iShares Morningstar U.S. Equity ETF has an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes, indicating that the ESG risk of holdings in its portfolio is similar to that of its peers in the US Equity Large Cap Blend category. Investors concerned about ESG risk may be better off with funds in the category that receive 4 or 5 globes, as they tend to invest in securities less exposed to ESG risk. ESG risk provides investors with a signal that reflects to what degree their investments are exposed to risks related to material ESG issues, such as climate change and inequalities, that are not sufficiently managed. ESG risk differs from impact, which is about seeking positive environmental and social outcomes.
The fund has an asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 7.86, indicating that its current equity and/or bond holdings have low exposure to carbon-related risks. These are risks associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy such as increased regulation, changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and stranded assets.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that iShares Morningstar U.S. Equity ETF doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes. The fund has relatively high exposure (9.15%) to companies with high or severe controversies. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies are incidents that may negatively affect stakeholders, the environment, or the company’s operations.
Currently, 7.42% of the fund's assets are involved in fossil fuels. This percentage is on par with the average peer in its category. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.