PODCAST: Top Sustainable Companies, Water Stocks. And More…

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New top sustainable companies' rankings: Corporate Knights’ 2020 Global 100 and CDP’s 179 ‘A’ list! More ESG and sustainable ETFs and stocks for 2020. Best water stocks in the Americas, large and small. The most highly rated funds for Canadians appear also in Corporate Knights and the Interactive Investor site for British investors. And more

PODCAST: Top Sustainable Companies, Water Stocks. And More…

Transcript & Links, Episode 24, January 31, 2020

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 24 for January 31, 2020, titled “Top Sustainable Companies, Water Stocks. And More…”—presented by Investing for the Soul. investingforthesoul.com is your site for vital global ethical and sustainable investing news, commentary, information, and resources.

Remember that you can find a full transcript, links to content – including stock symbols – and bonus material at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

And, Google any terms that are unfamiliar to you.

Now to this episode.

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Top Sustainable Companies

I’m going to lead this episode with two great new top sustainable companies’ lists. The first one is Corporate Knights’ 2020 Global 100 ranking. This is an annual favourite of mine. Their top five sustainable companies are:

Orsted A/S, (ORSTED.CO) in wholesale power, Denmark.

Chr. Hansen Holding A/S, (CHR.CO) engaged in food and other chemical agents, also Denmark.

Neste Oyj, (NESTE.HE) petroleum refineries, Finland.

Cisco Systems Inc., (CSCO.Nasdaq) communications equipment, United States.

Autodesk Inc., (ADSK.Nasdaq) software, United States.

Now you can see the full list by going to the link on this episode’s webpage.

Top Sustainable Companies' Ranked

The second compilation of top sustainable companies is CDP’s 179 company ‘A’ list. About this list, CDP says its “Annual A List names the world's most pioneering companies leading on environmental transparency and performance. This year, we recognize more than 170 corporates as the leaders acting to address climate risks and build our future zero-carbon economy - one that works for both people and planet.” End quote.

CDP doesn’t actually give them a ranking. They just list who they feel are the companies that meet their criteria. For a link to the full list go to this episode’s webpage at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

Incidentally, these top sustainable companies' lists only provide rankings according to various sustainability criteria. They don’t rate the companies as to whether their stocks are worth buying!

To do that, you can obviously go to the research section of your broker’s site, ask an advisor, or also check out financial analysts’ opinions on many free online sites. The best ones I’ve found are YahooFinance, Reuters, MarketBeat, Nasdaq Analyst Stock Recommendations, and TipRanks.

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7 Socially Responsible ETFs to Buy in 2020

My next piece is by Todd Shriber, on the InvestorPlace site, titled 7 Socially Responsible ETFs to Buy in 2020. I’m going to say what his picks are and follow with a quote by him on each company.

“1) VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF (NYSEARCA: GRNB). Comprised of U.S. dollar-denominated green bonds that are issued to finance environmentally friendly projects, and includes bonds issued by supranational, government, and corporate issuers globally.

2) Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF (BATS: NULG). This socially responsible ETF dispels the notion that virtuous investing can be a drag on returns. Over the past year, the Nuveen ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF has outpaced the S&P 500 Growth Index by nearly 1,000 basis points.

3) Xtrackers S&P 500 ESG ETF (NYSEARCA: SNPE). The rookie ETF is notable for at least two reasons, albeit superficial. First, it is the first ETF to track the S&P 500 ESG Index. Second, it has amassed $110 million in assets since inception, a very impressive start. At just 0.11% per year, the Xtrackers S&P 500 ESG ETF is one of the most cost-effective funds in the socially responsible category.”

Now, my comment. However, be aware that this ETF is rather unbalanced in that it’s heavily weighted with tech stocks. For many investors that’s fine – but not for all nor for all market conditions. Now, back to quoting Mr. Shriber.

“4) Global X Conscious Companies ETF (NASDAQ: KRMA). It follows the Concinnity Conscious Companies Index, and that Global X says it offers exposure to companies achieving positive outcomes for 5 key stakeholders: Customers, Suppliers, Stock & Debt Holders, Local Communities, and notably, Employees.

5) Inspire Corporate Bond Impact ETF (NYSEARCA: IBD). Inspire offers a broad suite of faith-based ETFs, with [this bond fund] being the first corporate ETF dedicated to Christian values. And according to the issuer it’s donating a portion of fees to support Christian ministry projects such as clean water wells, refugee relief efforts, Bible distribution and other worthy causes.

6) Nuveen ESG High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEARCA: NUHY). Applying virtuous filters to high-yield bonds can help investors reduce and avoid trouble spots… [it’s also] the first socially responsible ETF in the high-yield category.

7) VanEck Vectors Low Carbon Energy ETF (NYSEARCA: SMOG). With its memorable ticker and significant Tesla exposure, [this fund] is a broad-based play on the soaring alternative energy industry.” End quotes.

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Making the Low Carbon Call With ETFs

Now, if you’re looking specifically for more low carbon investments, Tom Lydon offers more picks with his article Making the Low Carbon Call With ETFs at ETF Trends. He recommends iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (NYSEArca: CRBN) and SPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (NYSEArca: LOWC).

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More Top Sustainable Companies

Now we turn our attention from ESG ETFs to individual ESG stocks. The article is titled, 5 ESG Stocks to Buy as Climate Risk Takes Center Stage by Zacks Equity Research appearing on YahooFinance.

Here are the five stocks by Zacks. Quoting directly from the article:

“1) Applied Materials, Inc. Symbol AMAT provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display and related industries. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 24%.

2) Keysight Technologies, Inc. Symbol KEYS provides electronic design and test solutions to commercial communications, networking, aerospace, defense and government, automotive, energy, semiconductor, electronic, and education industries. This Zacks Rank #1 company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is nearly 10%.

3) NVIDIA Corporation. Symbol NVDA operates as a visual computing company, that offers processors, which include GeForce for PC gaming, GeForce NOW for cloud-based game-streaming service and much more. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the fiscal fourth quarter is more than 100%.

4) The Procter & Gamble Company. Symbol PG provides a range of beauty, grooming, health care, fabric and home care, and baby, feminine and family care products. The company is constantly working toward restricting microfiber release. Every load of washing releases millions of microfibres that are flushed down the drain, and gradually ends up in beaches and oceans where they remain for years and disturb sea creatures’ food chain. Procter & Gamble has an expected earnings growth rate of 9.3% for the current year.

And 5) General Mills, Inc. Symbol GIS manufactures and markets branded consumer foods. Among the many sustainability initiatives of the company, its Cheerios brand uses regenerative agriculture and organic farming to source ingredients for products including the legacy cereal brand. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 5.3%.” End quotes.

Zacks is proving to be a good source of recommendations!

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Water Stocks in the Americas

Getting increasing attention among ethical and sustainable investors are water stocks. So it’s timely that Debra Fiakas wrote a piece titled Water Stocks in the Americas. There she reviews what she believes to be the best water stocks operating in the Americas.

Ms. Fiakas writes about Consolidated Water (CWCO: Nasdaq), American Water Works (AWK: NYSE), and Global Water Resources (GWRS: Nasdaq).

However, she includes a chart with four more companies. Best to go to her article to read her insights into this industry and its key players. The link, again, is on this episode’s page at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

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Best Canadian Funds

Now for my Canadian listeners, my great colleague, Toby Heaps at Corporate Knights, has just published The ultimate guide to responsible investing. Mr. Heaps says that I quote, We ranked over 700 mutual funds and ETFs through a sustainability lens. Here are the top scorers.” End quote.

Also, a regular on this podcast, Tim Nash, another insightful analyst, has published The 2019 eco-fund ranking of his top Canadian funds. His article is also on the Corporate Knights site.

Again, for links to these articles go to this episode’s podcast page.

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Best UK Funds

For UK ethical and sustainable investors there’s the Interactive Investor site!. It’s a terrific site for you which, they say, quote, “We have identified more than 140 ethical investment options available on our platform.” End quote.

Not only do they have all that information and data, but the site takes you through step-by-step to locate the investment option that best matches your personal values!

Again, the link to the key page on their site is also on this episode’s podcast page.

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Ending Comments

Well, these are my top news stories and tips for ethical and sustainable investors over the past two weeks.

And to get all the links, stock symbols and more, or to read the transcript of this podcast and with additional information too, please go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

Also, be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons in iTunes/Apple Podcasts or wherever you download or listen to this podcast.

And, please click the share buttons to share this podcast with your friends and family. That way you can help promote not only this podcast but ethical and sustainable investing globally. So, let’s help create a better world with our investments!

Contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you again on February 14. Bye for now.

© 2020 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul.

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