At Pax World, we fully integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and portfolio construction. The result, we believe, is an increased level of scrutiny that helps us construct investment portfolios made up of better-managed companies that are leaders in their industries, meet positive standards of corporate responsibility and are more focused on the long term.
Here are companies in the Pax Small Cap Fund that we believe are taking advantage of sustainability-related opportunities, or taking appropriate steps to address key ESG issues:
WESCO International Inc. (WCC)
WESCO International is a supply chain solutions company serving the industrial, contractor, government, and utility markets. The company’s lighting and sustainability product category (12% of annual revenue) helps customers reduce their environmental footprint with lighting efficiency, energy management, renewable energy, and water and waste mitigation. WESCO notes that demand for these products, which include LED lighting, HVAC controls, customized solar and wind solutions, are being driven by energy efficiency and sustainability trends.
ICF International (ICFI)
ICF International, which provides management, technology, and policy consulting and implementation services, helps governments and companies develop more effective ways of addressing climate change, one of the greatest sustainability challenges we face. ICF International helps governments develop climate change policies by modeling potential climate change impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and it helps companies reduce GHG emissions, evaluate climate change-related risks, and identify opportunities.
Maple Leaf Foods (MFI CN)
Livestock operations have significant environmental impact, and Maple Leaf Foods is taking steps to significantly reduce its environmental footprint. The company has set goals to reduce its GHG emissions, water consumption and waste by 50% by 2025, and it reports on its progress towards meeting those goals in an annual sustainability report available on its website. Maple Leaf Foods is in the process of conducting energy and water audits at its facilities, and is evaluating ways to purchase renewable energy to meet its operational needs.
We are encouraged by the progress of these companies as they make their operations more sustainable, but we recognize that more can be done. That’s why we engage with companies on sustainability issues, and ask for information about policies, programs and performance data.