This strategy has an above-average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 4 globes, indicating that the ESG risk of holdings in its portfolio is relatively low compared with those of its peers in the India Equity category. 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 iShares MSCI India ETF doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate are more likely to align with the expectations of an investor who cares about sustainability issues. Currently, the fund has 14.0% involvement in fossil fuels, surpassing 7.4% for the average peer in its category. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.
iShares MSCI India ETF has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 15.5. 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. The fund exhibits moderate exposure (3.79%) 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.