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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 5 (March-1 2023) – 825 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Food systems are currently not delivering what is expected or needed to ensure their full contribution to societal well-being and ecological sustainability. In this paper, we hypothesize that nature-based solutions can overcome system challenges related to the functioning of the biosphere, society, or economy, as well as support a transition to sustainable climate-resilient food systems. Three types of NBSs are evaluated: intrinsic NBSs, which make use of existing ecosystems; hybrid NBSs, which manage and adapt ecosystems; and inspired NBSs, which consist of newly constructed ecosystems. We show that inspired NBSs in particular will increase opportunities to achieve the sustainable development of food systems. NBSs can facilitate the much-needed transition to a different way of using our natural resources to reach the SDGs by 2030. View this paper
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16 pages, 666 KiB  
Article
The “I” and the “We” in Nature Conservation—Investigating Personal and Collective Motives to Protect One’s Regional and Global Nature
by Annedore Hoppe, Immo Fritsche and Parissa Chokrai
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4694; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054694 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2258
Abstract
Personal pro-environmental action has often been explained in terms of personal cost-benefit analyses and personal capabilities. However, given that only collectives and not single individuals can effectively address large-scale environmental crises, such as mass extinction of species, peoples’ pro-environmental motivation might emerge from [...] Read more.
Personal pro-environmental action has often been explained in terms of personal cost-benefit analyses and personal capabilities. However, given that only collectives and not single individuals can effectively address large-scale environmental crises, such as mass extinction of species, peoples’ pro-environmental motivation might emerge from their perceived involvement in agentic collectives, as proposed in the social identity model of pro-environmental action (SIMPEA). Collective cognition and motivation (e.g., ingroup identification, ingroup norms, collective efficacy, and group-based emotion) might drive identified group members’ nature protection intention and behavior both directly and indirectly by affecting personal factors (e.g., personal attitudes). We tested this in two related nationally representative surveys of N = 2065 Germans, measuring both personal and collective predictors as well as nature protection intentions and behavior on either the regional or the worldwide, global level. As hypothesized, blockwise regression analyses suggest that collective factors affect people’s conservation action both directly and indirectly. In addition, participants’ identification with all humanity moderated the relationship between collective factors and personal intention (and personal norms) to protect global nature. Overall, the results support propositions of the social identity model of pro-environmental action and highlight the importance of collective factors motivating citizens’ conservation action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psychology of Sustainability: Expanding the Scope)
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19 pages, 2607 KiB  
Systematic Review
Beyond the Traditional: A Systematic Review of Digital Game-Based Assessment for Students’ Knowledge, Skills, and Affections
by Sha Zhu, Qing Guo and Harrison Hao Yang
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4693; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054693 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Traditional methods of student assessment (SA) include self-reported surveys, standardized tests, etc. These methods are widely regarded by researchers as inducing test anxiety. They also ignore students’ thinking processes and are not applicable to the assessment of higher-order skills. Digital game-based assessment (DGBA) [...] Read more.
Traditional methods of student assessment (SA) include self-reported surveys, standardized tests, etc. These methods are widely regarded by researchers as inducing test anxiety. They also ignore students’ thinking processes and are not applicable to the assessment of higher-order skills. Digital game-based assessment (DGBA) is thought to address the shortcomings of traditional assessment methods. Given the advantages of DGBA, an increasing number of empirical studies are working to apply digital games for SA. However, there is a lack of any systematic review of DGBA studies. In particular, very little is known about the characteristics of the games, the content of the assessment, the methods of implementation, and the distribution of the results. This study examined the characteristics of DGBA studies, and the adopted games on SA in the past decade from different perspectives. A rigorous systematic review process was adopted in this study. First, the Web of Science (WOS) database was used to search the literature on DGBA published over the last decade. Then, 50 studies on SA were selected for subsequent analysis according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results of this study found that DGBA has attracted the attention of researchers around the world. The participants of the DGBA studies were distributed across different educational levels, but the number of participants was small. Among all game genres, educational games were the most frequently used. Disciplinary knowledge is the most popular SA research content. Formative assessment modeling with process data and summative assessment using final scores were the most popular assessment methods. Correlation analysis was the most popular analysis method to verify the effectiveness of games on SA. However, many DGBA studies have reported unsatisfactory data analysis results. For the above findings, this study further discussed the reasons, as well as the meanings. In conclusion, this review showed the current status and gaps of DGBA in the SA application; directional references for future research of researchers and game designers are also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Inspiration of Flexible Education)
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10 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Influencing Factors of Sports Activities of Urban Migrant Children Based on Intelligent Evaluation
by Xiaofen Wang and Ying Jiang
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4692; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054692 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1169
Abstract
In this paper, a cluster sampling method was used to randomly select 1308 young children from the southern part of Fujian Province, China, and the short format of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to investigate their physical activity. Logistic regression [...] Read more.
In this paper, a cluster sampling method was used to randomly select 1308 young children from the southern part of Fujian Province, China, and the short format of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to investigate their physical activity. Logistic regression was used to analyze the influencing factors of children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time. Results: The MVPA time deficit rate of urban migrant children in southern Fujian was 90.1%, and that of girls (92.2%) was significantly higher than that of boys (88.5%); Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that gender, parents’ support on sports, and sports grounds near their homes were the main factors affecting the lack of MVPA time for urban migrant children. Full article
17 pages, 2396 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Uncivilized Tourism Behavior of Tourists: A Planned Behavior Model Based on the Perspectives of Cognitive Dissonance and Neutralization
by Ping Zhang and Kaijun Cao
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4691; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054691 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2606
Abstract
Effectively regulating and managing the uncivilized tourism behavior of tourists is a key strategy for the sustainable development of tourism destinations. In this paper, the dissonance–neutralization model was proposed by integrating planned behavior, cognitive dissonance, and neutralization theories. Partial least squares structural equation [...] Read more.
Effectively regulating and managing the uncivilized tourism behavior of tourists is a key strategy for the sustainable development of tourism destinations. In this paper, the dissonance–neutralization model was proposed by integrating planned behavior, cognitive dissonance, and neutralization theories. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the impact and effect of this model on the uncivilized tourism behavior of 387 tourists at natural heritage sites. Overall, the research results show the following: (1) Uncivilized tourism behavior is not only determined by behavioral intention and perceived behavioral control. Attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control also all have a significant influence on behavioral intention. (2) Cognitive dissonance is a parallel predictor of behavior. (3) Neutralization techniques can effectively reduce cognitive dissonance, thus allowing uncivilized tourist behavior to continue. Full article
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16 pages, 327 KiB  
Article
Is There a Right Way to Lay Off Employees in Times of Crisis?: The Role of Organizational Justice in the Case of Airbnb
by Sanghyun Lee, Sounman Hong and Bong Gyou Lee
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054690 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the tourism and services sector. Using the example of Airbnb’s recent layoff of 25% of its workforce, we focused on the role of organizational justice in mitigating the negative psychological impacts of layoffs. Based on a unique [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the tourism and services sector. Using the example of Airbnb’s recent layoff of 25% of its workforce, we focused on the role of organizational justice in mitigating the negative psychological impacts of layoffs. Based on a unique survey of Airbnb employees who survived the layoffs, as well as those who left, we employed an ordinary least squares regression to show that employees’ perceptions of organizational justice were positively related to their job satisfaction and trust in management, while being negatively related to their emotional exhaustion and cynicism. We discovered the crucial importance of interactional justice (i.e., interpersonal and informational justice). The respect, dignity, and politeness shown by management (i.e., interpersonal justice), as well as truthful and adequate communication about the procedure (i.e., informational justice) were pivotal to successfully conducting layoffs, especially during unprecedented economic uncertainty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding Sustainable Human Resource Management)
22 pages, 2126 KiB  
Article
Removal of Arsenate from Contaminated Water via Combined Addition of Magnesium-Based and Calcium-Based Adsorbents
by Hajime Sugita, Terumi Oguma, Junko Hara, Ming Zhang and Yoshishige Kawabe
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4689; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054689 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
The effects of the combined addition of Mg- and Ca-based adsorbents (MgO, Mg(OH)2, MgCO3, CaO, Ca(OH)2, and CaCO3) were systematically tested for improving arsenic-removal performance and inhibiting the leaching of base material components from the [...] Read more.
The effects of the combined addition of Mg- and Ca-based adsorbents (MgO, Mg(OH)2, MgCO3, CaO, Ca(OH)2, and CaCO3) were systematically tested for improving arsenic-removal performance and inhibiting the leaching of base material components from the adsorbent. Arsenic-removal tests were conducted with each single type or combination of two types of adsorbents. Results obtained after the combined-addition tests were compared with those obtained from the single-addition test with each adsorbent. The arsenic-removal performance improved in most combined additions but decreased in certain combined additions of MgO or Mg(OH)2 with Ca-based adsorbents. The arsenic-removal performance of the combined addition of MgCO3 and Ca(OH)2 was the highest. The combination of Mg-based adsorbents with CaO or Ca(OH)2 inhibited Mg-leaching, whereas that of CaO or Ca(OH)2 with MgCO3 inhibited Ca-leaching. Improvement in arsenic-removal performance for the combination of MgCO3 with CaO or Ca(OH)2 was caused by the incorporation and co-precipitation with arsenic when Mg(OH)2 and CaCO3 were produced. MgCO3-Ca(OH)2 and MgCO3-CaO are recommended for both arsenic removal and environmental adsorbent stability that can be effectively applied over a wide range of arsenic concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment and Purification)
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16 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Does the Development of the Digital Economy Promote Common Prosperity?—Analysis Based on 284 Cities in China
by Li Chen and Yuanbo Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4688; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054688 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2734
Abstract
Common prosperity is the essential requirement of socialism and an important feature of Chinese-style modernization. Data from 284 cities in China from 2011 to 2020 were collected to construct an evaluation system of the digital economy and common prosperity and establish relevant econometric [...] Read more.
Common prosperity is the essential requirement of socialism and an important feature of Chinese-style modernization. Data from 284 cities in China from 2011 to 2020 were collected to construct an evaluation system of the digital economy and common prosperity and establish relevant econometric models to explore their impact, spatial spillover, and mechanism. It is found that: (1) the digital economy has an obvious role in promoting common prosperity, this promotion role is dynamic and nonlinear, and the digital economy’s promotion is more obvious in low-level digital economy regions; (2) the digital economy has obvious externalities, and there is a spatial spillover effect in the process of promoting common prosperity; (3) resource allocation efficiency plays a mediating role in the process of promoting common prosperity development in the digital economy. Finally, countermeasures and suggestions are proposed in four aspects: strengthening the development of the digital economy, increasing investment in digital infrastructure, enhancing the digital governance capacity of the government, and building a digital economy demonstration zone. The research results deepen the understanding of the digital economy and common prosperity and provide some insights for the ultimate realization of common prosperity. Full article
18 pages, 1400 KiB  
Article
Forsvik, Sweden: Towards a People–Public–Private Partnership as a Circular Governance and Sustainable Culture Tourism Strategy
by Christer Gustafsson and Mohamed Amer
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4687; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054687 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2564
Abstract
Purpose: The objectives of this study are to (a) invest adaptively in the cultural assets which play a part in generating the cultural identity manifestations, (b) review a group of sustainable bottom-up-centred and/or circular economy-based projects (CHRISTA and Västra Götaland Regional Development Policy [...] Read more.
Purpose: The objectives of this study are to (a) invest adaptively in the cultural assets which play a part in generating the cultural identity manifestations, (b) review a group of sustainable bottom-up-centred and/or circular economy-based projects (CHRISTA and Västra Götaland Regional Development Policy (SE); CLIC; Be.CULTOUR), and (c) strategically support the sustainable culture tourism process in Forsvik (a Swedish industrial heritage destination) by involving the local community members. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research was carried out in Forsvik as a circular governance model adopting a people-centred approach. The research qualitatively presents its review through a descriptive analysis of the aforementioned projects. In addition, the paper consists of two in-depth individual interviews with the key governmental decision makers, as well as the experience of the 1st author as a project leader. Findings: The results show a People–Public–Private Partnership approach, as a community-driven social innovation tool, that seeks to operationalize a strategic dynamic partnership mainly among three partners: (1) people or the host community, (2) the public sector, and (3) the private sector. Originality/Value: One of the contributions of this study is to develop a corporate committee valorising and emancipating the role of community engagement in circular governance providing a sustainable people-centred cultural tourism strategy. Full article
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17 pages, 855 KiB  
Article
Interval-Valued Hesitant Fuzzy DEMATEL-Based Blockchain Technology Adoption Barriers Evaluation Methodology in Agricultural Supply Chain Management
by Jung-Fa Tsai, Dinh-Hieu Tran, Phi-Hung Nguyen and Ming-Hua Lin
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054686 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Blockchain technology is emerging and has high potential to improve and transform the agricultural supply chain. This study investigates the critical barriers to blockchain technology adoption in the Vietnamese agricultural supply chain using a novel interval-valued hesitant fuzzy Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory [...] Read more.
Blockchain technology is emerging and has high potential to improve and transform the agricultural supply chain. This study investigates the critical barriers to blockchain technology adoption in the Vietnamese agricultural supply chain using a novel interval-valued hesitant fuzzy Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (IVHF-DEMATEL) approach. The IVHF-DEMATEL technique is applied to identify cause-and-effect relationships and draw the influence-relations map of the barriers. In contrast to prior work, which converts fuzzy sets into crisp sets and then uses crisp set operations, this study is the first study to investigate the Vietnamese agricultural supply chain that uses fully hesitant fuzzy operations representing experts’ assessment without information loss during the conversion. Our results show that ‘lack of government regulation’, ‘lack of scalability and system speed’, ‘a large amount of resource and capital requirements’, and ‘lack of trust among agro-stakeholder or public perception’ are the main barriers. Consistent with previous studies, ‘lack of government regulation’ is the most significant barrier. The results also indicate the hesitant degree of each barrier and better inform decision-makers about uncertain situations. Moreover, a priority order for tackling barriers is proposed to accelerate blockchain adoption in the Vietnamese agricultural supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Management Strategies and Practices)
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14 pages, 5220 KiB  
Article
Rural Building Extraction Based on Joint U-Net and the Generalized Chinese Restaurant Franchise from Remote Sensing Images
by Zixiong Wang, Shaodan Li and Zimeng Zhu
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4685; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054685 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
The extraction of rural buildings from remote sensing images plays a critical role in the development of rural areas. However, automatic building extraction has a challenge because of the diverse types of buildings and complex backgrounds. In this paper, we proposed a two-layer [...] Read more.
The extraction of rural buildings from remote sensing images plays a critical role in the development of rural areas. However, automatic building extraction has a challenge because of the diverse types of buildings and complex backgrounds. In this paper, we proposed a two-layer clustering framework named gCRF_U-Net for the extraction of rural buildings. Before the building extraction, the potential built-up areas are firstly detected, which are taken as a constraint for building extraction. Then, the U-Net network is employed to obtain the prior probability of the potential buildings. After this, the calculated probability and the satellite image are put into the generalized Chinese restaurant franchise (gCRF) model to cluster for buildings and non-buildings. In addition, it is worth noting that the hierarchical spatial relationship in the images is clarified for the building extraction. According to the compared experiments on the satellite images and public building datasets, the results show that the proposed method has a better performance, compared with other methods based on the same unified hierarchical models, in terms of quantitative and qualitative evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing for Sustainable Development)
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31 pages, 13456 KiB  
Article
A 3D Study of the Darrieus Wind Turbine with Auxiliary Blades and Economic Analysis Based on an Optimal Design from a Parametric Investigation
by Mohammadreza Asadbeigi, Farzad Ghafoorian, Mehdi Mehrpooya, Sahel Chegini and Azad Jarrahian
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4684; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054684 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Due to the high consumption of energy in recent years and global efforts to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the need for high-efficiency renewable energy systems has become necessary. Small VAWTs are suitable candidates for clean energy production, due to their advantages [...] Read more.
Due to the high consumption of energy in recent years and global efforts to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the need for high-efficiency renewable energy systems has become necessary. Small VAWTs are suitable candidates for clean energy production, due to their advantages over other power systems; nevertheless, their aerodynamic performance is modest. This paper attempts to improve the Darrieus VAWT performance by examining the turbine design parameters through the CFD method by adopting the SST k-ω turbulence model and finding the optimum turbine by utilizing the Kriging optimization model. Finally, by using the suggested optimized turbine, the economic analysis conducted to assess the total net present cost indicated the ideal hybrid power. The CFD results from different parameters show that the three-bladed turbine achieved maximum Cp and turbine with σ = 1.2 and optimal Cp by 34.4% compared to the medium solidity. The symmetrical airfoil t/c of 21% registered 19% and 48% performance enhancement at λ = 2.5 in comparison to t/c = 15% and 12%, respectively. Increasing the H/D ratio results in a better performance at the initial TSR, while a low H/D attained the highest Cp value. The stall condition can be delayed in low TSRs with toe-out blades upstream and obtained an increase of 22.4% in power obtained by β= −6° compared to the zero pitch angle. The assistance of auxiliary blades working in a wider range of TSR is shown and the turbine starting power augmented by 75.8%. The Kriging optimization model predicted the optimal Cp = 0.457, which can be attained with an optimal turbine with N = 3, σ = 1.2, NACA 0021 airfoil, AR = 0.8, and β= −6° operating at λ = 2.8. Finally, the results of the economic analysis indicate that the hybrid energy system consisting of a VAWT, a battery, and a converter can be applied for satisfying the site load demand with a lower net present cost and cost of energy compared to other feasible hybrid energy systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Integration of Renewable Power Generation Systems)
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18 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
The “Double-Edged Sword” Effect of Personal Relationships between Boundary Personnel on Enterprise Opportunistic Behavior in Cooperative Innovation
by Mengli Gao, Muddassar Sarfraz and Wasi Ul Hassan Shah
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4683; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054683 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
In collaborative innovation, personal relationships between boundary personnel of knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) enterprises and organizational customers have a “double-edged sword” effect on inter-organizational relations. This study adopts the empirical research method based on KIBS enterprises’ cooperative innovation projects with organizational customers in [...] Read more.
In collaborative innovation, personal relationships between boundary personnel of knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) enterprises and organizational customers have a “double-edged sword” effect on inter-organizational relations. This study adopts the empirical research method based on KIBS enterprises’ cooperative innovation projects with organizational customers in China. Based on the theory of the inter-organizational relationship, this study explores the influence of personal relationships between employees at the boundary of enterprises on organizational customers’ opportunistic behavior. It analyzes the mediating effect of relationship governance and contract governance. The results show that personal relationships between boundary personnel will improve the probability of corporate customer opportunism. The relationship between governance and contract governance for enterprises can effectively restrain the opportunistic behavior of organizational customers. Further, the personal relationships between boundary personnel will enhance the relationship norms and inhibit the opportunistic behavior of organizational customers, and relationship governance plays a partial intermediary role in this. The personal relationships between employees at an enterprise’s boundary will relax the contract’s supervision and encourage corporate customer opportunism. Contract governance plays a partial intermediary role in this. Full article
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22 pages, 988 KiB  
Essay
CSR and the Hermeneutical Renovation of Foucault’s Toolbox
by Jeremy Tauzer
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054682 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1505
Abstract
This article aims to examine Foucault’s conceptual toolbox (methodology, conceptual tools, and conceptual meta-tools) in relation to the socio-historical analysis of CSR and of the corporation. The article has a bidirectional purpose: it aims to use Foucault’s toolbox to analyze CSR, and to [...] Read more.
This article aims to examine Foucault’s conceptual toolbox (methodology, conceptual tools, and conceptual meta-tools) in relation to the socio-historical analysis of CSR and of the corporation. The article has a bidirectional purpose: it aims to use Foucault’s toolbox to analyze CSR, and to use the occasion of applying Foucault to CSR to reflect on the interpretation, critical potential, and adequacy of Foucault’s conceptual toolbox. It starts with some preliminary work: a review and rework of an interpretation of Foucault’s conceptual toolbox by Koopman and Matza. With this interpretationally revised toolbox in mind, it then initiates a Foucauldian approach to the research field of ‘the corporation’ and the sub-field of CSR. Most of the first half of this article demonstrates that Foucault’s toolbox offers a fruitful start to tackling these fields. The second half of the article takes up a counterpoint in the reverse direction, namely that Foucault’s toolbox is not equipped for adequately apprehending the interpretative play and flexibility operating within CSR discourse. This leads to a suggestion of three ways to incorporate hermeneutic tools into Foucault’s toolbox, and to an exemplification of how such toolbox renovation sheds new light on the tactics and power dynamics of CSR discourse. Full article
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28 pages, 809 KiB  
Article
Low-Carbon Lifestyles beyond Decarbonisation: Toward a More Creative Use of the Carbon Footprinting Method
by Atsushi Watabe and Alice Marie Yamabe-Ledoux
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4681; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054681 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2226
Abstract
There is a growing recognition of the urgent need to change citizens’ lifestyles to realise decarbonised societies. Consumption-based accounting (carbon footprinting) is a helpful indicator for measuring the impacts of peoples’ consumption on climate change by capturing both direct and embedded carbon emissions. [...] Read more.
There is a growing recognition of the urgent need to change citizens’ lifestyles to realise decarbonised societies. Consumption-based accounting (carbon footprinting) is a helpful indicator for measuring the impacts of peoples’ consumption on climate change by capturing both direct and embedded carbon emissions. However, while carbon footprinting can propose impactful behaviour changes to reduce carbon footprints immediately, it may deflect people’s attention from the much needed but time-consuming efforts to reshape the “systems of provisions” to enable decarbonised living. To propose a more constructive application of carbon footprinting, the paper examines the three cases of using carbon footprinting derived from the 1.5-degree lifestyles project, including citizens’ discussions and experiments in six cities in 2020 and 2021, citizens’ workshops contributing to the local policy development in 2022, and lectures and mini-workshops since 2020. Based on the examination of the cases, the article argues the broader purposes of using scientific data in citizens’ engagement in climate actions, namely to help deepen understanding of the systemic causes of the incumbent carbon-intensive society, to guide discussions on the desired conditional changes to support lifestyles shifts, and to help identify possible risks or negative consequences of changes to specific groups in society. These benefits contribute to developing relevant stakeholders’ essential capacities to promote changes at the individual, collective and public levels toward decarbonised societies. Full article
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16 pages, 1724 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Integrated Model with Norm Activation Model and Theory of Planned Behavior: Applying the Green Hotel’s Corporate Social Responsibilities
by YoungHyun Kim
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4680; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054680 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3022
Abstract
This study investigated the structural relationship between the green behavior of green hotel users by integrating and applying green corporate social responsibility (GCSR), the norm activation model (NAM), and theory of planned behavior (TPB). The survey targets were customers who have visited green [...] Read more.
This study investigated the structural relationship between the green behavior of green hotel users by integrating and applying green corporate social responsibility (GCSR), the norm activation model (NAM), and theory of planned behavior (TPB). The survey targets were customers who have visited green hotels at least 1–2 times in the past two years and completed an online (mobile) self-written Google survey. In addition, to increase the validity of the research hypothesis of this study, the definition of green hotel CSR was simply explained for understanding before the survey began. Four hundred and fifty surveys were distributed for a month from 15 October 2022, and 386 samples were used for final analysis, excluding non-response, and SPSS and Amos programs were used for the analysis. The analysis results of the research hypothesis are as follows. In the process of GCSR on the green behavior of hotel users, the relationships between awareness of consequence (AC), ascription of responsibility (AR), and personal norm (PN) of NAM were all found to have a significant effect. Therefore, H1a–d are supported. Additionally, in the context of another theory, TPB, in the process of GCSR on the green behavior of hotel users, the study verified the relationship between attitude (AT), subjective norm (SN), and perceived behavioral control (PBC) of TPB. However, GCSR has no significant effect on PBC, so H2c was rejected, and PBC has no significant effect on green behavioral intention (GBI), so H4c was rejected. Finally, subjective norm (SN) as a variable of TPB was found to have a significant positive effect on PN as a variable of NAM. Thus, H3 was supported. This study intends to present useful basic evidence by providing academic and practical implications for establishing the management strategy of hotel companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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39 pages, 12360 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review on Development and Applications of Cross-Flow Wind Turbines
by Zahra Sefidgar, Amir Ahmadi Joneidi and Ahmad Arabkoohsar
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054679 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3872
Abstract
The rapid globalization of the energy crisis and the adverse effects of global warming have caused the need for non-conventional energy resources to be felt more than ever. As a result of this, vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) have received much attention over [...] Read more.
The rapid globalization of the energy crisis and the adverse effects of global warming have caused the need for non-conventional energy resources to be felt more than ever. As a result of this, vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) have received much attention over the recent decades, and have thus been more developed and used worldwide. The cross-flow wind turbine (CFWT) is a wind turbine in the category of VAWTs, and perfectly suitable for urban applications due to its simplicity, high starting torque at low wind speed, and self-starting capability, even though its low power coefficient as its main drawback has slowed down its widespread use so far. The main aim of this paper is to review the scientific literature and recent developments in the field of CFWTs. The governing equations and turbulence models for the simulation of the turbine are discussed and various wind resource assessment methods for estimating potential site locations, different aspects, and wind energy harvesting systems from buildings are debated. The research gaps, challenges, and future possible works on such turbines and their applications are discussed. Investigations indicate that changing the rotor geometric parameters and adding innovative augmentation devices have been the most widely addressed approaches for making performance enhancement of the wind turbine in the literature. The critical performance-affecting parameters are improved by various innovative designs of the turbine structure or blades, as well as several augmentation techniques, such as guide nozzle, casing, windshield, guide vane, deflector, cowling, etc. Full article
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18 pages, 1277 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Relationship between Economic Growth, Institutional Environment and Sulphur Dioxide Emissions
by Xiaohua Hou, Bo Cheng, Zhiliang Xia, Haijun Zhou, Qi Shen, Yanjie Lu, Ehsan Nazemi and Guodao Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4678; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054678 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
In order to promote ecological sustainability, the issue of sulphur dioxide emissions is of increasing interest to researchers. Majority of the current research, however, focuses on the relationship between sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, foreign direct investment (FDI), and trade, as well [...] Read more.
In order to promote ecological sustainability, the issue of sulphur dioxide emissions is of increasing interest to researchers. Majority of the current research, however, focuses on the relationship between sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, foreign direct investment (FDI), and trade, as well as the effects of trade on SO2 emissions, thus rarely takes it into account that the greater impact of the institutional environment and economic growth on SO2 emissions. Using the 2008–2017 provincial panel data, this paper uses a fixed effects model to empirically test the institutional environment and economic growth of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The results show that GDP growth and SO2 emissions had an inverted “U”-shaped relationship. The institutional environment and the higher level of government intervention in the region led to SO2 emissions decreasing significantly, and the institutional environment and the level of government intervention on economic growth and SO2 emissions form a negative regulatory role. In this paper, environmental governance research, specified by the regional environmental governance, and government environmental performance audit policy provide empirical evidence, thus promoting sustainable ecological and environmental development. Full article
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15 pages, 753 KiB  
Article
The Opening of High-Speed Railway and Coordinated Development of the Core–Periphery Urban Economy in China
by Jiaqi Li, Ehsan Elahi, Peng Cheng, Aimin Wu, Fengtong Cao, Wang Jian, Mohammad Ilyas Abro and Zainab Khalid
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4677; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054677 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1419
Abstract
The current study investigates the impact of the high-speed railway’s operation on the coordinated economic development of “core–periphery” cities using the multi-period difference-in-difference (DID) model. Data on 270 prefecture-level cities in China were collected for empirical analysis of collected data. The findings demonstrate [...] Read more.
The current study investigates the impact of the high-speed railway’s operation on the coordinated economic development of “core–periphery” cities using the multi-period difference-in-difference (DID) model. Data on 270 prefecture-level cities in China were collected for empirical analysis of collected data. The findings demonstrate that the high-speed railway’s operation has widened the economic development gap between core and peripheral cities and restrained the coordinated growth of the urban economy. The heterogeneity analysis found that the “siphon effect” of the high-speed railway’s operation in core cities is only effective within the distance of “one-hour metropolitan area”. Moreover, it is found that the high-speed railway has a threshold effect based on the size of cities. It depicts that the core cities in the high-speed railway network play a “siphon effect” and “diffusion effect” on large size cities and small (or medium) size cities, respectively, which is manifested as a suppression and promotion effect on the coordinated development of the urban economy. Furthermore, it is found that that technological innovation and economic agglomeration are two significant intermediary paths of high-speed railway opening that affect the level of “core–periphery” city economics coordination; however, technological innovation’s role as an intermediary has a stronger masking effect than economic agglomeration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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13 pages, 3686 KiB  
Article
Study on the Influence of Initial State on Loess Erosion Characteristics and Microscopic Mechanism
by Hong Zheng, Xi-An Li, Ya-Hong Deng, Zhi-Tao Hao and Feng Wen
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4676; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054676 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Because of its loose, porous, and vertical structure, loess easily absorbs water, and it contains a large amount of soluble material, making it susceptible to erosion by water flow from rainfall or irrigation, with potentially disastrous consequences. Damage can result especially from loess [...] Read more.
Because of its loose, porous, and vertical structure, loess easily absorbs water, and it contains a large amount of soluble material, making it susceptible to erosion by water flow from rainfall or irrigation, with potentially disastrous consequences. Damage can result especially from loess slope erosion. In this paper, physical tests and microscopic analysis are used to study loess erosion. The purpose is to explore the internal structure of the soil caused by the infiltration of the water body when it flows through the loess slope, and thus to learn more about the internal mechanisms of surface erosion caused by the migration and relocation of the soil particles on the surface of the slope. Erosion tests of samples with different dry density and water content were carried out. It was found that the amount of erosion decreases with an increase of dry density and increases with an increase of water content. Through physical simulation tests combined with field investigation and analysis, the entire erosion process is divided into four erosion characteristic stages: uniform surface erosion; micro drop pit erosion; micro drop pit bead erosion; and rill erosion. The erosion mechanism and micro mechanism of different erosion characteristics are analyzed and summarized. The influences of different dry density and water content on the erosion process are analyzed and summarized, and the internal mechanism of erosion is revealed from the perspective of microstructure, thereby providing a sound basis for engineering construction and erosion-related disaster management in the Loess Plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion and Its Response to Vegetation Restoration)
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13 pages, 442 KiB  
Article
Towards Ethical Consumption Activities among Tourism Firms: Nexus of Environmental Knowledge, CSR Participation and Psychological Social Support
by Abdelmohsen A. Nassani, Maher Badawi, Maria Giovanna Confetto, Maria Palazzo, Maria Antonella Ferri and Mohamed Haffar
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4675; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054675 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
Employees’ psychosocial competency and CSR participation help them to achieve pro-environmental knowledge for enhancing ethical consumption behaviors. The aim of this study is to assess the level of social responsibility of tourism firms and also examine the impact of environmental knowledge on ethical [...] Read more.
Employees’ psychosocial competency and CSR participation help them to achieve pro-environmental knowledge for enhancing ethical consumption behaviors. The aim of this study is to assess the level of social responsibility of tourism firms and also examine the impact of environmental knowledge on ethical consumption. The study further investigates the indirect influence through the mediating role of CSR participation and moderating role of psychological social support (PSS) between environmental knowledge and ethical consumption links in tourism firms. This research used quantitative methods and questionnaires for data collection. Data were composed of 387 employees and owners working within tourism firms and hotels. Results demonstrate that environmental knowledge is positively associated with ethical consumption. Findings show that CSR participation mediates the relation between environmental knowledge and ethical consumption. Furthermore, outcomes reveal that psychological social support acts as a moderator between environmental knowledge and ethical consumption. The know-how of employees is dependent on their environmental knowledge and CSR participation. By addressing the mediating mechanism of CSR participation and the interplay of psychological social support, our study adds several insights to the prior literature streams about ethical consumption. As a result of CSR programs, residents become more familiar with ecological protection and more concerned about ethical consumption patterns and develop a sense of responsibility for the environment. Therefore, we recommended that firms should launch CSR programs to increase pro-environmental awareness of consumers and encourage their ethical consumption actions. Full article
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20 pages, 3525 KiB  
Article
Sustainability Assessment of Intensification Levels of Brazilian Smallholder Integrated Dairy-Crop Production Systems: An Emergy and Economic-Based Decision Approach
by Vitória Toffolo Luiz, Rafael Araújo Nacimento, Vanessa Theodoro Rezende, Taynara Freitas Avelar de Almeida, Juliana Vieira Paz, Biagio Fernando Giannetti and Augusto Hauber Gameiro
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4674; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054674 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1769
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the sustainability of integrated dairy–crop production systems by employing emergy and economic theory perspectives, and to identify strategies to improve the intensification of dairy production systems. A case study of a small Brazilian dairy production system (PROP) was [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the sustainability of integrated dairy–crop production systems by employing emergy and economic theory perspectives, and to identify strategies to improve the intensification of dairy production systems. A case study of a small Brazilian dairy production system (PROP) was created to assess dairy herd feed exchanges as a sustainability pathway. Three scenarios were proposed for the examination of a dairy production system: extensive (EXT); semi-intensive (SIS); and intensive (INT). The Interlink Decision Making Index (IDMI) was used to compare sustainability among them. The PROP demonstrated higher environmental performance than the other scenarios (ESI = 1.30, 0.65, 0.95, and 0.71, for PROP, INT, SIS, and EXT, respectively); however, PROP’s profitability was 1.6 times lower than that of SIS and INT, although PROP’s profitability was higher than that of the EXT scenario. Notably, the IDMI identified the SIS scenario as having the best sustainability among those studied. We concluded that the consideration of the energy contribution for feed ingredients yields a more equitable evaluation of environmental performance in integrated dairy–crop production systems, which leads us to propose the following suggestions: (i) target higher profit performance by changing extensive dairy systems to semi-intensive systems that utilize feed ingredients produced at the farm, and (ii) promote higher environmental performance by transforming intensive dairy systems to semi-intensive systems that are directed more toward maintaining environmental factors. In our view, public policies should focus on bonifications that upgrade dairy systems to promote and utilize best practices for dairy–crop integration. Full article
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26 pages, 1248 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Industrial Structure Upgrading and Human Capital Structure Upgrading on Green Development Efficiency—Based on China’s Resource-Based Cities
by Wanfang Shen, Yufei Liu, Xiaowen Liu, Jianing Shi, Wenbin Liu and Chengye Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054673 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Green development is crucial to global natural resource conservation, environmental improvement and sustainable development. Furthermore, resource-based cities’ green development is more challenging compared with that of other types of cities. On such basis, it is a necessity to understand the green development level [...] Read more.
Green development is crucial to global natural resource conservation, environmental improvement and sustainable development. Furthermore, resource-based cities’ green development is more challenging compared with that of other types of cities. On such basis, it is a necessity to understand the green development level of such cities. Therefore, we introduce green development efficiency (GDE), which is a key indicator for measuring green development. This paper takes China’s 112 resource-based cities during 2010–2019 as its research object, and examines their GDE using the Super-SBM-Undesirable model. Moreover, industrial structure upgrading (ISU) and human capital structure upgrading (HCSU) have important implications for green development. To further explore the influence of ISU and HCSU on GDE, this paper employs a fixed effect model, an interaction effect model and a threshold model. Finally, considering the differences between different resource-based cities, the heterogeneity of ISU and HSCU on GDE in four types of China’s resource-based cities is also explored. It is found that (1) although GDE is on the track of steady improvement, the overall GDE was still relatively low during 2010–2019, with an average GDE of about 0.8; (2) ISU, HCSU and their interaction can promote GDE in resource-based cities and with the intensity of industrial structure increasing, the interaction effect of ISU and HSCU on GDE in resource-based cities shifts from positive to negative; (3) there exists heterogeneity in the direct effect and interaction effect of ISU and HCSU among four types of resource-based cities (i.e., mature cities, growing cities, declining cities and regenerating cities). Our findings offer a data reference for the green and sustainable development of China’s resource-based cities, and also a method reference for other countries’ resource-based cities. Full article
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24 pages, 2302 KiB  
Review
Transparency and E-Government in Electronic Public Procurement as Sustainable Development
by Jorge Hochstetter, Felipe Vásquez, Mauricio Diéguez, Ana Bustamante and Jeferson Arango-López
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4672; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054672 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5638
Abstract
The transparency of electronic procedures has become an important strategy to reduce corruption within state organizations and thus promote the sustainable and efficient management of fiscal resources, vital elements in the development of a country. E-government processes have become an important line of [...] Read more.
The transparency of electronic procedures has become an important strategy to reduce corruption within state organizations and thus promote the sustainable and efficient management of fiscal resources, vital elements in the development of a country. E-government processes have become an important line of development, in which substantial investments have been made to have processes that allow for transparency in a large part of the country’s activities, specifically in the contracting and purchasing of public properties and services. The objective of the study is to present an overview of the work on initiatives that have been used around transparency and electronic procedures of electronic governments to identify which of these initiatives are associated with transparency and which effectively apply to electronic procedures for transparency to learn how these procedures allow for sustainable development of governments. The methodology used in this work was a systematic mapping of the literature, and the main findings suggest that this is a little-explored area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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18 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
Forecast of Advanced Human Capital Gap Based on PSO-BP Neural Network and Coordination Pathway: Example of Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region
by Miao He, Junli Huang and Ruyi Sun
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4671; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054671 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1313
Abstract
The upgrading of human capital caused by education is significant to regional development. Reasonable predictions of the degree of advanced human capital in different regions are effective for formulating reasonable talent policies and accelerating regional coordinated development. The BP neural network is a [...] Read more.
The upgrading of human capital caused by education is significant to regional development. Reasonable predictions of the degree of advanced human capital in different regions are effective for formulating reasonable talent policies and accelerating regional coordinated development. The BP neural network is a widely used prediction technology. PSO-BP neural network has good global search ability, which can accelerate the convergence speed of traditional BP neural network, which is suitable for forecasting larger data. The study takes the provincial data of China from 2005 to 2019 as an example, using PSO-BP neural network algorithm to predict the advanced level of human capital through the influencing factors filtered by OLS regression. The results show that: (1) Innovation ability and urbanization can play a decisive role in advanced human capital filtered by OLS regression; (2) The results of predicting the development trend of advanced human capital in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region in 2020–2025 through the PSO-BP neural network have showed that there is still a large gap between the senior human capital stock in Hebei-Beijing-Tianjin in terms of total and per capita in 2020–2025 compared with other regions in east of China; (3) Giving full attention to elaborate the positive role of economic quality and quantity development are suitable for narrowing the difference of advanced human capital in this region. Through the method of OLS-BP-neural network, this study explores the gap and influencing factors of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region, excavates the reasons for the huge gradient difference in the development of this region, and extends the machine learning prediction method to the analysis of the advanced level of human capital and the research of narrowing the regional development gap. Full article
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25 pages, 1677 KiB  
Review
Emergent Research Themes on Sustainability in the Beef Cattle Industry in Brazil: An Integrative Literature Review
by Yasmin Gomes Casagranda, Joanna Wiśniewska-Paluszak, Grzegorz Paluszak, Giana de Vargas Mores, Leila Dal Moro, Guilherme Cunha Malafaia, Denise Barros de Azevedo and Debin Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054670 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2801
Abstract
Brazil is one of the world’s biggest beef producers and its largest exporter. However, beef cattle ranching is a leading cause of deforestation and habitat conversion in the Brazilian Amazon, which challenges sustainable development. We adopted the triple bottom line (TBL) as a [...] Read more.
Brazil is one of the world’s biggest beef producers and its largest exporter. However, beef cattle ranching is a leading cause of deforestation and habitat conversion in the Brazilian Amazon, which challenges sustainable development. We adopted the triple bottom line (TBL) as a guiding theory of sustainability and assumed the necessity of a production system-specific approach. Based on an integrative literature analysis, we aimed to assess sustainability pillars in beef cattle production. The Web of Science, Scopus and Science Direct databases were searched for studies on mitigating the adverse impacts of beef cattle production before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. We found 108 references in these databases, 46 of which met the criteria for eligibility assessment, and ten studies were selected for textual cluster analysis and thematic synthesis. The review shows emergent research themes on sustainability in beef cattle production. It also elaborates a conceptual model of the sustainability pillars in the technique, science, and social aspects of the beef cattle sector that may guide the managerial and political strategies for the beef cattle supply chain in Brazil and other emerging markets. This study indicates that sustainable beef cattle development requires new digital technologies and ideas about sustainable supply chain management, which provides human, environmental, and animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainability in the Agro-Food System)
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20 pages, 1846 KiB  
Article
Sustainability as a Gateway to Textile International Markets: The Portuguese Case
by Luis Moreira, Anderson Rei Galvão, Vitor Braga, Alexandra Braga and Jaime Teixeira
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4669; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054669 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2565
Abstract
The textile industry sector is classified as the most polluting sector and has the greatest direct impact on the life of the entire ecosystem. The main objective of this article is to study the role of sustainability (eco-innovation and circular economy) in the [...] Read more.
The textile industry sector is classified as the most polluting sector and has the greatest direct impact on the life of the entire ecosystem. The main objective of this article is to study the role of sustainability (eco-innovation and circular economy) in the internationalization of the textile industry in Portugal. For this, a qualitative methodology was used, through semi-structured interviews applied to four managers of the textile sector, in the north of Portugal. The results of the interviews were submitted to a content analysis and data coding system using the NVIVO software. The results show that sustainability is a pillar of direct and/or indirect internationalization, either through the demand of the consumer for sustainable products or through the availability of the products produced by companies; this is motivated mainly by customers, even if the high price of these products when they reach the market is concerning. With the results achieved, this article shows that the determining factor for eco-innovative and recycled products is the price factor. The high price that eco-innovative and recycled products have when they reach the market is the main concern that the companies interviewed have in terms of investing more in this type of product. However, they claim that there is a clear increase in demand for these products and that it is a differentiating factor in international markets. It also became evident that the existence of products from the circular economy increases the companies’ value and acceptance in international markets. This article provides empirical evidence that shows that the transition from a linear to a circular economy requires large investments in most cases; however, it is currently a competitive advantage and a positioning in a differentiating sector, increasing the brand’s social responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and the Making of Sustainable Change)
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19 pages, 46573 KiB  
Article
Changes in Extremes Rainfall Events in Present and Future Climate Scenarios over the Teesta River Basin, India
by Pawan Kumar Chaubey, Rajesh Kumar Mall and Prashant K. Srivastava
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054668 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
Globally, changes in hydroclimate extremes such as extreme precipitation events influence water resources, natural environments, and human health and safety. During recent decades, India has observed an enormous increase in rainfall extremes during the summer monsoon (June to September) seasons. However, future extreme [...] Read more.
Globally, changes in hydroclimate extremes such as extreme precipitation events influence water resources, natural environments, and human health and safety. During recent decades, India has observed an enormous increase in rainfall extremes during the summer monsoon (June to September) seasons. However, future extreme rainfall events have significant uncertainty at the regional scale. Consequently, a comprehensive study is needed to evaluate the extreme rainfall events at a regional river basin level in order to understand the geomorphological characteristics and pattern of rainfall events. In the above purview, the current research focuses on changes in extreme rainfall events obtained through observed gridded datasets and future scenarios of climate models derived through the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The results highlight a significant rise in the extremes of precipitation events during the first half of the 21st century. In addition, our study concludes that accumulated precipitation will increase by five days in the future, while the precipitation maxima will increase from 200 to 300 mm/day at the 2-year, 50-year, and 100-year return periods. Finally, it is found that during the middle of the 21st century the 23.37% number of events will increase over the TRB at the 90th percentile. Full article
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25 pages, 905 KiB  
Article
An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Digital Finance on the Efficiency of Commercial Banks
by Lihua Zuo, Hongchang Li and Xuanxuan Xia
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054667 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4325
Abstract
Based on the background of the digital transformation of commercial banks, the advantages and benefits of this study are to study the promotion effect of digital finance on the production efficiency of commercial banks from four aspects: technological innovation, financial innovation, deep integration [...] Read more.
Based on the background of the digital transformation of commercial banks, the advantages and benefits of this study are to study the promotion effect of digital finance on the production efficiency of commercial banks from four aspects: technological innovation, financial innovation, deep integration of technology and finance, and industry advantages. This study verifies that digital finance has a positive impact on the total factor productivity of commercial banks. In order to study the impact of the development of digital finance on the efficiency of commercial banks, this paper puts forward two assumptions. Using the “text mining method” and taking the total factor productivity of commercial banks as the explanatory variable and the digital finance index as the core explanatory variable, this paper empirically studies the impact of digital finance on bank efficiency. Through empirical research, it is believed that through the analysis of total factor productivity, digital finance has strongly promoted the improvement of the total factor productivity of commercial banks through the technology spillover effect. The impact of digital finance on banks is therefore heterogeneous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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21 pages, 2900 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Platform Encroachment on the Manufacturer’s Financing Strategy
by Gongbing Bi and Hao Pan
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054666 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Manufacturers with limited funds often seek financial help from outside, usually banks or platforms. However, introducing store brand products (platform encroachment) makes platforms form a competitive and cooperative relationship with manufacturers. To investigate how platform encroachment affects the optimal production decisions and the [...] Read more.
Manufacturers with limited funds often seek financial help from outside, usually banks or platforms. However, introducing store brand products (platform encroachment) makes platforms form a competitive and cooperative relationship with manufacturers. To investigate how platform encroachment affects the optimal production decisions and the manufacturer’s financing strategy, this paper establishes a stylized model to capture the strategic interaction between a manufacturer, a platform and a bank. The manufacturer sells a national brand product directly through the platform, which owns a competitive store brand product. By analyzing the equilibrium results, we show that although platform encroachment may reduce the manufacturer’s financing cost, product competition always makes the manufacturer bear more losses. In addition, our results also show that the manufacturer is always willing to adopt the platform financing strategy if the platform does not encroach. However, under platform encroachment, the bank financing strategy may be a better choice for the manufacturer, as long as the commission rate is low enough. Moreover, the platform financing strategy is the Pareto-dominant strategy when the commission rate is high. Finally, we verify the accuracy and robustness of the conclusions of the basic model through numerical analysis and extension. Using the results we derive, we explain the market practices and provide valuable guidelines for manufacturers to choose financing strategies under platform encroachment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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24 pages, 4725 KiB  
Article
Green Infrastructure and Slow Tourism: A Methodological Approach for Mining Heritage Accessibility in the Sulcis-Iglesiente Bioregion (Sardinia, Italy)
by Mara Ladu, Silvia Battino, Ginevra Balletto and Ainhoa Amaro García
Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054665 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
In European countries many measures are carried out to improve the disadvantaged conditions and socio-economic marginality of rural areas in comparison with central places. These conditions also affect the quality of travel for visitors and tourists. Therefore, in response to a ‘new’ tourist [...] Read more.
In European countries many measures are carried out to improve the disadvantaged conditions and socio-economic marginality of rural areas in comparison with central places. These conditions also affect the quality of travel for visitors and tourists. Therefore, in response to a ‘new’ tourist demand, motivated also by the restrictions following the spread of the COVID-19 virus in recent years, the institutions and the different local actors are working more incisively to improve rural areas. The rural tourism services offer, combined with the Green Infrastructure (GI) project, at different scales—from local to regional—interesting territorial development strategies to achieve the Agenda 2030 objectives. This contribution considers the Sulcis-Iglesiente-Guspinese area, in the Sardinia Region (IT), as a case study. In this area, the landscape context is marked by past mining activity, and the project of a path of historical, cultural, and religious values has proven to be an activator of regenerative processes, in environmental, social, and economic terms. The present study proposes a methodological approach to develop an index (FI—feasibility index) to assess the feasibility of the Stop Places (SPs) project along a horse trail to integrate the current slow mobility of bicycles and pedestrians in the bioregion. Full article
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