Vigeo and Csr—The Daughter of Globalization

17 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Ronald Kamin

ISC Paris School of Management

Abstract

The Vigeo case is used in Darden's Global EMBA "Business Ethics" course. The case raises the issue of how we determine what constitutes a socially responsible business, and how to apply that idea in a global context. It therefore could also be used effectively in courses in marketing, finance, or global economies and markets.With a global leadership and sustainability perspective, this field-based case uses Vigeo, a European leader among environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating agencies headquartered in Paris, to set the stage for an analysis of what it means to be a socially responsible business. It allows for an exploration of decision-making and moral overtones that are often difficult to resolve. The material also lets students explore the idea of global values—are there such things, and if so, what are they? The case opens with a summary of issues that include how CEO Nicole Notat plans to grow the company in 2012. She had to take a strategic view of where the SRI market was going and be prepared. The board had asked Notat to think more strategically about China. Would Vigeo adapt existing services and products to the Chinese market? Would entering an emerging market such as China mean rethinking the business model from the ground up? How would either strategy fit with the company's overall mission? This case is also available in French. Contact DBP to obtain the French version.

Excerpt

UVA-E-0372

Rev. Jul. 3, 2018

Vigeo and CSR—The Daughter of Globalization

Nicole Notat, CEO of Paris-headquartered Vigeo, was set to present to the board of directors her intentions for growing the company in 2015. The company offered products and services for investors and asset managers and for companies and local authorities in assessing companies' and organizations' environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. As the European leader among ESG rating agencies, Vigeo provided convincing verification that socially responsible investment (SRI) no longer meant giving up some return. From its beginnings in 2001, the amount of capital invested in SRI funds in France had risen from EUR80 million to more than EUR115 billion (see Exhibit 1 for regional data). Whether driven by regulation, interest, or other means, social considerations and doing the responsible thing seemed to be catching on. Yet like the companies her agency covered, Notat had to continue to build the business and grow globally. She had to take a strategic view of where the SRI market was going and be prepared.

Up until 2012, growth had been through mergers and partnerships. By 2015, Vigeo had offices in Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, London, Milan, Santiago, and Casablanca, and the board had asked Notat to think more about scaling up. The market signaled a demand for emerging-market coverage. Vigeo had embarked upon a program with an in-house analyst team and was on track to fully cover all emerging-market countries by mid-2015. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there was interest in expanding in developed markets such as the United States. Indeed, Vigeo had introduced its first second-party opinion in the United States on the issue of a USD350million green bond to finance the Clean Rivers Project in Washington, DC, in the summer of 2014.

. . .

Keywords: socially responsible investment, stakeholder, CSR principles, globalization, globalisation, growth, global expansion, international, human capital, audit, corporate principles, norms

Suggested Citation

Wicks, Andrew and Yemen, Gerry and Kamin, Ronald, Vigeo and Csr—The Daughter of Globalization. Darden Case No. UVA-E-0372. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974176

Andrew Wicks (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/wicks.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Ronald Kamin

ISC Paris School of Management ( email )

22, Boulevard du Fort de Vaux
Paris, 75848
France

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