Sustainability Science Program

Margherita Vitale

Margherita Vitale

Margherita VitaleMs. Margherita Vitale
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 504 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-495-1417
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow

Margherita Vitale is a Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program. She is advisor at the Italian Ministry for the Environment working in the Italian Environmental Footprint Program, that partners with 250 private companies. Her research focuses on the product’s environmental transparency as a tool for sustainable development and competitiveness. In Europe different approaches to regulate and boost green claims have been adopted by different governments and by the European Commission. This research will analyze the development potential in Brazil, in particular in the textile and apparel industry and determine what policy support is needed to contribute to its implementation. Margherita has collaborated with Italy’s Ministry for the Environment for the last 15 years, working as an Italian delegate in many negotiations for sustainable development (UNFCCC, UNCCD, G8, G20, ASEM, GBEP, OECD, WSSD) and coordinating bilateral and multilateral environmental cooperation projects in China, Iraq, Brazil and the Caribbean region. Margherita was Program Manager in UNDP Cuba for a regional initiative to build capacity in climate change adaptation and Corporate and Social Responsibility expert in a two years project to strengthen the good practice governance of the public service companies in Perù, Ecuador and Bolivia financed by the Corporaciòn Andina de Fomento. Margherita holds a bachelor degree in political science from the University La Sapienza in Rome and a Master in Environmental Governance from University of La Tuscia. Her faculty host is William Clark.

Green claims for sustainable development, innovation and competitiveness: Potential development in the Brazilian apparel industry
This project asks if there is a potential market for green claims in Brazil looking in particular at the textile and apparel industry and what government can do to support the creation of this market?

The debate over the issue of sustainable business suggests the “green path” as a possible new market opportunity and as a tool for innovation and sustainable development. In Europe many different approaches have been adopted to boost green claims, including eco-labeling, certification, standards, and transparency. The research will analyze schemes for green claims developed in Europe. It will highlight, through specific case studies, how green claims can both increase international competitiveness of products and contribute to sustainable development. It will then analyze the potential market development of green claims in Brazil, with a focus in the textile and apparel industry. This is a sector of great relevance for the Brazilian economy, and has strong social impact as it the second largest employer in the country and the fourth largest exporter in the world.

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