Empower Real Estate Index Fund has a number of attributes that may meet the expectations of sustainability-focused investors, despite some issues worthy of attention.
Empower Real Estate Index Fund's holdings are exposed to average levels of ESG risk relative to those of its peers in the Real Estate Sector Equity 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 measures the degree to which material environmental, social, and governance issues, such as climate change and inequalities, could affect valuations. ESG risk differs from impact, which is about driving positive environmental and social outcomes for society’s benefit.
Currently, the fund's involvement in fossil fuels is negligible, and compares favorably with 0.21% for its average peer. 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that Empower Real Estate Index 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.
Empower Real Estate Index Fund's Carbon Risk Score of 10.53 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.