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Measuring and Modelling Farm Level Sustainability

Abstract

In the paper, an approach to measure farm level sustainability with the Synthetic Farm Sustainability Index (SFSI) is presented. SFSI is composed of five partial sustainability indexes based on 56 parameters describing different aspects of farms organization and functioning. The index, calculated for the sample of 120 Polish farms, was used to measure the state (static sustainability) and effects of possible improvements (dynamic sustainability) in the farming system. The results of the analyses show significant differences in the sustainability level between the farms in the sample, as well as the potential for increasing SFS. The increase of the synthetic sustainability index can be achieved by means of farm investments, but also low-cost activities that improve environmental performance and generate positive social effects without undermining economic viability. It was also found out, that larger size, intensive farms can achieve high economic and environmental sustainability level if properly managed.

Open access
Achieving Environmental Sustainability through Knowledge Management: a Survey Conducted among Corporates in the Czech Republic

Abstract

It is now widely recognized that knowledge assets and technological enhancements are essential strategic resources for any organisation to achieve competitive advantage and sustainability. The imperative for achieving this efficiency is in transfer of relevant information for decision-making across all levels of company structure. It can be done with well-disposed knowledge management system, that improves the overall corporate performance. This paper examines how companies in Czech Republic manage their internal knowledge associated with environmental sustainability so as to improve their overall corporate performance.

Open access
Analysis of Sustainable Production Practices Implemented by Car Manufacturers

Abstract

Companies are increasingly implementing sustainable solutions as they face a growing sustainability demands from different stakeholders. The question is whether car manufacturers adhered to sustainable production principles and at what level they are doing it in practice. The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (LCSP) is used as a model to analyse the main aspects of sustainable production and assess the companies in the automotive sector in European Union. The data was collected from the Corporate Social Responsibility/ Sustainability reports of the individual car manufacturers found in the online data base of Global Reporting Initiative. Empirical evidence shows the adherence of these companies to the LCSP sustainable production principles. All the studied companies seem to be conscious of the significance of sustainability for the automotive industry. Although most of the sustainable production practices are focused on the environmental dimension of sustainability, employee and social aspects are not ignored in the reports.

Open access
Envisioning Complexity: Towards a New Conceptualization of Educational Research for Sustainability

Abstract

This paper aims to present some conceptual insights into the research paradigm of complexity that deals with such problems like sustainability, education, and, more specifically – sustainability education. The transdisciplinary perspective and cognitive approaches of a hermeneutical cycle and semantic waves used in argumentation assist in grasping the essence of complexity and the main principles of complex dynamic systems. The comparison of simple, complicated and complex systems in a field of sustainability education provides an example of using complexity thinking with social systems. Then the complexity in an epistemological context, as the research paradigm, could be used for dealing with the challenging problems of sustainability, education and sustainability education from the point of view of post-normal science. The concept of transdisciplinarity has been developed as a research framework starting from the general approaches to its application for sustainability, education and sustainability education. The specific types of collaboration in educational research for sustainability and the modes of knowledge produced by transdisciplinary research in this field will be described, ending with reflections and suggestions for further analysis.

Open access
A Presentation of a Set of Macroeconomic Indicators to Evaluate the Economic Sustainability in Romania

Abstract

The paper examines from an empirical point of view the state of economic sustainability of Romania on the period 2007 - 2017. To this end, a set of macroeconomic indicators for sustainability was used. To be mentioned this set of indicators is elaborated within The Centre for Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slăvescu", in its annual publication named "Financial stance of Romania". Although the obtained results in the past are coherent with the main macroeconomic dynamics on the analysed period, it seems that these results must be correlated with the so-called cyclical position of the economy, but this analysis will be done in the future. The study puts into evidence the importance of sustainability analyses in addition to the usual descriptive analyses, because they indicate not only the macroeconomic evolution, but also the national economy tendencies from the sustainability perspective.

Open access
The Power of Micro Urban Structures, Theory of EEPGC - the Micro Urban Energy Distribution Model as a Planning Tool for Sustainable City Development

Abstract

To achieve the smart growth and equitable development in the region, urban planners should consider also lateral energies represented by the energy urban models like further proposed EEPGC focused on energy distribution via connections among micro-urban structures, their onsite renewable resources and the perception of micro-urban structures as decentralized energy carriers based on pre industrialized era. These structures are still variously bound when part of greater patterns. After the industrial revolution the main traded goods became energy in its various forms. The EEPGC is focused on sustainable energy transportation distances between the villages and the city, described by the virtual “energy circles”. This more human scale urbanization, boost the economy in micro-urban areas, rising along with clean energy available in situ that surely gives a different perspective to human quality of life in contrast to overcrowded multicultural mega-urban structures facing generations of problems and struggling to survive as a whole.

Open access
Sustainability as a Tool for Increasing Competitiveness

Sustainability as a Tool for Increasing Competitiveness

One of the main aims of companies is to reach quality of products and services. In particular, good quality of services is a highly rated factor so the price often stands behind. Nevertheless, many companies focus on the quality as the customer is willing to pay for it. The company is more competitive; however, they must strive to achieve continual improvements. Accepting the principles of sustainable development is one of the instruments or strategies to reach competitive growth. Currently this notion is being profaned and often considered only as a simple phrase, but many companies from different spheres, such as tourism, electrical engineering, retail, civil engineering, etc., show its real benefits. Companies create strategies of sustainable development following company competitiveness.

Open access
Difficulties in Sustainability and Land Utilisation

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show the economic importance of the land sustainability. This topic is very complex because it is relevant universally - the land utilisation has an industrial, agricultural production, energy and environmental security aspect. The focus of the analysis is the relationship between land usage, scarcity and sustainability.

Open access
Natural Resource Enterprises: Payments to Landowners for Ecosystem Services from Forests and their Management in the United States of America (U.S.)

Abstract

Mississippi landowners were found to diversify incomes from forests through fee-access outdoor recreation, including hunting, angling, wildlife watching, and other nature-based activities (Jones et al. 2005). The Natural Resource Enterprises (NRE) Program at Mississippi State University educates private landowners, resource agencies, and local communities about recreational enterprises, conservation, and integration of these activities with sustainable forestry through educational workshops. Since 2005, the NRE Program has organized and conducted over 75 landowner workshops in 11 U.S. states and Sweden and trained in excess of 4,000 participants in outdoor recreational business development and associated conservation practices. Survey results revealed that our programming has initiated over 1,000 new outdoor recreational businesses on an estimated 1.2 million hectares of forest and agricultural lands, generating over $14 million in incomes while fostering natural resource conservation on family farms in the U.S. NRE development on rural lands benefits landowners and local communities through promoting payments for ecosystem services supported by sustainable forests.

Open access
Technology Integration Experiences of Teachers

Abstract

Teachers are important providers of educational sustainability. Teachers’ ability to adapt themselves to rapidly developing technologies applicable to learning environments is connected with technology integration. The purpose of this study is to investigate teachers’ technology integration experiences in the course of learning and teaching processes. In doing so, qualitative research methods have been applied. The participants of the study were four teachers of different subject fields who work at a public secondary school in 2015–2016 school years and regard themselves as competent in technology integration. The study results indicated that the teachers took a teacher-centered stand in technology integration and the teachers’ most prominent reasons to start technology integration were the search for quality in education. Also the teachers, as IT school teachers, reported receiving support from close friends, the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), and online resources. The problems that the teachers faced in the processes of technology integration were mostly related to issues connected with the access to technology and technology proficiency.

Open access