How Green Are Celebrities?

Madonna performs at Live Earth, but her investments suggest other priorities.

ByABC News
November 26, 2008, 11:56 AM

July 6, 2007 — -- Dozens of big-name music stars gather at venues all around the world for Live Earth concerts to promote awareness of global warming and push for immediate change.

But as the events kick off, critics have questioned the true environmental devotion of some of the acts and the use of gas-guzzling private jets, SUVs and limousines.

One superstar in particular is facing some last-minute scrutiny.

Madonna is taking the stage at London's Live Earth in support of the environment, but her charitablefoundation has invested heavily in the corporate world, including several large companies that are often criticized for the harm they do to the planet.

The Ray of Light Foundation has owned, within the last two years, shares of companies that log forests, drill for oil and mine for metals.

The holdings have included paper goods giant Kimberly Clark, forest products company Weyerhaeuser, aluminum giant Alcoa and oil company BP, according to the foundation's annual report filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

But the portfolio also includes numerous other stocks, including Allstate Insurance, food-service company Aramark, chip-maker Intel, eBay, CVS and Texas Instruments.

There are plenty of other stars performing. But their investment choices are private. Because Madonna has a tax-exempt foundation, her foundation's investment choices are part of the public record.

Nothing in Madonna's foundation's portfolio is out of line with the holdings of a typical foundation, pension fund or any other investor.

Rona Fried, editor and publisher of progressive investor, said the portfolio looks like a typical large cap portfolio.

"She's got some good companies and some not-so-good companies," Fried said.

Fried said that BP is "one of the better oil companies" and noted that Madonna's foundation also owns Nike, which she considers one of the top 20 sustainable stocks out there.

The portfolio breakdown is dated Dec. 31, 2005. It is the latest filing with the IRS. It is possible that Madonna has changed her investing strategy since then.

"Being that this is two-year-old information, she might not have any of this anymore," said Cliff Feigenbaum, publisher and managing editor of the GreenMoney Journal. "We're getting old information."

ABC News was unable to reach Madonna's California foundation or its lawyer, but filings show that Madonna controls 100 percent of the foundation.

Feigenbaum wouldn't comment on how good or bad the companies are but said he wouldn't invest in them.