The market's first chapter in 2022 was eventful and doozy with a near WWIII kickstarter in Ukraine after Russia invaded the ex-USSR nation and drastic changes in macroeconomic policies to cool off inflation. However, this did not fade the appetite of ESG ETFs investors who added roughly $23 billion into ESG ETFs in the first quarter of 2022 – out of which $6 billion went into America-domiciled ESG ETFs, $15.8 billion into Europe-domiciled ESG ETFs, and $1.25 billion into APAC-domiciled ESG ETFs.
ESG ETFs flow breakdown in Q1 2022
Among the most popular strategy globally was general integration drawing more than half of total net inflows. ESG thematic came in second with 27%, Best-in-Class third with 16% and Exclusion screening last with 6%. Learn more about the different ESG strategies.
In terms of flows distribution by asset class, Equity ESG ETFs had the lion's share – drawing more than 73% of the total net flows. Fixed Income ESG ETFs came in second with 25%, while the rest went to commodity or alternative assets.
The top 10 most popular ESG ETFs in America in Q1 2022
Here are the top 10 most popular ESG ETFs in the first quarter of 2022 based on total net inflows:
- iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU): $976 million
- BMO MSCI USA ESG Leaders Index ETF (ESGY): $839 million
- iShares ESG Aware MSCI EM ETF (ESGE): $722 million
- iShares Paris-Aligned Climate MSCI USA ETF (PABU): $629 million
- First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (CIBR): $578 million
- Global X Uranium ETF (URA): $576 million
- Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV): $503 million
- Xtrackers Emerging Markets Carbon Reduction and Climate Improvers ETF (EMCR): $302 million
- iShares ESG U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (EAGG): $293 million
- iShares ESG Aware MSCI EAFE ETF (ESGD): $269 million
Brazilian and Uranium ETFs highlight best performing ESG ETFs in America
Here are the top 10 best performing ESG ETFs in America in the first quarter of 2022 based on cumulative USD returns:
- iShares Indice Carbono Eficiente (ICO2) Brasil ETF (ECOO11): +32%
- It Now ISE ETF (ISUS11): +27%
- Global X Uranium ETF (URA): +13%
- North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF (URNM): +13%
- Janus Henderson Net Zero Transition Resources ETF (JZRO): +13%
- Horizons Global Uranium Index ETF (HURA): +11%
- iShares ESG MSCI Mexico ETF (ESGMEX): +9%
- Goldman Sachs Bloomberg Clean Energy Equity ETF (GCLN: +8%
- First Trust EIP Carbon Impact ETF (ECLN) : +8%
- Purpose Global Climate Opportunities Fund (CLMT): +8%
Brazilian stocks and other LATAM stocks have beeped on investors' radar amid growing risk in the east with Russia becoming uninvestable and concerns about the rising tension between China and the United States. Brazil, an agricultural commodity powerhouse has benefited from the surge in prices as Russia and Ukraine – two other commodities – have been at war since February 24th, disrupting supplies of key commodities such as wheat and corn.
Meanwhile surging energy commodity prices due to the sanctions on Russia have highlighted the need to diversify energy sources and end heavy reliance on other nations' resources. Nuclear has been the talk of the town due to its green characteristics and investors have been bullish on this alternative energy source despite the controversy around its safety.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.