Impact Investing. That’s what they’re calling it, and it’s a movement that has grown by over 600% in the past decade. In fact, there are over $30 trillion in assets under management in portfolios with a focus on sustainable investments…and the revolution is showing no sign of slowing anytime soon. To say that it is just a trend would be a major mistake. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE: TOT).
Impact investing – or socially responsible investing – is here to stay. And as ‘woke’ millennials continue to force the markets in line with their beliefs – the money flowing into sustainable stocks is likely to accelerate in the coming years.
Investors in this niche lean towards companies incorporating positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies into investment decisions. This has pushed companies and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with high ESG ratings into focus in recent years, but more than that, it has sparked a revolution in even some of the world’s ‘dirtiest’ companies. Fossil fuel giants, miners, and more are making the switch. Either through offsetting emissions, or simply pouring money into greener endeavors.
“We are at the cusp of one of the biggest ever shifts in the allocation of capital, and if you follow the money, it’s largely flowing into companies with an emphasis on doing better for the world,” said the CEO of Facedrive Inc., Sayan Navaratnam.
Millennial’s greener preferences, in addition to a number of new youth-focused trading platforms like Robinhood, have fueled the meteoric rise of companies like Tesla, Google, Apple, and more.
Here are six companies to keep an eye on as the world’s cash flow heads towards “greener pastures.
Google: “Don’t Be Evil”
Google’s parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) is a shining star in the tech world. Despite being one of the largest companies on the planet, in many ways it has lived up to its original “Don’t Be Evil” slogan. Though it has had its controversies in the realm of data collection and advertising, Google has led a revolution in the tech world on multiple fronts.
First, and foremost, it has officially powered its data centers with 100% renewable energy over the last two years. A massive feat considering exactly how much data Google actually processes. Not only is Google powering its data centers with renewable energy, it is also on the cutting edge of innovation in the industry, investing in new technology and green solutions to build a more sustainable tomorrow.
Its bid to reduce its carbon footprint has been well received by both younger and older investors. And as the need to slow down climate change becomes increasingly dire, it’s easy to see why.
Facedrive: “The Way To A Greener Future”
A small Canadian company with big ambitions is looking to take on some of the biggest names in personal transportation with a simple, but important philosophy: “take something as simple as hailing a ride, and turn it into a collective force for change.”
For the first time in ride-sharing history, Facedrive is giving customers a choice to be more environmentally conscious. That’s because it’s utilizing new technology to calculate the estimated CO2 emissions for each ride, and allocating a portion of the proceeds accordingly to local organizations to help offset those emissions. With their partner, Forest Ontario, they have already planted over 3,500 in their soft launch alone.
Not only that, it also gives customers a choice to pick between electric vehicles, hybrids, or traditional cars when they order a ride. That’s something that no ride-hailing service has ever offered.
“We’re all about grabbing onto the biggest trends in tech before they’re mega-trends. So that takes us back to 2016, when we first came up with the idea. Whenever a major new trend emerges, it’s the job of the truly innovative to step back and say ‘OK, this is an explosively great idea – so what’s wrong with it?’ When you figure that out, and you’ve got the right network and the right people behind you, you can jump in on one of the biggest trends and disrupt a massive market at exactly the right time,” Sayan Navaratnam, CEO of Facedrive, said in an interview with Oilprice.com.
This is a big deal as the climate crisis continues to worsen. And investors will certainly take note. While the giants of the industry scramble to jump on the new movement, Facedrive was there straight out of the starting gate. And it’s growing. Fast.
It has gone from 100 rides per day to over 1,000 rides per day in a matter of months. Most startups only dream of that kind of growth. Especially in a market that is becoming increasingly difficult to enter. And now is when things get serious.
Facedrive is now considering further expansion into the U.S. and/or Europe, and the timing couldn’t be better. Most of the groundwork was already laid by its much-larger competitors, so it will not need to go into the red and pray for profitability…
They simply need to do exactly what they’re already doing, expand and conquer. The $235 billion global ride-sharing industry is going green with or without the giants. And that’s great news for Facedrive.
Apple: “Think Different.”
It’s no secret that Apple (AAPL) has always thought outside of the box. And when it brought back Steve Jobs in 1997, the company really took off. Jobs also paved the way to a greener future for the company.
From the products themselves, to the packages they came in, and even the data centers powering them, Steve Jobs went above and beyond to cut the environmental impact of his company.
After his passing, Tim Cook took these principles to heart, and picked up the torch, transforming all of Apple’s operations into models of a sustainable future. Now, all of Apple’s operations run on 100% renewable energy.
“We proved that 100 percent renewable is 100 percent doable. All our facilities worldwide—including Apple offices, retail stores, and data centers—are now powered entirely by clean energy. But this is just the beginning of how we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. We’re continuing to go further than most companies in measuring our carbon footprint, including manufacturing and product use. And we’re making great progress in those areas too.”
And it’s already having an impact. Not only have they decreased their average product’s energy use by 70 percent, they’ve reduced their total carbon footprint by more than 35 percent in just a few short years…All while securing the title as the World’s First Trillion Dollar Company.
Microsoft: Be What’s Next
Microsoft (MSFT) is one of the most innovative and well-known companies within the tech sector, but its Windows platform is the most widely used operating system on the planet. First launched in 1985, Windows has shaped what is expected from a personal home computer.
But Microsoft is appealing to investors for more just its Windows platform. It is diving head first into an entirely new market. With key partnerships utilizing and implementing blockchain technology, the company’s upside could have huge potential as the tech takes off.
Not only has it always been on the cutting edge of innovation, it’s taking a serious stance on the climate crisis. In fact, it’s pushing so hard that it is aiming to be carbon NEGATIVE by 2030. That’s a huge pledge. And if anyone can do it, it’s Microsoft.
NextEra Energy: “We Heard You”
NextEra (NEE) is the world’s leading producer of wind and solar energy, so it’s no surprise that it has received some love from the ‘millennial dollar.’ In 2018, the company was the number one capital investor in green energy infrastructure, and fifth largest capital investor across all sectors. No other company has been more active in reducing carbon emissions. And they’re just getting started.
By 2025, the company aims to reduce their own emissions by 67 percent while doubling their electricity production from a 2005 benchmark.
To put this into perspective, if all of America’s utilities were able to achieve NextEra Energy’s projected 2025 emissions rate, absolute CO2 emissions for the power sector would be approximately 75% lower than they were in 2005. That is huge.
Jim Robo, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of NextEra, explains, “We are deeply committed to doing well by doing good, and that means respecting our environment, providing value for our customers, sustaining our communities, focusing on continuous improvement and innovation, investing in our team and growing shareholder value,”
Total: “Committed to Better Energy”
Despite being one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Total (TOT) is worth a look for investors eying greener alternatives.
Total maintains a ‘big picture’ outlook across all of its endeavors. It is not only aware of the needs that are not being met by a significant portion of the world’s growing population, it is also hyper-aware of the looming climate crisis if changes are not made.
In its push to create a better world for all, it has committed to contributing to each of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. From workplace safety and diversity to societal progression and reducing its carbon footprint, Total is checking all of the boxes that the next generation of investors hold close to their hearts.
The International Energy Agency projects that renewables will meet up to 40% of global energy demand within the next 20 years. And Total will not be left behind.
Through its subsidiaries and new investments, Total is making major waves in the “green revolution.” Already it’s gross low-carbon power generation capacity worldwide is currently nearly 7 gigawatts, of which over 3 gigawatts from renewable energies.
And the company estimates that by 2040, up to 40% of its sales could be generated from its portfolio of low-carbon businesses.
By Ian Jenkins