Subjects -> SOCIAL SCIENCES (Total: 1647 journals)
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    - SOCIAL SCIENCES (936 journals)
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    - WOMEN'S STUDIES (175 journals)

SOCIAL SCIENCES (936 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5     

Showing 801 - 136 of 136 Journals sorted alphabetically
SN Social Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Social & Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Social and Personality Psychology Compass     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Social Behavior and Personality : An International Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Social Choice and Welfare     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Social Cognition     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Social Compass     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
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: 6)
Social Inquiry : Journal of Social Science Research     Open Access  
Social Justice Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Social Landscape Journal     Open Access  
Social Philosophy and Policy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Social Policy and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 133)
Social Research : An International Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Social Science & Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 98)
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: 33)
Social Studies Research and Practice     Hybrid Journal  
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  
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  
Studia Socialia Cracoviensia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Studies in Asian Social Science     Open Access  
Studies in Social Justice     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
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: 3)
Sustainability     Open Access   (Followers: 22)
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: 1)
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: 13)
The Equilibrium     Open Access  
The EXceptional Parent     Full-text available via subscription  
The New Yorker     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 31)
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: 5)
Thesis     Open Access  
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: 17)
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  
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: 15)
Wani : Revista del Caribe Nicaragüense     Open Access  
War & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Weather, Climate, and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Wellbeing, Space & Society     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: 22  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2071-1050
Published by MDPI Homepage  [84 journals]
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12491: Fertilizer Use, Value, and Knowledge
           Capital: A Case of Indian Farming

    • Authors: Bino Paul, Unmesh Patnaik, Subash Sasidharan, Kamal Kumar Murari, Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati
      First page: 12491
      Abstract: Using the recently released microdata covering input use in Indian agriculture, this study analyzes the relation between value and fertilizer consumption along with four layers of explanation. These layers include factors of production, knowledge capital, social identity, and human capital for both agricultural seasons. Subsequently, the study also examines the propensity to use diverse channels of information. This study uses both regression and machine learning methods for analysis. The main finding of the study is that fertilizer use is directly associated with the value of production. However, the propensity to use fertilizer is the highest for the lowest quantile. Moreover, fertilizer use is a positive covariant of select information sources. Further, similar to tangible resources, the study observes that information plays a crucial role in fertilizer use. Information channels such as extension services have a pivotal role in promoting sustainable farming, especially among marginal farms.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912491
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12492: Exploring the Factors Affecting the
           Continued Usage Intention of IoT-Based Healthcare Wearable Devices Using
           the TAM Model

    • Authors: Min Jung Kang, Yong Cheol Hwang
      First page: 12492
      Abstract: There have been many attempts to predict new markets, including a new market for internet of things (IoT)-based healthcare and the IoT platform’s ability to offer a variety of applications. It is anticipated that the market for these devices will continue to grow as the healthcare sector undergoes fast expansion. IoT can measure a user’s kinetic data (calorie consumption, distance, number of steps, etc.) using wearable healthcare equipment. Most of the recent top research on IoT-based healthcare wearable devices (IWHDs) has, up to this point, concentrated on potential users. The medical industry and healthcare are being quickly changed by the use and adoption of wearable healthcare devices. This study intended to uncover the mediating impacts of “perceived ease of use”, “perceived usefulness”, and “community immersion” on the interactions between influencing factors (personalization, service convenience, interactivity), and the intention to utilize IHWDs. The moderating role of a consumer’s innovativeness in the influence link between IHWD features on perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness was also examined. The study found that personalization has a direct (+) impact on usage intention. Through this, it would be feasible to raise the intention of wearable medical devices being accepted if customized benefits that are thoroughly examined just for individuals are supplied. The association between personalization and continued use intention was shown to be partially mediated by perceived utility and community immersion. Additionally, the association between interactivity and continued use intention, was fully mediated by perceived usefulness and community immersion. By analyzing the elements influencing the usage intention of wearable healthcare devices, this study offers a marketing plan to increase the number of users. The internet of medical things (IoMT) sector has had compound growth of approximately 26% from 2018 to 2021, which is a remarkable accomplishment. The effectiveness of factors affecting IoT usage was examined in this study when applied to the actual IoT industry. First, patients with diabetes who previously had to check their blood sugar levels through a blood test can now check it through lifestyle management and steady glucose monitoring through IoMT glucose monitoring when the convenience and individuality of the service are improved. So far, 10% of all Americans have benefited from this device. Second, as an illustration of interactivity, an IoMT-connected inhaler used to assist asthma sufferers with breathing, notifies the user when the inhaler is left at home and reminds them of appropriate times to use the device. This subsequently resulted in saving 1 life out of every 3 deaths. In addition, the findings of this study may also provide a turning point for the design and development of cutting-edge IoT-based healthcare goods and services.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912492
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12493: Optimization of Biomass Fuel
           Composition for Rubber Glove Manufacturing in Thailand

    • Authors: Laddawan Thep-On, Shahariar Chowdhury, Kua-Anan Taechato, Anil Kumar, Issara Chanakaewsomboon
      First page: 12493
      Abstract: The demand for rubber gloves has significantly increased in both medical and non-medical fields due to the spread of the coronavirus in 2019. It is challenging for rubber glove manufacturing industries to balance the production and demand for the product. Additionally, they must determine techniques to decrease the production costs so as to make rubber gloves more economical for consumers. Generally, natural gas, fossil fuels, and renewable energy sources are used worldwide in the manufacturing of rubber gloves. In addition, Thailand uses biomass energy for rubber glove production, but biomass utilization is not economically friendly. This study used different biomasses as fuel in rubber glove production so as to reduce production costs and make the process more environmentally friendly. Wood chip (WC), palm kernel shells (PKS), and oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) biomass were collected from local regions and used in different ratios. The samples of WC, PKS, and OPMF were prepared in four different ratios, namely, 88:12:0, 85:15:0, 85:13:2, and 85:10:5, for efficient biomass utilization. The 85:10:5 (WC: PKS: OPMF) ratio was found to be the optimal ratio as the annual production costs of rubber gloves significantly decreased to USD 1.64 per 1000 units of gloves. Furthermore, this biomass ratio also showed the best boiler efficiency of 74.87%. Therefore, WC, PKS, and OPMF biomass are recommended as fuel for rubber glove industries to make sustainable and economical production processes.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912493
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12494: Improving Nature Connectedness in
           Adults: A Meta-Analysis, Review and Agenda

    • Authors: David Sheffield, Carly W. Butler, Miles Richardson
      First page: 12494
      Abstract: With clear links between an individual’s sense of nature connectedness, their psychological wellbeing, and engagement in nature-friendly behaviours, efforts to improve people’s relationships with nature can help unite human and planetary wellbeing. In the context of a rapidly growing evidence base, this paper updates previous meta-analytic reviews to explore the impact of (quasi-) experimental manipulations and field interventions on nature connectedness in adult populations. The analysis examines the relative effects of type of contact (direct or indirect), quality of engagement (active or passive) and the timing of the engagement (single session, repeated practice or residential). Results show a medium positive short-term mean effect of manipulations on nature connectedness, with similar effect sizes for immediate and sustained increases. No effect size differences were observed between different types of contact, quality, or timing of engagement. Follow-up measures were mostly used in studies involving regular and repeated practices. An agenda for future research and practice is put forward, emphasising the need for examining a wider range of nature engagement activities, greater understanding of factors leading to increases in nature connectedness, design and testing of practices for sustained nature connection, and initiatives that engage people with nature, create conditions for nature connection, and encourage repeated nature engagement activities.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912494
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12495: A Bayesian Approach to Examine the
           Impact of Pavement Friction on Intersection Safety

    • Authors: Sharafeldin, Albatayneh, Farid, Ksaibati
      First page: 12495
      Abstract: The safety of intersections has been the focus of many studies since intersections are considered hazardous zones of road networks. Identifying the main contributing factors of severe traffic crashes at intersections is crucial to implementing appropriate countermeasures. We investigated the major contributing factors to crash injury severity at intersections, particularly pavement surface friction. Nine years of intersection crash data in Wyoming have been analyzed for this study. The random forest technique was employed to identify the importance of critical variables influencing crash injury severity risk. Subsequently, a Bayesian ordinal probit model was applied to examine the relationships between crash injury severity risk and these crash contributing factors. As per the random forest model’s results, pavement friction has a strong impact on crash injury severity risk along with using safety restraints, intersection type, signalized or unsignalized, reckless driving, and crash type. The results of the Bayesian model demonstrated that higher pavement surface friction levels and proper use of restraints reduced the likelihood of severe injury. Based on these findings, several countermeasures may be proposed, such as those pavement friction requirements, driver’s education, and traffic law enforcement to mitigate injury severity concerns at intersections.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912495
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12496: Design, Modelling, and Thermodynamic
           Analysis of a Novel Marine Power System Based on Methanol Solid Oxide Fuel
           Cells, Integrated Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, and Combined Heat
           and Power Production

    • Authors: Phan Anh Duong, Borim Ryu, Jinwon Jung, Hokeun Kang
      First page: 12496
      Abstract: A novel maritime power system that uses methanol solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to power marine vessels in an eco-friendly manner is proposed. The SOFCs, gas turbine (GT), steam Rankine cycle (SRC), proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), and organic Rankine cycle (ORC) were integrated together to generate useful energy and harvest wasted heat. The system supplies the exhaust heat from the SOFCs to the methanol dissociation unit for hydrogen production, whereas the heat exchangers and SRC recover the remaining waste heat to produce useful electricity. Mathematical models were established, and the thermodynamic efficiencies of the system were evaluated. The first and second laws of thermodynamics were used to construct the dynamic behavior of the system. Furthermore, the exergy destruction of all the subsystems was estimated. The thermodynamic performances of the main subsystem and entire system were evaluated to be 77.75% and 44.71% for the energy and exergy efficiencies, respectively. With a hydrogen distribution ratio of β = 0.12, the PEMFCs can generate 432.893 kW for the propulsion plant of the target vessel. This is also important for the rapid adaptation of the vessel’s needs for power generation, especially during start-up and maneuvering. A comprehensive parametric analysis was performed to examine the influence of changing current densities in the SOFCs, as well as the influence of the hydrogen distribution ratio and hydrogen storage ratio on the operational performance of the proposed systems. Increasing the hydrogen storage ratio (φ = 0–0.5) reduces the PEMFCs power output, but the energy efficiency and exergy efficiency of the PEMFC-ORC subsystem increased by 2.29% and 1.39%, respectively.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912496
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12497: Landscape Pattern and Succession of
           Chinese Fir Plantations in Jiangle County, China

    • Authors: Zhihui Zhang, Yongde Zhong, Lingfan Yang, Dali Li, Hui Tang, Jianghua He
      First page: 12497
      Abstract: Since the early 1980s, in southern China, evergreen broad-leaved forests have been replaced by Chinese fir plantations on a large scale. By analyzing the dynamic change characteristics of the landscape pattern of Chinese fir plantations in the case study, the paper explored the current status and development trend of the landscape pattern of Chinese fir plantations after 40 years of manual intervention and natural succession. The paper, based on the three-period survey data on forest resources in 2010, 2015, and 2020, analyzed the dynamic changes of the landscape pattern of Chinese fir plantations from 2010 to 2020 and, by using a transition matrix and landscape index, simulated and predicted the landscape pattern of Chinese fir plantations in Jiangle County in 2025 by constructing a CA–Markov model with Jiangle County, Fujian Province, China, as the study area. The results showed that the landscape of Chinese fir plantations is the main component of the forest landscape in southern China, accounting for 12%. The landscape quality of Chinese fir plantations degraded, mainly shown in the facts that the Chinese fir plantations were juvenile from 2010 to 2020, and that the young and middle-aged forests became the main part of the landscape of Chinese fir plantations, accounting for 54.8%. The landscape area of Chinese fir plantations showed an increasing trend, which mainly came from other coniferous forests, other woodlands, non-woodlands and non-wood forests, and the replaced Chinese fir plantations were mainly eroded by bamboo forests. The evergreen broad-leaved forests, a kind of zonal vegetation, have been effectively protected in the past 10 years. In the future, the total area of Chinese fir plantations will continue to expand, and a small part of them will continue to be eroded by bamboo forests. In order to improve the landscape quality of Chinese fir plantations, it is necessary to adjust the age group structure of Chinese fir plantations, expand the proportion of mature forests, and, meanwhile, continue to protect evergreen broad-leaved forests and curb the expansion of bamboo forests.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912497
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12498: Evolutionary Game Strategies
           Analysis of Economic Development and Environmental Protection between
           Local Governments under Central Supervision Mechanism in China

    • Authors: Lin Wang, Feng Pan, Yingjie Li
      First page: 12498
      Abstract: The positive interaction between economic development and environmental protection is an important social issue which concerns people’s livelihoods. In order to explore the coordinated path of economic development and environmental protection, game models are constructed, successively, between local governments and among central-local governments by the evolutionary game method, and then, numerical simulation technology is used to analyze the results. The results show that the presented evolutionary stability strategies are consistent with the three stages of economic development and environmental protection since the reform and opening up in China. From the early to the middle stage, the sum of the special governance funds and local penalty fees play a key role; from the middle to the late stage, the heterogeneity coefficient between the local governments, local environmental governance costs, and environmental pollution losses plays a decisive role; during the late stage, the sum of the special governance funds and local penalty fees and the performance appraisal indicators play an important role. According to the above conclusions, local governments tend to choose environmental priority strategy, and the central government tends to choose a loose supervision strategy to achieve coordinated development by improving the phased planning for coordinated development, appropriately increasing the special governance funds and local penalty standards, and appropriately balancing the weights of the economic and environmental indicators.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912498
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12499: Complex Cause-Effect Relationships
           of Social Capital, Leader-Member Exchange, and Safety Behavior of Workers
           in Small-Medium Construction Firms and the Moderating Role of Age

    • Authors: Marchel Bentoy, Marlon Mata, Jayson Bayogo, Roel Vasquez, Rose Mary Almacen, Samantha Shane Evangelista, Charldy Wenceslao, Jannen Batoon, Maria Diana Lauro, Kafferine Yamagishi, Gamaliel Gonzales, Angelo Burdeos, Lanndon Ocampo
      First page: 12499
      Abstract: Due to workers’ vulnerability in construction sites, workplace safety has become of particular interest, and the current literature offers myriad approaches to dealing with it. From a social and organizational lens, this study explores an empirical model that integrates the dimensions of social capital theory (SCT) and leader-member exchange (LMX) in modelling the safety behavior of construction workers, particularly relevant in small-medium construction firms. The data were collected from 232 construction workers in the central Philippines. The responses were analyzed using partial least squares—structural equation modeling to investigate five hypothesized paths, including the influence of SCT dimensions (e.g., structural, relational, and cognitive) on LMX and LMX on safety behaviors (i.e., compliance and participation). We also tested whether the relationship of LMX to safety behaviors is moderated by age. The results indicate that the three dimensions of SCT have a significant and direct influence on LMX. In addition, LMX directly affects safety participation but does not significantly affect safety compliance. Particularly in small and medium construction firms with relatively flat organizational structures and supervisors displaying diverse roles, these findings suggest that the social relationships of workers tend to promote their trust and professional respect for supervisors who can leverage their position to encourage them participate in safety initiatives. On the other hand, age negatively influences the relationship of LMX to safety participation, indicating that younger workers tend to better translate high quality LMX into initiatives that promote overall workplace safety. Our findings offer the first evidence of the positive relationship between SCT and LMX in advancing the safety participation of construction workers. From these insights, practical inputs to the design of relevant measures and future research works are outlined.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912499
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12500: Sustainable Learning, Cognitive
           Gains, and Improved Attitudes in College Algebra Flipped Classrooms

    • Authors: Natanael Karjanto, Maxima Joyosa Acelajado
      First page: 12500
      Abstract: To respond to global issues positively, education systems in higher education institutions play a significant role in empowering learners as well as promoting sustainable development goals. By implementing curricula that cultivate cross-cutting and transversal key competencies for sustainability, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration, we prepare our pupils to become sustainability citizens, who not only sustain learning throughout their lives in various circumstances and across different disciplines but also engage constructively and responsibly toward any future world’s challenges through their dispositions, strategies, and skills. One such sustainable teaching methodology is known as the flipped classroom, an active-learning, student-centered, flexible, and multidimensional pedagogy. Our objective is to investigate the effect of such pedagogy on learners’ academic achievement and their attitude toward mathematics using both quantitative and qualitative methods. We cultivated sustainable learning in mathematics education for college freshmen (n=55) by exposing them to both the conventional teaching method (CTM) and flipped classroom pedagogy (FCP). By splitting them into control and experimental groups alternately (n1=24, n2=31) and by selecting the four most challenging topics in college algebra, we measured their cognitive gains quantitatively via a sequence of pre- and post-tests. The topics are factorization, rational expressions, radical operations, and applied problems. Both groups improved academically over time across all these four topics with statistically very significant outcomes (p<0.001). Although they were not always statistically significant (p>0.05) in some topics, the post-test results suggest that generally, the FCP trumps the CTM in cognitive gains, except for the first topic on factorization, where the opposite is true with a very statistically significant mean difference (p<0.001). By examining non-cognitive gains qualitatively, we analyzed the students’ feedback on the FCP and their responses to a perception inventory. The finding suggests a favorable response toward the FCP with primary improvements in the attitudes toward mathematics and increased levels of cooperation among students. Since these students are so happy to have control of their own learning, they were more relaxed, motivated, confident, active, and responsible in learning under the FCP. We are confident that although this study is relatively small in scale, it will yield incremental and long-lasting effects not only for the learners themselves but also for other role-takers in education sectors who aspire in nurturing sustainable long-life learning and achieving sustainable development goals successfully.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912500
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12501: Factors Affecting Consumers’
           Cultivated Meat Purchase Intentions

    • Authors: Filipe Quevedo-Silva, Jéssica Beatriz Pereira
      First page: 12501
      Abstract: Cultivated meat is an innovative product that promises to provide a consumption experience and nutritional value equivalent to conventional meat, with significantly lower negative impacts. The aim of this study is to analyze the factors that influence the purchase intention of cultivated meat. A quantitative study was conducted with 304 Brazilian consumers. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The study proposed a purchase intention model with aspects related to clean production, animal welfare, food safety, naturalness and the moderating effect of food neophobia. The results showed that clean production and food safety had a positive relationship with the intention to purchase cultivated meat. The naturalness of food, on the other hand, had a negative relationship with purchase intent. Furthermore, the higher the level of food neophobia, the less important the influence of clean production became with regard to cultivated meat purchase intentions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912501
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12502: Assessing the Feasibility and the
           Potential of Implementing Solar Water Heaters in Dimbaza, a Township in
           Eastern Cape, South Africa

    • Authors: Sinethemba Peter, Njabulo Kambule, Stephen Tangwe, Kowiyou Yessoufou
      First page: 12502
      Abstract: The level of income of the inhabitants in a township has an impact on the potential to have adequate access to electricity. The bulk of the domestic energy sources needed in the residential buildings is derived from electrical energy. In South Africa, the base load electricity is derived from coal thermal power plants. However, the environmental impact associated with the combustion of coal in the thermal power plants is a cause for concern. This study was designed to identify the common mode of sanitary hot-water heating in Dimbaza and the potential economic and environmental advantages of replacing the electric water heaters with solar water heaters (SWH) coupled with auxiliary electric heaters. The secondary data on the weather conditions, walk-through audits of selected buildings, and the energy consumption of a residence were analysed. The results depicted that the average annual day temperature and the global solar radiations of Dimbaza were 25 °C and 4.95 kWh/m2/day, respectively. The qualitative data recovered from the survey questionnaires of the sample household representatives revealed the level of awareness of the impact of climate change owing to the electricity generated from the Eskom national grid as 69%. The simple payback period of the projected SWH based on energy consumed by an electric water heater in a specific residence was 5.02 years using the energy analysis method. The implementation of SWHs in the households of Dimbaza would be techno-economically and environmentally viable due to the potential energy savings and the greenhouse gas reduction.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912502
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12503: Research on the Strategies of Living
           Conservation and Cultural Inheritance of Vernacular Dwellings—Taking

    • Authors: Minghao Zhang, Jingyao Zhang, Qian Liu, Tingshen Li, Jian Wang
      First page: 12503
      Abstract: Vernacular dwellings are the carriers of cultural inheritance, and their living conservation plays an important role in social development. With the continuous advancement of China’s urbanization, the crisis faced by vernacular dwellings is increasing. Therefore, the living conservation and cultural inheritance of vernacular dwellings are urgent. Combining the method of grounded theory with traditional surveying and drawing research, this paper takes five vernacular dwellings in China’s northern Jiangsu as the research object, excavates their cultural background, finishes their drawing, and constructs the strategy model of living conservation and cultural inheritance of vernacular dwellings on the basis of in-depth interviews. Lastly, it puts forward specific improvement measures for the five vernacular dwellings in terms of living conservation and cultural inheritance, so as to provide case support for the subsequent conservation and inheritance of vernacular dwellings in China’s northern Jiangsu.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912503
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12504: Health-Supportive Office
           Design—It Is Chafing Somewhere. Where and Why'

    • Authors: Christina Bodin Danielsson, Sara Hoy
      First page: 12504
      Abstract: This explorative case study investigates health-promoting office design from an experience and meaning-making perspective in an activity-based flex-office (A-FO) in a headquarter building. This small case study (n = 11) builds using qualitative data (walk-through and focus group interviews). A reflexive thematic analysis (RTA) of the experience of design approach was performed on this from a health and sustainability perspective, including the physical, mental, and social dimensions of health defined by WHO. Results show a wide range in participants’ experiences and meaning-making of the health-promoting office design of their office building. The control aspect plays a central role in participants’ experiences, including factors such as surveillance and obeyance, related to status and power, in turn associated with experiences of pleasantness, symbolism, and inclusiveness. Three main themes are identified in participants´ experiences: (1) comfort–non-comfort, (2) outsider–insider, and (3) symbolism. The major finding of the study is the ambiguity among participants about the health-supportive office design of the office building per se and its various environments. There is a sense that it is chafing, due to dissonance between the intention of the office and the applied design.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912504
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12505: Sustainable Competitiveness in the
           Case of SMEs—Opportunities Provided by Social Media in an
           International Comparison

    • Authors: Enikő Korcsmáros, Bence Csinger
      First page: 12505
      Abstract: In the extremely competitive business environment typical of the 20th century, small and medium-sized enterprises have had to face countless challenges. As time progressed, digitization and the development of information and communication technology has had increasing impacts on the lives of both individuals and businesses. Now, from an organizational point of view, social media has become a corporate strategic tool the significant role of which is indisputable. The relevance of our study can be found in the fact that social media is now one of the most popular solutions if the goal of a business is to reach a specific target audience, to receive feedback about products/services, and to initiate the immediate communication that contributes to the loyalty of consumers and customers in the long term, as well as to take advantage of cost-effective advertising opportunities. The primary goal of our research is to provide the reader with a comprehensive picture of the thinking in the SME sector regarding the corporate application of social media. In our study, following a comprehensive literature review related to the topic, we use primary data collection to examine small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Hungary and Slovakia. The reason for choosing the subjects of the research is that, taking into account the territorial size of the regions under investigation, similar districts were selected, and the regions have similar numbers of businesses engaged in economic activity. The investigation process covers two regions in the two selected countries, examining a total of 1114 enterprises. Before starting our research, two hypotheses were defined. In order to test the correctness of the hypotheses, we performed statistical analyses using the SPSS program, specifically the Mantel–Haenszel test and the chi-square test. Considering the results, the hypotheses formulated by the authors proved to be correct in the case of both countries. As a result, it can be stated that the success of traditional marketing tools used before the online space greatly influences the extent to which businesses feel their presence in social media is important.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912505
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12506: Factors Influencing Bank
           Customers’ Orientations toward Islamic Banks: Indonesian Banking

    • Authors: Krisna Nugraha, Muhtosim Arief, Bramantoro Abdinagoro, Pantri Heriyati
      First page: 12506
      Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian banking industry showed positive performance, high profitability, sustainable growth, and stability. Islamic banks grew by 9.50% and had a market share of 6.52 percent as of September 2021. This study aims to examine the industrial sector perspective on the factors that prevent consumers from becoming customers of Islamic banks, in particular the factors that influence consumer decisions not to become Sharia bank customers. This study used descriptive qualitative methods and in-depth interviews to confirm and obtain input from industry representatives regarding Islamic banks. Primary data collection was performed using a purposive sampling technique. Informants were head office officials, managers, heads of individual retail product development units, product features and policies, market education, marketing, customer acquisition, and individual retailers. The findings of this study are the existence of passive resistance of consumers to become customers of Islamic banks. In addition, there are obstacles for prospective customers of Islamic banks in responding to marketing stimuli due to the perception of risk, image, and weak marketing reach that have dominated passive resistance to Islamic banks (blocking effects). As a result, consumers prefer conventional banks and are less interested in becoming customers of Islamic banks. This means that there is no opposition to Islamic banks.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912506
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12507: The Influence of Emissions from
           Maritime Transport on Air Quality in the Strait of Gibraltar (Spain)

    • Authors: Durán-Grados, Rodríguez-Moreno, Calderay-Cayetano, Amado-Sánchez, Pájaro-Velázquez, Nunes, Alvim-Ferraz, Sousa, Moreno-Gutiérrez
      First page: 12507
      Abstract: Gaseous and particulate emissions from oceangoing ships have a significant effect on the quality of air in cities. This study estimates mainly the influence of NOx, SOx, and particulate matter (PM2.5) on air quality in the Strait of Gibraltar (Spain) using the authors’ own Ship´s Energy and Emissions Model (SENEM) and the California Puff air quality model (CALPUFF) in 2017. The Algeciras Bay Industrial Zone recorded the highest levels of pollutants, and the Palmones area was identified as a major hotspot, with mean daily ship-sourced SOx concentrations >215 μg/m3, while the highest concentrations of PM10 reached 8.5 μg/m3 inside the Strait, and the mean yearly contribution of PM2.5 reached 0.86 μg/m3 in the city of Algeciras. The incidence of maritime traffic emissions on the levels of particle emissions, CO, HC, NMVOC, and CO2 reached values of up to 20–25% in all the receivers defined in the study.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912507
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12508: Study on Creep Characteristics of
           Water Saturated Phyllite

    • Authors: Yabin Wu, Jianhua Hu, Guanping Wen
      First page: 12508
      Abstract: Phyllite is affected by its own bedding, stress environment and water-saturated conditions. There are great differences in its deformation and failure in engineering, and its creep characteristics are an important basis for evaluating the long-term stability of phyllite engineering. Therefore, this study carried out creep tests of water-saturated phyllite under different bedding angles and confining pressures, studied the coupling effect of factors that affect the creep characteristics of phyllite, and investigated and analyzed the deformation characteristics of a phyllite roadway support on site to provide basic support for phyllite roadway mine disaster control and collaborative mining research. The results showed the following: (1) When the bedding dip angle was 30~60°, under the control of the bedding, the sliding deformation along the bedding suddenly increased under the low-stress condition and the specimen did not undergo structural damage. It could continuously bear multi-level stress and generated creep deformation. In this case, a phyllite roadway should adopt the support method of combining flexibility and rigidity. (2) In the process of multi-stage stress loading, the creep instantaneous stress was directly proportional to the initial stress. When the stress was loaded to 50% of the failure strength, the instantaneous stress tended to be stable and maintained a linear, slightly increasing relationship with the stress. When the bedding angle was 30~60°, the creep deformation accounted for more than 50% of the total deformation. The bedding angles of 0° and 90° were dominated by the instantaneous strain during the stress loading process. For the flexible support of the roadway, the deformation caused by disturbance stress should be fully considered. (3) The uniaxial creep specimen mainly displayed compression shear tensile failure, with a small number of parallel cracks along the main fracture surface. The triaxial creep fracture mode changed to single shear failure. The confining pressure showed greater inhibition of the creep of the specimen with a bedding inclination of 0° and 90°. The strength design of the rigid support should refer to the original rock stress value of the roadway. The creep deformation and failure of the specimen with a bedding inclination of 30~60° were mainly controlled by the bedding. The included angle between the bedding dip angle and the maximum principal stress should be kept within 30~60° as far as possible in the roadway layout.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912508
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12509: Food Waste Originated Material as an
           Alternative Substrate Used for the Cultivation of Oyster Mushroom
           (Pleurotus ostreatus): A Review

    • Authors: Ana Doroški, Anita Klaus, Anet Režek Jambrak, Ilija Djekic
      First page: 12509
      Abstract: Pleurotus ostreatus (P. ostreatus) is considered a high-quality food, rich in proteins and bioactive compounds important for maintaining human health. Lately, a commonly used substrate for oyster mushroom cultivation—wheat straw, is more often replaced by alternative cellulose substrates originated from the agricultural and food industry. Utilization of wastes for mushroom cultivation has its added value: sustainable food waste management, production of high-quality food from low quality waste, as well as solving environmental, economic and global issues. This overview covered three categories of food waste: food-processing wastes, agro-cereal wastes and nut–fruit wastes, the most used for the cultivation P. ostreatus in the period of 2017–2022. Analyzed studies mostly covered the productivity and chemical characterization of the substrate before and after the cultivation process, as well as the morphological characteristics of the fruiting bodies cultivated on a specific substrate. Chemical analyses of mushrooms cultivated on food waste are not adequately covered, which gives room for additional research, considering the influence of substrate type and chemical quality on the fruiting bodies chemical composition.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912509
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12510: Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen
           Transportation Pathways via Pipelines and Truck Trailers: Implications as
           a Low Carbon Fuel

    • Authors: Hanif Tayarani, Aditya Ramji
      First page: 12510
      Abstract: Hydrogen fuel cells have the potential to play a significant role in the decarbonization of the transportation sector globally and especially in California, given the strong regulatory and policy focus. Nevertheless, numerous questions arise regarding the environmental impact of the hydrogen supply chain. Hydrogen is usually delivered on trucks in gaseous form but can also be transported via pipelines as gas or via trucks in liquid form. This study is a comparative attributional life cycle analysis of three hydrogen production methods alongside truck and pipeline transportation in gaseous form. Impacts assessed include global warming potential (GWP), nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5). In terms of GWP, the truck transportation pathway is more energy and ecologically intensive than pipeline transportation, despite gaseous truck transport being more economical. A sensitivity analysis of pipeline transportation and life cycle inventories (LCI) attribution is included. Results are compared across multiple scenarios of the production and transportation pathways to discover the strongest candidates for minimizing the environmental footprint of hydrogen production and transportation. The results indicate the less ecologically intensive pathway is solar electrolysis through pipelines. For 1 percent pipeline attribution, the total CO2eq produced per consuming 1 MJ of hydrogen in a fuel cell pickup truck along this pathway is 50.29 g.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912510
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12511: Mountain Food Products: A Cluster
           Analysis Based on Young Consumers’ Perceptions

    • Authors: Alessandro Bonadonna, Stefano Duglio, Luigi Bollani, Giovanni Peira
      First page: 12511
      Abstract: Even though many studies focus on consumer perception of local food, only limited research concerns mountain areas. This paper aims to fill this gap by concentrating on the potential value of mountain food products, with particular reference to young consumers’ perceptions. To this end, an online survey was conducted on a sample of 4079 University students using a specific questionnaire. Collected data underwent hierarchical cluster analysis, defining four clusters. Respondents were found to consider “mountain products” a fundamental commodity with reference to all related categories of food (cheese, meat, honey, fruits and vegetables) and believed that all stages of the supply chain should be carried out in mountain areas. All of the four clusters also reported a positive perception of mountain products, and they associated mountain foodstuffs with various key concepts, such as sustainable development (32.56%, two clusters), local traditions and specialities (49.11%, two clusters) and health (18.34%, three clusters). Therefore, this study provides useful insights for institutions, by further reinforcing the importance of agri-food products in the collective imagination of consumers and producers in mountain areas by promoting understanding of the characteristics sought by younger generations. Finally, this study contributes to increasing knowledge of mountain food products and related perceptions among younger consumers and expands contemporary literature on consumers in mountain market areas.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912511
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12512: Analysing the Recent Dynamics of
           Agricultural Sustainability in Portugal Using a Compromise Programming

    • Authors: António Xavier, Maria de Belém Costa Costa Freitas, Rui Fragoso, Maria do Socorro Rosário
      First page: 12512
      Abstract: Society recognises the importance of agriculture to supply goods, which are essential for human survival and well-being. Sustainable agriculture is an important goal since resources need to be preserved for future generations. The recent agricultural policy orientations towards environmental concerns have also had consequences for Portuguese agriculture. The information provided by the 2019 Agricultural Census offers an opportunity to analyse the recent dynamics and establish rankings of municipalities related to agricultural sustainability. Sustainability in agriculture can be studied using different types of indicators, but its quantification and aggregation into an index is still difficult. This paper proposes an approach based on compromise programming to analyse sustainability considering the dynamics between the 2009 and 2019 Agricultural Census. This approach has three main steps: in the first one, the indicators are selected and a HJ-Biplot and Cluster analysis are carried out to identify groups of municipalities and general dynamics; in the second step, the weights of indicators are defined, and a novel compromise programming model is implemented to define the rankings of sustainability for each year; finally, in the third step, the spatial dynamics of the sustainability rankings are analysed and classified into the clusters of municipalities previously created. The analysis was implemented using data from the 308 Portuguese municipalities for 12 individual indicators encompassing the several dimensions of sustainability. The results were promising since the approach allowed for the identification of the main dynamics and tendencies regarding sustainability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912512
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12513: Utilization of Selected
           Nanoparticles (Ag2O and MnO2) for the Production of High-Quality and
           Environmental-Friendly Gasoline

    • Authors: Ahmed A. Fattah, Tarek M. Aboul-Fotouh, Khaled A. Fattah, Aya H. Mohammed
      First page: 12513
      Abstract: Nowadays, the devastating effects of the pollutants produced by gasoline are known well. As a result, scientists are looking for a better formula to replace the gasoline currently in use. Using different additives has been one of the strategies developed throughout the years. However, because certain compounds damage the environment and human life, researchers must now choose which additives to use. The primary goal of this work is to test a gasoline combination with nano-additives Ag2O and MnO2 in a 4-stroke vehicle engine (Fiat 128) and to investigate the influence of novel mixes on the efficiency of combustion rates and the amount of target pollutant gas released (CO, NOx, and the exhaust temperature). The tests were carried out at three different engine speeds: 2000, 2500, and 2900 rpm. At the end of the test, the 0.05% concentration of Ag2O nano-additive was chosen as the best sample, which increases engine performance in gasoline combustion rates and minimizes harmful gas emissions. Furthermore, CO and NOx emissions were lowered by 52% and 35%, respectively, according to EURO 6, indicating a considerable reduction in mortality rates and costs. Finally, a new mechanism was observed using Ag2O nanoparticles, leading to a reduction in CO and CO2 at the same time.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912513
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12514: Biodiversity Offsetting: Ethical
           Views within Environmental Organisations in the European Union

    • Authors: Mikael Karlsson
      First page: 12514
      Abstract: Biodiversity offsetting is a nature conservation instrument that is increasingly used but also strongly criticised. Previous studies have identified the ethical underpinnings of this criticism, but if and how ethically-based objections exist among persons active in nongovernmental environmental organisations is not clear. This study, therefore, explores occurring ethical views through seven in-depth interviews within this group of stakeholders. Among the results, the respondents in general took a consequential ethical view, according to which both benefits and costs with biodiversity offsetting should be considered and balanced, resting on a strong biocentric or ecocentric base, albeit within an ethical frame of restrictions for when to not use the instrument, indicating a strong deontological ethical basis. Overall, the respondents did not consider that the existence of intrinsic nature values, which they recognised, nor the potential commodification of such values, constituted definite barriers to biodiversity offsetting. Moreover, they did not see that offsetting, per se, would lead to non-virtuous attitudes towards nature. On social justice issues, the views diverged significantly. However, all respondents underlined a strong need for improved governance, including to prevent biodiversity offsetting of high nature values, to restrict flexibilities, and to apply multipliers with sufficient margins.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912514
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12515: Research on Structural Toughness of
           Railway City Network in Yellow River Basin and Case Study of Zhengzhou
           7-20 Rainstorm Disaster

    • Authors: Yajun Xiong, Hui Tang, Xiaobo Tian
      First page: 12515
      Abstract: With the gradual networking of inter-city relations and the increase in acute impact and chronic stress, the measurement of the resilience of urban network structures is particularly prominent. Based on the construction of the urban network by passenger train trips in the Yellow River Basin, this paper analyzes and assesses the characteristics of the structural resilience of the urban network, and probes into the network resilience and urban response under the circumstances of node failure and line failure in Zhengzhou. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) The urban network in the Yellow River Basin was clearly hierarchical, with a significant spatial distribution of “low in the north and high in the south”, and the overall characteristics of “robustness” in small areas and “fragility” in large areas. The network connection forms were diversified and open. The network transmission efficiency was high, and the edge cities depended on the core cities with prominent characteristics, and the risk load of regional core cities rose. (2) The network structure was “robust” as it maintained high operational efficiency and connectivity under random attacks. Under deliberate attacks, the city network operated efficiently with a small increase in connectivity before the 60% threshold, and after the threshold, the overall network started to split into many sub-networks, and the network fragmentation gradually increased until the network collapsed. (3) Zhengzhou node failure and line failure states in the Yellow River Basin urban network were resilient, in the sense that when suffering important nodes and lines going down it could still maintain good network operation efficiency, and the core nodes in the impact of natural disasters could adapt to the destructive nature of the network through the urban network structure self-regulation.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912515
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12516: Can ESG Ratings Stimulate Corporate
           Green Innovation' Evidence from China

    • Authors: Heying Liu, Chan Lyu
      First page: 12516
      Abstract: Green innovation serves as both a catalyst for businesses to pursue sustainable development and a crucial step in achieving green circular economic development. Green innovation is the practice of organizations considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects and the ESG advantages resulting from this process may become a driving force for enterprises to undergo a green transformation. Therefore, based on data related to Chinese A-share listed companies from 2009 to 2020, we study the relationship between ESG rating performance and corporate green innovation and its boundary mechanism. The results show that ESG ratings can improve the green innovation level of listed enterprises, and the relationship between ESG ratings and green innovation was also found to be strengthened by the institutional environment and redundant organizational resources. This study previously confirmed the positive impact of enterprises’ ESG ratings on their green innovation, which has important implications for realizing the effective combination of ESG advantages and green innovation, promoting the construction of an ecological civilization, and realizing the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912516
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12517: Influence of Basalt Fiber on
           Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Rubber Concrete

    • Authors: Xiao Wang, Jinggan Shao, Junchao Wang, Minghao Ma, Bing Zhang
      First page: 12517
      Abstract: The utilization of waste rubber in concrete will reduce pollution and improve the efficiency of resource utilization. The effects of rubber particles and basalt fibers on the compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of concrete were investigated. In addition, the influence of basalt fibers on the mechanical properties and micropore structure of rubber concrete (RC) were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray computed tomography (CT). The distribution of rubber particles in concrete was also studied. The results indicate that the effects of basalts fibers on the mechanical properties of rubber concrete were significant. The rubber particles were evenly distributed in the concrete. Compared with normal concrete (NC), rubber concrete with 10% rubber particles had lower compressive strength and splitting tensile strength. Compared with rubber concrete, basalt fiber rubber concrete (BFRC) with 2% basalt fibers had no obvious effect on the compressive strength, while significantly improving the splitting tensile strength, refining the pores of rubber concrete, and reducing the porosity of the matrix. The effects of basalt fiber on the properties and pore distribution of RC should be considered in future applications.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912517
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12518: Channel Evolution under the Control
           of Base-Level Cycle Change and the Influence on the Sustainable
           Development of the Remaining Oil—A Case in Jiang Ling Depression,
           Jiang Han Basin, China

    • Authors: Wei Zhu, Mingsu Shen, Shixin Dai, Kuanning Liu, Yongdi Qi
      First page: 12518
      Abstract: The extension of river channels is one of the key factors in determining the remaining oil distribution. Different sedimentary facies and bedding types of oil layers will form specific characteristics of remaining oil distribution after water injection development. Using massive drilling, core, logging, seismic, and production data, on the basis of sequence stratigraphy base-level cycle change, the river records and development history are restored, and the fine connectivity of reservoirs and the configuration relationship of production wells are studied. The following conclusions are drawn: (1) A sequence stratigraphic division scheme is established. In the established sequence framework, the types and characteristics of reservoir sand bodies are analyzed. The 2nd and 6th members of Yu yang formation can be divided into 2 long-term base level cycles, 5 medium-term base level cycles, and 17 short-term base level cycles. The evolution of the second and sixth members of the Yu yang formation shows a pattern of base level rising, falling and rising again; (2) the vertical sedimentary evolution sequence is underwater distributary channel distributary channel meandering channel distributary channel flood plain. The types of channel sand bodies developed from little overlap to more vertical or lateral overlap and then gradually changed to isolated type; (3) according to the structural location and development sequence, different types of reservoirs are identified. Combined with the statistics of the drilled data of Yu yang formation k2y4 in Fu I fault block, it is found that the connectivity rate of oil layer thickness (the ratio of oil layer connectivity thickness to total thickness of sand layer) within the oil-bearing area is 84.4%, and the connectivity rate of the number of layers (8) is 60%. The connectivity condition is relatively good.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912518
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12519: Trend of Percentile Climate Indices
           in Montenegro in the Period 1961–2020

    • Authors: Dragan Burić, Miroslav Doderović
      First page: 12519
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency trend of daily temperature and precipitation extremes in Montenegro. Firstly, using the Multiple Analysis of Series for Homogenization method (MASHv3.02), the accuracy of daily maximum and minimum temperatures, as well as daily precipitation, from 18 meteorological stations in Montenegro during 1961–2020, was examined. Using percentile distributions, one of the most objective methods in researching modern climate change, time series were formed for four temperature and four precipitation percentile indices on a seasonal and annual level. Finally, the trend was calculated using the Sen Method, while the significance was tested using the Mann–Kendall test. The obtained results demonstrate that there is a significant warming in Montenegro, because the number frequency trend of cold days and nights/warm days and nights decreases/increases (annually up to: −12.9, −18.4, 7.0 and 6.8 days/decade). The trend in the frequency of very wet, moderately wet, moderately dry and very dry days is insignificant, but indicates slight aridization. Significant warming increases water evaporation, which, with additional slight aridization, can pose a problem in the functioning of natural systems as well as in the life and work of the citizens.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912519
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12520: Potassium Determines Sugar
           Beets’ Yield and Sugar Content under Drip Irrigation Condition

    • Authors: Xie, Zhu, Xu, Ma, Ding, Li
      First page: 12520
      Abstract: Sugar beet is one of the main sugar crops and an important cash crop in the three northern regions of China (Northeast China, North China, and Northwest China). As an arid region, Xinjiang lacks water resources. The establishment of a reasonable drip-irrigation system for sugar beet in Xinjiang can not only achieve the goal of high quality and high yield, but is also crucial for the efficient utilization of water and fertilizer. This research was implemented in the experimental field of the Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Sugar Beet Improvement Center in Manas County, Xinjiang, from the year 2019. Taking ST 15140 sugar beet as the experimental variety, a field study was conducted to investigate the effects of different irrigation and fertilization methods on the yield and sugar content of sugar beets. Ten treatments of two irrigation levels (W1: 4500 m3 ha−1, W2: 5400 m3 ha−1) and five fertilization methods (F1, F2, F3, F4, and F5) were carried out in a randomized block design with three replications. The yield and sugar content; growth indicators such as leaf photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content and intercellular CO2 concentration; and fertilizer-use efficiency (nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE), phosphorus-use efficiency (PUE), and potassium-use efficiency (KUE)) during the sugar beet growing seasons were determined. The results indicated that the W1F3 (4500 m3 ha−1, N 229.5 kg ha−1 + P2O5 180 kg ha−1 + K2O 202.5 kg ha−1 + hydroquinone 229.5 g ha−1) treatment had the highest yield and sugar content of 132.20 Mg ha−1 and 15.61%, respectively. For crop growth indicators, the photosynthetic rate (33.27 μmol m−2 s−1) and the stomatal conductance (252.67 mmol m−2 s−1) under W1F3 were both the highest among all of the treatments. The fertilizer-use efficiency in W1F3 was in the following order: KUE > NUE > PUE. The highest KUE (128.10%) and NUE (65.49%) occurred under W1F3 at the sugar accumulation stage of the crop growing season. In addition, K determined the yield and sugar content of sugar beet by influencing growth factors such as the photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll content, intercellular CO2 concentration, along with the KUE, which explained 30.2%, 5.1%, 10%, and 14.7% of the variation in yield and sugar content, respectively. The results of this study indicated that the application of an inhibitor with optimized-minus-N fertilization under lower irrigation (W1F3) was the optimal treatment. Above all, K determined the yield and sugar contents of sugar beets, emphasizing the pivotal role of K in the growth, physiological processes, and output of sugar beets.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912520
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12521: Dual-Level Voltage Bipolar Thermal
           Energy Harvesting System from Solar Radiation in Malaysia

    • Authors: Muhammad Nazri Rejab, Omar Mohd Faizan Marwah, Muhammad Akmal Johar, Mohamed Najib Ribuan
      First page: 12521
      Abstract: Harvesting energy from solar radiation in Malaysia attracts the attention of researchers to utilize the potential by ongoing improvement. Roofing material with low albedo absorbs the heat, that can then be harvested using a thermoelectric generator. Previous research only measured the open-circuit voltage with different thermoelectric generator configurations. Low power output limits the potential to be utilized. The low output power can be increased using a DC converter. However, the converter must be tuned concerning low- and high-voltage levels, bipolar, and the maximum power point tracking. Therefore, this paper presents a dual-level voltage bipolar (DLVB) thermal energy harvesting system. The circuit is tested at constant and various time intervals to evaluate the system’s functionality and performance. Experiment results show that the proposed harvesting system can boost from 0.6 and 1.6 V to achieve the optimum level. The mean efficiency of the harvesting circuit obtains 91.92% at various time intervals. Further, the field test result obtains output power from 1.45 to 66.1 mW, with the mean efficiency range of 89.62% to 92.98%. Furthermore, recommendations are listed for future research.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912521
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12522: Analysis of Spatiotemporal
           Characteristics and Influencing Factors for the Aid Events of COVID-19
           Based on GDELT

    • Authors: Yunxing Yao, Yinbao Zhang, Jianzhong Liu, Yanpei Li, Xiaopei Li
      First page: 12522
      Abstract: The uncertainty of COVID-19 and the spatial inequality of anti-pandemic materials have made international aid an important means for many countries to cope with this global public health crisis. It is of far-reaching significance to analyze the spatiotemporal characteristics and influencing factors of international aid events for the global joint fight against COVID-19 and the sustainability of global public health business. The data on aid events from 23 January 2020 to 31 October 2021, were from the GDELT database. China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada were selected as the study objects because they provided more aid. Their spatiotemporal characteristics of main aid flows, the response characteristics of the aid requests, and the characteristics of verbal aid to cash in were studied using spatial statistical analysis methods. The influencing factors of aid allocation also were studied by regression analysis. The results found that: the international aid flow of each country was consistent in spatial distribution, mainly to countries with severe pandemics and neighboring countries. However, there were differences in the recipients. China mainly aided developing countries, while the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada mainly aided developed countries. Relatively speaking, China was more responsive to aid requests and more aggressive in cashing in on verbal aid. The countries considered the impact of their economic interests when they planned to aid. At the same time, there were obvious “bandwagon effect” and “small country tendency” on the aid events.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912522
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12523: Assessing the Potential for
           Rainwater Harvesting Use in a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Region
           in the South of Brazil

    • Authors: Hoss, Tavares, Moreira, Filho, Matthiensen
      First page: 12523
      Abstract: Sustainability in intensive animal production is directly linked to water management. The increasing pressure on water resources and the occurrence of increasingly frequent and severe droughts makes it harder to meet the demand for animal husbandry in rural properties and highlights the importance of rational water use and the search for alternative sources of water supply. In the midwest region of Santa Catarina state, south of Brazil, the use of cisterns to store rainwater collected from the roofs of houses that confine animals is an alternative already widely used and encouraged to minimize water scarcity. Studies that deal with the potential for rainwater use in livestock production are still scarce; however, available information provides a concrete basis for further technical and economic feasibility studies. The present study aimed to evaluate, based on local precipitation and available harvesting areas, the potential of the use of rainwater to supply the water demand (r, %) and the water-saving potential (R, m3/year) in swine and poultry Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Jacutinga river basin and contiguous sub-basin municipalities, a region with great national importance in this activity. As a result, potential r values of 100% to supply water demand in the poultry sector and between 32.7% and 68.3% in the different production stages of the swine sector were obtained. The potential R value in the study area represented 5.2 million m3 per year. Such results reveal the high potential of rainwater harvesting systems not only for minimizing impacts of drought periods but also as an abundant source of water for supplying the husbandry water demand of rural farms, ensuring water security, and serving as a tool for managing local water resources.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912523
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12524: A Comparative Assessment of Hygienic
           Behavior of Carniolan (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann) and
           Yemeni (Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner) Honeybees Using Infra-Red
           Photography Video Recording

    • Authors: Saad N. Al-Kahtani, El-Kazafy A. Taha
      First page: 12524
      Abstract: The use of infra-red photography video recording is very useful for conducting behavioristic studies of honeybees against many brood diseases. The removal of dead or diseased brood from capped cells by honeybee workers is a heritable trait that confers colony-level resistance. This work aimed to compare the hygienic behavior of the native (Yemeni bees, A. mellifera jemenitica) and the exotic (Carniolan bees, A. m. carnica) honeybee races in Saudi Arabia using an infra-red photography video recording. In addition, hygienic behavior towards the related and non-related combs was examined. Therefore, it is possible to obtain honeybee colonies with greater disease resistance. The pin-killing method and infra-red photography video recording were used for the evaluation of hygienic behavior in colonies of the two races. Significant differences in hygienic behavior between the two races were detected at the beginning of the experiment. Under the environmental conditions of eastern Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni honeybee colonies showed a higher number of uncapped and cleaned cells containing dead brood in either the brood comb from the same colony, or the brood comb from the same race but a different colony, or brood comb from a different race. It was concluded that the honeybee’s ability to detect and clean the dead brood from comb cells can be correlated with race and it is more efficient for the non-related individuals of the same race than from a related or another race. The outstanding performance of a few individuals in the expression of various traits indicates their usefulness in carrying out breeding programs for Varroa resistance.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912524
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12525: Realization and Prediction of
           Ecological Restoration Potential of Vegetation in Karst Areas

    • Authors: Jianfei Mo, Yanli Chen, Weihua Mo, Yue Zhang
      First page: 12525
      Abstract: Based on the vegetation ecological quality index retrieved by satellite remote sensing in the karst areas of Guangxi in 2000–2019, the status of the ecological restoration of the vegetation and the influencing factors of the ecological restoration potential of the vegetation were analyzed. Then, habitats with a similar ecological restoration potential were categorized and the maximum ecological restoration potential of the vegetation was estimated. Finally, realization and prediction models of the ecological restoration potential of the vegetation were constructed to evaluate the realization degree and provide predictions. The quality of the ecological restoration was good in the study region, and the vegetation ecological quality index showed a fluctuating increasing trend. In the study region, 96.25%, 92.92%, 97.14%, and 99.07% of the total area was shown to have good ecological quality of the vegetation in 2000–2004, 2005–2009, 2010–2014, and 2015–2019, respectively. Terrain, soil, vegetation types, and climatic conditions had significant impacts on the ecological restoration of the vegetation. With the increase in the soil sand content, the changes in the vegetation ecological quality indexes were significant at altitudes of 200 m, 400 m, and 800 m and slopes of 15°, 25°, and 35°. The ecological restoration potential was the highest for forests, peaking at 87.5, followed by shrubs and grasses (87.4), and farmland (85.4). The partial and multiple correlations of the temperature, precipitation, and vegetation ecological quality index were significant, and the climate driving zones were divided into the strong driving zone of temperature and precipitation, temperature-dominated driving zone, precipitation-dominated driving zone, weak driving zone of temperature and precipitation, and non-climate driving zone. There was a high realization of the ecological restoration potential of the vegetation. The vegetation ecological quality in 97.95% of the area was restored, of which regions classified as maintaining growth, having slow growth, and having rapid growth accounted for 79.73%, 18.09%, and 0.13%, respectively, indicating that projects of rocky desertification control and ecological poverty alleviation were well implemented. In the future, the ecological restoration potential of the vegetation is predicted to be mainly low and medium. The areas with low potential are predicted to be mainly distributed in the north and southeast of Hechi, the northwest of Baise, and the west of Chongzuo, where the vegetation ecological quality and ecological restoration of the vegetation are predicted to be good, thus the restoration gap is predicted to be small. The areas with medium potential are predicted to be mainly distributed in the south of Hechi, the south of Baise, and the north of Chongzuo, where the vegetation ecological quality was restored well but further restoration could be beneficial. This research can provide technical support for future evaluations of the ecological restoration of vegetation, as well as construction, in the karst areas in the future.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912525
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12526: Assessment of Thermal Comfort and
           Air Quality of Room Conditions by Impinging Jet Ventilation Integrated
           with Ductless Personalized Ventilation

    • Authors: Bin Yang, Pengju Liu, Yihang Liu, Dacheng Jin, Faming Wang
      First page: 12526
      Abstract: Advanced ventilation methods are responsible for creating an appropriate temperature environment with satisfactory inhaled air quality. The ductless personalized ventilation system integrated with impinging jet ventilation shows the good ventilation performance. In order to investigate the effect of using such an integrated system on thermal comfort and air quality improvement. Twenty subjects participated in a chamber test at 25 °C, 27 °C, and 29 °C, respectively, with operating DPV devices at three modes (no flow, pre-set flow, and user control flow). Votes on thermal comfort, thermal sensation, thermal acceptability, and perceived air quality were collected from the them. The results showed that overall thermal sensation votes with DPV running at the user control flow mode were close to neutral (0.1, 0.4, and 0.5, respectively, at 25 °C, 27 °C, and 29 °C). Thermal comfort and perceived air quality were improved at all three temperatures studied in the user control DPV flow mode, with 90% of occupants reporting that the thermal environments were acceptable. An integrated system of this type could raise the acceptable HVAC temperature setpoint to 29 °C, resulting in an average energy savings of 34% over the neutral condition at 25 °C. Hence, occupants are advised to use the DPV’s user-control mode. Lastly, it is concluded that the integrated system could greatly improve thermal comfort, perceived air quality, and save HVAC energy, despite some issues with dry eyes at 29 °C.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912526
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12527: Preventive Risk Management of
           Resource Allocation in Romanian Higher Education by Assessing Relative
           Performance of Study Programs with DEA Method

    • Authors: Gabriela Vica Olariu, Stelian Brad
      First page: 12527
      Abstract: Risk management is a key activity in every organization. The identification and evaluation of all risks in higher education institutions lead to the continuous monitoring of investments in people, high technology, and innovation. This paper evaluates the relative efficiency of study programs in Romanian higher education using the DEA method. This study is based on 38 study programs from a public university in Romania, using a traditional DEA approach: CRS-DEA and VRS-DEA models, with an output orientation for three academic years (2016–2019). To avoid distortions in the efficiency scores, we decided to implement the bootstrap method to correct DEA efficiencies. The results show that only four study programs were efficient during this period under the CRS-DEA approach, and eight study programs were efficient under the VRS-DEA model. According to scale efficiency and the bootstrap method, the results also showed that four study programs were efficient during the period analyzed. Finally, we observed that the inefficiency of study programs is relatively persistent (89%), compared with efficient DMUs (11%). Based on these findings, higher education institutions should consider the possibility of increasing the quality of study programs correlated with the degree of attractiveness of various programs in the current socio-economic environment.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912527
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12528: Energy Communities Implementation in
           the European Union: Case Studies from Pioneer and Laggard Countries

    • Authors: Elena Tarpani, Cristina Piselli, Claudia Fabiani, Ilaria Pigliautile, Eelke J. Kingma, Benedetta Pioppi, Anna Laura Pisello
      First page: 12528
      Abstract: Energy communities are a promising strategy for a global energy transition. European Union (EU) regulatory frameworks are already established and clearly explained, aiming to develop as many projects as possible in the different European countries. Accordingly, it is necessary to present two different types of countries: the laggards and the pioneers, two categories that highlight the discrepancies in policy, bureaucracy, culture, and usage of alternative sources and technologies, such as renewable energy, towards the implementation of energy communities. This work compares two representative case studies to qualitatively understand the differences between laggard and pioneer countries: Italy and the Netherlands, respectively. The regulatory framework and the solid points/shortcomings of each country are explained first. Thereafter, an accurate description of the two selected case study communities and their different peculiarities is provided. Finally, the main similarities and differences are stressed to discuss the lessons to be learned in laggard and pioneer countries. Five pillars for the development and uptake of energy communities are identified related to regulations, economic benefits, technical limitations, sustainability, and social awareness. These outcomes suggest the importance of policy management, and stress the limitations of governance in helping policymakers and experts to support the energy transition.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912528
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12529: Polychlorinated Biphenyls
           Interactions with Water—Characterization Based on the Analysis of
           Non-Covalent Interactions and Energy Partitioning

    • Authors: Kamil Wojtkowiak, Jarosław J. Panek, Aneta Jezierska
      First page: 12529
      Abstract: Although polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been long banned from use, both they and dioxins are still considered persistent organic pollutants. The reason is twofold: their relative inertness (especially to oxidation) and their ability to accumulate in fat tissue. The current study sheds light on the interactions of PCBs with water, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide. Necessary insight is gained from Atoms in Molecules (AIM) and Non-Covalent Interactions (NCI) index and analyses for the 1:1 complexes of PCBs with water and chlorine (Cl2) molecules. Further, Symmetry-Adapted Perturbation Theory (SAPT) calculations reveal the strength and nature of the intermolecular interactions, and the presence of halogen bonding is demonstrated in AIM, NCI, and SAPT studies. The stability of water, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide (ClO2) complexes with PCBs is discussed using the supramolecular MP2 approach. Finally, analysis of microsolvation shells of PCBs showed the origins of the hydrophobicity and environmental persistence of these chemicals. Our results are applicable to the sustainability of water treatment strategies providing a description of forces and interactions at the molecular level.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912529
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12530: A Mini-Review: Biowaste-Derived Fuel
           Pellet by Hydrothermal Carbonization Followed by Pelletizing

    • Authors: Rhea Gallant, Aitazaz A. Farooque, Sophia He, Kang Kang, Yulin Hu
      First page: 12530
      Abstract: This review article focuses on recent studies using hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) for producing hydrochar and its potential application as a solid fuel pellet. Due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the need for carbon-neutral fuel sources has increased. Another environmental concern relates to the massive amount of industrial processing and municipal solid waste, which are often underutilized and end up in landfills to cause further environmental damage. HTC is an appealing approach to valorizing wet biomass into valuable bioproducts (e.g., hydrochar), with improved properties. In this review, the effects of the main HTC reaction parameters, including reaction temperature, residence time, and feedstock to water ratio on the properties and yield of hydrochar are described. Following this, the pelletizing of hydrochar to prepare fuel pellets is discussed by reviewing the influences of applied pressure, processing time, pellet aspect ratio, moisture content of the hydrochar, and the type and dosage of binder on the quality of the resulting fuel pellet. Overall, this review can provide research updates and useful insights regarding the preparation of biowaste-derived solid fuel pellets.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912530
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12531: Hopes for the Future: Capturing the
           Perspectives of Students on Higher Education and Sustainable Development
           in the Post-Pandemic Era

    • Authors: Sarfraz Aslam, Khalida Parveen, Abdulelah A. Alghamdi, Safdar Abbas, Akhter Habib Shah, Kesavan Vadakalur Elumalai
      First page: 12531
      Abstract: The global community has faced significant challenges in the twenty-first century, such as COVID-19, which have led to uncertainty about the survival of current and future generations. Educating the next generation of employers and leaders is the primary goal of educational institutions, particularly in higher education. Education promotes sustainable development (SD) when learners acquire ethics, abilities, and skills that assist them in affecting positive changes in themselves and their communities. Policies, projects, and investments that benefit society today while protecting the environment, human health, and social well-being in the future are considered SD. This study aimed to develop our understanding of how to promote SD in Pakistani higher education institutions (HEIs) by finding out students’ perceptions about their institutions’ commitment to SDGs and SD. The data for this quantitative-descriptive study were gathered through an online survey. The study involved 1109 students from ten Pakistani HEIs. The study results show that SD has become an essential issue in the present era. In students’ perceptions, HEIs should give more training on sustainable development goals. Furthermore, students’ self-declared statements indicated that most have sustainable habits and behaviors. Students of different genders had different sustainability behaviors and habits. Students are less likely to participate in environmental or higher education organizations supporting sustainable development. HEIs and stakeholders in Pakistan and worldwide are still needed to participate actively and engage in improving education for SD.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912531
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12532: Spatiotemporal Response of Ecosystem
           Service Values to Land Use Change in Xiamen, China

    • Authors: Tianhai Zhang, Yaqin Qu, Yang Liu, Guanfeng Yan, Greg Foliente
      First page: 12532
      Abstract: This research aims to identify the key indicators of land-use change that affect ecosystem service in the coastal city of Xiamen. The methods of transfer matrix and land-use dynamic degree are used to analyze land-use change, and the spatial distribution of ecosystem service values (ESV) is mapped from 1989 to 2018 using cluster analysis. During this 30-year period, the built-up land expanded rapidly through occupation of farmland and landfilling of the watershed. The biggest contribution to the reduction of ESV in this stage is the loss of farmland followed by the loss of watershed. By 2018, the spatial distribution of ESV had become very unbalanced and polarized. The high-value areas are mainly distributed in the northern mountainous areas, with the low-value areas concentrated in the flat areas near the coastline, and only a few medium-value areas of ESV remained. Generally, from 1989 to 2018, the ESV in Xiamen decreased by about CNY 200 million in total, with the largest proportion of ESV reduction (CNY 120 million) occurring in the 2000–2010 period. Considering ESV categories, the significant reduction of Regulating Service (53.5–57.8%) was mainly due to the loss of water areas (CNY −70 million) to low ESV areas (built-up land) in urbanization, followed by the loss of farmland (CNY −50 million). This means that Xiamen should strengthen the protection of ecological lands in future urban planning to alleviate and reverse the current ecological imbalance.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912532
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12533: X-Education: Education of All Things
           with AI and Edge Computing—One Case Study for EFL Learning

    • Authors: Wu-Yuin Hwang, Rio Nurtantyana
      First page: 12533
      Abstract: Education usually only focuses on how to educate human beings with pedagogical or technical support. However, with artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing, education can be extended and considered not only to educate human beings but also all things, such as physical or digital things. In this study, all things are given the opportunity to learn more about themselves and build their knowledge through interactions with other things, people, and AI agents. Thus, the X-Education framework is proposed in this study for educating all things, including human beings, physical, digital, and AI agents. One preliminary study for EFL writing was conducted to investigate not only whether all things can speed up their knowledge but also whether EFL learners as humans can also obtain the benefits of using X-Education. Further, the forwarding mechanisms of questioning and answering (Q&A) were designed to speed up interactions among all things. In total, 22 learners were divided into two groups, the experimental group (EG) and the control group (CG), with/without the Q&A forwarding mechanisms, respectively. A mixed-method approach with the two experimental phases was used in this study. The results showed that the knowledge of all things in the EG increased significantly more than the CG. Moreover, the EG received better EFL answers from the on-device AI with the forwarding mechanisms. They also felt that X-Education could help them to learn EFL writing better through Q&A. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that X-Education can accommodate not only humans but also all things to improve their knowledge.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912533
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12534: Prediction and Control of the
           Nitrogen Oxides Emission for Environmental Protection Goal Based on
           Data-Driven Model in the SCR de-NOx System

    • Authors: Liu, Hu, Song, Yang, Xian, Qu, Dong, Yan
      First page: 12534
      Abstract: In order to reduce the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission of flue gas, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system must be installed. In general, the lag of the inlet NOx analyzer, the action of the NH3 injection valve and the feedforward signal are seriously delayed. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the measurement lag of inlet NOx on the NH3 injection flowrate control system. In this paper, the data-driven model of inlet NOx is proposed to improve control system, so as to avoid excessive or insufficient NH3 injection. First, the measurement lag time of inlet NOx is estimated by the blowback signal of a CEMS and the change process of the inlet O2 content. Then, an exponential model is used to predict the inlet NOx in advance, and recursive LSSVM is proposed to revise the output of the exponential model. Finally, the output of the final model is used as the feedforward signal for improved feedforward (IF) control. Based on IF control and PID control, the IF-PID control strategy for NH3 injection is proposed. The results show that the outlet NOx are close to the set value and meet the national environmental regulation. Furthermore, the average value of the NH3 injection flowrate remains unchanged. It shows that a better control effect and environmental sustainability are achieved without increasing the cost of NH3 injection.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912534
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12535: Study on Phosphorus Removal Pathway
           in Constructed Wetlands with Thermally Modified Sepiolite

    • Authors: Pan Gao, Chao Zhang
      First page: 12535
      Abstract: Constructed wetlands, as natural sewage treatment ecosystems, have been widely used in the fields of rural domestic sewage and sewage plant tailwater treatment. However, the synchronous removal of phosphorus in most constructed wetlands is not ideal. This study aimed to prepare thermally modified sepiolites with high phosphorus adsorption capacities and design a constructed wetland based on them. Thermal modification was adopted to enhance the adsorption capacity of sepiolite based on its high specific surface area and ion exchange capacity. The physicochemical properties and adsorption performance of thermally modified sepiolite were studied. The results showed that the specific surface area and adsorption capacity of thermally modified sepiolite were higher than those of natural sepiolite, reaching 19.494 mg·g−1. The concentration of effluent and the removal of constructed wetlands based on thermally modified sepiolite was 0.07 mg·g−1 and 91.05%. An analysis of the phosphorus forms in constructed wetlands proved that the main phosphorus removal pathway is the adsorption of substrate, and the form of phosphorus was mainly Ca/Mg−P and Fe/Al−P.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912535
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12536: Is Self-Efficacy for Exercise
           Predictive of Leisure-Time Physical Activity among Police Officers' A
           Pilot Study

    • Authors: Streetman, Becker, Mailey, Heinrich
      First page: 12536
      Abstract: Leisure-time moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is an essential indicator of overall health. Given the physical nature of police work, it is critical to understand variables that predict officers’ engagement in MVPA. Self-efficacy for exercise (SEE) may be a variable directly related to officer engagement in MVPA. This study aims to examine the relationship between SEE and MVPA among police officers in two departments in a small urban midwestern city. A cross-sectional survey was completed by 32 officers (male = 26, female = 6; aged 35.9 ± 7.1 years). Regression analysis was performed to explore how anthropometric and demographic variables affected SEE’s ability to predict MVPA. When combined with SEE, the model containing age had the highest predictive ability of officers’ engagement in MVPA (p = 0.011; adjusted R2 = 0.2145). Adding other predictor variables reduced the model’s ability to predict MVPA. SEE significantly predicted officers’ engagement in MVPA when age was added as a predictor variable. SEE alone could not predict officers’ engagement in MVPA, but adding other variables besides age to the model did not improve its predictive ability in our study. Police organizations should explore wellness initiatives that increase officers’ SEE and promote MVPA, particularly as officers age.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912536
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12537: Harnessing Residual Biomass as a
           Renewable Energy Source in Colombia: A Potential Gasification Scenario

    • Authors: Claudia Patricia Pérez-Rodríguez, Luis Alberto Ríos, Carmen Sofía Duarte Duarte González, Andres Montaña, Catalina García-Marroquín
      First page: 12537
      Abstract: Currently, developing new or more efficient ways of producing bioenergy has caused governments from around the world to formulate compromises. These compromises translate, on a national scale, into government policies and strategies that aim to decarbonize the energy matrix of each country. The first step for efficient development is the quantification and energy-potential characterization of the available biomass. Using this framework, this study establishes the energy potential of the residual biomass produced by agricultural, agro-industrial, and forestry processes in Colombia, with gasification being the selected transformation technology. For this purpose, data from primary and secondary sources were analyzed. Next, some biomasses were prioritized according to their availability and physicochemical properties. Then, the theoretical energy potential of the total biomass produced in these productive sectors was estimated by using its physicochemical properties. The technical biomass–energy potential of the country (204.8–235.3 PJ) was estimated by considering the current level of unused biomass and evaluating the logistics and conditioning requirements of the gasification process, while accounting for the peaks and off-peaks of production in the country. Thus, if all the biomasses were processed in a gasification plant (22.2–24.0% efficiency), as proposed in this study, then the installed capacity—if the plant-use factor was 85%—would range between 1696.7–2111.3 MW. The results of the present research were validated by representatives of unions, companies, and government entities.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912537
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12538: Simultaneity in Renewable Building
           Energy Supply—A Case Study on a Lecturing and Exhibition Building on
           a University Campus Located in the Cfb Climate Zone

    • Authors: Gunther Gehlert, Marlies Wiegand, Mariya Lymar, Stefan Huusmann
      First page: 12538
      Abstract: A major issue in the renewable energy supply of buildings is to establish a simultaneity of the fluctuating renewable energy generation and the energy consumption in buildings. This work provides a new case for a better understanding of how to establish this simultaneity. Future solutions are being explored in practice on the campus of the FH Westküste University of Applied Sciences in the Lecturing and Exhibition Building (LEB). The motivation was to design and operate a case building for research in energy science for teaching the bachelor’s program Green Building Systems as well as for demonstration purposes for the general public. With a floor space of 207 m, the LEB is supplied with renewable energy from the adjacent energy park consisting of a 10 kW wind turbine and photovoltaic modules with 10 kWp. The heat and cold generation system consists of two reversible heat pumps: one is an air–water heat pump with approx. 7 kW heating and 6 kW cooling power, and the second is a brine–water heat pump with approx. 8 kW heating power and a depth of the two boreholes of 80 m. To match the energy generation and the energy consumption, different kinds of storage units, i.e., batteries with 3 × 8 kWh and storage tanks with 1,000 L heat storage and 600 L cold storage, were installed as well as a smart automation system with a database. This paper evaluates measurement data from 2021. It is demonstrated that a fully renewable energy supply of the building is possible for most of the time from spring to autumn. In winter, an additional long-term energy storage, e.g., hydrogen, is necessary for certain days.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912538
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12539: Is PET an Adequate Index to
           Determine Human Thermal Comfort in Mexico City'

    • Authors: Monica Ballinas, Sara Ivonne Morales-Santiago, Victor L. Barradas, Adriana Lira, Gerardo Oliva-Salinas
      First page: 12539
      Abstract: The urban heat island (UHI) is mostly due to urbanization. This phenomenon in concert with the high temperatures caused by global climate change may profoundly affect human thermal comfort, which can influence human productivity and morbidity especially in spring/summer period. The main objective of this investigation was to determine changes in degree of thermal comfort of Mexico City’s inhabitants and compare it with the physiological equivalent temperature (PET) to evaluate whether PET and its categorization are adequate to be applied in Mexico City. A series of microclimatological measurements to estimate PET were made at four sites including the city’s center. Concomitantly, a series of surveys of thermal perception were applied to 1300 passersby. The results show that PET has increased from 1990 to 2020 from 0.1208 °C/year to 0.1498 °C/year in the study sites, in addition to overestimating the degree of thermal comfort of people according to the stablished categories or classes. It is concluded that it is necessary to adjust thermal stress categories. Knowing the percentages of people without thermal comfort will lead us to determine different ranges in environmental parameters to define an acceptable environment for most people.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912539
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12540: Field and Economic Studies on Mine

    • Authors: Mustapha Amrani, Yassine Taha, Azzouz Kchikach, Mostafa Benzaazoua, Rachid Hakkou
      First page: 12540
      Abstract: The phosphate extraction and processing has followed a traditional linear consumption model, where wastes are continuously produced and surface land is filled in rock piles. Thus, to promote a circular economy in a mining context, more eco-friendly and sustainable solutions at the regional level are needed. This paper deals with the potential utilization of phosphate screening waste rock 0–100 mm (SWR) as alternative aggregates for pavement applications. Detailed in situ and laboratory tests have been made for SWR characterization, and the practical modalities of implementation have been defined. The findings proved that SWR (10–100 mm) materials can be successfully used without treatment in capping layer construction for low-volume traffic pavement projects. Due to its high apatite content, the remaining fraction (0–10 mm) can be exploited to recover the residual phosphate using the processing method that is currently followed by the mining company. Furthermore, the environmental investigations showed that SWR does not present any potential contamination risk to the surrounding environment. The economic feasibility analysis confirmed the workability of SWR reuse in a radius of 100 km around their dumps due to its lower cost compared to conventional aggregates. This simple amendment may ensure a smooth transition from a current linear extractive approach to a circular economy.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912540
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12541: The Evolution of the Construction
           Waste Recycling System and the Willingness to Use Recycled Products in

    • Authors: Yixin Wang, Huiqin Li, Lanlan Xue, Wenjuan Gou
      First page: 12541
      Abstract: This paper establishes a recycling system for construction waste and simulates the operation of its four links using the theory and method of system dynamics. In addition, based on the technology acceptance model and the theory of planned behavior, a research model on the willingness of purchasers to use recycled products of construction waste is established, and the factors influencing willingness to use recycled products are analyzed using structural equations. Results show that the operation trend of the building waste recycling subsystem and information feedback subsystem is relatively poor. Purchasers’ perceived ease of use of recycled products correlates positively with their perceived usefulness, and attitude toward use correlates positively with behavioral intention, which promotes willingness to use. The attitudes toward use, behavioral intention, and intention to use are all negatively correlated with purchasers’ perceived risk of recycled products, with the negative correlation being stronger for behavioral intention and attitude toward use. The results of this study provide a theoretical foundation for promoting the process of recycling construction waste.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912541
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12542: Herding Behavior in the Market for
           Green Cryptocurrencies: Evidence from CSSD and CSAD Approaches

    • Authors: Júlio Lobão
      First page: 12542
      Abstract: Green cryptocurrencies have been recently created to reduce energy consumption and environmental pollution by adopting alternative mining practices. This paper examines for the first time the market of green cryptocurrencies for indication of herding behavior in the period of January 2017–June 2022. By using two measures that capture the proximity of asset returns from the market consensus, we conclude that herding behavior among investors in green cryptocurrencies was absent in the whole sample. However, the results of a subsample analysis and rolling window regression show that herding dynamics varied significantly throughout the sample period. The recent COVID-19 pandemic amplified the observed levels of herding behavior, suggesting that opportunities for diversification for investors operating in this market may have become more limited lately. For this reason, financial regulators should focus on the market of green cryptocurrencies if they want to promote the market’s efficiency necessary to attract additional investors.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912542
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12543: Effects of River Scale on the
           Aesthetic Quality of Urban On-Water Sightseeing

    • Authors: Xin Li, Xiangrong Wang, Jingyi Han, Danzi Wu, Qing Lin, Jiayi Zhou, Shujie Zhao
      First page: 12543
      Abstract: On-water sightseeing plays a key role in the tourism of traditional Chinese landscapes. The on-water landscape affects tourism potential and the quality of urban landscapes. Current research on river landscape is mainly based on remote sensing images or on-land approaches, while studies of on-water perspective landscapes at different river scales is lacking. In this paper, with Guilin city rivers taken as an example, we adopt image semantic segmentation technology to evaluate the visual landscape characteristics under different river scales, and subsequently employ automatic linear modeling to screen important factors affecting aesthetic quality. The results reveal the obvious differences between the on-water landscape characteristics of different scale rivers. The on-water landscape quality of large- and small-scale rivers is mainly affected by seven and four factors, respectively. The Karst landform of Guilin is observed to significantly improve the on-water landscape quality of large-scale rivers. By considering the impact mechanism of landscape composition on the aesthetic quality and the different scale rivers, we propose several aesthetic quality improvement strategies based on low-cost methods, including the planting of vegetation and the micro renewal of artificial constructions. This study contributes to the intelligent evaluation of urban on-water landscape and provides reference for on-water route selection and urban planning.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912543
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12544: Flood Susceptibility in the Lower
           Course of the Coyuca River, Mexico: A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis

    • Authors: José Vladimir Morales-Ruano, Maximino Reyes-Umaña, Francisco Rubén Sandoval-Vázquez, Hilda Janet Arellano-Wences, Justiniano González-González, Columba Rodríguez-Alviso
      First page: 12544
      Abstract: Flooding due to climate change is recurrent and has intensified in the lower course of the Coyuca River. This paper implements a multivariate analysis, including conditioning and triggering factors to develop flood susceptibility mapping in an information-deprived region to help prevent/mitigate flooding. Flood-susceptible areas were identified using the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methodology, specifically, with the hierarchy analysis process (AHP). Four conditioning and one triggering influence factors were analyzed. The influence weights of each variable were determined using Saaty’s methodology (AHP). Thematic maps for each variable were created and multiplied by their influence value using the raster calculator and added to their variable group to obtain the flood susceptibility map. The findings showed that the susceptibility to flooding was very high in 41.82%, high in 35.95%, medium in 21.25% and low in 0.98% of the study areas. It was revealed that 44.44% of the localities occupy areas of very high susceptibility to flooding. Susceptibility increases in the localities closest to the river.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912544
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12545: Plant Carbon Sources for
           Denitrification Enhancement and Its Mechanism in Constructed Wetlands: A

    • Authors: Yanjie Zhang, Weiyang Dong, Guokai Yan, Haiyan Wang, Huan Wang, Yang Chang, Shan Yu, Zhaosheng Chu, Yu Ling, Congyu Li
      First page: 12545
      Abstract: Nitrogen pollution in water bodies is a serious environmental problem worldwide. Plant carbonsource (PCS) enhanced denitrification in constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater with low chemical oxygen demand to total nitrogen (COD/N) has been one of the most exciting research topics. This paper summarized the related studies with VOSviewer software and found that the major interests were denitrification performance and mechanism in CWs. This article mainly focused on the PCSs’ characteristics, denitrification rate, the influences of key environmental and operational parameters, surface morphology variation, microbial community structure, and denitrification genes. Engineering prospects and existing problems were also introduced. PCSs’ degradation consumes DO and creates favorable conditions for denitrification. The COD/N of wastewater should be maintained at 4–5 by adding PCSs, thus improving denitrification performance and reducing nitrous oxide emission. Aerobic degradation, anaerobic fermentation, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, and sulfate reduction processes may consume the carbon released by PCSs depending on the influent quality and environmental conditions. More attention should be paid to the reduction of greenhouse gases and emerging pollutants in CWs with PCSs.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912545
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12546: OUV Analysis and Global Comparative
           Study of Karakoram-Pamir World Natural Heritage Potential Area

    • Authors: Ruiyao Xu, Zhaoping Yang, Xiaoliang Xu
      First page: 12546
      Abstract: The analysis and global comparison of World Natural Heritage values are important for the assessment of World Natural Heritage and are relevant for the sustainable development of the nominated potential areas. Pamir Plateau, known as the “Spring Ridge”, with the world’s largest mountain junction—Pamir mountain junction—is known as the ancestor of mountains and the source of rivers. The nominated Karakorum-Pamir site was inscribed on the World Heritage Tentative List in 2010. In this paper, the characteristics of heritage resources in two areas of the Karakoram-Pamir heritage potential area are systematically analyzed according to the standard of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of world heritage by comprehensive analysis and geographical comparison. It puts forward that the aesthetics, geology, and biological ecology of this region are of global outstanding universal value. It is concluded that the Karakoram-Pamir Heritage Potential area meets the criteria of world natural Heritage (VII), (VIII), and (X). By comparing with 15 large mountain heritages listed in the World Heritage list, it is concluded that the Karakoram-Pamir area in Xinjiang has an OUV of world heritage and a potential of declaring world natural heritage. This study lays a scientific foundation for the declaration of Xinjiang Karakoram-Pamir as a World Heritage site.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912546
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12547: Application of Sensory Marketing
           Techniques at Marengo, a Small Sustainable Men’s Fashion Store in
           Spain: Based on the Hulten, Broweus and van Dijk Model

    • Authors: Gloria Jiménez-Marín, María del Mar Ramírez Alvarado, Cristina González-Oñate
      First page: 12547
      Abstract: (1) Background: the present research addresses sensory marketing to check its possible potential in making the consumer shopping experience in physical points of sale more sustainable and efficient, both for potential buyers and for the selling company. (2) Aims: the main purpose of this study is to check whether, by applying sensory marketing and merchandising techniques in a shop, the business can be more economically profitable and, thus, make it more sustainable. The main objective is, therefore, to find out how consumers respond to different communication strategies in an experimental men’s fashion shop located in a Spanish municipality. (3) Methodology: researchers adapted the so-called Sensory Marketing Model to a real case. Based on scientific evidence and documentary review, an experiment of implementation of sensory marketing tactics (visual, sound, olfactory and haptic) and its subsequent quantitative analysis based on the before-after, cause-effect relationship was carried out. (4) Results: the results obtained shed light on the importance of sensory marketing, as this study showed a considerable increase in sales, customer retention and customer satisfaction in the shop, following the deployment of appropriate sensory marketing strategies. (5) Conclusions: the Sensory Marketing Model is valid and reliable for implementation, not only to increase sales, but also to make the store more sustainable, as all actions carried out involved a decrease in material resources typical of retail shops.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912547
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12548: Selection of Renewables for Economic
           Regions with Diverse Conditions: The Case of Azerbaijan

    • Authors: Mahammad Nuriyev, Jeyhun Mammadov, Aziz Nuriyev, Joshgun Mammadov
      First page: 12548
      Abstract: The objective of this paper is to study the specifics of the selection of renewables for regions of Azerbaijan with diverse conditions. Information is obtained through the analysis of the regions’ conditions and experts’ opinions. Analysis reveals that geographical position, diversity of natural resources, and a variety of other factors of the five economic regions of the country require subdivision of these regions in the selection of renewables. Given that the selection of renewables is a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) task under a high degree of uncertainty, Z-number-based models have been developed, and Z-extension of the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method has been used. Solutions have been derived based on direct calculations with Z-numbers. In this paper, results obtained for two regions are presented. In the case of one region, for the first part (mountains and foothill) of the Karabakh economic region, renewables are ranked as hydro, solar, and wind. For the second part (plain), the ranking is as follows: solar, hydro, and wind. For the Guba-Khachmaz economic region, the rankings of renewables for parts of the region are also different: the wind is preferable for the seaside, and solar is more appropriate for the foothills. Results show that in the case of uneven distribution of renewables and significant differences in factors influencing decision-making, it is necessary to subdivide economic regions and use different models for the selection of renewables.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912548
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12549: Does Land Certification Mitigate the
           Negative Impact of Weather Shocks' Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

    • Authors: Haddis Solomon, Yoko Kijima
      First page: 12549
      Abstract: This study examines the effects of weather shocks on household consumption and how the land registration and certification program facilitate coping strategies to mitigate the negative income shocks. Using the difference-in-differences (DID) approach and household panel data from Ethiopia, we find that weather shocks negatively affected household consumption expenditure. As expected, households are not able to protect themselves from weather shocks. However, the land certification program facilitated coping strategies (obtaining credit and receiving gifts and assistance from informal sources) to mitigate the negative effect on food consumption against weather shocks. This effect is only found among smaller landowners. Therefore, the program is pro-poor and beneficial for improving the welfare of poorer households and protecting vulnerable households from entering into poverty traps.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912549
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12550: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on
           International Tourism Income in Tourism Receiving Countries

    • Authors: Bartosz Korinth
      First page: 12550
      Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international tourism income in tourism reception countries, in which the greatest tourist traffic in the world is observed. The analysis was performed on the basis of data obtained from the UNWTO, which was used to create a single-feature classification of subregions (using Hellwig’s method) and to create a single-feature classification (using a method based on positional measures) of the most important reception countries, i.e., generating the highest tourist traffic. Based on the research, it was found that the critical range of Hellwig occurred between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, North America, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, and between the Caribbean and South Asia. The largest percentage drops in revenues from international tourism in 2020 in comparison to 2019 occurred in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Greece and Spain. These countries recorded values above the upper quartile, which was −76.23%.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912550
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12551: Immersive Disaster Training Schema
           based on Team Role-Playing

    • Authors: Yanan Xu, Yunhai Dai
      First page: 12551
      Abstract: The prevalence of inevitable natural and social disasters is increasing at an alarming rate. With the proliferation of media and Internet technologies, there is a growing awareness of the importance of disaster training. The paper aims to combine the techniques of immersive Virtual Reality (VR) and team-based role-playing to demonstrate a comprehensive disaster training schema to help participants practice safety skills and learn proper decision-making skills in the face of disasters. A VR dome and cylinder combined multidisplay system iwDome was used to immerse participants and provide a view of the overall training; the role of each team was presented through the appropriate Head Mounted Display (HMD) and connected desktop. Rather than just being passive spectators or game players, the participants received puzzles in the virtual scenario that required intra-team and inter-team collaboration to be solved. The scenarios applicable to the system were not restricted to a specific type of disaster, but could be customized, revealing significant application prospects. To test the motivation for improvement, a quality assessment and user experience survey were conducted. The results indicate that participants were more engaged through cooperation in the virtual training environment and could achieve greater learning gains. The correlation of age to user studies was also confirmed. The enhanced enthusiasm of participants for what is relatively standard disaster management demonstrates the promise of using team role-playing-based VR training for vital, but otherwise tedious disaster safety training.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912551
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12552: Linking Corporate Social
           Responsibility, Consumer Identification and Purchasing Intention

    • Authors: Qingyu Zhang, Sohail Ahmad
      First page: 12552
      Abstract: Apart from the broad oversight of a company’s supply chain practices, more businesses are recognizing the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its influence on societal well-being. In addition to their financial success, ratings are being developed to analyze how well most corporations perform regarding their CSR operations. This grade can then be used to determine the market success of each firm. This study’s objective was to examine the mechanisms of how customers intend to pay premium prices for companies’ CSR activities, i.e., how CSR affects consumer–company identification and purchasing intention. We employed a questionnaire-based study to evaluate our research model generated from the literature. Using PLS-SEM, a quantitative analysis based on responses from major businesses in Pakistan was conducted. The results indicate that CSR is significantly correlated with brand image, consumer–company identification and identity attractiveness, and further leads to higher consumer satisfaction and purchasing intention. This paper contributes to the literature by confirming that consumers in Pakistan intend to buy CSR-conscious products and are willing to sponsor companies’ CSR activities. It implies that investing in CSR may improve a company’s financial performance and competitive advantage. On the other hand, the stability of this association calls for additional testing and empirical investigation.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912552
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12553: Confront or Comply' Managing
           Social Risks in China’s Urban Renewal Projects

    • Authors: Yetong Mai, Junzhu Wu, Qianying Zhang, Qiqi Liang, Yingying Ma, Zhuojun Liu
      First page: 12553
      Abstract: Social sustainability is a major concern of planners and local officials when urban renewal projects are being conducted. Extreme individualism can potentially cause conflicts of interest, making urban renewal in Western cities fraught with various types of social risks. As a country with a deep-rooted socialist tradition, urban renewal projects in China are influenced by collectivist culture and show different features from those of the West. The objective of this research is to investigate how different stakeholders in urban redevelopment projects, including local residents, social organizations, the local state, and developers, interact with each other and how the associated social risks are hedged against. Using a recent well-known project in the city of Guangzhou, the authors attempt to present the latest progress in social risk management in China. With support from a government-sponsored project, the authors have conducted a questionnaire-based survey with a year-long fieldwork follow-up. Using ATLAS.ti software, we found that that “residents’ demand”, “status of collaboration”, and “degree of trust” are the keys to risk management. The results of an ordered probit model show that residents are worried about overall planning, the relocation timetable, and whether their personal needs are taken into account. It is also indicated that the timely disclosure of project information, high-quality public participation, and a reasonable compensation plan can possibly boost the support rate. The authors suggest that utilizing China’s collectivist culture could be an effective way to mitigate social risks, and residents’ personal interests should also be respected.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912553
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12554: Panel Evidence from EU Countries on
           CO2 Emission Indicators during the Fourth Industrial Revolution

    • Authors: Heri Bezić, Davor Mance, Davorin Balaž
      First page: 12554
      Abstract: Research question and the most important issue in this paper relates to the determination of CO2 emission drivers in EU and the possibility of its reduction in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. EU strategies and economic policies are directed toward sustainable development, with special emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions towards carbon neutrality. The method used in this research is the Panel Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) two-step dynamic estimator on 27 EU countries in the period 2012–2019. The research resulted with the following findings: innovation activity, industrial structure and development, human capital, and institutional framework; these are all statistically associated with CO2 emission levels in a negative manner, thus, contribute significantly to the reduction in CO2 emissions. Following the empirical results, it may be concluded that reaching sustainable development goals requires the EU to enhance innovation activity, technological development, reshape its industrial structure, create high-quality human capital, and increase the quality of its public institutions.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912554
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12555: Exploring the Role of Communication
           Technologies, Governance, and Renewable Energy for Ecological Footprints
           in G11 Countries: Implications for Sustainable Development

    • Authors: Usman Mehmood, Ephraim Bonah Agyekum, Hossam Kotb, Ahmad H. Milyani, Ahmed Azhari, Salman Tariq, Zia ul Haq, Arif Ullah, Kashif Raza, Vladimir Ivanovich Velkin
      First page: 12555
      Abstract: Today, the world is confronted with the issue of environmental pollution as a result of our dependence on fossil fuels for our energy needs. Developed and developing countries are therefore adopting different strategies to curb environmental problems. This work is thus designed to probe the effect of renewable energy (RE), information and communication technologies (ICT), government stability, and GDP on ecological footprints (EF) in G11 nations. We utilized the annual data from 1990–2020 and applied robust methodologies to present the findings. The CS-ARDL method shows that renewable energy, ICT, and government stability are essential factors in lowering environmental pollution in G11 countries. Therefore, in light of the findings, this work suggests an increase in the use of RE sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower in the total energy mix of the various countries. RE usage improves air quality and saves the natural environment from further destruction. The countries also need to enhance their communication technologies in the economic sector. Moreover, policymakers must also introduce the required policies that would promote the use of RE in various countries. This will make people adopt clean energy sources at the domestic and commercial levels.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912555
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12556: Effects of the Silica Dust on the
           Nasal Mucosa of Ceramic Workers

    • Authors: Elona Begvarfaj, Emilio Greco, Arturo Armone Armone Caruso, Simonetta Masieri, Andrea Ciofalo, Carmelita Velardita, Carlo Cavaliere
      First page: 12556
      Abstract: Background. Adverse health effects due to occupational exposures are a global public health concern and have been studied for many years. Ceramic workers are occupationally exposed to a wide range of toxic substances as they manage clay (silico-aluminous feldspar mixed with sodium, potassium salts and iron oxide). The objective of this study was to assess the presence of any inflammation or alteration of the nasal mucosa of ceramic workers by nasal cytology. Materials and methods. Twenty-eight ceramic workers from Caltagirone (Italy) were enrolled. Nasal symptoms, atopy, health habits and workplace features were assessed by a special questionnaire, and nasal mucosa health was evaluated by nasal cytology. Results. The cytological study of the nasal mucosa revealed the constant presence of abundant, thick and filamentous mucus, as well as a reorganization of the nasal cellularity with a prevalence of muciparous hyperplasia and metaplasia in the study group, and only in a lesser extent for the subjects with some protective environmental measures. Conclusions. The ceramic workers showed chronic inflammatory rhinitis on nasal cytology, with a remodelling of the nasal mucosa and thick mucus. Nasal cytology may be a helpful tool either for the health surveillance of the ceramic workers, or for the screening of any pathology of the upper airways.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912556
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12557: Analyzing Determinants of Job
           Satisfaction Based on Two-Factor Theory

    • Authors: Byunghyun Lee, Changjae Lee, Ilyoung Choi, Jaekyeong Kim
      First page: 12557
      Abstract: For one company to have a competitive advantage and sustainability over others, its human resource management is of the utmost importance to secure competent employees. As job satisfaction plays a critical role in securing excellent manpower and enhancing corporate performance, it is essential to identify factors that would affect employees’ job satisfaction. Recently, writing reviews with integrity on job portal sites by former and current employees has become prevalent as such websites have guaranteed the reviewers’ anonymity. For this reason, we collected a vast amount of review data over nine industries, such as IT web communication, from one of the representative job portal sites in South Korea, Job Planet, and investigated factors that affect one’s job satisfaction based on the two-factor theory. As a result, it was found that (1) both motivation and hygiene factors had a substantial effect on job satisfaction over all industries; (2) the moderating effect between former and current employees was different for each industry; and (3) there was no moderating effect on job satisfaction between motivation and hygiene factors.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912557
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12558: An Improved Overmodulation Strategy
           for a Three-Level NPC Inverter Considering Neutral-Point Voltage Balance
           and Common-Mode Voltage Suppression

    • Authors: Zhixun Ma, Haichuan Niu, Xiang Wu, Xu Zhang, Guobin Lin
      First page: 12558
      Abstract: The three-level neutral-point clamped voltage source inverter (3L-NPC-VSI) is widely used in the maglev traction systems due to its high output voltage, large output capacity and low output current harmonics. In order to improve the utilization of the DC-bus voltage, an overmodulation strategy is necessary. This paper proposes an improved overmodulation strategy based on the minimum amplitude error method for a 3L-NPC-VSI. Compared with the conventional overmodulation strategy based on the minimum amplitude error method, the utilization of the DC-bus voltage is higher. Meanwhile, a virtual space vector modulation strategy is adopted for inverter neutral-point (NP) voltage balance and common-mode voltage (CMV) suppression. Furthermore, the suppression of leakage current also has been verified. Furthermore, the implementation details of the proposed overmodulation strategy based on minimum amplitude error method is elaborated. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by simulation and experimental results.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912558
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12559: Family-Size Effect on
           Intergenerational Income Mobility under China’s Family Planning
           Policy: Testing the Quantity–Quality Trade-Off

    • Authors: Xinxin Mu, Shenghu Chen
      First page: 12559
      Abstract: The causal link between family size and human capital investment in children is critical for family planning policy. However, empirical studies aiming to test the quantity–quality trade-off are far from sufficient. This paper tried to estimate the family-size effect on intergenerational income mobility using China Family Panel Survey (CFPS) data. The empirical model of intergenerational income mobility with respective to family size was formulated, and the fertility rates allowed by family planning policy were used as an instrument variable for family size. It was found that intergenerational income elasticity tended to decrease with an increase in family size. The impact of family size on intergenerational income elasticity was sensitive to the income rank positions, and nonlinearity in intergenerational transmission of income under unequal family was observed. A quantity–quality trade-off analysis was applied to further test the family-size effect. Pronounced family-size effects were observed in low-income regions with tight budget constraints and in regions with less-developed credit markets, followed by an obvious quantity–quality trade-off. The sex difference in intergenerational transmission of income may be attributed to the existence of the “preference to sons over daughters” phenomenon. The present work provides a theoretical basis for shaping family planning policies toward sustainability.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912559
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12560: Analysis on the Effect of the
           Targeted Poverty Alleviation Policy on Narrowing the Urban-Rural Income
           Gap: An Empirical Test Based on 124 Counties in Yunnan Province

    • Authors: Renyi Yang, Changbiao Zhong, Zisheng Yang, Qiuju Wu
      First page: 12560
      Abstract: China’s targeted poverty-alleviation policy has eliminated absolute poverty and become the focus of world attention. However, a relative-poverty problem still exists in China, and the large urban–rural income gap is an important issue. Whether the implementation of the targeted poverty-alleviation policy has narrowed the urban–rural income gap, along with its specific effects, requires an accurate analysis, which is particularly critical in order for China to implement a rural-revitalization strategy and further eliminate relative poverty in the future. Given the problems and shortcomings of the existing studies, such as not passing the parallel trend test to overestimate the policy effect, in this study we refer to the previous results, and our analyses divide the 124 counties in Yunnan province into four categories: non-poverty counties and counties with grade-I, grade-II, and grade-III poverty. We selected the panel data of the urban–rural income ratio of each county along with eight influencing factors from 2011 to 2020 for difference-in-difference model (DID) analysis. In this study, we compare the four types of counties level-by-level, and we construct a full-sample spatial DID model. The estimated results, after excluding the impact of COVID-2019, are significant. In addition, we perform robustness and placebo tests and other work on the DID model. All of the results show that the implementation of the targeted poverty-alleviation policy has effectively reduced the urban–rural income ratio in areas experiencing poverty. Finally, we use the intermediary effect analysis method to explore the reasons for the findings: driven by the targeted poverty-alleviation policy, the financial investment in poor areas has substantially increased, further increasing the income level of rural residents in poor areas and thus promoting a notable reduction in the income gap between urban and rural residents in poor areas. We suggest that, although China has achieved comprehensive success in targeted poverty-alleviation, assistance investment still needs to be increased, policies must be adjusted, and income growth must be accelerated to achieve industrial prosperity.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912560
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12561: Evolutionary Game Analysis on
           Innovation Behavior of Digital Financial Enterprises under the Dynamic
           Reward and Punishment Mechanism of Government

    • Authors: Hao Fu, Yue Liu, Pengfei Cheng, Sijie Cheng
      First page: 12561
      Abstract: Digital financial innovation is a new impetus for economic and social development. However, lack of regulation will also have a huge impact on economic and social development. In this paper, an evolutionary game model of digital finance innovation is constructed, the evolutionary strategies of both sides of the game are discussed, and a simulation analysis is carried out, based on the dynamic reward and punishment mechanism of the government. The results show that the system can achieve evolutionary stability under the dynamic reward and punishment mechanism, and that the evolutionarily stable strategy is unique. We also find that when the punishment of regulators increases, the probability of compliance innovation of digital financial enterprises will increase, and the probability of active supervision of regulatory agencies will decrease. When regulators increase incentives, the probability of the compliance innovation of digital financial enterprises will decrease. Similarly, the probability of active supervision by regulators will also decrease and the decrease will be more obvious. To achieve the win-win development of digital financial innovation and regulation, it is necessary to continuously improve the regulatory capacity and level, reduce regulatory costs, and build a dynamic reward and punishment mechanism. Our research contributes to enhancing compliance innovation in digital financial enterprises.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912561
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12562: Modeling of the Master Production
           Schedule for the Digital Transition of Manufacturing SMEs in the Context
           of Industry 4.0

    • Authors: Estefania Tobon-Valencia, Samir Lamouri, Robert Pellerin, Alexandre Moeuf
      First page: 12562
      Abstract: The purpose of this article is to propose a guide for the digital transformation (4.0) of a manufacturing SME’s medium-term production planning process, the master production schedule (MPS). A model of the current MPS process of a group of SMEs is presented as a starting point toward digitization. The current state of this process reveals a lack of tools to support decision making and the need to increase the reliability of input data and to make the process more agile. Industry 4.0 technologies and process modeling could increase agility in the planning process. However, the digital transformation of medium-term planning activities in SMEs has not been studied. To fill this gap, a group of six experts was consulted. The novelty of this study was to identify the Industry 4.0 technologies that could improve medium-term planning and integrate them into a standardized MPS process model. This model is an ultimate point of digitization that cannot be achieved immediately by any SME, but only after several cycles of planning, deployment, and improvement. Therefore, this research also provides a method to help SMEs determine how to start the digitization of their MPS process.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912562
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12563: Prior Knowledge-Based Deep
           Convolutional Neural Networks for Fine Classification of Land Covers in
           Surface Mining Landscapes

    • Authors: Mingjie Qian, Yifan Li, Yunbo Zhao, Xuting Yu
      First page: 12563
      Abstract: Land cover classification is critical for urban sustainability applications. Although deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) have been widely utilized, they have rarely been used for land cover classification of complex landscapes. This study proposed the prior knowledge-based pretrained DCNNs (i.e., VGG and Xception) for fine land cover classifications of complex surface mining landscapes. ZiYuan-3 data collected over an area of Wuhan City, China, in 2012 and 2020 were used. The ZiYuan-3 imagery consisted of multispectral imagery with four bands and digital terrain model data. Based on prior knowledge, the inputs of true and false color images were initially used. Then, a combination of the first and second principal components of the four bands and the digital terrain model data (PD) was examined. In addition, the combination of red and near-infrared bands and digital terrain model data (43D) was evaluated (i.e., VGG-43D and Xcep-43D). The results indicate that: (1) the input of 43D performed better than the others; (2) VGG-43D achieved the best overall accuracy values; (3) although the use of PD did not produce the best models, it also provides a strategy for integrating DCNNs and multi-band and multimodal data. These findings are valuable for future applications of DCNNs to determine fine land cover classifications in complex landscapes.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912563
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12564: Red to Blue Light Ratio and Iron
           Nutrition Influence Growth, Metabolic Response, and Mineral Nutrients of
           Spinach Grown Indoors

    • Authors: Viktorija Vaštakaitė-Kairienė, Aušra Brazaitytė, Jurga Miliauskienė, Erik S. Runkle
      First page: 12564
      Abstract: Leafy greens are increasingly being produced indoors with electric lighting from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Red (R) and blue (B) LEDs are commonly used to ensure healthy plant growth, but biofortification techniques can potentially maximise nutritional quality. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of B (peak = 450 nm) and R (peak = 665 nm) light ratios (R:B) of 9:1, 3:1, and 1:3 on growth, metabolic response, and the accumulation of mineral nutrients in spinach ‘Corvair F1′ and ‘Space F1′ grown in hydroponic solutions with different iron (Fe) concentrations (2, 5, and 15 mg L–1). Plant biomass and leaf length, width, and number generally decreased as the R:B decreased, leading to a high concentration of Fe in the solution. A higher Fe dose increased the contents of some other minerals but depended on the R:B and cultivar. For example, Zn generally increased with increasing Fe but Cu content decreased, especially in ‘Space F1′. There were less-profound effects of the R:B and Fe dose on metabolites or antioxidant capacity. The research findings suggest that the overall nutritional quality of spinach could improve with lighting and Fe biofortification strategies and thus increase the sustainability of indoor crop production.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912564
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12565: Accounting for Environmental
           Awareness on Green Purchase Intention and Behaviour: Evidence from the

    • Authors: Indra Abeysekera, Leah Manalang, Raul David, Bethel Grace Guiao
      First page: 12565
      Abstract: This study examines the green purchase awareness of Philippine youth consumers and its influence on green purchase intention and, ultimately, their green purchase behaviour. The study used the theory of planned behaviour as a conceptual framework. The research used an online five-point Likert scale questionnaire and gathered data from accounting and business students in the Philippines; data were collected from 923 usable respondents and then validated and analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The findings suggest that respondents’ awareness of environmental degradation’s consequences influences green purchase intention and positively mediates green purchase behaviour. The attitudes, norms, and respondents’ perceived behavioural control represent the environmental awareness beliefs; they positively and significantly contributed to green purchase intention, which contributed to green purchase behaviour. The study is original in that it examines the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour in the context of the Philippines, which has legislative backing for environmental awareness among the citizens. It also investigates the extent to which subjective norms can influence personal behavioural control and mediate towards green purchase intention. The findings contribute to the Philippine setting; however, it is extensible with further research on emerging nations that share societal cultures. The data obtained sufficiently explain the phenomenon using the theory of planned behaviour; combining it with Hofstede’s model of societal culture can increase explanatory power for societal-based studies on purchase intention and behaviour. In a high-power distance and collective societal-cultural setting, findings support the argument that environmental awareness contributes to green purchase intention and buyer behaviour. The proactive stance of making the population aware of the environmental effects is noticeable. However, they provide a low-level explanation of their intention to purchase green products and a medium-level explanation of translating purchase intention to purchase behaviour. Hence, we recommend the government review their approach to making people environmentally aware, which measurably translates into green purchasing intention and purchasing behaviour.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912565
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12566: Low-Carbon Product Family Planning
           for Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS): Bilevel Optimization with Linear
           Physical Programming

    • Authors: Xiaojie Liu, Xuejian Gong, Roger J. Jiao
      First page: 12566
      Abstract: The conversion of manufacturing functional areas towards services implies a paradigm of Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS). It transforms the product fulfillment process to a distributed one via a service-oriented manufacturing platform. Successful MaaS operational planning must be coordinated with low-carbon product family planning (PFP) at the front end of product design and development. These changes challenge the traditional PFP design, considering its manufacturer loading balancing (MLB) problem, which is limited to integrated product fulfillment. This paper proposes a leader–follower interactive decision-making mechanism for distributed collaborative product fulfillment of low-carbon PFP and MLB based on a Stackelberg game. A bilevel optimization model with linear physical programming was developed and solved, comprising an upper-level PFP optimization problem and a lower-level MLB optimization problem. The upper-level PFP aims to determine the optimal configuration of each product variant with the objective of maximizing the market share and the total profit in the product family. The lower-level MLB seeks for the optimal partition of manufacturing processes among manufacturers in order to minimize the low-carbon operation cost of product variants and balance the loads among manufacturers. A case study of WS custom kitchen product family design for MaaS is reported to demonstrate the feasibility and potential of the proposed bilevel interactive optimization approach.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912566
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12567: Assessment of Drinking Water Quality
           and Associated Socio-Economic Impacts in Arid Mountainous Regions

    • Authors: Muhammad Asif Saeed, Ghulam Murtaza, Shafaqat Ali, Humera Aziz, Mohammed F. Albeshr, Shahid Mahboob, Irfan Manzoor, Zia Ur Rahman Farooqi, Muhammad Sabir, Hamaad Raza Ahmad, Ayesha Abdul Qadir, Muhammad Sajjad ur Rehman
      First page: 12567
      Abstract: We investigated the quality of drinking water and its possible effects on human health in the Dera Ghazi Khan (D. G. Khan) district of Pakistan. Samples were collected from three tehsils of the D. G. Khan district, namely D. G. Khan, Kot Chutta, and Taunsa. A total of 50 samples (n = 50) were collected from the study area using standard procedures. The pH of the water samples ranged from 6.52–8.75, EC 0.31–9.78 dS m−1, and TDS 105–985 mg L−1. The bacterial analysis showed that 9 out of 50 samples (18%) contained pathogenic E. coli bacterial. The results showed that the pH and EC values of some sampling sites exceeded the WHO guidelines for drinking water. It was observed that the pH of only 1 sample, and the EC of 18 samples in D. G. Khan—5 in Kot Chutta and 16 in Tehsil Taunsa—exceeded the WHO guidelines. In terms of E. coli presence and related diseases (hepatitis A, B, and C), we collected data, which were screened and belonged to the sampling sites, from 1378 patients receiving treatment related to hepatitis A, B, and C. It was revealed that 530 patients belonged to the D. G. Khan site, followed by Taunsa (460), and Kot Chutta (388). Based on the results, it was concluded that the quality of drinking water samples generally was good, except for 6% of the samples, assessed using (SAR) and Kelly’s ratio (KR), and 9 sites were positive for E. coli.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912567
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12568: What Are Foresters Taught' An
           Analysis of Undergraduate Level Forestry Curricula in Türkiye

    • Authors: İdris Durusoy, Yıldız Bahçeci Öztürk
      First page: 12568
      Abstract: As the forestry profession evolved from extractive management to sustainable forest management, forestry education and curricula had to reflect these changes. While forestry education and curriculum have been extensively analyzed for different countries, no such analysis exists for Turkish forestry. This study analyzes the curriculum and course contents of all undergraduate-level forest engineering programs across Türkiye. The study employed content analysis to explore disparities among the schools. The courses are classified into disciplinary fields depending on their contents. Verbs used in learning outcomes were analyzed using Bloom’s taxonomy. Mandatory and elective requirements of forestry programs are quite similar, indicating little disparity among schools in different regions. Course categorization reveals that forestry education emphasizes biophysical and technical sciences. Learning outcomes focused heavily on the low-level thinking dimensions of Bloom. We conclude that the Turkish forestry curriculum needs a reformative change to equip students with skill sets to practice sustainable forest management.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912568
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12569: Scale-Location Dependence
           Relationship between Soil Organic Matter and Environmental Factors by
           Anisotropy Analysis and Multiple Wavelet Coherence

    • Authors: Yuxuan Gou, Dong Liu, Xiangjun Liu, Zhiqing Zhuo, Chongyang Shen, Yunjia Liu, Meng Cao, Yuangfang Huang
      First page: 12569
      Abstract: Soil organic matter (SOM) and environmental factors have been shown to have a scale-location dependence relationship. However, few studies have considered the anisotropy, and the scale-location dependence relationship may not be fully characterized. In this study, transects with dominant directions of SOM variability in the dryland farming regions of Songliao Plain, China were extracted by anisotropy analysis. The scale-location specific multivariate relationships between SOM and environmental factors along the two transects were examined using multiple wavelet coherence. Results indicated that the scale and location-specific variations in SOM and environmental factors were direction-specific. The major direction with the most significant SOM variations was 56° east by north, while the minor direction was perpendicular to the major direction. The strongest single factor for explaining SOM variations differed between two dominant directions, sand along the major direction (average wavelet coherence (AWC) = 0.57, percentage area of significant coherence (PASC) = 40.32% at all scales) and bulk density (BD) along the minor direction (AWC = 0.66, PASC = 50.16% at all scales). The combination of mean annual temperature (MAT) and BD was the best to explain SOM variations along the major direction (AWC = 0.78, PASC = 46.23% at all scales). A two-factor combination is adequate to explain SOM variability along the major direction, whereas a single factor is sufficient for the explanation along the minor direction. More factors did not evidently increase or even decrease the percentage of scale-location domains where SOM variations were significantly explained. This work has important implications for developing future sampling strategies and preparing detailed digital soil maps.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912569
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12570: Integrative Review of Absorptive
           Capacity’s Role in Fostering Organizational Resilience and Research

    • Authors: Nay Chi Khin Khin Oo, Sirisuhk Rakthin
      First page: 12570
      Abstract: Organizational resilience (OR) has been studied as an important construct for maintaining an organization’s sustainability in today’s dynamic business world. However, the exact way to systematically achieve OR in real organizational settings is still unknown. In this paper, the scholars elucidate how OR can be fostered by developing knowledge absorptive capacity based on the knowledge-based view and dynamic capability theory. The paper highlights the significance of knowledge resources for a firm’s survival nowadays and provides conceptual clarity of how a firm’s ACAP could reinforce fostering OR. Thereby, this review fills the knowledge gaps of previous studies. Based on the review corpus, scholars also address other prominent antecedents for nurturing OR, such as leadership styles, dynamic capabilities, organizational learning, unlearning, networks, and social capital. Lastly, a conceptual model was developed for future organizational studies. In addition to the aforementioned contributions, the study’s novelty also lies in the review method, which is systematically conducted in an integrated manner by combining a bibliometric analysis and a scoping review. Furthermore, the study analyzes a more expansive database that includes 823 documents and covers documents published more recently, from 1992 to 2021.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912570
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12571: Two-Way Risk Spillover of Financial
           and Real Sectors in the Presence of Major Public Emergencies

    • Authors: Yong Li, Ziyi Zhang, Tong Niu
      First page: 12571
      Abstract: In order to study the two-way risk spillovers between financial and real industries under major public emergencies in the Chinese market from 2007 to 2020, the sample period of major emergencies was determined based on the value at risk (VaR) time series, and it was found that the impact of major emergencies would lead to the rise of systemic risks in the financial industry. Secondly, the real sectors are taken as the main research object to measure the value of systemic risk spillover by using DCC-GARCH, and it shows that the industry with significantly systemic vulnerability from the overall financial risk spillover is the real estate industry, material industry, and energy industry. The results of subdividing financial sectors show that the banking sector has the most significant contribution to financial risk spillover in the real sectors. At the same time, identify the systemically important industries with high spillover risk to the financial industry, namely, utilities, consumer discretionary and industrials. Among the financial sub-industries, the risk spillover to the securities industry from the real sectors is the most significant. Finally, it was found that the system vulnerability and importance characteristics of the real entity industry depend on the nature of events and have certain rules.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912571
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12572: RedNavi: Building a 3D Scene of the
           Current Sea from AIS Data

    • Authors: Hongze Liu, Nobukazu Wakabayashi
      First page: 12572
      Abstract: The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a kind of navigation equipment that exchanges a wealth of essential information among vessels and between ships to shore through Very High Frequency. Currently, identification and other navigational information can be obtained in real time with AIS data integrated into other shipborne systems, such as the Electronic Chart Display and Information System and radar. However, at present, AIS information is represented in a two-dimensional (2D) way, which is not the same as the three-dimensional (3D) world people perceive visually. In this paper, we introduce RedNavi, a sustainable computer 3D scene building system that visualizes the current sea, specifically the environment and traffic conditions around the ownship, using received AIS data. RedNavi has a wide range of application scenarios. Applying to the maritime education and training field, it can serve as a bridge between the 2D and 3D worlds, helping less experienced trainees build up their capabilities. Applying to actual navigation, it can provide the deck officer with another visual aid to their lookout in addition to existing 2D information systems. In addition, given the microservices architecture RedNavi adopts, the development, deployment, and maintenance processes become relatively lighter, faster, and easier, and therefore more sustainable than traditional monolithic systems.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912572
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12573: A Review of Supply Chain Uncertainty
           Management in the End-of-Life Vehicle Industry

    • Authors: Fatin Amrina A. Rashid, Hawa Hishamuddin, Nizaroyani Saibani, Mohd Radzi Abu Mansor, Zambri Harun
      First page: 12573
      Abstract: Various uncertainties exist in the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) industry, which further complicates the ELV business’s growth. In order to pursue greater progress in the ELV business establishment, a comprehensive analysis of previous ELV studies with regard to the supply chain uncertainty perspective is essential. The objective of this study is aimed at categorising the existing supply chain uncertainty sources according to their end-of-life (EoL) strategies, identify the management approaches adopted to analyse the prominent research trends, and conduct a regional analysis of ELV supply chain studies for the past years, from 2016 until 2022. The content analysis method was used to extract all the essential information from previous research, and an analysis was performed to obtain the latest research trends and identify the relationship between the gathered data. The findings show that the past research focuses on three main supply chain uncertainties, namely, uncertainty in logistics and network facilities (31.8%), production and operations (30.7%), and environmental (25.0%). Furthermore, the regional analysis shows that 83% of the studies were conducted in developing countries over the past years. Lastly, several research gaps were presented to provide researchers with potential directions and the way forward to explore ELV supply chain research from the uncertainty management context.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912573
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12574: Characteristics of Greenhouse Gas
           Emissions from Yellow Paddy Soils under Long-Term Organic Fertilizer

    • Authors: Yarong Zhang, Yun Nie, Yanling Liu, Xingcheng Huang, Yehua Yang, Han Xiong, Huaqing Zhu, Yu Li
      First page: 12574
      Abstract: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields is essential to respond to the national “dual-carbon” strategy, achieve green agricultural development, and ensure food security. The substitution of organic fertilizers for chemical fertilizers is an important means to achieve zero growth and has a positive impact on crop yield and soil nutrients; however, the impact on the greenhouse effect is inconsistent. The effects of organic fertilizers on soil greenhouse gas emissions vary depending on factors such as soil, geography, ecological environment, and human management. However, previous research has shown that the combined application of organic fertilizer can increase soil carbon storage and increase crop yield, and may be an effective fertilization measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from yellow paddy fields. To clarify the effects of different ratios of organic fertilizer on the greenhouse gas emission characteristics of Guizhou yellow paddy soil, CH4, CO2, and N2O emissions from rice fields were monitored by static opaque chamber-gas chromatography, and the effects of different fertilization treatments on the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potential (GWP) were investigated. Results showed that organic fertilizer application increased CH4 emissions from rice fields, and the effect increased with increasing organic fertilizer application. The peak period was from the heading stage to the filling and ripening stage, and there was almost no emission during the fallow period. Compared with the balanced application of chemical fertilizer (NPK), the treatment with organic fertilizer alone (M) significantly increased CO2 emissions, but the replacement of 1/2 chemical fertilizer nitrogen with 1/2 organic fertilizer (1/2 M + 1/2 N-PK) and the replacement of 1/4 chemical fertilizer nitrogen with 1/4 organic fertilizer (1/4 M + 3/4 N-PK) did not significantly increase CO2 emissions; emissions were 5% lower in the 1/2 M + 1/2 N-PK treatment than in the NPK treatment. Compared with the NPK treatment, the application of organic fertilizer alone significantly reduced N2O emissions by 32.16%, while the 1/2 M + 1/2 N-PK and 1/4 M + 3/4 N-PK treatments increased N2O emissions by 6.31% and 16.02%, respectively. However, there were no significant differences between the organic–inorganic combined treatments and NPK. During the flooding period, N2O emissions were relatively low, but the emissions increased rapidly after field drying. The application of organic fertilizer increased the GWP of rice fields. Compared with the NPK treatment, the M treatment increased GWP by 47.07%, 1/2 M + 1/2 N-PK increased GWP by 10.16%, and the 1/4 M + 3/4 N-PK treatment increased GWP by 2.93%. Except for the M treatment, the differences between treatments were not significant. Our results concluded that replacement of chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers at a ratio of 1/4 to 1/2 did not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions in rice fields, besides, it mitigate the greenhouse effect and increase soil carbon sequestration and yield in rice fields.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912574
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12575: Effect of Revegetation in Extremely
           Degraded Grassland on Carbon Density in Alpine Permafrost Regions

    • Authors: Yinglan Jia, Shengyun Chen, Peijie Wei
      First page: 12575
      Abstract: Revegetation has been proposed as an effective approach to restoring the extremely degraded grassland in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP). However, little is known about the effect of revegetation on ecosystem carbon density (ECD), especially in alpine permafrost regions. We compared aboveground biomass carbon density (ABCD), belowground biomass carbon density (BBCD), soil organic carbon density (SOCD), and ECD in intact alpine meadow, extremely degraded, and revegetated grasslands, as well as their influencing factors. Our results indicated that (1) ABCD, BBCD, SOCD, and ECD were significantly lower in extremely degraded grassland than in intact alpine meadow; (2) ABCD, SOCD, and ECD in revegetated grassland significantly increased by 93.46%, 16.88%, and 19.22%, respectively; (3) stepwise regression indicated that BBCD was mainly influenced by soil special gravity, and SOCD and ECD were controlled by freeze–thaw strength and soil temperature, respectively. This study provides a comprehensive survey of ECD and basic data for assessing ecosystem service functions in revegetated grassland of the alpine permafrost regions in the QTP.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912575
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12576: Spatial Peer Effect of
           Enterprises’ Digital Transformation: Empirical Evidence from Spatial
           Autoregressive Models

    • Authors: Xiaozhen Pan, Gengxi Xu, Nina Zhu
      First page: 12576
      Abstract: This study uses the spatial autoregressive model for panel data to empirically test the spatial peer effect of enterprises’ digital transformation by using a sample of Chinese listed companies during 2012–2021. We find that there is a significant spatial peer effect in the digital transformation of Chinese companies, and the level of digital transformation of a company increase with the level of digital transformation of its spatial peer companies. Moreover, heterogeneity analysis shows that the spatial peer effect of digital transformation can be effectively played only under a higher digital environment, higher marketization environment, and state-owned equity nature of companies. The findings suggest that it should focus on building a benchmark company for digital transformation, vigorously enhance the digital and marketization environment in the region and provide more policy support for the digital transformation of non-state-owned enterprises.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912576
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12577: Local Residents Becoming Local
           Tourists: Value Co-Creation in Chinese Wetland Parks during the COVID-19

    • Authors: Yaodong Zhu, Norzaidahwati Zaidin, Yibei Pu
      First page: 12577
      Abstract: Despite their ecological value, wetland parks can be expensive to preserve and maintain, so local governments endeavor to design financially sustainable models by exploiting the ecotourism value of wetland parks. This trend has been facilitated by telecommunication technologies that enable value co-creation. Unlike previous studies that primarily assume tourists to be outsiders far from home, this study addresses a unique situation: travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic generated a unique ecotourism market for local residents. This study responds to the above issue by examining the factors responsible for local tourists’ value co-creation intention. Specifically, we drew on the theory of planned behavior to develop an extended model to address the research objective. The hypothesized model was empirically tested using an online survey of 386 local tourists who traveled to a wetland park in the Liangping district of Chongqing, China. Our results suggest that social norms, destination awareness, experience expectations, and facilitating conditions could affect local tourists’ attitudes, which further influences local customers’ value co-creation intention. Moreover, social norms, destination awareness, and experience expectations could affect local tourists’ perceived value of a wetland park, thus further influencing local customers’ value co-creation intention. In doing so, we made interesting insights and implications for ecotourism at a local level. Drawing on our survey in a specific wetland park, we highlight how local tourists’ attitude and perceived value positively affect their value co-creation intention and identify one more possible source of destination awareness: friends’ sharing of destination information and experience through social media. Practically, we suggest local tourism to offset the maintenance costs of wetland parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. That requires leveraging social norms and understanding residents’ expectations, in addition to improving infrastructure.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912577
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12578: Empirical Study on Design Trend of
           Taiwan (1960s–2020): The Evolution of Theme, Diversity and

    • Authors: Jianping Huang, Yuheng Tao, Minghong Shi, Jun Wu
      First page: 12578
      Abstract: With significance in improving and developing local design culture as well as in supplementing global design history, this essay describes a study on the past and a clear prediction of the future by exploring Taiwan’s design history from approximately the 1960s to 2020 based on the evolution of theme, diversity, and sustainability. In this research, the Python programming language is used to apply three algorithms of term frequency–inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), Simpson’s diversity index (SDI), and latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) to conduct a text exploration of design journals. The results show the following: in the 1960s–1980s, the evolution of theme focused on evaluation strategies, technical practices, and foreign cultures, on digital design, multiculturalism, and design aesthetics in the 1990s, and on emotional human factors, intelligent technology, and local culture since the beginning of the 21st century. Local culture and intelligent technology are the main driving forces of the current design industry. Regarding diversity, after a period of rapid change and stable rising, it has shown a downward trend in recent years. This indicates that current design needs to be stimulated by external environmental variations. Sustainability was focused on technology, the market, and education during the 1960s–1980s; on consumers, design education, and eco-design during the 1990s; and on integration across fields during the 2000s–2020. In order to gain a wider perspective of the complete design context of Chinese culture, the results show the current and future trends of the academic community, in addition to a reference for the study of the design histories of other areas in the world.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912578
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12579: Assessing the Private Sector’s
           Efforts in Improving the Supply Chain of Hermetic Bags in East Africa

    • Authors: Oluwatoba J. Omotilewa, Dieudonne Baributsa
      First page: 12579
      Abstract: Hermetic bags are effective at curbing grain losses due to insect pests, but their use remains low due to unavailability among smallholder farmers. This study used primary data from actors within the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) supply chain network, mostly the private sector, in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda, to understand the challenges and opportunities in improving the availability of hermetic bags in rural areas. It finds that supply-side distribution approaches played a critical role in improving PICS bag availability. Some of the supply-side constraints included poor inventory management, pricing, and limited access to capital. Inventory management can be improved through better forecasting using sales records and prediction of farmers’ harvests. Improved access to credit during peak season can improve the timely supply and reduce stockouts. Marketing inefficiency appears to be fueled by a high-profit margin at the distributor level. Using all available distribution channels in addition to ag-input dealers will enhance the availability of the bags in rural communities.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912579
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12580: The Impact of Land Transportation
           Integration on Service Agglomeration in Yangtze River Delta Urban

    • Authors: Gongding Wei, Xueyan Li, Mingyuan Yu, Guangquan Lu, Zhiyu Chen
      First page: 12580
      Abstract: This study selected the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration as the research area, considering the current status of its transportation development to construct an urban agglomeration land transportation integration index system and to evaluate the development of the area’s transportation integration. The study examined the influence mechanism of transportation infrastructure on service industry agglomeration. The results were as follows: (1) From 2011 to 2020, the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration land transportation integration index showed a clear upward trend. (2) The development of the integration level of local transportation has a certain inhibitory effect on the agglomeration of local service industries. The transportation integration of the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration played an important role in promoting the agglomeration of local wholesale and retail industries and transportation, storage, and postal services. The labor force and market size also have a significant impact on service agglomeration. (3) The integration of land transport in the urban agglomeration affects the agglomeration of service industries through the knowledge spillover effect caused by the improvement of accessibility, and the impact is heterogeneous. The Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration needs to accelerate the construction of trans-provincial and trans-municipal transportation infrastructure and to further improve its connectivity level to promote the integrated development of high-quality transportation in this area.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912580
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12581: Motivation Analysis of Market and
           Institution on Corporate Leasing Financialization from the Perspective of
           Regulatory Arbitrage: Evidence from Chinese Listed Companies

    • Authors: Chengke Zhu, Lijing Shen, Yanping Shi
      First page: 12581
      Abstract: In recent years, more and more real enterprises speculate and arbitrage in the financial market by participating in financial institutions, and the financialization of micro enterprises has become a general trend. However, the empirical conclusions of existing literature from different dimensions of enterprise development are not consistent. This paper uses the data from Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share companies from 2007 to 2019 to perform an empirical analysis on the market and institutional motivations of the entity enterprises’ sharing and holding financial leasing companies (SHFL). It is found that the fundamental reason for enterprises to SHFL is the profit gap between the financial industry and the real industry. The more intense the industry competition, the lower the profit rate, the larger the spread, and the stronger the incentive to SHFL. In addition, the continuous improvement of the national system construction in the financial leasing industry has played an essential role in promoting it. In the heterogeneity analysis, it is found that private enterprises are also motivated to ease financing constraints except interest rate spread. On the contrary, they are not significant in the sample of state-owned enterprises. Equipment manufacturing industries have both narrowing interest rates and equipment promotion motivation, while the non-equipment manufacturing industry has no such characteristics. Finally, the limitations and future research directions of this paper are discussed.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912581
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12582: Investigating Adsorption-Based
           Atmospheric Water Harvesting Potential for Pakistan

    • Authors: Muhammad Bilal, Muhammad Sultan, Faizan Majeed, Muhammad Farooq, Uzair Sajjad, Sobhy M. Ibrahim, Muhammad Usman Khan, Shohreh Azizi, Muhammad Yasar Javaid, Riaz Ahmad
      First page: 12582
      Abstract: Atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) can provide clean and safe drinking water in remote areas. The present study provides a comprehensive review of adsorption-based AWH by using the scientometric approach. The publication types are mainly composed of articles and reviews, accounting for 75.37% and 11.19% of the total, respectively. Among these publications, ~95.1% were published in English and came from 154 different journals which demonstrates that researchers have shown a great interest in this field. However, much less contribution has been received thus far on this topic from Pakistan. Therefore, this study aims to explore a solar-driven adsorption-based AWH system in terms of varying relative humidity (RH), solar irradiance, and various types of adsorbent materials. Geospatial mapping and Monte Carlo simulations are carried out to integrate the operational parameters of the system and materials with Pakistan’s climatic conditions to forecast the AWH potential (L/m2/d). Probability distribution of 100,000 trials is performed by providing lower, mode, and upper values of the independent parameters. The possible outcomes of the adsorbed volume of water are determined by generating random values for the independent parameters within their specified distribution. It was found that MIL-101 (Cr) achieved the highest water-harvesting rate (WHR) of 0.64 to 3.14 (L/m2/d) across Pakistan, whereas the WHR was lowered to 0.58 to 1.59, 0.83 to 0.94, and 0.45 to 1.26 (L/m2/d) for COF-432, zeolite, and silica gel, respectively. Furthermore, parameter optimization and sensitivity analysis are performed to finalize the boundary conditions of the adsorption-based AWH system by ensuring the maximum volume values within the desired specification limits (1–4 L/m2/d).
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912582
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12583: The Impact of Structural Reforms on
           Sustainable Development Performance: Evidence from European Union

    • Authors: Jonas Rapsikevičius, Jurgita Bruneckienė, Rytis Krušinskas, Mantas Lukauskas
      First page: 12583
      Abstract: The European Union (EU) is a unique economic integration organization with standard policies that seek common goals among members, such as convergence and sustainable development. It aims to become a climate neutral economy by 2050. With structural reform implementation, each EU member country can work towards these set goals in accordance with their own welfare. However, a trade-off between the individual welfare goals of a country and the common goals of the EU should be reached. This article analyzes the impact of structural reforms on sustainable development performance in European countries. The article contributes to a gap in the literature because, to date, previous research has examined the effects of structural reforms on economic or environmental measures in groups of nations but has often lacked an adequate sustainable development context. In addition, the clustering of European Union countries according to different social policy regimes requires clarification of the perceptions and knowledge about the influence and usefulness of structural reforms for sustainable development performance. The research uses the panel data of the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom and Sustainable Development Goals agenda from the Eurostat database. The data cover 27 countries of the European Union for a period of 11 years (2010–2020). The research panel includes 297 observations. We found different results regarding the influence of structural reforms on sustainable development performance under different social policy regimes and the regulatory trap for homogeneous sustainable development in the European Union. The paper provides original empirical evidence and specifies the targets of structural reforms in relation to sustainable development. The results provide guidance for policymakers to develop more appropriate and efficient sustainable development policies.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912583
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12584: Working from Home as a Catalyst for
           Urban Regeneration

    • Authors: Stephen Glackin, Magnus Moglia, Peter Newton
      First page: 12584
      Abstract: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become normalised and is likely to continue to gather pace. The adjustment in daytime population that this creates has implications for urban planning, as it can drive greater levels of localization and less car-dependent cities. In this paper, we describe how this shift changes urban daytime population density, a significant predictor of most measures of amenity, walkability, and liveability. First, we define a method for mapping access to amenity, applied to two cities: Melbourne and Sydney. Secondly, we analyse the two-way causal relationship between population density and amenity based on bivariate spatial mapping. Thirdly, we provide a method for estimating changes in daytime populations. Finally, the article provides a taxonomy of telework regeneration potential for different parts of the city based on the level of amenity and expected changes in daytime population (average changes in high job-density areas −14%, CBDs −30%, and +54% in residential areas). We argue that, if used as a catalyst within strategic planning, and for urban regeneration, increases could create higher levels of amenity in suburban areas, which can lead to improved sustainability outcomes, specifically greater levels of walkability, liveability, and reduced car dependence. We have calculated that opportunity areas account for 89% of the greater urban area and cover 49% of the population, which may well grow as the WFH trend continues. As such, and in conclusion, we outline a set of site-specific opportunities and challenges relevant to urban planners that aim for urban regeneration.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912584
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12585: The Research Venation Analysis and
           Future Prospects of Organizational Slack

    • Authors: Sulu Zhu, Pengqun Gao, Zhen Tang, Ming Tian
      First page: 12585
      Abstract: At present, the external environment is full of crises and challenges. The practice of firms deploying slack resources in advance and actively coping with external disturbances has achieved good effect. But, the theoretical research process of organizational slack is relatively slow compared with practice. Therefore, this paper comprehensively applied a bibliometric method and traditional literature review method to carry out scientific econometric analysis on 958 papers from the WoS database. We visualized the results as knowledge maps and analyzed papers with the help of the knowledge graph. The research venation and evolution trend of organizational slack are sorted out from a longitudinal perspective. On this basis, we put forward the future development direction of organizational slack in line with emerging phenomena, mainly including: ① Clarifying the sources of organizational slack; ② Two new dimensions of defensiveness slack and strategic slack are proposed from functional attributes; ③ Based on the perspective of active response, we expand the research depth of firms to construct organizational resilience through organization slack to adapt to uncertain environments. The purpose of this paper is to provide new ideas for firms to make plans before turbulence occurs in highly uncertain environments. It provides a useful reference for the future development of organizational slack research and promotes the formation of a virtuous cycle of mutual promotion between theory and practice.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912585
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12586: Walking the Walk toward Increasing
           Access and Reducing Emissions: The Promise and Challenges of Virtual
           Climate Adaptation Convenings

    • Authors: Eileen G. Merritt, Jennifer J. Brousseau, Marc J. Stern, Lara J. Hansen
      First page: 12586
      Abstract: Joint professional and stakeholder meetings to share local, regional and national responses to the current and projected effects of climate change have become regular, recurring events over the past decade. These “climate adaptation convenings” generally include presentations, discussions, and social learning about how to effectively respond to climate-related impacts. Many of these convenings shifted to virtual formats during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a study to understand how four virtual convenings in the United States compare with otherwise similar in-person events. Through surveys with attendees of four virtual climate adaptation convenings, we explored how attendees’ outcomes differed between conference formats and captured their perceptions of virtual vs. in-person events. Overall, 71% of attendees indicated that they were more likely or equally likely to attend future convenings online, and 62% reported that knowledge gain was about the same or better online than in-person. Many respondents appreciated the accessibility and more inclusive participation at virtual convenings, as well as the environmental benefits and reduced costs. However, interpersonal interactions were inferior in virtual formats, and some attendees experienced difficulties with technology and screen fatigue. Respondents shared suggestions for addressing these challenges. Altogether, findings suggest that virtual convenings have high potential if greater attention is paid to these elements.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912586
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12587: Space-Time Evolution Characteristics
           of Deformation and Failure of Surrounding Rock in Deep Soft Rock Roadway

    • Authors: Xinfeng Wang, Yiying Zhang, Qiao Zhang, Youyu Wei, Wengang Liu, Tian Jiang
      First page: 12587
      Abstract: In view of the problems of large deformation of surrounding rock, high in-situ stress, and serious soft fracture of rock stratum in deep soft rock roadway, the instability deformation failure mode of deep soft rock roadway is analyzed theoretically. The FLAC3D software is used to establish a three-dimensional numerical model of surrounding rock damage under load, and to study the displacement, stress, and plastic expansion process of damage and failure evolution in the surrounding rock of the roadway. The mechanical response mechanism of deep soft rock roadway surrounding rock bending deformation, elastoplastic transformation, and unloading failure is verified by MATLAB numerical analysis, and the space-time evolution characteristics of soft rock deformation and failure are revealed. The results show that the surrounding rock of deep soft rock roadway has many failure modes, such as obvious displacement and deformation, high stress concentration, and intensified plastic transformation in the surrounding rock. The vertical stress in the surrounding rock is concentrated at the direct top and bottom, and the horizontal stress is concentrated at the roadway side and bottom; plastic deformation and failure first appeared at the roadway side, and then extended to other parts. The research conclusion provides an important reference for surrounding rock control and roof management of high-stress soft rock roadway under deep excavation disturbance.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912587
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12588: Performance of Sustainable Road
           Pavements Founded on Clay Subgrades Treated with Eco-Friendly Cementitious

    • Authors: Samuel Y. O. Amakye, Samuel J. Abbey, Colin A. Booth, Jonathan Oti
      First page: 12588
      Abstract: Clays encountered during road construction are mostly weak and result in major pavement failures due to their low California bearing ratio (CBR) and high swelling potential. In this study, sustainable and eco-friendly waste materials including brick dust waste (BDW), ground granulated blastfurnance slag (GGBS), recycled plastic (RP) and recycled glass (RG) at varying proportions of 11.75% and 23.5% were used as partial replacement for cement and lime in clay treatment. After determining the water content by conducting Atterberg limit and compaction test, A CBR and swell characteristics of treated and untreated clay were also conducted. A road pavement design was conducted using the Design Manual for Road and Bridges (DMRB) as a guide to determine the performance of treated clay with varying CBR values. A road pavement failure analysis was also conducted to understand the defect formation within pavement structures supported by eco-friendly treated clay. The embodied carbon of treated clay was calculated and a life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) of flexible pavement with treated clay and road with imported materials was conducted. The results show a liquid limit of 131.26 and plastic limit of 28.74 for high plasticity index (clay 1) and liquid limit of 274.07 and a plastic limit of 45.38 for extremely high plasticity index (clay 2). An increase in CBR values from 8% and 9% to 57% and 97% with a reduction in swell values from 4.11% and 5.03% to 0.38% and 0.56% were recorded. This resulted in a reduction in pavement thickness and stresses within the road pavement leading to reduced susceptibility of the pavement to fatigue, rutting and permanent deformation. Very low embodied carbon was recorded for eco-friendly treated clay and a high life cycle cost (LCC) with clay removed and replaced with imported materials compared with clay treated using eco-friendly waste materials. The study concluded that carbon and overall construction costs can be reduced using waste materials in road construction. Owners and operators can save money when clay is treated and used in road construction instead of removing clay and replacing it with imported materials.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912588
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12589: A Study of Chinese Consumers’
           Consistent Use of Mobile Food Ordering Apps

    • Authors: Xiaolong Wang, Wenkun Zhang, Tao Zhang, Yanan Wang, Sanggyun Na
      First page: 12589
      Abstract: Mobile food ordering apps (MFOAs) programs have changed the way consumers order and consume food. Mobile food ordering apps (MFOAs) are widely recognized in the restaurant industry as an innovative method of serving customers; however, there are important questions about the impact of implementing MFOAs on customers’ willingness to reuse such applications, and several studies have examined the results of using MFOAs from a customer perspective. The main objective of this study was to identify and empirically test the main factors that predict Chinese users’ attitudes toward MFOAs, the satisfaction and re-use of such applications, and the moderating role of habits. This study proposes an integrated model based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Expectation Confirmation Theory Model (ECT), combined with the features of MFOA-added variables such as online reviews, price value and trust. A total of 212 valid questionnaires were obtained and collected from a sample of Chinese customers using MFOAs. This study uses SPSS 26.0 and smartPLS version 3.0 for a path analysis and empirical testing of the research model. There are 13 hypotheses, 6 of which are valid. H2(PE à SAT), H3(OR à SAT), H5(EOU à ATT), H6(PV à ATT), H7(TR à ATT), and H9(SAT à CI) are valid. However, H1(CON àSAT), H4(USF à ATT), H8(TR à CI), H10(ATT à CI) are not valid, and HAB does not play a moderating role between CI and SAT, CI and ATT, and CI and TR. Based on the research results, theoretical contributions and practical implications can be provided for scholars and practitioners in MFOA-related fields.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912589
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
  • Sustainability, Vol. 14, Pages 12590: Study on the Design Strategy of
           Rehabilitation Space for Patients with Cognitive Disorders Based on the
           Environmental Adaptation of Disease Symptoms

    • Authors: Weicong Li, Zhaoming Du, Doris Hooi Chyee Toe, Yueling Liu, Kum Weng Yong, Haopai Lin
      First page: 12590
      Abstract: Under the dual pressure of the large number of patients and the funding of expensive treatments, the established medical model is no longer able to meet the treatment needs of patients with cognitive disorders. Cognitive disorders cannot be cured, and the proposed MCI stage provides a window of opportunity for early intervention of the condition. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a high-risk potential conversion state prior to a diagnosis of cognitive disorder, where the person still has the ability to live but with the presence of cognitive damage. The theory of environment-facilitated rehabilitation has begun to be applied to the study of cognitive disorders prevention, but its effectiveness and the drivers of its pathological characteristics remain unclear. In this paper, we explore spatial design strategies for the rehabilitation of patients with cognitive disorders based on the adaptability of pathological characteristics, and provide new ideas for spatial interventions to prevent the condition. Firstly, this paper constructs the relationship between behavioral characteristics (roaming), pathological characteristics (cognitive impairment), and environmental factors interacting with cognitive disorder patients. Second, the feasibility of spatial design to assist the rehabilitation of the condition was demonstrated by analyzing spatial accessibility, visual visibility, and walking distance using the environmental modification of Yuexiu Elderly Service Center in Guangzhou as an example. The study concludes that environmental influences to improve the quality of rehabilitation and cognitive function are effective, mainly in the improvement of spatial communication depth and care efficiency variables.
      Citation: Sustainability
      PubDate: 2022-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/su141912590
      Issue No: Vol. 14, No. 19 (2022)
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