Responsible investing at TIAA

Working to make an enduring impact on our world

Responsible investing (RI) is an approach that integrates material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, alongside traditional financial criteria, into the investment process.

Responsible investing in action

Sustainable. Socially conscious. Ethical. No matter how it's described, responsible investing has the same objectives: to manage risk, create investment opportunity and enhance long-term performance potential—all while driving positive change.

When evaluating companies for our ESG-focused products, Nuveen, our investment manager, considers the following factors:


Climate impact, energy consumption, waste management and natural resource use


Diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and development, labor relations, human rights practices, product safety and consumer protection


Management structure, board accountability and independence, executive compensation, audits and internal controls, and shareholder rights

Invested in making a difference

Being a leader in responsible investing begins with being a responsible business. At TIAA, we’re always looking for ways to unlock investment potential while doing right by our clients, employees and communities.

  • The TIAA General Account,1 backing our flagship fixed annuity product, is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • To meet a higher standard of transparency, we disclose all vote rationales—over 400 in total—for every proposal we initiate at S&P 500 companies.2


Video: Climate change and your retirement investmentsOpens dialog

Looking out for our investors and the planet

From shrinking carbon footprints3 to increasing equality,4 TIAA and Nuveen are dedicated to shaping a brighter future.

2023 Climate Report: Rising to the challenge

We view climate risk as investment risk and remain committed to providing secure retirement to our clients through our carbon reduction and risk management approaches.

2022 – 2023 Annual Stewardship Report: At-a-glance

Our approach to stewardship is designed to meaningfully advance ESG transparency, accountability and real-world impact. By regularly engaging with our portfolio companies, we can reduce investment risk while creating long-term value for our clients.

Two partners, one purpose

As champions of responsible investing, TIAA and Nuveen support over $43 billion in Responsible investing strategies5. Together, we have the experience, resources and vision to help you build a portfolio you can be proud of.

Invest well while doing good

Whether you’re contributing to a workplace retirement plan or investing on your own, we can help you create a portfolio that meets your financial needs and provides for a better world.

Explore our ESG-focused investments
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1 The TIAA General Account is an insurance company account and is not available to investors as an investment. All guarantees are subject to TIAA’s claims-paying ability.

2 Nuveen's Key proxy vote rationales for 2021 – 2022

3 2022 TIAA Climate Report

4 2021 Global Fixed Income Impact Report

5 Based on assets under management as of September 30th, 2023.

Responsible investing incorporates Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors that may affect exposure to issuers, sectors and industries, limiting the type and number of investment opportunities available, which could result in excluding investments that perform well.

ESG integration is the consideration of financially material ESG factors within the investment decision making process. Financial materiality and applicability of ESG factors varies by asset class and investment strategy. ESG factors may be among many factors considered in evaluating an investment decision, and unless otherwise stated in the relevant offering memorandum or prospectus, do not alter the investment guidelines, strategy, or objectives. Select investment strategies do not integrate such ESG factors in the  investment decision making process.

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.