New York City-based BlackRock Inc. has launched a new U.S. mutual fund that aims to take impact investing mainstream by promising social and environmental results alongside financial returns.
The BlackRock Impact U.S. Equity Fund, which is run by BlackRock’s scientific active equity (SAE) team, will build an equity portfolio targeting competitive market returns, along with societal impacts, by scoring more than 8,000 companies on three social impact metrics: health, the environment, and corporate citizenship. The fund also screens out certain companies or industries, including alcohol, tobacco, and weapons manufacturers.
“This new investment strategy will help move impact investing from a niche to a core allocation,” says Jeff Shen, managing director and co-head of BlackRock’s SAE Investment Group, in a statement. “We have designed a portfolio that combines innovative investing capabilities with a transparent and tangible set of social and environmental impact outcomes.”
BlackRock has also recently launched other impact funds in Europe and Japan. “Demographic shifts, stakeholder advocacy, and government regulation are combining to create unprecedented demand for sustainable and impact investment solutions,” adds Deborah Winshel, managing director and global head of impact investing at BlackRock.
“Impact investing enables investors to do more with their money than simply achieving a financial return. Through transparent measurement and outcome reporting, impact investing allows investors to better understand how their money is being put to work,” she says.