Pursuing green initiatives that possess both attractive returns on investment and socially responsible outcomes

Randy Giraldo, Portfolio Manager, shares how TIAA’s Real Estate Account is helping save the planet.

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At TIAA, we believe the right investments can create positive outcomes for you and the communities you live in. Which is why I want to share with you how we're applying environmental, social, and governance practices to the TIAA Real Estate Account to help protect our investments and the planet. I'm sure you've heard the term sustainability, but what is it? Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs. So what does sustainability mean from an investment perspective? It's the way we invest, which seeks returns, but lets us stay true to our values. The TIAA Real Estate Account offers investment exposure to directly own commercial real estate an asset class typically reserved for affluent or institutional investors. With commercial real estate, energy and resource conservation are vital to reducing costs, making our properties more attractive to tenants, and maximizing performance. Since 2007, the TIAA Real Estate Account has been committed to reducing excess energy use across all of our properties. We continually pursue energy and water efficiency efforts and other green initiatives that offer both attractive return on investment and socially responsible outcomes. All potential property acquisitions undergo an energy and efficiency climate risk evaluation as part of the investment process. All directly managed office, retail, and multifamily properties are required to benchmark utility data with ENERGY STAR, the EPA program that helps businesses and individuals save money and energy. We reduced energy consumption by approximately 20% for our benchmark properties since they were added to our portfolio. That's an average reduction of over 2% per year, which drops right to the bottom line. In 2018, we avoided over $9 million in energy costs and eight million kilowatt hours by implementing these energy conservation measures. That's roughly equivalent to eliminating the carbon emissions of 10,000 homes. Let's take a look at one of the TIAA Real Estate Account's office properties, 55 Second Street in San Francisco. The building was fully retrofitted for LED lighting and all appliances were replaced with ENERGY STAR-rated versions. Since 2014, we've been able to reduce energy consumption by 16%. Additionally, a rooftop urban garden was introduced, which has been a hit with tenants. These improvements, among many others, have allowed the building to achieve the highest sustainability designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, Leed Platinum. A core belief at TIAA is that we can maximize investment results while improving our communities and the environment. The TIAA Real Estate Account is an effective way for investors to join us on that mission. For more information about investing in the TIAA Real Estate Account, visit 1

An essential component of a diversified portfolio1

Real estate is a fundamental building block of investment portfolios, helping protect against stock market uncertainty, rising interest rates and inflation.
Why private real estate infographic

An easy way to provide employees with real estate exposure

The TIAA Real Estate Account is a variable annuity designed to maximize the benefits of real estate investing with the option for income for life in retirement.

Privately owned commercial real estate

Emphasis on high-quality, income-producing properties.

Guaranteed liquidity

A liquidity guarantee backed by the TIAA General Account.

Retirement income
for life

Participants can convert some or all of their investment into income for life in retirement.*
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1The TIAA Real Estate Account is truly diversified within the larger asset class of commercial real estate. An investment in REA, when combined with other appropriate investments in different asset classes, can help an investor achieve portfolio diversification. Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. It is not guaranteed to protect against loss.
2Returns are largely unaffected by movements in stock or bond markets since returns are generated by rental income and changes in property values. For the 10-year period ended June 30, 2019, REA correlation to the S&P 500 Index and Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index was 0.09 and -0.11, respectively. Over this same period, correlation between the FTSE Nareit All Equity REIT Index and the S&P 500 Index was 0.61. You cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns do not reflect a deduction for fees and expenses.
3Direct real estate has delivered higher risk-adjusted returns than bonds since the account’s inception in 1995. As of June 30, 2019, the REA since-inception Sharpe ratio (a measure of risk-adjusted return) was 1.1, while the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index was 0.9 over the same period. The REA inception date is 10/2/1995. You cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns do not reflect a deduction for fees and expenses. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
*Other payout options are available. Any guarantees under annuities issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America are subject to its’ claims-paying ability. Payments from the TIAA Real Estate Account will rise or fall based on investment performance.
The TIAA Real Estate Account is a variable annuity product and an insurance separate account of TIAA.
Withdrawals of earnings are subject to ordinary income tax, plus a possible federal 10% penalty if you make a withdrawal before age 59 ½. Transfers out of the account to another TIAA or to a CREF account or into another investment option can be executed at any time, but are limited to once per calendar quarter, although some plans may allow systematic transfers that result in more than one transfer per calendar quarter, and certain other limited exceptions to this restriction apply.
The real estate industry is subject to various risks including fluctuations in underlying property values, expenses and income, and potential environmental liabilities.

In general, the value of the TIAA Real Estate Account will fluctuate based on the underlying value of the direct real estate or real estate-related securities in which it invests. The risks associated with investing in the Real Estate Account include the risks associated with real estate ownership including among other things fluctuations in underlying property values, higher expenses or lower income than expected, risks associated with borrowing and potential environmental problems and liability, as well as risks associated with participant flows and conflicts of interest. For more complete discussion of these and other risks, please consult the prospectus.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charge and expense carefully before investing. Please call 877-518-9161 or to go to for current product and fund prospectuses that contain this and other information. Please read prospectuses carefully before investing.