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WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend ETF DFJ Sustainability

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Sustainability Analysis

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Sustainability Summary

WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund may not appeal to sustainability-conscious investors.

This fund has rather high exposure to ESG risk relative to its peers in the Japan Equity category, earning it the lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 1 globe. Funds with 4 or 5 globes tend to hold securities that are less exposed to ESG risk. Unlike impact, which focuses on generating positive environmental and societal outcomes, ESG risk measures the degree to which investments could be affected by material ESG issues, including climate change, biodiversity, product safety, community relations, data privacy and security, bribery and corruption, and corporate governance.

One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. A fund with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes.

The fund's current involvement in fossil fuels rests at 1.4%, which compares favorably with 7.4% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas. The fund has no exposure to high or severe controversies. Controversies are incidents that have a negative impact on stakeholders or the environment, which create some degree of financial risk for the company. Examples of types of controversies include bribery and corruption scandals, workplace discrimination and environmental incidents. Severe and high controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. Such controversies can also damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.

WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 13.2. This is situated at the lower end of the medium carbon risk band, suggesting that its portfolio holdings are not among the worst-positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy, but they are not among the best-positioned either. Investors concerned about the transition risks may prefer to consider funds with negligible or low carbon risk. Funds with a lower carbon risk classification may be more favored by investors concerned about transition risks, as such funds often tilt toward companies that operate in sectors less exposed to the transition (for example, healthcare and IT) or companies in more carbon-intensive sectors (for example, materials and utilities) that consider climate change in their business strategy, and therefore are positively aligned with the transition.

ESG Commitment Level Asset Manager