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BlackRock launches iShares sustainable MSCI global impact ETF

BBR Staff Writer Published 25 April 2016

BlackRock has expanded its suite of socially responsible ETFs with the launch of the iShares Sustainable MSCI Global Impact ETF (MPCT).

Launched on Earth Day, the fund aims to help investors use their investment portfolios to target companies that enable positive social and environmental change.

The iShares Sustainable MSCI Global Impact ETF seeks to track the investment results of the MSCI ACWI Sustainable Impact Index, a new index constructed by MSCI.

The index is comprised of companies that derive a majority of their revenue from products and services that address at least one of the world's major social and environmental challenges, as identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Some of the impact themes targeted in this index include energy efficiency, sustainable water, sanitation, nutrition, and education.

BlackRock US iShares managing director and head BlackRock Martin Small said: "The iShares Sustainable MSCI Global Impact ETF provides an easy way for investors to gain exposure to companies that have a record of positive environmental and social impact, and further strengthens our suite of socially responsible exchange traded funds.

"These ETFs in particular are seeking to meet growing demand from investors who are looking to have a positive impact and seek global equity market returns."

MPCT arrives at a pivotal point in the sustainable investing market as global political, business and regulatory leaders are coming together to address climate change concerns. Its launch comes soon after the landmark COP21 Agreement and the recent inclusion of ESG standards by the Department of Labor.

BlackRock Impact managing director and global head Deborah Winshel said: "Investor needs are constantly evolving, and BlackRock is focused on creating innovative and scalable solutions to address these changing demands.

"This new fund arrives at a time when investors - from major global institutions to individual investors - are increasingly looking to achieve their financial goals in a way that also delivers a long-term, positive impact on the world."

MSCI managing director and head of equity index products for the Americas Jana Haines said: "The MSCI ACWI Sustainable Impact Index is the industry's first equity benchmark designed to apply principles of impact investing by targeting public companies whose products and services aim to address major social and environmental challenges.

"Based on MSCI ESG Sustainable Impact Metrics, a new framework aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations, the index weights securities by companies' revenue exposure to sustainable impact themes and excludes companies that fail to meet minimum ESG standards. We are pleased that Blackrock is expanding their MSCI-based ETF suite and will be introducing the first sustainable impact ETF to the market."

Formed in 2015 and led by Deborah Winshel, BlackRock Impact is the firm's global investment platform catering to investors with social or environmental objectives. BlackRock currently manages more than $200 billion of assets across screened portfolios, environmental, social and governance (ESG) tilted funds, and impact investments.

Source: Company Press Release