The aim of this paper is to identify (1) the categories in which it is easier or more difficult for local municipalities to implement green purchasing and (2) the role and extent of green purchasing policy (GPP) in promoting green purchasing. To characterize the green purchasing potential of different categories, we examine the green purchasing rate, or the ratio of green products/services to total products/services purchased, of 21 categories of items. We employ data from a unique survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, which provides data on green procurement in municipalities. We observe that air conditioners suffer from low green purchasing rates, whereas most municipalities purchase green products in the paper products and stationery categories. We also examine the relationship between green purchasing rates and GPPs to identify the role and extent of GPPs. Our regression analyses reveal that the presence of a GPP is associated with higher implementation and measurement rates of green purchasing. This pattern is particularly evident for the categories in which many municipalities without GPPs purchase green products but, in most cases, do not measure their green purchasing rate.
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