3 responsible stocks to buy now

Professional investor Ben Ritchie of the Dunedin Income Growth Investment Trust picks three responsible stocks to buy now that are working to solve global problems.

Patient receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine
Ingredients from Croda International were central in the deployment of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
(Image credit: © JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Investors are spoilt for choice when it comes to stocks to buy now with exposure to global ESG themes.

At Dunedin Income Growth Investment Trust we focus on delivering both real income growth and attractive total returns from a portfolio of UK equities combined with a few select overseas holdings.

We have a focused portfolio of high-quality companies that meet our sustainable and responsible investment criteria, and also offer attractive potential rates of return. These principles help us mitigate risk by excluding companies we believe face significant threats. It also allows us to identify opportunities for businesses to benefit from the same trends.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

The best stocks to buy now for growth

Most oil and gas firms do not make it through our screening process. However, TotalEnergies (Paris: TTE) is adapting to the energy transition and making enough progress on lower-carbon energy sources and renewables to allow us to invest. Over half the volume of its production is from natural gas. It also has one of the world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in what is an important transition fuel. Its renewable-energy portfolio is substantial, with plans to more than triple it by 2025. It also has minimal unconventional production, such as shale.

The Transition Pathway Initiative, a global initiative assessing whether firms are ready to transition to a low-carbon economy, estimates that TTE’s emissions-reduction target aligns with the Paris Agreement’s commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. It is one of very few energy companies to meet that target. We’re engaging with it to help accelerate its shift towards becoming a firm with strong prospects across LNG, renewable-energy generation and green hydrogen.

Making medicines work better

Speciality chemicals group Croda International (LSE: CRDA) is a world leader in supplying active ingredients to the personal-care and life-sciences markets. It operates in niche segments, which, combined with its culture of innovation and strong relationship with clients, has long delivered profit and dividend growth. That's why the company features on our list of the best stocks to buy now.

An example of a recent success is its excipients, the substances that work alongside the active ingredient of a medication. These were central in the deployment of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Croda’s ambition is to be the world’s most sustainable supplier of innovative ingredients. This approach gives it a critical edge, exemplified by its new bio-based surfactant plant in Delaware. It’s the first of its kind in the US and allows the substitution of oil-based ingredients with natural alternatives.

Tackling a top global health crisis

Novo Nordisk (Copenhagen: NOVOB) is a world leader in treating diabetes and obesity. Around 500 million people worldwide have diabetes, and eight out of ten live in low- and middle-income countries; less than half of these sufferers are treated. Novo has a critical role to play both in broadening access to treatment and in innovating to provide better care.

Control by the Novo Nordisk Foundation ensures a long-term perspective. It has consistently spearheaded the discovery of new medicines, most recently producing the ground-breaking obesity treatment Wegovy. Novo aims to provide access to medicine and solutions to one of the most significant global health challenges while simultaneously building a sustainable, growing business.

Ben Ritchie is a senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.