Barron’s Top-Performing Sustainable Investment Fund of 2021

Barron’s Top-Performing Sustainable Investment Fund of 2021

History books have yet to reveal the final chapter of 2021, a year that lurched between the promise enshrined in synthetic mRNA, the revolutionary technology behind the first Covid-19 vaccines, and the peril posed by billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, a growing political divide, and the ongoing struggles over racial and economic inequality.

But one thing is certain: As these disparate events played out on the national stage, investors poured gobs of money into funds buying sustainable companies. Some $56.3 billion flowed into the funds in the first nine months the year, more than the $51.2 billion for all of 2020. As of September 2021, assets in sustainable funds totaled more than $330 billion. And the funds generally proved to be rewarding, according to Barron’s sixth annual ranking of actively managed U.S. large-company stock funds with an above-average sustainable ranking from


More than a quarter of the funds that we ranked—41—beat the

S&P 500

index’s total return of 28.7%, a much better turnout than the 19% of all active managers who beat the index. In all, the 157 sustainable funds that we tracked returned 26.1%.

We are finally in the era where you don’t have to explain why this is a relevant business issue.

— Katherine Collins, head of sustainable investing, Putnam Investments

It was an eventful year for sustainable investors, culminating in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. The annual summit helped underscore the challenge and urgent need for action if we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming. Climate change, in particular, has become increasingly important to businesses and investors—although the effects of the pandemic are still revealing great inequality that is also in focus. Investment managers of all stripes are seeking out companies that not only generate strong profits, but also do well when it comes to environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, factors.

“For folks who are focused on sustainability—what interesting times,” says Katherine Collins, head of sustainable investing at Putnam Investments and portfolio co-manager of the $582 million

Putnam Sustainable Future

(ticker: PMVAX) and the $6.8 billion

Putnam Sustainable Leaders

(PNOPX) funds.

“The importance of key sustainability issues is more and more obvious on a day-to-day basis,” adds Collins. “We are finally in the era where you don’t have to explain why this is a relevant business issue, or why fundamental analysis needs to incorporate relevant sustainability focus.“

Indeed, a recent

Morgan Stanley

report showed that 79% of U.S. individual investors are interested in sustainable investing. Among millennial investors, that figure was at an all-time high of 99%.

Yet performance remains a top concern. Morgan Stanley’s report found that 70% of individual investors believed that sustainable investing meant sacrificing some financial returns. But the authors demurred. “This stands in contrast to the performance data,” Morgan Stanley says.

The performance of many funds on the Barron’s list bears this out.

High-quality companies tend to score well on sustainability, and not surprisingly, the top funds on our list held companies with strong earnings and revenue potential. That’s partly why more than 25% of the funds on our list beat the S&P 500’s return, whereas just 19% of all actively managed funds beat the market, according to Morningstar Direct.

It is worth noting, however, that only 28 of the 157 funds on the list have a sustainability mandate. Morningstar essentially takes a snapshot of each portfolio and gives it a sustainability grade based on the companies it owns—a high sustainability rating doesn’t necessarily mean that ESG criteria are a priority for these funds. Indeed, the first eight funds, ranked by 2021 performance, don’t have a sustainability mandate. And 62 funds—all of which don’t have a sustainability mandate—appear on the list for the first time this year.

Tom Marsico, the celebrated growth investor whose

Marsico Growth

fund (MGRIX) was No. 2 on the list for 2020, says he invests in companies where “there’s a lot of intellectual property,” and almost by default “that leads to what I consider to be clean companies that don’t have huge impacts on the air or water or other areas that would impact your life.” These companies also tend to be leaders in providing good healthcare for employees and inclusive work environments, he adds.

To construct our list, Barron’s looked at all of the actively managed large-company stock funds—both mutual and exchange traded—that earned a “high” or “above average” sustainability rating from Morningstar. We included all funds with an explicit mandate to invest according to any sustainable or ESG principles—even though some of them have lower sustainability ratings from Morningstar. We then ranked them according to their 2021 performance.

The No. 1 and No. 2 spots on our list are the $1.3 billion

HCM Tactical Growth

(HCMGX) and the $1.3 billion

HCM Dividend Sector Plus

(HCMNX) funds, both managed by Vance Howard, CEO and portfolio manager of Howard Capital Management. “I’ve been the portfolio manager on virtually every trade this firm has ever made,” says Howard, who founded the firm in 1999.

The quantitative shop uses a proprietary technology called the HCM-BuyLine, a “stop-loss indicator” designed to mitigate downside risk and “remove emotion from the investing process.” Tactical Growth is very concentrated, with just 22 stocks, and can own companies in any industry or of any size. The fund was overweight technology stocks in 2021, and its positions in


(NVDA) and

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

helped drive performance. Its largest holding is

(AMZN), but the fund has a very high active share, 79 out of 100—a measure of how different it is from the index.

We trade a lot of tech stocks….That brings sustainability to a very attractive level.

— Vance Howard, CEO and portfolio manager, Howard Capital Management

The Dividend fund is also concentrated, though it has about 50 stocks, all of which pay a dividend. One of the best performers was a big stake in the

iShares Select Dividend

ETF (DVY). Toward the end of 2021, Howard also bought


(T). “We bought that at around $23.50, almost paying a 9% dividend yield. It was just such a low-risk trade.” The stock is currently trading around $27 a share.

Though Howard doesn’t incorporate ESG metrics into his stockpicking, he says he wasn’t altogether surprised to debut on the list this year. “We trade a lot of tech stocks; we really don’t trade a lot of energy and things like that. So, that brings our sustainability to a very attractive level,” he says.

No. 3 is the $6.5 billion JNL/Goldman Sachs 4, another fund making its first appearance on the list—and another quant fund. Sold by Jackson National Life, the fund is available only to clients of Jackson’s variable annuity products. It’s managed by two subadvisors,

Goldman Sachs

and Mellon Capital Management.

“Goldman Sachs is responsible for running the quantitative screens and identifying the list of stocks that look attractive based on various metrics. Mellon Capital is responsible for trading those securities,” explains Bill Harding, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Jackson National Asset Management, a subsidiary of Jackson that serves as the investment manager responsible for selecting and monitoring the external asset managers of the JNL funds.

Goldman screens for stocks that look attractive on value, quality, and momentum factors, and typically owns them in equal parts. Last year, Harding says, the momentum factor provided the biggest boost to performance, along with good choices in the consumer-discretionary, technology, materials, and industrials sectors.

The fund benefited from being underweight Amazon, which was a “relative laggard” in the sector, and from owning retailers such as Lowe’s (LOW) and Kohl’s (KSS). Other positive contributors included

Seagate Technology

Holdings (STX),

Juniper Networks

(JNPR), Albemarle (ALB), Nucor (NUE), and

Old Dominion Freight Line


The fund isn’t managed for sustainability, but Harding says he is seeing more of the firm’s asset managers do more in this area. “The largest asset-management companies that we’ve partnered with have added to their resources in sustainable investing,” he says. “They’ve integrated more ESG into their processes. It is an important trend in the industry.”

No. 4 is the $2.4 billion

Glenmede Quantitative U.S. Large Cap Growth Equity

fund (GTILX), up from 102 last year. Alex Atanasiu, portfolio manager and quantitative equity officer at Glenmede Investment Management, says there are five guiding principles for the fund, the first of which is a systematic approach.

“We want to pick up on factors that are present across market cycles systematically, so we rebalance each month,” he says. Most of these factors are straightforward—valuation and other fundamental ratios, such as earnings-estimate revisions. The fund has less emphasis on momentum—how quickly a stock is rising—because “momentum is a very finicky factor.”

While the fund doesn’t have a sustainability mandate, Atanasiu views the strategy as an “ESG-integrated strategy.”

No. 5 is the $8.4 billion


fund (FFIDX), run by Jean Park. Launched nearly 100 years ago, on April 30, 1930, the fund is making its first appearance on the list.

Park’s investment process is focused on quality and valuation. She likes high-quality, durable businesses. “My sweet spot is finding companies that generate positive free cash flow, where fundamentals are improving,” she says, which “also tend to be sustainable companies.”

Park also digs into a company’s track record on capital allocation. “I like to see signs of positive capital allocation. So, whether that means that there’s a focus on using the free cash flow to fund buybacks, dividends, or creative mergers and acquisitions, those are all part of the mosaic of what leads me to look at investments.”




(MSFT), and


(AAPL) helped drive performance. So did Nvidia. Park sold her stake in Nvidia in late 2019 but started buying again in late 2020, and now it’s the sixth-largest position in the fund.

While the fund doesn’t have a sustainable mandate, Park says that “ESG is definitely a part of my holistic investment process.”

Fund managers are seeing more evidence of sustainable investing becoming de rigueur.

Park says she relies heavily on Fidelity research, which increasingly focuses on ESG. “I like looking at ESG and saying, ‘Wow, I think this has the potential to be a much bigger category.’ And can I look at stocks in a different way, or just have another input into my process that helps me think, ‘What are the ones that I’m going to want to own for the longer term that might also be beneficiaries and score really well on these metrics?’”

Brandon Geisler, a portfolio manager at Marsico, believes that in the future, the industry will do a much better job when it comes to sustainable investing.

“It’s increasingly just a part of running a great business,” he says. “You have to consider all these things, and particularly if you want incremental investment in your business and consider all your stakeholders, versus maybe 15 to 20 years ago, [when] you could be much more focused on one particular stakeholder.”

For Putnam’s Collins, 2021 was in some ways a watershed year. “We’re getting beyond the entry-level discussion on some of the biggest and most interesting and important issues of our time,” she says. “If you go back a few years, many investors and many company management teams were just starting to look at things like the carbon intensity of the business. That is a really important starting point.

“I don’t want to dismiss that at all. But that has really dramatically accelerated, and now we’re having much more sophisticated discussions around: What does a circular economy look like? And if you are already addressing your carbon intensity, how might you further improve that by thinking about the full life cycle of your products out in the world?”

Investors are increasingly using mutual funds to do just that.

2021 Rank2020 RankFundTickerTotal Return 2021Total Return 2020Total Return 3-YrTotal Return 5-YrMorningstar Sustainability RatingAUM (mil)Expense Ratio
1NAHCM Tactical GrowthHCMGX40.2%53.4%36.0%25.0%Above Average$1,320.81.65%
2NAHCM Dividend Sector PlusHCMNX38.529.129.117.0Above Average1,352.01.64
3NAJNL/Goldman Sachs 4N/A36.34.920.313.6High6,541.50.05
4NAGlenmede Quant US Large Cap Gr EquityGTILX34.018.927.520.1High2,485.50.68
5NAFidelityFFIDX33.726.529.119.9Above Average8,419.20.47
6NASEI US Equity Factor AllocationSEHAX33.613.423.4N/AAbove Average1,012.70.32
7NAGMO US Equity IIIGMUEX32.713.823.915.2High481.30.51
8NADodge & Cox StockDODGX32.67.320.814.3Above Average91,916.10.52
955Parnassus EndeavorPARWX32.627.629.418.0High5,480.30.94
1037Amana GrowthAMAGX32.032.931.123.9High3,747.20.96
11NAVALIC Company I Systematic ValueVBCVX31.9-2.615.710.2Above Average541.60.87
12NAHartford Dividend and GrowthIHGIX31.97.921.214.6Above Average15,478.91.00
13NANorthern US Quality ESGNUEIX31.920.2N/AN/AHigh489.50.61
1480AB Concentrated GrowthWPASX31.821.128.821.1Above Average1,514.61.01
1594Franklin U.S. Core EquityFCEUX31.719.4N/AN/AAbove Average1,455.00.01
16NAAllspring Large Cap CoreEGOAX31. Average545.21.23
1769Pax Large CapPAXLX31.423.928.319.4High1,569.30.95
18NAMM Equity AssetMSEJX31.220.726.417.2Above Average403.90.22
19NAJPMorgan U.S. GARP EquityJIGAX31.027.527.120.8Above Average1,299.20.90
2056Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital Focused GrowthEAALX31.026.929.624.1High595.11.03
21NAJensen Quality GrowthJENSX30.918.624.719.1Above Average10,931.10.82
2248Carillon ClariVest Capital AppreciationHRCPX30.929.028.720.6Above Average636.11.11
23NAJPMorgan US Research Enhanced EquityJDEAX30.920.626.017.8Above Average5,876.30.84
24NAPax US Sustainable EconomyPXGAX30.913.521.916.1High314.70.90
2543Delaware Ivy Large Cap GrowthWLGAX30.730.930.523.3High6,425.40.98
2620Brown Advisory Sustainable GrowthBIAWX30.738.931.524.2High6,926.30.80
27NACity National Rochdale US Cor Eq SvcCNRVX30.214.724.418.2Above Average439.00.76
2866Calvert EquityCSIEX29.924.328.022.2High6,745.80.91
29NAEvercore EquityEWMCX29.824.329.320.4High371.40.98
30NAVanguard Windsor IIVWNFX29.714.723.214.9Above Average61,313.60.34
31NAMFS Blended Research Core EquityMUEAX29.715.322.815.3Above Average1,195.40.81
32NABNY Mellon Equity IncomeDQIAX29.63.718.113.2Above Average1,056.21.08
33NAJanus Henderson Growth And IncomeJDNAX29.610.220.716.3High7,422.11.01
34NAFederated Hermes MDT Large Cap ValueFSTRX29.26.417.311.3Above Average1,296.71.17
35NALSV Value EquityLVAEX29.0-1.516.510.0Above Average1,963.30.91
3687BlackRock Advantage Large Cap CoreMDLRX29.019.724.117.0Above Average3,548.80.93
3796American Century Sustainable EquityAFDAX28.919.225.618.4High3,770.31.04
38NABlackRock Sustainable Adv Large Cap CoreBIRAX28.922.325.617.8Above Average683.90.98
39NASterling Capital Equity IncomeBAEIX28.98.619.915.4Above Average2,489.41.04
40NABoston Trust Walden EquityWSEFX28.913.423.417.0Above Average352.71.06
4128William Blair Large Cap GrowthLCGFX28.936.633.026.4Above Average1,1060.80
4229American Century NT GrowthACLTX28.736.331.523.9Above Average1,574.60.61
43NAFidelity Dividend GrowthFDGFX28.62.517.712.7Above Average7,043.30.49
44NACarillon Eagle Growth & IncomeHRCVX28.56.517.713.9Above Average1,012.90.96
45NAApplied Finance SelectAFVLX28.515.624.2N/AHigh336.01.23
4682Parnassus Core EquityPRBLX28.421.425.517.7High31,696.70.84
47NAVALIC Company I U.S. Socially ResponsibleVSRDX28.216.123.516.4High847.90.60
48NASterling Capital Special OpportunitiesBOPAX28.213.321.414.9Above Average676.01.12
49NAGlenmede Quant US Large Cap Core EquityGTLIX28.17.718.513.9High1,4050.67
50NAAB Relative ValueCABDX28. Average2,085.80.95
51NAYCG EnhancedYCGEX27.917.326.618.9High541.21.19
52NAPIMCO RAE USPKAAX27.93.918.112.2Above Average1,286.00.84
53NANuveen Dividend GrowthNSBAX27.99.721.515.3Above Average6,970.30.92
5481DFA US Sustainability Core 1DFSIX27.921.425.717.6Below Average5,779.10.25
5551Fidelity MagellanFMAGX27.728.426.218.8Above Average32,611.40.79
56NALord Abbett AffiliatedLAFFX27.7-1.015.610.6Above Average6,628.50.71
57NAWeitz ValueWVALX27.718.724.716.2High1,024.11.11
5868BNY Mellon AppreciationDGAGX27.624.227.219.3Above Average2,594.40.89
59NAInvesco Rising DividendsOARDX27.513.622.214.6High3,215.81.04
60NAUSAA Income StockUSISX27.50.616.011.4Above Average3,014.50.70
61NABlackRock Advantage Large Cap ValueMDLVX27.53.917.111.7Above Average669.21.10
62NADWS CROCI USDCUAX27.5-12.512.39.1Above Average750.90.98
6398NicholasNICSX27.419.124.717.4Above Average3,886.40.71
6479DFA US Large Cap GrowthDUSLX27.322.025.619.2Above Average2,884.30.19
6526Nuveen Winslow Large-Cap Growth ESGNWCAX27.337.629.823.9High889.41.14
6631American Century GrowthTCRAX27.334.930.122.5Above Average13,016.41.21
67NAVirtus NFJ Large-Cap ValuePNBAX27. Average340.81.06
6871State Street US Core EquitySSAQX27.124.026.418.5Above Average7,131.10.15
69NAT. Rowe Price Dividend GrowthPRDGX27.014.122.716.6Above Average22,050.10.63
70NALazard US Equity ConcentratedLEVIX27. Average1,957.30.76
71NAColumbia Dividend IncomeLBSAX27.07.719.814.5Above Average39,851.70.92
7274VALIC Company I Large Capital GrowthVLCGX26.922.528.121.5Above Average757.60.75
7367BNY Mellon Sust US EquityDTCAX26.924.226.817.2Above Average573.80.99
7486TIAA-CREF Social Choice EquityTICRX26.920.324.516.8Above Average7,620.90.44
75NAClearBridge Large Cap ValueSINAX26.85.919.111.9Above Average3,075.10.86
76NAOlstein All Cap ValueOFAVX26.811.221.5N/AAbove Average753.41.39
77NANeuberger Berman Multi-Cap OpportunitiesNMUAX26.812.421.015.6Above Average495.61.18
7812BlackRock Advantage Large Cap GrowthBMCAX26.834.129.220.7Above Average1,129.41.08
79NAGuideMark Large Cap Core ServiceGMLGX26.822.524.416.9Above Average729.81.15
80NALord Abbett Dividend GrowthLAMAX26.715.621.615.1Above Average3,548.10.95
8176TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon EquityTNWCX26.722.625.617.4Above Average1,1120.31
82NAGMO Quality IIIGQETX26.718.624.820.0Above Average9,0380.50
83NAMFS Equity IncomeEQNAX26.68.519.213.2Above Average331.80.99
84NAPioneer Core EquityPIOTX26.621.025.317.4Above Average2,197.60.90
85NAAmerican Beacon The London Co. Income EquityABCAX26.48.619.813.3High1,867.41.05
8639AMG Montrusco Bolton Large Cap GrowthMCGIX26.632.329.921.3Above Average330.60.99
8718TCW Select EquitiesTGCEX26.339.630.523.9High914.10.77
88NATouchstone Large CapTACLX26. Average378.71.53
89NAAve Maria Rising DividendAVEDX26.06.619.213.3High961.70.92
90NAAmerican Funds American MutualAMRMX26.05.016.512.6Above Average87,725.60.58
91NANicholas Equity IncomeNSEIX25.99.020.913.5Above Average503.90.72
92NAFidelity Blue Chip ValueFBCVX25.9-4.513.08.5Above Average569.20.58
93NAAB Equity IncomeAUIAX25.94.417.011.8Above Average564.61.00
9433Pioneer Disciplined GrowthPINDX25.834.330.321.0Above Average1,982.51.02
95NAFidelity Value DiscoveryFVDFX25. Average3,364.90.75
9662Aberdeen US Sustainable LeadersGXXAX25.625.626.617.7Average485.21.26
97NAFrost Growth EquityFACEX25.532.527.722.3Above Average432.10.88
9832Principal Blue ChipPBLAX25.534.529.923.2Above Average10,492.20.92
99NAThrivent Core Low Volatility EquityN/A25.55.916.3N/AAbove Average1,092.00.03
100NAAmerican Century SelectTWCAX25.333.829.321.5Above Average4,965.01.24
101NAHaverford Quality Growth StockHAVGX25.215.623.215.7Above Average329.50.81
102NARussell Investments Tax-Managed US Large CapRTLAX25.217.722.415.4Above Average6,425.81.18
10384Akre FocusAKREX25.120.524.021.0High17,274.31.30
104NAValue Line Select GrowthVALSX25.123.125.819.3Above Average477.01.16
105NABNY Mellon US EquityDPUAX25.017.921.817.0High719.21.17
106NASEI Tax-Managed Mgd VolatilityTMMAX24.91.515.311.2Above Average1,0681.23
1079Edgewood GrowthEGFIX24.842.530.124.2High31,2671.04
10893DFA US Hi Relatv ProfitabilityDURPX24.619.424.3N/AAbove Average6,045.60.25
10927MainStay Winslow Large Cap GrowthMLAAX24.537.128.923.3High15,361.60.97
110NAClearBridge AppreciationSHAPX24.214.721.715.9Above Average7,975.80.93
11157Pioneer Fundamental GrowthPIGFX24.,836.11.04
112NAAmerican Century Disciplined Core ValueAMADX24.211.918.813.3Above Average3,016.30.91
11392Neuberger Berman Sustainable EquityNRAAX23.919.421.514.6High1,901.21.04
114NAAmerican Century Disciplined GrowthADCVX23.732.826.418.8Above Average506.81.26
11545MFS GrowthMFEGX23.731.428.122.5Above Average46,559.60.87
116NABridge Builder Large Cap GrowthBBGLX23.735.028.521.2Above Average18,424.30.45
117NADWS Large Cap Focus GrowthSGGAX23.740.530.621.7Above Average392.81.14
11850Putnam Sustainable LeadersPNOPX23.628.527.621.0Above Average6,818.21.05
119NAArtisan ValueARTLX23.610.920.611.6Above Average340.71.05
120NAJohn Hancock U.S. GrowthJSGAX23.329.626.920.6Above Average1,371.31.01
121NAAmana IncomeAMANX23.314.120.114.4Below Average1,673.61.04
122NAMadison InvestorsMNVAX23.314.321.616.8Above Average412.21.16
123NATransamerica Sustainable Equity IncomeTDFAX23.0-7.310.76.9High360.51.02
124NAAllspring C&B Large Cap ValueCBEAX23.04.720.112.5Above Average303.61.24
125NAGoldman Sachs Equity IncomeGSGRX22.83.716.310.2Above Average441.31.20
1268PGIM Jennison Diversified GrowthTBDAX22.842.629.021.0Above Average343.61.21
12719Gabelli GrowthGGCAX22.839.229.622.9Above Average1,109.51.37
12823Putnam Growth OpportunitiesPOGAX22.738.530.323.6Above Average9,998.60.99
129NAAMG River Road Dividend All Cap ValueARIDX22.8-1.513.78.3Above Average4050.86
13021DWS Capital GrowthSDGAX22.538.429.721.5Above Average2,304.00.90
131NAGoldman Sachs Tax-Advntgd Global EquityTAGGX22.012.016.811.2Below Average3,731.40.58
13244Domini Impact EquityDSEPX21.830.826.215.9Above Average1,109.11.31
13342ClearBridge Large Cap GrowthSBLGX21.731.025.519.5Above Average17,633.11.00
135NAFirst Eagle Fund of AmericaFEFAX21.17.717.08.0High533.11.04
136NASEI Catholic Values EquityCAVYX21.117.721.214.5Above Average366.80.98
13714BlackRock Capital AppreciationMDFGX20.840.127.922.5Above Average4,647.40.97
13825Laudus US Large Cap GrowthLGILX20.738.327.522.5Above Average3,260.40.72
139NAJNL/BlackRock Large Cap Select GrowthN/A20.738.427.522.4Above Average5,070.30.86
140NATouchstone Dividend EquityTQCAX20.3-5.610.07.7High3,768.11.09
141NACoho Relative Value EquityCOHOX20.39.517.212.6Above Average981.20.79
142NAMarsico FocusMFOCX20.150.231.424.4Above Average890.31.26
143NAMulti-Manager Growth StrategiesCZMGX20. Average3,866.50.78
14430John Hancock US Global Leaders GrowthUSGLX20.035.526.920.9Above Average2,646.21.13
145NAAMG YacktmanYACKX19.915.617.814.4Above Average9,552.50.71
14635Polen GrowthPOLRX19.833.026.722.2High12,860.11.21
147NAAlger Focus EquityALAFX19.745.730.524.1Above Average1,554.80.92
148NAFMI Large CapFMIHX19.510.217.412.9Above Average3,294.70.82
14995Independent Franchise Partners US EquityIFPUX18.419.422.815.5Above Average2,094.50.72
150NAMarshfield Concentrated OpportunityMRFOX18.415.222.518.5High306.91.15
151NAAve Maria GrowthAVEGX18.318.522.517.9High1,032.50.91
152NASGI US Large Cap EquityLVOLX17.711.316.812.9Above Average536.21.12
15338MainStay WMC GrowthKLGAX17.632.023.818.4Above Average940.81.04
154NAAMG Yacktman FocusedYAFIX16.717.918.115.1Above Average4,5011.07
155NAAMG Boston Common Global ImpactBRWIX15.429.922.916.8High881.51.03
156NAJackson Square Large-Cap GrowthJSPJX7.444.222.417.3Above Average1,456.91.14
1573Putnam Sustainable FuturePMVAX5.952.625.114.7Average582.21.02

Note: Data through Dec. 31, 2021. *Annualized. NA=not applicable.

Source: Morningstar

Our Methodology

To construct our list, Barron’s looked at all of the U.S. large-company stock funds in Morningstar’s universe. All actively managed funds—mutual and exchange traded—with more than $300 million in assets were initially included.

We then screened for funds that received a “high” or “above average” sustainability rating from Morningstar. These ratings are based on each fund’s holdings on a particular day; they do not reflect how a portfolio may have changed over the year. We also included all funds that have an explicit mandate to invest according to any sustainable or ESG principles—even though some of them may have lower sustainability ratings from Morningstar.

A further note on the methodology: For each fund on the list, we’ve chosen the most accessible share class, usually the A shares, investor shares, or no-load shares. But in some cases, the fund offers shares only through more-exclusive channels, such as financial advisors or other institutional accounts. We’ve included those funds too, but note that these share classes might not be available to all investors and might have higher minimum initial purchase requirements.

Write to Lauren Foster at

— to

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