This fund has the second-lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 2 globes, indicating it holds securities with relatively high ESG risk compared to that of its peers in the Flexible Allocation category. Funds with 4 or 5 globes tend to hold securities that are 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, including climate change, biodiversity, product safety, community relations, data privacy and security, bribery and corruption, and corporate governance, that are not sufficiently managed. ESG risk differs from impact, which is about seeking positive environmental and social outcomes.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that SPDR® SSgA Multi-Asset Real Return ETF doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. A fund with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes. Currently, the fund has 59.0% involvement in fossil fuels, which is high in both absolute and relative terms. The fossil fuel involvement of funds in the same Global Allocation category averages 14.3%. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive at least 5% of their revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas. The fund has relatively high exposure (9.84%) to companies with 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.
SPDR® SSgA Multi-Asset Real Return ETF has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 18.6. 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. Such funds invest in companies that tend to operate in sectors less exposed to the transition (such as healthcare and IT) and/or companies in more carbon-intensive sectors (such as industrials and utilities) but that consider climate change in their business strategy and products, and therefore are positively aligned with the transition.