Carbon Clean 200™:

Investing in a Clean Energy Future

2018 Q1 Performance Update

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** As You Sow and Corporate Knights are not investment advisors, nor do we provide financial planning, legal or tax advice. Nothing in the Carbon Clean 200 Report shall constitute or be construed as an offering of financial instruments, or as investment advice or investment recommendations. Read our full disclaimer.**

We are happy to present the 2018 Q1 Clean200™ list of publicly traded companies that are leading the way with solutions for the transition to a clean energy future.

Since our first report was launched in the summer of 2016, a great deal has changed in the world. Mainstream investors around the world have joined the march away from fossil fuels to clean energy and the big automakers are racing toward a fossil free future. In fact, the CEO of Shell announced he is going electric for his next car. After taking a dive, oil stocks have climbed over the previous six months on stronger oil prices, but this mini-rally is missing the mojo of the past and overall the energy sector is underperforming the benchmark.

While some feared the change in the political climate in the U.S. would bode badly for clean energy at the expense of fossil fuels, the opposite has happened. After some initial market uncertainty following last year’s Presidential election, the Clean200 stocks have dramatically outpaced the returns of fossil fuel stocks, turning in almost double the performance.

Beyond America, global growth is now being driven by emerging economies, which account for 80% of economic growth.

But the real takeaway continues to be that the clean energy story is global and it is no longer niche. Twenty-nine countries are represented by the latest Clean200 cohort, which have an average market capitalization of $9.4 billion and generate over $363 billion in clean energy revenues per year. While the stock market continues to break records in the short term, the long term clean energy economic expansion continues afoot, regardless of what happens in the White House.

Beyond America, global growth is now being driven by emerging economies, which account for 80% of economic growth. Among the 2017 Clean200 companies, Greater China (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) is still the leader with 68 companies versus 35 from the US, despite the US stock market being more than twice the size of Greater China’s. Meanwhile, the second most populous nation, India, lagged far behind China with just 7 companies qualifying for the Clean200.

Being on the vanguard of the clean energy transition is at once an economic, political (cleaner air), and geopolitical imperative as it relates to China’s role as a leading nation in the 21st century. This point is made in a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which found China’s dominance in renewables rapidly spreading overseas, with the country accelerating its foreign investment in renewable energy, electric cars, and supporting technologies.

Overall the model that we have presented in the form of the Clean200 continues to indicate that demand and market forces are driving the inexorable transition away from fossil fuels into a clean energy economy. With extreme weather and climate events pummelling the globe with hundreds of billions of dollars in damage from hurricanes, typhoons, floods, wildfires, and drought it may also be the re-insurance underwriters desire for more stability and the credit rating agencies downgrading carbon polluters that could accelerate this transition even faster.




Over the past six years, and growing dramatically leading up to and post-Paris COP 21, a movement of institutional and individual investors representing more than $6tn in assets under management have divested a portion of their fossil fuel investments and committed to divesting the balance in the next five years. The corollary of divesting fossil fuels is re-investing in the clean energy future. As an invitation to a larger discussion of how we can invest in a clean energy future, we modeled the Carbon Clean 200 (Clean200TM)—a list of the 200 largest companies worldwide ranked by their total clean energy revenues, including revenue associated with energy efficiency themes.

The moral case for divesting from fossil fuels has been well argued, but for many, the economic case is less clear. However, as clean energy growth takes off and demand growth for fossil fuels flatlines, it is probable that divesting from fossil fuels in favor of a clean energy future does not have to come at a sacrifice to long-term investment returns. In its first full year and a half of live performance, Clean200 companies generated a total return of 32.1%. That’s almost double the 15.7% for its fossil fuel benchmark the S&P 1200 Global Energy Index.

Source: Bloomberg (total USD returns free-float market cap weighted re-balanced semi-annually from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017)  In its first 18 months of live performance through December 31, 2017, the Clean 200 generated a return of 31.1% versus a 15.7% for its fossil fuel benchmark the S&P 1200 Global Energy Index, and a 10.6% gain for the S&P Global Clean Energy Benchmark. The ten companies that contributed the most to the Clean200’s first year outperformance are involved in the provision of products, materials and services related to energy efficiency.

Source: Bloomberg (total USD returns free-float market cap weighted re-balanced semi-annually from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017)

In its first 18 months of live performance through December 31, 2017, the Clean 200 generated a return of 31.1% versus a 15.7% for its fossil fuel benchmark the S&P 1200 Global Energy Index, and a 10.6% gain for the S&P Global Clean Energy Benchmark. The ten companies that contributed the most to the Clean200’s first year outperformance are involved in the provision of products, materials and services related to energy efficiency.


This past year marked a watershed moment for mainstream investors coming out in favor of the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The World Bank promised to stop virtually all lending for oil and gas projects in the developing world after 2019, sending a powerful message to global producers that financial institutions are reassessing the risks of fossil fuel development. The manager of the largest sovereign fund in the world, the Government Pension Fund of Norway, recommended that oil stocks be excluded from its equity benchmark index on risk grounds. The world’s second largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, switched over the entire $130 billion (U.S.) it holds in liquid assets to track ethical indices aligned with the energy transition. One of the largest pension funds in North America--The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec--with more than $270 billion in assets, set bold targets to shelter its portfolio against the impact of climate change, including plans to reduce the carbon footprint of overall investments by 25% by the year 2025, while increasing its exposure to climate friendly investments like wind power by 50%. BlackRock and Vanguard, which wield outsized clout (a combined $9 trillion in AUM) as the world’s two largest asset managers, also started flexing their muscles by voting for climate change scenario planning shareholder resolutions at ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum leading to majority votes that will hopefully result in material changes to “business as usual.”

On the risk side, divesting is about not getting stuck holding stranded fossil fuel assets that are suddenly re-priced once the expectations of market participants no longer believe in the future of fossil fuels, a topic on which Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has expressed concerns on in a landmark speech to global insurer Lloyd’s of London. On the opportunity side, investing in the transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy represents “the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century,” according to John Doerr a major venture capitalist at Kleiner-Perkins in Silicon Valley. It might seem counterintuitive for an investor to sell their fossil fuel stocks when most people are still driving internal combustion cars and burning fossil fuels every day. However, the point and the power dynamic of investing is that, as an investor, you have the power to bet and capitalize on the creation of the world that you want. If you are wrong, you will lose money. If you are right, you will profit from and add momentum to the change you believe in. While many mission-driven investors believe that the arc of history bends towards justice—that companies which create positive rather than negative externalities will prevail —in the case of climate-friendly investing, it may actually be true. Many investors have found this out the hard way. Indeed, in a world of limited capital, every investment holds opportunity cost. When people vote with their investment dollars in favor of clean energy over dirty, it sends a message as powerful as any ballot box that the time has come to stop using the atmosphere as a free dumping ground.

While fossil fuel stock performance stagnates, clean energy is taking off. The world is currently adding twice as much clean power capacity as coal, oil, and gas combined, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Take coal, which accounts for over 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The industry is declining rapidly in value, especially in the United States. In the words of Jim Barry, the global head of BlackRock‘s infrastructure investment group: “Coal is dead…The thing that has changed the whole picture fundamentally is that renewables have gotten so cheap.” Oil companies are facing similar problems, as the automotive industry begins to accelerate into the electric-age reducing our reliance on oil. The cost of owning an electric car will fall to the same level as petrol-powered vehicles in the near future. In the past 12 months, almost every major automaker announced major investments in an electric future. The head of product of the company which was previously the trivia answer to “Who killed the electric car?” announced “General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” with several other major auto companies promising to electrify (which can mean fully electric or hybrid) their entire portfolio including Volkswagen (by 2030), Toyota (by 2025), Daimler (by 2022), and Volvo (by 2019). Governments whose people are choking on polluted air are pumping this handcar of change, with China and India both announcing ambitions to phase out fossil fuel cars by 2030.

Major investment indices are now only half as exposed to the fossil fuel sector (1.5% to coal, 6.3% to oil and gas) as they were five years ago. This is not due to any active decision to divest, but rather because fossil fuel stocks have lagged while other sectors have produced healthy returns. While fossil fuel stock performance stagnates, clean energy is taking off. Seventy percent of new global power capacity added through 2030 will be renewable, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Wind’s market share of power generation has doubled four times in the past 15 years, and solar has doubled seven times. It’s also getting cheaper to make power from wind and solar, thanks to technology, better financing and economies of scale. Increased demand for a technology generally reduces prices, whereas increased demand for a commodity increases prices. This basic calculus has driven the price of a renewable kilowatt of energy ever downward, making the choice of energy an economic one.

Companies which make a significant amount of their revenue from environmental solutions now make up 5% of global investment indices; the Clean200 list of companies have a collective value over $1.8 trillion.

In the next 10 years, McKinsey expects oil demand growth to flatten due to growing fuel efficiencies and competitive technologies such as the electric car. Battery prices fell 35% last year, and electric car sales rose by 60%. By 2022, BNEF estimates electric vehicles will cost the same as their internal combustion counterparts, and if growth continues at the current pace, oil displacement by electric cars will reach 2 million barrels per day by 2023 — the size of the current oil glut and enough to drive global oil prices to record lows. Factoring in autonomous cars and ride-sharing services, electric cars could reach 50% of new car sales by 2040, according to BNEF, 50 times higher than what OPEC is projecting.

None of this portends an imminent conclusion to our fossil fuel age, but it does suggest an end to fossil fuels as a long-term growth market and the beginning of a long run expansion of clean energy demand. This sentiment has been ratified, sanctified, and tallied by the political, moral, and financial bellwethers of our time, from the Paris climate talks (195 countries committed to phase out fossil fuels this century) to the Vatican (Pope Francis has made moral invocations to drastically reduce use of fossil fuels in the encyclical Laudato Si’) to the Bank of England (the bank’s governor Mark Carney has warned not to get stuck holding a bag of stranded fossil fuel assets).

The Clean 200 US companies outperformed the Clean 200 ex-US companies in first year and a half of live performance.

The Clean 200 US companies outperformed the Clean 200 ex-US companies in first year and a half of live performance.


Some big investors are already adapting:

GICS Sector # of Clean200 companies
Industrials 92
Information Technology 43
Utilities 24
Consumer Discretionary 17
Materials 16
Consumer Staples 3
Financials 2
Energy 1
Healthcare 1
Telecommunication Services 1
  • PFZW, the $183 billion Dutch pension fund, has pledged to halve its carbon footprint by 2020 while increasing its investments in climate solutions fourfold.
  • CalSTRS committed $2.5 billion to a Low-Carbon Index as part of a multi-faceted approach to align its portfolio with the market realities emerging from climate change.
  • Irish lawmakers voted to require the U.S. $9bn Irish Strategic Investment Fund to divest from all direct or indirectly held fossil fuel assets.
  • AXA divested from all coal holdings (mining companies and electric utilities deriving over 50% of their
    turnover from coal) and committed to triple its green investments by 2020.

Corporate Knights and As You Sow are committed to updating this list on annual basis with quarterly performance updates and ensuring that it remains in the Creative Commons as a public good. We invite anyone to make it better and share any new ideas to improve the methodology for the next quarter.

CLEAN 200 Companies by Country

Country # of Clean200 companies
Greater China 68
South Korea7
United Kingdom4
New Zealand2

THE CLEAN 200™ Methodology

The Clean200: The biggest 200 public companies ranked by green energy revenues, was first calculated on July 1, 2016 and publicly released on August 15, 2016 by Corporate Knights and As You Sow and now updated with data through the first quarter of 2018.

The Clean200 are listed by their estimated green revenues in USD. The dataset is developed by multiplying a company’s most recent year-end revenues by its BNEF New Energy Exposure Rating mid-point. In cases where companies disclosed their clean energy revenues, this number was verified to ensure consistency and, in some cases, used to override the BNEF data. In order to be eligible, a company must have a market capitalization greater than $1 billion (end of Q1 2018) and earn more than 10% of total revenues from New Energy sources.

The Clean200 uses negative screens. It excludes all oil and gas companies and utilities that generate less than 50% of their power from green sources, as well as the top 100 coal companies measured by reserves, top 100 weapons producers, as well as laggards on tropical deforestation, and child or forced labor and companies who engage in negative climate lobbying.

Clean200 Negative Screens Criteria Number of Companies Excluded
Oil and Gas SASB SICS Subsector = oil & gas 4
Coal 100 Top 100 companies by coal reserves 2
Non-Green Utilities Any utility that derives less than 50% revenue from green sources 49
Top 100 Weapons The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world 4
Tropical Forest Harm Scores less than 4 on Forest 500 scale or are on the As you Sow/Friends of the Earth Deforestation Free Funds Tool 6
Child/Forced Labor Scores in bottom half of Know the Chain rating 3
Negative Climate Lobbying Scores E or lower on Influence Map rating 0

THE CLEAN 200™ List

February 15, 2018

Rank Name Country Sector
1Siemens Ag-RegGermanyIndustrials
2Toyota Motor CorpJapanConsumer Discretionary
3Schneider Electric SeFranceIndustrials
4Abb Ltd-RegSwitzerlandIndustrials
5Panasonic CorpJapanConsumer Discretionary
6Vestas Wind Systems A/SDenmarkIndustrials
7Bombardier Inc-BCanadaIndustrials
8Innogy SeGermanyUtilities
9Sse PlcUnited KingdomUtilities
10Emerson Electric CoUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
11Philips Lighting NvNetherlandsIndustrials
12Tesla IncUnited States of AmericaConsumer Discretionary
13Johnson Controls InternationIreland; Republic ofIndustrials
14Koninklijke Philips NvNetherlandsIndustrials
16Osram Licht AgGermanyIndustrials
17Siemens Gamesa Renewable EneSpainIndustrials
18Eaton Corp PlcIreland; Republic ofIndustrials
19Sharp CorpJapanConsumer Discretionary
20Dong Energy A/SDenmarkUtilities
21Xinjiang Goldwind Sci&Tech-AChinaIndustrials
22Nordex SeGermanyIndustrials
23Acuity Brands IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
24Sunpower CorpUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
25Applied Materials IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
26Byd Co Ltd-HChinaConsumer Discretionary
27Kingspan Group PlcIreland; Republic ofIndustrials
28Brookfield Renewable PartnerBermudaUtilities
29China Longyuan Power Group-HChinaUtilities
30Gcl-Poly Energy Holdings LtdHong KongInformation Technology
31Andritz AgAustriaIndustrials
32Acciona SaSpainUtilities
33Ingersoll-Rand PlcIreland; Republic ofIndustrials
34Te Connectivity LtdSwitzerlandInformation Technology
35First Solar IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
36Svenska Cellulosa Ab Sca-BSwedenMaterials
37Kyocera CorpJapanInformation Technology
38Wacker Chemie AgGermanyMaterials
39Spie SaFranceIndustrials
40Doosan Heavy IndustriesKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Industrials
41China Agri-Industries HldgsHong KongConsumer Staples
42Shin-Etsu Chemical Co LtdJapanMaterials
43Nidec CorpJapanIndustrials
44China Everbright Intl LtdHong KongIndustrials
45Rockwool Intl A/S-B ShsDenmarkIndustrials
46Sumitomo Forestry Co LtdJapanConsumer Discretionary
47Hyosung CorporationKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Materials
48Covanta Holding CorpUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
49Republic Services IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
50Samsung Sdi Co LtdKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Information Technology
51Ebara CorpJapanIndustrials
52Borgwarner IncUnited States of AmericaConsumer Discretionary
53Itron IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
54Suzlon Energy LtdIndiaIndustrials
55Novozymes A/S-B SharesDenmarkMaterials
56Infineon Technologies AgGermanyInformation Technology
57Ls CorpKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Industrials
58Prysmian SpaItalyIndustrials
59Hanwha Chemical CorpKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Materials
60Edp Renovaveis SaSpainUtilities
61Quanta Services IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
62Gcl System Integration Tec-AChinaInformation Technology
63Xinte Energy Co LtdChinaIndustrials
64Emcor Group IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
65Nibe Industrier Ab-B ShsSwedenIndustrials
66Hella Kgaa Hueck & CoGermanyConsumer Discretionary
67Longi Green Energy Technol-AChinaInformation Technology
68Xiangtan Electric Manufact-AChinaIndustrials
69Suedzucker AgGermanyConsumer Staples
70Mercury Nz LtdNew ZealandUtilities
71Tianneng Power International LtdChinaConsumer Discretionary
72Delta Electronics IncTaiwanInformation Technology
73Cree IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
74Dic CorpJapanMaterials
75Zhejiang Chint Electrics-AChinaIndustrials
76Azbil CorpJapanInformation Technology
77Xj Electric Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
78Avangrid IncUnited States of AmericaUtilities
79Huaneng Renewables Corp-HChinaUtilities
80Hitachi High-Technologies CoJapanInformation Technology
81China High Speed TransmissioHong KongIndustrials
82Owens CorningUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
83Analog Devices IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
84Huadian Fuxin Energy Corp -HChinaUtilities
85Oci Co LtdKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Materials
86Dongfang Electric Corp Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
87Bharat Heavy ElectricalsIndiaIndustrials
88Risen Energy Co Ltd-AChinaInformation Technology
89Sma Solar Technology AgGermanyInformation Technology
90Tianjin Zhonghuan Semicond-AChinaInformation Technology
91Atlantica Yield PlcUnited KingdomUtilities
92Cnpc Capital Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
93Kinden CorpJapanIndustrials
94Tofas Turk Otomobil FabrikaTurkeyConsumer Discretionary
95Sanan Optoelectronics Co L-AChinaInformation Technology
96Terraform Power Inc - AUnited States of AmericaUtilities
97Nemak Sab De CvMexicoConsumer Discretionary
98Sungrow Power Supply Co Lt-AChinaIndustrials
99Sao Martinho SaBrazilConsumer Staples
100Nari Technology Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
101Mobile Telecommunications CoKuwaitTelecommunication Services
102Jiangsu Zhongli Group Co L-AChinaIndustrials
103Mls Co Ltd-AChinaInformation Technology
104Seoul Semiconductor Co LtdKorea; Republic (S. Korea)Information Technology
105Stanley Electric Co LtdJapanConsumer Discretionary
106Epistar CorpTaiwanInformation Technology
107Shanghai Aerospace Automob-AChinaInformation Technology
108Xinyi Solar Holdings LtdChinaInformation Technology
109Sig PlcUnited KingdomIndustrials
110Hitachi Capital CorpJapanFinancials
111Hongfa Technology Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
112Gs Yuasa CorpJapanIndustrials
113Regal Beloit CorpUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
114Kaidi Ecological-AChinaUtilities
115Rohm Co LtdJapanInformation Technology
116Nextera Energy Partners LpUnited States of AmericaUtilities
117Ningbo Sanxing Electric Co-AChinaIndustrials
118Valmet OyjFinlandIndustrials
119Energy Development CorpPhilippinesUtilities
120Jiangsu Zhongtian Technolo-AChinaIndustrials
121Sacyr SaSpainIndustrials
122China Shipbuilding Industr-AChinaConsumer Discretionary
123Ormat Technologies IncUnited States of AmericaUtilities
124Weg SaBrazilIndustrials
125Zhejiang Yankon Group Co L-AChinaIndustrials
126Shenzhen Desay Battery Tec-AChinaIndustrials
127Smith (A.O.) CorpUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
128Tokuyama CorpJapanMaterials
129Kyowa Exeo CorpJapanIndustrials
130Timken CoUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
131Suzhou Dongshan Precision-AChinaIndustrials
132Arcadis NvNetherlandsIndustrials
133Hangzhou First Applied Mat-AChinaInformation Technology
134Jiangsu Akcome Science & T-AChinaInformation Technology
135Tellhow Sci-Tech Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
136Trimble IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
137Oc Oerlikon Corp Ag-RegSwitzerlandIndustrials
138New Flyer Industries IncCanadaIndustrials
139Takuma Co LtdJapanIndustrials
140Guangdong Baolihua New-AChinaUtilities
141Cpfl Energias RenovaveisBrazilUtilities
142Shenzhen Kaifa Technology-AChinaInformation Technology
143Badger Meter IncUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
144Perkinelmer IncUnited States of AmericaHealth Care
145Woodward IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
146Tata Chemicals LtdIndiaMaterials
147China Xd Electric Co Ltd-AChinaIndustrials
148Tetra Tech IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
149China Baoan Group-AChinaIndustrials
150Shenzhen Clou Electronics-AChinaIndustrials
151Hexcel CorpUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
152Soc Quimica Y Minera Chile-BChileMaterials
153Jiangxi Special Electric -AChinaIndustrials
154Csr LtdAustraliaMaterials
155Exide Industries LtdIndiaConsumer Discretionary
156Sweco Ab-B ShsSwedenIndustrials
157Sumco CorpJapanInformation Technology
158Simplo Technology Co LtdTaiwanInformation Technology
159Shenzhen Jiawei Photovolta-AChinaInformation Technology
160Far East Smarter Energy Co-AChinaIndustrials
161Cofco Biochemical Co Ltd -AChinaMaterials
162Jm AbSwedenConsumer Discretionary
163Meridian Energy LtdNew ZealandUtilities
164Xinyi Glass Holdings LtdHong KongConsumer Discretionary
165Guangdong East Power Co Lt-AChinaInformation Technology
166Comfort Systems Usa IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
167Idfc LtdIndiaFinancials
168Pattern Energy Group IncUnited States of AmericaUtilities
169Thermax LtdIndiaIndustrials
170Teco Electric & MachineryTaiwanIndustrials
171Foshan Nationstar Optoelec-AChinaInformation Technology
172Esco Technologies IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
173Hengdian Group Dmegc -AChinaInformation Technology
174Titan Wind Energy Suzhou-AChinaIndustrials
175Hongli Zhihui Group Co Ltd-AChinaInformation Technology
176Arcplus Group Plc-AChinaMaterials
177Sichuan Chengfei Integrat -AChinaConsumer Discretionary
178Hexing Electrical Co Ltd-AChinaInformation Technology
179Dialog Semiconductor PlcUnited KingdomInformation Technology
180Zhongtong Bus & Holding Co-AChinaIndustrials
181Mytilineos Holdings S.A.GreeceIndustrials
182Delta Electronics Thai PclThailandInformation Technology
183Csg Holding Co Ltd - BChinaMaterials
184Innergex Renewable EnergyCanadaUtilities
185Energy Absolute PclThailandEnergy
186Northwestern CorpUnited States of AmericaUtilities
187Beijing New Building Mater-AChinaIndustrials
188Universal Display CorpUnited States of AmericaInformation Technology
189Wuxi Huaguang Boiler Co-AChinaIndustrials
190Beijing Jingyuntong Techno-AChinaInformation Technology
191Nissin Electric Co LtdJapanIndustrials
192Transalta Renewables IncCanadaUtilities
193Cleanaway Waste Management LAustraliaIndustrials
194Apogee Enterprises IncUnited States of AmericaIndustrials
195Hunan Corun New Energy Co-AChinaIndustrials
196Fagerhult AbSwedenIndustrials
197Foshan Electrical & Light-BChinaIndustrials
198Zhejiang Narada Power Sour-AChinaIndustrials
199Havells India Ltd India Industrials
200Gibraltar Industries Inc United States of America Industrials