MassMutual Small Cap Growth Eq Fd's holdings are exposed to average levels of ESG risk relative to those of its peers in the US Equity Small Cap category, thus earning it an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes. Competing funds in the category with ratings of 4 or 5 globes have less ESG risk in their holdings. 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.
The fund exhibits negligible exposure (0.42%) to companies with high or severe controversies. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. In addition, controversies can damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that MassMutual Small Cap Growth Eq Fd doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes.
MassMutual Small Cap Growth Eq Fd has an asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 11.69. This is situated at the lower end of the medium carbon risk band, suggesting that its current equity and/or bond holdings are moderately positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy. Investors concerned about the transition risks may prefer to consider funds with negligible or low carbon risk. Funds with a lower carbon risk classification may be more favored by investors concerned about transition risks, as such funds often tilt toward companies that operate in sectors less exposed to the transition (for example, healthcare and IT) or companies in more carbon-intensive sectors (for example, materials and utilities) that consider climate change in their business strategy, and therefore are positively aligned with the transition. Currently, the fund has 4.75% involvement in fossil fuels, which is in line with peers in its category. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas.