ESG-focused strategies are subject to certain positive/ best in class and norms-based ESG criteria. Our criteria for ESG-focused strategies takes a robust approach, significantly altering the investable universe to focus on true ESG leaders and to demonstrate ESG quality above the benchmark. For corporate issuers, the ESG evaluation process is conducted on an industry- specific basis and involves the identification of material key performance indicators, favouring companies with leadership relative to peers. Typically environmental assessment categories include climate change, natural resource and biodiversity, waste management and environmental opportunities. Social evaluation includes human capital and labor management, product safety and access to services and products. Governance assessment includes corporate governance practices and business ethics. Sovereign issuers are assessed on ESG risk management and performance across the following areas: natural resources conservation, climate change vulnerability, human capital development, access to basic services, and economic , financial and political governance.
For tax-exempt municipal ESG strategies, municipal issuers are eligible for the strategy by demonstrating ESG leadership as determined by our proprietary ESG scores. Municipal issuers are assessed on material factors relevant to the municipal sector. For example, hospitals are assessed on ESG outcomes such as quality and affordability of care, whereas water utilities are assessed on water quality and water stress risk.