Special Issue "Assessment of Socio-Economic Sustainability and Resilience after COVID-19"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Idiano D'Adamo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Sapienza University of Rome, Via Ariosto 25, 00185 Rome, Italy
Interests: bioeconomy; biomethane; circular economy; e-waste;economic analysis;photovoltaic; renewable energy;sustainability;waste management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

COVID-19 has shocked our lifestyle with a pandemic period in which socio-economic paradigms have been substantially modified. Public, private and academic sectors are called to cooperate with actions needed to satisfy not only human needs, but also to favour a correct use of natural resources. No one can nowadays act on the global market without having a clear perspective and strategy about the environment, but we can encourage a sustainable revolution to provide a cleaner world (D’Adamo et al., 2020). In addition, there is the opportunity to realize a great plan of green infrastructures, coupled with the maintenance of the existing ones, to support the planet’s rebirth after COVID-19. The application of circular and green practices have a direct impact on response and recovery of infrastructure; that is one of the four components of resilience in addition to resistance, reliability, and redundancy (D’Adamo and Rosa, 2020). Both resilience and sustainability are viewed as distinct concepts, but are positively correlated (Elmqvist et al., 2019). This Special Issue aims to investigate the relationship between these two topics. Theoretical, methodological and practical studies are welcome in this issue. 

References

  1. D’Adamo, I.; Falcone, P.M.; Martin, M.; Rosa, P. A sustainable revolution: Let’s go sustainable to get our globe cleaner. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4387.
  2. D’Adamo, I.; Rosa, P. How Do You See Infrastructure? Green Energy to Provide Economic Growth after COVID-19. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4738.
  3. Elmqvist, T.; Andersson, E.; Frantzeskaki, N.; McPhearson, T.; Olsson, P.; Gaffney, O.; Takeuchi, K.; Folke, C. Sustainability and resilience for transformation in the urban century. Nature Sustainability 2019, 2, 267–273. 
Prof. Dr. Idiano D’Adamo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Green economy
  • Circular economy
  • Bioeconomy
  • Resilience

Published Papers (25 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Sustainability and Resilience after COVID-19: A Circular Premium in the Fashion Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1861; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13041861 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
COVID-19 has challenged so many of humanity’s certainties, but it has also shown that we are able to react to serious threats [...] Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Organization’s Sustainable Operational Complexity and Strategic Overview: TISM Approach and Asian Case Studies
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9790; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179790 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 422
Abstract
As a region, Asia comprises communist China, democratic India and many small quasi-democratic and authoritarian states. Both China and India play a significant role in maintaining multilateral world order. Asia’s regional power remains with its enormous potential of resources for domestic markets and [...] Read more.
As a region, Asia comprises communist China, democratic India and many small quasi-democratic and authoritarian states. Both China and India play a significant role in maintaining multilateral world order. Asia’s regional power remains with its enormous potential of resources for domestic markets and per capita purchasing power parity. Hence, the economic and the business aspects of the Asian region require comprehensive study. Sustainable operational excellence is a notion carried by an organisation’s sustainable economic development and other values. This study incorporates the multiple case study method. Twelve case organisations such as Tata Motors, Samsung, Nissan, Indigo, Mitsubishi, Huawei, Wilmar, Canon, NTPC, Hitachi, Singapore Airlines, and L&T were chosen to study their sustainability values, and operational and strategic strands. TISM (total interpretive structural modelling) method is used for model building; four variables such as operating activities, investing activities, financing activities, and SVE (Social value expenditures) are taken for empirical analysis. Based on the available secondary data, the study incorporated panel data regression analysis. The result shows that SVE positively and significantly explains operational activities that proxy with sustainable business practices. The study concludes with a Paux strategy framework for discussion and managerial implications. Full article
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Article
Sustainability and Resilience of Emerging Cities in Times of COVID-19
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9480; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169480 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
The organization of a territory relies on a group of transformations produced by economic, environmental, and social emergencies, generating disruptions along with history. Furthermore, every new scenario generates a considerable impact, which makes it more difficult to recover from increasing urban ecological footprints. [...] Read more.
The organization of a territory relies on a group of transformations produced by economic, environmental, and social emergencies, generating disruptions along with history. Furthermore, every new scenario generates a considerable impact, which makes it more difficult to recover from increasing urban ecological footprints. COVID-19-emergence-aware cities face new challenges that will test their resilience. This new outline constitutes a study regarding urban planning from an environmental and resilience perspective within this new pandemic state of emergency. It contains four main topics: emergent cities, natural resources, sustainability, and resilience. The document shows a case study carried out in a Colombian town named Cajicá, where a bibliometric inquiry conducted with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) adjustments was managed, tested on forty-one scientific papers; all the above were verified by VOSviewer software tools. The study reveals the creation and visualization of several keyword networks and relations retrieved from all the selected articles, along with the use of eight additional documents for all relation analyses. Sustainability and resilience are the main findings, supported as a process of functionality within urban planning. Sustainability findings’ results are prioritized, along with resilience analysis processes, which are both frameworks used during the COVID-19 pandemic; they constitute the main argument within this set of changes, building on alterations of lifestyle and behavioral situations within the main cities. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Direct and Indirect COVID-19 Related Demand Shocks on Sectoral CO2 Emissions: Evidence from Major Asia Pacific Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169312 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 531
Abstract
COVID-19’s demand shocks have a significant impact on global CO2 emissions. However, few studies have estimated the impact of COVID-19’s direct and indirect demand shocks on sectoral CO2 emissions and linkages. This study’s goal is to estimate the impact of COVID-19’s [...] Read more.
COVID-19’s demand shocks have a significant impact on global CO2 emissions. However, few studies have estimated the impact of COVID-19’s direct and indirect demand shocks on sectoral CO2 emissions and linkages. This study’s goal is to estimate the impact of COVID-19’s direct and indirect demand shocks on the CO2 emissions of the Asia-Pacific countries of Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan (BCIIP). The study, based on the Asian Development Bank’s COVID-19 economic impact scenarios, estimated the impact of direct and indirect demand shocks on CO2 releases using input–output and hypothetical extraction methods. In the no COVID-19 scenario, China emitted the most CO2 (11 billion tons (Bt)), followed by India (2 Bt), Indonesia (0.5 Bt), Pakistan (0.2 Bt), and Bangladesh (0.08 Bt). For BCIIP nations, total demand shocks forced a 1–2% reduction in CO2 emissions under a worst-case scenario. Given BCIIP’s current economic recovery, a best or moderate scenario with a negative impact of less than 1% is more likely in coming years. Direct demand shocks, with a negative 85–63% share, caused most of the CO2 emissions decrease. The downstream indirect demand had only a 15–37% contribution to CO2 emissions reduction. Our study also discusses policy implications. Full article
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Article
The Development of Digital Transformation and Relevant Competencies for Employees in the Context of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latvia
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9233; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169233 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The current period describes the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis on businesses and the lives of citizens. It has accelerated digital transformation in all areas. The work and learning of many individuals have moved to the digital [...] Read more.
The current period describes the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis on businesses and the lives of citizens. It has accelerated digital transformation in all areas. The work and learning of many individuals have moved to the digital environment. In order to use digital technologies, employees need to acquire new knowledge and skills. The aim of this research study is to perform an analysis of the development of digital transformation and relevant competencies for employees and to identify the opportunities and challenges in Latvia. The research methodology applied for this research study is based on examining relevant theoretical concepts and publications of the EU regarding digital transformation. A survey method was used to find out the opinions of Latvian employers regarding the importance of digital transformation and relevant competencies for employees. The analysis of the research indicated that the majority of the respondents surveyed rated the level of implementation of digital transformation as high or medium-high, which shows that this is a good trend, and the digitalization process continues to progress. However, about a third of enterprises are only at the early stage of digitalization, while some have not yet begun it. The problem is the development of human capital competencies and digital skills. This is a specific research study that expands and provides insights into the situation in Latvia on the possibilities of implementation of digital transformation, which is closely linked with the development of human capital competencies and digital skills. This requires maintaining a holistic approach to targeted digital transformation management. Full article
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Article
Promoting Sustainability: Wastewater Treatment Plants as a Source of Biomethane in Regions Far from a High-Pressure Grid. A Real Portuguese Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8933; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168933 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 310
Abstract
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) located in regions far from a high-pressure grid can produce renewable biomethane, which can partially substitute the natural gas locally consumed. However, the economic viability of implementing biomethane plants in WWTP has to be guaranteed. This paper uses the [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) located in regions far from a high-pressure grid can produce renewable biomethane, which can partially substitute the natural gas locally consumed. However, the economic viability of implementing biomethane plants in WWTP has to be guaranteed. This paper uses the discount cash flow method to analyze the economic viability of producing biomethane in a WWTP located in Évora (Portugal). The results show that, under the current conditions, it is unprofitable to produce biomethane in this WWTP. Since selling the CO2 separated from biogas may result in an additional income, this option was also considered. In this case, a price of 46 EUR/t CO2 has to be paid to make the project viable. Finally, the impact of potential government incentives in the form of feed-in premia was investigated. Without selling CO2, the project would only be profitable for feed-in premia above 55.5 EUR/MWh. If all the CO2 produced was sold at 30 EUR/t CO2, a premium price of 20 EUR/MWh would make the project profitable. This study shows that the economic attractiveness of producing biomethane in small WWTP is only secured through sufficient financial incentives, which are vital for developing the biomethane market with all its associated advantages. Full article
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Article
Willingness and Influencing Factors of Pig Farmers to Adopt Internet of Things Technology in Food Traceability
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8861; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168861 - 08 Aug 2021
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The Internet of Things technology (IoT) in food traceability provides new ideas to solve the problem of smart production and offers new ideas for the formation of safe and high-quality markets for meat products. However, scholars have studied the combination of blockchain and [...] Read more.
The Internet of Things technology (IoT) in food traceability provides new ideas to solve the problem of smart production and offers new ideas for the formation of safe and high-quality markets for meat products. However, scholars have studied the combination of blockchain and IoT technology. There is a lack of research on the combination of IoT and food traceability technology. Moreover, previous studies focused on the application of IoT traceability technology, taking farmers’ adoption willingness as an exogenous variable while ignoring its endogeneity. Therefore, it is essential to study farmers’ willingness to adopt IoT traceability technology and find the factors that influence farmers’ adoption intention. Based on survey data from 264 pig farmers in Shaanxi Province, this paper discussed the factors which influence pig farmers’ adoption of the technology by using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). The results showed that farmers’ adoption intention was influenced by a combination of farmers’ performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, personal innovation, and perceived risk. Personal innovation played a mediating role in effort expectancy and adoption willingness and perceived risk played a moderating role in personal innovation and adoption willingness. Full article
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Article
Flexible Fuzzy Goal Programming Approach in Optimal Mix of Power Generation for Socio-Economic Sustainability: A Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8256; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158256 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
The demand for cost-efficient and clean power energy cannot be overemphasised, especially in a developing nation like India. COVID-19 has adversely affected many nations, power sector inclusive, and resiliency is imperative via flexible and sustainable power generation sources. Renewable energy sources are the [...] Read more.
The demand for cost-efficient and clean power energy cannot be overemphasised, especially in a developing nation like India. COVID-19 has adversely affected many nations, power sector inclusive, and resiliency is imperative via flexible and sustainable power generation sources. Renewable energy sources are the primary focus of electricity production in the world. This study examined and assessed the optimal cost system of electricity generation for the socio-economic sustainability of India. A sustainable and flexible electricity generation model is developed using the concept of flexible fuzzy goal programming. This study is carried out with the aim of achieving the government’s intended nationally determined contribution goals of reducing emission levels, increasing the capacity of renewable sources and the must-run status of hydro and nuclear, and technical and financial parameters. The result shows an optimal cost solution and flexibility in how increased electricity demand would be achieved and sustained via shifting to renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro. Full article
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Article
Resilience, Leadership and Female Entrepreneurship within the Context of SMEs: Evidence from Latin America
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158129 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 645
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to analyze resilient female leadership as a sustainable promoter of business excellence in small and medium-sized Wayuu handicraft marketing enterprises. The present study uses a quantitative methodology with a non-experimental cross-sectional field design, with an analysis and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to analyze resilient female leadership as a sustainable promoter of business excellence in small and medium-sized Wayuu handicraft marketing enterprises. The present study uses a quantitative methodology with a non-experimental cross-sectional field design, with an analysis and interpretation of the data provided by the surveyed subjects. A 33-item questionnaire with multiple response options is applied. The population consists of 110.012 eradicated women. A probabilistic sampling technique is applied with a margin of error of 5% and a confidence level of 95%, for a total of 383 Wayuu women entrepreneurs in the Department of La Guajira, Colombia. Our findings explain that female leadership transcends the boundaries of business management, being present in both small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This study confirms the positive relationship between sustainability and resilience in the Wayuu handicrafts market, being women who turn their actions into success factors by working with women who show technical, conceptual, and human skills. Full article
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Article
Evaluating Supply Chain Collaboration Barriers in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7449; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13137449 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
The disruption has a significant impact on supply chain collaboration (SCC) which is an important task to improve performance for many enterprises. This is especially critical for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We developed a decision-modeling framework for analyzing SCC barriers in SMEs [...] Read more.
The disruption has a significant impact on supply chain collaboration (SCC) which is an important task to improve performance for many enterprises. This is especially critical for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We developed a decision-modeling framework for analyzing SCC barriers in SMEs for the emerging economy in Bangladesh. Through literature review and expert opinion survey, we have identified a comprehensive list of SCC barriers under four main categories, namely, information-related, communication-related, intra-organizational, and inter-organizational barriers. Then we applied the Grey DEMATEL and Fuzzy Best-Worst methods to evaluate these SCC barriers and compared the results. We also conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of the proposed approach. The study reveals that lack of communication is the most crucial barrier in SCC, providing a model for assessing barriers in other emerging economies. This study contributes to the literature by analyzing SCC barriers and by comparing the results obtained from two different MCDM methods. The findings of this study can help decision-makers to plan for overcoming the most prioritized SCC barriers which ultimately contribute to improving the resilience and sustainability performances of SMEs. Full article
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Article
E-Commerce Calls for Cyber-Security and Sustainability: How European Citizens Look for a Trusted Online Environment
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6752; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13126752 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
The pandemic has changed the citizens’ behavior, inducing them to avoid any real contact. This has given an incredible impulse to e-commerce; however, the complexity of the topic has not yet been adequately explored in the literature. To fill this gap, this study [...] Read more.
The pandemic has changed the citizens’ behavior, inducing them to avoid any real contact. This has given an incredible impulse to e-commerce; however, the complexity of the topic has not yet been adequately explored in the literature. To fill this gap, this study has a twofold purpose: (1) to investigate how European countries comparatively perform in e-commerce, and (2) to describe what are the most important challenges for the further expansion of e-commerce. To this end, we adopted a hybrid methodology based on multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and a Likert scale survey. The first method allows to us rank the e-commerce performance of different European countries, while the second one looks at the problems and barriers that characterize online shopping. The results of the study show that European countries have different sensitivities to the issue of cyber-security, and among them it is possible to identify three groups with different levels of attention to the critical issues of e-commerce. The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark belong to the group of countries most responsive to e-commerce. This request is part of a broader framework of transition toward sustainable development, i.e., a reliable digital environment where citizens and businesses can exercise their rights and freedoms in complete security. Finally, from a theoretical perspective, this paper adds a new baseline to the literature on the state of the art of e-commerce in Europe that addresses the effects of the pandemic. From a managerial point of view, decision makers can find in the results of this analysis a support for the setting of business strategies for the expansion of firms in certain markets and guidance for public authorities when defining regulatory policies for e-commerce. Full article
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Article
New Circular Networks in Resilient Supply Chains: An External Capital Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116130 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has had an impact on the relationships established between different actors in organisations. To deal with these changes, it is necessary to develop a resilience capacity that allows for the establishment of different patterns of relationships through a [...] Read more.
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has had an impact on the relationships established between different actors in organisations. To deal with these changes, it is necessary to develop a resilience capacity that allows for the establishment of different patterns of relationships through a new management model. The application of circularity principles implies a radical change in stakeholder relations, breaking with the “end-of-life” concept existing in linear economies. Furthermore, circular economy can ensure resilience in supply chains, and it can be considered as a tool in uncertain environments. Therefore, the objective of this study is to analyse the association between the customer–supplier relationships with circular supply chains based on the intellectual capital-based view theory. External capital is a crucial factor for organisations, and it helps with building remarkable capabilities for the whole supply chain due to collaboration and cooperation. This research contributes with a systematic revision of the literature regarding circular supply chains and customer–supplier external capital, providing an exploratory model. Establishing a closer and effective relationship with customers and suppliers supposes a differentiating value and competitive advantages. Actors involved in the supply chain are essential in the implementation of circularity in organisations for reducing waste production and returning resources to the production cycle. Therefore, circular networks related to customers’ behaviour, sustainable supplier election and IT tools play a key factor in improving resilience in supply chains. Full article
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Article
Sustainability and Resilience Revisited: Impact of Information Technology Disruptions on Empirical Retail Logistics Efficiency
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5650; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105650 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
The increasing use of information technology (IT) in supply chain management and logistics is connected to corporate advantages and enhanced competitiveness provided by enterprise resource planning systems and warehouse management systems. One downside of advancing digitalization is an increasing dependence on IT systems [...] Read more.
The increasing use of information technology (IT) in supply chain management and logistics is connected to corporate advantages and enhanced competitiveness provided by enterprise resource planning systems and warehouse management systems. One downside of advancing digitalization is an increasing dependence on IT systems and the negative effects of technology disruption impacts on firm performance, measured by logistics efficiency, e.g., with data envelopment analysis (DEA). While the traditional DEA model cannot deconstruct production processes to find the underlying causes of inefficiencies, network DEA (NDEA) can provide insights into resource allocation at the individual stages of operations. We apply an NDEA approach to measure the impact of IT disruptions on the efficiency of operational processes in retail logistics. We compare efficiency levels during IT disruptions, as well as ripple effects throughout subsequent days. In the first stage, we evaluate the efficiency of order picking in retail logistics. After handing over the transport units to the outgoing goods department of a warehouse, we assess the subsequent process of truck loading as a second stage. The obtained results underline the analytical power of NDEA models and demonstrate that the proposed model can evaluate IT disruptions in supply chains better than traditional approaches. Insights show that efficiency reductions after IT disruptions occur at different levels and for diverse reasons, and successful preparation and contingency management can support improvements. Full article
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Article
The Urban Characteristics of High Economic Resilient Neighborhoods during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case of Suwon, South Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13094679 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 561
Abstract
Infectious diseases and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have a huge economic impact on cities. However, few studies examine the economic resilience of small-scale regions within cities. Thus, this study derives neighborhoods with high economic resilience in a pandemic situation and reveals their [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have a huge economic impact on cities. However, few studies examine the economic resilience of small-scale regions within cities. Thus, this study derives neighborhoods with high economic resilience in a pandemic situation and reveals their urban characteristics. It evaluates economic resilience by analyzing changes in the amount of credit card payments in the neighborhood and classifying the types of neighborhoods therefrom. The study conducted the ANOVA, Kruskal–Wallis, and post hoc tests to analyze the difference in urban characteristics between neighborhood types. Accordingly, three neighborhood types emerged from the analysis: high-resilient neighborhood, low-resilient neighborhood, and neighborhood that benefited from the pandemic. The high-resilient neighborhood is a low-density residential area where many elderly people live. Neighborhoods that benefited are residential areas mainly located in high-density apartments where many families of parents and children live. The low-resilient neighborhood is an area with many young people and small households, many studio-type small houses, and a high degree of land-use mix. Full article
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Article
Does Corporate Financialization Have a Non-Linear Impact on Sustainable Total Factor Productivity? Perspectives of Cash Holdings and Technical Innovation
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2533; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13052533 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
This study explores the conditions under which financialization may foster sustainable total factor productivity (TFP). We examine the inverted U-shaped relationship between corporate financialization and TFP by employing a panel threshold model using microeconomic non-financial panel data from Chinese firms in the 2007 [...] Read more.
This study explores the conditions under which financialization may foster sustainable total factor productivity (TFP). We examine the inverted U-shaped relationship between corporate financialization and TFP by employing a panel threshold model using microeconomic non-financial panel data from Chinese firms in the 2007 to 2018 period. Our results suggest that the turning point is more significant in holding short-term financial assets and state-owned enterprises. The threshold effect suggests that technical innovation determines the optimal threshold at which TFP is affected by financialization. Further, financialization is considered an alternative to cash in order to increase the value of capital, leading to a positive effect on TFP. Contrary to their positive effects below the optimal thresholds, financialization exceeds a certain level, displaces technical innovation, and becomes detrimental to TFP. Our analysis thus establishes the importance of sustainable growth of TFP and minimize the adverse effect of financialization. Full article
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Article
Thriving, Not Just Surviving in Changing Times: How Sustainability, Agility and Digitalization Intertwine with Organizational Resilience
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2052; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042052 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1806
Abstract
Nowadays, the buzzwords for organizations to be prepared for the competitive environment’s challenges are sustainability, digitalization, resilience and agility. However, despite the fact that these concepts have come into common use at the level of both scholars and practitioners, the nature of the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the buzzwords for organizations to be prepared for the competitive environment’s challenges are sustainability, digitalization, resilience and agility. However, despite the fact that these concepts have come into common use at the level of both scholars and practitioners, the nature of the relation between sustainability and resilience has not yet been sufficiently clarified. Above all, there is still no evidence of what factors determine greater resilience to change in an organization that also wants to be more sustainable, especially in times of crisis and discontinuity. This research aims to explore from a theoretical point of view, through the construction of a conceptual model, how these dimensions interact to help the business to become strategically resilient by leveraging digitization and agility as enablers. A new view of resilience arises from the study, which goes beyond the well-known ability to absorb or adapt to adversity, to also include a strategic attribute that could help companies capture change-related opportunities to design new ways of doing business under stress. A key set of strategically agile processes, enabled by digitalization, creates strategic resilience that also includes a proactive, opportunity-focused attitude in the face of change. Strategic resilience to lead to organizational sustainability must be understood as a multi-domain concept quite similar to the holistic view of sustainability: environment, economy and society. Finally, the research offers a set of propositions and a theoretical framework that can be empirically validated. Full article
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Article
Distance Learning as a Resilience Strategy during Covid-19: An Analysis of the Italian Context
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031388 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2064
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the strategic model of distance learning adopted by Italian higher education, showing how the health emergency due to Covid-19 has transformed it from an “optional” for traditional universities to the only means to ensure public [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the strategic model of distance learning adopted by Italian higher education, showing how the health emergency due to Covid-19 has transformed it from an “optional” for traditional universities to the only means to ensure public health protection and continuity in education programs. Comparing two situations (before and during the pandemic), the aim is to identify best practices that, even after the end of the emergency, can be adopted by Italian higher education institutions to boost their digital supply and compete in an international context. After a general context analysis, aimed to underline benefits and risks connected to the development of distance learning, the case of the Italian higher education system has been analyzed. Data were collected through a documentary analysis, looking at what Italian higher education institutions disclosed through their official websites and documents: every form of communication about digital strategy was taken into account. Then, they were analyzed qualitatively, in order to individuate which platforms have been combined to ensure quality in education provided. Research findings demonstrate the resilience of the Italian higher education, able to react and to re-organize itself in only one week: the results of the pandemic may be a stronger university, able to combine quality in education with the potential of technological devices and to compete at the international level. Distance learning represents a complex field, still characterized by separated understandings and in a context where limited attention has been dedicated to its development for what concerns the Italian context, the choice to examine it represents the originality of this paper. Full article
Article
The Risk of Dissolution of Sustainable Innovation Ecosystems in Times of Crisis: The Electric Vehicle during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1319; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031319 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
Innovation ecosystems evolve and adapt to crises, but what are the factors that stimulate ecosystem growth in spite of dire circumstances? We study the arduous path forward of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and analyse in depth those factors that influence ecosystem growth [...] Read more.
Innovation ecosystems evolve and adapt to crises, but what are the factors that stimulate ecosystem growth in spite of dire circumstances? We study the arduous path forward of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and analyse in depth those factors that influence ecosystem growth in general and during the pandemic in particular. For the EV ecosystem, growth implies outcompeting the less sustainable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, thus achieving a transition towards sustainable transportation. New mobility patterns provide a strategic opportunity for such a shift to green mobility and for EV ecosystem growth. For innovation ecosystems in general, we suggest that a crisis can serve as an opportunity for new innovations to break through by disrupting prior behavioural patterns. For the EV ecosystem in particular, it remains to be seen if the ecosystem will be able to capitalize on the opportunity provided by the unfortunate disruption generated by the pandemic. Full article
Article
Is Environmental Sustainability Taking a Backseat in China after COVID-19? The Perspective of Business Managers
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410369 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
China’s quick economic recovery from COVID-19 has presented a narrow but vast opportunity to build an economy that is cleaner, fairer, and safer. Will China grab this opportunity? The answer rests with both business managers and the government. Based on a questionnaire survey [...] Read more.
China’s quick economic recovery from COVID-19 has presented a narrow but vast opportunity to build an economy that is cleaner, fairer, and safer. Will China grab this opportunity? The answer rests with both business managers and the government. Based on a questionnaire survey of 1160 owners and managers of companies headquartered in 32 regions of China and covering 30 industries, this paper explores how COVID-19 has impacted Chinese business, especially with regard to the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental). The results suggest that Chinese companies’ sustainability priorities have been shifted towards the social dimension both during COVID-19 and into the post-pandemic phase, regardless of the type of ownership, company size, or market focus (domestic, overseas, or mixture of the two). However, all types of company prioritize the need for economic sustainability in the post-pandemic phase and in relative terms the importance of the environmental dimension has been diminished. Hence the potential for a post-pandemic environmental rebound effect in China is clear. But it does not have to be the case if Chinese businesses and the government take actions to change its recovery plans to embrace the environmental dimension of sustainability. The paper puts forward some suggestions and recommendations for businesses and the government. Full article
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Article
Multinomial Logistic Regression to Estimate and Predict the Perceptions of Individuals and Companies in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Ñuble Region, Chile
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9553; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229553 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is transforming the world we live in, revealing our health, economic, and social weaknesses. In the local economy, the loss of job opportunities, the uncertainty about the future of small and medium-sized companies and the difficulties of [...] Read more.
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is transforming the world we live in, revealing our health, economic, and social weaknesses. In the local economy, the loss of job opportunities, the uncertainty about the future of small and medium-sized companies and the difficulties of families to face the effects of this crisis, invite us to investigate the perception of the local community. Based on a questionnaire applied to 313 citizens and 51 companies, this study explored the perception of these actors on the effects of the pandemic at the local level and determined the main factors that influenced their assessment using a multinomial logistic regression model. The results indicated a systematic concern for issues of employment, job security, and household debt. The variables of age and sex were significant when analyzing the vulnerability of certain groups, especially women and the elderly, to face the effects of the crisis and their role as citizens. At the business level, the focus was on economic policies that support its operational continuity and management capacity to face a changing scenario. Full article
Article
COVID-19, the Food System and the Circular Economy: Challenges and Opportunities
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7939; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12197939 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2586
Abstract
This paper analyzes the causes and effects of the COVID-19 crisis, with a specific focus on the food system. Food consumption and production has not only been impacted by the crisis, but it may have also contributed to causing the pandemic. After providing [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the causes and effects of the COVID-19 crisis, with a specific focus on the food system. Food consumption and production has not only been impacted by the crisis, but it may have also contributed to causing the pandemic. After providing a brief introductory framework, the paper presents the results of a pilot study on the link between COVID-19 and the food system, as indicated by the social media activity of selected European Union (EU) Twitter accounts, measured using an original “theme popularity” metric. Thereafter, a systematic review of the literature is proposed to identify the causes of the rise in popularity of a sustainable food system theme, the potential consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for the food system (targeting the production, consumption and waste disposal phases) and possible solutions, focusing on the circular economy. Challenges and opportunities for policymakers in the short and long term are discussed. A holistic approach is advocated, as the global food system is intimately connected with society and requires deep cooperation among nation states and economic actors. Full article
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Article
90 Days of COVID-19 Social Distancing and Its Impacts on Air Quality and Health in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7440; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12187440 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a unique situation for humanity, reaching up to 5623 deaths in Sao Paulo city during the analyzed period of this study. Due to the measures for social distancing, an improvement of air quality was observed worldwide. In view [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a unique situation for humanity, reaching up to 5623 deaths in Sao Paulo city during the analyzed period of this study. Due to the measures for social distancing, an improvement of air quality was observed worldwide. In view of this scenario, we investigated the air quality improvement related to PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 concentrations during 90 days of quarantine compared to an equivalent period in 2019. We found a significant drop in air pollution of 45% of PM10, 46% of PM2.5, and 58% of NO2, and using a relative-risk function, we estimated that this significant air quality improvement avoided, respectively, 78, 337, and 387 premature deaths, respectively, and prevented approximately US $720 million on health costs. Moreover, we estimated that 5623 deaths by COVID-19 represent an economic health loss of US $10.5 billion. Both health and economic gains associated with air pollution reductions give a positive perspective of the efforts towards keeping air pollution reduced even after the pandemic, highlighting the importance of improving the strategies of air pollution mitigation actions, as well as the crucial role of adopting efficient measures to protect human health both during and after the COVID-19 global health crisis. Full article
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Article
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 31 | Viewed by 2744
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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Review

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Review
Solar Photovoltaic Architecture and Agronomic Management in Agrivoltaic System: A Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147846 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 509
Abstract
Agrivoltaic systems (AVS) offer a symbiotic strategy for co-location sustainable renewable energy and agricultural production. This is particularly important in densely populated developing and developed countries, where renewable energy development is becoming more important; however, profitable farmland must be preserved. As emphasized in [...] Read more.
Agrivoltaic systems (AVS) offer a symbiotic strategy for co-location sustainable renewable energy and agricultural production. This is particularly important in densely populated developing and developed countries, where renewable energy development is becoming more important; however, profitable farmland must be preserved. As emphasized in the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus, AVS advancements should not only focus on energy management, but also agronomic management (crop and water management). Thus, we critically review the important factors that influence the decision of energy management (solar PV architecture) and agronomic management in AV systems. The outcomes show that solar PV architecture and agronomic management advancements are reliant on (1) solar radiation qualities in term of light intensity and photosynthetically activate radiation (PAR), (2) AVS categories such as energy-centric, agricultural-centric, and agricultural-energy-centric, and (3) shareholder perspective (especially farmers). Next, several adjustments for crop selection and management are needed due to light limitation, microclimate condition beneath the solar structure, and solar structure constraints. More importantly, a systematic irrigation system is required to prevent damage to the solar panel structure. To summarize, AVS advancements should be carefully planned to ensure the goals of reducing reliance on non-renewable sources, mitigating global warming effects, and meeting the FEW initiatives. Full article
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Other

Perspective
Reflexive Governance for Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10224; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122310224 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Infrastructure development is one of the areas most in need of climate-resilient and friendly investments. The COVID-19 pandemic will increase government spending in this direction. This paper demonstrates how the principles of reflexive governance are key to unlock the full potential of such [...] Read more.
Infrastructure development is one of the areas most in need of climate-resilient and friendly investments. The COVID-19 pandemic will increase government spending in this direction. This paper demonstrates how the principles of reflexive governance are key to unlock the full potential of such investments. By establishing an adaptive and redundant institutional capacity in the provision of public services, reflexive governance can enable a successful path towards climate resilience and sustainability. Full article
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