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Volume 12, February-1

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 4 (February-2 2020) – 417 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Energy is certainly one of the greatest challenges of sustainability. Universities, as education and research centres, are major consumers of energy. They must therefore be an example for the sustainability of energy. This study aims to make a benchmark analysis of energy use in universities, and especially in those with a Mediterranean climate. The campus of the University of Almeria was used as a case study, and a total of 33 buildings with different uses were analysed over 8 years. The categories in which the buildings were classified were: Administration Office, Teaching and Seminary Room, Research Building, Library Building, Sports Facilities, and Restaurant Buildings. The information analysed will allow the realisation of good energy practices in the future. This study opens up new perspectives in energy sustainability in a global context and for universities in particular, giving [...] Read more.
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Article
Economic Valuation of Earth’s Critical Zone: A Pilot Study of the Zhangxi Catchment, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1699; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041699 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Earth’s critical zone is the physical layer contained between the top of the vegetation canopy and the depth of the circulating groundwater below the land surface. The critical zone is defined within the study of Earth natural sciences as the unique terrestrial biophysical [...] Read more.
Earth’s critical zone is the physical layer contained between the top of the vegetation canopy and the depth of the circulating groundwater below the land surface. The critical zone is defined within the study of Earth natural sciences as the unique terrestrial biophysical system that supplies most life-sustaining resources for humans. A feature of this specific physical system that is defined by geographical locale is the interactions of people with the vertically-connected biophysical flows and transformations (energy, material, biodiversity) that contribute to human welfare by delivering, both directly and indirectly, critical zone services to humankind. We have characterized these interactions by considering the full extent of the critical zone through the application of economic valuation methods. We estimated the current economic value of 14 critical zone services for 5 biophysical components of Earth’s critical zone, based on data collected from the Zhangxi catchment of Ningbo city located in the Yangtze River Delta region of China and from several additional published studies. For the full vertical extent of Earth’s critical zone bounded by the Zhangxi catchment, the value, most of which is outside the market, was estimated to be USD 116 million in 2018. Valuation of goods and services was delineated for benefits arising from key components of the critical zone physical system. The estimated value of the atmospheric component of Earth’s critical zone was USD 5 million; the vegetation component value was USD 96 million; the soil component value was USD 8 million; the surface water component value was USD 5 million; and the groundwater component value was USD 2 million. Because of the nature of the uncertainties and lack of data for the full range of identified services, these values are considered a minimum estimate. Gross domestic product in the Zhangxi catchment was around USD 431 million in 2018. These results illustrate, for one location, the range of services that arise when considering the full depth of Earth’s critical zone, the data needs for valuing this range of services, and the conceptual and potential methodological advances, and the challenges, that exist at the disciplinary interface between Earth natural sciences and applied economics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
A Structural Equation Model of Success in Drinking Water Source Protection Programs
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1698; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041698 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
The management structures put in place for the protection of drinking water sources are multifaceted and include a range of government agencies, landholders and regulatory agencies. While source protection is widely practiced in the water industry, there is limited research on underlying constructs [...] Read more.
The management structures put in place for the protection of drinking water sources are multifaceted and include a range of government agencies, landholders and regulatory agencies. While source protection is widely practiced in the water industry, there is limited research on underlying constructs that support successful outcomes in drinking water source protection (DWSP) programs. This study builds on current research by further investigating the following proposed critical success factors (CSFs) for source protection: CSF1: policy and government agency support of source protection; CSF2: catchment condition information and risk monitoring; CSF3: support of operational field activities; and CSF4: response to water quality threats. This study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) to confirm the associations amongst the four CSFs. The results show that policy and government agency support for DWSP has a significant influence over how water service providers (WSPs) plan operational activities for risk management. This emphasizes the importance of the role policy and government agencies have in supporting DWSP. The relationships between the CSFs, which typically fall under the responsibility of WSPs, show that information on catchment condition influences operational activities for risk management, and these mediate the influence over response to water quality threats. The response to threats also showed a strong relationship with the function of monitoring catchment risk. The resulting SEM framework provides new insights into the underlying structures that influence outcomes in catchment management and source protection. Full article
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Article
Quantitative Assessment of the Impact of Human Activities on Terrestrial Net Primary Productivity in the Yangtze River Delta
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1697; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041697 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 854
Abstract
The continuous growth of the economy and population have promoted increasing consumption of natural resources, and raised concerns regarding the upper limits of the terrestrial ecosystems with biomass accessible for humanity. Here, human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) was employed to assess [...] Read more.
The continuous growth of the economy and population have promoted increasing consumption of natural resources, and raised concerns regarding the upper limits of the terrestrial ecosystems with biomass accessible for humanity. Here, human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) was employed to assess the influence of human activities on terrestrial net primary production (NPP), and a detailed method was introduced to simulate the magnitude and trends of HANPP in the Yangtze River Delta. The results showed that the total HANPP of the Yangtze River Delta increased from 102.3 Tg C yr−1 to 142.2 Tg C yr−1, during 2005–2015, with an average of 121.3 Tg C yr−1. NPP changes induced by harvest (HANPPharv) made the dominant contribution of 79.9% to the total HANPP, and the increase of HANPPharv in cropland was the main driver of total HANPP growth, which was significantly correlated with the improvement in agricultural production conditions, such as total agricultural machinery power and effective irrigation area. The proportion of HANPP ranged from 59.3% to 72.4% of potential NPP during 2005–2015 in the Yangtze River Delta, and distinguishable differences in the proportions were found among the four provinces in the Yangtze River Delta. Shanghai had the largest proportion of 84.3%, while Zhejiang had the lowest proportion of 32.0%. Full article
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Article
Can the Introduction of an Environmental Target Assessment Policy Improve the TFP of Textile Enterprises? A Quasi-Natural Experiment Based on the Huai River Basin in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1696; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041696 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
Green development is an inevitable requirement to build a modern economic system and fundamental solution to pollution problems. Exploring the relationship between environmental regulation and enterprise total factor productivity (TFP) has great significance for realizing the win-win goal of achieving both environmental protection [...] Read more.
Green development is an inevitable requirement to build a modern economic system and fundamental solution to pollution problems. Exploring the relationship between environmental regulation and enterprise total factor productivity (TFP) has great significance for realizing the win-win goal of achieving both environmental protection and economic development. Based on a firm-level dataset from 2000-2007, this paper explores the economic effects of the Environmental Target Assessment Policy of Huai River Basin (ETAP, HRB) in 2004, an environmental regulation that clarifies the responsibility of local governments, by identifying changes in the TFP of the clothing industry (CMI). The empirical findings support that the ETAP can significantly promote improvement in the TFP using the difference in differences (DID) method. Robustness tests, such as the triple differences (DDD) and propensity score matching-difference in differences (PSM-DID), are used to address concerns about the DID approach. Analysis of dynamic effects shows that the ETAP has no impact on enterprise TFP in 2004 but significantly improve the TFP on the next three years (2005-2007). The heterogeneity test results indicate that nonstate-owned enterprises are more sensitive to the ETAP, and the coefficient of the average treatment effect is 0.033. In addition, the ETAP has no noteworthy impact on large- and medium-scale enterprises but results in an average increase of 0.037 in small-scale enterprises’ TFP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Deconstructing the Overtourism-Related Social Conflicts
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1695; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041695 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
The debate on overtourism still lacks conceptual precision in its delineation of the constituent elements and processes. In particular, conflict theory is rarely adopted, even though the social conflict is inscribed into the nature of this phenomenon. This article aims to frame the [...] Read more.
The debate on overtourism still lacks conceptual precision in its delineation of the constituent elements and processes. In particular, conflict theory is rarely adopted, even though the social conflict is inscribed into the nature of this phenomenon. This article aims to frame the discussion about (over)tourism within the perspective of social conflict theory by adopting the conflict deconstructing methods in order to diagnose the constructs and intensity of disputes associated with overtourism. In pursuit of this aim, the study addresses the following two research questions: (1) To what extent has the heuristic power of the conflict theory been used in overtourism discourse? and (2) How can overtourism be measured by the nature of the social conflicts referring to urban tourism development? The systematic literature review was conducted to analyze research developments on social conflicts within the overtourism discourse. In the empirical section (the case studies of the Polish cities, Krakow and Poznan), we deconstruct the social conflicts into five functional causes (i.e., values, relationship, data, structural, and interests) to diagnose the nature of the conflicts with respect to urban tourism development. This study shows that value conflicts impact most intensively on the nature and dynamics of the conflicts related to overtourism. Full article
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A Dynamic Model for the Financial Sustainability of the Restoration Sponsorship
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1694; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041694 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
The paper addresses the theme of sponsorship as the main form of public–private partnership through which to finance restoration/recovery interventions for the historical–architectural heritage. The goal is the maximization of sponsorship profitability for companies. Specifically, an existing dynamic model through which it was [...] Read more.
The paper addresses the theme of sponsorship as the main form of public–private partnership through which to finance restoration/recovery interventions for the historical–architectural heritage. The goal is the maximization of sponsorship profitability for companies. Specifically, an existing dynamic model through which it was possible to estimate the optimal annual amount to be invested in sponsorship to maximize the current value of expected profits has been analyzed, reworked and for the first time applied to an Italian company. It was therefore assumed that the company is intent on supporting a multi-year program of sponsorship investment. It is also assumed that the corporation is a single-product company, operating in monopolistic competition and characterized by a Cobb–Douglas production function with decreasing returns to scale. The work is in continuity with a previous publication focused on the application and validation of a static model. The final goal is to provide tools for applied analysis of the financial sustainability of the sponsorship that forms incentive for companies to implement its use, facilitating the recovery of the historical–architectural heritage. Public bodies can thus benefit from the greater contribution of resources from private financiers for a zero-cost and sustainable valorization of cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Why Don’t People Ride Bicycles in High-Income Developing Countries, and Can Bike-Sharing Be the Solution? The Case of Qatar
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1693; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041693 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1711
Abstract
Although cycling is increasing in developed regions, such as Europe and North America, high-income developing countries in the Arabian Gulf region still have low cycling activities. Limited research has investigated the barriers to cycling in these countries. In this study, the barriers and [...] Read more.
Although cycling is increasing in developed regions, such as Europe and North America, high-income developing countries in the Arabian Gulf region still have low cycling activities. Limited research has investigated the barriers to cycling in these countries. In this study, the barriers and motivators in Qatar, a high-income developing country, were investigated. Respondents were asked to report their bicycle usage during the last 12 months. The results indicated that approximately 15% used a bicycle during this period, but only 1.7% bicycled for transportation purposes. The analysis revealed the different barriers to cycling and their relative strengths. The study also compared the perceived challenges of cycling between males and females. The questionnaire results indicated that both groups considered the issues related to the weather conditions, bicycle ownership, lack of paths or connections, and driver behavior as important barriers to cycling. However, the female participants identified clothing, parental consent, and cultural and societal pressure as far more important. When asked about motivators for cycling, the results revealed that improving intersections, adding additional infrastructure facilities, planting trees for shading, affordable bicycles, and campaigns targeting potential cyclists and drivers are needed in order to increase cycling. To better understand how bike-sharing will be perceived if implemented in the future, the feedback was obtained from the participants, and their opinions indicated that there is a great deal of acceptance for this type of service. The outcome of this study can be of benefit to public agencies in developing countries that have the goal of increasing cycling use among their populations. Full article
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Article
Associations of Spatial Aggregation between Neighborhood Facilities and the Population of Age Groups Based on Points-of-Interest Data
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1692; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041692 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 842
Abstract
By actively adapting urban planning to identified social needs, residential areas tend to be more people-oriented, fairer, resource-saving, and sustainable. The emergence of big data has provided new opportunities for the planning of residential urban areas. Since the quantity and age-appropriateness of neighborhood [...] Read more.
By actively adapting urban planning to identified social needs, residential areas tend to be more people-oriented, fairer, resource-saving, and sustainable. The emergence of big data has provided new opportunities for the planning of residential urban areas. Since the quantity and age-appropriateness of neighborhood facilities are important criteria when developing the ideal neighborhood, this study investigated the associations of the number of neighborhood facilities and the age groups within those neighborhoods by using the Wuhan metropolitan area in China as a case study and by applying a Geodetector and regression analysis to points-of-interest data. In terms of age groups, the neighborhood facilities of kindergartens, pharmacies, and bus stations were found to be highly associated with population size, regardless of the age difference. It was also found that convenience stores were closely related to the adult population, and that convenience stores, community hospitals or clinics, and vegetable markets or fresh supermarkets were associated with the elderly population. Facilities without significant correlations were equally important, but it was found that there was no statistical correlation between the number of facilities and the distribution of the population. The weak association of key educational resources and medical resources with the population indicates a concentrated distribution of educational resources and medical resources, and the latent insufficiency of schools, community hospitals, or clinics at some neighborhoods. It concludes that planning of neighborhood facilities for residential areas in Wuhan requires optimization in terms of matching the provision of facilities with population size and social structure. Furthermore, more efforts should be put into supplementing important facilities and building differentiated residential area programs based on age structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
The Effect of Social Media Usage Characteristics on e-WOM, Trust, and Brand Equity: Focusing on Users of Airline Social Media
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1691; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041691 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3029
Abstract
Brand equity is a valuable intangible asset for companies, yet is increasingly difficult in managing in an era with hard to control social media. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of social media usage characteristics on electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM), [...] Read more.
Brand equity is a valuable intangible asset for companies, yet is increasingly difficult in managing in an era with hard to control social media. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of social media usage characteristics on electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM), trust, and brand equity by dividing the characteristics to personality, social, and information. A survey was administered to 430 respondents who had experience of using airline social media and the collected data was analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results showed that the personality and informational characteristics from social media usage had statistically significant effects on e-WOM. It was found that the e-WOM had significant effects on trust and also on brand awareness. The trust was shown to have a statistically significant effect on brand awareness and brand image. Therefore, this study categorizes social media usage characteristics into three characteristics: personality characteristics, social characteristics, and information characteristics, and each of these usage characteristics present a strategy to improve actual brand equity of airline through e-WOM and trust in empirical methods. The findings of this study are expected to provide fundamental data for the development of strategies related to airline social media. In addition, this study has implications for suggesting to improve brand equity through e-WOM and trust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in the Social Media and Big Data Era)
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Article
What Teachers Think and Know about Education for Sustainable Development and How They Implement it in Class
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1690; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041690 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
After the end of the first Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, coinciding with ongoing international evaluation processes, questions about the implementation of the Education for Sustainable Development programs and assessments continue to be raised. The present study examined Education [...] Read more.
After the end of the first Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, coinciding with ongoing international evaluation processes, questions about the implementation of the Education for Sustainable Development programs and assessments continue to be raised. The present study examined Education for Sustainable Development implementation at the local (teachers’) level, assessing what teachers think and know about Education for Sustainable Development and how they implement it in secondary school classes in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. By providing novel data from a teacher survey in 2019, this study revealed that Education for Sustainable Development in some aspects still lacks concrete structural implementation in educational contexts. Using a longitudinal approach, we additionally compared data from an earlier representative assessment in 2007 to the data from 2019. In reference to the preceding evaluation report, the present study showed, for example, that teachers’ attitudes towards Sustainable Development Goals were significantly higher in 2019 compared to 2007. This study provides clarification of the needs and achievements of the Education for Sustainable Development implementation process. In sum, our analysis found that from the teachers’ perspective, more abstract policies are not needed, but instead teachers ask for very concrete support that is close to teaching and the schools’ objectives. The results of our study help, in a larger sense, to navigate society towards a more sustainable direction and towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by highlighting the remaining challenges of these broad objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Educational Policy for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Capital Investments and Manufacturing Firms’ Performance: Panel-Data Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1689; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041689 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
The main goal of this study was to examine the effects of capital investments on firm performance, using panel-data analysis. For this purpose, financial data were gathered for 60 manufacturing firms based in Serbia, in the period from 2004 to 2016. The main [...] Read more.
The main goal of this study was to examine the effects of capital investments on firm performance, using panel-data analysis. For this purpose, financial data were gathered for 60 manufacturing firms based in Serbia, in the period from 2004 to 2016. The main research hypotheses were developed in accordance with the definition, nature, and time aspect of capital investments. Therefore, empirical expectation of this study was that the relationship between capital investments and firm performance should be positive—they probably bring losses to the firm in the short term, but they should increase firm performance in the long term. Finally, the results have indeed shown that capital investments have statistically significant negative effect on the short-term performance, but positive effect on the long-term performance of the analyzed firms, while controlling for time-fixed effects and certain internal factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Value Management–New Concepts and Contemporary Trends)
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Article
The Role of Seaports in Green Supply Chain Management: Initiatives, Attitudes, and Perspectives in Rotterdam, Antwerp, North Sea Port, and Zeebrugge
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041688 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2592
Abstract
Green supply chain management (GSCM) can be defined as the integration of environmental concerns into the inter-organizational practices of supply chain management (SCM). This paper analyzes the role of seaports in the greening of supply chains in two ways. First, the fields of [...] Read more.
Green supply chain management (GSCM) can be defined as the integration of environmental concerns into the inter-organizational practices of supply chain management (SCM). This paper analyzes the role of seaports in the greening of supply chains in two ways. First, the fields of action to pursue GSCM objectives in ports are identified and grouped. The proposed typology includes five groups of actions, i.e., green shipping; green port development and operations; green inland logistics; seaports and the circular economy; and, actions in the field of knowledge development and information sharing. In the empirical part of the paper, this typology is used to analyze green actions and initiatives developed by market players and port authorities in the Rhine–Scheldt Delta, the leading European port region in cargo throughput terms. This structured overview of green actions and initiatives shows that these ports are hotbeds for GSCM initiatives, but progress in some areas remains slows. The second part of the analysis focuses on the attitudes and perceptions of port-related actors towards the greening of port-related supply chains. A large-scale survey conducted in the Belgian and Dutch logistics and port industry reveals that greening has been put massively on the agenda by the firms between 2010 and now. The results give a clear view on the diverse drivers and impediments towards the greening of supply chains. In addition, one can still see a gap between words and actions. The survey further points to the role of governments as catalysts or soft enforcers for change, and calls for continuity and coherence in government policy. This paper is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis on initiatives, approaches, and perspectives of port-related actors in a specific multi-port region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Exploring the Complexity of Location Choices of the Creative Class in Europe: Evidence from the EU Labor Force Survey 1995–2010
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1687; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041687 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
This paper proposes a new idea for the current argument over Florida’s cultural policies, as location choices of the creative class is a complex process involving some basic aspects of socio-economic progress. Based on the European Labor Force Survey (EU LFE) dataset, tolerance [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new idea for the current argument over Florida’s cultural policies, as location choices of the creative class is a complex process involving some basic aspects of socio-economic progress. Based on the European Labor Force Survey (EU LFE) dataset, tolerance and openness indicators which represent the quality of a “people climate” are found to be positively correlated with the creative class’s location in large regions and less so in smaller ones, where business climate-related parameters, i.e., the quality of local governments and the location of universities, have stronger positive effects on locational choices of the creative class. Moreover, graduates with non-creative jobs and creative professionals (i.e., workers who provide creative solutions during the work process such as high-tech technicians or legal and healthcare workers) are concerned more about the people climate, while creative workers with a degree and a creative core (e.g., workers who provide original ideas such as scientists, engineers and artists) are more likely to prioritize a business climate. Therefore, we argue that the promotion of a “tolerant” climate, as Florida advocates, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, policy makers should appropriately relate different preferences of creative workers to their unique strengths. This provides more insights into defining the concept of creativity beyond prioritized individual success, as well as understanding the preferences and actual needs of highly skilled workers in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Environmental and Economic Water Management in Shale Gas Extraction
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1686; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041686 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1179
Abstract
This paper introduces a comprehensive study of the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) of water management in shale gas exploitation. First, we present a comprehensive study of wastewater treatment in the shale gas extraction, including the most common technologies for the pretreatment and [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a comprehensive study of the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) of water management in shale gas exploitation. First, we present a comprehensive study of wastewater treatment in the shale gas extraction, including the most common technologies for the pretreatment and three different desalination technologies of recent interest: Single and Multiple-Effect Evaporation with Mechanical Vapor Recompression and Membrane Distillation. The analysis has been carried out through a generic Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the ReCiPe metric (at midpoint and endpoint levels), considering a wide range of environmental impacts. The results show that among these technologies Multiple-Effect Evaporation with Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MEE-MVR) is the most suitable technology for the wastewater treatment in shale gas extraction, taking into account its reduced environmental impact, the high water recovery compared to other alternatives as well as the lower cost of this technology. We also use a comprehensive water management model that includes previous results that takes the form of a new Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) bi-criterion optimization model to address the profit maximization and the minimization Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA), based on its results we discuss the main tradeoffs between optimal operation from the economic and environmental points of view. Full article
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Research on Collaborative Management Strategies of Closed-Loop Supply Chain under the Influence of Big-Data Marketing and Reference Price Effect
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041685 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
This paper integrates the Internet service platform with big-data marketing into the dynamic closed-loop supply chain system as an independent game subject. Considering the reference price effect of consumers, this work constructs differential games among manufacturer, retailer and Internet service platform under three [...] Read more.
This paper integrates the Internet service platform with big-data marketing into the dynamic closed-loop supply chain system as an independent game subject. Considering the reference price effect of consumers, this work constructs differential games among manufacturer, retailer and Internet service platform under three business models of independent, collaborative production and collaborative marketing. Using Bellman’s continuous dynamic programming theory, this work obtains the optimal feedback strategies of price and big-data marketing effort, brand goodwill, return rate of used products and corporate profits under the three business models. Comparing the three scenarios and analyzing the sensitivity of key exogenous parameters, it can be found that the involvement of Internet service platform has a crucial impact on the sustainable profitability of supply chain enterprises. Considering the reference price effect of consumers, enterprises should adopt different strategic alliances in different periods, which can also gain new development momentum in the context of data-driven marketing, achieve the improvement of the triple-bottom line of closed-loop supply chain and even reach a win-win situation for supply chain enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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The Impact of Bank Deregulations on Farm Financial Stress and Stability
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041684 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Previous research on bank deregulation has supported the idea that interstate banking deregulation lowered the cost of credit and increased the net farm income. This analysis builds on that base by investigating whether the agricultural loan delinquency volume was also affected. Using a [...] Read more.
Previous research on bank deregulation has supported the idea that interstate banking deregulation lowered the cost of credit and increased the net farm income. This analysis builds on that base by investigating whether the agricultural loan delinquency volume was also affected. Using a panel data fixed effects approach, deregulation was found to be associated with changes in the volume of delinquencies: interstate banking deregulation reduced the volume of production loan delinquencies, and de novo branching deregulation increased both production and real-estate loan delinquencies. Thus, deregulation’s outcome is not clear cut: interstate banking reduced farm financial stress but de novo deregulation increased it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Investigation into the Effects of Straw Retention and Nitrogen Reduction on CH4 and N2O Emissions from Paddy Fields in the Lower Yangtze River Region, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041683 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Straw retention is a widely used method in rice planting areas throughout China. However, the combined influences of straw retention and nitrogen (N) fertilizer application on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from paddy fields merits significant attention. In this work, we conducted a field [...] Read more.
Straw retention is a widely used method in rice planting areas throughout China. However, the combined influences of straw retention and nitrogen (N) fertilizer application on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from paddy fields merits significant attention. In this work, we conducted a field experiment in the lower Yangtze River region of China to study the effects of straw retention modes and N fertilizer rates on rice yield, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission fluxes, global warming potential (GWP), and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) during the rice season. The experiments included six treatments: the recommended N fertilizer—240 kg N·ha−1 with (1) no straw, (2) wheat straw, (3) rice straw, and (4) both wheat and rice straw retentions; in a yearly rice–wheat cropping system (N1, WN1, RN1, and WRN1, respectively); as well as both wheat and rice straw retentions with (5) no N fertilizer and (6) 300 kg N·ha−1 conventional N fertilizer (WRN0, WRN2). The results showed that CH4 emissions were mainly concentrated in the tillering fertilizer stage and accounted for 54.2%–87.5% of the total emissions during the rice season, and N2O emissions were primarily concentrated in the panicle fertilizer stage and accounted for 46.7%–51.4% total emissions. CH4 was responsible for 87.5%–98.5% of the total CH4 and N2O GWP during the rice season, and was the main GHG contributor in the paddy field. Although straw retention reduced N2O emissions from paddy field, it significantly increased CH4 emissions, which resulted in a significant net increase in the total GWP. Compared with the N1 treatment, the total GWP of WN1, WRN1, and RN1 increased by 3.45, 3.73, and 1.62 times, respectively; and the GHGI increased by 3.00, 2.96, and 1.52 times, respectively, so the rice straw retention mode had the smallest GWP and GHGI. Under double-season’s straw retentions, N fertilizer application increased both CH4 and N2O emissions, and the WRN1 treatment not only maintained high rice yield but also significantly reduced the GWP and GHGI by 16.5% and 30.1% (p < 0.05), respectively, relative to the WRN2 treatment. Results from this study suggest that adopting the “rice straw retention + recommended N fertilizer” mode (RN1) in the rice–wheat rotation system prevalent in the lower Yangtze River region will aid in mitigating the contribution of straw retention to the greenhouse effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
An Action Research for Improving the Sustainability Assessment Framework Instruments
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041682 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
In the last years, software engineering researchers have defined sustainability as a quality requirement of software, but not enough effort has been devoted to develop new methods/techniques to support the analysis and assessment of software sustainability. In this study, we present the Sustainability [...] Read more.
In the last years, software engineering researchers have defined sustainability as a quality requirement of software, but not enough effort has been devoted to develop new methods/techniques to support the analysis and assessment of software sustainability. In this study, we present the Sustainability Assessment Framework (SAF) that consists of two instruments: the software sustainability–quality model, and the architectural decision map. Then, we use participatory and technical action research in close collaboration with the software industry to validate the SAF regarding its applicability in specific cases. The unit of analysis of our study is a family of software products (Geographic Information System- and Mobile-based Workforce Management Systems) that aim to address sustainability goals (e.g., efficient collection of dead animals to mitigate social and environmental sustainability risks). The results show that the sustainability–quality model integrated with the architectural decision maps can be used to identify sustainability–quality requirements as design concerns because most of its quality attributes (QAs) have been either addressed in the software project or acknowledged as relevant (i.e., creating awareness on the relevance of the multidimensional sustainability nature of certain QAs). Moreover, the action–research method has been helpful to enrich the sustainability–quality model, by identifying missing QAs (e.g., regulation compliance, data privacy). Finally, the architectural decision maps have been found as useful to guide software architects/designers in their decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT4S— ICT for Sustainability)
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Article
Modelling the Influences of Economic, Demographic, and Institutional Factors on Fiscal Pressure Using OLS, PCSE, and FD-GMM Approaches
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041681 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
The purpose of our article is to assess the effect of diverse factors, such as economic, demographic, and institutional factors, on global and social fiscal pressure. The study is based on a panel analysis of 38 states during 2000–2017. We used ordinary least [...] Read more.
The purpose of our article is to assess the effect of diverse factors, such as economic, demographic, and institutional factors, on global and social fiscal pressure. The study is based on a panel analysis of 38 states during 2000–2017. We used ordinary least squares (OLS) as a base model for our estimations, and a linear regression with panel-corrected standard errors and a first difference generalized method of moments (GMM) with robust standard errors and orthogonal deviations. The results of our study indicate that the demographic and institutional factors involved in the analysis contribute to the identification of some variables that affect the global or social fiscal pressure. Full article
Article
Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from the Role of the Largest Institutional Blockholders in the Korean Market
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1680; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041680 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
This study investigates the monitoring effectiveness of the largest institutional blockholder in Korea, the Korean National Pension Service (KNPS), on firms’ engagement in corporate social responsibility (CSR). We use a large, unique sample from Korea, where the financial market is primarily characterized by [...] Read more.
This study investigates the monitoring effectiveness of the largest institutional blockholder in Korea, the Korean National Pension Service (KNPS), on firms’ engagement in corporate social responsibility (CSR). We use a large, unique sample from Korea, where the financial market is primarily characterized by chaebols. We show that lagged KNPS blockholdings do not significantly influence investee firms’ concurrent CSR indexes. This result indicates that even the largest institutional blockholder in Korea does not actively engage in firms’ CSR initiatives to enhance their long-term performance and prosperity. Overall, our results suggest that institutional investors should more actively serve as an effective corporate governance mechanism in emerging Asian markets, where companies aim to be profitable and long-term corporate governance is very important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CSR and Business Ethics for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Green Brand of Companies and Greenwashing under Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041679 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3816
Abstract
Implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increasing environmental issues provokes changes in consumers’ and stakeholders’ behavior. Thus, stakeholders try to invest in green companies and projects; consumers prefer to buy eco-friendly products instead of traditional ones; and consumers and investors refuse to deal [...] Read more.
Implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increasing environmental issues provokes changes in consumers’ and stakeholders’ behavior. Thus, stakeholders try to invest in green companies and projects; consumers prefer to buy eco-friendly products instead of traditional ones; and consumers and investors refuse to deal with unfair green companies. In this case, the companies should quickly adapt their strategy corresponding to the new trend of transformation from overconsumption to green consumption. This process leads to increasing the frequency of using greenwashing as an unfair marketing instrument to promote the company’s green achievements. Such companies’ behavior leads to a decrease in trust in the company’s green brand from the green investors. Thus, the aim of the study is to check the impact of greenwashing on companies’ green brand. For that purpose, the partial least-squares structural equation modeling (PLS-PM), content analysis and Fishbourne methods were used. The dataset for analysis was obtained from the companies’ websites and financial and non-financial reports. The objects of analysis were Ukrainian large industrial companies, which work not only in the local market but also in the international one. The findings proved that a one point increase in greenwashing leads to a 0.56 point decline in the company’s green brand with a load factor of 0.78. The most significant variable (loading factor 0.34) influencing greenwashing was the information at official websites masking the company’s real economic goals. Thus, a recommendation for companies is to eliminate greenwashing through the publishing of detailed official reports of the companies’ green policy and achievements. Full article
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Article
Mapping the Link between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resource Management (HRM): How Is This Relationship Measured?
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041678 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Despite the relevance of human resources in the management of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), confusion and theoretical chaos are still evident in the area. This manuscript provides a systematic review of the link between CSR and Human Resource Management (HRM), stressing the main [...] Read more.
Despite the relevance of human resources in the management of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), confusion and theoretical chaos are still evident in the area. This manuscript provides a systematic review of the link between CSR and Human Resource Management (HRM), stressing the main topics along with the evolution and tendencies founded in this field. SciMAT was used to conduct a conceptual science mapping analysis based on co-word bibliographic networks. From 2006 to 2019, 194 documents were retrieved from the Web of Science. Considering the last period (2017–2019), the motor themes (those which are well-developed and relevant for the structure of the research field) were environmental management (including green HRM), sustainable HRM and pro-environmental behaviour. Socially responsible HRM (SR-HRM) was a basic theme (important, although not developed). Perceived organisational support was a specialised theme (well-developed, although less important), and employee commitment was an emerging theme (both weakly developed and marginal). In addition, a review of the measurement tools used in the main topics extracted from the previous analysis was carried out. Our analysis will help inform researchers and practitioners on the future of CSR and HRM and the previous efforts in the creation of measurement instruments. Full article
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Article
An Analysis of the Factors on the Problem-Solving Competencies of Engineering Employees in Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041677 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of the factors on the problem-solving competency of engineering graduates. To this end, we use the 2016 Korean survey data among the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey data [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of the factors on the problem-solving competency of engineering graduates. To this end, we use the 2016 Korean survey data among the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey data conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In summary of the study’s major results, older people and females have lower problem-solving competencies (Model 1); higher literacy and numeracy competencies lead to higher problem-solving competencies (Model 2); and those with more experiences of sharing work-related information have higher problem-solving competencies. However, those who give more presentations have lower problem-solving competencies (Model 3), and those who make frequent use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to send or receive e-mails or conduct real-time discussions have higher problem-solving competencies (Model 4). These results present implications from the two perspectives of “sustainability” and “integration.” Sustainability is further classified into the following two perspectives: (1) sustainability from the longitudinal viewpoint of middle school, high school, and then job education, and (2) sustainability from the cross-sectional perspective of sustainable organization cultures. In addition, the implications of integration are based on common growth with other related core competencies besides problem-solving competencies. Full article
Review
State-of-the Art-Powerhouse, Dam Structure, and Turbine Operation and Vibrations
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041676 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
Dam and powerhouse operation sustainability is a major concern from the hydraulic engineering perspective. Powerhouse operation is one of the main sources of vibrations in the dam structure and hydropower plant; thus, the evaluation of turbine performance at different water pressures is important [...] Read more.
Dam and powerhouse operation sustainability is a major concern from the hydraulic engineering perspective. Powerhouse operation is one of the main sources of vibrations in the dam structure and hydropower plant; thus, the evaluation of turbine performance at different water pressures is important for determining the sustainability of the dam body. Draft tube turbines run under high pressure and suffer from connection problems, such as vibrations and pressure fluctuation. Reducing the pressure fluctuation and minimizing the principal stress caused by undesired components of water in the draft tube turbine are ongoing problems that must be resolved. Here, we conducted a comprehensive review of studies performed on dams, powerhouses, and turbine vibration, focusing on the vibration of two turbine units: Kaplan and Francis turbine units. The survey covered several aspects of dam types (e.g., rock and concrete dams), powerhouse analysis, turbine vibrations, and the relationship between dam and hydropower plant sustainability and operation. The current review covers the related research on the fluid mechanism in turbine units of hydropower plants, providing a perspective on better control of vibrations. Thus, the risks and failures can be better managed and reduced, which in turn will reduce hydropower plant operation costs and simultaneously increase the economical sustainability. Several research gaps were found, and the literature was assessed to provide more insightful details on the studies surveyed. Numerous future research directions are recommended. Full article
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Article
Comparison of HPLC Pigment Analysis and Microscopy in Phytoplankton Assessment in the Seomjin River Estuary, Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041675 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
The distribution of microalgal species in estuaries shows marked gradients because of the mixing of marine and fresh water during tidal exchanges. To assess the spatio-temporal distribution of phytoplankton in the Seomjin River estuary (SRE), Korea, we investigated the seasonal phytoplankton communities along [...] Read more.
The distribution of microalgal species in estuaries shows marked gradients because of the mixing of marine and fresh water during tidal exchanges. To assess the spatio-temporal distribution of phytoplankton in the Seomjin River estuary (SRE), Korea, we investigated the seasonal phytoplankton communities along a salinity gradient in the estuary using both high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pigment analysis and light microscopy. Both types of analysis indicated that marine planktonic diatoms generally dominated at downstream sites having salinities >10, whereas freshwater species dominated at upstream sites having salinities <5. High levels of the pigments fucoxanthin and alloxanthin were found at upstream sites in the SRE in late spring. During summer, relatively high levels of the pigment peridinin were present in downstream areas of the SRE, and relatively high levels of diatoms occurred in upstream areas. In autumn, small Cryptomonas species were found in high abundance based on microscopic analysis, while CHEMTAX analysis of photosynthetic pigments showed relatively high concentrations of the diatom pigment fucoxanthin, implying the co-occurrence of a small unidentified phytoplankton. During winter, when the estuarine waters were well mixed, both the microscopic and CHEMTAX analyses showed that diatoms dominated at most stations. Seasonal and horizontal gradients in environmental conditions were clearly influenced by the salinity and nutrient loadings, especially the nitrate+nitrite and silicate concentrations. In particular, the ratio of photoprotective carotenoid pigments (PPCs) to photosynthetic carotenoid pigments (PSCs) was relatively low during all four seasons. This was predominately because of the high productivity of diatoms, which have a very low ratio of PPCs to PPSs. The SRE is a favorable habitat for diatoms because it is a high turbulence area having rapid water movement as a result of tidal changes. Overall, there was consistency in the data derived from the microscopy and chemotaxonomy analyses, suggesting that both methods are useful for analysis of the phytoplankton community structure in this complex estuarine and coastal water ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Organisms and their Management for Sustainable Environment)
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Article
Decide Madrid: A Critical Analysis of an Award-Winning e-Participation Initiative
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041674 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
This paper analyzes the award-winning e-participation initiative of the city council of Madrid, Decide Madrid, to identify the critical success factors and the main barriers that are conditioning its performance. An exploratory case study is used as a research technique, including desk [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the award-winning e-participation initiative of the city council of Madrid, Decide Madrid, to identify the critical success factors and the main barriers that are conditioning its performance. An exploratory case study is used as a research technique, including desk research and semi-structured interviews. The analysis distinguishes contextual, organizational and individual level factors; it considers whether the factors or barriers are more related to the information and communication technology (ICT) component, public sector context or democratic participation; it also differentiates among the different stages of the development of the initiative. Results show that individual and organizational factors related to the public sector context and democratic participation are the most relevant success factors. The high expectations of citizens explain the high levels of participation in the initial stages of Decide Madrid. However, the lack of transparency and poor functioning of some of its participatory activities (organizational factors related to the ICT and democratic dimensions) are negatively affecting its performance. The software created for this platform, Consul, has been adopted or it is in the process of being implemented in more than 100 institutions in 33 countries. Therefore, the findings of this research can potentially be useful to improve the performance and sustainability of e-participation platforms worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Participation in Sustainable Local Decision-Making)
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Article
Establishing a Sustainable Sports Tourism Evaluation Framework with a Hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model to Explore Potential Sports Tourism Attractions in Taiwan
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041673 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
In recent years, the awareness of sustainable tourism has risen around the world. Many tourism industries combine sports to attract more customers to facilitate the development of the economy and the promotion of local culture. However, it is an important task to establish [...] Read more.
In recent years, the awareness of sustainable tourism has risen around the world. Many tourism industries combine sports to attract more customers to facilitate the development of the economy and the promotion of local culture. However, it is an important task to establish a comprehensive tourism evaluation framework for sustainable sports tourism. This study proposes a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) model to discuss the above issues, using the Bayesian Best Worst Method (Bayesian BWM) to integrate multiple experts’ judgments to generate the group optimal criteria weights. Next, the modified Visekriterijumska Optimizacija i Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) technique is combined with the concept of aspiration level to determine the performance of sports attractions and their priority ranks. In addition, this study adds a perspective of institutional sustainability to emphasize the importance of government support and local marketing. The effectiveness and robustness of the proposed model is demonstrated through potential sports tourism attractions in Taiwan. A sensitivity analysis and models comparison were also performed in this study. The results show that the proposed model is feasible for practical applications and that it effectively provides some management implications to support decision-makers in formulating improvement strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Tourism and Sustainability)
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Article
An Informatization Scheme for Construction and Demolition Waste Supervision and Management in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041672 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
China is in a development period of urbanization construction, while its environment is threatened by an increasing amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. Due to the excessive pursuit of profits and a general lack of environmental awareness of stakeholders, illegal behaviors such [...] Read more.
China is in a development period of urbanization construction, while its environment is threatened by an increasing amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. Due to the excessive pursuit of profits and a general lack of environmental awareness of stakeholders, illegal behaviors such as illegal dumping universally exist in the waste disposal process. Meanwhile, supervision departments face many challenges in collaborative management and decision-making, which lead to inefficiencies in C&D waste supervision and management in China. To address the above challenges, we propose an informatization scheme integrating multiple technologies, which will contribute to real-time monitoring of illegal behaviors in the waste disposal process, accurate data collection for evaluating the performance of stakeholders, and the enhancement of the collaboration between supervisory departments. A case study of the Ningbo Construction Waste Transportation Supervision System is introduced to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed scheme; results show that the total number of illegal cases has decreased from 510 to 89 per year since the system was put into operation. Full article
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Article
Fine-Scale Distribution Patterns of Phragmites australis Populations Across an Environmental Gradient in the Salt Marsh Wetland of Dunhuang, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041671 - 23 Feb 2020
Viewed by 772
Abstract
The spatial distribution pattern of plants often reflects their ecological adaptation strategy and is formed by their long-term interaction with environmental factors. In this paper, the clonal plant, Phragmites australis, was investigated across environmental gradients, including the wet zone, the transitional zone [...] Read more.
The spatial distribution pattern of plants often reflects their ecological adaptation strategy and is formed by their long-term interaction with environmental factors. In this paper, the clonal plant, Phragmites australis, was investigated across environmental gradients, including the wet zone, the transitional zone and the desert zone of the salt marsh wetland of Dunhuang, China. The characteristics and influencing factors of their fine-scale spatial distribution patterns were studied by point pattern analysis, redundancy analysis and simple linear regression. The results show that: (1) the spatial distribution pattern of Phragmites australis changes from aggregation to non-aggregation (random and regular distribution) from the wet zone to the desert zone. (2) The soil water content, pH and salinity all affect Phragmites australis’ spatial distribution intensity. Simple linear regression reveals that the water content in each soil layer, the pH of the deep soil layer and the salinity of the surface and deep soil layers are the main soil conditions of Phragmites australis’ spatial distribution pattern. (3) Phragmites australis’ population characteristics and clonal characteristics also have significant effects on its spatial distribution intensity. Specifically, the intensity of its spatial distribution pattern is significantly positively correlated with its cover, frequency, density, height, biomass, node number, ramet number and stem diameter (p < 0.01), while it is significantly negatively correlated with its rhizome internode length, spacer length and branch angle (p < 0.01). This research clarified the relationship between the spatial distribution pattern of Phragmites australis with soil environmental factors, plant clonal characteristics and population characteristics. The results provide a theoretical basis for understanding the ecological adaptation mechanism of clonal plants and protecting the sustainability of fragile and sensitive inland river wetland ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Integrated Detection of a Complex Underground Water Supply Pipeline System in an Old Urban Community in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12041670 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 871
Abstract
An underground water supply pipeline system is an integral part of urban infrastructure. The safety, stability, reliability, and efficiency of this water system are critical for the daily work and livelihood of the people dependent on it. However, with the development of cities [...] Read more.
An underground water supply pipeline system is an integral part of urban infrastructure. The safety, stability, reliability, and efficiency of this water system are critical for the daily work and livelihood of the people dependent on it. However, with the development of cities in China, the water supply systems in urban communities require constant re-building and improvement, which complicates the system. Considering the defects of obsolete design, lack of information, and irregularity of the constructions over the years, the maintenance of underground pipelines in older communities is onerous and arduous. In this work, the older pipeline system at the Taibai campus of Northwest University, Shaanxi Province, was taken as one typical old urban community and investigated by different measures. Detection was performed from the available concentrated water supply wells to surrounding areas combining electromagnetic induction, geophysical method by ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and acoustic detection methods. Applying the integrated detection method and considering known pipeline network designs, the properties and complex relationships of different pipeline materials (cast iron, polyethylene (PE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) were determined. In addition, a spatial distribution map of the pipes from wells and the main input water supply pipelines was achieved. The results suggest that the integrated detection scheme combining these three methods provides an effective approach to analyze complex water supply pipelines in older communities, in which each single detection method has more uncertainties. The study provides valuable references for similar communities in many developing countries. Full article
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