Investment Process

We seek exceptional companies that are able to provide competitive returns for investors while mitigating the environmental impact of their business activity, operating in a manner respectful of society, and implementing strategies to manage their operations within emerging environmental limits. We search globally for these companies, using proprietary environmental research and comprehensive business analysis.


In selecting investments, Portfolio 21 uses a bottom-up approach, concentrating on the specific characteristics of individual companies from the global universe of securities. From this broad and inclusive opportunity set, we focus on companies that we believe have good growth potential and excellent environmental practices, applying financial, social and environmental criteria appropriate to a company’s economic sector and industry.

Our analysts and portfolio managers conduct in-depth research using information provided by corporate documents and through direct engagement with company managements. We also seek relevant information from a diverse group of third parties, including non-governmental organizations, government agencies and independent research companies.

Selecting Companies for Investment

Companies able to sustain success over the long term share certain defining characteristics. We have found that these characteristics apply whether the company is an established global market leader or a smaller regional player with a new or better product.

  • A history of innovation and competitiveness
  • Products and services that meet important, widely held needs
  • Market leadership and the ability to maintain their edge
  • Strong business fundamentals relative to their industry
  • A record of mitigating environmental risk and managing within ecological limits
  • Ethical management, reflected in corporate behavior

We believe that valuation is an important aspect of security selection, and we analyze a company’s stock price relative to its history, the market and its peers in our effort to avoid overpaying for excellent companies.

Portfolio Management

Our security selection process is the main driver of portfolio construction; we concentrate on owning the best companies as opposed to mirroring the market index. Portfolio management is geared to provide exposure to opportunities throughout the world and across economic sectors. Through this diversification, coupled with our high quality security selection, we seek to control risk.

  • Global diversification – historically over half of the portfolio has been held in companies outside of the United States, with exposure to most developed countries and some emerging markets.
  • Economic sector diversification – the portfolio has large over weights and under weights to sectors, based on where we find the most attractive opportunities. While the portfolio tends to have exposure to most sectors, we have no direct exposure to fossil fuels or extractive industries due to environmental risk.
  • Size of companies – we consider companies of all size, but invest predominantly in large companies.


Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.


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