Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced that the CFA Society Sweden awarded Morningstar its sixth annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Award. The award is given to the person or organization that has best raised awareness of the importance of ESG-related issues in the investment process and demonstrated leadership and commitment to this challenge. The 2015 award focuses on the need for comparability and standardization of the way asset managers, advisors, and individual investors evaluate funds’ sustainability factors and ESG profiles. Steven Smit, CEO of Morningstar Benelux, is leading the implementation of Morningstar’s ESG fund scores initiative and accepted the award at the CFA Society Sweden’s annual Forecast Dinner.
Last year, Morningstar announced plans to launch the industry’s first ESG scores for mutual and exchange-traded funds globally. For the first time, investors will be able to compare funds across categories, relative to benchmarks, and over time using ESG factors. Morningstar will base its scores on ESG company ratings from Sustainalytics, a leading provider of ESG and corporate governance ratings and research. Morningstar expects to launch the scores in the first quarter of this year.
“Investors and the financial services industry are placing increasing importance on the environmental, social, and governance policies and practices of the companies in which they invest. Until now, they haven’t had a way to evaluate funds globally using ESG factors,” Smit said. “We want to bring even greater insight and transparency to the investment industry by introducing ESG research, data, and tools for funds and ETFs. Our goal with these new ESG scores is to help investors put their money to work in ways that are more meaningful to them. We are truly honored that the CFA Society Sweden recognized our innovation and chose us for this prestigious award.”