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ESG investing at Vanguard

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Adam N.
Oct 2023
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ESG investing at Vanguard as of October 2023

If you're investing for the long-term and can afford to look beyond simple profits and fees, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investing is a great way to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Vanguard is a great broker for ESG investing, providing a wide range of relevant assets and helpful tools.

My key findings in a nutshell
Edith Balázs
Fiscal Fables Storyteller | Forex • Safety • Financial Journalism

I've thoroughly tested Vanguard services with our analyst team by opening a real-money account and these are my most important findings:

  • ESG investing focuses on companies' environmental and social practices and impact
  • Vanguard offers many ESG-themed assets to invest in
  • Vanguard provides great tools to find and learn about ESG investments
Vanguard ESG services
Overall score
4.5 stars
ESG score
4.2 stars
ESG research quality
ESG funds
ESG education quality

Data updated on October 10, 2023

BrokerChooser score
4.5 4.5 /5
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Vanguard is available in the United States

What is ESG investing?

Are you a long-term investor? Then you probably care deeply about what the world will look like in 20 or 30 years. If you want to help bring about a future that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive - and can afford to set aside some or all of your savings for this purpose - we suggest you turn your attention to ESG investing.

What is ESG investing? It is an increasingly popular investment trend that involves taking into account environmental, social and corporate governance factors when deciding what sectors or companies to invest in.

  • Environmental criteria include companies' contribution to (or its efforts to prevent) climate change, pollution or biodiversity loss
  • Social criteria focus on treating employees, customers and suppliers fairly; involvement in armed conflict or humanitarian crises; or efforts to tackle public health issues such as those related to smoking or alcohol consumption
  • Corporate governance criteria involve transparency, protecting shareholders' rights, and leadership quality

The good news is that returns on ESG-focused investments are not necessarily inferior to those on non-ESG investments, although fees may be higher.

If you need more information, read our comprehensive introduction to ESG investing, or check out some helpful ESG investing strategies.

ESG assets at Vanguard

You can always make your own judgment whether a specific stock is ESG-compatible, but ESG investing is easiest via special ESG-themed ETFs (exchange-traded funds) or mutual funds. These are often special versions of popular index funds (such as those tracking the S&P 500) that give a larger weight to ESG-friendly stocks within the index or drop companies that engage in environmentally or socially harmful practices.

Here's what Vanguard and its closest competitors have to offer when it comes to ESG-themed instruments:

Vanguard and competitors ESG product selection
130 130 130
ESG funds
500 130 250
Stock and ETF fee scores
5.0 stars 5.0 stars 5.0 stars
Mutual fund fee scores
2.2 stars 5.0 stars 5.0 stars

Data updated on October 10, 2023

ESG tools at Vanguard

How can you tell if a stock has a good ESG record? Some brokers have great screeners that help you find the best ESG stocks among the thousands of stocks out there. Short of that, a good search function on your broker's trading platform can help you find ESG-themed ETFs or mutual funds. Some brokers also offer educational articles or webinars on ESG investing.

Here's how we rated these tools at Vanguard and some of its immediate competitors:

Vanguard and competitors ESG tool quality
ESG research quality
Mid-range Mid-range -
ESG education quality
Great Great Mid-range

Data updated on October 10, 2023

Best brokers for ESG investing

Do you want to zoom out and pick the best broker for long-term investment based on a full set of criteria including fees, trading platform experience and product selection? Look no further than our list of the best brokers for ESG investing.

Check out this short video for a behind-the-scenes peek into how our experts personally test and evaluate brokers.

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Further reading

Author of this article

Edith Balázs

Fiscal Fables Storyteller | Forex • Safety • Financial Journalism

I bring 20+ years of experience as a correspondent having worked for Bloomberg, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal covering macroeconomics, stock, currency and fixed-income markets. I hold a Master's degree in American Studies and Journalism.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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