For some, the term sustainably responsible investing may seem like nothing more than a fad. However, it’s likely here to stay. The truth of the matter is that 85% of individual investors and 95% of millennial investors are interested in sustainable investing. With such heavy interest, the trend is likely here to stay.
So, what is sustainably responsible investing?
It’s the idea that when investments are made, investors should keep the ideals of the companies that they’re investing in, in mind. Ultimately, those interested in sustainably responsible investing hold the companies that they invest in responsible for maintaining environmentally-responsible operations, or at the very least, they hold the companies responsible for doing what they can not to harm the environment.
For example, an investor that is interested in restructuring his portfolio to be more sustainably responsible may divest in companies with large carbon footprints, like oil and gas companies, and invest in industries like solar power with the money freed up through the divestments.
In theory, it’s a great idea. As the world pays more attention to the carbon footprint being left behind by humanity, companies that are actively taking a role to improve environmental health are creating products and services that are growing in demand. Naturally, this increase in demand will help send revenue and profitability on the rise for these companies, ultimately rewarding those who invest in them in the long run.
Interestingly, Kara Swisher, a New York Times author and thought leader in the world of investing predicts that we will see substantial growth in investments surrounding tech that addresses climate change. Mogo falls right into that category.
Sustainably responsible investing also addresses other areas. In fact, known as ESG investing, sustainably responsible investing has to do with environmental, social, and governance. Essentially, the goal is to improve environmental and social conditions by investing in companies that share the same goals that you have. With fires tearing through California and Australia and climate change pushing the limits of weather, it’s time for ESG investing to take hold, and we’re seeing more and more of it every day.
With that said, here are a few sustainably responsible investments that I’ve found to be interesting:
Mogo, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOGO, TSE: MOGO): Improving Financial And Environmental Wellness At The Same Time
Mogo is a pioneer in the Canadian fintech industry. The company has grown quickly, now boasting nearly one million active users. That’s great, right? But, what is a fintech company doing at the top of the list in a sustainably responsible investing article?
Interestingly, Mogo was the first company to make the connection between carbon footprint and overspending. The fact of the matter is that more than 70% of the carbon footprint that each and every one of us leaves behind is the product of spending money.
As such, Mogo has made it its mission to educate consumers on not only financial health, but on how being financially fit leads to a healthier environment. In fact, the company recently launched MogoSpend, a prepaid spending account that lets users track and control their spending, all while earning top-of-the-charts cash back in the process. Moreover, for every dollar spent using the MogoSpend Platinum Prepaid Visa card, Mogo has committed to offsetting one pound of carbon. The ultimate goal here is for Mogo to create a situation where Canadians reach carbon negative and climate positive. That’s about as green as green gets.
Beyond the company’s work to improve the environment, MOGO is also working to democratize wealth. By offering an easy to use financial wellness app that helps more than 50% of consumers struggling with credit card debt and no savings, Mogo is helping consumers control their spending and easily start investing for their future.
The company offers quite a bit outside of MogoSpend as well. In fact, the Mogo application is a complete suite of financial tools that consumers can use to check their credit, protect their identity, learn about savings and investing, and more.
As Mogo continues to tackle both financial and environmental health, and driving compelling user growth in doing so, the stock is becoming harder and harder to ignore.
FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL): Reshaping Power Generation
The truth of the matter is that global power needs are massive and growing. At the same time, aging infrastructure with a large carbon footprint is being put to the test to meet the high level of growth in demand.
Nonetheless, FuelCell Energy is working to change the way that we see power generation. The company’s claim to fame, as its name suggests, is fuel cell technology. Essentially, this technology uses the chemical energy available by splitting hydrogen to create clean and sustainable energy.
While there are a few companies out there that are focused on fuel cell technology, my view is that FuelCell Energy is well ahead of the curve.
Most recently, the company announced that it had completed the development of, and launched, new fuel cell stacks with a 7-year lifespan. Considering that the average fuel cell stack has a lifespan of just 5 years, that’s a major step forward.
Importantly, these new stacks are capable of producing about 40% more energy over their lifespan than previous versions of the technology. Ultimately, this brings down the cost per kWh for the utility company that invests in this technology over the long term, making fuel cell power generation not only a cleaner option, but potentially a more profitable one.
Due to growing global demand, FuelCell is now shipping its technology around the world and seems to be signing new agreements surrounding large-scale projects on a regular basis. As the company continues to lead the way in innovation, it’s stock is one that should be watched closely.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND): Healthier Food For A Healthier Planet
While there are quite a few companies out there that are pushing the idea of plant-based meat substitutes, Beyond Meat is the clear king of the industry. Founded in 2009, the company’s mission is to address some of the world’s most pressing issues by changing the way that we see meat.
All meat-like products produced by Beyond Meat are plant-based substitutes. Surprisingly enough, they’re pretty good too. That’s why several mainstream chain restaurants have chosen to use Beyond Meat options within their menus.
However, the company’s not only interested in improving the health of the consumers that eat their products. In fact, Beyond Meat has made a clear connection between meat-related farming and climate change.
Essentially, by cutting down on the amount of meat that we consume, we can help to create a healthier planet while enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
As plant-based foods continue to become more mainstream, the early work done by Beyond Meat will likely make it the cornerstone of the industry, creating a compelling investment opportunity.
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA): Sustainable Transportation
In developed nations, it’s impossible to argue that transportation is one of the driving factors for our growing carbon footprint. The average vehicle burns fossil fuels to propel the vehicle forward or backward, generate electricity for radio stations, and more. Unfortunately, every time a key is turned, the carbon generated from the burning of fossil fuels is released into the environment.
Perhaps one of the most successful companies with a focus on changing the way we look at transportation in terms of environmental health is Tesla. The company offers a wide range of vehicles that run solely on electricity, alleviating the need to burn fossil fuels.
These vehicles are overwhelmingly popular as well. In fact, Tesla has been drug through the mud in the past for not being able to keep up with demand.
Nonetheless, as the years have gone by, the company has worked on operational and manufacturing efficiencies and seems to finally be running like a well-oiled machine.
Not to mention, it is working to bring clean options to the masses. In fact, the company’s newest product, the Tesla Cybertruck, comes with a price tag of just under $40,000, making it priced well for the mass market.
With continued innovation and improvements in manufacturing, Tesla is becoming a force in the clean vehicles space and has earned its spot at the top. With a drive to bring cleaner transportation options to the masses at a time when it’s needed the most, Tesla is a stock that should be followed closely.
NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE): The World’s Largest Utility Leading The Charge In Environmental Health
Finally, we have NextEra Energy, which just so happens to be one of the world’s largest utility companies. However, aside from being a strong investment due to its size and industry leadership, the company is doing quite a bit to promote a cleaner atmosphere.
In fact, to date, NextEra Energy is the largest producer of wind and solar energy in the world. That’s a big statement, and the company intends to continue making it for the long run.
While most people know the company through its subsidiaries that cover large utility regions, like Florida Power and Light, most would be shocked to find that the company owns 120 wind energy facilities in North America. 13,000 megawatts of energy are generated between these facilities on an annual basis.
Add the 2,000 megawatts of solar power that it generates in 7 US states and Canada and you have a company generating a massive, 15,000 megawatts of clean energy annually.
With the size of the company offering incredible stability, and a focus on diversified energy investments that has caused the company to be the largest producer of wind and solar energy around the world, NextEra Energy is one to watch closely.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that the push for improved environmental health isn’t just a fad, it’s a necessary change. As such, by investing in companies that are actively working to improve environmental health, you’re able to not only feel good about the companies that you support, but reap the rewards as the world continues to focus on clean and green!
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