A good background article, despite its date in 2018, can be found in this link to a NY Times article:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/business/finding-emerging-markets-stocks-with-social-consciences.html
The Times article reviews many ESG strategies, including MFs, so I won’t repeat what is said there.
Inspired by a recent M* finding that ESG MFs and ETFs have been outperforming the indices against which they are measured, I took a closer look at a recommended ETF for broad EM coverage, namely IEMG, as well as two ETFs that have portfolios based on ESG principles. Nuveen (now owned by TIAA, which has offered a Social Choice balanced fund for many years) offers NUEM, an EM ESG fund using its proprietary index. Two other choices in this area are XTrackers EMSG and a 2020 addition to the mix, iShares LDEM. Both of the latter funds eliminate some companies based on the business (tobacco, alcohol, gambling, etc.) and then they apply ESG screens to the remaining MSCI EM stocks to eliminate bad governance, pollution, corruption, and so forth.
NUEM and EMSG have long enough track records to make comparisons possible. Since the lows of world markets in March, 2020, all EM funds have shot up. However, as predicted by the theorists and researchers, companies with higher ESG scores, including in this case EM companies, did outperform an index of unscreened firms. I lean towards NUEM because I know TIAA’s record in ESG investing. They may have a “secret sauce,” and were I looking to expand my EM allocation, this is where the money would go. If the theory is correct, long-term results should achieve similar outperformance.