Mutual Fund Lists Top 10 Green Companies

Global mutual fund Portfolio 21 (PORTX) announced its Top 10 Green Companies.

Portfolio 21 says it has reviewed more than 2,000 companies worldwide over the last decade. It currently invests $323 million in 105 companies across 20 countries. The fund said the following Top 10 Green Companies were selected based on their "environmental performance characteristics."

Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK) – A leading developer of two and three dimensional design software that facilitates sustainable building practices. Autodesk software products decrease waste and impacts of design processes by reducing paper consumption and encouraging superior design. Autodesk has recently partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council with a goal of integrating its technology with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

East Japan Railway (EJPRY.PK) – Railways are inherently efficient land-based transportation, and EJR continually works to reduce its power consumption. It has introduced reduced-weight railcars, developed the world’s first hybrid prototype train, and is installing solar and wind systems at some of its "eco stations." The company is also working to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire transport system by promoting inter-modal transportation-combining rail with other modes of travel.

Henkel (HEN.DE) – This German manufacturer in 1983 became the first company to offer a phosphate-free detergent. Henkel now produces a wide range of bio-based detergents and adhesives, reducing the company’s reliance on fossil fuels, as well as potential environmental health hazards. More than two-thirds of its products’ formulations are based on renewable raw materials. All new products are required to contribute to sustainable development.

Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI) – This U.S. energy management company provides metering, data collection, and software solutions to optimize resources for nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide. Products include an advanced metering infrastructure system that permits two-way communication between utilities and customers, allowing end-use customers to participate in demand response and energy conservation programs.

Natura Cosmeticos (NUACF.PK) – A Brazilian cosmetics company focusing on the sustainable use of natural resources and respect for local cultural traditions, Natura establishes partnerships with rural suppliers, indigenous communities and family farm groups. The company promotes development and discovery of new and renewable raw materials, and supports organic and biodynamic production models and sustainable agriculture and agroforest systems.

Potlatch (NYSE: PCH) – A U.S.-based integrated forest products company, Potlatch is emerging as a leader in the domestic sustainable forestry industry. The company recently achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all its forestlands (approximately 50% of the company’s total fiber needs). Potlatch also recognizes "non-traditional" values in its forestlands, including business opportunities in recreation leases and conservation easements.

Red Electrica (RDEIY.PK) – As Spain’s leading power transmission company, Red Electrica is responsible for the management of its country’s electricity distribution system. Over the past several years, Spain has become the second-largest European wind-power producer and expects to have wind farms producing 13,000 megawatts by 2011.

Sharp (6753.T) – A Japanese consumer and industrial electronics company, Sharp focuses on products that offer energy efficiency, resource efficiency, and ease of recycling. Sharp is the world’s largest producer of solar cells and is one of just a few industry leaders to support a solution to e-waste in the United States.

Umicore (UMIS.BR) – Based in Belgium, Umicore is a basic materials company and the world’s leading recycler of precious metals. Approximately half of the company’s revenues are generated through products that provide direct environmental benefits. Examples include materials for rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, and auto catalysts (which reduce harmful pollutants from vehicles).

Vestas (VWS.CO) – By capturing the energy available in wind currents, power can be generated with essentially zero emissions to the environment. Vestas, a Danish company, develops, manufactures, and markets wind energy products. This company has a clear sustainability strategy based on manufacturing equipment and operating facilities for the renewable energy sector.

"More and more investors are paying closer attention to ecological
trends and their affects on financial performance," said Leslie
Christian, CEO of Portfolio 21. "As investment managers, we believe
climate change and resource consumption will have an enormous impact on
the global economy in the coming years; companies that are already
addressing the risks and opportunities presented by these environmental
trends should have a competitive advantage."

The Wall Street Journal recently cited Portfolio 21’s established track record, noting that it is one of the few green funds "broad and diversified enough to be used as a core holding in an investment portfolio." ("The Price of Green," The Wall Street Journal, 10/5/09).

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