Most individual investors have limited options for using ESG in their investment decisions. High net worth individuals and institutions may pay for access to ESG data, hire a sustainability consultant to create a suitable portfolio, or even engage the services of an index provider to create a fund for their institution or like-minded investors.

Retail investors can choose from an increasing number of ESG-themed ETFs or other funds. Not every fund will suit every investor’s tastes; read the prospectus carefully to understand how the index is determined, how the methodology affects exposure and diversification, and what risks that entails. Few ESG-themed funds have achieved mainstream status, many struggling against the market’s perceptions of what can be seen as a niche product. But as ESG gains traction and is better understood, funds which include ESG considerations will become more mainstream.

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