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Special Issue "Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Public Purchasing"

December 12, 2019

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: October 15, 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Nicole Darnall: School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 875502 Tempe, AZ, USA

Prof. Justin M. Stritch: Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University, 85004, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Prof. Stuart Bretschneider: Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University, 85004, Phoenix, AZ, USA

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ASU students partner with City of Tempe on sustainable purchasing

December 6, 2019

students in SOS/PAF 545 deliver presentationLed by Nicole Darnall, associate dean and professor of public policy and management in Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, students in SOS/PAF 545: Organizations, Sustainability and Public Policy have partnered with the City of Tempe to assist the city as it considers implementing a sustainable purchasing policy (SPP) to help it achieve its ambitious Climate Action Goals.

As part of the partnership, students from the class have spent the fall semester conducting research and working with the city’s procurement department staff and vendors to address four questions that would help the city think through its options as it considers how it might adopt an SPP:

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Darnall named National Academy of Public Administration fellow

ASU Now | September 16, 2019

Nicole DarnallThe National Academy of Public Administration has inducted Nicole Darnall, associate dean and professor in Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, into its 2019 class of fellows. Darnall is one of eight NAPA fellows from ASU. An induction into NAPA is one of the highest honors of a public administration official.

Established by Congress in 1967, the nonpartisan NAPA conducts work for federal cabinet departments and agencies, aiming to “improve governance and advance the field of public administration,” by focusing on intergovernmental evaluation, financial management, strategic planning, organization assessment, performance management and human capital.

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Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council presents SPRI with Outstanding Case Award

June 1, 2019

Members of Arizona State University’s Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative team won the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s Outstanding Case Award for their case study “Environmental Purchasing in the City of Phoenix.”

The case study by Stuart Bretschneider, Justin Stritch, Lily Hsueh and Nicole Darnall, co-founder of the SPRI, pinpoints both the facilitators and challenges of implementing an environmental purchasing policy (EPP). It also offers eight recommendations for how cities like Phoenix can integrate an EPP more fully into their existing purchasing processes.

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SPRI and EPA collaborate to launch sustainable purchasing portal

ASU Now | December 6, 2017

coins stacked with green filterArizona State University’s Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative (SPRI) is collaborating with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to launch a website that makes it easier for companies looking to make environmentally conscious purchases. is a searchable database that contains a trove of information on research articles that discuss “servicing,” a popular sustainability concept that has received a stamp of approval from the United Nations Environmental Programme.

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Meeting purchasing needs the sustainable way

ASU Now | December 5, 2017

Nicole DarnallTo help organizations interested in eco-friendly purchasing, ASU's Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency on

The website features a searchable database of research articles related to the concept of “servicizing,” which promotes a more environmentally responsible way for businesses, nonprofits, governments and individuals to meet their purchasing needs.

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SPRI helping cities become more sustainable

ASU Now | July 7, 2017

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.

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SPRI informs City of Phoenix on green purchases

ASU Now | March 4, 2017

Maroon City of Phoenix logo with birdArizona State University’s School of Public Affairs is collaborating with the City of Phoenix to help the city make more environmentally friendly purchases to reduce its impact.

The team of faculty members and researchers, led by Nicole Darnall — a senior sustainability scholar in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, associate dean of the School of Sustainability, and co-founder and team leader of the Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative — conducted focus group interviews with city procurement specialists to identify the obstacles that had stalled the plan to implement the city’s Environmental Procurement Policy. They found that there were organizational barriers in how purchasing is managed across city departments and trade-offs between purchasing criteria that compete with more eco-friendly options.

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ASU professor Nicole Darnall comments on lack of sustainable eating in the U.S.

September 30, 2014

Grocery store refrigerated aisle with packaged fruits and sandwichesSustainable Purchasing Research Initiative co-founder Nicole Darnall was interviewed for a National Geographic article, "Global Survey Says We're Eating Better, But Our Diet Is Still Unsustainable." Citing a recent Greendex survey by the National Geographic Society and consulting firm GlobeScan, the article says that while humans are eating healthier diets, they are not necessarily consuming their foods in a sustainable way.

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