Approximately 55% of Americans own stocks, either individually or part of a mutual fund or retirement account.

A stock, or equity, is a portion of a corporation (typically public traded corporation) which can be owned and traded by an individual investor. Stocks generate return through appreciation (increase in stock price) and, sometimes, income (dividends). In the US, the two major stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. There are approximately 3,670 publicly traded corporations listed on the US stock market.

Sustainable Stocks

There are a two noteworthy overarching “most sustainable corporation” lists. The first is the Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies in the World created by Corporate Knights, a sustainability-focused financial information company and magazine. The corporations are ranked based on 21 indicators. The American companies which made the Global 100 list are listed in the table below.

Corporate Knights Top US Corporations on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies List

4Cisco Systems Inc
5Autodesk Inc
15Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co
16American Water
22McCormick & Company
26Prologis Inc
47Sims Metal Management Ltd
53Danaher Corporation
58HP Inc
62Alphabet Inc
67Comerica Incorporated
74Tesla Inc
77Workday Inc
78Merck & Co Inc
81Intel Corporation
82Analog Devices Inc
93Campbell Soup Company
Source: Corporate Knights

The second notable list is the 100 Most Sustainable Companies List of US publicly traded corporations created by Barron’s, weekly magazine/newspaper published by Dow Jones & Company, and Calvert, a sustainable investment management company. Rankings are based on 280 environmental, social, and governance factors. The top 20 corporations can be seen below.

Barron’s & Calvert Top 20 Most Sustainable Companies in the US

1Best Buy
2Cisco Systems
3Agilent Technologies
4HP Inc
5Texas Instruments
6Voya Financial
8W.W. Grainger
9Motorola Solutions
10ManPower Group
18United Parcel Service
20Lam Research
Source: Calvert & Barron’s

There are multiple investment research companies which provide environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings for corporations. One of those companies, MSCI, has made publicly available its ESG data for all publicly traded corporations. ESG data provided by Sustainalytics for more than 2,000 publicly traded corporations is also available on Yahoo Finance.

For investors interested in specific sustainability priorities, please visit the Sustainability pages: Climate Action, Community, Gender Equality, Racial Equality, LGBTQ+ Rights, and Gun Control.

Photo by Austin Distel

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