iShares® ESG Screened S&P Mid-Cap ETF's holdings are exposed to average levels of ESG risk relative to those of its peers in the US Equity Mid Cap category, thus earning it an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes. Competing funds in the category with ratings of 4 or 5 globes have less ESG risk in their holdings. 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.
iShares® ESG Screened S&P Mid-Cap ETF has a sustainability or 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 4.6% involvement in fossil fuels, which compares favorably with 8.7% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas. By prospectus, the fund aims to avoid, or limit its exposure to, companies associated with controversial weapons, tobacco, thermal coal, and and small arms. The fund fulfills this goal as its investment exposure to each of these activities is negligible. The fund aims to avoid or minimize holdings in companies breaching international norms, including the UN Global Compact or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The fund has little exposure (0.26%) to companies with high or severe controversies. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies are incidents that have a negative impact on stakeholders or the environment, which create some degree of financial risk for the company. Severe and high controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. In addition, they can damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.
iShares® ESG Screened S&P Mid-Cap ETF has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 11.0. 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's 7.1% involvement in carbon solutions is roughly in line with the 7.7% average involvement of its peers in the Mid-cap Blend category. Carbon solutions include products and services related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, green transportation, and so on.