Matching Items (15)

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How Local Governments and their Vendors Influence Sustainable Purchasing Policy Success

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This research seeks to identify key influencers on a relatively new type of policy instrument, the Sustainable Purchasing Policy, in the local government context. Specifically, we analyze how vendor relationships and organizational capacity affect perceived Sustainable Purchasing Policy success. Using

This research seeks to identify key influencers on a relatively new type of policy instrument, the Sustainable Purchasing Policy, in the local government context. Specifically, we analyze how vendor relationships and organizational capacity affect perceived Sustainable Purchasing Policy success. Using statistical analysis on a nationally distributed survey to city directors as well as interviews with city purchasing agents, we are able to identify what factors are likely to lead to successful policy implementation. Our findings show that cities benefit from their vendors providing reliable information regarding sustainable offerings, that vendors offering sustainable goods need superior technical capabilities to compete in a cost-driven environment, and that purchasing agents require support from a city’s top management if they want to successfully implement sustainable purchasing. Future avenues for research are discussed.

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2020-05

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Sustainability Assessment of a Local Coffee Shop

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Derived from the idea that the utilization of sustainable practices could improve small business practice, this honors thesis offers a full business assessment and recommendations for improvements of a local, family-owned coffee shop, Gold Bar. A thorough analysis of the

Derived from the idea that the utilization of sustainable practices could improve small business practice, this honors thesis offers a full business assessment and recommendations for improvements of a local, family-owned coffee shop, Gold Bar. A thorough analysis of the shop's current business practices and research on unnecessary expenses and waste guides this assessment.

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2015-05

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Tossing Out the Waste: An Exploration of Sustainable Solutions for an Arizona Restaurant

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The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the skills to approach and consult with business owners and staff

The goal of this project is to gain and use knowledge of sustainability topics as a value-adding function for a business in the Tempe, AZ area and to develop the skills to approach and consult with business owners and staff about sustainable business options. Sustainability searches for a balance between society, economy and the environment where all three can thrive; therefore, the ideal project partner was a business that values the wellbeing of mankind, is locally owned and operated and promotes environmental stewardship. The Original Chop Shop Co in Tempe Arizona was appropriately selected. Throughout the duration of our partnership, I observed their daily routine, interviewed employees and managers and used the collected information to identify three areas of focus that have the largest potential to reduce The Original Chop Shop Company's impact on the environment. Information on the areas of recycling, composting, and food sourcing was researched and synthesized to make suggestions for ecofriendly changes to business practices. The scope of the project includes small changes in daily practices such as implementing a recycling and composting program and employee training sessions and minor investments such as purchasing a micro washer and silverware in order to eliminate nonrenewable plastic utensils. The scope does not include major renovations or investments in technology. The suggestions offered position The Original Chop Shop to conduct business in a way that does not compromise the health of the environment, society, or economy.

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2015-05

Elements of Sustainable Purchasing Policy That Relate to Implementation Success

Description

Sustainable purchasing has become and increasingly salient way by which local governments can decrease their resource consumptions, while also addressing broader climate action goals. Successfully implemented sustainable purchasing policies have the potential to reduce consumption and waste, expand green purchasing

Sustainable purchasing has become and increasingly salient way by which local governments can decrease their resource consumptions, while also addressing broader climate action goals. Successfully implemented sustainable purchasing policies have the potential to reduce consumption and waste, expand green purchasing markets, and catalyze spillover benefits such as financial savings. Furthermore, city-level actions have become increasingly significant as the federal government ceases critical climate research and pulls out of collaborative climate deals (i.e. The Paris Climate Accord). Using data from the Sustainable Purchasing Researching Initiative at Arizona State University’s Center for Organization Research and Design, as well as qualitative policy analyses, the author investigates the elements of a city’s sustainable purchasing policy (SPP) that are related to its implementation success. Furthermore, the author compares these initial findings to the case study of Phoenix, AZ where she explores whether these elements are also present in the City of Phoenix’s sustainable purchasing policy. The author finds that six key policy elements are generally associated with higher SPP implementation success rates — mandatory requirements, accountability, multi-level governance, vendors requirements, advocacy, and continual improvement. While additional policy elements undoubtedly play a role in the successful implementation of a SPP, the author concludes cities that incorporate these specific elements are better positioned for successful and sustainable implementation. Conclusions further show that the City of Phoenix’s 2007 EPP contained only two of these policy elements. As a result of this project and the author’s work with the City, the 2017 revised SPP incorporates all six policy elements.

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2017-12-01

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How is E-Procurement Related to the Success of U.S. Cities’ Sustainable Purchasing Policies?

Description

Sustainable purchasing policies and e-procurement are both fast becoming popular topics across city governments in the United States. As these two relatively new initiatives meet, the relationship they share has some promising implications that have gone mostly unexplored until now.

Sustainable purchasing policies and e-procurement are both fast becoming popular topics across city governments in the United States. As these two relatively new initiatives meet, the relationship they share has some promising implications that have gone mostly unexplored until now. E-procurement systems have gained a reputation of being one of the most effective ways to advance sustainable purchasing goals, but the belief alone may not be enough to create director-level buy-in throughout city governments. The possible link between these two tools was identified while working with the City of Phoenix’s Office of Environmental Programs. While helping them integrate sustainability considerations into their procurement process, it was noticed that e-procurement systems typically facilitated many of the obstructions the department faced and that there could be a positive relationship between their already existing e-procurement system and their sustainable purchasing policy. To investigate this relationship deeper, a survey of city government procurement was sent to 1,845 directors from Finance, Public Works, and Environmental departments across 791 U.S. cities. These decision-makers answered questions relating to their assessment of how sustainable purchasing policies are implemented and the extent to which their city uses an e-procurement system. Tests of independence were then performed to determine if a relationship between different e-procurement activities and perceived success of cities’ sustainable purchasing policies existed. Results show that the use of an environmentally friendly database of products and services in a city’s e-procurement system is the single most important e-procurement pursuit cities can undertake to influence the opinions that city managers have regarding the success of their sustainable purchasing policy. By understanding this connection, The City of Phoenix and other cities facing the same challenges are able to develop best practices to leverage e-procurement for purchasing sustainably and fully implementing their sustainable purchasing policies.

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2017-04-17

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Effects of Framing on Public Support for Pro-Environmental Policies

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This thesis examines how the wording of proposed government policies can affect the level of public support that a given policy generates. By surveying 158 Phoenix residents, I tested the differing degrees of support that voters would have for a

This thesis examines how the wording of proposed government policies can affect the level of public support that a given policy generates. By surveying 158 Phoenix residents, I tested the differing degrees of support that voters would have for a proposed city ordinance, which would stop Homeowners' Associations from restricting the use of native desert plants in residential landscaping. The ordinance was framed in the survey as a self-governance issue or a water conservation issue. I found that the message frames had little effect on the overall level of support for the ordinance, since most residents had moderate support for the policy. However, participants who were either residents of Homeowners' Associations that did not have native plant restrictions, or native residents of Arizona, demonstrated greater levels of support for the self-determination frame of the proposed ordinance. These findings have implications for policy makers who use targeted messages to establish pro-environmental policies at the local level.

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2013-05

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Assessing the impact of Endangered Species Act recovery planning guidelines on managing threats for listed species

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Since its inception in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has been met with both praise and criticism. More than 40 years later, the Act is still polarizing, with proponents applauding its power to protect species and critics arguing against its

Since its inception in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has been met with both praise and criticism. More than 40 years later, the Act is still polarizing, with proponents applauding its power to protect species and critics arguing against its perceived ineffectiveness and potential mismanagement. Recovery plans, which were required by the 1988 amendments to the Act, play an important role in organizing efforts to protect and recover species under the Act. In 1999, in an effort to evaluate the process, the Society for Conservation Biology commissioned an independent review of endangered species recovery planning. From these findings, the SCB made key recommendations for how management agencies could improve the recovery planning process, after which the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service redrafted their recovery planning guidelines. One important recommendation called for recovery plans to make threats a primary focus, including organizing and prioritizing recovery tasks for threat abatement. Here, I seek to determine the extent to which SCB recommendations were incorporated into these new guidelines, and if, in turn, the recommendations regarding threats manifested in recovery plans written under the new guidelines. I found that the guidelines successfully incorporated most SCB recommendations, except those that addressed monitoring. As a result, recent recovery plans have improved in their treatment of threats, but still fail to adequately incorporate threat monitoring. This failure suggests that developing clear guidelines for monitoring should be an important priority in future ESA recovery planning.

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2014

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Developing anticipatory life cycle assessment tools to support responsible innovation

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Several prominent research strategy organizations recommend applying life cycle assessment (LCA) early in the development of emerging technologies. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council, the Department of Energy, and the National Nanotechnology Initiative identify

Several prominent research strategy organizations recommend applying life cycle assessment (LCA) early in the development of emerging technologies. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council, the Department of Energy, and the National Nanotechnology Initiative identify the potential for LCA to inform research and development (R&D) of photovoltaics and products containing engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). In this capacity, application of LCA to emerging technologies may contribute to the growing movement for responsible research and innovation (RRI). However, existing LCA practices are largely retrospective and ill-suited to support the objectives of RRI. For example, barriers related to data availability, rapid technology change, and isolation of environmental from technical research inhibit application of LCA to developing technologies. This dissertation focuses on development of anticipatory LCA tools that incorporate elements of technology forecasting, provide robust explorations of uncertainty, and engage diverse innovation actors in overcoming retrospective approaches to environmental assessment and improvement of emerging technologies. Chapter one contextualizes current LCA practices within the growing literature articulating RRI and identifies the optimal place in the stage gate innovation model to apply LCA. Chapter one concludes with a call to develop anticipatory LCA – building on the theory of anticipatory governance – as a series of methodological improvements that seek to align LCA practices with the objectives of RRI.

Chapter two provides a framework for anticipatory LCA, identifies where research from multiple disciplines informs LCA practice, and builds off the recommendations presented in the preceding chapter. Chapter two focuses on crystalline and thin film photovoltaics (PV) to illustrate the novel framework, in part because PV is an environmentally motivated technology undergoing extensive R&D efforts and rapid increases in scale of deployment. The chapter concludes with a series of research recommendations that seek to direct PV research agenda towards pathways with the greatest potential for environmental improvement.

Similar to PV, engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are an emerging technology with numerous potential applications, are the subject of active R&D efforts, and are characterized by high uncertainty regarding potential environmental implications. Chapter three introduces a Monte Carlo impact assessment tool based on the toxicity impact assessment model USEtox and demonstrates stochastic characterization factor (CF) development to prioritize risk research with the greatest potential to improve certainty in CFs. The case study explores a hypothetical decision in which personal care product developers are interested in replacing the conventional antioxidant niacinamide with the novel ENM C60, but face high data uncertainty, are unsure regarding potential ecotoxicity impacts associated with this substitution, and do not know what future risk-relevant experiments to invest in that most efficiently improve certainty in the comparison. Results suggest experiments that elucidate C60 partitioning to suspended solids should be prioritized over parameters with little influence on results. This dissertation demonstrates a novel anticipatory approach to exploration of uncertainty in environmental models that can create new, actionable knowledge with potential to guide future research and development decisions.

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Date Created
2016

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LCA and responsible innovation of nanotechnology

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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful framework for environmental decision making because the broad boundaries called for prevent shifting of burden from one life-cycle phase to another. Numerous experts and policy setting organizations call for the application of LCA

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful framework for environmental decision making because the broad boundaries called for prevent shifting of burden from one life-cycle phase to another. Numerous experts and policy setting organizations call for the application of LCA to developing nanotechnologies. Early application of LCA to nanotechnology may identify environmentally problematic processes and supply chain components before large investments contribute to technology lock in, and thereby promote integration of environmental concerns into technology development and scale-up (enviro-technical integration). However, application of LCA to nanotechnology is problematic due to limitations in LCA methods (e.g., reliance on data from existing industries at scale, ambiguity regarding proper boundary selection), and because social drivers of technology development and environmental preservation are not identified in LCA. This thesis proposes two methodological advances that augment current capabilities of LCA by incorporating knowledge from technical and social domains. Specifically, this thesis advances the capacity for LCA to yield enviro-technical integration through inclusion of scenario development, thermodynamic modeling, and use-phase performance bounding to overcome the paucity of data describing emerging nanotechnologies. With regard to socio-technical integration, this thesis demonstrates that social values are implicit in LCA, and explores the extent to which these values impact LCA practice and results. There are numerous paths of entry through which social values are contained in LCA, for example functional unit selection, impact category selection, and system boundary definition - decisions which embody particular values and determine LCA results. Explicit identification of how social values are embedded in LCA promotes integration of social and environmental concerns into technology development (socio-enviro-technical integration), and may contribute to the development of socially-responsive and environmentally preferable nanotechnologies. In this way, tailoring LCA to promote socio-enviro-technical integration is a tangible and meaningful step towards responsible innovation processes.

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Date Created
2013

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The interpersonal determinants of green purchasing: an assessment of the empirical record

Description

This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical

This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical evidence when applied to GPB. First, a qualitative assessment of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Norm Activation Theory (NAT), and Value-Belief-Norm Theory (VBN) is conducted to evaluate a) how well the phenomenon and concepts in each theory match the characteristics of pro-environmental behavior and b) how well the assumptions made in each theory match common assumptions made in purchasing theory. Second, a quantitative assessment of these three theories is conducted in which r2 values and methodological parameters (e.g., sample size) are collected from a sample of 21 empirical studies on GPB to evaluate the accuracy and generalize-ability of empirical evidence. In the qualitative assessment, the results show each theory has its advantages and disadvantages. The results also provide a theoretically-grounded roadmap for modifying each theory to be more suitable for GPB research. In the quantitative assessment, the TPB outperforms the other two theories in every aspect taken into consideration. It proves to 1) create the most accurate models 2) be supported by the most generalize-able empirical evidence and 3) be the most attractive theory to empiricists. Although the TPB establishes itself as the best foundational theory for an empiricist to start from, it's clear that a more comprehensive model is needed to achieve consistent results and improve our understanding of GPB. NAT and the Theory of Interpersonal Behavior (TIB) offer pathways to extend the TPB. The TIB seems particularly apt for this endeavor, while VBN does not appear to have much to offer. Overall, the TPB has already proven to hold a relatively high predictive value. But with the state of ecosystem services continuing to decline on a global scale, it's important for models of GPB to become more accurate and reliable. Better models have the capacity to help marketing professionals, product developers, and policy makers develop strategies for encouraging consumers to buy green products.

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Date Created
2012