Sustainable Impact as a mission

Our impact is to address the challenges of humanity

With its 40-year history, Nova SBE is the place where the safety of books meets the courage of the lab, but also one that is committed to its role to play towards a better and sustainable future. This means embracing sustainability at its core, thus providing a blueprint for our future leaders to reach for peace, prosperity, and a human-ecosystem equilibrium now and into the future.

From mission to vision
An Impact Model aligned with the SDG

From mission to vision

In 2021, Nova SBE launched its impact model – a framework that, inspired by PRME's principles, embeds the principles and values of sustainability in school's main levers, and measures our community's contribution to towards the SDGs and towards meaningful, inclusive, and sustainable solutions that can transform the world.

A global call to action that drives change
A community with a role to play

A global call to action that drives change

As a school with a role to play, we want to take a stand and showcase how we are contributing with knowledge, engaging, and creating initiatives to address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That’s why the Role to Play Platform was created –to encourage and inspire everyone to also unravel their Role to Play.

Inspiring tangible change
Road to Impact

Inspiring tangible change

Every year, we present the diverse programs, projects, and initiatives that Nova SBE and its community developed to answer some of the world’s biggest challenges. The Nova SBE Road to Impact Report showcases the activities developed by our community and translates our responsibility to society at large and our stakeholders.

SDG Journey

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Nova SBE started its SDG Journey to deliver the 2030 promise and to make sure that its efforts in delivering meaningful positive impact have a significant contribution. The first steps of the journey included:

  • We began organizing SDG-training workshops for our staff and which we still do
  • Upon the welcoming weeks for Bachelors and Masters students, we included specific activities and surveys related to the SDG
  • We mapped the syllabi from all academic levels to see the percentage of which were raising awareness on at least one SDG. This led to the inclusion of a specific section highlighted “course-impact relation” in each course syllabus
  • We began to map our Faculty’s research relation to the SDG Agenda
  • We developed our Impact Model to which we are accountable and measuring our contribution to sustainable development
  • We launched our biggest call to action – the Role to Play
Leading by example

Our Walk the Talk

True progress towards sustainability requires changes in our processes, governance structure, and policies.

Nova SBE has been awarded the Green Flag certification from the European Blue Flag Association and the Foundation for Environmental Education !

Both distinctions recognize the campus’ environmental management and the different entities integrated that actively promote its community’s change in behavior.

Established procedures at Nova SBE: 

Waste Diversion & Plastic

  • Packaging materials: Collected by the Municipality of Cascais and sent to the inter-municipal urban waste management company TRATOLIXO;
  • Beverage containers: Nova SBE launched a pioneering project in partnership with TOMRA to implement a mandatory container deposit scheme at the Carcavelos Campus – the only one in the country. It enables consumers to receive a monetary refund against their recycling deposit, thereby diminishing the environmental impact and promoting recycling. You can find it in floor 0 of the Cascais Academic Hall.
  • Other types of packaging: Collect separately, through traditional recycling bins available on Campus;
  • Electric & Electronic waste: Disposed at Nova SBE and delivered to ERP for recycling purposes
  • Textile waste: Oikos Lisboa and Nova SBE Food Student Club support Nova SBE's partnership with Associação Zero Desperdício. Textile and food waste is delivered to the Parish Center of Carcavelos and distributed among local institutions and other beneficiaries;
  • Food waste: Food waste is collected from the food service options and the Pingo Doce & Go on campus and delivered to TRATOLIXO to produce organic compost.


  • Center Pivot Irrigation Systems: 
  • Water cisterns capture, store, and conserve water. This allows the reuse of rainwater for irrigation purposes, thus, reducing water consumption. Besides, the school has holes for capturing water from the soil to prevent infiltrations and irrigation.
  • Water points to fill reusable bottles, promoting the consumption of tap water.


  • Solar Panels and other renewable energies: 924 solar panels of 270 kW produce 20 % of the consumed energy on the rooftops, contributing to ensuring energy self-sufficiency and CO2 emissions reduction.
  • LED Illumination: Favored LED lighting or any other type of low consumption across the building, benefitting as well from the natural light as a result of the campus’ architecture
  • Responsible Consumption: Monitoring strategies were implemented so that all non-essential systems are switched off outside working hours


  • Cascais Oxygen Program: Nova SBE is publicly committed to planting one tree for every four graduated students, which equals around 500 trees. This is also why the Nova SBE Students’ Union joined the Cascais Oxygen Program.
    This program protects nature and biodiversity in the Municipality of Cascais through volunteering. Nova SU is now responsible for a plot in the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais for over five years. The group's responsibilities include planting, eradicating invasive species, manually cleaning the vegetation, and mounding, watering, growing, and controlling invasive species.
    In 2021, the Nova SBE’s Students’ Union opened the initiative’s call to the entire Nova SBE community, including staff and faculty.
  • The Navigator Park: The Alfredo de Sousa Foundation, Nova SBE, and The Navigator Company inaugurated a 3.000m2 wooded park with 7900 plants of 20 species, resilient to climate change. The goal is to create a leisure and recreation space for the school and the surrounding neighborhood and simultaneously stimulate the local biodiversity.


  • CP Trains: Nova SBE partnered with CP (Lisbon’s train line) to offer special monthly discounts to the Nova SBE community
  • MOBI Cascais: a MOBI Cascais bus that includes Nova SBE as a destination point is also made available

Awareness campaigns
Within the scope of the Cascais Smart Pole by Nova SBE, the school is promoting Sustent'Arte - a project that supports artists that use  sea and beach waste to recreate important world figures in the fight against climate change.

Nova SBE aims to lead by example in its mission and thus offers a plethora of initiatives that raise SDGs, drive well-being, assess the school's motivational and learning indexes, and proactively reflect the activities that will foster an impact-driven culture.

See below how sustainable development is already part of some of Nova SBE teams and activities:

People & Culture Area

  • A Volunteering Policy for all staff was launched
  • Training and  development sessions, ranging from SDGs, salesforce, and time management workshops to actively participating in Nova SBE Executive Education & Business Transformation courses
  • Consistent reporting information aligned with GRI Standards, including disaggregation by gender and age

Pre-experience Area

  • Integration of SDG-related questions into the Nova SBE Annual Student Survey – a comprehensive student satisfaction survey launched to all active students and graduates (Bachelor's and Master’s) in April of each academic year. The survey covers the various dimensions of the student's experience from his first contact as a candidate to their admission and integration, covering the entire academic component and satisfaction with the school's services and facilities.
  • 2021 Results:
    89 % of students are overall satisfied with environmental concerns and practices
    - 77 % are aware of the UN Sustainable Development Goals when they finish their degree
    - 70 % of students are satisfied with the overall student development and well-being support

Sustainable Development is under the supervision of the Chief Sustainability Officer and Executive Director of UNITAR | CIFAL Cascais. The interdisciplinarity of the area naturally activates synergies with numerous Nova SBE areas, from Pre-Experience to Executive Education & Business Transformation, from Corporate & Alumni to Careers @ Nova SBE, and from People & Culture to Faculty Affairs.

Our Community Engagement projects

Together for sustainable development

Nova SBE intends to contribute to training students in vulnerable contexts and act on developing their skills, seeking to facilitate their future integration into higher education, a fundamental dimension in the social mobility of these people.

Nova SBE is designing an eight-year mentorship program aimed at supporting students, from the fifth to the twelfth grade, in vulnerable situations. This is part of a bigger project of the Municipality of Cascais that works alongside partners such as Teach 4 Portugal and Dream Shaper. Nova SBE, with the support of Transformers Movement and Sair da Casca, will focus on four mentorship dimensions: curricular (tutoring), aspirational, artistic/sportive, and psychologic. We aim to have all supported students completing high school, applying to a higher education institution, and eventually Nova SBE.

This program’s goal is to bring the SDGs’ theoretical concept closer to the Nova SBE community by demonstrating the joint effort the school is making to tackle social and environmental challenges.​​​​​​​ Each SDG has a team of staff and students.

The first edition is currently ongoing with more than 50 people.

Here are a few of the projects currently under development:

  • The SDG 3 team is launching a pilot project that allows Nova SBE to offer feminine hygiene products in the campus’ toilet rooms. This initiative results after conducting a community survey to assess its need
  • The SDG 5 team is collecting data from all Nova SBE teams to understand gender differences among each and to suggest recruitment and talent retention recommendations to reach an equilibrium
  • The SDG 12 team launched a wide survey on the community's perception of food options on campus, highlighting the need for an increased variety of plant-based, healthy, sustainable, vegan, and vegetarian options on campus.
  • The SDG 15 team is preparing a sustainable food consumption guide inspired by the Nova SBE Green Guide

This program was created to continue the pro bono consultancy projects developed by Nova SBE student clubs or Master's students whose theses were developed about third-sector organizations.

The AGEAS Foundation focuses on increasing the capacity-building of these organizations and thus supports Nova SBE students further in implementing these projects' recommendations through an internship grant. Aditttionaly, the AGEAS Foundation assigns a mentor (an expert in the project's main area) to support the intern.

Nova SBE is partnering with the Girls for Girls (G4G) project. This is a Harvard University-born global mentoring program developed to empower women in pursuing leadership roles in their careers and broader lives.

If you are a woman passionate about gender equality and inclusion or a female student seeking mentorship, reach out and get in touch at

Through Role to Play – Get Involved, Nova SBE allows civil society organizations to present their initiatives and volunteering opportunities to the school’s community and use it as an internal platform to manage volunteering opportunities.

Nova SBE is reaching out, on a large scale, to all the organizations that have already engaged with any community member in presenting this platform and fully supporting them so they can reach their goals.The school is also establishing a protocol with each civil society organization, allowing them to use our campus infrastructure for a reduced fee.

From time to time, students reach out suggesting new ideas, pitch new projects or ask for support in ensuring they have all the information they need from Nova SBE to develop their group projects.

Some of the best examples include:

  • Improving the waste management system around the Nova SBE campus. To introduce sustainable and easy-to-implement solutions, we’ve analyzed recycling behavior and habits, waste generation patterns, awareness, and attitude toward recycling of the main stockholders involved
  • Promoting a Volunteering Fair powered by the Nova SEB SU. The fair welcomes organizations aiming to present themselves to students and find volunteers to support their activities
  • Nova SBE PRIDE Association Student Club identifies the main issues students face due to the current lack of adequate procedures to accommodate and celebrate diversity while presenting straightforward and feasible solutions. These are met by talking to students and facing these adversities
Together, our impact is greater

We grow from the partnerships we establish


In 2013, Nova SBE officially became a member of PRME. In 2020, Nova SBE officially became one of the participating institutions of PRME’s fourth Champions, confirming its pledge to transform business and management education in support of the SDG over the next two years. Furthermore, in 2021, Nova SBE was appointed Chapter Iberia’s Chair. In this Steering Committee, which also has five other Portuguese and Spanish signatories – UPF, IPVC, ISEG, and Iscte Business School –the school is leading the way in implementing a 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

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Nova SBE joined the Portuguese Group of Responsible Companies Movement (GRACE), which gathers national companies committed to incorporating sustainability and corporate social responsibility principles in their governance towards a healthier entrepreneurial network and a social economy. In addition, our faculty are participating in themed clusters (Responsible Finance), and we are leveraging their expertise in working with the third sector to uplevel our volunteering programs.

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation

After signing in 2019 the “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment,” Nova SBE officially became part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation community of profiled universities. This is a recognition of all the projects and initiatives the school launched, its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the way it intends to participate in rebuilding the future alongside national and international stakeholders regarding a circular economy.

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United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)

UN Global Compact aims to mobilize a global movement of sustainable companies and stakeholders to create the world we want. To make this happen, the UNGC supports companies to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on collaboration and innovation. Nova SBE adopts the Ten Principles as its Governance Framework, reporting our progress in our Road to Impact Report.

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