June 16, 2022
HEC Montréal and the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford announce the creation of Measuring Beyond, a joint initiative that will focus on one of the most topical questions in the financial world: What common evaluation criteria can we use to measure corporate performance in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors? At a time when companies in all sectors are facing pressure from their shareholders, customers, employees, and suppliers to evaluate their performance beyond their financial results, the two academic institutions are proud to join forces to contribute to this historic trend.
The launch of this initiative coincides with the recent arrival in Montréal of the North American office of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the organization that sets international standards for ESG measurement. Ideally positioned, Measuring Beyond will provide a space for the world-class academic communities at Oxford and HEC Montréal to collaborate with both the ISSB and leading companies to help develop relevant, comparable and impactful ESG standards.
The project will enable the university community to build bridges with experts from all spheres. The business community will be at the heart of this dynamic partnership: Transparent collaboration between the researchers and the partner companies will foster an extremely rich research environment.
More specifically, the corporate partners will provide the research teams with internal data (finance, supply chains, etc.) that will be harnessed to develop or test extra-financial evaluation standards that will facilitate the ISSB’s work. In return, participating companies will gain access not only to a large number of transfer activities, but also to a recruitment pool comprising the students involved in the research.
The actions linked to this initiative will begin this summer. The first inter-university conference is planned in Oxford in September 2022.
Convinced of the relevance of this joint initiative between two renowned institutions, the Montreal firm Lallemand Inc. is backing this unique model with a $1 million contribution to the project start-up. It has thus become the first strategic partner of Measuring Beyond.
This new collaboration reflects the desire to bring HEC Montréal and the University of Oxford closer together. Since 2019, a scholarship program has enabled nearly a dozen members of the HEC Montréal student community to study at Oxford, and permitted Oxford graduates to continue their studies at HEC Montréal.
The Measuring Beyond initiative results from links forged between accounting professors at HEC Montréal and Oxford, facilitated by an HEC Montréal/Oxford fellow. The joint research interests of these professors, as well as the quest of HEC Montréal and the University of Oxford to position their institutions as leaders in ESG measurement, have fuelled the rapid development of this initiative.
Many other joint research projects between the two universities are underway, including in the areas of marketing, neuroscience and arts management.