By Leslie P. Norton, February 7, 2020
America’s corporations are getting more sustainable, and investors are benefiting, along with the planet and the rest of its inhabitants. The third annual Barron’s ranking of America’s Most Sustainable Companies also makes for a pretty good portfolio: Shares of the 100 companies on our list returned 34.3%, on average, in 2019, beating the S&P 500 index’s 31.5%. More than half of our honorees, 55, outperformed the mighty index, which has been nearly unbeatable for a decade.
With companies in general adopting ambitious goals for their environmental and workplace practices, returns will keep outperforming, predicts Calvert Research & Management, which created the ranking for Barron’s. If sustainability once seemed like a hobby for a group of eccentric businesses, its now viewed by many corporations as mission-critical.