This fund has above-average exposure to ESG risk relative to its peers in the Global Fixed Income category, earning it the second-lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 2 globes. Funds with 4 or 5 globes tend to hold securities that are 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that MFS Global Opportunistic Bond Fd doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. A fund with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes. Currently, the fund has 16.5% involvement in fossil fuels, surpassing 7.9% for the average peer in its category. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.
MFS Global Opportunistic Bond Fd has an asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 9.5, indicating that its companies have low exposure to carbon-related risks. These are risks associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy such as increased regulation, changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and stranded assets.
The fund has a modest level of exposure (5.68%) 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.