Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) responsibilities are becoming much more of a priority than they were previously for corporations, big and small. For many, investing in socially responsible stocks is a necessity, others put it on the back burner. Like it or not though, consumers and governments won't put up with businesses that don't adapt to comply with changing ESG standards.
The software as a service (SaaS) giant is a net-zero business, meaning it balances the amount of greenhouse gas produced and removed from the atmosphere.
It's probably not the first company that comes to mind for sustainability, but Salesforce (NYSE; CRM) has rigorous sustainability development goals in place -- especially when it comes to climate change. It was a founding partner of 1t.org, an organization dedicated to conserving, restoring, and replanting one trillion trees by 2030.
Salesforce has also developed the sustainability cloud, an analytics platform that other businesses can use to track their own sustainability initiatives and become net zero.
Warby Parker (NYSE: WRBY) is an e-commerce company that sells eyeglasses. It realized the difficulties associated with affordable eyewear and built a multi-billion dollar business from that idea.
Warby's mission is to:
"demonstrate that a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world--without charging a premium for it."
And it certainly is doing good in the world. It launched its own charity, the Impact Foundation, to help the 2.5 billion people globally that can't access glasses. So far, the company has delivered on its ambitions by donating eight million pairs of glasses around the world through its 'Buy A Pair, Give A Pair' program.
"It's like milk but made for humans."
That's according to Oatly's (NASDAQ: OTLY) packaging at least. Oatly is an oat milk producer that, in some respect, is disrupting the dairy industry. While you might scoff at that, dairy farms are one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases, so every little helps.
Oatly's entire business was created on environmental concerns. Oats were chosen as a substitute for a number of reasons, however; they are great for soil regeneration, they can be grown almost anywhere, and they're healthy for you, and can even be beneficial to people with allergies.
Founder of Oatly, Rickard Oste, created oat milk in 1990, and he has said when he proposed his product to the milk industry -- he was laughed out of the room. The oat milk segment of the milk market has outpaced all other milk in growth by a long shot, with the market value expected to grow at a 13% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2027, while others stagnate or decline. So, as the founder himself says:
"Who's laughing now?".
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