BlackRock’s iShares has expanded on its line of environmental, social and governance, or ESG, exchange traded funds with a small-capitalization option that may help investors align their beliefs, such as excluding exposure to firearms manufacturers, with their investment objectives.
The recently launched iShares MSCI USA Small-Cap ESG Optimized ETF (Cboe: ESML) comes with a 0.17% expense ratio.
The iShares MSCI USA Small-Cap ESG Optimized ETF tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI USA Small Cap Extended ESG Focus Index, which is composed of small-cap U.S. companies that have favorable ESG characteristics with characteristics similar to the MSCI USA Small Cap Index, according to a prospectus sheet.
ESML’s underlying index first starts off with the MSCI USA Small Cap Index and excludes securities of companies involved in the business of tobacco, companies involved with controversial weapons, producers and retailers of civilian firearms, as well as companies involved in very severe business controversies, such as anti-competitive practices, toxic emissions and waste, and health and safety. The underlying index also follows a quantitative process designed to determine optimal weights for securities to maximize those with higher ESG ratings.