TIAA-CREF Releases 2011 Socially Responsible Investing Annual Report
New York, ---
TIAA-CREF today announced the release of its 2011 Socially Responsible Investing Annual Report. The report describes the organization’s work to encourage portfolio companies to adopt practices that promote long-term shareholder value in three primary areas: environmental challenges; human rights and economic development and executive compensation and corporate accountability.
“TIAA-CREF is proud to be a recognized leader in the growing ranks of socially responsible investors,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA-CREF. “During 2010, TIAA-CREF intensified its commitment to socially responsible investing, responding to growing demand from our individual and institutional clients to add long-term value to their investment portfolios while seeking the maximum possible impact across a wide range of environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives.”
In 2011 the CREF Social Choice Account celebrated its 20th anniversary and saw its assets under management top the $10 billion mark. This coincides with a growing voice for socially responsible practices that has seen industry-wide socially responsible investment (“SRI”) assets increase at a significantly faster rate than the broader industry pool of professionally managed assets.
Highlights from the 2011 Socially Responsible Investing Annual Report include:
*TIAA-CREF was ranked highest among 46 mutual fund companies for its support of shareholder resolutions on climate change by Ceres, a national coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations. The ranking reflects the fact that TIAA-CREF was one of only eight companies that voted in favor of climate-related shareholder resolutions more than half the time during 2010.
*Of ten companies in the steel, airline, real estate and retail industries that TIAA-CREF engaged with as a part of its Climate Change Initiative to improve disclosure on climate change, eight companies now produce an environmental report.
*TIAA-CREF continued its commitment to energy efficiency and received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award—the ENERGY STAR program’s highest honor—for a second consecutive year. TIAA-CREF also partnered with Good Energies, a leading venture capital firm to invest in the areas of energy efficiency and green building technology.
Human rights and economic development
*TIAA-CREF continued to partner with independent organizations to create global standards for human rights performance, including the Human Rights Working Group of the Global Reporting Initiative, which seeks to help companies improve disclosure of their human rights policies and practices.
*TIAA-CREF deployed capital to promote economic development in low-income areas often ignored by global financial institutions. TIAA-CREF’s Global Microfinance Investment Program had a total of more than $800 million in deployed investments and investment commitments at the end of 2010. TIAA-CREF’s Community Bank Deposit Program had more than $20 million placed in FDIC-insured deposits at five community banks to promote economic development in low-income areas.
*TIAA-CREF continues to use the organization’s power as a shareholder in proxy votes and in active engagement with companies on human rights issues both in the U.S. and abroad.
Executive compensation and corporate accountability
*In April 2011 TIAA-CREF joined the Council of Institutional Investors and 14 investment companies to support the Dodd-Frank Bill’s “proxy access” rule, which strengthens the ability of shareholders to nominate director candidates to boards.
*In keeping with the TIAA-CREF Policy Statement on Corporate Governance, in 2010 the organization withheld votes from boards, board committees or individual directors at more than 240 meetings where TIAA-CREF concluded the actions of the directors fell short of ethical, fiduciary or other standards.
*In 2010, TIAA-CREF issued a policy statement titled Responsible Investing and Corporate Governance: Lessons Learned from the Crises of the Last Decade as a basis for a national dialogue and eventual code of best practices for the role of shareholders in corporate governance.
The full report is available on the TIAA-CREF website and can be accessed at the following the link: www.tiaa-cref.org/SRI2011 (PDF).
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa-cref.org) is a national financial services organization with approximately $470 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/11) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
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