1) Divest from Cricket Valley fracked gas power plant
TIAA is the largest single owner of CVE, a new, heavily polluting, fracked-gas power plant which TIAA has built against the wishes of the low-income rural community where it is located. CVE was permitted before the massive fugitive methane emissions from fracking operations, pipelines, and compressor stations were understood. Methane is 86 times worse than CO2 in terms of global heating.
2) Enact an immediate moratorium on all new direct investments in fossil fuels
The company must immediately create a new policy to avoid investing in any fossil-fuel infrastructure, and stop all new direct investments in fossil fuels, from extraction and processing to pipelines, plastics, and power plants. Fossil fuels are terrible for health and climate, and a bad investment as well.
3) Implement a no-deforestation investment policy
TIAA has hundreds of millions invested in deforestation-producing agribusiness companies including those that produce palm oil, paper/pulp, rubber, timber, beef and soy, and billions more in consumer goods companies that use these commodities. TIAA has also been buying farmland in places where land-grabbing and fraud are widespread, both in the US and in countries such as Brazil. TIAA’s farmland and agribusiness investments not only contribute to the violation of human rights, they are also causing deforestation and harmful industrial agriculture practices, both major drivers of the climate crisis.
4) TIAA must divest from all current fossil-fuel investments and activities
TIAA has approximately $8 billion invested in fossil-fuel companies. Divestiture of these investments must include any and all parts of the fossil-fuel supply chain from exploration and extraction through transportation, refining, distribution, wholesaling, and retailing.
Our History with TIAA
TIAA-Divest! has made good-faith efforts to engage with TIAA. Our initial strategy was to work with TIAA/Nuveen to develop a set of truly responsible investment practices. We were encouraged by TIAA’s initial response, but, as you can see below we have come to realize that direct pressure from TIAA participants is the only way to effect change.
On May 12th, 2020 TIAA-Divest! delivered our demand letter to TIAA board members and executives. Signed by 75 allied groups, the letter was powerful enough to grab the attention of TIAA’s Responsible Investing team.
On June 10th we engaged in a one hour teleconference with members of the RI team and we clearly explained our constituents’ expectations. Our notes from the meeting are available here. We were promised meaningful follow-up and clarifying information. It was not forthcoming.
TIAA’s disappointing response demonstrated that they don’t recognize divestment as a valid strategy and they don’t understand the climate crisis. TIAA can’t reconcile their actions with their perceived self-image but they refuse to alter their behavior. Read our response to TIAA’s content-free termination of our conversation.