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  • Do German Student Biology Teachers Intend to Eat Sustainably? Extending the Theory of Planned Behavior with Nature Relatedness and Environmental Concern

    Alina Weber; Alexander Georg Büssing; Raphael Jarzyna; Florian Fiebelkorn (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Non-sustainable food choices are responsible for many global challenges, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. To achieve a transformation toward sustainable nutrition, it is crucial to implement education for sustainable development (ESD), with the key issue “nutrition”, in schools and teacher training. Biology teachers are crucial for promoting ESD competences. Thus, the main aim of the study is to investigate the social and environmental psychological factors that may affect the intention of student biology teachers to eat sustainably as an integral part of their action competence needed for teaching this topic effectively. We conducted a paper-pencil questionnaire (<i>N</i> = 270, <i>M<sub>age</sub></i> = 22.9; <i>SD</i> = 2.8) based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and expanded the model by integrating environmental concern and nature relatedness. A path model is reported to show the relationships between the variables. The results show that the extended TPB model is suitable for predicting the intention to eat sustainably. Nature relatedness and altruistic concern positively predict attitudes and the intention to eat sustainably. This study suggests further research on the importance of (student) teachers’ nutritional behavior, as a possible determinant of the intention to teach this topic in their future school career.
  • Växjö Municipality’s Planning Strategy to Increase the Construction of Wooden Multi-Family Buildings

    Fredrik Lindblad (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Sweden has a housing shortage, which the Swedish authorities expect to continue until 2025. Producers of wooden multi-family buildings have a relatively small market share in comparison to traditional building materials. The limited capacity to fulfil the increased building demand also restricts the possibilities for development towards innovation, bio-economy and sustainability. The municipalities in Sweden have responsibility for the planning of the building development in their region based on their projected requirements and strategies. Combining this with a desire to develop sustainable building solutions based on wood increases the complexity. Currently, public building developments are achieved through the public procurement act or the land allocation activity, dependent on their development strategy. This normally involves the development of local strategies regarding, for example, design, material choice and geographical development. This study aims to identify drivers that will enable improved market activities related to actions in public building initiatives using wood-based solutions, which is conducted by studying a specific building project managed by the Växjö Municipality in Sweden. The result indicates that improved transparency in the land allocation activity generates possibilities for developers to respond successfully to the requests submitted by the municipalities, and thus, increase the possible use of sustainable building methods using wood. This knowledge improves the understanding of the required strategic development for the companies, the government and the municipalities, to increase the use of sustainable building materials in Swedish multi-family housing projects.
  • Conceptual Framework for the Research on Quality of Life

    José Rodrigues; Carla Chicau Borrego; Paula Ruivo; Pedro Sobreiro; David Catela; José Amendoeira; Rui Matos (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The article presents the reference framework for multidisciplinary research at the Life Quality Research Centre (LQRC). The research paradigm about the citizens’ quality of life in society imposes a multifaceted and complex analysis. At the LQRC we address this as thematically divided into six scientific areas: education and training; physical activity and healthy lifestyles; food production and technology on food behaviors; organizational dynamics; motor behavior; and individual and community health. These areas are clearly related to the concept of quality of life. They fit the goals and dynamics of the research center. In each section, the authors develop the themes of research projects and the challenges that characterize research in the area of quality of life. It is clear that there is an agreement and understanding that ensures that quality of life research is on the agenda of the world organizations related to scientific research and human development. This is a real challenge for scientific research centers, since multidisciplinary paradigms are the foundation of our collective organization, and the evolution of research on quality of life could fulfil current needs and lead to the improvement of citizen lives.
  • Knowledge Transfer in Sustainable Contexts: A Comparative Analysis of Periods of Financial Recession and Expansion

    Lirios Alos-Simo; Antonio J. Verdu-Jover; Jose M. Gomez-Gras (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Examining the knowledge transfer process in sustainable contexts, we identified various gaps, which we analyzed in this study. First, we compare the temporal context of firms with eco-innovation strategies before and after the financial crisis of the first decade of the 21st century. Second, we analyze the firms’ knowledge transfer, from the use of knowledge sources to innovation through intellectual property. Third, we consider the influence of firm age on firms with eco-innovation goals and the influence of size on intellectual property. We used data from a sample of 3004 firms prepared by the Spanish National Statistics Institute for two different time periods: 2009 and 2014. Our results suggest that firms that achieve sustainable innovations do not show large differences in behavior in the two economic periods. We found that knowledge in firms with eco-innovation goals is transferred through intellectual property. The results show that firm age and size influence these processes during the years analyzed and thus have various implications for theory and for small firms, which are generally family firms. Small and family firms should strengthen their registration of intellectual property so that their knowledge transfer process ends in innovations for both the firm and the market.
  • How Does Operational Environment Influence Public Transport Effectiveness? Evidence from European Urban Bus Operators

    Georgios Georgiadis; Ioannis Politis; Panagiotis Papaioannou (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Public transport systems’ effectiveness is a well-recognized pillar of their sustainability. In this study, we employed order-m efficiency estimators to investigate the effectiveness of 57 bus public transport operators that provide services in both large and medium sized European cities. Their effectiveness was simulated through a tailored production model and was evaluated against critical exogenous variables, which were mostly extracted from Eurostat database. Results showed that the effectiveness of the examined operators is generally satisfactory. Our research suggests that certain exogenous factors significantly affect operators’ effectiveness and thus create either advantageous or disadvantageous operational environments for maintaining public transport sustainability. Among these factors, household size, unemployment and car ownership rates were found to be unfavorable to bus public transport operations. Contrary to them, the presence of university students and metro systems in cities create a favorable operational environment for bus public transport effectiveness. These findings assist in the identification of sustainable development policies that would both contribute to public transport sustainability and to the fulfillment of wider community goals. Our findings also rationalize benchmarking exercises in the public transport industry, since they enable fair performance comparisons between systems that seek to incorporate successful management practices to improve their sustainability.

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