Fourth Annual Conference of the NOVA BHRE

On the 19th of November 2024, the Fourth Annual Conference of the NOVA BHRE will take place. This year’s topic is: Unpacking Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence. The conference will be held in Lisbon at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Zona de Congressos, Auditórium 2).


Concept note

The legal landscape in the field of Business, Human Rights and the Environment and ESG is changing rapidly to crystalize the increased expectations from consumers, investors and civil society for companies to adopt responsible and sustainable business conduct. At the international level, the authoritative instruments in the field, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises have set out the expectation for companies to respect human rights and the environment in their activities and global value and detailed the way in which companies can operationalize this responsibility. In particular, this is through the implementation of human rights and environmental due diligence processes allowing companies to identify and address the adverse human rights and environmental impacts with which they can be involved. At the national and European levels, these societal expectations are increasingly being turned into hard law through the emergence of mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation. The latest development in this perspective is the recent adoption of the European Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive which will have implications not only for large companies in-scope but also, indirectly, through a much broader array of companies (including SMEs) through the trickle down effect.


Against this backdrop, the 4th Annual NOVA BHRE Conference, entitled “Unpacking Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence,” aims to explore how to implement in practice starting from the commitment to respect human rights and the environment in a meaningful way, and then exploring how to ‘walk the talk’ through the various steps of the due diligence process: identifying and prioritizing impacts, taking appropriate measures to address such impacts, tracking the effectiveness of the responses and reporting /communicating. It will also highlight the importance meaningful stakeholder engagement throughout these stages. The conference will gather speakers from multistakeholder groups including policymakers, businesses, civil society organizations, academics from different fields as well as youth ambassadors, to provide different perspectives on the issues.


Organizing committeeClaire Bright, Ana Duarte, Céline da Graça Pires,  Alison HolmLaura Iñigo Álvarez and Anaïs Tobalagba, in partnership with NOVA SBE as well as the NOVA Green Lab and with the support of PLMJ,  CEDIS, and FCT.


Opening Session

  •  9:00-10:00

Panel 1: Meaninful Human Rights and Environmental Commitment

  •  10:00-10:45

Panel 2: Identifying and prioritizing impacts

  • 11:45-12:30

Panel 3: Taking appropriate measures to address adverse impacts

  • 14:00-14:45

Panel 4: Tracking and Reporting/Communicating

  • 15:45-16:30

Concluding Remarks

  • 17:00-17:30