Subjects -> SOCIAL SCIENCES (Total: 1648 journals)
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SOCIAL SCIENCES (937 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5     

Showing 801 - 136 of 136 Journals sorted alphabetically
Shanlax International Journal of Arts, Science and Humanities     Open Access  
SHS Web of Conferences     Open Access  
Si Somos Americanos     Open Access  
Signos : Investigación en Sistemas de Gestión     Open Access  
Simbiótica     Open Access  
SINTESA : Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik     Open Access  
SN Social Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Social & Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Social and Personality Psychology Compass     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Social Behavior and Personality : An International Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Social Choice and Welfare     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Social Cognition     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Social Compass     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Social Development & Security : Journal of Scientific Papers     Open Access  
Social Development Issues     Full-text available via subscription  
Social Education     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Social History Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Social Influence     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Social Inquiry : Journal of Social Science Research     Open Access  
Social Justice Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Social Landscape Journal     Open Access  
Social Philosophy and Policy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Social Policy and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 138)
Social Research : An International Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Social Science & Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 101)
Social Science Computer Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Social Science Japan Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Social Science Protocols     Open Access  
Social Science Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Social Science Spectrum     Open Access  
Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Social Sciences & Humanities Open     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Social Sciences and Missions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Social Sciences in China     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Social Semiotics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Social Studies and the Young Learner     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Social Studies of Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37)
Social Studies Research and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Social, Humanities, and Educational Studies (SHEs) : Conference Series     Open Access  
Socialiniai tyrimai     Open Access  
Socialium : Revista Cientifica de Ciencias Sociales     Open Access  
Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift     Open Access  
Sociedad e Infancias     Open Access  
Sociedade e Cultura     Open Access  
Sociedade e Estado     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Sociétés & Représentations     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Society     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Socio     Open Access  
Socio-analysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Socio-Ecological Practice Research     Hybrid Journal  
Sociología y Tecnociencia     Open Access  
Sophia Austral     Open Access  
Soshum : Jurnal Sosial dan Humaniora     Open Access  
Sosio Didaktika : Social Science Education Journal     Open Access  
SosioHumanika: Jurnal Pendidikan Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan (Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Education)     Open Access  
Soundings : An Interdisciplinary Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
South Asian Journal of Social Studies and Economics     Open Access  
Sozial Extra     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Soziale Passagen     Hybrid Journal  
Sri Lanka Journal of Advanced Social Studies     Open Access  
Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences     Open Access  
Studi Magrebini : North African Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Studia Socialia Cracoviensia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Studies in Asian Social Science     Open Access  
Studies in Social Justice     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Sultan Agung Fundamental Research Journal     Open Access  
Suma de Negocios     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Suomen Sukututkimusseuran Vuosikirja     Open Access  
Survey Research Methods     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 24)
Sustainability : Science, Practice, & Policy     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Symmetry     Open Access  
Symposion : Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences     Open Access  
Søkelys på arbeidslivet (Norwegian Journal of Working Life Studies)     Open Access  
Tangent     Hybrid Journal  
Tapuya : Latin American Science, Technology and Society     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Technology transfer: innovative solutions in Social Sciences and Humanities     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
TechTrends     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Teme : Journal of Social Sciences     Open Access  
Tempo Social     Open Access  
Teoría y Praxis     Open Access  
Textos & Contextos (Porto Alegre)     Open Access  
The Batuk     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
The Equilibrium     Open Access  
The EXceptional Parent     Full-text available via subscription  
The New Yorker     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
The Tocqueville Review/La revue Tocqueville     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
The Winnower     Open Access  
The Women : Annual Research Journal of Gender Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Thesis     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Third Sector Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning     Open Access  
Tidsskrift for samfunnsforskning     Open Access  
Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning     Open Access  
Tieteessä Tapahtuu     Open Access  
Tinkazos     Open Access  
Trabajos y Comunicaciones     Open Access  
Trama : Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades     Open Access  
Trans-pasando Fronteras     Open Access  
Transmodernity : Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Transmotion     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
Transtext(e)s Transcultures     Open Access  
Trayectorias Humanas Trascontinentales : TraHs     Open Access  
Trivium     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Tulane Undergraduate Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Twentieth Century Communism     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Twenty-First Century Society: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences     Hybrid Journal  
UC Merced Undergraduate Research Journal     Open Access  
UC Riverside Undergraduate Research Journal     Open Access  
UED Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education     Open Access  
Ultima Década     Open Access  
Uluslararası Anadolu Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi / International Anatolian Journal of Social Sciences     Open Access  
Umanistica Digitale     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Uni-pluriversidad     Open Access  
Universidad de La Habana     Open Access  
Universidad y Ciencia     Open Access  
Universidad, Escuela y Sociedad     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Universitas Científica     Open Access  
Universitas-XXI, Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
University of Mauritius Research Journal     Open Access  
Universum : Revista de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
UNM Environmental Journals     Open Access  
Unoesc & Ciência - ACSA     Open Access  
VA Engage Journal     Open Access  
Variations : Revue Internationale de Théorie Critique     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
VFAST Transactions on Education and Social Sciences     Open Access  
Vilnius University Proceedings     Open Access  
Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Wani : Revista del Caribe Nicaragüense     Open Access  
War & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Weather, Climate, and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Wellbeing, Space & Society     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Whatever : A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Women Against Violence : An Australian Feminist Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Workplace : A Journal for Academic Labor     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
World Journal of Social Science     Open Access  
World Journal of Social Science Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Youth Studies Australia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Zambia Social Science Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Œconomia     Open Access  
Вісник ДонНУЕТ. Серія. Гуманітарні науки     Open Access  
Култура / Culture     Open Access   (Followers: 1)

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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 16546: Effect of Household Interventions on
           Promoting Waste Segregation Behavior at Source: A Systematic Review

    • Authors: Babak Moeini, Erfan Ayubi, Majid Barati, Saeid Bashirian, Leili Tapak, Khadije Ezzati-Rastgar, Maryam Hashemian
      First page: 16546
      Abstract: Waste segregation at the source is one of the most important strategies of urban waste management and the first environmental priority. This systematic review study was conducted to determine the effects of various interventions to promote household waste segregation behavior. Studies were searched in the Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed databases using the keywords “waste segregation, intervention, randomized controlled trials, and clinical trials”. Through 2 January 2022, two researchers were independently involved in article screening and data abstraction. Inclusion criteria were as follows: experimental and quasi-experimental studies where primary outcomes of the studies included improvement in waste separation behavior, and secondary outcomes of the studies included increased knowledge and improvement in psychological factors. Articles that did not focus on households, studies that focused only on food or electronics separation, and studies that focused only on recycling and its methods were excluded. Of the original 5084 studies, only 26 met the inclusion criteria after reviewing the titles, abstracts, and full texts of the articles. The age of study participants ranged from 15 to 82 years. It seems that most of the studies that suggest higher efficacy consider older age groups for the intervention. Positive results of the interventions were reported in all studies with different ratios; in five studies, the improvement in results was more than 20%. Meta-analysis was not possible because of the diversity of study strategies and outcomes measured. In the studies that lasted longer than two months, people’s waste separation behavior was more permanent. Approaches such as engagement, feedback, and theory-based interventions have been effective in promoting waste separation behavior. Interventions that considered environmental, social, and organizational factors (such as segregation facilities, regular collection of segregated waste, tax exemption, and cooperation of related organizations) in addition to individual factors were more effective and sustainable. For the comparison of studies and meta-analysis of data, it is suggested to use standard criteria such as mean and standard deviation of waste separation behavior and influential structures such as attitude and norm in studies. The results show that it is necessary to use environmental research and ecological approaches and intermittent interventions over time to maintain and continue waste separation behavior. Based on the results of the current research, policy makers and researchers can develop efficient measures to improve waste sorting behavior by using appropriate patterns in society and knowing the effective factors.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416546
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16547: Knowledge Mapping of Industrial
           Upgrading Research: A Visual Analysis Using CiteSpace

    • Authors: Xuwen Cao, Fumitaka Furuoka, Rajah Rasiah
      First page: 16547
      Abstract: With the development of economic globalization, the issue of industrial upgrading has gradually become the focus of scholars. This paper provides a systematic review of academic research focused on industrial upgrading. Using CiteSpace 6.1.R 5 visualization tools, we collected 1535 articles from the Web of Science database over 30 years. This paper identified the most influential publications, authors, journals, institutions, and countries in this field. Additionally, this paper analysed the structures of cited references, cited authors, and cited journals to gain insights into theoretical foundations. Lastly, the collective results obtained using CiteSpace will contribute to a better understanding of industrial upgrading in the form of a “Scientific and technological innovation evaluation index system in China” for both theorists and practitioners. This paper combines bibliometric methods with systematic reviews to help researchers and practitioners better understand the development of industrial upgrading.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416547
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16548: Outplants of the Threatened Coral
           Acropora cervicornis Promote Coral Recruitment in a Shallow-Water Coral
           Reef, Culebra, Puerto Rico

    • Authors: Alex E. Mercado-Molina, Samuel E. Suleimán-Ramos
      First page: 16548
      Abstract: The numerous socioeconomic and ecological challenges that coral reef degradation poses in the Greater Caribbean have led to a surge in restoration efforts. In this context, outplanting nursery-reared coral colonies has emerged as one of the most common strategies used to rejuvenate degraded reefs and reinstate critical ecosystem processes such as coral recruitment. However, the extent to which coral outplanting promotes the recruitment of coral species remains a subject of ongoing debate. This study tested the hypothesis that reintroducing the threatened coral Acropora cervicornis to a degraded coral reef promotes coral recruitment. To test our hypothesis, a series of recruitment quadrats were established in an area populated with A. cervicornis outplants and in a reference location devoid of the coral. To further investigate the relationship between A. cervicornis and coral recruitment, an experiment was implemented in which half of the quadrats in the restored area received a coral outplant, while the other half were left undisturbed. After one year, all coral recruits located within the quadrats were counted and identified. It was found that in the restored area the mean recruit density exceeded that of the reference location by a factor of 2.15. Results also unveiled a positive association between coral recruitment and the presence of A. cervicornis. Specifically, the mean recruit density in quadrats that received an A. cervicornis colony was 2.21 to 4.65-times higher than in the quadrats without coral outplants. This intriguing observation underscores the pivotal role of A. cervicornis in shaping the recruitment dynamics of corals within degraded reef areas, highlighting the potential of active coral outplanting to enhance the resilience of deteriorating coral reef ecosystems.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416548
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16549: Impact of Environmental Leadership
           on Environmental Behavior: The Mediating Effects of Green Culture,
           Environmental Management, and Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility

    • Authors: Li-Ping Fan, Hung-Chang Chung
      First page: 16549
      Abstract: With rising global environmental concerns, businesses are prioritizing environmental preservation alongside economic growth. This research investigates the influence of environmental leadership on corporate green culture, environmental management, strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR), and environmental behavior. Surveying high-tech industry professionals in southern Taiwan, the study obtained 479 out of 600 questionnaires that were valid, yielding an 80% response rate. Key findings include the following. (1) Environmental leadership positively impacts green culture, environmental management, strategic CSR, and environmental behavior. (2) Green culture and environmental management mediate the relationship between environmental leadership and environmental behavior. (3) Strategic CSR mediates the influence of environmental leadership on environmental behavior. Through environmental leadership, knowledge dissemination, and attitude shaping, the paper proposes that high-tech industries can alter their worldview and daily practices, thus addressing environmental degradation at its core.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416549
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16550: Advancing Biodiesel Production
           System from Mixed Vegetable Oil Waste: A Life Cycle Assessment of
           Environmental and Economic Outcomes

    • Authors: Farayi Musharavati, Khadija Sajid, Izza Anwer, Abdul-Sattar Nizami, Muhammad Hassan Javed, Anees Ahmad, Muhammad Naqvi
      First page: 16550
      Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the environmental and economic performance of biodiesel production from mixed vegetable oil waste using the life cycle assessment (LCA) model. Due to its huge potential, Pakistan is taken as a case study. It produces 468,842 tons of vegetable oil waste annually. As no biodiesel production plant exists to process it, the environmental performance of biodiesel prototypes has not been investigated. Therefore, the current study is conducted to support the design of a plant to produce biodiesel from mixed oil waste. An attributional LCA was conducted using ReCiPe (H) and found that 400 kg of biodiesel can be produced from 1 t of mixed oil waste. The results, based on a functional unit of 1 ton, showed that biodiesel production from mixed vegetable oil waste is more eco-friendly than the existing landfilling practices with a global warming potential of 1.36 × 10−4 kg CO2 eq, human toxicity of 5.31 kg 1.4 DB eq, ozone depletion potential of 0.00271 kg CFC-11 eq, eutrophication potential of 0.0118 kg P eq, acidification potential of 123 kg SO2 eq, and photochemical ozone formation of 51.4 kg NOx eq. Scenario modelling was conducted using electricity from photovoltaic solar cells, which decrease fine particulate matter formation from 44.5 to 0.725 kg PM2.5 eq, instead of using electricity from a grid to the plant. Hotspot identification was carried out to highlight the effects of individual impact categories. An economic analysis showed that 638,839 USD/year revenue would be generated. Generating energy from discarded vegetable oils through biodiesel production presents a sustainable and economically viable approach. This process benefits the environment and contributes to cost savings by reducing waste disposal in landfills. Furthermore, it aligns with the principles of a circular economy, in which resources are reused and recycled. It also supports the pursuit of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG-7, which focuses on affordable and clean energy, and SDG-12, which emphasizes responsible consumption and production.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416550
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16551: Biochar Amendment in Vermi-Wetland
           for Enhancing Nitrification during Excess Sludge Recycling

    • Authors: Ting Bai, Gratien Twagirayezu, Zhen Wang, Hui Xia, Chunlei Sang, Kui Huang, Hongguang Cheng
      First page: 16551
      Abstract: Vermi-wetland is a sustainable technology for recycling excess sludge in small-town areas. Although biochar (BC) amendment into the vermi-wetland could considerably boost the effectiveness of treating sludge, its impact on the nitrogen transformation in vermi-wetland remains unclear. Hence, this study aimed to explore the mechanism and performance of BC amendment into the vermi-wetland for enhancing nitrogen transformation during excess sludge recycling. The semi-aquatic plant Acorus calamus and the earthworm Eisenia fetida were planted in the designed vertical vermi-reactor, with corncob BC added to the upper and lower layers of one vermi-reactor, in comparison with the vermi-reactor without BC. The vermi-reactor with BC significantly lowered (p < 0.05) ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N) and nitrite nitrogen (NO2−-N) in the effluent by 1.63 and 4.85-fold, respectively, and increased considerably nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N) in the effluent by 1.5-fold. The numbers of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in the vermi-reactor with BC were greatly enriched by 6 and 1.42-fold, compared with their counterparts (p < 0.05). Moreover, nirS and nirK gene copies in the vermi-reactor with BC were considerably improved (p < 0.05) by 2.03 and 1.82-fold, respectively. BC significantly enhanced the growth of earthworms by 6.92-fold and promoted plant growth by 1.28-fold. In addition, the AOB members like Nitrosomonas and Nitrosospira and the AOA members like Crenarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota cohabited in BC. Overall, these results suggest that a vermi-reactor amended with BC could enhance the nitrification processes of excess sludge, thereby improving the treatment performance of vermi-wetland.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416551
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16552: Effects of Silicon Application on
           Nitrogen Migration in Soil–Rice Systems under Cadmium Stress

    • Authors: Xiao Tan, Jingjing Gao, Longguo Li, Jin Yu
      First page: 16552
      Abstract: Cadmium (Cd) contamination is a serious threat to plants and humans, which subsequently impairs sustainable agricultural production and ecosystem service. Silicon (Si) has been applied to mitigate Cd toxicity, but inevitably has direct and indirect impacts on nitrogen (N) behaviors in soil and plants. However, what role plants play in the N response to Si in soil–rice systems under Cd stress is not known. Therefore, the effects of Si on N migration through different pathways in the soil-rice system were systematically investigated in a rice-cultivation lysimeter experiment. The rice was planted in Cd-contaminated (5 mg kg−1) and uncontaminated soils with three levels of Si application (0, 100, and 200 kg SiO2 hm−2), and the contents of N and Cd in different forms in plants and soils were measured. The group without Cd and Si was set as CK. The study reported that Cd stress caused Cd accumulation in plants, inducing a decrease of 26.0~83.4% in plant dry weights and a decrease of 15.7~46.6% in N concentration compared with CK. Moreover, the leaching of N in soils was increased by Cd, in which the NO3−-N rather than the NH4+-N was leached out. These adverse effects on the plant growth and soil N loss were significantly alleviated by Si application in two ways: (1) the Cd availability in soils was reduced with the acid-extractable Cd (the Cd form with high mobility), decreasing from 1.07 to ~0 mg kg−1; (2) the Cd uptake and translocation in plants were restricted, with the Cd content decreasing by 59.1~96.4% and the translocation index decreasing from 17.7% to 2.2%. The combination of the two mechanisms consequently increased the N absorption of plants from 1.35 to 2.75~3.5 g. The results of the N mass balance calculation showed that, compared with soil N flux, plant-absorbed N contributed predominantly (43.9~55.6%) to the soil total N variation. Moreover, there is a significant trade-off between plant-absorbed N and soil N flux. The magnitude and direction of the soil N flux were greatly and negatively affected by plant-absorbed N during the flooding period. Hence, we conclude that Si application could reduce the leaching of N in soil–rice systems under Cd stress, mainly due to the promotion of the N absorption of plants rather than N immobilization in soils. This study provided new evidence that plants played a dominant role in N response to Si in soil-rice systems under Cd stress.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416552
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16553: Ecological Benefits and Plant
           Landscape Creation in Urban Parks: A Study of Nanhu Park, Hefei, China

    • Authors: Shaowei Wu, Xiaojie Yao, Yinqi Qu, Yawen Chen
      First page: 16553
      Abstract: Plant landscape creation in urban parks is an important aspect of urban ecological construction under the goal of “carbon neutrality”. In this study, the plant community of Nanhu Park in Hefei City was considered the research subject, and its tree species’ composition and diameter at breast height (DBH) were analyzed. The ecological benefits of the park’s green space were evaluated using the i-tree Eco model, and the carbon sequestration, runoff retention, air pollution removal, and oxygen production benefits were quantified as economic values and combined with the landscape effect evaluation method. The results show that Nanhu Park is rich in tree species types, with 5871 trees of 41 species in 23 families and 32 native species, among which three species of Sapindus mukorossi, Eucommia ulmoides, and Triadica sebifera accounted for 43.7% of the total number of trees. The dominant tree DBH was intermediate (7.6–15.2 cm). In Nanhu Park, the economic benefits were ordered as follows: carbon sequestration > runoff retention > air pollution removal > oxygen production benefits. The dominant tree species strongly contributed to the total ecological benefit of urban park green space; the ecological benefit of individual trees was not positively correlated with the number of tree species; native tree species had better ecological and landscape effects, while plant communities with growth changes and hierarchical depth of landscape were more popular. The analysis of ecological benefits and landscape evaluation of urban park green space provide a theoretical basis for enhancing the plant landscape, thus providing a case reference for promoting the construction of park green space in Hefei.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416553
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16554: Study on Direct Reduction in
           Carbon-Bearing Pellets Using Biochar

    • Authors: Jianlong Wu, Shengli Wu, Gang An, Chengwei Ma, Zhaojie Teng, Kun Xu, Chuan Wang, Xiaojun Ning, Guangwei Wang
      First page: 16554
      Abstract: As a renewable, carbon-neutral raw material, the application of biomass in steel production is conducive to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving green and sustainable development in the steel industry. The heating and reduction process of a rotary hearth furnace was simulated under laboratory conditions to roast and reduce biochar carbon-bearing pellets with coke powder and anthracite carbon-bearing pellets as a comparison. This was conducted to investigate the impact of biochar as a reducing agent on the direct reduction in carbon-bearing pellets. Under various reduction temperatures, carbon/oxygen ratios, and reduction times, tests were conducted on the compressive strength and metallization rate of carbon-bearing pellets made using typical binder bentonite. Results show that with the increase in reduction temperature, the metallization rate of pellets increases, while the compressive strength initially decreases and then increases, reaching the lowest point at 900 °C and 1000 °C. When the ratio of carbon to oxygen is between 0.7 and 0.9 and the reduction time is between 15 and 25 min, carbon-bearing pellets meet the requirements of both the metallization rate and the strength, with the metallization rate above 80%. However, severe volume swelling and low strength were observed in biochar carbon-bearing pellets at 900 °C and 1000 °C, which negatively impacted multi-layered charging and heat transfer efficiency in the blast furnace. Therefore, a novel laboratory-prepared binder was introduced in the preparation process of biochar carbon-bearing pellets at an appropriate addition ratio of 5–8%. Without producing any swelling concerns, the inclusion of this binder considerably improved the compression strength and metallization rate of the pellets, enabling them to fulfill the standards for raw materials in the blast furnace.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416554
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16555: Study on Microclimate and Thermal
           Comfort in Small Urban Green Spaces in Tokyo, Japan—A Case Study of
           Chuo Ward

    • Authors: Fuhao Sun, Junhua Zhang, Ruochen Yang, Shuhao Liu, Jia Ma, Xiaoke Lin, Daer Su, Kun Liu, Jingshu Cui
      First page: 16555
      Abstract: Small urban green spaces are abundant in densely populated urban areas, but little is known about their impact on the urban heat island effect and thermal comfort. Therefore, this study selected as research sites four small urban green spaces in a typical high-density built-up area, Chuo Ward in Tokyo, Japan. The ENVI-met software 5.1.1 simulation method was used to analyze these sites’ microclimate and thermal comfort conditions. The following are the results: (1) Small urban green spaces significantly reduce urban air temperatures, particularly during hot weather, with temperature reductions ranging from 2.40 °C to 2.67 °C, consistently lower than the highest temperatures in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, mainly between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. (2) Thermal comfort analysis indicates that small urban green spaces can significantly improve urban thermal comfort during the day, particularly around noon, by reducing one or two thermal comfort levels compared to typical urban street blocks. However, these differences gradually diminish throughout the evening and night, and thermal comfort inside and outside green spaces becomes more uniform. (3) Green space size is not the only factor influencing thermal comfort; the layout of plants within the green space and the layout of the surrounding buildings also have an impact. Despite their small size, even small green spaces can significantly enhance comfort. This study highlights the need to promote urban sustainability through the extensive integration of small green spaces in dense urban environments. Small green spaces can serve as a high-frequency, low-cost solution for environmental sustainability by addressing the increasingly severe urban heat island effect as well as environmental challenges that in the urbanization process.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416555
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16556: Electrochemical Recovery of
           Phosphorus from Simulated and Real Wastewater: Effect of Investigational
           Conditions on the Process Efficiency

    • Authors: Carlos Y. Sousa, Annabel Fernandes, Albertina Amaro, Maria José Pacheco, Lurdes Ciríaco, Ana Lopes
      First page: 16556
      Abstract: The development of recovery processes has become essential in recent years as a strategy to minimize environmental pollution while boosting circular economy and sustainable development. Due to the exponential growth in agricultural production and the increased pollution of waterbodies, the production of fertilizers from recovered phosphorus has become an alternative to phosphate rock-based production. In this work, the effect of different operational parameters in the efficiency of the electrochemical recovery of phosphorus, from organic and inorganic sources, was investigated. Among the studied variables, the most significant was the electrode material utilized in the system. The use of magnesium sacrificial electrodes, as AZ31 alloys, led to phosphorus removal from solution of above 90%, allowing the recovery of both orthophosphates and organic phosphorus (glyphosate) as struvite, brucite, and other amorphous compounds. Since there is a lack in the literature about the use of magnesium electrodes in real wastewater electrochemical treatment, system efficiency was also evaluated using a sanitary landfill leachate, reaching 96% of phosphorus recovery. The specific energy consumption and faradaic efficiency of the phosphorus recovery process were also assessed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416556
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16557: Analysing Factors Influencing Land
           Use Planning for Sustainable Land Resource Management in Vietnam: A Case
           Study of Dan Phuong District in Hanoi City

    • Authors: Phuong Tran Trong, Vien Tran Duc, Son Cao Truong, Thuy Doan Thanh, Duong Nong Huu, Wolfgang Scholz
      First page: 16557
      Abstract: Land use planning is an important task for every country in the world to ensure the sustainable use of land resources for economic and social development activities. However, many land use plans have not achieved their desired effectiveness due to a lack of consideration and evaluation of factors affecting the land use planning implementation process. This study was conducted to answer the following question: what are the main factors influencing the land use planning process in Vietnam' In this study, we use multivariate regression to identify the main factors influencing land use planning in Vietnam, including the economic factor group; institutional and policy factor group; urbanisation factor group; planning factor group; social factor group; environmental factor group; and organisational and implementation factor group. The results identified five groups of factors influencing land use planning in the Dan Phuong district through the influencing factor analysis method, including policy (Po), economy (Ec), society (So), environment (En), and others (Ot). In addition, the linear regression model obtained for land use planning in Dan Phuong district is as follows: land use planning = 0.408Po + 0.454Ec + 0.398So + 0.368En + 0.259Ot. In which the group of factors with the strongest influence was the Eco factors (β = 0.454), the second was the Po factors (β = 0.408), the third was the So factors (β = 0.398), the fourth was the En factors (β = 0.368), and lastly, there were the Ot factors (β = 0.259). The results of the analysis were used to plan land use effectively and according to local conditions. This can help managers to find solutions for the sustainable use of land resources in the future.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416557
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16558: From Takeoff to Touchdown: A
           Decade’s Review of Carbon Emissions from Civil Aviation in
           China’s Expanding Megacities

    • Authors: Ying She, Yangu Deng, Meiling Chen
      First page: 16558
      Abstract: The rapid growth of urbanization in China has led to a substantial escalation in the demand for civil aviation services, consequently propelling China to the third-largest contributor of carbon emissions within the aviation sector. Using the 2012–2021 data on takeoffs and landings of civil aviation aircraft in China, the aircraft engine emission factor database of the Base of Aircraft Data (BADA) from EUROCONTROL, this paper investigates the spatial-temporal distribution characteristics of atmospheric pollutants, primarily carbon emissions from Chinese civil aviation aircraft in 19 megacities. The results indicate that (1) China’s aviation CO2 emissions equivalent between 2012 and 2022 has been on an upward trajectory, peaking at 186.53 MT in 2019 with an average annual growth of 12.52%. The trend, albeit momentarily interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, appears to persist. (2) CO2 constitutes the highest proportion of aircraft emissions at 83.87%, with Cruise Climb Descent (CCD) cycle emissions accounting for 96.24%. CO2 and NOX, with the highest increase rates in the CCD and Landing and Takeoff (LTO) phases, respectively, are identified as the chief culprits in aviation-related greenhouse effects. (3) There is a marked spatial imbalance, with 19 megacities contributing 62.08% of total CO2 emissions, compared to the 207 least-emitting cities contributing just 9.29%. (4) The pattern of city carbon emissions is changing, with rapid growth rates in the western cities of Xinjiang, Tibet, Shaanxi, and Guizhou, and varied growth rates among megacities. The implications of this study emphasize the urgency for advancements in aviation fuel technology, rigorous management of CCD phase pollutants, strategic carbon emission controls in populous cities, fostering green aviation initiatives in western regions, diverse carbon mitigation tactics, and strengthening the precision and surveillance of aviation carbon accounting systems. Collectively, this study paints a grand picture of the complexities and challenges associated with China’s urban sprawl and aviation carbon emissions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416558
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16559: Smart Heritage Practice and Its
           Characteristics Based on Architectural Heritage Conservation—A Case
           Study of the Management Platform of the Shanghai Federation of Literary
           and Art Circles China

    • Authors: Heng Song, Gehan Selim, Yun Gao
      First page: 16559
      Abstract: This article aims to find out the process for achieving smartness in urban architectural heritage conservation, maintenance, and operation and identify characteristics of the so-called smartness. It seeks to provide an example of introducing smart ideas into architectural heritage while encouraging more conservation. The discussions among architectural heritage conservation under the smart discourse are scattered in virtual applications, digital involvements, tourism, etc., and an integration method is worth considering. This article selected a platform for architectural heritage conservation and management of the Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art Circles (SFLAC), China. An integrated literature review is conducted to locate knowledge gaps. Thematic analysis is used for data analysis to develop the practising procedure and smart heritage features. Current practices lack a systematic consideration based on the perspective of conservation and management, which details applications for various groups in correspondence to stages. Interviews and policy document analysis were conducted to support the investigation. Smartness for architectural heritage should include policy guidance, digitalisation, platform integration, applications, and optimisations and has the feature of evolvement. Its practice should first promote heritage preservation and consider the benefits of different users, cultural inheritance, and urban regeneration based on different time durations.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416559
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16560: Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on
           International Trade: Cases of Major Countries Using the SUR Model

    • Authors: Taeil Kim, Sunghwa Park, Hanna Kim, Janghan Kwon
      First page: 16560
      Abstract: This study examined the intricate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international trade complexity. Focusing on major international trading entities such as Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan, and the U.S., we evaluated how confirmed COVID-19 cases and government responses influenced trade patterns, particularly in exports and imports. We employed a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) analysis with cyclic regression coefficients to scrutinize changes in trade relationships between 2020 and 2021. Korea serves as the central country for this analysis, and the findings extend to other nations. The results revealed the varied impact of COVID-19 on trade across countries. Exports from Korea to China were correlated with COVID-19 case numbers and government actions in both countries. Additionally, imports from China, Japan, the U.S. and Vietnam—excluding Hong Kong—were significantly influenced by confirmed COVID-19 cases in Korea, reflecting the demand dynamics. Government interventions also played a substantial role in shaping trade patterns. Previous studies have primarily focused on financial markets and supply chains, whereas our study analyzed the changes in trade with Korea’s five largest trading partners: China, the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Notably, we utilized long-term data and changes in major trading partners in Asia over time.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416560
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16561: Laggard by Design: The Case of the
           Implementation of the EU Directive on the Agricultural Use of Sewage
           Sludge in Italy

    • Authors: Emanuela Bozzini
      First page: 16561
      Abstract: The literature on EU environmental policy implementation shows that Italy’s low administrative capacity prevents it from fully complying with EU provisions. This paper builds on this literature and, through a comprehensive documentary analysis, utilises a process tracing methodology to analyse the implementation process of the sewage sludge directive. This policy has implications for public health and the environment, causing widespread concern. Empirical findings show that the poor performance in this sector results from specific, customised policy decisions made by national and regional authorities at different points in time. The conclusions suggest that, rather than being incompetent, Italy can be defined as a laggard by design.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416561
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16562: Simulating the Impact of the U.S.
           Inflation Reduction Act on State-Level CO2 Emissions: An Integrated
           Assessment Model Approach

    • Authors: Tianye Wang, Ekundayo Shittu
      First page: 16562
      Abstract: Climate change mitigation measures are often projected to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide concentrations. Yet, it seems there is ample evidence suggesting that we have a limited understanding of the impacts of these measures and their combinations. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) enacted in the U.S. in 2022 contains significant provisions, such as the electric vehicle (EV) tax credits, to reduce CO2 emissions. However, the impact of such provisions is not fully understood across the U.S., particularly in the context of their interactions with other macroeconomic systems. In this paper, we employ an Integrated Assessment Model (IAM), the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), to estimate the future CO2 emissions in the U.S. GCAM is equipped to comprehensively characterize the interactions among different systems, e.g., energy, water, land use, and transportation. Thus, the use of GCAM-USA that has U.S. state-level resolution allows the projection of the impacts and consequences of major provisions in the IRA, i.e., EV tax credits and clean energy incentives. To compare the performance of these incentives and credits, a policy effectiveness index is used to evaluate the strength of the relationship between the achieved total CO2 emissions and the overarching emission reduction costs. Our results show that the EV tax credits as stipulated in the IRA can only marginally reduce carbon emissions across the U.S. In fact, it may lead to negative impacts in some states. However, simultaneously combining the incentives and tax credits improves performance and outcomes better than the sum of the individual effects of the policies. This demonstrates that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts in this decarbonization approach. Our findings provide insights for policymakers with a recommendation that combining EV tax credits with clean energy incentives magnifies the intended impact of emission reduction.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416562
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16563: A Bilevel Model for Carbon Pricing
           in a Green Supply Chain Considering Price and Carbon-Sensitive Demand

    • Authors: Pegah Mesrzade, Farzad Dehghanian, Yousef Ghiami
      First page: 16563
      Abstract: In today’s industrial landscape, there is a mounting urgency to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of emissions stemming from supply chain operations. On one front, policy-makers impose increasingly stringent emission reduction targets for supply chains, while on another front, consumers express a heightened preference for products and services with reduced carbon footprints. This study addresses the challenge of determining an optimal carbon pricing strategy by integrating the imperatives of a green supply chain with carbon taxation policies. To this end, we introduce a bi-level mixed-integer linear programming model for supply chain network planning, encompassing considerations of carbon taxation policies and the responsiveness of demand to the final product’s price and associated carbon emissions. Findings from a case study underscore that an escalation in carbon pricing prompts the supply chain to prioritize emissions reduction through the utilization of environmentally conscious approaches. The results reveal the need for a USD 0.9/kg carbon price to achieve a 10% emission reduction, resulting in an 80% profit decline. Notably, a 10% reduction has profound impacts, which leads to the suggestion of a gradual approach. Furthermore, as carbon prices reach higher levels, the supply chain tends toward curtailing production, thereby fostering an environment conducive to emission abatement. Consequently, policy formulators must judiciously calibrate a fitting carbon pricing mechanism to strike a harmonious equilibrium between emission reduction targets and the financial outlays of the supply chain.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416563
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16564: Carbon Dioxide Emission
           Reduction-Oriented Optimal Control of Traffic Signals in Mixed Traffic
           Flow Based on Deep Reinforcement Learning

    • Authors: Zhaowei Wang, Le Xu, Jianxiao Ma
      First page: 16564
      Abstract: To alleviate intersection traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions at intersections, research on exploiting reinforcement learning for intersection signal control has become a frontier topic in the field of intelligent transportation. This study utilizes a deep reinforcement learning algorithm based on the D3QN (dueling double deep Q network) to achieve adaptive control of signal timings. Under a mixed traffic environment with connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and human-driven vehicles (HDVs), this study constructs a reward function (Reward—CO2 Reduction) to minimize vehicle waiting time and carbon dioxide emissions at the intersection. Additionally, to account for the spatiotemporal distribution characteristics of traffic flow, an adaptive-phase action space and a fixed-phase action space are designed to optimize action selections. The proposed algorithm is validated in a SUMO simulation with different traffic volumes and CAV penetration rates. The experimental results are compared with other control strategies like Webster’s method (fixed-time control). The analysis shows that the proposed model can effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions when the traffic volume is low or medium. As the penetration rate of CAVs increases, the average carbon dioxide emissions and waiting time can be further reduced with the proposed model. The significance of this study lies in its dual achievement: by presenting a flexible strategy that not only reduces the environmental impact by lowering carbon dioxide emissions but also enhances traffic efficiency, it provides a tangible example of the advancement of green intelligent transportation systems.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416564
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16565: Impacts of Strong El
           Niño–Southern Oscillation Events on Wintertime Northern
           Hemisphere Storm Tracks in Two Pacific Decadal Oscillation Phases during

    • Authors: Cuijiao Chu, Xiu-Qun Yang, Xuguang Sun, Xuejuan Ren, Edmund K. M. Chang, Jiabei Fang, Haibo Hu
      First page: 16565
      Abstract: Northern Hemisphere storm track activities (NHSTs) not only influence the weather and climate along their paths, but they also play a crucial role in climate systems by systematically transporting heat, momentum, and moisture. Distinguish from previous studies focusing on atmospheric circulation anomalies, this study provides further evidence of wintertime NHSTs variation under the influence of strong El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) variation with ERA-20C reanalysis data, from two mathematical aspects of linear superposition and nonlinear modulation. While ENSO warm/cold events lead the entire NHSTs to a general south/north shift, the ENSO impact in two PDO phases exhibits a remarkable difference with the PDO phase. The Pacific storm track (PST) anomalies largely strengthen equatorward and downstream when both ENSO and PDO are in phase, but its anomalies tend to be weakened when ENSO and PDO are out of phase. Generally, the opposite situation occurs with Atlantic storm track (AST) anomalies, which display a strengthening dipole pattern when ENSO and PDO are out of phase. Apparently, the result is roughly a linear superposition of ENSO and PDO-only impacts. Nevertheless, further analyses indicate that the nonlinear modulation of PDO on the ENSO impact on NHSTs exists. With respect to the PST, it exhibits approximately parallel bands of south-north dipole anomalies when ENSO is in the PDO positive phase, but only the south branch remains when ENSO is in the PDO negative phase. Generally, a similar situation occurs to AST anomalies over the Atlantic Ocean. The modulation may be mainly associated with the atmospheric mean flow anomalies and the midlatitude sea surface temperature anomalies to ENSO in different PDO phases. To some extent, the results may be beneficial for understanding the variation of extreme weather events brought by NHSTs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416565
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16566: Green Spaces and the Spontaneous
           Renewal of Historic Neighborhoods: A Case Study of Beijing’s
           Dashilar Community

    • Authors: Wenhai Zhang, Jiang Xin
      First page: 16566
      Abstract: Renewal projects dealing with public spaces in Chinese historic neighborhoods were mainly dominated by government entities and experts, but their increasing commercialization and standardization did not fully meet the residents’ needs. In this context, resident-driven regeneration practices centered on small-scale gardening are becoming more popular as an alternative. However, few studies focused on the strengths and intentions of these informal gardens and the implications for the renewal of public space in historical communities. A case study was carried out in the Dashilar area, a historical community with numerous informal gardens. Specifically, resident-led community gardens were first sampled and investigated. Second, the components of these gardens were identified and classified with multiple indicators. Third, agglomerative hierarchical clustering was applied to distinguish the different types and the resident needs behind them, and two kinds of renewal projects were compared. The results show that the spontaneous actions and participation of residents, drawing on local knowledge, are critical to the popularity of informal community gardens among local residents, which is also supplementary to the current organizational mechanisms of public space renewal in historical communities. Our research is expected to enrich the research contents of urban green spaces and provide theoretical support for the sustainable development and renewal of historic neighborhoods.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416566
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16567: Numerical Simulation of Hydraulic
           Fractures Breaking through Barriers in Shale Gas Reservoir in Well
           YS108-H3 in the Zhaotong Shale Gas Demonstration Area

    • Authors: Shasha Sun, Xinyu Yang, Yun Rui, Zhensheng Shi, Feng Cheng, Shangbin Chen, Tianqi Zhou, Yan Chang, Jian Sun
      First page: 16567
      Abstract: Estimating the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing in the context of the incrfease in the shale gas demand is of great significance for enhancing shale gas production, which aims to substantially reduce fossil energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The Zhaotong national shale gas demonstration zone has complex stress structures and well-developed fracture zones, and thus it is challenging to achieve targeted reservoir segment transformation. In this paper, we construct and optimize the geometry of hydraulic fractures at different pressures considering the upper and lower barriers in hydraulic fracturing simulation experiments and numerical modeling. The numerical simulation results show that the pore pressure exhibits a stepped pattern around the fracture and an elliptical pattern near the fracture tip. During the first time of injection, the pore pressure rapidly increases to 76 MPa, dropping sharply afterward, indicating that the fracture initiation pressure is 76 MPa. During the fracture propagation, the fracture length is much greater than the fracture height and width. The fracture width is larger in the middle than on the two sides, whereas the fracture height gradually decreases at the fracture tip in the longitudinal direction until it closes and is smaller near the wellbore than at the far end. The results revealed that the fracture width at the injection point reached the maximum value of 9.05 mm, and then it gradually decreased until the fracture width at the injection point dropped to 6.33 mm at the final simulation time. The fracture broke through the upper and lower barriers due to the dominance of the effect of the interlayer principal stress difference on the fracture propagation shape, causing the hydraulic fracture to break through the upper and lower barriers. The results of the physical simulation experiment revealed that after hydraulic fracturing, multiple primary fractures were generated on the side surface of the specimen. The primary fractures extended, inducing the generation of secondary fractures. After hydraulic fracturing, the width of the primary fractures on the surface of the specimen was 0.382–0.802 mm, with maximum fracture widths of 0.802 mm and 0.239 mm, representing a decrease of 70.19% in the maximum fracture width. This work yielded an important finding, i.e., the urgent need for hydraulic fracturing adaptation promotes the three-dimensional development of a gas shale play.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416567
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16568: Determinants of the Capital
           Structure of the Oil and Gas Industry in Malaysia: The Moderating Role of
           Earnings Volatility

    • Authors: Maran Marimuthu, Hana Halini Hamzah, Romana Bangash
      First page: 16568
      Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between firm-specific factors and the capital structure of the oil and gas (O&G) industry in Malaysia.. In addition, this paper adds to the literature by investigating the moderating effect of earnings volatility on the relationship between firm-specific factors and capital structure. Random effect models with cluster-robust standard errors were used to analyze this relationship. Using the secondary data from 30 O&G firms listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia collected between 2010 and 2019 (10 years), the results show that profitability, asset tangibility, liquidity, and firm size significantly impact the capital structure of the O&G industry in Malaysia. However, growth opportunities, non-debt tax shields, and firm age had no significant impact. In addition to this, earnings volatility significantly moderated the relationship between asset tangibility and leverage. In short, when earnings volatility acts as a moderating variable, the relationship between asset tangibility, which is otherwise positive without moderation, turns negative. This study is useful for policymakers in the O&G industry in Malaysia and will help their managers to decide on capital structure for sustainable growth.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416568
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16569: Macroinvertebrate Community
           Responses to Multiple Pressures in a Peri-Urban Mediterranean River

    • Authors: Latinopoulos, Ntislidou, Lazarina, Papaevangelou, Akratos, Kagalou
      First page: 16569
      Abstract: Despite peri-urban areas being crucial for ecosystem service provisioning, they usually become degraded, as they are burdened with effluents from urban production activities. Such is the case of Laspias River (Thrace, Greece), where a series of diffuse and point pollution sources are met throughout its course, neglecting the fact that it discharges into a protected area. In an attempt to assist possible management implications in this less-researched river, two years of investigative monitoring provided the insight to test the effect of abiotic parameters in the benthic invertebrate biota and water quality, in turn. The results revealed an avalanche of pressures, where nutrients and organic pollution loads diminish richness and biodiversity, losing any temporal or seasonal pattern, resulting in biotic (taxonomic/functional) homogenization. The river is at a tipping point, and tailored measures must be designed and implemented immediately.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416569
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16570: Coupling Coordination Development of
           the Ecological–Economic System in Hangzhou, China

    • Authors: Jialiang Ni, Xiaodong Zheng, Yuman Zheng, Yunhe Zhang, Huan Li
      First page: 16570
      Abstract: The contradiction between China’s urban economic development and the ecological environment has become increasingly prominent. Promoting the coordinated development of the ecological–economic system is an effective way to achieve sustainable development. Based on the analysis of the coupling mechanism of the ecological environment and economic development, the county unit is taken as the research unit to evaluate the coupling coordination degree (CCD) of Hangzhou’s ecological–economic system and analyze the evolution of coupling coordination characteristics and landscape ecological patterns in Hangzhou from 2010 to 2020. The results show that (1) the ecological protection and economic development status of Hangzhou is generally good, but the ecological environment index cannot maintain stable growth; (2) the coupling coordination degree of ecological–economic systems in various regions shows an overall upward trend, and ecological protection and economic development show positive interaction characteristics; (3) the development of CCD between regions is uneven, and the development level of a single subsystem in each region hinders coupling coordination between the two parties; and (4) changes in morphological spatial patterns further prove the coupling relationship between the two systems. Although the regional ecological connectivity has been optimized, the increase in perforations is crowding out the core area, and the regional ecological carrying capacity is facing challenges.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416570
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16571: The Longitudinal Effect of Digitally
           Administered Feedback on the Eco-Driving Behavior of Company Car Drivers

    • Authors: Frank Goedertier, Bert Weijters, Pieter Vanpaemel
      First page: 16571
      Abstract: In the global fight against climate change, stimulating eco-driving could contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Company car drivers are a main target in this challenge as they represent a significant market share and are typically not motivated financially to drive more fuel efficiently (and thus more eco-friendly). As this target group has received little previous research attention, we examine whether digitally administered feedback and coaching systems can trigger such company car owners to drive eco-friendly. We do so by using respondents (employees of a financial services company (N = 327)) that voluntarily have a digital device (‘dongle’) installed in their company car, which monitors and records driving behavior-related variables. In a longitudinal real-life field study, we communicate eco-driving recommendations (e.g., avoid harsh braking, accelerate gently, etc.) to the respondent drivers via a digital (computer) interface. Over a 21-week time frame (one block of seven weeks before the intervention, seven weeks of intervention, and seven weeks after the intervention), we test whether eco-driving recommendations in combination with personalized, graphical ‘eco-score index evolution’ feedback increase eco-driving behavior. We also experimentally evaluate the impact of adding social comparison elements to the feedback (e.g., providing feedback on a person’s eco-driving performance compared to that of the same car brand users). Structural Equation Modeling (in MPlus 8.4) is used to analyze data. Our results show that digitally administered personal performance feedback increases eco-driving behavior both during and after the feedback intervention. However, we do not observe increased effects when social comparison information is added to the feedback. As this latter element is surprising, we conclude with a reflection on possible explanations and suggest areas for future research. We contribute to the sustainable eco-driving literature by researching an understudied group: company car drivers. More specifically, we contribute by demonstrating the effectiveness of digitally administered personal performance feedback on eco-driving for this group and by observing and reflecting on the (in)effectiveness of feedback containing social comparison information.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416571
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16572: Investigating the Relationship
           between Plant Species Composition and Topography in the Tomeyama
           Landslide: Implications for Environmental Education and Sustainable
           Management in the Happo-Shirakami Geopark, Japan

    • Authors: Ching-Ying Tsou, Hiroki Yamagishi, Reona Kawakami, Mei-Fang Tsai, Takuma Miwa
      First page: 16572
      Abstract: The Tomeyama landslide in the Happo-Shirakami Geopark, Japan, has interesting and important geomorphological and geoecological characteristics. Understanding these characteristics is crucial for environmental education and sustainable management in the geopark. In this study, we quantified the characteristics of the landslide, including its precise topography and vegetation. We used high-resolution 2.5 m-mesh ALOS World 3D topographic data to define the topography of the landslide. We also surveyed plant species composition and cover in four plots (three on the upper slope and one on the convex lower foot slope), each measuring 20 m × 20 m. Our findings reveal that the landslide is sited on a northwest-facing slope, 250 m below the ridge top, and has a horseshoe-shaped main scarp with a height of 40 m. Two smaller secondary scarps and their corresponding displaced landslide blocks suggest reactivation since the main landslide event. In the upper slope plots, 40–55 plant species were identified, including 14–16 species associated with the Japanese beech forest and 2–5 species related to the Pterocarya rhoifolia forest. In the lower slope plot, 70 plant species were identified, including 14 species from the Japanese beech forest and 11 from the Pterocarya rhoifolia forest. The upper slope plant community belongs to the Japanese beech forest; however, categorizing the lower slope community is challenging, although more Pterocarya rhoifolia forest species are present compared with the upper slope. These results suggest that certain plant species have adapted to the diverse topography created by the landslide. These findings improve the understanding of landslide topography and plant community composition with respect to environmental factors and thereby support effective environmental education and sustainable management in the Happo-Shirakami Geopark.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416572
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16573: Energy and Business Synergy:
           Leveraging Biogenic Resources from Agriculture, Waste, and Wastewater in
           German Rural Areas

    • Authors: Moritz Pollack, Andrea Lück, Mario Wolf, Eckhard Kraft, Conrad Völker
      First page: 16573
      Abstract: The imperative to transform current energy provisions is widely acknowledged. However, scant attention has hitherto been directed toward rural municipalities and their innate resources, notably biogenic resources. In this paper, a methodological framework is developed to interconnect resources from waste, wastewater, and agricultural domains for energy utilization. This entails cataloging existing resources, delineating their potential via quantitative assessments utilizing diverse technologies, and encapsulating them in a conceptual model. The formulated models underwent iterative evaluation with engagement from diverse stakeholders. Consequently, 3 main concepts, complemented by 72 sub-concepts, were delineated, all fostering positive contributions to climate protection and providing heat supply in the rural study area. The outcomes’ replicability is underscored by the study area’s generic structure and the employed methodology. Through these inquiries, a framework for the requisite energy transition, with a pronounced emphasis on the coupling of waste, wastewater, and agriculture sectors in rural environments, is robustly analyzed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416573
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16574: Ecosystem Characteristics and
           Trophic Model of the Artificial Reef Ecosystem in the Sea of Oman,
           Sultanate of Oman

    • Authors: Sabrina Al Ismaili, Sachinandan Dutta
      First page: 16574
      Abstract: This study aimed to understand the structure and function of the artificial reef ecosystem of the Sea of Oman and its stability and maturity. For this study, the trophic model of the Sea of Oman’s artificial reef ecosystem was described using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) ecosystem modeling software (Version 6.6.7). The essential characteristics of the aquatic system were identified using a total of 38 fish species/functional groups, spread across an area of 140 km2 of artificial reef farm. The mean trophic level of the artificial reef ecosystem of the Sea of Oman was 3.039. Sharks were the keystone species of the studied ecosystem. Heniochus acuminatus and Chaetodon gardneri were the species with the highest niche overlap, whereas Acanthurus sohal and other crustaceans, and Terapon puta and Saurida undosquamis were the species with the lowest niche overlap. It was found that the ratio of total primary production to total respiration of the ecosystem studied was more than one, indicating that the system produces more energy than it uses to respire, and the ecosystem of the Sea of Oman can be regarded as a developing system because of its low degree of stability and maturity. The omnivory index was 0.260, the connectance index was 0.159, the total biomass to total throughput ratio was 0.006, Finn’s cycling index was 5.41, the total primary production to total biomass ratio was 64.895, and the total primary production to total respiration ratio was 4.424. The results indicate that the artificial reef ecosystem in the Sea of Oman can be categorized as immature (in the early developmental stage). Further study is needed to improve the input data and track ecosystem health, as well as exploring other management strategies. Based on the outcomes of the study, it is suggested that environmental management of the reef ecosystem, along with the fish catch data, should be taken into consideration for future research.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416574
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16575: Methodology for the Identification
           of Vehicle Congestion Based on Dynamic Clustering

    • Authors: Gary Reyes, Roberto Tolozano-Benites, Laura Lanzarini, César Estrebou, Aurelio F. Bariviera, Julio Barzola-Monteses
      First page: 16575
      Abstract: Addressing sustainable mobility in urban areas has become a priority in today’s society, given the growing population and increasing vehicular flow in these areas. Intelligent Transportation Systems have emerged as innovative and effective technological solutions for addressing these challenges. Research in this area has become crucial, as it contributes not only to improving mobility in urban areas but also to positively impacting the quality of life of their inhabitants. To address this, a dynamic clustering methodology for vehicular trajectory data is proposed which can provide an accurate representation of the traffic state. Data were collected for the city of San Francisco, a dynamic clustering algorithm was applied and then an indicator was applied to identify areas with traffic congestion. Several experiments were also conducted with different parameterizations of the forgetting factor of the clustering algorithm. We observed that there is an inverse relationship between forgetting and accuracy, and the tolerance allows for a flexible margin of error that allows for better results in precision. The results showed in terms of precision that the dynamic clustering methodology achieved high match rates compared to the congestion indicator applied to static cells.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416575
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16576: Comparative Studies on Soil Quality
           Index Estimation of a Hilly-Zone Sub-Watershed in Karnataka

    • Authors: M. Bhargava Narasimha Yadav, P. L. Patil, M. Hebbara
      First page: 16576
      Abstract: The assessment of soil quality aims to evaluate the utility and health of soils. In agricultural studies, soil productivity can be likened to soil quality. Evaluating the Soil Quality Index (SQI) solely based on surface properties offers an incomplete picture because productivity is influenced by both surface and subsurface characteristics, with the latter associated with pedogenic processes. Additionally, relying on weighted averages of soil properties from a soil profile for the SQI may offer an overall summary, but it can occasionally obscure variations that manifest across different soil horizons. Therefore, the present study was conducted to assess the SQI in the Ganjigatti sub-watershed using data from 27 soil profiles and three different methods: (1) assessment of horizon-wise SQI by subjecting the soil properties of every horizon to principal component analysis (PCA), followed by the calculation of the weighted averages of the SQI for each soil profile (SQI-1); (2) calculation of the weighted averages of the soil properties for each soil profile, subjected to PCA, and followed by an SQI assessment (SQI-2); and (3) SQI assessment considering the properties of the Ap horizon for each soil profile (SQI-3). Additionally, to validate SQI methodologies, correlation studies were conducted against major crop yields in the sub-watershed. The results showed that cation exchange capacity (CEC) has the most significant weight and contribution to the SQI determined using MDS, followed by porosity, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), organic carbon (OC), CN ratio, and total N. SQI-1 was most strongly correlated with crop yield; the correlation coefficient ranged from 0.69 to 0.74. Among all the three methodologies, SQI-1 and -2 were better methods for assessment of SQI compared to SQI-3. In the SQI-1 method, the soil quality of pedons ranged from 0.26 (pedon-26) to 0.74 (pedon-11). The majority of the area in the sub-watershed (72.40%) fell within the medium category of SQI (0.35–0.55), followed by the high category of SQI (>0.55), which comprised 12.92%, and the low SQI (<0.35), which comprised 6.45% of the sub-watershed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416576
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16577: Validation of Instruments for the
           Improvement of Interprofessional Education through Educational Management:
           An Internet of Things (IoT)-Based Machine Learning Approach

    • Authors: Mustafa Mohamed, Fahriye Altinay, Zehra Altinay, Gokmen Dagli, Mehmet Altinay, Mutlu Soykurt
      First page: 16577
      Abstract: Educational management is the combination of human and material resources that supervises, plans, and responsibly executes an educational system with outcomes and consequences. However, when seeking improvements in interprofessional education and collaborative practice through the management of health professions, educational modules face significant obstacles and challenges. The primary goal of this study was to analyse data collected from discussion sessions and feedback from respondents concerning interprofessional education (IPE) management modules. Thus, this study used an explanatory and descriptive design to obtain responses from the selected group via a self-administered questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, and the results were limited to averages, i.e., frequency distributions and summary statistics. The results of this study reflect the positive responses from both subgroups and strongly support the further implementation of IPE in various aspects and continuing to improve and develop it. Four different artificial intelligence (AI) techniques were used to model interprofessional education improvement through educational management, using 20 questions from the questionnaire as the variables (19 input variables and 1 output variable). The modelling performance of the nonlinear and linear models could reliably predict the output in both the calibration and validation phases when considering the four performance metrics. These models were shown to be reliable tools for evaluating and modelling interprofessional education through educational management. Gaussian process regression (GPR) outperformed all the models in both the training and validation stages.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416577
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16578: Confidence in Greenhouse Gas
           Emission Estimation: A Case Study of Formaldehyde Manufacturing

    • Authors: Ernesto C. Marujo, José R. U. C. Almeida, Luiz F. L. Souza, Alan R. S. P. Costa, Paulo C. G. Miranda, Arthur A. Covatti, Solange G. Holschuch, Potira M. S. Melo
      First page: 16578
      Abstract: In this article, we discuss the uncertainties involved in the models and in the measurements necessary to estimate the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in a chemical industry. When these uncertainties cannot be neglected and some measurements exhibit correlations with others, estimating the final emission is not a trivial task. Even if we intend to determine a simple point estimate for the mean emissions, we will need to use the average values of the measurements as well as information about their uncertainties and correlations in complex computations. To solve this problem, we propose a Monte Carlo method to estimate the mean and confidence interval of CO2 emissions in the context of uncertainties and correlations. We validated our approach through a case study involving a traditional chemical company in Brazil. Our results indicated that previously, there was an overestimation of the emission because the company did not consider uncertainties and correlations. The overestimation was modest since the parameters involved present relatively little uncertainty, but the bias effect was clear. This research has demonstrated the importance of accounting for uncertainties and correlations in emission estimates, providing a practical framework for analyses in industrial settings.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416578
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16579: Construction of Green Ecological
           Network in Qingdao (Shandong, China) Based on the Combination of
           Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis and Biodiversity Conservation
           Function Assessment

    • Authors: Ling Tao, Yanni Chen, Fang Chen, Haifang Li
      First page: 16579
      Abstract: Building urban green ecological network systems and increasing urban and rural landscape connectivity are effective ways to improve urban biodiversity and landscape sustainability. The ecological sources in the main urban area of Qingdao City (Shandong, China) were identified based on morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA) combined with a biodiversity conservation function assessment, with the ecological corridors established and the ecological network structure optimized. The results showed that (1) the study area lacked high-quality patches with strong landscape connectivity; (2) the potential green ecological network of the study area was composed of 38 ecological sources, 703 ecological corridors, and 284 ecological nodes, effectively connecting urban and suburban green spaces; (3) after optimization, the green ecological network contained a total of 223 important corridors and 61 key nodes, with significantly increased network connectivity; (4) the optimal ecological corridor width in Qingdao was determined to be 30 m. Our study provided important guidance for the construction of ecological security patterns and scientific evidence to support urban green space planning and sustainable development in Qingdao.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416579
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16580: Tensile Properties of Natural
           Fibre-Reinforced FDM Filaments: A Short Review

    • Authors: Abu Naser Md Ahsanul Haque, Maryam Naebe
      First page: 16580
      Abstract: Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is considered the most popular technique of three-dimensional (3D) printing. This is a simple and sustainable method of materials manufacturing with rapidly spreading applications in diverse areas. In this method, a thermoplastic filament is extruded through a nozzle on a layer-by-layer basis to construct a 3D object in a benchtop environment. To further promote its acceptance, FDM printing currently has a significant focus on the use of natural fillers with thermoplastic polymer. Nevertheless, successful FDM printing is largely dependent on the strength and consistency of the feed material, the filament. Preparing such composite filaments is challenging due to possible manufacturing defects and inconsistency while mixing the filler and matrix. Studies showed that there are significant differences between the tensile properties of FDM filament when compared with their printed parts, caused by the variations in printing parameters, filament consumption, density, and architectural difference. Previous reports have confirmed that mechanical characteristics are the most common parameters used by scientists to evaluate the properties of the materials in the additive manufacturing field. Though several reviews are accessible on the tensile properties of FDM-printed materials, currently there is no review available on the tensile properties of the filament itself. This is the first review focused exclusively on the tensile properties of FDM filaments. The goal of this short review is to better understand the influential factors in the natural fibre-reinforced filament preparation process that affect the tensile properties and subsequently impact on 3D printing. Therefore, evaluation of the reported tensile properties, i.e., tensile strength and elongation at the break and modulus, was conducted in relation to different process parameters, such as filler concentration, filler size, extrusion methods, the combination of filler and polymer, and the interrelations among the parameters and properties were explored.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416580
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16581: Factors Affecting Social Learning in
           Nearby Pockets on Tropical Campus Grounds: Towards a Sustainable Campus

    • Authors: Waleed Alzamil, Sarah Abdulkareem Salih, Sumarni Ismail, Ali Ajlan, Athira Azmi
      First page: 16581
      Abstract: Nearby natural environments on campus grounds have become imperative in enhancing sustainable academic experiences by facilitating sustainable social learning. However, tropical region campuses prioritise traditional education while neglecting sustainable social learning. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to facilitate the use of nearby sustainable pocket settings on campus grounds to enhance social learning experiences. The present study aimed to identify factors affecting social learning experiences in nearby (sustainable) pocket spaces on tropical campuses. It utilised a verbal questionnaire survey conducted in three research universities in Malaysia to investigate the factors affecting 408 respondents in nearby (sustainable) pockets. The respondents were selected using stratified judgemental sampling. This study’s findings revealed that many influencing factors predicted the social learning experience in tropical universities’ nearby pockets, which were arranged into four domain factors: elements and activities, natural environment factors, perceived environment factors, and social factors. This provided a proven correlation between the lack of social learning in nearby pockets and the factors of these sustainable settings. The findings also showed that students’ demographic factors, including education status and university affiliation, influenced their social learning experience. The present study significantly linked education to sustainability by integrating social learning into nearby sustainable pocket settings.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416581
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16582: Location of Electric Vehicle
           Charging Stations in Inter-Andean Corridors Considering Road Altitude and
           Nearby Infrastructure

    • Authors: Miguel Dávila-Sacoto, Marco A. Toledo, Luis Hernández-Callejo, L. G. González, Carlos Alvarez Bel, Ángel L. Zorita-Lamadrid
      First page: 16582
      Abstract: The placement of electric vehicle charging stations is typically accomplished using mathematical optimization methods or by calculating average distances. However, this design approach is not suitable for mountainous roads in the Andes Mountain range, given that steep gradients pose both advantages and disadvantages for electric vehicles. This study examines the placement of charging stations along five Andean corridors connecting the cities of La Troncal, Macas, Santa Isabel, Loja, and Cañar to the city of Cuenca. This document presents a novel methodology that can be used to design charging corridors by considering parameters such as state of charge (SOC) per second and SOC per road altitude, among others. By applying this methodology, our study successfully selects appropriate charging station locations to serve both outbound and return journeys on roads with significant gradients. The current study represents an initial approach to analyzing the autonomy of electric vehicles on high-altitude roads, specifically considering the contribution of regenerative braking, for the placement of charging stations.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416582
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16583: Risk Assessment in Sustainable
           Production: Utilizing a Hybrid Evaluation Model to Identify the Waste
           Factors in Steel Plate Manufacturing

    • Authors: Kuei-Kuei Lai, Sheng-Wei Lin, Huai-Wei Lo, Chia-Ying Hsiao, Po-Jung Lai
      First page: 16583
      Abstract: In the realm of industrial development, steel has consistently played a pivotal role due to its extensive applications. This research aims to refine the process of steel plate manufacturing, focusing on reducing waste as a critical step towards embracing sustainable development and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our approach integrates a hybrid analytical model grounded in Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to thoroughly investigate the waste-producing elements in steel plate production. The methodology of this study is structured in a three-pronged approach, as follows: Initially, it involves meticulous on-site inspections across various factories to pinpoint potential sources of waste. Subsequently, we employ the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method to intricately analyze the interconnectedness and impact of various risk factors. The final phase utilizes the Performance Calculation technique within the Integrated Multiple Multi-Attribute Decision-Making (PCIM-MADM) framework for aggregating and evaluating risk scores. This multifaceted approach aids in establishing the priorities for corrective actions aimed at waste reduction. Our findings present innovative solutions for identifying and mitigating critical waste factors, contributing to a more efficient and sustainable steel manufacturing process. These strategies promise scalability and adaptability for broader industrial applications and provide critical insights into resource optimization. This research directly supports the objectives of SDG 9, which focuses on building resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialization. Furthermore, it resonates with SDG 12, advocating for sustainable consumption and production patterns. By enhancing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of steel plate production, this study significantly contributes to minimizing waste and elevating the sustainability of industrial practices.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416583
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16584: Enhancing Circular Business Model
           Implementation in Pulp and Paper Industry (PPI): A Phase-Based
           Implementation Guide to Waste Valorisation Strategies

    • Authors: Amaia Sopelana, Asier Oleaga, Juan José Cepriá, Karmen Fifer Bizjak, Helena Paiva, Francisco-Javier Rios-Davila, Adriana H. Martinez, Antonio Cañas
      First page: 16584
      Abstract: Innovation in the circular economy (CE) and the deployment of effective circular business models (CBM) have attracted significant attention in times of growing natural resource scarcity. Despite this widespread interest, significant challenges remain between theoretical innovations and effective CBM implementation in any industrial sector where companies pursue cost-saving opportunities through waste valorisation strategies. Since current methods mislead in terms of the real limitations to designing feasible novel products and services under a circular economy, this study proposes exploring determinants underpinning the organisational resilience of CBMs under a resource efficiency strategy through three case studies. As a result of a co-creation process, the implementation of a CBM framework was built upon empirical data and, thence, a phase-based implementation guide was laid out to assist companies in designing and implementing innovative CBM dealing with the complexity of innovative waste valorisation strategies between the PPI and construction sectors. Relevant findings on managerial and policy recommendations encountered along the demo stage are provided in this paper favouring an effective implementation of CE strategies: the role of technological and non-technological aspects within the CBM, the perspective of the ecosystem and its value proposition, and specific guidelines for the different phases of CBM life cycle.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416584
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16585: Local Economic Impact of COVID-19 on
           the Urban Tourism-Related Services: A Perspective of Kochi Heritage City,

    • Authors: Fazlur Rahman, Norhazliza abd Halim, Abdul Ahad, Aftab Alam, Kahkashan Noor
      First page: 16585
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had extremely distressful consequences for the service-providing industries, especially in the sector of tourism. The world is showing a move towards the recovery stage; however, the process has observed a lag in recovery because of a gap in the literature on measuring the local economic impact of COVID-19 on the employability of urban tourism. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on the local market and other tourism-related services in Kochi Heritage City, Kerala. Quantitative research was performed based on stratified sampling with a questionnaire survey among 398 respondents. Data were analyzed descriptively to evaluate the impact and measure the significant difference statistically through a one-sample t-test and a one-way ANOVA. Findings revealed that employability from tourism-related services has observed an adverse impact of COVID-19 by a dip in the local economy in terms of earning reduction, whereas the impact on jobs and reduction in working hours were lopsided. Hence, in identifying the effect of COVID-19 on urban tourism and its sub-scaled classes, it contributes more effectively by intervening with recovery and supporting the local economy through a balanced allocation of financial assistance to the economic dip in Kochi.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416585
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16586: Personality Traits Affecting Risky

    • Authors: Luu Van Le, Long Xuan Nguyen, Minh Cong Chu, Nathan Huynh
      First page: 16586
      Abstract: The primary objective of this study is to investigate the influence of personality traits such as anxiety, sensation seeking, altruism, anger, and normlessness on young powered two-wheeler riders’ risky riding behavior. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is extended to include personality traits forming an extended TPB (ETPB). The ETPB model is used to examine how personality traits directly influence risky riding behavior and indirectly influence risky riding behavior through latent mediating factors. The secondary objective is to examine the differences in interactions between personality traits, mediating factors, and risky riding behaviors of those who have been and have not been involved in traffic accidents. The study sample included 535 high school students in Phu Yen, Vietnam. The results showed that personality traits, directly and indirectly, influence risky riding behaviors through the mediating construct. Young riders with sensation-seeking, anger, and normlessness have a higher frequency of risky riding behavior than those with anxiety and altruistic personality traits. Sensation seeking, anger, and normlessness indirectly influence risky riding behavior through risk perception and subjective norms. In addition, the results also show a clear difference in the relationship between the personality and behavior of people who have been involved in traffic accidents and those who have never been involved in accidents.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416586
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16587: Software Design for Users with
           Autism Using Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking Techniques

    • Authors: Gustavo E. Constain Moreno, César A. Collazos, Susana Bautista Blasco, Fernando Moreira
      First page: 16587
      Abstract: This paper details a method, which has been called FRIDA, applied by the authors within this study based on the collaborative and interdisciplinary development of accessible software that is usable by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To this end, the context of this study is based on the adaptation of the Design Thinking model as a strategy for interdisciplinary collaborative work between clinical therapists and software developers. This is complemented by a human-centered design (DCH) approach to obtain accessible software aimed at people with ASD level 1. Each of the stages of Design Thinking is detailed in order to obtain the personalized design of accessible software, as well as the activities carried out in case studies in Colombia, Spain, and Portugal with eight children diagnosed with ASD. As a result, we present the design of FRIDA’s components for interdisciplinary collaborative work and the design of personalized software that was developed for some children with ASD who participated in this study. For these children, it is demonstrated that the use of personalized and collaboratively designed software facilitates the development of specific social skills more quickly than with conventional clinical therapies.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416587
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16588: Post-Investment Cost in Roads and
           Economic Development in a Peruvian Region

    • Authors: Mario Roberto Olaya Reyes, Segundo Eloy Soto Abanto, Elmis Jonatan García Zare, Henrry Walter Zavaleta Pesantes
      First page: 16588
      Abstract: The objective of this research was to determine the relationship between the cost of post-investment in roads and economic development in the La Libertad region from 2015 to 2022. It was basic research with a quantitative approach, non-experimental design, and correlational scope. A documentary analysis was carried out by applying a record card, whose information collected was analyzed with descriptive, multiple correspondence and correlational techniques, finding that from 2015 to 2022, the post-investment costs reach PEN 85,562,363.47, resulting in the benefit of 1310.10 km. Likewise, it was found that economic development, through the indicator of monetary poverty, ranged between 20.83% and 31.90%, and that household access to the four basic services reached 77.9% in 2021 and 78.7% in 2022. It is concluded that in the La Libertad region, the costs of post-investment in roads are significantly related to economic development through the monetary poverty dimension in its two indicators: total and extreme poverty (r: −0.788, p-value: 0.02; r: −0.729, p-value: 0.04, respectively). The other dimensions did not show a relationship; however, these findings do not contradict the theoretical contributions and studies that do determine this.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416588
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16589: Operational Scheduling of Household
           Appliances by Using Triple-Objective Optimization Algorithm Integrated
           with Multi-Criteria Decision Making

    • Authors: Dhiaa Halboot Muhsen, Haider Tarish Haider, Yaarob Al-Nidawi, Ghadeer Ghazi Shayea
      First page: 16589
      Abstract: Load scheduling is a key factor in demand side management (DSM), which manages available generation capacity with regard to the required demand. In this paper, a triple-objective load scheduling optimization problem (LSOP) is formulated for achieving optimal cost and peak demand as well as minimum customer inconvenience. A Henry gas solubility optimization (HGSO) algorithm that is based on multi-objective is used for solving LSOP. The proposed HGSO offers a set of compromise solutions that represent the tradeoff between the three objectives of the formulated problem. A set of all compromise solutions from the dominant Pareto front is achieved first, and then ranked by using MCDM so as to optimally sort these solutions. An entropy weighting method (EWM) is then used for computing the weights of various criteria that dominate the LSOP and is provided as a technique for ordering preferences by similarity to achieve the ideal solution (TOPSIS) so as to rank the sorted solutions. Two types of end-users are considered so as to show the effectiveness of the proposed LSOP: non-cooperative and cooperative users. The results of the proposed load scheduling method show the significance of the proposed method for both the cooperative and non-cooperative end-users. The proposed method achieves a cost of energy of R50.62 as a total cost of energy consumed by four non-cooperative end-users. The cost of energy for the cooperative end-users is found to be R47.39. Thus, saving in the energy cost unit is found to be around 5.5% by using the proposed method; moreover, the peak demand value is reduced by 9.7% when non-cooperative end-users becomes cooperative.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416589
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16590: Laboratory Risk Assessment Based on
           SHELL-HACCP-Cloud Model

    • Authors: Xiaoning Zhao, Zhongcheng Wei, Yukun Gao, Penggang Yin
      First page: 16590
      Abstract: With the increasing demand and expanding scale of laboratories in colleges and universities, laboratory accidents frequently occur, seriously impacting personal health, schools, society, and the environment. Scientific and effective risk assessment is crucial to prevent accidents. Therefore, in order to effectively reduce the risk of chemical laboratories and minimize the frequency of accidents. This study employs the combination of the SHELL model and HACCP system to analyze the potential sources of hazards in hazardous chemical laboratories and establish a risk assessment index system. Based on the Cloud model, a dynamic risk assessment model for the laboratory is established to quantitatively evaluate the risk level of the evaluation results. In order to ensure the rationality of the assessment results, the subjective and objective weights are combined by the principle of minimizing information entropy. Case analysis proves the scientific validity of the evaluation results of the model, which can assist laboratory managers in formulating emergency plans and risk management mechanisms to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of experimental accidents. This approach ensures the safe and sustainable development of schools and laboratories, which is conducive to the progress of researchers’ scientific research results.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416590
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16591: Dissolved Inorganic Nutrient
           Biogeochemistry in an Urbanized Coastal Region: A Study of Dapeng Cove,

    • Authors: Fei Tong, Pimao Chen, Xiumei Zhang
      First page: 16591
      Abstract: Dissolved inorganic nutrients are pivotal in maintaining the material and energy balance of marine ecosystems, impacting the survival and dynamic succession of marine organisms. To gain a deeper understanding of the source and sink characteristics of dissolved inorganic nutrients in bays affected by human activities and to elucidate the processes involving filter-feeding shellfish in relation to these nutrients, this study investigated the source and sink dynamics of dissolved inorganic nutrients in the Dapeng Cove sea area of Shenzhen. Over the past decade, a significant change in the N/P ratio within the survey area has been observed, suggesting a shift in nutrient limitation from nitrogen to phosphorus or phosphorus–silicon limitation. This induced change in the N/P ratio, along with Si/N and Si/P ratios, may facilitate the growth of cyanobacteria and, subsequently, alter the proportions of diatoms, dinoflagellates, and cyanobacteria. Seasonal fluctuations in human disturbance intensity and precipitation determine the seasonal and spatial distribution of nutrients in the bay, thereby influencing the bay ecosystem metabolism. The Land–Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) model analysis revealed that the bay represents a major source of inorganic nitrogen and a source of phosphate in spring, summer, and autumn, while acting as a sink for phosphate in winter. Furthermore, rivers and groundwater represent the primary sources of phosphate and inorganic nitrogen in the bay. The bay exhibits an annual net ecosystem metabolic rate of 7.06 mmol C/m2/d, with denitrification dominating the nitrogen cycle at 12.65 mmol C/m2/d. Overall, the Dapeng Cove ecosystem displays net production exceeding respiration, classifying it as an autotrophic system. Additionally, the nitrogen cycle in the sea area is predominantly driven by denitrification. The analysis also revealed that the impact of oyster proliferation on the physical and chemical factors in the surveyed area is relatively weaker than that of surface runoff and groundwater inputs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416591
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16592: Mapping the Landscape of ESG

    • Authors: Alan Kai Ming Au, Yi-Fan Yang, Huan Wang, Rui-Hong Chen, Leven J. Zheng
      First page: 16592
      Abstract: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) together comprise what is regarded as a metric system that can be used to gauge a corporation’s performance in various facets of social responsibility. The increasing urgency for businesses to contemplate and proactively address ESG issues, due to their immediate relevance, underscores its importance in contemporary business landscapes. In the current academic landscape, scholars across various disciplines have thus been engaged in rigorous investigations of ESG. This research aims to present an overarching comprehension of the theoretical foundation of ESG by reviewing existing research and highlight the latest trends in ESG literature in the field of management. We have engaged in a comprehensive bibliometric examination, supplementing our research with the application of co-citation and bibliographic coupling methodologies. Based on co-citation analysis, this study elucidates four theoretical foundations of ESG research: Sustainability of competitive advantage; compliance of social construction; alignment of governance accountability; and allocation of sustainable capital. We then employ bibliographic coupling to assess current research trends, revealing five groups of research trends correlated with the topics: ESG activities and economic outcomes; ESG reporting and non-financial disclosure; ESG performance and corporate sustainability; ESG attributes and investment market; and ESG practices and board diversity. Furthermore, this study summarizes future research directions in the ESG domain.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416592
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16593: Transfer-Ensemble Learning: A Novel
           Approach for Mapping Urban Land Use/Cover of the Indian Metropolitans

    • Authors: Prosenjit Barman, Sheikh Mustak, Monika Kuffer, Sudhir Kumar Singh
      First page: 16593
      Abstract: Land use and land cover (LULC) classification plays a significant role in the analysis of climate change, evidence-based policies, and urban and regional planning. For example, updated and detailed information on land use in urban areas is highly needed to monitor and evaluate urban development plans. Machine learning (ML) algorithms, and particularly ensemble ML models support transferability and efficiency in mapping land uses. Generalization, model consistency, and efficiency are essential requirements for implementing such algorithms. The transfer-ensemble learning approach is increasingly used due to its efficiency. However, it is rarely investigated for mapping complex urban LULC in Global South cities, such as India. The main objective of this study is to assess the performance of machine and ensemble-transfer learning algorithms to map the LULC of two metropolitan cities of India using Landsat 5 TM, 2011, and DMSP-OLS nightlight, 2013. This study used classical ML algorithms, such as Support Vector Machine-Radial Basis Function (SVM-RBF), SVM-Linear, and Random Forest (RF). A total of 480 samples were collected to classify six LULC types. The samples were split into training and validation sets with a 65:35 ratio for the training, parameter tuning, and validation of the ML algorithms. The result shows that RF has the highest accuracy (94.43%) of individual models, as compared to SVM-RBF (85.07%) and SVM-Linear (91.99%). Overall, the ensemble model-4 produces the highest accuracy (94.84%) compared to other ensemble models for the Kolkata metropolitan area. In transfer learning, the pre-trained ensemble model-4 achieved the highest accuracy (80.75%) compared to other pre-trained ensemble models for Delhi. This study provides innovative guidelines for selecting a robust ML algorithm to map urban LULC at the metropolitan scale to support urban sustainability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416593
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16594: A Cross-Cultural Analysis for
           Plastic Waste Perception of Students from Romania and Turkey

    • Authors: Graţiela Dana Boca, Arzum Ișitan, Evren Çağlarer, Sinan Saraçli
      First page: 16594
      Abstract: The article brings to attention a cross cultural model related to the perception of students in relation to the current problem of plastic waste. To create the model, a questionnaire was applied online in two countries at the same time, among students from different specializations. The survey was structured in several parts, with the first part meant to identify individual characteristics of the responders, the second part to identify their knowledge about plastic, determine their beliefs in the new material—bioplastic, their preference in using plastic or bioplastic, and the last part meant to determine students’ attitude towards the environment. The model wants to highlight the preferences and knowledge of students about plastic, the degree of information and students’ knowledge about plastic waste, and if these are influenced by culture; in our case, the country was considered. Also, we established that gender or specialization have no influence on the perception of bioplastic. A total of 39.79% of the students from both countries participate in and attend conferences about nature protection and plastic waste, and only 58.69% of the students do not participate in any conferences about nature conservation or recycling materials. As a conclusion, we can mention that Turkish students are more responsible and more active in environmental activities regarding plastic waste in comparison with Romanian students. In comparison with Romanian students, Turkish students are more careful when it comes to recycling waste plastic and when choosing products that are less harmful to nature. The young generation is open to selective recycling, even if they sometimes do not follow the established rules. Based on this model, common problems can be identified and universities, as incubators of ideas, can welcome the use of the necessary methods and tools to stimulate care and students’ awareness of the environment and its protection.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416594
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16595: Ordering Decisions with an
           Unreliable Supplier under the Carbon Cap-and-Trade System

    • Authors: Yuheng Ren, Wenliang Bian, Haicheng Li, Xiaxia Ma
      First page: 16595
      Abstract: The global focus on carbon reduction has intensified, prompting numerous high-energy-consuming enterprises to venture into the carbon cap-and-trade system. However, in recent years, the emergence of destabilizing factors has introduced disruptions to supply chains. The study addresses the two-stage ordering problem for a manufacturer under the carbon cap-and-trade system. In the first stage, the manufacturer engages in green investments and places orders with both an unreliable and a reliable supplier. After updating demand forecast information in the second stage, orders are placed with the backup supplier, and carbon allowances are settled at the end of the period. Under these conditions, three supply scenarios of the unreliable supplier are considered: time-varying supply with imperfect demand updates, all-or-nothing supply with imperfect demand updates, and time-varying supply with perfect demand updates. Optimal ordering decisions are provided for each scenario. We find that when demand updates are imperfect, the manufacturer will invariably engage with the unreliable supplier. However, when demand updates are perfect, the manufacturer may choose to forgo the unreliable supplier. Next, we analyze the influence of carbon trading prices on ordering decisions in these scenarios. We find that when the probability of disruption is substantial, dual sourcing must exist in the first stage under the all-or-nothing supply. Finally, we conduct numerical analysis by utilizing parameters, such as carbon trading prices, as referenced in the existing literature. Through numerical analysis, we find that opting for the all-or-nothing supplier becomes economically advantageous for the manufacturer when the backup supplier is profitable. Conversely, when the backup supplier is not profitable, the manufacturer tends to opt for the unreliable supplier with time-varying supply. Moreover, optimal profit for the manufacturer is not achieved when demand updates are perfect.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416595
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16596: The Decoupling Effect in Italian
           Agricultural Waste: An Empirical Analysis

    • Authors: Antonella Vastola, Mauro Viccaro, Valeria Grippo, Francesco Genovese, Severino Romano, Mario Cozzi
      First page: 16596
      Abstract: The environmental Kuznets curve has received widespread attention from scholars for its ability to vividly capture the dynamics between economic growth and waste generation. The so-called waste Kuznets curve (KWC) has been used in different fields (e.g., municipal waste, e-waste, construction waste, tourism waste, etc.); nonetheless, WKC studies into agricultural waste remain relatively scarce. Due to the impact of agriculture on socio-economic development and environmental protection, this study applied KWC to the Italian agricultural sector. The aim was to investigate whether a “decoupling effect” exists between agricultural production and waste generation and assess the effects of certain socio-economic variables. The analysis was based on a panel dataset, including geographical observations at a regional level and a time series of 14 years (2002–2015). Empirical results show that the delinking point has not yet been reached, but can be reached if specific policy instruments are applied. Our evidence suggests that public expenditure for environmental protection or the promotion of organic farming could help to achieve this goal. Future studies are recommended to further validate the waste Kuznets curve for agriculture using a wider set of economies and longer panel data.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416596
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16597: Assessing Hygrothermal Performance
           in Building Walls Engineered for Extreme Cold Climate Environments

    • Authors: Hevar Palani, Hamed Khaleghi, Parisa Salehi, Aslihan Karatas
      First page: 16597
      Abstract: Buildings located in extreme cold climates encounter challenges (e.g., heat loss, condensation, and frozen utilities), especially within their wall envelopes. These challenges also play a pivotal role in occupant health, comfort, and the structural integrity of the building. While the existing literature has primarily focused on thermal performance, this study underscores the importance of evaluating hygrothermal performance within wall envelopes, given the existence of mold growth even in cases of high thermal resistance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the hygrothermal performance of an adaptable house wall (AHW) panel that incorporates composite infill panels paired with vacuum-insulated panels to endure harsh cold conditions in Alaska. Therefore, three steps were proposed to: (1) collect the material and thermal properties of the AHW; (2) model the hygrothermal performance of the AHW in WUFI® PRO v6.7 software; and (3) analyze the results. The results revealed a moderate risk of mold growth in the inner plywood layer of the AHW, whereas the outer plywood layer showed zero risk, indicating an acceptable condition. The findings aid decisionmakers in recognizing potential mold-related issues in building walls before advancing to the construction phase.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416597
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16598: Long-Term Heavy Metal Pollution
           Induces Complex Differences in Farmland Topsoil and Rhizosphere Microbial

    • Authors: Jing Guo, Weili Dou, Zhiwen Liu, Jiaxuan Sun, Duanping Xu, Qili Yang, Gang Lv, Dongli Wang
      First page: 16598
      Abstract: The microbial effect of long-term heavy metal pollution on farmland remains unclear. Here, we investigated microbial (bacterial and fungal) communities in topsoil and rhizosphere samples with heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) pollution from four different types of tillage plots around an abandoned zinc smelter set up 85 years ago and analyzed the complex relationship between microorganisms, plants, and heavy metals (HMs) in soil to guide strategies for further soil remediation measures. The abundance and diversity index results showed that the bacterial and fungal diversities of the four plots were significantly different. Meanwhile, correlation analysis of the microbial communities and HMs showed that bacteria Pseudomonas and fungi Chaetothyriales and Fusarium had a good tolerance for HM pollution, but bacteria Vicinamibacteraceae, JG30_KF_CM45, RB41, Gaiella, MB-A2-108, 67-14, and Microvirga, and fungi Glomerellales, Hypocreales, Chaetomium, and Mortierella all showed indications of being sensitive to HM toxicity. Our structural equation model (SEM) attributed the inhibition of Zn and the promotion of Cd to bacterial diversity, attributed a weak inhibition of Cd to fungal diversity, and revealed the effects of the tillage type on these diversities.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416598
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16599: Effects of Replacing Fishmeal with
           Algal Biomass (Pavlova sp. 459) on Membrane Lipid Composition of Atlantic
           Salmon (Salmo salar) Parr Muscle and Liver Tissues

    • Authors: Nigel Guerra, Christopher C. Parrish, Minmin Wei, Judy Perry, Jorge A. Del Ángel-Rodríguez, Sean M. Tibbetts, Mohamed Emam, Stefanie M. Colombo
      First page: 16599
      Abstract: A 12-week feeding trial examined the dietary impact of replacing fishmeal (FM) with algal biomass (AB) derived from Pavlova sp. strain CCMP459 (Pav459) in Atlantic salmon diets. Three distinct diets were formulated: a control diet featuring 20% FM and 7% fish oil (FO), an experimental diet incorporating a 50:50 blend of FM and AB Pav459 and reduced FO (10% FM; 4.5% FO; 10% AB), and a second experimental diet with full replacement of FM with AB Pav459 and further reduction in FO (1.75% FO; 20% AB). Replacing FM with AB Pav459 showed no significant effects on the growth performance of Atlantic salmon. Fish across all diets exhibited growth exceeding 200% from their initial weight. Analysis of total lipid content after the 12-week trial revealed no significant differences among the diets. However, individual proportions of omega-3 (ω3) and omega-6 (ω6) fatty acids varied. Fatty acid profiling in muscle and liver tissues showed distinct compositions reflective of dietary treatments. Linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) exhibited higher proportions in total fatty acids than in membrane lipids. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) emerged as the predominant fatty acid in the membranes of both liver and muscle tissues. Furthermore, an analysis of sterol composition in Pavlova and salmon muscle tissue showed the presence of important sterols, including conventionally animal-associated cholesterol. This emphasizes the suitability of microorganisms, such as Pav459, for synthesizing diverse nutrients. Stable isotope analysis demonstrated direct incorporation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA from diets into salmon tissues. Notably, minimal biosynthesis from the precursor ALA was observed, reaffirming the utility of Pav459-derived fatty acids. The EPA+DHA proportions in the fillet consistently met daily human consumption requirements across all dietary conditions, supporting the use of Pav459 algal biomass as an alternative to FM.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416599
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16600: A Framework for Assessing the
           Climate Impacts of Research and Innovation Projects and Programmes

    • Authors: André Martinuzzi, Markus Hametner, Andreas Windsperger, Nadine Brunnhuber
      First page: 16600
      Abstract: Public spending on research and innovation (R&I) to tackle grand societal challenges, such as climate change, is increasing. Consequently, research funding organisations face an ever-growing demand to demonstrate the social return of their investments. However, tools and frameworks that facilitate the description and assessment of the climate impacts of R&I activities are largely lacking. The present paper addresses this gap by conducting a comparative case analysis of corporate R&I projects co-funded by a thematically open R&I funding programme with the aim of identifying the key impact pathways. Data for the cases were collected through document analysis and video interviews. The results show that assessments of the climate impacts of R&I need to take into account the expected change in technology maturity and the impacts that are caused up- and downstream in a company’s value chain. The results serve as a basis for the development of a framework for the ex-ante assessment of climate impacts of public R&I programmes. A series of workshops with research funders, companies, and evaluation experts helped refine and validate the framework and ensure its real-world applicability. The framework provides proposal writers and evaluators with a pragmatic and easy-to-use orientation tool for describing and assessing the climate impacts of a planned R&I activity during the proposal evaluation stage. It therefore supports a more systematic and systemic assessment of R&I impacts that can help funding organisations better address the challenges of climate change.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416600
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16601: Exploring the Pathways to Tourist
           Loyalty in Pakistani Tourism Industry: The Role of Destination Image,
           Service Quality, E-WOM, and Social Media

    • Authors: Afshan Rahman, Naveed Farooq, Muhammad Haleem, Syed Mohsin Ali Shah, Hatem El-Gohary
      First page: 16601
      Abstract: Tourism plays a pivotal role in Pakistan’s economic landscape. Understanding the drivers of tourist loyalty is paramount for sustainable growth. This study delves into the factors influencing tourist loyalty within Pakistan’s tourism sector, examining the destination image, service quality, electronic word of mouth, and tourist satisfaction. Data sourced from a tourist survey at popular Pakistani destinations unveil significant relationships and mediation effects. The results underscore that a positive destination image and superior services directly impact tourist loyalty. Furthermore, electronic word of mouth and tourist satisfaction mediate these relationships, highlighting how positive perceptions and satisfaction bolster loyalty. Social media also exerts a moderating influence on the destination image, service quality, and tourist loyalty dynamics. These findings offer crucial insights for tourism stakeholders and destination marketers to refine strategies. By enhancing its destination image, delivering exceptional services, and leveraging social media, Pakistan can both attract and retain tourists, bolstering its tourism sector’s growth and prosperity. This study contributes to the existing literature and offers practical guidance for promoting tourism in developing nations like Pakistan.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416601
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16602: Recycling Waste Plastics into
           Plastic-Bonded Sand Interlocking Blocks for Wall Construction in
           Developing Countries

    • Authors: Alexander Kumi-Larbi Jnr, Latifatu Mohammed, Trinity Ama Tagbor, Samuel Kofi Tulashie, Christopher Cheeseman
      First page: 16602
      Abstract: This paper reports on using waste polyethylene to form plastic-bonded sand interlocking blocks for wall construction. The production process, mechanical properties, and failure mechanisms of three different interlocking block wall systems are reported. Plastic-bonded composite blocks were formed by mixing sand into waste polyethylene in a high-temperature extruder. The blocks formed had densities between 1.5 and 1.6 g cm−3 and compressive strengths of approximately 15.0 MPa. This is significantly higher than the conventional sandcrete wall blocks that are widely used in developing countries. The blocks were used to construct walls with dimensions of 1.0 m × 1.0 m × 0.15 m, and these were subjected to in-plane compressive loads. The compressive strengths of the walls ranged from 4.2 to 5.7 MPa. Variations in the block composition did not affect the failure mechanism, but the extent of the block damage after failure varied significantly. The potential for using waste plastics to form interlocking construction blocks for use in low-cost construction is discussed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416602
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16603: Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment
           and Education to Improve Earthquake Response Efficiency and Community

    • Authors: Konstantinos Papatheodorou, Nikolaos Theodoulidis, Nikolaos Klimis, Can Zulfikar, Dragos Vintila, Vladlen Cardanet, Emmanouil Kirtas, Dragos Toma-Danila, Basil Margaris, Yasin Fahjan, Georgios Panagopoulos, Christos Karakostas, Georgios Papathanassiou, Sotiris Valkaniotis
      First page: 16603
      Abstract: Southeastern Europe faces a significant earthquake threat, endangering lives, property, and infrastructure thus jeopardizing sustainable development. The development of a Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) designed to deliver crucial earthquake damage information for scenario planning, real-time response, and bolstering public awareness and preparedness is presented. In doing so, REDAS enhances community resilience and safeguards sustainability. REDAS comprises a Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment platform (REDA.p), a smartphone application, and an Educational Hub (Edu.Hub). REDA.p provides both scenario-based and near real-time seismic damage evaluation of structures, gas pipelines, and geotechnical failures, based on harmonized Ground Motion Prediction Equations and a comprehensive building taxonomy scheme covering the area under investigation. To assess regional landslide hazards, the Infinite Slope Model and a statistics-based model have been implemented, alongside a statistical model for liquefaction probability assessment. Validated against historical data, REDA.p integrates real-time input from key earthquake monitoring networks in the region, covering cross-border areas as well, while in designated urban zones, the system is enhanced by real-time data from a dense earthquake monitoring network deployed in selected school buildings. The smartphone app and Edu.Hub disseminate critical information, guidelines, and tools to improve public prevention, preparedness, and response capacities, thereby enhancing societal resilience.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/su152416603
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 24 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16504: Types of Water Rights Systems in
           China: A Zoning Scheme Applied

    • Authors: Yuanyuan Sun, Shaofeng Jia, Ru Jia, Jesper Svensson, Aifeng Lv, Wenbin Zhu, Jianxu Liu
      First page: 16504
      Abstract: This article analyzes the appropriate types of water rights systems for different regions with varying water resource conditions in China. The most appropriate water rights systems for various zones were determined by comparing the value of influencing factors with corresponding thresholds in China’s second-class zones of water resources. It is shown that a riparian rights system under water withdrawals permission could be adopted in most regions of southern China. For most northern Chinese regions, the quantity proportional water rights systems should be adopted and further improved. In contrast to the implementation of a single quantity proportional water rights system, this paper innovatively proposes a zoning scheme for China’s water rights system. The appropriate type of water rights system can be identified according to the region’s specific water resource conditions. It can provide a scientific reference for the reform of water rights systems in China and other countries or regions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316504
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16505: Stakeholder Perceptions on
           Sustainability Challenges and Innovations in General Aviation

    • Authors: Michael Stiebe
      First page: 16505
      Abstract: While commercial aviation has received considerable social, political, and scholarly attention, general aviation (GA) has largely operated beneath the radar of sustainability discourse. GA grapples with a spectrum of sustainability challenges, encompassing the persistent use of leaded aviation gasoline, outdated technology, evolving demographics, escalating operational costs, noise pollution, adverse environmental perceptions, and public discontent. The sustainability transition in GA, akin to other transport sectors, is an intricate, sociotechnical process necessitating the integration of stakeholder and community perspectives. Existing literature primarily concentrates on technological aspects, offering a partial view of GA stakeholder viewpoints. This paper draws on quantitative methodology and conducts several statistical analyses, foremost ANOVA, t-tests, and regressions, of data from a 2022 online survey (N = 427) involving a diverse range of GA stakeholders. This study examines sustainability consciousness and perceptions within the GA community. The findings underscore shared sustainability concerns among GA stakeholders and illustrate how sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, income, and education exert varying degrees of influence on these perceptions. Additionally, a positive relationship emerges between non-aviation-related and aviation-related sustainability consciousness. Lastly, pilots with prior experience in electric aircraft display a more favorable view of electric aviation.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316505
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16506: Detecting Urban Sprawl through
           Nighttime Light Changes

    • Authors: Masanobu Kii, Kunihiko Matsumoto
      First page: 16506
      Abstract: Numerous cities around the world are currently experiencing surges in population growth and urban expansion, often accompanied by uncontrolled sprawl. It is widely recognized that unplanned urban development contributes to a decline in urban sustainability. In this research, our goal is to identify instances of sprawl development in the Kansai region of Japan by utilizing remote sensing data. As a result, we have discovered that nighttime light data are valuable for gaining additional insights into sprawl, even when time-series land-use data and spatial population data are available. Specifically, when comparing the changes in these indices between circa 2010 and 2020, it becomes evident that these indices exhibit very weak correlations. Consequently, they can be used as independent variables for identifying urban sprawl. Each index comes with its own advantages and disadvantages in the context of urban sprawl detection. Therefore, we can conclude that a combination of multiple data sources is necessary for a comprehensive determination and detection of urban sprawl.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316506
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16507: Overcoming Barriers to ISPO
           Certification: Analyzing the Drivers of Sustainable Agricultural Adoption
           among Farmers

    • Authors: Nugra Irianta Denashurya, Nurliza, Eva Dolorosa, Dewi Kurniati, Denah Suswati
      First page: 16507
      Abstract: The palm oil industry, integral to Indonesia’s economy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), faces emerging economic, environmental, and social challenges. These compel the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, particularly in light of the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification system’s implementation by 2025. This study develops a model integrating Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior and Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory to elucidate factors influencing farmers’ adoption of sustainable palm oil farming. Data from 300 palm oil farmers in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results indicated significant positive effects in terms of attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, relative advantage, compatibility, and trialability on sustainable practice adoption, while the complexity negatively influenced adoption. These findings underscore the need to address farmers’ motivations, social norms, perceived control, and practice advantages for successful implementation. The study offers critical insights for policymakers and practitioners to formulate strategies that encourage the voluntary adoption of sustainable practices, balancing farmers’ needs and environmental sustainability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316507
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16508: Soil Remediation from Metal(Loid)
           Pollution: Advances in Hydrotalcite-Based Intercalation Materials Research

    • Authors: Yanqi Li, Kaicheng Zhang, Yan Yu, Haonuo He, Zhenjiang Su, Xiao Tan, Aijun Lin
      First page: 16508
      Abstract: Addressing soil pollution by metals and metalloids necessitates innovative and efficient adsorbent materials. This study scrutinizes layered double hydroxides (LDHs) for their structural versatility and enhanced adsorption capabilities, pivotal in soil remediation. The paper systematically explores the structural characteristics, synthesis methods, and modification techniques of LDHs, as well as their interaction mechanisms with diverse metal(loid) species, such as anionic forms (e.g., AsO43−) and oxygenated ions (e.g., CrO42−, MnO4−). It presents a methodical review of the current understanding and progress in soil treatment strategies, emphasizing the application potential of LDHs. This comprehensive analysis not only underscores the efficacy of LDHs in decontaminating soils but also lays the groundwork for future research trajectories in environmental remediation technologies.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316508
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16509: High Resolution WRF Modelling of
           Extreme Heat Events and Mapping of the Urban Heat Island Characteristics
           in Athens, Greece

    • Authors: Nikolaos Roukounakis, Konstantinos V. Varotsos, Dimitrios Katsanos, Ioannis Lemesios, Christos Giannakopoulos, Adrianos Retalis
      First page: 16509
      Abstract: In recent decades, large-scale urbanisation has developed rapidly, resulting in significant changes in the local and regional environment and climate. Large metropolitan areas worldwide induce significant changes in local atmospheric circulation and boundary layer meteorology by modifying the underlying surface characteristics and through the emission of anthropogenic heat and pollutants into the atmosphere. We investigate the urban heat island (UHI) characteristics in the city of Athens, Greece, which is one of Europe’s largest metropolitan complexes with a population of approximately 3.7 million inhabitants. The UHI effect is intense due to the city’s size, dense construction, high incident solar radiation, and almost complete lack of natural vegetation, with previous studies suggesting a temperature rise of 4 °C on average in the city centre compared to summer background conditions. We used high-resolution WRF simulations (1-km horizontal grid) driven with ERA5 reanalysis data to produce surface temperature maps in the city of Athens and the surrounding areas (Region of Attiki) during the summer period of 1 July–20 August 2021. Different model parameterizations were tested, both with respect to urban characteristics and physical parameters. The daily minimum and maximum temperatures (Tmin and Tmax) derived from the model were validated against observational data from a dense network of weather stations covering metropolitan Athens and surrounding locations. We further investigate the influence of different meteorological conditions on the UHI gradients as produced by the model and the observational dataset, including the extreme heat wave of 28 July–5 August 2021, during which persistent maximum temperatures of >40 °C were recorded for nine consecutive days. The results indicate a strong correlation between WRF output and recorded minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the test period (R ranges from 0.80 to 0.93), with an average mean absolute bias (MAB) of 1.5 °C, and reveal the intensity and spatiotemporal variability of the UHI phenomenon in the city of Athens, with UHI magnitude reaching 8–9 °C at times. Our work aims to maximise the potential of using high-resolution WRF modelling for simulating extreme heat events and mapping the UHI effect in large metropolitan complexes.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316509
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16510: Heavy Metal Pollution Assessment in
           the Agricultural Soils of Bonao, Dominican Republic

    • Authors: Natividad Miledy Alberto Then, Ramón Delanoy, Diana Rodríguez Alberto, Ronaldo Méndez Henández, Oscar Díaz Rizo, Lizaira Bello
      First page: 16510
      Abstract: Heavy metal content in agricultural soils potentially impacts the food chain and human health. The present study assessed the levels of heavy metals in topsoil samples collected within an agricultural region situated in Bonao, Dominican Republic. The Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) technique was utilized to measure the concentrations of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), and arsenic (As) in the samples. The assessment of soil pollution status and potential ecological risk (RI) involved the utilization of various soil pollution indices, such as the single pollution index (PI), integrated pollution index (IPI), and enrichment factor (EF). The average total concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, Pb, and As were 103,000, 2000, 347, 36, 92, 32, 9.6, and 4.2 mg·kg−1, respectively. The results showed that the Mn, Ni, Cu, and As levels exceeded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s recommended levels for healthy agricultural soils. The distribution pattern of each individual metal was different, indicating they had different sources of origin. The average pollution indices indicated low-to-moderate pollution, and the potential ecological risk obtained was low. This study emphasizes the need for soil management practices to mitigate heavy metal contamination for food safety and environmental health.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316510
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16511: Study on the Dynamics
           Characteristics of HTS Maglev Train Considering the Aerodynamic Loads
           under Crosswinds

    • Authors: Zongpeng Li, Xiaofei Wang, Yin Ding, Jukun Wang, Pengfei Liu, Zigang Deng
      First page: 16511
      Abstract: High-temperature Superconducting (HTS) maglev trains are vulnerable to the effects of crosswinds when operating at high speeds in open-air conditions, potentially compromising riding comfort and safety. This study established a vehicle dynamic model based on the nonlinear maglev-track relationship and added aerodynamic loads under crosswinds to the train’s simplified load center to address this issue. Using the maximum vibration acceleration limit and the Sperling index, we evaluated the riding comfort of the HTS maglev train under different conditions. Further, the vibration acceleration power spectral density was analyzed to reveal the impact of increasing the train’s operating speed and crosswind speed. The results indicated that the lateral and vertical Sperling index achieved an “excellent” rating, even at crosswind speeds of up to 20.7 m/s when the train was traveling at speeds of up to 600 km/h. However, it was noted that particular attention should be given to the riding comfort in the head car when the speed reaches 600 km/h. Moreover, the influence of the increase in train speed on the vibration frequency domain distribution of the three car bodies and the train’s riding comfort is greater than that of the increase in the crosswind speed. These findings may provide a valuable reference for the future engineering application of the HTS maglev train.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316511
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16512: Utilization of an Information System
           for the Efficient Implementation of the Integrated Environmental Permit
           System in South Korea

    • Authors: Jae-Hong Park, Hee-Jeong Seok, Phil-Goo Kang, Hyangsig Ahn
      First page: 16512
      Abstract: The construction and operation of information systems are valuable for the implementation of an integrated environmental permit system (IEPS). This study introduces an IEPS and examines its implementation in South Korea. Using operational cases from the IEPS, we demonstrate how the system is structured for each permit application procedure and the mechanisms by which permits are processed. In South Korea, the operation of an IEPS has made it easy to track the progress of permits and immediately notify the relevant authorities regarding permit applications and supplementary requests, thereby reducing the time required for permit reviews and amendments. Furthermore, disclosing the review results and other permit information ensures the reliability of permits. Additionally, the regular input of data, such as pollutant monitoring data from facilities and compliance with permit conditions, into the IEPS facilitates the stable management of all data related to facility permits and operations. Regulatory agencies can utilize the database within the IEPS to gain insight into facility conditions before conducting on-site inspections, ultimately reducing the time required for such inspections. Moreover, by accessing past inspection records through this system, facilities requiring more focused management can be identified, and data from the system can be used in planning future inspections.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316512
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16513: Enhancing Coffee Quality in Rwanda:
           A Cost Benefit Analysis of Government Policies

    • Authors: Glenn P. Jenkins, Ludovic Mbakop, Mikhail Miklyaev
      First page: 16513
      Abstract: Over the past two decades, Rwanda has positioned itself as a leading producer of specialty coffee. The strategic move from ordinary to specialty coffee has overall been economically beneficial to the country. However, the multitude of incentives provided by both the Government and international donors spawned a rush to build a large number of coffee washing stations (CWS) throughout Rwanda. This trend gave rise to an oversupply of these plants, with most operating below their processing capacity. Our study uses cost benefit analysis to estimate the economic welfare loss that Rwanda has suffered owing to the combined effect of the oversupply of CWS, the coffee zoning policy, and the government regulated cherry coffee prices. Our results reveal that, if the coffee industry were rendered more competitive by dint of a reduction in the number of CWS, then the annual savings to Rwanda would be substantial. Furthermore, farmers could potentially receive prices that are 150% higher than the mandated fixed prices they are currently been paid. Our analysis could potentially be beneficial to Rwandese policy makers in devising fairer incentives to keep farmers interested in coffee farming, thus ensuring the sustainability of the coffee value chain in the long term.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316513
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16514: Spatial and Paleoclimatic
           Reconstruction of the Peña Negra Paleoglacier (Sierra de
           Béjar-Candelario, Spain) during the Last Glacial Cycle (Late

    • Authors: Carlos E. Nieto, Ana Calvo, Raquel Cruz, Antonio Miguel Martínez-Graña, José Luis Goy, José Ángel González-Delgado
      First page: 16514
      Abstract: The study of the Peña Negra paleoglacier during the Last Glacial Maximum reveals its sensitivity to paleoclimatic variations. The evolutionary phases of the paleoglacier are correlated with the evolutionary models proposed for the Sierra de Béjar-Candelario and the Central Iberian System. To recognize the mechanisms of ice advance/retreat and the response of the glacier to paleoclimatic variations, modeling is carried out based on a geographic information system tool. This model is key to establishing the spatial extent of the ice and the estimation of the Equilibrium line altitudeequilibrium line altitudes at each moment, which makes it easier to infer the approximate climatic conditions of each phase (temperature and precipitation) and allows us to improve the understanding of the glacial dynamics versus variations in paleoenvironmental conditions and paleoglacial morphometry. The spatial reconstruction data show that the paleoglacier had 0.526 km3 of ice during the phase of maximum extension, while the paleoclimatic data reflect an increase in precipitation and a slight decrease in average summer temperatures compared to today. The stability phases are associated with the periods of greatest precipitation when the mass balance was positive.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316514
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16515: Deconstructing and Reconstructing
           the Theoretical Basis of the Ecological Scarcity Method

    • Authors: Reinout Heijungs
      First page: 16515
      Abstract: The ecological scarcity method (ESM) is a widely used system for assessing the environmental impact of pollutant emissions and resource extractions in the context of life cycle assessment (LCA). Its mathematical principles have been described in various reports, but not in scientific journals, which typically only quote the ESM or challenge the numerical values of the targets. It is, therefore, appropriate to carefully dissect the method and critically reassemble the resulting fragments. Our analysis introduces a substantial number of modifications, in terms of overall formulation, detail and interpretation, while it respects most of the existing numbers and is still applicable to the full range of pollutants and resources. It also yields the conclusion that, although the developers of ESM have tried to align the approach with the ISO 14040/14044 standards for LCA, this attempt has been less successful than foreseen. We finally conclude that the reference to ESM as a “distance-to-target” method further obscures the interpretation of the method.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316515
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16516: Waste-Based Adsorbents for the
           Removal of Phenoxyacetic Herbicides from Water: A Comprehensive Review

    • Authors: Magdalena Blachnio, Krzysztof Kusmierek, Andrzej Swiatkowski, Anna Derylo-Marczewska
      First page: 16516
      Abstract: An overview of different adsorbents, based on agricultural and household waste, for chlorophenoxy herbicides removal from water is presented. Several groups of adsorbents are discussed, taking into account the modification method used on the initial material and the type of final product obtained. The adsorbent characteristics and the conditions of the adsorption measurements are given, and a discussion on the obtained results is presented, along with a theoretical description, following the application of various equations and models. A group of the most effective adsorbents is indicated, based on the analysis of the adsorption capacity, towards 2,4-D and/or MCPA, and the adsorption rate. Some important problems connected with adsorbent utility are discussed, taking into account economic and ecological aspects. Moreover, the effectiveness of the analyzed materials is observed through the analysis of its interactions with other components present in real systems.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316516
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16517: Evaluating Construction
           Projects’ Alternatives Using Lean Construction and Sustainability
           Principles in an Information Model Framework

    • Authors: Pedro Saieg Faria, Elisa Dominguez Sotelino, Cristiano Saad Travassos do Carmo, Daniel Luiz Mattos Nascimento
      First page: 16517
      Abstract: This study evaluates and validates how BIM functionalities can foster the consideration of lean construction and sustainability principles in building design. To this end, a plugin was developed and implemented in a BIM-enabled visualization environment. This system aims to help a user decide the best design between alternatives, while considering the user’s perspective on what generates value in the project. To illustrate and validate the usability and importance of the system, the design of a warehouse with specific requirements was considered. Four design alternatives were modeled considering different types of superstructures, building envelopes, and materials. The system imported an external database and calculated the general costs, CO2 emissions, and thermal comfort indicators for each model. It also incorporated user-defined weights for each indicator and graphically displayed the results indicating the best options through a multiple attribute decision method. From the obtained results, it was concluded that it is possible to integrate BIM and lean principles to support sustainable development in the construction industry. Through an experiment with warehouse alternatives, the proposed approach revealed that the best project could save nearly 50% of CO2 emissions when compared to the worst project and that the second-best project had the best performance in terms of thermal heat flow (1.80 Megawatts). The results also indicate that the system can be a great asset in supporting the decision-making process of selecting the best design alternative and understanding the impact of design changes on cost and on the environment.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316517
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16518: The Influence of Changing
           Socioeconomic Conditions in Europe on the Prioritisation of Risks in
           Travel Behaviour: A Case Study

    • Authors: Małgorzata Dudzińska, Marta Gross, Agnieszka Dawidowicz, Ada Wolny-Kucińska
      First page: 16518
      Abstract: Pandemics, political instability, social conflict and unrest, the economic crisis resulting from changes in energy supply contracts, terrorism, and civil and international wars exert a negative impact on the lives of millions of people. These events undermine economic and social stability, and they affect travel behaviour (TB). Understanding preferences in travel behaviour is essential for designing effective and sustainable transport systems. Agenda 2030 (the global sustainable development strategy) assigns a central role to mobility and transport in sustainable development and its components: economic, social, and environmental. Relevant research is scarce, which is why potential threats, including changes in socioeconomic factors that affect TB in functional urban areas (FUAs), should be identified and prioritised. The main aim of this study was to determine changes in the prioritisation of threats to TB resulting from the socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis in Europe. The study involved an analysis of the literature, a comprehensive classification of potential threats that could impact TB, as well as an expert survey. The results of these analyses were used to develop a list of 46 factors that were grouped into six categories of key threats: social, economic, legal, infrastructural, technological/SMART, and environmental. The level of significance, similarities, and differences in the prioritisation of threats during the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis after the outbreak of the military conflict in Ukraine (duration and range) were compared across 22 European countries.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316518
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16519: Security Risk Assessment Framework
           for the Healthcare Industry 5.0

    • Authors: Abdullah Baz, Riaz Ahmed, Suhel Ahmad Khan, Sudesh Kumar
      First page: 16519
      Abstract: The relevance of Industry 5.0 confirms the collaborative relationship between humans and machines through an inclusive automation process. The healthcare industry at present is facilitated by the use of these emerging technologies, which promise a more personalized, patient-centric approach, enabling more prompt, cost-effective, and efficacious medical care to the affected. However, managing enormous data volumes, lack of standards, risks to data security, and regulatory obstacles, such as regulatory compliance, are critical issues that must be addressed to ensure that Industry 5.0 can be effectively integrated into the healthcare industry. This research assumes significance in the stated context as it seeks to reveal the gaps between security risks and threats assessments for personalized healthcare services based on Industry 5.0. The study’s investigations cite that the identification of security risks and various threats is an imperative need and must be prioritized so as to ensure optimal security for the healthcare system. Furthermore, the study peruses various security threats and security risk assessments for enhancing and safeguarding the healthcare industry. Moreover, the study also proposes a framework for security risk assessment based on Industry 5.0 (SRVFHI5.0) for the healthcare security system. A step-wise procedure is applied to validate the proposed framework and provide support for designing feasible security evaluation criteria and tools for future research. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the measure of the applicability of multiple criteria, the tool’s reliability, and factor analysis. This offers an adequate basis for accepting the suggested risk assessment methodology based on Healthcare Industry 5.0 for implementation as well as further research and analysis.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316519
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16520: Dynamic Complexity Analysis of
           R&D Levels in the Automotive Industry under the Dual-Credit Policy

    • Authors: Qing He, Yu Feng, Zheyu Li
      First page: 16520
      Abstract: The dual-credit policy, as an important emerging policy in the Chinese automotive industry intended to achieve energy savings, emissions reductions, and promote the development of new energy vehicles (NEVs), has attracted considerable attention from scholars. This study investigates how this policy affects the research and development (R&D) levels of both component suppliers and vehicle manufacturers in the automotive supply chain. Assuming the bounded rationality of the participants, we construct a complex dynamic evolutionary model under Stackelberg games to explore the impact of the policy on the dynamic game behavior and equilibrium stability of R&D levels. Furthermore, we examine the influences of various parameters on the R&D level complex system. The findings reveal that the disparity in the proportion of NEVs in the policy should not be too large; otherwise, bifurcation and chaos may occur in the R&D level game system. Moreover, higher supplier research efficiency contributes to the stability of R&D levels, while the higher credit trading price is not suitable for stable R&D levels. This paper theoretically reveals the dynamic impact of the dual-credit policy on the R&D levels in the automotive supply chain, bridging the gap between previous studies assuming decision-makers as fully rational and the reality of bounded rationality. It also provides managerial recommendations for the implementation details of this policy.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316520
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16521: Multi-Objective Design of UAS Air
           Route Network Based on a Hierarchical Location–Allocation Model

    • Authors: Zhaoxuan Liu, Lei Nie, Guoqiang Xu, Yanhua Li, Xiangmin Guan
      First page: 16521
      Abstract: This research concentrates on the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) demand sites’ hierarchical location–allocation problem in air route network design. With demand sites (locations where UAS operations are requested) organized and allocated according to the spatial hierarchy of UAS traffic flows, the hierarchical structure guarantees resource conservation and economies of scale through traffic consolidation. Therefore, in this paper, the UAS route network with a three-level hierarchy is developed under a multi-objective decision-making framework, where concerns about UAS transportation efficiency from the user side and construction efficiency from the supplier side are both simultaneously considered. Specifically, a bi-level Hybrid Simulated Annealing Genetic Algorithm (HSAGA) with global and local search combined is proposed to determine the optimal number, location, and allocation of hierarchical sites. Moreover, using the information of site closeness and UAS demand distribution, two problem-specific local search operators are designed to explore elite neighborhood regions instead of all the search space. A case study based on the simulated UAS travel demand data of the Beijing area in China was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, and the impact of critical parameter settings on the network layout was explored as well. Findings from this study will offer new insights for UAS traffic management in the future.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316521
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16522: Applications of Information
           Technology in Building Carbon Flow

    • Authors: Clyde Zhengdao Li, Yiqian Deng, Yingyi Ya, Vivian W. Y. Tam, Chen Lu
      First page: 16522
      Abstract: The construction industry, as one of the three major carbon emission (CE) industries, accounts for about 39% of the global CE. Thus, approaches for energy saving and emission reduction (ES/ER) cannot be delayed. With the advent of the Industry 4.0 era, information technology (IT) is used to investigate CE in the construction industry, which provides great convenience for measuring and calculating building carbon emissions (BCE) and proposing effective ES/ER measures. However, limited studies have provided a holistic overview of the application of IT in BCE. To fill this gap, this study searched related articles and screened 170 relevant papers. Based on the characteristics of the literature, building carbon flow (BCF) was defined. Based on scientometric analysis and network mapping analysis, combined with quantitative and qualitative analysis methods, the functions, advantages, and limitations of IT in each stage of BCF research were reviewed. Finally, the research trends and future research directions of IT in the BCF were discussed. Specifically, the building information model technology penetrates the whole process of BCF research, deep learning and artificial intelligence have great potential in BCF research, and multi-information technology integration will become the focus of subsequent research in the construction industry.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316522
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16523: Trends of High and Low Values of
           Annual and Seasonal Precipitation in Turkey

    • Authors: Sinan Nacar
      First page: 16523
      Abstract: The exploration of precipitation data trends using innovative analysis methods is anticipated to offer significant contributions to sustainability across various domains, including water resources management, agricultural planning, climate change understanding, environmental protection, risk assessment, and preparedness. This study employs an improved visualization of the innovative trend analysis (IV-ITA) method for detecting annual and seasonal trends in precipitation variables across 194 stations in Turkey over the period 1969–2020. The outcomes derived from the IV-ITA method were further juxtaposed with the results obtained from the classical Mann–Kendall (MK) test. Using the MK test, statistically significant increasing trends were detected in the annual pattern along the northern coasts of Turkey. Based on the results obtained from the IV-ITA, substantial decreasing trends were identified in the basins within the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Conversely, an increasing trend was observed in the basins situated in the northwest. It was also established that an increasing trend was observed throughout Turkey, except for some stations in the low-data group. The most significant increasing trend was noted in the basins along the southern coastline, characterized by the prevalence of the Mediterranean climate. In the high-data group, an increase of up to 50% was noted along the southwest coast. Upon comparing the outcomes derived from the IV-ITA method with those obtained using the MK test, it becomes apparent that the IV-ITA yields significantly more detailed results than the MK test. Additionally, applying the IV-ITA method in climate-sensitive regions and basins is envisioned to enhance the accuracy of assessments, foster a sustainable environment, and improve the effective management of water resources.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316523
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16524: Influence of Consumption Decisions
           of Rural Residents in the Context of Rapid Urbanization: Evidence from
           Sichuan, China

    • Authors: Xu Lin, Yanbin Qi
      First page: 16524
      Abstract: Background: Promoting the transformation and upgrading of China’s rural consumer market is of strategic significance for maintaining sustainable economic development in the process of urbanization. Research objects and methods: Our objectives were to explore the influencing factors of rural residents’ consumption decision making and to provide reference for formulating relevant policies. This study adopted the questionnaire survey method and collected 300 valid questionnaires. Through statistical analysis of questionnaire data and multiple linear regression analysis, the key factors affecting rural residents’ consumption decision making were determined. Results: Education level, family income, consumption view and sociocultural factors are the main factors affecting the consumption decision of rural residents. In addition, personal cognition and attitude are also important factors affecting rural residents’ consumption decisions. In addition, social influence also has a certain positive impact on consumer decisions. Conclusion: The key factors affecting rural residents’ consumption decision making are external factors, including education level and sociocultural factors, and internal factors, namely family income and family consumption concept. At the same time, personal cognition and attitude also play an important role in consumption decisions. The purpose of this study is to provide objective suggestions for improving and expanding the rural consumption market at the policy level, so as to promote the upgrading of rural consumption in China. The influence of rural residents’ consumption decisions on local economic stability was investigated. The economic stability of farmers’ consumption can be understood by analyzing their consumption tendency and consumption pattern.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316524
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16525: Side Effects of Single-Transgene or
           Pyramided Genetically Modified Maize on the Generalist Endoparasitoid
           Palmistichus elaeisis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae)

    • Authors: Michael Willian Rocha de Souza, Marta Pereira de Andrade, Marinalva Martins dos Santos, Gilson Geraldo Soares de Oliveira Junior, Ricardo Siqueira da Silva, Germano Leão Demolin Leite, José Cola Zanuncio, Marcus Alvarenga Soares
      First page: 16525
      Abstract: The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), is an agricultural pest native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, with considerable potential for global invasion and seasonal migration. Although genetically modified (GM) plants have shown positive impacts on the economy and the environment as they synthesize proteins that act as natural insecticides and are primarily intended to protect the crops from damage by specific pests, potential effects of Bt toxins on non-target organisms can occur. This experiment aimed to evaluate the potential impacts on the parasitoid Palmistichus elaeisis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), using the pupae of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as hosts, which were fed with transgenic maize genotypes such as Herculex®, expressing Cry1F protein, and PowerCore®, expressing Cry1F, Cry1A.105, and Cry2Ab2 proteins, or their non-transgenic isohybrid. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with ten replicates. Spodoptera frugiperda larvae were fed ad libitum with transgenic and non-transgenic maize until the pupal stage and then individually exposed to six P. elaeisis females for 78 h. The total number of adults, emerged males, tibia size, cephalic capsule size, and parasitoid body size were not influenced by host feeding. However, the number of emerged females from the Herculex® and PowerCore® treatments was lower than that for the isohybrid treatment. The sex ratio and longevity of parasitoids emerging from PowerCore® were 1.05 and 1.26 times lower, respectively, than that of those from the isohybrid. Furthermore, the number of dead P. elaeisis within the host pupa was 10.56 times higher in the PowerCore® genotype. Combining Bt proteins within pyramided genotypes should cause minimal impacts and promote the conservation and integration of beneficial insects. The results of this study provide helpful information for developing effective and compatible integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316525
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16526: Adherence to the EAT-Lancet Dietary
           Recommendations for a Healthy and Sustainable Diet—The Case of the
           Brazuca Natal Study

    • Authors: Rosa Sá de Oliveira Neta, Severina Carla Vieira Cunha Lima, Maria Fernanda Araújo de Medeiros, Adélia da Costa Pereira de Arruda Neta, Michelle Cristine Medeiros Jacob, Dirce Maria Lobo Marchioni, Clélia de Oliveira Lyra, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli da Costa Oliveira
      First page: 16526
      Abstract: Background: The “EAT-Lancet Commission Summary Report” commission remodeled the concept of healthy and sustainable diets by proposing a “diet for the Anthropocene”, encouraging the development of indices that measure adherence to sustainable diets with a planetary scope. We aimed to report the adherence of adults and elderly people in a northeastern Brazilian capital to the EAT-Lancet recommendations. Methods: We used data from 411 participants in the population-based study. The dietary data were collected with Globodiet, over a standardized 24 h. The diet sustainability data were verified using the Planetary Health Diet Index (PHDI). A Pearson correlation test verified the correlation between the PHDI and the independent variables. We conducted linear regression models that were adjusted for potential confounding variables to examine the correlation between the adherence to the PHDI and the independent variables. Results: The mean total score for the adherence to the PHDI was 29.4 points in a score with a possible range from 0 to 150. Regarding the component scores, the highest scores in the adequacy component were for fruits, followed by legumes and vegetables, while the lowest scores in the moderation group were for animal fat and red meat. We observed, in the final model, that the explanatory variables for the PHDI were being male and not consuming alcohol, which were directly related to the PHDI, while having 1 to 9 years of study and being food insecure were indirectly related to the score. Conclusions: Our results showed a low adherence to a sustainable eating pattern, far from the EAT-Lancet recommendations.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316526
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16527: Correction: Surma et al. Assessing
           Employee Engagement in a Post-COVID-19 Workplace Ecosystem. Sustainability
           2021, 13, 11443

    • Authors: Martyna Joanna Surma, Richard Joseph Nunes, Caroline Rook, Angela Loder
      First page: 16527
      Abstract: The authors would like to make the following corrections to the published paper [...]
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316527
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16528: Exploring the Integration of the
           Land, Water, and Energy Nexus in Sustainable Food Systems Research through
           a Socio-Economic Lens: A Systematic Literature Review

    • Authors: Matilda Azong Cho, Abel Ramoelo, Lindiwe M. Sibanda
      First page: 16528
      Abstract: The efficient use of land, water, and energy resources in Africa is crucial for achieving sustainable food systems (SFSs). A SFS refers to all the related activities and processes from farm to fork and the range of actors contributing to the availability of food at all times. This study aimed to analyse the growth in the land–water–energy (LWE) nexus integration in sustainable food system research. The focus was on publication growth, the thematic areas covered, and how the research addressed the policies, programmes, and practices using a socio-economic lens. The study utilised a systematic literature review approach, following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The study underscored the limited emphasis on the socio-economic perspective in the examination of the LWE nexus within sustainable food system research in Africa. Policies, governance, institutional influences, and social inclusion are crucial for addressing the region-specific challenges and achieving sustainable outcomes, but they seemed to be underrepresented in current research efforts. More so, this review revealed a paucity of research on key influencing factors like gender, conflict, culture, and socio-political dynamics. Ignoring these social factors might contribute to an inadequate management of natural resources, perpetuating issues related to food security and equity in resource use and decision-making. Additionally, the dominance of non-African institutions in knowledge production found in this review highlighted a potential gap in locally owned solutions and perspectives, which are crucial for effective policy development and implementation, often leading to failures in addressing region-specific challenges and achieving sustainable outcomes. Overall, the study highlighted the need for a more holistic approach that not only considers the technical aspects of the LWE nexus but also the social, cultural, and institutional dimensions. Additionally, fostering collaboration with local institutions and ensuring a diverse range of influencing factors can contribute to more comprehensive and contextually appropriate solutions for achieving sustainable food systems in Africa.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316528
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16529: Determination of Nitrate Migration
           and Distribution through Eutric Cambisols in an Area without Anthropogenic
           Sources of Nitrate (Velika Gorica Well Field, Croatia)

    • Authors: Patricia Buškulić, Jelena Parlov, Zoran Kovač, Tomislav Brenko, Marija Pejić
      First page: 16529
      Abstract: Natural potential sources of nitrate contamination involve decaying of organic matter, bacterial production, atmospheric deposition, and soil N. The study presents the first results of nitrate distribution and migration through soil horizons of the Eutric Cambisols, one of the most common soils developed in the area of the Zagreb aquifer and situated in an area without potential anthropogenic sources of nitrate (first sanitary protection zone of the Velika Gorica well field). A total of 16 parameters of soil water and 16 parameters of soil were used to conduct statistical techniques and analyse associated factors within the soil zone. The results indicate that in the deepest soil horizon, nitrogen is present mostly as nitrate due to nitrification under aerobic conditions which promote stability and the potential for nitrate transport. It was found that nitrate concentrations are the result of soil N nitrification, caused by a NO3−/Cl− molar ratio higher than 1 and the absence of precipitation isotopic signature. The results also show that within the coarse-grained Eutric Cambisols N primarily migrates to deeper parts of unsaturated zone in the form of nitrate and nitrite.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316529
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16530: Identifying Key Issues in Climate
           Change Litigation: A Machine Learning Text Analytic Approach

    • Authors: Wullianallur Raghupathi, Dominik Molitor, Viju Raghupathi, Aditya Saharia
      First page: 16530
      Abstract: As climate change, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), along with sustainability, become increasingly crucial for businesses and society, there is a noticeable scarcity of information and transparency regarding corporate practices. Often, government agency enforcement actions lead to litigation and are ultimately resolved by court decisions. Moreover, in instances when there is perceived inadequacy in government enforcement, citizens frequently turn to the courts for preventive judgments against businesses or agencies. In an effort to shed light on the multifaceted aspects of climate change, we adopted a novel, exploratory approach to analyze climate change-related litigation cases. Utilizing a blend of machine learning-based text analytics, we have extracted key insights from individual case narratives. Our analysis encompassed over four hundred cases from the Westlaw database through various keyword searches. The emergent topics from our case dataset revolved around four critical environmental themes: forest, land, water, and air emissions. Our findings provide insight into the nature and dimensions of climate change and also carry significant policy implications, laying the groundwork for future research in this domain.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316530
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16531: A Review of Research on the Impact
           Mechanisms of Green Development in the Transportation Industry

    • Authors: Yumeng Mao, Xuemei Li
      First page: 16531
      Abstract: Green development in the transportation industry is a new type of development. As the huge energy consumption and carbon emissions generated by the transportation industry have caused many environmental problems, the healthy and environmentally friendly mode of industrial development has received more and more attention. However, the quantification of green development in the transportation industry varies in terms of boundaries, scope, and methods. Due to digital empowerment, the degree of influence and direction of the factors affecting the green development are not fixed. The prediction of future development prospects is relatively single-minded, lacking a comprehensive simulation scenario setting from multiple perspectives. This paper systematically reviews the research progress of green development of the transportation industry from three aspects: development performance assessment, influence mechanism analysis, and development path exploration. After a critical analysis, this study concludes that (1) a clear methodology is needed to assess the direct and indirect non-desired output results of the transportation industry; (2) considering the endogenization of the level of technology, the influence of the interaction between the influencing factors, etc., on the degree and direction of the role of the factors, a more scientific econometric model should be established for in-depth discussion; (3) resident travel options are an important factor affecting environmental issues in transportation. Carbon emission projections and analyses of emission reduction scenarios should integrate the multiple possibilities of residential preferences and policy incentives. The findings of this paper provide valuable references to the energy saving and emission reduction goals of the transportation industry, and the coordinated development of the industry and the economy.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316531
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16532: On the Definition, Assessment, and
           Enhancement of Circular Economy across Various Industrial Sectors: A
           Literature Review and Recent Findings

    • Authors: Christina Vogiantzi, Konstantinos Tserpes
      First page: 16532
      Abstract: The circular economy (CE) has recently emerged as a key strategy for promoting sustainability and reducing waste in various industrial sectors. This paper provides an overview of the definition, assessment and enhancement of circularity in general and in five key industries, including aerospace, wind energy, transportation, automotive and sports goods, by using data and information from the literature and for the section of the definitions of the CE also using information from the EC funded project “RECREATE”. The survey reviews in detail the different definitions, assessment methods and metrics used to explore and evaluate circularity, including assessment frameworks such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and assessment indicators. Furthermore, it explores the challenges, possibilities and available tools for enhancing circularity, focusing on digital tools. The survey highlights the importance of a holistic and systemic approach to circularity concerning all stakeholders along the value chain. Overall, this study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the circular economy's definition, assessment, and enhancement and provides insights for future research.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316532
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16533: Indoor Environmental Quality
           Assessment of Train Cabins and Passenger Waiting Areas: A Case Study of

    • Authors: John Omomoluwa Ogundiran, Jean-Paul Kapuya Bulaba Nyembwe, Anabela Salgueiro Narciso Ribeiro, Manuel Gameiro da Silva
      First page: 16533
      Abstract: The adequacy of the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in mass transit microenvironments is crucial to the well-being of exposed commuters. By 2050, many developing tropical countries will host even more megacities, which will feature an increase in people mobility and higher occupancy density. The paucity of IEQ studies, the technology gap, and inadequate policy measures to assure safer and sustainable mobility in many developing tropics have reinforced the current study objective. Also, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the IEQ links and risks to health in transport, which, given the climate peculiarities, transport reforms, and huge commuter traffic in Nigeria, inform the study motivation. The indoor air quality (CO2, PM, VOCs, NO2), thermal, acoustic, and visual environments were objectively assessed in train passenger cabins and waiting areas, during 15 trips in the dry and rainy seasons in Nigeria. The results were analyzed by following the IEQ requirements defined in the ISO, CEN, ASHRAE, and SAE standards. The results indicate gaps in the IAQ (inadequate ventilation in 9 trains), defective thermal comfort (9 trains), exceedance in the PM limit (PM10: 47.9–115 μg/m3, PM2.5: 22.5–51.3 μg/m3), noise (Leq range: 64–85 dBA), and low illuminance levels (10 trains), hence the need for IEQ, interventions, stakeholder awareness, and broader IEQ studies on transport cabins in these regions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316533
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16534: Evaluation of a Combined Approach
           for Sulfate and Ammonia Recovery from Treated Brine Using a Simultaneous
           Chemical Precipitation and Electrocoagulation Processes

    • Authors: Ameera F. Mohammad, Sabeera Haris, Aya A-H. Mourad, Ali H. Al-Marzouqi, Muftah H. El-Naas, Bart Van der Bruggen, Mohamed H. Al-Marzouqi
      First page: 16534
      Abstract: Soda ash (Na2CO3) is produced using the traditional Solvay process. It entails the reaction of CO2 with high-salinity water in the presence of ammonia (NH3), which produces insoluble sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and soluble ammonium chloride (NH4Cl). In the current work, a newly combined approach has been developed to effectively manage the removal of ammonia and sulfate from the effluent of the Solvay process. The devised technique centers on an electrochemical coagulation process, complemented with the utilization of calcium oxide (CaO) as a buffering reagent. This innovative approach excels at achieving high recovery rates for both ammonia and sulfate. The recovered ammonia holds the potential for recycling, thereby contributing to the sustainability of the Solvay process by reusing ammonia in its initial stages. Furthermore, sulfate ions are recuperated in the form of calcium sulfate, a value-added product boasting various industrial applications. The results gleaned from this study underscore the efficacy of the ammonia recovery process, particularly when operating at elevated current densities and with higher calcium oxide concentrations. On the other hand, sulfate recovery demonstrates superior performance when exposed to moderate current densities and limited calcium oxide concentrations. Consequently, the integration of both stages within a single, cohesive process necessitates the development of an optimization methodology to cater to varying operational conditions. To address this need, second-order polynomial equations were formulated and employed to anticipate ammonia and sulfate removal rates in the integrated approach. Four independent variables come into play: calcium oxide concentration, current density, temperature, and mixing rate. The findings reveal that most of these variables exert substantial influences on both ammonia and sulfate removal rates, underscoring the need for careful consideration and fine-tuning to optimize the overall process. The maximum ammonia and sulfate removal were found to reach 99.50% and 96.03%, respectively, at a calcium oxide concentration of 3.5 g/100 mL, a current density of 19.95 mA/cm2, a temperature of 35 °C, and a mixing rate of 0.76 R/s. The results are promising, and the developed process is also suitable for recovering high concentrations of sulfate and ammonia from various wastewater sources.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316534
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16535: Research on the Application of NbS
           in Watershed Ecological Restoration: A Case Study of Jiulong River
           Watershed Shan-Shui Initiative

    • Authors: Wei Li, Rui Sun, Ye Tian
      First page: 16535
      Abstract: Nature-based solutions (NbS) rapidly develop globally to address societal challenges and provide human well-being and biodiversity. Watershed restoration plays an essential role in enhancing the ecological and socio-economic benefits of the region. The design and implementation of watershed restoration projects are crucial to their effectiveness, and NbS has been applied as a concept in ecosystem-related projects. This paper proposes an evaluation method to assess the implementation of the Shan-Shui Initiative in the Jiulong River Watershed restoration projects based on the eight criteria proposed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Standard for Nature-Based Solutions. The aim is to standardize the implementation process of watershed restoration projects to achieve more significant benefits and practically apply the concept of NbS in watershed restoration. The implementation scheme of the Shan-Shui Initiative in the Jiulong River Watershed is designed to evaluate and improve the design and implementation scheme of ecological restoration projects in the actual basin. According to the assessment results, the degree of matching based on NbS for the implementation scheme of the Jiulong River Watershed Shan-Shui Initiative is 73%, which meets the criteria of NbS but needs to be improved in terms of monitoring and assessment, synergistic management, and benefit trade-offs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316535
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16536: A Wind Power Scenario Generation
           Method Based on Copula Functions and Forecast Errors

    • Authors: Jaehyun Yoo, Yongju Son, Myungseok Yoon, Sungyun Choi
      First page: 16536
      Abstract: The scenario of renewable energy generation significantly affects the probabilistic distribution system analysis. To reflect the probabilistic characteristics of actual data, this paper proposed a scenario generation method that can reflect the spatiotemporal characteristics of wind power generation and the probabilistic characteristics of forecast errors. The scenario generation method consists of a process of sampling random numbers and a process of inverse sampling using the cumulative distribution function. In sampling random numbers, random numbers that mimic the spatiotemporal correlation of power generation were generated using the copula function. Furthermore, the cumulative distribution functions of forecast errors according to power generation bins were used, thereby reflecting the probabilistic characteristics of forecast errors. The wind power generation scenarios in Jeju Island, generated by the proposed method, were analyzed through various indices that can assess accuracy. As a result, it was confirmed that by using the proposed scenario generation method, scenarios similar to actual data can be generated, which in turn allows for preparation of situations with a high probability of occurrence within the distribution system.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316536
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16537: Automatic Plastic Greenhouse
           Extraction from Gaofen-2 Satellite Images with Fully Convolution Networks
           and Image Enhanced Index

    • Authors: Yongjian Ruan, Xinchang Zhang, Xi Liao, Baozhen Ruan, Cunjin Wang, Xin Jiang
      First page: 16537
      Abstract: Plastic greenhouses (PGs) play a vital role in modern agricultural development by providing a controlled environment for the cultivation of food crops. Their widespread adoption has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and impact the local environment. Accurate mapping and estimation of PG coverage are critical for strategic planning in agriculture. However, the challenge lies in the extraction of small and densely distributed PGs; this is often compounded by issues like irrelevant and redundant features and spectral confusion in high-resolution remote-sensing imagery, such as Gaofen-2 data. This paper proposes an innovative approach that combines the power of a full convolutional network (FC-DenseNet103) with an image enhancement index. The image enhancement index effectively accentuates the boundary features of PGs in Gaofen-2 satellite images, enhancing the unique spectral characteristics of PGs. FC-DenseNet103, known for its robust feature propagation and extensive feature reuse, complements this by addressing challenges related to feature fusion and misclassification at the boundaries of PGs and adjacent features. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. By incorporating the image enhancement index into the DenseNet103 model, the proposed method successfully eliminates issues related to the fusion and misclassification of PG boundaries and adjacent features. The proposed method, known as DenseNet103 (Index), excels in extracting the integrity of PGs, especially in cases involving small and densely packed plastic sheds. Moreover, it holds the potential for large-scale digital mapping of PG coverage. In conclusion, the proposed method providing a practical and versatile tool for a wide range of applications related to the monitoring and evaluation of PGs, which can help to improve the precision of agricultural management and quantitative environmental assessment.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316537
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16538: Exploring Extension Implications for
           Slow Food Development in Iran: A Comprehensive Analysis

    • Authors: Hassan Nazifi, Mohammad Sadegh Sabouri, Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari, Mehrdad Niknami, Elham Danaei
      First page: 16538
      Abstract: This research aimed to ascertain the prerequisites for the advancement of the slow food movement in Iran. Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, it adopted a descriptive and survey-oriented design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 experts well-versed in the extension of slow food, employing a snowball sampling technique. The interview data underwent coding and analysis employing open coding, axial coding, and selective coding methods. The study encompassed experts and managers in agricultural extension and education across the nation. For statistical analysis, a structural equation model and confirmatory factor analysis were employed, utilizing SMART PLS 3 and SPSS 26 software. The goodness-of-fit index (GoF) was utilized to evaluate the comprehensive validity of the research model. From a qualitative perspective, six primary facets of the slow food model emerged: 1. Extension strategies in harmony with slow food principles; 2. Methods of extending the slow food movement; 3. Supportive policies for slow food propagation; 4. Intervening conditions; 5. Causal conditions (triggers and applications) of the slow food paradigm; and 6. Outcomes resulting from the adoption of the slow food ethos. These facets collectively comprised a total of 38 sub-components. Through analysis of the structural equation model, key facets with substantial operational weight and significant influence on the promotion of slow food were identified. These prominent components encompass disease prevention, the organization of festivals and exhibitions, the revision of laws, the shaping of individuals’ lifestyles, the enhancement of food tourism capacity, and the optimization of human resources.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316538
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16539: Optimization Model and Strategy for
           Dynamic Material Distribution Scheduling Based on Digital Twin: A Step
           towards Sustainable Manufacturing

    • Authors: Zhongfei Zhang, Ting Qu, Kuo Zhao, Kai Zhang, Yongheng Zhang, Lei Liu, Jun Wang, George Q. Huang
      First page: 16539
      Abstract: In the quest for sustainable production, manufacturers are increasingly adopting mixed-flow production modes to meet diverse product demands, enabling small-batch production and ensuring swift delivery. A key aspect in this shift is optimizing material distribution scheduling to maintain smooth operations. However, traditional methods frequently encounter challenges due to outdated information tools, irrational task allocation, and suboptimal route planning. Such limitations often result in distribution disarray, unnecessary resource wastage, and general inefficiency, thereby hindering the economic and environmental sustainability of the manufacturing sector. Addressing these challenges, this study introduces a novel dynamic material distribution scheduling optimization model and strategy, leveraging digital twin (DT) technology. This proposed strategy aims to bolster cost-effectiveness while simultaneously supporting environmental sustainability. Our methodology includes developing a route optimization model that minimizes distribution costs, maximizes workstation satisfaction, and reduces carbon emissions. Additionally, we present a cloud–edge computing-based decision framework and explain the DT-based material distribution system’s components and operation. Furthermore, we designed a DT-based dynamic scheduling optimization mechanism, incorporating an improved ant colony optimization algorithm. Numerical experiments based on real data from a partner company revealed that the proposed material distribution scheduling model, strategy, and algorithm can reduce the manufacturer’s distribution operation costs, improve resource utilization, and reduce carbon emissions, thereby enhancing the manufacturer’s economic and environmental sustainability. This research offers innovative insights and perspectives that are crucial for advancing sustainable logistics management and intelligent algorithm design in analogous manufacturing scenarios.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316539
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16540: Sustainable Agility
           Culture—The Case of a Pasta Company

    • Authors: Agnieszka Bartkowiak, Marcin Butlewski
      First page: 16540
      Abstract: The ability of an organization to be agile, and, therefore, the organizational culture of agility that determines it, is a key characteristic necessary for enterprises to meet the challenges of the requirements of sustainable development under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertainty, in turn, is an inherent feature of achieving the challenging goals of growth and often survival in today’s competitive enterprise market. Analyzing the organization’s ability to be agile, the article includes the results of a study of the productivity of the pasta packaging process in a selected manufacturing company. The main purpose of the article was to identify the factors important for the implementation of the concept of organizational agility and to develop steps to follow the Shu Ha Ri methodology in a pasta packaging company in order to increase production productivity. Based on the data obtained in the form of the number of employees per shift and the amount of packed pasta, significant differences in the productivity of shifts were found, and the challenges of organizational agility were also identified, which include the changing nature of demand, the impact of the state of the machines on the continuity of production, and the occurrence of shortages at the packing stage due to the manual nature of the process. Based on the conducted research and analysis of the tools used in the formation of an agile culture, a proprietary approach to sustainably increase the productivity of the packaging process was proposed using the Shu Ha Ri methodology. The conducted research made it possible to formulate the paradigm of sustainable agility culture and its main dimensions for companies in the food industry.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316540
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16541: Green Chemistry in Medical
           Applications: Preliminary Assessment of Kuzu Starch Films with Plant-Based

    • Authors: Magda Morawska, Anita Kukułowicz, Joanna Brzeska
      First page: 16541
      Abstract: The current state of the natural environment requires medical products, including dressings, to be manufactured in accordance with the principles of a sustainable economy. This assumption is perfectly met by dressings made of renewable materials and additionally filled with natural antiseptics. The use of such plant compounds is consistent with the principles of green chemistry. In this work, films based on Kuzu starch with rooibos extract and chili pepper oil extract were prepared and tested. Starch foil with silver nanoparticles and foil without additives were used as a comparative material. The chemical structures (ATR-FTIR) of the materials obtained, their thermal (DSC) and mechanical properties (tensile strength, hardness), density, swelling, water vapor permeability, water solubility, and effects on bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 were examined. The Kuzu rooibos film had the lowest antimicrobial activity. At the same time, it was the most flexible foil and was characterized by having the best water vapor permeability and water absorption capacity. The starch film with chili extract was the weakest mechanically speaking, but it significantly inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 bacteria at a level similar to that of the film with silver nanoparticles. The preliminary tests carried out on the properties of Kuzu starch films with plant extracts from rooibos tea and chili peppers indicate that they may be suitable for further research on dressing materials.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316541
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16542: Exploring Lean Six Sigma as Dynamic
           Capability to Enable Sustainable Performance Optimisation in Times of

    • Authors: Vera Ndrecaj, Mohamed Ashmel Mohamed Hashim, Rachel Mason-Jones, Valentina Ndou, Issam Tlemsani
      First page: 16542
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop a nested theoretical model (LSS-DC) by critically examining two distinct theoretical concepts, including Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Dynamic Capabilities (DC), for achieving organizational sustainable performance optimizations (PO). The robust integration of this dynamic concept is achieved using a systematic literature review, synthesis, and empirical evidence derived from 2005 to 2022. The vital benefits of LSS-DC are identified. This study utilizes a systematic literature review method adapted. It reveals the cross-sectional literature search strategy deploying selective keywords DCs, LSS, DCs and LSS, DCs and LSS and PO. In this niche domain employing descriptive and thematic analysis, key insights are extracted from the literature, encompassing a total of 21 peer-reviewed journals. The selection criteria revolve around three aspects: ‘Purpose’, ‘
      Authors hip’, and ‘Credibility and Accuracy’. The authors gathered the secondary data from credible databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, ERIC, and IEEE using the keyword search. The study reveals the robust integration of theoretical concepts of LSS and DCs and their impact on organisational performance. The findings suggest that integrating the micro-foundations of DCs (sensing, seizing, and transforming) with LSS allows organisations to not only identify improvement opportunities but also efficiently and effectively act upon them, ultimately leading to sustainable performance optimisation across various aspects of the business. The specific type of DC integration with LSS depends on the organisation’s goals and priorities. The findings of this study are subjective to some extent due to the applied research methodology. Further empirical research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. This study considers LSS as DC providing an empirical (LSS-DCs) model for sustainable performance optimisation. This is achieved by robustly integrating two distinct theoretical concepts derived from an extensive literature review and the analysis of the data-driven implementation. Finally, the study offers a deeper understanding in terms of how contextual organisational characteristics enhance the outcome of LSS-DC.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316542
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16543: The Influence of Groves on
           Aboveground Arthropod Diversity and Evolution in a Vineyard in Southern

    • Authors: Diana Elena Vizitiu, Ionela-Daniela Sardarescu, Elena Cocuta Buciumeanu, Ionela-Cătălina Guta, Lucian Dincă, Flavius Bălăcenoiu, Dragoș Toma, Vlad Crișan, Alin Din
      First page: 16543
      Abstract: This paper investigates the biodiversity of adult arthropods in two grapevine plantations influenced by two adjacent groves over a three-year period (2020–2022) in the viticultural center of Stefănești Argeș, located in southern Romania. The study holds significant implications for introducing parasitoid/predatory insect species into vineyards to control grapevine pests. A total of 164 arthropod species were identified, including 27 beneficial species. Additionally, two moth species, Lobesia botrana and Sparganothis pilleriana, were identified. L. botrana was consistently observed throughout the study, while S. pilleriana was only observed in 2022. The research reveals that the location with the highest number of identified species was in a grove near a black field, with 103 species. Other areas with notable species diversity included a vineyard maintained as a black field (89 species), a grove near permanent natural grassland (88 species), and a vineyard with intervals between rows of grapevines maintained as natural permanent grassland (81 species). Introducing beneficial organisms, such as the predator Crysoperla carnea, is recommended to control grapevine moths in this ecosystem.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316543
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16544: Pricing Decisions for Power Battery
           Closed-Loop Supply Chains with Low-Carbon Input by Echelon Utilization

    • Authors: Nan Xu, Yaoqun Xu, Haiyan Zhong
      First page: 16544
      Abstract: Today, with the number of waste power batteries and consumers’ awareness of low-carbon both increasing, a new closed-loop supply chain model in which the node enterprises of reverse supply chains are being constructed. These are responsible for the recycling, echelon utilization and low-carbon innovation of waste power batteries. This provides a new way for the development of reverse supply chain node enterprises and lays a theoretical foundation. In this paper, we use the backward solution method to solve the Nash equilibrium solution of the Stackelberg game. Through numerical calculation and simulation, the decision variables, profit and income of the supply chain are analyzed and the equilibrium results are compared. The experimental results indicate that the implementation of low-carbon innovative production by cascaded utilization enterprises is conducive to the growth of their profits with lower cost inputs. The impact of the initial waste power battery recycling rate on the decision variables is negative, while, for the supply chain as a whole, the profit growth of the node companies can be positive and the location of the inflection point appears to be particularly important. The sensitivity coefficient of low-carbonization levels has a positive regulatory effect on decision variables and location of all parties. The closed-loop supply chain model proposed in this study promotes the overall development of a power battery closed-loop supply chain, and also provides theoretical guidance for reasonable pricing decisions of node enterprises under the new model. Based on the results of this paper, the government can implement incentives such as subsidies, or formulate reasonable policies for the development of a power battery closed-loop supply chain.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316544
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 15, Pages 16545: The Relationship between High-Tech
           Industrial Agglomeration and Regional Innovation: A Meta-Analysis
           Investigation in China

    • Authors: Lanqing Ge, Chunyan Li, Lei Sun, Weina Hu, Qi Ban
      First page: 16545
      Abstract: High-tech industrial agglomeration enhances the technological level and value of regional industries. It is considered to be a new and effective way to drive China’s regional innovation and development at present. Numerous studies indicate that high-tech industrial agglomeration contributes positively to regional innovation, but the current academic discussion on this issue has not yet reached a unified opinion. In various research contexts, it has also been pointed out that there may be a negative correlation or non-linear relationship between the two. This contradictory relationship makes it difficult to generalize the current research findings to realistic application scenarios. Therefore, to clarify the relationship between the two scientifically, this study employs meta-analysis, reanalyzing 833 effect values derived from 69 independent research samples based on Chinese data. The findings reveal a moderately positive correlation (r = 0.204) between the agglomeration of high-tech industries and regional innovation in China. In particular, high-tech industrial agglomeration significantly contributes to regional innovation under the paths of diversified agglomeration and competitive agglomeration. We further found that sampling region, measurement approach, measurement perspective, research methodology, and year of publication all exhibit significant moderating effects on the relationship between the two variables. Based on meta-analysis, this study not only scientifically responds to the controversy of the relationship between high-tech industrial agglomeration and regional innovation but also further reveals the inner conduction mechanism between the two. It is of great significance in exploring future studies in related fields.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2023-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/su152316545
      Issue No: Vol. 15, No. 23 (2023)
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