Here’s a look at why Citrix has been part of our impact investing-focused Genus Fossil Free High-Impact fund for over a year now
Headquartered just minutes from the beach in sunny South Florida, where sea levels have been rising at the rate of about an inch per decade along the coast near Fort Lauderdale, Citrix Systems Inc. knows a thing or two about climate change and sustainable solutions.
Citrix has made fighting climate change one of its core missions. Part of that is realized by making a remote workforce not just possible but preferable for companies and their employees—a trend that will continue long after the Covid clouds have lifted.
Making work more sustainable
Its offerings include server, application and desktop virtualization, networking, software as a service, and cloud computing technologies to over 400,000 organizations around the world. In other words, Citrix Workspace technology allows workers to get the job done from anywhere, using any device—which means less time commuting, smaller workplace footprints and fewer resources allocated to energy-intensive computing equipment.
Summary: There is a longstanding perception in the investment industry that investing in at least some of the “bad stuff” is a requirement for generating strong returns. Over time, that perception is gradually being dispellednd part of what has supported that shift toward sustainable investing strategies is Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing.
Environmental sustainability and beyond
The company’s commitment to sustainability also extends far beyond the environment. During the Covid crisis, Citrix helped workers in some of the economy’s most critical sectors—hospitals, universities, financial institutions and government—adapt to a changing work environment and provide essential services in a safe and virtual manner. Working around the clock, Citrix partnered with front-line workers to deploy its technology to support a surge in hospital usage, burgeoning need for remote education and mission-critical financial solutions to keep the economy afloat.
The commitment to sustainability is something that resonates deeply with Citrix employees: a July 2020 survey of over 3,000 employees found that 85% of them felt the commitment by senior leadership to environmental and social issues strengthened their opinion of Citrix.
That commitment is also what caught our attention at Genus in our efforts to boost impact investing opportunities. Citrix has been a part of Genus’ Fossil Free High-Impact fund for over a year now, thanks to the company’s net-positive impact on sustainable development. “What we’re looking at, with our impact fund, is the percentage of revenue that a company is generating coming from an impactful activity—something that’s contributing toward the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs),” says Mike Thiessen, Genus’ director of sustainable investments.
Measuring impact investments
There are 17 UN SDGs, covering everything from building sustainable communities to achieving gender equality to reducing poverty and hunger. Genus works with a handful of data analysts—including Sustainalytics, an Amsterdam-based research firm that rates public companies, based on their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) record—to determine which mid- to large-cap companies are having a net-positive impact on their world. (We subtract any unsustainable impacts—revenue coming from activities harmful to the SDGs—to come up with a Net Impact Score.)
“Citrix and its focus on cloud computing really stands out for us,” says Thiessen. “Their technologies allow companies to be a lot more energy efficient.” But ultimately, it’s not just about the Net Impact Score that companies achieve, he adds, but the story of sustainability that they live everyday. And for Thiessen, stories like that of Citrix—connecting workforces to meet the challenges of a socially distanced world—are critical to truly sustainable investment funds.