Podcast: Great Sustainable Stocks and Funds for 2024

Podcast: Great Sustainable Stocks and Funds for 2024

Great Sustainable Stocks and Funds for 2024. Covers ‘America’s Most Responsible Companies’, additional ESG picks, fashion companies, and solar stocks.

Ron Robins, MBA

Transcript & Links, Episode 123, February 9, 2024

Hello, Ron Robins here. So, welcome to this podcast episode 123 titled “Great Sustainable Stocks and Funds for 2024.” 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 revised website at investingforthesoul.com! Tell me what you think.

Now, 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.

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. Please go to this podcast’s webpage for links to the actual articles for more company and stock information. Also, some companies might be covered more than once and there are also 13 article links below that time didn’t allow me to review them here.


Top 10: ESG Stocks to Consider in 2024

I’m beginning this episode with an article titled Top 10: ESG Stocks to Consider in 2024. It’s by Kate Birch and found on sustainabilitymag.com. Here are a few quotes by Ms. Birch on each of her picks.

1. Nvidia

MSCI Rating: AAA

The microchip megastar is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the artificial intelligence boom… The company has built what looks like an unassailable lead in the AI race, accounting for more than 70% of AI chip sales and widely recognised as the best, not just the biggest…

MSCI finds that Nvidia – when the chips are down – could do better when it comes to corporate governance.

2. Microsoft

MSCI Rating: AAA

Microsoft is another tech giant… getting high on AI. Savvy investment in ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI has put Microsoft in pole position… Microsoft is working toward 100% renewable energy by 2025, carbon negative by 2030, and has famously set out to offset all historical carbon emissions since it was formed in 1975 by 2050.

3. Best Buy

MSCI Rating: AAA

The tech retail giant which has more than 1,000 stores in the US and Canada… The company has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040 and has already reduced carbon emissions by two thirds since 2009. 

Barron’s has named Best Buy in the 100 Most Sustainable US Companies for six years running, this year taking 7th position.

4​​​​​​​. Adobe

MSCI Rating: AAA

An industry standard software for the creative industries – from design to video editing… The company has set a goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2035.

5. Intuit

MSCI Rating: AAA

Intuit… has been praised by MSCI for its corporate governance, human capital development, and carbon emissions.

You’ve probably heard of Intuit thanks to its accounting software QuickBooks, and it’s the company behind Mailchimp and Credit Karma too. 

6. Idexx

MSCI Rating: AAA

Most well known as a company that helps pets live longer, healthier lives via diagnostics and tech innovations, Idexx products help ensure the safety of milk and water around the world – for humans too. 

Listed in the S&P 500, Idexx employs 11,000 people and has customers in more than 175 countries and territories.

7. Lam Research

MSCI Rating: AAA

Lam makes equipment that makes the semiconductors we all rely on, and business is booming. 

Lam is adopting sustainability across its organisation as it aims to reach net zero by 2050 and use 100% renewable energy by 2030. 

8. Salesforce

MSCI Rating: AA

Everyone has surely heard of Salesforce – the cloud-based software that handles customer relationship management (CRM) and applications focused on sales and customer service…

Pre-pandemic, Salesforce was ranked AAA but that dropped to AA in November 2020 and that is where it remains… MSCI says it… is seen as a laggard when it comes to corporate behaviour.


MSCI Rating: AA

Pool manufactures equipment and machinery for swimming pools, and is the largest such company in the world… Pool was upgraded from an A to AA in 2019 in recognition of efforts made to be more sustainable, especially when it comes to labour management, where MSCI says it is a leader.

10. Cadence

MSCI Rating: AA

MSCI does not recognise it as an ESG Laggard in any of its criteria. However, Cadence misses out on the highest ranking as it is, well, bang average on too many criteria, including carbon emissions and human capital development.” End quotes.


America’s Most Responsible Companies 2024

The next article is another ranking. It’s titled America’s Most Responsible Companies 2024. The cover article is by Nancy Cooper and seen on newsweek.com. Here are a few quotes by Ms. Cooper.

“This year, we award 600 of the largest corporations in the United States, up from 500 in 2022. While that increase is noteworthy, even more so is the fact that the company in this year’s 600th spot has a higher score than last year’s 500th. It is also worth mentioning that 243 companies on the list have placed for at least four consecutive years, with 156 earning a spot for all five years…

This year’s top overall position is held by Merck (MRK) having an impressive score of 92 out of 100, with Xylem (XYL) following closely at 91.3 and HP (HPQ), which held the No. 1 position for the previous four years, maintaining a solid presence in third with a score of 90.3.

Three companies stand out for scoring 100 in one of the three ESG pillars: Dell (DELL), Entergy (ETR) and Merck.’” End quotes.


7 Best Solar Stocks to Buy Now

Next, back to a familiar favorite sector with this article titled 7 Best Solar Stocks to Buy Now. It’s by Jeff Reeves and appeared on money.usnews.com. Now some quotes from Mr. Reeves on his recommendations.

1. Array Technologies Inc. (ARRY)

Array provides technology solutions that support solar array efficiency by moving panels to track the sun across the sky. This includes both the physical rigs as well as proprietary software that points them in the right direction at the right time… Average analyst estimates call for earnings per share to rise from $1.03 per share in 2023 to $1.27 per share in 2024. Revenue is growing nicely, too, with a projected 20% growth rate in 2024.

Market capitalization: $2 billion

2. Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ)

Though headquartered in Canada, Canadian Solar also has significant international operations, including in the fast-growing solar marketplace of China. And unlike some of the other stocks on this list that only produce solar panels or related hardware, Canadian Solar has a global energy segment that provides the actual power generation from solar farms… This diversification into a utility-style business model provides it a bit more stability… analyst projections of 26% revenue growth in 2024.

Market capitalization: $1.5 billion

3. Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ)

Daqo is headquartered in China… Woods Mackenzie published a report in November that stated China will have more than 80% of the world’s solar manufacturing capacity through 2026. Daqo’s growth rate is impressive, with total revenue of $4.6 billion in 2022 compared with about $300 million back in 2018.

Market capitalization: $1.3 billion

4. Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH)

Many solar investors are drawn to Enphase, both because it’s larger than many dedicated solar rivals and because of its impressive 1,489% share price increase over the past five years through Jan. 25. Enphase has made a name for itself by specializing in semiconductor products known as ‘microinverters,’ which convert energy captured in those cells into usable energy for homes and businesses… Truist just upgraded the stock in January, and Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage with a ‘buy’ rating in the past few weeks, too. 

Market capitalization: $14.5 billion

5. First Solar Inc. (FSLR)

Founded in 1999… manufactures solar modules, mainly serving large-scale developers and operators of utilities or independent power grids for commercial and industrial use. The gloomy outlook for the industry in 2023 didn’t take as much of a toll on First Solar, thanks to its focus on bigger customers instead of residential end-users, and its powerful position in the industry ensures it can weather short-term volatility as it looks to the future of alternative energy.

Market capitalization: $15.8 billion

6. SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (SEDG)

SolarEdge sells current inverter systems for solar installations, allowing the panels to produce alternating current, or AC, power that is transmissible across the energy grid. Unfortunately, the headwinds for the solar industry have been compounded by the fact that this mid-cap solar company is headquartered in Israel. As a result, shares are down a gut-wrenching 76% in the past 12 months.

Market capitalization: $3.9 billion

7. Sunnova Energy International Inc. (NOVA)

Sunnova installs solar arrays and energy storage solutions for homeowners and small businesses. It’s modest in size… however… analysts expect more than $1 billion in total revenue in 2024 – more than 36% higher than expected 2023 sales. There’s more volatility with a small and unprofitable stock… But if you want to get in on the ground floor of the residential solar rollout, Sunnova is a good option to consider in 2024.

Market capitalization: $1.3 billion.”

End quotes.


The Top 5 Sustainable Funds of 2023: AI, Anybody?

Now a look at some funds with this article titled The Top 5 Sustainable Funds of 2023: AI, Anybody? It’s by Muskaan Hemrajani and seen on morningstar.com. Here are some points by Mr. Hemrajani on each of the funds.

To identify the top sustainable funds of 2023, we screened U.S.-based funds within the Morningstar Large Cap category that identify as sustainable investments.

  1. Invesco ESG NASDAQ 100 ETF (QQMG)

  • Return: 55.34%
  • Morningstar Medalist Rating: Bronze
  • Maximum Allocation: The technology sector
  • Top Holdings: Microsoft MSFT (13.00%), Apple AAPL (11.99%)
  • Notable: 10% portfolio weight is in AI stocks like Nvidia NVDA and Broadcom AVGO
  1. ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG ETF (LRGE)

  1. Parnassus Growth Equity Institutional (PFPGX)

  • Return: 45.18%
  • Morningstar Medalist Rating: Bronze
  • Key Driver: Successful rally in the technology sector
  • Notable: 11% of the fund’s weight is in Microsoft
  1. Nuveen Winslow Large-Cap Growth ESG ETF (NWLG)

  1. BlackRock Sustainable US Growth (BESGX) (Note different versions of fund)

End quotes.


3 Stocks Poised for Success in the Sustainable Fashion Trend

Now this article will particularly interest those of you who are fashion conscious! It’s titled 3 Stocks Poised for Success in the Sustainable Fashion Trend by Shane Neagle and found on investorplace.com. Now some quotes.

Embrace these three sustainable fashion stocks for a greener future…

  1. Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

The company makes fashion products designed for health-conscious and active consumers.

  1. Deckers Outdoor( DECK)

In its commitment to sustainability, Deckers Brands has made significant strides in recent years.

  1. Columbia Sportswear (COLM)”

End quotes.


Other Honorable Mentions – not in any order.

  1. Title: Maximizing Tax Deductions: 3 Charity-Friendly Stocks to Consider on investorplace.com. By Faizan Farooque.
  2. Title: Eco-Friendly Tax Breaks: 3 Green Stocks to Buy Now on investorplace.com. By Gabriel Osorio-Mazzilli.
  3. Title: There’s Still Strong Interest in Sustainable Investing on etftrends.com. By Todd Shriber.
  4. Title: 3 Once-in-a-Lifetime Renewable Energy Stocks With Unprecedented Surge Potential on investorplace.com. By Matthew Farley.
  5. Title: Solar Surge: 3 Stocks to Light Up Your Portfolio in 2024 on investorplace.com. By Jeremy Flint.
  6. Title: VEGN growth and expansion plans on etfexpress.com. By Fiona Nicolson.
  7. Title: 7 Stocks Benefiting from the Massive Shift to Clean Energy on investorplace.com. By Ian Cooper.
  8. Title: Top 5 Solar Energy Stocks to Buy in 2024 for Green Investing! On youtube.com. By Ai Motive Mingle.
  9. Title: Just Capital’s 2024 Overall Rankings on justcapital.com. By Just Capital.
  10. Title: The 3 Most Undervalued Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy in February 2024 on investorplace.com. By Ian Cooper.

Additional Articles from the UK and Australia

  1. Title: 5 Renewable Energy Companies in the UK to Know on builtin.com. By Abel Rodriguez.
  2. Title: 3 ethical ASX shares poised to outperform in 2024 on fool.com.au. By Bernd Struben.
  3. Title: What were Pearler’s 5 most popular ESG ETFs in 2023? On raskmedia.com.au. By Nick Nicolaides.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast titled: “Great Sustainable Stocks and Funds for 2024.”

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.

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

I’ll talk to you next on February 23rd.

Bye for now.


© 2024 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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