Podcast: The Greenest Global Companies

Podcast: The Greenest Global Companies

The Greenest Global Companies podcast features Corporate Knights and As You Sow’s 2024 Clean 200 global green company rankings. Plus

Ron Robins, MBA

Transcript & Links, Episode 124, February 23, 2024

Hello, Ron Robins here. So, welcome to this podcast episode 124 titled “The Greenest Global Companies.” 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 8 article links below that time didn’t allow me to review them here.


List of Clean 200 companies captures the green transition in full flight

I’m beginning this podcast with one of my favorite company rankings that has just been released! It’s on corporateknights.com and titled List of Clean 200 companies captures the green transition in full flight. The introduction is by Rick Spence. Here are some quotes by Mr. Spence.

“Released by Corporate Knights and California-based shareholder advocates As You Sow on February 15, the 11th Clean200 ranking captures the green transition in full flight, cataloguing those public companies that are earning the most from sustainable sources. Crucially, it also signals to investors – venture capitalists, institutions and individuals alike – that a wide range of companies are capitalizing on new-economy principles without sacrificing annual returns or opportunities for growth.

Between July 1, 2016, and January 15, 2024, Clean200 companies generated a total return of 103.5%. Although they underperformed the MSCI ACWI broad market index, which grew 114.4%, the Clean200 trounced the key index of global fossil fuel companies (the MSCI ACWI/Energy Index), which gained only 64.5% through those years.

And that’s the big deal, says As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar, who co-authored the 2024 study. ‘In 2016, we created the Clean200 in response to investors saying, if we divest fossil fuels, there is nothing to invest in.’ Eight years later, the message is clear: ‘Investors who are not tilting their portfolios toward a clean future do so at their own peril.’

Top Companies

In first place again is Apple (AAPL)… Other blue-chip names on the list include Tesla (TSLA) (number three), HP (HPQ) (five), Microsoft (MSFT) (six), Daimler (DTG.DE) (12), BMW (BMW.DE) (16), Nissan (NSANY) (36), Nike (NKE) (50), Swatch (UHR.SW) (157) and even the iconic U.S. Steel (X) (177) – which recently committed to being zero-carbon by 2050.

‘Our mission is to shine a light on the heroes of the battle against climate change,’ notes report co-author Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights. ‘The 2024 Clean200 proves there are true sustainability champions out there. The key is to rigorously apply a scientifically inspired method to identify these gems.’

In total, Clean200 companies earned more than $2.2 trillion in sustainable revenue in 2022, deriving on average 54.7% of their revenues from sustainable business activities, versus 13.6% for their MSCI ACWI peers… The ranking excludes firms involved in industries such as fossil fuels, deforestation, prisons, weapons and tobacco – as well as companies that engage in blocking climate policies.

Leading the pack is the U.S., with 39 companies making the list this year. Other blooming centres of corporate sustainability are China (23), Japan (18) and France (13), followed by Brazil, Canada and Germany with 10 companies each.”

End quotes


13 Best Renewable Energy Stocks To Buy According to Hedge Funds

Next up is back to energy with this article titled 13 Best Renewable Energy Stocks To Buy According to Hedge Funds. It’s by Fatima Farooq and seen on finance.yahoo.com. Here’s some of what Ms. Farooq says.

We selected the names for our list of the best renewable energy stocks to buy by consulting Insider Monkey’s hedge fund data for the third quarter… Hedge funds’ top 10 consensus stock picks outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here)”.

13. Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE:DQ)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 18

It manufactures and sells polysilicon to photovoltaic product manufacturers in China to be used in ingots, wafers, cells, and modules for solar power solutions.

12. Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE:AGR)

Hedge Fund Holders: 19

Anthony Crowdell at Mizuho holds a Neutral rating and a $34 price target on Avangrid, Inc. as of January 3…

Avangrid… engages in the renewable energy generation business in the US, focusing on onshore wind power, solar, biomass, and thermal.

11. Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CWEN)

Hedge Fund Holders: 23

Clearway Energy… has about 5,500 net megawatts of installed wind and solar generation projects…

Oppenheimer’s Noah Kaye maintains an Outperform rating and a $37 price target on Clearway Energy… as of January 19.

10. Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE)

Hedge Fund Holders: 24

Green Plains… produces, stores, distributes, and sells clean fuel…

On January 30, Goldman Sachs analyst Adam Samuelson maintained a Buy rating and a $34 price target on Green Plains.

9. Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN)

Hedge Fund Holders: 26

Sunrun Inc. designs, develops, installs, and sells residential solar energy systems in the US …

A Buy rating and a $28 price target were maintained on Sunrun Inc. on January 3 by Mizuho’s Maheep Mandloi.

8. SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SEDG)

Hedge Fund Holders: 27

Christopher Souther at B. Riley Securities maintains a Buy rating and a $133 price target on SolarEdge Technologies… as of February 5.

SolarEdge Technologies designs, develops, and sells direct current optimized inverter systems for solar photovoltaic installations.

7. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (NYSE:AQN)

Hedge Fund Holders: 28

On January 8, Ben Pham at BMO Capital upgraded Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. from Market Perform to Outperform and placed a $7.50 price target on the stock…

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. is a renewable energy and utility company.

6. Enbridge Inc. (NYSE:ENB)

Hedge Fund Holders: 35

Enbridge is an energy company with a proactive Renewable Power Generation segment that operates assets such as wind, solar, geothermal, and waste heat recovery.

5. Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH)

Hedge Fund Holders: 40

Enphase Energy designs and manufactures home energy solutions for the solar photovoltaic industry in the US and internationally… A Buy rating and a $140 price target were maintained on Enphase Energy… on February 1 by Philip Shen at Roth MKM.

4. Constellation Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:CEG)

Hedge Fund Holders: 45

Constellation Energy Corporation is a producer of carbon-free energy with about 32,355 megawatts of generating capacity consisting of nuclear, wind, solar, natural gas, and hydroelectric assets.

3. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR)

Hedge Fund Holders: 49

First Solar is a provider of photovoltaic solar energy solutions… On January 3, Maheep Mandloi maintained a Buy rating on First Solar alongside a $196 price target.

2. NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE)

Hedge Fund Holders: 58

NextEra Energy… generates electricity through wind, solar, nuclear, coal, and natural gas facilities.

RBC Capital’s Shelby Tucker reiterated an Outperform rating and a $74 price target on NextEra Energy on January 30.

1. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

Hedge Fund Holders: 76

GE… provides green energy solutions by combining onshore and offshore wind, blade manufacturing, grid solutions, hydro storage, hybrid renewables, and more…

Overweight rating and a $153 price target were maintained on General Electric on January 24 by Julian Mitchell at Barclays.”

End quotes


Profit and Purpose: 7 Standout Stocks for the Ethical Investor

This next article covers some well-known companies. It’s titled Profit and Purpose: 7 Standout Stocks for the Ethical Investor by Josh Enomoto, on investorplace.com. Here are some quotes on each of his picks.

“1. Waste Management (NYSE:WM)

It’s one of the leaders in environmental sustainability with a focus toward waste reduction and renewable energy initiatives. For one thing, the company owns a vast network of recycling facilities…

Second, the company forwards a waste-gas-to-energy project. Per its website.

Analysts rate shares a consensus moderate buy with a high-side target hitting $230.

2. NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)

Commanding a presence in 49 states(and) through its vast network of facilities – including solar and wind turbines – NextEra Energy features about 72 gigawatts (GW) of operating capacity…

Rough economic conditions hurt NextEra Energy bad in the final months of 2023. However, analysts anticipate a recovery, pegging shares a moderate buy with a $69.60 average price target.

3. Costco (NASDAQ:COST)

I don’t think it’s an anecdote to say that most Americans love the open-warehouse-style big-box retailer… But where it really shines is how well Costco treats its employees… In 2022, data from Glassdoor noted that the retailer’s employees rated the business a four out of five regarding worker satisfaction…

Analysts rate Costco stock a strong buy with a high-side target of $825.

4. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Starbucks… appeals to modern investors by emphasizing the ‘S’ component of ESG stocks… the company proudly boasts of its ethical sourcing of its key ingredients, from coffee beans to tealeaves to cocoa. In addition, its manufactured goods – from the merchandise on its shelves to the furniture in its stores – involve ethical sourcing…

Also, I’d be remiss not to mention Starbucks’ youth empowerment, hunger relief, and inclusivity programs… And analysts love it, pegging shares a consensus strong buy.

5. Visa (NYSE:V)

According to a Forbes article in 2023, Visa represents the most carried card, printing a market share of 52.8%… Lots of folks love talking about the ‘E’ and the ‘S’ in ESG stocks. However, governance is also a major component of holistic ethics. Here, Visa’s corporate governance practices help promote long-term value and accountability to its shareholders. Part of this involves ensuring diversity and inclusion and not just in the workforce itself but in the upper echelons of leadership…

Analysts rate shares a consensus strong buy with a $303.74 average price target.

6. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Maintaining high standards of governance, Apple focuses on a range of important issues. In June 2020, the company launched its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, advancing opportunities for many people of color and Indigenous communities….

Also, Apple implements a shareholder voting process focused on executive compensation. That’s one distinct mechanism to keep the company accountable to stakeholders. Overall, analysts peg shares a moderate buy with a $208.07 average price target. Notably, the high-side target hits $250, implying robust bullishness despite a soft start to 2024.

7. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Thanks to the tech giant’s big investments in artificial intelligence, it has steadily rocketed higher since the 2022 doldrums. Further, as AI becomes more ingrained into everyday life, Microsoft stands to be a massive winner.

And when it comes to ethical stocks, the company may be the all-around champion… management set out ambitious environmental targets, most conspicuously being its aim to be carbon negative; that is, it will remove its historical emissions since its founding in 1975.

In addition, it’s a huge player in social equity, promoting directives focused on encouraging women to participate in technology. Finally, MSCI Ratings awarded Microsoft an AAA rating, the highest rating available to organizations. Unsurprisingly, analysts love Microsoft, rating it a consensus strong buy with a $469.45 price target.”

End quotes.


Other Honorable Mentions – not in any order.

1. Title: Top 10: Solar Companies found on energydigital.com. By Maya Derrick.

2. Title: 3 Solar Energy Stocks Poised for a Strong Comeback on investorplace.com. By Faisal Humayun.

3. Title: ESG Funds Bucking The Trend on fa-mag.com. By Ron Delegge.

4. Title: BK Named A Top Socially Responsible Dividend Stock on nasdaq.com. By BNK Invest.

5. Title: Get Rich Quick with These 7 Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy Now on investorplace.com. By Ian Cooper.

6. Title: 3 Strong Buy Renewable Energy Stocks to Add to Your February Must-Watch List on investorplace.com. By Tomas Levani.

7. Title: 3 Renewable Energy Stocks to Own Before the Election Frenzy Begins on investorplace.com. By Jeremy Flint.

8. Title: 3 Hidden-Gem Renewable Energy Stocks Ready to Ride a Massive Market Wave on investorplace.com. By Matthew Farley.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast titled: “The Greenest Global Companies.”

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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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 March 8th.

Bye for now.


© 2024 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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