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Porto Living Lab

Porto, Portugal

Key Partners

Lead: Sonae

MC Sonae


Main Solutions
Smart EV Hub
2nd Life Storage
S2V, V2G
Cool Roof with Bi-facial PV



Sonae is a multinational company that manages a diverse portfolio of businesses in retail, real estate, telecommunications, investment management, and financial services globally. Committed to shaping tomorrow, today, Sonae proactively addresses economic, social, and environmental challenges with a strategy characterised by management with ESG criteria, the acceleration of decarbonisation, the preservation of biodiversity and water resources, the promotion of circularity, and the enhancement of human development.

The Porto LL is the headquarters of Sonae in Portugal with a total area of 32,5 ha, receiving more than 3.000 employees. The campus has several sustainable features such as efficient water solutions, solar energy production, electric mobility alternatives and LEED certified buildings. The construction area is divided into 60% logistics, 30% offices and 10% industry and storage.

The Porto LL wants to become a reference sustainable campus, where green energy, nature, and people come together to create a positive impact on the environment and society.

For that, Porto LL wants to increase the use of green energy and implement solutions that enable better energy management, prioritizing the consumption of renewable energy produced in loco.

By raising awareness for sustainability, the goal is to create knowledge for the community and positively influence the campus population to make more conscious decisions regarding energy consumption, involving stakeholders.

Another goal of Porto LL is to boost biodiversity by creating natural green spaces in the campus for achieving a GBN.

These initiatives will not only enhance the ecological value of the campus, but also have an impact on the architecture and spatial qualities of the campus, targeting its employees and serving as a hub for team building, learning and empowerment of the communities.

Innovations and Technological Advances

Sustainable Energy

Sustainable Energy entails the Renewable Energy Community as well as the technological pilots being implemented on Campus. These pilots will serve as testing grounds for solutions with potential replicability, thereby contributing to optimised energy management with a focus on green renewable energy.

Technology 1: REC – Collective Auto-consumption


The implementation of the collective auto-consumption will bring together various companies located on Campus with the shared objective of maximizing the use of renewable energy generated on-site. The goal is to enable and improve the efficient use of resources while fostering collaboration between the involved entities. At the same time, it reduces dependence on the grid contributing to security and resilience of the operation while reducing the carbon footprint associated with the electricity consumption.

Technology 2: Smart EV Hub


The Porto LL, located in the SONAE Campus, features a vast number of parking lots, including several allocated to collaborators. Consequently, a considerable number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) are parked for extended durations, posing a challenge in efficiently charging them within the limited available time slots. However, this circumstance presents an opportunity to enhance the charging management system in place.

Within the PROBONO project, the Smart EV Hub initiative aims to implement an advanced module for EV charging management incorporating a diverse set of criteria. This module is intended to dynamically balance power delivery based on various factors such as the power availability of surrounded buildings, the number of cars awaiting charging, local renewable energy sources (RES), electricity market price and user preferences. By integrating and analysing these variables the EV charging management will become more efficient.

This not only ensures a sustainable approach to address the growing EV needs on Campus but also contributes to an overall optimisation of power usage, promoting a more resource efficient and environmentally conscious system.

Technology 3: PCM


The use of PCM technology in PROBONO will focus on cooling systems in the retail sector, aiming to validate the addition of energy flexibility for optimal management targeting increased self-consumption of local renewable energy as well as mitigation of exposure to energy price oscillations. The introduction of PCMs in a supermarket store as an energy flexible asset will lead to a more efficient energy management.

Technology 4: 2nd Life Storage


The integration of 2nd life batteries allows the access to storage systems which have an important role on increasing energy flexibility in Campus, allowing an optimised energy management, while promoting circular economy. 


Technology 5: S2V - Solar to Vehicle

The implementation of a S2V system aims to test a charging system that allows EV charging using PV production of the Campus. This system will provide PV energy directly to an electrical vehicle managing the best time to charge according to local RES availability.

Technology 6: V2G - Vehicle to Grid


The V2G solution intends to use electric vehicles as a means of energy storage allowing the flow of electricity from the EV and back into the grid when energy is needed in the infrastructure and the EVs are not in use.

Technology 7: Cool Roof with Bi-facial PV

The Cool Roof test with Bi-facial PV is being developed in partnership with SOPREMA and involves combining two sustainable technologies to improve energy efficiency. The main goal is to test the effect on PV production of applying a cool roof layer in half of a building’s roof on Campus, against the PV production on the other half of the roof that does not have the cool roof solution applied.

Biodiversity Initiatives


Biodiversity Initiatives are meant to make the Campus an example for the community on biodiversity and sustainability

House of Birds 

There are a total of 25 houses of birds implemented across the campus in different green areas that provide habitats and nesting areas for wildlife. The installation of nest boxes for birds can contribute to conserve local biodiversity and maintain the natural balance of insects in urban areas. 

Green Wall  

The Green Wall is an initiative established to enhance biodiversity on Campus and is located on the façade of the Sonae Holding building, next to the main entrance of the headquarters. It is 100% natural, without carbon footprint and contributes to the aesthetics and beauty of the Campus.


Vegetable  Garden   

The community garden is implemented on the green rooftop in the top of one of the logistics warehouses. It consists of 30 cultivation beds. More than 690 kg donated. 110,880 litres of water saved. 1386 kg of CO2 consumed. 340 kg of organic waste from restaurants reused in the vermicomposting process.

Social and Behavioural Innovation

The Vegetable Garden 


The Vegetable Garden is installed on the roof of one of the logistics warehouses of Sonae Campus and is maintained by a group of employees who, on a voluntary basis, are responsible for cultivating, maintaining and developing the vegetable garden. The Sonae Campus Vegetable Garden produces vegetables and herbs while promoting networking and learning moments, contributing to the well-being of employees. All production is donated to a local social solidarity institution. The Sonae Campus Vegetable Garden thus contributes to strengthening Sonae’s strategic axes of People and Planet, namely in terms of Sustainability, with the reduction of the ecological footprint and waste valorisation, Corporate Responsibility, through food donation to the community, and People Valuation and work-life balance, contributing to personal fulfilment of employees through volunteering. The initiative, developed in partnership with Noocity, is part of the European PROBONO project, which aims to increase biodiversity, social innovation and collaboration at Sonae Campus.”


Social Community and Open Innovation Lab 

The Social Innovation and Open Community Lab intends to be an open experimentation laboratory dedicated to testing and evaluation of new solutions on sustainability. The core of this initiative is to explore and test new solutions related to sustainable energy, environment and biodiversity, and circular economy.

The mission of the open community lab is to address societal challenges and develop solutions while promoting collaborative learning. By providing valuable opportunities for academic institutions, research centres and start-ups, the open community lab will foster a dynamic ecosystem that propels sustainable initiatives forward.

At this moment, active engagement is underway with potential stakeholders interested in utilizing the Campus to test and evaluate their solutions. This approach will allow for an assessment of the initiative’s relevance and will enable the design and structuring of the process to align effectively with stakeholder interests.

Contact Information

Living Lab Leader:

Catarina, Soares


Benedita, Ferreira



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