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Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 7 (April-1 2021) – 494 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Life cycle assessment and economic analysis of an Anodic Oxidation (AO) unit for the removal of Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals (PPs) from the effluent of a Portuguese Wastewater Treatment Plant were performed. Two types of anodes, the Boron-Doped Diamond (BDD) and the Mixed Metal Oxides (MMOs) were analyzed. Adopting a holistic approach, the human and freshwater toxicities associated with the construction and the operation of the AO unit are often higher than the environmental benefits derived from the PPs’ removal. The MMO anode is clearly more advantageous on the economic side, whereas BDD is environmentally more favorable. The issue of the presence of PP in Municipal Wastewater (MWW) effluents has to be addressed as an integrated solution, both improving upstream PPs’ management and adopting PPs’ removal technologies strongly supported by renewable energies. View this paper
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Open AccessCase Report
Evaluating Operation Performance in Higher Education: The Case of Vietnam Public Universities
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4082; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074082 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
The system of public universities plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of each country. In Vietnam, public universities perform a leading role in the national higher education system’s operation and development. Therefore, public universities are assigned funds, assets, and facilities to [...] Read more.
The system of public universities plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of each country. In Vietnam, public universities perform a leading role in the national higher education system’s operation and development. Therefore, public universities are assigned funds, assets, and facilities to implement goals and prioritize investment policies in the country’s education and training. However, to appropriately allocate funding, the state must reconsider the performance of the public education system. This paper presents a methodology to evaluate the operating performance of public higher education in Vietnam. The research design model includes cluster analysis and ANOVA, and Duncan post hoc tests have been used to provide an overview of public universities’ current state in Vietnam and to identify each of the strengths and weaknesses in cluster-specific groups. Based on this study’s results, educational administrators can develop a reasonable financial budget allocation plan for each university cluster. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
When the “Strong Arms” Leave the Farms—Migration, Gender Roles and Risk Reduction in Vietnam
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4081; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074081 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
For many family farms, migration is one strategy for reducing poverty and vulnerability to both natural hazards and economic risk. While more men typically migrate to work, the implications of this on the household are inconclusive, especially for the women who remain on [...] Read more.
For many family farms, migration is one strategy for reducing poverty and vulnerability to both natural hazards and economic risk. While more men typically migrate to work, the implications of this on the household are inconclusive, especially for the women who remain on the farms. This study employs a gender lens to examine the effects of economically driven migration on household decision-making, farm labor and disaster risk reduction, focusing on two disaster-prone regions with high poverty rates in Vietnam: Dien Bien (Northwest) and Ha Tinh (North Central Coast) provinces. Surveys of 228 households with at least one migrant worker showed a new generation of young male and female migrants, and that men over 30 years of age migrated for longer periods and more frequently than their spouses. Intrahousehold impacts differed according to risk strategies. In areas with a lower-risk coping strategy (Dien Bien), seasonal jobs coincided with periods of less intense farming activities. During the absence of male family members, women temporarily made more domestic decisions. In areas with a higher-risk adaptation strategy (Ha Tinh), farming was planned for longer absences; thus decisions remained largely unchanged. Remittances invested into agriculture contributed to shortening the recovery period after disasters and, in some cases, diversifying farming systems. The migrant’s absence was offset by relatives and neighbors as essential labor reserves. New resilient farming systems need to be disaster proof, gender-sensitive and free up labor. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Free Discharge of Subsurface Drainage Effluent: An Alternate Design of the Surface Drain System in Pakistan
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4080; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074080 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
In Pakistan, many subsurface (SS) drainage projects were launched by the Salinity Control and Reclamation Project (SCARP) to deal with twin problems (waterlogging and salinity). In some cases, sump pumps were installed for the disposal of SS effluent into surface drainage channels. Presently, [...] Read more.
In Pakistan, many subsurface (SS) drainage projects were launched by the Salinity Control and Reclamation Project (SCARP) to deal with twin problems (waterlogging and salinity). In some cases, sump pumps were installed for the disposal of SS effluent into surface drainage channels. Presently, sump pumps have become dysfunctional due to social and financial constraints. This study evaluates the alternate design of the Paharang drainage system that could permit the discharge of the SS drainage system in the response of gravity. The proposed design was completed after many successive trials in terms of lowering the bed level and decreasing the channel bed slope. Interconnected MS-Excel worksheets were developed to design the L-section and X-section. Design continuity of the drainage system was achieved by ensuring the bed and water levels of the receiving drain were lower than the outfalling drain. The drain cross-section was set within the present row with a few changes on the service roadside. The channel side slope was taken as 1:1.5 and the spoil bank inner and outer slopes were kept as 1:2 for the entire design. The earthwork was calculated in terms of excavation for lowering the bed level and increasing the drain section to place the excavated materials in a specific manner. The study showed that modification in the design of the Paharang drainage system is technically admissible and allows for the continuous discharge of SS drainage effluent from the area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land Use-Driven Changes in Ecosystem Service Values and Simulation of Future Scenarios: A Case Study of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4079; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074079 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
Global climate change and land use change arising from human activities affect the ecosystem service values (ESVs). Such impacts have increasingly become significant, especially in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). Major factors impeding the construction of China’s “ecological security barrier” are shifts in land-use [...] Read more.
Global climate change and land use change arising from human activities affect the ecosystem service values (ESVs). Such impacts have increasingly become significant, especially in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). Major factors impeding the construction of China’s “ecological security barrier” are shifts in land-use patterns under rapid urbanization, irrational crop and animal husbandry activities, and tourism. In the present study, land use changes in the QTP in recent years were analyzed to determine their impacts on ESVs, followed by simulations of the interactive and evolutionary relationships between land use and ESVs under two scenarios: natural development scenarios and ecological protection scenarios. According to the results, the QTP land-use structure has a small change, and the main land use type is alpine grassland, followed by bare land and woodland. The stability of the major land use types is the key factor responsible for the overall increasing ESV trend. Different regions on the QTP had substantially varied ESVs. The northwest and southeast regions are mostly bare land, which is a concentrated area of low value of ecosystem services. A variety of land use types including grassland and woodland have been found in the humid and semi-humid areas of the central region, so the high value of ecosystem services is concentrated in this area to form a hot spot, with a Z value of 0.63–2.84. Simulations under the natural development and ecological protection scenarios revealed that land use changes guided by ecological policies were more balanced and the associated ESVs were relatively higher than those under the natural development scenario. Under a global climate change context, human activities on the QTP should be better managed. Sustainable development in the region could be facilitated by ensuring synchronization between resource availability and adopted socioeconomic activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
The Budget as a Basis for Ecological Management of Urbanization Projects. Case Study in Seville, Spain
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4078; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074078 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Urbanization projects, understood as those supplying basic services for cities, such as drinking water, sewers, communication services, power, and lighting, are normally short-term extremely scattered actions, and it can be difficult to track their environmental impact. The present article’s main contribution is to [...] Read more.
Urbanization projects, understood as those supplying basic services for cities, such as drinking water, sewers, communication services, power, and lighting, are normally short-term extremely scattered actions, and it can be difficult to track their environmental impact. The present article’s main contribution is to employ the project budgets of public urbanization work to provide an instrument for environmental improvement, thereby helping public procurement, including sustainability criteria. Two urban projects in Seville, Spain are studied: the first substitutes existing services, and the second also includes gardens and playgrounds in the street margins. The methodology finds the construction elements that must be controlled in each project from the perspective of three indicators: carbon, water footprints, and embodied energy. The main impacts found are due to only four construction units: concrete, aggregates, asphalt, and ceramic pipes for the sewer system, that represent 70% or more of the total impact in all indicators studied. The public developer can focus procurement on those few elements in order to exert a lower impact and to significantly reduce the environmental burden of urbanization projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges for Innovation and Sustainable Development in Latin America: The Significance of Institutions and Human Capital
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4077; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074077 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Sustainable development is considered as one of the vital challenges of the 21st century for humanity. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economic and social life, forcing governments and businesses to reconsider their priorities. There are rare empirical studies on the national innovation system [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is considered as one of the vital challenges of the 21st century for humanity. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economic and social life, forcing governments and businesses to reconsider their priorities. There are rare empirical studies on the national innovation system and its relationship to sustainability development for emerging countries. This paper aims at shedding light on how mission-oriented policies have marked sustainable regional development and innovation in Latin America. The present study presents the capabilities that could support the improvement of the national innovation system and, as a consequence, sustainability development. To understand how Latin American countries act on innovation and sustainable development initiatives, two global rankings in these areas, The Global Innovation Index 2020 and The Sustainable Development Report 2020, were analyzed. The results indicate some obstacles must be overcome such as the high levels of social inequality and poverty that still constitute significant challenges for this region. Today’s biggest challenges are facing a pandemic situation and guaranteeing economic development that allows the underprivileged to escape poverty without dooming future generations to an even more degraded environment than the current one. Innovation continues to play a critical role in the transition toward a more sustainable world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Dynamic and Innovation Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Divide in Advanced Smart City Innovations
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4076; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074076 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
A smart city aims to become a citizen-centered city where citizens actively engage in urban operation and share urban data within a high-tech ICT infrastructure. It premises ‘smart citizens’ who can understand and utilize digital technology to adapt well to the various infrastructure [...] Read more.
A smart city aims to become a citizen-centered city where citizens actively engage in urban operation and share urban data within a high-tech ICT infrastructure. It premises ‘smart citizens’ who can understand and utilize digital technology to adapt well to the various infrastructure of smart cities. In reality, however, not only tech-savvy citizens but those who are not likely to coexist in a smart city. Disadvantaged groups with relatively insufficient awareness and the necessity of technologies might be excluded from smart cities’ various benefits. The smart city innovations need to encompass diverse social groups’ engagements to claim their legitimacy and sustainability from a long-term perspective. In this light, this study examines the potential digital divide in the advanced technologies used in the emerging 5G smart city era. Using survey data, we investigate if the smart citizens’ social and technical readiness in terms of the use experience and necessity of new technologies can predict the adoption and use of the emerging 5G smart city innovations. The empirical results from this study can inform the digital divide between the general public and technology-disadvantaged groups. The findings can also guide policymakers in prioritizing technologies that are accessible and beneficial to all potential residents of smart cities in the future. Finally, the results yield specific policy implications for practitioners who design more inclusive and sustainable smart cities in the 5G era. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Change and Coordinated Development Analysis of “Population-Society-Economy-Resource-Ecology-Environment” in the Jing-Jin-Ji Urban Agglomeration from 2000 to 2015
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074075 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Measuring the regionally coordinated development degree quantitively at an urban agglomeration scale is vital for regional sustainable development. To date, existing studies mainly utilized statistical data to analyze coordinated development degrees between different subsystems, which failed to measure the development gap of subsystems [...] Read more.
Measuring the regionally coordinated development degree quantitively at an urban agglomeration scale is vital for regional sustainable development. To date, existing studies mainly utilized statistical data to analyze coordinated development degrees between different subsystems, which failed to measure the development gap of subsystems between cities. This study integrated remote sensing and statistical data to evaluate the development degree from six subsystems. The coordinated index (CI) and coordinated development index (CDI) were then promoted to assess the coordinated degree and coordinated development degree. The main findings were: (1) The coordinated development degree of Jing-Jin-Ji (JJJ) had increased from 0.4616 in 2000 to 0.6099 in 2015, with the corresponding grade improvement from “moderate” to “good”; (2) JJJ and six subsystems’ development degree showed an increasing trend. JJJ’s whole development degree had improved from 0.34 to 0.52, and the grade had changed from “fair” to “moderate”; (3) The coordinated degree of JJJ displayed a “V” shape. However, the coordinated degree was lower in 2015 than in 2000. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Management and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Matching and Mismatching of Green Jobs: A Big Data Analysis of Job Recruiting and Searching
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4074; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074074 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 499
Abstract
Creating green jobs tackles two crises: the economic downturn and environmental degradation. Responding to the economic downturn, some governments have declared a “green new deal” to remedy unemployment and the economic crisis. Job creation has been suggested as a driving force for sustainable [...] Read more.
Creating green jobs tackles two crises: the economic downturn and environmental degradation. Responding to the economic downturn, some governments have declared a “green new deal” to remedy unemployment and the economic crisis. Job creation has been suggested as a driving force for sustainable economic development and climate change action. However, the question of how many and what types of green jobs are required has not been systematically examined. Are green job openings and searches matching each other in terms of timing, sectors, regions, and salary? This study aims to explore the degree of matching between green job supply and demand using a big data analysis (BDA) of online job market recruiting services in South Korea from 2009 to 2020. The BDA of the Ecojob website reveals that green jobs are concentrated in Seoul and Gyeounggi-do metropolitan areas. The number of water- and air-quality-related jobs is high within these sectors. Job searches in the water quality sector outnumbered job openings. The findings imply that green job creation policy should reflect timing, regional, and sectoral demand and supply data. Creating and matching green jobs is expected to reduce environmental harm, enhance environmental quality, and reduce unemployment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Citric Acid and Glutathione Augments Lead (Pb) Stress Tolerance and Phytoremediation of Castorbean through Antioxidant Machinery and Pb Uptake
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4073; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074073 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Lead (Pb) is one of the most toxic elements on earth. The main origins of Pb pollution are automobiles, paint and electroplating industries. Pb-induced stress has very toxic effects on plant growth and biomass. The concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant [...] Read more.
Lead (Pb) is one of the most toxic elements on earth. The main origins of Pb pollution are automobiles, paint and electroplating industries. Pb-induced stress has very toxic effects on plant growth and biomass. The concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant cells significantly increases under Pb stress, which interrupts the biochemical cycles in cells and leads to cell death. Therefore, it is essential to clean up the Pb-polluted soils. Among all techniques that are used to clean soil that is metal-contaminated, the best technique is phytoremediation. The present study intends to determine the role of citric acid (CA) and glutathione (GSH) in the phytoremediation of Pb by using castor bean plants. Plant biomass was significantly reduced due to Pb stress. Lead toxicity was also harmful to the photosynthetic pigments and antioxidant enzymes activities. In reverse, the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), H2O2 concentration and electrolyte leakage (EL) were increased under Pb stress. The combined application of GSH and CA enhanced photosynthetic pigments, antioxidant enzyme activities and plant biomass and minimized MDA, H2O2 and EL under Pb stress. The amount of Pb in roots and leaves remarkably increased by the joint application of CA and GSH. The combined application of CA and GSH (5 mM + 25 mM, respectively) was proven to be beneficial compared to the control. From the present results, we can conclude that the combined application of CA and GSH promoted the phytoremediation of Pb and helped the host plant to combat Pb toxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Creative Sustainability: The Case of Lublin
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4072; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074072 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The proposed research aims to investigate the concept of creative urban sustainability. We asked, what are the factors conditioning creativity in spaces where cultures meet in cities and how do they stimulate urban sustainable development. The empirical material analysed are the results of [...] Read more.
The proposed research aims to investigate the concept of creative urban sustainability. We asked, what are the factors conditioning creativity in spaces where cultures meet in cities and how do they stimulate urban sustainable development. The empirical material analysed are the results of interviews conducted with cultural managers. We introduce philosophical and sociological approaches based mainly on criticism of writing and the analytical and synthetic method. In the framework of the creative city we illustrate Lublin’s model of spatial innovations, in which culture and creativity have convergence with economic development. We conclude with a conceptual discussion of the creative urban sustainability problems. In particular, we reveal how these issues could help in shaping a theoretic consensus about the function of spaces planning in sustainable development strategies emphasising the importance of creativity as a social resource and also as an agent of social and economic change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainable Development and the Idea of Creative City)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis on the Housing Price Relationship Network of Large and Medium-Sized Cities in China Based on Gravity Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4071; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074071 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
The relationship among cities is getting closer, so are housing prices. Based on the sale price of stocking houses in thirty-five large and medium-sized cities in China from 2010 to 2021, this study established the modified gravity model and used the method of [...] Read more.
The relationship among cities is getting closer, so are housing prices. Based on the sale price of stocking houses in thirty-five large and medium-sized cities in China from 2010 to 2021, this study established the modified gravity model and used the method of social network analysis to explore the spatial linkage of urban housing prices. The results show that: (1) from the overall network structure, the integration degree of housing price network in China is still at a low stage, and the influence of housing price is polarized; (2) from the individual network structure, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Hefei have a higher degree of centrality. Chengdu, Xining, Kunming, Urumqi, and Lanzhou stay in an isolation position every year; (3) from the results of cohesive subgroup analysis, different cities play different roles in the block each year and have different influences on other cities. (4) Emergencies, such as outbreaks of COVID-19, also have an impact on the housing price network. Structural divergence among urban housing prices has become more pronounced, and the diversity of house price network has been somewhat reduced. Based on the above findings, this paper puts forward some recommendations for the healthy development of housing market from the perspective of housing price network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Ink/Toner Savings of English and Thai Ecofonts for Sustainable Printing
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4070; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074070 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 331
Abstract
The use of Ecofonts in printing can result in economic savings and lower environmental impact. However, most of the research on the use of Ecofonts focuses on Latin alphabets. Moreover, texts printed with Ecofonts can be perceived as being less legible than those [...] Read more.
The use of Ecofonts in printing can result in economic savings and lower environmental impact. However, most of the research on the use of Ecofonts focuses on Latin alphabets. Moreover, texts printed with Ecofonts can be perceived as being less legible than those printed with the original typefaces. This study (a) assesses toner use reductions in documents printed with English and Thai Ecofonts, and (b) studies the observers’ perception of texts printed either with Ecofonts or with original typefaces. To achieve this, black pixels were removed from 10 English and 13 Thai typefaces widely used in academia and other media. Visibility and legibility tests, as well as mass analyses tests, were then performed on texts printed with some such typefaces. Results from instrumental measurements and digital image analyses show that the use of Ecofonts reduces toner use of an inkjet printer by up to 28%. The study also proposes a new Ecofont typeface for the Thai language. Visual tests showed that the visual experience of text printed using this Thai Ecofont is satisfactory. Awareness of the benefits of using Ecofonts changes the users’ attitudes towards the printing quality of Ecofont. The removal of black pixels can lead to more sustainable printing, and this simple solution can be extended to other non-Latin languages as part of the global Green Information Technology efforts in South-East Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessReview
Highlighting the Role of Universally Available and Innate Immune Cell Counts in Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Scoping Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074069 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide. The immune system actively participates in the pathobiological process of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), during the index event and the repair process. Research on neurovascular [...] Read more.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide. The immune system actively participates in the pathobiological process of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), during the index event and the repair process. Research on neurovascular inflammation has created a renewed interest in the use of easily available biomarkers reflective of innate and adaptive immunological changes with potential diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications particularly in AIS. The current scoping review aimed to assess the significance the neutrophil to lymphocyte (NLR) in AIS and its related complications and explore their association with post-stroke recovery trajectory. The Arksey and O’Malley methodological framework was employed to review the published papers on the neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and AIS in late November 2020. Only studies published in English from 2000–2020 were included in this scoping review. Fifty-three published papers were reviewed. This review’s key finding is that a canonical inflammatory response occurs in the hyperacute, acute, subacute, and chronic stages of stroke. An excessive circulating innate immune cells (neutrophils) and reduced circulating adaptive immune cells (lymphocytes) are associated with poorer outcomes during the acute interventions as well as the recovery trajectory. This scoping review’s findings highlights the utility of a systems biology-based approach in stroke care. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Framework for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculations in the Context of Road Freight Transport for the Automotive Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4068; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074068 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
The topic of greenhouse gas emissions calculations in the context of freight transport is very current. This topic is very interesting for many stakeholders, such as companies, suppliers, employees, customers, residents, etc. The automotive industry is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions [...] Read more.
The topic of greenhouse gas emissions calculations in the context of freight transport is very current. This topic is very interesting for many stakeholders, such as companies, suppliers, employees, customers, residents, etc. The automotive industry is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions from logistic processes. Due to this fact, it is necessary to search for and create frameworks for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. The requirements for the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions from road freight transport in the automotive industry were identified using semi-structured interviews. Available emission freight calculators were analyzed using the content and comparative analysis. The proposed frameworks for greenhouse gas emissions calculations in the context of road freight transport of material and finished manufactured passenger cars for the automotive industry were applied in the form of an interpretative case study. The main result of the article is the proposal of the frameworks for greenhouse gas (carbon and sulfur dioxide) emissions calculations in the context of road freight transport of the material and finished manufactured passenger cars for the automotive industry. The proposed frameworks were applied and verified. The use of the proposed frameworks can be expected in logistic planning and decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Green Freight System Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison between Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methods and Evaluating the Quality of Life at Different Spatial Levels
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4067; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074067 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Achieving a good urban form has been a problem since the formation of the earliest cities. The tendency of human populations toward living in urban environments and urbanization has made the quality of life more prominent. This article aimed to calculate the quality [...] Read more.
Achieving a good urban form has been a problem since the formation of the earliest cities. The tendency of human populations toward living in urban environments and urbanization has made the quality of life more prominent. This article aimed to calculate the quality of life in an objective way. For this purpose, the technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), vlseKriterijumsk optimizacija kompromisno resenje (VIKOR), simple additive weighted (SAW), and elimination and choice expressing reality (ELECTRE) have been utilized. Quality of life was assessed at three spatial levels. In this regard, socioeconomic, environmental, and accessibility dimensions were considered. As a result, in the first level of comparison, sub-districts in District 6 were ranked higher than that of District 13. On the second level, for District 6, vicinity sub-districts had higher rankings than the center, and for District 13, sub-districts near the center of the city had higher rankings. In the third level, District 6 had a higher quality of life. The results of the comparison between research methods showed that the SAW method performs better in terms of stability. Based on the results of correlation tables, there was a strong and direct relationship between each pair of methods at three spatial levels. In addition, as the study area became smaller, the similarity between the methods increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of External and Internal Factors on Competitive Advantage—Moderation of Market Dynamism and Mediation of Customer Relationship Building
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4066; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074066 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Using a resource-based view and dynamic capabilities approach, this study investigates both the internal and external factors influencing competitive advantage in the hotel industry. For this purpose, we examine how organizational capabilities may lead to customer relationship building and in turn to competitive [...] Read more.
Using a resource-based view and dynamic capabilities approach, this study investigates both the internal and external factors influencing competitive advantage in the hotel industry. For this purpose, we examine how organizational capabilities may lead to customer relationship building and in turn to competitive advantage. We further test the moderation role of market dynamism on the relationship between organizational capabilities and customer relationship building, and also investigate the mediation effect of customer relationship building on the association between organizational capabilities and competitive advantage. A questionnaire-based study was conducted among hotel employees in Northern Cyprus to test the conceptual model. A set of approaches was applied to detect common method bias and test the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the relationships between the variables, and bootstrapping analysis was applied to assess the mediation and moderation effects. The results revealed that organizational capabilities enhance customer relationship building and competitive advantage. Market dynamism as an external factor moderates the relationship between organizational capabilities and customer relationship building. There is also an indirect association between organizational capabilities and competitive advantage through the mediation of customer relationship building. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Entrepreneurial Initiative: Building a Multi-Country Taxonomy
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4065; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074065 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
The main goal of this article is to appraise the existence of different patterns of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, to identify its relationship with Entrepreneurial Initiative, and recommend entrepreneurship policies that may influence the growth of entrepreneurial action. Without evidence on entrepreneurial ecosystems landscape [...] Read more.
The main goal of this article is to appraise the existence of different patterns of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, to identify its relationship with Entrepreneurial Initiative, and recommend entrepreneurship policies that may influence the growth of entrepreneurial action. Without evidence on entrepreneurial ecosystems landscape and what determinants stimulate entrepreneurship in a given environment, policies could become flawed and miss the target. To address research purposes, the analysis was performed using data extracted from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Database carried out between 2010 and 2016. To ensure a longitudinal perspective, it was used a balanced panel approach followed by Logistic Regression estimations. The article offers a novel and systematic approach, the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Taxonomy, to overcome a disaggregated perspective on entrepreneurial ecosystems, between individual and context levels. Empirical findings capture four different country profiles, based on two measures: Entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurial initiative. The results allow to compare the four groups and appraise significant disparities around entrepreneurship determinants, namely, the education factor. While education is commonly recognized as a positive influence on entrepreneurship, the results suggest a contradictory effect. The existence of differentiated profiles and its determinants points outs the importance of developing specific entrepreneurship policy packages attending group specificities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Model to Study the Dynamic Accessibility of the Park & Ride System
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4064; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074064 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 421
Abstract
A Park and Ride (P&R) system is an intermodal point where private vehicle users transfer to public transport to make a combined trip. Several researchers have measured the static accessibility of the P&R system. However, studying dynamic accessibility leads to a comprehensive model [...] Read more.
A Park and Ride (P&R) system is an intermodal point where private vehicle users transfer to public transport to make a combined trip. Several researchers have measured the static accessibility of the P&R system. However, studying dynamic accessibility leads to a comprehensive model consisting of a series of elements and steps that allow for travel time analysis in various traffic conditions. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to develop an integrated model that provides a set of procedures which determine the travel origin points of the P&R system, calculate the trips in different traffic conditions (in this article, the results are shown in three scenarios: no traffic (NT), low traffic (LT), and heavy traffic (HT)), and include a hot spot analysis and correlation in order to finally be able to display the dynamic accessibility using geospatial software. The result shows that the accessibility of the P&R system varies depending on the traffic volume and the variation of the accessibility in the different areas that conform to the urban environment. In conclusion, the integrated model helps users decide on the best time to travel to the P&R system, allows transport planners to develop strategies to make the system more functional, and gives an excellent opportunity to develop a travel information system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-criteria Decision Making and Sustainable Transport)
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Open AccessArticle
A Tool for the Evaluation of Energy-Environmental Retrofit Interventions on Opaque Walls Using ETICS
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4063; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074063 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Buildings in Europe are the largest consumers of energy, since they are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of pollutant gas emissions. The energy efficiency, the consequential economic savings and the reduction of environmental impacts must necessarily consider the design of [...] Read more.
Buildings in Europe are the largest consumers of energy, since they are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of pollutant gas emissions. The energy efficiency, the consequential economic savings and the reduction of environmental impacts must necessarily consider the design of improvements that affect the opaque vertical envelope of a building. The vertical envelope generally constitutes the largest dispersing surface. In this paper, a comparative evaluation of different ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System) solutions through the application of a multicriteria decision support method is proposed. The criteria at the basis of the procedure relate to the energy, environmental, indoor comfort, and economic aspects. Through the application to the case study, consisting of two types of vertical walls with reference to three different climate zones, the ETICS alternative that achieves the best compromise between the various evaluation criteria is highlighted and the solidity of the method itself is tested. The potential of the methodology in the analysis of the alternatives in adherence to individual subcriteria and the possibility of implementation with additional indicators as the needs change are also highlighted. The social impact is undoubtedly one of the expected effects of the application of the method, since a better performance of the building envelope leads to an increase in comfort and liveability of indoor spaces. Moreover, all studies aimed at increasing the performance of the building or parts of it, consequently, lead to greater accessibility by the most vulnerable members of society, in line with the principles of sustainability and inclusiveness of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Horizons for Sustainable Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Local and Global Stability of the Luzzone Arch Dam Including Visualisation of the Data Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4062; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074062 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
This study investigates the local and global stability of the Luzzone Dam. Two finite element models were built; one with foundation rock, the other without. The purpose of this was to demonstrate a potential gulf between rigid connection modelling, and rock–structure interaction (RSI). [...] Read more.
This study investigates the local and global stability of the Luzzone Dam. Two finite element models were built; one with foundation rock, the other without. The purpose of this was to demonstrate a potential gulf between rigid connection modelling, and rock–structure interaction (RSI). Strand7 is not a traditional geotechnical finite element model (FEM) program, though performed well when modelling radial displacement on the Luzzone Dam. Generally, the percentage between a rigid base and RSI model displacement was 10%. This result was validated against previous numerical models on the structure. Static loads produced a radial displacement on the crown structure of 9.01 cm. Uneven stress distributions at the base of the structure were shown to be the most unpredictable result. With rigid base connections, these loads produced peak tensile stresses of 10.7 MPa. This was greater than its dynamic counterpart, asking questions about fully fixed restraints. It is noted that this is above yield and should be investigated further. Special attention will be devoted to determining the failure criteria in the simulated dams to suggest better practical guide lines for the practical engineers on site. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forging Political Cadres for Re-Peasantization: Escuela de Acción Campesina (Spain)
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4061; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074061 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Bolstering the political formation of agrarian organizations has become a priority for La Vía Campesina and the Food Sovereignty Movement. This paper addresses the Spanish case study of the Escuela de Acción Campesina (EAC)—(Peasant Action School), which is a tool for political formation [...] Read more.
Bolstering the political formation of agrarian organizations has become a priority for La Vía Campesina and the Food Sovereignty Movement. This paper addresses the Spanish case study of the Escuela de Acción Campesina (EAC)—(Peasant Action School), which is a tool for political formation in the Global North in which the philosophical and pedagogical principles of the “peasant pedagogies” of the Training Schools proposed by La Vía Campesina are put into practice within an agrarian organization in Spain and in alliance with the rest of the Spanish Food Sovereignty Movement. The study was carried out over the course of the 10 years of activist research, spanning the entire process for the construction and development of the EAC. Employing an ethnographic methodology, information was collected through participant observation, ethnographic interviews, a participatory workshop, and reviews of internal documents. The paper presents the context in which the EAC arose, its pedagogical dynamics, the structure and the ideological contents implemented for the training of new cadres, and how there are three key areas in the training process: (1) the strengthening of collective union and peasant identity, (2) training in the “peasant” ideological proposal, and (3) the integration of students as new cadres into the organizations’ structures. It is concluded that the EAC is a useful tool in the ideological re-peasantization process of these organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Political Agroecology)
Open AccessArticle
Empathic Design in Engineering Education and Practice: An Approach for Achieving Inclusive and Effective Community Resilience
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4060; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074060 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 514
Abstract
In this paper, we argue that an inclusive and effective community resilience approach requires empathy as a missing component in the current engineering education and practice. An inclusive and effective community resilience approach needs to be human-centric, individual- and communal-sensitive, justice-oriented, and values-based [...] Read more.
In this paper, we argue that an inclusive and effective community resilience approach requires empathy as a missing component in the current engineering education and practice. An inclusive and effective community resilience approach needs to be human-centric, individual- and communal-sensitive, justice-oriented, and values-based consistent. In this paper, we argue that three kinds of empathy, namely cognitive, affective, and conative, play a central role in creating and sustaining an inclusive and effective approach to community resilience. Finally, we discuss empathetic education through learning theories and analytics skills to cultivate empathy in engineering education. Cultivating empathy in engineering education could help advance the impact and contribution of engineering to well-being. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Agricultural Production in Qatar’s Hot Arid Climate
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4059; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074059 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Agriculture has played an essential role in the provision of food and has been a major factor in overall economic development for societies around the world for millennia. In the past, agriculture in hot, arid countries like Qatar faced many challenges, the primary [...] Read more.
Agriculture has played an essential role in the provision of food and has been a major factor in overall economic development for societies around the world for millennia. In the past, agriculture in hot, arid countries like Qatar faced many challenges, the primary one being a dearth of water for irrigation. Historically this severely limited Qatar’s economic development, which was based largely on resource exploitation, pearl fishing, and only more recently, on the exploitation of its oil and gas reserves which subsequently has led to Qatar’s great wealth. This paper gives an overview of the recent evolution of Qatar’s agricultural sector and investigates future trends that tackle the challenges of its hot arid climate and the limited availability of agricultural resources. Specifically, the review analyses Qatar’s potential to develop a national food security strategy based on a significant expansion of food production in the country. We review recent policy actions implemented to address challenges in the food supply chain caused by a 3.5-year blockade imposed by the adjacent Arab Gulf States, discussing the renewed interest in the potential that an enhanced agricultural sector must provide some aspects of food security and the implications for policymakers that would logically ensue. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Social Impact and Value Creation in Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Italian Civil Service
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4058; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074058 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 408
Abstract
The aim of this paper is twofold: first, it aims to analyze what kind of value is generated by hybrid organizations and how; second, it aims to understand the role of social impact assessment (SIA) in the measurement of added value, especially in [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is twofold: first, it aims to analyze what kind of value is generated by hybrid organizations and how; second, it aims to understand the role of social impact assessment (SIA) in the measurement of added value, especially in terms of social and economic change generated by hybrids. Hybrid organizations are a debated topic in literature and have different strengths in responding to needs, mainly in the public interest. Nevertheless, there are not many studies that identify the impact and change generated by these organizations. After highlighting the gap in the literature, the study proposes an innovative approach that combines SIA, interview, interventionist approach and documental analysis. The breakdown of SIA through the five elements of the value chain (inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact) guarantees a linear definition of the value generated through change with procedural objectivity capable of grasping hybrid organizations’ complexity. The value generated or absorbed is the change generated by the impact measured based on the incidence of public resources allocated. Through the SIA and counterfactual approach, the civil service case study analysis highlights how the value generated by public resources can be measured or more clearly displayed in the measurement process itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Impact Assessment in Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Scale to Measure Intrapersonal Psychological Empowerment to Participate in Local Tourism Development: Applying the Sociopolitical Control Scale Construct to Tourism (SPCS-T)
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4057; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074057 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Future tourism development must be guided by thoughtful and effective policies that represent the interests of a majority of community members to maximize the positive and minimize the negative impact on communities. Effective policies rely on the support of an engaged citizenry made [...] Read more.
Future tourism development must be guided by thoughtful and effective policies that represent the interests of a majority of community members to maximize the positive and minimize the negative impact on communities. Effective policies rely on the support of an engaged citizenry made up of residents who feel psychologically empowered. The primary purpose of this study was to develop a topic-specific measure of sociopolitical control in order to provide a reliable quantitative tool to evaluate tourism development in host communities. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded indices of an acceptable model fit that support the construct validity of a revised Sociopolitical Control Scale for Tourism (SPCS-T). The present study provides empirical evidence that policymakers and researchers interested in gauging support for future tourism policies can successfully apply the SPCS-T in the tourism context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intention and Tourism/Hospitality Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation: A Methodological Proposal for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4056; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074056 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
After the UN’s adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it became clear that the relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship was an area for re-examination. Traditional measures of entrepreneurial success rested largely on economic indicators; observatories like the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) [...] Read more.
After the UN’s adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it became clear that the relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship was an area for re-examination. Traditional measures of entrepreneurial success rested largely on economic indicators; observatories like the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) extended them, including cultural and social indicators. There is now a real need to measure and analyze the relationship between sustainable entrepreneurship and eco-innovation and drive positive economic activity outcomes, sustainable development, and social welfare. For GEM’s consideration, this paper proposes a reimagined tool by which to measure sustainable entrepreneurship and eco-innovation in businesses and assess their level of alignment with UN SDGs. Specifically, it presents a new measurement method, incorporating, but simplifying, a complex range of variables, which can be crystallized into a set of items (questions) to determine businesses’ commitment to entrepreneurship sustainability—social, economic, and environmental. The results can be cross-referenced with other relevant variables, and indicators proposed by the UN, to determine what causal or explanatory relationships might or might not exist. The proposal represents a valuable extension to existing data gathering tools, and will be of use to researchers and practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship—especially as its sustainability credentials and environmental impact are in the spotlight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation)
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Music Tempo and Volume on Acoustic Perceptions under the Noise Environment
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4055; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074055 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the distracting or masking effects of music tempo and volume, based on subjective evaluation under noise conditions. Two experiments were conducted with 32 participants. In the first one, the experimental conditions were set as follow: (1) the sound [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the distracting or masking effects of music tempo and volume, based on subjective evaluation under noise conditions. Two experiments were conducted with 32 participants. In the first one, the experimental conditions were set as follow: (1) the sound pressure levels of music are 45 dB, 60 dB, and 75 dB; (2) music tempos are 70 beats per minute (BPM), 110 BPM, and 150 BPM; (3) sound pressure levels of noise are 45 dB, 60 dB, and 75 dB; and (4) the noise types are talkers’ babble, traffic noise, and construction noise. All conditions on human acoustic perception were analyzed by orthogonal experiment. Based on part one, the second experiment was conducted. Sound pressure levels (50 dB, 60 dB, and 70 dB) of noise and sound pressure levels (50 dB, 60 dB, and 70 dB) of music and music tempo (70 BPM, 110 BPM, and 150 BPM) were assessed by subjective evaluation. The results showed although different types of noise had different effects on human perceptions, noise types had a small effect on acoustic comfort considering the superimposed music. Music can improve the acoustic environment. The sound pressure levels had significant effects on acoustic sensation. The tempo of the music affected the acoustic sensation insignificantly. Sound pressure levels of noise, music tempo, and sound pressure levels of music significantly affect acoustic comfort. The best acoustic environment in this study utilized superimposed 70 BPM, 60 dB music in a 50 dB noise environment. These results suggest that music can enable new strategies to improve indoor environmental satisfaction. Based on the findings, the effect of music on acoustic perceptions under the noise environment should be taken into account when aiming to enhance comfort in noisy environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of the Best Value Perceptions of Small Housebuilding Developers towards Offsite Construction
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4054; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074054 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
Offsite construction is increasingly being presented as a way to increase housing delivery and reduce the housing crisis. Large developers play a pivotal role in the delivery of affordable homes and therefore offsite construction could be beneficial in alleviating the crisis. Previous Offsite [...] Read more.
Offsite construction is increasingly being presented as a way to increase housing delivery and reduce the housing crisis. Large developers play a pivotal role in the delivery of affordable homes and therefore offsite construction could be beneficial in alleviating the crisis. Previous Offsite Construction (OC) studies conducted into the drivers, barriers and decision factors provide qualitative analysis from manufacturers and larger developers appear to be taking advantage of the UK government’s renewed interest in offsite manufacturing and have begun investing in these methods. However, the role of smaller housebuilding developers in the use of offsite construction systems is rather more uncertain. This research addresses this gap in the literature through an exploration of small housebuilding developers’ best value perceptions of offsite construction methods within the UK housebuilding sector. A questionnaire survey was used to ascertain perceptions of the 134 small developers towards the drivers, barriers and decision factors identified in the extant OC literature. Although survey respondents had not widely used offsite manufactured systems previously, the results indicate a high level of agreement with the drivers identified within the offsite construction literature. The respondents identified the buyers’ perception of traditional methods as superior to OC systems and creating higher sales figures. Many any of the respondents also believe that best value, and hence maximised profit, higher sales value, and greater returns on investment, is achieved through traditional methods of construction. These two factors combined are more desirable for small developers, rather than the perceived increase in sustainability and efficiency offered by OC systems, due to their positive effect on profit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design in Offsite Construction)
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Open AccessArticle
Unintended CSR Violation Caused by Online Recommendation
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 4053; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13074053 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 370
Abstract
This paper investigates whether online recommendation of products that exhibit corporate social responsibility (CSR) penalizes the purchase intention of non-CSR products. When consumers browse online retail stores and consider buying a particular product, online recommendation is made (e.g., “Customers who viewed this item [...] Read more.
This paper investigates whether online recommendation of products that exhibit corporate social responsibility (CSR) penalizes the purchase intention of non-CSR products. When consumers browse online retail stores and consider buying a particular product, online recommendation is made (e.g., “Customers who viewed this item also viewed”). This recommendation is often made between products of which attributes have a trade-off relationship (e.g., CSR vs. price). (A trade-off is where one thing increases, and another must decrease. A trade-off relationship between CSR and price suggests a pair of competing products are available: a more expensive, CSR product and an economical, non-CSR product.) We borrowed from the psychological literature of evaluability to hypothesize that when a CSR product is recommended, consumers would decrease their purchase intention of the economical product. However, when an economical product is recommended, consumers would maintain their purchase intention of the CSR product. We further hypothesized that this asymmetric effect would disappear when reinforcement information regarding the CSR is provided. Two carefully designed experiments conducted in China supported these hypotheses. Our findings contribute to the growing literature on online retailers by elucidating the psychological impact of online recommendations, which may influence manufacturers’ sales in an unexpected manner. The findings also indicate that online recommendations could be a potential source of channel conflict. While this study newly verifies the unintended CSR violation effect of online recommendations, future studies are required to expand our understanding of the CSR violation effect by investigating the effect under the trade-off relationship with other attributes of the product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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