Despite making significant strides in transforming its environmental outlook over the past few years and promoting sustainable procurement (SP) in the public sector, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is still facing serious challenges in moving up the global sustainability ranks. Thus, this study aims to assess and prioritize critical factors, including cost, organization, innovation capability, stakeholder, culture and market-related factors, and their respective sub-factors for the implementation of SP, and come up with recommendations.
This study uses the analytical hierarchy process model to prioritize the main factors and sub-factors that can critically affect the implementation of SP in the UAE public sector. Data were collected through a survey of 17 procurement experts working in procurement departments in public organizations in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The results reveal that cost is the highest ranked critical factor, followed by an organization, whereas innovation capability is the lowest ranked of the main factors. The initial cost of green products and their life-cycle cost are the most prioritized of cost factors. An individual’s commitment to change, top management support and organizational commitment are the highest-ranked sub-factors. Social awareness is the most important sub-factor among culture, and the supplier’s capability is the highest ranked sub-factor in the market.
The government should issue a standard practices handbook for SP to be used by public organizations to provide public procurers a clear method for conducting a proper cost–benefit analysis to evaluate and decide on sustainable purchases that fit the economy and society and meet the national sustainability agenda. Furthermore, additional attention needs to be paid to cultural factors such as social and environmental awareness by policymakers to succeed in achieving SP. Finally, top management and government officials must reevaluate their own personal values and commitment to sustainability issues as they participate in forming policies, rules, regulations and training programs designed for procurement managers within government organizations.
Although considerable research has been conducted on this topic, this study is unique in its presentation of a critical understanding of which factors and sub-factors are likely to significantly affect SP implementation in the UAE, which shall provide the relevant researchers and practitioners with the necessary knowledge to be ready for the changes that may lie ahead.
Al Nuaimi, B., Khan, M. and Ajmal, M. (2020), "Implementing sustainable procurement in the United Arab Emirates public sector", Journal of Public Procurement, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOPP-07-2019-0044Download as .RIS
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