Beyond petroleum: an investor`s response to oil stocks

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In response to a growing number of queries from investors and journalists, Portfolio 21 Investments today explained why the selection criteria for its green mutual fund favors renewable energy and prevented an investment in BP. 'The oil disaster in the gulf is a harsh reminder of the risks we have taken on with our fossil fuel-based system,' said CEO Leslie Christian. 'Portfolio 21 does not invest in oil companies because we believe the environmental and financial risks - extraction, distribution, and greenhouse gases - are too great. We would invest in an oil company only if the company had made a significant commitment to renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency. With respect to BP, as well as other major oil firms, the actual dollars that have been directed to developing renewable energy capacity and production are insignificant--mere rounding errors, in our opinion. We prefer to invest in companies whose incentives are aligned not with selling more oil but with using energy efficiently (such as smart grids) and developing alternatives (such as wind and solar).' Portfolio 21's integrated financial and environmental analysis is designed to identify long-term investments in companies that are addressing the environmental risks and opportunities present in its industry. The investment team scrutinizes the financial and environmental sustainability of a company's business model prior to purchase and, once invested, monitors the company's progress against its environmental goals. Following are priorities for a company to be considered for investment:

  • Adapt business models to seek competitive advantages in the face of declining natural systems and resources (e.g., fresh water, oil, and other raw materials).
  • Reduce environmental impact of products and/or services.
  • Innovate efficiently by re-using resources and creating closed-loop systems.
  • Commit resources for environmental strategies in research & development and capital investments.
  • Manage environmental impacts and liabilities with action plans, environmental accounting, and reporting.
  • Communicate with employees, stakeholders, and peers about environmental priorities and best practices.
  • Avoid legal, financial, and public reputation risks and liabilities associated with greenhouse gases, superfund sites, spills, and toxic releases.

For investments in the energy sector, Portfolio 21 has selected companies that it believes will help lead the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. These companies include Vestas, Johnson Controls, National Grid, Scottish & Southern Energy, Sharp Electronics, Iberdrola Renovables, Verbund, Red Electrica, Schneider Electric, Ormat, Acciona, EDF Energies Nouvelles, Abengoa, SunPower, Itron, EDP Renovaveis, and Echelon. Two of Portfolio 21's favorites are Ormat, a geothermal and recovered energy company, and Iberdrola Renovables, Spain's largest renewable energy generator, with specialties in wind and small hydroelectric power. Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. The Fund invests in foreign securities which involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. The Fund also invests in smaller companies, which involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility. The Fund's environmental policy could cause it to make or avoid investments that could result in the Fund underperforming similar funds that do not have an environmental policy. The fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be obtained by calling 877-351-4115, or visiting http://www.portfolio21.com. Read it carefully before investing. Fund holdings and sector allocations are subject to change and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. As of 5/31/10, the companies listed above were held in Portfolio 21 in the following percentages: Vestas: 1.2%, Johnson Controls: 1.2%, National Grid: 1.0%, Scottish & Southern Energy: 1.0%, Sharp Electronics: 0.8%, Iberdrola Renovables: 0.7%, Verbund: 0.7%, Red Electrica: 0.6%, Schneider Electric: 0.6%, Ormat: 0.5%, Acciona: 0.4%, EDF Energies Nouvelles: 0.4%, Abengoa: 0.3%, SunPower: 0.3%, Itron: 0.3%, EDP Renovaveis: 0.3%, Echelon: 0.1%. The information provided herein represents the opinion of Portfolio 21 management, and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice. Distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC. (6/10) About Portfolio 21 Investments: Portfolio 21 Investments has been a pioneer in the field of environmental and socially responsible investing since 1982. In 1999, the company launched the Portfolio 21 mutual fund to address the ecological risks and opportunities of the investment process in the 21st century. Portfolio 21 Investments is based in Portland, OR and has approximately $500 million in assets under management.

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