Sofia Santos

Sustainable & Conscientious Economist


Sofia Santos

Sustainable & Conscientious Economist

The world is facing great environmental, social, ethical and economical challenges, and is going through a transition phase that will lead us to a new type of capitalism.

The type of capitalism supported by Adam Smith in his publication about ”The Moral Sentiments Theory”, where ethical behaviour and the pleasure of seeing others happiness were the main characteristics of any economic agent.

The capitalism of the 21st Century wants companies to implement sustainable business models that can actively contribute towards a low carbon economy, sustainable innovation, social inclusion, green & circular economy, and decent job creation. Transparency practices, fiduciary duties and the financial system will see great changes both in soft and hard law.
Citizens expect companies to play a higher role in contributing towards the resolution of major societal problems.

This is a major opportunity for companies to innovate, to identify new products and new ways to connect with their stakeholders.
The Paris Agreement and the World Agenda for 2030 via the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provide the framework for companies to reinvent themselves for the next century. Managing with a purpose towards the SDGs is a great opportunity for companies to improve their revenues, their finance, their internal culture and their long term shareholder dividends.

How to Implement the SDGs

Helping organisations to be agents of change


Knowledge Creation:

Training on how organisations can incorporate SDGs in their vision and daily activities

Workshops on how to break the pattern and how to make sustainable change within an organisation


Joining the dots:

Facilitating the dialogue between technological and innovation areas with the management structures, in order to define and implement innovative projects


Making sure it happens:

Leading highly complex and multidisciplinary projects

Green & Low carbon Economy
Circular Economy
Reporting and Transparency
Sustainable Finance
Environmental and Social Risk Management


Inspiring Change

Questioning the mainstream, working outside confort zone and inspiring while change

Conference Talks:

  • How Sustainable Development Goals are aligned with the Adam Smith’s Capitalism
  • The end of the shareholder model and the fiduciary duties of the 21st century
  • The role of finance in promoting sustainable development
  • The Circular Economy and prosperity
  • Green Economy and innovation opportunities

Other topics can be developed in order to fulfill with a specific need

Moderation of Conferences and Seminars

  • Inquiring speakers with knowledge, creativity and sharp questions
  • Creating a fluent dialogue between different speakers enhancing a coherent storyline


Main Experience in the Business World and as Entrepreneur

Economist, 43 years old with 21 years of career experience in London and Lisbon. Began career in 1997 in the research department of the investment bank Merrill Lynch in London and returned to Portugal at the end of 1999. In Portugal, worked in NGOs, news agencies and at the National Statistics Institute. In 2001, became a staff member of Pulp and Paper Industry Association. In 2004 co-founded a boutique consultancy company Sustentare Lda, and worked with several Portuguese companies in the creation of their first sustainability reports and sustainability strategies, including 4 of the largest Portuguese banks. As an independent consultant worked on sustainable finance for banks in Cabo Verde and on sustainability strategies in Angola.

From January 2016 until June 2018 was Secretary General at the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development, in Lisbon, Portugal.
From June 2018 onwards, I work as an independent agent of change for companies and universities. Advising and helping organisations to develop concrete projects to implement: Sustainable Development Goals; Green and Circular economy approaches; and Sustainable Finance practices. I encourage university students to study sustainable management and challenge business schools to embed new content in their daily activities and projects that foster Sustainable Development Goals.

Stephen Hawking

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

Arthur Schopenhauer

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Main Experience In Academia

2018 – Present: Porto Business School
Coordinator and teacher of the executive course “Sustainable Management: a leadership expedition to the future”

2018 – Present: Guest Lecturer at Nova School of Business and Economics
MSc class: “Business Models for Sustainability”

2017 – Present: Guest Lecturer at ISEG Business School
Post-Graduate Sustainable Management: “Indicators and Reporting Sustainability”

2009 – 2014: Guest Lecturer at ISCTE Business School
MScBA and Energy MBA: “Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility”


Sustainable Finance. Sofia Santos & Tânia Duarte. Almedina (in Portuguese). (Original title: Sustentabilidade Financeira). October 2018.

Introduction to the Green Economy. Plátano Editora (in Portuguese). (Original Title: Introdução à Economia Verde). February 2015. Interview in Portuguese

The Management Practices Needed for the Future Banking System. Bnomics (in Portuguese.) (Original Title: A Banca tem Coração). March 2015. Vídeo in Portuguese. Interview in Portuguese.

2012 – The Portuguese Banking Sector and the Green Economy. Bnomics (in Portuguese and English).
Interview in Portuguese

2008 – Co-author and Co-organiser of the publication: “Sustainability, Competitiveness and Environmental and Social Equity”, Almedina (in Portuguese) )


Sofia Santos, PhD, MSc

Sustainable & Conscientious Economist

+ 351 91 270 6300