Vanguard European Stock Index Fund is likely to concern sustainability-focused investors given certain substandard ESG attributes.
This fund has the second-lowest Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 2 globes, indicating it holds securities with relatively high ESG risk compared to that of its peers in the Europe Equity Large Cap category. Investors concerned about ESG risk may be better off with funds in the category that receive 4 or 5 globes as they tend to hold securities less exposed to ESG risk. 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.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that Vanguard European Stock Index Fund doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate would have a higher probability to drive positive ESG outcomes. The fund's current involvement in fossil fuels reaches 11.16%, surpassing 9.22% 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 an asset-weighted Carbon Risk Score of 8.49, indicating that its current equity and/or bond holdings have low exposure to carbon-related risks. These are risks associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy such as increased regulation, changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and stranded assets.
The fund has a modest level of exposure (6.32%) to companies with high or severe controversies. Companies with high or severe controversies are involved in incidents such as corruption, employee abuses, environmental incidents, and corporate scandals that pose serious business risks to the company.