Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2908

Search results for: agricultural sustainability

2908 Climate Policy Actions for Sustaining International Agricultural Development Projects: The Role of Non-State, Sub-National Stakeholder Engagements, and Monitoring and Evaluation

Authors: EMMANUEL DWAMENA SASU

Abstract:

International climate policy actions require countries under Paris Agreement to design instruments, provide support (financial and technical), and strengthen institutional capacity with tendency to transcending policy formulation to implementation and sustainability. Changes associated with moisture depletion has been a growing phenomenon; especially in developing countries with projected global GDP drop from 7% to 2% between 2005 and 2050. These developments have potential to adversely affect food production in feeding the growing world population, with corresponding rise in global hunger. Incongruously, there is global absence of a harmonized policy direction; capable of providing the required indicators on climate policies for monitoring sustainability of international agricultural development projects. We conduct extensive review and synthesis on existing limitations on global climate policy governance, agricultural food security and sustainability of international agricultural development projects, and conjecture the role of non-state and sub-national climate stakeholder engagements, and monitoring and evaluation strategies for improved climate policy action for sustaining international agricultural development projects.

Keywords: climate policy, agriculture, development projects, sustainability

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2907 Economic and Ecological Implications in Agricultural Production Within the Strong and Weak Sustainability Framework

Authors: Mauricio Quintero Angel, Andrés A. Duque Nivia, Carlos H. Fajardo Toro

Abstract:

This paper analyzes two approaches of sustainability, the weak and strong, considering a case of study of oil palm production for an industry of biodegradable detergent. In this case, a company demand the oil palm as the active element for washing and through its trademark aims to supply 10% of the Colombian market of washing powders. Under each approach the economic and ecological implications of the palm oil production and especially the implications for crop management are described. The crop production under the weak sustainability implies plantations, intensive use of agrochemicals and the inclusion of new areas of cultivation as the market grows. Under the strong sustainability the production system is limited by the productive vocation of the ecosystem, so that new approaches and creativity for making viable the nature conservancy and the business development are require.

Keywords: agriculture, environmental impacts, oil palm, strong sustainability, weak sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 315
2906 A Model of Sustainability in the Accommodation Sector

Authors: L. S. Zavodna, J. Zavodny Pospisil

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to identify the factors for sustainability in the accommodation sector. Although sustainability is a current trend in tourism, not many facilities know how to apply the concept in practice. This paper presents a model for the implementation of sustainability in hotels, hostels, campgrounds, or other facilities. First, there are identified sections of each accommodation facility, which can contribute to sustainability. Furthermore, concrete steps are presented to transfer this model into reality.

Keywords: accommodation sector, model, sustainable tourism, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 187
2905 Reviewing Soil Erosion in Greece

Authors: Paschalis Koutalakis, George N. Zaimes, Valasia Iakovoglou, Konstantinos Ioannou

Abstract:

Mitigating soil erosion, especially in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, is essential in order to maintain environmental and agricultural sustainability. In this paper, scientific publications related to soil erosion studies in Greece were reviewed and categorized. To accomplish this, the online search engine of Scopus was used. The key words were “soil”, “erosion” and “Greece.” An analysis of the published articles was conducted at three levels: i) type of publication, ii) chronologic and iii) thematic. A hundred and ten publications published in scientific journals were reviewed. The results showed that the awareness regarding the soil erosion in Greece has increased only in the last decades. The publications covered a wide range of thematic categories such as the type of studied areas, the physical phenomena that trigger and influence the soil erosion, the negative anthropogenic impacts on them, the assessment tools that were used in order to examine the threat and the proper management. The analysis of these articles was significant and necessary in order to find the scientific gaps of soil erosion studies in Greece and help enhance the sustainability of soil management in the future.

Keywords: climate change, agricultural sustainability, environmental sustainability, soil management

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2904 Integration of LCA and BIM for Sustainable Construction

Authors: Laura Álvarez Antón, Joaquín Díaz

Abstract:

The construction industry is turning towards sustainability. It is a well-known fact that sustainability is based on a balance between environmental, social and economic aspects. In order to achieve sustainability efficiently, these three criteria should be taken into account in the initial project phases, since that is when a project can be influenced most effectively. Thus the aim must be to integrate important tools like BIM and LCA at an early stage in order to make full use of their potential. With the synergies resulting from the integration of BIM and LCA, a wider approach to sustainability becomes possible, covering the three pillars of sustainability.

Keywords: building information modeling (BIM), construction industry, design phase, life cycle assessment (LCA), sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 310
2903 A Case Study on Blended Pedagogical Approach by Leveraging on Digital Marketing Concepts towards Inculcating Concepts of Sustainability in Management Education

Authors: Narendra Babu Bommenahalli Veerabhadrappa

Abstract:

Teaching sustainability concepts along with profit maximizing philosophy of business in management education is a challenge. This paper explores and evaluates various learning models to inculcate sustainability concepts in management education. The paper explains about a new pedagogy that was tested in a business management school (Indus Business Academy, Bangalore, India) to teach sustainability. The pedagogy was designed by intertwining concepts related to sustainability with digital marketing concepts. As part of this experimental method, students (in groups) were assigned with various topics of sustainability and were asked to work with concepts of digital marketing and thus market the concepts of sustainability. The paper explains as a case study as to how sustainability was integrated with digital marketing tools and how learning towards sustainability was facilitated. It also explains the outcomes of this pedagogical method, in terms of inculcating sustainability concepts amongst management students as well as marketing and proliferation of sustainability concepts to bring about the behavioral changes amongst target audience towards sustainability.

Keywords: management-education, pedagogy, sustainability, behavior

Procedia PDF Downloads 120
2902 Sustainability Modelling and Sustainability Evaluation of a Mechanical System in a Concurrent Engineering Environment: A Digraph and Matrix Approach

Authors: Anand Ankush, Wani Mohammed Farooq

Abstract:

A procedure based on digraph and matrix method is developed for modelling and evaluation of sustainability of Mechanical System in a concurrent engineering environment.The sustainability parameters of a Mechanical System are identified and are called sustainability attributes. Consideration of attributes and their interrelations is rudiment in modeling and evaluation of sustainability index. Sustainability attributes of a Mechanical System are modelled in termsof sustainability digraph. The graph is represented by a one-to-one matrix for sustainability expression which is based on sustainability attributes. A variable sustainability relationship permanent matrix is defined to develop sustainability expression(VPF-t) which is also useful in comparing two systems in a concurrent environment. The sustainability index of Mechanical System is obtained from permanent of matrix by substituting the numerical values of attributes and their interrelations. A higher value of index implies better sustainability of system.The ideal value of index is obtained from matrix expression which is useful in assessing relative sustainability of a Mechanical System in a concurrent engineering environment. The procedure is not only useful for evaluation of sustainability of a Mechanical System at conceptual design stage but can also be used for design and development of systems at system design stage. A step-by-step procedure for evaluation of sustainability index is also suggested and is illustrated by means of an example.

Keywords: digraph, matrix method, mechanical system, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 239
2901 Standard and Processing of Photodegradable Polyethylene

Authors: Nurul-Akidah M. Yusak, Rahmah Mohamed, Noor Zuhaira Abd Aziz

Abstract:

The introduction of degradable plastic materials into agricultural sectors has represented a promising alternative to promote green agriculture and environmental friendly of modern farming practices. Major challenges of developing degradable agricultural films are to identify the most feasible types of degradation mechanisms, composition of degradable polymers and related processing techniques. The incorrect choice of degradable mechanisms to be applied during the degradation process will cause premature losses of mechanical performance and strength. In order to achieve controlled process of agricultural film degradation, the compositions of degradable agricultural film also important in order to stimulate degradation reaction at required interval of time and to achieve sustainability of the modern agricultural practices. A set of photodegradable polyethylene based agricultural film was developed and produced, following the selective optimization of processing parameters of the agricultural film manufacturing system. Example of agricultural films application for oil palm seedlings cultivation is presented.

Keywords: photodegradable polyethylene, plasticulture, processing schemes

Procedia PDF Downloads 406
2900 Investigating the Application of Social Sustainability: A Case Study in the Egyptian Retailing Sector

Authors: Lobna Hafez, Eman Elakkad

Abstract:

Sustainability is no longer a choice for firms. To achieve sustainable supply chain, all three dimensions of sustainability should be considered. Unlike the economic and environmental aspects, social sustainability has been rarely given attention. The problem surrounding social sustainability and employees’ welfare in Egypt is complex and remains unsolved. The aim of this study is to qualitatively assess the current level of application of social sustainability in the retailing sector in Egypt through using the social sustainability indicators identified in the literature. The purpose of this investigation is to gain knowledge about the complexity of the system involved. A case study is conducted on one of the largest retailers in Egypt. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with managers and employees to determine the level of application and identify the major obstacles affecting the social sustainability in the retailing context. The work developed gives insights about the details and complexities of the application of social sustainability in developing countries, from the retailing perspective. The outcomes of this study will help managers to understand the enablers of social sustainability and will direct them to methods of sound implementation.

Keywords: developing countries, Egyptian retailing sector, sustainability, social sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 33
2899 Towards a Goal-Question-Metric Based Approach to Assess Social Sustainability of Software Systems

Authors: Rahma Amri, Narjès Bellamine Ben Saoud

Abstract:

Sustainable development or sustainability is one of the most urgent issues in actual debate in almost domains. Particularly the significant way the software pervades our live should make it in the center of sustainability concerns. The social aspects of sustainability haven’t been well studied in the context of software systems and still immature research field that needs more interest among researchers’ community. This paper presents a Goal-Question-Metric based approach to assess social sustainability of software systems. The approach is based on a generic social sustainability model taken from Social sciences.

Keywords: software assessment approach, social sustainability, goal-question-metric paradigm, software project metrics

Procedia PDF Downloads 277
2898 The Relevance of Sustainability Skills for International Students

Authors: Mary Panko, Rashika Sharma

Abstract:

Sustainability often appears to be an unfamiliar concept to many international students that enrol in a New Zealand technological degree. Lecturers’ experiences with classroom interactions and evaluation of assessments indicate that studying the concept enlightens and enhances international students understanding of sustainability. However, in most cases, even after studying sustainability in their degree programme, students are not given an opportunity to practice and apply this concept into their professions in their home countries. Therefore, using a qualitative approach, the academics conducted research to determine the change in international students understanding of sustainability before and after their enrolment in an Applied Technology degree. The research also aimed to evaluate if international students viewed sustainability of relevance to their professions and whether the students felt that they will be provided with an opportunity to apply their knowledge about sustainability in the industry. The findings of the research are presented in this paper.

Keywords: education for sustainability, international students, vocational education

Procedia PDF Downloads 166
2897 The Impact of Financial Reporting on Sustainability

Authors: Lynn Ruggieri

Abstract:

The worldwide pandemic has only increased sustainability awareness. The public is demanding that businesses be held accountable for their impact on the environment. While financial data enjoys uniformity in reporting requirements, there are no uniform reporting requirements for non-financial data. Europe is leading the way with some standards being implemented for reporting non-financial sustainability data; however, there is no uniformity globally. And without uniformity, there is not a clear understanding of what information to include and how to disclose it. Sustainability reporting will provide important information to stakeholders and will enable businesses to understand their impact on the environment. Therefore, there is a crucial need for this data. This paper looks at the history of sustainability reporting in the countries of the European Union and throughout the world and makes a case for worldwide reporting requirements for sustainability.

Keywords: financial reporting, non-financial data, sustainability, global financial reporting

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2896 Developing Creativity as a Scientific Literacy among IT Engineers towards Sustainability

Authors: Chunfang Zhou

Abstract:

The growing issues of sustainability have increased the discussions on how to foster “green engineers” from diverse perspectives in both contexts of education and organizations. As creativity has been considered as the first stage of innovation process that can also be regarded as a path to sustainability, this paper will particularly propose creativity as a scientific literacy meaning a collection of awareness, ability, and skills about sustainability. From this sense, creativity should be an element in IT engineering education and organizational learning programmes, since IT engineers are one group of key actors in designing, researching and developing social media products that are most important channels of improving public awareness of sustainability. This further leads this paper to discuss by which pedagogical strategies and by which training methods in organizations, creativity and sustainability can be integrated into IT engineering education and IT enterprise innovation process in order to meeting the needs of ‘creative engineers’ in the society changes towards sustainability. Accordingly, this paper contributes to future work on the links between creativity, innovation, sustainability, and IT engineering development both theoretically and practically.

Keywords: creativity, innovation, IT engineers, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 201
2895 Role of Facade in Sustainability Enhancement of Contemporary Iranian Buildings

Authors: H. Nejadriahi

Abstract:

A growing demand for sustainability makes sustainability as one of the significant debates of nowadays. Energy saving is one of the main criteria to be considered in the context of sustainability. Reducing energy use in buildings is one of the most important ways to reduce humans’ overall environmental impact. Taking this into consideration, study of different design strategies, which can assist in reducing energy use and subsequently improving the sustainability level of today's buildings would be an essential task. The sustainability level of a building is highly affected by the sustainability performance of its components. One of the main building components, which can have a great impact on energy saving and sustainability level of the building, is its facade. The aim of this study is to investigate on the role of facade in sustainability enhancement of the contemporary buildings of Iran. In this study, the concept of sustainability in architecture, the building facades, and their relationship to sustainability are explained briefly. Following that, a number of contemporary Iranian buildings are discussed and analyzed in terms of different design strategies used in their facades in accordance to the sustainability concepts. The methods used in this study are descriptive and analytic. The results of this paper would assist in generating a wider vision and a source of inspiration for the current designers to design and create environmental and sustainable buildings for the future.

Keywords: building facade, contemporary buildings, Iran, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 193
2894 Investigate the Competencies Required for Sustainable Entrepreneurship Development in Agricultural Higher Education

Authors: Ehsan Moradi, Parisa Paikhaste, Amir Alam Beigi, Seyedeh Somayeh Bathaei

Abstract:

The need for entrepreneurial sustainability is as important as the entrepreneurship category itself. By transferring competencies in a sustainable entrepreneurship framework, entrepreneurship education can make a significant contribution to the effectiveness of businesses, especially for start-up entrepreneurs. This study analyzes the essential competencies of students in the development of sustainable entrepreneurship. It is an applied causal study in terms of nature and field in terms of data collection. The main purpose of this research project is to study and explain the dimensions of sustainability entrepreneurship competencies among agricultural students. The statistical population consists of 730 junior and senior undergraduate students of the Campus of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran. The sample size was determined to be 120 using the Cochran's formula, and the convenience sampling method was used. Face validity, structure validity, and diagnostic methods were used to evaluate the validity of the research tool and Cronbach's alpha and composite reliability to evaluate its reliability. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used by the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) method to prepare a measurement model for data processing. The results showed that seven key dimensions play a role in shaping sustainable entrepreneurial development competencies: systems thinking competence (STC), embracing diversity and interdisciplinary (EDI), foresighted thinking (FTC), normative competence (NC), action competence (AC), interpersonal competence (IC), and strategic management competence (SMC). It was found that acquiring skills in SMC by creating the ability to plan to achieve sustainable entrepreneurship in students through the relevant mechanisms can improve entrepreneurship in students by adopting a sustainability attitude. While increasing students' analytical ability in the field of social and environmental needs and challenges and emphasizing curriculum updates, AC should pay more attention to the relationship between the curriculum and its content in the form of entrepreneurship culture promotion programs. In the field of EDI, it was found that the success of entrepreneurs in terms of sustainability and business sustainability of start-up entrepreneurs depends on their interdisciplinary thinking. It was also found that STC plays an important role in explaining the relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship. Therefore, focusing on these competencies in agricultural education to train start-up entrepreneurs can lead to sustainable entrepreneurship in the agricultural higher education system.

Keywords: sustainable entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, competency, agricultural higher education

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2893 International Trends in Sustainability Reporting Using Global Reporting Initiatives

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan

Abstract:

This study analyses the trend and nature of sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) reporting in firms globally. It presents both trend and panel data of sustainability reports of 798 firms in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) database from 2010 to 2014. The results show some fluctuations in the frequency of sustainability KPI reporting globally across the time while the major focus of reports in firms stayed almost the same. It made us further analyse this trend and found that there are some indicators, such as 'environmental protect expenses' and 'number of grievances', that was barely reported over this period along with some highly popular ones such as 'direct economic value' and 'employment rate'. We could not find any statistical correlation between the KPI reporting percentage and the firms’ industries generally and neither if they belong to environmentally sensitive industries.

Keywords: global reporting initiatives, sustainability reporting, sustainability KPI, trends of sustainability reporting

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2892 Comparative Sustainability Performance Analysis of Australian Companies Using Composite Measures

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan, Paul Rouse

Abstract:

Organizational sustainability is important to both organizations themselves and their stakeholders. Despite its increasing popularity and increasing numbers of organizations reporting sustainability, research on evaluating and comparing the sustainability performance of companies is limited. The aim of this study was to develop models to measure sustainability performance for both cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons across companies in the same or different industries. A secondary aim was to see if sustainability reports can be used to evaluate sustainability performance. The study used both a content analysis of Australian sustainability reports in mining and metals and financial services for 2011-2014 and a survey of Australian and New Zealand organizations. Two methods ranging from a composite index using uniform weights to data envelopment analysis (DEA) were employed to analyze the data and develop the models. The results show strong statistically significant relationships between the developed models, which suggests that each model provides a consistent, systematic and reasonably robust analysis. The results of the models show that for both industries, companies that had sustainability scores above or below the industry average stayed almost the same during the study period. These indices and models can be used by companies to evaluate their sustainability performance and compare it with previous years, or with other companies in the same or different industries. These methods can also be used by various stakeholders and sustainability ranking companies such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Keywords: data envelopment analysis, sustainability, sustainability performance measurement system, sustainability performance index, global reporting initiative

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2891 Research on Building Urban Sustainability along the Coastal Area in China

Authors: Sun Jiaojiao, Fu Jiayan

Abstract:

At present, in China, the research about the urban sustainability construction is still in the exploratory stage. The ecological problems of the coastal area are more sensitive and complicated. In the background of global warming with serious ecological damage, this paper deeply researches on the main characteristics of urban sustainability and measures how to build urban sustainability. Through combination with regional environmental and economic ability along the coastal area, we put forward the system planning framework, construction strategy and the evaluation index system in order to seek the way of building urban sustainability along coastal area in China.

Keywords: urban sustainability, coastal areas, construction strategy, evaluation index system

Procedia PDF Downloads 456
2890 Governance Commitment and Time Differences in Aspects of Sustainability Reporting in Nigerian Banks

Authors: Nwobu Obiamaka, Owolabi Akintola

Abstract:

This study examined the extent of statistical significant difference between the economic, environmental, governance and social aspects of sustainability reporting as a result of board committee on sustainability and time (year) of reporting for business organizations in the Nigerian banking sector. The years of reporting under consideration were 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Content analysis methodology was employed through a reporting index used to score the amount of economic, environmental, governance and social indicators of sustainability reporting. The results of this study indicated that business organizations with board committee on sustainability had more indicators of sustainability reporting than those without board committees on sustainability issues. Also, sustainability reporting in 2013 was higher than that of prior years (2012, 2011 and 2010) for the economic, environmental and social indicators. The governance indicators of 2012 was highest compared to the other years (2013, 2011 and 2010) under consideration in this study. The implication of this finding is that business organizations that have board committees on sustainability are monitored by such boards to report more to their stakeholders. On the other hand, business organizations are appreciating the need to engage in sustainability reporting with each passing year. This could be due to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sustainability Reporting framework that business organizations in the banking sector have to adhere to. When sustainability issues are monitored from the board of directors, business organizations are likely to increase and improve on their sustainability reporting.

Keywords: governance, organizations, reporting, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 195
2889 Evaluation of Cirata Reservoir Sustainability Using Multi Dimensionalscaling (MDS)

Authors: Kholil Kholil, Aniwidayati

Abstract:

MDS (Multi-Dimensional Scaling) is one method that has been widely used to evaluate the use of natural resources. By using Raffish software tool, we will able to analyze sustainability level of the natural resources use. This paper will discuss the level of sustainability of the reservoir using MDS (Multi-Dimensional Scaling) based on five dimensions: (1) Ecology & Layout, (2) Economics, (3) Social & Culture, (4) Regulations & Institutional, and (5) Infrastructure and Technology. MDS analysis results show that the dimension of ecological and layout, institutional and the regulation are lack of sustainability due to the low index score of 45.76 and 42.24. While for the economic, social and culture, and infrastructure and technology dimension reach each score of 63.12, 64.42, and 68.64 (only the sufficient sustainability category). It means that the sustainability performance of Cirata Reservoir seriously threatened.

Keywords: MDS, cirata reservoir, carrying capacity, water quality, sustainable development, sedimentation, sustainability index

Procedia PDF Downloads 270
2888 Sustainability Fitting into Supply Chain

Authors: Menoka Bal, David Bryde

Abstract:

Sustainability in supply chain has become a topic of great interest and is linked to the assumption that a more sustainable the supply chain is the more the supply chain can perform better. The aim of this paper is to identify the different key aspects of the sustainable supply chain management. This paper will also identify the practices that are required to fulfill the demands of sustainability and, therefore, contributing to improve the sustainability performance. As part of this, the authors will identify how these different practices of implementing to achieve Sustainability in Supply Chain. This paper is conceptual in nature. This paper identifies some of the key categories which are of high importance for the sustainable management of supply chains. These key categories are: Managing the Supply Chain Risk, Improving the Supply Chain Performance, Managing the Supply Chain Value, Making the Supply Chain Leaner, Managing the Supply Chain Relationship. Through in-depth analysis, this paper aims to develop a theory of integrated management process that is most appropriate for sustainability assessment in supply chain.

Keywords: sustainability, risk management, value management, project performance, supply chain management

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2887 Improving Sustainability of the Apparel Industry with Joining the Forces among the Brand Owners: The Case Study of Digital Textile Printing

Authors: Babak Mohajeri, Elina Ilen, Timo Nyberg

Abstract:

Sustainability has become an important topic in contemporary business. The apparel industry is a good example to assess sustainability in practice. Value chains in the apparel industry are faced with various challenges regarding sustainability issues. Apparel companies pay higher attention to economic sustainability issues, and environmental and social sustainability issues of the apparel industry are often underrated. In this paper, we analyze the role of the different players in the value chain of the apparel industry in terms of sustainability. We realize that the brand owners have the highest impact on improving the sustainability of the apparel industry. We design a collaborative business model to join the forces among the brand owners for improving the sustainability of the apparel industry throughout the value chain. We have conducted a case study of shifting from conventional screen-printing to more environmentally sustainable digital textile printing. We suggest that this shift can be accelerated if the brand owners join their forces together to shift from conventional printing to digital printing technology in the apparel industry. Based on the proposed business model, we suggest future directions for using joining the forces among the brand owners for case of sustainability

Keywords: sustainability, digital textile printing , joining forces, apparel industry

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2886 Environmental Sustainability and Energy Consumption: The Role of Financial Development in OPEC-1 Countries

Authors: Isah Wada

Abstract:

The current research investigates the role of financial development in an environmental sustainability-energy consumption nexus for OPEC-1 member countries. The empirical findings suggest that financial development increases environmental sustainability but energy consumption and real output expansion diminishes environmental sustainability, generally. Thus, whilst real output and financial development accelerates energy consumption, environmental sustainability quality diminishes clean energy initiatives. Even more so, energy consumption and financial development stimulates real output growth. The result empirically demonstrates that policy advocates must address broader issues relating to financial development whilst seeking to achieve environmental sustainability due largely to energy consumption.

Keywords: energy consumption, environmental sustainability, financial development, OPEC, real output

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2885 Sustainable Resource Use as a Means of Preserving the Integrity of the Eco-System and Environment

Authors: N. Hedayat, E. Karamifar

Abstract:

Sustainable food and fiber production is emerging as an irresistible option in agrarian planning. Although one should not underestimate the successes of the Green Revolution in enhancing crop production, its adverse environmental and ecosystem consequences have also been remarkable. The aim of this paper is to identify ways of improving crop production to ensure agricultural sustainability and environmental integrity. Systematic observations are used for data collection on intensive farming, deforestation and the environmental implications of industrial pollutants on agricultural sustainability at national and international levels. These were achieved within a comparative analytical model of data interpretation. Results show that while multiple factors enhance yield, they have a simultaneous effect in undermining the ecosystem and environmental integrity. Results show that application of excessive agrichemical have been one of the major cause of polluting the surface and underground water bodies as well as soil layers in affected croplands. Results consider rapid deforestation in the tropical regions has been the underlying cause of impairing the integrity of biodiversity and oxygen-generation regime. These, coupled with production of greenhouse gasses, have contributed to global warming and hydrological irregularities. Continuous production of pollutants and effluents has affected marine and land biodiversity arising from acid rains generated by modern farming and deforestation. Continuous production of greenhouse gases has also been instrumental in affecting climatic behavior manifested in recurring draughts and contraction of lakes and ponds as well as emergence of potential flooding of waterways and floodplains in the future.

Keywords: agricultural sustainability, environmental integrity, pollution, eco-system

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2884 The Role of Contextual Factors in the Sustainability Reporting of Australian and New Zealand Companies

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan

Abstract:

The concept of sustainability is generally considered as a key topic in many countries, and sustainability reporting is becoming an important tool for companies to communicate their sustainability plans and performance to their stakeholders. There have been various studies on factors that may influence sustainability reporting in companies. This study examines the possible effect of some of the organisational factors on corporate sustainability reporting. The organisational factors included in this study are a company’s type (public or private), industry, and size as well as managers’ perception of the level of importance of indicators in reporting these indicators. A survey was conducted from 240 Australian and New Zealand companies in various industries. They were asked about their perception of the importance of sustainability indicators in their performance and if they report these indicators. The GRI indicators used to develop the survey. A multiple regression model was developed using reporting strategy score as dependent and type, size, industry categorisation, and managers’ perception of the level of importance of the GRI indicators as independent factors. The results show that among all the factors included in the model, size of a company and the perception of managers of the level of importance of environmental and labour practice indicators can affect the sustainability scores of these companies.

Keywords: sustainability reporting, global reporting initiative, sustainability reporting strategy, organisational features

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2883 Concrete Mixes for Sustainability

Authors: Kristyna Hrabova, Sabina Hüblova, Tomas Vymazal

Abstract:

Structural design of concrete structure has the result in qualities of structural safety and serviceability, together with durability, robustness, sustainability and resilience. A sustainable approach is at the heart of the research agenda around the world, and the Fibrillation Commission is also working on a new model code 2020. Now it is clear that the effects of mechanical, environmental load and even social coherence need to be reflected and included in the designing and evaluating structures. This study aimed to present the methodology for the sustainability assessment of various concrete mixtures.

Keywords: concrete, cement, sustainability, Model Code 2020

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2882 Lean: A Sustainable Approach to Design and Construction for Environmental Sustainability

Authors: Evelyn Lami Ashelo Allu, Fidelis A. Emuze

Abstract:

This study aims to contribute to the pursuit of environmental sustainability through the built environment practices of design and construction. Activities within the built environment and particularly within the construction industry have a significant role in ensuring environmental sustainability. The adoption of Lean principles and approaches would ensure that project deliverables are sustainable. This is because the processes that integrate lean principles reduce waste, add value to productivity, ensures customer satisfaction and are mindful of future productivity. Additionally, the lean principles for development are sustainable in themselves and thus promotes environmental sustainability. The study encourages further research with other methodologies and recommends the development of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in order to promote the global concern for environmental sustainability.

Keywords: built environment, construction, design, lean, sustainability

Procedia PDF Downloads 141
2881 Studying the Photodegradation Behavior of Microplastics Released from Agricultural Plastic Products to the Farmland

Authors: Maryam Salehi, Gholamreza Bonyadinejad

Abstract:

The application of agricultural plastic products like mulch, greenhouse covers, and silage films is increasing due to their economic benefits in providing an early and better-quality harvest. In 2015, the 4 million tons (valued a 10.6 million USD) global market for agricultural plastic films was estimated to grow by 5.6% per year through 2030. Despite the short-term benefits provided by plastic products, their long-term sustainability issues and negative impacts on soil health are not well understood. After their removal from the field, some plastic residuals remain in the soil. Plastic residuals in farmlands may fragment to small particles called microplastics (d<5mm). The microplastics' exposure to solar radiation could alter their surface chemistry and make them susceptible to fragmentation. Thus, this study examined the photodegradation of low density polyethylene as the model microplastics that are released to the agriculture farmland. The variation of plastic’s surface chemistry, morphology, and bulk characteristics were studied after accelerated UV-A radiation experiments and sampling from an agricultural field. The Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) demonstrated the formation of oxidized surface functional groups onto the microplastics surface due to the photodegradation. The Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed an increased crystallinity for the photodegraded microplastics compared to the new samples. The gel permeation chromatography (GPC) demonstrated the reduced molecular weight for the polymer due to the photodegradation. This study provides an important opportunity to advance understanding of soil pollution. Understanding the plastic residuals’ variations as they are left in the soil is providing a critical piece of information to better estimate the microplastics' impacts on environmental biodiversity, ecosystem sustainability, and food safety.

Keywords: soil health, plastic pollution, sustainability, photodegradation

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2880 How to Integrate Sustainability in Technological Degrees: Robotics at UPC

Authors: Antoni Grau, Yolanda Bolea, Alberto Sanfeliu

Abstract:

Embedding Sustainability in technological curricula has become a crucial factor for educating engineers with competences in sustainability. The Technical University of Catalonia UPC, in 2008, designed the Sustainable Technology Excellence Program STEP 2015 in order to assure a successful Sustainability Embedding. This Program takes advantage of the opportunity that the redesign of all Bachelor and Master Degrees in Spain by 2010 under the European Higher Education Area framework offered. The STEP program goals are: to design compulsory courses in each degree; to develop the conceptual base and identify reference models in sustainability for all specialties at UPC; to create an internal interdisciplinary network of faculty from all the schools; to initiate new transdisciplinary research activities in technology-sustainability-education; to spread the know/how attained; to achieve international scientific excellence in technology-sustainability-education and to graduate the first engineers/architects of the new EHEA bachelors with sustainability as a generic competence. Specifically, in this paper authors explain their experience in leading the STEP program, and two examples are presented: Industrial Robotics subject and the curriculum for the School of Architecture.

Keywords: sustainability, curricula improvement, robotics, STEP program

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2879 Sustainability Education among the Malaysian Media

Authors: Mohamad Saifudin Mohamad Saleh

Abstract:

This paper provides a discussion of the importance of sustainability education among the Malaysian media. Without doubt, media play a crucial role in promoting the sustainable or so called “eco-system” society for a better future. Since 2002, the role of media as one of the vital stakeholders particularly in educating the society in three main areas of sustainable education including on environment, economy and society has been clearly highlights on the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) that was held in Johannesburg. In this paper, six media practitioners from two local Malaysia newspapers organization were interviewed by the researcher in order to identify their understanding about sustainability education; their perception about the pivotal role in sustainability education and the challenges faced by them in the process of educating society about sustainability issues. The findings of this study showed that most of Malaysian media practitioners have displayed clear understanding about sustainability education and they also realize their huge responsibility for not only informing but also educating society in having a sustainable lifestyle. The ultimate challenge in sustainability education faced by the media is to make the public really understand the importance of sustainable lifestyle. Overall, from this study, it is hoped to provide more possible direction in sustainability education not only among the Malaysian media but also all media in the entire world, particularly the developing and Southeast Asian countries.

Keywords: media, sustainability education, Malaysia

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