Stocks to buy

3 Excellent ESG Stocks to Put Your Money Where Your Mind Is

  • Intuit (INTU): The tax-prep software giant has made major environmental commitments.
  • Best Buy (BBY): Promoting sustainability and social justice, BBY is a holistic idea among ESG stocks.
  • Waste Management (WM): Not your typical ESG trade, WM does quite a bit for the environment.
Source: Shutterstock

It’s not the first thing that you’d expect to pop up in a story focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns, but the shift in interest toward ESG stocks to buy is controversial. As a recent op-ed from the Wall Street Journal demonstrated, good intentions don’t always lead to good results. Indeed, the aphorism about where such intentions lead — a warm place — isn’t that far off from the truth.

Unfortunately, the money directed toward ESG stocks can be sucked into a void of cynicism. Instead, it may be better to promote regulatory changes to support generally positive initiatives. On the other hand, competing data suggests that private companies can legitimately embrace sustainability (both social and environmental) and profitability — the two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

While it’s impossible to say what the direction of ESG stocks will ultimately be (the jury’s still out on that one), the core reality in the U.S. — and likely other parts of the world — is that society is becoming more progressive. Further, the emerging Generation Z aligns very closely with millennials on key social and political issues, per the Pew Research Center.

In other words, while publicly traded companies typically don’t like to rock the boat, being on the wrong side of history could be detrimental to forward development, particularly as liberal and progressive viewpoints gain control of the broader narrative. Therefore, below are three ESG stocks to buy ahead of this dynamic trend.

INTU Intuit Inc. $467.23
BBY Best Buy Co., Inc. $93.90
WM Waste Management, Inc. $159.31

ESG Stocks to Buy: Intuit (INTU)

Intuit and turbotax logo on a phone screen on top of a keyboard. INTU stock.

Source: Julio Ricco / Shutterstock

Admittedly, the timing of mentioning Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) might be a little bit off considering the end of the tax season; well, at least for most folks. As you know, the software giant commands a huge presence in the tax preparation space. Still, taxes are one of the two constants in life, thus making INTU permanently relevant.

But besides helping people make sense of the ever-rising complexity of the tax code, Intuit is also quietly making a name for itself as one of the ESG stocks to buy. As the company stated on its website, it’s committed to fighting climate change. In 2015, Intuit became carbon neutral and has embarked on a mission to use 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Fundamentally, Intuit is in a great place in my view. The company impressively expanded the top line throughout the new normal caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As well, the broader pivot to the gig economy should add more firepower to INTU as one of the ESG stocks to buy.

Best Buy (BBY)

Best Buy (BBY) store front

Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

When people think about Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), it’s arguably just in the context of big-box retailers specializing in the latest consumer electronic products. But in reality, BBY is also one of the more intriguing ESG stocks to buy.

According to its corporate statement, Best Buy is leading the charge toward environmental responsibility with Intuit and other likeminded corporations, reducing its operational carbon emissions by 60% in 2017. This was accomplished through various sustainability programs that impact every component of Best Buy’s business.

Moving forward, management has established a goal for 75% carbon emissions reduction by 2030. On the social side, Best Buy has committed to expanding diversity in its workforce. Plus, Best Buy has invested considerable funds toward the empowerment of communities of color through educational initiatives.

Better yet, the company has grown throughout the new normal, proving that being one of the ESG stocks to buy doesn’t automatically equate to being unviable.

ESG Stocks to Buy: Waste Management (WM)

Image of green Waste Management (WM) branded truck in the foreground and building with Waste Management flag in the background.

Source: rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

On the surface, the idea of putting Waste Management (NYSE:WM) on a list of ESG stocks to buy seems a tad ridiculous. If anything, the image of landfills that continue to pile higher and higher seems the exact opposite of sustainability. However, that overlooks the reality of Waste Management and similar services, as a Bloomberg report explains.

Indeed, WM and its ilk are doing a lot more for the environment than people realize. For one thing, waste accumulation is simply a reality of our modern world. So, complaining is a privilege we have but Waste Management actually has to do something about it. Second, the company features myriad programs and initiatives to promote recycling and other actions to limit waste products’ footprint.

Fundamentally, WM also makes plenty of sense because the underlying service is indelible. So long as humans live, we will produce waste — there’s no getting around that. Plus, it shows on the income statement, with revenue expanding conspicuously in 2021.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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