Local governments play a key role in the implementation of sustainable development. Here, we investigate the factors that influence local sustainability performance. Sustainability performance is defined as a combination of both policy output and policy outcome. We then investigate how it has developed in the Netherlands and the factors that influence it. We use theoretical insights from Public Management and Policy Networks to derive an analytical model. Data are taken from a nation-wide monitoring tool to explore local sustainability performance. The study demonstrates that municipality size and network membership positively correlate with local sustainability performance. Furthermore, it turns out that the sustainability field does not attract equal attention in all areas, and that “frontrunner” local authorities are distinguished by the additional attention they pay to issues related to corporate social responsibility. Finally, methodological pitfalls were identified in the practice of local sustainability monitoring, which could help improve future research.
- Local Agenda 21
- Local sustainability performance