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Sustainability, Volume 16, Issue 7 (April-1 2024) – 496 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Marchalina hellenica is native to Greece and Turkey and is presently invasive in Australia, damaging pine plantations. Neoleucopis kartliana has been identified as a pivotal predator against this pest. Our study reveals the presence of a second lineage closely related to N. kartliana, Neoleucopis n. sp. B. Laboratory experiments demonstrate the pronounced preference of both Neoleucopis spp. for M. hellenica over Icerya purchasi. Neoleucopis kartliana displays significant superiority in larval growth and both Neoleucopis spp. exhibit significantly higher survival rates on M. hellenica. Field surveys affirm the prevalence of Neoleucopis spp. in M. hellenica colonies, while being absent in I. purchasi colonies, showcasing their potential as effective biological control agents. View this paper
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29 pages, 332 KiB  
Article
A Hybrid Approach Based on Consensus Decision Making for Green Supplier Selection in Automotive Industry
by Sema Akin Bas
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073096 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
With increased global commerce, businesses must manage their supply chains while taking into account not only costs but also environmental implications. The decision-making of Green Supplier Selection (GSS) is a strategic priority for companies to survive in challenging market conditions and to effectively [...] Read more.
With increased global commerce, businesses must manage their supply chains while taking into account not only costs but also environmental implications. The decision-making of Green Supplier Selection (GSS) is a strategic priority for companies to survive in challenging market conditions and to effectively and sustainably manage their supply chains in the increasingly polluted and resource-depleted world. Environmental sustainability can be enhanced with the appropriate criteria when choosing green suppliers. Based on these motivations, it is necessary to determine the correct criteria, classify the chosen criteria and employ an effective evaluation method in the GSS process. In particular, evaluating each criterion at its own level is of strategic importance. In this paper, the GSS model, handled by group decision-making, is constructed with multi-sub-criteria to increase the competitive advantage of businesses in challenging market conditions for the purpose of ensuring a sustainable future. A novel hybrid methodology of the Interval Type-2 Fuzzy (IT2F) Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and IT2F Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) is presented for the GSS model to deal with uncertainty. This study provides decision-makers with an effective method that performs fuzzy calculations at all steps until a solution is found, especially in areas that may have a complex hierarchical structure, such as the automotive industry. In the proposed method, unlike most studies in the literature, if a criterion has sub-criteria (or multi-sub-criteria) in the hierarchy considered, each criterion is evaluated with other criteria at its own level, without the need for all other criteria to have sub-criteria (or multi-sub-criteria). The effectiveness of the proposed method has been demonstrated by testing it with an application taken from the automotive industry with a complex-structured multi-level hierarchy. Additionally, sensitivity analysis has been conducted to assess the impact of changes in subjective input by means of scenarios. Full article
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16 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Are Innovation and Creative Districts New Scenarios for Sustainable Urban Planning? Bogota, Medellin, and Barranquilla as Case Studies
by Ana Elena Builes-Vélez, Lina María Escobar and Claudia Villamil-Mejia
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3095; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073095 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Creative and innovation districts are focused on boosting local economies. However, they also pay attention to the global scale since this local identity of the Orange Economies gives them added value and competitiveness globally, as well as international projection and visibility of products, [...] Read more.
Creative and innovation districts are focused on boosting local economies. However, they also pay attention to the global scale since this local identity of the Orange Economies gives them added value and competitiveness globally, as well as international projection and visibility of products, services, and new technologies associated with creativity and innovation. Thus, this study reviews three case studies of the cities of Barranquilla, Bogota, and Medellin in Colombia, seeking to characterize the creative and innovation districts. The methodology used is strictly qualitative, resorting to the characterization of the polygons and the analysis of public policies. This study describes the general aspects of creative and innovation districts in Colombia. Then, it identifies the forces for CD and ID development in three Colombian cities and the drivers for urban sustainable transformation. The main purpose of this study is to understand if innovation and creative districts are new scenarios for sustainable urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land Use, Urban Vitality and Sustainable Urban Development)
17 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
Impact Analysis of Regional Smart Development on the Risk of Poverty among the Elderly
by Chunyang Luo, Hongmei Li and Lisha Song
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3094; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073094 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
As China continues to introduce policies to promote the construction of smart cities, the governance capacity and living environment of many pilot regions have moved towards smart development and sustainability. In order to reveal the impact of improving regional smart development on the [...] Read more.
As China continues to introduce policies to promote the construction of smart cities, the governance capacity and living environment of many pilot regions have moved towards smart development and sustainability. In order to reveal the impact of improving regional smart development on the lives of the elderly, we explored the relationship between regional smart development and the risk of poverty in old age. The results show that at present, the development of smart cities continues to grow; the majority of elderly respondents’ poverty risk is general; the development of smart cities at the regional level is effective in reducing the poverty risk of the elderly in the region, with the degree of impact varying by region; and the impact of smart development at the regional level on the risk of poverty in old age varies with different levels of social support. Based on this, suggestions are made to vigorously develop the regional economy, improve the social security mechanism for the elderly, and accelerate the digitalization and humanization of infrastructure so as to better meet the needs of China’s elderly population in the context of high-quality smart development in the region and achieve sustainable development goals. Full article
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25 pages, 11698 KiB  
Article
Advancing Urban Microclimate Monitoring: The Development of an Environmental Data Measurement Station Using a Low-Tech Approach
by Alexandre Lefevre, Bruno Malet-Damour, Harry Boyer and Garry Rivière
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3093; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073093 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Researchers studying urban climates aim to understand phenomena like urban heat islands (UHIs), which describe temperature differences between urban and rural areas. However, studies often lack numerous measurement points and frequently overlook parameters like radiation and air velocity due to the high cost [...] Read more.
Researchers studying urban climates aim to understand phenomena like urban heat islands (UHIs), which describe temperature differences between urban and rural areas. However, studies often lack numerous measurement points and frequently overlook parameters like radiation and air velocity due to the high cost of precision instrumentation. This results in data with a low resolution, particularly in tropical cities where official weather stations are scarce. This research introduces a new, low-tech tool for district-level outdoor thermal comfort assessment and UHI characterization to address these challenges. The automated weather station employs sensors to measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and globe temperature. The paper details these sensors’ rigorous selection and validation process, followed by a description of the sensor assembly, data acquisition chain, and network operation mechanisms. Calibration outcomes in laboratory and in situ environments highlight the station’s reliability, even in tropical conditions. In conclusion, this weather station offers a cost-effective solution to gathering high-resolution data in urban areas, enabling an improved understanding of the UHI phenomenon and the refinement of urban microclimate numerical models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Microclimate Monitoring, Mitigation and Adaptation)
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12 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Environmental Impact Assessment of Organic Wheat Cracker Value Chains with and without Nettle Powder as a Natural Additive: A Case of Sweden
by Techane Bosona
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3092; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073092 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 566
Abstract
Due to the growing global population and consequent increased demand for food, the global production of cereal crops has increased. Wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world, as its products, e.g., bread and crackers, have served as important [...] Read more.
Due to the growing global population and consequent increased demand for food, the global production of cereal crops has increased. Wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world, as its products, e.g., bread and crackers, have served as important sources of nutrition for many years. However, the environmental impacts of wheat-derived food products are not frequently explored. This study presents an environmental impact assessment of organic wheat crackers within the context of Swedish winter wheat production using both primary and literature-based data. A cradle-to-consumer gate life cycle analysis (LCA) approach using the functional unit (FU) of 1 kg of crackers was applied while considering two cracker value chains: (i) without additives and (ii) using nettle powder as a natural additive. Four environmental impact categories—cumulative energy demand (CED), climate change impact (GWP), acidification, and eutrophication—were explored, with a particular focus on CED and GWP. The analysis results indicated that the total CED values were about 13 MJ/FU and 14 MJ/FU for crackers without and with the additive, respectively. Similarly, the total GWP values were 379 g CO2 eq/FU and 464 g CO2 eq/FU, respectively. The post-harvest processing and handling stage was an environmental hot spot in both cases. The introduction of the nettle additive has increased the quantified values of all four of the investigated impact categories. These insights will enable food processors and policy makers to communicate the environmental impacts and make informed decisions to improve the sustainability of wheat crackers. This paper contributes to a database of the environmental impacts of wheat products, specifically LCA data of organic wheat crackers and the LCA method for further LCA studies of snacks and other wheat products with plant-based functional additives. Full article
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16 pages, 4754 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns in the Urban Heat Island Effect of Several Contemporary and Historical Chinese “Stove Cities”
by Mengyu Huang, Shaobo Zhong, Xin Mei and Jin He
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3091; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073091 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Various cities in China have been identified as “stove cities” either in contemporary or historical times, exposing residents to extremely high temperatures. Existing studies on the heat island effect in stove cities are not representative nationwide. The outdated nature of these studies also [...] Read more.
Various cities in China have been identified as “stove cities” either in contemporary or historical times, exposing residents to extremely high temperatures. Existing studies on the heat island effect in stove cities are not representative nationwide. The outdated nature of these studies also significantly diminishes the relevance of their findings. Thus, reassessing the urban heat island (UHI) effect of stove cities is necessary in the context of global climate change and urbanization. This study focuses on seven symbolic and geographically distributed stove cities in China, including Nanjing, Chongqing, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Beijing, Xi’an, and Turpan. Using land surface temperature (LST) data, this study investigates the summer heat island effect from 2013 to 2023 and analyzes changes in the spatial distribution of the heat island effect. This paper utilizes impervious surface data and urban clustering algorithms to define urban and suburban areas. It then examines the evolution and spatial distribution of surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) over time. Incorporating urbanization variables like population density and urban area, the study analyzes the main factors affecting the heat island effect from 2013 to 2018. We find that all cities continuously expand, with the annual average heat island effect intensifying over the years. With the exception of Beijing, the summer heat island or cool island effects in the remaining six cities show an overall intensification trend. From 2013 to 2018, SUHII has been primarily related to urban expansion and planning layout, with minimal impact from factors such as population density. Full article
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20 pages, 2737 KiB  
Article
A Study of Customer Preference Transmission for New Energy Vehicles Based on a Signaling Game and Separating Equilibrium
by Shuang Zhang and Yueping Du
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3090; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073090 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Although there are many methods that can be used to obtain customer preferences for new energy vehicles, most studies generally overlook the fact that customer preferences are private information. The purpose of this study is to investigate the transmission mechanism of customer preferences [...] Read more.
Although there are many methods that can be used to obtain customer preferences for new energy vehicles, most studies generally overlook the fact that customer preferences are private information. The purpose of this study is to investigate the transmission mechanism of customer preferences by taking into account situations in which customers lie. Through a signaling game model, this study analyzed the transmission mechanism of customer preference information for the center control touch screen of new energy vehicles based on separation equilibrium. The results show that when inequality (1) remains, such an equilibrium forms: the customers send the real preference signal, the manufacturer then adopts a new sample consistent with the received signal and prices the product accordingly, and, finally, the customers pay for the new NEV. When inequality (2) remains, the following equilibrium forms: customers signal the opposite of their private preference, the manufacturer then adopts a new sample opposite to the received signal, and, finally, customers pay for the new NEV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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13 pages, 1658 KiB  
Article
Providing Feedback during the Online Phase of a Flipped Classroom Design: Fostering Sustainable Learning Performance While Considering Study Time Management
by Ngoc Thuy Thi Thai, Bram De Wever and Martin Valcke
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3089; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073089 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 496
Abstract
This study concentrates on the effects of teacher feedback (FB) on students’ learning performance when students are tackling guiding questions (GQ) during the online session in a flipped classroom environment. Next to students’ performance, this research evaluates the sustainability in students’ self-efficacy beliefs [...] Read more.
This study concentrates on the effects of teacher feedback (FB) on students’ learning performance when students are tackling guiding questions (GQ) during the online session in a flipped classroom environment. Next to students’ performance, this research evaluates the sustainability in students’ self-efficacy beliefs and their appreciation of the feedback. Participants were second year college students (n = 90) taking the “Environmental Technology” course at Can Tho College (Vietnam). They were assigned randomly to one of two research conditions: (1) with extra feedback (WEF, n = 45) and (2) no extra feedback (NEF, n = 45) during the online phase of the flipped classroom design. In both conditions, students spent the same amount of time in the online environment as well as in the face-to-face environment. The findings indicate that students studying in the WEF condition achieve higher learning outcomes as compared to students in the NEF condition. With respect to student variables, we observe no significant differences between the two research conditions in terms of self-efficacy beliefs at various occasions. However, we explore significant differences between the two research conditions in terms of feedback appreciation during the posttest assessment. Full article
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25 pages, 3954 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Greywater Reuse in a University Building in a Hyper-Arid Region: Quantity, Quality, and Social Acceptance
by Teresa Lanchipa-Ale, Ana Cruz-Baltuano, Nahuel Molero-Yañez, Samuel Chucuya, Bertha Vera-Barrios and Edwin Pino-Vargas
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3088; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073088 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Since Tacna is a hyper-arid region, greywater is a potential alternative water source. This study aimed to quantify and characterize greywater in a university building with 732 students, as well as assess their perception of greywater reuse. Water meters were used to calculate [...] Read more.
Since Tacna is a hyper-arid region, greywater is a potential alternative water source. This study aimed to quantify and characterize greywater in a university building with 732 students, as well as assess their perception of greywater reuse. Water meters were used to calculate greywater quantity. To assess untreated greywater quality, physical–chemical and microbiological parameters were analyzed. Questionnaires were used to measure students’ acceptance regarding greywater reuse using a Likert scale. The greywater quantity recorded in this study was 426.85 L/d, which is less than reported in previous global research. The greywater quality showed relatively low values regarding physical–chemical parameters; however, microbial contamination was higher compared to international permissible limits for wastewater reuse. Furthermore, it was found that the generated greywater has little biodegradability (0.38). Students disclosed a lower acceptance of reusing untreated greywater compared to a 77.05% acceptance of reusing treated greywater for green areas. According to the greywater characterization, biological treatment will not be enough to ensure environmental protection and user health; thus, physical–chemical treatment will also be needed. The produced greywater quantities would generate a 12.67% water saving if used for toilet flushing. The greywater volume fulfills the whole demand for watering green areas or green roofs. Students would assent to the reuse of treated greywater. Full article
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15 pages, 464 KiB  
Article
Research on the Mechanism of the Carbon Emission Reduction Effect of Green Finance
by Zhaoliang Ma and Zhengdong Fei
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073087 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Under the background of China’s “double carbon” policy, determining how to use the carbon emission reduction effect of green finance is an important starting point for China to achieve stable economic development and sustainable ecological development. By integrating provincial data from the CEADS, [...] Read more.
Under the background of China’s “double carbon” policy, determining how to use the carbon emission reduction effect of green finance is an important starting point for China to achieve stable economic development and sustainable ecological development. By integrating provincial data from the CEADS, EPS, CSMAR, and CNRDS databases from 2003 to 2021, the two-way fixed-effect models are used to empirically test how green finance can exert a carbon emission reduction effect. This study finds that green finance can significantly reduce carbon emission intensity. A mechanism analysis shows that green finance can promote green technology innovation, induce social investment, and promote the disclosure of the social responsibility information of listed companies to reduce carbon emissions, which is still valid after a series of robustness tests. A heterogeneity analysis finds that the government’s environmental attention and the scale of financial industry development have heterogeneous effects on the carbon emission reduction mechanism of green finance. Both the government’s environmental attention and the scale of financial industry development can induce social investment, but the government’s environmental attention cannot promote the growth of green technology innovation, and the scale of financial industry development cannot promote the disclosure of the social responsibility information of listed companies. This paper broadens the research perspective of green finance to reduce carbon emissions and provides some empirical evidence and a theoretical reference to further promote the green transformation of the “two high and one surplus” industry and the sustainable development of the financial industry. Full article
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23 pages, 4329 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Spatial Correlation Network and Driving Mechanism of China’s Transportation Carbon Emission Intensity
by Changwei Yuan, Jinrui Zhu, Shuai Zhang, Jiannan Zhao and Shibo Zhu
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3086; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073086 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 565
Abstract
From 2008 to 2021, this study analyzed the spatial correlation characteristics between provincial transportation carbon emission intensity and explored ways to reduce transportation carbon emissions. This study used the modified gravity model, social network analysis (SNA) method, and temporal exponential random graph model [...] Read more.
From 2008 to 2021, this study analyzed the spatial correlation characteristics between provincial transportation carbon emission intensity and explored ways to reduce transportation carbon emissions. This study used the modified gravity model, social network analysis (SNA) method, and temporal exponential random graph model (TERGM) to analyze the spatial correlation network evolution characteristics and driving mechanism of China’s transportation carbon emission intensity. This study found that China’s transportation carbon emission intensity and spatial correlation network have unbalanced characteristics. The spatial correlation network of transportation carbon emission intensity revealed that Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Guangdong, Fujian, and other provinces were at the center of the network, with significant intermediary effects. The spatial correlation of transportation carbon emission intensity was divided into four functional plates: “two-way spillover”, “net benefit”, “broker”, and “net spillover”. The “net benefit” plate was mainly located in developed regions, and the “net spillover” plate was primarily located in underdeveloped regions. Endogenous structural and exogenous mechanism variables were the main factors affecting the evolution of the spatial correlation network of provincial transportation carbon emission intensity. Full article
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29 pages, 2525 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Official Promotion Incentives on Urban Ecological Welfare Performance and Its Spatial Effect
by Can Zhang and Jixia Li
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3085; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073085 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Economic growth, environmental protection, and welfare improvement are closely related to local officials. Therefore, exploring the paths that affect ecological welfare performance (EWP) from the perspective of official promotion incentives has certain practical significance. EWP is an indicator that measures the welfare relationship [...] Read more.
Economic growth, environmental protection, and welfare improvement are closely related to local officials. Therefore, exploring the paths that affect ecological welfare performance (EWP) from the perspective of official promotion incentives has certain practical significance. EWP is an indicator that measures the welfare relationship between ecological resource inputs and outputs, reflecting the sustainable development status of a region. First, considering the background of the dual carbon goals, the EWPs of 284 cities from 2007 to 2020 were measured by constructing an indicator system and using the super-SBM-DEA method. Second, by constructing a theoretical framework of “official promotion incentives-fiscal responsiveness-EWP”, we empirically tested the impact and mechanism of official promotion incentives on urban EWP; finally, based on regional and official age heterogeneity, we explored the differential impacts of official promotion incentives on urban EWPs. The results show that official promotion incentives inhibit the improvement of urban EWP by reducing financial responsiveness; in terms of spatial spillovers, under three types of spatial weight matrices, promotion incentives for officials in neighboring areas can significantly improve the EWPs of local cities. From the perspective of regional differences, official promotion incentives in the eastern region significantly improved urban EWP, official promotion incentives in the western and northeastern regions significantly inhibited urban EWP, and official promotion incentives in the central region had no significant impact on urban EWP. From the perspective of official age, local officials aged 53 and 54 intensified the inhibitory effect of promotion incentives on urban EWP. By constructing a theoretical framework and empirical testing, this paper provides theoretical support and empirical evidence for the impact of official promotion incentives on urban EWP. The results help to understand the relationship between official promotion incentives and sustainable development, and promotes sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Multidisciplinary Approach to Sustainability)
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14 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
A COP28 Perspective: Does Chinese Investment and Fintech Help to Achieve the SDGs of African Economies?
by Aimin Zhang, Moses Nanyun Nankpan, Bo Zhou, Joseph Ato Forson, Edmund Nana Kwame Nkrumah and Samuel Evergreen Adjavon
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3084; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073084 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Scientific consensus affirms human activity, particularly carbon emissions from market participants, drives global warming. Foreign investment, crucial for sustainability in developing nations, now faces scrutiny regarding its impact on environmental quality in emerging economies. This study examines the influence of Chinese Outward Foreign [...] Read more.
Scientific consensus affirms human activity, particularly carbon emissions from market participants, drives global warming. Foreign investment, crucial for sustainability in developing nations, now faces scrutiny regarding its impact on environmental quality in emerging economies. This study examines the influence of Chinese Outward Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) and fintech on environmental conditions in the top five Chinese-invested African economies, alongside factors such as energy consumption, economic performance, and unemployment affecting CO2 pollution. Quarterly data from 2006–2021 confirm cointegration among variables via panel unit root and cointegration tests. Panel ARDL method estimates coefficients for short and long-run effects. Our findings reveal: (1) A 1% increase in Chinese investment leads to a 0.56% decrease in CO2 emissions, supporting its positive environmental impact. (2) Fintech adoption also demonstrates a beneficial effect, with a 1% increase associated with a 0.18% reduction in CO2 levels. (3) Total energy consumption, as expected, has a detrimental impact, causing a 0.92% increase in CO2 emissions with a 1% rise. (4) Interestingly, economic growth fosters environmental sustainability, while unemployment correlates negatively with it. These findings suggest that targeted Chinese investments and fintech adoption can aid in mitigating CO2 pollution in African economies while balancing economic considerations. Full article
14 pages, 50038 KiB  
Article
Soil Mercury Pollution of Hainan Island, China: Patterns, Influencing Factors, and Health Risks
by Yan Sun and Canchao Yang
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073083 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Due to the rapid expansion of tourism, mining, and manufacturing, the economy of Hainan Island in southern China has experienced swift growth. However, it also brings the risk of soil pollution by mercury (Hg) as a result of increased traffic and mineral processing [...] Read more.
Due to the rapid expansion of tourism, mining, and manufacturing, the economy of Hainan Island in southern China has experienced swift growth. However, it also brings the risk of soil pollution by mercury (Hg) as a result of increased traffic and mineral processing activities. In order to investigate the characteristics of soil Hg pollution in Hainan Island and assess the health risk, a total of 239 samples were gathered from five representative regions across the island. The findings indicate considerable fluctuations in the soil Hg concentration across the five sub-study areas, which are influenced by factors such as wind direction, mining activities, and economic development. Changjiang Li Autonomous County, situated in the downwind direction (NW) and rich in mineral resources, shows the highest soil Hg concentration (10.00–1582.50 ng·g−1). Following closely are Haikou and Sanya, the two most economically developed cities on the island, with soil Hg concentrations of 8.33–321.50 ng·g−1 and 6.04–180.50 ng·g−1, respectively. Wuzhishan Nature Reserve and Lingshui Li Autonomous County, located in the upwind area (SE), show the lowest concentrations, ranging between 10.70–104.67 ng·g−1 and 9.43–84.00 ng·g−1, respectively. Both the Single Pollution Index method and the Geo-accumulation Index method were employed to assess the level of Hg pollution. The results indicate that nearly half of the sampling sites are contaminated, in which the proportion of contaminated sites in Sanya and Haikou are the highest, but the level of contamination is low; the heavily contaminated sites are predominantly found in Changjiang Li Autonomous County. However, the low Health Risk Index (HI) ranging from 0.0001 to 0.0334 suggests that although the soil is contaminated with Hg, it does not pose a substantial non-carcinogenic risk to human health. Full article
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20 pages, 456 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Supply Chain Resilience and Digital Supply Chain and the Impact on Sustainability: Supply Chain Dynamism as a Moderator
by Ahmad Ali Atieh Ali, Abdel-Aziz Ahmad Sharabati, Mahmoud Allahham and Ahmad Yacoub Nasereddin
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073082 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1171
Abstract
This research aims to explore the complex interplay between supply chain resilience (SCR), digital supply chain (DSC), and sustainability, focusing on the moderating influence of supply chain dynamism. The goal is to understand how these elements interact within the framework of contemporary supply [...] Read more.
This research aims to explore the complex interplay between supply chain resilience (SCR), digital supply chain (DSC), and sustainability, focusing on the moderating influence of supply chain dynamism. The goal is to understand how these elements interact within the framework of contemporary supply chain management and how they collectively contribute to enhancing sustainability outcomes. The sample size is 300 CEOs and managers. The study approach integrates quantitative research methods. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is utilized to quantitatively analyze the direct and indirect effects of SCR and DSC on sustainability. The numerous surveys we conduct among supply chain ecosystem stakeholders provide a rich picture of practical implications and contextual nuances. In sum, our early findings generally support a positive relationship between SCR and sustainability in and of itself, declaring the need for more resilient supply networks for sustainability. We further find the beneficial impact of digital technologies in promoting sustainability via enhancing environmental control and controlling for efficiency in supply chains. We also offer evidence to show that supply chain dynamism compounds the positive logic between SCR and DSC and sustainability. As a final word, it must be noted that our work speaks to the burgeoning literature on supply chain dynamism as a moderator by examining the direct and contingent effects of SCR and DSC not only on performance but sustainability. By shedding light on the moderating role of dynamism, the study provides fresh insights into the multifaceted nature of supply chain management and sustainability practices. The study’s findings enhance theoretical understanding by elucidating the synergistic effects of SCR, DSC, and sustainability in dynamic supply chain settings. The study augments the existing theoretical frameworks by integrating the concepts of resilience, digitalization, and sustainability into a comprehensive model. Practical and economical, the research offers actionable guidance for organizations aiming to improve sustainability performance through resilient and digitally advanced supply chains. By acknowledging the role of supply chain dynamism, managers can tailor strategies to manage disruptions effectively and leverage digital innovations. Economically, adopting sustainable practices can result in cost savings and competitive advantages. The research emphasizes the importance of aligning supply chain strategies with sustainability goals to drive long-term value and societal impact. Full article
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15 pages, 986 KiB  
Review
The Role of Legumes in the Sustainable Mediterranean Diet: Analysis of the Consumption of Legumes in the Mediterranean Population over the Last Ten Years a PRISMA Statement Methodology
by Betty Carlini, Cristina Lucini and Javier Velázquez
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073081 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 666
Abstract
The Mediterranean model, introduced by Ancel Keys, has gained significant importance from the perspective of sustainability. This is why the Mediterranean diet is now called a sustainable diet. This study focuses on legumes, protein-rich foods of vegetable origin, cultivated in the area, as [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean model, introduced by Ancel Keys, has gained significant importance from the perspective of sustainability. This is why the Mediterranean diet is now called a sustainable diet. This study focuses on legumes, protein-rich foods of vegetable origin, cultivated in the area, as their production and use in cooking are highly sustainable. The analysis covers their consumption over the last 10 years in the entire Mediterranean area, looking specifically at Spain. The objectives of this work are to analyze the production of legumes in the Mediterranean area, taking into account the fact that they are an important environmental as well as food resource, and to analyze how the consumption of legumes has changed in certain countries bordering the Mediterranean in relation to social and cultural changes, with particular attention to the pandemic. The study shows how, in Spain, since 2020, the consumption of legumes has increased, demonstrating that in emergency situations, different dietary choices are made. In addition, it shows how legumes are an excellent source of vegetable protein and an important environmental resource from the perspective of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
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22 pages, 6587 KiB  
Article
Design, Economic, and Environmental Accounting Assessment of a Solar-Powered Cold Room for Fish Storage in Traditional Markets
by Yassine Rami and Amine Allouhi
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3080; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073080 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The food industry, crucial for emerging economies, faces challenges in refrigeration, particularly in fish storage. High energy consumption, environmental impact, and improper cooling methods leading to food waste are significant issues. Addressing these challenges is vital for economic and environmental sustainability in the [...] Read more.
The food industry, crucial for emerging economies, faces challenges in refrigeration, particularly in fish storage. High energy consumption, environmental impact, and improper cooling methods leading to food waste are significant issues. Addressing these challenges is vital for economic and environmental sustainability in the food sector, especially concerning fish storage where spoilage rates are high. In this context, this research proposes a sizing methodology, evaluation, and parametric simulations based on multi-criteria attributes for a solar PV-powered cold room for storing fish in traditional markets in Morocco. To identify the cooling load of the system, TRNSYS 16 was utilized to simulate the transient behavior, while the PV array specifications were determined using SAM 2017.9.5 software. The design process introduced a cold room coupled to a refrigeration unit powered by a 15.3 m2 PV array with a 1.8 kWp nameplate capacity. Finally, yearly and life cycle metrics including self-sufficiency, self-consumption, Levelized Cost of Cooling (LCOC), discounted payback period (DPP), CO2 emissions avoided and total environmental penalty cost savings (TEPCS) are evaluated to assess the performance of the system and a sensitivity analysis was conducted on these metrics. The proposed system has an attractive LCOC of 0.131 $/kWhCold and a DPP of 3.511 years. Using the PV array proved to avoid 437.56 tons of CO2 emissions and generated TEPCS from $100.59 to $866.66. The results of this study highlight the potential for utilizing renewable energy sources in the refrigeration sector to improve both economic and environmental sustainability. Full article
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15 pages, 4570 KiB  
Article
Cement Mortars Based on Polyamide Waste Modified with Fly Ash from Biomass Combustion—A New Material for Sustainable Construction
by Malgorzata Ulewicz, Jakub Jura and Adam Gnatowski
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073079 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 761
Abstract
The article presents an analysis of the possibility of using the waste of polyamide 6 modified with fly ash (in the amount of 5, 10 and 15%) from the burning of wood–palm kernel shells biomass as an addition to cement mortar. Fly ash [...] Read more.
The article presents an analysis of the possibility of using the waste of polyamide 6 modified with fly ash (in the amount of 5, 10 and 15%) from the burning of wood–palm kernel shells biomass as an addition to cement mortar. Fly ash from the burning of biomass in a circulating fluidized bed boiler (which currently has no practical use) was first used to produce polyamide 6, and then post-production polymer waste (added at 20, 40 and 60%) was used to produce ecological mortar. The use of this type of waste is both economically profitable and desirable due to the need to implement waste material management processes in a closed circuit. The addition of polyamide 6 waste containing 5% fly ash in amounts of 20 and 40% and waste containing 10% ash in 20% to cement mortars improves their mechanical properties. The compressive strength of cement mortars (after 28 days of maturation) containing 20 and 40% of polyamide waste containing 5% fly ash increases by 6.6 and 4.6%, respectively, and the flexural strength by 4.9 and 3.4% compared to the control mortars. However, the compressive strength of mortars with the addition of 20% polyamide waste containing 10% fly ash increases by 4.2% and the flexural strength by 3.7%. Cement mortars modified with waste are characterized by slightly lower water absorption and mechanical strength after the freezing–thawing process (frost resistance) compared to control mortars and do not have an adverse effect on the environment in terms of leaching metal ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Materials)
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22 pages, 5958 KiB  
Article
Study on the Ecological Compensation Standard in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China under the Perspective of Natural Capital Supply and Demand
by Jinli Shi, Tuodi Wang, Liping Xu, Zhiyu Gao, Cui Cao, Yutian Luo, Yunyun Xi and Yu Zhang
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073078 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 553
Abstract
The fundamental component of the ecological compensation system, as well as the crucial basis for its efficient functioning, is calculating the ecological compensation amount and establishing the ecological compensation standard. This study integrates the ecological footprint with natural capital monetization and other methods [...] Read more.
The fundamental component of the ecological compensation system, as well as the crucial basis for its efficient functioning, is calculating the ecological compensation amount and establishing the ecological compensation standard. This study integrates the ecological footprint with natural capital monetization and other methods by introducing a natural capital accounting system. From the standpoint of natural capital supply and demand, it also builds an accounting framework for ecological compensation standards that is standardized, dynamic, and regionally differentiated while taking local socioeconomic aspects into account. We determined the amount of ecological compensation by using Xinjiang as the research object and calculating and analyzing the features of regional and temporal changes in the monetary and physical quantities of natural capital in Xinjiang from 2010 to 2020. The findings show that from 2010 to 2020, Xinjiang’s ecological footprint increased by 1.26 times in physical terms and 1.21 times in monetary terms and that its ecological carrying capacity increased by 4.13% in physical terms and 9.42% in monetary terms. The ecological deficit continues to grow in physical and monetary terms, with a per capita ecological deficit in 2020 of 19.92 s-nha/cap and 70,100 CNY/cap in physical and monetary terms, respectively. The amount of ecological compensation required to be paid in Xinjiang increased from CNY 5659 million to CNY 10,259 million, and the per capita ecological compensation payment standard increased from 259.42 CNY/cap/yr to 396.11 CNY/cap/yr. In summary, Xinjiang’s natural capital supply is insufficient to meet the demand for consumption, and the ecological deficit is growing with time, necessitating the payment of ecological compensation. The study’s results lay the foundation for formulating and implementing ecological compensation policies in Xinjiang and provide theoretical support for constructing ecological civilization in Xinjiang. In addition, the ecological compensation accounting framework constructed in this study organically integrates natural capital theory, ecosystem services, and socioeconomic influencing factors, which enriches the methodology of accounting for ecological compensation standards, and, at the same time, can be used as a paradigm of a dynamic and equitable ecological compensation accounting framework to further promote its use at different scales and regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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20 pages, 2702 KiB  
Review
Microfiber Fragment Pollution: Sources, Toxicity, Strategies, and Technologies for Remediation
by James McCay and Sunidhi Mehta
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073077 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1296
Abstract
With the pervasive consumption (currently >65% of total market shares and steadily increasing) of petroleum-derived synthetic textiles, the escalating concern of microfiber fragment (MF) pollution has emerged as a formidable menace to our ecological equilibrium. Over the lifetime (pre- and post-consumption) of these [...] Read more.
With the pervasive consumption (currently >65% of total market shares and steadily increasing) of petroleum-derived synthetic textiles, the escalating concern of microfiber fragment (MF) pollution has emerged as a formidable menace to our ecological equilibrium. Over the lifetime (pre- and post-consumption) of these textiles, they shed tiny fibers recognized as MFs. These MFs are carriers of persistent organic pollutants and have been linked to cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and genotoxicity, even at minimal exposures via air and water sources. Grounded in the state-of-the-art literature, this review discusses the primary and secondary sources of MF release, their fate, transport, environmental impacts, and novel technologies for MF pollutant remediation. Our results infer that MF pollution is a multifactorial issue with serious environmental and public health implications, as studies reported their presence in human blood, feces, and urine samples. We recommend a multifaceted approach to increase sanitation coverage, ensuring adequate wastewater treatment prior to environmental discharge for MF pollution mitigation. Additionally, transformation is warranted for consumers’ use, care, and purchase behavior of textile products. Government regulation of fast fashion (a major user of synthetic textiles), exemplified by recent French legislation, is essential to preventing microfiber pollution. We urge similar policy-making efforts globally to safeguard public health. Full article
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13 pages, 3523 KiB  
Article
Optimizing an Anaerobic Hybrid Reactor Series for Effective High-Strength Fresh Leachate Treatment and Biogas Generation
by Sakulrat Sutthiprapa, Sirintornthep Towprayoon, Chart Chiemchaisri, Pawinee Chaiprasert and Komsilp Wangyao
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073076 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Treating high-strength fresh leachate is challenging and of great interest due to the inherent variability in its physical and chemical characteristics. This research aims to enhance the efficiency of the anaerobic hybrid reactor (AHR) series in treating high-strength fresh leachate and achieving biogas [...] Read more.
Treating high-strength fresh leachate is challenging and of great interest due to the inherent variability in its physical and chemical characteristics. This research aims to enhance the efficiency of the anaerobic hybrid reactor (AHR) series in treating high-strength fresh leachate and achieving biogas generation from fresh leachate at ambient temperatures. The AHR series used consists of two serially connected reactors termed the first anaerobic hybrid reactor (AHR-1) and the secondary anaerobic hybrid reactor (AHR-2). AHR-1 treated high-concentration fresh leachate with an organic loading rate (OLR) between 5 and 20 kgCOD/m3·d. AHR-2 treated the effluent from the first tank and removed organic matter from the system. The experiment was conducted for 210 days, showing that an OLR of 10 kgCOD/m3·d resulted in the most suitable COD removal efficiency, ranging from 82 to 91%. The most suitable OLR for biogas production was 15 kgCOD/m3·d. The AHR series proved to be an efficient system for treating high-strength fresh leachate and generating biogas, making it applicable to leachate treatment facilities at waste transfer stations and landfill sites. Treating leachate and utilizing it as a renewable energy source using the AHR series presents a practical and efficient waste management approach. High-strength leachate can be effectively treated with the AHR series; such methods may be integrated into industries treating leachates with high COD values. Full article
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16 pages, 1944 KiB  
Article
Drivers of Macroinvertebrate Communities in Mediterranean Rivers: A Mesohabitat Approach
by Juan Diego Alcaraz-Hernández, Javier Sánchez-Hernández, Rafael Muñoz-Mas and Francisco Martínez-Capel
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3075; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073075 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 926
Abstract
We investigated the relationship between benthic macroinvertebrate community attributes (richness, abundance, biodiversity, and climate-specific and resistance forms) and the physical characteristics of distinct mesohabitats (hydromorphological unit types) discretized into fast (e.g., riffles or rapids) and slow (e.g., pools or glides) flow types in [...] Read more.
We investigated the relationship between benthic macroinvertebrate community attributes (richness, abundance, biodiversity, and climate-specific and resistance forms) and the physical characteristics of distinct mesohabitats (hydromorphological unit types) discretized into fast (e.g., riffles or rapids) and slow (e.g., pools or glides) flow types in four Mediterranean rivers of Spain. Key attributes of hydromorphological units, including length, width, depth, shade, substrate composition, embeddedness, abundance of aquatic vegetation, and density of woody debris, were considered. Through a comprehensive suite of multivariate analyses, we unraveled taxonomic and habitat distinctions among rivers and hydromorphological unit types, with a notable influence of spatial proximity (greater similarity within the same river basin). In slow hydromorphological units, aquatic vegetation, depth, and abundance of coarse substrate emerged as pivotal factors shaping macroinvertebrate assemblages, whereas in fast-flowing units, vegetation, substrate embeddedness, and density of woody debris were the most important. Contrary to the remaining community attributes, the studied resistance forms (absent, eggs, cocoons, and cells against desiccation and diapause) exhibited uniformity across rivers despite observed variations in macroinvertebrate communities, underscoring regional functional analogies in biological and ecological mechanisms within the investigated Mediterranean river basins. This study contributes valuable insights for anticipating the repercussions of ongoing climate change, particularly in regions where fast-flowing hydromorphological units are more susceptible to depletion during drought periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Water Management)
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18 pages, 7202 KiB  
Article
PM2.5 and O3 in an Enclosed Basin, the Guanzhong Basin of Northern China: Insights into Distributions, Appointment Sources, and Transport Pathways
by Xiaofei Li, Jingning Guo, Xuequan Wan, Zhen Yang, Lekhendra Tripathee, Feng Yu, Rui Zhang, Wen Yang and Qiyuan Wang
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073074 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected in Xi’an (XN) from 11 August to 11 September 2021 and in Qinling (QL) from 14 July to 24 August 2021, respectively. In addition, ozone (O3) data were collected in order to investigate the [...] Read more.
Aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected in Xi’an (XN) from 11 August to 11 September 2021 and in Qinling (QL) from 14 July to 24 August 2021, respectively. In addition, ozone (O3) data were collected in order to investigate the characteristics and source areas of PM2.5 and O3 in the Guanzhong Basin (GB). The concentrations of PM2.5, organic carbon (OC), and elemental carbon (EC) in XN (53.40 ± 17.42, 4.61 ± 2.41, and 0.78 ± 0.60 μg m−3, respectively) were higher than those in QL (27.57 ± 8.27, 4.23 ± 1.37, and 0.67 ± 0.53 μg m−3, respectively) in summer. Total water-soluble ions (TWSIIs) accounted for 19.40% and 39.37% of the PM2.5 concentrations in XN and QL, respectively. O3 concentrations in summer were 102.44 ± 35.08 μg m−3 and 47.95 ± 21.63 μg m−3 in XN and QL, respectively, and they showed a significant correlation with Ox. The positive matrix factorization (PMF) model identified three main sources in XN and QL, including coal combustion source (COB), secondary aerosol (SA), and dust sources (DUSs). The potential source contribution function (PSCF) and a concentration weight trajectory (CWT) model with back-trajectory analysis showed that Inner Mongolia, the interior of Shaanxi, and nearby areas to the southwest were the sources and source areas of carbonaceous matter in XN and QL. The results of this study can contribute to the development of prevention and control policies and guidelines for PM2.5 and O3 in the GB. Furthermore, long-term and sustainable measuring and monitoring of PM2.5 and O3 are necessary, which is of great significance for studying climate change and the sustainable development of the environment. Full article
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26 pages, 2575 KiB  
Article
The Evolution of Open Space Planning within a Developing, Biodiverse City (Durban, South Africa)
by Cameron T. McLean, Debra C. Roberts and Rob Slotow
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3073; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073073 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 905
Abstract
Conserving and restoring biodiversity is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The need to curb biodiversity loss through the mainstreaming of biodiversity considerations within land-use planning is consistently highlighted in global biodiversity assessments intended for policymakers and practitioners. We present [...] Read more.
Conserving and restoring biodiversity is central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The need to curb biodiversity loss through the mainstreaming of biodiversity considerations within land-use planning is consistently highlighted in global biodiversity assessments intended for policymakers and practitioners. We present a Global South local government-led examination of the mainstreaming of biodiversity issues within a biodiversity hotspot area. Here, we evaluated the four-decade-long evolution in open space planning in Durban, South Africa, in response to shifting urbanisation, governance and policy/legislative contexts. We assessed the role of science in responding to contextual changes, the need for champions, and key institutional interventions undertaken to embed a biodiversity function within local government. In addition, we investigated how biodiversity concerns have been incorporated into land-use planning applications via the city’s environmental planning function. We provide evidence of the advancement of mainstreaming biodiversity concerns within local government processes, institutional functions, and land-use decision-making. This has been achieved through effective and sustained leadership; the use of science and scientific information in advancing the policy and legislative environment and building political support by responding to shifting governance contexts; investment in institutional scientific capacity and generating scale-appropriate biodiversity information. Learnings from this paper may be useful for other local governments addressing biodiversity loss through land-use planning processes, by identifying critical investment areas that may shorten the time required for effective mainstreaming. Full article
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24 pages, 1682 KiB  
Article
Workplace Energy Culture Framework: A Mixed Methods Study Examining Differences in Energy Use and Behaviours within an Industrial Workplace
by Llinos Brown
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073072 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 622
Abstract
One way to achieve energy efficiency in the workplace is to change employee behaviour. Research in this area is limited, and significant gaps remain in understanding differences in how energy is used within workplaces and the suitability of existing frameworks for application in [...] Read more.
One way to achieve energy efficiency in the workplace is to change employee behaviour. Research in this area is limited, and significant gaps remain in understanding differences in how energy is used within workplaces and the suitability of existing frameworks for application in workplace settings. This paper addresses these gaps by applying and further developing the interdisciplinary energy culture framework (ECF) to examine employee energy use in an industrial workplace with an office and manufacturing areas. A mixed methods approach consisting of surveys, a focus group and interviews is applied. Results show significant differences in the office and manufacturing areas, with office areas having a more energy-efficient energy culture. Qualitative results show differences exist due to organizational behaviours, such as the effectiveness of business communications methods, varying levels of investment, the physical environment and work tasks. Results also show external influences, such as government budgets, business structure, and wider organisational cultures, impact energy cultures and how energy is used. This paper proposes modifications to the ECF, which acknowledges the multi-scalar nature of workplace energy cultures. This paper demonstrates how the ECF can be applied to workplace settings, allowing further understanding of how energy is used, and identifying wider organizational, occupational, and individual psychological influences on energy use. Full article
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21 pages, 1071 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Impact of Digital Inclusive Finance on Agricultural Carbon Emissions: Evidence from the Mediation Effect of Capital Deepening
by Hua Hong, Lili Sun and Lijuan Zhao
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073071 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Carbon emissions from agriculture should not be underestimated. With the aim for carbon peaking and carbon neutralization and the help of digital inclusive finance, the effective reduction in carbon emissions in agriculture and animal husbandry production is crucial to achieving China’s carbon emission [...] Read more.
Carbon emissions from agriculture should not be underestimated. With the aim for carbon peaking and carbon neutralization and the help of digital inclusive finance, the effective reduction in carbon emissions in agriculture and animal husbandry production is crucial to achieving China’s carbon emission reduction goals. We used the balanced panel data of 31 provinces in China from 2011 to 2021 to study this issue. We empirically tested the impact, mechanism, and heterogeneity of digital inclusive finance on agricultural carbon emissions based on the systematic measurement of agricultural carbon emissions. The results revealed that (1) the development of digital inclusive finance has a significant inhibitory effect on agricultural carbon emissions, and it is an important path to reduce agricultural carbon emissions. (2) Through the intermediary effects’ analysis, it was found that capital deepening is an important transmission mechanism for the promotion of agricultural carbon emission reduction through digital inclusive finance. (3) Further analysis using the quantile regression model reveals that the impact of digital inclusive finance on agricultural carbon emissions is significantly negative at different quantiles. (4) Through the spatial Durbin model, digital inclusive finance has a space carbon enhancement effect. Finally, we put forward suggestions to promote the development of low-carbon agriculture by paying attention to the technical effect of digital inclusive finance, strengthening the connection and cooperation between various regions and promoting the carbon emission reduction role of capital deepening. Full article
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22 pages, 5600 KiB  
Article
Sustainability and the Food Industry: A Bibliometric Analysis
by Erkan Kadir Şimşek, Mikail Kara, Mehmet Bahadır Kalıpçı and Ramazan Eren
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073070 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
The food industry has significantly expanded and become globalized due to the growth of the economies of many countries and an increasing world population. The industry is consequently facing major sustainability challenges. Food, which is critical to the existence of humanity and is [...] Read more.
The food industry has significantly expanded and become globalized due to the growth of the economies of many countries and an increasing world population. The industry is consequently facing major sustainability challenges. Food, which is critical to the existence of humanity and is affected by the world’s ecosystems and human intervention, is a fundamental issue within academic research, especially in terms of sustainability. Using a bibliometric approach, this paper analyzed studies on sustainability in the food industry in the context of the most cited articles, trends in the number of articles, most influential journals, most influential authors, most productive and influential institutions and countries, and future research directions. The software tools Bibliometrix 3.1.4 R-package and VOSviewer 1.6.18.0 were used together to analyze the dataset, which was obtained from the Web of Science database. The results indicated that Sustainability, Journal of Cleaner Production, and Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems are the most important journals in this field, with the greatest number of articles published. Analyses of the network and overlay visualization of keyword co-occurrences identified six different research clusters. Since climate change and food security issues are in alignment with each other, sustainable food chains and social aspects are an important cross-cutting area of research. The results showed that future research should be multi-disciplinary and involve adjacent fields, including agriculture, agroecology, and climate science. There is also a need for research in the field of economic and social sustainability in the food industry. Studying the research topics found in the thematic map analysis, such as the effect of a sustainable diet on the food chain and the relationships among the agri-food system, sustainable agriculture, sustainable food systems, and sustainability of the food chain, is recommended for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
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36 pages, 1163 KiB  
Article
Advanced Linguistic Complex T-Spherical Fuzzy Dombi-Weighted Power-Partitioned Heronian Mean Operator and Its Application for Emergency Information Quality Assessment
by Yuqi Zang, Jiamei Zhao, Wenchao Jiang and Tong Zhao
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3069; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073069 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 583
Abstract
Against the background of a major change in the world unseen in a century, emergencies with high complexity and uncertainty have had serious impacts on economic security and sustainable social development, making emergency management an important issue that needs to be urgently resolved, [...] Read more.
Against the background of a major change in the world unseen in a century, emergencies with high complexity and uncertainty have had serious impacts on economic security and sustainable social development, making emergency management an important issue that needs to be urgently resolved, and the quality assessment of emergency information is a key link in emergency management. To effectively deal with the uncertainty of emergency information quality assessment, a new fuzzy multi-attribute assessment method is proposed in this paper. First, we propose the linguistic complex T-spherical fuzzy set (LCT-SFS), which can deal with two-dimensional problems and cope with situations in which assessment experts cannot give quantitative assessments. Then, the advanced linguistic complex T-spherical fuzzy Dombi-weighted power-partitioned Heronian mean (ALCT-SFDWPPHM) operator, which incorporates the flexibility of Dombi operations, is proposed. The partitioned Heronian mean (PHM) operator can consider attribute partitioning and attribute correlation, the power average (PA) operator can eliminate the effect of evaluation singularities, and the advanced operator can circumvent the problem of consistent or indistinguishable aggregation results, which provides a strong comprehensive advantage in the evaluating information aggregation. Finally, a fuzzy multi-attribute assessment model is constructed by combining the proposed operator with the WASPAS method and applied to the problem of assessing the quality and sensitivity of emergency information; qualitative and quantitative comparison analyses are carried out. The results show the method proposed in this paper has strong feasibility and validity and can represent uncertainty assessment more flexibly while providing reasonable and reliable results. The method can provide new ideas and methods for the quality assessment of emergency information, and promoting sustainable, efficient, and high-quality development of emergency management. Full article
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34 pages, 28235 KiB  
Article
Chinchero as Tourism Hub and Green Corridor as a Social Integrator in Cusco Peru 2023
by Doris Esenarro, Alejandro Cho, Nalia Vargas, Oscar Calderon and Vanessa Raymundo
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3068; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073068 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 904
Abstract
This research focuses on the proposal of a corridor design that allows social and ecological integration in the context of a city with emerging potential as a tourist destination in Chinchero, Cusco. Key challenges addressed include lack of infrastructure to manage growing tourism [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the proposal of a corridor design that allows social and ecological integration in the context of a city with emerging potential as a tourist destination in Chinchero, Cusco. Key challenges addressed include lack of infrastructure to manage growing tourism demand, fragmentation of social identity, displacement of the local population due to gentrification processes, uncontrolled urban sprawl, and inappropriate exploitation of natural, cultural, and agricultural lands. To address these issues, a comprehensive diagnosis was carried out covering various urban-environmental dimensions, such as topography, road infrastructure, archeology, climate, and biodiversity. In this process, digital tools such as Blender, AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Affinity Designer were used. As a result of the analysis, an urban green corridor is proposed consisting of seven sectors covering the shores of the Piuray lagoon, the city center, and its archeological area, through the creation of socially active public spaces equipped with cultural, sports, and recreational facilities. The city of Chinchero, with its growing importance as a tourist destination, presents the opportunity and the need to develop a controlled urban development axis that promotes the connection between environmental, cultural, archeological, social, and tourism aspects. This objective is materialized in the form of a green corridor that seeks to promote social integration and a sense of territorial belonging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Sustainable Construction: Best Practices)
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20 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
A New Perspective on Strategic Choices for the Survival and Development of Energy Enterprises: An Analysis of Market Power, Innovation Strategy, and Sustainable Development of Major Multinational Oil Companies
by Chunliang Guo, Jiawen Zhang and Na Li
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3067; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073067 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 630
Abstract
As global economic recession and deterioration of the ecological environment become increasingly prominent, every responsible enterprise, especially the energy enterprises with more environmental controversies, will be faced with the most difficult choice regarding sustainable operation in history: market power expansion strategy, or technological [...] Read more.
As global economic recession and deterioration of the ecological environment become increasingly prominent, every responsible enterprise, especially the energy enterprises with more environmental controversies, will be faced with the most difficult choice regarding sustainable operation in history: market power expansion strategy, or technological innovation strategy? Most of the literature supports the finding that the former can occupy the market advantage and obtain the current market survival, but the future potential is low, while the latter reduces the firm’s negative externality and gains future competitiveness, but current profits are reduced. This paper proposes a new perspective to evaluate the “sustainable development of enterprises” and then constructs a new measurement model, using a linear regression model for empirical analysis, which provides technical support and guidance for energy enterprises facing this decision-making dilemma. For further research, we have proposed more practical business management strategies for the sustainable development of petrochemical companies in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0, Digitization and Opportunities for Sustainability)
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