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SB20: The World's Top Sustainable Business Stocks

2009 marks the eighth year for the SB20, which is presented in our green investing newsletter, Progressive Investor. Each year, we work with a group of judges who are leading green stock analysts to select the companies.

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The purpose of the SB20 - the Sustainable Business 20 - is to showcase the most innovative, model companies that have the potential to greatly impact our ultimate goal of reaching a sustainable economy.

The challenge we give our judges is to nominate, discuss and then vote on 20 companies that, through their products or initiatives, are contributing substantially to the advance of a sustainable economy.

To be on the list, companies must be strong on both the green and financial sides. It is not a "buy" list, but because the companies are strong financially, their stock may well be worth be buying at some point based on stock market positioning. We strive to choose companies of various sizes, industries and parts of the world, but the list doesn't constitute a diversified portfolio.

Over the years we've found the exercise of choosing only 20 companies has enabled us to zero in on the truly outstanding companies that stand head and shoulders above the crowd. We do it based on the deep knowledge and experience of our judges, rather than by using numerical formulas. We've been able to choose small, medium and large companies from every region of the world. So here's how we do it and who we do it with:

SB20 Criteria

Our judges decide on the 20 companies that make the list based on the following Sustainability and Financial criteria:

Sustainability Criteria: The most exciting companies in terms of how they are conducting their business, or in the disruptive green technologies they are advancing that solve our environmental problems and lead us to a sustainable society. In particular, they have a very strong GREEN story, with the ability to have widespread influence.

Companies must have made major announcements and/or significant progress in meeting targets over the past year.

Financial Criteria: Companies are preferably profitable with strong management and balance sheets. Development stage companies must have revenue and be on track to profitablity. Each company would enhance an investment portfolio although it may not be in buying position today.

The Judges

Our judges are some of the most respected green portfolio analysts in the world:

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