ESG investing at John Hancock Investment Management

Investing in funds that promote environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is more than just a way to feel good about where your hard-earned savings go to work; sustainable investing may also make good economic sense. Explore this site to learn more about the benefits of ESG investing and our lineup of ESG funds.

ESG funds are designed to help you:

Pursue high risk-adjusted returns relative to traditional investments, while supporting companies with strong governance that are making a positive impact on the environment and society.

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ESG principles are reshaping investing today

ESG investing has reached a tipping point since its early days. Today’s ESG funds analyze both financial and nonfinancial aspects of a company to get a better understanding of their overall risk and impact. Many take it one step further by using their voting power as corporate shareholders or working directly with company management to advocate for change across a wide range of issues.

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Active engagement: how top ESG managers make a difference

Rather than merely excluding companies, today’s top ESG portfolio managers directly engage firms to combine financial returns with positive impact.

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ESG principles are reshaping investing today

Making a difference in the world

Making a difference in the world

Percentage of individual and institutional investors consider a company’s social and environmental impact important to their investment decisions.

By rewarding companies that score well on ESG issues or by engaging directly through corporate activism, investors have helped shape corporate behavior worldwide. One testament to the growing impact of ESG investing is the creation of Principles for Responsible Investment, a leading proponent of ESG investing, with over 2,300 signatories representing roughly $90 trillion in invested assets.1

Different ways to make a difference

From traditional investing to philanthropy, investors have a variety of ways to make a difference and balance the goals of investment returns with social impact.

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ESG investing: doing good while doing well

Trillium Asset Management’s CEO Matthew W. Patsky, CFA, describes why applying ESG investment principles may lead to better financial outcomes.

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Seeks competitive returns plus impact
  • Traditional investing

    Limited or no focus on ESG factors

  • Negative screening

    Exclusionary investment practice designed to screen out companies that offer harmful products or services (e.g., weapons, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling)

  • ESG integration

    The combination of ESG factors with traditional securities analysis, ESG integration moves beyond negative screening by adding a disciplined assessment of a broad set of nonfinancial issues that affect company valuations

  • Shareholder advocacy

    Employing the influence of one’s status as a corporate shareholder to engage directly with companies’ management or to affect change through proxy initiatives and/or direct dialog

  • Impact/community investing

    Investments constructed with positive impact as the primary objective and financial returns as a secondary goal, they span the spectrum of asset classes and vehicles, such as publicly traded equities, fixed-income instruments, and private investments

  • Philanthrophy

    The act of deploying financial resources for the good of society, community, the environment, and/or other causes with no regard for financial return

Seeks impact over returns

Common approach embraced by ESG mutual funds

Custom approach tailored to institutions and families

Making a difference in your portfolio

In addition to helping support companies with strong governance that are making a positive impact on the environment and society, a balanced ESG portfolio would have generated a higher absolute return and a higher risk-adjusted return—as measured by Sharpe ratio—than a similar portfolio using traditional investments.

Hypothetical $100,000 investment in two balanced portfolios 


Making a difference in your portfolio

Finding the best specialized manager for every fund we offer

As a company of Manulife Investment Management, we’re part of an organization with a commitment to sustainability. In addition, our ESG lineup includes funds managed by three ESG specialist firms with proven track records of combining financial returns with positive impact. 

Boston Common Asset Management
Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Trillium Asset Management

John Hancock ESG Funds

JBOIX ESG Core Bond Fund Breckinridge Capital Advisors Intermediate Core Bond Opportunistic fixed-income holding
JTQIX ESG International Equity Fund Boston Common Asset Management Foreign Large Growth Opportunistic international holding
JHJIX ESG Large Cap Core Fund Trillium Asset Management Large Blend Opportunistic equity holding

Large company stocks could fall out of favor. The stock prices of midsize and small companies can change more frequently and dramatically than those of large companies. Foreign investing, especially in emerging markets, has additional risks, such as currency and market volatility and political and social instability. A portfolio concentrated in one sector or that holds a limited number of securities may fluctuate more than a diversified portfolio. Hedging and other strategic transactions may increase volatility and result in losses if not successful. Illiquid securities may be difficult to sell at a price approximating their value. Fixed-income investments are subject to interest-rate and credit risk; their value will normally decline as interest rates rise or if an issuer is unable or unwilling to make principal or interest payments. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities may be sensitive to changes in interest rates and may be subject to early repayment and the market’s perception of issuer creditworthiness. Municipal bond prices can decline due to fiscal mismanagement or tax shortfalls, or if related projects become unprofitable. The interest earned on taxable municipal securities is fully taxable at the federal level and may be taxed at the state level. Liquidity—the extent to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively affecting its market value, if at all—may be impaired by reduced trading volume, heightened volatility, rising interest rates, and other market conditions. Fund distributions generally depend on income from underlying investments and may vary or cease altogether in the future. A fund’s ESG policy could cause it to perform differently than similar funds that do not have such a policy. Please see the funds’ prospectuses for additional risks.

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Combining financial returns with positive impact

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