PODCAST: The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

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By Ron Robins. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The World’s Most Ethical Companies. Articles covered: “The 10 most innovative companies in corporate social responsibility of 2022”; “5 Must-See Picks Just Added to RBC's ESG Darlings List”; “3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy in March”; and more! Stocks covered include Sweetgreen, Lululemon, SolarEdge Technologies Inc., Johnson Controls PLC, Enphase Energy Inc., and more

PODCAST: The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

Transcript & Links, Episode 79, March 25, 2022

Hello, Ron Robins here. Welcome to podcast episode 79 published on March 25, 2022, titled “The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables” — and 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, quotes, and often bonus material – at this episode’s podcast page located at investingforthesoul.com/podcasts.

Now, just a reminder. I do not evaluate any of the stocks or funds mentioned in this podcast. The opinions given are purely those of the article’s author or authors or sponsoring entity.

Also, if any terms are unfamiliar to you, simply Google them.

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1. The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

Hey, I’m always happy to report on this list, The World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere. Here’s some of their commentary about the list. Quote.

“The World’s Most Ethical Companies historically outperform their peers and competitors financially, demonstrating a tangible ROI for doing the right thing. The connection between good ethical practices and financial performance, called the Ethics Premium, has been tracked for 16 years… In 2022, 136 organizations are recognized for their unwavering commitment to business integrity.

The honorees span 22 countries and 45 industries.” End quote.

Among the top companies are Apple, IBERDROLA, Accenture, ADM, and Aptiv.

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2. The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

Next. Following on the theme of great ethical companies is an article titled The 10 most innovative companies in corporate social responsibility of 2022. It’s by Morgan Clendaniel. It appeared on fastcompany.com.

However, only 3 of the 10 companies are public. Here are the public companies with brief quotes from Mr. Clendaniel on each one.

1) SWEETGREEN (SG)

The fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen set an aggressive goal to be carbon-neutral by 2027, assessing its entire supply chain to look for places to cut emissions. That information has allowed it to label some of its menu offerings as having the lowest emissions to produce, letting customers make climate-friendly choices when they order—all of which have seen increased popularity.

2) LULULEMON (LULU)

On top of initiatives to help recycle and reuse its clothing, Lululemon, the athletic apparel company, has taken big steps to re-create the process of making them entirely. Last May, it debuted its Earth Dye collection, relying on plant waste from beets and oranges rather than synthetic dyes. It’s partnered with companies to experiment with using lab-grown polyester made out of carbon emissions and to incorporate lab-grown leather—Lululemon is a founding member of the Mylo Consortium devoted to using mycelium, a mushroom’s root structure, as a viable material alternative—into its fashions. In July 2021, the company made yoga accessories such as a mat and bags incorporating Mylo. Lululemon also invested in the bioengineering company Genomatica to find new ways to create plant-based fabrics such as a plant-based nylon.

3) ZOETIS (ZTS)

COVID-19 hasn’t just infected millions of humans; it’s also been found in household pets, livestock, and wild animals. While scientists raced to find a vaccine to protect humans from the virus, animal health company Zoetis was working on a similar process, resulting in an animal vaccine, first used on the great apes at the San Diego Zoo in January 2021. Last summer, the company donated more than 11,000 doses of its animal vaccine to help protect 100 mammalian species living in over 80 zoos, conservatories, and sanctuaries. The company delivered its strongest year in its history in 2021, growing annual revenue 15%.” End quotes.

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3. The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

This next article is by RBC analyst Paul Ausick and is titled 5 Must-See Picks Just Added to RBC's ESG Darlings List. The article is found on 247wallstreet.com. Here are Mr. Ausick’s picks followed by some quotes of his.

“1) SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG)

… is one of two solar electronic components makers that RBC added to its ESG Darlings list. The company makes and sells direct current inverter systems and other solar-related products, including electricity storage systems. Its current market cap is around $16.6 billion, and its share price has increased by a third since February 23.

The stock is owned by 21% of ESG funds, the most of any of the newly added Darlings. SolarEdge’s relative return compared to the S&P 500 index for the year to date as of March 15 is 25%. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the relative return is 35%.

2) Johnson Controls PLC (NYSE: JCI)

Building products and systems maker Johnson Controls International has a market cap of $45.46 billion. The company is headquartered in Ireland but was founded in Milwaukee in 1885 by the inventor of the electric room thermostat.

Johnson Control stock is owned by 16% of ESG funds, according to RBC’s report. The stock’s relative return for the year to date was negative 11.9%. Since the start of Putin’s war, the relative return has been sliced to negative 2.4%.

3) Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL)

Cosmetics icon Estée Lauder has a market cap of $97.7 billion and is included in the portfolios of 15% of dedicated ESG funds.

As with the other funds on this list, the stock trades down for the year to date, although the share price has improved since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For the year to date, Estée Lauder’s relative return is negative 17.6%. Since the invasion, the relative return is negative 9.8%.

4) Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH)

The other solar-related stock added to the ESG Darlings is Enphase. The company’s principal product is a microinverter that converts solar energy from direct to alternating current at the individual module level, and couples that with technology to monitor and control solar-generated power. Enphase’s market cap is $24.22 billion.

The stock is included in the assets of 15% of sustainable equity funds but not traditional actively managed funds. Its year-to-date relative return is 2.4%, and its return since the invasion of Ukraine is 31.3%.

5) Ansys Inc. (NASDAQ: ANSS)

Engineering simulation software provider Ansys has a market cap of $27.01 billion, and the stock posted an all-time high in early November of last year. The company’s simulation tools in a variety of fields include aerospace, automotive, construction and consumer products.

The stock is also included in 15% of RBC’s ESG Darlings. Its relative rate of return for the year to date is negative 13.2%, but since the invasion of Ukraine, the relative rate of return is 1.7%.” End quotes.

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4. The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

My next article is titled 3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy in March by Keithen Drury on fool.com. AI stocks are often bought by ethical and sustainable investors. Here are some quotes from Mr. Drury on each one.

1) Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)

As one of the leading technology companies, Nvidia's 2022 fiscal year (ending Jan. 30, 2022) results were strong. Revenue grew 61% to $26.9 billion over last year, but quarterly revenue growth slowed to 53% year over year. Its AI sales are wrapped into its data center division, which grew faster than overall revenue at a 71% year-over-year pace. In its fourth-quarter presentation, Nvidia highlighted its data center growth was led by strong demand for AI products.

Nvidia's AI technology is being used by many firms, including Meta Platforms, which recently announced it was building its AI research SuperCluster with Nvidia's products. A broad approach to AI investing can be taken by purchasing Nvidia's stock.

2) CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. (CRWD)

Changing to a more application-based investment, CrowdStrike provides cybersecurity solutions with its cloud-based offering. Through its Falcon platform, customers are protected by software that sees more than 1 trillion events per day. CrowdStrike then uses AI to learn from these attacks and continuously evolves the program, so when a customer in France sees an attack, a different company is protected from a similar threat in the U.S…

Some of the most important companies in the world utilize CrowdStrike, with 15 of the top 20 banks and 65 of the Fortune 100 companies deploying CrowdStrike's software… With customers growing 65% year over year to 16,325 and annual recurring revenue up 65% to $1.7 billion, CrowdStrike's business is executing on all levels. The company represents a great way to invest in the application of AI, and the cybersecurity industry has never been more relevant.

3) C3.ai, Inc. (AI)

C3.ai's tools allow data scientists to deploy prebuilt and configurable AI applications to support a business in many ways, such as supply chain management, energy efficiency, and customer engagement.

The company's tools are recognized as some of the best available. Omdia ranked C3.ai top on its list of machine-learning development platforms. It was also found to increase developer productivity by 26 times, by cutting the amount of code required by nearly 99% on Amazon Web Services (AWS) when deploying AI solutions.

C3.ai is a young company founded in 2009 and only has 218 customers as a result. Still, this is up 82% year over year and drove Q3 (ending Jan. 31, 2022) total revenue to $69.8 million, increasing by 42% over the prior year. It also landed a five-year, $500 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The company has a long way to go before turning a profit, as its operating margin was negative 22%, although this was an improvement from last year's Q3 number of negative 24%. It will take C3.ai some time, but if its best-in-class solutions are adopted across the industry, it could be a fantastic investment.” End quotes.

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5. The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables

Now here are a group of articles related to Renewable Energy Stocks and Funds. Many of which have caught fire recently with the advent of higher oil prices.

(For article links to these and in other categories that follow, please go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode and section.)

1) Title 2 Best Renewable Energy Stocks for 2022 (NASDAQ:ON) | Seeking Alpha by Stephen Cress.

2) Title Alternative Energy ETFs Shine as Oil Prices Rally Amid War - Zacks.com by Sweta Jaiswal. Sweta recommends five solar ETFs.

3) Title 4 Renewable Energy Stocks To Watch In March 2022 | National | fwbusiness.com by Josh Dylan.

4) Title 3 Wind Stocks to Grab Global Growth | Kiplinger by Shrilekha Pethe.

5) Title 10 Best Performing Energy ETFs: 2022 | ThinkAdvisor by Michael S. Fischer.

6) Title Fossil Fuels Rise, Profit With Alternative Energy Investments | Seeking Alpha by Enterprising Investors.

Other Honorable Mentions

1) Title Rosy Prospects for This ESG ETF | ETF Trends by Tom Lydon.

2) Title 7 Best Socially Responsible Funds | Investing | US News by Jeff Reeves.

Recommendations Related to UK and Australian Stocks and Funds

1) Title Telegraph’s top 10 ethical funds to grow your money – Plainsmen Post (UK) by George Holan.

2) Title What are ethical ETFs? Check out these ASX-listed funds (kalkinemedia.com) (Australia) by Ashish and Shaghil Bilali.

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Ending Comment

Well, these are my top news stories with their stock and fund tips -- for this podcast: “The Most Ethical Companies and Best Renewables.”

To get all the links, stock symbols, or to read the transcript of this podcast -- and more -- go to investingforthesoul.com/podcasts and scroll down to this episode.

Also, be sure to click the like and subscribe buttons in Apple Podcasts, Google 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. Let’s promote ethical and sustainable investing as a ‘forceful hope’ in these troubled times!

Contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for listening.

Talk to you next on April 8. Bye for now.

© 2022 Ron Robins, Investing for the Soul

92 episodes