Global mutual fund Portfolio 21 (PORTX) today announced its Top 10 Green Companies for 2011. Portfolio 21 invests only in companies with an explicit commitment to environmental business practices, such as designing ecologically superior products, using renewable energy, developing efficient production methods, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The success of the green strategy has resulted in competitive financial performance for investors over the past 11 years (see performance table below).
“We believe the best long-term investment opportunities are found in companies using environmental frameworks to make business decisions. These companies have clearly demonstrated the qualities of innovation and leadership that create a distinct competitive advantage and should build long-term value for investors,” said CEO and Chief Investment Officer Leslie Christian.
Portfolio 21 has reviewed more than 2,000 companies worldwide. It invests approximately $400 million in 99 companies across 21 countries. Portfolio 21’s Top 10 Green Companies have been selected based on their environmental performance characteristics:
- ABB provides power and automation technologies that enable a wide range of industries, including utilities, to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB is also the world’s largest supplier of the electrical heart of wind turbines. ABB’s products are well positioned to respond to the global demand for reliable and efficient electricity delivery.
- Cisco provides networking products and services for home and business communications. The company is positioned to respond to the global demand for data centers, cloud computing, and collaborative technologies that minimize travel and associated environmental impacts. In 2010, Cisco further improved its competitive position within the virtual communications sector through its acquisition of another Portfolio 21 holding, Tandberg.
- Eaton provides electrical systems and components for power distribution that reduce energy use. Eaton’s customers include renewable energy and hybrid vehicle companies. In 2010, Eaton joined the Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now LEADER program, pledging to reduce the company’s own energy use by 25%, indexed to sales, between 2006 and 2016.
- Growthpoint is a real estate management company with a portfolio of commercial, retail, and industrial properties in South Africa and Australia. Recognizing that buildings consume 40%-50% of the world’s energy, Growthpoint is leading the implementation of green building and energy saving practices in South Africa and is an active participant in development of the country’s first commercial green building standards.
- IBM’s hardware and software business services assist customers in reducing energy consumption and costs. For example, this year IBM and Schneider Electric (another Portfolio 21 Top 10 pick) announced a new combined solution to manage energy efficiency in buildings. IBM has made impressive reductions of its own greenhouse gas emissions and is part of the Green Power Market Development Group and the Chicago Climate Exchange.
- Johnson Matthey’s core skills are in catalysis, precious metals, and fine chemicals. Catalysts are seen as a boon to green chemistry because they enable chemical reactions to be carried out under milder conditions, require less energy, and use fewer toxic chemicals and solvents. Chemical catalysts are also expected to help produce clean fuels, convert waste and green raw materials into energy, and improve emissions from combustion engines.
- Novozymes is the world leader in biotechnology-based industrial enzymes and microorganisms. These enzyme products can reduce the use of energy, raw materials, and harsh chemicals, as well as reducing waste. In 2010, Novozymes launched a new enzyme product to produce fuel from agricultural waste, which is a competitive alternative to gasoline in both price and performance.
- Ormat is a geothermal and recovered energy company. The company also has efforts in thermal solar and biomass. Ormat has installed approximately 1,300 MW of geothermal and Recovered Energy Generation power plants. Favorable regulatory environments and governmental initiatives to promote clean energy are creating potential for Ormat to grow in established and new markets.
- Schneider Electric provides energy automation, monitoring, and control solutions for utilities, buildings, and other infrastructure uses. The company also makes energy saving devices and power supply equipment for solar and wind power systems. In 2010, Schneider continued its partnership with IBM to launch a new system for data center energy management.
- Tennant Company is a leader in equipment for floor maintenance and outdoor cleaning, specializing in chemical-free products. Utilizing the Natural Step Framework, the company studies the life-cycle environmental impacts of its products. Tennant currently offers an eco-friendly portfolio of products, including Green Seal-certified cleaning agents, and its ec-H2O cleaning machine, which requires only water and no added chemicals.
Portfolio 21’s competitive financial performance and green investing approach have attracted attention among retail and institutional investors. A profile on each company illustrating the green approach is available at www.portfolio21.com.
Portfolio 21 Performance Table
Performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Performance date current to the most recent month-end may be obtained by calling 877-351-4115 or by visiting www.portfolio21.com. The Fund will assess a 2.00% fee on certain redemptions for shares purchased and held for less than 2 months. Performance data does not reflect the redemption fee. If it had, returns would be lower.
Portfolio 21 returns are compared with the MSCI World Equity Index. We use this index as a benchmark because Portfolio 21 is a global fund, investing in stocks throughout the world. Portfolio 21 does not attempt to replicate the MSCI World Equity Index. However, comparing performance results with a benchmark is helpful to identify relevant market conditions and fluctuations. The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure global developed market equity performance. The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based unmanaged index of 500 stocks, which is widely recognized as representative of the equity market in general. One cannot invest directly in an index.
Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. The Fund invests in foreign securities which involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. The Fund also invests in smaller companies, which involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility. The Fund’s environmental policy could cause it to make or avoid investments that could result in the Fund underperforming similar funds that do not have an environmental policy.
The fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be obtained by calling 877-351-4115, or visiting www.portfolio21.com. Read it carefully before investing.
Investment performance reflects fee waivers in effect. In the absence of such waivers total return would be reduced.
The information provided herein represents the opinion of Portfolio 21 management, and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.
As of 11/30/10, the companies listed above were held in Portfolio 21 in the following percentages: ABB: 0.8%; Cisco: 0.8%; Eaton: 1.3%; Growthpoint: 0.2%; IBM: 1.7%; Johnson Matthey: 0.5%; Novozymes: 1.6%; Ormat: 0.6%; Schneider Electric: 0.7%; Tennant: 0.7%.
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About Portfolio 21 Investments:
Portfolio 21 Investments has been a pioneer in the field of environmental and socially responsible investing since 1982. In 1999, the company launched the Portfolio 21 mutual fund to address the ecological risks and opportunities of the investment process in the 21st century. Portfolio 21 Investments is based in Portland, OR and has approximately $500 million in assets under management.