The MSCI USA ESG Select Index is designed to target companies with positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors while exhibiting risk and return characteristics similar to those of the MSCI USA Index. The index is constructed through an optimization process that aims to maximize its exposure to ESG factors, subject to an expected tracking error of 1.8% and other constraints. It is sector-controlled, and is designed to over-weight companies with high ESG ratings and under-weight companies with low ratings. Tobacco and Controversial Weapons companies, as well as major producers of Alcohol, Gambling, Firearms, Military Weapons and Nuclear Power, are not eligible for inclusion.
The MSCI ESG Ratings are constructed based on thousands of data points across 37 ESG Key Issues, focusing on the intersection between a company’s core business and the industry issues that can create significant ESG related risks and opportunities. Companies are rated on a AAA-CCC scale relative their industry peers.