Bain integrates ESG and purpose in services with EcoVadis deal

26 February 2020 4 min. read

Global management consulting firm Bain & Company has completed a minority investment in EcoVadis, a French-origin provider of ESG ratings for supply chains.

Founded in 2007, EcoVadis is a Paris-headquartered company that monitors how sustainable and ethical the procurement and supply chain practice of companies are. The company creates scorecards that provide detailed insight into environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks across 190 purchasing categories.

According to its website, more than 50,000 businesses including the likes of Coca Cola, Heineken, Johnson & Johnson, Subway and Salesforce rely on EcoVadis’ business sustainability ratings to shape their decision-making. 

With Bain & Company’s financial injection, EcoVadis will be able to further scale its growth. The company currently has a team of over 500 talented professionals across offices in Europe, the Americas and Asia, but despite its steep trajectory in recent years, is still eyeing further growth.

Bain integrates ESG and purpose in services with EcoVadis deal

Bain & Company is one of the globe’s top management consulting firms, and serves clients worldwide, including on topics such as strategy, sustainability and impact investing. As part of the deal Bain will now integrate EcoVadis’ sustainability ratings into its approaches to corporate strategy, supply chain and procurement. The consultancy will also leverage EcoVadis’ insights to better advise financial investors across fund strategy, diligence and post-acquisition. 

“Bain & Company is committed to our mission of creating value – economic, social, and environmental – for our clients,” said Jenny Davis-Peccoud, co-head of Bain & Company’s global Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility practice. Similarly, in its advice to clients, “the purpose of business must go beyond the singular focus of maximising shareholder value.” 

Putting its mouth where its money is, Bain & Company itself is a frontrunner in the ESG space. The consultancy has enjoyed a gold rating by EcoVadis for a number of years now, placing it among the top five percent of companies rated by the French technology firm. Notable examples of its CSR approach include a carbon-neutral operation, and a massive $1 billion commitment to pro bono consulting support.

“We encourage our people to put their sustainability passions to work every day. Doing so helps us develop valuable expertise we can share with our clients. It’s a win for our firm, our clients and most importantly, our planet,” said Steven Tallman, a partner at Bain & Company.

For EcoVadis, the partnership with Bain will enable it to ramp up its impact at existing clients, and more importantly, provide it with access to business leaders and executives across the globe as its seeks to broaden its footprint. 

The investment comes within weeks of a $200 million financial investment received from private equity firm CVC Growth Partners. Commenting on the two developments, Aaron Dupuis, a partner at CVC, said: “This collaboration with Bain coupled with our recent investment is a real game changer for EcoVadis, and we are excited to back this new partnership.”

Pierre-Francois Thaler, co-CEO and co-founder of EcoVadis added; “We continue to see executives from all over the world share bold plans for sustainability and ESG transformation. Collaborating with Bain & Company and CVC equips us to reach, enable and impact more organisations and communities globally.”

Two months ago, Bain & Company acquired Qvartz, a Nordic management consulting firm with around 450 consultants and staff.