Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 197–219 | Cite as

Examining green public procurement using content analysis: existing difficulties for procurers and useful recommendations

  • Francesco Testa
  • Paolo Grappio
  • Natalia M. Gusmerotti
  • Fabio Iraldo
  • Marco Frey


Green public procurement (GPP) promises great potential for improving the environmental impact of many public organizations. However, the effects this instrument will have in the near future are unclear as there is little evidence on its exact level of engagement. This study thus aims to analyze the contents of tenders in terms of green criteria by specifically focusing on the building and construction sector. A total of 164 Italian public tenders were analyzed according to a protocol of analysis based on the GPP toolkit developed by the European Commission. Starting from a content analysis used in previous studies, a complete list of green criteria was developed in order to investigate their prevalence in the sample selected, with the aim of exploring their frequency, distribution and correlation. The results revealed a limited use of green criteria, which were mainly included as technical specifications and award criteria, thus shedding light on the difficulties that procurers are experiencing in the implementation of GPP practices. Several suggestions for policy makers and managers are identified for a better and faster implementation of green public procurement tools and methods.


Environmental policy Public procurement Green criteria Content analysis Green tender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Testa
    • 1
  • Paolo Grappio
    • 1
  • Natalia M. Gusmerotti
    • 1
  • Fabio Iraldo
    • 1
  • Marco Frey
    • 1
  1. 1.Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Institute of ManagementPisaItaly

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