Portfolio 21 has released its Top 10 financial performers among companies implementing environmental business strategies. The top performers in the fund posted returns ranging from 41 percent to 131 percent in 2006.
The fund identifies companies that recognize the opportunity that exists to save money by saving natural resources and by providing products, services and technologies that are needed to create a sustainable society, according to Portfolio 21. Specifically, Portfolio 21 seeks companies that understand environmental constraints and risks, such as climate change, and are changing the way they design products and develop business models to reduce their exposure to these constraints and risks.
Here are Portfolio 21’s descriptions of the Top 10 financial performers for the 12-month period ending December 30, 2006:
Vestas Wind Systems This Danish wind turbine manufacturer has a clear sustainability strategy based on manufacturing equipment and operating facilities for the renewable energy sector. Vestas sees environmental considerations playing an increasingly important role in political and commercial decisions. 2006 performance: 131 percent.
Fuel Systems Solutions This company designs, manufacturers and supplies fuel storage, fuel delivery, and electronic control systems for automobile engines, with a focus on systems compatible with alternative fuels, such as natural gas and methane. These fuels burn cleaner than conventional fuels and have a lower global warming impact. 2006 performance: 114 percent.
JM This Swedish construction and real estate company leads its industry in sustainable practices. Using tools such as The Natural Step and the Precautionary Principle, JM sees environmental responsibility as key to the company’s strategy and profitability. 2006 performance: 89 percent.
Interface With a variety of environmental programs being implemented, Interface has developed the first “climate neutral” carpeting, has installed photovoltaics to provide solar power to three of its facilities, is developing carpet made from renewable natural materials that can be composted or recycled back into the same product, and, through its “Mission Zero” program, aims to have zero waste and closed loop production. 2006 performance: 76 percent.
British Land British Land, a property development and management company, clearly recognizes the economic benefits and competitive advantage that can be earned through the incorporation of sustainability principles. Its new development projects involve study of environmental impacts, including local transportation options, ecology and habitats, water resources, energy efficiency, material selections, reuse of brownfields, and design for extended building life and multiple uses. 2006 performance: 61 percent.
Acciona This diversified Spanish company prioritizes sustainability across its business lines. Through its construction and infrastructure subsidiary, Acciona works to educate clients and promote environmental features. They company’s logistics division has a focus on sea freight and transportation, with a goal of reducing environmental impact and congestion on land routes. Acciona’s energy division is the world’s largest wind power developer and constructor and the company is also involved in micro hydro, biofuels, solar, and co-generation. 2006 performance: 50 percent.
Ormat Ormat is focused on recovered and geothermal energy, both of which are renewable and have low global warming profiles. Ormat uses closed loop systems for a majority of its geothermal facilities, has developed products and services related to recovered energy (specifically waste heat in industrial settings), and has R&D efforts in thermal solar and biomass power. 2006 performance: 46 percent.
Canon Canon focuses on creating energy- and resource-efficient products as well as eliminating hazardous substances. The company actively promotes recyclability in design, utilizes green procurement policies, and is aggressively working to reduce its climate change impact. Over 90 percent of Canon’s entire product line is Energy Star certified. 2006 performance: 46 percent.
Hewlett-Packard Hewlett-Packard established its Environmental Stewardship program and Design-for-Environment principles in 1992, and continues to be a leader in addressing environmental issues. Working in areas such as energy efficiency, materials reduction, waste reduction, recycled/recyclable materials, and end-of-life product recycling, we feel the company’s improvements have resulted in increased business competitiveness and reduced environmental impact. 2006 performance: 43 percent.
Novozymes Denmark’s Novozymes is the world leader in biotech-based industrial enzymes and microorganisms. These enzyme products can reduce the use of energy, raw materials, and harsh chemicals as well as reducing waste generation. The company’s strategy is to contribute to global sustainable development by creating environmentally-sound solutions to replace existing technologies and to meet new market needs. 2006 performance: 41 percent.