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An Inconvenient Portfolio

Al Gore's financial-services startup, Generation Investment Management, buys shares in companies that fit its founders' definition of sustainability. The firm doesn't disclose holdings, but public filings reveal some familiar names—Whole Foods, Staples, and General Electric. Here's a sampling of seven other lesser-known stocks in the portfolio as of March 31.

  • Aflac
    Aflac, which insures more than 40 million people worldwide—and is the number-one insurer in Japan—has won plaudits for its diversity in hiring and for its high philanthropic profile. It also boasts the largest on-site child-care facility in its home state of Georgia.

  • Autodesk
    Chances are you touch something every day—from a building to a piece of machinery—that was designed using Autodesk software, a pioneering tool for eco-friendly and sustainable design.

  • Becton Dickinson
    BD is a global medical-technology company devoted to improving drug therapy and enhancing the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

  • Blackbaud
    Blackbaud is the leading provider of financial software and related services designed specifically for nonprofits.

  • Johnson Controls
    The company may be best known for auto interiors that help make driving more comfortable and safer, but it also offers products and services that optimize energy use and batteries for hybrid-electric vehicles.

  • Northern Trust Corp.
    Besides its asset management and banking for corporations, institutions, and affluent individuals, this 125-year-old company has a unique charitable trust that supports nonprofits in the Chicago area.

  • Waters Corp.
    Its tagline is "the science of what's possible." Waters makes mass spectrometers, analytical software, and other lab equipment used in the health-care, food-and-beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government, and industrial sectors.

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.