Subjects -> ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (Total: 913 journals)
    - ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (810 journals)
    - POLLUTION (31 journals)
    - WASTE MANAGEMENT (18 journals)

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (810 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5     

Showing 601 - 378 of 378 Journals sorted alphabetically
Microplastics and Nanoplastics     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mine Water and the Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Modeling Earth Systems and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Monteverdia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Multequina     Open Access  
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Nano Select     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Nanotechnology for Environmental Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
Nativa     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Natur und Recht     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Natural Hazards     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 60)
Natural Resources     Open Access  
Natural Resources & Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Nature and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Nature-Based Solutions     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Nepal Journal of Environmental Science     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
NeuroToxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Neurotoxicology and Teratology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
NJAS : Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences     Hybrid Journal  
Novos Cadernos NAEA     Open Access  
npj Urban Sustainability     Open Access  
Observatorio Medioambiental     Open Access  
Occupational and Environmental Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Ochrona Srodowiska i Zasobów Naturalnych : Environmental Protection and Natural Resources     Open Access  
Oecologia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56)
Oikos     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58)
One Earth     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
One Ecosystem     Open Access  
Open Environmental Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Open Journal of Marine Science     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Open Journal of Modern Hydrology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Our Nature     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pace Environmental Law Review     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Packaging, Transport, Storage & Security of Radioactive Material     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Particle and Fibre Toxicology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pastos y Forrajes     Open Access  
Peer Community Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Pharmacology & Therapeutics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Physio-Géo     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Planet     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Planeta Amazônia : Revista Internacional de Direito Ambiental e Políticas Públicas     Open Access  
Planning & Environmental Law: Issues and decisions that impact the built and natural environments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Plant Ecology & Diversity     Partially Free   (Followers: 13)
Plant Knowledge Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Plant, Cell & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Plant-Environment Interactions     Open Access  
Plants, People, Planet     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Polar Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Political Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45)
Political Studies Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Population and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Population Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management     Full-text available via subscription  
Presence: Virtual and Augmented Reality     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Waste and Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Proceedings of the Vertebrate Pest Conference     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Process Integration and Optimization for Sustainability     Hybrid Journal  
Process Safety and Environmental Protection     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Producción + Limpia     Open Access  
Progress in Disaster Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Projets de Paysage     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Psychological Assessment     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Public Money & Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Quaternary     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Recursos Rurais     Open Access  
REDER : Revista de Estudios Latinoamericanos sobre Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres     Open Access  
Regional Environmental Change     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Regional Sustainability     Open Access  
Rekayasa     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Remediation Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Remote Sensing Applications : Society and Environment     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Remote Sensing Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
Rendiconti Lincei     Hybrid Journal  
Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Renewable Energy Focus     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Research & Reviews : Journal of Ecology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Research Journal of Environmental Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Resources     Open Access  
Resources and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Resources, Conservation & Recycling     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Resources, Conservation & Recycling : X     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Resources, Conservation & Recycling Advances     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Rethinking Ecology     Open Access  
Reuse/Recycle Newsletter     Hybrid Journal  
Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies     Hybrid Journal  
Review of Environmental Economics and Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Revista AIDIS de Ingeniería y Ciencias Ambientales. Investigación, desarrollo y práctica     Open Access  
Revista Ambivalências     Open Access  
Revista Brasileira de Ciências Ambientais     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Revista Brasileira de Meio Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista Ciência, Tecnologia & Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista de Ciencias Ambientales     Open Access  
Revista de Direito Ambiental e Socioambientalismo     Open Access  
Revista de Direito e Sustentabilidade     Open Access  
Revista de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade - GeAS     Open Access  
Revista de Investigación en Agroproducción Sustentable     Open Access  
Revista de Salud Ambiental     Open Access  
Revista ECOVIDA     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Eletrônica de Gestão e Tecnologias Ambientais     Open Access  
Revista Geama     Open Access  
Revista Hábitat Sustenable     Open Access  
Revista Iberoamericana Ambiente & Sustentabilidad     Open Access  
Revista Kawsaypacha: Sociedad y Medio Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista Laborativa     Open Access  
Revista Meio Ambiente e Sustentabilidade     Open Access  
Revista Mundi Meio Ambiente e Agrárias     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Rivista di Studi sulla Sostenibilità     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
RUDN Journal of Ecology and Life Safety     Open Access  
Russian Journal of Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Safety Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science     Open Access  
SAR and QSAR in Environmental Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Saúde e Meio Ambiente : Revista Interdisciplinar     Open Access  
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health     Partially Free   (Followers: 13)
Science of The Total Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Sciences Eaux & Territoires : la Revue du Cemagref     Open Access  
Smart Grid and Renewable Energy     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Social and Environmental Accountability Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Sociedad y Ambiente     Open Access  
Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Soil and Tillage Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
South Australian Geographical Journal     Open Access  
South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences     Hybrid Journal  
Southern African Journal of Environmental Education     Open Access  
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Sriwijaya Journal of Environment     Open Access  
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Studies in Conservation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 24)
Sustainability Agri Food and Environmental Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Sustainability in Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure     Hybrid Journal  
Sustainable Cities and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Sustainable Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Sustainable Development Law & Policy     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Sustainable Development Strategy and Practise     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Sustainable Horizons     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Sustainable Technology and Entrepreneurship     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Sustinere : Journal of Environment and Sustainability     Open Access  
TECHNE - Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Tecnogestión     Open Access  
Territorio della Ricerca su Insediamenti e Ambiente. Rivista internazionale di cultura urbanistica     Open Access  
The Historic Environment : Policy & Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
The International Journal on Media Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
The Ring     Open Access  
Theoretical Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Toxicologic Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Toxicological Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Toxicology and Industrial Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Toxicology in Vitro     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Toxicology Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Toxicon     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Toxicon : X     Open Access  
Toxin Reviews     Hybrid Journal  
Transactions on Environment and Electrical Engineering     Open Access  
Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Transportation Safety and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Transylvanian Review of Systematical and Ecological Research     Open Access  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 277)
Trends in Environmental Analytical Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Tropicultura     Open Access  
Turkish Journal of Engineering and Environmental Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
UD y la Geomática     Open Access  
Universidad y Ciencia     Open Access  
Universidad y Ciencia     Open Access  
UNM Environmental Journals     Open Access  
Urban Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 80)
Urban Transformations     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Veredas do Direito : Direito Ambiental e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access  
VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Villanova Environmental Law Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Waste Management & Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Water Conservation Science and Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
Water Environment Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 43)
Water International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)

  First | 1 2 3 4 5     

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Journal Cover
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.537
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 24  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2071-1050
Published by MDPI Homepage  [258 journals]
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14039: Robust Optimization Model for
           Sustainable Supply Chain Design Integrating LCA

    • Authors: Pablo Flores-Siguenza, Jose Antonio Marmolejo-Saucedo, Joaquina Niembro-Garcia
      First page: 14039
      Abstract: Supply chain management is the basis for the operations in an organization. The development of realistic supply chain designs that work effectively in the presence of disturbances in a stochastic environment and incorporate sustainability factors, is a complex challenge being investigated in recent years. However, the inclusion of a methodological structured framework to evaluate environmental impacts constitutes a knowledge gap in the literature on supply chain design. This study developed a model for sustainable supply chain design, integrating Life Cycle Assessment and based on a robust optimization approach. The study follows a 4-stage methodology beginning with data collection and the execution of a Life Cycle Assessment. Then, the deterministic modeling is proposed, concluding with a robust model. A bi-objective model is proposed to maximize utility and minimize environmental impact based on demand scenarios. The model was validated with real data from a medium-sized enterprise that produces antibacterial gel, generating as a result, different configuration alternatives for the supply chain to transport the products and raw materials between its elements. The conclusions of this work highlight the importance of including sustainability factors during supply chain design, the consequences and costs of its inclusion, as well as the priority actions that promote sustainable designs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914039
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14040: Analysis and Forecast of Land Use
           and Carbon Sink Changes in Jilin Province, China

    • Authors: Mengqi Wei, Chong Du, Xuege Wang
      First page: 14040
      Abstract: Based on the land use data changes in Jilin Province in 2011, 2014, 2017, and 2020, this paper analyzes the land use changes during 2011–2020 through the land use transfer matrix, calculates the changes in carbon sinks of recent years, and then uses the CA–Markov model to predict the land use types and carbon sinks in Jilin Province in 2030 and discusses the driving factors. The results show that cultivated land and forest land are the two major land use types in Jilin Province, and the area of cultivated land, water bodies, and artificial ground in the province increased from 2011 to 2020; the increased area of artificial ground was mainly converted from cultivated land, accounting for 70.34% of the total converted area. The area of forest land is mainly converted along with the area of cultivated land, and grassland is mainly converted to arable areas, accounting for 84.96% of the total converted area. Water bodies and wasteland are mainly converted to cropland and artificial ground, and the area of artificial ground undergoing transfer is smaller. The change in carbon sinks mainly comes from woodland carbon sinks and grassland carbon sinks. In 2030, compared with 2020, the area of woodland, grassland, and wasteland and the corresponding carbon sink is predicted to decrease, among which the area and carbon sink of woodland decrease the most. The factors for land use type change include the slope factor, road factor, township center, and socio-economic drivers.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914040
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14041: Exploring Human Values and
           Students’ Aspiration in E-Learning Adoption: A Structural Equation
           Modeling Analysis

    • Authors: Adel Bessadok, Hisham Bardesi
      First page: 14041
      Abstract: This study explores the significance of students’ aspirations as motivation and expectations in adopting e-learning, considering the influence of cultural values. The research utilizes a theoretical framework that integrates the Technological Acceptance Model, the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, and the DeLone and McLean Information System Success Model, along with Schwartz’s human values. Employing a quantitative approach, the study investigates the relationship between social factors and e-learning adoption through a survey of 509 students at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia using a structured questionnaire and Structural Equation Model for hypothesis testing. Results reveal that students with a proclivity for change and self-enhancement have higher motivation and expectations towards e-learning, while those with conservative perspectives show lower motivation and expectations. Additionally, students prioritizing self-enhancement and openness to change are more likely to actively engage in e-learning adoption. This research contributes to sustainability by highlighting how fundamental human values influence e-learning adoption. It also emphasizes the role of sustainable education and transformative learning processes in shaping attitudes towards e-learning. These insights inform the development of effective e-learning programs, benefiting the field of e-learning research and providing valuable guidance to researchers, policymakers, and decision-makers in creating more inclusive and sustainable educational practices.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914041
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14042: The Impact and Mechanism of the
           Digital Economy on Carbon Emission Efficiency: A Perspective Based on
           Provincial Panel Data in China

    • Authors: Lu Liu, Yuxin Meng, Qiying Ran
      First page: 14042
      Abstract: The regional carbon emission efficiency (RCEE) of 30 provinces in mainland China from 2011 to 2019 was calculated using a super-slack-based measure (Super-SBM) model. Then, using the system generalized method of moments (system GMM) model, spatial Durbin model (SDM), and mediating effect model, we examined the direct effect, spatial effect, and influence mechanism of the digital economy (DE) on RCEE. It was found that DE significantly promoted regional RCEE, but had a negative effect on RCEE in provinces with a high economic correlation. The mechanism studies showed that DE improved RCEE by reducing the energy intensity and promoting industrial upgrading and green technology innovation. Regional heterogeneity analysis found that DE significantly improved RCEE in eastern provinces, but not in central and western provinces. While RCEE in economically developed areas was improved by DE, it was decreased in economically underdeveloped provinces. This paper provides some empirical and theoretical references for the development of DE to improve RCEE.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914042
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14043: Meaningful Sports Consumption
           Behavior Influences the Production of Individual Eudaimonic Well-Being:
           The Chain-Mediated Role of Perceived Social Support and Perceived

    • Authors: Kai Guo, Zhigang Wang, Chenya Li, Chengdan Guo
      First page: 14043
      Abstract: Well-being is an ordinary life goal that many people strive to achieve. Recently, there has been a growing interest in academic research on how consumption can enhance well-being. Hedonic sports consumption, which is associated with positive emotions, can positively impact an individual’s subjective well-being by providing both physical and mental enjoyment and relieving the stresses of everyday life. However, there is a need for more comprehensive research on the mechanisms that connect meaningful sports consumption behaviors, which may also be accompanied by negative emotions, to the mental health of individuals. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to explore the potential mechanisms of meaningful sports consumption behaviors and eudaimonic well-being in individual mental health. Based on the SOR theory, this study develops a comprehensive conceptual model to examine the impact of sports consumption behavior on individuals’ eudaimonic well-being. The study’s results indicate that engaging in meaningful sports consumption behaviors can positively influence individuals’ eudaimonic well-being. Additionally, the study finds that perceived social support and perceived self-esteem among sports consumers significantly and positively impact their eudaimonic well-being. Finally, the study reveals that perceived social support and perceived self-esteem mediate the pathway through which meaningful sports consumption behaviors affect eudaimonic well-being. These findings contribute to our understanding of how to enhance sports consumers’ eudaimonic well-being and promote meaningful sports consumption behaviors. Therefore, it is recommended that sports marketers focus on providing meaningful sports service offerings, fostering consumer–society connections, and increasing respect and appreciation for consumers. These marketing insights can be valuable in promoting positive sports consumption experiences.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914043
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14044: Serial Mediation Model Linking
           Returnee Entrepreneurship Education and Green Returnee Entrepreneurial
           Behavior: An Analysis of Environmental Improvement

    • Authors: Qing Yin, Delu Wang, Yadong Wang
      First page: 14044
      Abstract: With the increasingly negative impact of environmental pollution on human production and life caused by the non-green operation of enterprises, a new generation of returnee entrepreneurs is called upon to take on regional environmental protection and global ecological improvement. This study examined the impact of returnee entrepreneurship education (REE). A conceptual model is constructed based on REE as the core factor of environmental sustainability and uses the occurrence of green entrepreneurial behavior among new university graduates returning to their hometowns as an evaluation basis. Convenience sampling was applied, and the relevant data were collected from 358 new university graduates in Jiangsu Province, China who received REE during their university years. Empirical analysis based on partial least squares structural equation modeling shows that REE evokes a commitment to the environment (CE) and has an indirect significant impact on green returnee entrepreneurial behavior (GREB) through institutional support and intention. However, a CE did not have a significant direct effect. The findings of this study have significant reference value for decision-makers in government departments in developing countries, universities, and many social groups that are actively responding to the United Nations Sustainable Development Initiative.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914044
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14045: Detection and Analysis of
           Dubas-Infested Date Palm Trees Using Deep Learning, Remote Sensing, and
           GIS Techniques in Wadi Bani Kharus

    • Authors: Yaseen Al-Mulla, Ahsan Ali, Krishna Parimi
      First page: 14045
      Abstract: Many insects attack date palm trees but date palm trees in the Sultanate are particularly under threat due to the spread of pests and the Dubas bug (Db). Date palm productivity in Oman has been reduced by 28% due to Db infestation. The manual field detection of these pests requires huge efforts and costs, making field surveys time consuming and difficult. In this context, remote sensing integrated with deep learning techniques can help in the early detection of Db infestation. A total of 240 date palms with corrected geospatial locations and coordinates and their health status were systematically recorded throughout the 66-square-kilometer study area. We used advanced remote sensing tools and deep learning techniques to detect individual palm trees and their health levels in terms of Db infestation. Very-high-resolution (50 cm) satellite images rendered in visible and NIR bands were used as datasets to delineate and identify individual tree positions and determine their health condition. Our proposed method resulted in an overall accuracy of 87% for the detection of date palm trees and 85% for the detection of health levels of the plants. The overall detection accuracy of high and low infestation levels was observed with high precision at 95% and 93%, respectively. Hence, we can conclude with confidence that our technique performed well by accurately detecting individual date palm trees and determining their level of Db infestation. The approach used in this study can also provide farmers with useful knowledge regarding the Db risk and damage control for better management of Db. Moreover, the model used in this study may also lay the foundations for other models to detect infested plants and trees other than date palms.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914045
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14046: A Novel Approach for
           High-Performance Estimation of SPI Data in Drought Prediction

    • Authors: Levent Latifoğlu, Mehmet Özger
      First page: 14046
      Abstract: Drought, as a natural disaster, has significant negative consequences and directly impacts living organisms. Drought forecasting commonly relies on various drought indices, with the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) being widely used. In this study, we propose a novel approach to estimate SPI values at 3- and 6-month lead times with high accuracy. This novel method introduces a phase transfer entropy (pTE) technique that analyzes time-shifted data matrices and the connectivity of SPI-3 and SPI-6 data. By maximizing the information flow between these data points, the most suitable time index (t − n) for input data in forecasting models is determined. This approach, not previously explored in the literature, forms the basis for predicting SPI values effectively. Machine learning algorithms, in combination with the Tunable Q Factor Wavelet Transform (TQWT) optimized by the Grey Wolf Optimization (GWO) algorithm, are employed to predict SPI values using the identified input data. The TQWT method generates subband signals, which are then estimated using Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), Support Vector Regression (SVR), and the Gaussian Process Regression Model (GPR). To evaluate the performance of the proposed GWO-TQWT-ML models, the subband data derived from the SPI is also estimated using ANN, GPR, and SVR models with the Empirical Mode Decomposition and Variational Mode Decomposition methods. Additionally, non-preprocessed SPI data is estimated independently using ANN, GPR, and SVR models. The results demonstrate the superior performance of the pTE-GWO-TQWT-ML models over other methods. Among these models, the pTE-GWO-TQWT-GPR model stands out with the best prediction performance, surpassing both the pTE-GWO-TQWT-ANN and pTE-GWO-TQWT-SVR models. The pTE-GWO-TQWT-GPR model yielded determination coefficient (R2) values for SPI-6 data as follows: 0.8039 for one-input, 0.9987 for two-input, and 0.9998 for three-input one ahead prediction, respectively; 0.9907 for two-input two ahead prediction; and 0.9722 for two-input three ahead prediction. For SPI-3 data, using the pTE-GWO-TQWT-GPR model, the R2 values were as follows: 0.6805 for one-input, 0.9982 for two-input, 0.9996 for three-input one ahead prediction, 0.9843 for two-input two ahead prediction, 0.9535 for two-input three ahead prediction, 0.9963 for three-input two ahead prediction, and 0.9826 for three-input three ahead prediction. Overall, this study presents a robust method, the pTE-GWO-TOWT-GPR model, for the time series estimation of SPI data, enabling high-performance drought prediction.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914046
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14047: Influence of Leadership Styles on
           Sustainable Development for Social Reconstruction: Current Outcomes and
           Advisable Reorientation for Two Aerospace Multinationals—Airbus and

    • Authors: Rafael García Martín, Alfonso Duran-Heras, Karen Reina Sánchez
      First page: 14047
      Abstract: This article analyzes the influence and foreseeable evolution of three main leadership styles in sustainable development for social reconstruction in two leading companies, the European Airbus and the Indian Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) (Mumbai, India). Inductive research was employed, using two cross-national case studies and a comparative analysis applying statistical testing. Data were collected through interviews and a survey among principal company leaders with several functions. The study focused on three styles: transactional, transformational, and servant leadership. The strength of this paper is that it sheds light on an understudied industry by providing findings on both the present (as-is) state and the advisable reorientation (i.e., future state suggested by respondents). This could contribute to filling the current gap in understanding the influence of leadership styles on the aerospace and defense industries’ economic, social, and environmental outcomes. By analyzing the results obtained in both companies, we concluded that even though all three styles are present in both companies, servant and transformational leadership provide better results for sustainable development for social reconstruction. Regarding the advisable reorientation, according to the respondent’s suggestions, the style best suited to influence sustainable development for social reconstruction in the long term in both companies is the servant style. As for the transitional phase, respondents suggest a hybrid leadership model, encompassing features of both the transformational and the servant styles.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914047
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14048: An In Vitro Study of the Effects of
           Temperature and pH on Lead Bioremoval Using Serratia marcescens

    • Authors: Dafne Lecca-Caballero, Eyber Vega-Moreno, Luis Cabanillas-Chirinos, Karen Diaz Del Aguila, Walter Rojas-Villacorta, Waldo Salvatierra-Espinola, Renny Nazario Naveda, Segundo Rojas-Flores, Magaly De La Cruz-Noriega
      First page: 14048
      Abstract: Heavy metal contamination of water is a widespread problem in Peru and represents a potential threat to the ecosystem. Bacteria are an ecological alternative to treating these effluents. This research aims to determine the influence of temperature and pH on the lead (Pb) bioremoval in surface water using Serratia marcescens under laboratory conditions. The sample was collected from a stream located in Santiago de Chuco City (Peru). Treatments (T) were carried out by combining pH (5 and 7) and temperature (25, 30, and 35 °C). The bacterial inoculum (S. marcescens) was 3 × 108 CFU/mL, which was constant in all treatments. The lead bioremoval evaluation was performed in an airlift bioreactor and the incubation time was 24 h. The total lead concentration was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results show that treatment 6 (temperature: 35 °C, pH: 5, and inoculum: 3 × 108 UFC/mL) showed a better result than the other treatments, with a removal value of 63.94%. Furthermore, the total lead concentration decreased from an initial concentration of 0.268 mg Pb/L to a final value of 0.0964 mg Pb/L. These results are still above the allowed water value (15 µg/L) according to Peruvian standards. On the other hand, temperature and pH influenced lead removal from surface water when S. marcescens was used after a short incubation period (24 h). Although an attempt was made to improve lead bioremoval by varying two parameters, temperature and pH, future research is still needed to investigate the effect of different inoculum concentrations, the use of microbial consortia, and a broader range of physicochemical parameters.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914048
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14049: The Sustainability Concept: A Review
           Focusing on Energy

    • Authors: Rafael Ninno Muniz, Carlos Tavares da Costa Júnior, William Gouvêa Buratto, Ademir Nied, Gabriel Villarrubia González
      First page: 14049
      Abstract: The concept of sustainability, with a focus on energy, has emerged as a central tenet in addressing the mounting global challenges of environmental degradation and resource depletion. Indicators of sustainability focusing on energy are crucial tools used to assess and monitor progress toward achieving a more sustainable energy system. These indicators provide valuable insights into the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of energy practices and their long-term impacts. By analyzing and understanding these indicators, policymakers, businesses, and communities can make informed decisions, formulate effective policies, and steer their efforts toward a more sustainable energy future. These indicators serve as navigational guides, steering the world toward energy practices that support both present needs and the well-being of future generations. In this paper, the concept of sustainability and measurement indexes used are reviewed, focusing on energy factors. The focus of the discussion presented here is related to an assessment of the possibilities for improving energy efficiency and evaluating the indicators that are used to measure whether the desired levels of sustainability are being achieved.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914049
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14050: Investigating the Impact of
           Demographic and Personal Variables on Post-Retirement Migration Intention
           of Rural Residents: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    • Authors: Xueqiong Zhou, Wenhao Feng
      First page: 14050
      Abstract: With the intensification of population aging in rural areas, it becomes increasingly important to analyze the post-retirement migration intention of rural residents and the variables influencing these intentions. However, there is a lack of research on this point. In this study, we focused on rural residents aged 45 to 60 and used the logistic regression model to investigate the demographic and personal variables influencing their post-retirement migration intention. The data used in this study were collected from one hundred sixty-four households in three rural areas of Inner Mongolia in 2011. From the results of this study, we found that gender, part-time employment, savings level, children’s residence and occupational stability, and interest in urban living positively affect migration intention. In contrast, the number of rural close friends, relationships with others in rural areas, and evaluation of rural living all have negative effects. In addition, we employed age and the proportion of mobile income as control variables to examine the variables that influence the post-retirement migration intention in different age groups and mobile income groups. The analysis reveals that the variables influencing post-retirement migration intention varied across age groups and mobile income groups, and this variation can be attributed to the differences between groups’ characteristics.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914050
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14051: Documenting Children’s Spatial
           Reasoning through Art: A Case Study on Play-Based STEAM Education

    • Authors: Christine Lee
      First page: 14051
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine how children’s art can document emergent sensemaking of spatial reasoning. Spatial reasoning is the understanding of how both people and objects interact with, and relate to, one another. The recent literature has argued for spatial reasoning to be part of multiple domains in STEAM education by highlighting the dynamic nature of spatial thinking relevant in everyday life. The data come from a larger participatory design-based research project that incorporated play, environmental education, and embodiment in a STEAM curriculum. The paper analyzed art created by a focal group of children (6–8 years) as they learned about the kelp forest ecosystem over time. Findings reveal that spatial reasoning is not only an inseparable part of sensemaking in STEAM education, but has implications for environmental education in the elementary curriculum.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914051
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14052: How Do Green Investments, Foreign
           Direct Investment, and Renewable Energy Impact CO2 Emissions' Measuring
           the Role of Education in E-7 Nations

    • Authors: Pengtao Xu, Jianguang Zhang, Usman Mehmood
      First page: 14052
      Abstract: The COP27 conference establishes fresh objectives for global economies to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, which are centered on reducing carbon (CO2) emissions and constraining the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C. In this background, this study looks at how education has affected CO2 emissions, the economy, the use of renewable energy, green investments, and foreign direct investment in the E-7 countries from 2000 to 2021. Two unit root tests, CADF and CIPS, were used to gauge the data’s stationarity. The long-run coefficients were identified using the momentum quantile regression approach. The empirical results show a cointegration of the variables. Long-term CO2 emissions are influenced by a variety of factors, including foreign direct investment, economic growth, green investments, and education. The outcomes of reliable statistics provide support for the overall empirical study of groups and the economy. The results also suggest that there is a significant increase in education, leading to a reduction in CO2 emissions across long time periods. Additionally, the E-7 countries should place a high priority on boosting the use of renewable energy and investing in the expansion of higher education for sustainable development. To mitigate the rise in carbon dioxide emissions (CO2em), it is recommended that the governments of the E-7 nations take measures to promote the adoption of green investments. Governments must prioritize their efforts to ensure that green financing policies are able to complement environmental welfare policies and green growth policies.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914052
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14053: Exploring Land-Cover Types and Their
           Changes in the Open-Pit Mining Area of Ordos City Using Sentinel-2 Imagery

    • Authors: Linye Zhu, Yonggui Zhang, Kewen Chen, Qiang Liu, Wenbin Sun
      First page: 14053
      Abstract: Exploring the land-cover types and their changes in open-pit mining areas is of great significance to the ecological restoration of Ordos City and its sustainable development. Therefore, in this study, the temporal features, spectral features, and the derived features from intra-annual images combined with the random forest method were used to determine the land-cover types and their changes in the open-pit mining area of Ordos City in 2019 and 2022. The results show that the land-cover types in the open-pit mining area of Ordos City are construction land, bare land, water, vegetation, and coal. The main land-cover types in the western open-pit mining area of Ordos City are different from those in the eastern open-pit mining area. The main land-cover type changes in the open-pit mining area from 2019 to 2022 are the conversion of bare land to vegetation and the conversion of coal to bare land, as well as the conversion of vegetation to bare land. This study provides the possibility of dynamic monitoring for the realization of green mine planning in Ordos City.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914053
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14054: Tutoring—An Emerging
           Phenomenon in the Romanian Education System

    • Authors: Oana Mariana Ciuchi
      First page: 14054
      Abstract: This paper, without intending to be exhaustive, is a presentation of an increasingly prominent social reality: the tutoring of pupils, as a parallel educational activity complementary to the education system, as a form of non-formal education, or as an alternative option for students’ parents to support them in their social success. Our research aimed to identify the perception/opinions of the beneficiaries of these tutoring activities, in relation to the relevant aspects of such activities, such as the way they are organized and carried out, the type and motivational level of students participating in such activities, the real dimensions of the phenomenon as manifested in Romanian society, etc. In order to achieve the purpose of our research, a questionnaire, with open-ended and closed-ended questions, was given to a significant number of people bearing the title of student, who had completed high school studies only 1–4 years ago. Based on the research carried out, it was possible to identify a hierarchy of motivational factors that determine whether students resort to tutoring; the causes of the occurrence and expansion of this phenomenon; and the opinions of the beneficiaries of tutoring services towards the organization and conduct of these activities. At the end of the article, some measures are presented that could optimize the balance between formal and non-formal education in Romanian society.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914054
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14055: Carbon Emissions Assessment for
           Building Decoration Based on Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of Office

    • Authors: Huanyu Wu, Wenwen Zhou, Kunyang Chen, Lianxiang Zhang, Zicheng Zhang, Yanqiu Li, Zhijun Hu
      First page: 14055
      Abstract: The continuous growth of interior decoration activities has caused a massive consumption of energy and materials, which has contributed to a large amount of carbon emissions in the construction sector. The carbon emissions of building decoration were overlooked in previous studies. Hence, the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach was employed to build a life cycle carbon emissions model for building decoration. An office building was selected to verify the availability. The results show that the carbon emissions intensity of the decoration project was 254.5 kg CO2 eq/m2. The operation stage was the most crucial carbon emissions contributor in the life cycle of building decoration, accounting for 49.8%; followed by the materials embodied impact stage, which contributed 36.3%; while the remaining three stages, namely, the decoration, transportation, and end-of-life stage, had less carbon emissions, accounting for 6.8%, 5.3%, and 1.8%. Improving the performance of inorganic materials, optimizing transportation routes and energy structure, and dismantling plan optimization can reduce carbon emissions. The findings of this study provide a theoretical basis and fundamental data for carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development strategies for building decoration.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914055
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14056: Bioremediation of Metal-Polluted
           Industrial Wastewater with Algal-Bacterial Consortia: A Sustainable

    • Authors: Kashif Bashir, Sara Khan, Ramzan Ali, Humaira Yasmin, Abdel-Rehman Z. Gaafar, Fazal E. Azeem Khilgee, Sadia Butt, Amin Ullah
      First page: 14056
      Abstract: Aquatic pollution is a burning issue nowadays due to urbanization and industrialization. Industrial wastewater (IWW) contains pollutants that pose a great risk to the environment and human beings and is a big challenge for industries. The remediation of IWW by microorganisms is an environmentally friendly technique. This study was carried out to evaluate the pollution of IWW and to use consortia of Bacillus pakistanensis, Lysinibacillus composti, and Cladophora glomerata for bioremediation. The IWW was obtained from the Hayatabad Industrial Estate and was evaluated for physicochemical parameters and metal concentration. A pot experiment was carried out for two weeks to assess the efficiency of the developed consortia. The IWW and tap water (control) were treated with three different consortia (Bacillus pakistanensis-Cladophora glomerata (CT1, E1), Lysinibacillus composti-Cladophora glomerata (CT2, E2), and Bacillus pakistanensis-Lysinibacillus composti-Cladophora glomerata (CT3, E3). The three pots (CT1, CT2, and CT3) serving as the control were provided with tap water, and the three experimental pots (E1, E2, and E3) were provided with IWW. After treatment, substantial reductions were obtained in the following parameters and percentages: colour 85.7%, electrical conductivity (EC) 40.8%, turbidity 69.6%, sulphide 78.5%, fluoride 38.8%, chloride 62.9%, biological oxygen demand (BOD) 66%, chemical oxygen demand (COD) 81.8%, total suspended solids (TSSs) 82.7%, total dissolved solids (TDSs) 24.6%, Ca hardness 37.2%, Mg hardness 50%, and total hardness 39%. The samples of water were also examined for metal concentrations using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The selected species removed 98.2% of Mn, 94% of Cu, 97.7% of Cr, 91.6% of Cd, 92.8% of Co, 79.6% of Ag, 82.6% of Ni, 98% of Ca, 90% of Mg, and 82.1% of Pb. The BCF values showed by the consortia for Mn, Cu, Cr, Cd, Co, Ag, Ni, Ca, Mg, and Pb were 91.8, 67, 97.5, 83.3, 85.7, 48.1, 80.4, 84.3, 82.5, and 80.3%, respectively. The t-test analysis showed that the treatment with the selected species significantly decreased the metal concentrations in the IWW (p ≤ 0.05). Overall, the study concludes that metal concentration in the water was decreased significantly by the consortia of algae-bacteria.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914056
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14057: Technology of Input–Output
           Analysis with CES Production: Application for Studying the Kazakhstan
           Supply Chain during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Authors: Askar Boranbayev, Nataliia Obrosova, Alexander Shananin
      First page: 14057
      Abstract: Input–output analysis finds widespread application in estimating the shock effects on production networks within both local and global economies. We are developing a new technology for intersectoral analysis that takes into account the substitution of production factors within a complex supply network triggered by external or internal shocks. This technology is based on the explicit solution of a pair of convex programming problems: the resource allocation problem under the assumption of Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) technologies and the special dual Young problem. Solving these problems, we can ascertain the equilibrium inputs and price indexes of goods within the production network. In this paper, we apply this technology to analyze the economy of Kazakhstan in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our calculations provide us with the means to discuss the macroeconomic responses of the multi-sectoral production network in Kazakhstan to both external and internal shocks stemming from the pandemic.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914057
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14058: Enhanced Degradation of Bisphenol A
           via Ultrasound, Assisted by Chemical Treatment

    • Authors: Alina Marilena Pahontu (Dura), Daniela Simina Stefan, Florentina Laura Chiriac, Ioan Calinescu, Annette Madelene Dancila, Mircea Stefan
      First page: 14058
      Abstract: Ultrasonic technology (US) can be considered a very sustainable and efficient method to remove bisphenol A (BPA) from water. Compared with other methods, the proposed method has some advantages: a simple implementation on existing water treatment and purification facilities, it does not generate residual compounds that produce sludge, a relatively fast time is required for degradation (1–2 h), and high degradation efficiencies. In this work, we present the results regarding BPA degradation efficiency using the ultrasonic technique. The influence of frequency and of some additional compounds, such as carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), FeSO4 7H2O (FS), and ethyl anthraquinone (EAC), were studied. Three different frequencies were used: 1146 kHz, 864 kHz, and 580 kHz, at 50 W. The sampling, performed every 15 min, revealed that the highest BPA degradation was achieved after 60 min. Using the liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technique, the degradation compounds were identified. Pathways of BPA degradation were also proposed. The use of additives such as CCl4, FS, and EAC proved to have a positive effect on the BPA degradation process assisted by ultrasound. After 60 min of exposure, the degradation capacities reached values of between 50% and 75%, while the mineralization capacities were situated between 20% and 35%. CCl4 and EAC had a more pronounced stimulating action than FS, with the EAC having the highest mineralization capacity, representing around 75% of the degradation capacity.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914058
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14059: Sustainable Cosmetics: Valorisation
           of Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) By-Products by Their Incorporation into a
           Moisturising Cream

    • Authors: Sandra M. Gomes, Rita Miranda, Lúcia Santos
      First page: 14059
      Abstract: The growing population has intensified food processing, increasing the generation of agro-industrial waste. This waste is rich in bioactive compounds; therefore, it can be valorised by extracting their compounds of biological interest and incorporating them into cosmetic products. In this work, an extract was obtained from kiwi peels and characterised regarding its biological properties and phenolic composition. Results demonstrated that the extract presented antioxidant activity against DPPH and ABTS radicals (IC50 values of 244 mg/L and 58 mg/L, respectively) and antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Catechin and epicatechin (flavonoids), as well as chlorogenic acid (phenolic acid), were the main phenolic compounds identified. Subsequently, the kiwi peel extract was incorporated into cosmetic formulations and their antioxidant properties and stability were evaluated. An increase in the antioxidant activity of the moisturising cream was observed upon the extract’s addition. Also, no microorganisms were present in any formulation prepared, attesting to their microbial safety. Finally, the results from the stability analysis revealed that the moisturising creams remained relatively stable for two weeks. These findings suggest that extracts from kiwi peels have the potential to be used as natural additives to produce value-added cosmetic products in a more sustainable manner.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914059
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14060: Multidimensional Evaluation of
           Consumers’ Shopping Risks under Live-Streaming Commerce

    • Authors: Hongbo Li, Zhenzhen Wang, Zhijie Yuan, Xin Yan
      First page: 14060
      Abstract: As a new e-commerce model, live-streaming commerce enhances consumers’ shopping experiences by providing deeply involved online interaction. However, in live-streaming commerce, consumers are also faced with many shopping risks, such as fake products, poor after-sales service, etc. Therefore, we propose an analysis framework to evaluate consumers’ shopping risks on live-streaming commerce platforms. In our framework, we first construct a multidimensional consumer shopping risk evaluation index system by considering different stakeholders involved in live-streaming commerce. Then, we assess consumer shopping risks based on an intuitionistic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and cloud model. Our framework is applied to evaluate consumers’ shopping risks on four typical live streaming commerce platforms in China, i.e., Taobao, Douyin, Kuaishou, and Our research results provide decision support for different parties involved in live-streaming commerce and thus promote the sustainable development of the live-streaming commerce industry.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914060
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14061: Occupational Health and Safety in
           China: A Systematic Analysis of Research Trends and Future Perspectives

    • Authors: Xinglin Chen, Fuqiang Yang, Shuo Cheng, Shuaiqi Yuan
      First page: 14061
      Abstract: The frequent occurrence of various occupational accidents has resulted in significant casualties and occupational disease issues, which hinder economic and social development seriously. The promotion and enhancement of occupational health and safety (OHS) require greater efforts to be made to achieve sustainable economic development, particularly in developing countries. With remarkable progress and achievements that have been made in terms of OHS in China, a systematic and thorough review is needed to gain insight into the development process, current status, and research trends regarding OHS in China. Additionally, pathways for future work need to be discussed to boost the OHS development in China in the new era. Therefore, a systematic literature review is performed in this study to investigate the development of OHS in China with the help of a bibliometric analysis. Firstly, a total of 5675 publications related to OHS in China between 1979 and 2022 were collected from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) and the Chinese Science Citation Database (CSCD) before being refined manually. Then, the temporal distribution and journal sources of the collected publications were analyzed before the collaboration networks of the “productive institutions” and “productive authors” were discussed. Furthermore, the key research topics (e.g., disease prevention, psychological safety, occupational exposure) and dominant research methods (e.g., epidemiological methods, risk modeling) associated with OHS during different periods were identified and discussed based on the keywords and bibliographic analysis. Finally, the current needs and promising pathways for future work were discussed. It is suggested that the prevention and control of conventional and new occupational diseases, the protection of workers’ occupational health rights and interests, the development and implementation of advanced technologies for OHS, and the development of more sophisticated and efficient health and safety risk assessment models may be focused on to accelerate the development of OHS in China. This study systematically reviews the development processes, current status, and future prospects regarding OHS in China. The results of this study provide valuable insights for researchers and practitioners who are involved in the Chinese OHS development, and the promising pathways for future works are suggested to boost the OHS development in China.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914061
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14062: Analysis of Storage Capacity Change
           and Dam Failure Risk for Tailings Ponds Using WebGIS-Based UAV 3D Image

    • Authors: Meihong Zhi, Yun Zhu, Ji-Cheng Jang, Shuxiao Wang, Pen-Chi Chiang, Chuang Su, Shenglun Liang, Ying Li, Yingzhi Yuan
      First page: 14062
      Abstract: Tailings ponds, essential components of mining operations worldwide, present considerable potential hazards downstream in the event of tailings dam failures. In recent years, instances of tailings dam failures, carrying potential environmental safety hazards, have occasionally occurred on a global scale due to the limited technical approaches available for safety supervision of tailings ponds. In this study, an innovative WebGIS-based unmanned aerial vehicle oblique photography (UAVOP) method was developed to analyze the storage capacity change and dam failure risk of tailings ponds. Its applicability was then validated by deploying it at a tailings pond in Yunfu City, Guangdong Province, China. The results showed that the outcomes of two phases of real-scene 3D images met the specified accuracy requirements with an RSME of 0.147–0.188 m in the plane and 0.198–0.201 m along the elevation. The storage capacities of phase I and phase II tailings ponds were measured at 204,798.63 m3 and 148,291.27 m3, respectively, with a storage capacity change of 56,031.51 m3. Moreover, the minimum flood control dam widths, minimum free heights, and dam slope ratios of the tailings pond were determined to comply with the flood control requirements, indicating a low risk of dam failure of the tailings pond. This pilot case study demonstrated the performance of the UAVOP in evaluating storage capacity change and dam failure risk for tailings ponds. It not only enhanced the efficiency of dynamic safety supervision of tailings ponds but also offered valuable references for globally analogous research endeavors.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914062
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14063: Experimental Study on the Mechanical
           Properties and Permeability of Cement-Stabilized Permeable Recycle
           Aggregate Materials

    • Authors: Xiao Zhi, Tao Yang, Xun Zhang, Yi Ren, Pin Deng, Yuliang Chen, Yuanjie Xiao
      First page: 14063
      Abstract: This paper designed cement-stabilized permeable road subgrade materials. Construction demolition waste with recycled aggregate replaced natural aggregate in cement-stabilized materials to utilize recycled resources for construction solid waste. This paper tests the compressive strength, water permeability, bending strength, and compressive resilience modulus of cement-stabilized permeable recycled aggregate materials under different cementitious additive ratios. The results show that at a recycled aggregate proportion of 30% in cement-stabilized permeable recycled aggregate material, the 7-d unconfined compressive strength exceeds 3.5 MPa, and the permeability coefficient surpasses 3.5 mm/s, which can meet the roadbed requirements in China. The incorporation of recycled aggregates significantly reduces the mechanical properties and water permeability of cement-stabilized permeable recycled aggregate materials, while cementitious additives improve the mechanical properties. Specifically, red brick, old concrete, and ceramics in recycled aggregates weaken the mechanical properties of the skeleton structure of cement-stabilized permeable recycled aggregate materials, and the compressive strength, bending strength, and compressive resilience modulus decrease with the recycled aggregate content. Cementitious additives can fill the micro-pores of the interface transition zone of cement-stabilized permeable recycled aggregate materials to improve the cementation strength between aggregates.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914063
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14064: Explanatory Factors of School
           Climate and School Identification: An Analysis of Multilevel Latent

    • Authors: José Luis Gálvez-Nieto, Karina Polanco-Levicán, Braulio Navarro-Aburto, Juan Carlos Béltran-Véliz
      First page: 14064
      Abstract: School climate is a highly relevant variable that is associated with a series of positive results. However, there are still few studies that have statistically modelled the simultaneous influence of structural variables at the school level on the individual perception of the school climate and identification. This study had two objectives: (1) Identify school climate and school identification profiles at the individual and school levels. (2) Relate school climate and school identification profiles to factors located at the individual and school levels. The participants were selected from a probabilistic and stratified sample, n = 2070 adolescents (40.6% men, 59.4% women), aged between 13 and 18 years (M = 14.64, SD = 0.718), from 28 secondary schools in Chile. The results allowed us to identify four clusters at the student level and two classes of school climate at the school level. The explanatory factors at the individual level were Cognitive engagement (p < 0.001), Academic Expectations (p < 0.001), Positive Attitude to Authority (p < 0.001) and Family Conflict (p < 0.001). The explanatory factor at the school level was the school vulnerability index (p = 0.031). Finally, the explanatory effects of factors at individual and school levels on school climate are theoretically discussed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914064
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14065: Distribution Pattern of Urban Street
           Trees in Rome (Italy): A Multifactorial Evaluation of Selection Criteria

    • Authors: Luca D’Amato, Flavia Bartoli, Valentina Savo, Paolo Alfredo Paiella, Francesco Messina, Giulia Caneva
      First page: 14065
      Abstract: Street trees play a significant ecological role in modern urban ecosystems, but usually the selection criteria follow pragmatic reasons rather than bio-ecological suitability. Understanding the influence of such factors can be relevant, especially in cities having a certain complexity and area. This paper aims to analyze the variation in the distribution of street tree species within the city’s municipia of Rome to determine the influence of some factors in the selection process. Here, we have described the species of street trees in fourteen municipia of Rome, and we created five clusters of factors (bio-ecological, aesthetic, historical–cultural, health, and economic) that could constitute selection criteria for street trees. From our data analysis, the municipia of Rome were grouped into four main groups and the choice of trees was based on multiple selection criteria. Foliage type, longevity, fruit type, autochthony, and economic value were the primary criteria. In 90–100% of municipia, deciduous species dominate, with 50–150 years longevity, dry fruits, exotic species, and prices of <€500 per tree. Additionally, the flower type, allergenicity, size class, and cultural value were the secondary criteria. The biological and ecological characteristics of trees are key factors to consider in order to reduce the management of street trees and relative costs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914065
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14066: Optimized Power Management Approach
           for Photovoltaic Systems with Hybrid Battery-Supercapacitor Storage

    • Authors: Djamila Rekioua, Khoudir Kakouche, Abdulrahman Babqi, Zahra Mokrani, Adel Oubelaid, Toufik Rekioua, Abdelghani Azil, Enas Ali, Ali H. Kasem Alaboudy, Saad A. Mohamed Abdelwahab
      First page: 14066
      Abstract: The paper addresses the ongoing and continuous interest in photovoltaic energy systems (PESs). In this context, the study focuses on an isolated photovoltaic system with hybrid battery-supercapacitor storage (HBSS). The integration of supercapacitors (SCs) in this system is particularly important because of their high specific power density. In photovoltaic (PV) systems, multi-storage systems use two or more energy storage technologies to enhance system performance and flexibility. When batteries and supercapacitors are combined in a PV system, their benefits are maximized and offer a more reliable, efficient, cost-effective energy storage option. In addition, effective multi-storage power management in a PV system needs a solid grasp of the energy storage technologies, load power demand profiles, and the whole system architecture. This work establishes a battery-supercapacitor storage system (HBSS) by combining batteries and supercapacitors. The primary objective is to devise a novel management algorithm that effectively controls the different power sources. The algorithm is designed to manage the charge and discharge cycles of the hybrid battery-supercapacitor energy storage system (HBSS), thereby guaranteeing that the state of charge (SOC) for both batteries and supercapacitors is maintained within the specified range. The proposed management algorithm is designed to be simple, efficient, and light on computational resources. It efficiently handles the energy flow within the HBSS, optimizing the usage of both batteries and supercapacitors based on real-time conditions and energy demands. The proposed method ensures their longevity and maximizes their performance by maintaining the SOC of these energy storage components within the specified limits. Simulation results obtained from applying the management strategy are found to be satisfactory. These results show that the proposed algorithm maintains the SOC of batteries and supercapacitors within the desired range, leading to improved energy management and enhanced system efficiency.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914066
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14067: Characterization and Resource
           Potential of Li in the Clay Minerals of Mahai Salt Lake in the Qaidam
           Basin, China

    • Authors: Tong Pan, Jianzhou Chen, Mao-Yong He, Chengwang Ding, Yuliang Ma, Hui Liang, Tao Zhang, Xiaochun Du
      First page: 14067
      Abstract: The strategic importance of lithium in global development has become increasingly prominent due to the rapid growth of the new energy automotive industry and the continuous advancements in controllable nuclear fusion technology. Lithium minerals in salt lakes possess advantageous characteristics, such as abundant reserves, environmental sustainability, and economic viability. Furthermore, with ongoing improvements in the lithium extraction process, the availability of lithium minerals in salt lakes is expected to further increase. The Qaidam Basin Salt Lake in China has served as the location for the establishment of numerous lithium carbonate production enterprises, resulting in a lithium carbonate production volume of 7 × 104 t/yr in 2022. How to meet the growing need for lithium resources has become an enterprise focus. Nevertheless, there are large amounts of clay minerals in and around the bottom and periphery of the salt lake in the Qaidam Basin, and whether these minerals are of exploitable value, regardless of the state of the occurrence of lithium resources, remains unexplored. To ascertain the attributes, extent, and distribution of the lithium occurrence within the clayey layer of the Qaidam Basin, as well as to assess its resource potential, a total of 87 drill holes were conducted within a designated area of the Mahai Basin, which is a secondary basin in the Qaidam Basin. The subsequent analysis encompassed the examination of the lithium content within the clay minerals, the mineral composition of the clay, and, ultimately, the evaluation of the resource potential within the region. Compared with Quaternary salt lake deposits, brine deposits in gravel pores, and the Paleogene–Neogene Li-bearing salt deposits that have been studied, it is suggested that this is a novel form of a clay-type sedimentary Li deposit within the Qaidam Basin. The findings of this research will serve as a fundamental basis for future endeavors pertaining to the exploration and exploitation of lithium deposits within salt lake areas.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914067
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14068: A Bioleaching Process for
           Sustainable Recycling of Complex Structures with Multi-Metal Layers

    • Authors: Eva Pakostova, Anuradha Herath
      First page: 14068
      Abstract: Industrial waste is accumulating, while primary metal resources are depleting. Bioleaching has been shown to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to metal recovery from waste, but improved designs are needed for large-scale recycling. Metal components that are manufactured by electrodeposition over a mandrel can be difficult to recycle using conventional techniques due to their complex geometry and inner Ag coating. A sustainable biotechnology for separating Cu and Ag from waste electrodeposited components is presented. Two-step bioleaching experiments were performed, during which Cu was solubilized by Fe3+ regenerated by Acidithiobacillus (At.) ferrooxidans CF3 and a consortium of ten acidophilic Fe2+-oxidizers. High Cu recovery rates were achieved in agitated flasks (22 °C, pH 1.9), with At. ferrooxidans solubilizing 94.7% Cu in 78 days and the consortium 99.2% Cu in 59 days. Copper bio-solubilization was significantly accelerated in a laboratory-scale bioreactor (32 °C, 1 L air min−1) using the bacterial consortium adapted to elevated Cu concentrations, reaching >99.6% Cu extraction in only 12 days. The bioreactor was dominated by Leptospirillum and Acidithiobacillus, with their proportions changing (from 83.2 to 59% of total reads and from 3.6 to 29.4%, respectively) during the leaching process. Dissolved Cu was recovered from the bioleachates (containing 14 to 22 g Cu L−1) using electrowinning; >99% of the Cu was deposited (with Cu purity of 98.5 to 99.9%) in 3.33 h (at current efficiency between 80 and 92%). The findings emphasize the importance of a bioleaching system design to achieve economical separation of base and precious metals from industrial wastes. The presented technology minimizes waste generation and energy consumption. On a larger scale, it has the potential to contribute to the development of industrial recycling processes that will protect natural resources and contribute to the Net Zero target.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914068
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14069: The Role of the Government in Green
           Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Technological Innovation, and
           Industrial Structure Upgrading: Evidence from China

    • Authors: Chenggang Wang, Guitao Qiao, Mahmood Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmed
      First page: 14069
      Abstract: This study utilizes data from China’s 31 provinces, collected from 2007 to 2021, to establish a green finance (GF) index and investigate its impact on industrial structure upgrading (IS). In addition to the direct impact, this study investigates the indirect influence of GF on industrial structure upgrading through technological innovation (Tech) and foreign direct investment (FDI). Furthermore, this study analyzes the moderating role of environmental regulation intensity (ERI) and government intervention on the relationship between GF and industrial structure upgrading. The empirical findings demonstrate a positive relationship between GF and industrial structure upgrading, which remains robust after conducting a robustness analysis and stability tests. Moreover, GF positively impacts industrial structure upgrading by stimulating Tech and attracting FDI. Furthermore, the ERI is observed to positively and significantly moderate the impact of GF on industrial structure upgrading, while high levels of government intervention hinder the promoting effect of GF on industrial structure upgrading. Lastly, the association between GF development and industrial structure upgrading exhibits regional and market heterogeneity, with the most notable impact observed in coastal areas and regions with higher levels of market orientation. This study presents comprehensive suggestions for facilitating the improvement of GF and the upgrading of industrial structures.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914069
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14070: The Influence of the University
           Laboratory Safety Climate on Students’ Safety Behavior: The Parallel
           Mediating Effects of Ability and Motivation

    • Authors: Yuan Liu, Wei Feng, Guirong Zhang, Ying Zhang
      First page: 14070
      Abstract: Students’ unsafe behavior is the main factor related to accidents in university laboratories. The safety climate is an important factor that affects individual safety behavior on the organizational level. Therefore, to improve the effect of university laboratory safety management, based on the theoretical framework of AMO and the SEM method, the influence of the laboratory safety climate on the safety compliance behavior and safety participation behavior of 500 university students in China was investigated and analyzed. The results show that safety ability and safety motivation play parallel mediating roles, and their synergistic effect promotes the generation of safety behavior: the safety climate in the laboratory has a direct positive effect on both safety compliance behavior and safety participation behavior; safety knowledge and safety skills have significant mediating effects on both safety compliance behavior and safety participation behavior in the laboratory safety climate; external safety motivation has a significant mediating effect on safety compliance behavior and safety participation behavior in the laboratory safety climate; and internal safety motivation does not have a mediating effect on safety compliance behavior and safety participation behavior in the laboratory safety climate. To improve students’ safety behavior performance, measures such as strengthening the construction of the dynamic improvement mechanism of the laboratory safety climate, optimizing the laboratory safety access system, and taking comprehensive measures to ensure the continuous positive influence of the safety climate on students’ safety behavior can be adopted.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914070
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14071: Reliability Analysis of Nuclear
           Power Plant Electrical System Considering Common Cause Failure Based on

    • Authors: Zhijian Wang, Yao Sun, Jie Zhao, Xuzhu Dong, Chen Chen, Bo Wang, Haocheng Wu
      First page: 14071
      Abstract: The reliability of nuclear power plant electrical systems is an important guarantee of nuclear safety, and the common fault failure problem arising from redundant design and intelligent control may greatly affect reliability assessment results. Combined with the features of repairability, multi-state characteristics, and common fault failure of nuclear power plant electrical systems, a reliability analysis method of nuclear power plant electrical systems based on the GO-FLOW method considering common fault failure is proposed. This study firstly constructs the algorithmic model of combining operators of repairable components and the equivalent model of reliability parameters of multi-mode repairable components, then establishes a probability calculation model of common fault failure for repairable systems by considering the quantitative computation of the common signaling system model, and finally, quantitatively calculates the reliability of nuclear power plant electrical systems and their influencing factors. The example simulation calculates the reliability of the external power supply system and the electrical system of the nuclear power plant, analyzes the influence of the common signal processing and the common fault failure factors on the reliability of the electrical system of the nuclear power plant, and verifies the validity of the proposed method. The results show that the common fault failure factors have a large impact on the system reliability analysis; the common fault failure of the standby diesel generator set will seriously reduce the reliability of the electrical system, which can be improved by installing additional standby diesel generators.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914071
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14072: Low-Cost 3D Virtual and Dynamic
           Reconstruction Approach for Urban Forests: The Mesiano University Park

    • Authors: Chiara Chioni, Anna Maragno, Angelica Pianegonda, Marco Ciolli, Sara Favargiotti, Giovanna A. Massari
      First page: 14072
      Abstract: Urban forests, parks, and gardens are fundamental components of urban sustainability, resilience, and regenerative dynamics. Designers, architects, and landscape architects could smartly manage these dynamic ecosystems if efficiently provided with design-oriented digital tools, technologies, and techniques. However, practitioners lack knowledge and standardized procedures for their uses. The rise of low-cost sensors to generate 3D data (e.g., point clouds) in forestry can also effectively support monitoring, analysis, and visualization purposes for greenery in urban contexts. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach—involving the fields of forestry, geomatics, and computer science—this contribution addresses these issues and proposes a low-cost workflow for 3D virtual reconstructions of urban forests to support information management activities and thus landscape architecture applications. By connecting a wide range of methods (i.e., spherical photogrammetry, point cloud modeling), tools (i.e., 360° camera, tablet with lidar sensor), and software (i.e., Agisoft Metashape, CloudCompare, Autodesk AutoCAD), the proposed workflow is defined and tested in the development of dynamic virtual representations for a plot of the Mesiano University park in Trento (Italy). Finally, comparing acquisition, processing, and elaboration methodologies and their results, the possibility of developing digital twins of urban forests is envisioned.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914072
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14073: Identifying Members of Common
           Structures Utilizing Three-Dimensional Detecting Information for 3D Point
           Cloud Model Application

    • Authors: Ju-Yong Kim, Gwang-Hee Kim
      First page: 14073
      Abstract: This study focuses on improving progress monitoring in construction projects through the integration of 3D laser scanning technology and component-specific data identification. The conventional method of measuring progress using cost-based rates and on-site factors often leads to discrepancies between actual progress and reported rates. Additionally, data collection challenges in real construction sites further hinder accurate progress assessment. To address these issues, the study utilizes 3D laser scanning to gather real-time construction progress data and introduces a method to identify specific components by comparing 3D models with positional information. The method used in this study shows how to obtain powerful location information from BIM. This prevents direct duplicate operations from proceeding between models during execution. The comparison enables accurate identification, and an algorithm extracts additional details for construction status verification. The outcomes offer a promising solution for acquiring precise and reliable progress data, enabling stakeholders to make well-informed decisions. By implementing this approach, construction projects can achieve enhanced management and overall success.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914073
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14074: A Study for the Improvement of the
           Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) System in Turkey

    • Authors: Didem Gunes Yilmaz, Fatma Cesur
      First page: 14074
      Abstract: This study aims to examine the current status of Turkey’s energy consumption and energy performance system and draw improvements. To this aim, this study adopted a qualitative research method. A literature review was conducted regarding the problems related to the EPC system. Following this, a series of research questions were derived, and answers were sought through expert group interviews. The problems were categorized into three headings: the EPC system and calculation problems, problems in the regulation and inspection process and, finally, the perspective on the construction industry to the EPC system is examined in the case of Turkey. Deficiencies in the rating system and calculation, regulation and inspection, and perspective of the EPC system in Turkey were identified. Suggestions for the development of EPC in Turkey were made to make it comparable with the systems in EU countries. As one of the outcomes of the study, Turkey should focus on the use of renewable energy, taking into account its geographical advantage. In addition, a more detailed micro-zoning that focuses on regional differences should be carried out, and the authorities should introduce a better control mechanism for the EPC system.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914074
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14075: Assessing the Outcomes of Digital
           Transformation Smartization Projects in Industrial Enterprises: A Model
           for Enabling Sustainability

    • Authors: Iryna Bashynska, Sabit Mukhamejanuly, Yuliia Malynovska, Maryana Bortnikova, Mariia Saiensus, Yuriy Malynovskyy
      First page: 14075
      Abstract: Digital transformation and smartization projects in industrial enterprises have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, aiming to enhance operational efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. Assessing the outcomes of such projects is crucial to determine their effectiveness in enabling sustainability. In this context, a model for evaluating digital transformation smartization projects (DTSP) outcomes can be developed to provide a comprehensive assessment framework. This study aims to develop and test a model for diagnosing the results of implementing digital transformation smartization projects for industrial enterprises. The methodology presented in this article involves using statistical tests to detect multicollinearity and heteroskedasticity in regression models. It also proposes an economic–mathematical model with three objective functions to optimize the implementation of smartization projects, considering cost minimization, deviations from planned business indicators, and production rhythm disruptions. The most important results of the survey are (1) a proposed matrix for the selection of indicators for diagnosing the results of the implementation of digital transformation smartization projects for industrial enterprises, (2) a two-level model for the economic evaluation of diagnosed digital transformation smartization projects, which can be used at any stage of the digital transformation smartization project and based on it, conclusions can be drawn regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of both the entire project and its individual stages, objects, or elements. The advantage of the model is the possibility of its decomposition, that is, a division into separate parts with the possibility of introducing additional restrictions or, conversely, reducing the level of requirements for some of them. The results were tested at industrial enterprises in Ukraine and proved their practical significance.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914075
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14076: Does Attitude or Intention Affect
           Behavior in Sustainable Tourism' A Review and Research Agenda

    • Authors: Tai Ming Wut, Daisy Lee, Stephanie Wing Lee
      First page: 14076
      Abstract: This study presents a critical literature review on the tourist attitude–behavior gap and intention–behavior gap in sustainable tourism research and proposes future research directions. A systematic review was conducted using preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis (PRISMA) on the existing literature from the Scopus and Web of Science databases. Key research topics in attitude–behavior gaps are the role of environmental knowledge, protected area management, the role of service quality, risk perception, moral licensing, sustainability communication, business owners in tourism, environmental concern, tourist psychology, and intervention. Key research topics in the intention–behavior gaps of sustainable tourism are green certification or label, value, rationality and social desirability, motivation, trust, inconvenience, and quality. Four emerging research trends were discovered in recent years: (1) increased use of mixed methods and surveys; (2) consideration of green or environmental knowledge; (3) role of green certification; and (4) consideration of tourist moral values. Recommended future research directions include theoretical development studies in the hospitality sector, cross-cultural comparisons, investigation, of under-researched tourism sectors, and new research methodologies. This review provides an overview of research on the attitude–behavior gap and the intention–behavior gap in sustainable tourism. Our study proposes a new framework for the attitude–behavior gap and the intention–behavior gap, departing from the theory of planned behavior. We identify direct and indirect factors that influence sustainable tourist behavior, with sustainable tourist attitude and intention serving as mediators. Overall, our findings offer valuable insights into the complex relationship between attitudes, intentions, and behaviors in sustainable tourism.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914076
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14077: Comprehensive Analysis of Extreme
           Meteorological Conditions for the Safety and Reliability of Floating
           Photovoltaic Systems: A Case on the Mediterranean Coast

    • Authors: Mehmet Seren Korkmaz, Emir Toker, Ahmet Duran Şahin
      First page: 14077
      Abstract: In recent decades, renewable energy projects have required careful consideration of environmental factors. This study investigates the impact of a mid-latitude cyclone on planned floating photovoltaic (FPV) facilities in Antalya, Turkey, focusing on the severe thunderstorm events that brought heavy rainfall and tornadoes in January 2019. Synoptic analysis reveals a deep cut-off low over the Genoa Gulf, causing trough formation and vertical cloud development due to moisture convergence. Warm air advection pushed an unstable thunderstorm system northward along an occluded front. Using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model, sensitivity analysis is conducted, highlighting regional variations in wind speeds. The model outputs are compared with observations, identifying the best configuration using statistical indicators. The Mellor–Yamada–Janjic (MYJ) planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme and the Milbrandt microphysics scheme produced better results in the western and central regions. The model output of the best configurations is used to calculate regional wave characteristics with a modified Shore Protection Manual (SPM) method for water reservoirs. These findings offer invaluable insights for future FPV projects, providing a better understanding of how to address challenges posed by extreme weather conditions and how to enhance system safety and reliability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914077
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14078: Policy Perspective on Governmental
           Implicit Debt Risks of Urban Rail Transit PPP Projects in China: A
           Grounded Theory Approach

    • Authors: Yajing Zhang, Weijian Jin, Jingfeng Yuan
      First page: 14078
      Abstract: Public–private partnership (PPP) projects have the features of extended investment cycles, diminished returns, and high demand for technology. Inadequate utilization of these projects may result in an accumulation of new implicit debt for the government. Consequently, it becomes imperative for the government to manage and mitigate implicit debt risks associated with urban rail transit PPP projects, which is a crucial prerequisite for ensuring the progression of such projects and the unhindered functioning of the financial system. The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that influence government implicit debt risks in urban rail transit PPP projects from the perspective of policy. This study employs the grounded theory method to develop a comprehensive framework model that identifies the influencing factors of government implicit debt risk in urban rail transit public–private partnership (PPP) projects. The contributions of this study are twofold: (1) it highlights the role of policy as a significant determinant of implicit debt risks of urban rail PPP projects, which contain governmental subsidies, external environmental risk sharing, and supporting measures. Specifically, government subsidies directly contribute to the government’s implicit expenses, thereby impacting the level of implicit debt risks associated with urban rail transit PPP projects. Supporting measures exert an indirect influence on the implicit debt risks of the government, thereby imposing a significant burden on local fiscal expenditure. External environmental risk sharing, as an external factor, leads to an increase in fiscal expenditure due to the government’s social responsibility; and (2) it provides a qualitative method that examines the government implicit risk factors associated with urban rail trait PPP projects based on grounded theory. The model that examines the influencing factors of government implicit debt risk in urban rail transit PPP projects adopts a policy perspective, which can inform policymakers on a heretofore unexplored adverse effect of guarantee policy.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914078
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14079: Molecular Interaction Mechanism
           between Aromatic Oil and High-Content Waste-Rubber-Modified Asphalt

    • Authors: Yuan Yan, Xinxing Zhou, Ruiqie Jiang, Maoping Ran, Xinglin Zhou
      First page: 14079
      Abstract: High-content waste-rubber-modified asphalt (HRMA) has high viscosity and poor storage stability. HRMA not only improves the properties of road asphalt, but also reduces the environmental pollution caused by waste tires. Enhancing the molecular interaction of waste rubber and asphalt is key to making full use of HRMA. In this paper, aromatic oil was used as the activator for waste rubber. The molecular interaction mechanism between aromatic oil and HRMA was investigated. The radial distribution function, diffusion coefficient, free volume, solubility parameter, and shear viscosity were calculated through molecular simulations. Storage stability, micromorphology, and adhesive force were measured via experiments. The adhesive force of HRMA−1 (4.9 nN) was lower than that of RMA (6.2 nN) and HRMA−2 (5.8 nN). The results show that aromatic oil can promote the dispersion of waste rubber, making the storage of asphalt systems stable. There exists a strong electrostatic force between rubber and asphaltenes and an intermolecular force between rubber and aromatic oil or aromatics, which makes the aromatic oil and aromatics of parcel rubber molecules and waste rubber highly soluble in asphalt. Molecular simulations confirmed the molecular interaction between rubber and aromatic oil, and aromatic oil was shown to reduce the viscosity of HRMA.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914079
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14080: The Spatial Distribution of Taxi
           Stations in Bangkok

    • Authors: Suthikasem Weladee, Peamsook Sanit
      First page: 14080
      Abstract: Taxis play a crucial role as an on-demand transportation mode in developing countries due to perceived inefficiencies of cities’ public transportation systems. However, studies on the locational distribution of taxis in urban areas are limited, despite the need to improve passenger service quality by balancing the demand and supply of taxi services. Notably, taxi stations possess distinct characteristics compared with other public transport stations that serve passengers directly; in contrast, taxi stations solely support taxi drivers in locations where they begin and conclude their work. This study aims to determine the spatial distribution pattern and assess the agglomeration economies of taxi stations, using Bangkok as a case study, a city with a significant number of registered taxis and dispersed taxi stations. This research takes into account various spatial variables, including land price, land use mix index, population density, and gas station locations. The primary tool for analyzing the spatial distribution pattern was the spatial statistics model, employing ArcGIS 10.8 software. The analysis consisted of three steps: testing for clustered or dispersed patterns using Moran’s I, applying Anselin’s local Moran’s I (LISA) to examine the relationship between taxi station coordinates and spatial variables such as land price, land use mix index, and population density, and evaluating the relationship between taxi stations and energy service stations using the network analysis tool. The results revealed that taxi stations exhibited a spatially clustered pattern and were closely correlated with the land use mix index, land price, and population density, as indicated by Moran’s index values of 0.425, 0.328, and 0.373, respectively, especially those located within a 3000 m radius of gas stations. These findings elucidate the location selection of taxi stations, which tend to prioritize areas that can generate maximum profits for the taxi business rather than those with minimal location costs. They also tend to be situated in proximity to market areas. Additionally, the study recommends that the government consider promoting electric taxis as a sustainable mode of urban transport in the future to reduce the usage of natural gas (NGV) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914080
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14081: The Impacts of COVID-19 on the
           Visitor Attendance of Cultural and Natural Heritage: A Case Study of the
           South Moravian Region

    • Authors: Kristýna Tuzová, Antonín Vaishar, Milada Šťastná, Martina Urbanová
      First page: 14081
      Abstract: Tourism is one of the world’s most affected sectors by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article deals with the assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the visitation of the South Moravian Region, including important cultural and natural sites, based on the analysis of empirical statistical data in the last decade and the calculation of the year-on-year change in attendance between 2019 and 2022. According to the results, the number of visitors to the South Moravian Region in 2020 fell by almost half, including a decrease of a quarter of visitors to cultural monuments compared to 2019. On the other hand, visits to natural areas with no restricted access increased by a fifth after 2020, but natural areas with restricted access fell by more than 40%. From 2021, attendance of the South Moravian Region began to increase slightly, and in 2022, it reached ninety percent of the level before 2019, including attendance at cultural and natural sites. The results of the research confirmed the growing trend in visitors to the South Moravian Region, including cultural and natural monuments, which were significantly influenced by the impact of COVID-19 on tourism after 2020, with a recovery of tourism in 2022.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914081
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14082: Electrifying Buses for Public
           Transport: Boundaries with a Performance Analysis Based on Method and

    • Authors: Bruno Dalla Chiara, Giovanni Pede, Francesco Deflorio, Marco Zanini
      First page: 14082
      Abstract: It is widely expected that electric vehicles will be able to satisfy most road transport needs. The aim of this paper is to provide an answer to how far the electrification of buses used for local public transport can be pursuable through insight into the engineering problems and range, i.e., the autonomy on battery, as well as the efficiency of recharging systems. At first, a wide survey of the main solutions that are present on the market, or foreseen for the near future, concerning the electrification of fleets for LPT is provided. Thereafter, such solutions are compared through numerical applications and by using a practical case study, pertaining to the city of Turin (IT), where static inductive charging has been extensively experienced. Particular attention is paid to engineering problems and to the autonomy on battery of the vehicles as a function of their mass, electric energy storage system, charging opportunities and infrastructure, while comparing the time and efficiency of recharging systems. The authors conclude by recommending the most promising alternatives for battery electric buses while outlining their limits, striving to provide for the literature a research instrument, which is lacking, for delimitating the applicability of electric buses for LPT while outlining the viable solutions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914082
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14083: The Effects of Varying Combinations
           of Dietary Selenium, Vitamin E, and Zinc Supplements on Semen
           Characteristics and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity of Spermatozoa in
           1-Year-Old Native Turkish Ganders

    • Authors: Hulüsi Ozan Taşkesen, Hatice Baş, Mehmet Akif Boz, Musa Sarıca, Kadir Erensoy, Vassilios Dotas, George Symeon
      First page: 14083
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of dietary Selenium (Se), Vitamin E (Vit E), and Zinc (Zn) and their various combinations on semen quantity, quality, and oxidative enzyme activities of spermatozoa in 1-year-old native Turkish ganders. In this study, 48 1-year-old native Turkish ganders were used. The ganders were randomly divided into 8 dietary treatment groups (Control, Se, Vit E, Zn, Se + Vit E, Se + Zn, Vit E + Zn, Se + Vit E + Zn) with 6 birds each. In addition to the control diet, specific amounts of 0.3 mg/kg Se, 100 mg/kg Vit E, and 100 mg/kg Zn were added to the diets of each treatment group. Semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, sperm quality factor (SQF), and total live and normal sperm percentage were the lowest in the control group and highest in the ganders fed with the Se + Vit E + Zn combination. While the percentage of macro-cephalic and dead sperm was highest in the ganders fed with control feed, the lowest percentage of dead sperm was found in the sperm of the ganders fed with Vit E and Se + Vit E + Zn combinations. The lowest glutathione peroxidase enzyme (GPx) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and the highest amount of malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined in the spermatozoa of the control group ganders. This study revealed that the combined use of Se, Vit E, and Zn in the diet maintained higher semen quantity and quality in 1-year-old native Turkish gander despite the advancing reproduction season compared to the control group.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914083
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14085: Augmented Gravity Model of Trade
           with Social Network Analysis

    • Authors: Çağay Coşkuner, Richard Sogah
      First page: 14085
      Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, and an important means to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Given this role, international trade and global trade networks have received preeminent attention in recent times due to the sharp growth in trade volumes and their contributions to poverty reduction and sustainable development over the years. Despite the growth in global trade volumes and the associated benefits, there are worrying concerns about the unprecedented changes in international trade patterns and growing imbalances in trade in recent times. Whereas China’s trade volumes have more than tripled over recent decades and have maintained the largest trade surplus spot ahead of Germany, other major trade surplus countries such as Japan, the USA, etc., have become trade deficit countries with their trade volumes increasing at a much slower pace. In view of the growing changes in international trade patterns and the need to understand the dynamics of the widening global trade imbalances among major trading partners, this paper investigates the factors that determine the export performance of countries. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the forces that determine the export performance of countries using an augmented gravity model that includes social networks. The paper provides useful insights into the underlying currents responsible for the changes in international trade patterns. Using data from 51 countries for 41 years, our results indicate that the GDP of both the home country and the partner country affects the home country’s exports positively. Similarly, the real effective exchange rate REER, trade openness OPEN, and dummy variables BORDER, ENGLISH, and EU have produced positive and statistically significant coefficient estimates, and these are in line with our theoretical expectations.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914085
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14086: Corporate Sustainability: The Impact
           of Environmental, Social, and Governance Performance on Corporate
           Development and Innovation

    • Authors: Defang Ma, Liangwei Li, Yuxi Song, Mengkai Wang, Qiaowen Han
      First page: 14086
      Abstract: As a comprehensive concept that integrates the environment, society, and corporate governance, little is known about whether and how Esg affects firm development, as the concept of sustainable development is deepened and promoted. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of Esg performance on corporate development. This paper selects the data of A-share-listed companies from 2010 to 2020 as samples, utilizes the linear regression model to empirically study the impact mechanism of Esg performance on enterprise development, and considers transmission pathways. It is found that the development of high-technology firms is more significantly affected by Esg performance than the development of non-high-technology firms. It is further found that Esg performance can promote enterprise development by reducing financing constraints. Meanwhile, corporate innovation can enhance the promotion effect of Esg performance on corporate development. After the robustness tests of instrumental variables and the lagged effects, the research conclusions still hold.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914086
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14087: How to Promote a Destination’s
           Sustainable Development' The Influence of Service Encounters on
           Tourists’ Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions

    • Authors: Shu Zhang, Thitinant Wareewanich, Xiao-Guang Yue
      First page: 14087
      Abstract: Destination is an important carrier for tourism activities to be carried out, and tourists are the main body of tourism activities. Service encounters are a crucial component of tourists’ experiences and an important factor affecting tourists’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. This research used the SOR model as the theoretical basis to analyze the dimensions of service encounters and the impact of service encounters on tourists’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a destination in China. The research results indicate that service encounters have multidimensional attributes. In addition to interpersonal service encounters, the service environment of tourism enterprises and the public service environment of the destination are also important components of service encounters. At the same time, service encounters have an impact on tourists’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. The research findings have implications for destination managers in terms of improving service quality and promoting the sustainable development of destinations.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914087
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14088: Reduction in Residential Electricity
           Bill and Carbon Dioxide Emission through Renewable Energy Integration
           Using an Adaptive Feed-Forward Neural Network System and MPPT Technique

    • Authors: Ravichandran Balakrishnan, Vedadri Geetha, Muthusamy Rajeev Kumar, Man-Fai Leung
      First page: 14088
      Abstract: Increasing electricity demand and the emergence of smart grids have given home energy management systems new potential. This research investigates the use of an artificial neural network algorithm for a home energy management system. The system keeps track of and organizes the use of electrical appliances in a typical home with the objective of lowering consumer electricity bills. An artificial-neural-network-based maximum-power-point-tracking scheme is applied to maximize power generation from photovoltaic sources. The proposed neural network senses solar energy and calculates load requirements to switch between solar and grid sources effectively. The implementation of improved source utility does not require numerical calculations. Traditional relational operator techniques and fuzzy logic controllers are compared with the suggested neural network. The model is simulated in MATLAB, and the results show that the artificial neural network performs better in terms of source switching following load demand, with an operating time of less than 2 s and a reduced error of 0.05%. The suggested strategy reduces electricity costs without affecting consumer satisfaction and contributes to environmental friendliness by reducing CO2 emissions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914088
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14089: Performance and Mechanism of
           High-Viscosity and High-Elasticity Bitumen (HVE-MB) Modified with Five

    • Authors: Yuanyuan Li, Gangping Jiang, Shuting Yan, Jianlin Feng, Da Li
      First page: 14089
      Abstract: In order to improve the viscoelasticity of bitumen, several modifiers were compounded with it, including SBS, reclaimed rubber powder, tackifier, plasticizer, and oil stabilizer, to produce High-viscosity and High-elastic Modified Bitumen (HVE-MB). The viscoelasticity and various physical and rheological properties of the bitumen were evaluated using a number of factors, such as dynamic viscosity at 60 °C, elastic recovery, penetration, softening point, ductility, and DSR. By comparing different types of modifiers and the content of SBS, it was found that the viscoelasticity of the original bitumen was significantly improved by adding the modifiers. In comparison to the original bitumen, the dynamic viscosity of the HVE-MB increased by more than 110 times, the elastic recovery rate more than doubled, the softening point and ductility improved, and the penetration decreased. As the content of SBS increased, the improvement in the properties became more significant. The workability of HVE-MB satisfies the requirement of less than 2.5 °C by adding the suitable dosage of stabilizer. On the other hand, the content of SBS can be adjusted based on the specific requirements. It is a sustainable and economic way to use the reclaimed rubber powder to improve the technical performance of bitumen.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914089
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14090: Improving Climate Resilience of
           Critical Assets: The ICARIA Project

    • Authors: Beniamino Russo, Àlex de la Cruz Coronas, Mattia Leone, Barry Evans, Rita Salgado Brito, Denis Havlik, Marianne Bügelmayer-Blaschek, David Pacheco, Athanasios Sfetsos
      First page: 14090
      Abstract: The number of climate-related disasters has progressively increased in the last two decades and this trend will drastically exacerbate in the medium- and long-term horizons according to climate change projections. In this framework, through a multi-disciplinary team and a strong background acquired in recent projects, ICARIA aims to promote the use of asset-level modeling to achieve a better understanding of climate related tangible direct and indirect impacts on critical assets due to complex, cascading, and compound disasters. Furthermore, it takes into account the related risk reduction provided by suitable, sustainable, and cost-effective adaptation solutions. ICARIA focuses on both (i) critical assets and services that were not designed for potential climate change-related impacts that can increase the unplanned outages and failures, and (ii) on housing, natural areas, and population. Cutting edge methods regarding climate scenario building, asset-level-coupled models, and multi-risk assessment approaches will be implemented and replicated in three EU regions to understand how future climate scenarios might affect critical assets and to provide decision-making support tools to private and public risk owners to assess the costs and benefits of various adaptation solutions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914090
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14091: Holistic Business Model
           Conceptualisation—Capturing Sustainability Contributions Illustrated
           by Nature-Based Solutions

    • Authors: Simon Stork, Rolf Morgenstern, Bernd Pölling, Jan-Henning Feil
      First page: 14091
      Abstract: Businesses are under pressure to increasingly consider sustainability as an integral part of the enterprise and business model. Nature-based solutions (NBS) definitions reflect that sustainability can be improved by implementing NBS. These NBS require tailored business models. Therefore, this study aims to conceptualize a holistic business model canvas capturing the sustainability contributions of NBS. Methodically, the new Canvas is proposed based on an extensive literature review, and the application and testing are carried out on NBSs implemented in the proGIreg project’s three European Living Labs. As a result, by building on the Business Model Canvas (BMC) by Osterwalder and Pigneur as well as various modifications to capture the core concepts of sustainability and NBS, a new BMC for NBS is proposed—the nature-based sustainability Business Model Canvas (NB S BMC). It consists of 14 building blocks and offers a holistic overview of NBS business models considering the multi-faceted character of NBS. The case studies show that the NB S BMC can be applied to different contexts independently of their location and content orientation. Although this study development puts an emphasis on NBS, it can also be applied to capturing sustainable business models beyond the NBS domain.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914091
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14092: Increased Humidity Improved Desert
           Riparian Ecosystems in the Tarim River Basin, Northwest China, from 1990
           to 2020

    • Authors: Guo, Zhu, Tang, Li
      First page: 14092
      Abstract: Land use and land cover change (LULCC), along with the conversion of natural ecosystem cover into farmland, poses significant ecological challenges for desert riparian ecosystems. The Tarim River Basin (TRB), home to the world’s largest and most densely distributed and well-preserved desert riparian ecosystem, remains exceptionally susceptible to climate change. However, our understanding of the role of climatic factors (mean annual temperature (MAT); mean temperature during the warmest month (MWMT); relative humidity in September, October, and November (RH_SON); and the annual heat–moisture index (AHM)) in driving pattern changes in these ecosystems remains limited. To address this gap, we employed a transfer matrix approach coupled with geographically weighted regression models to conduct an extensive analysis of LULCC trends and their driving factors within the TRB from 1990 to 2020. The 30-year dataset on LULCC provided invaluable insights, revealing that the proliferation of farmland and shrubberies has precipitated the decline of arbor forests and grassland expanses. Furthermore, this expansion of farmland and shrubberies has resulted in heightened ecosystem fragmentation, particularly notable between 2005 and 2010. Our assessment indicates that artificial ecosystems are gradually transitioning back into natural states, encompassing 8.24% of the total area, chiefly attributed to the expanding shrubbery regions. Additionally, in-depth scrutiny of the impacts of climatic factors on ecosystem structure unveiled that moisture exerts the most pronounced influence on ecosystem patterns, followed by air moisture content during the growing season, while temperature exerts a relatively lesser impact. Overall, this study contributes to the realization of SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) by informing conservation efforts and sustainable land management practices in dryland desert riparian ecosystems.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914092
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14093: Cooperative Tourism Marketing in
           Accessible Tourism Development: The Case of the Cross-Border Area of
           Greece–Republic of Northern Macedonia

    • Authors: Dimitris Kourkouridis, Asimenia Salepaki
      First page: 14093
      Abstract: Cross-border cooperation is an important factor for the sustainability of border areas, while the accessibility of tourism businesses enhances inclusiveness in tourism. This article presents the results obtained from the comparative analysis of the accessibility of tourism businesses in the cross-border area of Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia. The results show room for improvement, but also a great willingness to invest in business accessibility and staff training. Similarities and differences were also identified between the statuses of accessibility in the two countries. These results are particularly useful for the development of cooperation between the two countries, in order to create a single accessible tourist product, with the ultimate goal of differentiating the destinations and obtaining a competitive advantage, in the context of sustainable tourism development.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914093
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14094: Monitoring the Performance of
           Sustainable Development Goals in the Italian Regions

    • Authors: Idiano D’Adamo, Massimo Gastaldi
      First page: 14094
      Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a shared agenda among countries but also a rallying point for forward-looking policy dialogue. Analysis and monitoring of the SDGs are decisive steps in evaluating possible corrective actions. This paper aims to reach two research objectives: (i) providing methodological insights for the application of multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) in the evaluation of the SDGs and (ii) emphasizing the relevance of monitoring the outcomes of the SDGs by evaluating the Italian regions. For the first objective, an online survey among twenty academics is used, while for the second, an MCDA is proposed that compares the temporal performance of a sustainability score for each Italian region. The results, based on 27 targets, show that in 2021 the northern regions showed better performance, with the province of Trento topping the list. This is followed by Valle d’Aosta and the province of Bolzano, confirming the trio that emerged in the previous year. A very interesting fact is the growth of the central regions, which overall tend to reach a value close to that of the northern regions. In particular, Toscana, Marche and Lazio stand out for a good performance. It is also confirmed that the southern regions occupy the last places in the ranking with the only exception of Abruzzo. The implications of this paper suggest collaboration between different regions in order to achieve a social community in which resources and skills can be enhanced.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/su151914094
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 19 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13994: Rare Species Are Significant in
           Harsh Environments and Unstable Communities: Based on the Changes of
           Species Richness and Community Stability in Different Sub-Assemblages

    • Authors: Jihong Xiao, Zhifei Zhong, Chunxiao Wang, Mei Li, Qingyan Wen, Xiting Lin, Zhen Luo, Zhijun Qian, Minghe Li, Chuanyuan Deng
      First page: 13994
      Abstract: To understand the contribution of different sub-assemblages (sub-communities) in the shrub and herb layers to the distribution patterns of community species richness and the stability of the Pinus massoniana Lamb. community, this study was carried out by using 160 shrub quadrats (5 m × 5 m) and 200 herb quadrats (1 m × 1 m). These quadrats were selected from 40 plots on six islands. In this study, common and rare species were classified according to the frequency, and “new communities” (sub-communities) were formed by adding or removing species. Then the changes of species richness and community stability in the “new communities” were analyzed. A redundancy analysis was also used to explore the factors affecting the size of the species richness in the understory of the Pinus massoniana community. The results showed the following: (1) The distribution patterns of both shrub and herb layer species frequencies in this area were plainly to the right, indicating a large proportion of non-common species (common species accounting for 37.87% in the shrub layer and 16.67% in the herb layer). (2) The higher the frequency of species, the greater their contribution to the pattern of species richness. Common species had a high frequency and were the most important contributors to the patterns of species richness in plant communities (64 common species and 41 most common species in the shrub layer and 10 common species in the herb layer each accounted for 95.72, 88.9, and 90.52%, respectively, of the species richness distribution pattern). However, rare species also made significant contributions to the species richness in regions with hard conditions (the (most) rare species in the herb layer explained more than 70% of the species richness distribution pattern, and the remaining species after removing the (most) common species explained more than 90%). (3) In relatively stable communities, rare species had relatively little influence on the stability of the community, which was mostly governed by the dominant species (common species (10 species) were more stable than rare species (38 species), Exc.-rare species (22 species) were more stable than except-common species (50 species), and Exc.-rarest species (35 species) were more stable than Exc.-most common species (55 species) in the herb layer). In less stable communities, the stability of the community gradually increased with the increase in species richness, which may be associated with the growth habit of the increased species (the stability of the herb layer was higher than that of the shrub layer, as shown by the Euclidean distance). The community stability was determined by not only the dominant species in the community but also the rare species that were important contributors to the stability of the communities. (4) The species richness of the shrub layer was considerably influenced (p-value < 0.05) by the soil pH, soil organic matter, and wind speed, whereas the species richness of the herb layer was significantly influenced (p-value < 0.05) by the soil pH. The greater the pH and wind speed, the greater the species richness in the island community. On islands, the soil stability was maintained in large part by the soil organic matter. The lack of soil organic matter can affect soil nutrients, destroy island habitats, and reduce species richness, all of which are harmful to the community stabilization.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813994
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13995: Does the Aging of the Chinese
           Population Have an Impact on Outward Foreign Direct Investment'

    • Authors: Luman Zhao, Yabin Zhang, Yuefeng Xie
      First page: 13995
      Abstract: Given the progression of population aging in China, does the diminishing demographic dividend boost the promotion of investment abroad in the form of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI)' This empirical study focused on the influence of population aging on outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) decisions and its underlying mechanisms. The research found that population aging has a significant positive effect on the level of OFDI. This effect is particularly pronounced in the eastern and central regions, while not statistically significant in the western region. Furthermore, population aging has a significant impact on the factor cost effect and the technological progress effect. The former is characterized by increased labor costs, while the latter is associated with technological advancements. The study confirmed that population aging positively influences OFDI changes through these two mechanisms. The empirical results hold statistically significant after multiple robustness checks. This study holds a significant reference value in advancing the facilitation of high-level opening-up polices and policy coordination to effectively address the challenges posed by population aging.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813995
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13996: Spatiotemporal Variation and Future
           Predictions of Soil Salinization in the Werigan–Kuqa River Delta
           Oasis of China

    • Authors: Baozhong He, Jianli Ding, Wenjiang Huang, Xu Ma
      First page: 13996
      Abstract: Soil salinization is a serious global issue; by 2050, without intervention, 50% of the cultivated land area will be affected by salinization. Therefore, estimating and predicting future soil salinity is crucial for preventing soil salinization and investigating potential arable land resources. In this study, several machine learning methods (random forest (RF), Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LightGBM), Gradient Boosting Decision Tree (GBDT), and eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost)) were used to estimate the soil salinity in the Werigan–Kuqa River Delta Oasis region of China from 2001 to 2021. The cellular automata (CA)–Markov model was used to predict soil salinity types from 2020 to 2050. The LightGBM method exhibited the highest accuracy, and the overall prediction accuracy of the methods had the following order: LightGBM > RF > GBRT > XGBoost. Moderately saline, severely saline, and saline soils were dominant in the east and south of the research area, while non-saline and mildly saline soils were widely distributed in the inner oasis area. A marked decreasing trend in the soil salt content was observed from 2001 to 2021, with a decreasing rate of 4.28 g/kg·10 a−1. The primary change included the conversion of mildly and severely saline soil types to non-saline soil. The generalized difference vegetation index (51%), Bio (30%), and temperature vegetation drought index (27%) had the greatest influence, followed by variables associated with soil attributes (soil organic carbon and soil organic carbon stock) and terrain (topographic wetness index, slope, aspect, curvature, and topographic relief index). Overall, the CA–Markov simulation resulted exhibited suitable accuracy (kappa = 0.6736). Furthermore, areas with non-saline and mildly saline soils will increase while areas with other salinity levels will continue to decrease from 2020 to 2050. From 2046 to 2050, numerous areas with saline soil will be converted to non-saline soil. These results can provide support for salinization control, agricultural production, and soil investigations in the future. The gradual decline in soil salinization in the research area in the past 20 years may have resulted from large-scale land reclamation, which has turned saline alkali land into arable land and is also related to effective measures taken by the local government to control salinization.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813996
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13997: Sustainable Cooperation between
           Schools, Enterprises, and Government: An Evolutionary Game Theory Analysis

    • Authors: Chao Liu, Hexin Wang, Yu Dai
      First page: 13997
      Abstract: Promoting close and sustainable cooperation between schools, enterprises, and government has become an important concern in many countries. However, the factors that influence the cooperation between schools, enterprises, and government have not been sufficiently explored in previous studies. Therefore, based on evolutionary game theory, in this paper, we construct a tripartite evolutionary game model of schools, enterprises, and government in order to analyze the strategies of different players and their influencing factors. The results show that the main factor that influences the stability of the strategies of schools and enterprises is the reward for positive cooperation from sources other than the government, and the main factor that influences the stability of the strategy of the government is the benefits from a positive cooperation strategy under the scenario where schools cooperate with enterprises. Some suggestions to promote sustainable cooperation between schools, enterprises, and government are proposed at the end.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813997
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13998: Superhydrophobic Microchannel Heat
           Exchanger for Electric Vehicle Heat Pump Performance Enhancement

    • Authors: Yunren Sui, Zengguang Sui, Guangda Liang, Wei Wu
      First page: 13998
      Abstract: Battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, while their single-charge driving distances under cold conditions are significantly limited due to the high energy consumption of their heating systems. Heat pumps can provide an effective heating solution for EVs, but their coefficient of performance (COP) is hampered by heat transfer deterioration due to frost accumulation. This study proposes a solution to this issue by introducing a microchannel heat exchanger (MHE) with superhydrophobic surface treatment (SHST) as a heat pump evaporator. A computational fluid dynamics MHE model and a dynamic heat pump model are developed and rigorously validated to examine the detrimental impact of frost accumulation on heat transfer, airflow resistance, and heat pump performance. When the frost layer thickness is 0.8 mm at a given air-side velocity of 1.0 m/s, the air-side heat transfer coefficient can be reduced by about 75%, and the air-side pressure drop sharply increases by 28.4 times. As frost thickness increases from 0 to 0.8 mm, the heating capacity drops from 3.97 to 1.82 kW, and the system COP declines from 3.17 to 2.30. Experimental results show that the frost thickness of the MHE with SHST reaches approximately 0.4 mm after 30 min, compared to that of 0.8 mm of the MHE without SHST, illustrating the defrosting capability of the superhydrophobic coating. The study concludes by comparing the performance of various heating methods in EVs to highlight the advantages of SHST technology. As compared to traditional heat pumps, the heating power consumption of the proposed system is reduced by 48.7% due to the defrosting effect of the SHST. Moreover, the single-charge driving distance is extended to 327.27 km, an improvement of 8.99% over the heat pump without SHST.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813998
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 13999: Carbon-Reduction, Green Finance, and
           High-Quality Economic Development: A Case of China

    • Authors: Shaolong Zeng, Qinyi Fu, Fazli Haleem, Yang Shen, Jiedong Zhang
      First page: 13999
      Abstract: Development that is eco-friendly, coordinated, sustainable, and of the highest caliber is crucial to China’s modernization. Based on the Cobb–Douglas production function and environmental Kuznets curve analysis, this paper investigates the link between green finance and the reduction of carbon emissions and high-quality economic development, then puts forward the hypothesis that green finance promotes high-quality economic development, and carbon emission reduction effect is its important transmission mechanism. This paper applies the bidirectional fixed effect model to a panel dataset of 30 Chinese provinces, cities, and autonomous regions from 2008 to 2019 to conduct an empirical test. The empirical results show that: (1) Green finance has a significant role in promoting high-quality economic development, which has passed the robustness test and has regional heterogeneity. (2) The growth of green financing reduces carbon emissions, which encourages high-quality development. (3) A positive spatial spillover effect results from the promotion of green finance to high-quality economic development. Given the aforementioned findings, this paper makes policy recommendations regarding how green financing, carbon emission reduction, and high-quality economic development might work together to support green development.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151813999
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14000: Bacterial Biodegradation of
           Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorosulfonic Acid (PFOS) Using Pure
           Pseudomonas Strains

    • Authors: Florentina Laura Chiriac, Catalina Stoica, Cristina Iftode, Florinela Pirvu, Valentina Andreea Petre, Iuliana Paun, Luoana Florentina Pascu, Gabriela Geanina Vasile, Mihai Nita-Lazar
      First page: 14000
      Abstract: The principal objective of the present research involved the achievement of high biodegradation degrees of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorosulfonic acid (PFOS) using pure individual bacterial strains. The use of such microorganisms can contribute to the improvement of the wastewater treatment process in sewage treatment plants through bioaugmentation or other bioremediation processes. Thus, in this study, we investigated the biodegradation potential of PFOA and PFOS. Bacterial strains tested in this study were from the Pseudomonas genus, namely: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida, due to their known capacity to degrade xenobiotic compounds. The results indicated that Pseudomonas aeruginosa was able to transform 27.9% of PFOA and 47.3% of PFOS in 96 h, while Pseudomonas putida managed to transform 19.0% of PFOA and 46.9% of PFOS in the same time frame. During the biodegradation tests, PFHxA was recognized as the principal biotransformation product of PFOA in the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and PFPeA, PFPxA and PFHpA were recognized as the biotransformation products in the presence of Pseudomonas putida. For PFOS, only two biotransformation products (PHHxA and PFHpA) were observed as a consequence of biodegradation by both bacterial strains.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814000
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14001: Development of Modular Architectures
           for Product–Service Systems

    • Authors: Christoph Rennpferdt, Marc Zuefle, Marco Bagusat, Dennis Bender, Dieter Krause
      First page: 14001
      Abstract: Driven by servitization, an increasing number of manufacturing companies are transforming from being a pure product provider to a provider of Product–Service Systems (PSS). PSS offer unique benefits to both providers and customers by combining physical products and intangible services. However, this results in an increase in variety for the provider, which causes an increase in variety-induced complexity and, finally, also in costs. This correlation is proven based on the literature; possible approaches to manage the complexity are presented and the current research gap is addressed. To address the gap, a method for the development of modular architectures for PSS is presented in this paper. The method comprises five phases and supports companies from identifying PSS-based business models up to modularizing product components and service components. To validate this method, it is first applied to the example of a product family of pressure-reducing valves and then its results are discussed afterwards. It is proven that this method is suitable for the development of modular PSS architectures, but there is also a need for further research, which is described in the Conclusions section.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814001
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14002: Development of a Smart City Platform
           Based on Digital Twin Technology for Monitoring and Supporting

    • Authors: Ahmad Ali Hakam Dani, Suhono Harso Supangkat, Fetty Fitriyanti Lubis, I Gusti Bagus Baskara Nugraha, Rezky Kinanda, Irma Rizkia
      First page: 14002
      Abstract: Information and communication technology’s role in developing smart city platforms has allowed cities to grow smarter in recent years. In order to develop a smart city platform, digital twin technology can be implemented to monitor and simulate the city’s conditions. Furthermore, it can function as a precise decision-support system. Digital twins can be combined with augmented reality technology to develop a smart city platform. The combination of these two technologies aims to visualize data for monitoring and simulating conditions in a city. The primary concern about the necessity of a digital twin platform in smart cities pertains to creating a robust digital twin-enabled smart city platform that can efficiently monitor urban conditions and provide significant insights for decision-making. Hence, this research aims to develop a smart city platform with digital twins as its foundation. This platform would enable real-time data visualization inside an environment that facilitates clear and effective information communication to users. The smart city platform development method is divided into four layers, namely developing (1) the basic layer that contains basic information about the city; (2) the 3D layer that contains the city’s 3D assets; (3) the digital twin layer for real-time data integration; (4) the augmented layer for augmenting the digital twin data. This research also proposes an architecture that will become the basis of the flow for the digital twin platform development. The result of developing the platform is a smart city platform based on a digital twin that can be used to monitor the condition of the city. This platform can be input for users or the community in planning their daily activities and can be decision support to the government in developing the city.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814002
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14003: Pollution Characteristics and Risk
           Evaluation of PAHs in Subsidence Water Bodies in Huainan Coal Mining Area,

    • Authors: Xinyue Deng, Guangzhou Chen, Hua Wang, Hui Sun
      First page: 14003
      Abstract: As a class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic effects, so they can pose a greater threat to the natural environment and human health. Most of the PAHs in coal mining areas originate from the mining and utilization process of coal resources, which has a variety of carriers in the environment: atmosphere, water bodies, soil, sediments, etc. To study their pollution status in the subsidence waters of the Huainan coal mining area, sixteen priority control PAHs of sixteen surface water samples from seven subsidence water bodies were tested using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and their pollution characteristics were analyzed. Overall, the concentration of PAHs ranged from 212 to 283 ng·L−1, and benzo[b]fluoranthene (BbF) had the highest average concentration. In addition, the concentration of PAHs above four rings was relatively high. After statistical analysis, the Pearson correlation coefficient calculation showed a highly significant positive correlation between PAHs with the same number of rings. Three principal factors were selected using factor analysis, which could explain 88.37% of the total variance, to conduct the source identification. Coal combustion was found to be the main source of PAH pollution in the area. Then, ecological risk using the risk quotient (RQ) method was carried out. The results showed that PAH contamination was medium risk, among which, benzo[a]anthracene (BaA) and BbF had a high ecological risk. In addition, the results of biological toxicity evaluation using the species sensitivity distribution model (SSD) showed that benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) had a high proportion of potential effects on aquatic organisms. By using the response addition model, the evaluation results showed that the ecological risk of the subsidence water bodies in the Panyi mine was the highest. Finally, human health risks were evaluated from two pathways: dermal contact and ingestion. The carcinogenic health risks from the dermal contact exceeded the permissible limits, while the hazard entropy of non-carcinogenic risks from the above two pathways were less than 1.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814003
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14004: How Does Destination Experience
           Value Affect Brand Value and Behavioral Intention' The Moderator Role of
           Self Congruity

    • Authors: Ebru Gozen, Aylin Aktas Alan, Emel Celep, Gozde Seval Ergun, Ozgur Yayla, Huseyin Keles, Arif Aytekin
      First page: 14004
      Abstract: The primary purpose of this research is to reveal the moderator role of self-congruity in the effect of consumer return on investment, aesthetics, service excellence, and playfulness as the sub-dimensions of destination experience value on destination brand equity and in the effect of destination brand value on behavioral intention. The research data were obtained utilizing the survey method. The findings of the study revealed that all dimensions under the destination experience value significantly and positively affect the destination brand value. When the effect of the overall brand value of the destination on the behavioral intention is evaluated, the brand value affects the behavioral intention positively and strongly. It was concluded in the study that self-congruity has a moderator effect on customer return on investment and playfulness dimensions on destination brand value, whereas the construct of self-congruity does not have a moderator effect on service excellence and aesthetic dimensions on destination brand value and that self-congruity has a moderator effect on destination brand value perception on behavioral intention. The study provides important practical contributions to both destination marketing managers and national and local authorities.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814004
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14005: Construction and Practice of
           Livelihood Efficiency Index System for Herders in Typical Steppe Area of
           Inner Mongolia Based on Super-Efficiency Slacks-Based Measure Model

    • Authors: Gerile Qimuge, Wulan Tuya, Si Qinchaoketu, Bu He
      First page: 14005
      Abstract: Inner Mongolia is one of the main animal husbandry production bases in China, with herders being the main animal husbandry producers. A systematic analysis of the efficiency of herding households’ livelihoods and the influencing factors is of great importance to formulate effective policies to support herding households’ livelihoods, enhance their social adaptability, and alleviate the vulnerability of poor people in herding areas. This study used a typical steppe of Inner Mongolia as the research area. It used the interview data of herding households from 2021, constructed the evaluation index system of herding households’ livelihood efficiency, analyzed the redundancy of the inputs and outputs of herding households’ livelihoods, and examined the key factors affecting herding households’ livelihood efficiency. The results indicate that (1) the pure technical effectiveness of the livelihood efficiency of typical grassland herding households in Inner Mongolia is the highest; the comprehensive technical efficiency and scale efficiency are low. The scale return of most herders’ livelihoods shows a decreasing state. (2) According to the results of the model, under the premise of the output not being reduced, reducing the amount of social capital input can effectively save resources. Without increasing the input, the room for improvement in the living level is the most obvious. (3) The pasture area, the communication network, and the access to information have significant negative effects on the efficiency of herders’ livelihoods; infrastructure and water supply have significant positive impacts. In summary, we built a model for evaluating the livelihood efficiency of herders in typical grassland areas of Inner Mongolia, which can provide a reference for the revitalization work of pastoral areas and related research in the future.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814005
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14006: Collection and Processing of
           Roadside Grass Clippings: A Supply Chain Optimization Case Study for East

    • Authors: Frederik De Wieuw, Tom Pauwels, Christa Sys, Eddy Van de Voorde, Edwin van Hassel, Thierry Vanelslander, Jeffrey Willems
      First page: 14006
      Abstract: The paper focuses on secondary bio streams which are not captured efficiently in the value supply chain. Specifically, roadside grass clippings were chosen, based on their logistical optimization potential, direct feasibility, locality, biomass potential, and economic valorization value. The main objective is to determine how this secondary flow can be brought to the “factory gate”—through road transport and inland shipping—and at what cost per unit. To this end, various scenarios were developed for a case study in East Flanders, considering multiple combinations of first collection points, secondary collection points, and processing points. The result is a generically applicable Excel-based tool that combines these variations with a solution considering both inland waterways and road transport. These scenarios become valuable in applying the tool for grass clippings and optimizing this value chain located in East Flanders. The results show that reducing the number of collection points is favorable for the utilization of inland waterways, as it reduces costs related to transshipment. Nevertheless, unimodal road transport is still the most cost-effective method for transporting this secondary material stream from the collection point to the processing point. Consequently, a lower weight and a higher density will lead to lower costs, which eventually bottom out, due to regulations and conditions that must be met.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814006
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14007: Transformative Business Models for
           Decarbonization: Insights from Prize-Winning Start-Ups at the Web Summit

    • Authors: Evaldo Costa, Margarida Fontes, Nuno Bento
      First page: 14007
      Abstract: The increasing social pressure for decarbonization has placed businesses under considerable scrutiny to actively reduce carbon emissions. A critical step towards achieving this objective is to shift conventional production and consumption systems to more sustainable alternatives. Thus, there is an emergent need to understand the patterns and drivers of the transformative business models (BMs) that underpin that shift. This study adopts a mixed-methods approach that integrates different literature streams—including Sustainability Transitions Theory (STT), Strategic Niche Management (SNM), and the Business Models approach—and stakeholders’ interviews to investigate the key elements of business models that lead towards sustainable practices. This research examines the organizational arrangements of European start-ups operating between 2014 and 2020. The transformation towards decarbonized production and consumption is characterized by an efficient combination of business strategies that incorporate advanced technologies (ATs), such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and its algorithms, along with sustainable elements, resulting in transformative business models. By exploring the driving elements behind the transition to low-carbon approaches, this study fills a significant gap in the existing literature on business models. The findings from this research also hold relevance for policymakers to promote decarbonization.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814007
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14008: Informal Commercial Seed Systems:
           Leave, Suppress or Support Them'

    • Authors: Louise Sperling, Conny J. M. Almekinders
      First page: 14008
      Abstract: Smallholder farmers require seed systems that can meet diverse functions: move a range of planting material; spread specialty varieties (climate-resilient or nutrient-dense varieties); reach last-mile areas; and perform in high-stress contexts. Acknowledging that smallholders use both formal and informal systems, this article focuses on the latter and on a component largely unexamined to date: informal commercial seed systems (ICSSs). Four evidence-based cases show how ICCSs contribute to varied seed system functions. In Tanzania, traders have moved multiple modern bean varieties countrywide and within just a few years. In the remote Ugandan north, traders have commercialized the sale of sweetpotato vines (produced off-season) to those lacking their own critical marshlands. In Bolivia, traders routinely sell native and modern varieties of seed tubers to farmers, along with their commerce in ware potatoes. In central Mali, a cluster of villages produces and sells pearl millet seed that is specially adapted to extreme drought conditions. All four cases share key characteristics: they distinguish seed vs. grain, serve local, regional, and international customers, and, perhaps most importantly, are sustained without subsidy or project support. As ICSSs meet farmers’ demands for seed that is not supplied by other actors, a question remains as to whether ICSSs should be left alone, leveraged, or improved further. Recognizing possible legal and operational challenges, this article suggests that ICSSs first be studied in-depth—characterizing their variations, locales, and system functions—so that future debates on possible support can be grounded in concrete evidence of ICSSs’ strengths, weaknesses, and unique benefits.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814008
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14009: The Influence of N-Butanol Addition
           in Gasoline on the Combustion in the Spark Ignition Engine

    • Authors: Cristian Sandu, Constantin Pana, Niculae Negurescu, Gheorghe Lazaroiu, Alexandru Cernat, Rares Georgescu, Cristian Nutu
      First page: 14009
      Abstract: Butanol has good combustion properties and it can be a viable alternative fuel for automotive spark ignition engines due to its ability to improve energy and pollution performance. This paper analyses the influence of butanol content in gasoline blends on engine operation with a focus on operation stability, thermal efficiency and emissions. A Cielo Nubira A15MF engine type with four cylinders and a 1.5 L displacement was turbocharged and it was fueled with butanol in a blend with gasoline in percent’s of 10% vol. and 15% vol. An operation regime of 2500 1/min speed and 55% engine load was used, at different dosages, at which the engine power remained constant. Regarding the engine fueled with butanol in a blend with gasoline, the operation stability was improved, especially when lean dosages were used; the dosages at which the thermal efficiency was higher are comparative to classic fueling. Concerning the use of lean dosages, the combustion duration decreases and the energetic engine performance was improved when butanol was used comparative to gasoline. When butanol was used, polluting emissions and emission with a greenhouse effect were reduced. The sharp reduction in NOx is highlighted in this paper.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814009
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14010: Individual Pattern Response to
           CO2-Induced Acidification Stress in Haliotis rufescens Suggests
           Stage-Specific Acclimatization during Its Early Life History

    • Authors: Ricardo Gómez-Reyes, Clara E. Galindo-Sánchez, Fabiola Lafarga-De la Cruz, José M. Hernández-Ayón, Enrique Valenzuela-Wood, Laura López-Galindo
      First page: 14010
      Abstract: The red abalone Haliotis rufescens is a pivotal marine resource in the context of worldwide abalone aquaculture. However, the species has been listed as critically endangered partly because of the life-history massive mortalities associated with habitat climate changes, including short- and long-term ocean acidification. Because abalone survival depends on its early life history success, figuring out its vulnerability to acidification is the first step to establishing culture management strategies. In the present study, red abalone embryos were reared under long-term CO2-induced acidification (pH 7.8 and 7.6) and evaluated. The impairment prevalence was assessed during their larval stages, considering the developmental success, growth and calcification. The result in the stage-specific disturbance suggests that the body abilities evaluated are at the expense of their development stages, of which the critical threshold is found under −0.4 pH units. Finally, the settlement was short-term stressed, displaying the opposite to that observed in the long-term acidification. Thus, the early life history interacts through multiple pathways that may also depend on the acidification challenge (i.e., short or long term). Understanding the tolerance limits and pathways of the stress response provides valuable insights for exploring the vulnerability of H. rufescens to ocean acidification.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814010
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14011: Environmental, Social, and Corporate
           Governance (ESG), Life Cycle, and Firm Performance: Evidence from China

    • Authors: Wen Qu, Junrui Zhang
      First page: 14011
      Abstract: Interest in firms’ ESG performance is longstanding and growing. However, understanding remains fragmented across firms at different stages of their life cycle. This study investigates the role of life cycle stages in the relationship between ESG and firm performance in the Chinese context. Using a sample of 26,412 firm–year observations of firms listed in China from 2011 to 2021, the results provide evidence that, although ESG has a significant positive effect on firm performance, the effect is contingent on the stages of the firm’s life cycle. The association between ESG and firm performance is more pronounced for firms in the growth and mature phases. We also find that this effect is enhanced for state-owned growth firms localized in regions with a lower marketization degree. Furthermore, the findings also extend the distinct mediation roles of institutional investors and the agency cost of free cash flow in the nexus of ESG and firm performance. This paper provides direct empirical evidence for a better understanding of firm’s behavior across different life cycle stages, as well as helps to achieve a win–win situation of firm performance and social value.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814011
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14012: Temporal Characteristics and Sources
           of PM2.5 in Porto Velho of Amazon Region in Brazil from 2020 to 2022

    • Authors: Yu-Woon Jang, Gi-Woong Jung
      First page: 14012
      Abstract: Our study analyzed PM2.5 concentrations in Porto Velho, Rondônia, during the April 2020 and October 2022 wildfire seasons. This study aimed to evaluate the temporal characteristics of PM2.5 and the influence of long-distance pollution sources. Using PurpleAir data, we found that the average PM2.5 concentration was 17.7 ± 24.0 µg m−3, with significant spikes in August. PM2.5 concentrations decreased during the day but rose from nighttime to morning. The PM2.5 concentration was observed to be distributed at a high level of 36.3 ± 31.1 µg m−3 in slow westerly winds. Moreover, even in the dominant northerly wind conditions, a similarly high concentration of PM2.5 was detected, measuring at 33.2 ± 28.3 µg m−3. Air masses mainly originated from northeastern, southeastern, and southern regions, passing through Paraguay and Bolivia. Furthermore, PM2.5 in Porto Velho was influenced by Brazil’s northern and Central-West areas. To meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 11.6.2 for clean air, it is recommended that wildfires in Porto Velho’s northern and western regions be reduced, and more robust deforestation policies are needed in areas with long-distance pollution sources.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814012
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14013: Foreign Direct Investment,
           Technological Innovations, Energy Use, Economic Growth, and Environmental
           Sustainability Nexus: New Perspectives in BRICS Economies

    • Authors: Abdul Rauf, Najabat Ali, Muhammad Nauman Sadiq, Saira Abid, Shahzad Afzal Kayani, Abid Hussain
      First page: 14013
      Abstract: In the current era, economic growth is inevitable for global prosperity but achieving sustainable economic development is one of the significant challenges for the developing world. The present study explores the impacts of foreign direct investment, energy use, and technological innovations on the economic growth and environmental quality of BRICS countries for the period 1990–2018. We used the augmented mean group (AMG), the common correlated effects mean group estimator (CCEMG), and several other modern-day empirical techniques to analyze data. The findings show that foreign direct investment increases economic growth but harms the environmental sustainability of BRICS countries. Moreover, we have seen that energy use is directly proportional to economic growth and CO2 emissions. This confirms that energy use is one of the factors which harms the environmental quality in BRICS economies. Likewise, economic growth increases CO2 emissions. On the other hand, technology innovation has a direct relationship with economic growth but an inverse relationship with CO2 emissions as it improves the environmental sustainability of the BRICS region. This research adds to the existing literature by exploring the interplay between FDI, innovation, energy use, economic growth, and environmental outcomes in the context of major emerging economies. The study’s findings provide empirical evidence on the role of these factors in shaping the environmental outcomes in the BRICS economies, and they have implications for policymakers and stakeholders in addressing environmental challenges such as global warming and climate change.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814013
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14014: Sustainability Material Topics and
           Materiality Analysis in the Chemical Industry

    • Authors: Triantafyllos Papafloratos, Ioannis Markidis, Iordanis Kotzaivazoglou, Garyfallos Fragidis
      First page: 14014
      Abstract: Chemicals are an essential ingredient for many industries. The chemical industry has a direct environmental and social impact and massive potential to contribute towards a more sustainable world. Environmental and social awareness and pressure from society are increasing, customers expect from companies to show increased corporate social responsibility (CSR), and there are increasing legal requirements for companies to disclose information on their social, economic, and environmental performance through CSR reporting. This paper explores the most material sustainability topics in the chemical industry. We reviewed 25 sustainability reports of some of the biggest companies in the chemical industry—in terms of annual sales. We studied the reports, created a database, and then analyzed the findings. We identified the topics that were most commonly reported as being material by the chemical industry. This enabled us to identify trends, differences, or similarities within the data. The industry’s main environmental impacts are pollution and energy consumption, which is directly related to carbon emissions. Other material issues include health and safety, and water and waste management. Overall, it became apparent that the chemical industry recognizes the importance that the materiality assessment plays, but the content and detail of the sustainability reports can be improved.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814014
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14015: Multi-Target Rumination Behavior
           Analysis Method of Cows Based on Target Detection and Optical Flow

    • Authors: Ronghua Gao, Qihang Liu, Qifeng Li, Jiangtao Ji, Qiang Bai, Kaixuan Zhao, Liuyiyi Yang
      First page: 14015
      Abstract: Rumination behavior is closely associated with factors such as cow productivity, reproductive performance, and disease incidence. For multi-object scenarios of dairy cattle, ruminant mouth area images accounted for little characteristic information, which was first put forward using an improved Faster R-CNN target detection algorithm to improve the detection performance model for the ruminant area of dairy cattle. The primary objective is to enhance the model’s performance in accurately detecting cow rumination regions. To achieve this, the dataset used in this study is annotated with both the cow head region and the mouth region. The ResNet-50-FPN network is employed to extract the cow mouth features, and the CBAM attention mechanism is incorporated to further improve the algorithm’s detection accuracy. Subsequently, the object detection results are combined with optical flow information to eliminate false detections. Finally, an interpolation approach is adopted to design a frame complementary algorithm that corrects the detection frame of the cow mouth region. This interpolation algorithm is employed to rectify the detection frame of the cow’s mouth region, addressing the issue of missed detections and enhancing the accuracy of ruminant mouth region detection. To overcome the challenges associated with the inaccurate extraction of small-scale optical flow information and interference between different optical flow information in multi-objective scenes, an enhanced GMFlowNet-based method for multi-objective cow ruminant optical flow analysis is proposed. To mitigate interference from other head movements, the MeanShift clustering method is utilized to compute the velocity magnitude values of each pixel in the vertical direction within the intercepted ruminant mouth region. Furthermore, the mean square difference is calculated, incorporating the concept of range interquartile, to eliminate outliers in the optical flow curve. Finally, a final filter is applied to fit the optical flow curve of the multi-object cow mouth movement, and it is able to identify rumination behavior and calculate chewing times. The efficacy, robustness, and accuracy of the proposed method are evaluated through experiments, with nine videos capturing multi-object cow chewing behavior in different settings. The experimental findings demonstrate that the enhanced Faster R-CNN algorithm achieved an 84.70% accuracy in detecting the ruminant mouth region, representing an improvement of 11.80 percentage points over the results obtained using the Faster R-CNN detection approach. Additionally, the enhanced GMFlowNet algorithm accurately identifies the ruminant behavior of all multi-objective cows, with a 97.30% accuracy in calculating the number of ruminant chewing instances, surpassing the accuracy of the FlowNet2.0 algorithm by 3.97 percentage points. This study provides technical support for intelligent monitoring and analysis of rumination behavior of dairy cows in group breeding.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814015
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14016: Cross-Case Analysis of the Energy
           Communities in Spain, Italy, and Greece: Progress, Barriers, and the Road

    • Authors: Luisa Losada-Puente, José Antonio Blanco, Adina Dumitru, Ioannis Sebos, Aggelos Tsakanikas, Ioanna Liosi, Stelios Psomas, Mariangela Merrone, Diego Quiñoy, Eduardo Rodríguez
      First page: 14016
      Abstract: The current regulatory context for the energy sector and in which Energy Communities operate is fragmented and unclear in most EU countries. Although some initiatives have existed in Northern Europe for some time, this concept is considered relatively new. Indeed, EU legislation has only recently recognised Energy Communities through EU Directives 2018/2001 and 2019/944. In the framework of XXXXX, this qualitative research gathered information regarding the current adaptability and applicability of directives within national legislation, together with the legal and administrative frameworks in Spain, Italy, and Greece. Desk research and semi-structured interviews with 20 key informants from Spain, Italy, and Greece were conducted. Cross-case analysis was focused on the regulatory framework for ECs, its structure, and the models of governance. The results showed that the process of harmonisation of renewable energy legislation has not yet been completed in Southern Europe, with notable differences in the degree of implementation between countries.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814016
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14017: Enhanced Port Vulnerability
           Assessment Using Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicle-Based Structural Health

    • Authors: Christina N. Tsaimou, Stavroula Brouziouti, Panagiotis Sartampakos, Vasiliki K. Tsoukala
      First page: 14017
      Abstract: Port vulnerability assessment is inherently linked to the delivery of sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Identifying the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a port system allows for the minimization of disaster effects and optimization of maintenance, repair, or mitigation actions. The current port vulnerability assessment practices are built upon the examination of a diversity of indicators (parameters), including technical, physical, environmental, and socioeconomic pressures. From an engineering perspective, and given that ports are tangible infrastructure assets, their vulnerability is highly affected by the structural condition of their facilities. Hence, the present research seeks to enhance port vulnerability assessment by introducing structural condition parameters based on Structural Health Monitoring applications. The four fishing and leisure harbors of the Municipality of Thebes, located in central Greece, were used as a case study. Two approaches were considered for the harbors’ vulnerability assessments: (a) enabling and (b) disabling the use of the proposed parameters. In situ inspections were conducted with the employment of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for condition monitoring. UAV data were analyzed to generate geospatial images that allow for the mapping and detecting of defects and failures in port infrastructure. The overall research assists decision-makers in gaining valuable insight into the system’s vulnerabilities and prioritizing their interventions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814017
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14018: Social Network Analysis Uses and
           Contributions to Innovation Initiatives in Rural Areas: A Review

    • Authors: Susana B. Guerrero-Ocampo, José M. Díaz-Puente
      First page: 14018
      Abstract: This paper identifies the main contributions of Social Network Analysis (SNA) use in the study of innovations in rural areas with an emphasis on agriculture and forestry. The bibliographic analysis was carried out on the Web of Knowledge (WoK) and Scopus platforms. Sixty-eight studies were found in which SNA was used as the main research tool in innovation processes in rural areas. The main fields of the SNA contribution were as follows: (i) social capital; (ii) social learning: information and knowledge flow for the adoption of innovations produced through existing social structures; (iii) the implementation and evaluation of innovations for local and territorial dynamization. The study contributes to summarizing the existing knowledge on SNA use in the study of innovations in rural areas and to informing future research. Understanding social networks is essential to strengthen and enhance the existing social capital and to promote social learning related to innovations in rural areas.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814018
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14019: Unboxing the Complex between Job
           Satisfaction and Intangible Service Quality: A Perspective of
           Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

    • Authors: Goran Perić, Marko Slavković, Marko Gašić, Boban Đurović, Sandra Dramićanin
      First page: 14019
      Abstract: The quality of service is one of the key assumptions of a sustainable and profitable business in the hotel industry. On the other hand, employees as direct providers of hotel services have a direct impact on the perceived quality of service. Establishing a relationship between job satisfaction and perceived intangible service quality is of great importance for customer relationship management and sustainable competitive advantage. For the collection of primary data, questionnaires were distributed to two groups of respondents, namely hotel employees and guests. Thus, 456 paired questionnaires were obtained. The testing of defined hypotheses and relations between constructs and latent variables was completed using the PLS-SEM approach. The results of the study showed that all validated constructs, namely pay, promotion, supervision, fringe benefits, contingent rewards, coworkers, communication, and the nature of work, contribute positively to job satisfaction. A positive relationship between job satisfaction and intangible service quality constructs was confirmed for reliability, assurance, and responsiveness but not for empathy. The study confirmed that perceived intangible service quality can be influenced by increasing job satisfaction and that payment and communication can achieve the most significant influence.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814019
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14020: Industry 4.0 and Renewable Energy
           Production Nexus: An Empirical Investigation of G20 Countries with Panel
           Quantile Method

    • Authors: Melike Bildirici, Fazıl Kayıkçı, Özgür Ömer Ersin
      First page: 14020
      Abstract: In line with the fourth industrial revolution, most countries have imposed a variety of regulations or policies for the goals of energy conservation, sustainable development, and industrial transition. Renewable energy production and its production process, which is widely discussed, especially in the context of sustainable energy, has become more important with Industry 4.0. This paper tested the relation among economic growth, renewable electricity generations (% of GDP), Industry 4.0, industrial structure, trade openness, financial development, and research and development expenditure for G20 countries in 2000–2021 by employing a panel quantile regression approach and various panel cointegration tests in addition to investigation of panel Granger causality among the analyzed variables. The variables of industrial structure, trade openness, and financial development were selected as control variables. Since this study is the first study on this topic, it will contribute to the development of the literature by providing resources for future studies about I4.0, renewable energy production, and economic growth. Furthermore, this study will not only contribute to the literature by revealing the theoretical and empirical relationship between these variables but will also shed light on the policies that G20 countries will produce in this regard. According to results, all variables examined have significant causal effects: unidirectional causality from economic growth to Industry 4.0, to research and development, and to renewable energy output and, also, from research and development to renewable energy output. Bidirectional causality and feedback effects between renewable energy and Industry 4.0 are determined. Further, unidirectional causality from industrial structure, from openness to trade, and from financial development to renewable energy output are determined. Results indicate renewable-enhancing effects of Industry 4.0.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814020
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14021: Advancements in Liquid Desiccant
           Technologies: A Comprehensive Review of Materials, Systems, and

    • Authors: Farah G. Fahad, Shurooq T. Al-Humairi, Amged T. Al-Ezzi, Hasan Sh. Majdi, Abbas J. Sultan, Thaqal M. Alhuzaymi, Thaar M. Aljuwaya
      First page: 14021
      Abstract: Desiccant agents (DAs) have drawn much interest from researchers and businesses because they offer a potential method for lowering environmental impact, increasing energy efficiency, and controlling humidity. As a result, they provide a greener option to conventional air conditioning systems. This review thoroughly analyzes current issues, obstacles, and future advancements in liquid desiccant agents (LDAs) for drying, air conditioning, and dehumidification applications. The importance of LDAs in lowering energy use and greenhouse gas emissions is highlighted, emphasizing their potential for environmentally friendly humidity control. The current review examines key parameters such as novel materials, enhancing desiccant qualities, integration with technologies, and long-term durability while examining recent developments in LDAs and investigating their applications in diverse industries. The main conclusions from the evaluated publications in this review are also highlighted, including developments in LDAs, new applications, and developing research fields. Overall, this review advances knowledge of LDAs and their potential to shift humidity control systems toward sustainability and energy efficiency.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814021
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14022: Use of Field Reserves in Emergencies
           as Assessed by Urban Residents and Refugees in Warsaw and Lviv during the
           War in Ukraine

    • Authors: Alina Maciejewska, Łukasz Kuzak, Marianna Ulanicka-Raczyńska, Yaryna Onufriv
      First page: 14022
      Abstract: Land management in crises requires quick solutions, which, without proper knowledge and experience, can lead to harmful interventions in established cities. In this regard, when choosing areas for placing critical infrastructure, such as temporary residences for refugees or field hospitals, it is essential to take into account not only the existing experience of scientists and experts on the topic but also the opinions of those who are intended to benefit from these services and of the people who live nearby. The purpose of this study was to identify the needs and opinions regarding the placement of critical infrastructure and facilities for those forcibly displaced as a result of the war in Ukraine (based on the example of Lviv, Ukraine) and the effects on the residents of Warsaw (Poland) as a city that faced a powerful wave of migrants from Ukraine. In the summer of 2022, a survey of 81 internally displaced persons who lived in two modular towns in Lviv was conducted. During 2022–2023, the residents of Warsaw were surveyed concerning the essential criteria for emergency site locations and their attitudes toward refugees from Ukraine. The results of our research showed that for internally displaced persons in temporary shelters in Lviv, it was vital to provide for their basic needs, along with a sense of security, and to encourage the unity of the people living nearby. A significant result of the survey indicated the necessary yet undesirable infrastructure facilities within a radius of up to 1 km around residents’ homes. It was determined that the most important objects, which should be placed within the limits of pedestrian accessibility, were bomb shelters, medical institutions, centers for administrative services, and others. In return, the most undesirable infrastructure facilities were military facilities, burial sites, and memorial complexes, etc. The results of the Warsaw survey were related to the criteria for choosing sites for the placement of significant critical infrastructure facilities and also demonstrated the positive attitude of the citizens toward the immigrants from Ukraine and their readiness to help if needed. The results could serve as a solid basis for the selection of plots for constructing temporary accommodation for refugees and internally displaced persons in European cities during crisis events.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814022
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14023: Testing
           Unemployment–Entrepreneurship Nexus in Namibia Using the
           Schumpeterian Approach

    • Authors: Johanna Pangeiko Nautwima, Asa Romeo Asa, Sulaiman Olusegun Atiku
      First page: 14023
      Abstract: This study uses time series data from the World Bank database to examine the relationship between unemployment and entrepreneurship in Namibia. We applied the Augmented Dickey–Fuller and Phillips–Perron tests for unit root testing and found all the variables to be stationary after the first difference. Given that, we employed the Johansen–Juselius test to measure cointegration, which revealed the absence of long-run relationships between the variables. Hence, we performed a Vector Autoregressive model to estimate the short-run relationships and found that Namibia exhibits both the refugee and Schumpeter effects. Finally, we measured the direction of causality using the Pairwise Granger causality test, and the results revealed that none of the variables Granger causes the other, implying that they are all independent of each other. This implies that the significance of entrepreneurship in addressing unemployment in Namibia is limited in the long run, mostly owing to the absence of sustainable business ventures. Therefore, we recommend prioritizing the development of policies to tackle unemployment through sustainable entrepreneurship.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814023
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14024: A Conceptual Approach to the
           Histosols Profile Morphology as a Risk Indicator in Assessing the
           Sustainability of Their Use and Impact on Climate Change

    • Authors: Jonas Volungevicius, Kristina Amaleviciute-Volunge
      First page: 14024
      Abstract: In the context of climate change, the questions of the sustainability of peat soil use are particularly relevant. The evaluation of changes in the properties of soils (including histosols) using chemical methods is expensive, thus, their application possibilities are limited. Analyzing the morphology of histosol profiles would provide effective spatial analysis opportunities for assessing the extent of their anthropogenic transformation and impact on climate change. The key diagnostic horizons and their sequences for the identification of the risk group are the main results of the study. The analysis included 12 soil profiles, whose morphological structure was characterized using the WRB 2022 system of master symbols and suffixes for soil profile horizon descriptions. The analyzed profiles were excavated in forested (relatively natural), agricultural (agrogenized) and peat mining (technogenized) areas. The insights of this article in the discussion are based on the chemical analyses (pH KCl, N, P and K, soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, mobile humus substance, humic and fulvo acids, C:N ratio and humification degree) of three histosol profiles. The main discussion is based on the results of the morphological analysis of the profiles. The results of this research allowed for the identification of a different structure of the histosol profile. The upper part of the histosol profile, which consists of O–H(a,e,i) horizons, indicates its naturalness. The murshic horizon (Hap) is the classic top horizon of the agricultural histosol profile, which is most affected by mineralization. The technogenized histosols have a partially destroyed profile, which is represented by the Ahτ/Haτ or only Haτ horizons at the top. The morphology of the histosol profile and the identification of the relevant horizons (Hap, Haτ and Ahτ) indicate its risks and presuppose a usage optimization solution. The most dangerous in the context of sustainable land use principles and climate change is the murshic horizon (Hap), which is uncovered after removing the horizon O. The risks of sustainable use of histosol are caused by measures that promote its microbiological activity, which is the maintenance of a drained state and cultivation. In the context of GHG emissions and sustainable use, the most favorable means would be the formation of the horizon O by applying perennial plants. Rewetting should be applied to those histosols whose removal from the agricultural or mining balance would provide maximum ecological benefits.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814024
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14025: Generative AI and ChatGPT in School
           Children’s Education: Evidence from a School Lesson

    • Authors: Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Agustín Garagorry Guerra
      First page: 14025
      Abstract: In 2023, the global use of generative AI, particularly ChatGPT-3.5 and -4, witnessed a significant surge, sparking discussions on its sustainable implementation across various domains, including education from primary schools to universities. However, practical testing and evaluation in school education are still relatively unexplored. This article examines the utilization of generative AI in primary school education. The study involved 110 pupils, aged 8–14 years old, studying in the 4th–6th grades across four classes in two schools. Using laptops, pupils participated in test lessons where content, text, figures, and exercises were generated and modified using generative AI, specifically ChatGPT-3.5. The results demonstrated that it was possible to use ChatGPT-3.5, as one example of generative AI, to personify learning material so that it would meet the knowledge and learning skills of pupils with different levels of knowledge. A clear majority of pupils enjoyed learning the generative AI-modified material. There is a promising potential of generative AI use in school education, supporting pupils’ motivated learning and skills development. However, these tools need to be developed, refined and optimized to ensure proper adaptation and to create impactful, inclusive, and sustainable learning in schools to benefit pupils, teachers and education managers alike.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814025
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14026: Trust in Virtual Interaction: The
           Role of Avatars in Sustainable Customer Relationships

    • Authors: Yue-Ming Guo, Wai-Ling Ng, Fei Hao, Chen Zhang, Shu-Xu Liu, Adil Masud Aman
      First page: 14026
      Abstract: Trust—both cognitive and affective trust—sit at the core of the development of avatars in hospitality. Based on the theory of mind (ToM), this study collected data from 563 hotel customers and utilized partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to examine the differential roles of affective and cognitive trust in shaping the customer experience, customer-brand identification, brand love, and brand loyalty, all within a framework that emphasizes sustainable relationships and practices. The framework encompasses a comprehensive approach to fostering long-term, mutually beneficial relationships throughout the customer journey. This research contributes to the field by exploring the specific impacts of affective and cognitive trust on various customer-related outcomes within the context of avatars in hospitality, providing valuable insights into the unique dynamics of trust-building in this domain. The findings shed light on the ToM and offer strategic marketing plans for hospitality practitioners, highlighting the significance of trust and sustainable customer relationships in driving long-term value.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814026
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14027: Business Model for Scaling Social
           Impact towards Sustainability by Social Entrepreneurs

    • Authors: Kishore Kumar François, Hoe Chin Goi
      First page: 14027
      Abstract: This paper examines a Business Model (BM) from a socio-economic system perspective to discern key factors and understand its interactions resulting in the Scaling of Social Impact (SSI) in Social Entrepreneurship (SE). Previously, studies have explained the importance of the BM in relation to SE. However, there is a lack of empirical studies on how a BM’s transitions through participation of various actors result in the SSI, causing a gap in this field’s research. This research applies a qualitative analysis on a single case study of a Japanese social startup, “mymizu”, the first water refill application platform in Japan. The findings show that collaboration amongst different stakeholders on the initial phase of the BM could increase awareness of responsible consumption, convert into actual users for sustainability, and change their behavior. Secondly, members of society could take on dual roles, both as users and collaborators in the BM, which results in an exponential scaling effect of the Social Impact (SI). This paper contributes towards adding a Participatory Stakeholder (PS) to the ecosystem of the SSI and building a Regenerative BM (RBM) that is relevant in SE towards sustainability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814027
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14028: Evaluation of Geospatial
           Interpolation Techniques for Enhancing Spatiotemporal Rainfall
           Distribution and Filling Data Gaps in Asir Region, Saudi Arabia

    • Authors: Ahmed M. Helmi, Mohamed Elgamal, Mohamed I. Farouk, Mohamed S. Abdelhamed, Bakinam T. Essawy
      First page: 14028
      Abstract: Providing an accurate spatiotemporal distribution of rainfall and filling data gaps are pivotal for effective water resource management. This study focuses on the Asir region in the southwest of Saudi Arabia. Given the limited accuracy of satellite data in this arid/mountain-dominated study area, geospatial interpolation has emerged as a viable alternative approach for filling terrestrial records data gaps. Furthermore, the irregularity in rain gauge data and the yearly spatial variation in data gaps hinder the creation of a coherent distribution pattern. To address this, the Centered Root Mean Square Error (CRMSE) is employed as a criterion to select the most appropriate geospatial interpolation technique among 51 evaluated methods for maximum and total yearly precipitation data. This study produced gap-free maps of total and maximum yearly precipitation from 1966 to 2013. Beyond 2013, it is recommended to utilize ordinary Kriging with a J-Bessel semivariogram and simple Kriging with a K-Bessel semivariogram to estimate the spatial distribution of maximum and total yearly rainfall depth, respectively. Additionally, a proposed methodology for allocating additional rain gauges to improve the accuracy of rainfall spatial distribution is introduced based on a cross-validation error (CVE) assessment. Newly proposed gauges in the study area resulted in a significant 21% CVE reduction.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814028
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14029: Towards Sustainable Energy:
           Harnessing Microalgae Biofuels for a Greener Future

    • Authors: Indrajeet Singh, Ashutosh Pandey, Sumarlin Shangdiar, Piyush Kant Rai, Ajay Kumar, Kassian T. T. Amesho, Faizal Bux
      First page: 14029
      Abstract: Bioenergy productions from microalgae have received wide attention recently and have a high potential to replace fossil fuels. Moreover, due to the high photosynthetic efficiency, microalgae mass cultivation and scale-up are believed to efficiently reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. This review article explores the potential of microalgae as a reliable and sustainable source of bioenergy feedstock. The current review article contains an in-depth discussion of the various methods of producing energy using microalgae, viz. algal fuel cell (AFC), microbial fuel cell (MFC), bioethanol and biodiesel, and various other applications. This article discussed the different aspects of AFC and MFC, such as fuel cell configurations, reaction mechanisms at electrodes, reactor design factors affecting the efficiencies, and strategies to enhance the efficiencies. Moreover, microalgae cultivation, value-added compounds (pigments, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids), liquid fuel production, limitations, the global scenario of microalgae biomass-based energy, and significant advancements in this field. In a nutshell, this review serves as a valuable resource for identifying, developing, and harnessing the potential of microalgae as a promising biofuel source.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814029
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14030: Dynamic Modulus Prediction
           Validation for the AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design Implementation in Egypt

    • Authors: Maram Saudy, Tamer Breakah, Sherif El-Badawy
      First page: 14030
      Abstract: Dynamic Modulus, E* is a crucial property of the hot mix asphalt (HMA). For the AASHTOWare Pavement ME design, E* is an essential material input. E* can be measured in the laboratory or predicted using different models based on some fundamental properties of the HMA. The NCHRP 1-37A and NCHRP 1-40D prediction models are the two main models adopted by the AASHTOWare to predict the E* based on the HMA mixture volumetrics, gradation, and binder properties. The main objective of this research was to validate these two prediction models using local HMA mixes for the purpose of the regional application of the AASHTOWare Pavement ME design in Egypt. For this purpose, the E* values of ten locally plant-produced HMA mixes were measured in the laboratory. The two E* prediction models were then used to estimate the E* values for the same materials. Consequently, the performance of both models was studied by comparing the measured values to the estimated values. The results showed that the NCHRP 1-40D prediction model can satisfactorily predict the E* of the Egyptian HMA mixes with minimal bias and high accuracy. The model yielded an adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.86 based on 480 E* measurements. On the other hand, the NCHRP 1-37A prediction accuracy was not satisfactory, with very poor accuracy (Adjusted R2 = 0.18) and high bias. Afterwards, the effect of the predicted E* from the NCHRP 1-40D model on the AASHTOWare Pavement ME predicted pavement performance in terms of rutting, cracking, and roughness was further studied. Accordingly, twenty-four simulation runs for typical Egyptian design cases were conducted using, first, the laboratory measured E* values and, then, the NCHRP 1-40D predicted E* values. The results showed that the NCHRP 1-40D predictions had no significant effect on the pavement performance predicted by the AASHTOWare Pavement ME with R2 of the different pavement distresses ranged from 0.980, for the AC rutting, to 0.9996 for the International Roughness Index (IRI). Hence, the NCHRP 1-40D model can be used satisfactorily to predict E* for the Egyptian HMA mixes without compromising the structural pavement design.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814030
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14031: Developing International
           Collaboration Indicators in Fisheries Remote Sensing Research to Achieve
           SDG 14 and 17

    • Authors: Chen, Yen
      First page: 14031
      Abstract: Remote sensing technology significantly contributes to fisheries management and marine ecosystem preservation. The development disparities among countries create gaps that hinder sustainable fisheries and ecosystem protection. Assessing progress and efforts across regions and countries is crucial for sustainable development. Effective measurement methods are used to identify shortcomings, guide academic development, and strengthen partnerships. Tracking and highlighting partnership achievements is challenging due to the difficulties in quantification. The objective of this study is to create indicators for evaluating the community of international academic cooperation. We analyzed and examined the trend in national efforts and international partnerships before and after the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were released in 2015 using bibliometric methods and bibliographic information from the Web of Science (WoS). The results show that tracking the progress and evolution of international collaborations in fisheries remote sensing research can be facilitated by employing quantitative indicators that measure international cooperation among coauthors, institutions, and countries. Additionally, the number of partnerships in each country displays a significant relationship with the country’s level of national development. A comparison of indicators developed by actors with different orientations can be used as a strategic reference for developing partnerships among countries. Academic research in developing countries that rely heavily on fisheries plays a critical role in preserving life below water (SDG 14). The achievement of this SDG can be enhanced through global partnerships (SDG 17).
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814031
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14032: Stochastic Flood Simulation Method
           Combining Flood Intensity and Morphological Indicators

    • Authors: Xiaodi Fu, Xiaoyan He, Liuqian Ding
      First page: 14032
      Abstract: The existing flood stochastic simulation methods are mostly applied to the stochastic simulation of flood intensity characteristics, with less consideration for the randomness of the flood hydrograph shape and its correlation with intensity characteristics. In view of this, this paper proposes a flood stochastic simulation method that combines intensity and morphological indicators. Using the Foziling and Xianghongdian reservoirs in the Pi River basin in China as examples, this method utilizes a three-dimensional asymmetric Archimedean M6 Copula to construct stochastic simulation models for peak flow, flood volume, and flood duration. Based on K-means clustering, a multivariate Gaussian Copula is employed to construct a dimensionless flood hydrograph stochastic simulation model. Furthermore, separate two-dimensional symmetric Copula stochastic simulation models are established to capture the correlations between flood intensity characteristics and shape variables such as peak shape coefficient, peak occurrence time, rising inflection point angle, and coefficient of variation. By evaluating the fit between the simulated flood characteristics and the dimensionless flood hydrograph, a complete flood hydrograph is synthesized, which can be applied in flood control dispatch simulations and other related fields. The feasibility and practicality of the proposed model are analyzed and demonstrated. The results indicate that the simulated floods closely resemble natural floods, making the simulation outcomes crucial for reservoir scheduling, risk assessment, and decision-making processes.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814032
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14033: Sustainable Corporate Performance
           Based on Audit Report Influence: An Empirical Approach through Financial
           Transparency and Gender Equality Dimensions

    • Authors: Ionuț Viorel Herghiligiu, Ioan-Bogdan Robu, Marinela Istrate, Maria Grosu, Camelia Cătălina Mihalciuc, Adrian Vilcu
      First page: 14033
      Abstract: Social, economic and environmental factors contribute to the companies’ sustainable development. Social and financial dimensions have an important contribution to sustainable performance, through assurance of transparency in the information communication requested by stakeholders in order to substantiate their decisions. Social transparency is ensured by presenting organization’s actions in the field of social responsibility, and financial transparency takes into account the most accurate, complete and neutral presentation of information, both in the annual financial statements and in the audit reports. The present study aims to assess the influence of financial transparency and gender equality on the sustainable corporate performance, thus contributing to increasing SDGs awareness and achievement required by 2030 Agenda. Through a sample of 1133 observations (Romanian listed companies/years) to the period 2008–2020, the obtained research results emphasis that gender equality and absence/presence of transparency in financial reporting have a significant influence on corporate sustainable performance.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814033
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14034: Nutritional Security: Carbohydrate
           Profile and Folk Remedies of Rare Edible Mushrooms to Diversify Food and
           Diet: Thailand Case Study

    • Authors: Nattira On-nom, Uthaiwan Suttisansanee, Wimonphan Chathiran, Somsri Charoenkiatkul, Parunya Thiyajai, Warangkana Srichamnong
      First page: 14034
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to explore the current knowledge and practice of agrobiodiversity to improve nutrition and health. The study focused on wild mushrooms commonly consumed in Northeastern Thailand in terms of ecology, cooking and preservation methods, and folk remedies. The monosaccharide, sugar alcohol, glucan, and carbohydrate polymer content and the glycemic index of these wild mushrooms were determined using the enzymatic method. The mushrooms collected belonged to three biological groups and were mostly saprotrophic and symbiotic. The most abundant mushrooms were Amanita, Boletus, and Russula, followed by Calostoma sp., Astraeus asiaticus C. Phosri, and Astraeus odoratus C. Phosri. Wild edible mushrooms can be used for food and medicinal purposes. Cooking methods utilized in the area consist of steaming, boiling, and grilling. Glucose was the major monosaccharide detected in all mushroom samples. Xylitol and inositol were found in all mushroom samples, while some contained mannitol and arabitol. Glucan was present in all mushroom samples, ranging from 8.03 to 31.1 mg/g DW. All mushrooms were classified as having a low glycemic index. These findings provide important information to potentially enhance and promote the utilization of wild mushrooms to improve the accessibility, availability, and sustainability of nutritious food.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814034
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14035: A Two-Stage Real-Time Optimization
           Model of Arterial Signal Coordination Based on Reverse Causal-Effect
           Modeling Approach

    • Authors: Binbin Hao, Bin Lv, Qixiang Chen, Xianlin Li
      First page: 14035
      Abstract: The arterial signal coordination is an effective method to improve traffic operational efficiency and reduce vehicle delay. In this paper, a two-stage arterial signal coordination model under dynamic traffic demands is established, and the signal timing and offset are adjusted according to the dynamic traffic demands. The objective is to minimize the expected intersection delay and the overflow of the coordinated direction. In the first stage, a calculation model for intersection signal timing based on phase clearing reliability is proposed by the reverse causal-effect modeling approach, which can calculate the signal timing of each intersection in real time. In the second stage, an offset calculation model is established to achieve the goal of minimizing delay in the coordinated direction, which can calculate the offset of trunk coordination in real time. The concept of phase clearance reliability is introduced in the model, which can dynamically adjust the balance between the coordinated phase and the non-coordinated phase, thus taking the overall control efficiency of intersections into account. We then develop an algorithm to solve the problem and then apply the model and the solution algorithm to an arterial road with three intersections to investigate and compare its performance with the Allsop’s method and the Webster’s method. A comparison between the proposed coordinated two-stage logic and a coordinated actuated logic is also conducted in the case study to show the advantages and disadvantages.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814035
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14036: Elasticities of Passenger Transport
           Demand on US Intercity Routes: Impact on Public Policies for

    • Authors: Ignacio Escañuela Romana, Mercedes Torres-Jiménez, Mariano Carbonero-Ruz
      First page: 14036
      Abstract: Passenger transport is a key sector of the economy, and its sustainability depends on achieving the greatest possible efficiency, avoiding problems of congestion or underuse of infrastructures, and reducing the sector’s environmental impact. Knowing the elasticities of demand is critical to achieving these objectives, estimating the intensity of transport demand, and predicting the effect of different policies on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This research proposes a relatively simple model for estimating and predicting the elasticity of demand for different modes of transport at the route level. This model could be used by companies and public management to obtain a vision of the different analysed routes and the pressure of their demand, as well as a relative perspective of each of them. Such a model is used to estimate the price and income demand elasticities of passenger transport modes in domestic routes in the United States (2003–2019), where there is competition between road, rail, and air transport. Series of passenger numbers, fares, and budget shares are reconstructed from the available data. A Rotterdam demand model (RDM) is estimated using a seemingly unrelated regression method (SUR). The estimated income elasticities imply that demand for road transport increases somewhat more proportionally than the increase in income, somewhat less than proportionally for air transport, and with very low proportionality for rail transport. This indicates the need to target investment and service improvement efforts, as well as technological solutions, according to this difference in demand pressures. Finally, the demand response of the three modes of transport to price increases is inelastic, and there is little or no pass-through from one mode to another. This implies that fiscal or carbon pricing actions could have a very limited impact and high social costs. Again, strategies based on investments in technological progress, infrastructure development, and normative interventions could be more effective.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814036
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14037: An Analysis of Factors Influencing
           Chinese University Students’ Major Choice from the Perspective of
           Gender Differences

    • Authors: Chang Xu, Futao Xiang, Ruiqi Duan, Cristina Miralles-Cardona, Xinxin Huo, Junwei Xu
      First page: 14037
      Abstract: Higher education attainment is a focus of gender differences research. However, little is known about differences in university students’ major choices at the same level of higher education in China’s education hierarchy. Based on a web survey of 1164 undergraduate students in China’s broad enrollment context, this study uses Wenjuanxing to collect information by posting questionnaires on social media platforms and analyzes the impact of gender differences on the major choices of finance and economics undergraduates by using the Linear Discriminant Model (LDM). Moreover, this study explores the differential impact of income level, urban–rural settings, and regional differences on university students’ major choices. This study finds that female students are approximately 2.62 times more likely than male students to choose applied majors (such as accounting, financial management, auditing, international business, and so on), a gap that is more pronounced in high-income families and Eastern regions. In addition, in rural areas, female students have a higher probability of choosing applied majors than male students. These findings indicate that in China’s broad discipline enrollment model, gender differences still significantly affect students’ major choices, and female students are more likely to enter applied majors than their male counterparts.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814037
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 14038: A Contribution to Social
           Sustainability Efforts in Turkey in the Context of Migration: Uyum
           Çocuk (Harmonization Child) Platform

    • Authors: Hayrullah Kahya
      First page: 14038
      Abstract: Owing to its strategically advantageous geographical position that connects Asia and Europe, Turkey has consistently experienced a high rate of migration throughout its history. Nevertheless, one of the most remarkable and unparalleled migration events unfolded in 2011, triggered by the internal strife in Syria resulting from the Arab Spring. This tumultuous period witnessed an enormous wave of Syrian refugees seeking refuge within Turkey’s borders. Given its contemporary relevance, this migration carries profound implications for the social sustainability of future generations. This study aims to evaluate the contribution of the Uyum Çocuk (Harmonization Child) platform, initiated by the Turkish Ministry of Interior, to promote social cohesion among both native and immigrant children to the advancement of social sustainability. The platform is assessed across various dimensions of social sustainability, including social equality and justice, cultural diversity and freedom of expression, social participation, sustainable urban development, and eco-consumption. The research findings underscore that the platform primarily focuses on enhancing social equality and justice while other dimensions receive comparatively less attention. Considering Turkey’s role as a host country for millions of migrants, this study recommends that public authorities and civil society organizations prioritize initiatives aimed at instilling the principles of social sustainability across all segments of society, with a particular emphasis on children.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/su151814038
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 18 (2023)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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