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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The end-of-life phase of products and the overall circular systems of reuse and recycling impose [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Shipment Consolidation Policy under Uncertainty of Customer Order for Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091675
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order
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With increasing concern over the environment, shipment consolidation has become one of a main initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and transportation cost among the logistics service providers. Increased delivery time caused by shipment consolidation may lead to customer’s order cancellation. Thus, order cancellation should be considered as a factor in order uncertainty to determine the optimal shipment consolidation policy. We develop mathematical models for quantity-based and time-based policies and obtain optimality properties for the models. Efficient algorithms using optimal properties are provided to compute the optimal parameters for ordering and shipment decisions. To compare the performances of the quantity-based policy with the time-based policy, extensive numerical experiments are conducted, and the total cost is compared. Full article
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Open AccessArticle LEED, Its Efficacy and Fallacy in a Regional Context—An Urban Heat Island Case in California
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091674
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of energy in the building sector has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Accordingly, various building assessment methods have developed in green building practices. However, the questions still remain in regard to how positively green buildings affect regional surroundings. This
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The use of energy in the building sector has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Accordingly, various building assessment methods have developed in green building practices. However, the questions still remain in regard to how positively green buildings affect regional surroundings. This study investigates the possible relationship between LEED-certified buildings and urban heat island effect. Using GIS with spatial regression, the study found that constructing an LEED building in a 30-m boundary could possibly lower the temperature of the surrounding environment by 0.35 °C. Also, having a higher certification level, such as Gold or Platinum, increased the lowering effect by 0.48 °C, while a lower certification level, such as Certified or Silver, had a lowering effect of 0.26 °C. Although LEED has gained a substantial amount of interest and skepticism at the same time, the study results could be a potential sign that the Sustainable Sites Credits or energy-efficient materials play a positive role in lowering the temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Capturing Tourists’ Preferences for the Management of Community-Based Ecotourism in a Forest Park
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091673
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The development of community ecotourism will require the integration of experience, culture, and information for management decision-making. We use a choice experiment to build a community ecotourism preference model incorporating aspects of profound experience and economics in a forest park, test the tourists’
[...] Read more.
The development of community ecotourism will require the integration of experience, culture, and information for management decision-making. We use a choice experiment to build a community ecotourism preference model incorporating aspects of profound experience and economics in a forest park, test the tourists’ heterogeneity by using a random parameter logit model, and estimate the values of various community ecotourism programs. The empirical results reveal that: (1) Tourists’ preferences for community ecotourism will increase with the inclusion of a mini tour, experiential activities, and the opportunities to taste local dishes and stay at a distinctive bed & breakfast (B&B); (2) The variety of tourists’ social backgrounds and recreational experiences resulted in the heterogeneity of the attributes; (3) The best combinations regarding community ecotourism were a small group size, profound or in-depth experiences, and experiential activities in a forest park. This pilot study generates useful information by demonstrating possible community ecotourism programs in the forest park, along with suggestions for a quality improvement program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services from Small-Scale Agricultural Management Interventions in Burkina Faso: A Discrete Choice Experiment Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091672
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
The main purpose of this paper is to estimate farmers’ preferences and their willingness to pay (WTP) for ecosystem services derived from four agricultural water management (AWM) and resource recovery and reuse (RRR) intervention options in Burkina Faso, using a choice experiment (CE).
[...] Read more.
The main purpose of this paper is to estimate farmers’ preferences and their willingness to pay (WTP) for ecosystem services derived from four agricultural water management (AWM) and resource recovery and reuse (RRR) intervention options in Burkina Faso, using a choice experiment (CE). These include; small water infrastructure, drip irrigation, recovery of organic matter from waste, and treated wastewater. The design decisions relating to attribute selection, the level of attributes, alternatives and choice tasks were guided by literature, field visits, focus group discussions, expert input and an iterative process of the STATA software to generate an orthogonal main-effects CE design. The data used was generated from a random sample of 300 farm households in the Dano and Ouagadougou municipalities in Burkina Faso. Results from conditional logit, latent class logit and mixt logit models show that farmers have positive and significant preferences for drip irrigation, treated wastewater, and organic matter. However, they are WTP on average more for drip irrigation and organic matter for agricultural sustainability. In line with economic theory, the cost of an intervention reduces demand for a given intervention. These findings can provide policy makers with evidence for agricultural policy design to build farmers’ resilience in the Sahel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Emerging Trends of Financial Business Method Patents
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091670
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Financial technology has become an important part of the banking industry in recent times. This study attempts to propose a framework to identify emerging areas and trends using financial business method patents. Based on the abstracts of financial business method patents registered at
[...] Read more.
Financial technology has become an important part of the banking industry in recent times. This study attempts to propose a framework to identify emerging areas and trends using financial business method patents. Based on the abstracts of financial business method patents registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, this study first applies latent Dirichlet allocation to identify emerging topics. The probability of the annual occurrence of each topic is adjusted through the exponentially weighted moving average to reflect the importance of the recent probability of topics. Each topic is classified as “hot” or “cold” depending on whether the exponentially weighted moving average of the probabilities exceeds the threshold. We applied survival analysis to the time gap of recurrently becoming hot from a cold status with the associated factor of financial business method patents. The findings suggest that the topic with the short granted period and high forward citation is likely to become hot. In addition, the topic that is aged and specific in narrow areas is likely to continuously change into the hot or cold status. The approach proposed in this study contributes toward understanding topic emergence in the financial area and pursuing sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Capacitor Placement in Wind Farms by Considering Harmonics Using Discrete Lightning Search Algorithm
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091669
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Currently, many wind farms exist throughout the world and, in some cases, supply a significant portion of energy to networks. However, numerous uncertainties remain with respect to the amount of energy generated by wind turbines and other sophisticated operational aspects, such as voltage
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Currently, many wind farms exist throughout the world and, in some cases, supply a significant portion of energy to networks. However, numerous uncertainties remain with respect to the amount of energy generated by wind turbines and other sophisticated operational aspects, such as voltage and reactive power management, which requires further development and consideration. To fix the problem of poor reactive power compensation in wind farms, optimal capacitor placement has been proposed in existing wind farms as a simple and relatively inexpensive method. However, the use of induction generators, transformers, and additional capacitors represent potential problems for the harmonics of a system and therefore must be taken into account at wind farms. The optimal location and size of capacitors at buses of an 80-MW wind farm were determined according to modelled wind speed, system equivalent circuits, and harmonics in order to minimize energy losses, optimize reactive power and reduce the management costs. The discrete version of the lightning search algorithm (DLSA) is a powerful and flexible nature-inspired optimization technique that was developed and implemented herein for optimal capacitor placement in wind farms. The obtained results are compared with the results of the genetic algorithm (GA) and the discrete harmony search algorithm (DHSA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle Collaborative Landscape Planning: Co-Design of Ecosystem-Based Land Management Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091668
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important
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Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important to develop sustainable and ecosystem-based strategies to make coastal landscapes climate proof. However, there is little experience with collaborative processes in practical planning in Germany, and probably in other countries as well. This paper conducts an empirical case study in the low-lying coastal areas of northwest Germany. During a collaborative landscape planning process, four different ecosystem-based land management scenarios have been co-designed by regional experts and researchers. The participatory and iterative process included the development of scenario narratives to define planning goals, the use of land use elements and their relations to ecosystem services as planning entities in terms of indicators, the art-based illustrations of the different scenarios, and an evaluation and monitoring of the outcomes by regional experts. The decision-maker group decided on the so-called “actor-based” scenario, which contained freshwater retention areas (polders) to prevent potential uncontrolled flooding of the hinterland. This climate adaptation strategy has been implemented in the regional development plan of the county. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Entrepreneurial Orientation: A Business Strategic Approach for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091667
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes sustainable entrepreneurial orientation (SEO) as a multidimensional construct that offers researchers the possibility of empirically testing their theoretical proposals in the sustainable entrepreneurship field. The authors propose an integration of different theories. In accordance with the dynamic capabilities view, SEO is approached under an organizational paradigm of strategic orientations delimited by competitive culture and multiple orientation perspectives. Furthermore, SEO’s nature is conceived at a firm-based entrepreneurship level and is based on an integrated triple bottom line sustainability. This approach is conceptualized using a categorization scheme and defined in accordance with the organizational predisposition perspective. Several research lines are proposed, all based on relational models with SEO as the key concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessCase Report Cashew as a High Agricultural Commodity in West Africa: Insights towards Sustainable Production in Guinea-Bissau
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091666
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the West African region has highly diverse agro-climatic conditions, which grant the potential for a remarkable agricultural production of a great diversity of crops. Since the 1980s, the production volumes of most crops have grown vigorously for both domestic and
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In Sub-Saharan Africa, the West African region has highly diverse agro-climatic conditions, which grant the potential for a remarkable agricultural production of a great diversity of crops. Since the 1980s, the production volumes of most crops have grown vigorously for both domestic and export markets. Traditional food crops—such as rice, groundnuts and sorghum—have been replaced by cash crops, namely cashew. Among the main cashew production areas, West Africa is the most recent and dynamic in the world, accounting for 45% of the worldwide production of cashew nuts in 2015. In consequence, cashew cultivation has acquired an important position in West African smallholder farming, providing positive economic and social effects. In this paper, we provide an overview of the cashew production system in the West African region, using Guinea-Bissau as a case study. In particular, we present some viewpoints concerning the impact of cashew production and discuss how the strong dependence on a single cash crop can compromise the local livelihoods and food security. Finally, some insights are given towards the sustainable production of cashew in the face of the recent risks affecting the agricultural sector in West Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Water-Thermal Energy Production System: A Case Study from Norway
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091665
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to describe a new way of producing renewable energy based on fjords as a water heater. We will call this system the Water-thermal Energy Production System (WEPS), because the basic idea is to extract heating and cooling
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The purpose of this paper is to describe a new way of producing renewable energy based on fjords as a water heater. We will call this system the Water-thermal Energy Production System (WEPS), because the basic idea is to extract heating and cooling energy from water. Although a prototype of WEPS has existed in Norway for more than ten years, a WEPS currently in operation has not been financially analyzed in the literature. Coastal parts of Norway have a potential of 5 TWh of profitable WEPS-facilities, due to convenient access to fjords containing water with stable all-season temperatures of about 4–12 °C when the depth of the water is about 50 m. This stability of the water temperature makes it possible to extract energy from the fjord in a very efficient way. The potential for economically-profitable WEPS in other parts of the world has not been estimated. In order to answer such a question, more research is required. We have conducted a case study of a WEPS located in the Norwegian municipality of Eid. This is the first full-scale Norwegian WEPS, and it has been operating since 2006. The nascent years have passed, and the technology has been in operation for some years. In this paper, we have made an estimate of the business profitability and the external effects based on past empirical evidence and some assumptions about future development in some key figures. The results suggests that WEPS-Eid has been a profitable investment carrying a positive internal rate of revenue, even if the present underutilization in production capacity will continue in the future. Stability in energy prices for heating purposes has also gained customers compared to the more volatile prices of alternative renewable energy, such as hydropower or wind turbines. The negative, external effects in the operating phase from WEPS-Eid are insignificant. Despite the significant profitability of the WEPS facility in Eid, there are two main obstacles for new entrants. There is a lack of relevant operational information for potential investors due to few facilities. This leads to uncertainty, and investments in WEPS appear as a risky business. Secondly, construction of a WEPS requires both big financial investments in digging and facilitating long trenches for a pipeline system and time and effort spent on acquiring the licenses needed for doing this work. A coordinating unit is probably required in order to get the necessary public and private licenses and to reduce fixed costs by coordinating other tasks in the same trenches, such as pipes for water and sewer, fiber cables and tele-cables. In Eid, the local municipal administration was the coordinating unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Total-Factor Energy Efficiency of Regions in China: Based on Three-Stage SBM Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091664
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This paper constructs a three-stage Slacks-Based Measure (SBM) model to evaluate and analyze the total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of 276 cities in China during the period of 2000–2012 from the management and environment dual perspectives according to the principles of multi-stage Data Envelopment
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This paper constructs a three-stage Slacks-Based Measure (SBM) model to evaluate and analyze the total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of 276 cities in China during the period of 2000–2012 from the management and environment dual perspectives according to the principles of multi-stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model. In the first stage, a SBM-DEA model is applied to assess TFEE scores to illustrate the effects of the energy factors, while considering the undesirable output. In the second stage, we adjust the original data, and then in the third stage, we use SBM model again to get efficiency evaluation and obtain pure management efficiency of every decision unit. The results show that Chinese TFEE is still low and energy saving potential can be up to 34–46%, showing an inverted “U” shape tendency and characteristic of regional imbalance. Based on these findings, we further put forward some paths and strategies to improve Chinese energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Building Corporate Reputation through Sustainable Entrepreneurship: The Mediating Effect of Ethical Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091663
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for
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This article investigates how a management approach based on sustainable entrepreneurship can positively affect corporate reputation. The analysis showed that this effect is enhanced by the mediating effect of good governance based on ethical behavior. The empirical study was conducted using data for 104 large Spanish firms defined as sustainable by the Corporate Reputation Business Monitor (MERCO) ranking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Differences of Cycling Experiences and Perceptions between E-Bike and Bicycle Users in the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091662
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
E-bikes are bicycles that provide pedal-assistance to aid people in cycling. Because of the potential of promoting sustainable transportation, more attention has been focused on the e-bike market. This paper investigates the differences of the cycling experience and perceptions between e-bike and conventional
[...] Read more.
E-bikes are bicycles that provide pedal-assistance to aid people in cycling. Because of the potential of promoting sustainable transportation, more attention has been focused on the e-bike market. This paper investigates the differences of the cycling experience and perceptions between e-bike and conventional bicycle users, using samples drawn from independent bicycle dealer customers. A total of 806 respondents in the United States took the on-line survey, including 363 e-bike-owning respondents. The results show that e-bikes play a more important role in utilitarian travel, such as commuting and running errands, compared to a conventional bicycle. Conventional bicycle-owning respondents use their bicycles more for recreation and exercise. Also, e-bike owners tend to bike longer distances and take more trips per week. Both e-bike respondents and bicycle respondents stated that improved health was a key factor for cycling, while Millennials and Generation X respondents cycle to save time and improve the environment. Finally, an ordered logit model is proposed for evaluating factors that influence interest in future e-bike ownership. Travel purpose, e-bike familiarity, annual household income, and education level are statistically significant factors in the model. These findings begin to provide insight and a profile of potential new markets for e-bikes in the United States. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
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Open AccessArticle Perception of Space among Children Studying Their Local Grasslands: Examining Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091660
Received: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
The study examined children’s perception of space in the context of place-based education. It investigates: the cognitive attitudinal dispositions involved in perceiving space as ‘empty’; and, how students’ attitudes toward one grassland site inform their attitudes and behavioural intentions when applied to similar
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The study examined children’s perception of space in the context of place-based education. It investigates: the cognitive attitudinal dispositions involved in perceiving space as ‘empty’; and, how students’ attitudes toward one grassland site inform their attitudes and behavioural intentions when applied to similar spaces which are spatially and temporally remote. A group of urban primary students participated in a four-month environmental education program in which the students were immersed in a local grassland reserve through repeated visits and learning about grasslands. Data collection included surveys and a focus group activity concerning future neighbourhood planning. The results indicate that the children perceived as ‘empty’ spaces which were un-built, lacked human activities, or were un-identified on a map of the area. Students presented negative attitudes toward ‘empty spaces’ and were inclined to ‘fill’ them. In regard to future planning of their neighbourhood, high consistency was found between the students’ positive attitudes and their intentions to preserve the studied grassland site. This alignment between attitudes and behavioural intentions became disentangled when applied to remote sites at future times. While attitudes remained positive, behavioural intentions were willing to forsake grassland sites. The implications of the findings to environmental education are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle China’s Tree Residue Sources and Quantity Estimation
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091659
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this
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In China, due to forest resource scarcity, the problem of timber supply shortage has been around for a long time. The recycling and utilization of tree residues may effectively alleviate the situation and will contribute to emissions reduction and environmental protection. Therefore, this study aims to identify the tree residue resources and estimates their quantity in order to provide a basis for related research, such as its comprehensive utilization. This study redefines and reclassifies tree residue resources, in particular, it adds three tree residue resources: tree seedling residue, sanitation felling residue and urban greening and trimmings. This study divides the forest final felling and bucking residue resource into the stumpage section and the non-stumpage section, respectively, scientifically selects values of the percent of merchantable volume and the proportion of non-stumpage biomass of the stumpage volume, separately estimates the quantity of bamboo felling, bucking and processing residues, classifies the forest product processing zone into the sawing section and the forest product processing section, and estimates the current waste wood recycling quantity by tracking the timber output of previous years. The estimation results for tree residue quantity indicate that China’s tree residue reached 511.63 Mt in 2015, of which the forest tending and thinning residue was 406.76 Mt, nearly four-fifths of the total tree residue. Among the 31 provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions), more than half (55.57%) of the potential reserve of tree residues is distributed in the 13 provinces of southern China, 25% in the 10 provinces in the north, and approximately 20% in the plain and hilly areas. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the tree residue reserves showed positive growth. In the past three years (2014–2016), all state-owned forestry farms and collective-owned natural forests stopped commercial felling gradually, which directly resulted in a reduction of log output, thereby also curbing the growth of tree residue to a certain extent. Since the log output has ceased to further decline from 2017, it is predicted that China’s tree residue will continue the upward trend. Full article
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