Our paper titled “The DAX® 50 ESG – The New Standard In German ESG Investing”, which was published in March 2020, introduced the DAX® 50 ESG Index, which applies exclusionary screens and uses sustainability parameters in its stock selection methodology. Companies involved in undesirable or controversial activities from a responsible investing perspective are excluded, while companies with the highest ESG scores are prioritized for inclusion over these laggards. The paper compared the index’s risk-return characteristics to the DAX® given its overlapping stock universe, the similarities in its methodology, and the fact that it provides “greener” exposure to the German capital market thanks to its higher ESG score. Our analysis showed that it had provided better risk-adjusted returns since index inception (September 2012).
In this paper, we have narrowed our focus and analyzed the performance of the DAX® 50 ESG Index over the period from March 20, 2020 (the end date of our analysis last time and which was around the beginning of the recovery from the market distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic) until November 13, 2020. Our findings show that the DAX® 50 ESG Index has outperformed during this period, with the sustainability criteria applied as part of the index methodology contributing favorably to returns.