Review of Sustainable Investment Portfolios

It can be hard to know which questions to ask when looking for the right sustainable investment portfolio. We want to help simplify a bit by focusing on one issue: climate change. Here's all of the sustainable/ESG investment portfolios you can get from the top online investment advisors. You can see how much of each portfolio is fossil fuels, how much is in climate solutions, and their historic performance.

What you'll notice in scrolling down, is that there's not a huge difference between all of these portfolios (well, outside of Carbon Collective's). Most of them rely on the same underlying Blackrock ESG funds and simply hold them in different weights. While there are certainly other important lenses to analyze investment portfolios from an ethical perspective, we hope the clarity we can provide here on climate in particular is helpful.

Portfolios reviewed as of March 9, 2022.

Scroll or swipe to the right to view more table data.

Company Portfolio Annual Fees % Fossil Fuels % Climate Solutions Carbon Footprint % Votes Ethically Has Exxon? Has JP Morgan? Avg Risk Avg Return 5 Yr Risk 5 Yr Return 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Betterment Broad Impact 0.42% 6.65% 5.44% 73.20 4.75% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.40% 8.75% 9.99% 1.54% 0.75
Betterment Climate Impact 0.44% 4.96% 3.07% 47.84 5.87% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.50% 9.10% 10.73% 2.54% 0.77
Betterment Social Impact 0.43% 6.54% 5.11% 73.66 5.64% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.50% 9.24% 10.50% 1.55% 0.77
Wealthfront SRI 0.46% 5.11% 5.58% 75.21 0.00% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.40% 9.40% 10.73% 1.51% 0.76
Acorns ESG 0.15% 4.62% 5.70% 44.33 0.00% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.40% 10.37% 12.34% 4.17% 0.77
Ally Socially Responsible 0.46% 5.31% 5.42% 67.15 0.00% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.30% 9.41% 11.05% 2.46% 0.76
Ellevest Impact 0.17% 4.86% 4.20% 85.81 8.66% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.70% 9.05% 10.22% 1.89% 0.78
Carbon Collective Core 0.34% 0% 18.63% 9.41 23.36% No No 12.50% 9.10% 13.20% 13.94% 17.21% 4.97% 0.81
Carbon Collective Climate Only 0.29% 0% 100% - 100% No No 12.50% 9.10% 17.00% 18.55% 25.33% 0.76% 0.88
Vanguard US: Standard Index Portfolio 0.03% 7.33% 3.98% 62.40 0.00% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 13.20% 11.95% 14.37% 7.27% 0.83
Vanguard Global: Standard Portfolio 0.07% 8.33% 3.98% 107.57 0.00% Yes Yes 12.50% 9.10% 12.50% 9.40% 10.80% 2.78% 0.76

Disclosures: This data compares the backtested performance of 80% stock, 20% bond ESG/sustainable portfolios you can invest in through online investment advisors. All results include fund fees plus management fees (if applied) and assume reinvested dividends. All fund lineups were found by signing up on the relevant company's platform. Performance of all Carbon Collective portfolios from 01/01/2015 - 10/18/20 are backtested, rebalancing on the first day of each year as if our climate-forward strategy had been launched in 2015. See the full details of how we simulate historical performance. Performance of Carbon Collective portfolios after 10/18/20 are simulated performance net of Carbon Collective’s fees and expenses of any underlying ETF included in the portfolios. As some funds were not in existence as of 03/09/17 (SUSC, BGRN, SUSB, NACP, VOTE), Carbon Collective replaced them with their closest benchmark. The "US Standard Index Portfolio is comprised of 80% VTI and 20% BND. The Global Standard Index Portfolio is comprised of 80% VT, 20% BNDW. Simulated performance, nor past performance are a guarantee of future returns. Investments involve risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Broad Impact by Betterment

The first of Betterment's ESG portfolios, their "Broad Impact" uses generic ESG filtering. In other words, it removes some of the worst companies, but that's about it. Its exposure to fossil fuels is higher than most other portfolios here, but it does contain VOTE, one of the only ETFs in these portfolios that has a specific proxy voting strategy.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Blackrock ESGD Stocks Developed 33.9% 0.20% 7.31% - 121 No No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Blackrock ESGE Stocks Emerging 8.3% 0.25% 6.83% 0.00% 185 No No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
Blackrock ESGU Stocks USA 34.0% 0.15% 5.67% 5.58% 43 No Yes Yes 14.83% 16.10% 18.38% 10.86% 1.01
Engine No 1 VOTE Stocks USA 3.8% 0.05% 6.56% 4.18% 58 Yes Yes Yes 14.57% 15.80% 17.86% 13.44% 1
Blackrock EMB Bonds Emerging 3.0% 0.39% 45.14% - - No No No 1.33% 10.30% 0.10% -6.82% 0.42
Blackrock MUB Bonds USA 11.2% 0.07% - - - No No No 2.99% 3.60% 2.66% -1.50% 0.05
Blackrock SUSC Bonds USA 1.1% 0.18% 6.50% - - No Yes Yes - - 3.59% -3.30% -
Vanguard BNDX Bonds Ex-US 4.7% 0.08% - - - No No No 2.42% 3.20% 1.41% -3.36% 0.04
TOTAL       100.0% 0.42% 6.65% 5.44% 73.20 4.75% Yes Yes 8.75% 12.40% 9.99% 1.54% 0.75

Climate Impact by Betterment

Betterment's "Climate Impact" portfolio includes CRBN, an ETF that overweights companies with lower carbon footprints, and also holds green bonds in place of some government/corporate bonds. Unfortunately it still has a fairly significant exposure to fossil fuel companies (including ExxonMobil) without any additional exposure to climate solutions companies.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
State Street SPYX Stocks USA 18.7% 0.20% 4.84% 4.18% 57 No No Yes 14.72% 15.70% 17.98% 12% 0.99
Engine No 1 VOTE Stocks USA 4.7% 0.05% 6.56% 4.18% 58 Yes Yes Yes 14.57% 15.80% 17.86% 13.44% 1
Blackrock CRBN Stocks Global 40.0% 0.20% 4.70% 2.42% 28 No No No 10.80% 15.40% 13.16% 4.41% 0.95
State Street EEMX Stocks Emerging 6.5% 0.30% 3.10% - 193 No No No 5.80% 16.80% 5.61% -12.45% 0.74
State Street EFAX Stocks Developed 10.2% 0.20% 1.68% - 105 No No No 5.61% 15.20% 6.77% -3.93% 0.86
Blackrock BGRN Bonds Global 8.0% 0.20% - - - No No No - - 1.49% -5.70% -
Blackrock EMB Bonds Emerging 3.3% 0.39% 45.14% - - No No No 1.33% 10.30% 0.10% -6.82% 0.42
Blackrock MUB Bonds USA 7.3% 0.07% - - - No No No 2.99% 3.60% 2.66% -1.50% 0.05
Vanguard VTIP Bonds USA 1.3% 0.05% - - - No No No 3.43% 1.90% 4.97% 5.70% 0.07
TOTAL       100.0% 0.44% 4.96% 3.07% 47.84 5.87% Yes Yes 9.10% 12.50% 10.73% 2.54% 0.77

Social Impact by Betterment

Betterment's "Social Impact'' portfolio includes two portfolios which weigh companies according to their social values (in addition to their core ESG lineup). SHE holds companies whose leadership is a higher % female. NACP holds companies whose leadership is more ethnically diverse. This tradeoff does lead it more exposed to fossil fuel companies than the other Betterment 'Impact' portfolios.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
State Street SHE Equity USA 4.7% 0.20% 4.41% 3.07% 80 No No No 9.60% 17.10% 9.69% -4.68% 1.03
Blackrock ESGU Equity USA 32.4% 0.15% 5.67% 5.58% 43 No Yes Yes 14.83% 16.10% 18.38% 10.86% 1.01
Engine No 1 VOTE Equity USA 4.7% 0.05% 6.56% 4.18% 58 Yes Yes Yes 14.57% 15.80% 17.86% 13.44% 1
Impact Shares NACP Equity USA 4.7% 0.49% 3.86% 4.82% 62 No Yes Yes - - 19.03% 11.78% -
Blackrock ESGD Equity Developed 20.5% 0.20% 7.31% - 121 No No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Blackrock ESGE Equity Emerging 13.0% 0.25% 6.83% - 185 No No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
Blackrock EMB Fixed Income Emerging 3.3% 0.39% 45.14% - - - No No 1.33% 10.30% 0.10% -6.82% 0.42
Blackrock MUB Fixed Income USA 7.3% 0.07% - - - - - - 2.99% 3.60% 2.66% -1.50% 0.05
Vanguard BNDX Fixed Income Global 6.1% 0.08% - - - - - - 2.42% 3.20% 1.41% -3.36% 0.04
Vanguard VTIP Fixed Income USA 1.3% 0.05% - - - - - - 3.43% 1.90% 4.97% 5.70% 0.07
Blackrock EAGG Fixed Income USA 2.0% 0.10% - - - - Yes Yes 2.63% 3.30% 2.64% -2.62% 0.02
TOTAL         0.43% 6.54% 5.11% 73.66 5.64% Yes Yes 9.24% 12.50% 10.50% 1.55% 0.77

ESG by Acorns

Basically using an entire lineup of Blackrock ESG funds, Acorn's ESG portfolio interestingly has the lowest fossil fuel exposure and one of the lowest overall carbon footprint of all of these (outside of Carbon Collective).

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Blackrock ESGD Equity Developed 18.0% 0.20% 7.31% - 121 No No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Blackrock ESML Equity USA 3.0% 0.17% 5.61% 4.07% 122 No No No 10.89% 20.70% 13.70% -2.35% 1.17
Blackrock SUSA Equity USA 6.0% 0.25% 2.20% 7.47% 23 No No No 15.24% 16.10% 18.96% 11.40% 1
Blackrock ESGU Equity USA 47.0% 0.15% 5.67% 5.58% 43 No Yes Yes 14.83% 16.10% 18.38% 10.86% 1.01
Blackrock ESGE Equity Emerging 6.0% 0.25% 6.83% 0.00% 185 No No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
Blackrock GOVT Fixed Income USA 5.0% 0.05% - - - No No No 2.31% 4.00% 2.49% -1.94% -0.06
Blackrock MBB Fixed Income USA 5.0% 0.04% - - - No No No 1.82% 2.20% 1.45% -3.71% -0.01
Blackrock SHY Fixed Income USA 3.0% 0.15% - - - No No No 1.20% 1.20% 1.23% -2.02% -0.02
Blackrock SUSC Fixed Income USA 4.0% 0.18% 6.50% - - No Yes Yes - - 3.59% -3.30% -
Blackrock SUSB Fixed Income USA 3.0% 0.12% 5.15% - - No Yes Yes - - 2.05% -2.80% -
TOTAL       100.0% 0.15% 4.62% 5.70% 44.33 0.00% Yes Yes 10.37% 12.40% 12.34% 4.17% 0.77

Impact by Ellevest Impact

Ellevest is an investing platform built by and for women. Its "Impact" portfolio is almost entirely the same as its generic portfolio, but with the addition of a Blackrock generic ESG fund and a PAX mutual fund that focuses on holding women-led companies and uses its proxy voting to promote gender diversity in its holdings.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Blackrock SUSA Equity USA 8.7% 0.25% 2.20% 7.47% 23 No No No 15.24% 16.10% 18.96% 11.40% 1
Vanguard VB Equity USA 6.9% 0.05% 6.04% 3.39% 142 No No No 10.72% 20.30% 12.40% 10.72% 1.16
Vanguard VBR Equity USA 1.5% 0.07% 9.09% 2.67% 210 No No No 8.99% 21.30% 12.10% 5.17% 1.19
Vanguard VNQ Equity USA 1.0% 0.12% 0% 0.00% 17 No No No 9.03% 17.20% 11.29% 22.33% 0.85
Vanguard VO Equity USA 3.5% 0.04% 8.24% 2.61% 157 No No No 11.97% 18.00% 14.88% 6.42% 1.09
Vanguard VOE Equity USA 1.5% 0.07% 15% 2.00% 305 No No No 9.50% 18.70% 13.05% 9.60% 1.09
Vanguard VTV Equity USA 3.6% 0.04% 15% 3.24% 130 No Yes Yes 10.94% 16% 13.36% 12.81% 0.95
Vanguard VTI Equity USA 17.5% 0.03% 6.31% 3.98% 72 No Yes Yes 14.12% 16.40% 17.14% 9.45% 1.03
Blackrock ESGD Equity Developed 16.2% 0.20% 7.31% - 121 No No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Vanguard VNQI Equity Global Ex: US 1.0% 0.12% 0% - 15 No No No 4.15% 15.60% 1% -1.18% 0.76
Blackrock ESGE Equity Emerging 11.0% 0.25% 6.83% - 185 No No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
PAX PXWIX Equity Global 8.7% 0.53% 0.33% - 38 Yes No No 10.25% 15.60% 10.73% 2.37% 0.96
Blackrock MUB Fixed Income USA 11.5% 0.07% - - - - - - 2.99% 3.60% 2.66% -1.50% 0.05
Blackrock SUB Fixed Income USA 3.0% 0.07% - - - - - - 1.13% 1.50% 1.03% -1.50% 0.03
RBC ACCSX Fixed Income USA 3.5% 0.45% - - - - - - 1.57% 2% 1.65% -3.18% 0
- CASH Cash - 1% - - - - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL       100.0% 0.17% 4.86% 4.20% 85.81 8.66% Yes Yes 9.05% 12.70% 10.22% 1.89% 0.78

SRI by Wealthfront

One of the more basic portfolios, Wealthfront's new SRI portfolios (SRI = Socially Responsible Investing) portfolio holds a handful of Blackrock's ESG-focused ETFs. Like most of the portfolios here it holds a slightly lower exposure to fossil fuel companies and a slightly higher exposure to climate solutions companies than a traditional index portfolio.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Blackrock ESGD Equity Developed 19.0% 0.20% 7.31% - 121 0 No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Blackrock ESGE Equity Emerging 18.0% 0.25% 6.83% - 185 0 No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
Blackrock ESGU Equity USA 44.0% 0.15% 5.67% 5.58% 43 0 Yes Yes 14.83% 16.10% 18.38% 10.86% 1.01
Vanguard VTEB Fixed Income USA 19% 0.06% - - - 0 No No 3.06% 3.70% 2.69% -1.86% 0.05
TOTAL         0.46% 5.11% 5.58% 75.21 0.00% Yes Yes 9.40% 12.40% 10.73% 1.51% 0.76

Socially Responsible by Ally Invest

Like many of the other portfolios here, Ally's "Socially Responsible" portfolio relies on a combination of Blackrock ESG funds that use MSCI as their ESG data provider. Like the others on this list, it holds slightly fewer fossil fuel companies and slightly more climate solution companies than the overall market index.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Blackrock ESGD Equity Developed 26.0% 0.20% 7.31% 0.00% 121 No No No 6.54% 15.10% 7.11% -2.39% 0.84
Blackrock ESML Equity USA 5.0% 0.17% 5.61% 4.07% 122 No No No 10.89% 20.70% 13.70% -2.35% 1.17
Blackrock ESGU Equity USA 43.0% 0.15% 5.67% 5.58% 43 No Yes Yes 14.83% 16.10% 18.38% 10.86% 1.01
Blackrock ESGE Equity Emerging 6.0% 0.25% 6.83% 0.00% 185 No No No 6.03% 16.80% 4.90% -13.49% 0.78
Blackrock IEF Fixed Income USA 6.0% 0.15% - - - - No No 2.95% 5.20% 3.28% -1.64% -0.1
Blackrock IGIB Fixed Income USA 4.0% 0.06% 6.94% - - - Yes Yes 3.62% 6% 3.99% -3.19% 0.21
Vanguard BNDX Fixed Income Global 6.0% 0.08% - - - - - - 2.42% 3.20% 1.41% -3.36% 0.04
Vanguard VMBS Fixed Income USA 4.0% 0.04% - - - - - - 1.75% 2.10% 1.38% -3.71% -0.01
TOTAL         0.46% 5.31% 5.42% 67.15 0.00% Yes Yes 9.41% 12.30% 11.05% 2.46% 0.76

Core by Carbon Collective

The Carbon Collective "Core" portfolio was built to fully divest from fossil fuels (and fossil fuel dependent industries), reinvest into climate solutions, and engage the remainder of the market to pressure them to decarbonize faster, all while offering a similar risk/reward profile as a generic index-based portfolio.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Carbon Collective
Climate Index Stock USA 18.63% 0 0.00% 18.63% 0 Yes No No 21.75% 20.40% 30.07% 0.54% 1.08
Fidelity FTEC Stock USA 16.9% 0.08% 0.00% - 7 No No No 24.40% 19.10% 28.29% 15.56% 1.09
Fidelity FDIS Stock USA 9.9% 0.08% 0.00% - 30 No No No 17.52% 21% 21.19% 1.38% 1.24
Fidelity FHLC Stock USA 9.61% 0.08% 0.00% - 6 No No No 13.31% 15.20% 14.54% 10.88% 0.81
Fidelity FCOM Stock USA 7.6% 0.08% 0.00% - 17 No No No 10.29% 17.70% 12.30% -10.08% 0.97
State Street KRE Stock USA 5.3% 0.35% 0.00% - 4 No No No 6.53% 28.20% 11.90% 3.49% 1.25
State Street KIE Stock USA 5.3% 0.35% 0.00% - 2 No No No 8.09% 18.10% 10.16% 8.43% 0.94
Carbon Collective
Consumer Staples
Stock USA 4.7% 0 0.00% - 58 Yes No No 14.72% 15.70% 17.98% 12% 0.99
State Street XLRE Stock USA 2.1% 0.12% 0.00% - 16 No No No 11.82% 16.00% 13.42% 28.48% 0.76
Blackrock BRGN Bond Global 5.1% 0.20% 0.00% - - - No No - - 1.49% -5.70% -
Schwab SCHR Bond USA 3.6% 0.04% 0.00% - - - No No 2.29% 3.40% 2.48% -2.66% -0.07
VanEck GRNB Bond Global 2.1% 0.20% 0.00% - - - No No 2.12% 4.60% 1.52% -4.92% 0.11
Blackrock STIP Bond USA 0.9% 0.03% 0.00% - - - No No 3.48% 1.80% 5.11% 5.76% 0.06
Vanguard VGLT Bond USA 5.4% 0.04% 0.00% - - - No No 5.02% 11.60% 5.59% 0.23% -0.18
Vanguard VGSH Bond USA 0.9% 0.04% 0.00% - - - No No 1.27% 1.20% 1.32% -1.95% -0.03
- CASH Cash - 2.0% 0 0.00% - - - - -          
TOTAL       100.0% 0.34% 0.00% 18.63% 9.41 23.36% No No 13.94% 13.20% 17.21% 4.97% 0.81

Climate Only by Carbon Collective

The Carbon Collective "Climate Only" portfolio was built to hold only climate solutions and green bonds knowing that such lower levels of diversification would naturally lead to higher risk/reward profiles than a traditional index-based portfolio.

Company Fund Fund Type Region Allocation
Annual Fees
% Fossil Fuels
% Climate Solutions
Carbon Footprint
% Votes Ethically
Has Exxon?
Has JP Morgan?
5 Yr Return 5 Yr Risk 3 Yr Return 1 Yr Return Beta
Carbon Collective
Climate Solutions
Stock USA 80.0% 0 0 100.00% - Yes No No 21.75% 20.40% 30.07% 0.54% 1.08
Blackrock BGRN Bond Global 12.7% 0.20% 0 - 0 - No No 1.49%   -5.70% - -
VanEck GRNB Bond Global 5.3% 0.20% 0 - 0 - No No 2.12% 4.60% 1.52% -4.92% 0.11
- CASH Cash - 2.0% 0 0 - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL       100.0% 0.04% 0.00% 100.00%       18.55% 17.00% 25.33% 0.76% 0.88