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CVC’s $200M Investment in EcoVadis Shows Urgency for Sustainable Supply Chains

EcoVadis, a specialist in business sustainability ratings for global supply chains, has agreed to a $200 million investment from private equity firm CVC Growth Partners II.

EcoVadis said it will leverage the funding to scale globally and ingrain sustainability, fair labor practices and ethics into enterprise supply chains and business commerce.

“The combination of global sustainability initiatives, evolving compliance regulations and corporate purpose commitments are putting a new and urgent spotlight on the supply chain, and creating an immense and growing market for our solutions,” Frédéric Trinel, co-founder and co-CEO of EcoVadis, said. “CVC’s global network and reach will play a critical role in helping us scale and change the way businesses operate.”

Momentum toward a more environmentally and societally focused economy has been building for years, Pierre-Francois Thaler, also co-CEO and co-founder of EcoVadis, said.

“Today’s executives recognize the power of sustainability to protect their brands, increase valuation, inform investment strategies and positively impact the world,” Thaler said. “The supply chain is the single greatest lever for creating real change and making an impact. But when left unmanaged, it becomes a breeding ground for hidden risk, including forced labor, environmental waste, corruption, security issues.”

More than 450 enterprises representing more than $2.5 trillion in business spending rely on EcoVadis’ supplier ratings and engagement platform to evaluate and improve environmental and social performance across their global supply chains. EcoVadis’ evidence-based assessment methodology, delivered via a sophisticated SaaS platform and backed by a dedicated team of corporate social responsibility (CSR) analysts, assessed around 60,000 companies across 155 countries.

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In 2019, the firm added 10,000 companies to its network and opened new offices in Tokyo, San Francisco and Melbourne. EcoVadis plans to leverage the funding to expand internationally, break into new countries and further invest in its technology platform, sustainability intelligence solutions and network of rated companies.

“We have followed EcoVadis for several years as part of our long-standing efforts in supply chain risk management, where we identified ESG (environmental, social and governance) as a particular area of focus for best-in-class companies, and are incredibly excited about the immense opportunities that lie ahead for the company, as it continues to establish itself as the gold standard for ESG ratings,” Aaron Dupuis, senior managing director at CVC Growth Partners, said.

John Clark, managing partner of CVC Growth Partners, Dupuis and Sebastian Kuenne, managing director who leads CVC Growth Partners in Europe, will be joining EcoVadis’ board of directors. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 following regulatory approvals.