1)  TIAA must immediately divest all assets that support the extraction, transport, trade or other contribution to the production of coal, oil and gas. 

TIAA has approximately $78 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.

2) TIAA must immediately halt any new investments in companies that extract, transport, trade or otherwise contribute to the production of coal, oil and gas.

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) TIAA must immediately stop investing in industrial agriculture and timberland. TIAA must begin dialogue with Indigenous peoples, Black farmers, and other local communities harmed by land grabs about how to return land to local control and make reparations. 

TIAA has billions 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 publicly disclose the full extent and details of all their fossil- fuel related assets and commit to full investment transparency.

TIAA is has failed to provide transparency into the totality of their investment portfolio. Even experts like the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) have been frustrated by TIAA’s opacity. A 2022 IEEFA report, “TIAA Fails Clients on Climate” states that “Full disclosure of the holdings would be pathbreaking and consistent with TIAA’s professed commitment to leadership on transparency.

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.