Green Public Procurement : Legal Instruments for Promoting Environmental Interests in the United States and European Union

Abstract: While public environmental law, regulation and governance have paved the traditional road towards environmental and natural resource protection, the pathway has been expanded to include a broader orbit of interest areas and regulatory tools in an effort to achieve sustainability. Through the lens of comparative law and policy, this thesis evaluates one such expansion of environmental law—attempts to further environmental interests through public procurement in the European Union (EU) and United States (U.S.).Green public procurement (GPP) means that when public institutions are procuring goods and services they take into account environmental costs and benefits along a product’s life cycle, with the goal of contributing to sustainable consumption and production. A product’s life cycle includes the extraction of raw materials used to make the good, production and manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, and disposal. Environmental externalities arise during a product’s life cycle that current purchase prices simply do not reflect.The aim of this thesis is to consider the space, implementation, and value of environmental requirements in public procurement, and evaluate to what extent environmental law and GPP can influence legal norms and policies promoting internal market harmonization and free market competition in the U.S. and EU. Put more succinctly, the aim is to determine the size and scope of the space for GPP in the U.S. and EU.