By Canaccord Adams

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- In observance of Earth Day, many investors might be asking how they can do the right thing for the earth and still make a good investment.

We take the opportunity to provide insight on four companies which do exactly that: exploit green markets and offer substantial upside potential.

Our research team believes these four companies are leading beneficiaries of underlying trends focused on resource optimization and conservation:

Nalco ( NLC) capitalizes on climate change and water scarcity. We find Nalco fundamentally undervalued given powerful long-term secular global growth drivers including climate change and water scarcity. With a core competency in water treatment technology and an emerging presence in multi-pollutant air emission control, we continue to find the company uniquely positioned to benefit from an increasing focus on environmental impacts, while also providing critical productivity and process optimization solutions.

Rubicon Technology ( RBCN) is a leading supplier of materials required for the manufacture of energy efficient LED lighting. The company is a leading supplier of sapphire substrates to the LED market with 25% market share based on our estimates. In our view, sapphire has become the clear bottleneck in the LED market based on the massive order trends over the past year of MOCVD tools, the trend of which is expected to continue.

NCI Building Systems ( NCS) is growing as a result of the shift toward green building practices in non residential construction. We view NCI as an interesting play on the steady shift toward green building practices in nonresidential construction. Representing approximately 10-12% of all new nonresidential construction projects in the U.S., green building represents the most significant building movement today.

Newalta (NAL:TSX) is a leader in waste management and recovery in Canada. We continue to highlight Newalta Corporation as one of our top picks for 2010. Newalta is Canada's leading industrial waste management company, with a strategic focus on recovering products and recycling resources from industrial residues. On an annual basis, the company recovers roughly C$400 million worth of reusable products that would otherwise go to disposal.

--Written by Canaccord Adams in Boston. For a full disclosure, click here.
Canaccord Adams is an independent financial services firm focused on the entrepreneurial economy. With operations in research, sales and trading and investment banking, the firm's 250 professionals seek out emerging opportunities in Mining and Metals, Energy, Technology, Life Sciences, Consumer, Real Estate and Sustainability. Canaccord Adams, the international capital markets division of Canaccord Financial Inc., has operations in Toronto, London, Edinburgh, Boston, Vancouver, New York, Calgary, Montreal, San Francisco and Houston.

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