ClearBridge Small Cap Growth Fund has an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes, indicating that the ESG risk of holdings in its portfolio is similar to that of its peers in the US Equity Small Cap category. Funds with 4 or 5 globes tend to hold securities that are less exposed to ESG risk. Unlike impact, which measures positive environmental and societal outcomes attributable to an investment, ESG risk reflects the degree to which investments could be affected by material ESG issues, including climate change, biodiversity, product safety, community relations, data privacy and security, bribery and corruption, and corporate governance.
No companies held by ClearBridge Small Cap Growth Fund are recognized as being involved in controversies at a high or severe level. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies are incidents that have a negative impact on stakeholders or the environment, which create some degree of financial risk for the company. Severe and high controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. In addition, they can damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that ClearBridge Small Cap Growth Fund doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes.
ClearBridge Small Cap Growth Fund has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 10.7. This is situated at the lower end of the medium carbon risk band, suggesting that its portfolio holdings are not among the worst-positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy, but they are not among the best-positioned either. Investors concerned about the transition risks may prefer to consider funds with negligible or low carbon risk. 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. Currently, the fund has 5.4% involvement in fossil fuels, which is roughly in line with 5.1% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.