Podcast: The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…

Podcast: The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…

The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus… Includes these articles: “Corporate Knights’ 100 most sustainable companies”; “How a one-man scrap metal recycler became the world’s most sustainable corporation,” by Mike Scott; “5 Renewable Energy Companies To Support In 2023,” by Lei Nguyen; and “4 Solar Stocks Seeing Explosive Growth,” by Sejuti Banerjea. Plus, links to more

Transcript & Links, Episode 98, January 27, 2023

Ron Robins, MBA

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast 98 and published on January 27, 2023, titled “The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…” — 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 and bonus material – on this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

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

Also, 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.

Additionally, quotes about individual companies are brief so that I can get as many companies covered as possible in the time allowed. Please go to this podcast’s webpage for links to the actual articles for more company and stock information. Also, several companies are covered more than once and there are also 4 article links below that time didn’t allow me to review here.


1) The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…

I’m going to begin with my favorite annual sustainable company ranking. It’s Corporate Knights’ 100 most sustainable companies. The introduction is by Mike Scott and found on corporateknights.com. Here are some quotes by Mr. Scott.

“This year’s Global 100 ranking of the world’s most sustainable companies, now in its 19th year, reveals that the transition is gathering momentum – and that businesses that take sustainability seriously are flourishing financially.

While the Global 100 is light on oil and gas companies, whose profits have soared because of rising energy prices (Finland’s Neste being the only oil company on the ranking), it still managed to outperform its blue-chip benchmark, MSCI ACWI (All Country World Index), and other ESG indices. While both the Global 100 and ACWI fell somewhat in 2022, since its inception on February 1, 2005, the Global 100 Index has generated a total investment return of 270.7% compared to 222.1% for ACWI…

Rising oil prices have stimulated growth in renewables

Ralph Torrie, Corporate Knights’ research director, says rising oil prices have stimulated growth in renewables, smart buildings, electric vehicles and other climate solutions, including circular economy measures…

Sustainable revenue now makes up half of gross revenue for the Global 100 compared to just 5% for the wider benchmark… For every tonne of carbon they produce, Global 100 companies earn 33 times more revenue than ACWI firms…

A fifth of Global 100 companies are U.S.-based… followed by Canada with 11%. However, as a region, Europe still leads the way with 44%, while Asia Pacific hosts 22% of the ranking’s companies…

New entrants include pharmaceuticals

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, new entrants to the index included a number of pharmaceuticals groups, such as Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Novavax (NVAX) and Gilead Sciences (GILD). Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO (NIO) and its compatriot Yadea (1585.HK), which produces electric bicycles, were also notable entrants, along with two companies from Taiwan: bicycle maker Giant (9921.TW) and the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (2633.TW) .

Torrie says the addition of these corporations reflects the improved reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors from companies in the region…


Corporate Knights’ 2023 ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations is based on a rigorous assessment of more than 6,000 public companies with revenue over US$1 billion. All companies are scored on applicable metrics relative to their peers, with 50% of the weight assigned to sustainable revenue and sustainable investment.” End quotes.


2) The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…

Now Mike Scott writes about this year’s no. 1 ranked company in Corporate Knights Global 100 with this piece titled How a one-man scrap metal recycler became the world’s most sustainable corporation. Again it’s on corporateknights.com. Here’s some of what Mr. Scott says about this unusual sustainable corporate champion.

“Schnitzer Steel’s (SCHN) rapid ascension to the top of the Global 100 highlights the growing importance of both the circular economy and low-carbon metals in the energy transition

It began in 1906 as a one-man scrap metal business in Portland, Oregon, called Alaska Junk Company…

However, during its long history, Schnitzer Steel has developed into a global leader in the collection, processing and sale of the world’s most recycled product: steel… about a third comes from forging recycled scrap steel into finished products in electric arc furnaces that are powered by hydropower, making the metal extremely low carbon…

In 2019, the company set about bolstering its framework by adopting specific goals and metrics to track progress. These included… reaching net-zero GHG emissions for all operations (steel manufacturing, metals recycling and auto dismantling) by 2050…

This year, Schnitzer’s emissions were 24% lower than in 2019…

Recycling metals, while essential to the circular economy, can be a hazardous business. Its Pick-n-Pull car recycling subsidiary paid US$2.5 million in 2022 to settle allegations from 14 district attorneys in California that the company had illegally disposed of toxic materials and had stormwater pollution issues…

A few years ago, Schnitzer Steel was also involved in a legal dispute with the Oakland Athletics baseball team over the presence of a metals shredding plant near the team’s proposed new ballpark on the waterfront. An appeals court ultimately sided with the company.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Schnitzer’s approach to sustainability has ultimately paid off, with the company returning a top-quartile performance on a range of Global 100 indicators. It saw a 74% increase in energy productivity over last year and made significant improvements in water (69%) and carbon (55%) productivity. It also scored well for its proportion of non-male board members (five out of nine are women) and racially diverse executives, while it also saw a significant drop in its worker injury rate.

The company’s ranking also received a boost by its linking of its CEO’s pay to the achievement of sustainability targets… and its policy of offering paid sick leave.

As for the profit side of things, last year was the second-best year in the company’s history.” End quotes.


5 Renewable Energy Companies To Support In 2023

Now we return to one of our favorite sectors with this article titled 5 Renewable Energy Companies To Support In 2023. It’s by Lei Nguyen and found on earth.org. Here are some brief quotes from Mr. Nguyen on each of his picks.

1. Canadian Solar (CSIQ)

… is a solar energy company with headquarters in Ontario that specialises in the design, production, and sale of solar modules, inverters, system kits, and utility-level products. The company, which was founded in 2001, has subsidiaries across six continents and has active clients in over 160 nations. The business adheres to fair trade practices and neither buys conflict minerals nor uses child labor.

For Canadian Solar, the well-being of its more than 13,500 workers is of utmost importance. It also takes environmental protection and conservation very seriously.

2. Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (BEP)

Located in Canada… the corporation has a global portfolio of renewable energy-generating installations. In addition to its primarily focused on hydroelectric power operations, it also owns and manages wind, solar, distributed generation, and storage facilities…

The company is able to save about 29 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the emissions of approximately 6 million vehicles.

3. Vestas Wind Systems (VWS.CO)

… is a Denmark-based wind energy company. It creates, produces, and installs wind turbines. The business also runs a service component that offers service contracts, replacement parts, and related services. The company provides wind turbines for numerous nations across the world…

Their sustainable energy solutions have already prevented 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from being released into the environment and contributed to a more sustainable energy system, with +145GW of wind turbines installed in 85 countries.

4. Clearway Energy (CWEN)

With extremely effective natural gas-powered facilities, it complements its portfolio of wind and solar energy. Additionally, Clearway sells its power through PPAs, which give the business a consistent stream of income. In 2022, the company sold its thermal division, bringing in $1.35 billion in cash that is being reinvested in the expansion of its operations.

Clearway Energy now anticipates that, as a result of its transactions, it will be able to increase its dividend toward the high end of its target range of 5 to 8% annually through at least 2026.

5. SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG)

Last on our list of renewable energy companies is SolarEdge Technologies, an Israeli-based company founded in 2006. SolarEdge specialises in inverter systems for solar projects all around the world… Through a series of acquisitions, it has increased the range of products it offers. These new products and services address a number of energy market segments, including solar, storage, electric vehicle charging, batteries, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), electric vehicle powertrains, and grid services solutions.” End quotes.


4 Solar Stocks Seeing Explosive Growth

Continuing on our renewable energy theme is this article titled 4 Solar Stocks Seeing Explosive Growth. It’s by Sejuti Banerjea and is seen on sports.yahoo.com. Here’s some of what Ms. Banerjea has to say about her four stocks.

1. JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (JKS)

China-based JinkoSolar is involved in the design, development, production and marketing of photovoltaic products like solar modules, silicon wafers, solar cells, recovered silicon materials and silicon ingots. It also provides solar system integration services and develops commercial solar power projects…

In the last reported quarter, China shipments increased 500% and Europe more than 60%.

The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock has a Value Score of A and Growth Score of B. Analysts expect its revenue and earnings to increase a respective 37.2% and 93.0% this year.

2. Array Technologies, Inc. (ARRY)

New Mexico-based Array Technologies manufactures and supplies solar tracking systems and related products in the United States and internationally. Its SmarTrack machine learning software is used to identify the optimal position for a solar array in real time to increase energy production…

The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has a Growth Score of A. Its revenues are expected to grow 19.5% this year and earnings 178.6%.

3. ReneSola Ltd (SOL)

Connecticut-based ReneSola develops, builds, operates and sells solar power projects in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. It operates through three segments: Solar Power Project Development; Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) Services, and Electricity Generation Revenue…

The Zacks Rank #2 stock has a Value Score of B. Analysts currently expect 67.4% revenue growth and 261.1% earnings growth in 2023.

4. SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (SEDG)

Israel-based SolarEdge Technologies designs, develops and sells a broad range of systems and solutions including direct current (DC) optimized inverter systems, power optimizers, communication devices and smart energy management solutions used in residential, commercial and small utility-scale solar installations worldwide…

SolarEdge shares carry a Zacks Rank #2. Analysts expect the company to grow its 2023 revenue and earnings by 28.6% and 80.7%, respectively.” End quotes.


Now some Other Honorable Mentions – no particular order

1. Title: Iberdrola Goes Big on Renewables — Even Wind Energy, Where It Dominates, on environmentalleader.com. By Ken Silverstein.

2. Title: Lucid Group: The Risk/Reward Is Attractive Now (NASDAQ:LCID) on seekingalpha.com. By Cavenagh Research.

Articles From Outside the US

1. Australia. Title: 3 ASX All Ords shares I’m watching like a hawk in January on fool.com.au. By Tristan Harrison.

2. UK. Title: Investing in ESG-friendly banks on ft.com.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast: “The World’s Most Sustainable Companies. Plus…”

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Contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for listening.

Again, wishing you, your family, friends, and colleagues, a great 2023!

Talk to you next February 10th.

Bye for now.

© 2023 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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