RBC highlights latest ESG developments from June

on Jul 19, 2021
Updated: Jul 20, 2021
  • RBC Capital Markets published its report on the latest ESG developments.
  • A brief overview of the U.S. firms that made it to the report and why.
  • RBC recaps ESG news from the global consumer space every month.

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RBC Capital Markets published its monthly report on the latest ESG (environmental, governance, and social) developments within the global consumer space. Below is a summary of some of the notable US-listed companies identified by a team of experts led by analyst Nik Modi.

Notable standouts: Clorox, Unilever

Clorox Co (NYSE: CLX) now ranks within Parity.org’s Best Companies for Women to Advance List 2021. The company also helped launch The U.S. Plastics Pact’s “Roadmap to 2025,” a national strategy that builds towards a 2025 target of creating a circular economy for plastics in the US.

Clorox is a staunch supporter of equal opportunities for women to advance their careers. It had its efforts recognized in June when Parity.org added it to its list of best companies for women to advance in 2021.

Unilever plc (LON: ULVR) Chief R&D Officer Richard Slater discussed the company’s sustainability and innovation strategy. The executive noted how sustainable technology is an increasingly key driver of innovation and the company boasts several “world firsts” in sustainable development, according to the report. For example, the company created a laundry detergent bottle out of paper, refillable deodorant products, and sustainable food products that don’t compromise on taste.

Modi commented in the report:

We think recent, higher quality and tasty innovations have driven a lot of the recent growth in plant-based. Given flexitarians are the big opportunity, we believe plant-based options that don’t compromise on taste will be the key for unlocking future penetration.

Beverage giants

Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) was named as a Global Implementation Partner by The Ocean Cleanup. Together, the two entities will work towards reducing plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Separately, the beverage giant pledged that at least 8% of its yearly advertising budget will be allocated towards Black-, Hispanic- and Asian-American-owned platforms and their partners by 2024.

Alcohol giant Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ) teamed up with the Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo to contribute $500,000to the United States’ largest Latino nonprofit advocacy organization, UnidosUS. Rival alcohol maker Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.B) Forman reiterated its commitment to ESG goals focused on water stewardship and climate change on its earnings call last month.  

Civic 50 members

The Civic 50 ranking consists of the 50 most community-minded companies in the US that generate at least $1 billion in annual revenue. Food giant Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) said in June it was named an honoree. Also, the food and snack company Hershey Co (NYSE: HSY) was named to the ranking for its dedication towards corporate citizenship and volunteering.

Plastic innovations

Personal care company Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE: KMB) struck a partnership with RWDC to replace one-time-use plastics with sustainable alternatives. It announced a collaboration with RWDC last month to make such alternatives. Also, Edgewell Personal Care Co (NYSE: EPC) is shifting production of its razor brands to be made out of post-recycled plastic.

Privately-owned water filtration company Brita and Parley for the Oceans teamed up in June to form a long-term partnership dedicated to ending single-use plastic water bottles. Brita has already been working on new recyclable packaging using 100% recycled fibers.