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  • The Social Economy, Gender Equality at Work and the 2030 Agenda: Theory and Evidence from Spain

    Rosa Belén Castro Núñez; Pablo Bandeira; Rosa Santero-Sánchez (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The improvement in women’s labor conditions and the elimination of segregation and other forms of direct or indirect discrimination have become one of the major challenges of the international political agenda, and as so have been included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by the UN in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the same time, there is an increasing interest in the effects that the Social Economy (SE) might have on the achievement of the SDGs, as a consequence of its distinguishing of people-oriented principles. The goal of this paper is to analyze the specific contribution of SE entities to the reduction of gender inequalities in the labor market. We conduct an impact analysis with quasi-experimental counterfactual techniques, in which we compare one experimental group (the SE) with a control group (profit-seeking firms) using labor data from Spain for the period 2008–2017. The results indicate that social economy entities significantly contribute to the achievement of SDGs 5, 8 and 10, showing higher female participation, more stable jobs, and a lower degree of the glass-ceiling phenomenon.
  • Modeling Viscosity and Density of Ethanol-Diesel-Biodiesel Ternary Blends for Sustainable Environment

    Luqman Razzaq; Muhammad Farooq; M. A. Mujtaba; Farooq Sher; Muhammad Farhan; Muhammad Tahir Hassan; Manzoore Elahi M. Soudagar; A. E. Atabani; M. A. Kalam; Muhammad Imran (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Rapid depletion in fossil fuels, inflation in petroleum prices, and rising energy demand have forced towards alternative transport fuels. Among these alternative fuels, diesel-ethanol and diesel-biodiesel blends gain the most attention due to their quality characteristics and environmentally friendly nature. The viscosity and density of these biodiesel blends are slightly higher than diesel, which is a significant barrier to the commercialization of biodiesel. In this study, the density and viscosity of 30 different ternary biodiesel blends was investigated at 15 °С and 40 °С, respectively. Different density and viscosity models were developed and tested on biodiesel blends soured from different feedstock’s including palm, coconut, soybean, mustard, and calophyllum oils. The prognostic ability and precisions of these developed models was assessed statistically using Absolute Percentage Error (APE) and Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE). The MAPE of 0.045% and 0.085% for density model and 1.85%, 1.41%, 3.48% and 2.27%, 1.85%, 3.50% for viscosity models were obtained on % volume and % mass basis. These developed correlations are useful for ternary biodiesel blends where alcohols are the part of biodiesel blends. The modeled values of densities and viscosities of ternary blends were significantly comparable with the measured densities and viscosities, which are feasible to avoid the harm of vehicles’ operability.
  • Perspectives of Using Lignin as Additive to Improve the Permeability of In-Situ Soils for Barrier Materials in Landfills

    Lucio Di Matteo; Lorenzo Bulletti; Eliana Capecchi; Antonio La Viola; Davide Piccinino; Vincenzo Piscopo (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Very often, in-situ soil does not meet the requirements for landfill barriers; therefore, it is necessary to purchase the material from quarries. An increasing number of by-products have been proposed as alternative landfill barrier materials. The present study investigated the performance of two soils of Central Italy (alluvial and volcanic soils) with an organosolv lignin (sulfur-free lignin (SFL)), a widespread by-product in the world. Laboratory investigations indicated that the volcanic soil mixed with 10% in weight of lignin did not reach the permeability value required for landfill bottom liners, also showing high compressibility. On the contrary, the addition of 20% to 30% lignin to the alluvial soil reached the permeability value recommended for the top-sealing layer of landfills: scanning electron microscope analysis indicated that the improvement was due mainly to the physical binding. Large-scale investigations should be carried out to evaluate the long-term performance of the mixtures. The increasing production of organosolv lignin worldwide gives this by-product the opportunity to be used as an additive for the realization of the top-sealing layer. The approach can save the consumption of raw materials (clayey soils from quarries), giving lignin a potential new field of application and recovering in-situ soils.
  • Discovering the Role of Emotional and Rational Appeals and Hidden Heterogeneity of Consumers in Advertising Copies for Sustainable Marketing

    Cheong Kim; Hyeon Gyu Jeon; Kun Chang Lee (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Advertising copies have been considered as a fundamental strategy for firms to continue sustainable marketing strategies. In order to provide the advancement of previous research and practical implication to marketers in the field for sustainable marketing strategy, this research tried to reveal the role of emotional and rational appeals as well as hidden heterogeneity of consumers in the appeal–value–trust–satisfaction–WOM framework. By applying the PLS-SEM and PLS-POS approach to 230 valid questionnaire samples, we could discover the role of appeals in the framework as well as three types of unobserved heterogeneity among the respondents. Both emotional and rational appeals had significant influences on the value–satisfaction–trust–WOM context. In addition, for hidden consumer traits in advertising copies, we revealed three types of consumer groups: Type 1, the consumer group with a rational orientation (<i>n</i> = 68); Type 2, the group with an emotional orientation (<i>n</i> = 74) and Type 3, the group with a utilitarian orientation. This research provided contributions by offering some insight into ways to establish sustainable marketing strategies in advertisements and to address unobserved heterogeneity consumers in advertising copy appeals.
  • Reflection of Digitalization on Business Values: The Results of Examining Values of People Management in a Digital Age

    Jana Blštáková; Zuzana Joniaková; Nadežda Jankelová; Katarína Stachová; Zdenko Stacho (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The European Union (European Parliament) understands industry 4.0 as a term for an environment of fast transformations of production systems and products. The basic characteristic of the change in the methods of creating added value in the conditions of the fourth industrial revolution is digitalization. Digitalization changes people management in two stages. The first stage is the adaptation of systems to the integration of physical inputs into digital systems, and the second stage is the redefinition of values for the internal and external customer. The purpose of this paper is to examine the content of the first digitalization stage and its impact on the transformation of values of corporate people management in the second stage of digitalization. The study published in this paper points out the level of digitalization applied towards the internal and external customer. The research results verify relations in the portfolio of corporate value and prove their present implementation of digitalization and its and importance for the future sustainability of the business. The study confirmed the independence of the levels of corporate digitalization and companies’ value portfolios. Furthermore, the study proved the universal nature of corporate value orientation, irrespective of the size, business focus or performance of the people management system. Meaningfulness, communication and cooperation dominate in terms of importance for business sustainability. The results of the study in Slovakia support the opinions of published foreign research, which emphasize the importance of introducing technological innovations aimed at employees to a much greater extent.

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