4 stocks for socially responsible investors

Christian Super invests its members’ money with a strong focus on traditional Christian values. It aims to promote investment in socially responsible and environmentally sustainable businesses. The organisation has approximately $800 million of members’ funds under administration and has been steadily growing since 1984.

Investments in Australian and international companies that its Ethics Committee consider inappropriate are banned, meaning members can rest assured that their money is put to work in alignment with their values. The group is particularly positive on some companies, not just for future growth prospects but also for their strong records on areas of social responsibility. Chief Investment Officer Tim Macready identifies some of Christian Super’s favourite companies.

Biotech company and blood products maker CSL (ASX: CSL) is highlighted for its track record of consistently excellent corporate governance.  Christian Super says the global pharmaceutical industry has a moderate reputation when it comes to ethical processes in drug trials, but Australia’s own CSL is identified as a leading light in operational responsibility, environmental sustainability and equity of access. Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL) is also commended for producing a consistently excellent Annual Sustainability Report.

Goodman Fielder (ASX: GFF) is one of Australia’s leading food manufacturers, owning brands such as Meadow Lea, Praise dressings and Vogel’s bread. Christian Super says Goodman is particularly genuine about sourcing sustainable palm oil. It’s a common ingredient in supermarket breads, biscuits confectionary and cosmetics. Countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have seen large amounts of environmental destruction recently to support the demand for more palm oil plantations. These plantations are often situated among the native habitat of some of the planet’s rarest species, such as orangutans and the clouded leopard.

Goldminer PanAust (ASX: PNA) is also commended for its genuine commitment to community development and engagement in southeast Asia. Macready says in a sector that is traditionally quite a poor performer, it breaks every stereotype associated with other gold mining companies. PanAust is particularly active in community development in Laos and recently received the Sustainability Leadership Award at the Asian Mining Congress in Singapore. It may also offer excellent value to investors who believe the bull case for gold miners.

Foolish takeaway

All these companies have deservedly caught the eye of Christian Super. While different people have different values, the same considerations should be made when making an investment. Companies with strong corporate governance and socially responsible attitudes tend to be natural winners. In particular, CSL and Coca-Cola Amatil have strong fundamentals and positive growth prospects.

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Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares in CSL. 

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