ESG strategies are holding up in the current market and global health crisis, said John Streur, president and CEO of Calvert Research and Management, on a press call Tuesday.
"Performance has held up quite well," Mr. Streur said, noting that Calvert's U.S. index fund is outperforming its benchmark by 110 to 120 basis points. The two main drivers of that are a "very limited exposure to the entire fossil-fuel chain" and good ESG metrics that are really about risk assessment. "It is clear that companies that have been thoughtful about managing social and environmental risks were prepared to deal with this risk," he said.
Calvert Research and Management, with $22 billion in assets under management, is part of Eaton Vance.
Part of Calvert's ESG evaluation process is looking at how companies manage relationships with workers and their community, and in that regard the response to the virus is similar to climate change, Mr. Streur said.
"Experts have been warning of this type of situation for several years," he said. "We think over the coming months investors will start to place more emphasis on those types of risks."
"We know these actions will inform a company's reputation for years to come. There are clear differences between how specific companies are dealing with this. Larger, more well-capitalized companies are coming through this better," he added.