With global challenges like climate change, extreme weather events and racial and gender equality causing widespread protests across the globe, many of the world’s most important companies have made increasing efforts to align themselves with a variety of different social causes in recent years.
This has given rise to the emergence of ESG principles that allow us to measure in quantitative terms how well a company is meeting stated environmental, social or governance goals.
These goals have become increasingly important for consumers and investors alike, with many of the world’s top brands and corporate entities releasing in-depth ESG reports each year.
According to recent industry reports, the total value of ESG assets surpassed $41tn in global value in 2022 and looks set to stretch to a staggering $50m by 2025.
Clearly, ESG is not only important to consumers but is also critical to staying competitive in today’s market.
For these reasons, ESG investing has gained traction across the corporate world. And for individual and institutional investors alike, companies with a strong ESG track record are attractive investment prospects.
ESG companies have consistently posted strong performances over the last number of years, with some ESG-focused funds even outperforming comparable traditional investment funds.
As such, many individual investors are now placing increasing emphasis on ESG when selecting companies to invest in.
Out of the many companies out there, however, which are the best ESG companies to look at in 2023?
As one of the world’s best performing companies, Apple Inc. has placed significant emphasis on exceeding ESG targets in recent years.
This includes the ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, as well as to source as much material from recyclable content as possible.
According to their most recent ESG report, Apple avoided more than 23 million metric tons of emissions across all its business ventures and output. This marks a 40% reduction in 2021 when compared to 2015.
For these reasons, Apple Inc. has consistently been rated as one of the top ESG performers.
With Microsoft’s former CEO Bill Gates being one of the world’s most famous philanthropists, it is perhaps no surprise that his company has gone on to become a leader in the ESG space – even though he has little direct involvement with the company these days!
As a business, Microsoft is financially sound and is fueled by steadily growing subscription revenue that has kept the company in good health.
Additionally, Microsoft has also proved itself to be a serious performer when it comes to ESG.
Microsoft’s ESG leadership includes supporting renewable energy as well as an ongoing commitment to offset all the carbon emissions it has produced since 1975.
Best Buy is a leading consumer electronics retailer with a strong presence across North America.
Although consumer electronics have not traditionally been a very environmentally friendly sector, Best Buy has made a serious commitment to increasing its ESG performance.
To this end, Best Buy has adopted initiatives such as waste diversion facilities, which allows them to divert waste from landfills and to expand recycling programs. They also support various training and education initiatives.
Adobe are global leaders in the software, publishing and cloud storage space. And over the course of the last three decades, they have grown to become leaders in the tech industry – particularly among creatives.
In addition to being a global leader in digital content creation and other ubiquitous software services, Adobe are also serious players when it comes to ESG.
Adobe have committed to social goals within their company, which has seen them achieve global gender pay parity.
They also invest heavily in grass-roots community programs that provide benefits to 1.6 million underrepresented minorities.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is the ubiquitous global player that has arguably one of the strongest brands in the ice-cream space.
Despite their humble Vermont roots, Ben & Jerry’s has grown to be among the most recognizable of FMCG brands.
At the same time, however, Ben & Jerry’s is also driven by a strong sense of purpose.
And ever since they were first founded, they have consistently championed a range of different political, environment-focused and social causes.
They frequently collaborate and partner with various charities to produce bespoke flavors, with the proceeds going directly to these causes.
This business model has proved to be a hit for Ben & Jerry’s, with revenues at this ice-cream giant looking as healthy as ever!