Sustainability

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ISSN / EISSN : 2071-1050 / 2071-1050
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 43,795
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Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031510

Abstract:
The use of dyes dates to ancient times and has increased due to population and industrial growth, leading to the rise of synthetic dyes. These pollutants are of great environmental impact and azo dyes deserve special attention due their widespread use and challenging degradation. Among the biological solutions developed to mitigate this issue, bacteria are highlighted for being versatile organisms, which can be applied as single organism cultures, microbial consortia, in bioreactors, acting in the detoxification of azo dyes breakage by-products and have the potential to combine biodegradation with the production of products of economic interest. These characteristics go hand in hand with the ability of various strains to act under various chemical and physical parameters, such as a wide range of pH, salinity, and temperature, with good performance under industry, and environmental, relevant conditions. This review encompasses studies with promising results related to the use of bacteria in the bioremediation of environments contaminated with azo dyes in the most diverse techniques and parameters, both in environmental and laboratory samples, also addressing their mechanisms and the legislation involving these dyes around the world, showcasing the importance of bacterial bioremediation, specialty in a scenario in an ever-increasing pursuit for sustainable production.
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031509

Abstract:
With the rise of urbanization, the Malaysian government faces a tough challenge in ensuring food and nutrition security, especially for the disadvantaged urban populations. Urban agriculture (UA) seems to be a feasible approach to be undertaken by the government to overcome urban food insecurity. In distinguishing UA as a vital element of sustainable urban development, the primary challenge is to develop effective programs that engage urban dwellers and organizations through good design and implementation. Additionally, empowering communities through UA programs is challenging. Hence, the major aim of this study is to ascertain the assigned and underlying values of UA participation amongst communities that contribute to aspects of community social empowerment in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The dataset for the study was taken from the respondents (180) who were the participants of UA community programs authorized by the Department of Agriculture in Klang Valley area, and a Structural Equation Modelling using Partial Least Square (PLS-SEM) was utilized to integrate the interdependencies between multiple variables. The findings revealed the important role of participation in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of UA programs to ensure success. Participation should be seen through the roles of agencies, NGOs, and communities in order to build a strong network crucial to the enhancement of social empowerment among participants of UA programs.
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031508

Abstract:
Studies show that Human Resource Management (HRM) practices, the role of leadership, organizational citizenship behavior, and organizational virtues influence the greater involvement of professionals at work and, consequently, the organizational performance. However, there is a lack of investigations encompassing these four variables in the same research model. Thus, the main objective of this study was to identify the relationship between leadership, organizational virtues, HRM practices, and organizational citizenship behaviors in a sample of employees of Brazilian companies. A printed questionnaire was administered to a valid sample of 659 subjects, who participated voluntarily, from public and private organizations in a Brazilian State. A total of seven hypotheses were tested using confirmatory factor analysis to assess the fit of the measurement models of the four studied variables, in addition to path analysis, using structural equation modeling to specify and estimate the mediation models. All hypotheses were confirmed, attesting to the positive predictive associations between the variables. We also confirm the partial mediation of HRM practices in the relationship between leadership and citizenship and the total mediation in the relationship between virtues and citizenship. This research advances the efforts to test more complex and unexplored structural models in which HRM practices are mediating variables, fulfilling a gap in the literature, as well as providing investigations of antecedents and consequents of the variables adopted in the research. As practical implications, the findings constitute a diagnosis for managers to understand how these relationships happen, supporting decision-making towards an increasingly effective, strategic, and humanized HRM.
Published: 28 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031507

Abstract:
This study aims to develop and test a methodological approach to assess the system of food quality and safety in the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve the study objectives, a multi-country research project was implemented with 425 enterprises from Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Belarus. The application of the developed methodological approach resulted in comparable assessments of the various criteria of the food safety and quality assurance system in supply chains. This makes it possible to implement continuous monitoring of the state of the food safety and quality assurance system in the enterprises. In addition, the study identified critical weaknesses in the safety system, including a very low level of assessment by enterprises of the impact of WHO advisory protocols. This greatly increases the risks associated with food safety in the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent action is required to increase the confidence of food supply chain actors in WHO recommendations and national food safety and quality protocols. The conducted assessments showed that a significant proportion of enterprises did not implement a food safety system. One out of five of the respondents claimed to have implemented safety systems at an enterprise in accordance with the standards recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. Only 2% declared the introduction of HACCP at an enterprise, which is logical given the high mistrust of WHO recommendations. The proposed approach can be used in the real sector of the economy to monitor the food safety and quality assurance system in the supply chain at the regional, sectoral and national levels.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031466

Abstract:
From 1995, Vietnam started building safety standards for agricultural products divided into three labels, “safe”, “VietGAP”, and “organic” to deal with environmental problems and health issues resulting from the intensification of farming methods and increasing awareness of food safety. This research examines the reasons for government support of agricultural production according to those standards instead of conventional methods. To this end, we characterised the current farming systems, identified factors affecting the generation of cash income from agriculture, and investigated the influence of the farming system on farm income in the suburban area of Hanoi. Data collection involved a survey based on a structured questionnaire, key informants’ interviews, and focus group discussions conducted in 2015 with a sample size of 312 respondents. Three forms of farming systems: conventional, safe, and organic were identified. Literature suggested that ecological farming systems that are safe and organic are supported by stakeholders in Vietnam to maintain agricultural sustainability. A multiple linear regression model was applied to identify factors that affect cash incomes from agricultural activities. This research found a direct correlation between the ecological factor of farming systems and respondents’ cash income from agricultural activities. Additionally, the amount of family labour and respondents’ higher-level education and farm experiences appeared to positively influence the cash incomes from agriculture. On the other hand, farm size and membership in a farmers’ association were identified as the major factors that negatively affect agricultural cash income in the study area.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031452

Abstract:
The robotic arm has emerged as an essential tool for the rapid construction of high-quality buildings due to its ability to repeat instructions, achieve precise positioning and fine operations. The robotic arm can also effectively replace workers to complete building construction under low temperature and short daylight conditions. Thus, it can be forward-looking to construct modular buildings in cold region, but how to realize the construction of modular buildings through human-machine coordination and remote operation is a significant issue. This article discusses the feasibility of robotic arm assembly design methods in the field of architecture by simulating the complete design and construction process of modular buildings. According to parameterized module design, a three-dimensional computer model is transformed into an electronic file that directs the action of the robotic arm to complete assembly via a custom processing program. This article details a theoretical and practical exploration of the construction of modular manipulators and has certain guiding significance for the intelligent design and construction of future buildings.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031442

Abstract:
Highway Work Zones (HWZs) are associated with significant adverse impacts on safety, mobility, and work costs. The objective of this paper is two-fold: First, to quantify the impacts of HWZs on safety, mobility, and work costs. Second, to develop an optimization model to minimize the total costs associated with HWZs by controlling site geometry, Temporary Traffic Control (TTC), and work management. This model implements a location-based schedule within the cost evaluation. A genetic algorithm is used to determine a set of optimal scheduling and decision variables. The performance of the model is demonstrated in a case study. The results reveal that crash costs, which were often ignored or only included indirectly in previous works, are a substantial cost component. Their explicit inclusion in the optimization process significantly affects the total cost and the optimal operations of the HWZ. Furthermore, the inclusion of a location-based schedule in the model is instrumental and affects the optimal solution since all HWZ cost components are affected by the work processes and project duration. Moreover, consideration of the effects of TTC on the optimized function has a substantial influence on the total cost. The model can support transportation agencies and local authorities in mitigating the adverse impacts associated with HWZs.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031477

Abstract:
Connected, autonomous and electric vehicles (CAEV) are a powerful combined transport technology looking to disrupt the automotive sector and drive the transition to safe, accessible, clean and sustainable transport systems. The trialling of private, public and shared CAEV technologies is occurring in cities around the world; however, historically isolated and transport-poor rural communities may have the most to gain from CAEV implementation. Despite the accessibility and transport safety needs of rural communities, rural CAEV trials are few in the UK. Therefore, this paper investigates the hypothesis that the lack of rural implementation research and trials means that rural transport planners are ill-informed and uncertain of both the potential of CAEVs and their implementation requirements to meet rural community transport needs. This investigation consists of consultations with UK-based transport planning professionals to establish their perspectives on CAEV technologies and their rural implementation potential. The findings show that 96% of transport planners lack sufficient understanding of CAEV technology and its implementation challenges. However, the findings also highlight a willingness, given the opportunity, for transport planners to engage with CAEV technologies and apply them to specifically rural scenarios.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031494

Abstract:
Growing awareness of the fashion industry’s negative impact on people and the environment has led to considerable growth of the sustainable fashion market. At the same time, Black Friday purchases increase annually as the sales event develops into a global phenomenon. As sustainable fashion brands are choosing to participate in the event, many communicate their offers via the social media platform Instagram. To gain a competitive advantage and maintain their sustainable corporate images, some brands use greenwashing and/or bluewashing strategies. The first part of this study explores which strategies were employed in Instagram content posted by sustainable brands, using quantitative and qualitative content analysis. We propose a research-based model of nine greenwashing/bluewashing strategies. The second part of the study examines predictive factors for consumer evaluations of Black Friday ads by sustainable brands, using an online survey and a stepwise multiple regression analysis. Findings show that consumers’ critical attitude towards Black Friday and high ad skepticism predict positive evaluations while sustainable purchase behavior predicts negative evaluations. These insights suggest that ‘sustainable’ Black Friday campaigns may appeal to consumers who show a general concern for the environment and issues of social sustainability, but not to those who exhibit actual sustainable behavior.
Published: 27 January 2022
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031481

Abstract:
This paper analyses the data on Chinese A-share listed companies from 1996 to 2019, using fixed-effect regression and the double-difference method to systematically examine the impact of commercial credit on enterprise technological innovation. The study found that the acquisition and provision of commercial credit has promoted the number of enterprise technological innovations and significantly improved their quality. In particular, the innovation of highly constrained companies is promoted by financing. Our findings help to solve the obstacles enterprises face in breaking through financing constraints and improving the efficiency and quality of their innovative efforts. The financing system has a significant influence on promoting the sustainable development of innovative enterprises.
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