OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FossilFreeFunds.org, a website enabling all investors to know the climate risk embedded in their retirement accounts, has added carbon footprinting of over $11 trillion in global mutual funds and ETFs to the site — the largest ever analysis of this kind.
The free tool from As You Sow, an environmental advocacy nonprofit focused on climate finance, now offers new advanced functionality that empowers investors to track their exposure to carbon pollution that companies embedded in their retirement account and pension mutual funds and ETFs are emitting. The data reveals that in some cases, investors should be careful to make assumptions about the carbon risk of funds they are holding:
Given that BlackRock recently published a major report on portfolio climate risk, it may be a surprise that the BlackRock Basic Value Fund's (MABAX) holds 21% fossil fuel companies and has a carbon footprint 170% higher than its benchmark, the Russell 1000 Value Index.
Dimensional Social Core Equity (DSCLX) has 85% more carbon than the MSCI All World Index, with 13% of the portfolio made up of fossil fuel companies, including Shell, BP, and tar sands giant Suncor.
The State Street SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF (SPYX) holds 40 fossil fuel companies, including companies with reserves like Phillips66, Valero, and Marathon; coal fired utilities Duke Energy and Southern Company, and oil field services leader Halliburton.
"Transparency leads to transformation," said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow. "Measuring a company's carbon emissions is a critical way to understand the specific climate risk of your investments. We've aggregated the current carbon emission data for all of the companies embedded in each of the 8,500 most-held global funds. This tool enables every investor to answer the question, 'Am I investing in my own destruction or the clean energy future?'"
"Decarbonizing" a portfolio involves investing in companies that have lower carbon footprints than their peers. Institutional investors such as CalPERS and Sweden's AP4 have embraced footprinting to protect their assets from climate risk. Major index providers are increasingly offering low-carbon options that incorporate a footprinting analysis. Carbon footprinting focuses on current emissions, helping showcase businesses operating with lower footprints than their peers. This launch covers funds in the US, UK, Germany, France, Denmark, and Hong Kong – and, soon, the entire globe. The analysis utilizes data provided by sustainability solutions provider South Pole Group and yourSRI.com, a leading carbon data analyst and reporting solution provider for responsible investments, with monthly holdings data updates by Morningstar.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.
SOURCE As You Sow