There has been a lot of talk regarding the environment lately, with issues such as global warming and carbon footprints coming to the fore. Though a divisive topic, there's no denying that many companies are not pulling their weight in terms of reducing their harm to the environment.
Here's a look at two companies that are doing their best to help the environment -- and maybe saving the world:
1. Beyond Meat
A company that has crested the eco-friendly wave of 2019 is Beyond Meat (BYND -8.61%). Founded in California in 2009, Beyond Meat quickly gained the endorsement of vegetarian and animal rights groups around the world. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals named Beyond Meat as its company of the year for 2013.
This popularity raised Beyond Meat to the mainstream, and in May 2019, it went public with a market value of $3.8 billion, which rose to $11.7 billion by July, a massive 730% jump. As recently as July 2019, Beyond Meat added McDonald's to its growing list of clients, which already boasted famous brands such as Dunkin' and TGI Friday's.
In recent months, much debate has centered on how the meat industry is negatively affecting the environment, and Beyond Meat is shaking up the food industry with its plant-based products. Through excellent branding and a strong investment in developing a "meat" taste, the company has won over fans worldwide -- carnivore and herbivore alike.
Beyond Meat"s high valuation has been a point of concern for investors, yet the company has gone from strength to strength it seems. An increasing number of people are interested in meat substitutes, with the sector expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $6.4 billion by 2023. Another strength of the company is that surprisingly, the majority of its customers are not vegetarian, a relative niche market, as 93% of people who bought Beyond Meat products at Kroger stores in the first half of 2018 also purchased meat products.
Despite this, there are also several warning signs that Beyond Meat's success may not go unchallenged much longer. Rivals Impossible Foods will be looking to IPO by next year, while fast-food chains themselves may begin to look into their own meat alternatives in a bid to profit from increased consumer interest. Another concern comes in Beyond Meat's ability to "meat" demand -- that's the only pun I'll use, promise -- the company said in its most recent quarterly filings: "[W]e may experience a lag in production relative to customer demand if our growth rate exceeds our expectations." You can't sell burgers that you don't have in stock.
All said, there is clearly an alternative meat revolution taking place across the country, and Beyond Meat is filling that market gap and leading the "meatless revolution."
It may be a surprise to learn that Apple (AAPL -0.60%) is one of the top contributors to corporate environmental change. The largest tech company in the world may not be outspoken about its environmental initiatives, but as of April 2018, Apple confirmed that its entire California-based network runs on 100% renewable energy.
In 2015, Apple signed a nearly $1 billion deal with First Solar, the largest developer of solar farms in the U.S. Apple uses this technology to power a majority of its operations, making the deal the largest solar procurement deal for a non-utility company in history.
It seems that over the past 10 years, we have all been living in Apple's world. Though popular before, the iPhone really catapulted Apple into what it is today, boasting returns of over 1,700% in the last decade. The company certainly appears to be a buy-and-hold stock that will stand the test of time.
Despite a slowdown in hardware sales and increased pressure in the U.S.-China trade war, Apple appears to be successfully diversifying into becoming a subscription brand. The key to subscription is building brand loyalty, which Apple has been doing for years.
In an era of increasing eco awareness, Apple can really begin to promote its sustainability programs, such as the Apple Renew program, which encourages the recycling of old or used Apple devices, while 99% of its packaging paper is sustainably recycled. Such awareness will surely only increase consumer fondness for a company that is already one of the most popular on the planet.
MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in Apple and Beyond Meat. Read the full disclosure policy here.