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Best Sustainable Companies to Own: 2024 Edition

We believe these companies’ strong ESG management practices give them a long-term advantage.

These companies stand out from the competition and can be good choices for long-term investing.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article appeared on April 10, 2023.

Securities In This Article
Accenture PLC Class A
Tyler Technologies Inc
Visa Inc Class A
C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc
Rollins Inc

Companies with wide moats are difficult to compete with. This advantage is especially appealing when paired with solid management of environmental, social, and governance risks.

In other words, durability and sustainability, also called ESG, are natural partners. ESG keeps a close eye on long-term risks that aren’t articulated by traditional finance.

All companies face some sustainability risk, not least because of the industries in which they operate. For example, an oil and gas company will be highly exposed to potential environmental problems, while a consumer technology business will be exposed to social risks like data privacy violations.

Indeed, Morningstar’s research finds that the biggest ESG risk is in energy and utilities, with the smallest in technology and real estate.

A company’s approach to sustainability demonstrates how it anticipates and addresses these long-term risks. Companies that mishandle ESG issues could incur significant economic costs that jeopardize their ability to earn long-term, maintainable profits.

Morningstar Sustainalytics measures this with the Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating. It considers two main factors—exposure, or a company’s vulnerability to ESG risk, and management, which describes the actions taken by a company to manage a particular ESG issue—and blends them into a single score. The lower the number, the lower the risk.

In the table below, we refined our Best Companies to Own in 2024 list to highlight the ones with Morningstar ESG Risk Rating Assessments of Negligible or Low. This rating is based on the Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating.

We didn’t include valuations for these companies. Rather, we focused on the criteria that set a company up for success in the long term. So, while not all of these names can be considered a buy today, this can serve as a great watchlist.

Here are the 71 companies that made the cut, ranked by the risk score.

Company Name
Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating Score
Keysight TechnologiesKEYSTechnology7.60
Accenture PLCACNTechnology9.84
AutoZoneAZOConsumer Cylical11.12
Linde PLCLINBasic Materials11.23
Lowe’s CompaniesLOWConsumer Cyclical11.94
O’Reilly AutomotiveORLYConsumer Cyclical12.05
PolarisPIIConsumer Cyclical12.46
Thermo Fisher ScientificTMOHealthcare13.04
S&P GlobalSPGIFinancial Services13.04
Motorola SolutionsMSITechnology13.16
Agilent TechnologiesAHealthcare13.31
Home DepotHDConsumer Cyclical13.31
Cisco SystemsCSCOTechnology13.67
Automatic Data ProcessingADPIndustrials13.82
Canadian National RailwayCNIIndustrials13.97
Dassault Systemes SEDASTYTechnology14.24
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing CompanyTSMTechnology14.62
Rentokil InitialRTOIndustrials14.96
Air Products and ChemicalsAPDBasic Materials15.06
Moody’sMCOFinancial Services15.52
Sysco CorpSYYConsumer Defensive15.95
Tractor SupplyTSCOConsumer Cyclical16.05
TJX CompaniesTJXConsumer Cyclical16.28
Haleon PLCHLNHealthcare16.38
VisaVFinancial Services16.44
Expeditors International of WashingtonEXPDIndustrials16.56
MastercardMAFinancial Services16.56
KenvueKVUEConsumer Defensive16.59
Otis WorldwideOTISIndustrials17.14
Tradeweb MarketsTWFinancial Services17.29
Verisk AnalyticsVRSKIndustrials17.31
Hilton Worldwide HoldingsHLTConsumer Cyclical17.34
CME GroupCMEFinancial Services17.95
Ross StoresROSTConsumer Cyclical18.23
C.H. Robinson WorldwideCHRWIndustrials18.34
West Pharmaceutical ServicesWSTHealthcare18.34
United Parcel ServiceUPSIndustrials18.57
Jack Henry & AssociatesJKHYTechnology18.66
NikeNKEConsumer Cyclical18.90
The Toronto-Dominion BankTDFinancial Services19.00
InterContinental Hotels Group PLCIHGConsumer Cyclical19.09
Rockwell AutomationROKIndustrials19.10
American ExpressAXPFinancial Services19.27
Republic ServicesRSGIndustrials19.29
DiageoDEOConsumer Defensive19.30
RollinsROLConsumer Cyclical19.30
Intercontinental ExchangeICEFinancial Services19.41
Yum China HoldingsYUMCConsumer Cyclical19.48
Waste ManagementWMIndustrials19.58
Tyler TechnologiesTYLTechnology19.62
Landstar SystemLSTRIndustrials19.68
Analog DevicesADITechnology19.68

You can explore the ESG Risk Rating score of each company under Morningstar coverage in the Sustainability tab of its stock quote page on

Keysight Technologies KEYS

Keysight Technologies is the leader in communications testing and measurement solutions. We think it has the strongest and broadest communications testing capabilities in the market across hardware, software, and services. Its wide Morningstar Economic Moat Rating, according to analyst William Kerwin, owes to “intangible assets in the design of test and measurement equipment and software and switching costs for its portfolio of solutions.”

Because of Keysight’s strong ESG reporting and oversight of ESG issues, Sustainalytics gives the company an ESG Risk Management rating of Strong. Sustainalytics notes that the firm has implemented a strong whistleblower program, has an adequate policy governing environmental issues, and employs solid social supply chain standards.

Keysight’s greatest material ESG issue is the risk of losing human capital to competitors, but we don’t think this is likely to happen, and we think the firm’s strong variable compensation program helps retain talent.

The only recent controversy attributed to Keysight is an investigation into alleged patent infringement practices. Still, this incident had minimal impact on Sustainalytics’ broader analysis of the firm’s ESG practices.


UK-based RELX is a global provider of business information, analytics, and decision-making tools for professionals across industries. The firm generates revenue mainly by creating and selling access to curated information databases, analytics, and journals. Morningstar analyst Rob Hales assigns RELX a wide economic moat based on intangible assets, switching costs, and a cost advantage.

Sustainalytics gives RELX’s ESG Risk Management a rating of Strong. The firm has a global head of ESG and corporate responsibility, who provides updates to the board and engages with senior managers on key ESG issues. And in fiscal-year 2022, the annual incentive for RELX’s CEO and CFO included performance on nonfinancial measures, including targets linked to carbon reduction and socially responsible suppliers.

Because RELX’s revenue comes primarily from products and services in electronic formats, its main risks include exposure to elevated data privacy and security risks. Noncompliance with data privacy laws and regulations, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, could result in litigation and regulatory fines. Furthermore, cyberattacks could lead to operational disruptions and substantial remediation costs.

Accenture ACN

Consulting firm Accenture’s risk is mainly related to its exposure to cyberattacks and its dependency on specialized talent, such as IT consultants and engineers, as it tries to keep up with client demand.

Accenture is taking sustainability considerations seriously. Accenture CEO Julie Sweet noted during a quarterly call that sustainability “is a critical area for which technology is still evolving. … We believe that every business must be a sustainable business, and yet companies are at very early stages of figuring out how to make this shift.”

Sustainalytics gives Accenture an ESG Risk Management rating of Strong. The board has a comprehensive data privacy policy. To attract and keep employees, Accenture has set gender and racial diversity targets and provides same-sex and gender-transition benefits. It is building employee skills in high-demand technologies like the cloud.

Morningstar analyst Julie Bhusal Sharma is a fan, citing Accenture’s strong reputation for reliability and its “treasure-trove of institutionalized industry expertise and experience.” Accenture’s technological and strategic know-how, paired with its attention to sustainability considerations, is helping bolster profits. Accenture’s operating margin for fiscal year 2023 was 15.4%, which we expect to expand to 16.5% by fiscal year 2028.

Sustainable Companies Can Still Have Controversies

A spot on this list doesn’t mean that a company’s sustainability efforts are flawless.

For example, though Sustainalytics has assigned Experian EXPGY an overall ESG Risk Rating of Low, multiple data security incidents in the United States and Experian’s international subsidiaries have resulted in a Sustainalytics Controversy Rating of Significant. The frequency of these incidents has contributed to operational and reputational risk, as shareholders and customers may lose confidence in the company’s management.

Even so, Experian holds a spot in our catalog of sustainable companies because it is on the right track to improve data privacy and cybersecurity programs. The firm has started reporting according to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards, which is a best practice, and has improved its quality management system to ensure secure data management. It also has Negligible risk ratings in the areas of business ethics and product governance.

Sustainable Companies Will Continue to Be Sustainable

Remember, this list is about long-term sustainability—not valuations. For guidance in that area, you can look to the Morningstar US Sustainability Moat Focus Index.

From that perspective, not all the names on this catalog of low-ESG-risk companies with wide moat ratings can be considered a buy at the moment. Still, for investors interested in managing long-term ESG risks, they’re worth keeping a close eye on.

This article is based on the 2024 edition of Morningstar’s Best Companies to Own. Find the full list of companies and read about our selection methodology.

Morningstar, Inc. licenses indexes to financial institutions as the tracking indexes for investable products, such as exchange-traded funds, sponsored by the financial institution. The license fee for such use is paid by the sponsoring financial institution based mainly on the total assets of the investable product. Please click here for a list of investable products that track or have tracked a Morningstar index. Morningstar, Inc. does not market, sell, or make any representations regarding the advisability of investing in any investable product that tracks a Morningstar index.

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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About the Authors

Emelia Fredlick

Senior Editor
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Emelia Fredlick is a senior editor for Morningstar. She works to reach individual investors through featured digital content experiences that bring Morningstar research to life.

Before joining Morningstar in 2019, Fredlick spent four years in content marketing for financial-services clients' wealth management and small-business segments.

Fredlick holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emory University.

Leslie P. Norton

Editorial Director
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Leslie Norton is editorial director for sustainability at Morningstar.

Norton joined Morningstar in 2021 after a long career at Barron's Magazine and, where she managed the magazine's well-known Q&A feature and launched its sustainable investing coverage. Before that, she was Barron's Asia editor and mutual funds editor. While at Barron's, she won a SABEW "Best in Business" award for a series of stories investigating fraudulent Chinese equities, which protected the savings of investors and pensioners by warning about deceptive stocks before they crashed.

She holds a bachelor's degree from Yale College, where she majored in English, and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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