SPRI helping cities become more sustainable

Phoenix skyline at sunsetA team of researchers at Arizona State University have launched a project to make it easier for cities to “buy green.” The “Advancing Green Purchasing in Local Governments” initiative is based on a survey of more than 600 government officials representing 459 cities. To construct the survey, the researchers met with 14 purchasing officers from the City of Phoenix and used their feedback to compile the questions that would be asked. An analysis of the survey results then led the experts to generate several actionable recommendations that would help city officials increase their eco-friendly purchases. The plan is to broadcast the recommendations in a wide marketing push that will reach thousands of local governments nationwide. The project was funded by the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to “support the transition to a more environmentally resilient planet.” According to Nicole Darnall, one of the researchers on the project and co-founder of ASU's Sustainable Research Purchasing Initiative, the organization was keen on outreach as they “wanted to change the way local government purchasing works.” The initiative includes a website with the full report and recommendations, a podcast, videos and a social media campaign to spread the word around the nation. The other researchers are Justin Stritch, an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs; Stuart Bretschneider, Foundation Professor of organization design and public administration and director of research of the Center for Organization Research and Design; and Lily Hsueh, assistant professor of public policy and economics in the School of Public Affairs.