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A Skeptical Investor’s ESG Due Diligence Toolbox

Max Chen
·2 min read

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, 2020 was a breakout year for ETFs focused on environmental, social, and governance issues. Our advisor surveys suggest the steady drumbeat of questions from clients isn’t quieting down any time soon. But how do you make sure the products you present for your clients are truly the best-in-breed in this fast growing and ever changing corner of the market?

In the upcoming webcast, A Skeptical Investor’s ESG Due Diligence Toolbox, Suzanne Smetana, Head of ESG Investment Integration, State Street Global Advisors; Brie Williams, Head of Practice Management, State Street Global Advisors; and Nicolai Lundy, Director of Partnerships and Market Outreach, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), will talk about the state of ESG and how 2021 markets will require a vigorous due diligence process for ESG interested investors.

As a way to help investors tap into these opportunities, State Street Global Advisors offers a suite of socially responsible and ESG-related ETFs. For example, the SPDR S&P 500 ESG ETF (EFIV) enhances both SPDR’s ESG and S&P 500 ETF offerings, helping investors incorporate ESG while achieving a risk and return profile comparable to the S&P 500. The ETF tracks the S&P 500 ESG Index, which is designed to measure the performance of securities meeting certain sustainability criteria (i.e. criteria related to environmental, social, and governance factors) while maintaining a similar overall industry group weight as the S&P 500 Index.

The firm's SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free ETF (SPYX) tries to allow climate change-conscious investors to align the core of their investment strategy with their values by eliminating companies that own fossil fuel reserves from the S&P 500.

The SPDR Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG) seeks to provide exposure to the clean power industry in terms of both generation and underlying technology. Alternative energy sources are an increasingly important part of the power generation conversation.

Finally, the SPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (NYSEArca: LOWC) targets the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index, which tries to address carbon exposure by overweighting companies with low carbon emissions relative to sales and per dollar of market capitalization, compared to the broader market. LOWC was created for the U.N. Joint Staff Pension Fund.

Financial advisors who are interested in learning more about ESG investments can register for the Tuesday, February 2 webcast here.

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