Sustainable Leaders

Investing in sustainability leadership

Leadership focus

Invests in companies that have demonstrated leadership in key sustainability issues that are financially material to their business context

Active research process

Integrates relevant and forward-looking sustainability analysis with high-quality fundamental research to drive investment decisions

Integrated, experienced team

Managed by dedicated and experienced sustainable investing team embedded within Putnam’s equity research and quantitative/risk analysis groups

Strategy highlights

Inception date

March 31, 2018


S&P 500 Index

Total strategy assets


(as of May 2024)

Investment vehicles

  • Separate account
  • U.S. mutual fund
  • SMA/Model
  • ETF

No assurance can be given that the investment objective will be achieved or that an investor will receive a return of all or part of his or her initial investment. Actual results could be materially different from the stated goals. Investors should carefully consider the risks involved before deciding to invest. As with any investment, there is a potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss.

Assets may include accounts that are not reflected in the composite.

Investment team


Annualized composite performance (%) as of May 31, 2024

  MTD QTD YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years Since Inception
Sustainable Leaders (gross) 6.19% 1.26% 15.54% 34.25% 8.68% 16.72% 15.75%
Sustainable Leaders (net) 6.14% 1.16% 15.26% 33.45% 8.04% 16.04% 15.09%
S&P 500 Index 4.96% 0.67% 11.30% 28.19% 9.57% 15.80% 13.82%

Calendar-year composite performance (%) as of May 31, 2024

  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Sustainable Leaders (gross) 27.43% -22.06% 24.55% 29.87% 37.29% -- -- -- -- --
Sustainable Leaders (net) 26.68% -22.52% 23.83% 29.15% 36.54% -- -- -- -- --
S&P 500 Index 26.29% -18.11% 28.71% 18.40% 31.49% -- -- -- -- --

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. An investment in this strategy could lose value. Most recent month-end performance is preliminary. Returns are subject to change.

Periods less than one year are not annualized. Performance is stated in U.S. dollars and includes the reinvestment of dividends and interest.


Learn more about our approach to Sustainable Investing

Featured item

Recent research publications

  • Toward a circular economy
    As the global economy demands more resources than Earth can sustain, our researchers explore the concept of the circular economy, and how it can inform business leaders and investors to optimize resource use and minimize waste.

  • Toward racial justice
    Using the social (S) lens of ESG investing, our researchers explain the markers of leadership among U.S. corporations addressing the challenge of racial justice.

Important disclosures

The Putnam Investments Sustainable Leaders Composite (the "Composite"') seeks to provide long term capital appreciation by investing mainly in U.S. equity securities of companies with demonstrated commitment to sustainable business practices. The strategy aims for attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term and invests in growth companies with the goal of delivering positive financial and ESG performance. It utilizes bottom-up fundamental research, including assessment of valuation and sustainability factors when selecting investments for the portfolio. The Composite's benchmark is the S&P 500 Index. Accounts in the composite may invest in private placements and may use derivatives, such as futures, options and swaps, for both hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Composite comprises all fully discretionary accounts managed by Putnam Investments in this investment style. The Composite inception date was March 31, 2018. The Composite creation date was April 16, 2018.

The S&P 500 Index covers 500 industrial, utility, transportation, and financial companies of the US markets (mostly NYSE issues). The index represents about 75% of NYSE market capitalization and 30% of NYSE issues. It is a capitalization-weighted index calculated with dividends reinvested.

Gross performance includes the deduction of transaction costs but does not include the deduction of management fees and other expenses that may be incurred in managing an investment account. A portfolio's return will be reduced by advisory and other fees. Net performance reflects the deduction of a model fee applied on a monthly basis, equal to the actual management fee incurred by a portfolio in the Composite or the highest management fee that would be charged to a prospect of the strategy, whichever is higher. The model fee may change over time. Actual advisory fees may vary among clients with the same investment strategy. The Composite includes all actual, fully discretionary accounts with substantially similar investment policies and objectives managed to the Composite's investment strategy. Benchmarks are generally taken from published sources and may have different calculation methodologies, pricing times, and/or foreign-exchange sources from the Composite. The effect of those differences is generally deemed to be immaterial. The securities holdings of the Composite strategy may differ materially from those of the index used for comparative purposes.