Sustainable development, ethics and corporate responsibility

Project Title:
Sustainable development, ethics and corporate responsibility

Start and End of Project:
2014 until 2024

Chief Investigator:
Prof. João Simão

Research Team:

Researcher Name Institutional Afiliation
Débora Pavão CAPP / Universidade Aberta
Fabiana Moniz Universidade Aberta
Filomena Amaral Universidade Aberta
Inês Faria CAPP / Universidade Aberta
Vitor Vilar CAPP/ Universidade Aberta
João Simão CAPP
Carlos Pinho CAPP/ Universidade Aberta
Rui Colaço Universidade Aberta


Portugal Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas
Portugal Universidade Aberta



In 1987 the United Nations defines sustainable development suggesting (i) economic growth and equity in the long term; (ii) legation of environmental resources for future generations; (iii) social development, meeting the needs of populations for work, food, education, health care, energy, water and sanitation. The difficulty in operationalizing the concept (to walk the talk) is due in part to the existence of multiple goals (some of which are conflicting) and complex interdependencies.
Governments and industries have an inescapable responsibility for the pursuit of sustainable development: the governments through public policies (at local, national, regional and global level), and business as producers of goods and services and resource consuming. However, these two actors have been criticized related disability, disinterest and even boycott of sustainable development. An emerging position in the last decade, fueled by the very corporate financial scandals, is to say that the concept of sustainable development was captured by the capitalist economic system, in which companies are dependent. Thus, "corporate social responsibility" is no more than a business, greenwashing and post-colonialism.

The project objectives are:
1- Check if public policies contribute to sustainable development, particularly in the practices of social inclusion, participation of stakeholders and environmental protection;
2- Understand how the tourism sector contributes to social and environmental development of the regions;
3- Confronting discourse and practice within public policies for sustainable development;
4- To evaluate the contribution of corporate social responsibility for sustainable development;
5- Describe and analyze communication discourses of corporate social responsibility;
6- Analyze the teaching of sustainable development and ethics and corporate social responsibility.