Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1102

Search results for: environmental quality

1102 Contamination in Industrial Areas and Environmental Management in Latvia

Authors: Juris Burlakovs, Maris Klavins, Raimonds Ernsteins, Armands Ruskulis

Abstract:

Environmental contamination is a common problem in ex-industrial and industrial sites. This article gives a brief description of general applied environmental investigation methodologies and possible remediation applications in Latvia. Most of contaminated areas are situated in former and active industrial, military areas and ports. Industrial and logistic activities very often have been with great impact for more than hundred years thus the contamination level with heavy metals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants is high and is threatening health and environment in general. 242 territories now are numbered as contaminated and fixed in the National Register of contaminated territories in Latvia. Research and remediation of contamination in densely populated areas are of important environmental policy domain. Four different investigation case studies of contaminated areas are given describing the history of use, environmental quality assessment as well as planned environmental management actions. All four case study locations are situated in Riga - the capital of the Republic of Latvia. The aim of this paper is to analyze the situation and problems with management of contaminated areas in Latvia, give description of field research methods and recommendations for remediation industry based on scientific data and innovations.

Keywords: Remediation technology, environmental quality assessment, heavy metals, hydrocarbon contamination, environmental management.

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1101 An Application-Based Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Calculator for Residential Buildings

Authors: Kwok W. Mui, Ling T. Wong, Chin T. Cheung, Ho C. Yu

Abstract:

Based on an indoor environmental quality (IEQ) index established by previous work that indicates the overall IEQ acceptance from the prospect of an occupant in residential buildings in terms of four IEQ factors - thermal comfort, indoor air quality, visual and aural comforts, this study develops a user-friendly IEQ calculator for iOS and Android users to calculate the occupant acceptance and compare the relative performance of IEQ in apartments. “IEQ calculator” is easy to use and it preliminarily illustrates the overall indoor environmental quality on the spot. Users simply input indoor parameters such as temperature, number of people and windows are opened or closed for the mobile application to calculate the scores in four areas: the comforts of temperature, brightness, noise and indoor air quality. The calculator allows the prediction of the best IEQ scenario on a quantitative scale. Any indoor environments under the specific IEQ conditions can be benchmarked against the predicted IEQ acceptance range. This calculator can also suggest how to achieve the best IEQ acceptance among a group of residents. 

Keywords: Calculator, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), residential buildings, 5-star benchmarks.

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1100 An Introduction to the Concept of Environmental Audit: Indian Context

Authors: Pradip Kumar Das

Abstract:

Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploits the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening mankind the world over. Protection and up gradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity all of mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development throughout the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in-depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.

Keywords: Environmental audit, environmental hazards, environmental laws, environmental protection, environmental preservation.

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1099 The Recreation Technique Model from the Perspective of Environmental Quality Elements

Authors: G. Gradinaru, S. Olteanu

Abstract:

The quality improvements of the environmental elements could increase the recreational opportunities in a certain area (destination). The technique of the need for recreation focuses on choosing certain destinations for recreational purposes. The basic exchange taken into consideration is the one between the satisfaction gained after staying in that area and the value expressed in money and time allocated. The number of tourists in the respective area, the duration of staying and the money spent including transportation provide information on how individuals rank the place or certain aspects of the area (such as the quality of the environmental elements). For the statistical analysis of the environmental benefits offered by an area through the need of recreation technique, the following stages are suggested: - characterization of the reference area based on the statistical variables considered; - estimation of the environmental benefit through comparing the reference area with other similar areas (having the same environmental characteristics), from the perspective of the statistical variables considered. The model compared in recreation technique faced with a series of difficulties which refers to the reference area and correct transformation of time in money.

Keywords: Comparison in recreation technique, the quality of the environmental elements, statistical analysis model.

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1098 Environmental Accounting: A Conceptual Study of Indian Context

Authors: Pradip Kumar Das

Abstract:

As the entire world continues its rapid move towards industrialization, it has seriously threatened mankind’s ability to maintain an ecological balance. Geographical and natural forces have a significant influence on the location of industries. Industrialization is the foundation stone of the development of any country, while the unplanned industrialization and discharge of waste by industries is the cause of environmental pollution. There is growing degree of awareness and concern globally among nations about environmental degradation or pollution. Environmental resources endowed by the gift of nature and not manmade are invaluable natural resources of a country like India. Any developmental activity is directly related to natural and environmental resources. Economic development without environmental considerations brings about environmental crises and damages the quality of life of present, as well as future generation. As corporate sectors in the global market, especially in India, are becoming anxious about environmental degradation, naturally more and more emphasis will be ascribed to how environment-friendly the outcomes are. Maintaining accounts of such environmental and natural resources in the country has become more urgent. Moreover, international awareness and acceptance of the importance of environmental issues has motivated the development of a branch of accounting called “Environmental Accounting”. Environmental accounting attempts to detect and focus the resources consumed and the costs rendered by an industrial unit to the environment. For the sustainable development of mankind, a healthy environment is indispensable. Gradually, therefore, in many countries including India, environment matters are being given top most priority. Accounting and disclosure of environmental matters have been increasingly manifesting as an important dimension of corporate accounting and reporting practices. But, as conventional accounting deals with mainly non-living things, the formulation of valuation, and measurement and accounting techniques for incorporating environment-related matters in the corporate financial statement sometimes creates problems for the accountant. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of the study is concerned with the rationale of environmental accounting on the economy and society as a whole, and focuses the failures of the traditional accounting system. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the environmental awareness in developing nations like India and discuss the problems associated with the implementation of environmental accounting. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different anomalies, environmental accounting is becoming an increasing important aspect of the accounting agenda within the corporate sector in India. Lastly, a conclusion, along with recommendations, has been given to overcome the situation.

Keywords: Environmental accounting, environmental degradation, environmental management, environmental resources.

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1097 Performance Comparison of a Low Cost Air Quality Sensor with a Commercial Electronic Nose

Authors: Ünal Kızıl, Levent Genç, Sefa Aksu, Ahmet Tapınç

Abstract:

The Figaro AM-1 sensor module which employs TGS 2600 model gas sensor in air quality assessment was used. The system was coupled with a microprocessor that enables sensor module to create warning message via telephone. This low cot sensor system’s performance was compared with a DiagNose II commercial electronic nose system. Both air quality sensor and electronic nose system employ metal oxide chemical gas sensors. In the study experimental setup, data acquisition methods for electronic nose system, and performance of the low cost air quality system were evaluated and explained.

Keywords: Air quality, electronic nose, environmental quality, gas sensor.

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1096 Quality of Life of Poor Residential Neighborhoods in Oshogbo, Nigeria

Authors: Funmilayo L. Amao

Abstract:

As a result of the high cost of housing, the increasing population is forced to live in substandard housing and unhealthy conditions giving rise to poor residential neighborhoods. The paper examines the causes and characteristics of poor residential neighborhood. The paper finds the problems that have influence poor neighborhoods to; poverty, growth of informal sector and housing shortage. The paper asserts that poor residential neighborhoods have adverse effects on the people.

The secondary data was obtained from books, journals and seminar papers while primary data relating to building and environmental quality from structured questionnaire administered on sample of 500 household heads, from sampling frame of 5000 housing units.

The study reveals that majority of the respondents are poor and employed in informal sector. The paper suggests urban renewal and slum upgrading programs as methods in dealing with the situation and an improvement in the socio-economic circumstances of the inhabitants.

Keywords: Environmental Degeneration, Housing, Poverty, Quality of life, Urban Upgrading.

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1095 Social Responsibility and Environmental Issues Addressed by Businesses in Romania

Authors: Daniela Grădinaru, Iuliana Georgescu, Loredana Huţanu (Toma), Mihai-Bogdan Afrăsinei

Abstract:

This article aims to analyze the situation of Romanian companies from an environmental point of view. Environmental issues are addressed very often nowadays, and they reach and affect every domain, including the economical one. Implementing an environmental management system will not only help the companies to comply with laws and regulations, but, above all, will offer them an important competitive advantage.

Keywords: Environmental management system, environmental reporting, environmental expenses, sustainable development.

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1094 Analysis of Air Quality in the Outdoor Environment of the City of Messina by an Application of the Pollution Index Method

Authors: G. Cannistraro, L. Ponterio

Abstract:

In this paper is reported an analysis about the outdoor air pollution of the urban centre of the city of Messina. The variations of the most critical pollutants concentrations (PM10, O3, CO, C6H6) and their trends respect of climatic parameters and vehicular traffic have been studied. Linear regressions have been effectuated for representing the relations among the pollutants; the differences between pollutants concentrations on weekend/weekday were also analyzed. In order to evaluate air pollution and its effects on human health, a method for calculating a pollution index was implemented and applied in the urban centre of the city. This index is based on the weighted mean of the most detrimental air pollutants concentrations respect of their limit values for protection of human health. The analyzed data of the polluting substances were collected by the Assessorship of the Environment of the Regional Province of Messina in the year 2004. A statistical analysis of the air quality index trends is also reported.

Keywords: Environmental pollution, Pollutants levels, Linearregression, Air Quality Index, Statistical analysis.

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1093 Impact of Coal Mining on River Sediment Quality in the Sydney Basin, Australia

Authors: A. Ali, V. Strezov, P. Davies, I. Wright, T. Kan

Abstract:

The environmental impacts arising from mining activities affect the air, water, and soil quality. Impacts may result in unexpected and adverse environmental outcomes. This study reports on the impact of coal production on sediment in Sydney region of Australia. The sediment samples upstream and downstream from the discharge points from three mines were taken, and 80 parameters were tested. The results were assessed against sediment quality based on presence of metals. The study revealed the increment of metal content in the sediment downstream of the reference locations. In many cases, the sediment was above the Australia and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council and international sediment quality guidelines value (SQGV). The major outliers to the guidelines were nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn).

Keywords: Coal mine, environmental impact, produced water, sediment quality guidelines value.

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1092 The Used of Environmental Ethics in Methods and Techniques of Environmental Management

Authors: Amir Hossein Davami, Ali Gholami, Ebrahim Panahpour

Abstract:

Although, it is a long time that human know about the importance of environment in life, but at the last decade of 20 century, the space that was full of hot scientific, collegial and political were made in environmental challenge, So much that, this problem not only disarrange the peace and security of life, but also it has threatened human existence. One of the problems in last years that are significant for authorities is unsatisfactory achieved results against of using huge cost for magnificent environmental projects. This subject leads thinker to this thought that for solving the environmental problems it is needed new methods include of sociology, ethics and philosophic, etc. methods apart of technical affairs. Environment ethics is a new branch of philosophic ethics discussion that discusses about the ethics relationship between humans and universe that is around them. By notifying to the above considered affairs, in today world, necessity of environmental ethics for environment management is reduplicated. In the following the article has been focused on environmental ethics role and environmental management methods and techniques for developing it.

Keywords: Environmental ethics and philosophy, Environmental challenges, Management techniques, Ethical values.

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1091 Studying the Effects of Economic and Financial Development as well as Institutional Quality on Environmental Destruction in the Upper-Middle Income Countries

Authors: Morteza Raei Dehaghi, Seyed Mohammad Mirhashemi

Abstract:

The current study explored the effect of economic development, financial development and institutional quality on environmental destruction in upper-middle income countries during the time period of 1999-2011. The dependent variable is logarithm of carbon dioxide emissions that can be considered as an index for destruction or quality of the environment given to its effects on the environment. Financial development and institutional development variables as well as some control variables were considered. In order to study cross-sectional correlation among the countries under study, Pesaran and Friz test was used. Since the results of both tests show cross-sectional correlation in the countries under study, seemingly unrelated regression method was utilized for model estimation. The results disclosed that Kuznets’ environmental curve hypothesis is confirmed in upper-middle income countries and also, financial development and institutional quality have a significant effect on environmental quality. The results of this study can be considered by policy makers in countries with different income groups to have access to a growth accompanied by improved environmental quality.

Keywords: Economic Development, Environmental Destruction, Financial Development, Institutional Development, Seemingly Unrelated Regression.

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1090 Influence of Nitrogen Fertilization on the Yields and Grain Quality of Winter Wheat under Different Environmental Conditions

Authors: Alicja Sułek, Grażyna Cacak-Pietrzak, Marta Wyzińska, Anna Nieróbca

Abstract:

In 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, a field experiment was conducted in two locations: Osiny and Wielichowo (Poland). The two-factor experiment was based on the method of randomized subblocks, in three replications. The first factor (A) was dose of nitrogen fertilization (two levels). The second factor (B) was nine winter wheat cultivars. It was found that winter wheat cultivars exhibited different reactions to higher nitrogen fertilization depending on the years and localities. Only KWS Dacanto cultivar under all growing conditions showed a significant increase in grain yield after the application of a higher level of nitrogen fertilization. The increase in nitrogen fertilization influenced the increase in gluten proteins content in wheat grain, but these changes were statistically significant only in the first year of the study. The quality of gluten does not depend on nitrogen fertilization. The quality of wheat grain depends on cultivars.

Keywords: Fertilization, grain quality, winter wheat, yield.

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1089 Environmental Responsibility and Firm Performance: Evidence from Nigeria

Authors: Collins C. Ngwakwe

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to establish a possible relationship between sustainable business practice and firm performance. Using a field survey methodology, a sample of sixty manufacturing companies in Nigeria was studied. The firms were categorised into two groups, environmentally 'responsible' and 'irresponsible' firms. An investigation was undertaken into the possible relationship between firm performance and three selected indicators of sustainable business practice: employee health and safety (EHS), waste management (WM), and community development (CD), common within the 30 'responsible' firms. Findings from empirical results reveal that the sustainable practices of the 'responsible' firms are significantly related with firm performance. In addition, sustainable practices are inversely related with fines and penalties. The paper concludes that, within the Nigerian setting at least, sustainability affects corporate performance and sustainability may be a possible tool for corporate conflict resolution as evidenced in the reduction of fines, penalties and compensations. The paper therefore recommends research into the relationship between sustainability and conflict management.

Keywords: Environmental responsibility, environmental investment, social responsibility, sustainable business, social ethics, environmental ethics.

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1088 A Global Perspective on Urban Environmental Problems in Developing Countries: The Case of Turkey

Authors: Nükhet Konuk, N. Gamze Turan, Yüksel Ardalı

Abstract:

Cities play a vital role in the social fabric of countries and in national and regional economic growth worldwide; however, the environmental effects of such growth need to be assessed and managed better. The critical and most immediate problems faced by cities of developing countries are the health impacts of urban pollution that derive from inadequate water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste services, poor urban and industrial waste management, and air pollution. As globalization continues, earth's natural processes transform local problems into international issues. The aim of this study is to provide a broad overview of the pollution from urban wastes and emissions in Turkey which is a developing country. It is aimed to underline the significance of reorganizing the institutional tools in a worldwide perspective in order to generate coherent solutions to urban problems, and to enhance urban quality.

Keywords: Environmental pollution, developing countries, environmental degradation, urban environmental problems.

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1087 Customer Audits as a Quality Control Tool for Both Suppliers and Customers

Authors: Denisa Ferenčíková, Petr Briš

Abstract:

Customer audits are generally used to ensure customer that supplier is continuously able to meet his requirements while supplying him required products and services. However, customer audits can be considered as a very useful quality control tool for suppliers as well. In our paper, we analyzed the process of customer audits realized in Czech companies from both perspectives: a supplier´s viewpoint and customer´s viewpoint. At the end, we tried to emphasize some areas that should not be omitted during the audit process.

Keywords: Customer Audit, Quality Control, Quality Management, Product Quality, Service Quality, Process Quality.

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1086 Decision Making about the Environmental Management Implementation – Incentives and Expectations

Authors: Eva Štěpánková

Abstract:

Environmental management implementation is presently one of the ways of organization success and value improvement. Increasing an organization motivation to environmental measures introduction is caused primarily by the rising pressure of the society that generates various incentives to endeavor for the environmental performance improvement. The aim of the paper is to identify and characterize the key incentives and expectations leading organizations to the environmental management implementation. The author focuses on five businesses of different size and field, operating in the Czech Republic. The qualitative approach and grounded theory procedure are used in research. The results point out that the significant incentives for environmental management implementation represent primarily demands of customers, the opportunity to declare the environmental commitment and image improvement. The researched enterprises less commonly expect the economical contribution, competitive advantage increase or export rate improvement. The results show that marketing contributions are primarily expected from the environmental management implementation.

Keywords: Environmental management, environmental management systems, ISO 14001.

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1085 Environmental Accounting Practice: Analyzing the Extent and Qualification of Environmental Disclosures of Turkish Companies Located in BIST-XKURY Index

Authors: Raif Parlakkaya, Mustafa Nihat Demirci, Mehmet Nuri Salur

Abstract:

Environmental pollution has detrimental effects on the quality of our life and its scope has reached such an extent that measures are being taken both at the national and international levels to reduce, prevent and mitigate its impact on social, economic and political spheres. Therefore, awareness of environmental problems has been increasing among stakeholders and accordingly among companies. It is seen that corporate reporting is expanding beyond environmental performance. Primary purpose of publishing an environmental report is to provide specific audiences with useful, meaningful information. This paper is intended to analyze the extent and qualification of environmental disclosures of Turkish publicly quoted firms and see how it varies from one sector to another. The data for the study were collected from annual activity reports of companies, listed on the corporate governance index (BIST-XKURY) of Istanbul Stock Exchange. Content analysis was the research methodology used to measure the extent of environmental disclosure. Accordingly, 2015 annual activity reports of companies that carry out business in some particular fields were acquired from Capital Market Board, websites of Public Disclosure Platform and companies’ own websites. These reports were categorized into five main aspects: Environmental policies, environmental management systems, environmental protection and conservation activities, environmental awareness and information on environmental lawsuits. Subsequently, each component was divided into several variables related to what each firm is supposed to disclose about environmental information. In this context, the nature and scope of the information disclosed on each item were assessed according to five different ways (N.I: No Information; G.E.: General Explanations; Q.E.: Qualitative Detailed Explanations; N.E.: Quantitative (numerical) Detailed Explanations; Q.&N.E.: Both Qualitative and Quantitative Explanations).

Keywords: Environmental accounting, disclosure, corporate governance, content analysis.

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1084 An Environmental Impact Tool to Assess National Energy Scenarios

Authors: R. Taviv, A.C. Brent, H. Fortuin

Abstract:

The Long-range Energy and Alternatives Planning (LEAP) energy planning system has been developed for South Africa, for the 2005 base year and a limited number of plausible future scenarios that may have significant implications (negative or positive) in terms of environmental impacts. The system quantifies the national energy demand for the domestic, commercial, transport, industry and agriculture sectors, the supply of electricity and liquid fuels, and the resulting emissions. The South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) identified the need to develop an environmental assessment tool, based on the LEAP energy planning system, to provide decision-makers and stakeholders with the necessary understanding of the environmental impacts associated with different energy scenarios. A comprehensive analysis of indicators that are used internationally and in South Africa was done and the available data was accessed to select a reasonable number of indicators that could be utilized in energy planning. A consultative process was followed to determine the needs of different stakeholders on the required indicators and also the most suitable form of reporting. This paper demonstrates the application of Energy Environmental Sustainability Indicators (EESIs) as part of the developed tool, which assists with the identification of the environmental consequences of energy generation and use scenarios and thereby promotes sustainability, since environmental considerations can then be integrated into the preparation and adoption of policies, plans, programs and projects. Recommendations are made to refine the tool further for South Africa.

Keywords: Energy modeling, LEAP, environmental impact, environmental indicators, energy sector emissions, sustainable development, South Africa

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1083 Role of Environmental Focus in Legal Protection and Efficient Management of Wetlands in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Authors: K. R. Balabiyev, A. O. Kaipbayeva

Abstract:

The article discusses the legal framework of the government’s environmental function and analyzes the role of the national policy in protection of wetlands. The problem is of interest for it deals with the most important branch of economy – utilization of Kazakhstan’s natural resources, protection of health and environmental wellbeing of the population. Development of a longterm environmental program addressing the protection of wetlands represents the final stage of the government’s environmental policy, and is a relatively new function for the public administration system. It appeared due to the environmental measures that require immediate decisions to be taken. It is an integral part of the effort in the field of management of state-owned natural resource, as well as of the measures aimed at efficient management of natural resources to avoid their early depletion or contamination.

Keywords: Environmental focus, government’s environmental function, protection of wetlands.

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1082 Relevant Stakeholders in Environmental Management Organization: The Case of Industries Três Rios/RJ

Authors: Beatriz dos Anjos Furtado, Marina Barreiros Lamim, Camila Avozani Zago, Julianne Alvim Milward-de-Azevedo, Luís Cláudio Meirelles de Medeiros

Abstract:

The intense process of economic acceleration, expansion of industrial activities and capitalism, combined with population growth, while promoting the development, bring environmental consequences and dynamics of locations. It can be seen that society is seeking to break with old paradigms of capitalist society, seeking to reconcile growth with sustainable development, with a change of mentality of the stakeholders of the production process (shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, governments, and neighbors, groups citizens and the public in general). In this context, this research aims to map the stakeholders interested in environmental management in industries located in the city of Três Rios/RJ. The city of Três Rios is located in South-Central region of the state of Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. Methodological resources used refer to descriptive and field research, whose nature is qualitative and quantitative. It is also of multicases studies in the study area, and the data collection occurred by means of semi-structured questionnaires and interviews with employees related to the environmental area of the industries located in Três Rios and registered at the Federation of Industries the State of Rio de Janeiro - FIRJAN in the version of 2013 and active in federal revenue. Through this research it observed, among other things, the stakeholders involved in the environmental management process of “Três Rios” industry respondents, and those responding to the demands of environmental management.

Keywords: Environmental management, environmental practices, industry, stakeholders.

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1081 The Integration of Environmental Educational Outcomes within Higher Education to Nurture Environmental Consciousness amongst Engineering Undergraduates

Authors: Sivapalan, S., Subramaniam, G., Clifford, M.J., Balbir Singh, M.S., Abdullah, A

Abstract:

Higher education has an important role to play in advocating environmentalism. Given this responsibility, the goal of higher education should therefore be to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills and values related to environmentalism. However, research indicates that there is a lack of consciousness amongst graduates on the need to be more environmentally aware, especially when it comes to applying the appropriate knowledge and skills related to environmentalism. Although institutions of higher learning do include environmental parameters within their undergraduate and postgraduate academic programme structures, the environmental boundaries are usually confined to specific engineering majors within an engineering programme. This makes environmental knowledge, skills and values exclusive to certain quarters of the higher education system. The incorporation of environmental literacy within higher education institutions as a whole is of utmost pertinence if a nation-s human capital is to be nurtured to become change agents for the preservation of environment. This paper discusses approaches that can be adapted by institutions of higher learning to include environmental literacy within the graduate-s higher learning experience.

Keywords: Higher education, engineering education, environmental literacy, Malaysia.

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1080 The Relationship between the Environmental and Financial Performance of Australian Electricity Producers

Authors: S. Forughi, A. De Zoysa, S. Bhati

Abstract:

The present study focuses on the environmental performance of the companies in the electricity-producing sector and its relationship with their financial performance. We will review the major studies that examined the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of firms in various industries. While the classical economic debates consider the environmental friendly activities costly and harmful to a firm’s profitability, it is claimed that firms will be rewarded with higher profitability in long run through the investments in environmental friendly activities. In this context, prior studies have examined the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of firms operating in different industry sectors. Our study will employ an environmental indicator to increase the accuracy of the results and be employed as an independent variable in our developed econometric model to evaluate the impact of the financial performance of the firms on their environmental friendly activities in the context of companies operating in the Australian electricity-producing sector. As a result, we expect our methodology to contribute to the literature and the findings of the study will help us to provide recommendations and policy implications to the electricity producers.

Keywords: Australian electricity sector, efficiency measurement, environmental-financial performance interaction, environmental index.

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1079 Total Quality Management: The Socio- Demographic and Operational-Financial Determinants for Users- Perception of the Services Quality

Authors: H. Silvestre

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to know the sociodemographic and operational-financial determinants of the services quality perceived by users of the national health services. Through the use of an inquiry conducted by the Ministry of Health, comprehending 16.936 interviews in 2006, we intend to find out if there is any characteristic that determines the 2006 inquiry results. With the revision of the literature we also want to know if the operational-financial results have implications in hospitals users- perception on the quality of the received services. In order to achieve our main goals we will make use of the regression analysis to find out the possible dimensions that determine those results.

Keywords: Management by Results, Quality Approach, Tableau de Bord, Total Quality Management, Services quality.

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1078 Fuzzy Risk-Based Life Cycle Assessment for Estimating Environmental Aspects in EMS

Authors: Kevin Fong-Rey Liu, Ken Yeh, Cheng-Wu Chen, Han-Hsi Liang

Abstract:

Environmental aspects plays a central role in environmental management system (EMS) because it is the basis for the identification of an organization-s environmental targets. The existing methods for the assessment of environmental aspects are grouped into three categories: risk assessment-based (RA-based), LCA-based and criterion-based methods. To combine the benefits of these three categories of research, this study proposes an integrated framework, combining RA-, LCA- and criterion-based methods. The integrated framework incorporates LCA techniques for the identification of the causal linkage for aspect, pathway, receptor and impact, uses fuzzy logic to assess aspects, considers fuzzy conditions, in likelihood assessment, and employs a new multi-criteria decision analysis method - multi-criteria and multi-connection comprehensive assessment (MMCA) - to estimate significant aspects in EMS. The proposed model is verified, using a real case study and the results show that this method successfully prioritizes the environmental aspects.

Keywords: Environmental management system, environmental aspect, risk assessment, life cycle assessment.

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1077 Continual Improvement with Integrated Management System

Authors: Sharareh Mirsaeidi Farahani , Gholamreza Chitsaz

Abstract:

Management Systems are powerful tools for businesses to manage quality , environmental and occupational health and safety requirements . where once these systems were considered as stand alone control mechanisms , industry is now opting to increase the efficiency of these documented systems through a more integrated approach . System integration offers a significant step forward, where there are similarities between system components , reducing duplication and adminstration costs and increasing efficiency . At first , this paper reviews integrated management system structure and its benefits. The second part of this paper focuses on the one example implementation of such a system at Imam Khomeini Hospital and in final part of the paper will be discuss outcomes of that proccess .

Keywords: environmental management , Integratedmanagement systems, occupational healt and safetymanagement , quality management.

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1076 A New Categorization of Image Quality Metrics Based On a Model of Human Quality Perception

Authors: Maria Grazia Albanesi, Riccardo Amadeo

Abstract:

This study presents a new model of the human image quality assessment process: the aim is to highlightthe foundations of the image quality metrics proposed in literature, by identifyingthe cognitive/physiological or mathematical principles of their development and the relation with the actual human quality assessment process. The model allows to createa novel categorization of objective and subjective image quality metrics. Our work includes an overview of the most used or effectiveobjective metrics in literature, and, for each of them, we underline its main characteristics, with reference to the rationale of the proposed model and categorization. From the results of this operation, we underline a problem that affects all the presented metrics: the fact that many aspects of human biasesare not taken in account at all. We then propose a possible methodology to address this issue.

Keywords: Eye-Tracking, image quality assessment metric, MOS, quality of user experience, visual perception.

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1075 Perceived Quality of Regional Products in MS Region

Authors: M. Stoklasa, H. Starzyczna, K. Matusinska

Abstract:

This article deals with the perceived quality of regional products in the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic. Research was focused on finding out what do consumers perceive as a quality product and what characteristics make a quality product. The data were obtained by questionnaire survey andanalysed by IBM SPSS. From the thousands of respondents the representative sample of 719 for MS region was created based on demographic factors of gender, age, education and income. The research analysis disclosed that consumers in MS region are still price oriented and that the preference of quality over price does not depend on regional brand knowledge.

Keywords: Regional brands, quality products, characteristics of quality, quality over price.

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1074 Achieving Sustainable Development through Transformative Pedagogies in Universities

Authors: Eugene Allevato

Abstract:

Developing a responsible personal worldview is central to sustainable development, but achieving quality education to promote transformative learning for sustainability is thus far, poorly understood. Most programs involving education for sustainable development rely on changing behavior, rather than attitudes. The emphasis is on the scientific and utilitarian aspect of sustainability with negligible importance on the intrinsic value of nature. Campus sustainability projects include building sustainable gardens and implementing energy-efficient upgrades, instead of focusing on educating for sustainable development through exploration of students’ values and beliefs. Even though green technology adoption maybe the right thing to do, most schools are not targeting the root cause of the environmental crisis; they are just providing palliative measures. This study explores the under-examined factors that lead to pro-environmental behavior by investigating the environmental perceptions of both college business students and personnel of green organizations. A mixed research approach of qualitative, based on structured interviews, and quantitative instruments was developed including 30 college-level students’ interviews and 40 green organization staff members involved in sustainable activities. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Categorization of the responses to the open‐ended questions was conducted with the purpose of identifying the main types of factors influencing attitudes and correlating with behaviors. Overall the findings of this study indicated a lack of appreciation for nature, and inability to understand interconnectedness and apply critical thinking. The results of the survey conducted on undergraduate students indicated that the responses of business and liberal arts students by independent t-test were significantly different, with a p‐value of 0.03. While liberal arts students showed an understanding of human interdependence with nature and its delicate balance, business students seemed to believe that humans were meant to rule over the rest of nature. This result was quite intriguing from the perspective that business students will be defining markets, influencing society, controlling and managing businesses that supposedly, in the face of climate change, shall implement sustainable activities. These alarming results led to the focus on green businesses in order to better understand their motivation to engage in sustainable activities. Additionally, a probit model revealed that childhood exposure to nature has a significantly positive impact in pro-environmental attitudes to most of the New Ecological Paradigm scales. Based on these findings, this paper discusses educators including Socrates, John Dewey and Paulo Freire in the implementation of eco-pedagogy and transformative learning following a curriculum with emphasis on critical and systems thinking, which are deemed to be key ingredients in quality education for sustainable development.

Keywords: Eco-pedagogy, environmental behavior, quality education for sustainable development, transformative learning.

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1073 Diversity and Structure of Trichoptera Communities and Water Quality Variables in Streams, Northern Thailand

Authors: T. Prommi, P. Thamsenanupap

Abstract:

The influence of physicochemical water quality parameters on the abundance and diversity of caddisfly larvae was studied in seven sampling stations in Mae Tao and Mae Ku watersheds, Mae Sot District, Tak Province, northern Thailand. The streams: MK2 and MK8 as reference site, and impacted streams (MT1-MT5) were sampled bi-monthly during July 2011 to May 2012. A total of 4,584 individual of caddisfly larvae belonging to 10 family and 17 genera were found. The larvae of family Hydropsychidae were the most abundance, followed by Philopotamidae, Odontoceridae, and Leptoceridae, respectively. The genus Cheumatopsyche, Hydropsyche, and Chimarra were the most abundance genera in this study. Results of CCA ordination showed the total dissolved solids, sulfate, water temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH were the most important physicochemical factors to affect distribution of caddisflies communities. Changes in the caddisfly fauna may indicate changes in physicochemical factors owing to agricultural pollution, urbanization, or other human activities. Results revealed that the order Trichoptera, identified to species or genus, can be potentially used to assess environmental water quality status in freshwater ecosystems.

Keywords: Caddisfly larvae, environmental variables, diversity, streams.

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