Morningstar Now Informs Investors About ESG/Sustainable Mutual Funds -- And The Good News Is That ESG Funds' AUM Continues to Grow

Morningstar Now Informs Investors About ESG/Sustainable Mutual Funds -- And The Good News Is That ESG Funds' AUM Continues to Grow

The authoritative voice for many investors on the always expanding mutual fund universe is the Chicago-based Morningstar organization.  The company tracks mutual fund's in- and outflows, performance, focus and other aspects of [mutual fund] activities. 

The firm began adding ESG analysis to its legendary and comprehensive analytical work last year.  About 200 mutual funds with ESG criteria were initially being monitored by Morningstar, with analysis provided by Sustainalytics. **

Now here's an important update for you:  we are apparently on pace for a record year for ESG funds this year.  In 3Q 2017, the universe of ESG funds (equity and fixed-income) continued to grow; there were five new fund launches and net flow (funds in) that "...keep the group on track for record year of attracting new assets." 

Morningstar explains that "Sustainable Mutual Funds" experienced continued growth in assets and heavier inflow through 2016 and into 2017; Assets Under Management were about $60 billion through September.  New launches were by Brown Advisory, Essex, iShares and NuShares (four were bond funds and one, equity-focused).

Notes Morningstar:  Because many of these funds are "young," with almost 100 lacking three-year track records, they remain small (below $50 million AUM). But the good news is that with continued new fund launches and flows in continuing, sustainable funds continue to gain traction in 3Q 2017, offering investors more choices who are focusing on ESG / sustainable portfolios.

The addition of ESG / Sustainable investing data and information to the influential Morningstar suite of services for investors was an important development, and a solid sign of ESG investing coming of age in the USA for the company's customers.  Shortly after adding the ESG features, Morningstar made a strategic investment in Sustainalytics buying 40% of the firm earlier this year - another good sign for the sustainable investing community. 

There's good information for you in our Top Story.

There's more news about sustainable investing here in this week's Highlights -- read on!

Keep watch: We will soon be sharing news about our new "To the Point" corporate management briefing service.  This new platform on launch will have lots of good, timely, actionable information about ESG players that influence the capital markets -- and public company access and cost of capital.  For advance information, send an email to:

**Footnote:  Morningstar defines the ESG universe as fund that incorporate ESG criteria into their investment process (or) pursue a sustainability-related theme (or) seek measurable sustainability impact along with financial return.

Top Stories This Week...

Sustainable Funds Universe Continues to Expand   
(Thursday - October 12, 2017) 
Source: Morningstar - The universe of sustainable funds in the United States continued to grow in the third quarter, with five new fund launches and positive estimated net flows that keep the group on track for a record year of attracting new assets.


About Sustainability: Progress Is Being Made
- We See Forward Momentum!

Goldman Says ESG Investing Has Gone Mainstream
(Thursday - October 12, 2017)
 Associated Profiles : New York State Common Retirement Fund 
Source: Financial Advisor Magazine - The group is working with public and private sector clients, Goldman Sachs officials said. Clients include the New York State Common Retirement Fund, with a $2 billion risk-aware, low-carbon equity strategy, and a $1.1 billion... 

Profit vs impact: investors choose sustainability for better returns
(Monday - October 09, 2017) 
Source: CityAM - Sustainable investing has long been regarded as more of a philanthropic pursuit, putting positive impact ahead of making a profit. But a major new study shows investor attitudes may be shifting. 

Sustainability Ratings Tell Half the Story
(Monday - October 09, 2017) 
Source: Barrons - If you want to beat the market by investing in companies with relatively clean environmental, social, and corporate governance, or ESG, records, buy the Vanguard FTSE Social Index fund. 

Zurich emphasizes importance of environmental sustainability
(Friday - October 13, 2017) 
Source: Insurance Business Magazine - Insurers know better than most the damaging reality of climate change. However, just insuring against it isn’t enough – not for Zurich anyway 

SMBs, Sort of Optimistic, Worry US Sustainable Practices Remain ‘In Jeopardy’
(Friday - October 13, 2017) 
Source: Environmental Leader - Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) fear that sustainable practices in the US are in jeopardy – but are still “cautiously optimistic” about the future of sustainability, according to a new study from Cox Enterprise 

What does it look like to embed sustainability across an organization?
(Wednesday - October 11, 2017) 
Source: Green Biz - If a company is committed to integrating sustainability into its operations, it cannot do so effectively just by assigning the responsibility to a chief sustainability officer or comparable position. 

Survey: Most businesses committed to sustainability and conservation
(Wednesday - October 11, 2017) 
Source: Dayton Daily News - Cox Conserves has released the results of its national sustainability survey which shows that small- and medium-sized business owners are optimistic about sustainability in the U.S.

Brands Talking Sustainability
(Tuesday - October 10, 2017) 
Source: Impressions - Print buyers from REI and Starbucks will tell print suppliers where and why sustainability figures into print buying decisions during the Brands Talking Sustainability luncheon today from 12 noon to 2 pm, and features speakers... 

Disruptive Suppliers Giving Big Business Boost Towards Achieving Sustainability Goals
(Tuesday - October 10, 2017) 
Source: Sustainable Brands - In addition to using organic fabrics made in ethically accredited, wind-powered factories, Rapanui created unique, interactive traceability maps that allow consumers to see where their clothing comes from and how it is made. The... 

Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues -- Things to Think About...

There’s enough wind energy over the oceans to power human civilization, scientists say
(Tuesday - October 10, 2017) 
Source: Washington Post - New research published on Monday finds there is so much wind energy potential over oceans that it could theoretically be used to generate “civilization scale power” — assuming, that is, that we are willing to cover enormous... 

Giant hole opens up in Antarctica as scientists look to find out what is to blame
(Wednesday - October 11, 2017) 
Source: - A HOLE larger than the Netherlands has opened up in Antarctica, and scientists are working to deepen their understanding of how it formed. 

Oil rises on tighter market, but doubts swirl on sustainability
(Wednesday - October 11, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - Oil prices edged higher for a third day on Wednesday as OPEC said the market was gradually tightening after years of oversupply, but the 2018 outlook was less certain. 

News for You From the Corporate Sector -Both Positive & Negative

Each week we see a range of reports about the corporate sector and individual companies with "plus" (+) or minus (-) connotations.  There is a lot going on in the global corporate sector -- we share highlights with you here:

Google ditches Home Mini's top-touch panel feature after spying blunder
(Thursday - October 12, 2017) Source: Zdnet 

Wells Fargo beats on earnings, sets aside $1 billion for legal woes
(Friday - October 13, 2017) Source: Business Insider

Microsoft inks 15-year deal to buy energy from GE’s new wind farm in Ireland
(Monday - October 09, 2017) Source: Venture Beat 

Sponsored Message

News & Opinion: Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds

NYC Pension Funds, RBC GAM Access Capital Team up for $450 Million Affordable Housing Plan(Thursday - October 12, 2017) Source: aiCIO 

China: ruler's wealth up to 900b USD
(Monday - October 09, 2017) Source: Menafn 


Trump Administration News / Affecting Directions on Governance & ESG

Trump to sign order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces
(Thursday - October 12, 2017) Source: Washington Post 

SET Ranks World’s Top 10 Stock Exchanges On Sustainability Disclosure Reporting
(Monday - October 09, 2017) Source:


Hurricanes 2017 - The Bigger Picture

Ophelia ties century-old record after becoming tenth consecutive Atlantic hurricane 
(Thursday - October 12, 2017) Source: The Weather Channel 



G&A Institute Sustainability Update
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Governance & Accountability Institute's blog focusing on the sustainable world evolving daily before our eyes.  Read it, absorb it, question it and challenge.

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