Carbon Clean 200 Companies Outperform Dirty Energy by 30%

Carbon Clean 200 Companies Outperform Dirty Energy by 30%

February 24, 2023 12:45 pm

The 10th cohort of global Clean200 companies leaves dirty energy investments in the dust. Tesla ranked 5th along with Apple topping the chart.

As You Sow and Corporate Knights today released their 10th update of the  Carbon Clean 200TM, a list of 200 publicly traded companies worldwide that are leading the way among their global peers to a clean energy present and future.

Key findings include:

  • Clean200 companies generated a total return of 91.21% beating the MSCI ACWI broad market index (87.84%) and MSCI ACWI/Energy Index of fossil fuel companies, (61.31%) on Total Return Gross — USD Basis from the Clean200 inception of July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2023.
  • $10,000 invested in the Clean200 on July 1, 2016, would have grown to $19,121 by Jan. 31, 2023, versus $16,131 for the MSCI ACWI/Energy benchmark for fossil fuel companies.
  • The top 10 companies that contributed the most to the Clean200’s outperformance over the past year were primarily from China, the U.S., South Korea, and Sweden. They include electric vehicles, organic foods, energy conservation solutions, and renewable energy themes.

Andrew Behar, CEO oAs You Sow and report co-author said, “In 2016 we created the Clean200 in response to investors saying, ‘if we divest fossil fuels there is nothing to invest in. The Clean200 has demonstrated consistently that what we called the ‘clean energy’ future seven 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 that has products and services that will reduce demand for fossil fuels and water.”

The top 10 companies on the list by revenue include Apple Inc., which offers sustainably-certified phones and laptops; Alphabet Inc. which includes its web mapping platform; Deutsche Telekom AG.;  Verizon Communications Inc. — both in telecommunications services; and Tesla Inc. for its electric vehicles. Thirty-five countries are represented in the Clean200, including the U.S. (42), China (21), Japan (16), Canada (12), and France (11).

Here are the top 10 companies by revenue on the Clean200:

“It is telling that even on the back of a banner year for fossil fuel stocks, the Clean200 continued its 6+ year track record of outperformance against both fossil fuel and blue-chip benchmarks,” said Toby Heaps, CEO oCorporate Knights and report co-author. 

The Clean200 utilizes Corporate Knights Sustainable Revenue database which tracks the percent of revenue companies earn from sustainable economy themes including energy efficiency; green energy; electric vehicles; banks financing low-carbon solutions; real estate companies focused on low-carbon buildings; forestry companies protecting carbon sinks; responsible miners of critical materials for the low-carbon economy; food and apparel companies with products primarily made of raw materials with a significantly lower carbon footprint; and information and communications technology companies that are leading the way on transforming the way we do things through telecommunication technologies. 

The list excludes companies that are flagged on 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, gender inequality, and tobacco.

“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.”