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EcoVadis: A Sustainability Rating Company Goes Global

Published 20 Jan 2020
Reference 6535
Region Global
Summary

Corporations are increasingly held responsible for the products they source and the sustainability of their supply chains. It was to meet this need that EcoVadis, a sustainability rating agency, was founded in 2007 by Pierre-François Thaler (INSEAD MBA, 1999) and Frédéric Trinel to bridge the information gap between corporate buyers and their suppliers. Following an EcoVadis sustainability assessment, suppliers receive a “scorecard” of their performance which they can then share with clients, while corporate buyers can monitor suppliers’ sustainability performance via the EcoVadis platform. The combination of technology, expertise and network effects propels the rating agency onto the global stage, with over 650 employees in 10 offices on 5 continents, and over 55,000 assessments completed. However, the co-founders need to adjust their strategy in an increasingly competitive and technologically sophisticated market. How can they scale up its human capital and technology capabilities to drive growth in the next decade, and ultimately make the corporate world more sustainable?

Teaching objectives

EcoVadis is considered a game-changer in the supply chain sustainability field, tackling a complex task that most companies find hard to achieve in a cost-efficient way. The case discusses the EcoVadis’ value proposition and what market void it fills, the factors that have made EcoVadis the success it is today, as well as potential weaknesses that may derive from these. EcoVadis prides itself on combining technology, human intelligence and network effects to meet market needs. But as market needs change, technology advances and competition increases, what blend of technology and human capital will work best in the decade to come? The issues covered in the case is relevant to any organization navigating its digital transformation journey. Thus, this is a cross-disciplinary case study can be used to discuss digital transformation and business model innovation in the context of sustainability and operations management.

Keywords
  • Sustainability
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)
  • Rating Agency
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Scale up
  • Technology
  • International expansion
  • Start-up
  • European Entreprise
  • Procurement
  • Sourcing
  • Q12020