BlackRock changes benchmarks on SRI equity ETF range

BlackRock SRI ETFs

BlackRock has changed the benchmarks on its socially responsible investing (SRI) equity ETF range to include a further reduction in fossil fuels, ETF Stream can reveal.

The six-strong ETF range, which offers exposure to global, European, US, emerging markets and Japan, will now track versions of the MSCI SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel index.

The new indices have an increased number of environmental screens and a 5% issuer cap on holdings.

The indices have an exclusion screen on companies in the certain industries such as controversial weapons, civilian firearms, nuclear weapons, tobacco, alcohol, adult entertainment, conventional weapons, gambling genetically modified organisms and nuclear power.

They also have environmental screens for companies involved in thermal coal, oil sands and oil and gas.

BlackRock said in a statement: “We are constantly evaluating the ESG credentials underpinning our sustainable ETF ranges, to ensure they deliver the best possible outcomes for investors looking to build ESG criteria into their portfolios.

“These changes aim to strengthen the products’ environmental credentials and reduce high concentration in single stock names.”

BlackRock’s proxy voting history and ETF push highlight conflicting attitudes to ESG

The SRI equity ETFs previously tracked versions of the MSCI SRI index suite.

BlackRock’s sustainable ETF range is split into five categories; ESG screened, ESG enhanced, thematic, impact and SRI.

Earlier this year, the world’s largest asset manager launched Europe’s first high yield ETF with an ESG tilt, the iShares USD High Yield Corp Bond ESG UCITS ETF (DHYE).

ETF Name Old Benchmark New Benchmark
iShares MSCI Europe SRI UCITS ETF EUR MSCI Europe SRI Index MSCI Europe SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel Index
iShares MSCI EM SRI UCITS ETF USD MSCI EM SRI Index MSCI EM SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel Index
iShares MSCI World SRI UCITS ETF EUR MSCI World SRI Index MSCI WORLD SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel Index
iShares MSCI USA SRI UCITS ETF USD MSCI USA SRI Index MSCI USA SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel Index
iShares MSCI USA SRI UCITS ETF EUR Hedged
iShares MSCI Japan SRI UCITS ETF MSCI Japan SRI Index MSCI Japan SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuel Index

Source: BlackRock

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