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Vanguard Value Index Adm VVIAX Sustainability

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Sustainability Analysis

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Sustainability Summary

Vanguard Value Index Fund may not appeal to sustainability-conscious investors.

Vanguard Value Index Fund's holdings are exposed to average levels of ESG risk relative to those of its peers in the US Equity Large Cap Value 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, 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 Vanguard Value Index 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.

Vanguard Value Index Fund has a 12-month asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 11.2. 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. 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 18.2% involvement in fossil fuels, which is roughly in line with 15.9% for its average category peer. Companies are considered involved in fossil fuels if they derive some revenue from thermal coal, oil, and gas. The fund has a modest level of exposure (7.85%) 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.

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