Podcast: Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022

Podcast: Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022

Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022 includes coverage of the following stocks: Life Time, Hurtigruten, Panera Bread, Yeti, Toro, Ecolab, Colgate-Palmolive, Tesla, Beyond Meat, Microsoft, Aflac, Enphase Energy, Intuit, Adobe, Waste Management, Chipotle, PepsiCo. Plus: First Trust Water ETF, iShares Global Clean Energy ETF, Fidelity US Sustainability Index Fund, Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund

Transcript & Links, Episode 90, September 23, 2022

Ron Robins, MBA

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to my podcast episode 90 published on September 23, 2022, titled “Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022” — and presented by Investing for the Soul. Investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing mentoring, news, commentary, information, and resources.

Remember that you can find a full transcript, and links to content – including stock symbols, quotes, and bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

Now if any terms are unfamiliar to you, simply Google them.

Also, just a reminder. I do not evaluate any of the stocks or funds mentioned in these podcasts, nor do I receive any compensation from anyone covered in these podcasts. Furthermore, I will reveal to you any personal investments I have in the investments mentioned herein.


1) Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022

I’m beginning with this article which lists some intriguing companies not regularly featured in these podcasts. The title of the article is 10 Most Sustainable Companies 2022 and found on Worth.com. Here are the public companies on the list with brief quotes from the article.

1. Life Time: Healthy People + Healthy Planet (NASDAQ: LTH)

Today, the company offers nearly 160 sprawling athletic country clubs, a handful of coworking and residential complexes, and the rights to numerous marquee sporting events such as the Miami Marathon and the annual ‘Race Across The Sky’ in Colorado.

With sustainability at the forefront of his business model, (Bahram Akradi, the founder,) has relentlessly pushed his staff… In July of this year, his efforts to reduce Life Time’s carbon footprint earned him recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, which named his business the top-ranked company in the country for energy reduction.

2. Hurtigruten: Cruising towards a Carbon Neutral Future (Oslo: HURT)

Hurtigruten Group was established in 1893 by Norway’s government as a means for connecting people living along the country’s jagged coastline and fjords, shipping goods, and delivering mail. Nearly 130 years later, the company has emerged as the most innovative, technologically advanced, and sustainable cruise line in the world…

3. Panera Bread: Cool Meals for an Overheated Planet (NASDAQ: PNRA)

Carbon-friendly food, it turns out, is good for the planet and business; recent reports found that 6 in 10 Americans say that sustainable food is important to them and a significant driver of brand loyalty.

4. Yeti: Hard Goods Built to Last (NYSE: YETI)

Part of the customer appeal of YETI’s famous drinkware line is its value as an alternative to single-use, disposable plastic cups and thermoses… One hundred percent of YETI packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025… In 2020 YETI surpassed $1 billion in revenue and in 2021 reached global sales of $1.4 billion.

5. Toro: Harnessing Massive Reach and New Tech for Maximum Impact (NASDAQ: TTC)

Its Flex-Force power system of interchangeable, battery-powered yard equipment has given it a certain ‘Tesla-like’ status in neighborhoods across the country.

6. Ecolab: Water Preservation at Scale (NYSE: ECL)

Ecolab (is) a $15 billion a year company specializing in water treatment, purification, cleaning, and hygiene in various applications. Every major corporate water preservation initiative in the news, from the Manchester United football club to Kraft Heinz to Hilton Hotels, has Ecolab’s fingerprints.

7. Colgate-Palmolive: Taking Ownership on a Global Scale (NYSE: CL)

Colgate is not afraid to upend the status quo if it means lowering the environmental footprint of its products.” End quotes.


2. Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022

Now we turn to another list titled Best Sustainable Investing Funds to Watch in 2022. It’s by Kane Pepi on business2community.com. It’s a UK article but has relevance globally. Here is Mr. Pepi’s list with some quotes from him on each fund.

“1. First Trust Water ETF (FIW)

The First Trust Water ETF is benchmarked to the ISE Clean Edge Water Index. As such, this is one of the most popular sustainable ETFs to provide investors with a way of gaining exposure to the shortage of drinkable water…

The First Trust Water fund was created in 2007… (and) up by almost 80% over the previous five years of trading.


2. KraneShares Global Carbon ETF (KRBN)

This ETF is benchmarked to the IHS Markit Global Carbon Index. The sustainable index fund tracks the most actively traded carbon credit futures contracts and provides comprehensive coverage of cap-and-trade carbon allowances…

KraneShares Global Carbon began trading as recently as 2020.  Since then, the fund has increased by almost 100%.

MSCI ESG Rating: N/A – Undisclosed

3. iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN)

Makes investments in firms operating in the biofuels, geothermal, wind, hydroelectric, ethanol, and solar sectors of the worldwide green power sector… it has over $5.7 billion in net assets.


4. Invesco Solar ETF (TAN)

… invests in renewable power and tracks the MAC Global Solar Energy Index (SUNIDX)… In order to account for relevant taxes for non-resident investors, the index is calculated using net returns…

The inception year for this fund was 2008… Invesco Solar is trading almost 300% higher than it was five years ago.

MSCI ESG Rating: A

5. First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN)

This is one of the most sustainable index funds in the market for those interested in green investment funds and energy companies within the US…

(The fund) was made public in 2007… (It) has increased by 254% over the five years.

MSCI ESG Rating: A

6. Fidelity US Sustainability Index Fund (FITLX)

… only holds securities with excellent MSCI ESG ratings. This fund’s benchmark is the MSCI USA ESG Leaders Index.


7. Global X CleanTech ETF (CTEC)

… aims to mimic the Indxx Global CleanTech Index’s price and yield performance, prior to fees and charges… the Global X CleanTech ETF seeks to invest in… businesses engaged in the improvement of home and commercial energy efficiency and those that specialize in the creation of renewable power…

(The fund was listed in) 2020. It has increased a little over 10% since its inception.

MSCI ESG Rating: A

8. BGF Sustainable Energy A2 USD

Launched in 2001, this BGF sustainable energy fund invests at least 70% of its total assets internationally. Notably, there are numerous different units, albeit, for the purpose of this analysis we focus on A2 USD…

There are 49 holdings in this Blackrock sustainable fund… it has an asset net value of over $6.3 billion.

MSCI ESG Rating:  AA

9. Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund (VFTAX)

The Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund tracks the FTSE4Good US Select Index…

Strict exclusionary ESG filters are applied by the Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund…

The net assets in this sustainable investment fund have a value of almost $14 billion…

(The) Fund has been around since 2019… (It’s) price has increased by over 46% since its inception.


10. VanEck Vectors Environmental Services ETF (EVX)

The VanEck Environmental Services ETF closely monitors, before fees and costs, the price and performance of the NYSE Arca Environmental Services Index (AXENV). The fund monitors the overall performance of businesses engaged in soil remediation, wastewater management, trash collection, transfer, and disposal, recycling, and environmental consultancy…

VanEck Vectors Environmental Services ETF has risen by over 78% over five years.

MSCI ESG Rating: AA.” End quotes.


3. Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022

Now from the same busines2community.com site, we have the article Best Ethical Investing Stocks to Watch in 2022 by Michael Graw. Here’s his selection of companies with some brief comments on each one.

“1. Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla was kicked out of the S&P 500’s ESG stocks index earlier this year. That’s because the company receives low scores for its social impact and governance, and Tesla has been criticized for racism and poor work environments. Still, because of Tesla’s environmental impacts, many investors still consider it an ethical investment.

ESG rating: 91

2. Beyond Meat (BYND)

Beyond Meat is a meatless food producer that’s reinventing what a veggie burger can be… The fast food chain Mcdonald’s decided not to go ahead with Beyond Meat burgers on a wide scale after an initial test, although other fast food chains have adopted Beyond Meat products…

Some Wall Street analysts believe Beyond Meat is valued appropriately at its current price. But more bullish analysts suggest the stock could jump to $35 per share, which would represent a gain of nearly 65% from current prices.

ESG rating: 47

3. Microsoft (MSFT)

The company’s goal is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, then offset all prior emissions by 2050… Microsoft also prides itself on the company’s social impact. The company has been outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights and integrates supportive symbols into products like the Xbox.

ESG rating: 76

4. Aflac (AFL)

… has quietly been an ethical leader within the insurance industry… Aflac has also taken an active role in promoting medical research. The company donated more than $150 million to cancer research in 2021 and supported more than 140,000 pediatric cancer patients and their families during treatment. More recently, Aflac has also begun giving money towards sickle cell research and patients.

Aflac stock is up more than 5% since the start of 2022… The company also pays a dividend yield of 2.61%.

ESG rating: 94

5. Enphase Energy (ENPH)

This company builds integrated solar panels, batteries, and micro-inverters that can be used to convert large commercial and industrial buildings to solar power. By focusing on the industrial sector, Enphase Energy has somewhat differentiated itself from solar competitors that largely rely on residential solar installations for revenue…

Enphase Energy stock has gained 93% over the past year and is currently trading just below its 52-week high.

ESG rating: 93

6. Intuit (INTU)

The company, which makes software products like TurboTax, Quickbooks, and Mint, has achieved equal gender pay across its organization and is working towards achieving equal pay for minorities… Intuit has also promoted inclusive hiring practices in underserved communities… and investing in ‘Prosperity Hubs’ in economically depressed areas.

Still… Intuit has faced criticism over some of its practices…

Intuit stock is down 31% since the start of the year and is currently priced 40% below its 52-week high.

ESG rating: 91

7. Adobe (ADBE)

The company has ESG initiatives on multiple fronts, including achieving gender pay equity across its global operations and setting a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2035…

This ethical stock saw a 143% increase in price over the past 5 years…

Adobe stock is down 33% so far in 2022, but analysts suggest that the company may be undervalued.

ESG rating: 70

8. Waste Management (WM)

The company operates hundreds of landfills around the US as well as recycling centers and fleets of trucks to collect garbage… Waste Management takes its environmental impact seriously. The company creates landfills that can be filled in and turned into parks once they’re full and has been active in promoting recycling…

This ethical investing stock has… gained 6.1% year-to-date and recently hit a 52-week high. Waste Management also pays investors a dividend yield of 1.51%.

ESG rating: 63

9. Chipotle (CMG)

… has made significant efforts to source its ingredients in ways that are local and sustainable. The company has partnerships with thousands of small farmers and buys the majority of its meat products from certified human sources…

The downside to this approach, however, is that Chipotle occasionally runs into issues with its supply chain, especially contamination…

Chipotle stock is sitting at a 1.3% gain for the year so far and is nearing a 52-week high.

ESG rating: 62

10. PepsiCo (PEP)

PepsiCo is one of the world’s largest producers of bottled water… The company’s goal is to put more water back into each of the aquifers it uses as water sources than it takes out of them…

The price of PepsiCo stock has been flat to down slightly since the start of the year, but investors can still benefit from the stock’s 2.70% dividend yield.

ESG rating: 93.” End quotes.


Other Honorable Mentions – not in any order

1) Title: 10 Best ESG Stocks to Invest In by Mohammed Saqib on Yahoo.com.

2) Title: Best Green Investment Funds to Watch in September 2022 on business2community.com. By Michael Graw.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast: “Most Sustainable Stocks & Funds for 2022.”

Now, please be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you download or listen to this podcast. That helps bring these podcasts to others like you.

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Contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you next on October 7th.

Bye for now.

© 2022 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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