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environmental and social aspects

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. Beyond the interest to contribute actively to sustainable development, there are several economic reasons for formalizing an environmental commitment and obtaining a certification. First, research has demonstrated that certifications are useful for teaching entrepreneurs/managers about sustainability in their operations, supporting them in the changes they need to make to their businesses (Graci & Dodds, 2015). Certification also tends to reduce operating costs, by optimizing energy and resource use (Font et al., 2003). Certifications stimulate the continuous improvement in performance, which leads to considerable reductions of costs of utilities (water, electricity, fossil fuels), maintaining the high quality of services