Baird Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund may not appeal to sustainability-conscious investors.
This fund has above-average exposure to ESG risk relative to its peers in the US Equity Mid Cap category, earning it the second-lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 2 globes. Investors concerned about ESG risk may be better off with funds earning 4 or 5 globes, as they tend to hold securities less exposed to ESG risk. 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that Baird Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate are more likely to align with the expectations of an investor who cares about sustainability issues.
Currently, the fund has 2.17% involvement in fossil fuels, which compares favorably with 4.32% 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 no exposure to high or severe controversies. From bribery and corruption to workplace discrimination and environmental incidents, controversies are incidents that may negatively affect stakeholders, the environment, or the company’s operations.
Baird Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund's Carbon Risk Score of 10.03 is at the lower end of the medium carbon risk band. This score represents the asset-weighted carbon risk score of the portfolio's equity or corporate bond holdings, averaged over the trailing 12 months. This suggests the fund’s current holdings are moderately positioned to transition to a low-carbon economy. 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.