International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development (25 papers in press)
Mechanical characterization and flexural performance of eco-friendly concrete produced with fly ash as cement replacement and coconut shell coarse aggregate
by Prakash R, Thenmozhi R, S.N. Raman
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of adding fly ash, an industrial by-product and coconut shell, an agricultural waste on the mechanical and flexural characteristics of eco-concrete. The study focusses on density, compressive strength, tensile strength and flexural behavior of the coconut shell eco-concrete. Two different mixes are developed, one with coconut shell and the other with conventional aggregate and coconut shell as coarse aggregate. The cement content is replaced with Class F Fly ash at 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% by weight. The test result shows that the coconut shell concrete produced with 10% fly ash has recorded higher compressive, tensile strength than other proportions. Fly ash inclusion further reduces the density of coconut shell concrete. The higher deflection of coconut shell concrete before failure shows that it has failed in a ductile manner. The flexural behavior is comparable with other lightweight concretes. It is suggested that an eco-friendly, cost effective structural lightweight concrete can be produced by using coconut shell and fly ash.
Keywords: Coconut shell aggregate; Fly ash; Eco-concrete; Compressive strength; Split tensile strength; Flexural behavior.
An assessment of road construction in Walmer Township, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa
by Pakama Siyongwana, Manesh Nagar
Abstract: The provision of a sustainable road infrastructure has become a top priority for the South African government since the attainment of democracy in 1994. This paper reports on a study carried out in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa, aimed at assessing the provision of the road infrastructure and the financial sustainability of road infrastructure development from 2004-2011 in the Walmer Township. The methodology used in the study was a simple method of overlaying the ordinance survey onto high resolution aerial photographs using Walmer Township as the basic unit of observation and thereafter, extract and digitise the necessary information for the selected years. Fieldwork observations and interviews with relevant stakeholders were conducted to qualify the resultant pattern or to fill missing gaps. The resulting information was translated into thematic, qualitative and quantitative data. Analysis involved the generation of descriptive statistics and applicable tables; and the research was aimed at: 1) reviewing the state of road construction costs in the NMBM, 2) providing a comparative analysis of the road provision, 3) an assessment of the financial feasibility of the road infrastructure in the Walmer Township. The results showed the variation in the construction costs across time indicating spatial variation in road infrastructure developmental initiatives, discrepancies in budget allocation that favour certain areas, and a discord in the coordination of budget and planning. The studys significance lies in its highlighting of the need to review and redesign the planning of municipal infrastructure projects if they are to attain financial sustainability.
Keywords: Road infrastructure delivery; financial sustainability; Walmer Township; Nelson Mandela Bay.
BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA PATHWAY TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
by Sunday Olayinka Oyedepo, Isreal S. Dunmade, Tunde Adekeye, Ahme, B. Attabo, Olukunle C. Olawole, Philip O. Babalola, Joseph A. Oyebanji, Mfon Udo, Oluwaseun Kilanko, Richard O. Leramo
Abstract: In Nigeria, high and outrageous energy cost constitutes a serious challenge to all aspects of the economy. And this has been a subject of concern in the country over a period of time. A dependable and renewable energy source is of utmost desire to strengthen the nations economy and this urgent need cannot be overlooked. As a result of the erratic and expensive power supply to the national grid, it has become ultimately necessary to search for other inexpensive sources of energy to meet the ever increasing energy needs for rural and urban dwellers. This will in no small way improve the countrys national grid and consequently decrease rural-urban movement. The heavy reliance on natural gas to power electric power generation plants makes the country to be prone to power outages due to gas pipelines destruction resulting to in-sufficient gas supply by Nigerian Gas Company to most thermal power plants. In view of the above energy situation in Nigeria, this paper aimed at carrying out a comprehensive review on bioenergy technology option as a pathway to achieving sustainable energy development in the country. In this study, the potential, current progressive stages, and prospects of bioenergy conversion techniques, in the Nigeria context, are discussed. The barriers to bioenergy technology development in Nigeria with possible solutions are also presented. The study reveals that available information for the studied renewable energy option suggests bioenergy possess some potentials for the countrys sustainable energy development. Using biomass technology to generate power can help the country develop its energy sector more efficiently as the raw materials needed to feed the bioenergy plants are readily available in abundance in the country. Some are seen as waste such as agricultural and domestic wastes. Hence, developing the bioenergy capacity of the country will create wealth and employment opportunities for the unemployed sector in the country, generates electricity and production of domestic cooking gas across the rural and urban settlements in the country.
Keywords: Bioenergy technology; renewable energy; energy sector; sustainable development; biomass; agricultural wastes; municipal wastes; industrial wastes.
Exploring the link between climate variability and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa
by Baishali Bakshi, Raphael Nawrotzki, Joshua Donato, Luisa Silva Lelis
Abstract: High mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa persist, delaying the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In this study, we investigated whether climate variability contributed to elevated mortality rates in rural Kenya, Mali, and Malawi during 2008/09. We employed a demographic approach, linking high-resolution climate information to nationally representative census data obtained from the Terra Populus data extraction system. We employed multilevel negative binomial models to estimate the association between household-level all-cause mortality and climate variability from a long-term climate normal period (1961-1990). Results revealed that cold snaps increased mortality in Kenya but reduced mortality in Mali and Malawi. In addition, excessive precipitation and droughts were associated with increased mortality rates in Kenya and Malawi, respectively. Interaction models showed the strongest climate effects on mortality in vulnerable regions characterized by high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. In contrast, adverse climatic conditions were associated with lower mortality in areas with high rates of malaria infection, likely due to unfavorable breeding conditions for the Anopheles vector. Programs aimed at reducing climate-related mortality through early warning systems, agricultural extension services, and improved access to health infrastructure will help to more fully realize the Sustainable Development Goals of a reduction in mortality for sub-Saharan Africa.
Keywords: Climate variability; environment; mortality; sub-Saharan Africa; Terra Populus.
Governing climate change: The impact of board attributes on climate change disclosure
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.
Comparative analysis of lists of ecosystem services classified by function
by Aicha Bouredji
Abstract: Functional classification of ecosystem services is a very popular method, originated in the international Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report. Other organizations 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 organizations 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.
Energy Consumption, CO2 Emission and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for Malaysia
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 GDP (gross domestic product) 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.
Lightweight and prefabricated construction as a path to energy efficient buildings: thermal design and execution challenges
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.
Biodiversity in Lithuania: achievements, challenges and policy
by Gintarė Sujetovienė, Jūratė Žaltauskaitė, Renata Dagiliūtė
Abstract: Biodiversity is the key to the stability and productivity of natural systems. Preserving biodiversity is, therefore, one of the most important environmental issues for both developing and developed countries. The objective of the study is to reveal the main temporal trends of biodiversity and related indicators in Lithuania, a post-soviet country. The analysis focuses on the biodiversity and related indicators such as forest coverage, protected areas, red list, and administrative infringements in protected areas covering the period of the last two decades (1991-2014) after the reestablishment of independence which is considered a transition period. After the restoration of independence, the country became a participant in international law collaboration. Despite the relatively good situation in biodiversity conservation, loss and fragmentation of the habitats due to economic activities as well as infringements highly contribute to the current challenges. Public information and awareness are rising as well as strong political awareness is still needed.
Keywords: governance; Lithuania; biodiversity; nature conservation.
Measurement of environmental sustainability index and its association with socio-economic indicators in selected Asian economies: an empirical investigation
by Ajay Kumar Singh, Jofri Issac, K.G.S. Narayanan
Abstract: The present study created the environmental sustainability index (ESI) for selected 22 Asian economies during 1990-2012. Composite z-score technique was applied to estimate country-wise ESI which explores the relative performance of these economies in environmental sustainability (ES). For this, seven main components with 25 sub-indicators of environmental performance (EP) were chosen. Thereupon, it assessed the association among the ESI, human development (HD), economic development and social development using linear, log-linear and nonlinear regression models. It implies that economic development, HD and social development have significant and complex association with ESI. It emphasises that global and national policy makers, governmental agents and international development organisations need to take effective action to maintain ES. Otherwise, world's economies would be unable to achieve the path of sustainable economic development in future. It brings out some conclusive policy suggestions to maintain the environmental sustainability, economic development, HD, social development and sustainable development in Asian economies.
Keywords: composite Z-score technique; economic development; environmental degradation; human development; natural resource; social development; sustainable environmental development; SED; linear, nonlinear and log-linear regression model.
Special Issue on: Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems SDEWES
Energy effective routing optimisation using ACO-FDR PSO for improving MANET performance
by Rangaraj Jayavenkatesan, Anitha Mariappan
Abstract: Autonomous devices that are interconnected in an on demand fashion that communicate in wireless medium with the available energy constitute mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). Communication in these networks is restricted to lifetime of the nodes that in turn dependent upon the node's battery power. Therefore optimisation is necessary to prolong node lifetime and communication period. This work proposes a hybrid ant colony optimisation (ACO) combined with fitness distance ratio particle swarm optimisation (FDR PSO) to optimise energy. ACO finds the energy efficient path in the network based on higher residual energy and FDR PSO minimises energy consumption of the network, to enhance node lifetime which ensures energy efficient routing. Duty cycle algorithm collaborated with ACO swaps the nodes between active and sleep state depending upon their utilisation. This prevents a node being active all time though it has no communication at that instant of time. The proposed hybrid technique (ACO-FDR PSO) is tested over a 100 node network scenario. The impact of varying number of nodes and their speed on the performance metrics such as throughput, packet delivery ratio, drop and residual energy have been analysed using NS-2 simulator.
Keywords: ant colony optimisation; ACO; duty cycle; FDR PSO; MANET; residual energy.
Quantification of environmental impacts of abrasive water jet cutting process through sustainability analysis
by K. Jayakrishna, K.E.K. Vimal, Lakshimipriya Sethuram
Abstract: Sustainable development is the view that social, economic and environmental concerns should be addressed simultaneously and holistically in the development process. Sustainability has been applied to many fields, including engineering, manufacturing and design. Manufacturers are becoming increasingly concerned about the issue of sustainability. Appropriate trade-offs are often necessary, given the diverse interests of manufacturers and society. Relevant, meaningful, consistent and robust information on sustainable manufacturing must be available and utilised by organisations and their managers, if sustainability is to improve in manufacturing. In this perspective an effort has been made by conducting experimental studies on waste water obtained by machining mild steel plate using abrasive water jet cutting machine to examine the traces of metallic bodies and their impact on the environment. Studies were also conducted to calculate the embodied product energy of the process. Results from the experiment confirmed the presence of metallic particles and proved the necessity of treating these particles.
Keywords: sustainability analysis; abrasive water jet cutting machine; embodied product energy; gear cutting; waste water treatment.
Special Issue on: Green Engineering Principles for Environmental Sustainable Development
Green environmental sustainability development in construction industry using response surface methodology
by Murugaboopathy Rajagopal, Ganesan Karuppiah
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate an effective method for the partial replacement of cement using waste materials to create green environmental sustainability in the construction industry. The tests were performed to predict the strengths of concrete by replacing the cement with waste materials, such as GSA (X1: 6%-10%), GGBS (X2: 20%-50%) and PPF (X3: 0.1%-0.5%) using RSM. The experimental variables were optimised using Design-Expert 126.96.36.199 software package. The optimum replacement of cement was observed at 7.5%-8% (GSA), 35% (GGBS) and 0.3% (PPF). Under this situation, the optimum cube compressive strengths at 7 and 28 days were 18.76-18.83 N/mm2 and 30.91-31.06 N/mm2; the cylinder splitting tensile strengths at 7 and 28 days were 2.32-2.39 N/mm2 and 4.32-4.41 N/mm2 respectively and the prism flexural strengths at 7 and 28 days were 3.37-3.49 N/mm2 and 5.24-5.32 N/mm2 respectively.
Keywords: compressive strength; flexural strength; groundnut shell ash; ground granulated blast furnace slag; polypropylene fibre; response surface methodology; splitting tensile strength.
Green engineering principles for global water quality monitoring using IoT
by V. Kavitha, S. Mohanraj
Abstract: Water is a vital resource without which most of the living beings cannot survive. The quality of drinking water depends on its source and storage conditions. Drinking water quality should meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for quality assurance. Various purification methods are available to obtain pure drinking water. However, several industrialisation, globalisation, urbanisation, farming, and similar activities lead to drinking water contamination. Thus, the combined use of green engineering principles and internet of things (IoT) framework can aid simultaneous monitoring of water quality at different locations, at minimal costs and less need for manpower. This study proposes a system for real-time monitoring of water quality and detection of contamination, by using a wireless sensor network (WSN) to collect and transmit data. This system measures turbidity, pH, and temperature; these values are then processed using a controller and transmitted to the cloud through the WSN. The gathered data are highly accurate and can be accessed universally through the Internet by using a specific internet protocol address.
Keywords: IoT environment; green engineering principles; water quality monitoring; wireless sensor networks; WSNs; cloud computing.
Special Issue on: ICESW2017 Applied Engineering Science, Environment & Sustainability
RISKS OF SEISMIC ACTIVITIES ON BUILT ENVIRONMENT IN NIGERIA
by Akpabot Akpabot, Anthony Ede, Oluwarotimi Olofinnade, Gideon 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 estimate 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 and failure probability for the computational analysis. The results showed that an average seismic intensity measure will affect between 1000 1060 km2 of building area and about 6.5 6.9 million people will be affected. Consequently, these huge losses requires 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.
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
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.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PARADOX IN AN IMPOVERISHED URBAN POPULATION: A CASE STUDY FROM MALAYSIA
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.
Sustainability of Malaysian Oil Palm: A Critical Review
by Halima Begum, A. S. A. Ferdous Alam
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 Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), a leader in palm oil research across the globe. The objective of 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 profits and economic empowerment of the country, but also posing a serious threat towards ecological and social balance due to unawareness of the sustainability issues related to palm oil cultivation. With outstanding share in the global market, 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. Therefore, to keep the growth of the palm industry uninterrupted the study focuses on the sustainability issues in cultivated area and among cultivators which can adversely or constructively influence the industry and its production. The further study recommended that how wide are the adopted sustainable policies and are any modification measures that have been undertaken by oil palm smallholders.
Keywords: Sustainability; Oil Palm; Palm Oil Industry; Smallholders; 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
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: SEDD 2018 Energy, Environment and Sustainability
Quantitative Analysis of Sound Absorption Properties of Plants in Indoor Environment for Enabling Sustainable Practices
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.
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
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.
Analysis of Urban Water Quality Trends for Effective Reservoir Sedimentation Management in Cameron Highland
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: Recent Developments in Environmental Sustainability
Population ageing and energy consumption for sustainable development
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.
Special Issue on: Renewable Energy for Sustainable Applications
A Sustainable Energy Management Soft Computing System for Photovoltaic/Wind Hybrid Power Generation System
by SELVAM RAMAKRISHNAN, Velavan R, Soundarrajan A
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 dont cause any environmental pollution and have an unlimited supply, it is extensively utilized every day. Solar and wind are the two renewable sources considered in this paper. In renewable energy system, for maintaining the energy sustainability, a smart management scheme is required. The renewable sources like solar/wind is established to test the management system. The development of smart management scheme fulfills the power demand, since solar and wind are not reliable in stipulations of power quality and sustainability. In the renewable energy system, the generated power is collected on a common DC bus which is used for supplying to load. This DC power bus is operated in an exceedingly manner that, there is forever a base power available for permanent loads. Then, 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 by a smart management system with the help of the fuzzy logic method. The fuzzy based smart management system determines the amount of power to be supplied based on the power information from a solar / wind system. The smart power management system will measure and track the available and generated maximum power from wind system, which increases the installed units efficiency. The result obtained will prove the effectiveness of the smart power management system.
Keywords: Wind System; PV system; Power management system; MPPT; Sustainability.