Podcast: Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

Podcast: Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More… Includes SRI ETFs, sustainable carbon capture stocks, analysis on Enphase or Plug Power?

Ron Robins, MBA

Transcript & Links, Episode 128, April 19, 2024

Hello, Ron Robins here. So, welcome to this podcast episode 128 titled “Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…” 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.

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 4 article links below that time didn’t allow me to review them here.


1. Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

It’s been a while since I included an article focusing on ESG ETFs, so here’s one from a good publication that just appeared on aol.com. It’s titled Best ESG ETFs: Top funds for socially responsible investing. The article is by Brian Baker at The Banker. Here are some quotes from the article.

1) Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV)

The Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF tries to match the performance of the FTSE U.S. All Cap Choice Index and screens for certain ESG criteria. Certain companies in the following industries are excluded from the fund: adult entertainment, alcohol, fossil fuels, gambling, nuclear power, tobacco and weapons.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 14.6 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.09 percent

2) iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN)

The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF seeks to track the performance of an index of global stocks from the clean energy sector. These companies produce energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 8.0 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.41 percent

3) iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF (SUSL)

The iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF gives investors exposure to large- and mid-cap stocks that score highly on ESG issues relative to their sector peers. The fund avoids holding companies with low ESG ratings or severe controversies.

  • 3-year return (annualized): 11.5 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.10 percent

4) Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF (NULV)

The Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Value ETF uses a passive approach to invest in large-cap companies with value characteristics that also meet certain ESG criteria.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 7.9 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.26 percent

5) SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF (SPYX)

The SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF gives investors focused on climate change exposure to the S&P 500 while eliminating companies that own fossil fuel reserves. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for fairly traditional investment exposure with a slight focus on climate change.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 14.4 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.20 percent

6) iShares MSCI Global Sustainable Development Goals ETF (SDG)

The iShares MSCI Global Sustainable Development Goals ETF seeks to track the performance of an index made up of companies that derive the majority of their revenue from products and services that address at least one of the world’s major social and environmental challenges as defined by the United Nations.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 7.1 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.49 percent

7) iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU)

The iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF tracks the results of an index of U.S. companies with ESG features that show a similar risk and return profile as the overall MSCI USA Index. The fund includes large- and mid-cap U.S. stocks, and those looking for exposure to high-performing stocks with an ESG-bent may find what they’re looking for here.

  • 5-year return (annualized): 14.2 percent
  • Expense ratio: 0.15 percent”

End quotes.


2. Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

Now carbon capture has been gaining increasing attention as a means to reduce CO2. Hence, this article might interest many of you. It’s titled TOP 5 CARBON CAPTURE STOCKS FOR SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT. It’s by the Ritz Herald and found on their site at ritzherald.com. Here are some quotes from the article commenting on some of the leading companies in this sector.

“Carbon capture technology has emerged as a promising avenue for mitigating the impact of greenhouse gasses on the environment…

Research shows that the carbon capture market is predicted to hit $7.7 billion by 2025, further emphasizing the potential for growth in this sector. With governments worldwide implementing stricter regulations on emissions and offering incentives for carbon capture initiatives, the market is ripe for investment…

The top five carbon capture stocks identified herein not only offer potential returns for investors but also contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations to come.

1) Dotz

is a leading nanotechnology company traded on the ASX [Australian Securities Exchange], is at the forefront of innovation with its carbon-based nanotechnologies…

Dotz’s primary focus is on DotzEarth, a revolutionary CO2 capture carbon-based sorbent technology designed for industrial decarbonization, which addresses two major environmental challenges – 1) industrial carbon emissions and 2) plastic pollution.

2) Aker Carbon Capture

is a specialized enterprise dedicated to carbon capture, offering an array of solutions, services, and technologies tailored for various industries. These encompass sectors such as cement, bioenergy, waste-to-energy, gas-to-power, and blue hydrogen…

Its distinctive post-combustion capture technology is the culmination of an extensive eight-year research and development endeavor known as SOLVit. Throughout this program, numerous solvent mixtures were meticulously tested and compared to refine the innovation. The resulting plants boast several key advantages, including minimal energy demands, a highly durable solvent, and outstanding performance in health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE) metrics.

3) FuelCell Energy

delivers efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly solutions for energy supply, recovery, and storage… These systems cater to utilities, industrial entities, and large municipal power users, offering a diverse range of solutions including utility-scale power generation, on-site power, carbon capture, local hydrogen production for transportation and industry, and long-duration energy storage…

4) Equinor

is a global energy enterprise dedicated to fostering lasting value creation in a future characterized by low-carbon initiatives…

As a key player on the Norwegian continental shelf and with substantial international operations, Equinor is deeply involved in the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources, alongside expanding interests in wind and solar power.

5) Delta CleanTech

has been at the forefront of delivering state-of-the-art technology for pre/post-combustion CO2 capture from industrial sources since 2004… Central to Delta’s portfolio is its CO2 capture system, known as Low-Cost Design or LCDesign®. This innovative system is designed to significantly reduce various key parameters, including CAPEX & OPEX (CO2 Cost), emissions, effluent, waste, chemical, and water consumption, as well as plant size and labor requirements.”

End quotes.


3. Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

The next article appeared on the renowned Morningstar.com site. It’s titled 2 Sustainable Index Stocks With Room to Grow and is by Muskaan Hemrajani and Leslie P. Norton. Here’s a little of what they said about their picks.

“WestRock and Carnival surged in 2023 but still look cheap today… That’s our conclusion after perusing the Morningstar US Sustainability Index, which seeks to reduce ESG risk while tracking the Morningstar US Large-Mid Cap Index

1) WestRock WRK 

Morningstar Rating: 3 Stars

Fair Value: $55.00

ESG Risk Rating: Medium

Price (as of April 8, 2024): $49.25

WestRock manufactures corrugated packaging and consumer packaging products, such as folding cartons and paperboard. It accounts for roughly 20% of the North American containerboard market and is the second-largest producer. The company has returned nearly 60% in the past year…

Spencer Liberman, Morningstar equity analyst, writes: ‘WestRock is exposed to some environmental, social, and governance risks, including carbon emissions from the firm’s operation and sizable water usage for production. However, we don’t believe these risks could result in material value destruction.’

2) Carnival CCL

Morningstar Rating: 5 Stars

Fair Value: $27.50

ESG Risk Rating: Medium

Price (as of April 8, 2024): $15.66

Carnival is trading at a 45% discount.

Carnival is the largest global cruise company, with 92 ships in service at the end of fiscal 2023. Carnival’s brands attracted nearly 13 million guests in 2019, prior to covid-19, a level it has reached again in 2023…

Writes Jamie Katz, equity analyst at Morningstar, in a report. ‘Carnival’s first-quarter performance suggests continuing demand momentum. Net yields were up 18%, helped by an 11% increase in occupancy, along with ticket and onboard gains.’”

End quotes.


4. Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

Many of you are likely invested in the stocks covered in this next article titled Enphase Energy vs. Plug Power: Which Alternative Energy Stock Does Wall Street Like Best? It’s by Ebube Jones at Barcharts and found on theglobeandmail.com site. Now some quotes from the article.

“The Case for Enphase Energy Stock (ENPH)

With a market cap of $16 billion, Enphase Energy is a big name in the solar energy game. They’re all about making solar power more efficient and user-friendly, offering tech like microinverters and energy storage systems to both homeowners and business customers…

At current levels… Enphase stock is priced at a discount…

Out of 34 analysts… Enphase has landed a ‘moderate buy’ rating overall… The average target price is pegged at $125.38, suggesting a potential 4.4% upside from here. 

The Case for Plug Power Stock (PLUG)

Plug Power is making waves in the hydrogen and fuel cell tech scene, focusing on creating hydrogen fuel cell systems that could replace the usual batteries in electric-powered equipment and vehicles. They’ve got a lineup of tech that includes fuel cells, hydrogen fueling stations, and even their own green hydrogen production. 

Wall Street’s take on Plug Power is a cautious ‘hold.’ The average target price for PLUG is $5.30, about 79% north of current levels. 

The Verdict: Enphase Edges Out Plug Power

Enphase Energy seems to be the Wall Street favorite of these two clean energy stocks… Plug Power, [is] on the other hand, is stuck at a ‘hold,’ and has yet to turn a profit… But, keep an eye on Plug Power too – if they can get those hydrogen plants up and running and start turning a profit, they could be a serious contender in the longer haul.”

End quotes.


5. Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…

I’m going to end with this article titled Al Gore’s Hedge Fund Loves This $445 Billion Stock. It’s by the Motley Fool and seen on theglobeandmail.com.

“Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president, co-founded Generation Investment Management in 2004. Today, the firm manages nearly $50 billion, all of which is directed to investments that the firm believes won’t destroy the planet…

Where is Al Gore’s investment firm putting money to work today? One of its biggest investments — a stake worth roughly $560 million — is in a company nearly everyone knows well: Mastercard (NYSE: MA)…

During the past two decades, Mastercard stock has risen more than 10,000% in value…

Gore’s firm has owned Mastercard stock since the second quarter of 2022. Don’t be surprised to still see it in the portfolio many years down the road.” End quotes.


Other Honorable Mentions – not in any order and time didn’t allow me to them here

1) Title: How First Solar Crushed Its Solar Energy Rivals on finance.yahoo.com. By Travis Hoium, The Motley Fool.

2) Title: 4 Alternative Energy Stocks to Buy Buoyed by Solid Investments on finance.yahoo.com. By Aparajita Dutta.

3) Title: 3 Renewable Energy Stocks to Ride the Mega Trend Higher on investorplace.com. By Terel Miles.

4) Title: Wall Street Favorites: 3 Renewable Energy Stocks With Strong Buy Ratings for April 2024 on investorplace.com. By Faizan Farooque.


Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips — for this podcast titled: “Best ESG ETFs, Carbon Capture Stocks, More…”

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Thank you for listening.

I’ll talk to you next on May 3rd.

Bye for now.


© 2024 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

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