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SPRI has developed numerous educational materials to help local governments advance their sustainable purchasing.

We support research projects and partnerships that focus on addressing sustainable purchasing challenges. SPRI has studied thousands of local governments’ and individuals’ purchasing activities across the world to develop use-inspired solutions.

United States

Advancing green purchasing in local governments

USA CoverWhile 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, green purchasing policies have not reached their potential to help local governments mitigate their environmental impacts. These are significant concerns that the United Nations Environmental Programme, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) and others suggest must be resolved if we are to move toward an environmentally sustainable economy.

Researchers at the Arizona State University (ASU) Center for Organization Research and Design (CORD) have sought to address green purchacsing issues with the assistance of a grant from the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation. The survey generated 616 individual responses from 459 cities of 25,000 residents or more.

Our extensive report will help you understand what works for U.S. cities that have implemented sustainable purchasing.

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Outreach tools

  • Executive Summary – Don’t have time to read SPRI’s U.S. report, Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Goverments? Read the executive summary.
  • Podcast – Listen to SPRI co-founders, Nicole Darnall and Justin M. Stritch, talk about why sustainable purchasing is important.
  • Video tips — Our video tips provide a quick way to learn more about our eight recommendations to help local governments advance their green purchasing.
  • Slide deck — Review a visual representation of the key findings in Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Governments.
  • Webinar — View our webinar with the Alliance for Innovation that summarizes our key findings in Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Governments.

Blog posts

The following short articles summarize key findings in SPRI’s research. They are written for managers local governments and business to help them enhance their sustainable purchasing activities.

Case studies

SPRI interviewed 14 City of Phoenix purchasing specialists to develop recommendations for the nation’s fifth-largest city to further advance its green purchasing efforts.

  • Book Chapter – Environmental purchasing in the City of Phoenix
  • Report – City of Phoenix’s environmental procurement policy: Focus group findings and recommendations

U.S. Survey documents

SPRI surveyed 1,825 directors in nearly 800 cities. The documents below are the background materials for this survey, including our summary report, implementation protocol, codebook, and key stakeholders that we engaged.