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Green corporates stay resilient amid market jitters, rankings show

The world's greenest major companies continue to deliver strong returns against stock market averages, according to the latest Carbon Clean 200 rankings.

The Clean200 list, first launched by research firm Corporate Knights and non-profit As You Sow in July 2016, ranks 200 publicly listed companies according to the amount of absolute revenue they earned from low carbon products and services.

Published last week, the latest twice-yearly update awards Google-parent firm Alphabet the top spot, just ahead of engineering giant Siemens and auto manufacturer Toyota.

The new edition of the rankings show that since 2016, Clean200 firms have enjoyed an average 1.29 percent growth in value, outperforming the S&P Global 1200 energy index at minus 2.49 percent.

A number of additional sectors have been included in the expanded rankings this year to capture portions of the economy beyond renewable energy, resulting in 87 new companies appearing in the Clean200. The new sectors incorporated in the league table include banking, real estate, forestry, responsible mining, food and apparel, transport and ICT firms.

Alphabet is a beneficiary of the expanded list criteria, having invested billions of dollars in support of its 100 percent renewable energy target in recent years, a report accompanying today's Clean200 list states.

If Chinese stocks were excluded, the returns of remaining companies in the list since 2016 would jump to 20.4 percent.
Corporate Knights and As You Sow said the uptick in the overall stock market performance of companies in the rankings is particularly encouraging as it comes despite the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, which negatively has affected the performance of Chinese companies in the Clean200 rankings.

Indeed, following their worst performance in a decade, if Chinese stocks were excluded from the Clean200, the report claims the returns of remaining companies in the list since 2016 would jump to 20.4 percent, ahead of the broad market benchmark for the S&P 1200 index.

Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights and a report co-author, said the rankings showed clean energy related stocks were proving resilient amid wider market jitters prompted by the U.S.-China trade war.

"Normally, during periods of stock market decline, defensive stocks outperform and higher growth stocks underperform," he observed. "The Clean200 is overweight on growth companies and underweight on defensive stocks, with no exposure to weapons, tobacco or healthcare. But it has still continued to outperform when the outlying Chinese stocks are excluded. This suggests markets are re-calibrating the value of stocks such as clean energy, that offer a superior and enduring value proposition in a low carbon economy."

Other companies in the Clean200 top 10 include Cisco Systems, HP, Taiwan Semiconductor, Abb Ltd-Reg, Ericsson, Unilever, and Banco Do Brasil S.A.

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