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Editorial

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Collaboration, Adaptation, and Scaling: Perspectives on Environmental Governance for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su10030679 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we [...] Read more.
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we explore three key characteristics of successful, long-term governance. The first of these is working across scale. This includes nested institutions as well as communication and coordination both horizontally and vertically between diverse governance groups. Second, we highlight the importance of collaboration. Building on the previous point, we draw on literature from collaborative governance and co-management to emphasize how collaboration can help to build more enduring governance structures. Third, we examine the importance of adaptation and evolution in the resolution of collective action dilemmas in complex systems filled with nonlinearities, unclear causal chains, and environments in which we have less than a full understanding of the ramifications of governance actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Public Norms in Practices of Transitional Planning—The Case of Energy Transition in The Netherlands
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4454; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13084454 - 16 Apr 2021
Abstract
The fallibility of intervening in complex realities is widely recognized in planning theory. The prevailing planning approaches of the last two decades may be summarized as attempts to make planning more responsive, corrective, and resilient, and also more sociocratic vis à vis the [...] Read more.
The fallibility of intervening in complex realities is widely recognized in planning theory. The prevailing planning approaches of the last two decades may be summarized as attempts to make planning more responsive, corrective, and resilient, and also more sociocratic vis à vis the traditional government-centric rationalization of planning. These adaptations make sense, yet keep planning within the pragmatic scope of purposive aspirations and pragmatic problem solving. The pivotal statement of the article is that purposive systems run down in complex societies when not adequately sustained by institutionalizing sets of public norms. Public norms fulfil a different function than goal orientation. They provide a normative compass in times of uncertainty and set conditions to social interaction rather than organizing the performance of objectives or solving problems. The article aims to highlight the interrelationships of public norms and pragmatic strategies of planning. Empirically, the article addresses the major turning points of Dutch climate policy concerning the transitions of the electricity market, the major municipal–entrepreneurial initiatives of city-heating, and the decentralization of climate policies. The method of analysis is based on policy analysis of legislation, policy documents, and published contributions to public debates. The results of the analysis highlight the differences between the high policy aspirations and the outcomes. The results give evidence of the wicked problems in the complex energy transition. The discussion questions the mischievousness of ‘good’ planning intentions in complex social figurations, and critically examines the institutionalization of the material norms and the norms of politico-ordinance. The conclusions suggest that the social normalization of public norms in Dutch climate policies is not yet adequately materialized to effectively cope with wicked problems. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Flood Hazard Assessment Mapping in Burned and Urban Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4455; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13084455 - 16 Apr 2021
Abstract
This study proposes a simple method to produce a flood hazard assessment map in burned and urban areas, where primary data are scarce. The study area is a municipal unit of Nea Makri, a coastal part of the eastern Attica peninsula (central Greece), [...] Read more.
This study proposes a simple method to produce a flood hazard assessment map in burned and urban areas, where primary data are scarce. The study area is a municipal unit of Nea Makri, a coastal part of the eastern Attica peninsula (central Greece), which has been strongly urbanized and suffered damage from urban fires in 2018. Six factors were considered as the parameters most controlling runoff when it overdraws the drainage system’s capacity. The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method and a geographical information system (GIS) were utilized to create the flood hazard assessment map. The outcome revealed that the areas with highest flood hazard are distributed in the eastern and southern parts of the study area, as a result of the combination of lowlands with gentle slopes, torrential behavior of the streams, streams covered by construction, increasing urbanization and burned areas. The uncertainty and the verification analyses demonstrate a robust behavior for the model predictions, as well as reliability and accuracy of the map. Comparing the existing urban fabric and road network to the potential flood hazard areas showed that 80% of the urban areas and 50% of the road network were situated within areas prone to flood. The method may be applied to land use planning projects, flood hazard mitigation and post-fire management. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia)
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13084148 - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that features of a modern, sustainable and resilient city should not only relate to fulfilling economic and social urban strategies, but also to functional urban design, in particular, related to urban blue and green infrastructure (BGI). [...] Read more.
Significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that features of a modern, sustainable and resilient city should not only relate to fulfilling economic and social urban strategies, but also to functional urban design, in particular, related to urban blue and green infrastructure (BGI). Using results from a web-based questionnaire survey conducted May–July 2020 in Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia), this paper provides insights regarding citizens’ needs for and values of urban BGI as well as their changes during and after the COVID-19 restrictions. Survey data collected during the lockdown period have captured information about people’s ability to access green and blue spaces within urban BGI, inequalities in access, feelings, and values as well as needs and perceived pathways of future development of urban natural environment. In both cities, lockdowns limited access of people to green spaces which affected their mental and physical health. Survey results revealed that the quality, functionality, and location of open green spaces illustrated a disparity in distribution, meaning that in many cases several communities from particular neighborhoods suffered from limited access to BGI. Furthermore, in addition to analyzing perceptions and values of urban nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, some suggestions for improvement of urban BGI based on the survey responses are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Different Levels of Smart and Sustainable Cities Construction Using e-Participation Tools in European and Central Asian Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3561; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063561 - 23 Mar 2021
Abstract
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing [...] Read more.
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing opportunities to accelerate transformation. Smart City (SC) models built on empowering people in making public decisions favor access to sustainable development solutions based on knowledge and innovation. Nonetheless, SC experiences around the world denote divergent conceptions of SCs which could lead to different SCs construction. It deserves a more thorough understanding of the nature of collaboration in different settings. Therefore, this paper contributes to the debate on the different uses of ICTs in SCs construction in developing vs. developed countries, by examining the use of ICTs for creating collaborative environments in a sample of SCs in different countries, depending on their economic level, and seeking to identify differences in the objectives pursued by city governments with the use of these technologies. To achieve this aim, e-participation platforms, apps or social media platforms (European and Central Asia SCs) are examined for identifying SCs construction differences between developed vs. developing countries. The findings of this paper put an emphasis on the need for taking into account the differences among SCs in developed vs. developing countries when raking or when performance measurement is designed, because the assessment should be tailored to the cities’ particular visions and priorities for achieving their objectives. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Verifying the Effectiveness of Sports Event Policies for a City’s Sustainable Growth: Focusing on the Multiple Effects
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063285 - 16 Mar 2021
Abstract
This article presents empirical evidence that suggests that there are multiple effects of local government sports event hosting policies. This study is predicated on the notion that the attraction of sports events is a feature of city-level policies. The empirical analysis used a [...] Read more.
This article presents empirical evidence that suggests that there are multiple effects of local government sports event hosting policies. This study is predicated on the notion that the attraction of sports events is a feature of city-level policies. The empirical analysis used a multiple effects model, and the research employed a dual model approach: (a) a sponsorship effect model and (b) a tourism effect model. A questionnaire was administered online, and 383 cases were used for data processing. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were performed using SPSS 25.0 and AMOS 25.0. (a) In the “business model”, it was confirmed that event satisfaction affected sustainable purchase intention only through the sponsor’s social image. (b) The “tourism model” confirmed that event satisfaction affected the intention to engage in positive word of mouth to recommend the destination through both forming a psychological attachment and experiencing emotional satisfaction. Among the event satisfaction factors, service satisfaction was identified as more important than facility satisfaction. As shown by the above results, satisfaction with sports events had simultaneous effects on the persistence of the sponsorship effects model and the persistence of tourism effects. The study concluded that attractive sports events promoted sustainable urban growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063043 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site has extensive terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (largest Ramsar Site in Oceania, 2,178,952 ha, designated in 1987), including freshwater and salt lakes, lignum swamps and river channels in central Australia. It is supplied by Cooper Creek, a free-flowing Lake [...] Read more.
The Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site has extensive terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (largest Ramsar Site in Oceania, 2,178,952 ha, designated in 1987), including freshwater and salt lakes, lignum swamps and river channels in central Australia. It is supplied by Cooper Creek, a free-flowing Lake Eyre Basin river system. The area includes pastoral leases (97% of site grazed, including a regional conservation reserve (35%)) and a National Park (3%), with the largest oil and gas production field in Australia. We developed a Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM) Plan, linking science, monitoring and management of this social-ecological system, involving stakeholders and workshops. This involved developing a shared vision and hierarchy of objectives linked to management actions and identified outputs and outcomes. We exemplify this approach with explicit and measurable end-points (thresholds of potential concern) culminating from low level objectives for fish communities, particularly the alien sleepy cod Oxyeleotris lineolata. We describe this framework, highlighting the benefits in prioritizing management actions and monitoring in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, driving adaptive feedback for learning. The whole approach is aimed at successfully achieving mutually agreed management objectives and the vision to maintain the ecological character of the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The Sustainability of Thailand’s Protected-Area System under Climate Change
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2868; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13052868 - 06 Mar 2021
Abstract
Protected areas are the backbone of biodiversity conservation but vulnerable to climate change. Thailand has a large and well-planned protected area system, covering most remaining natural vegetation. A statistically derived global environmental stratification (GEnS) was used to predict changes in bioclimatic conditions across [...] Read more.
Protected areas are the backbone of biodiversity conservation but vulnerable to climate change. Thailand has a large and well-planned protected area system, covering most remaining natural vegetation. A statistically derived global environmental stratification (GEnS) was used to predict changes in bioclimatic conditions across the protected area system for 2050 and 2070, based on projections from three CMIP5 earth system models and two representative concentration pathways (RCPs). Five bioclimatic zones were identified composed of 28 strata. Substantial spatial reorganization of bioclimates is projected in the next 50 years, even under RCP2.6, while under RCP8.5 the average upward shift for all zones by 2070 is 328–483 m and the coolest zone disappears with two models. Overall, 7.9–31.0% of Thailand’s land area will change zone by 2070, and 31.7–90.2% will change stratum. The consequences for biodiversity are less clear, particularly in the lowlands where the existing vegetation mosaic is determined largely by factors other than climate. Increasing connectivity of protected areas along temperature and rainfall gradients would allow species to migrate in response to climate change, but this will be difficult in much of Thailand. For isolated protected areas and species that cannot move fast enough, more active, species-specific interventions may be necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Climate-Responsive Green-Space Design Inspired by Traditional Gardens: Microclimate and Human Thermal Comfort of Japanese Gardens
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2736; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13052736 - 03 Mar 2021
Abstract
Urban green spaces can provide relaxation, exercise, social interaction, and many other benefits for their communities, towns, and cities. However, green spaces in hot and humid regions risk being underutilized by residents unless thermal environments are designed to be sufficiently comfortable. Understanding what [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces can provide relaxation, exercise, social interaction, and many other benefits for their communities, towns, and cities. However, green spaces in hot and humid regions risk being underutilized by residents unless thermal environments are designed to be sufficiently comfortable. Understanding what conditions are needed for comfortable outdoor spaces, particularly how people feel in regard to their thermal environment, is vital in designing spaces for public use. Traditional gardens are excellent examples of successful microclimate design from which we can learn, as they are developed over the generations through observation and modification. This study analyzed how Japanese gardens affect people’s thermal stress on extremely hot summer days. Meteorological data was collected in three Japanese gardens, and human thermal comfort was evaluated through physiological equivalent temperature (PET). Statistical analysis examined the relationship between spatial configurations of the gardens and thermal comfort. Our study revealed that Japanese gardens can efficiently ameliorate thermal stress. Spatial analysis showed that garden elements affect thermal comfort variously depending on time of the day and spatial distribution. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Global Analysis of Durable Policies for Free-Flowing River Protections
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2347; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042347 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Freshwater ecosystems are poorly represented in global networks of protected areas. This situation underscores an urgent need for the creation, application, and expansion of durable (long-term and enforceable) protection mechanisms for free-flowing rivers that go beyond conventional protected area planning. To address this [...] Read more.
Freshwater ecosystems are poorly represented in global networks of protected areas. This situation underscores an urgent need for the creation, application, and expansion of durable (long-term and enforceable) protection mechanisms for free-flowing rivers that go beyond conventional protected area planning. To address this need, we must first understand where and what types of protections exist that explicitly maintain the free-flowing integrity of rivers, as well as the efficacy of such policy types. Through policy analysis and an in-depth literature review, our study identifies three main policy mechanisms used for such protections: (1) River Conservation Systems; (2) Executive Decrees and Laws; and (3) Rights of Rivers. We found that globally only eight counties have national river conservation systems while seven countries have used executive decrees and similar policies to halt dam construction, and Rights of Rivers movements are quickly growing in importance, relative to other protection types. Despite the current extent of protection policies being insufficient to tackle the freshwater and biodiversity crises facing the world’s rivers, they do provide useful frameworks to guide the creation and expansion of protections. Ultimately, as countries act on global calls for protections, policy mechanisms must be tailored to their individual social and ecological geographies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Social Sustainability of Compact Neighbourhoods Evidence from London and Berlin
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2340; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042340 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, [...] Read more.
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, and applies it to four case studies in London and Berlin. Findings of this research are in line with some dominant arguments made in favour of social sustainability of compact urban form, but challenges some others. Research findings suggest that compact urban form is not an urban orthodoxy, but has multiple and contrasting social meanings and perceptions in different contexts and places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability and New Urban Residential Spaces)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Priority in Italy: Distribution, Ecology, In Situ and Ex Situ Conservation and Expected Actions
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13041682 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 12
Abstract
The study presents an updated overview of the 14 non-endemic threatened crop wild relatives (CWR) in Italy: Aegilops biuncialis, Ae. uniaristata, Ae. ventricosa, Asparagus pastorianus, Beta macrocarpa, Brassica insularis, B. montana, Crambe hispanica subsp. hispanica, [...] Read more.
The study presents an updated overview of the 14 non-endemic threatened crop wild relatives (CWR) in Italy: Aegilops biuncialis, Ae. uniaristata, Ae. ventricosa, Asparagus pastorianus, Beta macrocarpa, Brassica insularis, B. montana, Crambe hispanica subsp. hispanica, C. tataria subsp. tataria, Ipomoea sagittata, Lathyrus amphicarpos, L. palustris, Vicia cusnae and V. serinica. Geographical distribution, ecology (with plant communities and habitat 92/43/EEC aspects), genetics (focused on gene pools), property, and in situ and ex situ conservation were analyzed. In addition, with the aim of their protection and valorization, specific actions are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity 2021: Agriculture, Environment and Wellbeing)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Applying a Practice Lens to Local Government Climate Change Governance: Rethinking Community Engagement Practices
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 995; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020995 - 19 Jan 2021
Abstract
Governments commit substantial time and resources engaging individuals and households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches, based largely upon behaviour change theories, have been criticised for their limited reach and effectiveness by practice theorists who have offered an alternative approach, broadening [...] Read more.
Governments commit substantial time and resources engaging individuals and households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches, based largely upon behaviour change theories, have been criticised for their limited reach and effectiveness by practice theorists who have offered an alternative approach, broadening the focus beyond individuals. While practice theory has provided valuable insights into the energy consuming activities of households it has gained limited traction as a way to analyse and inform government practices and policy making. We address this by applying a practice lens to climate change community engagement practices performed by Australian local governments. Drawing on 29 interviews with practitioners and analysis of 37 Australian local government climate strategies, we examine the bundle of practices that constitute climate change community engagement: recruitment, engagement and evaluation. We consider how these practices are situated vis-a-vis other climate governance practices (regulation, service delivery, infrastructure provision and advocacy) as well as internal local government processes. Using a practice lens reveals the weaknesses in current engagement approaches which we contend are limiting efficacy. We draw upon Spurling et al.’s conceptualisation of re-crafting, re-integrating and substituting practices to consider how climate change community engagement practices might be reconfigured to improve their effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Historical Ecology of Scandinavian Infield Systems
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020817 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Infield systems originated during the early Iron Age and existed until the 19th century, although passing many transitions and changes. The core features of infield systems were enclosed infields with hay-meadows and crop fields, and unenclosed outland mainly used for livestock grazing. We [...] Read more.
Infield systems originated during the early Iron Age and existed until the 19th century, although passing many transitions and changes. The core features of infield systems were enclosed infields with hay-meadows and crop fields, and unenclosed outland mainly used for livestock grazing. We examine the transitions and changes of domesticated landscapes with infield systems using the framework of human niche construction, focusing on reciprocal causation affecting change in both culture and environment. A first major transition occurred during the early Middle Ages, as a combined effect of a growing elite society and an increased availability of iron promoted expansion of villages with partly communal infields. A second major transition occurred during the 18th and 19th centuries, due to a then recognized inefficiency of agricultural production, leading to land reforms. In outlands, there was a continuous expansion of management throughout the whole period. Even though external factors had significant impacts as well, human niche construction affected a range of cultural and environmental features regarding the management and structure of domesticated landscapes with infield systems. Thus, niche construction theory is a useful framework for understanding the historical ecology of infield systems. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Customer Behavioral Reactions to Negative Experiences during the Product Return
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 448; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020448 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 9
Abstract
This paper takes a closer look at customer experience during product return and the customer’s ability to share information about it. The research process included the development of research tools such as questionnaires. Anonymous surveys were conducted by computer assisted web interview among [...] Read more.
This paper takes a closer look at customer experience during product return and the customer’s ability to share information about it. The research process included the development of research tools such as questionnaires. Anonymous surveys were conducted by computer assisted web interview among individual customers from Poland on a sample 327 respondents. Non-stratified random sampling was used, as we considered it to be the most effective in terms of the effort-benefit ratio of the survey. A contingency table was constructed from the responses, the observed values and expected values were compared, and the Pearson Chi-square and the p-value of Fisher’s exact test were calculated. The research process carried out as well as the analysis of the obtained results allowed us to respond to the research questions. As a result, it can be stated that the clients, both satisfied (80.1%) and dissatisfied (84,4%), tended to share their opinion about return experience with other potential clients. Moreover, 42.2% of the respondents declared that they would not buy again from a seller after an unsuccessful return operation. The presented conclusions enrich the theoretical understanding of customer behavior and their purchase intention. It also offers retailers a quantitative benchmark and new perspective on the design of return policy in order to improve customer satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
How Does Consumers’ Care for Origin Shape Their Behavioural Gap for Environmentally Friendly Products?
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13010190 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global [...] Read more.
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global food industry. To minimize its environmental impact, current research efforts in Europe are selecting resilient tomato genotypes with reduced use of water and fertilizers. Still, its commercial acceptance depends on consumers’ reaction in terms of interests, attitudes, and willingness to buy and pay for this hypothetical resilient tomato. In our setting, a behavioural gap exists whenever despite an interest for the product, and regardless of a positive attitude towards it, consumers are not willing to pay a premium price for this tomato. This paper focuses on Italians, among the largest tomato consumers across the world, and for whom origin emerges as a relevant consumption driver. We carried out a web-survey, totalling 932 responses. We ran three different ordinal regressions, one for each level of involvement in the purchasing process, identifying the factors affecting consumers’ interest, attitude, and behaviour towards this hypothetical tomato. We prove the existence of a behavioural gap for Italian tomato consumers and observe that this gap widens as consumers’ preferences for origin increase. Hence, policies developing environmentally sustainable products should not forget how consumer preferences for non-strictly environmental attributes might ultimately affect their propensity to buy and pay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Marketing)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Healthy Diet Assistance for the Most Deprived in Post-Crisis Greece: An Evaluation of the State Food Provision Program
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13010099 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In 2016, the European Union set up the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) as its first structured food provision program to combat food insecurity. Computational analysis and a cross-sectional survey took place from January 2016 to June 2018 to [...] Read more.
In 2016, the European Union set up the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) as its first structured food provision program to combat food insecurity. Computational analysis and a cross-sectional survey took place from January 2016 to June 2018 to calculate FEAD’s contribution to its beneficiaries’ diets and to collect beneficiary satisfaction data. Dairy, fresh meat, legumes, sugar, olive oil, and tomato concentrate were the most commonly procured items. The program’s contribution to vegetable, dairy, and grains intake was 3.4%, 6.1%, and 6.0%, respectively, as opposed to discretionary calories (12.2%) and fats/oils (24.5%). The program’s algorithm greatly favors (almost 3-fold) single-person applications, compared with applications with four or more people. Beneficiaries valued each food provision at 21.23 ± 23.4 euros, which, for 64.4% of them, translated to a high positive impact on the household budget. FEAD had a highly positive impact on feelings of anxiety and security, for 50.7% and 41.6% of its beneficiaries. Satisfaction with the foods provided was also high for ~70% of the beneficiaries. The program is met with high beneficiary satisfaction and is perceived as a substantial assistance. Increases in the amounts and variety of foods delivered, with a focus on fruit, vegetables, and fish, should be considered to further improve the program’s dietary impact. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Modelling Attitude towards Consumption of Vegan Products
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13010009 - 22 Dec 2020
Abstract
This study proposes to understand the impact of personal (health awareness and social influence) and moral (environmental concerns and animal welfare) antecedents on attitudes towards veganism and their effects on engagement with vegan products, along with their impact on purchase intention and word [...] Read more.
This study proposes to understand the impact of personal (health awareness and social influence) and moral (environmental concerns and animal welfare) antecedents on attitudes towards veganism and their effects on engagement with vegan products, along with their impact on purchase intention and word of mouth. Idealism is presented as a moderator of these proposed relationships. The study uses a structured questionnaire to gather data from two cross-sectional samples of 224 Portuguese and 356 Brazilian vegans collected from Facebook groups of vegans. Structural equation modelling is used to test the seven proposed hypotheses and the moderation effects. This research compares the influence of personal and moral determinants on veganism using idealism as a specific context to investigate their relationships, comparing Brazilian and Portuguese respondents and the effects of national cultures. Results show that attitudes towards veganism do not depend on personal causes, but rather on moral concerns. Motivations to reduce animal consumption, protect nature, and respect animal life seem to be guided by ethical principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Economics and Sustainable Food Consumption)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Climate Change and Ski Tourism Sustainability: An Integrated Model of the Adaptive Dynamics between Ski Area Operations and Skier Demand
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10617; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410617 - 18 Dec 2020
Abstract
Climate change is an evolving business reality influencing the sustainability of ski tourism worldwide. A new integrated model of the co-evolution of supply (27 ski areas) and demand-side (skier behaviour) climate change adaptation in the ski tourism market of Ontario, Canada is presented. [...] Read more.
Climate change is an evolving business reality influencing the sustainability of ski tourism worldwide. A new integrated model of the co-evolution of supply (27 ski areas) and demand-side (skier behaviour) climate change adaptation in the ski tourism market of Ontario, Canada is presented. Ski area operations are modeled under a high-emission 2050s scenario, with skier responses to altered operations informed by a survey of 2429 skiers. These market adaptive dynamics reveal new insights into differential climate risk, capturing patterns not apparent when considering only operational conditions of ski resorts. A decoupling of ski season length and skier visitation was found at four ski areas, where, despite average season length losses, visitation increased as a result of reduced competition. Simulated skier visit losses were smaller than reductions in season length, contributing to an increase in crowding. Growing the market of skiers was also identified as a critical adaptation strategy that could offset skier visit losses from shortened seasons. Climate change challenges the future sustainability of ski areas in this market in several ways: profitability of ski areas with substantially shorter seasons, increased snowmaking costs, crowding impacts on visitor experience, and potential overtourism at the few most climate resilient destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Land Fragmentation, Technical Efficiency, and Adaptation to Climate Change by Farmers in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410304 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Although barley production is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, households in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia rely on barley for their diet and allocate most of their highly-fragmented land to barley production. Moreover, farmers alter land management practices as a strategy [...] Read more.
Although barley production is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, households in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia rely on barley for their diet and allocate most of their highly-fragmented land to barley production. Moreover, farmers alter land management practices as a strategy to adjust to climate change and variability. However, to what extent land fragmentation and land management jointly influence the technical efficiency of barley production is unknown. In addition, it is unidentified whether technical efficiency is uniform across multiple separated plots. In this study, we adapted two stochastic frontier panel models on plot-level cross-sectional data to investigate this. The model results indicate that fragmentation influences the effect of land management practices on efficiency. The study found that efficiency was not uniform across different plots and for different farmers and showed the existence of large yield gaps. To close these gaps, policies designed to address the specific components of inefficiency need to be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Climate Change for Ecosystems and Society)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Towards Sustainable Human Resources: How Generational Differences Impact Subjective Wellbeing in the Military?
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10016; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122310016 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The article analyzes the generational (age cohorts) effect on subjective wellbeing at work. The main aim is to reveal generational differences that lead to subjective wellbeing at work and possible discrepancies between the generations. The article contributes to the literature by creating and [...] Read more.
The article analyzes the generational (age cohorts) effect on subjective wellbeing at work. The main aim is to reveal generational differences that lead to subjective wellbeing at work and possible discrepancies between the generations. The article contributes to the literature by creating and testing a theoretical model of subjective wellbeing at work as a composition of several dimensions that vary among generations, including physical experience, cognitive job performance, and appraisal, as well as social relationships and socio-emotional enablement at work. Using the military as an organization where daily routine creates similar conditions for different generations, we surveyed 890 army professionals representing three different generations: Gen Y, Gen X, and Gen Z. A structural equation modelling (SEM) technique is used to test the research model. The results support the hypothesis that generation has a strong moderating impact on the components of subjective wellbeing at work. Social relationship, as a socio-emotional experience, is the most important component of wellbeing at work for Gen Z, while socio-emotional enablement plays a central role in subjective wellbeing at work for Gen X and Gen Y. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Academic Achievement and Failure in University Studies: Motivational and Emotional Factors
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9798; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12239798 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Universities are committed to offering quality education; however, a high rate of academic failure is often observed in the first year of studies. Considering the impact that motivation and emotional aspects can have on students’ commitment to study and therefore on their academic [...] Read more.
Universities are committed to offering quality education; however, a high rate of academic failure is often observed in the first year of studies. Considering the impact that motivation and emotional aspects can have on students’ commitment to study and therefore on their academic performance, achievement, and well-being, this study aims to identify the factors associated with academic success or failure in 1071 students entering the National Polytechnic School (Quito, Ecuador). The data were compiled from the existing computer records of the university with the permission of the responsible administrative staff. A predictive model has been used and a binary logistic regression analysis was carried out through the step-forward regression procedure based on the Wald statistic to analyze the predictive capacity of the variables related to emotional intelligence, motivational and self- regulated socio-cognitive skills, goal orientation, and prior academic achievement (measured by university entrance marks and through a knowledge test carried out at the beginning of the university academic year). To determine the cut-off point for the best discriminatory power of each of the variables, a Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve analysis has been used. The results indicate that the variables that are significant in the prediction of academic success or failure are the two academic performance measures: the emotional attention variable, and the performance-approach goals and the motivational self-efficacy variable. Additionally, the highest predictive power is displayed by the prior academic performance measure obtained through the knowledge test conducted at the beginning of the university course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Social Isolation and Stress as Predictors of Productivity Perception and Remote Work Satisfaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Concern about the Virus in a Moderated Double Mediation
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9804; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12239804 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
From mid-March to the end of May 2020, millions of Italians were forced to work from home because of the lockdown provisions imposed by the Italian government to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, many employees had to suddenly switch to remote [...] Read more.
From mid-March to the end of May 2020, millions of Italians were forced to work from home because of the lockdown provisions imposed by the Italian government to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, many employees had to suddenly switch to remote work, experiencing both troubles and opportunities. Social isolation from colleagues and the workplace represents a typical aspect of remote work which increased significantly during the social confinement imposed by the government. This study investigates the correlates of social isolation in terms of stress, perceived remote work productivity and remote work satisfaction, proposing the sequential mediation of stress and perceived remote work productivity, and the moderating role of concern about the new coronavirus. An online survey was conducted, and the responses of 265 employees showed the deleterious role of social isolation in stress, which leads to decreased perceived remote work productivity that, in turn, is related to remote work satisfaction. Furthermore, the results suggest that concern about the virus moderates the relationships between social isolation and remote work satisfaction, from one side, and remote work perceived productivity and remote work satisfaction from the other. This latter result suggests that the indirect sequential effect of social isolation on remote work satisfaction is conditional on concern about the virus. Some conclusions are drawn to support managers and HR officers in the choices to better manage employees’ work during the health emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Academic Community in the Face of Emergency Situations: Sense of Responsible Togetherness and Sense of Belonging as Protective Factors against Academic Stress during COVID-19 Outbreak
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229718 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
In the face of emergency situations, such as a global pandemic, individuals rely on their personal resources, but also on community dimensions, to deal with the unprecedented changes and risks and to safeguard their well-being. The present study specifically addresses the role of [...] Read more.
In the face of emergency situations, such as a global pandemic, individuals rely on their personal resources, but also on community dimensions, to deal with the unprecedented changes and risks and to safeguard their well-being. The present study specifically addresses the role of individual resources and community dimensions with reference to academic communities facing COVID-19-related lockdowns and the changes that these have implied. An online questionnaire was administered to 1124 Italian University students. It detected their sense of belonging and of responsible togetherness with reference to their academic community through community dimensions, their student self-efficacy as an individual resource, and their academic stress—potentially stemming from studying in the middle of a pandemic. A multiple mediation model was been run with structural equation modeling. The results show that both the community dimensions associate with higher student self-efficacy and the sense of responsible togetherness, while also associating with lower academic stress. Moreover, student self-efficacy, in turn, associates with lower academic stress and mediates the relationships between both community dimensions and students’ academic stress levels. From these findings, the protective role that community dimensions can exert on an individual’s life becomes apparent. Building on this, further strategies should be implemented to reinforce personal and community resources in order to strengthen individuals against potentially stressful circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Managerial Strategies for Long-Term Care Organization Professionals: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229682 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze the strategies that healthcare professionals have adopted during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in long-term care organizations in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, by investigating their competencies—mainly managerial ones. To reach its goals, this paper performs empirical research and [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyze the strategies that healthcare professionals have adopted during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in long-term care organizations in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, by investigating their competencies—mainly managerial ones. To reach its goals, this paper performs empirical research and theoretical research. For the empirical research, the plans of professionals during COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care organizations are observed, and a questionnaire is applied to analyze observed data integrity. The data are analyzed through the Python and IBM SPSS Statistic programming languages, and descriptive analyses use descriptive statistic proportions, rates, minimum, maximum, mean, median, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation (CV). A non-parametric approach performs repeated measure comparisons using Wilcoxon’s test, while the McNemmar test is used to repeat the categorical variables. Statistical significance is assumed at the 5% level. For the theoretical research, a literature review is developed using scientific databases. The results show that for the searched period, the number of deaths and the number of people infected by COVID-19 in these organizations are low when compared to general statistics of Rio de Janeiro city. This paper concludes that these strategical adoptions have brought significant benefits to long-term care organizations, and it might motivate researchers to develop future studies related to long-term care organizations, helping to fill the literature gap on the subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
How the Covid-19 Pandemic Is Changing Online Food Shopping Human Behaviour in Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9594; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229594 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
The advent of the Internet has significantly changed consumption patterns and habits. Online grocery shopping is a way of purchasing food products using a web-based shopping service. The current COVID-19 pandemic is determining a rethinking of purchase choice elements and of consumers’ behavior. [...] Read more.
The advent of the Internet has significantly changed consumption patterns and habits. Online grocery shopping is a way of purchasing food products using a web-based shopping service. The current COVID-19 pandemic is determining a rethinking of purchase choice elements and of consumers’ behavior. This work aims to investigate which characteristics can affect the decision of online food shopping during the pandemic emergency in Italy. In particular, the work aims to analyze the effects of a set of explanatory variables on the level of satisfaction for the food online shopping experience. For achieving this aim, the proportional odds version of the cumulative logit model is carried out. Data derive from an anonymous on-line questionnaire administrated during the first months of the pandemic and filled by 248 respondents. The results of this work highlight that people having familiarity with buying food online, that have a higher educational level and consider food online channels easy to use, appear more satisfied for the food online shopping experience. These findings can be crucial for the future green global challenges as online shopping may help to reach competitive advantages for company sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Validating the Pro-Environmental Behavior Task in a Japanese Sample
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9534; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229534 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Controlled experimentation is critical for understanding the causal determinants of pro-environmental behavior. However, the potential of experimental pro-environmental behavior research is limited by the difficulty to observe pro-environmental behavior under controlled conditions. The Pro-Environmental Behavior Task (PEBT) was developed to address this limitation [...] Read more.
Controlled experimentation is critical for understanding the causal determinants of pro-environmental behavior. However, the potential of experimental pro-environmental behavior research is limited by the difficulty to observe pro-environmental behavior under controlled conditions. The Pro-Environmental Behavior Task (PEBT) was developed to address this limitation by facilitating the experimental analysis of pro-environmental behavior in the laboratory. Previous studies in Belgian samples have already supported the validity of the PEBT as a procedure for the study of actual pro-environmental behavior. Here, we aimed for a cross-cultural replication of this finding in a sample of N = 103 Japanese college students. Along the lines of previous studies, we found PEBT choice behavior to be sensitive to within-subject manipulations of its behavioral costs and environmental benefits. This implies that participants take these consequences into account when choosing between PEBT options. In addition, we showed, for the first time, that such consequence effects can also be detected in a less powerful between-subjects design. These results support the generality of consequence effects on PEBT choice behavior as well as the validity and utility of the PEBT for use in samples from different cultural backgrounds. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Emotion Regulation and Employability: The Mediational Role of Ambition and a Protean Career among Unemployed People
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9347; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229347 - 11 Nov 2020
Abstract
Literature on job searching suggests that emotion regulation has an impact on employability, but this relationship is far from being explained; furthermore, most of the studies have been conducted among students or workers. The aim of the current study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
Literature on job searching suggests that emotion regulation has an impact on employability, but this relationship is far from being explained; furthermore, most of the studies have been conducted among students or workers. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between emotion regulation and employability among unemployed people, analyzing the role of ambition and protean career orientation as possible factors in such a relationship. Participants were 228 unemployed subjects who had requested individual counselling for job searching; data were collected by means of a self-report questionnaire. Results confirmed that emotion regulation is related to employability, both through a direct relationship and through an indirect effect of ambition and protean career orientation. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The Complexity of Space Utilization and Environmental Pollution Control in the Main Corridor of Makassar City, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219244 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Population mobility, increasing demand for transportation, and the complexity of land use have an impact on environmental quality degradation and air quality pollution. This study aims to analyze (1) the effect of population mobility, increased traffic volume, and land use change on air [...] Read more.
Population mobility, increasing demand for transportation, and the complexity of land use have an impact on environmental quality degradation and air quality pollution. This study aims to analyze (1) the effect of population mobility, increased traffic volume, and land use change on air quality pollution, (2) direct and indirect effects of urban activities, transportation systems, and movement patterns on environmental quality degradation and air pollution index, and (3) air pollution strategy and sustainable urban environmental management. The research method used is a sequential explanation design. Data were obtained through observation, surveys, in-depth interviews, and documentation. The results of the study illustrate that the business center and Daya terminal with a value of 0.18 µgram/m3 is polluted, the power plant and Sermani industrial area with a value of 0.16 µgram/m3 is polluted, the Makassar industrial area with a value of 0.23 is heavily polluted, and the Hasanuddin International Airport area with a value of 0.04 µgram/m3 is not polluted. Population mobility, traffic volume, and land use changes have a significant effect on environmental quality degradation, with a determination coefficient of 94.1%. The direct effect of decreasing environmental quality on the air pollution index is 66.09%. This study recommends transportation management on the main road corridor of Makassar City, which is environmentally friendly with regard to sustainable environmental management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Differential Efficacy of an Intelligent Tutoring System for University Students: A Case Study with Learning Disabilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219184 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Computer-Based Learning Environments (CBLEs) have emerged as an almost limitless source of education, challenging not only students but also education providers; teaching and learning in these virtual environments requires greater self-regulation of learning. More research is needed in order to assess how self-regulation [...] Read more.
Computer-Based Learning Environments (CBLEs) have emerged as an almost limitless source of education, challenging not only students but also education providers; teaching and learning in these virtual environments requires greater self-regulation of learning. More research is needed in order to assess how self-regulation of learning strategies can contribute to better performance. This study aims to report how an Intelligent Tutoring System can help students both with and without learning difficulties to self-regulate their learning processes. A total of 119 university students with and without learning difficulties took part in an educational experiment; they spent 90 min learning in a CBLE specifically designed to assess and promote self-regulated learning strategies. Results show that as a consequence of the training, the experimental group applied more self-regulation strategies than the control group, not only as a response to a system prompt but also self-initiated. In addition, there were some differences in improvement of learning processes in students with and without learning difficulties. Our results show that when students with learning difficulties have tools that facilitate applying self-regulated learning strategies, they do so even more than students without learning difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
COVID-19: Risk Factors and Protective Role of Resilience and Coping Strategies for Emergency Stress and Secondary Trauma in Medical Staff and Emergency Workers—An Online-Based Inquiry
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9004; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219004 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
The COVID-19 crisis has placed a heavy burden on medical staff and emergency workers, who may be at risk of developing psychological distress and secondary trauma. Coping and resilience to stress during a pandemic are protective factors that can mitigate the potential adverse [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 crisis has placed a heavy burden on medical staff and emergency workers, who may be at risk of developing psychological distress and secondary trauma. Coping and resilience to stress during a pandemic are protective factors that can mitigate the potential adverse psychological effects. Here, we investigated the direct and mediated effects of coping strategies and hardiness on secondary trauma among Italian medical staff (physicians and nurses, n = 140) and emergency workers (firefighters, civil protection, and ambulance personnel, n = 100) involved in the first phase of the pandemic. For this purpose, we collected data from participants through online questionnaires to measure emergency stress, coping strategies, hardiness, and secondary trauma. Other variables analyzed were age, sex, direct contact with COVID-19 patients, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We performed a correlational analysis, regressions, and a mediation analysis. The results show that nurses and physicians experienced higher levels of emergency stress than emergency workers. Direct contact with COVID-19 patients, female sex, unexpected events, and lack of PPE were risk factors for emergency stress, while resilience and coping strategies played a protective role. Mediation analysis shows that coping strategies and hardiness are protective factors and reduce the effect of stress on secondary trauma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Social Safety of Society for Developing Countries to Meet Sustainable Development Standards: Indicators, Level, Strategic Benchmarks (with Calculations Based on the Case Study of Ukraine)
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8953; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12218953 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 21
Abstract
The paper is devoted to identifying the level of social safety of society, taking into account the indicators of shadow economy, and developing its strategic scenarios as a component of sustainable development of Ukraine by 2030. The authors used the modern methods of [...] Read more.
The paper is devoted to identifying the level of social safety of society, taking into account the indicators of shadow economy, and developing its strategic scenarios as a component of sustainable development of Ukraine by 2030. The authors used the modern methods of normalisation, threshold vector determination, and dynamic weight coefficients in order to identify the level of social safety of society. The authors developed the structure and a list of indicators considering three components of social safety: The standard of living, the demographic component, and the quality of life. This method allows determining the list and severity of threats, comparing the dynamics of integral indices with integral thresholds in one scale, identifying the state of security, and defining strategic goals and strategies. The suggested approach is universal and can be used by any country, region, economic activity, or business to develop evidence-based medium-to-long-term sustainable development scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Resilience of Sustainable Mobility in Sicily
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8829; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12218829 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 23
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road users’ travel habit changes, their feelings on public transport use, and their perceptions of using sustainable urban mobility modes has emerged for future transport planning. Considering these facts, the study in this paper aimed to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on road users’ perceptions, needs, and use of sustainable travel modes (i.e., public transport, walking, and cycling). An online survey was carried out during the period from March to May 2020 in the case study area, Sicily of Southern Italy. Regarding the population of the case study, the survey was representative, with 431 individuals. The survey included variables, namely gender, age, city of residence, private car ownership, walking and cycling frequency before and during the pandemic, public transport use frequency for leisure activities before and during the pandemic, need for remote working, and the stress and anxiety perception of using public transport during the pandemic. The analysis started with descriptive statistics and it was followed by correlation analysis in order to explore the characteristics of the dataset and relationship between variables. It was found that these were not statistically significantly correlated at a 95% confidence level. An ordinal regression model was applied for determining the predictions. The results suggested that women were less likely to walk during the pandemic than men. Participants were more likely to resume remote work even after the second phase in order to reduce their daily travel needs and keep their isolation. Participants have expressed a positive opinion on the use of micromobility during pandemic situations. These results can be considered as a basis for sustainable urban planning and a guide for decision-makers who aim to encourage the use of public transport, walking, cycling, and micromobility. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Why Is Airline Food Always Dreadful? Analysis of Factors Influencing Passengers’ Food Wasting Behaviour
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8571; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12208571 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Food waste is emerging as a global issue and has been recognised in the Sustainable Development Goals with a specific target to halve per capita global food waste at consumer levels and reduce food losses by 2030. Research on food waste has been [...] Read more.
Food waste is emerging as a global issue and has been recognised in the Sustainable Development Goals with a specific target to halve per capita global food waste at consumer levels and reduce food losses by 2030. Research on food waste has been neglected particularly in the aviation sector. The International Air Transport Association reported that 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste was generated on airlines, up to 80.5% of which was leftover food and beverages. The exploration of passengers’ food wasting aims to provide insights for tackling the airline food waste problem. To address this issue, this research investigated the in-flight catering experience of 19 passengers from 21 full-service flights. Qualitative research techniques have been applied to analyse passengers’ food-wasting behaviour by collecting participant-produced photographs and completed questionnaires concerning food-related behaviour. This research identified key factors associated with passengers’ food wasting behaviour by adopting Design for Sustainable Behaviour approaches. Four types of factors were found to influence onboard passenger waste, these were normative, habitual, intentional and situational factors. This research indicates that behavioural change interventions need to incorporate the power of social norms to prevent food waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meeting Sustainable Development Goals by Reducing Food Loss)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Future Climate Change Renders Unsuitable Conditions for Paramo Ecosystems in Colombia
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8373; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12208373 - 12 Oct 2020
Abstract
Paramo ecosystems are tropical alpine grasslands, located above 3000 m.a.s.l. in the Andean mountain range. Their unique vegetation and soil characteristics, in combination with low temperature and abundant precipitation, create the most advantageous conditions for regulating and storing surface and groundwater. However, increasing [...] Read more.
Paramo ecosystems are tropical alpine grasslands, located above 3000 m.a.s.l. in the Andean mountain range. Their unique vegetation and soil characteristics, in combination with low temperature and abundant precipitation, create the most advantageous conditions for regulating and storing surface and groundwater. However, increasing temperatures and changing patterns of precipitation due to greenhouse-gas-emission climate change are threatening these fragile environments. In this study, we used regional observations and downscaled data for precipitation and minimum and maximum temperature during the reference period 1960–1990 and simulations for the future period 2041–2060 to study the present and future extents of paramo ecosystems in the Chingaza National Park (CNP), nearby Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá. The historical data were used for establishing upper and lower precipitation and temperature boundaries to determine the locations where paramo ecosystems currently thrive. Our results found that increasing mean monthly temperatures and changing precipitation will render 39 to 52% of the current paramo extent in CNP unsuitable for these ecosystems during the dry season, and 13 to 34% during the wet season. The greatest loss of paramo area will occur during the dry season and for the representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenario 8.5, when both temperature and precipitation boundaries are more prone to be exceeded. Although our initial estimates show the future impact on paramos and the water security of Bogotá due to climate change, complex internal and external interactions in paramo ecosystems make it essential to study other influencing climatic parameters (e.g., soil, topography, wind, etc.) apart from temperature and precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Modelling and Management for Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Prevalence and Clustering Patterns of Pro-Environmental Behaviors among Canadian Households in the Era of Climate Change
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8218; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12198218 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study examined the prevalence and clustering patterns of pro-environmental behaviors that are conducive to socially and environmentally sustainable living among Canadians. Cross-sectional data from the 2015 Households and the Environment Survey (HES) were used. Prevalence was calculated by province and each pro-environmental [...] Read more.
This study examined the prevalence and clustering patterns of pro-environmental behaviors that are conducive to socially and environmentally sustainable living among Canadians. Cross-sectional data from the 2015 Households and the Environment Survey (HES) were used. Prevalence was calculated by province and each pro-environmental behavior. Observed/expected prevalence ratios were computed to assess clustering patterns and logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the pairwise associations. Among 8816 Canadian households, prevalence of engaging in pro-environmental behaviors ranked as the following: engaging in green consumer behavior (88%), composting food/yard waste (84%), being active outdoors (82%), gardening (72%), and recycling electronics (45%). While only 14% engaged in ≤2 pro-environmental behaviors, 25.1% of Canadians engaged in all pro-environmental behaviors. By province, British Columbia was the greenest province (81%), followed by Ontario (77%) and Nova Scotia (76.9%) while the least green provinces were Newfoundland and Labrador (62.9%), Saskatchewan (69.2%), and New Brunswick (68%). The most apparent clustering of behaviors was found between recycling electronics and gardening (Observed/Expected: 3.65, 95% CI: 1.98–5.32). Pairwise associations between any two pro-environmental behaviors were statistically significant for all possible combinations (Odds ratios ranged 1.23–2.24). Prevalence of engaging in different sets of pro-environmental behaviors varied greatly by province. Sub-optimal clustering of pro-environmental behaviors and varying pairwise synergetic associations were observed in Canadian households. To promote more holistic, sustainable lifestyles and create sociocultural environments that are conducive to the environment in the era of climate change, future work should investigate barriers and opportunities in adopting more pro-environmental behaviors in Canadian households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Agricultural Workforce Crisis in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12198212 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
COVID-19 and the restrictive measures towards containing the spread of its infections have seriously affected the agricultural workforce and jeopardized food security. The present study aims at assessing the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on agricultural labor and suggesting strategies to mitigate them. To this [...] Read more.
COVID-19 and the restrictive measures towards containing the spread of its infections have seriously affected the agricultural workforce and jeopardized food security. The present study aims at assessing the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on agricultural labor and suggesting strategies to mitigate them. To this end, after an introduction to the pandemic background, the negative consequences on agriculture and the existing mitigation policies, risks to the agricultural workers were benchmarked across the United States’ Standard Occupational Classification system. The individual tasks associated with each occupation in agricultural production were evaluated on the basis of potential COVID-19 infection risk. As criteria, the most prevalent virus transmission mechanisms were considered, namely the possibility of touching contaminated surfaces and the close proximity of workers. The higher risk occupations within the sector were identified, which facilitates the allocation of worker protection resources to the occupations where they are most needed. In particular, the results demonstrated that 50% of the agricultural workforce and 54% of the workers’ annual income are at moderate to high risk. As a consequence, a series of control measures need to be adopted so as to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the sector as well as protect farmers including physical distancing, hygiene practices, and personal protection equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green, Closed Loop, Circular Bio-Economy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Shifting to Shared Wheels: Factors Affecting Dockless Bike-Sharing Choice for Short and Long Trips
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8205; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12198205 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
In this paper, we explore users’ intentions to use bike-sharing systems (BSS) compared to traditional competitive transport modes—private car, bus and walking. Fueled by the increasingly rampant growth of shared economy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), shared mobility is gaining increasing traction. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore users’ intentions to use bike-sharing systems (BSS) compared to traditional competitive transport modes—private car, bus and walking. Fueled by the increasingly rampant growth of shared economy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), shared mobility is gaining increasing traction. The numbers of shared mobility schemes are rapidly growing worldwide and are accompanied by changes in the traditional vehicle ownership model. In order to pinpoint the factors that strongly affect the willingness to use BSS, a stated preference survey among car and bus users as well as pedestrians was designed and conducted. Binary logit models of the choice between the currently preferred transportation modes and BSSs were developed, for short and long-duration trips, respectively. The results highlight a distinctive set of factors and patterns affecting the willingness to adopt bike-sharing: choice is most sensitive to travel time and cost of the competitive travel options. In general, users are more willing to make the switch to a BSS, especially for short trip durations, when their typical mode of transport becomes more expensive. Bike-sharing also seems to be a more attractive option for certain user socio-demographic groups per mode and trip duration (age, education level, employment status, household income). Trip characteristics such as trip purpose and frequency were also found to affect the willingness to choose BSS. In general, BSS seem to mainly attract bus users and pedestrians, while car users may use BSS more sparingly, mainly for commuting purposes. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Bike-Sharing Usage: The Case of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12198215 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 22
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect in urban mobility, while essential changes are being observed in travelers’ behavior. Travelers in many cases shifted to other transport modes, especially walking and cycling, for minimizing the risk of infection. This study attempts to investigate [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect in urban mobility, while essential changes are being observed in travelers’ behavior. Travelers in many cases shifted to other transport modes, especially walking and cycling, for minimizing the risk of infection. This study attempts to investigate the impact that COVID-19 had on travelers’ perceptions towards bike-sharing systems and whether the pandemic could result in a greater or lesser share of trips that are being conducted through shared bikes. For that reason, a questionnaire survey was carried out in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the responses of 223 people were analyzed statistically. The results of the analysis show that COVID-19 will not affect significantly the number of people using bike-sharing for their trips. However, for a proportion of people, bike-sharing is now more attractive. Moreover, the results indicate that bike-sharing is now more likely to become a more preferable mobility option for people who were previously commuting with private cars as passengers (not as drivers) and people who were already registered users in a bike-sharing system. The results also provide evidence about the importance of safety towards COVID-19 for engaging more users in bike-sharing, in order to provide them with a safe mobility option and contribute to the city’s resilience and sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Mobility during Post-Epidemic Period in Megacities: From the Perspectives of Taxi Travel and Social Vitality
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7954; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12197954 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
The prevention and control of COVID-19 in megacities is under large pressure because of tens of millions and high-density populations. The majority of epidemic prevention and control policies implemented focused on travel restrictions, which severely affected urban mobility during the epidemic. Considering the [...] Read more.
The prevention and control of COVID-19 in megacities is under large pressure because of tens of millions and high-density populations. The majority of epidemic prevention and control policies implemented focused on travel restrictions, which severely affected urban mobility during the epidemic. Considering the impacts of epidemic and associated control policies, this study analyzes the relationship between COVID-19, travel of residents, Point of Interest (POI), and social activities from the perspective of taxi travel. First, changes in the characteristics of taxi trips at different periods were analyzed. Next, the relationship between POIs and taxi travels was established by the Geographic Information System (GIS) method, and the spatial lag model (SLM) was introduced to explore the changes in taxi travel driving force. Then, a social activities recovery level evaluation model was proposed based on the taxi travel datasets to evaluate the recovery of social activities. The results demonstrated that the number of taxi trips dropped sharply, and the travel speed, travel time, and spatial distribution of taxi trips had been significantly influenced during the epidemic period. The spatial correlation between taxi trips was gradually weakened after the outbreak of the epidemic, and the consumption travel demand of people significantly decreased while the travel demand for community life increased dramatically. The evaluation score of social activity is increased from 8.12 to 74.43 during the post-epidemic period, which may take 3–6 months to be fully recovered as a normal period. Results and models proposed in this study may provide references for the optimization of epidemic control policies and recovery of public transport in megacities during the post-epidemic period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Technical Viability Analysis of Industrial Synergies—An Applied Framework Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7720; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187720 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
To foster the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis, several support tools have been developed to facilitate the dissemination of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) and the engagement of stakeholders; the establishment of exchanges between companies, the so-called synergies; and the assessment of impacts and benefits. Despite [...] Read more.
To foster the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis, several support tools have been developed to facilitate the dissemination of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) and the engagement of stakeholders; the establishment of exchanges between companies, the so-called synergies; and the assessment of impacts and benefits. Despite this, it has been found that stakeholders still do not have a clear envisioning of the required steps to the technical implementation of synergies and there are no facilitating tools, such as methodologies, frameworks, modelling tools, and databases, among others, that aid to technically support decision-making of synergy implementation. Thus, the goal of this paper is to present a dedicated framework that provides a set of guidelines and defines a technical viability analysis to support the implementation of potential synergies, which can be used and replicated by any IS practitioner. It comprehends a methodological approach to assess the compliance of a given synergy opportunity; its characterization concerning the definition of the necessary intermediary steps for the technical implementation; and an assessment of the technical feasibility of the synergy. The implementation of the framework allowed the successful technical validation of the studied synergy opportunities, providing a final technical viability assessment that can support decision-making of technology selection and synergy implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Symbiosis and Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
How Does Integrated Reporting Change in Light of COVID-19? A Revisiting of the Content of the Integrated Reports
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7605; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187605 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
The crisis connected to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic represents an epochal event destined to generate strong economic and social consequences. The impact of the pandemic on business activities and business models also entails rethinking reporting practices. The pandemic has, in fact, [...] Read more.
The crisis connected to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic represents an epochal event destined to generate strong economic and social consequences. The impact of the pandemic on business activities and business models also entails rethinking reporting practices. The pandemic has, in fact, created an enormous need for investors and stakeholders in general for future-oriented information relating to the impacts of this event on organizations. Integrated reporting is an ideal tool to provide information related to the effects of the pandemic and provide a holistic view of the future prospects of organizations. This study, using legitimacy theory and based on a two-step methodology, highlighted a series of information that companies will need to have to include in integrated reports to maintain and defend legitimacy. The results provide a double perspective: the first based on content elements and the second based on capitals. The results represent an important guideline for companies for the preparation of future integrated reports. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Bankruptcy or Success? The Effective Prediction of a Company’s Financial Development Using LSTM
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7529; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187529 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
There is no doubt that the issue of making a good prediction about a company’s possible failure is very important, as well as complicated. A number of models have been created for this very purpose, of which one, the long short-term memory (LSTM) [...] Read more.
There is no doubt that the issue of making a good prediction about a company’s possible failure is very important, as well as complicated. A number of models have been created for this very purpose, of which one, the long short-term memory (LSTM) model, holds a unique position in that it generates very good results. The objective of this contribution is to create a methodology for the identification of a company failure (bankruptcy) using artificial neural networks (hereinafter referred to as “NN”) with at least one long short-term memory (LSTM) layer. A bankruptcy model was created using deep learning, for which at least one layer of LSTM was used for the construction of the NN. For the purposes of this contribution, Wolfram’s Mathematica 13 (Wolfram Research, Champaign, Illinois) software was used. The research results show that LSTM NN can be used as a tool for predicting company failure. The objective of the contribution was achieved, since the model of a NN was developed, which is able to predict the future development of a company operating in the manufacturing sector in the Czech Republic. It can be applied to small, medium-sized and manufacturing companies alike, as well as used by financial institutions, investors, or auditors as an alternative for evaluating the financial health of companies in a given field. The model is flexible and can therefore be trained according to a different dataset or environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Company Assessment: Basis of Its Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Role of Seaweed in Diets of Samoa and Kiribati: Exploring Key Motivators for Consumption
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7356; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187356 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Edible seaweeds have significant potential to contribute to sustainable diets that promote health of Pacific Islanders in ecologically, economically, and socially acceptable ways. No studies to date have investigated motivators for and the consumption of edible green seaweed from the genus Caulerpa (sea [...] Read more.
Edible seaweeds have significant potential to contribute to sustainable diets that promote health of Pacific Islanders in ecologically, economically, and socially acceptable ways. No studies to date have investigated motivators for and the consumption of edible green seaweed from the genus Caulerpa (sea grapes) in Samoa and Kiribati. An observational, cross-sectional study utilized an interviewer-administered questionnaire to explore consumption behaviors and the role of sea grapes in the current diets of individuals in Samoa and Kiribati. Of the total 145 participants (n = 79, 54.5% Samoa; n = 66, 45.5% Kiribati), half (n = 76, 52%) reported consuming sea grapes. A significantly greater proportion of Samoans (n = 56, 70.9%) reported consumption than I-Kiribati participants (n = 20, 30.3%). A greater proportion of consumers were male (n = 47, 61.8%). Samoan consumers reported consumption of sea grapes with a higher diversity of foods and being related to traditional events or ceremonies. Motivators for consumption varied between countries, with Samoan consumers reporting strong agreement for taste and value for money, and identified sea grapes as nutritious food, as influences on consumption. Easy access was a motivator in Kiribati only. The findings of this study are underpinned by the degree of food security and differences in culture in Samoa and Kiribati. Future public health efforts to integrate traditional fresh food into local food systems will need to work within the existing social parameters in each respective country. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact on City Bus Transit Services of the COVID–19 Lockdown and Return to the New Normal: The Case of A Coruña (Spain)
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7206; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12177206 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 13
Abstract
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on [...] Read more.
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on the new normal situation shows changes that can be permanent or reversible. The impact on the diverse urban transport modes varies. This study analyzes the changes in transit ridership by line, the use of stops, the main origin–destination flows, changes in transit supply, operation time, and reliability of the city bus network of A Coruña. It is based on data from automatic vehicle location, bus stop boarding, and smart card use. Data from the first half of 2020 were compared to similar data in 2017–2019, defining suitable baselines for each analysis to avoid seasonal and day of week effects. The impact on transit ridership during the lockdown process was more significant than that on general traffic. In the new normal situation, the general traffic and the shared bike system recovered a higher percentage of their previous use than the bus system. These impacts are not uniform across the bus network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Multi-Criteria Decision Making Process in Metropolitan Transport Means Selection Based on the Sharing Mobility Idea
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7231; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12177231 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue [...] Read more.
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue will be even more sophisticated. The problem of depletion of transport network capacity as well as the implementation of modern technology solutions forces metropolitan committees to apply tools for metropolitan passenger transport system optimization. Significantly, the policy and regulations on sustainable urban mobility management are based on the mobility demand predictions and understanding of the travel decision-making process of citizens. The scientific purpose of this article is to build a mathematical model, as a tool supporting the multi-criteria decision-making process regarding the choice of means of transport in a developing metropolis. The issue raised in this article considers the most important research areas of the metropolitan transport means selection, which includes transport safety, qualitative, financial, and ecological aspects. The model was implemented in Silesian Metropolis in Poland with a particular emphasis on sharing mobility transport means users. As a result, a ranking of sharing transport means was developed, which is a piece of significant information for planners and future investors in the development of the metropolitan transport system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road Traffic Engineering and Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact Assessment of Additive Manufacturing on Sustainable Business Models in Industry 4.0 Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7066; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12177066 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Additive manufacturing has the potential to make a longstanding impact on the manufacturing world and is a core element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Additive manufacturing signifies a new disruptive path on how we will produce parts and products. Several studies suggest this [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to make a longstanding impact on the manufacturing world and is a core element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Additive manufacturing signifies a new disruptive path on how we will produce parts and products. Several studies suggest this technology could foster sustainability into manufacturing systems based on its potential of optimizing material consumption, creating new shapes, customizing designs and shortening production times that, all combined, will greatly transform some of the existing business models. Although it requires reaching a certain level of design maturity to completely insert this technology in an industrial setting, additive manufacturing has the potential to favorably impact the manufacturing sector by reducing costs in production, logistics, inventories, and in the development and industrialization of a new product. The transformation of the industry and the acceleration of the adopting rate of new technologies is driving organizational strategy. Thus, through the lenses of Industry 4.0 and its technological concepts, this paper aims to contribute to the knowledge about the impacts of additive manufacturing technology on sustainable business models. This aim is accomplished through a proposed framework, as well as the models and scales that can be used to determine these impacts. The effects are assessed by taking into account the social, environmental and economic impacts of additive manufacturing on business models and for all these three dimensions a balanced scorecard structure is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Product Development and Life-Cycle Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Informal Seed Traders: The Backbone of Seed Business and African Smallholder Seed Supply
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7074; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12177074 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
To work well and be sustainable, seed systems have to offer a range of crops and varieties of good quality seed and these products have to reach farmers, no matter how remote or poor they may be. Formal seed sector interventions alone are [...] Read more.
To work well and be sustainable, seed systems have to offer a range of crops and varieties of good quality seed and these products have to reach farmers, no matter how remote or poor they may be. Formal seed sector interventions alone are not delivering the crop portfolio or achieving the social and geographic breadth needed, and the paper argues for focus on informal seed channels and particularly on traders who move ‘potential seed’ (informal or local seed) even to high stress areas. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis on potential seed trader types and actions, drawing on data collected on 287 traders working in 10 African countries. The research delves into four themes: the types and hierarchies of traders; the technical ways traders manage seed using 11 core practices; the price differential of +50% of potential (local) seed over grain, and the pivotal roles which traders play in remote and crisis contexts. Traders are the backbone of smallholder seed security and need to be engaged, not ignored, in development and relief efforts. An action framework for leveraging seed trader skills is presented, with the paper addressing possible legal and donor constraints for engaging such market actors more fully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Weed Control in the Agroecosystems)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Dynamic Development of the Global Organic Food Market and Opportunities for Ukraine
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6963; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12176963 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Considering the insufficient usage of natural resources, ecological crisis, rising population and limitations of the traditional food system in the 21st century, it is extremely important to search for methods to achieve sustainable development. In this context, the search for alternative methods of [...] Read more.
Considering the insufficient usage of natural resources, ecological crisis, rising population and limitations of the traditional food system in the 21st century, it is extremely important to search for methods to achieve sustainable development. In this context, the search for alternative methods of farming and the transformation of typical food consumption is relevant; the organic market and its features are of particular interest. Based on the above, this article is dedicated to understanding what the development opportunities for the production and export of Ukrainian organic products within the global market are. To achieve this objective, it became necessary to study the specificities of the dynamic growth of the global organic food market, which includes identifying the dominant factors of its development, peculiarities of its regulation, evaluation of the current state, main trends and prospects. The study provides the characteristics of the top competitors in the global market, consumer segmentation and experience of the implementation of global and national organic sector development and support programs. As a result of the study, it was found that Ukraine has unrealized export potential that can be realized using a combination of practices used abroad (the active use of marketing tools, state support for the organic sector and increasing organic production by uniting producers into clusters and creating cooperatives). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Best–Worst Method for Modelling Mobility Choice after COVID-19: Evidence from Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6824; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12176824 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 16
Abstract
All countries have suffered from the COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic has adversely impacted all sectors. In this study, we examine the transport sector with a specific focus on the problem of commuting mode choice and propose a new decision-making approach for the alternative [...] Read more.
All countries have suffered from the COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic has adversely impacted all sectors. In this study, we examine the transport sector with a specific focus on the problem of commuting mode choice and propose a new decision-making approach for the alternative modes after synthesizing expert opinions. As a methodology, a customized model of the recently developed best–worst method (BWM) is used to evaluate mobility choice alternatives. The survey reflects citizens’ opinions toward mobility choices in two Italian cities, Palermo and Catania, before and during the pandemic. BWM is a useful tool for examining mobility choice in big cities. The adopted model is easy to apply and capable of providing effective solutions for sustainable mode choice. The urban context is analyzed considering the importance of transport choices, evaluating the variation of resilience to the changing opinions of users. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Influence of Individual Perceptions on the Decision to Adopt Automated Bus Services
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6484; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12166484 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The rapid development of automated buses holds great potential for the development of transportation systems. As research into innovative forms of automated transportation systems gains momentum, it is important to understand the public’s perceptions of such public transport systems. Previous studies have contributed [...] Read more.
The rapid development of automated buses holds great potential for the development of transportation systems. As research into innovative forms of automated transportation systems gains momentum, it is important to understand the public’s perceptions of such public transport systems. Previous studies have contributed based on hypothetical scenarios, but not based on real observations. Based on an online survey in Stockholm in March 2019, the current research addresses this gap by investigating the public’s perceptions from a real, fully operational, automated public transportation service operated in a mixed traffic environment on public roads. The respondents were selected along the automated bus line in Barkabystaden, Stockholm. Our findings indicate that (1) The presence of onboard operators has a positive impact on respondents’ perceived safety, (2) People who have not taken automated buses before have a more negative perception of driving speed of the bus service than people who have taken the buses before, (3) Attitudinal factors, such as public perceptions of safety, driving speed, reliability, and convenience, have a significant influence on the acceptance of the new bus system, (4) As an emerging and innovative transportation mode, automated buses are expected to attract a high share of regular public transportation mode users and the younger generations in the future, (5) Social-demographic characteristics such as gender and income had no significant impacts on the adoption of the new technology. The results provide the characteristics of early bus adopters and their travel behavior and help to prioritize possible investments and allow the policymakers and private industries to identify the special needs of users. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Regional Development in Russia: An Ecosystem Approach to Territorial Sustainability Assessment
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6424; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12166424 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
The current crisis has indicated the need to review the policy of economic growth and globalization towards the search for new sustainable models of the internal territory development able to resist external shocks and threats. To achieve this goal, it is required both [...] Read more.
The current crisis has indicated the need to review the policy of economic growth and globalization towards the search for new sustainable models of the internal territory development able to resist external shocks and threats. To achieve this goal, it is required both to implement sustainability strategies, and to assess the obtained results towards sustainable development. Despite an abundance of literature on sustainability assessment, there is a lack of understanding of the application of sustainability assessment in regional/local contexts. The purpose of the article is to improve theoretical and methodological aspects of the formation of territorial (regional) ecosystems by developing a new approach to assessing its sustainability. We believe that territorial ecosystem sustainability assessment is possible through the entropy of a complex system composed of the entropies of its constituent ecosystems or the entropies of different types of territorial capital (human, production, natural). An application of the entropy approach allows to understand specific features of a particular ecosystem characteristics. We demonstrate our methodology with two empirical case studies of territorial ecosystems of Penza and Vladimir regions. As a result of the analysis, it was found that ecosystem’s sustainability is achieved, primarily, due to the natural capital of the territory. The methodology proposed in our study aims at ensuring comprehensiveness and robustness of the evaluation supporting the decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Circular Economy. A Review and Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6381; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12166381 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
The aim of the study is mapping the thematic structure of the circular economy research by mapping research outputs related to it. The methodology consists of developing a bibliometric study based on data obtained from the Web of Science and the Scimago Journal [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is mapping the thematic structure of the circular economy research by mapping research outputs related to it. The methodology consists of developing a bibliometric study based on data obtained from the Web of Science and the Scimago Journal & Country Rank from 2016 to 2019. Some descriptive and bibliographic maps and strategic diagrams are shown; they are generated by SciMAT and VOSViewer. In addition, there is also a bibliometric analysis using alternative metrics. The analysis highlights a new perspective on the subject, analysing the concept from the business administration perspective and not only from the traditional viewpoint of the environmental sciences and industrial production. Finally, the analysis identifies future implications of the circular economy linked to the field of business management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Sustainable Firm Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
“Mobility as a Service” Platforms: A Critical Path towards Increasing the Sustainability of Transportation Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6368; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12166368 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Urban mobility is experiencing a profound change. Mobility patterns are becoming more complex, and typical home–work–home travel is no longer the rule, as journeys tend to connect multiple points in a rather inconstant pattern. This has changed the approach to transport planning. Existing [...] Read more.
Urban mobility is experiencing a profound change. Mobility patterns are becoming more complex, and typical home–work–home travel is no longer the rule, as journeys tend to connect multiple points in a rather inconstant pattern. This has changed the approach to transport planning. Existing transportation planning and operation approaches have been focussed on the ability to identify and forecast typical home–work/school–home travel and subsequently plan the transport system accordingly. The traditional approach has been: Forecast - > plan - > deliver. New mobility patterns and mobility solutions are characterised by greater flexibility, taking advantage of the “sharing concept” and simultaneously providing solutions that have lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These dynamics and an evolving environment raise several new challenges at different levels, fostering the development of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). This system transforms the physical transportation system into a commodity and takes advantage of the internet of things (IoT). However, the onset of MaaS solutions is anything but linear. Several business models have emerged, with different partners originating from different industries (e.g., technological, transport operators, infrastructure managers, etc.) developing their own solutions, often in competition with others. It is not unusual to find different MaaS solutions in the same city, which integrate different solutions. This paper intends to provide an analysis on the main challenges affecting mobility in general, and MaaS in particular, as well as the main business models used for delivering MaaS solutions. The paper uses a case study in Lisbon to illustrate some of the challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Sustainable Transportation Models and Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Drought Stress Alleviation by ACC Deaminase Producing Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Enterobacter cloacae, with and without Timber Waste Biochar in Maize
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156286 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
The high consumption of water in industries, domestic areas and increasing earth temperature are major hurdles for the optimization of maize yield. Being the third most widely cultivated cereal crop, improvement in maize yield is a big challenge under the limited availability of [...] Read more.
The high consumption of water in industries, domestic areas and increasing earth temperature are major hurdles for the optimization of maize yield. Being the third most widely cultivated cereal crop, improvement in maize yield is a big challenge under the limited availability of irrigation. As the water requirement for maize cultivation is high, it is time to introduce technologies that can mitigate drought stress and are environmentally friendly. The inoculation of rhizobacteria with ‘1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase’ (ACCD) can play an imperative role in that regard by decreasing stress ethylene in plants. Biochar (BC) can also alleviate drought stress. Therefore, a field study was conducted, to examine the single and combined application of drought-tolerant plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Enterobacter cloacae, with 15 Mg ha−1 of timber waste biochar (TWBC) at normal irrigation = 16 irrigations, mild drought = 14 irrigations and severe drought = 12 irrigation for maize cultivation. A significant improvement in shoot dry weight (28%), 1000-grains weight (19%), grain yield (27%), concentrations of N (43%), P (92%) and K (71%) in grains, rate of photosynthesis (33%), transpiration rate (55%), stomatal conductance (104%), chlorophyll A (33%), chlorophyll B (62%) and total chlorophyll (45%) of maize was noted under drought stress where E. cloacae + TWBC was applied. Likewise, the application of A. xylosoxidans + TWBC also significantly enhanced the plant height (24%) and cob length (9%) of maize under drought stress. In conclusion, E. cloacae is more effective than A. xylosoxidans, with 15 Mg ha−1 TWBC to increase maize yield under drought stress, due to the potential of higher ‘1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate’ (ACC)-deaminase synthesis, better nutrient solubilization and indole acetic acid (IAA) production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil Health Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Sustainability in Tourism as an Innovation Driver: An Analysis of Family Business Reality
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156149 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 16
Abstract
Sustainable tourism can be the motivation to manage resources to satisfy environmental, social and economic needs through cultural integrity, biological diversity, ecological processes, social and economic equity, and general enrichment. Based on a systematic literature review conducted on research papers published between 2015 [...] Read more.
Sustainable tourism can be the motivation to manage resources to satisfy environmental, social and economic needs through cultural integrity, biological diversity, ecological processes, social and economic equity, and general enrichment. Based on a systematic literature review conducted on research papers published between 2015 and 2020, and on the case studies contained within them (19 papers), this analysis focuses on the innovation drivers and sustainability drivers identified within family businesses in tourism. This desk-based research has made it possible to highlight how variable sustainability is present, albeit in a limited fashion, within family businesses in tourism; at the same time, it also shows how innovative strategies contribute to sustainable development. From the analysis, the correlations between family businesses, family dynamics, sustainability practices, innovation drivers and case studies were analyzed. The results show the poor implementation of innovative strategies, and at the same time, the presence of other variables that guarantee the adoption of sustainable practices. Important research gaps are identified, and future research priorities are suggested. Furthermore, the article is based on a collection of non-exhaustive literary sources. The implications for both family businesses and sustainable development are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Co-Evolution in Hospitality)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact Evaluation of Bike-Sharing on Bicycling Accessibility
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156124 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
The presence of bike-sharing has a significant influence on the ease of trips by bike, which is one critical aspect of bicycling accessibility (BAcc). The existing measurements of BAcc rarely consider the factor of ownership of bikes, which means that no distinction is [...] Read more.
The presence of bike-sharing has a significant influence on the ease of trips by bike, which is one critical aspect of bicycling accessibility (BAcc). The existing measurements of BAcc rarely consider the factor of ownership of bikes, which means that no distinction is made between private-bikes and shared bikes. To measure BAcc more fully, this paper proposes a method to evaluate the influences of bike-sharing on BAcc and to perform the method on a real-world case study in Beijing. It is found that bike-sharing has a boosting effect on BAcc, and the increased rate of BAcc is significantly affected by bicycling frequency and shared-bike availability. A case study in Beijing utilizing geo-location data collected from two major bike-sharing companies (OFO and Mo-bike) illustrates the significance of the impact of bike-sharing on BAcc and the necessity to include bike-sharing in the measurement of BAcc. Besides, the case study shows BAcc around the transit station is better than that over the whole area. Given that bicycling feeds transit, this research lays the foundation for analyzing the combination of bike-sharing and transit from the perspective of accessibility and can further support transportation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Structural Analysis for the Categorization of the Negative Externalities of Transport and the Hierarchical Organization of Sustainable Mobility’s Strategies
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6011; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12156011 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Transport systems are capable of contributing to the economic robustness of a geographic area and the well-being of its inhabitants via the supply of the necessary assets for the mobility of people and goods. However, transport projects have the capacity to produce several [...] Read more.
Transport systems are capable of contributing to the economic robustness of a geographic area and the well-being of its inhabitants via the supply of the necessary assets for the mobility of people and goods. However, transport projects have the capacity to produce several negative externalities such as water pollution, air pollution, barrier effects, noise, and ecological impact, which affect the quality of people’s life. Considering these facts, the main purpose of this study is to indicate methodologically how the negative externalities of transport are interlinked, so that to promote sustainable mobility development. This paper reveals via the method of structural analysis, the interrelations between the negative externalities of transport, firstly to organize them hierarchically and secondly to evaluate the potential of sustainable mobility strategies concerning the co-benefits generated by their implementation for society. The results show that the negative externalities of transport are not isolated phenomena; on the contrary, they are interlinked and can be organised hierarchically according to the relationships between them so that certain public policies can be prioritized and the negative impacts of transport can be tackled more effectively. The most critical negative externalities are the invasion of public space for the construction of more roads, along with road accidents, congestion, and local air pollution. On the other hand, the most important group of strategies for sustainable mobility are the ones oriented to urban design, and more specifically to transit-oriented development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainability in Urban Transportation Planning)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Does Audit Improve the Quality of ESG Scores? Evidence from Corporate Misconduct
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145670 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
One of the main controversial aspects of sustainability metrics relies on the accuracy, transparency, and reliability of the information at the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. This paper investigates whether firms that have their ESG reporting audited by independent firms [...] Read more.
One of the main controversial aspects of sustainability metrics relies on the accuracy, transparency, and reliability of the information at the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. This paper investigates whether firms that have their ESG reporting audited by independent firms exhibit a higher quality of ESG scores. We performed an analysis investigating the change in ESG scores following the unveiling of a corporate misconduct. We documented that, overall, no significant ESG score adjustment occurs after the scandal becomes public, thus, implying that rating agencies provide an accurate interpretation of the firm’s sustainability. However, our results differed when we distinguished between audited and unaudited reports. Firms whose reports are audited by third parties did not exhibit significant changes in their scores after a scandal, whereas for companies whose reports are not audited, we detected a worsening of the ESG scores that are statistically significant. Our findings were also confirmed in a multivariate analysis. Overall, our results suggest that the reliability of ESG scores can benefit from the auditing of sustainability reporting by third parties, which has an assurance effect on the quality of the company’s ESG information. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Anthropogenic and Inherent Effects on Soil Organic Carbon across the U.S
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5695; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145695 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) influences several soil functions, making it one of the most important soil health indicators. Its quantity is determined by anthropogenic and inherent factors that must be understood to improve SOC management and interpretation. Topsoil (≤15 cm) SOC response to [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) influences several soil functions, making it one of the most important soil health indicators. Its quantity is determined by anthropogenic and inherent factors that must be understood to improve SOC management and interpretation. Topsoil (≤15 cm) SOC response to tillage depth and intensity, cover crops, stover removal, manure addition, and various cropping systems was assessed using 7610 observations from eight U.S. regions. Overall, including cover crops, reducing tillage depth and intensity increased SOC. The positive effects of cover crops were more noticeable in South Central, Northwest, and Midwest regions. Removing high rates (>65%) of crop residue decreased SOC in Midwestern and Southeastern soils. Depending on region, applying manure increased SOC by 21 to 41%, compared to non-manured soils. Diversified cropping systems (e.g., those utilizing small mixed vegetables, perennials, or dairy-based systems) had the highest topsoil SOC content, while more intensive annual row crops and large-scale single vegetable production systems, had the lowest. Among inherent factors, SOC increased as precipitation increased, but decreased as mean annual temperature increased. Texture influenced SOC, showing higher values in fine-texture than coarse-texture soils. Finally, this assessment confirmed that SOC can be a sensitive soil health indicator for evaluating conservation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil Health Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Multi-Criteria Structure for Sustainable Implementation of Urban Distribution Centers in Historical Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5538; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145538 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper proposes a structure for sustainable implementation of urban distribution centers (UDCs) in historical cities, considering the opinion of the main stakeholders involved in the urban distribution of goods and a set of additional criteria. Based on a survey that was conducted [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a structure for sustainable implementation of urban distribution centers (UDCs) in historical cities, considering the opinion of the main stakeholders involved in the urban distribution of goods and a set of additional criteria. Based on a survey that was conducted among carriers, traffic wardens, and retailers, a decision hierarchy structure, consisting of the relevant criteria evaluated by various statistical techniques, will be used for sustainable implementation of UDCs. The methodology uses a database collected in the historical center of Ouro Preto, a Brazilian city which contains common characteristics of other Latin American and some European cities that are included in the World Heritage List. This structure is unique, as it is based on a survey among the main stakeholders, and can be applied by logistics operators and local authorities for implementing UDCs to address urban distribution issues, especially in historical cities. However, without loss of generality, the proposed methodology can be adopted for different cities using the appropriate criteria according to the characteristics of the cities. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5434; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135434 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Crop diversification represents a key lever to support the development of sustainable agri-food systems. Knowledge on trade-offs and carry over effects from different crop diversification strategies is essential to inform agricultural stakeholders of potential costs and benefits. This knowledge is limited by existing [...] Read more.
Crop diversification represents a key lever to support the development of sustainable agri-food systems. Knowledge on trade-offs and carry over effects from different crop diversification strategies is essential to inform agricultural stakeholders of potential costs and benefits. This knowledge is limited by existing data and performance measures predominantly focused on single crops, rather than complete rotations. Moreover, sustainability performance indicators are often used for assessment purposes, rather than supporting stakeholder learning and actions. A new set of 32 indicators was developed to address these needs, and used to evaluate the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the diversified agricultural systems highlighted in the case studies, which are often characterized by data availability constraints. This approach was tested in France, Germany and Italy to determine a critical ex-post diagnosis of the existing systems, and for the assessment of ex-ante innovative scenarios. The results will be used to support these case studies in the identification and design of more sustainable agricultural systems. Although the framework is based on feasible and proxy indicators, the assessment outcomes have allowed local actors to reflect on the effects generated by the implemented crop diversification strategies. Key issues include trade-offs occurring between optimizing economic and environmental performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity 2020: Agriculture, Environment and Wellbeing)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Socio-Economic Transformations in Ukraine towards the Sustainable Development of Agriculture
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5441; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135441 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
The social and economic conditions of all market participants are incentives and constraining factors influencing the levels of food, social, economic and ecologic security. The purpose of the article lies in the presentation of the author’s concept of the social and economic conditions [...] Read more.
The social and economic conditions of all market participants are incentives and constraining factors influencing the levels of food, social, economic and ecologic security. The purpose of the article lies in the presentation of the author’s concept of the social and economic conditions where the transformation of economic relations between agrofood market participants is happening—in particular, the livestock products market of Ukraine—and the assessment of the state of food security of the country, as well as a comparison, by the same criteria, of the conditions of agrofood market participants in Ukraine and in four European countries: Germany, France, Italy, and Poland. This research was based on the application of empirical knowledge methods: observation, comparison, description, measurement, statistic methods, etc. So far, the participant functioning conditions in the agricultural market in Ukraine are unfavorable for the sustainable development of agriculture, especially the livestock industry. The debt burden of external creditors is growing, the amount of direct investments from the countries of the world decreases, and the growth of capital investment in terms of calculation per one employee is slowing down. The food security of Ukraine is unstable. The “market” itself is not capable of remedying all the negative phenomena. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the weighted power of the state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Addressing Inequality: The First Step Beyond COVID-19 and Towards Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135404 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 15
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted billions of lives across the world and has revealed and worsened the social and economic inequalities that have emerged over the past several decades. As governments consider public health and economic strategies to respond to the crisis, it [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted billions of lives across the world and has revealed and worsened the social and economic inequalities that have emerged over the past several decades. As governments consider public health and economic strategies to respond to the crisis, it is critical they also address the weaknesses of their economic and social systems that inhibited their ability to respond comprehensively to the pandemic. These same weaknesses have also undermined efforts to advance equality and sustainability. This paper explores over 30 interventions across the following nine categories of change that hold the potential to address inequality, provide all citizens with access to essential goods and services, and advance progress towards sustainability: (1) Income and wealth transfers to facilitate an equitable increase in purchasing power/disposable income; (2) broadening worker and citizen ownership of the means of production and supply of services, allowing corporate profit-taking to be more equitably distributed; (3) changes in the supply of essential goods and services for more citizens; (4) changes in the demand for more sustainable goods and services desired by people; (5) stabilizing and securing employment and the workforce; (6) reducing the disproportionate power of corporations and the very wealthy on the market and political system through the expansion and enforcement of antitrust law such that the dominance of a few firms in critical sectors no longer prevails; (7) government provision of essential goods and services such as education, healthcare, housing, food, and mobility; (8) a reallocation of government spending between military operations and domestic social needs; and (9) suspending or restructuring debt from emerging and developing countries. Any interventions that focus on growing the economy must also be accompanied by those that offset the resulting compromises to health, safety, and the environment from increasing unsustainable consumption. This paper compares and identifies the interventions that should be considered as an important foundational first step in moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and towards sustainability. In this regard, it provides a comprehensive set of strategies that could advance progress towards a component of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 to reduce inequality within countries. However, the candidate interventions are also contrasted with all 17 SDGs to reveal potential problem areas/tradeoffs that may need careful attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Evaluation of Aircraft Boarding Scenarios Considering Reduced Transmissions Risks
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135329 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Air travel appears as particularly hazardous in a pandemic situation, since infected people can travel worldwide and could cause new breakouts in remote locations. The confined space conditions in the aircraft cabin necessitate a small physical distance between passengers and hence may boost [...] Read more.
Air travel appears as particularly hazardous in a pandemic situation, since infected people can travel worldwide and could cause new breakouts in remote locations. The confined space conditions in the aircraft cabin necessitate a small physical distance between passengers and hence may boost virus transmissions. In our contribution, we implemented a transmission model in a virtual aircraft environment to evaluate the individual interactions between passengers during aircraft boarding and deboarding. Since no data for the transmission is currently available, we reasonably calibrated our model using a sample case from 2003. The simulation results show that standard boarding procedures create a substantial number of possible transmissions if a contagious passenger is present. The introduction of physical distances between passengers decreases the number of possible transmissions by approx. 75% for random boarding sequences, and could further decreased by more strict reduction of hand luggage items (less time for storage, compartment space is always available). If a second door is used for boarding and deboarding, the standard boarding times could be reached. Individual boarding strategies (by seat) could reduce the transmission potential to a minimum, but demand for complex pre-sorting of passengers. Our results also exhibit that deboarding consists of the highest transmission potential and only minor benefits from distance rules and hand luggage regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Innovations for Sustainable Air Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Sustainability of Railway Undertaking Services with Lean Philosophy in Risk Management—Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12135298 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The sustainability of services in undertakings which operate in railway passenger transport is closely connected with efforts to provide high-quality and time-acceptable services to the customer, to achieve lean processes, to standardise work processes, to eliminate wastage and to avoid those activities which [...] Read more.
The sustainability of services in undertakings which operate in railway passenger transport is closely connected with efforts to provide high-quality and time-acceptable services to the customer, to achieve lean processes, to standardise work processes, to eliminate wastage and to avoid those activities which do not add any value. Considering its ecological nature and big volume of passenger transport, railway passenger transport represents an irreplaceable sustainable system for the future. These facts and the entry of new railway carriers into this system highlight the importance of managing risks in a progressive way. This article focuses on the options of risk management when versatile and flexible tools, such as Lean tools, are set correctly. The aim of this article is to introduce a proposal for the application and a specific application of Lean philosophy in risk management which impacts train delays in railway passenger transport. From the point of view of quantitative data analysis, multiple mathematical-statistical tests have been used to assess data (e.g., Anderson–Darling test, Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Jarque–Bera test, two-tailed test, Grubbs’s test and Thompson Tau test). Also, descriptive statistics and ANOVA test (Analysis of Variance) have been applied in the process of evaluating the monitored attributes. In order to assess the data dependency, Chi-Square Test and a correlation analysis have been applied. The research outcomes focus on highlighting the need for a systematic approach for train delays and to avoid delays through risk management. The case study applies selected Lean methods to monitor train delays in selected stations within the main railway corridor of the Slovak Republic for the period from 2015 to 2018. In 2019, the results were processed and created a basis for proposing a unique software tool like an aid for risk management in the case of train delays using Lean philosophy. The flexible software includes the participation of employees, and at the same time, it respects the needs of customers. The research results provide grounds for further study of risks in a challenging environment of railway undertakings, with different types of trains, railway stations as well as entire railway networks. The processed results of the article represent valuable material for railway undertakings not only in Slovakia but also for railway organisations in V4 countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Sustainable European Transport System in a 100% Renewable Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5091; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12125091 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Europe must move towards a 100% renewable transportation system for climate, energy and sustainability reasons. We estimate the capital and energy required for building and operating a renewable transportation system providing similar services as the EU-28 transport system of 2016. It could be [...] Read more.
Europe must move towards a 100% renewable transportation system for climate, energy and sustainability reasons. We estimate the capital and energy required for building and operating a renewable transportation system providing similar services as the EU-28 transport system of 2016. It could be based on: biogas or fuel cell vessels; liquid biogas powered aircrafts; electric railways and fuel cell or electric vehicles between major cities; and car sharing, electric buses and electric two- and three-wheelers, for short journeys. A system of charging posts on the streets and roads for passenger and commercial e-vehicles is studied. Alternatively, a Tracked Electric Vehicle system of continuous power on European roads would improve energy efficiency and the saving of scarce metals (Ni, Li), at a lower cost, if only national roads were electrified. The investment for the construction of the whole system would be 2.3–2.7% of the EU’s GDP per year for 30 years. The new system operation would require 16% less energy than that of 2016, with reduction of 70% in road transport. However, shipping and aviation would demand 162% and 149% more energy, respectively, if liquefied biogas were used as fuel. A type of land transport fully based on trains would provide a similar service to that of an electric vehicle fleet, with a 29% lower energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
The YouTube Marketing Communication Effect on Cognitive, Affective and Behavioural Attitudes among Generation Z Consumers
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12125075 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
YouTube (YT) is the largest online video digital channel with more than 2 billion users, and over a billion hours of YT videos are viewed every day, particularly among young consumers. YT has become a massive marketing communication platform, which serves as a [...] Read more.
YouTube (YT) is the largest online video digital channel with more than 2 billion users, and over a billion hours of YT videos are viewed every day, particularly among young consumers. YT has become a massive marketing communication platform, which serves as a medium to target the lucrative Generation Z cohort (first born in the late 1990s), and influence this generation’s infamously unpredictable purchase decision process. The main aim of this paper was to consider the effect of YouTube marketing communication (YMC) on the traditional and non-traditional attitudinal associations of response hierarchy models. A multi-stage sample technique was used and 3750 high school and college learners (aged 13–18 years old) were surveyed via self-administered questionnaires in South Africa. Structural equation modelling was utilised to consider the hypothesised attitudinal associations. The research determined that YMC had a positive influence on the hypothesised attitudinal associations, and young consumers who used YT for fewer years, logged on more frequently, spent shorter time periods on the platform, viewed higher numbers of commercials, aged 13–14 years old, and from the White population group exhibited the most positive attitudinal responses. Hence, organisations should review their strategies in order to develop more sustainable YMC owing to the heterogeneity evident among young African consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Media)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Performance Prediction of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) Using Adaptive Neuro Inference System (ANFIS)
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124952 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
This investigation explored the performance of PEMFC for varying ambient conditions with the aid of an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system. The experimental data obtained from the laboratory were initially trained using both the input and output parameters. The model that was trained was [...] Read more.
This investigation explored the performance of PEMFC for varying ambient conditions with the aid of an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system. The experimental data obtained from the laboratory were initially trained using both the input and output parameters. The model that was trained was then evaluated using an independent variable. The training and testing of the model were then utilized in the prediction of the cell-characteristic performance. The model exhibited a perfect correlation between the predicted and experimental data, and this stipulates that ANFIS can predict characteristic behavior of fuel cell performance with very high accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage Materials in Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Sustainable Use of Waste Polypropylene Fibers and Palm Oil Fuel Ash in the Production of Novel Prepacked Aggregate Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4871; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124871 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
This study proposed the prepacked aggregates fiber-reinforced concrete (PAFRC), which is a newly developed concrete, with a unique combination of coarse aggregate and short polypropylene (PP) fiber that is premixed and placed in the formworks. This study aims to investigate the potential use [...] Read more.
This study proposed the prepacked aggregates fiber-reinforced concrete (PAFRC), which is a newly developed concrete, with a unique combination of coarse aggregate and short polypropylene (PP) fiber that is premixed and placed in the formworks. This study aims to investigate the potential use of waste polypropylene fibers and palm oil fuel ash (POFA) in the production of PAFRC to enhance the strength and deformation properties. The compressive strength, impact-resistant, drying shrinkage, and microstructural analysis of PAFRC were investigated experimentally. Six mixes comprising fiber volume fractions from 0–1.25% with a length of 30 mm were cast by gravity technique. Another six mixtures with the same fiber volume fractions were cast using a pump to inject the grout into the formwork. The experimental outcomes exposed that with the addition of PP carpet fiber, the compressive strength of PAFRC decreased. Nevertheless, PAFRC mixes shown a remarkable improvement in the tensile strength. The combination of POFA and PP fibers in PAFRC specimens led to higher impact strength and increasing the ductility of concrete. In addition, the drying shrinkage of PAFRC reduced significantly with the addition of waste PP fibers. It can be concluded that due to the adequate strength and deformation properties, PAFRC is the potential to be used as innovative fiber reinforced concrete in several applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Alternative Cementitious Materials)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Identification and Analysis of Barriers against Electric Vehicle Use
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4850; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124850 - 14 Jun 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Electric vehicles (EVs) can be considered an alternative technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. However, numerous barriers need to be overcome in this regard. This study is aimed at presenting the framework for the identification and analysis of barriers [...] Read more.
Electric vehicles (EVs) can be considered an alternative technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. However, numerous barriers need to be overcome in this regard. This study is aimed at presenting the framework for the identification and analysis of barriers against the use of EVs. Then, the framework was applied to identify the challenges and rank them in order of importance against the diffusion of EVs in Nepal. Seventeen barriers were identified from previous studies, reports, policy documents, and interactions with experts. The identified barriers were classified into five categories: technical, policy, economic, infrastructure, and social. Then, a comparative survey was performed to obtain experts’ opinions on the identified barriers and the analytical hierarchical process was used to analyze and rank them. The results revealed that infrastructure, policy, economic, and technical barriers pose more pressing concerns than social barriers. The lack of charging stations, relatively higher purchase price of EVs compared to internal combustion vehicles, and poor long-term planning and goal setting on the part of the government were ranked as the top three barriers against EV uptake in Nepal. This framework can be applied to replicate the study in other countries, taking their inherent relevant factors into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
An Assessment of Computational Fluid Dynamics as a Tool to Aid the Design of the HCMR-Artificial-ReefsTM Diving Oasis in the Underwater Biotechnological Park of Crete
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4847; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124847 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Since recreational diving activities have increased in recent decades, resulting in additional environmental pressure on the coastal zone, the deployment of artificial reefs as a conservation strategy to divert mass ecotourism from fragile natural reefs has been proposed and realized in many areas [...] Read more.
Since recreational diving activities have increased in recent decades, resulting in additional environmental pressure on the coastal zone, the deployment of artificial reefs as a conservation strategy to divert mass ecotourism from fragile natural reefs has been proposed and realized in many areas of the world. Twelve units of a patented naturoid artificial reef technology developed by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) were deployed in 2015 in the Underwater Biotechnological Park of Crete (UBPC) in order to create an experimental diving oasis and investigate the potential of achieving this aim for the over-exploited coastal ecosystems of this part of the Eastern Mediterranean. Assessment of the degree of establishment of artificial reefs and their ability to mimic natural ecosystems is often monitored through biological surveys and sampling. The measurement of the chemical, physical, and hydrodynamic characteristics of the water mass surrounding artificial reefs is also essential to fully understand their comparison to natural reefs. In particular, the flow field around reefs has been shown to be one of the most important physical factors in determining suitable conditions for the establishment of a number of key species on reef habitats. However, the combination of biological establishment monitoring and realistic flow-field simulation using computational fluid dynamics as a tool to aid in the design improvement of already existing reef installations has not been fully investigated in previous work. They are often reported separately as either ecological or engineering studies. Therefore, this study examined a full-scale numerical simulation of the field flow around individual already installed naturoid reef shapes, and part of their present arrangement on the sea bottom of the UPBC combined with the field-testing of the functionality of the installed artificial reefs concerning fish species aggregation. The results show that the simulated flow characteristics around the HCMR diving oasis artificial reefs were in good general agreement with the results of former studies, both for flows around a single deployed unit and for flows around a cluster of more than one unit. The results also gave good indications of the performance of individual reef units concerning key desirable characteristics such as downstream shadowing and sediment/nutrient upwelling and resuspension. In particular, they confirmed extended low flow levels (less than 0.3 m/s) and in some cases double vortexes on the downstream side of reef units where observed colonization and habitation of some key fish species had taken place. They also showed how the present distribution of units could be optimized to perform better as an integrated reef cluster. The use of computational fluid dynamics, with field survey data, is therefore suggested as a useful design improvement tool for installed reef structures and their deployment arrangement for recreational diving oases that can aid the sustainable development of the coastal zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Technology-enhanced Auditing in Voluntary Sustainability Standards: The Impact of COVID-19
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4740; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114740 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the certification and auditing services of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS). The traditional approach to auditing—on-site visits—has been significantly curtailed, and it is unclear when, and under what conditions, it might resume in full. [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the certification and auditing services of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS). The traditional approach to auditing—on-site visits—has been significantly curtailed, and it is unclear when, and under what conditions, it might resume in full. The purpose of this paper is to study the initial responses to COVID-19 of leading VSS—a group of 21 standards that are members of ISEAL, a global membership organization for VSS. This is a qualitative study, and data are collected from publicly-available sources (i.e., official announcements, policy amendments, derogations) in order to inductively analyze how individual VSS have adjusted their certification services in response to travel bans and lockdowns. The emphasis of the analysis was understanding the role of technologies in the VSS responses to the COVID-19 crisis. The findings demonstrate significant uptake of remote auditing and information and communications technology (ICT), even though that uptake is constrained by limiting conditions and it is not currently expected by VSS to extend beyond the crisis. Lessons learned from the crisis are discussed, and the potential for remote auditing during this period to encourage the adoption of more advanced technologies (such as artificial intelligence and satellite monitoring) in certification services is explored. A set of research questions to guide future work grounded in the analysis is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment of a High-Rise Mass Timber Building with an Equivalent Reinforced Concrete Alternative Using the Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114708 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Buildings consume large amounts of materials and energy, making them one of the highest environmental impactors. Quantifying the impact of building materials can be critical to developing an effective greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. Using Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings (IE4B), this paper compares [...] Read more.
Buildings consume large amounts of materials and energy, making them one of the highest environmental impactors. Quantifying the impact of building materials can be critical to developing an effective greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. Using Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings (IE4B), this paper compares cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessment (LCA) results for a 12-story building constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and a functionally equivalent reinforced concrete (RC) building. Following EN 15978 framework, environmental impacts for stages A1–A5 (product to construction), B2, B4, and B6 (use), C1–C4 (end of life), and D (beyond the building life) were evaluated in detail along resource efficiency. For material resource efficiency, total mass of the CLT building was 33.2% less than the alternative RC building. For modules A to C and not considering operational energy use (B6), LCA results show a 20.6% reduction in embodied carbon achieved for the CLT building, compared to the RC building. For modules A to D and not considering B6, the embodied carbon assessment revealed that for the CLT building, 6.57 × 105 kg CO2 eq was emitted, whereas for the equivalent RC building, 2.16 × 106 kg CO2 eq was emitted, and emissions from CLT building was 70% lower than that from RC building. Additionally, 1.84 × 106 kg of CO2 eq was stored in the wood material used in the CLT building during its lifetime. Building material selection should be considered for the urgent need to reduce global climate change impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Assessment of Buildings for Deep Impact Reductions)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) as Local and Sustainable Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4715; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114715 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 13
Abstract
We distinguish different types of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC); nevertheless, their common main characteristic relate to reduced numbers of intermediaries between farmers/food producers and consumers. The aim of the paper is to present the SFSCs as local and sustainable food systems with [...] Read more.
We distinguish different types of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC); nevertheless, their common main characteristic relate to reduced numbers of intermediaries between farmers/food producers and consumers. The aim of the paper is to present the SFSCs as local and sustainable food systems with their possible development. The SFSC idea follows the concept of sustainability, which is based on three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. In the paper, the authors also highlight other barriers to growth, and challenges faced by local food systems. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Socio-Economic and Environmental Analyses of Sustainable Public Transport in the Philippines
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4720; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114720 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Electric vehicles are regarded as energy transition technology towards more sustainable and environment-friendly transportation systems. Despite the benefits of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, the adoption of electric vehicles faces several obstacles ranging from financing issues, government policies, [...] Read more.
Electric vehicles are regarded as energy transition technology towards more sustainable and environment-friendly transportation systems. Despite the benefits of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, the adoption of electric vehicles faces several obstacles ranging from financing issues, government policies, and public acceptance. This study aims to identify the economic, environmental, and social impact of the adoption of electric vehicles for public transportation. Using the Philippines as a case study, the findings highlight the economic advantage of investing in electric public transportation with high public acceptance. The results further identify significant decrease in air pollution, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and encourage lowering the reliance on imported fossil fuels by shifting the public transport from conventional to electric transport system. This study recommends stricter implementation of government policies on modernized public transportation, stronger government support on financing mechanisms, establishment of charging stations in public and private terminals, and boosting programs for developing local-made electric vehicles. To make electric vehicle more environment-friendly, the government must accelerate the energy transition by increasing the electricity share from renewable sources and investing in more sustainable sources of energy. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Monitoring Bioeconomy Transitions with Economic–Environmental and Innovation Indicators: Addressing Data Gaps in the Short Term
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114683 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Monitoring bioeconomy transitions and their effects can be considered a Herculean task, as they cannot be easily captured using current economic statistics. Distinctions are rarely made between bio-based and non-bio-based products when official data is collected. However, production along bioeconomy supply chains and [...] Read more.
Monitoring bioeconomy transitions and their effects can be considered a Herculean task, as they cannot be easily captured using current economic statistics. Distinctions are rarely made between bio-based and non-bio-based products when official data is collected. However, production along bioeconomy supply chains and its implications for sustainability require measurement and assessment to enable considered policymaking. We propose a starting point for monitoring bioeconomy transitions by suggesting an adapted framework, relevant sectors, and indicators that can be observed with existing information and data from many alternative sources, assuming that official data collection methods will not be modified soon. Economic–environmental indicators and innovation indicators are derived for the German surfactant industry based on the premise that combined economic–environmental indicators can show actual developments and trade-offs, while innovation indicators can reveal whether a bioeconomy transition is likely in a sector. Methodological challenges are discussed and low-cost; high-benefit options for further data collection are recommended. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Cumulative Environmental Impacts in the Gwich’in Cultural Landscape
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114667 - 08 Jun 2020
Abstract
Environmental changes are impacting northern environments and human communities. Cumulative impact assessments are vital to understanding the combined effects of regional industrial developments and natural disturbances that affect humans and ecosystems. A gap in cumulative impacts literature includes methods to evaluate impacts in [...] Read more.
Environmental changes are impacting northern environments and human communities. Cumulative impact assessments are vital to understanding the combined effects of regional industrial developments and natural disturbances that affect humans and ecosystems. A gap in cumulative impacts literature includes methods to evaluate impacts in cultural landscapes. In this study, we utilized spatial overlay analysis to assess cumulative environmental impacts in the cultural landscape of northern Canada’s Gwich’in Settlement Region. In three analyses, we quantified and mapped: (1) Cultural feature density, (2) cumulative environmental disturbance, and (3) potential overlap between disturbances and cultural features. Our first analysis depicts the extent and pattern of cultural relationships with regional landscapes and illustrates the Gwich’in cultural landscape, with widespread harvesting trails, named places, traditional use areas, and archaeological sites found in highest densities near important waterways. Our second analysis suggests that spatial overlay can track multiple disturbances, illustrating diffuse, lower intensity cumulative environmental impacts. The final analysis shows that overlaying disturbance and cultural feature data provides a novel way to investigate cumulative impacts in a cultural landscape, indicating relatively low levels of potential overlap between Gwich’in cultural features and disturbances. These methods provide one way to investigate cumulative impacts, relevant for well- documented cultural landscapes. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Blockchain-Based Framework for Green Logistics in Supply Chains
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4656; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114656 - 07 Jun 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
The logistics industry around the world has proliferated over recent years as a large number of business organizations have come to recognize the importance of logistics. Cost control used to be emphasized to remain competitive, but recently green logistics has gained attention with [...] Read more.
The logistics industry around the world has proliferated over recent years as a large number of business organizations have come to recognize the importance of logistics. Cost control used to be emphasized to remain competitive, but recently green logistics has gained attention with the awareness of the integration of economy and society as a whole. Nowadays, green logistics is a useful concept to improve the sustainability of logistics operations, and its related policies and theoretical research have been investigated and explored. However, the practical applications of green logistics are impeded by real-time data sharing, which is common in the logistics industry. Blockchain technology is adopted to address this challenge and enable data sharing among related stakeholders. This paper presents a reference framework for green logistics based on blockchain to reach the sustainable operations of logistics, with the integration of the Internet of Things and big data. Finally, potential benefits and limitations are analyzed when implementing this framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Transportation and Green Logistics with Big Data)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Social and Ecological High Influential Factors in Community Gardens Innovation: An Empirical Survey in Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4651; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114651 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
In 2015, The United Nations adopted an agenda for sustainable development in order to obtain “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and for the world now and in the future (United Nations). The United Nations has defined 17 main goals, [...] Read more.
In 2015, The United Nations adopted an agenda for sustainable development in order to obtain “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and for the world now and in the future (United Nations). The United Nations has defined 17 main goals, such as ending poverty, improving health, preserving the ocean, and tackling the climate change, in order to achieve worldwide sustainable development. Sustainable development is a crucial worldwide topic that encompasses three dimensions: economic, social and environmental. Nowadays, social ecological innovation has envisaged a new prominent business model focusing on social and environmental goals to achieve sustainable development. The intent of this paper is to propose the community garden framework as a social and ecological innovation tool in order to boost sustainable development in urban areas as well as rural areas. For this purpose, an empirical analysis based on a structured interview was conducted in the area of Naples on a sample of 150 gardeners. The results of the interviews have been aggregated by using a variance and correlation analysis in order to explore to what extent the social and environmental dimensions are linked to the community gardens and to identify a pattern between community gardens and social ecological innovation. Two attributes of community gardens, that is, urbanization effects mitigation and wellness and community, were identified as having the ability to influence other community garden attributes. Thus, the paper suggests using these highly influential factors to define a social and ecological innovation strategy based on a community gardens framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Farming for Social Innovation and Viability in Rural Areas)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
An Integrated Model of Park-And-Ride Facilities for Sustainable Urban Mobility
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4631; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114631 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
The Park and Ride (P&R) System is part of a set of parking policies provided by Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) that have been used in developing efficient, safe and environmentally friendly solutions to reduce the undesirable effects of private vehicles in Central [...] Read more.
The Park and Ride (P&R) System is part of a set of parking policies provided by Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) that have been used in developing efficient, safe and environmentally friendly solutions to reduce the undesirable effects of private vehicles in Central Business District (CBD). In fact, the P&Rs are allocated near public transportation stations to ease transfer from a private vehicle to a public transportation mode. Therefore, the P&R system is considered as an alternative transport mode in which the location and potential demand of each facility are fundamental components to be evaluated within sustainable urban planning. The paper proposes an integrated model of P&R facilities based on estimate the potential demand through a mathematical model of the seven park-and-ride (P&R) facilities (designated A to G) in Cuenca city, Ecuador. The developed integrated model includes two cost functions: one is the P&R mode, and the second is the private car mode. Additionally, a SUMP is integrated into the model as a data collection source in order to find the required parameters for the cost functions and origin–destination (O-D) matrix of private vehicles. The results showed that three out of the seven P&R facilities (P&R C, P&R G, and P&R A) had the highest demand (70% of the overall demand). Consequently, these three P&R facilities were studied separately using the same developed model, and the demand proved to be the highest for P&R facility “C” (39% out of 70%). In conclusion, SUMPs, as a methodology for data collection and a mathematical model, proved to be an effective integrated method for evaluating the most attractive P&R location based on the potential demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transport Economics, Behaviour and Policy)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Actinomycete Strains Isolated from Saline Soils: Plant-Growth-Promoting Traits and Inoculation Effects on Solanum lycopersicum
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4617; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114617 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Excessive use of chemical products in agriculture is causing significant environmental pollution and the loss of lands and fertility of agricultural soils. Plant-growth-promoting bacteria are a valid alternative strategy for sustainable agriculture. The aim of this study was to select actinomycete strains based [...] Read more.
Excessive use of chemical products in agriculture is causing significant environmental pollution and the loss of lands and fertility of agricultural soils. Plant-growth-promoting bacteria are a valid alternative strategy for sustainable agriculture. The aim of this study was to select actinomycete strains based on their plant-growth-promoting traits and to investigate their root association abilities and biostimulant effects on Solanum lycopersicum. The strains were investigated for their phosphate solubilization ability, production of indole-3-acetic acid, hydrocyanic acid, and ammonia, and several enzymatic activities. Bacteria–plant-root associations were studied by scanning electron microscopy. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to assess inoculation effects. Of sixty isolates, fourteen strains showed significant plant-growth-promoting traits. All fourteen strains solubilized phosphate, produced ammonia, and showed several enzymatic activities at different rates. The production of indole-3-acetic acid was shown by nine strains, while hydrocyanic acid production was observed in eleven of them. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that strains have good in vitro plant root association and colonization abilities. In planta inoculation by actinomycete strains positively influenced plant growth parameters. The best results were shown by seven actinomycete strains, suggesting their possible utilization as biofertilizer agents for sustainable agriculture. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Valorization of Banana and Red Beetroot Peels: Determination of Basic Macrocomponent Composition, Application of Novel Extraction Methodology and Assessment of Biological Activity In Vitro
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4539; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114539 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The nutritional and bioactive content of banana and red beetroot peels was investigated. The basic macrocomponent composition was determined using standard AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) methods, while the recovery efficiency of bioactive compounds was investigated using conventional and innovative extraction techniques [...] Read more.
The nutritional and bioactive content of banana and red beetroot peels was investigated. The basic macrocomponent composition was determined using standard AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) methods, while the recovery efficiency of bioactive compounds was investigated using conventional and innovative extraction techniques (subcritical water extraction, ultrasound- and microwave-assisted extraction). Extracts were analyzed for biological effects in vitro on human hepatic, tongue and colon cancer cell lines. A macrocomponent analysis revealed a notable amount of dietary fiber in banana and beetroot peels (39.0 and 33.6% dmb) and a relatively high content of protein in beetroot peel (18.3% dmb). Regarding the micronutrients-minerals, banana and beetroot peels were shown to be a very good source of potassium (75.06 and 41.86 mg g−1 dmb). Both extracts of banana and beetroot peels obtained by conventional extraction - decoction (100 °C, 20 min) exhibited the highest total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Additionally, in banana peel, these extracts were the richest in dopamine content (12.63 mg g−1 dmb). Extraction by infusion (80 °C, 30 min) yielded a beetroot peel extract with the highest total betacyanin content (9.80 mg g−1 dmb). Biological effects in vitro were dose- and time-dependent, as well as influenced by the presence of polysaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Processing)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Highly Efficient and Robust Grid Connected Photovoltaic System Based Model Predictive Control with Kalman Filtering Capability
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12114542 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Renewable energy sources, especially photovoltaic (PV) ones, are gaining more and more interest due to the predicted lack of conventional sources over the coming years. That shortage is not the only concern, as environmental issues add to this concern also. Thus, this study [...] Read more.
Renewable energy sources, especially photovoltaic (PV) ones, are gaining more and more interest due to the predicted lack of conventional sources over the coming years. That shortage is not the only concern, as environmental issues add to this concern also. Thus, this study proposes two-stage PV grid connected system, which is supported with extended Kalman filter (EKF) for parameter estimation. In the first stage, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for the boost converter is accomplished using new MPPT method in which the switching state of the converter is directly generated after the measurement stage, so it is called direct switching MPPT technique. This technique is compared with the conventional finite control set model predictive control (FCS-MPC) method, where the design of the cost function is based on minimizing the error between the reference and the actual current. The reference current is obtained by employing perturb and observe (P&O) method. In the second stage, the two-level inverter is controlled by means of model predictive control (MPC) with reduced computation burden. Further, to overcome the parameter variations, which is a very common problem in MPC applications, an extended Kalman filter is utilized to eliminate the control algorithm’s dependency on the parameters by providing an efficient estimation. After the inverter, an RL filter is inserted to guarantee the quality of the currents injected into the grid. Finally, the system is validated using Matlab under different operating conditions of atmospheric variation and parameter changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Mechatronic and Renewable Energy Systems)
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