Sustainability

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ISSN / EISSN : 2071-1050 / 2071-1050
Published by: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 36,873
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Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158467

Abstract:
The quality and safety attributes of poultry products have attracted increasing widespread attention and interest from scholarly groups and the general population. As natural and safe alternatives to synthetic and artificial chemical drugs (e.g., antibiotics), botanical products are recently being used in poultry farms more than 60% of the time for producing organic products. Medicinal plants, and honeybee products, are natural substances, and they were added to poultry diets in a small amount (between 1% and 3%) as a source of nutrition and to provide health benefits for poultry. In addition, they have several biological functions in the poultry body and may help to enhance their welfare. These supplements can increase the bodyweight of broilers and the egg production of laying hens by approximately 7% and 10% and enhance meat and egg quality by more than 25%. Moreover, they can improve rooster semen quality by an average of 20%. Previous research on the main biological activities performed by biotics has shown that most research only concentrated on the notion of using botanical products as growth promoters, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial agents. In the current review, the critical effects and functions of bee products and botanicals are explored as natural and safe alternative feed additives in poultry production, such as antioxidants, sexual-stimulants, immuno-stimulants, and for producing healthy products.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158507

Abstract:
Deep horizontal high stress and high permeability geological factors appear when coal mines are converted to deep horizontal mining. When the roadway is damaged by the mining face, and the supporting components are mismatched, the deep roadways necessitate extensive repair work, which has a negative impact on the coal mining economy and sustainability. This paper carried out a series of field tests on the roadways deformation, crack distribution, and loose rock zone of the deep roadways. Furthermore, a numerical calculation model was established using the discrete element method (DEM) and calibrated with laboratory tests and RQD methods. Both the stress and crack distribution in the surrounding rock of the deep roadway were simulated. The field test and the corrected numerical model showed consistency. A FISH function was used to document the propagation of shear and tensile cracks around the roadway in three periods, and a damage parameter was adopted to evaluate the failure mechanism of the deep roadways under the dynamic stress disturbance. The matching of specifications of anchor cables, rock bolts, and anchoring agent is the primary point in the control of deep roadways, and revealing the stress evolution, crack propagation, and damage distribution caused by mining effects is another key point in deep roadway controlling. The field test and DEM in this paper provide a reference for the design of surrounding rock control of deep roadways and the sustainable development of coal mines.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158478

Abstract:
The environmental impact of a plant-based shampoo produced and marketed in Zurich, Switzerland, was analyzed using the life cycle assessment method. Beside the identification of environmental hotspots and mitigation possibilities, the focus of the study was on the analysis and comparison of different refill offers. The results of the study show that one hair wash using the investigated shampoo is related to greenhouse gas emissions of 161 gCO2eq. For all investigated impact categories, the use phase represents the dominant life stage, except for land use, which is dominated by the production of the purely plant-based shampoo ingredients. The environmental impact related to the use phase is highly sensitive on the consumers’ showering habits, such as water consumption and water temperature, due to predominantly fossil-based heating in Zurich. On the producer’s side, a switch to renewable energy sources both for heating and electricity is identified as most effective measure to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing phase. As to the product end-of-life, the results suggest that emissions of the shampoo ingredients after wastewater treatment have a negligible impact on freshwater ecotoxicity. In this context, a need for further research is identified with respect to characterization factors and specific removal rates in wastewater treatment plants. From a life cycle perspective, packaging production and disposal have rather low contributions. Offering refill possibilities can reduce the packaging related contributions by several percentage points, however, higher mitigation potentials are found for use phase and manufacturing.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158461

Abstract:
The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in early 2020 prompted a global lockdown from March to July 2020. Due to strict lockdown measures, many countries experienced economic downturns, negatively affecting many industries including energy, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, healthcare, food, education, tourism, and sports. Despite this, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to observe the impacts of worldwide lockdown on global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and climate change. Being the main greenhouse gas responsible for rising global surface temperature, CO2 is released to the atmosphere primarily by burning fossil fuels. Compared to 2019, CO2 emissions for the world and Malaysia decreased significantly by 4.02% (−1365.83 MtCO2) and 9.7% (−225.97 MtCO2) in 2020. However, this is insufficient to cause long-term impacts on global CO2 levels and climate change. Therefore, in this review, we explored the effects of worldwide lockdown on global CO2 levels, the impacts of national lockdown on Malaysia’s CO2 emissions, and the influence of climate change in Malaysia.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158481

Abstract:
Rapid urban expansion has radically transformed the city centers and the new districts of Chinese cities. Both areas have undergone unique redevelopment and development over the past decades, generating unique urban forms worthy of study. To date, few studies have investigated development patterns and land use intensities at the neighborhood level. The present study aims to fill the gap and compare the densities of different types of developments and the spatial compositions of different commercial uses at the neighborhood level. We captured the attributes of their built environment that support instrumental activities of daily living of 710 neighborhoods centered on the public elementary schools of the entire Shanghai municipality using application programming interfaces provided in Baidu Map services. The 200 m neighborhood provided the best fit to capture the variations of the built environment. Overall, city center neighborhoods had significantly higher residential densities and housed more daily routine destinations than their counterparts in the new districts. Unexpectedly, however, the total length of streets was considerably smaller in city-center neighborhoods, likely reflecting the prominence of the wide multilane vehicular roads surrounding large center city redevelopment projects. The findings point to convergence between the city center’s urban forms and that of the new districts.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158490

Abstract:
In recent years, ecosystem service values (ESV) have attracted much attention. However, studies that use ecological sensitivity methods as a basis for predicting future urban expansion and thus analyzing spatial-temporal change of ESV are scarce in the region. In this study, we used the CA-Markov model to predict the 2030 urban expansion under ecological sensitivity in the Three Gorges reservoir area based on multi-source data, estimations of ESV from 2000 to 2018 and predictions of ESV losses from 2018 to 2030. Research results: (i) In the concept of green development, the ecological sensitive zone has been identified in Three Gorges reservoir area; it accounts for about 35.86% of the study area. (ii) It is predicted that the 2030 urban land will reach 211,412.51 ha by overlaying the ecological sensitive zone. (iii) The total ESV of Three Gorges Reservoir area showed an increasing trend from 2000 to 2018 with growth values of about USD 3644.26 million, but the ESVs of 16 districts were decreasing, with Dadukou and Jiangbei having the highest reductions. (iv) New urban land increases by 80,026.02 ha from 2018 to 2030. The overall ESV losses are about USD 268.75 million. Jiulongpo, Banan and Shapingba had the highest ESV losses.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158466

Abstract:
Given the limited response of enterprises to China’s national policy on the compulsory disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR), a deviation has occurred between policy orientation and reality. To explore the reasons behind this deviation, we investigated whether different types of media reports play an intermediary role in the process of CSR affecting corporate innovation based on the data of the companies listed on China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange from 2010 to 2019. The results show that the disclosure of CSR by the listed companies can significantly promote corporate innovation, which provides theoretical support for the national compulsory disclosure of CSR. Newspaper media reports and online media reports not only directly promote corporate innovation but also form a positive mediation path in the CSR disclosure and the promotion of corporate innovation. Further analysis shows that, among the five aspects of CSR, the disclosure of employee responsibility had the greatest effect on the corporate innovation, whereas the disclosure of social contribution responsibility only had a short-term inhibitory effect. Both newspaper media and online media reports on CSR disclosure were beneficial to corporate innovation. Positive and neutral reports may play the role of media governance to promote corporate innovation, whereas negative reports can restrain corporate innovation due to the market pressure effect produced by them, which also provides the basis for media supervision by the state.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158460

Abstract:
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a staple food crop in Burkina Faso that is widely grown in the Sahelian and Sudano-Sahelian zones, characterised by poor soil conditions and erratic rainfall, and high temperatures. The objective of this study was to document farmers’ perceptions of the prevailing constraints affecting pearl millet production and related approaches to manage the parasitic weeds S. hermonthica. The study was conducted in the Sahel, Sudano-Sahelian zones in the North, North Central, West Central, Central Plateau, and South Central of Burkina Faso. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire and focus group discussions involving 492 participant farmers. Recurrent drought, S. hermonthica infestation, shortage of labour, lack of fertilisers, lack of cash, and the use of low-yielding varieties were the main challenges hindering pearl millet production in the study areas. The majority of the respondents (40%) ranked S. hermonthica infestation as the primary constraint affecting pearl millet production. Respondent farmers reported yield losses of up to 80% due to S. hermonthica infestation. 61.4% of the respondents in the study areas had achieved a mean pearl millet yields of <1 t/ha. Poor access and the high cost of introduced seed, and a lack of farmers preferred traits in the existing introduced pearl millet varieties were the main reasons for their low adoption, as reported by 32% of respondents. S. hermonthica management options in pearl millet production fields included moisture conservation using terraces, manual hoeing, hand weeding, use of microplots locally referred to as ‘zaï’, crop rotation and mulching. These management techniques were ineffective because they do not suppress the below ground S. hermonthica seed, and they are difficult to implement. Integrated management practices employing breeding for S. hermonthica resistant varieties with the aforementioned control measures could offer a sustainable solution for S. hermonthica management and improved pearl millet productivity in Burkina Faso.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158503

Abstract:
Artificial intelligence (AI) now permeates all aspects of modern society, and we are simultaneously seeing an increased focus on issues of sustainability in all human activities. All major corporations are now expected to account for their environmental and social footprint and to disclose and report on their activities. This is carried out through a diverse set of standards, frameworks, and metrics related to what is referred to as ESG (environment, social, governance), which is now, increasingly often, replacing the older term CSR (corporate social responsibility). The challenge addressed in this article is that none of these frameworks sufficiently capture the nature of the sustainability related impacts of AI. This creates a situation in which companies are not incentivised to properly analyse such impacts. Simultaneously, it allows the companies that are aware of negative impacts to not disclose them. This article proposes a framework for evaluating and disclosing ESG related AI impacts based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The core of the framework is here presented, with examples of how it forces an examination of micro, meso, and macro level impacts, a consideration of both negative and positive impacts, and accounting for ripple effects and interlinkages between the different impacts. Such a framework helps make analyses of AI related ESG impacts more structured and systematic, more transparent, and it allows companies to draw on research in AI ethics in such evaluations. In the closing section, Microsoft’s sustainability reporting from 2018 and 2019 is used as an example of how sustainability reporting is currently carried out, and how it might be improved by using the approach here advocated.
Published: 29 July 2021
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13158497

Abstract:
This paper presents water the footprint assessment (WFA) of carbon in pulp (CIP) gold processing. The main objectives of the study are determining grey and blue water footprints and identifying the hotspots of the process. Results revealed that the total blue water footprint, including the extraction and processing of the gold, was found to be 452.40 m3/kg Au, and the grey WF to be 2300.69 m3/kg Au. According to the results, the lost return flow on the direct blue WF side has the largest contribution, with a value of 260.61 m3/kg Au, and the only source of the lost return flow is the tailing pond. On the indirect side, it is seen that the oxygen consumption used for the leaching process has the highest value, with 37.38 m3/kg. Among the nine contaminants in the mine tailings, the critical component responsible for the grey water footprint is by far arsenic, with a value of 1777 m3/kg Au. The results will be used to make recommendations for reducing water consumption in mining operations, for a better design for the environment. The study is a pioneering study, being the first implementation of water footprint assessment in a gold mine in Turkey.
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