By Thomas Sørensen, co-Portfolio Manager of Nordea’s Global Impact Strategy

As the climate crisis and mounting social issues increasingly demand our attention, business risks and opportunities are showing up in areas like healthcare, waste management and agriculture. We believe that companies offering solutions to climate and social challenges represent a compelling proposition for investors. Today’s consumers care not only about what their products are made of, but how they are made. As our world becomes ever more connected, consumers and investors are aware of supply chain dynamics and the ethical behavior of those in charge. That’s why we look for companies that integrate purpose with profits.

Nordea’s Global Impact Strategy taps into an investment trend poised to continue for decades. Climate change will continue to drive urgent responses from various sectors, social pressures will heighten need for equality, and regulators will increasingly demand humane and principled corporate practices.

We strive to identify companies delivering new environmental innovations, industrial scaling of proven technologies, and global adoption of effective solutions. Those that address today’s unique challenges will be tomorrow’s winners.

Here are three companies that we believe are innovating new technologies to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

DexCom Inc.1 designs, manufactures, and sells continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology that enables people with diabetes to safely monitor their glucose levels.

CGM automatically tracks blood sugar levels throughout the day and night. This allows users to check their glucose levels anytime, reviewing how they change over a few hours or days, and identify trends in order to adapt their lifestyle accordingly. Additionally, CGM enables data sharing, which leads to positive health outcomes such as fewer episodes of severe hypoglycemia and better sleep.

The company’s latest model, DexCom G7, includes an automated insulin delivery system that adjusts the amount of insulin based on feedback from the CGM. By simplifying diabetes management and reducing the likelihood of emergencies, Dexcom’s CGM systems improve the quality of life for a wide range of patient populations. This includes lower-income groups, who benefit from affordability programs, and various clinical indications.

Republic Services2 is the second largest non-hazardous waste operator in the U.S.

The company operates 206 active landfills, 71 recycling centers and 19 organics facilities, as well as 73 landfill gas-to-energy and other renewable energy projects.

In particular, it has opened a vertically integrated plastics recycling facility in Las Vegas in 2023 to process plastics from its recycling facilities in the West, where legislation is driving increased demand for recycled content. This Polymer Center represents the first time a U.S. company manages the plastics stream through an integrated process from curbside collection of recycled material to production and delivery of high-quality recycled content for consumer packaging.

Republic Services has also been the first U.S. environmental services provider to obtain the validation of its emissions reduction goal by the Science Based Targets initiative, demonstrating its willingness to not only seize environmental opportunities but also reduce adverse impact of waste management activities. 

DSM-firmenich3, a Dutch multinational focused on health and nutrition, is renowned for its science and technology capabilities. The company’s unrivalled network of R&D has produced sustainable solutions ranging from an integrated portfolio of plant-based alternative protein products to feed solutions to reduce enteric methane from dairy and beef cattle.

DSM’s Vertis plant proteins portfolio enables key customers in the dairy, meat and fish sectors to deliver products that are free of major allergens, offer nutritional benefits, and are produced with minimal waste.

But DMS also offers innovative solutions for cattle—namely, Bovaer, a feed additive that enables farmers to achieve a significant and immediate reduction of the environmental footprint of meat, milk, and dairy products. On average, it reduces enteric methane emissions by 30% from dairy cows and 45% from beef cattle.