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 Global Equity Large Cap category. Investors concerned about ESG risk may be better off with funds in the category that receive 4 or 5 globes as they tend to hold securities less exposed to ESG risk. ESG risk measures the degree to which material environmental, social, and governance issues, such as climate change and inequalities, could affect valuations. ESG risk differs from impact, which is about driving positive environmental and social outcomes for society’s benefit.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that Harding Loevner International Eq Port doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes. The fund has relatively high exposure (10.20%) to companies with high or severe controversies. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies are incidents that may negatively affect stakeholders, the environment, or the company’s operations.
One key area of strength for Harding Loevner International Eq Port is its low Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score of 8.35 and low fossil fuel exposure of 6.70% over the past 12 months, which earns it the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation. The fund is therefore well positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy.