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New SPRI article published in Journal of Cleaner Production: a framework for understanding sustainable public purchasing

September 29, 2022

As governments worldwide have begun embracing Sustainable Public Purchasing (SPP), researchers note that we lack a broader conceptual framework that articulates the motivations for public organizations to adopt SPP. SPRI faculty, Shirly-Ann Behravesh, Nicole Darnall, and Stuart Bretschneider address this gap by undertaking a significant literature review and content analysis to develop a cogent framework of SPP adoption. The resulting theoretical framework reveals four critical macro-themes associated with SPP adoption: capacity, culture, stakeholders, and institutional setting.

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U.S. GSA holds first Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee including SPRI co-founder as one of 28 members

September 28, 2022

Nicole Darnall, SPRI's director and co-founder, is one of 28 members selected for GSA inaugural Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee. In this AZ Central article, Joan Meiners interviewed Darnall following the committee's first meeting. The goal of the committee is to identify opportunities "for creating global change" by leveraging the spending power of of the federal government. In the article, Darnall and other key members talk about their hopes and expectations for the work that the committee will do going forward. Click here to read more.

SPRI's co-founder interviewed by AZ Central for nation's first sustainable purchasing committee

September 22, 2022

Joan Meiners from Arizona Republic interviewed SPRI co-founder Nicole Darnall about her appointment with the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) inaugural Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee. This committee will include up to 30 members  from nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and more. Darnall spoke about her expectations for the committee, "radically retraining the federal purchasing workforce, using technologies that have not been used before, reaching out to vendors and purchasing providers that we haven’t worked with previously, and this is going to require massive re-orientation." Click here to read more of the interview on AZ Central.

SPRI researchers win NSF award to study the future or work in sustainable public procurement

September 9, 2022

As the public sector constitutes the single largest marketplace across the globe, accounting for 24% of U.S. GDP, it imparts significant sustainability consequences, affecting environmental, social, and economic outcomes. The public sector also creates enormous opportunities to leverage its purchasing power to advance sustainable public procurement and sustainability in general. However, at the local level, only one-quarter of U.S. cities have adopted sustainable public procurement, and of these, only about half indicate that their efforts have been successful.

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Local government presentations by SPRI

May 31, 2022

In March 2022, SPRI faculty presented at the Utah Sustainable Purchasing Summit hosted by Utah Resource Stewardship. The State of Utah is seeking to amplify its focus on sustainable purchasing and invited SPRI to discuss different approaches to its ~100 summit attendees.

SPRI faculty also presented to the City of Scottsdale Environmental Advisory Committee in May of this year to provide information about actionable sustainable purchasing practices. The City of Scottsdale is in the process of developing their first-ever sustainability plan and is considering how sustainable purchasing may help it achieve its sustainability goals.


Public Management Research Conference paper presentation

May 28, 2022

In May 2022, then PhD student Yifan Chen presented a paper at the Public Management Research Conference in Phoenix, AZ entitled "Is technology making local governments greener and more efficient? An empirical analysis of e-procurement systems in the U.S. and Japan.” Chen discussed the growing trend for public agencies to incorporate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into their managerial routines. In the study, Chen explores how digital technologies infuse ‘green’ thinking into government purchasing and affect procurement. Drawing from nationwide surveys of public managers in 459 U.S. cities and 860 Japanese municipalities, this study compares how these relationships vary between the U.S. and Japan.

Government purchasing: sustainability’s best kept secret?

May 10, 2021

Archimedes once observed that with a long enough lever he could move the world. In the case of moving the world to a more sustainable place, government purchasing could be just what he would have ordered.

“Government is the largest buyer of goods across the globe,” Arizona State University Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative co-founder Nicole Darnall told an international audience during a Security and Sustainability Forum webinar April 22. That means, she said, that government purchasing can play a huge role in advancing sustainability around the world.

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Do multiple sustainability objectives affect the speed of local procurement processes?

April 7, 2021

Published originally in ICMA.

Researchers at Arizona State University share results on public procurement efficiency.

By Yifan Chen, Nicole Darnall, Justin Stritch, and Stuart Bretschneider of Arizona State University | Apr 5, 2021

Public procurement is the process by which governments acquire goods, services, and supplies to support essential functions. In the United States, approximately 10 percent of U.S. GDP is spent on public procurement activities, and more than 60 percent of these public procurement expenditures are occurring at the state and local level.

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Project Cities–Glendale: first round of summary reports released

August 5, 2019

Glendale Fall 2019 Final Reports

In the Fall 2018 semester, ASU Project Cities convened 47 Arizona State University students across five classes to collaborate with the City of Glendale on three unique community development projects. Following a fulfilling semester, the PC team is excited to share the completion of our Project Summary Reports which document the experience and provide a digestible, action-oriented guide to the high level strategies and recommendations posed by our students.

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Cities can make greener purchases with help of new initiative

View Source | July 6, 2017

South MountainAs local governments step to the forefront of sustainability commitment-making, a team of Arizona State University researchers – including School of Sustainability Professor Nicole Darnall – launch a project aimed at making it easier for cities to “buy green."

Called the Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative, the project was informed by survey responses from 616 government officials from 459 cities. The responses led the ASU team to create eight real-world recommendations that can be used by city officials considering environmentally-friendly products – from light bulbs to carpeting.

The tips will be disseminated in a marketing blast that will reach thousands of local governments nationwide.