International Journal of Sustainable Development (10 papers in press)
Subjective evaluation of aggregate supply scenarios in the Ile-de-France region with a view to a circular economy: the ANR AGREGA research project.
by Jean-Marc Douguet, Clement Morlat, Philippe Lanceleur, Fenintsoa Andriamasinoro
Abstract: With growing numbers of construction sites, aggregate supply in the Ile-de-France region (Paris and the surrounding area) will be a major issue in the coming years. Faced with expected growth in demand, the profession has forecast possible production issues because of constraints from political administration (reduced production of alluvials) and resident associations (resistance to opening new quarries). Recycling the waste remains an option but concrete manufacturers want to cap that use. Recyclers also sometimes face competition from managers of permanent storage facilities for inert waste, who want to maintain their sector. This situation means that dialogue is needed between stakeholders in Ile-de-France, to build and evaluate scenarios together for the future in this area of aggregate supply and waste reclamation. This work had the goal of describing, analysing and discussing the first evaluation of potential scenarios from the thematic and methodological standpoint, asking questions about issues of sustainable circularity in the aggregate sector in Ile-de-France. In the state of the art, tools for objective evaluation (i.e. tools that model and estimate variables) are being widely developed in the sector, whereas tools for subjective evaluation (i.e. to give societal meaning) remain largely unexplored, hence this work. From the various performance results that we have collected on the issues, we have given structure to what challenges will be raised for a circular economy for supplying aggregate in the Ile-de-France region. However, we observe that the challenges are not even for all of the issues, scenarios and impacts. What is more, we have not solved all of the issues at this time, because according to our work, there will always be scenarios that involve sending waste to inert waste storage facilities.
Keywords: aggregate; construction waste; sectors; circular economy; deliberative process; scenarios; stakeholders; issues; Ile-de-France.
A critical evaluation of sustainability reporting in the Gulf Cooperation Council region
by Ali Uyar, Abdulhadi Ramadan, Khalil Nimer
Abstract: This study explores the sustainability reporting practices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries until 2015 by seeking to answer four research questions as highlighted in the methodology section. The data were obtained from 331 sustainability reports derived from the GRI Database. The results revealed that sustainability reporting in the GCC region has gained momentum since 2010; thus, it is a quite recent phenomenon. Moreover, the country-level analysis indicated that the United Arab Emirates is far ahead of the other five countries in terms of sustainability reporting. From an industry standpoint, the study found that energy, service, financial and chemical firms take sustainability reporting more seriously than other sectors, which shows the role of legitimacy concerns in these industries. In addition, an independent assurance of sustainability reports appears not to have received considerable recognition by these countries. Finally, we elaborate on whether GRI makes a difference in sustainability reporting.
Keywords: sustainability report; assurance; regulatory environment; GRI; GCC.
Engaging stakeholders in the process of sustainability integration in higher education institutions: a systematic review
by Arpita Chakraborty, Manvendra Pratap Singh
Abstract: Higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing increasing pressure embracing institutional change towards the adoption of sustainable development (SD). Responding to the growing demands, an extensive number of articles have been published presenting integration of SD principles higher education policies and practices. A review of such articles published during the decade of education for sustainable development is presented in this paper. The paper also studied stakeholder engagement in sustainability integration process in university curriculum, campus operations, research, outreach and reporting. The findings revealed that most of the published articles focus on courses and curriculum with dearth research in sustainability reporting, though deemed to be the most critical factor dealing with stakeholder interests. Moreover, the papers concentrated on internal stakeholders, especially students undermining the role of external stakeholders in higher education for sustainable development. The paper contributes to the existing literature on sustainability in HEIs and suggests a sixth dimension termed as human intention as the most significant factor for successful implementation of sustainability in HEIs.
Keywords: higher education institutions; sustainable development; stakeholder engagement; university dimensions; review.
Quality in technoscience within the crisis of knowledge societies? Some cases, critical aspects of research misconduct category, and a focus on knowledge as commons
by Gemma Maltese
Abstract: This contribution focuses on two cases that have had high social impact both within the Italian and European context and for the whole scientific community. The first case regards the diffusion (from 2010, and the next explosion of the media case, to 2013-2015, still ongoing) of the public controversy regarding the Xylella bacteria affecting olive trees in South Italy (Salento, Puglia). The second relates the work of the National Great Risks Commission (GRC), under the National Service of the Italian Civil Protection, before, during and after the earthquake at L'Aquila, in 2009, and the reasons for the judicial dispute at L'Aquila Court, in which this technoscientific committee has been involved, and of the conviction against several expert members of these organisations. Exploring these cases can make visible the complexity and critical aspects of pursuing an approach of definition-categorisation of research misconduct.
Keywords: technoscience; power; research misconduct; quality; Xylella bacteria; earthquake risks; Italy.
Measuring residential sustainability performance: an indexing approach
by Didem Dizdaroglu
Abstract: This research investigates the environmental impacts of urban development by developing a parcel-level sustainability assessment tool to guide sustainable urban development. The paper introduces a GIS-based model called the 'micro-level urban-ecosystem sustainability index (MUSIX)', which has been designed as a policy-making support tool to highlight key environmental issues at a micro-level, concentrating specifically on residential developments. The model has been tested in a comparative study of Angora Evleri (Angora Houses, Turkey) and East Killara (Australia). Despite certain limitations in its implementation, the results of the study demonstrate that a parcel-based spatial analysis can be used as a tool to identify problems in current local policies and to suggest ways to improve their efficiency. As a future research direction, MUSIX could be combined with a new module for the evaluation of alternative development scenarios. By producing accessible, accurate and easily combined parcel-level data, planners, governments and other actors could benefit from the model outputs in many ways during the decision-making process.
Keywords: sustainable development; sustainability assessment; sustainability indicators; GIS-based spatial analysis.
Practice and experience on deploying green datacentres for cloud computing
by Peng Xiao, Dongbo Liu
Abstract: As more and more cloud applications have been developed for solving large-scale problems, the energy consumption in cloud datacentres has become an important issue that needs to be addressed before construction or deployment of such a datacentre. Unfortunately, most of the current studies on inventing some novel energy-aware techniques focused on specified aspects, and few of them take efforts on how to integrate the available energy-efficient technologies into a real-world datacentre, or how to deploy them so as to improve the energy-efficiency of a non-trivial cloud-based datacentre. In this paper, we present our practice and experience on constructing and deploying a campus cloud-based datacentre, and the major goal is to improve the energy-efficiency related metrics for this datacentre as much as possible. To do this, various available technologies have been adopted in designing our datacentre, and the experience can be referenced for those people who are planning to construct their own green-oriented IT infrastructures. Extensive experiments are conducted to evaluate the energy-efficiency of our datacentre, and the results indicate that the approaches proposed in this paper are effective to construct or deploying green-oriented large-scale datacentres.
Keywords: cloud computing; green computing; energy-efficiency; quality of service.
Livelihood of ethnic minorities and sustainable development of buffer zones: a case study of the Chu Yang Sing National Park, the Central Highlands of Vietnam
by Nguyen Hoang Phuong, Dung T.N. Nguyen, Lien T.H. Pham, Thanh Duc Dang
Abstract: Buffer zones play a crucial role in protecting ecological integrity of forests and maintaining the development of surrounding communities, while booming population and intra-zone dynamics may pose many threats on their survival. The main aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the local livelihood of ethnic minorities on the sustainable development of buffer zones via a case study of the Chu Yang Sing National Park, Vietnam. Results indicated that most of the livelihood of ethnic minorities was related to harvesting forest products, and a large percentage of people still lived below the standard of the country. Additionally, their uncontrolled exploitation behaviours resulted in negative impacts on the biodiversity of the national park; this then triggered backward effects on people's income. Therefore, we suggest establishing a conservation strategy that encourages cooperation among local people to improve their livelihood to ensure the sustainable development of this important national park.
Keywords: conservation; ethnic minority community; biodiversity; poverty; livelihood; Central Highlands of Vietnam; buffer zones.
The concept of sustainability in hotel industry: current dominant orientations and future issues
by Claudia Cozzio
Abstract: This paper aims at reviewing the main literature on sustainability in the hotel industry through the analysis of 142 papers published in eight leading hospitality journals from the year 2000 to the year 2017. This paper proposes an in-depth focus on three dimensions of sustainability (i.e.,economic, environmental, social), applying the hotel sustainable business model (Mihali et al., 2012) as a framework of analysis. Moreover, distributions across time period, research methodologies employed and study locations are investigated. The findings that emerge from the literature review identify dominant research orientations related to sustainability in the hotel context, enabling the recognition of research gaps in the literature. Concerning the future, the main challenge is the adoption of a more integrated approach that takes full account of the economic, environmental and social dimensions of the sustainable development. In addition, starting from the application of the hotel sustainable business model (Mihali et al., 2012), this study proposes an evolution of the framework of analysis in order to integrate in the model the latest sustainable challenges that the industry is facing.
Keywords: hotels; sustainability; sustainable development; economic sustainability; environmental sustainability; social sustainability; literature review.
Facing the tragedy of change in the semiotic process: the role of science
by Mario Giampietro, Zora Kovacic
Abstract: We offer an interpretation of the concepts of integrity and quality of science based on semiotics. Science is a key component of the semiotic process in society, its role being the selection of representations of relevant events for guiding policy with the ultimate goal of preserving society's identity. The fitness of scientific information depends on the definition of its usefulness and relevance, and, therefore, on the identity of the 'self' of the semiotic process. Several distinct definitions of identity co-exist that are negotiated across levels (individuals, households, communities). Growing feelings of belonging to a post-truth world signal a failure in the preservation of the integrity of the semiotic process: scientific crises are coupled with social and political crises in an impredicative way. It is concluded that science should evolve from being a mere source of facts to a source of insights about how to deal with the tragedy of change.
Keywords: semiotic process; integrity and quality in science; post-normal science; post-truth world; tragedy of change; science for governance.
Measuring sustainable development: linear regression approach
by Seyed-Hadi Mirghaderi, Zahra Mohit-Ghiri
Abstract: Sustainable development (SD) is a multi-aspect and complicated concept, and measuring it requires many data from a wide range of indicators. Due to the difficulty of assessing the SD index, this paper aimed to develop a method for measuring SD using the regression method and the data available in other global reports. To this end, for each aspect of SD, i.e., social, economic and environmental aspects, a global report including the human development index, the global competitiveness index, and the environmental performance index was selected and the data of the reports in 2016 were extracted. A collinearity test showed that the indices were not suitable to create regression models. Therefore, sub-indices of each index were used and the variables and coefficients of regression models were determined. The results showed that the accuracy of regression models for the data of 2016 and 2018 was approximately 95 and 90%, respectively, and the most important aspect in SD was the social aspect.
Keywords: sustainable development; sustainable development measurement; sustainable development indicators; sustainable development index; SDI; social sustainability; economic sustainability; environmental sustainability; collinearity; linear regression; predictor.