The ESG risk of abrdn US Sustainable Leaders Fund's holdings is comparable to its peers in the US Equity Large Cap Growth category, thus earning an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes. Funds in the same category rated 4 or 5 globes 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, 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.
Based on its latest prospectus, sustainability or ESG factors are a focus in the investment process of abrdn US Sustainable Leaders Fund. Funds with ESG-focused mandates are more likely to deliver positive sustainability outcomes. One key area of strength for abrdn US Sustainable Leaders Fund is its low Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score of 7.18 and very low fossil fuel exposure over the past 12 months, which earns it the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation. Thus, the companies held in the portfolio are in general alignment with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
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 a modest level of exposure (5.77%) to companies with high or severe controversies. Companies with controversies are involved in incidents such as corruption, employee abuses, and that pose some degree of business risks to the company. Severe and high controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. In addition, they controversies can damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.