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 US Equity Large Cap Growth 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 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 Lord Abbett Growth Leaders Fund doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. A fund with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes.
One key area of strength for Lord Abbett Growth Leaders Fund is its low Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score of 4.6 and low fossil fuel exposure of 1.20% 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. Currently, the fund's involvement in fossil fuels is negligible, and compares favorably with 3.42% for its average peer.
The fund exhibits moderate exposure (7.58%) 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.