Environmental, Social and Governance Performance
Addressing the 'S' Demands of ESG
Top-quality research and teaching are essential to understand growing inequalities which hinder the urgently needed ecological transition, to interrogate the ESG factors, and to leverage theory and the most ambitious empirical methods. To do so, HEC scholars work with public and private regulators, peers from leading European academic institutions, CEOs and administrators to develop, test, and evaluate novel strategies, policies and practices designed to tackle inequalities in their field. In this Knowledge@HEC issue, we share academic knowledge and highlight professional experiences on those topics. Find the pdf of that issue here.
Schneider Electric: Testimonial of an ESG Leader
Schneider Electric (SE) is a world leader in energy management. Corporate Knights ranked it the world’s most sustainable company in 2021. Knowledge@HEC met with Gilles Vermot Desroches, Director of Corporate Citizenship and Institutional Relations since 2020. A trained engineer, he has been designing Schneider’s sustainability for the last 25 years. He discusses the company’s understanding of ESG, its strategic efforts to develop its performance, and how to measure their impact.
Addressing the "S" Demands of ESG - Editorial
Because of Europe’s strong social welfare tradition, the social dimension of business has an additional legitimacy and urgency here. Top-quality research and teaching have an essential role to play in understanding growing inequalities which hinder the urgently needed ecological transition, in interrogating the environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, their interplay and their promise and limitations, in leveraging theory and the most ambitious empirical methods. As a leading business school and research center in France and Europe, HEC Paris’ faculty has a responsibility in providing science-based evidence and practical tools to reinvent the business of tomorrow.
Teaching Inclusive Economy at HEC Paris by Challenging Organizational Beliefs
At present, companies understand the urgency to act in favor of the protection of the planet by reducing their carbon footprint but do not often see the business case underlying social impact. Yet businesses that fail to act on social and economic inclusion will find it harder and harder to operate. This is why it is crucial to teach new ways of building strategies to reduce inequalities and fight against poverty. Education Track, Associate Professor Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot of HEC Paris’ Society & Organizations (S&O) Institute explains how this emerging subject is taught at all levels at HEC Paris in order to change organizational cultures from within.
Addressing “S” Demands of ESG: What Role the Board Can (and Should) Play
Faced with rising demands from society, it is crucial that companies address their social/societal impact and the board has a key role to play. A report recently published by the ESG Club of the French Institute of Administrators brushes a fresh picture of current social expectations regarding businesses. In this report, the members of the Social/Societal working group put forward recommendations for administrators to understand these expectations and anticipate the effect of social impact on the competitiveness of companies. Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot Associate Professor (Education Track) of Strategy and Business Policy and cofounder of the Society & Organizations Institute at HEC Paris, and also board member, is one of the report’s authors. In this interview, she comments on the risks and challenges for companies and for board members.
A CEO-Led Coalition Works with Researchers to Measure their Impact on Society
Camille Putois is the CEO of Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG), a coalition of more than 40 global businesses, representing 4.4 million employees and a combined revenue of over 1 trillion USD. She discusses how this coalition strives for more inclusive practices and navigates the pros and cons of the different methods to measure progress on this crucial topic. For this, she worked with Leandro Nardi and Marieke Huysentruyt, researchers at the Inclusive Economy Center at HEC Paris.
How Will New European ESG Reporting Standards Affect Companies?
The European Commission mandated a group of experts to work on new European corporate social responsibility reporting requirements. Marieke Huysentruyt, Associate Professor of Strategy and Business Policy and Academic Director of the Inclusive Economy Center at the Society & Organizations Institute of HEC Paris, was part of a group that drafted legislation on the question of equal opportunity. She describes how her working group shaped their proposals for a wide, long-lasting impact.
Spotlight on the Social Dimension Measurement in ESG
Three HEC academics joined forces with an S&P Global social specialist in ESG research (Bruce Thomson) to bring out a landmark report on the social factors covered – and not - in ESG frameworks. The report “What Gets Measured” challenges traditional coverage of the social dimension in corporate ESG frameworks and suggests ways to ensure that what gets measured “matters for businesses and the people and communities they impact”. We talk with HEC professor and co-author Marieke Huysentruyt.
Digitalization as an Enabler of Business Transformation: The Orange Case
Transformation is lauded as the best way to build competitive advantage and adapt over the long term. To succeed, it requires a culture of adaptability, a finely tuned focus on the specific context, and the capability to build and grow an ecosystem. Two researchers share their learnings from their analysis of how Orange completely metamorphosed its business over more than two decades.
Creating Social Value Through Hybridization
Bertrand Quélin is professor of Strategy and the holder of the Bouygues-HEC Paris Chair in ‘Smart City and the Common Good’. He has been spearheading research on ways public bodies and private companies partner up to create both social and economic value. We discuss how the partnerships rely on a form of hybridization relying on three mechanisms: contractual, institutional and the ability to regularly partner up with public authorities.