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Advancing Green Purchasing in Japanese Municipalities

  • Published on April 9, 2017
Within Japan, many municipalities have struggled to implement their sustainable procurement policies. This project examines the factors facilitate/inhibit Japanese municipalities' green purchasing implementation, and the potential green purchasing has for facilitating a low greenhouse gas economy. It recommends immediate actions for local Japanese governments to improve green purchasing implementation, and offers critical policy advice on the ideal institutional arrangements for green purchasing success.
Objectives - SPRI's objectives are fourfold: 1. Develop insights about the factors facilitate/inhibit municipalities' green purchasing implementation 2. Recommend immediate actions for municipalities to improve green purchasing implementation, and offer critical policy advice on the ideal institutional arrangements for green purchasing success; 3. Deepen our understanding of green purchasing across different institutional and cultural settings. 4. Undertake policy-relevant research that addresses important sustainability concerns. A survey was developed and pilot tested in the U.S. in fall 2016. After some revision, the survey was disseminated to directors of finance, public works, and environmental departments in all U.S. cities with 50,000 residents or more. Data collection for the U.S. portion of our survey completed in April 2017. The survey was translated for dissemination to directors in 860 Japanese municipalities with 50,000 residents or more. Data collection in Japan completed in 2019. Benefits to Practice - This project will lead to recommendations for immediate actions that municipalities can undertake to facilitate their green purchasing implementation. These recommendations have been compiled in a user-friendly guidance reports (in both English and translated into Japanese) on green purchasing best practices and distributed online to local government managers, procurement officers, sustainability officers, and professional networks. Scholarly Benefits – this research study will offer insights about which factors facilitate/inhibit local SPP implementation in Japan (as compared to the U.S.), and SPPs’ potential to facilitate a low GHG economy. Project results will be developed into a series of scholarly papers. The findings will be relevant to researchers in several disciplines, including public administration, public policy, management, and environmental sciences/management. Email Dr. Nicole Darnall, project lead, at

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