When it comes to investing, people are often concerned with looking to secure the greatest return or the biggest dividend. For some investors, it’s also important to consider ethical companies that help the environment or society as a whole. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of companies and industries that don’t do that, and sometimes it can be a challenge finding good investments that can fit into a portfolio that focuses on ethical investing.
For that reason, I’ve identified three stocks below that are great investments for the future and that look to make our world a better and cleaner place.
Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP) has 250 facilities over the world that include the Americas and parts of Europe as well. The company has a capacity of more than 10,000 megawatts through its wind and hydroelectric assets, as it focuses on producing renewable energy for its consumers.
Brookfield is a long-term play with lots of potential as consumers look for more environmentally friendly options for their energy. In the company’s most recent quarter, sales were up 5%, and in 2016 its top line rose by more than 50%.
Although the company has been able to grow its sales, its bottom line has struggled to stay in the black as a result of rising depreciation, which has increased more than 40% in just the past two years.
However, the stock has provided investors with a respectable 9% return in the past year, and combined with a dividend of 5.7%, it could be a great long-term buy, especially when you consider its excellent prospects for growth in the years to come.
Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS) is another company that focuses on sustainability, as it uses mainly recycled goods when making its products. The company produces paper, packaging, and other related products.
Cascades has seen slow but steady revenue growth over the years with sales of $4 billion in 2016 having risen nearly 20% in three years. More importantly, the company has been able to consistently finish in the black with each of its last four quarters being profitable. In 2016, Cascades recorded a strong profit of $135 million after being in the red for the previous two years.
Like Brookfield, Cascades has provided its shareholders with a very strong return of just less than 10% in the past year. The stock is a terrific value buy with a price-to-earnings multiple of less than three.
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (TSX:WPRT)(NASDAQ:WPRT) was one of the top-performing stocks on the TSX last year with returns of 211% in 2017. The company focuses on clean-burning fuel systems that will help make energy cleaner and more sustainable. With a vision like that, it’s easy to see why many investors have jumped on the bandwagon in the expectation that demand will grow for the company’s products.
However, Westport’s financial performance hasn’t been strong, as the company has been unable to stay out of the red. Sales have shown a lot of inconsistency as well, but there is hope that the company may finally be on the right path. In 2016, sales more than doubled to $225 million, and the company has continued to build on those strong results in 2017.
Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Brookfield Renewable Partners is a recommendation of Dividend Investor Canada.