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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 22 (November-2 2023) – 458 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): As we progress through the 21st century, it is increasingly apparent that sustainability is no longer an option but an obligation towards future generations. Cities must be transformed into greener and friendlier spaces for people. For leisure or food production, urban gardens are playing an increasing role in urban design. We are faced with an opportunity to improve air quality, recover biodiversity, and provide fresh food to the population, reducing the transportation of goods. However, urban space constitutes a non-natural environment, transformed over centuries by humans. The soil, the part of the earth's surface that supports life, is also quite unknown. Addressing these issues is an enormous challenge and, as part of this challenge, in this paper, the possible risks and behavior of highly transformed soils in cities have been evaluated. View this paper
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21 pages, 3431 KiB  
Article
Chemical Composition of Hydrophobic Coating Solutions and Its Impact on Carbonate Stones Protection and Preservation
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216135 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
The decay diagnosis and conservation of stone-built heritage is becoming a worldwide concern, especially when stone decay causes chromatic changes in the original stone aesthetics, which directly impacts its sociocultural value. Among all the causes of stone decay, water action is identified as [...] Read more.
The decay diagnosis and conservation of stone-built heritage is becoming a worldwide concern, especially when stone decay causes chromatic changes in the original stone aesthetics, which directly impacts its sociocultural value. Among all the causes of stone decay, water action is identified as the major cause of stone decay and chromatic changes in stone building materials; hence, protective eco-friendly hydrophobic coatings are the efficient and fundamental options to prevent penetrating water into the stone. This paper aims to contribute to tackling water action on natural building stones by studying three different commercial hydrophobic coatings and finding out the correlation between the effectivity, compatibility, and durability of these coatings and the physical, chemical, and mineralogical features of four distinct types of limestone, one calcitic dolomite, four kinds of marble, and one granitoid. Nine different natural stones have been chosen due to their variations in physical, chemical, and mineralogical natures. A multi-analytical approach was adopted through digital microscopy and colourimetry assays to assess the compatibility of the hydrophobic coatings, accelerating ageing in climatic chambers to assess their durability, optical tensiometer analyses to evaluate the hydrophobic effectiveness, and h-XRF and XRPD for determining the chemical and mineralogical composition of stone samples. The results obtained demonstrate that the coating composed of silane/siloxane with modified fluorinated additives (FAKOLITH FK-3 Plus Nano) is the most effective, compatible, and durable coating among the selected hydrophobic coatings. These results can be considered the pioneering steps for developing eco-friendly and cost-effective coatings. Full article
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13 pages, 1900 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Quality of the Age-Friendly Environment in Liaoning Province
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216134 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 574
Abstract
The age friendliness of an environment is significant for improving the quality of life of the elderly. This metric is an important measure used by the international community to address the challenges of population aging. In order to explore effective ways to improve [...] Read more.
The age friendliness of an environment is significant for improving the quality of life of the elderly. This metric is an important measure used by the international community to address the challenges of population aging. In order to explore effective ways to improve the quality of an age-friendly environment, this study considers the theoretical framework of the World Health Organization and combines China’s demographic and policy conditions to develop an urban-scale indicator system for the evaluation of the age-friendly environment (AFE) by including the dimensions of social and physical environments and municipal services. The entropy method and multiple linear regression were used to study the changes and influencing factors of the quality of AFE in 14 prefecture-level cities in Liaoning Province. The research results are as follows. First, temporally, the comprehensive quality of AFE in the cities in Liaoning Province was at a relatively low level, and the overall trend was decreasing. During the evaluation period, the level of age friendliness in various cities was generally low, with a relatively small number of cities scoring higher. Second, spatially, significant regional differences in the age friendliness of the environment existed, which showed spatial patterns of “high in the middle and low on both sides” and “strong in the south and weak in the north”. Third, the dimensions were in the order of physical environment > municipal services > social environment. The social environment was weak for the construction of AFEs in Liaoning Province, and efforts are required to strengthen it in the future. Fourth, aging rate was negatively correlated with the level of AFE. The positively correlated factors were in the order of expenditure for urban and rural community affairs > per capita GDP > per capita disposable income of urban residents. This study provides insights for cities to improve the quality of AFEs, actively respond to population aging, and help promote WHO initiatives in developing countries. Full article
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14 pages, 851 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fertilisation Regime on Maise Yields
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16133; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216133 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Using natural fertilisers in agriculture improves quantity and quality yields. They introduce macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and micronutrients into the soil. Enriching the soil with organic substances through fertilisation with digestates requires the farmer to have considerable knowledge and accuracy in dosing [...] Read more.
Using natural fertilisers in agriculture improves quantity and quality yields. They introduce macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and micronutrients into the soil. Enriching the soil with organic substances through fertilisation with digestates requires the farmer to have considerable knowledge and accuracy in dosing due to the need to comply with permissible concentrations of macronutrients. The availability of nutrients in a digestate is closely dependent on the substrates used in the biogas plant, and it cannot be stated unequivocally that better yields of field crops will be achieved by using it as manure. Therefore, the authors conducted a two-year study of the effect of the fertilisation method on maise yields. Based on the research carried out, the fertiliser suitability of the digest was confirmed. Plants fertilised with it were characterised by the highest (compared to other fertilisation methods) grain yield (of 12.07 Mg per hectare on average). In addition, they were characterised by adequate plant height (3.15 m on average). The observations also indicate good emergence and satisfactory early vigour. Full article
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20 pages, 337 KiB  
Article
Supporting Sustainable Futures in Retail: An Exploratory Study on Worker Health, Safety and Wellbeing in Australia
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216132 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 812
Abstract
Health, safety, and wellbeing (HSW) have been studied widely in different contexts and are associated with social, organisational, and human sustainability. However, there is limited research about HSW in retail that includes both workers and managers to offer a more holistic and inclusive [...] Read more.
Health, safety, and wellbeing (HSW) have been studied widely in different contexts and are associated with social, organisational, and human sustainability. However, there is limited research about HSW in retail that includes both workers and managers to offer a more holistic and inclusive perspective. To fill this gap, this exploratory and descriptive cross-sectional study employed a 21-item quantitative and 3-item qualitative online survey and engaged a representative sample of 271 workers and 109 managers/owners in Australia. The results showed retailers provide a reasonably adequate technical and social work environment, and workers perceive their job tasks as averagely challenging. Nevertheless, workers still experienced adverse HSW effects frequently, partially attributed to a poor organisational environment. Workers and managers were markedly aligned regarding the current HSW status in Australian retail and agreed that health and safety were not focal areas of their businesses. Worryingly, both groups viewed the unfavourable impacts of work as inescapable, indicating a commonly shared fatalistic perspective that does not align with sustainability practices. Although workers appreciated their employment-related benefits, they also acknowledged that their HSW was not fully supported, presenting unique opportunities for the workplace and policymakers to address such issues and support the economic and social sustainability of retailers. Full article
19 pages, 349 KiB  
Article
Segmenting Fitness Center Customers: Leveraging Perceived Ethicality for Enhanced Loyalty, Trust, and Word-of-Mouth Communication
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16131; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216131 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
In an era marked by a growing emphasis on business ethics and sustainability, fitness centers face a compelling need to align their practices with their members’ perceived ethical values. To explore the role of ethics in the fitness industry’s expanding business landscape, this [...] Read more.
In an era marked by a growing emphasis on business ethics and sustainability, fitness centers face a compelling need to align their practices with their members’ perceived ethical values. To explore the role of ethics in the fitness industry’s expanding business landscape, this study draws upon established theories in consumer-perceived ethicality (CPE), business ethics, and customer segmentation strategies. The paper’s objectives were to adapt and validate the CPE scale for the Greek context and categorize fitness center members based on their perceived ethicality and to examine the impact of perceived ethicality on loyalty, word-of-mouth communication, and trust towards fitness centers. The research involved 286 fitness center members who completed a questionnaire measuring CPE, loyalty, trust, and word-of-mouth communication. Utilizing clustering analysis, two distinct consumer segments emerged, each demonstrating unique patterns of perceived ethicality. Intriguingly, both the high- and low-CPE groups assigned considerable importance to word-of-mouth communication, followed by trust and loyalty. These findings provide valuable insights for businesses in the fitness industry seeking to enhance their ethical reputation and bolster customer retention. Furthermore, the translated CPE scale holds the potential to contribute significantly to the ongoing discourse on consumer behavior regarding business ethics and sustainability within the fitness sector. Full article
26 pages, 1106 KiB  
Review
Review of Research on Urban Social Space and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16130; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216130 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Urban social space and sustainable urban development are both prominent areas of research in urban studies. The development of a city is closely tied to the development of its social space. The level of sustainable development in a city can be assessed by [...] Read more.
Urban social space and sustainable urban development are both prominent areas of research in urban studies. The development of a city is closely tied to the development of its social space. The level of sustainable development in a city can be assessed by examining the evolution of its urban social space. Therefore, the two are highly interconnected in a close relationship. However, the social dimension of sustainable development has always received the least attention compared to the economy and the environment. Therefore, this paper examines urban transformation and urban spatial structure, social composition, the activity space and living space of urban residents, the social integration of urban residents in urban communities, and urban planning. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of research on urban social space and sustainable development. On the one hand, this literature review thoroughly examines the correlation between urban social space and sustainable urban development. On the other hand, it broadens the perspectives of urban research, highlights the key role of social dimensions in sustainable urban development, and helps to draw the attention of academics to this topic. In addition, this literature review may provide policymakers with more comprehensive information on urban social space and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Social Space and Sustainable Development)
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22 pages, 1599 KiB  
Article
Exploration on the Innovation Model of County Urbanization Development with the Resource Constraints in China
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16129; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216129 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
The 14th Five-Year Plan for China proposes to promote the urbanization process from a county perspective, presenting an unprecedented opportunity to develop county urbanization. However, in the context of relatively limited resources, insufficient funds, and comparatively lower land values in Chinese counties, how [...] Read more.
The 14th Five-Year Plan for China proposes to promote the urbanization process from a county perspective, presenting an unprecedented opportunity to develop county urbanization. However, in the context of relatively limited resources, insufficient funds, and comparatively lower land values in Chinese counties, how to promote county urbanization remains the primary challenge, which has not been studied yet. This study first analyzes the necessity of promoting county urbanization from four dimensions: national development strategy, industrial policy development, local government status, and enterprise development demands using literature research and survey interviews. Based on field research conducted in 32 counties in China, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis is carried out on the county urbanization process in this study. By analyzing the developmental status and challenges of major urban areas, expansion areas of counties, and their surrounding countryside, this paper proposes a “three-level gradient integration” concept for the spatial integration of county urbanization. Furthermore, the mechanism of multi-agent linkage to promote county urbanization was explored based on the theory of urban governance and the characteristics of county urbanization. Subsequently, relying on the analysis of policies, such as land acquisition and integrated land improvement, and adopting modes, such as “Investor + Engineering Procurement Construction + Operation” (investor + EPC + O) and renovate–operate–transfer (ROT), we propose a pathway for promoting county urbanization through the linkage of government, enterprises, and residents. This study provides insight into promoting the county urbanization process. Additionally, each country faces the common issue of how to use limited resources to promote regional development, and this article can provide valuable insights and inspiration for addressing this shared issue by the principle of adapting to local conditions and adhering to the concept of efficient market and proactive government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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16 pages, 2431 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Green Vehicle Paths Considering the Impact of Carbon Emissions: A Case Study of Municipal Solid Waste Collection and Transportation
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16128; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216128 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 652
Abstract
In recent years, the waste produced as a result of the production and consumption activities of urban residents has led to significant environmental degradation and resource wastage. This paper focuses on the research object of municipal solid waste (MSW) collection and transportation based [...] Read more.
In recent years, the waste produced as a result of the production and consumption activities of urban residents has led to significant environmental degradation and resource wastage. This paper focuses on the research object of municipal solid waste (MSW) collection and transportation based on the concept of “sustainable development and green economy”. Firstly, this study examines the current state of urban domestic garbage collection and transportation. It analyzes the following challenges and deficiencies of the existing collection and transportation system: (1) the operating efficiency of garbage collection vehicles is low, resulting in a significant accumulation of waste on the roadside and within the community; (2) the vehicle collection and transportation routes are fixed, and there are empty vehicles running; (3) the amount of garbage on a route exceeds the vehicle’s loading capacity, which requires the vehicle to perform a second round of collection and transportation. To enhance the efficiency of urban garbage collection and transportation and minimize the collection and transportation costs, we are investigating the problem of optimizing the path for green vehicles. To comprehensively optimize the fixed cost, variable cost, and carbon emission cost incurred during vehicle operation, a vehicle routing model with time windows is established, taking into account vehicle load constraints. Carbon emission coefficient and carbon tax parameters are introduced into the model and the “fuel-carbon emission” conversion method is used to measure the carbon cost of enterprises. An improved ant colony optimization (ACO) method is proposed: (1) the introduction of a vehicle load factor improves the ant state transfer method; (2) the updated pheromone method is improved, and additional pheromone is added to both the feasible path and the path with the minimum objective function; (3) the max–min ACO algorithm is introduced to address the issue of premature convergence of the algorithm; (4) the embedding of a 2-opt algorithm further prevents the ACO algorithm from falling into the local optimum. Finally, the calculation results based on the example data demonstrate that the algorithm has a significant advantage over the genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. The total transportation distance determined by this algorithm is shorter than that of the GA and PSO methods, and the total cost of the scheme is 1.66% and 1.89% lower than that determined by GA and PSO, respectively. Compared to the data from the actual case, the number of vehicles required in the operation of this algorithm and model is reduced by three. Additionally, the total cost, fixed cost, and carbon emission cost incurred by the vehicles during operation were reduced by 31.2%, 60%, and 25.3% respectively. The results of this study help the station to collect and distribute waste efficiently, while also achieving the goals of energy saving, consumption reduction, and emission reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waste and Recycling)
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17 pages, 7937 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Water-Sensitive Urban Design in Chiang Mai through a Research–Design Collaboration
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16127; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216127 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 783
Abstract
Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) is a subset of nature-based solutions (NbSs) that are implemented worldwide. However, the WSUD guidelines in some local contexts, such as Southeast Asia, remain unclear both for ecological and cultural reasons. This study aims to gather collaborations between researchers, [...] Read more.
Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) is a subset of nature-based solutions (NbSs) that are implemented worldwide. However, the WSUD guidelines in some local contexts, such as Southeast Asia, remain unclear both for ecological and cultural reasons. This study aims to gather collaborations between researchers, designers, and laypeople in WSUD, which have the potential to be implemented to address water quality issues. The study consisted of three stages: site selection, a design workshop, and public interviews. Utilizing geo-design principles and geographical data, the potential pilot site was identified: a vacant space next to the Tha Phae Gate Plaza. A two-day workshop with landscape design experts yielded six conceptual designs, focusing on diverse themes such as water treatment, plant-based solutions, educational opportunities, and cultural enrichment. Public interviews provided insights into the community’s perspectives on stormwater management, desired amenities, environmental considerations, and governance concerns. The results highlighted a collective interest in using NbSs for stormwater treatment and enhancing the area’s recreational and educational potential. This study offers a comprehensive approach to addressing water quality issues in urban settings while considering local cultural, recreational, and environmental needs. Full article
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25 pages, 3716 KiB  
Article
Advancing Shear Capacity Estimation in Rectangular RC Beams: A Cutting-Edge Artificial Intelligence Approach for Assessing the Contribution of FRP
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16126; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216126 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Shear strength prediction in FRP-bonded reinforced concrete beams is crucial for ensuring structural integrity and safety. In this extensive investigation, advanced machine learning algorithms are harnessed to achieve precise shear strength predictions for rectangular RC beams reinforced with FRP sheets. The aim of [...] Read more.
Shear strength prediction in FRP-bonded reinforced concrete beams is crucial for ensuring structural integrity and safety. In this extensive investigation, advanced machine learning algorithms are harnessed to achieve precise shear strength predictions for rectangular RC beams reinforced with FRP sheets. The aim of this research is to enhance the accuracy and reliability of shear strength estimation, providing valuable insights for the design and assessment of FRP-strengthened structures. The primary contributions of this study lie in the meticulous comparison of various machine learning algorithms, including Xgboost, Gradient Boosting, Random Forest, AdaBoost, K-nearest neighbors, and ElasticNet. Through comprehensive evaluation based on predictive performance, the most suitable model for accurately estimating the shear strength of FRP-reinforced rectangular RC beams is identified. Notably, Xgboost emerges as the superior performer, boasting an impressive R2 value of 0.901. It outperforms other algorithms and demonstrates the lowest RMSE, MAE, and MAPE values, establishing itself as the most accurate and reliable predictor. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is conducted using artificial neural networks to assess the influence of input variables. This additional research facet sheds light on the critical factors shaping shear strength outcomes. The study, as a whole, represents a substantial contribution to advancing the development of accurate and dependable prediction models. The practical implications of this work are far-reaching, particularly for engineering applications in the realm of structures reinforced with FRP. The findings have the potential to transform the approach to the design and assessment of such structures, elevating safety, efficiency, and performance to new heights. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building Materials: An Eco-Approach for Construction)
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24 pages, 7212 KiB  
Article
Continuous Dynamic Analysis Method and Case Verification of Cable Structure Based on Digital Twin
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216125 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 560
Abstract
The safety and quality of cable structure construction necessitate a comprehensive analysis approach. However, conventional methods suffer from difficulties in the temporal and spatial integration of construction information and low efficiency in construction analysis. This study proposes a multi-dimensional digital twin model for [...] Read more.
The safety and quality of cable structure construction necessitate a comprehensive analysis approach. However, conventional methods suffer from difficulties in the temporal and spatial integration of construction information and low efficiency in construction analysis. This study proposes a multi-dimensional digital twin model for cable structure construction to optimize conventional calculation methods. Firstly, this study proposes a continuous dynamic analysis method for cable structures based on the digital twin, which reveals the mechanism behind the continuous dynamic analysis of cable structures. Furthermore, a multidimensional digital twin model is established, and the model is continuously corrected using real-time data collected by sensors. The intrinsic constitution equation and equilibrium equation are also corrected to improve the finite element analysis method of the cable structure. An intelligent simulation system for cable structures was developed and effectively applied to actual cable structure construction scenarios. The same finite element analysis model was used to calculate all stages from lifting to tension forming. Construction information fusion ensured continuous dynamic analysis with an average calculation accuracy higher than 97%. Full article
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19 pages, 2678 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Tourism Development on Eco-Environment Resilience and Its Spatio-Temporal Heterogeneity in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, China
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216124 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Tourism sustainability is a significant approach to forming a synergistic model of industry and ecology in ecologically vulnerable areas. Scientifically detecting the effect mechanism of tourism development on eco-environment resilience is important in achieving regional social-ecological system sustainability. In this work, empirical exploration [...] Read more.
Tourism sustainability is a significant approach to forming a synergistic model of industry and ecology in ecologically vulnerable areas. Scientifically detecting the effect mechanism of tourism development on eco-environment resilience is important in achieving regional social-ecological system sustainability. In this work, empirical exploration is conducted on the tourism development index (TDI) and eco-environment resilience index (ERI) in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) to study the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of TDI’s effect on the ERI. The results indicate significant growth in the TDI in the YREB, with the formation of tourist clusters around Shanghai and Chongqing as the core. Although the ERI typically exhibits a declining trend, the rate of decline has notably slowed, forming a “high at the sides and low in the middle” spatial pattern. The TDI and ERI are spatially dependent in the YREB, with predominantly high-high (HH) and low-high (LH) clusters in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu. Conversely, upstream regions with strong eco-environmental foundations exhibit low-low (LL) and high-low (HL) clusters. In general, the TDI promotes the ERI, but there is significant spatio-temporal heterogeneity in the YREB. Positive impact regions are expanding, while negative impact regions are shrinking. These results could provide scientific evidence for differentiated classification and control policies in the YREB. Full article
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18 pages, 770 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Herders’ Satisfaction with the Grassland Ecosystem Compensation Policy: A Case Study of Gansu Province, China
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16123; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216123 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 475
Abstract
This study investigated herders’ satisfaction with the implementation effects of the Grassland Ecosystem Compensation Policy (GECP) in Sunan (subsidy hierarchization) and Gannan (subsidy harmonization), China. Survey data from 140 randomly selected herder households were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordered logistic regression to [...] Read more.
This study investigated herders’ satisfaction with the implementation effects of the Grassland Ecosystem Compensation Policy (GECP) in Sunan (subsidy hierarchization) and Gannan (subsidy harmonization), China. Survey data from 140 randomly selected herder households were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordered logistic regression to identify the factors influencing herders’ satisfaction. The results showed that in Sunan, 47.89% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the GECP. Their satisfaction positively correlated with changes in native grass, ecological compensation income, and reduced inedible grass. Conversely, it exhibited negative associations with the ethnic background of the household head, livestock numbers, and willingness to relocate. In Gannan, a substantial level of dissatisfaction prevailed (69.57%). However, satisfied herders had connections with changes in native grass, income diversity, and ecological compensation income. Significantly, this study highlights that ecological compensation income and changes in native grass consistently influence herders’ satisfaction regardless of the subsidy design. These findings offer valuable insights for improving herders’ satisfaction with the implementation effects of the GECP in regions with diverse ecological subsidy designs. Additionally, it presents a fresh perspective for scholars to analyze the GECP under different ecological subsidy frameworks further. Full article
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20 pages, 803 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency: A Two-Stage Model for Evaluating Multiple Sourcing and Extra Procurement Strategy Optimization
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16122; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216122 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 959
Abstract
This paper presents a two-stage mathematical model aimed at enhancing supply chain efficiency by evaluating multiple sourcing strategies and optimizing extra procurement. In the first stage, the model minimizes the gap between Sales and Operation Planning (SOP) and maximum product quantity achievable with [...] Read more.
This paper presents a two-stage mathematical model aimed at enhancing supply chain efficiency by evaluating multiple sourcing strategies and optimizing extra procurement. In the first stage, the model minimizes the gap between Sales and Operation Planning (SOP) and maximum product quantity achievable with current inventory levels, setting the foundation for understanding resource requirements. The second stage focuses on extra procurement strategy optimization, considering lead times, cost-effectiveness. We analyze the trade-offs between multiple sourcing and single vendor approaches, providing valuable insights for supply chain decision-makers. This research offers a practical framework to improve supply chain efficiency, reduce gaps, and enhance customer satisfaction while strengthening supply chain resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges, as demonstrated by the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemics. Full article
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15 pages, 1465 KiB  
Article
Disinfection of Rainwater for Economic Purposes
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16121; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216121 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Rainwater storage systems are one of the elements of the implementation of sustainable water management. The use of rainwater in households or public buildings reduces the consumption of water supply water for purposes that do not require very good quality water. In crisis [...] Read more.
Rainwater storage systems are one of the elements of the implementation of sustainable water management. The use of rainwater in households or public buildings reduces the consumption of water supply water for purposes that do not require very good quality water. In crisis situations, rainwater could also be a source of water for drinking and hygiene. In order to use rainwater, it must comply with sanitary quality standards. This paper presents the results of research on the disinfection of rainwater and the possibility of its safe use in the economy as an alternative to tap water. The elements of the proposed pretreatment and disinfection system were selected adequately for the quality of the collected rainwater and its intended use. The aim was to obtain water safe for drinking and hygienic purposes. Rainwater was collected from a roof covered with ceramic tiles, and then subjected to prefiltration, ultrafiltration and disinfection with UV rays. Water before and after treatment was characterized on the basis of a number of microbiological parameters (total number of bacteria at 37 °C and 22 °C; number of coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, Enterococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and the content of nutrients (TOC, ammonium nitrogen, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates). The use of ultraviolet radiation allowed for the complete removal of indicator bacteria and a significant reduction in the total number of bacteria, from nearly 2500 CFU/mL to 25 CFU/mL for bacteria at 22 °C and from 2010 CFU/mL to 18 CFU/mL for bacteria at 37 °C. The effectiveness of rainwater disinfection, its microbiological stability after disinfection and the time after which the bacterial microflora regenerates, as well as the possibility of using rainwater for drinking and hygienic purposes after disinfection, was determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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26 pages, 359 KiB  
Article
E-Learning Platform Usage and Acceptance of Technology after the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of Transilvania University
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16120; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216120 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
This research aims to examine the evolution of student attitudes toward the Transilvania University e-learning platform over a three-year period, encompassing the time before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The study collected both quantitative and qualitative data through a structured online survey. Quantitative [...] Read more.
This research aims to examine the evolution of student attitudes toward the Transilvania University e-learning platform over a three-year period, encompassing the time before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The study collected both quantitative and qualitative data through a structured online survey. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency distribution) to measure changes in perceived ease of use, experiences, or degree of satisfaction, while qualitative responses were thematically analyzed to capture students’ comments about the platform within the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) framework. The findings indicate an increased usage of the e-learning platform and satisfaction with the user interface post-pandemic, along with a reduction in reported technical issues. Moreover, a predominantly positive sentiment emerged from the thematic analysis of student feedback. These results provide universities with evidence that higher education facilitated by an e-learning platform is sustainable and capable of offering enriched learning experiences, extending beyond the pandemic context. Full article
13 pages, 4598 KiB  
Article
Process-Oriented Design Methodologies Inspired by Tropical Plants
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16119; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216119 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 564
Abstract
In light of the escalating climate crisis, there is a pressing need for a significant shift in how we design the built environment to effectively confront global challenges. Natural systems have inspired scientists, architects, and engineers for centuries; however, conventional biomimetic approaches often [...] Read more.
In light of the escalating climate crisis, there is a pressing need for a significant shift in how we design the built environment to effectively confront global challenges. Natural systems have inspired scientists, architects, and engineers for centuries; however, conventional biomimetic approaches often focus on superficial aspects, disregarding the underlying complexities. While this approach may lead to a more efficient outcome, it operates under the assumption that the organism functions exclusively within the confines of human knowledge, which are inherently limited by established epistemological and technological systems. This study advocates for a departure from conventional biomimetic approaches and asks the mechanisms of the biological system to inform the process of translation, as opposed to simply defining the outcome. By relinquishing control to material properties and dynamic processes of the biological analog, this study explores the generation of novel, bio-inspired dynamic formworks through non-linear fabrication processes. Specifically, it investigates the thermal properties of accessible building materials, enabling them to respond to environmental conditions without sophisticated technology or human intervention. By embracing chance and unpredictability, translated behaviors are granted the same influence as human intervention. Drawing inspiration from adaptive plant physiology, this research seeks to inspire innovative, climate-responsive methodological practices within broader architectural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Adaptive Architecture and Eco Technologies)
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14 pages, 2208 KiB  
Article
Analyzing and Optimizing the Emission Impact of Intersection Signal Control in Mixed Traffic
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216118 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Signalized intersections are one of the typical bottlenecks in urban transport systems that have reduced speeds and which have substantial vehicle emissions. This study aims to analyze and optimize the impacts of signal control on the emissions of mixed traffic flow (CO, HC, [...] Read more.
Signalized intersections are one of the typical bottlenecks in urban transport systems that have reduced speeds and which have substantial vehicle emissions. This study aims to analyze and optimize the impacts of signal control on the emissions of mixed traffic flow (CO, HC, and NOx) containing both heavy- and light-duty vehicles at urban intersections, leveraging high-resolution field emission data. An OBEAS-3000 (Manufacturer: Xiamen Tongchuang Inspection Technology Co., Ltd., Xiamen, China.) vehicle emission testing device was used to collect microscopic operating characteristics and instantaneous emission data of different vehicle types (light- and heavy-duty vehicles) under different operating conditions. Based on the collected data, the VSP (Vehicle Specific Power) model combined with the VISSIM traffic simulation platform was used to quantitatively analyze the impact of signal control on traffic emissions. Heavy-duty vehicles contribute to most of the emissions regardless of the low proportion in the traffic flows. Afterward, a model is proposed for determining the optimal signal control at an intersection for a specific percentage of heavy-duty vehicles based on the conversion of emission factors of different types of vehicles. Signal control is also optimized based on conventional signal timing, and vehicle emissions are calculated. In the empirical analysis, the changes in CO, HC, and NOx emissions of light- and heavy-duty vehicles before and after conventional signal control optimization are quantified and compared. After the signal control optimization, the CO, HC, and NOx emissions of heavy-duty vehicles were reduced. The CO and HC emissions of light-duty vehicles were reduced, but the NOx emissions of light-duty vehicles remained unchanged. The emissions of vehicles after optimized signal control based on vehicle conversion factors are reduced more significantly than those after conventional optimized signal control. This study provides a scientific basis for developing traffic management measures for energy saving and emission reduction in transport systems with mixed traffic. Full article
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21 pages, 7525 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Future Streamflow Patterns under SSP245 Scenarios: Insights from CMIP6
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216117 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
The potential impacts of climate change on water resources in the Upper Indus Basin of Pakistan, a region heavily reliant on these resources for irrigated agriculture. We employ state-of-the-art global climate models from the CMIP6 project under the SSP245 scenario to evaluate changes [...] Read more.
The potential impacts of climate change on water resources in the Upper Indus Basin of Pakistan, a region heavily reliant on these resources for irrigated agriculture. We employ state-of-the-art global climate models from the CMIP6 project under the SSP245 scenario to evaluate changes in river runoff using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Our findings indicate that temperature fluctuations play a crucial role in streamflow dynamics, given that the primary sources of river runoff in the Upper Indus Basin are snow and glacier melting. We project a substantial increase of approximately 18% in both minimum and maximum temperatures, precipitation pattern increases of 13–17%, and a significant rise in streamflow by 19–30% in the future, driven by warmer temperatures. Importantly, our analysis reveals season-specific impacts of temperature, precipitation, and streamflow, with increasing variability in projected annual changes as we progress into the mid and late 21st century. To address these changes, our findings suggest the need for integrated strategies and action plans encompassing hydroelectricity generation, irrigation, flood prevention, and reservoir storage to ensure effective water resource management in the region. Full article
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26 pages, 2162 KiB  
Article
The Prevalence and Impact of Innovative CSR Strategies in Manufacturing Enterprises in the Silesian Voivodeship: A Multifaceted Analysis of Benefits, Challenges, and Market Adaptability
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16116; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216116 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 655
Abstract
This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the occurrence of innovative solutions in accordance with CSR in various companies. It turns out that 71% of medium-sized enterprises (50–249 people) and 64% of smaller companies (10–49 people and up to 9 people) declare the [...] Read more.
This article presents a comprehensive analysis of the occurrence of innovative solutions in accordance with CSR in various companies. It turns out that 71% of medium-sized enterprises (50–249 people) and 64% of smaller companies (10–49 people and up to 9 people) declare the introduction of innovative solutions in CSR strategies, which proves that innovations are not limited to large companies. A responsible approach to business can affect competitiveness and positive public perception. The implementation of a CSR strategy increases profits, improves image, increases customer loyalty, attracts media attention, and opens up new markets. The hindering factor is the additional cost of implementing CSR activities, insufficient knowledge and awareness of CSR, and unclear regulations and market conditions, as well as the need to adapt the organizational structure and culture. CSR strategies are important for the success of enterprises and society, and solving potential problems allows for effective introduction of responsible practices. In order to obtain the presented data, two research methods were used: an analysis of the international literature sources and a survey by manufacturing firms in the Silesian Voivodeship. Full article
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28 pages, 18524 KiB  
Article
New Geoeducational Facilities in Central Mazovia (Poland) Disseminate Knowledge about Local Geoheritage
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16115; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216115 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 473
Abstract
Geoeducation is fundamental for safeguarding the abiotic world and its impact on the environment, which is inhabited by a society with ever-growing aspirations. However, current Earth and environmental science education in schools is insufficient. It requires creative and captivating methods that extend beyond [...] Read more.
Geoeducation is fundamental for safeguarding the abiotic world and its impact on the environment, which is inhabited by a society with ever-growing aspirations. However, current Earth and environmental science education in schools is insufficient. It requires creative and captivating methods that extend beyond traditional classroom settings, such as utilising new natural landscapes, in order to effectively implement geoeducation. New geological resources are unveiled during fieldwork or deep excavations. They can also be altered in situ through anthropogenic means to appear more visible to observers, particularly in remote tourism regions. As a geotourism product, these resources have the potential to serve as a catalyst for local economic growth. This article presents five geosites in central Mazovia, Poland, which were opened to the public in 2022 and 2023. Two Scandinavian erratic boulders, one of which has been developed, and three lapidaries with geotourism infrastructure are discussed. The research examines the significance of the erratic boulders for the natural and human environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoheritage and Sustainable Development of Geotourism)
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19 pages, 7585 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Degradation of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons: The By-Product of the Petrochemical Industry Using Ag-Cu/Graphite Bimetallic Carbon Nitride
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16114; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216114 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
In this study, the author improved and modified g-C3N4 by doping it with the metals Ag and Cu, which changed the photochemical properties of g-C3N4, narrowed the band gap, and improved the photocatalytic performance regarding quantum [...] Read more.
In this study, the author improved and modified g-C3N4 by doping it with the metals Ag and Cu, which changed the photochemical properties of g-C3N4, narrowed the band gap, and improved the photocatalytic performance regarding quantum efficiency. Organic hydrocarbons such as 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) are very stable prepared materials produced as intermediates to obtain polyvinyl chloride, and the prepared photo-catalyst is an innovative method for extreme decomposition of chlorinated hydrocarbons. However, some significant results were obtained using different analysis techniques. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed that the addition of Ag and Cu-NPS partially altered the structure of pure graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4-Pure). Scanning electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed that the morphological features of Ag-Cu/g-C3N4 contain quantum dots of Ag and Cu nanoparticles in addition to 2d-g-C3N4. The better separation of the photo-generated charge carriers is attributed to better photoactivity in the case of 0.3 g Ag-Cu/g-C3N4 with a reaction time of less than 30 min. Furthermore, the Ag-Cu/g-C3N4 recycling experiment showed that the catalyst remained stable after three stages of the pyrolysis experimental cycle. Another clear indicator of DCE degradation is the measurement using the titration of the Cl ions released by the decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemical Engineering and Technology)
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27 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Government Participation in Ecological Championship on Heavily-Polluting Corporate Earnings Management: Evidence from China’s National Civilized City Award
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216113 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 564
Abstract
This study investigates the response of heavy-polluting firms to the political costs associated with local government participation in the ecological championship, with a specific focus on China’s National Civilized City Award. Employing the fourth national civilized city selection as a quasi-natural experiment, the [...] Read more.
This study investigates the response of heavy-polluting firms to the political costs associated with local government participation in the ecological championship, with a specific focus on China’s National Civilized City Award. Employing the fourth national civilized city selection as a quasi-natural experiment, the results reveal that heavy-polluting firms in cities with the prestigious National Civilized City Award title engage in income-decreasing earnings management to respond to rising political costs resulting from the National Civilized City Award campaign. Our findings are robust across various sensitivity analyses. Furthermore, we identify that the impact of the National Civilized City Award campaign on corporate earnings management is particularly pronounced among sub-samples characterized by non-state ownership, high visibility, and strong incentives for promoting local officials. Our study further elucidates that the increased political costs faced by heavy-polluting firms can be attributed to the local government’s efforts to subject them to more stringent environmental enforcement to pursuing the honor of National Civilized City Award. This study contributes to the existing literature on the political cost hypothesis and provides a new perspective for understanding the impact of environmental regulation on corporate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Governance and Firm Performance)
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11 pages, 2609 KiB  
Article
Study on the Effect of Two-Phase Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Rice Straw and Rural Sludge on Hydrogen and Methane Production
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16112; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216112 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 625
Abstract
Hydrogen and methane, as chemical raw materials with broad application prospects in the future market, can be produced by the two-phase anaerobic co-digestion of rice straw and sludge. The study was carried out using a medium-temperature batch experiment with rice straw, a rural [...] Read more.
Hydrogen and methane, as chemical raw materials with broad application prospects in the future market, can be produced by the two-phase anaerobic co-digestion of rice straw and sludge. The study was carried out using a medium-temperature batch experiment with rice straw, a rural crop residue from Sichuan, and residual sludge from a sewage treatment station. The effect of the mixing ratio of rice straw and rural sludge on hydrogen and methane production from anaerobic digestion was investigated with a view to alleviating the energy crisis and efficient resource utilization. The experimental results showed that hydrogen production was most favorable when rice straw/sludge = 5:1, with a cumulative hydrogen yield as high as 38.59 ± 1.12 mL/g VSadded, while methane production was most favorable when 3:1, with a cumulative methane yield as high as 578.21 ± 29.19 mL/g VSadded. By calculating the energy yield, it was determined that 3:1 is more favorable for the two-phase anaerobic digestion capacity of rice straw and sludge, which is as high as 20.88 ± 1.07 kJ/g VSadded, and its conversion of hydrogen and methane is 0.75% and 78.19%, respectively. The hydrogen production pathway was dominated by the butyric acid type, whose hydrogen production phase pH (5.84 ± 0.13) was slightly higher than the optimal pH for hydrogen-producing bacteria, while the methanogenic phase could meet the optimal pH for methanogenic bacteria (6.93 ± 0.17). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waste and Recycling)
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20 pages, 2302 KiB  
Article
Spatial Risk Assessment of the Effects of Obstacle Factors on Areas at High Risk of Geological Disasters in the Hengduan Mountains, China
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16111; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216111 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 479
Abstract
The Hengduan Mountains in China are known for their complex geological environment, which leads to frequent geological disasters that pose significant threats to the safety and economic and social development of the local population. In this study, we developed develop a multi-dimensional evaluation [...] Read more.
The Hengduan Mountains in China are known for their complex geological environment, which leads to frequent geological disasters that pose significant threats to the safety and economic and social development of the local population. In this study, we developed develop a multi-dimensional evaluation index system from the aspects of economy, society, ecology, and infrastructure, and the resilience inference measurement (RIM) model was developed to assess resilience to regional disasters. The clustering evaluation of exposure, damage, and recovery variables in four states was conducted by way of K-means clustering. The results of K-means clustering are confirmed by discriminant analysis, and the disaster resilience index was empirically verified once. At the same time, the obstacle factor was further analyzed with the obstacle degree model. The results indicate that there are 8 susceptible areas, 23 recovering areas, 27 resistant areas, and 7 usurper areas. The classification accuracy of the model is 95.4%. The disaster resilience of high-risk areas was found to be low, with “extremely poor” differentiation, where the majority of the areas had low resilience and only a minority had high resilience. A “high in the southeast and low in the northwest” spatial distribution was observed. High-resilience areas were “dotted” and mainly concentrated in core areas with a high population density and strong economic activity, while low-resilience areas had a pattern of “edge extension” and were mainly distributed in the transition zone between the Qinghai–Tibet and Yunnan Plateaus. There were clear differences in the barriers of disaster resilience among the 65 counties (cities). The economic barrier degree was found to be the largest barrier to disaster resilience, followed by ecological, social, and infrastructure barrier degrees. The main factors affecting the distribution of disaster resilience in the high-risk areas were topographic relief, proportion of female population, cultivated land area, industrial structure, number of industrial enterprises above a designated size, and drainage pipeline density in the built-up area. Additionally, primary barrier factors classify the 65 counties (cities) into three types: economic constraint, natural environment constraint, and population structure constraint. Full article
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13 pages, 1719 KiB  
Article
Combination of Microalgae Method, Decantation, and Filtration for Domestic Wastewater Treatment
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16110; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216110 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Phycoremediation of wastewater with microalgae is a viable option and is considered a process for cleaning up toxic waste using microalgae or macroalgae. Most water is modified by its use and must be treated before discharge. Given this situation, and following the example [...] Read more.
Phycoremediation of wastewater with microalgae is a viable option and is considered a process for cleaning up toxic waste using microalgae or macroalgae. Most water is modified by its use and must be treated before discharge. Given this situation, and following the example of other researchers around the world, our study focuses on the filtration method and combines it with the microalgae method to treat domestic wastewater. The aim of our work is to study the effects of using the microalgae system in combination with the decontamination and filtration system to reduce the nutrient content of domestic wastewater. The coupling of the two methods produced very significant results. However, the removal efficiencies for the filtered effluent increased to 86.34%, 100%, and 91.12% for COD, ammonia, and phosphate, respectively. The algae treatment offers an ecologically safe and less expensive system for nutrient removal and eliminates the need for tertiary treatment, which refers to the filtered treatment effluent, allowing us to conclude that the Chlorella vulgaris species has a very interesting influence on dissolved oxygen and that it had a very remarkable effect on COD, with a maximum reduction that reached 80%. The results obtained show that the phosphate content of the treated wastewater was significantly reduced during the cultivation period. In time, a decrease in solids was observed within the microalgae treatment system, influenced by the use of two different types of microalgae and the incorporation of the filtration system, which is based on the use of biosorption of methylene blue by biomass. The parameters analyzed in this study are hydrogen potential (pH), ammonia (NH3), phosphate ion (PO43−), chemical oxygen demand (COD), electrical conductivity (EC), total solids (TS), total dissolved solids (TDS), total suspended solids (TSS), nitrates, and dissolved oxygen (DO). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Water Management)
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25 pages, 10106 KiB  
Project Report
Okanagan Waterways Past, Present and Future: Approaching Sustainability through Immersive Museum Exhibition
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16109; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216109 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 745
Abstract
This paper presents Waterways Past, Present and Future, a research project and exhibition in Okanagan Syilx territory, aimed at increasing awareness of the relationship between people and water towards catalyzing sustainable water practices. The exhibition’s multi-channel audio-visual media was designed to [...] Read more.
This paper presents Waterways Past, Present and Future, a research project and exhibition in Okanagan Syilx territory, aimed at increasing awareness of the relationship between people and water towards catalyzing sustainable water practices. The exhibition’s multi-channel audio-visual media was designed to immerse, provoke, destabilize, transform and move visitors to take responsibility for water. Drawing on many ways of knowing and doing in the creative process, the exhibition opens different entry points to the research, thus encouraging an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural audience to engage with it. Waterways’ contribution to sustainability discourse lies in its empowerment of collaborative inquiry as a way of knowing, understanding and representing our world. The epistemological dimensions of the exhibit present multiplicities embedded in the social life of water, inviting dialogues, shaping cultural narratives and developing new forms of creativity. Through the sensual process of immersion and activation of lateral thinking, the exhibition facilitates connections across cultures, connections that act as agents for social transformation. Waterways’ experiential journey transcends our personal and dominant socio-cultural patterns, reaching beyond normative structures to new creative realms shared ethical space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Education and Digital Societies for a Sustainable World)
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22 pages, 7044 KiB  
Article
Recycling E-Waste and the Sustainable Economy: A Bibliometric Exploration
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16108; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216108 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and the pervasive presence of the electronics industry, electronic waste (E-waste) has become a prominent global concern. This study utilizes a rigorous bibliometric analysis to thoroughly investigate the extensive body of literature in this field, [...] Read more.
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and the pervasive presence of the electronics industry, electronic waste (E-waste) has become a prominent global concern. This study utilizes a rigorous bibliometric analysis to thoroughly investigate the extensive body of literature in this field, shedding light on the current state of research and development in E-waste recycling. The study dissects and visualizes research trends, trajectories, and advancements. It meticulously examines a dataset comprising 3267 records extracted from the Web of Science Core Collection, specifically the Science Citation Index Expanded. The analysis highlights China’s pivotal role in E-waste recycling research, contributing 41% of the total research papers in this field. Additionally, the British journal ‘Waste Management’ emerges as a standout among academic publications, with an impressive count of 241 articles, constituting 7.38% of the entire corpus. Notably, Zeng, X.L., emerges as the most co-cited author, underscoring their significant influence and contributions to the scholarly discourse. Tracing the evolution of E-waste recycling research from 1990 to 2022, the study uncovers the field’s inception in 1993 when the first research paper on this subject was published. This nascent domain has since experienced exponential growth, culminating in an impressive 408 papers published in 2022. The research identifies and distills three compelling research trends that have captured significant attention within the E-waste recycling domain. Firstly, it highlights the paramount concern regarding the environmental impact of organic pollutants from E-waste, emphasizing the urgent need for sustainable solutions. Secondly, it delves into the intricate issue of managing and recycling E-waste in developing countries, where unique challenges necessitate innovative approaches. Lastly, the analysis underscores the growing interest in recovering and recycling materials from discarded electronic devices, highlighting the imperative necessity of harnessing the valuable resources within E-waste. In synthesis, this research not only provides an overview of the current landscape of E-waste recycling but also offers a clear path forward for future studies and interventions. It serves as a critical guide for addressing the environmental and socio-economic repercussions of E-waste, ultimately fostering a more sustainable and economically viable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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16 pages, 1800 KiB  
Article
A Charging Planning Method for Shared Electric Vehicles with the Collaboration of Mobile and Fixed Facilities
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16107; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216107 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Faced with the charging difficulties of free-floating shared electric vehicles and the high cost of single-demand mobile charging, this paper proposes a cooperative charging planning method based on the complementary advantages of fixed charging stations and mobile charging vehicles, which can charge shared [...] Read more.
Faced with the charging difficulties of free-floating shared electric vehicles and the high cost of single-demand mobile charging, this paper proposes a cooperative charging planning method based on the complementary advantages of fixed charging stations and mobile charging vehicles, which can charge shared electric vehicles more efficiently and reduce the charging cost at the same time. A bi-level programming model for fixed and mobile cooperative charging is constructed. The upper level of the model is the system charging total cost minimization model, which searches for the optimal charging scheme and number of mobile charging vehicles. The lower level model is a fixed and mobile cooperative charging path planning model, which calculates the optimal routes for the mobile charging vehicles and the shared electric vehicles that need to be transferred to the fixed charging station. The example results show that the cost of the proposed fixed-mobile cooperative charging scheme is reduced by 12.6% when compared to the fixed-only charging scheme, and by 14.9% when compared to the mobile-only charging scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transportation Planning and Management)
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23 pages, 1532 KiB  
Article
‘I Tweet about Our #GreenEnergy’—Automated Classification of Social Identity and Opinion Mining of the Dutch Twitter Discourse on Green-Energy Technologies
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 16106; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216106 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Understanding the complexities of public opinion is crucial for a green-energy transition. This present study examines the sentiment of public opinion towards various energy technologies on Twitter during the Dutch 2021 general elections. A dataset comprising 186,822 tweets and profile descriptions was analyzed [...] Read more.
Understanding the complexities of public opinion is crucial for a green-energy transition. This present study examines the sentiment of public opinion towards various energy technologies on Twitter during the Dutch 2021 general elections. A dataset comprising 186,822 tweets and profile descriptions was analyzed using two automated text classifiers to explore how individuals with different self-proclaimed identities perceive green-energy technologies. The analysis involved the application of the sentiment and social identity classifier models, followed by a frequency and co-occurrence analysis. The findings revealed a negative overall sentiment towards green-energy technologies in the Twitter discourse. It further showed that perceptions may differ depending on a technology’s development stage, with emerging technologies generally receiving more favorable views compared to established ones. Furthermore, it was found that, although there is a general trend of negative sentiment based on political identity, and positive sentiment based on occupational identity, this trend did not consistently apply to specific energy technologies. This discrepancy can likely be attributed to varying implementation effects and contextual situations associated with the technologies. The findings suggest that personalized communication strategies for specific social groups may be beneficial for understanding and addressing public opinions, needs, and concerns within the energy transition. The complexity of understanding public opinion in the context of green-energy highlights the need for a nuanced approach in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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