Forthcoming articles

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development (IJESD)

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International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development (33 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Lightweight and prefabricated construction as a path to energy efficient buildings: thermal design and execution challenges   Order a copy of this article
    by Eduardo Roque, Rui Oliveira, Ricardo Almeida, Romeu Vicente, António Figueiredo 
    Abstract: Energy efficient buildings start with a building design stage based on a strong background in building physics and construction technology. Traditionally, in southern European countries, massive construction solutions have always been associated with better thermal performance and more suited to easily comply with different performance and construction code criteria. However, lightweight construction systems have the potential to achieve clear benefits over traditional heavyweight construction. The market share of lightweight construction systems, from steel to timber, has grown significantly in the last two decades in countries that traditionally do not have strong background and workmanship on this construction type. Thus, two case studies were detailed presented, combining lightweight construction systems and Passive House concept, with the goals of energy efficiency and thermal comfort. The results highlight the advantages of these systems both from an economical (cost-efficiency and speed of construction) and environmental point of view (recycling, waste production and reuse). Some drawbacks of lightweight building solutions have been pointed out, from low thermal inertia, overheating, airtightness, thermal bridging (building connections and assembly), higher susceptibility to moisture transfer, shading control, etc. Due to the possible low thermal inertia of this constructive technology, a new wall solution incorporating phase change materials was tested and thermally characterised. This solution could be applied in lightweight constructions, enhancing their energy efficiency and thermal inertia, further promoting the sustainability of these building solutions. In fact, all these issues have been overcome and are highly addressable in the design stage and considered in the latest developments on lightweight construction building systems.
    Keywords: Lightweight construction; Energy efficiency; Light steel frame; Passive House; Innovative materials and components; Phase change materials.

  • The Effect of Awareness, Knowledge and Cost on Intention to Adopt Green Building Practices   Order a copy of this article
    by Redhwan Mohammed Saleh, Marhana Mohamed Anuar, Abdullah Al Swidi, Khatijah Omar 
    Abstract: Addressing the threats of climate change has become one of the worlds major challenges. More than 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions have been recorded recently and the construction industry has been identified as one of the culprits in the worsening of climate change phenomena. Previous studies have revealed that conventional construction procedures are having a major impact on the environment. In light of these circumstances, this study examines the relationship among some influential and environmental factors including awareness of environmental issues, knowledge of green practices, cost of green materials, subjective norms, attitudes, perceived behavioural control and intention to adopt green building practices in Qatar. The data were collected from 378 engineers using a survey method and were analysed using PLS-SEM. The findings confirmed that significant relationships exist among all variables except for the effect of perceived behaviour control on intention to adopt green building practices. This study provides valuable insights that may help decision makers to plan for strategies to increase the adoption of green building practices among construction companies.
    Keywords: Awareness of Environmental Issues; Knowledge of Green Practices; Cost of Green Materials; Intention to adopt Green Building Practices; Theory of Planned Behaviour.

  • Re-examining sustainable development in Europe: a Data Envelopment Approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Tihana Škrinjarić 
    Abstract: Sustainable development is a widely known concept in public and academic circles and in macroeconomic policy as well. This study applies Data Envelopment Analysis to 37 European countries for the period 2004-2016 in order to evaluate sustainable development objectively. The model uses GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita as desirable output, CO2 emissions and Gini Index as undesirable outputs and 3 input variables: unemployment rate, fixed capital formation and energy consumption. In that way all 3 pillars of sustainable development are included in the analysis. This is the first comprehensive analysis of European countries carried out with this methodology. Several model specifications are observed, in order to check for robustness of results and rankings. The results indicate that those countries which are already highly ranked by existing world indices (such as the United Nations and similar organizations) are ranked similarly in the empirical results of this research. Moreover, the most inefficient countries have shown an increase in sustainable development efficiency score over the observed period.
    Keywords: sustainable development; data envelopment analysis; performance; undesirable output.

  • Prospect of Clean Coal for Sustainable Energy Mix in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Siti Fatihah Salleh, Abul Quasem Al Amin, Tuan Ab Rashid Tuan Abdullah 
    Abstract: This study evaluates the current energy diversification policy in Malaysia and proposes clean coal as an alternative to address the environmental issues and economic sustainability concerns in the power generation sector. In order to clearly picture the competitiveness of the proposed alternative, this study explored two scenarios, namely Scenario a and Scenario b. The former scenario acts as a baseline, where the conventional coal is consumed for power generation, while the latter scenario looks at the prospect of substituting the conventional coal with clean coal by 5%, 10% and 15%. Mixed with four other energy sources specified in the Five-fuel Diversification Strategy for power generation, the total amount of GHG that would be generated is estimated for both scenarios. It was found that the substitution approach could reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission significantly up to 63%, from 823,498 million tones (Mt) by the year 2020. The findings highlight the potential of clean coal as a healthy alternative in reaching the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)s target on GHG emission reduction. The results would lessen the gap between the GHG mitigation potential and the INDC target and would aid the formulation of effective energy strategy for power generation in Malaysia.
    Keywords: Environmental impacts; Fossil fuel; Clean coal; Energy; Energy policy.

  • Manoeuvring SME Beach Resorts in Choppy Environment: Entrepreneurs Perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Mazlina Mustapha, Khairil Wahidin Awang 
    Abstract: This study seeks to understand how entrepreneurs of SME beach resorts mitigate challenges in their efforts to survive and simultaneously expand their businesses. SMEs in tourism related industry including beach resorts cater towards accommodating increased number of tourist arrivals. Malaysia targets to bring in 36 million tourists, with RM168 billion tourism receipts by the year 2020. The sun, sea and sand are naturally the magnets of tropical islands of Malaysia. The authors employed in-depth interview technique on two resorts located on Perhentian Kecil Island, offshore Terengganu, Malaysia. Observation of the premises complements data collected from interviews. Findings suggest that the resorts employed various strategies to manage their operations. Cost saving methods like employing family members, constructing additional resort features during monsoon period and smart business arrangement with resorts suppliers contributed towards resorts expansion. The study outcome would amongst others benefit policymakers in nurturing the SME sector, further facilitating Malaysia towards a developed nation. This study also contributes to the performance management literature particularly on island beach resorts.
    Keywords: Beach resort; Entrepreneurship; Performance management; SMEs; Tourism.

  • Mechanisms used by chemical manufacturing firms to promote green skills among employees: A case study in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by J.S. Keshminder, Chuah Soo Cheng 
    Abstract: Threats imposed by climate change have raised the demand for green skills. Firms that provide green skills to their employees are touted to respond quickly to green policies and develop the capabilities to implement superior strategies to mitigate climate change. This study seeks to explore the mechanisms used by manufacturing firms to promote green skills among their employees. A case study approach using semi-structured interviews was deployed to explore these mechanisms in six large chemical manufacturing firms. The results indicate that collective effort, self-realization and continuous awareness were the three main mechanisms used by firms to promote green skills among their employees. Firms actively engage employees from every level of management together to upgrade their skills. Pay raise and promotion are used as an incentive by firms to encourage the employees to obtain green skills. This study proposes a green skills development mechanism for policy makers and managers to nurture and invigorate green skills among employees.
    Keywords: green skills; green economy; environment; green jobs; sustainability.

  • Governing climate change: the impact of board attributes on climate change disclosure   Order a copy of this article
    by Say Keat Ooi, Azlan Amran, Jasmine A.L. Yeap, Amar Hisham Jaaffar 
    Abstract: With its detrimental impacts, climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of human civilisation. To hold businesses accountable for climate change performance, corporate climate change disclosure has increased substantially over the last decade. Despite the importance of corporate governance, its impact on climate change disclosure remains under researched. Hence, this paper examines the impact of board attributes on climate change disclosure and attempts to explore the mediation effect of strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) on such relationships. The results reveal that the extent of climate change disclosure increases with the presence of more female and independent directors. Enhanced insights into strategic CSR are expected to be valuable for board members seeking to internalise CSR strategically despite the insignificant indirect effect. Overall, these findings embrace worldwide initiatives to promote independence and gender diversity in the boardroom while demonstrating corporate transparency in climate change business impacts.
    Keywords: climate change disclosure; corporate governance; board attributes; strategic corporate social responsibility; CSR; resource dependence theory; Malaysia.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2019.10022566
  • Comparative analysis of lists of ecosystem services classified by function   Order a copy of this article
    by Aicha Bouredji 
    Abstract: Functional classification of ecosystem services is a very popular method, originated in the International Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report. Other organisations have adopted this approach and have developed it by deploying it in their sustainable development strategies. These alternations prompted demands for appropriate public policies. Thus, the problem of environmental quantification appeared because it requires finely cohesive tools. To examine the compatibility of all the lists of ecosystem services, this paper proposes an inspection of the classifications proposed by eight global organisations and a comparative analysis of their rankings. This makes it possible to check whether it would be relevant to rely on these classifications for quantification. Through a thorough examination method, the compositions will be processed and enhanced. The results of this work will provide a theoretical framework as a tool to help environmental assessment. It will bring together a fixed set of services that helps implement a concrete application.
    Keywords: ecosystem services; ecosystem; assessment; quantification; classification; functional approach; methodological framework; conservation; provisioning services; supporting services; regulating services; cultural services; sustainable development; ecological economics.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2019.10022567
  • Energy consumption, CO2 emission and economic growth: empirical evidence for Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Md. Sujahangir Kabir Sarkar, Abul Quasem Al-Amin, Siti Indati Mustapa, Md. Rajibul Ahsan 
    Abstract: This study focuses on the relationship among the energy consumption, carbon emission and economic growth of Malaysia by using a time series data from 1980-2016. The study findings are shown by an econometric analysis that energy consumption, total and per capita CO2 emission and gross domestic product (GDP) has increased vastly between 1980 and 2016. The Johansen cointegration test confirms the existence of the long run relationship of energy consumption with carbon emission and economic growth. Moreover, the Granger causality test reveals the unidirectional causality of energy demand and population with carbon emission. The positive and significant relationship between GDP and carbon emission is a critical issue in Malaysia that needs to be addressed with care as economic growth is necessary but increase of carbon emission is undesirable. Therefore, this study recommends to promote green energy, green growth (GDP) that will ensure both energy security and energy sustainability in Malaysia over time.
    Keywords: energy consumption; carbon emission; economic growth; green energy; policy; Malaysia.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2019.10022568

Special Issue on: ICESW2017 Applied Engineering Science, Environment & Sustainability

  • Risks of seismic activities on built environment in Nigeria   Order a copy of this article
    by Akpabot I. Akpabot, Anthony N. Ede, Oluwarotimi M. Olofinnade, Gideon O. Bamigboye 
    Abstract: Buildings are designed to be safe to prevent collapse caused by natural or man-made factors. Until recently, Nigeria was believed to be aseismic due to its distance from earthquake zones. However, recent seismic activities have led to the prediction of possible future earthquake occurrence in Nigeria. This study estimates the impact of seismic hazard on the built environment in Nigeria. A model is created to estimates the number of casualties and built areas that would be affected by earthquake of different ground motions. Monte Carlo simulation is used to derive random data of building area, occupancy limits, construction quality (CQ) and failure probability (Pf) for the computational analysis. The results showed that an average seismic intensity measure will affect between 1,000-1,060 km2 of building area and about 6.5-6.9 million people will be affected. Consequently, these huge losses require urgent mitigating efforts to reduce risks of damages when earthquake occur.
    Keywords: reinforced-concrete; building collapse; seismic-risks; built area; ground motion; construction quality; built environment; seismic intensity; Monte Carlo simulation; sustainability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2019.10022557

Special Issue on: CSSR2017 Recent Developments in Environmental Sustainability

  • Staircase Evacuation for Public Multi-Storey Housing in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Nurul Liyana Hanapi, Sabarinah Sh Ahmad, Norhati Ibrahim, Azli Abd Razak 
    Abstract: There has been some concern about the evacuation safety aspects in older affordable multi-storey housing for the lower income group in Malaysia as the number of occupants has been increasing over the years. The multi-storey public housing type has multiplied albeit with its own challenges. This paper aims to study the effects of increased occupancy towards evacuation duration in public multi-storey housing in Malaysia, to gain a better understanding of evacuation safety. The research methodology is through a simulation study using Pathfinder software. This paper focuses on the evacuation process in public multi-storey housing, mainly on the staircase availability and location, in relation to the increasing number of evacuees. The data analysed include the duration taken by occupants to reach safety and their movement patterns during evacuation through a simulation study. A 17-storey residential building is modelled in the programme and the effects of staircases with varied availability and locations on the evacuees are tested. Nine scenarios are considered. Results show that higher number of occupancies and non-availability of the staircase could prolong the evacuation. Moreover, the location of staircases does not influence the evacuation time but contributes significant changes to the movement of the evacuees.
    Keywords: Staircase; Escape Route; Evacuation; Emergency; Multi-Storey Housing; Residential Building; Evacuation Duration; Evacuee Movement; Pathfinder; Simulation.

Special Issue on: ICEBSS 2017 People, Planet and Development Bridging the Gaps in Emerging Economies

  • Climate change adaptation: a corrective policy framework in the Malaysian agricultural sector   Order a copy of this article
    by Rulia Akhtar, Muhammad Mehedi Masud, Abu Hanifa Md. Noman, Najneen Jabin, A. S. A. Ferdous Alam 
    Abstract: A corrective policy framework is essential for sustainable agricultural management. In order to put in place a corrective policy framework, it is necessary to know the socio-economic context of local farmers and their perception of climate change. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to explore their socio-economic status and general perception of climate change and to examine its impact on adaptation practices. To achieve the research objectives, data were collected using survey questionnaires and analyzed using statistical tools. The results show that most of the respondents between age range of 31-45 years in the sample size while 45 percent ha secondary education and 34 percent of the respondents monthly income between RM 2000- RM 4000. It has been found that approximately 76 per cent of farmers had heard about climate change. The results also revealed that socio-economic characteristics such as education, income, type of farmer, attitudes and awareness were positive and highly significant. It is hoped that the findings of this study would be useful for policymakers in designing an appropriate policy framework to raise awareness of how to reduce the impact of climate change in the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Climate Change; Agriculture; Farmers’ perceptions; Attitudes; Policy framework.

    by Md Wahid Murad, Md. Mahmudul Alam 
    Abstract: The poverty-environment nexus is still being debated since it came into light in the late 1980s. The extent of poverty and nature of environmental degradation make the debate further complex as researchers present their research outcomes, whether conceptual or empirical, based only on limited data and a number of assumptions. This study is such an attempt looking at the poverty-environment paradox from the perspective of an emerging country, i.e. Malaysia. Household solid wastes, if recycled, reused and source-reduced, are widely considered environmental resources as these practices are meant to protect the environment and increase peoples incomes or save costs especially for societys poorer people. To test the hypothesis that poverty is the root cause of environmental degradation or environmental degradation is the effect of poverty, this study assesses attitude and behavior of the urban poor with reference to solid waste management and their willingness to pay for an improved solid waste collection and disposal service in their residential areas. Primary data collected through a survey with urban poor residing in Kuala Lumpur and analytical methods including descriptive statistical technique, t-test of equality of means, one-way analysis-of-variance, Chi-square likelihood ratio test and multiple linear regression have been used to test the hypothesis and accomplish the objective. Empirical results nullify the null hypothesis, favoring the urban poor as their attitude and behavior are found to be environmentally sound and surprisingly ethical. Also, their monetary contribution, as measured through willingness to pay, for the objective of improving environmental conditions is considered to be good news for local governments, who could use this strategy in their efforts to improve the environment and reduce urban poverty. Policies and initiatives such as pro-poor waste management, community participation in waste management, integrating the informal sector into formal waste management avenues, public-private partnership in waste management, and raising awareness among the relevant stakeholders are considered crucial for reducing both the environmental degradation and urban poverty.
    Keywords: poverty-environment paradox; waste management; urban poor; willingness to pay; environmental attitude and behavior; Malaysia.

  • Global Population Stabilization Policy and Declining Work-Age Population: A Threat to Global Economic Sustainability   Order a copy of this article
    by Md. Mahmudul Alam, Md. Wahid Murad, Rafiqul Islam Molla, Khondaker Mizanur Rahman, Taslima Rahman Khondaker 
    Abstract: Faced with an exponentially growing world population, what is required is a population stabilization policy to control the global fertility rates. This has implications for the working-age population in the future, and lead to a serious economic crisis. It is envisaged that by the year 2050 the work-age population will have seriously declined, but is still expected to look after an increasing dependent population. This paper argues that to maintain sustainable economic growth, and to support the associated technological advances in the future there will be demand for a larger labor force. It notes that the industrialized countries are now managing with migrant populations drawn mostly from high fertility but low-income countries. In the global context this is only a zero-sum game without increasing the stock of the worlds actual total labor force. Therefore, the world population needs to increase to meet the growing demand for a larger labor force in order to achieve economic sustainability. Since the earths population carrying capacity largely depends on advanced technology functioning well, to support societys lifestyle expectations, the world should not defer planned population growth.
    Keywords: population growth; fertility rate; work-age population; dependency ratio; economic sustainability; zero-sum game; ‘child bearing habitual gap’; ‘work-age formation gap’; ‘slim-green’ life style.

  • Sustainability Practices Framework of the Palm Oil Milling Sub-Sector: A Literature Survey   Order a copy of this article
    by Halima Begum, Er Ah Choy, A. S. A. Ferdous Alam, Chamhuri Siwar, Suraiya Ishak 
    Abstract: A sustainable practices framework in accordance with environmental, economic, and social dimensions, is an important constituent of the palm oil milling sub-sector for its effective contribution to the national economy of Malaysia. A major threat to the palm oil mills is the adoption of a lower sustainability practices framework that can result in environmental degradation, low production, low prices of crude palm oil (CPO), and low labour costs, amongst others. The main objective of the study is to examine the sustainability practices framework of the palm oil mills in Malaysia, through a comprehensive literature survey. Therefore, the methodology for the framework was studied using public-domain journal articles found through electronic databases. The literature survey encompasses publications dating from 1987 to 2018. The findings of the study reveals that production rates and price of CPO are decreasing, although demand remains high. It suggests a further study of better national sustainable policies and standard for the palm oil mills via a primary survey.
    Keywords: Oil Palm; Palm Oil; Milling; Framework; Sustainability; Sustainable POM; Environment; Economic; Social; Malaysia.

  • Sustainability of Malaysian Oil Palm: A Critical Review   Order a copy of this article
    by Halima Begum, A. S. A. Ferdous Alam, Abd. Hair Awang 
    Abstract: Despite some industrial disruption, palm oil is still among the strongest industry of Malaysia. This journey of excellence towards becoming the global leader is getting momentum by support from MPOB, a leader in palm oil research across the globe. This study is to assess the oil palm smallholder activities in Malaysia in order to ensure the sustainability to face the global challenges and competitions of the international markets. Thus, the industry is emerging not only as a dependable source of economic empowerment of the country, but also posing a serious threat towards ecological and social balance due to unawareness of the sustainability issues. With their outstanding share, the industry has potential to lead the market in the near future, but in the way of expansion it must focus on the sustainability issues especially related to environment, economy and society, which can adversely or constructively influence the industry and its production.
    Keywords: environmental; economic; social; sustainability; oil palm; palm oil industry; fresh fruit bunch; smallholders; sustainable practices; Malaysia.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2020.10020711

Special Issue on: 5th Conference in Economics of Natural Resources and Economics Recent Developments on the Energy Consumption and Economic Growth Nexus

  • Measurement of green industrial performance: an enhanced GIP index   Order a copy of this article
    by Jaime Moll De Alba, Valentin Todorov 
    Abstract: The green industrial performance (GIP) index provides a tool to analyse and compare the performance of economies in terms of green manufacturing. The demands for and expectations for sustainable development seem not matched with the existence of an analytical framework to measure how green the industrial sector of a given economy is. In this article, we introduce significant methodological improvements to the GIP index. In previous research, we developed and tested a set of indicators covering the various facets of the green industrial performance of economies. We also introduced a composite index to rank economies according to their green industrial performance. In this article, we address some limitations of the index. To improve the non-satisfactory data coverage, we investigate alternative imputation methods. We also refine our list of green products; and test new outlier detection methods.
    Keywords: Inclusive and sustainable development; composite index; green industry.

  • Alternative forms of sustainable development: The case of thermal tourism   Order a copy of this article
    by Stavroula Georgakopoulou, Vassiliki Delitheou 
    Abstract: Thermal tourism is a special form of providing tourist services at special facilities that use recognized thermal natural resources. Thermal tourism blooms in Europe with pioneer country Germany. There are 1,400 developed bathing sites in Europe, visited by millions of patients from all over the world. This industry employs about 750,000 people and has an annual turnover of approximately 45 billion euros. In Greece, thermal tourism is an important part of the countrys cultural heritage and not only because Greece is one of the richest countries in natural sources with excellent quality water. Despite the fact that Greece is the first country in Europe in the quality and uniqueness of natural thermal resources, its thermal tourism is declining. Furthermore, in this article, efforts will be made to identify the causes that contribute to the reduction of thermal tourism, as well as to draw some conclusions with a view to improving and sustaining the thermal tourism.
    Keywords: alternative tourism; thermal tourism; sustainable development.

Special Issue on: Renewable Energy for Sustainable Applications

  • A sustainable energy management soft computing system for photovoltaic/wind hybrid power generation system   Order a copy of this article
    by R. Selvam, R. Velavan, A. Soundarrajan 
    Abstract: Recently, renewable energy sources turned all attentions and became more attractive, due to increasing energy needs and factors like limited reserves, increasing energy costs and environmental pollution. As these sources do not cause any environmental pollution and have an unlimited supply, it is extensively utilised every day. Solar and wind are the two renewable sources considered in this paper. The renewable sources like solar and wind power are established to test the system. The development of this system fulfils the power demand, since solar and wind are not reliable with regard to quality power and sustainability. Depending upon the availability of those power sources, the extra power demand is provided from either PV or wind source. The whole system is operated using adaptive transformational optimisation (ATOA) method. The proposed energy management system has been validated through simulation and the result obtained will prove the effectiveness of proposed system.
    Keywords: wind system; PV system; power management system; MPPT; sustainability.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2019.10018356

Special Issue on: SEDD 2018 Energy, Environment and Sustainability

  • Quantitative Analysis of Sound Absorption Properties of Plants in Indoor Environment for Enabling Sustainable Practices   Order a copy of this article
    by Namrata Baruah, Satyaki Sarkar, Bimal Chandra Roy, Rajan Chandra Sinha 
    Abstract: This paper showcases the results of the sound attenuation properties of some plants with a soil substrate for use as green sound absorbers in an indoor space. The plants used in this experiment were needed to survive in an indoor environment, hence only tropical, thermophilic plants which could grow in high humidity and warm temperatures with indirect sunlight were selected. An Impedance tube of 100mm dia. was used to calculate the direct incidence acoustic absorption coefficient of the plants and larger samples were tested within a reverberation chamber. The soil substrate used was a high porosity and low-density sample of perlite and coconut fibers. The results show that Ferns and Baby Tears were good absorbers along with the soil substrate, whereas Begonia was a better absorber at the lower and higher frequencies. The decibel drop by the fern with soil substrate is the highest with a decrease of frequency and the lowest is by Green Ivy which is due to morphological conditions.
    Keywords: sound absorption; indoor space; experiment; Impedance tube; reverberation chamber; soil substrate; thermophilic plants; sound-absorption coefficient; decibel drop; sustainable plant usage.

  • Strategically-framed environmental disclosure index: A Measurement Approach of Malaysian Public Listed Companies Corporate Environmental Reporting Practices.   Order a copy of this article
    by Amar Hisham Jaaffar, Bakhtiar Alrazi, Say Keat Ooi, Amanuddin Shamsuddin 
    Abstract: This study aims to measure the corporate environmental reporting (CER) practices of Malaysian environmentally sensitive public listed companies based on measurement approach named strategically-framed environmental disclosure index. The content analysis technique based on a measurement index related to firms environmental strategies has been employed. The CER practices of 209 Malaysian environmentally sensitive public listed companies are examined for the years 2010 and 2014. Results suggest that there are three types of firm behaviour in CER in response to institutional pressures: (1) 'negative deviance' (i.e. non-compliance environmental strategies leading to no quality environmental disclosures), (2) 'conformance (i.e. compliance environmental strategies leading to low quality environmental disclosures) and (3) 'positive deviance' (beyond-compliance or proactive environmental strategies leading to high quality environmental disclosures). This index shed light whether the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) practice in Malaysian and global context as a deviance or normative behaviour. Moreover this study identified whether mandatory reporting requirement force firm to actually improve environmental performance concurrently with pro-environmental policies or just as their greenwashing mechanism.
    Keywords: Corporate Environmental Reporting; Strategically-framed environmental disclosure index; Neo-Institutional Theory; Positive Organizational Scholarship; Environmental; Social and Governance (ESG).

  • Evaluating the Impact of Implementing Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) Appliance Regulation in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Siti Fatihah Salleh, Mohd Eqwan Mohd Roslan, Aishah Mohd Isa 
    Abstract: One of Malaysias key strategies to promote efficient use of energy is by implementing the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). Under this regulation, five common household appliances (air conditioner, refrigerator, fan, television, and lamp) must comply with MEPS requirement in order to be sold in Malaysian market. This study collected sales data from major suppliers to estimate the annual sales volume of MEPS-compliant appliances from 2013 to 2015. The sales estimates were used to determine the total electricity consumption and saving during the same time period. The study found that the local market is already saturated with 5-star rated televisions and fans in 2015. Meanwhile, the lamp market proportion is dominated by compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) with efficacy range from 50 to 55 lumens/watt. By the end of 2015, the total cumulative annual electricity saving gained after MEPS implementation is 2,685 GWh, which translates to a total annual cost saving of MYR 850 million and fossil carbon emission reduction of 1,726 ktCO2eq. By identifying and quantifying the multiple impacts of MEPS implementation in Malaysia, this work not only demonstrates the effectiveness of the current initiative, but also motivates higher uptake of energy efficiency interventions in developing countries to unlock more opportunity in the future.
    Keywords: energy efficiency; minimum energy performance standards (MEPS); Malaysia; standards and labelling (S&L); household appliance; energy saving.

    by SITI INDATI MUSTAPA, Siti Fatihah Salleh 
    Abstract: The rapid development of the transport sector has caused tremendous pressures on energy consumption and CO2 emission. Energy use for the road transport sector is growing faster, but the scope for substituting towards low carbon fuels is rather limited. As the increase in CO2 emissions has become an important global issue, many countries have put up a voluntary target of reducing its CO2 emissions. Similarly, Malaysia has set a target to reduce the intensity by up to 45% by 2030 based on its 2005 levels. This has led to strong interest in how the CO2 emissions in this sector can optimally reduce. This paper therefore looks at minimising the CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. A linear programming model is applied to model the present situation in Malaysia. Sensitivity analysis is applied to investigate the effects of mitigation scenarios such as low carbon fuels, fuel efficiency improvement, travel demand management, and integrated mitigation strategies on the CO2 emissions. The results demonstrated that the optimal CO2 emissions in the road transport sector could reduce by only 2.8% (1.14 Mtons) in a year, which far below the desired emissions reduction. However, the sensitivity analysis results demonstrated that a reduction of up to 40% (16.44 Mtons) can be achieved from integrated mitigation measures, which enable Malaysia to hit reduction far beyond its target. The outcome of this study proved that intensifying ongoing efforts and stringent policies to promote efficient fuel use and investment in green technology could assist the country in its quest to achieve the intended CO2 emissions reduction.
    Keywords: road transport sector; CO2 emissions; optimisation; low carbon.

  • Development of Natural Fibre for Environmental and Sustainable Advancement   Order a copy of this article
    by A. Atiqah, M. N. M. Ansari, M. M. M. Zahidi Zahidi, S. Begum, Z. Yahya, S. A. A. Alkhadher 
    Abstract: The increasing attention on renewable resources for a sustainable environment has led to the expansion in the development of high-performance products made from natural resources. Natural fibres that are diffused in the environment in abundance are economical, making this characteristic a value-added engineering, as they exhibit lower cost and can produce lighter composites, as compared to the existing fibreglass reinforced polymer composites. In this study, the involvement of kenaf fibre in chemical treatment on morphological and mechanical properties of the thermoset polyurethane (PU)-(PUKf) composites was firstly proposed and trialed. The results of chemical treatment on kenaf fibre highlight the improvement on the impact strength although the hardness of kenaf composites is reduced. This is compared with different samples, which are pure thermoset PU and kenaf fibre without chemical treatment. Overall, the developments of natural fibre in engineering and energy sectors could significantly enhance the reduction of solid waste and environmental pollution.
    Keywords: Polyurethanes; Kenaf fibre; Composites; Chemical treatment; Impact strength; Hardness; Renewable resources.

  • Sustainable Procurement and Corporate Sustainability Performance: The Moderating Role of Organization Age   Order a copy of this article
    by Maryam Jamilah Asha'ari, Salina Daud 
    Abstract: The chemical manufacturing industry is one of the main contributors to the Malaysian economy. The chemical manufacturing industry has been reported to have sustainability issues which may affect the sustainability of the nation if proper green practices have not been taken by the industry. This paper aims to study the effects of sustainable procurement on corporate sustainability performance with the moderating role of organization age. Drawing data from 130 Malaysian chemical manufacturing organizations, the model studies the moderating role of organization age on sustainable procurement and the corporate sustainability performance of the organizations. Partial Least Square (PLS) analysis is used in this study in order to analyse the data and the multistage sampling technique has also been used in this study. The results show that there is a positive relationship between sustainable procurement and corporate sustainability performance. The results also suggest that organization age does not moderate the effect of sustainable procurement on corporate sustainability performance where it contributes to new finding in this research area. The findings could help employees and policy makers to counter the sustainability challenges they face in chemical manufacturing organization.
    Keywords: sustainable procurement; organization age; corporate sustainability performance; chemical manufacturing organization.

  • Recycling and Sustainable Environmental Practices of Household Tea Waste   Order a copy of this article
    by A. Atiqah, M. N. M. Ansari, R. Keresahnia, S. A. A. Alkhadher 
    Abstract: Tea wastes contain a group of important organic substances disposed of in a considerable amount to the environment without any treatment after the preparation of tea. Generally, uncontrolled release of these wastes has increased environmental concern mainly to the aquatic environment in recent years. In this study, an experiment of tea waste green composites was outlined to provide more knowledge and findings in utilising the tea waste as reinforcement. The current experimental investigation focuses mainly on the mechanical and characterisation of poly (lactic acid) (PLA) filled with household tea wastes (TW) green composites. The morphology properties of PLA with tea waste composites were characterised using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) methods. The results show that the addition of tea waste improved the mechanical properties of the composite, nevertheless the crystalline structure was reduced due to the presence of tea waste particles. The study findings highly recommended that tea wastes should be environmentally managed and recycled for better utilisation as an energy source or in other valuable application to reduce the impact on environmental pollution.
    Keywords: PLA; tea waste; PLA composites; tea waste composites; SEM; XRD.

  • The Influence of Cleaner Production and Resource Efficiency on Corporate Sustainability Performance: The Moderating Role of Organization Size   Order a copy of this article
    by Maryam Jamilah Asha'ari, Salina Daud 
    Abstract: The manufacturing sector faces sustainability issues which lead to negative consequences to the economic, environment and social sustainability performance of the sector. Cleaner production and resource efficiency which involve the use of green technology is one of the important green practices in achieving corporate sustainability performance. The objective of this study is to examine the effects of cleaner production and resource efficiency on corporate sustainability performance with the moderating role of organizational size. Drawing data from 130 Malaysian chemical manufacturing organizations, the model studies the moderating role of organization size on cleaner production and resource efficiency and corporate sustainable performance of the organizations. The data are analysed using partial least square (PLS) analysis. The results suggest that cleaner production and resource efficiency are positively related to corporate sustainability performance. The findings also indicate that organization size moderates the effect of cleaner production and resource efficiency on corporate sustainability performance.
    Keywords: corporate sustainability performance; cleaner production and resource efficiency; organization size; green practices; chemical manufacturing organizations.

  • Clarifying the value relevance of voluntary carbon reporting: The case of Malaysian carbon-intensive industries   Order a copy of this article
    by Noor Raida Abd Rahman, Siti Zaleha Abdul Rasid, Rohaida Basiruddin 
    Abstract: This study aimed to empirically test the value relevance of voluntary carbon reporting (VCR) by Malaysian public listed companies operating in carbon-intensive industries from 2010 to 2016. Using panel data regression models, this study considered the impact of VCR from both, accounting and market-based perspectives. The quality of VCR is measured using the content analysis of disclosure indexes adapted from a list of disclosure items that were provided in various global warming, climate change, greenhouse gases, and carbon reporting guidelines, standards, and frameworks. The finding indicated that on average, the quality of VCR was still low compared to the overall potential score. The findings also revealed that VCR generates a negative relationship with return on assets (ROA) and earnings per share (EPS). Nevertheless, VCRQ does not influence return on equity and Tobins Q. This study has implications on both the policy and practice of organisations seeking to improve VCR practices.
    Keywords: Carbon Reporting; Climate Change; Earnings per Share; Return on Assets; Return on Equity; Tobin’s Q.

  • Analysis of Urban Water Quality Trends for Effective Reservoir Sedimentation Management in Cameron Highland   Order a copy of this article
    by NURSHAHIRA MOHAMMAD NOH, Lariyah Mohd Sidek, Siti Humaira Haron, Amirah Hanim Mohd Puad, Zalilah Selamat, Azwin Zailti Abdul Razad, Chow Ming Fai 
    Abstract: Water quality in Cameron Highlands has significantly diminished due to agricultural activities. This research aims to analyze water quality in the urban and agricultural area by conducting water sampling and in situ analysis. Water Quality Index (WQI), Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP) were calculated and compared among different areas. Results for WQI shows that water quality at W7 deteriorates at class IV (33.5) compared to class II for another agriculture area. Meanwhile, another results showed that the WQ_02_AG transported significantly higher (14.9 mg/L) loads of TN than the urban area, but the phosphorus load was considerably lower (1.58 mg/L). Results for the urban area are slightly polluted and unsuitable for recreational purpose. In agricultural areas, water quality deteriorates due to sediment transport and nutrient infusion caused by agricultural activities. Therefore, powerful agricultural management practices for effective reservoir sedimentation management as one of the non-structural measures are recommended.
    Keywords: Water pollution; Water Quality Index; Agriculture; Sedimentation; Reservoir.

Special Issue on: SUSCOM-2019 Sustainable Computing for Environmental Systems

  • Sustainability of textile waste-water management by using an integrated fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS method: A case study   Order a copy of this article
    by PUNYASLOKA PATTNAIK, Govind Sharan Dangayach 
    Abstract: The textile industry is quickly growing worldwide and has a universally beneficial effect on the economy. The waste-water generated with the growth of the textile industry can cause considerable health and environmental issues if it is not treated properly. Generally, physical, biological, and chemical processes are used independently or in combination to treat textile waste-water. The efficiency of any treatment process depends on the working criteria. In this paper, we implemented a new hybrid methodology based on the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) and fuzzy technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (FTOPSIS) to help workers in textile industries select the optimal waste-water treatment process. To illustrate how this hybrid methodology can be used to address the waste-water treatment problem, we conducted a case study involving 11 assessment criteria and four treatment process used in the textile industry in India. Comparative analysis indicated that the survey overall mean was slightly lower than the overall mean for selected companies in the treatment process.
    Keywords: Textile industry; waste-water treatment; FAHP; FTOPSIS; case study.

Special Issue on: AIC 2018 Innovations in Sustainable Development Approaches

  • The influence of environmental management accounting practices on environmental performance in small-medium manufacturing in Malaysia
    by Rapiah Mohamed 
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of environmental management accounting (EMA) practices on environmental performance in the small-medium sized (SME) manufacturing sector. The empirical data was collected through structured questionnaires that were distributed to the managers. The study results reveal that physical EMA has the highest mean score compared to monetary EMA, however, unfortunately the EMA practice is not at an encouraging level in Malaysia. The regression results indicate that both types of EMA practices (monetary and physical) have a positive and significant effect on environmental performance. Thus, this study demonstrates the importance of EMA in enhancing environmental performance. The study results are valuable to policy makers, managers of manufacturing SMEs and other sectors to appreciate EMA practices. The study findings contribute to a growing body of literature on EMA within the Asian context, particularly, Malaysia. Finally, this study shed lights on the extent to which EMA tools has been used amongst manufacturing SMEs and provides a good foundation and framework for future studies.
    Keywords: Environmental management accounting; environmental performance; and small-medium manufacturing; Malaysia

Special Issue on: ICEBSS 2017 Climate Change, Conflicts and Food Security in Developing Economies

  • The Impact of Spatial Development on Water Pollution: A Comparative Assessment of River Water Quality in Two Municipalities in Malaysia   Order a copy of this article
    by Hamidi Ismail, Tuan Pah Rokiah Syed Hussain, Muhammad Subhan 
    Abstract: This study is aimed at understanding different level of pollution of the river water in two municipalities in Malaysia as a result of spatial development activities. Both municipalities represent the central and southern zones of Peninsular Malaysia which are prone to river water quality problems due to logging, land clearing and livestock farming. Frequency and trend analysis are applied to the data obtained from the Department of Environment (DOE) and measurement of the water quality in the field is conducted in both areas. The results show that the rivers in both municipalities are experiencing deterioration of water quality. The decline in the river water quality is closely related to human activities in urban space and the ineffective environmental management system by the government. The apparent environmental problems indicate that the present management system should be improved to create an urban ecosystem which is really capable of addressing the issues of river water pollution.
    Keywords: Spatial development; River management; Urban management; Water pollution; Water quality; Sustainable development; Malaysia.

Special Issue on: Recent Developments in Environmental Sustainability

  • Population ageing and energy consumption for sustainable development   Order a copy of this article
    by Nur A'mirah Mohd Yaziz, Azlina Abd.Aziz 
    Abstract: Population ageing has been acknowledged as a cause of the alteration in residential energy consumption pattern, which partly arises from the exit of the workforce from the labour market due to the retirement age limit, promoting a sedentary lifestyle. However, there is a lack of research exploring the shift in energy demand that specifically scrutinises the effect of population ageing on the consumption structure. In this context, the paper aims to investigate the relationship between residential electricity consumption and demographic indicators specific to labour force participation. This study uses a literature survey of household consumption structure, ageing labour force participation, and energy consumption factors, while the econometric approach is proposed to estimate the determinants. Based on the findings, this study supports the inclusion of the employment rate in expressing residential electricity consumption in the population ageing scenario. This paper ends with the development of a proposed model for future research work due to the economics of population ageing in energy.
    Keywords: older people; household consumption; labour force participation; energy consumption factors; sustainability.