DFA International Core Equity Portfolio is likely to concern sustainability-focused investors given certain substandard ESG attributes.
This fund has above-average exposure to ESG risk relative to its peers in the Global Equity Large Cap category, earning it the second-lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 2 globes. Investors concerned about ESG risk may be better off with funds earning 4 or 5 globes, as they tend to hold 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that DFA International Core Equity Portfolio 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. The fund's current involvement in fossil fuels reaches 13.41%, surpassing 10.50% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.
DFA International Core Equity Portfolio's Carbon Risk Score of 12.23 is at the lower end of the medium carbon risk band. This score represents the asset-weighted carbon risk score of the portfolio's equity or corporate bond holdings, averaged over the trailing 12 months. This suggests the fund’s current holdings are moderately positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy. 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 has a modest level of exposure (5.29%) to companies with high or severe controversies. Companies with high or severe controversies are involved in incidents such as corruption, employee abuses, environmental incidents, and corporate scandals that pose serious business risks to the company.