While the contribution of supply chain management to sustainability is receiving increasing attention in the private sector, there is still a scarcity of parallel studies of public procurement. Hence the purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which local government authorities in England use their procurement function to foster sustainable development.
The paper uses an exploratory approach. Based on a review of the existing literature, qualitative research into leading local government authorities is undertaken to draw out the multiple ways in which public procurement can support sustainable development.
At an aggregate level, local government procurers have adopted a wide range of initiatives to address all three aspects of sustainability. These are condensed into a typology of sustainable supply chain management for the public sector.
The study highlights the importance of supporting factors, like transparency, organisational culture and strategy as well as leeway in public policy, for sustainable supply chain management in the public sector.
The experience of the best practice local authorities deserves wider recognition among practitioners, policy makers and academic researchers, not least given the objective of the UK government to be among the leaders in the European Union on sustainable procurement by 2009.
The proposed typology of sustainable supply chain management for the public sector can serve as a basis for future research in this area.
Preuss, L. (2009), "Addressing sustainable development through public procurement: the case of local government", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 213-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540910954557Download as .RIS
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