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logoArgusNovember 09, 2020

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Communication Services, Financial Services, Technology

Sustainable Impact Investing is gaining traction not only with Argus Research clients, but also with the global investment community. In January, BlackRock CEO Lawrence Fink, who oversees approximately $7 trillion in assets, announced that his firm would be investing in companies that are making progress on sustainability. Mr. Fink's new focus follows rapid growth in sustainable assets in recent years. According to Opimas, a management consultancy focused on global capital markets, global assets under management in ESG strategies had grown to $40.5 trillion in 2020, doubling in four years and tripling in eight years. There were almost 400 ESG strategies launched in the Morningstar investment universe in 2019, compared with around 160 launches in 2016. The UN Principles for Responsible Investing -- to which Argus Research is a signatory -- now represents more than 1,750 signatories with assets of US $80 trillion, according to Barron's. As assets have flowed in, SRI investing has evolved over the past 40 years. Now, instead of merely identifying industries to avoid, the discipline promotes "sustainable" business practices across all businesses that can have an "impact" on global issues such as workers' rights, poverty, hunger and the climate. Based on numerous requests from clients, we have compiled a list of companies followed by Argus Research that are in position to have this type of "sustainable impact" on the environment, workplace and community. These firms have exemplary records not only in delivering on the bottom line, but also in improving the environment, contributing to community relations, and showing respect for their employees. We derived our list by identifying companies that are either BUY-rated or HOLD-rated by Argus analysts, and also score highly on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria established by the JUST Capital Foundation. JUST Capital utilizes a combination of polling, data-driven research, and strategic engagement to shift behaviors and activities in corporate America and the financial markets. JUST Capital's mission is to drive measurable corporate change to create a stakeholder-centric, inclusive form of capitalism that reflects the priorities of the American public. JUST ranks the Russell 1000 on these criteria against a scale of 1-100. Here are the companies in the Argus Universe that score highest on the scale. All are rated BUY at Argus.

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