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 US Fixed Income category. ESG risk measures the degree to which material environmental, social, and governance issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, human capital, as well as bribery and corruption, could affect valuations. ESG risk differs from impact, which is about driving positive environmental and social outcomes for society’s benefit.
One key area of strength for Voya US Bond Index Port is its low Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score of 4.83 and low fossil fuel exposure of 4.77% 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that Voya US Bond Index 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 a modest level of exposure (5.05%) 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.