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Italian textiles and clothing multinationals,

Certification programs measure a range of environmental, socio-cultural and economic equity issues related to businesses activities, to their products/services and to the community and physical/natural context (Honey & Rome, 2001). Many certification programs have been promoted by different organizations at an international level, and today there are more than 50 certification and labeling schemes. Programs have been created for accommodation, bathing establishments, food service providers, tour operators and intermediators, managers of protected areas, local authorities governing a specific tourism destination, etc. Some of these standards have been specifically developed for the tourism sector; others refer to organizations in general, and can be adopted by public and private organizations that manage tourism-related issues. Compliance with the sustainability standard/performance of a specific organization is verified by a third independent body. The conformity is evaluated according to indicators and procedures established by the scheme and, if successful, the organization obtains the certificate and the right to use a specific logo. This recognition is useful to inform all external stakeholders that the organization has met the specific criteria established within the standard. To be credible, these programs are based on third-party audits, characterized by specific check criteria and operational guidelines. The auditor should also not have any conflict of interest, and the indicators adopted should be generally recognized as representative of specific sustainability performances. Table 1 reports widely diffused sustainability certification schemes and labels. These are all schemes characterized by rigorous systems of accreditation and control.