To universities and researchers Covalence offers Environement, Social, Governance (ESG) data and ratings that can be used for research on ESG performance, CSR, materiality, and the economic relevance of sustainability. Below are a few examples of academic publications relying on Covalence’s data:

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.

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.

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 so cial performance, we used data from Covalence EthicalQuote (www.ethicalquote.com) 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.

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. Specifically, disclosures of positive (negative) changes in firm ethical performance cause increases (decreases) in firm value. Second, cross-sectional analysis indicates a positive association between changes in firm ethical performance and both its financial performance and its financial reporting quality. Collectively, these results suggest that the CEQ conveys information that is useful to investors. Further, corporate measures taken to increase ethical performance are associated with positive benefits to shareholders. Finally, investors have concluded that good news about their firms’ efforts to be ethical is worth the cost. (…) We have tried to make the case that the CEQ measure/ proxy is the best measure capturing firm ethical behavior employed to date.

Mesurer les performances extrafinancières, Gunther Capelle-Blancard, Aurélien Petit, Revue française de gestion 2013/7 (N° 236), p. 109-125. DOI 10.3166/RFG.236.109-125

La responsabilité sociale des entreprises est un concept fondamentalement multidimensionnel. Cet aspect estlargement ignoré alors qu’il pose de redoutables problèmes théoriques et pratiques. Les chercheurs, comme les praticiens, ont ainsi souvent recours à des indicateurs composites, résultant de l’agrégation de plusieurs critères. Dans cet article, les auteurs rappellent les hypothèses (contestables) de fongibilité et de commensurabilité sous-jacentes à ces approches. Ils montrent également que celles-ci tendent à niveler la mesure des performances extrafinancières.

The weighting of CSR dimensions: Does one size fit all?, Gunther Capelle-Blancard, Aurélien Petit, CES, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2012

In this paper, we propose an original weighting scheme based on media and NGOs scrutiny. For  that  purpose, we  analyzed  thousands  of  ESG  news concerning 100 listed firms over the period 2002-2010. These ESG news can be positive or negative, and they are released by media, NGOs or the firms themselves. This rich database has been provided by Covalence, an information provider that systematically collects ESG information displayed on Internet concerning the world’s largest companies. We use this abundant information to provide a set of weights between E, S and G criteria which reflect the concerns of society on CSR and which are different for each sector.

Corporate Codes of Conduct: The Effects of Code Content and Quality on Ethical Performance, Patrick M. Erwin, Journal of Business Ethics, April 2011

Researchers in this study first compiled benchmarking analyses by the Ethisphere Institute, which included 392 international companies from 15 industries and evaluated codes of conduct based on 8 categories of performance. They then compared these companies with companies on “best of” lists related to sustainability, corporate citizenship, ethical practices, and consumerperception. To include companies who were not on any of the four lists, they also analyzed companies that had both ethical ratings and code of conduct benchmarking in the 2008 Covalence Ethical Rankings. Lastly, the researchers compared each company’s code of conduct grade with its ethical performance rating.

Covalence’s managing partner, Antoine Mach, regularly acts as a teacher on ESG research, CSR, sustainability, ethics, and sustainable finance. For example, Antoine is the coordinator of the module on sustainable finance part of the DAS en management durable at the Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève in partnership with Sustainable Finance Geneva and Institut Supérieur de Formation Bancaire. Other contributions have been: CSR and Measurement, Université de Genève, Certificate of Advanced Studies in Corporate Social Responsibility; HEC Paris MBA Sustainable Development Seminar; Module Enterprise & Society, MoT, EPFL Lausanne.