Podcast: Socially Responsible Companies Investors Like

Podcast: Socially Responsible Companies Investors Like

This podcast, “Socially Responsible Companies Investors Like,” includes these articles: “22 Socially Responsible Companies to Know,” by Jeff Rumage; “These are Canada’s 50 fastest-growing green companies of 2023,” by Rick Spence; and “Buy The Dip – 2 ‘Strong Buy’ Renewable Energy Stocks,” by High Yield Investor…

Ron Robins, MBA

Transcript & Links, Episode 108, June 16, 2023

Hello, Ron Robins here. So, welcome to my podcast episode 108 titled “Socially Responsible Companies Investors Like.” It’s presented by Investing for the Soul. Investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing mentoring, news, commentary, information, and resources. And look at my newly totally revised website at investingforthesoul.com!

So, 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.


22 Socially Responsible Companies to Know

I’m beginning with this article titled 22 Socially Responsible Companies to Know. It’s by Jeff Rumage and found on builtin.com. Here are some of Mr. Rumage’s remarks about the 15 public companies he covers.

“1. Cisco (CSCO)

Cisco has donated $494 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community programs, including its career training program. The company has also committed to investing $150 million for technology education and technology modernization at historically Black colleges and universities, and it has provided technology equipment and donations to Ukraine, too. Cisco plans to reach net zero carbon emissions across its value chain by 2040.

2. Allbirds (BIRD)

Allbirds, a direct-to-consumer shoe and apparel company, uses natural materials like wool instead of synthetic materials. A certified B Corp, it pledged in 2021 to cut its carbon footprint in half by the end of 2025.

3. Warby Parker (WRBY)

Warby Parker has been selling prescription glasses and sunglasses online since 2010. A certified B Corp, the company donates a pair of glasses or sunglasses for every pair sold.

4. HP (HPQ)

HP reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 59 percent compared to 2015 levels, and it plans to reach net-zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2040… More than 110 million ocean-bound plastic bottles have been retrieved and reused in HP’s ink cartridges.

5. Intel Corporation (INTC)

Intel derives 93 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, and it aims to reach 100 percent by 2030. The company expects to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

6. Qualcomm (QCOM)

Qualcomm, which manufactures semiconductors and wireless technology, has pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and reduce power consumption in its flagship Snapdragon products by 10 percent every year.

7. Salesforce (CRM)

Salesforce announced in 2021 that it had reached net zero carbon emissions across its value chain and that it purchases enough renewable energy to match its electricity usage… The company has also committed to donate $200 million to racial justice causes, spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, and double its Black leadership in the U.S.

8. Stitch Fix (SFIX)

Stitch Fix, an online clothing retailer that makes personalized outfit recommendations, is more than halfway to meeting its goal of using environmentally preferred materials in its private label products by 2025.

9. Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft has pledged to go beyond carbon neutral and become ‘carbon negative’ by 2030… It also advocates for human rights, teaches in-demand digital skills and provides rural communities with affordable broadband access.

10. Google (Alphabet) (GOOG)

Google has been carbon neutral since 2007 and is now working to transition to carbon-free energy sources by 2030. Since 2014, Google has invested more than $90 million to achieve equity in computer science and higher education, more than $400 million to create economic opportunities for communities of color and more than $45 million to support racial justice organizations.

11. adidas North America

Athletic apparel brand Adidas (ADS.DE) strives to make its operations carbon neutral by 2025… The company also aims to use environmentally preferred materials in 90 percent of its products by 2025.

12. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer health products, gets more than half of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The company aims to be completely powered by renewable energy sources by 2025 and expects its operations to be carbon neutral by 2030.

13. Lemonade (LMND)

Lemonade is a digital insurance company that has shaken up the industry’s business model. After covering the cost of claims and operational expenses, Lemonade distributes any leftover money from your insurance premium to the nonprofit of your choice.

14. Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI)

Levi’s has pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The company estimates its Water<Less manufacturing process has saved nearly 13 billion liters of water between 2011 and 2020… Levi’s also created a worker well-being program in 2011 to provide health education, family welfare programs and financial empowerment for its apparel workers.

15. Nike (NKE)

Nike budgets 2 percent of its previous year’s income for community investment, and it has donated nearly $70 million out of a planned $125 million to organizations working to address racial inequality, according to its latest impact report. About 93 percent of the electricity for Nike’s owned-and-operated facilities comes from renewable sources… The company also diverts 99 percent of all shoe manufacturing waste from landfills, and it converts its waste into new products, playgrounds, running tracks and courts.” End quotes.


These are Canada’s 50 fastest-growing green companies of 2023

Now though these are Canadian companies, many investors from the US and elsewhere might find of interest the companies mentioned in this article. It’s by Canada’s terrific Corporate Knights group and the article is titled These are Canada’s 50 fastest-growing green companies of 2023. It’s by Rick Spence and found on corporateknights.com. Here are some quotes by Mr. Spence.

“The Future 50 ranks 25 public companies based on their short-term revenue growth (the rise in 2021 sales over 2020)… Topping the ‘public’ list is Li-Cycle (LICY), which provides end-of-life recycling and resource recovery for lithium-ion batteries. Between 2020 and 2021, the Toronto-based company grew its sales from $1.05 million to $9.1 million – a gain of 766%.

Possibly even more remarkable are the three giant companies on the public list that achieved 2021 revenue numbers in the nine figures: Vancouver healthcare-services provider CloudMD Software (DOC.V) ($102 million); Toronto plant-protein producer Global Food and Ingredients (PEASF) ($124 million); and Delta, B.C., greenhouse growers Village Farms International (VFF) ($339 million). (While greenhouses aren’t usually considered energy-efficient, Village Farms heats its Delta facilities with methane from local landfills.)…

Fourteen firms offer sophisticated new specialty business-management services, such as Kontrol Technologies’ (KNR.NE) smart-building controls…

New to the Future 50 this year, ElectraMeccanica (SOLO), a B.C.-based manufacturer of sporty, one-person electric cars, recalled 429 of its three-wheel ‘Solo’ models in February, due to both performance (occasional losses of power) and regulatory issues. Now CEO Susan Docherty is plotting to disrupt the four-wheel world: ‘We believe that major opportunities remain for an experienced maker of smaller, nimbler EVs with eye-catching design and personalized features.’” End quotes.


Buy The Dip: 2 ‘Strong Buy’ Renewable Energy Stocks

Now back to familiar territory with this article titled Buy The Dip: 2 ‘Strong Buy’ Renewable Energy Stocks. It’s by High Yield Investor and seen on seekingalpha.com. Here’s some of what is said in the article.

“The four (mostly) pure-play renewable energy producers on US stock exchanges are:

  • Brookfield Renewable (BEPBEPC) — Part of the Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) family, domiciled in Canada…
  • NextEra Energy Partners (NEP) — majority owned and sponsored by the largest renewables developer in the US, NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE)…
  • Clearway Energy Inc. (CWENCWEN.A) — minority owned but controlled and sponsored by Clearway Energy Group, a renewable energy developer co-owned by Global Infrastructure Partners and TotalEnergies SE (TTE)…
  • Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure (AY) — no sponsor, minority owned by Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN)…

Brookfield Renewable has generated the strongest total returns across long time periods… Although these four stocks generally follow the same trajectory, there are multiple significant differences between them…

Brookfield Renewable is by far the biggest player in the space… by enterprise value, the other three companies combined still aren’t as big as Brookfield’s $55 billion.

Brookfield’s size, global scale, and multi-decade experience, and expertise in zero-carbon power production make it the go-to decarbonization partner for large corporations around the world…

When it comes to the balance sheet, Brookfield Renewable boasts the best in the business:

  • BBB+ credit rating.
  • 97% of total debt with fixed interest rates.
  • 36% total debt to total capitalization.
  • 12-year weighted average term to maturity.

NextEra Energy Partners

… 9.3 GW portfolio of wind, solar, and battery storage assets in 30 states across the country is only slightly smaller than Brookfield’s non-hydro portfolio.

Like Brookfield, NextEra Energy Partners’ portfolio enjoys long contract lives… and an average customer credit rating of BBB+.

And despite being externally managed by NextEra Energy, Inc., the managers of NextEra Energy Partners have displayed extraordinary alignment with NextEra Energy Partners unitholders over the years…

Finally, rather than lower their ambitious 12-15% annual distribution per unit target when the unit price dropped, management announced a plan to sell NextEra Energy Partners’ natural gas pipelines in order to become a pure-play renewables producer and avoid the need to issue further equity.

Clearway Energy

Like NextEra Energy Partners, Clearway Energy’s 8.1 GW renewable energy portfolio is concentrated exclusively in the United States. Around 75% of Clearway Energy’s portfolio cash flow derives from renewables assets, while the remaining 25% comes from gas-fired power plants in California and Connecticut…

After selling its thermal power facilities in 2022 at a favorable price, Clearway Energy has a tremendous cash pile to put to work. Most of it has already been committed to new projects, but there still remains enough cash available to prevent the need for Clearway Energy to raise equity capital anytime in the next year or so.

Clearway Energy’s sponsor, Clearway Energy Group, continues to increase the size of its development pipeline, which now sits at 29.3 GW…

Clearway Energy now has a 12-quarter record of consecutive dividend hikes at around 2% per quarter. Management believes they can achieve their targeted 6-8% annual dividend growth plan through at least 2026.

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure

… has a globally diversified portfolio of power generation and transmission assets, 70% of which are renewables and 90% of which are denominated or hedged in USD. That last 10% of non-hedged, non-USD revenues, however, can cause some fluctuations in results that don’t always reflect the underlying fundamental strength of the assets.

Only 40% of Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure’s assets are located in North America (the lowest of its peers), while 34% are in Europe, 18% in South America, and 8% in the rest of the world.

Like its peers, Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure’s portfolio enjoys an average remaining contract life of 14 years, and 100% of its non-recourse project-level debt fully amortizes (principal fully paid off) before the end of each respective project’s contract term expiration. About 43% of Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure’s project-level debt will be paid down through this mechanism in just the next five years.

And ~80% of Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure’s total debt is in these overwhelmingly fixed-rate, project-level loans. The other ~20% is in corporate-level debt…

We think Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure has underperformed mainly because of currency fluctuations and the lack of a marquee sponsor to provide a robust development pipeline for drop-down acquisitions. But the poor share price performance masks Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure’s underlying strength.” End quotes.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast titled: “Socially Responsible Companies Investors Like.”

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 June 30th.

And, again, look at my new totally revised website at investingforthesoul.com! Tell me what you think!

Bye for now.


© 2023 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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