MFS Research International Fund has a number of attributes that may meet the expectations of sustainability-focused investors, despite some issues worthy of attention.
The ESG risk of MFS Research International Fund's holdings is comparable to its peers in the Global Equity Large Cap category, thus earning an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes. Funds in the same category rated 4 or 5 globes 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.
The fund has an asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 8.09, indicating that its current equity and/or bond holdings 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's current involvement in fossil fuels rests at 9.11%, which compares favorably with 10.50% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that MFS Research International 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.
The fund has a modest level of exposure (4.74%) to companies with high or severe controversies. Companies with high or severe controversies are involved in incidents such as corruption, employee abuses, environmental incidents, and corporate scandals that pose serious business risks to the company.