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Procurement is a vital activity of all levels of government. Technological innovations in public procurement such as purchasing cards (P-cards) and e-technology have made public procurement more efficient and have been oft-studied. However, social innovations, like environmentally preferable procurement (EPP), have not been widely examined for either their antecedents or outcomes. The purpose of this study is to assess how prevalent green procurement practices are in American counties and to try to identify some of the antecedents associated with environmentally preferable purchasing. One hundred and seventy four American counties were randomly selected based upon population and their websites were reviewed according to an index that recorded evidence of green purchasing practices, including having a written green purchasing policy, using eco-labels and/or green specifications in their bids, and whether or not they communicate a preference for green products to their vendors. This information was regressed against factors such as population, wealth, environmental interest group presence, membership in professional organizations, and whether or not the county has a sustainability office. The findings indicate that population, wealth, interest group presence, and having a sustainability office are all significantly and positively associated with green purchasing practices. The study also revealed that, while antecedents could be identified, the average county in this study had less than one item on the index. The implication is that there are still barriers to green purchasing practices that may only be fully understood through qualitative methods.
A Dissertation submitted to Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
W. Earle Klay, Professor Directing Dissertation; Larry Giunipero, University Representative; Frances Berry, Committee Member; Ralph Brower, Committee Member; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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