The NOVA Knowledge Centre for Business, Human Rights and the Environment (NOVA BHRE) is a multidisciplinary academic centre within NOVA School of Law. It was founded by its current director Claire Bright, and is supported by a team composed of students (undergraduates and postgraduates), researchers (PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers) as well as renown national and international experts. Its executive committee is composed of Claire Bright, Laura Iñigo Álvarez (Scientific Coordinator of the Centre) and Dussu Djabula (Research Associate).
The main goal of the NOVA BHRE is to contribute to fostering responsible and Sustainable business conduct in Portugal, Europe and beyond that upholds respect for human rights, decent work and environmental standards throughout global value chains. In this way it aims to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals which ‘seek to realize the human rights of all’.
The main pillars of the activities of the NOVA BHRE are threefold:
– To conduct research with an emphasis on applied academic work which puts the latest academic research directly into practice. In particular, the team seeks to clarify the role of law in corporate sustainability and analyse the effectiveness of the various legal frameworks in prompting sustainable due diligence practices by companies. The work of various members of the NOVA BHRE has directly contributed to legislative developments in the domestic and European level.
– To promote awareness and capacity building around key issues of sustainable business conduct through the organisation of events (conferences, practical workshops and webinars) and podcasts. It also aims to train the next generation of sustainable business leaders and legal practitioners though the development of courses and trainings in the field which include the following courses:
- Business, Human Rights and the Environment:
- Climate and the Just Transition ;
- Regional Approaches and Developments on Business and Human Rights;
- The new track on ESG Risk Management and Corporate Sustainability within the Master’s Degree in Law and Management jointly taught by NOVA School of Law and NOVA Business School (NOVA SBE).
– To serve as a platform of exchange, facilitating strong connections, exchanges and collaborations between multistakeholders including academics from various disciplines and institutions, companies, NGOs, legal practitioners, government officials, trade-unions, investors, business organisations as well as European and international organisations.