Growing Your Dollars The Green WayOur plight to invest in greener and more ethical companies continues.  This is the third post in this series. You can read our two previous posts below:

1.  Investing in Good, Green and Ethical Companies
2.  Ethical investing: Out with the Old

In our previous post, we tasked ourselves with writing down a set of investment criteria prior to changing anything in our portfolio. Here is our investment criteria – plain and simple:


  • The companies in which we invest are inherently good for the world.  They are directly involved in reducing harm to the environment and people.  Or they take on ethical initiatives to make the world a better place.  Or both.
  • The behavior of the companies we support meets our approval.  They do not partake in any activity that we deem to be unsustainable on a large scale.  For us, this includes things like factory farming, unfair trade, meat production, poor working conditions, rainforest destruction, etc.  (You get the picture.)
  • We shied away from mutual funds in favor of a self-directed approach as it was the only way we felt in control of our money.  We found the “ethical funds” we investigated to fall short of the moral expectations listed above, although our analysis was far from complete.
  • These companies have a business model that we believe has growth and profitability potential.

With the above in mind, we set out to select a handful of companies in which to invest.  The selection process was a bit grueling as we really had no idea where to start.  We read boatloads of analyst articles about ethical investing and found ourselves repeatedly presented with a list of mainstream consulting firms that likely spent lots of time and energy publishing their statistics in return for a spot on the list.  We were frustrated.

Then we got brave.  We decided to start thinking about the industries we wanted to support: green energy, sustainable food production, green technology, etc.  This helped target our searches so that we were able to come up with a list of companies we felt good about.

We selected the following companies in our latest round of investments.  (Note that we could not find a publicly traded sustainable food production company that met our criteria.)

1. Alterra Power Corp (ticker: AXY)

Alterra is a leading global renewable energy company. that operates six power plants totaling 566 MW of capacity, including two geothermal facilities in Iceland, a geothermal plant in Nevada, British Columbia’s largest run of river hydro facilities and the province’s largest wind farm.

We selected Alterra because. . .

  • it’s Canadian (i.e. sort of local)
  • it showed up on a list of top green power investments worldwide
  • MorningStar rated the company as a good buy


2. Pure Technologies (ticker: PUR)

Pure has developed technologies and services primarily focused on the water and waste-water industry, oil and gas pipelines, bridges, buildings and parking structures.

We selected Pure because. . .

  • it’s Canadian (i.e. sort of local)
  • it showed up on a list of top green power investments worldwide
  • MorningStar rated the company as a good buy


3. Tesla Motors (ticker: TSLA)

Tesla is an electric vehicles and components manufacturer.



We selected Tesla because. . .

  • my subconscious wants to own one of these cars
  • we admire the leadership’s dedication to reducing our requirement on fossil fuels
  • MorningStar rated the company as a good buy


4. Google (ticker: GOOG)

Google (in case you didn’t know) is a global technology company focused on improving the ways people connect with information. 


We selected Google because. . .

  • it was a bit of a hedge against the risk of our other investments
  • Google has many initiatives to green their operations (such as greening their server farms)
  • MorningStar rated the company as a good buy

So, there you have it.  We hope that by putting our money where our hearts are, we’ll help the good grow and motivate the not-so-good to become better.

Now, will our ethical investing pay off?  Stay tuned as we continue our journey toward goodness.

Image courtesy of scottchan /

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