Greening Of Public Administration As A Necessary Factor Of Sustainable Development


New circumstances of management contour ask new approaches for the realizing management activity. Nowadays as never problem of optimization public administration’s principals is very actual. New challenges as ecological problems demonstrate cogently that ecological principal has to became new rule of state management. In the mean time it’s substance stays indefinite which makes its practice realization difficult. Authors offer own vision of ecological tenet’s essence. Apparently the complex of eco-measures doesn’t have to run out of setting rules for the economic actors. Government sector must demonstrate illustration and example of reasonable consumption using its influence to persuade others in the appropriateness of the changes necessary to reduce human impact on the environment. Authors make an attempt to answer the question what steps take states for the practical implementation of the management ecological principal. Authors analyze exterior experience in sphere of ecologic in public management and they come to a conclusion that state administration in Russia needs to work out strategic document providing for measures of public politics in the field of greening public administration. In modern conditions rational use of natural resources is necessary requirement for the all institutions aimed at sustainable development. This is especially true for the public sector’s organization in so far as they have to combine solving ecological problems with economic progress and social welfare.

Keywords: Ecologicalgreeningprinciples of public administrationpublic administrationrules of state management


Climate change caused by anthropogenic impact, widespread pollution of Russian territories, violations in the sphere of waste management require special attention of the state to environmental issues, since these processes directly affect the quality of life of the population. Today there is no doubt that “developing socio-economic systems ensuring high quality of life and sustaining environmental impacts in line with nature’s carrying capacity should be perceived as the contemporary societal goal” (Mont & Plepys, 2008, p. 536). The annual report on global risks prepared by experts of the world economic forum, among the long-term threats dominated by risks related to the environment. The document describes five environmental risks: “biodiversity loss, extreme weather events, man-made and natural disasters, failure to prevent and adapt to climate change” (Marsh, 2019), and all of them fell into the category of “very dangerous and highly probable” (Marsh, 2019). These problems are now a serious obstacle to sustainable development. Public authorities should take an active part in the management of these risks, and this task is faced by authorities at all levels. Thus, “the common rules for risk management and regulation should be made at the highest political governance level possible, but implementation and control should be organised at the lowest level reasonable” (Aven & Ortwin, 2018, p. 236).

The scientific community and practitioners should understand the role that public authorities can play in promoting sustainable development. It is impossible to achieve sustainable development solely through the actions of citizens and organizations: government intervention is important not only to organize the appropriate discussion, but also to regulate the processes of greening.

Problem Statement

Today it is obvious that sustainable development is impossible without conscious actions of public authorities, especially in countries with a high share of the public sector in the structure of the economy. These States include Russia. This circumstance necessitates the introduction of egocentric approaches in the management of state and municipal property, the implementation of economic activities. New challenges in the form of environmental problems (some of which are described above) clearly demonstrate that the principle of greening should become a new principle of public administration. Meanwhile, its content remains uncertain, which makes its practical implementation difficult.

Research Questions

It is necessary to answer the following questions:

3.1. what should be understood by the principle of greening of public administration?

3.2. what measures are taken by the state in modern conditions for the practical implementation of the principle of greening of public administration?

3.3. what are the positive effects of the introduction of this principle?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to reveal the essence of the principle of greening of public administration.

Research Methods

The authors used methods traditionally used for social and humanitarian research, combined with a systematic approach. At different stages of the work, formal logical methods (analysis, synthesis, deduction, induction), methods of comparative analysis, methods of systematization and classification were used. The comparative legal method allowed to compare some aspects of regulation of greening of public administration in different States. The formal legal method was used in the consideration of normative legal acts that determine the procedure for the implementation of this principle.


The term “principle” in relation to public administration should be understood as a basic fundamental principle that reflects the most fundamental laws of public administration. Such a guiding position in modern conditions, of course, is greening.

The need to integrate this guideline into the system of principles of public administration is due to the fact that the state and municipal authorities are the largest buyers of services and goods in the country (in Russia, according to the Federal Antimonopoly service, the volume of purchases for public needs reached 25% of GDP (Vestifinance, 2016). These figures show that the state has a significant purchasing power, and therefore can affect the improvement of the environmental situation.

A positive example of the implementation of the principle of greening is demonstrated by the UK Government, which adopted the program document “Greening of state obligations 2016-2020”. The UK government intends to reduce the impact on the environment. The analysis of the document shows that the UK public administration should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve waste management, reduce water consumption, implement environmental standards in the public procurement system. Separately, the requirement to implement a policy of openness and transparency in the framework of greening (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, 2016).

It is a good practice to publish annual reports with the results achieved in the implementation of the greening principle. Thus, the 2017-2018 report States that “in 2017/18, the government reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 39% and waste by 40% compared to the 2009/10 baseline. Departments made 28% fewer domestic flights and used 10% less water. They recycled 60% of the waste” (Annual Report, 2019). The paper also notes the economic feasibility of an ecocentric approach in public administration: total savings through reduced energy, waste and water consumption are estimated at nearly £ 150 million (Annual Report, 2019).

In 2014, Spain adopted a corporate social responsibility Strategy (the “Strategy”). The document applies to both public and private organizations. One of the directions of the Strategy is called “Respect for the environment”. It combines measures aimed at fostering respect for the environment through the implementation of actions related to the control and responsible consumption of natural resources, minimizing the impact on the environment and promoting environmental technologies. In 2018 Spain has adopted a seven-year public procurement plan for the General public administration, its Autonomous institutions and social security agencies (2018-2025). The plan is designed to facilitate the acquisition of goods, works and services by public authorities with minimal impact on the environment; to serve as an impulse force of the Spanish circular economy strategy, low-carbon, resource-efficient, waste-free, environmentally friendly and innovative; support concrete measures aimed at achieving reasonable, sustainable and inclusive growth, while ensuring a more rational and economic use of public funds, both from an investment and an operational point of view (Order PCI/86/2019, 2018).

It is advisable to refer to the practice of public administration in Ireland, which has developed and approved a set of regulations to improve the efficiency of the use of resources in the public sector (Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment, 2019). Greening of the public sector is associated with a reduction in the production of plastics, the implementation of “green” public procurement, reduction of non-recyclable waste.

It seems axiomatic that public authorities in modern conditions should build economic policy in the context of sustainable development. The set of measures for greening should not be limited to the establishment of rules for the rest of the economy, the public sector should demonstrate an example of reasonable consumption, using its influence to convince others of the appropriateness of the changes necessary to reduce the anthropogenic impact on the environment.

The role of the state in the sharing economy should be further explored. The state, as it is correctly noted in the literature, within the framework of the economy of joint consumption assumes the role of the customer, service provider, organizer of the platform, regulatory body (Hofmann, Sæbø, Braccini, & Za, 2019). The positive environmental effect is obvious: the use of models of the economy of joint consumption for public purposes allows to increase the life cycle of the goods. Thus, the state limits consumption and, as a consequence, reduces the amount of resources associated with the production, transportation, utilization or processing of new goods.

The literature also rightly points out that one of the mechanisms of sustainable development is public procurement. It is clear that “combining elements of economic efficiency, social security and environmental safety, procurement solves the problem of sustainable development” (Shadrina & Romodina, 2017, p. 165). It seems that measures to introduce environmental standards into the contract system are a necessary factor in the greening of public administration.

Authorities face serious obstacles to the implementation of sustainable consumption measures. Researchers analyzing sustainable consumption at the local level identified the following obstacles: “funding; staff capacity, knowledge or data; lack of flexibility and lock-in to the status quo; lack of guidance or political will; administrative burdens; and lack of regulatory powers or tools” (Dawkins, André, Axelsson, Benoist, Gerger, & Persson, 2019). With a certain degree of conditionality, it can be argued that these obstacles are faced by authorities at all levels. In this regard, among the recommendations for public administration should include the need for cooperation with the academic environment (Matei & Băieşiu, 2014, p. 686). Reliance on scientific developments of ecologists, economists, theorists of public administration, lawyers will allow to make decisions that meet the principle of greening. The use of academic achievements is a factor contributing to overcoming obstacles to sustainable development.


These examples from foreign practice of public administration point to the need to develop and adopt in the Russian Federation a strategic planning document providing for measures of state policy in the field of greening of public administration. It is necessary to accumulate in this act measures to limit the use of plastic products for public purposes, reduce the consumption of natural resources by the state apparatus, improve the management of solid waste. It makes sense to adopt similar documents in the subjects of the Russian Federation, taking into account their regional specifics (for example, to provide for the use of light batteries for administrative buildings in the southern regions).

Taking into account the significant volume of purchases for public needs in the GDP structure, it is necessary to continue the introduction of the concept of greening in the Federal contract system of Russia. To this end, public procurement legislation should include requirements for public authorities to purchase goods, works and services with minimal impact on the environment.

Thus, the introduction of the principle of greening in the activities of public administration is inevitable.

In modern conditions, the rational use of natural resources is a mandatory requirement for all organizations aimed at sustainable development. This is particularly true of public sector organizations, as they must combine environmental concerns with economic development and social well-being.


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31 December 2019

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Avdeev, D. A., Baranova, A. F., & Pogodina*, I. V. (2019). Greening Of Public Administration As A Necessary Factor Of Sustainable Development. In I. O. Petrovna (Ed.), Project Management in the Regions of Russia, vol 77. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 863-868). Future Academy.