The penultimate day of Nova SBE Sustainability Journey took place this Thursday, at the Carcavelos campus. The more than ten moments of sharing and reflection were based on the same motto: we must join efforts to ensure a more sustainable society and implement a radical change in organizations.

We leave you with some highliths from this Thursday's sessions:


"The future of work? Let's do it together!"

The first session of the day featured Paula Marques, Director for Business Transformation at Nova SBE Executive Education, and Katrien Buys, Director of Strategy, Innovation & Sustainability at Ageas Portugal Group, in a debate on the future of work. Both agreed that, whatever the next steps, organisations will need to adopt two principles: collaboration and change.

"Whatever you do, don't leave anyone behind", Paula Marques started by saying, adding that a systemic change is needed in the way we teach and learn the relevant skills for the jobs of the future - because all workers will need transversality and flexibility. In addition to these two characteristics, they will need to be open to a diversity of ideas, to achieve better results and greater growth: "We have to hire people who think differently from us. Changing opinions is called learning".

Katrien Buys defended that in organisations there should be a behaviour that she called "radical collaboration": "Alone we know nothing. The key is what the collective can do to solve the great questions of humanity".


"Strict compliance with the law is not enough"

"Sometimes there is a certain tendency for clients to want to know what they are obliged to. Strict compliance with the law is not enough," said Assunção Cristas, Head of the Environment Practice Area and ESG Integrated Services Platform at VdA and Professor at Nova School of Law, sharing the stage in the debate on Governance, Ethics and Legal, with Duarte Pitta Ferraz and Duarte J. Pitta Ferraz, both lecturers at Nova SBE.

Assunção Cristas also stressed that company boards "have to say where they want to be", because sustainability issues "go beyond what is mandatory": "Whoever doesn't take these positions will be left out of the market".

"Until now, decisions have always been made very much around money", said Duarte J. Pitta Ferraz, stressing that organisations should take social and environmental issues into account. Duarte added that boards should also contain more diversity, not only in terms of gender, but also in terms of age and nationality, so that they can become more effective, and also noted that "there is a great curiosity [about sustainability issues in organisations], when at the moment there should be much more demanding in terms of sustainability".


"Supply chains must undergo a fundamental transformation"

"How can we incorporate sustainability into supply chains?" - Eduardo Moura, Deputy Director of Sustainability at EDP, addressed the question to the participants who attended the session Supply Chain and Sustainable Operations and were challenged to think collectively about sustainability dilemmas in the sector.

"Supply chains must undergo a fundamental transformation," said Pedro Caldeira, guest speaker at Nova SBE Executive Education, stressing that, "first, we need to inject strategic thinking into a 360º vision". Then, we need to talk about people and innovation and provide new skills to managers.


"We must stop all green washing"

The Sustainable Collisions Talks, organized by Nova SBE Innovation Ecosystem, once again had a full room, this time to discuss the commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defined by the United Nations. The panel included eight speakers, who left harsh criticism of the criteria that define what is ultimately a sustainable company, in a session that was marked by the expression "green washing":

"There is a gap in the regulation because there are only six criteria [to determine whether an organisation respects the SDGs] [...] There are no truly ESG compliant companies. We should stop all this green washing", stated João Bernardo Silva, from Morais Leitão.
"Are we doing enough? Is compliance about change? We need to measure how companies' products and services are really impacting consumers' lives," added Luís Amado, Country Partner of B-Corp Portugal, during his intervention.


How can data contribute to transparency in organisations?

Data has everything to do with the SDGs. Who guaranteed it was Tiago Azevedo, Chief Information Officer at OutSystems, who stressed that the benefits of a data strategy are countless: from improving the consumer experience to transparency of information, metrics and results - a topic that is on the agenda and that is represented in the Sustainable Development Goal 16.6: "develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels".

However, in what concerns sustainability-related metrics, most organisations are still underreporting, largely due to the lack of digital literacy needed to collect and implement data strategies. Nicole Fortunato, Managing Associate at Morais Leitão, added that, on this topic, the European data strategy already presents an answer (or part of it) to promote this collection.

Check out the full agenda of the
Nova SBE Sustainability Journey
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