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Covalence provides academics with ESG data and ratings supporting further research into the business case for sustainability.



Integrating corporate social responsibility and financial performance, Amelia Bilbao-Terol, Mar Arenas-Parra, Susana Alvarez-Otero, Verónica Cañal-Fernández, Management Decision, 12 July 2018

In this paper, data for firms’ CSR performance evaluation come from Vigeo and Covalence rating agencies. They gather different and complementary information about companies in terms of ESG criteria. (…) This could be due to the different sources of information and methodologies used by these two agencies. (…) Of course, both evaluations are valuable and, therefore, an aggregation process would appear useful. (…) The authors present a hybrid TOPSIS methodology on transformed scores of both the CSR valuations and the financial ratios.

Every Little Helps? ESG News and Stock Market Reaction, Gunther Capelle-Blancard, Aurélien Petit, Journal of Business Ethics, 18 September 2017

Stories about corporate social responsibility have become very frequent over the past decade, and managers can no longer ignore their impact on firm value. In this paper, we investigate the extent and the determinants of the stock market’s reaction following ordinary news related to environmental, social and governance issues—the so-called ESG factors. To that purpose, we use an original database provided by Covalence EthicalQuote. Our empirical analysis is based on about 33,000 ESG news (positive or negative), targeting one hundred listed companies over the period 2002–2010.

With Strings Attached: The Belief in The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility and its Grounding in Fair Market Ideology, Sebastian Hafenbrädl, Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Daniel Waeger, Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 7th Annual ARCS Research Conference , Kellogg School of Management, May 13 – 15, 2015

All the information we presented to the respondents was based on real data. To operationalize social performance, we used data from Covalence EthicalQuote ( from 2002 to 2006 for a total of 183 companies taken from the Dow Jones Sector Titans Index , an index of the biggest companies in important industries. Covalence EthicalQuote is a rating agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is specialized in assessing external information about the social and environmental performance of companies.

ESG Impact on Market Performance of Firms: International Evidence, Jean-Michel Sahut, IPAG Business School, Paris, France; Hélène Pasquini-Descomps, HEG Haute Ecole de gestion de Genève, Switzerland, International Management, 2015

We propose below an original study of over 200 large US, UK, and Swiss companies, based on the availability of ESG scores and Fama-French factors. Our study on the performance of companies will compare their ESG ratings available from Covalence with their market performance adjusted for various factors during the 2007—2011 period. We measured the change in the market value of a stock using a five factor linear market model derived from Carhart’s model.

The weighting of CSR dimensions: Does one size fit all?, Gunther Capelle-Blancard, Aurélien Petit, CES, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2014

This paper proposes an original weighting scheme based on media and NGO scrutiny. To this end, we analyze thousands of items of ESG news (good or bad) published by the media or NGOs concerning 100 firms over the 2002-2010 period. This database was provided by Covalence, an information provider which systematically collects ESG news concerning the world’s largest companies. We use this detailed information to provide a set of weights which reflect society’s concerns regarding CSR, and which differ across sectors.

Changes in the Covalence Ethical Quote, Financial Performance and Financial Reporting Quality, Fayez A. Elayan, Jingyu Li, Zhefeng Frank Liu, Sandra Felton, Department of Accounting, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, Canada; Thomas O. Meyer, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, USA, The Journal of Business Ethics, 2014

We examine the equity valuation effect of press releases of upgrades or downgrades reflected in the Covalence Ethical Quote (CEQ), an index ranking the ethical performance of multinational firms. (…) We find first a significant causal relationship between stock market reactions and changes in the CEQ. (…) Collectively, these results suggest that the CEQ conveys information that is useful to investors. (…) We have tried to make the case that the CEQ measure/ proxy is the best measure capturing firm ethical behavior employed to date.

CAS Sustainable Finance

Co-managed by Covalence’s Antoine Mach, the CAS Sustainable Finance offered by Haute école de gestion de Genève received the prize for Best Pedagogical Innovation at the FIR-PRI Finance & Sustainability Awards 2019.

Designed by professionals for professionals, this programme is mainly organized through online teaching in English. Seasoned sustainable finance experts from the financial, banking, international organisations and academic domains have contributed to this CAS. A final week in Geneva is devoted to networking, live presentations, discussions and visits at expert organisations, enabling participants to dive into the rich local sustainability ecosystem.

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