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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 2 (January-2 2022) – 459 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Salento is a regional coastal karst aquifer with a complex geological, geomorphological, and hydrogeological structure. The increased frequency of meteorological droughts and rising temperatures may worsen groundwater’s qualitative and quantitative status. On complex aquifers under data scarcity, the analysis of climate indexes is a viable approach to describe groundwater behavior. The results of three different correlation factors between groundwater levels and climate indexes agree with describing this aquifer as a low-pass filter, with a notable inertial behavior in response to meteorological events. Similar methodologies are worthy of interest for those areas characterized by severe stress conditions because of long drought duration and excessive groundwater exploitations. View this paper
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Article
Climate Change and Sustainability in ASEAN Countries
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 999; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020999 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The ASEAN region is one of the most susceptible regions to climate change, with three of its countries—Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand—among those that have suffered the greatest fatalities and economic losses because of climate-related disasters. This paper reveals that the ASEAN’s environmental [...] Read more.
The ASEAN region is one of the most susceptible regions to climate change, with three of its countries—Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand—among those that have suffered the greatest fatalities and economic losses because of climate-related disasters. This paper reveals that the ASEAN’s environmental performance is sorely lagging other regions despite evidence of its cohesive and comprehensive efforts to mitigate emissions and build up adaptive capacity to climate-related disasters. Within the ASEAN, there exist gaps in environmental performance between each country. This suggests that increased cooperation between individual ASEAN countries is pertinent for the region to collectively combat climate change. In addition, we show that government effectiveness has a positive influence on a country’s climate performance, signifying that a government’s strong commitment to governance is necessary in the fight against climate change. Full article
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Article
What Influences Consumers to Recycle Solid Waste? An Application of the Extended Theory of Planned Behavior in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 998; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020998 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
This extant study attempts to present a comprehensive predictive model for solid waste recycling behavior. Solid waste is a major environmental concern globally. Particularly, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), being the larger gulf country in the Middle East is a major contributor [...] Read more.
This extant study attempts to present a comprehensive predictive model for solid waste recycling behavior. Solid waste is a major environmental concern globally. Particularly, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), being the larger gulf country in the Middle East is a major contributor to solid waste. Consequently, this study was carried out to identify the motivational factors that consumers consider important for recycling their household waste. We extended the theory of planned behavior (TBP) and utilized actual behavioral variables such as resell, reuse, and donation. A structured questionnaire was carried out with 365 purposively selected respondents in the KSA. Among several other noteworthy findings consistent with previous studies, we found that reselling was the most significant factor of recycling behavior followed by donation. Further, the multi-group analysis (MGA) results reveal significant group differences in gender and age variables; the significance test indicates that the male group has much better pro-environmental behavior than the female group. In terms of age, our results showed that recycling intention and reselling behavior passed a significant test in the elderly group when compared to a younger group. This study has unique contributions and findings leading to practical implications for government authorities, businesses, and non-governmental organizations. The findings will particularly aid in increasing the recycling intention and behavior among household consumers. This research will guide in making laws and policies that can help to embrace the green challenges and boost recycling activities for a sustainable environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Solid Waste Management)
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Article
Population Exposure Changes to One Heat Wave and the Influencing Factors Using Mobile Phone Data—A Case Study of Zhuhai City, China
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 997; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020997 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
The frequent occurrence of extreme high temperature weather and heat waves has greatly affected human life. This paper analyzes population exposure and its influencing factors during a heat wave incident in Zhuhai from 6 to 12 September 2021 based on real-time mobile phone [...] Read more.
The frequent occurrence of extreme high temperature weather and heat waves has greatly affected human life. This paper analyzes population exposure and its influencing factors during a heat wave incident in Zhuhai from 6 to 12 September 2021 based on real-time mobile phone data and meteorological data. The results show that the most areas of Zhuhai are affected by high temperature during this heat wave incident. The hourly population exposure is directly proportional to hourly heat wave coverage. In terms of time dimension, the overall population exposure shows a trend of decreasing and then increasing. In terms of spatial dimensions, high population exposure is concentrated in areas such as primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, office buildings, and residential areas. Low exposure is distributed in most of the mountainous areas along the southern coast. In addition, the leading factors that cause changes in population exposure in different periods of the heat wave cycle are different, which rely more on either climatic factors or population factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability with Changing Climate and Extremes)
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Article
Design-Based Research on Teacher Facilitation in a Pedagogic Integration of Flipped Learning and Social Enquiry Learning
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 996; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020996 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 522
Abstract
This design-based research (DBR) project aimed to develop apt in-class and out-of-class teacher facilitation strategies to be employed in a pedagogic integration of flipped learning and social enquiry learning, viz., FIBER (Flipped Issue-Based Enquiry Ride), with respect to upper-, average-, and lower-academic classrooms. [...] Read more.
This design-based research (DBR) project aimed to develop apt in-class and out-of-class teacher facilitation strategies to be employed in a pedagogic integration of flipped learning and social enquiry learning, viz., FIBER (Flipped Issue-Based Enquiry Ride), with respect to upper-, average-, and lower-academic classrooms. The research was conducted in the formal learning and teaching context of senior secondary social humanities education in Hong Kong, involving nine teachers (from nine different schools at three different academic bands) and their Secondary-5 (Grade-11) classes (with a total of 610 students) in two consecutive school years. Apart from delineating the evidence-based teacher facilitation practices that we designed, enacted and evaluated in the DBR process, this paper also discusses the principles that we derived in accordance with these practices. The present work provides both researchers and educators with new insights into developing adequate teacher facilitation strategies when adopting flipped learning in social humanities education and upon different formal schooling settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Learning Innovations)
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Review
Nitrogen Removal from Mature Landfill Leachate via Anammox Based Processes: A Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 995; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020995 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Mature landfill leachate is a complex and highly polluted effluent with a large amount of ammonia nitrogen, toxic components and low biodegradability. Its COD/N and BOD5/COD ratios are low, which is not suitable for traditional nitrification and denitrification processes. Anaerobic ammonia [...] Read more.
Mature landfill leachate is a complex and highly polluted effluent with a large amount of ammonia nitrogen, toxic components and low biodegradability. Its COD/N and BOD5/COD ratios are low, which is not suitable for traditional nitrification and denitrification processes. Anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) is an innovative biological denitrification process, relying on anammox bacteria to form stable biofilms or granules. It has been extensively used in nitrogen removal of mature landfill leachate due to its high efficiency, low cost and sludge yield. This paper reviewed recent advances of anammox based processes for mature landfill leachate treatment. The state of the art anammox process for mature landfill leachate is systematically described, mainly including partial nitrification–anammox, partial nitrification–anammox coupled denitrification. At the same time, the microbiological analysis of the process operation was given. Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) has the merit of saving the carbon source and aeration energy, while its practical application is mainly limited by an unstable influent condition, operational control and seasonal temperature variation. To improve process efficiency, it is suggested to develop some novel denitrification processes coupled with anammox to reduce the inhibition of anammox bacteria by mature landfill leachate, and to find cheap new carbon sources (methane, waste fruits) to improve the biological denitrification efficiency of the anammox system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainability of Water Environment)
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Article
Utilization of Agro-Industrial Wastes for the Production of Quality Oyster Mushrooms
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 994; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020994 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
The objective of this study was to utilize agro-lignocellulosic wastes for growing oyster mushroom which become problematic for disposal. Pleurotus ostreatus was cultivated on five agro-industrial wastes: rice straw (RS), wheat straw (WS), corncobs (CC), saw dust and rice husk @ 3:1 (SR) [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to utilize agro-lignocellulosic wastes for growing oyster mushroom which become problematic for disposal. Pleurotus ostreatus was cultivated on five agro-industrial wastes: rice straw (RS), wheat straw (WS), corncobs (CC), saw dust and rice husk @ 3:1 (SR) and sugarcane bagasse (SB). Approximately 500 g sized polypropylene bags (20.32 × 30.48 cm) were used for each substrate. The SR significantly improved the number of fruiting body (27.80), size of the fruiting body (5.39 g), yield (115.13 g/packet), ash and shortened the days for stimulation to primordial initiation and harvest (9.2 days). The maximum percentage of visual mycelium growth with the least time (15.0 days) to complete the mycelium running was found in SB, whereas the highest biological efficiency value (56.5) was calculated in SR. The topmost value of total sugar (33.20%) and ash (10.87 g/100 g) were recorded in WS, whereas the utmost amount of protein (6.87 mg/100 g) and total polyphenolics (196.88 mg GAE/100 g) were detected from SB and SR, respectively. Overall SR gave the highest amount of the fruiting body with the topmost polyphenols and ash, moderate protein and total sugar, and secured maximum biological efficiency too. The results demonstrate that saw dust with rice husk could be used as an easy alternative substrate for oyster mushroom cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Circular Bioeconomy)
Review
Recovery of Degraded Areas through Technosols and Mineral Nanoparticles: A Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 993; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020993 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Anthropogenic sources such as urban and agricultural runoff, fossil fuel combustion, domestic and industrial wastewater effluents, and atmospheric deposition generate large volumes of nutrient-rich organic and inorganic waste. In their original state under subsurface conditions, they can be inert and thermodynamically stable, although [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic sources such as urban and agricultural runoff, fossil fuel combustion, domestic and industrial wastewater effluents, and atmospheric deposition generate large volumes of nutrient-rich organic and inorganic waste. In their original state under subsurface conditions, they can be inert and thermodynamically stable, although when some of their components are exposed to surface conditions, they undergo great physicochemical and mineralogical transformations, thereby mobilizing their constituents, which often end up contaminating the environment. These residues can be used in the production of technosols as agricultural inputs and the recovery of degraded areas. Technosol is defined as artificial soil made from organic and inorganic waste, capable of performing environmental and productive functions in a similar way to natural ones. This study presents results of international research on the use of technosol to increase soil fertility levels and recover degraded areas in some countries. The conclusions of the various studies served to expand the field of applicability of this line of research on technosols in contaminated spaces. The review indicated very promising results that support the sustainability of our ecosystem, and the improvement achieved with this procedure in soils is comparable to the hybridization and selection of plants that agriculture has performed for centuries to obtain better harvests. Thus, the use of a technosol presupposes a much faster recovery without the need for any other type of intervention. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Forest Fire Dynamics, Distribution and Main Drivers in the Atlantic Forest
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 992; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020992 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 470
Abstract
The fire susceptibility of the Atlantic Forest has largely increased over the past two decades due to a combination of climate change and anthropogenic factors such as land cover change and human modification. High rates of forest fragmentation have contributed to escalating fires [...] Read more.
The fire susceptibility of the Atlantic Forest has largely increased over the past two decades due to a combination of climate change and anthropogenic factors such as land cover change and human modification. High rates of forest fragmentation have contributed to escalating fires in this imperilled global biodiversity hotspot. Understanding fire patterns is essential to developing an effective forest fire management strategy. In this research, we utilized the Random Forest (RF) machine learning approach for identifying the role of climatic and anthropogenic factors in influencing fire occurrence probability and mapping the spatial distribution of fire risk. We found that the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index value and climate variables (i.e., temperature and solar radiation) were significant drivers of fire occurrence risk. Results also confirm that forest fragmentation increases with fire density in the region. Full article
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Article
A Creative Analysis of Factors Affecting the Landscape Construction of Urban Temple Garden Plants Based on Tourists’ Perceptions
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 991; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020991 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 378
Abstract
This study was based on the perspectives of tourists, with data obtained through a questionnaire survey of users of the Kaiyuan Temple Scenic Area in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Through statistical evaluation and principal component analysis, the data collected from 351 questionnaires [...] Read more.
This study was based on the perspectives of tourists, with data obtained through a questionnaire survey of users of the Kaiyuan Temple Scenic Area in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Through statistical evaluation and principal component analysis, the data collected from 351 questionnaires were analyzed, and five common factors affecting tourists’ perceptions were obtained: spatial structure, functional structure, utility plants, heritage characteristics and sensory characteristics. Through data analysis and research, the following conclusions were drawn: (1) most tourists have high expectations in terms of the overall layout of the temple garden plant landscape; (2) they like eye-catching and interesting plants and comfortable spaces for recreation and leisure; (3) they pay attention to the health-giving properties of plants; (4) tourists like it when the temple garden plant landscape includes a diverse range of plant forms while maintaining distinctive regional characteristics; and (5) tourists find bright flowers and aromatic plants relaxing and mood-enhancing, functioning to promote interaction between the temple landscape and tourists. The findings of the study can therefore be used as theoretical guidance for the design of urban temple garden plant landscape construction that meets the needs of tourists. Full article
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Review
The Status Quo and Prospect of Sustainable Development of Smart Clothing
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 990; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020990 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 774
Abstract
With the booming development of the Internet and AI (Artificial Intelligence), smart clothing has emerged to meet consumers’ personalized needs in healthcare, work, entertainment, etc., and has rapidly become a hotspot in the clothing industry and research field. However, as smart clothing gets [...] Read more.
With the booming development of the Internet and AI (Artificial Intelligence), smart clothing has emerged to meet consumers’ personalized needs in healthcare, work, entertainment, etc., and has rapidly become a hotspot in the clothing industry and research field. However, as smart clothing gets popular, sustainability issues are becoming increasingly prominent during its development and circulation. To explore the status quo of the sustainable development of smart clothing, from the perspective of the industry chain, this paper discusses its challenges during raw material supply, design, manufacturing, storage, logistics and recycling. Based on these challenges and the characteristics of smart clothing and the future trend of the apparel industry, some countermeasures are put forward from three aspects: design, raw material and supply chain management. This review aims to arouse the reflection of practitioners and provide feasible suggestions for the healthy and lasting development of the apparel industry, also hoping to offer references for other industries. Full article
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Article
Do Green Banking Activities Improve the Banks’ Environmental Performance? The Mediating Effect of Green Financing
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 989; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020989 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to identify the impact of green banking activities on green financing and banks’ environmental performance. It also identifies the mediating effect of green financing on the relationship between green banking activities and environmental performance of private [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to identify the impact of green banking activities on green financing and banks’ environmental performance. It also identifies the mediating effect of green financing on the relationship between green banking activities and environmental performance of private commercial banks (PCBs) in Bangladesh. Besides, this study also examines the major challenges and benefits of green banking development in an emerging economy like Bangladesh. The convenience sampling technique was used to collect primary data from bankers of PCBs in Bangladesh, and a final sample size of 352 was recorded. To assess the relationship among the study variables, the Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach was employed. The empirical results revealed that green banking activities exhibit a significantly positive effect on banks’ environmental performance and sources of green financing, and that sources of green financing significantly influence banks’ environmental performance. Additionally, it was observed that green financing mediates the association between green banking activities and banks’ environmental performance. Furthermore, the study identified customers’ insufficient awareness towards green banking, high investment costs, technical obstacles, lack of capable and competent staff in appraising green credits/loans, and difficulties and complexity in assessing green projects as major challenges affecting the development of green banking in Bangladesh. Moreover, the study also discovered that increasing banks’ competitiveness, reducing long-term costs and expenses, providing online banking facilities, improving customers’ goodwill, and reducing carbon footprints are the key benefits of green banking development, as it helps in the achievement of the sustainable economic development of the country. Therefore, major theoretical and managerial policy implications are further discussed with study limitations and future research directions. Full article
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Article
Environmental Governance in Urban Watersheds: The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Mexico
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 988; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020988 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Cities depend on several watersheds’ ecosystems as the main source of ecosystem services for urban populations; however, this connection is not visible to decision-makers and citizens. The current governance structures do not contemplate the integrated management of the urban-rural territory by watershed; they [...] Read more.
Cities depend on several watersheds’ ecosystems as the main source of ecosystem services for urban populations; however, this connection is not visible to decision-makers and citizens. The current governance structures do not contemplate the integrated management of the urban-rural territory by watershed; they establish few spaces for citizen participation, and limit the transparency of information. We use qualitative methods to analyze the work of the Civil Society Organization (CSO) in seven urbanized watersheds in Mexico, located under different socio-environmental conditions, to incorporate the watershed cities’ management processes through new spaces of collaborative governance. Through environmental education campaigns, the CSOs raised awareness of the importance of watershed ecosystems to provide water for cities, explored the willingness to pay for their conservation, and the perception of the work of municipal water utilities. By promoting alliances between social sectors, the private sector, communities, and different levels of government, the CSOs built new institutions to increase the collaborative decisions and facilitate public participation, such as Watershed Committees, Citizen Observatories for Water and Consultative Councils. The incorporation of cities and citizens in the conservation of environmental services of the watershed was promoted through payment for environmental services programs. These processes of building new forms of governance are not linear. They depend on the convening and organizational capacity of the CSOs, the political will of the municipalities and states, as well as the socioeconomic conditions of citizens. In general, our results suggest that CSOs allow the formation of alliances that strengthen collaborations among stakeholders at different scales, increase government transparency and accountability, and provide a bridge of trust between upstream and downstream users in the watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Review
International Research Progress and Evolution Trend of Interpersonal Trust—Prospects under COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 987; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14020987 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Retrospecting articles on interpersonal trust is of great importance for understanding its current status and future development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, with the widespread use of Big Data and Blockchain. In total, 1532 articles related to interpersonal trust were [...] Read more.
Retrospecting articles on interpersonal trust is of great importance for understanding its current status and future development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, with the widespread use of Big Data and Blockchain. In total, 1532 articles related to interpersonal trust were collected as research database to draw keyword co-occurrence mapping and timeline mapping by VOSviewer and CiteSpace. On this basis, the research content and evolution trend of interpersonal trust were systematically analyzed. The results show that: (1) Data cleaning by code was first integrated with Knowledge Mapping and then used to review the research of interpersonal trust; (2) Developed countries have contributed the most to the research of interpersonal trust; (3) Social capital, knowledge sharing, job and organizational performance, Chinese Guanxi are the research hotspots of interpersonal trust; (4) The research hotspots on interpersonal trust evolve from the level of individual psychology and behavior to the level of social stability and development and then to the level of organization operation and management; (5) At present, the research on interpersonal trust is in the outbreak period; fMRI technology and Big Data and Blockchain technology gradually become vital research tools of interpersonal trust, which provides significant prospects for the following research of interpersonal trust under the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theories and Methods of Positive Organizational Behavior)
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Article
How to Use Live Streaming to Improve Consumer Purchase Intentions: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1045; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021045 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1288
Abstract
As a new business model, live-streaming commerce has great commercial value. This study used the stimulus–organism–response framework to explore the psychological mechanisms of how live peculiarities impact consumer behavioral responses as well as the effects of gender and platform differences, and to make [...] Read more.
As a new business model, live-streaming commerce has great commercial value. This study used the stimulus–organism–response framework to explore the psychological mechanisms of how live peculiarities impact consumer behavioral responses as well as the effects of gender and platform differences, and to make clear how to choose the two dependent variables of engagement and purchase intentions. Using 454 valid questionnaires from consumers who had made purchases during live streaming, the authors employed partial least squares structural equation modeling to analysis the research model. The results suggest that interactivity, visualization, entertainment, and professionalization play considerable roles in consumer behavioral responses and that their psychological mechanisms are different. Male respondents are more satisfied with interactivity than females. E-commerce platforms are more interactive, visible and professional than social media platforms, and the trust mechanism of social media platforms is immature. If we use engagement to describe consumer behavioral responses of interactivity and purchase intentions to describe consumer behavioral responses of visualization, entertainment, and professionalization, this provides a basis for selecting the two dependent variables in live-streaming commerce. This study extends existing theoretical research on live-streaming commerce and provides some managerial implications for platforms, stores, and streamers. Full article
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Article
Under-Canopy Regeneration of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) as Adaptive Potential in Building a Diverse Stand Structure
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1044; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021044 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 338
Abstract
Under-canopy natural regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand is able to create stands with a complex structure, which are characterised by greater resistance to extreme phenomena related to climate change. The main aim of the work was to analyse the potential [...] Read more.
Under-canopy natural regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand is able to create stands with a complex structure, which are characterised by greater resistance to extreme phenomena related to climate change. The main aim of the work was to analyse the potential of pine undergrowth, its role in the stand, and its usefulness in further breeding plans to create stands of various structure, with greater stability and tolerance to stress factors, including greater resistance to climate change. The study was carried out in north-eastern Poland, in pine stands thinned by strong (hurricane level) wind in 2002. The study area covers 225.2 ha and is located in 29 stands. Naturally regenerated pine saplings with a minimum height of 0.5 m, characterised by a high density, growing under the upper cover of the stand, with varying degrees of thinning, were qualified for the study. On average 7.820 pine saplings were recorded in the area of one hectare. Over 65% of the examined saplings were determined to be of very good or good quality, prognostic for further development and the creation of the main stand in the future. The principle of increasing the structural diversity of stands is the method of increasing the adaptability of forests to environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
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Article
Knowledge Mapping of Optimal Taxation Studies: A Bibliometric Analysis and Network Visualization
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021043 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 549
Abstract
The problem of tax policy design has been an important concern over the years, involving comprehensive scientific research. In this study, our major goal was to examine and map the optimal taxation research thematic structure by using bibliometric analysis. The analysis was carried [...] Read more.
The problem of tax policy design has been an important concern over the years, involving comprehensive scientific research. In this study, our major goal was to examine and map the optimal taxation research thematic structure by using bibliometric analysis. The analysis was carried out with the CiteSpace software on publications indexed by Web of Science (WoS) between 1975 and 2021. This document offers an actual bibliometric analysis of the current research climate in terms of optimal taxation, based on the following aspects: (1) descriptive characteristics of publication outputs (distribution by years, authors, countries, journals); (2) collaboration analysis of authors, institutions, and countries; (3) co-citation analysis of cited journals, cited authors, and cited references; and (4) keywords’ co-occurrence analysis. We constructed a knowledge map about optimal taxation research to provide a wide visual brief of the actual research in the domain of optimal tax policy. The current study adds knowledge by presenting the state of the art of the most significant studies published in the field of optimal taxation research. Full article
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Article
Sustainability of Vertical Farming in Comparison with Conventional Farming: A Case Study in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Footprint
by , , and
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1042; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021042 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 766
Abstract
The reduced requirement for nutrients in vertical farming (VF) implies that the potential for lower environmental impact is greater in VF than in conventional farming. In this study, the environmental impacts of VF were evaluated based on a case study of VF for [...] Read more.
The reduced requirement for nutrients in vertical farming (VF) implies that the potential for lower environmental impact is greater in VF than in conventional farming. In this study, the environmental impacts of VF were evaluated based on a case study of VF for vegetables in Miyagi Prefecture in Japan, where VF has been utilized in post-disaster relief operations in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) footprints of these VFs were determined and analyzed to quantify the potential reduction in N and P emissions. First, the N and P footprints in conventional farming were calculated. Then, those footprints were compared with three different scenarios with different ratios for food imports, which equate to different levels of food self-sufficiency. The results show a decrease in the N and P footprints with increased prefectural self-sufficiency due to the introduction of VF. In addition to reducing the risks to food supply by reducing the dependence on imports and the environmental impacts of agriculture, further analysis reveals that VF is suitable for use in many scenarios around the world to reliably provide food to local communities. Its low vulnerability to natural disasters makes VF well suited to places most at risk from climate change anomalies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Production and Urban Agriculture)
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Article
A Comparative Study on Planning Patterns of Industrial Bases in Northeast China Based on Spatial Syntax
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1041; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021041 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 326
Abstract
After World War II, unprecedented and positive industrialization and urban construction were launched in lots of developing countries all over the world. Meanwhile, more and more far-reaching planning theories and technological achievements emerged. In this study, we combed the development process of the [...] Read more.
After World War II, unprecedented and positive industrialization and urban construction were launched in lots of developing countries all over the world. Meanwhile, more and more far-reaching planning theories and technological achievements emerged. In this study, we combed the development process of the industrial base planning pattern created by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, summarized its main theoretical and technical contents and its transfer to Northeast China, and revealed the absorption and innovation of this planning pattern in three import industrial cities built in the 1950s in Northeast China. Based on the spatial syntax theory and technology, the practice of three representative industrial bases’ planning patterns was deeply analyzed. A comparative study on the theoretical and technical fit planning level among the three bases was implemented from the two aspects of the extension of different functional spatial modules and the connection and accessibility of the road axis. It was finally found that the planning pattern of the new industrial base of a single plant had more advantages of functional support and road accessibility in spatial morphology. The conclusion of this study not only generated great historical value for combing the history of contemporary industrial urban planning in China but is also a significant reference for the sustainable development of the industrial cities in Northeast China. Full article
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Article
Investigation of the Presence Volatile Organic Compounds (BTEX) in the Ambient Air and Biogases Produced by a Shiraz Landfill in Southern Iran
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1040; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021040 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 388
Abstract
The generation and emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) affects the environment and air quality, playing an important role in global warming, depletion of atmospheric ozone and emission of unpleasant odors, but also directly affect human health. This study investigated the health risks [...] Read more.
The generation and emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) affects the environment and air quality, playing an important role in global warming, depletion of atmospheric ozone and emission of unpleasant odors, but also directly affect human health. This study investigated the health risks of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene (BTEX) compounds and biogas released in and around the municipal landfill. Sampling of the VOCs was carried out by the 1501NIOSH method from 8 points over 5 months. The samples were analyzed for BTEX in the ambient air of the landfill, resulting in 0.03–18.09 ppm concentrations, while for biogases a 0.08–25.2 ppm range was found. Assessment of definite health and potential risks showed that the lifetime cancer risk (LCR) for benzene and hazard quotient (HQ) for the BTEX components in all studied sampling sites are higher than the acceptable standard. The high concentration of benzene measured in ambient air indicated that petroleum compounds containing benzene and its derivatives have the highest value in the category of BTEX compounds among all emissions. Therefore, high concentrations of volatile compounds derived from VOCs, especially benzene, should be reduced at the site with control engineering measures. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Demographic Trends on the High-Quality Development of the Chinese Sports Industry
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1039; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021039 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Demographic change is a fundamental characteristic of China’s demographic development. The primary problem in China’s population development has shifted in recent years from overall pressure to structural challenges. Using data from China’s seventh demographic census, this study examines the dynamics of sports consumption [...] Read more.
Demographic change is a fundamental characteristic of China’s demographic development. The primary problem in China’s population development has shifted in recent years from overall pressure to structural challenges. Using data from China’s seventh demographic census, this study examines the dynamics of sports consumption growth from the perspective of population structure, analyzes the characteristics of the current population structure and the current state of sports consumption development, and establishes a regression to examine the impact of population structure change trends on sports industry development. The study demonstrates that there are varying degrees of correlation between different demographic trends and the sports industry in China’s aging population: the added value per capita of the sports industry is significantly (p < 0.01), positively correlated with the proportion of the elderly population and the number of graduates from general higher education institutions. While the expansion of the sports sector continues to be positive, there are numerous issues that need to be addressed. To encourage the development of a high-quality sports industry, proactive countermeasures are proposed to adjust population policy, increase population quality, and promote the comprehensive upgrading of sports consumption. Full article
Article
Global Virtual Team Leadership Scale (GVTLS) Development in Multinational Companies
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1038; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021038 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
As a result of developments in technology, globalization and digitalization, virtual teams have become indispensable for many industries. Transformations in information and communication technology have provided new opportunities for businesses to create and manage virtual teams. Today, all organizations have had to introduce [...] Read more.
As a result of developments in technology, globalization and digitalization, virtual teams have become indispensable for many industries. Transformations in information and communication technology have provided new opportunities for businesses to create and manage virtual teams. Today, all organizations have had to introduce new methods of communication and have started to continue their conversations through digital platforms. It has become inevitable for teams to form in such virtual environments. Virtual team members are made up of individuals from different genders, experiences, cultures and geographic locations. While there are leaders in virtual teams as in face-to-face environments, this type of leadership performs its function through information and communication technologies, unlike traditional types. Although there are many studies on face-to-face leadership in academic studies and despite the increasing use of digital platforms, it is observed that there is a need for studies on leadership styles in virtual organizations. The main purpose of this study is to create a scale about leadership characteristics in virtual teams. With the present study, it is aimed to develop a valid and reliable scale in order to discover and analyze the virtual team leadership characteristics of individuals within the multinational companies. During the scale development process, literature review, focus group interviews and statistical analysis were used to create the items to be included in the scale. First of all, focus group discussions were conducted by examining the scale developments on the leadership phenomenon. A total of three focus group interviews were held; expert opinions were used to ensure the content validity of the results, and a draft scale with 29 items was created as a result. Full article
Article
The Perceived Risk of Being Infected with COVID-19 at Work, Communication, and Employee Health: A Longitudinal Application of the Job Demands–Resources Model
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1037; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021037 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 456
Abstract
The perceived risk of being infected at work (PRIW) with COVID-19 represents a potential risk factor for workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the job demands–resources (JD-R) model in the context of safety at work, in this longitudinal study we [...] Read more.
The perceived risk of being infected at work (PRIW) with COVID-19 represents a potential risk factor for workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the job demands–resources (JD-R) model in the context of safety at work, in this longitudinal study we propose that PRIW can be conceptualized as a job demand (JD), whereas communication (i.e., the exchange of good-quality information across team members) can be conceived of as a job resource (JR). Accordingly, we hypothesize that PRIW at Time 1 (T1) would positively predict psychophysical strain at Time 2 (i.e., four months later), and that communication at T1 would negatively predict psychophysical strain at T2. Overall, 297 workers participated in the study. The hypothesized relationships were tested using multiple regression analysis. The results support our predictions: PRIW positively predicted psychophysical strain over time, whereas communication negatively predicted psychophysical strain over time. The results did not change after controlling for age, gender, and type of contract. Overall, this study suggests that PRIW and communication might be conceived of as a risk and a protective factor for work-related stress, respectively. Hence, to promote more sustainable working conditions, interventions should help organizations to promote an adequate balance between JDs and JRs related to COVID-19. Full article
Article
Unsupervised Machine Learning for Missing Clamp Detection from an In-Service Train Using Differential Eddy Current Sensor
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1035; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021035 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 551
Abstract
The rail fastening system plays a crucial role in railway tracks as it ensures operational safety by fixing the rail on to the sleeper. Early detection of rail fastener system defects is crucial to ensure track safety and to enable maintenance optimization. Fastener [...] Read more.
The rail fastening system plays a crucial role in railway tracks as it ensures operational safety by fixing the rail on to the sleeper. Early detection of rail fastener system defects is crucial to ensure track safety and to enable maintenance optimization. Fastener inspections are normally conducted either manually by trained maintenance personnel or by using automated 2-D visual inspection methods. Such methods have drawbacks when visibility is limited, and they are also found to be expensive in terms of system maintenance cost and track possession time. In a previous study, the authors proposed a train-based differential eddy current sensor system based on the principle of electromagnetic induction for fastener inspection that could overcome the challenges mentioned above. The detection in the previous study was carried out with the aid of a supervised machine learning algorithm. This study reports the finding of a case study, along a heavy haul line in the north of Sweden, using the same eddy current sensor system mounted on an in-service freight train. In this study, unsupervised machine learning models for detecting and analyzing missing clamps in a fastener system were developed. The differential eddy current measurement system was set to use a driving field frequency of 27 kHz. An anomaly detection model combining isolation forest (IF) and connectivity-based outlier factor (COF) was implemented to detect anomalies from fastener inspection measurements. To group the anomalies into meaningful clusters and to detect missing clamps within the fastening system, an unsupervised clustering based on the DBSCAN algorithm was also implemented. The models were verified by measuring a section of the track for which the track conditions were known. The proposed anomaly detection model had a detection accuracy of 96.79% and also exhibited a high score of sensitivity and specificity. The DBSCAN model was successful in clustering missing clamps, both one and two missing clamps, from a fastening system separately. Full article
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Article
Research on Environmental Protection Strategy of Urban Construction Subject Based on Evolutionary Game
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1034; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021034 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 326
Abstract
With the urban renewal and development, the impact of urban construction projects such as old city reconstruction on the surrounding environment has always attracted social attention in the construction process. The strategies of the participants in the project construction in the process of [...] Read more.
With the urban renewal and development, the impact of urban construction projects such as old city reconstruction on the surrounding environment has always attracted social attention in the construction process. The strategies of the participants in the project construction in the process of environmental protection need to be further clarified. Taking the government investor and contractor as the construction subject, combined with questionnaire survey and evolutionary game, determines the three-party evolutionary stable game strategy and clarifies the internal mechanism of the evolution trend of the construction subject through simulation. The results show that the investor and contractor have a certain awareness of environmental protection, but they have limited understanding of the relevant policies and regulations issued by the government and believe that the government has little supervision and governance. The optimal evolutionary stability strategy adopted by the construction subject in promoting environmental protection is {Incentive, Effective supervision, Proper protection}, in which the stability conditions are J1 > M1 and T1 > N1. Reducing G1, A, M1, N1 and T1 or increasing J1 and the construction subject’s willingness to take measures can promote the model to stabilize and evolve. The government should establish and improve the incentive system, improve the environmental protection awareness of the construction subject, urge the investor and the contractor to take effective measures to achieve the long-term stability goal of the tripartite subject strategy, and minimize the impact on environmental protection. Full article
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Article
The Empirical Research on Transfer of Cultural Meaning from Commodity to Customer—A Case Study for Hotel Staying Experience
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1033; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021033 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 369
Abstract
This purpose of this article is to explore the case for the integration of art, aesthetics, and the atmosphere of local life into hotel interior designs. We used statistical empirical methods to verify whether the transformation of cultural elements into tourism products can [...] Read more.
This purpose of this article is to explore the case for the integration of art, aesthetics, and the atmosphere of local life into hotel interior designs. We used statistical empirical methods to verify whether the transformation of cultural elements into tourism products can really bring tourists to feel cultural meaning. In this study, we use the “Movement of meaning” model proposed by McCracken as a validation of how consumers feel the effects of cultural learning through the consumption of hotel stays. This research focuses on the integration of local culture and hotel consumption in the part of cultural learning, and particularly on the second stage of the meaning trajectory: hotel tourists feel the cultural meaning transfer when they consume and stay. In order to objectively investigate the influence of cultural products on guest consumption experience, we asked more than 187 hotel guests for their data to understand their perceptions of artistic experience and cultural meaning through questionnaires. The contribution of our research is to provide a framework for testing the validity of cultural meanings transformed into commodity consumption for tourism. The value of this research lies in our empirical research on how people perceive the beauty of local culture, and how the combination of cultural elements and hotel design allows customers to experience the cultural meaning benefits. The quantitative verification method of this research for the “meaning movement” model can be used as an operational procedure for tourism relative research, especially for verifying the effectiveness of cultural meaning transmission by integrating culture into tourism products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Cultural and Heritage Tourism and Its Sustainability)
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Article
The Effect of Top Management Team Gender Diversity on Climate Change Management: An International Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1032; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021032 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 765
Abstract
The aim of this research was to assess the effect of top management team gender diversity on firms’ effective commitment to climate change management from two new perspectives: a more detailed analysis of gender diversity in corporate management and an international analysis of [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to assess the effect of top management team gender diversity on firms’ effective commitment to climate change management from two new perspectives: a more detailed analysis of gender diversity in corporate management and an international analysis of the phenomenon. Broadening climate change management assessment through selected CDP qualitative metrics for governance, risk management and strategy provides a more in-depth view of climate change managerial practices. Even though a growing body of academic literature highlights the potential positive impact of gender diversity, this empirical research based on a sample of 836 firms from 16 developed countries provides mainly inconclusive results. These results may be explained first by a still insufficient and below critical mass, percentage of women within top management teams; and second, by a selection bias, as only the best performers disclose their climate change management data. This also calls for companies to improve their gender diversity among the top management team, and for regulators to further extend compulsory climate change management reporting. Full article
Article
Home Meal Replacement (Convenience Food) Consumption Behavior of Single-Member Households in Vietnam by Food Consumption Value
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1031; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021031 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 474
Abstract
The home meal replacement (HMR) market in Vietnam is expected to grow due to economic growth and the associated reduction in household size resulting from this. This study sets the development direction of HMR products and establishes product marketing strategies in the Vietnamese [...] Read more.
The home meal replacement (HMR) market in Vietnam is expected to grow due to economic growth and the associated reduction in household size resulting from this. This study sets the development direction of HMR products and establishes product marketing strategies in the Vietnamese market through market segmentation of single-member households. Our survey targeted single-member households with regular HMR experience. Food-consumption value is used to identify market segmentation and differences in purchase behavior, such as preferences for a specific HMR type, the importance and performance of HMR selection attributes, and the demand for product development. The single-member households in Vietnam are segmented by purchasing simplicity and convenience, considering multiple options, and purchasing family safety. The family-oriented culture of Vietnam influences the evaluation of family safety, while the situational value reflects climate features. Meanwhile, taste, expiration date, sanitation, and nutrients are found to be key attributes. This study targets the impact of these effects on single-member households, given that household size is rapidly decreasing in Vietnam and there is a lack of research on the Vietnamese HMR market. Additionally, it highlights the influence of Vietnam’s culture and climate characteristics by utilizing segmented markets, which can also be utilized to develop market-tailored HMR products and to derive appropriate marketing strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges in Science-Based Entrepreneurship)
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Article
Eager to Develop Sustainable Business Ideas? Assessment through a New Business Plan (BP4S Model)
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1030; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021030 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 505
Abstract
This article presents the BP4S (Business Plan for Sustainability), which builds on the literature about business models, as an innovation that considers sustainability as a characteristic of a business. Sustainability becomes the objective of business instead of being an attribute of business. This [...] Read more.
This article presents the BP4S (Business Plan for Sustainability), which builds on the literature about business models, as an innovation that considers sustainability as a characteristic of a business. Sustainability becomes the objective of business instead of being an attribute of business. This article also proposes the Global Sustainability Project Index (GSPI) as a metric to measure the effect of a business venture on sustainability to help with the decision-making on the viability of a project in supporting the pillars of sustainability. Additionally, a collection of indicators for the 3Ps of sustainability (planet, people, and profit) is also an asset of this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Business)
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Article
The Dynamic Relationship between China’s Economic Cycle, Government Debt, and Economic Policy
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1029; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021029 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Economic growth is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 8. We combine 10 economic constraints and build a five-variable (structural vector autoregressive) SVAR model based on China’s time series data of 1978–2017. The empirical results show: (1) The [...] Read more.
Economic growth is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 8. We combine 10 economic constraints and build a five-variable (structural vector autoregressive) SVAR model based on China’s time series data of 1978–2017. The empirical results show: (1) The Chinese government adopted different economic policies at different stages of reform and opening up; (2) From the impulse response results, China’s excessively high government debt ratio has begun to inhibit economic growth; (3) In terms of policy selection and coordination, the Chinese government mostly adopts a “discretion” adjustment strategy. In most cases, the fiscal and monetary policies were in the same direction, and the “double expansionary” and “double contractionary” policy coordination may become mainstream; (4) The results of variance decomposition showed that both fiscal and monetary policies can effectively regulate economic growth at the present stage, and the contribution rates of exogenous shocks to the prediction variance of economic growth rate were about 25%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Issues in Applied Economics and Sustainability)
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Article
The Breath of the Metropolis: Smart Working and New Urban Geographies
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 1028; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su14021028 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 476
Abstract
The paper explores the potentialities of telework, a topic with rich literature published since the 1970s, which has become topical again with its forced application related to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The paper carries out an analysis of the potential territorial impact—transport networks [...] Read more.
The paper explores the potentialities of telework, a topic with rich literature published since the 1970s, which has become topical again with its forced application related to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The paper carries out an analysis of the potential territorial impact—transport networks and geographies of living—of telework in the Italian national context. The analysis highlights the potential relevance of the application of telework in certain metropolitan areas that present urban poles where economic sectors with a high propensity for telework are centralised. This survey relates the large stock of tourist housing in the vicinity of large metropolitan areas to a potential demand arising from the change in housing preferences towards more pleasant contexts made possible by the application of telework. In conclusion, this work aims to contribute to the construction of a platform for the Italian context—lagging behind but with recent legislative measures on smart working—aimed at favouring the definition of research lines able to enhance the potential offered by the application of telework for environmental, social, and territorial sustainability objectives, and it also aims to outline possible territorial scenarios for the main metropolitan areas Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Analysis, Planning and Regional Development)
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