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Nicole Darnall

Nicole Darnall

Director and Co-founder, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative

School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • Distinguished Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Director and Co-founder, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative
  • Foundation Professor of Management and Public Policy, School of Sustainability, College of Global Futures
  • Faculty, Barrett, The Honors College
  • Affiliated Faculty, W. P. Carey School of Business


Nicole Darnall is Foundation Professor of Management and Public Policy and Director and Co-founder of ASU’s Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative. A Distinguished Sustainability Scholar at ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, she was previously Associate Dean of Faculty Success in ASU's College of Global Futures and Associate Director of ASU's School of Sustainability.

Her research assesses non-regulatory sustainability governance approaches: voluntary programs, strategic alliances, certifications, and information-based initiatives. Her work investigates whether the absence of state coercion, combined with appropriate incentives, can encourage organizations and individuals to behave more sustainably.

Professor Darnall is an elected Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration, an Abe Fellow, an Economic and Social Research Council and Social Science Research Council Collaborative Visiting Fellow, an Erasmus Mundus International Scholar, and Spanish Ministry of Education International Fellow. She has received the Academy of Management's Organizations and Natural Environment Best Paper Award. Her research on business-government collaborations received the Academy of Management Public and Nonprofit Management’s Best Journal Article Award, and her scholarship on environmental audits received the Decision Science Institute's Distinguished Paper Award. She has served as a senior editor of Production and Operations Management and associate editor of Business & Society and Organization and Environment. She is on the Editorial Review Board of Cambridge University Press, Public Administration ReviewBusiness & SocietyOrganization & Environment, and Business Strategy and the Environment. She is a founding member of the Group of Organizations and Natural Environment (GRONEN), a network of European and North American scholars focused on organization sustainability. Prior to her career in academia she worked as an economist for the U.S. Forest Service.


  • PhD, Public Policy Analysis, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2002
  • MS, Policy Development and Program Evaluation, Vanderbilt University, 1998
  • MA, Economics, University of Texas-Arlington, 1995
  • BA, Economics, Psychology, New Mexico State University, 1991


Journal Articles


Chen, Y., S. I. Bretschneider, J. M. Stritch, N. Darnall and L. Hsueh. 2021. E-procurement system adoption in local governments: the role of procurement complexity and organizational structure. Public Management Review DOI: DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2021.1874497. (link )

Hafsa, F., N. Darnall and S. I. Bretschneider. 2021. Estimating the true size of public procurement to assess sustainability impact. Sustainability Vol. 13(No. 3):pp 1448. DOI: (link )


Hsueh, L., S. I. Bretschneider, J. M. Stritch and N. Darnall. 2020. Implementation of sustainable public procurement in local governments: a measurement approach. International Journal of Public Sector Management Vol. 33(No. 6/7):pp. 697-712. DOI: (link )

Ji, H. and N. Darnall. 2020. How do external conditions affect the design of local governments' sustainability strategies?. Regulation and Governance DOI: (link )

Stritch, J. M., S. I. Bretschneider, N. Darnall, L. Hsueh and Y. Chen. 2020. Sustainability policy objectives, centralized decision making, and efficiency in public procurement processes. Sustainability Vol. 12(No. 12):pp. 6934. DOI: (link )


Darnall, N., H. Ji and D. Vazquez-Brust. 2018. Third-party certification, sponsorship, and consumers’ ecolabel use. Journal of Business Ethics (150):pp. 953–969.

Ji, H. and N. Darnall. 2018. All are not created equal: Assessing local governments’ strategic approaches towards sustainability. Public Management Review 20(1):154-175. DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2017.1293147. (link )

Sarti, S., N. Darnall and F. Testa. 2018. Market segmentation of consumers based on their actual sustainability and health-related purchases. Journal of Cleaner Production 192(Aug):270-280. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.04.188. (link )

Stritch, J. M., N. Darnall, L. Hsueh and S. Bretschneider. 2018. Green technology firms and sustainable public purchasing. IEEE ENgineering Management Review 46(1):128-131. DOI: 10.1109/EMR.2018.2810080. (link )


Burwell, C. and N. Darnall. 2017. Want a successful sustainable purchasing policy? Six policy elements that cities should know. 45(11/12):14-15.

Darnall, N., H. Ji and M. Potoski. 2017. Institutional design of ecolabels: Sponsorship signals rule strength. Regulation & Governance 11(4):438-450. DOI: 10.1111/rego.12166. (link )

Darnall, N., J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider, L. Hsueh and W. No. 2017. How cities are addressing climate change through sustainable purchasing. Public Administration Review

Ferrón Vilchez, V., N. Darnall and J. A. Aragon-Correa. 2017. Stakeholder influences on the design of firms’ environmental practices. Journal of Cleaner Production 142(Part 4):3370-3381. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.10.129. (link )

Hsueh, L. and N. Darnall. 2017. Alternative and nonregulatory approaches to environmental governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory pp. 1-7. DOI: DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muw042.


Arimura, T. H., N. Darnall, R. Ganguli and H. Katayama. 2016. The Effect of ISO 14001 on Environmental Performance: Resolving Equivocal Findings.. Journal of Environmental Management Vol.166(15):pp.556-566. DOI: (link )

Ferrón Vilchez, V. and N. Darnall. 2016. Two are Better Than One: The Link Between Management Systems and Business Performance. Business Strategy and the Environment 25(4):221-240. DOI: 10.1002/bse.1864. (link )

Kim, Y. and N. Darnall. 2016. Business as a collaborative partner: Understanding firms’ sociopolitical support for policy format. Public Administration Review 76(2):326-337. DOI: 10.1111/puar.12463. (link )


Barnett, M. L., N. Darnall and B. W. Husted. 2015. Sustainability in constrained economic times.. Long Range Planning 48(2):63-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.lrp.2014.07.001. (link )

Darnall, N. and M. B. Milstein. 2015. Can eco-standards and certification create competitive advantage for a luxury resort? (with teaching note). The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Ecotourism and Wine 34(3):115-133.

Lin, H. and N. Darnall. 2015. Strategic alliance formation and structural configuration. Journal of Business Ethics 127(3):549-564. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2053-7. (link )


Darnall, N. and J. A. Aragon-Correa. 2014. Can ecolabels influence firms' sustainability strategy and stakeholder behavior?. Organization & Environment 27(4):319-327. DOI: 10.1177/1086026614562963. (link )

Darnall, N. and M. B. Milstein. 2014. Damaí Lovina Villas: Can eco-standards and certification create competitive advantage for a luxury resort?. Case Research Journal 34(3):1-20. (link )


Kurapatskie, B. and N. Darnall. 2013. Which corporate sustainability activities are associated with greater financial payoffs?. Business Strategy and the Environment 22(1):49-61. DOI: 10.1002/bse.1735. (link )


Darnall, N. and W. Kim. 2012. Which types of environmental management systems are related to greater environmental improvements?. Public Adminstration Review 72(3):351-365. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02503.x. (link )


Arimura, T. H., N. Darnall and H. Katayama. 2011. Is ISO 14001 a gateway to more advanced environmental actions? The case for green supply chain management. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 61(2):170-182. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2010.11.003. (link )

Puente, M., N. Darnall and R. Forkner. 2011. Assessing growers' integrated pest management adoption: Measurement problems and policy implications. Environmental Management 48(5):1013-1023.

Puente, M., N. Darnall and R. Forkner. 2011. Assessing integrated pest management adoption: measurement problems and policy implications. Environmental Management 48(5):1013-1023. DOI: (link )


Darnall, N., I. Henriques and P. Sadorsky. 2010. Adopting proactive environmental practices: The influence of stakeholders and firm size. Journal of Management Studies 47(6):1072-1094.

Darnall, N., M. Potoski and A. Prakash. 2010. Sponsorship matters: Assessing business participation in government- and industry-sponsored voluntary environmental programs. Journal of Public Adminstration Research and Theory 20(2):283-307.

Edwards Jr, D. and N. Darnall. 2010. Averting environmental justice claims? The role of environmental management systems. Public Adminstration Review 70(3):422-433. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02156.x. (link )


Darnall, N. 2009. Regulatory stringency, green production offsets, and organizations' financial performance. Public Adminstration Review 69(3):418-434. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2009.01989.x. (link )

Darnall, N., I. Seol and J. Sarkis. 2009. Perceived stakeholder influences and organizations' use of environmental audits. Accounting, Organizations and Society 34(2):170-187. (link )


Darnall, N. 2008. Addressing global environmental challenges: Using information as a novel "local" policy approach. Global Studies Review 4(3):1-3.

Darnall, N. 2008. Creating a green brand for competitive distinction. Asian Business and Management 7(4):445-466.

Darnall, N. 2008. What the federal government can do to encourage green production. The Business of Government Fall/Winter:86-89.

Darnall, N., I. Henriques and P. Sadorsky. 2008. Do environmental management systems improve business performance in an international setting?. Journal of International Management 14(4):364-376.

Darnall, N., G. J. Jolley and R. Handfield. 2008. Environmental management systems and green supply chain management: Complements for sustainability?. Business Strategy and the Environment 17(1):30-45. (link )

Darnall, N. and S. Sides. 2008. Assessing the performance of voluntary environmental programs: Does certification matter?. Policy Studies Journal 36(1):95-117.


Darnall, N. 2006. Why firms mandate ISO 14001 certification. Business and Society 45(3):354-381.

Darnall, N. and D. Edwards Jr. 2006. Predicting the cost of environmental management system adoption: The role of capabilities, resources and ownership structure. Strategic Management Journal 27(4):301-320.


Darnall, N. and J. Carmin. 2005. Greener and cleaner? The signaling accuracy of U.S. voluntary environmental programs. Policy Sciences 38(2-3):71-90.


Darnall, N. and G. J. Jolley. 2004. Involving the public: When are surveys and stakeholder interviews most effective?. Review of Policy Research 21(4):581-594.


Carmin, J., N. Darnall and J. Mil-Homens. 2003. Stakeholder involvement in the design of U.S. voluntary environmental programs: Does sponsorship matter?. Policy Studies Journal 41(4):527-543.


Darnall, N., D. R. Gallagher, R. N. Andrews and D. Amaral. 2000. Environmental management systems: Opportunities for improved environmental and business strategy. Environmental Quality Management 9(3):1-9.


Davies, S., J. Mazurek, K. McCarthy and N. Darnall. 1997. Voluntary incentives are no shortcut to pollution abatement. Resources 126:18.


Davies, S. and N. Darnall. 1996. Getting the city on the hill to shine. Resources 125:10-13.


Darnall, N., G. I. Nehman, J. W. Priest and J. Sarkis. 1994. A review of environmentally conscious manufacturing theory and practices. International Journal of Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing 3(4):49-57.

Book Chapters


Darnall, N., E. W. Welch and S. K. Cho. 2019. 30. Sustainable supply chains and regulation. Pp. 513-525 In: Sarkis, J. ed., Handbook n the Sustainable Supply Chain. Edward Elgar Publishing. DOI: 10.4337/9781786434272. ISBN: 978 1 78643 426 5.


Darnall, N., L. Hsueh, J. M. Stritch and S. I. Bretschneider. 2018. Environmental purchasing in the City of Phoenix. Pp. 485-502 In: Garren, S. and R. Brinkman eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability: Case Studies and Practical Solutions. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-3319713885.


Darnall, N., C. Ponting and D. Vazquez-Brust. 2012. Why consumers buy green. Pp. 287-308 In: Vazquez-Brust, D. and J. Sarkis eds., Green-Growth: Managing the Transition to Sustainable Capitalism. Springer. New York.

Darnall, N. and S. Sides. 2012. Assessing the performance of voluntary environmental programs: Does certification matter?. In: Georg, S. and A. J. Hoffman eds., Business and the Natural Environment. Routledge. New York, NY.


Lin, H. and N. Darnall. 2010. Strategic alliances for environmental protection. Pp. 233-246 In: Sarkis, J., J. Cordeiro and D. Vazquez-Brust eds., Facilitating Sustainable Innovation through Collaboration: A Multistakeholder Perspective. Springer. New York.


Darnall, N. and S. Sides. 2009. Do voluntary environmental programs improve performance?. Pp. 213-238 In: deLeon, P. and J. Rivera eds., Voluntary Environmental Programs: A Policy Perspective. Lexington Books. Lanham, MD.


Darnall, N., G. J. Jolley and B. Ytterhus. 2007. Understanding the relationship between a facility's environmental and financial performance. Pp. 213-259 In: Johnstone, N. ed., Environmental Policy and Corporate Behavior. Edward Elgar Pubilshing, in association with Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Northhampton, MA.


Darnall, N., I. Henriques and P. Sadorsky. 2005. An international comparison of the factors affecting environmental strategy and performance. Pp. B1-B6 In: Rowan, M. ed., Best Paper Proceedings: Sixty-Third Meeting of the Academy of Management. Academy of Management. Washington, D.C.


Darnall, N. 2003. Motivations for participating in a voluntary environmental initiative: The Mulit-state Working Group and EPA's EMS pilot program. Pp. 123-154 In: Sharma, S. and M. Starik eds., Research in Corporate Sustainability. Edward Elgar Publishing. Boston.

Darnall, N. 2003. Why firms certify to ISO 14001: An institutional and resource-based view. Pp. A1-A6 In: Nagao, D. ed., Best Paker Proceedings: Sixty First Meeting of the Academy of Management. Academy of Management. Washington, D.C.


Andrews, R. N., N. Darnall, D. R. Gallagher, S. T. Keiner, J. Feldman, M. Mitchell, D. Amaral and J. Jacoby. 2001. Environmental management systems: History, theory and implementation research. Pp. 31-62 In: Coglianese, C. and J. Nash eds., Regulation from the Inside: Can Environmental Management Systems Achieve Policy Goals?. Resources for the Future. Washington, D.C.

Darnall, N., D. R. Gallagher and R. N. Andrews. 2001. ISO 14001: Greening management systems. Pp. 178-190 In: Sarkis, J. ed., Greener Manufacturing and Operations. Greenleaf Publishing. Sheffield.

Magazine Articles


Darnall, N., J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider, L. Hsueh and W. No. 2017. Going green on purchasing: eight practices to reduce environmental impacts. Public Management Magazine. 99(8):28-29.



Blanco, A. L., D. Pérez-Castillo, B. W. Husted, J. E. Amorós, J. A. Ivy, Y. Chen, N. Darnall, J. M. Stritch and S. I. Bretschneider. 2020. Advancing Green Purchasing in Mexican Municipalities. Technológico de Monterrey, EGADE Business School and Arizona State University, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative. (link )

Lukacs de Pereny Martens, S. G., G. Schwarz, L. Carter, Y. Chen, N. Darnall, J. M. Stritch and S. I. Bretschneider. 2020. Advancing Green Purchasing in Australian Municipalities. University of New South Wales Business School, and Arizona State University, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative. (link )

Testa, F., F. Iraldo, F. Iannone, A. C. Wilkerson, Y. Chen, N. Darnall, J. M. Stritch and S. I. Bretschneider. 2020. Advancing Green Purchasing in Italian Municipalities. Sant’ Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Management, and Arizona State University, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative. (link )


Arimura, T. H., N. Darnall, T. Miyamoto and M. Nakai. 2019. Three ways Japanese Municipalities can advance green purchasing. Social Science Research Council. March, 1-4.


Darnall, N., T. H. Arimura, T. Miyamoto, J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider and L. Hsueh. 2018. Advancing Green Purchasing in Japanese Municipalities. Phoenix: Arizona State University’s Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative and Waseda University’s Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management. (link )


Darnall, N., S. I. Bretschneider, J. M. Stritch, L. Hsueh, M. Duscha and J. Iles. 2017. City of Phoenix's environmental procurement policy: Focus group findings and recommendations. Phoenix: Arizona State University, Center for Organization Research and Design.

Darnall, N., J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider, L. Hsueh, M. Duscha, J. Iles, W. No, J. Suarez and C. Burwell. 2017. Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Governments. Phoenix: Arizona State University, Center for Organization Research and Design, Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative.

Blog Posts


Bruns, E., N. Darnall, K. Flynn and A. Fox. 2021. Making government spending sustainable: protecting the environment one government purchase at a time [Blog Post]. Retrieved from link


Darnall, N., H. Ji and M. Potoski. 2018. Which eco-labels deliver what they promise? [Blog Post].

Sarti, S., N. Darnall and F. Testa. 2018. Collectivists, individualists and indifferents: What the different types of consumers mean for the market for sustainable and healthy products LSE Business Review [Blog Post].


Darnall, N., J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider, L. Hsueh and W. No. 2017. Five practices to help cities green their purchasing [Blog Post].

Darnall, N., J. M. Stritch, S. I. Bretschneider, L. Hsueh and W. No. 2017. US cities buy-green schemes reduce their environmental liabilities and costs [Blog Post].


Kim, Y. and N. Darnall. 2016. Business-government collaboration may help solve complex social issues. LSE Business Review [Blog Post].