Carbon Clean 200 Companies Outperform Dirty Energy

Carbon Clean 200 Companies Outperform Dirty Energy

The 11th cohort of global Clean200 leaves dirty energy investments in the dust, outperforming them by 39%  

Carbon Clean 200 - 2024 Performance Update from Corporate Knights and As You SowAs You Sow and Corporate Knights recently released their 11th update of the Carbon Clean200™, a list of 200 publicly traded companies worldwide leading the way among global peers to a clean energy present and future. These companies generated almost double the returns of the main fossil fuel index from July 1, 2016, to January 15, 2024, despite geopolitical tensions that have favored fossil fuel stocks in the past two years. 

The top 10 companies on the list by revenue include Apple, Contemporary Amperex Technology, Tesla, TSMC, and HP. Thirty-five countries are represented in the Clean200, including the U.S. (39), China (23), Japan (18), France (13), and Brazil, Canada, and Germany (10 each). 

Key Findings Include: 

  • Clean200 companies earned over $2.24 trillion in sustainable revenue during 2022.
  • Clean200 companies generated a total return of 103.5%, underperforming the MSCI ACWI broad market index (114.4%) but beating the MSCI ACWI/Energy Index of fossil fuel companies (64.5%) on Total Return Gross — USD Basis from the Clean200 inception of July 1, 2016, to Jan. 15, 2024.
  • $10,000 invested in the Clean200 on July 1, 2016, would have grown to $20,346 by Jan. 15, 2024, versus $16,453 for the MSCI ACWI/Energy benchmark for fossil fuel companies.
  • The industrial sector accounts for 55 companies on the list, followed by the materials (30), consumer discretionary (29) and information technology (29) sectors.  IT companies had the highest total sustainable revenue, a cumulative total of over $643 billion, and the highest average sustainable revenue per company at $22.2 billion. 
  • The top 10 companies that contributed the most to the Clean200’s performance over the past year were from Germany (1), the Netherlands (1), and the U.S. (8). They include sustainably-certified tech hardware, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and water quality and wastewater treatment equipment.

“In 2016, we created the Clean200 in response to investors saying, ‘If we divest fossil fuels, there is nothing to invest in,’” said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow and report co-author. “The Clean200 has consistently demonstrated that what we called the ‘clean energy’ future eight years ago is now the clean energy present. This year, the scale and global diversity of leading companies continue to expand and redefine the term ‘cleantech’ to be any company with products and services that will reduce demand for fossil fuels and water.” 

Top 10 Companies by Revenue on the Clean200 List: 

1) Apple Inc, Information Technology, United States  

2) Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, Industrials, China  

3) Tesla Inc, Consumer Discretionary, United States  

4) TSMC, Information Technology, Taiwan  

5) HP Inc, Information Technology, United States  

6) Microsoft Corp, Information Technology, United States  

7) Schneider Electric SE, Industrials, France  

8) Nucor Corp, Materials, United States  

9) Iberdrola SA, Utilities, Spain  

10) LG Energy Solution, Ltd, Industrials, South Korea 

“It is telling that even on the back of a banner year for fossil fuel stocks, the Clean200 continued its six-plus year track record of outperformance against both fossil fuel and blue-chip benchmarks,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights and report co-author. “I think it will be surprising to many people that the Clean200 stocks are beating the main fossil fuel index by a factor of almost two to one. This is despite the geopolitical uncertainty that has boosted oil and gas stocks, the supply chain and permitting delays that have hampered the rollout of clean energy infrastructure, and the dominance of AI as an investment alpha theme.” 

The Clean200 utilizes the Corporate Knights Sustainable Revenue database, which tracks the percentage of revenue companies earn from sustainable economy themes ranging from green power to electric vehicles to plant protein and smart buildings.  

The list excludes companies that are flagged on Corporate Knights Red Flag Companies List and As You Sow’s Invest Your Values suite of mutual fund transparency tools that identify companies involved in fossil fuels, deforestation, the prison industrial complex, weapons, and tobacco, as well as Corporate Knights’ exclusionary screens which form part of its Global 100 methodology.

“We will continue to track and share the emergence of this economic powerhouse,” Behar continued. “There is clear financial evidence showing a broad spectrum of companies defining this economic transformation away from an extractive economy and into a regenerative economy based on justice and sustainability. The job growth and resilience demonstrated by these companies are our greatest hope in controlling climate change and achieving a safe, just, and sustainable world for all.” 

 

As You Sow is the nation’s leading shareholder representative, with a 30-year track record promoting environmental and social corporate responsibility and advancing values-aligned investing. Its issue areas include climate change, ocean plastics, pesticides, racial justice, workplace diversity, and executive compensation. Click here for As You Sow’s shareholder resolution tracker. 

Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights is an independent media and research company committed to advancing a sustainable economy. Corporate Knights maintains the Sustainable Economy Intelligence Database, which is the research engine behind its flagship ranking of The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World as well as the annual Sustainable Banking League Tables for The Banker, and was recently selected by Climate Arc to provide green revenue and CapEx data for the approximately 600 companies being targeted by Climate Action 100+. 

As You Sow and Corporate Knights are not investment advisors, nor do we provide financial planning, legal, or tax advice. Nothing in the Carbon Clean200 Report shall constitute or be construed as an offering of financial instruments or as investment advice or investment recommendations.

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