of our “poly-cities”. Referred to by the authors of this article as “gigantism of public works”, this concept is analysed using examples in Asia and works of a notable size in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Situational Assessments Based on Uncertainty-Risk Awareness in Complex Traffic Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1582; doi:10.3390/su9091582
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Situational assessment (SA) is one of the key parts for the application of intelligent alternative-energy vehicles (IAVs) in the sustainable transportation. It helps IAVs understand and comprehend traffic environments better. In SA, it is crucial to be aware of uncertainty-risks, such as sensor
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Situational assessment (SA) is one of the key parts for the application of intelligent alternative-energy vehicles (IAVs) in the sustainable transportation. It helps IAVs understand and comprehend traffic environments better. In SA, it is crucial to be aware of uncertainty-risks, such as sensor failure or communication loss. The objective of this study is to assess traffic situations considering uncertainty-risks, including environment predicting uncertainty. According to the stochastic environment model, collision probabilities between multiple vehicles are estimated based on integrated trajectory prediction under uncertainty, which combines the physics- and maneuver-based trajectory prediction models for accurate prediction results in the long term. The SA method considers the probabilities of collision at different predicting points, the masses, and relative speeds between the possible colliding objects. In addition, risks beyond the prediction horizon are considered with the proposition of infinite risk assessments (IRAs). This method is applied and proved to assess risks regarding unexpected obstacles in traffic, sensor failure or communication loss, and imperfect detections with different sensing accuracies of the environment. The results indicate that the SA method could evaluate traffic risks under uncertainty in the dynamic traffic environment. This could help IAVs’ plan motion trajectories and make high-level decisions in uncertain environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Decomposition Analysis of Embodied Energy Consumption in China’s Construction Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1583; doi:10.3390/su9091583
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
With the fast-paced urbanization process, there will be a rapid development of China’s construction industry. However, it could also drive for considerable energy consumption, resulting in immense pressure on the environment. Based on non-competitive (import) input–output tables, we employed the SRIO (Single Region
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With the fast-paced urbanization process, there will be a rapid development of China’s construction industry. However, it could also drive for considerable energy consumption, resulting in immense pressure on the environment. Based on non-competitive (import) input–output tables, we employed the SRIO (Single Region Input–Output) model to analyze energy use embodied in China’s construction industry from 1995 to 2009 and made projections for 2020. Our results show that about 4.84 billion tons of coal equivalent energy would be consumed by China’s construction industry in 2020. It implies that urbanization not only promotes the flow of embodied energy, but also provides development opportunities for a green and energy-saving construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Exclude Me Not: The Untold Story of Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Sweden
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1584; doi:10.3390/su9091584
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
This article examines the perspectives of immigrant entrepreneurs on the barriers they face regarding their inclusion in public procurement in Sweden through the so-called supplier diversity programs. Drawing upon modern stakeholder theory and transaction cost economics, this study aims to identify potential barriers
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This article examines the perspectives of immigrant entrepreneurs on the barriers they face regarding their inclusion in public procurement in Sweden through the so-called supplier diversity programs. Drawing upon modern stakeholder theory and transaction cost economics, this study aims to identify potential barriers such entrepreneurs face in succeeding as suppliers to the public sector. Data were collected through interviews with immigrant entrepreneurs who had experience with the public procurement tender process in Sweden. The results reveal that immigrant entrepreneurs doing business with public procurement face several barriers, ranging from economic to social ones such as information, advertising, human resources, and undercapitalization. The interviewees believe that such barriers weaken their performance and hinder their success in public procurement tenders. When it comes to supplier diversity programs, the entrepreneurs under study were either unaware of such programs in public procurement in Sweden or did not believe in their effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Reusing Desulfurization Slag in Cement Clinker Production and the Influence on the Formation of Clinker Phases
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1585; doi:10.3390/su9091585
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the reuse of desulfurization slag in cement clinker production and its influence on the formation of clinker phases. The desulfurization slag that mainly contained Ca and Si was identified as non-toxic, and thus it should
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the reuse of desulfurization slag in cement clinker production and its influence on the formation of clinker phases. The desulfurization slag that mainly contained Ca and Si was identified as non-toxic, and thus it should be suitable to be reused in clinker production. The addition of desulfurization slag increased the melt phase during clinkerization, but the excess melt phase inhibited the formation of clinker phases. This could be attributed to the sulfur and fluoride derived from the De-S slag. At low desulfurization slag addition (5.4 wt %), the resulting clinker had a mineralogical composition similar to that of the reference clinker. The desulfurization slag added can lower the clinkerization temperature and increase the amount of Ca3SiO5 at 1300 °C, which may be beneficial to energy conservation in clinker burning. Moreover, reusing desulfurization slag additionally has the potential to reduce the energy needed for clinker grinding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Images of Stakeholder Groups Based on Their Environmental Sustainability Linked CSR Projects: A Meta-Analytic Review of Korean Sport Literature
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1586; doi:10.3390/su9091586
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Achieving sustainability in sports events requires effective management, political leadership, and ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to a sustainable philosophy. In order to stage a mega-event, tremendous infrastructure and construction are required with significant consumption of private and public resources. Multiple stakeholder groups
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Achieving sustainability in sports events requires effective management, political leadership, and ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to a sustainable philosophy. In order to stage a mega-event, tremendous infrastructure and construction are required with significant consumption of private and public resources. Multiple stakeholder groups are recognized as key entities responsible for an efficient trigger of a mega-event. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review of Korean sport literature with regard to CSR practices (ES-linked) of different stakeholder groups and examine through a meta-analytic methodology their impact on the “images” of these groups. The CMA program was utilized as the main analysis tool to calculate the effect sizes from the selected empirical studies. The results indicated that CSR performance of governmental organizations had the highest effect size level on their own image (brand identity) as perceived by visitors and participants. Among the stakeholder groups, effect size levels of their CSR performances were followed by those of corporate sponsors and professional teams. It was found that stakeholder groups are pressured to maintain a balance between financial performance, consumer well-being, and brand identity to bring in external investment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the EU, US, China, and India up to 2060 in Comparison with Their Pledges under the Paris Agreement
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1587; doi:10.3390/su9091587
Received: 24 June 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
A greenhouse gas (GHG) emission model was developed based on economic and energy sector development at the national level. Different development scenarios were established, including BAU (scenario with business as usual) and API (scenario with additional policy interventions). We simulated annual GHG emissions
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A greenhouse gas (GHG) emission model was developed based on economic and energy sector development at the national level. Different development scenarios were established, including BAU (scenario with business as usual) and API (scenario with additional policy interventions). We simulated annual GHG emissions under different scenarios for the EU, US, China, and India from 2016 to 2060, and evaluated the impacts of emission changes on their mitigation pledges (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, INDCs). Two main conclusions were obtained. (1) In API, EU’s emissions fell from 4160 to 2340 MtCO2e/year and would probably achieve its INDC pledge. Though US’s emissions fell from 6330 to 4020 MtCO2e/year, it still had a deficit of 370 MtCO2e in 2025. If the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is abandoned, US’s emissions would remain above 6000 MtCO2e/year. (2) In BAU, China’s emissions peaked in 2044 while India’s emissions were already close to the strict INDC target. In API, China and India both achieved a reduction of about 2000 MtCO2e exceeding their INDC targets in 2030. Chinese emissions peaked in 2030, but Indian emissions grew until 2060. This study also indicates that developed countries should play a more important role in future mitigation efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Credit Scoring Model for SMEs Based on Accounting Ethics
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1588; doi:10.3390/su9091588
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Various types of government credit guarantee programs exist for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The SMEs guaranteed by these programs can resolve their financial difficulties by obtaining loans from banks or being included in a pool for the issuance of primary collateralized bond
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Various types of government credit guarantee programs exist for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The SMEs guaranteed by these programs can resolve their financial difficulties by obtaining loans from banks or being included in a pool for the issuance of primary collateralized bond obligations. However, the loan default rate for these supported firms is high owing to their moral hazard, which can be associated with unethical behavior in the accounting process. Since the stakeholders of credit guarantee programs initiated by the government include not only lenders and borrowers, but also taxpayers, the default risk of moral hazard must be minimized. Thus, an additional evaluation step is required to deal with accounting ethics, which has not thus far been considered in the literature. In this study, we propose an accounting ethics-based credit scoring model as a complementary approach, which can be used to select suitable borrowers. The proposed model is expected to reduce the default rate resulting from the moral hazard associated with unethical accounting behaviors in the supported firms. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effect of Inspection Policies and Residual Value of Collected Used Products: A Mathematical Model and Genetic Algorithm for a Closed-Loop Green Manufacturing System
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1589; doi:10.3390/su9091589
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
In the green manufacturing system that pursues the reuse of used products, the residual value of collected used products (CUP) hugely affects a variety of managerial decisions to construct profitable and environmental remanufacturing plans. This paper deals with a closed-loop green manufacturing system
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In the green manufacturing system that pursues the reuse of used products, the residual value of collected used products (CUP) hugely affects a variety of managerial decisions to construct profitable and environmental remanufacturing plans. This paper deals with a closed-loop green manufacturing system for companies which perform both manufacturing with raw materials and remanufacturing with collected used products (CUP). The amount of CUP is assumed as a function of buy-back cost while the quality level of CUP, which means the residual value, follows a known distribution. In addition, the remanufacturing cost can differ according to the quality of the CUP. Moreover, nowadays companies are subject to existing environment-related laws such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Therefore, a company should collect more used products than its obligatory take-back quota or face fines from the government for not meeting its quota. Through the development of mathematical models, two kinds of inspection policies are examined to validate the efficiency of two different operation processes. To find a managerial solution, a genetic algorithm is proposed and tested with numerical examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reverse Logistics: An Interdisciplinary Approach)
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Open AccessArticle A Methodology for Analysing Sustainability in Energy Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1590; doi:10.3390/su9091590
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Energy is a key factor in sustainability and a very attractive but risky sector for entrepreneurs. The need for sustainability in the energy sector forces the introduction of renewable sources in any scenario considered, but this investment must be thoroughly assessed. A methodology
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Energy is a key factor in sustainability and a very attractive but risky sector for entrepreneurs. The need for sustainability in the energy sector forces the introduction of renewable sources in any scenario considered, but this investment must be thoroughly assessed. A methodology is required that enables the deduction of a realistic level of participation of renewable energy in the energy scenario in each particular case. Such a methodology should take into account all the factors involved and, by conciliating the different constraints imposed by each of them, find the maximum level of renewable energy possible in the system. This paper introduces a new methodology to address this problem by taking into account demand, generation, level of resources and technologies; and applies it to a particular case in a region of Democratic Republic of Congo. The uncertainties present in the energy sector, as well as the numerous factors at play, call for scenario planning, and this paper presents a structured procedure for viewing plausible futures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effect of Eco-City Practices on Urban Sustainability Using an Extended Ecological Footprint Model: A Case Study in Xi’an, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1591; doi:10.3390/su9091591
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Planning and construction are well-known practical topics; however, eco-city developments and their sustainable effects on the city are less known. Xi’an is a typical city that has a target to become an eco-city. This city is selected in this case study with the
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Planning and construction are well-known practical topics; however, eco-city developments and their sustainable effects on the city are less known. Xi’an is a typical city that has a target to become an eco-city. This city is selected in this case study with the aims of (1) framing eco-practices to enhance the understanding of an eco-city development and (2) evaluating the effect of eco-practices to reveal whether they truly enhance urban sustainability. For the first objective, the framework was constructed in accordance with ecological footprint (EF) theory. For the second objective, environmental pollution was added to an extended EF model. The EF of Xi’an from 1999 to 2014 was calculated and analyzed. The results are as follows: (1) Water pollution control and water area development are core issues in the Xi’an eco-city development. Air pollution control and forest land development also play important roles in the eco-city development; (2) Eco-city practices contribute to the decreases of per capita EF and per capita ecological deficit because of the reduction in the EFs of water area, forest land, and arable land, thereby enhancing urban sustainability; (3) The effect of eco-city practices on the improvement of per capita ecological capacity (EC), the ECs of arable land, water area, pasture land, and forest land are not significant. Based on these results, this study provides practical implications for the promotion of urban sustainability through eco-city development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Does Social Media Use Influence Entrepreneurial Opportunity? A Review of its Moderating Role
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1593; doi:10.3390/su9091593
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Social media platforms are an indispensable part of entrepreneurship practices. They offer entrepreneurs a platform for business growth and brand development. However, little is known about the effect of social media use on identifying entrepreneurial opportunities. Utilizing social cognition theory, this research focuses
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Social media platforms are an indispensable part of entrepreneurship practices. They offer entrepreneurs a platform for business growth and brand development. However, little is known about the effect of social media use on identifying entrepreneurial opportunities. Utilizing social cognition theory, this research focuses on how certain factors—prior knowledge, alertness, and social media—may impact two aspects of opportunity: the discovery and the creation of entrepreneurial opportunity. This study focuses on the investigation of the moderating role of social media use on entrepreneurial opportunities. The findings have important practical and academic implications for how social media impacts entrepreneurship and can be used to increase the ability of entrepreneurs to find new opportunities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Impact of Short-Term and Long-Term Determinants of European Health Systems’ Performance: A Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1595; doi:10.3390/su9091595
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence to help health systems’ policy makers within European countries in making the most appropriate decisions to maintain and improve the health of the people they serve. For this purpose, we have analyzed secondary
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The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence to help health systems’ policy makers within European countries in making the most appropriate decisions to maintain and improve the health of the people they serve. For this purpose, we have analyzed secondary data provided by the annual reports of the Euro Health Consumer Index, which ranks European countries in terms of their health systems’ ability to serve the needs of healthcare consumers. We consider both the short-run and long-run approach in determining the influence of Patient rights and information, Accessibility, Prevention, Range and reach of services, and Pharmaceuticals on Outcomes. By means of a panel data analysis, we capture the influences not only in a single point of time, but in a time span of five years (2012–2016). The main findings suggest that pharmaceuticals and range and reach of services are positively associated with improving immediate outcomes, while for sustainable results, efforts should be directed to prevention programs and means of accessibility improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Tourists’ Preferences for Recreational Trips in National and Natural Parks as a Premise for Long-Term Sustainable Management Plans
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1596; doi:10.3390/su9091596
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable tourism management plans rely on relevant and consistent information about factors that can influence the decision to visit a protected area. This paper uses the choice experiment method to investigate tourists’ preferences with regard to recreational trip characteristics in national and natural
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Sustainable tourism management plans rely on relevant and consistent information about factors that can influence the decision to visit a protected area. This paper uses the choice experiment method to investigate tourists’ preferences with regard to recreational trip characteristics in national and natural parks in Romania. An on-site survey questionnaire was administered to visitors. The multinomial logit model was employed to investigate the preference orderings of the identified groups of recreational users. Overall, results indicate that tourists gain benefits after visiting the parks. Main preference differences were found for information sources and location of campsites. Visitors who stated that the park was the main trip destination were willing to have access to more information sources, the marks on trails being insufficient. Camping is preferred only in organized places, expressing the concern for environmental protection. The results of this study have management implications, highlighting the importance of assessing tourists’ preferences as a foundation for developing sustainable tourism strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
Open AccessArticle Integrated Proactive Control Model for Energy Efficiency Processes in Facilities Management: Applying Dynamic Exponential Smoothing Optimization
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1597; doi:10.3390/su9091597
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable facilities management (SFM) opens the door of opportunity for companies to evaluate the quality of resources and environment management at their facilities. It enables the principles of sustainable development. There is still inefficiency in quantitative research of integrating environmental factors, particularly multi-source
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Sustainable facilities management (SFM) opens the door of opportunity for companies to evaluate the quality of resources and environment management at their facilities. It enables the principles of sustainable development. There is still inefficiency in quantitative research of integrating environmental factors, particularly multi-source data, to monitor and control complicated systems in buildings. The objective of this research is to develop an effective method to dynamically optimize energy efficiency in SFM plans and strategies. The research question is: can the integrated proactive method reduce energy consumption with dynamically adjustable controls? This paper proposes a coordinated proactive control method using dynamic time-series prediction (PCM-DTSP) for SFM, which optimizes system controls by integrating the prediction results and monitored environmental-data. The results show that, after optimization, the temperature fluctuations are reduced to 33.3%. The average temperature and maximum temperature are reduced by 8% and 13.1%, respectively. The instantaneous power consumption was reduced by 0.17 KW per hour for each cooling system unit. The PCM-DTSP method can significantly optimize energy efficiency, which paves the way for long-term comprehensive energy management. The contribution of the research lies in its optimized control of energy consumption, temperature stabilization, and improvement of environmental comfort solutions, which can be generalized to various types of buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Mobility Analysis for Extracting Local Interactions under Rapid Socio-Economic Transformation in Dawei, Myanmar
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1598; doi:10.3390/su9091598
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Understanding human mobility patterns provides knowledge about impacts of a socio-economic transformation in a rapidly urbanizing environment. This study assesses a long-term mobility data which uses a face-to-face questionnaire and GPS logger-based method of data collection for extracting socio-economic impacts from the rapid
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Understanding human mobility patterns provides knowledge about impacts of a socio-economic transformation in a rapidly urbanizing environment. This study assesses a long-term mobility data which uses a face-to-face questionnaire and GPS logger-based method of data collection for extracting socio-economic impacts from the rapid transformation. Conversion of mobility related information such as travel distance, direction, and time from the questionnaire survey into spatiotemporal information was carried out by developing an algorithm. To illustrate the proposed approach, a case study in Dawei Special Economic Zone, Myanmar was conducted. The results show that the questionnaire-based mobility data can be associated with GPS-based mobility data and diverse mobility patterns are found for different social groups in the stage of urban formation. The results enabled an understanding of the human dynamics in interactions, which can be used for monitoring rural sustainability and its challenges in the future with the background of the accelerated project development in the area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Simulation of a Dual-Chamber Oscillating Water Column Wave Energy Converter
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1599; doi:10.3390/su9091599
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
The performance of a dual-chamber Oscillating Water Column (OWC) Wave Energy Converter (WEC) is considered in the present study. The device has two sub-chambers with a shared orifice. A two-dimensional (2D) fully nonlinear numerical wave flume based on the potential-flow theory and the
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The performance of a dual-chamber Oscillating Water Column (OWC) Wave Energy Converter (WEC) is considered in the present study. The device has two sub-chambers with a shared orifice. A two-dimensional (2D) fully nonlinear numerical wave flume based on the potential-flow theory and the time-domain higher-order boundary element method (HOBEM) is applied for the simulation. The incident waves are generated by using the immerged sources and the air-fluid coupling influence is considered with a simplified pneumatic model. In the present study, the variation of the surface elevation and the water column volume in the two sub-chambers are investigated. The effects of the chamber geometry (i.e., the draft and breadth of two chambers) on the surface elevation and the air pressure in the chamber are investigated, respectively. It is demonstrated that the surface elevations in the two sub-chambers are strongly dependent on the wave conditions. The larger the wavelength, the more synchronous motion of the two water columns in the two sub-chambers, thus, the lager the variation of the water column volume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Technologies: A Sustainable Energy Source)
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Open AccessArticle Inequality, Bi-Polarization and Mobility of Urban Infrastructure Investment in China’s Urban System
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1600; doi:10.3390/su9091600
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
In periods of rapid urbanization, investment in urban infrastructure should not only meet the increasing demands of all urban people, but also be equally allocated between cities to achieve social equity and sustainable development. This paper aimed to conduct quantitative research on the
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In periods of rapid urbanization, investment in urban infrastructure should not only meet the increasing demands of all urban people, but also be equally allocated between cities to achieve social equity and sustainable development. This paper aimed to conduct quantitative research on the unbalance of urban infrastructure investment between cities in China. The measurement models for inequality, bi-polarization and the mobility of urban infrastructure investment were constructed by means of the Gini coefficient, bi-polarization index and mobility function from the urban system, and an empirical study was conducted based on panel data from 2006 to 2014. The results show that: (1) The overall inequality of urban infrastructure investment in China’s urban system was relatively prominent and showed a “U-shaped” change generally. (2) The inequality between different administrative levels or regional cities only partially accounted for the overall inequality of China’s urban system. (3) Inequality and bi-polarization showed inconsistent performance. (4) Mobility played a positive role in reducing the inequality and bi-polarization. Based on the empirical findings and the reality of China’s urban infrastructure investment and financing, targeted policy suggestions were proposed in terms of adjusting inequality and bi-polarization, innovating investment and financing mechanisms, and optimizing urban infrastructure investment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanization Strategies in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Firms’ Cooperative Innovation Strategy on Technological Convergence Performance: The Case of Korea’s ICT Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1601; doi:10.3390/su9091601
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Various strategies and policies have been established to facilitate technological convergence as it becomes increasingly important. However, the current status and progress direction of technological convergence is still not clear, as it is difficult to define and measure convergence phenomena. In this situation,
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Various strategies and policies have been established to facilitate technological convergence as it becomes increasingly important. However, the current status and progress direction of technological convergence is still not clear, as it is difficult to define and measure convergence phenomena. In this situation, this study examines how technological convergence has continued in Korea’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry, and, further, which cooperative innovation strategies are more effective in technological convergence. In this study, the convergence level of Korean ICT is measured using patent data from 2011 to 2015. Further, this study analyzes the impact of cooperative innovation strategies on Korean ICT convergence. It is believed that, by classifying technological convergence patent applications by the scope of convergence, the declining inter-field and inter-sector technological convergence has caused a decrease in the number of technological convergence patent applications since 2011. An analysis of the correlations between the strategies and performance of technological convergence indicates that ICT firms’ licensing activities play a positive role in creating technologically convergent performance. Specifically, cooperative innovation strategies for not only licensing but also external research contracts and joint research are determined to positively affect performance in inter-sector technological convergence. Meanwhile, only the licensing strategy in inter-field convergence correlates with technological convergence performance. These results will help interpret the driving forces of technological convergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Resource Recovery from Waste: Restoring the Balance between Resource Scarcity and Waste Overload
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1603; doi:10.3390/su9091603
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Current societal patterns of production and consumption drive a twin environmental crisis of resource scarcity and waste overload. Positioning waste and resource management in the context of ecosystem stewardship, this article relates increasing resource demand and waste production to the violation of planetary
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Current societal patterns of production and consumption drive a twin environmental crisis of resource scarcity and waste overload. Positioning waste and resource management in the context of ecosystem stewardship, this article relates increasing resource demand and waste production to the violation of planetary boundaries and human rights. We argue that a transition towards a circular economy (CE) that contributes to a resilient environment and human well-being is necessary to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The transition requires scientific and technological progress, including the development of low-energy biogeochemical technologies for resource recovery, and multi-dimensional value assessment tools integrating environmental, social, and economic factors. While the urgency to adopt a CE is well-recognised, progress has been slow. Coordinated change is required from multiple actors across society. Academia can contribute through participatory action research. This article concludes with the participation strategy of the Resource Recovery from Waste programme, aiming for changes in mentality, industry practices, and policies and regulations in the waste and resource management landscape in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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