April 13, 2015

Green Beta Can Help Investors Lower Portfolio's Carbon Intensity While Fulfilling Fiduciary Responsibility, According to Mellon Capital

BNY Mellon Investment Boutique Sees Ways to Develop More Environmentally-Friendly Portfolio

NEW YORK and LONDON, April 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Investors can help reduce their exposure to heavy emitters of greenhouse gasses and fulfil their fiduciary objectives by adapting a green beta investment approach, according to a white paper from Mellon Capital Management*.

"Generating a return on capital that meets a benchmark set by institutional investors, while reducing the carbon intensity in a portfolio requires a more nuanced approach than simply eliminating or underweighting business sectors that are heavy carbon emitters," said Karen Q. Wong, managing director and head of equity portfolio management at Mellon Capital and co-author of the report.

The Mellon Capital paper, Green Beta: Carbon Efficient Investing, notes that investors can take steps to make their portfolios more environmentally friendly even if they retain their exposure to the carbon-intensive sectors of the stock markets.  The key, according to Mellon Capital, is to underweight the companies within those sectors that have the highest carbon intensity.

Carbon intensity measures the amount of carbon emitted per unit of revenue. Utilities and energy and materials companies account for more than 75 percent of the overall carbon emissions intensity of the Russell 3000 index, yet just over 16 percent of the  index composition, the report said.

"One potential pitfall in pursuit of reducing carbon emissions exposure is to significantly underweight these three sectors, which can introduce unintended sector tilts," said Wong. "We think it's better to underweight companies within these sectors that have higher carbon intensity.  We would maintain exposure to the sectors as a whole by overweighting companies within the same sectors that are taking a more proactive approach to reducing their carbon emissions."

The report notes that a truly robust strategy goes beyond the sector level and neutralizes exposures at the industry level.  This is particularly important when considering a sector as diverse as consumer discretionary, where an unintended bias can be created between the auto (heavier emissions) and apparel industries (lower emissions), according to the report.  Many high carbon intensity companies tend to have lower volatility, larger market capitalizations, relatively high yields and tend to be oriented toward value instead of growth, according to Mellon Capital.

"It's important to compensate for these exposures if such companies are underweighted to achieve lower carbon exposure," said William Cazalet, managing director and global investment strategist at Mellon Capital and co-author of the report.  "Also, portfolio managers must guard against introducing different types of risks into the management of the portfolio that could occur by lowering exposure to companies with these characteristics."

BNY Mellon offers a wide range of products and services that help investors meet their return/risk goals, while considering the environmental, social and governance impact of their investments. 

*Investment Managers are appointed by BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited ("BNYMIM EMEA") in relation to contracts for portfolio management services entered into by clients with BNYMIM EMEA and by affiliated fund operating companies to undertake portfolio management services in relation to certain funds operated by BNY Mellon group companies.


Notes to Editors:

Founded in 1983 by innovators in the investment management field, Mellon Capital Management Corporation applies a disciplined and analytical approach to global investment management strategies. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon, one of the world's largest asset managers.

BNY Mellon Investment Management is one of the world's leading investment management organizations and one of the top U.S. wealth managers, with $1.7 trillion in assets under management. It encompasses BNY Mellon's affiliated investment management firms, wealth management services and global distribution companies. More information can be found at www.bnymellon.com.

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of Dec. 31, 2014, BNY Mellon had $28.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.7 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.

All information sourced by BNY Mellon as of December 31, 2014. This press release is qualified for issuance in the UK, Europe and US and is for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services or an endorsement thereof in any jurisdiction or in any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. Any views and opinions contained in this document are those of the investment manager, unless otherwise noted. This press release is issued by BNY Mellon Investment Management (US) and BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited (BNYMIM EMEA) to members of the financial press and media and the information contained herein should not be construed as investment advice.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise due to stock market and currency movements.  When you sell your investment you may get back less than you originally invested. Registered office of BNYMIM EMEA: BNY Mellon Centre, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4LA. Registered in England no. 1118580. Authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A BNY Mellon Company.

Mike Dunn 
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