The Integration of Environmental Practices and Tools in the Portuguese Local Public Administration

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The adoption of environmental practices and tools in overall management is an increasing occurrence in local public organisations. These institutions are shifting their management towards sustainability, although local governments are moving faster than other public sector levels regarding the integration of environmental and sustainability aspects in operations and strategies. The main goal of this research was to identify the environmental profile of local public administration using Portuguese municipalities as a case-study. This paper assesses how environmental and sustainability practices and tools have been adopted in this sector based on self-assessment by the local public services. To accomplish this aim, a questionnaire survey was forwarded to all of the municipalities in the country in order to identify and analyse the environmental practices in the local public sector. An aggregate evaluation of the degree of implementation of certain environmental practices was also produced based on an index that was developed based on the data obtained from ten selected environmental practices variables in the national survey. The overall results demonstrate a low adoption level of environmental practices and tools, concluding that new practices and public policies need to be adopted to invert the current trend. Nevertheless, there are positive signs of rising environmental integration and awareness, although many of the processes are in the early stages of implementation or changing. This research can support municipalities in reviewing and analysing their environmental management, assessment and communication practices to improve their environmental performance.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)20–31
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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