Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Governments
Arizona State University, Center for Organization Research and Design, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative, 1-39.
39 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 2017
While green purchasing policies have the potential to significantly reduce carbon impacts across the globe, most U.S. cities have either struggled to implement them or do not have one at all. Consequently, these policies have not reached their potential to help local governments mitigate their environmental impacts. These are significant concerns that the United Nations Environmental Programme and others suggest must be resolved if we are to move toward an environmentally sustainable economy. This research seeks to address these issues by way of a national survey of finance, public works and environmental directors in U.S. local governments with 25,000 residents or more. The survey generated 616 individual responses from 459 cities. Our three broad objectives were to (1) determine the facilitators and the barriers to adoption and implementation of green purchasing policies in local governments; (2) recommend actions for advancing green purchasing practices; (3) encourage local governments that lack green purchasing policies to implement them within their jurisdictions. Our results show that cities that adopt green purchasing policies differ from those cities without such policies based on their complementary policies and practices, use of purchasing criteria, information access, leadership and vendor roles. Directors in cities who reported successful implementation of their green purchasing policies noted that these policies are more likely to have the following features: complementary policies and practices, information access, leadership and implementation responsibility, collaborative vendor relations, and strong innovation culture. These findings inform our eight recommendations aimed at increasing cities’ green purchasing policy adoption and implementation success.
Keywords: green purchasing, sustainable purchasing, local government, cities, procurement, sustainable procurement, green procurement, sustainable public procurement, green public procurement, green public purchasing, sustainable public purchasing, government
JEL Classification: Q01, Q56, Q58, Q59, M38, Q50, M20, M11, L53, L78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation